The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 06/18/18 Review

This week's edition of Raw follows an eventful Money in the Bank pay-per-view that I wrote about in detail right here.  The main highlights of the show were Alexa Bliss winning the Women's Money in the Bank contract Ladder Match. Later in the show, Bliss cashed in the briefcase on Nia Jax during Jax's Raw Women's Title defense against Ronda Rousey. Bliss ended up leaving as WWE Champion. The big night for the Raw brand continued with Braun Strowman leaving with the Money in the Bank briefcase after dominating the Men's Money in the Bank Contract Ladder Match. I also wrote an exclusive article for The Comeback about Money in the Bank, which was 10 Takeaways from Money in the Bank that you can read here.

There was also an excellent NXT Takeover Chicago event on Saturday night that earned high marks from me and featured a five-star main event match between Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano. Read all about that show here.

Let's hope Raw has some positive momentum after a good Money in the Bank event. The road to Extreme Rules begins.

Live from Grand Rapids, Michigan, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1308 of Monday Night Raw. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner up top.

The opening video package showed some Money in the Bank highlights like Alexa Bliss cashing in Money in the Bank during the Nia Jax/Ronda Rousey match that led to Bliss leaving with the Raw Women’s Title.

Let’s Hear From Alexa Bliss

Raw General Manager Kurt Angle was in the ring. Angle noted that he was proud that Raw won both Money in the Bank ladder matches. Angle had the white Money in the Bank briefcase and the Raw Women’s Title on a table in the ring.

Alexa Bliss made her entrance. Bliss put the Raw Women’s Title on her shoulder. Angle pointed out Nia Jax isn’t there because she’s undergoing physical therapy for her arm injury. Angle informed Bliss that she’ll defend the Raw Women’s Title against former champion Nia Jax at Extreme Rules next month.

Bliss talked about how she deserved the opportunity to talk about what happened last night. Fans chanted “you deserve it” at Bliss and Bliss said she wanted to rub it in our faces. Fans chanted for Ronda Rousey. Bliss said that she shocked the world by cashing in Money in the Bank to become the Raw Women’s Champion. Bliss said there’s no more talk about Jax or Rousey because we should just be talking about her, the three time Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss.

Ronda Rousey’s music hit and Rousey came storming out from the back looking like she was ready to fight. Angle held Rousey back. Fans chanted “let them fight” as Bliss told her to calm down.

Bliss said she thought Rousey would be in physical therapy with Jax after Bliss hit her with the briefcase and left marks all over her body. Bliss talked about how what she did was 100% perfectly legal. Bliss spoke about how Rousey was fingertips away from tasting the gold, but Bliss laughed about how we will never know now. The fans chanted for Rousey. Bliss claimed that Rousey was jealous that Bliss got all the media attention while saying that she did interviews while Rousey is irrelevant. Bliss told Rousey to get to the back of the line and called Rousey an overhyped rookie.

Rousey moved past Angle and tripped up Bliss. Angle pulled Rousey off, but Rousey flipped over Angle. Rousey grabbed the briefcase and hit Bliss with the briefcase. Rousey also hit Angle with the briefcase repeatedly with the announcers going crazy about Rousey hitting the GM. Rousey said she thought Angle was her friend. Referees went in the ring, so Rousey punched them out of the ring. Rousey grabbed Bliss and gave her a Powerbomb through the announce table. The fans were cheering loudly and chanted “yes” for that.

There were replays of what happened with Rousey destroying everybody in the ring and putting Bliss through the table. Referees checked on Bliss in the ring.

Analysis: That opening segment was great with Rousey showing a lot of fire, getting pissed off and destroying everybody. The crowd was loud. It was well booked. The Powerbomb looked a bit awkward with how Rousey picked up Bliss, but she put her through the table clean. Bliss did well as the heel champion antagonizing her. Angle sold the judo throw well when Rousey him with it. The key thing is the crowd was really into it, they were chanting for Rousey, they chanted “yes” and they were invested in this storyline. The booking of Rousey has worked.

Rousey was shown backstage arguing with Angle. She said she knows that WWE is different from UFC. Angle told Rousey she’s suspended for 30 days and said he’s sorry. She left angrily.

Analysis: I figured that was coming because it will mean Rousey misses Extreme Rules in 27 days and she’ll be back in time for an angle going into SummerSlam. It makes sense if she’s not going to work every PPV. If she is going to skip some PPVs then shows like Extreme Rules are not going to be on her schedule. They can probably do Rousey vs. Bliss at SummerSlam or Rousey vs. Jax vs. Bliss at SummerSlam. Either one of those matches would be fine.

(Commercial)

Replays aired of what happened with Rousey destroying Bliss and the actions leading to her suspension.

Ronda Rousey was backstage ready to leave the arena. Renee Young showed up asking Rousey’s thoughts. Rousey said the suspension is fine, but when she comes back she’ll kick Alexa’s pink-haired ass. The fans cheered that.

The Raw announce team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Jonathon Coachman talked about what happened. Coachman said Angle had to do something, so he agreed with the suspension. Graves was in over the top heel mode saying that Rousey should be fired for what she did.

Seth Rollins walked out with the Intercontinental Title around his waist. The crowd gave him a good ovation as usual. Rollins said there’s a lot of energy and they should keep it going. Rollins said that Elias took him to his limit, but Rollins is still standing and he’s still the Intercontinental Champion.

Rollins said it’s time to do an Intercontinental Championship open challenge. Rollins said there’s no better place than here and right now. Rollins called for somebody to come out there for a title match.

Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre made their entrance with each of them in their ring gear. Ziggler is the one that slid in the ring to answer the challenge. That sounds good to me.

Intercontinental Championship: Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/Drew McIntyre)

Ziggler went for a Zig Zag right away, Rollins slipped out of it, Rollins went for The Stomp and Ziggler bailed to the floor as the show went to break.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Rollins on the apron distracted by McIntyre and Ziggler hit a dropkick that sent Rollins off the apron to the floor. Back in the ring, Ziggler kicked the left knee of Rollins, which Rollins was selling a lot at MITB on Sunday. Ziggler with a neckbreaker for two. Ziggler grabbed Rollins by the head and slammed him back first to the mat. Ziggler whipped Rollins hard into the corner with Rollins doing a flip dive against the turnbuckle. Ziggler slapped on a chinlock to keep Rollins grounded. Rollins hit a jawbreaker. Rollins with a slingshot that sent Ziggler into the ring post. Rollins worked over Ziggler with chops and a back elbow followed by Slingblade as well as a clothesline that sent Ziggler to the floor. Rollins hit a suicide dive. Rollins sent Ziggler back into the ring with a springboard clothesline for two. They went to break there.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Ziggler hit a corner splash. Rollins came back with a backslide for two. Ziggler got a sunset flip for two. Rollins with a knee lift to the face for two. Rollins stared down McIntyre and cued up the kick. Rollins hit a kick to the gut, Ziggler avoided The Stomp and Ziggler hit the Fameasser for a two count. That always works as a believable two count. They replayed a crazy spot they did during the break where they did a suplex where both guys tumbled over the top to the floor. Ziggler wanted a superkick, but Rollins got him with a superkick followed by another standing side kick with Ziggler on his knees. Rollins was limping as he slowly went to the top rope and Rollins went for a Frog Splash, but Ziggler moved, so Rollins went crashing to the mat. Ziggler went up top and Rollins stopped him with a punch. Rollins set up for a superplex, Ziggler punched him down and Ziggler hit a cross body block, but Rollins caught him. Rollins hit the Buckle Bomb on Ziggler that sent Ziggler into the turnbuckle. Rollins kick to the gut. McIntyre on the apron to distract, Ziggler with a rollup, Rollins rolled through for a two count and Ziggler rolled through on Rollins. Ziggler grabbed the tights and sat on top for the pinfall win after 19 minutes.

Winner by pinfall and New Intercontinental Champion: Dolph Ziggler

The win means that Ziggler is a 6-time Intercontinental Champion.

Analysis: ***1/2 That was a great match with a lot of cool spots where each guy got some believable nearfalls. Any time you give Rollins a match that goes nearly 20 minutes you know it’s going to be awesome. Ziggler’s a very good worker too. The finish was like what Rollins did against Elias at Money in the Bank, so it was a clever way to end Rollins’ run as IC Champion. It was a surprise that McIntyre really didn’t interfere in the match. McIntyre got on the apron and Rollins was distracted by him, but it wasn’t a blatant interference. I didn’t expect a title change although I’m perfectly fine with it because Ziggler’s a good performer. Rollins can move on from this title while hopefully pursuing the Universal Championship soon.

Post match, Ziggler held up the IC Title in Rollins’ face. McIntyre attacked Rollins from behind with punches. Ziggler and McIntyre hit their Zig Zag and Claymore Kick combo on Rollins to take him out. Ziggler held up the IC Title as the fans booed them while McIntyre’s music played.

Analysis: There was no help for Rollins for that two on one attack. I like the way Ziggler and McIntyre have been booked as a strong duo nearly every week.

Still to come: Braun Strowman.

(Commercial)

There were replays of the finish. They showed some fans in the crowd looking shocked at Ziggler winning the title.

Ziggler and McIntyre were interviewed by Renee Young in the interview area. Ziggler said that Monday Night Rollins is canceled. McIntyre said this is just the beginning of the many titles that they are going to win. Ziggler said that you hear superstars talking about things like “burn it down” and “this is their yard.” Ziggler said the difference between them and anybody else is when they say something, they mean it.

Analysis: That was a good promo. I want to see Ziggler and McIntyre featured more.

Bobby Roode made his glorious entrance. An image was shown of Finn Balor jumping off a big ladder with a Coup de Gras double foot stomp to the chest.

Curt Hawkins was in the ring. Hawkins’ losing streak is at 203 matches.

Bobby Roode vs. Curt Hawkins

Roode had his ribs taped up. Hawkins got in some brief offense, but Roode hit him with a spinebuster and the Glorious DDT finished off Hawkins. The match was less than one minute.

Winner by pinfall: Bobby Roode

Analysis: 1/4* There’s not much to say because it was just a squash win for Roode. At least it was quick.

Strowman is up next.

Analysis: That was a great first hour with the exciting Rousey segment and the Ziggler/Rollins match. The next two hours will have a tough time topping it especially considering what we usually get from Raw.

(Commercial)

There was a video recap of Braun Strowman winning the Money in the Bank briefcase on Sunday.

Let’s Hear From "Monster in the Bank" Braun Strowman

Strowman was introduced. Ring announcer Jojo said “Mr. Money in the Bank” and then changed it to “Monster in the Bank” because that’s the name WWE is calling him.

Strowman walked to the ring with the green Money in the Bank briefcase in his hand. There was a loud ovation for Strowman.

Strowman talked about all of the things he’s done in his career like flipping over trucks, winning the Greatest Royal Rumble and even playing the cello. Strowman said that winning that briefcase is the greatest thing he’s done. Strowman talked about how all Brock Lesnar has to do is show his face and Strowman will cash in the contract to become the new Universal Champion. Strowman said The Beast (Lesnar) is going to get these hands.

Kevin Owens did the interruption. Owens had his right arm taped up with tape on his left arm and back. Strowman said he was surprised to see Owens out there after Strowman threw Owens off a 20-foot ladder. Owens said it hurts just to talk. Owens said that he’s not there to get retribution because he couldn’t get it if he wanted to. Owens claimed he wanted to be the first guy in the locker room to say congratulations. Owens said that Strowman deserved it, so fans chanted “you deserve it” although it wasn’t that loud.

Owens told Strowman he knew that Strowman would win. Owens said that’s why he tried to talk all their opponents to work together to neutralize Strowman, but nobody would listen to Owens. (Actually, they did.) Owens gave Strowman credit for being Mr. Monster In the Bank and told Strowman to be smart about it. Owens suggested that’s where he comes in. Owens said he’s no monster. Owens said that they are two good-hearted men while wondering who was going to watch their backs. Owens foolishly walked into the ring to tell Strowman that his life changed when he won that. Owens pointed out that at WrestleMania, Strowman had to go into the crowd and pick out a 10-year-old kid. Owens pointed out that Sami Zayn was injured by Bobby Lashley, so he has no idea when he will be back. Owens said they are standing there alone in need of a friend.

Owen said that he knows that Strowman doesn’t like him and he gets that. Owens suggested that they help eachother. Owens talked about how he understands how prestigious it is to become Universal Champion. Owens suggested that if he helps Strowman then Strowman can give him a title shot when Strowman is the Universal Champion. Owens said that it can be Monster and Man. Owens said all he wants is to shake Strowman’s hand. Strowman shook Owens’ hand. When Owens tried to leave, Strowman held onto the hand. Strowman picked up Owens, but Owens got away and left up the ramp. The segment ended.

Analysis: It was the start of some angle that is still in the early going, so it’s hard to know what the point of that was. My guess is that Owens may have a match with Strowman for the Money in the Bank briefcase, which is possibly why they did it this way with Owens trying to suck up Strowman like that. Perhaps Sami Zayn can get involved when he is back. Since Lesnar is likely not going to be a part of Extreme Rules, Strowman will need something to do and a match with Owens makes a lot of sense.

Sasha Banks was shown in the locker room with her buddy Bayley by her side. Bayley said sorry about last night at Money in the Bank. Bayle asked if she’s okay and Banks said she was fine. Banks mentioned she was watching the match on her phone. Bayley said it won’t help for Banks to sulk. Banks told Bayley she doesn’t get it. Bayley said she was humiliated by the Riott Squad last week, but she’s ready to take the fight to them with Banks. Bayley said that there’s nobody she wants out there rather than Banks. Bayley suggested it could be a new start for both. Banks shook her hand.

Analysis: It looks like things might be good between them again…but maybe they are not? I am ready for that Banks heel turn.

Later on Raw is Banks and Bayley vs. Morgan and Logan of the Riott Squad.

Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt, the Raw Tag Team Champions, made their entrance as the show went to break.

(Commercial)

Rhyno and Heath Slater were in the ring as the opponents.

Curtis Axel appeared on the scream in a wig imitating Matt Hardy. Bo Dallas imitated his brother Bray Wyatt with a makeshift lamp. Bray probably enjoyed that. Bo said they are coming for the Raw Tag Team Championship. Dallas ended it saying they are The B Team and told them to run.

Analysis: That was mildly funny. At some point The B Team will get a title shot, but we don’t know when.

Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy vs. Heath Slater and Rhyno

This is not for the Raw Tag Team Titles.

Rhyno with a shoulder tackle that took down Wyatt. Hardy tagged in with punches on Rhyno and Hardy sent Rhyno into the turnbuckle repeatedly. Hardy with a punch on Slater. Rhyno shoulder tackle on Hardy. Slater back in with a back elbow. The fans chanted “he’s got kids” for Slater as he hit a knee drop on Hardy. Jawbreaker by Hardy on Rhyno. Slater back in, he missed an attack and Hardy hit a Side Effect. Wyatt got the hot tag to no reaction leading to a clothesline on Slater and a punch. Wyatt with a running splash on Slater in the corner and a running cross body block took down Slater. Wyatt did the upside down walk, which drew a reaction. Hardy into the ring with a Twist of Fate on Rhyno. Wyatt with a hard clothesline on Slater. Hardy tagged in and they hit the double team Sister Abigail called the Kiss of Deletion. It went about four minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy

Analysis: * Easy win for the champion. Basic stuff here with the fans not reacting to much of the Slater and Rhyno offense. It’s nice to see champs win non-title. That’s about all I have.

A replay aired of the Rousey attack on Bliss, Angle and others. Bliss set her off with the “overhyped rookie” line. Rousey destroyed Bliss with the briefcase and hit a Powerbomb through the table on Rousey.

Kurt Angle was in the office. Baron Corbin, the Constable of Raw, showed up on his phone. Corbin said that Stephanie appreciated how Angle handled the Rousey situation. Angle yelled about it, Corbin laughed and told Angle to tell Stephanie herself, so Corbin handed Angle the phone meaning that Stephanie was on Corbin's phone. They went to break there.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Angle was still on the phone saying that he does understand. Angle said it is big news and he’ll make an announcement later. Angle told Stephanie on the phone that he’ll make sure he runs everything by Constable Corbin. Angle was really sweating under his suit jacket.

Jinder Mahal made his entrance with Sunil Singh (wearing a neckbrace) while Chad Gable was already in the ring.

Mahal did a pre-match promo talking about how at Money in the Bank he felt the winds of change. Mahal said that Roman Reigns may have won the match last night, but Mahal has won the battle of self-improvement. Mahal said that Reigns was bitter and angry while Mahal has found tranquility. Mahal said Gable was living his former glory as an amateur wrestler and Mahal told him to forget about the past and forget about the darkness. Mahal suggested he find the light. The crowd was dead for that promo.

Analysis: It looks the start of a character shift for Mahal talking about tranquility. It doesn’t mean he’s going to be more interesting. He is still a boring heel that the fans don’t react to.

Jinder Mahal (w/Sunil Singh) vs. Chad Gable

Mahal worked over Gable in the corner with punches. Gable took down Mahal with suplex. Mahal came back with a knee drop. Mahal with a chin lock, Gable slipped out and hit a belly to back suplex. Gable slapped on an armbar on Mahal against the ropes. Gable jumped off the turnbuckle and hit a running forearm. Gable with a running dropkick that sent Mahal over the top to the floor. Gable went up top and hit a moonsault where it looked like he jumped too far. It was good for a two count. Mahal yanked the arm of Gable against the top rope. Mahal with a boot to the face. Mahal with The Khallas for the pinfall win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Jinder Mahal

Analysis: 1/2* A boring match to put over Mahal after he lost to Reigns at Money in the Bank. I’d like to see Gable used better. He’s been on Raw for two months and he’s barely done anything aside from beating Mahal once. Get better, creative team.

The Riott Squad was backstage walking around wrecking things. They took a laptop that was on a table and slammed it into the table. Ruby wrote the letter “R” on a mirror backstage. Riott Squad vs. Banks and Bayley is next.

A video aired about a guy named Josh that is competing in the Special Olympics with Big Show talking to Josh.

(Commercial)

There was a plug for the WWE Super Show-down event in Australia in October that was announced this past Saturday. The first match announced is Triple H vs. The Undertaker for the last time ever…or so they say. It will be broadcast on WWE Network. More details are here.

The team of Sasha Banks and Bayley entered together looking happy to be on the same page again. The Riott Squad made their entrance.

Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan (w/Ruby Riott)

Bayley wanted to start. Morgan drove Bayley back first into the turnbuckle. Bayley with a clothesline on Morgan and a bulldog on Logan, who was legal. Banks tagged herself in while Bayley hit a clothesline on Logan. Logan hit a headbutt to the ribs and Bayley tagged herself in. Logan with a headbutt to Bayley’s stomach. Bayley sent Logan into the top turnbuckle followed by punches. Bayley tossed Logan over the top rope and a neckbreaker using the ropes for an assist. Bayley hit a hurricanrana on Logan on the floor. Banks with a clothesline on Morgan on the floor. Banks told Bayley she was fine because the story was Banks was banged up from the Money in the Bank match. They went to break there.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Logan picking up Bayley to prevent a tag and Logan knocked Banks off the apron. Bayley with a back body drop. Bayley wanted a tag, but Banks wasn’t there to tag. Morgan tagged in, Banks was back up, Banks tagged in, Banks with a dropkick and a double knee attack on Morgan in the corner. Banks with a double knee attack off the middle ropes. Morgan with a jawbreaker. Morgan held onto the ropes and Morgan with a kick for two as Bayley made the save. Logan in and Bayley tossed her out of the ring. Bayley jumped off the apron to punch Logan. Morgan whipped Banks into the turnbuckle. The ref was distracted by Bayley, Logan with a punch on Bayley and Morgan with a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! with the tights on Banks for the pinfall win after eight minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan

Analysis: *1/2 It was a decent match with about five minutes of action shown. The story was about Bayley and Banks not being on the same page from the moment the bell rang while the Riott Squad continued to work well as a cohesive unit. It wasn’t a surprise that the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! was used because we see it one or two times every week.

After the match was over, Banks and Bayley got in each other’s face. Banks shoved Bayley onto her ass. Banks left the ring first while Bayley stared at her.

Analysis: It was not a heel turn. It was just another argument from two women that have had issues for about six months. This has gone on way too long that when one of them does turn (I assume it is Banks) it won’t mean as much as it would have a few months ago. Slow burn is fine, but it’s not great for this rivalry.

Kurt Angle is up next at the top of hour three.

Analysis: Hour two was boring after the first hour was great. It’s what I expected.

(Commercial)

There was a shot of Bayley and Sasha Banks backstage. Bayley was mad at her for walking away. Bayley said she wasn’t finished with her. Banks said she is finished with it. They had a fight backstage with Banks tossing Bayley into a garbage can.

Analysis: That felt a bit rushed. They have had backstage fights that led to nothing. This time it feels like it will lead to a match.

Kurt Angle’s Big Announcement

Kurt Angle was in the ring with a microphone. Angle said that he spoke to Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon, who told him that WWE officials have decided when Brock Lesnar will defend the Universal Championship next. Before Angle could say more, Roman Reigns made his entrance Cole screamed about how The Big Dog was here.

Reigns walked down to the ring to a mixed reaction from the crowd. There were more cheers here than there were in Chicago on Sunday night.

Reigns said that he beat Brock Lesnar at the Greatest Royal Rumble. Reigns said they all know it, so that means he is the uncrowned Universal Champion. Reigns said that Angle has had some problems on Raw, so Reigns suggested that a full-time champion that defends the title on Raw every week would help Angle. Angle said that since he is already out there, he wanted to make some announcement.

Bobby Lashley interrupted the promo and got into the ring. Lashley said that before he was in WWE, he watched Reigns bang his head against the wall to beat Brock Lesnar (he said Roman first) and he can’t get the job done. Lashley talked about how he has been trying to get his hands on Lesnar since Reigns was a little pup. Lashley said that he can beat Brock and he can also beat Reigns.

Angle told Reigns and Lashley they are both deserving of facing Brock Lesnar. Angle said that the one that faces Lesnar will be the one that wins the multi-person match at Extreme Rules that Angle will announce at a later date. Angle told them that they are two of the superstars in that match.

The Revival duo of Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder interrupted to complain about “so called top guys” standing in their way. Dawson said that it changes right now. They were there to challenge Reigns and Lashley to a match right now. Wilder said they were the best tag team. Dawson said that they think that Reigns and Lashley can’t co-exist. Reigns said he doesn’t mind having a match and said if Bob pays attention he can learn a thing or two.

Analysis: The big thing here is that they will have a multi-man match at Extreme Rules. There was no announcement of how many men that it will be, but we know Reigns and Lashley are in it. I assume Seth Rollins is going to be a part of it as well. Braun Strowman may not be in it since he’s Mr. Money in the Bank, but I’m not sure about that. Angle’s promo was vague, so it sounds like WWE is still figuring out those plans. Last year at Extreme Rules they had a 5-Way match that Samoa Joe won to get a title shot at Brock Lesnar at Great Balls of Fire. The creative team has followed that plan again this year.

(Commercial)

The match began after the break.

Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley vs. The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder)

The Reigns and Lashley duo were in control early. Lashley showed off his power. The Revival manipulated the situation to get a cheap shot on the back of Lashley’s leg. Double team elbow drop by The Revival got a two count. Dawson with a leg drop on Lashley for two. Lashley with a belly to belly suplex on Dawson. Reigns tagged in with two clotheslines on Wilder and a punch on Dawson. Reigns hit the ten corner clotheslines on both members of The Revival. Those clotheslines looked very soft. Reigns with a boot to Wilder’s face and a running knee on Dawson. Reigns with a running leg drop on Dawson’s back when Dawson was against the ropes. Reigns with a Superman Punch to Dawson, but Wilder was the legal man with a rollup for two on Reigns. Superman Punch by Reigns on Wilder. Lashley tagged himself in and hit an impressive Spear on Wilder for the pinfall after six minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley

Analysis: ** It was an easy win for the super team of Reigns and Lashley. I liked the finish with Lashley hitting a Spear to upstage Reigns. Lashley using that Spear is a lot more impressive than a delayed suplex as a finisher. The Revival had no chance to win this match obviously.

After the match, Reigns was upset that Lashley tagged himself in and Lashley used the Spear to win.

Kurt Angle and Baron Corbin were shown walking backstage. Balor went up to Angle saying that he hopes he’s in the multi-man match for a shot at the Universal Title. Baron Corbin talked trash to Balor about how he’s a loser. Kevin Owens showed up to talk trash. Braun Strowman was there to stand behind his buddy Balor. Strowman challenged them to a tag match. Angle was frustrated by everything going on in the show, so he left without officially announcing the match. The four wrestlers just stared at eachother like idiots.

Analysis: It looks like they figured out the main event tag team match after 2 hours and 20 minutes of content this week. It took them long enough.

A video aired showing the announcement of AJ Styles on the cover of the WWE 2K19 video game. There’s also some Million Dollar Challenge for the game. Go to WWE.com for more info.

(Commercial)

The main event is official for later: Braun Strowman and Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin and Kevin Owens.

There was another replay of Ronda Rousey destroying Alexa Bliss with Rousey also attacking Kurt Angle and referees. Rousey put Bliss through a table with a Powerbomb. Angle ended up suspending Rousey for 30 days.

No Way Jose made his entrance with the conga line. Mojo Rawley was already in the ring.

No Way Jose vs. Mojo Rawley

Rawley with a shoulder tackle and Jose got a shoulder tackle on his own. Jose with a baseball slide dropkick after tossing Rawley to the floor. Rawley took down Jose with punches. Rawley grabbed a headlock. Jose with a jawbreaker. The announcers bickered about Rawley’s potential as Jose hit a clothesline, boot to the face and a flapjack for two. The crowd was dead quiet. Rawley with a chop block to the knee of Jose followed by a running forearm. Rawley slammed Jose off his shoulders for the pinfall win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Mojo Rawley

Analysis: 3/4* It was an easy win for Rawley in a match where the crowd was dead for all of it. The announcers were annoying as they talked about Rawley’s potential and Graves questioned if he was good enough.

Rawley was interviewed by Charly Caruso in the ring. Rawley talked about how WWE is more competitive than ever. Rawley said that he used to be known for staying hyped, but now he’s about staying focused.

Analysis: It’s not much of a gimmick to say that he is focused. Most heels are. Rawley is just a normal guy as a heel. At least the “stay hyped” thing was different for him as a face.

Sasha Banks was shown walking to the parking lot. Bayley went up to her saying she’s not done with her. Bayley said that she is not done with Banks. Banks said that she’s done helping her and done with being her friends. Banks went into the car. Bayley tried to get her to open the door, but Banks wouldn’t do it and Banks drove away. Bayley threw a water bottle at the car as Banks left.

Analysis: The friendship may finally over, but there’s no indication that either of them is a heel yet. I still think it should be Banks.

(Commercial)

A commercial aired for Total Bellas. It looks awful and makes me feel bad for Daniel Bryan being a part of that crap.

Elias was in the ring for a concert. Elias got right to a song about how there’s nobody else like him, there’s nothing he can’t do and he pointed out how Seth Rollins had to cheat because he knew that Elias can’t be beat. Elias said that Rollins got what he deserved when he lost his title because the kingslayer was slayed. Elias sang about how when times when tough, ask yourself what would Elias do? Elias talked about how Brock Lesnar’s looking for a fight, so he thinks at Extreme Rules it should be Elias’ night. Elias sang that he had nothing to fear. Elias managed to work in a line about how he was looking at trash in Grand Rapids, which drew boos from the crowd. He ended it asking what would Elias do.

Analysis: It was a song that lasted about three minutes and he did a good job. It was surprising that he didn’t do the usual bits to interact with the crowd.

Renee Young was shown backstage saying she was going to interview Seth Rollins. A replay aired of Seth Rollins losing the Intercontinental Title to Dolph Ziggler earlier in the show. Rollins said no excuse, he laid out an open challenge, Ziggler beat him and Rollins lost. Rollins talked about how Drew McIntyre is a problem that Rollins has one week to solve. Rollins said next week he’s invoking his rematch clause to take back his Intercontinental Title.

Analysis: Rollins vs. Ziggler for the IC Title next week is fine with me.

Finn Balor made his entrance to a good ovation from the crowd.

(Commercial)

This week on 205 Live: Buddy Murphy vs. Mustafa Ali vs. Hideo Itami.

Braun Strowman was already in the ring, so he doesn’t get a TV entrance since he entered earlier. Kevin Owens finished his entrance. Baron Corbin was up last with a full entrance. Corbin had to wrestle in his dress clothes including a dress shirt and a vest. The match started at 10:51 pm.

Kevin Owens and Baron Corbin vs. Braun Strowman and Finn Balor

Corbin with a hard whip that sent Balor crashing into the turnbuckle. Owens was reluctant to tag in due to his injuries, but Owens managed to hit a back elbow on Balor. Owens was selling pain from his fall at Money in the Bank. Balor with a punch to Corbin and Strowman tagged in. Corbin took off his vest. Strowman shoved Corbin into the turnbuckle. Corbin got in a move, Strowman fired back by clotheslining Corbin out of the ring and Strowman punched Owens off the apron. Balor tagged in, Strowman picked up Balor and Strowman tossed Balor onto the heels on the floor. They went to break about four minutes into it.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Balor with a dropkick on Corbin, Owens with a blind tag, Owens pulled Balor out of the ring and Owens shoved Balor back first into the barricade. Owens with a senton splash on Balor for two. Owens grounded Balor with a headlock. Owens with a backbreaker. Corbin tagged in and dumped Balor out. I should point out the announcers keep calling him “Constable Corbin” so they are pushing that name hard, but I think it’s fine to say Baron still. Corbin whipped Balor into the barricade. Corbin nailed Balor with a punch. Corbin hit the Deep Six slam that got a two count, which is usual for that move. Owens tagged in with a running senton, but Balor moved and Corbin tagged in with a clothesline on Balor. Strowman was frustrated, so he ran in the ring and punched Corbin. Strowman tossed Balor to his corner, Strowman tagged in and hit running shoulder tackles. Strowman with a corner clothesline on Corbin followed by a punch to the chest. Owens tried to break up the cover, Strowman got up and Owens stopped. Owens left the ring to run away from Strowman and Corbin capitalized with a clothesline off the apron that knocked down Strowman. Back in the ring, that got a two count. Strowman with a punch to the chest of Corbin. Strowman charged, Corbin moved and Strowman went crashing into the turnbuckle, which is a bump Strowman does in nearly every match. Balor tagged in with punches followed by a double foot stomp on Corbin with Owens breaking up the pin. Strowman with a running shoulder tackle that knocked Owens out of the ring. Strowman ran outside the ring and ran over Owens to take out part of the barricade. That’s a fun spot every time he does it. Balor with a jumping DDT on Corbin, corner dropkick and Balor went up top. Corbin tripped up Balor and Corbin hit the End of Days for the pinfall win after 16 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Baron Corbin and Kevin Owens

Analysis: **3/4 It was the standard good tag team match on Raw where they got a lot of time to tell a story. I was surprised that Strowman’s team lost, but Strowman was protected by having Balor take the pin from Corbin. It was a meaningful win for Corbin, who has yet to really do much on Raw since he was moved there two months ago. This could be the start of a push for Corbin. Owens sold his injuries well and Strowman was entertaining throughout the match. I figured Strowman would tag back in to win for the team, but that didn’t happen.

Corbin celebrated the win. Strowman was frustrated in the ring. The announcers plugged next week’s Raw with Ziggler vs. Rollins for the IC Title. Corbin celebrated some more and that was it for Raw at 11:08pmET.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Seth Rollins
  2. Dolph Ziggler
  3. Ronda Rousey

Shoutout to Alexa Bliss for doing a good job setting off Rousey.

 

The Scoreboard

5.5 out of 10

Last week: 5.5

2018 Average: 5.86

Last 5 Weeks: 5.5, 4, 5, 5.5, 6

2018 High: 8 (February 19)

2018 Low: 4 (June 4)

 

Final Thoughts

I give it a 5.5 out of 10.

The first hour was great. The second hour was poor. The third hour was fine due to the main event. It would be nice if there was more clarity as to what the multi-man match will be for Extreme Rules, but that’s likely going to be announced in full next week.

I recommend watching the Rousey/Bliss segment and Ziggler vs. Rollins if you missed those segments. The main event was fine, but nothing out of the ordinary for a tag team main event match on Raw. The rest of the show was mostly skippable as usual from Raw.

The next WWE PPV is Extreme Rules on July 15. Here’s what we know so far.

Raw Women’s Championship: Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax

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You can contact me using any of the methods below. See ya next time for the Smackdown review. Go Los Angeles Rams. Thanks for reading.

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport

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