Will the Architect’s plan for Raw succeed?
Seth Rollins vows to stomp out doubt from Raw, and that starts by aiming for the top. Will he get the response he wants from Drew McIntyre?
- Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifier: Aleister Black VS Austin Theory; Aleister wins and advances to the Men’s MITB match.
- Shayna Baszler VS Indi Hartwell; Baszler wins.
- Ricochet & Cedric Alexander VS Shane Thorne & Brendan Vink; Ricochet & Alexander win.
- Nia Jax VS Kairi Sane; Jax wins.
- Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifier: Apollo Crews VS MVP; Crews wins and advances to the Men’s MITB match.
- Ruby Riott VS Liv Morgan; Morgan wins.
- Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifier: Rey Mysterio VS Buddy Murphy; Mysterio wins and advances to the Men’s MITB match.
- Charlotte Flair VS Kayden Carter; Flair wins.
- Andrade Almas w/ Zelina Vega VS Akira Tozawa; Almas wins.
- Bianca Belair VS Santana Garrett; Belair wins.
- Drew McIntyre VS Angel Garza; McIntyre wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Raw opens with Drew McIntyre!
The WWE World Champion heads to the ring for all the “cool cats and kittens,” and grabs a mic to welcome us to the show. This is truly the highlight of his week, so thank you for joining him. But to business. Last week, McIntyre was ambushed and left laying in this very ring. It wasn’t a surprise, really. McIntyre knows the title represents a lot of things. History, prestige, glory and fame. All great things, but it’s also a bull’s eye on the champion’s back. This title means you are the best of the best, and everyone wants to be in that position. They say it is lonely at the top, but they’re lying. It’s crowded at the top! Everyone wants the title! That brings McIntyre to Seth Rollins. Rollins was the one who stomped McIntyre’s head into the mat. Twice, even.
If you look past the Monday Night Messiah rhetoric, Rollins isn’t that complex. McIntyre is champion, Rollins wants to be champion, but does Rollins deserve it? McIntyre said those who are deserving get their shot. Many say Rollins isn’t deserving. But McIntyre took the week to think about it and came to a conclusion. He could make Rollins jump through hoops, but Rollins is one of the most decorated superstars today. McIntyre has been in the ring with Rollins so he knows firsthand how good Rollins is. If McIntyre wants to become the very best, he must beat the best. So at the Money in the Bank PPV, it WILL be McIntyre VS Rollins for the WWE Championship! McIntyre speaks to Rollins directly here. Don’t worry, Rollins, he won’t insult you. Because then he-
Wait a minute! Here comes Zelina Vega and her boys! McIntyre says he can talk later on, since he has Garza in a match. Zelina says hi, and he says hi back to the “number one thorn in my ass.” She knows she can’t speak for the entire WWE Universe, but her team is “so sick” of these speeches! McIntyre’s problem is he is too focused to MITB, that he is looking past tonight’s match with Angel Garza. And Andrade Almas attacks from behind! That’s why he wasn’t on stage! Almas dropkicks McIntyre into the corner and then stomps away! Almas runs corner to corner, but gets a CLAYMORE!! Zelina shouts for Garza and Theory to after McIntyre, but they’re not budging. McIntyre gives a countdown and… CLAYMORE! He sends Almas flying out of the ring! Vega’s stable regroups and retreats! Will McIntyre be the one feeling tranquilo tonight?
Raw shares the big news about MITB!
As announced on SmackDown just last Friday, Money in the Bank won’t just be with ladders. They’re going to compete inside WWE Titan Towers! The entire corporate headquarters will be the battlegrounds for both the Men’s and Women’s MITB briefcase matches! Who will climb the corporate ladder to success?
Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifier: Aleister Black VS Austin Theory!
We just saw #TheRealSuperstar be intimidated by the Scottish Stud, but he’ll have to refocus if he’s going to go #AllDay. Will Theory prove himself worthy of this massive opportunity? Or will he simply #FadeToBlack?
The bell rings and Aleister circles with Theory. They tie up and Theory goes for the wrist but Aleister gets away quick. The two go again, Theory goes after the wrist again and wrenches. Aleister spins and steps in to trip for a takedown. Theory tries to fight Aleister off but Aleister wrenches and wristlocks. Theory drags Aleister into a facelock but Aleister powers him off. Aleister has the arm again, and has a modified hammerlock. Theory endures, gets to his feet and reaches around to a headlock. Theory shifts to an armlock but Aleister rolls and trips Theory again, only for Theory to kick him away. Aleister catches Theory’s attack to arm-drag him away. Theory throws Aleister away and runs him over with a shoulder!
Zelina praises Theory while he jumps the leg sweep. Theory clubs Aleister on the back then throws forearms. He whips Aleister but Aleister simply rebounds and stands in Theory’s way. Theory runs but is put on the apron. Theory grabs hair but Aleister breaks free, and spins back! Black Mass narrowly misses Theory’s head as he jumps away! Aleister runs and wrecks Theory with a dropkick! Theory shakes the cobwebs out but Zelina heads off commentary. Zelina talks trash at Aleister, bringing up the past from NXT here like she has with McIntyre. Aleister doesn’t play fair? Theory throws Aleister into barriers! THAT isn’t very fair. But Zelina is pleased as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Aleister fights up out of a chinlock. He powers Theory into buckles but Theory elbows back. Aleister walks into a buckle bump, then Theory slingshots in for a somersault shotgun dropkick! Cover, TWO! Theory rains down lefts and rights on Aleister, then drags Aleister up for clubbing forearms. Theory torture racks and throws Aleister into buckles! Then another torture rack, for another throw! Theory wants a third, but Aleister fights back! Aleister lands out of the toss and BOOTS Theory away! Theory comes back to grab hair, but Aleister scoop slams Theory! Zelina grows worried again as Aleister wheelbarrows to the victory roll. TOW, and Theory blocks the strike fest to fireman’s carry. Aleister avoids ATL to roll Theory. Theory elbows out of the waistlock, but swings into a takedown!
Aleister has the arm but Theory stays on his feet! Theory fights the Triangle Hold and dead lifts, to a POWERBOMB! Zelina is excited to see that, but Theory can’t make the cover. A standing count begins, and Theory stands at 6. Theory drags Aleister up before 8, and fisherman lifts. But the bad arm gives out! Aleister goes after it with a standing armlock! Theory knees free and throws Aleister back to buckles. Theory tries again but Aleister cradle counters! TWO, and Aleister dodges to rally with big forearms! Aleister fires off the strike fest, sweeps the legs, and thrusts the KNEE! Zelina is frustrated as Aleister QUEBRADAS! Cover, TWO!! Theory lives and Zelina makes excuses, but Aleister looms close.
Aleister waistlocks and drags Theory up. Theory trips with a leg, but walks into a BOOT! Aleister runs, but Theory dodges the knee to SUPERKICK! Fisherman lift, USHIGOROSHI!! Cover, TOW!! Aleister survives and Zelina has had it with Byron. Theory keeps his focus, and claims he’s taking MITB. He drags Aleister up, fireman’s carries, but Aleister elbows back. Aleister is on the apron, blocks punches to give punches, and then climbs up top. Aleister leaps but Theory gets under! Theory runs into Aleister’s KNEE! Aleister GERMAN SUPLEXES! Bridging cover, TWO!! Aleister grits his teeth and lifts Theory with his foot. BLACK- No! Theory dodges and elbows back. But runs into BLACK MASS!! Cover, Aleister wins!!
Winner: Aleister Black, by pinfall (advances to the Men’s MITB Match)
Zelina tries to convince herself that this is okay, but it certainly isn’t for Theory. Will Aleister make the entire field #FadeToBlack as they battle in Titan Towers?
In-ring interview with Aleister.
Byron Saxton congratulates Aleister on the big win, and he asks: What is the plan for climbing the “corporate ladder” in the most unique MITB match ever? Aleister doesn’t know much about the corporate life or the office. He’d probably have to cover up all of his tattoos. But when he enters the match, each floor will become his opponents’ personal hell.
Shayna Baszler VS Indi Hartwell!
The Queen of Spades quite literally broke Sarah Logan to qualify for the Women’s MITB match. Charly Caruso asks her on stage if that was taking it too far. Too far? Did Shayna break any rules? No. Just Sarah’s arm. Will Shayna break Indi like she did the Kentucky Valkyrie?
The bell rings and Shayna just ROCKS Indi with strikes! And then gut wrench SLAMS her down! Shayna stalks Indi, has the arm, and prepares to stomp! But Indi rolls her up! ONE and Indi hurries away from Shayna! Shayna is furious now, and she runs right at Indi. Indi BOOTS but Shayna laughs it off. Shayna runs in to ROCK and SLAM Indi down! And KNEES her right in the head! Indi is dazed, and Shayna STOMPS the arm!!
Winner: Shayna Baszler, by referee decision
Bully Baszler is more dangerous than ever as she sees redemption towards the Raw Women’s Championship. But will there be any women left on Raw if she keeps going like this?
Wait, what is Shayna doing with that ladder? She drags Indi out of the ring to SWING into the barriers! The ref reprimands Shayna but she isn’t listening. Shayna takes the ladder, sits it up against the steel steps, and then THROWS Indi into them! And then she puts the arm inside the ladder, to CRUSH!! The ladder breaks the arm like a nutcracker! Bully? Shayna is an evil villain. Will anyone be brave enough to stand in her way and the briefcase?
Ricochet & Cedric Alexander VS Shane Thorne & Brendan Vink!
The fast and furious combination returns, looking to get back on track in the Raw Tag Team Division. But can they best The Worst and the Smug?
The teams sort out and Vink starts against Ricochet. Ricochet and Vink tie up and Vink knees low! Vink tosses Ricochet to the corner and tags in Thorne. Thorne stomps Ricochet then throws European Uppercuts. Alexander avoids Thorne’s sucker punch and Thorne turns around into an elbow! Ricochet boots Thorne down then somersault shotgun dropkicks! Tag to Alexander and he knees Thorne low. Ricochet neckbreakers Thorne onto Alexander’s knee for a double breaker! Vink runs in but Alexander baits him into buckles! Enziguri sandwich! Thorne waistlocks but Ricochet tags in. Alexander elbows and suplexes Thorne down for Ricochet’s slingshot senton! Thorne flounders to a corner but Ricochet runs in. Thorne puts Ricochet on the apron and Vink trips him up! Vink CLOBBERS Ricochet then tags in.
Vink drags Ricochet up to throw into the ring. He stalks up behind Ricochet while Thorne talks smack. Vink DECKS Ricochet then brings him up again. He crucifix lifts, but Ricochet huricanranas Vink into buckles! Hot tag to Alexander and Thorne! The Ebony Lion rallies on Thorne and unloads a strike fest! He also dropkicks Vink’s legs out! Alexander has Thorne, props him up on Vink, and hits a one-man MAGIC KILLER! Alexander SUPERKICKS Vink away, but Thorne uppercuts Alexander! Ricochet tags in and Alexander knees Thorne. Alexander hits a tornado DDT! Ricochet hits a standing shooting star! Cover, but Vink breaks it! Vink DECKS Alexander, but Ricochet tilt-o-whirl DDT’s Vink! Ricochet is up, tags in Alexander, and Thorne runs into a kick! Ripcord RECOIL into LUMBAR CHECK! Cover, Alexander and Ricochet win!
Winners: Ricochet & Cedric Alexander, by pinfall
Raw’s tag team scene is about to shift into overdrive! Will anyone be able to keep up with this dynamic duo?
Backstage interview with The Kabuki Warriors!
Asuka and Kairi are still feeling good this week. The Pirate Princess lost her chance at being in the Women’s MITB match, but has a rematch with Nia Jax. Charly addresses the obvious size disadvantage being what lost last week. What makes Kairi think this week will be different? Asuka and Kairi says Charly is being stupid. Tonight, Kairi is ready for Nia! Right? Right! But no one is ready for ASUKA in Titan Towers! Will all this be true after tonight?
Bobby Lashley and Lana make a training video.
The Rocky Mountain Machine is going to show you how easy it is (for him) to flip this tractor tire. Lana says if you’re jealous of her now, wait until you see her Bobby in action. Will Lashley’s warm-up really make him mighty enough for this feat of strength?
Nia Jax VS Kairi Sane!
Raw returns as the Pirate Princess makes her entrance, followed by the Irresistible Force. Will this rematch change things from last week? Or just be a warm-up for Nia?
The bell rings and Kairi circles with Nia. Kairi dodges Nia and says, “Kiss this!” She gets around and climbs up Nia to get a sleeper hold! Nia throws Kairi off fast, but Kairi runs at her. Nia blocks the dropkick and makes it a swing! She TOSSES Kairi to a corner! Asuka is watching backstage as Kairi grabs the ropes. Asuka cheers Kairi on but protests as Nia drags Kairi up by her hair and throws her again! Though, the ref can’t hear that if she’s backstage. Nia stalks Kairi but Kairi throws body shots. Those don’t affect Nia and she throws Kairi again! Kairi grits her teeth but Nia drags her up again. Nia reels Kairi in to clothesline! And again! Kairi crawls to the bottom rope and the apron, but refuses to quit.
Nia runs over but Kairi slides under! Kairi tries but she can’t tip Nia over with the sunset flip! Nia drags Kairi up and holds her up with body hands! For a BUCKLE BOMB! Kairi groans in pain but drags herself back up. Nia runs in, but Kairi dodges! Nia just stops herself but Kairi goes after the leg! Kairi is after the surgically repaired knees! But Nia drags her up for a military press! The knee gives out and Kairi is right on it again! Asuka likes what she sees as Kairi throws elbow after elbow on Nia’s head! Nia pushes Kairi away but Kairi comes back for more. Kairi roars as she throws even more elbows! The ref counts as Kairi grabs hair, but she BACK HANDS Nia down! Kairi roars more as she runs in, for the SLIDING D!
Nia is down and Kairi climbs up! Kairi weighs anchor, for the InSANE- No! She has to roll and bail out as Nia evades. Nia is up, scoops Kairi, and pops her up for the SAMOAN DROP! Cover, Nia wins!
Winner: Nia Jax, by pinfall
Two times in a row, Nia A-Nia-Lates Kairi. But has Kairi done damage enough to give Asuka and the other women a chance against Nia in the Women’s MITB match?
Raw has a message from Seth Rollins.
“You’re a brave man, Drew McIntyre. A fighting champion. I admire that. I respect that.” There aren’t many who know what it’s like to walk in McIntyre’s shoes. But Rollins does. They both won a title off Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. Not many know what it is like to do that. But Rollins does. Rollins and McIntyre have a lot in common, actually. They command the respect of their peers. They have a deep, deep love and passion for this industry. Rollins accepts the challenge for the WWE World Championship. But not out disdain, because this isn’t personal. This is out of necessity. Because now, more than ever, the WWE Universe needs a leader. As much as Rollins and McIntyre have in common, the parallels stop with titles. Rollins is a proven leader, and McIntyre is not.
Rollins says he is the one who will sacrifice for the greater good! He is the one who will make the hard decisions! He will be the one the light in the darkness. At MITB, Rollins will take the title. And not because he wants to, but because he has to. What will McIntyre need to do to prevent that?
The Viking Raiders have a fight song now.
Erik and Ivar road around while coming up with verses back and forth. “Viking Raiders!” The raid is here and here to stay. They’re men with beards who all should fear. They worship Thor and knock them to the floor! Will the Viking Raiders sing their praises all the way to the Raw Tag Team Championships?
Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifier: Apollo Crews VS MVP!
The rising star returned to Raw but would #FadeToBlack against Aleister. Montel Vontavius Porter returned to the WWE ring with the Royal Rumble. But who takes the second spot Raw has to give in the Men’s MITB?
Before the MVP grabs a mic to say, “In my storied career, I have seen a lot of WWE superstars literally rise and fall in pursuit of that briefcase.” Because inside is a contract that entitles the bearer a shot at the world title anywhere, anytime. We’ve seen the dangerous Aleister Black punch his ticket. Later, we will see the absolute legend in Rey Mysterio compete for his. But right now is MVP’s turn. In his way is the extremely talented Apollo Crews, the most gifted athlete on Raw. But he is outmatched. When the WWE wanted to make this year’s MITB match the most unique, they called the most unique competitor. MVP is no stranger to wearing suits, going to the corporate headquarters to sit in boardrooms and sign big money deals. They called MVP.
“No hard feelings, Aleister Black. Er, no, uh, Apollo Crews. That guy.” But MVP called his agent to book a private jet already to go to Stamford. MVP vows to be in MITB. Money talks, and what it says is that MVP is the future. But Apollo makes his entrance to interrupt. Will MVP put his money where his mouth is?
The bell rings and Crews stares down with MVP. MVP throws hands but Crews counter punches! Crews whips but MVP holds ropes. Crews handsprings through to dropkick MVP down, and down again! MVP gets to the apron and calls for a timeout. Nope! Crews blasts MVP off the apron! Crews slingshots but MVP sweeps the legs! MVP’s experience has the edge as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns as MVP has Crews in a camel clutch. Crews endures but MVP says he can just make it easier on himself and give up. Crews refuses and powers up instead! He rams MVP into buckles! Crews is free and he runs back in, but into MVP’s LARIAT! Cover, TWO! MVP drags Crews back into the camel clutch, and throws clubbing crossface forearms! MVP drops names like Mysterio and Kane as past opponents. He brings Crews up for the Play Maker, but Crews powers out to a SPINE BUSTER! MVP writhes and flounders to a corner while Crews catches his breath. MVP stands in the corner but Apollo grits his teeth as he runs in. Crews hits a big splash then rains down hands! The ref counts and Crews backs up, to SUPERKICK! Crews runs to BOOT! Then keeps going to LARIAT back!
Crews isn’t done there, he scoops MVP for a BIG powerslam! Cover, TWO! Crews keeps his cool and brings MVP up. He scoops and slams MVP down then heads up top. Crews leaps, but the frog splash gets knees! MVP drags Crews into position, PLAY MAKER! Cover, TWO!! Crews survives and MVP can’t believe it! MVP argues the count but two is two. MVP looms over Crews as he makes it rain. He runs but gets an enziguri! Crews military presses and tosses MVP, for the standing moonsault! And shooting star! Crews wants MVP to stand up again and MVP does. Crews gets him for the CREWS MISSLE!! Cover, Crews wins!!
Winner: Apollo Crews, by pinfall (advances to the Men’s MITB match)
An incredible comeback for Crews! He shouts, “This is MY time!” But will that be the case when fighting for the case?
Backstage interview with Ruby Riott.
Charly brings up the Riott Squad, the old trio of Ruby, Sarah Logan, and Liv Morgan. Ruby and Liv are set to compete in a matter of moments, but how did the group go from so close to so divided? Ruby sets it straight: it was never really a squad to her. She had to have double surgery because she was carrying Sarah and Liv on her back! Ruby made them look strong! And now look. Sarah’s arm is broken, and Liv will be lucky if Ruby doesn’t break both arms. Liv still suffers from the delusion that she’s all grown up. But Ruby is going to show her just how lonely and small and weak Liv is without her.
Ruby Riott VS Liv Morgan!
Raw returns as Liv makes her entrance first, then followed by Ruby. Will the former Juvenile Delinquent prove Ruby wrong by winning with her own strength?
The bell rings and the two go right at each other. Liv powers Ruby to a corner but backs off at the ref’s count. Ruby sucker punches Liv! Then clubs her on the back. Ruby stomps Liv down to a corner then kicks her in the ribs! Liv sputters but Ruby bounces her off the mat! Ruby drags Liv up but Liv throws body shots. Ruby clubs Liv back down then drags her back up. Liv throws more haymakers and then kicks low to BOOT! Liv LARIATS Ruby on the rebound, and again! Then enziguris Ruby to a corner! Liv runs in but Ruby dodges. Liv jumps, jumps and dropkicks! Cover, TWO! Liv keeps her cool as she clubs and pushes Ruby around now. She drags Ruby up to suplex but Ruby blocks. Ruby stomps feet to then hang Liv out to dry. And BOOT her down! Cover, TWO!
Ruby grins as she sits Liv up for a cravat. She cranks on the neck but Liv endures. Ruby leans on Liv but Liv refuses to give up. Liv elbows free but Ruby bounces her off the mat again. Ruby drags Liv up and has her against the ropes to club away. The ref counts but Ruby lets up to run. But Liv ROCKS Ruby back with a forearm! Liv runs, but Ruby gives that forearm back! Ruby runs, Liv reels her in but Ruby elbows out hard! And SUPERKICKS! Ruby slaps Liv around and wants the “puppy” to beg. Ruby runs, but into the REBOUND SHOT! Cover, Liv wins!!
Winner: Liv Morgan, by pinfall
Ruby just got got, and her own ego is to blame! Will she ever get over letting Liv get the better of her?
Lashley and Lana return.
The warm-up is done, now it is time to prove himself. But Lana says he isn’t just warm, he’s hot. Lashley says it takes an elite athlete to properly flip a tire. He gets it up and over! Lana is pleased, but Lashley says the real challenge is the extra thick tire. Will he be able to pump up and power that rubber beast around?
Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifier: Rey Mysterio VS Buddy Murphy!
It is time to fill Raw’s last spot in the historic “corporate ladder” match! The King of Lucha Libre has been a victim of the cash-in, but he wants to be on the other end for once in his career. Will he get past Rollins’ returning disciple? Or will Murphy’s Law take effect?
The bell rings and Murphy circles with Mysterio. They approach and tie up, and Murphy gets a headlock takeover. Mysterio headscissors but Murphy pops out, only for roles to reverse. Murphy headscissors but Mysterio pops out. Murphy sweeps legs, covers, ONE! Mysterio sweeps legs, covers, ONE! Both men stand off, and circle again. Murphy says, “Not bad for an old man.” Mysterio brushes that one off, and ties up with Murphy again. Murphy has the arm and wrenches, then yanks on the arm to go after the shoulder. Mysterio endures though he drops to his knees. Murphy grinds Mysterio down then brings him up to wrench and whip. Mysterio dodges, dodges and tilt-o-whirls to headscissor! Dial it up, but the call misses! Mysterio tells Murphy he was that close.
The two circle, Murphy swings a boot but Mysterio uses the ropes for defense. Murphy keeps going after him with hammering hands but the ref backs him off. Mysterio bails out and says his hand got messed up. Murphy goes out and throws Mysterio into barriers! And then into the timekeeper’s area! Murphy shows no mercy as he puts Mysterio back in. Cover, ONE, but Murphy goes after those bad hands! Murphy wrenches and wrings the arm out! Cover, ONE! Mysterio toughs it out but Murphy drags him up. Murphy goes after the bad hand with a wristlock. Mysterio reaches but has to roll and handspring to then flip with the ropes. He arm-drags Murphy out then dropkicks him down! Mysterio builds speed but Murphy is ready for the slide! Murphy wheelbarrows Mysterio but Mysterio elbows free!
Mysterio runs into a BOOT! He drops to the ramp as the ring count begins. Murphy STOMPS Mysterio’s bad hand on the ramp! Mysterio shouts in pain as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns as Murphy SLAMS the bad hand on steel steps! Mysterio falls against barriers while he clutches the fingers. Murphy drags Mysterio up to SLAM the hand again! The ring count passes 5 but Murphy refreshes it. Murphy goes up the steps and drags Mysterio to the apron. Mysterio gets away but Murphy watches from in the ring. Murphy goes out and drags Mysterio back up to the corner! Murphy SLAMS the hand on the post, then stands on it! The ref counts but Murphy lets up at 3. Mysterio trips Murphy! Murphy hits buckles and then the floor! Mysterio gets space, runs to the steps, and LEAPS for a huricanrana! Murphy crashes down on the ramp! Mysterio refreshes the count and fetches Murphy into the ring. Mysterio’s hand slows him down, and Murphy is on him. But Mysterio kicks Murphy away!
Murphy wobbles back into another enziguri! Mysterio springboards for the seated senton! Then springboards again for a crossbody! Mysterio KICKS at Murphy’s leg then whips. Murphy reverses and slaps the bad hand! But Mysterio dropkick the leg out to dial it up! But Murphy catches him, only for Mysterio to tilt-o-whirl DDT! Cover, TWO! Murphy lives but both he and Mysterio are down. Murphy goes to ropes but Mysterio stands up. Mysterio joins Murphy on the apron and drags him up. Mysterio throws forearms but Murphy BOOTS back! Murphy stalks up behind Mysterio, fireman’s carries him, but Mysterio fights free! And dropkicks Murphy down! Murphy hits barriers and Mysterio builds speed! Mysterio slides, headscissors and sends Murphy hard into barriers again!
The ring count climbs while both men are down and out. Mysterio sits up first and finally fixes his fingers. He puts Murphy back in the ring then takes aim from up top. Mysterio leaps and crossbodies, but Murphy rolls through! Murphy powers Mysterio up, for an USHIGOROSHI! KNEE TRIGGER! BRAIN BUSTER! Cover, TWO!? Mysterio survives because as he said last week, he wants this more! Mysterio slowly rolls to the ropes but Murphy stands up. Murphy drags Mysterio back to the middle of the ring, then heads for a corner. But Mysterio anchors Murphy’s foot. Murphy stomps Mysterio until he lets go, then finishes his walk to the corner. Murphy climbs up top but Mysterio stops him with haymakers!
Mysterio climbs to join Murphy, and clubs away on Murphy’s back. Murphy resists the superplex and throws body shots. Murphy clubs Mysterio back then sunset flips. Mysterio blocks the bomb, so Murphy tucks him in. Murphy wants to kick but Mysterio mule kicks him first! Mysterio turns himself around to leap, for a DESTROYER!! Murphy flounders onto ropes! Dial it up, 6 1 9!! Mysterio climbs up, leaps, FROG SPLASH! Cover, Mysterio wins!
Winner: Rey Mysterio, by pinfall (advances to the Men’s MITB match)
The Raw half of the field is complete! The lucha legend leaves Murphy outside looking in, but will we be looking at Mysterio’s first run as Mr. Money in the Bank?
Backstage interview with Zelina Vega and Angel Garza.
El Latino es en la casa, but Raw didn’t really open how Vega’s team hoped. How does Charly figure that? Well, Almas’s sneak attack turned into two Claymore kick. Yes, yes, how “noble” for McIntyre to attack when Almas couldn’t stand. How does Charly know this isn’t going to Vega’s plan? How does anyone know Garza won’t teach McIntyre about nobility? And how do we know McIntyre will even make it to MITB to face Rollins? Because it’d be a shame if he didn’t. Garza says that once he wins tonight, he would love if Charly asked how it felt to beat a champion. See you later tonight.
Charlotte Flair VS Kayden Carter!
The Queen may reign over the NXT Women’s Division, but she returns to Raw to remind us why! Will she give NXT’s fiery Filipina that promised lesson in humility?
The bell rings and Charlotte stretches the ropes. KC has her dukes up, but that does nothing against Charlotte’s BOOT! Charlotte brings KC up and CHOPS her back down! That’s “lesson number one: always, always do your homework.” Charlotte toys with KC as she kicks her to ropes. Charlotte goes for another boot but KC dodges to sweep the legs! And mule kick! Cover, ONE, and Charlotte gets up fast. KC swings around to crucifix DRIVER! Cover, TWO, into a Rings of Saturn! KC tries to bring the arms back but Charlotte powers up. Charlotte is almost up but KC hooks a leg for an iron octopus! She brings Charlotte back down, but Charlotte still powers up! Charlotte stands, and gets to ropes, to then elbow away! And HOTSHOT KC off ropes!
KC wobbles about, but finds Charlotte. Charlotte dodges the kick to SPEAR KC down! Charlotte dusts off her hands, then grabs a leg. She puts on the Figure Four! And then toys with KC before putting in the Figure EIGHT! KC taps, Charlotte wins!
Winner: Charlotte Flair, by submission
Charlotte holds on until she’s satisfied, and the lesson is over. The Queen has called out both the Head Baddie in Charge and the Evil Genius #1 contender. Will each of them “do their homework” before going up against the champion?
Lashley attempts the lift challenge.
450 pounds of tire. If anyone can move it, it’s him. He gets up under and begins, but only gets it up a few inches. Lashley tries again, but still can’t. He takes his frustration out on the tire, then fires himself up. Round three, and Lashley does it! He lifts the monster tire! And Lana gushes all over him. “That’s the kind of power everyone in the WWE locker room needs to fear.” Will the Rocky Mountain Machine move on from tires to superstars as MITB looms closer?
Andrade Almas w/ Zelina Vega VS ???
El Idolo’s ambush failed to fall McIntyre, but he looks to rebound from that in the ring. Will the WWE United States Champion take his frustrations out on his opponent? Or will he falter even harder?
Raw returns and Almas’ opponent is Akira Tozawa! The Stamina Monster is coming off red hot from his Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament win, but he has beef with Vega’s team. Will Tozawa keep the roll going with some retribution?
The bell rings and Tozawa circles with Almas. They tie up, Tozawa throws hands all over but Tozawa gives them back. Tozawa rocks Tozawa but Tozawa hits the spinning roundhouse! Vega is concerned and the SHINING WIZARD hits! Cover, ONE! Tozawa stomps Almas down then has him against ropes. Tozawa throws forearms then whips. Almas reverses but Tozawa comes back to huricanrana! Almas bails out and Tozawa builds speed, to BOOT Almas down! Tozawa slingshots but Almas moves. But Tozawa just adjusts, to CANNONBALL! Vega is worried as Tozawa gets up. Tozawa drags Almas up and into the ring then heads up top. Almas stands, but Tozawa missile dropkicks him down! Cover, TWO! Almas bails out and regroups with Vega.
Vega says Almas is fine, but then she stays in Tozawa’s way. Almas sucker punches and then CHOPS Tozawa! “I am the champion!” Almas puts Tozawa in the ring and Vega wants to send a message to McIntyre. So Almas wrenches and shoulder breakers, then back suplexes. Tozawa lands on his feet, dodges, tilt-o-whirls and puts on the Iron Octopus! Almas reaches but Tozawa cranks harder! Almas powers up again, but Tozawa just cranks harder! Tozawa bends the hand but Almas uses one more push to get the ropebreak! Tozawa lets go, and Almas ELBOWS him down hard! Almas drags Tozawa up and fireman’s carries, but Tozawa slips out. Tozawa back kicks and both men fall! Tozawa gets up, spins, slides under, and fakes Almas out to JAB! Almas is rocked, but he dropkicks back! Almas drags Tozawa in, shouts out Eddie, but gets a cradle counter! TWO!!
Almas pops Tozawa up, Tozawa huricanranas again, cover, TOW! Wheelbarrow takedown, TWO!! SUPERKICK!! Tozawa has Almas down in the drop zone and heads up top! Vega panics as Tozawa stands, but Almas trips him up! Almas drags Tozawa out and hammerlocks, for the DRAPING LA SOMBRA!! Cover, Almas wins!
Winner: Andrade Almas, by pinfall
That was much more than either Almas or Vega expected, but it still went as they expected. Almas wins here, but will a contender close in on that WWE US Championship?
But speaking of champions, the Street Profits are here! They and their Raw Tag Team Championships party on the announce desk, and are in action after the break!
Raw returns and the Raw Tag Team Champions are still on the desk having a good time. Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins have mics to tell the WWE Universe, it’s TIME! Because the EST of the WWE is in action!
Bianca Belair VS Santana Garrett!
The strongest, fastest, toughest and roughest is back in action, looking to prove she wasn’t just a big fish in a small pond. Will she make big waves against the Wonder Woman of Wrestling?
The bell rings as the Profits are fired up for Bianca. She and Santana circle and tie up. Bianca powers Santana to a corner but the ref counts. Bianca lets up and goes again with Santana. They tie up, Bianca SLAMS Santana down then claps at her. Santana grabs a leg but Bianca blocks the take down. Bianca gut wrenches Santana up to the Canadian rack but Santana fights free. Santana pie faces and Bianca is not having it. Bianca SHOVES Santana down then claps back. Santana gets up, waistlocks but Bianca standing switches for a slam! Santana stands but gets thrown down again! Bianca keeps on Santana and ducks the elbow, to slam Santana again! Bianca waits for Santana to get up before she stomps away in the corner.
The ref counts and Bianca lets up, to hip toss Santana across the way! Santana dodges and throws big haymakers! Santana whips but Bianca reverses. Bianca gets under as Santana goes up and over. Bianca blocks the arm-drag, whips Santana away then runs her over with a shoulder! Things speed up and Bianca handsprings over Santana! Bianca dares Santana to bring it, and then she hurdles over. She side steps and follows to run Santana over again! The Profits are so hyped for Bianca right now as she brings Santana back up. Bianca suplexes Santana and holds her up for squats! Then drops her down! Bianca runs, and SPLASHES! Then kips up to blow a kiss to the fans at home. Bianca tells Santana to kiss this, but Santana goes to the apron. Santana throws hands but Bianca ROCKS her back!
Bianca drags Santana up but Santana hotshots! Santana BOOTS Bianca back! Santana climbs up top and leaps, crossbody! Cover, ONE! Santana SUPERKICKS Bianca then handsprings, into a BOOT! Bianca drags Santana up to lift, and alley-oop onto buckles! Torture rack, KISS OF DEATH! Cover, Bianca wins!
Winner: Bianca Belair, by pinfall
The EST is many things, but her boys are the wildest commentary team. Will this trio soon stand atop all of Raw together?
Drew McIntyre VS Angel Garza!
Raw begins and ends with the WWE World Champion! But it also begins and ends with Vega’s team being ringside. Will this week look a lot like last week? And will that be good or bad for the Latino Lothario?
The bell rings and Theory distracts McIntyre right away! Garza rushes McIntyre but McIntyre hits back. McIntyre CHOPS and CHOPS and chop blocks Garza! That’s in return for last week! McIntyre KICKS the leg out, then mockingly asks how the leg feels. McIntyre CHOPS again but Garza elbows back. Garza can’t get away before McIntyre THROWS him overhead! Garza bails out and regroups with Vega’s team, but McIntyre is in pursuit. McIntyre CLUBS Garza then snake eyes him off barriers. McIntyre CHOPS Garza while mocking Theory’s #AllDay. He puts Garza in, but Almas tries to ambush again. McIntyre blocks the post attack, and catches Garza’s DIVE! McIntyre throws Garza at the steel steps but Garza hops over. Garza runs back, into a HEADBUTT!
McIntyre glares at Almas but Vega stands in the way. Theory lurks up behind but McIntyre DECKS him! Garza leaps off the steps to dropkick! McIntyre hits the barrier, then Garza RAMS him into a post! And then another! The ring count passes 7! McIntyre gets in but Garza follows. Garza is up top and leaps, to missile dropkick! Cover, ONE! Garza goes after McIntyre’s leg and clubs away. He cranks on the knee but McIntyre resists the full turn. Garza hammers the leg more but McIntyre kicks free with the other leg. McIntyre shoves Garza but Garza kicks him back. McIntyre CLOBBERS Garza! Then McIntyre whips to elbow Garza down! Garza dodges the clothesline but not the BOOT! McIntyre glares at Vega as he heads to the corner. He climbs up top, and leaps to ax handle! And kip up!
McIntyre says this is it. He glares at Garza as he dares him to get up. Garza slowly rises, the countdown begins, but Garza runs away! McIntyre grabs Garza but off come the pants! Seems that trick isn’t just for taunting his opponent! But McIntyre builds speed to FLY!! He wipes out Vega’s stable, and then says, “I can do it all!” McIntyre puts Garza in the ring then throws Almas over barriers! And CLAYMORES Theory for good measure! Vega is stunned as McIntyre stalks Garza in the ring. McIntyre elbows Garza then drags him up. INVERTED ALABAMA! But Garza wheelbarrows and victory rolls through!! TWO, and both men run, CLAYMORE!! Cover, McIntyre wins!!
Winner: Drew McIntyre, by pinfall
And to punctuate that win, he busted Garza open! McIntyre raises the WWE World Championship, his confidence not at all wavering. In fact, he wants to add on! Garza flounders up and into ANOTHER CLAYMORE! “Keep bringing them in, keep lining them up. I’ll keep Claymore-ing them down.” Speaking of, Theory flounders into the ring. And he gets a CLAYMORE! McIntyre copies tranquilo just to make a point. But will he truly make a statement when he goes 1v1 with The Architect at Money in the Bank?
A really good episode for Raw, even after #BlackWednesday just last week. There are now rumors that some names get to come back, one name being Sarah Logan. They did mention her because of the overlap she plays in both Shayna Baszler’s story and in the Ruby VS Liv story. And with her husband, Erik (Ray Rowe) still employed, you would hope she is brought back. Speaking of her husband, I do NOT understand the cheerful fight song segment for The Viking Raiders. Obviously they’re Faces, but they shouldn’t be gleeful Faces. They should’ve been singing a much tougher song, at least. As for Shayna, that was some incredible brutality, and that is great for Shayna. She needs to be very dangerous in the MITB Titan Towers match, win or lose, to stay on course.
Liv getting a win over Ruby is great, but it’s hard to be sure where the Riott Squad break-up goes from here. Bringing Sarah back would also be a good move in order to keep this story fresh. Lashley’s tire lifting segment was… filler. I thought there was going to be more tension with him and Lana, but they completely let off on it. Hopefully they get back on that next week, especially with Rusev among the superstars cut. Bianca had a good match against Santana Garrett, but wow were the Profits hyperactive. And Charlotte of course gets a win before she makes her momentous return to NXT. I’m thinking the Charlotte VS Mia Yim rematch is going to be an incredible match to officially bring Charlotte back to NXT, but Charlotte will still win to stay strong towards facing Io Shirai.
Kairi Sane losing to Nia again reinforces my concerns that Kairi is leaving. I was hoping Asuka ambush Nia with mist, but it seems Nia still needs momentum after her return. Though, it seems she isn’t a Face with how she toyed with Kairi, so it looks like Raw is sending in three Heels for the Women’s MITB. This is an interesting move, because it parallels Raw’s three Faces for the Men’s. Aleister was of course winning over Austin Theory, and it just feels right for Mysterio to go in over Murphy. It’s great for Apollo to win and be in, but unless he turns, he’s also a Face. Will SmackDown be the one sending outright Heels in the last two spots? Gulak VS Corbin is happening this Friday, but I felt Elias was going to cost Corbin. Is Gulak the one turning?
Raw being sandwiched by McIntyre was good stuff. I’m not sure if he should’ve been so cheerful in the beginning given the ambush last week. But I suppose as top Face, starting happy is fine. He sure seems to enjoy kicking Vega’s team around. Vega’s team is also on a losing record this week, with Theory losing, but Almas winning against Tozawa, then Garza losing in the main event. But don’t shout “Buried!” just yet. McIntyre mopped the floor with them in the main event last week, so nothing changed there. This time McIntyre had to stand tall going into his match against Rollins. That match will great, however and wherever they do it. As for Vega’s team, they’ll rebound to a degree. They might even cost McIntyre the title to stay in the main event scene.
My Score: 8.3/10