Raw Review, 6/18

OPENING SEGMENT: KURT ANGLE, ALEXA BLISS, & RONDA ROUSEY

I really hate that Alexa gets cheered after insulting the crowd. There’s nothing she does that deserves cheers. She’s a great heel but I can’t think of a single thing she does that should elicit a positive reaction. No smiles for Ronda tonight. Ronda gets fucking ROWDY and probably just got herself suspended, just a way to get her off tv. If that’s the last we’re gonna see of her until around Summerslam, well god damn, that’s a hell of a way to go. This is the Ronda I’ve wanted to see since she arrived. That powerbomb was terrific after a perfect heel promo from Bliss. No way Ronda couldn’t respond to that. Just as I called it, there’s a 30-day suspension handed down by Kurt. That’s the best Raw opening in a long time. I’ll be watching it on repeat.

Segment Rating: Ten This Is Your Lifes

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INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP OPEN CHALLENGE: DOLPH ZIGGLER VS. SETH ROLLINS (c)

Is Seth going to acknowledge he cheated to win last night? It doesn’t sound like it. CHEATER! I really like Dolph’s chances in this match, especially with Drew McIntyre in his corner to possibly get him a dirty win. Par for the course against Rollins the CHEATER. I like Rollins having the title and having the open challenge each week, but the title could do a lot of good with Ziggler. It could do even more good with McIntyre. I would not have Ziggler win this one. Having Rollins issue this challenge each week keeps importance on the title and if he continues to run through the competition week in and week out, it makes it a huge deal when he’s eventually defeated. Heel Ziggler has such a different style than face Ziggler. He’s Shawn Michaels fast when he’s a face and Hulk Hogan slow when he’s a heel. It makes sense, it’s just funny to see him basically be two different wrestlers depending on his attitude at the time. Kicks and kicks and more kicks, I love it.

The announcers point it out as well but it’s really not smart for a slow and hobbled Seth Rollins to go up to the top rope and take a high-risk move. The transition from the cross body to the buckle bomb was bad ass. Ziggler pulls a Seth Rollins and holds the tights to become the NEW INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION! I don’t hate it. I wouldn’t have done it, but I don’t hate it. As I wrote earlier, McIntyre would have benefited more from a win, but this helps him as well. The beatdown after the match rubs salt in the wound of both Seth and the audience who loves him.

Match Rating: Six Gold Medals

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BOBBY ROODE VS. CURT HAWKINS

“Hawkins is oh-for-the-century against this guy.” Graves with one of my favorite Major League 2 lines. Glorious DDT 30 seconds in makes this a pointless match.

Match Rating: Fuck you.

 

IN-RING SEGMENT: BRAUN STROWMAN & KEVIN OWENS

Kevin Owens sucking up to Braun Strowman is really funny and he’s going to get hurt before this segment is over. Unfortunately he was able to squiggle out of the powerslam attempt. Damn. I like Braun’s promo on Lesnar but I don’t see any point in Owens’ involvement here. That was dumb.

Segment Rating: Three Katie Vicks

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Bayley sounds a lot more natural in backstage segments talking to Sasha than she does cutting in-ring promos. I’m wondering if the gang really is back together or if (hopefully) Sasha backstabs Bayley for a long-overdue heel turn.

 

DELETER OF WORLDS VS. HEATH SLATER & RHYNO

I LOVE Axel & Dallas as Matt & Bray. I really hope they end up having an ultimate deletion match where the B-Team becomes broken/woken as well. Rhyno is funny as a comedy character but it’s bullshit to see him as a jobber. He’s such a powerhouse that it doesn’t make any sense. Slater should take most of the beatings if they’re going to keep the team together, and Bray does beat on him pretty good in this match. Rhyno takes one punch and a Twist of Fate and is out of the equation. This match sucked pretty bad.

Match Rating: Two Gold Medals, but I’ll give it Three Gold Medals for the pre-match B-Team promo

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Kurt gets some “big news” from Stephanie that he’ll announce later tonight. I really hate Constable Corbin, and not in a “he’s a good heel” way. I’ll give it a chance but this is like Director of Operations Kane.

 

JINDER MAHAL VS. CHAD GABLE

Jinder has found tranquility… for about 15 seconds before unleashing on Gable. Gable needs to use his quickness to counter attack because Jinder is the obvious aggressor. Let Jinder make the mistakes in the match. Unfortunately Gable lets himself get caught with a big kick and a Khallas to give Jinder the win. It was a quick match but the action was good and it may be start a character tweak for Jinder.

Match Rating: Five Gold Medals

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SASHA BANKS & BAYLEY VS. LIV MORGAN & SARAH LOGAN

I’m not a big fan of how the Riott Squad has just been throwing stuff around backstage the past two weeks. It’s like high school stuff. I do enjoy the marking of the opponents with the “R”. Sasha and Bayley each tag themselves in to the other’s dismay, showing there’s still some discord there. That’s the main story that I’m focusing on throughout this match. It’s a big problem for them because the Riott Squad has never been anything but a cohesive unit. Lots of mistakes by the faces tonight and the Riott Squad took advantage each time and ultimately picked up a win. These stare downs and shoving matches mean nothing any more because they’ve been going on for a year. Have Sasha fucking turn already! They had a crap match then it went back to them teaming up again almost immediately. It can be an awesome feud if they ACTUALLY LET IT HAPPEN but at this point people are probably sick of the tease. The brawl some backstage, but I think there really needs to be a definitive heel turn.

Match Rating: Four Gold Medals

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IN-RING SEGMENT: KURT ANGLE, ROMAN REIGNS, & BOBBY LASHLEY

So we’re gearing up for another Brock Lesnar match. I’m ecstatic. Lashley’s promos are terrible. It’s announced that Lashley and Reigns will both be in some type of multi-man match at extreme rules to determine the next number-one contender. Revival jumps at the opportunity to challenge both guys to a tag team match. Damn smart move to try to make a name for themselves. And thank god the talking is over because that was BAD.

Segment Rating: Seven Katie Vicks

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THE REVIVAL VS. BOBBY LASHLEY & ROMAN REIGNS

No way Roman and Lashley should lose this match, but it could happen since they are at odds with each other and The Revival are excellent tag team specialists. Roman and Lashley just want to one-up each other in this match and they should really be careful with that, because as they show with the chop block on Lashley with the ref’s back turned, Dash and Dawson are sneaky and smart. Reigns and Lashley know how to win singles matches, but The Revival know how to win tag matches. Dawson makes the mistake of letting Lashley off the mat and gets a huge suplex for his troubles, and it also allows Lashley to get to Reigns. I love how Reigns eats up both the love and the hate from the crowd. Lashley sends a message to Reigns by tagging himself in and finishing the match with a spear. Very little offense for The Revival in this one, it was more for Lashley and Reigns to show off, which they both did pretty well. Good way to build a feud between the two.

Match Rating: Six Gold Medals

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I wonder how much longer Kurt will keep his job since he seems to be in way over his head lately while still being castrated by Stephanie. Glad to see Corbin will be in the ring tonight.

 

MOJO RAWLEY VS. NO WAY JOSE

Mojo should destroy Jose here. I’m a big fan of Mojo and I think he could be at least a mid-card champion as a heel, if not more. Jose can be extremely frustrating to wrestle because of his speed and his demeanor. Early on you can see takes Mojo off his game, but he recovers and remembers that he’s wrestling No Way Jose and destroys him. This is a good match to get Mojo back on the map. If he’s going to get a push this is a great way to start.

Match Rating: Seven Gold Medals

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Bayley chases Sasha down again and Sasha drives away. WHY IS SHE STILL TRYING TO TALK TO HER??? Please end their interactions or make it a real heel vs. face feud, stop throwing this crap at us.

 

IN-RING SEGMENT: ELIAS

After being cheated out of the IC title last night, Elias rubs Seth’s nose is it that he lost the belt tonight, and wants in the number one contender match at extreme rules. Not his best work but somewhat entertaining.

Segment Rating: One This Is Your Life

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Seth is invoking his rematch clause next week. Should be a really good match with Ziggler retaining.

 

MAIN EVENT: FINN BALOR & BRAUN STROWMAN VS. KEVIN OWENS & BARON CORBIN

Why is Corbin not wearing his wrestling gear? Owens obviously does not want to be in this match. Corbin finally takes off his vest to face off against Strowman. It’s exciting to see these two square off. Corbin is one of the only people in WWE whose strikes can actually do some damage to Strowman.

Finn has one job in this match: survive long enough to get Strowman back in. Owens and Corbin don’t make it easy, they are dishing out a ton of punishment and keeping Finn down in their corner. Braun’s sick of this shit and throws his own partner into their corner so he can make the tag. Love it! He goes to pin Corbin and Owens comes in to break up the count, Strowman just has to stare him down to stop him in his tracks.

Corbin hits a dive from the apron onto a running Strowman that had to be like a five-car pileup. I really hope Braun doesn’t fuck up his shoulder at some point because he does that dive into the ring post every match. Actually, I should probably be more concerned for the ring post. No way that running block on Owens should have taken Strowman out like that. Corbin capitalizes and gets the pin on Balor. It was an exciting match.

Match Rating: Six Gold Medals

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I was hopeful for tonight’s show after a stellar opening segment but it mostly sunk from there.

Overall Show Rating: Four Gold Medals

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