There’s a certain familiarity about the preview for this week’s show. Seth Rollins is fighting Drew McIntyre and Dean Ambrose is fighting Dolph Ziggler. This week, the justification is World Cup Tournament qualifying matches. Ronda Rousey will address the Bella Twins’ attack last week, and the Brothers of Destruction will respond to D-Generation X. And there will be more from Bobby Lashley after his turn on Kevin Owens last week left Owens requiring knee surgery.
I’m Amanda, and I’ll guide you through RAW.
Seth Rollins def. Drew McIntyre via count out
Ember Moon and Nia Jax def. Dana Brooke and Tamina via pinfall
Dolph Ziggler def. Dean Ambrose via pinfall
Finn Balor def. Jinder Mahal via pinfall
AOP def ‘Kurt Angle’ via pinfall
Bobby Lashley def. Tyler Breeze via pinfall
Natalya def. Ruby Riott via disqualification
The Shield def. Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, and Braun Strowman via pinfall
The Best Bits
– Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre opened the show. Taking turns, they said they are the greatest three-man group in WWE history. They didn’t need a catchy nickname or matching tactical vests to prove it. They proved it last week and they’ll prove it any time against anyone.
They showed the end of last week’s match with Ambrose walking out on Reigns and Rollins, and the post-show footage of Ambrose saying maybe he doesn’t fit in anywhere anymore.
McIntyre said they didn’t just beat The Shield last week they broke The Shield. The Shield have a selfish agenda and Reigns and Rollins are the only ones who benefitted from that relationship. Ambrose’s eyes have been pried open and, finally, The Shield have been shattered.
Strowman said at this rate The Shield won’t be around to watch Roman’s back at Crown Jewel. McIntyre and Ziggler argued about who was going to win the World Cup Tournament. Strowman said at Crown Jewel Lesnar and Reigns are going to ‘Get These Hands’.
The Shield music hit but only Reigns and Rollins who appeared on the stage.
Rollins said The Shield isn’t shattered or broken, The Shield is alive and well. And he thinks he’s going to win the World Cup.
Ziggler asked where Ambrose was, although he knows Rollins and Reigns don’t care.
Rollins said Ambrose works on Ambrose time. He shows up when he wants, does what he wants, but he always shows up.
They finished with some chat about McIntyre, Strowman, and Ziggler never getting their hands on singles titles, then it was match time.
Seth Rollins vs Drew McIntyre – World Cup Tournament Qualifier – Great match, like the many, many, matches they’ve had before. Dolph Ziggler ran down and distracted Rollins by darting through the ring while McIntyre disappeared under it. When Rollins tried to retrieve McIntyre, he got yanked into the apron. Ziggler interfered again to prevent Rollins going for the Stomp. McIntyre didn’t get to take advantage though. Rollins tipped him out of the ring and took a moment to deliver a suicide dive to Ziggler on one side of the ring before doing the same to McIntyre on the other. Ziggler got involved again next time Rollins went to Stomp McIntyre, pulling down the top rope so Rollins toppled to the floor.
Dean Ambrose music hit, and Ambrose hit Ziggler from behind. McIntyre knocked Ambrose to the floor and Rollins Stomped McIntyre on the outside. Rollins beat the count at nine, McIntyre didn’t.
Backstage, Rollins mentioned ‘lunatic time’ and Ambrose got upset. He said that’s all he is to them, good for a few laughs until they need bailing out. He walked away saying he has his own match to worry about, leaving Rollins and Reigns looking confused.
Dean Ambrose vs Dolph Ziggler – World Cup Tournament qualifying match – Another great, but much seen, match. The need to know stuff happened at the end when McIntyre and Rollins got involved. McIntyre tried to knock Ambrose off the turnbuckle. Rollins appeared in time to pull him off the apron. They exchanged blows until Ambrose launched himself onto McIntyre. Rollins tried to help Ambrose up, but Ambrose shoved him away and got back into the ring. Ziggler superkicked and pinned him. Rollins got in the ring and waited for Ambrose to stand up then gently asked what his problem was. Ambrose shoulder-barged past and left. Rollins followed, and they argued nose to nose on the stage. Reigns came out to split them up, then Corbin came out. He said the last thing he wants is to watch The Shield dissolve on his watch and gave them another rematch against Strowman, McIntyre, and Ziggler. Ambrose stormed off and Reigns stared daggers at Corbin.
Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler, and Drew McIntyre vs The Shield – Honestly, there’s not much left to say about matches between these teams, and all anyone wants to know is what happened within the teams anyway. Especially considering Strowman had threatened his teammates with ‘these hands’ if they screwed up. Strowman demanded Ziggler start the match and show him something. Ambrose and Rollins got in each other’s faces after Ziggler kicked Rollins into him. Reigns came in to sort them out and they all got wiped out by Strowman. Strowman and McIntyre wasted time while they had Reigns isolated tagging themselves in and arguing. Ziggler used Rollins to break up Ambrose’s pin attempt and Rollins and Ambrose started to fight when Ambrose went for Dirty Deeds. Reigns stopped the Claymore/Zigzag on Ambrose. McIntyre accidentally Claymore’d Strowman when Reigns dodged it. A Shield triple powerbomb finished Ziggler with Ambrose making the pin. The Shield hugged it out at the end and left together.
After The Shield left, Strowman told Ziggler and McIntyre he told them what would happen. He gave Ziggler the running powerslam and took a Claymore kick from McIntyre. Drew McIntyre left Ziggler in the ring and walked out.
– The Undertaker and Kane’s response to D-Generation X came from a red-lit, dark place. They said the reunification of D-Generation X is built on a bed of lies. Michaels may claim he stayed away out of a respect that he no longer has, but deep down in his black soul Shawn knows that what kept him in the shadows was nothing but fear. Fear that he would be made to feel helpless and worthless and humiliated again, fear that he would be put down again, but this time so deep in the ground that he could never return. At Crown Jewel when The Brothers of Destruction reunite to unleash hell on D-Generation X for the first time ever, all Shawn Michaels fears will come true. Triple H may have won a battle in Australia, but he started a war that will begin and end at Crown Jewel. When it ends Triple H can slink back to the comfort of the boardroom and Michaels can shuffle back to the safety of retirement. Triple H and Shawn Michaels had three words for them, Are You Ready. They have three words too, Rest In Peace.
– Ronda Rousey and The Bella Twins have been bitching on social media all week. Ronda Rousey came to the ring and asked them to come and tell her why they attacked her.
They came as far as the stage and said she disrespected them and everything they’ve done for the business. They came back because watching Rousey at the forefront of the evolution they started made them cringe. Rousey never deserved a title match and doesn’t deserve to be champion.
Rousey said she’d tried to be respectful and not judge, even though everything the Divas era stood for made her sick. After WrestleMania she thought they could be driving forces in the evolution together, but she was idealistic and naïve. They weren’t there to support her, they were there because there was a camera and they are desperate for attention. She said the only thing that ever impressed her was how far they managed to go with the minimum of talent. They leached off the names of their men, plagiarising and diluting their movesets.
They’re relics of the past waiting to be eviscerated like smallpox, but the wait is over because they both know she could rip their arms off and beat them with them. The only thing stopping her at Evolution will be the ref, and they’re not very good at holding her back. She will ruin them, regardless of how much money is poured into marketing them she will make the name Bella into a four-letter word that will be remembered for the societal sore it always has been.
Brie accused her of being jealous and said they are ground-breakers. They’ve knocked down more doors than she ever has.
Rousey listed the places she’s knocked down doors, then told Nikki the only door she ever knocked down was to John Cena’s bedroom, and he eventually threw her out of that same door. Finally, Rousey invited them to the ring.
They took a couple of steps forward then brought out a security team before they approached the ring. It took Rousey seconds to deal with security but the Bellas were gone.
Some Other Bits
– Ember Moon and Nia Jax vs Tamina and Dana Brooke – Tamina is back from injury, and all these women will be in a Battle Royal at Evolution. Tamina got Nia Jax up for the Samoan drop and held her for a while before dropping her. It took too much out of her to capitalise, but she managed to tag out. Brooke took a splash into the corner from Jax who tagged in Moon to deliver the Eclipse for the win. Tamina shoved Moon and superkicked Jax after the match, then she and Moon tipped Jax out of the ring. While Tamina was trash-talking Jax, Moon tried to tip her out. They struggled, and Brooke tipped them both over the top rope.
– Finn Balor vs Jinder Mahal – Samir Singh is back. Mahal now has quite the entourage with Alicia Fox in tow as well. Balor just had Bayley with him. They didn’t get involved in the short match. Balor pinned Mahal and Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush interrupted his celebrations.
– Bobby Lashley vs Tyler Breeze was mostly Lashley posing. Lashley caught Breeze as he came off the top rope, delivered a delayed vertical suplex, then ragdolled Breeze with a full-nelson. Breeze fought back so Lashley slammed him into the mat, posed for a bit, and slammed him again for the win.
– Trish Stratus and Lita didn’t get to talk about anything before Alexa Bliss and Mickie James came out. Bliss and James did impressions of their opponents thinking about how they’re not good enough to compete with them and are going to get humiliated at Evolution. Bliss and James are insulted that they think they can get in the ring with them with no practice and no warm up. Lita and Stratus were unimpressed. Then Lita said maybe they were right, they could use a little practice, and invited Bliss and James to the ring. Bliss and James started walking to the ring but stopped and turned around.
– AOP vs ‘Kurt Angle’ – Baron Corbin set this up despite Angle complaining he hadn’t brought his gear, hence the costume. Except it obviously wasn’t Angle and, when the jobber was unmasked after being destroyed, Kurt Angle appeared and Angle-slammed Corbin who was watching on the stage.
– Ruby Riott vs Natalya – Natalya stopped on the stage and brought out Bayley and, the returning, Sasha Banks for backup. The match was short, Sarah Logan got Ruby Riott disqualified by chop-blocking Natalya to get Riott out of the Sharpshooter. The brawl broke out immediately after, with Natalya, Bayley and Sasha Banks coming out on top.
– Apollo Crews interrupted Elias because he figured it was his turn. They exchanged insults then Elias said he was going to show him what happens when you interrupt Elias. What happened was Elias got kicked in the head then held over Crews’ head for a long time before being dropped onto the canvas.
Returns and reruns night tonight. There’s actually plenty of interesting stuff going on, but the endless rematches are getting wearing.