It was an interesting Raw with some great matches and segments. Overall, the show serves as a solid precursor to Summerslam happening this Sunday (or Monday morning for us here).
There were even a few surprises including the appearance of a familiar face.
Match 1: Tag Team Match (Non-Titled)
Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair vs Natalya and Trish Stratus
Flair was brutal against Natalya, denying her any attempts to turn the tide of the match in her favour. Meanwhile, Trish kept giving her support from the corner. At one point, Lynch asked for a tag but Flair refused, holding her hand out before running it through her hair in true mocking fashion. This got jeers from the crowd. The match soon allowed Natalya to get an opening but she could tag in Trish, Flair pulled her back. Eventually, Natalya did capitalise and when Flair hit the ropes, Lynch slapped her back for a blind tag, giving Flair no choice but to step out of the ring. Not happy, Flair attacked Lynch from behind and left the match.
While Flair walked up the ramp, Natalya caught Lynch in the Sharpshooter. Luckily for Lynch, she managed to get to the bottom rope but Natalya refused to let go after the count of five, effectively ending the match in a disqualification. This meant that Lynch and Flair won the match. Despite the final bell, Natalya still wouldn’t let go of Lynch till Trish came in to separate them but got shoved backwards by her own partner instead. Clearly hurt, Lynch somehow made it back to her feet and limped away.
Overall, a solid setup for Summerslam.
Winners: Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair (via DQ)
Match 2: Singles Match
Rey Mysterio vs Andrade (w/ Zelina Vega)
This match is a personal favourite. Lots of great spots by both superstars set at a pace so fast that it only heightens the excitement and not make me feel lost at all. At one point, Mysterio did an incredible running baseball slide out of the ring that connects with a sunset flip on Andrade on the outside floor. Then at another, Andrade gained control of the match before hitting a painful Tree of Woe double foot stomp on Mysterio.
There’s a lot of breathtaking back and forth. After a super fast corner running double knee smash, Andrade went for the pin but Mysterio kicked out before three. Later in the match, Mysterio seized the opportunity for the 619 but when he followed it up with a flying crossbody, Andrade pulled up his knees at the last second. Mysterio countered with a small package pin but this time it’s Andrade who kicked out and pinned him. Again, a kickout. Things became for desperate for Andrade as he tried to pull off Mysterio’s mask, just like he did last time. The referee stepped in and separated them before issuing Andrade a warning. Meanwhile, Vega snuck over to Mysterio and dropped him with a neckbreaker on the middle rope. The interference helped as Andrade managed to end the match with the Hammerlock DDT, defeating Mysterio.
Segment: Maria and Mike Kanellis at the OB/GYN visit
The whole time, Maria continued to emasculate Mike and even criticised his massage skills. But eventually the couple shared a hug, which suspiciously looked like he’s pinning her.
Match 3: 24/7 Championship Match
Maria Kanellis (C) vs Mike Kanellis
The doctor turned out to be a referee in disguise and started the 123 count, resulting in Mike becoming the new 24/7 Champion.
Winner: Mike Kanellis (NEW 24/7 champion)
Match 4: 24/7 Championship Match
Mike Kanellis (C) vs R-Truth
Mike came out of the doctor’s room with the title to celebrate, only to spot R-Truth disguised as a pregnant lady. Truth then pinned Mike with a rollup and the “doctor” ran out to count the pin, leaving him to win back the title. Carmella (who was beside him the whole time) hopped on R-Truth’s back before he ran off with his 24/7 championship.
Winner: R-Truth (NEW 24/7 champion)
Segment: Brock Lesnar gave Seth Rollins another beating, Rollins vowed to make it to Summerslam
After a recap of last week, Paul Heyman revealed to the crowd that he had information about Seth Rollins being in the city that night. He also wondered out loud why they would cheer for someone who “has more balls than he does brains”. At this point, Rollins’ music hit as he came out limping with a steel chair in hand. Heyman could be heard warning Rollins to back away or he’d get hurt again.
But The Beastslayer wasn’t one to quit as he entered the ring and started charging at Universal Champion Lesnar. And that’s when things quickly went wrong for Rollins as Lesnar easily countered with a hard boot to the ribs, stopping Rollins dead in his tracks. Lesnar grabbed the chair from Rollins and attacked his back with it. While Heyman watched in fear at ringside with his client’s Universal title on his shoulder, Lesnar proceeded to give Rollins another horrific beating and even tore off his shirt to reveal his bandaged torso that got the crowd jeering. Ringside commentators all agreed that Rollins didn’t need to be a hero and shouldn’t have come out here tonight.
At this point, Heyman could be heard repeatedly yelling “What is wrong with you?!” Lesnar then gave Rollins one final F5 before backing off, leaving Rollins writhing in total agony in the middle of the ring. Lesnar stood towering over Rollins and raised the Universal title, to the chorus of boos.
After a commercial break, Rollins managed to drag himself over to the bottom rope when he sat up leaning. Taking a mic, Rollins spoke about being beaten down, fighting back and how this was all he ever wanted. “I’ll beat Brock Lesnar… I guarantee it.” The whole time during this part, the fans were weirdly quiet.
But it was a very intense segment that built up to what would no doubt be a very physical match between the two. Despite his condition, Rollins left the ring slowly while grimacing, ignoring the referees and EMTs to walk on his own.
Match 5: Tag Team Match
The Viking Raiders vs Jay Alexander and Eric Abraham
Just a straight-up brutal match where The Viking Raiders completely destroyed the Alexander and Abraham, two local wrestlers. They made quick work too, showing their massive strength and dominance that ended with The Viking Experience for the 123.
Winners: The Viking Raiders
Match 6: Singles Match
Cedric Alexander vs Drew McIntyre (w/ Kurt Angle as special guest referee)
During Alexander’s entrance, McIntyre attacked him from behind and punished him around the ring, throwing him into the crowd barrier. Alexander managed to fight back and leapt off the barrier for an impressive tornado DDT, spiking McIntyre’s head right into the hard floor.
Suddenly, the lights went out and “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt appeared to attack Angle who’s been inside the ring the whole time. The Fiend kept Angle down with the Mandible Claw before the lights went out again and all we could hear was laughter as it rang out through the arena. Amazing!
Not sure what the purpose of this was, other than for the shock factor, but The Fiend is one of the most intriguing characters on WWE TV and I’m here for it!
Winner: None (or probably The Fiend lol)
Match 7: 6-Man Tag Team MatchM
The New Day and Ricochet vs The O.C.
The match was initially a regular tag team between New Day and Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. But as soon as Xavier Woods and Anderson kicked things off, AJ Styles jumped in and things quickly escalated to a 3-on-2 attack. Or as one of the commentators called it, “not a competition, it’s just a beatdown”.
That’s when cavalry arrived in the form of Ricochet as he came running out to clear the ring of the O.C. to help The New Day. The match officially became a 6-man tag. Woods was initially impressive in his efforts but Gallows, who wore face paint as a throwback to his Japan days, proved to be the star of the match as he was able to maintain control of the match for his team, keeping Big E Langston down and countering Ricochet with a toss right into the barrier. In the end, he and Anderson took down Woods with the Magic Killer for the win.
Winners: The O.C.
Segment: Samoa Joe demanded apology from Roman Reigns, Reigns got attacked in the parking lot
Things hadn’t stopped being bad for Roman Reigns as he was once again involved in a near accident. This time, he was in the parking lot during a confrontation with Samoa Joe. Joe was demanding Reigns to apologise because he had been wrongfully accused for last week’s forklift incident. That’s when a second car came speeding towards Reigns’ car and crashed into it, forcing him to dive inside. The car then quickly sped off, the driver’s identity remaining a secret.
During the commercial break, Joe stayed with Reigns and told him to stay down while yelling for medic and security. Triple H also came over to check on Reigns who appeared to be unhurt but in shock.
This angle reminded me of the one with Stone Cold and Rikishi where he “did it for The Rock”. So could it be Joe who is still ultimately responsible, like maybe he hired someone else to do the dirty work so as to show his “innocence”? Or is it really someone else and this will only lead to Joe teaming up with Reigns against a common enemy? Either way, it would be interesting to see how it pans out.
Match 8: Fatal 4-Way Women’s Tag Team Championship match
The IIconics (C) vs The Kabuki Warriors, Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross vs Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville
Why, oh, why do they continue to lump the female wrestlers in a match like this?? After an impressive showing by the defending champs, The IIconics, their reign ended too quickly in the match, thanks to Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. As Billie Kay screamed during their post-elimination meltdown, “YOU’VE GOT TO BE JOKING ME!!” (see footage below)
But Rose and Deville were soon overpowered by The Kabuki Warriors and Asuka eventually made Rose tap out with the Asuka Lock. Next, Nikki Cross took on Asuka who put up a great fight, keeping Cross down in submissions. But Cross soon turned the tables as she quickly gained momentum with near falls. Asuka returned the favour with an effective German suplex that left both crawling towards their partners for the hot tag. Once tagged in, Alexa Bliss and Kairi Sane picked up the pace of the match with fast offences. Just when things were going well for The Kabuki Warriors, Cross shoved Sane off the top rope behind the ref’s back. Asuka finally broke away from the ref and charged at Cross who pulled the apron, making fall right into the gap. Things just went downhill from there as Bliss eventually took Sane out with the Twisted Bliss, allowing her and Cross to walk away the new champions.
After all the buildup between The IIconics and The Kabuki Warriors, the ending for this match is a shocker. I don’t particularly like it but this could be just the next hurdle for Asuka and Sane to overcome in the future.
Winners: Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross (NEW Raw Women’s Champions)
***Post-match bonus: The IIconics’ meltdown after being eliminated
Segment: Shawn Michaels and The Miz tricked Dolph Ziggler into facing Goldberg at Summerslam
Despite Shawn Michaels standing there in the ring, Dolph Ziggler called himself a legend before signing the contract without reading. In an amusing twist, Miz revealed that Ziggler wouldn’t be facing him at Summerslam before gesturing towards HBK. The crowd grew excited but HBK then said it’s not him. Ziggler looked at them confused before Miz appeared over HBK’s shoulder and pointed to the stage behind Ziggler.
Goldberg’s music hit and everyone went nuts. The Hall of Famer came out to the ring and Ziggler took off his jacket, as if about to fight, but escapes the ring instead as Goldberg entered the ring. Without wasting time, Goldberg signed the contract to officially face Ziggler at Summerslam. The crowd broke out the Goldberg chants and Goldberg called out to Ziggler with a terrifying sneer before yelling, “You’re next!” Ziggler got all riled up and as he reached the top of the ramp, he got struck by HBK’s Sweet Chin Music, revenge for what he did last week.
Yeah nobody wants to be Ziggler right now or at Summerslam… This segment, though an odd way to end the show, was satisfyingly amusing. What’s the lesson here? Always read the fine print before signing!