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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (6/4/18)

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With only two episodes of Raw before Money in the Bank, the Red Brand enters the home stretch. Two former Universal Champions in Finn Balor and Kevin Owens face off, while The GLORIOUS Bobby Roode will try not to #GetTheseHands from Braun Strowman! Plus, Nia Jax tunes up against Ronda Rousey’s friend, Natalya!

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Elias & Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh VS Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns; Elias & Mahal win.
  • Curt Hawkins VS James Harden; Harden wins by Disqualification, no free tacos.
  • Nia Jax VS Natalya; Nia wins.
  • Braun Strowman VS Bobby Roode; Strowman wins.
  • Raw Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders Battle Royal: The B Team wins and will challenge The Deleters of World for the titles at Money in the Bank.
  • Six Woman Tag: Alexa Bliss, Sasha Banks & Ember Moon VS The Riott Squad; initial decision reversed, the Riott Squad wins.
  • Kevin Owens VS Finn Balor; Finn wins, by disqualification.

PLAY BY PLAY

“Ladies and Gentleman: Elias.”

The Drifter opens Raw to a strongly negative reaction. But even so, Elias tells Houston that “I am the man who carries the power of wind in my fist” as he plays his guitar. He asks as always, “Who Wants to Walk with Elias?!” But it should be of no surprise that Elias is the first face we see, because he is WWE’s most valuable asset. He will become even more valuable when he becomes the next Intercontinental Champion. Money in the Bank will see Seth Rollins learn that WWE really stands for “Walk With Elias!” Speaking of Rollins, we saw what Elias did to him last week, smashing him with a guitar and leaving him in a pile of dirt and pain. But think about how Elias felt smashing that guitar. But as the great artist he is, he turned that pain into a song.

While Elias plays his guitar, footage of that attack replays so that everyone knows just how he hit Rollins. “The Man has fallen down.” That title will be Elias’ trophy, “because the Architect has lost his ground. The Man has fallen down. Just like the Rockets when Golden State comes to town.” But guess who else is in town? The Intercontinental Champion, Seth Rollins! Elias is ready to swing that guitar at Rollins, but Rollins stays at a safe distance. Rollins paces around the ring, with fans on his side. Elias dares him to enter, but Rollins makes sure to grab an equalizer! Rollins has a chair! Elias starts to back away as Rollins walks up into the ring. They stand off, armed with weaponry, and circling in the ring.

Elias makes a full lap before swinging, but the chair smacks the guitar away! Now Rollins has Elias cornered, only for Jnder Mahal to jump Rollins from behind! The fans boo as the Drifter and the Maharaja stomp away, but here comes Roman Reigns!

The Big Dog runs in but has Mahal and Elias on him. He still fights them, and even Sunil Singh, off! He uppercuts them all out of the ring, and helps his Shield Brother stand up. Raw General Manager, Kurt Angle, appears!

Angle has everyone hold on. Elias and Mahal aren’t getting away, because now, it’s a tag team match! Mahal & Elias must face the Shield Brothers, after the break.

 

Elias & Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh VS Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns!

Raw returns and the match begins with Roman and Mahal. However, Mahal decides to tag out to Elias, so Roman tags to Elias. Elias tags to Mahal, so Rollins to Roman. And around again. And again, and again. The Shield stops the cycle and go after Mahal and Elias! Rollins slingshots out onto Mahal while Roman throws Elias into barriers. Rollins puts Mahal back in the ring, then chops away. Mahal puts on a headlock but Rollins powers out. Things speed up and Rollins dropkicks Mahal down. Rollins picks Mahal up and tags to Roman. Rollins whips and then Roman whips Rollins in for the forearm. Roman back elbows Mahal down, then tags back to Rollins. They double whip Mahal, and double shoulder down. Cover, ONE, and Mahal powers Rollisn to his corner. Elias tags in, but Rollins fights back, only to get clobbered from behind.

Elias keeps on Rollins with a tossing hotshot at the ropes. Cover, TWO, and Rollins gets to the ropes. Elias chokes him against them, but backs off at 4. Elias drags Rollins up but Rollins punches back. Rollins reaches but Elias whips and lariats Rollins down. Elias taunts Rollins before putting him in a neck wrench. Elias shifts to a partial cobra clutch, but fans rally. Rollins fights up but Elias wrangles him away into a chinlock. Elias trash talks him but Rollins feeds off the fans’ rally. Rollins stands, but Elias wrangles him back down into a deeper chinlock. Elias wrenches back but Rollins endures. Fans keep rallying, and Rollins stand up to reach. Elias knees low and whips but Rollins kicks him away. Elias blocks the suplex and drops the knee, but misses! Both men crawl, hot tag to Mahal to deny the tag.

Mahal whips, but Rollins boots Mahal away! Rollins throws Mahal out, and hot tag to Roman! Roman rallies on Mahal! This is a preview to their grudge match as Roman hits the leaping lariat. Roman uppercuts Elias for good measure, then clotheslines in the corner for Mahal. He hits all 10, then runs but into Mahal’s boot! Roman rebounds and his HIS boot. Mahal manages to tag Elias, but Elias runs into a boot for himself! Fans fire up while Roman gets to a corner. Roman locks and loads, then takes aim, but Mahal steps up. Roman uppercuts Mahal, but Elias escapes to the outside. Rmoan sees that and exits, to come around the corner. Roman goes for the Drive-By, but Sunil saves Mahal and Elias clobbers Roman! The Shield boys are in trouble while we go to break.

Raw returns to Roman enduring a chinlock. Elias stands Roman up for jabs, then a straight right. Mahal tags in and he hotshots Roman, covers, TWO. Mahal keeps on Roman with elbows to his head and crossfaces before another chinlock. Roman endures again, but Mahal ditches the hold to drop a knee. Mahal keeps on Roman, then tags Mahal so they can stomp and drop more knees. Cover, TWO, but Elias brings Roman up for more jabs. Elias takes a shot at Rollins just because, but Roman throws haymakers now. Roman whips but Eilas reverses and elbows Roman down. Cover, TWO, and Elias grows frustrated. Tag to Mahal, and Mahal kicks Roman back down. Mahal wraps Roman back in a chinlock, but fans rally again. Roman powers up but Mahal runs, into a Samoan Drop! Both men are down but crawling, hot tags to Elias and Rollins!

Rollins hits a Thesz press and throws hands, then the slingblade! He hits Mahal for good measure, then boots Elias to hit the Blockbuster!

Cover, TWO, but Rollins’ neck slows him down. Elias gets to a corner, but Rollins runs in. Elias puts him on the apron, but Rollins springboards up and over. Rollins dodges the knee to hit the Falcon Arrow! Cover, Mahal breaks it. Mahal glares down at Rollins and brings him up, but Roman SUPERMAN Punches Mahal down. Roman waits for Elias to get in position, and hits the Drive-By dropkick! Rollins adds the mule kick, then stomps for “Burn It Down!” Sunil distracts on the apron, but Rollins just flinches him off. Roman catches Sunil but Mahal saves his sidekick. Mahal puts Roman into steel steps, then into the crowd! Elias rolls Rollins, TWO! Enziguri from Rollins, a DIVE onto Mahal! Rollins hits the barrier neck first! Sunil drags out a chair, and goes after Rollins.

Rollins sees him first, and snags that chair away. Rollins glares at Sunil but Elias catches him, DDT on the chair! The referee reprimands Elias but what’s done is done. Elias crawls up to his feet, and drags the limp Rollins up. Elias hits Drift Away! Cover, Elias & Mahal win!

Winners: Elias & Mahal, Elias pinning

Rollins was less than 100% but The Drifter still pinned him. Elias wants to be the Intercontinental Champion, and he’ll do just about anything to get that title. Will he play Rollins’ swan song at Money in the Bank? Will Mahal also win and kick The Big Dog out of The Yard?

 

Curt Hawkins VS James Harden!

The Fact Checker made a bold prediction and promise. Fans know what he promised: when he wins, everyone wins a free taco! But his opponent is James Harden. No not THAT Harden. But he is from Houston. Hawkins is thankful to Harden for being part of history. The bell rings and they tie up. Hawkins puts Harden in a corner, Hawkins rocks him with punches and stmops. He whips Harden corner to corner, and Harden hits buckles hard. Hawkins keeps on Harden with another whip, then a scoop and slam! Hawkins waits for Harden to get up, but Harden dodges him. Harden hits back, but Hawkins makes him pay with a clothesline! Fans chant “We Want Tacos!” has Hawkins waits for Harden stand up. But Baron Corbin appears!

The Lone Wolf is grinning, which is a bad sign for Hawkins, Harden, and the tacos. Corbin hits the ring, END OF DAYS for Harden!

Harden wins by Disqualification; no free tacos

Hawkins hits 200 losses! And only Corbin is happy. Corbin smashes Hawkins with tacos! Then Corbin dumps the table onto Hawkins, adding insult to injury. Fans boo, mostly because they wanted tacos. Will Hawkins ever get out of his losing streak? Or will Corbin continue to ruin everyone’s fun?

 

Kurt Angle meets with Baron Corbin.

“What was that all about?” Corbin will explain that later. He wants his opportunities, and so he went over Angle’s head to Stephanie McMahon. She has a message for Angle. “Due to several questionable judgments,” Stephanie is creating a checks and balances system. Corbin is the Constable of Raw now! The Lone Wolf is going to enforce Stephanie’s will over Angle?!

 

Nia Jax VS Natalya!

The Queen of Harts took offense to The Irresistible Force implying her friend, “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey, can’t put on her best moves. But to make sure Nia doesn’t treat Natty too rough, Ronda is here on commentary!

Will Natty help expose some weaknesses in the Raw Women’s Champion for Ronda to take advantage of? Or is the Irresistible Force truly unstoppable?

The bell rings, and Natty circles with Nia. They tie up, and Nia pushes Natty down. Nia taunts Natty, but Natty keeps her cool as they tie up again. Natty gets a headlock, but Nia is too strong for her to throw. Nia powers and pushes Natty off, but Natty comes back with a clothesline. Nia isn’t backed down at all, so Natty gets around to a waistlock. Natty is easily bucked off but Natty dropkick Nia. Nia shoulders Natty back down, then again. Natty rolls out of the ring to catch her breath while we go to break.

Raw returns to Nia squeezing Natty in a chinlock and half nelson. Natty endures and fights her way up to jawbreaker her way out. Nia comes back, but Natty tries to scoop! Nia headbutts Natty down before she can manage it. Natty gets to a corner, then boots Nia away. Natty runs out, and wheelbarrows to the facebuster! Nia staggers, and Natty dropkicks her down. Fans rally for Natty while they stand. Natty goes after Nia with forearms and kicks and even a slap. Natty kicks again, then whips, but Nia blocks with strength. Nia whips Natty to a corner, but misses the splash. Natty catches her breath, then discus clotheslines Nia down! Cover, TWO! But Rousey can tell how close Natty was there.

Natty and Nia stand, and the fans fire up for the Queen of Harts. Natty runs on Nia, but one of her knees gives out. Nia scoops Natty, Samoan Drop! Cover, Nia wins!

Winner: Nia, by pinfall

Rousey is more worried for Natty than herself. Even Nia shows some concern for the former champion. Rousey also comes over, and checks on Natty as well. Nia wants to show she’s concerned, but Rousey won’t let her near. Nia bumps Rousey, and Rousey takes offense. They stare down, and Rousey tells Nia to leave.

Nia still wants to show concern for the hurt and frustrated Natty, but she keeps her distance. Natty is helped out of the ring, and Rousey follows after. Can the Baddest Woman on the Planet prove to Nia she’s ready to be champion? Will Natalya be able to return to the ring so she can compete in the Women’s MITB Ladder Match?

 

Backstage interview with Bobby Roode.

What is his mindset going into his first ever MITB Ladder match? Ecstatic! He’s in the most life changing match in WWE, and Roode thrives in the spotlight. Roode wants to make history, because that contract is a sure-fire way to becoming the next Universal Champion. And when that all happens, it will be Absolutely GLORIOUS! But what about tonight’s match with Braun Strowman? That’s a different story. Roode’s been in the business 20 years yet no one is like Strowman. Roode will have to use every trick in the book, and maybe that can help him win. Other than that, Roode just hopes to survive.

Braun Strowman VS Bobby Roode!

The Monster Among Men vows to be Mr. MONSTER in the Bank, and he has a very good chance of doing that. Can Roode hope to NOT #GetTheseHands this close to MITB?

Raw returns to this match as the bell rings. Strowman and Roode stare down. Roode rushes Strowman but Strowman shoves him away to then roar triumphantly. Roode stands back up and manages a headlock, but Strowman powers him off. Strowman runs in but Roode dodges. Roode chops but it does nothing! Strowman throws Roode across the way! Then Strowman runs corner to corner, but into boots. Roode hops up but Strowman grabs his throat! He scoops but Roode silps out to chopblock! Roode kicks and kicks, then goes for the DDT. Strowman is too big for that and he just flapjacks Roode down. Fans want Roode to “Get These Hands!” and Strowman stalks Roode to a corner. Strowman uses a butterfly suplex to throw Roode! Fans cheer as Strowman waits for Roode to stand.

Roode rolls to a corner, and back elbows Strowman away. Roode boots Strowman, then dodges to send Strowman into a post! He surprised himself with that, and now he hurries to the outside. Roode starts looking under the ring, and brings out a ladder! A preview of MITB, as Roode prepares the ladder as a bridge. Roode grins as he hurries back into the ring. Strowman stands up, but Roode is confident. Roode baits Strowman into chasing him, and leads him around, to the ladder! But Strowman stops to avoid running into the steel. Roode gloats, but Strowman BREAKS THE LADDER, with his bare hands!!

Roode is afraid, and he runs away for real! He stumbles, and Strowman catches him, to put him into the barriers. Strowman drags Roode up and tosses him into the ring. Strowman stomps over and lifts Roode up, for the MONSTER SLAM! Cover, Strowman wins!

Winner: Strowman, by pinfall

The Monster conquers again! Strowman broke a ladder tonight, will he use ladders to break the other opponents in the MITB match?

 

Kevin Owens watches backstage.

Charli Caruso comes in for an interview and asks his thoughts on all of this. Kevin knows Strowman is big, Roode has a robe and the sky is blue. But who cares about them? Or anyone from SmackDown? Kevin only cares about winning. Finn Balor is a perfect example as to why the WWE Universe is clueless. Everyone loves Finn and the Balor Club, and Too Sweet. Was it Too Sweet when he failed in his match against Strowman? Kevin cost him that match, though. That’s besides the point! Kevin is going to win tonight, and prove to everyone that Finn is just a “made-up Irish myth.”

 

Ronda Rousey is with Natalya in the trainer’s area.

There was a pop in her leg and it just hurts now. Rousey helps Natty with the crutches, and Nia comes in to apologize. Natty understands, but her MITB chances are looking bad. Rousey is upset but Natty defends Nia. Nia says Natty is her friend, too, and Natty defends Ronda to Nia. The friends of Natty argue but she shouts for them to stop. These things happen, so Natty just needs some time. Rousey and Nia ar both worried, but they’re both still upset with each other.

 

The Deleters of Worlds head to the ring!

The WOKEN Yin-Yang is in Houston with their Raw Tag Team Championships, because they want to witness in person, who their opponents for Money in the Bank will be. The Battle Royal is up next, so how does it feel to watch the entire Division to fight for their chance? “Many men lust for power. It’s in their nature, man. It drives them, it consumes them, and ultimately it destroys them.” But any team that has the audacity to take on this team should know that they are not just facing men, but Woken Warriors! They will face fireflies! And they will face wrestling gods, and learn what it means to be WOKEN~! Ye-e-e-e-e-es! They are like magic, but so much more. Their Essences transcend space and time, and now, they are the Raw Tag Team Champions! They have awoken the WWE Universe, and ask… Is Renee WOKEN? Yeah…? WONDERFUL~!

Now it is time for the Battle Royale to commence. Senor Benjamin– WAIT! Wyatt wants it to be known, that no matter which team wins, they will first suffer and be… DELETED!!

Raw Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders Battle Royal!

All the other teams of the Raw Tag Team Division fill the ring and only the last team standing will earn a golden opportunity at MITB. Will the “undefeated” B Team be able to overcome The Ascension, Titus Worldwide, The Fashion Police, The Revival, the inaugural SmackDown Tag Team Champions of Slater & Rhyno AND the devastating duo of Dolph & Drew? Or will they be dumped out and defeated for the first time (since their redesign)?

The bell rings and they brawl while Jojo makes the explanations. Ziggler and McIntyre patiently wait on the outside while all the others fight it out. Axel saves Bo from The Ascension but then McIntyre and Ziggler jump in. McIntyre chops with Viktor, while Titus chops Ziggler. The Revival work on Apollo but then McIntyre chops with Scott Dawson. Ziggler survives on the apron as he hotshots Titus away. Viktor goes after Ziggler while Titus goes after Rhyno. Konnor beats up Slater while McIntyre continues on Dawson.

Ziggler survives again but brawls with Apollo. Ziggler goes after old foe Breeze, but Breeze dumps him to the apron. The Show-Off slingshots back in, but then is tossed back tot he apron! Ziggler jumps up, Breeze eliminates him!! He and McIntyre are ELIMINATED together! Not that he cares, he wrecks Slater and Fandango, and Ziggler returns to SUPERKICK people! Ziggler and McIntyre combine on Bo, CLAYMORE ZIGZAG!

Fans boo while the referees force them to leave. The Show-Off & Stud are pissed but this match continues without them, after the break.

Raw returns, and the brawling keeps going. Titus was eliminated during the break, so Apollo goes with him. The #TopGuys work on the Fashion Police but their friends The Ascension save them. However, this only gets Viktor whipped at Fandango, and Fandango tosses Viktor all the way out! The Ascension are ELIMINATED! But then so are the Fashion Police as Dash & Dawson toss Fandango! This leaves the Revival, Slater & Rhyno and The B Team! The Revival work over Rhyno & Slater in turn while The B Team catch their breaths. Bo becomes a target now, but he fights them off. Axel saves his partner and it’s a fight between the four. Dash & Dawson take them down, then whip Slater into the Shatter- No, Rhyno ELIMINATES Dash and therefore the team! Slater SUPERKICKS Dawson for good measure.

The B Team pounces! Axel clubs Slater but he brawls with Rhyno. Rhyno goes after Bo, too, but runs into boots. Axel kicks and DDT’s Rhyno down. Bo and Axel work together to bring Rhyno up and toss him out. Rhyno holds on, and Slater wakes up. The B Team sees their surrounded, big knee and a heel kick from Slater! Slater gets Bo in the scoop, but Rhyno is knocked away! The B Team wins!!

Winners: The B Team; they will challenge for the Raw Tag Team Championships at MITB

Axel & Bo toss Slater out for good measure, and they’re STILL “undefeated”!! The B Team are the #1 contenders, can they become “undefeated” Champions?!

 

Bobby Lashley heads to the ring!

The Alpha Male is in Houston, and is prepared for his grudge match with Sami Zayn at MITB. Sami has accused Lashley of giving him a case of vertigo, then went and used actors to imitate the Lashley sisters. But from where Lashley comes from, he does things the old fashioned way. If Sami wants to talk more trash, say it to his face. Saim’s music hits, but Sami doesn’t walk out.

Lashley waits, but the Underdog responds from way over in the crowd. Lashley wants Sami to enter the ring with him? “YES! YES!” “Not a chance.” Because the last time they were in the ring together, Lashley assaulted Sami. Sami shook Lashley’s hand but Lashley almost broke that hand. Sami couldn’t even cook his organic tofu steaks or hold the mic with that hand.

But that’s okay, because Sami is a genius! His brain never stops working, never stops scouting. Sami has great insight to the real Lashely with the power of Instagram. It turns out, Lashley loves posting inspirational quotes! Sami has some ready, and they’re up on the Titantron. “They told me to think outside the box. I showed them there is no box.” Wow, mind-blown! That’s deep. Like, Sami Zayn levels, almost. Next, “Apply for that job. Date that person. Buy that plane ticket. Move to that city. Do all the things that scare you, they’re worth it.” That one is a strong one. A personal one for Sami, because he’s felt scared to do things, too~! But now he can do anything thanks to Lashley’s Instagram. This is good, really it is. Maybe too good.

Most of these here simply Texans just think “Lashley is a genuinely good person”, but an intellectual like Sami digs deeper. Sami logged into an anonymous alt account and DM’d Lashley. But instead of a nice reply, Lashley copy-pasted a link to this: the Bobby Lashley Fan Club! “Can you believe the ego?” And surprise surprise, for only $19.99 you can get a Lashley headband. For $39.99, get a shirt! “Don’t you see what’s going on here? It’s all a ruse!” It’s a scam to fool everyone. But Sami is too smart for these tricks. Sami, where are you going with all this? Where is he literally going? Sami sure loves lurking his Instagram. Lashley hoped Sami would have the decency to face Sami face to face. Sami doesn’t talk to liars, Bobby. “If that’s even your real name.”

Lashley isn’t sure whether to laugh with, laugh at or pity Sami. Sami is leaving, but Lashley would appreciate not selling this match at the expense of his reputation. But everything about Lashley is a lie! Right down to the fake smile! Does Lashley even have sisters? Was he ever in the Army? Oh did that hit a nerve? Maybe just maybe that was another Lashley lie. Lashley gets angry and Sami steps back even from atop the stairs. Fans chant “USA! USA!” in support of Lashley, but Sami keeps shrinking away. Will Sami pay dearly for all those comments come MITB?

 

Backstage interview with Jinder Mahal.

The Modern Day Maharaja has escalated things with Roman Reigns. What is the root of their issue? “Roman is a jealous, bitter man.” ROman sees a conspiracy when in fact, he’s the only one getting opportunities. Those opportunities should go to Mahal. It’s why Roman speared Mahal before his MITB qualifying match. “But there is something in the air.” The winds of change blow, and Roman will find himself in a storm.

Roman Reigns responds.

His reaction to Mahal’s comments is that Roman is not bitter. Mahal forgot who Roman Reigns is and what he’s done. What has Mahal done around here lately? Nothing! Mahal is the one who expects to be handed things. Mahal takes offense that they aren’t doing this face to face. Roman tells Mahal to shut up. If he wants to do this face to face, they can. They’re both still here, so Roman’s gonna go find Mahal.

The Big Dog is on the hunt, but when he spots Mahal, Mahal is just as ready. Mahal throws Sunil at Roman but that doesn’t stop Roman! They brawl with heavy hands, then Roman puts Mahal into a garage door! Security and referees come in to stop this fight from happening. Mahal and Roman are ready to tear each other up, will they even make it to MITB?

 

Six Woman Tag: Alexa Bliss, Sasha Banks & Ember Moon VS The Riott Squad!

The Goddess, the Boss & The Prophecy of Flame are all in the Women’s MITB Ladder match, but must team up tonight to keep momentum going towards the PPV. Will this trio hold together against the chaotic but united Ruby, Liv & Sarah?

The bell rings and Ember starts against Ruby. They circle and tie up, and go around the ring. Ruby arm-drags Ember, and the Squad cheers. Ember gets a headlock but Ruby reverses. Ember whips but Ruby arm-drags, yet Ember stays on her feet with the handspring. They tie up again, Ruby elbows out of the waistlock to then shoulder Ember down. Things speed up and Ember trips up Ruby to then slingshot splash! Cover, TWO, but Ember keeps on her. Sasha wants to tag but Alexa intercepts. The Goddess takes Ruby from the War Goddess and wrenches on Ruby’s arm. Alexa whips but she hurts her leg! Ruby goes after her but Alexa hurries to tag out to Sasha. Alexa limps away, is she giving up on the match? Raw goes to break while Sasha and Ember look at the retreating Goddess.

Raw returns and this unofficially becomes a handicap match. Liv has Ember in a bodyscissors and chinlock, but Ember stands up to walk to her corner. Liv drags Ember back into the Squad’s corner, and tags in Ruby. Ruby tags in Sarah then whips Liv in for a forearm. Ruby runs in for the shoulder, then they feed Ember to Sarah’s pop-up headbutt! Cover, TWO, and The Squad is frustrated. Sarah tags Ruby, and they stomp Ember. Ruby drags Ember up by her hair, then puts her in a double chicken wing. Ember endures the thrashing, then bucks Ruby off with the ropes. She crawls towards Sasha but Ruby drags her away. Ember stands but Ruby throws her down by her hair! Ruby goes back over but Ember rolls and hot tag to Sasha!

Sasha rallies on Liv, and gives a knee for the kick. Sasha hits Sarah, then double knees on Liv. Liv puts Sasha on the apron but Sasha kicks her away. Ruby returns but Sasha kicks her away. Sasha slingshots in but Liv disrupts that and bumps Sasha’s face off buckles! Liv adds the double stomps! Cover, TWO, and Liv can’t believe it. Liv keeps on Sasha while tagging Ruby. Ruby stomps, then tags Sarah, this is a Squad stampede. Liv tags in and stalks Sasha while fans rally for her. Liv puts Sasha in a seated full nelson but Sasha feeds off the fan energy. Sasha kicks back and reaches but Liv denies the tag. A double clothesline takes both of them down!

The fans rally, but the Squad sneaks around the side to trip up Ember. Ember fights them off with kicks, then hurries back up, only for Liv to blast her back. of Sarah htis Shotgun Knees that send Ember flying! Sasha rolls up Liv, TWO, Liv dropkicks Sasha. Cover, TWO, and Liv shrieks. She hammers away on Sasha, then drags her up to the Squad corner. Ruby tags in, then tags Sarah. They try the train again but Sasha fights back. Sasha jumps up and hits Meteora on Sarah and Ruby! Sasha is down, but so is Ember. HERE COMES BAYLEY!

She tags in!? She rallies on Sarah! Bayley hits a knee, then a Bayley2Belly! Cover, Bayley and team wins!

Winners: Sahas, Ember & Bayley, Bayley pinning

The Huggable One makes a surprise appearance, but it was just in time. She helps Ember and her sometimes-friend Sasha win, does this put Bayley back in Sasha’s good graces?

 

Kurt Angle and Baron Corbin see the finish.

The Lone Wolf wants to know what’s up with that. It’s none of Corbin’s business. But Corbin is the Constable now, and nowhere in the book it says you can do what Bayley just did. Angle needs to find those three and tell them that this win doesn’t count. Or else, Stephanie will. Angle concedes, is this how it’s going to be on Raw now?

 

The “winners” are backstage.

“What a rush!” Alexa quit, but Bayley made the save. Sasha agrees, and wishes Bayley was the one– Don’t. This was good enough. Ember thinks they should just hug this out already, because she wants to celebrate. However, Angle finds them, and as Corbin said, this win is reversed. Bayley wasn’t legal, The Squad wins instead. Unfair as it is, does this nullify everything Bayley just did for Sasha?

Corbin also talks to a referee about this.

“This job’s not for everybody.” Is everyone getting the shakedown now that Stephanie has appointed “Constable Corbin”?

 

The Big Show is here!

The Giant is back, and he’s here with members of Team Texas for the Special Olympics. “We want to welcome these tremendous athletes” as they compete in the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games. Big Show is honored to have met these athletes year after year, they inspire him to be a better person. Special Olympics embodies what it means to show love and support and Big Show is proud to be by their side. “Together, we all can make a difference.” Please show your support for the Special Olympics, inclusion, and the fun of sports! And speaking of inclusion, it’s FINN BALOR! Balor Club is for Everyone!

Kevin Owens VS Finn Balor!

Not only is this a Raw first-time-ever of two former Universal Champions, this is also a rematch that dates back to their NXT Championship match where the Extraordinary Man took the title from the Prizefighter. Both men are on the verge of an even bigger prize, who will gain momentum ahead of MITB?

The bell rings and they tie up. Kevin powers Finn to a corner, but Finn avoids the sucker punch to chop away. The referee backs Finn off given the ropebreak, and Finn honors it. Kevin comes back and the two circle. Kevin gets the waistlock, then the slam, and then he slaps Finn in the head. “Was that Too Sweet?” Finn kicks away on Kevin, and Kevin hobbles out of the ring. Kevin takes his time with the ring count, then returns at 5. He and Finn circle again while fans duel. Kevin kicks and clubs Finn down, then puts him in a headlock. Finn pushes but Kevni holds on, “Who’s Too Sweet now?” Kevin hits the headlock takeover and traps an arm. He makes it a cover, TWO. They stand up, Finn powers out but Kevin runs him over. TWO, but Kevin gets the chinlock all over again.

Finn endures the hold, and stands up again. Finn powers out and avoids Kevin this time, to then arm-drag Kevin down. Now Finn has Kevin in a hold, but Kevin stands up and puts Finn in a corner. Kevin body shots Finn, then stomps him. “That’s why this is MY show!” Kevin stomps Finn more, then drags him up for a chop. Finn staggers but Kevin whips. Finn reverses, sunset flip but roll through to a dropkick! Cover, TWO, but Finn puts Kevin back in the armlock. Kevin works his way up, but Finn wrenches the arm. Finn goes to a hammerlock, but Kevin backs him down. Kevin elbows at the break, and the ref reprimands him, but Kevin just stomps Finn again. Kevin kicks and stomps, then stops at 4. Finn stands up but Kevin whips Finn hard corner to corner. Cover, TWO, and Finn gets to a corner.

Kevin stalks Finn, and swiftly chops him. Kevin whips Finn again, but then Finn dodges and slips out to swing kick Kevin down! Finn climbs up, but Kevin rolls out to avoid the Coup de Grace. Finn has Kevin on the defense while we go to one last break.

Raw returns once more, and Finn fights his way out of a chinlock, only for Kevin to wrangle him back down. Kevin mocks Finn, “That was so close.” Kevin keeps up the squeeze, shouting that the MITB contract is already his. Fans rally for Finn, and Finn powers up again. Kevin clubs him stiffly on the back, but Finn boots out of a corner. Finn runs and rallies with a big forearm smash. Finn runs but into Kevin’s boot. Kevin hops up while Finn is dazed, but Finn swing kicks him down! Finn climbs up now, but Kevin rolls out again, so Finn adjusts plans and FLIES!

Finn takes out Kevin with the leap, and fires himself back up. He drags Kevin up and into the ring, but Kevin rolls out again. Finn grabs him and brings him back up, but Kevin hotshots the arm.

Kevin stomps the writhing Finn and goes right after the arm. Kevin then stands on Finn’s other arm before slamming the bad arm. Fans cheer for Finn while Kevin puts him in a double wristlock. Finn endures and powers up again, but Kevin wrangles him back down. Fans keep rallying, and Finn stands up again. Kevin wrenches the arm and brings Finn back down. Finn refuses to give up, so Kevin lets go. Kevin goes for the senton but Finn avoids it! Finn and Kevin slowly stand, and Kevin kicks low. Kevin clubs Finn again, and fans boo. Kevin stands Finn up and whips but Finn reverses. Finn prepares the body drop but Kevin goes for the powerbomb! Finn blocks the lift, then dumps Kevin down for the double stomps! Both men are down from exhaustion.

Finn sits up first, but Kevin gets to a corner. Kevin stands up but Finn is on him with furious strikes! Finn won’t let Kevin get away, he keeps going, then whips Kevin corner to corner. Running chop, then another whip. Kevin reverses but Finn reverses back, elbow drop DDT! Cover, TWO! Finn has the fans on his side as he gets to a corner. Finn tries the slingblade but Kevin rolls him up, TWO, SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO, and Kevin can’t believe it. Kevin stands while fans cheer Finn. Kevin grimaces as he drags Finn up and throws him to ropes. Finn slingblades off the rebound! Fans fire up while both men stand, Finn blasts Kevin to a corner with the dropkick! Kevin hits buckles and hits the mat, but now Finn climbs up.

Finn takes aim once more, but Kevin uses the ropes to trip him up! Finn gasps for air while Kevin puts him in the Tree of Woe. Kevin stomps and stomps and stomps, but the referee counts him. Kevin won’t stop, so the referee calls for the bell!

Winner: Finn, by disqualification

The Prizefighter went too far, and now he loses the match. But that only makes Kevin angrier! He brings Finn into position, and then climbs up to the top, FROG SPLASH!

Kevin has that old familiar look of seething anger again as he stares up at the briefcase. Kevin grabs a ladder from under the ring, another preview to MITB. He puts the ladder in the ring while the referee checks on Finn. The referee tells Kevin to stop this, but Kevin doesn’t listen. Kevin stands the ladder up, then tells everyone to watch as he climbs it. Kevin reaches the very top, and then has an even more sinister idea now. He turns around, for… Well, no, maybe not from that height. Kevin comes down a couple rungs, and thinks about it again. This hesitation allows Finn to get up and smack Kevin into the ladder! Finn blasts Kevin with another dropkick, and now FINN gets that crazy idea. Finn climbs, and climbs, and climbs… SUPER COUP DE GRACE!!

The double stomp hits from ten feet up, and then Finn goes back up. Finn returns to the top of the ladder and takes down the briefcase! Will we see this all over again in the Men’s Money in the Bank match? Will Finn become the Extraordinary Man in the Bank?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A solid Raw overall tonight, but it only did so much to help sell MITB to those who aren’t already planning to watch. Elias opening was a nice touch, as was the confrontation with Rollins, but it was a biit too formulaic to have it become a Teddy Long style tag match. Though, the match was still fun, and apparently Houston likes Roman. It was good for Elias and Mahal to win to first set up the IC title match, and then add fuel to the Roman-Mahal grudge match. Corbin apparently moves up in the world now that he’s the “Constable”. Now he gets to ruin everyone’s fun, not just Hawkins and his taco giveaway. Also nice gag with “James Harden” getting a win.

Nia VS Natty was pretty good, and it worked to feed the Nia-Ronda story, where Nia “hurts” her leg, and it gives her two mutual friends a new reason to not get along. Braun continues to be the best thing ever with that bare-handed ladder breaking. How is he NOT the favorite to win? And obviously the B Team were the favorites in the Tag Team Battle Royal, I just wish they let McIntyre & Ziggler last longer. I did enjoy their meltdown and how they attacked everyone else. I feel like it would’ve been better if they’d messed up the match for everyone else, and then there’d need to be something else to determine contenders.

Tonight’s Lashley-Sami segment was better than the others, but it still feels like something isn’t clicking. The match will be great, naturally, but it just seems like this isn’t what either of them should’ve been doing towards MITB. The Six Woman Tag was pretty good, and it was another clever move for Alexa to be “hurt” and back out so that Bayley can make an “illegal” save, as pointed out by Constable Corbin. I’m starting to think they’re making a shift from Angle & Lashley VS Kevin & Sami to Angle VS Corbin. That’s not so bad, as Kevin VS Finn was incredible, and this could become a great program should neither guy win MITB.

My Score: 8/10


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