Photo Credit- WWE twitter account.
Last week’s episode of Raw was an improvement over the previous week, but it still has a long way to go. With tonight being headlined with a no holds barred rematch between Charlotte Flair and Nikki A.S.H. and the return of Goldberg, can Raw get back on track on the road to Summerslam? Or will the Chicago crowd eat this show alive? Let’s find out!
GOOD: The show kicks off with the WWE champion Bobby Lashley and MVP. MVP hypes up that Goldberg is one of the best of all time, but he doesn’t know what he’s getting into stepping into the ring with the All Mighty. He has a great line where he asks Goldberg if he wants to be a champion or a casualty. Goldberg then makes his way to the ring. Goldberg says that Lashley needs to be worried about losing the WWE championship and says that he looks scared. He says that no matter how old he is, he will always be Goldberg. He says he lives by the spear and Lashley will die by the spear. Goldberg leaves as Lashley and MVP begin taunting Goldberg’s son. Goldberg comes back out and spears MVP to end the segment. Overall, a good segment to start the show. MVP had a great promo hyping up Lashley, Goldberg had a decent promo himself and adding Goldberg’s son to the storyline adds an element of potential intrigue going forward. A good start to the show.
AVERAGE: Up next is a 2 on 1 handicap match as Veer and Shanky take on Drew McIntyre. A decent match that was pretty much a Drew McIntyre showcase. The finish sees Drew go for the claymore on Veer but Shanky grabs Drew’s foot. Jinder comes in and hits Drew with the chair to cause a DQ. A decent match but nothing special.
Result: Drew wins via DQ.
John Cerenzio WR Star Rating: 2.5 stars
AVERAGE: Post match, Jinder and company have chairs in hand and look to exact revenge on Drew. Jinder actually got some pretty good heat in this segment so kudos to him. Drew, however, has an equalizer, as he for once brought his sword to the ring with him. He fends off Jinder and Veer, but Shanky is left in the ring to fend for himself once again. Drew goes to hit him with the sword but stops and scares him off. Drew celebrates as Jinder and company head backstage where they’re interviewed. Jinder says that Drew is a madman and they run to their getaway car. The post match was definitely more enjoyable then the actual match, but nothing too different then what we’ve seen in recent weeks.
SATISFACTORY: Nia Jax cuts a promo saying that what we just saw is gonna be nothing compared to what she does to Rhea Ripley next. Short. Serviceable. Moving on.
AVERAGE: Drew McIntyre is interviewed backstage. He says that the Chicago crowd is bloodthirsty tonight and probably wanted Drew to stab Shanky, but he showed restraint. He says he loves watching Jinder run. But he says that he doesn’t make threats, he makes promises. A good, short promo from Drew.
AVERAGE: Up next is Rhea Ripley vs Nia Jax. Early on Nia squished Rhea’s head against the turnbuckle with her body and that looked really painful. The match started off a bit boring but picked up to a decent pace by match’s end. Nia also got a nasty cut over her eye and started bleeding pretty badly. The finish sees Shayna try to distract Rhea, but Rhea counters and rolls up Nia for the win. A decent match that was better than I expected.
Result: Rhea defeated Nia vin pinfall.
John Cerenzio WR Star Rating: 2.75 stars
AVERAGE: Post match Nia and Shayna argue once again. The crowd is clamoring for Shayna to finally turn, but it never comes. Shayna simply leaves the ring, leaving Nia by herself. Rhea comes back into the ring and hits Nia with the Riptide which actually looked very impressive. Rhea is very slowly getting better now that she’s established as a clear face going forward.
AVERAGE: Up next we had a rematch between Mustafa Ali and Mansoor taking on Mace and T Bar. Ali got a great reception from his hometown crowd in Chicago and was over for pretty much the entire match. This was a decent, short match but it wasn’t as good as their match from last week. The spot of the match was a tornado ddt from Ali on T Bar in the ropes. The finish saw Ali and Mansoor go for a tandem move, but Mansoor got pushed into the ropes, crotching Ali on the top rope. Mansoor is then taken out with a clothesline from Mace and he and T Bar pick up the win.
Result: Mace and T Bar won via pinfall.
John Cerenzio WR Star Rating: 2.5 stars
POOR: Charlotte Flair comes out to cut a promo on Nikki ASH. She talks about how Nikki cashed in on her and she’s sick of being cashed in on. She starts throwing weapons in the ring and continues complaining about how she was screwed out of the title. She keeps talking until Nikki hits her with a chair to end the segment. Overall this was an absolutely nothing segment. The content of the promo itself wasn’t inherently bad, but it came off as kind of awkward and needlessly long. Plus Nikki attacking Charlotte from behind isn’t exactly heroic is it?
POOR: Eva Marie cuts a backstage promo saying she has no time for the Lilly-Lution slander campaign, saying that it’s “ew” and “yuck.” Moving on.
SATISFACTORY: Up next is Doudrop vs Tamina. This was a short, serviceable match. The finish saw Eva want Doudrop to hit the crossbody, but she doesn’t listen and it costs her. Post match, Alexa Bliss comes on the titantron and calls Eva Marie a loser.
Result: Tamina defeats Doudrop via pinfall.
John Cerenzio WR star rating: 2.25 stars
GOOD: Damian Priest and Riddle are backstage. Riddle talks about his pet goldfish and how he got a new scooter after Omos broke his old one last week. He asks why Priest is going on MizTV instead of celebrating his victory over Sheamus last week. Priest says that it’s ok and that he’s going to keep Miz and Morrison in line. Riddle and Priest have such great chemistry together and this was a fun segment.
SATISFACTORY: Up next is MizTV with Damian Priest. Miz talks about how Priest is the one that injured him in the first place and the crowd responds with CM Punk chants. Priest questions the legitimacy of Miz’s injury and talks about how Morrison is nothing more than Miz’s sidekick and how Miz uses him for his own benefit. Priest also officially challenged Sheamus for the United States championship, but it’s surprisingly brushed over. Miz tries spraying Priest with the drip stick but he blocks it. Morrison then tries attacking Priest but Priest gets the upper hand, spraying Miz with the drip stick to end the segment. This came off as very awkward at times. Priest’s promo, while not bad, came off as very stilted and forced. It came off as something scripted for him that he wasn’t comfortable with. Morrison was probably the biggest saving grace of this segment being legitimately funny at times with his moist puns. Not a bad segment but it came off as very scripted and forced.
AVERAGE: Immediately after we get Damian Priest vs John Morrison. I love the wide array of moves Morrison has employed recently. It makes his matches all the more fun to watch. I wish this match was longer, however, as both guys are really good in the ring. But for what we got, a fine match.
Result: Priest defeated Morrison via pinfall.
John Cerenzio WR star rating: 3 stars
GOOD: Post match, Priest is jumped by Sheamus and he and Morrison beat Priest down until Ricochet makes the save. Great seeing Ricochet on Raw again finally.
GOOD: This leads directly into a tag team match as Priest teams up with Ricochet to take on Sheamus and Morrison. All four men looked good in this match but this match, if anything, showed why Ricochet needs to stay on TV. A great performance from him in a good, fun match.
Result: Priest and Ricochet win via pinfall after Priest pinned Morrison.
John Cerenzio WR star rating: 3.25 stars
GREAT: up next is Riddle vs Omos. This was surprisingly a REALLY fun match. Riddle was great at being quick and trying to chop Omos down, but Omos proved to be too strong and would constantly overpower him. Omos eventually proves to be too much for Riddle and beats him with the Punjabi Plunge. A really solid match overall. Not a huge fan of Riddle taking a clean loss but both guys looked great in this match.
Result: Omos defeated Riddle via pinfall.
John Cerenzio WR Star Rating: 3.5 stars
AVERAGE: Bobby Lashley has a brief backstage segment where he officially accepts Goldberg’s challenge for the WWE title at Summerslam. A short segment that did its job. Kind of weird though that this needed its own separate segment. Why couldn’t Lashley accept Goldberg’s challenge earlier?
BAD: Alexa Bliss is on her playground with Lilly and hyped up the Lilly-lution and how Lilly controls people until Doudrop and Eva attack her. Eva picks up Lilly and throws her on the ground and they walk off. The segment ends with Lilly…coming…to life. Why? Why did this need to happen? Who cares about this stupid doll? More importantly it doesn’t need to be ALIVE.
GOOD: Karrion Kross cuts a pre match promo on Keith Lee, talking to an hourglass saying that Lee’s time is up. It’s nice to see Kross get actual promo time on Raw for once cuz he’s a pretty solid promo in my opinion.
GOOD: Up next is another rematch from last week as Karrion Kross takes on Keith Lee. Once again this was a pretty solid match between the two but, much like last week, neither man can afford to lose here and it comes off as a lose lose. If Kross wins, Lee eats a third straight loss. If Lee wins, it’s just lazy 50/50 booking. But with that being said this was a good back and forth match. Lee eventually wins with the Spirit Bomb to a great ovation. Neither man should lose but Lee definitely needed the win more. Let’s keep this Lee momentum going WWE.
Result: Lee defeated Kross via pinfall
John Cerenzio WR Star Rating: 3.25 stars
AVERAGE: Rhea Ripley has a backstage segment where she says that she hopes Nikki defeats Charlotte and puts her in her place in the no holds barred match. Another short and decent backstage segment.
SATISFACTORY: Up next is a 24/7 championship match as Reginald defends the title against Akira Tozawa. The match itself is pretty much your standard comedy match with Reginald evading moves without actually delivering any offense. However, Reginald eventually wins with the seated senton in a serviceable, comedy match.
Result: Reginald retains via pinfall
John Cerenzio WR Star Rating: 2.25 stars
GREAT: Finally we have our main event of the evening, a no holds barred match as Charlotte Flair takes on Nikki A.S.H. Charlotte starts off with a thunderous spear through the barricade, one of the best spots in the match for sure. From this point on the match is pretty much all Charlotte as she decimates Nikki for a good portion of the match. Nikki tries going for another crossbody on Charlotte, but is caught and is powerbombed through the announce table. Charlotte from here keeps demolishing Nikki and goes to spear her through a table in the corner, but Nikki moves out of the way. Nikki is incensed and hits a beautiful rope hung neckbreaker to beat Charlotte CLEAN. A great win for Nikki here. She definitely needed a definitive win over Charlotte to establish her as a legitimate champion.
Result: Nikki defeated Charlotte via pinfall.
John Cerenzio WR Star Rating: 3.75 stars
Overall, Raw this week was a bore to get through. Mediocre segment after mediocre segment plagued this show hard and the Chicago crowd reacted as anyone would’ve anticipated. There was some decently good in-ring action on this show like Lee and Kross having another good match, Riddle and Omos being surprisingly good and the main event was pretty fun. But there’s only so much these three matches could’ve done to save a relatively boring show riddled with lackluster promos and more constant rematches.
Show theme & presentation: 6/10
Crowd reaction: 8/10
Storyline progression: 7/10
Overall show rating: 6.1/10