Raw is back from the European tour in Newark, New Jersey tonight. And we start off the show with an announcement from Raw GM Kurt Angle. He says that Braun Strowman, after his injuries inflicted by Roman Reigns, he will be incapable of being in action for up to 6 months.
So at the next Raw ppv, Extreme Rules there will be a Fatal Five Way match to determine the number one contender to face Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship. Roman Reigns vs Finn Balor vs Seth Rollins vs Bray Wyatt vs Samoa Joe. That’s a great match right there.
Roman Reigns comes out now, not too happy about this news. He says this is his yard, and he should be the number one contender by default to a chorus of boos.
Balor is out next, he also thinks he should be the number one contender, as he never lost his title before, just had to relinquish it due to injury.
Joe is out next, I’m glad to see him mix it up with other people besides Rollins for once. He says his actions speak louder than their words, he’s already won this match before it’s started.
But Bray appears out of nowhere to put in his two cents on this. He says they all will cower, fall, and run, but him..
Rollins interrupts now, he says that there’s time for talk later, New Jersey came to see fighting, and he came to fight Joe in specific.
All chaos erupts now, every man for himself, crazy action all over the ring and surrounding areas to finish off this segment. Not a bad opening segment.
Backstage, Finn is arguing with Rollins and Roman. Angle says this isn’t how we settle issues on Raw, we settle them in the ring. Tonight Seth Rollins faces Bray Wyatt for the first time, and Finn faces Roman.
Match 1-Jeff Hardy vs Sheamus
At Extreme Rules The Hardys face Sheamus and Cesaro for the Raw Tag Titles, but tonight it’s singles action for these teams.
Jeff goes right after Sheamus keeping him (and kicking him) in the corner, Sheamus getting his own in there, both men throwing caution to the wind and just attacking each other.
Jeff nearly picks up the win as he counters an aerial attack from Sheamus into a modified Twist of Fate! Really sweet move.
Hardy picks up the win after some minor chaos, hitting a full Twist of Fate into a Swanton Bomb on Sheamus ftw.
Match Winner-Jeff Hardy
Match 2-Sasha Banks vs Alicia Fox
Rematch from last week, where Sasha pretty much squashed Alicia. Fox accompanied by her on again off again boyfriend Noam Dar.
Alicia taking some pretty lethal kicks from Sasha as this gets underway. In fact, this match is mostly Sasha Banks. At least until Fox gets a kick in there that wins her the match. Did not see that coming at all. Just to advance this storyline I’m sure though.
Match Winner- Alicia Fox
Match 3-The Miz vs Dean Ambrose
Intercontinental Championship Match
The Miz is out first, as he tries to claim this title for the 7th time. Dean Ambrose out next, no talk between these men this week, it’s all action.
Both men are giving their all here, Miz a bit less so, trying to duck out of this as much as possible, being the cowardly heel he is.
Miz has this fight in his hands after the break though. Dean’s not just giving him this title though, as he fights on.
A lot of near falls in this match, both men not wanting to give up so easily. In the end The Miz wins the match by DQ, as Ambrose hits a low blow attack on him after countering a similar attack. I didn’t know that a low blow was a DQ move. It makes sense but at the same time, doesn’t.
Match Winner-The Miz (DQ)
The Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss is out now to address the crowd. She gets some cheap heel heat by mocking Newark, calling the town the sweat glands of America. She goes off about her accomplishments, but is interrupted by Bayley.
She says she doesn’t care whatever title she calls herself, the only title that matters is her Raw Women’s Championship, which Bayley will invoke her rematch clause at Extreme Rules to get it back.
Bliss thinks Bayley can’t get Extreme enough to get this title back, which Bayley shows her that she can, and attacks her. The two fight, until Alexa pulls out a Kendo stick from under the ring, and smacks her across the back with it.
Match 4-Jack Gallagher and Austin Aries vs Neville and TJP
The four men come out in abbreviated entrances, I need to do a piece on TJP and others, who don’t even pretend that kayfabe is still a thing. He’s supposed to be a heel now, but still he does social media videos wishing his fans happy birthday and such, that’s not a heel thing to do, like at all. You’d think someone would talk to him about that.
Like in this match itself, he’s very much a heel, kicking Aries when he’s down, using cheap tactics and doing whatever it takes to win. Holding his own against the veteran Aries.
Gallagher comes in on the hot tag, and has a brief moment in the sun against TJP, and Neville for that matter. TJP hits his Detonation Kick ftw.
Match Winner-TJP and Neville
Backstage Bayley is being looked at by a doctor when she’s approached by Kurt Angle, who says she’ll be wrestling in a straight up wrestling match at the ppv. Bayley says she doesn’t want that, she wants her title back but she wants to get Extreme. So, Angle tells her her match at Extreme Rules will be a Kendo Stick On A Pole match.
Match 5-Finn Balor vs Roman Reigns
The last time these two fought, months ago, Balor picked up the win against the “Big Dog”. That was a different Roman though, in any case this should be a good match.
So far the match does not disappoint, Roman has the strength advantage, but Balor has the speed and agility advantage here.
Case in point, Balor dodges a spear and Roman goes shoulder first into the corner post. His bad shoulder no less.
Seems little by little Roman is turning heel, this time he drop kicks Balor’s head into the corner from the outside.
So far I’m calling this match of the night. Great well fought, well paced match. Action packed!
Balor counters a Superman punch with a series of kicks, which Roman counters into an attempted powerbomb, which his injured shoulder doesn’t allow him to follow through with.
He hits it a minute later, but only gets a near fall out of the attempt. Holy crap what a match! A real Slobberknocker as JR would say. Balor hits the Sling Blase attack, Roman is down! He gets ready for the Coup De Gracie, Roman gets up and knocks him off the top, hits him with a Spear, 1-2-3 Roman Reigns wins, but what a fight!
Match Winner-Roman Reigns
Match Grade-A +
Bray cuts a backstage promo on Brock Lesnar, saying he will take the Spear of Destiny and slay The Beast. He says first though, he will destroy Seth Rollins.
Match 6-The Golden Truth vs Gallows and Anderson
This match doesn’t even get started, as Goldust turns on R-Truth beating him down as R-Truth rapped their entrance music. Guess it’ll be Goldust vs Truth at the Extreme Rules pre show.
Match Winner-No one
Match 7- Titus ONeill vs Big Cass
Enzo comes out to a hometown welcome, but is interrupted in their usual shtick by Titus ONeill. Seems that they’re turning Apollo heel, but he’s not following through with it yet. It’s weird.
Titus isn’t ready to fight, he’s dressed in an expensive suit, but I guess he missed the memo on which of them was competing tonight. The match goes on anyway, it’s a quick one, ending with a Big Boot from Cass to Titus.
Post match, Apollo finally turns heel by kicking Enzo in the head after Enzo tries to take a selfie with his phone.
Match Winner-Big Cass
Match 8-Bray Wyatt vs Seth Rollins
This is the first time both of these men have met one on one. Last time I can recall these two in the same ring was The Shield vs The Wyatt Family feud a few years back.
In the early goings of this fight, neither man has a clear advantage here. It’s a quick paced, brutal match. Both men here trying to destroy the other.
Just when you think oh, this guy has control, the other counters a move and it’s anybody’s fight tonight. They go toe to toe briefly trading blows, before the fight goes back outside the ring again.
A series of near falls punctuates the match, this one, is not as good as the Balor/Reigns match but it’s the second best of the night by far.
Samoa Joe forces a DQ by attacking Rollins , putting this match to a close with an explosive finish.
Bray isn’t happy about the ending, and he and Joe have a brief stare down before teaming up to beat down Rollins, until he attacks Joe himself with a Sister Abigail, which he also gives to Rollins, telling the WWE Universe to Follow the Buzzards as we close out this week’s show.
Match Winner-Seth Rollins (DQ)
Good show overall, some filler, of course, but the show was led off with two amazing main event matches. Extreme Rules is already shaping up to be quite the show.