So we are less than 2 weeks out from Money in the Bank, a show where WWE has a chance to create stars and signal their intentions for future champions of the company. They’ve also secured BILLION dollar deals for both Raw & Smackdown over the past few weeks, so things must be all good in WWE world, right? Not entirely! Last week’s Raw was the 2nd lowest rating they’ve had in recent years, and while Smackdown has upped its game, the quality of Raw in general lately has been a disgrace to both wrestling and sports entertainment. Surely things have to get better this week…
We kick off the show with the wonderful Elias in the middle of the ring. He goes on about how great he is, and hypes his match with Seth Rollins at Money in the Bank. He reminds us of how he smashed Rollins with a guitar last week, and how upset he was to have to break one of his favourite guitars. They play the video of his attack last week and he sings his new song over it, until Rollins interrupts him.
Monday Night Rollins (who is so hot right now) comes to the ring, but before sliding in he paces around the ring and grabs a chair. They both swing for each other, the chair knocks the guitar from Elias’ hands, but the distraction allows Jinder Mahal to attack Rollins. This brings out THE BIG DOG Roman Reigns, making his triumphant return after a week off, for the save. Kurt Angle comes out, and we’re gonna have a tag team match (playa playa, holla holla, thuggin’ and buggin’).
The match itself was a fairly paint-by-numbers affair. Most of it is just the commentary team shiteing on about how hot Seth Rollins is right now. Elias keeps Rollins grounded for a lot of it, then hot tag to the Big Dog! Roman does Roman things. There’s a mixture of (mainly) boos and cheers from the crowd, so is this Bizarroworld too? There’s a bit of a brawl on the outside, Sunil Singh goes to hit Rollins with a chair but stops when Rollins sees him. Elias with a DDT on the chair, followed by a Drift Away, and he gets the win!
Later in the night Jinder has a promo backstage where he shits all over the Roman “conspiracy” angle they’ve been running lately, and says Roman has gotten shots that should have gone to others (such as him), and says Roman is bitter & jealous. Then Roman has a counter-promo where he says Jinder expects to be handed everything. Jinder cuts him off and says Roman would never say it to his face. The end result of it all is the Big Dog decides he’s going hunting.
He finds Jinder backstage a minute later and they brawl backstage. Roman gets the upper hand, but officials break it up. This is just a slightly better version of the Zayn-Lashley feud.
We had an interview with Bobby Roode where he hypes MITB and goes on about how it will be Glorious when he wins. But tonight he has to face Braun Strowman, and his goal for that is to just survive. The match itself was solid, with Roode trying to chop down the bigger man. He sets up a ladder from the apron to the barrier, then baits Braun to the outside and slides under the ladder. Braun stops, smashes the ladder in half, and Bobby gets these hands. Corey called him “Monster in the Bank” afterwards. Fuck off with that shite!
Our main event was the 1st main roster singles match between Finn Balor & Kevin Owens. Very aggressive opening from both guys, and Owens gets the upper hand and asks if that was Too Sweet… I love Kevin Owens! He keeps Finn grounded for most of the early stages. Finn knocks him down twice, but Owens rolls out of the ring both times to avoid a Coup de Grâce.
More of Owens wearing Finn down, focusing on his shoulder, until Finn hits a Slingblade. Balor with a dropkick and goes for another Coup de Grâce, but Owens hits the ropes to crotch Balor. Owens with a beatdown in the corner, but pushes it too far and the referee DQs him. After the bell Owens hits a Frog Splash on Balor. He grabs a ladder from under the ring and climbs it in the middle of the ring. He goes to jump off it but hesitates, and Balor drags him off it. Balor with another dropkick, then climbs the ladder himself and hits a Coup de Grâce from the top. He climbs back up and grabs the briefcase to close the show.
Curt Hawkins comes to the ring for a match against a local talent. He’s got a table of tacos at ringside, and says he’s at 0-199 at the moment, but there’s tacos for everyone if he can break his losing streak. Baron Corbin interferes and hits and End of Days on the local. So Hawkins has lost 200 straight matches. Corbin tips the table of tacos on Hawkins afterwards. Sweet Jesus, are we getting a Corbin-Hawkins feud? Who has ol’ Smiley Belly pissed off?
Afterwards there’s a backstage segment where Corbin goes to Kurt’s office and says he spoke to Stephanie McMahon, and she gave him a note. She has appointed him the new “constable” of Monday Night Raw.
Nia Jax had a non-title match against Natalya, with Nattie’s friend Ronda Rousey on commentary. The match was slow and sloppy (Title of your sex tape), and Nia got the win with a Samoan Drop. Rousey was decent on commentary though, talking about Judo and its principles around momentum, etc. After the match Ronda checks on Nattie, Nia tries to check on her too, but pushes Ronda, and there is a staredown. Ronda & the ref help Nattie from the ring as Nia looks on.
Backstage in the trainers room Nattie has ice on her knee, and Nia comes in to check on her again. Nia and Ronda squabble over her again, saying they’re both her friend. You have someone that should be a monster heel and the biggest female star they will ever have at their disposal, and this is what their feud is built on? Fuck off!
Alexa Bliss teamed with Sasha Banks & Ember Moon to take on Riott Squad. At one point Alexa goes to go up and over Ruby, but tweaks he leg and has to tag in Sasha, leaving it 3-on-2. Riott Squad use the number advantage to wear down Ember, then Sasha, and they take out Ember on the outside. Sasha hits a double meteora on Ruby & Logan, and Bayley’s music hits! She runs down to the ring and gets a tag from Sasha, and she quickly runs through the Sarah Logan for the win. How? Why? What? She’s not in the match… I’m confused!
Constable Corbin isn’t happy with that, and tells Kurt to tell the 3 women their win won’t count. Kurt finds them backstage and has to overturn the decision. Yeah, because rules are rules, that’s logical! A job well done for Constable Corbin!
The Deleters of Worlds come to the ring to cut a promo. Cole does his usual stuff on commentary, but he refers to how he’s getting shit from Reba McEntire (Reby Hardy) on Twitter, and the mention of Reba got a chuckle from me. Bray talks about how whoever wins the #1 Contender Battle Royal won’t just face them, but will face Woken Warriors and fireflies everywhere. Matt says they have woken the entire WWE Universe, and asks Renee if she considers herself woken, and when she admits she is, that deserves a standing ovation. He goes to call for Señor Benjamin to prepare the battlefield, but Bray cuts him off, and says first their opponents will be defeated, and THEN they will be DELETED. Sweet Jesus, give us The B Team vs Deleters in the Hardy Compound!
The Battle Royal starts off fairly standard, with everyone attacking everyone and then pairing off. Dolph Ziggler is the first one eliminated, with Tyler Breeze getting the elimination to stop Zigglypuff 3000 from becoming #1 Contenders. Dolph & Drew lay out everyone in the ring and leave.
We come back from a break and Titus Worldwide are gone. The Ascension follow soon after, along with Breezango. Corey says this could be the opportunity The Revival have been waiting for, which made me laugh harder than the Reba McEntire reference earlier. Rhyno eliminates Revival a minute later, leaving The B Team and Slater & Rhyno as the final 2. Rhyno ends up on the apron, Slater goes to pick up Bo, but bumps into Rhyno, giving the win to the B Team!
Bobby Lashley had a chance to respond to Sami Zayn’s recent actions. He comes out wearing jeans, a blazer and a baseball cap. Seriously, who dresses this guy? He talks about how Sami has been talking shit, but where he’s from they settle things the old fashioned way, and calls Sami out to the ring.
Sami’s music hits but there appears to be no sign of him. Oh wait, he’s in the crowd! He says he’s not going to get into the ring, because last time he was in the ring he just tried to shake Bobby’s hand but Bobby assaulted him and almost crushed it. Sami said he’s done some research into Bobby Lashley this week, using a tool he likes to call Instagram. Bobby likes to post inspirational quotes, and Sami shares some of them. I don’t know which feud is worse; this, or the Nia-Ronda one. Sami is trying his best though, and I almost feel bad for Lashley for how bad the feud is, but his execution of it is still shite as well, making it even worse. I gave up halfway through and went to take a piss…
We had David Otunga on commentary, since Coach is on assignment once again. I’d rather we go back to a 2 man booth, but I definitely preferred Otunga to Coach
Big Show had a segment with some of the Special Olympics athletes from Texas. Show is looking in phenomenal shape, fair play to him. Also, WWE always does these segments really well, even if it sometimes feels a bit like propaganda to preach how great they are as a company. Balor has his entrance to close this bit, and there was a class bit where they all done his entrance together.
Elias & Jinder Mahal def Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns by pinfall
Local Chap def Curt hawkins by DQ
Nia Jax def Natalya by pinfall
Braun Strowman def Bobby Roode by pinfall
The B Team won a tag team battle royal (new #1 contenders)
Riott Squad def Sasha Banks, Ember Moon & Alexa Bliss by DQ
Finn Balor def Kevin Owens by DQ
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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