In-ring segment – Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, & Triple H
There has been a lot of speculation about what this announcement would be but it turns out that it was to announce the very first women-only pay-per-view: Evolution. The whole thing was done so well. Well-written and well-executed. That part of this doesn’t matter, though. What matters is that this is finally happening. The women of this industry are now no longer a novelty. They are a primary focus. They are now bonafide show-stealers and it’s about time. There are no words. They’re going to kill this and I can’t wait to see it.
Backstage segment – The B-Team (Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel)
You could feel the hyper-scripting at the beginning. You can just hear them saying “say something about Evolution”. When that ended, this became fun. I couldn’t be happier for Dallas & Axel and both have shown so much personality.
Stage segment – Elias
It out! His album is out! We reviewed it on the site too so go take a look. The interruption was perfect! It wouldn’t be the last.
Deleter of Worlds (“Woken” Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt) vs. The B-Team (Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel)
It’s always been fun to see Bo Dallas & Bray Wyatt (obviously brothers) work the ring together. They do not take it easy on each other and that’s fun too. The B-Team’s tag team triumph has been spectacular and it’s right that it continues. The Deleter of Worlds has largely been a bust with very few memorable moments. It feels like the writers don’t know what to do with it so they do almost nothing. It was fun at the very beginning but now, I really don’t even care. They’ve made Matt & Bray pretty vanilla. I’m not sure where Deleter of Worlds goes from here. They seem intent on keeping this going but I’m not sure how it’s supposed to keep our interest. WWE will also need to think about pulling the breaks on “unexpected win” thing they’ve been doing with B-Team if they expect to make them a legitimate team. That aspect of them will start to get old sooner than later.
Backstage segment – Finn Bálor, Chad Gable, & Constable Baron Corbin
The tiny dressing room. LOL! They played this really well too. Poor Chad. He mattered not here and he matters not otherwise too. He’s totally lost in the shuffle with no end in sight.
Backstage segment – Bayley & Sasha Banks
I don’t even know what to say about this storyline. This feels like an on-screen manifestation of confusion in the writing room. This just gets worse and worse and I can’t see where this is even going anymore. I’m getting whiplash trying to figure it out. Maybe that’s not a bad thing but in this case, it just feels like WWE is confused about how to proceed. It’s also quite likely that WWE is also trying to completely throw us off. We’ll see. So far, so bad.
Sasha Banks & Bayley vs. Samantha Simon & Karen Lundy
Not sure what the point of this was either. I’m glad to see indie ladies get a shot but when they do this, it’s hard to care. This was just meant to reaffirm the “solidarity” between Sasha & Bayley. They’re great friends in real life and it’s palpable. I just wish the storyline wasn’t so completely confused.
Stage segment – Elias
LOL!!! Another interruption. This is perfection!
Braun Strowman, Kevin Owens, Constable Baron Corbin, Jinder Mahal, & Sunil Singh
He’s been quite repetitive about his approach to the Lashley/Reigns thing. I get it. You’re gonna cash in on whoever wins and take the title. If there’s any justice, that’s exactly what’ll happen. Still, he did this really well. I also liked his shout-out to Alexa Bliss.
Kevin came out with an axe to grind and he did it from a very safe distance. As I’ve said before, I have no idea why this feud is a thing but it hasn’t been bad. I love that he evoked his son, Owen, and daughter here. He gave us reason for this continue, even if we don’t know why it started.
Corbin is great in this role. He is so incredulous and arrogant and I love it. He shows so much more personality here and I love it.
Look, kids, a falling star! “The Jinder Experiment” has officially ended and this is undeniable proof of it. He’s become…I don’t know what he’s become…but he’s become it. He’s like a taller Dr. Shelby. Whatever. This gave us a chance to see Braun’s comedy chops and he’s definitely got them. Sunil & Jinder were dispatched of when Braun was done with them. Sadly for Jinder, there’s no chance at 3MB anymore as Drew is doing much better & Heath is on Smackdown Live!
Mickie James vs. Natalya
We already know that both of these ladies can work. It’s just that there was no reason to care much about this. It went on a for a few minutes and then it ended. Of course, Alexa had to get involved. Scarier still was Natalya’s near disastrous fall through the middle rope when she failed to protect herself from going through it. Thankfully, she landed safely.
Backstage segment – Roman Reigns
He tripped a little but this wasn’t bad. I’m writing this knowing the outcome of their match. They needed to rebuild him. I’m just not sure this is how you do it.
Stage segment – Elias
This is amazing! I was hoping for an album release party but this is the next best thing. I’m loving this. He’s been able to say that the album is available multiple times but he’s thus far played nothing from it. Well-played, WWE.
Burger King Commercial – Charlotte Flair, Shinsuke Nakamura, Ron Simmons, and Burger King
Yeah, I’m reviewing it. How fun! Ron Simmons saying his catchphrase while slamming his cards down scared the bejesus out of the poor King. His reaction was priceless…LOL!!
In-ring segment – Titus Worldwide (Titus O’Neill & Apollo Crews w/ Dana Brooke) vs. Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar)
The promo between them was pretty shaky until…are you ready for this?…Apollo started speaking. He’s still slightly hemmed in but this was worlds better than he’s ever been. His delivery was good and he sounded convicted. Good for him! He is why the grade isn’t terrible. The problem? No one cares.
Titus Worldwide has lost to AOP twice now. For whatever reason, they cleared the ring of AOP. I’m not sure why this happened. I guess the feud continues. I just don’t know…why?
Backstage segment – Stephanie McMahon, Kurt Angle, Kevin Owens, & Constable Baron Corbin
Of course Kevin was great here but Kurt really was too. He was forced to stand there and listen to Kevin lay it on thick and he reacted perfectly to it. Watching Stephanie low-key assert herself over Kurt was fun too. Gotta love the Corbin victory grin to seal a very good segment.
Tyler Breeze vs. Mojo Rawley (w/ interview with Bobby Roode)
Poor Tyler. Fandango’s on the shelf and they have no idea what to do with Tyler. The man can work his face off, has charisma for days, and he’s doing nothing more than jobbing. At least he’s being featured on TV each week so it could definitely be worse. Mojo is finally getting a push of some kind so that’s a good thing. They’ve darkened up his character nicely too.
Bobby’s interview meant nothing. He didn’t do it badly; it just didn’t mean anything. Bobby has been hard-done by the main roster move and there are no obvious signs of recovery any time soon.
Cinéma de iPhone – Drew McIntyre & Drew Ziggler
Short but sweet. Good work from both of them.
Stage segment – Elias
The fun continues! LOL!!
Finn Bálor vs. Drew McIntyre
Things are looking way up for Drew since 3MB and it’s well-deserved. Finn’s spinning DDT on McIntyre was absolutely gorgeous and fast! I have to be honest. I’m sick to death of the sling blade. It’s just getting used to death. Of course, Zigglesworth got involved. It enabled Seth to come out to keep stoking the flames of the feud though, again, I’m not sure why that feud is continuing.
Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler vs. Finn Bálor & Seth Rollins
Good match! Nice back and forth. They got “awesome” chants and they deserved them. We even got the return of the Curb Stomp – now called The Stomp. My only beef is seeing the champ pinned. I know they’re building Drew but dag!
Snickers commercial – Lana & Rusev
This was perfection! Rusev is a total clown so this was a lot of fun. Lana makes a great straight woman for Rusev to play off of.
Backstage segment – Bobby Lashley
Love the Beastie Boys reference. LOL! Thank you, Paul Heyman, for fixing all of this. Bobby sounded great here and, better yet, he sounds like he belongs again.
Ember Moon vs. Livv Morgan
Again with this? Why is Ember stuck in the Riott vortex? Ember should have long since been done with this. The Riott Squad is nowhere and Ember is on the come-up. She needs a real feud. This wasn’t a bad match or anything but on a night where a momentous pay-per-view was announced, we deserved better women’s matches than with great stories. What we got instead were placeholders. All of that said, I can’t argue with Ember’s eclipse. Best finisher on the roster.
Backstage segment – Seth Rollins
Rollins did this well but I was hoping for something new for both Ziggler & Rollins. Yeah, the Iron Man Match was incredibly crooked and I’m sure that’s why we’re getting another match between them. I also know that it’ll be good match because both can work incredibly well.
Stage segment – Elias
“One for yourself and one for the person you become after listening”. Perfection! We finally get a very short live performance of “Walk with Me”! Of course, he had to be interrupted and he was. Nicely done, WWE. Nicely done.
Bobby Lashley vs. Roman Reigns
Yes, I read Dre’s article (if you haven’t, you need to; he’s not wrong about most of it and you have to love his snark). Still, I disagree with a chunk of it. The WWE had an opportunity to give Brock someone new to face and keep the Universe from killing the Summerslam main event and instead, we’re getting Roman again. Lashley was ostensibly brought in to make Brock’s title reign go away…yet we’re getting Reigns again. Here’s why this is a problem. As I said earlier, Reigns’ character has been broken with too many losses and ludicrous booking. I’ve said this often too but it’s not Roman’s fault; it’s only the booking that has messed him up. Having him in the ring with Brock again is anti-climactic to say the least. I’m not entirely sure that that’s the match we’ll actually end up with. There’s still time to alter it. Okay, the match…
This was good! Both of these guys can work incredibly well. My favorite part was the end. Lashley really played up the disappointment angle beautifully. I could really feel it. Given how hard he worked it, one imagines more will come of this.
Overall, a decent “Raw” for sure. Lately, it’s been so bad and it was nice to have a good, consistent show. The only real letdowns, oddly enough, were the women’s matches. I just don’t know why they happened. They were both pretty piecemeal, honestly. Ironic for a night like this to say the least.