Hey, kids. It’s the Botching One with another “Spot”. No Coach = Happy Botch. Instead, we got David Otunga. I never thought I’d say this but he is a DRASTIC improvement over Coach and I wish he were there all the time. Okay, on with the show…
In-ring segment – Elias, Seth Rollins, Jinder Mahal, Roman Reigns, & Kurt Angle
He really is one of the best heels WWE has right now and he’s completely unique. He’ll play to the audience and then when they’re not quite ready, he’ll eat them…and they love every minute of it. This whole thing was, of course, done to set up a match that evening.
Elias & Jinder Mahal vs. Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns
This wasn’t bad. Seth will never be involved in a bad match. I really liked how they got to Elias DDT of Seth on the chair. That was really well orchestrated. Jinder should take note. That’s what it looks like when people are where they’re supposed to be to take moves. Jinder? He wasn’t bad here either, honestly. He makes stupid mistakes but he’s nowhere near as bad in the ring as many say he is. He’s no Seth Rollins but he holds his own. I even like the outcome and wouldn’t be mad if Elias walked out the IC champ.
Curt Hawkins vs. James Harden (Baron Corbin interference)
Poor Curt. He cut a promo and two people cared. The only chant he got was for the tacos. Had they not been there, it wouldn’t have mattered at all. It makes sense too. He’s pretty boring on the mic. This was just a twist to the tired “Curt Hawkins losing streak” storyline. Baron’s interference was kinda fun but that’s it, really.
My only question is…why did the Guacamole have to suffer for this?
Nia Jax vs. Natalya (w/ Ronda Rousey on commentary)
Nia and Natalya can go quite convincingly so the match was certainly going to be good. As for Nattie’s injury, she sold it really well and it added a wrinkle to the story. My issue is that I can’t tell where it’s going. Is Nia heel or is she face. The lines were completely blurred here as Nia came off very face at the end of the match. Were she heel, she wouldn’t have cared one way or the other about hurting Nattie. The end segment was sold almost completely by Nia’s expressive face.
Ronda was as she was last week – utterly boring. I have no clue whey they keep putting her in this position. The insipid “ripe for the picking joke” was bad enough the first time. That she felt the need to repeat it just sounded desperate. She was just so glib and short in her answers for the most part. This was, by far, the worst part of the match and I mostly forgot she was there. She took the grade down for the match for sure.
Backstage segment – Bobby Roode
Bobby has done nearly nothing since his call-up. His US Title run meant nothing and he, as a whole, has meant nothing. The man is completely stuck and I really don’t care what he does at this point. The promo said all the right things but yeah…
Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Roode
Bobby’s fish food here. He did get in a little offense so that was nice. The “notable” spot in this match was Braun breaking the ladder in half. It was completely silly but it told a story. Like Braun couldn’t have just moved the ladder to get to Bobby. Bobby’s face was great but the match itself went exactly as you think it’d go.
Backstage segment – Kevin Owens
Of course, he nailed this. He always does. He gets so frazzled and it’s fun to watch.
Backstage segment – Natalya & Ronda Rousey
This was a mess. Nia did what she could. Nattie did too. Ronda is painfully one-note. She needs to her deal with her weaknesses as quickly as possible.
In-ring segment – Deleter of Worlds (Woken Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt)
Deleter of Worlds have been pretty disappointing, honestly. After the Ultimate Deletion, there were many fun avenues they could have travelled down. This was not one of them. They’ve slightly changed Bray but that’s it. Woken Matt has become quite one-dimensional. He’s back to a silly laugh and exclamations of “WONDAHFUL!!!” & “DELETE!”. This whole thing feels stale at this point and it’s proof that WWE has no clue what to do with any of this. The gonzo-ness of the Woken Matt is completely gone now and Bray isn’t that interesting in this dynamic either.
Backstage segment – Kurt Angle & Baron Corbin
“The Constable”. Oh my. Normally, I’d hate this but Corbin was just so slimy in the way he read the letter and he enjoyed Kurt’s reaction greatly. This was really fun. Let’s see how well Corbin pulls off the “thorn in Kurt’s side” thing.
Tag Team Battle Royal: The Ascension, Titus Worldwide, Breezango, The B Team, The Revival, Heath Slater & Rhyno, Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre
Ah, the Bathroom Break of the evening (I didn’t realize there were so many). The only real shock was how quickly Ziggler & McIntyre were eliminated. They stuck around to wreak a little more havoc but they were pretty much a footnote.
All of us in the DD were hoping the B Team would win…and they did! Good for them! I could not be happier. We were all so sure they’d be buried without the Miz and that’s not happening. They’ve even got a shirt! Don’t believe me? Check it out (here)
In-ring segment – Bobby Lashley & Sami Zayn
Speaks for itself, really. This is yet another segment where Sami moves both heaven and earth to make a segment work and Lashley contributes nothing. Sami’s promo was an absolute riot and, as usual, Lashley was completely lost. He had so few lines and he botched most of them. They went to the “were you even in the military?” thing to change the rhythm and that did work but too much damage has been done here. ‘Course, as soon as the segment was over, Lashley was all smiles again as he exited the ring. Their upcoming match at “Money in the Bank” is meaningless to me and I couldn’t be less invested. I also can’t wait for it to be over so Sami can move on to something that matters.
Backstage segment – Jinder Mahal (w/ Sunil Singh) & Roman Reigns
This wasn’t half bad. It got the job done and this made a fair amount of sense. Roman and Jinder were both convincing here. Hey, at least this feud makes some sense.
Alexa Bliss, Sasha Banks, & Ember Moon vs. The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, & Sarah Logan)
Ember and Ruby are the fantastic flavors of the moment, Sasha & Alexa are amazing, and Liv and Sarah were there too. I enjoyed cowardly Alexa faux injuring her knee and begging off to go to to the back.
Bayley came out to rescue Sasha from the peril she found herself in, got involved in the match, and got the pin.
Backstage segment – Baron Corbin & Kurt Angle
I kinda like Corbin in this role. Funnier than I thought he’d be. He took great pleasure in reminding Kurt that Steph made him the Constable. I like where this is going.
Backstage segment – Ember Moon, Sasha Banks, & Bayley
This was wasn’t bad…until the end. It’s like WWE is afraid to pull the trigger on this Bayley/Sasha feud. It’s taken forever for them to get to the point and just do it.
Team Texas Special Olympics segment w/ Big Show
Things like this are what separate WWE from every other promotion out there. They have the ability to speak loudly and be heard. When it’s about the right things, it’s really beautiful. This was totally the right thing. Big Show was enjoying this too. The best part was when Finn Bálor had the Special Olympians do his entrance with him. Fantastic segment.
Finn Bálor vs. Kevin Owens
Of course, this had the makings of an very good match and that’s what we got. We even got some arm work a la the Minnesota Wrecking Crew. It’s rare that happens on TV where they are forced to move so quickly but we got it here. Kevin did it well and Finn sold it perfectly. The outcome made sense to sell Kevin’s anger. The further abuse did it too. Owens does one heck of a frog splash.
Owens sold his fear of heights on the ladder really well too. That Sami was willing to do what Kevin wasn’t made things rather interesting.
This was a very up and down episode of “Monday Night Raw”. It had very good and it had very, very bad. I can’t wait for the Zayn/Lashley feud to finally be blown off. That was the very worst thing. Here’s hoping next week is better. See you next week for another “Spot”!