Welcome to the WWE RAW Reaction, where I offer my take on this week’s show from Bakersfield. I did do a Reaction to Hell in a Cell, which can be found here. You can also check out John’s full detailed RAW report here.
We start this week’s RAW already in progress with Baron Corbin and Randy Orton double-teaming Rusev in the ring. Supposedly the opening match will be Rusev and Orton. Rusev eventually clears the ring only for Bobby Lashley to appear on the video screen. Lashley is in Rusev’s bedroom getting into bed with Lana, who said everything was hers now. Cut back to the ring and Rusev is beside himself, with Orton and Corbin still at ringside laughing. Rusev goes into crush mode and lays waste to Corbin and Orton. A lame angle with a good beat down, though. I’m guessing we can pencil in Lashley for Team Flair at Crown Jewel.
The opening match for the evening was Last Woman Standing between Natalya and Lacey Evans. Lacey was in control for far too long for Nattie to just end the match with one move, a powerbomb off the stage. With Natalya winning, the match went a little too long for my liking.
Tag Team action is next with the RAW Tag Champs Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode taking on The Viking Raiders. The Viking Raiders continue to impress and pick up a well-deserved win which, as we saw later, sets up the tag team title match next week. I would expect a title change here, barring anything changing in the Draft.
Somebody finally remembered that Aleister Black was still on the main roster waiting for a knock on his door. Instead of getting a knock, he decided to go to the ring to find someone to fight. That someone turned out to be The Singh Brothers in their Bollywood Boys gimmick. Sadly, there was no Singh Fling, just quick destruction and a unique submission move.
A quick video replay from Smackdown on the Rey/Brock story with the interjection of Cain Velasquez is next. Rey is backstage with Charly for a quick promo about the recent happenings. Rey did forget to mention that Cain had heard that the Saudis pay well for Crown Jewel appearances.
The OC is out next to take on the Lucha House Party. With the way The OC has been booked lately, I could see either team pick up the win here. LHP with a really cool triple moonsault out of one corner to the floor spot to lead into the commercial break, but LHP falls to The OC when they come back from break. After the match, AJ does the impressive second rope Styles Crash to Dorado.
Miz TV is up next and it’s a shame to see what the Miz has been reduced to. He should be a multi-time WWE champion instead of a talk show host. Becky Lynch is out first followed by Charlotte Flair, both are in their ring gear to participate in a game of one-upmanship. That led to the face off between the two and the cue for their opponents, The Kabuki Warriors, to come out. Asuka cuts a good promo in Japanese (no, I don’t speak it) and Kairi follows up with a quick one of her own. The body language showed they were fired up and ready to fight, so they charged the ring to get the fight started.
The order was restored to clear the ring out of MizTV and the match got underway. The match was really good, with the Kabuki Warriors showing a new found aggressiveness that they’ve lacked for awhile now. The match ends with Becky getting the mist to the face and pinned. After the match, Alexa and Nikki run down to beat on the Kabuki Warriors. The heel/face here is still not real clear, but at least the Kabuki Warriors have gotten some character development.
Apollo Crews and Ricochet do quick promos for their match in the entranceway and an impressive match it was. The two best friends meshed perfectly together and the match would have been spectacular if they were given 10 minutes instead of four. Perhaps we can revisit this later. Also, props to Apollo for main eventing Raw.
A quick recap for the awful Hell in a Cell match between Rollins and Fiend was next and then they cut to commercial. They didn’t acknowledge much and I was half expecting Frank Drebin to appear to say throughout, “Keep moving. Nothing to see here.” God rest his soul.
Our final segment was the showdown between Braun Strowman and Tyson Fury. After some trash talking, we throw down. Fury and Strowman make quick work of The Guardians of the Independent Scene and keep fighting. Here comes the locker room to break up things, rather unsuccessfully. Order eventually gets restored and we fade out there with Strowman and Fury going back at it.
Good to see some lesser used talent on the show tonight. Apollo Crews was in the main event match and part of the pull apart brawl at the end of the show. Other guys used included EC3, Eric Young, Zack Ryder, and Curt Hawkins. Aleister Black also made an appearance.
It was nice to see this newfound aggressiveness in the Kabuki Warriors. I think Creative might have finally figured out something good to do with them. Their title reign could be fun if they actually do cross and defend on all three brands.
The Last Woman Standing match just went on for a bit too long. Lacey was tossing Natalya all over the place only to lose after one move. Granted, that move was a powerbomb off the stage, but still.
Raw continued the trend of disappointing shows this week. Hell in a Cell wasn’t all that great after the first hour and Raw just seemed like they didn’t bother to put any effort in for the show. I know the Draft starts on Friday, but they should have tried something to make up for Hell in a Cell.
That’s all I’ve got for now. Glad to see Dish Network and Fox made up, so I’ll be back Saturday with the Smackdown Reaction.