Super ShowDown is over and we’re moving towards Stomping Grounds. From WWE’s preview, it looks like the threat of a Brock Lesnar cash-in is over for now. Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre are holding a celebration of their win over Roman Reigns. Samoa Joe is The Miz’ guest on Miz TV. There will be more from Lacey Evans and Becky Lynch ahead of the PPV match. We get a rerun of the Lucha House Party versus Lars Sullivan three on one handicap match (who asked for that?), only this time it’s an Elimination match. And at some point, R-Truth will be chased around the building by the rest of the mid-card. Oh, and there’s a good match advertised too – Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins defend the RAW Tag Team Championships (remember those) against The Usos and The Revival in a triple threat tag match.
I’m Amanda and this is the RAW review.
Lars Sullivan def. Lucha House Party
Ricochet, The Miz, & Braun Strowman vs Cesaro, Bobby Lashley, & Samoa Joe
Alexa Bliss & Lacey Evans def. Becky Lynch & Bayley
The IIconics def. Lisa Lace & Aleyah Mia
The Revival def. Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins and The Usos
Kevin Owens def. Seth Rollins
The Key Bits
» Seth Rollins opened the show, with a steel chair in hand. After a recap of the events of Super ShowDown, Rollins said we have entered a new era for the Universal Championship and the locker room has three choices. They can come and try to outwrestle him but there’s not a person on the planet who can lace his boots. They can try to fight him for it. Or they can try it the hard way, and maybe ask Brock Lesnar how that turns out.
Lesnar has been in WWE since 2002 and no one has ever done to him what Rollins did in Jeddah. It felt pretty damned good laying the chair into Lesnar and leaving him in a heap.
Baron Corbin appeared and said told the booing crowd the feeling was mutual before he spoke to Rollins. He waited for them to stop, then they started again when he did, but he got bored and carried on. He said Rollins keeps talking about Brock Lesnar but he should be worrying about him then he’ll worry about Lesnar because, after Stomping Grounds, he’ll be the new Champion.
Rollins asked how that worked out at Super ShowDown. Corbin said Rollins didn’t beat him the ref cost him that match. But he learned a few things when he was acting general manager and today he put those things to good use. The official is in trouble, Corbin gets his rematch, and he gets to pick a special guest referee.
Rollins said that won’t make a difference, he’ll still Stomp his head into the mat. But he’s curious about who would act as guest ref for Corbin. Corbin doesn’t have any friends, even his own dog doesn’t like him.
Sami Zayn came out next, to more boos, and said he’s on Team Corbin. He’s known Rollins for a long time and actually cares about him as a person. He’s watched his behaviour over the last weeks and being Universal Champion isn’t good for him. He’s caught up in a repetitive toxic masculinity cycle with Brock Lesnar and he thinks it would be better for Rollins if Corbin was champion and it would be better for RAW if Corbin was champion, because then we’d have a champion who isn’t obsessed with Brock Lesner.
Rollins checked there was nothing in the arrangement for Zayn and Zayn admitted there might be a reciprocal agreement. Rollins congratulated Corbin on finding the one idiot in the room who has his back, then asked Zayn who will have his back when he goes up there and slaps the taste out of his mouth.
The answer was Kevin Owens. Owens also agrees that Corbin would be a better champion. But he doesn’t like the way Rollins was talking to his friend. Rollins invited him to come and do something about it, Owens said maybe he will, and Rollins made it the main event of the evening.
Rollins walked up the ramp and stood face to face with the three of them, then just pushed past.
Backstage, later, Baron Corbin revealed he hasn’t decided on the special guest referee for Stomping Grounds.
Sami Zayn pitched himself as special guest referee for Kevin Owens versus Seth Rollins, as an audition to be the special guest referee for Corbin versus Rollins at Stomping Grounds. He suggested he could be a second referee on the outside. Shane McMahon made it into his own idea and approved it.
Seth Rollins vs Kevin Owens was a non-title match, which was a good job considering Owens’ best friend was playing extra ref. Unsurprisingly, Zayn played his role up, insisting on checking Rollins thoroughly before the match. Rollins would have got an early pin if Zayn hadn’t been distracting the main ref, and Zayn got involved again by getting up on the apron to drag Rollins off Owens. Going into the break, Zayn was instrumental in Owens getting the opportunity to dump Rollins, taped ribs first, onto the barricade and DDT him.
Owens was still in control after the break, and working on Rollins’ ribs. Rollins got back into it with a sling blade but couldn’t lift Owens because of the ribs. Owens went for a splash but Rollins got his knees up and gave himself some recovery time. Owens rolled out of the ring and punched Rollin in the face when he went for the suicide dive.
They traded kicks then Sami Zayn got into the ring and get between Rollins and Owens to prevent Rollins frog splash. Owens tried to take advantage of Rollins and Zayn arguing by rolling him up, but Rollins kicked out.
Rollins tossed Owens out of the ring and followed him with a suicide dive which also incidentally impacted Zayn. Not enough though. Rollins hit the Stomp when he got back in the ring and Zayn pulled the ref out of the ring before he could count and tried to get Rollins disqualified for putting his hands on an official.
Rollins and Zayn argued, Rollins did put his hands on him, and Zayn disqualified him. Once he’d been disqualified, Rollins snapped and started beating on him. Baron Corbin attacked Rollins while he was beating on Zayn and went for a chair. Rollins kicked it out of his hands. Corbin got out of the ring and Rollins, bleeding from his eyebrow, demonstrated correct use of chair on Sami Zayn. After he’d worn the chair out on Zayn’s back, Rollins pulled the ref’s shirt off him and Stomped his head into the mat.
» Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins vs The Revival vs The Usos – RAW Tag Team Championship match – Two teams in the ring at any one time, so there’s always one team free to make mischief, which they did. The match was great. The Usos and The Revival are at the top of their game, and Ryder & Hawkins are much underrated as a team.
The finish came after Jey Uso superkicked everyone. He went up for a splash, but Scott Dawson tagged himself in while he was on the turnbuckle and Dash Wilder held Jey back so Dawson could steal the pin on Zack Ryder. The Revival are the new RAW Tag Team Champions.
The Other Bits
» Lars Sullivan vs Lucha House Party – 3 on 1 Handicap Elimination match – was the first match of the night. Kalisto was quickly dispatched, rapidly followed by Lince Dorado. Gran Metalik could have been pinned just as fast but Sullivan pulled him up off the mat and went outside the ring to slam Kalisto into the steps. He got back in the ring and fake pinned Metalik again, went back outside and fired Dorado into the ring post, then finally pinned Gran Metalik off a diving headbutt. I have no idea what that was supposed to achieve.
» R-Truth and Carmella were shown being chased by the locker room pack after the first match. They got into a lift with EC3, Heath Slater, Drake Maverick, and Cedric Alexander, but no ref so no one could pin him. The lift got stuck.
They were still stuck in there an hour later. R-Truth appears to think Drake Maverick is Hornswoggle.
They were still in there halfway through hour three, talking and bonding. Then the door opened and the rest of the pack were stood there with a ref. R-Truth managed to escape again, while everyone else fought each other, when Carmella pulled him back into the lift.
» Samoa Joe ‘s first act of Miz TV was to correct Miz for him calling him the new United States Champion. He said Rey Mysterio stole it and he won it back. Miz said, ‘really’, and showed the footage of Joe putting Mysterio on the Coquina Clutch after Mysterio laid the title down. Miz also said Joe crossed the line when he brought Dominik into it. Samoa Joe said the line doesn’t exist for him, he does whatever it takes. He thought he was there to discuss potential challengers, but if not then maybe he should talk about Miz’ family. Samoa Joe and Miz squared up then Braun Strowman arrived. Before anything could happen, Lashley joined them and said he’s not done with Strowman and he wants a shot at the title.
Ricochet joined the party next. He wants a shot too. Cesaro came out with a mic, but punched Ricochet instead of saying anything. Strowman started fighting Lashley, Miz started fighting Samoa Joe, and guess what happened next.
» The Miz, Ricochet, & Braun Strowman vs Bobby Lashley, Cesaro, & Samoa Joe was good. Everyone got a moment with everyone else. Miz took an extra long Cesaro Swing. Ricochet stopped him getting pinned, then Strowman came in to finish the job. Samoa Joe stopped Strowman’s pin on Cesaro and nearly took a running powerslam. At that point, Joe took his title and left. Strowman tried to follow and got speared by Lashley. Ricochet took out Lashley with a dive. Miz delivered a Skull Crushing Finale to Cesaro, then Ricochet finished him off with a 630. Cesaro was helped to the back after the 630, holding his knee, and commentary made a point of replaying the landing.
» Lacey Evans and Becky Lynch were interviewed, split-screen. They didn’t say much of note, just bitching back and forth. They don’t like each other and neither thinks the other is worthy. Evans thinks Lynch is scared of her. Lynch wants to put Evans back in her place.
Nikki Cross told Alexa Bliss, in a locker room segment she thought they’d end up tagging against The IIconics. Bliss said she did too, then she went to SmackDown last week and won the right to face Bayley at Stomping Grounds and now she’s tagging with Lacey Evans in a Champions versus Challengers match. Cross looked unhappy. Bliss said she can’t believe Bayley is manipulating everyone again and talked about Bayley making her feel like an outsider when she was in NXT. Bliss is definitely manipulating Cross, but she persuaded her to be in her corner again.
Becky Lynch & Bayley vs Lacey Evans & Alexa Bliss was decent and a decent length. Nikki Cross accompanied Bliss to the ring. Bayley did a quick early stint the tagged in Lynch. Evans pulled Bliss out of the ring to save her from a Bex-ploder and took a dropkick through the ropes from Bayley. Somehow Bliss was in control after a break and Lynch took a lot of punishment from her and Lacey Evans, she got to Bayley when Evans missed a moonsault. Evans broke up Bayley’s pin on Bliss. Lynch chased her and Evans threw Nikki Cross at her then landed a Woman’s Right. Bayley also caught a Woman’s Right but got her knees up for Twisted Bliss. Evans had tagged herself in without Bayley seeing and another Woman’s Right put Bayley down for the count.
Nikki Cross looked upset after the match and kept shooting looks at Lacey Evans, but Bliss made her smile.
» Paul Heyman made an appearance to talk about the disturbing level of animosity between Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar. He waxed lyrical about the beating Lesnar and Rollins gave each other and said Rollins is not a worthy champion. They are now not going to tell us when they’re cashing in, Lesnar might be there at any time. He even planted the seed that Lesnar could be the special guest referee for Rollins versus Corbin. He guaranteed Lesnar will win the title when he eventually cashes in.
» The IIconics spoke before their ‘match’. They said they’re the longest reigning and defending Women’s Tag Team Championships and they demanded the toughest competition, so they scoured the… you get the message, squash match. The IIconics vs Lisa Lace & Aleyah Mia was over quick. No further comment.
» Shane McMahon had their victory celebration after we were shown an interview with Roman Reigns from after the Super ShowDown match, where he vowed to bounce back from the loss and kick Drew McIntyre’s ass at Stomping Grounds.
Shane McMahon described Roman Reigns as a ‘future Hall of Famer’ and said he hits like a mule, then gave a run-down of his accolades. But it was all to make his gloating about beating him look more impressive. It would have been more impressive without McIntyre’s assistance, but McIntyre was credited only for helping McMahon prepare and offering emotional support at ringside.
McIntyre said his piece, he’s not just going to beat Reigns at Stomping Grounds, he’s going to hurt him. Shane McMahon drank champagne out of the Best in the World cup, then McMahon brought out The Revival.
Dash and Dawson were going to have a glass of champagne, but McIntyre took the glasses off them and Shane McMahon said they could come to the party after the match, but only if they bring gold. The tag match followed, so I guess they were allowed to go to the party.
» This week’s Firefly Fun House once again defied explanation. So here it is.
RAW was better tonight than it has been for a few weeks. There were some Super ShowDown replays and a lot of build for Stomping Grounds, but it seems like most of the current storylines should wrap up at this new PPV, which is a very good thing. There has been a lot of talk from the champions about new challenges, but Becky Lynch is fighting Lacey Evans again, Seth Rollins is fighting Baron Corbin again, and while Bayley versus Alexa Bliss isn’t something we’ve seen particularly recently, it’s hardly new and fresh.