Raw runs the gauntlet, Smackdown surprises this week in WWE

Chris Novak: We are starting off with the Gauntlet! Makes sense, since every major cast member of the show is featured in this matchup. Looking forward to this going like an hour+. No sarcasm. This should rule.

Robert O’Neill: If this does go an hour, I really don’t have any issues. It’s the most important match of the night focusing on the most important match of the next week.

Robert O’Neill: Wow, this is absolutely going an hour+. Roman and Seth were the first two in the ring and didn’t finish until 30 minutes into the show. I’m really interested in seeing what they do here. Neat! It’s John Cena. They went to commercial and come back and Cena is still wrestling in his goofy ass neon shirt and jorts. What is this Raw?

Chris Novak: There’s definitely a different vibe to this Raw. I don’t mind it either.

Robert O’Neill: This match is going to go 90 minutes. This is wild. It's like if David Lynch directed an episode of Raw.

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WWE

Chris Novak: That Seth Rollins performance was absolutely incredible. 65 minutes. Just incredible. And Finn-Elias was really good too! We were all just kinda blown out from Seth’s deal. And here comes Miz sneak attacking Finn.

Robert O’Neill: Miz/Finn was a banger too! This whole match has been SO GOOD I haven’t even noticed it was two hours in.

Chris Novak: Jesus, what a match. Everything was done right. Everyone looked good. Everyone who needed protection got it. Just awesome stuff all around, here

Robert O’Neill: I feel like there was a way to get the Asuka/Nia match over and established without having Asuka do an interview with Renee Young in the ring. She’s clearly not very comfortable on the mic, and it was kind of weird to watch.

Robert O’Neill: It’s still weird to me that Ronda Rousey is gonna just sign with Raw with no fight put up by Daniel Bryan or Shane McMahon. Think back to the Brock Lesnar/Steve Austin/Scott Steiner free agent periods of 2002, the pursual of them by both GMs made the signings that much bigger.

Chris Novak: Yeah, Rob. BUT… there were no RAW women in that video package. #AskQuestions. Also it looks like they’re going to heat up Titus Worldwide against The Bar. I’m fine with that, to be quite honest with you.

Robert O’Neill: TOP GUYS WA- I’m sorry. That appears to not be applicable tonight. Yeah Titus Worldwide vs. The Bar was fine. Perfectly acceptable mini-feud before the Road to Wrestlemania really heats up.

Chris Novak: You can watch The Revival against Rhyno and Heath Slater on Main Event, Rob. RAW’s tag division is in the dregs as it is. But Titus Worldwide/The Bar is fun stuff.

Robert O’Neill: Jeff Jarrett’s going into the Hall of Fame! Ain’t he great? It’s pretty comical that this is happening considering… everything that’s happened this millenium. They always come back.

Chris Novak: Honestly a true stunner here. More proof that everyone always comes back* considering Jarrett was legitimately fired on TV by Vince on the night of the final Nitro ever. Double J’s speech is going to be… something.

(* = CM Punk. He’s not coming back. Ever. Never. Ever.)

Robert O’Neill: Oh cool. Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt cut a promo where they laughed stupidly and said a bunch of nonsense.

Chris Novak: That was… um, a very sloppy six-woman tag main event. I didn’t care much for it. Sasha stood out, as she usually does. I liked the continuity with Mickie saving Alexa after Alexa saved Mickie. So now Bliss goes in with an ally… that is until she probably double crosses her. We shall see!

Robert O’Neill: This was our shortest Raw recap ever but it was a really really good show, obviously highlighted by the gauntlet match. It has me excited for Sunday.

QUICK RESULTS

  • Seth Rollins d. Roman Reigns
  • Seth Rollins d. John Cena
  • Elias d. Seth Rollins
  • Elias d. Finn Balor
  • The Miz d. Elias
  • Braun Strowman d. The Miz
  • Titus Worldwide d. The Bar
  • Sasha Banks/Mickie James/Bayley d. Sonya Deville/Mandy Rose/Alexa Bliss

 

Robert O’Neill: AJ Styles is starting off the night being interviewed by Renee Young about the title match turning into a Fatal Five-Way. He’s not thrilled about it, which makes sense! It’s unfair!

Chris Novak: It would be nice if SDL’s main event scene was, uh, better than it is right now.

Robert O’Neill: It would be better if Smackdown was better than it is right now.

Chris Novak: The tag division is the saving grace, pretty much.

Robert O’Neill: I really have no desire to watch Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler.

Chris Novak: This match is definitely a thing. Okay… in fairness, this has gotten some heat.

Robert O’Neill: Owens almost kicked Ziggler’s head clean off for the win, so I’m here for it.

Robert O’Neill: Jinder is here and still mad about the Smackdown Top 10 list. Alright then!

Chris Novak: At least that segment was compelling. Oh, great. More Bryan-Shane stuff. Remember when everyone was tired of all the shit that happened with Stephanie and Mick Foley? It’s like this again. It would be awesome if, just like on RAW, that Bryan and Shane just got out of the damn way.

Oh, good. Here comes nearly all of the women’s division for a match. At least this match has been good so far.

Robert O’Neill: This is why we don’t do the old review format, by the way. The majority of Raw’s stuff from last night would be in the good section and pretty much this whole should would be in the bad section.

Robert O’Neill: The women’s match was fine, but it felt pretty inconsequential with Ruby pinning Becky instead of pinning Charlotte

Chris Novak: Well, apparently it really WAS INCONSEQUENTIAL. Charlotte challenged Ruby. Ruby said she’s facing Naomi next week and she wants a title match at Fastlane. ????? Couldn’t they have just had Ruby pin Charlotte tonight and then wipe out Becky and Naomi in the ensuing two weeks? God. I hate this stupid division.

Robert O’Neill: Neat. Time for the tag division! The one good thing on this show. Oh look, the New Day! And Gable and Benjamin! This should be fun. Remember when Gable and Benjamin were in the title hunt? They’re probably gonna get back into the mix… nope. Nevermind. They lost in a rather unspectacular match. That’s certainly one way to book them.

Chris Novak: It’s weird. Very weird. Feel like we’ll get more complaining from Gable and Benjamin. Somewhere, The Bludgeon Brothers are going to shoehorn themselves in this. I don’t know, tbh.

Chris Novak: Okay, Styles-Corbin was good. And… I’ll admit… apart from a few bumps in the road, SmackDown was… good tonight. It’s gathering momentum.

Robert O’Neill: Yeah, that ended up not being too bad after all. Raw was still better though.

QUICK RESULTS

  • Kevin Owens d. Dolph Ziggler
  • Riott Squad d. Charlotte Flair/Becky Lynch/Naomi
  • New Day d. Benjamin/Gable
  • The Bludgeon Brothers d. Jobbers
  • AJ Styles d. Baron Corbin

MIXED MATCH CHALLENGE

Robert O’Neill: We got a double helping of BOB ROODE and Charlotte Flair on Tuesday night, and that was a lot of fun. Also fun? Apollo bringing the entirety of Titus Worldwide with to support he and Nia Jax, and Nia completely blowing them off. As for the match itself, it was fun (as they’ve all been). There was no chance of Charlotte and Bob losing, so when you go into the match knowing that, they have to do a lot of things to make it good. They’ve done that pretty much every time so far. The second round matchups should all be a ton of fun, too.