Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon Interrupted Raw General Manager Kurt Angle
Angle promised a number of "huge announcements" prior to Raw on social media, but he delivered nothing of significance during his promo. Instead, we were treated to our first appearance of Stephanie on WWE TV since the night after WrestleMania 34. I understand her getting involved in the Ronda Rousey and Nia Jax contract signing was designed to serve as a hook, but I immediately lose interest in anything Stephanie is a part of because her presence on programming is simply not necessary.
Roman Reigns def. Kevin Owens by Disqualification
Reigns and Owens worked together countless times in late 2016 and early 2017, so they obviously have nice chemistry when against each other and this was a solid match from them. The audience was invested in the action and it killed a good chunk of television time. Plus, I didn't mind the non-finish because Seth Rollins received a big pop for saving his former Shield stablemate and it set up the subsequent tag team match effectively.
Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns def. Kevin Owens and Jinder Mahal
Similar to the previous matchup, this was an entertaining outing with all four Superstars working well together and keeping the crowd engaged throughout. It was fairly formulaic at points, sure, but I enjoyed it for what it was. Rollins and Reigns picked up the victory, but Mahal was the last man standing by attacking both babyfaces afterward. It was then announced that Reigns and Mahal will go one-on-one at Money in the Bank next month.
Bobby Lashley Attacked His "Sisters"
I couldn't believe people actually had hope for this segment when once it was advertised because it was never going to be anything less than a train wreck. Sure enough, it was bad. Like, "This Is Your Life" with Alexa Bliss and Bayley-levels of bad. The fact this dragged on for as long as it did was appalling, doing more damage to Lashley than anything else. This feud between Lashley and Zayn is already doomed to fail.
Ember Moon def. Alexa Bliss
Before the bout, I liked that Bliss mentioned how Moon pinned her in Moon's in-ring Raw debut last month, making this a meaningful encounter in the process. I also appreciated how Moon came across as an equal to Bliss and benefited big time from beating the former Raw Women's Champion. After all, Bliss hardly needed the win and Moon is on the rise. I look forward to seeing more from them in the future.
Baron Corbin def. No Way Jose
Jose owns an upset victory over Corbin from a few weeks ago, so it was merely a matter of time before Corbin got his win back in singles competition. I guess WWE is going to build Corbin back up by having him avenge some of his recent losses, but it will take more than that for fans to take him seriously again. This was fine for what it was, but it was difficult to care knowing what the outcome would be.
The B-Team def. Breezango
I don't imagine Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas will be anything more than what they were before (enhancement talent), but this B-Team gimmick has been a riot so far. After they scored their first win as a tandem last week, this rematch was basically designed to prove to viewers that it wasn't a fluke. The match itself was total throwaway, though the post-match celebration from Axel and Dallas was a treat.
Raw Women's Champion Nia Jax and Ronda Rousey Signed the Contract for Their Raw Women's Championship Match at Money in the Bank
I hated that Stephanie was essentially the focal point of this segment, but I guess she played an important and imperative role considering both Rousey and Jax are babyfaces and this would have been much more awkward if she didn't attempt to drive a wedge between them. Well, it worked, because Rousey and Jax cut brief albeit passionate promos regarding why they'll win at Money in the Bank. It wasn't a home run of a segment, but it was actually better than I thought it would be.
Dolph Ziggler def. Chad Gable
As you could probably expect, this was a very well-wrestled match between Ziggler and Gable with Gable once again looking impressive in defeat. However, he lost yet again, and despite all of these standout showings, the masses won't view him for the star he is until he starts to win more often. By the way, Ziggler is a fine performer and all, but I'd much prefer McIntyre getting showcased.
Natalya def. Sarah Logan, Liv Morgan and Dana Brooke in a Fatal 4-Way Match to Qualify for the Women's Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Unlike in last week's Triple Threat match on SmackDown Live which featured former Absolution members Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville fighting each other, Logan and Morgan showed no signs of dissension and were on the same page in this matchup. Natalya qualifying for Money in the Bank could be seen coming from a mile away, but this was still decent. Let the speculation begin that Natalya will win the briefcase before cashing in her contract on new Raw Women's Champion Ronda Rousey later that night.
Elias def. Bobby Roode
Seriously? Roode and Elias seemingly finished their "rivalry" two weeks ago when Roode beat Elias in clean fashion, but apparently not. To their credit, this had a bit of a better pace than their three previous encounters, but I was largely bored by it on the whole. I'm all for Elias winning more matches, but Roode is the one in the Money in the Bank Ladder match. There is a small chance this leads to Elias replacing Roode, or worse yet, them facing off again next week, so fingers crossed that won't be the case.
Braun Strowman def. Finn Balor
It helped that these guys are over, but beyond them competing in the men's Money in the Bank Ladder match, there was no real reason for them to do battle. On the bright side, they made the most of the situation and had a high quality main event for Raw with Balor playing the underdog role and the crowd buying into his offense. In the end, it wasn't enough for Balor to have his hand raised, but he didn't lose much at all (if anything) given how strong he was made to look against Strowman.
This edition of Raw felt phoned in as soon as it started, but it didn't officially go off the rails until the segment with Lashley's "sisters." It was all downhill from there, sadly, and Raw never recovered. The competitive contest between Balor and Strowman ended the evening on a positive note, mind you, but I was not enamored with the rest of this show by any means. In fact, it just might have been one of the most dull episodes in recent memory. I'll be at Money in the Bank in Chicago, but if I wasn't, I can't say I'd be extremely excited for the event as of now.
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