Raw on Hulu is the best option for most fans seeking to catch WWE's Monday night flagship. It takes the 3-hour program and cuts it down to 90-minutes, trimming the fat and giving folks a version of the series that's closer to what basically everyone has been calling for for years. The bad news? The ride is ending. Possibly. A short-term extension has allowed for a pause to occur but, with Disney's current plans for Hulu and with Raw (and NXT) being shopped around, you shouldn't get too comfortable.

Cody Rhodes kicks things off, but we quickly head to a flashback package looking at last week's ending. Around 8,000 were announced as being in attendance, for those that care. Rhodes made it clear that Jey moving to Raw meant someone had to move to SD. He spoke on the reasons why he helped Uso, but Judgement Day quickly interrupted him.

Dom has heat! The production tricks were a nice touch. After some words, the heel unit would start heading toward the ring. Jey came to assist Cody, to be joined shortly after by Kevin and Sami, forcing Finn and crew to back down. JD came out with chairs, wanting to prove his worth to the JD and to even things back up. Priest held back a bit, but all eight would eventually brawl. For his sins, he'd get the worst of it.

A good segment in all, with Cody playing his role especially well and serving nicely as the general of the segment.

Becky and Nox shared some words for an NXT Women's Title program tie-in. Becky got the nod in an effort to boost numbers during contract negotiations, but I wonder how many fans actually appreciate the move? Pearce was joined after the ads by Nox and Natayla in a segment to set up a match between the two, with the winner getting a title shot against Lynch.

Ciampa took on Imperium's Kaiser in our first match of the evening. Meant as a building block on the road to Ciampa versus Gunther, this still delivered decently on expectations given the general circumstances. The finish was the weakest portion and, for the record, there are better ways to build up a singles match than having a dude goof on his unit-mates, though.

A hype reel for Dragon Lee runs next to plug his debut; a title shot against Rey's little boy.

Moving along, Becky joined commentary to watch Natayla face Nox. It didn't last long at all, and saw the younger talent get the nod in sub-3. Tegan came off as a legit threat and I appreciated her intensity. Decent for what it was.

Priest told JD to fuck off backstage.

The WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Seth Rollins, was bright red and had some steam behind him. He's tired of Shinsuke and his shit and was in the mood for a choir. He called Nakamura out and was answered by a recorded package requesting a last man standing bout at Fastlane next month.

Seth responded with unease, but talked himself up into it and sold the match with lines that felt like he was really feeling historical Greek theatre. Fuck it, this was enjoyable TV.  

Dragon Lee was out next. I'm sure he felt good about his choice in joining WWE this night. I wish him nothing but the best and am hopeful that we'll see him more often on Raw and SD. Bestia even got a shoutout from Cole, which was pure comedy. The contest, with the NXT North American Championship on the line, was pretty damn good and saw both light a fire for ten-minutes. Dom was good. Dragon Lee was, as always, excellent. 

If you missed this one, you should likely fix that ASAP.

Kevin and Sami were interviewed backstage. Kevin just wants to punch things. Jey was backstage too and was asked about his choice to reject Judgement Day. He said he just didn't want to be in a group right now and is cool with Zayn.

More ads followed. So. Many. Ads.

When we returned, The Miz was here to host his talk show segment and his guest was Drew McIntyre. He was asked why he didn't help Jey the week before when Judgement Day were ganging up on him, and Miz piled on reminders of the Scottish Warrior's issues with The Bloodline as a rider immediately. 

Drew was clear and said karma was at play. Moments later, Kofi and Woods came out to ask how McIntyre's junk was doing and said they had been watching him closely. Drew took down Miz and then said he wanted to show Kofi something hard.

A decent segment, to be honest.

Commercial break.

The bell rang and Drew would go on to show Kofi something hard. The two actually put in for a pretty decent TV contest. Ivar would come out and mess up Woods, providing for a bit of a distraction and leading us into the finish.

I'm all for Drew being a force on TV!

I noticed that only 25-minutes remained in the stream during that one. I also saw that this match was supposed to be about 12 and the main was a hair over 20. That was concerning. Only 16 and change remained by the time it ended.

After, Ivar attacked Kofi while Drew walked off while Not-Max existed.

Gunther was pissed off backstage and Imperium tensions sparked. The champ is going to take care of Ciampa himself.

Guess what? It's commercial break time, again.

Stratton versus Lynch in an Extreme Rules match at No Mercy is plugged. Nox's shot is set for next week and contract signing is set for next week's Raw between Gunther and Ciampa, too.

Judgement Day arrived for the main next, with their straps on the line against Kevin and Sami. There was a decent energy right out of the gate for this one and they started off with a strong intensity to match it. Props. Steenerico and Punishment Apollo worked well in the role of Raw main event and was a generally well worked, high drama affair that saw Dom, Jey, JD, and Cody all involved.

Sports entertainment done right.

JD hit Sami with a blue belt to give us the finish which saw The JD retain.

After, we had a huge brawl

The Gods of Hulu blessed us, skipping the Nia match. No one wanted her back. Not a single fucking person. Oh well. I'll likely never have to watch her anyway, thanks to my skip around review style. It's how you preserve sanity, folks! That said, if you can afford the ad-free version of Hulu, I envy you.

Raw was honestly good this week. The segments were all decent to good and the action was good to great. If you missed the show, consider the Hulu version for sure because honestly this was a fun episode!

Match Ratings

  1. Ciampa vs Kaiser ***
  2. Nox vs Natayla NR
  3. NXT North American Title: Dominik(c) vs Dragon Lee ***3/4
  4. McIntyre vs Kofi ***1/4
  5. WWE Undisputed Tag Titles: Judgement Day(c) vs Owens, Zayn ***3/4

Episode Rating: 75/100%