Once again, Raw opened with Seth Rollins having a bit of a chat; this week, it was about how he always manages to survive and overcome his challenges. He vowed to do the same at Hell in a Cell but got interrupted by Braun Strowman, who managed to negotiate a rematch for himself in the main event of the show.
The first match of the night pitted the O.C. against the Viking Raiders; in another world, these two teams would be feuding over the Raw Tag team Championships. Instead, the Viking Raiders for the win which, while probably being the right decision, doesn’t bode too well for the O.C. as their potential continues to be wasted.
EC3 found himself back on the card and in the ring…of course, he got destroyed in mere moments by Rusev but why would a former Impact World Heavyweight Champion need to be booked into something meaningful?
Sasha Banks got a win over Nikki Cross after that; Bayley and Alexa Bliss were at ringside, which factored into the finished when Bayley took out the referee right as Nikki looked to have the match won. I don’t know whether to be happy or sad that the WWE really do seem to be building towards Sasha and Bayley holding all the main roster women’s gold…
Lacey Evans got a win over Ember Moon with a very, very poorly-executed Sharpshooter in the next match. The good news here was that Ember got her fair share of offense in but I guess we’re going to have to wait a little longer (say, another year or so, just to get all this Four Horsewomen bullshit out of the way) for Ember to get a meaningful push.
Carmella managed to trick R-Truth by lulling him into a false sense of security and rolling him up to win the 24/7 Championship (though they seemed to still be buddy-buddy despite this so…panic over?) before Chad Gable and Baron Corbin (who, of course, was sporting full king regalia) went at it one more time. Just as Gable looked to have the match won with the Ankle Lock, Corbin walloped him with his scepter to cause a disqualification finish and then beat gable down after the match. I guess this feud is not only continuing but picking up steam; it’s good that they’re finally giving gable something to do but the pessimist in me worries that it won’t actually lead anywhere; it’d be nice to see him usurp AJ Styles for the United States Championship but he seems to still be tied up with Cedric Alexander so who knows…
Rey Mysterio, AJ Styles, Robert Roode, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Ricochet all went at it in an elimination match to determine who will face Seth Rollins for the Universal Championship next week. Surprisingly, Mysterio was the one to walk away with the win after pinning Roode with a Frog Splash; I assume this is all to set-up Dominick turning on Rey and costing him the shot as that’s the only real way that outcome makes sense, and all the other guys are busy with other things right now.
Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman closed out the show in a match that saw Seth target Braun’s legs and try to chop him down but constantly get tossed about by Strowman’s freakish power. The usual story of Rollins enduring and overcoming then kicked in but, as he went for the Stomp, Strowman suddenly fought back, slamming him on the apron, barging through him, and hitting the Running Powerslam out on the floor. Strowman looked to finish Seth off but was suddenly attacked by the Fiend, Bray Wyatt, who mauled his former protégé with the Mandible Claw while Seth looked on, horrified.
Erick Rowan kicked things off by hyping himself up on the microphone; he eventually ended up trading words with Daniel Bryan, which then led to a match between to two that actually served to showcase Rowan as a physical and formidable threat! I’m not exactly the biggest fan of Rowan, mainly because it’s hard enough for most big men to stand out in the WWE these days, let alone a guy like Rowan who kinda looks and wrestles quite generic, but giving him time to talk and putting him in matches that showcase his ability is a good step to legitimizing him. To that end, Rowan got the win after two Iron Claws following some assistance from Luke Harper, which is a big deal no matter how you cut it. After the match, Roman Reigns helped turn the tide and the two promised to team up against the former Bludgeon Brothers, cementing Bryan’s face turn.
Chad Gable got into a bit of a verbal joust with Mike Kanellis, of all people, which, of course, resulted in Gable getting the victory within mere seconds. Afterwards, Elias taunted gable via the TitanTron, which could potentially be a slightly more entertaining and competitive match.
Charlotte Flair teamed up with Carmella afterwards to take on Sasha Banks and Bayley; thankfully, this match saw Sasha and Bayley come out on top, rather than rushing a victory for Charlotte. After the 24/7 losers crashed the party, Shinsuke Nakamura and Ali went at it for a bit; Ali almost had the match won until Sami Zayn pulled Nakamura out of the way of a 450 Splash and distracted him enough for Nakamura to hit the Kinshasa; I guess we still have a way to go before Ali is given back his push. I kinda expect him to be tossed into a random tag team soon, probably with Apollo Crews.
It was then the B-Team’s turn to stare up at the lights as they were defeated by Big E and Xavier Woods, because we can’t have the New Day losing too much, can we? More tag team action followed as Asuka and Kairi Sane took on, and defeated, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville, which would mean more if the Four Horsewomen weren’t going to win those tag belts soon. Maybe the Kabuki Warriors will unseat them but I doubt it; it’ll probably be some kind of dream team, like Charlotte and Trish Stratus.
SmackDown! Live ended in the most exciting way possible…a bit stupid legal debate between Shane McMahon and Kevin Owens, which resulted in their Hell in a Cell match being a ladder match that will see either Shane drop his lawsuit or being removed from the company. After that, Sasha Banks attacked Becky Lynch to try and end on an exciting note but it fell kinda flat after all the Shane bullshit.