‘Paul Heyman confirms Brock Lesnar will cash in against Seth Rollins tonight.’ That was the headline of WWE’s RAW preview. Apparently, the McMahon family were considering punishing Lesnar for disrespecting the wrestling industry Money in the Bank briefcase, so Lesnar and Heyman decided they’ll cash in at some point in the show. The Undertaker is popping in to hype his match with Goldberg at Super ShowDown. Rey Mysterio is relinquishing the United States Championship due to injury. The only advertised match is Roman Reigns & The Usos against Drew McIntyre & The Revival.
I’m Amanda and this is the RAW review.
Drew McIntyre & The Revival def. Roman Reigns & The Usos
Charlotte Flair def. Lacey Evans (DQ)
Nikki Cross def. Peyton Royce
Ricochet def. Cesaro
The Key Bits
» Roman Reigns opened the show. Shane McMahon arrived before he said anything. In a long-winded and detailed way, Shane McMahon told Reigns he is going to beat him at Super ShowDown. He’s apparently going to make Reigns tap out for the first time in his career, and he’s going to refuse to let go of the hold after Reigns taps.
Reigns told him to shut up and said he’ll pick him up and put him through the mat if he tries. McMahon doesn’t stand a chance in the ring with him. The only reason Shane is still there is because he relies on help, like Drew McIntyre. So, after Reigns is done with him, he’s moving on to McIntyre, in two weeks at Stomping Grounds (the next PPV).
Drew McIntyre turned up next. He, unsurprisingly, believes Shane McMahon will beat Reigns at Super ShowDown, then he’ll end him at Stomping Grounds. But that’s the future and Reigns needs to worry about the present. He whispered something to McMahon then said they didn’t need his partners, they were going to take him out right now.
The Revival attacked Reigns while McIntyre was taking his jacket off. McIntyre and McMahon joined them, the Usos ran down and cleared the ring.
Roman Reigns & The Usos vs Drew McIntyre & The Revival started just before we went to a break. Good match. Jimmy Uso ended up isolated in the wrong half of the ring for a significant portion of the match, while the crowd chanted that they wanted Roman. They got him, eventually, after a few failed attempts. He helped put McIntyre down, but Jey Usos, the legal man, was knocked off the top turnbuckle by Shane McMahon before he could get the pin. Reigns went after McMahon and caught a Claymore from McIntyre. Jimmy Uso took a Shatter Machine on the outside, and McIntyre delivered a final Claymore to Jey Uso for the win.
After the match, Reigns took a Shatter Machine from The Revival, at McMahon’s instruction, and a Claymore from McIntyre, then they all held him up while Shane McMahon speared him.
» Seth Rollins was a guest on Miz TV. The Miz asked him what was going through his mind with a scheduled title defence on Friday and Brock Lesnar due to cash in tonight.
Rollins said that’s a loaded question, but Miz is making a lot of assumptions. He’s assuming Lesnar will turn up and he’s assuming Paul Heyman is telling the truth, which they agreed he never does. He’s prepared, but he’ll believe it when he sees it.
Miz talked about the power of the contract and how it’s not in the hands of any WWE superstar, it’s in the hands of The Beast, Brock Lesnar.
Rollins said he knows, but he’d be relieved if Lesnar cashed in because he can’t keep focusing on what might be, he has to focus on what will be, and that’s him Stomping Baron Corbin’s head into the mat at Super ShowDown.
The cameras cut to Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar arriving at the arena. Rollins readied himself but Lesnar hesitated at the entrance way, then went to his dressing room.
At the start of the third hour, Seth Rollins came back to the ring. He said he knew he’d have a bullseye on his back when he won the title. Everyone would be gunning for him and that’s what he signed up for, but that’s not what’s happening with Brock Lesnar. Lesnar’s music played by Lesnar didn’t appear, so Rollins carried on.
Brock Lesnar is playing games. He’s sick of it, everyone is sick of it. He addressed the camera to talk directly to Lesnar. ‘You used to be one of the most feared men on planet earth. Used to be. And now you’re just a shell of that. So, if there is any shred of The Beast left in you then I dare you to come out and keep your promise.’
Baron Corbin came out instead and told Rollins he needs to forget about Lesnar and worry about him. Rollins is living his childhood dream and Corbin is the dream crusher and he’s taking the Universal Championship.
Rollins told him he’d have to pry it from his cold dead hands, and Corbin said he’s ok with that. They fought. Rollins kicked Corbin out of the ring and followed via suicide dive. Lesnar’s music hit again and Rollins readied himself. Corbin attacked him from behind and gave him an End of Days.
While Rollins was laid in the ring Lesnar’s music hit a third time. This time Lesnar came out holding a chair, with Heyman and a ref following him. Lesnar low-blowed Rollins, hit him repeatedly with the chair, and suplexed him. Heyman encouraged him to cash in. Lesnar said not yet, threw Rollins out of the ring and delivered an F5. Back in the ring, Lesnar delivered more chair shots and Heyman pleaded with him to cash in. This time Lesnar gave Rollins a German suplex, then went back to Heyman and said Friday. Heyman tried to argue, but Lesnar insisted. They started to leave but Lesnar grabbed the briefcase and turned back. He hit Rollins with the briefcase, then the chair a couple more times. Finally, they left Seth Rollins, bleeding from his back, curled in the ring. Medics put Rollins in a neck brace and strapped him onto a backboard before transporting him from the ring.
After the break, Rollins was wheeled through backstage and driven away in an ambulance, with Becky Lynch at his side. Michael Cole told us to keep an eye on social media for updates.
Baron Corbin was interviewed backstage a little later and said Brock Lesnar did him a favour. Rollins must have six or seven cracked ribs and he doesn’t stand a chance on Friday. We’re looking at the next Universal Champion.
» Rey Mysterio said he’s been with WWE for a long time. It’s in his blood and his family’s blood. His son Dominik is now training, and he has total confidence that he’ll carve the right path for himself. Tonight, he has to set the right example as a man and as a champion.
Samoa Joe came out and said he heard the word champion and thought it was his cue. But Mysterio shouldn’t lie, he’s not there to relinquish because he’s injured but because he never pinned him.
Mysterio said he’s won championships his entire career through pain and injury and if he’s man enough to do that he’s man enough to do what he was there for. He asked Joe to give him a minute, then said he’s there to relinquish his United States Championship to Samoa Joe. He laid the title in the ring, told Joe he hadn’t heard the last of him and started to get out of the ring. Samoa Joe grabbed him and put him in the Coquina Clutch. Mysterio passed out.
The Other Bits
» Lucha House Party came out for their tag team match, but their Super ShowDown opponent, Lars Sullivan, arrived instead of the other team. They attacked him when he got in the ring, but he quickly overpowered them, again. They fought back and triple-dropkicked him out of the ring. He landed on his feet. Sullivan has an interview on SmackDown Live tomorrow night.
» Becky Lynch wants to make some changes. She went home for the first time in 63 days and she’s done a lot in that time, including switching brands and winning the main event of WrestleMania. All her dreams came true and she has never been more content in her entire life. But contentment is the worst thing that can happen to a fighter. Content fighters get hurt, or passed over, or beaten. When Lacey Evans helped Charlotte Flair beat her for her SmackDown Live Women’s Championship, she woke something in her that needed waking. She’s pissed off and when she’s pissed off, there isn’t a woman in the business who can keep her down.
Lacey Evans appeared and said Becky Lynch shouldn’t be the face to represent the Women of WWE. She’s not Charlotte Flair, Lynch is not in her head and she’s not to be messed with. Becky Lynch beat her at Money in the Bank, but she is the reason Lynch walked out of there not a winner. When she’s finished with her, she’ll be Becky no belts, because she refuses to let a woman like Lynch represent her division.
Charlotte Flair arrived next. She told Lynch to stop making excuses, she still beat her. Lynch lost and Flair became the nine-time Women’s Champion.
Lynch asked where her title is now. Evans told Flair to stop embarrassing herself and asked what she was doing there strutting around like a peacock.
Flair said she struts because she’s more than halfway to beating her daddy’s sixteen-time world championship record and all Lacey Evans has done is make tea. Last week, Flair didn’t even have to take off her street clothes to leave her laying.
Evans said Flair had nine championships but now she has no championships and Evans is the face of WWE. So she should run along back to SmackDown Live unless she wants to be educated with the Woman’s Right. Flair didn’t move so Evans shoved her.
Becky Lynch got out of the ring and left them to it and Charlotte Flair vs Lacey Evans became a match. It was fine and it got a reasonable amount of time by recent standards. Flair had the best of it, as well she should considering their relative skill and experience levels, but Evans had her moments. A double crossbody put both competitors down and they crawled to opposite ropes to drag themselves up. Becky Lynch pulled Flair out of the ring, causing a disqualification, and delivered the Man-handle Slam to Lacey Evans.
» It was around the time Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley came out for their arm-wrestling contest, that I started to wonder what I’m doing with my life. Lashley slapped Strowman’s face the first time they set up and they yelled at each other a bit then tried again. Their hands slipped apart on the second attempt, so they both chalked up. The third time, they actually arm-wrestled and Strowman won. While he was celebrating Lashley threw chalk in his face and beat on him a bit, finishing with a running powerslam.
» Footage was shown of Jinder Mahal winning the 24/7 title on a golf course, then losing it immediately back to R-Truth. Carmella was then shown looking for R-Truth with EC3 and Drake Maverick following Carmella.
» The IIconics compared Nikki Cross to a sad pound-puppy hoping for someone to play with and said she picked the wrong master for the last couple of weeks in Becky Lynch. They barked at her, and Alexa Bliss appeared. Peyton Royce said she had a match against Cross to prepare for and she and Billie Kay did their ‘IIconic’ bit and left.
Bliss said, ‘Wow, that happened’ (which pretty accurately echoed most people’s sentiments, I think) and offered Cross a coffee. Cross seemed surprised, Bliss said she knows how close Cross and Becky Lynch have been getting the past couple of weeks and Lynch can’t stand her, in fact, no one can stand her. She started to walk away but Nikki stopped her and told her she doesn’t care what Bliss did in the past, she’s been nothing but kind to her. They’re friends. Bliss said she appreciates it and she’s going to be in Cross’ corner for her match.
Nikki Cross vs Peyton Royce happened with Alexa Bliss in Cross’ corner as promised. Billie Kay was, of course, with her tag partner. Royce was dominant in the early going but couldn’t keep Cross down. Cross fought back but missed her crossbody from the top. Alexa Bliss had a coffee delivered to ringside at that point, and the IIconics objected. Bliss flicked coffee at Royce and Peyton Royce kicked the cup out of her hand. Billie Kay shoved Bliss over into the coffee and they laughed at her. Nikki Cross delivered her elevated neckbreaker for the win.
Alexa Bliss was seething. She got in the ring and dropkicked Billie Kay into Peyton Royce, then DDT’d her. She would have gone further but Cross grabbed her to raise her arm and celebrate the win.
Bray Wyatt’s Firefly Fun House was a cornucopia of multi-layered weirdness. I can’t begin to describe it, you just have to watch. It might help to know Bray Wyatt’s previous ring name was Husky Harris.
» Triple H had a face to face with Randy Orton. Triple H said it’s been a while since he stood there and stared Orton in the eye. They both know what these segments are about, they’re about drumming up interest for a fight. People hope they’ll say some horrible stuff about each other, maybe some physicality will break out. But with everything they’ve been through in the last 20 years, there’s nothing either of them can say that they haven’t said before. So he’s not going to waste time, he’s just got one thing to say. It’s been a while since they’ve stood and looked at each other, don’t let the suit fool him. He’s going to Jeddah to kick Orton’s ass.
Orton said that sounds good to him, but he needs Triple H to understand he is not Batista, he’s the legend killer. He would gladly beat him at Super ShowDown and put another notch on his belt.
Triple H said fair enough, there is something interesting that stood out when he’s been watching recap videos. He said if they put the pressure on Orton he would become a diamond and he has. He is one of the best ever to set foot in the ring. But a lot of people have tried to put him down. They’re all gone and he’s still there. Orton should trust him when he says he’s not the one.
As Triple H left, Orton asked him to promise one thing, that before they get in the ring on Friday, make sure he retrieves his balls from Stephanie’s purse.
Triple H laughed and said that’s a good idea but they’re so big and it’s such a burden carrying them around. But Orton wouldn’t know about that because he’s never had any. Triple H chucked the mic at him and gave him cheeky crotch-chop at the top of the ramp. Orton just stood there laughing.
» I am not objecting to watching Cesaro vs Ricochet, but they could have spaced the rematches out a bit. Ricochet said this could be a decades-long rivalry and that would be fine, just not every week. It was a great match with a ton of skill and ‘ooh’ moments, just like it was last week and the week before. You put two of the best in the world in the ring together and that is going to happen. It was one all going in, now it’s two one to Ricochet. Cesaro attacked him after the match. First he knocked him down, then he pulled a table out from under the ring.
The table had R-Truth laying on it. Ricochet dropkicked Cesaro over the barricade before everyone ran down to chase R-Truth. R-Truth slid into the ring just before Cedric Alexander dived over the top rope and took everyone else out. Truth turned to face Drake Maverick, Carmella superkicked Maverick and she and R-Truth ran off through the crowd and backstage with the lower mid-card in hot pursuit.
» The Undertaker came out with five minutes left of the show and took three of them to get to the ring. He, eventually, said, ‘Do you ever wonder what happens when you come face to face with death for the very first time. Does the sky grow dark, does the ground begin to rip open at your feet? Do you choke at the stench of the souls that are already gone?’ Goldberg will get the answers to those questions on Friday. But, when he stands across the ring from him for the very first time he doesn’t want Goldberg the family man, smiling as his wife and son look on. He wants the unstoppable, mythical, icon, Goldberg. If Goldberg brings anything less, then their first match will be his last. The Undertaker will open the gates of hell and unleash an inhumane level of brutality Goldberg has never felt. When the reaper beckons, you answer his call and The Undertaker will claim his soul for all eternity. ‘Goldberg, you’re next’. And the show immediately went off air.
That episode of RAW was a tough slog to get through, and I’m generally one of the more positive reviewers. It wasn’t all bad, the matches were mostly good (all four of them… in a three-hour show) Firefly Fun House was a thing, R-Truth being pulled from under the ring was funny, and Nikki Cross was on the show… It’ll pick up once Super ShowDown is over, surely.