This week’s episode of Raw will feature a match between Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe with the winner facing Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title at SummerSlam on August 20. Also, there will be the reveal of a secret by Raw’s General Manager Kurt Angle. Let’s get to it.

Live from Nashville, Tennessee this is the Raw Deal for episode #1258. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Thanks Melo Man for the banner up top.

The opening video package promoted Kurt Angle’s secret being revealed later on Raw.

There was a live shot of the arena in Nashville with no pyro because WWE has discontinued pyro due to budget cuts. Coming up later is Angle’s reveal and Reigns vs. Joe to determine #1 Contender for Universal Title.

Dean Ambrose starts the show with a steel chair in his hand. Highlights aired of Ambrose and former ally Seth Rollins working together last week against Miz and his Miztourage.

Dean Ambrose Has Things To Say

Ambrose introduced “Music City USA” to his good friend “Steely Dan” as he held up his chair. Ambrose talked about how last week he and Steely Dan had a fun time lighting up Miz and his cronies. Ambrose invited Miz to come out there with his two boys right here, right now. Ambrose sat in the chair in the ring while telling Miz to bring more people with him because Dean is in Nashville, Tennessee (cheap pop) and he’s ready for a fight. Ambrose kept on ranting. Seth Rollins’ music hit and he got a nice ovation.

Rollins entered the ring with Ambrose. Rollins said that Ambrose told Rollins not to help him and then Ambrose came out there at the end of the night looking like he wanted to help Rollins fight his battles. Rollins suggested that Ambrose has a better plan, so Ambrose said a plan is more of a Rollins thing and Ambrose just goes where things take him. Ambrose said this is his battle, so he told Rollins to leave and fight his own battle. Rollins mentioned that Miz involved him when Miz and his Miztourage attacked him.

Rollins asked Ambrose: “Brother, will you be standing in my way or will you be standing by my side?” Crowd chanted “yes” as Ambrose pondered it. Ambrose got mad about him saying “brother” and said that his brothers were in The Shield and they stood for something. Ambrose mentioned that Rollins looks like a guy that stabbed his buddies in the back with a chair. Rollins yelled back that it was over three years ago and he’s sorry. Rollins repeated himself that he’s sorry. Rollins talked about how he remembered them tearing it up every night in matches like Hell in a Cell and Ambrose cashing in Money in the Bank on him to become WWE Champion last year. Rollins said he’s moved on, so he asked Ambrose what it will take him for him to move on.

Ambrose told Rollins he sees his lips moving, but he doesn’t hear nothing. Rollins told Ambrose he’ll let his actions speak for him. Rollins turned his back to Ambrose and told him to hit him if that will make him feel better. Rollins told him to hit him and he threw down the microphone. Ambrose didn’t do it. Ambrose tossed the chair out of the ring to show he didn’t want to attack.

The music of The Miz, the Intercontinental Champion, hit as he walked onto the stage with his Miztourage Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. Miz said that when you burn a bridge in this business it’s a major no-no. Miz pointed out that Ambrose is a lunatic that can’t beat Miz since Miz beat him at Extreme Rules and Great Balls of Fire. Miz told Ambrose he doesn’t have what it takes to do it all on his own. Dallas and Axel surrounded the ring with Ambrose and Rollins in it. Miz said that he may not be an architect leading to Axel and Dallas grabbing chairs. Miz had the dented Ambrose chair too. I think some fans were chanting “Roman” but not a lot.

The heels took control with Dallas and Axel attacking Rollins with a chair in the ring. Miz attacked Ambrose with a chair outside the ring. Miz sent Ambrose into the steel steps. Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale on Rollins into a steel chair that was opened up in the ring, so Rollins went into the seated chair. As Miz left the ring, he hit Ambrose in the back with a chair shot. Miz music played to end the opening segment 17 minutes after.

Analysis: I thought the Rollins/Ambrose promo was great. It was what it needed to be with Ambrose telling Rollins it’s still not easy for him to forgive with Rollins saying he was sorry and people believe him. Rollins came off as genuine when he said it. When Ambrose didn’t hit him with the chair, it was one of those trust building kind of moments that will lead to them working together again. The Miz and his cronies attacking was what it needed to be with the heels dominating. Make them look like a good group that will be hard for Dean and Seth to stop. The build should lead to Dean & Seth vs. Miz, Dallas & Axel at SummerSlam in a 2 on 3 match. I don’t see Roman Reigns getting involved for The Shield reunion. He’s busy doing other things. Overall, it was a productive segment that I enjoyed especially the Ambrose/Rollins promo.

The announcers plugged the main segments on the show as well as Bliss vs. Bayley next.

(Commercial)

The Miz, Dallas, Axel and Maryse were shown backstage. Charly Caruso tried to interview him, but Miz didn’t really answer and they all left.

Analysis: Easy story with the heel champion wanting to escape rather than deal with payback from the faces.

Bayley made her entrance. She gets Alexa Bliss since Bayley pinned her in a tag match last week. A young Bayley fan was so happy he cried and Bayley gave the kid her shirt. Alexa Bliss, the Raw Women’s Champion, made her entrance. As Bliss got to the ring, she mocked the crying kid. That’s hilarious. The kid will remember both moments for sure.

Alexa Bliss vs. Bayley

This is not for Alexa’s Raw Women’s Title.

Bayley was aggressive early on. Bliss went to the apron to try to explain. About one minute into it, Nia Jax’s music played to tell us she’s not like most girls and she walked down to the ring as the show went to break.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Bliss was still in control as she worked on the arm of Bayley. After Bliss did her stomping on the back, Bayley grabbed her by the foot to knock her down followed by the neckbreaker using the ropes for the assist. Fans chanted “Bayley” as she sent Bliss into the turnbuckle and hit a clothesline. Back elbow by Bayley. Bliss countered by punching the arm and Bayley came back with a flying back elbow off the middle rope. Bayley with a belly to back suplex and an elbow drop off the middle rope. Bliss rolled to the floor and Jax stood in front of Bliss. Bayley yelled at Jax, so Bliss punched Bayley in the face. That led to Sasha Banks running down to ringside. Banks with a dropkick that sent Jax into the apron. Bayley inside cradle on Bliss for two. Bayley to Belly suplex by Bayley on Bliss for the win. It went nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bayley

Bayley and Sasha celebrated the win.

Analysis: **1/4 Solid match that the crowd was into and happy about the Bayley win. It made sense for Banks to get out there as soon as Jax was there and of course it played into the finish. Bayley pinned Bliss two weeks in a row, so it is WWE trying to make Bayley look like a contender again after they booked her so poorly for a few months. The rumor is a four way match for the Raw Women’s Title at SummerSlam and the way this was done suggests that is still the direction.

Still to come is Kurt Angle’s big announcement. Coming up later is The Hardy Boyz vs. The Revival.

The announce team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Booker T were shown on camera. Graves saw something on his cell phone, so he left to the back.

There were highlights shown of The ESPYS from last week with several WWE stars in attendance like John Cena, Nikki Bella, The Miz and Maryse. John Cena also presented an award to Jarrius Robertson for his perseverance and never giving up. Jarrius thanked WWE in his speech and in particular Stephanie McMahon. They showed Stephanie McMahon winning an award for her humanitarian work while mentioning Connor’s Cure – the children’s charity she founded.

Analysis: Kudos to WWE for the work they do with charities. Jarrius has a great spirit and personality. Stephanie is a heel character on television, or at least she was, so this might confuse some younger viewers. I don’t think WWE cares too much because they want to focus on the good that they do and there’s nothing wrong with that.

(Commercial)

A video package aired about Roman Reigns. Of course it featured Michael Cole yelling “The Big Dog” in it.

Angle was shown in the office with Corey Graves. Angle said that maybe this isn’t something that should be televised. Graves said we live in the age of social media and this is going to get out, so his reputation would go down the drain if it was reported by anybody else. Graves told Angle he has nothing to be ashamed of. Angle said Graves is right and that his friendship means so much to “both of us.”

Analysis: The drama continues.

Highlights were shown from Neville and Akira Tozawa having issues.

Titus O’Neil was in the locker room with his Titus Worldwide guys Apollo Crews and Akira Tozawa. Titus tried to fire up his guys. Ariya Daivari showed up in the room to get in Tozawa’s face. Daivari challenged Tozawa to a match and Tozawa said “you got it.”

Analysis: Easy way to set up a match for later.

Brian Kendrick entered with Drew Gulak, who has his “No Fly Zone” sign with him. They’re in a tag match up next.

(Commercial)

The face team of Mustafa Ali and Jack Gallagher made their entrances. Kendrick has a feud with Gallagher on 205 Live where Kendrick dressed like Gallagher.

Mustafa Ali & Jack Gallagher vs. Brian Kendrick & Drew Gulak

No purple ropes for this match. Good. It’s not necessary on Raw. Gallagher jumped on the back of Gulak. Kendrick distracted, so Gulak hit a forearm on Gallagher. Hard chop to the chest by Gulak. Gallagher sent Gulak across the ring, so Gulak tagged out and brought in Kendrick. Gallagher with a headbutt to Kendrick to knock him down. Ali tagged in, went up top and hit an Inverted 450 Splash. It went two minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Mustafa Ali & Jack Gallagher

Analysis: * Quick math to put over the faces. Ali only needed to do one move after the hot tag. That’s what you do when the match is really rushed. It was fine, but hard for these guys to make people care on Raw when they get such little time.

Enzo Amore was shown walking backstage because he’s up next.

(Commercial)

Enzo Amore Wants To Talk

Enzo Amore did a promo on his way to the ring with the crowd chanting along for the familiar lines that he says.

Enzo said that there isn’t a man in the business that can elicit a reaction on the microphone like him. He said you’re going to win some, you’re gonna lose some, but you always gotta fight for what you believe in. Enzo said that honestly he believes that Cass believed in what they were fighting for. Enzo said for five years he had a reckless abandon attitude and allowed Cass to pick up at their opponents because he wanted to win. Enzo noted that Cass being seven-foot-tall didn’t win them any championships. Enzo spoke about how when Cass threw him over 14 feet to the ground at Great Balls of Fire, Cass didn’t throw Enzo out of his life. Enzo said if he gets knocked down nine times, he’s getting up ten. Enzo bragged about how he got back in the ring to make Cass finish the fight. Enzo asked for a replay of last week with Big Show brawling with Big Cass.

Enzo said that he brought the fight to Cass at Great Balls of Fire and he didn’t care what happens, but he fought. Enzo said that last week against Big Show, Cass folded like a lawn chair. Enzo said that at least he would have tried and he wouldn’t have rolled out of the ring. Enzo said there’s only one word to describe Cass. He tried to spell “SAWFT” but Big Cass made his entrance to his generic music.

Big Cass was in his ring gear. He told Graves that if it wasn’t for him, none of this would have ever happened. Fans chanted “Casshole” at Cass. Cass said that Enzo didn’t learn his lesson at Great Balls of Fire, so Cass will beat some sense into him and hopefully Enzo learns to shut his mouth.

Enzo said that he’s smarter than the average bear, so he left the ring. Enzo said he loves a fight in Music City. Enzo jumped over the barricade at ringside. Enzo brought a kid in the Enzo wig to watch with him. Enzo sat in a chair to watch what’s going to happen. Big Show’s music started up.

Show slowly made his way down to the ring, so Cass hit him with a knee while Show was on the apron. Show with a headbutt. Show pulled Cass out of the ring and sent him into the barricade two times. Show sent Cass into the barricade for the third time. Cass came back by shoving Show into the barricade followed by some punches to Show, but Show came back by tossing him into the ring apron. Show with a weak body slam on Cass on the floor. Show hit Cass in the chest with a hard chop. They were on the apron, so Cash shoved Show into the ring post/turnbuckle two times. Cass mounted Show with punches. Kick to the ribs by Cass to Show three times in a row. Enzo went into the ring, so Cass decked him with a boot to the face. Cass left the ring to boos to end the segment. Show had some blood coming out from the bridge of his nose. The announcers mentioned that Show was that big seven footer with a bright future when he was younger and now it’s Cass.

Analysis: That was payback from last week with Cass getting the upper hand as expected. There was nothing exciting about the beating. It was average with some punches and kicks. I didn’t really care much about Enzo’s promo because fans realize he’s unable to back it up in the ring, so hearing him talk for five minutes about how tough he is comes across as a waste of time.

Roman Reigns was backstage stretching. Charly Caruso showed up to interview him. She didn’t ask a question. She just said the stakes are higher than ever. Reigns said that he beat Undertaker in the past and Joe’s wins over him were in the past. Reigns said he’ll beat Joe, he’ll beat Lesnar and he’ll be the next Universal Champion because it’s his yard.

Analysis: Generic promo from Reigns. Sounded like a robot delivering the usual lines.

Balor vs. Samson is next.

(Commercial)

The duo of Rollins and Ambrose were backstage in the locker room. They bickered about what happened earlier. Angle said after what happened earlier, next week it will be Rollins and Ambrose against any two members of the Miztourage. Ambrose said let’s take on all three guys. Rollins said that’s good. Angle said okay you got it.

Analysis: That sets up the obvious 2 on 3 handicap match I mentioned earlier. I thought they might wait until SummerSlam for it. Guess not. It could still happen at SummerSlam no matter what happens next week.

Elias Samson was in the ring with his guitar: “Who wants to walk with Elias?” The crowd booed. Elias said he has played at different places in Nashville and wrote a new song. Fans chanted “We Want Balor.” Samson asked them to keep their phones down and hold their applause until after he’s finished. Samson said the people were awful and so was the music. Balor’s music hit.

Finn Balor made his entrance to a big ovation with the crowd doing his poses on his way to the ring. Break time.

Analysis: They gave Elias plenty of pre-match time and cut out during Balor’s fun entrance. You’re supposed to make people want to watch, WWE.

(Commercial)

The match started after the break. Balor won when they met last week.

Finn Balor vs. Elias Samson

Samson started off in control with an elbow smash followed by a clothesline. Samson slapped on a weak full nelson that Balor got out of easily. Balor broke free and hit an overhead kick to Samson’s face. Balor with two boots to the face, forearm smashes and a running dropkick. Balor with a kick combo followed by a chop. Samson caught Balor on his shoulders and spun him around into a sitout Powerbomb for a two count. Samson with a slam into a backbreaker. Samson sat on the top rope, so Balor hit an enziguri kick, a dropkick that sent Samson into the barricade and the running kick by Balor on the apron. Running dropkick by Balor that sent Samson into the barricade. Samson had his guitar and hit Balor in the head with it. The ref saw it and disqualified Samson. Balor had some blood on the side/back of his head. It went five minutes.

Winner by disqualification: Finn Balor

Analysis: *3/4 Decent match with a cheap ending to give the heel Samson a way out without pinning him again. I thought Balor’s comeback was really well done. His offense looks great no matter if he’s in the ring or on the floor.

They showed a replay of the guitar shot and you can tell the side of the guitar hit Balor in the side of the head. They replayed it a few more times as referees and a doctor checked on Balor.

Analysis: It looked like Samson messed up because he hit Balor on the left shoulder rather than the head shot that Jeff Jarrett used to do with the guitars. I’m not saying it was a major botch or anything. It just seemed off a bit.

Bray Wyatt appeared on the video screen laughing at Balor. Wyatt said he bet Balor didn’t expect that. Wyatt said he was thirsty and felt the need to put Balor in pain and agony. Wyatt said he felt the need to punish Balor. Wyatt said he’s not a myth, he’s the worst nightmare you’ve ever had. Wyatt said he’s going to enjoy every second of what he does to Balor. Wyatt laughed to end it.

Analysis: I mentioned WWE going back to this Wyatt/Balor feud last week. It makes sense since it was teased a few months ago and neither guy has anything going on now. Might as well do it now that Wyatt has a bit of momentum after he beat Rollins twice.

A video package aired about Samoa Joe to prepare for the main event. Joe vs. Reigns later.

(Commercial)

Angle was shown on the phone backstage. He said he was ready to do this. Bayley and Sasha Banks showed up to talk about how they each deserve a Raw Women’s Title shot at Bliss. Bayley pointed out that Banks beat Bliss by countout and Bayley has pinned her the last two weeks. Banks asked who he is going to pick. Angle said they will decide it next week when Bayley faces Banks on Raw with the winner getting the title shot at Bliss at SummerSlam.

Analysis: It makes sense from a story perspective. Have a match to see who gets the title shot. As I mentioned earlier, rumor is four way at SummerSlam.

The announce team plugged WWE Network including the Battleground PPV from Smackdown coming this Sunday.

Replays aired of The Hardy Boyz losing to Gallows & Anderson and then attacked by The Revival.

The Revival duo of Dash and Dawson were interviewed by Charly Caruso. Dash said that the Hardys acted like they didn’t know who they were while Dawson added that they don’t care about The Hardys. Dawson ended it with their catchphrase: “Top guys out.”

Analysis: I’m a big fan of these guys. Bright future on the main roster.

Akira Tozawa made his entrance with Titus O’Neil for a cruiserweight match.

(Commercial)

Akira Tozawa (w/Titus O’Neil) vs. Ariya Daivari

Daivari worked on the left arm of Tozawa and sent him shoulder first into the turnbuckle for two. Tozawa came back with a hurricanrana followed by a snap back suplex. Tozawa went up top, Daivari to his feet, Daivari moved out of the way and Daivari hit a double knee attack to the arm of Tozawa. Daivari with a running knee to the left arm in the corner. O’Neil was on the apron and told the ref to end the match. Daivari was announced as the winner by ref stoppage after three minutes.

Winner by stoppage: Ariya Daivari

Analysis: * A short match lacking the babyface comeback. More of a story to the finish with O’Neil not believing in Tozawa after he was selling the arm.

After the match, Daivari celebrated the win.

Tozawa was mad about O’Neil doing that. O’Neil went up the ramp. Tozawa told him he never quit and that O’Neil never cared about him. Tozawa said he never quit and left.

Analysis: Tozawa is a face that didn’t want to quit and O’Neil is still a heel (we think) that didn’t believe Tozawa had much left. I don’t know the long term plan here unless it’s having Tozawa beat O’Neil at some point.

Kurt Angle was shown walking backstage to set up his announcement at the top of hour three.

This week on Smackdown has a tag team main event with Nakamura and Styles teaming up against Owens and Corbin.

(Commercial)

Kurt Angle’s Announcement

Angle, the Raw GM, made his way down to the ring for his big announcement. Fans greeted him with the “You Suck” chant out of respect. It’s the top of hour three as Angle entered the ring.

Angle said that he’s a bit nervous. Angle said he apologized for being a distraction over the last couple of months. Angle said that as a child, he was always taught that every action has a consequence good or bad. Angle spoke about how an action from his past has a serious consequence because it changed his life. Angle said that his family is 100% supportive of this and that WWE, his employer, is supportive of this announcement as he hopes we are too.

Angle said that when he was in college at Clarion University he started dating a lady there. Angle said that nine months after their last date she gave birth to a baby boy. He said he was unaware of the pregnancy and the birth. Angle spoke about how the boy was put up for adoption and his new family taught him great values.

Angle spoke about how in high school he was a three sport athlete that was drafted in baseball, but instead went to college and excelled in wrestling. Angle said that this son decided to pursue his dream of becoming a WWE superstar. Angle said he’s the newest member of Raw. Angle said his son is Jason Jordan.

Jason Jordan made his entrance to the American Alpha theme song. Jordan gave Angle a big hug in the ring. The crowd cheered. It was not a huge cheer, but still a good applause from the crowd. Angle raised his hand. They hugged again. Graves said on commentary that he has known from the beginning and that he’s known Jordan since NXT. Angle hugged Jordan again.

Analysis:  I don’t mind that announcement at all. That’s better than having an affair or something like that. Jordan is a talented wrestler with a bright future. The main thing I don’t like about it is that they just said Jordan is a part of Raw without any explanation of why he is no longer on Smackdown. They can address it down the road, but for now it’s a big question. I liked American Alpha as a duo, so I don’t like them ending as a team. Long term, I hope this works out for Jordan because he’s really good in the ring and can be a singles star if given a fair shot. Also if you’re wondering, Angle is about 20 years older than Jordan, so saying he had him while in college makes sense. Give it some time before bitching. I’m saying that to you and to myself. We all want to see new, different talents getting a chance to step up. Jason Jordan has put in the work and could be a huge star. It could fail miserably too! That’s WWE. They aren’t great at these kinds of angles, so I don’t blame anybody for being negative about it. I’m just saying let’s give it some time before rushing to judgment.

Hardy Boyz vs. The Revival up next on Raw.

(Commercial)

Replays aired of the Angle announcement. Booker said it’s a conflict of interest to have Angle’s son on the show. I’m sure a lot of viewers agree, so that’s good for him to say.

After Raw there’s an interview with Angle and Jason Jordan on WWE Network.

The Hardy Boyz made their entrance first to a big ovation. As soon as The Revival got into the ring, the Hardys attacked. Ref separated them and the match began.

The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy) vs. The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder)

Fans chanted “Brother Nero” for Jeff. The Hardys were in control for a couple of minutes until The Revival double teamed Matt in the corner with some punches. Dawson with a kick to Hardy’s gut. Matt did his routine where he rammed Dawson’s head into the turnbuckle repeatedly followed by a bulldog for two. Jeff tagged in with a head whip and a double team Hardy leg drop on Dawson. Double team slam by the Hardys on Wilder sent him out of the ring as the show went to break.

(Commercial)

Back from break, the Revival isolated Matt as Dawson worked on his left leg. Dash walked in to work on the knee with a kick. Booker said The Revival reminded him of Arn & Ole Anderson. Dawson stretched the left knee of Matt as he kept him grounded. Matt kicked Dawson away two times. Matt got a backslide pin for two. Dash tagged in to hit the back of the knee of Matt. When Dawson went for another move on Matt’s leg, Matt kicked him away. Hot tag to Jeff against Dash. Jeff with a leg drop and a dropkick to the face. Jeff with a double boot to the face and a splash off the middle rope for two. Dawson distracted Jeff, so Dash tagged Dawson in. Matt pulled Dash out of the ring and Jeff rolled up Dawson for two. Jeff hit a Twist of Fate on Dawson for two. Matt sent Dash out of the ring. Jeff tagged in with the corner dropkick. Ref made Matt get out of the ring, so Dash tripped up Jeff on the top rope. Dawson pinned Jeff and held onto his pants (or tights) for cheap leverage to win after 14 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Revival

There was a replay of the cheap win by The Revival with the Hardys looking mad in the ring.

Analysis: ***1/4 Pretty good tag match to put the heels over. The crowd was going crazy when Jeff got the hot tag, which shows how much credibility the Hardys still have and that he could be a big singles star again. I like that they went with a very cheap finish because it means more matches between these teams and I want to see that. The Hardys have a losing streak since they put over Sheamus/Cesaro, Gallows/Anderson and now The Revival in the last couple of weeks. Could they become “broken” soon? Perhaps it is coming soon. Of course the rumors out there continue.

Samoa Joe was interviewed by Charly Caruso backstage. Joe said that he showed the world he didn’t fear Brock Lesnar and came within inches of beating him. Joe said that Roman thinks Joe is some obstacle in his way, but Joe is a force of nature. Joe said that the first two times he faced Roman he beat him and third time’s a charm.

Analysis: Joe’s promos have been great in the last couple of months. This was decent and got the point across.

A video aired about a Special Olympics gold medal athlete named Norris Peterson that does powerlifting. He’s at ringside and the crowd did “yes” chants with him. That’s cool.

(Commercial)

There’s a Table for 3 episode on WWE Network with Mark Henry, The Godfather and Ron Simmons later on Monday and on demand after the show is over.

There was a shot of Tootsie’s bar across the street from the arena in Nashville.

Tozawa was in the locker room with an ice pack on his shoulder and O’Neil was with him. O’Neil said that he did it to protect him. O’Neil didn’t want Tozawa to be injured because he was thinking of Tozawa becoming the Cruiserweight Champion. Tozawa wants a match with Daivari on 205 Live and he left.

Analysis: I assume they do it again on 205 Live to give Tozawa the win.

Next week on Raw: Balor vs. Samson for the third week in a row in a No Disqualification Match. Also, Bayley vs. Banks and Rollins/Ambrose vs. Miz/Axel/Dallas.

Analysis: Three matches announced a week ahead on Raw? That’s rare. I like it.

Roman Reigns entered for the main event. Mixed reaction like usual for him. Samoa Joe made his entrance to boos for the most part.

Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe

It started at 10:42pmET so plenty of time for them to have a long match.

Reigns with a shoulder tackle, Joe on the apron, Reigns punch, Joe on apron again and another Reigns punch sent Joe to the floor as they went to break a minute into it.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Joe with a running elbow in the corner and a jumping kick to the head. Joe worked on Reigns with punches in the corner. The crowd did their “Let’s go Roman/Roman Sucks” chant as Reigns got a two count and Joe came back with a back elbow. Joe slapped on a headlock to build to another Reigns comeback with the usual punches and clotheslines. Running clothesline by Reigns earned a two count. Reigns with ten corner clotheslines followed by a running kick to the head. Joe to the floor, Reigns ran at him, Joe hit a clothesline and then Reigns came back with a clothesline. Both guys were out on the mat.

(Commercial)

Back from the break, Reigns nailed a Samoan Drop for a two count. Joe hit an atomic drop, boot to the face and running senton for two. The crowd was really getting into the nearfalls for these moves that never win matches. Reigns tried to lift Joe, but Joe countered with an elbow. Reigns countered the uranage into an arm drag for two. Reigns with a Superman Punch for two.

Braun Strowman’s music hit. Strowman had his right elbow taped up. Strowman pulled Joe out of the ring. Strowman slowly got in the ring with Reigns looking stunned. Reigns punched Strowman and kicked him. Strowman sent Reigns into the barricade. Strowman sent Reigns into the ring. The ref just left the ring, so I guess the match is over. It went about 17 minutes.

Match Result: No Contest

Analysis: ***1/4 Good work until the predictable finish. They didn’t really announce a result, so I put “No Contest” in there. The crowd was really getting into it as I noted they were cheering the nearfalls a lot too. I like the chemistry between Joe and Roman. They have hard hitting matches that feel more like fights than a traditional match. Joe really brings out the best in Roman as well as others. That’s why Joe is such a great performer. The outcome was no surprise.

Strowman and Joe battled on the floor with punches. Strowman hit a clothesline on Joe on the floor. Back in the ring, Strowman shoved Joe down with one hand. Strowman with a corner splash on Reigns. Reigns hit an uppercut punch on Strowman. Joe slapped on the Coquina Clutch on Strowman. Reigns hit a Superman Punch on Strowman to knock Braun down to one knee. Fans chanted “this is awesome” for it. Reigns charged in, Strowman caught him and hit a Spinebuster on him. Strowman with a clothesline on Joe followed by a Powerslam. Strowman picked up Reigns and hit a Running Powerslam on him too.

Strowman grabbed Reigns for more punishment, but security guys ran down to the ring. Strowman picked up Reigns and hit another Running Powerslam. Strowman left.

Analysis: I’m not surprised by any of that. Strowman was destroyed by Reigns eight days earlier, he sat out last week’s Raw and here he is destroying everybody to end the show. It sets up a likely 4-Way match at SummerSlam for Lesnar’s Universal Title, which is a way to move the title onto another guy without Lesnar being pinned. That direction could change, but it seems likely. I’d rather see a singles match. However, in today’s WWE they love the multi-man match.

Reigns and Joe were out in the ring. Replays aired of Strowman’s destruction. There was a shot of Angle and Jordan getting ready to be interviewed on WWE Network. That’s how Raw ended at 11:07pmET.

I figure I may as well continue with some notes on the Angle interview with Jordan.

Kurt Angle and Jason Jordan Interview on WWE Network

The interview is hosted by Renee Young with Kurt and Jason side by side.

– Angle talked about the Reigns/Joe finish. Angle said next week he’ll have an answer next week on Raw.

– Jordan said he had gratitude and he’s grateful for this next chapter in his life. Jordan talked about the unconditional love from his mom and dad because there’s more to being a parent than just biology because his parents showed up for him. Jordan said he’s really excited.

– Jordan said he found out he was adopted in college and that his parents have showed so much support for him as well as his interest in sports. Jordan talked about how he wondered where his athletic ability came from, so now he knows it’s been in his blood. Jordan talked about how that he should reach out about his dad to find out his truth. Jordan said he got a private investigator that tracked down his birth mother and he talked to her. Jordan said it was a difficult conversation for her to make 28 years ago (he’s 28) and he let her know he’s had a fulfilling, happy life, but he wanted to know his birth father. Jordan said he was shocked and excited.

– Angle spoke about how he wants Jordan to make sure he doesn’t make the mistakes that Angle has made.

– Jordan talked about how he’s gotten to WWE on his own and he doesn’t want any preferential treatment from his dad.

– Angle said that Jordan has intensity, integrity and intelligence just like his father. Renee said that there was a resemblance between them. Angle said yeah.

– Jordan said that he’ll never be able to be an Olympic gold medalist like Angle, but one day he’ll be Champion.

– Angle noted that he has talked to Jason’s birth mother briefly and it was enough that they were able to do this tonight.

– Angle spoke about how the WWE Universe will go the opposite way and not agree with this, but fortunately it worked out. Jordan said he was nervous about it because you never know how people will react.

– Angle added that he wants to teach his kids the right way to live and that he’s got a second chance at life while also having a chance to be a dad for Jordan.

Renee wanted to ask more, but Angle cut her off and said he wants to hang out with his son. The interview went about ten minutes.

Analysis: Jordan spoke well about how much his family meant to him, how he didn’t know where his athletic ability came from and now it makes sense. It came off as believable and that’s better than making it look too cheesy. I like how Renee said they look alike too. Made me chuckle.  Good follow up to the angle. I’m sure some people will bitch about it because they reject anything WWE does, but I’m hoping for the best and mainly I’m happy that Jordan could be in line for a push.

If you think about the long term potential of the angle, it could work great. You could have Kurt as the dad that uses preferential treatment to try to favor Jordan over the others. It’s an easy way to setup rivalries and even have Jordan or Angle turn at some point. I’m hoping it works out for everybody involved.

 

Three Stars of the Show

1. Samoa Joe

2. Roman Reigns

3. Kurt Angle

 

The Scoreboard

6.5 out of 10

Last week: 5.5

2017 Average: 5.84

Average since brand split starting July 25/16: 5.87 (Smackdown is 6.75)

Last 5 Weeks: 5.5, 6.5, 6, 6.5, 4

2017 High: 8 (April 3)

2017 Low: 4 (Jan. 9, Feb. 27 & June 12)

 

Final Thoughts

I give it a 6.5 out of 10.

It was slightly above average. I liked the Revival vs. Hardys and Joe vs. Reigns matches quite a bit. Some week the last hour is terrible, but this week is much stronger. The stuff earlier in the show was okay. There wasn’t anything that bad this week and no boring Goldust/Truth segments helped too.

The Angle reveal was okay. I’m glad that it wasn’t some mystery lover kind of thing that is cheesy. It was a story that WWE can build on by trying to elevate Jason Jordan as a singles wrestler. I’ll miss American Alpha, but it’s not a bad thing that Jordan and Gable are singles talents because they could both shine in that role. Plus, the team could always re-unite down the road.

Strowman’s return was booked well. He looked like a dominant beast like usual.

The next pay-per-view featuring the Raw crew is SummerSlam on August 20. Nothing announced yet.

That’s all for now. See ya next time for the Smackdown review.

You can contact me using any of the methods below. Thanks for reading.

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport

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