OPENING SEGMENT: ROMAN REIGNS
Roman calling out Brock is bad ass. Lesnar doesn’t come out when called, he waits until someone is beaten down and vulnerable. Chicken shit? Probably. But he almost always is the one standing at the end, so maybe he has the right idea. I’m smelling a triple threat match for the title. Or maybe a number one contender match between Strowman and Lesnar first. Corbin is a bitch as GM and is so easy to hate.
Corbin makes a triple threat match for November in Saudi Arabia. Strowman says the whole situation sucks and everyone in the arena sucks. Heyman bringing out the cage door that Lesnar kicked in is great. Heyman claims Strowman and Reigns conspired to get the title off of Lesnar and calls Lesnar the crown jewel of WWE.
Corbin talks tough to Reigns and is probably about to put himself in a title match. WOOOOOOOO called that. I predicted he would do something like this soon in my future champions post. He won’t win yet, but it was inevitable that he’d abuse his power this way. Who wouldn’t?
Roman Reigns Promo Rating: Five Stone Colds
Braun Strowman Promo rating: Eight Stone Colds
Paul Heyman Promo Rating: Four Paul Heymans
Baron Corbin Promo Rating: Two Roddy Pipers
DEAN AMBROSE VS. DREW McINTYRE
Two guys with no fear and each with a screw or eight loose. A slower pace than last night, which you’d have to expect after everything they put into that thriller. Ambrose is smart to attack McIntyre’s leg. First it can take away his height advantage, and more importantly, he won’t be able to get much on his Claymore finisher. Match psychology has been getting better lately and it makes the whole product better and more enjoyable.
Drew sets up for the Claymore and it was obvious it was slow and weak, and Ambrose was easily able to avoid it. Read above paragraph and bask in my genius. Dean continues with submission holds on the leg, and augments that with some dives to the outside. The last one does not go as planned unfortunately. He gets back into the ring just before the ref counts 10, but that break gave McIntyre the time he needed to recover enough to hit the Claymore for the win. Like I said, not as much of a frantic match as last night, but really well done with the psychology and certainly enjoyable.
Match Rating: Seven Gold Medals
Baron Corbin conspires backstage with Ziggler and McIntyre to take out all three members of The Shield. He tells Ziggler to invoke his rematch clause because Rollins isn’t here. Not long before Kurt Angle was sent on “temporary vacation” I thought that we were going to get a change soon, because we’ve gotten a couple years of face authority figures on both shows. It’s so easy to hate heels in that position.
Ronda Rousey is going to have an open challenge for the Raw Women’s Championship. I think Nia Jax is going to answer it.
CHAD GABLE W/BOBBY ROODE VS. VIKTOR W/KONNOR
I feel like Chad Gable could be as successful as Kurt Angle as a singles star. I really hope he gets major opportunities soon. I think he will, and that it will start when Roode turns heel on him. He’s so strong and athletic and he’s really showing it tonight. And he’s got the charisma as well. He is a total package. After he dispenses Viktor with an awesome rolling German suplex pin, Konnor flattens both Roode and Gable after the match. We’ll either get Roode vs. Konnor next week or a tag match between the teams. This match was awesome.
Match Rating: Eight Gold Medals
Seth Rollins IS here and is informed that Ziggler is invoking his rematch clause. He doesn’t seem worried.
*GONG* *GONG *GONG *GONG
Undertaker calls Triple H delusional. I’m a little disappointed in this promo. I guess I’m spoiled with amazing and dark Undertaker promos that leave me in awe and with the hair on my neck standing up. This was by on means a bad promo, I’m just saying from The Undertaker, I expected more. Then he drops the bombshell: Shawn Michaels will be in Triple H’s corner, while The Undertaker will have someone in his corner as well…. his brother Kane! That’s really cool. Again, I was hoping for more here, and maybe a confrontation with Triple H, but it’s always great to see the dead man.
Promo Rating: Three Undertakers
BAYLEY W/SASHA BANKS VS. DANA BROOKE
Bayley and Sasha come out with some Connor’s Cure kids which is always awesome. Bayley wins in kind of a lame and sloppy match. Dana doesn’t seem to be getting any better in the ring, especially in being able to keep up with the pace of most of the competitors in the division.
Match Rating: Two Gold Medals
AUTHORS OF PAIN W/DRAKE MAVERICK VS. GREGORY JAMES & BARRETT BROWN
I’d love to see a roll-up pin by James or Brown to get the upset. However, you can’t roll someone up if you have no feeling below your eyelids. That was awesomely painful to watch.
Destruction Rating: Seven Braun Strowmans
Rollins looks confident while Ziggler looks unsure. I could actually see Ziggler getting a cheap win, but I think it’s more likely that Rollins retains.
INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: DOLPH ZIGGLER VS. SETH ROLLINS (c)
It was obvious that they’d play up the shape both of these guys are in after last night, and it works as the storyline in the match. Neither guy has the advantage in that respect because both of them suffered the same fate. A double countout might be a good way to end it to play up that angle.
After the first commercial break Ziggler keeps smacking Rollins and yelling at him to “DO SOMETHING!” Rollins does a lot, as it gives him an adrenaline rush to knock the shit out of Ziggler with a few big moves. He hurts himself doing the Blockbuster neckbreaker and we’re pretty much even with both guys down and hurting again.
When Rollins blocked the Zig Zag and the Superkick and hit the Ripcord Knee I thought he had the match won, but no such luck. You can see his knees shaking as he tries to climb to the top turnbuckle and it gave Ziggler time to knock him down on his balls. Ziggler can’t get himself off the rope either and it gives Rollins time to hit the Superplex. I thought Ziggler might hold the tights and win with that roll up, but Rollins kicks out and hits the Stomp for the win. Great match, both guys sold their injuries really well and told a great story.
Match Rating: Eight Gold Medals
BACKSTAGE PROMO: ROMAN REIGNS
Reigns says he’s not the underdog tonight, he’s the Big Dog. Believe that.
Promo Rating: Two Stone Colds
IN-RING PROMO: RONDA ROUSEY
Ronda says she wants to be a fighting champion like Bret Hart. She gets mean and throws down the gauntlet. The Riott Squad drags out Natalya, Ruby says she’s going to take her up on the challenge, but all three of them attack. Ronda holds her own until Ruby hits a NASTY spear on the injured ribs. Annnnnnnnnnnd shit, it’s the Bellas. It was great until then. At least they didn’t screw it up too much.
Ronda Rousey Promo Rating: Six Stone Colds
Ruby Riott Promo Rating: Four Sensational Sherris
Segment Rating: Five This Is Your Lifes
Braun Strowman to Baron Corbin: “I hope you win, because like I said earlier, YOU SUCK! and I know that I can KILL you!”
Short and sweet, and good for Ten Stone Colds
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: ELIAS
Elias is god damn talented with the guitar [side note: I can play that tune]. Elias wins the night for tearing apart the cowboys and their fans. He’s interrupted by 205 Live’s Lio Rush. It was hilarious with Elias asking “who’s kid is this” and telling him he’d take him to lost and found. Rush is now somehow affiliated with Bobby Lashley. Ok, I’ll bite.
Elias Promo Rating: Ten Roddy Pipers
Lio Rush Promo Rating: Two Roddy Pipers
BOBBY LASHLEY VS. ELIAS
Lio Rush is on commentary and says he’s now Lashley’s manager. First Drake Maverick now Lio Rush? I wonder if this is a way to try to get eyes on 205 Live. Lashley goes high-risk off the top rope and goes face first into Elias’ knee. Kevin Owens shows up and goes after Lio Rush, who is able to elude him long enough for Lashley to save him once Owens finally does grab him. Lashley throws Rush at Owens and Elias then puts him up on his shoulders. Interesting. It certainly got people’s eyes on what Rush can do as he jumped and flipped his way out of trouble.
Booking Rating: Four Dustys
MICKIE JAMES & ALICIA FOX W/ALEXA BLISS VS. EMBER MOON & NIA JAX
Well I said Nia would challenge Ronda tonight. I was just a little bit off. Why do people reach for their tag team partners when they’re 3/4 of the way across the ring? It looks dumb. Mickie James has KICKS. Alicia Fox’s character is so nuts and annoying that people may forget how awesome she is in the ring.My issue here is that Ember is a lot better than this. They’re making her look weak for the sake of getting Nia a hot tag. I guess at this point they don’t have Ember doing too much anyway so it’s not a huge deal, so maybe it’s just me wishing she had a more important place on the card.
The hot tag has the intended effect and the crowd pops big. Nia cleans house, Ember gets to hit her Eclipse, and Nia hits the Samoan Drop for the win. Decent match and a good way to get Nia back on TV.
Match Rating: Four Gold Medals
UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: BARON CORBIN VS. ROMAN REIGNS (c)
I’m sure as these two put on a really good match, the ignorant douche portion of the crowd will chant “you both suck” because they know nothing. I’m sure they’ll ignore the fact that they’re getting a UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH ON RAW to make sure they can tweet OMGZ DID YOU HEAR US BOO LOLOLOLOL!
As Roman is not at full strength, it’s smart for Corbin to go for all those pinfalls early to make Roman have to expend valuable energy to kick out early in the match. Corbin got a REAL close near fall after a huge clothesline. Both of these guys hit HARD. Roman is having a real hard time with the much fresher Corbin. Once he finally gets going he starts pounding the shit out of the acting GM. Unfortunately he takes WAY too much time to go set up for a Superman punch instead of staying all over the his prone opponent, giving him time to slide out of the ring. I’ve never like that Roman, or anyone else, takes that much time to set up a move when their opponent is down.
Also, I’ve always said I’ll admit when I’m wrong, and the crowd is not doing any of the negative things I said they would. Sure there’s boos, but I thought it would elevate tot he level of disrespect and ignorance, and it has not done that. Thank you Dallas, you’ve proven yourself better than many other cities.
Corbin gets himself disqualified by launching a chair into Roman’s face. Then he restarts the match as a no DQ match. I expect The Shield momentarily. It’s not the first time Corbin has pulled this shit, and it makes him universally despised. Braun’s music hits, and remember… Braun said he hopes Corbin wins…. and Roman turns his back on Corbin. This can’t end well for Roman. Corbin ALMOST wins it with a Deep Six. I am so happy that I was wrong about the crowd because they are making a great match even better with their appreciation and reactions.
Ziggler and McIntyre come down shortly followed by Ambrose and Rollins. Amidst the chaos, Roman lands a spear on Corbin to retain the title. That was a really good match BEFORE all the craziness. Excellent main event.
Match Rating: Nine Gold Medals
One of the best episodes of Raw in the past few months.
Overall Show Rating: Eight Gold Medals