Raw General Manager Kurt Angle Confronted Roman Reigns
I understand why WWE (and specifically Vince McMahon) would want Reigns to be "the guy," but what I don't understand is why they write/book him the way they do. He came out complaining about failing to qualify for Money in the Bank last week. How did officials expect him to be received from those in attendance at that point? Thankfully, Angle laid down the law and told him he wouldn't be added to any qualifying matches on this show. The subsequent backstage brawl between Angle and Mahal was passable, but I still have no interest in seeing them feud.
Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins def. Kevin Owens
Rollins and Owens had a strong series of matches over the Universal Championship in late 2016 and this was more of the same from them. It didn't have much of a story beyond Owens accepting the open challenge, mind you, but the action was entertaining and was the perfect match to kick off the night with. In other news, Owens loses clean yet again. What else is new?
Bobby Roode def. No Way Jose and Baron Corbin in a Triple Threat Match to Qualify for the Men's Money in the Bank Ladder Match
All three of these guys are spinning their wheels right now and haven't been involved in anything too noteworthy recently, so I can't say I was surprised London wasn't red-hot for this Triple Threat. That said, the crowd did come alive down the stretch and it turned out to be a solid match on the whole. Roode winning was the right choice, though I continue to hope he'll turn heel sooner rather than later because that's the role that fits him best.
The B-Team def. Breezango
I just realized Breezango beat Sheamus and Cesaro a month ago on Raw and WWE has done nothing with them since. What a waste. Anyway, it's cool Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas are still finding their way onto Raw even though they've split from The Miz. This was fine for what it was and the crowd popped for The B-Team picking up their first victory as a team. They then announced their intentions to vie for the Raw Tag Team Championship, but I think some sort of skit (i.e. The Ultimate Deletion) with them, "Woken" Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt would be far better.
Natalya, Sasha Banks and Ember Moon def. The Riott Squad
Moon has already qualified for the women's Money in the Bank Ladder match and I assume Natalya and the other members of The Riott Squad will get their opportunity next week. Therefore, this was likely designed to serve as filler until then. It was a well-wrestled six-woman matchup that ate up a decent chunk of television time, but the Banks-Bayley storyline wasn't furthered until later in the evening during a brief backstage confrontation.
Raw Tag Team Champions "Woken" Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt def. The Revival (Non-title)
I hate to sound like a broken record, but The Revival are so underutilized it's ridiculous. They simply exist on Raw at this point to lose to other tag teams, including the champs themselves. The London crowd being into Hardy and Wyatt made this more enjoyable, though, and it was fun while it lasted. My only nitpick was that it might not have been too smart to follow up two tag team matches with another tag team match.
Sami Zayn Addressed Bobby Lashley
I realize Lashley and Zayn have faced each other countless times over the past month, but a feud between them is a bit of stretch when you consider how Lashley has beat Zayn every time they've clashed. Zayn is an absolute riot as a heel, but this segment with Zayn running down Lashley was pretty lousy. He made the most of the material he was given to work with, but it looks like he's bringing Lashley's sisters to Raw next week and that has train wreck written all over it.
Alexa Bliss def. Bayley and Mickie James in a Triple Threat Match to Qualify for the Women's Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Of course, this was more of a Handicap match than a true Triple Threat early on, but Bayley always excels when portraying the underdog and thus the crowd was behind her here. Shockingly, Bliss and James did turn on each other in the second half and it made the nearfalls more suspenseful as a result. I figured Bayley and Banks would be reuniting to take on The Riott Squad at Money in the Bank, so Bliss scoring the victory to qualify for the Ladder matchup made sense.
Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre def. Finn Balor and Braun Strowman
It's almost comical how much more of a star McIntyre comes across than Ziggler. I've liked their pairing so far, but McIntyre has potential as a breakout singles star eventually. Meanwhile, Strowman and Balor will be opponents at Money in the Bank in the men's Ladder match, so this served as a small preview for that. The final few minutes were great and the heels won as they should have, though I would've had McIntyre pick up the winning fall.
Kevin Owens def. Elias and Bobby Lashley in a Triple Threat Match to Qualify for the Men's Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Owens competed at the start of the show and last week's interview with Renee Young caused fans to turn on Lashley, so Elias was the clear fan favorite here. This would have been an average main event had it not been for the crowd's enthusiasm, so at least they ended the evening on a high note. Elias winning would have been a pleasant surprise, but Owens was a good choice too since he now has something meaningful to do at Money in the Bank. Expect Lashley and Zayn to fight on the undercard at the pay-per-view.
If you couldn't tell from what I wrote about this edition of Raw, I found this show to be super boring. I'm glad more men and women were confirmed for the Money in the Bank Ladder matches, but the surplus of multi-person matchups on this episode felt lazy to me. It's painfully apparent whenever WWE phones in a show like this from overseas because it's pre-taped and that was the case here. Here's hoping the build for Money in the Bank picks up starting next week. By the way, was it really necessary for WWE to replay the Rousey and Jax face-to-face in its entirety three threes throughout the night? Come on.
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