It’s a tour show this week from London, so it was pre-recorded earlier in the day. Tour shows always mean a ton of Superstars on the show and a handful of extra shenanigans. It’s also the go-home show for Money in the Bank, so double shenanigans. The preview is packed. Roman Reigns on Miz TV. The Women’s Money in the Bank match competitors have a fatal Four-Way match. The Men’s Money in the Bank match competitors face off in pairs, Ricochet against Baron Corbin and Drew McIntyre versus Braun Strowman. Becky Lynch meets both her Money in the Bank challengers for a double contract signing. We’ll get the final build-up for Seth Rollins’ Universal Championship defence against AJ Styles. And Bray Wyatt’s new Firefly Fun House will be back.
I’m Amanda and this is the RAW review.
Roman Reigns & The Miz def. Bobby Lashley & Elias
Baron Corbin def. Ricochet
Mojo Rawley def. Apollo Crews
Nikki Cross def. Natalya, Naomi, and Dana Brooke
Rey Mysterio def. Cesaro
Sami Zayn def. Braun Strowman
The Key Bits
» Miz TV opened the show. The Miz spent a few moments talking about the Money in the Bank match and what it means to the participants, briefly mentioned his own match against Shane McMahon, then brought Roman Reigns out.
He asked Reigns what we could expect from him on Sunday. Reigns talked about Elias and how talented he is, and the crowd started singing, ‘Oh, Walk with Elias’. Reigns said if you want a karaoke performer or a wedding singer, we’ll walk with Elias, but Elias hasn’t done anything since he’s been in WWE. He hasn’t won any Championships and this Sunday Reigns is bringing the big fight.
Miz said they’ve never seen eye to eye, but they had a lot in common and started talking about Hollywood. Reigns told him he sounds like the old Miz and he wanted to punch the old Miz in the mouth. He came to hang out with the new Miz. The guy that stands up to authority, that chases Shane McMahon around the arena with a chair. He asked if Miz needed a reminder of that man, then showed the footage of Miz arriving to chase Shane McMahon away after he and Elias attacked Reigns during his match. The crowd confirmed that’s the Miz they all want to talk to.
Miz said he and Reigns have never been on the same page and he’s never been on the same page as the WWE Universe. It took Shane McMahon to make him see why. It’s about respect, earning it from the fans and from his peers. After thirteen years, he’s started to earn that respect but Shane McMahon hasn’t earned anything. He’s a daddy’s boy, handed everything and born with a silver spoon in his mouth but, on Sunday, they’ll see what happens when a silver spoon meets a Steel Cage. Miz isn’t the biggest, strongest, or toughest, but he knows how to win and when he brings the fight, he brings the fight. Shane McMahon has attacked his father and run from him at every turn but none of that will matter when he’s stuck in a steel cage. There will be nowhere to run and nowhere to hide and Shane McMahon is going to down faster than his old man did from a superman punch (Reigns enjoyed that line).
Shane McMahon appeared on the stage and said it’s quite flattering that they’re out there talking about him, but they need to remember he’s their boss. As their boss, he declared Miz TV over, then Elias and Bobby Lashley attacked Miz and Reigns from behind. Guess what the first match of the evening was.
Roman Reigns & The Miz vs Bobby Lashley & Elias got the action underway. Elias didn’t seem at all keen on getting in the ring with Reigns. As soon as Reigns tagged in, Elias took a break on the outside then tagged in Lashley before Reigns got anywhere near him.
There was some nice teamwork from Reigns and Miz, and some underhand stuff from Elias and Lashley, and from Shane McMahon at ringside. It was the underhand tactics which put Miz in trouble. Reigns had to come in the break a pin after Elias walked the ropes then delivered double knees to Miz.
The Miz took a lot of punishment but he eventually made it to his corner. Just as he got there, Shane McMahon pulled Reigns off the apron and launched him into the steps. The ref disqualified Lashley and Elias.
Elias, Lashley, and McMahon beat on Miz in and out of the ring until Roman Reigns flew over the top rope and took everyone out. The three started on Reigns instead and Miz came to his aid with a chair. A few whacks with that and, a couple of Superman punches later, Reigns and Miz stood alone in the ring.
Instead of a hype package for Roman Reigns versus Elias, we got a look back over Roman Reigns career and his fight to come back from leukaemia, with an ad for the match at the end. It worked. Reigns’ comeback is the story.
» We got a huge promo package for Seth Rollins versus AJ Styles, and short interviews with them. The hype package was very in-depth about Rollins journey to the Universal Championship. I’m still annoyed that WWE didn’t at least mention their previous match in the build. It’s a nice story with real torch-passing potential, but WWE follow their own rules. Still a great hype package.
AJ Styles backstage interview questioned him about his methods for getting the better of Rollins recently. He confirmed the Phenomenal Forearm was meant for Corbin, but he’s still planning on making RAW his show and walking out of Money in the Bank Universal Champion.
In Seth Rollins answering interview, he finally mentioned the match they had all those years ago. I’m so happy. Rollins said that’s why the match is personal to him. That was the first time his friends and family knew wrestling was the real deal for him. He looked up to AJ Styles. This time it’s not about proving anything to his friends and family. It’s about proving to himself, the WWE Universe, and AJ Styles that it’s his industry. He is the backbone on Monday Night RAW. Back then, he looked up to AJ Styles but, when the dust settles on Sunday, it’s going to be AJ Styles looking up to him.
» The contract signing for the RAW and SmackDown Live Women’s Championships was never going to end well. While the focus has been on how much pressure Becky Lynch is under, defending twice in one night, Lynch wanted to focus on the pressure to win the other two are under. Evans not wanting to lose her first title match and Flair not wanting to lose her millionth. She made a good case, then signed the contracts. Flair and Evans said their bits and signed. Lacey Evans moved first. She shoved the table into Flair and went for Lynch. Becky Lynch tossed her out of the ring and she and Flair went at it until she got back in. Lynch got Evans in a Dis-Arm-Her and took a boot in the face from Charlotte Flair. Flair shoved Lynch into the corner and moved the table into the centre of the ring so she and Evans could put Lynch through the table together.
» Braun Strowman was summoned to Shane McMahon’s office. Sami Zayn was there when he got in, busily explaining why the WWE fans are the reason Strowman acted like he did. Zayn wanted Shane McMahon to take Strowman out of the ladder match and add him in as a replacement. McMahon said he couldn’t do it, Zayn offered to fight Strowman for it and suggested Falls Count Anywhere so he could throw Strowman in a dumpster. Shane McMahon said Strowman was supposed to face Drew McIntyre tonight. Zayn told him to find something else for McIntyre to do, and McMahon made the match.
Sami Zayn spent the time before his match reading Twitter comments by the sounds of his promo. He wasn’t impressed and he thinks he’s going to beat Strowman. There were more words, but that’s the gist.
Sami Zayn vs Braun Strowman, Falls Count Anywhere, for a Money in the Bank match spot, main evented the show. Sami Zayn got beaten up a lot at the start. He hopped the barricade and ran off up the steps. Strowman followed and caught him halfway up. Strowman was roaring when Zayn hit him in the face with a drink and ran away. Roaming around the O2 arena, Zayn hit Strowman with a bin then Strowman smashed Zayn repeatedly into a pillar. Sami Zayn kicked out, but he was all but done for by the time Baron Corbin appeared from nowhere and started beating on Strowman with another bin (they’re made of plastic). Zayn covered him but Strowman kicked out. Corbin put Strowman through a merch table, and he still kicked out. Corbin was neutralised when Strowman threw him into the merch area’s backboard.
Eventually, they made their way back to ringside. Zayn running and Strowman in pursuit. Zayn found an equaliser in the form of a chair, Strowman ripped it out of his hands after a couple of shots, and they went backstage instead of to the ring. Drew McIntyre got involved then. After McIntyre DDT’d him on a chair and Zayn failed to pin him, Braun Strowman dropped a drinks cooler on McIntyre’s head.
Back out on the stage, Strowman buried Zayn under a pile of ladders and McIntyre and Corbin reappeared. They beat on Strowman for a while, then between them they suplexed him into a ladder. When he got up, McIntyre gave him a Claymore. Corbin dragged Zayn on top of Strowman and they helped him pin him. Sami Zayn will take Braun Strowman’s place in the Money in the Bank match.
After it was over and Strowman got to his feet, Baron Corbin threw Sami Zayn back onto the stage and Strowman put him through the announce desk to end the show.
The Other Bits
» Mojo Rawley vs Apollo Crews was a sub-two-minute match in which Crews hurt his knee in the first thirty seconds and got destroyed by Rawley, who is very angry and inexplicably has blue on his face now.
» Baron Corbin vs Ricochet was fun. Corbin had terrible trouble trying to get hold of Ricochet to start with but took him down with a clothesline heading into a break. Ricochet fought his way back into it and got the momentum back on his side. He kicked out of a Deep Six and almost got the pin off a DDT, then again with a standing shooting star. Corbin caught him with the End of Days and got the win. After the match, Corbin brought a ladder into the ring and started to climb it. Ricochet pushed it over.
» After a recap of Samoa Joe sending Rey Mysterio a message via his son last week, Mysterio had a message for Joe. He said Samoa Joe crossed a line and if anyone has anything to say to him, they should say it to his face. Cesaro, apparently, had something to say. He interrupted the interview to take issue with Mysterio talking about Samoa Joe when he wasn’t there, then questioned Dominik’s parentage. Unsurprisingly, it turned into a brawl, then a match later in the show.
» Alexa Bliss lost her luggage with all her gear in it. We found this out because she was complaining into her phone about it. Nikki Cross approached and asked if everything was ok. Bliss said no and explained and thanked Cross for being so nice. Cross said she’s been there for four weeks and didn’t think anyone had noticed. Look, it was weird and ended up with Bliss going to the McMahon family to request that Nikki Cross take her place in the fatal Four-Way.
Naomi vs Natalya vs Dana Brooke vs Nikki Cross was a clear ploy to put Nikki Cross in front of the London crowd – whatever works, I say – and it was fun. Happily, the Nikki Cross who turned up to fight was the Nikki Cross we all know and love. I wouldn’t be upset if Nikki Cross replaced Bliss in the actual match. Bliss joined commentary instead which meant most of the match was ignored. Shame, because it was good. Everyone got a little promo clip beforehand (except Cross, of course, Bliss got one instead) and they all got their schtick in during the match. Dana Brooke had a great match, culminating in her launching herself off the top of a ladder onto the other three, but at ringside rather than in the ring. Nikki Cross picked up the win with a draping twisting neckbreaker on Natalya.
After the match, Cross set up a ladder for Alexa Bliss. She started to climb it herself, but Bliss stopped her, climbed it and removed the briefcase.
» Rey Mysterio vs Cesaro was a great match for the tour show crowd, but a weird addition to a go home show. Great match and it’s fantastic to see Cesaro back in singles competition. He missed out this time though, despite giving Mysterio the Cesaro Swing. He took a 619 and a splash and got pinned. Good momentum for Rey Mysterio heading into his US title match against Samoa Joe on Sunday.
» The Revival had a message for the Usos. They told them the ball is in their court and if they want to find out who the absolute best tag team in the world are, they’re not hard to find.
» In this week’s episode of Bray Wyatt’s Firefly Fun House, Bray had a secret. He said it’s almost time to show the world what he’s really been working on. But he can’t do it alone, he’s going to need the help of all his fireflies. There’s still a lot of darkness in him but this time it will be different. He’s learned to harness it and control it. His secret was a new look, an actual monster, just one that says, ‘Yowie Wowie’ and growls ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’.
Well, I wasn’t lying about tour shows being superstar heavy, what a busy show it was. Apart from the contract signing, hype packages, and cheesy bits with the briefcases, it felt more like a tour show than a PPV go home. Money in the Bank will be a great PPV by the looks of it, but this wasn’t a particularly build-oriented show.