Well this was quite a Cena-esque opening promo.
Drew McIntyre came out and said that if he didn’t show up with his fractured jaw, WWE would strip him of the title, so he decided he’d show up each week and leave in an ambulance if he had to. He decided to make his match with Randy Orton at Clash of Champions an Ambulance match. He then showed us a photo of all the men he’s Claymored, photoshopped in hospital beds. Ugh.
Then Scrap Daddy himself, Adam Pearce, came out and said that if Randy is unable to make it, Keith Lee would be his opponent at Clash. Keith came out and the two men did the standard hand shake when both don’t let go.
I hated most of this. I didn’t want them to throw Keith into a WWE championship match so soon because I don’t see this push being sustained the way it would have naturally with a crowd. This is basically a free for all right now, with wrestling promotions booking the way they want to book without fear of live crowd retribution.
Heh. See what I did there?
Then they revealed that the ambulance match stipulation would also stand if Keith Lee won this match.
Drew and Keith traded big man power throughout their match in the main event, but then RETRIBUTION showed up and beat both men down. And no one from the Raw locker room cared about them.
Except… The Hurt Business? They came out and fought the group, and then Keith and Drew dove over the top rope and took everyone out to close the show.
This is my only feature for the show because I need to vent.
WWE have not made RETRIBUTION look good one time. Not one damn time since the start of this nonsense. Not only has the bad booking harmed them, it’s harmed the whole show. Because of WWE’s refusal to let them be true anarchists, they’ve been booked in random spots and didn’t reveal their motives really until last week, sort of. It makes them look, my most favorite word when describing them, inconsistent.
Then - Raw’s locker room. They have not cared at all about this group. Mysterios were beat down, no one helped. Lights flickering in matches, no one went to find them. They invaded the production truck, no one went to protect the crew and find them. No one cares to find them, fight them, keep them out… nothing.
EXCEPT The Hurt Business! … The Hurt Business? Huh?
Okay during the show they went up to Adam Pearce and said they’d help out so it’s not like they just came out of nowhere. However, how are they the first Raw members to step up to RETRIBUTION? How?!? Two big babyfaces were getting beaten up by a gang of 15 people, a few weeks back the Mysterios, production members, production equipment, a single window, a car… but the whole Raw roster has never bothered to stop them. These guys are heels! They deserve a ton of respect now and did a very not heel thing.
Both visuals of The Hurt Business marching down to the ring and of Drew and Keith diving onto everyone were good visuals. But WWE has been so ridiculously inconsistent with all of RETRIBUTION stuff that I just don’t care at all. I’m actually mad about this. This group sucks and WWE sucks for not doing good by this idea.
Seth Rollins def. Dominik Mysterio - Seth and Dom tossed each other all over the cage. Murphy was yelled at and somewhat uncomfortably slapped around backstage and told not to come out. During the match, Murphy showed up and tossed a kendo stick in the ring. Once Dom took over Rey tossed him his own kendo stick. He wailed on Seth and hit the frog splash. Rey tried helping Dom out but Murphy attacked Rey and closed the cage door shut on who he thought was Dom, but of course it was Seth.
Both men were on top of the cage and Seth hit a great suplex to the floor. He then hit two curb stomps to win, and Murphy held the cage door open for him, but Seth had enough and attacked him. That relationship should be over now, but you never know. Seth was being really abusive and manipulative to Murphy before the match and Murphy may have some Stockholm Syndrome.
Street Profits def. The Artists - What a start to this as Cesaro gave Dawkins a mean uppercut to make him loopy. The fake crowd told us they wanted the smoke when we came back from break and I appreciated that. Kind of took me aback at first remembering there was no crowd. Nakamura did a cool move where he set Dawkins up in the ropes and slid under him and like suplexed him onto the mat. The AIR that Montez got when Cesaro lifted him was insane! The match ending fell a little flat with me as a splash without fanfare got Dawkins the win.
This was not a bad match. I just wasn’t into that finish which sometimes is good, but I kind of expected Street Profits to win anyway and I was looking for that big frog splash ending we’ve been treated to. Tez hit only one that didn’t connect because Nak got his knees up and that was it. I have a feeling this isn’t over yet, though.
Asuka def. Mickie James via...? / Zelina Vega steps up - We don’t really know what happened here, except that the women were having a decent match but then the ref called for the bell, and even Mickie looked confused by it. The referee went to tend to her but there was no explanation given.
After, Zelina Vega, after getting mad at Andrade and Angel Garza and leaving them, walked into the ring and said “Don’t even bother asking if I’m ready for Asuka, because I’m ready for the title.” Then she SLAPPED Asuka in the face! I have long been waiting for Zelina to show this side of herself and look to fight for a championship!
Riott Squad def. Natalya and Lana - Natty and Lana were actually in sync to start the match, then Ruby pinned Lana really quick. Then Nia and Shayna beat up Natty and Lana and Nia put Lana through a table.
Nothing to see here… typical booking after someone’s husband cut a promo against the company she works for. I’m sure this was booked well in advance.
Cedric Alexander def. Ricochet - (RIP RicoRic) Cedric cut a great promo talking about how he cared more about making money than sticking with friends and getting beat up every week. When he said that he was taking more beatings for Apollo when he was US champion, I felt that, and Apollo had no retort for him. Sometimes the bad guys are right!
Really nasty kicks by Cedric and showing that they really know each other by dodging some of Ricochet’s moves. That lumbar check on Ricochet was INCREDIBLE!!! This looked like a blood feud and I loved it. RETRIBUTION decided to rain on Hurt Business’ celebration and spoke crap and I don’t care. I’m done with that.
Kevin Owens def. Aleister Black - Aleister targeted KO’s left knee throughout the match and looked like he was going top tap when Aleister locked a kneebar in. I forget how great KO is at making me believe he is in pain and is about to quit but fights through. The lights flickered and KO took advantage with a stunner to win. Commentary the whole time was questioning Aleister’s motivations for turning on KO and yeah we would all really like to know why, guys.
Raw Underground - Dolph Ziggler decided to get off of commentary for the evening and have a match at Underground and he won his first one. Riddick Moss took him on afterward and then all of a sudden Braun Strowman showed up and took Ziggler and Moss out. They tried to double team Braun, but naturally that did nothing. Then Dabba-Kato got in the ring, and Shane got in between them and made the match for next week. That should be pretty fun at least!
Whew. So, after all of this show has been absorbed, my feelings are that we need a draft (and that seems to be starting with Braun and Mandy), we need new feuds, and RETRIBUTION needs to get to the damn point already. I’m tired of this. Raw drags and is hurt by the inconsistency and repetition.
We need better camerawork too, but this will be 2,000 more words if I go into that.
What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?