Hey, everybody! It’s @TheMagnumDA here with your Raw report, LIVE from London. Okay, well not exactly live for us here in the United States, but it’s all good! 🙂
We open tonight’s Raw with Dean Ambrose, who comes out and declares that Kurt Angle made him the GM for tonight. This brings Miz out, who says that Stephanie McMahon gave him authority to be a Co-GM with Dean tonight. Braun Strowman comes out and says he’s not finished with Roman Reigns. Strowman says when Reigns is finally unable to walk, he wants a piece of Brock Lesnar. This brings out Kalisto, who cuts yet another nervous promo about sick and tired of being treated like trash by Braun. Here’s the thing about Kalisto: He’s got a track record of being a spaz when it comes to his interviews. He’s going to have to step up his game soon on the live show. He challenges Braun, and Braun says, “When I’m healthy, I’ll destroy you. Hell, I could beat you with one arm.” That’s good enough for Co-GM Ambrose, who books a match between the two. Miz then gets booked in a one-on-one match with Finn Balor…and it starts right MEOW!
Match #1 – Finn Balor vs. The Miz
They feel each other out, and Miz runs outside. Miz comes back in and Balor gets a go-behind into a takedown. Balor gets a near-fall and then gets a wristlock. Miz elbows him in the face and does the Balor taunt. Balor tries a Sunset Flip, and follows it up with a kick to the face, followed by a combo. Dropkick gets a two by Balor. Miz misses a charge into the corner, and Balor smacks him in the mouth with a side kick. Finn hits a clothesline that sends Miz over the top rope to the outside. Balor follows him out and dropkicks him into the barricade. Balor tries to go up for his finisher, but Maryse pulls Miz out of the ring as we go to commercial.
During the break, they play cat and mouse but Miz catches Balor with another wicked elbow, sending him to the barricade. Miz continues the assault with a vicious kick to the head and a nearfall. Balor fights up after a chinlock, chopping Miz on the chest. Miz counters Finn with his neckbreaker combo for ONE, TWO, NO! Miz tries to hit the Skull Crushing Finale, but Balor rolls him up for two! Miz kicks him in the shin and DDTs him for the ONE, TWO, NO! Finn gets up and fights back! They reverse the Irish Whip and Miz drills him with a knee to the gut. Miz with another chinlock. Miz is all elbows, chinlocks, and DDTs, you ever notice that? Balor fights up but runs right into a boot to the face. Miraculously, Balor returns serve with the overhead kick!
The fans count on as the ref counts to ten, as both men are down. They get up and Balor starts to pick up the pace with chops, elbows, and kicks. Miz is thrown in the corner but boots Finn in the face. Miz is crotched on the corner and sent to the outside with a kick. Finn follows it up with a couple more kicks, including the running apron kick to Miz’s face! They go back in and Miz begs off. Maryse distracts the ref, as Miz shoves Finn into the referee. Miz then says, “As co-acting GM, I cannot allow a WWE Superstar to put his hands on a referee. Referee, disqualify Finn Balor and ring the bell.” Miz apparently wins by DQ! Well, until Dean Ambrose comes out. Ambrose restarts the match immediately, and Miz is jumped by Balor! Balor hits the Sling Blade and the running kick to the corner! Coup De Grace! ONE, TWO, THREE!
Winner: Finn Balor (***)
Alexa Bliss is backstage when Nia Jax walks in. Nia asks if Alexa meant what she said when she called her great last week. Nia warns her that, after Bayley, she’s coming for her. Bliss said that she doesn’t make the matches…Kurt Angle does. Nia says that’s fine, and until then they’re going to be buddies. Bliss is terrified of this prospect.
Match #2 – WWE Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss (with Nia Jax) vs. Mickie James (with Bayley)
They lock up and Alexa puts her in the corner. They lock up again and Mickie almost gets her in a nearfall! That was wild. Mickie pummels her and Alexa gets angry. Mickie snapmares her and kicks her in the face AGAIN. Bliss charges again but runs into a neckbreaker by Mickie for two. Bliss is dropkicked outside as we go to break. During the break, Bliss runs outside to Nia Jax, in a sign of solidarity. Bliss gets back in by catching Mickie off-guard as we return to action. Bliss pulls on Mickie’s arm through the ropes in a sick move! Alexa continues to work on the arm, sending Mickie to the mat. Mickie fights up, but gets knocked back down. Mickie is thrown in the corner, and sends Bliss across the ring with a Frankensteiner. Mickie grasps her arm, allowing Bliss to continue her attack on the left arm. Nearfall by Bliss, followed by slaps to the face. Alexa misses a double knee to the face, and Mickie fights back with clotheslines and kicks. Mickie hits a Flapjack for another nearfall! Mickie goes up but gets her foot pulled by Jax. Bayley puts that fire out with a splash to Jax from the apron! Back inside, Alexa knocks Mickie off the ropes and wraps her up for the ONE, TWO, THREE!
Winner: Alexa Bliss (**1/2)
After the match, Bayley chases Alexa off while Nia Jax completely destroys Mickie James with a splash in the corner, followed by a huge running elbow. The crowd is into Nia Jax! I think she’s going to have a slow-burn feud that leads to her taking the title from Alexa. Backstage, Dean is working with a Producer while Miz interrupts. They bicker about the show, and Miz books Dean vs. Bray Wyatt tonight. Then Miz steals the format. What a prick. Charly then interviews Samoa Joe, who tells the world that Seth Rollins lives on his terms. Seth interrupts and WE HAVE A FIGHT. Rollins throws a ladder right at Joe’s head! Refs and Agents separate the two men.
Match #3 – Kalisto vs. Braun Strowman
Oh boy. The match doesn’t start because Braun refuses to fight injured. Follow this logic, if you can: Braun’s cowardly excuse for not fighting is because “ROMAN REIGNS IS A PATHETIC COWARD WHO WON’T FACE ME.” You know, Braun…you walking away from this fight makes you a bigger coward than anyone. Just saying. The ref rings the bell anyways and Braun slaughters him with a boot. This is followed by a kicks to the ribs, and kicks in the corner. Roman Reigns’ music plays as he makes his arrival! Roman walks down the aisle and climbs on the apron. The ref has called the match.
Winner: No Contest
In the ring, Roman and Braun have a stare down. Braun goes to attack first, but Roman kicks the injured arm! He follows this with three Superman Punch attacks! Strowman rolls outside and Reigns charges after him. Braun lifts a boot that nails Reigns right into HIS injured shoulder. Roman fights back and goes after Braun’s injured shoulder. He pulls the arm through the corner turnbuckle and WRENCHES it, bringing Strowman to his knees. Roman smacks Braun’s arm on the apron, as the crowd has a “Battle of Wits”. Reigns with some SICK chairshots to Braun’s arm! Strowman retreats out through the crowd as Roman Reigns stands tall.
Match #4 – Tag Team Turmoil
Quick Note: My power went out during the first part of this bout. I will state the results of the first four matches, while doing the report for the final match.
Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Enzo & Cass – Cesaro makes Enzo tap with the Sharpshooter at 6:45.
Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Heath Slater & Rhyno – Sheamus pins Slater with the Brogue Kick at 10:34. The “No More Kids!” chant gets ***** from me.
Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson – Unbelievably, Sheamus hits the Brogue Kick on Gallows for the pinfall at 22:37.
The Europeans have now survived three straight matches!
Final Match: Sheamus & Cesaro vs. R-Truth & Goldust
Sheamus & Cesaro have already fought for nearly 25 straight minutes. To any other team, including The friggin’ ASCENSION, this would be slim pickins’. Ron and Goldie, don’t blow it, guys! They come in and immediately double-team on Sheamus, but this only gets two. The ref sure was lenient, there. He let those guys stay in the ring together for almost a 20-count! Goldust and Sheamus trade rights in the ring. If you followed ECW in the dying days of 2009-2010, you’ll remember there was an AWESOME rivalry between Sheamus and Goldust. 10-punch in the corner by Goldust, followed by a Scoop Powerslam for the ONE, TWO, NO! Cesaro comes back in, but Goldust nails him. Sheamus clubs Goldust over the back, sending him to the outside. Cesaro comes to, and gets the tag from Sheamus. Cesaro brutalizes Goldust with an atomic drop outside the ring, placing the left knee on the barricade. Back inside, Cesaro starts working on the left leg. Sheamus gets the tag and drops a knee on Goldust’s injured leg.
Quick question…I’ve noticed a lot of wrestlers working on the left arm/leg of their opponents tonight. Unless everyone’s a lefty, wouldn’t you want to attack the dominant arm/leg of your opponent? Just a thought.
Sheamus applies a half-crab on Goldust, but Goldie fights out. Cesaro gets tagged in and pulls Goldust back into the neutral area of the ring. Goldust gets sent to the corner, but his left knee gives out. Cesaro continues to kick the leg, bringing Goldust down. Sharpshooter attempt is broken up by Truth! Goldust crawls and eventually makes the tag to R-Truth! Truth with some heel kicks to both men, and the Lie Detector connects on Cesaro for the ONE, TWO, NO! Truth misses a charge, and Cesaro rolls up Truth from behind for the ONE, TWO, THREE! Damn.
Winners: Sheamus & Cesaro (**)
After the match, Truth gets gutted and quartered by the Europeans. This brings out the Hardy Boyz! Cesaro and Sheamus retreat, with Cesaro getting one last stomp on Truth before they run off. Quite the performance by Cesaro and Sheamus!
The announcers recap Rollins and Samoa Joe’s confrontation earlier tonight. This leads to Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe NEXT!
Match #5 – Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe
They brawl to start, with Seth kicking Joe down in the corner. Joe pulls Seth to the outside, but Seth throws Joe headfirst into the apron. They trade chops, and Seth throws Joe right into the barricade. Joe punches Seth right in the heart, and throws him back into the ring. Joe takes a methodical pace, hitting Rollins with punches, chops and headbutts in the corner. Joe throws Seth to the corner, but Seth catches the charge and hits a Single Arm DDT into the second turnbuckle. Rollins climbs over to the other corner and clotheslines Joe from the apron. Seth is laying out Joe with some punches to the face and body as they continue to brawl outside the ring. Joe reverses a whip and sends Rollins into the corner barricade. Joe breaks the count and comes back after Seth. Back in the ring, Rollins gets kicked right in the ribs full force by Joe. Joe continues with even more rights in the corner. Joe tosses Seth into the corner, but Seth counters with a boot and the Sling Blade for two.
Again, just thinking out loud here…should you have two guys on the roster using the Sling Blade as a Signature move?
Seth chops Joe, but gets the whip reversed, allowing Joe to crush Rollins with a back elbow. Joe starts to crush Seth’s nose in with fists and rubbing his face into the mat! Rollins stands up and fights back, but he fails to get Joe up for the suplex. Joe reverses and gets the ONE, TWO, NO! Joe pulls Rollins up by the hair, and whips him into the corner. Seth gets an elbow of his own, and hits the Blockbuster! Seth charges but get tossed over the ropes. Joe with a unique dropdown into a legwhip, sending Rollins crashing down on his previously injured knee! Which knee? You guessed it! THE LEFT ONE!
After the break, Joe continues to beat down on a prone Seth Rollins. Joe pulls Rollins up, but Rollins greets him with a thunderous chop. Joe returns with knees to the gut, followed by an awesome chop/kick/elbow combination for the ONE, TWO, NO! Joe taunts Seth and beats him down some more. Joe tries the Kokina Clutch, but Seth reverses and sends Joe to the outside. Two running dives by Rollins, followed by a Springboard Clothesline for the ONE, TWO, NO! Joe reverses a whip with a huge chop, followed by a Snap Powerslam for two! Inverted Atomic Drop, followed by a Senton Bomb onto Rollins! ONE, TWO, NO! Seth reverses a Power Bomb into the Falcon Arrow for the ONE, TWO, NO!
Wow, lots of good nearfalls. They trade forearms, and Rollins hits a series of kicks that send Joe to the corner. Joe tries to charge, but Seth gets a boot to the face. Seth climbs up the ropes, but Joe pulls him away. As he pulls him away, Rollins grabs the top corner turnbuckle. Keep that in mind. Rollins counters the grab with a roll-up that gets two. KICK TO THE FACE to Joe that only gets two. Rollins picks up a dead weight Samoa Joe, but this is a ruse as Joe reverses a whip that sends Rollins chest first into the exposed turnbuckle. The ref tries to repair the corner post, but Joe throws the turnbuckle pad out of the ring. The ref warns Joe not to use the post, but Joe does it anyways.
Winner by DQ: Seth Rollins (***1/4)
Joe finishes his assault by throwing Rollins into the corner once more, and then locking in the Kokina Clutch. “IT’S OVER WHEN I SAY IT’S OVER.” This guy just doesn’t let things go, does he?
Michael Cole considers tonight “One of the most physical and emotional and PERSONAL Monday Night Raw’s that I can recall.” Eh, it’s not that bad. Not all-time great, either. Don’t have to go all “Tony Schiavone” on me.
Match #6 – Jack Gallagher vs. TJ Perkins
Perkins is now officially going as “TJP” now. I guess that’s what I’ll go with. TJ is in full asshole mode, staring down Jack before the match starts. TJP gets on the middle rope and does Jack’s taunt. Jack returns serve with a DAB. HEADBUTT BY JACK! ONE, TWO, NO! TJ rolls outside, but Jack throws him back in. TJ leaves the ring again and Gallagher follows him. Jack gets put in a drop toe hold into the steps! Ouch! Back inside, TJ gets a nearfall, and then locks Jack up in a Butterfly Lock. Jack reverses into a cradle for the nearfall. Two headbutts and a series of dropkicks to TJ! Michael considers Jack to be “Possibly the best Cruiserweight to come out of England!” Neville quietly says, “Michael, I’m warning you, mate!” Funny stuff. Meanwhile, Jack hits the headstand into the corner dropkick on TJP! Perkins tries the Detonation Kick, but Jack rolls him up for the ONE, TWO, NO! TJP reverses the roll-up for the ONE, TWO, THREE!
Winner: TJP (**)
After the match, Austin Aries makes the save before TJ can do any more damage to Gallagher. TJ bails out before Austin can hit the Five-Arm. Corey Graves and Booker T. tell Michael Cole to mind his own business and to not get Neville riled up. I thought that was funny, too. I think these guys have a good dynamic, at times.
Match #7 – Alicia Fox vs. Sasha Banks
These two trade some serious slaps to each other’s face! WOW! They have great chemistry. They beat the crap out of each other, as the ref pulls them apart. Fox kicks Banks in the gut, and pulls her back by the hair. Fox with a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Fox gets Banks in a chinlock as Alicia rips the nose and talks trash. Sasha reverses into a splash for two, and then hits a headscissors. Banks hits her with double knees in the corner, but Fox answers with a kick. Banks climbs on Fox’s shoulders, but Alicia slams her into the corner and props Banks on the top rope. Sasha fights off and hits the double knee, bringing down Fox hard! ONE, TWO, THREE!
Winner: Sasha Banks (**)
Main Event – Bray Wyatt vs. WWE IC champion Dean Ambrose
Miz is on commentary. We’re getting that weird thing again where the cameras pull away from the match to show a guy (Miz) who’s talking with the announcers. It’s a silly bit. Do it once during the match and be done with it. They lock up and Bray powers Dean out of it. Dean gets a go-behind, and sends Bray into the corner. Bray leans back and freaks out Dean-O. Bray takes control with fists, bringing Dean to his knees. Bray misses a charge and goes outside, where Dean meets him with a suicide dive. Miz is furious that Booker T. called him a fighting champion. Dean jumps off the top over Bray, and tries to catch him with Dirty Deeds, but Bray fights out. Bray takes him out of the ring and DRILLS him with a suplex on the mats outside. Back inside, Bray goes for a cover but only gets two. Bray continues to beat down Ambrose as we go to break.
After the break, Bray hits a huge splash on Ambrose in the corner. This only gets two. Wyatt with headbutts to the kidneys as Miz cries about not being in the Main Event of Raw. Miz and Corey Graves have a mutual admiration society as the announcers bicker with each other. Wyatt hits a DDT that gets two. Wyatt puts Ambrose in the Camel Clutch as Miz continues to cry. This is something else. Wyatt breaks the fourth wall by telling fans, “IT DOESN’T MATTER!” Oh, if only he knew. This hold is applied for 21 minutes. Well, it felt like it. Ambrose hits a jawbreaker, and they start to brawl. Wyatt sends Dean into the ropes, and then CRUSHES him with the lariat. Wyatt heads up to the middle rope and misses a Senton Bomb. Dean picks up momentum and hits Wyatt with a series of clotheslines, followed by a splash in the corner. Wyatt gets up and charges in the corner, but Dean hits him with a huge boot. Dean climbs to the top, but Wyatt rolls outside. Dean jumps off the top rope to Bray outside the ring!
They go back inside, and Bray hits the flying body press onto a running Ambrose. Miz and Maryse leave the commentary booth and head down to ringside. Dean sees them coming, and Bray tries Sister Abigail from behind! Dean reverses into a roll-up for ONE, TWO, NO! Wyatt with a Uranage Slam for the ONE, TWO, NO! Wyatt takes Dean up to the top rope, but Dean fights him off with fists to the gut. Ambrose with headbutts! Wyatt flies off the ropes, and Dean tries another flying attack. Wyatt catches him, but Dean props right up and levels Wyatt! Dean tries to hit his finisher, but Wyatt reverses. Dean is sent into the ropes, but he decides to hit the suicide dive on Miz outside the ting! As Dean brings Wyatt back into the ring, Miz SMACKS Dean with the Intercontinental Championship belt. Wyatt lays over a prone Ambrose. ONE, TWO, NO! Wyatt picks up Ambrose and hits Sister Abigail for the ONE, TWO, THREE!
Winner: Bray Wyatt (**1/2)
Afterwards, Miz beats down Dean some more, and then cuts a promo on him. They will face each other next week for the Intercontinental Championship!
Final Thoughts: These are the same programs as earlier this Spring, but I like where this show is going. These guys are having good performances, but they gotta work on safety and psychology. Not everything is about the left arm/leg. Extreme Rules will be over the top, but hopefully nobody gets hurt. I think Strowman’s going to be out for some time though…rotator cuffs are nothing to mess with.