Seth Rollins made a mistake, and if he doesn’t catch himself, it could cost him everything he’s tried to prove to the world this past month.
Seth put Drew over as a fighter and an honorable man, but said that it’s not Drew’s destiny to be a champion for the future, it’s his. He said the WWE championship means too much to Drew, but he is willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good. Seth isn’t trying to take anything away from Drew, he’s trying to represent a generation and an industry. Drew isn’t ready to take on the trials and tribulations of a champion, he’s trying to unburden him. He wants to save Drew.
To get us ready for the match between Drew and Murphy, Charly Caruso asked Murphy why he follows Seth. Murphy said that Seth took him under his wing when they both needed it most. He hopes to be on the same level as Seth, and maybe one day even better than him. Later, Charly approached Drew and he called Murphy a confused young man. He fell into the charm of Seth Rollins and doesn’t want to deny Seth or Murphy the opportunity to do some sacrificing.
Seth accompanied Murphy to the ring, and watched from the stage. Drew dominated Murphy while Seth looked on, not coming to his disciple’s aid as Drew laid him out by commentary. Murphy took control, and then counted down for his own Claymore kick.
He ended up counting down for Drew! Drew took advantage and Claymored Murphy for the win.
After the match, Drew begged for Seth to get in the ring and fight him. Hesitantly, he creeped up the ring steps, but got off and walked up the ramp. Drew grabbed the WWE title and turned to the camera after Seth walked up the stage, and Seth surprised us all and attacked Drew. He reiterated that this is bigger than the both of them, and suddenly the title caught his eyes. It stopped him in his tracks and he grabbed it from the mat, gazing into it. He didn’t take his eyes off it fast enough, because Drew headbutt him and just missed a Claymore as Seth ducked out and ran. Silly Seth. If he were a good man, he’d know that a Jedi uses the force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.
The nuance in the close of this show was masterful. All this time, Seth has taken it upon himself to be the Messiah for the WWE. He will sacrifice himself for the greater good and he will help lead the way. For Drew, he saw that in his eyes, Drew wasn’t the right leader for Raw, because no one should have to take the burden of being champion. Seth will sacrifice himself to be champion. But then, something happened.
Seth, in what seemed to be a moment of weakness, put it all to the side when the championship was back in his hands. He gazed at it, seemingly remembering what it was like to be the top guy. It looked like that Messiah facade faded away for a moment, and Seth paid for it. Really well done.
Back from the dead
Bobby Lashley, without Lana, and Titus O’Neil started off the gauntlet. O’Neil was put away quickly, which was unfortunately expected. Akita Tozawa was next and picked up the pace with two moves, and then got speared and he was gone.
Out came Shelton Benjamin who gave Lashley his first real fight. Really cool spot where Lashley went for a spear and Benjamin jumped out of the way, but he too fell to a spear. Humberto Carrillo was next and my goodness Lashley LAUNCHED Carrillo across the ring and beat him down and then suddenly Lashley decided to put his hands on the ref as he was kicking Carrillo in the corner. The ref disqualified him.
A dominant performance by Lashley, to then get disqualified for shoving the ref lightly. May as well have had Lana out there instead. That was ridiculous. Also, a heel getting DQ’ed after facing a bunch of faces, and then a heel comes out when they’re out? C’mon, WWE.
Angel Garza came out to face Carrillo as Lashley beat Carrillo down upset for getting DQ’ed. Man, seeing these two together is so much fun. Carrillo fought through his beat down and countered out of a very painful looking submission. Garza hit a great moonsault but it wasn’t enough and Carrillo pinned him!
So the heel got beat, you know what that means! Austin Theory was next, and he almost took Carrillo’s head off with an elbow but Carrillo kept fighting. After a superplex by Theory, Carrillo countered with a small package and eliminated him. AJ STYLES was next! The match between them was good, but I was surprised to see it go as long as it did. Am won with a calf crusher and it’s revealed that he was the final entrant.
After the match, AJ said he’s not a zombie or a ghost. The boneyard match was Undertaker’s way of stealing the spotlight. So what if he got buried? He didn’t lose anything because a boneyard match has no rules. He’ll throw anyone off the roof of WWE Headquarters to win because no one has been what he’s been through.
I did not expect AJ to return in this match, as I had pegged Jinder Mahal to be the final entrant and win. While I’m pleasantly surprised, I’m confused by a few of the decisions here. Bobby getting DQ’ed that way was ridiculous, killing off two out of three of Zelina’s associates without one win under their belt in weeks pretty much seals the deal that they’re not as high up on the push list anymore, and AJ not getting rid of Humberto quick squandered a really dominant feel to AJ’s return.
Maybe we’re supposed to think AJ was not 100% since he was buried last month? I don’t really get that line of thinking but I am just super happy Jinder was nowhere near this. AJ is a clear favorite to snatch that briefcase.
Come at the Queen - Charlotte talked about pulling double duty on Raw and NXT. Io’s her next opponent and said she’s happy that Io’s dream of facing Charlotte Flair will come true. Surprise Liv Morgan appearance! Liv asked Charlotte if she remembers her, and that not all of us are born with silver spoons shoved up our… mouths. If she has to knock down a couple backstabbers or a self-entitled queen, well, blessed be
During the match, Charlotte and Liv battled for control. This was by no means a burial. I know that so many, particularly when it comes to Charlotte as of late, say that people are being fed to her and getting buried. This was a very good match, which yes, would have been better if it didn’t lead to a loss for Liv. It showcased her talking abilities and her psychology in the ring.
Need to praise the continuity too! The last time Charlotte and Liv were together, it was on Smackdown, and it was the reason for Liv leaving for months. She said when she came back, she would be real, and tonight she proved it.
MVP’s VIP Lounge - MVP asked the women if their set of skills are enough to win Money in the Bank, starting with Nia, who touted her wins since returning. Asuka. said words. Shayna said that she talks with action. Asuka and Shayna attack Nia and send her out of the ring, and then the segment ends.
Uh, yeah this was something that didn’t get me interested in this match for the women on Raw. A very unpretentious segment that could have been better.
Viking Raiders def. Street Profits - Viking Raiders dominated the whole first half against Tez and after nearly squashing him, he managed to kick out. Really thought it was over there. Tez went so high on a drop kick that he landed in pin position. Ivar is one of the most agile big dudes I’ve seen in wrestling. Multiple times in this match you thought one team was winning and I really enjoyed this. Having said that, once again we fall into another WWE trope of non-title match before the team that wins becomes contenders and the next match is a title match. This needs to stop.
The promo before the match from Street Profits, not great. I have come to realize I will never enjoy Street Profits promos on WWE television, because WWE will script them to death. These dudes know how to talk. I’ve seen it in person! They’re great talkers and they won’t get to show it on the main roster.
Brendan Vink and Shane Throne def. Ricochet and Cedric Alexander - Thorne and Vink worked over Cedric at first, then Ricochet and Cedric double team Thorne. Drop kicks, DDT’s super kicks, galore. No wasted motion from RicoRic. Super high flying and loads of fun to watch. This is most likely going to be a 50/50 booking situation which doesn’t excite me, since RicoRic were climbing up the ranks in the tag division on a winning streak. This was upsetting, but I’m glad it wasn’t a short squash.
Money in the Bank promos - Aleister Black and Rey Mysterio cut promos hyping the pay-per-view. Rey’s literally sounded like a script to sell Money in the Bank to someone who’s never seen or heard of Money in the Bank before. Absolutely detest promos like that.
Aleister’s however, much much better. He called out AJ Styles and asked him how it felt to be buried six feet and being swallowed by darkness. If AJ manages to throw him off the top of WWE headquarters, he better pray he doesn’t get back up. When he climbs back up and gets the briefcase, he’ll wish he was buried deeper. This was a great promo and had a wonderful ambiance to it. Much better than the “knock on my door” promos he was doing on SmackDown. I’m excited for Sunday!
Aside from the most unique Money in the Bank match, I am so ready for Drew vs. Seth. Both men have killed it in the build up and if not for the uniqueness of Money in the Bank this year, deserved to be the main event of the pay-per-view. It will be intriguing to see if the Disciple gets involved, or Seth takes his eyes off the mission once again and sacrifices his own self idolatry for selfishness.
Overall, the show had a nice blend of promos and wrestling, most of it good! I don’t like the 50/50 booking and people with win streaks taking losses to further someone else’s story. Cedric and Ricochet losing was the most upsetting to me. Vink and Thorne lost and just because they become MVP’s new associates, they win? Not a good play in my book. There was nothing different between the first time they faced each other and now. They were just booked stronger. No need to end RicoRic’s winning streak for this.
May the fourth be with you, Cagesiders! What were your thoughts?