Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley Brawled
Fans really haven't had a reason to care about this program whatsoever in recent weeks, especially considering there will be nothing on the line in their match at Extreme Rules. That said, this pull apart brawl was very effective in getting viewers invested because it came across as intense and it truly felt like there was bad blood between them. Here's hoping the matchup on Sunday delivers and doesn't fall flat like Reigns' last two pay-per-view outings.
Nia Jax and Natalya def. Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss and Mickie James
I'm beyond tired of the Bliss vs. Jax narrative by this point, but this was a a decent way to build toward their upcoming encounter at Extreme Rules. The match was fine and the crowd actually got behind Jax as a babyface for the first time in months. She furthered her momentum with the win and Bliss gave fans a taste of what to expect at the event when she blindsided her afterward with a kendo stick, so this was well done all around.
Mojo Rawley def. No Way Jose
I have complained for weeks that I had no desire to see these two have another match, but here we are. All right, so it wasn't terrible, but it's so obvious WWE is trying to make Rawley a thing when I just don't see that being the case. He's average at best and nothing he did in this matchup caused me to think he has what it takes to make it toward the top of the card. At the very least, Rawley isn't a victim of 50/50 booking, so I give them credit for sticking with him, if only for a little while.
Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre Interrupted Seth Rollins
Man, it's crazy just how over with the audience Rollins is right now. I know everyone has been saying that for months, but the reaction he received on this show from the Boston crowd (hey, RJ!) was astounding. Anyway, this segment was what it needed to be with Rollins targeting McIntyre on the mic and setting up their main event match in the process. I could have done without the dumb sheep jokes from Rollins, though. I'd prefer he stay the cool badass babyface and not become a corny one.
Bo Dallas def. Raw Tag Team Champion "Woken" Matt Hardy
Another week, another pointless match between Hardy and a member of The B-Team. 'Pointless' might be too strong of a word because The B-Team are winning their matches like they should be before they vie for the Raw Tag Team Championship, but their victories aren't convincing anyone that they're threats to the twin titles. Hardy is so much better than losing to two comic relief characters who were positioned as jobbers for years before they were suddenly pushed as championship contenders.
Ember Moon def. Liv Morgan
Was it really necessary to hold a rematch when Moon won their initial encounter in clean fashion? Better question: Why not just have Moon face Sarah Logan instead? Either way, this was a nice little match with solid showings from both women. Moon is already adapting better to the main roster than she ever did in NXT, so I'm happy she's being kept protected. Meanwhile, Ruby Riott was still conspicuous by her absence, so here's hoping she heals up soon.
Baron Corbin and Elias def. Bobby Roode and Finn Balor
For a feud I don't give a shit about and two guys who are fairly directionless at the moment, this was a much better bout than I thought it would be. Mind you, it was no masterpiece, but it had a fun energy to it and the crowd was into the action for the most part. Corbin has nearly nonexistent heat these days, so I suppose him pinning Roode for the victory was the right call before he faces off with Balor one-on-one.
Drew McIntyre def. Seth Rollins
Fun fact: These two once met in singles competition back when NXT first launched into what it is today in 2012, and had an awesome match even then. Of course, this was an excellent encounter as well with a terrific pace and an exceptional effort from both guys. McIntyre absolutely looked like he was on Rollins' level and I was thrilled he had his hand raised in the end. I didn't mind either way whether he was in Ziggler's corner at Extreme Rules or not; this was more about making a statement and proving to the world that he is a total star. Not just anyone beats Rollins nowadays, so that was a major endorsement of him.
Needless to say, the build to Extreme Rules has left a lot to be desired and I don't find myself overly excited for the event whatsoever. As a go-home show, I can't say this edition of Raw did much to change my mind, but it's difficult to crap all over an episode that had such stellar opening and closing segments. Those are worth watching, whereas everything else was just kind of there. I would say that things will pick back up again after Extreme Rules heading into SummerSlam, but I said the same thing before Money in the Bank, so who the hell knows anymore.
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