Raw’s midcard opened the in-ring action on the night, as Elias defeated (?) Bobby Roode in a rematch from last week. The match did no favors for the struggling Roode, who lost the match due to inability to breathe following being shoved into an exposed turnbuckle on the apron. If you want to create an upper-midcard star, this is not how you do it. If any good came from this, it’s that Elias can add a win via referee stoppage to his resume. Because of Roode’s lack of momentum, however, this win rings hollow, and felt more like filler.
The midcard was given the spotlight again later, as Finn Balor challenged Seth Rollins to an IC Title match. This came after Rollins implied he would reinstate an “open challenge.” It’s beginning to feel like the open challenge is more of a gimmick now, rather than the mark of a fighting champion. However, if it continues to produce great matches, who cares?
Yes, Finn and Seth’s WWE Intercontinental Championship war closed Monday’s broadcast. Rollins continued his string of amazing matches (last week never happened, okay?) as he and Balor tore the roof of Montreal’s Bell Centre. The Kingslayer picked up the win in an incredible match, to keep his young title reign alive. There were several moments in this match where it genuinely looked like Balor would win, and his loss in no way hurts his stock moving forward. As for Rollins, he gets to keep the championship in a premier position, as he defends against The Miz at Backlash on Sunday.