Kurt Angle comes out and tries to give this big grand speech about Money in the Bank and the wrestlers doing everything from the fans and how the matches are “going to kick butt,” and between all of the atrocious WWE scripting and his own “Authority Figure Kurt Angle” voice where he sounds like a kid in a high school play who went to one acting workshop and is trying way too hard, this whole thing comes off SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO f*cking phony.
Tonight we are going to have two MITB qualifiers, one of each MITB match. One qualifier will be Roman vs. Balor vs. Zayn, while another will be Ember Moon vs. Sasha Banks vs. Ruby Riott. Braun Strowman came out and told a story about how he was unhappy that the other boys in the neighborhood had not asked young Braun to help them build a treehouse, then used to talk incessantly about how cool their treehouse was and do their stupid secret handshake that you needed to get into the treehouse, so young Braun waited until they were all inside the treehouse and then KNOCKED OVER THE ENTIRE TREE.
Kurt concedes that Braun has “been on a roll lately” and thus deserves a chance at Money in the Bank. Dude… how about giving Braun a Universal Title shot? You yourself just pointed that he won a fifty-person Royal Rumble. If winning a thirty-person Royal Rumble gets you a world title shot on the biggest show of the year, then surely Braun has at least earn that much via winning a much larger one, right?
Kevin Owens comes out and claims that he deserves to be in the MITB match. He claims that the legal man wasn’t pinned when he and Sami lost to Braun and Lashley last night and that somehow this means that he and Sami really won and thus Braun lost. This promo then devolved to the point where it ended with Owens claiming that Braun should be “put in time out for being a very, very bad monster” and yelling “BAD MONSTER!” at Strowman. I’m already seriously considering shutting the show off.
Kurt says that he’ll book Owens vs. Strowman in an MITB qualifier for right now. So we have Braun Strowman, who has won a sh*t-ton of matches recently, taking on Kevin Owens, who has not won a single match (INCLUDING AT HOUSE SHOWS!) since February 20th. It’s frustrating enough that wins and losses don’t mean anything in this company, but it’s even more annoying when they point out that someone has won a bunch of matches recently and therefore has earned an opportunity, and then immediately give that same opportunity to someone who hasn’t done sh*t.
MONEY IN THE BANK QUALIFYING MATCH: Kevin Owens vs. Braun Strowman- 4/10
In the middle of this match they cut to the ladders they have decorating the stage because of MITB so that when Michael Cole told us about the MITB match we would also be looking at a ladder… just in case someone didn’t know what a ladder was, I guess.
The match was meh. They did the “Strowman runs Owens over on the outside” spot three times in a row. WAY too much. They shouldn’t even be doing it in every single match because it starts to feel forced. Braun stepped on Owens on his way out of the ring, like a total dick.
MIKE ROME INTERVIEWS ROMAN REIGNS- he talks about “backstage politics” and “WWE management” being against him. Oh come on.
The sad part is that if it wasn’t for this bit, Roman’s promo would have actually been pretty good. He feels screwed by management after the botched call on the finish of the cage match (he’s not wrong, and it’s quite frankly ridiculous that management has acknowledged that there was a screw-up by the referee and that Roman should be the rightful champion but haven’t booked a rematch yet), so he wants to win MITB and thus he will be the one in control of his own destiny because he won’t need management to give him a title shot. Makes perfect sense.
BAYLEY SELFIE PROMO- she started it off by saying “being that I’m a hugger” so I hit the fast-forward button.
BREEZANGO SELIFIE PROMO- Apparently the comedy jobber losers are going to be in an MITB Qualifier at some point. So by the beginning of tonight’s show Kurt and Steph had determined that these two deserved to be in an MITB qualifier, but not Braun Strowman.
KURT ANGLE, GOLDUST, & JINDER MAHAL BACKSTAGE- bad
Goldust says he wants to be in the MITB match. Jinder shows up and demands to know why he isn’t in an MITB qualifier. Kurt yells at him and says that he hasn’t earned an MITB qualifier because he hasn’t won a single match since coming to Raw. Do you know who else hasn’t won a single match since coming to Raw? Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, and both of them have been booked in MITB qualifiers, so why is Kurt yelling at Jinder?
BARON CORBIN & THE REVIVIAL vs. NO WAY JOSE & TITUS WORLDWIDE (w/Dana Brooke)- 3/10
Corbin pins No Way Jose clean, which means that The Revival were on the winning side, so at least there’s that to be happy about.
MONEY IN THE BANK QUALIFYING MATCH: Ember Moon vs. Sasha Banks vs. Ruby Riott (w/the Riott Squad)- 6.75/10
Sasha Banks points at the
TABLE FOR 3 COMMERCIALS- they’ve got one with Lita, Trish, and Alexa Bliss!, which can only be good news for Alexa if they’re willing to put her with the two modern legends of women’s wrestling in WWE. There is also one with Jeff Jarrett, Road Dogg, and The Drifter, which I really, truly hope results in some sort of angle.
CHARLY CARUSO INTERVIEWS EMBER MOON ABOUT HER WIN- good, except for their obsession with having her use the word “rise.”
BOBBY LASHLEY VIDEO PACKAGE- good
They said that Lashley “reached the pinnacle of achievement by headlining WrestleMania” and showed one moment Lashley’s entrance from that match, and gave no other details and had no other clips. That was probably the right move (well… actually it would have been better to just not mention it at all).
RENEE YOUNG’S SIT-DOWN INTERVIEW WITH BOBBY LASHLEY- very uncomfortable
He started off with some moderately disturbing stories about his sisters abusing him and him being mean to two of them in response. Then he said that the WWE Universe is his new extended family. Then he told his sisters he loved them. This was very awkward.
KEVIN OWENS & SAMI ZAYN BACKSTAGE- meh.
They bicker and also apologize to each other. Zayn tries to convince Owens to help him in his match tonight but it is left ambiguous.
CHAD GABLE vs. JINDER MAHAL (w/Sunil Singh)- 5.25/10
Jinder gets his win back. After the match Sunil Singh got in Gable’s face. Gable went after him but Jinder then beat Gable up.
ALEXA BLISS! SELFIE PROMO- she is getting an MITB qualifier at some point.
ASCENSION SELFIE PROMO- the fact that I had to type the words “Ascension” and “selfie” right next to each other are problematic enough. Then there’s the fact that these losers are apparently going to be in an MITB qualifier.
KURT ANGLE, ZACK RYDER, & JINDER MAHAL BACKSTAGE- dull
Zack wants in MITB. Jinder asks to be put in tonight’s qualifier. Kurt steals Ryder’s catchphrase to tell Jinder no.
DREW MCINTYRE & DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. HEATH SLATER & RHYNO- good squash
Everything about Ziggler’s entrance does not fit with McIntyre’s character. It’s painful to watch McIntyre try to be McIntyre while Dolph is doing his shtick and Dolph’s music is playing.
The announcers are now telling us that it was Dolph Ziggler who asked Drew McIntyre to come to Raw. Does Dolph have the power to call people up?
The winner of this year’s Irony Award goes to tonight’s “Superstars who could have used a save” feature, which showed a clip from the Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia and was brought to us by Progressive (car insurance).
THE DRIFTER SINGS- The Drifter was insulting the New York Islanders and Bobby Roode interrupted him, which means that The Drifter must be the babyface and therefore Roode the heel.
BOBBY ROODE vs. “THE DRIFTER” ELIAS SAMPSON- 6/10
They did some stuff and Roode’s back got worked over. They did a spot that played off of last week’s finish but Roode avoided it and was able to come back and hit the Glorious DDT for the win.
CHARLY CARUSO INTERVIEWS BOBBY ROODE- He hopes Kurt was impressed enough by his win to put him in an MITB qualifier.
SETH ROLLINS PROMO- Now he’s doing the open challenge gimmick. How about instead of doing this gimmick for years on end you guys learn how to actually build up a worthy challenger for your secondary male singles title?
This open challenge was answered by Mojo Rawley, who cut a passable promo on Seth.
WWE INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH: Seth Rollins(c) vs. Mojo Rawley- 6.5/10
Mojo is getting better. I enjoy the fact that he is wrestling in a way that feels like what a football player would do if you put him in a wrestling ring.
FINN BALOR PROMO- meh
BO DALLAS & CURIS AXEL PROMO- dull
BO DALLAS & CURTIS AXEL vs. MATT HARDY & BRAY WYATT- 1/10
Corey Gravers compared Bo & Axel to a “Sherman Tank with a Ferrari engine,” which was a line that Husky Harris used to use when he was on season 2 of NXT. Whatever happened to that guy, anyway?
Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt’s entrance is the same “one guy’s theme plays, then gets interrupted by the other’s” that both Sheamus & Cesaro and McIntyre & Ziggler are using. How about coming up with some entrance music for the actual team?
Matt & Bray won with a double Sister Abigail.
NATALYA SELFIE PROMO- decent
BARON CORBIN SELFIE PROMO- a passable promo, but he needs to learn how to HOLD THE F*CKING PHONE STILL!
MONEY IN THE BANK QUALIFYING MATCH: Roman Reigns vs. Sami Zayn vs. Finn Balor- 7/10
The crowd hated Roman. The match was pretty great and very well put-together. The finish saw Roman about to win but Jinder tripped him up. Zayn hit Roman with a Helluva Kick but Balor then hit Zayn with the shotgun knees and the Coup de Grace for the win, advancing three storylines all at the same time. Excellent.
This was a very focused episode of Raw, but I think they took it too far and it hit the point of monotony. Also, most of the show wasn’t good.