Before I get into things and start dissecting Raw, allow me to clear up some confusion. A constant comment since this series’ inception has been about talents and segments being “miscast” as midcard. The midcard division, for the purposes of these reviews, is anything having to do with the Intercontinental Championship, as well as talents not involved in main event feuds. So, while you may not think Seth Rollins is a midcard guy (I don’t either), he’s currently holding the midcard championship, and will, therefore, fall under that category. All clear? Excellent, now let’s get down to business!
Speaking of, the midcard scene got the action going on last night’s Raw. It was champion Seth Rollins successfully defending against Kevin Owens. While I preferred the matches against Finn Balor and The Miz, this outing was good enough to add another notch on Rollins’ impressive 2018. He and Owens went back and forth for about 15 minutes before Rollins hit the Black Out for the win. Rollins has been on fire (no pun intended) ever since the gauntlet match a few months ago. Allowing him to retain the title, and continue to have incredible matches week in and week out, helps both him and the title in the long run.
Hell has frozen over folks; Roman Reigns is in a midcard feud that isn’t for the IC/US Title. You could make the argument that this beef is between two former world champions, and therefore is a main event rivalry, but I don’t buy it. Jinder Mahal is no longer a top guy in the company’s eyes, and therefore drags Reigns down to the midcard as well. On this show, Reigns cut a promo on Mahal to kick things off and later attacked Jinder backstage…twice. What a babyface. While it’s possible that Reigns beats Jinder and then gets another shot at Lesnar, as of now there are no stakes.
Tag Team Division
The A-show was introduced to the “B-Team.” Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel unveiled that to be their new tag team name. Brilliantly, by changing their name, the duo erased their previous win/loss record. And after beating Breezango, they are now undefeated. It’s excellent to see WWE using Bo and Curtis somewhat properly following the split of The Miztourage. Unfortunately, because of their past, this may have hurt the Fashion Police more than it benefitted the B Team.
Elsewhere on the show, The Revival were buried deeper, losing to Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt. Also, Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre scored a win over the odd pairing of Finn Balor & Braun Strowman. Seriously, why did those two team together? Anyway, five regular teams were used on this show, while notable duos such as AOP and Titus Worldwide watched from the back.
I’m going to keep this brief because I didn’t like any of the segments involving Raw‘s women this week. They aired and re-aired the Rousey-Jax segment before re-airing it again later. After they aired it again, there was a random 6-woman tag match. Guess who wasn’t involved? Nia Jax or Ronda Rousey. Guess what purpose this match served in the storyline? Oh…you can’t either? Damn.
The best women’s segment (though that’s not exactly high praise this week) was the Money in the Bank qualifier. Alexa Bliss beat Bayley and Mickie James in a triple threat match. It was okay. Bayley may have made the most sense in this match, as she could have used the briefcase to revitalize her career. Meanwhile, Bliss is coming off an extended reign with the title. Keeping her out of the picture for a bit is probably the best play. Nonetheless, a fine match that was just fine.
Main Event Division
On a normal day, these segments would both fit in the midcard. Problem is, they were for a spot in the Money in the Bank ladder match. The first qualifier saw Baron Corbin and No Way Jose (two definite midcarders) bested by Bobby Roode. The ‘Glorious One’ will now go on to fight for the contract; something that would, if he was to win, drastically change the course of his career. Again, this match was okay, but not great. If it wasn’t for the stakes, I’d have skipped it.
The second qualifier saw Kevin Owens replace Jinder Mahal, and he went on to defeat Bobby Lashley and Elias following interference from Sami Zayn, who earlier threatened to expose the truth about Lashley next week. Not sure if that’s a threat to Lashley or the audience. This was the best qualifying match on the show, and putting Owens in the ladder match is a smart idea. The potential for more interference from his guardian angel makes him a legitimate threat to win.
Every division was given their fair share of time this week. However, the execution was not great for most. The women in particular had a poor showing, though the tag team scene didn’t do much better. Really the only bright spot was Rollins…again.
Which division would you have liked to see get more screen time? Let us know in the comments below or get in touch with us on Twitter.