I used to spend a lot of time writing brilliantly concise and witty introductions. I’m over that. My genius will remain in my head, suckling on the many teats of my brain. I threw this introduction together in about 30 seconds and you know what? It’s still way better than anything you’d read on The Smackdown Review…
I’m Elliot and I watch Monday Night Raw so you don’t have to.

We’re gonna kick off in the middle of the show like some Memento/every film bullshit. SO! In the middle of the show, Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho wandered to the ring to gloat about KO’s successful title defence against Braun Strowman and to put Tom Brady (not the GOAT) on the list. Y2J once again tried to get Owens in on the idea of the two best friends facing each other in the “biggest main event in Wrestlemania history”. KO was on the fence, however, voicing his reluctance to fight his best friend. Before any more elaboration could take place, Goldberg (Greenberg) marched to the ring, uncomfortably towing the line between badass and fun dad.
Goldberg accepted Lesnar’s ‘Mania challenge (it’d be kind of weird if he didn’t) and instered himself into the Universal title picture at Fastlane. Getting wound up by Goldberg’s blatant misunderstanding of “list-theory”, Jericho accepted the title match on KO’s behalf.
A little later, the #61MinuteMan successfully retained his US title against Sami Zayn thanks to an interference from Kevin Owens.
As usual, the rest of Raw relied on backstage segments between the two champions in which they argued, made up and hyped next week’s “festival of friendship.” I… I don’t know what that is.


– Nia Jax defeated Bayley after a distraction from Charlotte, hyping the title rematch between the latter two next week.
– Braun Strowman squashed 4 local competitors in a handicap match, following which he stormed backstage, demanding more competition from Mick Foley. The GM obliged, giving Braun a 1 on 1 match with Roman Reigns at Fastlane.
– Akira Tozawa made his Raw debut, defeating Drew Gulak.
– Gallows & Anderson retained their titles against Cesaro & Sheamus via DQ.
– Enxo and Cass threw their hats in the ring for tag title contention, which is dumb because surely, if you’re a tag team, you want to be, and are always, in consideration for title contention.
– The New Day promoted the concept of ice cream, which is one of their less ambitious adventures in crowd-work. They also beat The Shining Stars.
– Emmalina is “premiering next week”.
– Potassium enthusiast, Austin Aries, interviewed Neville. Then the majority of the cruiserweight division turned up to promote a fatal 5-way, #1 contenders match on this week’s 205 Live.
– Cedric Alexander, Jack Gallagher and TJ Perkins defeated Tony Nese, Noam Dar and Neville after the champion walked away from the match.


Kicking off Raw, Mick Foley reluctantly invited a dapper looking Samoa Joe to the ring. After his pop and “you sold out” chants, Stephanie McMahon, unhappy with the initial introduction, took it upon herself to welcome “the hottest free agent of the new era and soon-to-be-member of the Raw roster”.
Joe explained his affiliation with Triple H as gratitude for being the only man in the WWE to actually give him a shot and went on to hit the biggest promo cliche of all time, when he announced that he would “put the entire locker room on notice.” Hopefully his promise to “choke out [the fans] heroes” will lead to a run like his match-interrupting feud with William Regal, rather than a cleaning up jobbers.
Upon Joe signing his contract, the far-too-familiar theme (and boos) of Roman “Joe the Samoan” Reigns hit the air. He wanted it to be known that he was the big dog in this yard and that this is his ball, that is his chewed up squeaky toy and that is the pillow he naps on and occasionally humps. Foley made match between the two official for later in the show.
The main event began with Samoa Joe rushing Reigns during his entrance and dominating him further once the match began. Roman started to get the upper hand and lined Joe up for a one of his 2 moves of doom, but Braun Strowman had other ideas. Braun caused enough of a distraction for Samoa Joe to take out Reigns and score a big win on his main roster debut. Is putting over NXT talent Roman’s new gimmick? According to me, it definitely is – and I’m a name you can trust.
Unfortunately for what many of the IWC are lauding as “the era of Joe”, the ending, and subsequent few minutes, had far more to do with Roman than The Samoan Submission Machine. Upon landing the 3-count, Joe was nowhere to be seen, leaving Braun Strowman to murder Reigns all the way to death. Chants of “thank you, Strowman” filled the arena as the screens faded to black.


By Elliot Dyson

Prize writer.