We got one of those traditional, cliché contract signings this week on Raw but with the added twist that it came at the start of the show! Truly inspirational. Anyway, Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman tried to make their Universal Championship match for Clash of Champions official but AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson interrupted before the ink could fully meet the paper and, when AJ claimed that he should get a title shot and tore up the contract, things descended into a cheeky tag team match. In the end, despite AJ’s interference, Rollins and Strowman were able to get the win but, after a miscommunication between the two, the faces got decimated after the match by the O.C. and Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler to add some spice to the Rollins/Strowman match.
Roode and Ziggler stuck around after this to take on Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder, which wasn’t the utter squash you might expect it was; I mean, Roode and Ziggler still won, but it’s a bit weird to see these guys lasting so long against Ryder and Hawkins, two guys who are basically jobbers despite their recent run with the Raw Tag Team Championships. I’m not saying Hawkins and Ryder should have won but at least let Roode and Ziggler simply walk over them without any issue.
Anyway, Natalya’s recent run of bad luck continued as she had her teeth smashed in by Lacey Evans to lose their match; maybe Nattie should have stayed heel. Afterwards, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks got into a bit of a verbal sparring contest, which basically saw Sasha promise to end Becky’s reign.
The King of the Ring tournament continued after that, with Cedric Alexander failing to get past the massive, immovable shit wall that is Baron Corbin; honestly, though, the best thing about this is that the WWE continues to book Corbin ahs the ultimate, shit-eating, asshole heel. Hopefully, his go-away-heat will turn into actual heel heat the more he actually wrestles somewhat-decent matches.
The Viking Raiders once again squashed a pair of local jobbers before Ricochet and Samoa Joe failed to reach a definitive end when Joe locked in the Coquina Clutch while Ricochet was on the top rope, resulting in a double pin. Backstage, though, r random referee announced that Ricochet, Baron Corbin, and Samoa Joe will face off in a triple threat match to determine who will reach the finals of the tournament.
The Miz and Cesaro were up next, which should have been the competitive match of the night but, instead, the WWE gave that to Ryder and Hawkins and Miz took care of Cesaro in about five minutes. Not a great look for Cesaro, who really should be a technically, tough opponent who face struggle to get past; instead, he’s just “Generic Heel #198”.
Raw closed with Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss facing off against Bayley and Becky Lynch in a non-title match; Becky was just about to build towards something resembling a definitive end before Sasha Banks ran in for a disqualification finish. This led to Sasha passing Bayley a steel chair and Bayley turning heel and beating the absolute crap out of Becky. This was honestly very shocking, even with all the subtle hints the WWE have been planting towards it, though I’m not sure being a cool, bad-ass heel really suits Bayley; the crowd bloody loved it, though.
Bayley, however, showed up on SmackDown! Live largely the same as always; she explained that she attacked Becky Lynch in an attempt to be a better role model, which was a pretty weak explanation but better than nothing (…I guess?) Anyway, Charlotte Flair showed up to run her mouth and ended up getting a similar beating when Sasha Banks came out. So, I’m sensing from this that the WWE is trying to turn Charlotte face, which is a really shite idea but whatever brings us closer to a match between all four of the “Horsewomen”, right?
Ali and Elias battled to progress in the King of the Ring tournament after all that; despite Ali throwing everything he had at Elias (including Superkicking Elias in mid-air off a Suicide Dive), Elias got the win off the Drift Away, which is a bit of a shame as this could have been a good way to help shine the spotlight back on Ali after this main event push got derailed.
Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville defeated Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross in a non-title match, presumably to set-up a title shot at Clash of Champions; are Alex and Nikki faces as well now? I’m so confused. After that, Randy Orton and the revival once again left Kofi Kingston lying before Andrade and Chad Gable fought in a King of the Ring match. Surprisingly, Gable got the win here after a cheeky Sunset Flip; I am glad to see Gable actually getting something resembling a push but Andrade really should be a bigger deal on SmackDown! Live so this was a bit of a double-edged sword.
Aleister Black then made short work of Shelton Benjamin before Shinsuke Nakamura destroyed some jobber while Sami Zayn egged him on. The night ended with Daniel Bryan demanding an apology from Roman reigns, claiming that he wasn’t responsible for Rowan’s actions, but Rowan ended up snapping, turning on Bryan, and smashing him through the announce table with the Claw Slam after destroying Reigns. I honestly can’t say that I’m super excited for another singles push for Rowan so I’m hoping this is all an elaborate deception by Bryan…