A New Era for Raw has truly begun, as we have a new Women’s Champion, a new #1 Contender, a new Heavyweight Championship that will be introduced, and new/old decorations! I quite enjoyed last week’s Raw and hope they can keep the momentum going!
Since the shows are split again, I will go back to reviewing both Raw and Smackdown Live! Individually after each report. So what will go down tonight? Read on to find out!
Monday Night Raw TV Report for August 1st, 2016 – “‘Out of Nowhere’”
Introduction Segment: Video Promo and Welcoming
Highlights of last week’s Raw are shown, and then the new/regular Raw video plays. The pyro explodes in the Phillips arena and we are greeted by Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, and new Raw commentator, Corey Graves.
Segment #2: Arena Promo
The new Women’s Champion, Sasha Banks, strolls out. The crowd calls out “you deserve it.” “You guys, thank you. It’s about time Raw popped off with a statement; a ‘Bank Statement’ from your new WWE Women’s Champion, ‘The Boss.’ Last year, during SummerSlam weekend, at NXT TakeOver Brooklyn, the WWE Universe went home talking about Bayley and ‘The Boss;’ because we stole the show. And we just didn’t steal the show; we own the show! This year won’t be any different; the reign of ‘The Boss’ has just begun. And I am going to kick off with a ‘W’ when I defend my title against Charlotte at SummerSlam. I didn’t’ fight my whole life…”
Her challenger suddenly interrupts, but is hailed with “you tapped out” chants by the fans. Banks taunts her verbally a little about her loss, and where Dana Brooke is. “Get over yourself Sasha. I don’t need Dana to beat you; I don’t even need my dad to beat you.” Charlotte strongly declares that she will win the championship back at SummerSlam and compares Sasha’s win to a “one-night-stand.” Banks fires back with a shot, relating being Ric Flair’s daughter to a “one-night-stand.”
Chris Jericho, interestingly, walks out and defends Charlotte. After poking fun at the Women’s Champion for a bit, Enzo Amore joins in. He flirts with Sasha, and she flirts back. Jericho and Charlotte are sick of this until General Manager Mick Foley makes his first appearance tonight.
Foley compares himself to Amore, and books (an inevitable) Mixed Tag-Team bout, commencing after the break!
Match #1: Mixed Tag-Team – Women’s Champion Sasha Banks and Enzo Amore VS. Charlotte and Chris Jericho
(Note: Kevin Owens is on commentary.) Enzo and Jericho begin, tying each other up. Jericho headlocks Amore and shoulder-blocks him, but “The Certified G” hits back with a dropkick and a couple of armdrags. Both tag out, so we are now seeing Charlotte and Sasha wrestle. They trade take-downs back-and-forth and chops in the corner. Sasha leaps on Charlotte with a double-knees pin for a quick count. She switches with Enzo, and the two toss Jericho and Charlotte to the floor, then follow up with a double dive-through-the-ropes!
Amore and Chris are back to wrestling, with “Y2J” controlling. He goes for a running-bulldog, but Enzo counters by chucking Jericho into the opposite turnbuckle! Amore punches back and lands on Jericho with a running-crossbody for 2! He hops the turnbuckle, but is caught by his legs as he dove, and trapped in the Walls of Jericho! Enzo manages to grasp the bottom rope to break.
Amore jumps off the top turnbuckle again, but Jericho counters with a dropkick. Chris grabs his left knee, and crawls to tag Charlotte. Banks is in too, and takes over Charlotte. Sasha goes for her Bank Statement, but Dana Brooke has run down. Banks fends her off, and Jericho too as he tried, but Charlotte capitalizes on both distractions, planting Sasha with her Natural Selection snapmre-facebuster, and then covering for the victory!
Winners via Pinfall: Charlotte and Chris Jericho
Post-match, Enzo checks on the Women’s Champion, but Jericho sneaks up from behind and gives him a Codebreaker! Big Cass marches down and scares away Chris.
Later tonight, we will hear from #1 Contender to the WWE Universal Championship, Finn Balor!
Segment #3: Video Promo
The Bella Twins – Nikki and Brie – won the “Female Athlete of the Year” award at the Teen Choice Awards last night. Footage of their appearance is aired. Genuinely, good for the teens to recognize WWE as athletes too!
Match #2: Single – Evan Anderhall VS. Braun Strowman
Before the bout, Byron Saxton asks Evan why he is taking on a big challenge. Evan says he already gets one-thousand dollars for competing; he wants the five thousand for the win. Unfortunately, that does not happen, as Braun completely destroys him and finishes with his reverse-Chokeslam!
Winner via Pinfall: Braun Strowman
Segment #4: Office Promo
GM Mick Foley and Commissioner Stephanie McMahon are putting themselves over about their decision making for this and last week’s Raw. Mark Henry walks in and has rejuvenation in his voice. He wants to put someone in the “Hall-Of-Pain” again, but Stephanie actually wants him to be a “mentor” to the younger guys.
Instead, Foley agrees with Henry. He makes “The World’s Strongest Man” wrestle Rusev for the United States Championship tonight!
Backstage, The Golden Truth are walking around, looking for “Pokemon-Go.” They will be in action, next.
Match #3: Tag-Team – The Shining Stars (Primo and Epico) VS. The Golden Truth (Goldust and R-Truth)
Primo and Epic start out good, but Goldust and Truth make a comeback. However, Truth gets too distracted by his phone and “Pokemon-Go,” which costs them as Goldust cannot make the tag and is sunset-flip-pinned for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pinfall: The Shining Stars
Up next, #1 Contender Finn Balor will be out!
Segment #5: Arena Promo
Michael Cole is in the ring to bring out Finn Balor. “The Demon” proclaims that he designed last week to “make an impact” since he was drafted in round number one thirteen-days ago. His challenger for the WWE Universal Championship at SummerSlam interjects. Seth Rollins puts over Finn at first, but asserts his superiority. Balor takes the high road, and cites that he got his accomplishments the clean way. Seth becomes infuriated, and yells. Finn retorts with harsh words and the two stare-down. Rollins punches, but Balor kicks back to his gut and a half-Pele-kick! Seth backs away and signals he will win the title.
Match #4: Single for the United States Championship – Rusev (Champion) (with Lana) VS. Mark Henry (Challenger)
They lockup and struggle, and Henry shoves Rusev into the corner. Rusev hammers back, but Mark Irish Whips him into the opposite turnbuckle and chucks him out of it! “The World’s Strongest Man” overpowers the U.S. Champ for a bit.
Rusev is now in control, stomping on Henry’s back and setting him up for The Accolade Camel Clutch. Mark realizes this and snapmares Rusev over. He this a couple of clotheslines, but “The Bulgarian Brute” avoids a boot, and hits a spinning-wheel-kick. He boots Henry hard, stomps on him, and clamps on The Accolade, forcing Mark to give-in!
Winner via Submission and STILL United States Champion: Rusev (with Lana)
Post-match, Rusev takes the microphone and rips on the Olympic Games. He also affirms that “no man can take my United States Champion away from me,” declaring himself a “super-athlete and a natural-born winner.”
Roman Reigns’ music plays and “Superman” walks out. They intensely gaze at each other, and when Rusev tries to walk away, Roman blocks him. Rusev suddenly throws punches, but is hit with a hard leaping-clothesline. Reigns gears up for the Superman Punch, but Rusev escapes. Roman follows with a Superman Punch off the steel steps! Rusev and Lana back up with ramp.
Segment #6: Video Promo
Nia Jax’s career highlights are shown. We will see her later tonight!
Match #5: Single – Titus O’Neil VS. Darren Young (with Bob Backlund)
(Note: prior, we are shown a clip of Titus and Darren chatting in the locker room, with Titus inquiring when Darren was “really great.”) An elbow/collar tie-up starts and they break it in the corner. 0’Neil runs out with a shoulder-block, and goes to help Young up, but Darren refuses. Titus picks Young up out of a standing side headlock, and then slaps him in the corner. He whips him back into the same corner, and catches Young off the second turnbuckle out of a crossbody-dive, giving him two rib-breakers and tossing him aside! O’Neil follows with a corner-splash for a near-fall!
Darren kicks and punches back, but O’Neil knees him in the gut and slams him to the mat. Titus continues to work over Daren, but can’t pin him. He goes for the Clash of the Titus sit-down-spinebuster, but Young hops out of it. they go back-and-forth until Darren runs into the corner, and O’Neil rolls him up, clasping his trunks for leverage, and receiving the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: Titus O’Neil
Segment #7: Office Promo
Stephanie is trying to upgrade Mick on his selection of note-taking when Sheamus interrupts. He is not pleased that Henry got a U.S. Title shot and not him. Cesaro walks in and argues, and they both yell at Steph. Mick stops this, and lists the legitimate reasons why they weren’t drafted higher on Raw. Foley says that they will wrestle each other, and whoever “impresses” them, will get a championship shot later.
Up next, Nia Jax will be out!
Segment #8: Backstage Promo
Bob Backlund is screaming at Titus O’Neil on how he won earlier, but O’Neil threatens to “knock your old ass out.” Darren Young enters and hits Titus to the floor.
Match #6: Single – Ariel Monroe VS. Nia Jax
This one is short, as Nia completes with a Samoan Drop-into-Powerslam!
Winner via Pinfall: Nia Jax
Post-match, Byron asks Nia her feelings, and Nia runs into Ariel again to make her point.
Segment #8: Backstage Promo
Tom Phillips asks Sami Zayn about wrestling Seth Rollins. He proclaims that he will prove himself against Rollins, and is happy to move on from Kevin Owens.
Match #7: Tag-Team – Tag-Team Champions The New Day (Big E. and Kofi Kingston) VS. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
(Prior to the bout, New Day say that Anderson and Gallows “filed a complaint,” so Xavier has to remain backstage.) Karl and Big E. begin, with Anderson getting the better shortly into this one. He runs but is clutched and slammed with a belly-to-belly suplex! Big goes for the tag, but Luke pulls Kofi off of the apron. Anderson gives Gallows the “too sweet” sign, but E. rolls him up from behind for the sudden W!
Winners via Pinfall: Tag-Team Champions The New Day
Post-match, Luke and Karl demolish all of New Day, including Woods who ran back out to help. They hit a couple of their Boots of Doom double-team on Big. Xavier tries again, but is knocked down by the former Club members. Luke and Karl pull Big split-legged into the ring post and then walk away.
Segment #9: Locker Room Promo
Medical staff, and Xavier and Kofi, are checking on E.
Cole wants to have an update on Big by the end of Raw, but if not, we can find out on WWE.com later.
Match #8: Single – Cesaro VS. Sheamus
They locks up and trade holds, and then face-off again. Cesaro turns Sheamus around into a wrist hold, but Sheamus punches out. Cesaro uppercuts back, and both deliver uppercuts to each other. Sheamus runs off the ropes with a knee, but Cesaro hits back with more and numerous uppercuts into the corner! he whips Sheamus into the opposite one and follows with a running-uppercut! He repeats again, but Sheamus slides and rolls to the outside to break the momentum.
Cesaro follows with a somersault-splash off the apron, but is thrust into the ring post and slammed on the apron. Sheamus slugs away with Ten Beats of the Baron and a clothesline. The “Celtic Warrior” rockets from the top turnbuckle with a shoulder-block for a near-fall, and then slams Cesaro to the canvas again and yells at him.
Sheamus sets up for a suplex, but Cesaro reverses into one of his own! Cesaro runs but is grabbed into a rolling fireman’s-carry! Cesaro headbutts back, and hits a springboard-tornado-uppercut! Cesaro signals for the Swing, but Sheamus kicks him away and rolls him up for two! Sheamus catches Cesaro in a tilt-a-whirl, but Cesaro lands on his feet and into The Neutralizer! He covers and takes the contest!
Winner via Pinfall: Cesaro
Segment #10: Arena Promo
Cesaro and Sheamus are fighting with multiple referees and agents trying to split them. In the ring, Heath Slater is with his former 3.M.B. partner Jinder Mahal; he pleads that both should be signed to Raw. Mick answers him, and books the two of them to wrestle each other and the winner will get a spot on Raw!
Match #9: Single – Heath Slater VS. Jinder Mahal
As Heath protests for friendship, Jinder lines him up and boots him for the very-quick 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall and NEW Raw member: Jinder Mahal
Post-match, Jinder walks up the ramp and embraces GM Foley.
Segment #11: Backstage Promo
Tom Phillips is with Chris Jericho, who rips on both Enzo and Big Cass. He claims that he also has “someone to watch my back,” but when Phillips inquires to whom, Jericho makes up a name. Kevin Owens walks up and sides with Jericho.
Up next, our main-event of Seth Rollins and Sami Zayn!
Match #10: Single – Seth Rollins VS. Sami Zayn
Rollins is all over Zayn in the corner with kicks and punches, and punches him around the ring too. Sami leaps over Seth with a backwards leap-frog, and chops at Rollins. He whips “The Architect” but Seth holds onto the ropes and slides out of the ring. Rollins whips Zayn into the barrier, but Sami hops up and moonsaults onto Seth! He drags Rollins back into the ring but Seth rolls on the other side and throws Zayn into the corner part of the barricade.
Rollins governs now, whipping Sami hard into the turnbuckle. Zayn hits back, but is crotched on the top rope soon after.
Seth is still dominating, giving Sami sling-blade, and taunting him, but Sami victory-rolls him for a near-fall! Zayn battles, but Rollins sets him up for The Pedigree. Sami gets out of it, but is Turnbuckle-Powerbombed; he fires back immediately with a clothesline!
Sami runs in another corner but is booted. He counters with a Michinoku Driver for a close-call! Rollins misses a spin-kick and Zayn plants him with the Blue Thunder Bomb to get two! Seth hits an enziguri, but Zayn works his way out of another Pedigree and Tornado-DDT’s him! He measures for the Helluva Kick, but Seth moves. Zayn follows with a launching swanton-clothesline over the ropes!
Sami gets back up to the top turnbuckle but is kicked as he dove off. He gets out of another Pedigree, but Rollins steers out of another Helluva attempt. He drives Sami down with The Pedigree, and covers to receive the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: Seth Rollins
Paul Heyman is shown and ready to bring out his client, Brock Lesnar!
Segment #12: Arena Promo
Paul Heyman is in the ring and hypes up Brock Lesnar’s return. He calls out “The Beast of ‘The Brock-tagon,” the “ruler and the conqueror of the WWE Universe,” the “viper-slayer!” Brock makes his way to the ring and stands by as Paul E. says that Lesnar will “entertain you.” He clarifies that “entertain” means something different than what WWE does; Brock’s form of “entertainment” is much more “violent,” which Heyman says he is “not supposed to say.” Paul goes on that Lesnar is not going to cater to anyone on Raw or Smackdown, including Foley, the McMahons, Triple H, or Randy Orton, who Lesnar will wrestle at SummerSlam.
Paul focuses on Randy, telling “The Viper,” despite Orton’s claim that he will R.K.O. Lesnar, that will not happen. He tells Randy that SummerSlam will be all about “survival” for him, and not actually winning. Heyman goes on about the destructiveness of Brock, until Orton actually appears and R.K.O.’s “The Beast!” randy high-tails it up the stairs in the crowd as Stephanie and Foley march to the stage. Referees and security have come out to chase him off, and Lesnar gets up, smiling and staring at Randy from the ring to close the show!
End of Raw.
This was another great Raw; two-in-row for the “new era!” Loved a lot of the promos, a good chunk of the matches, and the way that Raw has been presented – much like other sports with the style (interviews, camera angles, etc…), and to me, gives it more legitimacy to be in rank/top others like the N.F.L. and N.B.A. Onto my particulars:
Excellence: matches between Sasha/Enzo/Charlotte/Jericho, Braun/Evan (for dominant-push of Braun), Nia/Ariel (for dominant-push of Nia), Henry/Rusev, Titus/Darren, Cesaro/Sheamus, and Rollins/Zayn
Promos by Sasha, Enzo, Henry, Balor/Rollins, Rusev, Foley/Stephanie, and Paul E.
Liking the new feud between Enzo and Jericho; these guys will battle back-and-forth well in the ring and superbly on the mike! Sasha and Charlotte will also do extremely well, both in ring and promos; Charlotte has improved immensely, and Sasha has had it since becoming prominent in NXT. Same for Balor/Rollins, and very excited for this continuing, and the match itself.
I think the squashes that Nia and Braun had tonight and last week are great, and will help build them up nicely to the audience and as threatens for singles championships/major rivalries.
I am very happy that Raw has gone back to red ropes; I was really tired for the last while of the white ones for every show; and now that Raw has appeared to be its own brand again for a while, it needed this to distinguish. And for the first two Raws of the “new era,” it really does feel like it’s different. To keep this up, they cannot cross with Smackdown! for a while in terms of wrestlers (except for Orton/Lesnar, as they were pre-established before the draft), and they should not promo each other (Raw/Smackdown recaps) to truly make them separate.
Bogus: not liking The Golden Truth’s new path; I actually started to like them when they would take each other seriously and win; but now they’ve been given back to being “goofy,” and uninteresting. The Shining Stars have done nothing for me and they didn’t deserve to win.
Unfortunately, Gallows and Anderson have lost it for me; tonight’s match should’ve been longer and to get got off guard on “too sweet” was lame. They either need A.J. to join them, or need be completely dominant/not fooled like that.
With only a couple of bad points listed, that is a great sign for this new Raw, and I hope it continues next week! Until Smackdown Live!, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Fans!