I would once again like to thank all of the wrestlers parents who didn’t have them vaccinated as children, because the mumps ended up being one of the best bookers WWE has ever had.
Kick Off Show: Sasha Banks vs Alicia Fox
After 37 painful minutes and the disgrace of WWE cancelling Drew Gulak’s power point we finally got a match between Banks and Fox. Rumour has is that the only reason Fox is in this match is the apparent walk out of Nia Jax who would’ve been on the card. The crowd seemed pretty hot as they booed Fox and gave Banks a decent pop. Fox was her usual heelish self as she did more complaining and whining than she did wrestling to begin with, she always makes the most of her mini pushes with her crazy attitude. Fox soon took over and showed some decent offence. Fox dumped Banks out of the ring and asked the ref to count, Banks got in at nine to get further punishment. After dominating pretty much the whole match, Banks locked in the Bank Statement for a third straight sub win over Fox
Result: Sasha Banks beats Alicia Fox by submission
The match itself was pretty damn good, Alicia Fox showed how good she is, along with Emma, they’re the most underused females on the roster. Banks took a back seat as Fox carried the match with some really good offense and great heel work. It was odd that Banks took a win seemingly out of nowhere. There’s no story to this and I expect to see Banks back up the card and Fox stay where she is.
Emma vs Asuka
The crowd was extremely hot for Asuka’s debut as she came out to an enormous pop, it felt like a massive deal and it was an excellent idea to kick off the main card. Early on Emma slapped the taste out of Asuka’s mouth and took control of the early portion of the match. When Asuka got her chances she was viscous and showed variety. Ultimately she ended up getting Emma in the Asuka lock for the submission win.
Result: Asuka beats Emma by submission
Not what I was expecting at all, the offence was pretty much 50/50, much like Nakamura’s debut against Ziggler, the problem is Asuka should’ve steamrolled Emma. There’s a big worry that Raw mess this up, which has been seen a lot with people coming up from NXT and losing their momentum. Emma put on a good showing, the fact this is her first singles match on PPV is a crime, hopefully WWE start to utilize these women better.
Jack Gallagher & Brian Kendrick vs Rich Swann & Cedric Alexander
A switch of commentary teams saw the men from 205 Live pop in as the tag team match got under way. It started pretty fast paced as the faces got off some high flying offence, the heels eventually managed to take control as they worked down Rich Swann. Swann finally made a hot tag to Alexander who got off some of his classic offense. All four men got off some wicked offence, including Swann hitting a gnarly phoenix splash and Alexander hitting the lumbar check for the win.
Result: Swann & Alexander win by pinfall
What a fun match. It seems that WWE is starting to push 205 a little bit, giving them two main card matches and a switch of commentary. The crowd was as hot as any crowd has been for a 205 tag match, so this was all a pleasant surprise, start giving these men some more promo time and character development and they could make big moves, and for the love of god integrate 205 in with everyone else.
Alexa Bliss (C) vs Mickie James for the Women’s Championship
James started strong but was soon halted by the heel. The buildup to this match was nice but there has been questions about the two’s in ring chemistry. It was slow paced as Bliss was in control, when Mickie finally gained control the pace picked up, James landed plenty of kicks and elbows. The action swayed back and forth and both women got near falls, but it would be Bliss who played possum and hit James with DDT for the win
Result: Alexa Bliss beats Mickie James by pinfall
The finish was a little tiring, we’ve seen Bliss do this before against Bayley. The match was fine, it was much like I predicted, Bliss is going to hold on to the belt for a while until they want Asuka to challenge for it next. Bliss is running out of viable challengers, unless they manage to give us another Bayley or Banks match up, hopefully Paige can return sooner or later.
Kalisto (C) vs Enzo Amore for the Crusierweight Championship
Enzo came out a talked the talk like he always can and always does, the big question as always is can he put on a good 10 minute plus match? Early doors Kalisto out classed Enzo with speed but Enzo picked his moments wisely and took control as he began to wear down the champion. It was a slow pace but Kalisto finally got some offence going but Enzo broke a pinfall with his foot on the rope. Enzo managed to stick a thumb in Kalisto’s eye and hit his finisher for the win.
Result: Enzo Amore wins by pinfall to become the new Cruiserweight Champion
Enzo is getting better in the ring, he’s nowhere near the level of some of the other guys, as a heel he can keep cutting corners to win, it was odd that his new cronies didn’t help him get the win. The cruiserweights are in a bit of an odd place now, Enzo simply isn’t good enough in the ring to be the top guy, and Kalisto doesn’t have the mic skills. With Austin Aries and Neville both out of the picture 205 has some serious rebuilding to do.
Demon Finn Balor vs AJ Styles
With Bray Wyatt out with the mumps, yes the mumps, AJ Styles wound up on the card in a one off appearance on a Raw show. Who’s complaining about that? Nobody at all. Both men got absolutely amazing pops from the crowd. Before the bell even rang the crowd had burst into a “This is awesome” chant, then once the bell rang the crowd burst into “Too sweet”. It began as a 50/50 battle as you would expect with quality chain wrestling, as it started to break down both men would get off some decent offence, but it would be AJ Styles who started to take control. When Balor got going he hit a nasty enziguri followed by a suicide dive on the outside. Just when you thought one man was in control the momentum would change, a rarity in WWE these days. Balor got more and more aggressive with his strikes but AJ would reverse and put The Demon in a calf crusher which would only be broken up by brute force. Both man fought hard on the outside, they hit each other with the exact same moves on the inside and got to brawling. After hitting each other with everything but the kitchen sink and a Styles Clash, Balor would land a Coup D’Grace for the win. After the match the men embraced with a too sweet.
Result: Demon Finn Balor wins by pinfall
I would like to take the time to thank Bray Wyatt’s parents for not getting him vaccinated for the mumps as a child because we got a match of the year candidate as a result. What an amazing match, with zero build up these men put on a clinic, imagine if they had more time? The too sweet at the end was just amazing, a super good feel good moment to end a feel good match, nothing but top notch wrestling.
Jason Jordan vs Elias
After a couple segments earlier in the night in which Jordan threw fruit and veg at Elias, the two squared off in a match. Jordan used his heavy offence to ground Elias for the early part of the match, Elias finally got his offence going, looked moments away from a win until Jordan rolled up Elias for what seemed to be a botched finish.
Result: Jordan wins by pinfall
For a start the segments earlier on made no sense, Elias is a wicked heel with genuine heat so why is Jordan and his zero charisma throwing vegetables at a heel? Then the weird botched finish makes the face win when he shouldn’t have? I’d keep these two firmly away from each other, let Jordan develop some mic skills and let Elias continue to be one of Raws best heels. I feel bad for these guys that they had to come after Balor/Styles and before Kurt Angle’s return.
Kurt Angle, Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose vs The Bar, The Miz, Braun Strowman & Kane in a TLC match
The Shields music hit and Angle came with them in his Shield uniform, the three grabbed chairs and laid into Kane. They dominated early and teased a triple powerbomb. Every single moment of the match was wild, The Shield controlled everything early as Ambrose and Rollins both jumped off ladders to put Strowman and Kane through the announce tables. With both men out however, The Bar and The Miz would pick apart Raw GM Kurt Angle. Angle gained control and hit everything that moved with a German suplex too a massive pop, and an even bigger pop when he got Kane in the ankle lock. Strowman broke up the hold and hit Angle with a running powerslam through a table. Angle got took to the back by doctors making this a 5 on 2 match. The match finally slowed down as the 5 men took turns hitting Rollins & Ambrose with massive shots. Kane went to hit Rollins with a chair but hit Strowman to tease friction. There was a big botch with The Bar not breaking a table which was comic relief in what has been nothing but a massive beatdown. The Miz called in garbage truck, but it would be Rollins & Ambrose who jumped off it taking out the opposition. Kane ended up turning on his team and chokeslamming Strowman off the stage and pulling down all the chairs that were part of the stage set up. Kane turned his attention back to his opponents and chokeslammed them both through tables. Strowman got back up and attacked his team, who then threw him in the garbage truck making it a 4 on 2 match. When it all looked to be over, Angle’s music hit as he hit both members of The Bar with Angle Slams. Rollins & Ambrose put Kane through the barricade as The Miz hit the skull crushing finale on Angle who kicked out at 2 and a half. The Shield and Angle circled The Miz and all hit finishers on him, followed by a triple powerbomb as Angle got the cover for the win.
Result: Angle, Rollins & Ambrose win by pinfall
That was just the best thing ever, a pure spot fest for the entire time and everyone in the match performed. Kane and Angle were both surprisingly good, The Shield and The Bar were viscous, Strowman was a monster and The Miz played the captain roll perfectly. Angle started slow but when he came out for the second time he was a beast, Angle Slams everywhere. The story here is a bit all over the place for the future, but boy was it a feel good match. Angle has still got a few big matches left in him which is a joy, The Shield can still carry on and Strowman and Kane might have a mini feud to push Strowman further.
Overall this is one of the best PPVs of the year, none of the matches were bad so to speak, Balor vs Styles was a wrestling clinic and the main event was a spot fest sent from the wrestling Gods. I would give this PPV a very solid rating of an 8 out of 10. I would once again like to thank all of the wrestlers parents who didn’t have them vaccinated as children, because the mumps ended up being one of the best bookers WWE has ever had.