I love general threads with multiple twists, turns, and a logical conclusion. Monday night raw Kick off this week with a match between WWE Champion Big E and Bobby Lashley. Lashley really believes that E can’t beat him, which explains all the streamlining he’s done since All Mighty added “former WWE Champion” to his resume. His first match, which was ill in every way, featured a dominant Lashley and the reinstatement of Hurt Business.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Hurt Business is apparently back in business. Once Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander made their presence known, Xavier Woods and Kofi Kington intervened. A fight ensued, a DQ was dealt and it was the best kind of chaos. Adam Pearce, clearly not a fan of everything he saw, said the match would continue later tonight in a steel cage. No businesses hurt, no new day. Just Lashley x E trapped in twisted steel.
These two cats did not disappoint.
In addition to the brutality of the match, it was the clear despair displayed by both men. Bobby lashley necessary to beat E to prove his point. Before the bell rang, he had every advantage over the champion. Lashley didn’t want to leave anything to chance and wanted every advantage he could muster. If that meant throwing E out on the court before the match officially started, so be it. If that meant calling Hurt Business to do business, that’s fine too.
me necessary beat the All Mighty to silence him and anyone else who thinks he is not a legitimate champion. Despite the pre-game screams, E turned Lashley on like a pinball machine once the bell rang. She used the cage to her advantage from time to time, but she wanted to dominate the man. It wasn’t just about proving he was the best man; E needed to prove that he was the strongest man.
In every good or great wrestling match, a character flaw is displayed and exploited. Early in the game, we got ours from Lashley. Rather than continue with nailing attempts, Lashley attempted to climb. Corey Graves, a man who should be dedicating himself to being Flava Flav at Lashley’s Chuck D, said Bobby wants to win the title in dramatic fashion.
Bobby’s ego didn’t allow him to take the W when he was there; he had to show the pot and continue his usual line passing pattern. And it stopped him from coming out and tried to do a Grand Final from the top rope, but sadly, it wasn’t meant to be.
Not yet, anyway.
We even got a sneak peek at a Hurt Business x New Day dispute that I’m dying to see. When Shelton and Cedric interfered to prevent the champion from escaping, Woods and Kofi acted as they should. Woods, in particular, looked like a man who needs a belt around his waist when he slammed the cage door on Bobby Lashley’s head, and gave Cedric a super kick. Main event. There is no disgust with man or Main event, but yeah, you get the point.
Once the four men were finally in the locker room, E and Lashley continued their war. That desperation I mentioned reappeared when both men had a chance to walk out the door. When Lashley tried to get out, E grabbed his arm as many times as he could. When E looked ready to go, Lashley grabbed him by the ankle.
They were literally holding on for their lives because the title, and hitting each other, means a lot to them. Neither of us wanted to stay down and neither could stay down. E survived a spear and a thorn breaker, while Lashley survived multiple suplexes and a Grand Final.
But when the challenger had the champion in a precarious position, his fatal flaw reared its ugly head again. Rather than walk out the door or go for a pinfall, he once again decided to get out of the ring, seemingly learning nothing from before. E caught him again and this time, he nailed the Grand Final from the top rope.
As he enjoyed the moment, a familiar tune echoed from the arena speakers and Drew McIntyre, sword in hand, made his intentions known to the champion. We didn’t have a fight, and no sword games yet, but it’s clear that Drew Mac wants a fight and E is ready to give it to him.
I hope this is not the last tango that Hurt Business and New Day do, but this was a fantastic story and a fantastic match. In just a few weeks, E and Bobby told a succinct story with a logical conclusion. Well done guys.
Priest x Sheamus go extreme
I didn’t think they would catch me. After watching Sheamus and Damian Priest go blow by blow for the United States Championship for several weeks, I got it. Priest is better than Sheamus right now. How many times can they tell the same story?
Well, it’s a good thing I didn’t put any money into that because the extreme rules stipulation was the proper escalation of a dispute based on physicality. As is customary in most matches like this in WWE these days, they start wrestling until a guy realizes that they can use kendo sticks, chairs, and whatever loot they can find. Chekov’s table made an early appearance thanks to the champion, and suffered a white noise for its troubles. In fact, with Sheamus’ history as a fighter, one might think that this was the perfect match for him to finally surpass the Infamous and snatch the gold from him. Right?
Yes, about that. We’ve seen Priest outwit Sheamus in his previous games. Even last night, he was faster on the draw than the Celtic Warrior. This week, Priest proved that he is also the best man physically. He survived Sheamus’ best punches and, at my favorite spot of the night, he threw a chair at the man’s face to counter a Brogue Kick.
In the end, Sheamus met his … reckoning … after passing a table in the corner of the ring and then taking a reckoning.
This should be the last gasp in this fight. The draft is Friday and these two have fought enough. Damian needs more challengers and Sheamus could benefit from a change of scenery. Good ending to a story that went a long way toward turning Damian into a real tough cat and not someone you want to mess with.
Words from Goldberg’s Garage
Goldberg doesn’t know what kind of dad Bobby Lashley is. Clearly, Lashley is not the type to have a painting of her arm and her baby clinging to said arm on her wall. But aside from that, Goldberg wants to keep a promise he made to his wife and son to always protect the latter, at all costs. If you’re lucky, you can kill Lashley.
This is a good story because it is easy to identify and understandable. Lashley hurt Goldberg’s son, Goldberg wants his pound of meat. And you know what? I hope I get it. Goldberg has never been the best promo, but it worked because it felt real and I’m riding with the old man.
AJ Styles can do pretty much anything he wants in a wrestling ring with anyone he chooses to do it with. Styles and Riddle starred in a TV fight that at times made it look like someone was legitimately injured. From a story point of view, I needed this W. AJ to accumulate several L’s over several weeks, and it looked anything but great. That changed this week and it was beautiful to watch.
Charlotte doesn’t have time for this either
Charlotte Flair squandered an open challenge on Doudrop because, of course, Eva Marie isn’t done with her former “friend” yet. Anyone who knows wrestling saw this coming from 25 miles away so not surprising. However, it is disappointing because there is no end in sight to this between Doudrop and Eva. plus ruins his first title match. Nobody was served well here, so consider it a swing and a mistake.
Crude it moves fast. Remember when I said it looks like we’re still doing this with Eva and Doudrop? How did I just say it? Scratch that. Eva got on the mic and said she should be CrudeWomen’s Champion. Plus, he thinks he can beat any woman in the locker room. This brought out an angry Shayna Baszler, who did to Eva the same thing she did to Nia Jax last week. I guess WWE thought Shayna would be booed for this.
Angel Garza x Erik danced a bit like a breather after the hot opening segment. It was a glorified pumpkin when Garza got the W.
Reggie lives to fight another day
Silly me for thinking that Richochet was having a real shot at getting some gold around his waist. Instead of a match full of cats getting taller than a giraffe, we were only able to test that until R-Truth, Drake Maverick, and friends interfered. Wherever this trip is going, I want to go.
That’s not a bear, that’s a BearCAT
Tozawa, fresh out of another 24/7 embarrassment, demanded a meeting with anyone. The newly minted Keith “Bearcat” Lee came out. Obviously this is a reboot for the previous unlimited. And it looks good. He seems like someone I should take seriously. But Bearcat? Seriously? I guess if you’re going to debut under that moniker, Cincinnati is the right place. If only Lee wasn’t from Texas.
Nikki ASH wants matching layers for Super Brutality. Rhea Ripley is not convinced.
Six men chaos
Jeff Hardy, Mansoor and Mustafa Ali against Jinder Mahal, Shanky and Veer battled in the ongoing saga of Jeff Hardy wandering from position to position on Monday nights. This was a fast hitter that didn’t last long enough to be good or bad. Jinder and the boys got the W as a waiting pattern before the draft continues.
He’s the commanding officer now
Another squash / holding pattern match between Karrion Kross and Jaxson Ryker. They’re building Kross as a dominant super destroyer, one that even poked fun at Ryker’s military service. It was a nice touch and added personality to a guy who needs everything he can to get over that look.
Crude it was good this week. The show moved briskly, was backed by two drug bouts that told a long story, and was mostly entertaining in between. While much of it was a waiting pattern because things change on Friday and next Monday, it was a good send-off for Crude based on what we know.
That’s my note and I keep it. Your turn.