Welcome to the WWE Raw Reaction, where I offer my take on this week’s show in Long Island.
As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth report here.
We kick off the show with Seth Rollins announcing he is cashing in his Money in the Bank in at the Day 1 PPV. Oh wait, he just has a contract for a title match. Anyway, we have our first official match scheduled for the next PPV. At least they didn’t forget about it. Finn Balor comes out and starts beating Rollins up for what happened last week between the two and that’s the start of their match.
The match was really good as you would expect from these two. The only downside is Rollins has a WWE Title match in his future, so Balor had to lose. Granted, they used the old poke to the eye to set up a stomp for the Rollins win. The match was a bit on the short side but it was still good.
Vince McMahon is backstage when Austin Theory enters his office. Theory asks McMahon how he’s doing and McMahon tears into him about the question. McMahon is going to make Theory watch the show with him in his office. Expect more later.
Speaking of number one title contenders, the contact signing for the Raw Women’s Championship Match at Day 1 next week’s Raw. I’m not quite sure why we have to have a contract signing for a non-PPV match, but let’s roll with it. Becky Lynch is out first and puts her opponent down. Liv Morgan comes out next to sign the contract and puts Becky Lynch in her place. It was really good to see how much better Liv is getting with her promos. Lynch offered up a 10 woman tag match for later tonight and Sonya Deville made it official.
The Raw Tag Team Championships are up for grabs as RK-Bro defends against Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode (again). The match was pretty good as you would expect from the talent in the ring. We did a role reversal with Orton playing the face in peril to hot tag in Riddle. Orton would tag back in and finish off Ziggler with an RKO.
Seth Rollins bumped into Kevin Owens backstage, who said if he beat Big E tonight, he’s added to the WWE Championship match at Day 1. Rollins freaked and Owens said to talk to Adam Pearce. Rollins confronted Pearce who said that Owens was lying, but Sonia Deville liked the idea.
Promo Time with Edge is next. It was great to see Edge back and he listed off some great match possibilities, AJ Styles (WrestleMania please), Kevin Owens, Finn Balor (yes please), Damian Priest (double yes), and Big E (credible win for E). The first person to interrupt Edge is…The Miz? Miz and Mrs make their way to the ring and Edge does more in about five minutes to put Miz over than Miz has done in his entire career. Edge is ready to but Miz isn’t, despite being in his ring gear. I’m not gonna lie, I could pass on this feud but the promos will be good. I’ll give it a chance.
AJ Styles is shown backstage being helped by Omos after being “blinded” by the Street Profits last week. The Street Profits come out for their scheduled tag match with Alpha Academy. Styles and Omos eventually wander down to commentary. The Street Profits win this Three Minute Raw Special when Styles “miraculously” recovers from his blindness and Ford pins Gable. After the match, Omos looked confused and these two could be heading to Splitsville soon.
Backstage, McMahon asked Theory to critique the tag match. Theory said he liked it while McMahon said the booking sucked. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Vince McMahon admitted on live television that his booking sucked.
Owens and Rollins bickered over what Pearce said and Owens said we’ll see. Oh, the drama.
We get treated to another title match tonight when Damian Priest defended the United States Championship against Apollo Crews. I really like the new entrance for Priest. It really fits the new gimmick. The match was a bit disappointing. I was expecting more out of it. The match was okay and Crews never really looked like a threat. Priest won after Commander Azeez got tossed from ringside after getting caught interfering in the match. Priest did the crazy eyes thing to finish off Crews. Let’s mark Priest’s new gimmick as a work in progress.
Rollins went to talk to Pearce and Deville and found out that they liked Owens idea and were going to make it official for tonight. Well, we know how this is going.
Tag team action is up with The Mysterios taking on Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin in a Three Minute Raw Special. Both teams needed a win so the Mysterios got this one.
The 10 Women Tag Match is up next with Team Liv (Liv Morgan, Bianca Belair, 24/7 Champion Dana Brooke, Rhea Ripley, and Nikki A.S.H.) taking on Team Becky (Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch, WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Carmella and Queen Vega, Doudrop, and Tamina). The match was really good then it just kept going and going, like the Energizer Bunny. It was great to see (some of) the women get some time in the ring. The problem though, this was a 15-minute match that went on for 20 minutes. Liv Morgan was the star of the match, the intended purpose. Morgan pinned Tamina to pick up the win for her team. After the match, the ladies split up amongst their individual feuds with the faces standing tall in the ring. Bonus points to Bianca Belair for that impressive spinebuster on Doudrop.
We go back to McMahon and Theory talking about expecting the unexpected, so McMahon slapped Theory. Riveting television.
We get a promo that Veer Mahaan is coming soon as he’s been for the last two months. He’s been on the Raw roster the whole time. Was he banished to Main Event?
Main event time with WWE Champion Big E taking on Kevin Owens. Here comes Seth Rollins to join commentary. We get a solid match between Big E and Owens but we all know where this is going. Owens keeps messing with Rollins and eventually Rollins interferes for the DQ ending. This accomplishes several things. First, it protects Big E from having to take an actual loss even though this is a non-title match. Second, it adds Owens to the WWE Title match at Day 1. And lastly, it showed Owens outsmarting Big E and Rollins to get himself into the WWE Title match. Once Rollins realized what happened, Rollins flipped out and attacked Owens and Big E to close out the show.
Let’s look at tonight’s highs and lows.
Liv Morgan’s promo on Becky Lynch during the contract signing was simply fire. You can tell she’s been working on getting better with her delivery on the mic and it is paying off. Lynch is going to make her into a big star. I do not expect a title change next week. Morgan will come really close though.
The Seth Rollins/Finn Balor match was really good with a good story behind it.
While it was great to see the Women’s Division get some extended TV time tonight, the match they had was longer than it needed to be. There was a bit too much lull in the middle. It could have used a bit more action or have about five minutes shaved off of it.
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That’s all I’ve got, until next time.