This week’s WWE Raw featured Matt Riddle facing Damian Priest in the main event, “Honorary Uce” Sami Zayn was against AJ Styles, Seth Rollins renewed his rivalry with Rey Mysterio and Bianca Belair battled IYO SKY in singles action.
The Raw intro video aired to start the show.
They had an impressive pyro display leading to cheers from the crowd. Big crowd in Edmonton with over 12,000 people in attendance, so that’s one of the biggest crowds this year. Good job by my fellow Canadians with Winnipeg set to host Smackdown on Friday.
Bianca Belair, the Raw Women’s Champion, entered for her match joined by Alexa Bliss and Asuka with the fans cheering for them. The commentary team of Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves & Byron Saxton welcomed us to the show.
They showed highlights of last week’s Raw as Bayley’s heel group Damage CTRL beat up Belair, Asuka and Bliss to end the show.
Bianca Belair did a promo about how she knows that Bayley can’t fight her battles alone. Belair said if you want the championship at Extreme Rules then good luck because Belair’s friends Asuka & Bliss will be watching Bayley’s girls.
Bayley made her entrance joined by Women’s Tag Team Champions Dakota Kai & IYO SKY. Bayley said that Belair has been groomed to be in this position and she was trained for it. Bayley said she’s trained herself and she wanted to do this since she was 12 years old. Bayley said she’s taking over WWE just like she wanted. Bayley said that Belair was placed, picked and chosen. Belair said that everything she has accomplished, she has earned and nothing has been given to her. Belair said she’s been showing up and showing out while asking where has Bayley been – rehabbing? Belair kept on going with Bayley saying she was injured, but she got better and she taught herself how to walk/run again. Bayley bragged about how she pinned Belair at Clash at the Castle while telling Belair that what she accomplished took place while Bayley was injured. Belair said that Bayley was there when Belair headlined WrestleMania and she remembered giving Bayley a KOD in the Hell in a Cell match. Bayley said we’re not talking about the past. Bayley said that at Extreme Rules, she feels like winning the Raw Women’s Title in a Ladder Match. Belair said she can’t have Bayley tonight then she’ll get extreme with IYO tonight.
Analysis: A Ladder Match for Bayley and Belair is not what I expected, but it’s fine as a big match between two talented women that will likely have a good match any time they wrestle. Saying Belair was chosen is an interesting choice of words by Bayley. Belair was hired because she was a great athlete and she didn’t come from the indies like Bayley, but Belair was right to say that she has worked for everything she has because she’s improved a lot in her WWE career.
Bianca Belair (w/Alexa Bliss & Asuka) vs. IYO SKY (w/Bayley & Dakota Kai)
The bell rang, Belair hit Sky with a dropkick out of the ring and they went to break.
They showed Sami Zayn and Solo Sikoa arriving at the building.
Belair was in control of Sky with a waistlock takedown along with a hair toss across the ring. Belair with a shoulder tackle in the corner followed by a backbreaker. Sky with an uppercut punch, kicks to the legs and a double knee attack on Belair in the corner. Sky got a sunset flip for a two count. Sky charged, Belair moved and Belair ran over Sky with a shoulder tackle along with some punches to the head. Belair with a forearm to the face for two. Sky broke free while sending Belair into the ropes, then Sky hit a running kick and Belair bumped into the ring post. Sky celebrated on the floor with her friends as the show went to break.
The match returned with Belair hitting a shoulder tackle, clothesline and dropkick. Belair with a suplex, then she rolled through and hit a delayed vertical suplex for two. Sky countered a move into a rollup for two. Sky stood on Belair’s long braided hair, then Belair got out of it and Belair hit a body slam. Belair bounced off the ropes with a standing moonsault for two. Sky came back with across body block, Belair caught her and hit a fallaway slam for a two count. Belair went up top, Sky punched her and Sky went for a hurricanrana, but Belair blocked it. Belair kicked Sky away leading to Sky jumping to the turnbuckle for an armdrag off the top rope. Sky hit a double knee attack in the corner. Sky went for the moonsault off the top, but Belair stopped that and shoved Belair to the floor. Belair did a slingshot dive onto Bayley/Kai on the floor. Sky with palm strikes to Belair, then back into the ring and Belair avoided a top rope move. Belair hit the Kiss of Death (KOD) for the pinfall win after 18 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Bianca Belair
Analysis: ***1/2 That was a really good match that built up well towards the finish. I think they could have had more moments in the match where it looked like Sky might win because a lot of the match was dominated by Belair while Sky didn’t look that competitive even though it was a long match. I like seeing a champion win a non-title match because that wasn’t always a thing in the previous era of booking WWE matches. Keep your champions strong with wins in TV matches. It’s simple and it works.
Rey Mysterio was interviewed by Kevin Patrick talking about how as a father, you want to give your son the world and always want the best for them. Rey made it clear that he never wants to fight him. Rey said last week he wondered what happened to the kid Dominik that he raised. Rey talked about how Rhea Ripley was manipulating his heart and mind. Rey said he needs to be at his best against Seth “Freakin” Rollins while talking about how he has had battles with him in the past. Rey said he may have mercy for his own flesh & blood, but he will not show any mercy for Seth.
That match between Rey and Seth was up next.
The Miz was shown talking to six security guys talking saying he wanted smart guys like them. Miz called them “Mizforce” and made them say it a few times. Miz to Mizforce to find he who shall not be named (Dexter Lumis), so off they went.
Seth “Freakin” Rollins made his entrance with the crowd singing along to the catchy song. They showed highlights from last week leading to Seth Rollins agreeing to a Fight Pit Match against Riddle.
Rollins welcomed Edmonton to “Monday Night Rollins” with Seth telling us he was a revolutionary, a visionary and he is Seth “Freakin” Rollins. Seth said he should be the new United States Champion, but the reason he’s not champion is because of Matt Riddle. Rollins said that Riddle has been a thorn in his side for a long time, but they will settle it at Extreme Rules inside the Fight Pit. The crowd was singing the Rollins song again. Rollins said that nobody thinks he stands a chance inside the Fight Pit because this is Riddle’s type of match. Rollins said when he went home he came to the harsh conclusion that he’s Seth “Freakin” Rollins, baby, so it didn’t matter what type of match it is and he ran off the different types of matches he has one. Rollins said that Riddle has something that Riddle will never have – Seth has an Einstein-level acumen for the fight game. Rollins said that the entire world will be singing his song about how he is the King of the Fight Pit. Rollins said he’s about to give “Father of the Year” Rey Mysterio the beating that he’s too much of a coward to give his own son. Rollins laughed as Rey’s music hit to interrupt.
Analysis: A typical good Rollins promo showing a lot of confidence. It did drag on a bit, but I like Seth’s promos for the most part.
When Rey got into the ring, he hit Rollins with a dropkick before the bell rang. The match was going to start after a break.
Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. Rey Mysterio
Rollins was bleeding after Rey set him into the steel steps, which they showed from during the break. Rey hit a headscissors takedown, then he charged and Rollins hit a backbreaker. Rollins hit a belly to back suplex for two. Rey with punches followed by a sunset flip for two. Rollins was back up with a forearm smash to knock Rey down. Rollins with a chop along with a forearm in the corner. Rollins missed a corner smash, Rey moved and Rollins hit the turnbuckle. Rey with a drop toehold that sent Rollins into the turnbuckle. Rey with a back elbow to the head, then he tried a leaping attack, but Rollins caught him with a gutbuster into the knee. Rollins sent Rey under the ring leading to Rey going under the bottom rope and landing hard on the floor. Dominik Mysterio walked out with a steel chair. The QR Code appeared on the screen, Rollins was worried that maybe Dom would hit him, but Dom patted Seth on the back and walked by him. Rollins was happy about it as the show went to break.
Rollins was in full control with a kick to the face while Rey was against the apron. The small cut on Seth’s head wasn’t too bad at this point. Dominik was sitting at ringside watching the match, so Rollins gave him a fist bump. Rollins hit two vertical suplexes leading to boos as an Eddie Guerrero tribute of sorts and Rey countered a third suplex into a DDT. Rey went up top, Rollins picked up Rey on his shoulders, but Rey hit a hurricanrana into the turnbuckle. Rey hit a cross body block for a two count. Rey hit a dropkick to the knee, Rollins came back with a Buckle Bomb and then a Falcon Arrow sitout slam for two. Rey jumped onto Seth’s shoulders leading to Rey sending Rollins out of the ring with a headscissors takedown. Rey hit a sliding splash under the bottom rope onto Rollins on the floor. Back in the ring, Rey went up top and hit a superfly splash for two. Rey dropkicked Rollins into the ropes, Rollins avoided the 619 kick and Rollins countered a move into a front suplex. Rey countered a Rollins move off the ropes with a hurricanrana. That was sweet. Rey hit a 619 kick that sent Rollins across the ring with Seth going to the floor. Rey jumped off the apron with a headscissors on Rollins on the floor. Rey was right by Dominik, so Dominik tossed a chair to Rey and dared Rey to hit Dominik. Rhea Ripley showed up while the referee was distracted and Ripley shoved Rey into the ring post. Back in the ring, Rollins hit The Stomp. Rollins applied a Peruvian Necktie finish, Rey was out of it and that was it for the submission win after 18 minutes.
Winner by submission: Seth “Freakin” Rollins
Analysis: ***1/2 This was a great match between two talented veterans. It continued the Rey-Dominik story while also proving a lot of exciting moments in the ring with some nearfalls from both guys. The cheap finish with Ripley getting involved was a predictable way to end it, but it fit the story and also is the kind of thing you expect Rollins to take advantage of. Rollins doing a submission finish is a message to Matt Riddle ahead of their Fight Pit Match. Rollins getting the win was the right move since he’s in a big match at Extreme Rules.
Matt Riddle was shown watching Rollins on a big TV backstage. Bobby Lashley, the US Champion, walked up to Riddle to wish him good luck against Damian Priest. Bobby said that they know what it’s like to fight in a cage saying you either get tapped out or knocked. Riddle was confident about the match saying he’s going to knock Seth out or submit him. Lashley told Riddle to not get involved in one of his matches ever again. Riddle said “my bad” to that. Lashley wished Riddle good luck against Seth and told him to knock Seth’s teeth in. Riddle thanked him.
Analysis: I like how Lashley has been booked as a fighting babyface US Champion, but I would like to see him in a meaningful feud leading to a PPV match. Lashley wasn’t in a match at Clash at the Castle and likely won’t be in a match at Extreme Rules unless they find something for him.
Kevin Owens and Johnny Gargano were shown walking backstage. One of the “Mizforce” security guys was down on the floor so Owens laughed about it.
This week on Smackdown in Winnipeg, Manitoba: Sami Zayn & Solo Sikoa vs. Ricochet & Madcap Moss.
The Alpha Academy of Chad Gable & Otis made their entrance with American flags leading to boos since they were in Canada. I prefer the fan holding the Canadian flag at ringside. Johnny Gargano made his entrance first followed by Kevin Owens, who got a massive pop since he’s a babyface and a Canadian. We love our Canadians. Gargano was cheered too. Anyway, they are good friends and Saxton mentioned that they never got to team together in the indies even though they wanted to use the Panda Express tag team name.
Johnny Gargano & Kevin Owens vs. Alpha Academy (Chad Gable & Otis)
Johnny got a headscissors and dropkick on Gable. The bigger guys Otis and Owens tagged in leading to some shoulder block attempts from them. Owens hit a dropkick on Otis, Gable tagged in, Otis hit a senton splash and a moonsault off the middle ropes. Owens with a clothesline, Gargano tagged in and jumped onto KO’s back leading to a double team splash onto Gable. Gargano with a shoulder tackle from the apron, but Otis made the blind tag and Otis hit a World’s Strongest Slam to take control.
The heels were in control as Otis slammed Gargano into the corner while the fans were singing for Owens, who was encouraging it. Gargano broke free by sending Gable over the top to the floor while Otis missed a charge, so he hit the ring post. Gargano rolled up Gable leading to a kick to break free. Owens got the hot tag with an atomic drop on Gable, then a clothesline and KO knocked Otis off the apron. Owens bounced off the ropes with a clothesline. Owens did a “suck it” gesture leading to a cannonball in the corner and a cradle suplex into the knee for two. Owens jumped off the top with a Swanton Bomb, but Gable got the knees up to block. Gable jumped off the top with a moonsault, Owens avoided it, they each did some moves that were countered and Owens applied a Sharpshooter as a Bret Hart tribute leading to cheers from the crowd. Otis saved his partner with a clothesline to the back of KO’s head while doing his own “suck it” gesture to the crowd. Gargano tagged in, he kicked Owens off the apron, Gable sent Gargano into the ropes, Owens tagged in, Gargano with a kick and he sent Gable into the turnbuckle. Owens jumped off the top with a Swanton Bomb for a two count. Owens wanted a Popup Powerbomb, Gable slipped out of it and hit a German Suplex. That was great. Gargano tagged in, but Gable was ready with a Northern Lights Suplex and another suplex across the ring. Otis picked up Gargano on his shoulders leading to Gable hitting a top rope bulldog for two as KO made the save. Otis splashed Owens against the turnbuckle, Owens to the floor and Otis knocked KO down with a clothesline. Otis charged, KO moved and Otis hit the ring post. Owens with two superkicks. Otis was laying on the commentary table after taking the cover off. Owens jumped off the barricade with an elbow drop to put Otis through the table. The two legal men were Gargano & Gable in the ring with Gargano delivering a clothesline. Austin Theory showed up at ringside to distract Gargano, so Gable hit a forearm followed by a Cliffhanger DDT slam off the shoulders for a two count. Theory tried to attack Gargano on the floor, but Johnny ducked it and hit a superkick on Theory on the floor. With Gargano on the apron, he kicked Gable and jumped back into the ring with the One Final Beat DDT for the pinfall win by Gargano on Gable. This went 13 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Johnny Gargano & Kevin Owens
Analysis: ***3/4 Awesome match. The last few minutes were so great. I enjoyed this match a lot because it was fast-paced with some clever spots. Owens & Gargano are so talented in the ring, Gable is right there with him and they used Otis perfectly with the power spots. I also thought it was clever to have Owens take out Otis on the commentary table in a spot that worked between two guys who were not the legal men in the match. Gargano beating Gable made sense since they want to keep building up Gargano as a relative newcomer on Raw. I’d be in favor of seeing Owens/Gargano team up again in the future.
AJ Styles was shown walking backstage with another Mizforce security guy on the ground. Kevin Patrick asked Styles about rejecting The Judgment Day’s offer. Styles said he’s been on his own for a while now. Finn Balor walked up to Styles saying he was his friend. Balor said that The Judgment Day has accomplished so much, but Balor said if they were together they could change the business again. Balor said that Styles faces Sami Zayn, who has backup with Solo Sikoa, so Balor offered to watch his back and Styles told him he’ll watch his own back.
Omos was shown walking backstage with MVP.
A Royal Rumble classic video was shown of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin winning his second straight Rumble in 1998. That Rumble win by Austin was one of the most obvious Rumble wins ever since it was on the road to Austin’s first WWE Title. They showed that because Royal Rumble tickets go on sale this Friday. The Rumble is on January 28th in San Antonio.
Austin Theory was shown talking to Chad Gable & Otis backstage. Theory wasn’t happy about their loss while Gable said that Otis and him were dealing with that doofus Braun Strowman in recent weeks. Theory’s phone started ringing, the person said it was for Gable, so they went to speakerphone to reveal that it was Strowman calling. Strowman said that he’s challenging Gable to a match on Raw in his hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota. Gable was scared and said “Shoosh, please” quietly. Theory told Otis that next week he’s going to face Johnny Gargano and it will be the end of Gargano’s short and sad career.
Omos (w/MVP) vs. Two Guys With No Chance aka Greg Lester & Joey Gibson
MVP was on commentary. Omos shoved both guys over the top to the floor. Omos kicked one of the guys on the floor. Back in the ring, Omos hit a running corner splash. Omos slammed a guy named Joey Gibson into the ring and a shoulder tackle. Omos with a Choke Bomb on both guys back to back. Otis did a one foot pin cover for the pinfall win in under two minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Omos
Analysis: 1/4* A squash match to put over Omos in a big way. It was smart to keep it short.
Omos sent both opponents out of the ring. Omos put the two guys onto the commentary table and Omos let out a loud yell while posing on the table. That was it.
The Miz was shown walking backstage looking at his phone and then he saw his Mizforce security guys on the floor. Miz also realized that he was there when suddenly Lumis was shown standing behind Miz wearing Edmonton Oilers hockey gear. Lumis took off the goalie mask, then he hit Miz with a hockey stick to the gut. Lumis hit Miz in the back with a stick. Lumis applied the Silence submission and then patted him on the head. The fans were chanting “Let’s Go Oilers” for their hockey team.
Analysis: That was a creative way to have Lumis attack Miz again. I’ll give the creative team some credit for coming up with unique ways to do it. I think it will lead to a match between the two guys.
Candice LeRae made her WWE return to face Nikki A.S.H. in a match. Candice gave birth to Quill back in February – the son she had with her husband Johnny Gargano. Graves spoke about how talented Candice was as a wrestler. Candice’s WWE deal expired, so she is back and that’s a great thing because she’s a talented wrestler. Good reaction for Candice from the crowd.
Analysis: Candice is really good in the ring. She was solid as both a heel and a face in NXT, but didn’t become the Women’s Champion there although she did become an NXT Women’s Tag Team Champion with Indi Hartwell. She’s a nice addition to the women’s roster in WWE.
Candice LeRae vs. Nikki A.S.H.
Candice blocked a kick and hit a dropkick. Nikki trapped Candice against the ring apron (the Finlay move) and hit Candice with forearms. Back in the ring, Candice got a rollup. Candice unleashed on Nikki with punches, then a running back attack in the corner and a backstabber using double knees to the back. Candice went to the turnbuckle, Nikki went after her there, but Candice hit a neckbreaker off the middle turnbuckle for the pinfall win after about two minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Candice LeRae
Analysis: *1/2 Easy win for Candice. It was smart to have her win to make her look impressive right off the bat on Raw.
After the match, Nikki took off her ridiculous mask while looking sad against the turnbuckle.
Analysis: Good for Nikki. End the stupid Nikki A.S.H. gimmick that was fine for a short time as a face, but it doesn’t really work as a heel. Go back to the Nikki Cross name.
There was a video that aired promoting Logan Paul’s match against the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns at Crown Jewel on November 5th. They showed Logan’s promo from the press conference including his awkward “I am the table” line.
It was AJ Styles against Sami Zayn up next.
They showed photos of Bianca Belair on ESPN College GameDay since she was there to support the Tennessee Volunteers, who got a big win over the Florida Gators last Saturday.
The Judgment Day was interviewed by Kevin Patrick. Damian Priest said he’s going to have zero remorse for what he does to his former friend Matt Riddle. Priest said that this is his crew, this is his family and they run Raw. Priest said that for the past year, Riddle spent most of the last year pretending to be somebody else (Randy Orton) and Priest said that Rollins has got Riddle thinking he was back in UFC. Priest looked into the camera to talk to his former friend Riddle saying he will fall while Priest will rise.
Sami Zayn got a big ovation joined by Solo Sikoa. Sami was cheered in part due to being a Canadian. Zayn was wearing his new shirt that said “The Honorary Uce” on it. They showed a clip from last week on Smackdown when Roman gave Sami the new shirt after Jey Uso ripped The Bloodline shirt off. Sami acknowledge Roman as The Tribal Chief after that. AJ Styles got a nice ovation for his entrance as they showed clips of the Twitter trash talk between Styles and Zayn to set up this match.
Analysis: This Bloodline storyline with Sami Zayn is my favorite story in wrestling right now. They are slowly going to build to the moment where The Bloodline kicks Sami’s ass and Sami is going to be massively over as a babyface. He already is getting cheered at times. I think Sami will reunite with Kevin Owens as the guys that beat The Usos for the Tag Team Titles, but they could have even more with Sami going against Roman Reigns down the line. It’s for the future, though. There’s no reason to rush it.
AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn (w/Solo Sikoa)
The fans did the “Ole” chants for Zayn, who hit a shoulder tackle and put up a finger for The Ones as part of The Bloodline group. Styles came back with a headscissors leading into a backbreaker. Zayn hit a back body drop. Zayn jumped off the middle rope with an elbow to the head for two. Zayn dumped Styles out of the ring, Zayn sent Styles into the ring apron twice. Zayn hit a springboard moonsault onto a standing Styles on the floor and back in the ring for a two count. Styles came back with a corner clothesline followed by a slam off the shoulders leading to a knee against the back of the neck. Styles picked up Zayn leading to a Rack Bomb off the shoulders for a two count. Zayn went to the floor, so Styles jumped over the top with a forearm to the face.
They each countered a suplex leading to Styles hitting a neckbreaker. Styles wanted the forearm, Zayn avoided it and Styles got a rollup for two. Styles suplexed Zayn into the turnbuckle, which led to Zayn rolling to the floor near Solo at ringside. After Styles stared at Solo for a few moments, Zayn capitalized in the ring with a boot to the face and a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. That’s a great move that Sami always does for a two count. Zayn hit a suplex into a sitout powerbomb for a two count. That was a great spot that Zayn doesn’t do often. Zayn sent Styles into the ring post two times and tossed him over the barricade. The referee was counting Styles out of the ring, but Styles managed to run back into the ring before the ten count. They exchanged strikes, Zayn hit a boot to the face and Styles hit a Pele Kick. The fans were cheering as the show went to break.
In two weeks on WWE Raw, there will be a Degeneration X reunion to celebrate the 25-year anniversary of the group. Plus, Roman Reigns & The Bloodline return to Raw in Brooklyn in two weeks on the “Season Premiere” of Raw on October 10th.
The match continued with Zayn countering Styles coming out of the corner and Zayn hit an Exploder Suplex that sent Styles into the turnbuckle. Styles bailed to the floor, Zayn sent Styles into the ring and Styles rolled through into a Calf Crusher submission. Zayn sold it really well, but Zayn crawled to the bottom rope to break the hold. Zayn with a jawbreaker, Styles came back with a sunset flip and he wanted a Styles Clash only for Zayn to fight out of it. Zayn sent Styles to the apron, Zayn grabbed AJ’s hair, the referee made Zayn move back and Solo gave Zayn a uranage slam onto the ring apron. When Styles slowly got back up, Zayn hit the Helluva Kick for the pinfall win after 20 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Sami Zayn
Analysis: **** An excellent match between two of the best wrestlers in WWE getting 20 minutes to do their thing. A big win for Zayn in a match that could have gone either way. They teased Solo getting involved throughout the match, then had him get involved right before the finish and that led to Zayn hitting the Helluva Kick for the win. The Bloodline looked strong yet again, which is smart considering they are probably going to be part of the WarGames match in November, so they should win matches. It sucks for Styles a bit, but it wasn’t a clean finish and can build to Styles having a rematch with Zayn or facing Solo in the future. Plus, the finish played into what happened after the match too. I enjoyed this match a lot.
Styles was in the ring selling after the loss and The Judgment Day foursome of Damian Priest, Finn Balor, Rhea Ripley & Dominik Mysterio made their entrance together.
Balor said it pains him to see Styles like this. Balor said that if Styles accepted their offer then the finish may have been different. Balor told Styles that he deserved better. Balor got into the ring with Styles asking him as a friend to rise up and join The Judgment Day. The fans booed that idea. When Styles got up, Balor put up a hand gesture, but Styles refused it by giving Balor a middle finger gesture. That led to Priest, Balor & Dominik beating up Styles with stomps in the ring. Balor put a chair around AJ’s neck, but Balor stopped himself before stomping on the chair. Balor told Styles he could have ended his career, but he is AJ’s friend and that is not what friends do. The Judgment Day stood tall over Styles as the JDay music played.
Analysis: I’m glad that AJ is part of a story now after such a long time without much of a storyline. Styles and Balor are good friends with ties to the Bullet Club group in their past. That’s definitely a rivalry that I want to see in WWE. If Styles joined the group he’d get a lot more TV time too, but I think they’ll keep Styles as a face that isn’t part of this J-Day group.
A graphic was shown saying that John Cena has the Guinness Book of World Records 650 wishes granted for the Make A Wish foundation. Cena has been away ahead with that record for many years, but they wanted to celebrate 650 of them, which makes sense.
They showed Bianca Belair, Alexa Bliss and Asuka with Belair & Bliss singing “happy birthday” to Asuka. Candice LeRae walked up to them as they exchanged pleasantries. Bayley and Damage CTRL was standing there, so that led to Candice and Dakota exchanging words. That led to a match being set up for next week. Bayley and Belair also did some trash talk ahead of their Extreme Rules match.
Next Monday on Raw in St. Paul, Minnesota:
* Braun Strowman vs. Chad Gable.
* Johnny Gargano vs. Otis.
I assume Candice LeRae vs. Dakota Kai will take place as well since they just set it up in that previous segment.
Matt Riddle made his entrance for his match against Damian Priest, who was already in the ring with The Judgment Day.
Damian Priest vs. Matt Riddle (w/Finn Balor, Dominik Mysterio & Rhea Ripley)
Priest was in control early on with a headscissors using his legs, Riddle broke free and then they got into a slugfest. The former friends knew eachother well, so they avoided moves, then Riddle kicked Priest in the butt. Riddle with a gutwrench suplex followed by a broton splash for two. Riddle ran the ropes, but Priest was ready for him with a spinning kick to the face. Riddle used a headscissors to pull Priest over the top to the floor. Riddle with a kick, Balor took it and then Priest hit Riddle with a forearm to the face. Priest with a lifting slam into a suplex position leading to a slam onto the top of the barricade. That looked impressive.
Riddle hit a ripcord knee, then a leaping forearm to the face and Riddle hit an overhead suplex across the ring. Priest was on the floor, Riddle with a kick to the chest and Riddle hit a springboard attack off the ropes onto Priest on the floor. Riddle hit Priest with a knee to the face. Riddle went up top for another move, but Priest shoved Riddle off the top rope. Riddle was selling a right rib injury after nailing the barricade. Priest sent Riddle into the barricade on the other side of the ring.
The match continued with Priest going to the top rope for a move that was never going to happen, so Riddle gave him a superplex for two. Priest and Riddle exchanged strikes, Riddle hit a knee, Priest did the bell clap around the head and Riddle hit a kick to the head. Riddle jumped off the ropes, Priest caught him on his shoulder and Riddle managed to hit the Bro Derek slam for two. That used to be Riddle’s finisher, but I guess he’s using the RKO as a finish now. Riddle had a shocked reaction that it only got a two count. Riddle went up top, Ripley provided a distraction, Priest capitalized with a clothesline and a lifting flatliner into the mat for two. Riddle avoided a Priest move, then Priest tried a move off the ropes, but Riddle hit a jumping knee. Balor on the apron, Riddle was distracted and Priest picked up Riddle, but Riddle managed to take him down into a pinning move with Riddle hooking the leg for the win. This went 19 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Matt Riddle
Analysis: ***3/4 It was yet another great match on this show. These two definitely had chemistry together going back to their friendship from their NXT days and they likely spent a lot of time training in the ring doing some of the spots we saw in this match. Priest won’t be hurt by that loss since it was on a counter move rather than a finisher. Plus, it’s the right call to have Riddle win since he has a big match at Extreme Rules while Priest is not on the card at this point. Giving Riddle positive momentum with a win is the right move.
There were a few minutes left, so The Judgment Day did a 4-on-1 attack on Riddle. Priest gave Riddle a South of Heaven Chokeslam. Edge’s music hit and Edge ran to the ring with a Spear on Priest! The crowd exploded for their fellow Canadian. Edge hit a Spear on Balor as well. The crowd was going crazy for Edge by giving him a standing ovation. Edge told The Judgment Day that they have tried to finish him, but Edge always comes back and he got to come back in Edmonton – in his country. Edge said he doesn’t quit. Edge told Balor he’s going to challenge him to a match at Extreme Rules in a first-time ever singles match and it’s going to be an I Quit Match. The fans popped huge for Edge while he exchanged words with Balor from a distance. The show ended there.
Analysis: There have been a lot of Edge returns in this storyline and every time he comes back, he gets those huge pops. I love to see that. Obviously being a Canadian wrestling legend in front of an Edmonton crowd is going to lead to an even louder ovation because we love our fellow Canadians. Anyway, I like the idea of Edge facing Balor in an “I Quit” match. That should be awesome.
Three Stars of the Show
- Sami Zayn/Seth “Freakin” Rollins
- Kevin Owens/Johnny Gargano
- Matt Riddle/Damian Priest
8.5 out of 10
Last week: 8
It was another great episode of Raw. I find myself rating this show above at 8/10 or higher often lately. It’s fun for me to do. There were a lot of terrific matches on the show with Sami Zayn/AJ Styles as my favorite along with the Owens/Gargano win over Alpha Academy and Bianca Belair had a big win over IYO SKY as well. Other matches like Rollins-Rey and Riddle-Priest were a lot of fun to watch too. There’s so much great wrestling on this show every week with all those matches getting a lot of time and they are fresh matchups too instead of rematches.
They also did a nice job of advancing stories throughout the night. Edge got a huge pop making his return after the main event to set up the Extreme Rules match against Finn Balor, which should be an incredible match. The Miz/Lumis story was also furthered a bit with another Lumis attack. The heel groups The Judgment Day and Damage CTRL continue to have a strong presence on Raw every week as well.
It was cool seeing Candice LeRae make her WWE return as well since she’ll add more depth and veteran experience to the women’s division. Candice returning a month after her husband Johnny Gargano is cool to see. They’re talented veteran wrestlers who make everybody around them better.
If you’re wondering about the QR Code appearance on Raw, here’s a summary of more of the hints. Basically, nothing was given away, but I still think it’s going to lead to a Bray Wyatt return at Extreme Rules.
The next WWE Premium Live Event is Extreme Rules from Philadelphia on Saturday, October 8th. Here’s what we know so far.
Strap Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Karrion Kross
Fight Pit Match: Matt Riddle vs. Seth Rollins
Extreme Rules Match for the Smackdown Women’s Championship: Liv Morgan (c) vs. Ronda Rousey
Ladder Match for the Raw Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (c) vs. Bayley
“I Quit” Match: Edge vs. Finn Balor
You can watch WWE Extreme Rules on Saturday, Oct. 8, at 8 ET/5 PT, streaming live on Peacock in the United States and on WWE Network everywhere else.
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.