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Monday Night RAW in New Orleans: The Go-Home Before Hell in a Cell

We open the night with an awesome announcement that Renee Young will be joining the announce team full time. I really like Renee when she’s been on commentary during occasional Monday Night RAW’s and the Mae Young Classic, I’m glad to see that she’s on the panel full time to add some diversity to the proceedings. Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, and Braun Strowman come out first with the locker room behind them. Braun gets on the mic and starts taunting the SHIELD over last week’s beatdown.

After the smack talk commences, the SHIELD comes out to confront the trio. Before the SHIELD can get down to the ring they are confronted by the members of the roster who chose to stand with Ziggler, McIntyre, and Strowman. As the beat down continues Dean Ambrose brings out a duffel bag of axe handles and starts attacking the roster members blocking their way.

As this happens, Ziggler, McIntyre, and Strowman make their way up the ramp and out of harms way. I feel conflicted about Braun teaming up with Ziggler and McIntyre, it feels a bit hap hazard, it makes sense that he would want help with the SHIELD but someone like the Authors of Pain feel like a better fit, just team up all the monsters to go up against the SHIELD.

After the confrontation we see the SHIELD arguing with a bunch of police officers, Baron Corbin tells the SHIELD that if they leave the premises they won’t be arrested. The SHIELD agrees and they depart.

The next match is Nikki Bella accompanied by her sister Brie against Ruby Riott accompanied by the Riott Squad. The match is okay, with not a lot of spectacular moments. It is interesting to see the Bella’s wrestle and interact with this new generation of women’s wrestlers, especially since it has been three years since the Bella’s have regularly wrestled. The match ends with a back drop by Nikki Bella to pin Ruby Riott.

After the match there are segments for Connor’s Cure and recapping the Undertaker’s return last week.

The next match is a tag team match between the Authors of Pain vs. Ronnie Ace and Nathan Bradley. The Authors of Pain are accompanied by Drake Maverick who hype up the AoP to be fearsome monsters. AoP easily win in a squash match. It seems like the Authors of Pain might be getting a soft reboot with a new manager, which they desperately need. WWE could learn from this and embrace the role of managers more. Some wrestlers are just better with managers, and that is certainly true for the Authors of Pain.

Triple H came out and called out the Undertaker claiming the Undertaker clearly lost respect for himself when confronting Shawn Michaels last week. Triple H made it clear that now the match is personal. It was a standard Triple H promo, I don’t know how they could hype up this match anymore than they already have, short of the Undertaker coming out to confront Triple H himself.

The next match is a RAW tag team rematch between the current champions Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre vs. The B Team. The B Team’s gimmick has run its course for me, I just don’t care about it anymore, I’m ready for new champions, I don’t know if it makes sense for Ziggler and McIntyre to be these champions but I’ll take it for now. The match begins with Ziggler and McIntyre in control of the match taking care of Bo Dallas.

Curtis Axel gets in but Dolph Ziggler puts the beat down on Axel. Axel gets the tag and Bo Dallas starts taking out Ziggler. McIntyre comes in to back up Ziggler breaking up a few pins and taking out Curtis Axel. McIntyre makes the tag as Ziggler pokes Bo Dallas in the eye while the ref was distracted allowing McIntyre to get the pin and win. While Ziggler and McIntyre are celebrating Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose come in and start beating on Ziggler and McIntyre.

Next, we see Seth and Dean backstage talking to Baron Corbin. Corbin says he’s going to arrest the SHIELD because he told them that they would be arrested if they came back. Seth says that the SHIELD didn’t come back and it was just Seth and Dean coming to defend themselves against Ziggler and McIntyre. Corbin threatens to arrest them but Seth came prepared with a Sheriff from New Orleans who claims that Corbin falsified a police report and is going to arrest him. Corbin asks Seth if they can come to an agreement and Seth agrees. There’s a fun moment between Dean and the Sheriff where Dean says he’ll call him if he ever gets arrested. Seth comes out and says everything is taken care of.

The next match is Kevin Owens vs. Tyler Breeze, Owens attacks Breeze before the match even starts. Breeze defends himself but Kevin Owens dispatches Tyler Breeze easily. After the match Kevin Owens said he came back after quitting because Baron Corbin begged him, and they agreed that Kevin Owens can do whatever he wants. He’s going to dispatch anyone he wants, including the SHIELD, and especially Bobby Lashley to pay him back for what he did to Sami Zayn and injuring him. Kevin Owens cut a great promo where he promised anarchy and destruction. Kevin Owens is always good at cutting promos and I think that a feud between him and Bobby Lashley can actually be a good one.

Bobby Roode comes out next with Chad Gable to go up against the Ascension in a tag match. Chad Gable opens the match with repeated suplexes on Viktor. Konnor then tags in and starts taking out Chad Gable. Viktor tags back in to take out Chad Gable and tries to get over to Roode. Gable eventually makes the tag which allows Roode to start taking out Viktor. One interesting moment where Roode revs up for a Glorious from the crowd but Chad Gable tags himself in, puts the bridge on Viktor and gets the pin. This seems like an interesting gimmick between Roode and Gable, I’m not sure how far it can go but I’m interested to see where Gable’s fan-boying will go.

Baron Corbin tells Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler that because Louisiana works under Napoleonic Law (which gets a good laugh from the crowd) the SHIELD can’t be arrested. Also, Dolph and Drew will be defending their titles against Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose at Hell in a Cell.

The next match is Alexa Bliss and Mickie James accompanied by Alicia Fox vs. Natalya and Ronda Rousey. The match starts with Alexa and Natalya in the ring. Natalya dominates the start of the match as both Mickie and Ronda tag in. Mickie tries her best against Ronda but to no avail, Natalya tags in to take care of Mickie. Mickie is able to get a hold on Natalya but escapes; she takes a hit from Mickie as Mickie tags Alexa. Bliss is in control as she goes to mock Ronda and tries to put an arm bar on Natalya. Natalya breaks but Alexa goes to confront Ronda and slaps her while Ronda is ringside.

Ronda chases down Alexa as Natalya and Ronda double team Alexa Bliss. Ronda gets put back in the corner as Alexa continues beat down Natalya and mock Ronda. Ronda tags in and chases down Alexa Bliss. Alexa tricks Ronda out of the ring and slams Ronda’s ribs into the ring. Alexa and Mickie then start tagging back and forth to double team Ronda and focus on her ribs. Ronda is able to recover but can’t tag out as Mickie knocks her off the ring. Ronda regains her composure, begins striking Mickie, and gets her into the arm bar causing Mickie to tap out. After the match Alex attacks Ronda from behind and kicks her in the ribs.

Backstage Braun is on a rampage looking for Roman Reigns, assaulting anyone he can to find out.

Elias comes out to some great heat by making fun of the fact that the New Orleans Saints lost yesterday, which the crowd answers with a chorus of “Who Dat” chants (which for some reason in the chant for the Saints). Before Elias can get started Mick Foley comes out to a ton of cheers and “Foley” chants. Mick tells Elias that he may be a good musician but as a lyricist he doesn’t have a sincere bone in his body. Elias tells Mick that he was there 20 years ago when Mick Foley fought the Undertaker in Hell in a Cell and that it was a special moment, “but that was then, and this is now” Elias retorts.

Elias tell Mick that he’s been singing the same song over and over again and that he’s done, the crowd begins calling for Mr. Socko. Mick then tells Elias that he reached out to Stephanie McMahon and asked to be a part of Hell in a Cell in some way. He then tells us that he will be the special guest referee for the Universal Championship match against Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman. Elias then tells Mick that he needs to shut up and go back to where he came from. Mick shoots back that Stephanie even let him book one match, which will be next: Elias vs. Finn Balor.

Before the match starts Braun is still backstage looking for Roman Reigns. Elias starts the match strong dominating Finn in a series of holds. Finn gets out and tries to hit Elias but Elias gets him back in the holds. Finn turns the tables and gets a few hits and stomps on Elias. The match picks up after the commercial break as Finn tries to set up a coup de gras but Elias breaks free. Elias gets the set up sit down on Finn and almost pins him but Finn kicks out. After a series of hits Finn manages to get a roll up reversal on Elias and gets the pinfall. It was a good quick match between Elias and Finn.

Braun goes out to the ring to see if Roman will meet him there. Braun calls out Roman and tells him to meet him like a man. He says Roman is a coward and afraid of Braun, and he’ll get Roman at Hell in a Cell. At the end of Braun’s taunting Roman comes out as Braun meets him at the top of the ramp. The two start fighting as Strowman begins to ravage Roman. Braun takes Roman to the announce table and set up to throw him through the table but Roman manages to get a Samoan drop on Braun through the floor, as he walks offstage looking out into the crowd the only way Roman can.

This was an interesting show to set up Hell in a Cell, not a lot of huge revealing moments, I wonder how Mick Foley being the guest referee for the Universal Championship match will shape up but it should be a good pay per view none the less.

DJ Chapman
DJ Chapman
DJ also enjoys tabletop board games, role playing games of any kind, and being right. He is a die-hard Dolphins, Devils, and Yankees fan, screw the Knicks.

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