Two Minute Challenge
Nikki Cross survives against Charlotte Flair
Hey Miz is on TV. John Morrison has garlic and a drip stick. Okay. I'm not a big fan of Charlottte getting a title shot, losing a match, then just getting a title match. Sometimes I wonder if the people who are booking Rhea Ripley on Raw watched how she got over so well on NXT. Because it wasn't "I know you are but what am I? lines." Nikki Cross comes out and Charlotte isn't taking her seriously. Rhea Ripley says she respects her. Nikki challenges Charlotte to a two minute match, Charlotte takes it. Nikki Cross runs away a bunch. Holy shit guys one of the best women's tag team champions ever lasted two whole minutes with Charlotte can you believe it?
Randy Orton (w/ Riddle) defeated Xavier Woods
Riddle wants Damian Priest to teach him Spanish. Orton shows up. He's not mad about Riddle using his finish, and has Riddle come to ringside for his match. Orton makes Riddle shut his mouth and throw away the key. Orton and Woods have a solid match, and Randy Orton gets the win with a Bro Derek that is less spectacular than Riddle's. Riddle is over the moon about it.
Reginald defeated Shayna Baszler
Jimmy Smith was fantastic in the Reginald intro. Reggie wants Nia to watch from backstage. Shayna applies a really nice modified Calf Crusher, but she gets rolled up and pinned via a FIRE distraction. Catch wrestling GOD Reginald.
Alexa Bliss is backstage being creepy, and invited Reginald to the playground. Shayna beats up him, and Alexa says she wasn't invited. Shayna says Alexa sees how she handles her problems. Saw how she handled her problems!? She got rolled up and pinned by her problem! Why would anyone care about this angle!?
Retribution Defeated Lucha House Party
This is a squash match. They're gonna need a lot of them to wash that stinky booking off, but I'm glad it's happening. Just don't do it over and over again with LHP.
Ricochet defeated Sheamus
Humberto Carillo defeated Sheamus
Sheamus beat Ricochet and Humberto Carilllo twice each and wants to fight them again I guess. Carillo distracts Sheamus, and Ricochet gets the pin. Oh boy. The same thing happens against Carillo after Sheamus busts his mouth. Who is getting over in this Sheamus story? I was assuming it was Sheamus based on him winning a bunch. Then WWE resorts to the same old "Sheamus is a bully that got thwarted and he's MMMMMMMMAAAAAAAAD" gimmick where he loses via distraction roll up. This booking sucks. A champion gets pinned twice in a few minutes via distraction roll up to a couple of guys that had both faced him twice before without winning.
Dana & Mandy defeated Lana & Naomi
I don't understand from a production standpoint why WWE does entrances, then cut to a commercial, then come back from a commercial, then do an unrelated video package for several minutes, then do the opposing entrance. I'd very much like someone involved to smarten me up on that.
I'm glad these women are getting time, and the tag titles are being highlighted for the next team that will get ten title shots, but this wasn't good. Timing was off, and this didn't work at all. Mandy and Dana get win with a Super G9.
Cedric Alexander defeated Shelton Benjamin
Oh. A rematch. Again. It was quick at least, but you know we're getting another. Thumb to the eye and a Neuralizer. Well, this is gonna happen again.
- Eva Marie vignette again.
- Is WWE going back on the road or something? Viking Raiders and Mansoor are doing a backstage angle, and Mustafa Ali warns Mansoor about people stabbing him in the back. I'm here for a Mustafa Ali feud with Mansoor, a team with Mansoor, existing in the general vicinity of Raw cameras. Just something!
WWE Raw Tag Team Titles
AJ Styles & Omos (c) defeated Jaxson Ryker & Elias to retain the titles
From the time Omos & AJ's music hit to the beginning of the match was 11 minutes. I don't get it. Legit interested from a production standpoint. Is it a cliffhanger mentality? If you're using that, why assume the attention span is so short elsewhere?
Elias asks if Ryker has went into battle and Ryker is all "motherfucker I was in Iraq." Yeah, well Elias said "nah" and left Ryker hanging. Great booking in the tag title match. Cool! Elias says he respects that Ryker is a good athlete and a veteran but he doesn't listen well enough.
Top contender match
Drew McIntyre defeated Kofi Kingston
Lashley says that fans focused on people that don't even compete in WWE, maybe a NJPW reference. I love. MVP mentioning Kofi's win bringing him to tears a was a great reference to something so many people saw. We also got great promos from Kofi and Drew.
This match is the highlight of Raw about three minutes in. This is a main event caliber match, and worthy of this spot. Drew tosses Kofi everywhere -- all over the ring, over the barricade. Kofi's sunset flip powerbomb was great. The spider belly-to-belly suplex leads to a great finishing sequence where Kofi avoids the Claymore with a Trouble in Paradise. I like that Drew McIntyre didn't kick out of the Trouble in -Paradise, he grabbed the rope. Drew Claymores Kofi in midair. Outstanding finish, outstanding match.
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.
These are opinions, and incredibly inconsistent ones that may change upon a second viewing, or sitting on the match for a period of time. Don't take them too seriously, and have (and share) your own! Our opinions mean exactly the same amount as yours.