Asuka and Shayna Baszler Attacked Nia Jax on The VIP Lounge with MVP
Much like last week's Triple Threat with these women that didn't end up happening, this segment didn't do much to get me more excited for the women's Money in the Bank Ladder match than I was before. I thought MVP was great in his role and I like The VIP Lounge being brought back on a regular basis, but Baszler, Asuka and Jax said nothing of note here. Jax falling over/through the mini table was funny, but that was my only real takeaway from this to be honest.
AJ Styles def. Humberto Carrillo, Austin Theory, Angel Garza, Bobby Lashley, Shelton Benjamin, Akira Tozawa and Titus O'Neil in a Last Chance Gauntlet Match to Qualify for the Men's Money in the Bank Ladder Match
I can understand WWE running a Gauntlet match to kill television time, but it would've helped if it was actually interesting. Despite there being something at stake, the layout of the bout wasn't anything out of the ordinary. Lashley eliminating three people in a row would have been more impressive if they weren't all losers, and the middle portion was painfully boring. Thankfully, it picked up again toward the end and Styles returning and winning the whole thing was the right call. He's my new pick to emerge as Mr. Money in the Bank at the pay-per-view.
Seth Rollins Sent a Message to WWE Champion Drew McIntyre in a Sit-Down Interview with Charly Caruso
As I've said several times before, Rollins has been absolutely killing it as the Monday Night Messiah in recent months. He spews a lot of crap and believes every word of it, which is the best part. In this sit-down interview with Caruso, he successfully got his point across about putting McIntyre on notice and coming across like a threat to the title. Their feud has been handled exceptionally well so far and I'm looking forward to what they have in store on Sunday.
Shane Thorne & Brendan Vink def. Ricochet & Cedric Alexander
I need to see more of MVP managing Thorne and Vink to get a better idea of how good of a fit he'll be as their manager. They never had a real run in NXT, so bringing them up to Raw so quickly is questionable. It was a nice little match, but it would have meant more had Ricochet and Alexander not already lost a few matches as a team. By the way, where was MVP at ringside? Are we really supposed to believe that his pre-match pep talk was what led them to victory?
The Viking Raiders def. Raw Tag Team Champions The Street Profits (Non-Title)
These teams have always worked well together and this was no exception. I love the sprint-style matches they have and their strong chemistry. While this wasn't their best encounter, it was entertaining overall, especially in the second half. I could have sworn that this was advertised as being for the Raw Tag Team Championship at one point, but I might be wrong. Either way, I'd be surprised if a rematch for the titles doesn't take place at Money in the Bank.
NXT Women's Champion Charlotte Flair def. Liv Morgan (Non-Title)
It's well documented that I'm not the biggest Liv Morgan fan, but I'd be lying if I said she hasn't improved in the ring since returning to Raw. She's certainly benefited from working with people better than her, and as impressive of an outing as she had here, I wouldn't have had her lose to Flair. I totally understand Flair not losing when she's defending her title against Io Shirai this Wednesday on NXT, but I thought it was a dumb decision to sacrifice Morgan's momentum coming off her victories over Ruby Riott and Natalya. Flair gained nothing from this, so it would have been better to feed her one of the Performance Center recruits instead.
WWE Champion Drew McIntyre def. Murphy (Non-Title)
Although I never once bought into the possibility of Murphy winning, this was a top-notch main event from an in-ring standpoint with Murphy giving McIntyre a hell of a fight before losing. I just wish they had been given more time. Nevertheless, Rollins attempted to ambush McIntyre afterward but was unsuccessful. McIntyre standing tall so often lately makes me worried that he might be in jepoardy of losing the title at Money in the Bank, but I guess we'll see Sunday. Either way, I'm looking forward to finding out.
Not everything on this episode was a home run and the three hours weren't the most thrilling from start to finish. As a go-home show, however, the main goal of this show was to sell viewers on Money in the Bank and I'd say it was a success in that respect with almost everything serving a purpose. The two tag team matches didn't have anything to do with Money in the Bank, but they could be leading to something significant. Otherwise, they did a solid job of generating interest in the pay-per-view and specifically the Ladder matches at WWE HQ thanks to the interviews with the talent. I have no idea what to expect from the event and I see that as a positive.
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