Tonight’s program opens with an unnecessary recap of Seth’s visit to the Firefly Fun House as the campaign to make us accept this feud continues.
We are LIVE in Cleveland as Vic tells us a NEW ERA begins on Raw. That makes New Era #725 by my count.
WHOOO! Ric Flair is here.
Ric Flair introduces fifth member of Team Flair
Jerry Lawler, Vic Joseph and Dio Maddin are here to bring you the action tonight. Vic and Lawler ponder the fifth member of Team Flair in the “huge” tag team match at Crown Jewel. Then Dio talks over the hall of famer as Ric disses Cleveland sports before pumping up Crown Jewel and “Saudi” then shouting out some Flair cosplayers and implying he slept with an audience member’s mother. I’m already exhausted.
Finally we get the introduction, and it’s…wait for it…Drew McIntyre. This is a good pick a year ago. Hopefully Drew still has some juice since being gone. He tells Ric to have a seat to see a preview of Crown Jewel. And here comes The One and Only.
Drew McIntyre vs Ricochet
Drew plays powerhouse throwing around Ricochet, who takes the beating like a champ. Flair looks on from a posh office chair at ringside. In a subtle yet impressive spot, Drew lifts Ricochet as dead weight and tosses him across the ring. It would be more impressive if it wasn’t making Ricochet look like a 1987 jobber, though. Finally, Ricochet gets some highflying offense, but the dreaded commercial break turned the tables.
After the break, Drew is working over Ricochet, and Sarah Schreiber gets some comments from Flair about Hogan, Smackdown and Kansas City, I think. I honestly have NO idea what he was saying. My apologies, faithful readers.
Ricochet starts to throw some kicks and nails Drew with a Shooting Star Press, which resulted in a ONE COUNT. Yikes. Then a springboard moonsault gets a two count, followed almost immediately by Drew no selling everything and taking over again. This match is going long, which is usually a good thing, but Ricochet looks so weak compared to the god-like McIntyre. Giving him a few high spots doesn’t make him look any better. Lawler notes how fresh McIntyre seems to be after all of Ricochet’s offense, and as if on cue, a Claymore kick finishes Ricochet. Ric Flair is pleased. Ricochet should not be.
After the match, Drew begins some extracurricular beating on Ricochet. ALABAMA SLAM ON THE STAIRS! Ricochet protects himself pretty well, but that’s still a wicked spot. Vic muses on the status of Ricochet and I sense Team Hogan will need a new member.
Tonight! Rusev will speak! The Street Profits debut on RAW! And Seth Rollins burns something down!
Back from break and an XFL quarterback is at ringside. The crowd is…excited?
Last week, the OC tussled with the Street Profits and now the Profits want some smoke…along with a mystery partner. The OC discusses the situation and AJ reminds us “the smoke” is illegal in Ohio. The More You Know.
Now we get a video package featuring several RAW draft picks. Maybe instead of a three segment match at the top of the show, you could feature these picks with their own matches?
Aleister Black speaks more gothic wisdom and is ready to pick a fight, i.e. participate in a scheduled wrestling match, NEXT!
Aleister Black vs. Jason Reynolds
Compared to how Ricochet was dominated in the first match, this one went WAY too long. The “youngster” snuck in a lot of offense before Aleister’s Black Mass ended it.
Rusev is in the house. That’s also what Lana says when she gets caught with Bobby Lashley! Get it? Adultery is funny, guys.
After the commercial, the Authors of Pain have some things to say. They’re going to be violent on RAW. So, there you go. For Authors, they don’t seem to tell very interesting stories.
Rusev in the Kings Court
Vic and Dio talk about how bad we feel for Rusev. The big Bulgarian waves to the crowd and shakes the King’s hand. He’s such a nice guy!
As the King asks Rusev the burning question, Bobby appears on the Tron with Lana at a fancy restaurant. Lashley says he’s going to take care of her needs. Rusev tells us he’s going to deliver a message personally and runs out of the arena. I think a food fight is coming.
Andrade vs. Sin Cara
Zelina explains how Andrade’s entrance theme is a warning to all who face her client, and tonight Andrade will make Sin Cara lose more than his face. See, Sin Cara means “without a face” so that’s what all that was about. These are good performers that the company has done little to nothing to build. Let’s see how this goes.
Before the bell rings, we get a look at Sin Cara doing some community work in El Paso after the mass shooting. Good on you, sir.
During the match, Humberto Carrillo makes his on-screen RAW debut following his draft from 205 Live.
Overall this is a decent match with believable back and forth offense. The crowd sort of cares? Zelina gets VERY involved by distracting the ref then hitting an impressive rana from the apron to help Andrade get the victory.
Dio keeps calling Andrade “Dimes” and attempts to explain it. We’ll get it, Dio. Just keep trying.
Charly Caruso is backstage to chat with Humberto Carrillo backstage, and he could probably use a bit of practice on the mic. At some point, he decides to take a shot at Seth Rollins. Geez, kick a guy when he’s down, why don’t ya?
The Profits prep for their match by dissing AJ’s soccer mom hair and the OC’s Too Sweet gestures. Oh, and they still desire the smoke.
In another part of the building, R-Truth is sneaking around with the 24/7 title in hand. One of the Bollywood Boyz sneaks the title away from Truth. Moving on.
Sidenote: if you’re the 24/7 champ, and you’re not booked to be on the show, why come to the one place where EVERYONE would want to take your title?
Vic is excited to tell us that Crown Jewel is FREE for new subscribers. Pretty sure it should be free for old ones too. Interesting how they insist on just telling us the show is at a “special time” instead of explaining that the 1pm start is due to the show being in Saudi Arabia. What are you hiding WWE?
Viking Raiders vs. Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins
Poor Zack and Curt get no pyro. And they have really crappy generic music, too. Plus, they’re about to get destroyed by the Vikings as the night of squashes continues. The Raiders do their thing and tear these two apart for the win.
If you’re keeping score, the only truly competitive match in this scripted, pre-determined show was Andrade vs. Sin Cara. Wow.
Speaking of questionable choices, we’re back to the restaurant as Bobby nuzzles with Lana. The manager asks them to leave and Bobby says he’s not worried about Rusev. Yeah, we know. That’s why you keep doing his wife. Commercial time!
Back from break and Rusev turns RAW into an episode of Cheaters. Somehow Bobby doesn’t get touched by Rusev. This has been a common trend in these Rusev/Lana/Bobby segments. Hmm.
Rey Mysterio Speaks
Before I can fully form this conspiracy theory, Rey Mysterio is here. He wants to tell us he’s helping Cain Velasquez train for Brock Lesnar and he thanks us for our outpouring of support for his family. You’re welcome, Rey Mysterio!
But wait! Ladies and Gentlemen, Paul Heyman is on the big screen to taunt the lucha legend. He reminds us that Brock can’t be there since he’s been drafted to Smackdown. This is a rule that’s been broken so many times, I still half expect Lesnar to show up. Heyman tells us Lesnar is salivating at the chance to get revenge for a scar on his face. Is that what this match is about?
No time to explain! Shelton Benjamin is here to complain! He’s upset that Velasquez gets a title shot and he says Lesnar is his family from their NCAA days. He pushes Rey around a bit, and here comes Lesnar’s Crown Jewel Opponent. Shelton dives at Velasquez and the UFC star shows us his WWE ability, which is, um, not great. Hey, he’s got a whole week to prepare though, so everything should be fine.
Charly introduces Seth Rollins to a chorus of boos. Oh man, how the worm has turned. (Cue “CM Punk” chants”) After a few remarks, he notices Humberto Carrillo is nearby and steps to him, offering him a match, RIGHT NOW!
Back to ringside and the Browns offensive line are partying, with one dressed as Scott Steiner. Yeah, that’s how they should spend their Monday night.
The Undertaker was in Riyadh to get everyone pumped for Crown Jewel. Man there’s a lot of money going into this show.
Seth Rollins vs. Humberto Carrillo – Non-title match
I literally saw two people in the crowd acknowledge Carrillo. He’s mega-talented but between the crowd hating Seth and not knowing Carrillo, this has train wreck written all over it. The Universe wants Wyatt.
Carrillo is jumping and flipping all over the place and it may as well be Wimbledon if you listen to the crowd. It’s a shame because they are having a decent match, but the company’s decisions in recent weeks have brought us to this place.
Some nifty acrobatics from Carrillo start to turn the people around, but a Curb Stomp from Rollins finishes all that nonsense. Rollins wins to a VERY lukewarm reaction.
Seth heads backstage, but turns around to shake Humberto’s hand. The crowd doesn’t care.
We return from break as R-Truth tries to pin a Bollywood Boy for the 24/7 title. But get this, he got the wrong guy because they look the same. Hilarity, I tell ya.
Seth has apparently promised to burn down the Firefly Fun House again on Smackdown. But wouldn’t that mean he’s breaking the rules by appearing on the other show? Why do I even try?
The OC vs. Street Profits and ???
The Profits make their way through the crowd without a partner. The OC takes the stage, and AJ ponders whether the mystery partner is imaginary or maybe no one wanted to team up with them. We’ll have to wait through the commercial to find out.
We’re back and no one has shown up to fight with the Profits. So I guess it’s a tag team match now? Early on, it’s all Profits, but a boot from Gallows turns the tide. AJ creates plenty of distractions to give the OC the edge. Gee, the Profits could probably use some help, huh? Eventually the match turns into a free-for-all and Styles gets involved, resulting in the ref throwing out AJ. When the US Champ won’t leave, Kevin Owens shows up to even the odds with a Stunner. The Profits are able to collect themselves and get the victory.
The last hour was fine (even Seth/Humberto was good, despite the crowd’s utter distain), but there was definitely plenty to complain about tonight. I, however, strive to remain positive, so let’s just end this recap now, K? Bring on NXT and AEW!
Until next time!