In the run up to tonight’s show WWE announced that Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch versus Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans at Extreme Rules will be an Extreme Rules Winners Take All match. After Corbin and Evans’ conversation last week, it seems they’ll be targeting Becky Lynch tonight. We can expect build for all the Extreme Rules matches, including a possible appearance from The Undertaker. Nikki Cross will be Alexa Bliss’ guest on A Moment of Bliss. There are two announced matches. Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley are having a Falls Count Anywhere match, and The New Day face The Viking Raiders.
Samoa Joe & The Viking Raiders def. The New Day
Lacey Evans, with Baron Corbin def. Natalya
The Miz def. Elias
Becky Lynch & Seth Rollins def. Maria & Mike Kanellis
Carmella def. Alexa Bliss
Nikki Cross def. Carmella
Ricochet def. AJ Styles
The Key Bits
» Braun Strowman vs Bobby Lashley – Falls Count Anywhere – started the show. Love it when RAW starts with a match, although there wasn’t much wrestling. There were a lot of chair shots and brute force, and the action quickly made its way into the crowd and through the arena to the stage.
Braun Strowman powered Lashley through the backboard and there were explosions and fireworks and all sorts of chaos going on. The lights went off. Corey Graves swore, officials appeared from everywhere including some with fire extinguishers, and there were frantic cries for medics. The camera switched to a distant view and everything went quiet as Strowman and Lashley were tended to and strapped to backboards. Then we went for an ad break. Medics were still loading them up and taking them away when we returned.
Throughout the night clips were reshown and superstars sent their best wishes to Strowman and Lashley in various segments. Renee Young revealed unconfirmed reports that Braun Strowman had a ruptured spleen part way through the show. After the show, a possible separated pelvis was reported. Bobby Lashley was released from the hospital unhurt.
» Power still hadn’t returned to normal, and commentary were using their sombre voices and were visibly shaken, when The Viking Raiders came out for the first match of the night, but power was back by the time The Viking Raiders vs The New Day started. It was turning into a good match until Samoa Joe turned up and put Xavier Woods in the Coquina Clutch. Kofi Kingston ran down to help and it turned into a brawl with Erik and Ivar siding with Samoa Joe. Guess what happened next…
The Viking Raiders & Samoa Joe vs The New Day began after the (wrestling free) ad break. After a hopeful start, Xavier Woods got thrown around a lot. Including having Ivar dumped on him. Eventually, he created enough space to get back to Kofi Kingston, his only option as Big E had already been knocked off the apron by Samoa Joe. Kingston took on Ivar, then Erik, but distracted himself with Samoa Joe and got caught. It got a little chaotic after that, with Big E, Xavier Woods and both Viking Raiders getting involved. But Samoa Joe and Kofi Kingston were the legal men and when everyone else was down Joe got the Coquina Clutch on and held it until Kingston passed out.
» AJ Styles had a locker room segment with Gallows and Anderson. They wound each other up about their respective performances last week. Gallows and Anderson revealed they have a bet about whether Styles can beat Ricochet for the US title. Luke Gallows thinks he can, Karl Anderson doesn’t.
Ricochet’s backstage interview was interrupted by Anderson and Gallows. Ricochet had just finished saying that facing AJ Styles was one of the biggest honours of his career, but he thinks he could beat AJ Styles next time, and they wanted to take issue with that. They told him Styles could have put him down in three minutes. He said he wasn’t looking for any trouble and offered them a match, but they declined and said her wasn’t in trouble with them, but he might be with someone else.
Anderson and Gallows told AJ Styles that Ricochet said he could beat him in his sleep and that he’d accused Styles of making excuses. Styles said he’d have a talk with him, and they accused him of losing his edge.
Styles found Ricochet doing press-ups. Ricochet said he had no idea why Styles was all fired up but he accepts, and stuck out his hand. Styles slapped him instead, so Ricochet slapped him back.
Ricochet (c) vs AJ Styles – United States Championship match – main evented the show. It was good last week, and it was good again this week. I wish they’d leave at least couple of weeks between matches. It appeared to be over quickly when Styles pinned Ricochet. He was handed the belt and declared the new champion, but Ricochet’s foot was under the bottom rope the whole time. A second official came to the ring for them to argue about it while we went for commercials, and the wrestling restarted after the break by which time Gallows and Anderson had arrived to watch.
The second half was quite spectacular in places, as you’d expect. Ricochet got the pin, nice and clean in the middle of the ring, off the reversal of a reversal.
Once again, they shook hands after the match, but after Gallows and Anderson mocked Styles and got up on the apron talking about the real AJ Styles, Styles attacked Ricochet, handed him over to Gallows and Anderson for a Magic Killer, and finished the job with a Styles Clash from the second turnbuckle.
The Club posed together, then Styles went back to beat on Ricochet one last time and pose with his foot on him.
The Other Bits
» Drake Maverick brought his new wife to RAW on the way to their honeymoon. She told him he’s obsessed and has to choose between her and the title. He chose her and they hugged. He looked up to see R-Truth next to him. Truth said he’s a sucker for romance and wandered off.
R-Truth came out with the conga line for No Way Jose’s match with Cesaro. Drake Maverick and his wife were sat front row and R-Truth laid on the barricade in front of them. The chasing pack arrived and Truth ran off with then in hot pursuit. Cesaro was so annoyed by it all he chucked No Way Jose out of the ring and delivered a Neutraliser at ringside. The match didn’t happen.
Drake Maverick ran into R-Truth one last time while he was waiting for his wife to come out of the bathroom so they could leave for their honeymoon. The chasing pack ran past then R-Truth peeked out from behind the wall. Maverick said he just wanted to go on his honeymoon, but as Truth walked away Maverick hit him with his suitcase and pinned him as a ref magically appeared. Drake Maverick and his wife left with the title.
» Street Profits had a backstage interview, making their RAW debut. They’d been shown backstage right at the start of the show. They announced their arrival in their own inimitable and not remotely transcribable way. I really hope they thrive on the main roster, they’re a truly great team.
» Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre waffled about what they’ve already done to Roman Reigns and what they’re going to do to Roman Reigns and The Undertaker, until The Undertaker made his appearance. By the time he got near the ring, McMahon and McIntyre had lost their bravado and retreated, they could have made it to the next state if they’d wanted to, the time that entrance took.
The Undertaker said, ‘Roman Reigns never asked me for my help. That’s not who he is, but if you need answers to the why let me explain to you who I am. I am and have been the reaper of wayward souls for a long time and I’m here to collect your souls. Now, Shane, you had my respect, a little, for a while. I mean, you gave me everything you had at Hell in a Cell at WrestleMania and you actually lived to tell of it. But just like most mortal men you fell victim to your own greed and ego. You see, you may be the best in this world, but where I’m sending you two you’ll be nothing more than another couple of lost souls suffering the torment and torture of the acrid stench of death. And that will be for all eternity. You two will never Rest in Peace.’
» Baron Corbin said an Extreme Rules match favours them because they’re not afraid to cross any lines. He questioned Seth Rollins risking it all for his ‘latest fling’ and asked, ‘is she worth it?’
Becky has fought her entire life to make her dreams a reality. She defeated the Baddest Woman on the Planet in the main event of WrestleMania. But now she’s put her faith in Seth Rollins. She accused Rollins of having ‘wandering eyes’ and suggested her wouldn’t be able to keep his eyes of her during her match.
Corbin accompanied Evans to her match. Lacey Evans vs Natalya was another three-minute match. Corbin grabbed Natalya’s leg and tripped her. When she got up and looked round at him, she got hit with a Women’s Right and pinned.
» The Miz had a backstage interview to ask whether he was ready for his two out of three falls rematch against Elias. Miz said it’s not about being ready, it’s about what he has to do. He helped create Shane’s best in the world persona by feeding his ego. Now he’s got his own personal security, but he’s going to have to find a replacement for Elias after tonight.
The Miz vs Elias – two out of three falls – was a decent match. It was a little odd that Michael Cole announced there would be an ad break between the second and third falls, it made it feel like the first two falls were irrelevant, and informed us that they would get one each, otherwise there’s no need for the third fall. Miz got the first quickly with a Skull Crushing Finale, and Elias evened it up soon after with Drift Away. Miz won the third fall by tapping Elias out with a figure four.
» Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins were interviewed about whether their relationship will affect their match at Extreme Rules, and whether taking the match was impulsive. Rollins said he wasn’t impulsive, Lynch gave the distinct impression she disagreed. It was a playful and gently teasing kind of interview. Becky Lynch said she wouldn’t advise he loses her title, he said he wouldn’t advise she lose his title. He seems mildly concerned that it’s an Extreme Rules match, but they’re not overly worried.
Maria Kanellis interrupted and said some stuff. She appears to want an award for giving birth. And she objects to them acting like the first couple of WWE, because that’s her and her husband (they’ve been over on 205 Live, in case you were wondering).
Seth Rollins & Becky Lynch vs Mike & Maria Kanellis was just weird. After he’d practically beaten him, Rollins dragged Mike Kanellis over to his own corner and forced him to tag Maria. Maria screamed at her husband that he was supposed to protect her. She should have known better when he said he could mop the floor with Seth because he couldn’t even mop the floor at home. When Becky Lynch got bored and went to hit her Maria screamed that she’s pregnant. It was news to her husband as well.
Unable to touch Maria Kanellis, Becky Lynch dragged Mike into the ring and tapped him out in the Dis-Arm-Her.
After Rollins and Lynch left, Maria Kanellis continued to verbally emasculate her husband on live television.
» Paul Heyman put in an appearance to remind us that Brock Lesnar is lurking with the briefcase. Street Profits appeared to ask him about it. Heyman didn’t seem to like their irreverent attitude.
» Nikki Cross was Alexa Bliss’ guest of A Monet of Bliss. Bliss introduced her as her best friend. Cross might be the most excited guest Bliss has had.
Cross said none of it would have been possible without Bliss’ support and guidance. Bliss was the first person to take her seriously and to welcome her. So for that she will always be grateful. Bliss said that might be true, but this is Cross’ Moment of Bliss.
Carmella came out and said Bliss is right, it is Cross’ moment. She won the match so why is Bliss getting the title match?
Bliss said she used to think Carmella was fabulous, but now she’s just Truth’s sidekick. Carmella offered to take her to the ring and show her a side kick. Alexa Bliss vs Carmella lasted as long as it took Carmella to roll Bliss up and pin her.
Nikki Cross vs Carmella happened after the break, apparently at Alexa Bliss’ insistence. It was much longer, almost three entire minutes. Nikki Cross finished it with the swinging neckbreaker.
Backstage, Nikki Cross was asked how she feels about the fact the WWE Universe wants her to have the title shot. Bliss said ‘No Comment’ and pulled her away.
The ‘no wrestling in the ad breaks’ rule is leading to some very tortured segments. It’s nice not missing any action, but it has altered the entire flow of the show and it’s odd. Overall, it was a decent episode though. Still no sign of Bray Wyatt, but his puppets are still popping up around the place.