WWE is doing something different with their shows by now having NXT talent and PC trainees in the crowd, socially distanced. It gave Raw a very different feel. With a crowd, they decided to put up hockey style plexiglass around the barricade and it looked cool! They made a big deal about the crowd being tested and socially distancing which is great, but at the end of the show there was a brawl and… well, we’ll get to that in a bit.
Seth said after Money in the Bank he was in a dark place, but Rey was chosen to be sacrificed and he fulfilled his duty. Seth went into a disgusting description of what happened with Rey’s eye. Seth called Rey courageous and said his actions have led to the future of Raw. He let Murphy and Theory say a few words of praise and then announced the tag match between his disciples and Humberto Carrillo and Aleister Black.
I absolutely loved this, as Murphy and the already settled in Theory have added the cult vibe that was missing for the past month.
Later, all four men put on a fast paced match with no wasted motion. Humberto is a phenomenal tag wrestler and he and Aleister worked really well together. Make ‘em a tag team! We need more of those on Raw whenever they decide to bring RicoRic back and have the tag scene be more than pre-taped non wrestling shenanigans. Theory got the victory for his team.
After, Theory and Murphy were told to grab Humberto and they dragged him to the same steps Rey was sacrificed at. Aleister tried to save him but Seth told him to stop and drop the chair he grabbed. He would be forced to sacrifice Humberto if they both didn’t stop trying to defend Rey. Aleister dropped the chair and Seth stuck by his words. El Honorable of him.
This is Seth Rollins’ best work on the main roster. I was skeptical about the Messiah gimmick at first but I am all in. Everything works. And adding more muscle to the group with Theory elevates both Theory and Rollins as it really gave the cult vibe that Seth needed. Having them both talk about being down and out and discovered by Seth, so great.
Next week, Rey Mysterio will be giving a “retirement speech” and that should be an intriguing segment.
Musings of a guru
MVP hosted the VIP lounge and his guest was the “soon to be former WWE champion”. Drew took apart the set ready for a brawl but MVP assured him that wouldn’t happen.
MVP said that the first time he and Drew met, he offered himself as a mentor, to take him under his wing. But instead Drew decided to Claymore him and go his own way. In that moment, MVP knew two things - Drew would become WWE champion, and Drew would lose the championship because of MVP. Drew fired back and said he doesn’t think Lashley will be as lucky as he was getting his shot and defeating the Beast. Lashley will have to take the title out of his cold, dead hands, and MVP said that could be arranged.
Lashley came out but Drew Claymored MVP and begged for Lashley to come fight him. MVP kept his weight on Lashley’s leg to stop him from getting in the ring, and both men walked up the ramp.
MVP is wonderful in this role. He has instantaneously made me care about Bobby Lashley. Why was this not a thing so long ago? The whole Lashley/Lana thing could have been avoided altogether and if that happened, Lashley would be in such a bigger position than he’s in right now. MVP has been indeed that, an MVP for Lashley, and later in the night, got another group of guys more serious than they’ve been as of late.
Prove myself to myself
Edge continued to cut great promos using real life stuff in his feud with Orton this week.
He said that he was retired for 3,212 days and in that time, orton had 1,126 matches. He has to prove himself to himself. Orton doubts his wrestling ability but edge is able to adapt. He spoke in the past tense about himself because he doesn’t know if he’s able to be the five tool workhorse he’s been.
Later on, Mr. Wooooo himself Ric Flair chose Orton to win the “what many could consider greatest wrestling match” because we’re doing that to death. That didn’t really matter, because Edge has sold me on the continuation of this just from talking. As of right now though, I don’t see him winning this one. I could see the doubt costing him, but that may change.
Apollo Crews def. Andrade - Crews brought the heat as the bell rang, but classic Zelina tried to distract him and Andrade thought it worked, but it didn’t and Zelina was sent to the floor. Andrade got hot after that and made sure to take his anger out on Crews. Halfway through this Angel Garza was interviewed backstage and I had to light a cigarette after. Crews won with his military press into the standing moonsault combo.
It came out of nowhere, which I think was the intention, and it’s so nice to finally call Apollo Crews a champion in WWE. He had an emotional promo about how people told him he wouldn’t be able to do it, but he sacrificed and never gave up. I feel for him because that was real and no pun intended, raw emotion. Andrade was furious backstage without Zelina or Garza.
The Garza spot… that was something. I don’t like interviews in between matches in the backstage area. You have a wrestling match going on! The spot was unnecessary, but Garza is so charming that I didn’t mind as much. Okay, I’m biased you got me.
Lost in translation - Kevin Owens is the perfect person to interview Asuka. The KO show had a bunch of run ins as a classic wont of an interview show. Triple feature Charlotte Flair came out to say she should’ve been crowned Raw women’s champion, Natalya to apologize to KO and his crew, and Nia to be Nia. KO told Asuka it wouldn’t be wise to hit Nia in the face, but that’s exactly what she did!
Charlotte had a point, though. Asuka has not beaten her yet on the main roster and it made me wonder if they were going to have her win tonight.
Nia Jax def. Charlotte Flair and Natalya - This one didn’t go the way I expected it to, even though it had the winner we all knew it would. Natalya put up a fight. There were a few moments when I thought they were going to swerve us and have her win it, simply because we all knew she was there to eat the pin. The table spot in this match was awesome. I don’t know why before the match, a lovers quarrel ensued between Natalya and her husband over the phone. Do we see Charlotte again on Friday?
Nikki Cross has WORDS - The IIconics apologized to each other and talked about how they were not given opportunity when they had the Women’s tag titles. Bliss/Cross came out and Alexa said they had every opportunity and blew it. Nikki was about to speak but Billie told her to just stand there and look grateful.
That led to a star making promo from Nikki Cross. Nikki said she’s been with Bliss every step of the way and she left Scotland with nothing in her pocket and she had nothing and nobody in WWE until Lexi came along. Absolutely outstanding.
IIconics blindside them and raise the titles up, which means another title match is coming, and after this segment, I’m ready for it. Remember when we all thought Alexa was turning on Nikki? Please never ever ever do that. Please.
Angel Garza def. Kevin Owens - Garza attacked Owens as he was walking down the ramp, and courageous Kevin told the ref to ring the bell after the commercial. Garza kept targeting that leg and took advantage when it halted Owens’ momentum. Owens put up a good fight but fell to a Wing Clipper. I really like that finisher for Garza. He attacked Owens’ leg again after the match, so this ain’t over!
Liv your best life - Guess what would make Liv get over, WWE? Put her in matches and let her win. The backstage promos where she’s trying to find herself and stuff will only go so far. In fact, they’ve already reached the peak. This is quickly reminding me of the Sheamus promos last year when Sheamus was returning, and returning, and returning, for like 10 weeks. Actions will speak louder than words here.
Truth speaks, Gronk… peeps - Rob Gronkowski does absolute nothing for me. And his promo tonight was dreadful. Just… ugh. Truth killed Pretty Ricky this week and thank you, WWE. Truth is coming after Gronk. Gronk is wearing douchebag shades and reading scripts off camera. Thanks, but no.
Raw is golf! - Street Profits and Viking Raiders started on a real golf course, but the antics ended up getting them kicked out. So instead they went to everyone’s favorite game - mini-golf! Montez’s pants were absolute fire and I want them. Profits win with the smaller score, as is golf’s way to win but Vikings thought they won and were celebrating. Ivar pulled stuff out of the hole, including a turkey leg. A crocodile appeared out of nowhere. This was nuts. Tez, hook ya boy up with a pair of those pants.
Now to what I alluded to before, and in the beginning of the recap. MVP confronted Tez and Dawkins about wasting their talents playing games. MVP called them clowns and said if they want to be serious, they’ll face him and Lashley.
Street Profits def. Bobby Lashley and MVP via DQ - Finally some Street Profits wrestling! It’s been too long, boys. Street profits got the better of MVP for most of the match, but Lashley wasn’t having any of it. Montez has elite level selling and can always get the highest air I’ve ever seen of any wrestler. Lashley locked in a full nelson when he wasn’t the legal man and that caused the disqualification.
Drew McIntyre came out and he and Lashley brawled, which led to the referee motioning for the male NXT talent and PC trainees to come pull them apart. Now, I like a pull apart brawl, but we established clearly that the crowd is the crowd and they’re being protected from the ring area. So… why were THEY pulling Lashley and Drew apart? WWE just tore up all that social distancing stuff and went to their get every able body to get these guys away from each other trope. God forbid someone in the ring or in the crowd JUST came in contact with someone who was sick before they entered the building and happen to be asymptomatic right now. You’re asking for trouble there.
Raw was a mixed bag of good, not so good, head scratching decisions, and an awful Gronk appearance. The best stuff consistently week to week is Rollins, which a few months ago I would have never said. Shout out to Eric Bugenhagen in the crowd lifting his arms up and rejoicing when Seth’s music hit. (Make him a disciple, WWE. Ratings will go up I promise you.) Lana was also shown on the show doing the same screaming nonsense. R-Truth was better but Gronk… sheesh.
The football men need to watch out for Truth.
What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?