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The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 09/19/22 Review

wwe raw deal sept 19

This week’s WWE Raw featured Bobby Lashley defending the US Title against Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens against Austin Theory, Bayley in her hometown for a Damage CTRL Celebration and more.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1530 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the SAP Center in San Jose, California. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

The Raw intro video aired to start the show.

Seth “Freakin” Rollins made his entrance for a title match to start the show. The commentary team of Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton were on hand to welcome us to the show while mentioning some other matches. Bobby Lashley was up next as the babyface United States Champion. This was set up during a backstage interaction between the two men last week on Raw. The ring announcer Mike Rome did the championship introductions while both men were in the ring.

United States Championship: Bobby Lashley vs. Seth “Freakin” Rollins

After Rollins grabbed a headlock, Lashley shoved Rollins across the ring while the fans sung along with Seth’s music. Lashley continued showing his power by slamming Rollins to the mat. Rollins shoved Lashley in the face, then Rollins kicked Lashley on the floor and Rollins managed to send Lashley into the ring post. Rollins jumped off the ropes, Lashley caught him, but Rollins sent Lashley into the turnbuckle. Rollins hit two superkicks, then he tried The Stomp and Lashley had his hands on the mat, so Lashley’s power stopped that move. Lashley clotheslined Rollins over the top to the floor. Lashley ran over Rollins with a shoulder tackle on the floor leading to a break.

(Commercial)

Rollins was in control with an armbar on the right arm, Lashley got out of it and Rollins used the double knees to the right arm. Rollins hit a Slingblade neckbreaker for a two count. Rollins applied another armbar, Lashley powered out of that, Rollins wrenched on the arm against the top rope and Rollins hit a springboard knee to the face for two. Rollins with a bicep slicer submission and Rollins powered out of it with a slam. Lashley lifted Rollins, who slipped out and Lashley missed a charge leading to Lashley going to the floor. Rollins hit two straight suicide dives onto Lashley on the floor. Lashley lifted Rollins on his shoulders leading to Lashley driving Rollins into the ring post in that running post spot that Lashley loves to do. Both guys were down on the floor as they went to their second commercial break in the first 17 minutes.

(Commercial)

Lashley worked over Rollins with repeated back elbows in the corner followed by a shoulderblock and a neckbreaker. Lashley picked up Rollins to his shoulder and hitting a spinning side slam to the mat for a two count. Lashley charged, Rollins with a knee, but Lashley came back with a flatliner for two. They were both selling really well, Rollins went up top, Lashley met him there, Rollins did an eye gouge and Rollins gave Lashley a Buckle Bomb into the turnbuckle. Rollins went up top and hit a Frog Splash for two. That’s always a good nearfall spot. Rollins applied a Crossface submission while trapping the right arm, but Lashley powered out of it. Lashley countered a sunset flip by sitting on top for two. Lashley caught Rollins leading to a running powerslam like the British Bulldog. Lashley charged, but Rollins caught him with a Pedigree for one…two…no! That was an incredible spot for a two count. I’ve seen Seth do that to some other guys in his career, but it’s tougher on a bigger guy like Lashley and they did it well. The crowd was singing Seth’s theme song as Rollins went up top. Rollins jumped off with a Phoenix Splash, Lashley avoided it and Rollins went for The Stomp, but Lashley dodged that as well. Lashley applied the Hurt Lock submission, Rollins kicked himself off the ropes, Rollins covered for two and Lashley still held onto the hold. The referee Shawn Bennett took a small bump after that spot, then Rollins did a low blow stomp and Rollins set up for The Stomp. Matt Riddle ran out there as his music played, Rollins was distracted by that and Riddle stopped on the floor. Lashley got back up and hit Rollins with a Spear for the pinfall win after 20 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bobby Lashley

Analysis: ***3/4 That was a great match even with the distraction finish. They got a lot of time, had several nearfalls towards the end that were believable and a lot of drama after with Lashley’s Hurt Lock, Seth’s low blow and then the distraction caused the finish. I have written many times that I don’t like the distraction finish where another wrestler’s music plays during, but I get why they did it to have Riddle cost Rollins the title. I like Lashley as champion although if Rollins had a title right now that would be fine with me because I think Seth is probably the best overall performer in WWE right now, or at least near the top. Anyway, Lashley and Rollins had an excellent showing here. A rematch down the road would be fine with me.

Matt Riddle celebrated in the aisle while Rollins pointed at him. Riddle was saying that the rivalry isn’t over until he says it’s over. They had a staredown.

Analysis: That should lead to Riddle vs. Rollins at Extreme Rules in a stipulation match (that was made official later), which is good because they always have great matches together.

They showed highlights from last week’s Raw when Dakota Kai & IYO SKY beat Raquel Rodriguez & Aliyah to win the Women’s Tag Team Titles thanks in part to Bayley causing chaos at ringside. Raquel & Aliyah only held the titles for two weeks.

A white limousine was shown arriving at the building with hometown girl Bayley walking out with Dakota Kai & IYO SKY. They were up next.

(Commercial)

It was mentioned that Survivor Series this November will feature two WarGames matches, which we covered here on TJRWrestling. I love that news because it will make Survivor Series more interesting.

Damage CTRL Championship Celebration

The Damage CTRL trio of Bayley, Dakota Kai & IYO SKY made their entrance in a “bedazzled” golf cart that had the group logo on it. There was a black carpet and balloons in the ring as well. Bayley had some ridiculously large glasses on while Kai & SKY had the Women’s Tag Team Titles. There were even some streamers in the ring for them. Bayley did take the giant sunglasses off.

Bayley told San Jose that their Bay Area hero is here, so the fans cheered. Bayley bragged about her friends as the new WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, which led to boos from the crowd. Bayley said that they are in the presence of champions since the Sharks (that’s NHL for those that don’t know) can’t get it done for us. SKY said that they were in control, then she spoke in Japanese and Bayley thanked the two of them for believing in her position. Kai said that they needed eachother, this division needed them and who we don’t need is Asuka, Alexa Bliss & Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair. Kai said that those women are in control of nothing. Kai said that Asuka was once a fearless warrior while Bliss walks around like she got a lobotomy in therapy and Kai ripped on Belair for getting pinned by Bayley at Clash at the Castle. Kai said there was nothing left for those women to do other than to pack it up and go home.

Bianca Belair, the Raw Women’s Champion, made her entrance with Asuka and Alexa Bliss. Belair said that they weren’t going to crash the party, but then Damage CTRL ran their mouths again. Belair said that they would have to teach them some respect. Those three women got into the ring with Damage CTRL.

Bayley told Belair she needs to see the long game and the big picture. Bayley said that the next time they will fight is when Bayley wants her title and that’s not right now. Bayley ripped on how Bliss and Asuka look. Bliss threatened Bayley, then Bayley mocked Bliss for having Lily as a friend and wondered if Lily the doll bites. Bayley referenced their past when Bliss was mean to Bayley (they had a terrible “this is your life” segment that I remember for how bad it was) and Bayley talked about how Bliss was a shell of the old Alexa. Bliss said she would love to torment Bayley again and challenged Bayley to a match. Bayley looked like she was leaving, then she tried a cheap shot and Bliss punched Bayley to knock her down. Damage CTRL were on the floor while the faces were in the ring and that was it as Alexa’s music played.

Analysis: It was a solid promo exchange to set up the Bayley-Bliss match for later. Bayley is such an entertaining heel that knows how to always get heat. I assume the Belair-Bayley title match will be at Extreme Rules, so it’s only a matter of time until they make it official (that was announced later in the night).

Austin Theory was shown getting ready for his match up next.

Analysis: There was a QR Code on the screen behind Theory going to this link on WWE’s website. If you click on the play button, at the end of it the message said 9.23 which means September 23, which is when Smackdown takes place. There was a white rabbit as well, so a popular theory is that it could be related to Bray Wyatt returning to WWE soon. The first five letters that were spelled out also spelled “DEMON” so that’s another Wyatt clue perhaps for The Fiend. I don’t know for sure, but it’s certainly possible.

(Commercial)

Austin Theory made his entrance for a match. They showed the Theory-Owens interview segment last week leading to a fight between them. Theory had the Money in the Bank briefcase with him as usual.

Kevin Owens was up next as Theory’s opponent with KO getting a big pop from the crowd. There really wasn’t a turn for Owens other than Triple H taking over creative and booking him like a face again. I think it has worked out well even though Owens is one of my favorite heels as well. Owens is great in either role. Theory attacked Owens on the apron and sent Owens into the barricade before the bell rang.

Kevin Owens vs. Austin Theory

Owens got into the ring and was throwing hands right away with punches, but Theory managed to overpower him with kicks in the corner. Owens got back into it, he tried to go after Theory in the corner, but Theory left the ring. Owens went after Theory on the floor, Theory sent Owens into the commentary table and then Owens sent Theory into the table. Theory tripped up Owens on the apron followed by Theory hitting a neckbreaker off the apron onto the floor below.

(Commercial)

Owens was in control as he sent Theory’s head into the turnbuckle ten times, which is a fun babyface move. Owens missed a cannonball attack in the corner, so Theory took over with a chinlock. Owens came back with a DDT that looked nasty, so maybe it was a rough landing for Theory, but he looked like he was okay. Owens with an atomic drop along with a clothesline. Owens hit a corner clothesline followed by a running lariat that got a two count. Theory with a punch, then an elbow to the head and Theory ran right into a superkick. Owens went up top and he hit a Swanton Bomb for a two count. That’s always a good nearfall for Owens like I mentioned Rollins has the Frog Splash as well as a spot like that. The fans were chanting “who’s your daddy” at Theory, Owens said he was his daddy and Theory got back into it yelling at the crowd. They got into a slugfest, Owens was seated on the top rope and Owens countered the suplex attempt as usual, but Theory avoided the cradle suplex off the ropes. Owens headbutted Theory: “I’m your daddy, bitch.” KO with a punch, then he jumped up top and missed a moonsault. Theory hit a Blockbuster neckbreaker for a two count. Theory with a cradle suplex into the knee for a few nearfalls. Theory walked towards his Money in the Bank briefcase, but Johnny Gargano was at ringside and he grabbed the briefcase. Theory wasn’t happy about it, but Owens capitalized with a superkick followed by a cannonball splash in the corner. Owens hit a Popup Powerbomb on Theory for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Kevin Owens

Analysis: ***1/2 It was another very good match between these guys just like two weeks ago. The pace really picked up toward the finish of the match. I’m a little disappointed that they would book a distraction finish for the second match in a row because it feels repetitive when you just did it in the first match on the show. I get why it was done since Gargano has had an issue with Theory, but I think Owens winning clean would have been a better finish. It’s not a major complaint anyway.

After the match, Gargano went into the ring and dropped the MITB briefcase onto Theory’s groin area.

Analysis: I assume we are going to get Gargano vs. Theory at Extreme Rules as Gargano’s first PPV match.

They showed highlights from last week’s Raw when Seth Rollins distracted Matt Riddle during his match, which led to Finn Balor beating Riddle. Rollins hit Riddle with The Stomp after the match.

Matt Riddle was shown walking backstage wearing a “420 Bro” shirt. Riddle said that he’s going to keep hunting down Rollins until he gets his rematch. Riddle talked about teaming up with Rey Mysterio against Finn Balor & Damian Priest later in the show.

A recap of the Roman Reigns-Logan Paul story was up next.

This Friday on Smackdown: Roman Reigns is back on the show while The Usos defend the Undisputed Tag Team Titles against Butch & Ridge Holland. Braun Strowman is also in action against Otis.

(Commercial)

They showed George Kittle of the San Francisco 49ers at ringside. Kittle is a big wrestling fan. He also has yet to play this season due to injuries as I’m sure my fellow fantasy football degenerates know.

A video aired showing a recap of the Roman Reigns-Logan Paul story leading to a Reigns-Logan match set up for Crown Jewel on November 5th. They did a press conference on Saturday afternoon that I recapped here. They showed highlights from the press conference featuring some of the trash talk between Reigns and Paul as well as Reigns shoving Paul towards the end of it.

Analysis: I don’t think Logan is going to beat Roman and I also understand if people are mad that Logan gets a title shot in just his third match. I think WWE could do a better job of making people earn title matches, but I assume it’s a case of WWE thinking they need a special attraction match for a Saudi show and since Logan is well known outside of WWE, that’s what they are going with. I think they’ll have a good match since they have nearly two months to build it.

The Brawling Brutes team of Butch & Ridge Holland made their entrance. There was no Sheamus with them. Butch & Ridge will get a Tag Team Title match against The Usos on Smackdown due to the Brutes winning a 4-way tag team match last week on Smackdown. Ridge said that they are going to beat The Usos and then run the tag team division.

The Street Profits made their entrance and did a promo talking about how Butch & Ridge earned a title match, but they didn’t beat the Profits. It led to a challenge that was accepted, so that was after the break.

(Commercial)

The Brawling Brutes (Ridge Holland & Butch) vs. The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins)

Holland with a shoulder tackle on Dawkins, who came back to show his athleticism leading to a dropkick. Ford tagged in with a cross body block. Butch tagged in wrenching on Ford’s arm, Ford got out of that and Butch got a boot up to stop Ford. Butch ran right into a dropkick by Ford. Dawkins back in for a double team belly to back suplex. Butch stomped on Dawkins’ left foot followed by a stomp on the left arm. Holland tagged in, Dawkins managed to bring Ford in leading to a cross body block by Ford. Ford with a jumping kick to the head, but Holland came back with a clothesline. Butch tagged in with a double knee attack on Ford followed by a dropkick that sent Ford to the apron. Holland tagged in with a suplex that brought Ford into the ring from the apron. Butch tagged in as the Brutes took turns hitting Ford with clubbing forearms to the chest. Butch knocked Ford off the apron to the floor.

(Commercial)

Butch was in control of Ford with a kick to the arm. Holland tagged in, he hooked Ford’s arms and hit a headbutt. Butch was back in pulling on the left arm, but Ford hit a DDT on Butch. Dawkins tagged in against Holland with Dawkins hitting a shoulder tackle, corner splash, a kick and a neckbreaker into a suplex for two. Butch tagged in against Dawkins with a jumping kick to the head for two as Ford made the save. Holland was legal again for a slam/neckbreaker combo for another two count. Dawkins and Holland did a double clothesline spot. Butch was back in with a triangle choke submission, but Dawkins managed to get out of there as Ford tagged in with a double team Blockbuster off the top for two as Holland made the save. The fans chanted “this is awesome” as Butch and Ford were down in the ring. Butch landed on his feet after Ford did a suplex, so Butch did a kick and then Dawkins shoved Butch across the ring. Dawkins with a running pounce shoulder tackle sending Holland out of the ring. Ford tagged in with a somersault dive over the top onto both Brutes on the floor. Dawkins back in, he had Holland on his shoulders, but Butch pulled Ford’s fingers to stop a double team move. Holland sent Dawkins into the turnbuckle. Butch tagged for a kick to the head while Holland did a powerslam for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Brawling Brutes (Ridge Holland & Butch)

Analysis: ***1/4 This was pretty good. At least there wasn’t a distraction finish. It made sense for the Brutes to win since they have a title shot on Smackdown, so it’s a smart move to give them positive momentum by getting a win here. The Profits are really talented and always have good matches. Butch stood out the most to me. Holland is still pretty green as far as his experience level, but Butch really makes everybody around him better.

A video aired from last week’s Raw when Edge Mysterio faced Dominik Mysterio. Rey wanted Edge to stop beating up his son, so The Judgment Day attacked both legends. The attack on Edge focused on his left leg, so Edge is out of action selling the injury. Enjoy the break, Edge.

Rey Mysterio was interviewed by Sarah Schreiber in the backstage area. Rey said if he knew about Dominik’s resentment he could have stopped him from joining The Judgment Day and he said that Dom won’t even talk to him. Rey said he can only hope that his son will find his way back to his family. Rey spoke about how everything he’s ever done was for Dominik to give him a better life and a future legacy for him. Matt Riddle walked up to Rey asking if he was ready, Rey said he was and that was it.

(Commercial)

Johnny Gargano was shown walking backstage where Alpha Academy’s Chad Gable & Otis were standing. Gable said they saw what Gargano did out there and they didn’t like what Gargano did to their friend Austin Theory. Gable told Gargano that when you mess with Austin Theory, you mess with the Academy. Kevin Owens walked in saying that if you’ve got a problem with Gargano then you’ve got a probable with Owens too. Gable challenged them to a tag team match. Owens said that’s great while reminding us that Owens beat Gable in Toronto, which was when Gargano debuted and Owens said next week’s Raw is also in KO’s home country of Canada since it’s in Edmonton. Gable suggested doing it in Minnesota the next week instead, but Owens and Gargano said next week. Gargano did a “SHOOSH” to Gable to end it.

Analysis: A simple way to set up a tag team match for next week. It should be good. Owens & Gargano are close friends who were both on WWE’s The Bump last week talking about their Panda Express tag team name since they both love watching animal wrestling shows and formed a friendship while doing that together. They told a story that they never got to team for the AIW indy company in Cleveland prior to Owens coming to WWE, but now they will get to do it next week on Raw.

The Judgment Day group of Damian Priest, Finn Balor, Rhea Ripley and Dominik Mysterio made their entrance in their black attire. Ripley whispered in Dominik’s ear while they were at ringside. They were booed by the fans.

Rhea Ripley said that last week they took out everyone that was in front of them and proved that they run Monday Night Raw. Ripley said that with Dominik by their side, no one is going to stop this and she said that Dom was all man. Balor said that Dom is a brave man that stood up to his father. Priest said that Dom is a man that no longer walks in a shadow and is willing to fight his own battles when he faced Edge one on one. Priest reminded us that Dom is standing right here while Edge isn’t standing at all because he’s beat up, sad and injured. Ripley said that Papi (the name for herself) is very proud of him. Dominik was booed when he tried to speak. Dominik said he couldn’t be prouder to be standing beside his new family, his real family…The Judgment Day. The boos were loud. Balor said that they were having a moment, so they needed to capture it with a family photo. A ringside photographer took a photo of the group.

Matt Riddle and Rey Mysterio made their entrance. Big pops for both of them, especially Rey. That match was after a break.

Analysis: That reaction to Dominik was very strong with the fans booing him loudly and making it tough for him to speak. That showed that the heel group is working in terms of getting the fans to hate them.

(Commercial)

Rey Mysterio & Matt Riddle vs. The Judgment Day – Finn Balor & Damian Priest (w/Rhea Ripley & Dominik Mysterio)

Balor and Priest worked over Riddle a bit to start the match including some strikes from Priest. Balor back in with a chop, then Riddle avoided Balor and hit a kick to the chest. Riddle with a gutwrench suplex sequence on Balor with three suplexes and Rey tagged in, so Riddle slammed Rey onto Balor for a two count. Rey with a headscissors takedown, Priest tagged in and Priest took out Rey with a lariat. Priest hit a running back elbow in the corner, Balor tagged in and did a stomp to the chest. Balor with a kick to the back followed by a chinlock that grounded Rey. A jawbreaker by Rey, but then Balor hit an elbow smash. Priest was back in with a snake eyes slam sending Rey into the top turnbuckle. Balor hit the two vertical suplexes as the fans booed, then Balor did an Eddie Guerrero shake and Rey did a suplex to make the fans happy. Rey with a kick to the head leading to Riddle tagging in. Riddle with a ripcord knee to the face, then a jumping kick to the head and Riddle hit forearms on both guys. Riddle with an Exploder Suplex on Balor, then a German Suplex on Priest and a Broton splash on Balor followed by a kick to the chest for two. Riddle went up top, he jumped off with a moonsault Balor moved out of the way and Priest tagged in with a punch that knocked down Riddle. Riddle to the apron, he kicked Balor on the floor and then Priest gave Riddle a Chokeslam onto the ring apron. Ouch.

(Commercial)

Balor remained in control of Riddle, who was sent out of the ring and Ripley hit a belly to back suplex on the floor. The referee didn’t see it. Graves had a funny line about how if Rhea wasn’t spoken for he would have fallen in love. Priest back in with a leg drop while Balor held Riddle for him. Balor back in with an ax kick for two. Priest applied a submission pulling back on Riddle’s arms followed by some forearms to the lower back. Riddle hit a Bro To Sleep knee to the head. Rey got the tag against Balor with Rey hitting a dropkick, a kick to the head and Rey jumped off the top with a senton followed by a kick to Priest on the floor. Rey hit a springboard cross body block for two. Balor tripped up Rey off the ropes while Rey was looking at Dom on the floor. Rey sent Balor into the ropes, but Priest got a hold of Rey. Riddle kicked Priest on the floor followed by Riddle hitting the Floating Bro on Priest on the floor. Rey sent Balor into the ropes followed by the 619 kick. The fans were cheering for Rey. The referee was on the other side of the ring, so Seth Rollins arrived to knock Riddle down. Rey grabbed a chair to prevent Rollins from using it, so Rollins ran away. Dominik stood face to face with Rey, then Dom dared his father to hit him and Rey refused to do it. Back in the ring, Balor knocked down Rey with a Slingblade and Priest tagged back in. Priest hit a South of Heaven slam followed by Priest tagging in with the Coup de Grace stomp off the top rope for the pinfall win after 16 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Judgment Day – Finn Balor & Damian Priest

Analysis: ***1/2 A long tag team match that was very good as the J-Day boys continued their winning ways. The attack by Rollins on Riddle was yet another finish on this show from somebody outside the ring causing a distraction or in this case, doing a cheap shot. That was key because Riddle couldn’t save Rey at the end of the match after Priest and Balor hit their two big moves to beat Rey. Another key spot was Rey refusing to hit Dominik with a chair when he had a chance to do it. It’s good booking because of how they set up that finishing sequence. They also had the right team win because it’s smart to keep giving Judgment Day wins like this so they can continue their positive momentum as a group.

The Judgment Day celebrated the ring while Riddle helped Rey to get him out of there and avoid a further attack.

A replay was shown of The Miz being interviewed at his home. The Miz left with his lovely wife Maryse, then when the car drove away, Dexter Lumis was shown in Miz’s house drawing a picture of Miz’s family.

The Miz was shown walking backstage with Tommaso Ciampa for a talk show segment.

(Commercial)

There was a backstage scene with Edge and Seth Rollins fighting. Some officials like Shane Helms, Shawn Daivari and referees were there to break it up. Rollins said if he wants a rematch then Riddle can name the time and place. Riddle said Extreme Rules in a Fight Pit Match. Rollins agreed to it, so it’s on.

Analysis: A Fight Pit match hasn’t been done on the main roster yet, but it has been in NXT in the past. That’s another Triple H influence since he was the one that booked the Fight Pit matches in NXT. I like it because they’ll have a great match again. Since Riddle was an MMA fighter, the idea is he would be favored to win in a match like that.

Miz TV

The Miz was in the ring with Tommaso Ciampa for the talk show segment. Miz called Dexter Lumis a deranged madman. Miz said that Lumis crossed the line when he stepped foot into his home. Miz said he looked at the security footage, draws a picture of his family, puts it on the coffee table and leaves. Miz said that two days ago he was celebrating his daughter Madison’s third birthday and it was a Minions-themed party while Miz thought that Lumis was there, so he punched a Minion. Miz asked “why me?” so he wanted Lumis to come out there man to man and face to face to explain himself. There was no sign of Lumis in the aisle, but there was a knife under the ring that was used to cut the apron and the carpet that was in the ring. Miz was standing in front of it, so he didn’t know Lumis was there. Lumis emerged from under the ring, Miz was freaked out and Ciampa was outside the ring, but then Ciampa managed to pull Miz away. Lumis grabbed Ciampa by the leg leading to Ciampa using a microphone to hit Lumis in the head to break free. Lumis went under the ring, then Miz looked down the hole and Lumis was there again. Miz backed away to end it.

Analysis: They are doing a nice job of continuing the story of Lumis as the creepy guy that’s stalking The Miz for some reason that we don’t know about. I liked Miz’s promo that was a natural reaction for a guy that had his house broken into and has been terrorized by Lumis for weeks now. Lumis isn’t known for talking, but it should lead to a match soon, perhaps at Extreme Rules with a stipulation.

(Commercial)

A video aired about Raquel Rodriguez talking about working hard and never giving up because it was Hispanic Heritage Month.

Next week on Raw:

* Kevin Owens & Johnny Gargano vs. Alpha Academy.

* Matt Riddle vs. Damian Priest.

The Judgment Day group was interviewed backstage by Kevin Patrick. Rhea Ripley said it’s time to celebrate, then Dominik Mysterio said he has to go check on his dad and he was just kidding. Dominik told Damian Priest that he wants to celebrate because he’s got a new mami now (looking at Rhea) and Ripley said “mami knows best.” Priest said that next week he’ll give Riddle another ass kicking. The group walked away so they can go party. Finn Balor saw something and told his friends he wanted to handle this alone. It was AJ Styles talking on his phone. Styles said that they haven’t spoken since Balor joined Judgment Day and turned his back on Styles. Balor said he never turned his back on Styles. AJ said that he wanted no part of Judgment Day. Balor said that they have known eachother for a long time, then he said looked like AJ was looking for a fight and Balor hugged him saying they are boys. Balor told Styles that the offer still stands while doing a Bullet Club hand gesture. Balor left.

Analysis: A proper feud between Balor and Styles would be cool to see because other than one match at a TLC show many years ago, they haven’t wrestled much in WWE. AJ Styles really hasn’t had much to do for months and I hope that changes. At 45 years old, I don’t know how much longer AJ is going to wrestle for. Obviously, AJ is still very good, but if he’s not being featured more prominently then it makes me wonder how long he’ll be wrestling for.

The announcers were shown on camera with Graves freaking out about Lumis attempting to abduct Miz and Ciampa. Saxton said they’re all freaked out about it. Smith said he went back to his hole so it’s okay.

Analysis: The hole is under the ring, which is where cement is, but in pro wrestling as fans, we are required to throw logic out the window sometimes and act like Lumis was going to take the guy somewhere evil instead of…under the ring with cement.

A video aired about Alexa Bliss showing some career highlights. Bliss is a five-time Women’s Champion, but it’s been a few years since she held a singles title.

Alexa Bliss made her entrance with Lily the doll because women in their 30s carry dolls around apparently while Asuka and Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair was with Bliss as well. I think Alexa’s old theme song was way better than this current song. Bayley was up next with her Damage CTRL group members Dakota Kai & IYO SKY, who are the Women’s Tag Team Champions. The fans cheered a bit when they mentioned Bayley was from San Jose, which is where Raw was.

(Commercial)

Bayley (Dakota Kai & IYO SKY) vs. Alexa Bliss (w/Bianca Belair & Asuka)

Bliss with a punch to the face, then a leg trip while on the apron and an arm wrench to the mat. Bliss with two knee drops on the left arm. Bayley sent Bliss into the turnbuckle followed by a head slam into the mat. Bayley kept Bliss down with an elbow drop along with some choking across the middle rope. Bayley grabbed a chinlock, Bliss broke free with a jawbreaker, a headscissors into the ropes and a double knee to the back. Bliss stood on Bayley’s back on the mat. Bliss held onto the ropes, but Bayley kicked her to the apron. When Bliss tried a pin attempt, Bayley slipped out of the ring and drove Alexa’s knee into the ring apron. Bayley with a clothesline for two. Bliss left the ring selling the left knee injury, Bayley sent Bliss into the top of the commentary table. Bliss kicked Bayley away and Bliss hit a somersault dive off the table onto a standing Bayley on the floor.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Bayley wrenching on the left knee again, then they got up and did a clothesline spot. The lights actually went out for a moment, which could be another clue of a Bray Wyatt return. Bayley did a chop block to the back of the left knee followed by some choking against the middle ropes. Bayley worked over the left knee some more while the announcers kept talking about Bliss trying to bring back the old Alexa. Bliss hit a Thesz Press off the middle ropes, then a knee to the face and a dropkick. Bliss tripped up Bayley followed by a knee drop and a senton splash for a two count. Bliss held onto the ropes followed by a cross body block. They exchanged pin attempts, Bliss got a cradle for two and Bayley got a pin attempt for two again. Bliss countered a suplex into a rollup for two. Bayley hit the Bayley to Belly suplex that used to be her finish for just a two count. The fans were chanting “Let’s Go Bayley and Bayley sucks” as Bliss hit a Code Red slam coming out of the corner for a two count. Bayley blocked a DDT attempt leading to Bayley going for a pin using the ropes, but Belair knocked Bayley’s feet off the ropes. Kai and Sky shoved Belair into the ring post. Asuka got involved, but then Asuka went crashing into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Bliss hit a DDT. Kai distracted the referee, Sky knocked Bliss off the ropes and Bayley hit the Roseplant slam into the mat for the pinfall win after 15 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bayley

Analysis: **3/4 The match was okay. They had a bit of a story with Bayley working over the left knee for a lot of the match, but it didn’t really play into the finish. I understand giving them plenty of time for the main event although in this case, I think it dragged on a bit too much. Since Bayley is being built up as a strong heel, I think she should have won sooner and perhaps more decisively. With that said, the finish did protect Bliss a bit because Bayley won due to Sky/Kai getting involved, so once again the “strength in numbers” story was a big factor.

The Damage CTRL trio attacked Bliss after the match. Kai kicked Asuka and Sky hit a moonsault off the ropes onto Asuka. Belair went into the ring to try to stop the heels as Belair hit a clotheslines, but Belair was outnumbered. Sky and Kai held Belair as Bayley punched Belair in the face. Bayley hit the Roseplant on Belair in the ring. The fans were booing. Bayley: “I’m in control now, Bianca. I get what I want, when I want and I want the Raw Women’s Title at Extreme Rules.” Bayley stood tall with Kai & Sky by her side while Belair was down in the ring. End show.

Analysis: Just like last week, Raw ended with a heel stable standing tall. Last week it was The Judgment Day over Edge and this week it was Damage CTRL over Bayley. When you have groups, you can use the numbers game story to make them look strong often to get heel heat and that’s what WWE is doing. With Triple H booking, it’s a good thing to be part of a heel stable. Belair vs. Bayley makes sense as a title match at Extreme Rules. That’s fine with me.

 

Three Stars of the Show

1. Bobby Lashley

2. Bayley

3. Seth “Freakin” Rollins

 

The Scoreboard

8 out of 10

Last week: 7.75

 

Final Thoughts

I thought it was a great show again. There were five matches and they all got plenty of time (all over 13 minutes). A nice balance of matches and promos as usual. Three of the matches had distraction finishes to further stories, which is fine, but it also felt a bit repetitive. That’s not to say they were bad matches because all the matches were good. I thought the Lashley-Rollins match was the best of the night, I liked the two tags a lot and Owens-Theory was good again. Bayley-Bliss wasn’t as interesting, but the right result with Bayley going over.

They also did a nice job of building to Extreme Rules by adding Bayley-Belair and Rollins-Riddle in Fight Pit Match. As I noted in the review, the heel groups Damage CTRL and The Judgment Day are getting a lot of screen time. Those two groups stood tall to end the show in back-to-back weeks. It’s good to be part of a heel stable with Triple H booking. That’s not a complaint because I like seeing it.

One of the interesting things about the show was the QR Code shown in the background of an Austin Theory segment and there was a guy in the crowd walking with a sign that had the QR Code on it. The lights also went out briefly during the Bliss-Bayley match too. I covered it in the review, but it sure seems like it is leading to the return of Bray Wyatt perhaps as soon as this Friday on Smackdown since the link to the QR Code has Friday’s date on it. Anyway, it’s a cool idea to set up a mystery angle.

The next WWE Premium Live Event is Extreme Rules from Philadelphia on Saturday, October 8th. Here’s what we know so far.

WWEWWE extreme rules riddle rollins

Fight Pit Match: Matt Riddle vs. Seth Rollins

Extreme Rules Match for the Smackdown Women’s Championship: Liv Morgan (c) vs. Ronda Rousey

Raw Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (c) vs. Bayley

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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.

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport