Reviews

The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 08/23/21 Review

Welcome to the WWE Raw Deal review for this week. Raw has three new champions following SummerSlam with RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Riddle) winning Tag Team Titles, Damian Priest winning US Title and Charlotte Flair as the Raw Women’s Champion again.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1474 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California. 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 some highlights from SummerSlam on Saturday night. That took a few minutes.

There were some crowd shots to begin the show as announcer Jimmy Smith welcomed us to the show.

Let’s Hear from Bobby Lashley with MVP

The All Mighty WWE Champion Bobby Lashley made his entrance in a suit joined by his buddy Montel Vontavious Porter. Corey Graves pointed out that Lashley was the only Raw champion to retain at SummerSlam, which is true.

They showed a video package about Lashley beating Goldberg due to referee stoppage since Goldberg hurt his left knee. After Lashley kept attempting, Goldberg’s teenage son Gage jumped on Lashley’s back and Lashley applied the Hurt Lock on Gage. MVP said there was no way Bobby could have known that was Goldberg’s son. Goldberg was furious.

MVP wanted to address what happened Sunday at SummerSlam as the fans booed him loudly. MVP said when Goldberg showed up on Raw, they were shocked that he would show up and challenge Lashley for his WWE Championship. MVP talked about Goldberg’s extraordinary history and his recent not-so extraordinary history. MVP said that Goldberg was still a worthy challenger, but they did not know Goldberg would show up with his son Gage. MVP said that Goldberg looked amazing at SummerSlam. He did? I thought he looked old. MVP said that Goldberg even got a couple of two counts, but he made Lashley angry and Lashley got stronger, which Goldberg found out the hard way. MVP said that Lashley beat the holy hell out of Goldberg. MVP said only one man has ever stopped Goldberg and that is Bobby Lashley. MVP said that Goldberg literally didn’t have a leg to stand on, the man quit and that makes him a coward. There were some “Goldberg” chants and some booing. MVP said that the result was that Lashley was still the WWE Champion. MVP said then somebody jumps the barricade, enters the ring and attacks Lashley from behind like a coward. MVP said Lashley did what he would do to anybody, he didn’t know who it was and it didn’t matter because he would do that to anybody as MVP pointed out people in the crowd including you, fat boy. MVP said that we know that won’t happen here because we’re in San Diego and they are a bunch of cowards. MVP said that if anybody thinks Lashley owes Goldberg or his son an apology, Lashley said: “You can go to hell.”

Analysis: I liked that promo by MVP a lot. Good heel work bragging about what you did without apologizing for Lashley’s actions. The hot crowd loved Goldberg too, so that helped the promo.

Here comes the interruption from…Damian Priest. It’s the new United States Champion, who got a nice ovation on his way to the ring.

Priest said that they are there running their mouths about how Goldberg was a coward for getting injured to finish a match. MVP said that Lashley injured him. Priest said then Lashley attacked him after the match. Priest asked Lashley if that made him feel good and said something in Spanish, which drew cheers. Priest said he won’t jump him behind and he isn’t half his size. Priest said that he’s there face to face to challenge Lashley to a match right here tonight. Priest said if Lashley didn’t accept this challenge then he’s the coward. Lashley punched Priest and took off his jacket. Priest came back with punches and a kick that sent Lashley out of the ring.

MVP told Priest that he’s got the All Mighty Lashley. MVP said that Lashley is going to put his ring gear on and Priest will have the match up next. Lashley walked to the back to change into his gear.

Analysis: It’s a nice spot to put Priest because he’s been booked strong on Raw for the last several months, he just won the US Title at SummerSlam and now he’s getting in the face of Lashley. Raw is lacking top babyfaces right now, so there’s definitely a spot for Priest to make an impact quickly. I think Raw could use some of the faces on Smackdown that aren’t being used that much, but there is a draft coming in October, so they can use that to balance out the rosters a bit.

(Commercial)

A commercial aired for NXT on Tuesday night talking about how they would follow up after Takeover 36 took place on Sunday.

Bobby Lashley made his entrance again as the WWE Champion that was now in his ring gear with his buddy MVP joining him at ringside. The announce team on Raw was Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton as usual.

Bobby Lashley (w/MVP) vs. Damian Priest

This is not for Lashley’s WWE Title or for Priest’s US Title.

Lashley worked over Priest with shoulder tackles and a forearm. Priest with a bell clap around the head, but Lashley hit a flatliner. Lashley charged, Priest with a jumping kick, then more kicks and a running clothesline. Sheamus ran down to the ring and attacked Priest from behind. The match only went for two minutes.

Winner by disqualification: Damian Priest

Analysis: 1/2* That was quick. It was a short tease of what a Lashley match against Priest could look like. Maybe we’ll get a longer match between them some day soon.

Sheamus was in his ring gear along with a jacket. Sheamus and Lashley double-teamed Priest for a bit until there was a save.

Drew McIntyre ran down to the ring and he knocked Lashley out of the ring while Priest sent Sheamus flying over the barricade. McIntyre gave Lashley a belly-to-belly suplex on the floor. McIntyre also gave Lashley a suplex onto the announce table. They went to break there.

Analysis: McIntyre getting involved with Lashley is a reminder of their feud from WrestleMania as well as the months that followed. McIntyre also has a history with Sheamus, so it makes sense that Drew was the one to make the save. The guys making the save had their ring gear on, which told the audience that a tag team match was coming.

(Commercial)

The tag team match was made official during the break. At least it’s a fresh match.

Sheamus & Bobby Lashley (w/MVP) vs. Drew McIntyre & Damian Priest

Sheamus, who is still wrestling in the protective face mask, worked over McIntyre with punches, but McIntyre came back with a suplex. Sheamus got in a punch to the ribs leading to Lashley tagging in against McIntyre with shoulder tackles. Lashley charged right into a boot to the head by McIntyre, but Lashley hit him with a double chop to the throat. Priest faced off with Sheamus again with a corner splash and a suplex for two. Lashley tried to get a cheap shot, Priest was ready and Sheamus punched Priest out of the ring. Lashley drove Priest back first into the barricade. Lashley picked up Priest on his shoulders sending Priest into the ring post leading to a bump on the floor. Lashley tossed Priest into the barricade. Lashley put Priest on the shoulders to send Priest into the ring post again. That led to a break.

(Commercial)

Sheamus was in control of Priest with a headlock, Priest broke free and Sheamus hit a powerslam. Lashley was back in with an arm triangle hold, Priest tried to fight back and Sheamus was back in with kicks to the gut. Priest went for a spin kick, Sheamus moved and Sheamus hit a backbreaker followed by some posing. Priest worked over Sheamus with back elbows, Priest with a forearm and a running clothesline. McIntyre got the tag against Lashley with Drew hitting two clotheslines followed by two belly to belly suplexes across the ring. McIntyre hit a neckbreaker on Lashley. McIntyre set up in the corner with the countdown, he punched Sheamus and Lashley recovered with a huge spinebuster. Lashley charged, McIntyre sidestepped and Lashley hit the turnbuckle. Sheamus was back in, Drew sent to the apron, Drew up top and Sheamus got a hold of him leading to the White Noise slam off the middle rope for a two count. McIntyre avoided a charging Sheamus, Priest tagged in with a leg lariat on Sheamus and he kicked Lashley off the apron to the floor. Sheamus hit Priest with a leaping knee to the face. Lashley and MVP had enough, so they walked to the back while Sheamus was in the ring. Even though Sheamus just delivered a move, he took a while to get back up, Drew got the tag and Drew hit the Claymore Kick on Sheamus for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Drew McIntyre & Damian Priest

Analysis: ***1/4 It was a good match that was very competitive featuring four bigger guys that have had a lot of success on Raw this year. Once Lashley walked out on Sheamus, it was obvious what was coming. I would have preferred it if Priest got the pin instead of McIntyre, but that doesn’t matter too much. Priest showed that he belonged with these three guys, which is what matters as Priest continues to be elevated.

Post match, Priest left the ring and stared at Lashley standing on the stage. Lashley held up the WWE Title.

Analysis: It does seem like they might go with Lashley vs. Priest as the next WWE Title feud unless there’s somebody else that steps up against Lashley. Based on the Lashley/Goldberg finish at SummerSlam, I can see that story continuing perhaps at the October show in Saudi Arabia called Crown Jewel. I know Goldberg’s contract has been that he has two matches per year and he’s already had two, but they could add to it.

They showed SummerSlam highlights with Alexa Bliss beating Eva Marie and then Doudrop announced Eva as the loser.

Doudrop was interviewed by Sarah Schreiber. Doudrop said she made a mistake associating herself with Eva Marie. Doudrop said Eva helped her get to Raw, but she didn’t want to get embarrassed. Doudrop said that she likes the name now, so that’s who she is. Doudrop talked about what she’ll do to Eva Marie the next time she sees her, then Eva showed up and shoved an equipment case into Doudrop. Eva shoved the case into Doudrop a few times. Eva stood over top of Doudrop and said it was Eva-lution. Doudrop called her a bitch.

Analysis: It’s nice to see Doudrop likes the name, so at least we found one person that likes it. The person that scripted her to say she liked it is another one, I guess. Anyway, get ready for the Eva Marie/Doudrop Feud of the Year. Thrilling.

Karrion Kross made his entrance without the NXT Title because he lost it at NXT Takeover 36 on Sunday. Kross wore a facemask on his way to the ring. He’s in action against Ricochet up next.

Analysis: I don’t think Kross needs an intimidating mask during his entrance, but he has it now. It was also only on screen for a few seconds. It’s not a big deal, really. I’m sure Wrestling Twitter liked it a lot. #Sarcasm

(Commercial)

Ricochet was already in the ring to lose this match.

Karrion Kross vs. Ricochet

Kross with an overhead suplex across the ring. Kross was wearing a cross vest during the match. Ricochet hit a springboard cross body block for a two count. Ricochet went for a clothesline, Kross moved and Kross hit a clothesline. Kross with a Powerbomb, then he picked up Ricochet and hit a Doomsday Suplex. Kross applied the Kross Jacket submission hold with Ricochet tapping out for the loss. It went under two minutes.

Winner by submission: Karrion Kross

Analysis: 1/2* A squash match to put over Kross in dominant fashion. Ricochet got a bit of offense, but it didn’t last long. Easy win for Kross, who is likely exclusive to Raw now. It goes without saying that Ricochet is one of the most underutilized wrestlers in WWE. They should be doing a lot more with me.

They showed a Digital Exclusive interview from SummerSlam when there was an interview with Baron Corbin, then Big E showed up, Logan Paul walked up to him and Corbin walked into the screen with Paul. Corbin asked why Sarah Schreiber stopped interviewing him and Paul claimed it was because Corbin was an asshole (it was bleeped).

Logan Paul was shown talking to the Viking Raiders, who gave him one of their t-shirts to wear.

John Morrison made his entrance for Moist TV with Logan Paul as the guest at the top of hour two.

(Commercial)

They replayed highlights of the tag team match from earlier.

Sheamus was shown in the backstage area where he approached Bobby Lashley and MVP somewhere backstage. Sheamus complained about Lashley bailing on him. Lashley fired back at him, then MVP separated them and Sheamus left. We found out later that there will be a Lashley vs. Sheamus match next week.

Moist TV with John Morrison

John Morrison was in the ring hosting Moist TV saying it’s the “most moist talk show in WWE history” Moist TV. Johnny Drip-Drip said that his guest is a social media juggernaut that knows how to jump in the river and deliver. Morrison introduced Logan Paul, who was booed by the crowd just like he was booed at SummerSlam. Graves said it was his favorite professional boxer while calling him an influencer, actor and more.

Logan thanked John as the fans booed some more. Logan said that he knows they don’t love him yet, but he loves all of them and he loves WWE. Morrison said that Logan and his bro have been making waves in the world of boxing, so he asked what is next for the Paul brothers. The Miz made his entrance with Graves claiming that things were getting better. The Miz was in his ring gear, so he’ll be put in a match with somebody.

The Miz said that Morrison forgot to introduce him since he is Logan Paul’s favorite WWE superstar. Paul said he’s more of a New Day fan. Logan said that they’re getting into boxing (him and his brother), he slapped Floyd Mayweather in the face, his brother is fighting Tyron Woodley, he’ll knock him out, make him a meme and end his career. Logan said it was in Cleveland, which is also The Miz’s hometown. The fans booed as Miz spoke with Miz telling them to show Logan some respect. Miz said that Logan and himself are from a great city in Cleveland, Ohio, which drew boos. Miz said that Logan and Jake are great with Jake fighting in a sold out arena. Miz talked about how Logan is a Youtube sensation, he’s got a podcast, he’s boxing Mayweather and Miz asked a hard-hitting question: In what round is Logan’s brother getting knocked out in? The fans liked that. Logan said that Jake is going to knock out Tyron this weekend and if Miz asks another question like that then that might be not the only knockout this weekend. Logan got in Miz’s face and Miz told him to get out of his face. Morrison said as much as we want to see Logan knock out Miz, he broke it up and Morrison said that Miz was making it about himself. Miz didn’t like that. Miz told Morrison he was helping him get views and Moist TV was a spinoff of Miz TV that was given to John out of Miz’s heart. Logan told them to do their own thing and he left. The fans booed Logan again.

Miz and Morrison argued about it with Morrison saying that Miz made the interview about himself. Miz said he wanted to be wrestling for a title on SummerSlam, but he was getting sprayed by a squirt gun. Morrison complained about Miz faking a knee injury with Morrison having to push him around in a wheelchair. That led to them arguing some more with Morrison saying that Miz was getting ready for his match earlier and Miz said when Miz had Miz TV he always had Morrison front and center.

Xavier Woods made his entrance for a match against The Miz up next.

Analysis: There have been signs of a Morrison/Miz split for a couple of weeks now, so this was done to further that. Logan Paul was there to promote his brother’s boxing match, but the fans hated him and booed him as loud as anybody on this show. I’d say that boxing promotion wasn’t very effective. Anyway, I am looking forward to a Morrison/Miz split because they are booked like comedy guys far too often. Maybe if Morrison turns face he’ll get booked in a more serious manner while I assume Miz is in a heel role as he should be.

This Friday on Smackdown, what’s next for the new Smackdown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch? Plus, Brock Lesnar is back and coming for Roman Reigns. They didn’t advertise anything specific although Becky being on Smackdown is likely and we don’t know about Brock yet.

(Commercial)

There was a video featuring Elias similar to previous weeks. The musician version of Elias is dead.

Xavier Woods vs. The Miz (w/John Morrison)

Woods had razor logos on his tights to honor Razor Ramon aka Scott Hall like when he was dressed like Razor at SummerSlam. The back of the pants said “NDR” for New Day Rocks like when Hall had “NWO” on the trunks. Woods got an early rollup on Miz for a two count. Miz applied a headlock, which Woods turned into a headlock of his own and Miz came back with a shoulder tackle. Woods with a kick to the gut on a charging Miz. Woods sent Miz to the apron where Miz slid under the legs and tripped up Woods so he hit the apron. Back in the ring, Miz jumped off the top, Woods left and Miz was selling the left knee. Woods hit a dropkick into the left knee because Miz was selling a left knee injury. Miz came back with a knee to the ribs. Woods got a double foot stomp to the ribs for a two count. Woods went for a diving attack on the floor, Miz moved and Miz whipped Woods into the barricade. Morrison sprayed water on the floor, he also poured water on the floor and Woods reversed Miz so that Miz slid across the water into the steps. Morrison said “DAMN” when the camera was on him. That was funny at least.

(Commercial)

The Miz worked over Woods with the weak-looking Miz kicks to the chest. They are very soft. Woods got a rollup for a two count. Woods came back with two chops. Miz went for a charging attack, Woods moved and Miz was trapped against the turnbuckle, so Woods hit a neckbreaker. Woods blocked punches, then came back with punches/chops and Woods shoved Miz out of the ring. Woods with a dropkick through the ropes. Woods followed that up with a running somersault dive over the top onto Miz on the floor. Back in the ring, Woods went up top and hit a cross body block for two. Miz came back with a kick to the leg followed by a snap DDT for two. Morrison was up on the apron with the Drip Stick, he sprayed the water, but the wrestlers ducked. Miz got a two count because the referee was distracted by Morrison. The idea was if Morrison didn’t distract, maybe Miz could have won the match. After Miz argued about the nearfall, Woods got an inside cradle for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Xavier Woods

Analysis: **3/4 This was a solid match that was done to continue the problems between Miz and Morrison. Woods getting singles wins is a good thing for him although I’m not sure if WWE has any interest in pushing him in singles. They didn’t try to explain why Kofi Kingston was absent.

Post match, Morrison told Miz he didn’t know what he had to say. Miz was angry about what happened. Morrison said he was sorry about it. Morrison left the ring and put some water in the ring, so they sprayed some water into the crowd leading to Miz attacking Morrison with punches. Miz kicked Morrison repeatedly. Miz was on Morrison’s back delivering forearms and when Morrison got up, Miz kicked him down. Miz drove his knee into Morrison’s face. Miz picked up Morrison and gave him the Skull Crushing Finale into the mat. Some fans chanted “Why Miz Why” as Morrison was down in the ring and Miz kneeled over him. Miz left on his own to boos from the crowd. Nobody tried to help Morrison during that attack that took several minutes.

Analysis: There’s the official split of the Miz and Morrison team. Miz doesn’t really look that tough when he’s beating somebody up, but at least he tried some forearms to the back that did look pretty good at least. The Skull Crushing Finale was a fine way to end it. As noted earlier, Morrison will be the face while Miz will remain a heel. Why aren’t there officials or referees trying to break it up? Sometimes there are and other times there are not. I know nobody in WWE can or will answer that. I’m just saying as a viewer, these are the things some of us wonder.

They showed highlights from SummerSlam where Charlotte Flair made Nikki A.S.H. tap out to the Figure Eight submission in a match that also included Rhea Ripley. Charlotte ended up with the Raw Women’s Champion just like she won it last month. This time, Flair can’t lose the title on the next Raw due to the Money in the Bank contract that cost her last month.

They showed a video from earlier in the day where Nikki A.S.H. asked an arriving Rhea Ripley to be her partner against Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler. Rhea said beating the hell out of Nia and Shayna would lift her spirits, so she is in.

There’s a 24/7 Championship defense up next.

(Commercial)

There was a video shown of Reggie wearing the 24/7 from earlier in the day. Reggie got some ice cream at an ice cream truck. Reggie got ice cream for R-Truth and Tozawa chasing him. Reggie climbed up a tree, then he climbed up the ice cream truck. Reggie jumped off the truck, avoided the two wrestlers and Reggie got a ride in the truck. Truth and Tozawa argued.

Analysis: Riveting action. Somebody actually got paid money to come up with that segment. Nice flips from Reggie, I guess.

There were highlights shown from SummerSlam when RK-Bro beat AJ Styles & Omos to become Raw Tag Team Champions.

Riddle showed up on his scooter to go up to Randy Orton in the backstage area. Riddle wanted a hug, Randy did not and Riddle said his step-dad wasn’t a hugger either. Riddle talked about their celebration later. Orton said that he’s not a big fan of celebrations. Orton told him not to do anything stupid. Riddle: “Would I do something stupid?” Orton did not answer. Riddle: “Later bro.” Riddle left.

Jinder Mahal made his entrance with Veer & Shanky for a match.

(Commercial)

Mansoor entered with Mustafa Ali leading to a highlight from last week when Ali helped Mansoor win. A clip was shown from earlier in the day, Mansoor told Ali he wants to win the right way and he told Ali not to get involved. Ali said fine, we can do it his way.

Jinder Mahal (w/Veer & Shanky) vs. Mansoor (w/Mustafa Ali)

Mahal caught a running Mansoor in his arms and Jinder hit a slam into a suplex. Mansoor drove Mahal’s neck into the top rope leading into a cross body block off the top for two. Mahal came back with a kick to the head. Mahal with a knee drop followed by a chinlock. Mansoor with a jawbreaker, a dropkick and Mahal came back with a huge kick to the head. Loud leg slap by Jinder on that kick. Mahal stomped on Mansoor against the turnbuckle, the referee counted to five and Jinder was disqualified. It went just over two minutes.

Winner by disqualification: Mansoor

Analysis: 1/2* A short match with a lame finish. I find it strange when they book a veteran wrestler like Mahal in a way like this when he lost one night earlier and he’d rather get DQ’d than win the match. Anyway, it’s a cheap win for Mansoor.

After the match, Mahal put his arms up in the air in celebration. Mahal left with his friends. Ali told Mansoor that we can do things Mansoor’s way or do things Ali’s way.

Analysis: Why is Mahal celebrating a loss? Because he got in a couple of kicks? Why shouldn’t he try to win the match? Anyway, nobody in WWE is going to answer those questions for me. I’m just saying the booking was shitty here.

Drew McIntyre and Damian Priest were shown talking in the backstage area. Priest said that champs have to look good at all times and Drew should know. Priest thanked Drew for his help, so Drew reminded us he hates Lashley and Sheamus. They talked about how they each beat Sheamus, so he’s crying his eyes out. Priest said that winning the US Championship was something he dreamed of. Priest said he was living the dream. McIntyre told Priest he’s coming out with him to see how he measures up and he told Priest the first pint is on him.

Analysis: It is a way to elevate Priest a bit more since a former WWE Champion McIntyre likes him and approves of him. That helps Priest.

Charlotte Flair made her entrance in a shiny non-wrestling outfit with the Raw Women’s Championship around her waist once again. Promo time for The Queen is up next.

(Commercial)

There was a graphic reminding us that the announced attendance at SummerSlam was 51,326. It’s WWE, so they always lie about attendance and use a higher number.

Let’s Hear from Charlotte Flair

Charlotte was in the ring for a monologue. This title reign is already longer than the one last month because that title reign lasted one day and this one is already at two days. No Money in the Bank cash-in this time. Charlotte said she told us she was going to win the title. Charlotte reminded us she was 12-time Women’s Champion and she went over her title reigns:

  • 1-time Divas Champion
  • 5-time Smackdown Women’s Champion
  • 6-time Raw Women’s Champion

Charlotte bragged about being the most decorated female in WWE, she called herself The Opportunity and The Queen. Charlotte is surprised they haven’t made a statue of her. Charlotte said that there will never be a female superstar that will compare to her legacy. Charlotte said she’ll hold onto that title for as long as she physically can. Charlotte said she doesn’t need fans, she doesn’t need family (“WOO”) and she doesn’t need the WWE Universe (the fans booed). Charlotte said all she has she has right here…the Raw Women’s Championship. Some pyro went off by the entrance.

Charlotte said when she woke up this morning she took a long look in the mirror she saw more than the beautiful cheekbones, this chiseled physique, and this glowing talent that only God could have given her. She saw your Raw Women’s Champion and tonight she wanted to give us the opportunity to walk her walk around in this little outfit. Charlotte took a shot at Nikki A.S.H. as champion. Charlotte told a fan to shut up. Charlotte said that she is not messing around anymore. Charlotte said she hopes the WWE Universe is listening. Charlotte said she started the first Women’s Evolution, tonight she is starting a new one, don’t forget to bow because she is The Queen and the champion. Charlotte: “Long live The Queen.” Charlotte held up her title.

The music of Alexa Bliss as the creepy Bliss appeared with Lilly the evil doll. There were some cheers. Bliss congratulated Charlotte, she said that her and Lilly wanted to say hi. That was it.

Analysis: It was the usual promo from Charlotte bragging about her accomplishments. A lot of her promos sound repetitive because that’s all the material they give her. I doubt Alexa Bliss will take the title from Charlotte, but at least it’s a fresh rivalry. I’m not big on the doll thing although the crowd seems to like it, so it’s going to continue.

Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler were backstage talking about their match. Shayna didn’t like Jax teaming with Charlotte last week. Nia said it was an opportunity for her, but then Charlotte stole the spotlight (Charlotte got the pin in their tag team match). Shayna mentioned how good they are together, so they were on the same page.

Nikki A.S.H. entered for tag team action. Nikki smiles a lot for somebody who lost their title two days earlier.

(Commercial)

Elias was shown in a forest again looking at his Elias 2017-2021 tombstone. Elias said he’s here to conquer wrestling and become a champion. Elias said: “Long live Elias, the WWE superstar.” Elias put on a white cowboy hat and walked away.

Analysis: Good luck to Elias. I thought the singing gimmick went on way too long anyway, so maybe this will be good for him. The boring feud with Jaxson Ryker clearly benefitted neither guy.

Rhea Ripley entered as Nikki’s partner while the heel team of Shayna Baszler/Nia Jax were up next.

Nikki A.S.H. & Rhea Ripley vs. Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax

Ripley started with Baszler with Ripley blocking a kick and then stomping on the body of Baszler. Ripley slammed Nikki onto Baszler for a two count. Nikki got a victory roll on Baszler for two. Nikki with a headscissors takedown, shoulder tackle to Baszler and Baszler came back with an elbow drop to the arm. Jax tagged in while Baszler stomped on the left arm of Nikki. Jax slammed Nikki down and legal woman Baszler with a knee to Nikki to knock her out of the ring.

(Commercial)

Jax was in control of Nikki with a back elbow to knock her down. Baszler was back in with another knee to head for two. Baszler sent Nikki into the turnbuckle. Jax with a hip attack against the turnbuckle followed by some ass rubbing in the face as if it was the Stinkface. Nikki countered Jax and sent Jax into the turnbuckle. Jax picked up Nikki, who kicked Baszler off the apron to the floor. Jax slammed Nikki. Jax took way too long on the middle turnbuckle, Nikki knocked her down and Ripley tagged in against Baszler. Ripley with two clotheslines, then a headbutt, snapmare and a basement dropkick. The crowd was fired up for Ripley. Ripley hit a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count. Ripley booted Baszler to knock her down followed by Ripley hitting a missile dropkick that looked great. Jax went for a splash, Ripley moved and Jax hit Baszler. Ripley kicked Jax to the floor. Nikki up top and Nikki hit a cross body block on Jax on the floor. Ripley with a headbutt to Baszler and a Riptide slam on Baszler for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Nikki A.S.H. & Rhea Ripley

Analysis: **1/2 It was just an average tag team match with a good final few minutes after Ripley got the tag. It’s the usual formula for a Jax/Baszler match when they lose because you know it’s Baszler taking the pinfall since WWE likes to protect Jax so much. It’s possible that WWE will go with Ripley/Nikki as a regular tag team going forward since the women’s tag team division is very thin and both women could use a break from the singles title picture, I think.

Post match, Baszler was frustrated with Jax again and Shayna left.

John Morrison was shown backstage. Morrison said that after tonight there’s no more Miz & Morrison. Morrison said no more Miz TV, no more Dirt Sheets, no more music videos and Morrison is ending this when he gets that “double-crossing son of a bitch” next week.

Analysis: I look forward to babyface Morrison next week. It will be fresh for him.

Riddle made his entrance for the RK-Bro Championship Celebration. The crowd was happy to see him.

(Commercial)

RK-Bro Championship Celebration

There was a red carpet in the ring along with balloons by all four turnbuckles. Riddle had the Raw Tag Team Title around his neck. Riddle started with “bro” leading to a “bro” response. Riddle talked about they were together, then Randy left, then Randy RKO’d him and they got back together. Riddle noted that they became the Raw Tag Team Champions at SummerSlam and Riddle said that they were there to have the dopest celebration ever. Riddle did a big introduction for Orton.

Randy Orton made his slow walk to the ring checking out the scenery. Riddle did his usual routine of singing Riddle’s entrance song as Orton slowly got into the ring. Orton didn’t like that there were balloons by the turnbuckle where Orton usually does his turnbuckle pose. The fans clearly liked Team RK-Bro. Riddle told Mike Rome to do the introduction, so Mike introduced them as the new Raw Tag Team Champions. That led to an impressive pyro display going off by the entrance. Riddle was so excited, the fans popped big and even Orton seemed a little impressed mouthing “not bad” for it. There were loud “RK-Bro” chants for them.

Analysis: Listen to those cheers. RK-Bro is clearly working well.

Riddle said that friendship is just as important as a championship. Riddle got Orton something special. It was a scooter that had Randy’s name on it and it said RK-Bro on it. There were tassels on it. Riddle showed him how you open it as well as how you close it. Riddle said that Randy is his best buddy, his favorite bro and he wants Orton to have it so Riddle gave it to him.

AJ Styles made his phenomenal entrance joined by the big man Omos. Styles ripped on Randy getting a stupid scooter that Omos can break across his knee. Styles noted that Randy didn’t get anything for Riddle. Styles said no plant, which is obvious to get Riddle (nice pot joke). Styles claimed he got Riddle something – a Phenomenal Forearm to his face. Styles said he’s going to whoop Riddle’s ass just like every time he’s been in the ring with him. Styles said he’ll keep doing it until they get their rematch for the Raw Tag Team Championships. Styles said he’ll do it right now.

Riddle said with Orton in his corner, he can do anything. Riddle said he will beat Styles with the three most dangerous letters in sports entertainment: RK-Bro. It’s five letters, but good effort. The joke is that Riddle says three letters and then says five letters. The delivery is key.

Analysis: The celebration was okay. I like Riddle’s enthusiasm for everything while Orton doesn’t really react to it, but he is slowly embracing it because they are producing results like winning the tag team titles. It took WWE over 2 hours, 30 minutes into the show to announce a main event for Raw. If Styles didn’t show up, what would have gone on last? Don’t answer. It doesn’t matter. Obviously, this was always the plan, but I mean it took them a while to set it up. That’s all.

(Commercial)

Next week on Raw:

* Bobby Lashley vs. Sheamus.

* Doudrop vs. Eva Marie.

* John Morrison vs. The Miz.

Analysis: Some weeks WWE advertises matches and other times they don’t promote much of anything. I think it’s better to advertise two or three matches in advance like this. I predict Doudrop vs. Eva will not beat Dragunov vs. WALTER in the competition for Match of the Year.

The main event was next with about 15 minutes left in the show.

Riddle (w/Randy Orton) vs. AJ Styles (w/Omos)

Riddle got a two count early on. Riddle took control with a headlock on a mat. When they got back up, Riddle kicked Styles repeatedly to knock Styles out of the ring followed by Riddle hitting a PK kick on Styles on the floor. Styles went back into the ring with a kick to the ribs. Riddle with three gutwrench suplexes in a row for a two count. Styles came back by sending Riddle into the ropes. Styles with a running corner clothesline. Styles got a sunset flip, then Riddle came back with a triangle choke submission, but Styles lifted him up and Riddle countered with a headscissors that sent both guys over the top to the floor. There’s the floor to commercial break.

(Commercial)

Styles was in control with some punches, but Riddle came back with an up-kick. Riddle with two running forearms and then an exploder suplex across the ring. Riddle hit a Broton splash followed by a running kick for two. Riddle with strikes to the body, a kick to the head and a German Suplex for two. Styles with a kick to the left leg, Riddle with a forearm, then punches and Styles with a boot to the face. Styles with a moonsault off the ropes into a DDT for two. Styles with a gutbuster into the knee for a two count. Styles went up top for a springboard, Riddle caught him and then Styles turned it into a Calf Crusher submission. Orton encouraged Riddle to get out of it. Styles let go and re-applied the Calf Crusher, but Riddle countered it into the Bromission sleeper and Styles countered into a pin attempt for two. Riddle came back with a rising knee to the head. Riddle went up top, Omos stood near him, so Riddle was distracted and Styles hit Riddle in the left leg. Orton charged at Omos and Omos tossed him to the floor. Styles lifted Riddle over his head and hit a slam into the mat for a two count with Riddle bridging up to kick out. That move by Styles looked great. Styles went for a Styles Clash, but Orton used the gifted Scooter and hit Omos with it repeatedly. That distracted Styles, so Riddle hit a knee to the face. Riddle hit the Bro Derek on Styles for the pinfall win to a good pop. The match went 13 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Riddle

Analysis: ***1/2 That was a really good match, bro. Riddle got the win thanks to the presence of Orton at ringside with Randy taking care of Omos on the floor, that distracted Styles and Riddle managed to capitalize to get the win. They did it that way to show how Riddle can be a winner if he has Orton watching his back because when he didn’t have Orton’s help last time, Omos was a distraction and Riddle lost. This time, Riddle got the win because Orton was there. That’s storyline progress, so at least I can appreciate that effort by the creative team that lacks creativity at times. As usual with Styles and Riddle, they are great athletes that did some impressive moves during the match as well.

Post match, they showed some replays of Riddle’s win. When Styles got back up to his feet, Orton hit Styles with an RKO. Riddle and Orton posed together in the ring this time looking like a cohesive unit with Orton buying into it. Orton and Riddle continued their celebration to end it.

Analysis: It feels like they’ll probably do RK-Bro vs. Styles/Omos likely at Extreme Rules and RK-Bro should win to end the feud. If not, they have to build up another heel team.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Riddle
  2. AJ Styles
  3. Damian Priest/Bobby Lashley

 

The Scoreboard

5.75 out of 10

Last week: 5.75

2021 Average: 5.90

 

Final Thoughts

It was the usual Raw with some decent stuff, but too much goofiness to keep me interested in a big way. There just isn’t much consistency to the show. I wouldn’t say there was one thing that really stood out although The Miz turning on John Morrison might feel like a big deal. I’m happy Morrison will be a singles babyface, but I wonder if these two can have a memorable match together.

In terms of match quality, there wasn’t a lot to be excited about, but the first and last tag team matches were the best of the night. I liked seeing Damian Priest elevated a bit by going against Lashley/Sheamus and teaming with McIntyre to get the win. I also enjoyed the Riddle win over Styles in the main event just because it played off of last week’s match.

Lastly, I just wanted to mention the San Diego crowd was loud and seemed interested in most of the show even when there were bad parts. Good crowd.

The next WWE pay-per-view is Extreme Rules on Sunday, September 26. There is nothing official yet.

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

Thanks for reading.

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport

Personal Facebook and TJRWrestling on Facebook

 

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