Welcome to the Raw Reaction, where I offer my take on this week’s show. As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth report here.
We open the show with a really nice video package honoring the military for Memorial Day.
There was a long and drawn-out MizTV featuring Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley. John Morrison continues to be his dumb self. Miz tried to conceal the leg brace on his leg. Charlotte and Rhea debated who was going to hell and how they were going to get there. Nikki Cross randomly showed up with her awful music to brag about her beating the clock with Rhea last week. Since Charlotte was in her ring gear, she was going to beat the clock against Nikki.
Beat the clock starts after the break and Nikki runs around the ring while Charlotte stands in the ring. Charlotte finally decided to chase Nikki and Nikki lasts the two minutes in the only way a non-Four Horsewomen member can obtain a clean win over Charlotte. I guess this is supposed to establish Nikki as a contender after Creative forgot about her?
Our next match has Randy Orton taking on Xavier Woods. Orton’s changed his facial hair so a turn of some sorts is coming. It looks different for sure. The match was pretty good but limited on time. Orton picked up the win after hitting Woods with Riddle’s finisher Bro Derek, to the delight of Riddle at ringside. The RKBro team has some potential for sure.
A recap of the Shayna Baszler/Reginald feud leads us into their match. I was surprised Reginald actually hit a couple of moves on Shayna. Unfortunately, this was not the mauling it should have been and Shayna put Reginald over after Alexa Bliss/Lilly brew up the ring posts again. Can we please free Shayna?
Drew McIntyre was backstage talking about Kofi Kingston to hype their main event match tonight. It was a good promo from Drew.
We get a Three Minute Raw Special for Mace and T-Bar wiping out Lucha House Party. Surprisingly, both teams got televised entrances. That’s a step up boys. Speaking of three minutes, I wonder how Mace and T-Bar would do against Three Minute Warning?
Sheamus cuts a promo before his matches with Ricochet and Humberto Carrillo about how he can’t defend the United States title until Keith Lee returns. Ricochet goes first and defeats The Fella with the deadliest finishing combination in all of sports entertainment, the Humberto music distraction into the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! It was a lame ending and lasted about as long as it took me to write this paragraph. Humberto goes next and has a decent match with Sheamus before Humberto kicked Sheamus’s nose into the third row. The replay made it look worse as you could see Sheamus close up getting ready to take the move. Well, the deadliest move in sports entertainment strikes again and Sheamus can’t outwit the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! I would assume this leads to a triple threat US title match soon.
The Eva-lution is coming and I still don’t care.
Naomi and Lana take on Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke next, likely to determine who would be next in line for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Title match. You can tell how much Lana has improved these last couple of months. Dana and Mandy double up on Lana with a nice looking Samoan Drop/neckbreaker combo that could be used as a finisher and that’s it? Really? Mandy and Dana win the short match so I’m guessing they’re next? Poor Naomi and Lana. All four deserve better.
Cedric Alexander hit Shelton Benjamin with the Neuralizer kick to end their feud and Alexander can do a gimmick change quicker than I typed this sentence.
Elias was hyping Jaxson Ryker before their tag team title match next. Ryker mentioned his time in Iraq as a soldier to play into the Memorial Day theme. AJ Styles and Omos entered the Thunderdome with something missing, the Raw Tag Team Titles. Kofu Kingston offers to cut a great promo to respond to Drew McIntyre while the Thunderdome is searched to find the titles. The titles are found and the tag title match can start. The match starts as any of them do, with AJ Styles getting beaten down and kept away from Omos. AJ finally tags out and Elias pulls off the smartest move ever in his career but not tagging in and running. Omos then thanks Ryker for his service in the military by destroying him so AJ can pick up the pinfall. Elias was showing promise as a tag wrestler but now I guess he’s back to blandness. I don’t know if Elias can get Ryker over as a face though.
Alexa Bliss said that Lilly wanted to meet Reginald so he came back to the playground. The chat with the doll was awful, so Shayna Baszler saved us and beat up Reginald again for fun. Baszler told Bliss they’ll chat next week and Lilly was just a stupid doll. I can’t disagree with Baszler there. It’s just a shame that she went from that woman-eating beast in NXT to feuding with a doll on Raw. When is the next draft?
Mansoor was hanging out with the Viking Raiders when Mustafa Ali walked up afterward telling him not to trust them. Mansoor asked what about you? A feud between these two would be good. I’m sure Raw could spare a minute or two for it.
Main event time with Drew McIntyre taking on the Power Ranger Kofi Kingston. We get a really good match between the two that made it look like Kofi could have won a couple of times. McIntyre finds a unique way to put Kingston down with the Claymore to earn the right, once again, to face Bobby Lashley for the WWE Title at Hell in a Cell. With live crowds returning soon, you know Lashley is going to retain the title until then. I doubt Money in the Bank will see the title change hands, but SummerSlam should. The only thing is how to keep the feud going until then?
Let’s look at tonight’s highs and lows.
The McIntyre/Kingston match was really good. Both delivered solid promos to hype the match. I would have liked to have seen Kofi pick up the win instead to put a gap in the Drew title matches so it’s not all worn out by the time live fans return.
Charlotte Flair put someone over clean!
Let’s just hope that Baszler does not have to put the doll over in their upcoming feud. I think a long women’s title reign should be in her future for having to go through all of this. If not, just release her. She’s far too damaged goods now.
That’s all I’ve got. Until next time.