The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 08/21/17 Review

TJR Wrestling

It’s the Raw after SummerSlam this week as WWE holds their third straight event at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. I thought SummerSlam was pretty good even though it was too long, but that seems to be something WWE loves to do now to try to get more people on the major PPV events. They put 13 matches out there and some of them were just average or even poor in some cases. I think WWE should be really happy about the main event because it was pretty awesome. Read my full review of SummerSlam here in case you haven’t done so already. In addition, I wrote about the show for The Comeback as well with a look at the booking decisions and what’s next for the wrestlers on the show. With SummerSlam in the rear view mirror, let’s look ahead to what Raw has in store heading towards No Mercy next month.

Live from Brooklyn, New York this is the Raw Deal for episode #1265. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Thanks Melo Man for the creative banner up top.

Raw began with a shot of the arena and the music of Brock Lesnar hit. Lesnar had the Universal Championship around his waist with a smile on his face. Lesnar had his advocate Paul Heyman with him. They entered the ring as images aired of the terrific main event from SummerSlam won by Lesnar.

Let’s Hear From Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman

The fans chanted “Suplex City” before Heyman could start. Heyman said they are live from the Barclays in Brooklyn where he has the honor and privilege of letting the WWE Universe know that last night at SummerSlam, your winner in the main event and still reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Champion…Brock Lesnar. I love when he does that. The crowd joined in with Heyman was he did it.

Heyman said that he delivers spoilers rather than predictions and that’s what he told us that Lesnar was going to win the match at SummerSlam. Heyman said there was an assault that took Lesnar out of the equation and for the first time in Lesnar’s life, Lesnar was carted off the battlefield. Heyman said that it could have led to Lesnar losing the title, but what did Lesnar do? Heyman said that Lesnar denied medical attention, refused to let the doctors take care of him (Lesnar was laughing) and Lesnar went back in the ring to conquer or be conquered. Heyman stated that Lesnar pinned Roman Reigns, which drew a big ovation. Heyman kept on talking about Brock Lesnar being a conqueror and that there’s nobody in WWE or UFC that can beat him.

Braun Strowman made his entrance. Good reaction for Strowman, who walked down to the ring with a purpose. Strowman got in Lesnar’s face. Lesnar was talking to him about how he’s the champ. Strowman went for a Chokeslam, Lesnar avoided it and Strowman hit a boot to the face. Strowman hit a Running Powerslam on Lesnar. Strowman picked up Lesnar again and hit another Running Powerslam. Strowman picked up the Universal Title as the crowd chanted “yes” for it. Strowman’s music played to end it as Strowman held the title in the air. Strowman left while the announcers kept talking about how this rivalry is far from over.

Analysis: It was a solid opening segment that was predictable with Heyman bragging about how great Lesnar is just like you expect him to do. When Heyman said there’s nobody that can stop Lesnar that’s when you knew Strowman was going to come out. Strowman got the upper hand on Lesnar again just like he did at SummerSlam because the expectation is that WWE will do Lesnar vs. Strowman at No Mercy next month. Having Strowman dominate Lesnar is the right way to book it. Strowman is booked like a heel, but the people love him and the more air time he gets the more cheers he’ll get. Lesnar is in a face role too. I think fans just want to buy into these guys battling because it comes across like a real fight. That’s when pro wrestling is at its best. I like this rivalry a lot.

Big Cass vs. Enzo Amore in a Brooklyn Street Fight up next.


There was a promo from Enzo before the match began. It was the usual Enzo promo and then he mentioned that they met 15 years ago in New York City, so now it’s going to end. Enzo brought out a shopping cart with some weapons in it since it’s a street fight.

Brooklyn Street Fight: Big Cass vs. Enzo Amore

Cass went up the ramp and attacked Enzo. Booker was ripping Enzo on commentary saying if he was Cass he would beat him up. Cass whipped Enzo into the barricade at ringside. Cass grabbed a steel chair that was on the shopping cart after he rolled Enzo into the ring. Cass tossed the chair to Enzo and invited him to use it. Enzo tried to attack, but Cass hit a big boot to the face as the show went to break a few minutes into it.


Back from break, there was a highlight of Cass tossing Enzo on the floor during the break. Back in the ring, Enzo hit a jawbreaker like move to create some space. Running splash in the corner by Cass. Punches to the ribs by Cass. Enzo was on the apron, Cass went for a big boot, Enzo ducked and Cass went tumbling over the top to the floor. Looked like a rough landing. Cass got back in the ring and stomped on Enzo’s hand. Weak looking body slam by Cass. When Cass went for an elbow drop, Cass’ knee buckled. The ref called the doctor to check on Cass. Cass was on the apron hitting the ropes and he was swearing. The ref rang the bell as the doctor looked at Cass. The match went about 10 minutes. Enzo was announced as the winner due to Cass being unable to continue.

Winner: Enzo Amore

Analysis: * Boring match with an unfortunate ending. At first I thought maybe he would fake the injury and then attack after because he’s a heel, but it was legit.

Post match, there were replays of Cass taking a tumble when he did the running boot on the apron and landed awkwardly on the floor. It looks like a left knee injury.

Analysis: I know Cass isn’t lighting the world on fire with this heel push, but we don’t want to see anybody get hurt like that. Here’s a clip if you missed it.

There were images shown of Sasha Banks winning her fourth Raw Women’s Championship at SummerSlam.

Emma was in the locker room looking at her phone with Dana Brooke standing beside her. Brooke pointed out that Emma tapped out when she had a shot. Emma ripped on Mickie James having six title reigns in the past and Nia Jax being new while telling Dana she should watch what she does to Jax later, so Jax walked in the locker room. Jax said after their match, the trend on Twitter will be #GiveEmmaCPR and Jax left.

Analysis: They might as well team up Emma and Dana as heel allies because it was fun in NXT. Brooke has nothing going on as a face and she isn’t going to break through with the other women they have.


Nia Jax made her entrance first followed by Emma.

Nia Jax vs. Emma

Emma started with a slap to the face and dropkick. Jax ran her over with a running body attack followed by two elbow drops and tossing her across the ring. Corner splash by Jax. Missed corner attack by Jax as Emma moved and Emma hit a dropkick. Jax powered Emma up and hit a Samoan Drop for the pinfall win in under two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Nia Jax

Analysis: 1/2* Easy win for Jax as expected. It’s just a way to give Jax a win after she tapped out to Banks last week.

Elias was shown walking backstage and he has a new song according to Cole. Shoutout to former ROH talent and current WWE creative team member Jimmy Jacobs in the background. Elias is up next.


Elias was in the ring with his guitar asking who wants to walk with Elias. The fans cheered. Elias ripped on Brooklyn saying most of the mare ashamed to live there, so his song is about R-Truth. Elias tried to sing, the fans started to clap along and he told them it’s not the time to clap. He was interrupted R-Truth.

R-Truth did his “what’s up” entrance that he’s been doing for way too long.

Elias vs. R-Truth

Truth with a spinebuster. Elias came back with an elbow to the head and Truth hit a leaping kick. Elias with a punch to the back and Cole freaked about it as if it was big move. Elias hit the Drift Away neckbreaker to win. It went about one minute.

Winner by pinfall: Elias

Analysis: 1/4* Squash match win for Elias. They didn’t set up the finish well. Maybe they were told to end it right away because it was so sudden. I’m not complaining. My favorite part was the end.

The Raw announce team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Booker T talked about how great everything in WWE is. They talked about three new champions on the Raw brand and they’re all there later on Raw. Shocking! People that regularly appear on Raw are on Raw.


Kurt Angle, the General Manager of Raw, appeared on the stage. They showed the fans chanting “you suck” at him and his wife was at ringside joining in.

Angle said that he had a surprise here tonight. Angle said for the first time in a year on Raw, please welcome John Cena.

John Cena is Back On Raw

Cena entered to a thunderous ovation full of cheers and boos. Cena ran down to the ring. Cole was giddy about it. Graves noted that Cena was a free agent, so it was great to see him on Raw.

Cena mentioned the fans were making a lot of noise and asked if they were expecting him. There were a lot of different cheers. Cena just held up the microphone. Cena: “Why am I here?” He said he saw Angle at SummerSlam and Kurt asked him if he wants to come to Monday Night Raw. Cena said he said yes to Raw not because Smackdown is bad. He said he wanted to stand in this ring on Raw to stand face to face with a certain WWE superstar. Roman Reigns’ music hit for the interruption.

Reigns did a really slow walk down to the ring. Cole said it was deafening in there even though it was not, but he has to say what he’s told to say.

Cena pointed out that it’s Roman Reigns and Cena said that he is exactly who he is looking for. Reigns said that the only time Cena has been looking for him is when he’s running his mouth on Twitter. Reigns said now that Cena is in his yard, the question is will Cena run his mouth to his face. Fans chanted “Undertaker” while both guys paused for it. Cena said the Raw audience will hold a bit of a grudge sometimes.

Cena said he didn’t come there to talk. They dropped their microphones. The Miz interrupted them.

The Miz, the Intercontinental Champion, walked out with his lovely wife Maryse, Curtis Axel in a suit and Bo Dallas was wearing a gold jacket and I don’t mean the kind that NFL Hall of Famers wear.

The Miz did a promo at first acknowledging the sellout crowd since it wasn’t full on the Kickoff Show on Sunday. He said “so this is what sold out Barscays looks like” and Cena mocked him saying it’s Barclays. I don’t know why Miz scewed that up. Miz said he’s sorry for interrupting a moment while hyping Reigns and Cena in the ring at the same time as if he was mocking the announcers (like I was earlier!). Miz asked: “How many moments do you two get? Honestly!” The crowd cheered, so Miz acknowledged that and said “Barclays” the right away. Miz said he is sick of waiting for his moment while two undeserving people like them get their moments week after week after week. Loud “yes” chants for that. Miz asked the crowd if Raw needs John Cena. There was a mix of cheers and boos. Miz said it was 18,000 people chanting no. Cena joked that he’ll show himself out, so Miz stopped him and told him he wasn’t done talking to him.Miz continued on ranting about Cena and Reigns getting too much of a spotlight. Miz said the crowd doesn’t know how to boo or cheer either guy while the crowd booed Reigns. Miz said that the crowd not knowing what to do hurts him because he should be the main event and how he’s earned it for 12 years. Miz wondered where his moment was. Fans chanted “you deserve it” for Miz. Cena said that Miz deserves a moment.

Cena said he had an idea with a history making moment where Miz teamed up with one of his lackeys against Cena and his new tag team partner Roman Reigns. Miz said no to that. Miz said that’s a moment for Cena, not Miz. Miz said he’s in a three piece suit not ready to fight.

Samoa Joe made his entrance to join the party. The Miz and his party left. Joe entered the ring. Joe told Miz that he is going to be his partner. Joe looked at Reigns and told him that one on one he owns him.

Joe faced Cena. Joe attacked him with punches and elbow smashes to the head. Miz and his guys went into the ring, so Reigns cleared them out. Cena went for the AA on Joe, but Joe slapped on the Coquina Clutch. Reigns made the save for Cena by hitting a Superman Punch on Joe to knock him out of the ring. I think fans were chanting “you both suck” at Cena and Reigns as they stared at eachother. Roman’s music played to end it.

Analysis: That was interesting because there were some different interactions that we haven’t seen before. Cena and Reigns having that faceoff drew a loud response as expected. Miz did an excellent job with his promo. It was outstanding and I thought it was one of the better Miz promos in a while. On Smackdown, he got to do more great promos like that. Joe adding to the mix is fine as well since he has recent history with Reigns and hasn’t interacted with Cena yet although they trained together many years ago. It should lead to the tag match later on Raw and it could set up Miz vs. Reigns and Cena vs. Joe as No Mercy PPV matches too. If you want to see Cena and Reigns react to the “you both suck” chant here’s a GIF of it.

The announcers plugged things to come like Rollins and Ambrose as well as Sasha Banks as the show went to break.


It was announced by Cole via Angle that Cena and Reigns will face Joe and Miz later. Holla holla holla Teddy Long tag match playa.

There were eight cruiserweights in the ring for a tag match.

Gran Metalik, Mustafa Ali, Rich Swann & Cedric Alexander vs. Noam Dar, Ariya Daivari, Tony Nese & Drew Gulak

Good to see Metalik on Raw where he should be. Some cool aerial moves by Metalik on Gulak early on. Ali hit a cross body block off the ropes for a two count. Swann took down Daivari with an arm drag and went for a kick, but Daivari avoided it. Nese tagged himself in while Dar refused a tag. Dropkick by Swann on Nese and Nese went back in the ring with an elbow smash as the show went to break.


Back from break, Gulak was in there with Swann trying to prevent a tag. Swann broke free with a leaping kick to the face. The fans were bored, so they did the wave to entertain themselves. Alexander got the hot tag with kicks for everybody including an enziguri for Nese and another kick to the head. Alexander to the top with a leaping clothesline for two as Gulak made the save. Metalik sent Gulak to the floor. Metalik walked the top rope and hit a moonsault to take out two heels on the floor. Alexander did a cartwheel into a kick to the head. Alexander hit the Lumbar Check double knees to the back on Nese and covered for the win after nine minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Gran Metalik, Mustafa Ali, Rich Swann & Cedric Alexander

Analysis: **1/4 Decent match to put over Alexander, who could be next in line as a title contender. Best part of the match was Metalik showing off some of his amazing aerial skills. I’m not sure why WWE has failed to use him on Raw, but hopefully this is the start of something more for him.

Neville, who regained the Cruiserweight Title on Sunday, was interviewed backstage by Charly Caruso. Neville complained about Titus O’Neil and Akira Tozawa, who showed up wearing suits. Titus called Neville “Gargoyle.” Tozawa said rematch and O’Neil said it’s on tomorrow on 205 Live.

Analysis: Neville should retain in the rematch. It’s the right time to move on.

The announcers shilled the main event tag match again. Rollins and Ambrose are up next.


There were images shown from SummerSlam.

Angle was shown looking at his phone in his office. Jason Jordan, his “son” showed up for a hug. Jordan said that he really wants to compete. Angle asked if it’s because of his performance last night. Jordan said he wants Finn Balor. Angle asked if he thinks he’s ready, Jordan nodded yes and Kurt told him he’s got it. They hugged and Jordan left.

Analysis: That’s a fresh matchup for later in the show. New matches are a good thing.

Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins were introduced as the new Raw Tag Team Champions. Ambrose entered first followed by Rollins. Images were shown from Ambrose and Rollins winning the Raw Tag Team Titles at SummerSlam. It was a great match.

Rollins said it felt good standing in the ring standing side by side with Ambrose holding up those titles. The crowd cheered. They were happy. Ambrose said it felt pretty good and that he slept with the title on. Rollins said over the last three years he wondered if this could happen, but the people believed and it’s time to celebrate with the people of Brooklyn. Ambrose mentioned Sheamus and Cesaro saying they’ll probably come out for their rematch at some point. Ambrose said they’ll take on anybody anywhere.

The Hardy Boyz music hit as Matt and Jeff made their entrance to a huge ovation. The Hardys were in the ring. Matt did the “yes” thing to respond to the “delete” chants. Jeff said they came out there to say congratulations to the new champions. Matt said they were there to challenge Dean and Seth to a match. Rollins wondered if they were serious while noting they grew up idolizing the Hardys. Fans chanted “Brother Nero” and “obsolete” for the Hardys. Matt said there’s a reason they chant and that’s because for a quarter of a century the Hardys have revolutionized the tag team division. Matt said they wanted to revolutionize it tonight in Brooklyn. Rollins said “let’s do the damn thing” and Matt called for a referee to make the match happen. It went to break there.

Analysis: Good celebration for the new champions and I like having the Hardys come out for the interruption rather than a heel team. The Hardys haven’t been featured enough of late, so putting them in with the champs is a smart move.


The match was made official and started after the break. That’s two impromptu tag matches set up within an hour.

Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff)

This is not for the Tag Team Titles.

Rollins hit a running kick on Jeff. Matt tagged in for his team and the Hardys hit a double team slam on Rollins with a nasty landing for Rollins as his neck hit the mat hard. Matt attacked towards the corner, so Rollins sent him face first into the middle turnbuckle. Ambrose back in for the champs, but Rollins ended up back in there. Both teams went for signature moves that didn’t connect. They faced off in the ring, which led to a slugfest between the teams. Matt with a dropkick that sent Ambrose to the floor. Jeff with a jawbreaker on Rollins followed by a clothesline to send him to the floor. Jeff hit a clothesline on Rollins on the floor as the show went to break three minutes into it.


Back from break, Rollins hit a kick to the head of Jeff. Matt and Dean tagged in with Ambrose hitting a running clothesline followed by a forearm. Ambrose sent Matt to the floor and he missed a slingshot attack. The champs were on the floor, so Jeff got the tag, jumped off Matt’s back and jumped over the top rope to take down the heels on the floor. Splash by Jeff on Dean in the corner. Rollins saved Ambrose from an attack from Jeff and Dean got a two count on Jeff. Rollins hit a suplex on Jeff for a two count. The champs continued to work over Jeff with Ambrose hitting a clothesline. Rollins with a clothesline and forearm smash on Jeff. There was a mistake by the champs, so Jeff fought out of the corner with the Whisper in the Wind move off the ropes. Matt got the hot tag with a clothesline for Seth and he dumped Dean to the floor. Matt with a corner clothesline on Seth and a running bulldog earned a two count. Elbow smash off the middle ropes from Matt. Double team move by the champs with Rollins hitting an elevated Slingblade for a two count as Jeff made the save. All four guys in the ring, Matt was sent out of the ring, Ambrose dropkick sent Jeff to the floor and that led to Seth and Dean hitting suicide dives at the same time to take out the Hardys on the floor.

Matt came back with a slam on Rollins on the apron. Back in the ring with Ambrose, Matt hit the Side Effect on Ambrose for a two count. Crowd bought into that nearfall. Matt went up top, Ambrose went up after him and tripped him up. Ambrose teased a slam from off the top, but ended up hitting a headbutt. Jeff got the tag as Matt hit the Twist of Fate on Dean. Rollins superkick on Matt. Jeff sent Rollins to the floor and Jeff went for the Swanton Bomb, but Ambrose got his knees up. Great spot there. Rollins tagged in for his team, knee to the face and Ambrose hit the Dirty Deeds leading to Rollins covering to win after 16 minutes. Sheamus and Cesaro were shown looking on from backstage.

Winners by pinfall: Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose

Analysis: ***1/2 Very good match between four wrestlers that haven’t been in the ring together. There were a few awkward moments in there, but nothing major. They got through it with an exciting finish that the crowd really liked to see. When you do face vs. face matches like that sometimes the crowd has a tough time getting into. They didn’t love seeing these teams face off, but there were “this is awesome” chants at the end of it to show they won the crowd over. I’m not surprised that Seth and Dean won because they need the win more as new champions. Plus, it’s nice to see champs win non-title because that’s rare in WWE. Hardys are as popular as ever. They just need a meaningful feud.

Replays aired of the Lesnar/Strowman confrontation earlier.

It was announced that it’s official for No Mercy on September 24: Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman for the Universal Championship.

Analysis: That was expected for a few weeks and it’s going to be great. Saving it would have been nice, but I think it’s smart to do it while it’s a hot rivalry. I’ll pick Lesnar for now because I think the goal is still to do Lesnar losing the title to Reigns at the next WrestleMania. I’d like to see Strowman win, though. It would really put him over huge.

Later on Raw: Cena/Reigns vs. Miz/Joe.

Samoa Joe was in the locker room with Miz and his crew. Miz said he always knew Joe was special and credited Joe for putting himself in Miztourage. Miz claimed to know John Cena better than anybody. Miz kept talking, so Joe told him to shut up. Joe told Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel to remain outside the ring while Miz does his unorthodox thing in the ring. Joe said that’s how it goes and Joe left.

Commercial aired for Total Bellas coming back on September 6. Poor Daniel Bryan. I hope it pays well.


Sasha Banks, the new Raw Women’s Champion, made her entrance. She’s a four time Raw Women’s Champion. Good reaction to her like usual.

Banks said that she may be from Boston (fans booed), but for the last three years she left her heart right here in Brooklyn. Sasha talked about facing Bayley there in NXT two years ago, last year she tore the house down with Charlotte Flair and gave a shoutout to Ric Flair saying the world needs the Nature Boy. Loud “WOO” for that. Nice of her to do that. Banks said what the world doesn’t need is a wannabe goddess like Bliss as she proved there is only one legit boss. Banks said she’s going to defend her championship the right way. Banks said she has all these people and that’s why she is a four time…and here comes Bliss.

Alexa Bliss walked out onto the ramp. Bliss said that Banks has never successfully defended that title and that Banks is a four time Raw Women’s Champion that lost the title every time she defended it. Banks said that every time she wrestled Bliss, it led to Bliss running away or tapping out. Banks suggested that Bliss uses her rematch clause right here, right now. Bliss said no to that idea because none of the Brooklyn fanboys deserve a Bliss Championship Celebration. Bliss said next week she wants her rematch. Bliss told Banks she is going to be known as Sasha Banks “the legit loser.” Bliss left to end it.

Analysis: It was a simple way to set up the title match next week, which is smart because advertising matches a week in advance is a good strategy. The dialogue could have been better between both of them. The “legit loser” name is pretty weak. Maybe I’m just tired. It could be that too.

Jason Jordan entered for his match against Balor. There was not much of a reaction for him.


Images were shown from SummerSlam.

Finn Balor made his entrance to a good ovation. He was wearing his leather jacket with no Demon paint in case you were wondering. There were images shown of his win over Bray Wyatt at SummerSlam.

Finn Balor vs. Jason Jordan

Jordan used his mat wrestling skills to take down Balor early on. Balor came back with a dropkick to the face. When Balor tried a leapfrog, Jordan caught him with a slam for a two count. Balor with a clothesline that sent Jordan over the top to the floor. Jordan went back in the ring as the show went to break.


Back from break, waist lock takedown by Jordan followed by an elbow to the back for two. Butterfly suplex by Jordan got a two count. Jordan grounded Balor in a butterfly lock submission type move and Balor got to his feet. The crowd reacted to something we couldn’t see as Balor hit a dropkick to the face. Balor with a boot to the face, forearm smashes and a running dropkick. Balor dumped Jordan to the floor followed by a dropkick that knocked Jordan down. The crowd was reacting to something else and making a lot of noise (it was a beach ball). Back in the ring, belly to belly suplex by Jordan on Balor. Jordan hit a running shoulderblock. Balor landed on top when Jordan went for his finish. Forearm by Jordan and Balor came back with an overhead kick to knock them both down. Jordan drove Balor into the turnbuckle three times in a row. Balor with a knee to the face, Slingblade by Balor, corner dropkick and Balor went up top. Balor hit the Coup de Gras double foot stomp for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Finn Balor

Analysis: **1/2 It was a fine match to put over Balor clean while Jordan’s story is about him needing to get better to win matches like that. The crowd was paying attention to something going on in the crowd more than they cared about the match. That’s never a good thing for the wrestlers. There really wasn’t a point where Jordan looked like he would win, which hurt the match a bit because it lacked exciting moments. Balor did his usual three moves of death to win it easily.

Post match, the announcers put over Balor for a good effort. No handshake post match. Balor’s music just played and they shilled the main event.

The announcers set up a sneak peek for a movie called “Birth of the Dragon” that WWE produced.


This week on Smackdown they pushed the Kevin Owens is angry at Shane McMahon story.

On next week’s Raw in Memphis, Sasha Banks defends the Raw Women’s Championship against Alexa Bliss.

On 205 Live this week, Neville defends the Cruiserweight Title against Akira Tozawa.

The Miz made his entrance along with his Intercontinental Title. Miz had his wife Maryse with him plus Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel in their wrestling gear. Samoa Joe was out next for his team. Plenty of “Joe” chants.

John Cena made his entrance first for the face team. Roman Reigns was up next for the faces although he gets booed so much it’s weird to call him a face.

The show went to break after Roman’s entrance.


John Cena & Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe & The Miz (w/Maryse, Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas)

The match began during the break. Cena paused during the match because of a beach ball in the crowd, so there was a shot of a security guy grabbing the beach ball. The fans chanted “asshole” at security and they chanted for the beach ball. Miz worked over Cena with some kicks. The crowd was doing the wave. Miz ran the ropes and Cena hit a clothesline. Cena joined in with the crowd during a wave and Miz took advantage with a DDT for two. Maryse looks tremendous and the camera should be on her more. Joe and Miz made some quick tags as Miz hit a double axe off the top for two. Fans chanted for the beach ball again. Miz took too long to attack, so Cena moved and Miz hit the turnbuckle. Reigns got the tag against Joe with a clothesline from Reigns and a punch knocked down Miz. Corner clotheslines from Reigns. Reigns went off the rope and hit a boot to the face to knock down Joe. Reigns set up for the Superman Punch, Joe avoided it and hit a uranage slam for two. Miz dumped Reigns to the floor, so Dallas hit a clothesline on Reigns on the floor. Miz hit his weak looking chest kicks to Reigns, who avoided the last one and got a rollup leading to a one armed slam by Reigns. Joe prevented a tag from Reigns with an elbow to the back. Leaping kick to the head by Joe in the corner earned a two count. Miz dumped Reigns out of the ring. Reigns took out Dallas and Axe on the floor. Miz lowbridge using the rope and Miz went over the top to the floor. Reigns tagged in Cena.

Cena was on fire after the hot tag with a spinning suplex on Miz, but the Five Knuckle Shuffle was avoided by Miz. Joe back in the ring with the Coquina Clutch on Cena. Reigns attacked with a Superman Punch and he accidentally hit Cena. Miz set up for his finish. Cena slipped out of it and hit the Attitude Adjustment to win by pinfall after about 13 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: John Cena and Roman Reigns

Analysis: *** It was a standard main event tag match. The heels worked over Cena at first, then Reigns and Cena cleaned it up after the hot tag. No surprise that Cena easily put away Miz either. The big spot in the match was when Reigns accidentally hit Cena with a Superman Punch, which the announcers put over big and Cena sold it like he was knocked out. Of course, Cena ended up winning the match right after that. At no point did I think the heel side was going to win. They didn’t even come close, really. The presence of the beach ball didn’t help the match either. Just stop it, crowd.

Post match, Cena was holding his jaw and stared at Reigns while the ref raised their hands as the winners. Replays aired of what happened.

Cena and Reigns had another staredown as the show came to a close at 11:11pmET.

Analysis: I know the tease is Cena vs. Reigns, but I think No Mercy might be Miz vs. Reigns and Cena vs. Joe. Save Cena vs. Reigns for a much bigger show.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. The Miz – Enjoyed the promo a lot, so he gets this spot for doing well in the main event too.
  2. Rollins/Ambrose
  3. Hardy Boyz


The Scoreboard

5.5 out of 10

Last week: 7.5

2017 Average: 5.88

Average since brand split starting July 25/16: 5.88 (Smackdown is 6.72)

Last 5 Weeks: 7.5, 6.5, 4.5, 6, 6.5

2017 High: 8 (April 3)

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


Final Thoughts

I give it a 5.5 out of 10.

It was just an average show with a couple of good segments plus two long tag matches. Other parts of it were really boring, so much so that I would have went to sleep if I wasn’t writing this.

The opening segment with Strowman and Lesnar was effective in terms of setting up their No Mercy match.

Cena’s return was treated as a big deal although it didn’t feel special other than looking at different faces like Reigns and Joe. There was no acknowledgment of Cena and Joe training together 17 years ago before they were in WWE.

Best match was Ambrose and Rollins over the Hardys. They worked hard, told an interesting story and it was a big victory for the new champs. I liked how it went down.

The next Raw pay-per-view is No Mercy on Sunday, September 24. Here’s what we know so far.

WWE Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman

That’s it for now. Plenty of time to add more with over a month to go until the event.

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


Twitter: @johnreport

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