What? It was. Might as well call a spade a spade, you know? Revelry in the dark.
...Let’s see who gets that reference.
Rousey’s Hurt, Apparently
So...how do you stop an unstoppable force? Injure their ribs in a routine tag match, I guess.
Okay, I’m being a grouch. I actually liked that they got away from Alexa Bliss on a microphone each week. This week, Rousey teamed up with her best friend in the world Natalya to fight the team of Bliss and Mickie James.
Bliss did her thing and tried to troll while in the match, but the story of course was the two rudos working over Rousey’s ribs. Commentary played up the fact that it was slowing her down. She gave a post-match interview where they asked her if she’ll be full strength and she evaded the question.
So there’s your angle for Hell in a Cell.
Big Dog Hunting
The show opened just like last week’s. Braun Strowman and his goons were out to boast when the Shield showed up with ax handles and sent them running. General Manager Baron Corbin dismissed the Shield for the evening, but Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose showed up later on to assault Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre.
Strowman was incensed that Reigns was nowhere to be found, and so he went “Big Dog hunting.” That led to several segments where he antagonized backstage workers and shouted a whole bunch.
Big guy? If you want to hunt anything, you have to be quiet.
In the end, he went to the ring to close the show and called Reigns out. Reigns showed up and they brawled. It led to a spot where Reigns got Strowman up on the announcer’s table and hit a Samoan Drop through some gimmicked flooring.
...I don’t really have any opinion to add, to be honest. That’s just what happened. Their cage match will be fun, but I have not enjoyed this build.
Why Owens Why?
You were like me, right? When Kevin Owens quit two weeks ago, it was an extremely intriguing moment, one that opened up a lot of potential opportunities. And when he returned a mere seven days later, it was a massive disappointment.
Well, Kevin Owens gave us an explanation for his abrupt return. And it was a good one.
Essentially, the General Manager Baron Corbin panicked and offered Owens whatever he wanted. In return for re-joining the Raw roster, Owens gets to do whatever. He. Wants.
That’s awesome! It’s a return of the Prizefighter, the original psychopath of NXT.
You see, WWE still has to make this worth our time. Owens has to do crazy, unreasonable things. He needs to stick his nose into other people’s business at random times. He needs to sow chaos on an already chaotic show. And I daresay an unrestrained Owens should probably be too much for Bobby Lashley to handle, right?
This logic was a good first step, but WWE still has a long way to go with this story.
Rest of the Show
Nikki Bella def. Ruby Riott – Wait...the Bellas write on their locker room walls?
I thought this match was fine. In terms of quality, they hit some cool moves. It just felt like the same ol’ for the Riott Squad, though. No story, just a tag match that they either win or lose to no consequence. WWE spent a lot of time focusing on building the Bellas up as being important, which...did they need that?
Authors of Pain def. Local Talent – Now that’s what I’m talking about. We can debate the merits of pairing the AoP with Drake Maverick, but there’s no denying that the vicious, violent Authors that we got on this show is their best version. That Super Collider had some extra oomph, too!
Chad Gable and Bobby Roode def. The Ascension – Man, Gable’s unbridled enthusiasm is contagious. This new duo is also pretty intriguing, too. There’s a neat wrinkle in their...successful dysfunction? It doesn’t take a genius to assume that Roode will eventually turn on Gable, but I hope this pairing picks up traction.
Finn Balor def. Elias – Mick Foley interrupted Elias’ usual antics to announce that he will be the special guest referee for Reigns vs. Strowman at Hell in a Cell. Then, when Elias disrespected him, Foley revealed that Stephanie McMahon had allowed him to book one match on the show.
The match itself was your standard Balor match. Really dug Renee Young during this one. She asserted that Balor “needed” this win, brought up Elias hitting Balor with a guitar in the past, and also talked about his process of calming himself before a match. They could easily make that part of his demon-y little friend if they tried.
Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre def. B Team – Well, B Team, it was okay-ish while it lasted.
The B Team got their Raw Tag Team Title rematch and it went about how you’d expect. They’re just no match for Ziggler and McIntyre. After the match, Rollins and Ambrose assaulted the Tag Champs and threatened an arrest on Corbin. It also led to a highly amusing skit with Ambrose chatting it up with a police officer.
My Man! - Lio Rush buzzed around Bobby Lashley in a gym segment where he just chattered incessantly. Lashley didn’t exactly crush him for it, so maybe Bob’s got a new manager?
I made a concerted effort to get rid of all the ads in this review. WWE promoted about 15 different things and it makes it hard to care about any of it. I’m exhausted, to be honest. This show wore me down. I think it shows in the review.
Grade: They Tried
Thinking of an actual grade just isn’t worth it. They tried, okay? They gave KO an actual reason for returning early. They tried to make the cell match on Sunday interesting with Foley’s inclusion. They tried to give a reason for Bliss to compete with Rousey.
I just don’t know how successful any of it was. I’m exhausted watching this show. I would have rather spent my time playing the new Spiderman game.
You as tired as I am, Cageside?