My relationship with the Raw brand is very odd right now. It has some of my favorite talents on it, but it's so goddamned uneven. It's like all the moving parts in the show almost never line up to where the story, the crowd, and the in-ring action complement each other. Tonight, for example, that only happened in the main event.
STOP STARTING RAW WITH LONG ROMAN REIGNS SHIT, RAW.
Lana and Roman Reigns have an in-ring confrontation, and I don't think the intent is for me to sympathize with Lana and Rusev, but that's what happens. Rusev comes out for punchies and emerges victorious from the brawl, briefly, but then somehow Reigns Superman Punches Rusev on the ramp despite being taken out at ringside. Reigns grants Rusev the rematch inside Hell In A Cell, which is gonna suuuuuuuuck.
Next up is the Kendrick vs. TJ Perkins, but it's non-title, so that telegraphs the ending. The LA crowd is into the cruisers, at least, unlike the Ohio crowd last week. Solid match, which Kendrick wins with the Captain's Hook after an eye rake. Presumably they'lll be competing for the title at HiaC.
It's quiet backstage interview time, as Michael Cole chats with Seth Rollins. Rollins' face-turn requires a certain amount of historical revisionism all too common in pro wrestling. Otherwise, little of substance happens.
Oh hey Braun Strohman squashes Local Talent. Even Strohman is sick of this and demands a real match from MIck Foley next week.
Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho are out to respond to the Seth Rollins interviewl It starts out a little standard, but it gets fun as they decide to go for the tag belts and tease a bit of conflict. This of course brings out The New Day. and a wildly entertaining dueling promo segment ensues, with all three members of the New Day ending up on Jericho's List and a match for later.
Sami Zayn is wrestling Titus O'Neill, who has a shitty new heel gimmick and catchphrase. Which means Sami Zayn is bumping around for Titus like it was a couple years ago in NXT. Sami Zayn has to sell a fucking bear hug. Why can't he and Sheamus switch places? At least Sami won. Uually with a repackage Titus would emerge victorious.
Mick Foley tries to teach Cesaro and Sheamus teamwork in a sad rework of Team Hell No.
So, I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that R-Truth finally changed his intro song. The bad news is he changed the lyrics to a Golden Truth version, there's a bounching Goldust head on screen to teach you the words, and it sounds even more like SPACE PANTS than it used to. Also, they're jobbing to The Clerb.
AWKWARD CELEBRITY INTERACTION as Jeri-KO meet up with Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson.
Enzo and Big Cass promote breast cancer awareness. Which is wildly inappropriate and a strong show of trust in Enzo and Cass.
Jeri-KO vs. New Day have the actors at ringside, which nobody needs. Why is Aston Kutcher acting like a redneck? It's tough as hell to follow the match because of the commentary, but it's mostly Jeri-KO dominance. Danny Masterson says he could beat Kevin Owens in a "tongue-lashing", which is doubtful as fuuuuuck. New Day wins thanks to Rollinsference. Post-match, Rollins hits a sloppy Pedigree on Jericho while Owens looks on.
Rollins threatens to burn Raw to the ground if he doesn't get his rematch, which is Samoa Joe's deal on NXT, but it makes Rollins a face.
Cruiserweights again, as Rich Swann wrestles Tony Nese for no reason other than introducing characters and making Tony Nese a bit of a heel. Not enough of one to not shake hands, though. Another dead crowd for a decdent match, which could be a problem if WWE isn't patient and if they don't eventually give their matches more meaning. Nese wins with what appeared to have been an Oh Right They'll Yell At Me For Dumping Rich Swann On His Head.
Cesaro and Sheamus argue near, and eventually pin, Local Talent.
And finally, our main event, the Women's Championship match between Sasha and Charlotte. But first we get a backstage segment where Charlotte and Dana are mean to Bayley, until Dana goes to far and gets JACKED by Bayley. It's a really impressive match, but I'm not sure why every big match involving some of the best wrestlers in the company has one big botch in it - in this case, a failed backdrop-on-the-apron spot on the outside. On the other hand, Charlotte nailed a corkscrew moonsault from the outside to the floor, so we'll cut them all the slack. Plus, Sasha gets the belt back by making Charlotte tap suprisingly quickly.