The Shield arrived in the ring to basically brag about holding Raw’s top championship belts; Baron Corbin came out to attempt to sell the notion that the entire Raw locker room hates the Shield (which is an interesting and nonsensical idea in many ways) before Braun Strowman, Drew McIntyre, and Dolph Ziggler threw their two cents in. Braun shared the equally random idea that cracks are starting to form in the Shield’s united due to how often they’ve used, abused, and replaced Dean Ambrose; all of this to set up a six-man tag team match later in the night…one that Corbin decreed would not involve Braun and his cronies. If that is the case then why not have Corbin’s tag team partners join him for the promo?
And if you needed further proof of just how far down the pecking order Finn Balor has fallen, look no further than the next match, which pitted old Finn against Jinder Mahal! This was, apparently, to hype up their match at the Mixed Match Challenge but still…I mean, c’mon! anyway, having Bayley in his corner actually worked out quite well for Finn, as she took out Sunil Singh and distracted Jinder enough for Finn to roll him up, because pinning Jinder clean is just too tall an order for Finn.
Spare me! Six-woman tag team action followed, pitting Natalya, Nikki, and Brie Bella against Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, and Sarah Logan; about mid-way through the match Liv took a couple of mean shots to the face and ended up being taken out of the match. While you’d think this would be a handicap, it only hampered the flow of the match as everything kind of fell apart until, thankfully, the Riott Squad got the win and a sliver of their momentum back.
Chag Gable took on Konnor next, with Bobby Roode and Viktor at ringside for their respective partners. It’s interesting to me that gable has been the one having these pointless singles matches against the Ascension; I’d like to think it’s a test to showcase what he can do in the ring but I know better and fully expect him to disappear/be main eventing Main Event within six months. Anyway, this week Konnor got the win…which is really weird as I don’t recall ever seeing Konnor win a singles match, or any match…
The Revival finally got their shot at the Raw Tag Team Championship and it was in a match with no build-up, no real story, and, for the Revival, no entrances! for a very strange heel vs. heel dynamic. I guess the Revival were faces by default, and they were worked over more and placed in peril as Drew and Dolph made quick tags and cut off the ring and all that. The Revival almost had it won with a Doomsday Device (the fact that that move only got a two count is kind of depressing in many ways…) but, in the end, the Claymore/Zig-Zag combination finish ended the match.
Kevin Owens was back to hosting his own talk show; this week, he had Elias as his guest and the two of them ended up talking smack about Lio Rush and Bobby Lashley, which resulted in a match between Elias and Lashley right then and there! Wow, it’s weird seeing Elias actually compete in the ring but, as always, I fail to see what’s so great about him the moment he puts the mic and guitar down. Anyway, this started off as relatively competitive and evenly matched, with Elias slipping away from Lashley’s power and trying to work the knee, but ended in a disqualification when Owens went after Lio and hit Lashley in the process. After the match, Lio and Lashley took out Kevin Owens.
Nia Jax was back in singles action next and absolutely destroyed Alicia Fox. Finally, after both Drew and Dolph stirring the pot with Ambrose all night, Raw concluded with Baron Corbin and the Authors of Pain (now there’s a group I could get behind; have the AOP be Corbin’s hired goons!) taking on the Shield. Drake Maverick was at ringside, distracting from the action and giving his boys the advantage; Akem and Rezar worked the blind tags to take control so it all descended into a brawl pretty quickly. Things instantly picked up once Seth Rollins tagged in and started throwing himself at people and then getting worked over; after kicking out of the Deep Six, he tagged in Ambrose, who ran wild, taking out everyone, then set Roman Reigns up to win with the Spear after laying out Corbin with Dirty Deeds. After the match, Dean seemed to hesitate for quite a while before joining in on the traditional Shield fist-bump; I like the idea of Ambrose turning heel and honestly wish that he had returned as a heel. At least that way he and Seth would be busy feuding and we could maybe just get that Braun/Reigns friendly-rivalry-that-turns-bad feud I wanted instead of Strowman’s awkward heel turn.
R-Truth recent pairing with Carmella is apparently enough for him to now have his own talk show on SmackDown! Live, because we simply must have two wrestler-led talk shows; ‘member Piper’s Pit? Oh, I ‘member! ‘member the Highlight Reel? Oh, sure, I ‘member!
Anyway, the former NWA World Champion turned Jeremy Kyle had Daniel Bryan as his guest; Bryan talked about wanting to be WWE Champion again and being prepared to go through the Miz to get it. Miz arrived and ran Bryan down as only he can and R-Truth challenged Miz to a match right then and there where the winner gets to host their talk show indefinitely. Once again, this match allowed R-Truth the chance to show off some of the skills that allowed him to hold the NWA World Championship but, in modern day WWE, R-Truth getting a push ahead of Tye Dillinger is a little depressing, surely? Tye’s talk show could be called Tye Tyme!! Anyway, the Miz won the match and was sure to rub plenty of salt into Bryan’s wounds by mocking him and stealing his moves at every opportunity.
Big E (who I was thinking the other day should really be a main event veteran of sorts now having feuds with Rusev over the WWE Championship, but I digress) went head-to-head with Sheamus (who I was thinking the other day should, y’know, retire…) with all of their partners and buddies at ringside. Nice, simple, no-nonsense stuff here as they traded big power moves; Sheamus countered the Big Ending into a Brogue Kick for the win to add some momentum to the Bar’s title match at Super Show-Down.
Rusev (see above…) was out next, demanding answers from that dastardly rogue Aiden English. English took credit for all of Rusev’s recent success and blamed all their failings and issues on Lana; he also teased that Lana hasn’t been as faithful as she makes out but the segment ended there. So…I guess the WWE may also split Lana and Rusev up out of this debacle as well? At least Main Event will have some decent talent on it…
Asuka and Naomi took on Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose and my God the first-ever-all-women’s-pay-per-view, Evolution, cannot get here fast enough to debut the Women’s Tag Team Championships. I am so fucking sick of seeing these multi-woman tag team matches! It’s like the WWE never learn anything; nobody cared about the cruiserweights when they were lumped into tag and multi-man matches so why should I care about these throwaway tag bouts that only exist to get as many women on the card at once!? Anyway, Asuka and Naomi won; hoo-ray.
Holy shit, Tye Dillinger was on television! It’s Tye Tyme, Michael! And not only that he…randomly facing Shinsuke Nakamura? Well, Tye brought the fire and the heart and actually looked to be getting an upset win before Randy Orton attacked out of nowhere for the disqualification. He and Nakamura then beat the piss out of Tye. If this leads to Tye facing an uphill battle as the overwhelmed underdog towards the United States title then please, carry on. If this is just a random show of power from these two then…okay, that’s disappointing for Tye.
Becky Lynch and Lana went at it next, which is hardly a great sign for Becky’s newest reign as champion. Becky won in hardly any time, allowing SmackDown! Live to finish with the big contract signing between AJ Styles and Samoa Joe. Paige was there to keep order but Joe has obviously been reading my blog because he wasn’t even in the arena…he was at AJ’s house! It all ended on a cliff-hanger as Joe rang the doorbell while AJ begged him not to; the only real issue with this feud, honestly, has been that it’s more about Joe wanting to steal AJ’s family and has barely anything to do with that big gold prop around AJ’s shoulder.