WWE Raw Review 7/23/2018

skysports-stephanie-mcmahon_4369184

  • The show opens with the roster on the stage and Vince Mcmahon in the ring. Vince calls for Stephanie to come down.

Stephanie Mcmahon’s Historic Announcement

  • Triple H congratulates the roster for making WWE historic lately with NXT, 205 Live, SD Live, Raw and NXT UK. Then mentions the strong bond the roster has formed with each other. Nikki Cross is officially on the main roster making a slight appearance on the stage. 
  • Triple H asks all the women to come forward and says the WWE Universe and Men’s Locker Room supports them like crazy. 
  • Stephanie Mcmahon turns face for a change and thanks the crowd for opening up the doors for women to become strong lately. 
  • Stephanie Mcmahon announces an event called “Evolution” on October 28th which is going to be an all Woman WWE PPV. That is awesome!

This was a great opening segment that felt insanely important with Stephanie, HHH, and Vince all here to make the announcement. An all Women’s PPV is a great idea which has been rare from WWE lately. An actual “historic” opening to RAW and I’m excited to see where the Women’s PPV goes from here. 

The “B” Team(c) vs. Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt for the RAW Tag Titles

  • Backstage “B” Team promo highlights how far they’ve come from the jobber life. 
  • An Elias concert is interrupted by Matt and Hardy entering. 
  • Matt Hardy and Bo Dallas start the match. 
  • The Rotunda Brothers face off again but Wyatt knocks Dallas down with a stiff crossbody.
  • Revival shown looking on. 
  • A Lariat by Wyatt to Dallas opens up a hot tag by Hardy on Axel. 
  • Side Effect by Hardy on Axel for a near fall. 
  • Twist of Fate by Hardy onto Axel, near fall but Dallas, saves the match, Wyatt comes to take out Bo but Dallas trips Wyatt into Hardy, Axel gets a roll up win for a B-Team retain. Confusing finish but a rightful winner. 

Winners: The B-Team Retain (8 Day Reign) 

Rating: **1/4, the same match from these two teams we’ve seen before but this round has an added urgency because it looked like the “B” Team could lose the titles. It played out like a normal tag match until the end which had Dallas take out Wyatt who took out Hardy inadvertently so Axel can get the win. Even though the ending was fast and convoluted, The B Team needed to retain, they’ve been entertaining as hell lately. 

  • After the match, Bray and Hardy attack Axel and Dallas. 
  • Backstage segment with Gable and Finn sees Finn move into his own locker room which turns out to be a kid’s sized house. Another WWE “HA, He’s so small joke.” Constable Corbin puts Finn Balor in a match tonight against Drew MacIntyre.
  • Interview with Sasha Banks and Bayley confirm they are again STILL friends. 
  • In a tag team match, Banks and Bayley beat locals and actually look like a good tag unit. 

I know WWE is trying to annoy us with the constant Love/Hate relationship between Bayley and Sasha Banks but that is almost working too well. These both are really talented and need to either move on or put on a great match like they totally could. Especially, with the all WWE Women’s PPV coming soon they need to book their women a bit better. 

  • Elias tries to talk about his new album again and gets interrupted by Braun Strowman. 

Monster in the Bank/Braun Strowman Segment:

  • Strowman congratulates the women on getting their own PPV but especially Alexa Bliss. 
  • Braun talks about Lashley vs. Reigns later on tonight and says it doesn’t matter who’s champion he says sooner or later he will cash in his briefcase. 
  • Strowman plays the crowd up but Kevin Owens interrupts. 
  • Kevin Owens says he tried to befriend Strowman for the sake of his son being Braun’s fan, Owens also says that Strowman crushed his son’s dream like he crushed his spine at Extreme Rules. Kevin Owens is definitely the face in this feud. 
  • Kevin Owens says Braun’s problem has barely started, Baron Corbin’s theme hits and, under the “power” of Stephanie, Corbin sends Jinder Mahal out to “control” Braun’s temper with his self-renewal bullshit. 
  • Braun hits Running Powerslams to Mahal and Singh.

This segment was pretty bad, the stereotypical treatment of Jinder Mahal, Kevin Owens continuing to be an empathetic face even though WWE is booking him heel and Braun Strowman doing the same thing he does every week. It’s surely time for a refresh in all of their gimmicks and it feels like I’ve seen this exact segment every week on RAW.

Natalya vs. Mickie James

  • Again with this match/feud??
  • Electric Chair Drop by Natalya lays both women out, surprisingly high spot. 
  • James kicks Natalya from in-ring out to ringside, awkward sell by Nattie, Bliss gets involved but Natalya wipes out Bliss. 
  • James hits a superkick for the win. 

Winner: Natalya

Rating: N/A

  • Interview with Roman Reigns, he says “tonight is a night of firsts and I’ll beat Lashley for the first time tonight.” 
  • Elias tries to promote his album again but AOP interrupts this time. 

Authors of Pain Segment:

  • AOP says they need a challenge and they’re done with Titus Worldwide. I guess not as Titus Worldwide comes down.
  • I feel so bad for Apollo Crews, he has too much talent for Titus Worldwide. I guess, Titus does too. Just leave Dana Brooke and call it Dana Worldwide. 
  • AOP says Titus should just retire which starts a brawl, they somehow stand tall even though AOP would legitimately crush them if this was NXT. 

Another Raw Cliche segment. I feel like 4/5 people in this segment are too talented to be in this spot. AOP was shown as weak which was bogus after they looked like monsters in NXT for YEARS.

  • Stephanie, Angle, Corbin, and Owens backstage segment. Kevin Owens asks for a match against Braun Strowman at SummerSlam. If Owens wins (by Countout and DQ) included he gets the Money in the Bank briefcase. 

Even though seeing Braun vs. Owens again might be too repetitive, I’m looking forward to it. The stipulation should make it fun with Owens going for the MITB Briefcase and Stephanie Mcmahon being on the side of Owens might add extra importance to the storyline. Another solid looking SummerSlam match made. 

  • Mojo Rawley squashed Tyler Breeze (who deserves better) while Bobby Roode (who also deserves better) cuts a promo on a pop-up screen.
  • Drew Mcintyre and Dolph Ziggler cut a selfie promo. 
  • Elias gets interrupted AGAIN by Finn Balor’s entrance. 

Finn Balor vs. Drew MacIntyre:

  • Dropkick by Finn Balor sends Drew ringside, an awesome Tope Con Hiro Dive follows.
  • Deadlift Vertical Suplex by Drew for a near fall, great show of power from Macintyre. 
  • Great Tornado DDT by Finn Balor finally gets MacIntyre down after Finn fails to get him down after a series of forearms. 
  • MacIntyre dodges the Coup De Grace attempt but Finn hits a follow-up slingblade and a shotgun dropkick. Off a second, Coup de Grace attempt Ziggler interferes for the DQ. Seth Rollins comes down to stop the attack on Balor and even the odds.
  • Kurt Angle restarts the match as a tag team match. 

Finn Balor and Seth Rollins vs. Drew MacIntyre and Dolph Ziggler:

  • Rollins and Balor work together to take out Drew before the bell even rings. 
  • Dolph Ziggler and Seth Rollins start the match. 
  • Plancha Dive by Seth Rollins takes out Ziggler ringside. 
  • After Drew and Dolph settle into the tag match, they start to dominate and isolate Balor. 
  • Drew Macintyre Gorilla Presses Balor over the barricade. 
  • Pele Kick by Finn Balor lays him and Ziggler down opening up tags, Drewy Mac makes it before Balor though and stops him from making the tag. 
  • Seth finally tags in for a hot tag and Suicide Dives Mac and Ziggler down. 
  • Diving Blockbuster by Rollins to Macintyre for a near fall. 
  • Superkick by Rollins to Macintyre leads to a very near fall but Ziggler makes the save.
  • Stomp attempt by Rollins to Ziggler but Macintyre stops Seth in his path. Alabama Slamma by Macintyre for a very near fall. 
  • “This Is Awesome” chants!
  • Rollins huricanranas McIntyre ringside and hits a Stomp on Ziggler for the win. 

Winners: Seth Rollins and Finn Balor

Rating: ***3/4, The match was an amazing showcase for Drew Macintyre having another very strong performance on the main roster. Seth, like normal, carried a lot of the match and Balor took less of the heat after a solid match against Macintyre earlier. The whole half-hour segment here was very good and focused on wrestling instead of crappy gimmick stuff like the rest of the show has been. Ziggler is finally where he should be, high-mid card and everyone leaves this match looking great. The match had some amazing near falls and tag moments. Seth Rollins is amazing!

Liv Morgan vs. Ember Moon

  • Moon immediately hits a single-leg dropkick after the bell rings.
  • Springboard Crossbody by Moon misses Dropkick by Liv for a near fall. 
  • Liv is working a little bit sloppy. 
  • The crowd is dead silent. 
  • Inverted STO by Moon for a near fall. 
  • Inverted Superplex by Ember Moon followed by an Eclipse for the win. 

Winner: Ember Moon

Rating: N/A

  • Backstage Interview with Seth Rollins, Rollins announces him vs. Ziggler for the IC Title at Summerslam. So no Brock vs. Rollins after all. 
  • Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley video package plays. 
  • Elias comes out for another try at promoting his album, succeeds for longer than before but Kurt Angle interrupts. Kurt finally gives him the chance for a concert. Elias shouts out the band O.A.R who are ringside. After a little bit of playing with the crowd, Elias actually starts his performance. Elias stops the song to trash the town which happens to be Cincinnati tonight and Bobby Lashley interrupts. 

Bobby Lashley vs Roman Reigns for the chance to face Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title at SummerSlam:

  • Brock Lesnar will be on RAW next Monday. 
  • Drive-By attempt by Reigns caught into an overhead suplex ringside by Bobby Lashley.
  • Spinebuster by Bobby Lashley for a near fall. 
  • Huge Double Lariat lays both men out.
  • Strikefest leads to a great looking leapfrog lariat by Lashley. 
  • From the apron, Lashley knocks a running Reigns down with another lariat. 
  • Reigns dodges a charging Lashley, Lashley gets back in the ring and Reigns hits a very sloppy leg drop for a near fall. 
  • Superman Punch attempt caught into a Full Nelson by Lashley, Reigns fights out. 
  • STO into an Anaconda Vice by Lashley, pin attempt for a near fall by Reigns getting out of the hold.
  • Huge Powerslam by Lashley for a very near fall.
  • Spear attempt by Lashley caught with a leg lariat by Reigns for a near fall. 
  • Superman Punch by Reigns finally hits for another near fall.
  • Lashley throws Reigns from ringside back into the ring, hard fall on Reigns’ neck taken. Spear by Lashley for an awesome very near fall.
  • Another Spear attempt by Lashley gets caught with a superman punch. 
  • Spear attempt by Reigns gets countered but Reigns bounces back off the ropes and finally hits the spear to win the match. 

Winner: Roman Reigns

Rating: ****1/4, WHAT A MAIN EVENT! This is a contender for my favorite Reigns match and definetely one of the best Lashley matches. These two tore the house down. Constant amazing near falls added to the evenly match atmosphere that these two thrived in. There were a few sloppily worked moments like Reigns’ leg drop over the middle rope or Lashley throwing Reigns into the ring and having Reigns land on his neck but in the end, the near falls and the crowd participation made something special. These two battled for a great main event and even though Lashley should’ve won and looked amazing in this match, I’m not even mad about Reigns vs. Lesnar 4. 

Show Grade: B+

Last Word: This is one of the best episodes of RAW recently even though it was far from perfect. Reigns and Lashley was a fantastic main event, Rollins, and Balor vs. MacIntyre and Ziggler was a great TV mid-card tag match. However, the shine of these two matches just barely overshadows stuff like AOP and Titus Worldwide feuding AGAIN, The Strowman segment and Bayley vs. Banks hate/love thing again. This is without mentioning the amazing opening segment though, as WWE used tonight to announce the all Women’s WWE PPV “Evolution”. This episode of RAW will actually be remembered and for good reasons, not like the Lashley’s Sisters episode of RAW. 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s