The WWE starts us off with a video package about Braun Strowman ending with the ring breaking. Re-watching that with my wife got me annoyed that the WWE always says they’re in “The Ohio State University” when they’re at the Schott. Yes, you’re on tOSU’s campus when your show is there but it’s still in Columbus. Drives me batty.
Chris Jericho gets to kick off the new content with a Highlight Reel. The Miz & Maryse stops all of the crowd pandering by Jericho. The Miz tells us the Highlight Reel has been canceled and will be replaced by Miz TV. They change the ring so that the Miz can be interrupted by Dean Ambrose. He fixes the “problem” by having the “Ambrose Asylum. Ambrose crossing his heart as he remembers Mitch The Plant. Ambrose gives Jericho a suit jacket with Christmas lights on. The crowd finally remembers to chant “Yes” after Miz says “No” about a half a dozen times. The Miz lambastes Ambrose for being a slacker and disgrace. Ambrose gives The Miz a Dirty Deeds and bounces. Jericho puts Maryse on The List.
Sheamus is taking on Matt Hardy. Cesaro & Jeff Hardy are at ring side. Ahh the charms of Booker T. Better than Byron Saxton or David Otunga though. He did mention something I hadn’t thought about, Matt is older than Sheamus. Not sure why I think of the Hardyz as being young. They’re my age. Side Effect on the apron gets Hardy control. Sheamus sweeps Matt off the middle rope to gain control. Matt dodges a charge. He capitalizes with a Tornado DDT. Sheamus knocks Matt out of the ring with a jumping knee strike. Rolling Hills on the outside. Sheamus pushes down Jeff. Sheamus tosses Matt back inside. Jeff jumps on the apron and distracts Sheamus. Matt hits the Twist of Fate for the win. Cesaro flips out. Sheamus gets him to cool down and shakes Matt’s hand. Interesting.
The Miz & Maryse are mad that they had to wait two minutes to talk to Kurt Angle. He sets up a tag team match for later tonight.
Neville is teaming with TJ Perkins against Jack Gallagher and Austin Aries. The later two rush the ring and attack. Back to LED ring posts. Ha. They’re having a fun quick paced match. Things slow down with a Last Chancery by Aries. Neville breaks it up. Gallagher takes out Neville with a head butt. Gallagher ctaches a Perkins kick and feeds him to Aries. Discus Five Arm for the win. They need mic time on Raw.
Braun Strowman tells the crowd that they’re trash. He going to make short work of Kalisto. He does get some back stage time with Angle. He gets an updated song too. Why bust that out when Kalisto is ready to catch a severe beating? Kalisto gets in some offense quickly. Strowman catches him then tosses him face first across the ring. Kudos to Corey Graves for making a Garbage Pail Kids reference. They tease Strowman being leveraged into the dumpster. Strowman instead tosses Kalisto across the ring differently this time. Strowman then just starts clubbing away on Kalisto. Strowman gets ready to press slam Kalisto into the dumpster. Kalisto fights out and drop kicks Strowman into the dumpster for the win. Kalisto gets to take the beating of a life time. Kalisto gets tossed into the dumpster. Strowman pushes it up the ramp. Despite admonishments from refs and back stage personnel, he locks the dumpster. Strowman fakes like he isn’t going to do it but ends up shoving it off the ramp, which isn’t very high these days.
Roman Reigns gets a video package since Payback is on Sunday.
Bray Wyatt hasn’t forgotten about Randy Orton. No one thought you had forgotten about him. Wyatt is ready to do things to Orton that are not legal or going to happen during a professional wrestling match.
Dana Brooke is taking on Alicia Fox. Emma becomes more important when she comes down seconds into the match. Brooke wins with an ugly looking Michinoku Driver. Emma comes in and hugs her.
Charlie wants to talk strategy with Samoa Joe, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows. They are all sweet and to the point. They just want to kick some ass. Their match is next against Enzo Amore & Big Cass along with Seth Rollins. The heels drag Cass into the crowd and give him a beat down. Enzo gets isolated by Gallows & Anderson. Rollins makes the save. Kurt Angle replaces Enzo with Finn Balor. All out brawl starts. Cass & Gallows are the first legal participants. Balor ends up getting worked over. Not exactly the spot I expect to see him in. Booker T even mentions that he’s not making a difference. Eek. Rollins dodges Anderson who crashes into Joe. Rollins suicide dives on both of them. Rollins thinks about a Pedigree but opts out of it. Rollins spins Anderson around and gives him a Jumping Knee for the win. Reminded me of a Rain Maker but with a Knee.
Alexa Bliss comes out and makes fun of Bayley for being too positive. She’s going to beat Bayley on Sunday to become the new Raw Women’s Champion. Bayley comes out. Bayley says that Bliss never confronts the people she disagrees with. Bayley says she isn’t naive and works hard to maintain the Championship. Bliss is excited that she gets to beat Bayley in front of her father. Bliss sarcastically wonder if Bayley has even kissed a boy before. Sasha Banks comes out to defend Bayley. She also informs us that her & Bliss have a match.
They have their match after the break. Bayley knows that Sasha wants a shot at the Championship but she needs to earn it. Bliss gets herself counted out. Bayley grabs Bliss but she runs away. Bayley turns her back and gets attacked. Bliss flees again before Sasha can make the saves.
Dean Ambrose un-makes the List, which could be a funny thing. Jericho writes down Ambrose’s name again after he leaves.
Heath Slater & Curtis Axel are being interviewed about the Marine 5 when The Miz & Maryse barge in. Rhyno offers Maryse crackers but she hits the tray into Rhyno. The Miz reveals that he has an “Awesome” partner for tonight. The segment is
Curt Hawkins is ready to make a star of Apollo Crews. He does job to Crews but the crowd was not into him. He’s still something of a blank slate. Titus O’Neil comes out and hogs the spot light. Crews acts like it may be a good idea to join O’Neil. Interesting.
I’m glad I’m not at this Raw. Way more video packages than I got last week.
Austin Aries talks to a walking Kurt Angle. He gives Angle a banana. Angle continues walking and runs into the Miz. A partner found him. No give away. I’m not waiting with bated breath.
Dean Ambrose & Chris Jericho come out first. The Miz is next. He goes for the big reveal but no one’s music hits. The Miz is ready to retreat when Kurt Angle shows up. He reminds us that Miz has to go it alone as per their earlier agreement. The Miz does surprisingly well for being a heel in this situation. I love how the kicks are a “stolen” move. Are they really going to have a DB vs Miz match? Ever? If not, let him have the kicks and move along. Ambrose is ready to finish off Miz on the announce desk when Bray Wyatt shows up. He takes out Ambrose. Then Jericho. He tops it off by Sister Abigailing The Miz. Follow the buzzards to Payback. – Kevin DiFrango