RAW kicks off in an unusual way, with Sasha Banks sharing her feelings about winning the WWE Women’s Championship last week. Charlotte inevitably interrupts, and the spat between champ and former champ is then interrupted by… Chris Jericho.
Jericho demands quiet no less than a dozen times, before defending Charlotte and sings her praises. Coming to Sasha’s aid is Enzo Amore. If you thought this was awesome, it indeed was awesome. Jericho and Enzo put on a verbal work of art, leading to Mick Foley coming out to make a mixed-tag match, right now.
Highlights of the conversation involves Charlotte calling Sasha nothing more than a “one night stand” to which Sasha nods to, Ric Flair as being very well-versed in one-night stands. Enzo pokes fun at Jericho’s scarf and inability to finish a sentence in a timely manner.
The tag match itself is solid, could have been longer. The conclusion features Charlotte and Jericho defeating Enzo and Banks after a distraction by Dana Brooke allows Charlotte to roll up Sasha for the win. Post-match, Jericho wants to beat up on Enzo, until Big Cass hits the ring. Kevin Owens, who was on commentary, then gets a few shots in.
Very important note, when Jericho and the ladies retreat, the referee goofs up and attempts to hand Charlotte the Women’s Championship belt. Oops.
Braun Strowman defeats another jobber. Evan SomethingOrOther who is interviewed like an inmate on death row by Byron Saxton. Strowman kills him. Metaphorically.
Backstage: Mark Henry wants to reopen the Hall of Pain, while Stephanie suggest he is on RAW to offer his expertise to the younger talent. Not satisfied, he wants a match, and Mick Foley puts the WWE Ambassador to the Olympics in a match for the United States Championship against Rusev.
The Shining Stars defeat The Golden Truth due to R-Truth being too occupied playing Pokemon Go. Seriously.
Our next segment features a great verbal standoff between Finn Balor and Seth Rollins. Great exchange, and Seth plays up his history in heel fashion very well. Crowd is hot for this. Great segment which sees Rollins strike first, but Balor gaining the upper hand. I am very excited to see them at SummerSlam.
If you had your hopes up for Mark Henry to defeat Rusev, then you need your head checked because it just isn’t going to happen. Instead, after Rusev wins, he goes on a tirade about the hypocrisy of the Olympics, and is interrupted by… Roman Reigns. Yep. More surprising is the crowd getting behind and cheering for Reigns. I guess Rusev is really hated. Huh.
Up next, Titus O’Neal defeats Darren Young. Yep. You read that right. Pre-match backstage, O’Neal jokingly wonders when Young was ever great to begin with. Ouch. Titus pretty much destroys Young, until he gets some offense in, to which Titus then rolls him up, pulling the tights for the pinfall. I get Titus is teasing a heel turn, but backstage he has an argument with Bob Backlund defending his side of “doing whatever it takes to win” and to add, during the match itself, Michael Cole harped on some unannounced gimmick that everyone on the RAW roster is “jockeying for position” and becoming more competitive. So, this makes Titus look more aggressive, but not heelish. I could be wrong. Titus threatens to deck Bob Backlund, which prompts Young to attack his former Prime Time Player from behind.
I hate this gimmick, I really do. Backlund is worthless, he looks like a damn corpse. Young can be good on his own. I would like to see Titus, actually go heel and be the one to “Make Darren Young Great Again.” I will say, Titus looked like a beast in this match, and no JBL to say “he’s having a good time!”
Backstage: Sheamus and Cesaro interrupt and argue with Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley. They wind up in a match against each other with a possibility of a future championship match.
Nia Jax destroys Ariel Monroe. Yep.
Backstage, Kofi Kingston and Big E. Langston draw oranges and Xavier gets a banana. Apparently, this means he is banned from ringside against their upcoming match against The Club. The match lasts all of five minutes as Big E. rolls up Anderson. Post match, The Club destroys New Day. Lasted longer than the match itself.
Cesaro defeats Sheamus in a pretty good match. I don’t care who Cesaro faces, he is always the MVP. Speaking of MVP, he was sighting with some NXT folk recently. Back to the match, Cesaro out-performs Sheamus at every turn, until Sheamus gains the upper hand and works over the injured shoulder. Cesaro pops back with a reversal out of a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker attempt into the Neutralizer for the win. Beautifully executed. Post-match following commercial, Sheamus and Cesaro are still fighting.
Back in the ring, Heath Slater complains about going undrafted, and with him is Jinder Mahal, back as well. Slater says 2MB will gain momentum, until Mick Foley orders a match between them, with the winner getting a RAW contract. Mahal nudges the ref to ring the bell before Slater is ready, decks him with a superkick-like strike, and gets the quick three count. Mahal is now drafted to RAW and Slater remains in purgatory.
Backstage, Jericho recruits Kevin Owens to have his back when he crosses paths with Enzo and Big Cass.
Seth Rollins picks up the hard-fought win against Sami Zayn tonight. Match was absolutely fantastic. A ton of back and forth action, no shortage of amazing moments. The closing sequence of Blue Thunder Bomb, rope dives, attempts at Helluva Kicks and Pedigrees, was truly edge-of-the-seat, ultimately Rollins prevailed with the Pedigree after Zayn missed a Helluva Kick.
Following that incredible match, we get The Rabbi himself, Paul Heyman. He wastes no time in bringing Brock Lesnar to the ring. Doesn’t matter, since Heyman does all of the talking anyway. He starts off funny, stating Brock will “entertain” us, as Heyman’s version is the politically incorrect term of “violent.” Heyman is just too funny. Makes fun of Orton’s theme song, the live crowd when he mentions the ending of the Undertaker’s Streak. Heyman then ridicules Orton’s use of the RKO, and runs down how Orton will never be able to get it on Brock… Except Michael Cole can actually use in the literal sense, say, he came from Outta Nowhere as Randy Orton invades RAW and splatters Brock Lesnar with the RKO!
Damn, what a moment. No one saw it coming, Orton diving out from the crowd, blasting Brock and jumping back into the crowd.
My favorite line of the segment, from Paul Heyman of course: “Take it from the wise old Jew.”
Once again, WWE knocked this one out of the park. Fantastic show.