Raw is getting going quickly so I’ll save the sarcasm… for the moment.
Finn Balor is out all by his lonesome and rants about Damian Priest until Rhea and Dumb Dumb come out. Ripley says something inaudibly to Balor and he heads to the back while the happy couple remain in the ring.
Seth Rollins then comes out and chides the pair. Dumb Dumb tries to act all tough but Rollins is having none of it.
Drew McIntyre/Matt Riddle vs. Imperium
McIntyre is still carrying his sword around, in case you were wondering.
Riddle starts off with some suplexes on Kaiser before Drew is tagged in. A little more action before Riddle becomes the sacrificial lamb for an Imperium run.
Rest of the match follows the WWE Tag Team Formula with McIntyre getting the hot tag. Some attention paid to Gunther on the outside, particularly around a Powerbomb. McIntyre pins Vinci following a Claymore while Riddle keeps Kaiser at bay with an Ankle Lock.
The result of this really weird partnership between McIntyre and Riddle really needs to be Drew turning on the barefooted one.
Backstage, Balor finally catches up with Priest. Usual spiel we’ve seen for the last couple weeks and quite frankly the bickering needs to come to apex soon.
Elsewhere backstage, The Quebec Connection are interviewed by Canada’s own Jackie Redmond when Ripley and Mysterio interject themselves. Apparently JD has their eyes on the tag belts.
The JD domination continues after a break with Rollins in the ring ready to address Dumb Dumb who comes out with the full crew. Not surprisingly, KO and Sami are out soon after. I wonder what’s going to happen… playa…
Logan Paul and Ricochet’s face-off is up next. Ricochet is up first and talks up his passion for the ring. Paul comes out and calls Ricochet, among other things, an amateur.
Ricochet recreates his NXT flip out of the ring spot with Velveteen Dream. The two come to blows soon after.
Becky Lynch vs. Zoey Stark (w/Trish Stratus)
At one point in the day, this match was purported not to happen due to a Lynch injury. Yet here we are… #Don’tBelieveTheNewzSites
Trish ran amok, as expected, in this very dry feud. The only way Zoey’s going to get elevated in this battle is if the end result is her beating the ever-living-tar out of Trish.
Roll-up pin with rope-assist from Stark was spied by the ref. Lynch tried the same but Trish called the ref out on it. One more pin by Zoey Stark mercifully ended this dreck.
This rivalry is going nowhere, and is really dragging down the profiles of all three.
Winner: Zoey Stark
Alpha Academy’s graduation ceremony for Maxxine is next. We get the full cap-and-gown and Pomp and Circumstance treatment. Everything is going swimmingly until, as expected, the Viking Raiders come in.
Shayna Baszler vs. Emma
We get a backstage look at an interaction between the two before the match starts. Emma could really use a refresh in NXT.
Winner: Shayna Baszler
Post match, Baszler is assaulted by Ronda Rousey. Remind me who’s supposed to be the face?
Cody Rhodes is up next. Gist after a strong promo is that he wants Brock at SummerSlam.
The Miz vs. Tommaso Ciampa (No Disqualification Match)
Graves tells us the rules of the match. Bravo.
Before the bell rings, Ciampa gets the early advantage on the outside. Various chair spots for Ciampa as we head into a commercial break.
Back from break, we get more chicanery outside. Ciampa does major damage to Miz putting him through the Announce desk placard first, then tosses him off the desk after a couple reversals. Hardware goes into the ring, along with a table. Miz turns the tables (pardon the pun) before Ciampa can get fully into the ring. Ciampa hits a beautiful high knee on Miz who tries to come off the second rope with a garbage lid. Repeated knees using the lid follow.
Ciampa grabs a table, takes Miz upstairs and hits White Noise through it. Count of 2 before Bronson Reed interjects, who, those with a memory will recall, has past association with Miz. Tsunami on Ciampa flattens Ciampa, giving Miz the easy pin.
Great match with a logical ending for the smarmy Miz to get the win after getting out-classed.
Winner: The Miz
Backstage, Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville chat with Raquel Rodriguez and Liv Morgan until Rhea shows up to tease Raquel vs. Ripley. Strong tease here.
Chelsea Green/Sonya Deville vs. Dancing Queens
Second verse, same as the first. Only this time it’s a cheap pin for Green and Deville. Lame.
Backstage, Saxton chats with McIntyre and Riddle. The pair declare that they’re going to end Imperium. We’re getting the heel turn Please…
Judgement Day vs. Seth Rollins/Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens
This is just getting boring.
Owens hits a Cannonball to the outside on the heels at one point in one of the few unique spots. We get DumbDumb and Rollins in the hot spot. Basement Thigh Slapper gets two for Rollins. Priest gets tagged in and gets a snazzy handcuff ripcord for two. Thigh Slapper sends Priest into Balor, and a Pedigree gets a two count. Balor gets tagged in eats a flurry of offence until Dom tags in and nearly gets three. Thigh Slapper from Rollins on Balor to get the hot tag opportunity for Sami. Blue Thunder almost gets the duke. Stunner from Owens puts Mysterio down, everyone flies everywhere. Zayn setsup for Helluva but Ripley interferes. South of Heaven and Coup de Gras (SILENT E!) get the win.
Winners: Judgement day
After the match, Priest and Balor embrace.
Decent ep tonight but there are some definite slow points, not the least of which is Judgement Day eating up WAY too much TV time. Ciampa/Miz was really good and the highlight of the night.
Until next time, Stay Classy.