Following a strong showing by Friday Night SmackDown, Raw wasted no time looking to assert its dominance during Night 2 of the WWE Draft, with first overall pick and Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch defeating Charlotte Flair to secure the evening’s first overall pick for Team Red.
The first surprise of Raw’s WWE Draft came at the end of the first round when USA Network execs used the No. 5 overall pick to draft Andrade and Zelina Vega. The pick was something of a curious one: For all his remarkable talent, the former NXT Champion has been conspicuously quiet since driving Rey Mysterio to the brink of retirement a couple of months ago. But Andrade quickly surged back into the forefront moments after his number was called, notching a win over Ali that served as notice that Raw won’t be relegated to B-show status quite so easily.
For months, The Viking Raiders’ ascension to the Raw Tag Team Championships has felt like a matter of when, not if. And now, that time has come. Following a non-title win over Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode that got them a championship match, Erik & Ivar finally stormed into Valhalla by defeating the titleholders to notch their first reign as Raw Tag Team Champions.
When it comes to Aleister Black and Eric Young, it’s a tale of two draft picks. Despite their similar world-traveled credentials, the former was a highly-coveted pick (he went 10th overall on Night 2 to Raw), while the latter was an undrafted signee by Team Red in the wake of the Draft’s first night. And while “The World’s Last Maniac” certainly showcased his agility and cunning, Black proved to be the marquee player his high selection suggested.
Once upon a time, the WWE Universe talked about Shelton Benjamin the way they talk about Ricochet now. So the pair’s match on Raw didn’t just have something of a generational flavor, it almost became the moment that Benjamin reclaimed his status as WWE’s resident five-tool player.
Braun Strowman might be a SmackDown Superstar now, but one bit of business remains on Team Red: A contract signing with Tyson Fury for their marquee match at WWE Crown Jewel. And if you ask both Strowman and the undefeated heavyweight boxing champion, each has the other right where they want him.
Right around the same time over the summer, Cedric Alexander and Buddy Murphy began to make long-awaited waves on Raw and SmackDown following months of inactivity in the wake of the Superstar Shake-up. Now, both former WWE Cruiserweight Champions are on Raw, and it looks like they won’t be relegated to the sidelines any longer. The two purple-brand veterans put on a barnburner in the middle of the WWE Draft that showcased what they’re all about … and why Murphy may hold the slight edge between the two.
It’s long been speculated that the most stringent rivals make the best partners, so it’s not that much of a surprise that Natalya selected SmackDown draftee Lacey Evans — the same Lacey Evans she’s been battling for a month — as her tag team partner against The Kabuki Warriors. Nor is it necessarily a surprise that The Warriors came out with the win. They’re the more established team and are the reigning WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, after all. What was somewhat surprising was that the pair turned out to be something of a perfect fit.
Seth Rollins is set to defend the Universal Championship against “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt in a Falls Count Anywhere Match at WWE Crown Jewel, and The Beastslayer is already taking the stipulation to heart. After vowing to take control of his destiny by finding Wyatt wherever he may be, the champion struck at the heart of his foe’s inner sanctum by invading the Firefly Fun House and burning it to the ground.
RAW full results:
- Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch def. Charlotte Flair to earn Raw the first Draft pick of the night
- Andrade def. Ali
- The Viking Raiders def. Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode to become the new Raw Tag Team Champions
- Aleister Black def. Eric Young
- Ricochet def. Shelton Benjamin
- Braun Strowman and Tyson Fury signed their WWE Crown Jewel contract
- Buddy Murphy def. Cedric Alexander
- WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions The Kabuki Warriors def. Natalya & Lacey Evans
- Universal Champion Seth Rollins burned down the Firefly Fun House