Anyone who watches wrestling knows that last week’s episode was one of the worst. With horrible storytelling, the heels having no opposition, and creative having no idea what story they wanted to tell with the majority of the women’s roster, last weeks episode is best left forgotten. Did Vince McMahon learn from last week’s mistakes?
The show this week did not start with a long promo that overstayed its welcome. Instead, the show started with Rousey’s music. She hit the ring for a tag team match with Natalya, facing off against Tamina and Nia Jax, who was Rousey’s challenger at the TLC PPV this month. Before the match began, the Riott Squad created enough distraction for Rousey to get assaulted from behind by Jax and Tamina. The match never began, as the Riott Squad put Natalya through a table and out of action.
With Natalya out of action, the match was ruled a no contest. In a backstage segment, Rousey told Alexa Bliss, who runs the women’s division, that she wanted to get her hands on everyone involved in the attack. Bliss informed Rousey that she had sent the Riott Squad home for their attack on Natalya. Rousey could face Jax and Tamina if she could find a partner. This led to Rousey choosing Ember Moon as her partner for the main event.
This segment was a breath of fresh air from the long-winded promos that usually begin the show. The Riott Squad continues to be one of the best but least-rewarded aspects of the Raw women’s roster. Ruby Riott is a fresh face, and her chemistry with Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan, as well as her in-ring performance, should send her to the top sooner or later. This segment with Jax and Tamina was a setup to putting them in the main event against Rousey and Ember Moon.
The next segment was another wasted open forum, run by Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Alexa Bliss. It ended with the entrance of Alicia Fox, Mickie James, and Dana Brooke, just for Alexa Bliss to set up a tag team match with Mickie James and Alicia Fox facing off against Sasha and Bayley.
The main takewaway of this segment was Bayley mentioning for the first time, to my knowledge, wanting herself and Sasha to be the first ever Women’s Tag Team champions. WWE is slowly but surely planting the seeds for a women’s tag division. This is something the WWE universe has been clamoring for; it would be a big step towards putting the women’s division on equal footing with the men’s division.
Sasha and Bayley got the unsurprising win. The strange part is that Alexa Bliss seemingly played the face against her former cohorts. Alexa once led Alicia and Mickie, before her concussions put her out of action. Now she is starting to find her footing as the mouthpiece of the women’s division, and that could provide a nice reprieve from Corbin’s antics.
In the next segment, Scott Dawson of The Revival faced off against Lucha House Party in a 3-on-1 handicap match. The whole concept of Lucha House rules is not entertaining, and does not give Lucha House Party any face points. Instead, The Revival are starting to become a little sympathetic, which it is doubtful WWE wants to happen. To no one’s surprise, Dawson got the loss.
Next, Corbin entered the ring for Drew McIntyre Appreciation Night. Drew joined Corbin in the ring and talked about his dominance. Ziggler entered shortly after to confront his former partner. McIntyre did the usual heel thing, saying he was using Ziggler. Ziggler hit a Zig-Zag on McIntyre, leading to a match between the two.
Next, Finn Balor came out to distract McIntyre. This led to Ziggler getting the win. It was an entertaining match, and the idea of the Scottish Psychopath gunning for Balor is intriguing.
The following segment might have been my favorite of the night. Elias started addressing Bobby Lashley, before Lio Rush and Lashley interrupted with mockery. Elias gave chase; Lashley fought back but got overpowered, and both Rush and Lashley ran away. Rush was then thrown back onto the ramp by Finn Balor, while Elias hit Rush in the back with his guitar. Balor and Elias shared a look of respect as the segment ended. It was a fun segment that teased Balor teaming up with Elias to take down Corbin, McIntyre, and Lashley.
The following segment was another dud. Bobby Roode went head to head with the Authors of Pain’s manager, Drake Maverick. If Roode won, he and Chad Gable would get another chance at AOP. This confrontation was another way to add heat to Corbin, because AOP attacking Gable and Corbin promised a 3 on 2 handicap.
The result was typical. AOP ended up dominating and defeating Roode and Gable. AOP are beginning to lose the dominance they enjoyed in NXT, and I hope that changes.
Next up was Dean Ambrose’s promo detailing his plans for Seth Rollins. It was a decent promo, but nowhere close to his best work. I’m still missing some real insight to why Ambrose is targeting Rollins. Rollins came out to confront Ambrose, but once again, Ambrose got the upper hand and left on top. This match has a lot of potential, but the germaphobe angle on Ambrose does not create the heel everyone wanted.
I’m not even going to talk about the Heath Slater match, in which Rhyno got fired. It was a waste of time and accomplished nothing. It was the worst segment of the night.
The second-to-last match was Finn Balor taking on Jinder Mahal. This match was nothing to write home about. Apollo Crews helped to even the score for Balor, and Balor got the win. The best part happened in the backstage area, with Drew McIntyre blindsiding Balor. It showcased McIntyre’s brutality and reinforced his nickname, the Scottish Psychopath. His psychotic look was believable and gave the program great potential.
Following from the broken opening segment, the main event featured Ronda Rousey and Ember Moon taking on Nia Jax and Tamina. The latter jumped Rousey in the ring before Moon could enter, but Rousey and Moon were able to fight off the assault, and the match officially began. Rousey and Moon got the win, giving Moon a chance to shine in the main event. The biggest story was Jax’s fear to face off with Rousey, which caused her to essentially abandon Tamina. I’m curious to see if Tamina will confront Jax about that.
Overall, this wasn’t a great Monday Night Raw, but it was head and shoulders above last week’s episode. It’s a step in the right direction. Every story progressed; however, there were plenty of wasted and pointless segments. It’s hard to fill three hours; but repeated matches or segments that were supposed to be funny ultimately missed the mark. With the go-home show for TLC being next week, expect a lot of promos and not too many matches. The PPV is looking to be a pretty decent one and unpredictable.