You Weren’t Expecting Resolution, Were You? – Monday Night Raw – 4/30/2018

In yet another testament to just how much these people give for us, the Superstars of the WWE were in Saudi Arabia all day Friday, then got on planes, got a few hours at home (wherever their home may be), and then got right back on planes to put on their usual weekly shows in Canada.  Factor in their 2-3 hour daily workouts on top of that.  Seriously, even if you hate some of them, be grateful for what they put themselves through for your enjoyment (and their significant pay checks).

We’re not starting with resolution to the Brock Lesnar-Roman Reigns cage match ending tonight, because there isn’t any.  And we’re not going to start with the actual opening of the show because with the exception of it having a bunch of Canadians involved and Braun Strowman giving those hands to anyone within arms reach, it didn’t do much for anybody.

We’re starting with what actually matters, and that’s what has been truly good about WWE for several weeks/months now, the ongoing back and forth between the two guys who each could easily be “The Guy” if they would finally pull the pedestal out from under Roman, Finn Balor and Seth Rollins, predominantly Rollins who has been absolutely electric since well before that Triple H match at Wrestlemania 33, which still has the best promo video WWE has probably ever produced.

Tonight, Monday Night Rollins would defend his Intercontinental Championship in another incredible bout against the Former Bullet Club now Balor Club leader (proudly sporting his rainbow shirt because he doesn’t risk being executed for it in Canada).

They put on a clinic, the crowd absolutely loved it, hopefully the audience at home was in the same boat I was, hanging on every step they took.  These two work so well together.  While I don’t think I’m ever going to be on board the whole “fight forever” train entirely because things always get stale (look at New Day-Usos), when this feud ends, find a way to have their mutual respect bring them together as a tag team.  I mean, would you balk at the idea of the Demon & the Kingslayer holding Tag Gold (which looks more silver now)?  I sure as hell wouldn’t.

The defense was successful, and Seth Rollins is still the Intercontinental Champion.

As Far As I’m Concerned I Am The Universal Champion

But, that’s not how this works.  Referee makes a call, it stands, and by and large it seems like time is running out on any effort to actually pull this thing together.  It’s probably already passed.  Now that Lesnar has gone Mania to Mania and still has the belt, you can’t very well go straight to crowning Reigns and having him hold it forever too.  There has to be something in between.  I’m never going to be opposed to Samoa Joe or Braun, and at this point I find Drew McIntyre entirely believable as a legit threat to Lesnar.

Reigns whined, Jinder Mahal (Canadian) came to the ring and did his whole shtick, then Sami Zayn got a massive pop (also Canadian) and he wants a piece, and Kevin Owens would come out as well (a trio of Canucks) and cut half a promo in French before tossing his name in the hat.

They jumped Reigns, Lashley came to help, Lashley got outnumbered, Braun brought those hands.  Nobody outnumbers Braun, who seems to have a particular interest in laying out Kevin Owens.  If it weren’t for Seth Rollins and Balor, I’d legitimately believe that Braun was leaps and bounds beyond everyone else in the company in terms of how over he is.  They’re close, AJ is in there somewhere too.  Beyond that, there’s a pretty large gap, at least in my opinion.

This would, as you could expect, not provide closure on what will be done about Lesnar (because it’s pretty clear he isn’t wrestling at Backlash) but rather lead to a six man tag match.  Did I mention Braun was all about giving those hands?  Well, he did, and Braun Strowman won this match, Reigns and Lashley don’t really matter.  Of course, the Canadian crowd seemed a little offend that they had to see KO eat the pin.  I’d have gone with Jinder there since he was getting booed out of the arena in the open.  Backlash will see most of this match again, as Strowman and Lashley will take on Sami and KO.

The Rest of the Mess

  • Natalya beat Mickie James with Ronda and Alexa in the respective corners.  This was pointless.  Neither of the outsiders did anything of importance.
  • The Deleters of Worlds are quickly becoming the new Fashion Files, as their promos get more ridiculous each week.
  • Akam and Rezar absolutely demolished a pair of local talent.  For some reason they built it as the local guy asking for that match.  Either way, at least one of them has internal bleeding.
  • No Way Jose got a win over Baron Corbin thanks to a weird falling distraction from Titus O’Neil.  They’re going to milk this for about 6 months longer than they should.
  • Ruby Riott def. Sasha Banks.  This was easily the second best match of the night, as I don’t give credit to squash matches.
  • Ziggler and McIntyre had a weird hotel room, shirtless promo video.  It was seriously odd.

Overall Reaction

This was not a great episode, and it seems like they have absolutely no idea what the hell they are doing with the Universal Title.  I don’t know if the call was botched and they are trying to figure out how to move around it, if it was intentional because they need to figure out who to make the new “guy” because Roman isn’t over anywhere but El Paso, Texas for whatever reason (on both sides of the argument), if Brock Lesnar just refused to lose so he’s going to keep the belt and go to UFC and never give it back, so that they return to only having one World Heavyweight Championship.  Whatever it is, figure the shit out, and quit wasting opportunities.  Braun Strowman should have been champ 8 months ago.  Ruby Riott and the Riott Squad should be more prevalent in the Women’s Championship scene than they probably will be for several months/a year or better because this Mickie-Alexa/Natalya-Rousey thing is their shortcut to putting the belt on the greenest woman in the locker room.

I’m giving it a C, and that’s me being generous on account of just how good Balor-Rollins were.

And here’s some obligatory Dean Ambrose, because I can’t leave him out when I’ve highlighted the rest of his SHIELD-mates here.