The Contract Signings with Raw Women's Champion Asuka, WWE Women's Tag Team Champion Sasha Banks, WWE Champion Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler Descended Into Chaos
I can't say I was overly anticipating the two contract signings coming into this show, so I was glad they were combined into one segment and that they kicked off the show so WWE could get them out of the way early. The brawl between the women was also a hot way to open the episode, so I appreciated that they tried to switch things up from the usual boring concept. The actual mic work from Ziggler, McIntyre, Asuka and Banks wasn't anything out of the ordinary, but it served its purpose in setting up the night's mixed tag team main event.
Andrade and Angel Garza def. The Viking Raiders
Andrade and Garza went back and forth with Big Show on the mic beforehand, which led to them facing off in a Handicap match later in the night. Ric Flair's involvement in the segment was completely pointless, especially when you consider that many people have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 in WWE and it isn't safe for Flair to be in that building. On the bright side, Viking Raiders had an entertaining outing with Andrade and Garza, and with the heels picking up the victory, I assume they're next in line for a shot at the Raw Tag Team Championship.
R-Truth def. Akira Tozawa to Win the 24/7 Championship
Yes, the trash with Tozawa and his ninjas is still a thing. And yes, so is the 24/7 Championship. Much like last week, this wasn't much of a match at only a minute long, but it felt like a waste of time, nonetheless. Did WWE have Truth lose the title to Tozawa last week just so he could regain it this week and become a 37-time champion? Let's throw the belt in the garbage (as well as this entire angle) and call it a day, please.
Seth Rollins and Murphy def. Humberto Carrillo and Aleister Black
Rollins' delivery of his pre-match promo are solid, but he needs to start switching up the material to avoid getting repetitive (assuming he isn't already at that point). Meanwhile, Rey Mysterio and Dominik only interacted with Rollins "via satellite," but they also came across well. I enjoyed the tag team match that followed and it made sense for the heels to win in order to get some of their heat back. I'm ready for the next chapter in this rivalry as well as for Black to move on to something more meaningful on his own.
Peyton Royce def. Ruby Riott
On the surface, it's sad to see Riott continuing to lose, but at least this storyline appears to be headed somewhere with Riott and Liv Morgan likely reuniting. The match itself was whatever and The IIconics do nothing for me personally, but I assume Morgan will eventually stick up for her former friend and reform The Riott Squad. The women's tag team division will need all the help it can get once Bayley and Banks drop the belts, so putting Morgan and Riott back together is a smart move in my book.
Big Show def. Andrade and Angel Garza in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match
Just over an hour after defeating a pair of former Raw Tag Team champions, Andrade and Garza were beaten by Big Show where the odds were in their favor. I realize Raw was short on some talent (presumably because they tested positive for coronavirus), but this was completely counterproductive. I don't understand the point of establishing Andrade and Garza as a cohesive unit and giving them a big win at the start of the show and then destroying whatever they gained an hour later because they couldn't get along. Big Show vs. Randy Orton is probably happening at Extreme Rules, but needless to say, Show didn't need this victory.
MVP def. United States Champion Apollo Crews (Non-Title)
While I liked the last match these two had against each other back in April a bit more, this was still decent. Crews was protected in defeat as Bobby Lashley aided MVP to victory, though I'm interested to see if MVP will end up contending for the United States Championship soon and not Lashley. MVP has largely been positioned as a punching bag for Lashley since his return to the ring, so it doesn't make Crews look good that he lost here, even with interference.
Bobby Lashley def. Ricochet
The commentators kept mentioning that Lashley was furious following his failure to win the WWE Championship earlier this month, so it was only logical for him to annihilate Ricochet here. Ricochet was the perfect opponent for Lashley as he sold Lashley's offense beautifully and made Lashley look like an unhinged beast. The way Ricochet and Cedric Alexander have been booked over the last year has been criminal, but Lashley is a bigger priority at the moment because of how he has momentum on his side despite recent setbacks.
WWE Women's Tag Team Champion Sasha Banks and Dolph Ziggler def. Raw Women's Champion Asuka and WWE Champion Drew McIntyre
We don't see mixed tag team matches too often in WWE, so I didn't mind this. It also helped further the two feuds heading into Extreme Rules and was well wrestled while it lasted. The heels winning was the right call as I don't expect either of them to win at the pay-per-view. It's worth noting that this marked McIntyre's first loss of any kind since November even though he wasn't pinned.
It was apparent that WWE was scrambling to fill television time more than usual with Andrade and Garza pulling double duty and several notable names (Randy Orton, The Street Profits, Austin Theory) being absent from the show. I haven't had a major issue with Raw recently, but this felt like a filler episode with nothing standing out as special whatsoever. The hype for Extreme Rules was fine, but the three hours dragged more than usual and there wasn't enough must-see matches or segments to make the show worthwhile.
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