DISCLAIMER: I had to watch this episode of Monday Night Raw at 240p resolution because I have Talk Talk broadband, so there’s a chance everything in this recap is completely bullshit based on my inability to decipher blurry pixels. Anyway, I’m Elliot and I watch Raw so you don’t have to.

The placement of the Intercontinental Championship match didn’t imply much in the way of story development, but it’s sure to give The Miz something to rant about for weeks to come.
Late in the match, that looney Ambrose kicked out of a Skull-Crushing Finale, much to the dismay of Miz and the smarks. Shortly afterwards, while Maryse was distracting the referee, The Miz attempted the desperate low blow, only to be caught by Ambrose, who delivered a low-blow of his own, causing himself to be disqualified, though still retaining the IC title.

Image via WWE.com

In a backstage segment with Kurt Angle, The Miz demanded, and received, a title match at Extreme Rules in which the belt can change hands via disqualification – I smell shenanigans. Also, Elias Samson was there, twiddling away on that old git-fiddle.

– Jeff Hardy beat Sheamus.
– Alicia Fox cleanly defeated Sasha Banks.
– Alexa Bliss reminded us that Extreme Rules means just that, going HAM on Bayley with a kendo stick on Bayley.
– TJP(Perkins) & Neville beat Austin Aries & Jack Gallagher.
– Big Cass beat Titus O’Neil and Apollo Crews defended his… agent?
– Gold Dust turned on R-Truth. Are you ready for Extreme Rules’ kick off match?!

The show began with General Manager, Kurt Angle, announcing a fatal 5 way at Extreme Rules to determine the number 1 contender for Lesnar’s Universal Championship. Those up for the opportunity are Seth Rollins, Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns.
Roman emerged to inform Angle that the number 1 contender doesn’t need to be determined because he’s already that guy (yards, Undertaker etc.). The crowd went a bit wild for this moment, likely because the smarks in attendance smelled a heel turn, but geniuses like me simply smelled some trolling. This obviously led to every aforementioned contestant appearing to cut a promo about how they’re the deserving party, before descending into a civilised tea party (Nah, just a brawl as usual) that crowned Balor as the last man standing. As a result of all these shenanigans, matches were made between Rollins & Wyatt and Balor & Reigns.

Image via WWE.com

This has come about because of Braun Strowman’s injury causing him to be out of action for up to 6 months, though I wouldn’t be surprised if that figure was somewhat exaggerated to make him look more monstrous when he’s back for Summerslam. Injuries suck, obviously, but what’s great about wrestling is, sometimes, sucky things happen and WWE have to adapt. It felt obvious that Lesnar would retain over Strowman and other storylines we’d see over the next few months seemed set in stone, but now shit is up in the air and that’s definitely more exciting.

The 1st main event (illogical concept) was Roman Reigns Vs. Finn Balor. The match was decent, though nothing to write home about. In the end, Roman speared Balor for the 3 count, though the commentary team made a point to put over Finn despite the loss. That puts these guys at 1 a piece, likely leading to a big title blowout somewhere down the line.

Seth Rollins and Bray Wyatt was hyped all night as a “first time ever” match up, which is why it closed the show. I’m surprised this match hasn’t happened before (perhaps selective memory on WWE’s part?), but if it really is such a grand spectacle, why are they throwing it away on a random episode of Raw?

Anyway, the match ended in DQ after Samoa Joe got involved. The heels teamed up on Seth Rollins before Wyatt dished out Sister Abigails all round, leaving him kneeling tall for the fade to black. It felt familiar and anti-climactic, purely because the push is never behind Bray when it counts.

Image via WWE.com

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