WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW! (4/17/17)
-Chris Jericho VS Samoa Joe; Joe wins.
-The Realest Guys VS The Club; The Club wins.
-TJ Perkins VS Jack Gallagher; Perkins wins.
-Raw Women’s Championship Fatal 4 Way #1 Contenders Match: Sasha Banks VS Nia Jax VS Alexa Bliss VS Mickie James; Alexa wins and will face Bayley for the title at Payback.
-Finn Balor VS Curt Hawkins; Balor wins.
-Jeff Hardy w/ Matt Hardy VS Cesaro w/ Sheamus; Jeff Hardy wins.
-The Big Show VS Braun Strowman; no contest.
PLAY BY PLAY
Yes, The Monster Among Men that demolished the Roman Empire last week is out here to start the night. “I’m proud to say that last week, I broke Roman Reigns in half.” And that Roman had to leave in an ambulance with a separated shoulder and cracked ribs. And will not be in Ohio tonight. Strowman now wants to “tear through the entire locker room” to prove he’s worth his nickname. That’s when Raw General Manager, Kurt Angle, comes to the ring. What is Strowman trying to prove? He flipped an ambulance with Roman inside it. “There’s still more to come.” Roman said as much to Angle before this show came on the air. And Angle will give them both what they want when Roman and Strowman face off at Payback. As for tonight, while Strowman would normally be suspended, he’s only getting the night off. Foley tried that, and you saw what happened there. Strowman wants competition, “or else.” Or else what? Strowman gets in Angle’s face, before turning and walking out. Will “or else” come to pass in Ohio?
The Architect and Kingslayer, Seth Rollins, comes out now! He’ll be joining commentary for the opening match…
Chris Jericho VS Samoa Joe!
Y2J will be facing off with Kevin Owens for the United States Championship at Payback, which potentially means he’ll be leaving for SmackDown, but while he’s still on Raw, he wants to settle a score with the Samoan Destroyer. And speaking of, Samoa Joe knows he and Rollins will be settling a score at Payback, the two stare each other down as Joe makes his entrance. As for this match, Joe rushes Jericho to unleash strikes in a corner. Joe grinds a boot into Jericho’s face, then goes running, only for Jericho’s dropkick to drop him. Jericho climbs up, flying crossbody, TWO. Jericho trips Joe and wants the Walls but Joe pushes him away. Jericho dumps Joe to the outside, triangle dropkick keeps Joe there. Jericho’s in control as he hears the roar of the crowd and we go to commercials.
We return and now Joe is in control as he drags Jericho back in for a chop and a kick, followed by the running elbow drop. TWO from Jericho, Joe glares at him before clamping a hand onto Jericho’s shoulder. Jericho endures the nerve hold, then fights out and fires back with chops. Joe goes for a body drop, Jericho kicks it away, Joe side steps to send Jericho to the apron, Jericho goes top rope quickly to hit a double ax handle. Jericho fires up and gets running, only to get a powerslam, TWO. Joe goes for another elbow drop, Jericho dodges, goes for and hits the Lionsault! TWO! Jericho keeps on Joe with kicks, but Joe hits a yurinagi out of the corner to floor Jericho. Joe goes second rope, SUPER Back Senton, but Jericho dodges it! Jericho tries to turn Joe for the Walls of Jericho, and succeeds! Joe endures the Walls of Jericho, rolls back and punches at Jericho. Jericho clubs Joe at the same time and tries to turn Joe again, Joe spins Jericho off and then wraps on the Kokina Klutch! Jericho resists while it’s just a sleeper hold, but starts to fade. The fans rally for Jericho and he makes it back to his feet, uses the corner for leverage and pushes back. Joe is pinned, kicks out, and then wraps the legs to complete the hold. Jericho endures, but taps out before he passes out. Joe wins again, but Rollins promises not to get caught in that like he did before.
Joe then calls out “SETH, ROLLINS!” to mockingly praise the “Mighty Kingslayer.” Joe has a question: “Do you remember what it sounded like when I arrived here?” He remembers it clearly, because it sounded like Rollins’ knee tearing, his screams of agony and pleads for mercy. And all that was just business, but now “for what you did to Triple H and… his wife, Stephanie McMahon…” Payback will be personal. Rollins responds, he knows it’ll be personal. But 1v1, “Payback is a bitch.” Who will survive this grudge match?
The Club pass by the Drifter and give him a nod. At the same time, Goldust and R-Truth are headed to the ring, when Braun Strowman ambushes them! He told Angle he wanted competition, so Braun goes and takes out other people’s competition instead! Strowman backs off when security comes by, because the damage has been done. Will Strowman get what he wants?
Braun Strowman is later found by a referee. Strowman has the night off, Angle said as much. Strowman leaves when he wants to. Unless the ref has a problem with that. The referee leaves.
The Club hit the ring.
Strowman gave the Golden Truth a “United Airlines” treatment yet The Club is stuck on standby? Angle better round up a couple “nerds” for them so they can “be mean and make green.” The ones that come out are…
The Realest Guys, Enzo & Cass VS The Club!
#HowYouDoin’, Gallows & Anderson? Superstar Shakeup came and went, Monday is still the Realest Night of the Week. Cass starts against Anderson, and the Machine Gun takes a knee to the gut and a club to the back. Anderson takes more body shots, then is brought to the corner for Enzo to tag in and be launched into him. Tag back to Cass, Anderson is isolated as Cass keeps up the strikes. Cass knocks Anderson over with a shoulder, then clobbers him out of the ring with a clothesline. Tag to Enzo, Enzo is again launched into Gallows and Anderson! The Certified G and Human Skyscraper are on a roll as we go to break.
We come back from commercials to find The Club has taken over as they isolate Enzo. Enzo starts fighting back, slips under Gallows but can’t get away. Anderson tags in, shotgun kick knocks Enzo down. TWO, Anderson gets frustrated but he puts on an armlock to wrench a shoulder. Enzo stands back up, starts fighting back, but Anderson whips him back into Club territory and Gallows tags in. The arm is their target, Gallows wrenches on a furious hammerlock. Enzo fights back again but gets an armbar DDT for his efforts. Gallows yanks and wrenches the arm, Enzo endures a forearm grinding across his jaw. Enzo keeps trying, but Gallows forces him into the Club corner. Tag to Anderson, and Enzo takes a knee drop to that weakened arm. Anderson puts on a new armlock, the fans rally for Enzo, but Enzo takes a spinebuster! TWO! Anderson tags Gallows, Gallows takes it to Enzo with strikes. Enzo is whipped corner to corner but boots out, flying DDT connects! The fans are fired up, Anderson tags in to stop Enzo from getting his. Anderson has Enzo in a neutral corner, Anderson’s jumping kick misses, and Enzo goes crawling. He jukes Anderson’s tackle, tag to Cass! Cass rallies on The Club, corner splash to sidewalk slam, “How you doin?!” Empire Elbow drop, then the running boot! Tag to Enzo, but Bada Boom has to be used on Gallows. Cass boots Gallows out, going with him, Enzo tries the flying DDT only to be caught and thrown back onto the corner knees first. Anderson pins and The Club gets the win! The Club is far from done in the Raw Tag Team Division, can they climb back to the top?
Miz TV returns to Raw!
The It Couple returned to Mondays last week via the Superstar Shakeup, but so did the Lunatic Fringe. The Intercontinental Champion may have ruined the fun for Miz and Maryse last week, and on tonight’s edition of “the most must-see talk show”, it continues! Ambrose doesn’t let Miz finish what he’s saying nor does he wait for a proper introduction, he comes right out to the ring and picks up his mic.
He thanks Miz for inviting him on, he’s been looking forward to this. Then he realizes he interrupted. Sorry, this is neutral territory as they’re both from Ohio. “O H!” “I O!” Not that Maryse knows anything about that, she’s Canadian. Is this a joke to Ambrose? Well, that suit is a joke. Does Ambrose not understand why Miz dresses like this? Why he acts like this? It’s because Miz respects what being a superstar means! But Ambrose, what does he care? His jeans, cheap shirts and greasy hair, it’s a disgrace! Miz wants to give the world a proper impression of what a “superstar” is, but Ambrose is okay with just being a “wrassler.” And yet, the WWE Universe LOVES Dean Ambrose! It’s why Ambrose is the one given opportunities. Whose champion when Summerslam came around? Ambrose. And what did he do? Wasted those opportunities. By the time Wrestlemania came around, he was barely even on the card. Not that Ambrose cares, he’s “lazy and complacent.” Ambrose could be wearing whatever, but he knows it’s about what’s inside. Miz tries to “pretend to be something that you’re not”, caring about “branding”–whatever that means–but Ambrose is not a brand. He’s Ambrose. Who cares about media? He’s wrestling because he loves it! He loves bleeding, sweating, getting his ass kicked and kicking asses back, he loves every part of it and that’s why HE is Intercontinental Champion. Ambrose did beat The Miz for it, after all. Maryse tells the “dirty little street rat” he’s not a “real champion.” “The Man makes the Championship, boy.” Hold this please? He gives Maryse the mic, he sets the belt down and empties his pockets before taking off his jacket. Miz rants about how HE rose the belt to its former glory. Ambrose could’ve continued all that but he hasn’t. The title is what Ambrose is: a joke. Ambrose tackles Miz and fires off right hands! Maryse hits Ambrose with a mic, Ambrose is just annoyed. Miz tries the Finale, Ambrose breaks out and goes for Dirty Deeds, Miz breaks out and runs away with Maryse. Will the Lunatic teach the A-Lister a lesson in what truly makes someone a champion?
Braun Strowman drags out his new victim, Kalisto! “Roman Reigns is garbage, and now you are, too!” He picks up and throws Kalisto into a dumpster, but then The Big Show blindsides him! “Why don’t you pick on somebody your OWN size, Braun!?” The Giant has challenged the Mountain, how will Strowman respond?
TJ Perkins VS Jack Gallagher!
A rematch from last week’s amazing 205 Live main event, the now edgier FilAm Flash and the Extraordinary Gentleman are also joined by the Cruiserweight Champion, Neville, at ringside! The King of the Division takes his seat, but then the Greatest #1 Contender Who Ever Lived, Austin Aries, appears to join the “special viewing party.”
Neville isn’t happy, but there’s nothing he can do, aside from move his seat away from A-Double. As for the two in the ring, Gallagher gets a headlock takedown, TJP tries to make it a pin but Gallagher gets out, then hits a tornado headlock takedown. TJP stands back up, pries his way out of the headlock, puts Gallagher in an arm wrench but Gallagher slips out and then spins it around to a wristlock. Gallagher wraps TJP into the hammerlock-arm-recliner! TWO from TJP, Gallagher keeps on him with double wristlock, but TJP gets the spinning headscissor takedown and dabs. Gallagher puts him in a headscissor, TJP pops out, Gallagher gives TJP the twisting bodyscissor and then dabs back! So TJP takes William III and throws it to the ground! Gallagher rushes in, TJP goes to body drop him out, but it’s the Extraordinary Headstand instead! Dropkick knocks TJP back, European Uppercuts come but then TJP goes Spiderman to send Gallagher crashing out to the floor! TJP catches his breath and lets the count begin as we go to commercials.
We return to find Gallagher back in the ring, enduring an armlock and neck-wrench. Gallagher fires up to get back to his feet, but while he gives TJP a forearm, TJP gives Gallagher a EuroUpper. TJP suplexes Gallagher but Gallagher slips out to give back EuroUppers of his own. Gallagher gives TJP an Exploder, then after whipping TJP to a corner, he gives him an Extraordinary Powerslam! TWO! Gallagher goes to grab TJP but TJP throws a back elbow. TJP gets running, springboard forearm knocks Gallagher down. Up again, Extraordinary Headbutt! Gallagher staggers back while TJP goes out of the ring. Gallagher retrieves William III from the outside, opens him up, then climbs up to the top rope! Gallagher targets TJP, Mary Poppins Seated Senton!
Gallagher picks TJP up and puts him in the ring, TJP slips out the other side. Gallagher pursues, TJP shoves Gallagher into Aries! Aries gets pissed and goes to the apron, only for Neville to trip him up! Aries holds his arm while the referee shouts at Neville, so the ref misses when TJP uses the ropes to blindside Gallagher! Detonation Kick connects, TJP wins again! Aries still glares at Neville, but the King and his knight take their leave, satisfied with leaving this for 205 Live and Payback.
Akira Tozawa congratulates Apollo Crews on being a father, as well as making it back to Raw. As does Titus O’Neil. But what does Apollo plan to do to “make an impact”? He’s gonna work hard and kick in doors. Really? That’s all? This is why Apollo should team with “Titus Brand”. Picture this: an Apollo Cruise with Apollo Blues playing. Just think about it.
The Hardy Boyz are interviewed backstage. What about the WWE today surprises them? Everything. Brighter lights, louder pyro, and better competition. The Hardys’ return at Wrestlemania left them speechless, but they love being part of this New Era. Cesaro and Sheamus come over to officially welcome the Hardys back to WWE and Raw. They remember back to when they were young, watching the Hardys innovate and inspire. Cesaro’s getting a dream match going 1v1 with Jeff. But in a normal match, it’ll be an honor for Cesaro & Sheamus to win back those titles. Yes, ladders are wonderful, but they aren’t needed for the Hardys to win. Now now, they don’t mean any disrespect, let’s have a good match. Will the respect run thin on the way to Payback?
Raw Women’s Championship Fatal 4 Way #1 Contenders Match
Sasha Banks VS Nia Jax VS Alexa Bliss VS Mickie James!
The Boss wanted to formally request a match with the Huggable “Just Bayley” last week, but was interrupted by Lil’ Miss Bliss, the returning icon and the Brutal Beauty, so now it’ll be a fight to determine who moves on to Payback to face the champ. Nia dares the other three to try something, Alexa wants out, Mickie and Sasha feed her to Nia. Nia knocks her down easy, then does the same to Sasha and Mickie. Nia squashes Mickie in a corner then runs her over with a knee, but Alexa breaks the pin. Alexa tries to run, can’t get away, so she slaps Nia. Alexa regrets it immediately as she scrambles away, Mickie and Sasha double dropkick Nia out of the ring. Bayley watches as her best pal, Sasha, grapples with Mickie. Rolle up, TWO, jackknife, TWO. Sasha and Mickie circle each other, Sasha whips Mickie but Mickie knocks her down. Mickie cartwheels then dropkicks The Boss down, Sasha responds with a tilt-o-whirl headscissors. Mickie back elbows from a corner, Mickie-rana sends Sasha flying, neckbreaker hits, Nia drags Mickie out! Sasha flies! The Boss bowls Nia and Mickie over to take control before break.
We return, Alexa tries a pin but Mickie kicks out. Alexa chokes Mickie before the standing STO, Nia returns and stalks the Five Foot Fury to scoop slam her! Sasha flies in, is caught, and thrown on top of Alexa! Then Mickie gets the same out of a wheelbarrow facebuster, Nia pins Mickie, TWO. Bayley watches as Mickie endures the Cobra Clutch. Nia gets Mickie down to the mat, Mickie fires up and fights out, but then gets thrown to a corner. Nia squashes Mickie, throws Alexa down, and elbows Sasha before putting her in a bearhug. Sasha fights back with forearms but Nia just squeezes tighter. Sasha turns it into a guillotine, but Nia turns that into a suplex! Nia pins, Mickie breaks it up and fires off shots. Nia grabs Mickie and holds her up in a two handed choke, but Mickie turns that into an armbar! Nia’s on the mat, Mickie bends that arm, but Nia rolls around to then deadlift Mickie up! Nia throws Mickie on top of Sasha, and Alexa freezes on the top rope. Alexa climbs down, Nia charges at Mickie and Sasha but misses both. Alexa throws Sasha out, Mickie kicks away on Alexa, double forearms knock the former SmackDown Women’s Champion down. Mickie wants her finisher but Sasha fires in to rally on her and Alexa. Knee lift to Alexa, Alexa staggers to a corner. Sasha sets Alexa on the second rope, headscissors Mickie into Alexa before hitting the Stock Drop knees! Sasha goes for the pin, Nia drags her out now. Mickie trips Nia up to hit the apron, Alexa forearms Mickie into Nia, Bliss and Banks stare down. Alexa elbows out of the Bank Statement once, declares this is HER division now, but then Sasha gets the Bank Statement on, only for Mickie to break it all up. Mickie and Sasha brawl, Mickie getting the better with forearms before hitting a flapjack facebuster. Mickie goes top rope, Sasha trips her up. Sasha climbs up to join Mickie, Nia returns to grab Sasha and use her to knock Mickie off the top rope. Samoan Drop! But Alexa gets Nia out of the way with a dropkick and steals the pin, Alexa Bliss steals the win! The hometown girl is the #1 contender, how will the crafty former SmackDown champ fare against the current Raw champ?
The Big Show tells us why he stood up to Braun Strowman. Strowman needs to learn what it’s like to be bullied. The Big Show is still 7 foot tall, and he’s in the best shape of his life. He’s ready to give Strowman a taste of his own medicine, “giant style.” Will the World’s Largest Athlete manage to humble the Monster Among Men?
Curt Hawkins is out here again. He’s trying to spin how the Big Show beat him up last week and is now the main event, as a way to hype himself up. He challenges someone to try the “Curt Hawkins Star Factory” and see what happens. The one to respond is…
Finn Balor VS Curt Hawkins!
After a stiff match with Hard Body Jinder Mahal, Balor’s health was questionable, but he’s already back tonight to answer this open challenge. Hawkins rushes Balor, Balor ducks and gives chops. Slingblade and then the running dropkick blasts Hawkins into a corner. Balor goes top rope, COUP DE GRACE! Balor wins quick, how will Hawkins spin this one?
Chris Jericho is interviewed backstage. Y2J lost to Samoa Joe again, nothing to be ashamed of. But he is more focused on Kevin Owens “that stupid idiot!” Kevin wants to be the Face of America, but ew that’s one ugly face. America deserves the Face of Jericho, Frame it in, maaan~! At Payback, Jericho VS Kevin, and if Jericho wins he’ll go to SmackDown. It doesn’t matter what show Jericho is on, his Friends of Jericho follow him! Can you hear them? They chant “Y2J!” for him, what a great bunch of friends. Jericho then argues with Mike/Tom over what his name is, so “you know what happens when you’re–” The Drifter passes through. “Scratch that, you’re off the hook.” So for wandering through his promo, The Drifter… made the list! Bye, Tom!
The Eater of Worlds, Bray Wyatt, is here. Payback is set to host the House of Horrors match for the WWE World Championship, so Bray has a question: “What are you afraid of?” The dark? The unknown? Monsters under your bed? “Fear is what brings you all together.” But Bray is not like all of us. He does not bow to fear, he controls it, harnesses it. Fear lives within the House of Horrors. Randy is scared, Bray can smell it. In that House of Horrors, all the Viper’s fears “will come to light.” Randy will be dragged down so far into Hell, his skin will blister and his blood will boil, only to be brought up so high and then dropped back down into the Abyss. Randy will know pain, fear, horror and agony. Yet all that will be Bray’s ecstasy. And when Bray leaves the House of Horrors, he will leave alone and let it burn down with Randy inside. It began and shall end with fire, Randy. “Run.”
Alicia Fox shows Dana Brooke the powder incident from last week’s 205 Live. Dana is on Alicia’s side, it sucked. Emma comes along and outs Dana for laughing and showing the video to everyone. Alicia doesn’t believe Dana when Dana defends herself, she storms off. Emma is just using Dana’s words of “standing on her own two feet” against her.
Jeff Hardy w/ Matt Hardy VS Cesaro w/ Sheamus!
The Hardys have BROKEN into the Raw Tag Team Division to become champions already, but can the Enigma defeat the Swiss Superman in a 1v1 confrontation? Jeff gets the crowd going before he and Cesaro tie up, Cesaro shows his agility as he trips Jeff down. Cesaro lets Jeff up slowly, and the two go again. Cesaro powers out of a headlock, Jeff dropkicks Cesaro out of the ring, and then from the apron it’s a flying crossbody. Sheamus tries to cheer Cesaro back into it as he’s put into the ring. Quick kick out from Cesaro so Jeff keeps on him with another headlock. Cesaro powers out again, then catches Jeff mid-jump to slam him down, TWO. Jeff rolls and limps to the barrier, Cesaro pursues to blast him with a running EuroUpper! Back into the ring, Jeff kicks out, so Cesaro picks him up. Jawbreaker from Jeff, then Jeff goes top rope. Cesaro rolls out to avoid a swanton, he regroups with Sheamus as we go to commercials.
We return as Jeff fights out of Cesaro’s special armlock, but then is sent tumbling out of the ring from Cesaro’s side step and shove. Matt checks on his brother while the ring count climbs, but Cesaro won’t let it end that way. He gets Jeff back in the ring, TWO, TWO, so it’s back to the armlock. The fans rally for Jeff, Jeff fights back and slingblades Cesaro down. Cesaro goes to a corner, Jeff rushes in but misses, running EuroUpper once again rocks Jeff, TWO! Cesaro is a bit surprised, but Jeff is a former world champion. Cesaro and Jeff brawl a bit, another EuroUpper sitting Jeff down. Cesaro whips Jeff but Jeff fires back with a clothesline. Atomic drop to signature leg-splitting legdrop, then a dropkick and splash, TWO! Jeff gets the fans into it, he grabs Cesaro for the Twist but gets another stiff EuroUpper, TWO! Matt and the fans rally for Jeff, Cesaro decides to go swinging but Jeff pushes him away. Cesaro ducks a clothesline, Springboard EuroUpper, TWO! Cesaro gets to his feet, and says it’s time to swing! Jeff still resists, signature mule kick knocks Cesaro down. Jeff goes up, takes a EuroUpper! Jeff is seated on the top rope now, Cesaro climbs up, but Jeff resists. Jeff crotches Cesaro on top rope itself, then dropkicks him off! Cesaro rolls into the ring, Jeff fires in but misses, back elbow stops the EuroUpper, Jeff lands the Whisper in the Wind! TWO! Cesaro sits in the corner, baseball slide dropkick hits but not the swinging dropkick, Cesaro covers Jeff but TWO! Cesaro wants the Neutralizer, Jeff powers out of it, Twist of Fate stunner connects! Jeff goes top rope again, Swanton Bomb!
Jeff wins, and the Hardys roll on towards Payback! Both teams regroup in the ring, and respectfully shake hands. Respectful or not, only one team can be the Raw tag team champions, who will it be after Payback?
Heath Slater & Rhyno are in Ohio, BAYBAY! They’ve turned things around in a year’s time, going from the undrafted One Man Band to one half of the inaugural SmackDown Tag Team Champions, but– BRAUN!! Thankfully Braun leaves Slater and the ManBeast alone, he’s focused on The Giant.
The Big Show VS Braun Strowman!
Once again these literal titans of the ring clash as the World’s Largest Athlete won’t let the Monster Among Men do what he wants to the Raw roster. They don’t even wait until they’re in the ring, they brawl on the outside! Strowman whips Show to a barrier, but Show boxes Strowman back before whipping him into the steel steps. Show stalks Strowman before putting Strowman into barriers. They finally enter the ring, the match finally begins. Big Show wants to Choke Slam but Strowman stops that. Show whips Strowman, each giant blocks the hip toss only for Show to toss Strowman over the top rope. Show gives The World’s Largest baseball slide dropkick! Then Strowman is thrown to the other steel steps. Show returns to the ring, letting the ring count handle Strowman. Strowman returns before five, then forearms Show back. Strowman builds speed, and dropkicks Show down! TWO! Strowman keeps on Show with an armlock, but Show stands up and switches the lock onto Strowman. Strowman rolls through, is forced back down, then kip-ups into an armdrag. Strowman takes aim at Show, another armdrag throws the Giant down. Strowman tries but is stopped from lifting Show, Strowman returns the favor, it’s Big Show who gets Strowman up, but not all the way. Strowman tries now, Show tries again, and Big Show slams Strowman! Show calls for it, clamps his hand on, but Strowman blocks and SUPLEXES Show! Strowman keeps Show down with right hands, laying claim to the throne of WWE’s top giant. Strowman stalks Big Show, not letting him up for a moment. Strowman walks on Show, flexing all the way. Strowman watches as Show struggles to move. Strowman even dares Show to stand up. Show does, Strowman puts him on a shoulder, Big Show slips down and shoves Strowman to a corner. Show squahes Strowman with a corner splash! Big Show and Strowman are both breathing heavy, but Show manages to power Strowman onto the top rope. An open hand chop stuns Strowman, Big Show climbs up. Strowman fights him off, re-positions himself, flying ax handle is caught, CHOKE SLAM from Big Show! TWO! Both behemoths are slow to getting up, but they both get up nonetheless. Show wants the punch, Strowman ducks it to Oklahoma powerslam him! TWO! Strowman is shocked! Strowman stands up and goes top rope, Show stops him there. Show headbutts Strowman, then climbs up again… Strowman resists again, Big Show crotches on the top rope and tumbles off. Strowman readjusts again, and flies into the Knockout Punch! TWO!? Strowman is the only man to survive that! Big Show is beside himself. Big Show leaves Strowman on the mat, as HE goes top rope! Strowman revives and climbs up to join him! Strowman grabs him, SUPERPLEX BREAKS THE RING!!
For the third time in Big Show’s career, he and his opponent have collapsed a ring. The match is called off in order to check on both competitors and the referee, but Braun Strowman stands up as if nothing happened! Perhaps he truly IS the top giant in WWE. If a ring broke in this match, what will Strowman break come Payback?
After the Superstar Shakeup, there was much analysis and speculation, with various reasons as to why some swaps were good and others were bad, but WWE is finding ways to move forward and restore some faith in them. For one, it would appear the WWE found a compromise between smarks and marks on how to handle how Roman Reigns is handling the beat down Strowman gave him. He wasn’t on tonight, but he’s promised to be back for Payback, so it won’t be so blatant that “Mega Reigns” has a heightened healing factor. As for Strowman’s side of things, it was good to see him ambushing and beating down random superstars per his character and then be confronted by Big Show to revisit their battle of giants, complete with one last ring-breaking superplex for Big Show. Simultaneously, Strowman’s rampage tied into giving The Club and the Realest Guys a match while these two teams are in a holding pattern just outside of the Raw Tag Team Title picture. While unfortunate that The Revival’s Dash Wilder is injured with a fractured jaw and therefore putting the team on the sideline for eight weeks, they’ll be able to jump right back into things when they return to face whoever might be champ in their absence, so it’s a big opportunity for everyone else to fill the void.
I’m a little surprised but also very intrigued by how Alexa Bliss is the new #1 contender to the Raw Women’s Championship. For one, she is now poised to be the first women to have held both the SmackDown and Raw Women’s Championships in their careers, as well as within the same year (the other being Charlotte, who had the Raw Women’s title earlier this year and could find her way to the SmackDown title very soon). Secondly, this gives Sasha Banks more time and motivation for a Heel Turn, as she feels snubbed and pushed aside. The Boss could easily snap and attack Bayley, blaming the Huggable One for why Sasha isn’t champion already.
Speaking of who will and won’t be champion, safe (and unfortunate) to say that Bray Wyatt will not win his own invention that is the House of Horrors Match to bring that world title over to Raw, but he is already set with his first Raw feud in the form of Finn Balor and his Demon King persona. The Hardy Boyz, even if they won’t be BROKEN come Payback, can surely put on a great match against Cesaro & Sheamus, and chances are they’ll still be champions by the end of the night. With Neville and Aries set to go one more time, there’s a good chance Neville is going to rely on TJP interfering, using this budding “friendship” forming between them like using a pawn on the chessboard. Ambrose has already beaten the Miz on SmackDown, but the two are already making their revisited rivalry worth it with their promos and that’ll surely be the same for their in-ring work. The belt could go to either man, but I feel giving it back to The Miz will open up possibilities for Raw in the weeks after.
My Score: 8/10