Welcome to the Raw Reaction where I offer my take on this week’s show in Chicago. As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth review here.
We kick off the show with Promo Time with MVP and Bobby Lashley. MVP talked about Goldberg’s SummerSlam challenge before Goldberg came out. Goldberg cut a basic promo on Lashley before telling him “You’re next” and leaving. Goldberg’s some was at ringside so MVP and Lashley taunted. Lashley returned to the ring to pose so Goldberg could come back and hit a really weak-looking spear on MVP before the Goldbergs returned to the back. We’ll get the confirmation later, but we’ve set up the SummerSlam match between these two. It’ll likely be one of the least anticipated matches this year. Just keep it short.
In-ring action kicks off with a handicap match where Drew McIntyre takes on Veer and Shanky. Before the match, there was a shot backstage with Drew holding his sword up off the floor and it’s almost as tall as Sarah Schreiber! The sword is either that big or she’s that short. Anyway, we don’t see who is really handicapped in this Three Minute Raw Special. Drew gets the DQ win back and we learned you don’t bring chairs to a sword fight. I’m still a little lukewarm to this feud. At least Drew has a feud that does not involve a title.
Rhea Ripley takes on Nia Jax next. Do we really want to have Ripley fight Jax BEFORE the SummerSlam PPV? The match was okay for Nia standards. At least it went longer than three minutes. Somehow Jax got busted open during the match. Shayna Baszler tried for a distraction but it backfired so Jax takes the protected ROLLUP OF DEATH~! loss. After the match, we may have finally freed Shayna and Ripley hit the Riptide on Jax.
Chicago’s Second Favorite Son Mustafa Ali teamed with Mansoor to give Mace and T-Bar their win back from last week in a 50/50 Booking Match. The match only goes about three minutes and fortunately, Ali did not eat the pin. After the match, Ali saved Mansoor and took a High Justice for the hometown guy to get laid out at home. I’m going to pencil in a face turn for Ali at some point in this feud.
Promo Time with Charlotte Flair is up next. She complains about being cashed in on three times, so I’m guessing that means she’ll be Miss Money in the Bank 2022. If Charlotte wasn’t constantly champion, she might not have a high cash-in rate. Anyway, she seemed to stumble through the middle of the promo before Nikki A.S.H. whacks her in the back with a chair to promote the No Holds Barred match later, likely the main event.
Tamina takes on Doudrop in a Three Minute Plus One Raw Special. The match was okay, but nothing special with Tamina picking up the win. After the match, Alexa Bliss and Lilly showed up on the screen to announce the loser of the match as Eva Marie.
Miz and Morrison host MizTV with Damien Priest as the guest. This was absolutely awful. Somebody needs to tell Miz and Morrison that this is not 2007. They are coming across as two middle aged guys trying to relive their college glory years. I felt bad for Priest for being out there. In the end, Miz ran his mouth and now Morrison has to get beat up in a match because of it.
The match “booked by Sonya Deville during the break” was a typical Three Minute Raw Special for Priest to beat up Morrison. Miz looked shocked that Morrison lost. If you weren’t in that wheelchair Miz, that would have been you eating the pin. After the match, Sheamus shows up to further the US title feud and also bring out Ricochet to even up the odds.
Sonya Deville channeled her inner Teddy Long “during the break” and we’ve got a tag team match, Playas! Another Three Minute Raw Special gets served up and Morrison loses yet again to Priest.
Riddle taking on Omos is up next. Omos has his own music now. There was no AJ Styles at ringside for this. Omos destroys Riddle in yet another Three Minute (did somebody say three minutes?) Raw Special. No sign of Randy Orton this week either. I’m assuming this is leading to a Raw Tag Team Title match at SummerSlam.
Alexa Bliss and Lilly are backstage in Alexa’s Playground when Doudrop and Eva Marie attack them. After Doudrop and Eva leave, Lilly arises to the power of pretape and I’m dreading this feud already. Free Piper.
Back on Raw is Rematch, we find Keith Lee taking on Karrion Kross again. The match was a little bit better than last week’s match for the time they were given. This one goes longer than three minutes but suffers from the dreaded return of 50/50 booking. Lee pulls off the victory and can we please get these two some wins before they face off again?
The 24/7 Title was defended in an actual match again with Reggie taking on Akira Tozawa. Reggie has impressive athleticism, but I just don’t care. No sign of the 24/7 Job Squad either this week.
It’s main event time with another rematch as Nikki A.S.H. takes on Charlotte Flair. Super Charlotte is engaged and Charlotte decimates Nikki, no selling when Nikki tries to do anything. The 15-minute power-up lapses as Charlotte eats a table. Nikki hits ONE MOVE and pins Charlotte clean in the center of the ring to end the show. Given the whole circumstances around this match, it was not the big win it should have been.
Let’s look at tonight’s highs and lows
Charlotte Flair took a clean pinfall loss to someone not in the Four Horsewomen group.
Charlotte Flair successfully buried the Nikki A.S.H. character tonight. Granted, they were in Chicago, but when your heel is cheered while destroying your babyface champion, there is something very wrong with the booking. The whole booking for this match was off and it hurt Nikki way more than Charlotte, given the clean pinfall ending. This should have been a statement win for Nikki but it came off more like she got lucky after Charlotte went through the table. Super Charlotte’s no selling throughout the match hurt Nikki and I suspect that the powers that be will be like, “Well, Nikki isn’t over so put the title back on Charlotte” not realizing that Charlotte totally destroyed Nikki’s character.
There were so many three-minute matches tonight. I was have expecting a Three Minute Warning return. Remember, quality over quantity. It was a poorly booked show from top to bottom with nothing really standing out.
That’s all I’ve got, until next time.