Liam Hoofe reviews this week’s Raw…
Raw opens with Kurt Angle coming down. The former WWE champion teased some big announcements for the opening of Raw on his Twitter place yesterday. Of course, though, we get nothing of the sort, as Angle just runs down everything we already knew was taking place during the night. Angle talks about Rousey and Stephanie McMahon’s music hits. Yay! Stephanie makes her way to the ring. Stephanie says WrestleMania is now water under the bridge and then proceeds to patronise Angle. She says that will mediate the contract signing tonight between Rousey and Jax, which gets plenty of boos from the crowd. She says that Angle lets his emotions get in the way far too often and she mentions Roman Reigns and Jinder Mahal.
Roman then heads to the ring to a torrent of boos, and Stephanie is quick to mock him. She says he needs to learn to control his temper and he chats some nonsense back to her. The crowd were actually more on his side here than when he first came out. Nothing to do with his promo work though, they just clearly hate Stephanie. Anyway, this all leads to Kevin Owens coming out and mocking Reigns as well. Stephanie doesn’t take too kindly to Owens’ presence though, especially when he puts his arm on her shoulder. This all leads to Owens Vs Reigns being announced to kick things off. This was a mixed-bag of a segment. Kevin Owens was by far the best thing about it, while Stephanie, as annoying as she is, deserves some credit for her heel work. This new Authority angle with Reigns is terrible, and it has garnered zero traction so far. No-one is buying Reigns as the antihero, so please take note and change direction after Money in the Bank.
Owens and Reigns are in the ring to kick things off. These two have an excellent chemistry in the ring, and Owens is on a bit of a hot streak after pulling double duty last week. The match was good fun, with Reigns playing the tough guy and no-selling Owens’ move, leading to Owens having to figure out other ways to get at him. The missed drive-by into a superkick was a nice spot, and it’s just a shame this one had to have a DQ finish, even if Jinder Mahal attacking Reigns made sense. (Rating: ***) Jinder and Owens then beat down Reigns after the match, only for Seth Rollins to hit the ring to a massive pop and help out his former Shield team-mate.
Back from the break and we have a tag match on our hands, with Owens and Jinder teaming up against Rollins and Reigns. This was an excellent tag team match, with plenty of great back and forth moments. It’s not often I praise Jinder Mahal, but I enjoyed his presence in this match and he played his role well. Owens has excellent chemistry with both Reigns and Rollins and the finish to the match was a joy to watch. Rollins picking up the win continues his momentum going forward and I’d happily see more of these four guys in the ring together. (Rating: *** 1/2) After the match, Jinder Mahal attacked both Rollins and Reigns at the top of the stage.
Out next is Sami Zayn to introduce Bobby Lashley’s sisters. I’m really not too sure what to say about this. It was clear from the moment that this was announced that it was going to be atrocious, and it didn’t disappoint. Sadly, it was even the kind of bad that can be entertaining, it just flat out sucked. So basically, it turned out that all of his sisters were actually men dressed up as women, one of them even had a moustache, hahaha, genius. Seriously, these types of segments are always, always woeful, and the company need to stop. Anyway, Lashley comes out and beat them up, and that was that. The crowd hated it, I hated it, Sami and Lashley probably hated it, and Lashley’s sisters, real and fictional, also probably hated it.
We see Alexa Bliss being interviewed about her match with Ember Moon. She says Moon got lucky on her debut but she won’t tonight.
And that match is up next. The two women get given nearly 10 minutes to show us what they can do here, and the match is fine if not a little hindered by the presence of Mickie James. Ember Moon continues to impress here, and she has to be considered one of the favourites for the Women’s Money in the Bank match going forward. She picks up the win with the Eclipse, which I will never tire of watching. (Rating: ** 1/2)
We see Finn Balor and Braun Strowman backstage in Kurt’s office, except it’s not Kurt, Stephanie McMahon has taken over for the night. The two want a rematch against McIntyre and Ziggler. Stephanie doesn’t give it them, instead, she brews some tension between them and announces that they will face each other in the night’s main event. Braun says he likes competition and squashes an apple in his hands.
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