Ronda Rousey Attacked Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss and Raw General Manager Kurt Angle
Raw has been sorely lacking from a hot opening segment for many weeks now, but this was a hell of a way to kick off the show with Bliss bragging about her triumphs at Money in the Bank before Rousey came out to demolish her as well as Angle. She was completely unhinged, and that's the side of Rousey we need to see more of on Raw. Her attack on Angle was what led to her "suspension" in storyline, explaining why she won't be in action at Extreme Rules next month. I look forward to Rousey vs. Bliss for the title upon her return to TV.
Dolph Ziggler def. Seth Rollins to Win the Intercontinental Championship
I was down for Ziggler answering Rollins' open challenge because they have always had strong in-ring chemistry together and that was once again the case here. It was extremely well-wrestled and the action was entertaining, but Ziggler capturing the championship took me by surprise. If anything, I would have put the belt on Elias at Money in the Bank or even Drew McIntyre. With Ziggler, I feel like it's one of those "been there, done that" type of deals, and unlike The Miz, he's not a compelling champion. I'm interested to see where it leads, but there really wasn't a reason to take the title off of Rollins so soon.
Kevin Owens Interrupted Braun Strowman
I feel like we've seen Strowman and Owends feuding (but not officially) since the Superstar Shake-up two months ago, and Strowman has emerged victorious every time. Therefore, I have no desire to see them in a program with each other moving forward. This was a solid segment, though, with Strowman promising to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase on Brock Lesnar eventually and Owens attempting to form a partnership with The Monster in the Bank, ultimately to no avail.
Raw Tag Team Champions "Woken" Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt def. Heath Slater and Rhyno (Non-title)
I swear, every match Hardy and Wyatt have competed in since after WrestleMania 34 has been virtually the same. Their opponents score some offense before Hardy and Wyatt hit their signature spots and pick up the victory. I hate that because they can be such an awesome act with more creative freedom, but I find myself not caring whatsoever about their program with The B-Team. I figured it was going to culminate at Money in the Bank, but apparently not.
Jinder Mahal def. Chad Gable
Remember when Gable beat Mahal on Raw that one time two months ago and some of us thought it was the beginning of big things for Gable on Monday nights? Yeah, me either. Mahal is a mediocre performer at best, so putting him over such a promising upstart in Gable boggles my mind. Is Gable under 205 pounds? If so, he might as well be moved to 205 Live where he can be utilized correctly, because I'm tired of him being relegated to jobber duty.
The Riott Squad def. Sasha Banks and Bayley
For the millionth time, Banks and Bayley made up before the bout, and despite being on the same page for a majority of the match, one minor miscommunication error caused them to lose. The Riott Squad continuing to roll is cool, but I'm ready for the next chapter in this Banks and Bayley saga. Then again, I said the same thing three months ago, so who the hell knows what WWE has in store for them.
Bobby Lashley and Roman Reigns def. The Revival
Angle's grand announcement was that at Extreme Rules, there will be a multi-man match to determine who will face Lesnar for the Universal Championship at a later date. If that sounds familiar, it's because WWE did the exact same matchup at the 2017 installment, which was won by Samoa Joe. That comes across as lazy writing to me and the build will be no different than what we saw leading up to Money in the Bank. Lashley and Reigns are drowning as babyfaces at the moment, but their soft alliance here was somewhat intriguing. Meanwhile, The Revival being wasted is nothing new.
Mojo Rawley def. No Way Jose
Based off his recent string of victories on Main Event, it appears Rawley is on the verge of a renewed push on Raw. I appreciate his intensity as a heel and he's a not total lost cause, but there are countless people I'd rather see pushed on TV before him. His squash victory versus Jose was decent, but he didn't showcase any skills that made me think he has a boatload of untapped potential. Even his post-match promo was fairly formulaic.
I contemplated not even including this as part of my review, because it didn't truly serve much of a purpose. Elias did his shtick as he always does, and that was it. It was a strange way to follow-up up his breakout performance at Money in the Bank against Rollins, but I suppose it was better than leaving him off the show all together. Then again, he did mention something about wanting to be a part of that Extreme Rules main event Angle announced, and I'd be in full favor of that.
Baron Corbin and Kevin Owens def. Finn Balor and braun Strowman
A tag team main event with zero important implications sounds like the cure for insomnia to me. Seriously, I watched this episode on delay and was tempted to skip right through this, because why not? Corbin can be a top heel on Raw down the road, but it will take a ton of rehabbing after the bad booking he endured over on SmackDown Live. This was a good match all things considered, but Corbin pinning Balor left me scratching my head.
I was optimistic this would be one of those newsworthy post-pay-per-view editions of Raw coming off the first two segments, but it turned out to be just another average episode on the whole. It was by no means bad and I'm fine with them starting to set up some stuff for Extreme Rules next month, but none of it is exciting on paper as of now. Raw is in rough shape and needs at least one sensational story or two fans can sink their teeth into. Otherwise, you aren't missing much if you aren't tuning into Raw these days.
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