Roman Reigns Vacates The Title
- Roman Reigns comes out with a concerned look on his face and announces that he's had leukemia for 11 years and it's back.
- Reigns says that he's battled this for years and WWE gave him a chance when nobody else did.
- There are "thank you Roman" chants. He says this isn't a retirement speech, and he's going to come back to prove he can.
- Rollins and Ambrose meet Reigns on the ramp and they embrace. Rollins and Ambrose are in tears.
Finn Balor defeated Bobby Lashley (w/ Lio Rush)
- Lio Rush comes out and Renee Young wonders why he doesn't have a shirt on. Rush distracts Balor, allowing Lashley to hit a clothesline.
- They make it look like Rush was chanting "LASHLEY" all through the commercial break.
- Lashley sets up for the Deposit, but Balor reverses it, rolls through and hits a dropkick. Balor also gets a double foot stomp, but Lashley turns the tides with a catching Samoan drop.
- Balor gets the Slingblade, and ends up rolling up Lashley for the win.
Ruby Riott (w/ Riott Squad) defeated Sasha Banks (w/ Bayley & Natalya)
- We see inset promos from both of the trios. I'm glad Ruby Riott is getting her team a match at Evolution, but this is a real disservice to Sasha, Bayley and Natayla.
- Sasha does a lucha arm drag, which Cole calls "deep." You can't really do a deep arm drag that way.
- Ruby and Sasha work well together. Ruby applies a cravate and sweeps the leg to keep it applied.
- Ruby Riott is headscissored into the buckle and eats a knee that really got Sarah Logan to react.
- Meteora and Backstabber hit, and everyone at ringside battles it out. Sasha Banks gives up on her hold to leave the match. Unsurprisingly, she's kicked into the buckle and pinned with a Riott Kick.
- Lazy booking, lazy finish, good wrestlers.
- Nia Jax cuts a bad backstage written promo about winning the battle royal this weekend. Dana Brooke's is much better.
- It's announced that Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar will headline Crown Jewel for the title now.
- Kurt Angle cuts maybe the worst teleprompter promo of them all, running through all of the competitors. This is so bad.
- Lita and Trish Stratus put each other over in a backstage promo. Lita delivers this as good as possible. They're interrupted by a hilarious Alicia Fox. Alicia and Mickie attack, and get beaten up anyway. There were some nasty bumps here. "THAT'S HOW WE DO IT IN THE ATTITUDE ERA"
- DX makes a joke about Kane being mayor, and says they're not running for mayor any time soon.
- They call themselves old, and say that's what nostalgia means, but nostalgia filled up a stadium in Australia and has a 40-year old movie in Halloween number one at the box office.
- They put over how they run NXT too.
- The Brothers of Destruction show up on the titantron again and say shit about despair and desolation and hell.
- I liked Kane's promos a lot more when he would congratulate Daniel Bryan on hard fart victories
Rousey and Bella
- Michael Cole brings out the Bella Twins and Ronda Rousey. The Bellas leave the ring and Rousey says she's not going to touch either of them.
- Why's Nikki Bella care if Rousey is going to lay a finger on her? They're fighting on Sunday
- Nikki Bella says Rousey's word didn't mean anything when she promised her mom she'd win the Olympics and World Championships.
- Bella smacks Rousey, who smiles about it.
- Rousey: I will end you. I give you my word.
Heyman, Strowman, Drew
- Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre are backstage, and Ziggler says he appreciates Drew helping him last week, but they need on the same page. Drew says Braun needed them way more than they needed him and he's not afraid. He's going monster hunting.
- Paul Heyman gives a really great, heartfelt speech about Roman Reigns and the WWE Universal Championship.
- Heyman says that Reigns would want the title continue, and it should go to someone worthy of being champion -- Brock Lesnar.
- Braun comes out and tough talks Lesnar and Heyman, and says Reigns will get a shot when he beats leukemia.
- McIntyre hits an insane Claymore in the aisle on Strowman. He got some air.
- Backstage, McIntyre reiterates he isn't scared of Strowman or any other monsters.
Elias defeated Apollo Crews
- Elias plays the guitar very well. He's interrupted by Apollo, and I'm surprised WWE thinks that Apollo interrupting Elias is a babyface move.
- Elias has a submission powered out of by Apollo. Crews gets a standing moonsault and a Samoan drop for two.
- There are "Walk With Elias" chants and he hits a knee and Drift Away for the win.
- He gets a good ovation after the win. He stays on the stage and is ready to perform, but he's introduced by Baron Corbin.
- Corbin says he doesn't have time for this performance.
- Elias tells Corbin to silence and shut his damn mouth. Corbin has his mic cut and Elias busts a guitar over Corbin's back. This gets an excellent reaction as well.
- An Elias face turn would be welcome with a big void at the top of the card.
Ember Moon defeated Tamina, Nia Jax and Dana Brooke
- I like seeing a fatal four way on Raw.
- Dana Brooke's strikes look really good. She's leaned out and improved her in ring work.
- Tamina superkicks Nia, then gets Eclipsed by Ember and pinned.
- Wow. A three minute fatal four way match. Ok. At least it helps portray that matches can end at any time. Sometimes you need one of those.
- WWE announces the battle royal on Sunday will be over the top rope. I'd emailed WWE for clarity yesterday and hadn't heard back.
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship
The Shield defeated Dogs of War (c)
- Ambrose and Rollins cut great, emotional promos about Roman Reigns. Ambrose says they'll do what they always do -- WIN.
- Shield and Dogs of War have their typical fast-paced, high level work. Some highlights include Rollins with a suicide dive, Ziggler with a FameAsser and McIntyre with a BammaSlamma
- Dogs of War use the typical "yank Ambrose off the apron, clothesline him around the outside of the ring," spot.
- We come back from the break and McIntyre does an inside out Spider Suplex on Rollins. Ambrose follows with a big dropkick.
- Ziggler posts Rollins and gets 2.9 on a Zig Zag and a FANTASTIC pinfall attempt.
- Strowman's music hits, and Ziggler/Rollins take each other out -- and the ref.
- Strowman and McIntyre brawl out of the ringside area and they're gone.
- Ziggler tries to use the title and is stopped by Ambrose. Curb Stomp and a pin. New tag team champions.
- This is a great moment.
- A greater moment is Dean Ambrose hitting Dirty Deeds on Seth Rollins right after embracing.
- Consider me INTRIGUED. Ambrose attacks Rollins hardcore. Rollins is begging for mercy.
- Top 10 heel turn ever. On THIS night. After THAT match. The camera catching that guy in the crowd in Dean Ambrose's face screaming "WHY MAN, WHY!?" It was so good!
- Ambrose Dirty Deeds Ambrose on the floor. The crowd is chanting "ASSHOLE."
10- Perfect, 9- MOTY Territory, 8- Excellent, 7- Great, 6- Good, 5- Average to above average, 4- Slightly below average, 3 or below: Poor
Each match starts at a 5 and slides up and down based on entertainment, execution, time, environment, reaction and stakes. The ratings are in no way an indication of a "star rating," which is a completely different system. A standard, non-offensive "TV match" lands at a 5.The gap between 5.75-6 is generally the largest, with anything reaching 6 being recommended viewing.