Welcome to the Raw Reaction, where I offer my take on this week’s show in Wichita, Kansas as we continue on the road to Money in the Bank.
As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth report here.
Adam Pearce is in the ring with a small table, so it’s time for Rhea Ripley to get her new championship. Ripley is presented with the WWE Women’s World Championship, which looks identical to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship held by Seth “Freakin” Rollins. Dominik Mysterio ran down to celebrate with Ripley. That brings out Cody Rhodes for a conversation. Rhodes says he respects Ripley and the legacy she will build with the new championship. Rhodes has an issue with the only mistake Rey Mysterio made, Dominik. Rhodes wants a match with Mysterio. Rhodes opponent, The Miz, showed up to get dropped by Rhodes. This allowed Mysterio to get in a cheap hit and run attack on Rhodes before Ripley accepted the challenge.
Our opening match has Cody Rhodes taking on The Miz. This was a good match and pretty much what you would expect from a Miz match. Rhodes was in control for most of it but Miz never really had a chance here. Rhodes picked up the win after a Cody Cutter and Cross Rhodes.
Becky Lynch was hanging out backstage with Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. As she walks to the ring for Promo Time, Lynch passes Alpha Academy working out with Maxxine Dupri in the hallway. Lynch talks about how the Money in the Bank briefcase gives you power over the champions. Zoey Stark appears and told Lynch that she only got famous because somebody broke her face. Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville come out for Green’s scheduled match with Lynch to provide an excuse as to why Deville was beaten by Lynch last week. Lynch is ready to fight Green right now. The promos were not too bad and to the point.
The match between Lynch and Green never had the result in doubt. The match was good for what it was but Lynch picked up the win with a Dis-arm-her on Green.
Damian Priest was backstage with Judgment Day telling them that he wants to beat Matt Riddle by himself. Balor looked lost in thought as Priest walked off. Priest and Riddle is our final men’s Money in the Bank qualifier match. The match was really good. Priest’s stock has been steadily rising since his fantastic performance at Backlash.
They put on an entertaining match that kept you engaged throughout. I liked Riddle popping off a vintage Randy Orton stupid taunt after sending Priest across the announce table. In the end, Priest picked up the win after hitting the Razor’s Edge. I believe this is the first match he’s won with that move. Priest qualifies for MITB and is likely some people’s pick. After the match, GUNTHER and Ludwig Kaiser attack Riddle to avenge Giovanni Vinci’s inability to go turtleneck shopping. This is likely the setup for a Riddle/GUNTHER title match at MITB.
GUNTHER and Kaiser were backstage stirring up things with Owens and Zayn. Zayn wondered where baldy was when Adam Pearce walked up. Imperium challenged Zayn and Owens to make their match tonight a tag title match. Pearce said he’d take it under advisement after Owens and Zayn left. I really like this version of Owens.
We get a recap from Smackdown on the latest Bloodline drama. Roman Reigns returns to address things on this week’s Smackdown. Roman returns more than Veer Mahhan was coming to Raw. Speaking of Indus Sher, there they are with Jinder Mahal to talk about what they did to Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin like beating them up was some great accomplishment or something. Let’s hope they can draw better in India than WWE Champion Jinder Mahal did.
Ricochet takes on Bronson Reed next. The match was okay for what it was. Ricochet bounced all around against the much larger Reed. Shinsuke Nakamura was at ringside due to his recent issues with Reed. Nakamura eventually gets involved to draw the DQ and attacks Reed. Ricochet was not happy about it and Reed bulldozes both of them. Reed climbed up for a tsunami but Ricochet and Nakamura met him up there to deliver a double superplex instead. That was an impressive sight.
Promo Time with Finn Balor is up next. Balor gives us a little history lesson about his first month on Raw before calling out Seth “Freakin” Rollins. Rollins comes out and Balor blames him for taking everything away from him after injuring him in the Universal Title match. Balor wants to take the World Heavyweight Championship from Rollins as payback. The match is on for London.
Raquel Rodriguez is out to lose to Shayna Baszler in under two minutes. At least it was a protected loss after a little bit of Ronda Rousey interference.
Speaking of losing in two minutes, Chad Gable beat Erik of the Viking Raiders. How much has the Viking Raiders fallen recently? The match felt rushed and we would have reports after Raw that the Rollins/Balor segment ran long with all of the singing and this match was cut super short. Hopefully, the eventual six person tag gets sufficient time.
It’s main event time with Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn defending the Undisputed Tag Team Championship against Imperium. The match was really good. It got sufficient time with plenty of back and forth action. Riddle made an appearance towards the end of the match to draw GUNTHER’s attention. GUNTHER took out Riddle only to turn around into an Owens DDT on the ramp. Zayn planted Kaiser with a Blue Thunder Bomb to retain the tag titles. It was nice to see Zayn pick up a win with the Blue Thunder Bomb instead of just a two count.
John rated this week’s episode at 7.5. I think that is a fair rating as the show was pretty good. I think I’ll go and rate it at a 7.5 as well.
Let’s take a look at tonight’s highs and lows.
The tag team championship main event was really good. There were a couple of points when you thought Imperium might win but the champs pulled it out in the end with a small assist from Riddle.
The promo action tonight was really good for Money in the Bank. Rhodes set up a match with Mysterio, Lynch/Stark continued their feud towards MITB, and Balor/Rollins set up their title match in London.
It was a shame that the Gable/Erik match had to be cut short. This feud has potential if done right. I think a six-person tag is still a couple of weeks away.
You can catch me on Facebook or on Twitter (@ciscowebwiz76) with any feedback or discussion.
That’s all I’ve got, until next time.