Evolution was a great success, but nothing stays still in WWE and Crown Jewel is on Friday so most of the business of the night will be devoted to that. The preview has only one mention of Evolution, a reference to Nia Jax preparing for her newly earned title shot. We’re expecting a visit from Brock Lesnar, more build for D-Generation X versus the Brothers of Destruction, consequences for Elias for breaking a perfectly good guitar on Baron Corbin last week, and to find out why Dean Ambrose turned on Seth Rollins.
I’m Amanda, and I’ll be your guide through Monday Night RAW.
Finn Balor def. Bobby Lashley via disqualification
Lita, Trish Stratus, Natalya, Sasha Banks, and Bayley def. Mickie James, Alicia Fox, and The Riott Squad, with Alexa Bliss via submission
Elias def. Jinder Mahal via pinfall
Bobby Roode and Chad Gable def. The Ascension and AOP via pinfall
Nia Jax def. Ember Moon via pinfall
Lucha House Party def. The Revival via pinfall
Dolph Ziggler def. Apollo Crews via pinfall
The Best Bits
– The show opened with a recap of Roman Reigns’ announcement of his battle with leukaemia last week. Baron Corbin opened the show proper.
Corbin said last week was one of the most emotional nights of his career, but that was last week, and life goes on. Personally, he wishes Reigns the best in his battle, but professionally, if he comes back, he hopes it’s not to RAW. He likes the way the title looks and feels on his shoulder. He was just telling everyone how difficult Reigns made his job when Brock Lesnar’s music hit.
Lesnar circled the ring staring Corbin down, before getting in. Corbin tried to big up the appearance, but Paul Heyman stopped him. Heyman said we live in historic times. Four days from now history will be made once again when Lesnar takes the Universal Championship back home and places it over his massive shoulders. To do that he has to beat Braun Strowman and on Friday he will. That’s not a prediction, it’s a spoiler, a guarantee. He couldn’t be more clairvoyant about the outcome of the match if it were predetermined (Umm, yeah, ok). History will be made. He used a lot more words, but that’s the gist.
Braun Strowman came out and said that at Crown Jewel he’s going to become the new Universal Champion because Lesnar’s going to ‘Get These Hands’. They faced up, Baron Corbin tried to play peacemaker, but Strowman objected to the hand he put on his chest and shoved him away.
Corbin reacted by hitting Strowman from behind and got powerslammed, twice. The crowd chanted, ‘one more time’, and Strowman obliged.
Brock Lesnar grabbed Strowman, F5’d him, and left.
– The World Cup Brackets have been announced for Crown Jewel.
- Seth Rollins vs Bobby Lashley
- Kurt Angle vs Dolph Ziggler
- Jeff Hardy vs The Miz
- Rey Mysterio vs Randy Orton
The RAW winners fight each other, and the SmackDown winner fight each other, then the final is RAW versus SmackDown.
The announcement was followed by a look back over Kurt Angle’s career and a promo from him about people thinking he’s out of his mind for thinking he’ll win on Friday. He listed some of his achievements and said that winning the WWE World Cup now would mean more to him than anything he’s ever accomplished (Really? Seems unlikely but, ok). He warned his opponents he’s not coming back to prove that he has one more match, he’s coming to prove that, once again, he’s the best in the world.
– There was a segment with the Connor’s Cure Campaign children offering their support to Roman Reigns, it was followed by a ‘Roman’ chant and a standing ovation from the crowd that commentary shut up and let play out. That was a classy move.
All night commentary, specifically Michael Cole, had been framing Dean Ambrose attack on Rollin as an act of cowardice. Seth Rollins took to the ring to try to sort it all out.
Rollins thanked the fans on Reigns’ behalf for the love and support they’ve sent out calling it beautiful and powerful. He said that positivity makes him feel good, as does the fact he became RAW tag team champion last week. But he’s sad because he should be celebrating it with his brother, Dean Ambrose. But Ambrose has turned his back on him, The Shield and everyone. Rollins wonders if it’s maybe his fault. Maybe Ambrose couldn’t forgive what he did four years ago. Maybe it had been festering and he just lashed out. The only person who can tell him is Dean Ambrose, but he’s the kind of guy who won’t be found unless he wants to be, so he didn’t call or text because he knew he’d find Ambrose here tonight. He asked Ambrose as a friend and brother to come out.
Dean Ambrose’ music hit but no Ambrose. He eventually appeared at the top of the crowd, Shield style. Rollins asked him to come down and tell him face to face because at least when he put the knife in his back he had the decency to stare him in the eye and tell him why he did it.
Ambrose walked down a few steps, lifted a mic to his lips a couple of times and just sneered.
Rollins said, ‘you know what, man, you really are a cold-hearted bastard’. On the most emotional night in the history of The Shield Ambrose spat on everything they stood for. On the night Roman left to battle leukaemia, Ambrose made it all about him. He wants the spotlight so bad, he’s got it, because Rollins is fixed on him for as long as he lives and he’s going to make his life a living hell. Maybe it wasn’t just a nickname, maybe he is just a soulless lunatic.
Rollins decided to go and beat an answer out of Ambrose and got out of the ring. Ambrose just walked away.
– Dolph Ziggler, with Drew McIntyre vs Apollo Crews – This was more promo than match. Ziggler said he’s got his eyes on the prize at Crown Jewel and McIntyre said that now they have finally broken The Shield his full attention is on the match between Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman.
Ziggler said that makes sense, but what doesn’t make sense is Angle saying he’s going to win the World Cup. For his whole career, and most of his life, Ziggler has looked up to Angle for everything he did for collegiate wrestling, for what he did at the Olympics. Without guys like Angle, guys like Ziggler wouldn’t exist in WWE. But Ziggler is going to cement his legacy when he wins the World Cup. He is the best in the world
Eventually, Apollo Crews came out and it was a good match. Crews pressed Ziggler over his head for ages before dropping him and had several good pin attempts through the match. He was too slow coming off the top turnbuckle though and Ziggler got his knees up. One superkick later Ziggler was victorious. Drew McIntyre stepped on Crews’ head when he got in the ring to celebrate with Ziggler.
– D-Generation X and The Brothers of Destruction closed out the show. Kane and The Undertaker came out first. Undertaker said, ‘it’s not easy to heed his call, to say goodbye, to reach the end, but when the reaper calls, no matter how hard you fight, it’s your time to go’.
Kane continued, ‘in the distance, they can hear their names being whispered, and as time went by it got louder, and the whisper has now become a deafening cry.’
Back to The Undertaker, ‘This Friday at WWE Crown Jewel the Brothers of Destruction will take the beaten battered souls of D-Generation X for the first time and the last time to the fiery gates of hell. It won’t be swift it will be slow agonising pain.’
‘But that’s on Friday. Tonight, Triple H and Shawn Michaels you are being summoned to the ring right now. So we can take your souls for eternity so you can never rest in…
He was cut off by the D-Generation X entrance music. Triple H came out then went back to reintroduce Shawn Michaels. Kane got out of the ring to get him himself. The Undertaker realised it was a trap just a moment too late and he turned straight into a sweet chin music.
As Triple H and Shawn Michaels walked away, The Undertaker sat up. The two teams stared each other down to close the show.
Some Other Bits
– Finn Balor vs Bobby Lashley, with Lio Rush – Lio Rush has a lot to say, most of it entertaining, but none of it worth reporting. It carries on through the match as well, unless Lashley’s not doing so well. Finn Balor managed to shut him up for quite a bit of it. This time, Rush was responsible for the outcome. He pushed Balor off the top turnbuckle as he went up for the Coup de Grace and got Lashley disqualified. Lashley picked up the beatdown on Balor post-match, slamming him into the barricade and apron then rolling him into the ring and holding him in a full nelson while Rush talked trash and slapped him.
After the match Corbin called Rush and Lashley to see him to tell Lashley what he did to Balor was impressive, so he’s giving him a place in the World Cup at Crown Jewel. John Cena’s place to be precise.
– Becky Lynch crashed Ronda Rousey’s post-show interview after Evolution. They congratulated each other as insincerely as is possible, then Lynch told Rousey she’ll be seeing her soon. Rousey agreed. Apparently, they are fighting at Survivor Series – did I miss that announcement, or was that the announcement?
– Lita, Trish Stratus, Natalya, Sasha Banks, and Bayley vs Mickie James, Alicia Fox, and The Riott Squad, with Alexa Bliss – After the high of Evolution last night, we’re back to a meaningless multi-woman match on RAW, and a mash-up of two of last night’s matches at that. It was nice for the Riott Squad to get a chance in the ring with Trish Stratus and Lita, and for Banks, Bayley and Natalya to team with them. Ruby Riott took a little too much time mocking the opposition while they had Banks in the corner and she dodged Riott’s charge so Riott took out her squad. Lita helped Natalya out with a Hart Attack on Fox. Fox kicked out of that but succumbed to a Sharpshooter.
– Nia Jax’ interview about when she’s planning to take her title shot (sometime after Survivor Series) was usurped by Ember Moon. Jax was less than impressed and they took a few verbal shots at each other about respect before Moon challenged Jax to a match. Jax accepted.
– Elias said he’s been hanging out with Ric Flair. He’s Flair’s favourite and Flair was happy about Elias’ attack on Corbin last week. Elias showed the footage and said as much as it hurts to break one of his guitars, that felt good. He wanted to sing a song for Corbin this week, but as Corbin has already been attacked tonight he’d take the song to him. Elias went backstage and the camera followed. Corbin wouldn’t let him into his office so Elias sang in the corridor. The song called Corbin a coward a taller, stupider version of Kurt Angle, and Stephanie’ McMahon’s b**ch. Corbin came out in the middle but slammed the door again before it finished. Jinder Mahal attacked Elias as soon as he finished. Corbin reappeared from the office and told Elias to get to the ring for his match.
Elias vs Jinder Mahal was decent enough, but even the combined distract and attack powers of the Singh Brothers couldn’t save Mahal from losing via a Drift Away.
– The Ascension vs Bobby Roode and Chad Gable vs AOP – Triple threat tag match –It was a very short match. Roode, Gabel and The Ascension attacked AOP before the match even started. Bobby Roode tagged himself in to get the pin on Viktor after Gable did all the work then AOP decimated everyone.
– Nia Jax vs Ember Moon – There’s so much potential in pairing these two together, but we didn’t get a clean finish for this one. Tamina came out midway through and distracted them both. Jax recovered first and knocked Moon to the ground before delivering a leg drop for the win. Tamina got in the ring, had a stare-out with Jax, and left.
– Lucha House Party (Kalisto and Lince Dorado, with Gran Metalik) vs The Revival –Lucha House Party have a pinata called Penelope. They won after a good match, with Kalisto pinning Scott Dawson. What has the main roster done to The Revival? Lucha House Party are great, I’m not putting them down, but The Revival were special on NXT and it’s sad to see them apparently treading water.
Bit of an odd episode of RAW this week. It felt like a lot of recaps and adverts, but there was actually quite a lot of content. Crown Jewel will be what it will be and the build for Survivor Series will start in earnest next week.