Sleep well, Bruno. You’ve more than earned it…
In-ring segment – Paul Heyman, Brock Lesnar, & Roman Reigns
It’s pretty hard to believe that Brock is still holding the Universal Title after all this time. He has rendered the title almost completely meaningless. It has zero prestige and we hardly ever see it. I truly don’t know what they’re thinking. Okay, on to the segment. Paul is absolutely brilliant…always. The sky is blue, the clouds are white, and he’s amazing. This is never in dispute and is as reliable the aforementioned comparisons. Heyman is the only thing we still care about. Were it not for him, Lesnar would be a total disaster. I’m out of superlatives for Heyman’s mic skills so I’ll just say that we got exactly what we always get here…and I loved it.
Roman…well, Roman was completely awful. Please understand that I know a lot of this isn’t his fault. The fact that he’s facing Brock again makes zero sense. He already lost multiple times. His claims that he’s “coming home with that title” are tired and unbelievable. Even if he does, I honestly don’t care. Booking has nearly destroyed Roman’s credibility and I don’t know how he gets out of it. Roman weighed down this grade, of course, but again, it’s really his booking. He’s doing all he can.
Bobby Roode vs. Elias
No song. My evening was somehow incomplete without it. Alas, on to the match. Both of these guys can go and they did here. I also love that Elias won it. He didn’t take it in a dirty way either so I’m not sure where this leads. Don’t think it hurts Roode; just not sure where it goes.
Backstage segment – “Woken” Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt
I LOVE them together. They have a real chemistry and it’s beyond fun. I hope they never break up.
The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor) vs. Deleter of Worlds (Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt)
When Matt was complimenting Viktor’s athletic ability, Viktor’s response was just perfect. “Me? You really like me?” I died! The Ascension were never given a chance and I doubt that changes any time soon. Worse yet, they’ve been split from Breezango so I have no idea where they go from here. This was a decent match and it told the story it was supposed to tell. Not much more to say about it. That the Ascension can do that and still be essentially forgotten about completely confuses me.
In-ring segment – The Sami & Kevin Show w/ Kurt Angle
I keep saying it but it’s true. Sami has benefitted so much from this heel turn. It’s almost hard to remember that he was a face. SAM mentioned in the DD how cool the podcast set was and I totally agree. Dre isn’t feeling Kevin needing to be with someone all the time. We went back and forth about it a bit. I absolutely love Sami & Kevin together but Dre feels differently. Sound off below and let us know how you feel about them together.
The beach chair absolutely destroyed. I did a lot of laughing as you can tell. This segment was completely golden. Kurt rose to the challenge too. When Owens and Zayn went to the kids thing, I was on the floor.
Backstage segment – Seth Rollins, Bo Dallas, & Curtis Axel
Poor Bo and Curtis…men without a country and all. Seth was merciless on them and it was fun. This is likely going to be the shape of things for them for a bit and I like it.
Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre vs. Titus Worldwide (Titus O’Neil & Apollo) (w/ Dana Brooke)
Apollo and Titus deserve so much more than they’ve gotten. Both are very talented and with Titus as the mouthpiece, things should be much further along. No clue why it’s not. Sadly here, they were fish food. They jobbed here and fairly hard.
In ring segment – Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre
Dolph was great and Drew did well too but the lines he was given to use were dubious at best. When he said, “I’m not what WWE wants”, I actually busted out laughing. Yes, Drew, you are exactly what WWE wants. You are everything it likes. Thankfully, I’m into it too as long as they don’t ram him down my throat.
Backstage segment – Jinder Mahal & Chad Gable
It was going fairly well until Jinder arrived. Even after he got there, it was okay. He was believable…until he started berating Chad. He’s not good at it and it started to fall flat. Then, we got the Verne Troyer comment. That was completely tasteless. The man had just died two days prior. It’s hard to know if it was scripted so I won’t judge that part of it. I will, however, judge the comment. It’s about the worst thing that could be said at that moment. It completely destroyed the segment. I’ll just leave it at that.
Jinder Mahal vs. Chad Gable
Chad is a complete rock star in the ring. Really, few are better. To my eyes, Jinder is hardly the disaster that many here (and elsewhere) say he is. He also seems to be look a bit more human these days which is cool. I even liked Sunil cheap-shotting Gable before the match started. Jinder did perfectly fine here like he always does. Dre actually predicted Jinder’s loss here and we both think that it’s likely that Vince called an “audible”. We’re thinking that when Jinder made that ill-timed comment (if it was an ad-lib), Chad may have been told to go over. I’m going to keep an eye on this and see if what we’re thinking is true or not.
Backstage segment – Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan, & Liv Morgan)
Ruby is great and I’m so glad to be able to write about her here. She nailed what she needed to nail here. Liv was a little less and Sarah is the worst of them.
Cinéma de Cellphone – Samoa Joe
He’s another one who just nails. He’s so polished when he speaks. He’s one of the very best.
Backstage segment – Finn Bálor, Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel
Poor Bo & Curtis. No love from…anyone, really. I’m enjoying seeing this where this might go.
Bobby Lashley & Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
Bobby faces an uphill battle here. He came out to very little reception – especially when compared to Braun. We’re all thinking that Lashley has simply been gone too long. He’s been gone for a little bit over 10 years. That’s a really long time and it’s quite likely the current audience simply doesn’t know who he is. It’s clear that he was supposed be a big deal but he simply isn’t. He’s going to have to make believers out of the WWE Universe as it is now. He’s basically starting over and we’ll see if he can do it successfully. The commentators spent much of this match doing their level best to get him over and he was getting response toward the end but nowhere near the response of Braun.
As for the match, I enjoyed it. It told the story most tag team matches tell with Lashley taking much of the punishment and Strowman getting the “hot tag”. It’ll be interesting to see if Lashley and Braun continue to be a thing in order to get Lashley completely over like they want him to be.
No Way Jose vs. Baron Corbin…kinda
They’ve basically tweaked No Way Jose’s gimmick to be what Adam Rose’s was and we know what a disaster that was. Vince is likely not a fan of this and I’m not really either, honestly. It’s a shame because the worker is pretty incredible. He worked the Indies as Manny Garcia and he was great as a heel.
Baron was pretty good on the mic here too. He ended the match before it could begin. Jose’s timing was all the way off. The pause between Baron’s promo and No Way Jose going to grab the mic was far too long. His entourage went away and as soon as they did, Baron attacked No Way Jose and finished him.
A Moment of Bliss – Alexa Bliss
I loved this! Now she’s the victim. She’s impossible and I love every second of it. They made it look like a PSA and it was genius. I have no words for how good that was. I only wish it were longer.
Seth Rollins & Finn Bálor vs. Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel
Another good match. It showed me that Curtis & Bo could be a very functional team on their own. We’ll have to see if they ever get the chance to become one. Seth and Finn are always a lot of fun together. Seth did a very high-energy dive that I just loved. I’m, by and large, not a fan of them but a few others and him do them well so it’s hard to hate.
Backstage segment – Nia Jax, Ember Moon, Natalya, Sasha Banks, & Bayley
They all said a few things and it was cool but even better was Bayley and Sasha staring at each other for a minute and Bayley walking off. Perfect!
Alexa Bliss, Mickie James, & the Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, & Sarah Logan) vs. Nia Jax, Ember Moon, Natalya, Sasha Banks, & Bayley
Did you ever note that they announce Nia’s weight before she comes out? I never noticed that before and I think it’s really cool that they do that. There’s no reason she should be ashamed of that in the least bit. The standout here was Ember. She’s another one who can do dives and it doesn’t bother me. Sarah went after Natalya’s knee and it set the end up nicely. We also got Mickie showing a heretofore unseen nasty streak and I liked it. She’s done so little since coming back so it’s nice to see her really heel it up. Natalya sold the whole thing like a champ. Nia’s dive, while an effective spot, was pretty terrible. She was afraid of hurting them so she didn’t really go for it. It looked like she jumping into cold water.
Ronda came out to make the save when Mickie was savaging Natalya’s knee. I love that she kicked Ronda’s back when it was turned. Of course, Ronda got in there and decided that she needed her arm adjusted. The match was DQ’d and she helped Natalya to the back. They’re basically telling the story that Ronda and Natalya are best buddies and they’re there for each other, darn it! Translation: Natalya will turn on Ronda; we’ll just have to see when it happens.
Good episode of “Monday Night Raw”. The “Sami & Kevin Show” took the night for me quite easily and the only thing I hated was Jinder’s statement about Verne that may or may not have been planned. Either way, I like the mix of people we’ve got on “Monday Night Raw” now and it’ll be fun watching how they all fair. See you next week for another “Spot of Botch”!