Michael Cole tells us that Booker T is on commentary instead of Coach this week because “Coach is on assignment.” Okay… where? Doing what? If he’s working on some sort of cool project right now then tell me about it so I can be excited for it.
OPENING SEGMENT- anticlimactic
Heyman cut a long promo on behalf of Brock. It was fine. Roman came out and Cole pushed the idea that his match with Brock in Saudi Arabia is “must-win” for him. Why? He just lost a title match at WrestleMania and was then immediately given this title shot without doing a single thing to earn it, so why should we think the company won’t just give him another one if he loses?
Roman vows to win the title. Then he walks off with nothing in any way interesting transpiring between him and Brock. The crowd sounds suspiciously Roman-friendly. They’re not loudly cheering for him, but there is very little booing, either.
BOBBY ROODE vs. “THE DRIFTER” ELIAS SAMPSON- 4.75/10
Roode’s music interrupted The Drifter almost immediately… and I find myself getting angry at Roode because The Drifter’s stuff is entertaining and now I’m not getting to hear it because Roode interrupted him. One Year Ago BRM must think this is Bizarro World.
The match was… fine. The Drifter won by cheating.
MATT HARDY & BRAY WYATT PROMO- I really hope that one of the rumored “additional tiers” coming to the WWE Network is includes an option to watch a version of the shows that edits this sh*t off.
MATT HARDY & BRAY WYATT vs. THE ASCENSION- 3.75/10
Apparently Matt & Bray’s official tag team name is “The Del-Eater of Worlds.” You people wanted your stupid Broken Hardy’s bullsh*t so badly and now you’ve got this. I hope you’re all miserable. The Ascension got some heat on Matt Hardy, which I think is the most offense they’ve gotten on WWE since being called up to the main roster. Matt & Bray won, and then WWE showed me a graphic hyping up in which they will face off against two guys who just got drafted to Smackdown to determine who will be crowned WWE Raw Tag Team Champions. Hmmm… I wonder who is going to win that match?
Michael Cole casually mentions in passing that tonight is Raw #1,300. You’d think the branding and hype-obsessed lunatics in Titan Towers would have tried to build this up in some way but apparently not.
THE KEVIN & SAMI SHOW WITH SPECIAL GUEST KURT ANGLE-
Their “set” is a table with two microphones and an easel with pictures of them beating Shane McMahon up. I heavily approve.
They bring out Kurt and make fun of him. They push the idea that Steph hates him for f*cking up the Ronda thing. They once again went back to the idea that Kurt “really needs this job” to feed his kids, which was, of course, something they pushed to set up that segment where Kurt apologized and told Ronda he was lying, and then Hunter punched Kurt in the head for no reason. As Kurt reminded us, the Ronda thing didn’t go the way Steph wanted (Kurt was positively giddy about Ronda’s totally unprovoked assault on Steph on Raw two weeks ago, like a total asshole) then why hasn’t Steph fired Kurt yet? Kurt announced that he, Bryan, and Jericho would all be in the Greatest Royal Rumble Match to get their revenge on Owens and/or Zayn. I can’t help but notice that Shane McMahon isn’t on that list. I guess he’s too much of a coward. Kurt also announces that Owens & Zayn will face the team of Braun Strowman & Bobby Lashley tonight.
BO DALLAS, CURTIS AXEL, & SETH ROLLINS BACKSTAGE- The former Miz-tourage are wearing Monday Night Rollins t-shirts and are shopping themselves as his new lackeys (and the new Shield). Rollins turns them down.
They announced a ten-woman tag as the main event. I liked that they took the time to justify this being the main event by portraying it as a mirror to the men’s ten-man tag team match that main evented last week’s show. It gives us a reason for why this random ten-woman tag in which a chunk of the involved talent don’t really feel like they are main event acts right now (Riott Squad, Mickie, and arguably Nattie) is being put in the main event. Now all they need to do is give these ladies the time to actually deliver a main event quality match.
DREW MCINTYRE & DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. TITUS WORLDWIDE (w/Dana Brooke)- no rating, GREAT squash
Did Dana lose a bet or something that she has to now wear these ridiculous outfits on TV?
They’ve added these awesome war drums to McIntyre’s music. Then that cut out for the record scratch that leads into Dolph’s music and it completely killed the mood. Can Dolph just use Drew’s music when they team together? Please?
Dolph was definitely angrier during the match, too. Hopefully WWE realizes that his music no longer fits him.
CHARLY CARUSO INTERVIEWS DOLPH ZIGGLER & DREW MCINTYRE- AWESOME!
Dolph was good here but Drew was FANTASTIC! He also looked like a complete and total giant standing about three heads taller than Charly. Charly, for her part, looked quite smitten with Drew.
CHAD GABLE, KURT ANGLE, & JINDER MAHAL BACKSTAGE- good
Kurt says he brought Chad Gable to Raw to be a singles wrestler instead of to tag with Jason Jordan. That’s another reason Kurt should be fired. Jinder showed up and vowed to regain the US Title at Greatest Royal Rumble. He, too, looked like a giant, though I think that was more due to tricks of perspective (I know he’s a lot taller than Gable, but Gable seemed a lot taller than Kurt here, too, and Kurt seemed to slink into the background). Jinder was a douche to Jason Jordan, who responded by shoving him, so Kurt ordered them to go out to the ring and have a match right now.
CHAD GABLE vs. JINDER MAHAL (w/Sunil Singh)- 5.75/10
Jinder jumped the bell on Gable after Sunil caused a distraction. This set up for Gable to be the underdog throughout the match but he managed to counter the Khallas into a pin with the Bret/Austin Survivor Series finish. I popped HUGE for Gable getting this surprising win.
RENEE YOUNG INTERIVEWS THE RIOTT SQUAD- Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan were fine but Ruby Riott was F*CKING AWESOME!
SAMOA JOE PROMO- this was a phone promo, which did not look good at all. Joe’s promo was good, but I have to ask why they had to play this on Raw- a show whose roster Joe is now longer a part of- rather than just letting Joe cut this promo on Smackdown. If you wanted words from Joe so badly on this show, why not just replay his promo from Smackdown?
BO DALLAS, CURTIS AXEL, & FINN BALOR BACKSTAGE- Same as the Rollins segment. Once was fine; now this is getting grating.
Owens & Zayn vs. Braun & Lashley is up next. My assumption is that Lashley is turning on Braun here.
KEVIN OWENS & SAMI ZAYN vs. BRAUN STROWMAN & BOBBY LASHLEY- 6.5/10
Or not. Maybe Owens & Zayn will just get destroyed. Angry Braun running wild was AWESOME!
BARON CORBIN vs. NO WAY JOSE (w/the Jose-buds)- no rating, bad segment.
Corbin claimed to that he could see through Jose’s “plan” to have his pals in the conga line jump him from behind. Corbin refused to wrestle unless they left ringside. Jose was fine with not wrestling and started to conga himself and his pals to the back but Corbin came out and jumped him. No one came out to help Jose. Not even referees. Corbin gave Jose a chokebreaker.
“A MOMENT OF BLISS” PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT- wonderful
Alexa Bliss! implores us all to not “be a silent accomplice” to bullying. She then related a story in which she and Nia were walking along the street and eating and came across a starving homeless woman. Alexa said that she gave the woman the rest of her burrito bowl but Nia snatched the food away from the homeless woman ate it in front of her, and laughed at her. “And I did nothing. And I will have to live with that for rest of my life.” An excellent heel promo. Alexa was on the verge of tears the whole time, and then finished up by imploring Sasha, Bayley, and Ember to not let the bully, Nia Jax, win tonight. If they did that then Alexa could finisher her off at Backlash and win back the Raw Women’s Title, taking a stand against bullying. Alexa is the best.
BO DALLAS & CURTIS AXEL vs. SETH ROLLINS & FINN BALOR- 4.25/10
Axel & Bo came out to Miz’s music and were still billed as “the Miz-tourage.” Bo & Axel lost clean. Shocking, I know.
During this match Corey Graves said that if Miz won the Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Title at Greatest Royal Rumble then he would take the belt with him to Smackdown, but Michael Cole jumped in and told Corey that “we haven’t received clarification” on what would happen. HOW THE F*CK DO THEY NOT HAVE AN ANSWER FOR THIS?! You have a show in FOUR DAYS that has THREE DIFFERENT TITLE MATCHES BETWEEN WRESTLERS ON DIFFERENT BRANDS (and that’s not even counting Backlash). How to you even sign a match like this without coming up with an answer to this question?!
BABYFACE WOMAN BACKSTAGE- painful to watch.
Sasha and Bayley had an awkward interaction after everyone else left.
NIA JAX, EMBER MOON, SASHA BANKS, NATALYA, & BAYLEY vs. THE RIOTT SQUAD, ALEXA BLISS!, & MICKIE JAMES- 6.5/10
Heels all came out to the Riott Squad’s music, which is totally out of character. The babyfaces each got their own entrance. The match went on for about fifteen minutes and was building fine. Then they did a spot where Nia got to dive onto all of the other women, which caused Nattie to become injured. Mickie James went to beat up the injured Nattie, while the other eight women magically disappeared so that all of the attention could be on Ronda coming out to save Nattie. Mickie attacked Ronda from behind but got put in an armbar. I assume this was a DQ but I never heard a finish officially announced, because it’s not like who won the main event is important or anything. But gosh darn it WWE sure did a noble and progressive thing here by giving the main event spot to
A very weak episode of Raw in the ring, but like with Smackdown over the past few weeks, I did find myself enjoying most of it (although not as much as Smackdown). I’m very eager for both the Greastest Royal Rumble and Backlash to be over with so that we can finally start doing some new things with this newly shaken-up roster.
STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES:
1. Michael Cole- “The rather zany Sami Zayn.”
He actually said this. It was bad enough that Graves even called him on it right there, at which point Cole defended this remark by saying that Zayn is “zany” because he defies authority, so I guess Cole just doesn’t know what the world “zany” means.