News Raw recap & reactions: The workhorses of WWE

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Bayley and Sasha were the real start to Raw, as the show really began with their presence in the ring.

Bayley said that they’re changing the game one show at a time because they never sleep and when you’re a once-in-a-generation talent like they are, everyone comes after you. They’re going to takeover WWE when they win all the titles. Asuka came out and laughed when Sasha called herself Two Belt Banks and said Bayley isn’t ready for Asuka. Bayley said Sasha is going to humiliate her and she’s ready for anyone and anything, so she asks what Asuka’s got for her? Asuka brings out Kairi Sane!

Sasha and Bayley continued to prove why they are the workhorses of this company right now. And once again, Bayley put Sasha in a predicament. Okay yes, Sasha did it to Bayley last week, but it had been incredibly one-sided up to that point.

Sasha and Kairi put on a clinic, and when Sasha had the potential to lose as Kairi had her in a Boston Crab, Bayley interfered and caused a DQ. Asuka attacked them and went to the outside, and Kairi dived off the turnbuckle and took out the role models.

Later, Asuka and Bayley had their own match, and it was just as good! Nikki Cross was at commentary and was an absolute delight. But when Sasha and Bayley got her riled up, security took her out of ringside. Bayley was in control choking Asuka in the ropes, Asuka returned with a running hip attack which sent Bayley to the floor. Bayley was able to get back into it and had a bottle of water and threw it in Asuka’s face. Suddenly Nikki appeared behind the plexiglass and distracted Bayley and Sasha, Asuka pulled Bayley back in and locked in the Asuka lock. Sasha tried to interfere but Kairi speared her and Asuka won.

I loved everything about Kabuki Warriors and Role Models tonight. They were the highlights of the show when they were on screen. I don’t know if Sasha is going to beat Asuka on Sunday, but I know that if she doesn’t win, more than likely it’ll be because of Bayley. And that just makes me cackle in delight. I am very interested in this one.


Talk more, Claymore

Dolph started the show and demanded to know what the stipulation is that Dolph picked for Extreme Rules. Dolph came out and said his stipulation… is a secret! Drew has experience leaving people behind, and out comes Heath Slater! Heath talked up their history together and said that when Drew was fired in 2014, Heath called him and had dinner with him all the time, but he hasn’t heard from Drew in months. He wants what he’s owed, and that’s a match. Drew said he didn’t want to fight him, but Heath slapped him and he got his match.

If anyone thought that this segment made Drew McIntyre a heel, you’re very wrong. What that actually did was remind many of us of a person who we left behind at one point in our lives. That person was left high and dry after they supported us. It wasn’t done with bad intentions, either.

I felt that. Once they came back from break, it got weird. I don’t understand what the point was of Heath in a match at all. He lost in less than 20 seconds and then Drew had to help him when Dolph got in the ring to scold him for losing. Why did Dolph care? He should have been elated that Heath lost because if he won, he’d be in line for a title shot - ya know, the true WWE way.

All of that was so that we’d get to Heath and Drew doing a little 3MB reunion and hugging it out.

So it begs the question, why even book that whole thing? A more creative way of doing things would have been for Heath to cut that same great promo on Drew, Drew to go in for a hug and an apology, Heath doesn’t accept and goes to walk away, but then attacks Drew with Dolph. Heath is aligned with Dolph, and at Extreme Rules, he’s in Dolph’s corner. Suddenly just as Dolph is about to win, Heath turncoats and it’s revealed he was always on Drew’s side and they made a plan to screw Dolph. Dolph loses, and we get that 3MB reunion to close the pay-per-view. This way, no one looks stupid, and Heath doesn’t get humiliated.

Easy peasy! Now, I’m still not enthused about Drew and Dolph on Sunday, and they had to humiliate Heath in the process.


Eye for an eye

During the KO show, Owens offered a gift to Seth to commemorate their epic Wrestlemania match together - Owens’ shirt from WWE Shop that he wore in the match. Seth didn’t care and wanted to address Rey Mysterio. He will challenge Rey to a match at Extreme Rules. He told Owens that he should choose to fight with him because he’s been fighting so long and so hard, he’s gotta be tired, and maybe he needs a purpose. Rey and Dominick came out and Rey said he accepts the challenge, and Owens said that he’ll fight in place of Aleister tonight. The winning team should pick the stipulation for their match, and Seth agreed to it.

Three times in one hour WWE made someone look stupid. Can we not get to where we want to go more creatively? First it was Dolph and Heath, now KO. What was the point of a KO show for a silly joke promo out of Owens and make him the tag partner for Mysterio? Have Seth come out and play preacher, Rey and Dom come out like they did, then a surprise Owens shows up and saw what happened in the back and wants to punish Seth and Murphy. This is too easy sometimes! How am I coming up with this stuff and people getting paid to aren’t?

The match was fine, and actually had a very neat ending. Aleister came out and Seth begged him to hit him so that he could win and choose the stipulation. While Seth and the referee were distracted by that, Dom, to pay back Seth for raking his eyes earlier, raked Murphy’s eyes and that allowed Rey to pin Murphy and pick the stipulation. That stipulation? An… eye for an eye match? I can’t say I disagree with Rey’s reasoning, but why risk having your other eye taken out? There are a dozen stipulations you can pick to make sure you do serious harm to your opponent. I don’t see this ending well for Rey, unless there is a massive amount of interfering.


The Rest

New Red, White, and Blue
- Well, well, well. MVP and Lashley came out after saying that they would discuss the future of the United States title. MVP said Apollo Crews’ light burned bright but he’s burned out. He’s full of youthful exuberance and thought himself invincible, but no one is invincible when it comes to Bobby Lashley’s Full Nelson. Already having beaten Apollo, he deemed himself the new US champion already, and unveiled a brand new US title!

Ricochet and Cedric came out and said that Apollo will be back soon and it’s time to end the US title fantasy of MVP’s. So naturally that means tag team match! Ricochet was tossed around as usual, and sold his ass off as usual. When Cedric tagged in, he took out Lashley so he could target MVP and almost won it with a tornado DDT, but Lashley got the tag and speared the hell out of Cedric for the win. Lashley locked in a courtesy Full Nelson for Cedric’s troubles and Ricochet made the save.

I’m digging RicoRic defending Apollo Crews. Not often do people shown as friends on TV help each other out during matches, or defend the honor of their friends, and it’s great to see WWE gave them the spot on TV for the past few weeks. Losing… not a big fan of that. I’m excited to see what happens between MVP and Apollo on Sunday. I hope to see RicoRic in Apollo’s corner to keep up the continuity. You can’t leave anyone alone with Lashley stalking the ring.

RKO, Andrade, and Angel Garza def. Big Show and the Viking Raiders - There was some dumb crap backstage between the faces where Big Show had to hulk up the Raiders by weak chopping them. Randy said he respected Garza and Andrade for also being 3rd generation wrestlers. In the match, what was really cool was Orton with Garza. Garza and Andrade bickered again, and Orton wasn’t having any of it. While Andrade was the legal man, Orton grabbed Garza by the throat and told him to pull his head out of his ass. Very leader like. Show got the hot tag and was about to chokeslam Andrade and Orton tried an RKO but Show side stepped, Erik and Orton tag in and while Andrade blocked the Viking Experience, Orton hit Erik with an RKO to win.

Really cool match between the six men. Orton is doing his damn best work right now, and the way he approached Andrade and Garza, respecting them as 3rd generation like himself, made me really want to see a Legacy 2.0 between them for a while. I didn’t give a shit about the faces in this match as I don’t care about Show, and the Viking Raiders have been reduced to nothing after that ridiculous feud with the Street Profits. I mean the Street Profits have been reduced to nothing too, so… whatever.

Billie Kay def. Ruby Riott - This match did literally nothing for Ruby in defeat. In fact, nothing WWE has been doing with her as of late is to her benefit. One former Riott Squad member gets fired, and they mismanage the hell out of the other two. What will it take for them to smarten up and take Ruby and Liv seriously? If you need to know who’s the better singles wrestler between the IIconics, look no further. It’s Peyton. Sorry, Billie.


Raw had ups and downs but most of the matches delivered. The weakest points were some of the segments between matches. Dolph ruined the opening segment and match for me, just being an absolute doofus. I really would have liked to see more of serious Heath Slater in WWE. The handling of Ruby and lack of Liv is very frustrating. The tag scene is pretty absent on Raw. Other than that, Orton, Garza, Andrade were a fun pairing I want more of, and I’m really interested to see how MVP and Apollo and the Role Models do at Extreme Rules for the Raw side of things.

Grade: C+

What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?

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