Sunday, July 14, 2024

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RAW 05/07/18: Moon ready to rise

Backlash is over and we’re already switching gear for Money In The Bank… (still think this crossbrand PPV thing is gonna work?) Let’s see how the gear switch happened – with Nia Jax retaining her RAW Women’s Championship against Alexa Bliss at Backlash, the Money In The Bank event switches the attention from the Champion, to future challengers so who is ready to step up to the plate?

Ahead of the show, it’s announced that Ember Moon, Ruby Riott and Sasha Banks will compete in a triple threat match to qualify for the Women’s Money In The Bank Ladder match. It is also revealed that there will be ONE match, with FOUR competitors from RAW and SmackDown each.

Our triple threat match was one of the better matches this year, but it’s unfortunate that the crowd sucked ass during it. And yes, I am talking about that guy who proposed to his fiancee and distracted a whole section of crowd. If by any chance that couple are readers here, then yeah that timing was disrespectful. Pick a commercial break or a Jinder Mahal promo, better yet, who the hell wants to be proposed to on a TV wrestling show taping anyway?

Aaaaanyway, let me get back to the coverage: the match starts off at a quick pace and we have a really cool interchange between Banks and Moon (dream match anyone?!). Most of the match consists of Moon and Riott working together. The rest of the Riott Squad, Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan, help to make sure Riott stays on top throughout, she also hits a sweet reverse DDT and STO on both opponents for a couple nearfalls.

The match really picks up when Banks gets back into the match, taking out Logan and Morgan with a rolling dive from the second rope to the outside. Riott then catches her with a missile dropkick from the apron, only to then get laid out cleanly by one of Moon’s perfect suicide dives. When they get back into the ring, Riott hits a frankensteiner on Banks only to get rolled into a pinfall that gets broken up by the Riott Squad.

While Morgan and Logan lay the beatdown on Banks, Bayley runs down to the ring to even the odds against the Riott Squad! Banks and Riott square off in the ring and just as Banks tries to finish off Riott with a Bank Statement, Moon flies off the top rope and hits a double Eclipse on both of them! The first entrant in the 2nd ever Money In The Bank ladder match is Ember Moon!

Following her victory, Ember is interviewed backstage and asked how she’s feeling… and yes… she’s feeling “over the ‘moon’”. Facepalms all round. She bigs up her ‘warrior’ character and seems to be thrilled to make her mark on RAW.

Throughout the show, female Superstars including Bayley, Alexa Bliss (guess she’s not as injured as we thought or it was pre-taped before?) and Natalya state why they they’ll be victorious at Money In The Bank.

Thoughts: Now I know a lot of you lot are gonna come for me because last week I was like ‘Ember’s gonna suffer’ and now she’s here winning the first qualifying match. But again, this kind of proves my point. She’s not really got anything to do now for the next 5 weeks since we know she’s in the match. Everyone is going to get so hyped about who will take the remaining spots that she’s going to fall to the wayside. I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely thrilled that she’s going to be in the match and she honestly has a VERY good chance of winning, but for someone still so new to the roster, the crowd still needs to get to know who she is.

That is a big factor why the triple threat match didn’t connect with the crowd. Had that been an NXT crowd, the roof would have been blown off during that match. However, the main roster audience barely know Ember Moon and Ruby Riott, which is why I found it very odd that they’d make those two work most of the match. Again, it’s not a terrible thing because they needed that platform to shine (which they did), but it’s not a surprise that a crowd slowly turned off until Sasha Banks got in the ring again.

And ok, so Bayley and Banks takes a new step with Bayley extending the olive branch, I liked this. Sure a lot of us a probably switched off again, but Bayley is a natural babyface and Banks is a natural heel, so making Bayley the underdog is exactly what she needs. Banks sticking to her guns and not helping out Bayley will be a nice next step in their big slowburner storyline.

I know I ranted about the proposal in the top of the article, but that really annoyed me. I mean, I’m happy for the couple and all that, but it almost felt like they chose the women’s match. It’s a shame that there’s still a circle still like that around that can’t appreciate some good quality women’s wrestling!

Also, I guess Nia Jax must have knocked herself out at Backlash because she didn’t look great following the match and this no-show probably means that something happened. Hopefully, it’s nothing too serious, but if her feud with Alexa Bliss is over, then I wonder what their plans are for her at MITB.

Finally, I guess all attention is on who takes the rest of the spots in the MITB match now. I personally wouldn’t want Alexa Bliss or Charlotte Flair in the match. They’ve been in the title scene, they’re established stars and they have solid characters. After seeing the way Carmella has elevated up the ranks even before she cashed in the title, that potential needs to go to someone who is a) in dire need of refreshing b) in need of a bit more character development.

For me, I’d have the following:
RAW: Ember Moon, Sasha Banks, Bayley & Mickie James
SmackDown: Naomi, Asuka, Peyton Royce & Becky Lynch

Disagree with me? Then get at me in the comments section! Who else do you want to be in the match? Do you share my anger for that couple who proposed? Did you enjoy that triple threat match?

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