Braun Strowman Confronted Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose and The Miz
Ambrose vs. Miz is a tired feud as it is, but I'm content with them revisiting the rivalry until after Extreme Rules. That said, I had zero interest in seeing them fight over who has control of Raw for the night. It was better than Stephanie McMahon returning (which I realize is only inevitable), but it didn't hook me for the rest of the show, either. Meanwhile, Kalisto interrupting Strowman was fine, but this was a pretty lifeless segment on the whole and it felt like everyone involved phoned in their performances.
Finn Balor def. The Miz
Although I've had my qualms about Miz being moved to Raw, I appreciate how he's come across like an equal to his opponents thus far, including Balor in this bout. This was a competitive contest where both men had solid showings and worked well together. The stuff with Ambrose on the ramp protected Miz in defeat and furthered their feud while allowing Balor to get his win back from last week. However, it was a little strange Bray Wyatt was nowhere to be seen here.
Raw Women's Champion Alexa BLiss def. Mickie James (Non-title)
Bliss and James had a decent match for as long as it lasted, but James continues to be an afterthought in the Raw women's division. She might benefit from a little character development because audiences aren't reacting to her as it is. If nothing else, this was a credible win for Bliss to further her recent momentum, and I like the idea of teasing a potential alliance/feud between her and Nia Jax. They have that unique Shawn Michaels and Diesel dynamic going for them.
Braun Strowman vs. Kalisto Ended in a No Contest
Even with Strowman not being able to use his injured arm, this rematch didn't intrigue me in the slightest, so it was wise to keep it short and sweet. Kalisto was completely overlooked in all of this in being quickly pushed to the side by Strowman, but it doesn't appear WWE has any plans to prominently push him anyway, so it isn't as if it matters. Roman Reigns returning and ambushing Strowman was a well done angle, though I assume that was meant to write Strowman out of storylines for the foreseeable future so he can recover from his elbow injury.
Cesaro and Sheamus def. The Golden Truth, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, Heath Slater & Rhyno, and Enzo Amore & Big Cass in a Raw Tag Team Championship No. 1 Contender's Tag Team Turmoil Match
Most Tag Team Turmoil matches tend to be hit or miss, but this was laid out perfectly. It isn't often you see one team run the entire gauntlet, but Cesaro and Sheamus did just that and each of their mini-matches were entertaining. Enzo and Cass were beloved by the audience so Cesaro and Sheamus scored some heat by beating them, they made short work of Slater and Rhyno, they had a hard-hitting matchup with Gallows and Anderson, and Golden Truth looked like they had a chance of emerging victorious. Golden Truth's backstage promo earlier in the evening gave viewers a reason to believe they could win, so the nearfalls were suspenseful. The Hardy Boyz coming out afterward was a nice touch considering Jeff hasn't appeared in front of a United Kingdom crowd in several years due to his previous probation.
Seth Rollins def. Samoa Joe by Disqualification
I expected them to hold off on the rematch from Payback until Extreme Rules, but obviously the non-finish was done to set up another match (likely with a stipulation) at the pay-per-view. I actually enjoyed this encounter more than their matchup at Payback, but that might be because they didn't focus too much on Rollins' knee and the pace was slightly faster. I look forward to their next rematch, but I definitely would have hyped this match at least one week out instead of giving it away at anything but the main event slot.
TJP def. Jack Gallagher
It was cool Gallagher was able to compete in his home country, so TJP benefited from beating up on the fan favorite. It's also clear he's indefinitely more comfortable as a heel than he ever was as a babyface. This wasn't as memorable as their previous matches from last month, but it served its purpose in putting heat on Perkins and progressing his storyline with Aries. On a side note, the story was that Perkins would earn himself a title shot against Neville if he won here, so that's something to keep an eye out for in the weeks ahead.
Sasha Banks def. Alicia Fox
Although Fox hasn't been relevant in the women's divison in years, this was a logical follow-up after these two went at each other in last week's eight-woman tag team match. There wasn't anything overly special about it, but truth be told, the match was better than I thought it would be. The commentators did point out after the match how Fox's shoulder was up when Banks pinned her, so whether it was a botch or not, I'm sure this isn't the last we've seen of Banks vs. Fox.
Bray Wyatt def. Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose (Non-title)
Wyatt and Ambrose have this weird chemistry in that their matches are never terrible, yet they're somewhat underwhelming because you think they'd go all out and be the perfect opponents. With that in mind, they had a match that met my ho-hum, house show-level expectations. The crowd largely sat on their hands and it's hard to blame them. Neither of these guys should be losing right now, but Wyatt needed the victory more. On the bright side, I like how the match has become the focal point of the program in the absence of Brock Lesnar and next week's Intercontinental Championship match was effectively hyped on this show.
I tend to like the editions of Raw that emanate from England because of the rowdy crowds, but this audience was rather tame for a majority of the evening. I'm not sure if the show was dull because they seemed bored or they were bored because the show was dull, but either way, this wasn't the most electric episode. There was more wrestling than usual, which was a refreshing change of pace, but this felt like more of a placeholder show since there's another month to go until Extreme Rules. There isn't too much I'd complain about from this show, but on the whole, it lacked the energy needed to keep me engaged.
All #AskGSM Cruiserweight Classic Hidden Gems JJF's Take John's Jargon Lists/Rankings Mae Young Classic Mixed Match Challenge News Opinion Previews Retro Reviews Reviews RJ's Two Cents Satire SummerSlam Recall Tribute To The Troops Worlds Collide WrestleMania Recall
©2010 - 2019 Next Era Wrestling, Inc. All Rights Reserved.