Shane McMahon, Elias and Bobby Lashley Crashed Miz TV with The Miz and Roman Reigns
I feared that we would get the Miz of old here as Reigns alluded to, but he got fired up at just the right time. Reigns, on the other hand, was business as usual and didn't make his Money in the Bank opponent Elias feel like a threat whatsoever. It was a solid segment that set up the subsequent tag team match effectively, but I'm really tired of Raw always kicking off with needlessly long promos.
Roman Reigns and The Miz def. Elias and Bobby Lashley
Reigns and Miz worked well together and it was a good match on the whole, but I'm not a fan of matches that are given an ample amount of time and then conclude with a non-finish. We saw that exact same thing when Reigns faced Drew McIntyre last week. It completely defeats the purpose of doing the matchup in the first place, and although the babyfaces stood tall in the end here, I'm no more excited for either bout at Money in the Bank than I was before.
Mojo Rawley def. Apollo Crews
Rawley has been testing this new character out on Main Event and in dark matches as of late. I can't say it does anything for me personally, especially since we haven't heard from Rawley yet about why he's adopted a darker persona. His matches have bored me to tears for years, so it was probably for the better that this was kept short and sweet with Rawley beating Crews with ease. By the way, what a waste of the Wild Card Rule with Crews making a rare Raw appearance. Hell, he hasn't even re-debuted on SmackDown Live yet since the Superstar Shake-up!
Lacey Evans and Charlotte Flair Attacked Raw and SmackDown Women's Champion Becky Lynch During Their Money in the Bank Contract Signing
Surely I can't be the only one ready for this rivalry between Lynch and Flair to wrap up. Yes, they have excellent chemistry, but it's painfully obvious that they have no new material for their verbal exchanges. At least the Lynch vs. Evans feud still feels fresh and I wouldn't mind seeing it continue past the pay-per-view. Flair and Evans laying out Lynch sent the message that Lynch could very well walk out of Sunday's show with no belts at all.
Baron Corbin def. Ricochet
Ricochet has been on a bit of a roll in recent weeks. He pinned Corbin in a tag team match two weeks ago and beat Roode to retain his spot in the Money in the Bank Ladder matchup last week. Unfortunately, he was unable to keep his winning ways alive here and lost in decisive fashion to Corbin. That was a mind-boggling decision seeing as how Ricochet would have benefited way more from the victory, but it may not even matter if Ricochet becomes Mr. Money in the Bank (though I don't think that's in the cards). If nothing else, Corbin hitting Ricochet with End of Days out of nowhere made for a cool finish.
Nikki Cross def. Natalya, Naomi and Dana Brooke in a Fatal 4-Way Match
Alexa Bliss claimed backstage that she lost her luggage and had Cross replace her in this match. Cross hasn't appeared on Raw in months, so not only was it nice for her to finally be featured, her win was a pleasant surprise. Granted, she isn't a part of the Money in the Bank Ladder matchup as of now, but they could be building to Cross vs. Bliss for down the line and I'd be all for that. It is worth noting that Cross wasn't her usual crazy self during the backstage segment with Bliss but she was during this bout. I'm intrigued to see how that plays out.
Rey Mysterio def. Cesaro
Mysterio and Cesaro brawled briefly backstage earlier in the evening when Cesaro accused Dominic of being Samoa Joe's son (he wasn't wrong, though; Dominic looks way more like Joe than his actual dad). I figured this might turn into an angle with Samoa Joe getting involved, but that never happened and we were instead treated to a very fun match. Cesaro looked credible in defeat and Mysterio was able to maintain momentum ahead of his United States Championship opportunity.
Sami Zayn def. Braun Strowman in a Falls Count Anywhere Match
This was for Strowman's spot in the Money in the Bank Ladder match. Far too often are Falls Count Anywhere matches in WWE relegated to ringside, so I was happy that Strowman and Zayn took their fight around the arena. That made this way more entertaining than a standard one-on-one outing. I normally wouldn't be high on interference from Corbin and McIntyre, but it led to Zayn replacing Strowman at Money in the Bank, so I can't complain. Strowman has had a pretty deplorable 2019 thus far, but I approve of this change.
In the past, I'd look forward to these episodes emanating from England for the energetic crowds, but even they aren't enough to salvage Raw these days. This was a fairly poor go-home show for Money in the Bank, so if you read the spoilers ahead of time, you did the right thing. Bray Wyatt's big reveal on Firefly Fun House got more people talking on social media than anything else did, and he likely won't be seen Sunday. The build to this pay-per-view has left to be desired, so all we can hope for at this point is an event that exceeds expectations.
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