Our normal Raw correspondent Cayden Parkhurst is unable to take reigns for this episode, but he's written us a nice look at what's to come based on what happened last week:
This week's episode of Monday Night Raw comes to us from one of the greatest wrestling cities in the world, Chicago! The crowd never fails to make things interesting here, and it's always a huge stop for WWE. That makes me think that this episode will be action-packed, and a fun one to watch if you can get through the inevitable "CM Punk" chants that are guaranteed to echo through Allstate Arena. What do you expect from Monday Night Raw? One of the more interesting storylines has to be with Kane and Seth Rollins. Both versions of Kane (Corporate Kane and Demon Kane) got some big news last week. Demon Kane will go one-on-one with Seth Rollins at Hell in a Cell for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but if he loses, Corporate Kane will also lose his job as Director of Operations. I imagine Corporate Kane will be making some big moves in his last few weeks as DOO, because I don't believe anyone thinks Seth Rollins will drop the title. Another shock last week was the ending of the show, as The New Day's Big E challenged John Cena in the US Open Challenge, getting disqualified. By the time the segment was over, The New Day was standing tall over not only Cena, but also Dolph Ziggler and their challengers for the Tag Team Championship at Hell in a Cell, The Dudley Boyz.
We start the night off with Corporate Kane backstage talking on the phone with Stephanie McMahon and Triple H, who say that they're stuck on their way there and he'll have to hold down the fort. He tells a stage manager to tell Seth Rollins that the two of them will be having a lumberjack match tonight.
Dean Ambrose comes out for a promo. Since the inmates are running the asylum, he's looking for a fight. Randy Orton joins him in the ring. He drops the information that Orton and Ambrose will face Luke Harper and Braun Strowman at Hell in a Cell. They argue who should take the lead in that tag match and are interrupted by The New Day. They tout themselves for taking out The Dudley Boyz and John Cena and make fun of how many groups Randy Orton's been in. Out with the old and in with The New Day. Kane comes on the Titantron and makes a tag team match between the four (Xavier Woods obviously on the sidelines) in Teddy Long style.
The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) vs. Randy Orton & Dean Ambrose
RESULTS: The New Day via pinfall (Kofi Kingston rolls up Orton after a distraction and pushing him into Ambrose)
THOUGHTS: Not bad. It went down just as I had expected, so that wasn't surprising, but I shouldn't complain just for seeing it coming.
Oh hey, another video package of the Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker feud. This is getting tiresome watching so many of these when Lesnar's in a match.
Nikki Bella vs. Naomi
RESULTS: Nikki Bella via pinfall (Rack Attack)
[United States Championship Open Challenge Match] John Cena (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
RESULTS: John Cena via pinfall (Attitude Adjustment)
THOUGHTS: Very solid match, as expected.
Backstage, Corporate Kane chats with Stephanie and Hunter again, who are still stuck on their flight.
The Dudley Boyz vs. The Ascension
RESULTS: The Dudley Boyz via pinfall (3D)
King Barrett & Sheamus vs. Neville & Cesaro
RESULTS: King Barrett and Sheamus via pinfall (Sheamus pins Neville after a Bullhammer from Barrett)
THOUGHTS: This was okay, but I'm less interested in the match itself and more in the possibility of seeing these two teams continue. I feel like they could do even better down the line and have a great match, if given the time and the proper build.
A video package airs to profile Braun Strowman.
Roman Reigns cuts a promo. The crowd doesn't seem to care.
Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman
RESULTS: Roman Reigns via count out
THOUGHTS: The booking of this match with Strowman as someone who dishes slow punishment and can't be taken down was kind of boring. I understand what WWE's intentions were, but I'm exhausted today, and I just couldn't get into it.
Backstage, Corporate Kane talks on the phone with...you guessed it....Stephanie and Triple H, who say they're on their way but have bad reception.
Rusev vs. Ryback
RESULTS: Ryback via pinfall (Shell Shock)
THOUGHTS: No real complaints here, but also nothing of note to applaud.
After the match, Summer Rae points out that Rusev and Lana are engaged and calls him a whipped little boy and a self-centered egotistical bastard, then slaps him and leaves.
Kevin Owens vs. Kalisto
RESULTS: Kevin Owens via pinfall (pop-up powerbomb)
THOUGHTS: Owens is the man, Kalisto sells well, and this was decent for a random filler thing to make KO look good.
Charlotte & Becky Lynch vs. Brie Bella & Alicia Fox
RESULTS: Brie Bella and Alicia Fox via pinfall (dropkick by Brie)
THOUGHTS: Paige on the microphone was distracting in a bad way and I couldn't care about the match.
Backstage, we're doing the whole Corporate Kane thing talking on the phone again. They want him to replace himself in the match.
After the commercial break, Seth Rollins is talking to Big Show backstage, trying to convince him to watch out for him. Kane pops up and says he'll find a suitable replacement.
[Lumberjack Match] Seth Rollins vs. Demon Kane
You saw that one coming, right?
RESULTS: Demon Kane via pinfall (Tombstone)
THOUGHTS: This kind of gave away part of what their match is going to be like at Hell in a Cell, and I'm never too fond of that, but at least it was a slightly different scenario. I didn't love it and I wouldn't have booked it by any means, but really, this isn't the selling point and it's just filler, even for a world title feud.
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