RAW In A Nutshell: Heading To The Extreme
Happy Monday to everyone out there! I may be relaxing poolside and just steps from the beach, but there’s no vacation from the Nutshells. Tonight is the go-home show for RAW as we rapidly approach Sunday’s joint PPV, Extreme Rules, live from Pittsburgh. So what can we expect as the red brand does battle in Bean Town? Well, there is no doubt going to be continued hype for Bobby Lashley and Roman Reigns. We can expect more tension to be built up between Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler and Seth Rollins, too. Something tells me WWE is going to make sure we don’t forget that Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss have an Extreme Rules match either. There’s a lot to get to as RAW heads to the Extreme this Sunday, so let’s crack open this Nutshell!
Best Match of the night:
There were a few strong matches, but this winner for this one goes to the main event. Seth Rollins battling Drew McIntyre, to determine if Drew can even be at ringside during the Iron Man match on Sunday? Nice television main event.
Mojo Rawley and No Way Jose. For two guys who at one time or another were so full of energy, this one was a dud. Mojo isn’t doing much as a heel, and No Way Jose just isn’t doing much.
Crowd Chants of the Night:
Burn it down
This is awesome
Star of the Night
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Have to give three, with an honorable mention.
Honorable mention goes to Nia Jax. She seems to be newly motivated.
First star: Bobby Lashley
Second star: Roman Reigns
Third star: Drew McIntyre
Spot of the Night:
Reigns with the early big leap over the top rope onto an assortment of locker room talent. That stood out on the evening.
Jobber of the Night:
Honestly, it almost pains me to say this, but tonight, No Way Jose sure did feel like a jobber tonight. I like him as an entertaining act, and I had hopes he could be one of those NXT graduates who does more on the main roster than he was able or permitted to do in NXT…but so far, he seems to be following in the footsteps of guys like Tye Dillinger, becoming basically a glorified jobber.
Upset of the Night:
While I will say I think both of these are a bit of a stretch, I had no other options, so here are my suggestions.
Option one: Bo Dallas escapes with a win over Woken Matt Hardy. B Team on a roll, at least in singles matches against the tag champs, eh?
Option two: another week, another win for Ember Moon. This time, she pulled out a victory over Livv Morgan.
Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:
There’s something…extreme…about seeing Little Miss Bliss beat on Nia Jax with a Singapore Cane (call it a kendo stick if you wish, but I still stick to the ECW naming).
Botch of the night:
If there was one, I missed it.
Commentary of the night:
Honestly, nothing got me excited tonight
LOL Moment of the night:
A few choices here…
Angle, upon having Owens spray his “office” with Lysol: “It smelled fine before you came in…”
The Riott Squad (well, two thirds), as Tyler Breeze handed them fashion violation t-shirts: “we don’t do fashion”.
Corbin, singing with Elias. Please make that stop…
So, Reigns and Lashley had a show-opening confrontation, which of course boiled over and resulted in a brawl. Crowd seemed into it enough, I will grant you that…but as I saw it, to me this felt a bit…forced? I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, beyond thinking that we’ve seen pretty much this exact setup before. Whether this was a previous Reigns/Lesnar build, or even Undertaker/Lesnar, this just felt too similar. It wasn’t a terrible opening segment mind you; I just wasn’t seeing it as fresh and new. And I am still firmly wanting to see Lashley dominate.
I hate these “thirty minute Iron Man matches”. I have to say it. The women have had them. Now we get another, for the Intercontinental title on Sunday. I get that someone in WWE is looking at the card and saying “30 minutes for that and 15 for that and 10 for that and 5 for WWE Network commercials”. But here’s the thing. The bar was set, when it comes to Iron Man matches, by many matches before these. For me, the standard bearer is HBK/Bret Hart, when WrestleMania was in Anaheim many years ago. Thirty minutes is not an Iron Man match. It’s a way for WWE to put more into a PPV
Yes, I may have laughed…but hearing Corbin attempt to sing? It should never be allowed to happen again.
The therapy session between Sasha Banks and Bayley has lost it’s steam. Just a painful waste of television time tonight.
All in all, a strong go home show. Maybe not the best ever, but they highlighted the key matches. We got hype for Lashley and Reigns. Rollins and Ziggler, with those two getting the main event, fitting for the main belt on RAW. Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss looked good during their tag match tonight as well.
I can honestly say I have a good feeling about where things are heading after this show.
After the final bell:
While I can gripe that Lashley and Reigns brawling felt too similar to past brawls, as I detailed earlier, the reality is the brawl was still effective. Roman actually didn’t get a ton of negativity tonight, and the brawl did what it was supposed to do.
I find it interesting that McIntyre could have been banned from ringside, but he beat Seth in the main event, ensuring that Drew will have a ringside vantage point while Dolph defends the IC belt.