By Graham "GSM" Matthews
United States Champion Roman Reigns Brawled with Rusev
This is essentially the feud that just won't ever end. Reigns is still opening Raw most weeks, so it's painfully apparent they are moving forward with his push but just with the United States Championship and not the WWE Universal Championship. While I'm ready for this rivalry to be over with, I can understand having them blow it off inside Hell in a Cell because it has lasted this long. But they really need to get some heat on Rusev because Reigns has gotten the upper hand on him at almost every turn for the past two months.
Brian Kendrick def. WWE Cruiserweight Champion T.J. Perkins (Non-title)
They set up the match really nicely with the pre-match video package and that's what I want to see more of from this division. They're slowly getting there, but Perkins and Kendrick are already the most over Cruiserweights they have right now. I liked this match more than their encounter at Clash of Champions and Perkins wrestling in front of his hometown crowd obviously helped. I look forward to the likely rubber match at Hell in a Cell.
Michael Cole Interviewed Seth Rollins
I always enjoy the sit-down interviews Cole does with the various wrestlers of the roster on WWE.com each week and I appreciated how they took at that approach with this interview because I don't know if it would have come off as well backstage or in the ring. This was easily the most likable Rollins has come across since seemingly turning babyface. He isn't quite there yet, but this was a major step in the right direction. They were wise to not have him complain about Owens cheating since that's what helped him get to the top in the first place.
Braun Strowman def. Chase Silver
After destroying Strowman a few times last month, it looks like Strowman is back to destroying unknown enhancement talent, or at least for now. After completely annihilating Silver, he teased in a post-match promo wanting tougher competition. Amen to that! This is the most intrigued I've been by Strowman since his re-debut, and I hope it has a good payoff next week. That said, I am fully expecting Mark Henry or Big Show to answer his challenge when it would be cooler if it was a returning Luke Harper instead.
Raw Tag Team Champions The New Day Interrupted WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho
Jericho's "list" bit is so funny that I'm happy to see him keeping it around. I initially feared Jericho and Owens wouldn't be as close once Owens won the title, but that has been far from the case and I couldn't be happier about that, either. Their segment with New Day was hilarious and another example as to how New Day can still be fresh and funny at times. I was confused as to whether their match would be for the titles or not, though, and I had to consult with some people on Twitter to figure that out. I wish they could have been clearer on that (or maybe I just have to pay more attention to the show).
Sami Zayn def. Titus O'Neil
I'm not sure what O'Neil's new gimmick is all about and I honestly don't really care. He's a better babyface because fans naturally like him, not to mention he can't wrestle for crap as a heel. As a fan favorite, at least he can be kept limited. Zayn tried his hardest to carry him to a competent contest, but to no avail. If nothing else, Zayn was on Raw. It was a pointless match, sure, but hey, he won on Raw!
The Club def. The Golden Truth
How sad is it that this was the same building where The Club debuted as a unit in WWE back in April? Six months later and they have never meant less. Such a shame. The commentators tried to tell us how much of a threat they were and I proceeded to hold back my laughter. They just lost to The New Day three different times! How the hell can anyone take them seriously at this point?!
Enzo Amore and Big Cass Presented Breast Cancer Survivors with Replica Championship Belts
I was wondering when WWE was going to start up its breast cancer campaign with the Susan G. Komen fund where they paint the ring ropes pink for the month of October. Usually they start sooner, but better later than never, I guess. Enzo and Cass are universally beloved, so they were the perfect people to represent WWE in this segment short of John Cena. Classy stuff as always.
Raw Tag Team Champions The New Day def. WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho (Non-title)
I know it would have made little sense at this point in time, but I was pulling for this to be a championship match so Jeri-KO could take the titles. Yes, they are just that good together, and yes, I am that desperate for a change in the tag team division. The match was a treat despite Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masteron being on commentary. They weren't as awful as I expected them to be, so no complaints. Seth Rollins furthered his feud with Owens and Jericho by costing them the contest and I wouldn't be shocked if he still wasn't cleared to compete yet following the injury he suffered at Clash of Champions.
Tony Nese def. Rich Swann
Well, this should all but confirm that Nese is officially a part of the Raw roster with back-to-back matches on the program. He's a freakish athlete for a guy his size, but Swann is the one fans will take to quicker for his crazy charisma. He shined in this match again, and the fans reacted to the big spots as opposed to the overall match, but as previously mentioned, it will take time for them to get invested in these guys.
Sheamus and Cesaro def. Raul White and Mark Carradine
I couldn't agree more with the person who sent in a question to today's #AskGSM video (which you can watch here) asking why WWE just won't skip over the tired narrative of Cesaro and Sheamus not coexisting. We see it so many times that I would rather see them fast forward through this chapter. I will say that Cesaro jumping over Sheamus to DDT his opponent was pretty damn sweet, though.
Sasha Banks def. Charlotte to Win the Raw Women's Championship
First and foremost, the video package that preceded the match was phenomenal and did an excellent job of recapping their storied history together. Secondly, major props to WWE for finally positioning the women in the main event of Raw. It was long overdue and I'm ecstatic the match actually meant something and it wasn't thrown out there at random. The match itself was fantastic and every bit as exceptional as their past battles. You had to know Banks was regaining the gold given it was the main event and they wanted to create a memorable moment, and they did, but part of me wishes they held off until Hell in a Cell in Banks' hometown of Boston. Regardless, this was the ultimate endorsement of the women and the best ending to Raw since Finn Balor's grand arrival.
Although Raw never ceases to drag, this was definitely one of the better episodes in recent months. They cut back on the filler big time and most of the matches seemed to serve a purpose. Of course, closing out with the women was a welcomed change and resulted in an amazing ending, but even the Universal title picture stuff and the Cruiserweight matches were fun. It's rare to come across an above-average edition of Raw these days, but I'd say this show was one of them.
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