Monday Night RAW started with Sasha Banks coming to the ring. We were given a video package which reminded us of Banks’ return, attacking Natalya despite her emotional reminiscing about her late father, and beating up Becky Lynch who came in to save Natalya. The package made it obvious that Natalya is a stepping stone to get to Lynch. Back to the live feed, Banks said while she was gone and off TV all she heard was people talk about her. She talked about how she was frustrated over being in a Wrestlemania tag match while Lynch was in the main event. It’s interesting how she said Lynch main evented against Ronda Rousey, ignoring the fact that Charlotte Flair was also in the match. Banks said her return was the perfect timing. She took another cheap shot, mentioning Natalya’s father. Mid-promo, she was interrupted. Natalya came running down the ramp, brawling with her. They fought until they were pulled apart. The broadcast went to break after this. This was fine I guess. I still don’t like the digs Natalya’s father, and I don’t see myself coming around to liking it soon.
After the commercial break, The Street Profits were backstage hyping this episode of RAW. They talked about the King of the Ring matches and explained the tag team turmoil match which is happening later.
Match 1: Ricochet vs. Drew McIntyre (King of the Ring First Round Match)
The first match of the evening was Ricochet versus Drew McIntyre in a King of the Ring first round match. McIntyre was in control at the start, tossing Ricochet across the ring with a belly to belly german suplex. McIntyre was thrown outside the ring. Ricochet tried for a moonsault to the outside off the turnbuckles but McIntrye avoided it. McIntyre avoided a hurricanrana, throwing Ricochet onto the ringside barricade and then the ring apron before we went to commercials. When we came back, McIntyre had Ricochet in a submission hold in the ring. Ricochet started to make a comeback. After a few moves, Ricochet did a missile dropkick, sending McIntyre outside the out. He did a dive over all three ropes to McIntyre. Back in the ring, Ricochet tried to lift up McIntyre but couldn’t. He tried for an inverted huricanrana but couldn’t make McIntyre fly. McIntyre reversed by throwing Ricochet stomach first onto the mat for a two count. Ricochet was picked up and slapped. McIntyre dove into a corner but was caught by Ricochet. Ricochet did a northern lights suplex, but then his next move was reversed, getting tossed by McIntyre. Ricochet landed a kick and then an elbow off the top rope. He hit a standing shooting star press for a two count. Ricochet was on the ring apron and tried for a kick but it was caught, getting hit with a forearm that sent him out of the ring. Ricochet gave McIntyre a kick, then when Ricochet came flying at him, McIntyre countered by headbutting him. They went back in the ring where McIntyre had a Claymore Kick reversed by a superkick. Ricochet landed a few kicks but then was given a clothesline and a powerbomb for a close kickout. McIntyre went to the second rope, with Ricochet on his shoulders. Ricochet got out of the position, then landed a Recoil. Ricochet went to the top rope for a 630 to get the win. Fun match, and it was cool how they played up the size differential. He moves on and will face Samoa Joe next week.
Interview with Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman
In the next segment, we had an interview with Braun Strowman and Seth Rollins, who are the new RAW Tag Team Champions. The interview was recorded last week. Strowman, who is fixated on winning Rollins’ Universal Championship asked who he will face at Clash of Champions in a singles match. He challenged him for his Universal Championship at the PPV, to which Rollins accepted.
Match 2: The Miz vs. Baron Corbin (King of the Ring First Round Match)
The second match of the night was also a King of the Ring first round match. Before The Miz faced Baron Corbin, he cut a promo. The match started with Corbin distracting The Miz by throwing his button-up shirt at him, then punching and kicking him. The Miz gave Corbin a clothesline to outside the ring, then tried for a kick but Corbin avoided it, then landed a punch. So really, the same spot we saw at the start of the Ricochet and Drew McIntyre match too. Corbin ran Miz into a barricade then threw him back in the ring. Corbin did his run around the ringpost and then a clothesline before we went to break. Back from the break, Miz was starting to make a comeback. Miz did double knees in the corner to Corbin. Corbin hit a Deep Six for a two count. After a ton of counters, Miz tried for a roll-up but wasn’t successful. Miz got out of a Deep Six and landed a DDT for a close pin attempt. Miz did Yes Kicks, but Corbin dodged the final one, landing a roll-up. Corbin did his thing around the ring posts, but was hit with a Skull Crushing Finale when getting back in the ring. He kicked out at two. Miz threw Corbin into the barricade outside the ring and then put him back in the ring. Miz went off the top rope but Corbin avoided the move. Corbin hit an End of Days to win the match. This wasn’t an amazing match, but it was still pretty good. Corbin will face Cedric Alexander in the second round. After the match, Corbin put on the crown and sat on the throne on the stage. He cut a decent promo.
Match 3: Bayley vs. Nikki Cross
Before the next match, we were reminded that NXT is moving to USA on September 18th. We were also told that Rey Mysterio will return next week. Bayley faced Nikki Cross, since Bayley crashed Alexa Bliss’ show last week on Smackdown. I can’t say I completely understand this match, because while Bayley crashed the show, she was targeting Charlotte Flair, not Bliss or Cross. Plus people have crashed the show before and it didn’t really matter. Oh well. After a few minutes, Bayley did a sidewalk slam and then an elbow drop to win the match. Unintentional, but the referee sorta did Cross dirty with a quick count at the end.
Match 4: Ivar and Erik (The Viking Raiders) vs. Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas (The B Team) vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson (The OC) vs. Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler vs. Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik w/ Kalisto (Lucha House Party) vs. Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder (The Revival) vs. Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder vs. Tucker and Otis (Heavy Machinery) (Tag Team Turmoil Match) (RAW Tag Team Championships #1 Contender Match)
The next match was a “tag team turmoil” to decide the #1 contenders for the RAW tag team championship match. To explain the match, two teams face each other, and when one loses another comes out until all eight have come out and the final team has been pinned. The match started with The Viking Raiders and The B Team. The team hit the Viking Experience powerslam to eliminate The B Team. Next came out Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. One of the Viking Raiders did a dive to the outside, which took out his partner and Karl Anderson. After they all brawled in the ring, both teams got disqualified. Well, that’s a way to speed it up. The next two teams were Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler and Lucha House Party. Ziggler gave Metalik a kick to the back of the head to score a pinfall. The Revival were next. The Revival had a near fall, doing a leg drop double team move on Ziggler. They kept Ziggler isolated in their corner of the ring. Roode gave Dawson the Glorious DDT to eliminate The Revival. After a break, Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder were eliminated. The final team was Heavy Machinery. Roode called a timeout, but Tucker didn’t respect it. Otis got his hot tag and did his caterpillar elbow drop. Roode tried for a roll-up on Otis but it didn’t work. Tucker was tagged in, and they were going to do a double team move but Ziggler disrupted it. He took out Tucket, then gate Otis, who was holding Roode, a ZigZag, onto Tucker. That was a really good move. Roode gave Tucker a Glorious DDT to win the match. Obviously, the crowd had no reaction to a newly made tag team beating Heavy Machinery.
Match 5: Sasha Banks vs. Natalya
In the next match, Sasha Banks faced Natalya. This was the in-ring return for Banks. Natalya gave Banks a good german suplex for a two count. Outside the ring, Natalya was thrown into an office chair and a ringpost. Banks put in a Banks Statement which Natalya tried to fight out of but eventually tapped out of. After the match, Banks left but came back to put in the Banks Statement yet again. What a heel.
Cedric Alexander vs. Cesaro
The next match was between Cedric Alexander and Cesaro. Early on in the fight Alexander tried for a dive but was hit with an uppercut. Cool spot, but that’s the third time tonight that the first dive of the night was reversed. Later on, Alexander landed a dive over the top rope, then did an elbow off the top rope back into the ring. Cesaro did a superplex off of the second rope a few minutes later. After Alexander kicked out, Cesaro transitioned into a half crab. Cesaro tried for an ankle lock, which Alexander got out of, launching Cesaro out of the ring. Cesaro got back in and was given a lumbar check to finish the match. This was a real good match, which should come as no shock to anyone.
AJ Styles vs. Braun Strowman (United States Championship Match)
The main event of the night was AJ Styles facing Braun Strowman in a match for Styles’ United States Championship. Right off the bat, Stowman threw Styles over the top rope and then rap through him with two shoulder tackles. Styles went off the top but was hit with a chokeslam. Styles avoided a pinfall, putting a leg on the bottom rope. Strowman gave Styles a big boot to knock him off the apron. After a break, Styles put in a calf crusher which Strowman escaped. He headbutted Styles for a two count. Stroman tried for a running powerslam, but Styles avoided and went into a ringpost. The referee dodged it by getting onto the ring apron, and then stayed there for a few moments, talking to Strowman for some reason. No surprise, he was knocked off the apron. Styles gave Strowman a low blow and then used a steel chair. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson came out and attacked Strowman. He fought back, and then used a steel chair on them. The referee turned around as Strowman was holding the steel chair, making him ring the bell, thinking he hit Styles with it. After losing, Strowman used the chair against all three members of The OC. The show ended with Strowman standing over everyone else.