WWE has dominated headlines for the past week for one reason, and it isn't the ongoing problems in The Shield. Sadly, it also isn't the first all-female PPV Evolution which is now less than two weeks away. It's the ongoing issues in Saudi Arabia since WWE is supposed to be heading there for Crown Jewel on November 2, 2018. The event was promoted throughout this week's Raw, however, it should be noted that Saudi Arabia was not said once. Nor was the name of the country shown in any of the adverts or previews. Nevertheless, the build for the event continued. In fact, Raw started with a World Cup qualifying match, a tournament that will take place at Crown Jewel, wherever the show ends up happening.
As of last week, WWE's upcoming World Cup didn't exactly have much of a worldwide feel. The first four Superstars to qualify are all from the US. In Raw's opening match this week, WWE had a chance to change that. The Scottish Drew McIntyre competed in a qualifying match versus Seth Rollins. However, qualifier number five was an American too. The match was used as a platform for Dean Ambrose to prove that he is still a member of The Shield. A brawl between the three of them and Dolph Ziggler ended with McIntyre being counted out. The Lunatic would have his own qualifying match later in the night. Against Ziggler. Both of whom are American.
Last week on Raw, the long-awaited turn of the Bella Twins on Ronda Rousey finally happened. After exchanging barbs on social media for the past seven days, Rousey came to the ring looking for answers. At the very least she wanted an explanation. Well, she got one, and the words exchanged on social media were nothing compared to what was said in person. Rousey accused the Bellas of being diluted versions of John Cena and Daniel Bryan, going extra hard on Nikki with her Cena comments. The twins had brought security with them for protection, and when the Raw Women's Champion started tearing through them, Brie and Nikki disappeared.
As mentioned above, the second World Cup qualifier match of the night was between Ziggler and Ambrose. Even though the Lunatic helped Rollins win his match earlier in the evening, he made it clear after the match that he still wasn't happy. Nevertheless, the Architect came to the ring to help his Shield brother when McIntyre tried to get involved. Things did not end well. Ambrose threw Rollins to one side and when he got back in the ring, he was met with a superkick. Even worse, that superkick lost him the match. Roman Reigns came out to try and cool things down and was followed by Baron Corbin. The acting GM booked a rematch from last week for the night's main event. The Shield vs Ziggler, McIntyre, and Strowman.
At WWE Evolution, Lita and Trish Stratus will team up for the first time in a decade. Their opponents will be Alexa Bliss and Mickie James. The former appeared on Raw this week and were quickly interrupted by their upcoming opponents. To put it mildly, none of the four had their best night on the mic. James and Bliss were tripping over one another's words, and Lita and Trish then took the whole practice schtick a step too far. If it had ended in physicality then it might have been worth it, but sadly, it did not.
Kurt Angle has already qualified for WWE's World Cup. It will be his first singles match in WWE for more than 12 years. When Corbin realized that fact, he booked Angle in a match on this week's Raw so that he can shake off some of that ring rust. A handicap match versus the Authors Of Pain. Trouble is, aside from the terrifying handicap match looming, Angle didn't have his gear. That's why he came to the ring once again dressed as The Conquistador. After losing extremely quickly, the man in the ring was revealed to actually not be Angle at all. He popped up behind Corbin who had been watching from the stage and delivered an Angle Slam.
Forcing The Shield to face their bitter rivals yet again in Raw's main event likely looked like a stroke of genius by Corbin, at least on the surface. It was all going to plan as the match progressed too. The Hounds Of Justice continued to get in each other's way to the point that Ambrose was ready and prepped to deliver Dirty Deeds to Rollins. Eventually, experience and time together prevailed. It was their opponents that ended up imploding. McIntyre inadvertently hit Strowman with a Claymore. The series of events sparked from that moment resulted in Ziggler eating a triple powerbomb courtesy of The Shield. After the match, Strowman powerslammed Ziggler. The Monster then received a second Claymore of the night from McIntyre, but this one was no accident.