OPENING SEGMENT: ALL OF THE HEELS
Strowman, Ziggler, and McIntyre enter with all of the heels the dominated The Shield at the end of Raw last week, including… Drew Gulak?! I really like Strowman’s line that Roman has his hounds of justice, while Strowman has his DOGS OF WAR! It’s funny to see Strowman as the mouthpiece for this group. The Shield hit back HARD with axe handles after last weeks demolition, taking out everyone except for the core trio of heels. Excellent.
Braun Strowman Promo Rating: Six Roddy Pipers
The Shield Destruction Rating: Three Braun Strowmans
Overall Segment Rating: Seven This Is Your Lifes
Corbin has no idea how to handle The Shield, he’s in way over his head
RUBY RIOTT VS. THE DEATH OF THE WOMEN’S DIVISION
Nice to see that they insist on forcing two ass hats who can’t wrestle and nobody likes down our throats with the botch twins. And I can almost guarantee that the far superior Ruby Riott will be forced to carry and put Nikki over. I guess I need to get used to these horrid shit heads for at least the next month. Just stop featuring them on every show and making such a huge deal about two moronic airheads who can’t wrestle or talk!
Ruby has to stand there and stare while Nikki takes her sweet as time climbing the rope and delivering a kick. Ruby is so much faster than Nikki that it makes the chemistry and flow of the match look bad. She has to stay on Nikki’s shoulders for a good 10-15 seconds before Nikki finally hits her finisher for the inevitable and unfortunate win. She then has to show how cool and edgy she is by making the L symbol on her forehead in Ruby’s direction. Fucking kill me.
Match Rating: What’s the most negative number possible?
They do a really touching Connor’s Cure segment with a group of kids fighting cancer. I love when they do stuff like this.
THE AUTHORS OF PAIN W/DRAKE MAVERICK VS. RONNIE ACE & NATHAN BRADLEY
The jobber tag teams they find always seem to weigh less combined than one of the competitors they’re facing.
Destruction Rating: Two Braun Strowmans
IN-RING PROMO: TRIPLE H
Another old-school promo which makes this match feel like much more than two legends just thrown together for a big show. Now, it’s personal.
Promo Rating: Seven Triple H’s
RAW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: THE B-TEAM VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER & DREW McINTYRE
Axel looks especially fired up in this match, but I doubt it’s going to matter in the end. I really liked the spot McIntyre held Axel in Alabama Slam position and Ziggler rocked him with a nasty kick to the face. After Bo Dallas got the hot tag it looked like he may have gotten the pin but the ref’s count seemed really slow. Heel tactics behind the ref’s back lead to the Zig Zag/Claymore finisher and the heels retain. Ambrose and Rollins attack after the bell with McIntyre pulling Ziggler out of the ring just before Rollins stomped him. Glad to see these guys aren’t being good little soldiers.
Match Rating: Four Gold Medals
Ambrose & Rollins threaten to have a New Orleans sheriff arrest Baron Corbin for falsifying a police report, and Dean Ambrose tries to talk himself out of a speeding ticket, as we notice the sheriff’s last name is Ambrose. Dun dun DUUUUUNNNNNNNN!
KEVIN OWENS VS. TYLER BREEZE
This is the NXT version of Kevin Owens. The match never even happens, and Owens cuts a badass promo after power bombing Breeze on the apron. He’s going after Lashley.
Promo Rating: Eight Roddy Pipers
BOBBY ROODE & CHAD GABLE VS. THE ASCENSION
What we do NOT need on Raw is another comedy tag team. The saving grace is that I’m pretty sure Roode is going to turn heel on Gable for stealing his thunder. Forgettable match.
Match Rating: Three Gold Medals
Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins get a tag team title shot on Sunday. AWESOME.
MICKIE JAMES & ALEXA BLISS W/ALICIA FOX VS. NATALYA & RONDA ROUSEY
Alexa pusses out of the match as soon as Ronda tags in, and Mickie gets tag teamed by Ronda and Natalya. Classic chicken-shit heel move by Bliss. Bliss hits backflip knees right into Natalya’s ribs that REALLY had to hurt. She smacks Bliss across the face then runs away but gets caught by Natalya as Ronda hits her with the HART ATTACK! Yeah I popped like hell for that. We get a tease of Ronda getting her hands on Alexa when the two are finally legal, but Mickie distracts Ronda just long enough to allow Alexa to bounce her off the barricade and the ring apron, hurting her already-injured ribs.
The rib injury is a good storyline to have going into Hell in a Cell, making it believable that Alexa could get some offense in, unlike at SummerSlam. After Ronda makes Mickie tap to an arm bar, Alexa gets one last kick to the ribs in before scurrying off like the rat she is.
Match Rating: Seven Gold Medals
Ronda is PISSED.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: ELIAS
Elias rips the Saints and New Orleans but is interrupted by MICK FOLEY! Mick announces he is going to be the special guest ref for Braun and Roman! He says Steph lets him make a match, and we get Elias vs. Finn Balor.
Why do they leave so much stuff around for Braun to destroy? You think they’d have learned by now.
FINN BALOR VS. ELIAS
Elias is very underrated as an in-ring performer. The focus of course is on his character work and musical performances, but he’s become an incredibly talented wrestler. He gets rolled up by Balor here while going for his finisher, but he was definitely the better of the two in the ring tonight. Finn gets the win, and Balor still looks strong.
Match Rating: Seven Gold Medals
Undertaker on Raw next week. I wonder if we’ll see he and HHH face to face yet.
IN-RING SEGMENT: BRAUN STROWMAN CALLS OUT ROMAN REIGNS
We get a one-on-one fight between the two main eventers, and Strowman easily gets the upper hand until Roman counters with a MASSIVE Samoan drop from the announce table through the stage below. Holy shit.
Destruction Rating: Eight Braun Strowmans
Overall Show Rating: Five Gold Medals