The season premiere of WWE Monday Night Raw began with the commentary team of Samoa Joe, Byron Saxton and Tom Phillips talking about this Sundays upcoming Hell in a Cell pay per view among other sings until the red lights of The Fiend came on and they were interrupted. Alexa Bliss then was shown in the middle of the ring and introduced the Fiend who came out to his dynamic entrance. After the lights returned to normal and the pair were shown in the middle of the ring holding hands, Retribution then entered the arena led by Mustafa Ali. They circled the ring while the Fiend and Bliss stood still and showed no emotion at all. Retribution then entered and Ali turned off the lights and it sounded like they tried to attack Bliss and the Fiend. They failed though because when visual returned the sinister pair disappeared without a trace. Retributions rivals the Hurt Business then entered the arena and the factions began to brawl unofficially. This was quite the eventful start to the show.
An official match between Retribution and the Hurt Business then began with Lashley and T-Bar (still a terrible name) being the first in for their respective teams. Ali when in this match fought a lot differently than we are accustomed to in an extremely aggressive and even dirty manner fully embracing and committing to his new role. The two teams in full forced faced off outside at one point during the match and while this happened the Fiend music played and the Fiend was shown on the TitanTron but the two factions in action ignored this for the most part. The match continued until Lashley put T-Bar in the Hurt Lock and made T-Bar tap out. While Ali was shown confused over the defeat the lights went out and the Fiend reappeared and attacked Ali and the rest of Retribution, running through the four main male members of the faction and after he finished the Hurt Business were shown side by side watching the carnage until our attention turned to the TitanTron where Bliss was shown and a deep male auto tune voice said “Let Me In” while Bliss synced her lips to it.
The phenomenal AJ Styles then entered the ring ahead of his match with Matt Riddle, but he did not enter alone. Styles was joined by Jordan Omogbehin. Omogbehin has worked on RAW recently as both the giant ninja that served Akira Tozawa as well as the security guard for Shane McMahon’s RAW underground. Styles then ranted about how RAW finally drafted a real leader and he threw some shade at Seth Rollins and Jeff Hardy, the two he beat on the last SmackDown. Riddle then entered interrupting Styles and when the match was about to begin Omogbehin refused to leave the ring leading to a standoff between the referee and Omogbehin. Styles was threatened disqualification if Omogbehin did not move to ringside. Omogbehin eventually left the ring moving to the outside of it but remained a factor as most managers do. Early on we saw Riddle stop an attack to Styles from the outside of the ring apron because the giant Omogbehin got in his path causing Riddle to back off. The match ended when Riddle and Styles both fell from the top turnbuckle with Styles falling in the ring and Riddle out. Omogbehin stood over Riddle and when Riddle got to his feet to face him Omogbehin clenched his fist causing Riddle to flee back into the ring right into a waiting Styles who delivered a Styles Clash followed by a pin winning the match. Omogbehin entered the ring as Styles celebrated and just stood behind Styles in support. Styles has quite the intimidating pawn now if that is their relationship.
Charly Caruso then attempted to interview Drew McIntyre and McIntyre was game for an interview but instead politely asked for the mic and for sole focus so he could rip a closeup promo to Randy Orton ahead of their third and hopefully final title match in their series at Hell in a Cell. McIntyre put on a great promo in my opinion and I really hope after Sunday he remains the champion, but I do not think that is the case. The promo ended with the ultimate swagger move the mic drop.
The RAW Women’s Championship happened next where Asuka faced a seemingly inferior Lana. Asuka made quick work of Lana, making her tap out in minutes. After the short match, the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler arrived attacking both but Asuka was able to escape with minimal damage. Jax then broke a promo with Baszler with her where they issued an open challenge. Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke then answered, followed by the new random tag team of Peyton Royce and Lacey Evans, lastly followed by Riott Squad. A four-way tag match then began but a non-title bout. Jax and Baszler won when Baszler stopped Ruby Riott from pinning Evans and used her Kirifuda Clutch on Riott to put her out she then threw her in the ring. Jax then tagged Riott to put herself in the match and used a Samoan Drop on Evans to finish the match.
Elias then entered with his band and they gave an actual performance playing songs from their upcoming album. It was very strange watching Elias playing actual music with a non-acoustic guitar and without being interrupted at all. Elias was good and when he finished, he antagonized the audience, and he was about to give an encore when a hooded man started shredding on his guitar. The man revealed himself as Hardy and tried to take out Elias with his own guitar but missed and the fight stopped there.
Miz and Morrison were then shown backstage talking about the nerve of Rose saying last week they were being petty. Tucker then came and accused them of separating himself and Rose from Otis just to hurt Otis and even challenged the pair. They accepted but laughed when they said they would fight him and no one since Tuckers partner Otis is on the SmackDown roster.
The RAW Tag Team Champions the New Day, Xavier Woods, and Kofi Kingston, then entered the ring ahead of a singles match where Kofi Kingston fought Sheamus. Before New Day spoke and the match began Elias was stopped by Caruso and he was enraged that he is still getting interrupted and challenged Hardy to a match at Hell in a Cell. New Day then broke a promo and were eventually interrupted by Sheamus who attacked the pair for being only two parts of New Day and proclaimed that New Day is done since Big E is on SmackDown. Woods and Kingston then said New Day is still together and that Big E is simply representing New Day on the blue brand alone for now and they are holding down the red brand RAW. Kingston and Sheamus then battled in quite a war and Kingston was triumphant when he landed the Trouble in Paradise to finish Sheamus right in front of his partner Woods who heckled Sheamus as he was being pinned. Kingston and Woods of the New Day continued to rock.
Ali then did a promo backstage with the rest of Retribution behind him and he talked about why he formed Retribution and even revealed he was the Hacker on Smackdown! Titus O’Neil then went up to the Hurt Business and asked to join and MVP turned to confer said nothing then said they were in Business. Titus thought this meant this was wrong, MVP then said no “we are in business” referring to himself. Cedric Alexander then attacked Titus and the rest of Hurt Business followed suit.
Miz and Morrison then were shown in the ring and Tucker came out and announced his partner a great luchador and then the luchador came out in a luchador mask and a cap and Tucker called him El Gran Gordo. Miz and Morrison then said it was just Otis in disguise and without out them pointing that out and Otis holding his money in the bank lunchbox I would not have figured it out! Just kidding it was obvious and it was meant to be, and I personally found it hilarious. The teams then exchanged promos before the encounter led to action where Heavy Machinery attacked Miz and Morrison throwing them out of the ring ahead of their official tag match. Otis, I mean El Gran Gordo got the win for his team even with the distraction of Gulak, Tozawa and Lucha House Party chasing the 24/7 champion R Truth by ringside. El Gran Gordo, Tucker, Kingston, Woods, and Rose then celebrated backstage with a Gordo rocks song and a ham from Rose.
An episode of Firefly Funhouse on the TitanTron then began and Bray Wyatt talked about how great it was to be on RAW making new friends. He then talked about being nicer to Ramblin’ Rabbit right before Mercy the Buzzard ate the Rabbit yet again and Wyatt made a joke about his death. The segment ended with a knock on the door of the Funhouse. Bray Wyatt then opened the door welcoming Alexa Bliss into the Funhouse for the first time.
A man awfully familiar with The Fiend Bray Wyatt then entered the ring ahead of his rematch with the Limitless Keith Lee. Strowman beat Lee easily getting the win in five minutes, but after the match Lee came from behind Strowman and delivered a low blow, and then proclaimed quite a few things so this rivalry was far from over.
The red cell that we would see on Sunday then lowered and Orton entered it with a lone chair as he delivered a counter promo to McIntyre. He ran through all his accomplishments in Hell in a Cell matches and went through what a legend and legendary moment until he was interrupted by McIntyre. McIntyre then went to the cage and tried entering it, but it was locked. Orton kept challenging him to get him and McIntyre then went and grabbed bolt cutters from behind the barricade. As McIntyre opened it Orton went to the ring and grabbed his chair preparing for a fight as McIntyre closed the cage door and proclaimed, “Your ass belongs to me!”
Follow me on Twitter! @juicecannon1