The main focuses of the WWE Raw show last week surrounded the increasing tension between Universal Champion Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman who in the Main Event would go on to defeat the O.C. and become RAW Tag Team Champions. The rest of the show included Natalya being attacked by the returning Sasha Banks, another victory for Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross, Roman Reigns defeating Dolph Ziggler as well as Cedric Alexander and Samoa Joe being the first two to qualify to the quarter finals of the King of the Ring tournament.
Announced for RAW tonight was Sasha Banks first RAW match since April vs Natalya, Bayley vs Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley, Drew McIntyre vs Ricochet and Baron Corbin vs The Miz in KOTR qualifiers as well as Braun Strowman vs AJ Styles for the United States Championship. RAW takes place from the Smoothie King Centre in New Orleans, LA.
Sasha Banks Segment
Following a recap of the past two weeks action involving Banks, Natalya and RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch Sasha would start by telling the people where she’s been. Banks talked about the rumours of Wrestlemania and that she’s relegated to a “Tag match I cared little for with Titles I cared less for” and took her ball and left. Banks claimed she “Deserved” to be the centre of the Women’s division and deserves “All this glory” before Natalya came out for a brawl. Officials pulled apart the two with the fans chanting “Let them fight”. This led to Corey Graves making the claim that this is “The Sasha Banks I’ve always seen”.
The Street Profits shown backstage promoting RAW claiming tonight will be “Lit”. An eight tag team turmoil ala Summerslam 1999 is also announced with Heavy Machinery, The Revival, Viking Raiders, O.C., B-Team, Hawkins and Ryder, Ziggler and Roode and Lucha House Party.
King Of The Ring Tournament First Round Match
Ricochet vs. Drew McIntyre
Both Ricochet and McIntyre have video packages before the match with Ricochet promising to “Move the world” to defeat Drew McIntyre with McIntyre rebutting that “All the unworthy superstars will be exiled from my Kingdom”. The match started even before Drew caught Ricochet attempting a headscissors on the outside hitting a sidewalk slam on the barricade and ring apron. The ‘Scottish Psychopath’ continued this dominance with a massive back body drop before an enziguri and low dropkick gave Ricochet momentum. Ricochet’s attempt at a reverse frankensteiner was countered into a reverse Alabama alarm before the underdog’s attempt at a falcon arrow would see the former United States Champion flung across the ring. McIntyre would attempt a manoeuvre off the second rope but be hit by a top rope recoil and 630 for the shock win to face Samoa Joe in the quarter finals.
Braun Strowman & Seth Rollins Interview
After their win to become RAW Tag Team Champions last week the Champions are interviewed by Sarah Schreiber with Strowman saying “We’ll step up to any tag team” but “Of course I’m challenging for the Universal Championship” to which the two shake hands.
King Of The Ring Tournament First Round Match
The Miz vs. Baron Corbin
Before the last match of the first round Miz cut a promo claiming “He wants it all” and that he will be “King Awesome”. Corbin started the match in control throwing Miz into the corner before delivering a right hand on the outside. Corbin would come close to winning following a clothesline for a two followed by Miz dominating in the corner garnering a two count after a double Ax handle. Miz came close again to the next round after countering an End of Days attempt into a snap DDT for a two count, this was followed by a skull crushing finale for another two count. The finish saw Miz miss a springboard axe handle and run into an End of Days for the win. Corbin vs Alexander and Ricochet vs Samoa Joe announced for next week. Post-match, Baron Corbin tries on the crown and sits on the throne. The former MitB winner claims he doesn’t care for anyone in the crowd and that after Clash of Champions it’ll be time to “Hail King Corbin”.
GalAnderson are interviewed by Kayla Braxton over the tag team turmoil. The former Champions call it “Ridiculous” and that tonight they’ll “Prove” how good they are.
The return of Rey Mysterio is announced for next week.
Bayley vs. Nikki Cross
This match came around due to Bayley interrupting A Moment Of Bliss last week, attacking Charlotte Flair and ruining Alexa Bliss’s set. Bayley dominated the match early on taking it to the outside before Nikki targeted the right arm and abdomen of Bayley, this is also Nikki Cross without Alexa Bliss making it more of an equal footing. Bayley regained momentum with a snap suplex before a knee and Stunner combo followed by a sidewalk slam laid Cross out. This gave Bayley the opportunity to hit the elbow drop and pin one half of the Women’s Tag Team Champions.
Kayla Braxton interviews Braun Strowman over the challenges that Clash of Champions poses which the ‘Monster Among Men’ laughs at before claiming that AJ Styles will “Get these hands” later tonight.
#1 Contender’s Tag Team Turmoil Match
The Viking Raiders and former RAW Tag Team Champions the B-Team start and in just over a minute a Viking Experience is hit for the win. The O.C. are in next who isolate Ibar into a handicap situation before doing the same to Erik. After continuous brawling the referee called a double DQ eliminating both tag teams.
The next two teams in are Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode (which commentary big up), and Lucha House Party. Metalik would nearly pin Ziggler with a spinning crossbody and sunset flip before a superkick to the back of the head gave Ziggler and Roode the win. The next team involved were the former two-time RAW Tag Team Champions the Revival. Ziggler showed his amateur wrestling background on Dawson before being pushed into the corner. The Revival garnered a near fall after a backbreaker/elbow combination and use of the middle rope. The finish saw Roode reverse a brainbuster into a Glorious DDT to get the three count.
Next team would be Ryder and Hawkins who after coming close to a victory with a fireman’s carry/neckbreaker drop would lose to a Ziggler superkick. After beating three teams, Ziggler and Roode attempted a ‘Time out’ but be brought back in by Heavy Machinery with Tucker doing a crossbody off the second rope and Otis a great vertical suplex. Roode took over the match on Tucker with steel steps and the barricade before Knight launched Ziggler into the ring post bringing in Otis to clean house. Otis laid out Ziggler and Roode to hit the caterpillar before a close near fall. After a Zigzag on Otis Roode pinned Tucker after a Glorious DDT to become number one contender’s on their first night teaming.
Recap shown of the Roman Reigns saga on Smackdown.
Sasha Banks vs. Natalya
Natalya started the match off aggressively throwing Sasha into the barricade and doing two snap suplexes on the outside. Banks looked to gain some momentum before a massive German suplex by Natalya got a two count. Sasha took control of the match after focusing on Natalya’s arm throwing the Canadian into the ring post and the time keepers area. Banks would lock in the Banks statement and after using Natalya’s own injured arm as a choke underneath the neck would get the win. Post-match, Sasha attacked Natalya with another Bank Statement smiling whilst doing it. This would go along with Corey’s belief that Sasha is a “Egomaniac” and that’s how Sasha Banks has become successful.
Kayla Braxton interviews AJ over the US Championship match against Braun Strowman which Styles calls “Bull” and that if anyone thinks he has no chance they “Don’t know how Phenomenal I am”.
Cedric Alexander vs. Cesaro
In what can only be seen as a ‘Showcase match’ we get two of the more athletic guys on the RAW roster go head to head. Cesaro flattened Alexander early with a handful of uppercuts before a huge uppercut stopping a suicide dive by the former Cruiserweight Champion. Cedric attempted an early Lumbar Check which turned into a Cactus Jack clothesline. Cesaro would target the leg after throwing Cedric’s left knee into the apron. Despite this, Alexander would be able to connect with an enziguri and Michinoku driver but have his leg give up leading to a superplex by Cesaro. Cesaro looked to apply an ankle lock which would be rolled through leading to a Lumbar Check and victory for the ‘Heart of 205 Live’.
A 24/7 recap is shown over the last week where R-Truth, FOX Sports host Rob Stone and Elias all became 24/7 Champion.
Sarah Schreiber interviews Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode, when asked why they’re a team Ziggler focused on how him and Roode are the “Real Main Eventers” and that this team is “Destiny”.
Street Profits promo on the team of Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler with Dawkins focused on the party on the Bourbon street. When moving on to the main event, Strowman walks past ending the segment.
NXT promotion of move to USA through tweets from top stars such as Reigns, Cena, Rollins, Becky Lynch, Charlotte, Alexa Bliss and finally Triple H.
Recap of the Fiend and his destructive abilities since first appearing on TV screens back in April.
WWE United States Championship Match
AJ Styles (C) vs. Braun Strowman
With no O.C. AJ Styles is all alone unlike last week’s US Title match against the ‘Monster Among Men’ Braun Strowman. Strowman showcases his strength immediately throwing AJ Styles over the top rope and big shoulder tackle with the US Champion attempting a Phenomenal forearm which was turned into a chokeslam. Styles regained some momentum with a sleeper hold which was enhanced by targeting the left leg and connecting with a second rope moonsault for a two count and finally applying a calf crusher. Strowman powered out of the calf crusher before connecting with two shoulder tackles with the third going into the ringpost leading to the referee being took out. The US Champion capitalised hitting a low blow and steel chair shot before a powerslam hit, this brought out the O.C. who Strowman took out with the steel chair. The finish saw AJ pull an Eddie Guerrero and cheated his way to a DQ win and retain the US Championship. Post-match, Strowman destroyed all three members of the O.C. and stood tall lifting the US Championship.
Overall, WWE Raw was an okay show with the formation of Ziggler and Roode as a team, Sasha’s first match since April, McIntyre vs Ricochet and the build to Strowman vs Rollins. For the show missing three of its Champions it was a solid show with just a bit too much filler to be anything better than okay.