A huge episode of Monday Night Raw emanating from Omaha Nebraska featured a monster main event with Braun Strowman facing the Big Show in a Steel Cage, The Miz defended the Intercontinental Championship against Jeff Hardy, Roman Reigns & John Cena once again traded verbal shots and much more.
John Cena defeated Jason Jordan. Grade: B. A really good opening match to Raw, Jason Jordan used his amateur wrestling skills to gain the advantage in the early going before Cena got the win with the AA after a wonderful and frantic finishing sequence. Cena picks up a big win before his No Mercy Match against Roman Reigns. Jason Jordan looked good in defeat but one must wonder where the whole Jason Jordan thing is going.
Roman Reigns & John Cena Promo. Grade: A+. After the Cena vs Jordan match Roman Reigns confronted Cena and the two spat verbal insults once again. This was much better than last week’s interaction feeling much more natural and far less scripted. Roman fared much better on the mic this week. It’s a shame half of what Cena says feels hypocritical with Cena calling Roman the “Golden Boy”. This match at No Mercy already feels like the biggest thing in the world. Amazing work!
Cesaro & Sheamus defeated Heath Slater & Rhyno. Grade: C. Just a standard squash match here allowing Cesaro & Sheamus to build momentum before their rematch for the Raw Tag Team Championships. Nothing special, but nothing wrong with it either.
The Miz retained the Intercontinental Championship defeating Jeff Hardy. Grade: B. A good quality and much needed championship defence here for the Miz. It had all the standard shenanigans with The Miztourage & Matt Hardy eventually tossed from ringside and Maryse alerting and saving her husband. The Miz used a brilliant counter of the Twist of Fate into the Skull Crushing Finale for the win.
Enzo Amore, Cedric Alexander & Gran Metalik defeated Dew Gulak, Noam Dar & Tony Nese. Grade: C-. While a fun entertaining match, this match was just a repeat of what we saw last week. The most entertaining part of this was Enzo and his introductions of each participant in the match. The idea that Enzo steals wins and uses cheating tactics to do so while still a babyface is an interesting dynamic however.
Finn Balor & Bray Wyatt Promo. Grade: C-. Finn Balor made his way to the ring and addressed his WWE career and championship success so far and said he would be Intercontinental Champion right now if not for Bray Wyatt, Wyatt answered on the big screen saying he wants to face Balor the man, not the Demon. I love Finn Balor, I love Bray Wyatt, and I thought this feud could be the biggest thing in the world, but everything either man says at the moment, especially Wyatt is just so redundant it’s hard to even care anymore.
Emma & Nia Jax defeated Sasha Banks & Alexa Bliss. Grade: B+. Bliss & Banks fought together to keep their title match at No Mercy a singles match and the dynamic between the two rivals was intriguing. Nia Jax hit her leg drop to earn the win but Emma tagged herself in and stole the win, making the Raw Women’s Championship match at No Mercy a Fatal Four Way. This was a wonderful way to freshen up the Raw Women’s Division and Championship picture. The interaction in-ring between former best friends Alexa Bliss & Nia Jax was brilliant. Nia Jax attacked Emma after the match to stand tall.
Raw Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose defeated Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows. Grade: B-. A very good tag team match here as would be expected with the quality of wrestlers in the match. Gallows & Anderson have been criminally underused as of late. A distraction from Cesaro & Sheamus allowed Rollins to get the roll up for the win; wouldn’t it make more sense for the heels Gallows & Anderson to get a much-needed win via the distraction here. After the match, The Club brawled with Cesaro & Sheamus, and ‘The Bar’ stood tall. Hopefully this means Gallows & Anderson are heading back up the Tag Team ladder and edging closer to a Tag Title program.
Braun Strowman defeated the Big Show in a Steel Cage Match. Grade: A+. This was unbelievable! This was two big monsters going to war and absolutely destroying each other. The two men used the cage perfectly, the Big Show hit a spectacular elbow drop from the top rope, and Strowman teased and then finally hit a perfect superplex from the top rope. Big Show put Strowman over clean, and after the match the Monster Among Men called out Brock Lesnar, before literally threw the Big Show through the cage! A spectacular main event, Strowman looks like the biggest monster in the world and this just proved that there is still a place in wrestling for two huge men beating the life out of each other.