On the heels of another great Monday Night Raw, the show begins and ends with the Universal and Raw Women’s title scene. That opening of Raw starting with Asuka, Bayley and Sasha was phenomenal! Those ladies have absolute disdain for each other and it shows. It took multiple referees to pull them apart before they could even get the segment going. Samoa Joe being the professional that he is on the microphone pulls you in to let you know that Raw is starting with a double contract signing, queue Ziggler to interrupt as always with McIntyre following. Ziggler once again proves why he deserves this title shot stating that there would be no McIntyre without him and that he has been the workhorse of the WWE this whole time. Without contact both Ziggler and McIntyre sign the contract for their match at Extreme Rules: Horror Show. McIntyre tells Ziggler you’re right I was fired but I had to scratch and claw my way back to the top instead of just demanding to be at the top. Then out of nowhere McIntyre hands Ziggler the ‘golden ticket,’ Ziggler is allowed to choose the stipulation of the match. Holy crow! In what world does a champion give their opponent the chance to have a match that caters to their own strength? If I was not excited for this match, I am more excited now. Ziggler is the perfect opponent for McIntyre at this time. He has the promo skills to go against Mcintyre, and might I add outshine him, and he is definitely the workhorse in WWE where anything you throw at him is gold.
Now, as stated above this is a double contract with Asuka, Bayley and Sasha sitting and waiting very patiently I might add for their turn. Well, Asuka has had enough and interrupts Ziggler’s rebuttal to McIntyre. Speaking in her mother tongue no one is too sure what she is saying but does it really matter, she gets her point across, less talking more action. She quickly signs the contract. Sasha being a gem on the microphone lets everyone know why she is the boss and that she is going to become Banks 2 Belts (please can we stop this, I’m begging). As every contract signing goes in WWE, it ends combustible! The ladies come to blows again. Leaving McIntyre and Ziggler just standing there watching for a second until Ziggler finds the opportune moment for a distraction and tries for the Superkick. McIntyre is no fool and blocks it. McIntyre then attempts the Claymore with Ziggler wisely rolling out of the ring. Neither made contact with each other during this segment and I loved that!
With how dynamic the opening segment started out the match was quickly made for the end of Raw, Champions vs Challengers, McIntyre and Asuka vs Ziggler and Sasha. I was not overly excited for this match; mixed tag is just a singles match with 2 opponents on either side of the ring. This match was very heated with Asuka almost putting Sasha in the Asuka Lock a couple times. On the last attempt, Sasha breaks free and rolls Asuka up for the win. Why are we having the challenger pin the champion in a one off match? Minus shenanigans here and there, these champions should never come to blows with each other until Extreme Rules: Horror Show!
Peppered within Raw was The Big Show attempting to call out Randy Orton. He takes the tag match spot of Monday Night Raw to call out Randy. Zelina never to be outshined immediately interrupts Show with Andrade and Garza. When it looks like the wolves will attack, Ric Flair comes out to inform Show that he has no chance against ‘The Legend Killer’ Randy Orton then hands Big Show back to Andrade and Garza to soften him up. This doesn’t happen since the Viking Raiders music hits after the commercial break the tag team match between Garza/Andrade and Viking Raiders is under way. Zelina still has a lot of work with her team in trying to keep them together. Half way through the match Andrade becomes upset with Garza and tried to leave. Zelina works her magic and gets Andrade to get back on the same page to finish the match. This partnership panned out with Garza pinning Erik after connecting with the Wing Clipper. Backstage Flair informs Zelina, Garza and Andrade that they have a handicap match with Big Show later in the night. Unless it’s a gauntlet match or a person needs to win multiple matches’ throughout the evening to win a title, I don’t want to see any of the wrestlers in two different matches. I know in the current landscape that WWE is in that this was most likely required to order to fill the full three hours but I’m not sold.
The match against Big Show later in the night shows that Garza and Andrade still cannot work together. This time Garza walks out, not even Zelina could keep him by the ring. Andrade is alone to deal with Big Show and it did not end well. The match ends with a choke slam for the win and then Andrade falls victim to a KO Punch. Great win for Big Show who still really wants to find Orton.
Now, where does this leave with us with Zelinas’ faction? Andrade and Garza can’t seem to work together does this spell the end? Yes, please! Andrade vs Garza is definitely a trilogy of matches that I would love to see. So many dynamics within it; who does Zelina decide to corner, which will come out as the star Andrade or Garza? Garza is the stand out of the two. His backstage segments with Charly are entertaining and he has the charisma to be a stand-alone star.
Rolling on with Monday Night Raw, we have Seth Rollins (carrying Rey’s mask) and Murphy coming out to the ring to deliver a message to Rey. Rollins is asking Rey for forgiveness for what he will have to do to the masked man in the future. Rey and Dominick pop up on the screen to answer back to Rollins. Rey turns the tide and tells Dominick that needs forgiveness from him for what he will have to do to Rollins. Payback is the worst! Out come Umberto and Black to challenge Rollins and Murphy to a tag match. This match ends with Rollins being victorious over Umberto. Rollins continues on his attempt to sacrifice others for a better Monday Night. Tonight, it was Umberto’s turn. Rollins places Rey’s mask on Umberto and tries to go after the eye on the steel steps. Black quickly breaks this up but Rollins gets the exclamation point with a curb stomp to Umberto off the top of the steel steps. He then quickly gets out of dodge. Can I just add, we don’t not deserve with Rollins we are getting. The work he is providing is magic, it draws you in and you believe everything he says and does.
Returning back to the screen is Ruby Riott who has a run in with the IIconics backstage. The IIconics pull a mean girls act on her but Ruby gets the last laugh asking for a match and pulling out the IIconics catchphrase against them. Prior to the match we get an interaction backstage between Lana and Ruby. Lana starts to hype up Natalya, letting her know that she has the most wins out of any other women’s wrestler on the roster. Ruby does not seem too impressed. Is Lana try to recruit and create a women’s factions? Yes, please again! These ladies need to start working together to build each other up instead of playing the mean girls and tearing each other down. Very excited to see where this goes. In the ring is a different story; Peyton pulls out the win over Ruby after a devastating spinning brain buster.
Last interesting tidbits from Monday Night Raw! R Truth retains his 24/7-championship belt against Tozawa. Backstage Truth runs into Crews, Ricochet and Cedric Alexander. This becomes an interesting partnership since we have seen MVP trying to recruit Crews over the last couple weeks. Is Crews working on a faction or just hanging out?
Crew being the fighting champion that he is has another match against MVP in a non-title match. Crews has been stating all along that he does not need a manager but MVP proves that may not be true getting the victory over Crews. Lashley is never far from MVP’s side and gets into the ring to apply the Full Nelson submission onto Crews. The partnership from the locker room helps Crews because here comes Alexander and Ricochet to help Crews. This leads to a match between Lashley and Ricochet. Ricochet has the speed on Lashley but once Lashley got his hands on him, poor Ricochet was done. He ends up tapping to the Full Nelson to end the match. To add the exclamation point, Alexander finds himself in the Full Nelson as well. If you would like more wrestling insight from myself check out @ms_wiper on Twitter.