Elias and Jinder Mahal def. Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns
It was cool to see Elias featured in the opening segment for a change, but you could tell exactly where it was going from the get-go with Rollins interrupting him, Mahal aiding Elias in his assault on Rollins, and then Reigns coming to Rollins' aid before the tag team match was made by Kurt Angle. The four of them received plenty of time and produced a well-wrestled matchup with the right result. Elias pinning the Intercontinental Champion is a big boost, especially when you consider the roll Rollins has been on recently.
James Harden def. Curt Hawkins by Disqualification
No, Hawkins didn't face the basketball player James Harden, this guy just so happened to have the same name. Anyway, it was obvious Hawkins wasn't winning (even against a local athlete) as soon as he said he would give everyone in the audience free tacos if he did. Baron Corbin costing Hawkins the contest ensured Hawkins didn't have to get pinned for the 200th consecutive time, and also seemed to cement Hawkins as a face. I'm curious whether that will stick or not. On a side note, Corbin acting as Angle's assistant or "constable" or whatever the hell he is now does nothing for me.
Raw Women's Champion Nia Jax def. Natalya (Non-title)
From an in-ring standpoint, this was a perfectly fine match, but the fans not knowing to cheer or boo either woman didn't help matters whatsoever. I realize Natalya has been a babyface for a month or two by this point, but I think everyone is aware she'll be a heel again sooner rather than later. As for Jax, she never officially turned heel, so this was weird. On top of that, Ronda Rousey was an awkward mess on commentary, so this was a misfire all around.
Braun Strowman def. Bobby Roode
I hate to sound like a broken record, but Roode badly needs to be a heel again. It's really, really hard to care about him as of now. This was technically a babyface vs. babyface bout and it was decent, but other than the crowd being behind Strowman, this offered nothing remotely exciting. Strowman emerging victorious was never in doubt, and Roode has zero momentum heading into Money in the Bank.
The B-Team Won a Raw Tag Team Championship No. 1 Contender's Battle Royal
While the pre-match promo from "Woken" Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt wasn't exactly necessary, it was nice to see the tag team champs receive some mic time for a change. They have been an afterthought for so long that it served as a proper reminder that they exist. The Battle Royal itself was total throwaway because The B-Team's win was pretty predictable. The fact Heath Slater and Rhyno were the last tandem eliminated illustrated just how bad of a state Raw's tag team division is in at the moment. Here's hoping Dolph Ziggler being the first one tossed out leads to Drew McIntyre severing ties with him in the near future.
Bobby Lashley Called Out Sami Zayn
Anything is an improvement over that atrocious segment with Lashley's "sisters" from two weeks ago, but these interactions between Lashley and Zayn have left a lot to be desired. To put it bluntly, these segments have sucked. I'm not even sure what the purpose of this feud is supposed to be, but if it doesn't end with Lashley going heel (and I don't assume it will), then I have zero interest. This was simply a waste of time.
The Riott Squad def. Sasha Banks, Ember Moon and Alexa Bliss by Disqualification
The sole reason why Bliss teamed with Banks and Moon was because those three will be involved in the women's Money in the Bank Ladder match, so it made sense for Bliss to walk out on her partners halfway through because she suffered an "injury." What didn't make sense, however, was Bayley then taking her place and pinning Sarah Logan for the victory. Thankfully, the decision was reversed immediately afterward by Angle, but it was still stupid for the referee to even allow that to happen.
Finn Balor def. Kevin Owens by Disqualification
The commentators touted this as a first-time-ever encounter in WWE, even though they did battle a handful of times in NXT. On the bright side, that did make it feel bigger and Owens and Balor never cease to work well together. I enjoyed this in the main event slot and the second half was strong, but the abrupt non-finish was a letdown. The real focus was on the post-match angle with Owens teasing becoming Mr. Money in the Bank before Balor retaliated and posed with the briefcase instead.
Raw has not been the same since the Superstar Shake-up in April with the overall creative direction lacking and most of the storylines failing to intrigue me. This was yet another edition of Raw with very few highlights outside of the opener and the main event. Check those out, but skip everything else because you won't be missing much if you do. If I wasn't attending Money in the Bank, I wouldn't be looking forward to the event as much as I am, because the build has been extremely lame. This brand needs an overhaul of some sort in the worst way.
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