Welcome to the Raw Reaction, where I offer my take on this week’s show in Cincinnati. As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth report here.
We kick off the show with Big E defending the WWE Championship against Bobby Lashley. The match was pretty good for the time that they were given. It was a hard-hitting affair that you would have expected it to be. A surprise appearance of The Hurt Business, Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin, led to the New Day running down to even things up. Both teams started fighting outside the ring before they wound up inside the ring and broke up Lashley’s pin of Big E for the DQ. Both teams continued to fight until officials finally restored order. Adam Pearce showed up and ordered a steel cage title match for our main event tonight. A false flag title match to start things off? Who would have guessed?
The Viking Raider’s Erik squares off against Angel Garza next. Erik shows you just how good he is as a singles wrestler, tossing Garza around. Humberto Carrillo offers the heel distraction so Garza could hit Erik with the Wing Clipper to win the match. Really? That just happened? Really? Oh how the Viking Raiders have fallen.
Reggie is up to defend the 24/7 Championship against Ricochet in an actual match. The 24/7 crowd attacks for a DQ ending. At least Ricochet got a little bit of screen time.
Akira Tozawa got left behind and mauled by Keith “Bearcat” Lee. At least Lee won and appeared to be working as a face.
The United States Championship is up for grabs as Damian Priest defended against Sheamus in a no countout, no DQ match. The stipulation is going to break our string of every other match ending in a DQ, since Lee pinned Tozawa in their match. We get another hard-hitting match from these two, yet again. They had a good choice of weapons and were effective in their use to tell the story. A table got set up in the corner and the lights reflecting off of it showed you it was precut. Sheamus would eventually go through said table and they make a different sound now when they break. Priest then put Sheamus away with The Reckoning. Great match and I guess The Fella is Smackdown bound in the Draft next week.
Six Man Tag action is next with Mansoor and Mustafa Ali teaming with Jeff Hardy to take on Jinder Mahal and his buddies Veer and Shanky. The match had good action to it. Shanky is still too green to really participate, so Veer was the man in the spotlight. He looked really good and Ali sold the clothesline finisher great. Veer picked up the win for his team. If we could only get a decent push for Ali and Mansoor.
Karrion Kross came out and beat up Jaxson Ryker. I guess Ryker’s push is over. I knew Elias wouldn’t get him over.
Riddle takes on AJ Styles next. This was not the first time these two have squared off, but I could do without another “Styles beats up Riddle again” match. It just feels played out to me. The match was great like their previous encounters and Styles picked up the win. Omos beat up Riddle after the match. I guess there’s another tag title match between the two teams coming soon.
Charlotte Flair’s Women’s Championship Open Challenge is up next. Doudrop accepts the challenge. Eva Marie shows up before the match can become anything and costs Doudrop the match. Can we please give these two an actual match? After the match, Charlotte knocked Eva down.
Promo Time with Goldberg is next. Goldberg tells Lashley the Saudi money is great and we fight at Crown Jewel so I can defend my son’s honor. Well, he did say the second part and we all know the first part is true.
Eva Marie is still in the ring (did she stay there for the whole Goldberg promo?) complaining that she should have been given the title match instead of Doudrop. Shayna Baszler came down and put Eva to sleep with the Kirifuda Clutch, to the delight of the crowd. Baszler wasn’t done and did the arm stomp on Eva as she did on Nia Jax last week. The only difference was Nia sold it with better acting. The crowd chanted one more time but Baszler left, to the dismay of the crowd. Can someone please explain to me how Baszler is the heel in this?
Main event time with Big E defending the WWE Championship against Bobby Lashley (again) in a steel cage match. Lashley attacked Big E outside the cage before the match started because that’s what the formula is for these big cage matches. Once inside the cage, they picked up right where they left off and returned to the hard-hitting match they opened the show with. The Hurt Business and New Day show up to fight again and throw us to our last commercial break. Lashley dominated the match from here. Lashley hit Big E with everything he had and could not keep him down. Lashley went climbing out of the cage when Big E caught him. Big E hit a Big Ending off the second rope to retain his title. A Big Ending indeed.
After the cage was raised, Drew McIntyre showed up to challenge Big E for the title as the show goes off the air. Nice tease Drew, but we’ll see you on Fridays.
Let’s take a look at tonight’s highs and lows.
Another week of solid in ring action. There were more matches that were good than bad. Raw is starting to look a little more promising. Let’s hope they can keep it up.
Shayna Baszler has been freed and unleashed. Please push her as the monster she once was. Also, thank you, Shayna.
There were quite a few short matches with puzzling outcomes. The 24/7 Championship matched ended on a DQ. Erik shouldn’t have lost to Garza after two moves. Doudrop should have had a real match with Charlotte Flair instead of what we got.
The Raw side of the Extreme Rules card was pretty good. The opening six-man tag and United States Championship matches were pretty good and the standouts for Raw. I’ll offer my thoughts on the Smackdown side in the Smackdown Reaction on Saturday.
Hit me up on Facebook or Twitter (@ciscowebwiz76) anytime with comments or discussion. That’s all I’ve got, until next time.