Monday’s Raw marked the WWE Money in the Bank go-home show for the brand, and the event was largely described as underwhelming. Raw ratings have been suffering for quite some time, and casual fans of the WWE have been waiting for the company to give them a reason to tune back in. While the main event of Raw was very impressive, seemingly, Monday’s show didn’t do much to entice new viewers.
The show started with the eight WWE superstars from Raw that will be competing in their respective Money in the Bank ladder matches next Sunday: Braun Strowman, Kevin Owens, Bobby Roode, Finn Balor, Alexa Bliss, Natalya, Sasha Banks, and Ember Moon. Raw opened with all eight wrestlers standing atop ladders, each superstar cut a promo, and Baron Corbin interrupted showing off his newly shaved head. While the WWE probably thought this would be an exciting visual, as Bleacher Reportdocumented, both fans and pundits alike described it as awkward, over-rehearsed, and cringeworthy.
The opening match for Raw saw Banks, Moon, Natalya, and Bliss squaring off in a fatal four-way. This entertaining match was well received by the live audience in attendance. The back-and-forth contest had a few high spots, including a suicide dive by Moon on Banks. Natalya eventually won the match when Bliss tapped out to her sharpshooter. If we look at past WWE bookings, this almost guarantees that she will not be the winner of the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match on Sunday.
For the next contest, Breezango were essentially squashed by Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler. Afterwards, Ziggler and McIntyre cut another promo promising to save the tag team division. As the Inquisitr reported, Jinder Mahal was advertised to face Roman Reigns on Raw, six days prior to their match at MITB. Mahal backed out of the fight and replaced himself with Sunil Singh. To no one’s surprise, Singh was squashed, and then Jinder attacked Reigns and left him lying in the ring.
In another tag team bout, the No. 1 contenders, The B-Team, continued their winning streak by toppling Rhyno and Heath Slater. The Deleter of Worlds were seen applauding the duo’s victory before sending them threats.
Per his usual, Elias cut a brilliant promo during the next Raw segment. The WWE superstar was playing a guitar that he claims John Mayer gave him, and Seth Rollins interrupted and destroyed the instrument. In an unintentional humorous moment of the night, Jonathan Coachman thought John Mayer was a hip-hop artist.
The Riott Squad were shown in the back clipping off a bystander’s tie. Thus far, The Riott Squad have not done anything to support their name, and the next match did them no favors. Ruby Riott beat Bayley clean in the ring for the three-count, and afterwards, they used a marker to write the letter “R” on Bayley.
Both fans and pundits alike were confused that Ronda Rousey and Nia Jax didn’t have a physical altercation during their contract signing for their championship match at MITB. Last week, the WWE left viewers in confusion once again when the two were together in the ring and didn’t have a physical quarrel. So, this week, Jonathan Coachman hosted a confrontation between the two WWE superstars.
Sticking with the overall theme of the night, and as seen in the video below, Nia Jax cut an awkward promo explaining that there are moves she can perform on Ronda Rousey that the former UFC champion isn’t used to, like headbutts and “slaps.” The dreaded slap move is not likely to intimidate Ronda Rousey at MITB. After the two delivered their lines, Jax eventually tapped to Ronda Rousey’s armbar even though it wasn’t a match.
It was advertised that Curt Hawkins has lost 200 matches in a row, and after being quickly pinned by No Way Jose, that number is now 201. In what was quite possibly the most awkward spot of the night, which is certainly saying a lot, Sami Zayn challenged Bobby Lashley to an obstacle course competition. Lashley did the course first, and afterwards, Zayn attacked him in front of an apathetic crowd.
In what many consider to be the match of the night, not that there was a very high bar, Braun Strowman, Finn Balor, Bobby Roode, and Kevin Owens main-evented Raw in another fatal four-way. The trio ganged up on Strowman, and Kevin Owens performed the high-spot moment of the night; Strowman was placed on the commentator’s table, the trio held the ladder in place, and Owens performed a frog splash from the top of the ladder.
The only thing that makes this phenomenal spot odd is that just last week on Raw, “KO” was afraid of heights from even the fourth rung of the ladder. But the WWE has never been praised for their continuity. The action eventually ended up back in the ring, and “The Monster Among Men” continued to take each of the other superstars’ finishers. Strowman kicked out of the finishers each time and eventually hit his power slam on Owens for the three-count. The storyline of the men’s Money in the Bank ladder match seems to be, who can stop Strowman from winning the contest?
All in all, most agree that the WWE didn’t do much to entice casual fans to watch Raw, and the ratings reflect that. As Wrestling Inc reported, this week’s show had an average of 2.730 million viewers. This wasn’t a large boost from last week’s Raw that had an average viewership of 2.525 million, one of the lowest viewer ratings in Raw’s history, and this week they weren’t even competing with the NBA or the NHL.
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