Bayley returns! Roman Reigns works a very
insider shoot. And the streak continues! No, sadly not Raw’s run of good episodes. Curt
Hawkins lost another match. I’m Oli Davis and this is 18th September, 2017 edition of
Monday Night Raw…in about 4 minutes. Intercontinental Championship No. 1 Contender
No Mercy’s go-home episode of Raw opened with The Miz demanding an Intercontinental
Championship match at the pay-per-view, which Kurt Angle solved with his new favourite solution
– put Jason Jordan in a match. Miz called Kurt a deadbeat dad – safe sex,
kids – which brought out Jordan to defend his pa’s honour…to very little reaction
from the crowd…and the No. 1 contenders match quickly became a Six Pack Challenge.
Jordan’s matches with Roman Reigns and John Cena over the last two weeks were starting
to get him over – proving himself in valiant losing efforts. WWE’s way of capitalising
on this? Forcefully push him on the fans again in a storyline that centres around the main
obstacle to him connecting with the crowd – the lame duck storyline that he’s Kurt’s
illegitimate son. Nia Jax beat Alexa Bliss
Next up was the PPV match WWE has been building for over half a year…given away on Raw with
just two minutes of TV time. Nia Jax easily beat Alexa Bliss.
The post-match was rather bizarre from a psychology standpoint – returning babyface Bayley big
returning angle was…ganging up on Jax. And then ganging up on Bliss.
Bayley was later added to their No Mercy match to make it a Fatal Five Way. Guys…you know
Emma’s in this match too? Sheamaro beat DeaTh & Galanderson
Sheamaro, Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose and Galanderson had the match of the night, with
an incredibly fun three-way tag. But after having the most intriguing storyline in WWE
last month, the tag team division has become repetitive and lacks emotion.
Apollo Crews beat Curt Hawkins Determined to stop his losing streak, Curt
Hawkins took on Apollo Crews and…lost. It’ll never get him over as anything more than an
undercard act, but at least it is an act. Braun Strowman & Brock Lesnar
Just like the Samoa Joe interview before Great Balls of Fire, Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman
appeared on a split screen – with Braun shot from a low angle to make him even more intimidating.
The interview was nowhere near as good as that Joe angle, though, with Braun’s comic
book appeal not as visceral as Joe’s far more believable threat of violence.
Despite being played as live, Brock reportedly wasn’t actually there and the interviews
were filmed last week. Because why would you want your biggest draw for an in-ring angle
heading into the pay-per-view you’re trying to sell?
Roman Reigns Promo No Mercy’s other big match also lacked presence,
with John Cena missing. Roman Reigns used this as material, though,
calling John a hypocrite for leaving WWE just like Cena once accused the Rock of doing.
If you follow WWE on Twitter, though, you’d know that doesn’t ring true. Cena was wrestling
in China for Smackdown. Reigns then cut the feud’s latest worked
shoot jab: “Sometimes he says stupid s***, like trying
to say I’m the next John Cena…do I look like a jacked up white guy with a giant head?
Nah. If I did, I wouldn’t have a career here. You don’t believe me? Ask Alex Riley.”
Back in 2011, Riley had serious potential as a breakout star. But something happened
between him and Cena backstage that stopped A-Ry’s push cold:
“I’ll put it this way. There was an incident and it certainly changed the path of my career.”
What that ‘incident’ was still hasn’t come out. It was a peculiar, very insider
reference to bring up, similar to Miz shooting on Enzo last week for getting thrown off the
WWE tour bus. That aside, this was a very good promo from Reigns.
Bray Wyatt beat Goldust Neither Goldust nor Dustin Rhodes can defeat
Bray Wyatt. But maybe Finn Balor in a TitanTron can.
Neville beat Gran Metalik Hey Neville, there’s only one word to describe
you S-W-A-F-T. BRRAAAAAAUN! That’s not right-OH MY GOD.
All of Enzo’s backstage heat physically manifested itself in the form of Braun Strowman,
who took out Amore mid-promo. It’s not the strongest message to send to Lesnar – beating
up a guy ⅛ your size – so it came off as just the latest way to publicly bury Enzo.
Neville attacked the scraps, and then beat Gran Metalik in a quick match afterwards.
Jason Jordan beat Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, Elias, Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel
Usually I’d be a fan of an Intercontinental Championship No. 1 contenders match main eventing
Raw. It really helps elevate the title. But the Six Pack Challenge lacked star power,
and the whole angle came off like a rush job just six days out from the pay-per-view.
Miz stopped Jeff Hardy from winning, after which Jordan stole the pin. So that was this week’s Raw in about four
minutes. Here’s the usual ratings recap, from top to bottom – In Awe, Cor, AVRAWGE,
Poor and Bore. I’ll reveal my rating very shortly, but
first, vote in the poll above my head to give yours. I’ll announce the results in tomorrow’s
WrestleTalk News. The video packages across the board were great,
both those promoting No Mercy and the poignant segment devoted to Bobby Heenan’s recent
passing. And the six man tag was incredibly fun.
But everything else on Raw felt flat – yet another go-home show that makes me less excited
about the actual pay-per-view. This episode needed cliffhangers, drama, not housekeeping
for the Intercontinental title and Enzo getting destroyed by Strowman. Where are the go-home
angles that used to make you desperate for Sunday to come?
Still, this week’s Raw is Poor. Have WWE’s Hell in a Cell plans been leaked?
And what Major Wrestlemania 34 storyline has been scrapped by WWE? Click the videos to
the left to find out, press subscribe and support WrestleTalk on Patreon.
I’ve been Oli Davis and that was wrestling.