Roman Reigns def. Jason Jordan; John Cena Confronted Reigns
I guess Jordan's gimmick is that he calls out the biggest stars on the Raw rosters and... loses to them. He's had strong showings every time and this was no different, but it is a weird way of attempting to getting him over as opposed to going the standard route of giving him squash matches. This was an entertaining match to kick off Raw with a predictable result, but fans still have yet to get behind Jordan. At any rate, Reigns and Cena had yet another excellent verbal exchange with Cena once again getting the better of Reigns on the mic. That's great and all, as long as Reigns wins at No Mercy and isn't made to look like a loser.
Sasha Banks def. Emma
At one point, I would have been excited by the idea of this match because I know these women can go out there and contest a hell of a match, but sadly, Emma hasn't meant much since returning from injury and has largely been positioned as an enhancement talent. Granted, she's picked up a few wins in recent weeks, but crowds simply do not care about her and don't view her as a legitimate threat, which is why this match suffered. Plus, Banks needed the victory anyway after getting pinned clean the last two weeks.
Braun Strowman Attacked Universal Champion Brock Lesnar
Per usual, Paul Heyman did a tremendous job of hyping up the Universal Championship match at No Mercy and essentially portraying Lesnar as the underdog, and this segment solidified him as one with Strowman's attack. I'm typically not a fan of wrestlers no-selling others' offense, but Strowman not being affected by the suplex from Lesnar was an awesome visual that drove home how Strowman is a step ahead of The Beast and that Lesnar appears to be afraid of him. I don't think for a second that Strowman is winning that match, unfortunately, but the build has been brilliant.
Bray Wyatt def. Goldust
Uh, didn't Goldust turn heel earlier in the summer? And whatever the hell happened to him "auditioning" at SummerSlam for a new "masterpiece"? That had plenty of potential, so it's a shame it was dropped and that Creative clearly has no idea how to utilize him. This wasn't anything more than a straightforward squash for Wyatt with Finn Balor making the save for Goldust afterward to further that feud.
Sheamus and Cesaro vs. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows went to a No Contest
One heel vs. heel match is bad enough, but to hold two back-to-back would have been asinine. Thankfully, this match never came to fruition, as instead of facing each other, both heel tandems turned their attention to Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose on commentary and attacked them. For a second, it looked like Anderson and Gallows would be added to the Raw Tag Team Championship match at No Mercy, but rather, it was done to set up the eight-man tag team match in the main event also involving The Hardy Boyz.
Elias def. Kalisto
I was hoping someone other than Kalisto would interrupt Elias' performance this week, but no such luck. I wouldn't have been as bothered by it if we hadn't seen the same thing on Main Event just last week as well as on Raw not too long ago. Worse yet, their chemistry together has never been too great, so this was lifeless while it lasted. I've been a fan of how WWE has handled Elias up to this point, but he needs more direction going forward.
John Cena def. Braun Strowman by Disqualification
It blows my mind why WWE would throw away one of their last remaining big matches for Cena on TV the way they did here with barely any hype. Yes, I realize ratings are the reason why, but the least they could have done was advertise it one week in advance. On the bright side, it was fun for what it was and Cena sold very well for Strowman. The non-finish was what needed to happen given they're both in huge matches at No Mercy later this month and should be protected.
Intercontinental Champion The Miz Hosted Miz TV with Enzo Amore; Amore def. Miz by Disqualification (Non-title)
Was the purpose of these segments to turn Miz babyface? Because I'm not sure how anyone can hate Miz after he announced the arrival of his child with Maryse (congrats to them by the way), Enzo interrupted him, and then Miz proceeded to speak truthfully about how everyone apparently despises him backstage. Basically, it was a worked shoot, but a glorious one at that, and Enzo stood no chance. The crowd couldn't even get behind him during his rebuttal. The match that followed was pretty brutal, so they should have just left it at Miz verbally burying Enzo and being done with it.
Raw Tag Team Champions Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins & The Hardy Boyz def. Sheamus, Cesaro, Karl anderson and Luke Gallows
For those wondering why this headlined the show over Cena vs. Strowman or even Reigns vs. Jordan, it's because WWE was up against Monday Night Football earlier on and wanted to lure viewers back to watching their show for those major matchups. By the time the main event rolled around, it didn't matter what ended the evening. At any rate, this match had its fair share of sloppy spots and was rough at points, but the crowd didn't give them crap for it and instead seemed to enjoy the action. It felt like a house show main event, and that's not always a bad thing, but it didn't exactly compel me to tune in next week.
Prepare for WWE to continue doing pay-per-view-level matches on Raw every week for the fall season with football season starting up again. That sounds like an odd thing to be complaining about, but I hate when WWE hot-shots angles and doesn't book logically. I suppose we'll see if that's the case at No Mercy, but at least the card is promising on paper. As for this edition of Raw, Miz's promo, Strowman's attack on Lesnar and Reigns vs. Jordan are worth going out of way to see, but feel free to skip over the rest.
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