Jim Jaeger @jaegerjunc
Good evening to my dear readers! Monday night Raw is live from the University of Tennessee. I thought I would try a different format tonight knowing that you have likely already watched the show. Instead of a straight play-by-play here is my top-ten moments list encapsulating all of the action from the Red Brand. Hopefully this format is more palatable than a long recap. Enjoy and thanks for reading!
Top Ten Moments from Raw
- Roman Reigns promo to start show. This was a “smiley” Roman promo. He talked about defeating the Miz for the title sandwiched around footage of last week’s match. Roman challenged anyone in the back to try to take the belt from him. The Miz’s music hit but it was the Miztourage introducing Elias as a challenger. Roman’s humorous promos usually do not get over with the crowd.
- Jason Jordan vs. Kane: Kane fresh off of squashing the hire of Greg Schiano as the Tennessee Volunteer football coach. Jordan trying to impress his dad and prove his knee is better. Jordan showed impressive power by slamming Kane into the corner twice only to fall on his injured knee when he landed outside. Jordan was counted out and lost. Kane added insult to injury by throwing Jordan back out of the ring. Jordan fell onto his injured knee gain. Kane followed him outside and continued the beatdown only to be interrupted by Finn Balor. Jordan being written as having irrational confidence and having injury excuses for losing.
- 8. Seth Rollins vs. Caesaro: Two of the best wrestlers in the federation going one-on-one. Caesaro kept Rollins grounded for the majority of the match. As the announcers mentioned multiple times, Caesaro attacked Rollins’ lower back so he could not properly utilize his core. Rollins struggled with the Swiss Cyborg’s power. Rollins was forced to try high risk maneuvers such as the Blockbuster and a suicide dive to the outside. Rollins survived all of the power moves and several near falls to hit the running knee and pin Caesaro clean. This match lasted through two commercial breaks. Both are good workers but this pairing of the Ambrose/Rollins and the Bar is quickly becoming repetitive. The after-match interview of Rollins teased a Shield breakup but was meandering and hard to follow.
- Titus O’Neil vs. Samoa Joe: This match goes back to last month when Samoa Joe defeated Apollo Crews and then attacked Titus Worldwide when Titus tried to check on Crews. Titus took the match to Samoa Joe at first and even controlled the match early on, although it appeared that Joe was playing rope-a-dope. Titus pushed Joe into the corner prompting a ref break. Joe punched Titus when the ref was not looking and slapped the Coquina Clutch on for the tap out. Crews tried to get in Joe’s face and also fell prey to the Coquina. Titus looked fairly strong but Joe was the dominant force.
- Three on three tag match between Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Mickie James and Paige, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. The Boss made it to the ring followed by Bailey’s music but no Bailey. Paige, Deville, and Rose entered ringside and asked Sasha where her partners were. A backstage camera showed that James has been Gilloolied (could be worth a google of Tonya Harding) and Bailey was holding her neck unable to fight. Paige introduced her group as Absolution. Sasha had the choice of pledging allegiance to Absolution or taking a beat down. She chose the latter and fell victim to the number’s game.
- Bray Wyatt promo: This was a nonsensical promo from Wyatt about the audience members being sheep that followed orders and were actually dead. It changed for the better with the arrival of Matt Hardy. Wyatt dominated the proceedings against the troubled Matt Hardy. Despite his internal turmoil, Hardy was able to fight back and hit a Side Effect. Alas, it was not enough and Hardy fell to Sister Abigail. The camera stayed on Hardy who began showing a bit of the “Broken” gimmick. He must be getting closer to being able to use it without threat of legal action.
- Fatal four-way Cruiserweight division: Rich Swan, Noam Dar, Akira Tozawa, Ariya Daivari: This match will be followed by another of its ilk next week. The winner from this week will fight the winner from the match next week for the right to face Enzo Amore for the title. The action was fast-paced with high spots and intricate chain wrestling. This match was what made the Cruiserweight Classic so good. Every wrestler was able to hit their finisher for a near fall. Swann with a Phoenix Splash was finally able to advance.
- Asuka vs. Dana Brooke: Dana tried last week to defeat the Empress of Tomorrow after scouting her. It did not work last week, but she had a new plan for this week. Asuka trapped Brooke in the Asuka lock in about three seconds. Brooke tapped quickly. Absolution arrived and teased an attack, yet let Asuka walk away.
- Finn Balor vs. Kane: Kane was dominant early but ended up attacking Balor with a chair after Balor hit the Sling Blade. Kane was disqualified and beat down Balor. Kane placed the chair around Balor’s neck and was going to jump off the top ropes on the prone Balor when he was interrupted by Strowman’s music. Kane attempted to derail Strowman with chair shots. The big man shrugged them off and power slammed Kane onto steel steps. The crowd chanted for one more and Strowman obliged by lodging the chair between Kane’s chin and his neck and slamming Kane onto the steps. He repeated that move leaving Kane gasping for breath. This high ranking is only because of the arrival of Strowman. He acts like a movie bad guy who will not die and I love the gimmick for him.
- Elias vs. Roman Reigns for the Intercontinental Championship: Elias raised some eyebrows in this match. He did have some help from the Miztourage but Elias did have three near falls and kicked out of a Superman Punch. After putting up a good fight, Elias fell prey to a Reigns’ spear for the three count. Reigns retained the title. As Reigns left the ring area, he was attacked by Samoa Joe who locked in the Coquina Clutch until refs and backstage personnel could pry him off of the inert Reigns. This points to an upcoming feud between the two Samoan Joes. (Get it?) 😊
As always, Good Night and Good Luck!