Welcome to another edition of the WWE Raw Deal review for post-Extreme Rules edition of Monday Night Raw. You can check out my WWE Extreme Rules review here in case you missed it. It featured a lot of good matches over the course of four hours, but not a single that I would say was outstanding or a must-see match. Nothing was bad, though. It was also newsworthy because Brock Lesnar cashed in Money in the Bank on Seth Rollins to win back the Universal Championship. Some people might say Lesnar as Universal Champion again is bad and I can’t say I’m thrilled about it either. Rollins wasn’t that interesting as the champ, though, so I can see why WWE made the change. I just hope Lesnar’s reign isn’t too long. Also, AJ Styles beat Ricochet to become the United States Champion thanks to some help. We are officially on the road to SummerSlam, which is less than four weeks away on August 11 in Toronto (go Raptors).
For this week’s Raw, WWE has announced two matches:
– There will be a 10-man battle royal featuring Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Baron Corbin, Sami Zayn, Cesaro, Braun Strowman, Bobby Lashley, Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton and Big E. When they first announced the match, they had listed Daniel Bryan and then they changed it to Sami Zayn. That’s why the banner of this top has Zayn “pasted” in there. The winner of that battle royal gets to challenge Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at SummerSlam. To the ones saying “shouldn’t you put the people that won at the PPV instead of the ones that lost at the PPV in the match” I agree with you. It’s not up to me. This is WWE where they don’t care about logic. Plus, there’s a Smackdown live event tonight, so I assume Aleister Black is there. Could they have set it up better? Of course. That’s a frustrating thing about being a WWE fan. Also, obviously, the brand extension continues to be ignored.
– A Fatal 4-Way women’s match was also announced between Natalya, Naomi, Alexa Bliss and Carmella. The winner of that match gets to challenge Becky Lynch for the Raw Women’s Title at SummerSlam on August 11.
This is also the first Raw where it’s expected that Paul Heyman will be fully entrenched as the Executive Director of Raw with Vince McMahon nearby of course. I joked on Twitter that anything that is good on Raw will be credited to Heyman while bad things will be blamed on Vince. That’s just some fans are these days. I’m trying to look at things optimistically and I liked Extreme Rules, so here’s hoping for some excitement on the road to SummerSlam next month.
Live from Long Island (Uniondale), New York, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1363 of Monday Night Raw. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present.
Raw began with a shot of the crowd with Michael Cole welcoming us to the show.
Let’s Hear from Brock Lesnar…But Really Paul Heyman
Brock Lesnar’s music as the three-time Universal Champion Lesnar made his entrance. Lesnar put the title by his ear like a boombox as a joke like he did with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Lesnar had Paul Heyman with him as usual. A video package aired showing the main event of Extreme Rules with Lesnar cashing in the Money in the Bank contract on Universal Champion Seth Rollins, which led to Lesnar leaving with the Universal Championship again.
Heyman introduced us saying that he’s been waiting to say this for several months…and new reigning defending, undisputed Universal Heavyweight Champion…Brock Lesnar. The crowd had a mix of boos and cheers. Heyman said that what amazes him is you tell people the truth and they would rather you tell them a lie. Heyman said “we told you so” and reminded us that he said it last week on Raw that Lesnar would cash in the Money in the Bank contract. Heyman told us at Extreme Rules as well and Lesnar did it to leave as the champion. I missed a few minutes of the speech due to some technical difficulties on my end. I’m sure it was just Heyman bragging.
They talked about the 10-man battle royal for a shot at Lesnar at SummerSlam. There were graphics shown on the video screen featuring these ten men: Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Baron Corbin, Sami Zayn, Cesaro, Braun Strowman, Bobby Lashley, Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton and Big E. He didn’t read the names in that order, but I just felt using what I had above. When Zayn’s image was on the screen, Heyman joked that he hoped Zayn wins the battle royal.
Heyman said that last at Extreme Rules, Rollins strode into Philadelphia like he was Becky Lynch’s stud and when Lesnar got through with Rollins, Seth was nothing more than a gelding. Heyman said that if you don’t understand the reference, Google it because he’s not there to educate especially here in Long Island. Heyman said that when you step in the ring with Lesnar, you risk your health, your welfare and your very manhood. Heyman said this is a guarantee, a promise, a threat, a spoiler – if any one of you ever had the opportunity to step into the ring with Brock Lesnar, you’d be risking your health, your welfare and your manhood because in this universe you’re all Brock’s bitches.
Analysis: It was the usual bragging promo by Heyman about how Lesnar is the greatest. We have heard it many times over the last five years since Lesnar has dominated the WWE Championship and Universal Title picture. I was surprised that there was no Rollins interruption, but I guess the story there is that Seth would be getting ready for the battle royal later in the night.
As Lesnar left the ring with Heyman, Ricochet’s music hit and former US Champion made his entrance. Ricochet ran into the ring as Lesnar looked at him doing his flips in the ring. Cole mentioned that Ricochet could be a future Universal Champion. Ricochet didn’t really stare back at Lesnar.
Analysis: I wonder if that Ricochet and Lesnar tease is a potential long term storyline that WWE might be looking to do at some point later this year or early next year.
Still to come: Women’s Fatal 4-Way, Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe and more.
The Revival, who are the Raw Tag Team Champions, were in the ring with Robert Roode. It’s a full beard look for Roode instead of the mustache look. The Raw announce team is Michael Cole, Renee Young and Corey Graves as usual.
The Usos made their entrance to team up with Ricochet. They did a quick pre-match promo about how they are teaming with “Ricky” tonight.
Two out of Three Falls Match: The Usos and Ricochet vs. The Revival and Robert Roode
The first fall was over quickly with Ricochet hitting the Recoil (Codebreaker) followed by a standing Shooting Star Press on Dawson for the pinfall.
The Usos and Ricochet lead 1-0.
Ricochet hit Roode with a hurricanrana and a dropkick. There was a graphic with Hulk Hogan on it that was promoting Raw Reunion next Monday. Roode with a spinebuster on Jey Uso for a two count. Wilder tagged in choking Jey over the top rope. Wilder with a body slam, but Jey avoided an elbow smash. Jimmy tagged in with a kick to the ribs followed by a Samoan Drop on Wilder. Jimmy decked Roode with a punch, Dawson tagged in and hit a flapjack on Jimmy for the pinfall. Really? That was surprising as a move that would get a pinfall. I figured they would hit their finisher, but it was just a flapjack. Anyway, that led to a break for the third fall.
The match is tied 1-1.
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