It’s go home show time for Hell in a Cell. The day started well, with the announcement that Renee Young has become the first woman to hold a full-time WWE commentary position. Congratulations to her. Ronda Rousey and Natalya versus Alexa Bliss and Alicia Fox is advertised for the show. As is a visit from Triple H to address The Undertaker’s comments last week. Mick Foley is popping in because it’s 20 years since his infamous Hell in a Cell match. And there is guaranteed to be some kind of Shield related chaos.
I’m Amanda, I’m here to give you the talking points from RAW.
Nikki Bella def. Ruby Riott via pinfall
AOP def. Ronnie Ace and Nathan Bradley via pinfall
Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre def. The B-Team via Pinfall
Bobby Roode and Chad Gable def. The Ascension via pinfall
Ronda Rousey and Natalya def. Mickie James and Alexa Bliss via submission
Finn Balor def. Elias via pinfall
The Best Bits
– The Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, and Braun Strowman against The Shield storyline was spread throughout the show, but here is the narrative strand. Ziggler, McIntyre, and Strowman opened the show. They were followed down the ramp by half the roster, the half that helped them attack The Shield last week.
The trio started off with an I told you so, or three, from Ziggler. Then they showed footage from last week of The Shield getting beaten up, beaten down and arrested.
Strowman said the only reason Reigns still has the Universal championship is because he’s a coward that can’t handle business on his own. Reigns has his hounds of justice, Strowman has his dogs of war.
Ziggler talked about the superstars standing around the ring having made a hard choice last week, to stand up to The Shield’s bullying and stand up for themselves.
McIntyre said the balance of power has shifted. They are in control and running wild. They’ll set an example for them when they dismantle The B-Team in their tag title rematch.
The Shield appeared through the crowd and took everyone on. As the numbers started to get too much, Dean Ambrose produced a bag of axe handles and dished them out to Reigns and Rollins. Strowman, Ziggler, and McIntyre escaped to the stage, but everyone else was taken down.
Backstage, after the break, The Shield were arguing with local police. Baron Corbin appeared to ask them to drop the weapons and leave the building. Otherwise, they would be arrested, Reigns and Rollins would forfeit their titles, and they would go to jail for a long time. Ambrose wanted to fight anyway, but they did as they were told and left.
Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre vs The B-Team – RAW Tag Team Championship match – Dallas and Axel’s compulsory rematch after losing their titles last week. Good match, with plenty of chances for both sides. Bo Dallas had to break a pin on Axel up after he got kicked in the face by Ziggler and flipped over McIntyre’s head. McIntyre had to break one up when Dallas rolled Ziggler up. It was Dallas who took the Claymore Kick/Zigzag combination and got pinned after Ziggler raked his eyes when the ref wasn’t looking.
After the match, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose attacked McIntyre and Ziggler and cleared them from the ring.
Baron Corbin told Ambrose and Rollins off in his office. They said The Shield had gone, there was only two of them, so they weren’t The Shield. Corbin threatened to have them arrested again. Rollins called him out on that meaning he got them arrested last week and pointed out that filing a bogus police report was a crime. They brought the local Sheriff in and suddenly Baron Corbin wanted to talk. Ambrose talked to the sheriff in the hallway and by the time Rollins came out he was smiling and told the Sheriff they wouldn’t need to press charges.
A little later, Corbin crashed Ziggler, McIntyre, and Strowman’s locker room conversation to inform Ziggler and McIntyre that they will be defending the tag titles against Rollins and Ambrose at Hell in a Cell. They weren’t happy. Corbin told him he had reasons, including the fact it was an epic match for his first PPV in charge He told Strowman that Stephanie McMahon wants him to take the Universal title in the cell, then Strowman left to go ‘big dog hunting’. He was later shown attacking backstage staff and screaming for Reigns.
The final segment of the show started with Charly Caruso trying interviewing Strowman but he just wanted to know where Reigns was. She said the last time she saw him he was leaving but Strowman insisted that if his boys were there then Reigns was. Caruso suggested Reigns might find him if he went to the ring.
Strowman went to the ring and called Reigns out. When he didn’t show he said Reigns was a coward. But there’s nowhere for him to go on Sunday. When they’re locked in a cage Rollins and Ambrose won’t be able to help him and neither will Mick Foley. He threatened to make the injuries Foley suffered at the hands of The Undertaker look like a papercut if Foley got in his way.
Reigns music hit and Strowman found him stood on the announce desk. They fought on the stage and Strowman tried to use Reigns to destroy the backboards. Braun Strowman cleared the announce desk and laid Reigns on it. When he dragged Reigns to his feet Roman Reigns picked Strowman up on his shoulders and Samoan dropped him off the desk and through the stage to close the show.
– Triple H talked about his upcoming match with The Undertaker. He showed a graphic that said 81% of people think Undertaker will win at Super Show-Down then said that at this level those sort of things don’t bother you, or they shouldn’t. Which is why he was surprised that it bothered The Undertaker. He found it unbelievable that The Undertaker was so bothered he made an appearance and baited Shawn Michaels with threats because of an opinion. Initially, he thought that Undertaker had lost respect for him, or for Michaels. When he watched it back he realised Undertaker has lost respect for himself. To prove that he cites the fact Undertaker didn’t show up to talk to him. After that series of WrestleMania matches The Undertaker was never the same. The aura went away, the streak went away, the mystique went away, until all that was left was what we see now, just a reputation. That series of matches was his last epic moments of greatness and he blames them for the demise.
But one of the things Undertaker said last week was true. Now, it’s personal. So, in Melbourne Australia, out of the last little bit of respect he has left for The Undertaker, he will put him down.
– Mick Foley interrupted Elias’ segment this week. Foley complemented Elias’ playing and singing but said that as a lyricist he doesn’t have a sincere bone in his body. Elias talked about the impact Foley had on him as a child. But that was then, and this is now. Elias is standing in the ring with a broken man who has been singing the same song for 20 years and barely remembers the words. Foley said he wasn’t there to talk about the past he wanted to talk about the future. Elias said he was talking to the future. Foley said maybe so, then told a long story about talking to Stephanie McMahon which culminated in the announcement that Mick Foley will be the special guest referee for Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman’s Universal Championship match.
Foley’s final surprise was that Stephanie McMahon had allowed him to make one match, so he’d put Elias in a match with Finn Balor
Elias vs Finn Balor was a very good match. It was the final match of the show but didn’t really have a main event feel. Nothing at stake, not building to anything, just a good match. Unless you want play by play, there isn’t much to add. Finn Balor got the win with a roll-up after he missed with the Coup de Grace and countered Drift Away.
Some Other Bits
– Nikki Bella vs Ruby Riott – The Riott Squad apparently vandalised the Bella Twins dressing room earlier today, which led to Nikki Bella requesting the match. Riott seemed to have completely underestimated Nikki Bella. What she thought would be a walkover, turned into a decent match. Brie Bella and the rest of the Riott Squad didn’t get involved until the very end. Nikki Bella knocked Sarah Logan off the apron, which took her out. When Bella got Riott on her shoulders for her finisher, Liv Morgan tried to get into the ring, Brie Bella dragged her out and took her down. Nikki Bella delivered the Rack Attack 2.0 and got the pin.
– Kevin Owens vs Tyler Breeze didn’t happen. Poor Breeze didn’t even get to complete his entrance before Owens attacked him. He fought back, but Owens powerbombed him into the apron and left him laying at ringside while he got a mic. He said Baron Corbin had begged him to come back after he quit a couple of weeks ago. He agreed on the condition he was not held accountable for what he did to his opponents. He can now do whatever he wants, whenever he wants and there is nothing anyone can do about it. It’s all Bobby Lashley’s fault because he took out Sami Zayn and Owens seemingly can’t cope without his best friend by his side. Owens told us to expect anarchy, agony, and destruction in the coming weeks.
– Alexa Bliss and Mickie James vs Natalya and Ronda Rousey – Bliss changed partners because she said she thought she had a better chance with Mickie James. Unsurprisingly, Natalya did the brunt of the work for her team. At one point Rousey and Natalya used the Hart Attack on Alexa Bliss. James distracted Rousey when they were outside the ring and Bliss threw her into the barricade and the apron, damaging her ribs again. Bliss and James worked over Rousey’s ribs, and James took Natalya out by shoving her off the apron. Rousey did the same to Bliss, then she and James finished it one on one. Rousey stared down Alexa Bliss as she put the armbar on Mickie James for the win. Bliss cheap-shotted Rousey after the match, with a kick to the injured ribs, to try to ensure the champion does not go into Hell in a Cell at one hundred percent. In a post-match interview, Rousey said it wouldn’t matter if she was hurt because on her worst day she’s still the best.
In the bawl your eyes out moment of the week, Big Show brought out the young superstar-superheroes, from the Connor’s Cure campaign, and introduced them one by one.
Bobby Roode and Chad Gable vs The Ascension happened – Chad Gable tagged himself in at the beginning and the end of the match. Bobby Roode looked a bit put out the second time because he was just about to do his ‘glorious’ thing. He was all smiles when Gable got the win though. This has to be leading to Roode turning on Gable.
There was also a squash match. AOP vs Ronnie Ace and Nathan Bradley finished after about a minute with a Super-Collider. AOP have new gear that looks less Shield-esque.
All in all not bad episode of RAW, but it didn’t feel like a go home show. Building to multiple PPVs means very few storylines will conclude on Sunday and it waters down the impact somewhat. Hell in a Cell should still be a great show though.
All pics courtesy of WWE.com