Review: Monday Night RAW in Houston AKA Bowling for Braun

“You have a booger in your nose.”

This was line of the night from Alicia Fox. Yes. I said it.

I’m really surprised last night’s event wasn’t a tribute to Balls Mahoney, and did not feature actual balls of fire in some sort of stipulation match. In any case, it was a really good PPV. RAW kicks off tonight with Big Cass gloating about his victory over Enzo. He’s being an ass, talking about being the biggest big man of the big… bad… men, or something like that. Well, when you talk big, you get a Big Show. The brawl breaks out and it looks like Cass is on his way into his first major feud.

Finn Balor defeats Elias Sampson in a pretty good match. I like Sampson, but I felt he was just there to keep Balor busy until WWE can figure out what to do with him. He did hold the Universal Championship for a day… That counts, right?

The Hardy Boyz talk about the Iron Man Match and a few “obsolete” and “broken” references get the crowd all riled up. Man, this is like one big ol’ tease here. Suddenly, Anderson and Gallows interrupt and we have a match. Decent match, which sees a surprise victory for The Club. Then, here we go, The Revival arrive to lay a beating on Team Extreme. Do the Dew folks, a Revival/Hardyz feud is in the works, and this is the one to keep your eyes on. I would have American Alpha or DIY against Matt and Jeff, but Revival get my nod of approval.

Things take a turn for the weird, as The Miz presents the “Mizzies” awards. Yada yada, faux speeches from award winners Curtis Axel, Bo Dallas, and Maryse. Dallas get the “you deserve it” chant, Axel’s promo makes no sense, and Maryse is Maryse. Miz presents himself an award while running down the losers from Great Balls of Fire. This brings out Dean Ambrose and then, not-so-surprising, Seth Rollins. Backstage, Ambrose tells off Rollins, and this gets interesting.

Bayley and Sasha Banks defeat Nia Jax and Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss. No arm dislocation here, we get a good match with a surprise roll-up for a finish, as Bayley pins the champ. I have realized why Nia Jax will never wear the belt, because once she has it, no one could believably defeat her. So, Bayley next in line, again?

Goldust defeats R-Truth. While the match was good, I really hope this absurd feud is over. Really do.

Kurt Angle is in the ring to address Braun Strowman and we get some vague comments of Strowman being out and will return when he is able. Injury angle? Bleh. He introduces Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman. Some positive words of respect, but the friendly banter ends when Angle prepares to discuss Brock’s SummerSlam opponent. Heyman attempts to cut it short, but Roman Reigns interrupts. Reigns has a decent promo, but Samoa Joe cuts in and the crowd loses it. It becomes clear Reigns is standing around like a kid waiting to be picked for kickball, as the two team captians verbally tear into each other. Next week, Joe vs. Reigns, winner gets Brock at SummerSlam.

Backstage: Kurt Angle tells Corey Graves he will go public with these personal issues. He fears his career is over, he hopes his friends and family will support his decision. Sigh…

Akira Tozawa and Cedric Alexander defeat Neville and Noam Dar when Tozawa pins Neville after a top rope Senton. Really good match, Cedric brings so much energy in the ring. How he isn’t getting a title bout is beyond me. Looks like Tozawa will get another chance at the Cruiserweight Championship.

Backstage: Rollins says he wasn’t there to help Ambrose, just to shut Miz up. Hmmm…

Bray Wyatt defeats Seth Rollins. This was a shocker. Back-to-back wins for Wyatt? When does THAT happen? Rollins sells the eye injury from last night well. Decent match, but the real fun begins post-match as Miz, Dallas, and Axel attack, however Dean Ambrose does his best Balls Mahoney impression and goes to town on all of them with a chair, beating the crap out of Miz to save Rollins.

The show doesn’t end there though… Kurt Angle is on the phone, tells the other person to come onto RAW next week, and they will reveal themselves together… He closes with, “I love you.”

They are leading towards some sort of LGBT angle… but I’ll bet this isn’t where they are going. Next week, Dixie Carter will show up. That has to be it.