The pre-show involves a lot of banter, Booker T called T.J. Perkins Tee Jay Parker… Dammit Booker…
Nia Jax defeats Alicia Fox. Decent match, Fox got a good amount of offense in, until Jax got angry and crushed her. Match over.
Our opening contest features The New Day retaining the RAW Tag Team Championships against Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. What a great match. A lot of teases during the match, getting us to think the New Day would lose the titles. This time, it was Francesca II, allowing Big E. and Kofi to hit their finisher on Anderson for the victory. Good match.
The second match featured T.J. Perkins retaining the Cruiserweight Championship against Brain Kendrick.
My favorite part had to be Perkins’ entrance. I thought he was going to come out dressed as Mega Man X. Good match, a few moves which looked mistimed, but overall good chemistry in the ring. Kendrick adopting a “evil” persona, with more moves to “hurt” as opposed to Perkins’ high risk moves. Perkins gets the win via the Knee Bar. Post match, a handshake turns into Kendrick headbutting Perkins. Sigh, this is where the drama seeps its way in. I get RAW is storyline based, I would have preferred something a bit less dramatic, but oh well.
A few missed spots, nothing I would say as botch-worthy, but close.
Time is not wasted tonight, they go right to the third match, the final of the Best Of Seven series between Sheamus and Cesaro… Which ends in a draw. Yep. It was a great fight. Really was. They beat the crap out of each other, with the biggest bumps and hits yet. A lot of spots seemed repetitive from their previous matches, but this one had a few extra. Cesaro nearly kills himself with a Suicide Dive and lands really, really badly on his head. They even replayed it about six times, which WWE would never do if this was two years ago. In any case, a “bad fall” via clothesline over the crowd barrier onto the concrete causes the referees to call the match. Well, unless someone got injured, this was a very odd way to either end or drag out this feud.
Backstage, Charlotte continues to cut horrible promos, telling Bayley she could never even beat Sasha Banks… Except everyone knows Bayley did to win the NXT Women’s Championship.
Next up, Chris Jericho defeats Sami Zayn in a fantastic singles match. I know Zayn hasn’t done much since being brought up to the main roster besides feud with Kevin Owens. This match, he shined, and so did Y2J. Jericho has not lost a step, and for a guy to keep pace with Zayn the way he did, just gets a standing ovation from me. Jericho is as good as ever. Between the banter while wrestling and his arrogant taunts to the crowd, he reminds me of Jericho 1999. Zayn did not get the win tonight, but he put on a great performance, so hopefully this doesn’t hurt his standing with the audience. Some near botches in this one, Zayn went for his through the corner DDT, and wound up nearly crashing into the announce table.
Charlotte retains the WWE RAW Women’s Championship
What a match. All stood out. All I can say, is find a way to watch this. The three ladies put on an NXT main event in a WWE ring and set the ring on fire. Charlotte was solid in the ring as the dominant force, with Banks constantly trying for the win while Bayley got huge pops every time it looked like she would take it. Dana Brooke interfered a few times, mostly preventing pinfalls. Great spot when Charlotte landed a top rope moonsault on both challengers. The end came when Bayley took two consecutive big boots, the first of which also knocked Banks off the apron to the floor. Charlotte continues her dominance of the RAW women’s division.
Roman Reigns defeated Rusev to win the United States Championship
Despite the majority of the match being routine and boring, the last few minutes were decently exciting. A lot of near-falls, Lana being ejected, and Rusev even blocking the spear, and locking in the Accolade. Reigns did hit the spear for the win. Yay.
Backstage: Mick Foley and Stephanie McMahon try to pump up Seth Rollins, who pretty much laces into them both, mostly Steph.
Main event: WWE Universal Championship match: Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens
This match blew the roof off the arena. They killed it. Early on, Rollins is tossed to the floor, and Owens mocks concern before dropping a huge elbow off the apron. Good lord, the strikes back and forth, Rollins nails a lariat which takes Owens out of his boots. Later on, an exchange with a running knee from Seth, superkick from Owens, pelee kick from Rollins. Later Owens just drops Rollins with a package driver into a neckbreaker. Prior to that, Owens set up Rollins for a package piledriver, but we know there is no way WWE would allow it. On the top turnbuckle, Rollins is taken down with a gutbuster, but looked like he landed wrong on his arm. On the outside, Owens sets Rollins on the announce table, but the ref warns him, earning a crotch chop from the champion, but the delay allows Rollins to roll away in time, as Owens’ senton goes crashing through the table. Owens hits a Frog Splash. Rollins hits a Frog Splash. Rollins has Owens, until Chirs Jericho interferes, preventing Rollins from winning. Owens goes for the Pop-Up Powerbomb, but Rollins leaps over and crashes into the ref. While the ref is out, Jericho attacks, but Rollins is able to fend them both off. However, just as Stephanie brings a new ref to the ring, Rollins runs back into the ring and right into the P.U.P. for the one, two, three. Damn, what a crazy match. Winner and still Universal Champion: Kevin Owens
Looks like Chris Jericho and Seth Rollins may be embarking on a feud.
I don’t know how Cesaro finished that match, or how Rollins didn’t just die from lack of oxygen.
Despite a few close calls, this was a solid showing by the RAW roster. I had hoped for more from the Cruiserweight Championship, but I’ll take it. New Day/Club was a stellar way to kick off the show. Zayn/Jericho was fantastic.
Oh crap, No Mercy is in TWO WEEKS? I’m getting too old for this crap.