Welcome to a HIGHLY anticipated episode of Raw! I’m @TheMagnumDA, and I will be your reporter for tonight’s festivities. We have a #1 contender to decide (Samoa Joe vs. Roman Reigns), plus Kurt Angle comes clean regarding his personal situation. Looking forward to this weekend’s Tragos/Thesz Hall of Fame ceremonies! Check out more information here: http://nwhof.org.
Shoutout to the Renegade and the Fabulous Feldman Brothers!
Raw is LIVE from Nashville, Tennessee. We start tonight’s program with Dean Ambrose! He comes out with a chair that he named “Steely Dan”. Seems appropriate in Music City USA. Well, except for the fact that they’re not Country. After threatening The Miztourage with said chair, Seth Rollins comes out to rationalize things. Dean tells him to scram, but Seth asks him the all-important question: When Seth gets a chance at revenge against The Miz, will Dean be with him or against him? Dean says that he doesn’t know Seth anymore. Dean continues to rail on Seth for his betrayal of The Shield, until Seth finally tells him “I’m sorry!”
Rollins asks Dean what it will take for him to move on from what happened three years ago. Dean rebuffs him, so Rollins drops the mic and stands with his back to Dean (allowing him a chance at redemption). Instead, Ambrose throws the chair out of the ring. Miz’s music hits, and The Miztourage appears! They corner Rollins and Ambrose with steel chairs, eventually unloading on both of them after a beatdown. Rollins gets hit with the Skull-Crushing Finale onto a chair! 3-on-2, eh? I got a feeling the odds are going to be even very soon.
Match #1 – WWE Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss vs. Bayley (non-title)
Alexa slaps Bayley right in the face, so Bayley drives her into the corner. Bliss turns the tables with an attack in the corner, but Bayley rolls out and recovers with a lariat. As Alexa backs off, Nia Jax’s music plays! Jax makes her way down the ring as both women look on. After a break, Bayley fights up from a reverse armbar (working on the left arm), but Bliss drives her back down for a nearfall. Alexa starts to stomp on Bayley’s shoulder while holding her arm by the wrist! Ouch. Bayley counters, and then hits the middle rope neckbreaker.
Bliss misses a charge in the corner, and Bayley drills her with a running elbow. Bliss tries to injure the left arm once more, but Bayley fights off, hitting a reverse elbow. Bayley goes up top, but Alexa rolls out of the ring. When Bayley goes after her, Nia Jax obstructs. This allows Bliss to catch Bayley with a cheap shot. As they go back into the ring, Sasha Banks comes out and DROPS Jax with a dropkick that sends her back-first into the apron. Back inside, a rollup by Bayley for the one, two, no! BELLY-TO-BAYLEY! One, two, three!
Winner: Bayley (*3/4)
Video recap of John Cena’s appearance at the ESPY Awards, followed by Stephanie McMahon winning the Stuart Scott Enspire Award for her humanitarian efforts. They mean well, but I’ll just say this: I will always share Justin Roberts’ views on WWE’s humanitarian efforts. In fact, that will always be my response whenever I see one of these videos. This is followed by a video recap of the Reigns vs. Strowman feud. Afterwards, Raw GM Kurt Angle is assured by Corey Graves backstage. Graves tells Kurt that he’s doing the right thing by coming clean. After that, the Titus Brand is getting pumped up backstage when Ariya Daivari interrupts. He asks for a match against Tozawa tonight, and Akira tells him, “You gotteeeh.” I think that’s a yes. I think.
Match #2 – Mustafa Ali & Gentleman Jack Gallagher vs. The Brian Kendrick & Drew Gulak
Gallagher and Kendrick go face-to-face and jaw at each other. Gulak gets tagged in by Kendrick, but he’s immediately twisted into a Surfboard Stomp by Gallagher! OUCH. Kendrick interrupts, allowing Gulak to land a forearm. They trade some more forearms, as Gulak knocks Jack down and stomps on his gut. Gulak hits a SERIOUS chop to Gallagher’s chest, knocking him down again. Gallagher backdrops Gulak out of the ring, but Kendrick interrupts with a tag and an attack on Gallagher. HUGE headbutt knocks both men out, but Jack somehow tags Ali on the way down. Ali comes in and hits the 054 on Kendrick! What an Inverted 450 on Kendrick! One, two, three! Whoa. That was really rushed. Well, we had to get that Stephanie McMahon video in there, I guess.
Winners: Mustafa Ali & Gentleman Jack Gallagher (*)
Enzo comes out for another LONG promo. At least he didn’t quote Sinatra this time. Enzo says he will never give up, unlike his former tag team partner Cass. He shows the video from last week where Cass retreated from a Big Show beatdown. Cass comes out and oddly enough…he tells Corey Graves “If it wasn’t for you, none of this would’ve happened.” What, is he implying that he wanted to string this out a little longer? Enzo rolls out of the ring and says that he’s got someone in mind for Cass tonight. This brings out The Big Show! Cass boots Show when he steps over the top rope, but Show counters with a headbutt! Cass gets thrown in the barricade three times!
Cass throws Show into the barricade, and hits Show with some serious taped right hands. Finally, Show throws Cass right into the video board on the apron of the ring. Show gets Cass up for a huge bodyslam to the mats outside. HUGE frying pan chop by Big Show to Big Cass. On the apron, Cass recovers and throws Show into the corner post twice. Back inside, Cass continues to beat down Show as the CASS-HOLE chants start. Huge series of kicks by Cass to Big Show’s ribs! Enzo has finally seen enough, and he runs into the ring to make the save. Unfortunately, Cass is ready and waiting with a big boot to serve Enzo for dinner. The crowd boos as Cass stands tall at the top of the entrance way.
Roman Reigns is with Charly backstage. He tells Charly that tonight, he’ll go through Samoa Joe. At Summerslam, he’ll go through Brock Lesnar to become the next Universal Champion. Why? Because he’s the Big Dog. Come on. Give me something more than that.
Match #3 – Finn Balor vs. Elias Samson
This feud feels like 2012, when Alberto Del Rio fought Kofi Kingston about 33 straight times on Raw. Booker holds Samson in high regard, saying “The guy’s good.” Booker…come on, I heard you bumping some Destiny’s Child while you were leaving a WCW House Show in Moline, Illinois. Don’t act like you’re suddenly a guitar guy. They lock up and The Drifter sends Balor back into the corner. Balor gives him a snapmare, and a kick to the back. Drifter gets up and hits a MASSIVE body slam on Balor. He pounds Balor in the corner, and then he elbows him with Finn draped on the apron. Back inside, he chokes Balor using the ring rope and then DRILLS Balor with a lariat.
Seated Full Nelson by The Drifter, but Balor fights up and runs right into a forearm. Balor responds with an Overhead Kick. Running chop attack by Balor, followed by chops and fists in the corner. Samson gets Balor on his shoulders, and turns him around into a HUGE Power Bomb for one, two, NO! Wow, that was close. Backbreaker by Elias gets two. Samson climbs up top, but Balor catches him with another Overhead Kick on the top rope. Balor with a big running kick from the apron, followed by the dropkick into the barricade! As Finn comes to get Elias, The Drifter pulls out the guitar and SMACKS Balor right in the face with it! Honky Tonk Man, eat your heart out. That was a SMASH hit.
Winner by DQ: Finn Balor (**1/4)
After the match, Bray Wyatt appears on the Titantron. Wyatt tells Balor that his suffering is enjoyable to watch. Wyatt then calls himself the “Eye of the Storm”, which is ironically the most peaceful part of a hurricane. Wyatt tells Finn that he will take pleasure in Balor’s pain. We are then treated to a Samoa Joe promo video, leading up to the main event tonight.
After a break, Sasha and Bayley talk to Kurt Angle about who should be the #1 Contender for the Women’s Championship at SummerSlam. Angle books a match between the two for next week’s Raw to decide who is the #1 Contender. We then get a recap of last week’s return of The Revival, who beat down Matt & Jeff Hardy after their loss to Gallows & Anderson. Dash and Dawson are interviewed shortly after, with Dawson telling the world that the Hardyz will remember them after tonight. TOP GUYS…OUT.
Match #4 – Akira Tozawa vs. Ariya Daivari
MORE PURPLE TAPE, PLEASE! Oh wait. They stopped doing that. Akira with forearms and a huge kick to the chest. Senton by Akira, but he lands shoulder-first and Daivari capitalizes. Ariya wraps Akira’s own arm around his neck, but Tozawa fights up. Daivari throws Akira shoulder-first into the corner post for a nearfall. Daivari talks trash, but this allows Tozawa to hit a Frankensteiner and a NICE suplex.
Daivari with an arm-first kneedrop, followed by another throw into the corner. Daivari continues to work on the arm. Tozawa is hurting, and out of nowhere…the ref stops the match?! Apparently, Titus asked the ref to stop the match. Tozawa is PISSED at Titus, yelling “I never quit!” Wow. That was 4 minutes worth of Cruiserweight action tonight…and about 2 of those minutes made no sense whatsoever.
Winner: Ariya Daivari (*)
KURT ANGLE’S CONFESSION:
Finally, we get the moment of truth: Kurt Angle comes out to talk to the fans about his personal situation. Kurt points out that, in life, actions have consequences. Angle recalls a story about his time at Clarion College, when he dated a girl that became pregnant after their relationship ended. Eventually, she gave birth to a baby boy that was given up in a closed adoption. That child grew up to be…Jason Jordan of American Alpha! Yes, THAT Jason Jordan of Smackdown. Jason is introduced as the newest member of the Raw roster, and both men embrace in the ring. Well, I was off by a mile with my guess. Crowd wasn’t into it at all. They were laughing as tears streamed down Angle’s face. Ouch. As always, let it play out, see where it goes, yadda yadda yadda.
Match #5 – The Hardy Boyz vs. The Revival
All four men brawl to start, and The Revival retreats. Back in the ring, Matt charges Dawson in the corner, and beats him down before tagging in Brother Nero. Jeff comes in and stomps Dawson into dust. Dawson sends Jeff to the opposite corner, but Jeff charges back with a clothesline and a tag to his brother. Matt catches Dawson with a HUGE fist, and then takes him down with a headlock. Dawson’s selling is great…”OWWW!” Dash tags in and they start clubbering on Matt. Dash with a body shot, followed by a tag to Dawson. They hit the double team on Matt, as Dawson continues the attack in the corner. Matt turns it around with the TURNBUCKLE TOUR! Clothesline and bulldog by Matt to Dawson! One, two, no! Jeff tags in, and they hit the double-team legdrop splash on Dawson. Dash gets a double-team legdrop splash too! The Revival retreats as we go to break.
After the break, The Revival destroy Matt and work on the left leg. Dawson hits a legdrop for two. Dawson hangs Matt in the Tree of Woe, as Dash tags in and continues the attack. Jeff runs in and attacks Dash as the ref cuts him off. The Revival start to dissect the left leg, with Dawson wrapping up the leglock. Dash tags in and wraps the leg in the ropes before stomping on it. Dawson tags back in and wraps up another leglock as the fans cheer on Matt. Matt kicks off Dawson, and somehow gets a backslide for two. Dash gets the tag and cuts off Jeff before continuing to work on the left leg. Dawson tags in and clips Matt with a dropkick to the head. Dawson FINALLY gets kicked off by Matt, allowing the hot tag to Jeff! HOUSE OF FIYAH! Clotheslines! Legdrop! Dropkick to the face! One, two, no! SPLASH from the second rope! One, two, no! Twist of Fate! One, two, NO! Fans are going crazy. Whisper in the Wind by Jeff to Dawson! Jeff goes up for the Swanton, but Dash grabs the leg and Jeff EATS IT. Dawson with the presence of mind to make the cover! One, two, three with the tights!
Winners: The Revival (***1/2)
Charly is backstage with Samoa Joe. Samoa Joe brings up the fact that he has already defeated Roman Reigns twice in a row. This time, it’s for the #1 contendership to Brock Lesnar’s Universal championship at SummerSlam. Joe claims that tonight, the third time will be the charm. After this, we are shown a video honoring Norris Peterson, a Special Olympics athlete in attendance for Raw. The fans are extremely respectful, showing Peterson the praise he deserves. I like when fans do that.
After the break, Titus talks to Akira and tells him that he was trying to protect him earlier. Tozawa appreciates it so much that he demands a match with Daivari tomorrow night on 205 Live. Following this, Michael Cole runs down the card for next week prior to the main event. Three big matches signed: Balor vs. The Drifter in a No-DQ Match, Sasha vs. Bayley for the #1 Contender to the Women’s Championship, and Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose vs. The Miztourage.
Main Event – #1 Contender’s Match for the WWE Universal Championship
Samoa Joe vs. Roman Reigns
The winner gets Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title at SummerSlam. They lock up in the ring, and Reigns gets a side headlock. Joe sends Roman to the ropes, and hits a shoulder charge to stand his ground. Slap by Joe, but Roman responds with a series of right hands. Joe retreats from the ring to the outside as we go to break.
After the break, Reigns is hit with a shoulder charge by Joe, followed by an Overhead Kick for two. Joe attacks Roman in the corner with fists and forearms. Joe takes Roman out to the middle of the ring to continue the assault, but Roman catches a roll-up for two. Joe gets up and hits a HUGE back elbow for two. Joe drops the Samoan shoulder thrusts, followed by a neck vice on Reigns. Reigns fights up, but Joe is ready to nail him with a snap suplex for two.
Joe goes back to the neck vice, and starts to talk serious trash to Reigns. Roman fights out and starts hitting Joe with fists to the gut and face. Reigns rallies with a series of lariats, but Joe catches him in the Uranage. Before the slam, Reigns fights out and hits another lariat for two. In the corner, Roman hits the 10-count with a series of lariats. Mafia Kick by Roman Reigns! Roman gets in the pose for his Superman Punch, but Joe retreats outside. Roman goes for the Drive-By, but Reigns ends up hitting back first on the apron. Miraculously, Roman recovers and just SPLATTERS Joe with a lariat. Both men are down as we go to the final commercial!
After the last break, Joe stares down Roman while continuing the punishment. Reigns fights up and starts to headbutt Joe. Reigns hits the Samoan Drop for the one, two, NO! These fans are INTO it. Joe with an Atomic Drop, followed by the running knee and the senton for two! Joe tries another Uranage, but Roman fights out of it twice before rolling into a SUPERMAN PUNCH! One, two, NO! Roman crawls to the corner when BRAUN STROWMAN appears! The ref calls the match off as Strowman approaches the ring.
Winner: No Contest (***)
He stands over Joe before turning his attention to Roman Reigns. Reigns starts lacing Strowman with punches and kicks before Braun takes control, LAUNCHING Roman into the ring. Joe is PISSED, and starts laying into Strowman. Strowman drops Joe, and heads back inside to continue the beatdown on both men. Superman Punch to Braun, followed by a Kokina Clutch on Strowman! Reigns hits ANOTHER Superman Punch on Strowman. Reigns tries one last charge, but this turns into a spinebuster on Reigns! Both Joe and Roman get a running powerslam by Strowman. Braun picks up Roman for one last powerslam. Strowman stands tall as we go to credits.
Final Thoughts: The Angle Confession left a little to be desired, but I would expect that this will lead to much bigger things for Jason Jordan. For some comic relief, check out Chad Gable’s Twitter account for his response to the whole deal. As for the SummerSlam Main Event? It’s starting to look like a Fatal 4 Way for the Universal Championship. Next Monday could be good! There’s already 3 matches lined up for next week, plus we’ll find out who gets Lesnar at Summerslam. Come on back to W-O for another installment of the Raw report! TOP GUY…OUT.