OPENING SEGMENT: ROMAN REIGNS & BRAUN STROWMAN
Strowman is cashing in at Hell in a Cell. That is bitchin’. Roman seems like a total tweener tonight, I was hoping they would go definitively in one direction, but we’ll see where it goes. It would seem we’re gonna see Roman and Braun team up against Ziggler and McIntyre tonight. Is Ziggler fucking crazy?? They’re challenging Roman and Braun. I guess to be the man, you gotta beat the man, but shit, this feels like suicide.
Roman’s mic skills continue to improve to the point where he’s a great promo. Not an all-time great obviously, but I’d venture to say he’s become one of the best talkers on the roster, which is something I never thought I’d say. Corbin makes the tag match official, and you can clearly hear someone yell, “WE ALREADY KNEW THAT!” Love it. Really good opening segment. He then announces a match between himself and Finn Balor starting now.
Reigns Promo Rating: Six Stone Colds
Strowman Promo Rating: Four Stone Colds
Ziggler Promo Rating: Five Roddy Pipers
McIntyre Promo Rating: Two Roddy Pipers
Corbin Promo Rating: Six Roddy Pipers
Segment Rating: Five This Is Your Lifes
FINN BALOR VS. BARON CORBIN
This is a feud that I hoped had ended at SummerSlam. Unfortunately not. Corbin mocks the “Too Sweet” sign and gets “Corbin sucks!” chant in response. I don’t know why he’s getting a “you can’t wrestle” chant, because he certainly can, very well. Probably because it’s fucking Canada. I really didn’t like the idea of Corbin basically becoming Corporate Kane, but he is a heat magnet in the role so kudos to WWE.
Some good spots in this match, I really liked when Corbin caught Finn’s enziguri on the top rope, and his Deep Six always looks awesome. Corbin didn’t do a great job of breaking Finn’s fall on the Suicide Dive, and hit hard on his back. Finn misses the Coup de grâce and Corbin uses a chair. After the bell rings, Corbin announces this is a no DQ match. Terrific heel work. He makes quick work of Balor with the chair after that for the win. Great psychology, great way to get even more heel heat.
Match Rating: Seven Gold Medals
SASHA BANKS W/BAYLEY VS. DANA BROOKE W/TITUS WORLDWIDE
Titus tells Dana to “put them big girl drawers on.” She is SLOOOOOOOW in the ring. she looked like she was learning some of the moves on the fly. It got better after the sloppy opening pin sequences, and Dana gets some offense in before Sasha takes over and makes her tap. It was an okay match.
Match Rating: Three Gold Medals
Funny backstage segment with Ambrose predicting Jinder Mahal’s painful future.
INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: KEVIN OWENS VS. SETH ROLLINS (c)
Great move in front of the Canadian crowd. Terrific promo by Kevin Owens, apparently insulting them in French. People can complain about the way Owens is being used, but the fact is that not everyone can win all the time. He’s been kept in big feuds and at least close to the main event, and is a featured player every week. That’s all you can ask for until he gets back into the main event picture, which I’m sure is in his future once again. Owens’ squash at SummerSlam fueled the frustration in his promo tonight, so everything has a purpose. Someone isn’t “buried” every time they lose a quick match or lose a bunch of matches in a row.
Hot crowd for a back-and-forth match in which Owens really works over Seth’s arm. They get the “this is awesome” chant for the non-stop action. Owens locks in a crossface that seems like it could lead to a title change but Rollins is able to get to the ropes. He nails a Stunner for a two-count and a “HOLY SHIT” chant. Stone Cold won’t be happy about that not finishing Rollins off. Another two count off a Superkick, which came after Owens took a Buckle Bomb, sets the crowd off again. This IS awesome.
Owens misses an amazing-looking Moonsault, and Seth takes advantage with a Stomp for the win. Incredible match. This is how to make that title feel important, matches like this. You could feel both men’s passion and how bad they wanted the title. It’s always been considered a “worker’s” title, and this showed why. After the match, Owens sits in the middle of the ring for a while, then just says, “I quit.” Where is this going? I’m intrigued.
Match Rating: Ten Gold Medals
BACKSTAGE PROMO: DOLPH ZIGGLER & DREW McINTYRE
Really good promos by both guys, explaining why they are not crazy for going after Reigns and Strowman.
Ziggler Promo Rating: Five Roddy Pipers
McIntyre Promo Rating: Seven Roddy Pipers
THE B-TEAM VS. THE REVIVAL
The continue to have The Revival get the best of the B-Team in non-championship matches. There isn’t much of a Raw tag team division at the moment so we get this over and over. Why are the Authors of Pain not involved in the title hunt? I won’t take anything away from the wrestlers in this one though, good match.
Match Rating: Six Gold Medals
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: ELIAS
As he shits on Toronto, he’s interrupted by Toronto’s own TRISH STRATUS! T&A TIME! Elias telling Trish he “doesn’t date women in their 60’s” earns him a well-deserved smack. This was a really fun segment.
Elias Promo Rating: Nine Roddy Pipers
Trish Promo Rating: Six Sensational Sherris
NATALYA W/RONDA ROUSEY & TRISH STRATUS VS. ALICIA FOX W/ALEXA BLISS & MICKIE JAMES
Alexa invokes her rematch clause for Hell in a Cell. She must enjoy being one-armed. It’s only a matter of time before this one devolves into a free for all, and I’m sure everyone will be Stratusfied. Natalya gets the win with the Sharpshooter, and I’m really surprised the heels didn’t attack after the match. So much for my prediction on that one. This was more about just seeing Ronda and Trish, not much of a match.
Match Rating: Two Gold Medals
The Bellas need to go the fuck away. And never come back. Ever.
HANDICAP MATCH: BOBBY LASHLEY VS. THE ASCENSION
We haven’t had a heel authority figure in a while, other than the random nights Stephanie McMahon would show up, so it’s probably smart to really rub it in right away. Lashley didn’t seem to have much trouble here, and The Ascension continues to be buried. Remember I said earlier that guys aren’t always buried when people claim they are? Forget that about The Ascension. It really sucks for them. Nothing to see here.
Match Rating: One Gold Medal
JINDER MAHAL W/SUNIL SINGH VS. DEAN AMBROSE
It’s hilarious that Graves made a John Olerud reference, since he just won the MVP in my 1993 replay in a computer baseball simulation game. Random, I know. Sad that Graves had to explain to Coach that “peace sells but who’s buying” is a Megadeth reference. Nothing special in the ring here, quick match.
Match Rating: Three Gold Medals
ROMAN REIGNS & BRAUN STROWMAN VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER & DREW McINTYRE
Cool storyline that Strowman allows Ziggler and McIntyre to beat the shit out of Roman. I feel like he’s about to join forces with them. I thought The Shield would be heels, but it would seem I was mistaken. A Strowman heel turn seems a little odd but I’m willing to go with it. He’s so hot right now, but I guess they want another faction to stand against The Shield. This is great for the shock factor, and hopefully it makes for some awesome TV.
Booking Rating: Eight Dustys
Besides the Owens/Rollins match, not much to speak of in the ring tonight, but some intriguing storylines.
Overall Show Rating: Five Gold Medals