By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Rusev and Lana Interrupted Raw Women's Champion Sasha Banks and Charlotte
From winning the title on Raw to kicking off the show the subsequent week, this is almost an exact repeat of Banks' first title reign a few months ago. Just don't drop the belt back to Charlotte at Hell in a Cell, Sasha! Speaking of which, it was really cool to hear them say they want to compete inside the steel structure. Rusev and Lana's involvement in this segment could have gone horribly wrong, but I like how this segment proved the women are worthy of the honor. Sure, it was definitely weird to see Charlotte and Banks on the same side for a second, but they went back at each other's throats immediately after.
Raw Tag Team Champion Kofi Kingston def. Cesaro
Well, Sheamus and Cesaro are still at odds with each other (I guess it wouldn't make sense if they weren't), but at least they're starting to get creative with it by having Sheamus on his phone the entire time. That was pretty funny. The match was mostly an afterthought as a result, but it was weird Cesaro lost when they're trying to build up him and Sheamus as threats to the tag titles.
Bayley def. Cami Fields
What's up with Bayley facing people with the last name of Fields? Is she trying to take out the entire Fields family and steal their amazingly delicious cookies? In all seriousness, this was a nice homecoming for the Bay Area native and the crowd was solidly behind her throughout the bout. I was disappointed after the match when Bayley wasn't given the time to talk and reveal what was next for her, but then Dana Brooke attacked her from behind and signaled a feud between the two, which is a smart way to keep both women busy.
Sin Cara and Lince Dorado def. Drew Gulak and Tony Nese
WWE essentially established Nese and Gulak as non-players by not airing their entrances. Nese beat Rich Swann last week, yet lost this week in a forgettable match, so are they having the Cruiserweights exchange victories just for the hell of it? And they wonder why no one is getting over. I realize Neville made an appearance later in the show, but it really is ridiculous he isn't a part of the division, along with SmackDown Live's Kalisto. They need some notable names in this division. No, Sin Cara doesn't count because fans couldn't care less about him.
WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho Confronted Raw General Manager Mick Foley and Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon
You'd think Foley would have been more nervous about Banks and Charlotte stepping inside Hell in a Cell. I know he's a huge advocate for women's wrestling, but his career almost ended inside that very structure. Still, that was a history-making announcement and I'd love if their match closed the pay-per-view. The rest of this segment served its purpose in building toward the main event and teasing more tension between Jericho and Owens. It will be a sad, sad day when they eventually go their separate ways because they're so damn hilarious together.
The Club Attacked Enzo Amore and Big Cass
It was only inevitable before The Club targeted Enzo and Cass because they've already feuded with The New Day and, well, is there anyone else for them to go after? It should be a solid program, but it's a shame The Club mean so little at this point. If nothing else, it will give them something to do for the foreseeable future, but I hope it isn't a case of even-steven booking because both tandems need victories at the moment.
Sami Zayn and Neville def. Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas
I'm not too sure whether Zayn and Neville will be a regular pairing going forward, but it might be the best thing for them at this point if it keeps them off Superstars. Both of them are so criminally underutilized it's mind-blowing, but they work well together and this was a fun little match. The Social Outcasts lasted a mere night because Dallas look disgusted following the loss and walked out on Axel. But can he ditch the dumb sign already?
R-Truth def. Titus O'Neil
I have hated The Golden Truth pretty much from the moment they joined forces, so I'm obviously biased against them. That said, my girlfriend, who is a casual wrestling fan at best, said while watching the show with me tonight that they were awful, so I'm glad it's an opinion shared by many. O'Neil is lifeless as a heel, so this was total throwaway and the finish came off terribly.
Braun Strowman def. Steven and Clay Splash
Steven Splash (the one with the fro) looked like Duke from Semi-Pro to me and that was all I could think of while watching this match. Once again, Strowman made quick work of his opponents and issued a warning to Foley afterward, demanding for more credible competition. Didn't he do the same thing last week? Hopefully it actually leads somewhere next week.
United States Champion Roman Reigns and Raw Women's Champion Sasha Banks def. Rusev and Charlotte
It's so awesome to see the women interacting with the top stars on the show because they deserve the spotlight. The crowd was engaged in the action, so I was surprised the match didn't last longer. Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable inter-gender tag and the finishing sequence with Reigns hitting a mid-air Spear on Rusev was incredibly cool. However, the heels need heat, especially Rusev who has been dominated by Reigns almost every week since their feud started back in August.
Paul Heyman Addressed Goldberg
I was shocked Goldberg didn't do more to tease a match with Brock Lesnar when he appeared on ESPN last week, but they were smart to deliver the big news about Goldberg's comeback on Raw instead. Granted, they merely teased a rematch between the two icons and didn't officially announce anything, but trust me, it's happening. Goldberg will be back next Monday night (YES!), and I'm sure they'll confirm it then that they'll be battling at Survivor Series or something. If you weren't sold on this match before, you should be after this Heyman promo.
WWE Cruiserweight Champion T.J. Perkins def. Ariya Daivari (Non-title)
Has Daivari been signed to a contract or was he simply brought in to lose to Perkins? He was eliminated far too quickly from the Cruiserweight Classic and I was happy to see him get another chance. I noted on Twitter that I'd rather see Jack Gallagher on Raw before him, but I heard he's finishing up some independent dates first. Anyway, this was a fine match and Brian Kendrick was good on commentary.
Seth Rollins def. Chris Jericho
To those who claim Jericho has lost a step in the ring in recent years, watch this match and tell me it wasn't excellent. Rollins and Jericho have an awesome chemistry together and the outcome was genuinely unpredictable. I'm slightly disappointed Jericho didn't win and wasn't inserted into the main event title match at Hell in a Cell, but they could still get to that point if they want in the next two weeks. Jericho better be at Hell in a Cell in some capacity if he isn't contending for the championship, though.
The last few editions of Raw have flown by a lot quicker than they have in a while, and I don't know what the reason behind that is. Are the storylines finally starting to click? Is there more wrestling? More importantly, is there less filler? Either way, I liked this show quite a bit. Not everything was perfect, mind you, but it was a newsworthy night with plenty of announcements for Hell in a Cell and next week's episode. I'm highly anticipating Goldberg's Raw return, and although I'm not high on three Hell in a Cell matches happening at the pending pay-per-view, it looks to be a loaded event on paper.
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