Wait, this is strange. I don’t randomly review Raw. And when I do, I spend most of the night mesmerized by magical mirrors.
I am doing a fill in job tonight, though, to help out 411Mania while Thomas is unavailable this week, so you get some special coverage from your buddy Stew!
And what a night to watch! WWE (and Big E on Twitter) have been dropping hints that E will be attempting to cash in his Money In The Bank contract on Bobby Lashley tonight! I mean, sure there’s virtually a zero percent chance he successfully cashes in tonight, and sure WWE is jut trying to pop a rating, and sure WWE has spent weeks having Big E tease Paul Heyman with the briefcase just to suddenly throw him into the WWE Title scene on Raw, but…
I remain full of hope.
I have been abundantly and repeatedly clear how this Bobby Lashley title reign makes me want to slam my head in my car door. So if the fates align and I get to cover the Raw where it ends–at the hands of the spectacular Big E–I will be ever so joyous.
Let’s go on this journey together, friends.
But hey, I have a few minutes before Raw starts, so allow me to remind you to check out SWO Productions when you have some time. We have new articles every day, and we talk classic movie and TV reviews, wrestling (obviously), comic books, and more. By “more”, I mostly mean Pokemon and Pop-Tarts.
AND we are home to the AS-FEATURED-ON-APPLE-PODCASTS Stew World Order podcast!
We cover movies based on comic books on the 1st and 15th of every month. And honestly? We have a DOOZY of an episode coming out 9/15! I’ve been excited about it for months now. We’ll be talking about the flick that brought us the dawn of some justice.
One last bit! Check out the SWO Productions Twitter account where, uh, mostly I put up polls about food and goof off. I’m not very professional.
Speaking of being professional: Monday Night Raw! It’s 7:45pm EST as I type this; I wonder if Vince has ripped up the script yet!
Tonight on The Last Few Minutes Of Chicago PD, some lady was threatening to cut another lady’s throat! But The Chicago PD Main Character Guy talked her out of it. When she put the knife down, the victim picked it up and stabbed her! Twist! Then there is some talking. Two ladies in a bathroom are talking about teamwork and trust. And one of them gets hired by the Chicago PD, I guess. Good for her! Also, she is homeless, apparently. Do the police hire a lot of homeless people? Weird.
WWE Raw wastes NO TIME getting into the central storyline. We get a meeting of the minds between Bobby Lashley, MVP, Big E, Riddle, and Randy Orton. Everybody wants to beat everybody else! There’s s some good stuff here as long as Bobby wasn’t the one talking. Bobby is mad that Randy got their Extreme Rules match moved up to tonight. MVP accuses Big E of running in fear from Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar. Riddle just doesn’t want Big E to cash in on his buddy, Randy.
The segment ends with an RKO to Bobby.
After the commercial break–there is a commercial with Alexis from Schitt’s Creek talking about her vagina, like, A LOT–we get a Charlotte promo. She never had help. The ring is her ring. The title is her title. It’s every heel Charlotte promo. You know it by now.
We also see Shayna being confronted by Nia Jax. I legitimately keep forgetting they aren’t still the tag champs, and they haven’t even had the belts in MONTHS. Shayna says she just did what Nia would have done [last week when she stopped Nia from defeating Charlotte]. Is WWE recycling the Charlotte/Rhea Ripley storyline from, like, 3 months ago?
MATCH 1: Charlotte vs Shayna Baszler
This is a “Championship Contender’s Match”. What… what does that mean? Is it for the title? Or no? Or what? If Shayna wins, does she then get a real title shot? So it’s just a non-title match?
During the first commercial break, there is an advertisement for a new E.D. medication from Hims, and I appreciate how concerned Monday Night Raw is about my genitals, be there male OR female. During the SECOND break, we get another ad for Kevin Can Phexxi Himself. Wow.
This match was perfectly fine altogether, but it had one of those head-scratcher endings. With Shayna momentarily in control, Nia Jax barely distracts her, leading to Charlotte getting the pin from a Big Boot. I appreciate good wrestling, but did we need to go two full commercial breaks’ length just for… that?
Post-match, you might expect we would get something between Nia and Shayna, but they both vanish into the ether so that we can get a pretty painful segment involving Alexa Bliss giving Charlotte Flair a Charlie doll (Imagine if Lily was cosplaying as Charlotte). Giving Alexa credit… man, she just goes full force on everything they give her. I don’t care for her current Playground character, but she puts her heart into it. She only has a fifth gear.
At one point they start yelling “YES!” and “NO!” back at forth at each other, and… is THIS really the time to be reminding people of how much we all love Daniel Bryan, WWE? The kids call that a “weird flex”.
Also, Charlotte says everyone wants their doll to look like her. Is… is that a sex doll joke, or have all of the genitalia commercials tonight just got my brain in the gutter? I instantly thought it was a sex doll joke.
During the next (sex-free) commercial break, I check my Twitter alerts, and hey!
Neat! Follow back, obviously!
MATCH 2: Drew McIntyre & The Viking Raiders vs Jinder Mahal, Veer, and Shanky
I still refuse to believe we have two WWE Superstars named Veer and Shanky. Those make the Retribution names seem downright inspired.
This match was thankfully, mercifully short. Drew McIntyre wins pretty easily with minimal help from the Raiders and remains in his little “I can’t challenge Bobby Lashley” holding pattern. This has to be the end of his dealings with Jinder and his gang, right? I wonder where he will go next. His huge 2020 feels like it was 8 years ago already.
Before commercials, Big E reunites with Kofi and Woods.
After the break, Reggie parkours away from the 24/7 crew.
MATCH 3: Damien Priest vs Jeff Hardy
Jeff Hardy is only FIVE YEARS OLDER than Damien Priest. That doesn’t feel even remotely possible, does it?
Out of three matches so far, we’ve now had one Heel Vs Heel and one Face Vs Face. Unusual!
This contest was fine; about as good of one that Jeff Hardy is capable of having at this stage in his career. He just looks like his body doesn’t want to do what he wants it to at times.
Priest was selling for most of the match, and I don’t know that I agree with that choice, but he won and then sent Sheamus scurrying after the bout. I just would have preferred to see Damien in charge of Hardy as he prepares for another title match with Sheamus, but this was the story of Priest kicking out of several near falls.
Big E, Riddle, and Randy Orton shenanigans precede the fourth match of the night. God, I really want Big E to get the belt tonight. Don’t let me down, Raw.
MATCH 4: Nikki A.S.H. vs Tamina
This impromptu match is put together by Sonya Deville when Nikki and Rhea came to blows with the tag champions backstage. We were supposed to just get Rhea Ripley vs Natalya, but now we are getting two singles contests!
Mid-Raw realization: I have no idea who the guy between Corey Graves and Byron Saxton is. Corey called him “Jimmy”, so… HOLY CRAP, does Raw exist entirely inside R-Truth’s head nowadays?! The would explain so… well, it would explain at least a little.
This was a surprisingly good match–maybe not THAT surprising, I really adore this A.S.H. gimmick–until it had a wonky ending. Nikki hit her Tornado DDT, Tamina seemed to forget to kick out until after the three, so the referee had no choice but to say that was it. The ring announcer then called the winner of the match as Tamina.
Hey, it’s the Phexxi commercial with Alexis again. Phexxi is only 93% effective “with perfect use” AND doesn’t protect against STI’s, according to the fine print. That means if Alexis and her vagina have perfect sex 100 times, she’ll get pregnant 7 times! And who knows how many diseases! Those aren’t good odds!
MATCH 5: Rhea Ripley vs Natalya
Wrestling is back, so I guess I’ll put off my Googling birth control effectiveness rates until later. This is not what I expected Raw to do to me tonight.
At one point, this Jimmy guy says that the young bucks are coming for Natalya and Tamina’s tag titles, and I was very confused about what The Forbidden Door had wrought.
Mid-match commercial break, and NOW THERE’S ANOTHER E.D. MEDICATION COMMERCIAL! This time for something called Roman. Does Hims know Raw is cheating on them like this?
Another adequate Raw match here; the high point being that Rhea actually won with her inverted, elevating Cloverleaf. So the three women’s matches tonight have ended with:
-A Big Boot
-A Tornado DDT that possibly wasn’t supposed to be the finish
I’m not even mad! I always want more matches to end on moves that aren’t finishers just so every pinball during a match doesn’t just feel obligatory. I like these finishes, Raw! Even the accidental ones.
MATCH 6: The New Day and Mansoor & Ali vs Mace & T-Bar and AJ Styles & Omos
Remember a few months ago when Ali was out to destroy Kofi and Woods because Kofi stole Ali’s WrestleMania chance back in 2019? Well, now they are teaming together.
(to be perfectly fair, Ali doesn’t seem particularly happy about it)
You’ve got these four teams, The Viking Raiders, RKBro, Lashley & MVP… if RAW wanted to quit booking the whole division like clowns, they could have a really good tag team set-up. Hell, the Tag Team Turmoil match last week was fantastic! But then, WWE’s problem these last few years has never been the talent.
Prior to the first break, Mace and T-Bar were allowed to look like absolute beasts with all four opponents bumping their souls out for them. Like I said… all the potential in the world in this division, guys.
To this point in the show, that was definitely the match of the show. Fast and frantic with a ton of action. Mustafa did some great selfish character work while also showing a bit of a babyface side buried deep within by helping out when needed. Everyone looked great here.
I’m telling you, WWE. Keep going with these guys like you have for the last two weeks!
There is a Pampers commercial in the next batch to remind you what you will need to buy if you rely on 93% Phexxi for your birth control.
MATCH 7: Doudrop vs Eva Marie
I keep expecting them to come out and say “Hey, we’re just kidding about this whole Doudrop name, guys”, but… nope.
Doudrop won the fourth women’s match of the night (!) fairly easily and shortly. I was expecting Eva Marie to have some kind of ace in the hole like a new minion tonight, but… not so much. She just took her beating and L.
Karrion Kross promo! He’s going to be mean and beat people up.
MATCH 8: Randy Orton vs Bobby Lashley
This was all worth it for Riddle flopping on the ground next to MVP after Orton hit the latter with an RKO. The story here was about seeing how much damage each man would take before Big E came out. Both guys take somewhat of a beating, but Lashley wins clean and looks pretty powerful still at the end. He took an earlier RKO, though, so….
And Big E does indeed enter the fray after Bobby won! He officially cashes in, and… we go to commercial. I have never so much in my life wanted an ad break to end!
MATCH 9: Big E vs Bobby Lashley
BIG E WINS! BIG E WINS!
I’m very excited, bordering on ecstatic. This was somewhere between those cash-ins that are one move and over and the ones where they actually have a decent match. It lasted about two-to-three minutes before Big E hit the Big Ending and got the win.
Kofi and Woods come down to celebrate, and the Lashley’s Reign Of Terrible (not a typo) is over!
I really didn’t think they were going to pull that trigger. But Lashley’s run had become stale as death, and with Roman, The Demon, and Brock all on Smackdown, there was nowhere for E to fit in.
Man, I know I’m a mark. I KNOW it. But sometimes I love wrestling guys. Big E deserves this. Let me just be happy for him.