What’s the story?
As is standard, WWE holds a dark match for the fans in the arena after Raw goes off the air. But this week was different, as a dark match took place through the show itself! Thanks to Ringside News for the update.
In case you didn’t know…
Usually, there’s a dark match after Raw goes off the air, before SmackDown Live stars rolling, and after 205 Live is finished.
This week’s Raw saw three Money in the Bank qualifying matches, an interview segment with Bobby Lashley, an Intercontinental Championship open challenge and other singles and tag team matches of lesser significance.
The heart of the matter
Bobby Lashley and Braun Strowman defeated the team of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn last Sunday night at Backlash. On the fallout episode of Raw, Lashley was not present on the show personally, instead appearing in a pre-recorded interview segment with Renee Young.
As the interview segment played from TV, the fans in the arena witnessed the dominant team from NXT – Authors of Pain – Akam and Rezar defeat two local enhancement talents in a squash match.
The other day, when Raw was held in Montreal, AoP took on two local talents Francois and Jean-Paul and defeated them easily.
AOP debuted on the key roster on the Raw after WrestleMania 34 and after defeating Heath Slater and Rhyno on a single show, Akam and Rezar seemingly eliminated their manager from NXT – Paul Ellering. Both have now been involved with similar squash matches ever since then, with no apparent storylines.
It remains to be observed what WWE has planned for the former NXT Tag Team Champions.
After the Superstar Shakeup 2018, it seems like the Raw Tag Team division could have ended up with the shorter end of the stick. However, this really is an opportunity for teams like AOP to carve a place for themselves as a dominant force in the company.