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Welcome to the Raw Deal for the first edition of WWE Raw following Extreme Rules. The show was a bit of a mixed bag with a boring first two hours, but I thought the last 90 minutes was solid. The crowd played a big part in the main event although not in a good way. I rated it a 5 out of 10 in my review that you can read here and I got a lot of comments from people saying I was too nice for that. Maybe I was. I just think the talent did the best they could with the booking they were given and the booking needs to improve all across the board. I also wrote an exclusive review of Extreme Rules for The Comeback that you can read here. It’s a different look at the show with ten of my hot takes on what happened. Next up on the WWE PPV calendar is SummerSlam in five weeks. It’s a bigger show and hopefully a much better PPV as well.

Live from Buffalo, New York, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1312 of Monday Night Raw. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner up top.

Raw began with a graphic In Memory of Masa Saito 1942-2018.

Kurt Angle, the Raw General Manager, was in the ring for the opening promo. Angle thanked the Raw superstars that competed at Extreme Rules. He praised their effort and dedication. Angle said somebody that doesn’t show effort or dedication is the Universal Champion Brock Lesnar.

Angle went over the stipulations he laid out for Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules. Angle said he was stripping Lesnar of the Universal Title. Angle was interrupted by Paul Heyman doing his usual “ladies and gentlemen” intro. Angle said we know who Heyman is and Angle told him that Lesnar has to come out here right now.

Heyman did his usual loud intro for the reigning Universal Champion Brock Lesnar and said that Lesnar is not there. Angle said he is stripping Lesnar of the Universal Title. Heyman went into the ring to interrupt Angle.

Heyman said that he thinks that Angle and the entire WWE Universe has it all wrong. The fans booed. Heyman said he doesn’t blame the fans for their reaction. Heyman said that people think Lesnar doesn’t care about the Universal Championship and his sole focus is becoming UFC Heavyweight Champion. Heyman: “Brock Lesnar loves being in WWE.” The fans booed. “Brock Lesnar loves being the Universal Heavyweight Champion.” Angle: “Then why doesn’t he show up?” Heyman said that Lesnar wants to represent the WWE Universe by wearing the Universal Championship around his waist when he wins the UFC Heavyweight Champion. Heyman said that it’s like Angle challenging for titles with the Olympic gold medal around his neck.

Angle told Heyman that Lesnar will defend the Universal Champion at SummerSlam or he is no longer champion. Heyman took his time and then replied saying that Lesnar will defend the Universal Title at SummerSlam.

Heyman said he congratulated the WWE Universe for using their voices to say that they want more Brock Lesnar. The fans booed. Heyman continued to work the crowd saying that if it was up them, it would be more Brock Lesnar all the time. Heyman said now it is official that Lesnar will defend the Universal Title at SummerSlam. Heyman wondered who at SummerSlam will be beaten, victimized and conquered by Brock Lesnar.

Bobby Lashley was the first wrestler to interrupt. He got a pretty good reaction. Louder than most weeks.

Lashley got into the ring with Angle and Heyman. Lashley said that he had two goals when he came back to WWE and he accomplished the first by defeating Roman Reigns at Extreme Rules. Lashley said now it’s time to accomplish the other goal. Lashley got in Heyman’s face and said he wants to beat Brock Lesnar and win the Universal Title.

Drew McIntyre was up next. McIntyre slowly walked down to the ring saying that he didn’t come back to WWE to make up the roster numbers or stand in Dolph Ziggler’s corner. He said he came back to make sure the IC Title stayed around Ziggler’s waist and that was phase one. McIntyre said it was time for phase two. McIntyre got in the ring and said: “The Universal Championship.”

Seth Rollins was the next man up as he walked down to the ring with a purpose as he got in McIntyre’s face. Fans chanted “Burn It Down” for Rollins. Rollins said if you’re looking for an opponent for Lesnar, Rollins is right there.

Elias was the fourth man to interrupt with guitar in hand. Elias did his “who wants to walk with Elias?” bit. Elias got in the ring to say that nothing sounds nicer than Elias as Universal Champion. Elias said next week July 23 his debut album drops. Elias said it only makes sense to ride that success into SummerSlam by putting Elias against Brock Lesnar.

Finn Balor made his entrance to ask Elias and the others who was the first Universal Champion? It was him two years ago. Balor got in the ring to say that it makes sense that it should be Balor against Brock Lesnar.

Roman Reigns joined the party with Cole screaming “Here Comes the Big Dog” like a moron. Plenty of boos for Reigns like usual with some cheers mixed in. Reigns got in the ring say that he has no excuses and he doesn’t care about Brock Lesnar, but he wants to fight somebody tonight.

Angle said they are all deserving to be out there tonight. Angle said there will be two triple threat matches and the winners of those matches will face off in a singles match next week for the Universal Championship match against Lesnar at SummerSlam.

One of the triple threat matches is: Elias vs. Seth Rollins vs. Bobby Lashley. The second match is Drew McIntyre vs. Finn Balor vs. Roman Reigns and that match starts right now. The crowd cheered.

Analysis: It took nearly 20 minutes to get through all of that. Heyman did a great job of being a whiny heel that the fans booed with how he praised Lesnar and kept on saying things to piss off the fans. Angle did well to show that he wasn’t going to budge in his decision and he was serious about Lesnar defending the title. The six guys they chose for the match are a bit questionable because there’s no Strowman or Owens involved, but Strowman could always get involved via Money in the Bank cash in and Owens was injured on Sunday in the storyline, so that explains his absence. The two triple threat matches to set up a match next week is cool with me. On Twitter I noted my prediction was Reigns and Lashley as the winners, but I want Rollins to win.

(Commercial)

Kurt Angle was shown walking backstage. Baron Corbin showed up in his Constable gear. Corbin asked Angle why he would set up those matches and not consult Stephanie. Angle said he didn’t think he had to. Corbin complained that Angle didn’t include him. Angle noted that Balor beat Corbin and left.

Analysis: If Corbin wanted to be in the match why didn’t he just show up for the promo like the six other guys? Don’t expect WWE to answer that question for us.

The match began with all three guys in corners.

Drew McIntyre vs. Roman Reigns vs. Finn Balor

McIntyre with a clothesline on both guys early on. Balor came back with a dropkick on McIntyre and Reigns hit a clothesline that sent McIntyre out of the ring. Balor with a clothesline that sent Reigns over the top to the floor. Balor hit a somersault dive onto both guys on the floor. Back in the ring, McIntyre whipped Balor hard into the turnbuckle. McIntyre with a belly to belly suplex on Reigns. McIntyre was in control with a running boot to the face of Reigns. McIntyre with a suplex on Reigns for two. Hard chop to the chest by McIntyre on Balor and a punch to Reigns. McIntyre worked over Reigns with punches. McIntyre knocked Balor off the apron and sent him crashing to the floor. McIntyre with a neckbreaker for two as the show went to break about five minutes into it.

(Commercial)

The match returned with McIntyre still in control as he sent Balor face first into the ring apron. McIntyre stomped away on Reigns. Reigns came back with a punch on McIntyre and Balor with a clothesline on Reigns. Clothesline by Reigns on Balor. Reigns wanted a Drive By, Balor avoided and hit a double foot stomp. McIntyre hit a somersault dive over the top onto Reigns. Wow that was impressive. Balor shoved McIntyre into the ring steps. Balor with a double foot stomp to the back of the head of McIntyre. Back in the ring, Balor was in control until Reigns drove him into the turnbuckle. Balor with a leaping kick. McIntyre got back into it with a steel chair that knocked Balor off the apron to the floor. McIntyre tried to use the chair on Reigns. McIntyre sent Reigns shoulder first into the ring post for a two count. The show went to break there.

(Commercial)

The show returned with Reigns back in control with a running boot on McIntyre. Reigns charged in and McIntyre hit a spinebuster for two. Balor got back into the match with two chair shots to McIntyre to knock him out of the ring. No disqualifications in this match. Balor beat on Reigns with five steel chair shots to the back of Reigns. Balor with a running dropkick that sent McIntyre into the barricade. Reigns left the ring and he hit McIntyre with a Spear on the floor. Balor hit a Slingblade on Reigns on the floor. Back in the ring, Balor with a Slingblade on Reigns, but Reigns came back with a Superman Punch for two. The fans chanted “this is awesome” as the match reached the 20 minute mark. Reigns set up for a Spear, but Balor kicked him in the face and hit a dropkick that sent Reigns into the turnbuckle. Balor up top and he hit the Coup de Gras double foot stomp with McIntyre there to pull Balor out of the ring at the perfect time. McIntyre whipped Balor into the steel steps. Back in the ring, McIntyre was met with a Superman Punch by Reigns and Balor rolled up Reigns for two. Reigns with a Superman Punch on Balor. McIntyre forearm on Reigns. McIntyre hit the Claymore Kick on Balor, Reigns with a Superman Punch on McIntyre and Reigns hit a Spear on Balor for the pinfall win after 22 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Roman Reigns

Analysis: **** That was an awesome match that was good as anything on Extreme Rules. My rating makes it slightly better than anything on ERules actually. Reigns winning is a bit frustrating, but I expected him to win because that’s what usually happens especially after he lost to Lashley at Extreme Rules. The crowd really wanted Balor to get it done, so that spot where McIntyre pulled Balor out of the ring at the last moment was great. A big reason why the crowd was so into that match is not just star power, but there was something on the line with the winner (Reigns) moving on to next week against the other triple threat winner. Make us care about matches. It helps. McIntyre looked more impressive in that match than any match he’s had since he returned to WWE. Balor did an outstanding job too. All three of them did well.

Reigns was bleeding around his nose/eye area. Reigns celebrated the win. Reigns faces the other triple threat winner next week.

Bayley was in the office with Angle. Banks was late because she was busy with something. Bayley said the friendship counseling didn’t work and she doubts they will be together as friends ever again. Angle said on Raw they settle things in the ring with Banks against Dana Brooke and Alicia Fox, who are looking for an opportunity. Bayley said he’s not sure if it will work. Angle said if they don’t get along then one of them will get traded to Smackdown.

Analysis: I like how Angle is told to say that they settle things in the ring two weeks after he put them in “counseling” sessions. Way to go, creative team. It makes Angle look like a fool.

Dolph Ziggler was shown backstage because he is up next.

(Commercial)

A video aired about the “smartest superstars” mentioning Bobby Heenan. He was great.

Let’s Hear From Dolph Ziggler

Dolph Ziggler made his entrance in his ring gear with the Intercontinental Title around his waist. Ziggler said that at Extreme Rules, he did what he said he would do because he put on a clinic. It wasn’t that good, really. Ziggler said “I am Ironman and I am still your Intercontinental Champion.” Ziggler remarked that he is good.

Ziggler noted that the IC Title main evented a WWE PPV for the first time in 17 years (that was a tag match when Triple H was IC Champ) and it wasn’t because of Seth Rollins. Ziggler said he always gives credit where it is due. Ziggler said that he respects Rollins for everything he did to make the IC Title what it is today, but he is no Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler bragged about how he beat Rollins five teams. “Glorious” hit for Bobby Roode’s intro.

Bobby Roode, who was in his ring gear along with his robe, made his entrance saying that Ziggler should thank Drew McIntyre because if it wasn’t for him, Ziggler would be in some comedy club. Ziggler asked Roode how fun it was watching him from the sidelines. Roode said that the sidelines suck. Roode said that’s why he’s there right now to challenge Ziggler for the title right now. Roode asked Ziggler if he was afraid that he can’t do it on his own. Ziggler told Roode he can do it and he told a referee to get out there now. A ref ran down to the ring to start the match.

Ziggler said that he can have a match, but he didn’t say it was for the Intercontinental Championship. Ziggler said let’s start.

Analysis: I liked the heel move by Ziggler at the end denying the title match. Roode has had nothing to do for several weeks, so it’s okay to put him in this spot.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Bobby Roode

This is not for the IC Title as Ziggler mentioned.

Roode was aggressive early on with a hiptoss followed by a headlock on the mat. Ziggler grounded Roode with a headlock of his own. Roode with a running shoulder tackle on Ziggler and Roode dumped Ziggler over the top to the floor. It looked like a rough landing for Ziggler, but he was fine. Roode sent Ziggler face first into the barricade. Roode sent Ziggler into the ring, Ziggler sent Roode to the floor and Ziggler connected with a dropkick for two. Ziggler with a neckbreaker that got a two count. Roode made his comeback with a clothesline. Ziggler sent Roode face first into the turnbuckle as they went to break. The crowd was quiet for most of this match.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Roode with an elbow followed by a double foot attack. Ziggler hit the turnbuckle on an errant splash attempt. Roode with a running clothesline, back elbow and Ziggler with a kick. Roode with a spinning uranage slam. The crowd barely reacted to Roode’s comeback. Roode with a clothesline and a blockbuster off the second rope. Roode wanted the Glorious DDT, Ziggler suplexed out of it and got a two count. Roode rollup for two, Ziggler rolled through, Roode rollup for two, Glorious DDT avoided and Ziggler hit the Zig Zag for two as Roode got his shoulder up. Ziggler set up a superkick, Roode slowly got back up and Roode did a catapult that sent Roode into the turnbuckle. Roode with a spinebuster for two. Ziggler choked Roode across the top rope, Roode with two boots to the face and Roode favored his knee. Ziggler kicked the knee, Roode avoided a DDT and Ziggler hit a Superkick for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Dolph Ziggler

Analysis: *** It was a good match in front of a crowd that didn’t react to it that much. I think Roode really needs to turn heel soon because the face act is boring aside from the “Glorious” bit that he has. Roode is a much more natural wrestler as a heel. I’m glad that Ziggler won because if he lost one night after winning the Ironman match it would have made him look bad. I know WWE likes to book champs to lose non-title, but it would have been a mistake in this case.

The announce team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Jonathon Coachman were shown on camera. A replay aired of the opening segment with Angle, Heyman and the six wrestlers. They replayed Reigns winning earlier in the show.

Later on Raw: Seth Rollins vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Elias.

Bobby Lashley did a promo backstage saying that Lesnar has never faced anybody like him. Lashley stated that he had the skills and ability to beat Lesnar. Lashley said he will become the Universal Champion.

This week on Smackdown: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Jeff Hardy for the US Title.

(Commercial)

Bobby Roode was shown walking backstage looking frustrated about the loss. Mojo Rawley showed up clapping. Rawley: “And you’re supposed to be glorious?” Rawley laughed and walked away.

Analysis: This could be the start of a new feud or maybe the start of Roode going heel.

Tyler Breeze made his entrance in solo action. No Fandango for about six months after shoulder surgery. Mojo Rawley made his entrance.

Tyler Breeze vs. Mojo Rawley

Rawley with shoulder tackles to start. Breeze knocked him out of the ring. Rawley ran over Breeze with a running shoulder tackle. Back in the ring, Rawley got a two count. Rawley locked Breeze in a headlock. Breeze managed to get a sunset flip for two. Breeze with a leaping kick followed by a clothesline. Breeze sent Rawley out of the ring. Rawley jumped back into the ring with a running splash and a running shoulder block known as the pounce. Rawley with a Lights Out forearm for the face. Rawley picked up Breeze and hit an Alabama Slam for the win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Mojo Rawley

Analysis: *1/2 It was a quick match to put over Rawley. I like the way Rawley showed off his athleticism in terms of his offense and also how he came back when Breeze got the advantage. I doubt Breeze gets any kind of push while Fandango is injured. He’s good, but he doesn’t stand out enough. The slow push of Rawley continues, which is okay because he’s a guy that has been in WWE’s system for a while, so they should see what they can do with him.

Sasha Banks and Bayley were shown walking backstage for their tag team match against Alicia Fox and Dana Brooke.

(Commercial)

Dana Brooke and Alicia Fox were already in the ring for this match.

Bayley made her entrance first for her team. Sasha Banks was up second.

Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Dana Brooke and Alicia Fox

Fox with a running kick to Bayley for a two count. Cole said that Goldust tweeted him saying he wants to be a therapist for Banks and Bayley. Brooke tagged in with a springboard elbow on Bayley. Brooke missed when she tried it again. Brooke knocked Banks off the apron. Bayley came back with a running takedown of Brooke followed by two clotheslines. Bayley punched Fox off the apron. Brooke came back with a hard clothesline on Bayley that looked great. Brooke dumped Bayley to the floor. Fox attacked Bayley, so Banks went after Fox and Banks slammed Brooke off the apron to the floor. Banks drove Brooke into the barricade. Banks with a cross body block on both women on the floor. The ref tried to restore order, but he couldn’t stop it and called for the bell. It looked like a disqualification finish. It went about three minutes.

Match Result: Disqualification

After the match, Banks walked away while Bayley looked confused at ringside.

Analysis: * It is frustrating to watch a match where WWE doesn’t care to book a finish. There was nothing announced about who actually won, but I guess Banks was disqualified. I think it would be considered a no contest or maybe Banks was disqualified for going after Fox and Brooke when Banks was not the legal woman in the match. I think it was just done to show that Banks was a competitor. This confusing storyline continues.

The triple threat still to come. Update on Kevin Owens still to come.

(Commercial)

A commercial aired for SummerSlam in Brooklyn on August 19.

There was a shot of Bayley and Banks in the locker room. Banks talked about how she can fight Bayley, but she didn’t want to see others do it. Bayley said that means Banks cares. Banks said that she hates talking about her feelings, but Bayley always does this. Banks said that she loves that Bayley is a good person, that loves everybody, that girls look up to her and Bayley can tell what is wrong. Banks said that she loves Bayley, she always has and she always will. Banks left while Bayley said nothing.

Analysis: What a touching moment. The stuff Banks said about Bayley is true about the Bayley character, so Banks came off as honest in that segment. I think they might tell the story with Banks admitting she can’t be the kind of good person Bayley is and Banks can turn heel. Maybe they have a match at SummerSlam with the loser going to Smackdown.

Images were shown of Braun Strowman tossing Kevin Owens off the steel cage through the announce table.

Strowman was interviewed by Renee Young. Strowman said he regrets that he didn’t have an opportunity to congratulate Kevin Owens on his victory. Renee asked why Strowman didn’t step up for a Universal Title match. Strowman held up the Money in the Bank briefcase saying it’s because of that. Strowman reminded us he gets a Universal Title match whenever he wants.

Analysis: I hope that answers the question for the people that ask why Strowman wouldn’t want to get a title shot. He doesn’t need to since he’s Mr. Money in the Bank, which is a good reason.

Cole said that Kevin Owens had bruises and he’ll be evaluated later in the week.

Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas made their entrance as the new Raw Tag Team Champions. There were clips of Bo and Curtis celebrating the win all night. They are in a match after a break.

(Commercial)

The match started during the break.

The B Team (Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel) vs. The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor)

Dallas worked over Konnor with kicks against the turnbuckle. Dawson and Wilder of The Revival were shown watching backstage. Konnor kicked Axel away. Viktor tagged in with chops for Dallas, a charge missed by Viktor and then Viktor hit a knee smash off the middle ropes for two as Axel made the save. Konnor was sent to the floor by Axel. Dallas with a back elbow. Axel tagged in, Dallas picked up Viktor and Axel hit a double team neckbreaker for the pinfall win after two minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The B Team

Analysis: 1/2* A quick win to put over the new champs. The double team finisher is fine, but I don’t think the fans realize it’s a finishing move because they barely react to it. Axel is funny with his facial expression at times.

Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt appeared on the screen saying that The B Team must pay for their crime of winning the titles. Wyatt said that next week they will get their rematch and Hardy said they will be deleted forever.

Analysis: A rematch next week is fine. I think there’s a chance The B Team may drop the titles, but I hope not. They should have a run with the titles for a few months.

A video aired showing how Alexa Bliss retained the Raw Women’s Title at Extreme Rules with Mickie James helping her win.

Alexa Bliss and Mickie James were shown walking backstage because they are up next at the top of hour three.

(Commercial)

Let’s Hear From Alexa Bliss and Mickie James

Alexa Bliss, the Raw Women’s Champion, made her entrance with Mickie James. The ladies looked lovely as usual. They were not dressed in their ring gear, so no impromptu match for them.

Bliss bragged about how she won again at Extreme Rules to leave as the Women’s Champion again. Bliss said she knew people didn’t think she could beat Jax in an Extreme Rules match. Bliss noted that it was the end of her story with Nia Jax where the bully looks up at the lights and the one true goddess stands victorious. Bliss said that she has dominated the women’s division because she outsmarts all of his opponents. Bliss said that outsmarting Nia Jax wasn’t that hard.

Bliss said that she can beat every single woman in that entire locker room. Bliss paused as some fans chanted “Ronda Rousey.” Bliss said that Rousey doesn’t count because she is suspended. Bliss said that Rousey should be suspended indefinitely and that she was sitting right there in the front row.

Ronda Rousey was shown walking down the steps in the crowd with Cole noting that Rousey’s suspension didn’t end until Wednesday. Rousey ran onto the stage to cut off Bliss and James before they could leave Graves yelled about security. Rousey got a hold of James in the ring and hit her spinning slam. Rousey went for an armbar on James, but Bliss pulled James out of the ring. Referees were there as well.

Rousey grabbed Bliss by the hair. Rousey pulled Bliss into the ring. Rousey slapped on an armbar on Bliss and she was ready to break her arm. Kurt Angle finally showed up, so Rousey let go and Bliss got away.

Angle told Rousey to calm down especially after what she did last night. Angle noted that Rousey had two days left in her suspension. Angle said that Rousey needs to go home and wait it out. Corbin showed up on the stage to stay that Angle has to put his foot down. Angle said that Rousey will be suspended one more week. Corbin said that a week isn’t enough and that he’s going to call Stephanie. Corbin couldn’t find his phone. Corbin told Angle to stay in the ring. Angle pulled out a phone from his pocket noting it was Corbin’s phone.

Angle said that Rousey’s going to have one more week on her suspension. Angle told Rousey that he’s going to give her a match against Alexa Bliss for the Raw Women’s Championship at SummerSlam. Angle told her to go home. Rousey, who is suspended, had her music play as she smiled about the news. Bliss and James were upset about it.

Analysis: There was a lot going on there with Rousey showing up to interrupt the Bliss bragging promo. If you want to be picky, it is bad that there was no security anywhere to try to stop Bliss from going into the arena because if she was suspended there should have been. This is just WWE booking her like the face that doesn’t give a shit and wants revenge on Bliss and James for what they did to her. It’s why I say it’s “Stone Cold” Ronda Rousey sometimes because of how Austin was booked. Sometimes we have to throw logic out the window in storylines like this. As for Bliss vs. Rousey at SummerSlam, it’s what I expected at Money in the Bank, so I’m glad they made it official rather than drag it out.

There was another replay of Roman Reigns winning earlier in the night.

Seth Rollins was interviewed by Charly Caruso. Rollins said last night wasn’t his night, but tonight is his night. Rollins said that next Monday and SummerSlam will be his night when he becomes the Universal Champion. Rollins said he loves Reigns like a brother, but if SummerSlam goes through Reigns then he’ll do what he has to do. Rollins added if he knows Roman like he thinks he does then Roman would say the same thing about him.

Still to come is Rollins vs. Lashley vs. Elias.

(Commercial)

The Authors of Pain duo of Akam and Rezar made their entrance to win a match. They’re up against Titus O’Neil and Apollo Crews without Dana Brooke, who wrestled earlier.

Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar) vs. Titus Worldwide (Apollo Crews and Titus O’Neil)

The Authors of Pain dominated right away. O’Neil was driven into the steel post early on and Akam with a clothesline. Crews tried kicks on Akam, but Akam got out of it. Rezar with a Full Nelson Slam on Crews. That looked better than every time Jinder Mahal uses The Khallas. Akam tagged in with a boot to the face. There was a double team gutbuster by AOP on Crews. The crowd was silent for the match, so Graves said the crowd was in “shocked silence.” AOP hit the Last Chapter double team finisher for the pinfall win after two minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Authors of Pain

Analysis: 1/2* Easy win for AOP as they continue to rack up the wins. Graves attempting to explain why the crowd didn’t give a shit was a nice attempt at bullshit by him.

The Riott Squad were backstage acting like punks. No Way Jose walked by with his conga line. Ember Moon vs. Sarah Logan is next.

(Commercial)

A commercial aired for Total Bellas with Nikki Bella whining about something. Poor Daniel Bryan being on that show.

Ember Moon entered first for a match. Sarah Logan made her entrance with Liv Morgan. Moon beat Morgan the last two weeks on Raw.

Ember Moon vs. Sarah Logan (w/Liv Morgan)

Logan took down Moon with a waist lock takedown. Moon tried to get going by heading to the middle rope, but Logan hit Moon wit ha forearm that sent Moon out of the ring. Back in the ring, Logan got a two count. The announcers kept talking about Sarah Logan having Viking roots. Morgan with a slap to the face of Moon that got a two count. Coach didn’t know what the hell the others were talking about, so he has that in common with me. Logan hit a bridging back suplex that got a two count. Logan grounded Moon with a headlock. Moon kicked out of it and Moon hit a stiff punch that stunned Logan. Moon with a flying forearm, knee to the ribs and a knee lift by Moon. Moon sent Logan face first into the mat. Morgan on the apron, Moon knocked her down, Logan rollup and Moon came back with a kick for two. Moon with a dropkick that sent Logan out of the ring. Moon hit a suicide dive that took down Logan. Back in the ring, that got a two count for Moon. Moon went up top, Morgan distracted, Logan knocked Moon off the top rope and Logan pinned Moon for the win after about six minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Sarah Logan

The announcers tried hard to put that over as Logan’s biggest win.

Analysis: *3/4 Decent match that got more time than I expected. They worked hard and tried to tell a story with Moon making the big comeback, but the crowd didn’t care. The crowd were dead for this match. The finish didn’t feel like a big deal because it was just Logan knocking Moon off the top to win. That’s not going to get a big reaction.

Elias was warming up backstage because he was up next.

(Commercial)

Elias was in the ring doing his usual pre-match promo/song routine. His new album that’s out next week is called “Walk With Elias.” Of course it is. Elias said that he’s going to be number one recording artist and Universal Champion. Elias did his song about the match as well as ripping on Buffalo. Elias pointed out he could be IC Champion, but Rollins cheated.

Seth Rollins made his entrance with the fans showing him a lot of love as usual. The entrance of Lashley is after a break.

(Commercial)

Bobby Lashley made his entrance. While that was happening, Elias decked Rollins from behind with a cheap shot that knocked Rollins down. The referee backed Elias into the corner. Rollins got back to his feet and told the ref to start the match.

Bobby Lashley vs. Elias vs. Seth Rollins

The match started at 10:45pmET, so they should get plenty of time. Elias sent Rollins out of the ring. Lashley went after Elias and Elias went to the floor, so Rollins decked Elias with a forearm to the head. The fans were chanting for Rollins. Rollins went into the ring with a headlock on Lashley, who fought out of it with a shoulder tackle. Lashley knocked Elias off the apron. Lashley took down Rollins with a headlock. Rollins got back to his feet with a perfect dropkick on Lashley. Rollins went for a springboard attack, Lashley kicked Rollins in the gut and Elias with a knee on Lashley. Elias went for a Powerbomb on Rollins, but Rollins with a headscissors and Elias with a running knee on Rollins. There was a shot of Angle watching in his office with Corbin and Heyman. They went to break there.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Elias grounded Rollins with a headlock. Lashley got back into it, Rollins with a jawbreaker to Elias and Lashley with a back elbow to Elias. Lashley with a belly to belly on Elias followed by a neckbreaker on Rollins. Lashley with a running shoulder tackle on Elias. Rollins back into it, but Lashley hit a powerslam on Rollins. Lashley wit ha short Chokeslam on Elias for a two count. They left the ring. Elias sent Lashley into the ring post. Rollins went for a suicide dive, Elias moved and Rollins hit the floor. Elias sent Lashley into the ring post. Back in the ring, Elias went up top with an elbow drop on Lashley. Rollins off the top with a Frog Splash on Lashley, Elias tossed Rollins out of the ring and Elias covered Lashley for a two count. Elias with an elbow to Rollins, kick to the face by Rollins and Rollins with a Blockbuster off the middle ropes to Elias for a two count. Rollins wanted a superplex with Elias, but Elias tossed him down and Lashley got back into it. Lashley wanted a suplex on Elias, Rollins grabbed Lashley and sent him into the corner with a Buckle Bomb. Rollins across the ring with a superplex on Elias followed by a Falcon Arrow slam for a two count. The fans bought that as a nearfall even though Rollins never wins with that sequence, but it looks good. Rollins was on fire with suicide dives and then a Slingblade on Elias. Rollins kick on Elias and he connected with The Stomp, but Lashley broke up the pin attempt. That was a very similar moment to the other triple threat when McIntyre broke up a Balor pin attempt after his finisher. Elias rolled to the floor. Rollins faced off with Lashley as they exchanged punches and that ended when Lashley decked Rollins with a clothesline. Lashley with a delayed vertical suplex on Rollins. Lashley posed to the crowd with no reaction from the fans. Lashley charged in, Rollins leapfrog and rollup from Rollins. Superkick by Rollins on Lashley, but Elias pulled Rollins out of the ring. Lashley hit the Spear on Elias and pinned him to win after 18 minutes. Rollins lunged into the ring, but he was unable to break up the pin.

Winner by pinfall: Bobby Lashley

Analysis: ***1/4 The match was pretty good, but it wasn’t at the same level as the first triple threat of the night. I also think it’s difficult to pull off a triple threat match two hours after they did a good match earlier in the show. This match lacked the exciting nearfall moments for all three guys. Rollins nearly won after The Stomp, but Lashley broke up the pin. There wasn’t a moment where it looked like Elias was going to win, so you knew he was going to be the one to take the pinfall. Lashley winning was my pick before the match although the fans wanted Rollins. I did too.

Next week: Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley with the winner facing Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title at SummerSlam.

Bobby Lashley celebrated the win and that’s how Raw ended at 11:05pmET.

Analysis: Reigns vs. Lashley is what I expected. I think Reigns will win even though I think it should be Rollins in this position. It’s possible they do a non-finish next week to set up Lesnar vs. Lashley vs. Reigns at SummerSlam too. I also think Strowman will leave SummerSlam as the Universal Champion, so I don’t think it matters who faces Lesnar in that match. Why did Lashley win at Extreme Rules? They probably wanted to have Lashley win to try to legitimize him by beating Reigns since his feud with Zayn was bad. Now fans know Lashley can beat Reigns, so let’s see next week. It’s a fine way to tell the story.

 

Three Stars of the Show

1. Seth Rollins

2. Finn Balor

3. (tie) Roman Reigns

3. (tie) Drew McIntyre

 

The Scoreboard

6.5 out of 10

Last week: 5

2018 Average: 5.83

Last 5 Weeks: 5, 4, 7, 5.5, 5.5

2018 High: 8 (February 19)

2018 Low: 4 (June 4, July 2)

 

Final Thoughts

I give it a 6.5 out of 10.

It was a better Raw than the last two weeks thanks mainly to the quality of the two triple threat matches. I can’t go higher than a 6.5 because some of it was boring.

The crowd was into the opening segment, the two triple threats and the Rousey segment. The rest of the night was tough in terms of getting the fans to care. Four matches went three minutes or less too.

I’m glad that we know more about when Lesnar is going to defend the Universal Title, so at least there’s something to look forward to.

The next WWE PPV is SummerSlam on August 19. Here’s what we know so far.

Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman Reigns or Bobby Lashley

Raw Women’s Championship: Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Ronda Rousey

There will be more to come in the weeks ahead.

You can contact me using any of the methods below. See ya next time for the Smackdown review. Go Los Angeles Rams. Thanks for reading.

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport

Personal Facebook and TJRWrestling on Facebook

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