The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 08/15/22 Review
This week’s WWE Raw saw Bobby Lashley defend the US Title against AJ Styles, Riddle delivered a message to Seth Rollins and the Women’s Tag Team Title tournament continued.
This is the Raw Deal for episode #1525 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.
The Raw intro video aired. We don’t get to see that most weeks. A pyro show followed that. The Raw commentary team was Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton as usual.
Let’s Hear from The Judgment Day
The Judgment Day trio of Damian Priest, Finn Balor and Rhea Ripley made their entrance dressed in black/purple attire. They went into the ring for a promo with Ripley saying they run Raw. Ripley said that she proved to Dominik Mysterio that she really is his “papi” as she destroyed his soul. Balor said that everybody loved The Mysterios, but he doesn’t get it. Balor told the crowd that The Mysterios will not be here. Balor talked about how he beat Rey Mysterio last week to further solidify Finn’s “legendary status” in this business.
Damian Priest spoke about his match against Edge next week and Priest told the crowd that Edge wasn’t there. Priest said that Edge is in Toronto next week because it’s his first match there in over a decade. Priest said that he doesn’t need anyone to deal with Edge, so there will be no Balor or Ripley ringside, it will be a one-on-one match. Priest said that Toronto will no longer be known as Edge’s hometown because it will be the place where Priest sends him back into retirement. Priest said that retirement will be Beth wheeling him around and feeding him through a tube for the rest of his life.
Rey Mysterio showed up in the darkened arena with a dropkick to the back of Priest and a headscissors sent Balor out of the ring. The lights were back on as Balor went up to Rey, but Rey couldn’t hit here. Rey stopped a chair attack by Balor and hit Balor with the chair. Rey hit Priest with the chair in the ribs and back. Ripley stopped Rey from hitting Balor with the chair. That allowed Priest to knock Rey down and kick him in the ribs. Priest beat up Rey with punches. Ripley gave Rey a DDT on the steel chair. Priest and Ripley held Rey down while Balor went up top and Balor did a Coup de Grace double foot stomp on a steel chair on Rey’s ribs. The Judgment Day celebrated while the fans booed.
Analysis: This was well done to show how dominant The Judgment Day group can be. Rey had no help from an absent Edge and Dominik was out based on the story from last week, so even though Rey put up a fight, he couldn’t overcome three people. I like how they used Ripley there because a man can’t hit a woman in WWE, so Ripley uses it to her advantage to help her friends. The Edge-Priest match next week should be good. I assume we get a tag team match at Clash at the Castle in a few weeks.
Asuka & Alexa Bliss made their entrance for tag team action. The Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair also made her entrance to support her Clash at the Castle teammates. Nikki A.S.H. and Doudrop were next. Nikki has a black leather jacket instead of a cape. Her outfit still looks ridiculous.
Women’s Tag Team Title Tournament Quarterfinals: Asuka & Alexa Bliss vs. Nikki A.S.H. & Doudrop
Asuka gave Nikki a lifting knee, Bliss tagged in and hit a double dropkick on Doudrop. Asuka and Bliss knocked both opponents off the apron to the floor.
Nikki was in control of Bliss pulling on the arms. Bliss got a jawbreaker, Doudrop tagged in, Asuka back in and Asuka hit a missile dropkick. Asuka kicked Nikki, who was legal, followed by Asuka getting a corner splash. Asuka with a bunch of strikes to the head followed by a bridging German Suplex for two. Doudrop tripped Asuka, so Nikki hit a neckbreaker for two. Nikki got a cross body block off the top onto Asuka for two as Bliss made the save. Doudrop hit a running cross body block on Bliss while Dana Brooke & Tamina were shown watching in the backstage area. They lost last week, but they showed them watching anyway. Asuka with a spinning back fist on Doudrop, then Asuka knocked Nikki off the apron and Doudrop hit Asuka a Michinoku Driver for two. Doudrop went for a splash off the ropes, Asuka moved and Doudrop hit the mat. Asuka with two kicks, Bliss tagged in and hit a DDT. Asuka back in with a double knee attack on Doudrop followed by an armbar pulling back on the right arm, so Doudrop tapped out. It went nine minutes.
Winners by submission: Asuka & Alexa Bliss
Analysis: **3/4 A solid match with an obvious result because we know Asuka/Bliss was going to get the win to face the heel team next week. The team of Doudrop and Nikki put up a fight in the match, but they didn’t get many nearfalls to make it look like they might have a shot to win. Anyway, I liked the finishing sequence with Asuka getting the win for her team.
The win by Asuka & Bliss means they will face Dakota Kai & IYO SKY in the tournament semifinals.
When Belair, Bliss & Asuka got near the entrance area, they were confronted by Bayley, IYO SKY and Dakota Kai. Officials broke it up before there was a fight.
Analysis: Those six women are facing off at Clash at the Castle, so it was a way to show there’s tension between them.
Theory was interviewed by Kevin Patrick, who mentioned Theory’s less than successful Money in the Bank cash-in attempt at SummerSlam. Theory bragged about his accomplishments saying he’s tougher, wiser and more dangerous because of what happened. Dolph Ziggler walked up to Theory saying he’s been watching him. Ziggler said that he earned the contract, so that’s why it mattered when he cashed in to become the World Heavyweight Champion. Theory said that Ziggler was a World Heavyweight Champion, but Dolph probably won’t be around when Theory cashes in. Theory called him an over-the-hill has been while Theory will keep on winning and cash in. Theory said that unlike Ziggler, he won’t screw up the rest of his career like Dolph did. Ziggler headbutted Theory and they got into a brawl leading to the break.
Analysis: The younger wrestler Theory showing a lot of confidence towards the veteran Ziggler, who was once the cocky young heel carrying that same briefcase. It makes sense as a storyline.
They showed highlights of Theory and Ziggler continuing to fight during the break.
There were highlights shown of Bobby Lashley retaining the US Title against Ciampa in a competitive match last week on Raw.
The Miz and Ciampa were interviewed by Sarah Schreiber. Ciampa said he came there to be a champion. The Miz complained about how AJ Styles cost Ciampa that match while adding that he smells collusion because Styles gets a title match this week. The Miz gave Ciampa a necklace that had a card and a photo of Miz/Ciampa on it. They said they were awesome.
The Miz & Ciampa vs. Cedric Alexander & Mustafa Ali
The team of Alexander & Ali are an exciting babyface team. Ciampa and Alexander exchanged some holds with Ciampa locking in a side headlock. Alexander broke free with a dropkick, Ali tagged in and a hit a senton onto Ciampa while Alexander with his own senton on Ciampa. Miz grabbed Alexander’s hair when the referee didn’t see it, so Ciampa hit a dropkick on Alexander while Alexander was bouncing off the ropes. Miz & Ciampa did the clapping thing together. That was good.
Miz hit a corner clothesline followed by a Ciampa clothesline for a two count. Ciampa wanted suplex, but Alexander hit his own suplex. Ali tagged in with chops against The Miz, then Ali kicked Ciampa off the apron and Ali gave Miz a neckbreaker for a two count. Miz sent Ali into the ropes, Alexander tagged in and Alexander hit a sitout slam for two because Ciampa put Miz’s foot on the bottom rope for a two count. Ali hit a suicide dive onto Ciampa to send Ciampa over the commentary table. Back in the ring, Miz got a nearfall and then Ali dropkicked Miz so that Alexander got a two count. Miz got a rollup on legal man Ali, then Ali hit a superkick while Ciampa made a blind tag. Ali up top, jumped off with a 450 Splash and Ciampa kneed in the face. Ouch. Ciampa hit the Fairytale Ending on Ali for the win. This went 10 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Miz & Ciampa
Analysis: ***1/4 This was good. Ciampa gets some positive momentum back after losing last week. I like the team of Ali/Alexander because they are two veterans that are an exciting team. I really liked those two spots by Ciampa where he dropkicked Alexander in the head when he was bouncing off the ropes and a knee on Ali when he jumped off the top. They did a nice job of making it look like Ali-Alexander had a shot even though we knew the heels were going to win this and they did.
They showed highlights of Kevin Owens attacking Ezekiel last week on Raw with a stiff Powerbomb on the apron. The announcers said “multiple injuries” for Ezekiel (way to be specific) and a long recovery. I don’t know if this means Elias is coming back or what.
They showed this funny image of Ezekiel laying in a hospital in his wrestling gear along with his family, who all looked like him. The same guy was dressed up as the males. They showed “Ernie Jr.” (Elias in a wig, mustache, glasses look) saying if he ever gets his hands on Kevin Owens, he will get a piece of Ernie’s mind.
Drew McIntyre was shown walking backstage. They showed Adam Pearce and security guys dealing with something backstage.
Drew McIntyre made his entrance in his wrestling gear along with a t-shirt. No more sword for him. Drew is from Smackdown. He was given this past weekend off live events due to a back injury, but it was just a precaution. Drew challenges Roman Reigns at Clash at the Castle on Saturday, September 3. Title change? Perhaps.
Let’s Hear from Drew McIntyre
Drew said it’s a shock being on Raw because he’s technically a Smackdown guy. Drew said that at Clash at the Castle, he gets Roman Reigns for the Undisputed Championship. Drew talked about how this match is not taking place in a fictional island of relevancy, it’s taking place on Drew’s island (the UK). Drew said he’s going to take Roman’s titles, then show up on Raw, Smackdown, the live events and everywhere that those titles deserve because that’s what the fans deserve and what those titles deserve. The fans cheered. Drew talked about how there are reports about how he’s suffering from a bit of a back injury. Drew said it’s true because he’s been carrying the load of 20 men for the last three years in WWE in the ring and outside the ring. Drew said he does it with a smile on his face because it’s a privilege. Drew said this isn’t his job, it’s his dream and that’s why he’s there on a day off because he wants to scout some future opponents. Drew suggested potential matches for the future like Drew vs. Ciampa, Drew vs. AJ Styles, Drew vs. Seth “Freakin” Rollins, Drew vs. Karrion Kross and here comes Kevin Owens.
Kevin Owens made his entrance and Drew said he likes this one too – Drew vs. Kevin Owens. Owens said there was something about Drew that he never got. Owens didn’t like that Drew pretended to be something he’s not. Owens talked about how sometimes Drew has a kilt or sword thinking it’s medieval times. Owens told Drew he’s a dumbass for thinking he carried other people for the last few years. Owens was fired up saying he was as real as it gets in this business. Owens talked about how for the past couple of years, he was coming to work and having fun. Owens talked about how this was the arena where at Battleground, Sami Zayn and I had the fight of our lives when they left it in that ring (that would be Battleground 2016). Owens said that they gave people a match they still talk about six years later. Owens added there was a sign of him that was missing for far too long, so he missed him and now it’s time to bring back the KO that people called the Prizefighter. Owens noted that he hasn’t held a title in five years, but “enough is enough and it’s time for a change” (Owens Hart phrase!) because he’s coming for everything. Owens said he’s coming for every title including the Undisputed WWE Universal Title.
Analysis: Awesome promo from Owens. A nice reminder of what he can do when he’s allowed to speak from the heart instead of doing the goofy “Ezekiel/Elias” storyline. This is the KO that I want to see. And yes, that match with Zayn was amazing.
Drew and Owens were in the ring together at this point. Drew said that he’s sick of people making stuff up just to get a cheap reaction. Drew said somebody recently called him “The Chosen One” while adding he was that 15 years ago. Then he got fired, worked his ass off and earn his way back into this company. Drew noted that he didn’t call WWE because they called him and he’s worked his ass off everyday since. Drew was fired up saying he was a two-time (WWE) Champion, he’s beaten Brock Lesnar, Goldberg and Randy Orton among others along with everybody that stands in his path. Drew told Owens: “Don’t you dare look me in the eye and pull that BS again!” The fans cheered. Drew said it’s time to stop talking. Drew said he didn’t care if you’re a prizefighter, sports entertainer or superstar. Drew: “We’re wrestlers in a wrestling ring, let’s just freakin’ wrestle!” That drew a big applause from the crowd.
Owens said that Drew is no prize, but he’s on.
Analysis: I love the intensity! Right after we get a passionate promo from Kevin Owens talking about himself, Drew fires back with one of his own. This is what we want to see. I assume both veteran wrestlers got a lot of leeway in what they wanted to say because they should be trusted and they are great talkers. Also, Drew saying “wrestlers” and “wrestling” in the promo is the kind of thing that’s going to make the fans love him even more because those were sort of “banned words” in the Vince McMahon era of WWE, but now we get to hear it and it sounds so refreshing.
Kevin Owens vs. Drew McIntyre
Drew ran over Owens with a running shoulder tackle. Owens with a back elbow, then he sent Drew into the ring post, Owens with a “suck it” taunt followed by a cannonball in the corner. Owens with a senton splash along with a moonsault off the middle rope for a one count. Drew with a suplex into a slam followed by his own “suck it” taunt. Drew to the apron, Owens blocked a suplex and choked Drew’s throat against the top rope. Owens sent Drew into the ring post. Owens jumped off the apron with a Frog Splash on the floor. Good move.
Owens was in control with a chinlock. Drew came back with two clotheslines and two belly-to-belly suplexes followed by a neckbreaker. Owens avoided a DDT and hit his own DDT for two. Drew with a boot to the face, then a back elbow to the head, but Owens got the boots up to knock Drew down. Owens went up top, jumped off with a Senton Bomb and Drew got the knees up followed by a Michinoku Driver for two. Drew lifted Owens to the top rope teasing a superplex, Owens stopped that and Drew was upside down against the turnbuckle. Owens headbutted Drew to keep him down followed by another cannonball. Owens went up top and jumped off with a Frog Splash for two. Owens went up top again with a Swanton Bomb for a two count. The fans chanted “this is awesome” and they were right. Owens took a lot of time to get back up top, so Drew punched KO and hit an Air Raid Crash (White Noise) off the middle ropes for two. Big move right there. Drew charged, Owens got a superkick, Drew with a headbutt, Owens with a superkick and Drew hit a clothesline as both guys went down. Nice sequence of strikes there. They exchanged punches, Owens with a knee to the ribs and Drew avoided a Powerbomb. Drew hit a Future Shock DDT. When Drew set up in the corner, The Usos showed up to attack Drew for the DQ. It went about 15 minutes.
Winner by disqualification: Drew McIntyre
Analysis: **** Awesome match. The DQ finish isn’t the best thing to see, but I think it’s a case of two strong wrestlers in a match where they need to be protected a bit. Drew’s got the big title match coming up while Owens is going to get pushed as a heel again, so they should keep him strong. It’s okay to have DQ ending in a match like that because it makes sense. It also gives WWE a good reason to go back to this match in the future because of how this one ended. The match was competitive the whole way with each guy getting plenty of nearfalls. I really liked this match a lot. Hopefully we get to see this as a long-term feud in the future. It definitely won’t disappoint in terms of promos and match quality.
The Usos stomped on Drew in the corner. Jimmy superkicked Drew. Jey went up top, jumped off and Drew avoided it. Drew clotheslined Jimmy to the floor along with a back body drop on Jey over the top onto Jimmy. When Drew turned around, Owens was there with a Stunner to knock Drew down. Owens told The Usos to tell the Tribal Chief that he owes KO one. Drew hit a headbutt on Jey and a Claymore Kick on Jimmy. Drew stood tall as his music played. Drew said he’ll see Roman Reigns on Smackdown on Friday and he can’t wait.
Analysis: This was a smart way to do a post match angle because Owens got a final shot in on Drew while Drew got to dominate The Usos and stand up tall to end it.
They showed highlights of Seth “Freakin” Rollins attacking Riddle in recent weeks. Riddle was shown backstage looking ready for an interview.
Seth “Freakin” Rollins made his entrance.
Let’s Hear from Seth “Freakin’ Rollins
Rollins was in the ring with a ridiculous shirt and pants combo along with purple shades. Rollins went over his nicknames as usual. Rollins said he was excited because Riddle was about to give us his big news. Rollins ripped on Riddle for being stupid. Riddle interrupted via satellite on the video screen with Riddle saying he had a medical update. Riddle said he is medically cleared, so the next time he sees Seth, “it’s on.” Rollins reminded Riddle when he beat him up at Madison Square Garden and SummerSlam. Rollins said that the outcome is the same when they’re in the same place because Rollins is the guy stomping Riddle’s head into the mat. Rollins said he’s always three steps ahead of him. Rollins said he would love nothing more than to stomp those brain cells out of Riddle’s stupid stomp-able head. Riddle said that he is not in his mom’s basement, he is in DC and he’s going down to the ring to kick Seth’s ass. Riddle ran out to the ring.
Riddle nearly slid into the ring, but he stopped himself and they started brawling around ringside. They went into the ring with Riddle delivering several kicks along with an Exploder Suplex. Rollins tripped up Riddle on the apron leading to bump on the apron by Riddle. Rollins tossed Riddle over the commentary table and kicked him a bit. Rollins set up for The Stomp on table. Rollins charged on the table, Riddle avoided it and hit a rising knee to the face. Rollins went into the crowd and ran up the steps. Riddle chased, then stopped and celebrated with the crowd.
Analysis: I thought this was well done. Riddle was the fighting babyface that issued a challenge while also showing he wasn’t going to back down. Rollins got the advantage again, but Riddle found a way to get the momentum back. These two have good chemistry together.
There was a video package narrated by Corey Graves hyping up the US Title match between champion Bobby Lashley and AJ Styles coming up on Raw.
AJ Styles was shown backstage getting ready for the first time ever against Bobby Lashley.
Riddle was shown walking backstage where Kevin Patrick showed up for an interview. Riddle issued a challenge for Clash at the Castle and told Seth to be there.
Analysis: That was expected. They didn’t do the match at SummerSlam, but it makes sense to do it at Clash at the Castle.
Veer Mahaan vs. Beaux Keller
It’s been a while since we have seen Veer. I didn’t really miss him when he wasn’t used. Keller used his speed to avoid a charging Veer and Veer left the ring with Graves telling him he would pay Veer to beat up Saxton. Veer got a hold of Keller and launched him over the top to the floor. Veer launched Keller back into the ring. Veer hit a running splash in the corner followed by a jumping splash onto a standing Keller. Veer hit the lefty lariat followed by the Cervical Clutch submission and Keller tapped out. It went about two minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Veer Mahaan
Analysis: 1/2* A dominant win by Veer as you would expect. The crowd really didn’t react to it that much. To Veer’s credit, his moves do look painful even though he is likely a safe worker. I think he looks the part of a tough guy.
Bobby Lashley was shown warming up in the backstage area. In the background, they showed Adam Pearce talking to some security guys, so it was another background tease of something coming. Lashley’s match was up next as we approach the end of hour two.
They showed images from the top Instagram photos of the week.
Dakota Kai with Bayley & IYO SKY was interviewed by Sarah Schreiber, who asked Kai about her match. Bayley told Kai to elaborate. Kai said that she was going to win. SKY spoke in Japanese. Bayley said that IYO & Dakota will be the new Women’s Tag Team Champions. Kai walked up to Dana Brooke holding her 24/7 Title. Kai wanted to make sure Brooke was ready, then Brooke told her that she was not afraid. Kai told Brooke maybe she should be a little scared.
AJ Styles made his entrance as the challenger with the fans cheering him. Bobby Lashley made his entrance as the United States Champion, who was also cheered. This was the top of hour three match. Ring announcer Mike Rome did the championship introductions. It’s their first match against eachother.
United States Championship: Bobby Lashley vs. AJ Styles
Styles with kicks to the legs followed by some punches, but Lashley came back with a running shoulder tackle. Lashley elbowed Styles in the head a few times followed by a neckbreaker. Lashley ran the ropes leading to Styles hitting a dropkick. Styles with some elbow drops to the legs as the fans chanted for each guy. Lashley with a body slam, Styles to the floor, Lashley followed and Styles did a running kick. Lashley tried to slam Styles into the ring post, but Styles got out of it while Lashley stopped himself. Styles was on the apron with a running knee on Lashley. Styles hit Lashley with a forearm on the floor leading to a break.
Lashley sent Styles towards the turnbuckle leading to Styles bumping under the bottom turnbuckle and hitting his ribs into the ring post. Lashley sent Styles crashing into the barricade three times. Lashley worked over Styles with punches and kicks in the corner. The referee made Lashley move back, so Styles hit a jawbreaker along with a kick to the head. Styles with a running knee drop. Styles with strikes, then he ran the ropes and Lashley hit a spinebuster. Lashley with a hard whip into the turnbuckle with AJ hitting hit with his ribs while hitting the ring post with his hand. The Miz and Ciampa walked down to ringside to watch the match. Lashley with another hard whip into the corner leading to a sternum bump. Styles used a knee to block a suplex, but then Lashley suplex Styles across the top rope. Lashley punched Styles off the apron to the floor. Ciampa distracted Lashley and the referee, so Miz tried to attack Styles, but then Dexter Lumis showed up at ringside. There were four security guys that grabbed Lumis and put him over the barricade. They went to break there.
Analysis: It’s the second straight week where Lumis showed up during a Styles match. This time he got over the barricade instead of just appearing in the crowd.
Styles with a kick to the back, but Lashley came back with a lifting flatliner. They showed the referee ejecting Ciampa and Miz during the break. Styles kicked Lashley out of the ring. Styles jumped over the top with a forearm. Styles with two more forearms to the head. Styles with a corner clothesline, Lashley powered out of a move and sent Styles to the apron. Styles knocked Lashley down in the ring followed by Styles jumping over the top with a forearm. Styles got a boot to the face, but Lashley caught him with a running powerslam for two. Lashley set up Styles on the top rope, Lashley was on the middle ropes going for a move, but Styles slid out of that. Styles with a Rack Bomb off the shoulders for two. Styles continued to sell the back injury. Lashley with a back body drop. Lashley picked up Styles leading to a spinning slam off the shoulders for two. Lashley ran Styles right into the ring post while Styles on was Lashley’s shoulders. Back in the ring, Lashley charged, but Styles stopped him with a kick. Styles applied the Calf Crusher submission in the middle of the ring. Lashley slipped out of that and applied the Hurt Lock submission while on the mat, but Styles countered to a pin attempt and Lashley let go. Styles rocked Lashley a punch, Styles wanted a Phenomenal Forearm, Lashley avoided it and Lashley hit a Spear for the pinfall win after 23 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Bobby Lashley
Analysis: ***3/4 It was a great match between two talented veterans who each had some moments in the match where they looked like they might win. It seems like every time Styles had momentum, Lashley would stop it and nearly get the win. Styles sold the back injury really well throughout the match. Lashley doesn’t always use the Spear as a finish, but it’s credible for him since he’s a big guy. I liked the match although it did have some moments where the crowd was quiet too.
Theory was shown warming up backstage for his match against Dolph Ziggler later.
A commercial aired promoting the A&E Biography about Edge this Sunday. That should be great.
Dakota Kai (w/Bayley & IYO SKY) vs. Dana Brooke
Kai with a jumping kick followed by a kick to the back while Brooke was against the ropes. Kai sent Brooke into the corner followed by a running kick for two. Kai with some kicks to the face. Brooke got a boot to the face followed by forearms and two clotheslines. Brooke with a handspring elbow into the corner, but Kai sent Brooke into the turnbuckle. Kai with a running boot to the face for the painful win after about three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Dakota Kai
Analysis: * Easy win to put Kai over. Brooke got a few moves, but she really had no chance. It’s smart to put over Kai since she’s new on Raw and is in a match at Clash at the Castle while Brooke is not.
A video aired about Edge saying he wanted to end The Judgment Day. That led to the Edge match against Damian Priest for next Monday on Raw in Toronto.
Next week on Raw: Edge vs. Damian Priest. Dakota Kay & IYO SKY vs. Alexa Bliss & Asuka in the Women’s Tag Team Title tournament semifinals.
Theory made his entrance for his match.
Dolph Ziggler entered for the main event. The fans barely react to him even though he’s a face that turned recently.
Theory vs. Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler got a takedown leading to a sleeper, but Theory got out of it and delivered some punches. Theory got back up with a lefty punch to knock Ziggler down. Theory sent Ziggler into the ring post three times in a row. Ziggler hit a jumping DDT. Ziggler threw Theory into the ring post to return the favor. Ziggler wanted a superplex off the top rope, but Theory stopped that by knocking Ziggler down. Ziggler jumped to the top rope leading to top rope X-Factor sending Theory face first into the mat.
Ziggler charged at Theory, who did a drop toe hold into the middle turnbuckle. Theory hit a rolling dropkick for two. Theory threw Ziggler into the ring post again. That was the fourth time. Ziggler with a back elbow on a running Theory, then Ziggler avoided a charging Theory, who hit the turnbuckle. Ziggler worked over Theory with punches with the fans getting into it and Ziggler hit a neckbreaker followed by an elbow drop. Theory got back into it with a shot to the back while Ziggler was on the turnbuckle and Theory hit a sitout Powerbomb off the shoulders for two. Theory jumped through the ropes going for the dropkick again, but Ziggler hit him with a Fameasser for two. Great counter by Ziggler there. They exchanged strikes, Ziggler with a headbutt and Theory held onto the ropes to avoid a Zig Zag, which led to Theory hitting a clothesline. Theory wanted his finisher, but Ziggler did a sunset flip for two. Ziggler slipped out of a move leading to the Zig Zag for two. Since that was Ziggler’s finisher in the past, it draws a good reaction when it gets a two count. Ziggler wanted a superkick, Theory blocked it and got a rollup with feet on the ropes for two. Ziggler rollup for two. Ziggler wanted a Fameasser, Theory caught him and turned it into the A-Town Down. Great move. It went 16 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Theory
Analysis: ***1/2 That was a fun main event. It was an easy story to tell with the veteran putting over the younger guy clean. Ziggler is a talented worker that can have a good match with anybody, but the crowd doesn’t care about babyface Ziggler at this point, so I think WWE must work on that so that the fans react to him better. The fans did care about the match more as it went on so that’s a good sign. Anyway, it was the right call putting over Theory like this.
Post match, Theory celebrated with a selfie on top of the fallen Ziggler.
Next week on Raw in Toronto: Edge vs. Damian Priest and Women’s Tag Team Title Tournament Semifinals. I am not going to Raw in Toronto. I thought I was, but something else came up the next day and I just don’t think I can make it. I am going to a Raw live event on Sunday afternoon here in London, Ontario with Trish Stratus in attendance, so I’m looking forward to that.
Theory celebrated a bit with his MITB briefcase and phone for some more selfies. That was the end of Raw.
Three Stars of the Show
- Drew McIntyre
- Kevin Owens
- Bobby Lashley/AJ Styles
A lot of other good performances too.
8.25 out of 10
Last week: 7.5
This was an excellent show. Raw is rolling now. I don’t know if I rated an episode higher this year, but I liked this one a lot. If you are one of those people that stopped watching Raw for whatever reason, it’s time to jump back in to give it a look. They put on great matches, lots of fun promos and building to big matches as well.
I thought Drew McIntyre and Kevin Owens both had outstanding performances this week. They both got some promo time where they spoke from the heart. Owens was confident about finding himself while Drew was fired up talking about how much work he puts in for the company. That led to a great match between them even with a DQ finish. Neither guy should lose, so I’m fine with The Usos attacking and Drew beating them up after the interference. What Drew-Owens did was make me want to see a rematch with a major title on the line in the future. More please!
There was a lot of other stuff to like such as the competitive Lashley-Styles match that got a lot of time and Theory-Ziggler in the main event also having time to have a competitive match. The Riddle-Rollins segment was also good to set up their Clash at the Castle match. I really enjoyed this episode of Raw.
The next WWE Premium Live Event is Clash at the Castle in Cardiff, Wales on Saturday, September 3rd. Here’s what we know so far.
* Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Drew McIntyre
* Bianca Belair, Asuka & Alexa Bliss vs. Bayley, Dakota Kai & IYO SKY
* Riddle vs. Seth “Freakin” Rollins
* Smackdown Women’s Championship: Liv Morgan (c) vs. Shayna Baszler
Check out the WWE PPV Review archive right here. You can contact me using any of the methods below. Go Toronto Blue Jays. Be safe and smart out there.
Thanks for reading.