Welcome to Monday Night Raw, this week emanating from the heart of BizarroWorld, London. This means they’ll boo who they normally cheer, and cheer who they normally boo… except Roman Reigns, who gets boos everywhere now. Anyway, let’s just jump into the action…
We kick off the show with The Big Dog Roman Reigns making his way to the ring, serenaded by a chorus of boos. He cuts a promo about Jinder Mahal jumping him last week, and he wants Jinder to come out and face him like a man. However Kurt Angle comes to the ring instead… he didn’t invite you Kurt! Jeez!
Kurt says Jinder won’t be coming out. He speaks for WWE management, and apparently he got a call saying he was wrong to stop Jinder from having a qualifying match for MITB last week. He has to think logically, as that’s best for business. Kurt announces later Jinder will face Elias & Lashley for a MITB spot. Roman wants into the match, but Kurt says no (which gets cheered), and Roman will have no more qualifying opportunities (cue the “YES!” chants). The segment ends with Roman saying he gets that Kurt is doing what he has to do, but now he’s going to do what he has to.
We cut to backstage and Roman is looking for Jinder. He spots him conveniently standing out in the hallway, but Jinder throws Sunil into Roman and beats him down. Roman rallies and knocks Jinder back into the arena, where he scampers onto the stage. He hits a Superman Punch, goes to continue the attack, but Kurt & a few officials break it up.
Fast forward an hour or so, and Jinder is making his way towards the arena, but Roman comes out of nowhere (phrasing) and spears him through a rather flimsy looking door/wall. This leaves Jinder even more hurt, and Kurt leaves Sunil and officials tend to him while he tries to find a replacement for the MITB qualifier.
Sami Zayn comes out and cuts a promo about Bobby Lashley. He talks about how he left for 10 years, but decided to make his return the same night Sami returned to Raw. Lashley may look a million bucks, but he tried to make his return at Sami’s expense. They go with the “vertigo” angle, and go into some more depth about that. Sami then brings up THAT Lashley interview from last week (which we covered in a bit of a rant on our podcast last week).
Apparently Lashley has targeted Sami because Lashley wants to be him. He even copied his hat… that’s his thing! Sami is after reaching out to Lashley’s sisters, and they have a story to tell. They will be at Raw next week to tell their side of the story, and Sami will expose the real Lashley. “Lashley: This Is Your Life” segment incoming folks…
Seth Rollins comes out to defend his IC title against Kevin Owens. We have the commentators going on about the travel schedule again, so that appears to be a thing. Seth’s opponent tonight is Kevin Owens. Kinda hoped we’d get Pete Dunne instead, but Owens is still amazing!
The match itself was fantastic. Amazing spot where Owens catches Rollins in the Fireman’s Carry position off a Suicide Dive… can’t remember seeing that before. We also get reminded that nobody is hotter than Seth Rollins right now. Rollins hits a Falcon Arrow onto the apron, which Nicky has informed me is the “hardest part of the ring” ™
Both guys have dives blocked, and Owens manages to counter a Superplex attempt into his inverted Fisherman’s Buster, but Rollins rolls from the ring. Owens rolls him back in, but as he slides back in Rollins hits the Curb Stomp for the win! Quality match!
We had more triple threat matches to qualify for the Men’s MITB match. The first match saw Baron Corbin, Bobby Roode & No Way Jose face off. The majority of the match is Jose getting beaten on the outside, and the other 2 working in the ring, where they had some ok sequences. When Jose actually got some offense in he looked pretty damn good though, and he almost got a shock rollup victory, but Roode barely kicked out. There was a few near falls, and eventually Roode gets the win with a Glorious DDT on Jose.
The 2nd match was supposed to be Jinder vs Lashley vs Elias, but Jinder needed medical attention after being attacked by Roman. When Kurt was going to check on him, Kevin Owens caught him and demanded a rematch against Rollins, and when Kurt refused he left to ring Stephanie McMahon. After Roman’s 2nd attack on Jinder, Kurt is on the phone to Stephanie in his office. Apparently Kevin did ring her, and he is to be Jinder’s replacement.
Lashley must have listened to my rant about him last week, because he actually showed a few more moves this week. Some of them still looked a bit sloppy though. I will never like that man, but maybe this feud with Zayn will yield an average match. Elias is ridiculously over with the UK crowd, and he plays a few notes mid-match! The finish comes when Zayn interferes and drags Lashley out of the ring, leaving Owens his a Frog Splash on Elias to seal his place in MITB!
Bayley, Mickie James & Alexa Bliss faced off in a qualifying match for the women’s MITB match. Earlier in the night we had a segment where Sasha Banks wished Bayley good luck, and they at least seem to be civil with each other again.
The early stages was Mickie & Alexa teaming up to take out Bayley, but teasing the “every woman for herself” side of things. Bayley rallies a few times but gets outnumbered. Sasha hits a Code Red on Bayley, but Mickie kicks her in the face to break it up… OUCH!
The action spills to the outside and Bayley and Mickie scrap a bit. Bayley kicks her off and slides into the ring. Bliss meets her with a forearm to the face, followed by a DDT, and Bliss is going to Money in the Bank!
The team of Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler faced off against Finn Balor & Braun Strowman. Early in the night we have a phone promo where Drew trashes the roster again. I only just noticed it now, but when he talks he sounds different to the rest of the roster, but I can’t figure out why…
The match itself was pretty good. They teased a fight between Braun & Drew early on, but Drew tags out. Also a nice old-school moment where Balor goes for a dive but Drew trips him as he bounces off the ropes. Braun eventually gets into the action and goes nuts, but misses a shoulder charge in the corner and eats the ringpost.
Balor tags in and is managing to keep Drew & Dolph under control. Finn tries to go up top for the Coup de grâce but Drew distracts him. Braun does his Super Mario Invincibility run to bulldoze Drew, who knocks over and breaks the Oil Rumble trophy. The distraction allows Dolph to known Balor off the ropes and get the win for ZigIntyre.
Seth Rollins def Kevin Owens
The B Team def Breezango
Sasha Banks, Ember Moon & Natalya def. The Riott Squad
Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt def. The Revival
Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler def. Braun Strowman & Finn Balor
Bobby Roode def. No Way Jose (via pinfall) and Baron Corbin (MITB Qualifier)
Alexa Bliss def. Bayley (via pinfall) and Mickie James (MITB Qualifier)
Kevin Owens def. Elias (via pinfall) and Bobby Lashley (MITB Qualifier)
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)
Fancy testing your wrestling knowledge, and proving you know more than your friends? Of course you do! Then you should check out our weekly wrestling quiz, posted every Friday (kinda). The latest quiz was our Wrestlemania quiz, and you can check it out here.
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