Monday Night Raw from the Performance Centre in Orlando had a lot going on last night so bare with me as I comb through.
The show opens up with the United States Championship match between the real champion Apollo Crews and the self-proclaimed champion MVP. During the entrances the commentating team right away state that there is in climate weather that is the reason for the power outages going on this evening. MVP comes out with his new faction, Hurt Business. This match was really good, Crews had to overcome Bobby Lashley interference to retain his title. Crews walks out with both titles. Backstage Crews talks with Charly Caruso to tell a great redemption story about his family and sitting at home watching MVP parade around with a title that was not his. As a viewer I am now invested in Crews since I can now relate to a story and not just a good guy with a great smile. MVP, still ringside, is very upset about losing the match and asks the commentary team about the unsafe working conditions with the lights flickering and the mic cutting in and out. He demands a rematch against Crews at Summerslam.
Backstage we see Kevin Owens looking for a water bottle when he runs into the IIconics who request to be on the KO Show. He says sorry ladies I already have a guest, maybe next time. The KO Show starts with the continuation of the technical difficulties on the mic. His guest for the evening is Ruby Riott who gives a heartfelt speech about finally winning a match but wishing Liv Morgan would have been there to celebrate with her. Cue KO interrupting stating well actually shes the special guest tonight, Morgan comes out to the ring. KO states that friendship like theres is too good to throw away over titles to get to the top like he has done. Riott apologizes to Morgan and both have tears running down their faces. This Dr. Phil segment is interrupted by the IIconics who hilariously state that Morgan should have stayed in the bathtub! The altercation leads to a match to showcase the better friendship/tag team. Morgan pulls out the quick win Billie Kay. The IIconics try for a double team on Morgan but Riott comes into the ring to even the score and save Morgan. The Riott Squad maybe back together as a tag team which is desperately needed to go against Bayley and Sasha Banks.
Drew McIntyre comes out to the ring in a face-to-face segment against Randy Orton. McIntyre starts off in the ring alone delivering a powerful and moving speech about his struggles when he first started with WWE and he didn’t have all the chances that Orton had because of his family connections. Orton was shown the business and had people looking out for him the whole time, McIntyre did not have the same experience and that’s why he was fired and clawed his way back to the top. The RKO he received last week was the first and the last time it will happen. I ask how he knows since it is always out of nowhere, how can you predict something so unpredictable that makes the RKO so good. Orton comes out with Ric Flair. Sorry, side note why is Flair back already, has it been 2 weeks already? Orton rebuttals McIntyre from the top of the apron, he is still in WWE because he enjoys it. The reason he had chances after chances is because he was more valuable, drew more people than McIntyre ever could or would. McIntyre is now fired up and places the title belt on the floor of the ring. He calls Orton out for not being a leader in the back to help the younger talent out. Can we please stop placing the championship titles on the floor? That is disrespectful to something that is supposed to be so prestigious. You throw garbage on the floor not championship belts, wear it on your shoulder or waist, stand up straight and show some pride!
Nia Jax is talking backstage to the WWE official she attacked the week before. In the ring, she is to deliver an apology. There is a stipulation to this apology and that is a match between him and Jax. Is this WWE testing the waters to intergender? The answer to the intergender question is no because the official indefinitely suspends Jax without pay. Jax is so confused and upset that she attacks the official again while the crowd sings ‘Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye.’ I’m sure about this angle if it’s hiding an injury on Jax or just a way to write her off the show for a bit. Time will tell how this enfolds.
Earlier in the show backstage we see Bayley and Banks being their annoying selves clapping the belts together. Again, show some respect for the titles you are scratching the snot out of them every time you do that. They show some new video package about how great they are. Whoever the video editor on that video was needs a raise because it ends with Asuka chirping Banks! The Golden Role Models have Asuka and also Shayna Baszler to contend with as she confronted them backstage and states shes tired of waiting in line for a title shot. She decks Banks in the face that looked very real I might add. This turns into a match later in the evening. Holy crow; sign me up for a trilogy of Banks versus Baszler! This match was hard hitting, counters galore and showcased how physically strong Baszler is. Asuka comes out and attacks Bayley from behind, direct retaliation for last week; this leads to a disqualification on Baszler somehow. If someone can explain why this was a disqualification please, please let me know because I am stumped. Asuka alone in the ring wants a rematch against Banks at Summerslam. Banks accepts the challenge if Asuka can defeat Bayley next week. Are more cracks showing up between the Golden Role Models or just swerves? Baszler waiting in the wings lets Asuka know that she is cheering for her for the sole reason to take the title away from her! I hope that we can remake the magic of Baszler and Asuka from NXT on WWE television!
We have a double header of single matches coming up between Angel Garza and Andrade and the Street Profits. We have a cameo by a girl from The Bachelor talking to Garza and receiving a rose from him. I don’t know anything about this girl, did she get booted before she could receive a rose so Garza is her conciliation, for some reason that thought made me laugh. Zelina of course is against the distraction of Garza entertaining another lady. The Street Profits come out first and skip through the crowd. I don’t know how I feel about his, I know it’s their gimmick but with events that just unfolded a couple weeks ago, I’m on the fence about them continuing this so soon. Maybe I’m the minority here. The first match starts out with Angelo Dawkins against Garza. Montez Ford and Andrade are ringside. In a strange turn of events, Ford collapses ringside which distracts Dawkins to give Garza the win. Ford is looked over by the medical staff and somehow cleared to compete in his match against Andrade. Ford gets on a highflying roll and has Andrade lain out on the floor. He goes for his patented Warrior up on the top rope when he collapses again. The referee immediately calls the match and calls for a doctor. Backstage Charly is outside the trainer/doctors room trying to get some answers. Zelina and the boys stroll up to see what is going on and what will happen at Summerslam. Dawkins says they don’t know but they believe Ford has been poisoned. Bianca Belair shows up and immediately gets in Zelina’s face wanting to know what the poison was so that they can treat her man. Zelina plays dumb to the whole thing. Belair is done with games, removes her earrings and goes after Zelina. Wow, what a turn of events there. Belair just needs to be let loose on the women’s division.
Earlier in the show we are informed that the reason for the power outages is that some boxes were knocked over. MVP is still on a rampage after his loss to Crews. Shelton Benjamin runs up to MVP and says that his 24/7 Championship has been stolen. Later on there is a triple threat match between R Truth, Akira Tozawa and Benjamin. R Truth runs out to the ring with the belt chased by Tozawa and the ninjas. Tozawa ends up becoming 24/7 Champion after an assist from the Hurt Business on the ninjas and laying out Truth in the ring. He quickly darts out of the ring area. We also get some more clarification of another group of people out back on video footage throwing Molotov cocktails onto a generator. Not to sure where the power outages are going but I’ll wait before I pass judgment.
Sarah talks to Dominik Mysterio backstage about family pride and the reason he still shows up at Raw every week. Mysterio says it sounds crazy but he wants a match against Seth Rollins at Summerslam. Backstage again later in the evening Murphy is watching his dirty work on Aleister Black from the week prior. Rollins is proud of Murphy for doing what needed to be done but their work is not done and they need to head to the ring to finish the job. In the ring, Rollins calls out Tom Phillips for egging Mysterio on all last week with the kendo stick. He was being bias and doing a bad job on commentary. Doing a bad job means you are a liability to Monday Night Raw and Rollins’ cause and you need to be replaced. Rollins sends Murphy to grab Phillips but Samoa Joe who stands up for this colleague quickly stops that. Rollins and Murphy run into the quick to attack Joe. Somehow Rollins and Murphy have chairs in their hands but Mysterio shows up with a kendo stick to take out Rollins and Murphy. Mysterio is on a roll beating up the Monday Night Messiah and his messiah. The segment ends with Rollins accepting the match at Summerslam. The only question I have is why in the heck did Joe go and sit down right away when Mysterio came in with the kendo stick. He left him short handed! Mysterio came out on top but that could have gone sideways real quick.
The highlight of the night was what Shane McMahon was up to, he was doing Raw underground during the last hour. This was a gritty, riske version of fight club. There was a ring with no ropes. Down there was straight up mat wrestling where the wrestlers would go until someone couldn’t take the heat anymore. Highlights from that were Erik from the Viking Raiders and Dolph Ziggler taking out some random talent. The Hurt Business still steamed about losing their gold invade the Underground and take out everyone down there. The Underground is now under new management and that is the Hurt Business. I’m not too sure on Underground, its an interesting concept but I need to digest a couple more segments before passing judgment.
Next weeks Raw is shaping up to be good as well with the announcement of Orton against Owens as well as Asuka versus Bayley. Please follow @ms_wiper for more wrestling insight and check out @puttinguover for wrestling talk and interviews!