Hey everybody! It’s @TheMagnumDA with another Raw report. I’m sure many of you saw Backlash, and to be honest…I’ve gotta give you credit if you got through that show. Everything after Miz vs. Rollins went from bad to worse to…worser? Well, that’s not quite a word, but by the time they got to Joe vs. Roman, half of the building was headed for the exits. After that show, can you blame them?
ON WITH THE SHOW!
Opening MITB Promo: Kurt Angle starts the show with an in-ring interview. He announced two qualifying matches for the upcoming “Money in the Bank” PPV. Both matches will be under Triple Threat rules: One features Ruby Riott vs. Sasha Banks vs. Ember Moon, while the other features Sami Zayn vs. Finn Balor vs. Roman Reigns. This brings out Braun Strowman, who tells a very silly tale about destroying his friends’ treehouse. Eventually, Angle says that Strowman deserves a chance at MITB, which brings out a PISSED OFF Kevin Owens. KO states that if anyone deserves a shot at MITB, it’s him. From there, Angle books Strowman vs. KO in a MITB Qualifier, and that match starts RIGHT NOW.
1. Braun Strowman defeated Kevin Owens in a Money in the Bank Qualifying Match (*3/4)
2. Baron Corbin and the Revival defeated Titus Worldwide and No Way Jose (w/ Dana Brooke) (*)
3. Ember Moon defeated Ruby Riott (w/ Sarah Logan & Liv Morgan) and Sasha Banks in a Triple Threat MITB Qualifier (**1/4)
Bobby Lashley Interview w/Renee Young: They recapped Bobby’s career and then he went off on a bizarre tangent about his sisters, a towel, and a helmet. I’m going to save my thoughts on this for the Good/Bad/Ugly section. Take a WILD guess which section *this* is going in.
4. Jinder Mahal (w/ Sunil Singh) defeated Chad Gable (*)
Promo City: Cellphone interviews with Alexa Bliss and The Ascension. Again, I’ve got my thoughts on these types of promos below. After this, Mahal asks Angle to insert him into tonight’s main event. Angle shot it down. Zack Ryder also made a cameo to the delight of the Long Island crowd, trying to plead his case to Angle to be in MITB.
5. Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler defeated Rhyno and Heath Slater (*)
6. Bobby Roode defeated Elias (**1/4)
Open Challenge Promo: Seth Rollins comes out to another hero’s welcome in Long Island. Like Montreal, they were showering Rollins with a lot of love. Rollins says that he wants to be a “fighting champion”, so he creates the first “IC Title Open Challenge.” This is answered by Mojo Rawley, who declares this to be “Monday Night Rawley.”
7. WWE Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins defeated Mojo Rawley to retain the Intercontinental Championship (**1/2)
8. Raw Tag Team Champions Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt defeated Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas in a nontitle match (*)
9. Finn Balor defeated Sami Zayn and Roman Reigns in a Triple Threat Money in the Bank Qualifying match (***)
The Build Towards Money In The Bank: I felt like the show, as a whole, was very focused towards MITB. That’s a good thing. I thought it was very smart to create an environment that feels competitive. Each wrestler was looking to impress Kurt Angle and get a shot at the MITB ladder match. Makes sense to me. I also like that they are keeping it at two ladder matches. Anything else would be overkill.
Seth Rollins: This dude is on fire. I know, “Burn It Down”, har har. But seriously…this dude is in a class all of his own right now. I’m happy for him trying to follow the footsteps of Bret Hart and CM Punk by being a “fighting champion.” The only problem with this? He’s good enough to win the contract at MITB. He shouldn’t be relegated to the IC Title when he’s the best worker on the show.
A Couple of Obsolete Mules: The Wyatt & Hardy combination has already run its course for me. I know they *just* became champions, but I am not feeling it anymore. To make matters worse, they’re starting to get silly about it in the Commentary Booth. Whatever happened to hungry tag teams that want to climb the mountain and be the best? This whole thing is turning into a parody. Oh, and that collaborative entrance? Delete it. It’s not working.
Put Your Damn Phones Away: The cellphone promos, like the ones filmed by Alexa Bliss and The Ascension, need to go. At the very least, they’ve stopped putting in those goofy graphics with the oversized words – well, except for when they introduce the wrestlers. Still…this was an experiment, and it is not working. Time to pack it up and try something else.
The Bobby Lashley Interview: What the hell did I just watch? No, really…what the hell was that?
Here’s some of the quotes from this interview –
• “My sisters used to take me out to the woods and they used to tie me up and leave me there for hours. They thought that was the funniest thing in the world. Younger brother, getting bullied by his older sisters. Especially my older sister Kathy.”
• “Kathy would actually chase me around with a broom. I don’t know what it was, maybe that was her weapon of choice, or whatever, but she’d always carry this broom with her. I had this little joke I played on her, I said ‘you should just hop on that broom and take off.’ That just really fueled her and she chased me all around and tried to kill me with it.”
• “Now I have an extended family called the WWE Universe, and we’re going to have a lot of fun together.”
Now, look…I get it. Sometimes WWE will do something bizarre to get people talking. Snitsky immediately comes to mind (with the baby punt). Sometimes a promo or an angle will be so ridiculous and over-the-top that it gets over. This was NOT that. For the record, you can’t come back and say “Well, Magnum, you’re talking about it right now so it must have been memorable.” No, it wasn’t memorable. It was misguided, unfocused, and it was just plain stupid. All you have to do is make this guy a badass. That’s all you have to do. Instead, we’re talking about how he was terrified of his older sisters while he was growing up. Lashley’s return is completely dead in the water.
The Commentating Team: F*ck these guys. They sucked tonight. Cole is turning into a dick once again, although I’m sure that’s just Vince in his earpiece. Corey Graves is coming off like Matt Striker more and more every day, and the burial of Coach was extremely uncomfortable to listen to. Don’t get me wrong, Coach’s timing is way off and he tends to ramble. However, Cole cut off almost EVERY single one of Coach’s one-liners and parables. The pinnacle of this was during the Roode vs. Elias match, where Coach started to say that his connections in the music business love what Elias is doing. Before he could even finish the first sentence, Cole railroads him and drops a 45-second play-by-play stream of consciousness, followed by 15 seconds of rambling color commentary from Graves. By the end of this dialogue, Coach very meekly says, “Too late.” GET OUT OF THEIR EAR, VINCE. Focus on improving the show and NOT on making other people’s lives miserable. How hard is that?!
That’s going to do it for the Raw report! I need a cold shower after three hours of that hot garbage. Keep an eye out for the Smackdown Live TV report later this week! It can’t be worse than the last 48 hours…right? RIGHT?! @TheMagnumDA, signing off.