Sean had a great article about WWE learning from their past mistakes and this show’s opening segment was a fantastic way to prove him right. Ronda Rousey’s the truth, y’all. Alexa tried to rub it in like she normally does and Rousey wasn’t willing to play that game. At all.
Rousey came storming down to the ring and Kurt Angle tried to hold her back from the new Women’s Champion. Rousey was pissed, she knew that she got screwed at Money in the Bank, and she lashed out. In other words, she gave us the perfectly normal, human response. Who wouldn’t lose their mind over Bliss’ stupid antics?
I loved her rampage to open the show. She thrashed Angle, beat up referees, and put Bliss through a table with an awesome powerbomb variation. Angle looked like a fool and even worse when he suspended Rousey; I’m sure he’ll pass it off by saying you can’t hit refs, but how much of this was simply his own wounded pride?
As for Bliss, you have 30 days of freedom. Enjoy it before Rousey kicks your pink-haired ass.
Ziggler’s Shocking Night
I mentioned in my Money in the Bank review that it was only a matter of time before Rollins crumbled under the pressure from the stress he was putting on himself. I had no idea that it would happen this quickly.
Rollins provided another open challenge for his Intercontinental Championship during this show and Dolph Ziggler answered the call. Ziggler brought Drew McIntyre to ringside and Ziggler and Rollins had a heck of a match.
Rollins’ knee played a factor once again, which was a great bit of continued storytelling. He also paid for compromising his morals at Money in the Bank, which I admired as well. He won by grabbing the tights and lost the exact same way.
This was shocking, right? I figured that Ziggler would lose, but it’d give McIntyre a chance down the road where he might win – boy was I wrong. It’s a great choice as well because I can see a lot of challengers winning that title from him.
As for Rollins, the former champ has already invoked his rematch clause; we’ll see round two next week. I’ll definitely be looking forward to that one.
Raw is Chaos
To cap this review, this show is in total anarchy, folks. Kurt Angle is an embarrassment, Constable Corbin is delightfully instigative, and this whole façade of control is ripping at the seams.
It started with Rousey right off the bat, but it continued all night long. Bayley and Sasha Banks brawled backstage and got into it in the parking lot with no one to pull them apart. The Constable was showing blatant favoritism and Angle did nothing to stop him. Hell, Finn Balor was making doe eyes at Braun Strowman…when did that whole situation happen?!
Stephanie McMahon is getting exactly what she wants. Whether this is punishment for Angle’s role in losing Rousey for the Authority or something else, she’s clearly the one pulling the strings around here. We are starting to see the heels of this roster rise up and take power and Angle is seemingly powerless to stop it.
The one face who’s seemingly immune to it all is Strowman. Kevin Owens came out early in the show battered, bruised, and covered in therapeutic tape to try to strike a deal with Strowman: in return for help in winning the Universal Championship, Owens wanted a future title shot.
Strowman saw right through it.
Constable Corbin tried to talk down to Balor, but Strowman was there to put a stop to it and defend his “pal.” And in the main event, Balor succumbed to the chaos like Rousey and Rollins before him and lost the match after Corbin played dirty and crotched him on the top rope.
Strowman’s was one of the only faces who didn’t have a bad night, in other words. Everyone else is getting crushed by the new regime and Angle should be ashamed for letting it happen. Either way, it’s pretty damn compelling.
Best of the Rest
Bobby Roode def. Curt Hawkins – Roode’s had a rough time lately on Raw and this was a brief reset for him. He squashed Hawkins in short order.
Deleter of Worlds def. Rhyno and Heath Slater – Y’ALL WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT HOW AMAZING BO DALLAS’ COSPLAY AS HIS BROTHER WAS. YOU ARE AWESOME, BO! (Curtis Axel’s refusal to break character was fantastic as well!)
This was a quick match for Team Delete – the story was really just about the B-Team cutting an amazing backstage parody promo. They rock and seeing Bray’s amusement when his brother imitated him made my night.
The Riott Squad def. Sasha Banks and Bayley – This should probably get a big, featured spot in the review but I’m unfortunately short on time. Banks and Bayley’s friendship is reminiscent of Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa; the duo tried to put the past behind them for their match on this show, but even that didn’t work. Their crumbling friendship has destroyed everything for them both – neither of these two can win a freaking match anymore and they blame each other. This feud’s been stuck in the mud for a while but the boiling tempers and subsequent brawl is a great step in the right direction.
Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley def. The Revival – Kurt Angle announced a multi-man match to determine the next challenger for Lesnar. Lashley and Reigns got into it squabbling over the opportunity. The Revival came out to tell them both off and challenge them to a match.
And it was great! This was a fresh matchup and another moment on the show that felt lively and meaningful. I really liked the Revival’s argument that the top guys on Raw are taking too much time up and ruining things for the guys looking for a break. In the end, this match allowed Lashley and Reigns to try to one-up each other. I enjoyed it.
Jinder Mahal def. Chad Gable – Gable lost again. Booooooooooo.
Mojo Rawley def. No Way Jose – MAN this was a tough night for faces, huh? Rawley cut a promo about this being the most competitive that the WWE has ever been and ain’t that the truth. This was a decent little segment and could be a fun feud.
Sad Elias Makes Me Sad – Poor Elias. He just wanted to sing songs and be Intercontinental Champion!
This was a very good show. Lots of fresh matchups, an overarching storyline that touched a lot of different feuds, and some major storyline progression. Color me impressed, WWE! Can you do it again next week?
Sound off, Cageside!