The first rule of Fight Club is - you do not talk about Fight Club.
Someone should have told Shane McMahon that showing it on TV probably breaks the rules.
Shane was… somewhere “underground” with a ropeless ring and female dancers. Bloodthirsty men surrounded said ring and two were fighting to start the introduction of Raw Underground.
It’s Bloodsport, WWE style.
WWE style meaning a bunch of camera cuts and zooms and replays that look exactly like the main show. I’d much rather see a completely different presentation to Underground if it stays for a while.
The Viking Raiders, Dolph Ziggler, Babatunde (no longer called Babatunde), former Raw commentator Dio Maddin, and the Hurt Business all showed up and fought, and MVP seemingly took over as new management while Shane said they were allowed back. I get the feeling that this was a wild unpredictable thing to do to get ratings and WWE has no idea what they are doing with this.
I am not a fan of the camera work for the WWE Fight Club, nor am I a fan of the dancers. There are better ways to do this. I’m willing to give it a second chance next week.
I am Jack’s inflamed sense of rejection.
Wow am I ready for this match at SummerSlam.
Drew said Randy Orton has spent twenty years preying on vulnerability, and talks about how he’d rather slip in after a match and hit the RKO. At one time Vince McMahon himself looked them in the eye and told them they were the chosen one. He says he made mistakes and got fired for them, and he deserved to be fired, but Randy deserved to be fired way more and for much more.
Orton interrupted and said he’s here every week because he loves it, and he appreciates it. He should have been fired over and over again, but he wasn’t. Drew was, because he’s not as valuable to this company. Drew talked about when he was self-destructing when his mother was sick, and a kind word from a guy like Randy might have been enough to pull him out. All he sees when he looks at Orton is a selfish prick.
THIS is the type of feud that Drew has needed as champion. Absolutely incredible segment. The passion behind Drew’s words were what I enjoy out of a talking segment. Randy being self aware about his past was an even greater touch. This should be a good time leading up to their match.
Reunited and it feels so good
KO introduced Ruby Riott for his show and Ruby said she’s had bad luck since returning and the IIconics have been trying to dig at her for it. She finally got to shut Peyton Royce up and she said she wished that Liv was there with her. Owens surprised her, and us, with Liv Morgan!
Owens told Liv that she should listen to Ruby because he’s had experience ruining friendships. Ruby said when she came back she thought everything would be the same, but everything was different, and she saw Liv thriving and thought maybe she didn’t need her, and that hurt. Then Liv beat her twice, and she saw she definitely didn’t need her, and she wasn’t ready for that. She apologized for taking it out on her and then the IIconics interrupted.
They’re tired of Liv and Ruby and Ruby’s social media posts and said they’ve dominated the women’s tag scene. So we got ourselves an impromptu match that was super quick but drove home the point that Ruby is back in Liv’s good graces and I couldn’t be happier.
The acting and storytelling in this segment was really well done. Owens did particularly well with his pep talk, trying to get Liv to understand friendships are hard to come by and he regrets stuff he’s done in his past. I am ready for a nice dominant Riott Squad run. At this point they’re one of the only women’s tag teams left standing. They definitely deserve a title match, and what better time than SummerSlam!
Rollins accepts Dominik’s challenge - Seth came out to address Dominik Mysterio challenging him to a match at SummerSlam, but first wanted to address Tom Phillips cheering Dominik on as he beat both he and Murphy last week. He said his voice matters as the voice of Monday night Raw, and he’s part of the Greater Good whether he likes it or not. What he says is important because the people at home hear him, and it’s his job to call it down the middle. Seth ordered Murphy to take him from the desk, but Samoa Joe stood up and said that’s not going to happen and Seth needs to turn around and address Dominik or else he’ll take both men out.
They got back in the ring and Dominik came from behind and attacked them, even did his daddy’s 619 to Seth and then dove off the top rope. Seth said he accepts the match. Joe was the highlight here. I miss seeing that man in the ring and he has such a great presence. As Dominik beat them up, Joe was hyped for it and it was a great moment. I hope this is a sign that Joe will be back in the ring soon, though I do enjoy him on commentary too! Poor Tom. He almost got his eye taken for not doing his job properly.
Apollo Crews def. MVP - This was one of the best matches these two have had together. I appreciated the story both men were telling throughout the match. MVP’s promo calling out Apollo for not showing up after Lashley’s full nelson and Samoa Joe said that if he was at home and he saw a man with his rightful championship calling himself champion, he’d find him and confront him. Apollo had a great minute near the end of picking up the pace and going for multiple pin attempts. Apollo got the win with a nice Blue Thunder Driver.
After the match Apollo was interviewed backstage and said he’d be putting the old US title on display in his kids’ room and thanked MVP for the new title. MVP got a mic and said Apollo stole a win because of the flickering lights and wants a rematch at SummerSlam. I didn’t expect to see another match between them but I’m betting that’s where Apollo loses. Knowing WWE’s booking history, it’ll happen.
Sasha Banks vs. Shayna Baszler ends in a DQ - Shayna punched Sasha in the face earlier in the night and it could have just been left at that. It wasn’t a bad match, though. Shayna ragdolled Sasha around the ring. Asuka attacked Bayley and went into the ring to get Sasha but she escaped. Shayna disappeared and the match ended in DQ. Don’t know why since the bell rang after Asuka attacked Bayley, who wasn’t in the match.
This could have easily been Sasha and Bayley coming out to talk down about Shayna for her attack and Asuka runs out and tries to get both of them. Same outcome without a match that didn’t matter between two women who have never faced each other.
Asuka wants a rematch at SummerSlam - After that… match… Asuka said Kairi will be okay but she’s not there anymore, but she, Sasha, and Bayley are. She wants a rematch for the Raw women’s championship. Shayna got back in the ring and said she’s rooting for Asuka because when she takes the title back, she’ll be first in line to take it for herself.
Sasha came back out and said that if Asuka wants a rematch, she needs to defeat Bayley next week on Raw. So we’re back to the teasing a turn between the role models. Since the match is Bayley vs. Asuka I don’t understand why they don’t do it on SmackDown.
Garza def. Dawkins / Andrade vs. Ford ends in ref stoppage- I’m putting these together because the matches were not the focus. Dawkins lost against Garza because Tez suddenly collapsed at ringside and Garza took advantage of a concerned Dawkins. So after the break we saw Ford in the ring and it seemed like he was okay. He certainly was good enough to be a crazy high flyer but collapsed again and the ref stopped the match.
Later, Dawkins revealed that Tez was poisoned and Bianca Belair accused and attacked Zelina Vega. So it looks like total chaos on this show and I have no idea who’s in charge.
Akira Tozawa won the 24/7 title back - There was a triple threat for the 24/7 title with Shelton, Truth, and Tozawa and the ninjas got involved and distracted Shelton enough to pin Truth and win back the title.
Nia Jax is suspended - Nia came out to “apologize to WWE official Pat Buck. She really just came out to talk shit and try and get Pat to fight her in a match. He wasn’t having any of it and suspended her indefinitely without pay. She headbutted him and walked off. I don’t really have an opinion for this. Just seems like something to give Nia an… edge? An edge she doesn’t need.
WWE teased this big faction for the show that ended up being some dudes dressed up like the ninjas throwing a molotov cocktail at the Performance Center’s power grid. Then they weren’t shown again. I have no idea what this show was, but some of it was good. Random unpredictable stuff like tonight irks me, because WWE has a formula and they don’t tend to break it, so them doing stuff like this is usually to pop a rating.
I’m 100% certain that whenever they drop this, WWE will pretend Underground never existed.
What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?