Welcome everyone to the Raw after Hell in a Cell! Claire’s blog is always the best place to be on a Monday night. This little space is the second.
So while you’re here, let’s talk Raw!
No disrespect to Swerve, who is one of my favs, but that headline is so necessary. WWE told us at the beginning of Raw that The Judgment Day is adding to its ranks. Why are they making this appointment viewing, I wondered. But, okay, cool. Sure enough, Edge, Rhea, and Damian show up around 10 p.m. and introduce the newest member:
Finn came out doing his usual thing, with the jacket and the preening to the crowd, and something smelled fishy. No, I didn’t expect what we got, but I did expect something. In fact, since Finn is the guy, I questioned why they didn’t do this at Hell in a Cell.
Then the swerve hit and it was glorious. Finn stated his reasons for joining. He, like Rhea and Damian, is tired of being told what to do. Edge liked that. Damian continued Finn’s thoughts and said the last obstacle in their way and the last limitation holding them back...is Edge!
Balor, Rhea, and Damian decimated Edge, who was shocked like the rest of us. Edge is the guy who started the group! This whole thing is built on his message and his image. But a group of people fighting against the old guard believed Edge represents everything they don’t like. They put him through the commentary table and gave him a taste of his own medicine with a concerto. I didn’t see it coming, and I loved every moment of it. Edge got a stretcher job too, meaning he’s probably off television for the foreseeable future.
This is the most interesting thing for either of these three in quite some time. Edge called himself “the adult” when he spoke to the crowd tonight. Obviously, that was Rhea, Damian, and Finn’s big issue with his leadership. They want more. They want to rule. And they can’t do it with the old man constantly hogging the spotlight. And they do need to justify Edge’s forced exit. Especially after they just won their match at Hell in a Cell.
How were they held back? Hopefully singles pushes are in store for all three because if not, then Edge wasn’t holding them back from much. Rhea Ripley got her moment later in the show. What say you, Finn and Damian? What comes next week is an important moment for the group but the potential for something special with these three is is so high, it might need a pilot license.
This gets a top position because it sports entertained me for reasons hard to explain. Becky Lynch comes out. I think she’s cutting a promo. Nope, she’s wrestling. Her opponent? Dana Brooke. “Why are they feeding Dana to Becky?” I wonder to my Cageside co-workers. The eye-rolling begins as soon as the bell rings and I settle in for whatever WWE presents. Then the 24/7 circus comes to the ring and I perk up a bit. Dana Brooke pins Tozawa during her match with Becky much to Becky’s puzzlement. Then Becky grabs a mic and all hell breaks loose.
Becky decrees no one wins a championship during her matches except her. Therefore, she wants a shot at Dana’s 24/7 championship. Not now, but right now. And she tells the 24/7 stable to keep their noses out of the match or else. Or else what? Do we really need to go over all the or elses? No.
Give. Becky. The 24/7. Championship. The entertainment factor for that is out of this world. And it works perfectly with Becky just wanting a championship. She doesn’t care what championship and she doesn’t care how it happens. She needs a title more than oxygen. I get it and I love it.
Asuka comes out during Becky and Dana’s match to annoy the former because she’s so good at that. Asuka doubles as Dana’s cheerleader and interferes a few times on her behalf.
Long story short, Becky goes for a Manhandle Slam, Dana reverses it into a pin attempt, and Asuka holds down Becky’s leg, stopping her from kicking out. So yes, Dana Brooke has a win over Becky Lynch. And we now know Asuka isn’t finished with Becky. Not by a longshot.
This reminded me of a Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker movie and I adored every second.
For the Love of the Game
Cody Rhodes walked out to a deserved standing ovation. He thanked the crowd for their love, and switched his attention to winning that briefcase at Money in the Bank. Eventually.
Seth Rollins showed up. While he still doesn’t like Cody, he does respect him. Seth even said Dusty is proud of his “baby boy.” Seth walked to the back, Cody followed and took a minute to bask in his glory.
But then Seth showed his true colors, and no, not the ones in whatever ridiculous suit he’s wearing. Seth used his sledgehammer to beat Cody’s injured pec—again—and show how wack he is as a human. Cody said this thing with Seth is over and done but when he comes back from his surgery and rehab, something tells me Seth will stand right in his way of any ladder he wants to climb.
Riddle continues his revenge quest. He’s not quite Conan the Barbarian, but he brings the fire when necessary. And he was enflamed this week on Miz TV. The Miz and Maryse promoted Miz and Mrs. season premiere while Riddle wanted none of that. He came to talk about Randy Orton and Roman Reigns. Oh, and butcher the French language in front of Maryse.
The very entertaining Miz TV segment referenced the size of Miz’s balls, John Cena, and Orton’s career. Miz challenged Riddle to a match, Ciampa attacked Riddle from behind, and the match started in earnest.
Riddle and Miz are both great at their respective jobs. It’s no wonder their quick match did everything it needed to do. Miz got embarrassed in front of a crowd who hates his guts, Riddle got a W in front of a crowd who adores him, and Miz & Maryse got what they deserved in the process.
The Truth Shall Set You Free
Ezekiel defeated Otis. Poor tree trunk. But that’s not the point here. Ezekiel called out Kevin Owens demanding a rematch. KO granted it under one condition: Admit he’s really Elias. Zeke gave KO what he wanted, KO boasted, and Zeke revealed he lied. So we’re getting the match and this whole Ezekiel charade continues.
I often complain in this space about the Street Profits’ status on Raw. They’re normally pieces in someone else’s story rather than the focal point of their own. This week, they finally got their shot at tag team gold. Well, actually, they got their shot at earning a shot at tag team gold. And I’m torn on the finish. Unsurprisingly, the Profits and The Usos put on a great match. The Usos dominated the first act after realizing they weren’t taking Montez and Angelo seriously. The Profits found their footing in the second act as soon as the action took to the outside of the ring. And that’s where Jimmy and Jey lost the fight.
The match ended in a count out as Montez and Jey battled it out. Montez got back in the ring before the ref got to 10. Jey? Not so lucky.
On one hand, it’s great these two cats get a title shot. On the other, a count out victory isn’t exactly a vote of confidence. While I’m not a fan of fighting champions for a shot at their title as a device, if they’re doing it, then do it fully. Let the contenders get a decisive victory.
Good match with a flat ending.
No More Strings...
Earlier in the show, Rhea Ripley said Edge held her back. As fate would have it, Rhea found herself in a Fatal 4 Way match with Doudrop, Nikki A.S.H., Liv Morgan, and Alexa Bliss for a shot at Bianca Belair. Lo and behold, she won. The woman earned her shot at the Raw Women’s championship after putting Doudrop in a Rip Tide. I wasn’t wowed by the match, even though it had some good moments like that ending, but I applaud the storytelling. Rhea told us all breaking free from Edge was necessary. Now we see her fly later in the show. Okay, that’s logical, meaningful, and now we see this version of Rhea fight this version of Bianca.
And Rhea has a stable of goons behind her. If only Bianca knew two guys who might have her back...
The point of this match between Dominik and Veer was simple: Get closer to Rey and Veer. With that in mind, while this wasn’t a great “match” at all, it was okay for what it was. Dominik isn’t the most sympathetic guy for me, so I feel nothing seeing Veer beat him like an African drum. Rey stepping in for his grown ass son is also...weird. But, hey, here we are.
Theory tried matching strength with Lashley. Seriously? No, sir. Lashley signaled his intentions for the Undisputed Universal championship, but challenged Theory for his United States championship in the interim. So yeah, that’s happening.
Cedric Alexander told the world at Hell in a Cell that he wants to be his own man and stand on his own two feet. He wrestled Omos this week and the giant took him off said feet quicker than the time it took me to write this sentence. Then the Dirty Dawgs made their return to Raw after a great NXT run. Then what happened? MVP took offense to them taking Omos’ shine, and got kicked in the face for his troubles.
This was a really good episode of Raw. One of my favorites in quite some time. It started on an emotional note with Cody and Seth, moved a lot of stories forward, provided the right amount of comedy, action, intrigue, and a swerve they actually paid off at the end of the show. Count me in.
Thats my grade and I’m sticking to it. Your turn.