WWE Raw results, recap, grades: Brock Lesnar leaves his mark, The Undertaker returns
Another ho-hum edition of Raw at least had a couple of notable moments
Serving as the go-home show ahead of WWE's return to Saudi Arabia on Friday's Super ShowDown card, Monday's episode of Raw was a mixed bag of hits and misses. With the company stuck in neutral of late when it comes to storytelling, there was certainly plenty to groan about for those cynical of WWE's creative including a questionable decision by Brock Lesnar involving his Money in the Bank contract. Yet the moments in which Raw seemed to pull back the restraints produced the best moments.
Not only was Bray Wyatt's latest Firefly Funhouse segment the most genius and entertaining one in the bunch thus far, the shoot style of trash talk between Triple H and Randy Orton felt like a throwback to Raw episodes of old. Let's take a closer look at what went down in Austin, Texas, on Monday.
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Brock Lesnar saves cash-in attempt for Friday
Lesnar's arrival to the arena backstage via limousine interrupted Seth Rollins' appearance on Miz TV. The universal champion, who told Miz he wished Lesnar would cash in and get it over with to relieve the pressure on his back, watched on the big screen as Lesnar stopped just short of entering the arena before heading to the locker room.
Rollins entered the ring later in the show and challenged Lesnar to cash in. After Lesnar's music falsely played, Baron Corbin came out to trigger a brawl. When Lesnar's music once again played to distract Rollins, Corbin laid him out with End of Days. Finally, Lesnar's music hit a third time and he came out with Paul Heyman, the briefcase and a referee. He picked up a chair and hit Rollins with a low blow. But despite pleas from Heyman to cash in his briefcase immediately, Lesnar chose to hand out an extended beating with German suplexes, chair shots and an F5 on the floor. Finally, Lesnar screamed at Heyman that he will wait for Friday at Super ShowDown to cash in. A bloody Rollins was placed onto a stretcher and real-life girlfriend Becky Lynch watched as he was placed into an ambulance
The psychology employed by WWE since Lesnar won the Money in the Bank contract couldn't be more bizarre or detrimental to the storytelling. First, Lesnar admitted last week he didn't know he had one full year to cash in. Then, WWE decided to force him to declare which champion he was going to cash-in on and, once he refused, posted a nonsensical video with Stephanie McMahon threatening to make him pay for disrespecting the briefcase. Monday's development, written solely as a cliffhanger to watch Friday's card, was simply laughable as fans were forced to believe a heel Lesnar would dismantle Rollins only to then decide not to win the title. This type of booking makes a mockery of both Lesnar and the MITB concept as a whole giving fans tired of WWE's lazy writing and shameless business decisions more reason to avoid Friday's card in Saudi Arabia. Grade: D-
What else happened on Raw?
- Drew McIntyre & The Revival def. Roman Reigns & The Usos via pinfall thanks to late distraction from Shane McMahon. The Usos rescued Reigns from a beatdown in the opening segment. After McMahon and McIntyre walked in on Reigns to promote their upcoming pay-per-view matches against him (McMahon on Friday at Super ShowDown, McIntyre in two weeks at Stomping Ground), The Revival attacked Reigns from behind. The Usos came out to run the heels off and even the sides. McIntyre hit Claymore kicks on Reigns and Jey Uso, who took the pinfall. After the match, Reigns endured a Shatter Machine and one more Claymore kick in a lengthy beating that ended with McMahon spearing and mocking him.
- Lucha House Party fought off another Lars Sullivan attack. In a preview of their handicap match on Friday in Saudi Arabia, Sullivan interrupted the trio before their six-man tag match ever started and was dumped outside by a triple dropkick. Inexplicably, with an angry look, Sullvan chose to back down.
- Charlotte Flair def. Lacey Evans via disqualification after Becky Lynch pulled Flair from the ring. Lynch went on to hit her Manhandle Slam on Evans before standing tall with her title. The impromptu match, spurred by Flair's "wild card" appearance from SmackDown, proceeded a three-way trash talking segment that saw Evans lay out Flair with the Woman's Right.
- Rey Mysterio relinquished his United States championship to Samoa Joe due to a shoulder injury. After both cut promos on each other, Joe attacked and put Mysterio to sleep via Coquina Clutch.
- Braun Strowman def. Bobby Lashley in an arm wrestling match. In what felt like a throwback to 1980s WWF, Lashley threw chalk into Strowman's eyes after the match and beat him down before hitting a running powerslam. Not only is it about time Strowman is involved in an actual feud, this was a perfect way to escalate it.
- Nikki Cross def. Peyton Royce via pinfall following a swinging neck breaker from the second rope. Royce kicked a coffee out of the hands of Alexa Bliss to inadvertently create a distraction as Billie Kay pushed Bliss, who was wearing white pants, into the spillage. Cross and Bliss celebrated wildly after, teasing a likely future women's tag team title feud. Earlier in the show, they became even more chummy backstage.
- Bray Wyatt preached fitness in this week's Firefly Funhouse. Donning a fanny back and Zubaz pants, Wyatt debuted his new friend Huskus the pig boy with a chocolate addiction. He also debuted a Vince McMahon puppet with devil horns before throwing to a 1980s style music video of himself doing aerobics. Wyatt continues to prove he's nothing short of a maniacal genius.
- Triple H and Randy Orton traded insults ahead of Friday's match in Jeddah. This short but sweet segment ended with Orton humorously asking Triple H to promise to "retrieve your balls from Stephanie [McMahon's] purse."
- Ricochet def. Cesaro via pinfall as the pair of top-notch workers were once again given time to showcase. Cesaro attacked from behind after the match but found 24/7 champion R-Truth hiding under the ring when he pulled out a table. Suddenly, a group of wrestlers from the locker room gave chase until Carmella super kicked Drake Maverick to help Truth escape.
- The Undertaker cut a promo on Goldberg that promised he would "claim your soul for all of eternity" in Saudi Arabia by unleashing "inhumane levels of brutality." Not only did Taker close the show by saying this would be his opponent's final match, he added, "Goldberg, you are next."
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