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 review here.
A recap of last week’s contract signing plays before the Raw opening video.
MVP is in the ring to start us off with the VIP Lounge with the Raw Woman’s Money in the Bank participants. Asuka was being usual Awesome Auska here, dancing to Nia’s music and the ranting she does. There’s no way anyone in Creative came up with this on their own. I suspect Paul Heyman has a big hand in this. Anyway, the segment ends with Shayna and Asuka stare down before kicking Nia out of the ring. Can we please make Asuka Miss Money in the Bank?
Our opening match is the Last Chance Gauntlet Match for Apollo Crews MITB spot. This match should take up what is remaining of the first hour. Bobby Lashley, sans Lana, was out first to mow down Titus O’Neil, Akira Tozawa, and Shelton Benjamin before Humberto Carrillo enters the match. Lashley drew a very weak DQ elimination to keep him away from the eventual winner. Carrillo plays the face in peril before drawing two reverse counter eliminations on Angel Garza and Austin Theory. The Theory elimination was the old superplex small package counter you don’t see that often anymore. That was a real nice touch. Since two of Zelina Vega’s clients were in this match and lost, what’s the point of her stable of jobbers again? AJ Styles comes out as the last participant and makes Carrillo look really good in defeat to qualify for Money in the Bank. This likely means that Styles is going to win MITB, but I would rather have Aleister Black win instead. Styles cuts a quick promo afterwards announcing he’s back and wants to be Mr. Money in the Bank. As expected, this killed the remaining time in hour one. Up until Styles entered the match, it all just seemed like it was just burning through time to get to 9:00.
WWE does a Top 10 MITB Moments Countdown randomly throughout the night. Lots of people getting hit with ladders or doing something crazy with a ladder. Number One was Seth Rollins WrestleMania cash in. There were some better choices I’m sure, like Dolph Ziggler’s night after WrestleMania cash in.
Seth Rollins is out for Promo Time in the ring with Charly Caruso. Charly did ask a dumb question when asking Rollins about Murphy’s chances with Drew McIntyre tonight. Rollins puts over his Monday Night Messiah heel gimmick and says he will win the WWE Championship to be the true leader. A quality promo from Rollins, not quite a money promo though. I would expect McIntyre to be champion for a while.
MVP’s new tag team associates Brendan Vink and Shane Thorne are up next to take on Ricochet and Cedric Alexander. Ricochet and Cedric get a televised entrance. Even though Vink and Thorne are Australian, they aren’t TM61 material. Maybe Iiconics but not TM61. The match was decent but cursed by the dreaded 50/50 Booking with the Aussies picking up the win.
More tag team action between The Street Profits and Viking Raiders is up next. We are treated to a very competitive hard-hitting match that could have gone either way multiple times. Ford is his usual awesomeness playing the face in peril instead of Dawkins. In the end, Dawkins takes the Viking Experience ride for a Viking Raiders win. I can’t wait for the next match between these two teams. We also know the wives will get interjected at some point for the six-person tag matches.
Aleister Black says he’s ready to fight AJ Styles. Yes, please.
NXT Woman’s Champion Charlotte Flair is up next to talk about her title match on Wednesday against Io Shirai. Liv Morgan comes out to run down Flair before challenging her to a match. I really loved the facial expressions Morgan was doing throughout the promo. She’s gotten better since her Riott Squad days. We come back from a break to the shock of shocks, a Flair/Morgan match. Even more shocking, Flair somehow screws up and actually put Morgan over in the match. Flair still won but it was a far more competitive match than the usual Charlotte Flair match. Let’s hope Shirai gets the same result. The match was really enjoyable and Morgan looked like a star hanging with Flair like she did. Why can’t we have Morgan in the MITB match instead of Baszler or Jax?
Main event time with Drew McIntyre taking on Murphy. McIntyre tossed Murphy all over the place as expected. Murphy tried to battle back but got his face kicked off instead with a Claymore Kick for the expected McIntyre win. Rollins faked an attack on McIntyre before actually attacking him with a superkick. McIntyre countered with a Glasgow Kiss to send Rollins retreating up the ramp to end the show.
Let’s look at tonight’s highs and lows.
Asuka is awesome. That is all.
The Street Profits/Viking Raiders match was fantastic. A definite must-see from this week.
I have to ask again, what is the point of Zelina Vega creating a stable of losers? I guess losing in the gauntlet match was better than being destroyed by McIntyre. But seriously, what’s one thing of significance any of them have done since Andrade won the US title at MSG?
In this crazy new world we are in, be safe and stay home. We will get through this together.
That’s all I’ve got, until next time.