Welcome to Monday Night Raw, the only wrestling show where the discussion of management’s suits can take longer than a whole two matches! No, my mistake, SmackDown can probably call that their own title as well. This week, Raw comes to us from Oakland, California, and my internet connection comes to us from the very arse of Satan, so we can enjoy some really stuttery wrestling matches and a sweary recapper! It’s all fun and games until someone loses an IP.
Shout out to the excellent Bray Wyatt cosplayer in the opening moments, and then we’re greeted by Sasha Banks and her lovely red title, with red and gold ring gear to match the title. Got to love that woman’s ability to match her outfit to her massive, oversized accessory. We get a recap of last Monday, when Sasha won the title from Charlotte. Sasha talks about Eddie Guerrero, as his birthday would have been yesterday, and says how she wanted to be like him, when she watched him, and when she watched Trish and Lita main event, that was what she wanted to be. Monday helped her dreams come true, making her a two-time champion. She says that this is about the women before her, and the women to come, and the little girls who look up to her – and says that she wants Charlotte’s rematch to be IN the cell, not just AT Hell in a Cell. The first time ever for women to be in that cell. I sip from my huge recapping mug marked ‘The Boss’ and smile smugly.
Charlotte stalks out, and then Rusev’s music hits, and out he wanders with Lana, ambling past Charlotte like she doesn’t matter. Rusev says no one cares about the women’s revolution or that there’s a women’s revolution. Charlotte snatches the mic from Rusev and asks him who he thinks he is, then accepts Sasha’s challenge. Rusev snatches back the mic, says the ring is his, and then Sasha snatches the mic from him and throws it aside. Lana holds her husband back from the women, then grabs the mic and says that, for people who want to be seen as women, they whine like little girl, and need to know their place. The two make eye contact, then attack Lana and Rusev, pushing them out of the ring. Just as Rusev is squaring up against the women, Roman Reigns appears to a chorus of boos, and Rusev thinks better of it, stalking away.
Sasha taunts Charlotte a bit with the belt, and Roman’s music plays as we watch Rusev and Lana head up the ramp.
The New Day are here! Hello boys, I’ve missed your shtick while doing shorter recaps. Big E is pulling Booty O’s out of his cleavage, and Xavier Woods looks faintly troubled by how far down Big E is reaching into his tights, as Kofi laughs. The New Day reference Bay Area heroes, to a little bit of a mixed reaction from the crowd, and then say they’re going to face Sheamus and Cesaro at Hell in a Cell. Big E writes a bit of a love letter to Cesaro – more of that in Gaywatch on Friday – and finishes with calling him ‘thick af’, before referring to Sheamus as ‘hot garbage’. Guys, we get it, you’re tumblr literate. Xavier complains that Cesaro and Sheamus don’t deserve a shot at their titles… and out they come.
MATCH: Cesaro (with Sheamus) vs. Kofi Kingston (with Big E and Xavier Woods)
A little play of cheering and booing for the audience between Cesaro and Sheamus, which is rather fun, and then we’re into the match.
- Cesaro’s got pink tape for Breast Cancer Awareness month, which is rather lovely, but not quite as showy as his usual black tape.
- Sheamus is on Facebook Live outside the ring, because he can’t be bothered to watch his erstwhile partner’s match, so he’s not going to be any help. He has popcorn and soda at the edge of the ring, because… why not?
- A couple of uppercuts lead into a pin from Cesaro, before the uppercut train is on board, a kick from Cesaro, and another pin for two.
- Kofi falls off the top rope, and Cesaro looks like he’s going for the weak knee he falls on.
- Sheamus is holding Francesca II on the outside, and Xavier Woods clearly has flashbacks to his last broken brass woman, and snatches her away. Sheamus shoves Xavier away, and it knocked down by Big E on the outside.
- All this distracts Cesaro, and Kofi manages to get a roll up for the win!
Afterwards, Cesaro faces off with Sheamus, the two of them shouting at each other in the middle of the ring as the crowd chants ‘fight’ at them, before Sheamus calls Cesaro a loser and heads off up the ramp, leaving Cesaro to fume in the middle of the ring.
We get a little snippet of Goldberg’s interview with Jonathan Coachman, stating that he owes Brock Lesnar a rematch, and that Lesnar probably isn’t human anymore, and I’ve got no beef with Goldberg, but Lesnar makes me want to sleep. I mean, a Hell in a Cell match between these two, where Goldberg gets the win? I’d be into that, but there’s only so far I can suspend my disbelief that Brock will lose to anyone anymore – at least, probably not for anything less than double his usual fee.
MATCH: Bayley vs. Cami Fields
It’s Bayley! Our purple wonder princess is here to save me from visions of Brock Lesnar with visions of inflatable tube men and the hook to a Fatboy Slim song. Who can’t love her? She’s a precious cutie, and much nicer than Brock Lesnar.
- Bayley chant before she even does anything, because we all love her so much, even if she is getting squash matches now.
- Is there any reason why this match couldn’t have been against Alicia Fox? Just… asking.
- The two women trade waistlocks, then there’s a big hip toss and a low clothesline from Bayley to Cami.
- “Let’s go Bayley’ chants as Cami gets a few good blows in, before some shoulders to the abdomen in the corner.
- Bayley goes for a sunset flip, Cami holds onto the ropes and stays put, kicks Bayley in the face.
- Bayley-to-Belly, and the pin for the win!
Commentary patronises this match by calling it a big win for Bayley, as if she was never NXT Women’s Champion. As Bayley celebrates on the ramp, Dana Brooke appears and attacks Bayley from behind, leaving her crumpled on the ramp under the deflated body of one of her own tube men.
Chris Jericho is backstage, talking to someone on the phone as R-Truth stands behind him and laughs at him – ah, it’s a Payday ad, because Chris wants someone to get him a payday, and Truth has the candy bar, but Jericho wants some money. His bad, it’s on him, and Jericho gets to call Truth a stupid idiot. Oh, WWE. Why are your commercials sometimes better written than your actual promo sections?
Tony Nese & Drew Gulak vs. Lince Dorado & Sin Cara – Cruiserweight Tag Team Match
Ah, Sin Cara, the bridesmaid to Kalisto’s wedded bliss. He announced he was joining the cruiserweight division, and he’s teamed up with Lince Dorado, someone he apparently teamed with eight years ago. Leave your continuity out of this, Michael Cole, we all know wrestling fans can’t remember that far back.
- Gulak and Dorado start the match off, with a brilliant headscissors from Dorado, followed by a kip-up as Gulak trades places with Nese.
- Dorado flips Sin Cara into Nese, and there’s a corner spot where Gulak tries to take the mask off Dorado.
- Gulak and Nese keeps swapping in and out, to keep their opponents on their toes, but finally Sin Cara steps in with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, then a suicide dive to the outside onto Nese.
- Shooting star press from the top rope for Dorado onto Gulak, and the pin for three!
Steph catches up with Mick, who’s in a flannel suit, and it hurts my eyes. No wonder Breezango went to SmackDown, they’d never have survived that. Steph compliments No Mercy, which we haven’t recapped yet, because we’re tired. Steph snarls an intro for Mick to talk about Hell in a Cell. So we’ve got Roman and Rusev in the cell, and then we’ve got Charlotte and Sasha in the cell too! Mick then says, hey, why not have KO and Seth in the cell, too? Why not all of them, Mick, then we don’t have to keeps lifting it up and down all night?
JeriKO stalk out, Jericho still allergic to wearing a shirt, and Kevin in a suit, as Kevin says that Mick’s making stupid decisions again. He doesn’t want to be in the cell, and Jericho readies his list, scowling at everyone determined to do things to his best friend that his best friend doesn’t like. Kevin says that he wants to have a long career, not have to become a washed up general manager. Ouch. Jericho wants a private jet with ‘Team Chris and Kevin’ written on the side of it, if Mick’s doing requests. Kevin agrees that a jet with ‘Team Kevin and Chris’ on it is a good idea. Oh, boys. Jericho puts Mick Foley on the List of Jericho, which I like to imagine is mostly him deciding whether they’re going to be Kevin and Chris Jericho-Owens or Owens-Jericho. Steph says she doesn’t care what list she ends up on, and Jericho says he’s not writing anything, pointing into the crowd and writing onto his list.
Steph says that Jericho is going to go up against Seth Rollins tonight, for his chance to join the championship match at Hell in a Cell – and be part of a triple threat match for the WWE Universal Title. Kevin’s… not too happy about his bestie being possibly in the picture for his title.
Backstage, Seth is talking to Charly Caruso about how Steph’s plan isn’t great, because he’s going to beat Jericho, and it’ll just be him and Kevin in the cell. He says that Steph might know how the game is played, but that the game is only as good as the pieces you play with. He says he’s going to destroy the machine, piece by piece. But at least he’s polite and welcomes Charly to Raw.
MATCH: Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas vs. Enzo & Cass – NOT STARTED
Apparently Axel and Bo had a chat backstage about Bo’s new attitude. Huh, I guess that makes sense. Poor boys orphaned by the lack of Heath Slater to drive them to soccer practice. Oh, here come two other boys missing their soccer mom, and Gallows and Anderson come in to beat down Enzo and Cass. Bo and Axel just sort of awkwardly stand there as Cass takes a Magic Killer in the centre of the ring. Apparently, the games are over, as The Club make their way up the ramp.
MATCH: Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas vs. Sami Zayn & Neville
Neville! Sami, you brought our Neville back to us! As if we didn’t already love you so much, you brought Neville back to us! Yay! Corey Graves calls Neville and Sami ‘unbelievably talented’ which is more proof that Corey Graves never lies.
- Bo and Sami start the match off, as we’re told that Neville and Sami volunteered to take the place of Enzo and Cass, so Mick sent them out together.
- Curtis Axel tagged in, Sami getting smacked around a fair bit, pinned in the wrong corner, and Curtis Axel punches Neville off the apron before throwing Sami over his head.
- Red Arrow from Neville onto Curtis Axel as Sami stands guard, stopping Bo from stepping in, and gets the win!
Bo stalks around the ring with his sign, casting one look at his former tag partner, and leaves the ring. Neville and Sami celebrate in the ring.
Lana corners Charlotte, tells her that she isn’t the jealous type, but that Charlotte needs to keep her mitts off Lana’s husband. Alright.
MATCH: R-Truth (with Goldust) vs. Titus O’Neil
- I don’t understand this, but then, I don’t have to. Quick violence from R-Truth, but Titus shoves him around easily.
- Quick cover from Truth but an easy kick out from Titus, kicks from both men.
- Pin for one from Titus, kick out from Truth easily.
- Commentary respect this match by talking about the brands of each men instead of calling the action.
- R-Truth rolls up Titus for the win.
The Golden Truth have a cuddle by the barricades as Titus sits in the ring and looks utterly baffled by what just happened. Us too, mate. Us too.
Brian Kendrick is sitting alone, when TJ Perkins turns up and calls him a ‘more greasy Jack Sparrow’, but says they should drop the façade. He offers a hand, and Kendrick sits, Perkins sitting next to him. Perkins says the he knows who Kendrick is, and that he understand that he’s afraid that he might miss out on his last opportunity. The cruiserweight division literally exists to make me cry as TJ talks about a road trip with Brian where his N64 broke and Brian went and got him a new one, and somewhere at home, Daniel Bryan is weeping softly. TJ says it’s not too late for Kendrick to be who he’s meant to be. He offers a hand, and Kendrick takes it, shaking it – and then launching himself at TJ, who’s ready, shoving him back. Kendrick lies, curled up on the floor, visibly cringing back from his younger opponent. Like my heart.
Braun Strowman vs. The Splash Brothers – 2-on-1 Handicap Match
Another Braun squash. I’m so very, very tired of these. He makes a pile of them. He wins. It’s boring. One of these wrestlers is wearing a fuzzy diaper. Good grief, and people wonder why it’s hard to take wrestling seriously. Byron tries for a post-match interview, and then Strowman takes the mic and Byron backs away. Strowman gargles into the mic about this not being real competition, and how he’s just going to make a pile of bodies out of people like this – he wants a real fight.
Roman and Sasha stand side by side, with their titles, and it’s super awesome, Roman smiling as he tells Sasha he heard she’s making history again, but that Hell in a Cell is brutal. Sasha says she knows what she’s getting herself into, and that he should just handle Rusev. She says ‘believe that’ and the two share this little grin of ‘I’m actually enjoying myself’ and it’s fucking adorable.
MATCH: Sasha Banks & Roman Reigns vs. Charlotte & Rusev – Mixed Tag Team Match
Interestingly, as everyone makes their way down to the ring, Rusev gets boos, Charlotte gets a sort of mixed cheer and boo reaction, Sasha gets unreserved cheers, and Roman gets a weird mix but mostly boos. Also, they announce the women first for each team, because they’re getting smarter about this. I’m just sort of not sure who anyone is rooting for.
- Rusev says that he’ll start the match, and Charlotte just goes, but tags herself in straight away, Sasha slipping into the ring.
- Rusev tags himself in, and so then in comes Roman. Rusev acts like he’s going for a test of strength, but won’t commit to it, and the two grapple for a moment.
- They leave the women on the sidelines for fucking ages, and it’s boring and annoying, and Charlotte seems to think so too, grabbing Roman’s ankle while he’s in the corner, so Sasha comes around the side of the ring and slams into her.
- Back from commercial and it’s the bloody men again.
- FINALLY the women tag in after a Superman Punch from Roman to Rusev. Sasha with dropkicks to Charlotte, followed by double knees, keeping Charlotte in the corner, before balancing her on the ropes for another double knees and a pin for two.
- Quick roll up from Charlotte, Sasha reversing it into the Bank Statement, and Roman hits Rusev with a spear, literally leaping over Sasha’s legs, to prevent him from interrupting as Charlotte taps, giving the win to Sasha and Roman to uproarious cheers.
Sasha and Roman heft their titles, grinning at one another as Sasha displays the title to Charlotte, and Roman gestures to her, deferring to her. That’s what I like to see.
Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho are backstage and Tom Phillips is behind them, waiting to ask questions. Tom asks how Kevin feels like the triple threat thing is going to go down, and Jericho wins my English graduate heart by saying ‘stupid idiom’. Kevin says it doesn’t matter what sort of match it’s going to be at Hell in a Cell, because he’s going to be walking out champion. There’s some interesting dancing around where if one of them is champion, they’re both champion, and I am loving this tension building up. Tom goes on the list for not leaving when he’s told to, and Kevin steals his pocket square as Jericho shouts quiet at him.
Paul Heyman talks for like, ten minutes, about Brock Lesnar, but I’m running late for work, so guess we’re missing that out! Also the ‘Emma becomes Emmalina’ thing, but Emma can rock ANY gimmick, so I’m not too worried about her.
MATCH: TJ Perkins vs. Ariya Daivari
Brian Kendrick is on commentary for this match, in his pretty blue leather jacket that I want to steal, frankly, and we’re re-introduced to Daivari, in case we didn’t watch CWC.
- The two men shake hands, and Daivari is straight into TJP with aggression. Perkins feints a couple of times, using Daivari’s speed against him, two pins for Perkins.
- Kneebar locked in, Daivari makes it to the bottom rope as the crowd chant ‘TJP’.
- Kendrick talks a lot about lost opportunities as Daivari hits a neckbreaker and gets a cover for two.
- Splash from the top rope, misses TJP, followed up with Perkins hitting a wrecking ball dropkick, and he locks the kneebar in. Daivari taps out.
Brian Kendrick claps as Perkins heads up the ramp, the two making eye contact, a promise about their match at Hell in a Cell.
Jericho is sneering his way down a corridor when Steph catches up to him, and tells him that she has the same scarf as him. He thinks it probably looks better on him. Steph says that she’s going to be rooting for Jericho in the match tonight, and he says he’s glad to hear it. In the 17 years they’ve worked together, they’ve never had a problem, but he almost put her name on the list tonight. He stopped, because he doesn’t know how to spell Stephanie, he says, but he won’t let her see the list. Steph says that a win for Jericho tonight is a win for Monday Night Raw, and that really, there’s nothing she can do once he gets into the cell. Kevin asks what that talk was about – and Jericho says friendship.
We get a Hispanic Heritage promo about Tito Santana, and we see his Hall of Fame speech, along with his famous catchphrase.
MATCH: Chris Jericho vs. Seth Rollins
Jericho saunters out, scarf and trunks, that weird magician dad look that he appears to be going for at the moment, before scenie weenie Seth Rollins appears, to the screams of the women.
- Jericho starts by throwing his scarf at Seth, who smacks Jericho away, then grabs the scarf, wiping it on his arse, and then throwing it into the crowd. Someone’s going home happy.
- Jericho hides behind the ref for a bit, making Seth have to duck around him to get to Chris.
- Jericho rolls out for a breather for a bit – well, he’s getting on a bit now – and then there’s a dropkick from Seth off the apron, before he whips Jericho into the barricades.
- Double axe handle off the apron from Seth, as he rhetorically asks ‘who’s the man’. Yes, dear, yes you are, I suppose.
- Rollins throws Jericho into the steps, then gets him back into the ring, and as Seth goes to head back in, Kevin’s music hits.
- KO ambles out with the cursed flesh belt, and Seth has to take his attention off Jericho, who bounces Seth’s ribs off the ropes.
- Jericho is taking care to aim for the ribs that kept Seth out of competition last week, hanging him up on the ropes for a kick to the ribs.
- Abdominal stretch from Jericho, with chops to the previously injured ribs, Seth driving his elbow into Jericho’s knee for some space.
- Duelling chants from the audience of ‘let’s go Rollins’ and ‘Y2J’ and there’s a pin for two from Seth,
- Jericho is showing off for KO, but Seth reverses the hold and hits a backbreaker on Jericho, pinning him for two.
- Jericho gets Seth hung up on the ropes, taking a rope between the legs, and goes for a superplex, Seth shoving Jericho away to land face first on the mat.
- Seth goes for a cross-body, but Jericho comes up with a dropkick into Seth’s ribs, and both men go down hard.
- Seth counters a Codebreaker into a superkick for a pin for two.
- KO waves the cursed flesh belt at Seth, who smacks him off the apron, and leaps off the ropes to Jericho, who catches him by the knee and drags him into the Walls of Jericho – but Seth makes it to the bottom rope.
- Cheap kick to the face from Owens while the ref isn’t looking, and Jericho gets a pin – for two and a half, so close to the win. Owens can’t believe his friend didn’t get the win from that.
- ‘This is awesome’ chants from the audience as Seth rolls away from Jericho, whose momentum takes him to the outside.
- Seth goes for a suicide dive on the outside, hits Kevin, before Seth comes off the top rope and onto Jericho with a flying knee, for a pin for two.
- Seth back up to the top rope, goes for a frogsplash, but Jericho dodges, a Lionsault hits, and Jericho pins Seth – for two again, unable to get the win.
- Jericho to the top rope, Seth kicks him until he collapses, on the ropes. Jericho gets Seth by the hair, headbutting him around, then comes off the top turnbuckle right into a knee.
- There’s a Pedigree attempt, which Jericho rolls through, Seth rolling that through, Jericho goes for the Walls, Seth rolls through, and it’s a win for Seth!
KO is straight into the ring, leaping on Rollins with vicious rage, as Jericho cowers in the corner. Kevin goes for a pop-up powerbomb, but Seth kicks Owens, setting up for a Pedigree, but Jericho comes in to break it up. Jericho gets hit with a Pedigree, and Kevin Owens leaves the ring, heading up the ramp, and that’s where we close out Raw for this week. Goodnight!