At first, we saw a little video package which showed us the highlights of last week’s promo by Seth Rollins and that he teamed up with the AOP. Then, Rollins made his entrance to kick the actual show off and he introduced Akam and Rezar who joined the Architect in the ring. He recalled that he was called the future when he appeared on NXT and also when he joined Raw. Now, he bet Brock Lesnar two times for the Universal Championship and they still call him the future.
He added that suddenly the people would question his leadership. Rollins noted that leadership isn’t about being cool, but making decisions for progress. He continued by saying that Kevin Owens would be an example of that. He noted that he has always said the truth and that he would be a leader who will lead the brand and the industry into the next decade. The Beast Slayer went on by saying that they would have a score to be settled and that they would do that tonight. “For what we have to do tonight,” Rollins said as his final words before leaving the ring. ”I’m sorry!”
Opinion: Strong promo by Rollins and you just have the feeling that as a heel he feels more confident and we can see his full potential. There is surely more to come within the next weeks or months. Besides, a good final statement to hook the fans up what could happen in this episode of Raw.
Raw Tag Team Champions “The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar vs. “The OC” Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson in a non-title match
Before this match started, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson held a short promo while they headed to the ring and their opponents were already in it. They said that the Viking Raiders would be an unstoppable team, but the OC is the only team who already pinned Erik and Ivar.
The actual match was incredibly good and they almost had 20 minutes to work together. We saw several near falls and also some great moves. In the end, Gallows and Anderson hit Ivar with the Magic Killer to then pin him.
Opinion: This fight was miles better than the one at TLC. Besides, due to the victory of the OC, we’ll surely get another match, but this time for the titles. Anyways, I’m wondering why this match wasn’t for the championships as the fight at TLC ended in a double count-out. Anyways, that was a great match.
Erick Rowan vs. Dante Leon
Before this match, we saw Erick Rowan in the backstage area who got interviewed by Sarah Schreiber. Rowan told her that she should mind her own business as she asked what would be in the animal cage.
The match didn’t take long at all, as Dante Leon left the ring and wanted to run away, but tripped. This gave Rowan the chance to destroy him at ringside, toss him back into the ring where he performed two Claw Slams and then pinned him.
After the fight, Andrade and Zelina Vega got interviewed in the backstage area. Charly Caruso said that Andrade would be the favourite to win tonight’s gauntlet match if there wasn’t Humberto Carrillo in this match. Andrade said something in Spanish and walked off. Vega noted that Carrillo made a mistake in beating Andrade twice since now they take him seriously.
Finally, a first video package about Liv Morgan aired. She said that always her friends told her how to be and how to act. She was shown climbing into a bathtub and she noted that she has no choice as she needs to destroy herself so the real her can emerge.
Opinion: First of all, I truly hope that this whole storyline around Rowan’s cage will lead to something as otherwise they truly waste his time. Besides, the same is for Morgan as her new gimmick has to be interesting otherwise the attention which she gets is unnecessary.
Lana and Bobby Lashley – the love lives on
These two came out together and made their way to the ring. Lana introduced Bobby Lashley as the winner of the tables match and her boyfriend. Lana went on by saying several times how great Lashley would be. Then, she told him that she would want the world to know how much he loves her. Lana pulled out a ring box and asked him if he would want to ask her if she would marry him.
Lashley looked not really amused about that and turned away. “You know Lana, I don’t like when anybody tells me what to do,” Lashley answered. “Except you.”
Then, he got down on his knees and said that they would be the most amazing power couple WWE has ever seen. Lashley then asked her if she would marry him and Lana answered that it would be so romantic and just like she had him rehearse. She said several times yes and announced that the wedding would take place on Lana Day. Then, the kissed and headed up the ramp as the segment closed.
Opinion: At least Rusev didn’t appear and so the feud might be over. I don’t care at all about them since it’s just horrible to think about what a big star Lashley could be and now look what he does.
Gauntlet match to declare the new number one contender for the United States Championship (R-Truth vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Ricochet vs. Matt Hardy vs. Humberto Carrillo vs. Andrade)
R-Truth and Akira Tozawa were the first two men in this match, but it didn’t even take three minutes as then Tozawa rolled up Truth to eliminate him. Then, we saw a typical scene as some wrestlers came out to chase R-Truth who flew through the crowd.
Next, Ricochet came out to fight Tozawa. This was a good match as both are great performers and are able to show some high-flying stuff. Anyways, after six minutes Ricochet hit his opponent with the Recoil for the three count.
After that, Matt Hardy made his entrance and fought against Ricochet. Surprisingly, Hardy had several chances to show off his offence and we also, for example, got to see a Crucifix Sit-out Powerbomb or a Side Effect, but Ricochet kicked out at two in both cases. In the end, Hardy tried to perform the Twist of Fate, but Ricochet rolled him up for the pinfall.
Next, Humberto Carrillo came out to take on Ricochet. Logically, these two men gave each other everything and fought for almost 20 minutes. In the end, Carrillo performed a Candian Destroyer followed by a Moonsault for the victory. Vega already positioned during the match between Carrillo and Ricochet on the stage and then teased the entrance of Andrade who was the final man in this gauntlet match. However, he entered the ring from the opposite side to attack Carrillo from behind. He bet Carrillo up in the ring and then went to the ringside, removed a matt from the floor and then performed a Hammerlock DDT on the concrete floor. United States Champion Rey Mysterio came out to check on Carrillo while Vega and Andrade left through the crowd.
Opinion: A good gauntlet match even though I don’t get why Tozawa and Hardy were in this match as they lost all their matches in recent weeks. However, I guess they wanted opponents which Ricochet could easily defeat to then perform an amazing match with Carrillo. The attack by Andrade looked nasty. Anyways, it’s a bit awkward that we had such a long gauntlet match to then have no winner as the match between Andrade and Carrillo never started.
Rollins and AOP strike
In the next segment, we saw as Carrillo got brought away on a stretcher. Mysterio was still at ringside when then Rollins’ music hit and he came out together with the AOP. Rollins had the pipe in his hand which Mysterio gave last week to KO. Mysterio flew into the ring where the AOP then bet him up.
Rollins said to Rey that he found something and that he wanted to give it back to him. He threw down the pipe next to Mysterio who was lying on the ground. The United States Champion wanted to grab it, but that just led to another beating by the AOP. Rollins noted that this wouldn’t need to be this way and recalled Mysterio giving the weapon to KO last week.
The Architect told Mysterio to remember this night and added that he would owe Rollins one. Then, it looked as the AOP and Rollins would leave the ring, but Rollins returned to deliver a Curb Stomp before they really headed to the back.
Opinion: A great segment and I think this will be how it looks like: Rollins will do the work on the mic since he’s incredibly good at it while the AOP beats up the people for him. I need to admit that the first appearances of their new stable impressed me.
Asuka vs. Deonna Purrazzo and Becky Lynch’s interview
Ahead of this match, they showed us a short video package about Deonna Purrazzo since some viewers otherwise wouldn’t know who she is. Surprisingly, she had some moments in which she showed her offensive abilities. However, after about four minutes Asuka forced her opponent to tap out due to the Asuka Lock.
After the match, we saw a pre-taped interview with Lynch. Caruso asked her how she’s handling her loss at TLC. Lynch answered that she wouldn’t have been the same within the last few months. She added that she’s now the golden goose and that they think that she couldn’t beat Asuka.
Caruso asked her what she would say to people who think that Asuka should be champion. The Raw Women’s Champion looked into the camera and addressed Asuka. Lynch said that Asuka has had her number and that she needs to change that to prove something to herself.
Opinion: A good way to set up a match between Lynch and Asuka. Besides, in my eyes, Asuka is at the moment the only women on Raw who has the standing (besides Charlotte) to challenge Lynch for the title. Anyways, can someone ask Caruso who the hell is talking about Asuka should be the champ?
Mysterio’s announcement and Randy Orton vs. AJ Styles
Before this night’s main event took place, Mysterio cut a little promo in the backstage area. He said that Andrade would be an amazing athlete, but that it wouldn’t be ok that he tried to end Carrillo’s career. He switched to speak in Spanish before switching back to English by saying that Rollins wouldn’t respect him. He added that he and Rollins never had a single match, but this would change next week.
Then, the match between Orton and AJ Styles took place. Surprisingly, Gallows and Anderson weren’t at ringside. However, the match was great and they permanently worked with the angle that Styles tried to work over Orton’s left leg. However, after about 16 minutes, Styles went for the Phenomenal Forearm, but Orton countered it with an RKO to then pin the Phenomenal One.
After the match, Gallows and Anderson came out to attack Orton. Then, Erik and Ivar came out to make the save, but the OC fought them off and even gave Erik a Magic Killer. So, Styles, Gallows and Anderson stood tall in the ring as the show closed.
Opinion: I really liked Mysterio’s promo and I think that his match against Rollins will be really great to watch. Additionally, the main event was also a solid match with the expected ending. However, this will surely lead to a six-man tag team match next week.
All in all, that was a good episode of Raw with several highlights: the first real attack of Rollins and the AOP, the gauntlet match, Lynch challenging Asuka and the match between Styles and Orton. Additionally, the OC and the Viking Raiders showed a great match. In truth, we had in this show way more in-ring wrestling than compared to last week’s episode. That’s also the main reason why I liked this show much more than the one from last week.