Samoa Joe Confronted Roman Reigns
I laughed when Reigns said he is never beaten one-on-one, because while that's been true recently, he was defeated clean in the middle of the ring at the Payback pay-per-view in April by Braun Strowman, and there was a reason Reigns harped on his name because I'm sure we haven't seen the end of that feud. Joe had every right to take exception to Reigns outright demanding a Universal Championship match at SummerSlam because what the hell has he done lately? Worse yet, Reigns came across like a total asshole here, though that's nothing new for his cocky character.
The Hardy Boyz def. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows
Following the flat finish to last week's 2-out-of-3 Falls match, I assumed the feud between The Hardy Boyz and Cesaro and Sheamus was not yet over and that was confirmed during this contest by the announcers. I actually liked how The Hardy Boyz faced someone not named Cesaro or Sheamus for a change, and it was a good match. Meanwhile, Anderson and Gallows sadly feel like just another pair of guys on the roster. Why won't WWE hurry up and put them with Finn Balor already?
Finn Balor Interrupted Elias Samson; Balor def. Bo Dallas
I guess Samson's musical performances are eliciting heat, but is it the right type of heat? That's the real question. I personally don't think so, and I find his singing to be not only bad but incredibly boring. Balor did us all a favor by cutting this segment short, but he should have done it three minutes earlier. Balor's subsequent squash of Dallas was pretty basic other than Dallas beating up Balor out of the gate. I thought Sampson might interfere for the finish, but he ended up ambushing Balor from behind later in the night. The last thing Balor needs right now is a feud with The Drifter.
Seth Rollins Attacked Bray Wyatt
First and foremost, huge congrats to Rollins for landing the cover of this year's WWE 2K18 video game. It's especially cool considering we have had part-timers (Brock Lesnar, The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin) and established stars (John Cena and Randy Orton) on the cover for years, so it's a breath of fresh air. His promo straight from the heart about turning his life around (after turning babyface) was fine, but I honestly tuned out once Wyatt showed up. He never has anything of substance to say and I might begin to pay attention again once he starts winning matches to back up all of his mumbo jumbo.
Akira Tozawa def. TJP
I was actually looking forward to this match at first, but then Titus O'Neil came out and ruined whatever chance it had to be entertaining. Seriously, how was this supposed to convince viewers to tune into 205 Live? Neville is amazing at the moment, but him coming out combined with O'Neil relentless bickering at ringside overshadowed the in-ring action, which actually picked up a bit toward the end. I'm all for a Neville vs. Tozawa feud for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship, but O'Neil's involvement does little to intrigue me.
Samoa Joe def. Roman Reigns
As much as I enjoyed this match and the strong chemistry they have together, Joe should not be contesting competitive matches and being on the verge of losing heading into this bout with Brock Lesnar. Instead, he should be killing dudes like Lesnar does. I can't completely hate on the finish because at least Joe won and surprisingly forced Reigns to pass out, not to mention Braun Strowman is back to save Raw (or so we can hope). The announcement of an Ambulance match between the two was expected given that was where their rivalry was going prior to Strowman getting hurt last month.
Intercontinental Champion The Miz Hosted Miz TV with Maryse
I absolutely hate that tension is being teased between Miz and Maryse because they are the ultimate power couple, but I'm holding out hope that they've been in cahoots all along and are merely trying to get one over on Dean Ambrose. It's an unlikely scenario, yes, but it's better than breaking them up. Miz always works better with more people in his act, so while Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel wouldn't have been my first choices, at least it gives them something somewhat significant to do for now.
Raw Tag Team Champions Sheamus and Cesaro def. Titus O'Neil and Apollo Crews (Non-title)
In the midst of their meaningless feud with Kalisto that accomplished virtually nothing, I learned O'Neil and Crews were a heel duo... or at least they were supposed to be. Or did Crews never technically turn? Quite honestly, I don't know and I don't care. Sheamus and Cesaro successfully furthered their momentum with their win here, but that was about it because the Titus Brand remains damaged. Stay far, far away, Tozawa!
Nia Jax def. Sasha Banks by Disqualification
There was plenty of chatter (and by chatter I mean complaints) from fans on social media by this point in the evening that Raw's women's division was completely neglected on this show. Not a match, a promo, or even a video package. No, putting them out there minutes before the top of the hour in a segment that was beyond rushed does not count. The entire division is just a mess and no one's getting over in the process. Can we please get back to individual stories being told? With the women of Raw and SmackDown Live both?
Big Cass Betrayed Enzo Amore
I think we all saw this "swerve" coming from a mile away, and I'm not sure whether it would have been better to follow through with the predictable heel turn from Cass or drop the angle all together. Plain and simple, Raw's tag team division is fairly depleted. Thus, splitting these two up only a little over a year removed from their main roster debut (before they could win the tag titles) was downright stupid. I suppose we'll see how this plays out, but it was way too soon in my opinion. I will say Cass cut a hell of a promo, but he looked like he was about to break out in tears at several different points. He needs to feel more believable or at least look the part in being a badass.
As much as I hate to sound like a broken record, it is worth repeating: Raw needs all the help it can get at this point. The roster is filled with star power and a number of notable names have come back from injury, but the booking is abysmal and few feuds have my interest. The formulaic nature of the program is a major issue of course, and the three hours never cease to drag, but this edition of Raw almost literally put me to sleep, which is rare for me. I truly don't know what needs to be done, but this show in particular was a glaring example of how sad of a state Raw has been in for the last month or so. Reigns vs. Joe and Strowman's return were among the highlights, but everything else can be skipped out on.