Raw came to us LIVEEEEE on Monday from the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. After last weeks incredible show, one had to wonder if Raw would continue to be consistently great or if it would fall on its face. Lets see what happened.
Sasha Banks Promo with Charlotte, Chris Jericho, Enzo and Mick Foley
Sasha opens the show as the new Women’s Champion, to a rousing and well-deserved ovation from the Atlanta crowd. She’s soon interrupted by Charlotte, who claims she’ll beat Sasha in their match at Summerslam on her own, followed by Chris Jericho and Enzo. Alliances are formed, and I thought Enzo and Sasha have great chemistry. Would love to see them as the new John Morrison/Melina type (almost used Santino/Beth Phoenix as the example but I actually want them to be taken seriously). Mick Foley announces a mixed-tag match to take place after the commercial break…should be fun to watch, I usually enjoy them. Very cool seeing Jericho in there with all the kids…not that they need help getting over or anything.
Sasha Banks and Enzo Amore vs Chris Jericho and Charlotte
Not a particularly long or exciting match with the exception of the double suicide dive to the outside from Sasha and Enzo, and Kevin Owens’ commentary of course. Enjoyed seeing Enzo tag with someone other then Cass…he shined in his own ways against the veteran Jericho who made him look great. The match ended after a run-in from Dana Brook gave Charlotte the opening to hit the Natural Selection (still hate that move) on Sasha for the win. Jericho hit the Codebreaker on Enzo post-match, before Cass walked down to the ring to aid his partner. I’m sure we’ll be seeing this again soon.
Winners: Charlotte and Chris Jericho
Braun Strowman vs Local Competitor
At least this kid was a little bigger then the last one. I’m sure Strowman will get the Khali treatment….he sort of is already. He got the win with the Reverse Chokeslam.
Winner: Braun Strowman
Golden Truth vs Primo and Epico
Essentially a handicap match for Goldust, as R-Truth walked around the apron playing Pokémon Go for a majority of the match. Primo and Epico picked up the win with a roll-up…I’m not amused.
Winners: Primo and Epico
Finn Balor Promo with Seth Rollins
Michael Cole attempted to interview Balor, but was quickly interrupted by Seth Rollins who took over. He went on to say that while everything Finn has accomplished is impressive, he did everything first, and better (can’t argue really). Things got heated, with Finn flat-out saying he’s going to kick Seth’s ass, and that while Seth had everything handed to him, he worked hard to become the man wherever he was wrestling.
I’m going to be shitting my pants watching this match, as I’m sure everyone else will be as well. Can we just skip to the promos and get to it already?
United States Championship
Mark Henry vs Rusev(c)
Poor Mark Henry. I know he’s past his prime, but I think there would be a lot of people who would love to see him go for another Hall of Pain run, but it’s clear that’s not happening. He lasted longer here and got more offense in then he did in his matches a while back against Big Show and Roman Reigns, but still did the clean job after a few huge shots from Rusev. He locked in the Accolade, and Henry tapped.
Rusev got on the mic claiming America had no real heroes, and out comes Roman Reigns. Not that Rusev is a step down from Seth Rollins (ok maybe he is) but really, talk about being demoted. It’s fresh feud at least, instead of Roman running through Rusev like he usually does.
Titus O’Neil vs Darren Young
This match could not have been a way to get Young over because it certainly did not do that. Titus looked way too strong, muscling Young around like crazy, and although the two do know each other well and that was evident, it wasn’t anything to be super impressed by. Titus won with a roll-up, which doesn’t do him any favors either. And some people thought Young would take the IC title from Miz?? Please.
Winner: Titus O’Neil
Nia Jax vs Local Competitor
Another one?? Looks like we’re getting this twice a week on Raw now until they decide to do something with either her or Stroman. Fantastic.
Kofi Kingston and Big E vs Anderson and Gallows
With Xavier Woods banned from ringside (in his hometown of course- Vince loves to do that), the odds were completely even. It was relatively short though, as Big E rolled up Anderson a few minutes into the match for the win. Anderson and Gallows viciously attacked every member of New Day, asserting themselves as a viable threat for those tag titles.
Winners: New Day
Sheamus vs Cesaro
A competitive, hard-hitting match between these two. Its evident that Cesaro will be getting a title match against Finn Balor (if he wins it himself) somewhere down the line as that is one hell of an exciting feud, but for right now he’s still stuck in this midcard “I was drafted too low so I want to prove myself” thing.
Sheamus went for a powerslam but Cesaro caught himself and was able to hit the Neutralizer for the win. They brawled after the fact, so expect some sort of stipulation match to be announced for Summerslam.
Heath Slater Promo with Jinder Mahal and Mick Foley/match
So yeah, Jinder Mahal got resigned. Because why not I guess. Anyway, Slater went out there and reintroduced him to the crowd, and advocate for the pair to be signed to either Raw or Smackdown. Mick Foley proposed a match between the two where the winner would be signed to Raw; Slater refused, but Mahal clearly didn’t. He stunned Slater with a big boot for the win. Eh, not everyone can be Rhyno.
Winner: Jinder Mahal
Sami Zayn vs Seth Rollins
A really fantastic match between two of the best in the business today. These two have had some great matches on Raw over the past few months and although Seth has always felt like the clear winner, no doubt they’ll be main eventing pay-per-views in their own high-profile feud soon.
Athletic, hard-hitting and just an overall smart and enjoyable match. Zayn almost picked up the win multiple times with the Mitconoku Driver and the Blue Thunderbomb, but Seth ultimately hit the Pedigree for the win; a clear message to Finn Balor.
Winner: Seth Rollins
Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar Promo
Brock stood there menacingly as Heyman spewed his usual stuff about Brock, and it was fantastic as usual. They didn’t address any of the controversy surrounding Brock for the last month or so, but they really didn’t need to. Brock got his win at UFC 200, and would have regardless of what he did beforehand. That’s all you need to know.
Heyman talked about Randy Orton not being man enough to set Brock up for the RKO and hit him with it, then out of nowhere (see what I did there?), Randy hits the RKO in a hit-and-run type of situation. Brock got up quickly after, and stared Orton down as he fled the arena. He’s provoked the beast, and it’s good ass TV.
As much as I would love for every episode of Raw and everything to be as great as they were last week, that can’t always happen. Even this weeks Raw was better then a lot of the episodes pre-draft, so we’re still heading in the right direction. Summerslam is going to be a stacked show, but the Finn/Seth and the Orton/Lesnar feuds are absolute money and I can’t wait to see how they progress.