It really is quite the rollercoaster being a fan of WWE nowadays because of how inconsistent they are. One minute we get a good episode of Raw, the next we get one that is underwhelming. Because of this, we are now in a culture where fans will say Raw is bad regardless of whether it was actually a good show or not because that has become the “cool thing to do” and that should not be the case. I know I have said that before, but I feel like it needs to continue to be said until fans come to the realization that Raw can put on good episodes. I will say that this week I think we ended up with one that was more in between and not horrible, but also not great. With all this in mind, let us dive in to this week’s episode of Raw.
Roman Reigns In-Ring
Roman Reigns kicked off Raw and he was going to address Shane McMahon, but Shane beat him to the punch by coming out and doing what he has been doing. I gave Shane a chance as a heel, but he just can’t pull it off like he did in his younger days. It feels too forced and it doesn’t come off naturally like it does for Vince or Stephanie. There was a brawl with Drew McIntyre and the Revival beating down Roman and the Usos made the save. This led to the opening match of the night that featured all six men.
Roman Reigns & Usos vs Drew McIntyre & Revival
The opening promo was not very good, but this match was pretty solid. I like the grouping of McIntyre with the Revival and I think they could be a nice group if they decided to keep them together and not just be Shane’s muscle. The Usos and Roman always have good chemistry since they are cousins and I think they would make a good trio if they were given a shot at it. I like that this match combined two storylines with the Revival/Usos and McIntyre/Reigns stories and they worked well together. This was a great back and forth match that was a good opening match for Raw. The heels would pick up the victory and Shane led a beat down of Roman after the match. The Revival hit the Shatter Machine and McIntyre hit a Claymore on Roman before he hit him with a spear to add insult to injury.
Prior to Miz TV starting, the WWE cameras decided to spotlight Matthew McConaughey and Lance Armstrong as celebrities in the crowd and I had no problem with McConaughey. The problem I had was with Armstrong because he is just horrible and should not have been talked up to be as great as he was. I won’t talk much on it but given that he is a liar and ruined lives, he should not have been talked up like that.
The Miz had Seth Rollins on Miz TV this week and Seth talked about not having any fear about the possible cash in and then Brock Lesnar arrived with Paul Heyman and they teased a cash in. They decided to go to his dressing room instead to keep Rollins guessing as to when Lesnar will cash in the briefcase. Not the strongest Miz TV segment but it was the worst.
Lucha House Party & Lars Sullivan
Lucha House Party came out for a match and, like Money in the Bank, Lars Sullivan came out and attacked them. The difference this time was that the Lucha House Party was able to gain some sort of edge and were not destroyed. It was nice to see them fight back Lars for once but not make Lars look weak. It was nice to see fire from LHP because that is something that I think has been missing from them a bit. They are great workers, but they need that slight edge if they want to get to that next level.
IIconics & Nikki Cross Backstage
I have said it once and I will say it again, I love the IIconics. I think they are finally writing their promos close to where they were in NXT and aren’t trying to make them what they want them to be, but rather what they already were. They just know how to get on your nerves the right way and I love it. I love this tweak to Nikki’s character and I don’t think it is ruining her but adding a new wrinkle to her. Alexa Bliss came in to somewhat defend Nikki and the IIconics ended up doing their pose and hilariously walking away. Like seriously, the IIconics are a delight and I hope more people see that. I love this friendship that Nikki and Alexa have right now, and it really is blossoming rather nicely. Nikki hasn’t done much on the main roster, so it is nice to see her being used in a storyline.
Becky Lynch In-Ring
I enjoyed Becky’s promo here and she really came with the passion that she really knows how to convey very well. She spoke about not becoming complacent and that she is ready to take down Lacey Evans for costing her the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Of course, this brought out Lacey and she really did a good job to retort everything Becky said. Charlotte Flair then made her way out and told Becky to stop making excuses about losing and Becky was quick to retort by saying she lost her title. Lacey and Charlotte would come to blows and that would lead to a match between the two.
Charlotte Flair vs Lacey Evans
There is no other way to describe this match other than a hot mess. This wasn’t the worst match I have seen this year, but it was just one that had no chemistry whatsoever. Lacey and Charlotte just couldn’t click and that happens from time to time with wrestlers. It looked like at times they might be finding some sort of groove only for it to disappear just as fast. This match was saved by Becky trash talking from the outside and her breaking up the match by pulling out Charlotte and hitting Lacey with the Manhandle Slam. Not quite sure how I feel about Becky’s new finisher because I doesn’t look very clean but maybe she can work on it.
Rey Mysterio In-Ring
I rather enjoyed Rey here and I love how he talked about his past accomplishments prior to relinquishing the US Championship. It does suck that Rey is injured and has to do this, but boy did this give Samoa Joe another chance to shine on the mic. Joe is just brilliant on the mic and he makes you want to listen to every word he says. Rey eventually relinquished the title to Joe and while walking away, Joe put him in the Coquina Clutch and had to be pulled off by referees. Joe is just perfection as a heel and I cannot wait to see where he goes from here.
Braun Strowman & Bobby Lashley Arm Wrestling
Honestly, what is there to say about this segment? Arm wrestling segments always end up in a brawl, so I was just sitting there waiting for it to happen. When it did, it was rather fun and Lashley got to show off his strength against Strowman. This really was just a nothing segment that I couldn’t wait to be over.
24/7 Championship Search
Before we go to the actual segment, they played a video recapping Jinder beating R-Truth on a golf course for the 24/7 Championship and how Truth regained it quickly. That was hilarious, and this was just as hilarious. Carmella was searching for R-Truth in the back and Drake Maverick was with EC3 and a referee trailing her because she would lead her to him. Drake and Truth have been the MVPs of the 24/7 Championship and I honestly want Drake to win it.
Nikki Cross vs Peyton Royce
This wasn’t the best match, but it did do a good job in progressing the story between both sides. Nikki is so excellent in the ring and I love that she has been able to showcase that in recent weeks. Peyton held her own with Nikki here, but I do wonder where Nikki got a bloody mouth from. I didn’t catch it and couldn’t tell on rewatch but I will say that it added a bit to Nikki since she is a crazed type of character. The match was fine and there was plenty of back and forth between Peyton and Nikki and that was nice to see. Nikki is proving why we all fell in love with her in NXT and I just hope that VKM sees it too because there is so much money in her. Alexa ordered coffee at one point and it was brought to her, but Peyton Royce spilled it and Billie Kay then pushed her into the spilled coffee. This distraction allowed Nikki to pick up the win and then a furious Alexa attacked Billie and hit her with a DDT. I really cannot wait to see what they have next for Nikki and Alexa.
Seth Rollins In-Ring
Seth Rollins came to the ring and was ready for Brock’s cash in, but he continued to fake out Seth by playing his entrance theme over and over. Baron Corbin then came out and he was his usual slimy self. He told Seth to worry about him because of their upcoming match and this led to a fight between the two. Seth gained the advantage but was distracted by Brock’s theme and it allowed Corbin to hit Seth with the End of Days. Brock then made his way to the ring and completely destroyed Seth. He hit him with suplexes and a bevy of chair shots. The chair shots eventually cause some cuts on Seth and Heyman kept yelling to Brock about cashing in. Brock then told him that he would cash in on Friday and finished beating down Seth. Referees and medical came out to stretcher Seth to an ambulance where Becky Lynch, his real-life girlfriend, rode with him as it drove off.
Firefly Fun House
This episode of Firefly Fun House had everything, and I was dying with laughter throughout. Bray introduced two new puppets to the Fun House and one was Huskus the Pig Boy and that was obviously a call back to his days as Husky Harris. The other was a Vince McMahon devil puppet and it was just perfect. This week’s Firefly Fun House was absolutely amazing, and we even got a fitness instructor Bray and a full-on workout style video too. At this point I do not care how long I have to wait to see Bray return to the ring because the Firefly Fun House is one of the most interesting things WWE has come up with in the last five years.
Triple H & Randy Orton In-Ring
Triple H and Orton each made their way to the ring to hype up their match in Saudi Arabia and it was just a whole lot of nothing. I had no interest in this and the way they traded mic time, it felt like it from them too. It didn’t feel like a face off but more like two friends just busting each other’s chops. There were some good lines but overall this was just a whole lot of nothing.
Baron Corbin Backstage
I love how Baron sold his pleasure over seeing Seth Rollins get destroyed by Brock. Baron is complete and utter slime and he thrives at it. I only wish we had a bit more of a back and forth between him and Charly Caruso because they have great chemistry in interview segments.
Ricochet vs Cesaro
I can watch these two go back and forth with matches and not be bored one bit. The chemistry they have is amazing and it shows in each match. They always keep things from previous matches but will add in new things each time. I will also say that Cesaro’s new theme is growing on me the more I listen to it and I think this may be the one that sticks. This match wasn’t as good as their previous two match, but it was still a solid and fun match. I think these two should have a 20-30 minute match and just put on a clinic and tear the house down one week. Ricochet picked up the win with a roll up and Cesaro in his frustrations, attacked Ricochet after the match. Cesaro dug under the ring for something and he eventually pulled out a table with R-Truth on it. Truth had been hiding under the ring the whole time and his face when Cesaro pulled him out was priceless. Carmella then came running out and she was chased by the Raw locker room and she and Truth made their escape through the crowd.
The Undertaker In-Ring
I simply do not care about this and they didn’t do Taker any favors by having him come out with minutes left in the show. He took his time getting to the ring and during his promo and it ended up being cut off because Raw doesn’t have an overrun anymore. Even if I did hear his whole promo, I still wouldn’t have cared. Undertaker should have retired years ago and every match he has now just taints his legacy as someone who didn’t know when to stop.
This Raw was certainly not as good as last week but it wasn’t the worst one I have seen this year. There have been some really bad episodes this year and as I said at the beginning, this was a very in between episode. The good had to be the Firefly Fun House as that was just amazing. Cesaro/Ricochet was a fun match and the opening match was good too. The Undertaker closing was such a lowlight and the opening Shane McMahon promo was as well. Really the bad stuff this week had more to do with the stuff they were building towards the Saudi show than anything else really. The things that didn’t have to do with it, except for the opening match, were actually the best parts of Raw. Either way, this was a very in between episode of Raw and I hope I see you all next week for another Sovereign Statement.