By Oli Davis
We’ve got new tag team champions! The Undertaker returns to Raw! But unfortunately so does Kevin Owens, my man!
Strowman Vs Shield SUPERBRAWL!
Dropping any shades of grey or complexity that his character possessed at the end of last week’s show, Braun Strowman went from justified avenger to full-on smirking heel flanked by heel cronies to kick off Raw.
This brought out the Shield through the crowd for a rather badass brawl with the entire locker room trying to keep everyone apart. The Shield are so awesome, my nostalgia still so fresh, that I even cheered Roman Reigns. Bad Oli!
This ended with The Shield being arrested and driven off in a police van. Because WWE brawls are illegal now.
BellasTwins beat Riott Squad
WHY ARE THE BELLAS STILL HERE?
Nikki and Brie made their return to the ring, beating the Riott Squad with two botched dives.
I’m not a fan of the Bellas. To me, they still epitomise everything the current women’s division is trying to get away from. But I must admit, they had their moments here.
Chad Gable & Bobby Roode beat The Ascension
Chad Gable and Bobby Roode, however, are the real tag team I never knew I wanted. It’s sad, in a way, that both men’s singles runs have been booked into oblivion, but their pairing together is inspired. Chad’s endearing goofiness and spectacular in-ring ability makes any act better, and it’s promising for the overall tag division that more teams are being established.
Alexa Bliss beat Natalya
For the second week in a row, a prolonged Elias segment was just used to set up a Natalya match, rather than give him an actual feud. Alexa Bliss beat Natalya with some interference from Alicia Fox on the outside, causing Ronda Rousey to nearly rip her shoulder from its socket!
The Bellas came to see Ronda backstage afterwards, saying if she ever needs help with anything – like wrestling training, running a company outside WWE, her PPV make-up- come see them. BREAK THEIR ARMS, RONDA!
Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler beat B Team
As the heels run Raw now, Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler were able to beat up the Revival and take their tag team championship shot against the B Team – which they won in a pretty decent match.
Authors of Pain beat Jobbers
And the tag division reboot continued with Drake Maverick announcing himself as the new manager of Authors of Pain… while dressed like a Mini-Me version of them.
I love Drake Maverick and this act could be really strong. But not if he’s dressed like this. Also, what was wrong with their original manager Paul Ellering?!
Shawn Michaels & The Undertaker Return!
Next up had the pre-announced return of Shawn Michaels to hype Undertaker vs Triple H at Su-Su-Super ShowDown next month. While he got a great pop coming out, the content of the promo dragged, being an awkwardly worded plug for a match a month away.
That all changed when the Undertaker’s massive dong hit, though, sending the crowd crazy even though he didn’t have any Dick Druids.
The two men then had a great back and forth, with Michaels saying he stayed retired out of respect for Taker, for Taker to accuse him of only stayed retired out of fear. If Shawn did return to the ring, he’d put him down again, just like he’s going to do to Triple H.
Bayley & Sasha Banks beat Dana Brooke & Ember Moon
Continuing the storyline of getting Dana Brooke ready for Evolution, she teamed with ‘still without a storyline on the main roster’ Ember Moon against Bayley and Sasha Banks. Titus Worldwide shouting advice distracted her for the loss, causing Dana to storm off.
Bobby Lashley Performance Review
Baron Corbin just gave Bobby Lashley a performance review, my man! And it said, my man, that he’s got anger issues, my man. Presumably, because he suddenly has to say ‘my man’ three times a sentence.
Lashley did a live meditation session with Jinder Mahal in the ring to treat these anger issues, which was as lame as you’d expect it to be, my man. But the real criminal part was having Kevin Owens return to beat Bobby up with a powerbomb on the apron. One of the most intriguing storylines from last week’s Raw – KO suddenly quitting the company – dropped after a week and wasted on a comedy segment with Lashley. Owens should’ve been kept out at least until after Hell in a Cell.
Braun Strowman beat Finn Balor
Thankfully the 78th rematch between Finn Balor and Baron Corbin was replaced with Balor vs Braun Strowman. The two work really well together, with Balor inventively countering Strowman’s usual spots, but Braun hit a single powerslam for the win in the end – somewhat undermining the two powerslam finish to their match several months ago.
But it was all to set up the Shield rather ridiculously returning to the arena in the police van they were taken away in. Which was silly, but I kind of loved it. The ensuing brawl was rather brutal too, with the heel locker room helping McDolphMan and lawndarting Seth into the police van window, potentially injuring Rollins when the glass smashed unexpectedly. The Shield reunion curse continues.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t take my eyes of Owens here, out there like just another heel midcarder, assisting Strowman, the man that made him quit the company just last week.
I actually rather enjoyed this episode of Raw, but the KO quitting follow-up was atrocious, and another depressing sign that he’s destined for a particular slot on the roster for ever. Which means this week’s Raw is AvRAWge.