Welcome to the Raw Reaction, where I offer my task on this week’s show in Kansas City. As always, you can check out John Canton’s full in-depth report here.
We kick off the show with Promo Time with the new Raw Women’s Champion, Nikki A.S.H. Nikki talks about overcoming obstacles to achieve your dreams. It was a great, inspiring promo. Almost on cue, here comes Charlotte Flair with the seagull. Charlotte runs Nikki down and demands a rematch because, you know, it’s hard for Creative to book Charlotte in a normal feud without a title involved. Rhea Ripley comes out to ask Nikki for a fair title shot and not that cheap one she got last week from Charlotte. Nikki said she would fight them both. Music hits and Not WWE Commissioner Adam Pierce and Not WWE Assistant Commissioner Sonya Deville show up to drag this out even longer. They quickly book two matches, a Charlotte/Nikki non-title match for tonight’s main event (ugh) and a triple threat title match at SummerSlam. With Rhea in the SummerSlam match, that would give Nikki a chance to win. This went way too long and should have been broken into two segments.
Our opening contest is Damian Priest taking on Sheamus in a United States Championship Contenders match. I really like Priest and hope WWE gets behind him. He could be that Latino star WWE has failed to make in all of these years. The match was really good and Priest picked up the win to earn a future title shot. I expect the match at SummerSlam and also a title change. One side note, Priest’s finisher is called The Reckoning again and for a second when they said it, I was expecting Mia Yim to appear.
The Raw Tag Team Titles are up for grabs next with AJ Styles and Omos defending against The Viking Raiders. The tag champs don’t even get a televised entrance, so this may not bode well for them. The match was okay and felt like a carbon copy of the Money in the Bank match. Omos still tags in, hits a couple of moves before tagging back out. He looks winded every time he tags out. Anyway, the tag champs retain win AJ picking up the win for his team. I’m not quite sure where to go from here.
Drew McIntyre is out next for his match with Veer, who was seeking revenge for Shanky getting shanked by those chair shots last week from Drew. Jinder Mahal reached into the old heel playbook and brought out some jobber to be their lawyer. Veer didn’t look that good in the ring and Drew ended the match with a Claymore to the chair Veer was holding. At least there’s some consistency from Creative. As expected, the jobber lawyer eats a Claymore in the ring. That’ll serve up Jinder and Drew at SummerSlam.
Up next is the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Contenders Match between champs Natalya and Tamina and challengers Eva Marie and Doudrop. So, this contenders match thing is going to be a thing now? The match flew off the rails early when Natalya gets legit hurt in the ring and you clearly see the ref tell Doudrop to let Nattie tag out. The match is just a trainwreck at this point so why not add Lilly? Eva Marie gets distracted by the Lilly-Lution video that played and Tamina superkicks her for the win. Natalya gets helped to the back after the match. Let’s all hope Natalya is not seriously injured.
Up next is Karrion Kross taking on Keith Lee. Kross still does not have Scarlett at his side. Both guys really need a win here, so can we get a double countout instead? Somebody remembered Kross beat Lee for the NXT Title so that got mentioned on the air. The match was nothing special with Kross picking up the win. There was no mention of the Jeff Hardy fiasco last week.
Tag team action is up next with Mace and T-Bar taking on Mansoor and Mustafa Ali. When jobbers fight, who really wins? The match was a Three Minute Raw Special that served the purpose of putting over the new Mansoor/Ali team. Mansoor looked good out there and Ali played the reluctant partner part well. Speaking of, haven’t we seen this story recently? Either way, can we get better names for Mace and T-Bar and insert both teams in the tag title picture?
The All Mighty WWE Champion Bobby Lashley and MVP are out to talk about Goldberg’s challenge last week before their former Hurt Business running buddies, Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin, show up to challenge Lashley. Lashley agrees to a handicap match and wipes the floor with them. Lashley picked up the dominant win and should have actually looked better than he actually did. Something just felt like it didn’t click like it was supposed to. The double pin was a nice touch. I expect Goldberg to get mauled by Lashley at SummerSlam.
Riddle takes on John Morrison next. Maybe it’s me, but the whole John Morrison/Miz gimmick just feels like two middle-aged guys trying to relive their glory years in college. The match was decent but they’ve had better in the past few weeks. AJ Styles and Omos showed up to destroy Riddle’s scooter so Morrison could pick up the win. Whenever Randy Orton returns from wherever he is, I’m guessing a tag title match is on the horizon, likely at SummerSlam.
R-Truth comes out to get his baby back from Reginald in this scheduled 24/7 Title match. Truth stayed mic’d up the entire match and provided great commentary. The match was fun since it was just a showcase for Reginald’s crazy athleticism. Reginald retained and split when the 24/7 Job Squad showed up. Poor Humberto Carrillo was spotted in the group. Oh, how he has fallen.
Main event time with Nikki A.S.H. and Charlotte Flair. The match was pretty good but the ending was stupid. We all knew that Charlotte was going to get her win back because, God forbid, should she lose two matches in a row and help put the new champion over. Instead of some underhandedness, she beats Nikki clean. Charlotte just Cena’d Nikki. Nikki wants another rematch next week because that’s how Raw rolls and, if they let Nikki win (which they should), it likely won’t be clean.
Let’s look at tonight’s highs and lows.
The Damian Priest/Sheamus match was the best match of the night. It was a hard-hitting affair and I think gold is in Priest’s immediate future. With Lee back, I expect him to go after Lashley after SummerSlam again instead of Sheamus.
I was actually entertained by a 24/7 title match. Who knew that was possible?
Would it have seriously killed Super Charlotte to put Nikki over tonight? Super Charlotte is almost as bad as Super Cena and she’s really trending that way. I have a bad feeling that they are going to be jobbing Nikki out at SummerSlam, although Rhea has no problem putting new talent over. Let’s hope that Nikki can actually get some backing on this push and get a halfway decent title run.
Something about that Bobby Lashley match felt like it should have made him look better than he actually did by demolishing two people. I can’t put my finger on it. It just felt like something was missing.
Get well Natalya. Injuries suck so let’s hope for good news.
That’s all I’ve got, until next time.