by Elliot Dyson
We’re only one week removed from the egregiously named “Superstar Shake Up” and while last night’s Raw was a decent watch, I wouldn’t describe it as “shaken up”. For example, we saw 3 recent repeat matches in Chris Jericho Vs. Samoa Joe, Gallows & Anderson Vs. Enzo & Cass and Braun Strowman Vs. Big Show. Realistically, Raw has been, at most, lightly stirred.
Last night’s main story obviously came from Titus O’Neil – a sentence I almost grow weary of typing for its occurrence is so common.
The TITUS BRAND wants to represent Apollo Crews and O’Neil also hypothesised a strange chain of business in which he advises customers to sue him. Pretty psyched to see where this goes – personally hope it’s a long build to what we all would consider to be a Wrestlemania dream match.
Curt Hawkins cut a fun promo in which he declared that Big Show’s burial of him last week propelled the giant to the main event. He invited anyone from the locker room to face him in the ring, otherwise known as “Curt Hawkins’ Star Factory.” Finn Balor answered the challenge, taking the crowd by surprise after he was pulled from house shows this weekend. As a lame side note, Balor’s new font is fuckin’ dope. Obviously, Finn squashed Hawkins, taking nary a bump in the process.
Alexa Bliss became the #1 contender for the Women’s Championship in her hometown thanks to a Fatal 4 Way win over Sasha Banks, Nia Jax and Mickie James. There was a particularly memorable sequence with Sasha and Mickie, while Nia did he steamrolling thing. Alexa looked like a classic chickenshit heel throughout the match, frequently abandoning stare downs with Nia to protect herself. The 3 count came when Nia Samoan Dropped Sasha Banks, looking like a straight forward victory for Jax was in order, however Bliss stole the pin, popping her hometown crowd in the process.
SOME OF THAT SWEET, SWEET, LESS IMPORTANT SHIT:
– Papa Roach are doing the theme for Payback. Papa Roach.
– The Drifter is still hanging around and you know? That dude ain’t half bad at the guitar.
– Gallows & Anderson beat Enzo & Cass with a real weird finish.
– TJ Perkins gained a heel’s victory over Jack Gallagher after some Neville/Aries kerfuffling.
– Bray Wyatt did a creepy video package for Randy Orton and man, that dude can edit creepy videos! When he’s finished losing every feud he’s a part of, he’ll have no problem getting an editing job on a straight to Netflix horror film.
– Miz and Ambrose gonna rekindle their feud from before mania? Cool that we moved these guys to Raw for fresh competition! In all fairness, the Miz TV segment with the pair was great and they both played to their strengths.
– Jericho passed out to Samoa Joe’s Coquina Clutch, giving the victor a chance to berate Seth Rollins. Seth then stood on the commentary table and said a naughty word.
– Y2J did a backstage interview in which he seemed sincerely bittersweet, knowing that he’s most definitely out of the door in a couple of weeks. Elias Samson wandered through the shot, strumming away once more, forcing Y2J to put him on the ol’ list.
– Jeff Hardy defeated Cesaro with a Twist of Fate and Swanton Bomb after being uppercutted to fuck for about 10 minutes.
Last night, Braun Strowman kicked off the show declaring that Roman would not be making an appearance on the show, because he’s all fucked up from that ambulance spot. While gloating in the ring, basking in the cheers of a Roman-hating crowd, Braun as interrupted by new GM, Kurt Angle. The Hall of Famer reluctantly booked Roman and Braun to go at it once again at Payback and told a competition hungry Strowman to take the night off as a punishment (for the ambulance shit).
This led to the “Monster Among Men” cutting a swath of destruction throughout the locker room. The commentary team were promoting a Golden Truth match, giving us the visual aide of them wandering backstage, only for them to be blindsided by an angry Strowman, who made short work of the combined 100 years olds.
Following that, Braun tried to abduct Kalisto, then threw him in a bin. Big Show checked him and before you know it, he bloody wrecked him too.
In requesting Braun pick on somebody his own size, Show booked himself into the main event. This match wasn’t quite as good as their previous bout, as most of it was spent teasing a Superplex from suspiciously old-looking ring posts… The match ended with Braun and Big Show finally completing their spot, collapsing the ring in the process. I suppose it ended in a no contest, because the ring was in pieces and the referee was in no position to officiate a falls count anywhere match, considering he seemed to take the biggest bump of the three.
So here’s what’s gonna happen at Payback: Braun will defeat Roman, though ONLY because of Roman’s injuries that he’s so determined to fight through, because he’s the ultimate under(big)dog, and you can take that to the money shop.