The Revival def. Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley
The segment preceding this match was pretty good with Reigns and Lashley having their strongest showings on the mic in some time. Promos having a hint of realism to them are always ten times more enjoyable and that was the case here as well (even if Reigns was wrong about Lashley's MMA career being a failure). Kurt Angle also announced that the multi-man match at Extreme Rules is off until further notice because of a "contractual stag" with Universal Champion Brock Lesnar, whatever the hell that's supposed to mean. The subsequent tag team match was better than the original encounter from last week, perhaps due to the hotter crowd and the tension teased between Reigns and Lashley. Revival winning was the icing on the cake, but it remains to be seen whether WWE will actually capitalize off this victory from them.
Curtis Axel def. Raw Tag Team Champion "Woken" Matt Hardy
Wow, what an absolute waste of a match. I can't believe WWE decided to have Hardy get beaten in the matter of a minute (in such weak fashion, mind you) coming off that breathtaking WWE 24 special on him and Jeff last week. I'm fine with The B-Team getting a momentum boost ahead of their opportunity at the Raw Tag Team Championship at Extreme Rules, but this was a strange way to do it. What a weird feud this has been so far.
The Authors of Pain def. Rick and Rex Gibson
In case you missed it, Authors of Pain have reportedly been off WWE TV lately due to a visa issue one of them was dealing with. It seems as if it's been solved because they're back and it was about damn time. They made quick work of their unknown opponents and looked impressive doing so. They ran into Titus Worldwide backstage, so expect to see those two teams clash sooner rather than later.
Natalya def. Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss (Non-title)
For those questioning the move to put the belt back on Bliss so soon, look at the promo she cut before this bout as proof for how tremendous of a talker she truly is, never failing to elicit genuine heat from the audience. I can't wait for the crowd to go wild when Ronda Rousey eventually returns and targets her. At any rate, Bliss vs. Natalya was fine while it lasted, but it was hardly long enough to be anything of note. Here's hoping Natalya beating the champ in non-title action here will lead to a title match next week and won't be forgotten.
The Riott Squad def. Sasha Banks, Bayley and Ember Moon
Angle said this was Bayley and Banks' final chance to get along because they were "too important to Raw." Why not just pit them against each other and get it over with? The match itself was fairly forgettable because it most of it happened during the commercial break and ended shortly thereafter. Bayley wasted no time in attacking Banks when the bell rang and it was glorious. Seriously, this might have been the best Bayley we've seen on the main roster and the live crowd reacted accordingly (with loud cheers). I was hoping Bayley would be the one to go heel in her storyline with Banks, but at least this will freshen up her stagnant character a bit.
No Way Jose vs. Mojo Rawley Went to a No Contest
I really had no interest in seeing Jose vs. Rawley for the second straight week, so I was happy it didn't come to fruition. Instead, Rawley ran down the conga line dancers at ringside and threw a cheap punch at Jose. I suppose we will have to see this match again at some point and I honestly couldn't care less because it's clear the company is determined to push Rawley to the moon.
Braun Strowman and Kevin Owens def. Baron Corbin and Finn Balor by Count-out
Are the Raw writers that lazy that they simply took the main event of last week's show and switched the partners around? I know Owens has wanted to be "buddies" with Strowman for a while now, and well, he got his wish. The different dynamics were fun and they kept things interesting throughout. Corbin and Balor didn't have to eat defeat by pinfall and I'm digging whatever Strowman and Owens are doing at the moment. It's like Team Hell No but with a twist.
Seth Rollins def. Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler by Disqualification
Ziggler and Rollins had the Match of the Night on last week's show, but for as excellent that was, this was an even better bout with an exciting pace and an electric atmosphere to boot. They were given a ton of time to work with and made the most of the main event slot by delivering a hell of an outing with plenty of suspenseful nearfalls. The non-finish was logical to keep the feud alive and at least they ended the evening on a high note by having Reigns come to the aid of Rollins afterward, which I assume was designed to set up a tag team match for next week's Raw.
It's quite possible I enjoyed this edition of Raw on the whole because I watched it after the fact and had the chance to skip over all the replays/commercial breaks. The main event was far and away the highlight of the night, but the rest of the show was solid as well with Owens and Strowman starting something of a friendship and Bayley turning on Banks at long last. Plus, The Revival picked up a rare win, Authors of Pain and Alicia Fox (in a backstage segment) resurfaced, and the crowd was incredibly lively from start to finish, so I'd certainly say this was better than your typical episode of Raw all things considered.
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