Keith Lee Interrupted Randy Orton; Lee def. Dolph Ziggler to Qualify for the WWE Championship No. 1 Contender's Triple Threat Match
Orton's promo addressing Drew McIntyre was short, sweet and straight to the point. Lee also fared well on the mic. I think I enjoyed their verbal exchange a bit more than I did last week since I wasn't as distracted by his terrible entrance theme and attire. The match that followed was excellent in allowing Lee to showcase his skills to a bigger audience. The outcome was never in doubt and it can be argued it should have been over quicker because Ziggler lacks credibility, but Ziggler sold Lee's offense like a champ, so I can't complain.
Mickie James, Natalya and Lana Interrupted Raw Women's Champion Asuka; James def. Lana
When I was thinking of Asuka's next challenger for the Raw Women's Championship, Charlotte Flair was the first name that came to mind. I don't know if Natalya and Lana coming out instead was better or worse. I could get behind Asuka vs. James (a la NXT TakeOver: Toronto), but James has been a total afterthought until recently and therefore I doubt anyone sees her as being a legitimate threat to the title. You had to know a match would stem from the segment considering everyone was in their gear, and it wasn't very good. At least James wasn't embarrassed on her birthday with a loss.
Randy Orton def. Kevin Owens to Qualify for the WWE Championship No. 1 Contender's Triple Threat Match
Orton and Owens worked well together when they faced off recently on Raw, but I was skeptical about them facing off again so soon because I figured Orton would win again (as he should have). Thankfully, this was executed in a way where Owens wasn't damaged at all as Aleister Black attacked him beforehand. Orton picking up the win with ease fit his character perfectly and left him fresh heading into the Triple Threat main event.
Cedric Alexander and The Viking Raiders Crashed The VIP Lounge with The Hurt Business; Alexander and Viking Raiders def. The Hurt Business (United States Champion Bobby Lashley, MVP and Shelton Benjamin)
I'm all in on Lashley being booked as a dominant United States Champion, but his feud with Apollo Crews needs to end. Crews didn't show up here, but it was nice that Alexander got some screen time for a change. The subsequent six-man tag team match was fun while it lasted but was too short to be anything out of the ordinary. Alexander scoring the win for his team was refreshing, though.
The Riott Squad def. The IIconics in a WWE Women's Tag Team Championship No. 1 Contender's Match
In addition to a future tag title shot being at stake, it was noted that the losing team would be "no more." We've seen these two tandems against each other enough over the last month and a half that this was nothing new. There wasn't anything wrong it with it technically, but even with the stipulations in place, I couldn't bring myself to care. The Riott Squad just reunited, so it would have made no sense for them to lose. That means The IIconics are likely going their separate ways, and honestly, I don't hate it. Granted, Billie Kay is doomed to fail on her own, but Peyton Royce has potential.
Seth Rollins def. Dominik Mysterio to Qualify for the WWE Championship No. 1 Contender's Triple Threat Match
Rollins made it clear before the bout that he's none too happy with Murphy after he got pinned by Dominik at Payback on Sunday night. I wouldn't be upset if Murphy broke away from Rollins because that could be a hell of a program. At any rate, similar to at SummerSlam, Rollins and Dominik killed it again. Rollins is tremendous in his role and Dominik has quickly shown that he's a natural despite having minimal experience. This was a blast with Dominik looking credible in defeat for the second straight time.
Raw Tag Team Champions The Street Profits vs. Andrade and Angel Garza in a Tornado Tag Team Match Ended in a No Contest
The matches Street Profits have had with the duo of Andrade and Garza have been entertaining and this was no exception, but I'm ready for this rivalry to be over, especially since Street Profits have dominated for the most part. RETRIBUTION caused the contest to be thrown out and laid out everyone in sight, including Zelina Vega (meaning the group has multiple female members). They need to move forward with this thing eventually because the beatdowns are beginning to get old.
Randy Orton def. Seth Rollins and Keith Lee in a WWE Championship No. 1 Contender's Triple Threat Match
They weren't given a ton of time to work with, but this turned into a quality Triple Threat match. They had terrific chemistry and constantly kept the pace moving. I have no issue with Orton winning just because McIntyre was going to get his revenge on him at some point, but the way this went down was smart in that this revolved around Lee and he wasn't pinned. Some aspects of Lee's presentation still need to be tweaked, but he was handled exceptionally well between Payback and Raw and I applaud the company for that.
It felt like there were more Raw Underground segments than usual, but none of them were terribly engaging in my opinion. It's a decent concept and supplements Raw nicely most weeks, but they haven't exactly benefited anyone yet. The rest of this edition of Raw on the whole was a definite improvement over last week's mess of a show. The Triple Threat qualifiers gave those matches a purpose and the wrestling was largely enjoyable. The three hours weren't a total home run, but the build to Clash of Champions got off to a solid start and that's what mattered most to me.