Welcome to the Raw Reaction, where I offer my take on this week’s show from Providence, RI.
As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth report here.
We kick off the show with Becky Lynch defending the Raw Women’s Championship against Bianca Belair. This match was simply fantastic. It’s probably the closest match to a technical clinic that has ever been allowed in the Women’s Division. For as great of a match we were treated to, the finish left a lot to be desired. Lynch retained her title after shoving Belair into an exposed turnbuckle and hitting her with the dreaded ROLLUP OF DEATH~! with a handful of tights for good measure. I get where the story is going, but I think the protected loss will still hurt Belair. Since Charlotte would not do it and Baszler is on Smackdown, there is nobody on the Raw roster to be able to give Belair the statement win she really needs.
Up next, Rey Mysterio takes on Austin Theory. This was a good match that really couldn’t follow the previous one. Dominik showed some creativity swinging Rey’s legs around so he could do a DDT on Theory. The match ended with the referee catching Dominik interfering in the match and that got Rey DQed. It fit the Mysterio storyline as of late, but it was a pretty bad ending.
Promo Time with Seth Rollins is up. Rollins was bragging about winning the #1 contendership and that brings out WWE Champion Big E. Big E says he is ready to fight Rollins tonight. Rollins shoots that idea down so Kevin Owens comes out to join the party and challenge Big E instead. Rollins liked the idea and so did Big E. It is set to be the main event tonight.
Tag team action is next with WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Nikki A.S.H. and Rhea Ripley taking on Queen Zelina and Carmella. Carmella’s stupid face mask gimmick continues. Graves really needs to be gagged during Carmella’s matches. WWE deploys their standard tag team champions non-title tag match formula here and Nikki eats the pin. I’m guessing this will be a feud going forward.
Chad Gable and Otis have a run in with Big E before Gable’s match with Finn Balor. The match was really good for the time given. A rematch is most definitely needed with the proper time allocated to them. Balor picked up the win after cradling Gable after taking a picture-perfect superplex from Gable. I couldn’t tell you the last time I saw that match finish. At least it was something different for a change.
More tag action is up with the Street Profits taking on Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode. RK-Bro was on commentary for this match. The match was pretty good but it, too, got a dumb ending. Ziggler and Roode picked up the win after Omos showed up for the distraction. No, we do not believe that Roode and Ziggler are going to beat RK-Bro for the tag titles and it looks like the Street Profits will have to put Omos over. I’m still waiting for Orton to RKO Omos.
United States Champion Damian Priest takes on T-Bar in a No DQ match not for the US Title. The match was a good physical match between these two. It only took two years, but WWE finally figured out how to make T-Bar work. Priest’s new crazy eyes thing is getting good reactions from the crowds, so Priest might have something here to work with. It goes without saying that Priest won the match. I see big things in Priest’s future. After the match, Apollo Crews showed up to announce his intentions to pursue the US title. Doubt he’ll win, but it should be a fun feud. At least Azeez will bump.
Backstage, Becky Lynch said she was done with Belair, so Liv Morgan stepped up. At least she’s been freed from Carmella. I doubt Morgan will best Lynch now.
Main event time with Big E taking on Kevin Owens. This was a very good match as you would expect. They got a decent amount of time and Rollins eventually showed up, because of course. I wouldn’t mind seeing this a nice little feud after Rollins is over. Rollins interfered as you would expect but Owens was slow to capitalize, which allowed Big E to counter and win. After the match, Owens challenged Rollins to a match next week while apologizing to Big E. Big E dropped Owens with a Big Ending to close out the show.
Let take a look at tonight’s highs and lows.
The Lynch/Belair match was likely the best women’s match of 2021. If you missed it, shame on you. Go find it and enjoy. You won’t be disappointed.
No Three Minute Raw Specials tonight! Can they make it two in a row next week?
Graves really needs to be gagged during Carmella’s matches. He’s going way too overboard to the point of needing to mute the broadcast. Speaking of, who thought that mask Carmella wears was a good idea? Spoiler Alert: it wasn’t.
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That’s all I’ve got, until next time.