Last night’s edition of Monday Night Raw was the home stretch before heading into this Sunday’s Hell In A Cell PPV.
In all honesty, this show had left plenty to be desired, especially when you think about how the Hell in a Cell WWE Universal Title bout needed all the necessary build it could get, but was instead hampered by other major feuds and storylines.
With all that said, here’s the whole recap from last night’s subpar pre Hell in a Cell edition of Raw.
*The Shield vs. Braun Strowman and The Dogs of War part II
The show kicked off with the newly formed trio of Strowman, Ziggler and McIntyre (accompanied by the heel Raw locker room), cutting some boastful, threatening promos about their vicious beat down of the Hounds of Justice last week.
Strowman then claimed the reason Roman Reigns is still universal champion is because he’s a “coward” and is incapable of fighting his battles against him alone, without relying on his brothers-in-arms.
The villains promo’s ended with Ziggler congratulating the rest of the “Raw locker room” for standing up to the Shield, while Drew McIntyre confidently declared the balanced of power on Raw has shifted in the wake of he and Ziggler’s alliance with Strowman.
Moments later, the Shield’s music hit.
The heroes then made their way down to ringside to exact payback on their evil counterparts, where they were met by fellow villains of the Raw locker room.
Then a wild brawl ensued that saw the three men fight off the sea of heels with axe handles issued by Dean Ambrose.
Finally, after the chaos settled, acting Raw GM Baron Corbin had ordered the Shield to exit the building, and vowed to strip both Reigns and Rollins of their championship’s should they defiantly reappear.
Personally, I felt this segment was fine, it’s just that Strowman, Ziggler, and McIntyre’s promos could’ve been stronger and built up the moment of the Shield’s appearance more.
*Kevin Owens Unleashed
In a very interesting part of last night’s Raw, Kevin Owens to face off against Tyler Breeze.
This was Owens first match on Raw since “quitting” the show a couple of weeks ago.
The match itself never gotta a chance to transpire, as Owens instead administered a brutal attack on Breeze before the bell even rang.
After giving Breeze a nasty powerbomb on the ring apron, Owens then re-entered the ring, and explained the reasons for him both quitting and making a quick return.
Owens stated the reason for him walking out on Raw was because of none other than Bobby Lashley who he blames for injuring his close friend and partner Sami Zayn.
However, the reason Owens decided to make an instant return back to Raw, was due to a phone call he received from acting general manager Baron Corbin, that came with a sweet little incentive for Owens if he came back.
He’d get to exact destruction to anyone on Raw whenever and wherever he pleases.
Owens then closed the segment by warning the WWE Universe of what they can expect from this new ultra-violent,unpredictable nature of himself. anarchy, agony, and destruction all while making Lashley the motivation.
In my opinion this was one of the better segments of the show, it displayed the side of Kevin Owens we’ve all fell in love with and have been dying to see since his Raw debut back in 2015.
This is the character I believe Owens should’ve never gotten away from, as it paints him as a dangerous calculated predator who’ll do anything and everything to anyone in this path to get to the top of WWE Raw.
*Ronda Rousey becomes vulnerable?
In an attempt to gain one last ounce of momentum heading into their Raw Women’s Title match at Hell in a Cell this Sunday, Ronda Rousey and Natalya took on Alexa Bliss and Mickie James in a tag team match.
Rousey and Natalya dominated the bout early on, but the tide turned quickly when Mickie James started to zero in on Ronda’s ribs.
Though Rousey was able to fight through the pain, the effects of the injury still showed as the bout progressed.
In the end, Rousey submitted James with the arm bar for the victory.
As Rousey and Natalya were celebrating their win in the ring, Alexa Bliss attacked Ronda from behind with a sidekick to the injured ribs, then fleeing the ring.
* Other matches on Raw
Nikki Bella def. Ruby Riott
I really don’t understand the point of pushing the Bella Twins at this point. It’s understandable with Evolution approaching, WWE’s desire to feature it’s established female superstars on WWE TV to promote the show, but at the same time, can’t you allow your current young, up-an-coming female talent like Ruby Riott and the Riott Squad to shine too? Instead of having them be sacrificial lambs just to get part time or current female WWE stars over?
Chad Gable and Bobby Roode def. The Ascension – I don’t get it, I really just don’t get it. You have two world class pro wrestling talents like Roode and Gable who deserve a lot better treatment on Raw than they’ve gotten.
But just like WWE Creative, their too lazy and egotistical to creatively build up potential new stars who could play a major role in the future of WWE.
Hopefully some sense is made from this pairing, and it leads to some type of heel turn from either Roode or Gable, otherwise this is just another case of the “copy and paste” logic of Vince McMahon due to his lack of awareness in not knowing how to display his talent better.
Finn Balor def. Elias
The match was initially made when Mick Foley made his return to Raw after interrupting a performance from Elias.
Foley original purpose for coming out to the ring was to share his memories of the Hell in a Cell, as it was the match’s anniversary.
Instead, Foley and Elias engaged in a verbal confrontation that saw the guitar-strumming superstar insult the former WWE champion.
After cutting one of his patented passionate promos on Elias, Foley informed him he received permission from Stephanie McMahon to book a match, to which Foley had Elias face a familiar foe in Finn Balor.
While the match itself wasn’t anything spectacular, it did give Balor a win which he desperately needed, but at the same time further denting Elias’s credibility and push as one of the elite stars on Raw due to inconsistent booking.
Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre def. B-Team
This was a fairly good competitive match up that did give Dallas and Axel some time to showcase, but of course in the end Ziggler and McIntyre prevailed and retained their Raw tag team titles.
But the better part of this came at the end, when to nobody’s surprise Rollins and Ambrose reappeared and attacked the tag champions after being thrown out from the building earlier in the night.
I’m completely fine with how WWE is pushing Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre, although I would’ve love to see them win the tag titles not at the expense of the Revival.
Braun Strowman gets these hands…. from Roman
Raw’s closing segment had Braun Strowman come out to the ring and challenge Roman Reigns to face him after looking for him in the arena previously.
The Big Dog finally appeared, which lead to he and Strowman having a brawl of their own.
In the final sequence of the show, Strowman attempted to put Reigns through the Raw announce table with his signature Powerslam.
But Reigns was able to fend off enough to where hoisted Strowman on his shoulders, and drove him through the stage off the announce table with a thunderous Samoan Drop.
Reigns then left the carnage and posed with his Universal title as Raw went off the air.
This segment felt rushed and didn’t really feel like a go-home angle to build up interest for Sunday, we can only hope that this latest chapter in the Strowman-Reigns rivalry will be worth watching at Hell in a Cell.