Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins announced the birth of their daughter Roux this afternoon. She was born on Friday. Congratulations to them both. Pretty sure that will be mentioned on the show, but it’s got to be the biggest news of the day. There isn’t a huge amount announced for tonight’s show. Randy Orton has invited himself to visit the Firefly Fun House. Jeff Hardy faces Bobby Lashley in a non-title match. And Drew McIntyre teams with Sheamus again, against The Miz and John Morrison, again, but this time in a handicap match with AJ Styles alongside Miz and Morrison.
I’m Amanda and this is the RAW review
Asuka def. Shayna Baszler
Ricochet & Dana Brooke def. SlapJack & Reckoning
Kofi Kingston def. Shelton Benjamin
Cedric Alexander def. Kofi Kingston
The Miz, John Morrison, & AJ Styles def. Drew McIntyre & Sheamus
Bobby Lashley def. Jeff Hardy
Randy Orton vs Bray Wyatt – No Contest
♦ As NXT and SmackDown did last week, this week’s RAW started with everyone on the stage for a tribute to Pat Patterson who died last week. Further tributes were shown throughout the show.
♦ Randy Orton opened the show proper. They showed us a reminder of Orton’s appearance on A Moment of Bliss which opened last week’s show, during his entrance. He said that any ordinary man would tremble at the mere thought of facing The Fiend. But he is no ordinary man. He smashed his moral compass years ago and there’s no barrier he won’t cross. He doesn’t need to wear a mask to show the world his darkness. When the time comes, when his time comes, he’s going to stare the devil right in the eyes and let him know the most evil son of a bitch on planet earth has come home. But in the meantime, he’ll be knocking on the Fun House door waiting and wondering who is going to ‘let him in’.
Bray Wyatt appeared on the big screen and said it was nice of Orton to join him. Bliss would be there, but Orton was mean to her last week, so he’ll have to settle for just him. Orton said he’s the last person he wants to play games with. Wyatt got all excited about playing a game and… just watch.
Anyway, it’s Orton versus The Fiend at TLC, but he demanded a match against Bray Wyatt tonight and Wyatt accepted.
♦ Asuka vs Shayna Baszler was the first match of the night. Before it started, it was announced that Asuka and Lana have a tag title shot at TLC. Lana accompanied her tag partner to the ring, as did Nia Jax. Jax gave Baszler a pre-match pep-talk, which mainly focused on how they’re planning to disfigure Lana. Mildly disturbing.
Things descended into a mini-brawl at ringside going into a break, and Asuka got bounced off the announce desk. She was still in trouble when we returned. She got back into it, only to be distracted by Nia Jax attacking Lana on the outside. Lana wasn’t taking it this time though and she managed to push Jax into the steps and send her flying into the announce desk with a head scissors. Sensibly, Lana ran off up the ramp and Baszler got rolled up and pinned while yelling at her.
♦ The Hurt Business have been intimidating the staff again.
♦ Last week, we got Ricochet versus SlapJack and Dana Brooke versus Reckoning. This week, we’re getting Ricochet & Dana Brooke versus SlapJack & Reckoning, which just feels lazy. Ricochet and Brooke’s strategy meeting was interrupted by Riddle with a box of ‘Bronutts’, then by Sarah Schreiber. Ricochet said they’re going to show SlapJack and Reckoning what real change is all about. Dana Brooke agrees, but also wants a bit of payback for the shiner Reckoning gave her last week. RETRIBUTION plan to expose Ricochet and Brooke for the failures they have always been. Mustafa Ali has run out of patience, so he wants SlapJack and Reckoning to end them.
Reckoning and Brooke started things off and just laid into each other. Ricochet lost his advantage when he got caught up arguing with Ali. It was back to the women and all over very quickly when Brooke pinned Reckoning with a sit-out slam. Mustafa Ali screamed at Reckoning and SlapJack for embarrassing him.
♦ Keith Lee is convinced Sheamus is going to turn on Drew McIntyre. Sheamus isn’t denying it.
♦ AJ Styles was the guest on Miz TV. The topic of discussion was Styles’ TLC match against Drew McIntyre for the title. Styles said it will be the first time he’s faced McIntyre one on one and it will be a challenge, but he’s going to use the tables, ladders, and chairs, and when he’s knocked him out cold he’ll climb the ladder and take the title. Miz and Morrison did some awful impersonations of Sheamus and McIntyre which brought Sheamus out to threaten them. They made a big deal out of the fact Sheamus was outnumbered, and that brought out McIntyre.
McIntyre wasn’t impressed by Styles’ threats, but he was impressed by how Miz and Morrison kept getting back up and coming after him. He doesn’t agree with the locker room saying Miz has no balls. He doesn’t have his own, Maryse keeps those in her purse, but he acquired Morrison’s when he made him his personal bitch.
Styles had escaped to stand with his associate. He said it wasn’t going to be three on two tonight, it would be four on two. But he didn’t feel the need to get involved with the brawl that broke out in the ring. McIntyre threw the MITB briefcase out after Miz and Morrison had been dispatched, and it hit the backboard and broke a panel. Hell of a throw.
♦ Kofi Kingston vs Shelton Benjamin was short and sweet. Kingston looked to be in trouble when he tweaked his knee, but he sidestepped Benjamin’s charge into the barricade and Shelton Benjamin knocked himself silly. He barely made it back into the ring for the referee’s count and was immediately pinned off Trouble in Paradise.
Cedric Alexander yelled at Kingston when he tried to leave and demanded he gave him a match too. Cedric Alexander vs Kofi Kingston started during the break. It was obvious Kingston’s leg was still bothering him, so Alexander targeted it and worked it hard. This match went longer than the first one, which was to Alexander’s advantage. But it was another bad landing on the injured leg which left Kingston vulnerable to the Lumbar Check that finished the match.
♦ Tribute to the Troops looks like it was a great show. However, if you’re outside the US then it might be a while before you see it. WWE might be kind and put it on Network quickly, but it has previously taken months. I’ve usually forgotten why I wanted it to watch it well before it goes up.
♦ Drew McIntyre & Sheamus vs The Miz & John Morrison & AJ Styles, with Omos, closed out the second hour of the show. Sheamus accidentally hit McIntyre when Miz ducked and there was a moment’s tension before McIntyre told him to get his head in the game. He did because seconds later they caught Morrison together and tossed him over their heads over the announce desk. I want to say it was a fun match, but it was kind of brutal and bad-tempered for the most part, so that seems a bit mean. I enjoyed it anyway.
Miz saved Morrison from a Claymore and McIntyre took a kick to the back of the head from Styles. He staggered over to his corner and Sheamus tagged in. Miz caught a Brogue kick, but the one destined for Morrison hit McIntyre. That diverted Sheamus’ attention long enough for Styles to land a Phenomenal Forearm for the win.
There were some heavy looks between McIntyre and Sheamus post-match.
Backstage, a few minutes later, Sheamus was waiting for McIntyre to come backstage to try to kick his ass, and he’d try to kick his. Charly Caruso just about got to ask him if it was intentional. He said no, then McIntyre was there. They stood face to face and McIntyre acknowledged it wasn’t intentional, then checked Sheamus knew what was about to happen. He did, but it cut to a break before we found out. They were fighting by the time we came back. Pat Buck tried to separate them, so they mauled him a bit then picked him up and put him through the snack table. That finished the fight for them. They smiled at each other and went off for a pint together.
♦ Next week, Lana faces Nia Jax one on one. She’s freaking out. Asuka tried to give her a pep-talk, but Lana came face to face with Jax while she was repeating her, ‘I can beat Nia Jax’ mantra, and all the confidence drained away.
♦ Bobby Lashley, with MVP, vs Jeff Hardy, was held up a little while Riddle pitched Jeff Hardy teaming with him as the Hardy Bros. Hardy excused himself on account of the fact his music was playing. Riddle came down to help out later in the match. He pulled MVP off the apron when he was trying to cause a distraction. He stuck around playing cheer squad for Hardy, which didn’t do him much good because he got beaten up and almost put to sleep in a sleeper hold, but he was enthusiastic about it. Hardy almost won the match with a Twist of Fate and a Swanton Bomb, but he missed the Swanton, took a spear from Lashley and tapped out in the Hurt Lock.
Lashley didn’t want to let go, and MVP tried to stop Riddle getting to him. When Riddle shrugged him off, Lashley shoved Hardy at him so hard they both fell over in the corner. MVP stole a ‘Bronutt’ on the way out.
♦ Ramblin’ Rabbit paid Randy Orton a visit in the locker room to tell him Bray Wyatt was looking forward to their match. Randy Orton vs Bray Wyatt was the main event of the night. Wyatt got the first advantage when he dumped Orton on the announce desk just before the break. He scared the hell out of Tom Phillips as well, by chasing him and stealing his headset to call the break. By the time we came back from the ads, Wyatt was getting stamped on in the ring by Orton. No idea what happened to turn it around.
It went back and forth from there, but just as Orton was setting for the RKO, The Fiend’s sound effects went and the lights went off. He delivered the RKO anyway but the lights went off during the cover. When they came back on red, it was The Fiend underneath him and not Wyatt. The Fiend locked on the mandible claw and put Orton out.
This felt like a filler episode. It was enjoyable enough, but there was no real progression and there were a lot of ‘let’s show you what happened previously’ moments. Storylines may have been furthered, I guess, but I don’t think anything actually changed this week.