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.
After the pyro display, we open up to MizTV. John Morrison is really trying hard to get this Johnny Drip Drip gimmick over but this isn’t 2008. Drew McIntyre came out to tell a story about Davey Crockett, to sell the fact that Money in the Bank is in Texas, just not San Antonio. Ricochet is out next to put over the replay from last week’s insane cross body block off the top rope over the barricade spot. It was impressive looking. Riddle is out next to make stoner references while on the ladder in the ring. AJ Styles and Omos finally interject and add nothing of value to the conversation. Cue the impending fight and the faces drive the heels from the ring. Paging Teddy Long to the ring.
Back from break and Ricochet is taking on John Morrison (again) and Teddy Long is disappointed. That whole smattering of a fight before the break did not result in a six man tag. The rematch from last week was as good as last week’s match. Ricochet and Morrison pulled off a couple of cool-looking spots and incorporated the wheelchair-bound Miz into them as well. The ending was really weak though. Morrison won via countout after Miz kept getting in Ricochet’s way. We would find out later that Ricochet will likely get his win back in next week’s Falls Count Anywhere match. It’s a shame that all of those healthy guys in the back can’t get any TV time while an injured guy gets nearly a half hour of TV time.
Just before the eight women tag match, Alexa Bliss did the whole disappear/reappear thing to Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler. Nikki Cross cut a promo to change her name to Nikki A.S.H. On to the tag match we go with the team of Money in the Bank participants Naomi, Asuka, Nikki A.S.H., and Alexa Bliss taking on those who lost their qualifying matches Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, Eva Marie, and Doudrop. Getting Alexa, Nia, and Eva all in a match together has the makings of a dumpster fire. I’m really impressed with Doudrop’s talent, just not the name. The match was acceptable and the talented ones got the most time in. The ending was different though. Instead of giving the Money in the Bank participants the win to build towards the ladder match, we have Nia Jax squish the new Nikki A.S.H. character to pick up the win and kill off Nikki’s new gimmick because that’s what Creative does. Thank God, we didn’t get the dumpster fire it could have been.
Speaking of guys needing TV time, Mustafa Ali is out for a match with Mansoor. Instead of giving them time to show off what they can do in the ring together, Ali picks up the win in a Three Minute (Did I hear three minutes?) Raw Special. Let’s hope they are given more time next time and can build up something good. Both guys are talented enough.
Jinder Mahal with his two new friends, since the Singhs/Bollywood Boys have been released, takes on Drew McIntyre next. We get another decent match and we just need a Heath Slater return for the 3MB triple threat that was years in the making. Anyway, McIntyre started hindering Jinder so Shanky and Veer jump in for the DQ finish. The textbook triple team heel beatdown ensures and afterward, Mahal steals McIntyre’s sword to give some meaning for the impending feud. I could have thought of a better reason for them to fight other than over the sword, but whatevs. Also, since Jinder’s buddies are really tall and whatnot, how about we sign them up for the Raw Tag Team Division? It’s not like Raw is bursting at the seems with tag teams right now. Let’s just hope they are good in the ring.
Speaking of the Raw Tag Division, Lucha House Party is up to take on Mace and T-Bar. Lucha House Party bump like pinballs for Mace and T-Bar but win the match? It was another Three Minute Raw Special that really could have used some Three Minute Warning. Since 50/50 booking is likely making its return next week for Ricochet/Morrison, I’d expect it to hang around long enough to grace us with the rematch next week too. Although, fans are returning in two weeks, so maybe it’ll hold off a week to try to impress the WWE Universe in person.
Up next is AJ Styles taking on Riddle. The match was pretty good with Riddle continuing to sell the injury from the opening MizTV segment. Riddle showed a lot of heart throughout and Styles made him look really good. The Viking Raiders popped up in the crowd to draw Omos’s attention and Riddle hit Styles with a deadly ROLUP OF DEATH~! to pick up the win. We would find out later that The Viking Raiders will get their Raw Tag Team Title shot against AJ Styles and Omos in two weeks when the fans return. That should be a title change there. We’ll see though.
Up next is Charlotte Flair’s medical update. A bit of advice for Charlotte. If you are trying to offer up a bad knee injury to us, those big stiletto heels don’t go with crutches. Charlotte says she might have to miss Money in the Bank because of the injury but nobody is buying what she’s selling. Rhea Ripley comes out with a crutch as well to show that Charlotte was faking the injury. They square off for crutch jousting and Rhea sends Charlotte out of the ring to win. Can we PLEASE move on to another challenger for SummerSlam?
A big tag team match is up next pitting the team of R-Truth and Jaxson Ryker against Elias and Cedric Alexander. 24/7 Champion Akira Tozawa makes an appearance running away from the Jobber Detail. R-Truth bails to go get his baby back. Instead of capitalizing on the handicap odds, Elias walks away so Alexander can get mauled by Ryker in less time than it took me to write this. How exactly is Elias getting Ryker over again?
Main event time (thank god) and the New Day takes on Bobby Lashley and MVP in tag team action. Xavier Woods forgot that his Hell in a Cell destruction was two weeks ago and he should probably still be selling something from it. The match was pretty much your standard paint by numbers tag team match, including The New Day victory with Kofi pinning MVP. It protected Lashley from having to eat the pin here so he can destroy Kingston at Money in the Bank.
Let’s look at tonight’s highs and lows:
The AJ Styles/Riddle match was pretty good and worth the time to watch it. Riddle is pretty good with his selling and it played well into the events of this week and last week. It’ll be interesting to see what they do next week with his injury going into Money in the Bank.
At least the eight-woman tag didn’t turn into the trainwreck it could have been.
The rest of the show was a whole lot of meh. If you missed the show, you didn’t miss a thing. Let’s hope things pick up once they hit the road.
PLUG TIME – Are you ready for a Rawer Reaction? Well, check back here on Thursday when I take a look at some of the challenges currently facing the red brand with A Rawer Reaction: Raw is Meh.
That’s all I’ve got, until next time.