So I spent my Saturday evening watching all of “ALL IN”. While it wasn’t perfect, I really enjoyed it. Hangman Page was a total blast and Jordynne Grace tho! She became a star that night. Marty Scurll was incredible too. So many highlights! It was a very Ring of Honor presentation which makes total sense given that Ring of Honor’s crew was responsible for the look and sound of this PPV. The sound wasn’t great some of the time and the Cody/Nick match should have been better than it was (too many botches) but I’m still very glad I watched it.
All of that said, I kind of wondered how I’d received “Raw” after a show like that. Everything about “ALL IN” and WWE’s product is different so I wondered how I’d slip back into WWE mode this evening. Let’s see, shall we? (P.S.: I’m blogging this as I’m watching it for the first time so as events unfold, I’m not aware of what’s next as I write this).
Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler, & Drew McIntyre
Braun did everything he was supposed to do here. He turned heel, darn it, because…because…well…um…Roman is face and everyone…L…L…L…Loves him! As much as I hate to go down the “cheers were piped in” route, they were. There’s no doubt in my mind. Vince is so bent on making people cheer for Roman that he’ll clearly do anything to make that happen. This was a good segment and the audience was all about it – chanting “let them fight”.
When they got to the back, they decided to have The Shield arrested. These segments are always fun because I play “spot the indie worker” to see if I recognize any of them. Usually, I can pick a few out but not this time. Oh well…
The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, & Sarah Logan) vs. The Bella Twins (Nikki & Brie)
As little as I cared to see the Bella Twins back in the ring again (they are poster girls for the Divas that time has left behind), this wasn’t awful. Sarah’s viking thing is still insipid and I have no idea whey they continue to mention it. It’s best left forgotten. There was a timing thing that went awry. Logan was supposed to punch Brie as she was coming through the ropes but she didn’t get there fast enough and Brie was forced to awkwardly cover it. She went down like she’d been hit and then Sarah hit her. Wow. It just looked awful. Brie also botched a dive to the outside and landed well short of her target. Corey mentioned ring rust and that was a factor with that lousy dive
Beyond those things, again, this wasn’t terrible. Nikki and Brie can work. They just need to be back in there a few more times and they’ll be better. Sarah’s botch was far worse than anything the Bellas did.
Backstage segment – Baron Corbin & Finn Bálor
This was a fun little segment. The feud is doing little for me but I get why they’re doing it and I don’t hate it. Let’s see if the match actually happens.
Backstage segment – Bobby Roode & Chad Gable vs. The Ascension
The two of them on top of the ramp was a riot. It’s like Chad was saying ” I wanna be Glorious too, gosh darn it!” I loved it!
The Ascension were here too so there’s that. Konnor uttered the phrase used as the title. Thanks, Vince. Love you loads. So goes The Ascension. They were actually quite dominant here for the first time in ages. Of course, they weren’t going to win and they didn’t. Chad did the hot tag thing and got the victory. Corey said he was “like a man possessed” and he really was. Nice work from Chad!
In-ring segment – Elias, Alexa Bliss, Mickie James, & Alicia Fox
Elias went in on the Buckeyes. DEAD! He’s great when he’s heeling on an entire town. No one does that better. Alexa wasn’t having it and she came out and played “face” for a bit. Of course, she’s Alexa and that couldn’t last. She is just incredible. She went on a diatribe and then went coquette for a second to get Elias to play for her. Of course, that couldn’t happen.
Alexa Bliss (w/ Mickie James & Alicia Fox) vs. Natalya (w/ Ronda Rousey)
This was pretty good. Nice back and forth between the two. Alexa does a very nice DDT. The match ended with Alexa submitting Natalya with…Ronda’s armbar.
Backstage segment – Baron Corbin
Nice heel stuff from Baron to start with. Nice from all of them really. An attack on The Revival is in the offing and I love it. The timing of Braun and Baron after Dolph and Drew left was a little draggy and I’m not sure why. It just felt weird.
Backstage segment – The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder), Dolph Ziggler, & Drew McIntyre
The Revival are bey0nd boring so I was quite happy to see The Revival knocked out of the tag match. More to the point, I was happy to see what promised to be a completely boring promo come to an end.
The B-Team (Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel) vs. Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre
The beginning of this match is proof that while The B-Team is in the “accidental champs” gimmick, they can both work extremely well. Great opening sequence! Very nice match and the ending is just what I thought it’d be. We now have new tag champs and thank goodness it’s not The Revival. The gimmick that the B-Team was saddled with was doomed to get stale at some point and we’re there now. Good idea getting the belts off of them. Both of them have more to offer than just being “accidental champs”. Maybe we’ll get more of that. Of course, we may also get the downslide. Time will tell.
Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar) [w/ Drake Maverick] vs. Keith Thompson & Jimmy James
Just like that, AOP has a mouthpiece. They desperately needed on and Drake is great so I’m fine with that. Akam & Rezar are miserable on the mic so this will help exponentially. This was a simple jobber match. Apparently, a reboot on AOP is happening and I’m all for it.
The bald-headed gentleman is one I don’t recognize but the second guy goes by the name of Josh Alexander in PPW and other indie promotions. He’s a great worker and he’s been on “205 Live” before too. Nice to see him get a shot on the main show.
Backstage segment – Ronda Rousey, Natalya, & The Bella Twins
This was a wretched Divas segment. They cared about Natalya for about two seconds and then they didn’t. It had all the horrible acting of the Divas segments of yore. I’d hoped those were gone by now.
In-ring segment – Shawn Michaels & The Undertaker
It’s always fun to see him again but not at the service of a match I couldn’t care less about. They’re pushing this like it matters and it absolutely doesn’t. Shawn really stumbled badly during his interactions with Undertaker too so that didn’t help.
The Undertaker showed up and while it was great to see him too, even that doesn’t move me to care about this. This was supposed to feel deep and profound. I’m supposed to wonder if Shawn is fearful of the Undertaker or not…but I don’t. I only wish this silly match weren’t happening. There is so much incredible talent in WWE right now that is being underutilized and they’re wasting all this time throwing back to a feud whose time is well past. I’d have given this a skull but I couldn’t…out of respect.
Backstage segment – Finn Bálor & Baron Corbin
So Finn gets Braun. Corbin sucks…and I loved it.
Boss N’ Hug Connection (Sasha Banks & Bayley) vs. Dana Brooke & Ember Moon
I literally yawned as Sasha and Bayley came out. I’m bored, honestly. They both had a shot at an incredible feud and WWE passed on it. They’ve been together since Truman was in office and it’s just stale. While they’ve done nothing to hurt Ember, they’ve done nothing to help her either. She’s been on Raw for a minute and she’s been in dry dock the whole time. I don’t think they really know what to do with her. Dana is wrestling more so she’s the bright spot here. Glad she’s getting more time in the ring. As before, the end of Titus Worldwide is happening. Dana might just be on her own now.
Backstage segment – Bobby Lashley
“In ring meditation”??? What? Lashley was completely awful here and it wasn’t because of the ludicrous storyline. He was just a mess on the mic.
In-ring segment – Jinder Mahal, Bobby Lashley, & Kevin Owens
Two bad segments in a row. This could have been funny…if…no, it couldn’t have. It was just an awkward mess. The crowd was deathly silent for it. Thankfully, it came to an end thanks to Kevin Owens. I just wish it had ended faster. As for Owens, so much for quitting. He attacked Lashley and now we’ve got a feud. Kevin’s appearance saved this segment from the skull it was headed for.
Finn Bálor vs. Braun Strowman (Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre)
We’ve seen this match fairly repeatedly so I didn’t really care about it. The only thing new about it was Dolph & Drew being out there too. Because they are as good as they are, they did all they could. I’ve just seen it a few too many times.
The attack is nothing I saw coming. Good stuff. Many from the back came out and exacted it. Even Drew Gulak! There’s no way Seth isn’t injured by the fall he took into the glass on that van. That looked completely awful. I hope it’s nothing too serious. His arm was cut open from the glass at the very least. We saw the blood.
Shocking end to “Raw” that I absolutely didn’t see coming. Interesting collection of guys coming out to take part in it too. So many unanswered questions…just like I like it. I don’t want to know everything. I want WWE to shock me and they got me with this. Well done! See you guys next week at “The Spot!”