Another week, another episode of Monday Night Raw. This week we return to the good ol’ U S of A, and Raw is airing from Albany, New York. The UK episode felt very much like a glorified house show, so hopefully this will be an improvement. We have the Lashley: This Is Your Life segment to look forward to though, so I won’t hold my breath…
(SPOILER ALERT: This may be a cheap plug, but make sure to tune in to our Alleged Wrestling Podcast this weekend, as we are going to tear this show to shreds)
We open the show with Kurt Angle in the ring, but he’s promptly interrupted by Bollocksjaws herself, Stephanie McMahon. She says she has forgiven Kurt for everything that happened around Wrestlemania. She goes on to say how Kurt has been doing a good job, but she wants his growth to continue, and keep his emotions out of it. Apparently Kurt has given Roman too much latitude lately, and that needs to stop. This brings out THE BIG DOG! Yep, they’re really going with this “Roman vs The Machine” angle again folks…
They talk shite, she mentions his “Samoan Temper”, he threatens to beat up her favourite superstars, and some other noise. Something is said about Jinder Mahal, then Kevin Owens comes out. Owens says he needs to thank Roman, because it’s Roman’s fault that KO is the last Raw participant in Money in the Bank. He tries to start a “Thank You Roman” chant but the crowd boos. He goes on about Steph not having favourites and just doing what’s “Best for business”. The end result of it all is a match between Kevin & Roman.
It’s a fairly standard match between the 2 of them, if you’ve seen any of their previous encounters. Nice spot where Owens moves out of the way of the Drive-by, and hits a superkick when Roman is laying on the apron… that’s the 2nd time someone countered a Drive-by in the past 2-3 weeks, so that’s a thing now. The ending comes when Roman spears Kevin on the outside, and Jinder Mahal jumps him to cause the DQ. The 2 lads beat him down until Seth Rollins (so hot right now) makes the save, and we have a tag team match playa! Let the thuggin’ and buggin’ commence!
Generic enough tag match, Roman gets worn down, Seth Rollins is so hot right now, etc. The ending comes when “Red Hot Rollins” hits a Curb Stomp on Kevin Owens at the 2nd attempt. As the Shield boys go to leave, Jinder ambushes them at the top of the ramp with a chair.
In a segment that may well be my least favourite segment of all time, Sami Zayn brought Bobby Lashley’s 3 sisters to Raw to “expose” Bobby. The 3 “ladies” had very little resemblance to Bobby, and one of them had a moustache… all I could think is it’s like a live action version of “White Chicks”.
Cathy brought her broom with her. Apparently Bobby picked on her, so she grabbed the closest thing to her, the broom, and used it to swat him away. Frances carried her helmet because Bobby hit her in the head, so she saved and bought the helmet as protection. Jessica had the towel because Bobby hurt her feelings and made her cry so much a tissue wasn’t enough, so she needed a towel instead. We eventually come to the conclusion that Bobby was a brat, was shipped off to reform school, and was an all round bollocks! That brings Walking Snore-mageddon out to the ring, smiling and high fiving fans…
Bobby welcomes his 3 sisters and thanks Sami. He calls him a good friend, and Sami asks how he would feel if he got a Helluva Kick and thrown from the ring. He says Bobby’s family thinks he’s garbage. Sami and the “sisters” beat him down until Bobby hulks up and beats up his own family as Sami retreats. I can’t believe I had to watch this shit, and I feel bad for anyone that paid money to sit in the arena and witness it. If you wish to forget it ever happened, this will help:
As a side note, since they’re doing the whole “Balor Club is for everyone” and rainbow gear to show support for LGBT, is it not a bit contradictory to send out 3 guys in drag to “embarrass” Lashley? Answers on a postcard please…
Ember Moon faced off with Alexa Bliss in a clash of Money in the Bank participants. Before the match Bliss has a Gorilla Promo talking about the Roman Army and Visigoths… weird! The story of the match was Mickie & Alexa using distractions to take the advantage, then Alexa working Ember’s shoulder. The ref spots Mickie trying to interfere, Ember knocks her out, kicks Bliss in the face, and nails an Eclipse for the win. She must be over the moon with that win!
Later in the night we had a contract signing between Nia Jax & Ronda Rousey. Stephanie presides over proceedings, and Ronda asks her how her arm is. Steph tries to stir shit about Ronda jumping to the front of the line, and wonders why Nia chose Ronda. This segment is all about Steph, I’d say Steve is loving this!
Nia eventually snaps, says he’s heard the “lazy” comments her whole life, but she knows Ronda won’t put the armbar on her. Cue the tense staredown, as is tradition. Ronda is nice enough to move the table first. She says she’s going to take Nia’s title, and her arm. That will be a technical masterclass!
Natalya defeated Sarah Logan, Liv Morgan & Dana Brooke to qualify for Money In The Bank. Nothing more to say there. After the match she’s interviewed in the ring, and she goes on about how after MITB Ronda will be champ and she will be Ms. Money in the Bank. She’s totally cashing in on Ronda, isn’t she?
They also announce a Last Chance Gauntlet for all the Raw women next week. Can’t they just give the last spot to Kairi Sane or someone instead? We don’t need to see Bayley qualify so her and Sasha can recreate the Scar-Mufasa bit again atop a ladder…
Finn Balor & Braun Strowman asked Stephanie McMahon for a rematch against Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre. Steph pointed out they aren’t partners, and books a match between the two of them for later in the show. This matchup of underutilized guys who could be absolute stars for different reasons is our main event.
The match itself was a standard big man-little man affair. Balor trying to cut down Braun, but Braun overpowering him. Braun goes for his Super Mario run at one stage, but Balor counters into a Slingblade. He follows up by dropkicking Braun into the crowd, and a double stomp to the back of Braun. He hits a Coup de grâce off the barricade to the floor, and rolls back in, but Braun beats the count.
Braun hits the ringpost again, and eats a dropkick. Balor goes for another but Braun catches him in a powerslam. Another powerslam later and Braun is your winner. Good match to close out a fairly shit episode of Raw.
Roman Reigns def Kevin Owens (DQ)
Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns def Kevin Owens & Jinder Mahal
Ember Moon def Alexa Bliss
Baron Corbin def No Way Jose
The B Team def Breezango
Dolph Ziggler def Chad Gable
Natalya def Sarah Logan, Liv Morgan & Dana Brooke (MITB Qualifier)
Elias def Bobby Roode
Braun Strowman def Finn Balor
I swear, this show gets harder and harder to watch every week. How on earth do they have the most athletic and technically gifted roster in company history, but put out some of the worst wrestling ever seen on TV? This is almost “last year of WCW” levels of terrible. Worryingly, the fact that they are going to get roughly half a billion out of the next TV deal means they don’t even need to give a shit about improving things. Buckle up folks, it’s going to be a bumpy ride…
Screw it, I’m off to catch up on some of Best of Super Juniors or re-watch Jinder winning the title at Backlash last year, and think of better times…
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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