With the Money in the Bank pay-per-view event this upcoming weekend, this is the what we refer to as the “go home” edition of Monday Night RAW.
The point of this show is to get fans of the product hyped up for Sunday or to sell the event to those who do not subscribe to the WWE Network.
How did the WWE do on both fronts?
Read below to find out. Let’s go.
Superstars on Ladders Start the Show
To start the show, Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, Braun Strowman, Bobby Roode, Alexa Bliss, Ember Moon, Sasha Banks, and Natalya were standing on ladders in the middle of the ring.
After seeing that visual, general manager Kurt Angle came out and cut a commercialized promo for the Money in the Bank this weekend on the WWE Network.
In the middle of his promo, Baron Corbin came out to interrupt Angle with a new look—Corbin was all dressed up and, well, bald.
From last week, Corbin was named the “constable” of RAW by Stephanie McMahon.
Angle talked about how he wanted the MitB contracts to come back to RAW. Bliss said she would for sure, and then she and Banks started to argue about their match last week.
Moon chimed in, too. Angle asked them to calm down and Angle asked Natalya if she was ready for the event even though she was cleared by the medical staff following her match with Nia Jax last week.
The girls continued to argue and Owens interrupted them and said he wanted to talk about something important.
Owens complained about the height of Strowman and he and Roode had a few exchanges, too.
Owens complimented Corbin’s hair and asked for him to do something about the height difference between the competitors.
Owens said he continually gets threatened, to which Strowman said: “it wasn’t a threat, but a promise.”
They continued to argue and then Bliss belted out a scream and endorsed Strowman, referencing the Mixed Match Challenge.
Banks endorsed her partner, Balor, too.
Balor then endorsed Banks.
And round and round they went.
Strowman then screamed and yelled that someone was “gonna get these hands.”
Analysis: You can tell we’re in the PG era. This was mostly pointless. Best thing out of this was Corbin being bald. Nothing was progressed whatsoever. They all argued about who was going to win. That’s it.
Alexa Bliss vs. Sasha Banks vs. Ember Moon vs. Natalya
Analysis: Bliss had her own entrance before the match. A nice little wrinkle to her character. Usually, it wouldn’t make sense for people who were already in ring to have an entrance, but it works for her character and makes sense. Not bad. As far as the match, it went about 20 minutes, which is way too long for me. A lot of RAW feels like it’s just trying to drain time. The match was pointless, too. Should build anticipation to these women clashing this weekend, not giving it away. Makes it less important.
Balor and Owens Backstage
Owens talks to Balor in the back about formulating a plan for their match later in the night. He also suggested that they do something to incapacitate Strowman so he can’t compete Sunday in the MitB match.
Analysis: Balor’s facials made him look as if he was considering it. Would be mildly interesting if he went along with Owens’ plan.
Breezango vs. Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler
McIntyre and Ziggler win.
After the match, Ziggler cuts a promo talking about how dominant they are as a team.
Analysis: Knew this outcome before the match. And hey, where are the Authors of Pain?
Roman Reigns Backstage
Charly Caruso asks Reigns about Jinder Mahal challenging him to a match just a few days prior to their MitB match up.
Analysis: Why are these guys facing off right before the event? Oh, I know. They want to put Mahal over so it looks like he has a chance, only for Reigns to win Sunday.
Paul Heyman Tweets
Tweets show up on the screen talking about his reign lasting 435 days.
Jinder Mahal vs. Roman Reigns
Prior to the match, Mahal talks about beating up Reigns.
Reigns comes out, then Mahal talks about Reigns’ past failures.
Mahal then says “you thought you were going to face the Modern Day Maharaja?”
He then says that his opponent is actually Sunil Singh.
Reigns punches Mahal as he stands on the outside of the apron.
Reigns squashes Singh. Then Mahal hits Reigns with the Khallas.
Analysis: Just when I thought they were going to make past mistakes having opponents face off right before an event, they did a mild swerve and still got a little heat on Mahal. Not horrible here. Finally!
B-Team vs. Slater and Rhyno
After the match, Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy appear on screen clapping. After they cut away with Wyatt’s video, Hardy and Wyatt appear at the top of the ramp warning them of what they’re about to face at Money in the Bank.
Analysis: God I love Hardy and Wyatt. Don’t care about the match. Wish they’d add the wrinkle of Bo Dallas and Wyatt being real-life brothers.
Backstage, Elias talks about his upcoming “concert” and calls the people in the crowd hillbillies—they’re in Arkansas.
Analysis: Elias is excellent.
During his concert, Elias talks about how he’s about to become the Intercontinental champion.
Elias puts over his “Walk With Elias” catchphrase and tells the crowd to shut their mouths.
In his song, Elias makes fun of Seth Rollins’ nicknames, that he does CrossFit and says he is devoid of talent. Also says that he wouldn’t be surprised if was born in Little Rock, Arkansas.
That got boo’s from the crowd.
After his performance, Elias shows off his new guitar that he got from John Mayer.
Elias then says he will sing his song next week with that guitar and the title around his waist.
Rollins then comes out and the two fight in the ring.
Rollins then grabs a microphone and calls Elias a “coward”.
Then, Rollins stares down the guitar Mayer gave Elias after he left it in the ring.
Rollins picks up the guitar and asks for bids for a charity auction. Elias says he’ll bid on it.
Rollins puts the guitar down and threatens to stomp on it. Also pretty sure Elias said the F-word, too.
Rollins then gets the crowd to chant “Burn it Down” with him and then he stomps on the guitar.
Coachman then refers to Mayer as hip hop. Oh.
Analysis: They like to bury Elias’ guitar gimmick weekly. It’s hard to keep getting it over if it’s going to get destroyed every week. But overall, not a bad segment. Very scripted feeling, however. Huge fan of Elias.
Owens and Roode Backstage
Owens does the same thing he did with Balor earlier in the night—recruiting Roode to take out Strowman.
Analysis: We’ll see how this turns out in the main event.
Bayley vs. Ruby Riott
Prior to the match, the Riott Squad is seen backstage making a mess.
Analysis: A way to kill time.
Coachman in the Ring with Ronda Rousey and Nia Jax
Both of the women come to the ring.
Coachman sits in between them to mediate the interaction.
Jax talks about their upcoming match and talks about the different rules in WWE compared to UFC.
Rousey talks about how she’s earned her title match, regardless of her short tenure.
Jax talks about how she’s grinded to get to where she is.
Jax says Rousey isn’t ready.
Rousey mentions how people said she wasn’t ready for an Olympic spot at 17. Or the Strikeforce title shot after four fights. Or main eventing her own show at the UFC.
She then yells “I am Ronda Rousey and I was born ready”.
The two women stand in front of one another with Jax holding the belt.
Jax then headbutts Rousey to which Rousey counters with an armbar. Jax counters that by lifting her but Rousey continues to pull and locks in the armbar and the bell rings.
Analysis: Not sure why the bell rung after that. It would have been better if these two had a pull apart from the superstars in the back rather than them attacking one another.
No Way Jose vs. Curt Hawkins
No Way Jose wins after Hawkins posed as a member of Jose’s conga line.
Analysis: Who cares about any of this?
Balor and Roode Backstage
The two men talk backstage about their chats with Owens.
Neither trusts him, but Roode insists they listen to Owens.
Balor says he’ll keep an eye on Owens and one on Roode as well.
Bobby Lashley and Sami Zayn Obstacle Course
Sami Zayn put an obstacle course together for Lashley to show off his athleticism against himself.
Zayn is seen atop the ramp with Renee Young talking about his comments toward Lashley about questioning his military service.
He says the only way Lashley can prove it is if he beats him in the obstacle course.
The course consists of a tire flip, followed by a low crawl, the “three sisters wall jump” named after Lashley’s three sisters, the monkey bars, and a rope climb.
Zayn talks about how fast he was able to do it earlier in the day, saying he was faster than Green Berets.
Zayn says he will dedicate his victory to the country with the greatest military service—Canada.
Lashley comes out ready to compete.
A coin flip is done to determine who goes first.
It’s heads and Lashley goes first.
A timer is put on the screen prior to his run.
Lashley completes the run in 46 seconds only to be assaulted by Zayn from behind which culminates in a Helluva Kick.
A plethora of referees come out to break it up.
After that, USA chants break out toward Zayn.
Analysis: I actually didn’t mind this. It showcased just how much of a monster Lashley is and his athleticism. Also allowed Zayn to get some cheap heat on a guy who is obviously much larger than he is.
Roode, Owens and Balor Backstage
Backstage, Owens is talking with the other two men going over a strategy for Strowman.
Strowman comes from out of nowhere and mocks the plan.
Analysis: OK. They just wanted Strowman to yell again.
Strowman vs. Roode vs. Owens vs. Balor
Strowman wins despite other three men ganging up on him.
Analysis: Not a fan of people who are set to face off at a pay-per-view the upcoming weekend facing off on the show right before. Takes away from the pay-per-view match.
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