The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 07/09/18 Review

Live from Boston, Massachusetts, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1311 of Monday Night Raw. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner up top. It’s the last Raw before Extreme Rules on Sunday.

I'll begin this week by sharing this meme that was made by longtime TJR reader Brian White. It's about Vince McMahon when he's looking out to the ring and he sees his favorite superstar. This is pretty funny, so I figured I would share.

Raw began with a video package showing the issues between Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley over the last month, which will lead to a match at Extreme Rules on Sunday.

Roman Reigns was shown walking backstage in the TD Garden. Bobby Lashley walked in front of him. Lashley asked what he was doing and Reigns said he’s going to his ring. Lashley said he hopes Reigns calls him out because if he does, Lashley won’t be there to talk, he’ll be there to fight. Lashley let him walk by. Fans were chanting “Let’s Go Celtics” because the Boston Celtics logo was in the background.

Reigns made his entrance to the usual loud reaction with a mix of boos and cheers. It sounded like more boos. It’s hard to really interpret it sometimes because it’s a mix. People that don’t like Reigns tend to hear the boos more. The Raw announce team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Jonathon Coachman were shown on camera from their seats by the ramp.

Reigns started by saying that after this week, there’s a whole lot he can talk about, but he’s never had anybody stare him in the face and say “call me out.” Reigns said he’s curious about what Bob can do. Reigns called out Bobby Lashley to bring his ass out there.

Lashley made his entrance. He doesn’t get much of a reaction. When Lashley got into the ring, Kurt Angle walked out with a microphone. Angle was on the stage with Constable Baron Corbin. Angle told Lashley and Reigns to save it until this Sunday. They didn’t listen.

Lashley and Reigns got into a slugfest. Angle called for the Raw locker room to come down to the ring to break it up along with officials. The wrestlers broke them up briefly. They did the usual spot where they were backed into the corner and Lashley hit a running attack on Reigns with punches. Lashley managed to kick Reigns out of the ring, so Reigns was out on the floor while Lashley was in the ring. It was most of the Raw locker room except guys like Strowman and Owens. The fans were cheering all of this. Lashley left the ring, he broke free and got to Reigns with punches. The fans chanted “yes” for this. Lashley ran at Reigns and decked Reigns with a running punch that flattened Reigns at ringside. There were probably 20-25 guys out there doing a poor job of trying to break it up. Lashley managed to throw Reigns into the ring, but the wrestlers held Lashley back. Reigns got back to his feet and hit a dive over the top rope to take out all of the wrestlers outside the ring. Reigns backed up the ramp while Lashley was down on the floor with some of the wrestlers.

When it looked like it was over, Reigns ran down the ramp and jumped on Lashley near the ring. The wrestlers managed to split them up with Reigns going to the back. The crowd was loud for most of this.

Analysis: That was well done. Pull apart brawls can often work well because they’ve said all they need to say in this rivalry and fans just want to see the guys fight. The fans were really into this with the “yes” chants and just generally making a lot of noise. I liked the spot with Reigns hitting a dive over the top on everybody on the floor. That reminds me of The Undertaker doing it way back at the September 1997 Ground Zero PPV and it was so impressive when he did it. That’s a spot that will always look great. This was a very effective way of building up to their Extreme Rules match on Sunday. I liked it a lot. Good job.

Alexa Bliss and Mickie James were shown watching the TV backstage. They talked about how intense that was. Bliss said that’s nothing compared to the pain they’ll bring to Natalya and Nia Jax. That women’s tag team match is up next.

(Commercial)

There were replays of the Lashley/Reigns brawl to start the show.

The lovely duo of Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss and my favorite Mickie James made their entrance. Bliss defends the Raw Women’s Title against Nia Jax for the Raw Women’s Title at Extreme Rules on Sunday. Ronda Rousey will be in the front row. Their opponents Nia Jax and Natalya entered to Jax’s song.

Nia Jax and Natalya vs. Alexa Bliss and Mickie James

Jax drove James into the corner, Natalya tagged in and a Hart Attack double team clothesline. Bliss tagged in, Natalya decked her with a clothesline and Bliss bailed to the floor. Natalya with a dropkick that knocked both women down on the floor. Natalya whipped Bliss into the barricade followed by a clothesline on James on the floor. When Natalya sent Bliss back in the ring, Bliss bailed to the floor as the show went to break two minutes into it.

(Commercial)

Back from break, the heel duo of James and Bliss were in control with Bliss hitting Natalya with a hard slap. Bliss slapped on a headlock leading to the 30 second Extreme Rules commercial on the split screen. Bliss hit Natalya with a clothesline for a two count. James tagged in, Natalya sent her into the turnbuckle and Jax got the hot tag to a big ovation. Jax with a shoulder tackle to James and a toss across the ring. Jax with a splash in the corner, James with two kicks and Jax with a headbutt followed by a body attack. Jax with a press slam on James. Jax hit a leg drop on James for the pinfall win after about seven minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Nia Jax and Natalya

Analysis: ** It was a basic tag team match that anybody watching WWE with any regularity would expect. The heels worked over Natalya, Jax got the hot tag and destroyed James. It would have been nice if Bliss tried to help her partner, but it was all about setting up the post match attack. The win gives Jax momentum going into Extreme Rules.

Post match, Bliss hit Jax with a kendo stick to the back. Bliss hit Natalya with the kendo stick once to knock her out of the ring. Bliss hit Jax in the back about three times, but then Jax got the kendo stick and Bliss got out of there. Jax broke the kendo stick over her knee. Jax stared at Bliss as Bliss left up the ramp with James.

Analysis: It was a nice preview of what can happen at Extreme Rules with the use of weapons. Bliss got in some shots, but Jax stopped it easily. I don’t expect a title change at Extreme Rules.

Later on Raw is Matt Hardy vs. Bo Dallas. A recap of the Braun Strowman/Kevin Owens situation is up next.

(Commercial)

There was a replay of Bliss attacking with the kendo stick and then Jax stopped it when she grabbed the kendo stick.

Nia Jax was interviewed by Charly Caruso backstage. Jax said that Bliss can’t break her. Jax said she’s going to snap Bliss in half like that kendo stick. Jax said she’s not going to forget what Bliss has done to her and she’ll pay her back inch by crushing inch. Jax said she’ll take back her Raw Women’s Championship.

Analysis: Good intensity by Jax. That intensity is not like most girls. Yeah, I said it.

A video recap aired showing the issues between Braun Strowman and Kevin Owens. Last week on Raw, Owens ran away from a match against Strowman leading to Owens hiding in a porta potty, Strowman found him and shoved the porta potty off the stage. This video package took about three minutes.

Analysis: He shoved a porta potty off the stage. Better put him in counseling! Kidding.

Kevin Owens showed up in Angle’s office. Owens said he’s still there even though Angle let’s Strowman torture him. Owens said instead of firing a complaint for an unsafe working environment, Owens decided to be the bigger man. Owens had a doctor’s note saying that he is not medically cleared to compete on Raw. He handed the note to Angle. Owens said that he’s going to hang out in Angle’s office all night long where he’s safe from Strowman. Angle said nothing while Owens sat in a chair.

Analysis: Owens is one of the best guys in WWE in these backstage segments, which is why they put him in them nearly every week. Angle barely said anything there, but Owens carried it as usual.

Mojo Rawley made his entrance to no reaction. Coachman said this is his guy now. Poor Mojo. Rawley is against No Way Jose after a break.

(Commercial)

No Way Jose finished his entrance with the conga line.

No Way Jose vs. Mojo Rawley

Jose with two forearms to the face and Rawley managed to send him across the ring. They ran the ropes with Rawley decking him with a pounce double forearm tackle. Rawley with forearms to the back. Rawley with a shoulder tackle followed by a gutwrench suplex for two. Jose dumped Rawley to the floor. Rawley jumped back into the ring and Rawley hit a running clothesline for a two count followed by a chinlock. Jose with a back elbow, knee to the face and a running clothesline got a two count. Rawley hit an Alabama Slam out of the corner for the pinfall win after about five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Mojo Rawley

Analysis: *1/2 They worked hard with Rawley looking impressive on offense, but Jose is unable to get the crowd behind him. There was no crowd reaction to most of this. Rawley winning with an Alabama Slam is fine because it’s cool looking move. This will probably end this rivalry leading to Rawley moving onto feuding with another face on the show.

There was an “Earlier Today” segment with Bayley and Sasha Banks with a new woman therapist. Bayley said that Banks has stabbed her in the back repeatedly and she’s tired of wondering if Banks will ever change because Banks will only care about herself. That ended that skit.

Analysis: I assume that’s just the start of several vignettes between them. No more Dr. Shelby makes me sad.

Seth Rollins was shown walking backstage. Jinder Mahal walked up to him with Sunil Singh. Mahal told Rollins he can find inner peace if he chants his mantra. Rollins sarcastically said that maybe when he’s burning it down he might be burning pieces of his soul. Mahal did some chanting thing with his eyes closed, so Rollins just left without participating.

Analysis: This Mahal gimmick with him wanting to bring peace to people isn’t working. It’s in the early stages, but so far there’s nothing interesting about it.

Seth Rollins is up next.

(Commercial)

There was a commercial for the movie Skyscraper starring Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock.

Let’s Hear from Seth Rollins

Seth Rollins made his entrance with the fans chanting “burn it down” at the right time for his song. Rollins had a smile on his face as he walked down to the ring with one of his shirts and his ring gear. Rollins challenges Dolph Ziggler for the IC Title at Extreme Rules on Sunday. It’s a 30-minute Ironman Match.

Rollins talked about some of his nicknames like Mr. Money in the Bank, Kingslayer, The Architect, The Man, Monday Night Rollins and he said right now the only moniker that matters is “former” Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins. The good news is he’s got the opportunity to change that because at Extreme Rules he goes one on one with Dolph Ziggler for 30 minutes and the man with the most victories in that timeframe becomes the Ironman and leaves Extreme Rules the Intercontinental Champion. Rollins said that Dolph is going to bring the fight and he loves testing himself against the best. Rollins said the problem is he’s going to bring Drew McIntyre with him. Rollins said the good thing is he’s still Seth Freakin’ Rollins…so here’s the interruption.

Dolph Ziggler interrupted with the Intercontinental Title around his waist with Drew McIntyre by his side. Ziggler was in his street clothesline while McIntyre was in his ring gear. Ziggler said he’s not just going to bring his skills to the match, he’s also going to bring the Intercontinental Championship and he’ll leave Extreme Rules still your champion. McIntyre said it’s not all bad because Rollins will still have his catchy nicknames. McIntyre said that Rollins will get a good look at the future of this place. Ziggler said that Rollins is still Seth Freakin’ Rollins and he’s one of the greatest wrestlers to ever step foot in that ring, but “you’re no Dolph Ziggler, brother.” Ziggler said he might win 5-0, 10-0, 100-0 or 1,000 to 1 and Rollins said that the peroxide is going to Ziggler’s head. Ziggler said that everything Rollins put into that title made it so much sweeter when Ziggler pried it from his hands. Ziggler spoke about how back at Kent State University, he racked up so many victories he was the all-time winningest victories. Ziggler said it was 121 victories. Rollins wondered if McIntyre helped him with those wins.

McIntyre cut off Rollins for being a comedian. McIntyre said look at him, check the resume, he’s going exactly where he belongs and Rollins said they know where he’s going…wherever Dolph tells him to go. Rollins asked why is McIntyre taking orders from this little pipsqueak? Rollins paused to say that maybe Ziggler knows his secrets. Rollins said tell me there’s no photographs, he knows what goes on in Scotland and there are only so many sheep to go around. McIntyre wanted to fight, but Ziggler stopped him. McIntyre told Rollins to fight him tonight. The fans chanted “yes” for that. Rollins told him he’s got a fight. Rollins said he’s a baaaaaad man due to the sheep line from earlier. McIntyre and Ziggler went into the ring, Rollins left the ring and went up the ramp to end it.

Analysis: It was a solid promo exchange to set up a match later. It looked like the match was going to happen right away since they were already in their ring gear, but it’s going to be later in the show. Rollins had some decent lines in there that drew some laughs while Ziggler was confident as usual. McIntyre’s tone remains very serious, which is good for him because he comes off as a legit badass. I don't know if the sheep f**king jokes is the best way to go, but it led to some mild laughter at least. The match should be good later.

Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas were in the locker room with their outfits. Axel did his Matt Hardy imitation while Bo imitated his brother Bray Wyatt.

Matt Hardy vs. Bo Dallas is next.

(Commercial)

Bo Dallas, dressed like Bray Wyatt, made his entrance along with Curtis Axel, who was dressed like Matt Hardy. Axel did a promo like Hardy about how The B Team will become the new Raw Tag Team Champions. Dallas did a quick promo that was cut off by the champs appearing on the screen.

Matt Hardy said that the time for fun and games are over. Bray Wyatt said that laughter is contagious, but so is fear. Wyatt said they were infected in fear. The cure is they will eat them and delete them. Wyatt said why wait for Sunday when…we’re here. They are the Raw Tag Team Champions.

The lights went out. When they went on, Hardy and Wyatt appeared in the ring. The B Team bailed to the floor.

Analysis: Wyatt missed last week’s Raw due to a car accident a few days earlier. I’m glad he wasn’t seriously hurt.

Matt Hardy (w/Bray Wyatt) vs. Bo Dallas (w/Curtis Axel)

Hardy whipped Dallas’ face into the turnbuckle repeatedly. The Revival were shown watching on a TV backstage. Hardy with an elbow to the ear of Dallas to knock Dallas out of the ring. Hardy hit a suplex on Dallas on the floor as the show went to break.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Hardy had Dallas grounded in a chinlock. A commercial aired for Extreme Rules in the split screen hyping up Carmella vs. Asuka. Hardy worked over Dallas with punches to the ribs. Hardy whipped Dallas face first into the bottom rope leading to Dallas bumping to the floor. Hardy with a running clothesline that knocked down Dallas on the floor. Hardy whipped Dallas into the barricade. Dallas broke free, went back in the ring and Hardy met him with a Side Effect. Hardy brought Dallas to the apron, teased a suplex that was obviously not going to happen. Axel distracted and Wyatt punched Axel in the back. Dallas hit a neckbreaker with Hardy’s legs on the top rope. Dallas covered for the win after about 9 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bo Dallas

Analysis: *1/2 It was just an average match with Hardy dominating about 90% of the match and Dallas hit one move to win. I thought teasing a suplex on the apron was a bad spot because you know they aren’t going to really do a suplex like that. The finish could have been set up better. I understand the motive of having Dallas go over to build up The B Team.

Post match, Wyatt hit a uranage slam on Axel. Hardy hit a Twist of Fate on Dallas. The B Team was sent out of the ring.

Analysis: That was likely done to get some heat back for Hardy and Wyatt after Hardy has lost singles matches in the last three weeks. I think Wyatt and Hardy will retain at Extreme Rules because a team like The Revival or Authors of Pain are more likely to become Tag Team Champions on Raw.

The announcers talked about what’s to come with Rollins vs. McIntyre.

Highlights aired from earlier in the night with Reigns and Lashley fighting all over ringside.

Bobby Lashley was interviewed by Renee Young in the backstage area. Lashley said that he respects everybody he steps in the ring with, even Sami Zayn. Lashley said he has no respect for Reigns, he doesn’t like the way he walks or talks or that he thinks he’s the sheriff of Raw. Lashley said he didn’t like that Reigns brings up stuff from ten years ago. Lashley said he did like that Reigns is willing to fight him. Lashley talked about how when Reigns walks into Extreme Rules to fight him, Roman Reigns won’t walk out. Lashley looked into the camera to end the promo saying “believe that.”

Analysis: Good promo from Lashley. I think he’s done a better job in the last month after struggling in the first two months following his WWE return. We know he doesn’t like Reigns and he’s excited about their match.

The duo of Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan were backstage with Tyler Breeze (no Fandango because he's out with a shoulder injury that will keep him out for at least six months after surgery). Breeze offered them one of his shirts. Logan and Morgan said they don’t do fashion, they riot.

Ember Moon vs. Liv Morgan is up next.

(Commercial)

There was another “Earlier Today” sketch with Sasha Banks and Bayley. The women were talking, but the announcers talked over it. The announcers tried telling the story that Banks and Bayley may be fired if they don’t get along, which is a stupid way of trying to get this angle over. People brawl on this show all the time, but these two may get fired if they don’t get along? It’s dumb.

Another replay was shown of Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax from earlier.

Bliss did a cell phone promo talking about how exhilarating it was to hit Jax with a kendo stick to the back. Bliss said that’s just a taste of what’s going to happen at Extreme Rules. Bliss was happy that the “overhyped rookie” Ronda Rousey will be at ringside to see it. Bliss said she’ll show why she’ll be the Extreme Raw Women’s Champion on Sunday.

Ember Moon made her entrance for a rematch from last week. Liv Morgan entered with Sarah Logan.

Analysis: No Ruby Riott due to a knee injury that will keep her out of action for the next month or two.

Ember Moon vs. Liv Morgan (w/Sarah Logan)

Moon was aggressive early on, Morgan bailed to the floor. They went to break about one minute into it.

(Commercial)

Back from break, a replay showed Morgan driving Moon face first into the mat. Morgan was in control using the dreaded pull on the arms submission. Cole: “I asked her why she had a blue tongue and Morgan said she liked the color blue.” The commentary team is getting worse. Moon slammed Morgan back first, Morgan ducked a clothesline and did a hair whip. Moon used her feet to drive Morgan into the turnbuckle. Moon tripped up Logan, knee lift and Moon hit a fallaway slam. Logan on the apron, Moon jumped off the ropes and punched her. Rollup by Morgan, but Moon countered with a jackknife cover for the pinfall win after about eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Ember Moon

Analysis: ** It was a fine match with Moon getting another win over Morgan. I was impressed by Morgan, which shows she is getting better. Moon not winning with the Eclipse makes me sad because it’s such an awesome finisher. I get why she won with the jackknife cover, but the Eclipse is so awesome she needs to do it every match.

Finn Balor was interviewed by Renee Young backstage. Bobby Roode showed up because he is teaming with Balor. Roode said they are going to be victorious and then he said absolutely glorious. Balor complained about Constable Corbin ripping on Balor for being half as big and half as tough. Balor said he isn’t half of anything, he’s twice as good. Balor said they like to do their talking in the ring.

Analysis: Balor does a good job in those promos. He could use a catchphrase to end it, though.

Balor and Roode vs. Corbin and Elias is next.

This week on Smackdown. Asuka vs. Ellsworth and Styles vs. Nakamura one more time. Also, Team Hell No as guests on Miz TV.

(Commercial)

Kurt Angle was in his office with Kevin Owens. Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler were there. Angle told McIntyre that if he can’t beat Rollins later on Raw then McIntyre is banned from ringside at Extreme Rules. McIntyre said he was fine with it because he knows he’ll win.

Analysis: That stipulation is a way to try to entice viewers to stay tuned in because the outcome could affect the IC Title match at Extreme Rules on Sunday.

Elias was in the ring doing his usual song while antagonizing the crowd. Elias noted he has been working on an album. After the fan did the “Walk With Elias” bit, Elias ripped on them saying that he can’t stand this place and when he hears the Boston accent he wants to punch your face. Elias put over his tag team partner Baron Corbin for being a good guy that Kurt Angle can learn from.

Baron Corbin was in the ring in his constable attire. Corbin asked Elias if they could do a lullaby song for Finn Balor. Corbin sang “Itsy bitsy Balor” with lyrics about how he was going to kick Balor. It was bad, so it was tough to follow it. Graves thought it was great.

Finn Balor made his entrance to a good ovation. There was a graphic showing the tweets that Balor and Corbin exchanged over the last week.

Bobby Roode made his entrance to a solid reaction. The match starts after a break.

Analysis: They wasted about ten minutes there. Raw is all about wasting time because it’s too long.

(Commercial)

Baron Corbin and Elias vs. Bobby Roode and Finn Balor

Roode with a shoulder tackle on Elias, atomic drop and a side Russian legsweep got a two count. Roode with a kick to the gut, Corbin into the ring and Elias hit a leaping knee to the face to take down Roode. Corbin slapped on a headlock on Roode as a commercial aired on the split screen for Reigns vs. Lashley at Extreme Rules. Corbin whipped Roode into the turnbuckle, Roode avoided an attack and they did a double clothesline spot. Balor tagged in against Elias with Balor hitting a forearm followed by a double foot stomp to the stomach. Balor with a clothesline that sent Elias out of the ring. Corbin grabbed Balor’s foot. Elias capitalized wit ha knee to the back that sent Balor into the ropes. The show went to break there.

(Commercial)

The match returned with the heels still in control as Corbin hit a back elbow on Balor. Elias slapped on a headlock on Balor. Balor managed to break free, he sent Elias out, but Corbin tagged in to prevent a tag for Balor. Corbin sent Balor into the ropes and Balor hit the Slingblade. Hot tag to Roode with a back elbow to Corbin, forearm to the head, clothesline and a neckbreaker by Roode to Corbin. Roode went up top, he jumped off and Corbin caught him with a Chokeslam backbreaker for two as Balor broke up the pin. Balor kicked Elias out of the ring. Corbin decked Balor wit ha punch. Roode got a rollup on Corbin for two. Roode to the middle rope with a Blockbuster for two with Elias making the save. Balor pulled Elias off the apron. Corbin and Balor got into a brawl on the floor. Balor with a jump kick to the arm of Corbin. Balor up top, but Corbin tripped him up to knock Balor to the floor. Corbin charged in, Roode avoided it and sent Corbin shoulder first into the ring post. Roode with a spinebuster on Elias. Corbin back up, punch to the back of Roode and Corbin hit the End of Days on Roode for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Baron Corbin and Elias

Analysis: **3/4 It was a pretty good tag team match with the heels working well together throughout the match. I figured it would be Corbin or Balor winning because they are meeting at Extreme Rules on Sunday. Having Corbin pin Roode makes a lot of sense because Roode is not on the PPV. Plus, if Roode is going to turn heel soon as rumored, booking him to lose matches is the right way to set that up. Corbin was booked really well because he took out Balor and then beat Roode clean.

Post match, the announcers put over Corbin’s intelligence in winning the match. Coach said we should remember this Corbin and Elias team because they can be great together.

Kevin Owens and Kurt Angle were in the office. Braun Strowman showed up with Owens hiding behind Angle. Angle informed them that Owens keeps running from him, so Sunday at Extreme Rules it will be Strowman vs. Owens in a Steel Cage match. Strowman had a can of air freshener and sprayed it on Owens because he wreaks of fear. Strowman left while Owens sold the spray.

Analysis: That match was rumored for a few weeks with the Steel Cage stipulation. I don’t think it really needs to be in a cage to settle the rivalry, but the story is Owens has tried to run away, so the cage will prevent that. It should be a win for Strowman.

Still to come is Rollins vs. McIntyre.

(Commercial)

There was another shot of Bayley and Sasha Banks in the office with the announcers talking over them. They have to report to Kurt Angle next week.

Analysis: Two weeks of these segments and the women barely got to talk on camera. Brutal.

A clip aired of the Reigns vs. Lashley brawl again.

Roman Reigns was interviewed by Renee Young. Reigns mentioned that he didn’t respect Lashley, but at least he respected Lashley a bit after tonight due to Lashley wanting to fight him. Reigns said that in the ring he’s got the killer instinct, so he doesn’t care about Lashley’s physical tools. Reigns said he’s going to beat Bobby Lashley and then he’s going to move on to better things. Reigns said that Lashley will be the guy, but he’ll be the guy somewhere else.

Analysis: Solid promo by Reigns.

The announcers went over the Extreme Rules lineup while shilling WWE Network. I’ve got the full lineup at the bottom of this review. We will have a preview up on Friday.

Seth Rollins made his entrance for the main event. The crowd was loud for him again.

(Commercial)

A new episode of Table for 3 airs after Raw (and on demand) on WWE Network featuring Trish Stratus, Lita and Alexa Bliss. I’ll watch it and review it later in the week on TJRWrestling.

Drew McIntyre made his entrance with his buddy Dolph Ziggler, who is in his street clothes with the IC Title around his waist.

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

McIntyre took control early on with a headlock. Rollins came back with a dropkick, but McIntyre came back with a shoulder tackle. McIntyre hit a suplex followed by two hard chops to the chest. McIntyre slapped on an armbar. Rollins tried to get going, but McIntyre hit an overhead belly to belly suplex. McIntyre stayed on offense with an armbar on the left arm. McIntyre went for a suplex, Rollins slipped out and sent McIntyre to the floor. Rollins with a suicide dive on the floor, but McIntyre blocked it and McIntyre hit a backbreaker on the side of the ring apron. That led to a break five minutes into it.

(Commercial)

Back from break, McIntyre remained in control with a belly to belly suplex that sent Rollins across the ring for a two count. McIntyre slapped on another armbar. Rollins broke free with a jawbreaker after about ten minutes of McIntyre offense and Rollins sent McIntyre face first into the turnbuckle. Rollins with two clotheslines, McIntyre kick and Rollins came back with a Slingblade. Rollins with a suicide dive that knocked down McIntyre and Rollins hit the suicide dive a second time. Back in the ring, Rollins with a springboard clothesline for two. Rollins hit a Blockbuster neckbreaker off the middle ropes for a two count. Rollins with a forearm against the turnbuckle, then McIntyre splashed him in the corner and hit a reverse Alabama Slam that got a two count. They each went for moves, the other guy escaped them and McIntyre hit a sitout Powerbomb for a two count. That was impressive. McIntyre wanted a superplex, Rollins slipped out and sent McIntyre face first into the turnbuckle. Rollins with a step up enziguri kick leading to McIntyre trapped against the corner. Rollins up top, but McIntyre tossed him across the ring while McIntyre was upside down. That was a cool spot. McIntyre charged, Rollins hit a superkick and a Falcon Arrow slam for two. McIntyre came back with a headbutt that got a two count. McIntyre put Rollins on his shoulders, McIntyre went to the middle rope and wanted a slam, but Rollins fought out of it and Rollins sent McIntyre back first into the turnbuckle for a Buckle Bomb. Rollins with a superkick. Rollins up top and Ziggler distracted, so Rollins kicked him down. Rollins with a cross body block off the top for a two count. Rollins with The Stomp on Ziggler near the apron. McIntyre hit a Claymore Kick on Rollins for the pinfall win after 20 minutes. Ziggler never hit Rollins, so that’s why there was no disqualification ruling.

Winner by pinfall: Drew McIntyre

Analysis: ***1/2 It was a very good match that was given a lot of time, which is the norm for a Seth Rollins match on Raw because the creative team knows how awesome he is in the ring. The crowd didn’t react to McIntyre that much, but that’s because he’s still new (again) on the main roster. Matches like this will help to establish McIntyre in the eyes of the fans. The finish was timed well with Ziggler distracting and Rollins hitting that stomp on Ziggler ended up costing him the match because McIntyre was right there to hit the Claymore Kick to win. I thought some of the early stuff in the match like McIntyre working on the left arm ended up being a waste because he didn’t go back to it at all. I’d rather see them attempt to tell a story the whole match. I enjoyed the match, but it wasn’t some epic contest we’ll never forget. It was a good main event, though.

The win means that McIntyre will be allowed at ringside at Extreme Rules.

McIntyre carried Ziggler over his shoulder as they went up the ramp. Rollins was down in the ring. The show ended with a shot of McIntyre and Ziggler at 11:09pmET.

 

Three Stars of the Show

1. Seth Rollins

2. Drew McIntyre

3. (tie) Roman Reigns

3. (tie) Bobby Lashley

 

The Scoreboard

5 out of 10

Last week: 4

2018 Average: 5.80

Last 5 Weeks: 4, 7, 5.5, 5.5, 4

2018 High: 8 (February 19)

2018 Low: 4 (June 4, July 2)

 

Final Thoughts

I give it a 5 out of 10.

It was another average episode of Raw. There were elements of this show that were better than last week thanks to the good brawl in the opening segment and promoting the PPV matches well.

The main event was clearly the best match, which is no surprise any time you have Rollins in a long match. I’m glad McIntyre was put in the main event in a long match like that. It wasn’t an outstanding match or anything like that, but it was a pretty good TV main event.

The next WWE PPV is Extreme Rules on July 15. Here’s the lineup.

WWE Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs. Rusev

Intercontinental Championship 30-Minute Ironman Match: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Seth Rollins

Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley

Raw Women’s Championship Extreme Rules Match: Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Nia Jax

Smackdown Tag Team Championships: The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper and Rowan) (c) vs. Team Hell No (Kane and Daniel Bryan)

Steel Cage Match: Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens

United States Championship: Jeff Hardy (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Carmella (c) vs. Asuka

Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin

Raw Tag Team Championships: Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt (c) vs. The B Team (Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas)

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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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