Braun Strowman Offered an Update on His Injury
Baron Corbin opened Raw yet again, and it looks like he's getting a mini faction with himself, Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley. It's no different than the trio of McIntyre, Braun Strowman and Dolph Ziggler aside from how Corbin has actual booking power on this show. Either way, putting these three together is the last thing Raw needs right now and McIntyre is much better off on his own at this point. At any rate, Strowman appeared on the Titantron to update the WWE Universe on his upcoming surgery and vowed to be at TLC next month to face Corbin. I assume that even if he isn't cleared to compete in time for the event, they'll figure out a way to turn it into an angle or, worst case scenario, replace Strowman with someone else.
Bobby Lashley def. Elias in a No Disqualification Match
Lashley and Elias have been at odds for a few weeks now, but they have absolutely no chemistry and this match was a total dud as a result. Halfway through, Corbin turned this into a No Disqualification matchup, allowing the heels to take turns attacking Elias and give Lashley the easy win. I guess this is the nonsense we'll have to expect from Corbin until he is inevitably fired from his position as acting Raw general manager next month.
The Lucha House Party def. The Revival in a Lucha House Rules Match
It made zero sense last week for The Lucha House Party to wrestle with "Lucha House Rules" against The Revival, which basically gave them the unfair advantage. When The Revival called them out on it this week, the same thing happened. Unless a double turn is in the works, I have no clue what they're going for with this. Lucha House Party look like opportunistic heels, whereas The Revival could not be more dead in the water than they are right now.
Raw Women's Champion Ronda rousey Confronted Nia Jax
As soon as Jax became the No. 1 contender to the Raw Women's Championship at Evolution, I didn't agree with the decision but knew it made sense from a storyline standpoint because she and Rousey had unfinished business from June's Money in the Bank pay-per-view. Jax even alluded to that here and showed footage of their match, and while I'm fine with the feud being revisited, this was a pretty poor way of furthering it. Jax is atrocious on the mic and Rousey wasn't much better in this segment unfortunately. Needless to say, they failed to get me excited for their encounter at TLC. Oh, and The Riott Squad attacked Natalya again, so there was that.
Raw Tag Team Champions AOP def. Bobby Roode and Chad Gable
Call me a fool, but I had faith that when AOP vs. Roode and Gable was cut short last Monday, they would have a longer, more competitive match with gold up for grabs on this show. Obviously, that was not the case whatsoever. This was a complete afterthought and merely existed as a backdrop for Drake Maverick taking Roode's robe, stuffing it in a toilet backstage and proceeding to pee on it. Mind you, Roode was dumb enough to be distracted by all of this and apparently didn't want to win the Raw Tag Team Championship. Raw has sunk to an all-new low, ladies and gentlemen.
Ember Moon def. Alicia Fox
Strowman's legitimate injury will cause him to miss the remainder of Season 2 of Mixed Match Challenge and force Moon to find a new partner. We then found out Moon's new partner will be none other than Curt Hawkins, who hasn't won a match in over two years. Moon managed to beat Fox here, but it was nothing out of the ordinary and Hawkins' post-match celebration was more interesting than the outing itself.
Jinder Mahal def. No Way Jose
I wouldn't be surprised if most fans forgot Jose was even on the roster. It's been that long since we've seen him on Raw. Nothing has changed: he's still an enhancement talent and Mahal still sucks. Seriously, this was putrid and lasted way longer than it needed to, even at four minutes in length. I guess this was supposed to get him back on track after all the losses he's suffered lately, but instead, I couldn't care less about him. Back to Main Event for Jose.
Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins def. Dolph Ziggler
Rollins issued an Intercontinental Championship open challenge to anyone in the locker room. Part of me hoped it would be someone from NXT, 205 Live or even a returning Bray Wyatt. Rather, we were relegated to another Rollins vs. Ziggler match. They have been feuding over the title since June, which is ridiculous. Yes, their matches are always enjoyable, and while this was far and away the best thing on this entire episode of Raw, I was disappointed with who stepped up to face Rollins because the possibilities were endless and WWE just had to go back to the same old, same old. This also wasn't one of their more memorable encounters, but I thought Rollins winning with his signature superplex/Falcon Arrow combination off the top rope was refreshing.
Alexa Bliss Hosted an "Open Forum" with Sasha Banks and Bayley
It was announced earlier in the evening that thanks to Corbin, Bliss will be overseeing the Raw women's division going forward. Bliss has been out injured for close to a month, so I assume this is only temporary until she's good to go again. She's a good fit for the role, but I have no desire to see her feud with Banks and Bayley after the many matches she had with them last year. This faux Q&A was a waste of time and led to a dull beatdown from Alicia Fox, Mickie James and Dana Brooke (yes, the same woman who teamed with Banks and Bayley two days earlier at Starrcade) on the babyfaces. On a side note,I had a feeling this might tie into women's tag titles being introduced, but no such luck.
Acting Raw General Manager Baron Corbin and Drew McIntyre def. Finn Balor in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match
Speaking of matches we've seen time and time again, no one was clamoring for more of Balor vs. Corbin after their pointless program this summer. They don't work that well together and with nothing on the line, it was difficult for the audience to get invested in the action. Predictably enough, Corbin changed the rules toward the end and added McIntyre to make it a Handicap match, so the heels had no problem emerging victorious. They laid out Balor afterward and stood tall to close out one of the worst Raw shows I've ever seen.
It's no secret that Raw has been in doldrums for months, but I have not seen this type of social media reaction to an edition of Raw in a long time where almost everyone is in agreement that it was among the worst episodes in the show's history. That's saying something, and honestly, I can't argue with that. I'm not joking when I say that all three hours were atrocious and only Rollins vs. Ziggler match was somewhat entertaining. Even that was underwhelming because it could have been so much more. Raw needs serious help at the moment and I truly do not know what it will take to get this brand back to where it should be. It's a bad time to be a WWE fan at the moment (not including NXT or 205 Live, of course), so fingers crossed they will turn things around before it's too late (or is it already?).