Tonight’s RAW, from Chicago, is all about the fallout from Super Show-Down. We have re-matches of The Shield versus Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler, and Drew McIntyre, and Ronda Rousey and The Bella Twins versus The Riott Squad. We’ll hear from Triple H and Shawn Michaels about the Brothers of Destruction’s post-match attack. And Trish Stratus is set to make an appearance.
I’m Amanda, and I’ll be your guide through RAW.
Bobby Lashley def Kevin Owens via pinfall
Ronda Rousey and The Bella Twins def The Riott Squad via submission
Finn Balor and Bayley def. Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox via pinfall
Kurt Angle won the World Cup qualifying Battle Royal
Ember Moon def. Nia Jax via count out.
Bobby Roode and Chad Gable def. The Ascension via pinfall
Braun Strowman, Drew McIntyre, and Dolph Ziggler def. The Shield via pinfall
The Best Bits
– Triple H and Shawn Michaels kicked off the show. Triple H said twenty-five years is a long time to climb a mountain. But it’s the biggest deadliest mountain in the world, so you climb it step by step year after year. He and Michaels should be standing on top of the world right now because on Saturday they made it to the summit. But the avalanche that fell on them after they made it to the top made them wonder if that mountain was just a lie the whole time.
After footage of the carnage during and after the Super Show-Down match, he said respect is a word that has lost its significance as of late. Respect is not something he and Michaels give easily. It takes a lot to earn their respect. Respect like when someone you idolise takes you under their wing from day one because they see something special in you, they help you to become something more, that’s respect. Respect like when you spend your entire career fighting everyone and everything side by side and back to back fighting the world together, that is respect. Respect is when you stick to your word even when everyone tells you not to everyone encourages you not to, they make every opportunity for you not to, but you stick to your word, that is respect.
You know sometimes you respect who someone used to be, you respect what they used to represent. And then it dawns on you that respect is no longer a two-way street. The flight back from Melbourne to Chicago is a long way. A long time to sit and think about the beatdown they took at Super Show-Down and it is a long time to sit and think about the last eight and a half long years that he has honoured his word out of a respect that never existed at all. When the wheels touched down in Chicago, Triple H looked him in the eye and said three words he thought he’d never hear again.
Triple H continued, ‘Are. You. Ready. But the question isn’t for Shawn because he knows he is. The question is for The Undertaker and Kane, The Brother of Destruction. Crown Jewel, the question is, Are you ready?’
Shawn Michaels got the final words. ‘D-Generation X is ready. Kane, Undertaker, Brothers of Destruction, I say this with absolutely no respect at all. If you’re not down with that, we got two words for you.’
They ripped their shirts off to reveal D-Generation X shirts, and it was crotch-chops all round to close the segment.
– Trish Stratus talked about getting back in the ring to make history in the first ever all-woman PPV, Evolution. She called last week’s ‘Moment of Bliss’ a moment of BS. Alexa Bliss appeared with Mickie James and they exchanged insults, short jokes versus old jokes. Bliss told Stratus she used to watch her matches and now she can finally tell her woman to woman, she sucked. She was lucky Bliss wasn’t around then or she’d have spent her entire career living in Bliss’ shadow.
Stratus invited her to the ring. Mickie James stopped them fighting. Stratus told them they’re both going to find out what a hall of fame beatdown feels like. James said she’d love to find out so why doesn’t she team with Bliss at Evolution. Trish asked who she should pick for a partner and brought out Lita. There was a brawl which ended with Stratus and Lita celebrating, and Bliss and James retreating. The change to the Evolution match was later confirmed.
– There were two backstage promos for the six-man main event. In the first, Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre argued about Ziggler trying to call the shots when he was the one that got pinned at Super Show-Down. Braun Strowman told them both to remember they’re there to watch his back until he’s Universal champion.
The second was a proper old-school Shield promo complete with the dodgy camera and everything. They’re not an alliance or a friendship, they’re a brotherhood. Ziggler, McIntyre and Strowman think they’re the bad guys, but The Shield are the bad guys. They don’t bend, they don’t crack, they don’t stop. They are the one true constant. They are the Hounds of Justice. They are The Shield.
Paul Heyman appeared to say he was there to see The Shield versus Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler, and Drew McIntyre. But he found it ironic that 72 hours ago Reigns and Strowman beat the high holy living hell out of each other in Australia then flew 20 hours to do it again in Chicago. Meanwhile, Brock Lesnar is sleeping in his own bed then going to his training camp in his bid to be the first two-sport concurrent champion. Lesnar is the only one whose sole goal is the Universal Championship, which is why he’ll win at Crown Jewel.
The Shield music hit as Heyman finished talking and he looked very relieved when he realised they were coming through the crowd.
The Shield vs Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler, and Drew McIntyre –
Another great match, but is anyone surprised? They just picked up where they left off the last time, and the time before that.
Fairly early on, Ziggler and McIntyre got tipped out of the ring by The Shield, who then turned to Strowman. Instead of taking them all on, Strowman chose to walk around the ring to yell at his teammates.
There are a ton of subtleties and nuances that make matches like this great that there just aren’t space for in a review that has to report the big spots. Big spots like Reigns taking everyone out with a dive over the top rope after Rollins and Ambrose’s tandem suicide dives onto McIntyre and Ziggler.
While Rollins was reaching for a desperately needed tag, Braun Strowman took out Ambrose and Reigns, throwing them into the barricade and steps respectively, then turned to his team and yelled at them. He grabbed Ziggler’s throat, McIntyre spun him around. They squared up, then Rollins shoved McIntyre into Strowman and, finally, got to Dean Ambrose.
The run-up to the finish was chaos. Bodies flying everywhere including a nasty looking spill out of the ring from Rollins and Ziggler, a beautiful DDT from Ambrose on Strowman at ringside, and a spear from Reigns to Strowman.
It ended with a Drew McIntyre Claymore kick to Dean Ambrose.
Post-match, Dean Ambrose walked away from Reigns and Rollins and stalked up the ramp alone.
Some Other Bits
– Bobby Lashley vs Kevin Owens was the first match of the show. Someone gave Lio Rush a microphone for use during the match. His attempts to get a ‘Lashley’ chant going got boos instead. The crowd were completely behind Owens throughout, especially when he was chasing Rush around the ring. He caught him, but Lashley saved him from harm. Rush’s distraction when Owens climbed the turnbuckle saw Owens stuck in the tree of woe. From that, it was a quick job for Lashley to take out Owens’ knee and slam him face-first into the mat for the win. After the match, Lashley returned to the ring, with the encouragement of Rush and attacked Owens’ injured knee. Then he went back again and damaged the other one. Guess the crowd were booing the right person after all.
Rush and Lashley interrupted Finn Balor and Bayley’s interview after the match, wanting to talk about themselves. Lio Rush said his words and Lashley’s power was ‘too sweet’. Balor looked unimpressed.
– Ronda Rousey and The Bella Twins vs The Riott Squad – Brie Bella and Liv Morgan started off. Morgan poked Brie’s nose then forearmed her across the face. Bella kicked her to her knees and went for the Yes Kicks, but this time Morgan ducked and launched herself on Brie. They rolled around punching each other until they rolled out of the ring and their teammates pulled them apart. Sensibly, they both tagged out for a while, although it was Brie who took the extended punishment in the match. Eventually, of course, Ronda Rousey got the tag, the Bellas stopped Logan and Morgan from interfering, and Ronda Rousey made Ruby Riott tap to the armbar.
During the celebrations, Nikki Bella attacked Rousey and the twins double-teamed her. Rousey fought back and got the Bellas out of the ring. When she followed Nikki Bella out of the ring, Brie reappeared and slammed Rousey into the post. They continued the beatdown, and when Rousey started to fight back, they flung her into the steps, then the barricade, then hauled her back into the ring and posed with one foot on her. Nikki Bella draped the title belt over Rousey before they walked away.
Ronda Rousey versus Nikki Bella for the RAW Women’s Championship was later confirmed for Evolution.
– Finn Balor and Bayley vs Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox was a fun rematch. B n B are still displaying great teamwork, like the Balor assisted moves from Bayley to Fox and Mahal. Mahalicia still aren’t. And the result was the same as it was in Mixed Match Challenge, Balor and Bayley won with a Coup de Grace to Mahal from Balor.
– The World Cup qualifying Battle Royal turned out to be a lot of ‘enhancement talent’ and Baron Corbin. He introduced them and the countries they represented, one of them had a chef’s hat on, one was dressed as a conquistador (gold full bodysuit). They went after Baron Corbin on masse, but they all got thrown out, except the conquistador who sat by the ringpost outside. The ref pointed out the conquistador hadn’t been eliminated while Corbin was celebrating his ‘victory’. Corbin chased him back into the ring, the conquistador suplexed him a bunch of times then tipped him over the top rope. He demasked to reveal himself as Kurt Angle. The World Cup will feature four RAW superstars and four SmackDown Live superstars. John Cena was previously announced as the first RAW entrant.
– Ember Moon vs Nia Jax was unexpected. They’re friends and the match was set in the spirit of competition. It started the way of most Nia Jax matches, with Jax throwing her opponent around. Moon managed to get Jax out of the ring, but a suicide dive had no effect, Moon just crashed off Jax and hit the floor. The ref was counting while they fought on the outside. Moon dodged Jax’ charge which sent Jax into the baseboard of the ring. Ember Moon barely beat the count. Nia Jax was counted out. After the match, they hugged and Jax raised Moon’s hand in victory.
– Bobby Roode and Chad Gable vs The Ascension showed the first cracks in the Roode/Gable alliance. Roode looked annoyed when Gable tagged himself in and stole the pin on Viktor. Nothing came of it because AOP appeared and decimated everyone. Gable and Viktor took a Super-Collider.
Tonight was the night of the rematch. Five of the seven matches were full or partial rematches from the last two weeks. That said, it was a really good show. Elias only got the shortest of segments this week, just before the six-woman tag. He sang about John Cena’s hair distracting him and insulted Chicago before Ronda Rousey’s entrance music cut him off. There was also a Heath Slater sighting. Baron Corbin refused him a place in the Battle Royal. Looking forward to seeing what next week brings.