Hello everybody! It’s @TheMagnumDA with tonight’s Raw report. We are LIVE from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. I’m trying a new, condensed format for these Raw reports. Give me your feedback on Twitter, and let me know what you think!
If you watched SummerSlam, you saw five (!!) championships change hands, with Jinder Mahal and Brock Lesnar successfully retaining their World and Universal Championships. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose won the Raw Tag Team titles from Cesaro and Sheamus. Natalya won the Smackdown Women’s title from Naomi, while Sasha Banks defeated Alexa Bliss to become the new Raw Women’s Champion. Finally, Neville won back the Cruiserweight Championship and The Uso’s defeated The New Day for the Smackdown Tag Team titles. Tonight, I have a feeling that you’re going to see the seeds planted for much later down the road…maybe even WrestleMania.
We start tonight with Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman! Great reaction from the crowd. Heyman talks about last night’s Fatal 4 Way, and how this is the first time Brock Lesnar left on a stretcher. However, Brock still conquered his opponents and retained his Universal Championship. Heyman gets a dig on Roman Reigns, saying that Lesnar not only prevailed but he did so by pinning Roman Reigns. Ouch! Crowd loved it, though. Heyman says that henceforth, the only man doing the conquering on Raw will be BRRROCK Lesnar.
This brings out Braun Strowman! Braun walks into the ring and immediately gets in Lesnar’s face. Surprisingly, a HUGE “Strowman!” chant breaks out from the New York crowd. Lesnar screamed, “You’re looking at the champ!” Apparently, this was enough provocation for Strowman to goozle Lesnar. Lesnar breaks free, but Strowman catches him in the gut with a knee. Strowman then delivers TWO major Running Powerslams on Lesnar, leaving him in a heap on the ground. I guess we have our main event for No Mercy!
Match #1 – Enzo Amore vs. Big Cass – Brooklyn Street Fight
Before the match, Enzo cut a promo saying that this is where it all started 15 years ago for Enzo and Cass. Enzo talked about breaking bread with Cass, and now all he does is break hearts. This match was all Cass at the start, as he was dominant over Amore. The big story of this match took place at the 8-minute mark, when Big Cass went to deliver a boot to the face of Enzo. Enzo ducked out of the way and pulled the rope down, sending Big Cass tumbling to the floor. Unfortunately, as Cass planted his leg on the ground (outside the ring), his blew out his knee. Frankly, it was pretty unsettling to watch. Cass tried to keep going, but his leg finally gave out during an Empire Elbow attempt. At that point, the ref called for the bell.
Winner: Enzo by Referee Stoppage (*)
After the match, the referee calls for the trainer as Cass is screaming expletives. You can’t help but feel bad for Colin after seeing this setback. Along with Asuka’s broken Collar Bone, Cass probably has a torn ACL. Injuries are catching up to these guys!
Emma is backstage talking trash about Sasha Banks and Nia Jax to Dana Brooke. Unfortunately, Nia Jax was standing right behind Emma when this all went down. Jax says to Emma, “After our match tonight…the hashtag is going to read #GiveEmmaCPR.” Any time you have to mention a hashtag, it sounds a little forced. Just saying.
Match #2 – Nia Jax vs. Emma
Jax completely decimated Emma in a matter of two minutes, winning with a Samoan Drop. More of a squash than anything else. This match will more be remembered for Booker’s immortal line about “Opposing opposition.” Corey points out, “Wouldn’t opposing opposition be friendship?” Yes, yes it would, Corey.
Winner: Nia Jax (*)
We are joined by THE DRIFTER! Err…wait. I guess he’s just going by “Elias” now. Elias talks about looking at the Eclipse, and how it has made everything crystal clear. Why would you stare at the Sun during a Total Eclipse?! The fans were actually behind Elias, but his concert abruptly ends when R-Truth interrupts!
Match #3 – Elias vs. R-Truth
Another quick match, lasting only 90 seconds. R-Truth got his offense in, but Elias eventually came back and won with the Drift Away. Surprisingly, Truth took most of the offense.
Winner: Elias (1/2*)
We are joined by Raw General Manager Kurt Angle! He has a big announcement to make, and that announcement is…John Cena is coming back to Raw! Cena makes his way out, and the fans take turns with “Kurt Angle Sucks!” and “John Cena Sucks!” over Cena’s music. Cena tells the fans that he came here specifically for one reason. He wanted to join Raw because he wanted to be face-to-face with a “certain WWE superstar”. (Curt Hawkins?! :-D)
Alas, he was referring to Roman Reigns, who comes out to a chorus of boo’s. When he approached the ring, you could hear the fans chant, “You both suck!” That’s not a good sign. Cena says that Roman Reigns was the guy he was talking about. Roman says that Cena runs his mouth on Twitter…so why doesn’t he run his mouth right now? After all, he’s standing in Roman’s yard. The fans, who are so enamored by this, start chanting for The Undertaker. Okay, that’s pretty funny. Cena says he’s not here to talk, and then he rips his shirt off.
This is interrupted by The Miztourage! Miz cuts a babyface promo to the Brooklyn crowd, telling them that week after week, he sees Roman and Cena get the spotlight. Miz talks about working hard and waiting for your moment. After tonight, he’s sick of seeing guys like Cena get preferential treatment while The Miz was not even on the Summerslam card. Ouch, he’s got a point. Miz asks the fans if Raw needs John Cena, which got a resounding “NO!” Cena plays around and acts like he’s going to leave, but Miz cuts him off and tells him that you’re not going to make a joke out of me again. Miz starts to turn on the crowd, telling them that they have no idea what they want. Miz knows what he wants…he wants respect! He wants HIS moment. Cena challenges him to a match right now, but Miz cuts him off and says he’s not ready to fight because he’s dressed in a three-piece suit. Nice.
Samoa Joe then comes out to interrupt the proceedings! Joe informs Miz that he will be his tag team partner against Reigns and Cena, because he’s sick of Reigns calling this ring his yard. Joe starts to say something to Cena, but then he just CLOCKS him with a right hand. The fight is on! The Miztourage fought with Reigns, as Joe and John Cena continue their brawl. Joe catches Cena in the Clutch, but Reigns comes in to break it up with a Superman Punch! They finally separate, with Reigns and Cena getting the best of it. The fans continue to chant, “You both suck!” Wow. Gotta love New York.
Match #4 – Cedric Alexander, Gran Metalik, Rich Swann and Mustafa Ali vs. Drew Gulak, Tony Nese, Noam Dar and Ariya Daivari
The action is so fast and furious that I can’t call it all. I wished the NY crowd felt the same way. Sadly, they crapped all over this match. They start the wave at the midway mark, followed by a “This match sucks!” chant. Well, they’re honest, if nothing else. Gran Metallik hits a SWEET Moonsault Plancha onto Gulak and Daivari. The finish came when Alexander hit Tony Nese with the Springboard Enziguiri, followed by the Lumbar Check for the one, two, three!
Winners: Cedric Alexander, Gran Metalik, Rich Swann and Mustafa Ali (**)
Backstage, Charley is with Neville, the new Cruiserweight Champion. Neville runs down the Titus Brand, when Akira Tozawa interrupts! Akira challenges Neville to a rematch on 205 Live tomorrow night. It’s on! Meanwhile, Jason Jordan pleads with his father to give him a match with Miz tonight. Angle says that Miz is already booked, so Jordan brings up the name “Finn Balor”. Angle asked, “Are you sure you’re ready for that kind of competition?” Jordan says yes, so Angle books the match.
Ambrose and Rollins make their way down to the ring! They’re carrying the Raw tag straps with them. Great reaction from the crowd. Ambrose, sounding like a total geek, bragged about sleeping with the title in his bed and wearing the belt while walking around NYC. Renee, are you okay with the belt getting this much attention? Seth says that he’s surprised by Dean’s admission, but he also admits that tonight is all about the celebration! Ambrose teases an appearance by Cesaro and Sheamus, but instead we get Matt and Jeff Hardy! They are in total “Broken” mode. Jeff congratulated the champs, while Matt disclosed that he and Jeff have fought before in the past (just like Dean and Seth), but as a tag team…”it’s a beautiful thing.” Matt challenged the champs to a non-title match. Seth puts the Hardy Boyz over HUGE, saying that he idolized them growing up. He says they’ve been revolutionizing the business for 25 years, and tonight…they’re looking to do it again. “Well, let’s do the damn thing!” Seth proclaims.
Match #5 – Raw Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose vs. The Hardy Boyz
Both teams are getting big cheers from the Brooklyn faithful. Highlights from the match include Jeff hitting a sweet Poetry in Motion to Rollins and Ambrose from the ring to the floor! Wicked. Right after this, Jeff went to splash Dean from the top rope, but Rollins pushed him out of harm’s way. At the ten-minute mark, the match really picked up steam. The crowd was getting into it! The finish came when Rollins hit the top rope knee to the face of Jeff Hardy, followed by Dean Ambrose’s Dirty Deeds! Rollins makes the cover for the one, two, three! A fantastic match. If you have Hulu, seek this one out.
Winners: Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose (***1/2)
The Miztourage and Samoa Joe are backstage together. Miz was trying to come up with a plan, but Joe cuts him off and tells him to shut up. Joe gave the following orders: Dallas and Axel need to be a constant presence outside the ring, while Miz stays on the apron to talk trash. Joe will take care of the rest. Well, that seems easy enough. After this, Cole makes it official: Brock Lesnar will defend the Universal Championship against Braun Strowman at No Mercy.
Haven’t had enough promos yet, tonight? Well, you’re in luck. We get another ten-minute promo, this time with Sasha Banks coming out to celebrate her championship victory. Banks says that, although she’s from Boston, she has left her heart in Brooklyn every year for the last three years. She recaps her match with Bayley from Takeover, as well as her awesome SummerSlam match with Charlotte last year. After giving love to Ric Flair, she tells the fans that Raw does not need a Goddess. This got a mixed reaction, which surprised me. This brings out Alexa Bliss! She points out that Sasha can win championships, but she can’t hold onto them. Sasha then points out that Little Miss Bliss tapped out last night, and that she is aware of the rematch clause. Sasha challenges Alexa to use it right now, but Bliss tells the crowd that they don’t deserve that match. Alexa did, however, say that she’ll use the rematch clause next week on Raw. Alexa says that after she wins the title back, Sasha Banks will not be known as a “Legit Boss”…rather, a “Legit Loser”. As opposed to an illegitimate loser?
Match #6- Jason Jordan vs. Finn Balor
Ah, the beach ball match. I don’t mind that there was a beach ball getting knocked around in the crowd…I do mind that Kevin Dunn decided to shoot it. Completely took away from the match, and it doesn’t give respect to the guys in the ring. I hope that doesn’t happen again. Jordan tried to hit the Hoist Neckbreaker, but Balor turned it into a crossbody for the one, two, no! After this, Balor hits his combination of the Sling Blade, the running dropkick in the corner, and the Coup de Grace for the one, two, three! I guess this is what an illegitimate loser looks like. Just kidding! 😀
Winner: Finn Balor (*3/4)
Main Event: John Cena & Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe & The Miz
This match had BOTH the wave and a beach ball appearance. The crowd must’ve been restless or something. Anyways, the finish came when Joe snuck up on John Cena to put him in the Coquina Clutch. Reigns came in for a Superman punch on Joe, but Joe put Cena in their path. After Cena was knocked out, Roman and Joe continued their brawl to the outside. Ever the opportunist, Miz comes in to pick the bones. He gets into position for the Skull-Crushing Finale, but this is reversed by Cena into the Attitude Adjustment! One, two, three!
Winners: John Cena & Roman Reigns (**1/4)
After the match, Cena shoots Roman a glare over the Superman punch mishap. Roman smiles and tells Cena, “My bad.” Sowing the seeds…I think these guys are either going to do business in the Fall, or they’re going to save it for WrestleMania. For now, they celebrate as we go to credits!
Final Thoughts: This did have the feel of a post-WrestleMania show, so I’ll give them credit for that. I will also give them credit for having the main event of next month’s PPV already figured out. We’ll have to see what happens in the weeks to come! I’m already looking forward to No Mercy. See you next week!