Hello everyone! I’m @TheMagnumDA with your Raw report. Before I go any further, I’d just like to say what an honor it was to be at the Tragos/Thesz Hall of Fame this weekend. It was a pleasure to talk to this year’s inductee Paul Orndorff for nearly two hours after the show, and it was a real treat to be on Bruce Hart’s HartBeat Radio Podcast on Facebook. I was able to be on the same broadcast as Jim Ross, Gerry Brisco, Stan Hansen, Barbara Goodish (the wife of Bruiser Brody), JJ Dillon, Bruce Hart, and many others. It’s a weekend I’ll never forget.
We are LIVE from the Verizon Center in Washington DC. We start tonight with Kurt Angle, the Raw General Manager. He starts to talk about last week’s finish, and he informs the crowd that he has come up with a new #1 Contender. BRAUN STROWMAN interrupts and tells Kurt that the next words out of his mouth better be “Braun Strowman”. He tells everyone that he does not fear Brock Lesnar, and that he will become the next WWE Universal Champion. Samoa Joe comes in to make his case as the #1 Contender, while telling Braun Strowman that he will kick his teeth down his throat. Joe tells Kurt, “You need to give The Beast to me.”
This brings out Roman Reigns. I’m laying down odds he’s going to call himself the “Big Dog.” Of course, Corey says it before Roman gets the chance. Roman accurately lays out his stats, but gets a chorus of boos for saying that he ended The Undertaker. Angle declares that Brock Lesnar will fight all three men in a Fatal 4 Way at SummerSlam for the Universal Championship. After this announcement, Braun goozles both Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns! They reverse the choke slam attempt, and then double team him all the way over the barricade. After this, Joe and Roman start fighting each other! Strowman comes back in the ring and lays out both men! Security tries to intervene, but they get destroyed! THREE MEN are thrown out of the ring! One guy gets thrown 20 feet from the ring to the outside! The locker room tries to separate the three men, each of them hitting their signature moves onto one another.
Match #1 – No DQ – Finn Balor vs. Elias Samson
Balor throws his coat on Samson, and then lands some forearms in the corner. He hits a knee into Samson’s ribs, and then takes him outside. Balor hits a dropkick, followed by a running forearm as we go to break. I’m surprised that the only weapon used so far was a leather coat. After the break, Balor throws The Drifter into the barricade, and then throws him back in. Balor throws Samson into the ropes, but Elias completely drills Balor with a lariat. The announcers recap last week’s match, as Samson works on Balor’s shoulder. He throws the arm into the apron multiple times, and then grabs an armbar. Balor fights up, but Samson hits Finn with a knee. Balor props the left shoulder and throws it into the corner post. Balor fights off, but Samson re-enters the ring with a chair. Balor cuts him off and pounds him in the corner. Balor hits a crisp dropkick after a nice counter exchange. Balor gets thrown in the corner, and then Samson stands over the injured arm and wrenches it. Balor fights out of the armbar, and hits forearms. Balor starts to hit his forearms, followed by rights to the ribs. Balor stomps down Samson’s midsection, and then he grabs the chair that was knocked away from Elias. Samson counters with a kick to the gut, which allows him to pick up the chair and SMASH Balor over the back. We go to another break!
After the second break, The Drifter takes advantage by hitting a HUGE Shoulderbreaker. Samson grabs the chair and props it into the middle rope. Unfortunately, Samson ends up eating it after Balor reverses the whip. They trade blows, and Balor takes advantage with the Overhead Kick. Balor hits the running chops in the corner, but Samson. Balor brings Samson between the ring and the apron! Samson is trapped! Balor continues to strike Elias until he goes under the ring. When he comes out, Balor is ready for another kick. This is followed by a running dropkick into the barricade! Back inside, Balor returns the favor with multiple chair shots to the back of Elias! Balor hits a running dropkick into the turnbuckle! Balor climbs up for the COUP DE GRACE! The lights go out, and Bray Wyatt NAILS Balor with Sister Abigail. Samson drapes an arm over Balor for the one, two, three!
Winner: Elias Samson (**3/4)
The Kurt Angle/Jason Jordan storyline is recapped, and then Renee Young interviews Kurt Angle. He talks about how proud he is, as a father. Emma (?) interrupts, and Angle puts her in her place by booking her against Nia Jax. After this, Enzo is stopped by Big Show on his way to the ring. Show asks Enzo if he has a plan for his match against Cass, and Enzo recklessly says he doesn’t need a plan.
Match #2 – Enzo vs. Big Cass
Rematch from “Great Balls of Fire”. Enzo with a dropkick to the knees, but Cass swats him away after a sleeper attempt. Clubbing shot to the back, followed by a huge toss across the ring. Enzo goes for another sleeper, and Cass sends him backwards into the ring. Big slam by Cass, followed by a huge set of elbows. Boot to the ribs by Cass, who oddly starts singing Dean Martin. Cass props Enzo over the corner ropes, and then clubs him some more. Cass continues to beat him down, but Enzo fights up. Cass overpowers him, as Enzo is thrown into the corner repeatedly, and then the BIG BOOT finishes this. Wow.
Winner: Big Cass (*)
Enzo is pounded in the corner, but Big Show comes down to make things right. Cass threatens to break Enzo’s neck if Big Show comes in! Enzo gets thrown into Big Show, which is enough for Cass to hit a HUGE boot. Cass hits FOUR Empire Elbows, and then beats down Show some more. Show takes some kicks to the ribs by Cass, as well. Now THAT’S how you put Cass over.
Alexa Bliss is interviewed. She ponders what both women in the #1 Contender’s Match will do if they don’t make it to SummerSlam. Bayley crying in her pillow while eating twinkies is a pretty funny sight. Alexa confidently says it doesn’t matter who wins, because she’s going to stay champion after SummerSlam.
Match #3 – Nia Jax vs. Emma
Emma gets one shot, and then Nia Jax mows her down. Emma tries a dropkick to the knee, and one to the face. Emma gets a few shots in the corner, but Nia plows through her again. Emma gets tossed a few times, and Jax hits a huge elbow. Awesome somersault senton by Nia Jax! One, two, three!
Winner: Nia Jax (*)
Charly is with Akira Tozawa. Last Monday is recapped, followed by 205 Live the following night. Titus interrupts the interview, and tells Akira that this week’s match is cancelled. Akira disregards him, and heads towards the ring. Titus follows him, and tries to talk sense. Akira slaps him away. The crowd oooh’ed that one. Tension in the Titus camp!
Match #4 – Akira Tozawa vs. Ariya Daivari
Before the match gets underway, the Cruiserweight Champion Neville interrupts! Man, this entire roster is rude. Neville calls Tozawa a “shell of his former self”, but Akira starts to attack him! Akira hits the HUGE Senton, but Daivari catches Akira off-guard with a devastating attack! Daivari stands tall with Neville and Tozawa laying on the mat.
Winner: No Match
After this match, Sasha starts to talk about her ambitions for SummerSlam. Bayley tells her to focus on tonight. Sasha asks, “What’s that supposed to mean?” Well, I guess we know who is working heel tonight. After this, Jason Jordan is given an interview with Renee Young. He talks about how he emulated Kurt Angle as a young man, which makes this situation all the more real. Finally, Seth and Dean are backstage talking about the upcoming tag match. Rollins tells Dean to focus on Axel and Dallas as much as The Miz. Dean says, “Well, while you’re worried about two guys…I’m worried about four.” Wow. More tension! Good stuff.
Match #5 – #1 Contender’s Match – WWE Women’s Championship (Raw)
Bayley vs. Sasha Banks
MORE interruptions, as Alexa Bliss makes her way to the announce table. They lock up and Sasha pushes her back. They lock up again, and Sasha hits a shoulder block for two. Bayley hits a rollup for two, followed by a clothesline and a front face lock. Sasha reverses a whip, but misses a dropkick. Bayley rolls her up twice for two, but Sasha stops things with a SLAP. Sasha with the Steamboat armdrag, but Bayley turns the tables with a clothesline for two. Bayley with another front face lock, but Banks fights out of it and hits a kick. She charges the ropes, and Bayley catches her with a back body drop for two. Bayley hits a European uppercut and climbs the ropes. Sasha knocks her off the ropes to the outside as we go to break!
After the break, Sasha turns a surfboard into the double arm over Bayley’s throat. Bayley charges back into the corner, but Sasha throws her into the corner. Bayley hits the Stunner from the middle rope for the one, two, no! Bayley tries a backslide, and Sasha hits a MASSIVE knee to the face of Bayley. Sasha throws Bayley into the corner using her legs, and then hits the NASTY dropkick in the corner. Bank Statement is locked in, but Bayley rolls on her back for the one, two, no! Sasha still has a variation of the move in a Camel Clutch position, but Bayley fights up and tries her finisher! They trade slaps, and IT’S ON! Banks throws Bayley into the corner, and hits her with the double knee to the spine! Told you Sasha was the heel. 🙂 Sasha misses the double knees, allowing Bayley to hit the running knee! Bayley gets caught with a Shining Wizard by Banks, though! Both women are down! They get up before the count of ten, and then trade forearms once more in the middle of the ring! What a war! Right hand by Bayley, followed by an elbow by Bayley! Bayley tries another Stunner, but Sasha counters with knees to the face! Banks climbs up and Bayley knocks her to a seated position. Bayley with a Superplex attempt, but Banks drops her face-first and follows it up with the Frog Splash! One, two, BAYLEY REVERSES! One, two, three!
Winner: Bayley (***1/2)
Alexa Bliss comes into the ring to pose with the belt afterwards. Curt Hawkins is interviewed. He promises to ruin Jason Jordan’s debut on Raw. After this, another Special Olympics tribute is given to Cornell Grey of Washington, DC.
Match #6 – Jason Jordan vs. Curt Hawkins
Curt Hawkins SLAPS him, but Jason just completely overpowers Hawkins and drills him with forearms. Awesome suplex gets two for Jason. He continues to beat down Hawkins, causing Curt to go outside. Curt catches another slap to the face, but Jason HULKS UP once more, brother! Charge into the corner, followed by an INCREDIBLE belly-to-belly, and the straps are down! Neckbreaker variation for the one, two, three! Booker says, “Kid’s got a mean streak, I like it.” Already foreshadowing the heel turn, Book? This was dominant.
Winner: Jason Jordan (*1/2)
Match #7 – The Revival vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
Somehow, miraculously…a “NERDS!” chant breaks out. Dawson and Anderson lockup all around the ring. Dawson pushes Anderson, and gets slapped for it. Wilder tags in and both men pound Anderson in the corner. Wilder hits a forearm and tags in Dawson. Fists to the ribs of Anderson! Anderson catches a back elbow on Dawson, and tags in Gallows. Dawson causes a distraction, and Gallows is prey! He fights off both men, followed by a double clothesline by Gallows and Anderson to both men! We go to break.
After the break, Anderson fights up from an armbar, but gets drilled with a European Uppercut. Wilder tags in again, and gets a spinning back kick for his troubles. Gallows tags in and the gaijin are working as babyfaces! Gallows with a huge boot to Dawson! Big splash to Dawson! Dawson gets a running start, but gets hit with another boot! Boot of Doom is thwarted, and a chop block by Dash to Gallows! The Hardy Boyz interrupt! This is truly the Night of Interruptions. Meanwhile, in the ring, SHATTER MACHINE! One, two, three!
Winners: The Revival (**3/4)
The Hardy Boyz brawl with The Revival after the match, with Matt and Jeff hitting Poetry in Motion, and a Twist of Fate on Dawson. Jeff tries to hit the Swanton Bomb, but Dawson removes Dash from the ring! After this, the Miz gives his entourage a pep talk. They face Rollins and Ambrose next!
Match #8 – The Miztourage vs. Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose
Miz, like a true coward, tags Axel in to face Ambrose. Ambrose completely destroys him, but Axel gets a knee in the ribs to Ambrose. Seth hits a body slam and a knee drop for two. Sheamus and Cesaro look on. Rollins throws Axel to the outside, and beats down Dallas. Chop, followed by a running kick to the shoulder of Bo. Somehow, Bo gets up and drives Rollins to the mat. Miz tags in and hits the knees and elbows to Rolllins’ spine and head. Sleeperhold by Miz, which Rollins fights out of with fists. Miz knees him, but misses a clothesline that’s turned into a Sling Blade. Dean tags in and Miz escapes the ring. They chase around the ring, allowing Axel to sneak up on Ambrose. Dean and Seth take out the entire Miztourage! They regroup as we go to break!
After the break, Rollins lays out the Miztourage, but Dallas is able to take him down. Bo tags Miz, and Miz cuts off the ring. Miz hits some kicks to a fallen Rollins, and then presses down on the lower back of Seth Rollins. Front face lock by Miz, but Rollins fights up. Miz catches Rollins with the neckbreaker combo for two! Miz sets up Axel for a PERFECT snapmare. Axel continues to beat down on Rollins with knees and a facerake, followed by an amazing dropkick! Bo Dallas tags in and hits multiple knees on Seth Rollins for two. He continues the beatdown, and the tag to Miz. Booker is talking about “everyone getting the rub”, which must infuriate Vince.
Miz continues to pummel Seth in the corner, and after a brief comeback, Rollins falls victim to a DDT by Miz. Miz hits the Daniel Bryan kicks, but Rollins almost gets a rollup while Miz was distracted! Rollins knocks Axel down, allowing the HOT TAG to Ambrose! Lariats to Dallas and Axel! Neckbreaker to Axel! Flying body press to Miz outside the ring! Rollup on Dallas! One, two, no! Clothesline by Ambrose! Dean hits the top rope elbow on Dallas! One, two, Miz interrupts! Axel throws Seth into the barricade! Axel and Dallas try the spike piledriver! Axel avoids Dirty Deeds, but Miz catches Dean with the Skull Crushing Finale! One, two, Rollins interrupts! Rollins gets up after being knocked cold, and the former Shield members hit the suicide dive! Ambrose comes back into the ring, where Miz is waiting for a DDT! Rollins interrupts that with a flying knee from the top rope! Dirty Deeds hits! One, two, three!
Winners: Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins (***)
After the match, Rollins was looking for the Shield fist-pump in the ring, and Ambrose leaves him in the ring to think about it. I like that ending! Booker thinks Dean “is not there yet.” He may be right. We go to credits!
Final Thoughts: Solid, focused Raw. They’ve established the SummerSlam card, and they left a few possibilities out there for other matches to represent Raw. See you next week for the Raw report!