Extreme Rules is a fortnight away, and no stipulations have been announced. WWE is criticized for the odd pace of most storylines, and shoehorning in match stipulations two weeks out from a pay-per-view is just supporting evidence. That aside, no time to waste this week. RAW is upon us. Let’s take a look.
Last Week’s RAW
- RAW General Manager Kurt Angle cancels the #1 Contenders Six Pack Challenge announced for Extreme Rules
- The Revival def. Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley
- Curtis Axel def. Matt Hardy
- Authors of Pain def. Rich and Rex Gibson
- Natalya def. RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss
- Riott Squad def. Ember Moon, Sasha Banks, and Bayley
- Braun Strowman and Kevin Owens def. Finn Balor and Baron Corbin
- Seth Rollins def. WWE Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler via DQ. Zigger retains the title.
This Week’s Preview
What I thought was a formidable alliance between Constable Corbin and Finn Balor ended before it really ever started. History tells us that hatred forges stronger bonds than friendship, and each man could have found a powerful ally in the other. Fantasy booking aside, it seems as if Balor and the Lone Wolf are headed for an Extreme Rules confrontation. Maybe they’ll have a match tonight. Who knows. Corbin’s recent appointment to a constable position on RAW guarantees certain privileges for the guy. That said, the author hopes for a lesser used match stipulation, such as a monster truck match.
Guaranteed for the pre-show is a match between No Way Jose and Mojo Rawley. Even the mention of these names is enough to make me go full Peter Gibbons on my TV. Never before have I seen two men so devoid of talent. Both of these guys should go home.
Conversely, a series of split matches between The Revival and a tenuous alliance of Bobby Lashley and Roman Reigns has me interested. Both strongly contested matches, last week’s win also lends credibility to The Revival outside of a crowded and under utilized Tag Team scene. On the other hand, Lashley and Reigns keep their rivalry going without any championship implications on the line (as of now). With the formerly announced Universal Championship #1 Contenders 6 Pack Challenge match recently cancelled, that leaves Bob and Roman open for the upcoming Extreme Rules PPV. Maybe a blow-off match against Dash and Dawson is in their future, but then again, a one-on-one confrontation has to happen. One has to wonder… under what stipulation?
Outside of the RAW Women’s Championship scene, it has been quiet for the ladies of RAW since Wrestlemania 34. Ronda Rousey has been suspended, Natalya is in-and-out of title contention, and the Nia Jax is weeks away from her guaranteed rematch at Extreme Rules. However interesting you find these storylines, they are miles ahead of whatever the hell is going on with Sasha Banks and Bayley.
The two former best friends have kept their tenuous alliance together for the better part of 6 months, but personal challenges and struggles for superiority have shattered their relationship. Raw General Manager Kurt Angle has forced both ladies into counselling, under threat of having their RAW contracts terminated. Whether or not he hopes to salvage their friendship as well, this is a remarkably stupid way to come at the situation. Trade Bayley to SmackDown Live! and call it a day. A very simple solution to a very simple problem - sort of like convincing the Undertaker that his little brother Kane had died to spare him the guilt.
RAW Tag Team Champions The Deleter of Worlds are set to defend their titles against The B-Team at Extreme Rules. Stipulation or not, I have no interest in this match.
As mentioned earlier, the RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss puts her title on the line against Nia Jax at Extreme Rules. The obvious play is Bliss retaining her title based off of interference from Ronda Rousey, but it is far too early to say.
WWE Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler successfully defended his title on Monday. Staving off former IC Champ Seth Rollins, Ziggler narrowly slipped away with the title following interference from Drew McIntyre. Rollins’ former tag team partner Roman Reigns made the save - and it seems like a tag match between the four men will go down tonight. Only one way to find out though!
WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar‘s dealings with the company are well documented and need no further elaboration. That said, a title defense at Summerslam is guaranteed. Any choice between Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley, or Hulk Hogan would make the author happy.
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