Well, I’m here, only 45mins late for Raw, but you’ve got to forgive someone who’s spent their day being gently drowned by children for what they call ‘fun week’, which is only fun if you’re less than four foot high and like leaping on your teacher simply because she’s in the water for once. I’m not bitter, but I am cold, exhausted, and it’s only the first day of the week, so allow me to approach Raw with the same due sense of exhaustion and dread with which I do work.
Oh, fuck me, it is Roadblock on Sunday? Oh Christ. Drown me, I take it all back. Raw comes to us this week from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, two words I can’t spell at 2am without Wikipedia. I will do basic catch up work, and then we’ll start from whatever happened at 1.45am. Good grief, I’m shattered.
We opened with The New Day, in their match against Gallows and Anderson, and Cesaro and Sheamus, which was incredibly quick, and their locker room is all set up for the celebration. About a twenty minute match, ending in Kofi hitting Trouble in Paradise on Sheamus, as Big E held Cesaro back from getting to his partner.
We went back to their celebration, and Stephanie toasted her tag team champions, before they sprayed her with champagne, and she was utterly unhappy with the entire thing.
Then Braun Strowman had a squash against Curtis Axel, and growled into the mic at Byron afterwards, saying Sami couldn’t last two minutes in the right with him. Sami confronts Mick, who says he won’t give Sami the match against Strowman, and offers to trade Sami to SmackDown if he’s going to keep on about being unhappy with Raw.
MATCH: Ariya Daivari vs. Lince Dorado
We see a recap of Daivari vs. Gallagher last week, where I cheered for Ceefax Trunks, and Ariya took Jack out at the knee. And he’s up against Dorado! I enjoyed his CWC matched that I caught, so this should be nice to watch, even if my stream is grainy, so calling this match will be entertaining.
- Quick start, handsprings from Dorado before the inevitable collar-and-elbow tie, grappling, before a shoulder tackle by Daivari and a pin for one. Wrist locks, Dorado lifted high, comes back with a head-scissors before a kick.
- Springboard cross-body from Dorado, pin for two. Daivari tries kicks, Dorado dodging, and coming back with a right. Huge clothesline from Daivari, Dorado down really hard – and Gallagher’s music rises!
- Gallagher announces his intention to interfere with the match and to call Daivari a scoundrel! This is like listening to me talk after a class of wine, as the crowd chants ‘scoundrel’ and Gallagher says he’s going to give Daivari ‘a thorough thrashing’.
Gallagher dives at Daivari, and once they’re back in the ring, Gallagher’s dropkick hits Daivari, sending him out of the ring, and he sits on the ramp, holding his jaw.
Seth is ambling backstage and we’re told that the Rollins Report is back, so I guess Seth got to talk in a nasal whine earlier.
Ah, Seth. Precious trash baby I shouldn’t enjoy looking at quite as much as I do. I shall never experience your strobe-filled entrance live, because I hate seizures, but also just because no one needs to be that extra, poppet. So, Seth’s happy to be in Philly – oh, are we in Philly? I didn’t notice, no one’s set a wrestler on fire yet – and he’s once more telling us that he wants Triple H. Babes, he doesn’t want to return your calls, just throw out his stuff and move on, kitten. Seth says his way to Triple H is through Owens, and the way to Owens is through Jericho, who he has a chance to fight on Sunday. He introduces Owens, and settles himself on a stool in the centre of the ring. Ooh, maroon carpet. Kevin takes one look at the ring, turns around, and walks away, leaving Seth the only dick at the party. Then he comes back with a stool and settles himself at the top of the ramp, where he’s safe from sucker punches.
Kevin laughs at the idea he’d come to the ring, and the stupid Rollins Report, and he says the only reason he came out was to make an announcement. Apparently all we need to know about Kevin and Chris’ friendship is that they’ll have each other’s backs on Sunday. Kevin says that if Seth cuts him off again, he’ll come break Seth’s face. He says after talking to Steph, she’s decided to put The New Day into a tag team match – against Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho.
Jericho’s music hits, and out he ambles, waistcoat and scarf with leather trousers, like a sexy magician at a bad stripping party. He asks Kevin if he’s crazy, because Kevin cost him the US title, and then telling him to shut up two weeks ago – he won’t be Kevin’s tag team partner ever again. Kevin apologises, but says thinking about the past is silly, because they could be the Raw tag team champs, ruin New Day’s record opportunity. Jericho muses, because he does like ruining things. Kevin says that if Jericho stays mad, it won’t do them any good, but to work together could net results. Seth says that it sounds like Kevin is trying to tell Chris what to do, but Chris tells him to shut up – so Seth goads him, calling him Sparklecrotch – so he’s not going on The List, but ‘the disabled list’.
Uh. Is this a thing? Am I on it? Kevin and Jericho head down to the ring, and Seth’s got his stools like he’s a lion tamer, but the best friends are on the same page now, kicking Seth about and slamming him into the barricades, before dragging him around by the hair and laying into him with punches. Is it me, or does face Seth sell harder than heel Seth did? Kevin slides a chair to Jericho in the ring, and then here comes Roman, dodging a chair from Owens and punching Kevin, before Jericho joins in – but Seth comes to the rescue! Kick from Roman to Owens, Jericho thrown by Seth into a clothesline from Roman. Seth goes to Pedigree Chris, but Kevin drags him free, and we get a weird moment where Seth’s stood next to Roman, clutching a chair and panting, and for a second I honestly thought he was going to hit Roman with it, and we were going to have the Shield break up all over again.
Charly Caruso is talking to Rich Swann, asking about something that happened on 205 Live, which I don’t know, because I told Jess that’s a SmackDown thing. Apparently Kendrick and TJP got into it, Perkins distracting Kendrick, who lost to Swann, and then an accidental superkick to Swann from TJP broke up that friendship. Apparently at Roadblock we’ve got a triple threat match between these three men, but Swann’s not bothered. Kendrick shows up and says that if not for TJP, Swann would have lost to Kendrick, who’s trying to say that there’s no friendships in triple threat matches. TJP shows up, and I love how Charly is dressed in the exact shade of the Cruiserweight Championship.
MATCH: TJ Perkins vs. Brian Kendrick
Kendrick stalks in after the video game into of TJP, and the ref tries to get them to shake hands, which TJ seems reluctant to do, and in the end, refuses.
- Kendrick goes in with a swift kick, TJP dodges, and comes back with his own, which is also dodged. The two go for test of strength, Kendrick locking in a wrist hold, battling TJP to the floor, then coming back to take him down into a shoulder tackle.
- Wrist lock from Kendrick, TJP eventually flips out of it, as commentary respect this match by talking about video games. TJP looks for an early kneebar, Kendrick making it to the ropes and catching TJP with a kick. Knee to Kendrick’s face, Kendrick holding onto the rope to avoid a Detonation Kick.
- TJP sends Kendrick sprawling over the top rope, his head slamming into the apron as he falls, and back with a drive-by dropkick from TJ, sending Kendrick spiralling down to the floor again.
- Back from commercials, Kendrick has a headlock on in the middle o the ring, TJP fighting out, Kendrick setting up twice for the Captain’s Hook, TJP getting free, catching Kendrick with a kick. TJO taking Kendrick down with big shoulder tackles, then a boot to the knee.
- Corner splash, hanging Kendrick in the Tree of Woe, big kick to the chest. TJP comes off the top rope, huge dropkick, and covers Kendrick for two. Attempt at a chicken wing from TJP, Kendrick taking him down instead, pinning Perkins for two.
- Kendrick again trying for Captain’s Hook, Perkins turns it into the kneebar, and Kendrick scooches to the bottom rope. Kendrick hits Sliced Bread #2 – and that’s the win!
Kendrick looks wrecked, but manages to stand.
Roman and Seth are ambling backstage, and bump into Mick Foley, who says they looked really good side by side, and reminds them about when they held the tag team titles between them. Foley gives us a Doris Day quote, and says he’s giving them a chance – tonight’s main event is The New Day vs. Best Friends vs. 2/3 of The Shield. Roman and Seth look at each other like they’re wishing one of them had gone to SmackDown to keep Dean company instead. All I’m getting out of this is that Foley ships Ambrollins.
Commentary are talking about the 30-min Iron Woman match, and there’s no rematch clause, so finally, someone else might get a chance for the title. We get a video package for Sasha and Charlotte, talking about how they’re eternally bound, and bring out the best in each other, challenging each other. Yes, they can put on brilliant matches, but we’re done with this hot potato on the title, and we’ll get some other blood into the women’s division. It’s been a good run, girls, but it’s time to take a break for a moment or two. Beat Bayley up for once. Set to Halestorm’s ‘I Am The Fire’ it’s a powerful video package that leaves me with chills, excited for Sunday.
MATCH: Bayley vs. Alicia Fox
Oh, good, it’s this feud again, because Cedric Alexander. Apparently on the Raw pre-show, Alicia destroyed a Bayley bear, because Bayley made moves on ‘my bear, Cedric’. Eurgh. Can someone get me a vomit bucket?
- Waist lock from Bayley, taking her down hard, the two struggling upright. Snapmare from Bayley, keep Alicia grounded. Leapfrog from Alicia, kick dodged, and then Alicia’s back on the floor after an elbow.
- Weird cowgirl revolving pin from Bayley, huge kick from Alicia to the back to Bayley’s neck, pin for two. Alicia pins Bayley to the ropes and then into a scissor hold, Bayley bridging out to get Alicia’s shoulders on the floor for two.
- Northern Lights suplex from Alicia, then again, bridged into the cover, pin for two. Alicia pulls Bayley upright to take big forearms. Bayley-to-belly – and that’s the win!
There is NOTHING to this feud and I hate it.
After last week’s really fucking uncomfortable bullshit, Lana’s here in her camo gear, looking marvellous as always as she introduces her husband. He’s dressed for a match, even though I thought we were told that this would be a talking segment. Lana smiles at her husband as they wait for the jeering USA chants to die down. This is Philly, guys, you could be waiting a while. Rusev says he’s taken down all the American heroes, but last week was different because he took out American trash. You didn’t go near Seth, Rusev. Oh, you mean Enzo! Sorry, confusion there. Rusev says that the G in ‘certified G’ stands for ‘garbage’ and I am right there with you there. We’re shown kids in the crowd waving as Rusev says that apparently he and Lana ‘did their business’ in the hotel room, and Lana literally can’t stop herself from giggling, you can see her biting the corners of her mouth to keep herself from laughing.
They tell the children to cover their eyes before they show us what Lana and Rusev do behind closed doors and GREAT THANKS THIS IS AWFUL. We get a fucking recap of the weird awkwardness from last week, while Rusev trashed a hotel room. Oh, please tell me that what we’re about to see is Lana getting the vacuum out and Rusev rebuilding the furniture. Aaaaaand that’s it, the recap is done, Lana says that it truly warms her heart to see the gullible fools in the audience thinking we were gonna see Lana and Rusev bang. The crowd seem bored, but frankly, I like Lana stood next to her husband, telling everyone that Enzo was stupid for thinking he had a shot.
Cass is here, no Enzo, and he says that Rusev gave Enzo the beating of a lifetime, and that Enzo is covered in ice. Cass says Enzo has the balls to back up running his mouth, and Cass is here, with his pants on, to take Rusev down. Rusev takes a moment to put his foot on the rope to get Lana out of the ring – god, that’s adorable – and Rusev hammers at Cass over and over, tumbling them out and onto the floor, Rusev shoving Cass into the barricades over and over. Rusev goes to leave, but Cass follows him, Rusev getting the final word by bouncing Cass off the ring post, the crowd booing as Lana totters after him on what are, compared to Maryse’s footwear on SmackDown, pretty sensible shoes.
Kevin is backstage, saying that Foley has it in for the Best Friends team, but Chris doesn’t look like he’s interested. Kevin says ‘it’s you and me against the world’, which is something my wife said to me once, and nearly knocked all the air out of me. Kevin’s excited by the opportunity, but Chris tells him to just focus on tonight, and not talk about what ‘always’ will be.
MATCH: Sami Zayn vs. Jinder Mahal
Sami’s pretty pissed this isn’t Braun Strowman. Poor Sami.
- Collar-and-elbow tie, getting Sami in the corner, big kick, then chops from Sami in the corner. Sami hammers at the poor unfortunate, who cringes at the ropes, then a dropkick from Sami.
- Knee from Kinder, Sami sent over the ropes, shoulder to the gut, and then a shoulder tackle takes down Jinder. Punches from Sami, Jinder holding the ropes again, the ref pulling him away, but Sami charges right back, Mahal bouncing his face off the ropes and getting a cover for two.
- Massive back elbow from Mahal, Sami down hard, sliding dropkick, and a pin for two again. Knees over and over from Mahal, followed by a knee drop, into a headlock.
- More knees from Jinder, lifting Sami up, he lands on his feet, and catches Jinder off the rebound in a huge clothesline. Exploder suplex into the corner from Sami, the crowd rallying behind him. Helluva Kick, and Sami pins Jinder – for the win!
Sami’s still not that happy, because it wasn’t Braun Strowman, and Foley’s talking about trading him away – can we have Dean back? I just want my Shield boys to have a cuddle for a bit, poor loves.
Oh, hello! Mick’s here, are we sending Sami away, or has he proved himself ready for Strowman? He says he got off the phone with Daniel Bryan… and the trade is happening. For a talent of equal value, and all Sami has to do is sign the paperwork. Mick says it’s what Sami wants – and Sami asks for the Strowman match one last time. Sami’s gonna sign himself away to be a big fish in a small pond, Mick says, and then asks if we’d like to know who he’s being traded for. Is it Nikki Bella? No, wait, she’s much more valuable than Sami. The crowd chants ‘Ellsworth’ -and Mick says he’s being traded for Eva Marie.
Oh hah fucking hah, brilliant, great. Now two men get to talk down a woman as Sami says that he’s worth 1000 Evas. Fuck you, Sami, fuck you Mick, and fuck this sexism that you’re playing like we’re not denigrating the women. And oh, look, it was all a ploy because Sami’s fighting Braun Strowman at Roadblock, Mick just wanted to see his anger. Fuck you. Apparently Sami gets 10 minutes to prove his worth. I want to see Braun Strowman vs. Eva Marie, frankly, and I want her to annihilate him and make him cry. I won’t be happy until I see that, because this? This was unnecessary BULLSHIT.
MATCH: The New Day vs. JeriKO vs. 2/3 Shield – Raw Tag Team Championship Match
So this is all because New Day splashed Steph with champagne, and I mean, she’s married to Triple H, I refuse to believe that’s never happened before in his wilder days, so frankly, I don’t know what the fuss is about. The New Day aren’t in the mood for this match, and after that bollocks, nor am I, so I’m hoping this is all over quickly and I don’t have to deal with anything else. Yes, yes, boo Roman, Philly, at least he’s not saying the women are shit. So many of the boys are bouncing in the ring, poor tiny JoJo in bouncing in her heels. Guys, stand still, don’t bounce the pretty lady, it’s rude.
- The bell rings, and it’s Seth and Xavier to start, Seth going for a wristlock, dragging Xavier around and trading holds like it’s a Cruiserweight match, I like that. Xavier gets Seth to the ground, he leapfrogs, but Xavier grabs Seth’s legs, and the two trade pins for one before a big uppercut from Xavier prompts a slingblade from Seth, cover for one.
- Roman tagged in, boos, Ro and Seth go for the double clothesline, but Xavier holds the ropes, Big E in, the two bigger men circling before Roman bounces Big E off the rope. Jericho tags Roman out, Jericho and Big E in, the ref distracted while KO drags E to the ground. Jericho puts his foot on Big E, then Owens tags in to pin Big E for two. Punches to the gut from KO, Jericho tagged back in.
- Big E fights back with punches, Jericho dodging so E headbutts the ring post. Jericho comes off the top rope with a flying elbow, kick out for two. Jericho tags KO back in, senton from Owens, covering for two. New Day Rocks chant rises as Big E takes KO down.
- Xavier in against Owens, flying tackle, and then a kick, sending Owens onto the ropes and coming back with a dropkick to the lower back and a pin for two. Xavier out and to the top rope, but Owens rallies as Jericho distracts, headbutt from Owens before he climbs up too, Jericho climbing up with him when Xavier won’t let go of the ropes for a superplex. Everyone gets involved, and we get a Tower of Doom!
- Back from commercials, chinlock on Xavier from KO. Senton from KO when Xavier gets to his feet, then back to the chinlock, before sending Xavier back to the ground. Roman and Seth argue they want a turn, which means Xavier has time to get away from another senton. Big E and Jericho both tagged in, huge belly-to-belly suplexes from Big E.
- Seth tags in from Big E, big splash hits him, and Seth drops Big E to the outside, along with Jericho. Suicide dive from Seth. Roman tags in, goes for the spear, but it’s blocked. Codebreaker from Jericho, before a Liger Bomb from Roman.
- Superman Punch set up, hits it on KO, Jericho pinning Roman for two off a schoolboy rollup. Looking for Walls of Jericho, nearly gets it, but Roman blacks, throwing punches in retaliation. Xavier tags in from Jericho, taking Roman down with a kick, before heading to the top rope and hitting a rope-walk elbow drop, pinning him for two.
- Forearms from both men before Seth tags in, knocking Xavier down hard. Seth goes up top, Jericho knocks him off, tagging in as he does so. Cannonball from KO, before Jericho hits a Lionsault – but Xavier still manages to kick out! Xavier and Jericho throw punches, but Jericho locks in the Walls, Xavier reaching for the ropes. He makes it, turning Jericho over and getting a pin for two.
- In the corner, Xavier goes for a DDT, KO breaking it up – pop-up Codebreaker from Jericho, but Seth breaks up the pin. Chris screams at KO for landing on him, Owens claiming Seth pushed him, and while that’s happening, Seth lands a Pedigree on Jericho! Big E pulls Seth out of the ring, and Xavier gets an arm over Jericho – and that’s the win!
The New Day have made it, they’re going to beat Demolition’s record (of course) and they head up the ramp, celebrating for the second time! Chris seems unhappy, and Kevin asks what his problem is. Arguing, Chris says they’re done, and leaves, but not before telling Kevin to turn around – right into a spear from Roman! Roman picks up the Universal title along with his US title, and holds both belts up to the crowd. And that’s how we close out Raw!