Raw Women's Champion Ronda Rousey and Natalya vs. Nia Jax and Tamina Went to a No Contest
Despite WWE announcing this match a few days ahead of time, I was not looking forward to it whatsoever, so I can't say I was disappointed by it not happening. The Riott Squad attacked the babyfaces before the bell could ring, causing the contest to be held later in the evening with Rousey being forced to choose a new partner. Although it was a good way to get heat on the heels, it did nothing to get me invested in either feud.
Sasha Banks and Bayley def. Mickie James and Alicia Fox
Alexa Bliss held yet another "open forum" beforehand with Banks and Bayley, which was just as awful this time as it was the last time. So, why bother doing it again? It accomplished nothing aside from planting the seeds for women's tag team titles being implemented eventually. The subsequent match was as mediocre as you could probably expect and was a glorified waste of time.
The Lucha House Party def. Scott Dawson (Lucha House Rules Match)
Dawson demanded to face a member of Lucha House Party one-on-one, and technically he got what we wanted, except it was contested under the stupid "Lucha House Party House." Thus, it was even more unfair than the last two weeks with it being a 3-on-1 situation and Dawson having no chance of winning. The Revival continue to be buried, and Lucha House Party aren't any more over than they were before, so I fail to see what purpose this served.
Dolph Ziggler def. Drew McIntyre
I was wondering whether WWE would ever officially break McIntyre away from Ziggler (it's been teased but WWE had yet to pull the trigger until this week), so I appreciated that they finally explained their split here. Unfortunately, Ziggler looked better coming out of this than McIntyre. Their match was solid, but Ziggler winning was the wrong result, even if it was due to a distraction from Finn Balor. The commentators mentioned how this marked McIntyre's first pinfall loss since returning to WWE, which makes it that much worse. Hopefully McIntyre annihilates Ziggler in their inevitable rematch.
Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush Interrupted Elias
These two have had a handful of matches against each other, but they lack in-ring chemistry and thus I can't get into this feud of theirs. Elias is better off as a babyface at the moment, and while I maintain Lashley and Rush have potential as a heel act, their poor mic work (and pointless poses) lately hasn't helped matters. Elias destroying his guitar over the back of Rush was cool, but everything else about this was lame.
Raw Tag Team Champions AOP and Drake Maverick def. Bobby Roode and Chad Gable in a 3-on-2 Handicap Match
Between Baron Corbin changing the rules of matches and the "Lucha House Party Rules" stuff, multiple Handicap matches are becoming a staple of Raw every week at this point. Ugh. This was originally supposed to be Roode vs. Maverick where if Roode won, he and Gable would have earned another shot at the Raw Tag Team Championship. Corbin stacked the odds against the babyfaces once AOP ambushed Gable backstage, leading to an easy win for the heels.
Dean Ambrose Attacked Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins
I immediately soured on this segment as soon as I saw the men with the gas masks come out. Ambrose looking like he went as Bane for Halloween was equally dumb and I'm not digging how forced he feels on the microphone these days. This rivalry he has with Rollins writes itself, yet they're going way father than they need to with him heeling on the audience. His brawl with Rollins was well done and the crowd was hot for it, but somehow this program isn't nearly as compelling as it was even three weeks ago.
Heath Slater def. Rhyno in a Loser Gets Fired Match
Corbin told Slater and Rhyno that there was enough space on the Raw roster for only one of them and that they'd have to wrestle each other in order to save their jobs. Unsurprisingly, this was a totally flat match between two guys who haven't been involved in anything of note in years and the outcome was irrelevant. That said, Slater is the better choice to keep around because he's naturally likable and him in a referee role for the foreseeable future could be fun depending on where it goes.
Finn Balor def. Jinder Mahal
Balor vs. Mahal was done to death over the fall season, so needless to say, I had no desire to see them rekindle their rivalry here (then again, I have no desire to watch any match featuring Mahal). It was perfectly serviceable and the only thing that made it notable was Apollo Crews helping Balor even the odds. Crews hasn't appeared on Raw in weeks, and although I'm all for him getting a renewed push, he needs more consistent television time.
Raw Women's Champion Ronda Rousey and Ember Moon def. Nia Jax and Tamina
Moon has had her established issues with Jax and Tamina dating back to Evolution, so Rousey choosing Moon as her partner made storyline sense. It was pretty obvious Rousey was going to choose her considering there was no one else left to go with who wasn't already on the show. Nevertheless, this was an abysmal main event that offered nothing of substance whatsoever. Rousey and Moon held their own and did their best to make this passable, but Jax and Tamina are too terrible to be carried to a competent contest. Whoever thought they should be partnered up deserves to be fired.
For those curious, yes, this was an improvement over last week's atrocious edition of Raw, but it was going to be impossible for it to be any worse considering how low WWE set the bar. There still isn't any real buzz or interest surrounding TLC next Sunday (at least on the Raw side) and nearly nothing on this show intrigues me to tune in from week to week. There were a few decent matches/segments on this show, but by and large, it was once again a chore to get through.
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