The King of the Ring and Queen’s Crown Tournaments continue tonight. Let’s hope that the Queen’s Crown matches get longer than the sub-four-minutes (combined) they got on SmackDown. WWE Champion Big E has a Face to Face with Crown Jewel Challenger Drew McIntyre. And Bianca Belair teams with Sasha Banks to face Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair because this is WWE and if you’re still expecting it to make sense, you’re in the wrong place.
I’m Amanda and this is the RAW review.
Xavier Woods def. Ricochet
Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin def. Mustafa Ali & Mansoor
Shayna Baszler def. Dana Brooke
Omos def. Riddle
Austin Theory def. Jeff Hardy
Jinder Mahal def. Kofi Kingston
Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair vs Bianca Belair & Sasha Banks – No Contest
Doudrop def. Natalya
The Usos def. Big E & Drew McIntyre
♦ Drew McIntyre got the action underway, Angela in hand. He welcomed everyone to RAW, because it might be his last chance as he’s off to SmackDown after Crown Jewel. He’s waited months for this match and it’s his last chance at the title before he leaves. He’s not going to let it slip through his fingers.
Big E saved us from one of McIntyre’s stories. He understands why McIntyre wants the title so badly, but he’ll never take it from him.
So, Big E is convinced he won’t take the title and McIntyre is convinced he will. The Usos broke the deadlock before it stopped being civil.
Drew McIntyre questioned their presence, as SmackDown superstars and they said they can do what they want because of the Tribal Chief. They’re there and they’re sending out warning shots. Everyone knows Roman Reigns will beat Brock Lesnar, but they’re trying to find out who will be WWE Champion. They told McIntyre Reigns might take the title off him on SmackDown, and told Big E they’ve got plans for The New Day when they go to Friday Nights. And if Big E wins at Crown Jewel, he’ll face Roman Reigns at Survivor Series. If that’s the case, he’s got the same death wish his boys are facing.
Big E started to challenge them to a match, but McIntyre said he couldn’t speak for him. The Usos made the challenge, waited for McIntyre and Big E to agree in unison, then jumped them.
♦ Kevin Patrick asked Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods what would happen if they have to face each other in the King of the Ring semi-finals next week. They laughed at him until they went out for Woods’ first-round match.
Xavier Woods vs Ricochet – King of the Ring Round One – was great. Xavier Woods has always talked about wanting to be King of the Ring, so you can’t help rooting for him to get there. It was a hard-fought battle, with Woods meeting Ricochet on his terms and more than holding his own. Xavier Woods is such a good tag team wrestler, there’s a tendency to forget how good he is alone. This was a reminder, one that finished with him progressing to the semi-finals with an elbow drop from the top.
♦ Riddle has challenged Omos to a match. He was excited to tell Randy Orton and find out their plan to outsmart him and Styles. Orton said there’s no plan, there never was, and Riddle is on his own. Riddle didn’t believe him, so we’ll see what happens.
♦ Mustafa Ali tried to stop Mansoor from greeting the fans on their way to the ring, but Mansoor’s enthusiasm cannot be dampened. Mustafa Ali & Mansoor vs Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander would have been another good match if it was fifty percent longer. Mansoor and Ali’s teamwork is coming along well, but it couldn’t stop Alexander pinning Ali with a Michinoku Driver. Mostly because Benjamin had hold of Mansoor to stop him from making the save.
After the match, Ali pushed Mansoor away and left him alone.
♦ Shayna Baszler vs Dana Brooke – Queen’s Crown Tournament Round One – saw Dana Brooke get in a little more offence than last week’s match. Corey Graves was a little less unpleasant about Dana Brooke this week, but not much. Brooke got out of a Kirifuda Clutch and twice tried to pin Baszler. She struggled out of an ankle lock as well, but Baszler’s knee to the face was decisive. Another match so short WWE should be ashamed of themselves.
The ref stopped Baszler from grabbing Brooke off the apron after the match.
♦ Charlotte Flair isn’t interested in anyone else. She only cares about herself. She’s royalty. There was nothing good said about her opponents tonight, or her tag partner. But she hopes Sasha Banks wins the SmackDown title at Crown Jewel, so she can take it off her and become a double champion.
♦ Riddle vs Omos, with AJ Styles, started with Riddle trying to keep talking long enough for Orton to come and save him. AJ Styles called him out for stalling and the ref started the match. Riddle immediately slipped out of the ring to beat on Styles. Omos pulled him back in and completely destroyed him in seconds. Styles wouldn’t let him pin him because they can legally beat him up for as long as they want, so he got Omos to try out a roundhouse kick on him. Styles liked that so much he had them show the replay twice, once in slow motion. He let Omos slam him and pin him, then got into the ring for his turn. Orton’s music played, but he didn’t appear until Omos was distracted and looking for him on the outside. He RKO’d AJ Styles and slipped out of the ring before Omos got near him.
♦ Big E suggested to Drew McIntyre that for one night only they should let bygones be bygones. They’re going to beat the hell out of each other at Crown Jewel, but if they don’t get it together tonight they’ve got no chance against, seven-time tag team champions, The Usos. McIntyre agreed and said Reigns must be worried about them if he’d sent Jimmy and Jey over. They had a cheesy handshake and parted laughing.
♦ Bobby Lashley is unsurprisingly upset about Goldberg threatening his life. The crowd were unimpressed, moving from ‘What’ calls to ‘Goldberg’ chants and back He challenged him to a No Holds Barred match because… I’m not quite sure but it was something about Goldberg being a rabid dog who needs to be put down. Terrible promo, not helped by the crowd. When’s MVP back?
♦ Sasha Banks is no happier about the tag match than Charlotte Flair. She’s expecting Bianca Belair to follow her lead because she’s the boss. She’s going to wait for Becky Lynch and Flair to implode and beat them then go on to beat Lynch and Belair at Crown Jewel.
♦ Jeff Hardy vs Austin Theory was Hardy’s chance to teach the upstart some manners. They got interrupted by the 24/7 title race. Theory let himself get distracted by R-Truth and took a Twist of Fate. He was quick enough to move away from the Swanton Bomb and pinned him with a roll-up and a handful of Hardy’s belt.
♦ Bianca Belair is no happier than the other two. She and Charlotte Flair have different ideas about what it takes to be a winner. Flair cheats. Sasha Banks wants her to follow her lead, but she beat her at WrestleMania. And she’ll never forget what Lynch did to her at SummerSlam but it’s only going to take her thirty seconds to knock her back to Becky no belts. After what happened on Friday, maybe a double pin is in their future, or maybe that’ll be for Flair and Lynch tonight.
♦ The New Day just repeated ‘Who’ at Kevin Patrick when he tried again to ask them about facing each other before Jinder Mahal, with Veer and Shanky, vs Kofi Kingston, with Xavier Woods – King of the Ring Round One – began. Woods stayed at ringside to offset the presence of Veer and Shanky. He was needed as a backup but got flattened and Kingston chose to save him rather than a focus. That didn’t work out for Mahal, but he caught Kingston coming off the top rope and delivered the Khallas for the win.
Xavier Woods now faces Jinder Mahal in the semi-finals.
♦ Becky Lynch said everyone else had said their piece while she was out of earshot and that’s ok. She’s beaten them all and kept raising the bar. She’s always five steps ahead. Teaming with Charlotte Flair is about as repulsive as the lingering smell of piss in an alley, but she’ll lead her team to victory because that’s what she does. She wins. And she’ll walk out of Crown Jewel the same way she walked in.
Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair vs Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair was always going to be a waiting game to see who was going to punch their teammate first. Except we didn’t have to wait for the bell because Belair and Banks got into it over who was going to start and Banks grabbed the braid. Lynch shoved Belair while her attention was on Banks. They crashed into Flair and knocked her off the apron while she was trying to walk out, and it was immediately everyone punch the person nearest. Three very ineffectual officials tried to persuade them to stop, but after Banks and Belair were tossed to the outside, Flair kicked Lynch in the face.
There was sort of a bit of teamwork, when Belair threw Banks to the outside, onto Flair and Lynch, but Banks wasn’t necessarily a willing missile.
Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville came to the stage, yelled at them, and ordered them back into the ring for the match. As we went to the break, a teammate was fighting another teammate.
The most resentful tag match ever started after the break, with a lot of side-eye between teammates. Flair and Banks started. Lynch had to tag herself in and Flair wasn’t happy. Banks ignored Belair’s calls for a tag for ages. She also threw Belair off the turnbuckle after tagging herself in. That would have gone worse if Flair and Lynch hadn’t argued for so long she was able to give Flair a backstabber.
It all went wrong then. Lynch and Banks started fighting until Belair came back and dropped Banks on the corner with a double chicken wing facebuster… at which point the ref gave up and called it a no contest.
Becky Lynch was the last woman standing in the resulting scrap.
♦ The Usos confirmed backstage with Roman Reigns that they were on track with their mission, which appears to be to have Drew McIntyre and Big E at each other’s throats.
♦ Doudrop vs Natalya – Queen’s Crown Tournament Round One – was interesting for the three minutes it lasted. Doudrop smacked Natalya in the face while she was setting up for a Sharpshooter and pinned her with a roll-up.
Doudrop vs Shayna Baszler in the semis.
♦ Rhea Ripley and Nikki A.S.H. interrupted John Morrison’s meditation, so it looks like we might be getting a toned-down version of Morrison. That would be a relief.
♦ Austin Theory snapped a selfie with Big E backstage, without permission.
♦ Mustafa Ali called Mansoor a giant waste of time and said he doesn’t deserve to be there. Without him, he’s going to get eaten alive and he can’t wait to see it. He called him a loser, and then nothing, he left. Mansoor started to tell Kevin Patrick he would talk to Ali later, so Ali decided to beat the message to him. Officials were calling for a medic by the time he left.
♦ Big E & Drew McIntyre vs The Usos was the main event of the evening. It’s nice to get something different and it was a great match. The Usos are one of the best teams in the world, and Big E and McIntyre did exactly what they said they would and put their differences aside.
Big E got caught in the Uso corner after taking a kick in the head. It got worse for him going into the ads when he headbutted the apron instead of the Uso he was aiming at and got thrown into the steps. After the break, it looked like there wasn’t much more E could take. He found the burst of energy, created some space with a suplex and tagged in a more than ready McIntyre.
An unseen tag cost McIntyre a superkick to the head, and two more almost kept him down. Big E tagged himself in just as McIntyre finished the Claymore countdown. He almost got pinned off a couple of superkicks and McIntyre didn’t move to stop it. With his eyes on McIntyre, Jey Uso went to the top, but Big E evaded the splash.
Jey kicking Big E away from a Big Ending shoved him into McIntyre, who fell off the apron. Big E gave Jey the Sit Down, but McIntyre pulled him off the cover and out of the ring, already bleeding from the head. Big E got counted out while they were beating each other up outside the ring. They only stopped when they got flattened by flying Usos, then they got beaten up by the Usos instead.
The Usos took ringside suplexes so Big E and McIntyre could go back to beating each other up in the ring. McIntyre finished it with a Claymore.
A decent episode of RAW, mostly free from repetition to the point of monotony. They’re selling the hell out of Crown Jewel, presumably in the hope people will forget that the PPV is ethically questionable. There is a major problem with the way WWE treat the women’s division outside of the main title picture. These super-short matches border on the #GiveDivasAChance era, and that’s just not good enough.