Mr. McMahon Announced the "Wild Card Rule"
The unannounced appearances of Roman Reigns, Daniel Bryan (he's cleared!) and Kofi Kingston led to McMahon creating the "Wild Card Rule," which will apparently allow three wrestlers from Raw and SmackDown Live to appear on the opposite brand on any given night. That completely defeats the purpose of the Superstar Shake-up and the Brand Split in my opinion and I highly doubt it will help the ratings any. Personally, this doesn't make me any more exciting to see who will pop up where. We'll see if it sticks, but I'm not in favor of it whatsoever.
Baron Corbin and Bobby Lashley def. Universal Champion Seth Rollins and AJ Styles
I mistakenly thought we saw the last of the Corbin, Lashley and Drew McIntyre alliance when McIntyre and Corbin teased tension last week. Ugh. Anyway, in addition to the announcement of the "Wild Card Rule," McMahon also set up this tag match, forcing Money in the Bank opponents Rollins and Styles to team together. It ended up being fairly entertaining with Styles once again coming across like a heel and "inadvertently" hitting Rollins with a Phenomenal Forearm. I'm glad they're adding extra layers to this feud because it would've been dull if it was babyface vs. babyface (similar to Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura heading into WrestleMania 34).
Braun Strowman Attacked Sami Zayn
Zayn has been talking trash about the WWE Universe since returning a month ago, and as hilarious (and as accurate) as most of his promos have been, his shtick was starting to get old. Thus, this was the right week to transition him into a full-fledged feud with someone, and it looks like that person will be Strowman. I can't say that makes much sense considering Strowman will be taking part in the upcoming men's Money in the Bank Ladder match and Zayn won't be, but maybe it'll continue after the pay-per-view. Strowman chasing Zayn to the backstage area and throwing him in a dumpster reminds me of Strowman's rivalry with Kevin Owens last year. That storyline sucked, and I don't imagine this will be much better.
The Lucha House Party def. Local Athletes
I honestly expected the cameras to cut away from this match in progress to show footage of Strowman's backstage brawl. However, that didn't happen, and this was shown in its entirety instead. It was weird for Lucha House Party of all teams to get a showcase win against three local athletes when they were just squashed a week ago by The Viking Raiders. I like Lucha House Party, but this felt like a waste of time.
Ricochet def. Robert Roode
If Roode beat Ricochet, he would have taken his spot in the Money in the Bank Ladder match. I'm glad they took the time to address Roode's win over Ricochet from two weeks ago, because I was baffled when Ricochet was named a participant in Money in the Bank but not Roode despite his victory. This didn't last long, but it was fun matchup for what it was with Ricochet avenging his loss to Roode.
Lacey Evans def. Allie Catrina
Are jobber matches making a comeback in WWE? They were the norm on Raw when the Brand Split was brought back three years ago, but they have hardly been used since. On this show, we got two of them. This one was also short-lived with Evans winning in quick and decisive fashion. The focus was really on Naomi, Natalya, Dana Brooke and Alexa Bliss standing at ringside for this and Becky Lynch attacking her afterward.
NXT Tag Team Champions The Viking Raiders def. Raw Tag Team Champions Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins (Non-title)
This was only inevitable. Ryder and Hawkins have had a nice little run as Raw Tag Team Champions, but it's been obvious almost since the beginning that they'd be transitional champions and that the belts would wind up on Viking Raiders eventually. Viking Raiders winning here should earn them a shot at the twin titles at Money in the Bank, possibly on the Kickoff show. Sadly, the crowd couldn't have cared less about this.
Roman Reigns def. Drew McIntyre by Disqualification
The match these two had at WrestleMania 35 was such a disappointment. Although the early portion of this dragged, they picked up the pace down the stretch and got the crowd invested in the action in the final few minutes, so at least this was an improvement over their mediocre 'Mania dud. The finish with Shane McMahon and Elias interfering made me roll my eyes because it begs the question of why WWE bothered to book this bout in the first place. I can certainly see The Miz and Reigns facing Elias and McIntyre on Tuesday's SmackDown after what happened here.
The Revival vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson Went to a No Contest
It would have been funny for these teams to face off considering both tandems badly want out of the company, and I don't blame them one bit after the atrocity that was this segment with Revival and The Usos. As if last week's "humiliation" of Revival wasn't bad enough, this was even worse with Revival and Usos coming across like goofs regarding the dumb "Ucey Hot" garbage. I imagine the only person laughing at this was Vince McMahon. Holy shit, this was awful.
Lars Sullivan Attacked No Way Jose
For those keeping track at home, Vince said at the start of this show that three SmackDown Superstars were allowed to appear on Raw. Well, we got Reigns, Bryan and Kingston. And then Elias emerged, and now Sullivan. I realize I'm a journalist and not a mathematician, but even with Vince saying in a backstage segment later on that the number was changed to four, that still doesn't add up. I'm all for Sullivan destroying Jose and his Rosebud wannabes, but it ruined the "Wild Card Rule" within hours. What a mess.
WWE Champion Kofi Kingston def. Daniel Bryan
I'm not so sure that having the WWE Championship (which is property of SmackDown) defended in the main event of Raw will make a difference ratings-wise. Yes, it was a "WrestleMania rematch," but Bryan hasn't been seen since that pay-per-view and there was zero buildup for this. It was well-wrestled and easily the best thing on the entire episode, but I have no clue what purpose this was supposed to serve. Kingston is much more interesting in chase mode and I don't agree with Bryan losing clean in his first match back from injury. This was an underwhelming ending to an underwhelming show.
Raw has some serious, serious problems right now. Vince said that this would be a show we'd never forget, but most of us will likely forget about it by the weekend, and if we are still talking about it, it's because of how atrocious it was. The ratings have never been lower, so Vince's grand plan to get them back up is to have Superstars switch shows to "surprise" fans. I'm a proponent of the Brand Split, but it's painfully pointless if they're going to pull this shit. Having Reigns and other SmackDown stars show up on Raw (and vice versa) is not the answer, especially if people aren't watching the blue brand, either. Vince can make changes with the writing team and confuse fans with this "Wild Card Rule" nonsense all he wants, but until he relinquishes creative control, Raw will remain in the doldrums. I can't remember the last time Raw was this abysmal for this long. I honestly don't even know what to say at this point. It's embarrassing, to say the least.
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