We’re just 6 days away from Money In The Bank. All the participants for the matches have been set in stone for weeks, and since then Raw has felt kinda stagnant. It almost feels like they blew their load too early and are now just trying to push through to the Pay Per View but failing miserably, and attendances and ratings are reflecting that. But somehow it’s a billion dollar TV show! Anyway, since this is the go-home show, hopefully they have a few last minute surprises for us, so let’s find out…
We kicked off the show with a summit of all Raw MITB participants atop ladders. Corey Graves said we’ve never started Raw like this (we did, on 6th June 2016 – Corey was too busy raging on Twitter so didn’t do his homework this week). Kurt Angle comes out, followed by Baron Corbin, sporting a new haircut. Corbin tells Kurt if both cases don’t come back to Raw, Stephanie McMahon will be disappointed. The women all bicker first, and then Kevin Owens says the briefcase should be raised higher for Braun Strowman, because he’s taller than everyone else.
There’s more bickering and shit, Alexa Bliss screams, she says she knows her Mixed Match Challenge partner Braun will win, Sasha thinks her partner Stupid Sexy Balor will win, Kevin Owens thinks he win, Braun gets angry and says somebody is going to get these hands…. Was the whole segment set up just to get to that moment? Sweet Jesus, that was terrible!
For some reason Alexa Bliss went to the back after the opening promo, just to make her entrance on TV. We’re in extreme time killing mode already. She’s facing Natalya, Ember Moon & Sasha Banks in a Fatal 4 Way. Ember catches a Bliss crossbody attempt and hits a nice Fallaway Slam, and Nattie drives Bliss into the barricade. While she’s on the outside, the others trade a nice series of pinfalls and counters.
Sasha with a flipping senton to Nattie on the outside, and when she gets to her feet Ember comse flying out of the ring like a missile, hitting Sasha at such speed they both go into the barrier…. INSANE!!!
All 4 women are back in the ring and there’s some more nice spots between Ember & Sasha. We have an in-match ad break hyping Money in the Bank… is the mention of the event every 5 seconds not enough advertising for it? There is a Tower of Doom spot, where Coach doesn’t understand why people would help each other out in multiperson matches despite having commentated on a few hundred of them before.
Banks Statement from Sasha on Bliss, Nattie breaks it up but her injured knee buckles. She tries to lock in a Sharpshooter on Sasha, but Ember kicks her from behind. Ember with an Eclipse on Nattie, Bliss drags her from the ring and goes for the cover but Sasha breaks it up at 2. “This is awesome” chant starts, or are they chanting “This is Boss Time”? Nattie rolls up Bliss and locks in a Sharpshooter, and she gets the win!
Before their Fatal 4 Way match, Kevin Owens approaches Finn Balor backstage. He has a symbolic bowl of olives, since he doesn’t have an olive branch and Finn likes all that healthy stuff. He mentions neither of them ever got their rematches for losing the Universal Title (true). KO proposes they try to take out Braun to stop him getting to MITB this Sunday. A while later he has a similar conversation with Bobby Roode. After that Finn & Bobby have a chat about it too, and they’re kinda open to the idea, but don’t trust Owens. There’s then a meeting between all 3, where Braun shows up and dares them to gang up on him.
The match itself was pretty decent. The 3 lads did all gang up on Braun, but he outmuscled them, and he chased KO to the back. He drags him back to the stage and everyone gets those hands on the stage. Balor & Roode recover and hit him with a ladder a few times and lay him on a table, allowing Owens hit a Frog Splash off a ladder through the table.
The other 3 fight for a while, until Strowman rises “from the ashes like a phoenix, Middle finger to the sky”. Owens tries to escape through the crowd but Braun catches him. He does his Super Mario run, but slips when running towards Finn Balor, and leaves them all laying.
The alliance implodes eventually when Owens tries to pin Roode. Balor hits a Coup de grâce on Braun but his pin gets broken up. Roode hits a Glorious DDT, and Owens hits a Frog Splash, but Braun kicks out. Braun with a powerslam to Owens onto a ladder, and Braun gets the win!
THE BIG DOG Roman Reigns has a backstage promo where he blames Jinder Mahal for him not being in the Money in the Bank match. They’re supposed to be facing each other this Sunday, but why wait, let’s have it tonight! WHY?
“The Worst Bout Machine” makes his way to the ring accompanied by Sunil Singh, and cuts a promo about how Roman isn’t as unstoppable as he thinks he is. The winds are changing and he can feel it, and he can see what we can’t. He sees Roman suffering at Money in the Bank (we all will be). He talks some more shite, and out comes The Big Dog.
Coach makes a comment about how this is a “Pay Per View quality match before the Pay Per View” – yeah Coach, it IS a Pay Per View match this Sunday, you thick fuck! Jinder isn’t going to face Roman though, he has someone else in mind. That someone is someone fearless, who stands shoulders above competition; The Great…. SUNIL SINGH! Jinder gives Sunil some encouragement, but Roman makes light work of him. After the match Jinder attacks and hits a Khallas
Elias comes out to greet the crowd and play a few tunes for them. He makes fun of Rollins’ being an architect who wants us to burn it down and how that’s a contradiction. Apparently since Seth likes crossfit we know he’s a tool. He plays a tune, but then he has a surprise for us: a 2nd guitar! This one is a custom guitar that was apparently given to him by John Mayer, and has a picture of the IC title and his name on it. When Elias wins the IC title this Sunday, his celebration next Monday will be playing his greatest song on that guitar. This brings out Seth Rollins (who is so hot right now), and Rollins clears the ring.
Rollins asks when Elias is going to grow some balls and be a man. He goes on about how he always shows up to defend a title and looking for a fight, and all his usual stuff. He goes on about how Elias could be a star, could be a hit maker, and how he has all the tools and has the guitars…. Except the custom one in the corner of the ring. Rollins wants a closer look at it and picks it up and admires it. Seth proposes a charity auction for it. He then teases stomping on it a few times. Rollins says he can’t play any instruments, but he knows one song that happens when he taps his foot on the ground. Cue the “Burn It Down” chants, and Rollins hits the stomp on the guitar. Coach calls John Mayer a Hip-Hop Artist, because he thought they were talking about Jay-Z… why do they hire that man? Anyway, this killed around 10 minutes.
The team of Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler obliterated Breezango. That does something to repair having them eliminated so fast last week, but there was no need for them to be in that match last week. After the match they cut a promo and Drew says they’re not just here to take over the division, they’re here to save the division and take everyone else out!
The #1 Contenders, The B Team, faced Heath Slater & Rhyno. B Team get a fairly quick win to continue their momentum, and drag themselves further away from the jobber status they’d built over the past 2 years. After the match the Deleters of Worlds appear on screen and say that this is wonderful and deserves a standing ovation, then they appear on stage. They warn the B Team to be careful and call them obsolete mules. Apparently they will eat them, and delete them.
Sami Zayn comes out to the ring to double down on his claim last week where he asked was Bobby Lashley ever actually in the army. He has an obstacle course set up, and wants to see which one of them can complete it faster. This stinks of NXT Season 2; it was shit then, and it’s shit now. There’s a tyre flip, low crawls, a “three sisters” wall jump (named after Lashley’s sisters), a horizontal ladder and a rope climb. He runs down America a bit, and out comes Lashley.
Lashley says he is going to run through this course, then he’s going to kick Sami’s “butt” on Sunday… and this guy is supposed to be a badass! There’s a coin toss to decide who goes first, and Bobby is up first. He powers through the course fairly easily, but Sami jumps him as he jumps down from the rope climb. Sami hits a Helluva Kick as the crowd chants USA. This segment was septic, but Sami is somehow managing to get heat on himself, which is impressive.
Bayley faced Ruby Riott in singles action. Ruby gets the win in a solid match, but nothing major happened. Before the match Ruby and Riott Squad are throwing things around the place backstage. I think this is supposed to be like a mini-riot, but it just looked like this scene from Step Brothers:
We also had a face to face sitdown in the ring between Nia Jax & Ronda Rousey, ahead of their title fight this Sunday. Nia admits she’s pushed Ronda’s buttons lately to see how she’ll react, and says despite all Ronda’s talents, she’s still so new to WWE. The irony of Nia Jax essentially calling someone green! She goes on about stuff that can be done in WWE but not UFC, such as hair pulling (against the rules and gets an admonishing from referees) and 12-to-6 elbows (which should be allowed in UFC). She says she’s going to take Ronda’s reputation, and she will become the Baddest Woman on the Planet.
Ronda says how everyone said she wasn’t ready for the Olympics at 17, or ready for the Strikeforce title after 4 fights, or ready to be UFC Champion, but she’s proved everyone wrong, and she’s going into their Hall of Fame. She’s Ronda Rousey, and she was born ready! They stare down, Nia goes to hit her but Ronda grabs her arm. Nia with a headbutt, and goes to lift Ronda off the mat but she rolls into an Armbar attempt. Eventually Ronda manages to get her to tap, and for some reason they ring the bell… there was no match, idiots!
Natalya def Sasha Banks, Ember Moon & Alexa Bliss
Zigg-Intyre def Breezango
No Way Jose def Curt Hawkins
Roman Reigns def Sunil Singh
B Team def Slater & Rhyno
Bayley def Ruby Riott
Braun Strowman def Finn Balor, Bobby Roode & Kevin Owens
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