Well everyone, it finally happened.
Raw was… good.
Why? Well when you make matches matter, make things make sense, and don’t rely on the typical boring and uninspiring tropes to end matches, you actually make an entertaining show!
SmackDown for the most part does this. It makes Fridays much more appealing. Give me this more on Mondays, please! Obviously not a gauntlet match because you just can’t do that every week, but do the other stuff.
I didn’t even mind the Alexa Bliss stuff on the show! It fit with the progression of the storyline and they used the ThunderDome screens in a really cool way.
I’m not a hard person to entertain, y’all. Months ago when a lot of you were poo-pooing on Raw and I was finding the good stuff and highlighting them, even giving higher grades, it’s because I was entertained! I haven’t been lately, and that’s why I crap on much of it.
Let’s get to the main hits and misses of this show. For a full rundown of Raw, check out the live blog by Rev. Claire Elizabeth!
Third hour gauntlet
There was a Miz TV segment. You know how those go.
My first thought as Miz introduced McIntyre was “Why should Drew even in kayfabe entertain Miz TV right now when this dude is going to be fighting him tonight AND at Elimination Chamber?” My second thought was as a Drew myself... Andy? That’s a big no. Do not call me Andy.
But then after being attacked by Drew, Miz said he was taking himself out of the Chamber match. Props for WWE to call an audible here (no I’ll never believe that this was the plan all along) because my goodness was it silly to include the Money in the Bank holder in this.
So Kofi Kingston and AJ Styles started this gauntlet off (I’ll talk about how Kofi Kingston got this spot in a bit) and the biggest moment was when Omos chokeslammed Xavier Woods to oblivion and got himself ejected. Styles took advantage and took Kingston out by attacking an already injured knee from the previous match. Kofi did the SOS but was in too much pain to cover. Styles set up the Phenomenal Forearm and connected to advance.
Drew McIntyre was next and rag dolled Styles around the ring. McIntyre really dominated Styles. He wore Styles down with limb work and held it when Styles got to the ropes. So then he gave Styles a reverse Alabama slam and set up the Claymore, but AJ drop kicked him out of the ring. Styles fumbled around with Drew’s leg for the Calf Crusher and locked it in, but Drew head-butted him to get out of it. Drew got the Claymore to advance.
Jeff Hardy was next and attacked Drew immediately. Hardy had a dominant outing until Drew was able to clothesline and toss Jeff all around the ring. McIntyre gave Hardy a neckbreaker and futureshock DDT for a near fall. A superplex off the TOP ROPE which looked brutal but Jeff kicked out. He did not kick out of the Claymore.
Randy Orton came out, and then Randy Orton got counted out thanks to ThunderDome Bliss. Seriously the use of every ThunderDome screen to distract Orton with Bliss was a great visual.
And then Sheamus attacked McIntyre from behind and wore him down. McIntyre got back into it and gave Sheamus the futureshock DDT and a spinebuster. Drew went for a Claymore and missed and Sheamus did the Brogue Kick to win and be the final entrant in the Chamber on Sunday.
I was pleasantly surprised to see the finish be clean, without any interference or good heavens, a disqualification. Yo I would have been pissed off. The match took up the whole third hour so that was much welcomed and for the first time in a long time, I didn’t find myself looking at the clock.
We’ll see if Braun Strowman has any type of Chamber shenanigans and I’m betting we may see a few of those.
I was not even going to put this in my recap, but then all of a sudden Alexa Bliss summoned The First.
Oh sorry no that’s the Buffy fandom talking. She summoned The Fiend.
At least… I think she did!
Orton talked about how because of Sheamus, his business with McIntyre isn’t over yet. He said that he’ll be the last to enter the Chamber and hit the most deadliest letters, R- K- and then we were transported into the Fire Fly Fun House, where Alexa Bliss knelt in a pentagram.
She said in the fire He was destroyed, but He will be reborn and cackled while looking into the camera. Some sinister stuff here.
Alright! It was nice to see this off TV for a few weeks so I’m okay with the new little thing thrown in here of some sort of witchcraft I guess. Let’s see where this goes. Perhaps The Fiend returns at Elimination Chamber?
Bad Bunny is European 7-11 I-95 South Champion
Damian Priest and Bad Bunny were about to be interviewed backstage.
All of a sudden, Akira Tozawa pinned R-Truth for the 24/7 Championship. And then he bumped into Priest, who knocked him down. Priest told Bunny to pin him for the title, and Bunny did!
Bad Bunny will be on Saturday Night Live this coming weekend as a champion. Would be interesting to see if he shows it off.
I’m just loving Bad Bunny and Damian Priest in all of this.
Kofi Kingston defeated Miz
Miz and Kingston actually had a great match. Miz was impressed by Kingston’s resiliency. He wore him down and then Kofi powered up and slammed Miz into the mat. Kofi did the Boom Drop and set up the Trouble in Paradise but Miz rolled him up, and then Kofi did the SOS for a near fall. Miz put him in the Figure Four and Kofi got to the bottom rope. Kofi hit the Trouble in Paradise again for the win! I had a thought that Ali would interfere tonight, but now I know when it’s going to happen. You know too if you really think about it.
Riddle and Lucha House Party defeated The Hurt Business
Benjamin started off with Dorado just pummeling the poor adorable luchador. They did the break down early with Benjamin and Alexander taking out the babyfaces. Benjamin tackled Metalik like…. my God. It looked brutal and awesome. Benjamin, Alexander, and MVP isolated Metalik and wore him down in their corner. Metalik finally got to his corner and Riddle was lit on fire. MVP looked like he may have injured his knee and Riddle pinned him for the victory. The babyfaces celebrated, Lashley cleaned house and put the Hurt Lock on Riddle again. I love Lashley’s violence as of late and I hope MVP is okay!
Charlotte Flair and Asuka vs. Lacey Evans and Peyton Royce ends in pregnancy
A nice touch in this match was when Asuka was the legal woman, Evans was on the apron ready to tag in. But when Charlotte was the legal woman, Evans would hide behind the ring post. And then when it was going to be Charlotte and Lacey, Lacey revealed that she’s pregnant and she and an elated Ric Flair walked up the ramp. Um… but the Women’s title match on Sunday? (She may be legitimately pregnant. If that is so, congrats!) That does potentially make Ric the father in this storyline though. Uh… ugh.
Something happened with Lana and Shayna Baszler
Y’all, totally tuned out for this and I don’t care. I don’t want this to go on anymore. Seen this way too many times already.
What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?