Reviews

The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 09/20/21 Review

Welcome to the WWE Raw Deal review for this week. It’s the last Raw before the WWE Extreme Rules PPV this Sunday night.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1477 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. 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 highlights from last week’s Raw when Big E cashed in Money in the Bank on Bobby Lashley to become the new WWE Champion.

They showed the crowd looking ready to go as the announcers hyped up the big six-man tag team main event with The New Day facing The Bloodline for the first time ever.

Let’s Celebrate With New WWE Champion Big E and The New Day

There was a special introduction promo from Big E leading into the championship celebration for the reunited New Day trio. Big E appeared with the WWE Championship around his waist while his good friends Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods were by his side. The Raw announce team was Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton.

Big E paused in the ring as the fans chanted “you deserve it” for him. Big E said it’s not November 25th, but he’s here to give thanks. Big E thanked the fans for chanting “New Day Rocks” and he forgives those that chanted “New Day sucks” too. Big E was thankful for the support as he climbed the ladder to win that Money in the Bank contract. Big E is thankful for those of us that lost our minds when he became the WWE Champion too. Big E said he was thankful for those of us below the heavens and one incredible friend above (he’s referencing Brodie Lee/Luke Harper there). Some fans chanted “Brodie” there.

Big E said that they have business to conduct with the Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Usos and their cousin, the Tribal Chief, the Head of the Table Roman Reigns. Big E said Raw is “our” show even though he was on Smackdown, but I guess he’s Raw now as the WWE Champion. Big E said tonight they will send The Bloodline packing because…the fans chanted “New Day Rocks” right on cue.

The familiar music of the WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns aired as the Smackdown top champion appeared on Raw with The Usos by his side. Reigns didn’t take about five minutes to get to the ring like he does on Smackdown. Reigns and Big E held up their titles. That match is next.

Analysis: This was cool. I loved Big E’s Brodie/Harper shoutout. They were so close, so I’m glad that Big E got to mention his late friend. Big E thanking the fans was the right call as well since he’s a babyface wrestler and has been for many years now, so the fans are a big part of his rise as well as New Day as a group. When this match was set to take place this early in the show, I wondered why, but it certainly made sense by the end of the night.

A commercial aired for Extreme Rules with Becky Lynch facing Bianca Belair.

(Commercial)

The Bloodline – Roman Reigns & The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) (w/Paul Heyman) vs. The New Day – Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods

Jimmy celebrated one move, then Kofi came back with a dropkick and got a two count. Woods and Kingston took turns hitting some moves leading to Big E tagging in with a clothesline. Woods was the legal man with Jey hitting him with an uppercut punch. Kingston tagged in with a springboard cross body block on Jey for a two count. Jimmy was back in with a punch to Kofi’s ribs. Jey missed a corner splash when Kofi moved, Reigns tagged in and Reigns tripped up Kofi. Reigns whipped Kofi into the announce table and into the ring post. Reigns tossed Kofi over the announce table to the floor. Reigns brought a lot of intensity to the match with that attack.

(Commercial)

The heels remained in control with Jey working over Kofi in the ring with an uppercut, but Kofi managed to send Jey over the top to the floor. Jimmy tagged in, knocked Woods off the apron and then Kofi took down Jimmy. Big E tagged in right after Reigns so it led to a showdown between the WWE Champion and the Universal Champion with the fans rising to their feet! That was a cool staredown. Reigns with two belly to belly suplexes followed by the belly to belly side slam. After Big E knocked Jey out of the ring, Reigns hit a uranage slam for a two count. Reigns charged, but Big E caught him and hit a belly to belly slam again. Big E ran the ropes leading to a big splash. The fans were rallying behind Big E, Jimmy into the ring and Big E tossed him out of the ring. Woods tagged in while Big E launched Kofi over the top on both Usos. Reigns with a Superman Punch on Big E. Woods with a jumping kick on Reigns, who came back with an uppercut and Woods hit a superkick for two. Good nearfall there. Bobby Lashley showed up at ringside and hit Big E with a Spear. Lashley lifted Kofi onto his shoulders leading to a running attack that sent Kofi into the ring post. Lashley with a clothesline on an Uso and tossed another Uso into the steel steps. Reigns and Woods were still legal in the ring, Woods stared at Lashley and when he turned around, Reigns hit Woods with a Spear for the pinfall win after about 13 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: The Bloodline – Roman Reigns & The Usos (Jimmy & Jey)

Analysis: ***1/2 This was a very good tag team match as expected by these talented wrestlers. I think the moment of the match was when Big E and Reigns tagged in at the same time leading to a huge reaction from the fans. They reacted to it like it was a big deal because that’s what it was. Going into the match I figured Woods would be pinned, so as soon as Woods got the tag for his team, I knew the finish was coming. Lashley getting payback on Big E for costing him the WWE Title match last week was fine because it’s a heel being pissed off about a loss. I thought going into the match that they could go 15-20 minutes here, so it didn’t reach that point, but it was also because of what they had planned for later in the show. I enjoyed this for what it was. A rematch down the road would be cool.

After the match, Lashley went into the ring and hit Reigns with a Spear too! Lashley left the ring, he charged at Big E and gave Big E a Spear through the barricade at ringside! That was great. Lashley left with Graves saying Lashley was the “last man standing” which could be a tease for a future match.

Analysis: Bobby Lashley is at his best when he’s focused and intense like that. Once again, it makes sense for a heel like Lashley to do cheap shots like that to show he was in a bad mood after losing the WWE Title last week.

(Commercial)

There was a commercial for NXT 2.0 saying they were just getting started last week. It’s on Tuesday night, so I’ll have a review on Wednesday.

Bobby Lashley was shown walking down a hallway. Lashley went into the WWE Officials office as he talked to Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville. Lashley complained about Big E coming after him last week when he had a tough match against Randy Orton. Lashley said if you give him a match against Big E or Roman Reigns, he will beat them. Lashley said if you put them both together, he has no problem taking them out. Lashley said that this is the All Mighty Era and the All Mighty Era never stops. Pearce and Deville said nothing as Lashley left.

Analysis: Lashley did a nice job of showing intensity there. It was the start of setting up something for later.

The announcers talked about how MVP has a broken rib, so he’s out indefinitely. I’m not sure if that’s real, but MVP took an RKO on the floor from Randy Orton last week.

Randy Orton was in the dressing room getting ready for his match. They each had speakers and Riddle said he set them up with the same Spotify playlist. Riddle rambled on about wondering what his spirit animal would be, so maybe he is a mongoose. Orton said Riddle was confusing real life with a movie he saw. Riddle said it happened. Orton told Riddle to tell Omos about his family safari trip and Orton will try to break some of AJ’s ribs. Orton thanked Riddle for the headphones. Riddle put his headphones on and sang Orton’s theme song, so I guess that’s what he was listening to.

Eva Marie made her entrance for a match. She looks good as usual. They showed highlights of this rivalry with Doudrop dominating Eva Marie repeatedly in the ring.

(Commercial)

There was a plug for Survivor Series tickets on sale this Friday. It takes place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on November 21 and there’s a Raw next night at Barclays Center as well.

Analysis: It will be 25 years since The Rock debuted in WWE at Survivor Series 1996 at MSG, and it was a great show. I hope Rock is there.

Doudrop vs. Eva Marie

Eva Marie did a promo saying she’s not for shaming or negativity, but look at her (okay) and look at Doudrop. Eva said that she is put together while Doudrop is a mess. Eva said that girls like Doudrop can never beat women like Eva.

The bell rang, so Eva left the ring right away, then back into the ring, then out of the ring again and Eva decided to go into the ring. Eva did an eye rake, but then Doudrop caught her with a front slam. Doudrop with a senton and a running cross body splash for the pinfall win at just over one minute.

Winner by pinfall: Doudrop

Analysis: 1/4* Match of the year! Or not. Hopefully this is the end of this story. I still don’t get the point of this storyline or feud other than to make Doudrop a face that benefited by how much the fans hate Eva Marie. They need to pair up Eva Marie with Carmella or something like that. I’m not sure how far Eva can go with this gimmick as a singles wrestler.

Big E went into the office of Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville. Big E said he wants Bobby and Roman tonight. Big E told them to make it happen. Big E left.

Randy Orton entered as one half of the Raw Tag Team Champions with Riddle, who was on his scooter. Good pop for them as Orton did some posing.

(Commercial)

The video aired for the WWE Draft on October 1 on Smackdown from Baltimore and October 4 on Raw from Nashville.

Paul Heyman walked into the office to talk to WWE Officials Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville. Heyman said that Lashley moans and complains while Big E did the same thing. Heyman said he had a message from The Tribal Chief. Sonya told Paul they will have a triple threat match: Bobby Lashley vs. Big E vs. Roman Reigns. Pearce told Heyman to tell Roman that it is official. Heyman said he’ll do that.

Analysis: That’s a huge main event for the show with Reigns and Big E wrestling twice while Lashley is a part of it as a triple threat match. That’s cool.

AJ Styles made his entrance with the giant Omos walking behind him.

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

Orton was in control with an armbar early on with Styles getting to the ropes to break the hold. Orton went for the RKO, Styles shoved him off and went to the ropes. Orton pointed at Omos to tell him he had his eyes on him too. Orton with a suplex on Styles. Orton stomped on some body parts of Styles followed by a knee to the face and a stomp on the head. Orton bounced of the ropes, so Omos tripped him and the referee never saw it. The referee assumed that Omos did it, so he tossed Omos from ringside. Riddle was mocking Omos, so Omos hit him with an uppercut to knock Riddle down. Styles hit Orton with a forearm to the back to knock Orton out of the ring. Styles with a slingshot attack over the top with a forearm to knock Orton down. Omos went to the back as they went to break.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Orton getting in some punches, but Styles did a chop block to the back of the left leg. Styles charged at Orton, who moved and Styles took a hard bump into the middle turnbuckle. Orton with clotheslines, then the corner punches and Styles tripped up Reigns against the turnbuckle. Styles with a kick to the left knee, then a charge and Orton hit a powerslam for two. Orton set up Styles for a superplex, Styles slipped out and Orton hit a clothesline while on the apron. Styles sent Orton throat first into the top rope. Styles went for Phenomenal Forearm, Orton caught him, but Styles countered it into a sleeper hold. Orton drove Styles back first into the turnbuckle. Orton charged at Styles, who got a boot up and Orton blocked a DDT attempt. Orton hit an overhead suplex across the ring with Graves pointing out that Riddle was smiling because that was one of Riddle’s moves. The fans chanted “Randy” for Orton. Styles with a thrust to the throat, then strikes from Styles and a Pele Kick got two for Styles. Orton countered a Styles Clash into a pin attempt for two, so Styles came back with a forearm to the face. Styles hit a springboard moonsault off the middle ropes for two. Styles went for a kick on Riddle, then a forearm to Orton and Styles jumped into the ring, but Orton teased an RKO, so Styles stopped himself. Orton followed that with a draping DDT followed by an RKO for the pinfall win after 15 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Randy Orton

Analysis: ***3/4 They had a terrific match with both guys getting plenty of offense, but Orton was the first guy to hit a finisher and win the match. They did a nice job of having each guy hit big moves, there were so many counters and then Styles made a mistake by looking at Riddle, so Orton was able to capitalize on that. There really isn’t a storyline here because the Riddle/Orton team has dispatched Styles/Omos in the past, so it just felt like a random match between two 20+ year veterans that really know how to put on an entertaining match when they get time to do so.

A video aired about Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax having success as two-time Women’s Tag Team Champions until the team fell apart. Now they are opponents.

Nia Jax entered for her match.

(Commercial)

Shayna Baszler made her entrance with both women looking very serious about the match.

Nia Jax vs. Shayna Baszler

They started with some trash talk with Jax saying she’s the winner and she made Baszler. Jax picked up Baszler leading to a shoulder breaker. Jax wit ha running splash against the turnbuckle. Baszler with repeated lifting knees, then kicks to the head and another kick. Baszler applied the Kirifuda Clutch on, Jax tried a slam and Baszler held on, so Jax passed out a bit leading to the referee calling for the bell. Baszler got the win after three minutes.

Winner by submission: Shayna Baszler

Analysis: *1/4 A quick match to give Baszler a win. It’s rare to see Jax lose a match like that since she is protected so much and rarely was the one that got beat when they had tag team matches over the last year. It was a dominant win for Baszler, so maybe she’ll be pushed strong after this. I don’t know if they will get behind her like that.

Post match, Baszler with a running kick to knock Jax off the apron to the floor. Baszler placed Jax’s left hand in a hole against the steel steps and Baszler kicked Jax’s left arm. Baszler wanted to step on the left arm some more. Jax was screaming for Shayna to stop and told her not to do this, but then Baszler stomped on the left arm. There was just one referee there checking on Jax and then more referees appeared along with a trainer. Jax was screaming in pain. Baszler looked like she was mad at herself for doing what she did.

Analysis: It wasn’t great television there seeing Nia Jax screaming on the floor, but she had to try to sell it like Baszler really hurt her, so that’s why Jax went into screaming mode. This put over Baszler in a big way because as I said Jax doesn’t usually get booked in a weak manner like that, so perhaps the creative team will get behind Baszler again like they did in early 2020 when she dominated in the Elimination Chamber before losing to Becky Lynch. Anyway, I guess Jax will be out with the arm injury and come back as a babyface seeking revenge. Are fans going to rally behind Nia Jax? I don’t know about that. They can probably split these two up in the WWE Draft as well.

(Commercial)

There was a video of Eva Marie as a guest on American Ninja Warrior Junior that is airing on Peacock. I used to watch American Ninja Warrior on NBC, but the announcers SCREAMING VERY LOUDLY ABOUT EVERYTHING got really annoying after a while. Good athletes, though.

The team of excitable Mansoor and calm Mustafa Ali were up next. Mansoor wanted Ali to slap hands with the fans, but Ali didn’t want to do that. They were up against a new team of Humberto Carrillo and Angel Garza, who are legitimately cousins. A video aired with Garza and Carrillo saying they are teaming up while talking about how handsome and talented they are while noting that no team is as strong as them together. Garza said that putting them together means that the world is theirs.

Analysis: I am all for this. Garza and Carrillo haven’t had anything to do for a long, so if you have nothing for wrestlers as singles, make them a team. It’s smart to bolster the tag team division. Whether it works long term, who knows? You can’t find out unless you try.

Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo vs. Mansoor & Mustafa Ali

Garza started with a dropkick on Ali. Carrillo and Garza sent Ali into the ropes with a slingshot into a slam. Carrillo went for a suplex, Ali avoided that and Ali hit an impressive DDT off the middle ropes. Mansoor tagged in against Garza with a jumping kick to the head. Mansoor with a corner clothesline, Ali went up top and hit a double foot stomp but Carrillo made the save. Carrillo shoved Mansoor into the barricade, then Ali sent Carrillo into the barricade and Garza whipped Ali into the ring post! Carrillo tagged back in, he held Ali into a submission pulling on the neck and Garza hit a dropkick. Carrillo covered Ali for the pinfall win after about three minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo

Analysis: ** A good win for the talented cousins who wrestled like aggressive heels in this match. Like I said, I’m happy they are together. Mansoor and Ali could use wins too, but somebody has to take the losses too. Anyway, I hope Garza and Carrillo get a solid push after this.

A video aired about Karrion Kross speaking about how he will pulverize everyone around him. Kross said “fall and pray” to end it.

Nikki A.S.H and Rhea Ripley made their entrance for a promo. They talked about Connor’s Cure while speaking about how we have all raised millions of dollars for pediatric cancer research. Ripley forgot a word or two there, so Nikki helped her. Ripley dedicated their tag team championship match to the kids and everyone that has been affected by pediatric cancer. They put up a “V” for victory since WWE also works for the V Foundation for cancer. That match is next.

Analysis: Good job by Nikki picking up Ripley there with Ripley getting emotional during that speech.

(Commercial)

Natalya and Tamina entered as the Women’s Tag Team Champions. Replays reminded us that the challengers had all the momentum.

Analysis: This was the first televised Women’s Tag Team Title match since Smackdown on May 28. Natalya missed about three weeks with an injury, but she came back and WWE just didn’t put the tiles on the line. Natalya and Tamina have lost non-title matches repeatedly, which is typical bad WWE booking.

Women’s Tag Team Championships: Natalya & Tamina vs. Nikki A.S.H. & Rhea Ripley

Tamina started with Nikki, Natalya tagged in and hit a running Hart Attack double team clothesline for two as Ripley made the save. Tamina tossed Ripley out of the ring. Natalya and Tamina worked over Nikki with punches until Tamina hit a Samoan Drop. Tamina went up top, she took way too long, the splash looked awful and Nikki got the knees up to block. Ripley was down on the floor, so Nikki couldn’t tag out. Natalya back in with a slingshot suplex, step on the back and basement dropkick. Ripley fought off Tamina with a Riptide slam onto the ring apron. Natalya was watching what was going on and Nikki applied an inside cradle to Natalya for the pinfall win after about three minutes.

Winners by pinfall AND NEW Women’s Tag Team Champions: Nikki A.S.H. & Rhea Ripley

Analysis: *1/2 It was okay for a shorter match. If they got more time it would have been nice, but WWE has been having short women’s matches of late. I just think if you are going to do a title change, it should be a more meaningful match instead of a three-minute match like that. Ripley didn’t even have to tag in because Nikki was able to get the win for the team. Natalya and Tamina were booked like strong champions at first, but then they lost so many matches over the last month or two.

The new champions Nikki and Rhea celebrated with their titles. The fans were happy about it.

Alexa Bliss entered for her talk show segment as the show reached the top of hour three.

(Commercial)

Alexa’s Playground

Alexa Bliss was in the ring on her “playground” set as she sat on a swing set with her evil doll Lilly by her side. Bliss introduced her opponent at Extreme Rules, “The Queen” Charlotte Flair.

That led to Charlotte Flair’s entrance as Charlotte entered to a decent pop in her home state of North Carolina. Charlotte was wearing a red leather outfit. Charlotte’s dad Ric has been in the news for the wrong reasons of late. The fans greeted Charlotte with “WOO” chants.

Bliss wanted Charlotte to sit on a rocking horse, but Charlotte would rather stand. Bliss called Charlotte the “fun police.” Bliss said there are no tricks up her sleeve since she had short sleeves. Bliss wanted to have a “girls night” while noting that Charlotte didn’t bring “Charly” the doll with her. Bliss said that’s fine because she brought the “Charly” doll with her, so fans chanted for “Charly” the doll.

Charlotte said that she didn’t want the doll, which drew boos. Charlotte said she wanted the old Alexa Bliss back, that was once upon a time a championship material wrestler. Charlotte said that this is a pathetic attempt to show how fragile and delicate Bliss really is. Charlotte said that we know Bliss is broken, so that’s why Bliss hides behind the playground and the black lipstick – Charlotte wants her to wipe it off. Charlotte said Bliss used to walk to the ring with a title in her arm and now she walks out there with a doll in her arm. Charlotte asked how does it feel that the doll is more popular than Alexa? Charlotte said that Bliss was a champion in the past only because Charlotte was on the other show. Charlotte asked how she went from the main event of WrestleMania 35 (in 2019) to Monday Night Raw playing with dolls? Bad creative? I don’t know. Charlotte talked about beaten everybody and now she’s about to beat a grown ass woman that dresses up like a little kid. Charlotte said that this is all a desperate cry for help, so Charlotte will make it her job to beat the sense back into Bliss, so should it be tonight or at Extreme Rules.

Bliss pointed out that Charlotte has won more titles than any other woman, she has also lost more titles than any other woman. Bliss wondered who is Charlotte Flair without a title? Bliss said even Charlotte doesn’t know. Bliss said if Charlotte doesn’t have a title, she has nothing. Bliss said she didn’t need to play mindgames to expose insecurities because they are on her forehead. Bliss wondered what Charlotte would say to these people out there. Fans chanted “WOO” so Bliss said that is not originally yours (hey Ric Flair) and Charlotte said let’s not talk about originality (hey Bray Wyatt). Good line there! Bliss said she didn’t give Charly to play mind games – she did it out of pity. Bliss said “even a narcissistic self-centered bitch” like Charlotte deserves happiness. The fans reacted with a “woah” for that. Bliss said she didn’t care what Charlotte said because she knows who she is and she didn’t need to grasp at titles to stay relevant. Bliss said you can call her crazy, but at Extreme Rules, you can call her champ.

Charlotte said that Bliss is never going to find out who Charlotte is without a championship, so Charlotte shoved her. Charlotte took the heels off and kicked Bliss in the head. Bliss jumped on Charlotte’s back, but Charlotte slammed her down. Charlotte grabbed the “Charly” doll and ripped its head off. Charlotte teased getting her hands on Lilly, but Bliss fought back with a kick to the gut and a DDT. Charlotte bailed to the floor to end it.

Analysis: I liked the promos from both women. They play off eachother well. There were some personal shots in there with Charlotte calling Bliss crazy while Bliss pointed out Charlotte’s insecurities, which is what makes people like this version of Bliss. There is still some creepiness to this Bliss character, but when she does promos like that, I don’t mind it at all. They are good talkers that did a nice job here. It’s possible that Bliss wins the title although I feel like Charlotte is going to have a long reign as champion.

There was a meeting backstage with Drake Maverick talking to R-Truth, Drew Gulak and Tozawa about getting Reggie by dropping a net on him. Gulak went up to 24/7 Champion Reggie telling a random story, then Truth dropped the net and Reggie avoided it, so the net went on Gulak Reggie climbed some boxes and apparatus that were backstage before getting away. Maverick was mad at Truth for not getting him and Gulak was still stuck in the net.

Analysis: Riveting television. At least when they did stuff like the ice cream truck it was mildly funny. This was pretty lame.

The announcers talked about how you can vote for The Miz on Dancing with the Stars, which is on ABC. I don’t care at all. I have less than zero interest.

Jeff Hardy entered for a match against Sheamus.

This Friday on Smackdown, Shinsuke Nakamura defends the Intercontinental Title against Apollo Crews. Plus, it’s the final Smackdown before Extreme Rules, so they hyped up the Reigns/Balor and Lynch/Belair matches.

(Commercial)

Damian Priest was on commentary for this match. Sheamus entered as the opponent. If Jeff wins this match then he gets added to the US Title match at Extreme Rules.

Sheamus vs. Jeff Hardy

Sheamus used his power for a knockdown with a shoulder tackle. Jeff with a dropkick into the knee and a dropkick to the face. Sheamus was sent to the apron, he hit Jeff with a forearm to the back and Jeff hit a neckbreaker off the ropes. Jeff with a running attack off the steps, but Sheamus caught him and slammed Jeff onto the apron. Sheamus took off his protective mask leading to a clothesline.

(Commercial)

Jeff got some offense going with a double leg drop and a dropkick. Jeff hit a Russian legsweep. Jeff went to the middle rope with a splash for a two count. Sheamus had a bloody nose after he took his mask off. Jeff delivered a drop toe hold to send Sheamus into the middle turnbuckle, but Sheamus blocked a Jeff attack with a kick. Sheamus went up top with a clothesline for a two count. Jeff went for a Twist of Fate, Sheamus slipped out of that and Sheamus hit a rising knee to the face for two. Hardy avoided a Brogue Kick, then a kick to the gut and Twist of Fate neckbreaker. The crowd came alive, Jeff went up top and went for a Swanton Bomb, but Sheamus got the knees up to block. Sheamus went for something and then Jeff got a sunset flip pin for the pinfall win after nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Jeff Hardy

Analysis: *** A pretty good match here by two veterans that have wrestled a lot in the past. I’m all in favor of Jeff picking up wins because he is poorly used and the fans still love the guy, so they need to use him better. Sheamus continues to have good matches weeks after week, so it’s no surprise that he put on a strong showing here.

Jeff Hardy celebrated his win in his home state of North Carlina. That means the US Title match at Extreme Rules is Damian Priest vs. Sheamus vs. Jeff Hardy.

Sheamus got in Priest’s face, he shoved Priest and that led to a brawl between the two big men. Priest jumped off the apron onto Sheamus. Priest with punches, but then Sheamus shoved Priest into the ring post. They went into the ring as referees tried to break it up. Priest with a clothesline over the top and then they cut away.

Analysis: I think Priest will likely retain the US Title at Extreme Rules. There’s no point in taking the title off Priest. Adding Jeff to the match makes it more exciting since we have seen Priest vs. Sheamus a bunch of times, so I don’t mind changing it up to make it a triple threat.

The main event match is next with plenty of time left in the show.

(Commercial)

There were highlights shown from earlier in the night when Roman Reigns got the win in a six-man tag team match. Bobby Lashley also made his presence felt by attacking everybody at ringside. That led to this main event match.

Roman Reigns, the Universal Champion, made his entrance with the Special Counsel Paul Heyman by his side. Reigns walked quickly instead of the four-minute walk that we see on Smackdown sometimes. The All Mighty former WWE Champion Bobby Lashley was up next looking intense as usual. A graphic let us know that Roman’s Universal Title match with “Demon” Finn Balor is an Extreme Rules match. The WWE Champion Big E was up last without posing or showing enthusiasm because he was all business as he got into the ring.

Analysis: I thought WWE would announce Big E vs. Bobby Lashley at Extreme Rules before the end of Raw, but they did not announce it.

Roman Reigns (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Big E

There were no titles on the line for this match. No countouts and no disqualifications in WWE triple threat matches.

When Big E got into the ring, Lashley was ready for him with punches as the bell rang. Big E with a clothesline on Lashley. Big E knocked Reigns out of the ring. Big E worked over Lashley with forearms and then a running splash on the apron. After Big E hit the move, Reigns hit the Drive By dropkick on the apron and Reigns stood tall in the ring.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Lashley running the ropes, Big E with a leapfrog and a back elbow for two. Big E applied the abdominal stretch with some punching to the “New Day Rocks” tune. Reigns was back in with an uppercut on Big E and a clothesline sent Lashley out of the ring. Reigns hit a leaping clothesline for a two count. When Reigns went for a Drive By dropkick on Lashley, Bobby was ready and Lashley hit him with a clothesline for a two count. Lashley with running shoulder tackles on both opponents. Lashley charged at Big E, who delivered a uranage slam for a two count. Big E with a shoulder tackle on Reigns, who came back with a Samoan Drop for a two count. Reigns worked over Lashley with repeated clotheslines against the turnbuckle. Reigns rocked Lashley with an uppercut. Reigns wanted a superplex, Lashley blocked and Big E went over for the Tower of Doom spot out of the corner. That’s a common spot in WWE triple threat matches. It always draws a big pop and it did here too.

(Commercial)

Reigns worked over Big E with a clothesline as he told the fans that he runs the show here. Reigns went for a clothesline, but Big E caught him and hit two belly to belly suplexes followed by the belly to belly side slam. Lashley pulled Big E out of the ring and whipped him into the barricade. Lashley went into the ring with a flatliner on Reigns. Lashley picked up Reigns with a delayed suplex for a two count. Big E was back in, Lashley with a kick and Big E was back with a belly to belly side slam. Big E hit a running splash on Lashley and Reigns at the same time for a two count. Reigns got a knee up to block a charging Big E and Lashley hit a spinebuster on Big E. Reigns sent Lashley out of the ring and Reigns got a two count on Lashley. Reigns set up for the Superman Punch, Big E moved and Big E hit the Big Ending on Reigns, but Lashley pulled Reigns out of the ring to break up the pin. Lashley pulled Big E out of the ring and gave him a spinebuster through the table! That was a huge spot as they got a fan at ringside reacting with a big “wow” expression. Lashley was back in the ring, he charged at Reigns and Roman hit him with a Superman Punch for the two count. The fans chanted “this is awesome” with all three guys down around the ring. Reigns got up, he went for a Spear, but Lashley came back with a Spear of his own on Reigns for two with Big E making the save. Lashley went for a Hurt Lock submission on Big E, but Reigns punched Lashley. Big E sent Reigns to the apron and Big E hit a running Spear to knock Reigns off the apron to the floor. Big E hit the Big Ending on Reigns in the ring, but Lashley hit Big E with a steel chair. No DQ’s in a triple threat. Lashley hit Big E with multiple chair shots to the back and upper body of Big E. Lashley hit Big E with more chair shots to the back. After Lashley turned around, Reigns greeted him with a Spear! Reigns covered Lashley for the one…two…and three. It went about 20 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Roman Reigns

Analysis: **** This was an excellent triple threat match between three of WWE’s top guys that worked so well together. Roman Reigns continues to win big matches like he won earlier in the show and like he does when his title on the line. Even though Reigns didn’t have to get pinned to lose here, WWE opted to give him the win and keep him looking strong. What I really liked is how they booked it in a way where all three guys nearly got the win at different points in the match. The crowd really wanted Big E to win especially after he hit that Big Ending to Reigns and then Lashley was there to break it up. Lashley’s chair attack made sense for him since he was so mad about losing the WWE Title to a Money in the Bank cash in by Big E last week. The story became that after Lashley hit Big E with those chair shots, he forgot about Reigns and then the crafty Reigns took advantage to get the win while Big E was too hurt to make the save. It was really well done as a finish.

Reigns celebrated the win with the Universal Title as they plugged the Extreme Rules PPV on Sunday. They were running out of time, so the show ended there.

Analysis: Another thought that came to mind after the match is that Big E was on the losing end of two matches on this show, but he wasn’t pinned in either match. Still, it’s two losses for the guy that is the new WWE Champion. I still think they’ll do Big E vs. Lashley at Extreme Rules although as I write this on Tuesday morning, it hasn’t been announced yet.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Roman Reigns
  2. Big E
  3. Bobby Lashley

 

The Scoreboard

7.75 out of 10

Last week: 7.5

2021 Average: 6.02

 

Final Thoughts

It’s the second straight week where Raw was really good. Kudos to WWE for back to back strong shows. I think that’s my highest rating this year. This week topped last week too. They brought Roman Reigns to Raw for one week and put him over in two big matches. The main event was one of the better TV matches on Raw this year with Reigns, Big E and Lashley all working very well together. You could definitely do that as a rematch as a PPV main event at some point too because fans will remember how good this match was.

There were some other things I liked on the show like Jeff Hardy getting a big win over Sheamus, which Jeff needs because he has been underutilized for a long time. The Charlotte/Bliss was actually pretty good by the end and I admittedly don’t love the Bliss character, but when she delivers clever lines like she did here, it’s a lot more tolerable. I’m glad to see Garza/Carrillo as a team. I hope that works out for them.

I would have liked to see more time for the Women’s Tag Team Title match. When you do a title change, make it mean something by giving them time instead of booking a match that’s over in under three minutes. Some other matches were short, but I understand it because they gave a lot of time to the main event, which was great.

The next WWE pay-per-view is Extreme Rules on Sunday, September 26. Here’s what we know so far.

Extreme Rules Match for the WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. “Demon” Finn Balor

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Bianca Belair

Raw Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Alexa Bliss

United States Championship: Damian Priest (c) vs. Sheamus vs. Jeff Hardy

SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Usos (c) vs. The Street Profits

Liv Morgan vs. Carmella

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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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