Sasha Banks “graced us” with her presence to kick-off this week’s show; she candidly talked about all the rumours about her and her recent actions, cementing herself a complete cow, and hen got into a brawl with Natalya.
Ricochet progressed one step further in the King of the Ring tournament after this, which would be great if it wasn’t for the fact that he defeated Drew McIntyre to do so. Luckily, Drew made him fight for it and helped get him over even further, but how many times can Drew lose and fail before this threat is completely neutered?
To make matters worse, baron Corbin also won his King of the King match, taking out the Miz in the process. It really would have helped the Miz to earn some much-needed points as a face if he could have knocked off Corbin here; instead, Miz s beaten again and Corbin continues to be a thing that everyone is losing patience with.
Nikki Cross then went up against Bayley in a losing effort; it seems like the WWE is teased Nikki as being a major player in their women’s division but I can easily see her disappearing from television once they get tired of her, similar to Ruby Riott (…maybe they’ll form a tag team?)
After that, the B-Team made a short-lived reappearance in a gauntlet match to determine the first challengers to Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman’s reign as Raw Tag Team Champions; they were summarily destroyed by the Viking Raiders, who were then disqualified when they and the O.C. took things too far. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode then debuted their newly-forged alliance, eliminated the Lucha House Party, the Revival, and Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins. Their final challenge came in the form of Heavy machinery but, despite never teaming up before as a tag team, Roode and Ziggler of course got past them to become the new number one contenders…I mean, it’s not as if the Street Profits have been hanging around Raw for ages now…
Natalya and Sasha Banks looked to settle their recent issues in the following match; as you might expect, this was simply a match designed to reintroduce Sasha to audiences and cement her heel turn y picking apart until-very-recently-heel Natalya and getting a solid win that will, no doubt, set her up to be challenging for a Raw Women’s Championship match soon.
Cesaro and Cedric Alexander battled to progress in the King of the Ring tournament, which was mainly a match designed to paint Cedric as an up-and-coming superstar as, despite Cesaro busting out everything he had, the win ultimately went to Cedric Alexander, which would be great except that I don’t see the WWE really holding their interest in their newest cruiserweight darling.
Raw finished up with AJ Styles defending the United States Championship against Braun Strowman; Strowman immediately took control with his strength and poser, forcing AJ to chop him down and work over his leg. After a referee bump, Strowman recovered from a low blow to hit the Running Powerslam but the referee wasn’t there to make the count, or see the O.C. run in and attack Braun, or see Braun fight them off with a steel chair but he did awaken in time to see AJ playing dead, causing the match to be thrown out and Braun to go mental afterwards.
Kofi Kingston started the show by chatting some more about his issues with Randy Orton; Orton interrupted, via the TitanTron, to run this whole “Stupid!” thing right into the ground. Orton taunted Kofi and threatened his family which was enough for Kingston to rush to the back and right into a backstage attack. Maybe Orton has a point…
Ali’s restarted push continued as he took on, and defeated, Buddy Murphy in a match based on mutual respect to advance in the King of the Ring tournament, which I find weird as Buddy was getting his ass handed to him by Roman Reigns not that long ago. Also, I am wondering if this gradual reintegration of the cruiserweights on to the main roster will eventually spell the end of 205 Live…
The Miz popped out to talk about Sami Zayn’s new alliance with Shinsuke Nakamura and ended up getting the crap knocked out of him by Nakamura; afterwards, following a bit of a backstage altercation earlier, Lacey Evans and Bayley went at it, with Bayley eventually getting the win after enduring some sloppy offense by Lacey. It’s difficult to believe that Lacey was being built up as a credible challenger not that long ago; now she’s just another woman on a bloated roster.
Randy Orton and Big E were up next; Big E used his strength to get an early advantage but Orton soon took control. As soon as Big E looked to make a comeback, the Revival interjected themselves long enough to allow Orton to win with an RKO and, after the match, they laid Big E out with the three-man 3D they do now. This kind of served to make Big E look pretty strong, even in defeat, as multi-time World Champion and WWE veteran Randy Orton needed help to put him away, but I don’t think it’s really leading anywhere for Big E any time soon.
After a frosty exchange backstage, Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable fought to advance in the King of the Ring tournament; weren’t these two tag team partners, like, a year ago? Well, anyway, Gable got the win here, which I would say is the right call but there’s no way he’s winning the entire thing. Personally, I feel both men have been criminally underused so I guess I’m glad they both at least featured in the tournament, even though I doubt they’ll do much once it’s all over.
The night ended with Roman Reigns refusing to apologise for accusing Daniel Bryan and Rowan for being behind his recent mishaps and then showing video footage that proves that Rowan was behind it all. Bryan, less than pleased, slapped the piss out of Rowan and then headed to the ring to plead his case and ate a Spear for his trouble. Now all the drama is over with, can we get to the meat and potatoes of this feud now, please?