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It’s the Raw after Braun Strowman beat Roman clean, Alexa Bliss captured the red team’s women’s title, and Y2J shocked us all by beating KO. WWE is either changing things up or keeping them the same. Those are really their only two options. Let’s get to Raw and hope for something good.

Opening Segment

Gotta love a good opening pyro firework melee. They had a great one before Raw this week. Then entire Raw Women’s roster is in the ring surrounding a big red carpeted ring. They were all surrounding something that looked like a sacrificial altar of some kind. Maybe it’s for destroying Bayley’s hopes and dreams?

Alexa Bliss came down and looked pleased as punch to be on the microphone. She thanked everyone for being out there and Bayley didn’t look happy. She pouted on the side of the camera and looked like a puppy who just had her bone stolen by the cat.

Bliss said The Queen is dead so long live Alexa Bliss, the Goddess of WWE. Alexa said she deserves a coronation because she’s a Goddess.

Alexa thanked Mickie James and called Mae Young and The Fabulous Moolah her contemporaries. She thanked Sasha because she beat her to become #1 contender. Then Alexa turned to Nia Jax and said: “forget it, you’re great.” Alexa Bliss stood on her podium and said, “man it feels good to be up here” aka “man it feels good to be taller.”

Alexa turned her attention to Bayley and the crowd started to chant for The Hugger. Bliss thanked her for getting beat for the Raw Women’s Championship. Alexa really rubbed in the fact Bayley lost her title in front of her family. She said Bayley’s crying nephews almost ruined Alexa’s moment. It was all quite comical.

Bliss said now they have a real role model to look up to. Bayley flipped Bliss’ podium and started to tear in on her. Everyone followed suit and a women’s brawl broke out in the ring.

Bayley, Mickie James, Dana Brooke, Sasha Banks vs Alexa Bliss, Nia Jax, Emma, Alicia Fox

These girls fought in the ring and tagged out with some pretty fluid motion. Emma stuck around for a bit in the beginning to take some punishment but tagged in Alicia Fox. Dana got a chance to show some wrestling ability with Fox until she tagged in Sasha. Banks took the pain to Foxy but soon tagged Bayley back in and they used a double-team move on Fox.

Banks slapped on a submission hold on Fox bug kept mean-mugging Alexa Bliss. Alicia Fox screamed in pain, but Banks kept pulling on her spine. Banks didn’t let Fox get to her team they told her to come and make a tag “I’m trying!” she yelled.

When you get all of the women on Raw standing off against each other it really gives a clear picture how much better Raw is doing than SmackDown in the female department.

Sasha ended up taking the brunt of some damage for a minute or two. The heel team isolated her for a while and kept up the punishment on The Boss. Nia Jax got the tag and she treated Sasha like a rag doll for a bit.

Alexa Bliss was all smiles as she stood on the ring apron. Then she got the tag after Jax smashed Banks in the corner. It’s so fun to watch Alexa Bliss work. She uses some of the best heel techniques to draw heat.

Bayley finally got the tag and started beating Bliss all around the ring. As the crowd counted to 10 with the head smashes in the turnbuckle from Bayley, Bliss knew she was in trouble. Bayley hit her with a suplex and went for the pin. Nia Jax jumped in and broke up the pin.

Nia was thrown outside and Mickie James jumped on her from the top. After that it was another melee. But after the dust had cleared it was still Bliss and Bayley. Bliss hit a DDT on Bayley after she got her eyes scratched out and got the win. That DDT looked nice.

Enzo vs Luke Gallows

We say it every week. But Enzo and Big Cass are way over. Enzo said they’re tired but the bags under their eyes are Gucci. They’re tired because they keep beating The Club. Big Cass didn’t get to spell SAWFT because they got jumped by Anderson and Gallows. Big Cass and Enzo ejected them from the ring and they prepared for the actual match.

Enzo against Luke Gallows automatically makes us assume he’s going to be taking a ton of punishment. We were right.

Gallows punched and slammed Vince McMahon’s favorite rag doll all around the ring. Enzo’s eye looked like it had been punched pretty clearly recently. That might have been damage from Payback. But when you’re working with The Club, stiff shots are just a way of life.

Gallows wrenched at Enzo’s arm and drove him down to the mat. Enzo tried to fight back, but it was to no avail. Gallows took him back down and applied more pressure to his arm.

Enzo caught a running bulldog and slowed things down for a moment. Enzo hit a few punches to Gallows and dropkicked his knee. Enzo kicked Gallows in the face, but it didn’t put him down for long.

Gallows returned the favor with a clubbing blow, but almost got rolled up in a pin by Enzo. Enzo got to the top rope and Anderson caused a bit of a distraction. Gallows hit Enzo with a finisher and got the win.

As The Club celebrated, Anderson kept saying “look at his eye” while pointing toward the damage on Enzo’s face.

Backstage Segment

Neville is backstage with TJ Perkins. He said it was due to some unprofessionalism from a referee that they match ended in a DQ last night. He told TJP he has to start pulling his own weight. He said he suggested Perkins make the most of his match against Austin Aries later tonight.

Seth Rollins And Friends Promo

Rollins came out and he was pumped. The crowd loved seeing him. He’s a huge babyface now and it fits him well. WWE did it the right way with Rollins.

Seth said he’s feeling good. He said the fans have been with him through the highest of his highs and his lowest of his lows. He said we can’t crawl in a hole and avoid the bad. We must embrace the sucky part of life. We gotta figure out who we are and who we wanna be. If those things don’t line up, we’ve gotta do something about it. He’s a great motivational speaker.

He said he’s still Seth Freakin’ Rollins. Seth said he beat Trips at Mania and Joe at Payback. So, he wants The Beast.

The crowd broke out in a huge “yes” chant. He said he wants Brock, he’s been to Suplex City and he’s not afraid to go back. Then Finn Balor’s music hit.

Finn came out in his new Balor Club t-shirt and his wrestling trunks on. Balor said he respects him for being the one-legged man who won at WrestleMania. But he’s the one-armed man who became the first WWE Universal Champion. Finn brought up the past and mentioned Summerslam “my arm was hanging off my body but I still beat you” — classic Finn.

Balor said the line for who faces Brock Lesnar starts after him. Suddenly Dean Ambrose came out with the IC Title in tow to insert himself in this conversation. Because he needs another title to never defend? “Brock Brock Brock Brock Brock Brock, you all sound like a couple of chickens.”

Dean cut a great promo about how the IC Title is the #1 championship on Monday Night Raw and he’s itching to get into some action. Then Miz came out because, why not?

Miz said nobody has earned anything and Dean’s an embarrassment as a champion. Miz said if anyone deserves the IC Title it’s him. Miz said he made that title mean something. Finn said Miz is the latest member of the Finn Balor Just Kicked My Arse Club.

Miz called Seth Rollins a gimp and said Dean Ambrose wasn’t important enough to defend his IC Title at Payback. All three guys told Miz to shut up at the same time, that piece of choreographed dialogue wasn’t sitcom-esque at all.

Dean called Kurt Angle on his cell phone because apparently, Angle wasn’t there. After pantomiming a little bit Dean said, “Kurt Angle is not happy I have his phone number.”

Dean said Angle told him there’s going to be a triple threat match for the IC Title between Miz, Balor, and Rollins. So they all came out wanting Brock’s Universal Title and instead ended up in a match for the #1 contendership for the IC Title. That’s nifty!

Tony Nese, The Brian Kendrick, and Noam Dar vs Rich Swann, Tozawa, and Jack Gallagher

Gentleman Jack came out with an umbrella for each of his partners. Tozawa seemed confused by it initially, but they performed a nice little umbrella kick move at the same time. Pretty nifty.

Once the match got started, the heels took it to Tozawa pretty hard. Nese threw him around the ring for a bit. That guy can work pretty stiff. After a scuffle went down, all of the heels ended up on the outside of the ring and the faces got to pose.

Noam Dar took out Tozawa’s legs wish a soccer kick and the heels kept up the advantage for a little while after that. The baddies tagged in and out to systematically dismantle Akira Tozawa.

Nese suspended Tozawa in a vertical suplex for a bit and had time to pose. Instead of suplexing him to the mat, he tossed him across the top rope. Dar got the tag and took some quick offense to the Japanese superstar before getting Nese back in the ring.

Tozawa hit a suplex on Nese and eventually got the tag off to Rich Swann. The former Cruiserweight Champion hit a kick and a rolling thunder splash. He had a lot of momentum. Gallagher got the tag and hit a headbutt. The pin was broken up right at the last moment by Nese.

Brian Kendrick got a Captain’s Hook on Gallagher and was broken up by a shining wizard from Swann. Gallagher hit his dropkick on Kendrick and got the three count.

Shesaro Explain Themselves

The former Raw Tag Team Champions are out sporting a new look. They look intense. They’re both wearing sunglasses and give that thumbs to the side motion like they’re at the Coliseum deciding if a gladiator would live or die.

Sheamus said it feels good to be finally set free. He said he’s never liked any of the fans. They’re wearing jackets with their names on them. They’ve got a good look now. Sheamus said fans have already treated him like a red-headed step child. That was clever.

Sheamus said Mania was supposed to be their moment. But The Hardy Boyz showed up and stole their moment. “Delete” chants started to rise up in the crowd and Sheamus said it was “cute.”

Cesaro said the people felt a rush of nostalgia and they loved it just like how they feel when a pretty new ticket shows up. People are living in the past or the future and not appreciating the present and what’s standing in front of them. Shesaro are the present.

Sheamus said “that’s the tooth of it” referring to the tooth he knocked out of Jeff Hardy’s head at Payback. Cesaro said they don’t just “set the bar, we are the bar.” Nice new slogan.

The Hardy Boyz music hit and they came out looking very upset. Matt had a Broken look in his eyes and Jeff was focused. Matt said they were still hurting from the post-match ambush and they had a response. Then Matt put the mic done and took a moment. Matt and Jeff did the “delete” motion and rushed the ring. Shesaro powered out of the ring and they left Matt and Jeff to pose for the crowd.

Backstage Segment

The Miz was backstage hyping himself as usual. Dean jumped in and took over the interview… as the interviewer. He asked Miz if his hair gel gets in his eyes when he wrestlers. Then he called himself “Mean Dean Ambrose” and sent the action back to ringside. That was clever.

Heath Slater with Rhyno vs Apollo Crews with Titus O’Neil

Heath’s got kids and he needs this job. Apollo Crews has a kid on the way and apparently, he needs Titus O’Neil at ringside.

Heath took Crews down pretty early and applied some pressure with a headlock. Apollo turned it around on him and the two separated to collect themselves. “He’s got kids” chants started ringing out as Apollo took Heath down with a shoulder block.

Heath hit an arm drag but it was followed by a dropkick from Crews. Heath threw Crews outside the ring. As Rhyno looked down on him the crowd chanted “gore!”

Titus was acting like a real coach at ringside. Apollo kicked Heath in the head and followed it up with another takedown and a kip up. Crews and Heath dodged a couple moves from each other. But Apollo Crews ended up hitting his running sit-down powerbomb for the win.

Rhyno photobombed Titus’s usual selfie with Apollo. That was a neat little piece of business.

Kurt Angle Gets An Unexpected Guest

By the way, Michael Cole is wearing black pants. Wonder what that means.

Kurt Angle came out even though Dean Ambrose had to call him earlier in the evening. Okay. Angle was out there to talk up the Braun Strowman/Roman Reigns match from Payback. He said he’s never seen a match as brutal as Strowman vs Reigns… apparently, he’s forgotten about his own match against Shane McMahon at King Of The King. He said Braun Strowman tore his rotator cuff and Roman Reigns suffered other internal injuries during their match last night.

Suddenly Bray Wyatt decided he wanted to make an appearance. Seeing Bray standing face-to-face with Kurt Angle was amazing. If only Kurt didn’t waste so much of his time in Dixie Carter Land these guys could have an amazing program of matches against each other.

Bray formally introduced himself to Kurt Angle and it gave us chills. He said he means Angle no harm. He said he’s not there for destruction. He came to him as a savior. God, he’s amazing. He said he closed the chapter of Randy Orton last night. Orton will forever be trapped inside his House Of Horrors.

Now Bray’s building something big on Monday Night Raw. He’s an angel with burned wings. How poetic. He knows what ails everyone and he can fix us. We believe him. He could seriously make so much more money as a televangelist.

Bray Wyatt said Angle needs him. He just needs to know if he’ll allow him to do his work. Bray asked Angle if he was going to walk by his side or stand in his way. Kurt said he didn’t know what he had planned, but he should remember this is his show. Bray laughed. Bray said this might be Angle’s show, but it is Bray’s world.

Cut to creepy Wyatt graphic — end of the segment. Amazing. Simply amazing. Why is Bray Wyatt so good?

Backstage Segment

Seth Rollins is backstage and being interviewed by Mean Dean Ambrose. Ambrose said he’s trying to get his own WWE Network show like Dishing The Dirt Daily With Dirty Dean Ambrose, The Today Show, or The Daily Show.

Seth and Dean give a nice little back-and-forth with each other while referring to themselves in the third person. Dean said, “back to you Gorilla.” Michael Cole called Dean, “Sean Mooney.” That was neat.

Austin Aries vs TJ Perkins

Austin started off strong against Perkins. He had elbows and flips to spare. TJP didn’t show much offense in fact. Austin Aries hit him with a hard looking earringer and the sound of the slap could be heard echoing around the arena.

A Double tried to slide into the Last Chancery, but it didn’t work. TJP ended up hanging Aries in the Tree Of Woe and Austin took some punishment. The referee eventually got TJP off of Aries but the damage had already been done.

These two cruiserweights continued to go after each other hard. TJP isolated Aries’ leg to soften it up for a future kneebar submission. Austin’s knee gave out under him and he couldn’t hold up his own weight.

Perkins got Aries in an innovative leg submission on the top rope. But, just before he could slam Austin’s leg against the ring past, A Double retaliated. Aries hit Perkins with a suicide dive and TJ looked like he was out.

Aries hit TJP with a couple loud slaps, a gut buster, STO, and pendulum elbow. Aries then performed the elbow drop to the back of TJP’s neck for a two-count. Perkins got some more offense in with a few rapid fire kicks.

But, A Double hit a shin breaker into a suplex. TJ tried for a Detonation Kick, but was soon in the Last Chancery and had to tap very quickly.

TJ Perkins beat A Double down after the match. He slapped on the kneebar and didn’t let go. The referee was able to pry him off of A Double eventually. But the damage looked like it had already been done.

Backstage Segment

Dean interviewed Finn Balor backstage. He asked Finn if he was nervous. Balor said he eats nerves and produces results. Dean gave Finn a donut and told him to eat a carb. Balor ate a bite of the donut and handed it back to Ambrose.

After Finn left, Elias Samson came around the corner just strumming his guitar. Dean ate the rest of the donut while he watched The Drifter play. “Do you know any Pearl Jam?” he asked Samson. The Drifter didn’t even say a word. He just kept playing and walked on.

Let’s hope Elias Samson never wrestles a match and just makes his living by popping up on WWE television every week. It really adds an appeal to the Raw show knowing there’s a dude who just walks around strumming his guitar all nonchalantly while the rest of the roster battles around him.

Goldust and R-Truth are backstage with Kurt Angle. Golden Truth said they wanted to challenge The Hardy Boyz for the titles. Angle said their win/loss record isn’t good enough. Since when does that matter in WWE?

Goldy said they needed this chance and softened Kurt up by bringing up their past. Angle said next week they’ll have a tag team turmoil match on Raw and the winners will be the #1 contenders.

Finn Balor vs The Miz vs Seth Rollins (#1 Contender For IC Title Match)

Fonzie Balor came to the ring in a sea of smoke. Everyone in the arena remembered the movements to his entrance. They threw their arms up with him where they were supposed to during his song. It will probably never get old seeing him on WWE television.

The Miz is still on fire. With Maryse by his side, it wouldn’t surprise us if he winds up in the main event picture again very soon. He had an incredible past year.

Seth Rollins very well might be the best wrestler on Raw. This match had all the makings to be an incredible contest that people talk about for a long time to come.

When the bell rang, all I could hope was Miz came down with the win so Balor and Rollins could later battle to see who would face Brock Lesnar. Then we remembered Braun Strowman was MIA. It’s just not the same Raw without The Monster Among Men sending someone to a medical facility.

Miz powered out of the ring and left Seth and Finn to battle each other for a little while. Miz kept sticking his hand into trip them up. Whenever they turned their attention to him Miz threw up his hands and asked them not to. They finally went after Miz. He ran but they caught him in the middle of the ring.

They both turned down handshakes from The Miz. This guy is a heat machine at this point. Miz tried to hit Finn, but it didn’t work. Balor ended up throwing Miz out of the ring just in time to be rolled up by Rollins for a two-count.

Seth hit a sunset flip on Balor but Finn returned the favor with a dropkick to the face. Miz pulled Balor off the apron and left him on the ground. Then Rollins dropkicked Miz back to the floor.

Seth was going to hit a dive, but Miz put his wife in front of him. Finn walked up to hit Miz, but he moved his wife to block him too. What a gentleman.

Seth caught Maryse not protecting her husband and hit Miz with a dive. The three men soon went at it in the middle of the ring. Seth scaled the top rope, but Miz pushed him off and onto the floor. Rollins fell a long way to the floor there.

Finn hit Miz with a stiff chop but Miz turned it around into a headlock on Balor. Seth Rollins was crawling outside the ring trying to collect himself. Meanwhile, Miz drove a knee into Finn’s chiseled stomach. Miz went running toward Balor but Finn kicked him in the face.

Balor turned around just in time to eat a botched springboard crossbody from Rollins. Miz rolled Seth up and got a two-count.

Miz started hitting dropkicks to Seth in the corner and followed it up by climbing to the top rope. He took Rollins down with a double axehandle from the top. Miz kept up the pressure on Seth and threw him into Balor.

Miz had control of this match as he kicked both men with some “Yes Kicks.” “Yes! Yes! Yes!” the crowd chanted. But he didn’t finish them off. Instead, Balor dropkicked Seth which caused him to DDT Miz to the mat. That was a sweet move.

Miz and Rollins ended up outside on opposite sides of the ring. Balor ran around and kicked Miz in the face then ran all the way around to dropkick Seth against the barricade. Balor threw Seth in the ring and hit a 1916 for a two-count only because Miz broke up the pin.

Miz went for a Skull Crushing Finale on Balor, but he got thrown out of the ring for his troubles. Balor hit a sling blade on Rollins and measured Seth up for something else. Miz grabbed Balor and pulled him into the ring post.

Miz and Seth traded a couple near-falls and each man looked spent. Miz focused his attention to Rollins’ knee and slapped on the figure 4. Balor ran in and kicked Miz off him. 1-2-kickout.

Michael Cole almost said Maryse was Miz’s husband he was so flustered. “This is awesome” chants rang out as Miz took a slap and a kick from Balor and Rollins. Rollins got a very near-fall from Balor and this crowd was ready to see these guys head toward a finish.

Seth got to his feet first and went charging toward Finn. He smashed him with a couple forearms. Seth hit a double blockbuster on Miz and Finn. Then he climbed the ropes. Seth his an amazing frog splash on Finn 1-2-kickout!

Seth grabbed Finn and threw him out of the ring when he realized Miz was on the top turnbuckle. He leaped up and hit the superplex into falcon arrow move he does so well. CLOSE TWO COUNT.

Seth planted Balor with a suicide dive and ran across the ring to his Miz with one too. Then Samoa Joe jumped the barricade and took out Finn Balor. Miz looked on in shock. But Balor was ready. When Miz turned around he ate a sling blade, a stiff corner dropkick, and just as Finn climbed the turnbuckle to hit his Coup De Grace… the screen Bray Wyatt appeared to throw Balor off the top rope.

Bray hit a Sister Abigail on Balor and then disappeared. Miz crawled over to Balor and got the three-count. Very nice. Very, very nice.

So out of this amazing main event, we get three feuds that will continue. Samoa Joe will keep it real with Seth Rollins, Bray Wyatt is going to take on Finn Balor as expected, and Miz will take on Dean Ambrose once again.

They certainly did a better job with Raw than they did last week. It’s just too bad Braun Strowman didn’t show up to destroy something/someone this week. Let’s hope that rotator cuff injury he “suffered” is only a work.