Rusev Attacked Randy Orton and King Corbin
Rusev vs. Orton was originally scheduled to take place on this show, but Rusev getting beat up by Orton and Corbin kicked off the show instead. I can't say I'm all that heartbroken over the match not happening. Rusev was once again made to look like a fool by watching his wife Lana sleep with Bobby Lashley in his own bed on the Titantron. No, he didn't run backstage and head home. He just beat up Orton and Corbin to let off some steam. What an awful, awful angle this is.
Natalya def. Lacey Evans in a Last Woman Standing Match
We've had only three Last Woman Standing matches in WWE history. One two years ago in NXT between Asuka and Nikki Cross, another a year later at Evolution between Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair, and... this. It was probably the most boring Last Man/Woman Standing match I've seen in some time and didn't get interesting/exciting until the end. That finish with Natalya delivering a powerbomb to Evans off the stage was well done, but there wasn't any suspense otherwise. Natalya winning the feud was the wrong call because I have no idea what you do with her from here, whereas Evans would have benefited from the victory.
The Viking Raiders def. Raw Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode (Non-Title)
It sucked to see the crowd sit on their hands for a majority of this match. Then again, it's hard to blame them since we see champions get beat all the time and the first hour of this show was total throwaway. I, for one, enjoyed this outing and thought they made excellent use of the time they had. With this win, Viking Raiders have earned themselves an opportunity to contend for the Raw Tag Team Championship on next week's show.
Aleister Black def. The Singh Brothers in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match
It's been a while since we've seen any stars of the Cruiserweight division appear on Raw (not counting The Lucha House Party), so it sure seems like 205 Live is on the verge of getting canceled and merged with NXT after all. As for this match, The Singh Brothers didn't have to tag in and out, but that didn't stop Black from beating them with ease. Black needs to ditch the dumb "knocking" nonsense and get back to being a badass. I wouldn't mind if he got drafted to Raw just for a fresh start.
The O.C. def. The Lucha House Party
I could've sworn we saw this match a few months ago when The O.C. first got back together and that it lasted a few minutes (as it should have because The Lucha House Party are basically jobbers on Raw), so I was surprised this was actually competitive. The O.C. should have won quickly and decisively, especially coming off their loss to Braun Strowman and Viking Raiders at Hell in a Cell. I'm happy they picked up the victory, but this felt like filler more than anything else.
The Miz Hosted Miz TV with Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch and SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair
It's sad Miz has become just a talk show host with no direction at all. Hopefully that changes coming out of the Draft (personally, I'd love him back on the blue brand, but I realize he's needed on Raw because Miz & Mrs. airs on USA Network). At any rate, this was a solid segment with good mic work from Lynch and Flair. I loved that Lynch brought up how Asuka tapped her out at the Royal Rumble earlier this year and she also didn't shy away from acknowledging her history with Flair. Meanwhile, Asuka and Sane desperately need Paige back because their promos are atrocious without her. This served as fine build for the subsequent tag team match.
WWE Women's Tag Team Champions The Kabuki Warriors def. Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch and SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair (Non-Title)
Didn't we get a "Champions Showcase" with the women a little over one month ago? From an in-ring standpoint, this was a quality match, but it was difficult to care considering there weren't any ramifications and the tag titles currently mean nothing. My biggest takeaway from this bout was that The Kabuki Warriors must be heels if they're cheating to beat a babyface such as Lynch, which surprised me. Kairi Sane should get a shot at her title, but I doubt she will. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross went after The Kabuki Warriors post-match, so clearly that feud isn't over.
Ricochet def. Apollo Crews
If you're wondering what the purpose behind this bout was, we were told that this was a "Superstar showcase" ahead of the Draft on Friday night. Ricochet has been spinning his wheels since being bumped from the King of the Ring tournament last month, and Crews has been a stepping stone almost from the moment he debuted on the main roster three years ago. In other words, the crowd being quiet for this was expected. I appreciated their effort, but this was solely designed to kill time and nothing more.
Braun Strowman and Tyson Fury Brawled
Big Show and Floyd "Money" Mayweather from No Way Out 2008, this was not. Don't get me wrong, they did the best job they could of getting the crowd hyped up and making people want to see them actually go it, but it wasn't much different than any other pull-apart brawl we've ever gotten on this show. It was also obvious toward the end that they were stalling for time because the brawl started too soon. There was no mention of when a potential match would take place, but with Crown Jewel right around the corner, that would be the most logical place for them to collide.
WWE barely mentioned the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view on last week's shows, yet the promotion of the Draft coming up this Friday was shoved down our throats all night. It's awesome they seem to be serious about this Draft, but they watered down the last Brand Split, so we'll see if they stick to it this time. Either way, this was an abysmal edition of Raw. The show has improved over the past few months, but it couldn't be any more apparent that there was minimal effort put into this episode because they knew nothing would matter with the Draft happening in four days. In fact, Seth Rollins and Bray Wyatt were nowhere to be seen and the only mention of them came during the recap video of the Hell in a Cell main event toward the end of the third hour. They probably didn't want Rollins to get booed, but that's what they get for booking such a lousy conclusion to the pay-per-view. The Draft couldn't come soon enough. Fingers crossed things can go back to normal starting next week.
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