Chris Novak: Time for an episode of Monday Night Raw that I’m sure no one in the wrestling world will overreact to in either direction. Brock Lesnar is here and is expected to announce his decision as to who he will be cashing in on. Anyhow, speaking of that… Kofi Kingston is here. Not to nitpick, but it wouldn’t kill us to have some variety with this Wild Card rule would it?
Kingston talks about how he’s here and is unafraid of Brock Lesnar. After that spiel, Seth Rollins comes out. I’d hazard he’s probably just going to say the same things. Seth does, in fact, say that. This welcomes Brock Lesnar out and… he has a remixed theme song because of his ‘boombox’ MITB briefcase. I am CRYING.
Lesnar dances around for a bit to the remixed theme, and then rocks out to both Kofi and Seth’s themes. Rollins eventually leaves in a huff (by the way it should be mentioned that Lesnar’s briefcase is now designed to look like a literal boombox). Paul Heyman says that Rollins ruined the ‘Brock Party,’ and therefore, he won’t be announcing his decision tonight.
Dolph Ziggler snuck up on Kingston after Heyman and Lesnar left the ring. He hit him with a Zig Zag on the ramp outside. He went to attack him further, but Xavier Woods made the save.
Hey, solid segment. The fight continues after the break between Woods and Ziggler.
Robert O’Neill: I saw people complaining about the segment, which is weird because the usual complaint about Brock Lesnar is about how he never shows up and is boring when he does show up. So, I don’t really know what people want. This shit is exhausting.
The brawl between Ziggler and Woods was entertaining though, but they probably could have saved it for Smackdown.
Chris Novak: 30 minutes later we’re still here for some reason. I can’t answer that question and this is definitely running way too long right now. Ziggler’s here to talk Kofi down and says he should be worrying about him. Now, granted, Ziggler’s speech? It was good. I liked it. I liked it a lot. But going 32 minutes is quite a bit overboard!
They cut to a block party that’s going on. Lot of the mid-carders were there. I’d expect some shenanigans coming along here if and when R-Truth comes through there.
Shane McMahon is wrestling next. Woo?
Robert O’Neill: Shane came out and said he would be wrestling a member of the Samoan Dynasty, and out comes MLW’s Lance Anoa’i. How neat. Drew Mcintyre softens him up for a while before Shane squashes him and eventually Roman comes out for the save. That was effective.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman are back. Is it time to cash in! It might be! Seth Rollins comes out and whines about Brock not actually caring or being a fighting champion (NOTE: Rollins has defended the title two times in the past seven weeks) and Heyman starts reading through the contract aloud. Once he gets to the part where it says Brock has the briefcase for a full year, Lesnar slaps him and says he didn’t know had a whole year. What’s the rush?
Brock Lesnar is a delight.
Chris Novak: It’s time for women’s tag team action now. Becky Lynch is teaming up with Nikki Cross to face off with The IIconics. Absent is Alexa Bliss, who’s busy being a good, supportive mother to Larry-Steve, who turned two years old today. Happy Birthday, Larry-Steve!
Anyways, this match proved to be a pretty fun one. As expected. Actually lasted a couple of segments, which was fun! Lynch won after slamming Royce down and got the 1-2-3. I actually like Cross and Lynch as a team. If only Bliss was here, but again, she’s busy being a good mom.
Lacey Evans showed up afterwards. Brief confrontation. You know the deal.
We’re doing Cesaro-Ricochet again! And what do you know? It was a total banger. Even better than their match last week. Finish was fun as absolute hell. Ricochet helped himself up Cesaro’s shoulders and then drove him down with a huge hurricanrana. These two could wrestle every single week. I wouldn’t care!
Robert O’Neill: Cesaro and Ricochet are so good together. I love it.
It’s time for the Elimination Fatal Four-Way to decide the number one contender. Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin vs. The Miz vs. Bob Lashley. This should be fun.
Chris Novak: It WAS fun. Corbin won the match. Lashley and Strowman brawled to the back, effectively taking themselves out of the matchup. Then, Baron hit Miz with the End of Days. There’s an easy way of inserting Styles into this feud/match/etc. Since Corbin replaced him and whatnot. Everyone looked good in this one. Really liked this one.
Robert O’Neill: Firefly Fun House was great as usual. Take a look!
Chris Novak: They did this ‘Electric Chair’ segment with Sami Zayn, where people asked him questions. Honestly, the segment was entertaining enough. Mostly because Sami Zayn is hilarious. He also dropped an ‘AEW’ mention, so, you know… that’s going to go over well. I’m just sure of it.
Robert O’Neill: Seth Rollins interrupts Zayn though, and we have our main event! And, unsurprisingly, the two delivered in a big way. It seems like every match these two have had has been good, and this one was no different. We even got the traditional spot where Rollins landed on his knee and spent the rest of the match acting like it was distressing him. Simple and effective. Seth got the victory, and the show ended without Lesnar teasing another cash-in.
Robert O’Neill: Despite the first hour of this show being pretty bad, it rebounded nicely and kept my attention for the final 120 minutes. Ricochet and Cesaro had a great match and I really liked Rollins/Zayn. In all, call it a B.
Chris Novak: The show definitely finished very strong after a weird first hour. For that reason, I’ll give this how a B. Cesaro-Ricochet was fantastic, as was Rollins-Zayn. The women’s tag match was also a fun little match, and I thought they pieced some things together pretty well here. All in all, not a perfect show by any means. But certainly better than most holiday shows that they always trot on out.
Chris Novak: Unlike last night’s Raw, we’re going right to the action tonight on SmackDown Live. Kevin Owens is facing off with Kofi Kingston in a non-title Money in the Bank rematch. How fun. Unsurprisingly, we’re about a half hour into the show, and the match is still going and it’s been REALLY good. Kofi eventually won with Trouble in Paradise. I enjoyed this match more than I enjoyed the first match between these two. Which is saying a lot, because the first one was really good!
Robert O’Neill: That was awesome. I love watching those two wrestle. Kofi’s string of great matches continues, too. He’s been the best of the two big champions by far. I think it was also interesting to keep Dolph Ziggler in the back and show him watching the match instead of having him come out and attack again. Don’t need to do that same thing every single night.
Truth and Carmella are here and trying to hide from Drake Maverick who STILL wants the 24/7 title.
Meanwhile back in the ring, Daniel Bryan and Rowan come out and lambast the crowd for eating processed meats on Memorial Day, while also calling the tag division a joke. Heavy Machinery comes out to defend the honor of meats and challenge Bryan and Rowan, who would never waste such a match on the people of Oklahoma.
Chris Novak: Mandy and Sonya were seen backstage passing out Mandy’s edition of Muscle & Fitness Hers to several people backstage. One of them was Ember Moon, who didn’t take kindly to them giving all of them to her. Now Mandy is facing Carmella in a rematch of last week’s match that never actually was.
Robert O’Neill: Mandy gets a quick victory when Sonya distracts Carmella with the magazine. That’s fine with me. Very effective.
Chris Novak: Very effective but… not too great. Really not sure Mandy Rose is where they want her to be this year. Which is unfortunate in a lot of ways.
We had more 24/7 Championship hijinx in the back. Truth eluded many a situation. He’s no Houdini of Hardcore yet. But he sure is escaping a lot!
It’s Shane McMahon Appreciation Night. For whom, I don’t know. Anyways, they played a really awesome video package. I know, that’s SO surprising! Shane said there’s no reason to boo Kevin Dunn after thanking him. That, of which, I disagree with! This eventually gets interrupted by R-Truth, who’s trying to run away from Drake Maverick. They jump in the ring, and Truth successfully defeats Maverick!
Aaaaaand then, he falls at the mercy of a 3-on-1 beatdown by Shane, Elias and Drew Mac. And then after getting attacked, Elias jumps on Truth and wins the 24/7 Championship! My goodness!
Robert O’Neill: I was wondering when that title would change, and we have our answer! Truth will team with Roman against Elias and McIntyre later tonight. The 24/7 rule is suspended until the end of the night.
Chris Novak: Bayley vs. Lacey Evans is next. This match turned out to be a very fun one! Big surprise. Charlotte was at ringside and was being short with Byron Saxton. Eventually the action spilled to the outside. Bayley hit a corner dropkick, took Lacey out with a clothesline, and then threw a big ol’ elbow at Charlotte’s face. Bayley then came in and won via a Charlotte’s Web pinning combination (ha ha!).
After the match, for some reason, Lacey and Charlotte were beating each other up. Char stood tall. Bayley shrugged, and it was delightful.
They played a really, really good Randy Orton-Triple H video package. A different one, this time around. I can just watch these on a loop at this point.
Time for the main event!
Robert O’Neill: Elias and McIntyre attack Truth and he’s coming to the ring, and it’ll be Roman Reigns on his own against the two. Yikes! Well, maybe not. Truth is still here, but not 100%
The match goes on and Roman and Truth pick up the victory after Roman hits a big spear on Elias at the end after taking out Shane on the outside and Drew taking himself out with a missed Claymore. After the match, Roman spears Elias one more time and Truth covers him to regain the 24/7 Title!
Chris Novak: Real fun episode of SmackDown Live. Kofi-KO II was better than the first incarnation last week. Mandy-Carmella was pretty forgettable, but served its own purpose. Bayley-Lacey was good, and the tag match was really good. All in all, very good effort here. I’ll go B+ here. A high B+ though.
Robert O’Neill: Hey that was a fun show! Loved Kofi/KO and the main event, and was very entertained by Bayley/Lacey. The two hours breezed by as usual, as Smackdown remains great. A-