This week’s edition of Monday Night Raw is very important for the near future of the company. Raw’s Hell in a Cell PPV will have three top matches take place inside of the giant cage structure. The final episode of Raw should be utilized to help make the matches of Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns vs. Rusev and Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte all more noteworthy heading into the big event. Brock Lesnar is also scheduled to appear to respond to Goldberg’s promo last week accepting his challenge. The popular belief is they’ll wrestle at Survivor Series. We should find out more information tonight.
Raw is being advertised around Brock’s return to WWE TV and a couple of noteworthy matches. Rollins, Owens and Chris Jericho are expected to have a triple threat non-title match. The two competitors involved in the WWE Universal Championship match on Sunday mixing it up is rather odd, but WWE has to have something planned. Another confusing decision sees New Day face off with Sheamus and Cesaro in a non-title match ahead of their WWE Tag Team Championship on the PPV. This may not be the List of Jericho, but we’ll rank the top moments from tonight’s episode of Raw.
The United States Championship match between Roman Reigns and Rusev is clearly a distant third if we’re power ranking the three Hell in a Cell matches set for Sunday. Still, the match should feel like somewhat of a big deal to take place inside of the special structure designed for noteworthy bouts. Rusev had an effective night finally getting heat on Reigns on last week’s episode of Raw.
WWE did very little to follow that up this time around. Both Reigns and Rusev appeared in short video segments talking to the camera about their intentions. This worked effectively for Sasha Banks and Charlotte last week, but they had the benefit of Michael Cole interviewing them to make it feel unique. Reigns and Rusev just talked trash into a camera with no interaction at all. This has shaped up to be one of the least exciting builds to a Hell in a Cell match in quite some time.
The week before a big PPV used to mean the final episode of Raw would be a huge show. They would use the time to sell the noteworthy matches on the show. Tonight’s episode of Raw featured too much filler and likely caused many viewers to tune out. Dana Brooke and Bayley competed in an arm wrestling match. Mark Henry, R-Truth and Goldust faced off against The Shining Stars and Titus O’Neil. Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas continued the feud no one could possibly care about.
WWE wasted a good percentage of the show featuring matches and segments that meant nothing to the bigger picture. If the three hours needs more time filled, we could use more video packages highlighting the drama for the upcoming main events. Hell, Roman Reigns and Rusev could have done literally anything. A head-scratcher saw New Day vs. Sheamus and Cesaro be a long competitive match. The same teams are slated to face off on Sunday. Tonight’s show structure felt like it was put together at the last minute.
Charlotte and Sasha Banks participated in a contract signing for the historical Hell in a Cell match for the Raw Women’s Championship. Mick Foley hosted the segment informing them of the dangers of the structure. The promos were a bit flawed at times with a weird energy surrounding the intent. Charlotte and Sasha still managed to do a great job selling the hatred that exists between them solely for their desires to hold the gold.
They reminded us how much they need a match like Hell in a Cell to finally settle this and that the importance of the championship is the overall reason for it. Foley’s addition made sense on paper but the execution was not done well. His comments to the women felt a bit forced and not organic in the slightest. The fact that he warned them about the dangers of the match but didn’t do the same for Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Rusev or Roman Reigns also appeared odd.
The rare appearance of Brock Lesnar on Raw had a tough act to follow after Goldberg’s great return last week. Goldberg made fans excited about the dream rematch between Goldberg and Lesnar expected to take place at Survivor Series. Brock did the opposite here. It was the typical Lesnar appearance of him standing in the ring with Paul Heyman doing all of the talking. The method usually delivers results but that did not happen tonight.
Heyman tried to make it seem like the fans were all in favor of Goldberg and that is what is causing the anger from Lesnar’s side. The problem is there were clearly more Lesnar supporters due to the show taking place in his hometown of Minnesota. Nothing of note was said and we received no further information about the match. This was a complete failure of a segment. WWE wanted this to go one way but the fan reaction loving Brock ended those hopes. Goldberg appearing next week means he has to once again step up in hopes of saving the momentum of the feud.
Raw started off with Chris Jericho finding his list stolen and demanding the thief gives it up or he would refuse to compete in the triple threat main event tonight. Seth Rollins was the obvious culprit here. The list found its way back to Jericho and the match took place but not before more dissension between Jericho and Kevin Owens. Jericho and Owens tried to work together for the majority of the match in an effort to soften up Rollins before Hell in a Cell.
Rollins remained one step ahead of the on again-off again best friends by rolling them both up to get the double pin and victory. Following the match, Rollins and Owens continued to brawl with each man landing a decent amount of damage onto the other. Owens ended the show by hitting a Pop-Up Powerbomb on Rollins to stand tall. This felt like WWE setting it up as the legitimate show closing main event for Sunday’s PPV. WWE is advertising three main events, but it looks like Rollins vs. Owens will be the one to close the show.
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