It’s the first Raw since the WWE Superstar Shake-up. It’s going to be an important night too. But it won’t be without a couple of injuries. Dash Wilder from The Revival and Finn Balor are both on the shelf because of injury. Those injuries really put a dent in Raw’s roster. Let’s see how they’re able to deal with these injuries. We also get to see how they’ll deal with Roman Reigns’ near death experience at the hands of Braun Strowman.
Braun Strowman is awesome. He came out to a pretty big pop for someone who damn near murdered someone last week. Strowman stepped in the ring and was proud to say he broke Roman Reigns in half. He said he was proud to say Roman left in an ambulance. He was proud of separating his shoulder and cracking his ribs. He was also proud Roman Reigns wouldn’t be there tonight. The people loved it.
Suddenly Kurt Angle’s music hit. Angle asked him what point Braun was trying to prove and Braun said “there’s still more to come.” Then Kurt Angle said Kurt is going to give Roman Reigns what he wants: a match against Strowman at Payback.
Kurt Angle said Braun Strowman’s ass should be suspended, he’s done enough damage, and he should take the night off. Braun said he wanted more competition tonight “or else.” Kurt Angle asked, “or else what?” Braun Strowman just dropped the microphone and walked away. This doesn’t look good for the rest of the Raw locker room.
Even though Michael Cole said Chris Jericho vs. Samoa Joe would be next, Seth Rollins came out. The Architect joined the commentary booth for the Joe/Jericho match.
Samoa Joe took the fight to Jericho early on in the match. He beat Y2J down in the corner with some brutal boots. Jericho caught Joe with a dropkick and followed it up with a top rope cross body. That DDP Yoga is really paying off for him.
Jericho pulled down the top rope and Joe ended up outside of the ring and he didn’t look happy. Joe soon took over control of the match and the crowd began to chant “Y2J.” Samoa Joe laid down a brutal chop to Jericho’s back and it echoed all over the arena.
Jericho mounted a comeback but Joe answered with a painful looking powerslam. Joe missed an elbow and Chris hit a Lionsault but Joe kicked out at two.
Joe planted Jericho with another slam and went for a senton. Jericho moved out of the way at the last moment and slapped on the Walls Of Jericho. Joe was trapped and really selling the pain. Samoa Joe rolled out of the submission, but Jericho didn’t let go. Joe eventually made him when he used his leg strength to send Jericho flying.
Samoa Joe slapped on the Coquina Clutch and brought Jericho down to one knee. Jericho climbed up the turnbuckle while still in the hold and flipped Joe around for a two-count. Joe kicked out but kept the submission hold in. Chris Jericho fought hard not to tap, but eventually submitted to Samoa Joe’s punishing finishing submission hold.
Samos Joe took the microphone and called out Seth Rollins. Joe talked some smack to Seth and asked him if he remembered what it sounded like when Joe debuted on the main roster. Samoa Joe said he did and it sounded like his ligaments snapping and Rollins screaming in pain. It was a pretty good promo. He said he’s going to pay Seth Rollins back for what he did to Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. Joe said when they step in the ring at Payback it won’t be business, it’ll be very personal.
Rollins said, “of course it’s personal.” Seth concluded his retort by saying, “Payback is a bitch.” Neat.
The Club are walking backstage and the walk past Elias Samson who is just strumming away on his guitar.
R-Truth and Goldust are shown walking backstage too. Suddenly Braun Strowman jumped in the screen and demolished both of them. WWE officials including Jamie Noble and Fit Finlay jumped in to block Braun from doing any more damage.
Braun Strowman is shown later and he said he’ll leave when he wants to when a referee tried to make him take the night off.
The Club vs. ??????
Karl Anderson said Braun Strowman gave Golden Truth the American Airlines treatment. They said they came to from Japan to be mean and make green. Gallows said they need an opponent for tonight and Kurt Angle better bring some nerds out there.
Suddenly Enzo and Big Cass’ music hits and it looks like they’re just the nerds The Club is looking for. These guys cut another great promo on The Club. Apparently, they survived the WWE superstar shake-up.
Michael Cole says The Revival will be out for 8 weeks because of Dash Wilder’s injury. Both of them. Ugh…
Enzo and Cass tried their best to maintain the advantage over Karl Anderson. They double teamed Anderson and kept him isolated from Gallows. Big Cass knocked Anderson over the top rope. Enzo ran around the ring and Big Cass launched him into The Club.
Because that’s what you do with your best friend… throw him around. We can certainly tell how much Vince loves watching Enzo Amore get ragdolled around the ring.
Once Gallows got in the match he gained the advantage over Enzo. The Club used some great tag-team work to bring Enzo down and keep him there. Amore sure knows how to take a bump.
Enzo eventually started to mount some offense, but Karl Anderson planted him with a spinebuster for his efforts. The Club kept up the punishment on Enzo Amore for a little bit longer after that. Enzo hit a DDT out of nowhere on Gallows, but he was pulled away at the last minute before he made the tag.
Enzo moved out of the way when Anderson went for a high kick in the corner. Karl Anderson tried to intercept Enzo once more before he made the tag but he missed and Big Cass got the tag.
Big Cass came in and started cleaning house. He hit Anderson with a few moves including the Empire Elbow. But Gallows came in before the could hit the Boom Shakalaka. After a skirmish, Anderson smashed Amore against the top turnbuckle and rolled Enzo up to get the three count to steal this one.
Miz TV with Dean Ambrose
Miz came out in a very dapper red suit alongside his wife who was wearing all black. They truly are the It Couple and they looked the part.
Miz soaked in the crowd’s heat before he even started talking. The A-Lister reminded us how much they shocked the world during the Superstar Shake-up. But he didn’t get very far before Dean Ambrose interrupted him.
Dean said he’s a big fan of Miz TV and he’s been looking forward to it all week. Ambrose wanted to call a truce. Dean is from Cincy and Miz is from Cleveland so Ambrose exploited the fact they were in Columbus by doing the famous O-H-I-O chant. That was awesome. Dean said he’s glad it worked.
Miz started going on about how he looks, talks, acts and is the part of an A-Lister. He called Dean Ambrose a disgrace. Miz said what irritates him the most is that the WWE Universe loves Dean.
Miz started pointing out how Dean Ambrose had all of the momentum in the world but by WrestleMania 33 he was “barely a blip on the card.” Miz said Dean is lazy and complacent. Ambrose just sat in the director’s chair and scoffed at him.
Dean said he’s not a brand, he’s Dean Ambrose. He said he loves wrestling and would do it in front of 20 people or an arena full of people. He said he loves black eyes, smashed teeth and he loves what he does. He said he loves being IC Champion and Miz should know because he beat Miz for it.
Maryse called Dean Ambrose a street rat and kept talking smack to The Lunatic Fringe. Dean asked Miz to hold the microphone for him. Dean unloaded a bunch of stuff on his chair and folded up his jacket. He threw the jacket to Maryse and jumped Miz.
Maryse threw the microphone at Dean and hit him in the back. By the time Dean turned around Miz was attacking but he got the upper hand. Miz powered out of the ring and Dean Ambrose’s music hit as he started throwing the Miz TV set to the entrance ramp.
Backstage Segment (Braun’s Beatdown Continues)
Braun Strowman dragged Kalisto around backstage as officials pleaded for him to stop. He threw Kalisto in the dumpster. Suddenly The Big Show tackled Braun into a door and said: “why don’t you pick on someone your own size?!” Braun looked rather shocked as he looked up at Big Show from a seated position on the ground.
They announce Big Show is going to take on Braun Strowman again! Yay! Just what we wanted! SERIOUSLY! The last time these guys went at it, we couldn’t stop talking about how excellent it was for weeks!
TJ Perkins vs. Jack Gallagher
Just a note, they need to update the 205 Live graphics they use at the bottom of the screen. It’s missing Austin Aries. Before the match started Neville was introduced as a “special appearance.” The King Of The Cruiserweights came in the ring and stared TJP down before making an exit from the ring.
Suddenly Austin Aries’ music hit and A Double came out with a microphone. Austin came out to make “an even specialer appearance” with a banana in his jacket pocket. Austin sat next to Neville in a folding chair and started to eat his banana as Neville rolled his desk chair away from A Double.
Gallagher and TJP wrestled a pretty solid match in the ring. Each man showed their skill and ability as Austin Aries munched on a banana and Neville looked rather salty.
Gallagher used his solid wrestling ability to ground Perkins and keep him there with a string of solid submission holds. Perkins and Gallagher traded leg scissors until Gallagher bested Perkins. TJP disrespected Gallagher’s umbrella William III.
Perkins lounged in the ropes and Jack Gallagher went for a shoulder block. TJP moved and Gentleman Jack went spilling out onto the floor. He landed right on his neck and it didn’t look pretty at all.
TJ Perkins kept up the pressure on Gallagher when they got back in the ring. Jack mounted some kind of comeback with a few forearms and a nice throw on TJP.
Perkins hit a springboard forearm on Jack but Gallagher hit a headbutt on TJP to send him out of the ring. Gallagher went to get his umbrella, opened it, and did his Mary Poppins dive on TJ Perkins. People love that seated senton with style.
Perkins threw Gallagher into Austin Aries and it was on from there. A Double got on the apron and started to take his jacket off. Neville came up from behind and blindsided Aries.
This distraction allowed Perkins the chance to kick the middle rope into Gallagher’s eyes (that’s what they said although it kind of looked like a botch). TJP hit the Denotation Kick on Gallagher and got the win.
Akira Tozawa and Apollo Crews are backstage when Titus O’Neil walks in. Titus congratulated Apollo for becoming a first time father and pumped him up with some advice. He said Apollo needed to link up with the Titus Brand. There were some bad puns made and Titus O’Neil gave Apollo his card.
The Hardy Boyz came in for an interview. Matt Hardy said the lights are brighter, the pyro is louder, and it’s tremendous. Jeff said what they felt at Mania couldn’t be described by words.
Sheamus and Cesaro came up and officially welcomed them back to Monday Night Raw. Sheamus put the Hardys over for being the innovators of TLC. Cesaro said tonight he’s facing Jeff and that’s a dream match right there.
Sheamus said they’re going to beat The Hardy Boyz at Payback. Matt Hardy said ladders are wonderful but they don’t need ladders to beat them. Jeff said it’s good to be back. It’s good to see them back.
Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Mickie James (#1 Contender Match)
There will never be a city with more love for Alexa Bliss than Columbus, Ohio. Of course, it’s her hometown. But Columbus holds a special place in its heart for the Five Feet Of Fury. Bliss might have received an outstanding ovation, but she looked ready for business.
Of course, Sasha Banks, Mickie James, and Nia Jax didn’t show up in Columbus to lose.
Bliss tried to leave the ring but Mickie and Sasha threw her against Jax to a chorus of boos. Nia Jax started the match off by dominating Mickie and Sasha. Bliss came back in the ring and slapped Nia. She immediately apologized.
Bliss left the ring and Nia Jax bent over the ropes to grab her by the hair. Mickie James and Sasha Banks got Jax out of the ring with a double dropkick.
Sasha took Mickie down with various moves but James brought it back in her favor. Jax pulled Mickie out of the ring. Sasha returned the favor by hitting Nia and Mickie with a splash through the ropes onto the floor. They caught her very well.
Mickie and Alexa wrestled in the ring, but Nia Jax snuck up on them and planted Bliss. Sasha jumped off the top rope and Nia caught her. She threw Sasha on Bliss and then tossed Mickie on top of her other two competitors.
Nia grounded Mickie James with a chokehold and kept up the pressure for a moment. Jax tossed James to the corner and splashed her hard. Nia threw Bliss across the ring and caught Sasha Banks in a bearhug.
As hard as Sasha fought, Nia didn’t let go of her bearhug. Sasha turned it around to the best of her ability with a choke of her own, but Nia turned that into a vertical suplex. Mickie James jumped in and tried to stop Nia Jax but ended up getting choked for her troubles.
Mickie James transitioned the choke into an armbar as Alexa Bliss remained on the apron. Nia picked Mickie up and tossed her into Sasha in the corner. Alexa got up on the top rope to splash Nia but had second thoughts and jumped down.
Nia went for a tackle in the corner but Mickie moved and Nia ate the post. Mickie and Bliss wrestled around until Sasha came in to break them up. Bliss and Banks fought it out and Sasha hit Alexa with the double knees in the corner. Jax pulled Banks out of the ring before the ref could count to three.
Mickie pulled Jax down off the apron and Bliss knocked James into Jax. Bliss and Banks were back in the ring together and Bliss yelled, “this is my division now!” Sasha locked in the Banks Statement but Mickie James stopped it before Bliss could tap.
Mickie and Sasha went at it for a bit and Jame started to rally. Sasha caught Mickie as she was on the top rope preparing for something. Nia picked Sasha up and knocked Mickie James off the top rope using Sasha as a weapon.
Jax hit Banks with a Samoan Drop but Alexa Bliss ran in and dropkicked Jax out of the ring just in time to get the pinfall over Sasha to become #1 contender. This was a huge moment for Alexa Bliss’ career. Bliss became the #1 contender in her hometown. That was quite an excellent adventure.
This was a huge moment for Alexa Bliss’ career. Bliss became the #1 contender in her hometown. That was quite an excellent adventure.
Curt Hawkins Issues Open Challenge
Curt Hawkins said last week The Big Show stepped in the ring with him and this week he’s in the main event. Hawkins said if you want to be a main event superstar then you need to step in the ring with Curt Hawkins. Then he issued an open challenge.
Suddenly we got GREAT NEWS!!! FINN BALOR CAME OUT! Apparently, his impact testing went well today!
Curt Hawkins stepped in the ring and Finn Balor got to work. Balor hit him with a chop, dropkick, and a slingblade. Balor hit his amazing corner dropkick and immediately followed it up with a Coup De Grace.
1-2-3, and Finn won a quick squash match. Finn just played the hits tonight, folks. But the important part is it appears Balor’s concussion scare is behind him, no thanks to Jinder Mahal.
Chris Jericho is interviewed and said lost to Samoa Joe tonight because he was sidetracked. He’s still concentrating on Kevin Owens. He said Kevin Owens doesn’t need to be the face of America because he has an ugly face. Chris Jericho needs to be the face of America “fame it in maaaan.”
Jericho got Columbus going in a very loud “Y2J” chant. He had a pretty good bit with the interviewer who he called “Mike Tom.” Then just as he was about to put Mike Tom on the list, Elias Samson walked through the back of the set strumming his guitar. Suddenly Jericho switched directions and put “Daffy Drifter Dandy” on the list.
Bray Wyatt cut a sick promo on Randy Orton full of scary talk cut with images that undoubtedly gave plenty of children nightmares. It was nice. He hyped the House Of Horrors match without really talking about what a House Of Horrors match will consist of.
Alicia Foooox is backstage showing Dana Brooke what happened on 205 Live last week. Emma came in and threw Dana under the bus for thinking Foxy having a bunch of powder exploding on her face was hilarious.
Foxy called Dana profane and rude. She said she doesn’t want to be her friend anymore and stormed off. Emma that Dana wanted to stand on her own two feet now they have to see how good her balance is.
Jeff Hardy vs. Cesaro
Am I the only one who found it hilarious that Jeff Hardy’s match was being sponsored by a company with an owl as their mascot?
Jeff hit Cesaro with a dive off the apron early on in the match. He kept up the pressure on The Swiss Superman until Cesaro snatched him out of midair and planted him on the mat.
After some back-and-forth action, Hardy countered a move and headed up to the top rope. Cesaro saw a big move coming and wisely rolled out of the ring.
Cesaro grounded the Charismatic Enigma and soon sent Jeff to the outside by sidestepping a diving attempt. Cesaro retrieved Jeff and threw him back in the ring.
The Swiss Superman hit a stiff uppercut on Jeff Hardy in the corner and Hardy went down hard. Jeff tried to gather himself and get to his feet. Once he was up Cesaro was there to hit him back down.
Cesaro bounced Jeff off the ropes but Hardy countered and followed it up with an inverted atomic drop and got a near-fall. Jeff Hardy tried to go for a Twist Of Fate but Cesaro just uppercutted him into next week.
With Jeff down, Cesaro went for the Cesaro Swing, but Hardy kicked him off. Cesaro hit a springboard corkscrew uppercut and got a 2 count. Cesaro tried for another swing, but Jeff countered again. He hit Cesaro with a kick and scaled the rope.
Cesaro caught him on the top with a forearm and climbed to meet him. Jeff racked Cesaro on the top rope and dropkicked him off the rope to send him plummeting to the floor.
Jeff gathered himself as Cesaro got back in the ring. Jeff hit the Whisper In The Wind and got another 2-count. Jeff Hardy caught Cesaro with a low dropkick as Cesaro was in the corner but wasn’t able to catch the follow-up corner dropkick.
Cesaro tried to catch a Neutralizer but Hardy countered into a Twist Of Fate. Jeff climbed up top and delivered a Swanton Bomb from the high rent district. 1-2-3 and Jeff Hardy wins his first singles match on Raw in eight years.
After the match, Sheamus and Cesaro shook hands with The Hardy Boyz. Looks like these two teams might be going into this competition with tons of respect between them instead of heat. Very nice booking.
Braun Strowman vs. Big Show
They didn’t let much time go by before the match got going on the ramp. Show threw Strowman into the steps and continued his assault before the bell even rang.
Show threw Braun in the ring and the bell finally rang. Strowman tried a hip toss, but Big Show just threw him outside instead. Big Show hit an impressive baseball slide on Braun to send him to the mat outside.
Big Show threw Braun back into the ring steps and returned to the ring. Show tried to drag Strowman back in the ring and Braun soon hit an outrageous dropkick on Show. Big Show wrenched on Strowman’s arm and got him on the ground. In a repeat from their last encounter, Strowman kipped up to his feet and arm dragged the Big Show twice.
This match is like a video game where you’re having fun so you give the biggest guys on the roster some lucha moves at this point. Braun tried to pick Show up and Big Show attempted a counter. Neither man would let the other pick him up.
Big Show suddenly hoisted Braun Strowman up and slammed him. Braun blocked a chokeslam and then suplexed Show to the mat. This match was excellent.
Braun Strowman had what looked like a cut across his chest but it didn’t seem to bother him. Big Show was on the mat as Braun continued to abuse him. He stepped on Show’s chest and taunted the crowd.
Once Big Show got back on his feet Braun picked him up for a slam. Big Show got out of the move and hit Braun with a splash in the corner. The two held each other in the corner for a moment before Show put Braun on the top rope.
Show chopped Braun across the chest and looked like he was setting up for a big move as the crowd chanted “yes!” Braun kicked Show off the top rope and jumped right into a chokeslam for a 2-count.
This Columbus crowd was hot as Big Show called for the Knock Out Punch. Strowman ducked under Show’s punch and caught Big Show with a powerslam. 1-2-kickout!
Both of these behemoths were spent at this point. With Big Show laying on the mat, Braun Strowman scaled to the top rope. Big Show quickly got to his feet and hit Braun to stop him in his tracks.
Big Show climbed up to meet Strowman to try a superplex. Strowman knocked Show off and racked him in the ropes. Braun laid on the top rope as Big Show got back to his feet. Braun jumped onto Big Show one more time and was met with a KO Punch. 1-2-another kick out!
Big Show climbed to the top rope and Braun jumped up there to join him. After teasing it a few times during the match, Braun hit Big Show with the biggest superplex of all time and WWE did the whole imploding ring deal again. The ring exploded on all four sides and fell apart in amazing synchronized fashion. It might be something reserved for big matches, but it was well-deserved in this case.
Referees and trainers all came to the ring and now the match didn’t seem to be a priority anymore. Braun Strowman got back on his feet and yelled as his music hit.
Well, that’s one way to take the ring down after Raw. Braun posed and flexed on the entrance ramp with a laceration on his chest. But it didn’t seem to bother him much. He looked plenty scary. Needless to say, that match was amazing. Braun and Big Show need to go again, but next time it needs to be in a reinforced ring.