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With Money in the Bank coming up in June, this week’s Raw once again had a number of qualifier matches to see who would be in the running for the extremely powerful Money in the Bank briefcase. For those who may not be aware, the briefcase contains a contract that lets any WWE Superstar have a title match at any given time. As a result, it’s a pretty hot commodity.
The biggest WWE announcement of the day didn’t actually happen on Raw, however. Instead, it happened during NBC’s “upfronts” in NYC, where the company announced and highlighted shows for the upcoming television season.
A number of WWE superstars attended—and one those superstars happened to be Ronda Rousey, the former UFC champion who impressed the crowd at WrestleMania by defeating Triple-H and Stephanie McMahon alongside Kurt Angle. During a seemingly innocuous interview, Rousey was interrupted by Nia Jax, Raw‘s current Women’s Champion. Jax came to deliver a message: She’s chosen who she wants to fight for the belt at Money in the Bank, and it’s Rousey.
While Rousey was understandably blindsided by the offer, she ultimately accepted, which means we’ll be seeing Rousey’s first WWE title shot sooner rather than later.
Meanwhile, Raw’s superstars were in the UK, duking it out to determine who would make it into the iconic briefcase ladder match. The first qualifier was a three-way match between the “Glorious” Bobby Roode, former briefcase holder Baron Corbin, and energetic former NXT star No Way Jose. While Corbin hoped he could get redemption for his now-infamous failed cash-in, he unfortunately fell out of the ring thanks to a well-timed sidestep by Roode, who then pinned Jose for the win.
The women’s qualifier featured a three-wrestler match between Alexa Bliss, Mickie James, and Bayley. The match felt like a 2-on-1 fight, with James allying with her friend Bliss to keep Bayley from getting the advantage. While Bayley eventually managed to get James out of the ring, Bliss ultimately got the victory. It’s pretty clear that Bliss’ next goal is to face the winner of Jax vs. Rousey—especially now that Bliss’ frenemy Jax is holding the belt.
The last match of the night featured some unexpected, last-minute changes. Earlier in the night, Roman Reigns aired his complaint that Jinder Mahal cost him the qualifier last week. When General Manager Kurt Angle made it clear that he wouldn’t give Reigns another chance, Reigns let out his frustration backstage by assaulting Mahal:
Consequently, Mahal’s scheduled qualifier against Bobby Lashley and Elias later in the night got a last-minute substitute in the form of Kevin Owens. While Lashley and Elias were formidable opponents, Owens won the way he usually does: By having his best friend Sami Zayn interrupt the match, giving Owens the opportunity to get a pin in the chaos. We’ll say one thing: He’s awfully lucky the match was “No Disqualifications.”
While the card for Money in the Bank is starting to take shape, we’re still weeks away from the event. Who knows what more surprises WWE has in store until then?