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RAW In A Nutshell: ThunderDome Will Be Limitless

We kick off another wrestling week with another edition of RAW In A Nutshell. This time around, ThunderDome [1] will be Limitless.

As in, welcome to RAW, Keith Lee! [2]

If you caught SummerSlam last night [3], the former NXT Champion’s RAW debut was announced during the PPV.

Beyond that, we can expect a lot to be going on, as the red brand checks out the new digs of ThunderDome for the first Monday Night RAW from the Amway Center (in it’s current configuration). [4]

Why a lot?

Well, for starters, it’s the day after SummerSlam, so there are feuds to be followed up on. For another, this Sunday is Payback.

Talk about a rapid turn around.

So yes, this week the ThunderDome will be Limitless.

ThunderDome Will Be Limitless
Image Credit: provided via wwe.com

Let’s crack open this Nutshell and bask in his glory!

Best Match of the night:

Honestly…this is tough.

Tough because, well, we had a lot of shorter matches, and some that did not finish clean.

I will take the RAW Women’s Championship lumberjack match for this one. It was a good match, and I liked some of the outside action (like Baszler on Bayley).

Worst match of the night:

I really don’t know which one to pick on.

So, I will instead give a general critique.

I would not say any of the matches were terrible. I will say that most of them were simply way too short and should have been given more time to breathe.

Star of the Night

Keith Lee. For all the changes WWE forced on him, this night was still a Limitless success.

Spot of the Night:

I can’t pick a single spot for this one.

The three punts were notable, of course.

Jobber of the Night:

Tozawa’s ninjas for the win here.

Upset of the Night:

Nothing to see here.

Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

So, we knew Bayley and Sasha were defending the tag titles at Payback.

I had honestly expected Asuka and Shayna Baszler, based on recent events.

I had never expected Baszler and Nia Jax. Yet, this Sunday, that is exactly the team we will see facing Bayley and Sasha Banks.

Botch of the night:

I will leave this here, because even a Young Buck noticed the whiff.

It’s funny, because wasn’t it Randy Orton going off on the poor AEW guys for throwing punches that never even came close?

Commentary of the night:

“You ever have a car thrown at you?” – Samoa Joe, describing Keith Lee hitting a cross body on Randy Orton.

LOL Moment of the night:

OK, I get Charly is doing her job, but this still made me LOL.

Drew McIntyre got taken away in an ambulance that RAW doctors “called for out of an abundance of caution”.

Except, it was the SAME one from Friday evening. Also, as a general rule, sports arenas and stadiums typically have at least one ambulance on site.

So..yes…I laughed at that.

Noteworthy Moment:

It’s been said that WWE has big plans for Keith Lee (though we have heard that before about previous NXT promotions, and it does not always happen).

That said, Keith Lee got himself a pretty juicy spot on his RAW debut.

He cut off Randy Orton. He fought Randy Orton.

He has a match against Randy Orton at Payback on Sunday.

Aleister Black returned on the KO Show…and promptly attacked Owens.

I keep watching RAW Underground, and I know I am not the only one thinking it’s only a matter of time before we see Brock Lesnar, right?

Also, not as much hype as Lesnar, but with Sonya Deville’s MMA background, and being out on SmackDown…give it time but I bet she’s in too.

Overall lowlights:

I miss Keith Lee’s old tights.

I wasn’t the only one…and I hope this isn’t the reason for the change (because if so, it’s kind of bizarre…)

Some did not take too kindly to the other tweaks Keith Lee underwent either. Or how things went (ignoring the fact he was still in a fairly big spot).

What about that debut though…

So, while I was excited to see Lee debut…and I think he did get a big spot…don’t change what doesn’t need to be changed.

Also, hey WWE (Vince!)…fans actually do WATCH NXT. So we know what these folks were like in NXT…and we know when you change them.

Looking at Keith Lee. The War Raiders (sorry…”Viking Experience”…”Viking Raiders”) and others. I mean, remember when Aleister had a gnarly (in a good way) entrance?

Don’t give us a sanitized version of what we came to love in NXT. Give us that version…or an even more amped up version of that.

Also, we got another focused attack by Retribution…but it’s a bizarre one too.

As in, last time we saw them there were like 20 of them. Tonight just six I believe.

Also, last time when they had tons of numbers, the locker room came out in waves to run them off. Tonight, Seth Rollins and Murphy watched from the ramp as no one helped Ray and Dominik.

WWE needs to push this one forward quickly…like reveal a member or leader or at least get one to speak on the mic.

Overall highlights:

For all the grief I am dumping about the Keith Lee changes…I still love seeing him on RAW.

After the final bell:

Not a horrible debut in ThunderDome.

ThunderDome was indeed Limitless, but it wasn’t a truly dominating performance yet. We shall see what happens between Keith Lee and Randy Orton on Sunday.

I am very curious to see what they are planning with Drew McIntyre, seeing as they seem to be writing him off for a stretch.