Once again, WWE haven’t given much information in the preview. Seth Rollins is due to issue some kind of apology to the RAW roster and the WWE Universe. And Charlotte Flair is set to take on The Kabuki Warriors in a 2-on-1 Handicap match. The rest is a mystery we shall discover together.
I’m Amanda and this is the RAW review.
Kevin Owens def. Bobby Lashley (DQ)
Drew McIntyre def. Akira Tozawa
Aleister Black def. Tony Nese
Andrade def. Eric Young
Erick Rowan def. No Way José
The Kabuki Warriors def. Charlotte Flair
The Viking Raiders def. Mark Sterling & Mitchell Lyons
The OC def. Ricochet, Rey Mysterio & Humberto Carrillo
♦ Before the credits, Charly Caruso tried to ask AOP why they attacked Kevin Owens. All they’d say to her in English was, ‘Charly, you look lovely tonight’.
♦ The show proper opened with Seth Rollins. Samoa Joe was back on commentary, which is great for us but sad for Dio Maddin. Rollins started by recapping him telling the RAW roster they all sucked, calling it harsh but from a good place. He tried to justify it by saying the RAW locker room is his family and WWE is his life, and he was just trying to motivate them as head of the family. But he may have gone overboard. He’s thought about it all week and he’d like to apologise to the WWE Universe and all the locker room, and especially Kevin Owens who he asked to come to the ring.
Kevin Owens did come out and, in a roundabout kind of way said Rollins was talking bullshit, then spelled it out clearly. Rollins swore he didn’t know AOP would attack Owens. Owens called him a liar.
AOP arrived and challenged Rollins and Owens to a tag team match. Rollins said he’s in, Owens said all the scenarios he can see end with the three of them beating the crap out of him, so he’d rather just get it over with. Rollins left Owens to it and AOP let him leave. Owens offered to take them on alone, but they left instead.
Suddenly alone in the ring, Owens issued an open challenge. After a break, Lana arrived and talked despite Kevin Owens trying really hard to stop her (and bless him for that). After she’d drivelled on about Rusev and restraining orders, Owens told her he’d never met someone who talked so much and said nothing. When they’d finished arguing, Lashley came out for a match. Two police officers followed them to the ring to protect them from Rusev.
Kevin Owens vs Bobby Lashley was ok. Lashley dominated Owens through the majority of the match, but Owens had just turned it around with a popup powerbomb when AOP came back to the ring and beat him up. They beat him up in the ring and all the way up the ramp, then dragged him backstage seemingly unconscious.
After another break, Bobby Lashley was asked what he knew about AOP attacking Owens. He said he knew nothing and was only worried about Lana. Predictably Rusev came through the crowd from the opposite direction the ‘detectives’ were looking in, superkicked Lashley, pounded on him a bit, then ran out through the crowd. Lana’s protection officers didn’t even get in the ring. Lashley yelled at the officers and pushed past them, so they arrested him and dragged him off in handcuffs. Lana slapped one of them, so they cuffed her too. They were driven away during the break. They can throw away the key if it ends this storyline.
♦ Drew McIntyre vs Akira Tozawa was decently entertaining but short. Tozawa comes up to McIntyre’s shoulder, which McIntyre thought was funny. He knelt and offered Tozawa a shot, which he took and got in a brief flurry of offence. That was halted by a single blow from McIntyre. After that, it was just big guy destroys smaller guy, with the briefest of Tozawa comebacks, finished with a Claymore.
After the match, McIntyre said that was fun, then talked about the problem of people going to social media to discuss their issues with people. But not him, he likes to talk face to face. He has a problem with Randy Orton and invited him to the ring so he could tell him in person. Orton kept him waiting through an ad break and through McIntyre showing the footage of them getting into it last week.
Orton finally came out but seemed unphased by McIntyre’s anger and managed to wind him up with his nonchalance. McIntyre ranted at him about walking around like he owns the place when he’s done nothing recently except post on social media. But he’s there to tell him that he’s the future and Orton is the past.
Randy Orton said he does what he wants when he wants because he’s earned the right to do so, and McIntyre doesn’t because he hasn’t earned it. He’s good with Drew McIntyre, but if McIntyre still has a problem, they can sort it there and then.
The OC arrived before they had a chance. They have a problem with Randy Orton too. According to Gallows and Anderson, Orton ruined Styles’ life and is the sole reason he lost his title. Styles wants a match with Orton tonight, any kind of match.
McIntyre said it doesn’t seem like a Drew McIntyre problem, and left Randy Orton to it. The OC got into the ring and beat up Randy Orton until Ricochet ran down to help, beat up Ricochet until Humberto Carrillo arrived, then beat up Carrillo until Rey Mysterio arrived and cleared the ring.
Bizarrely, it didn’t turn into a tag match. Backstage, Orton told Mysterio, Carrillo and Ricochet that he appreciated the assistance but didn’t need it.
♦ Aleister Black vs Tony Nese made me nervous because the last thing I want is for the 205 Live guys to end up as cannon fodder for the RAW roster. Buddy Murphy was shown watching from backstage, scouting Black. Not a long match, but not completely one-sided. It finished, as expected, with a Black Mass.
After the match, Charly Caruso asked Murphy if he regretted knocking on Aleister Black’s door. He said he’s still feeling the effects, but he knocked on Black’s door to expose him as a man who takes himself way too seriously. He needs to calm down and if he doesn’t then Murphy will calm him down.
♦ Andrade, with Zelina Vega, vs Eric Young was an obvious result, sealed when Jerry Lawler mentioned they were in Eric Young’s hometown. No one wins in their hometown and Young was no exception. He had a couple of good chances, but Andrade finished him with a hammerlock DDT. Zelina Vega didn’t even need to get involved.
R-Truth ran down and hid in the front row with celebrity guests Kyle Busch and Michael Waltrip (NASCAR, apparently) at the end of the match. They waved the chasing pack past then Waltrip revealed a ref’s shirt and Kyle Busch pinned R-Truth.
♦ Charly Caruso caught up with Seth Rollins as he was leaving and asked why, if everyone at RAW was part of his family, didn’t he help Kevin Owens. He said he tried but Owens didn’t want his help. She told him some people in the locker room were questioning the sincerity of his apology and he got cross. He said he’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t, so what’s the point. ‘Everyone’s a critic but not everyone’s got the guts to be a leader’.
♦ No Way José vs Erick Rowan was not really a match. One of the conga line tried to look in the cage Rowan carries with him and Rowan destroyed the conga line and No Way José.
He was asked backstage what was in the cage but didn’t answer.
♦ Charlotte Flair vs The Kabuki Warriors – 2-on-1 Handicap match – was just a more honest version of any match featuring one of The Kabuki Warriors. Kairi Sane and Asuka gave an interview before the match, but the only sentiment in English was that they will beat Flair and it will be easy. According to the rules, The Kabuki Warriors had to tag each other into the match, but they attacked Flair before the bell and put her at a disadvantage before the match began. They took a lot out of Charlotte Flair before she managed to get out of their corner, but she fought back and even took control for a while. Asuka and Sane were dominating when they made an error.
Flair dodged Asuka’s hip attack into the ropes and it took out Sane instead. Asuka joined her on the outside to regroup and Flair launched herself over the top rope onto them. It looked for a moment like Flair would take the match with a moonsault onto both opponents, but they got their knees up. Kairi Sane nearly tapped to a Boston crab but was rescued by Asuka. Asuka was rescued by Sane after a powerbomb and kicked out after Flair delivered a double spear.
It was the longest match of the night to that point and the best. The end came when Flair missed a tag. She locked Asuka into the Figure Eight without realising Sane was legal and took an InSane Elbow while bridged.
Backstage, Flair was asked if she regrets making the challenge. She said no and walked away.
♦ The Viking Raiders vs Mark Sterling & Mitchell Lyons was a standard squash. Nothing to add, which is all it deserves.
♦ The tag match we expected earlier main-evented instead. Before the match, Ricochet, Humberto Carrillo, and Rey Mysterio had a bit of a mutual appreciation society going on while they were sending a message to The OC that they were going to destroy them. The OC answered with an angry rant about hurting people.
Rey Mysterio, Ricochet, & Humberto Carrillo vs The OC was a main event worthy of the name. The OC repeatedly had to cheat to take control of the match, starting with both Gallows and Anderson attacking Carrillo from outside the ring. When Rey Mysterio came in on full form, it took Karl Anderson intercepting the 619 on Styles, dragging Mysterio from the ring and throwing him into the post and the barricade to slow him down. Ricochet was also the victim of interference from Karl Anderson, just before he got face-planted into the mat by AJ Styles. He kicked out though.
Ricochet almost got Styles with the Recoil, but once again it was Anderson to the rescue. Mysterio 619’d him to get him out of the way and was immediately kicked off the apron by Luke Gallows who in turn took a missile dropkick and over the top rope dive from Carrillo. Karl Anderson had to be dealt with again, with a flip from Ricochet, and it gave AJ Styles enough recovery time to deliver a Styles Clash from the second turnbuckle and get the pin.
While AJ Styles was celebrating, Randy Orton snuck upon him with an RKO Out of Nowhere.
This is the second week with no word from RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch. It’s odd, but I don’t think they even mentioned her. Hopefully, that will be rectified and explained next week. Quite a pedestrian episode tonight, the final two matches were great but very little else stood out. Next week TLC should start to take shape though, so things should pick up.
All pics courtesy of WWE