Survivor Series is well and truly in the rear view mirror and for Raw that means no more pay per views until 2018. That can mean one of two things for the red brand. Either they float by and bide their time without really doing anything for a month or so, or they can start building some meaningful rivalries, and by the time the next PPV rolls around, they will really, truly mean something. Did Raw make a statement by starting exactly that this past Monday or did they simply give us one of what may be quite a few filler shows?
Seth Rollins and Cesaro are two of the most talented in ring performers under the employ of WWE right now, so naturally a match between the two of them was always going to be entertaining. With Sheamus on sabbatical and Dean Ambrose on his honeymoon, that left their two tag partners flying the flags for their respective teams. Not only did The Architect and The Swiss Cyborg put on a terrific match, they were given an awful lot of time to do it. In fact their match, the opener of the night on Raw, was so long that it had two ad breaks contained within it. Despite a poke to the eye it was Rollins who picked up the win after using the last of his energy to pull off a Ripcord Knee. After the match he declared that when Dean returns next week they will be invoking their Tag Team Title rematch clause, thus coming one step closer to The Shield all holding gold.
Midway through Monday night's Raw Bray Wyatt came to the ring and reminded us all that when he has a mic in his hand nowadays, he makes no sense. For a while now his promos have been at the point where they aren't even entertaining. Thankfully Matt Hardy interrupted Bray's ramblings before they had gone on too long as the veteran was booked in a match with the former WWE Champion. It wasn't too long a match and it was one Hardy lost, only adding to the woes of his singles run since his brother Jeff was injured. Things are looking up though. After the match Matt sat in the corner of the ring and it looked as if something had broken in the mind of the multiple time Tag Team Champion. He then began chanting delete while making the hand gesture that goes along with the one word catchphrase. Michael Cole put the cherry on the cake by questioning whether we had just witnessed the beginning of a Matt Hardy breakdown.
This week on Raw Roman Reigns issued an open challenge to the WWE locker room for his Intercontinental Championship. Elias answered that call. Probably not the Superstar the WWE Universe were necessarily thinking of or even hoping for, but he got a chance nonetheless. One thing is for certain, The Drifter will be in Vince McMahon's good books after his singing had fans chanting 'we want Roman'. The match itself was actually a pretty good one too and Elias's performance combined with the pro-Roman chants he inspired will likely see him ascend up the card, even if he did end up losing the match. He won't be having a rivalry with The Big Dog though, that spot will now be taken by Samoa Joe. After the match Joe appeared to viciously attack the defending Intercontinental Champion, slapping on a Coquina Clutch.
The biggest talking point coming out of last week's Raw was not only the return of Paige, but also the two NXT Superstars she brought along with her, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. This week the three of them were due to make their debut against the first three women they attacked last Monday, Sasha Banks, Mickie James and Bayley. Only trouble is the second and third of those three women never made it to the ring. Instead Paige, Rose and Deville slowly made their way down the ramp to attack Sasha after having already taken care of her partners backstage. Paige announced to The Boss that her new trio now had a name, Absolution. The other two members of Absolution declared why they had pledged their allegiance to Paige, and their leader offered Banks the opportunity to do the same. She declined and thus suffered a three-on-one beat down for her troubles. Later in the night they looked set to do the same to Asuka, but inexplicably let The Empress go free.
Jason Jordan wanted to prove to his on-screen father Kurt Angle that he could beat Braun Strowman. Well fortunately for Jason, Braun was apparently not at Raw due to injuries suffered at the hands of Kane last week. Instead that meant Jordan faced The Big Red Machine. He didn't last long. Being tossed from the ring aggravated Jason's knee injury meaning he couldn't answer a ten count and lost via count out. Enter Kurt's back up plan, and savior of Jordan who was being beat down by Kane, Finn Balor. Well that replacement match didn't last too long either, this time ending in DQ after Kane introduced a chair into the mix. This time it was the Irishman's turn to be saved and his rescuer was Braun Strowman. The Monster Among Men didn't mess around and cut straight to the chase. Braun went to town on Kane using the steel steps as well as a steel chair, finishing things off by doing what Kane did to him and his throat the week before, twice! A wounded Big Red Monster escaped though the crowd as a triumphant Braun watched on.
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