Universal Champion Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman Addressed the End of Extreme Rules
I found Extreme Rules to be a strong show on Sunday night, but obviously, Lesnar's Universal title victory was what everyone was talking about when the event concluded. Thus, it was a smart call to open this episode with Lesnar and Heyman addressing what happened as well as the night's Battle Royal to determine the new number one contender. It was a solid segment that was exactly what it needed to be.
Ricochet and The Usos def. Robert Roode and Raw Tag Team Champions The Revival in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match
I'm always up for Roode getting television time, but what purpose did he serve in this match aside from taking the fall? He hasn't had bad blood with Ricochet in months, and just as I expected, the Revival vs. Usos feud isn't over yet. They'll likely face off again at SummerSlam if I had to guess. From an in-ring standpoint, this was a nice six-man tag team match, even though the 2 out of 3 Falls stipulation was once again pointless. Plus, The Club's post-match attack on Ricochet effectively furthered their feud.
The Viking Raiders def. Vinny Gunner and Jackson JAmes
Viking Raiders were nowhere to be seen on Raw soon after they debuted back in April and therefore any momentum they had was cut short. Well, they've been back on the show for about a month now and the reactions they've been receiving from crowds don't sound much louder. I don't know if it's a lack of mic time or development with their characters or what, but they aren't getting over despite the dominance they've shown in their matches. I'm a fan of the team and would like to see that change soon, but WWE will first need to change their approach with them and put them in a real feud with a tandem fans care about.
Cedric Alexander def. Drew McIntyre
First and foremost, I'm glad there was any followup at all to Alexander teaming with Roman Reigns in last week's main event against Shane McMahon and McIntyre. Far too often does WWE want you to forget about stuff like that. Not only did Alexander compete on Raw, he beat a credible opponent in McIntyre. That was quite the pleasant surprise and the match was entertaining, too. Of course, WWE could very well have McIntyre squash Alexander on next week's show, but this could also be the beginning of something bigger for Alexander. Fingers crossed.
Samoa Joe def. Finn Balor
These two had a hell of a feud as well as an excellent string of matches on the main roster in late 2017, so I was looking forward to them rekindling their rivalry here. Unfortunately, this was barely two minutes long and was far from what it could have been, but the bigger story is that Bray Wyatt is back and better than he's ever been it looks like. I love that he's wearing the "Fiend" mask (though whether he'll wear it when he wrestles remains to be seen) and the crowd went nuts for him. He came across like a total star, so fingers crossed they can continue to handle him properly this time around.
Zack Ryder def. Mike Kanellis
Ryder's appearance here reminded me of how he and Curt Hawkins apparently weren't bothered at all that they lost the Raw Tag Team Championship to The Revival over a month ago, seeing as how we never heard anything from them about it afterward. Then again, he was able to get out of catering for the night and win a (meaningless) match, so I'm sure he doesn't care too much. I have no idea where they're going with the Kanellis nonsense. They could always have him rebound eventually, but I doubt many people will take him seriously after he's been made to look like a loser for so long.
The cLub def. The Lucha House Party
Lucha House Party have been treated like a joke since coming to Raw together late last year, but if this was booked like a competitive contest, I think it could have been a blast based off what I've seen them do on 205 Live. Instead, it was decent and Ricochet's run-in halfway through (which was an excuse for WWE to restart the bout after the commercial break) didn't help matters. On the bright side, The Club returned to their winning ways here. I'd be in favor of Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson re-entering the Raw Tag Team Championship picture at some point.
Natalya def. Alexa Bliss, Naomi and Carmella in a Raw Women's Championship No. 1 Contender's Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match
Bliss and Naomi have since taken to Twitter about how "disrespectful" the crowd was during this match for chanting "Boring!" and "This is awful!" at various points, but I don't blame them. To be honest, this really wasn't any good. The elimination stipulation forced it to drag on and on and I have no desire to see any of these women face Becky Lynch for the Raw Women's Championship. Natalya and Naomi have largely been off TV for months, Carmella is not a compelling challenger, and Bliss is fresh off back-to-back losses to Bayley. The only redeeming this about this segment came afterward when Lynch and Natalya went back and forth with insults on the mic. That was slightly interesting, but it still didn't sell me on the idea of them facing each other at SummerSlam.
The Miz and Dolph Ziggler Came to Blows on Miz TV
To their credit, Ziggler and Miz had a great verbal exchange here, but that should come as no surprise considering how their last feud in 2016 was so terrific. Their chemistry in the ring and on the mic is off the charts, but like I just said, it's a story we've seen before. If this is leading to them having a match at SummerSlam, then no thanks. I'd rather they blow this off on WWE TV before then. Besides, I'd be stunned if anyone could possibly care about Ziggler right now coming off his loss to Kevin Owens in under a minute at Extreme Rules.
Seth Rollins Won a Universal Championship No. 1 Contender's Cross-Branded All-Star Top 10 Battle Royal
I would love to know where this Top 10 was taken from, because WWE has never had such a thing. Actually, they did very briefly early last year on SmackDown Live before abandoning it all together because they botched the concept from the get-go. All of the most intriguing options (at least in my opinion), including Cesaro and Bobby Lashley, were eliminated fairly quickly, and then the rest of this played out fairly predictably. Rollins vs. Lesnar again at SummerSlam does nothing for me. Maybe they'll find a way to spice it up in time for the pay-per-view, but I'm not getting my hopes up. If Rollins regains the gold, then putting the belt back on Lesnar was a waste of time, but then again, Lesnar shouldn't be champion for any longer than a month, so I feel like it's a lose-lose situation.
I didn't devote an entire paragraph to it, but there was a series of segments on this show devoted to Drake Maverick wanting to finally "consummate" his marriage with his wife, only to be beat by R-Truth for the 24/7 Championship in his hotel room when he least expected it. It was harmless fun. At any rate, I thought this was a better Raw than usual. Granted, it didn't feel as memorable as that one Raw from two weeks ago, but I was entertained by Wyatt's return, the handful of quality matches, Alexander's upset victory, and the SummerSlam card taking shape. It doesn't look too strong so far, but we'll see what SmackDown has in store on Tuesday night.