This week’s Raw kicks off with Seth Rollins holding a Town Hall Meeting. The RAW roster is at ringside. We hear commentary building up Rollins as the leader of the locker room. The crowd chants for CM Punk, Rollins mocks the chanting, telling the crowd that he invited him to Raw but he wants to sit behind a desk. The crowd then begin chanting for NXT, which practically forces Seth to admit that NXT won the war for brand supremacy at Survivor Series.
Rollins says that he hates what Raw has become, and tells the roster that they all sucked at the PPV and all dropped the ball and have to fix it. Seth says that he believes in Raw and asks if anyone has any words. Rollins then singles out Orton, calling him the weak link of the Men’s Team Raw match. Orton walks away as Seth says he’ll fight as the leader of Raw. He then calls out Charlotte Flair, who should have lead the women’s team to the top and dares to call herself a Flair. This prompts Flair to leave. He tells AOP they they’re basically not needed, and should leave.
Rollins then says that Rey let them all down, he and his stupid kid failed to defeat Brock, bringing up how Seth himself defeated Brock twice. The whole roster ends up walking out. Kevin Owens is still there, Seth calls him Mr. NXT, mocking him. Seth proclaims to love Raw and wants to make it better. Kevin stuns Seth and heads to the back. – This was a fantastic opening segment, Rollins turning nasty again is a beautiful thing and a fire that needed to be lit for the Raw brand and for Seth himself. The first high of the night, a soaring high.
Seth cuts a promo backstage, challening Kevin Owens to a match later tonight.
We see footage of Rusev being served with a restraining order earlier today.
Lashley vs. Titus O’Neil is our first match. Lana is at ringside. Titus attacks quick, until Lashley catches him with a spinebuster. Rusev then rushes to the ring and attacks Bobby. Lashley picks up the DQ win
Rusev lays into Lashley on the ramp and clears the announce table. Police arrive to arrest Rusev, but Rusev breaks free, knocks Lashley off the stage and kickes a lighting rig onto him. – A bit of an edge, finally, to this angle, it feels like it’s redeeming itself as the weeks roll on.
After the ads, we see footage of Lashley being stretchered out.
The AOP vs. Ryder & Hawkins is up next, a follow-up from last week’s backstage attack on Ryder and Hawkins… AOP making quick work of their opponents. Super Collider and a powerbomb/neck breaker rapidly ends this one. – A quick, dominant way to reintroduce the AOP back into the fold.
Andrade vs. Akira Tozawa is the next match: Vega is at ringside. A quick match with Andrade hititng a Hammerlock DDT for the victory. – A solid little win for Andrade here. – Andrade is one of the bright spots of Raw each week, it’s always great to see him picking up momentum. Another high.
Aliester Black is back in his room, ranting about Buddy Murphy knocking at his door. He tells Murphy that he is coming, because Murphy chose to pick a fight with him… – It’ll be interesting to see them lock up, both great talents.
Buddy Murphy vs. Matt Hardy is next, Matt Hardy returns, Wonderful! Murphy picks up the win after several kneee strikes. – A great moment, nice to see Hardy give back, and to see Murphy looking dominant to build up for his eventual match with Aliester Black. – High number 3
Black arrives after match and he and Buddy brawl as Black gives Murphy a bloody nose, sending him to the back.
Charlotte weighs in on her upcoming match with Asuka. Flair says that she is not a team player, and Asuka has to pay. Asuka knows she can’t beat her and will prove that.
AJ Styles vs Carrillo for the United States Title is up next…. Nope, the Good Brothers attack Carrillo during his entrance. The OC stands tall.
AJ gets on the mic when Ricochet arrives. Styles begins mocking Ricochet for failing to be a superhero.
Ricochet belittles Styles for using his lackeys to save his title once again. Ricochet challenges Styles, but AJ refuses. Randy Orton arrives, thratening to RKO Styles, and asks for a match. Styles says he already beat him and did when it mattered most, at WrestleMania. Styles says hehas nothing to prove here tonight since he already defeated Ricochet.
Drew McIntyre arrives and says he knows a guy he’s never faced, never beaten and hasn’t gotten a shot at – him. He mentions pinning WALTER at the PPV and while Chicago doesn’t deserve it, he challenges Styles to a match.
Rey Mysterio is here and he wants a shot as well. He won’t let Styles cheat the fans out of a title match.
Styles refuses and calls them all entitled, but Ricochet has a great plan, and says that they should have a fatal four-way with the winner facing Styles later in the show. Styles says it’s stupid, but Gallows & Anderson think it’s a good idea, so Styles reluctantly agrees.
Ricochet vs. Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Drew McIntyre is next, Exciting, action packed match, everyone got time to shine, hitting their big moves at the end sequence, the finish saw Rey go for a hurricanrana on Ricochet with Ricochet reversing it, then right there, Rey cradles him for the pinfall victory. – Match of the night so far. Definitely a high.
United States Title match: AJ Styles vs. Rey Mysterio is next – No resting in WWE… The Good Brothers are at ringside. The closing moments of the match sees Rey hit a springboard rana and a 619, then we get a ref bump… The Good Brothers attack and beat Rey down. The Magic Liller is stopped by Randy Orton, who takes out the Brothers. It’s a 619 by Rey and an RKO by Orton. Rey nails a lovely frog splash for the pinfall over Styles and there we have it, a new Champion! Really great match, the crowd was super into it, big moment. It rejuvenates the US Title picture, gives Rey Mysterio’s current run a sweet little jolt, which is great because he’s doing phenomenal work right now. Dominick and Rey celebrate to end the segment. Moment of the night. A clear high.
Kevin cuts a promo, telling Seth that he knows who he is and that he has never tried to be something he’s not, even when some tried to force his hand. Owens claims that Seth tries to be what the company wants him to be, but simply ends up being an insufferable little prick. Kevin promises another stunner and says that Monday Night Rollins will turn into the Kevin Owens show.
Charlotte vs. Asuka is next. A great back and forth match, the end sees Sane taking the ref’s eyes of the match just enough for Asuka to spit green mist at Charlotte, then Asuka cradle her for the win. Great work from both women, they work beautifully with each other and make each other look like stars. Once again, a high.
Styles is shown backstage, upset over losing the US Title, and when interviewed, simply utters 2 words: “Randy Orton.”
Lana is interviewed backstage and is angry at Rusev, she refers to him as a danger to society, which is why she got restraining orders. WWE should fire Rusev, but says she’s handling Lashley and she will be ok, “thank you for asking.”
Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins is this week’s main event: The finish sees Rollins counter a Pop-Up Powerbomb, we see the usual spot with the Falcon Arrow, Owens recovers and hits a Powerbomb for a two count. Rollins and Owens trade excellent superkicks, and Seth is cut off with the stunner. The AOP arrive, and attack Kevin for the DQ.
AOP are beating down on Kevin and repeatedly throw him into the ringpost. The crowd chanting bullshit… Seth fires up, asking AOP to attack, but the AOP walk. Seth then hits the Blackout twice on Kevin to stand tall. The match was pretty solid for what it was, AOP being built up fairly big here, despite the negative crowd reaction, it was a decent ending to a really good Raw. Rollins stomps Owens a few times, looking down on him as the show ends. – Practically solidifying a much needed heel turn for Rollins, it’s thrilling stuff to end Raw.
Highs – 6
Lows – 0