Here we are for another Monday Night RAW. It’s just under two weeks until Money in the Bank, so everything revolves around that. The preview is short, and all decent-looking matches. Kevin Owens versus Finn Balor, Braun Strowman versus Bobby Roode, Nia Jax versus Natalya, and a tag team battle royal to determine the number one contenders for the Deleters of Worlds.
I’m Amanda, and I’m here to guide you through RAW.
The Opening Segment
Elias started us off. He thinks he’s WWE’s most valuable asset and plans to become even more valuable at Money in the Bank when he becomes Intercontinental Champion. On that night the entire world, and Seth Rollins, will learn that WWE stands for Walk With Elias.
Regarding Rollins, he said he left him lying in a pile of dirt and pain. But think about how he feels, he had to smash one of his favourite guitars. He turned that pain into a song. It was overlaid with images of the guitar shot, and he got an entire verse out before Seth Rollins appeared,
Elias was ready with guitar in hand. Rollins cautiously walked around ringside, grabbed a chair from under the ring, then climbed the steps and got in.
They had a chair versus guitar standoff. Elias went to swing, and Rollins knocked the guitar out of his hand. As Rollins backed Elias into a corner he was attacked by Jinder Mahal. Elias and Mahal started beating on Rollins and Roman Reigns made the save.
Reigns cleared the ring. Kurt Angle came out and made a tag team match – who would have guessed?
Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns vs Elias and Jinder Mahal
A bit of a free for all after some indecision as to who would start. Rollins and Mahal fought it out on one side of ringside, and Reigns and Elias on the other.
Some nice teamwork from Reigns and Rollins before Elias knocked down Rollins and took control of the match. Rollins took a ton of punishment, with commentary frequently mentioning him not being a hundred percent, before tagging in Reigns to annihilate everyone.
The match turned again when Sunil Singh pulled Jinder Mahal away from Reigns drive by and Elias slammed him to the apron and knocked him down with a hip in the face.
Then it was Reigns turn to take punishment until he got to Rollins who came in to fly around, pausing occasionally to hold his neck.
Reigns hit drive by on Elias and Rollins kicked him in the head.
Rollins wasted time when he should have been Stomping Elias, watching Reigns manhandle Singh then Jinder Mahal throwing Reigns into the steps and hurling him over the barricade. Rollins narrowly missed being pinned from a roll up and laid Elias out with a kick.
Rollins hit his head on the barricade delivering a suicide dive to Mahal. Sunil Singh approached Rollins to hit him with a chair, but Rollins took it off him.
He chased Singh into the ring with the chair but dropped it and Elias DDT’d him on it. Rollins appeared to be unconscious when Elias hit Drift Away and pinned him.
The Other Stuff
– Curt Hawkins was on a 199-match losing streak, so he brought a jobber in to make sure he doesn’t get to 200. There were tacos on a table at ringside because Hawkins promised the entire arena tacos when he wins. He was about to beat James Harden when Baron Corbin came down to the ring and gave Harden the End of Days, which disqualified Hawkins. To add insult to injury Corbin hit Hawkins in the face with a taco, smashed his face into the table, then tipped it on him.
– In Kurt Angle’s office, Baron Corbin revealed that Stephanie McMahon has appointed him the Constable of RAW, her personal eyes and ears on the show, due to several questionable judgements made by Angle.
– Nia Jax vs Natalya – Before the match, Natalya was shown getting some coaching from Ronda Rousey. Rousey joined commentary. Interesting match. Natalya had Jax down when she tweaked her knee as she bounced off the rope and, in the pause, Nia Jax delivered a Samoan drop. After the match, Natalya was obviously in pain and Jax kept trying to check on her, clearly worried. Ronda Rousey came down to the ring and kept backing Jax away. Rousey and Jax squared up and Rousey told Jax to leave. She didn’t, Natalya was helped out by Rousey and an official while Jax stood in the ring shaking her head.
– Bobby Roode backstage interview – He talked about how excited he is for his first Money in the Bank ladder match. He was less excited about facing Braun Strowman and said that in 20 years he’s never faced anyone like him. His goal is just to survive.
– Braun Strowman vs Bobby Roode – All Braun Strowman until Roode dodged out of the corner and Strowman went into the ring post. Roode grabbed a ladder from under the ring and balanced it between the ring and barricade. He got Strowman to chase him, ducked under the ladder and asked Strowman what he was going to do. Braun Strowman broke the ladder with his fists. He caught the fleeing Roode, smashed him into the barricade, threw him into the ring, and hit a running powerslam for the win.
– Kevin Owens used his interview time to rant about Finn Balor. He said he’s going to show everyone Balor is nothing more than an Irish myth.
– Natalya was talking to Ronda Rousey in the trainer’s room. Nia Jax came to apologise. Rousey got uptight at Jax and they started to argue. Natalya stopped them by telling Jax she knows she didn’t mean to hurt her, but she needed a moment to herself, then hobbled off on crutches.
– The Deleters of Worlds had an in-ring interview before the battle royal. Bray Wyatt talked about men’s lust for power destroying them, and Matt Hardy went on about transcending space and time. Renee Young confirmed she is, indeed, woken. Hardy professed that wonderful, then they declared they would delete whichever team wins. – that’s the gist of it anyway.
– Tag Team Battle Royal – Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler vs Breezango vs The Revival vs The Ascension vs Titus Worldwide vs Heath Slater and Rhyno vs The B-Team – Teams were eliminated when one member was thrown out. It was beautiful chaos. Ziggler was eliminated first and he and McIntyre didn’t take it well, destroying several of their competitors before leaving. Titus Worldwide went during an ad break, then The Ascension and Breezango. Rhyno eliminated Dash Wilder to remove The Revival. Slater knocked Rhyno off the apron with Dallas when he had him up on his shoulder. The B-Team are number one contenders.
– Bobby Lashley invited Sami Zayn to say the things he said about him to his face. Zayn appeared in the crowd and said he wouldn’t get in the ring because last time Lashley assaulted him and hurt his hand. He has been stalking Lashley’s Instagram and made fun of some inspirational quotes. There was ranting, Sami Zayn sounds delusional. Lashley said he’d rather Zayn didn’t hype their match at the expense of his reputation. Zayn said everything about Lashley was a lie. He crossed a line when he suggested Lashley never served in the army. Lashley took off his jacket and stopped smiling. Segment over.
– Split location interviews with Jinder Mahal and Roman Reigns. Mahal said Reigns is a jealous bitter man who is threatened by his superiority. Reigns think there is a conspiracy against him when in fact he’s been given opportunities Mahal should have had. That’s why he speared him through the wall and took him out of the ladder match. Reigns responded that Mahal should check out his resumé. Mahal has done nothing and expects to be handed everything. Mahal said he’d never say that to his face. Reigns told him to stay put and he’d come and shut his mouth for him. He found him. Mahal threw Sunil Singh at him, Reigns deflected Singh and he and Mahal brawled until officials split them up.
– Alexa Bliss, Sasha Banks, and Ember Moon vs The Riott Squad – Why is Bliss with Banks and Moon? Why is there another six-woman tag? No-one knows. Good match, Riott and Moon is always fun, and they had a nice little stint. Bliss was in for a minute before she feigned injury, tagged Banks, and backed up the ramp holding her hamstring. Ember Moon was taken down outside the ring by Logan and Riott, Sasha Banks desperately needed a tag, Bayley ran down, tagged in, and pinned Sarah Logan. ‘Constable’ Corbin and Kurt Angle were shown watching backstage, Corbin asked Angle if he was going to stand for this. He told him to go and find Banks, Bayley, and Moon to tell them their win doesn’t count… unless he wanted to ask Stephanie.
– Backstage, Moon was telling Bayley and Banks to hug it out (and they were about to) when Angle showed up and said, because Bayley wasn’t in the match, The Riott Squad won by disqualification. Sasha Banks shook her head at Bayley and walked away. Baron Corbin was shown berating the ref.
– Big Show appeared with Team Texas, Special Olympics athletes and spoke about WWE’s partnership with the Special Olympics. He talked about how much the athletes have inspired him over the years, then got the crowd to give them a standing ovation. Balor came out for his match while they were still on stage and everyone, including Big Show, did the arm raise with him.
The Final Segment – Finn Balor vs Kevin Owens
There is a long history of extremely good matches between these two, and this was another.
Owens controlled the majority of the match, but despite an injury to his shoulder Balor wouldn’t stay down or quit. Owens is stronger, Balor is faster, both are extremely skilled, they’re pretty evenly matched. Owens became increasingly frustrated as Balor kept coming back.
Kevin Owens hung Balor up in the corner and stomped on him beyond the refs five-count and was disqualified. After the DQ he hit a Frog Splash on Balor. Then he put a ladder in the ring and climbed it (in case we forgot how that works). He looked like he was going for a splash from the near the top of the ladder, but couldn’t do it. He chickened out again from halfway up. Balor dragged him off, threw Owens into the corner, climbed the ladder, delivered a Coup de Grace from the top then climbed back up and grabbed the briefcase.
Overall this was a decent RAW with some questionable bits. I feel like I could say that most weeks. Next week’s Money in the Bank go-home show, promises two fatal four-ways. Sasha Banks, Ember Moon, Alexa Bliss and Natalya (assuming Natalya and Bliss are cleared), and Finn Balor, Braun Strowman, Bobby Roode, and Kevin Owens. There’s also going to be a face to face for Ronda Rousey and Nia Jax. And we’ll be here to recap it all.