WWE Raw results, recap, grades: Rollins-Styles clash, Money in the Bank announcements fall flat
The announcements of the Raw Money in the Bank participants both fell flat on Monday
Last Monday night's post-Superstar Shakeup edition of Raw showed some promise moving forward, but unfortunately, this week's Raw largely took a few steps back. With Money in the Bank less than three weeks away, Monday's offering revolved around the announcements of the Raw participants in both the men's and women's Money in the Bank ladder matches -- both of which left much to be desired. Mixed in with those as well as some lackluster matches were some bright spots, however, such as the Becky Lynch-Lacey Evans feud heating up, "Firefly Funhouse" capturing your undivided attention once again and a physical contract signing to close.
Let's now have a look at everything that went down on Monday's edition of Raw.
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WWE Raw results, grades
Men's Money in the Bank participants announced: Raw on Monday night got straight to the point with the "Moment of Bliss" segment to announce Raw's participants in the men's Money in the Bank match. Alexa Bliss ran down the premise of the matches before getting to the men's Money in the Bank ladder match participants: Braun Strowman, Ricochet, Drew McIntyre and Baron Corbin. Corbin, McIntyre and Ricochet all traded verbal jabs before Strowman shut them up and said that none of them have what it takes to stop him from winning the briefcase again. Strowman then proposed a tag match right then and there pitting Corbin & McIntyre against him and Ricochet.
It goes without saying that not only will Ricochet prove to be the most worthy Raw superstar in the men's Money in the Bank field but the chances are pretty high that he'll end up putting on a Money in the Bank performance for the ages in his first outing. McIntyre is also certainly a key piece here as his star hopefully continues to shine brighter in 2019 as a top heel, but we probably could do without the presence of Corbin and Strowman. So as far as the Raw side goes, they got it 50 percent correct, at best. Grade: D+
Ricochet & Braun Strowman def. Baron Corbin (via pinfall) & Drew McIntyre: Corbin again tried to capitalize on McIntyre doing all the hard work by tagging himself in, but this time it didn't work out in his favor. McIntyre punched Corbin in the mouth which led to Strowman hitting the powerslam and Ricochet connecting with a shooting star press immediately afterwards for the 1-2-3 after a pretty solid match. Grade: B-
The Usos def. The Good Brothers via pinfall: It was nice to see Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson on television even though no one had the courtesy to inform us they're Raw superstars now. They actually dominated for a good portion of the match but came up short as the brothers connected with stereo superkicks on Gallows and Jimmy got the pin after the splash. Prior to the match, The Usos promised us something we'd never seen before. After the match, they delivered a video they shot earlier in the day of Dash Wilder shaving the back of Scott Dawson. The Revival came out to defend themselves and said that after they're done with Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder, they're gunning for The Usos. This rivalry has the potential to be great with these two teams, but the immature humor isn't really necessary. Grade: C
Bobby Lashley def. The Miz via pinfall: This match was brought upon after the scheduled "Miz TV" segment went off the rails and turned into a brawl after Lashley insulted Miz's father and called out his failure to defeat Shane McMahon at WrestleMania. McMahon emerged during the match and distracted Miz with a picture of his bewildered father on the titantron. Lashley hit the spear for the victory. Post-match, both McMahon and Lashley beat down Miz with McMahon choking out the A-Lister before heading to the back. Later in the evening, Miz was asked how he'd like to respond to McMahon's attack, and he took that opportunity to challenge him to a steel cage match at Money in the Bank, a challenge that was accepted. Grade: C-
The Viking Raiders def. Lucha House Party via pinfall: Lucha House Party attempted to get the upper hand by attacking Erik & Ivar from behind during their entrance ... but that planned failed miserably. They were still thoroughly dominated before The Viking Raiders put Kalisto away with the Viking Experience. Grade: B-
Women's Money in the Bank participants announced: Bliss was out again at the top of the stage, this time to give us the Raw women's representatives for the Money in the Bank match. Natalya, Dana Brooke and Naomi were revealed before, of course, Bliss announced herself as the final entrant. Naomi then challenged Bliss to a match.
If you thought the women's Money in the Bank representatives from the Raw side couldn't be as disappointing as the earlier announcement of the men's participants, well, you were sorely mistaken. Of the four women announced on Monday night, the only one you could even begin to make a case for their involvement is Naomi. Simply put, just two lackluster Money in the Bank announcements from the red brand. Grade: D-
"Firefly Funhouse" is a hit again: The second edition of "Firefly Funhouse" began with Bray Wyatt painting, and we were introduced to Rambling Rabbit. The work of art that Wyatt was creating turned out to be a depiction of the Wyatt Compound that Randy Orton burned down in 2017 leading in to their WrestleMania 33 WWE championship match, and Wyatt was then scolded by Abby the Witch for having too much fun in the funhouse. After apologizing, he headed back to Rambling Rabbit where it was revealed that the word of the day was: sociopath. Wyatt concluded this week's segment by again saying that he'll light the way if you just let him in as he eerily stared into the camera. Another amazing "Firefly Funhouse" segment that only added to the intrigue of where this is all headed. Grade: A
Naomi def. Alexa Bliss via pinfall: Bliss was having difficulties with her sneakers throughout the match, and after losing her Converses and arguing with the referee, ate a rearview from Naomi followed by a split-legged moonsault and the 1-2-3. Grade: D+
Becky Lynch, Lacey Evans brawl: In the ring with Charly Caruso, Lynch explained her decision to defend both the Raw and SmackDown women's titles at Money in the Bank by saying that she has two options as dual-champ: protect everything she has or fight, and all she knows how to do is fight. Lynch ran down both Charlotte Flair and Evans, and after referencing Evans' Woman's Right finisher, footage was shown of Evans getting the best of Lynch last week. Lynch took the microphone from Caruso and called Evans out to the ring and face "The Man." Dressed in full gear, Evans came out and reminded Lynch that she told her not to let her emotions get the best of her. Evans then said that she's done talking, and the two women brawled on the outside of the ring from there before officials were finally able to break them apart after repeated failed attempts. Grade: A-
Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins def. The Revival via pinfall: Ryder was able to surprise Dawson with a crucifix rollup as the Raw tag team champions picked up the victory in this non-title affair. Grade: F
Sami Zayn talks psychological entitlement: This week's lesson from Zayn as he berated the fans dealt with psychological entitlement, and he even provided a definition on the titantron. He told a story about a father urging his son to ask for an autograph at the airport, which Zayn turned down. He said denying the autograph didn't make him feel good because it showed that, at just 5 years old, the child has been taught that he's owed something. He referenced some saying that if he doesn't like being in WWE then he should just quit, and while that may be enjoyable, what would bring him more joy is coming out week after week and holding the fans accountable. Zayn says the fans have been drunk with power for too long, and it's time he took the power back. Grade: B+
Rey Mysterio def. Samoa Joe via pinfall: Mysterio was able to get some WrestleMania retribution in this non-title match by surprisingly rolling up the United States champion for the pinfall in a finish that was slightly botched and awkward. Afterwards, Mysterio's son, Dominic, met him at the top of the stage and hoisted his father on his shoulders to celebrate -- foreshadowing the inevitable beating he has coming his way from the Samoan Submission Machine. Grade: C-
Seth Rollins and AJ Styles get physical: The universal title contract signing for Money in the Bank between Styles and Rollins had its usual verbal sparring, such as Styles telling Rollins that he'll never be as good as him and referencing the Shield not being there anymore to hold him up, while Rollins simply reminded the "Phenomenal One" that he's done the one thing that he couldn't: beat Brock Lesnar. The two bickered with one another after both signed the contract, then Styles sucker-punched Rollins. The universal champ thought he had the final upper hand when he hit a suicide dive onto Styles on the outside, but the former two-time WWE champion stood tall after he put Rollins through the table with a Phenomenal Forearm.
While it can't be considered a full-blown turn (yet), Styles incorporating some heelish tactics and mannerisms in his pursuit of his first universal championship is a very nice added touch to this program. No one will ever confuse either man for being excellent microphone workers, but in the grand scheme of things, that doesn't matter as much here. Once two of the best in-ring workers of this generation start tearing into each other, that's all you're focused on which was made clearly evident on Monday night to close the show. Grade: B+
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