Hey Everybody! It’s @TheMagnumDA with you for tonight’s Raw Report. I hope you enjoyed Payback! I thought it was pretty hit-or-miss, with the “House of Horrors” being a real mess of a match. To give our fans an idea of how poorly planned this match was…the match was to start in the “House of Horrors”, and then it would end in the ring at the arena. So they filmed the “House of Horrors” segment at night, but the match itself finished at 7:00 PM in San Jose. Where it was still partly sunny out. Good show, lads.
We are LIVE from Sacramento, California.
We start with the WWE Women’s Division (from Raw) in the ring. Alexa Bliss, the NEW WWE Women’s Champion, makes her way down the ring. As many of you are aware, Alexa defeated Bayley last night to win the gold. Alexa brags about her accomplishments, and runs down practically everyone on the Raw Women’s Roster. She says there is no longer a Queen…there is now a Goddess, and she is named Alexa Bliss. Funny moment: Alexa backs into Nia Jax and says “We’re good!” Finally, Alexa gets to Bayley, and reminds her of last night’s title change. Alexa brings up Bayley’s nephews, and says she vividly remembers their crying faces after the match. Bliss tells Bayley that it’s alright, because now those kids finally have someone worth looking up to. Bayley loses her STACK and charges after Bliss. The entire place turns into chaos, as all of the women are fighting in the ring! That was quite the segment.
Match #1 – Bayley, Sasha Banks, Mickie James, and Dana Brooke vs. Nia Jax, Emma, Alicia Fox, and the WWE Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss
Bayley and Alexa to start. Alexa ducks out of the way and tags in Emma. Emma looks extra orange tonight. She gets a go-behind on Bayley and beats her down with forearms. Bayley fights back and gets an armbar on Emma. Mickie gets tagged in and takes Emma down with her own armbar. Emma pulls her down by the hair, but Mickie kips up twice and kicks her in the gut. Dana gets tagged in, but Emma dodges out and tags in Alicia Fox. Fox gets tossed into the corner and Dana hits a handspring elbow. Sasha gets tagged in and she works on Alicia’s arm now! Bayley tags in and does the same after a double-team nearfall. Alicia is put in the babyface corner, and Mickie gets tagged in for the corner splash. She hits a sweet diving kick on Fox for the ONE, TWO, no. Sasha tags back in and rolls up Fox for two. Sasha gets the pullback sleeperhold and WRENCHES IT. Fox somehow fights up and catches Sasha in the gut. Banks returns with a hiptoss and knees to the face for two. Booker T calls the Women’s Division “Stiff”. Okay, then. Fox elbows Sasha with an elbow, and dumps her out of the ring. All 8 women use NAME CALLING on the outside as we go to break. Sorry, just entertaining myself at this point. But seriously…name calling into a break?
After the break, Fox has Sasha in…you guessed it! A CHINLOCK. Sasha starts to fight back, but Alicia hits a CRISP Northern Lights Suplex. Alicia starts to put her in a sleeper, but she immediately stops, tags in Nia, and puts Sasha in an armbar. Somebody missed their cue! 😉 Jax comes in and throws Sasha Banks around. She hits a set of elbows for a nearfall. Nia locks in a sleeperhold, and Sasha tries to fight out. Banks is taken back down, but she eventually tries again to kick out. She gets DROPPED in the opponents corner as Alexa gets the tag. Alexa stomps on Sasha’s back and tries to get a three-count. Sasha fights up and makes the hot tag to Bayley. Bayley is a house of fire, hitting her signature moves, followed by the ten-count head smash in the corner post to Alexa. Bayley hits the charge in the corner, followed by the Belly-to-Bayley. This is countered by Alexa, as Nia comes in and saves the day. The match turns into a war on the outside and inside, with all eight women brawling everywhere. FOX AND BANKS ARE KICKING THE CRAP OUT OF EACH OTHER OUTSIDE! Back inside, Alexa catches Bayley with an eyerake and a DDT! ONE, TWO, THREE!
Winners: Nia Jax, Emma, Alicia Fox, and the WWE Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss (**1/2)
The announcers recap last night’s PPV bouts, including victories for Braun Strowman and Seth Rollins at Payback.
Match #2 – Enzo Amore vs. Luke Gallows
Enzo and Cass come out to do their bit, but Gallows and Anderson come out to start some trouble before the bell. After the break, the match is underway. Gallows hits a HUGE boot to start. Enzo gets stomped down and pounded in the corner by Gallows. Luke wrenches the arm and takes Enzo down. Enzo fights out, but his dropkick is swiped away, and Gallows follows with a clothesline and an armbar into a gutwrench. This is turned into a one-armed body slam. Luke continues to wrench the arm, to the point that the ref asks Enzo if he wants to continue. Luke grabs the arm and pulls against the rope. Enzo is hurting here. HUGE boot in the corner by Gallows. Enzo tries to fight out of the corner, but Gallows nails the arm once more, taking down Amore. Gallows goes back to the arm, as the crowd tries to get into this match. Enzo gets up on his feet, but gets pulled back down by the hair. Enzo finally fights up and fights out of the corner, planting Gallows with a miracle jumping DDT from the middle rope! He hits Gallows with fists and a kick to the knee, taking him down. Enzo does a dance, but Gallow drills him with another boot. Somehow, Enzo rolls up Luke for the ONE, TWO, NO! Enzo goes up but gets distracted by Karl Anderson, leading to Gallows catching Enzo on his shoulders and finishing him with a modified fireman’s slam for the ONE, TWO, THREE!
Winner: Luke Gallows (*)
Backstage, TJ Perkins says that Neville may have escaped with the title last night. Neville tells him that this is about the title, and TJ wants a shot…he’s got to beat Austin Aries tonight. It feels like Neville is holding something over TJ’s head…maybe it’s just the title! Maybe more.
Seth Rollins is out for a promo. Great reaction from the crowd! He talks about last night’s victory at Payback over Samoa Joe. He says that everything has come full circle in the last month, and now he’s ready for more. He wants BROCK LESNAR! Before we go any further, we get FINN BALOR. He comes out and says that when it comes to challenging The Beast, the line starts here! This brings out the IC Champion Dean Ambrose, who says he’s itching for action. The Miz and Maryse are here! Miz is in full Wall Street mode with that greasy, slicked back hair. Miz starts talking smack, so the guys all yell “SHUT UP!” Dean Ambrose polls the fans, and then calls Kurt Angle on his cell phone. Silly touch. A Triple Threat match is announced for the #1 Contender to the Intercontinental Championship, featuring The Miz, Seth Rollins, and Finn Balor.
We get a recap of last night’s main event from Payback, where Braun Strowman destroyed Roman Reigns.
Match #3 – Tony Nese, The Brian Kendrick, and Noam Dar vs. Rich Swann, Akira Tozawa, and Gentleman Jack Gallagher
MORE PURPLE TAPE, PLEASE! In addition to William III, we have a William IV and William V sighting (!!!) Akira and Kendrick trade forearms to start, and Akira takes advantage. Akira rolls out and kicks Kendrick right in the face. Nese tags in and smashes Akira with an elbow. Nese whips Akira in the corner, and launches him with a hip toss. Nese puts Akira in the Torture Rack, but Tozawa rakes the eyes and tags to Swann. Dar tags in and it’s all about that FOXY LOVE. Gallagher tags during a sequence, and they start brawling all over the place. Nese is tossed out onto his teammates as the good guys celebrate in the ring!
After the break, Kendrick has Tozawa in a front face lock. Kendrick with a snap suplex for the two count. Nese is tagged in, and he picks up where Brian left off. Nese kicks Akira while he is down and taunts. Tony hits some more forearms, followed by a one-armed flexing suplex belly-first onto the TOP ROPE! That was VICIOUS. Dar tags in and snaps Tozawa’s arm in four places. Well, it looked like it. Akira fights up but gets dropped again by Dar. Nese tags back in. This is quite a showcase for Tony Nese. Another Torture Rack to Tozawa. Akira tries to fight for a tag, but he gets dropped by Nese. Nese taunts again and gets suplexed by Tozawa. Dar tags in and here’s a hot tag to Rich Swann! Lariats for all three men, followed by a kick and a rolling Harlem Sidekick, followed by a splash for ONE, TWO, NO! Kendrick tries Sliced Bread #2, but Gallagher tags in! Headbutt for two! Nese comes in and he gets a headbutt! Kendrick from behind with the Captain’s Hook! SHINING WIZARD by Tozawa! Dives to the outside! Back in, GENTLEMAN’S DROPKICK by Gallagher to Kendrick! ONE, TWO, THREE!
Winners: Rich Swann, Akira Tozawa, and Gentleman Jack Gallagher (***1/4)
The announcers recap more matches from Payback, including the WWE Tag Team Championship Match. The Hardy Brothers retained against Cesaro and Sheamus. Two things became apparent: First, the Europeans turned heel. Second, I am really starting to dislike Sheamus for his utter in-ring carelessness. First, Daniel Bryan…and now Jeff Hardy last night. Not cool. Both times, the guys were prone, yet Sheamus had to hit as hard as he did. No excuses.
Sheamus and Cesaro come out for their promo. Michael Cole with a decent Travis Bickle impression! Sheamus says he’s been living in a “fog of delusion”. That might explain why he’s such a sloppy worker. He explained that Cesaro tried to talk him into a positive mindset, but that was thrown out the window when the Hardy Boyz showed up. Cesaro cuts an impassioned promo as a heel! Not bad! Sheamus rubs it in with the “whole tooth”, and they have a new catchphrase: “WE DON’T SET THE BAHHR, WE AHHR DA BAHHR!!” Whatever. Matt and Jeff Hardy show up, and we get a little bit of the Broken Matt Hardy, complete with illuminating words! They even get to “DELETE!” before running down the aisle to fight. The Europeans retreat and pose on the stage.
Miz is backstage with Charly. Dean shows up, takes Charly’s microphone, and interviews Miz. Miz is mortified, and walks off. Dean throws it back to Gene and Bobby. I love it.
Match #4 – Heath Slater vs. Apollo Crews
Good reaction for Apollo and Titus! Crews powers Slater down, but Slater reverses into a front face lock. Apollo powers out of this and puts Heath in a headlock. Good sequence where Apollo and Heath trade headlocks and legscissors. Crews shoulder tackles Slater, but Heath catches him with an armdrag! Crews catches an arm drag and a dropkick for two! Slater with a roll up for the two! After they go outside, Slater catches him with a headlock, Crews with a huge kick and a kip up! Crews catches the enziguiri on Slater! Sit out ATOMIC BOMB by Crews! ONE, TWO, THREE! I like this Apollo/Titus tandem.
Winner: Apollo Crews (*)
We get yet ANOTHER recap of the match from Payback between Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman. Kurt Angle arrives for an announcement regarding these two men! Braun Strowman apparently has a torn rotator cuff, which is actually a huge news story, if true. As Angle continues, he’s interrupted by the keeper of the HOUSE OF HORRORS! So quick editorial…is it just me, or is it finally time for Wyatt to have a character makeover? He’s really losing me with this goofy, southern-fried horror show. Reminds me of something on the Sci-Fi Network at 2 AM. Anyways. Wyatt stands in the ring with Angle, and offers a handshake. Wyatt declares himself to be a savior who will help Kurt Angle. Bray asks Kurt if he’s going to stand in his way while Wyatt does his bidding. Kurt simply says that this is his show. I think that’s a “No”, young Brayden. I think I’m starting to get it: Whereas The Undertaker was The Lord of Darkness, Bray Wyatt simply fancies himself as Satan…with Battlefield Earth dreadlocks. Ooh, maybe Wyatt is Xenu!
Seth Rollins is backstage when DEAN AMBROSE interviews him. Awkward, but funny exchange between the two. Their feelings are thinly veiled. “BACK TO YOU, GORILLA!”
Match #5 – Austin Aries vs. TJ Perkins
MORE PURPLE TAPE, PLEASE! Aries tosses TJP to start and POUNDS him in the corner. Aries with a huge set of elbows to the head. Aries with an EARCLAP, bringing TJP to his knees. They tussle on the apron, and Aries catches a missile dropkick for two! Last Chancery is blocked, but Aries elbows Perkins and knocks him down. Aries starts to go up the ropes, but TJ kicks out Aries’ leg from under him, causing a Tree of Woe effect! Aries might be seriously hurt. They go to break with Aries down and the ref checking on him.
After the break, TJ DABS for the crowd, and then wraps up Aries in the modified Rings of Saturn. They have an awesome exchange where TJ attacks the knee, as Perkins continues to kick Aries down in the corner. Aries’ knees are worked over some more, and during an irish whip Aries collapses in the middle of the ring. Somehow, Aries fights back into the match. Aries takes TJ to the corner, but he can’t get up. He tries to spear him, but TJ moves and Aries gets caught in a sick leglock from the top rope! TJ goes outside and grabs Aries’ legs, but Austin pulls the legs in and Perkins gets knocked into the post.
Aries fights up and hits the HEAT SEEKING MISSLE from the bottom rope! Aries with chops, an STO, Tick-Tock, and a snapmare leading to a back elbow to TJ for the ONE, TWO, NO! Aries loses his grip on a suplex, and TJ catches a kick combo. Aries fights up and hits a shin breaker into a sick flip suplex! TJ gets up and takes advantage, looking to finish Aries off! TJ goes for the Detonation Kick, but it’s rolled right into the Last Chancery with the bridge! TJP taps!!
Winner: Austin Aries (**3/4)
After the match, TJP locks in the signature kneebar. Aries is screaming in pain! The crowd is booing TJ out of the ring. Backstage, Dean Ambrose is interviewing Finn Balor. They enjoy a donut together and talk about their future plans. THE DRIFTER shows up. Dean is hilarious here. “Do you know any Pearl Jam?” Then we go to Goldust and R-Truth, who get themselves booked into a Tag Team Turmoil match next week. The winners become #1 Contender’s to the Tag Team Championship.
Main Event – Triple Threat #1 Contender’s Match for the Intercontinental Championship
Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins vs. The Miz
Miz rolls out of the ring as Balor and Seth start. Balor and Rollins are trying to have a match, but Miz keeps sticking his nose in, and this distracts the two. Finally, they’ve had enough. They chase down Miz and he tries to negotiate with both men. They both attack him and Balor throws him out of the ring. Meanwhile, Rollins tries to catch a quick one on Balor! Miz gets drop kicked by Seth, but Balor gets a dropkick of his own after a reversal!. Balor goes to the apron, where Miz pulls him off and sends him crashing. Rollins hits a SICK FLIP over Maryse onto Miz! Back inside, they all trade offensive moves on each other in rapid fashion, leading to Seth Rollins getting thrown off the top rope by Miz onto the barricade!
After the break, Miz has Balor in a headlock, and then drives a knee to the ribs after an Irish Whip. Balor gets the knees up after a charge, and then hits a dropkick. Rollins almost lands on his head with a NASTY SPRINGBOARD DIVE that goes awry! Lands right on Balor’s shoulder! Miz and Rollins seem to improvise while Balor rolls outside. Balor gets up on the apron, and Miz rams Rollins right into Finn! Miz takes advantage with the Daniel Bryan kicks to the chest! Dropkick into a DDT combination to Rollins and Miz! “THIS IS AWESOME” chant! Balor with running chops to each corner, and a kick sends Miz to the outside! Balor with a PREMIER LEAGUE KICK to Miz’s face! Finn runs Seth into the barricade and sends him back in. 1916! ONE, TWO, NO! Balor and Miz have an exchange where Finn sends Miz to the outside, but Miz interrupts Finn while trying to finish Seth Rollins.
Miz and Seth with a HOT series of moves, including a kick to the injured knee on Rollins, leading to a Miz DDT. Figure 4 try by Miz, but Rollins counters. Miz tries again after grapevining the leg with his own shoulder, and gets it. Balor interrupts Miz for the ONE, TWO, NO! This is followed by a wonderful kick sequence and a Thrust Kick by Rollins to Balor! ONE, TWO, NO! Miz gets planted into the corner by Rollins, and then Seth connects with a DOUBLE BLOCKBUSTER and a FROGSPLASH to Balor! ONE, TWO, NO! Rollins and Miz with an UNBELIEVABLE sequence, where Rollins catches Miz in the corner and leaps for the Superplex into the Falcon Arrow! Suicide Dives to both Balor and Miz, but SAMOA JOE comes in and hits the Uranage on Rollins! Back inside, SLING BLADE and the dropkick to the corner by Balor to Miz! THE LIGHTS ARE OUT, IT’S BRAY WYATT! SISTER ABIGAIL TO BALOR! Miz crawls to Balor’s body and drapes an arm over him! ONE, TWO, THREE! That was the best match of Miz’s career, no doubt. He’s got two incredible dance partners to thank for that one.
Winner: The Miz (****1/2)
Final Thoughts: Well, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but that was an absolute blowaway Main Event. I’m seriously impressed that Miz could keep up with those young stallions, and this match opened the doors to your three key matches at the next PPV. I thought this was a fantastic Raw coming off of a lackluster Payback. Awesome stuff.