We are at the go-home episode of Raw for Clash of Champions and I have to say that I have enjoyed the build from the Raw side of things. Strowman and Rollins has been built rather nicely and so has the Becky and Sasha feud. The King of the Ring is chugging along nicely as well, and we have a triple threat to look forward to tonight. Stone Cold Steve Austin is set to be the moderator for the Universal Championship contract signing so you know some shenanigans will happen. With all that out of the way, let us see what Raw had for us this week.
Universal Championship Contract Signing
Raw kicked off with a bang by having Stone Cold come out for the contract signing. As much as he wasn’t needed for this, I couldn’t help but enjoy it a bit because he was having a fun time out there. Of all the wrestlers to retire, he is one that has yet to come back to wrestle. He will give the occasional stunner but that doesn’t count. This segment went just like you thought it would with Austin telling stories about his time in MSG. We then got to the contract signing part and it pretty much played out the same as last week. The OC even came out to talk some trash and AJ gave one heck of a Stone Cold impression. You could even see Austin give a little smile to that, so you know he was impressed by it. This led to a brawl and Austin would give AJ a stunner to cap it off. Fun opening segment that got the crowd hot for the night.
AJ Styles vs Cedric Alexander
Cedric is really getting his chance to shine, and he is taking full advantage of it. He came in with a ton of energy to start off this match, but AJ would eventually get control of the match. Cedric would fight right back to regain control and there was some good back and forth throughout this match. It looked like Cedric was building momentum to get the win when Gallows and Anderson came out to cause the disqualification. It looked like the OC were ready to beat down Cedric when the Viking Raiders came down to make the save. Somebody in the back finally decided to give them something to do and that was such a refreshing sight. They do not need to be squashing jobbers anymore and they need to move on to a program with a real tag team.
Sasha Banks & Bayley Backstage
Sasha and Bayley were backstage to talk a bit about their upcoming tag match with Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch and Sasha was fine here. She continues to build on that boss swagger so that is a good thing to see. Then there was Bayley and you could see a hint of what she really could be with some of her body language, but the dialog wasn’t there to match it. Someone needs to figure out how to write this new version of Bayley because it isn’t working quite yet.
Roman Reigns & Connor’s Cure
We say a lot about WWE but when it comes to things like this, they do a fantastic job every time. They ran a video package for Connor’s Cure and then had Roman come out to talk about it. Roman is the perfect person for this job because of his own battles with cancer and you could see how much it meant to him to speak on this once again. He then brought out some children that have been fighting cancer and that was great to see as well. We talk a lot of crap about WWE for booking reasons, but we cannot deny how great of a job they do with things like this.
Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair vs Sasha Banks & Bayley
I will admit that I wasn’t feeling this match at the start, but things began to change once the women were allowed to tell a story in the ring. There is no denying that all four of these women can go in the ring and they showed it here once again. They are regarded as “the Four Horsewomen of Wrestling” for a reason and it was nice to see them all work the ring with one another again. I loved how this started with a brawl first because that sells how personal the rivalries have become. The match was really darn good, and they were given a lot of time to let the story build. Really good back and forth action and Charlotte would pick up the win with Natural Selection on Bayley. It has felt like forever since we have seen Charlotte win with that move, and I would like to see her win with it more often.
The OC Backstage
The OC were backstage walking when they were asked to be interviewed about what happened during the opening of Raw. AJ sold his frustration over the whole situation very well and then RooDolph, Ziggler and Roode, decided to come in. They are trying with them, but I just don’t buy their chemistry quite yet. They made an offer to join forces and the OC would accept the help.
Rey Mysterio vs Gran Metalik
I kind of wonder if Rey asked to face Metalik because it is a rather random match up. That being said, I am happy that Metalik is getting a chance to be on his own for a match and shed the image of the Lucha House Party. This match is what you expected it to be and it was a lesson in lucha libre. Metalik is extremely underrated and I blame that on having to be with the Lucha House Party. This was a great showcase match for him, and they had great chemistry with one another. That shouldn’t be a surprise since Rey comes from a lucha background and you can see he enjoys being able to work with someone that has that background as well. This was a really solid match and kept the story going of Rey proving he can hang with the young guys of the locker room.
Street Profits Backstage
I totally get why some people are tired of seeing the Street Profits backstage and not wrestling on Raw, but I am enjoying their segments. They do a fine job recapping and hyping up things to come. Montez keeps showing how he has the mic skills and charisma to be a big star and Dawkins is no slouch either. I do love how Dawkins is always trying to shoot his shot with women on the roster because it doesn’t come off as cringy at any point. Fun segment and something that I look forward to every week.
Samoa Joe vs Baron Corbin vs Ricochet
My ears did not deceive me during this match because Baron Corbin was getting dueling chants. People are starting to become fans of Baron and I think his match with Cedric last week is the real cause of that. People have been blindly hating Corbin for so long that it took until September for people to see that he has talent. This match was flat out fun and darn good to watch. Joe and Ricochet are two of the best in the ring and Corbin was able to hang right along with both men. This triple threat did a great job in making us believe that either man could come out on top here. Really good action throughout this match and it looked like Ricochet had the match won after hitting Joe with the Recoil and 630 but Baron would pull him out and pin Joe to advance to the finals of the King of the Ring. I picked Corbin from the start and I truly believe he is the perfect fit to be king.
Lacey Evans vs Natalya
This was a rematch from last week and it wasn’t as good as their previous encounter. It was a solid match, but I just didn’t see a reason for it to be happening. Lacey beat Natalya so there has to be a rematch. Right then and there I knew we were in for some 50/50 booking and that is exactly what we got. The fans tried to take over the match, but it was Lacey and Natalya that did their job in bringing them back. Natalya mostly with his ring work and Lacey with her character and some ring work as well. The match was what it was, Natalya won, and the crowd didn’t care at all for that outcome. Honestly, Lacey should have won here so she can build up some momentum after her losses to Becky Lynch.
Firefly Fun House
This wasn’t the strongest episode of Firefly Fun House but by no means was it bad. There were some fun moments like Abby complaining about her clock being stuck on 3:16 and I loved how Bray took a hammer to it to fix it. It then changed to 11:19 and I still wonder what that means. Bray continued talking about Austin in the beginning of the show and his challenge for Hell in a Cell to the winner of the Universal Championship match. Good stuff as usual but it just wasn’t up to par as the previous entries in the Firefly Fun House to me.
10-Man Tag Team Match
These types of matches are either huge clusters or a big pile of fun and I am glad to say that it was the latter. We finally go the Viking Raiders in something other than a squash match and they looked like they belonged. There was so much happening in this match that it was hard to keep track of everything. That was expected considering we had ten men in the match. So much back and forth action in this match and it dove into utter chaos multiple times as well. They continued to push the friction between Seth and Braun when the heels pushed Seth into Braun during a pin attempt. Braun got in Seth’s face over it and you know that will carry over into Clash of Champions. Really fun stuff during this match and the finish saw Cedric Alexander get the pin after hitting AJ Styles with the Lumbar Check. That is a huge rub for Cedric, and I love that he is getting his moment and making the most of it. Stone Cold Steve Austin then came down and had some celebratory beers with the victors as Raw came to a close.
This was a very solid go-home episode of Raw and they did Madison Square Garden proud with this one. I really tried to look for some real low points in this episode but there weren’t really any to speak of. I guess you could say the Bayley/Sasha promo was a low point, but the match made up for it. I guess the inclusion of Austin wasn’t needed but he was having fun so at least there is that. From top to bottom, this was a darn good episode of Raw and it just sucks that it has to go up against Monday Night Football’s return because the ratings will not reflect the quality of the show. I can see the blind AEW fans now for the rest of 2019 talking about how bad Raw ratings are even though this happens every year during autumn. Once again, good go-home episode of Raw and make sure you join us on Sunday for Clash of Champions during our Dignified Discussion because it will be fun as usual.