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Is Nia Jax a heel now? Will a WWE tag team be reuniting soon? And where is Roman Reigns?
Actually, I’ll do you one better! Why is Roman Reigns?
Money In The Bank Build
Braun Strowman opened the show by promising he’ll give a briefcase ‘these hands’ and become Mr Monster in the Bank. Finn Balor then reminded everyone he was the first ever Universal Champion – was he? – and then slapped Strowman to give us…
Finn Balor beat Braun Strowman (DQ)
…a fun sequel to their very good main event last week. Just when Balor seemed set to win – setting up a second Coup De Grace, just like how Braun gave him two Powerslams before – Kevin Owens attacked both men with a ladder. Which Braun then threw half way up the ramp, about 10 metres! Or, to convert that into Jim Ross measures, 150 god damn feet. Good god, good god almighty.
Walk With Elias
Elias garnered mega heat from the Virginia crowd next, going through a commercial break waiting for them to silence their cellphones, before being cruelly interrupted by Red Rollins.
Jinder Mahal beat Seth Rollins (DQ)
Because the man can wrestle no wrong at the moment, Seth then had a very good Intercontinental title match with Jinder Mahal. Still enraged from Jinder’s attack last week, Seth lost via DQ by attacking Mahal and Sunil with a steel chair – a smart finish to keep the multi-layered Roman, Rollins and Jinder feud going.
But just as Seth was celebrating atop the announcer’s table, Elias got his revenge by smashing a guitar on his back – which Rollins sold by diving off the commentary desk and into the centre of the Earth.
Fun fact: Jinder vs Seth was actually the match to crown the first ever NXT Champion back in December 2012.
Nia Jax Is A Heel Now?
Fresh off her anti-bullying feud against the heel Alexa Bliss next, came Nia Jax bullying a random jobber.
Although Jax played her role well, the lack of consistency makes for awkward viewing. Ronda closed the segment by hitting her MEAN FACE finisher, but when Nia just laughed in reply, Rousey debuted a new facial expression: CONFUSED FACE! That makes a total of three facial expressions. I want her to point more. Overall, this was lazy booking to give the Nia/Rousey feud a heel vs face dynamic.
Deletors Of Worlds beat The Ascension
The Deletors of Worlds beat The Ascension. Raw’s tag division really needs some legitimate No. 1 contenders…
B Team BBQ
… like Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel! After a humorous segment backstage with Kurt, the two had a very unhumourous BBQ skit live in the ring. The B Team tried to win over the rest of the Raw tag division, which is now where NXT call-ups go to cry, but it broke down into a food fight and Rhyno getting put through a table. This would’ve worked much better as a backstage skit. Kurt booked a tag team battle royal for next week to decide the No. 1 contenders.
Kevin Owens beat Bobby Roode
Owens beat Bobby Roode in a disappointing match next considering the two men involved. And then Braun powerslamed them both.
Sami Zayn & Bobby Lashley
Sami Zayn apologised to human civilisation for his terrible Bobby Lashley’s sisters segment the previous week. Sami did the best with what he’s been given, but this feud was dead on arrival, and the crowd gave it no reaction. We’re getting Bobby vs Zayn at Money in the Bank. Hopefully Lashley’s sisters are lumberjills on the outside.
Drew McIntyre beat Chad Gable
Because Dolph Ziggler beat Chad Gable last week, on this episode it was Drew McIntyre’s turn! The two had as good a big vs small man match as they could in the time given, with Drew winning via Claymore. It’s almost like Gable’s going to have to find a tag team partner to take them both on at Money in the Bank. If only Kurt Angle had an illegitimate son reportedly ready to return to the ring laying around…
Women’s MITB Gauntlet Match
Remember that incredible, near two hour gauntlet match from earlier this year? The one which reignited Seth Rollins and started several major storylines on Raw? This main event was not that.
Despite Michael Cole putting over the gauntlet stipulation as one of the most exciting in WWE throughout the night – steady, Maggle, it’s no Kendo Stick on a Pole – the resulting bout was uninspired and booked backwards. Bayley beat Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan in seconds to start , with Ruby Riott beating her, Dana Brooke and hometown gal Mickie James – who turned babyface quicker than you can say Nia Jax is now a heel.
This all climaxed in the heel Riott – three victories in and at a significant disadvantage – against the completely fresh babyface Sasha Banks. It’s backwards booking from a psychological standpoint. You want your babyface to overcome the odds, not look weak in struggling to overcome a heel already three matches tired. Banks won after some half-hearted interference from Morgan.
As has been the way with Raw for the last several weeks, the show started well with some really good matches, but petered out significantly in hours two and three. Also, Roman Reigns was not missed on this show at all], with him celebrating his 33rd birthday last Friday – making him 231 in Big Dawg years – and taking time off. This week’s Raw is poor.
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