This is the Raw following WWE’s latest Saudi Arabia show and I haven’t bothered to watch any of the matches. I have seen clips and WWE showed clips from Super Showdown throughout the night and it was what it was. I did find it interesting that they didn’t play any clips from the Goldberg/Undertaker match as that was the main event, but it was a botchfest so I guess that is why. Fans love to talk smack about Raw because that is the thing to do but I do see good in Raw for the most part. This week’s Raw had a tough time though since it was u against game 5 of the NBA Finals so I knew the ratings would take a hit and they did. I did think that Raw had a good show so let us dive in and see why I thought that.
Seth Rollins In-Ring
Seth Rollins kicked off Raw and spoke about his win over Baron Corbin and how he is ready to face Brock Lesnar whenever he cashes in. Seth brought the chair he beat Brock with over and over again and I loved the confidence he was showing. Baron Corbin then came out to massive heat and I will not understand why people continue to claim he is garnering “X-Pac/Bootista” heat and not pure, genuine heat. Corbin might be the biggest generator of heat in the company right now and he relishes in it and handles it very well. They had a nice back and forth and Corbin talked about how he will get to choose who the special guest referee will be for their match at Stomping Grounds. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn then came out and defended Corbin and did what they do best and that is play well off of each other. Owens calling out the wild card was perfection, and this led to Rollins challenging Owens to a match later tonight and it would be made official.
Lars Sullivan vs Lucha House Party
This was a rematch from their match at Super Showdown and it was pretty much a squash. Lars dominated the LHP from the start and easily won. It was an elimination match and he disposed of Kalisto rather easily. He then dominated Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik and easily picked up the win. This was just a showcase of Lars and his dominance and I hope this is the end of this feud and Lars can move on to someone more formidable.
R-Truth & The 24/7 Championship
The 24/7 Championship has been the best thing to happen to R-Truth in some time because he has made that title worth it. I was skeptical of it at first, but Truth and Drake Maverick have turned the 24/7 Championship into comedy gold. Truth and Carmella were being chased by members of the locker room and eventually they became trapped in an elevator with each other. The good thing for Truth was that the referee was left on the outside, so they would have to wait for the elevator to be fixed before continuing.
Becky Lynch & Lacey Evans Interview
Lacey has really excelled on the mic in her time on the main roster, but this was not one of her best moments. I truly hate these split screen interview segments because they come off totally scripted and lack any real heat to them. I know they probably do these to imitate MMA and boxing but those work because of the rivalries between the fighters and the fact that they are unscripted. Becky did all she could here, but this just wasn’t a very good interview segment.
Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross Backstage
I just love how this story is playing out and how Alexa is manipulating Nikki throughout it. This is something that I was unsure of at first, but it really is blossoming into an interesting story. Alexa is doing a great job in manipulating the trusting Nikki at every step and is able to prevent Nikki from questioning her motive. I really cannot wait to see where they go with this because this has real potential to make Nikki Cross into a big star.
The guest for Miz TV this week was Samoa Joe and I loved the interaction between these two. Miz and Joe are two of the best talkers in WWE right now, so it was great to see them play off of one another. Miz questioned Joe’s tactics of using Rey’s family to bait him and Joe threatened to involve the Miz’s family and that brought them face to face. Braun Strowman then came out to challenge Joe to a match and he would be followed by Bobby Lashley who said more of the same. Ricochet then came out and made his case to be the next for Joe and then Cesaro came out and attacked Ricochet. This would lead to a brawl between the heels and faces and we would get a Teddy Long special because of this.
Strowman, Ricochet & Miz vs Joe, Lashley & Cesaro
This was a really fun match and all six men were able to shine at different moments. Lashley and Strowman were able to show off their strength at various points and Miz played the scrappy underdog role well. Joe played up his power game and technical prowess and both Ricochet and Cesaro continued to just show off and prove how incredible they are in the ring. Ricochet just makes everything he does look so easy and Cesaro did the same. Like with every six-man tag match, there were moments where it broke down into chaos and they were fun every time. Like I said, all six men looked great here and the faces would pick up the win after Ricochet hit Cesaro with his 630 senton. Yes, it is a senton, despite the announce team continuing to call it a splash. I did fear for Cesaro’s knee though because Ricochet landed right on his knee/thigh area and Cesaro was quick to clutch at it. Hopefully Cesaro didn’t get injured because he and Ricochet have built a nice rivalry over the past few weeks.
Baron Corbin Backstage
I have said it before, so I will say it again, Charly Caruso and Baron Corbin have tremendous chemistry with one another and I do not want anybody else to interview Corbin besides her. Her facial reactions to everything he says is always on point and we got more of that here. Charly asked Corbin if he decided who would be his choice for special guest referee, but he didn’t tell her who it would be. Sami Zayn then came in and clearly, he is trying to make his case to Baron Corbin to be the guest referee.
Bayley & Becky Lynch vs Alexa Bliss & Lacey Evans
Last week, Lacey had a horrible match with Charlotte Flair and this week she rebounded nicely. She looked way better and maybe Charlotte was more to blame than people are saying. It does take two to tango after all, so she definitely deserved to receive some of the blame for that train wreck. Back to this match and this was pretty good. Bayley and Becky are two of the best workers in the women’s division and they gelled pretty good as a team. Alexa looked sharp coming off her latest time off due to a concussion and that is a pleasant sight. I did find it hilarious during the match that none of the ringside staff picked up Lacey’s hat from the apron and ringside area. Fun match that saw the heels win with Lacey pinning Bayley. Some may not like it, but it was Bayley’s hometown and WWE loves to have the hometown person lose.
Sami Zayn & Shane McMahon Backstage
I enjoyed the interaction here between Shane and Sami and that really had more to do with Sami than Shane. Sami has been owning this new character and I loved how he pitched how he should be a second referee for the Owens/Kingston match. Shane then did the typical story technique we see in movies and tv shows where the boss ignores his worker and says the idea himself as if he came up with it. Solid stuff but really it was Sami that carried this for me.
Paul Heyman In-Ring
I love listening to Heyman speak but sometimes it is hard to stay invested because he tends to say the same sort of things when it comes to Brock Lesnar. He keeps me invested for the most part but hearing him talk up Lesnar when he isn’t there is always a detriment. We know why that is but that has been said many times and I don’t need to get into it here. Heyman did have some good lines and told Seth that playtime is over, and they will take the more traditional route with MITB and not tell Seth when he plans to cash in. Fine promo from Heyman but it was just more of the same that we get from him.
24/7 Championship in The Elevator
This was just hilarious, and everybody here played their role just right. EC3, Cedric, Drake, Heath, Carmella and Truth showed comedy chops here and I was dying at multiple points. EC3 not remembering that he was Drake’s best man for his wedding was just hilarious. This was just pure comedy gold and I loved it.
The IIconics vs Local Talent
I love that the IIconics keep stating that they are the longest reigning women’s tag team champions because they totally own it. I love the IIconics and I think more people are starting to come around to my way of thinking. At least I hope that is the case because they truly embrace their characters and they are hilarious. I loved that Corey could not contain himself when it was thrown to him to talk about the local talent for this match. The IIconics pretty much dominated this match and won with ease. I have no idea who is going to challenge the IIconics because it seems like nobody is around for them.
Shane McMahon Celebration
It was strange seeing Drew McIntyre in his street clothes because I have gotten so used to seeing him on TV in his ring gear, but he does have good style. The whole celebration just felt long to me and I was just waiting for it to end. I understand what they were going for here, but it just felt too similar to the Shane McMahon appreciation night that we got not too long ago. The Revival came out to join in on the festivities and were going to drink some champagne, but Shane had to remind them that they had their Raw tag title match coming up next, so they shouldn’t consume any bubbly.
Raw Tag Team Title Triple Threat
I had been wondering when we would see Hawkins and Ryder again because they have been missing in action for a bit. I think it was pretty much a given that either the Usos or Revival were winning the belts here because I think it was time for Hawkins and Ryder to drop the titles. It was a nice moment for them to win them, but they have done nothing with them, so it was time to move on. This was a fun match and that is usually the case when the tag teams on the main roster are given time to actually work a match. Really great back and forth action between all the teams here and it looked like each team had a chance at the win here. One of the Usos ended up starting a superkick party towards the end of the match and it looked like the Usos would win the titles. That would not be the case though because Dawson of the Revival made a blind tag when one of the Usos went and hit the splash and the Revival became the new Raw Tag Team Champions. Solid match and I think the right team won here.
Seth Rollins Backstage
Nice promo from Seth here and he sold that he was ready for any challenge tonight very well. It was short and to the point and I think those style of interview segments actually go over very well. Other than that, not much to say other than Seth’s mic work is very good.
24/7 Championship in The Elevator
Just like the previous time they cut to them in the elevator, this as also hilarious. EC3 mentioning he has been married 5 times was hilarious because Cedric’s response of that is the opposite of what they were talking about was right on cue. Truth calling Drake Hornswoggle and Drake responding that he wasn’t had me dying. Eventually, the elevator was opened and the chaos surrounding the 24/7 Championship resumed. Truth was barely able to escape with Carmella in the same elevator as the superstars were left feeling dismayed.
Firefly Fun House
Bray Wyatt is totally owning every Firefly Fun House segment, and this was another fantastic one. The Fun House is so creepy, dark and twisted and I love every minute of it. Bray teasing bringing out the fiend is Mercy and Rabbit didn’t behave was perfect. Bray ended up going Gallagher on Ramblin’ Rabbit and tasting his insides. He called them delicious and promoted a breakfast spread made from the poor Rabbit. I honestly have no clue where this is all leading and I love that I have no clue. This is the most interesting Bray has been in years and this is exactly what he needed.
Seth Rollins vs Kevin Owens
No surprise here that these two put in work to have a very good match. It is darn near impossible for Seth to have a bad match and that is why I believe he may be the best worker on the main roster at the moment. Sami Zayn was he special referee on the outside and of course, he did all he could to help out his friend Kevin Owens. Sami abused his power as referee just the right amount and it added a nice wrinkle as he kept arguing with the referee that was inside the ring. Really good solid back and forth action throughout the match and it looked like Seth would pick up the win only for Sami to disqualify him. Sami did that because when Seth did a suicide dive onto Owens, he hit him as well so that was enough to cause the DQ. Seth attacked Sami after the match, but he would be attacked in turn by Baron Corbin from behind. Corbin went to grab a chair to use on Seth, but Seth was able to stop Corbin from using the chair on him. Instead, Seth grabbed the chair and used it on Sami and finished by hitting him with a stomp and stood tall as Raw came to a close.
I usually point out the highs and lows at the end of the Sovereign Statement, but this was actually a pretty solid episode of Raw. The only real low point was the Lacey/Becky interview and all the other possible low points were just meh and not that bad. The highlights were the six-man tag match, the Raw tag title match and the main event. The Firefly Fun House and 24/7 Championship antics were also highlights and continue to be some of the best things on Raw every week. So overall this was a solid episode of Raw that sadly had to up against the NBA Finals. I was not surprised to see how the ratings dropped because game 5 of the NBA Finals was a really good game so it had to have taken eyes off of Raw. I am Sovereign S.A.M. and make sure to join me next week for another Sovereign Statement.