Raw comes to us live from Los Angeles tonight, kicking off the show with Roman Reigns, the man who made Braun Strowman the hero of Raw essentially.
The crowd chants for Strowman, and he addresses the attack that Braun put on him, and he then accepts his challenge for an Ambulance Match at Great Balls of Fire in two weeks.
As Roman is accepting this challenge, an ambulance comes out to ringside, siren blaring, Reigns goes to investigate it and Braun comes out of the side and tosses Roman up the ramp with no effort! The strength of this guy is incredible!
Reigns tries for a Superman punch, but Braun counters that, and tosses him off the ramp into the side of the ambulance, and then into it. Were this the match, it’d be a done deal right now. Great opening segment.
In the ring now are Elias Samson, Cesaro, and Sheamus. Sheamus and Cesaro in shades like a latter day Blues Brothers , set to accompany The Drifter in a song, but they are interrupted by their opponents, The Hardys along with Finn Balor.
Match 1-The Hardys and Finn Balor vs Elias Samson, Sheamus and Cesaro.
Matt and Sheamus start out this match, and they soon get the double team advantage, hitting a group slam on Sheamus, in full control as we go into the break.
Post break, Transformers star Josh Duhamel is joining the commentary team, in order to promote his new movie, as well as his upcoming movie with WWE Studios, The Buddy Games in which Sheamus will be costarring in.
Fairly even match, everyone gets an opportunity to shine, well we haven’t seen too much of Finn Balor in this one.
He shows up right when we need him though, comes in for a save, and is taking it to Sheamus Cesaro and Elias, dodging a Brogue Kick like The Flash, hitting an arial attack on Sheamus and Cesaro outside, and then finishing off Cesaro with the Coup De Gracie.
Match Winners-The Hardy Boyz and Finn Balor
Time for another Goldust vignette, this reinvented Goldust works for me, much more than the glorified jobber he’s been in recent years. And up next he returns to in ring action against his former tag team partner R Truth.
Match 2-Goldust vs R Truth
Been a while since we’ve seen Goldust in action, not since he turned on his former friend and tag team partner, been even longer since we saw R Truth in action either. Surprised we’re getting this match now, to be honest, thought this would be a ppv match at least.
Not much of a match right now , Goldust is just destroying R Truth, so much so that the ref calls the match before it begins.
Match Winner-No one
Backstage, Paul Heyman is getting interviewed which gets interrupted by Samoa Joe, who chokes out Heyman and tells him he will do the same to Brock Lesnar when he shows up tonight.
Now it’s time for Miz TV with his guests, the Ball family. I’m not much of a basketball guy, so I’m not familiar with this guy save for all the s— talking he’s been doing with his son in the NBA Draft recently.
To be fair though the guy did back up his claims and his son will be the face of the LA Lakers, so there’s that.
Miz thinks he’s going to get a partnership with their Big Baller Brand, but it turns out they want to work with Dean Ambrose, which infuriates The Miz, and leads us to our next match.
Match 3-Dean Ambrose, Heath Slater and Rhyno vs The Miz, Curtis Axel, Bo Dallas
Seems that the former Social Outcasts are now part of The Miz’s “Mizterage”. And the Ball family have left the building, leaving the in ring action to the professionals.
Bo Dallas and Axel in full control of this match so far, things go differently once Ambrose gets in the ring however. Leading to Slater and Rhyno tossing out all three opposing men and they stand tall in the ring as we move to the break.
I do have to say, for a recent team, The Mizterage works together very well, I’m impressed . In the end they pull off the win with Bo Dallas hitting a rollup on a distracted Rhyno.
Match Winner-The Mizterage
We get a recap from last week showing the turn that happened last week with Big Cass turning on Enzo. I’m still shocked by this turn, especially with how they always talked about never wanting to split up, but when Vinny Mac says it’s time to split up, it’s time to split up. They were my favorite tag team to never get the title, not in NXT, not on the main roster. Damn.
Enzo Amore is out now, to address the WWE Universe, it’s weird hearing him do his intro without the Big Cass part, I must say.
He calls out Big Cass to the ring. They still haven’t changed his music yet, which is kinda awkward in my book, them still using the same theme.
Enzo tries to reason with Cass, saying that he’s right about a lot of what he said last week. Enzo says that Cass is his family, his brother.
Cass is not moved at all by his words, but he says that they are brothers, and he apologizes for his actions and offers his hand to Enzo. They hug, like brothers, do the S-A-W-F-T chant and make their way up to the ring, this is awesome!
But wait, oh no, Cass turns on Enzo again, clotheslining him at the top of the ramp before tossing him down it, like a sack of potatoes. Damn. This is like if The Shield broke up two weeks in a row.
Cass confronts Corey Graves coming back from break, telling him to stay out of his business. Seth Rollins is out next, ready to do battle with Curt Hawkins
Match 4 -Seth Rollins vs Curt Hawkins
Hawkins gets some offense in early on against The Kingslayer, this match already going minutes longer than his usual match. In the end though Rollins gets the win, of course.
Match Winner-Seth Rollins
Post match Bray Wyatt comes on the Titantron and cuts a vague as ever promo on Rollins, and their upcoming match at Great Balls of Fire, which may be an Inferno match, is what I’m getting from that promo. I’d be cool with it.
Paul Heyman is out after the break, cutting a vintage promo on Samoa Joe, and cues up Brock Lesnar to come out, but Joe attacks Brock on the entrance ramp, putting him into the Coquina Clutch, which Lesnar tries to fight his way out of, but he can’t! It’s only after The Revival pulls Joe off of Brock that Brock can catch his breath, Lesnar can’t believe what happened, and neither can I!
Match 5-Lince Dorado vs Neville
Akira Tozawa watches this match from the sidelines, as he’s going to be challenging Neville for his title at Great Balls of Fire, scouting out the opposition.
Neville is dominating this match, as he always does. With him, King of The Cruiserweights isn’t just a self given nickname, but rather an apt description of who he is. It’s a quick match, over quickly, after which Tozawa heads into the ring to challenge Neville, but Titus O Neill interrupts this to inform them that they shouldn’t fight for free when he just signed the match for them to fight at the ppv.
Match 6-Women’s Gauntlet Match
Bayley vs Nia Jax vs Mickie James vs Dana Brooke vs Emma vs Sasha Banks
This match starts out with two women, whomever wins goes on to the next, and so on, until the number one contender for the Raw Women’s Championship will be decided.
Bayley and Nia Jax start things out. Nia dominating Bayley with her size and strength advantage.
Bayley nearly gets a win but hasn’t done enough to Nia yet to really get the 3 yet. Nia gets the win and goes on to face Mickie James.
Back from the break and Nia is still in firm control here, she has Mickie in a bear hug and refuses to let go. Mickie does get some offense in though, like her Mick Kick but still isn’t enough to get the win. She moves on now to face Dana Brooke.
Nia is incredulous, really? She says to Dana, and eliminates her in about 15 seconds. Emma is up next and gets taken out like the rest. Pretty sure I know how this is going to go. Now she just has one more woman to face, The Boss, Sasha Banks.
Sasha is taking the fight straight to Jax here, taking it to the outside in quick fashion. The rest of her opposition tonight has been mostly squash matches , now Nia is in a fight.
Nia is still dominant here, but Sasha is a fighter, and refuses to lose. In the end Nia taps out to Sasha Banks, what an impressive win tonight, from Sasha and Nia Jax for that matter.
Kurt Angle comes out to congratulate Sasha on her win, but so does Alexa Bliss, whom Sasha will face at Great Balls of Fire. Bliss taunts her with the title, but Sasha drop kicks her out of the ring, holds up the title herself before giving it back, as we end the show.
Match Winner-Sasha Banks
Not the best Raw ever, but the show does get points for me from the excellent Lesnar segment, and the main event. Show Grade tonight is a solid C.