The first two talking segments that started the show were strong, then a few sprinkled about. Then there was a talking segment before or after every match and commercial break. This was a talk heavy show. Before the first hour was over, there were four talking segments. Good grief.
Randy Orton told us what a wrestling match means since we seem to not get it. He addressed Edge directly, and said he knows why he didn’t accept the challenge last week. He saw it written all over his face, in his eyes. He saw doubt, the grit and passion faded away, now replaced by doubt.
Edge came out and said Randy is possibly the most talented wrestler he’s ever seen, but this isn’t the life Randy wanted. It’s the life he was handed and he always saw it as a back-up plan. Randy never dreamed of being WWE champion. Randy cut him off and demanded an answer, and Edge said yes.
Whew. This was one of Edge’s best promo since returning. The very real history between the two was on display, and adding Orton’s pathway to wrestling was too sweet. Edge may have shown doubt in his abilities to have a straight-up wrestling match, but he’s determined to shut Orton up because he fought his whole life to be where he is.
This is the kind of story we’d typically see from a rising up and comer to an established guy, similar to Kevin Owens and John Cena, but even though both men are established, it works. It works because Edge has been gone for so long and wants to end it on his own terms. Orton is trying to take that away from him.
Rey, you’re welcome
Jesus H. Tapdancing Christ, Seth Rollins has seen the light.
He said when he lost to Drew McIntyre, part of him believed that he had lost everything. He fell into a place so dark he wasn’t sure he’d ever escape. But, he saw the light!
And who does he have to thank? No, not James Brown. Rey Mysterio. What happened to him was a blessing in disguise, and Seth wanted to say from the bottom of his heart, you’re welcome. That brought out Humberto Carrillo, who actually got to talk and defend his idol.
This led to a match between Murphy and Carrillo, which was way too short and ended with Carrillo losing. The match didn’t matter here, as unfortunate as that is to say, since I like Carrillo. You knew he was losing so it made no sense to pay attention. Seth has been absolutely wonderful as the Messiah. Murphy was happy to see his idol in better spirits this week, but later on in the show they were both involved in what could be the moment Murphy saw a new light.
The Kevin Owens Show returns - KEVIN’S BACK! Man have I missed him. He told us he got hurt after WrestleMania but he’s back now and good to go. He then introduced Zelina and her crew as his guests for the show. Zelina said she’s sick of people seeing one little argument and think her empire is crumbling. She got mad at KO for standing on the apron and not in the ring, but KO said that usually when he’s in the ring with a bunch of guys, bad things happen. He also said that he’s out on the apron because they’re not the only guests on the KO show.
Apollo Crews returned and tackled Andrade! Theory and Garza piled on but KO came to Apollo’s aid and then came a commercial break, so you know what that means.
Kevin Owens and Apollo Crews def. Angel Garza and Andrade - Apollo Crews was downright nasty and aggressive. I want to see him like this every week. Great powerbomb and still showing that strength on the bad knee. Welcome back, Kevin.
After, Zelina, Garza, and Andrade turned on Austin Theory. I have seen Theory for a few years before his WWE run and I’ve never seen him as a babyface. He’s a nice guy in real life, so if they keep him on Raw as a face, I’ll be interested in seeing it.
Or… that’s what they wanted us to think.
Putting the final piece into place - Apollo was interviewed after the match and said that he can’t waste any more time and he had a lot of momentum before being taken out of the Money in the Bank match. But next week, he gets to challenge again for the United States championship! Zelina interrupted and said he should reconsider so he can keep his one good knee. Apollo said he’ll put the final piece into place and become the new champion.
Apollo Crews was great on this show. He had that fire he showed in his matches before injury and is so agile and strong. I think we may have a title change next week!
Disciple Theory (Aleister Black def. Murphy via DQ) - I love when these two are in the ring together. Sadly that wasn’t very long because a battered Theory was approached by Rollins and at Rollins’ direction, ran into the ring and attacked Aleister. After, they embraced and Seth found himself a new disciple.
I like this way better. This is where Theory belongs. I would have liked to see a face turn, but we don’t need that right now. But what I alluded to before was the more intriguing part about this. Murphy didn’t seem to take too kindly to Rollins embracing Theory. We got layers here, y’all. Hyped!
Drew McIntyre def. King Corbin - Corbin was an ass all night because that’s who we’ve been wanting to see more than once a week. A buffoon who wants to be treated like a King when he never will be. Just awful. Like he actually gets served on SmackDown by the same crew that’s at each show because it’s SmackDown. This is not a heel being a good heel.
Drew Claymore-d him and won. Now moving on from Corbin, Lashley was out with MVP watching the match. Lashley put Drew on notice that he’s coming after the title. This matters more than anything that has to do with Corbin. It’s about time WWE started booking Lashley the way he should be booked. The side commentary about it though is - if a guy can instantly be turned into who they should have been all along, why not book them that way in the first place? Lana was once again nowhere to be found for this, because she’s only useful backstage screaming at everything.
Triple feature Charlotte Flair def. Ruby Riott - Okay I know WWE loves Charlotte, but really? Is she going to be on every show until we get back to normal? Another quick match with Charlotte winning. Ruby is on a losing streak, which is a damn shame. Come on, guys. The best you’ve got is Ruby has something to say to Charlotte? She didn’t even say anything!
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross def. IIconics via DQ - Alexa’s slaps though! Billie Kay dropped Nikki Cross with an awesome big boot. This one ended pretty quickly when Peyton lost her cool and didn’t listen to the ref. You gotta be joking me.
I was ready to enjoy some fun wrestling on this talk heavy show, and then it was over 2 minutes later with a DQ. Sigh. After, Billie got mad and slapped Peyton. They embraced and cried together, but goodness gracious please don’t split these two up.
Asuka’s celebration - Kairi Sane held a celebration for Asuka and touted her championship wins. Nia Jax interrupted and told Asuka that Becky is on maternity leave and was given the title because of a cheap win. Asuka attacked Nia and sent her out of the ring to end the segment.
There was a heel turn appearance to this segment. I would have put money on Kairi turning here, but Nia has to be set up to be the first challenger for Asuka. That’s fine.
It was further set up as Nia attacked Kairi as she played the recorder backstage, and Asuka went after her for it.
Shayna Baszler def. Natalya - This was the first match I actually enjoyed tonight. Making it a submission match added to the little feud that spawned between the two. Awesome spot where Shayna attempted a Sharpshooter. I like when wrestlers try to do their opponent’s moves. Shayna locked in the Kirifuda Clutch. As the crew were setting up for the KO Show, Natalya lost it and destroyed the set. As much as Samoa Joe was trying to say it’s beneath her to act that way, I don’t blame her at all in storyline.
Who will be next to step to Shayna and defend Becky? Maybe a brand to brand invitation gets involved here. Naomi? Dana Brooke? I don’t know which woman on Raw right now could feud with Shayna.
Axe Throwing - I haven’t laughed as hard as I did in a while when the Vikings presented “The Smoke” as a gift to the Street Profits. The Vikings got the bullseye every time, and Montez threw his axe far up in the air. Dawkins got mad at a horse. The editing on this segment was not good.
The ending of this was the exact opposite of what happened last week. Except, the cops showed up with an axe through their windshield. They asked who did it and to prove that it wasn’t Tez or Dawkins, Dawkins took an axe and threw it backward and it went right into the bullseye. Uh. Okay. The cops let Viking Raiders go because the female cop thinks that Ivar is cute. Uh. Okay.
Bobby Lashley def. R-Truth - Full Nelson slam and submission to win. Lana yelled afterward because that’s what we need to see from her every week now. I’m so tired of Lana being involved in this. This is R-Truth’s worst gimmick in years.
Talking surpassed wrestling on this show. A lot of it was good, but it dragged this show for me. It started strong with Edge and Orton. Will it be the greatest wrestling match ever?
Other than that, I’m most interested in the Rollins, Murphy, and Theory saga. Will Rollins favor his new disciple while Murphy starts losing? Will Rollins make Theory fight for Murphy, and Murphy gets mad because he wants to fight for himself? There are a few ways this can go, and none of them are bad. I am missing the Authors of Pain though. It would be nice to at least have the one AoP member who isn’t injured on the show.
Then we have Lashley’s renewed push. Lashley will likely be going after the WWE title at Backlash, but how will Lana fit into all of this?
My eardrums hurt.
What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?