Nashville Tennessee played host to Monday Night Raw which saw Roman Reigns face Samoa Joe for the right to challenge Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at Summerslam, Kurt Angle finally made his highly anticipated announcement regarding both his professional and personal life and the return of a monster among men. Raw also featured Cruiserweight action, The Hardy Boys vs The Revival and much more.
Raw kicks off in excellent fashion with Dean Ambrose heading to the ring with a steel chair in hand, he calls out the Miz but gets Seth Rollins, and what follows was excellent. Rollins says he’s going to get his hands on the Miz but Ambrose again doesn’t trust Rollins because of his actions in The Shield. Rollins turns his back and asks Ambrose to hit him the way he attacked The Shield years ago, but Ambrose refuses. The Miz eventually makes his way to the ring with his goons and with steel chairs the three of them outnumber and beat down the former Shield Brothers. This was all absolutely fantastic! The interaction between Rollins & Ambrose was fire and only makes us want to see the two feud once again. This all looks to be heading towards a Triple Threat Match at Summerslam for the IC Title. A great start to Raw.
Throughout the show they are really playing up the Kurt Angle reveal. We can only hope this is going to be monumental.
Bayley once again pins the Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss this time in singles competition after Sasha Banks came out to negate the impact of Nia Jax at ringside. Good to see Alexa Bliss improving week by week in the ring. Nice to see a kid in tears get a hug from the Hugger herself as Bayley was making her entrance. With Sasha Banks winning by count out at Great Balls of Fire and Bayley pinning the champion twice now, perhaps a Triple Threat Match is in order for Summerslam in which the stipulation opens the door for Nia Jax to interfere to help Alexa Bliss retain without hurting either Bayley or Sasha Banks. Alternatively, they can go for a Fatal Four Way at Summerslam.
I said it last week and I’ll say it again this week, both Byron Saxton & David Otunga are far better on commentary than Booker T at the moment.
Mustafa Ali & Gentleman Jack Gallagher defeat The Brian Kendrick & Drew Gulak. The standard tag team match combining two feuds together here. Thankfully there were no purple ropes during this match, hopefully this was a thoughtful decision and not just through lack of time. As bad as commentary can be sometimes, the Raw commentators did an excellent job trying to fill in the blanks keeping the audience updated on the storylines for those who may not watch 205 Live. They need much more of this but a wonderful job by the Raw commentary team here.
Enzo Amore once again gets a great babyface pop coming to the ring to give another good promo on Big Cass, however it wasn’t as good as his last couple which had been exceptional. Enzo makes a point that he is far from done with Big Cass. Enzo climbs into the crowd and sits with a fan as The Big Show & Big Cass brawl it out not allowing their match to begin. A bit messy that Enzo could orchestrate all of this and the brawl was just a little too slow for liking.
Elias Samson has honestly become one of the best things on Raw, the reaction he draws from the crowd is exceptional. Once again, his song was short but sharp. The subsequent match between Elias Samson & Finn Balor ends in DQ after Samson smashes his guitar over Balor’s head. This was a nasty spot and it looked like the edge of the guitar caught the side of Balor’s head, and Finn looked to have an almighty cut, hopefully Finn is okay. As Finn was being helped to the back Bray Wyatt appeared on the screen and it appears our next feud for Summerslam will be Bray Wyatt vs Finn Balor. If this sees the return of the Demon it will be phenomenal, but Elias Samson was doing such a good job with Balor.
Kurt Angle announces that next week Bayley will face Sasha Banks where the winner becomes the number one contender for Summerslam.
Ariya Daivari defeats Akira Tozawa after Titus O’Neil stops the match after Tozawa hurts his shoulder. It seems Titus is trying to protect his client after what he put Apollo Crews through with Braun Strowman. Tozawa was quite upset with Titus afterwards for stopping the match. While decent storytelling, if Akira Tozawa is headed for Summerslam again with Neville this is far from the way to build it.
Jason Jordan is Kurt Angles son! Kurt Angle comes to the ring for his big reveal, and his big announcement is that he has a son, and his son is Jason Jordan! Despite Kurt Angles best efforts this fell incredibly flat. Many including myself were incredibly excited for this and our anticipation has not been rewarded. While it is great that Jason Jordan has moved to Raw and looks in line for a big push, a father-son angle like this really feels like it does not belong in 2017, but let’s all give it a chance anyway. This explains why Chad Gabe had been receiving more singles action on Smackdown. American Alpha will separate for now but will return at some point in the future for sure.
The Revival pick up a win over the Hardy Boys. This was as expected a very good match featuring two of the very best tag teams in the world today, and only created more anticipation for a fully-fledged feud between the two teams. With the Revival winning through holding the tights in a controversial finish, hopefully this feud is far from over and can continue onto bigger and better things.
The main event saw Roman Reigns vs Samoa Joe for the right to challenge Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at Summerslam. The two men put together a great hard-hitting match worthy of its main event slot before Braun Strowman returned eight nights after the events of Great Balls of Fire. Strowman lays waste to both Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe despite both men’s best efforts. This serves even greater evidence that we are heading for a massive Fatal Four Way match at Summerslam for the Universal Championship between Brock Lesnar, Samoa Joe, Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman. This is the perfect way to get the title off Lesnar without giving him a loss if that is what WWE desires, and literally any one of the four men can win that match.