Tonight’s episode has been declared ‘Championship Monday’ because we have four title matches to look forward to. Sasha Banks and Bayley defend their tag titles against The IIconics. The Viking Raiders challenge Street Profits for theirs. R-Truth is facing Akira Tozawa for the 24/7 title. And Charlotte Flair attempts to take the RAW Women’s Championship from Asuka in the next stage of their ongoing rivalry. Edge is coming by to give an update on his status. Rey Mysterio will be on the show. And Ric Flair will present Randy Orton as ‘The Greatest Wrestler Ever’.
I’m Amanda and this is the RAW review.
Street Profits def. The Viking Raiders
Asuka def. Charlotte Flair
Akira Tozawa def. R-Truth
Natalya def. Liv Morgan
Sasha Banks & Bayley def. The IIconics
Apollo Crews def. Shelton Benjamin
♦ Drew McIntyre opened the show and talked about last week’s tag match. He didn’t get much further than that before he got interrupted by Dolph Ziggler of all people. It turns out RAW’s exchange for letting AJ Styles to SmackDown was Ziggler and also Robert Roode. Ziggler feels he’s entitled to a title shot because he brought McIntyre to RAW so believes all McIntyre’s success is down to him. He wants to be McIntyre’s opponent at Extreme Rules.
McIntyre disagreed with Ziggler’s evaluation and pointed out things haven’t exactly been going his way since they stopped teaming. He told Ziggler the world owes him nothing and said he’d become everything he used to despise. He also laughed at Ziggler and Roode being a two for one trade for Styles. He accepted the challenge though. McIntyre vs Ziggler for the WWE Championship at Extreme Rules.
♦ Nia Jax made an unscheduled appearance and set up a chair in the ring. She sat there through an ad break then bitched about Charlotte Flair always getting what she wants and about being cheated out of the titled ‘biased ref’ – she should have been disqualified – then got cut off by R-Truth doing his entrance for his match. He explained that to Jax when he got to the ring then got chased off by ninjas… because that’s a thing now.
Charlotte Flair arrived as soon as Jax started talking again and said Jax squandered her last two chances and is now throwing a hissy fit. There was arguing before Jax told Flair she hasn’t beaten her yet and suggested she couldn’t. Flair punched her and they had to be separated by officials. Flair was left holding her left arm, which isn’t good for her title match later.
♦ The Street Profits and Viking Raiders rivalry has turned into a friendship and given us The Viking Profits. They met up backstage before their match and reaffirmed their friendship and the fact that it won’t make a difference once the bell rings. Street Profits (C) vs The Viking Raiders – RAW Tag Team Championship match – was great fun. They definitely didn’t fight like friends. Erik took a Viking Experience from the Street Profits, but Ivar broke it up before he was pinned. There was a cartwheel display from all four. It finished with a frogsplash from Ford on Ivar after Dawkins gave him a Cash Out and speared Erik to keep him from intervening. They hugged and did the Viking Profits thing before Erik and Ivar left the ring.
As soon as they were gone, Angel Garza and Andrade attacked Dawkins and Ford from behind. They fled when The Viking Raiders rushed back to help.
♦ Seth Rollins has a message for Rey Mysterio and said, ‘soon all will be revealed’. We got the message after a break. He said sometimes in life we are destined for roles beyond our choices. He didn’t choose to be the Monday Night Messiah, just Mysterio chose to be a sacrifice. The difference is that he has chosen to embrace his role for the greater good while Mysterio has chosen to be defiant and defiance breeds suffering. The saddest part is that Mysterio has allowed his son to get involved. Rollins wants Mysterio to know that anything that happens to either him or Dominik from here on is on him. The greater good is coming for all and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop it. Legends never die, but they sure as hell can outlive their welcome.
♦ Charly Caruso and Angel Garza flirted under the guise of an interview, then Zelina Vega took over and confirmed that Andrade and Garza are on the same page now and will be going for the tag titles.
♦ Charlotte Flair had her arm taped up before medics ahead of her title match. She refused to postpone and said it will be fine to hold up the title.
Asuka (C) vs Charlotte Flair – RAW Women’s Championship match – was good. Asuka and Flair together are always good. If they don’t overdo it then it could be good for years. Flair’s arm was clearly an issue and it arguably cost her the match. She tapped in the Asuka Lock, the first time Asuka has beaten Charlotte Flair one on one.
Nia Jax had been shown watching from backstage. Charly Caruso asked her if she thought her fight with Flair contributed to the loss. Jax said it would be a real shame if someone kicked The Queen when she’s down, and walked away.
♦ It is 22 years to the day that Edge debuted. His statement came from a darkened Performance Center ring. He said Orton won at Backlash but didn’t prove he was the better natural wrestler. He’s had surgery for the triceps Orton tore off the bone, but he kicked out and kept fighting. He felt Orton’s panic before he hit him with an accidental low blow. Last week, he saw that Orton was calling himself the Greatest Wrestler Ever and he can put it on whatever merch he wants if beating him means so much in his world. But in Edge’s world-beating Orton is what he expects, so he’s disappointed. He won’t let it happen again.
The second he hit the punt on Christian it was decided. Jay was Adam’s friend before the world knew Edge and Christian, he’s been through everything with him. And what Orton did woke up a side of Edge that doesn’t care how low he has to stoop, how many backs he has to step on to get what he wants. He doesn’t care about winning a wrestling match now, he’s going to embarrass Orton and emasculate him. He’s going to seep into every aspect of Orton’s life and infect it, take it apart brick by brick, and Orton has no idea what’s he’s done. He woke up the evil. He woke up the Rated-R Superstar.
It cut to an interview with Randy Orton he asked Charly Caruso if she knows what a snake does when cornered, then explained (it strikes). He sees Edge and Christian coming back as at his expense, so he’s going to do whatever he has to do to survive. He hopes Edge and Christian make a full recovery and he thinks they’ll live long and happy lives as long as they do it far away from him.
♦ Backstage in the Performance Center, Charlotte Flair had ice on her shoulder when Caruso asked her how she handles a loss like tonight. She was giving Asuka credit for working her arm when Nia Jax attacked her from behind, threw her into a ringpost and slammed a packing crate on her arm.
♦ R-Truth vs Akira Tozawa, with ninjas – 24/7 Championship match – was disappointing. Bobby Lashley and MVP came to the ring and destroyed the ninjas as the match began. Tozawa hid under the ring while Lashley put Truth to sleep with a full nelson then reappeared when he’d gone and pinned the unconscious R-Truth.
♦ Natalya crashed an update on Charlotte Flair to talk about herself and how the locker room needs her leadership because Becky Lynch is out, Charlotte Flair may now be injured, and she doesn’t consider Asuka to be someone who can rally the troops. She said she had a major announcement, but it would have to wait until after her match.
Natalya vs Liv Morgan came with added Lana. She accompanied Natalya to the ring, which given the weirdly mentioned briefly and never revisited storyline between her and Morgan, might not have been the best thing. Unsurprisingly it was Lana’s distraction which led to Morgan tapping in a Sharpshooter.
♦ Big Show told Charly Caruso he didn’t expect to end up fighting ninjas last week when he just popped in to say hi to a few old friends. But the opportunity arose and when do you get a chance to punch a ninja. It was a pleasure to lend The Viking Raiders and Street Profits a right hand. But tonight’s not about fun, it’s about what happened to his friends last week. People forget that behind his fun exterior is an angry giant and it was the heartless angry giant who was headed to the ring.
♦ Ric Flair confirmed Charlotte Flair is injured and Nia Jax better watch out when she comes back, before he moved onto presenting Randy Orton. He talked about Orton putting Christian and Edge back into retirement (despite Edge clearly having not retired) and asked Orton to come to the ring so he could tell him how great he is to his face. When he did, Flair called him the greatest performer in the history of WWE.
Orton talked about nostalgia versus legacy. Edge and Christian are nostalgia, being in the ring with Ric Flair is nostalgia, but returning to his legend killer status isn’t nostalgia, it’s cementing his legacy. He and the voices in his head are enjoying once again being the legend killer.
Big Show arrived to shut him up and told Orton that he was going to pay for what he did. He also called him a narcissistic parasite. He reminded Orton that Edge isn’t done but said he won’t get the satisfaction of taking him out, because the angry giant is going to break every bone in Orton’s body.
Orton said Big Show wouldn’t touch Flair because he respects him and would touch him because they are friends. He has a lot of respect for Big Show, he’s a future Hall of Famer, one might even call him a legend. It would be a shame if he suffered the same fate as his friends.
Big Show asked for a fight, but Orton left the ring and then told him he was coming for him.
♦ Sasha Banks & Bayley (C) vs The IIconics – WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship match – nearly ended quickly with a big bot from Billie Kay on Sasha Banks. It was a particularly mean-spirited match. Peyton Royce nearly managed to pin Banks after shoving her into Bayley, sending Bayley sprawling to the floor, but Banks managed to lock on the Bank Statement and Royce tapped.
After the match, Sasha Banks confessed to being jealous of Bayley having two titles and told her she wants a title match. The swerve was that she’s challenging Asuka for the RAW Women’s Championship at Extreme Rules.
Asuka came to the ring and accepted the match. Bayley blindsided Asuka and they went for the two on one beatdown. Asuka fought back but she ended up in a Bank Statement.
♦ Ruby Riott approached Liv Morgan backstage. Liv Morgan said, ‘Not tonight’. Nothing has gone her way and she didn’t need Riott making her feel worse.
♦ Lashley still blames R-Truth for him not being WWE Champion now. MVP still wants to manage Apollo Crews. That was said in an interview before The VIP Lounge, with Crews as a guest. MVP pitched his services. Crew declined. MVPs pitch turned into threats that the United States Championship is coming home where it belongs. Shelton Benjamin arrived and MVP made a blatant distraction so Benjamin could attack Crews from behind.
Apollo Crews vs Shelton Benjamin happened after a break with Crews at a disadvantage from the off. He got a lucky break when he dodged Benjamin on the outside and Shelton Benjamin wiped himself out on the ringpost. That was all he needed, and he pinned Benjamin with a huge powerbomb.
MVP tried to raise Crews’ hand after the match. Crews rejected him and Lashley locked on a full nelson and left Crews laying.
♦ Rey Mysterio got the final segment of the show, accompanied by Dominik. He started by talking about how scared he was when he couldn’t get in touch with Dominik last week, and how finding out where he was going didn’t make him feel any better. He’s proud of how well he coped with the situation but angry at him for putting himself at risk. He has learned to accept what Rollins did, trying to blind him. Dominik may be bigger than his but he’ll always be his child. Dominik fought for him but he needs to take revenge on Rollins himself. Dominik refused to go anywhere and said they’d show Rollins what a family looks like. He said this family wants a fight, and out came Seth Rollins.
Rollins said they’re putting him in a difficult position. Does he go to the ring and slaughter a father in front of his son or make Rey watch while he sacrifices his son. He decided it wasn’t up to him, it was down to fate. They were both in the same place at the same time and two eyes are better than one. Rollins walked to the bottom of the ramp and fell to his knees. Murphy and Austin Theory came to stand either side of him, but Humberto Carrillo and Aleister Black were right behind to take them out. Rollins found himself at a four on one disadvantage. He took a 619, but Murphy and Theory managed to prevent Rey and Dominik Mysterio forcing Rollins’ eye down on the steps. They held Rey still while Rollins tried to take Dominik’s eye out, but Carrillo and Black came back with chairs and chased them off.
Not a bad episode of RAW at all, which is higher praise than it appears. After the show, WWE confirmed Charlotte Flair is being evaluated for a potential broken collarbone, so it sounds like she may be off tv for a few weeks, if not a few months.