A big night for the red brand as RAW emanated from the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.
Seth Rollins defeated Chris Jericho (**¾)
Golden Truth and Mark Henry defeated Shining Stars and Titus O’Neil (**)
Big E defeated Sheamus (**¾)
Bo Dallas defeated Neville (**½)
3-on-1 handicap match: Braun Strowman defeated Mile High Club (***)
Big Cass defeated Karl Anderson (½)
Drew Gulak, Tony Nese & Brian Kendrick defeated TJ Perkins, Cedric Alexander & Rich Swann (***¼)
Less than a fortnight away from Hell in a Cell, the show opened with Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho making their way to the ring, perhaps interesting to note, Jericho sauntered a few yards behind the Universal Champion. The Colorado crowd were hot for Jericho but fairly dismissive of Owens. The champion silenced crowds chanting “Jericho” dubbing them stupid chants. Jericho & Owens clearly disregarded the Hell in a Cell structure, calling Mick Foley a stupid idiot for placing him inside the same cell that ended Foley’s career. Jericho turned his attention to the fact he wasn’t placed in the championship match, placing the RAW referee that called last week’s main event on the list. THE list.
Rollins emerged, sporting a nauseating new piece of merchandise similar to what Dean Ambrose wears. Rollins went down the ‘cheap pop’ route, commenting on Jericho’s fashion & somewhat influencing the crowd to chant ‘Sparkle Crotch’ at Jericho. Rollins questioned the friendship between Owens & Jericho, attempting to drive a wedge between the pair. This interesting segment culminated in yet another match between Jericho and Rollins.
Chris Jericho vs Seth Rollins
Visibly irritated by the Denver crowd insisting on chanting ‘Sparkle Crotch’ whenever Jericho mounted offence, Rollins took charge of the opening stages, taking advantage of the distracted Jericho whenever the opportunity arose. In what was becoming a bruising encounter for both men, Rollins had two pedigree attempts reversed as well as Jericho having a Walls of Jericho attempt evaded by a Rollins who was intent on picking up the victory as fast as possible.
Just as Rollins looked prime to take control of the match, Owens reappeared which allowed Jericho to take advantage of a distracted Rollins by locking in the Lionsault for a long period of time. After a brief 50/50 struggle, Rollins finally pulled off the pedigree for the victory, keeping eyes locked on Owens the whole time. As good as both these men can be, this match did nothing for me as well as not furthering or even padding out this feud.
Backstage, Charlotte sat down with Lita in a pre-recorded backstage interview. Despite rattling off names of legends that have competed in the famous structure which didn’t deter Charlotte who had a confident answer for all of Lita’s questions. The Queen Charlotte enforced there’s a reason why she has won in her last 12 PPV matches, retorting with supreme confidence. Lita, for some reason, mentioned that the entire WWE Universe is behind her, which was a very false statement. Charlotte was great in this interview, cutting an immense promo that’s well worth the watch.
Shining Stars & Titus O’Neil vs Golden Truth & Mark Henry
This match came about when the Golden Stars tried to sell Henry fake Rolex watches and Golden Truth intervened. They instantly began working towards the hot tag for Henry/Truth as Goldust was isolated away from his tag partners. R Truth got the hot tag and the crowd went.. Mild. Henry then got the hot tag and won the match with his World’s Strongest Slam.
New Day were seen backstage dancing their way to the ring on day #420 of their tag team reign. 420. Colorado. The Weed joke and reference counter starts now: 5
Jericho chastised Owens for making an appearance during the Jericho/Rollins match and their friendship began to visibly breakdown. As the two reached a crescendo in argument, Stephanie McMahon calmed the pair down and demanded that the two remain stronger and smarter than everybody else. Way to undermine your roster, Steph.
Sheamus vs Big E
Cesaro & Sheamus bickered their way to the ring, with Cesaro on Facebook Live. The pair argued on camera before Sheamus demanded Cesaro leave the ring. Cesaro was ridiculously over before New Day emerged and cut a pre-match promo, winding up Sheamus in front of the Denver crowd who were sharp in acknowledging all the weed references.
This was a pretty good match, both men are pretty hard hitting and were keen to demonstrate that. Following a quick ad break, Big E hyped up the crowd with his antics only for Sheamus to reply with an Irish Curse Backbreaker to get back into the match. Following some petty antics from Cesaro to distract Sheamus, Big E won the match with a roll up.
Neville vs Bo Dallas
First of all, Neville looks great sporting the beard and the black, white and red attire. The aggressive new attitude of Bo Dallas that intertwined perfectly with his Drunk & Disorderly charge has been a good move for Dallas, he looks like he much prefers punishing superstars than begging them to Bo-Lieve. Neville, after soaking up some offence went for the Red Arrow but Dallas smartly countered it and won..?
After the match, Bo Dallas attacked Curtis Axel who had been supporting him at ringside throughout the match. I still can’t get over the fact Neville jobbed to Bo Dallas.
Bayley vs Dana Brooke
Dana Brooke got off to a flying start, causing Bayley to cower in the corner whilst Brooke hammered her with strikes. Bayley slowly began her fightback after working her way out of a chin lock as the crowd went crazy for anything Bayley did as well as providing Brooke with plenty of boos at any given moment. From seemingly out of nowhere, Brooke picked up the win over an injured Bayley, I couldn’t work out if Bayley was injured or not and they just called an audible. Either way, big win for Dana Brooke.
Heyman sat in the studio, insisting the Lesnar/Goldberg angle was spiralling out of control, suggesting the Goldberg challenge was rhetorical. Heyman was pissed off that the fans are in the corner of Goldberg and tried to persuade Goldberg to turn down the challenge. Heyman promised that if Goldberg accepts the challenge, all it will do is piss off Brock Lesnar even more.
Braun Strowman vs Mile High Trio
Squaring off in a 3-on-1 handicap match, this went as well as you’d expect it to go for the Colorado natives. Strowman, as predicted, dominated the match in impressive fashion. Strowman chased a competitor around the ring before tossing him back into the ring. Strowman then delivered his powerslam before his front face slam, picking up another victory. I love these squash matches. Genuinely the best, funnest match of the night so far.
For some reason, just as Strowman looked set to go backstage and seek out some “real competition” Sami Zayn emerged, the same height as most of Strowmans opponents in the past few weeks. Zayn confronted Strowman, only to be launched across the ring before Strowman left the ring.
Back to the ring, Lana and Rusev cut an anti-america promo before burying Samoans. Rusev put over his family, showing photos of the “Rusev family” on the titantron. Eventually, Roman Reigns emerged to a big reaction. The United States Champion likened Rusev to the family dog, cutting a decent promo, insisting that no family will stop the pair clashing at Hell in a Cell.. Lana slapped Reigns before Rusev attacked Reigns, locking in his Accolade on the steel steps that he threw into the ring.
Karl Anderson vs Big Cass
Big Cass took the fight to Anderson straight away, forcing Anderson to retreat to the outside straight away. Big Cass won the match in just over 2 minutes with an East River Crossing. Just please send them back to New Japan where they were actually valued.
Tony Nese & Drew Gulak were talking with Brian Kendrick before TJ Perkins interrupted and squared up to former friend, Kendrick. Just as the three looked to attack Perkins, Cedric Alexander & Rich Swann arrived as backup for Perkins. The two teams of three have a match against each other and opted to save the action for the ring.
Sasha Banks sat down with Lita for her interview and insisted she’s the boss, she’s going to win on Sunday and incase you forgot, she’s the boss and the champion. Despite The Boss being on the verge of tears throughout, I feel they’ve angled this incorrectly. Hell in a Cell shouldn’t be about making history, it should be about a violent and bloody feud that can’t be settled in a regular ring.
Drew Gulak, Tony Nese & Brian Kendrick vs TJ Perkins, Cedric Alexander & Rich Swann
Stand back and appreciate the genius creativity behind Perkins’ entrance. Gulak and Swann got proceedings underway, the crowd were reasonably hot for Swann, especially when he got going. After a few brief tag ins, the match focused around Perkins and Kendrick, Perkins locked in the knee bar almost straight away following Kendrick tagging in. Following the ad break in which, as ever, momentum changes, Swann got the hot tag and really got the crowd into this. Nese took advantage of a distracted Swann by delivering a 450 splash before Kendrick tagged himself and applied the captain’s hook to pick up the victory for his team. It’s a shame that everyone in the cruiserweight division has seemingly been placed on the shelf whilst Kendrick and Perkins feud.
Perhaps the moment that everyone was waiting for arrived and they built it up incredibly well. Goldberg’s entrance was covered from backstage into the arena and it was a really epic moment, very nostalgic.
The Pepsi Center erupted for Goldberg as he did his iconic entrance. The crowd chanted “this is awesome” whilst Goldberg fought back tears. Goldberg went on record saying he missed being a superhero for the kids as there isn’t enough of them these days. Having the crowd in the palm of his hand, Goldberg played with the idea of staying retired but the challenge from Lesnar was too hard to resist. Goldberg cut a really good promo saying “Brock Lesnar, not only are you next, but you’re last!”
This closed the show.
Pretty weak show, some meaningless matches and awful booking decisions. It’s a real chore to watch this show at times, this week was one of those times. Being part of the Smackdown #TeamBlue, it’s hard to enjoy RAW when Smackdown is 100 times better. The third hour killed this show, although every hour killed my attention. Perhaps the most annoying moment was seeing Karl Anderson job to Big Cass in under two minutes. It was nice seeing Goldberg though.