Roman’s beating starts the show off. That should just replace the regular Raw intro – nothing can top Braun tipping an ambulance over. Then Braun comes down and Cole recaps Braun’s beating, the Superstar Shakeup bringing Otunga in, Booker replacing him so he can do a movie, and somehow do this in a minute. Jesus. Cole just had the worst exposition dump in history there. Braun got a big pop and gets a bigger one for saying he took out Roman. He declares war on the roster before Kurt comes out and talks about what Braun did. Braun promises that there’s more to come. Kurt says that despite Roman’s “so called” injuries, he’ll give Roman a match against Braun at Payback.
ROMAN’S WRESTLING BRAUN IN TWO WEEKS. This needs to literally be a one move match – running powerslam and that’s it. MAYBE do a corner charge first. He wants competition and threatens Kurt. They announce a fatal four way to determine a contender for Bayley. Why not just have an actual division instead of random four ways to determine opponents? Jericho vs. Joe is up next. Seth ACTUALLY GOT A POP. Last week’s promo with him explaining things and apologizing for his past worked and he’ll do commentary.
Samoa Joe comes down after they hype up Papa Roach doing the Payback theme. Papa Roach!? This company is truly stuck in the past. They go through the motions before an ad break. Facejam and a lionsault gets 2. Joe locks on the clutch, but it’s just a sleeper at this point. Jericho traps Joe on his back, but it only gets 2 and Jericho taps to the choke. That certainly was a house show Joe vs. Jericho match. Joe says he’ll take Seth out again, and now it’s personal since Seth took out HHH and Steph. Seth said he’ll take out Joe to get revenge on Joe for taking his knee out. This Joe vs. Seth feud is quite solid – each man just laid out their own perfectly logical case.
THE DRIFTER PLAYS MUSIC while The Club walks backstage. The Golden Truth does, BUT GETS BEATEN UP IN THE PIPE DISTRICT BY BRAUN! Noble and Finlay come to help Truth. Mid-card guys, and Sami, are in a six pack challenge for a WWE Title match on SD. The Golden Truth beating gets recapped before a ref tells him to leave. Braun explains that he’ll leave when he wants. The Club says they want to beat up NERDS, so Enzo and Cass come down. The Club is a well-oiled machine and a force to be reckoned with. Someone buy Booker a new cliche book. Not much to the match before a break.
Luke beats up Enzo like a nerd. Enzo hits a DDT off the second rope and tags in Cass. Big corner splash and a side slam hit before the empire elbow. Enzo goes for the flying DDT, but Karl tosses his balls into the buckle to win. A Mickie hype video airs and calls her a “veteran”. Well, that kinda dooms her. Miz comes out in a slick red suit for MizTV with Dean. Now we get more discussion about What a WWE Superstar Is – just in case you thought this was a show about professional wrestling and pro wrestlers. Miz talks about how Dean was the WWE Champion at Summerslam and on the pre-show at WM. Miz calls him lazy and complacent. Well, now we now what they think about Dean.
Dean, thankfully, responds with a passionate promo about how he enjoys kicking ass or getting his ass kicked. He doesn’t mind bleeding or caulking his teeth up. Miz and Maryse dress him down while he puts his jacket and title on the chair before a minor brawl breaks out. Braun casually strolls backstage carrying Kalisto before throwing him in a dumpster. Big Show jumps Braun and that works – I want that at Payback. NXT’s cage match between EY and Tye is hyped up during a break.
TJP comes down, but frowns now. He’ll face Jack Gallagher with Neville by TJP’s side. Then Aries comes out to also look at this match from ringside. Show vs. Braun happens tonight, and with LED boards and posts not being there, I guess we’ll get another ring break. Crowd is dead for this match. TJP goes flying and Jack does the dab. TJ sends him out and we go to a break. Jack hits a pair of European uppercuts. TJ hits a springboard forearm, but Jack headbutts him before hitting the Mary Poppins. TJ tosses Jack into Aries and hits the Detonation Kick to win.
Alexa hype video. I love how every woman in the match has gotten a highlight video – it really makes the stars shine, gets their moves over, makes the match feel important, AND ONLY TAKES 30 SECONDS OF TV TIME TO ACCOMPLISH. Tozawa talks about how happy he is that Crews is on Raw and Titus congratulates him on nearly becoming a father soon. Titus tells him to link up with the Titus brand and make the Apollo Cruise, and if anyone tries to sue, they’ll make Apollo Sues. Matt and Jeff are here and Matt talks about how this current crop of talent is the best E-VAH. Cesaro and Sheamus sarcastically welcome the Hardys back. Sheamus talks about how great it will be to win the titles back at Payback, and Matt says they don’t need LADDAZ. Sasha hype video airs. Sasha is A TRAILBLAZER!? What word will they use to describe her for her HOF video now!?
Sasha comes down for the 4 way. Alexa is tossed into Nia by Mickie and Sasha. Bayley amusing watches TV with it being at an angle she can’t possibly see. Nia hits a double arm choke lift on Mickie and holds it for several hours. Mickie goes for a…thing resembling an armbar on Nia. Sasha attacks Mickie, who was going for a MickieT. “Mickie never saw it coming”. She should get her eyes checked if she can’t see a bedazzled person running right at her. Bank statement is on Alexa, but Mickie saves. Alexa wins after Nia hits a Samoan drop to Sasha, but gets dropkicked by Alexa to the floor.
Big Show is interviewed about Braun’s rampage. Curt Hawkins comes out and challenges someone to join his star factory. Balor comes down. I guess Balor got cleared to do SOMETHING physical, but not a whole match. I like that Hawkins literally has early ’90s jobber gear now. Finn hits a slingblade, the corner dropkick, and the double stomp ends it. Finn was technically fine, but seemed out of it. Bray will cut a promo on Orton later. I hope WWE gives wacky names to every speech Bray makes. This week, it’s the Sermon of the Snake. Next week, it can be Lies From the Legend Killer.
Jericho chats with a generic brunette human that Chris calls Tom. Jericho says it’s time to FRAME IT IN MAN when he wins the title and if he goes to SD, that’s okay – he can go to Velocity, Heat, or Nitro and be fine. Poor Mike messes up his name, SO HE’S MADE THE LIST. But first, The Drifter strums away behind him – so now THE DRIFTER IS ON THE LIST. Bray rambles for a bit about the House of Horrors. He’ll make Randy’s skin crawl and leave Randy in the house before he burns it down. It sounds like they’ll do the match in the shack.
Alicia shows Dana her being humiliated on 205 Live before Emma talks about Dana showing that video to everyone this past week. Boy was this poorly-acted. The Hardys come out in their new shirts and a very mild reaction doing their nostalgia act. I do long for a modern-day Jeff vs. Brock match on a B show PPV. Jeff’s a former WWE Champion and they desperately need top faces, so why not do it as a one off? Booker calls Jeff and Matt nostalgia acts and boy is that a kiss of death. Cole points out how Jeff beat HHH, feuded with Taker, Edge, and the late Umaga. Cesaro hits a running uppercut on the floor and gets 2 mid-ring.
Another uppercut hits for 2 while Booker talks about the Hardys like they’re 50+ going on a retirement tour. Jeff hits a basement dropkick before a falling splash cover gets 2. Twisto is countered INTO AN UPPERCUT for 2.5. That could’ve been a hot finish. Corkscrew uppercut gets 2.5, so Jeff goes up top and eats an uppercut. Jeff crotches Cesaro before missile dropkicking him to the floor. Jeff hits the Twist off a Neutralizer counter before a swanton ends it. Jeff really can’t go anymore, and should be hidden in tags outside of short, explosive matches.
Recap of Braun beating up dudes. Braun comes down while Booker talks about Braun’s high fight IQ. Show comes down AND THEY CLUBBER IN THE AISLE! Show hits a baseball slide! They go from that into a basic mean guy match – countering slams and then Braun hits a suplex to counter Show’s attempt. Braun’s chest is all marked up here. Braun having a scar forming on his chest would make him very Sagat-like. Braun goes up and Show teases a superplex, but Braun fights it off and eats a chokeslam. That only gets 2 though. Braun ducks the KO punch and hits the powerslam, but it only gets 2.5.
WWE has given Roman a mega push and he’s never quite projected “THE GUY”, while Braun was the shits a year ago, and is now being given A PUSH and he feels like the top guy in the company.Show goes for another superplex, but gets crotched. Braun eats the KO punch, BUT KICKS OUT! Show goes up for a flying elbow that Booker hypes as his old finisher…no. Braun superplexes him and they do the ring collapse bit. I do wish there was another way to do this spot so it LOOKS different than literally every other time they’ve done it. BRAUN GETS UP! He is THE MAN! He says he’s the monster, pulls his straps down and flexes. Braun rules.
Tags: Big Show, Braun Strowman, WWE RAW