In the wake of several roster releases, Raw is live tonight with Cody Rhodes kicking things off.
Rhodes reminds everyone that someone from Raw is still headed to SmackDown. He calls J-Day the most toxic faction (not attraction) and this brings out the male contingent. The usual follows from the tired act. J-Day starts to climb in the ring when Jey Uso appears alongside Cody. Sami and KO soon join them. This is so tired. New blood, PLEASE!
A schmoz, once JD comes out, ends up with Damian Priest eating some punishment. So very, very tired.
Otis vs. Bronson Reed
Big meaty men yada yada.
Some nice spots to start establishing that they are pretty much equals.
Reed gets the ADV with a very nice Samoan Drop. Double Cross Body spot results in both men down soon after.
Angle Slam by Otis gives him the turn at top and preps for the Caterpillar. Otis sets up for the Vader Bomb but misses. Senton by Reed is enough to get the setup for the Trumani. Surprisingly short match and given how long Otis is down, he may be injured.
Winners: Bronson Reed
Becky Lynch and Tegan Nox chat back stage about the open challenge last week.
Before the next match starts, Natalya and Tegan Nox have a war of worts in front of Adam Pearce. Who’s the heel???
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Ludwig Kaiser
Ciampa starts strong but Kaiser comes out on top heading into the break early in a strikefest.
Back from break Kaiser is still in control but Ciampa fights back hard. Very strong match developing. I’ll stand firm to my belief that Kaiser is a future big name in WWE.
Widow’s Bell by Ciampa gets two. Fairytail ending is blocked and the strikefest continues. Reversal after reversal leads to Vinci attempting to interfere and eating a knee. Kaiser hits the Back Brain Kick but the ref is distracted. Vinci’s on thin ice fo sho…
High Knee by Ciampa this tme knocks Kaiser out cold for the duke. Awesome match. This one definitely will not be the lowest rated of the night.
Winner: Tommaso Ciampa
Becky Lynch is out next, and I’m puzzled as to why, depite the change back to The Man, Big Time Becks’ graphic is still shown.
Tegan Nox vs. Natalya
Tegan kinda feels like the Kris Statlander of WWE. I can’t quite put my finger on why though.
Fairly standard match for much of the match until Nattie hits a Batista Bomb for two. Tries the Sharpshooter but Tegan escapes and hits the Shining Wizard for the duke and quick heat-up.
Winner: Tegan Nox
J-Day locker room scene is up next with Priest going off on JD. He scampers away.
Seth Rollins is out next to talk about Shinsuke Nakamura who appears on the Tron once again and declares that their match at Fastlane will be Last Man Standing. VERY strong video work here. Seth is tremendous in his response.
Backstage, Jackie Redmond talks with Ricochet who hobbles in on crutches.
Dragon Lee vs. Dom Mysterio (North American Title Match)
Dragon shows just how good he is early with a hands-free Tope Con Hilo. Dom hits an Apron DDT to get the advantage going into the break.
Back from break, Dom tries for the Frog Splash but eats knees. Dragon continues the control until Dom reverses and gets a Michinoku Driver for two. Lee comes back and hits a Batista Bomb for two after some Lucha goodness.
This is Awesome chant and I can’t say I disagree. Dom gets some heelish stuff in and hits the Frog Splash for the duke. Easily Dom’s best in WWE.
Winner: Dom Mysterio
Amid a Nia Jax highlight reel, we learn that Shayna Baszler is injured. I’m wondering if this is kayfabe or not.
Backstage, Redmond talks with the Quebec Connection in an all-Canadian huddle.
Out to the ring we go for a Michael Cole interview with Jax. Boring promo by Nia. She’s interrupted by Zoey Stark. Pier Six breaks out. Again. Boring.
Nia Jax vs. Zoey Stark
Good thing they spent weeks trying to heat Zoey up in a poorly-executed partnership with Trish only to feed her to Nia in the latter’s first match back. MY HOLE! Legdrop on the apron is one of the few “highlights” of this match before the Banzai Drop finishes this one mercilessly. Bad. Just. BAD.
Winner: Nia Jax
Backstage, Byron Saxton talks to Jey Uso about not turning down J-Day.
MizTV is up next with Drew McIntyre. Miz digs into Drew quite well until New Day comes out. They push at Drew and the heel turn gets going quicker. Miz tries to instigate more but only gets shut down by Drew with words and then with a headbutt.
Drew McIntyre vs. Kofi Kingston
Match goes longer than it should.
Rocker Dropper by Kofi late gets two. Kofi tries the Trouble in Paradise kick but Drew reverses into a Future Shock in a nice spot.
Vicousness really starts to set in soon after.
As the match goes on, Ivar comes out and decimates Xavier Woods on the outside. Kofi is distracted and eats a Claymore as a result. Heel Drew is getting close.
Winner: Drew McIntyre
Post match, Ivar takes out Kofi while Drew walks away. Ivar finishes things off with a beautiful Moonsault.
Backstage, Gunther chews out Vinci and Kaiser. End result – Gunther promises to take out Ciampa.
Judgement Day vs. Quebec Connection (Tag Team Championship Match)
Apologies. I couldn’t watch this for the 100th time. I’m sure the action was fine but it’s way too repetitive.
Schomzzfest on the outside as Rhodes and Uso take out DumbDumb. JD takes out Zayn with a belt, allowing Priest to get the duke. I just have stopped caring.
Winners: Judgement Day
Some good work here but the Judgement Day needs to evolve already. This has just been boring.
Until next time, Stay Classy.