Are the Shield getting a fourth member? The
Authors of Pain get a main event! And Liv Morgan, welcome to BOTCH MODE!
I’m Oli Davis, give us a subscribe, press the thumbs up button and click the ‘i’
above my head to vote for what you thought of the show – where you can choose from In
Awe, Cor, AVRAWGE, Poor and Bore – as I review the 24th September, 2018 edition of Monday
Night Raw …in about 4 minutes. WWE have a new ‘Then, Now, Forever’ opening
sting ! I hate change! Baron Corbin eagerly greeting his boss Stephanie
McMahon opened the actual episode, with the Constable singing Happy Birthday as she got
out a limo. One funny Triple H ‘I’m just here to call out the Undertaker’ cameo later,
and Steph laid out Corbz with her Emasculator finishing move. Even though he’s a heel,
Steph said he’s rubbish at his job. As was the last guy. And the guy before tha-Stephanie,
I’m starting to think you’re the problem here. McMahon then booked a main event of
The Shield vs Corbin and two mystery tag partners. Who, going by the match graphic, are both
The Miz. The Shield came out through the crowd to mild
applause next. Or, if you’re going by Michael Cole’s commentary: “What an ovation! Oh
my!” Roman Reigns explained how the Shield are
the bestest people in WWE right now, because they’ve all got titles. He’s the Universal
Champion, Seth Rollins is Intercontinental Champion, and Dean is…oh, awkward.
This was the first chapter in Raw’s night-long narrative: playing on Ambrose as the Shield
member taken for granted. The Dogs of War later pointed out that Dean became WWE Champion
all by himself on SmackDown, but has played second fiddle to Seth and Roman since coming
to Raw – and look how quickly Rollins replaced him with Jason Jordan earlier this year. To actually build Mixed Match Challenge on
a main show – so it is in main roster continuity? – Finn Balor took on Jinder Mahal ahead of
their Mixed Tag with Bayley and Alicia Fox. After some Sunil Singh shenanigans, Bayley
grabbed Jinder’s leg for one of the biggest pops of the night, helping Finn win off the
distraction. Brie Bella also got a decent pop with her
Yes Kicks in the Bellas and Natalya vs the Riott Squad. Unfortunately, one of those pops
was Liv Morgan’s jaw likely being knocked off. Twice. Botch Mode! The Riott Squad dealt
with Morgan being taken out injured very well, and Ruby picked up the win. I’m all for charity, and Connor’s Cure
appears to be a very worthy cause. But I have absolutely no time for the entire roster breaking
kayfabe in the middle of a show – babyfaces standing alongside blood feud heels – for
Stephane and Triple H to announce a corporate relationship between Hyundai and WWE. This
was patronising and had no place on Raw. Chad Gable has a new catchphrase – WWBRD?
What would Bobby Roode do? STOP FACING THE ASCENSION FOR A START. How can you get people
excited for a new act by having the same match over and over again? It makes their segments
repetitive, like white noise. And then you derail whatever winning streak Gable had going
by having Konnor beat him in a few minutes? Corey Graves called the reaction a “stunned
silence in the arena”. Which is sales speak for ‘bored’. The crowd were brought back alive by a surprisingly
good tag title match next though, between Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre against The
Revival. Not ‘surprising’ because it was great in-ring, all four men are very, very
good at wrestling. ‘Surprising’ because WWE actually gave them time for the heel vs
heel dynamic to connect with the crowd. Several genuinely believable Revival near-falls eventually
succumbed to the Zigmore for the champions to retain. Despite wasting Kevin Owens in this storyline,
Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush are really cementing themselves as an effective double act. Just
three weeks into their pairing, and their routine is already down – Rush is all hype
and highspots, whereas Bobby is the muscle and power.
Owens attacked Lashley for the DQ, but Bobby still fought them off, building to Lashly
and John Cena against Owens and Elias at Super Showdown. Nia Jax beat Alicia Fox with one Samoan Drop.
Looks like Jax and Ember Moon are the Women’s Division’s latest best friends. The rest of the show continued teasing Ambrose
splitting from The Shield, with Seth Rollins trying to get Drew McIntyre to leave the Dogs
of War backstage – for Drew to flip that on Rollins by telling Dean either Seth’s trying
to replace him… or my much preferred storyline – that Seth was trying to recruit Drew as
the new fourth member of the Shield – sorry Kurt. Then you could have all the drama of
Dean slowly turning on the Shield after McIntyre gets added.
The main event saw Roman, Seth and Dean’s first match together this year, and despite
not having the cool auro of their first run, they still put on excellent six-man tags.
And to make it even better, WWE made the inspired choice of AOP as Corbin’s mystery tag partners
– which is a fantastic way to elevate them as a dominant team.
Strowman, Drew and Dolph sat backwards on some steel chairs like hip supply teachers
at the top of the stage to watch the match, which told the story of Reigns and Seth being
taken out, for Ambrose to save the team, for them all coming together again at the end.
After winning, Dean briefly teased siding with the Dogs of War, but got into celebrate
with The Shield instead. I’m sure that’s the last we’ll hear of that long-rumoured
Dean Ambrose heel turn. The Dean Ambrose narrative, elevating AOP
and a decent tag match made this a solid episode, meaning this week’s Raw is AvRAWge.