Randy Orton Challenged Christian to an Unsanctioned Match
Well, this was certainly unexpected. Edge is injured and won't be back any time soon it seems, but Christian looking to seek revenge for his longtime friend was a cool twist in the story. He and Orton had an amazing feud back in the summer of 2011 (one of my favorites as a fan), so I was happy to see it revisited here. They had a strong verbal exchange on the mic and I loved how this ended on a cliffhanger with Orton challenging Christian to an Unsanctioned match later in the night and Christian not immediately accepting.
Kevin Owens def. Angel Garza
Garza defeated Owens a few weeks ago on Raw, so there was reason to believe he could pull it off again here. They weren't given a ton of time, mind you, but what we got from them was good. It looked like Andrade would be splitting away from Garza and Zelina Vega after what went down at Backlash, but based off what we saw here, they might be sticking together as a team instead. I'm in favor of that as a series of matches with The Street Profits over the Raw Tag Team Championship could be fun.
Bobby Lashley Demanded a Divorce From Lana
Lana was the reason Lashley lost his match against Drew McIntyre at Backlash the night prior, so I had my fingers crossed for him to cement her split from her on this show. Sure enough, that was exactly what happened. Lashley had no business ever involved with Lana in any form or fashion and I'm glad their storyline is coming to an end. Lashley is much better off with MVP as his manager. As for Lana, I have no clue where she goes from here and what she can even do on her own, especially with Rusev released. I'll pass on seeing Lashley and Lana go through "Divorce Court" on Raw.
Raw Tag Team Champions The Street Profits and The Viking Raiders def. Akira Tozawa and 3 Ninjas
If this is the type of trash we can expect from Bruce Prichard writing Raw, then I have zero faith for the future of this program. Whatever the hell Street Profits and Street Raiders were involved in at Backlash was total trash and what's worse is that it continued here. Tozawa may as well call it a career at this point if this is how he's going to be used. To top it all off, Big Show returned afterward to align himself with Street Profits and Viking Raiders, turning face for what felt like the millionth time. Ugh.
Dominik Attacked Seth Rollins
It was already announced earlier in the evening that Dominik accepted Rollins' invitation to come to Raw, so I'm not sure why the commentators acted so surprised when he showed up. Maybe it was just how he went after Rollins when he least expected it. Nonetheless, this was a solid segment and I'm still digging the story they're telling. Rey Mysterio teaming with his son against Rollins, Murphy and/or Austin Theory is only inevitable at this point and, personally, I'd save it for SummerSlam.
The IIconics def. Liv Morgan and Natalya
Morgan and Natalya teaming up was as random as it sounds and no explanation was given for why they decided to join forces in the first place. The focus was never on the match itself, which lasted all of a minute or two. Rather, this was all about giving The IIconics a rare victory so they could claim that they deserve a WWE Women's Tag Team Championship opportunity. Natalya has been on a losing streak for many months, so this latest loss for her was logical. That said, I can't say I'm excited to see where her teased alliance with Lana goes.
United States Champion Apollo Crews def. Shelton Benjamin (Non-Title)
Crews has been booked as well as he possibly can be as United States Champion over the past few weeks and hasn't been needlessly losing non-title matches like most of the company's current champions, so that's a plus. This was a competitive contest with Benjamin showing off some athleticism before eating defeat. It's worth noting that MVP offered Crews a spot in his stable beforehand and Crews declined, yet he teased turning heel anyway by holding the ropes while he pinned Benjamin. MVP later offered Benjamin a spot in his stable in a video on WWE's YouTube channel. I'd be content with either guy joining MVP's ranks as they'd both be a perfect fit.
WWE Champion Drew McIntyre and 24/7 Champion R-Truth def. MVP and Bobby Lashley
If either McIntyre or Truth were pinned here, McIntyre would've lost the WWE Championship. Both belts were originally supposed to be on the line in a Winners Take All match, but Truth had that changed because he believed in McIntyre, or something along those lines. I enjoyed the match, but it didn't leave me thinking we'll be seeing Lashley get another shot at the strap any time soon. On the bright side, MVP was the one who got pinned, so at least Lashley was protected in defeat.
WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Sasha Banks and SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley Accepted The IIconics' Challenge
I've found some of Bayley's heel work to be a bit more bearable lately as it feels like she's finally found her footing in the role. She was entertaining again here, especially with all the talk about it being her birthday. The IIconics emerged to confirm that they'll be contending for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship next week, despite never actually doing anything to earn it. Unless Tegan Nox and Shotzi Blackheart win the titles on Wednesday's NXT, I'm not sure who viewers are supposed to root for in that heel vs. heel match.
Raw Women's Champion Asuka def. Nia Jax
Although I have zero desire to see Jax in the Raw Women's Championship picture, I'd be lying if I said she and Asuka didn't have chemistry. Their Backlash bout was rather dull, but this was an improvement with Asuka playing the underdog role well. Unfortunately, the finish with the referee making the quick count on Jax seems to suggest that her pursuits of the title aren't over yet. I assume they'll meet one more time at Extreme Rules before Charlotte Flair and Asuka rekindle their rivalry in time for SummerSlam.
Randy Orton def. Christian in an Unsanctioned Match
Okay, so this really wasn't much of a match and you knew it wasn't going to last long when it started so close to the top of the hour, but I thought this was an excellent angle while it lasted. Ric Flair helping Orton by delivering a low blow to Christian was random, but I assume that's because Flair has history with Orton in Evolution. In other words, no, I don't think this is leading to Flair managing Orton. Christian clearly isn't medically cleared because of how he didn't take any actual bumps, but I'm glad he got his "one more match" in an official capacity, even though it was more of an angle than anything. It put more heat on Orton and him showing concern for Christian afterward while still blaming him for doing it to himself was masterful. I could certainly see him challenging for the WWE Championship at either Extreme Rules or SummerSlam.
This was an important show, and not because it was the post-pay-per-view episode following Backlash. Rather, it apparently marked the first show to feature heavy influence from Bruce Prichard, who replaced Paul Heyman as the lead writer of Raw last week. The emphasis on comedy acts was noticeable, but the show wasn't completely terrible. I liked the hook with the Christian and Orton angle, but I personally couldn't have cared less about the stuff with Truth and McIntyre. Feuds were furthered, storylines progressed, and there were some solid matches, so on the whole, I can't complain. It was a middle-of-the-road show that could have been better.
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