Raw Tag Team champions Braun Strowman and Universal Champion Seth rollins def. The O.C. (Non-Title)
Rollins and Strowman had their contract signing for their Universal Championship match at Clash of Champions, beforehand and had it crashed by The O.C. AJ Styles made a lot of great points about how Strowman has done nothing to earn a shot at the title and The O.C. taking a backseat to Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler. He wasn't wrong. The match itself wasn't anything special and further established that Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson are beneath them. At least the heels finally stood tall afterward, though.
Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler def. Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins
Ryder and Hawkins were one of the teams Roode and Ziggler beat in that Tag Team Turmoil last week, so if Roode and Ziggler could win when the odds were stacked against them, there was no doubt they were winning here, too. It was a standard squash victory for the number one contenders to the Raw Tag Team Championship, and it's interesting to note that Roode once again scored the pinfall win for himself and Ziggler. Here's hoping the rumors are true and this tandem is more about getting Roode over as a heel and not giving him and Ziggler a long run in the tag team division.
Lacey Evans def. Natalya
Evans had a horrific showing against Bayley last week on SmackDown Live, so this was her chance to bounce back. This wasn't a vast improvement, but it was a serviceable match with both women coming across as more aggressive than usual. The commentators focused heavily on Evans winning via nefarious means, so it looks like that'll be her new direction going forward. Meanwhile, putting overs other is probably the best role for Natalya nowadays.
Sasha Banks Interrupted Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch
Banks' promo last week didn't light the world on fire, but I thought she delivered on the mic here, as did Lynch. Their verbal exchange was excellent and everything they said made sense. When feuds feel real like this one did here, it makes me care that much more. I liked that didn't get physical and decided to save it for Clash of Champions. Their match for the Raw Women's Championship at the pay-per-view is now official.
Baron Corbin def. Cedric Alexander in a King of the Ring Quarterfinal Match
I don't think it's a stretch to say that these King of the Ring matches have been the best part of Raw and SmackDown Live for the past three weeks. I also don't think it's a stretch to say that Corbin's matchups against Alexander and The Miz have been the most memorable he's had in a long time. These two had an awesome dynamic and Corbin taking of Alexander's injury throughout was a nice touch. It was especially excellent once they picked up the pace in the second half and the crowd rallied behind Alexander, who was on a hot streak. Alexander lost absolutely nothing in defeat, while Corbin continues to work well with the smaller opponents.
The Viking Raiders def. Brian Thomas and Tyler Casey
Yes, Viking Raiders are still facing local losers, but now they're cutting promos to let it be known that they're heel. Does that mean Viking Raiders babyfaces now? It's honestly hard to care at this point since they've done nothing in the time they've been on the main roster, but I guess it wouldn't hurt. They once again dominated their opponents, but it's high time they moved passed this and entered the Raw Tag Team Championship scene.
Ricochet vs. Samoa Joe in a King of the Ring Quarterfinal Match Ended in a Draw
Ricochet beat Joe for the United States Championship back at the Stomping Grounds pay-per-view in June, so they have both history and chemistry. I personally enjoyed Corbin vs. Joe more and thought it told a superior story, but this was still a quality content that featured plenty of back-and-forth action. The finish that saw both men pin each other was well done and sets up Ricochet vs. Joe vs. Corbin in the semifinals on next week's show.
The Miz def. Cesaro
Miz has been booked like a loser for so long that it was necessary for him to win a match before he challenges Shinsuke Nakamura for the Intercontinental Championship in a few weeks. Granted, I hate seeing Cesaro lose, but it's not like he's been in the midst of anything meaningful lately. In fact, I'd prefer him having a run in NXT UK for a little while coming off his terrific performance at TakeOver: Cardiff on Saturday. This was a fun bout, though.
Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch and SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley def. WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross by disqualification (Non-Title)
I was initially surprised that this was positioned as the main event of the show, but it was only logical after it had been teased throughout the night that Banks would get involved due to her strained relationship with Bayley and current rivalry with Lynch. Bliss and Cross were practically afterthoughts here, but that's nothing new considering those tag titles have been pointless props since the beginning. It was a perfectly fine match, but it was difficult to focus with Banks standing on the ramp the entire time. She interfered in predictable fashion, but what happened afterward was completely unexpected. I was shocked to see Bayley turn heel and align herself with Banks. I didn't think they'd go that route since Bayley is scheduled to face Charlotte Flair at Clash of Champions, but then again, the event will emanate from Charlotte's hometown, so she'll basically be a babyface, anyway. I'm really excited to see where this goes.
As has been the case in recent weeks, the highlights of this show included the King of the Ring quarterfinals, the stuff with Banks, and the Firefly Fun House, not to mention how Bayley going rogue ended the evening on a high note. The rest of the show was solid per usual, but I truly could not care less about the Rollins, Strowman and O.C. drama. On the bright side, WWE has done a decent job of building up the Clash of Champions card so far and I find myself looking forward to the event. Stone Cold Steve Austin being advertised for next week (which will air live from Madison Square Garden) should make the show slightly more must-see than normal.
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