If it’s Monday...then that means you’re probably going back to work after the weekend. But it also means Monday Night Raw. Claire’s play-by-play will hold you down while I analyze what it all means and where we’re potentially going.
Let’s talk Raw!
Let’s start here: I don't understand why Big E was ringside for Seth Rollins x Kevin Owens. The champ said he wanted to “make sure everything goes smoothly” but dude...what? Large E, a very smart man, wants to sit ringside to watch two guys he doesn’t like or trust tear each other up because he wants what exactly?
Wrestling Sports Entertainment is like any other story in that wrestlers sports entertainers need motivation to do things or not do them. To call E’s motivation “lacking” is a disservice to the word and a clear sign of someone not thinking this thing through. Hey, E, love you, but when two guys you don’t like are beating each other to a pulp, you just let them do it from a safe position.
Whew, and with that off my chest, we’re here because KO is fighting for his honor. At the top of the show, he said it matters to him a whole lot that Big E believes him. According to him, this is just Seth doing what Seth does best. No, not dress, because that ensemble he wore this week isn’t fit for a corpse. Rollins’ skill is strategy and stoking flames. Seth knows Big E is on Monday nights without his New Day posse, so the plan is to isolate him from any and all allies.
Oh, and they both also want to prove they’re the true “Face of Raw.” Whatever.
In the end, after a very good match, KO took an L as a result of a count out when he bumped into Big E on his way back into the ring to beat the ref’s count. Owen’s frustration boiled over and at that moment, he turned into a chimney. Why, you ask? Because he wanted all the smoke. KO went after Big E with a vengeance, bringing a stable of zebras to the ring in hopes of stopping the onslaught.
This is obviously why E was ringside and while I understand that part, the story reason he was there still makes no sense. As someone who thinks heel Kevin Owens is the best kind of Kevin Owens, I’m down for this turn, even if the road to it wasn’t smooth. In short—too late—I like the destination but the scenery getting here was lacking.
Commentary gave this result away early on. Becky Lynch gave every woman in this five-way number one contender match their props except one: Liv Morgan. Not only did she avoid giving Liv any props, she basically berated her for the entire match. Even though the match itself seemed like it was leading to an eventual Bianca Belair x Rhea Ripley finish, that was the moment when the contest picked up steam! Seriously, it went into another gear after the two powerhouses got their sh*t in and Queen Zelina, Carmella, and Liv started getting scrappy.
The high speed nature of the last half could only mean one thing: A chaotic finish. Lo and behold, shocker of shockers, that’s exactly what we got.
Right when it looked like Bianca and Becky had a date to tango again—and thanks to commentary for acknowledging Becky cheated last week—Doudrop made her presence known and got violent with the EST. Doudrop resents the fact Bianca keeps getting chances at the title. Doudrops claims she’s a voice for the voiceless but Bianca ain’t buying it. Now? They’ll get to fight about it.
While they do that, Liv Morgan is getting her shot at Becky for the Raw Women’s Championship. I’m not sold on it yet but I hope WWE can tell a compelling underdog story—you know that’s what they’ll go for—and make me at least want to see Becky get that work
Two main stories pop off when RK-Bro x The Street Profits face the Dirty Dawgz x AJ Styles & Omos. The first story is Randy’s building frustration with Riddle’s refusal to be the type of champion Randy wants or needs him to be, and Omos’ dominance. Both stories collided as Riddle played hero, again, and attacked Omos to save the Profits, and pays the price. Dolph Ziggler scored the pin on Riddle and Randy chewed his partner out as a result.
All Mighty Confusion
First off, there’s nothing better than Corey Graves as Bobby Lashley’s hypeman. Nothing. The worst WWE official on record, Adam Pearce, who presides over both Raw and SmackDown, believed he made an error when creating the red brand’s Survivor Series team. All of a sudden, he has a vested interest in Raw getting the W over the other show he presides over? This new development led to Dominik Mysterio getting fed to an angry All Mighty Bobby Lashley. Pearce wanted Raw’s team is filled with former champions and young Dom doesn’t fit the bill. I get that. But why does Pearce care if Raw gets swept again by SmackDown? Basketball reasons if I ever heard of them. Later on, Poppa Mysterio had the same questions.
This “Face of Raw” thing is really irking me but it’s the basis for Alpha Academy’s beef with Big E. The WWE Champion laid the *ahem* smack down on Chad Gable. That W led to a face-off with Otis. I know, I know, it’s two very meaty men, but I’m not interested in an Otis and Big E beef. Mostly because they haven’t done much with Otis in many moons.
Byron Saxton, Corey Graves, and The Hurt Business were involved in a 24/7 title segment and it was profoundly nauseating. We can have fun in wrestling but segments like that just take up valuable time. Raw doesn’t always use its three hours wisely, so this just felt like a black hole. Miss me.
We got two good matches this week and an okay eight-man tag match that had no stakes. Raw just didn’t move me. This was an episode where I felt every minute of its three hours and nothing stood out as must-see. Not a match or a feud, and definitely not a story. There was a lot of padding in this episode, meaning it was a struggle to fill out the the runtime.
I feel that struggle.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Your turn