Welcome to Raw after Saudi Arabia! This week Raw is from Montreal, Canada, meaning the crowd cheers who they normally boo, and boo who they normally cheer. I’ve noticed pretty much every crowd over the past month has been booing and cheering the same people, so is Bizarroworld now the norm?
Anyway, we’re fresh off the glorified house show that was the Greatest Royal Rumble, and we’re 6 days away from WWE Backlash, so let’s jump into the action and watch WWE throw together a PPV on 6 days notice…
We kicked off the show with THE BIG DOG coming to the ring to address the finish of the Universal Title match at the Oil Rumble. Apparently the referee has acknowledged he made a mistake in his decision, and Kurt Angle has confirmed a mistake was made. According to Roman this makes him the “real Universal Champion”. The crowd are booing the shit out of Roman. He says he knows he’s the champ, so he won’t lose faith in himself.
Roman says he’d say all this to Brock Lesnar, but Brock isn’t here, so he’ll switch focus to his opponent for Backlash this Sunday. This leads to Samoa Joe appearing on the titantron to interrupt THE BIG DOG. Joe says none of us had faith in Roman to begin with. He says on Sunday he’ll put Roman’s downward spiralling career to sleep. Next up, Jinder Mahal interrupts Roman.
He claims Roman will lose to Joe on Sunday, but tonight Roman will lose to the Monday Night Maharaja… which the crowd cheers! I’m confused. Then Sami Zayn appears in front of the Quebec crowd, which sends them nuts. Kevin Owens comes out after him, and they both want a piece of the Big Dog too. Roman punches him, and all 3 of them gang up on him, until Lashley makes the save, followed by Braun Strowman. They clear the ring and stand tall, setting up a 6-man tag for later. This segment took up 15 minutes of my life….
The match itself was fine. The crowd were fully behind Sami & KO, and were shitting all over Roman & Lashley. Sami & KO with a lot of quick tags, keeping Roman isolated in the ring and stopping him from making a tag. Eventually Roman gets to Strowman and tags him in. He checks KO & Sami into the barrier outside, and turns his attention to Jinder. More body checks on the outside, and then Braun sends himself into the ringpost trying to hit Jinder in the corner. A spear from Roman, followed by a few superkicks from KO. He goes for a cannonball, but Braun catches him, powerslam, and Team Braun gets the win. Why is Braun now friendly with Roman though, after them having absolute wars with each other this time last year? Answers on a postcard please…
Sasha Banks is scheduled to face Ruby Riott, to get payback for Riott Squad attacking her a few weeks back. Before the match she has a promo backstage saying Bayley won’t be in her corner, and she doesn’t know what’s going on with Bayley. According to her the Raw Women’s Division is still on Boss Time. I wonder if that gets adjusted for Daylight Savings or not…
The match itself was pretty good. Sasha controlled a lot of it, but there was a nice back-and-forth flow all the same. At one point Sasha ends up on the outside, Sarah Logan tries to attack her, but Sasha avoids it and decks her. The ref was looking right at this attempted interference, so why didn’t he send Riott Squad to the back?
Ruby hits a lovely Middle Rope falling senton/cannonball. It’s such a simple move but don’t think I’ve seen anyone do it like that before, so I loved it. Riott Squad get involved again, and Ruby hits the Riott Kick for the win.
Seth Rollins comes out to celebrate his successful title defense from the Royal Rumble. He talks about their crazy travel schedule over the past few weeks. This whole bit seems to be just about milking as much time as possible. He says he wants to be a fighting champion, and then Balor Club arrives in Montreal.
Finn has rewatched the ending to the ladder match the Royal Rumble (presumably he has a free month on the WWE Network). Apparently they’ve had 4 singles matches, and they’ve won 2 each… gotta love 50/50 booking! Finn wants to have a rubber match later. Seth says he has to fight Miz for the title on Sunday, but he’ll leave the crowd decide if they should face off, and the match is made… until the Miztourage interrupt.
Miztourage try to convince them to form a new 4 Horsemen of WWE. Finn & Seth talk it out, but decide to pass on the offer. Miztourage go to leave but attack, and Finn & Seth clear the ring. When Seth has his back turned, Finn drops him and says Seth needs to keep his eyes on him
The match itself was really good, as all matches between these guys have been. Nice spot where Rollins blocks Balor’s corner enzuigiri and follows with a Blockbuster. Seth with the ripcord knee for a 2 count. He goes for a Curb stomp, but Balor cuts him off. Rollins hits a Superplex, but when he floats over Balor hits a Falcon Arrow… NICE! Lots of countering and back and forth, feeling a lot like an indy match. Rollins eventually hits the stomp for the win, and retains his title as Raw goes off the air.
Titus O’Neil had an interview with Renee to talk about his memorable moment at the Royal Rumble, where he slipped on his way to the ring and slid under the ring. He laughs and says not many people get a chance to fall on their face in front of the whole world. He says he hopes it can be an inspiration to people to show no matter how hard you fall, you have to get back up. The segment is then interrupted by Baron Corbin. Corbin thinks it would be more inspirational if Titus hadn’t fallen at all… he has a point! Later in the night Corbin faces No Way Jose, and Titus interferes. He slips when stepping through the ropes, causing a distraction, allowing Forget It Frank get the rollup for the win
Alexa Bliss has another “Moment of Bliss” PSA, discussing bullying by Nia Jax. Apparently Nia kept making fun of her height and asking if she was tall enough to go on rides when they went to Disneyland. She even asked if she was tall enough for the teacups, which is just a cup. The bitch even insisted she get a kids menu when they stopped for lunch. Bliss insists she will win back her title at Backlash, to show bullies never win.
Later in the night Alexa accompanies Mickie James to the ring for her match against Natalya, who is flanked by Ronda Rousey. Bliss tries to distract Nattie to stop a Sharpshooter attempt, which pissed off Ronda. She chases her around the ring, and the distraction allows Natie get a rollup win. Bliss backs up the ramp, but Nia Jax’s music hits and she chases her, until Bliss escapes through the crowd.
Elias def Bobby Roode (stoppage)
AOP def 2 nobodies (death)
Ruby Riott def Sasha Banks (pin)
Braun Strowman, Roman Reigns & Lashley def Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens & Jinder Mahal (Braun smash)
No Way Jose def Baron Corbin (pin)
Natalya def Mickie James (pin)
Seth Rollins def Finn Balor (pin)
So that’s a wrap on another episode of Monday Night Raw. This week was fairly promo-heavy, but the actual wrestling on the show was pretty good, and the main event was deserving of its spot. It feels weird having a Raw after PPV also be the go-home for another PPV though, so hopefully they plan any future international shows like that a bit better going forward.
While you’re here, make sure to check out ‘The Alleged Wrestling Podcast’ where we have the craic looking back over the wrestling events of the past week! (It’s also on iTunes and Stitcher and all those nice things)
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