It’s a little tough fitting in three hours’ worth of Raw every single week. So we’re going to try and take some of the weight off your shoulders and sum up the five things you need to know from this week’s episode.
We’re slowly creeping up on the annual Money in the Bank pay-per-view, so naturally, there’s a tonne of tension between the Raw superstars who’ll be making many attempts to secure themselves a guaranteed title match. Alongside that cluster of laddery goodness, there’s a strong mid-card scene taking form and a few title matches to look forward to also. Let’s take a gander at this week’s developments.
1. The most diverse, stacked mid-card for MITB
The Intercontinental Title picture has taken centre stage since Brock Lesnar has once again vanished. Seth Rollins has been absolutely killing it in matches with the likes of Kevin Owens and The Miz, but his latest challenge comes in the form of the equally awesome Elias. With the title match scheduled for two weeks’ time in Chicago, they were given the chance to meet in a tag match alongside Roman Reigns and Jinder Mahal, who are also building to their own singles encounter.
Despite opinions of the two, it’s hard to deny that Roman and Jinder are of equal status. Never thought I’d find myself saying that. Since coming to Raw, Mahal has established himself at the top of the mid-card, beginning a feud with Reigns which immediately became a lot more exciting than most gave it credit for. The two former main eventers have taken the ball and ran with this one, which has only gone towards making Raw’s mid-card scene feel seriously stacked.
The four put on a stellar match to open the show, they displayed some good chemistry which only goes to suggest that their respective matches at MITB are going to be fantastic.
2. The B Team will face Hardy and Wyatt for the Tag Titles
Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel have been riding a huge wave of momentum since rebranding themselves as ‘The B Team’ in London. This week they were given their just desserts in a tag team battle royal, with the winners receiving a tag title match againt The Deleters of Worlds – Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt.
For them to already be considered above the likes of The Revival, Breezango and the upstart duo of Ziggler & McIntyre, is pretty incredible.
It’s going to be interesting to see just how far they take this run, whether after many years of enhancement work, Dallas and Axel are going to be given a lengthy chance to impress the crowds. It’ll definitely be interesting to see Dallas tussle with his brother Bray, something which to my knowledge has yet to take place in WWE.
3. Sami Zayn vs. Bobby Lashley still sucks
Last week, Sami introduced us to Bobby’s sisters. This week, he relentlessly mocked his social media and his military career. How low could the former NXT champion go?
Honestly, there’s nothing more to say about this feud than it’s total garbage. Lord help whoever has to salvage these two afterwards.
4. A rift grows between Ronda and Nia
Tension is beginning to slowly rise between the challenger and the Women’s Champion. This week, Nia Jax went one-on-one with Ronda’s BFF Natalya, ultimately leading to an injury angle after Nattie tweaked her knee.
All the while, Rousey was on commentary once again for this match and after seeing Jax take advantage of said injury, she stormed to the ring to protect her friend. Of course, to Ronda it seemed as if Jax was giving no mercy, whereas the champ was trying to act with grace following her realising that Nattie wasn’t 100%. What a mess, roll on MITB.
5. Money in the Bank people do Money in the Bank things
As is tradition leading up to a big multi-man match, most of the competitors will pair off for singles matches. This week saw Bobby Roode go one-on-one with Braun Strowman, while Kevin Owens faced Finn Bálor in the main event. Both weren’t exceptional, but they’re passable at building some hype for the pay-per-view.
To close the show, Bálor nailed Owens with a huge coup de grace off the top of a ladder. A fairly spectacular moment which, if you’re looking to watch anything this week, should be the highlight reel you head to.
All in all, it wasn’t the most stunning of episodes, but nevertheless passes the time heading into Chicago in less than two weeks.