By Robbie Radford @RobbieRadford
Roman Reigns defeated Jason Jordan via pinfall.
Sasha Banks defeated Emma via pinfall.
Bray Wyatt defeated Goldust via pinfall.
John Cena defeated Braun Strowman via disqualification.
Enzo Amore defeated The Miz via disqualification.
Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose & The Hardy Boyz defeated Shesaro & The Club via pinfall.
Emanating from the Honda Center in Anaheim, the RAW brand was well on its way to No Mercy. With some of the hottest rivalries in Wrestling today, Monday Night was once again heated up by the red brand.
RAW began with a moment of silence, paying tribute to those that lost their lives during the horrific September 11th terrorist attack.
Jason Jordan vs Roman Reigns
Kicking things off, Roman Reigns emerged, to a sea of boos and thumbs down. Say what you will, the Big Dog always tends to garner the biggest reaction of the evening. Jason Jordan emerged to a much quieter, perhaps even muted, reaction from the Californian crowd.
Reigns took charge early on with his powerful strikes, I’d personally go as far as suggesting that Reigns is one of the best strikers in the company. Jordan, much like his Father could, nailed a belly-to-belly suplex on Reigns to control proceedings, until Reigns countered with a lariat from the corner and then once again had control. In a twist of skill, Jordan countered Roman’s signature Superman Punch by reversing it into a crossface. Coming back from a brief ad break, Reigns who, temporarily out mat-wrestled Jordan, continued to punish the former tag team champion.
The match really started to heat up when Jason really fired up, delivering two perfect Northern Lights Suplexes which was followed up by another crossface submission attempt, sending Reigns scrambling to the ropes. Following a quick turnaround, Reigns hit Jordan with a SuperMan Punch and then a spear for the victory in another good TV match. Soon after, John Cena entered the arena, to firstly inform Reigns that he took longer than 20 minutes to beat ‘a rookie.’
John Cena and Roman Reigns verbally jousted to the same high level as the last two weeks, prompting much entertainment for the audiences. Cena reminded Reigns about the responsibilities of being The Guy. Cena verbally destroyed Reigns before attempting to leave the ring, until Roman brought him back. Roman fired back with some great lines, before John Cena concluded the promo saying “compare me to a drugs test, you ain’t getting past me!”
Sasha Banks vs Emma
From wild to mild, Sasha Banks emerged for her upcoming match with Emma. Interestingly, or no so interestingly enough, Emma received the notorious jobbers entrance. RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss was on commentary for this match. Just as Emma floored Sasha Banks with a strong lariat, Nia Jax emerged and sat next to Bliss on commentary.
Following a solid yet uninspiring few minutes of action, Sasha Banks submitted Emma with her famed Bank Statement submission. All four women exchanged stares after the contest.
Following an advertisement break, Brock Lesnar, accompanied by his advocate Paul Heyman, made their way to the ring. Heyman previewed the match, saying and explaining why the odds are against Brock Lesnar. As you’d expect, Heyman did another superb job with a mic in his hands, hyping up the match beyond proportion. The pair brawled, with Strowman going for his finisher but Lesnar reversed, hitting Strowman with a German Suplex, which Strowman got straight back up from. Strowman hit Lesnar with a chokeslam before hitting his signature move on The Beast.
Goldust vs Bray Wyatt
Another dull match from Bray Wyatt resulted in a victory for the Eater of Worlds, defeating Goldust via Sister Abigail.
Finn Balor came to Goldust’s aid after Wyatt began to rub Goldust’s face paint off. Wyatt quickly backed out of the ring, leaving Balor to stand tall in the ring.
The Club vs Shesaro
WWE RAW tag team champions Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose were on commentary for this one as two former tag team champions squared off. After a brief stand off at the top of the ramp, the two competing tag teams beat down Rollins and Ambrose before all three tag teams began brawling with each other, the match never officially got underway.
Kurt Angle suggested that Ambrose and Rollins find two tag team partners to face the quad-team of Shesaro and The Club.
A vignette for Asuka coming to RAW was aired, which Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss both watched too. Alexa tried to talk her way into being friends with Nia again, which Nia promptly shut down any ideas of friendship but informed Bliss that she would square off with her next week.
Elias Samson, with his trusty guitar in hand, sat on his stool and introduced his new song, akin to a young Bob Dylan. All jokes aside, Samson is a fantastic musician, in musical manner, Samson amusingly rubbished the city of Anaheim until Kalisto interrupted.
The Drifter dominated Kalisto with his far superior height and strength. Despite a very brief fight back from Kalisto, The Drifter controlled the match from beginning to end, with Samson collecting a very easy victory over Kalisto.
John Cena vs Braun Strowman
The Leader of the Cenation vs RAW’s incarnation of Bane. Cena was on fire following his verbal destruction of Reigns but looked concerned ahead of his bout with Strowman. Strowman after briefly locking up with Cena, simply shoved Cena out of the ring. Strowman dominated the opening stages, his raw power outmuscling Cena at every turn. Braun outmuscled Cena to the extent that Cena failed twice to pull of an AA on Braun. This was a really good match, it demonstrated Cena’s legendary ability to look like the clear underdog despite his pure size and strength. Strowman attacked Cena with the steel steps, which should’ve resulted in a Disqualification but the referee forgot to ring the bell. Strowman delivered his already devastating running powerslam to Cena on the steel steps, which then prompted the referee to ring the bell.
Ambrose and Rollins, just after all hope looked to have gone, encountered the Hardy Boyz backstage, who quickly accepted their proposition of helping them tonight. Matt continues to tease the broken gimmick, which would be perfect timing for the stalling tag team.
Miz, Maryse and The Miztourage strutted to the ring where Maryse, on behalf of Miz, announced that the married pair were having a child! Although, in remarkably heelish fashion, Enzo Amore interrupted The Miz’s handwritten speech on Fatherhood. The Miz absolutely destroyed Enzo Amore on the microphone, poking fun at him moving to 205Live and being kicked out of locker rooms and off tour buses. The Miz dressed down Enzo infront of Global television audiences, to the point where I genuinely felt sorry for Enzo. The Miz called Enzo a crook with a couple of catchphrases. Enzo replied, to the best he could do to get anywhere near what The Miz said. It didn’t work. Enzo called The Miz a paper champion, which with the Intercontinental Champion in hand, The Miz knew himself was a completely redundant comment.
The Miz vs Enzo Amore
This match was really goofy from start until finish when Enzo told Miz to ask his child “who’s your daddy?” This question resulted in Miz absolutely decimating Enzo before allowing The Miztourage to pick Amore to pieces, not before Miz polished things off with a Skull Crushing Finale. I don’t really know what the point of this segment was, nobody benefited from it whatsoever, in fact, I’d suggest it points to Amore going backwards if anything.
Backstage, after the match, Neville confronted Enzo, before laughing at him and walking away.
Hardy Boyz, Rollins & Ambrose vs Shesaro & The Club
The face team cleared the ring early on, meaning that Jeff Hardy controlled Cesaro at his own pace from the beginning. After an early domination by the Hardyz, the heel group temporarily controlled the match, with both doubles displaying exceptional ability to cut Ambrose off from the rest of his team, before they built to the hot tag anyway. Matt Hardy botched an attempt to break up a pin on Ambrose but the referee smartly improvised, making it look as if Hardy falling distracted him from the pin. Rollins got the hot tag and after a good display of wrestling, allowed Ambrose to pick up the victory, pinning Karl Anderson via Dirty Deeds.
A good, entertaining show throughout, I really enjoyed RAW this week, one thing I haven’t said for a while, bear in mind that I’ve not watched a full, live episode of RAW since May. All the feuds heading into No Mercy are progressing well, especially Cena/Reigns and Lesnar/Strowman which I consider to be Wrestlemania worthy rivalries.
Show Rating: B+