This week’s RAW comes from London, England, so it was pre-taped earlier in the day. The preview promises Seth Rollins versus Kevin Owens for the Intercontinental Championship and two Money in the Bank qualifying matches. Bobby Roode takes on Baron Corbin and No Way Jose for a spot in the men’s match. Bayley, Alexa Bliss, and Mickie James compete for a spot in the women’s. There’s a veiled reference to another Money in the Bank match, Roman Reigns will be looking for revenge against Jinder Mahal, and Bobby Lashley will be making an appearance. Tour shows are usually a lot of fun, and very busy.
I’m Amanda, and I’m here to guide you through RAW.
The Opening Segment
The show opened with a teaser of a red-carpet exchange between Nia Jax and Ronda Rousey.
Roman Reigns opened the show proper, too many boos from the London crowd. He said last week he got robbed, but this time it was by Jinder Mahal instead of WWE management. Then said if Mahal wants to be more relevant than he’s ever been he should come out and face him.
Kurt Angle appeared instead and told him Mahal wasn’t coming. Angle got a call over the weekend to inform him that his decision not to allow Jinder Mahal a qualifying match was emotional and it was best for business to give him a chance. Mahal has that opportunity tonight against Elias and Bobby Lashley. Reigns, however, will not be given any more opportunities to qualify, by order of WWE management. Angle agreed it sucks and that Reigns has been screwed.
Reigns said he gets it, Angle has a family to provide for and a job to do, he’s just doing what he has to. Now Reigns has to go and do what he’s got to do.
Cameras followed Roman Reigns backstage until he found Jinder Mahal. Mahal threw Sunil Singh at him, then Reigns and Mahal fought through the backstage area and out onto the stage. After delivering a Superman punch, Reigns was restrained by officials while Mahal ran away.
The Other Stuff
– Seth Rollins vs Kevin Owens – Intercontinental Championship match – Good long match, and a truly excellent one. Rollins and Owens are right at the top of the game. One of Owens’ best chances came after he caught Rollins’ suicide dive and rammed him into a post. Rollins would have had a good shot following a falcon arrow on the apron, but they both rolled outside and barely made the count. Two suicide dives, a forearm from the top rope and a blockbuster still only got Rollins a two-count. And so it went, trading big moves and two-counts. In the end, Owens hit a fisherman buster from the second turnbuckle and Rollins rolled out of the ring. Owen’s followed, rolled him back in, and Rollins hit the Blackout Stomp as Owens was climbing back in.
– The promised footage of Ronda Rousey and Nia Jax from NBC Universal event. Rousey was being interviewed about her debut. She brought Charlotte Flair over as one of her examples of hard work and dedication. Flair got her to Woo, then Nia Jax joined them. Jax asked Rousey if she could do this and held up the RAW Women’s Championship. Rousey said maybe one day and Jax told her she has an obligatory title defence at Money in the Bank and she was challenging her. Rousey protested that she’d only had one match and there were other women more deserving, but Jax insisted and Flair encouraged Rousey to accept. She did, and the match has been confirmed.
– Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel asked Kurt Angle for a tag title match. They’re apparently calling themselves the B-Team now (it stands for Best Team, they tried for A-Team, but Angle had to tell them it was already taken). Angle refused to give them a tag match because they’ve never won a match. They said the Miztourage never won but the B-Team are undefeated. He gave them a match as long as they promised to leave him alone.
– No Way Jose vs Baron Corbin vs Bobby Roode – Money in the Bank qualifying match – Some familiar faces for Britwres fans in No Way Jose’s conga line. One of the first actions of the match took Jose out when Corbin threw him into the steps, which gave Corbin and Roode some one-on-one time. Corbin kept Jose on the outside for a lot of the match, but they settled into a triple-threat pattern eventually. After a longish and hard-fought match, Bobby Roode pinned No Way Jose to qualify for the MITB ladder match.
– Kevin Owens demanded a rematch from Kurt Angle and said if it didn’t give it to him he’d call Stephanie McMahon. Angle said he was sick of him threatening him. Owens held up his phone and said it wasn’t a threat, it was about to become a reality.
– Jinder Mahal wanted the match postponed because of Reigns attack but Angle said tonight was the last night of qualifying matches and it was best for business. Mahal said he’d overcome adversity before and he’ll do what Reigns couldn’t, qualify for Money in the Bank.
– Breezango vs The B-Team – Still great to see Breezango actually wrestling. Apparently, they will also be live-tweeting the royal wedding. This was, unsurprisingly, very good – even with the crowd singing the A-Team theme throughout. They are both teams building or rebuilding credibility, Breezango especially could be a force in the tag division. Just not tonight. After a shortish match, Bo Dallas slammed Tyler Breeze into the barricade and the B-Team double-teamed Fandango for the win. Post-match they were very excited and said they’re coming for the titles.
– Sasha Banks, Natalya, and Ember Moon vs The Riott Squad – Six-woman tag match, because tour shows like to cram in the bodies. To be fair, it was great. The Riott Squad’s teamwork is impeccable. Sasha Banks took most of the punishment for her team, with Natalya taking the glory. Ember Moon saved Natalya from being pinned. Then Sasha Banks took out Sarah Logan, Moon dived onto Ruby Riott, and Natalya made Liv Morgan tap out to the Sharpshooter.
– Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler cut a promo ahead of their match to say the locker room has gone soft. They said Balor and Strowman have used shortcuts to success, they are there to remind them of the hunger and passion.
– The Revival vs The Deleters of Worlds – Matt Hardy got the crowd to give Dash Wilder a standing ovation for his athleticism. The B-Team were shown watching backstage and taking notes. Fun match, good to see The Revival getting back into it. It wasn’t their night though. Matt Hardy pinned Scott Dawson after the Kiss of Deletion double-team.
– Bayley and Sasha Banks met in the corridor. Banks wished Bayley luck and she said thanks. It was all smiles, for now.
– Sami Zayn took to the ring to complain about Bobby Lashley. According to Zayn, Lashley held him upside-down so long he gave him vertigo, which is apparently why Zayn hasn’t won a match since. Zayn was disgusted that Lashley did it all to impress the WWE universe. He turned his attention to Lashley’s interview from last week, which focused on his sisters, and revealed he’d contacted them on Facebook and invited them to appear on RAW next week.
– Alexa Bliss vs Mickie James vs Bayley – Money in the Bank qualifying match – It was clear from the off that Bliss and James were going to work together. They dominated Bayley, with James doing most of the work, Bayley fought back, and Mickie James tried to roll up Bliss. They shoved each other until Bayley got up then it was back to two-on-one. Alexa Bliss almost had Bayley pinned but Mickie James kicked her in the face. Bliss’ first strike on James was accidental when Bayley moved out of the way, and she apologised. Bayley hit the Bayley to belly on Bliss, James pulled her from the ring and went to pin Bliss, Bayley pulled her out and they brawled on the outside. When Bayley got back in Alexa Bliss hit a DDT and pinned her.
– A recap of the backstage brawl from the opening segment cut to the trainer’s room where Jinder Mahal was being cleared to compete. He walked out into the corridor, in obvious pain, and got speared through a wall/plywood sheet by Roman Reigns. After an ad break, Jinder Mahal was still laying on the floor. Kurt Angle said the match must go on and went to find a replacement.
– Finn Balor and Braun Strowman vs Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre – We got a teaser of Strowman vs McIntyre, that will be so good. Strowman threw Finn Balor onto Dolph Ziggler. When Balor looked at him, outraged, he yelled ‘get up you’re fine’, and they did the Strowman arm-raise and roar. At the finish, Strowman ploughed into Drew McIntyre on the outside. McIntyre’s fall knocked the Greatest Royal Rumble trophy over. In the chaos, Dolph Ziggler pinned Finn Balor.
– Kurt Angle was shown on the phone to Stephanie McMahon. He was telling her he’d found a replacement for Jinder Mahal, she clearly overruled him.
The Closing Segment – Elias vs Bobby Lashley vs Kevin Owens – Money in the Bank qualifying match
Poor Elias didn’t get to sing any of his songs before Owens entrance started. An alliance between Owens and Elias to take out Lashley lasted only a few seconds before Lashley took them both out.
Lashley is a powerhouse is clearly the story they’re trying to tell, and they’re telling it well so far. There were a lot of heavy looking strikes and throwing people around in the early going.
In the middle of the match, Elias found himself alone in the ring so he sat on the edge of the apron and called for his guitar. He got as far as strumming it before Owens was back up and Elias had to get back to work.
In true triple-threat fashion, every pin attempt was swiftly broken up by the third man with no one clear dominant party for any length of time.
Sami Zayn appeared and pulled Bobby Lashley off Elias then drove him into the ringpost and barricade. Elias was still down in the ring, so Owens hit a frog splash from the top rope and pinned him.
A really good collection of matches on tonight’s RAW, and plenty of them. Tour shows are always good for that. WWE like to give the overseas audiences the best value for money possible. I think they achieved it. The RAW side of the men’s Money in the Bank ladder match is now complete, with Bobby Roode and Kevin Owens joining Finn Balor and Braun Strowman. Alexa Bliss joins Ember Moon in the women’s Money in the Bank match.