We kick things off with Stephanie McMahon because a show without the authority kicking everything off is…well, a better show but let’s not tell them. Basically she’s just there to get Roman Reigns out there and yelling about BRAUN. Steph won’t give him BRAUN tonight but we get a 2 on 1 match with Gallows & Anderson vs Roman Reigns instead. Well, it’s not Sheamus & Cesaro I guess.
The match is short lived though so no need to give it a proper write up. It’s a no contest and Roman makes them look like his wee bitches afterwards. Wonderful.
Kofi Kingston vs BO DALLAS
The New Day come out with blueprints for their ice cream machine or something, but we get Bo Dallas so I’m genuinely excited! Unfortunately the best part of the match is when Bo dances to the crowd chanting We Want Ice Cream and then steals and rips up the Ice Cream blueprints. Bo gets a decent amount of offense in but Kofi wins of course, and afterwards they pour Booty-O’s in Bo’s mouth. Yay.
Winner: Kofi Kingston
We get a nice little backstage with Neville and Gentleman Jack Gallagher that’s pretty fun. Jack asks if he may quote Shakespeare to which Neville replies he may not, and I had a jolly chuckle. Gallagher says nobody likes Neville because he’s a pillock. Hahaha. Love evil Neville and love Gallagher.
Jack Gallagher vs Noam Dar (w/ Alicia Fox)
Pretty good match. I like Noam Dar, and the crowd is real into Jack Gallagher. I love how devastating some of his moves can look even with him being so small. There’s a vicious head butt, and the corner drop kicks are great. It’s not terribly long and Gallagher wins. Neville comes out after the match and they have a staredown.
Winner: Jack Gallagher
They say we’re getting Emmalina up next AND WE GET EMMALINA UP NEXT. Who comes out and says we’ve waited 17 weeks for Emmalina and now we get Emma. This was a great fuck you moment. I loved it. Give me Emma!
We’ve been getting promos all night getting us ready for the Festival of Friendship later in the show. There’s a backstage with Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho seeing HHH and HHH asks to talk to KO alone for a minute. Uh oh…! We see a little of the conversation after the break, but we get no dialogue. Kevin Owens does not look happy.
BRAUN vs Mark Henry
This brings us into 9 o clock. Okay. BRAUN beats Mark Henry if you can believe it, and Roman Reigns comes out to mix it up with the winner. It ends after Braun eats two superman punches, but still manages to powerslam Roman and walk away on top. Nice.
There’s a backstage segment with Bayley practicing her punches with Sheamus and Cesaro who are interrupted by a cuppa idiots, Enzo and Cass. They say Sheamus and Cesaro know nothing about teamwork and yell back and forth before we get a match set for later tonight. Enzo vs Cesaro. What?
Michael Cole sits down with Samoa Joe and it is a great interview. He’s not here to have his hand held by HHH like all the men that came before him, that’s why he’s different and not afraid of having loyalty to him. Joe is so ready for this. Thank goodness he has arrived.
Sami Zayn vs Handsome Rusev
HOW COULD THEY DO THIS TO WE, THE PEOPLE? We’re all winners here folks. Sami Zayn puts up a good fight throughout most of the match, and Rusev delivers some incredible kicks to Sami Zayn. A really enjoyable match that’s really only hindered when Handsome Ruru’s face mask comes off. Sami Zayn pulls off a win, so that is great for him. Poor Rusev.
Winner: Sami Zayn
Sami gets an interview after the match on the ramp with Charles and he calls out Samoa Joe for his earlier interview where he said he wasn’t just happy to be here like Sami Zayn. Sami says he’s not someone who just cleans up messes and does what he’s told. He is rewarded by Samoa Joe coming out and laying him out. This is what I thought they should have been doing with Joe so this is just fantastic.
Akira Tozawa vs Ariya Daivari
The Brian Kendrick is on commentary for this match because he thinks he and Tozawa are similar because they live for wrestling. He says Tozawa is his protégé, but the other commentators seem a bit skeptical. This was a solid match. I thought Daivari looked like a threat, and Tozawa did a great job playing to the crowd. Tozawa pulls out the win with his super quick German Suplex.
Winner: Akira Tozawa
FESTIVAL OF FRIENDSHIP
It is now time for the Festival of Friendship!!!! It starts out with a chorus line of showgirls and Chris being very excited. Kevin Owens comes out shortly after but does not look as happy. Chris presents a $7,000 statue and a painting of the two of them in the style of Michaelangelo. He also brings out a magician named Friendship he found on Craigslist who Kevin Owens does not like so he ends up on the list. Then Chris says he’s calling Goldberg out and says he’s going to get…..
THEN WE GO TO A COMMERCIAL BREAK AND COME BACK TO SAY..
….IT! This really was a great funny moment. After that Goldberg’s music hits which is surprising, but more surprising is GILLBERG coming out! This was a really hilarious moment, honestly. Kevin Owens murders Gillberg and yells at Chris before Jericho gives an impassioned speech about how much his time with KO has meant and that he’ll definitely have his back going into Fastlane. KO seems appeased and gives Chris a present. A new list! Before too long he realizes it has his name on it though and it says…List of KO. OH NO!!! We then witness the ending of the greatest friendship of all time as KO murders Chris Jericho. This is heartbreaking. Jericho gets powerbombed on the side of the apron then gets thrown through the Jeritron 8000. It also serves to make people really boo Kevin Owens so that is a plus. Watch this whole segment. It’s golden.
Enzo Amore vs Cesaro
I gotta tell you I’m not sure that anyone could handle Enzo following the murder of Chris Jericho but I know that I sure can’t handle that silly idiot. I’m supposed to be for him against Cesaro? This to me is like when Mick said he was trading Sami Zayn for Eva Marie in terms of a thing that makes sense. Cesaro beats Enzo pretty easily so that eases my pain somewhat. After the match Sheamus wants to mix it up with Big Cass, but Cesaro stops him.
Charlotte runs into Sasha backstage and they barb at each other a little bit, and we’re left wondering WILL Sasha cost Bayley her match tonight? I am kind of hoping for some Emma interference but it’ll probably just involve Dana Brooke.
Raw Women’s Championship: Charlotte (c) vs Bayley
Man oh man is Bayley a good babyface. And Charlotte’s a great heel! The psychology in this match was great. Charlotte’s attention to Bayley’s injured neck, and Bayley’s ability to sell and then make her big babyface comeback is fantastic. Bayley sold intensity well this whole match too, and she really did come off incredibly focused. Gah, just a great story being told the entire match and the crowd was really biting. There is a great Bayley Frankensteiner in the middle of this thing, and I just love it. I am a fortune teller and Dana Brooke shows up to interfere, but the match doesn’t end until Sasha Banks smashes a crutch into Charlotte’s chest and helps Bayley get a victory. I cannot imagine Charlotte will let this hold up for too long, and it will lead to more tension between Sasha and Bayley and lead to Sasha turning heel eventually. Plus Stephanie hates Bayley, so this can’t last. Great match.
Winner and NEW Women’s Champ: Bayley
Final Thoughts: I thought this was just a thoroughly enjoyable of Raw. There were some boring spots (I won’t mention Roman Reigns here…), but I liked Sami Zayn vs Rusev, I liked Tozawa vs Daivari, I loved Bayley vs Charlotte and I loved the Festival of Friendship. Cesaro killed Enzo too! I would watch a good portion of this if I were you. The Samoa Joe interview is good too. You can probably tune in about 37 minutes in and take a break at 9 for a snack.
WATCH THIS MATCH: Bayley vs Charlotte. But also watch the Festival of Friendship. You have to.
SKIP THIS MATCH: Roman Reigns vs Anderson & Gallows. Nothing furthered here.
You can find me over at hm_pufnstuf on twitter. Tell me how much you cried tonight over this very sad Raw.