Welcome to The Raw Reaction, where I offer my take on this week’s show. As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth report here.
We start off with the Lashley Train pulling into the VIP Lounge. MVP and Lashley were going on about how great the Hell in a Cell match was with Drew McIntyre, excluding how god awful the finish was. At least we didn’t have to listen to them long as The New Day interrupted. New Day wanted to offer up a toast to Lashley by throwing toast at them. How original. Kingston issues a challenge for a title match at Money in the Bank. Lashley accepted since he needs to face a new opponent. Woods informed Lashley that USA Network wanted them to fight in the Hell in a Cell tonight, so Lashley accepted that as well. That was a good opening segment that accomplished a lot. I’m not expecting New Day to win or anything, though.
Our opening contest is our first Money in the Bank qualifier match with AJ Styles taking on Ricochet. Before the match, Styles and Omos have a run-in with the Viking Raiders. Styles makes Ricochet look really good and the match delivers as you would expect. Surprise, Viking Raiders show up to fight Omos. Omos charges and obliterates the barricade instead of the Viking Raiders. Ricochet counters the Phenomenal Forearm into the Recoil to qualify for Money in the Bank. Great action in the ring and let’s pencil in the Raw Tag Title match for Money in the Back for now. Will there be a title change? I’m not sure yet.
Before our next Money in the Bank qualifier, Eva Marie reveals her new friend’s (Piper Niven) name as Doudrop and everybody groans, including Piper. Eva Marie and Doudrop take on Asuka and Naomi with both members of the winning team qualifying for the Women’s Money in the Bank match. Eva tags out quickly to have Doudrop work against both Asuka and Naomi. Eva tags herself in to attempt the pin on Naomi. Naomi kicked out at two and Eva wanted to tag out, but Doudrop walked away. Naomi busts out a deadly ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Eva for the win. Asuka and Naomi move on to Money in the Bank while Eva and Doudrop move on to feud with each other. I had the Doudrop face turn at Money in the Bank to cost Eva Marie the match.
Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville come out to award Charlotte Flair another Raw Women’s Title match at Money in the Bank against Rhea Ripley. *yawn* But, at least this will keep Charlotte out of the Money in the Bank match this year.
It looks like Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke are next to get a WWE Women’s Tag Team title match after an altercation with champions Natalya and Tamina.
Our next Money in the Bank qualifier is Randy Orton taking on John Morrison. We get another good qualifier ending in an upset with John Morrison advancing. Miz was at ringside in a wheelchair causing the usual hijinks. I respect him for showing up every week but why can’t Creative come up with something for those who are healthy?
Before our next Money in the Bank qualifier, Mighty Molly returns! Where’s The Hurricane at? Oh wait, that’s Nikki Cross’s new gimmick. Well, if it gives her TV time, let’s see where it goes. Nikki Cross teams up with Alexa Bliss, of all people, to take on Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler in this tag team qualifying match. I’m still confused as to why Shayna Baszler is the heel in her feud with Alexa Bliss. The match was ok with Bliss doing some of her mind games. Cross picks up the win for her team by pinning Baszler to advance to the Money in the Bank match. Can we please find something better for Shayna to do?
The Job Squad 7.0 (Jinder Mahal and his crew, Jeff Hardy, Cedric Alexander, and Sheamus) are backstage complaining about not being in the Money in the Bank qualifying matches. Sorry guys, you wouldn’t have qualified anyway.
Our final Money in the Bank qualifier is Drew McIntyre and Riddle. They delivered another terrific match. Props to McIntyre for another grueling match after the performance in Hell in a Cell. Riddle pulls off the upset with Drew putting him over clean. This was the qualifier to watch if you only watched one.
Main event time with Bobby Lashley taking on Xavier Woods inside Hell in a Cell. There was no real reason to toss this inside the cell other than to appease USA for Fox’s match on Friday. Sorry, but Fox had the better cell match and Woods made Lashley look good going into his title match against Kingston. Lashley made Woods tap out to the Hurt Lock before MVP locked the cell to make Kingston watch Woods get destroyed by Lashley to close the show.
Let’s look at tonight’s highs and lows:
The night was dominated by the Money in the Bank qualifying matches and they all delivered. I would say all of them ended with upsets. The men’s matches really delivered while the women’s matches were acceptable. A good overall episode.
With the focus being on Money in the Bank, the pointless backstage nonsense we get each week was not present this week. The backstage stuff served a purpose, which was a refreshing change this week.
You literally had a backstage segment with people complaining about not being allowed to qualify for Money in the Bank and then announce a second chance match for next week with tonight’s losers? Seriously?
With our luck, whoever came up with the Doudrop name was likely promoted instead of fired.
Bonus Thoughts on Hell in a Cell
Bianca Belair and Bayley really delivered in their match. The spots were great and Bayley in nuts for taking some of those bumps. I was surprised that Rollins beat Cesaro, I guess there’s still more to come from these two. The Raw Women’s Title and WWE Title matches were good until the finish sucked the life right out of what they were trying to accomplish.
That’s all I’ve got, until next time.