Welcome to the Raw Reaction, where I offer my take on this week’s show from Boston. As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth review here.
We kick things off with Promo Time with Mr. Money in the Bank, Big E. Prior to the show starting, Big E announced on Twitter he was going to be cashing in tonight. I thought that was a great face move. It added some intrigue to tonight’s title match. RK-Bro and Bobby Lashley would eventually join in. Orton and Lashley squared off with MVP wondering how Orton got the match bumped up to tonight instead of Extreme Rules and having the tag title match instead. Orton said that they needed better counter-programming for the first week of Monday Night Football. They get jaw-jacking and Big E pops off a great line, “Big meaty men slapping meat”. I’m sure Vince was. Anyway, we get serious and the fight is on for later tonight. Orton drops Lashley with an RKO for good measure to close out the segment. This was a very strong and great opener. It set the tone for the night.
Our opening contest was a Championship Contenders Match between Charlotte Flair and Shayna Baszler. Gee, I wonder how this one is going to end? The match was okay but it was missing something. The match ended the same way as last week’s Charlotte Flair/Nia Jax match did, Jax distracted Baszler so Flair could pick up the pinfall victory. After the match, Alexa Bliss and Lilly showed up to give Flair a present. The gift-giving turns into a Looney Toons skit and Flair eventually accepts the gift. The gift is revealed to be a blonde haired version of Lilly called Charlie, complete with a Raw Women’s Championship. They’re going to make one for Lilly. Merchandising folks. Anyway, Bliss wanted Flair to have a friend because even “a narcissistic self-absorbed bitch like you” needs one. They fight and Bliss comes out on top after a Code Red. I’m guessing Lilly wins the title at Extreme Rules.
Six man tag action is next with Drew McIntyre teaming with the Viking Raiders to take on Jinder Mahal, Veer, and Shanky. It was your standard Three Minute Raw Special with McIntyre Claymoring Shanky into next week. Ivar didn’t even tag in.
Reggie shows off some more 24/7 hijinks, but I lost interest. A serious Drake Maverick appeared and maybe we’ll get a serious team of R-Truth and Akira Tozawa out of this?
The United States Championship is up for grabs next with Damian Priest defending against Jeff Hardy. We get a good competitive back and forth match with the veteran Hardy putting over Priest in another good showing. After the match, Sheamus attacked from the commentary but was repelled.
Tamina takes on Nikki A.S.H. next in a total slop fest. It looked like the finish got botched with Tamina not kicking out in time. Tamina was announced as the winner (seriously?) and her music started playing. Big whoops there. After the match Natalya and Tamina beat up Rhea Ripley and Nikki A.S.H. to lead us to…
Natalya taking on Ripley next. This match was so much better than the previous one. Two technical wrestlers straight up showing their stuff. The match was really good and Ripley was very impressive hanging with Natalya. The match ended when Nikki returned from the back to counter Natalya’s cheating and Ripley getting Natalya to tap out. I would expect a tag title match for these two sometime soon. Let’s just hope Creative doesn’t forget like Shotzi and Nox’s three wins over the tag champs over on Smackdown.
Backstage, Charlotte Flair tossed Charlie where she belongs, in the trash. Rather rude, if I may say.
Eight-man tag action is up next so we can cram as many people onto the card as we can. The New Day teams with Mansoor and Mustafa Ali to take on AJ Styles, Omos, Mace, and T-Bar. The match was pretty good using the revenge story from last week’s actions in tag team turmoil. Once Omos tagged in, it was lights out for Ali.
Thankfully, Doudrop demolishing Eva Marie was kept short so we, the fans, and Doudrop can move on with our lives.
Main event time with Bobby Lashley defending the WWE title against Randy Orton. The match was great and I’d like to see another one on one encounter sometime down the road. Lashley sold well and just didn’t steamroll over Orton. MVP gave a little assistance to Lashley so Orton dropped him with a RKO. Riddle flopping around on the floor next to MVP was great. Orton ate another spear and that was enough for Lashley to retain. After the match, Lashley demolished Riddle, Orton, and his knee so Big E could come down to cash in. After a poorly placed commercial break, Big E and Lashley squared off. It was quick with Big E hitting the Big Ending to end Lashley’s title run. The New Day come out to celebrate to close out the show. A great moment for that trio.
Let’s take a look at tonight’s highs and lows.
Congratulations to Big E for capturing the WWE Championship with a successful Money in the Bank cash-in. It is a very well-deserved honor for him and let’s hope he can carry it all the way to WrestleMania and beyond. I think he’ll get a long run like Lashley did. I think Lashley could get another run sometime in the future as well. It was a great way to end the evening.
Another night with solid in-ring action, if you ignore the Tamina match. If they can keep this up, Raw could be entertaining again.
I’m not sure what caused the Tamina/Nikki A.S.H. match to fly off the rails but it sure wasn’t pretty.
That’s all I’ve got, until next time