We Talkin’ Bout Practice!

Hello everybody here at Wrestle Royalty, this is Sovereign S.A.M. filling in for Baron Botch for the Raw blog. Raw has been hit or miss for the most part of late and let us see what this week provided. So, without further ado, let’s jump right in!


Dogs of War & The Shield Promo

I would love to write about this opening segment, but this was more of the same between these individuals that we have been getting for the better part of a month now. Talk about how the Shield is cracking and how the Dogs of War are as well. They all delivered their parts of the promo well, but there isn’t much new here.


Rollins vs McIntyre

It is darn near impossible for these two to have a bad match with one another. Seth is the best worker on Raw right now and McIntyre has improved leaps and bounds since his first run in the company. They have really good chemistry with one another and I have no doubt this will become a rivalry for the Universal title at some point. It was only a matter of time before someone interfered with the match and Ziggler would oblige. Ambrose would come down to even the odds and Seth delivered a nice Blackout (I refuse to just call it the Stomp, Blackout is much better) on the outside and picked up the win via count out.


Shield Backstage

This was nice and quick pushing the tension between the Shield. The only problem is that they are so heavy-handed with Dean that it won’t be shocking if and when he turns on the Shield.


Kane & Taker Video

They said a lot to hype up their match with DX, but I don’t care. I simply do not care about this match. This is something that is a minimum 10 years too late and I am not looking forward to this one bit.


Ember Moon & Nia Jax vs Dana Brooke & Tamina

This was a nice little match but felt a bit random to me. Tamina made her return to the ring and that is a bright spot. During this match they mentioned how there will be a battle royal at Evolution featuring many of the women on the main roster. I don’t get how they couldn’t find a way to have some of those women have actual matches and not be stuck in the battle royal. This is lazy booking for something that I hope isn’t a flop. Back to the match, and Tamina stole the show with her Samoan Drop of Nia Jax. After the match, they did the typical battle royal spot of tossing everybody over the top rope and, to my surprise, Dana Brooke stood tall at the end.


Rousey & The Bellas

Your eyes do not deceive you, I did give a segment involving Ronda Rousey and the Bellas 5 stars. You may wonder why and that is because Ronda Rousey gave one heck of a promo and it is the best thing she has done on main. The Bellas did what they do and talked about their accolades and such, but this was the Ronda Rousey show. She said so much and, while struggling a bit at first, found her groove and delivered one of the promos of the year. Some of the things she said did remind me of the AJ Lee pipebomb she delivered on the then Divas division, but that isn’t a bad thing. I could talk some more about it but do yourselves a favor and check it out. It is quite good.


Vacation Angle Backstage

Nice little backstage segment with Kurt and it just reminds me of the old days with Kurt and how well his comedic timing is. On a side note, please turn Bobby Roode heel, he is not working as a face. Corbin came in and booked Kurt in a 2-on-1 match with AOP for later in the show and we all knew something was going to happen with that.


Ambrose vs Ziggler

These two have had many matches with one another, so no surprise that this was a good match. Dean has changed up his move set a bit since his return and it is refreshing. Ziggler is one of the best in the company and, while I have been bored with his character for a long time, he brings it in the ring each time. Like the McIntyre/Rollins match, it was only a matter of time before interference happened. McIntyre came down to the ring to interfere in the match and Rollins came to even the odds like Ambrose did earlier. This would cost Dean the match as he shoved Rollins, not know it was him, and that slight distraction allowed Ziggler to hit a Superkick for the win. Dean and Seth had a bit of a disagreement and the tension started bubbling to the surface. It looked like they were about to fight, but Roman came to play mediator. Corbin came out to say he didn’t want the Shield to disband and put them in another six-man tag match with the Dogs of War.


Dogs of War Backstage

Another nice tease of tension between the Dogs of War. Only bad thing, this made it clear that their time as a trio was ending sooner rather than later.


Finn Balor vs Jinder Mahal

So, this match happened again and um yeah, not much to say about it. Only reason this doesn’t get one star is because Samir Singh made his return to the company and now the Singh Bros are back together. I hope they can break away from Jinder and do something meaningful because I feel there is untapped potential there. Lio Rush and Bobby Lashley came down to the ring after the match and Lio hyped up Lashey and his physique.


Lashley vs Tyler Breeze

Poor Breeze, there is so much money that could be made with him if they gave him a chance and didn’t let him be a jobber. This match was a squash and all about Lio being on the mic and hyping up Lashley. I get a chuckle every time Lio tries to start a “Lashley!” chant and Lashley does seem more comfortable being a heel. Really not much to say about the match other than poor Tyler.


Trish Stratus/Lita & Alexa Bliss/Mickie James Promo

Honestly, this wasn’t the best segment between these four. I know they are trying to promote their match at Evolution, but this didn’t do much for me. Trish and Lita tried to pull of the “we talkin bout practice” line Allen Iverson made famous, but it came off forced. Alexa is great on the mic, but this wasn’t one of her best moments. This was by no means bad but just a bit underwhelming. On a side note, Mickie and Alexa remind me of Regina George and her mom from Mean Girls.


Riott Squad Backstage with Bayley

Really not much to say about this one other than Ruby is gold. There is so much upside with her and I hope WWE realizes this.


AOP vs El Conquistador aka Kurt Angle

AOP is back to being a dominant force and that is what they should be. Only bad thing here is that it feels like AOP is having to wait until the Dogs of War and Shield stuff gets resolved before going after the tag titles. This was a typical squash match and AOP beat El Conquistador soundly. It was supposed to be Kurt Angle as El Conquistador, but Drake Maverick had to unmask him because he felt something was amiss. It turned out to be some random person Kurt got in that outfit and he gave an Angle Slam to Corbin who was sitting at the top of the ramp to watch the match. Seems like this is building to Kurt vs Corbin for the Raw GM position and can only wonder at which upcoming ppv this will take place.


Natalya vs Ruby Riott

Prior to the match starting, Natalya said she was going to have back up to even the odds and it turned out to be Bayley and Sasha Banks. This was a pretty okay match as these are two of the best workers in the division. The match ended quickly as the Riott Squad got involved and the match was thrown out. Bayley and Sasha then came in to save Natalya from the Riott Squad and I get the feeling this was done to set up a match at Evolution.


Elias Segment

Here we have one of the things I always look forward to on Raw, an Elias segment. Now, ever since Elias garnered that heat in Seattle, it appears his segments rely heavy on talking down about the city’s team. He has done this before the Seattle heat, but he would mix in things about the city as well and he isn’t doing that as much. Elias usually gets interrupted and to my surprise, this week is was Apollo Crews who interrupted him. Apollo is not the strongest on the mic, so I was worried when he came down to confront Elias. I was pleasantly surprised, and Apollo actually hung in there and did quite well. Elias tried to attack Apollo, but Apollo got the better of him. This looks like it will be Elias’ feud for the time being and I have to wonder what WWE’s plans are for him. He is just bouncing from feud to feud and nothing much after them.


Dogs of War vs The Shield Again

This was a fun match, but this is was also the third time in about 2 weeks that we have seen this match. I can only handle seeing the same match so many times before I am bored with it. A lot of the story being told was the tension between each team and the possibility of either or both imploding. At one point towards the end of the match, Ziggler pushed Rollins into Dean, who was going for a pin, to break up the pin fall. It looked like Dean and Seth were going to come to blows but it did not happen. The Shield would pick up the win by hitting a triple powerbomb on Ziggler and looking united at the end.

Strowman came into the ring after the match and hit ZIggler with a running powerslam as he said earlier in the night if he messed up that he would “get these hands”. He turned and was hit by a Claymore by McIntyre from out of nowhere as earlier in the match McIntyre hit Strowman with one on accident, and it would look that the Dogs of War are no more. It feels like we could be getting Strowman vs McIntyre in the near future and you can sign me up for that.


Final Thoughts

Raw was decent overall and wasn’t a bad show by any means. There were some highs and some lows and one extremely big high with Ronda’s promo. Another thing of note is that every video package for Crown Jewel and even on announce, there was no mention of Saudi Arabia. This is a clear sign that WWE is figuring out what to do with that because of what has been going on with Saudi Arabia.

This is Sovereign S.A.M. signing off and I hope to see everybody around the Wrestle Royalty kingdom.