The latest episode of Raw will come one night after Smackdown’s exclusive No Mercy PPV event. While the show meant nothing to the stories of Raw, an ad aired announcing a couple of new matches for the Raw exclusive PPV Hell in a Cell. Kevin Owens will defend the WWE Universal Championship against Seth Rollins and Sasha Banks will defend the Raw Women’s Championship against Charlotte in a battle of highly anticipated rematch. There’s no clarification if one or both matches will take place inside of the giant cage structure. Hopefully we get more insight into that on tonight’s episode.
Roman Reigns vs. Rusev for the United States Championship has been confirmed for the Hell in a Cell match stipulation as of last week. All three feuds need extra importance added to them with competent storytelling over the next few weeks leading into the big event. Sheamus and Cesaro are expected to get their tag title shot against New Day on the show, and it will be interesting to see how their chemistry as a team progresses. Let’s not forget the cruiserweight division has its worst feud with TJ Perkins vs. Brian Kendrick along with other talented wrestlers in the mix. We’ll break down all the big events here with a look at the top five takeaways from tonight’s episode of Raw.
5. History in the Cell
Sasha Banks opened Raw discussing the pride associated with winning the Raw Women’s Championship for the second occasion. The challenge was made to Charlotte to have their title rematch inside of Hell in a Cell. Rusev and Lana of all people entered the ring to interrupt Charlotte and Banks. The two rivals worked together to push both Lana and Rusev out of the ring to a huge ovation. It was a weird but entertaining segment meant to set up a mixed tag team match later of Reigns and Banks defeating Charlotte and Rusev.
Amidst the drama, Charlotte accepted the Hell in a Cell match against Banks. This will be the first time we ever witness a women’s match inside of the dangerous structure. Banks and Charlotte are definitely the right pairing to make it happen. They are both credible performers connecting to the audience with an intense rivalry going on. History will be made on the big PPV and it will be arguably the biggest women’s wrestling match in WWE history up to this point.
4. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows make a statement
The tag team of Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows has struggled to find relevancy in WWE. They dominated New Japan as integral parts of the highly popular Bullet Club faction. Anderson and Gallows endured the best moments in WWE so far this year when being paired with A.J. Styles basically continuing their NJPW characters as The Club. Without Styles following the brand split, things have been rather difficult for the talented duo.
This week’s episode of Raw provided optimism with their beat down Big Cass and Enzo Amore. Anderson and Gallows came off as legitimate bad asses with their attack on the fan favorites. There already appears to be better chemistry there than they had with New Day. Both teams have something to prove and there’s already a lot of intensity involved. Big Cass and Enzo have also treaded water on the main roster. This can give them their first real feud and it’s worth paying attention to.
3. Weak night for cruiserweights
The cruiserweight division once again featured two matches but neither provided anything special. TJ Perkins continued his feud with The Brian Kendrick in a solid backstage segment and it set up a title match between them at Hell in a Cell. However, the matches on Raw were rather pointless. Perkins defeated Ariya Daivari in a match with Kendrick on commentary. There was no harm done but it lacked the overall excitement that has become associated with the cruiserweights.
The other match featured a showcase of tag teams with Tony Nese and Drew Gulak squaring off against Lince Dorado and Sin Cara. Strangely enough, the star of the match turned out to be Sin Cara. It looked like he finally found his calling in the cruiserweight division. Overall, the match was just okay. Rich Swann and Cedric Alexander have been consistently the most entertaining members of the new division. The decision to leave them off Raw showed with two mediocre matches involving the cruiserweights.
2. Seth Rollins removes Chris Jericho from title equation
Mick Foley and Stephanie McMahon made two huge announcements involving the advertised WWE Universal Championship match between Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins at the upcoming Hell in a Cell PPV. The title match will take place inside of Hell in a Cell. Chris Jericho was given the chance to enter the bout if he could defeat Rollins in this week’s Raw main event. Rollins pulled off the victory to remove Jericho from the title picture.
We are getting the singles match between Rollins and Owens inside of the cage structure in a couple of weeks. Rollins looked great tonight in his televised matches following a short stint on the injured list. He ended the show standing tall and has started to get the fans behind him as the top face. It will be interesting to figure out what role Jericho plays on the PPV as he’s only been involved with these two. Regardless, Rollins and Owens have the chance to put on a classic inside of Hell in a Cell.
1. Brock Lesnar challenges Goldberg
Brock Lesnar and Goldberg did not appear on Raw this week, but they are the most heavily discussed topic following the show. Paul Heyman returned to talk to the audience about WWE 2K17 and the history between Goldberg and Lesnar. The video game released following Raw with Goldberg and Lesnar being the two faces of the promotion. Heyman set out a challenge to Goldberg on behalf of Lesnar likely confirming the rumors we’ve heard for weeks.
The legends are probably going to square off at Survivor Series in Toronto, Canada. WWE aired a couple of videos earlier in the show highlighting Goldberg and the match appears to be all but confirmed. It will be interesting to watch this unplay. They had a match twelve years ago in Goldberg’s prime and it is considered one of the worst in wrestling history. Goldberg is now an old man but there is excitement from the fans. He will appear on Raw for the first time over twelve years next week and it is providing a cool dynamic at the very least.