So now RAW is a weekly drama that starts with a previously on RAW segment complete with narration. My guess is next week Vince McMahon brings out Matlock or some other ancient TV star.
After a run-down of the four main matches, we get started with Samoa Joe in the ring. Joe tells us all about The Shield. Joe, of course, is not impressed with the Shield. He tells us one by one why he is not impressed by them. Joe orders Roman to come to the ring by himself, so they can finish what they started. Joe continues about how he cost Rollins and Ambrose the titles as he is still waiting for Reigns. Finally, Reigns heads into the ring and the beatdown is on. The Bar show up, and the Shield show up next as all six men fight. Joe and the Bar separate the Shield and take them down one by one, until the Shield is left laying in the ring as we head to the first break.
Joe’s promo here works well. It paints Joe as the loner that he has always been, only to reveal he was working with The Bar. Seeing the Shield being taken out and left laying gives the feeling that Joe and The Bar are worthy opponents.
Mickie James and Bailey vs. Paige and Mandy Rose
Paige comes out talking about how she squashed a bug last week. Mandy Rose talks about getting rid of the weak and the fable. Deville got the good lines, with talking about putting their hair up so they can square up. Bailey goes right at Rose until Rose tags in Paige. Bailey and James take control and take out Absolution as they head to break. It’s the most aggressive that Bailey has seemed in a while. Paige comes in and starts laying it on Bailey including two hard knees to the face. Hot tag to Mickie James as she goes after Mandy Rose. As the ref tries to get Bailey out of the ring, Paige hits a kick on James allowing for Paige and Mandy Rose to get the win.
Winner: Mandy Rose vs Paige
If Absolution are going to continue to grow, then matches like this are needed. While beatdown after beatdown may be entertaining, they can only go so far. The fact that Paige wants her title back gives the group a better purpose. It could also be what leads to their breakup if down the road they paint Deville and Rose as feeling underappreciated.
So, if the shows are so separate why are they giving a rundown of the Clash of Champions PPV that is this Sunday?
Bray Wyatt blows out his Lantern and tells us he is here, which is followed by Matt Hardy breaking glass, telling us he is WOKEN.
But we go to a commercial.
Oh, good another backstage speech by Wyatt and Hardy. The best I got out of it is that they are the Ying and Yang of each other. Over the centuries they have fought before. The Woken Warriors want to eliminate the Wyatt somethings.
I really think that these would work better if they were done separately and not the constant back and forth between the two of them.
Enzo’s backstage talking to his Cruiserweight belt. Gulak brings up the fact that Swans’ chance is removed so a new match would be taking place. Enzo lets Nia Jax name slip out of his mouth, which Gulak takes as Enzo just preparing him for anyone being in the match.
Finn Balor vs. Curtis Axel
Really? Come on Vince. Curtis Axel? Curtis Axel comes out in his neck brace. Axel and Dallas are doing something with laughing the whole way down. Not sure why. Axel and Dallas attack Balor before the match. Balor says to start the match after the attack and Axel takes control early. Balor hits a jawbreaker and then the corner dropkick. Off the top with the coup de gras. Match over.
Winner: Finn Balor
Well, at least Balor got the win. I’m not sure where he goes from here since he took out both Mizztourage the last couple of weeks. Balor seemed more amused than anything that he was taking on Axel.
Kane talks about stepping into the abyss. Says he looks forward to fighting another monster. He is going to come out on top, and then he will fight Brock, and then become Universal Champion.
Rollins vs. Sheamus
So, everyone is barred from ringside for these matches. Rollins launches Sheamus out of the ring and then hits the suicide drive. Rollins beats Sheamus around the ring until Sheamus takes control as they get back in the ring. Lots of talk about Sheamus, his trip two weeks about, and how it was to be stronger and more endurance. Rollins takes control again for a few minutes until Sheamus hits the knee knocking Rollins to the outside.
Back from break is time to slow the match down with the headlock. Sheamus does some unique move pulling Rollins over his shoulder from his leg. Sheamus then locks in the Cloverleaf. Rollins reverses the Cloverleaf and then reverse the backbreaker to hit the DDT on Sheamus. He with the Superkick for the attempted win. Rollins hits the top rope super plex into the Broken Arrow for a near fall. He is able to hit the high knee to the head for the win.
Winner: Seth Rollins
I was glad to see that they explained why we would not see any of the other people getting involved in any of these matches. Without the explanation, most people would have been wondering why six men who were beating each other down earlier tonight are suddenly respectful to each other.
Tony Nese vs. Cedrick Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali vs. Ariya Daivari
Interesting how they just say Rick Swan had is opportunity revoked and nothing more. No matter how hard I try, I can not get behind these four-way cruiserweight matches. Just seems like a bunch of high spots that turn to nothing because the pin is broken up. Cedrick Alexander hits the Lumbar Check.
Winner: Cedrick Alexander
Seriously, nothing about this match made me care anything more about 205 Live. The constant high impact moves that people hit on each other and then two minutes later they are back up.
Enzo is backstage talking to his title again, as Gulak tries to talk trash. Enzo reminds Gulak that they are not friends. He starts in on his feelings about PowerPoint, before moving on the flirt with Nia Jax.
Cesaro vs. Roman Reigns-Intercontinental Title Match
We get the official in-ring introductions. A few weeks ago they did a tale of the tape type thing. I wish they would start doing that again. Makes the match feel important. Reigns starts with some kicks as Cesaro rolls out of the ring. Several clotheslines around the ring and in the corners before Cesaro gets knocked to the outside and the first break. During the break, Cesaro hit a boot and swung Reigns into the ringside barrier. Cesaro has Reigns in an armbar while bending Reigns elbow joint.
After an extended rest, Reigns starts to get some offense in and hits the Drive-By. Cesaro blocks the Superman punch by hitting the arm he has been working on. Cesaro locks armbar back on. The announce team continues to talk up Cesaro’s ring strategy as he throws Reigns into the ring post. Reigns hits a punch on the outside of the ring then goes for the spear that is blocked and reversed into the forearm. After a near pin, Cesaro went for another armbar. Reigns picks Cesaro up into a sit-down powerbomb. After several uppercuts, Cesaro tries to hit the Neutralizer, but Reigns reverses it with a backdrop and the Spear for the win
Winner: Roman Reigns
It is matches like this that will make the crowd start to appreciate Reigns more. Cesaro made Reigns look like a million bucks in this match. The crowd was in on everything this and were even chanting “This is Awesome.” No boos and hatred toward Reigns by the end, just a new-found respect from the crowd.
Asuka vs. Alicia Fox
Asuka is waiting in the match for Fox. The music starts and no Fox. Paige and Absolution make there way out as we see Alicia Fox getting checked on in the back. Paige says that not even Asuka can stop Absolution. She tells Asuka to move, or they will move her. Asuka simply shakes her head no towards Absolution. Asuka takes out Mandy Rose and Deville before putting Paige in the Asuka lock. The numbers get to her as Rose and Deville start the attack, and Paige hits a boot. The entire women’s locker room then hits the ring, including Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss, to fight off Absolution.
It is good to see the entire Women’s Division finally coming together to take on Absolution. Sure there is three of them, but as is shown here that when they team up, the rest of the roster outnumbers them.
Hey, look! Kurt Angle did show up for work today. Jason Jordan says his intensity got the best of him. Jordan still wants a shot at Samoa Joe. Jordan insists that he is the person who should be able to beat Joe.
Dean Ambrose vs. Samoa Joe
As the match starts, Jason Jordan sets up a chair on the stage. Joe starts in with punches and kicks until Ambrose hits a dropkick on Joe’s knee. Joe moves outside the ring and Ambrose follows him as he keeps working on Joe’s knee. As they roll into the ring, Joe takes advantage and knocks Ambrose back out of the ring.
Back from the break, Joe has Ambrose in the headlock. Joe misses the leaping Senton. Both men continue to punch, kick and clothesline. Jordan makes his way down to the ring to distract Joe. Ambrose tries the roll up before they head out of the ring. Jordan rolls Ambrose into the ring before Joe puts Jordan in the Clutch. Ambrose hits the dive from the ring before moving back to attempt the pin. Jordan is distracting the ref, and Ambrose heads out to get in Jordan’s face before Joe takes them both out and puts Ambrose in the Clutch to win.
Winner: Samoa Joe
Great match between two brawlers. They are finding ways to really turn the crowd against Jordan which is what is best for the character.
Dana Brookes and Titus Worldwide are hanging out in the back, as Dana is thanking Titus for the opportunity. Dana oversees research and development for Titus Worldwide now. Gallows and Anderson come out and call them nerds. Before anything else happens, everyone scatters as Braun Strowman comes through on his way to the ring.
Braun Strowman vs. Kane
Oh, great, another video of the feud. Seriously, how much did the WWE pay for this video that they have had to show it this many times? After 15 minutes of setup, the match finally starts. Strowman takes advantage first and moves Kane into the corner. Seriously this is the main event, and the crowd is sitting on their hands quiet. Rumors are that Balor is getting buried because Vince says he can not get over. Hopefully, Vince is watching this match and seeing people take a nap. Not a single reaction from people as a couple of near falls happen.
Kane hits to choke slams before Strowman hits a reverse on the third attempt. The two make their way to ringside where they beat each other. After walking into the crowd, Strowman hits a clothesline through the barrier. Both get counted out, and there are audible groans and boos from the crowd. After the match they both keep beating each other. The crowd shows some interest as Strowman gets a table. Kane instead starts beating Strowman with a chair. Kane sets up a table. They clothesline each other, and Kane does his sit up, as does Strowman. Kane gets scared, tries the chokeslam, gets it reversed. Strowman slams Kane through the table. And the feud may or may not be over.
Vince will not let this feud go. My guess is the Royal Rumble match will be a Triple Threat that way they can keep the title on Leshner without making Strowman do the job. The crowd was obviously not interested at all in this match and were obviously upset that this was not the blow off for this feud.