Reviews

The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 08/09/21 Review

Welcome to the WWE Raw Deal review for this week. We are less than two weeks away from WWE SummerSlam on Saturday, August 21. Going into Raw this week, WWE was advertising no matches at all. Good thing? Bad thing? I guess we’ll find out together.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1472 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage, insightful columns from our team along with reviews about wrestling’s past (including my reviews of every WWE PPV ever listed in order) and present. Let’s roll.

The show began with Randy Orton making his entrance to a big pop after missing about a month of Raw. Orton was happy to be back as the fans popped for him and Orton encouraged the cheers. Orton did his turnbuckle posing while hyping up the crowd and they cheered for him even more. Orton was in a shirt and shorts. The Raw announce team of Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves & Byron Saxton were at ringside to welcome us to the show.

Let’s Hear from Randy Orton

Randy delivered the classic line: “Welcome to Monday Night Raw.” Orton was about to say something more, but then “Bro” hit and Riddle went down to the ring to join Orton in the ring. Riddle was wearing an RK-Bro shirt.

Riddle: “Randy, I missed you so much, bro.” Riddle wondered where Orton went, then he thought Orton was hiding like an anaconda, then he thought maybe Orton was on vacation and Riddle said he missed him so much. Riddle claimed that 25 years ago his stepdad went to get some milk, but he got lost and never came back…but Randy came back. The fans chanted “RKO” during Riddle’s speech. Riddle said now they can team again and be RK-Bro. Riddle led the crowd in “Randy” chants.

Orton asked Riddle what makes him think that Orton wants to team with Riddle again. Orton said that they had some matches, made some shirts, got a buzz on social media, but Orton works better by himself. Orton said he works better by himself without Riddle’s help or his stepdad’s. Riddle asked if that means he doesn’t want to be on a team anymore. Orton said that they “were” a good team. The fans chanted “RK-Bro” for them.

AJ Styles and Omos, the Raw Tag Team Champions, made their entrance. Styles mocked Riddle’s “bro” usage. Styles said that this is embarrassing, so much that you can taste it and some would say it’s too sweet. Styles and Omos got into the ring. Styles reminded Riddle of Orton’s nicknames like Viper, Apex Predator and Legend Killer. Styles said that Orton uses and abuses everybody he’s ever met, yet Riddle thinks Randy is going to be his friend. Styles said it just doesn’t make any sense. Styles thought that Omos breaking the scooter and throwing around Riddle would hurt Riddle, but now it’s a broken heart that hurt Riddle the most.

Orton told Styles to shut his mouth. Orton said he’s been home for seven weeks. Orton said that the only thing bigger than AJ’s ego is that jackass right there (Omos). Styles said he’s not a jackass. Styles suggested that Orton fights him tonight and they will see who runs Raw. Orton said he accepts the challenge, so tonight he’s going to beat Styles and give him a spoiler with the three most destructive letters in sports entertainment…RKO. The fans chanted along with it. Styles slipped out of the ring to avoid an RKO. Omos turned to face Orton, then Orton tried an RKO and Omos shoved Orton out of the ring. Riddle set up behind Omos, he went for the RKO, Omos caught Riddle and Omos gave Riddle a Chokeslam in the middle of the ring. Riddle rolled out of the ring while the crowd booed Omos. Orton told Riddle that wasn’t a smart move and Orton left without Riddle, who stumbled to the back with Randy.

Analysis: I thought this was pretty good for an opening segment. There was some freshness to it since it’s been seven weeks since Randy Orton was on Raw, so the fans loved seeing him and responded well to his promo even though he was a bit of a jerk towards Riddle. Styles did a nice job as the heel antagonist that tried to open Riddle’s eyes while taking shots at Orton. All of this should lead to a Tag Team Title match at SummerSlam.

They showed a clip of Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal’s interaction from last week with Drew nearly attacking Shanky with a sword.

Baron Corbin was backstage with Kevin Patrick. Corbin is from Smackdown wearing the same shirt with a stain on it while also growing his hair out and having a disheveled beard. Corbin said he has lost everything and his wife left with the kids, so he slept in a production truck. Corbin said that he got a phone call from Jinder Mahal offering to turn things around. Corbin said that he’s not excited about jumping into the ring against Drew McIntyre, but he’s running out of options and he’s desperate. Corbin said that if beating McIntyre will help to get him out of these financial problems then so help him, sword or not.

Analysis: The brand split is supposed to be a thing, they also use the “brand to brand invitational” thing sometimes, so that’s why they can have a Smackdown guy on Raw like this.

Baron Corbin’s music played briefly for his entrance, Corbin walked down the aisle and the music stopped.

There was a commercial for SummerSlam on August 21 promoting Roman Reigns vs. John Cena.

(Commercial)

Drew McIntyre was backstage for an interview asking if he should have any sympathy for Corbin right now (the fans chanted “no”). Drew said that Corbin is a terrible human being and he thinks Orlando wants to see Drew McIntyre kick his ass. Drew said that the sword is named after his mother, he said that his mom went through a tough life and never complained. Drew said that karma is a bitch and if you push Drew McIntyre, so is Angela (a bitch). Drew made his entrance to a good ovation complete with the sword leading to some pyro. Drew brought the sword down to ringside.

Drew McIntyre vs. Baron Corbin

McIntyre worked over Corbin with punches and chops with Graves mentioning the brand to brand invitational that allows superstars to compete on the other brand up to four times per year. McIntyre with a hard whip into the corner and a suplex for two. McIntyre with a clothesline over the top to the floor. McIntyre with a punch, but then Corbin came back with a punch and he drove McIntyre’s back into the apron. Corbin tossed McIntyre over the top to the floor. Corbin charged, McIntyre caught him and hit a belly to belly suplex into the barricade. That led to a break.

(Commercial)

The match continued with Corbin getting some offense with a superplex off the middle rope for a two count. Corbin with punches, McIntyre avoided a charge, Corbin slid back into the ring and McIntyre hit a Glasgow Kiss headbutt (with the hand up) to knock both guys down for a bit. McIntyre with punches, then two clotheslines, an overhead suplex, a belly to belly suplex and McIntyre hit a neckbreaker. While McIntyre set up in the corner, Corbin tried to plead with him and begged him to stop. McIntyre got the microphone saying Corbin is pathetic and Drew is starting to feel bad for him. McIntyre asked Corbin how much he needs for a meal, a bed and a shower. Corbin said “$100,000” and McIntyre laughed it off saying how about $200,000 or $300,000 and then said 3, 2, 1 leading to the Claymore Kick for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Drew McIntyre

Analysis: ** It was just an average match with Corbin getting a bit of offense before McIntyre easily put him away. The promo at the end of the match is rare, but it was a way to emphasize the Corbin story some more, then McIntyre showed a bit of fake sympathy and set up the Claymore Kick, which drew a big pop.

After the match, Jinder Mahal, Veer and Shanky appeared on the stage. They were making their way down to the ring, but Drew got a hold of “Angela” the sword, so Jinder and friends backed away.

Analysis: They are clearly setting up McIntyre vs. Mahal for SummerSlam. It’s just a matter of when they make it official.

Riddle went up to Randy Orton in the backstage area. Riddle said he understands if Orton didn’t want to team up anymore, but Riddle wanted to be ringside for his match. Orton said nothing, Riddle asked: “Are you serious, bro.” Orton paused and replied saying he was serious and for Riddle to not call him bro. Riddle was sad again.

Jeff Hardy is back after missing a few weeks of action. Hardy was all painted on his face as usual. It’s always good to hear the “No More Words” song again.

(Commercial)

They showed a clip of Jeff Hardy beating Karrion Kross on Raw three weeks ago. They didn’t say this, but Jeff missed the last couple of weeks due to testing positive for Coronavirus, but it’s good to see Jeff healthy and back in action.

Karrion Kross made his entrance as the NXT Champion. Kross did a pre-tape promo saying he’ll make Hardy fall and pray.

Karrion Kross vs. Jeff Hardy

Kross with a boot to the face, then forearms and an overhead suplex across the ring. Kross tossed Hardy out of the ring. Kross went after Hardy on the floor, but Jeff tossed Kross into the steel steps. Hardy hit a diving attack off the steps onto Kross at ringside. Back in the ring, Hardy with a side Russian legsweep. Hardy went up top, but Kross tripped him up and Hardy took a hard bump into the ring.

(Commercial)

The match continued with Hardy hitting a DDT in the middle of the ring. Hardy with a forearm, a trip, a double leg drop, low dropkick and a splash for two. Kross charged, Hardy got two boots up and Hardy hit a splash off the middle rope for a two count. Hardy with a jawbreaker and a rollup with tights for two. Kross got a hold of Hardy and hit a Saito Suplex. Kross applied the Kross Jacket submission and Hardy tapped out to give Kross the win after eight minutes.

Winner by submission: Karrion Kross

Analysis: ** Kross gets his win back after losing to Hardy three weeks earlier. This is how they should have booked Kross in the first match instead of having him lose even though that loss was because Hardy had his feet on the ropes. Hardy hit some of his signature moves in the match, but this was all about establishing Kross as a threat on Raw.

After the match, Kross gave Hardy a Saito Suplex and applied the Kross Jacket again. The fans booed.

Analysis: It was a way to get Kross more heel heat for doing a cheap attack. It worked because the fans were booing. I’m not sure if they are going to do Hardy vs. Kross again next week, but since they love rematches on Raw, they might do it again.

Alexa Bliss made her entrance with Lilly the evil doll because Bliss is against Doudrop. Happy birthday to Bliss, who turned 30 on Monday.

This week on WWE NXT: They hyped up the rivalries between Dakota Kai turning on her friend Raquel Gonzalez while Kyle O’Reilly and Adam Cole will go face to face. I’ll have a review on TJRWrestling on Wednesday morning.

(Commercial)

There was a graphic celebrating that WWE’s Youtube channel reached 80 million subscribers.

A video package aired about the history between Randy Orton and Riddle over the last few months as they picked up some wins in tag team matches.

Riddle was shown backstage looking sad with Kevin Patrick asking if this is really the end of RK-Bro. Riddle said he was so stoked to see Orton, but he doesn’t know how to feel now or what to do. Riddle said if Orton wants to be by himself then he has to respect that. Riddle said he’s a stallion, so he has to do what a stallion does – and that’s ride, so he left on the scooter.

Eva Marie entered with Doudrop. Eva Marie is great…to follow on Instagram. Really nice photos. Just saying.

Doudrop (w/Eva Marie) vs. Alexa Bliss

Bliss set up Lilly against the ring post. The fans chanted “We Want Wyatt” as the match began. Bliss did her creepy walking routine as Doudrop picked her up and slammed Bliss down. Doudrop missed a splash, Bliss with a kick to the back and a kick to the chest. Bliss jumped off the ropes with a cross body block. Bliss left the ring, she walked towards Eva Marie, Bliss blocked a punch and Doudrop hit Bliss in the back. Doudrop whipped Bliss into the barricade. Back in the ring, Doudrop sent Bliss into the turnbuckle. Doudrop charged with a corner splash and talked trash to the stupid doll. Bliss did more of her creepy posing, then they showed Lilly on the turnbuckle and Lilly “winked” with a noise and then Bliss rolled up Doudrop for the pinfall win after four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Alexa Bliss

Analysis: * A goofy match as usual for Bliss in this role. Good job by the graphics team making it look like a doll can wink.

Post match, Eva Marie was yelling at Doudrop saying that it was just a doll. Doudrop tried to explain the wink.

The Miz and John Morrison were backstage talking about how they can’t stand Damian Priest. Sheamus walked up to them saying Morrison was goofy, then they argued and Miz calmed them down. Sheamus said that he has to deal with Ricochet again. Sheamus told Morrison to get the job done tonight.

Sheamus made his entrance with the US Championship for this non-title match, so they call it a “Championship Contenders Match” now.

This Friday on Smackdown: More on the Edge/Rollins rivalry and John Cena returns to confront Roman Reigns.

(Commercial)

Ricochet made his entrance as the opponent. Ricochet was back in trunks after wearing pants for a few months.

Sheamus vs. Ricochet

Sheamus is wrestling with a black protective face mask on again. Sheamus with a shoulder tackle while Saxton mentioned how Sheamus was not defending the title very much. Ricochet with a headscissors followed by a dropkick that led to Sheamus bailing to the floor. Sheamus with a knee to the ribs, Sheamus with an armbar and Ricochet came back with punches. Sheamus with a body slam. Ricochet with a running knee to the face, Sheamus picked up Ricochet and Ricochet went to the ropes. Sheamus wanted a Brogue Kick, Ricochet moved and Sheamus went over the top to the floor. Ricochet with a running dropkick that sent Sheamus into the announce table. Ricochet hit a springboard cross body block onto Sheamus, which led to both guys tumbling over the top of the announce table. Good spot there.

(Commercial)

Sheamus was back in control with a backbreaker. They replayed the table bump again. The table did not break, but it was a really cool spot. Ricochet delivered several elbows to the head and tossed Sheamus out of the ring. Ricochet punched the mask, so he was selling a hand injury, Sheamus went up top and Ricochet kicked Sheamus on the top rope. Sheamus shoved Ricochet off the top, so Ricochet did a backflip and Ricochet delivered a hurricanrana. Ricochet hit a springboard clothesline followed by a moonsault off the middle rope for a two count. Ricochet lifted up Sheamus, who powered out and then Ricochet kicked Sheamus into the middle rope. Ricochet went for a jumping attack off the rope, but Sheamus hit Ricochet with the mask. Sheamus with a Brogue Kick for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Sheamus

Analysis: ***1/4 This was really good between two guys that have wrestled a lot this year and know how to set up some interesting spots in their matches. I thought the cross body block by the announce table was a cool spot. These guys work well together. I’m glad Sheamus got the clean win rather than another champion losing non-title.

Sheamus was still celebrating in the ring. Damian Priest made his entrance, Priest got in his face and Sheamus backed away. When Sheamus went for a cheapshot, Priest was ready for him and gave Sheamus a back body drop over the top to the floor. Sheamus was frustrated.

John Morrison made his entrance with The Miz, who was in a wheelchair again.

(Commercial)

Damian Priest vs. John Morrison (w/The Miz)

These guys have wrestled a lot over several months going back to before WrestleMania. Priest unloaded on Morrison with punches. Morrison hit a jumping kick and then sliding knee got a two count. Priest used his leg to break out of a submission, Priest with the clap on the head, then punches and a clothesline. Priest with knee lifts, Morrison with an elbow and then both men delivered low kicks at the same time to put them both down for a bit. Morrison sent Priest to the floor and then Morrison hit a twisting splash on the floor. Priest went for a diving attack, but Priest hit a spin kick to knock Morrison down. Priest set up Morrison, Miz sprayed some water on him, Priest didn’t let Morrison go and Priest hit The Reckoning neckbreaker for the pinfall win after about five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Damian Priest

Analysis: ** It was a short match that was done to put over Priest in a strong manner. I am glad that he didn’t react much to the water spray because that’s the kind of thing that should have minimal effect. Morrison loses way too much considering how talented he is, but that’s because he’s booked like a comedy guy a lot of the time. Priest winning made sense based on what happened next.

Post match, Priest went after Miz. Morrison tried to save Miz, but Priest decked Morrison with a punch. Priest sprayed Morrison with water repeatedly. The Miz shoved Priest and Miz stood up in the wheelchair showing he was just fine. Miz ran to the back to get away.

Analysis: It’s good to see Miz is healthy again. It was not a fully torn ACL for him as was initially reported. It looks like Miz is cleared to return or close to return, so he only missed about three months and he’s been on TV regularly since he was hurt.

Damian Priest said that for months we’ve all seen Sheamus pick on his opponents when they’re not looking and here comes Sheamus. Sheamus told Priest to say it to his face. Priest said we’ve seen Sheamus run his mouth and treat people like garbage because he’s a bully. Priest said he wants to fight Sheamus at SummerSlam for that United States Championship. Sheamus said that “Priesty” talks a big game. Sheamus said maybe he is a bully, maybe he likes it and he doesn’t care what any of these people think. Sheamus accepted the US Title challenge. Meanwhile, Morrison was in the ring and Priest hit him with a move similar to a Brogue Kick or a jumping kick. Priest said that will be Sheamus at SummerSlam. The fans cheered.

Analysis: The match has been building for a couple of months, so it makes sense to do it at SummerSlam. I think it’s possible Priest wins the US Title because the whole point of Sheamus winning it is to put over somebody that’s new. While Priest isn’t necessarily a young guy since he’s 39 years old next month, he is still “new” on the Raw roster.

They showed a clip from last week when T-Bar & Mace beat Mustafa Ali & Mansoor. Post match, T-Bar & Mace did an attack with Ali saving Mansoor from an attack.

Mustafa Ali & Mansoor were backstage with Mansoor saying he got Ali a new jacket. Ali loved the jacket. Ali told Mansoor to watch and see how it’s done.

T-Bar entered for a singles match against Ali.

(Commercial)

Mustafa Ali made his entrance with Mansoor and I guess we can say Ali is a face now.

T-Bar (w/Mace) vs. Mustafa Ali (w/Mansoor)

T-Bar was in control early with a slam, Ali sent him to the floor and tried a diving attack, but T-Bar caught him on the floor. T-Bar hit a spinning slam that sent Ali into the barricade. T-Bar with a spinning boot to the face with a leg slap for a two count. Ali with a kick and a move off the ropes, but T-Bar hit a Chokeslam into a backbreaker. Mansoor was talking to T-Bar, so Mace attacked him with a jumping kick. Ali countered a slam, then he got a rollup and sat on top for two. Ali jumped off the middle rope and hit a Tornado DDT. Ali went up top, but T-Bar kicked him to knock him down. T-Bar had Ali on his shoulders, sent him off and hit a rising knee like a Go To Sleep for the pinfall win after three minutes. They called that move “Feast Your Eyes” in the NXT Dijakovic days.

Winner by pinfall: T-Bar

Analysis: *1/2 Ali is so talented and I like T-Bar going back to his days using the Dijakovic in NXT as well as other promotions. I just wish they got more time. Anyway, Ali put up a good fight throughout the match until T-Bar found a way to put him away.

Post match, Mansoor saved Ali from a double-team move with a missile dropkick on T-Bar. Mansoor sent Mace to the apron and Mansoor hit a springboard kick to knock Mace down. Mace left with T-Bar to the back.

Analysis: Good showing by Mansoor after the match. That should lead to another tag team match.

Reggie was shown taking photos with the 24/7 Title around his waist while he was getting photographed. Akira Tozawa was dressed like a delivery man and R-Truth was dressed like a janitor, but Reggie managed to avoid them both. Reggie climbed onto some equipment boxes and left out of a door. Truth and Tozawa argued about it.

Analysis: Nice flips. That’s all I’ve got for that.

The WWE Champion Bobby Lashley is up next at the top of hour three.

(Commercial)

There were images shown about the movie success recently for John Cena’s “Suicide Squad” movie and The Rock’s “Jungle Cruise” film.

AJ Styles and Omos were interviewed by Kevin Patrick. Styles said he didn’t care that Randy Orton was back. Styles said that they are champions that deserve respect. Styles said that they will break Randy just like Riddle’s scooter and put Randy on the sidelines for good.

Let’s Hear from Bobby Lashley and MVP

The All Mighty WWE Champion Bobby Lashley and MVP made their entrance. They were in suits. They showed a clip from last week when Goldberg told Lashley that at SummerSlam, he is next. MVP talked trash to Goldberg’s son Gage, so Goldberg showed up and gave MVP a Spear at ringside.

MVP asked the fans to show respect to the All Mighty WWE Champion Bobby Lashley. Some fans stood and cheered while a lot of them booed. MVP said that Lashley blessed us with a main event of SummerSlam with Lashley defending the WWE Title against Goldberg. MVP said that announcement has been mired in controversy and said that there were false narratives being spun. MVP said that Goldberg never raised his hands to Lashley. MVP said that Goldberg returned and savagely like a coward hit MVP with a rib-crushing Spear for no reason whatsoever. MVP said that Goldberg said he did it because MVP was threatening his 15-year-old son Gage. MVP said that he and Bobby have sons of their own. MVP said that he was acting in a humanitarian capacity. MVP said he was warning Gage that if Goldberg shows up at SummerSlam then his career is over and that’s why Goldberg attacked MVP. MVP said that getting hit by a Spear is like getting hit by Mack truck. MVP said he has four bruised ribs and two cracked ribs. MVP said that a Lashley spear is more deadly. MVP said that if you’re a WWE superstar that involves his son then anything can happen, so maybe you shouldn’t bring him here. MVP said he can’t cough, sneeze or laugh but this is no laughing matter. MVP had a message for Gage to convince his father to not show up at SummerSlam because he will see Goldberg humiliated and annihilated in a way you’ve never seen before. MVP said that Lashley will end Goldberg’s career. MVP said that the good thing is that Gage will have his dad at his football and baseball games. MVP said that they will have all the father-son time they want.

Lashley told Bill to not let his son watch SummerSlam. Lashley said that Bill’s son will not want to share the same last name after what Lashley does at SummerSlam. Lashley told Bill that he’s not next at SummerSlam, he’s done.

Analysis: It was about ten minutes of talking there. MVP did most of it, which was the smart move since he’s a great talker and made his points well. Some things were repeated by MVP during the promo, but I think that is unintentional to drive the point home. Lashley was short and to the point. I think Lashley should win at SummerSlam, but you never know with WWE booking these days.

There was a recap of the Nikki A.S.H. story with Charlotte Flair leading to Charlotte beating Nikki two weeks ago and Nikki won last week in a No Holds Barred match.

Rhea Ripley was asked by Sarah Schreiber about facing Nikki A.S.H. this week. Ripley said that “almost” isn’t good enough to stay the champ. Ripley wondered if Nikki had a dark side and said she hasn’t seen it. Ripley said that she will unleash a nightmare on Nikki tonight and at SummerSlam when Ripley walks away as the Raw Women’s Champion.

Rhea Ripley made her entrance looking confident as usual. The crowd likes her a lot.

(Commercial)

They showed a video about WWE’s Titus O’Neil and hip hop superstar Flo Rida gave away 30,000 backpacks with school supplies recently. Good job Titus.

Nikki A.S.H. was interviewed by Sarah Schreiber backstage. Nikki said that if you believe in yourself enough you can achieve your dreams. Nikki said that her trusty nightlight is her spirit and her drive. Nikki said she knows that Rhea and Charlotte will be dangerous. Nikki said she didn’t “almost” beat Charlotte, she did beat Charlotte and Nikki is almost positive she can beat Ripley. Nikki said that at SummerSlam she has the odds stacked against her, but she will do what it takes to remain the Raw Women’s Champion.

Nikki A.S.H. vs. Rhea Ripley

This is not for Nikki’s Raw Women’s Title. Nikki defends the Raw Women’s Title against Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair at SummerSlam.

Nikki has her ribs taped and her left arm taped. Nikki used a headlock to take control early until Ripley countered into a slam. Ripley with a hair toss across the ring. Ripley with a hard whip into the turnbuckle and Ripley tossed Nikki out of the ring. Ripley lifted up Nikki ribs first into the ring apron.

(Commercial)

Ripley with another slam followed by forearms to the bad ribs. Ripley charged, Nikki fought back with back elbow and punches. Nikki charged at Ripley right into a DDT with both women down selling for a few moments. Nikki with a headscissors, then a charge with her shoulder and Nikki got a roll through into a pin attempt. Ripley set up for Riptide, but Nikki countered and landed on top for two. Ripley set up Nikki for a superplex, Nikki blocked that and punched Ripley down. Nikki went up top, but Charlotte Flair showed up and shoved Nikki down for the DQ. It went nine minutes.

Winner by disqualification: Nikki A.S.H.

Analysis: **1/4 The match was okay with an ending that I think most of us expected. Since Nikki beat Charlotte last week and we didn’t see Charlotte for 2 hours and 30 minutes, I figured she would do the cheap attack here. That protects Ripley and Nikki from getting pinned while getting heat on Charlotte for doing the heelish thing by ruining a competitive match.

Charlotte Flair took off her heels and hit a boot to Ripley’s face. Charlotte with an overhead suplex on Nikki. Charlotte hit the Natural Selection neckbreaker on Ripley as well. Charlotte posed with the Raw Women’s Championship with some fans cheering for her. Charlotte dumped the title onto Nikki and left.

Analysis: A simple way to get heat on Charlotte after she lost clean to Nikki last week.

(Commercial)

There was a video featuring Elias with a guitar. He was outside near a fire and had his guitar in his hands. Elias looked at the guitar as clips of “Walk With Elias” played repeatedly. Elias looked at the guitar and tossed it into the fire. Elias said that WWE stood for “Walk With Elias” but Elias is dead.

Analysis: It seems like they are going to try something new with Elias, so he’s not going to be a drifter that sings songs anymore. Good luck to him.

Charlotte Flair was shown walking backstage with Sarah Schreiber asked about her attack. Charlotte doesn’t need to be pinned to lose the title match at SummerSlam. Charlotte said that if Nikki and Rhea were on her level then they should have been ready for that attack. Charlotte said that one loss doesn’t erase everything that she has done. Charlotte said that nothing is stopping her from walking out of SummerSlam as the Raw Women’s Champion.

Randy Orton was interviewed by Kevin Patrick with Orton saying he doesn’t need teammates or partners.

Randy Orton made his entrance for the main event match.

(Commercial)

AJ Styles made his entrance as one half of the Raw Tag Team Champions with the big man Omos joining him at ringside.

AJ Styles (w/Omos) vs. Randy Orton

Orton with punches and forearms to start the match. Orton caught a charging Styles with a forearm and Orton suplexed Styles so that AJ’s ribs hit the top rope. Orton stomped on Styles and kicked him out of the ring. Orton sent Styles into the announce table. Orton tried his slam on the table, but Omos got in Orton’s face and Styles hit a dropkick. Styles jumped over the top and hit Orton with a forearm.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Styles hitting a dropkick followed by a running forearm for two. Styles applied a headlock, Orton broke free and they got into a slugfest. Orton with two clotheslines, then the powerslam and that got a two count. Orton hit a modified backbreaker for two. Orton set up Styles for a superplex, but Styles slipped out of it and Styles went for a Calf Crusher with Orton getting to the bottom rope within about ten seconds. Styles charged, Orton sent him to the apron and when Styles went for a top rope move, Orton stopped that. Orton hit the draping DDT off the ropes. Orton set up for the RKO, but Omos pulled Styles into the turnbuckle to save him. Riddle showed up and shoved Omos into the ringpost. Omos managed to come back to send Riddle into another ringpost. Styles went for the Phenomenal Forearm off the top rope, Orton was ready for it across the ring and Orton countered with an RKO for the pinfall win. It got about 12 minutes. Great finish.

Winner by pinfall: Randy Orton

Analysis: *** A good match between two very experienced guys that have wrestled together many times in the past. The finish was great with Styles going for the forearm only for Orton to step back and hit the RKO to win. Styles got plenty of offense although I think it was the right call for Orton to get the win after he missed seven weeks. The crowd liked Orton throughout the match and popped big time for the finish.

Post match, Riddle was pleading with Orton to be his tag team partner. Orton was about to leave, Riddle told him to listen to the people and Orton hugged Riddle. Riddle raised Orton’s hand. They turned to face the fans a few times, then Orton let his hand go and Orton hit the RKO. Orton crouched down to check on Riddle and that was the end of Raw.

Analysis: I don’t think it’s Orton turning on Riddle. I think Orton accepted Riddle’s desire to team up again and then Orton did the RKO just to send a message that you can’t really trust him. I assume they do Styles/Omos vs. Orton/Riddle at SummerSlam in less than two weeks.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Randy Orton
  2. AJ Styles
  3. Sheamus/Ricochet

 

The Scoreboard

6.25 out of 10

Last week: 5.25

2021 Average: 5.91

 

Final Thoughts

It was a lot of the same stuff we usually see on Raw with rematches, the same sort of 50/50 booking that exists in WEW far too often and not enough excitement. I thought Sheamus had the best match of the night with Ricochet. It was good to see Orton back, but instead of welcoming Riddle to watch his back, Orton doesn’t seem to want Riddle’s help.

The build for SummerSlam matches has been solid. I think it’s a very strong lineup.

The next WWE pay-per-view is SummerSlam on Saturday, August 21. Here’s the official lineup so far.

WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. John Cena

WWE Championship: Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Bill Goldberg

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (c) vs. Sasha Banks

Seth Rollins vs. Edge

Raw Women’s Championship: Nikki A.S.H. (c) vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley

United States Championships: Sheamus (c) vs. Damian Priest

Smackdown Tag Team Championships: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) (c) vs. Rey & Dominik Mysterio

You can watch SummerSlam on Saturday, August 21, streaming at 8 ET/5 PT exclusively on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network everywhere else.

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You can contact me using any of the methods below. Go Toronto Blue Jays. Be safe and smart out there.

Thanks for reading.

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport

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