Welcome to the WWE Raw Reaction, where I offer my take on this week’s show from San Francisco. As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth review here.
We kick off the show with Promo Time with Drew McIntyre. WWE Champion Big E quickly comes out and we’ve got a face to face. Quick dueling promos ensue to hype their title match at Crown Jewel. The hometown boys, The Usos, arrive as the interruption. The Usos are out scouting for Reigns and eventually get around to challenging Drew and Big E to a tag match later. Challenge accepted and The Usos drop them with a superkick.
Our opening match is the King of the Ring match between Xavier Woods and Ricochet. This was a great match with both having similar styles. Ricochet pulled off this insane superplex on Woods to throw it to the commercial break. That has to be seen to be believed. Both men need the win here and unfortunately, someone has to lose. Ricochet wound up on the losing end after a blocked suicide dive. An excellent showing from both and hopefully Ricochet can get some positive momentum rolling after the Draft takes effect. I really hope Woods wins the tournament, seeing how much he’s expressed his desire to do so. It would also give him that singles title that is missing from the squad, with both Kofi Kingston and Big E winning the WWE Championship.
Tag team action is up next with Mustafa Ali and Mansoor taking on Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin. It was fast and if you blinked, you’d miss it. Literally. Ali and Mansoor continue their losing ways and we would get the old break up angle later in the show to set up a match at Crown Jewel. Gee, I wonder who will win that one?
Raw’s first Queen’s Crown tournament match is up next with Shayna Baszler taking on Dana Brooke. Normally, I would complain about the match taking less that 90 seconds, but it actually fits Baszler’s gimmick right now. She wrecked Brooke and is heading to the semifinals next week.
Riddle is up next to get obliterated by Omos. We get it, Omos is tall and Riddle will bump for him like a pinball. Do we have to see it practically every single week? AJ Styles has to eat another RKO because we have to protect Omos. At least Omos added a new move to his moveset and didn’t hurt Riddle with it.
Promo Time with Bobby Lashley is up next. Lashley shows that he is confident going into his no holds barred match with Goldberg at Crown Jewel but doesn’t add anything new to the feud. I think this is one of those times that missing MVP hurts the presentation.
Jeff Hardy takes on Austin Theory next. Hardy does what he should do and put the new kid over but the match was far too short to really be anything. Hopefully things pick up for Hardy back on the blue brand.
The final first round King of the Ring match is up with Kofi Kingston taking on Jinder Mahal. One of the stories pushed was what would happen if The New Day faced off against each other in the semifinals? Well, it doesn’t matter, because Kingston lost to Mahal in a so-so match.
Women’s tag action is next with Raw Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair teaming with Smackdown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch to take on Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair. Stop me if you’ve seen this angle before. This had potential on paper but turned into an absolute train wreck once executed. Nobody can get along so they fight all over the place for longer than the actual match. The match didn’t last that long and how do you end a match that nobody can take the loss in? Why a double DQ for everyone fighting again. In the end, Becky Lynch would stand tall. Why again did we book this match?
The Queen’s Crown first round concludes with Doudrop taking on Natalya. I have to give it to Doudrop for trying to make the gimmick work. She just might be able to pull it off. These two got more than two minutes for their match, well three minutes, but progress! Doudrop advances to face the woman she started a feud with Shayna Baszler next week. For as pointless as the previous tag match was, couldn’t we have shave some time off of that and given it to this match instead?
John Morrison is backstage trying a new gimmick out while waiting for The Miz to return from Dancing With The Stars. Couldn’t we have held off on the break up angle until after Miz returned?
Main Event time with Drew McIntyre and Big E taking on The Usos. Big E talked about being on the train tracks with the train that left the station earlier in the show, they missed their stop to get off. The match never got going like it should have been, given the talent in the ring. Instead, we wanted to rehash the stupidity from the women’s tag match earlier here. Instead of a double DQ ending, we were treated to Big E getting counted out for fighting with McIntyre. After the match, The Usos get laid out so McIntyre can drop Big E with a Claymore to end the show.
Let’s take a look at tonight’s highs and lows.
The opening match with Ricochet and Xavier Woods was the match of the night. Both looked really good and I’m hoping this is the start of better things for both.
After that first match, the show went screaming full throttle into the light of the oncoming train. The ensuing train wreck was littered with puzzling decisions. If the King of the Ring matches can get 10 minutes each, why can’t the Queen’s Crown matches get more than a couple of minutes each on a THREE hour show? Baszler’s made sense but not Doudrop/Natalya. What was the point of Flair/Lynch v. Banks/Belair? All they did was fight the entire time and we get a stupid double DQ finish. The main event mirrored that nonsense but with a countout finish instead.
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That’s all I’ve got, until next time.