Welcome to another edition of the WWE Raw Deal review here on TJRWrestling. There are less than three weeks until WWE’s next pay-per-view Clash of Champions on September 15. Here’s what WWE has advertised for Raw this week.
* United States Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs. Braun Strowman
* Sasha Banks vs. Natalya
* King of the Ring Round One: Ricochet vs. Drew McIntyre
* King of the Ring Round One: The Miz vs. Baron Corbin
* Bayley vs. Nikki Cross
* Tag Team Turmoil: Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. Heavy Machinery vs. The Revival vs. The B-Team vs. Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode vs. The Viking Raiders vs. Lucha House Party vs. Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins – The winner of that match gets to challenge Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman for the Raw Tag Team Titles at Clash of Champions on September 15.
Live from New Orleans, Louisiana, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1369 of Monday Night Raw. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present.
There was a shot of the crowd in New Orleans and the music of Sasha Banks hit. Banks walked out in street clothes including a “Legit Boss” shirt.
A video package aired about the return of Sasha Banks two weeks ago and then her attacks against Natalya and Becky Lynch. Banks faces Natalya in a match later.
Let’s Hear from Sasha Banks
The blue-haired Banks stood in the ring as the video package ended. Banks said everybody wants to know why and where has Sasha Banks been? Banks noted that for four months, she’s been gone, out of sight and minding her own business. Banks claimed all she heard was people talking about her. There were “Becky” chants. She said she heard about how she threw a fit – she did, how she was crying at WrestleMania ant the locker room floor – she did and she admitted she took her ball and went home.
Banks said that she was relegated to a WrestleMania tag team match that she cared absolutely nothing about. Banks said she defended tag team titles that meant even less while Becky Lynch got to main event WrestleMania against Ronda Rousey (she didn’t mention Charlotte). Banks said she went on a vacation with her WrestleMania paycheck while Becky made way more for being in the main event of WrestleMania.
Banks said she was waiting for the perfect time to come back and she found it. Banks said she lied straight to Natalya’s face when she said: “your daddy would be so proud of you.” The fans booed. Banks said there was Becky to save the day right on cue and you saw what happened to her (Banks beat her up). Banks said now she’s the center of attention like she deserved. Banks talked about how she has been running this division since day one, she is The Boss of the division and she is the talk of the women’s division and now she deserves all this glory. Natalya’s music hit to interrupt.
Natalya ran down to the ring with Natalya’s left arm bandaged up. Natalya sent Banks back first into the steel steps. Referees and producers ran down to ringside to break it up as the women kept on brawling. Banks was grabbing Natalya’s hair. The women continued throwing punches until Finlay and referees were able to pull Natalya off.
Analysis: That was good enough. Banks is a solid promo, especially as a heel. Banks explained herself well with the heel promo where she came across as a jealous woman because Becky got to main event WrestleMania instead of her. It was an easy and predictable way to explain her actions. Yes, she ripped on the Women’s Tag Team Titles, which might anger some fans, but that’s what a heel should do. It shows that she has changed. Natalya brawling with Banks was also smart to do because it gets people more excited about their match later. All of this was well done.
The Street Profits duo of Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins were backstage saying tonight’s edition of Raw will be lit. They went over some of the matches still to come with Dawkins asking what a Tag Team Turmoil match was. A graphic was shown explaining the rules. Ford also listed the names of the teams. Ford sang their “all of the smoke” bit to end it.
Analysis: They are fun to watch, so I don’t mind using them to mention what matches are coming up.
The Raw announce team is Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Renee Young. Graves is back after he was on vacation last week.
Ricochet made his entrance for his King of the Ring match. He did a pre-tape promo saying he’ll do anything to climb the mountain to become the next King of the Ring. Drew McIntyre sat down on the throne that was on the stage, which could be bad luck. In a pre-tape promo, McIntyre said when he’s king, all the unworthy superstars will be exiled from his kingdom.
They showed the brackets of the King of the Ring tournament so far. The winner of this match gets Samoa Joe next week.
King of the Ring First Round: Drew McIntyre vs. Ricochet
McIntyre with an overhead suplex that sent Ricochet across the ring. Ricochet sent McIntyre over the top to the floor. Ricochet went for a diving attack off the ropes, McIntyre moved and McIntyre drove Ricochet back first into the barricade. McIntyre with a backbreaker on the apron leading to a break.
McIntyre remained on offense when they returned from the break, but Ricochet hit a kick to the face and a kick to the back of the head. Ricochet with a dropkick to the knee to send McIntyre to the turnbuckle, Ricochet went for a springboard attack and connected with a missile dropkick to send Drew out of the ring. Ricochet went over the top with a twisting cross body lock to take out McIntyre on the floor. Ricochet went for a reverse rana, but McIntyre countered into a reverse Alabama Slam to send Ricochet face first into the mat for a two count. McIntyre with a hard slap, then a press slam attempt, but Ricochet caught McIntyre and hit a Northern Lights Suplex. McIntyre blocked a suplex attempt with a suplex into a slam. That was a cool sequence. Ricochet with a springboard clothesline on McIntyre and a standing Shooting Star Press for two. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them as Ricochet went to the apron and McIntyre punched him to the floor. Ricochet avoided a whip into the steps, then Ricochet did a step onto the steel stairs and connected with a jumping kick to the head. When Ricochet went for a leaping attack, Drew hit him with the Glasgow Kiss headbutt. That looked awesome too. McIntyre sent Ricochet back into the ring with Ricochet looking dazed. McIntyre up, Ricochet stopped him with a superkick, then some more kicks and McIntyre with a clothesline. McIntyre with a sitout Powerbomb for two. McIntyre set up for a move on the ropes, Ricochet slipped out of it and Ricochet jumped off the ropes with the Recoil (double knees to the face). Ricochet went up top and he hit the 630 Splash for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Ricochet
Analysis: ***3/4 Awesome match. I’m glad they got nearly 15 minutes and the fans were into everything they did. Nice counters by both guys because every time Ricochet got momentum, McIntyre was there to use his power to come back and then Ricochet kept coming back until he put him down for good. The crowd got into the match as it kept going, so that was a great sign. McIntyre has been on a roll of late with some terrific matches recently against Owens, Alexander and also with Ricochet tonight. Ricochet is consistently great. These two could have a nice rivalry down the road.
The win by Ricochet means he will face Samoa Joe in the quarterfinals.
Analysis: I think the finals will be Ricochet vs. Andrade and I’m picking Andrade to win for now. When the tourney was announced, I thought Drew McIntyre was a favorite, but after the brackets were shown, I figured Ricochet would win this match.
The Raw Tag Team Championship duo of Braun Strowman and Seth Rollins are up next.
This week on Smackdown: The questions from Roman Reigns continue.
A video package aired showing Strowman and Rollins beating Gallows and Anderson for the Raw Tag Team Titles last week.
Braun Strowman and Seth Rollins were interviewed by Sarah Schreiber in the backstage area. Rollins said they’ll step up and take on anybody for their Tag Team Titles. Strowman wants to know who should challenge him for the Universal Title. Rollins said they had a long list of people and they had a talented locker room. Rollins asked if Strowman is challenging him for the Universal Title. Strowman said he wants to make sure they are on the same page, so of course, he’s challenging Rollins for the Universal Championship. Rollins said he doesn’t back down from a fight. Rollins accepted and they shook hands. They showed a graphic immediately after they shook hands.
The announce team of Cole, Graves and Young talked about how it’s a first time ever situation with Rollins facing Strowman for the Universal Title on the same night they will defend the Raw Tag Team Titles.
Analysis: I don’t think Rollins vs. Strowman in a face vs. face match is going to be that interesting. Clearly, WWE is banking on the “first time ever” idea in terms of champions also facing off for a major singles title on the same show. That makes it feel unique. I just feel if AJ Styles or somebody else was in the match, it would be better. This was apparently taped after last week although Schreiber said they won the titles “last week” so I’m not sure what they were going for here.
The Miz made his entrance for his King of the Ring tournament match.
The Miz did a promo talking about all that he has accomplished in his 13-year career while talking about titles, plugging his reality show and he said he wants it all. Miz said he’s going to be King Awesome. Baron Corbin made his entrance with Graves kissing his ass. The winner of this match gets Cedric Alexander next week in the quarterfinals.
King of the Ring First Round: Baron Corbin vs. The Miz
The Miz was aggressive early with kicks followed by a clothesline over the top. Miz tried an attack, but Corbin decked him with a punch to the face. Corbin drove Miz back first into the barricade two times. The announcers were bickering too much as Corbin hit a clothesline on Miz for a two count.
They returned from the break with Miz hitting his backbreaker into a neckbreaker combo. I’ve sat ringside many times at WWE shows and that moves looks so weak when you’re right there. Miz with the double knees on Corbin twice followed by a corner clothesline. Miz with a double axehandle off the top for a two count. Cedric Alexander was shown watching on a TV backstage. Corbin came back with a Deep Six slam for a two count as usual for that move. Miz avoided a Chokeslam and rolled through with a sunset flip for two. Miz avoided another slam attempt and hit a DDT for a two count as usual for that move. Miz worked over Corbin with kicks to the chest, Corbin wit the rollup, for two and Miz hit a Skull Crushing Finale for two, but Corbin kicked out at two. They did not make it look great since Corbin barely touched the mat. Corbin rolled out of the ring for a break as Graves credited Corbin for kicking out of that finishing move. Back in the ring, Miz went for a move off the top, but Corbin moved and Corbin hit the End of Days slam for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Baron Corbin
Analysis: **3/4 It was a fine match with Corbin kicking out of Miz’s finisher for the clean win. I would have liked to see Corbin cheat with an eye poke or something to set up the finish because heels should cheat to win more often on WWE TV. Corbin getting the win will piss off the fans, but I don’t hate him in terms of wanting him off TV. He’s a heel that gets legit heat. That doesn’t mean I want him to be in main events like he was a few months ago, but as a bigger heel he certainly has a role. The Miz has not won a lot of matches during his face run.
That means that Corbin will face Cedric Alexander in the quarterfinals. Here are the brackets.
After the match, Corbin sat on the King of the Ring throne, put the crown on and had the scepter in his hands. Corbin said that there was a poll where the WWE Universe wanted anybody to win King of the Ring other than him. Corbin told the fans that on your very best day, you couldn’t accomplish a single thing that he has. Corbin said he is where he is today because of person…himself. Corbin said that after he is coronated, you will hear it from him first: “All Hail King Corbin.” The fans booed.
Analysis: The fans do hate the guy, so he was right about that. I think Corbin will beat Alexander, Ricochet will beat Samoa Joe and then Ricochet will beat Corbin in the semifinals.
Still to come: Sasha Banks vs. Natalya and an eight-team Tag Team Turmoil match.
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson were interviewed by Kayla Braxton in the locker room. Anderson complained about Strowman and Rollins earning a tag team title match out of thin air. Gallows complained about how they had to face seven other teams to get a title shot. Anderson said they’ll prove why this turf belongs to the official, original and only club that matters.
Bayley, the Smackdown Women’s Champion, made her entrance for a match. She faces Charlotte Flair at Clash of Champions.
There were graphics shown promoting NXT on USA Network beginning on September 18. It will be on Wednesday nights for two hours every week.
A replay aired from last week showing that Rey Mysterio’s son Dominick convinced Rey to not retire. A graphic told us that Rey Mysterio “returns” to Raw next week, so he’s not on this week.
Nikki Cross made her entrance. She is one half of the Raw Tag Team Champions with Alexa Bliss, who did not enter the arena with her.
Bayley vs. Nikki Cross
This is not for Bayley’s Smackdown Women’s Title. The match went to the floor right away with Bliss shoving Bayley back first into the side of the ring. Cross got a rollup using her legs to hold Bayley’s arms down. Cross with knee lifts to the ribs. Cross with a running shoulder tackle to the ribs of Bayley for a two count. Bayley with a sunset flip and then Bayley hit an overhead suplex. Running knee by Bayley and then a neckbreaker using the ropes for a two count. Bayley with a sidewalk slam, Bayley up top and she hit an elbow drop for the pinfall win after four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Bayley
Analysis: *3/4 They worked hard and had a story for the match with Cross working over the ribs. Bayley sold it well, but I thought the finish came off flat. The fans were dead for this. Bayley winning made sense although her title reign has been boring thus far.
Braun Strowman was interviewed backstage by Kayla Braxton. Strowman said he’s going to take the US Title from AJ Styles and then at Clash of Champions it’s going to be Winner Takes All because he’ll have the US Title, Tag Team Titles and win the Universal Title too. Strowman said Styles will get these hands.
The Viking Raiders entered first for the Tag Team Turmoil match.
There was a commercial for WWE NXT UK Takeover Cardiff this Saturday on WWE Network. I might review that.
It’s time for Tag Team Turmoil with eight teams.
Tag Team Turmoil Match #1: The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) vs. The B Team (Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel)
Erik took down Axel to start, but then B Team stomped on Erik against the ropes. Erik broke free, punched Axel out of the ring, Ivar tagged in, knee by Erik and Ivar hit the Viking Experience powerslam on Dallas to pin him. This fall went for about two minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Viking Raiders
Tag Team Turmoil Match #2: The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
Gallows punched Erik off the ropes, then a double clothesline by G&A on Ivar. Anderson with a jumping kick, Gallows with a running splash on Ivar against the turnbuckle and G&A went after Erik. Ivar with a suicide dive on Anderson. Gallows worked over Erik with punches. All four guys were brawling in the ring. The referee Dan Engler lost control of the action, so he called for a double disqualification after about three minutes.
Match Result: Double Disqualification
Analysis: That was a lame way of writing both teams out of the turmoil match by not having either of them get pinned.
That meant two new teams had to enter with Bobby Roode entering first for his team and his new partner Dolph Ziggler.
Lucha House Party was in the ring to continue the turmoil match.
Tag Team Turmoil Match #3: Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler vs. Lucha House Party (Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik) (w/Kalisto)
Roode started with Dorado with not much happening there. Gran Metalik hit a cartwheel into a back elbow on Ziggler. Dorado with a headscissors to send Roode out of the ring. Metalik with a sunset flip on Ziggler for two. Metalik with an attack off the ropes and Ziggler hit a superkick to the back of Metalik to pin him. This went for about two minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler
Analysis: It was not a surprise that Lucha House Party only had a brief part in this match. They are mostly on 205 Live these days.
The Revival, who are former Raw Tag Team Champions, were next.
Tag Team Turmoil Match #4: Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler vs. The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder)
There was some mat wrestling by Ziggler and Dawson to start the match with not much happening. Roode tagged in with chops and a back body drop on Dawson. Wilder tagged in and hit a shoulder tackle on Ziggler. Dawson back in with a leg drop off the top while Wilder held Ziggler and that got a two count. Dawson and Wilder with a double team move that sent Ziggler throat first into the ropes. Dawson tagged in and it sounded like the referee told him “90 seconds.” Wilder with a cheap kick on Ziggler as Dawson hit a slingshot suplex on Ziggler for two with Roode making the save. Ziggler avoided a suplex, he tagged in Roode and Ziggler hit a Fameasser on Wilder. Dawson tossed Ziggler across the ring. Dawson with a brainbuster on Ziggler. Roode back in and hit a Glorious DDT on Dawson for the pinfall after five minutes. That was about 90 seconds after the referee said it. They got about five minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler
Analysis: ** That was the best of the matches so far, but it was weird with Ziggler and Roode working as the face team since they are both heels. The Revival losing to a makeshift team makes The Revival look bad although it was expected that they would lose since The Revival are probably challenging New Day for the Smackdown Tag Team Titles at Clash of Champions. It’s not official, but that’s the plan.
Tag Team Turmoil Match #5: Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode vs. Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder
There was a double team neckbreaker by Ryder and Hawkins with Ryder coming off the ropes. Hawkins was sent into the ring post. Ziggler hit a superkick on Ryder and pinned him. That went less than one minute.
Winners by pinfall: Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode
The Heavy Machinery duo of Otis and Tucker, who are Smackdown guys, were up as the final team of Tag Team Turmoil.
Tag Team Turmoil Match #5: Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode vs. Heavy Machinery (Tucker and Otis)
Tucker hit a cross body block off the middle ropes on Ziggler. Otis hit a delayed suplex on Ziggler. Tucker ran the ropes, Roode pulled the ropes down and Tucker was driven into the barricade at ringside. Roode whipped Tucker into the steel steps. Ziggler with a neckbreaker followed by a side headlock. When Tucker got back to his feet, he blocked a Ziggler attack and did the catapult to send Ziggler into the ring post. Otis got the hot tag against Roode with running splashes for both guys and a body slam on Roode. The fans fired up for Otis with a corner splash followed by the Caterpillar tease, but Ziggler got in the way, so Otis splashed both guys. Otis hit the Caterpillar (WORM) into the elbow drop on Ziggler for two. Roode got a rollup on Otisf for two. Otis lifted Roode into a front slam for two. Tucker got the tag, Ziggler with a superkick and Ziggler hit a Zig Zag on Otis onto Tucker. Roode with a Glorious DDT on Tucker for the pinfall win after seven minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode
Analysis: **1/4 That’s my rating for the whole Tag Team Turmoil match. It wasn’t that interesting, but I like how Ziggler and Roode were put over in a big way as a new team. Whether they tag together long term or if it’s just one PPV, I don’t know yet, but I like them together as two veteran heels that know what they are doing out there.
The win means that Ziggler and Roode will challenge for the Raw Tag Team Titles at Clash of Champions.
Analysis: They might win the titles there. I think it’s a possibility because it’s not like Rollins and Strowman are long term champions.
The video package aired to show the Roman Reigns mystery attacker storyline. Last week, Daniel Bryan found a Rowan lookalike, who he claimed may have attacked Reigns. Bryan cut a great promo on WWE’s social media saying it was a guy from WWE’s production team.
This week on Smackdown, Daniel Bryan and Rowan demand an apology from Roman Reigns.
Sasha Banks made her entrance. They showed a replay with her fight with Natalya earlier. Natalya made her entrance with a serious look on her face.
Natalya vs. Sasha Banks
It started as a fight with Natalya taking her down and punching her repeatedly. They went to the floor when Natalya sent Banks into the barricade. Natalya hit two suplexes on Banks on the floor. Natalya had her left arm taped up to sell Becky Lynch’s armbar from SummerSlam over two weeks ago. Banks tried a running move, but Natalya caught her and hit a German Suplex across the ring. They battled by the turnbuckle with Banks driving the left arm of Natalya into the ring post. Banks whipped Natalya hard into a leather chair at ringside. Banks sent Natalya’s left arm into the ring post again. Banks with some trash talk followed by kicks and Banks pulled on the arm of Natalya against the ropes. Banks with a double knee attack, Natalya moved and got a rollup. Banks with a Backstabber into the Bank Statement submission. Natalya was near the ropes, Banks pulled back on the arm of Natalya and Natalya tapped out to give Banks the decisive win after about four minutes.
Winner by submission: Sasha Banks
Analysis: **1/4 I liked the physicality of the match because they built this up well and by going with a brawl right away, that told their story well. Banks getting the win in a decisive way was what it needed to be. A good story with Banks working over the left arm, Natalya trying to come back, but Banks was relentless and got the clean win.
Post match, Banks went back in the ring and slapped on the Bank Statement again. Fans chanted for Becky Lynch, but there was no sign of her. There was no save for Natalya. Banks left again with a smile on her face. Cole was screaming about Sasha’s actions. They replayed the attack with Banks smiling while attacking. Graves gave said that Banks has exactly what she wants because it’s all about her. Banks left.
Analysis: The cheap attack further establishes Banks as a heel. I like how they program Cole to commentate as if he hasn’t watched wrestling before even though he’s been there for 22 years. It’s as if he has never seen a heel turn. That’s the bad thing about WWE commentary where the announcers have to act like this is their first time watching WWE.
AJ Styles said that Braun Strowman tries to intimidate everyone, but he can’t do it to him. Styles said Strowman believes he will win the US Title, but he’ll give Strowman what he deserves…nothing.
This week on Ride Along on WWE Network it’s Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch as well as Sarah Logan with the Viking Raiders since she is married to Erik. It’s a decent show.
Following Raw on USA Network it is Straight Up Steve Austin with Baker Mayfield of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns as the guest.
Cedric Alexander vs. Cesaro
Cesaro was in control with forearms, Alexander with a headscissors and a dropkick that sent Cesaro out of the ring. Alexander with a running attack, but Cesaro stopped him with an uppercut. Cesaro with a gutwrench suplex to send Alexander across the ring. Alexander with a flatliner like move to send Cesaro into the mat. The crowd was dead quiet as Alexander ran the ropes and hit a somersault dive over the top onto Cesaro on the floor. Alexander with a springboard clothesline for a two count. Alexander with a cross body block to send Cesaro over the top to the floor.
The match returned with Cesaro working over the left knee of Alexander repeatedly. Alexander with a handspring attack and then a Michinoku Driver slam for two. Alexander was unable to do a springboard attack due to selling the leg, so Cesaro tripped him up and hit an impressive superplex for a two count. Cesaro with a half crab submission. They showed Baron Corbin watching on a TV backstage. Alexander got to the ropes. Cesaro went to the ropes, he charged and Alexander hit a Spanish Fly for a two count. Cesaro countered a slam attempt into a pin for a two count. Alexander got back up to his feet for a roll through into a pin for two. Alexander with a back elbow, he went for a jumping kick, but Cesaro grabbed the foot for an Ankle Lock. Alexander sent Cesaro to the floor, Cesaro went back and Alexander hit the Lumbar Check got the pinfall win after 11 minutes. The fans did pop for the finish.
Winner by pinfall: Cedric Alexander
Analysis: **1/2 Nice match with the story of Cesaro working over the knee repeatedly and Alexander making the comeback to win. We see those kinds of matches all the time in WWE, which could be why the crowd didn’t care much about it. The booking was the right call because Alexander is in King of the Ring and it continues his momentum, but the fans just weren’t that interested.
AJ Styles was shown getting ready for his US Title match still to come.
They showed some WWE 24/7 Title highlights from the weekend in LA at some Fox Sports event. R-Truth beat Elias for the title, then Truth “tripped” and Fox’s College Football host Rob Stone pinned Truth to win the title. Elias showed up, did the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Stone and Elias won the title back.
Analysis: No 24/7 action on the show is a bit of a surprise. Stone had some funny tweets about his win.
The team of Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode were interviewed by Sarah Schreiber. Ziggler said he doesn’t trust any WWE superstars, but every once in a while, you see a superstar with an extra twinkle in their eye and you know they want it. Ziggler talked about how at Clash of Champions, Rollins will face Strowman and they also have to team up. Roode said that when you’ve got it, you’ve got it and when you’re hot, you’re hot. Roode said that this team is destiny because they are the most talented, best looking tag team in WWE and at Clash of Champions, they will be the next Raw Tag Team Champions. They said it would be absolutely glorious.
Analysis: As I said earlier, I think they might win the titles. I like Roode and Ziggler together. Why not? The roster is so big that WWE needs to put some guys together as a team. They fit together well as a heel team.
The Street Profits were backstage for one of their segments with Montez Ford asking Angelo Dawkins about what has happened. Dawkins had on some beads and a hat while saying he was ready for Bourbon Street, which drew cheers. Ford asked Dawkins who he picked for the Raw main event and then Strowman walked into the picture. Strowman walked towards the ring.
Analysis: The way Strowman was just standing there was weird, but I guess it was done that way as a transition. Bourbon Street is a wonderful place. Cheap beer too. I highly recommend it.
They plugged NXT going to USA Network on September 18 with some tweets from WWE people reacting to it.
There was a video package about Bray Wyatt with clips of his Firefly Fun House show for children. It also showed highlights of Wyatt morphing into The Fiend as well.
AJ Styles made his entrance with the United States Title. They showed highlights of Seth Rollins saving Strowman last week, which set up this rematch for Strowman and Styles.
Styles and Strowman stood in the ring for the championship introductions from Mike Rome. It was stated that Seth Rollins, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson were barred from ringside. Rollins was still in Hawaii on vacation anyway.
United States Championship: AJ Styles vs. Braun Strowman
Strowman was dominant early after Styles was sent out of the ring and Strowman hit two running shoulder tackles on Styles on the floor. Back in the ring, Styles with boots to the face, Styles jumped off the ropes and Strowman hit a Chokeslam. Styles was on the apron, so Strowman kicked him in the face to knock him down.
The match returned with Styles slapping on a sleeper hold with about seven minutes left in the show. Strowman drove Styles to the turnbuckle. Strowman charged with a boot, Styles avoided it and did a chop block to the left leg of Strowman. Styles followed up with a running forearm to the upper back on Strowman. Styles to the middle ropes and he hit a moonsault onto Strowman for two. Styles with another forearm to the back. Styles slapped on the Calf Crusher submission in the middle of the ring. Strowman got to his knees and hit a headbutt to the face for a two count. Strowman with two running shoulder tackles. Strowman did a running shoulder tackle that sent him into the ring post. Strowman does that bump all the time. The referee Chad Patton was on the apron, so Styles punched Strowman into Patton, who bumped to the floor. Styles with an eye rake followed by a low blow kick to the groin. Styles grabbed a steel chair and hit Strowman in the back with it. Styles charged, Strowman caught him and hit a Running Powerslam. Gallows and Anderson went into the ring to stomp on Strowman. Strowman with chair shots to the back of Anderson and Gallows to knock them out of the ring. The referee got back up, Styles fell to the mat as if he was knocked down by Strowman and Patton said he heard the chair shots. The referee called for the bell, so Strowman was disqualified. It went about 12 minutes. The fans hated that finish and they booed.
Winner by disqualification: AJ Styles
Analysis: **1/4 They were telling a good story for most of it, but then the finish was one of the worst finishes you can possibly book. I get why they did it because again it’s WWE protecting somebody with Strowman not getting pinned. They also didn’t want to take the US Title off Styles, so that’s what they came up with for the cheap finish. It’s a weird ruling to have a referee disqualify a guy because he heard the chair shots (on Anderson and Gallows) instead of actually seeing them. That’s the point, though. They wanted fans to be pissed off that Strowman lost.
After the match, Strowman hit Styles, Gallows and Anderson with chair shots. Strowman hit Styles twice in the back. Strowman with the Powerslam to Gallows and to Anderson as well. Strowman with a Running Powerslam on Styles as well. Strowman stood tall with the US Title, he tossed it onto Styles and that was the end of the show.
Analysis: Even though he “lost” the match, Strowman looked strong to end the night. He almost always looks strong, so that’s no surprise.
Three Stars of the Show
- Drew McIntyre
- Dolph Ziggler/Robert Roode
Sasha Banks had a pretty good showing too.
6 out of 10
Last week: 7.5
2019 Average: 5.71 (Smackdown is 6.81)
Last 5 Weeks: 7.5, 6.5, 6, 7, 5
2019 High: 7.5 (January 14, July 1, August 19)
2019 Low: 3.5 (May 27)
This week’s Raw gets a 6 out of 10.
I thought it was an average Raw with some solid matches throughout. The best match was definitely Ricochet vs. McIntyre. The storylines are not that interesting going into Clash of Champions, though. Are people really clamoring for Rollins vs. Strowman? If anything, it shows how poorly WWE has booked heels on Raw because there aren’t a lot of options for Rollins to face. With no Rollins and Lynch at the show (they’re still in Hawaii because the Rollins/Strowman segment was taped last week), there was a lack of star power as well.
Sasha Banks had a good night although WWE completely avoided having her interact with Bayley, who was her former tag team partner when Banks was a face. I guess it’s WWE assuming fans don’t think about that stuff even though we do think about it. Now that Banks is a singles heel, it’s as if they want to ignore the past. Anyway, her promo was fine and the win over Natalya was what it needed to be.
I’m glad that both King of the Ring matches were good and given plenty of time. The tournament has been fun so far.
The next WWE PPV is Clash of Champions on September 15 where every championship in WWE will be on the line. Here’s what we know so far.
WWE Universal Championship: Seth Rollins (c) vs. Braun Strowman
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair
Raw Tag Team Championships: Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode
King of the Ring Tournament Finals: Raw wrestler vs. Smackdown wrestler
The Smackdown Tag Team Championship match is likely New Day vs. The Revival, but it’s not official yet.
You can contact me using any of the methods below. See ya next time for the Smackdown review. Thanks for reading.