Hey everybody! It’s @TheMagnumDA with another installment of the RAW report, live from Montreal! Tonight was a well-paced, well-built show that focused on Backlash, which is this Sunday on the WWE Network. Be sure to come back here next Sunday for the Backlash Pick’em report with the W-O Pick’em Crew. Here’s a recap of how everything went down!
Opening promo featured Roman Reigns making his case for last Friday’s Universal Championship match. If you did not see it: The WWE Universal Title match ended in controversy, as Reigns speared Lesnar through the cage. Although Reigns’ feet hit first, the ref made a judgment call and gave the match to Lesnar. This led to an appearance from Jinder Mahal and the hometown boys, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. They proceeded to beat down Reigns until Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley made the save. Six-man tag match set for tonight!
1. Elias defeated Bobby Roode by referee’s stoppage (*3/4)
2. The Authors of Pain defeated Francois and Jean-Paul with The Last Chapter (1/2*)
Seth Rollins came out to a hero’s welcome. They gave him a thunderous, lasting ovation multiple times. Rollins talked about his match with Miz next Sunday, but this was interrupted by Finn Balor. Balor challenged Rollins for the IC title in tonight’s main event.
3. Ruby Riott (w/ Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan) defeated Sasha Banks with the Riott Kick (**1/2)
Another “Moment of Bliss”, where Alexa recalls the time when Nia Jax bullied her at Disney World by having the park employees measure her height before every ride, including the Mad Tea Cups. This was another golden segment by Alexa Bliss.
4. Braun Strowman, Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley defeated Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens and Jinder Mahal (w/ Sunil Singh) after Strowman hit the Running Powerslam on Owens (**)
5. No Way Jose defeated Baron Corbin with a roll-up cradle after interference from Titus O’Neil (DUD)
6. Natalya (w/ Ronda Rousey) defeated Mickie James (w/ Alexa Bliss) with a small package (1/2*)
7. Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins defeated Finn Balor to retain the Intercontinental Championship with a Curb Stomp (***1/2)
Great Main Event: I thought that Rollins/Balor match needed to be saved for a PPV, but I’ll take this! It was a great TV match that, with another 10 minutes on PPV, could have turned into a five-star classic. I thought the pacing was good, the selling was excellent, and their timing is something special.
Another Moment of Bliss: Alexa Bliss is killing it right now as the “victim”. After ALL of the terrible things she said about Nia leading up to WrestleMania, we see this side of her. It’s pretty amazing. Her acting chops, and her facial expressions, are really good. She’s got a talent!
Reaction to Rollins: I love the Montreal crowd. In the right atmosphere, they will hail their heroes for the entire night. I remember the reaction Hulk Hogan got on Smackdown (in Montreal!) after his WrestleMania match with The Rock. It’s the stuff of legend. Rollins did not get *quite* the response that Hogan got, but man that was a tremendous reaction for one of the most gifted in-ring performers of this generation.
Corbin & Jose: This entire storyline reminds me of Adam Rose vs. Damian Sandow from 2014. You know the formula…”Party guy (Jose) has fun, serious guy (Corbin) shuts it down, and then the party guy beats him and keeps partying.” Rinse and repeat. Same deal here. Jose’s a talented wrestler, so just let him do his thing! These “party” gimmicks (especially the ones with an entourage) never pan out.
TWENTY MINUTES for the Six-Man Tag Match: This match felt like it took two years to complete. I thought that it was entertaining, but it was too long. Cut this down to 15 minutes, and you could have a good match with these guys.
Titus Slip-n-Slide Worldwide: We’ve all seen the clip from the Greatest Royal Rumble. As it stands, Titus tripping and sliding under the ring during his Rumble entrance is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. However, Vince has a tendency to take something funny and then drive it into the ground. That’s how I’m feeling about this joke already. Tonight, Titus came out during Corbin’s match and started bumbling around as if he’s the modern Shockmaster. I worry about how far this is going to go.
Alright everyone, that’s it for me! See you tomorrow for the Smackdown Live TV report! @TheMagnumDA, signing off.