Braun Strowman Confronted Universal Champion Seth Rollins
I'm not a fan of the Universal Champion kicking off the show with a promo every single week, but this segment served to set up the night's main event between Rollins and Strowman. Yes, we did already see it at Clash of Champions (where Rollins won clean), but to WWE's credit, they planted a line in Rollins' promo last week about this being a possibility, so they likely knew even then that this was their scheduled main event for this show. It was a solid segment and both men played their roles well.
The Viking Raiders def. The O.C.
Viking Raiders and The O.C. have been at odds for the past two weeks and have waged war in a few multi-man matches, so it only made sense for them to finally have a standard tag team match here. The crowd didn't care at first, but they slowly but surely got invested in the action and popped for the finish. I liked the hard-hitting style of this bout and the pace they worked. I'm glad Viking Raiders are being kept strong and are gradually getting over as babyfaces.
Michael Cole Interviewed Raw Women's Champion Becky LYnch
I don't think there's much doubt that this feud with Sasha Banks has really brought the best out of Lynch. This is the most motivated I've seen her since WrestleMania season and I always enjoy it whenever they do these sit-down interviews. Lynch shined here and hyped up her upcoming Hell in a Cell clash with Lynch remarkably well. Hopefully we see them confront each other one more time before the pay-per-view.
Rusev def. EC3
The Kanellis couple was nowhere to be seen on the show this week, but we did get a quick squash featuring Rusev. EC3 scored a small amount of offense, but Rusev largely dominated and defeated EC3 with ease. It's great Rusev is back after such a long layoff, but EC3 has been around this entire time and WWE has yet to do anything of note with him. I'd love for that to change in the WWE Draft, but I said the same thing during the Superstar Shake-Up earlier this year and nothing happened, so I'm not holding my breath.
Sasha Banks def. WWE Women's Tag Team Champion Nikki Cross
It seems like the women haven't been getting a ton of time for their matches since WrestleMania 35, so I appreciated that Banks and Cross were afforded the opportunity to contest the match they were capable of here. Granted, the outcome was never in doubt, but they maximized their minutes and put forth an excellent effort. Cross looking credible in defeat made me happy, and now Banks is riding high ahead of her Hell in a Cell matchup with Lynch. She'll go up against Alexa Bliss next week on Raw.
Lacey Evans def. Ember Moon
It wasn't that long ago that Moon was being built up on SmackDown Live, but since her loss to Bayley at SummerSlam, she has been back to where she was before. It's a shame because she's tremendously talented and deserves better. Alas, this was all about Evans, but at least Moon put up more of a fight against Evans before losing (unlike Dana Brooke last week). Evans once again won with the Sharpshooter, so it's obvious a rematch between Evans and Natalya is coming sooner rather than later.
Carmella def. R-Truth to Win the 24/7 Championship
We all knew that at some point Carmella was going to turn on Truth and win the 24/7 Championship. It took a little longer than expected, but it finally happened here. Honestly, I don't have much of a problem with it, if only because it freshens things up in the stale 24/7 Championship picture. I'm interested to see if only women will chase the championship now or if the same group of goofs will continue to run after Carmella every week. It looked like she was moving into the SmackDown Women's Championship picture as of last week, so I'm also curious how this will affect that.
Chad Gable def. King Corbin by Disqualification
I was a big fan of the match these two had in the finals of the King of the Ring tournament, so I'm stoked that their feud isn't over yet and that more matches appear to be on the horizon. This didn't have the same drama as last week (since there wasn't anything on the line), but it was a similar case where they started out slow and built toward an awesome final stretch. That crowd badly wanted Gable to win and were disappointed when Corbin got himself disqualified. That gave me hope that a rematch could be in the cards for Hell in a Cell.
Rey Mysterio def. Raw Tag Team Champion Robert Roode, United States Champion AJ Styles, Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura and Ricochet in a Universal Championship No. 1 Contender's Fatal 5-Way Elimination Match
If you want an all-action Fatal 5-Way, this is the match for you. It was very entertaining on the whole, but what made it better for me was that the finish wasn't predictable. Any one of these men (okay, with the possible exception of Nakamura) could have realistically won and earned that shot at Seth Rollins' title next week on Raw, but Mysterio was the smartest choice of the five. His career his been on the upswing lately, so while he of course won't win the Universal Championship, this is another intriguing chapter in the story. Everyone got a chance to shine here and the crowd ate it up. Terrific stuff all around.
Universal Champion Seth Rollins vs. Braun Strowman Ended in a No Contest (Non-title)
This wasn't as strong as their Clash of Champions main event I thought, but they kept things interesting throughout and Rollins sold exceptionally well for Strowman's offense. I'm a point now where I can't take Strowman seriously as a threat to Rollins, so even though he came close to winning on several occasions, I just couldn't buy into any of his nearfalls. As you probably expected, The Fiend showed up to lay out Strowman with the Mandible Claw. It was essentially the same thing we saw at the end of Raw last week, but hey, it was cool, so I'm not complaining. Bray Wyatt is far and away the hottest act in all of WWE right now and thus I don't have a problem with him being featured so prominently at the moment.
I've been saying for weeks (if not months) that Raw has been improving in quality and that was once again the case with this episode. There's a lot less filler nowadays and the matches are getting more time. Needless to say, that may change in the near future, but I'm digging it while it lasts. Not every angle is amazing, but most of them are holding my interest, even if the Hell in a Cell card is far from complete (and it's less than two weeks away). This was another above-average edition of Raw by recent standards in my opinion and I am very excited to see what the company has in store for the show going forward, starting with next week's "season premiere."
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