Tonight’s RAW kicks off right away with a big match with huge implications. To determine who will face AJ Styles and Omos for the RAW Tag Team Championships, in an over the top Battle Royale, five teams will face each other: The New Day, Viking Raiders, Mace and T-Bar, Lucha House Party, and RK-Bro. Before the match the Tag Team Champions come out to give us a State of the Tag Team Division address. Styles runs down the list of all the competing teams and gives reasons why all of them would be great challengers for the tag titles. One thing of note, Lince Dorado will have to go at it alone as his tag partner Gran Metalik is injured. We are not done filling the ring as John Morrison comes out wheeling an injured Miz. Morrison will also enter the Battle Royale for his team, that is after he makes sure The Miz is safe. Before we head to break RK-Bro drops New Day and Lince Dorado with RKOs. It took the whole field to eliminate Mace and T-Bar. The two men without teammates, John Morrison and Lince Dorado are disposed easily. In the closing moments of the match Kofi hit Trouble in Paradise on an already eliminated Riddle which allows Orton to eliminate Kofi but then the Viking Raiders come from behind to dump Orton and earn the right to face Styles and Omos at Hell in a Cell. Even the commentators are confused about the ending.
Charlotte Flair asks Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville to strike her loss against Nikki Cross from her record to which they deny. Charlotte throws a tantrum to the delight of Raw Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley. Rhea says she actually respects Cross which is why she is asking for a match against her tonight. Sonya Deville goes above that to make a match, Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley vs. Nikki Cross and a partner of her choosing.
Elias is out to explain why he abandoned his teammate Jaxson Ryker during their tag match last week on Raw. To Elias, he didn’t see Ryker as a guy who would have his back the same way he supposedly would have Ryker’s. Suddenly Elias is attacked from behind by Jaxson Ryker and officials come down to the ring to separate the two before we go to commercial. When we come back from break we have a match between both men. Honestly, this is the most I’ve ever paid attention to Ryker and he wasn’t that bad. The offense was 80% Ryker with Elias playing the heel using tactics like gouging at Ryker’s beard to escape danger. When things seemed to be getting a little too hot for Elias he high tails it out of there and takes a count out defeat. I hate count outs and Elias is the bad guy so in a wrestling sense, it works.
It’s time for another WWE contract signing. This one is to make the match for the WWE Championship at Hell in a Cell official. The Champ Bobby Lashley is late to the party which gives Drew McIntyre some time to tell a Scottish folktale, to be honest I tuned that part out. Finally Lashley comes down to the ring and we can get things started. Both men have clauses to put in the contract. Bobby wants it in writing that if Drew loses he can never challenge Lashley for the title again. Drew’s clause is he would like the match to take place inside Hell in a Cell where no one but the competitors can affect the outcome of the match. Both men accept the clauses and the match is made official. Lashley goes back to partying with his entourage until Drew breaks out a sword, smashes the table with it, and scares everyone.
Nikki Cross has found her partner for tonight, that being Asuka.
US Champion Sheamus comes down to get a ringside view of the match between Ricochet and Humberto Carrillo, the winner will face Sheamus for the US Championship. Speaking of “face” it looks like Sheamus has a new accessory thanks to Humberto shattering his nose last week. The match itself was fantastic. Both men with similar high flying ability went out there and showed they can do more than fly around the ring. The shots were stiff. So stiff in fact that an apron Spanish Fly took out both men enough for a double count-out. So do they both get a shot at the US Championship?
Backstage MVP approaches Kofi Kingston and takes a stroll down memory lane reminiscing about KofiMania culminating at WrestleMania. As important as that moment was to MVP, he wonders why it abruptly ended. To MVP Kofi just doesn’t have the drive Lashley does to be WWE Champion again. Is WWE planting seeds for a New Day breakup?
Next week Eva Marie debuts on Raw! Are you excited for an EVAlution?
Jeff Hardy defeated Cedric Alexander
Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair vs. Nikki Cross and Asuka: This match turned into Charlotte and Rhea trying to one up each other while Nikki and Asuka worked really well as a team. Even when you thought they could put their differences behind them it lasted for about five seconds before both women started throwing shots at each other. Things reach a boiling point when Charlotte hits Natural Selection allowing Nikki Cross to pin Rhea for the win.
Mansoor defeated Drew Gulak after reversing a pin cover where Gulak tried using the tights. Just like Mustafa Ali said he would.
Kofi Kingston defeated Riddle in a really fun match. Teaming with Orton may be rubbing off on Riddle as he is way more aggressive and even down right mean. Riddle hits Orton’s Hangman DDT in front of him. Instead of answering Orton’s plea to finish Kofi, Riddle wants to add the cherry on top with an RKO. Kofi blocks the RKO plus an attempt at the Bro Derek and hits Riddle with Trouble in Paradise for the win. The weirdest thing happened, I’m upset Kofi won. I’m really enjoying RK-Bro which means it’ll be over before I know it and wrestling will once again break my heart.
It looks like tonight’s Raw is closing with Alexa’s Playground and her special guest Shayna Baszler. Alexa wants to be friends with Shayna, all she has to do is apologize to Lilly for calling her a stupid doll which she doesn’t do. She in fact causes damage to Lilly snatching her from Alexa. Alexa snaps and attacks Shayna who dumps Alexa out of the ring. Shayna is alone in the ring with Lilly and she takes the chance to stick it to Alexa by stomping on Lilly. Suddenly the ringside area grows dark and things start to get creepy for Shayna. Pyro goes off as she scampers up the ramp. Backstage, scaffolding narrowly misses Shayna which could have caused serious harm. Now the bully Shayna is starting to freak out. She finds an empty locker room to barricade herself in there is just one problem: Lilly is in there with her. Lights go off and Shayna lets out a blood curdling scream to end the show. As a fan of paranormal horror movies I like how this was shot. The only problem is it answered nothing. Why is Alexa and Lilly targeting Shayna. Unfortunately, no matter how well this was shot for any wrestling fan who also enjoys horror movies, I have a feeling most wrestling fans found this campy an tuned out once they realized this segment was closing the show.
What did you think of tonight’s WWE Raw? Drop a comment below.