Fresh of the Money in the Bank pay-per-view event, Monday Night RAW had their work cut out for them.
For instance, how does Rousey respond? What about Strowman being the new champion? What’s next for the Universal Championship.
Those are just a few points of many that RAW needed to address.
Did RAW follow up the storylines they had to successfully?
Spoiler alert: This was the best RAW I’ve watched in a while.
Read the recap and analysis below for more information!
Kurt Angle In-Ring Introducing Alexa Bliss
The show kicked off with general manager Kurt Angle in the ring set to introduce Alexa Bliss as the new RAW Women’s Champion after she cashed in the night before at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view.
Angle mentions how Bliss wanted to be honored that way.
Bliss holds up her title and then Ronda Rousey comes out.
However, Rousey wasn’t like the usual smiling self we’ve seen. She came barreling down the ramp, got in the ring and tried to go after Bliss, but Angle held her off.
But Bliss kept pushing Rousey’s buttons—including calling her an “over-hyped rookie” until Rousey got past Angle, took down Bliss, then judo-throwed Angle, went after Bliss more, picked up the briefcase that sat on the table next to the title, beat Bliss and Angle with it.
Then referees came down to try to break up the madness, but Rousey took them out as well.
Rousey finished off her attack by putting Bliss through a table.
Rousey then went out back, with Angle following her.
Analysis: This was a great way to kick off the show. They allowed Rousey to be the Rousey she should have been and annihilated everything in her path. A great comeuppance for Rousey after getting screwed the night before.
Angle and Rousey Argument in the Back
After the altercation in the ring, Angle suspended Rousey for 30 days.
Analysis: It’s obvious this is a way to factor Rousey out of the Extreme Rules pay-per-view event. This sets up Rousey coming after the title at SummerSlam.
Seth Rollins Intercontinental Title Open Challenge
Inside the ring, Rollins talks about his success over Elias at Money in the Bank and says he is a fighting champion.
Then, he throws out an open challenge.
Both Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre come out, but Ziggler gets the nod.
After a McIntyre distraction, Ziggler gets the roll-up victory holding on to Rollins tights—the same way Rollins beat Elias.
Ziggler showboats after the match and Rollins tries to go at Ziggler but is taken out from behind by McIntyre.
The two proceed to beat on Rollins and mock him, including McIntyre saying “burn it down” toward Rollins until they get in the back.
Analysis: Another solid segment. Maybe this leads to an internal rift between McIntyre and Ziggler, or perhaps this sets up a potential duel between McIntyre/Ziggler and Rollins and Dean Ambrose when he returns. It will be interesting to see how Elias factors into this, too if at all.
Ziggler and McIntyre Backstage Interview
During the interview, Ziggler talks about the Internet fans and tells them to “write a blog about it” referring to them being upset Rollins lost. They talk about how they’re taking over Monday Night RAW.
Analysis: Any time a wrestler makes fun of the marks; it makes me happy.
Bobby Roode vs. Curt Hawkins
Roode squashes him.
Analysis: It really hopes this culminates in an open challenge at a major pay-per-view that Hawkins wins or something. Not a bad filler segment.
Braun “Mr. Monster in the Bank” Strowman In-Ring
In the ring, Strowman comes out and lists off all of his accolades, but puts winning the Money in the Bank briefcase—after being the favorite to do so—over as his most cherished win.
As he proceeds, Kevin Owens, all bandaged up comes out.
Strowman references how he threw him off a 20-foot ladder the night before.
Owens comes out not looking for a fight, but hoping to form an alliance with Strowman to help him get the Universal Title and then says he and Strowman can face off for the title after he wins.
He asks for Strowman to shake his hand.
At first, Strowman does but then tries to powerslam him.
Fortunately for Owens, he escapes.
Analysis: First of all, “Mr. Monster in the Bank” is extremely cheesy. Secondly, Owens did a terrible job selling his injuries. Thirdly, the announce team said the ladder was 15 feet and Strowman said it was 20. Some minor things there, but still. This is a nice wrinkle to Owens’ character—trying to swindle his way and manipulate others for his bidding, but Strowman wasn’t having any of it. Maybe it comes back to haunt him?
Sasha Banks and Bayley Backstage
The two women discuss Banks and her loss at Money in the Bank and Bayley talks about how she was humiliated by the Riott Squad last week.
After their conversation, a graphic appears letting us know that Bayley and Banks have a match later in the night against the Riott Squad.
Analysis: I simply do not care about this alliance. It’s totally dead. No interest here for me. The acting was horrible.
Deleters of Worlds vs. Heath Slater and Rhyno
Before the match begins, the B-Team comes on the screen making fun of Hardy and Wyatt. The facials, verbiage, and everything.
Then they talk about how they want the RAW Tag Team Championships.
Afterward, the match begins and Hardy and Wyatt make relatively quick work of Slater and Rhyno.
Analysis: I haven’t laughed at a WWE segment in a while, but Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas did make me laugh here. Not surprised by match result.
Angle and Baron Corbin Backstage
Corbin approaches Angle about Rousey and Angle gets angry. However, Stephanie was on the phone and Angle took the phone.
The commercial break came during the conversation.
Stephanie then relays some “big news” to Angle, which he says he’ll announce later in the night and says he’ll make sure to run things by Corbin, too.
Analysis: Great cliffhanger going into the commercial break. Also, Angle saying he’ll announce the “big news” later makes a viewer want to see what he’s going to announce later on in the night. A nice segment to hook the viewer. Still don’t get why Corbin is in his role, though.
Jinder Mahal vs. Chad Gable
Before the match, Mahal cuts a promo on the ramp talking about “change”.
He also talks about “self-improvement”.
Mahal tells Gable to forget about his amateur wrestling past.
Mahal goes berserk on Gable to start the match, but Gable counters with amateur wrestling moves.
Eventually, though, Mahal goes over Gable.
Analysis: Not really sure what Mahal was talking about in his promo—just need to see that develop as a part of his character perhaps. Gable is totally relegated to pretty much nothing.
Riott Squad Backstage
The Riott Squad is seen backstage destroying property, including a random guy’s laptop. They also write an “R” on a mirror.
Analysis: Poor laptop…
Bayley and Sasha Banks vs. Riott Squad
Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan defeat Bayley and Banks.
After the match, Banks pushes Bayley away. Bayley tries to talk and reason with Banks, but Banks is clearly upset.
Banks turns away but then turns back to push Bayley down.
Analysis: Don’t care about the match, but perhaps this “friendship” is finally coming to an end.
Corbin and Angle Backstage
The two men are talking about something, but you can’t hear what they’re saying. They’re preparing for the announcement, though, it seems.
Analysis: A segment to keep the viewer watching.
Banks and Bayley Brawl Backstage
Surprisingly, the fight was started by Bayley.
The two brawl backstage, including throwing each other into trash cans. Banks gets the better of Bayley and walks away.
Analysis: Finally! I think. Bayley’s acting needs to be seriously improved.
Angle talks about how he can’t keep the show under control.
The announcement is set to be who Brock Lesnar will face and when.
But Roman Reigns comes out before he can announce it.
While coming out, the commentary crew mentions how Reigns should have won the Universal Championship at The Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia if not for a referee error.
Reigns talks about how he should be the one getting the title shot.
But then Bobby Lashley comes out fresh off a victory over Sami Zayn at Money in the Bank.
Lashley comes out and tells Reigns he’s been trying to fight Lesnar since he was a “little pup”.
The two men stare each other down and Angle mentions how both are worthy participants.
Angle announces a “multi-person match” at Extreme Rules.
And Lashley and Reigns are two of them. The other ones will be announced at a later date, according to Angle.
Then, The Revival come out.
The Revival challenge both Lashley and Reigns to a match to try to put themselves on the map.
During the promo, Reigns interrupts them and mocks them.
Reigns also calls Bobby Lashley “Bob”.
Angle says the match is on.
Analysis: OK. So, it’s clear Lesnar’s opponent will be determined at Extreme Rules. Lashley and Reigns being in it is a good start. Both should be there and finally, Lashley is away from Zayn and in the main event picture where he belongs. Both men cut great promos. The Revival coming out was a nice way to get them on TV and it had some meaning. Reigns cutting them off was pretty funny, too.
The Revival vs. Lashley and Reigns
Reigns and Lashley win. Lashley gets the pinfall.
Analysis: Not shocked whatsoever. This was a match to help build anticipation to Extreme Rules.
Corbin and Angle Backstage
The two are approached by Finn Balor.
Balor wants an opportunity at being in the match at Extreme Rules.
Corbin interrupts Balor and tells him he’s not worthy just because he had the title for 24 hours after hurting his shoulder.
Then Owens comes up and tells Balor he doesn’t deserve an opportunity.
Balor then says Owens can’t even feel when trouble is coming from behind him and there is Strowman.
Strowman then insinuates that he and Balor should team up against Corbin and Owens.
Analysis: Strowman shouldn’t be friends with anyone, let alone Balor.
Mojo Rawley vs. No Way Jose
Mojo Rawley wins. After the match, he’s interviewed by Charly Caruso asking if he’s hoping his win will help elevate him.
Rawley says he’s all about staying focused.
Analysis: No Way Jose is toast. It was nice to see Rawley back on TV. Let’s see what happens with him moving forward.
Banks and Bayley Backstage Again
Banks goes to get in her car to leave the arena and Bayley approaches her again saying she’s not done with her.
Banks says she is and drives off.
Bayley then throws something at her car.
Analysis: Nice that they’re threading this throughout multiple segments. Starts to make you care about this a little bit more. All about building characters and building emotional attachments.
Elias has another concert dissing the crowd and town they’re in. He also calls out Brock Lesnar.
Analysis: Elias is so damn good. Hope this leads to him in the match at Extreme Rules.
Renee Young Backstage with Seth Rollins
Rollins is upset about the “former” tag with his name.
Rollins takes the loss humbly.
Young talks about McIntyre being with Ziggler and Rollins calls McIntyre a “problem” and says he’s invoking his rematch clause against Ziggler.
Analysis: Gets the viewer looking forward to next week. The dynamic of him going after his title and him dealing with McIntyre. How will he do so?
Finn Balor and Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin and Kevin Owens
Corbin and Owens win after Corbin pins Balor clean.
Analysis: Something tells me Corbin will be in the Extreme Rules match and will try to bury Balor’s chances of being in the match after pinning him in this match.
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