War Raiders Win
They sent Lince Dorado out there by himself. AJ Styles runs down everyone in the ring on the mic. This isn't his strongest promo, but in comparison to a lot of the stuff on Raw, it's not bad. That's a really low bar, though. This five minute promo felt twice as long. New Day says AJ Styles & Omos aren't registered. Miz is out in a wheelchair. Miz is not good in this spot, him cutting proms for the sake of it isn't interesting. Morrison will represent them.
Orton starts off with 3 RKOs. Then after a commercial they wait to do a Lashley/Drew VTR before the match. Why? Well, Morrison gets thrown out after some Super Soaker humor. Not Retribution have a nice run, but get teamed up on to toss them out. Riddle is out, leaving Orton with New Day and Raiders. Riddle still causes Kofi to get tossed out, but War Raiders win.
AJ Styles and Omos make fun of Erik for having a stanky ol ass.
We get an Alexa Bliss promo and video, which is one of the better ones.
Jaxson Ryker defeated Elias via countout
What the fuck is Elias talking about? They'd be celebrating with the tag team titles? He walked out! Jaxson Ryker with a fresh cut attacks Elias. The camera zooms in the Ryker beatdown were great in that they zoomed so many times I didn't actually see what happened.
A match technically happens. Jaxson Ryker looks like Matt Cardona's third cousin that would buy him cigarettes before he was 18. Elias runs away. Nothing on this show ends up mattering. Why should I care about Ryker? Separate of all the peripheral shit.
Drew McIntyre cuts a long winded promo, and is about to sign the contract, but Bobby Lashley and co come out. MVP tells Drew if Lashley wins, Drew never gets a title match again. Good stipulation, but the stipulation outright should be "this is the last Lashley vs. McIntyre title match" regardless that way they can naturally move on if Drew wins. Gee I wonder what kind of match Drew McIntyre could be angling for here? It's Hell in a Cell. Drew McIntyre closes with some threats.
Top Contender Match
Ricochet vs. Humberto Carrillo is a double countout
Sheamus looks like a miserable bad ass with that brace on his face. He rules. Well until they made him look like a geek right after. I love that they showed Humberto breaking Sheamus' face up. I think Sheamus probably shouldn't have whined, and instead just stared in at both of them. I think that would have worked better. Sweet. A match with stakes. Wish it would have been built with something besides two fluke distraction roll ups and both of them already losing to Sheamus twice. A good match leads to a Spanish Fly on the outside and a double countout. Sheamus laughs, but this kicked a bunch of ass. They'll get a rematch. Ricochet and Humberto completely killing it. More of this type of stuff. Amazing.
Jeff Hardy defeated Cedric Alexander
This match is way too slow paced for these two guys. I know this isn't 2009 Jeff Hardy, but still really slow. He wins with a Swanton Bomb. Cool. This was harmless, but we'll see where they go with Hardy if anywhere.
Nikki Cross & Asuka defeated Rhea Ripley & Charlotte Flair
Charlotte Flair wants her "loss" reversed. FLUSTERED is the word of the day. They're even doing the "If ANYONE deserves" interrupting promo for Raw rematches! Charlotte and Rhea Ripley have to COEXIST against Nikki Cross and a partner of her choosing!' The scripting of that Nikki Cross promo. What in the shitting butt? Not the prettiest, not the most experienced? WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT. WWE found a way to do a new match, that is somehow a rematch, that is also a "can they coexist."
It took almost ten minutes from the Charlotte/Rhea backstage segment until the bell rang. Money night monkey's paw -- glad Nikki Cross is on TV, wish it was a better story. Charlotte Flair keeps adding to her offense. Little things to moves she's done for years, switching it up. That Rhea Ripley waving delayed vertical suplex is what I'd qualify as good shit pal. WWE almost sold me a ticket with Ripley getting pinned. Instead, she and Charlotte fight and Rhea Ripley, the champion, gets pinned by an incredulous Nikki Cross. Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair in fact could not coexist
Mansoor defeated Drew Gulak
Mustafa Ali warns Mansoor about Gulak not following the rules. He's watching backstage. This is a short, hold exchange match that Mansoor wins after reversing a Gulak pin where Drew was holding the shorts. Mansoor hasn't been pinned or submitted in his last 54 matches
Kof Kingston (w/ Xavier Woods) defeated Riddle (w/ Randy Orton)
MVP cuts an amazing promo on Kofi Kingston backstage about KofiMania and how it made him want to come back to WWE. MVP says KofiMania ended because he let it, and he was too nice to Drew McIntyre. Kofi says something else fuels him and makes him compete. MVP saysThat MVP/Kofi Kingston promo was TOP NOTCH. One of my favorite things on Raw all year.
Not big on the key gimmick with Riddle and Orton. It was funny at first but it's not needed.
Xavier Woods keeps trying to distract, so Randy Orton comes out. Once that part is over, this match kicks ass. Riddle is probably the best in-ring worker in WWE this year. I don't think "probably" is even worth saying at this point. Riddle has picked up some more of Orton's moves, but can't hit the RKO or Bro Derek and Kofi wins with the Trouble in Paradise.
Nia Jax tries to warn Shayna Baszler, but Shayna isn't worried. Shayna stomps on Lilly's head in the ring, and Alexa Bliss attacks her. Then Shayna Baszler runs away as Alexa laughs. There are hilarious pyro shots and cuts as Shayna runs. Shayna is running away from the doll backstage, but it's popping up like a horror movie. Shayna kicks and breaks a mirror, and Lilly is there. I'm going to spend the week finding out if WWE actually thinks this is good or if they're doing for intentionally bad.
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.