Hey, kids. It’s the Botching One ready for another episode of “Monday Night Raw”. This is where they really start putting “Extreme Rules” together. As you’ll see, they did a pretty decent job in that regard. Let’s get into the action, shall we?
In-ring segment – Kurt Angle, Constable Corbin, Roman Reigns, Bobby Lashley, & The Revival (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson)
I love Corbin this way. I know not everyone does but I definitely do. It forces so much more personality out of him instead of just being big, bad guy wearing black. Bobby has been nearly useless since his debut. His feud with Sami was one of the worst I can think of in recent memory and Roman just isn’t liked. I’m guessing the plan is to put them both together and see what happens. This was actually pretty good. Both of them really brought it here. I’m not sure I’ve seen this much fire from Lashley before and I liked it. When he wasn’t speaking, he remained involved by reacting. Roman did too. They have decent chemistry together and the segment was enjoyable.
The Revival does all the right thing and they say all the right things. They just don’t really connect. I think they just need to do something more dastardly. They’re too vanilla to be heels and not congenial enough to be faces. They seem to be aimed as heel so they need to do something truly awful to be hated. At this point, they’re just kinda…there.
Roman Reigns & Bobby Lashley vs. The Revival (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson)
This was pretty good! All four of these guys know how to tell stories in there. Better yet, Lashley’s hot tag got a nice pop from the audience. Heck, everything he did in there got decent pop. Maybe he’s finally getting over. He’s going to have to if he’s going to be enough to face Lesnar. The Revival’s win likely means nothing. The story here is only about Reigns & Lashley’s discord. The story is that Lashley has more experience and that
Backstage segment – Deleter of Worlds (Woken Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt)
I really want to like them together and, at first, I did. At this point, they’re getting stale. They did what they always do here. I was hoping this would make both of them weirder and it did for a minute or two but they aren’t doing enough. It’s just diluted them both and added some comedy to it.
Backstage segment – The B-Team
Curtis and Bo are an absolute riot. I loved Bo coughing because of the smoke. How Matt & Bray stood in the ring and didn’t cry from laughter is entirely beyond me. I couldn’t be happier that Bo & Curtis are really getting a shot. Better still is that they’ve gone into overdrive and are making the very best of it. Good for them!
Curtis Axel (w/ Bo Dallas) vs. Woken Matt Hardy
Well, this was quick. The point is that Axel wins so that it looks more like the B-Team has a chance. I would have liked a longer match but this did its job. The bit at the end with Bray & Matt applauding them was pretty funny too.
Backstage segment – Titus Worldwide & Authors of Pain
Okay, so I get now why AOP are on their own. They didn’t talk much here but it’s clear that they can and they were doing the “no talking” thing to sell a bit more menace on NXT.
Backstage segment – Kurt Angle, Alicia Fox, & Bayley
Why does Bayley not get it? We need EMOTION! Give me SOMETHING! She did it last week but here, she was completely boring. Dial it up, Bayley (like she’ll ever read this…LOL!!)
Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar) vs. Rich & Rex Gibson
Jobber match. That’s how we’re gonna introduce them. Okay. This was over in less than a minute. It also introduced Titus Worldwide as their first feud. They’re slowly building and Titus Worldwide will, of course, go under to them quickly and they’ll move on.
Backstage segment – Kurt Angle, Baron Corbin, Finn Bálor, & Braun Strowman
Oh, that was good. Baron wearing the Friday’s vest. I totally see it! This sets up a fun tag-team too. Fun segment
In-ring segment – Alexa Bliss, Mickie James, Natalya, & Nia Jax
Again, with Mickie. I didn’t miss it and I hate that this is a thing again. She’s definitely not old (I know old…she’s not old) but she’s playing a character that should be in her early 20’s. She’s also too over-the-top. She’s having to work at something that Alexa is so effortless with. Alexa is incredible on the mic. Always is. Better yet, she will not be shaken. The crowd was doing “what?” to her and she couldn’t have cared less. She sailed through it like the pro she is. They were really letting her have it too. She just used the venom and turned it right back around on them. Nattie came out and read a script. I know they’re all scripted but Nattie felt far more so than Alexa.
Alexa Bliss vs. Natalya
Both of these ladies can work and this was a good match for sure. What I don’t understand is why Alexa tapped so quickly and WHY SHE LOST?? She holds the belt! There wasn’t even really that dirty of a finish. The outcome is just awful!
Backstage segment – Seth Rollins
Relatively short but sweet. He told the story. He’s had seven days and he’s gonna get back his title, gosh darn it!
Jinder Mahal, Sunil Singh, & The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, & Sarah Logan)
This new approach for the Riott Squad is totally awful. They wreck things because, you know, they Riott!…and stuff.
Ember Moon, Bayley & Sasha Banks vs. The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, & Sarah Logan)
Nice story told here. Ember Moon has to be the conduit between Bayley & Sasha because they no longer like each other. Then, we got the real story from this match.
When Sasha got pinned, Bayley went nuts and attacked her. She was merciless. The crowd continued to cheer her throughout this. It appears Bayley has turned heel. She also went “potty mouth” for a second there. While I’m not much for that, she was feeling it and that’s good. This is kinda what I was hoping for and I’m hopeful that Bayley can pull it off. It’s nice that they’re finally moving on this. It took long enough. Here goes nothing, right?
Backstage segment – Kurt Angle & Kevin Owens
Kurt had a little fun with Kevin and I loved every second of it.
No Way Jose vs. Mojo Rawley
No Way’s entrance is always fun so I can try to play “Spot the Indie Worker”. I didn’t see anybody I recognized here but maybe you did? NWA runs out there so I’m surprised I didn’t see anyone I recognized. As much as we complain about Mitch murdering WWE at nearly ever turn, he’s right in that there is more to wrestling than WWE. Great indie work can be found on YouTube and I’d urge anyone to give it a look. I watch Beyond Wrestling, AML, CZW dojo, and others too. Some of these promotions have streaming sites a la WWE Network. You give them a little every month and you have access to all their stuff. It’s a great time to be a wrestling fan because there’s so much out there…and there’s room for all of it. Okay, this a “Raw” blog so I’ll stop but I just had to get that in there.
Mojo is so much better than he’s ever been given credit for (No Way Jose is too). He’s really solid on the mic and he told truth too. Poor Todd. He got “Todd” chants too. The WWE audience is truly undefeated. Todd was a rock star here….really. He really played the bullied guy well. Like…really well. No Way Jose deserves better than this too. Hopefully, this will turn into a real feud at some point. They both deserve it.
Backstage segment – Bayley & Kurt Angle
Counseling? Really? Okay… Once again, Bayley wasn’t enough here. She tried – that’s clear. She just didn’t pull it off.
Braun Strowman & Kevin Owens vs. Finn Bálor & Baron Corbin
How cool was this? Kevin can’t quite believe he’s teaming with Braun and it was hilarious. Watching Kevin absolute CREAM Finn with the running Strowman attack outside of the ring was great. How he recovered from it so quickly is anyone’s guess, really. The end of the match was fun too. Strowman was STILL not friends with Kevin – even after their count-out victory. After the match, Strowman decided to go after him. Not sure why but it was funny. Here’s a clip that WWE posted on YouTube to show what happened after Braun couldn’t find Kevin in the training room he hid in:
Again, I’m not sure why this is happening but I think I like it.
Dolph Ziggler (w/ Drew McIntyre) vs. Seth Rollins
Glad they gave them time to really do this. Both of these guys can work their faces off and this was a really good match. They also have really good chemistry. I love that Rollin’s sling blade looks totally different from Finn’s. Of course, Ziggler’s a heel and McIntyre doesn’t loiter so he had to get involved to make sure Ziggler kept the title. Word is that they want Rollins in the main event again so this makes sense. Reigns came down to make the save so we’ll see if this means anything more long term.
Overall, a really good episode of “Raw”. I’m so glad they have been decisively moving on the Bayley/Sasha storyline after a very long time of little or nothing. It’s also nice to see the Authors of Pain off and running. We know how their first feud will end but I’m glad they finally have one.