WWE Monday Night RAW in Manchester

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Chances are you are not reading this recap, because spoilers were published all over the dirthseets a few hours ago. But in case you felt like catching this live, I will show my appreciation with a slow, repetitive, head-nodding movement in gratitude.

The major spoiler is out, Undertaker and Kane returned tonight to lay waste to the Wyatt Family.

Seth Rollins, while not in attendance, gets a huge respectful ovation from the live Manchester crowd. Many are upset he had to vacate the WWE Championship, but when you are out nine months, you surpass the amount of time Brock Lesnar is allowed to babysit the championship.

Triple H starts the show off discussing the tournament, and brings out Roman Reigns. Triple H the cuts a fantastic promo, with some cracks in the fourth wall, discussion how not everyone will like you, and how sometimes you just don’t get everything you want. He offers Reigns the WWE Championship since Rollins is out of the picture, but Reigns, sticking to standard babyface script, refuses, and Triple H sends him to the “back of the line” and faces the Big Show in the first round. So, this is not a one night tournament, but will conclude at Survivor Series. Good idea, allowing for currently running storylines to continue on. Reigns gets the pinfall victory.

Crowd seems to lose interest, but it seems either the sound was off or WWE post-production opted to alter some of the crowd cheers. Because they NEVER do that on Smackdown. I thought it was a good match.

Kevin Owens advances to the next round by defeating Titus O’Neal. Mr. KO cuts a solid promo at the start, he is just so damn good on the mic. He goes over O’Neal in a good looking match. While O’Neal put on a good showing, it is a bummer to see Titus wasted like this. You have a glimmer of hope he might pull a win, except Owens is huge over right now, and Titus has been reduced to jobber. Owens as WWE Champ? Won’t happen, but yes please.

Becky Lynch defeated Paige with an assist by using the tights. Did not expect Lynch to take a heel-route for victory, but this feud is being billed as an intense grudge, so it makes sense. Post match Paige attacks, but Charlotte makes the save.

To the surprise of no one, The Miz eats superkick sandwiches and takes the fall for Dolph Ziggler. Yeah, this is the guy we want to go to the finals. The shot of him holding the title gets a huge eruption from the crowd, dare I say louder than Owens.

So… They are still running with the MexAmerica gimmick. Sigh. I don’t like this. Alberto del Rio does not need a lame gimmick like this. He can keep Zeb Colter as manager, but they don’t need to keep running the political agenda. Just use him as a mouthpiece. Del Rio is good on the mic on his own, but that is not the gripe. It is the gripe that he is facing Stardust on SmackDown. I am no doubt Del Rio will win, but this is going nowhere.

Natalya wins! Natalya wins! The daughter of a Neidhart gets a win for once. Post match, a resulting brawl sees Team BAD overpower Natalya, with Sasha trapping her in the Bank Statement. So… the point of this was what exactly? Continue burying Nattie?

Now things get interesting with the international side, as King Barrett cuts a promo with Sheamus, bashing Manchester United and football star Wayne Rooney, who just so happens to be in attendance.

I wonder what will happen next?

Sheamus and Cesaro have a good back-and-forth, and these guys can slug it out. During the match, Barrett and Rooney get into an argument, resulting in Rooney smacking King Barrett, which distracts Sheamus, allowing Cesaro to roll him up for the win. Not terrible, but not a fan of these types of finishes. I am happy to see Cesaro in the tourney.

Dean Ambrose picks up the win to advance to the next round of the tournament against Tyler Breeze. Clean bout between them, and Breeze is definitely over with the crowd. The guy put on a great showing with Ambrose, the two of them kept the pace even and while a loss is not the best way to make a debut on RAW, still a great match.

The New Day. The. New. Day. Is it lame to say they get better each week? They do. The antics get loonier, the promos get crazier, Big E. Langston’s gyrations get weirder. They pick up a big win over the Usos and Neville. This time, Neville gets thrown off the top, and Xavier Woods makes the cover for the win. Usos seemed a bit rusty, but overall a great main event match.

If you watched live, the announce team constantly referred to the Brothers of Destruction as Undertaker and Demon Kane. Not just Kane, but adding “Demon.” He was never called that as his name until two weeks ago. He was nicknamed as such at one point, but not sure why they need to call him Demon Kane. In any case, Bray Wyatt begins to eulogize the Deadman and the Red Machine, making some respectable points about their careers, but then goes off on possessing their powers and such, which results in the Brothers of Destruction arriving in Manchester, crowd going crazy, and a pier-six brawl erupting. At one point it seemed Braun Strowman was going to stop them, but is driven from the ring. The show closes with the Brothers double-chokeslamming Bray.

My guess is, Bray’s magic act was all just smoke and mirrors, the Brothers of Destruction are back.