RAW #5 [Berlin, Germany]
Once again, the show started with the familiar entrance theme of the RAW General Manager - Ted DiBiase. He announced that tonight would be a blockbuster episode of Monday Night RAW. He elaborated, not only would there be an Iiconic celebration for Billie Kay’s retention of the RAW Women’s Championship, but we’d also find new number 1 contenders for the RAW Tag Team Championships as the Undisputed Era faced off against the debuting Moustache Mountain for the chance to face current Tag Champs; The Revival. Finally he announced that the Intercontinental Championship would be defended in the main event tonight, as Lars Sullivan would take on the number one contender, Bobby Roode. At this, the arena was filled with Baron Corbin’s entrance theme.
“Excuse me,” he said “Have you forgotten who I am? I run this place, the fans and workers respect me, and after I was UNFAIRLY eliminated from the Battle Royal, I should be the one getting that damn title shot!” The crowd booed in unison, but before DiBiase could answer, the air was rent once more by another entrance theme, this time, the theme of the once Gentleman, Jack Gallagher. “So let me just get this straight,” he said “Are you telling me, that a man with a flawless RAW record such as myself, has got to wait for a title shot because Corbin threw his toys out of the pram? Surely if anyone deserves a shot at Sullivan, it’s me!” Corbin began laughing, but Gallagher squared up to him, murmuring into the mic “I know about a thousand ways to tear your limbs from your body. I don’t care how big you are, you laugh at me again and I’ll tear your knee from its socket.” Corbin stopped laughing, though a smirk still lingered on his lips. DiBiase paused and then said “So you both want a shot? Okay, how about this? You both get your shot, in a Triple Threat next week against the winner of tonight’s match.”
Both Gallagher and Corbin seemed put out at not getting a singles match, with Corbin opening his mouth to argue, DiBiase cut him off “and as neither of you are the official number one contender, I suggest you stick with what you’re given. And boys…” he continued as both men reluctantly started to retreat, “If either of you get involved tonight, I will take that match off you and you will be right to the back of the pack!” And with that final statement, RAW began.
Match #1 - Moustache Mountain [Trent Seven & Tyler Bate O] def. The Undisputed Era [Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish X]
[WWE RAW Tag Team Championship #1 Contendership Match]
The debuting Brits got a warm welcome from the Dutch crowd, while the 'Shock the System' opening of the Undisputed Era's theme, got an enormous pop. The Revival were down on commentary, and though they were initially very complimentary of both teams, they were quick to dismiss them as a threat to their Championships; "Ain't nobody out-wrestling us!" quipped Dawson.
After strong performances in previous weeks, it was perhaps unsurprising that The Undisputed Era started on top, isolating Tyler Bate, and keeping him away from his tag partner, working the leg relentlessly, and keeping him to small bursts of hope spots but nothing more. Eventually, an errant Enziguiri on Bobby Fish allowed Bate to get the hot tag to Trent Seven who come in like a house of fire, chopping everything in sight, and delivering a Burning Hammer for a close 2 count on O'Reilly.
The longer the match went however, the more it seemed it would favour Undisputed Era, especially once the strain on Tyler Bate's leg became obvious. However, O'Reilly was too slow in locking in a Heel Hook, and Bate was able to sneak out and hit a Tyler Driver 97 for a surprise victory out of nowhere, meaning that Moustache Mountain would be number 1 contenders to the RAW Tag Team Championships.
Post-Match, with an exhausted Tyler Bate being propped up by Trent Seven, we saw a stand-off between Challengers and Champions, as The Revival slid into the ring, holding their belts aloft in the faces of their next opposition.
A cavalcade of trumpets rent the air next as Peyton Royce and Billie Kay made their way toward the balloon covered ring. Both women were arm in arm with men dressed in tuxedos and the ramp was bedecked in a red carpet. When they got to the ring, Royce took to the microphone first, “You all witnessed a great match last week, a great match which saw Billie Kay complete an IICONIC...” Both women hit the signature pose “Title retention against that wannabe Lacey Evans! Not only was it IICONIC...” Both women hit the pose once more “But it proved that Billie winning the Championship was not an accident, she is the Champion for a reason, and that’s why I wanted to throw this celebration, acknowledging what we both know will be a legendary and record-setting reign!”
As Royce stopped talking, she began clapping, with roughly a quarter of the audience joining in, while a large, rather stretched image of Billie Kay’s face appeared on screen with accompanying fireworks. Billie Kay took to the microphone next, waving her hand to silence the non-existent applause. However, as she brought the microphone to her lips, she was interrupted by Sonya Deville’s music. She stormed to the ring, and took a microphone of her own, staring in disgust at a statue of Billie that occupied the corner of the ring. She kicked the head clean off of it, bringing a noise of strangled disgust from Royce, and stood nose to nose with Billie Kay, who looked both alarmed and furious that her celebration had been interrupted.
“This is what the RAW Women’s Championship is to you is it? A joke?” started Deville “Let me tell you what that...” she gestured at the belt around Billie’s waist “means to me. It’s a symbol, a symbol that you’ve reached the top, validation for the hours of pain and suffering you’ve been through to get to this point. You’ve had none of that, you fluked your way to the Championship, had a lucky match against Lacey and now you feel everyone needs to bow down. No! You don’t deserve that Championship. You aren’t carrying yourself like a Champion, and next week I want my shot at proving to you that you are nothing but a dirty smudge on the history of this belt!” Before Billie could answer, Royce, apoplectic with rage, accepted on her behalf to Billie’s obvious panic. Sonya smiled, “Next week,” she said, and then shoved the microphone roughly into Billie’s hand before leaving the ring to a great ovation, leaving Billie to stare incredulously at Peyton Royce who, completely non-plussed, asked “What?”
Match #2 - Rusev w/ Lana O def. R-Truth X
After ditching Aiden English last time out and losing comprehensively to Dolph Ziggler the very same week, Rusev came out with an even more dramatic change. Gone was the 'Rusev Day' shirt, gone was any semblance of a smile, and he was accompanied once again by Lana - The SmackDown Superstar who it seemed would be pulling double duty. It appeared that the Bulgarian Brute was back.
R-Truth, the poor sap that Rusev was supposed to be facing tonight, never really stood a chance, and was instead flung from pillar to post by the re-energised Bulgarian. Machka Kick after Machka Kick followed, before finally he put R-Truth out of his misery by locking in the Accolade. R-Truth tapped, but Rusev refused to relinquish the hold until Lana instructed him to do so, relieving the red mist that seemed to have descended upon her charge.
But they weren't done, with R-Truth still being revived by officials, Lana took to the microphone to say that the Bulgarian Brute was back, and was determined to crush anyone that had wronged him, starting with Dolph Ziggler next week. She placed the microphone down as Rusev stared down the camera screaming 'RUSEV CRUSH!'
Match #3 - Shayna Baszler O def. Mickie James X
Mickie James was the unfortunate recipient of what can only be described as a brutal mugging next as Shayna Baszler, still furious at losing out on the RAW Women's Championship, took out all her frustrations on the Country Star. Despite a few hope spots, Baszler was always in control and finished off James by squeezing all of the life out of her with an extended Coquina Clutch.
After referees had pried her off of the comatose James, Baszler took to the microphone to state her claim to Billie Kay's RAW Women's Championship. To the surprise of many however, it wasn't Kay or even Royce who answered, but the debuting Toni Storm, who said that Baszler had had her chance, and blew it. Storm continued that she would gladly challenge Baszler however, putting her in her place once and for all so that she could challenge for the belt and show her how you win a Championship. She then walked off stage to the obvious rage of Baszler.
We cut to Lars Sullivan who was about to talk to Charley Caruso in relation to his impending Intercontinental Championship match against Bobby Roode in the main event. We never heard his thought however as he was jumped by a man clad in black. The pair brawled into the car-park, where the assailant finally got the better of the juggernaut that is Sullivan, slamming his arm and shoulder in the fire-exit door, before sprinting away as arena security arrived on the scene to tend to the un-moving body of the Intercontinental Champion.
Match #4 - The Velveteen Dream O def. The Miz X
This was barely even a match.
Both men's entrances combined took a significant amount of time and were full of grandeur. The Miz especially seemed to be revelling in the fact that he had got one over the Universal Champion Braun Strowman, and greeted the collected Berlin masses with exuberant waves and showmanship. However, The Miz didn't seem to be the only person who had remembered how last week's RAW went off air, and no sooner had the match begun, than Strowman stormed the ring, overpowering arena security easily, and wiping out The Miz completely with an enormous Bodycheck. He then followed this up with not one, not two, but three Running Powerslams before gesturing at the Velveteen Dream, who had been hiding outside the ring, to cover the motionless Miz. Dream obliged, covering for the three count before scarpering backstage.
The Miz by this time had rolled to the outside, so Braun, a mad wild-eyed look on his face went after him to dole out more punishment, only to be met with a crunching steel chair to the head. Hunched over, Braun took a volley of chair shots from a Miz that was quite clearly running on adrenaline. Finally the pair were separated as arena security, producers and even some talent from backstage poured out, with General Manager Ted DiBiase bringing up the rear.
"That is ENOUGH!" He bellowed as the two men in the ring strained against the restraining security in order to get at each other,"This needs to end, I will not have my show derailed by you two any longer! The week after next, there will be a Universal Championship match between the Champion Braun Strowman, and the Miz. It will be..." he paused for dramatic effect "...A Last Man Standing Match!" he finished emphatically. The camera zoomed into Braun's face, an evil smile curling his lips as he watched the Miz from the across the ring. "Next week will be the contract signing, and if you lay a finger on each other before your match, you forfeit your right to be in it. Now get out of my ring!"
And with that, he turned on his heel and stalked angrily backstage, leaving arena security with the unenviable task of trying to escort both The Miz and Braun Strowman out of the ring, and to the back.
Match #5 - Bobby Roode O def. Lars Sullivan (c) X
[WWE Intercontinental Championship Match]
Title Change - Bobby Roode Becomes the 2nd WWE Intercontinental Champion
Bobby Roode was out first as the challenger, and waited with baited breath to see if Sullivan could answer the challenge after his beat down by the mystery assailant earlier in the evening. Answer it he did however, shoulder heavily strapped and his teeth gritted, but his sheer determination got him an enormous baby face reaction from the Berlin faithful.
The match began, and despite his obvious disadvantage, Sullivan began on top, smashing into Roode with a Running Powerslam, but Roode rolled out of the ring. Sullivan followed but fell prey to Roode’s intelligence as the Champ sprinted at him but missed, careering into the steel steps, bad shoulder first.
Roode wasted no time rolling him back into the ring and hitting a Spinebuster but that only garnered him a two count, even though the very motion of kicking out clearly had Sullivan in incredible discomfort. Roode dominated for much of the remainder of the match, hitting big move after big move, but was unable to put the Champion away! Clearly getting frustrated now, Roode tried something outside of the box and went to the top rope, but he was caught by Sullivan, who delivered a booming Freak Accident. He covered but at the last possible second Roode got his foot on the ropes.
Clearly delirious with the pain Sullivan began laughing maniacally and took Roode to the top rope to deliver the same Top Rope Freak Accident which had put away Mr. Perfect at Backlash, but at the last possible second, Roode wriggled free, shunting Sullivan to canvas shoulder first. Leaping down, Roode caught Sullivan in a Glorious DDT, planting him with it, and to the surprise of everyone in Berlin got the 3 count to become the second Intercontinental Champion, ending Sullivan’s run with the gold at his first title defence.
The camera zoomed in on Sullivan’s face as Roode continued to celebrate, and it was uncomfortable to note that he was laughing once again - whoever the man was who attacked him before the match had better hope Sullivan never finds out who they are!