Raw 05/28/18: And Banks makes Eight

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Hola Diva Dirt fans and welcome to this week’s Raw Recap. It’s Josue and I’ll be pulling Raw duty for Alex again. Well after nearly a month of qualifying matches, we finally know who will be the eight Superstars competing at this year’s Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder match!

Throughout the night, some of the competitors to gauntlet match delivered some pre-match promos:

Prior to the main event Gauntlet Match, Raw Women’s Champion Nia Jax was in action… kinda? Her MITB challenger Ronda Rousey came out in the middle of Jax’s entrance to join the commentary team table.

Despite the entrance interruption, Jax took to the mic to say she was glad to see Rousey out as she will get a first look at what awaits her at MITB. Jax says the armbar “doesn’t really mean much” to her and challenges her opponent, Michelle Webb (Madi Maxx), to “demonstrate” an armbar. Webb locks it in but Jax easily overpowers and counters with a Powerbomb.

Jax offers Webb another chance to apply the submission but this time Jax lays Webb out with a Samoan Drop. Jax continues to toy with Rousey, saying the match could be over but she has a few more tricks to show: a Leg Drop and Rolling Senton on Webb.

Jax warns Rousey, saying she has never experienced anything like this in the UFC. After completely laying out Webb, Jax invites Rousey to come down the ring to offer some assistance. Rousey slowly made her way to the ring, where Jax got in Rousey’s face to say she wasn’t intimated by Rousey but rather finds her “humorous” and “cute”.

Rousey’s good friend Natalya will meet Nia Jax in a match on next week’s Raw.

As it was already mentioned, Banks was able to make a statement in the Last Chance Gauntlet Match by outlasting six other Superstars to secure the final spot in the Women’s MITB Ladder Match.

Post-match, Banks is flooded with emotions. Not only was she a part of the main event of Monday Night Raw but with her spot at MITB secure, she has big ans on becoming a five-time Raw Women’s Champion.

Thoughts: So last week, we had the help of Stephanie McMahon delivering the jabs and helping build this Jax/Rousey MITB title match. However, this week really threw a monkey wrench with the two having to stand on their own.

We have Jax turning Heel, despite championing a message of standing up to bullies earlier this month and Rousey just standing there and taking Jax’s trash talk. Rousey has been built as this unbeatable force so far and I would think that the there would be a different way to respond to Jax’s taunting. We are still three weeks away from MITB but I’m just not sold on this match at all. What can else can we expect from these next few weeks?

I think eight competitors is too much of a cluster for any match. Personally, I would’ve been fine with just six competitors for the MITB Ladder match but with the event entering the dual brand and “Big 5 PPV” phase, I see why the extra bodies were added to the match this year.

As with most Gauntlet matches, this one included quick and forgettable eliminations with things only really picking up and feeling important when it came to the final two competitors. Despite this, I will say there were tons of great moments between Banks and Riott – much like their match from a few weeks ago. Part of me is ready to see Riott break out of the Riott Squad phase to take on the solo breakout role. I was surprised that the final two didn’t come down to Bayley and Sasha Banks, seeing as how WWE like any chance of adding heat to this on and off/hot and cold rivalry. Maybe some space from one another is a good thing.

With all the competitors now determine for MTIB, I would like to see how things will play out on both Raw and SmackDown. So far we know Natalya is playing double duty with the MITB picture and helping her friend Ronda Rousey prep against Nia Jax. Given WWE’s history, we’ll probably see a combination of tag team matches but hey, maybe they’ll surprise with singles competition like they did with Ember Moon and Alexa Bliss as they did last week?

What did you think of this week’s Monday Night Raw? Are you sold on this Nia Jax versus Ronda Rousey feud? What do you think will happen in the weeks leading up to MITB? Let us know in the comments below!