Monday Night Raw TV Report for August 15th, 2016 – “Challenge Answered”
Introduction Segment: Video Promos and Welcoming
Events featuring Lana, Rusev, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Finn Balor recall last week’s Raw. We go to a promo with Seth Rollins outside the American Bank Center from earlier today; he talks about Finn Balor, who he will face at SummerSlam this Sunday for the Universal Championship. He wants to call out the “Demon King” now, but gets no response. Rollins vows to do so before the night is over.
We then go live to the arena in Corpus Christi, Texas. Michael Cole acknowledges and in the ring are United States Champion Rusev and Lana.
Segment #2: Arena Promo
Rusev and Lana are enraged because Roman Reigns interrupted their wedding celebration last week. Rusev informs us that Raw will not happen until they are allowed to celebrate properly. General Manager Mick Foley walks out, and Rusev rants on him giving for Reigns a United States Championship match at SummerSlam. He asks for Commissioner Stephanie McMahon, but she does not oblige to Rusev’s arguments. She rips him for not having “respect” for Mick Foley.
Roman Reigns interrupts and makes fun of Rusev and Lana’s wedding night. Roman is fine to wrestle now, but Stephanie makes them wait until Sunday. Rusev wants to wrestle tonight as well, which Foley agrees to. He makes Reigns VS. Rusev for Lana’s honor.
Match #1: Single – Sheamus VS. Sami Zayn
They lockup and Sheamus slams Sami to the mat with a side-headlock take-down. They lockup again and shove each other into the corner; Zayn gets the better with forearms, but Sheamus comes back with a snapmare and kick. (Note: Cesaro has now joined commentary.) He tosses Sami to the apron, but Zayn flips over.
Sheamus is in control, putting him to the canvas with a slam! 1 – 2 – Sami gets his shoulder up! Sheamus slaps Zayn, but Sami hops out of a suplex-attempt. He pulls down the top rope as Sheamus ran towards, but Sheamus countered a run and beats on his chest with his fist. Sheamus runs in the ring but Zayn counters with a clothesline, and then clothesline Sheamus over the ropes; he follows with an over-the-top-rope swanton!
Sami goes to the top turnbuckle, but Sheamus counters and plants him with White Noise. (Thanks, Cole!) Zayn soon counters with a Blue-Thunder Bomb for a near-fall! He runs at Sheamus, but is driven with the Irish-Curse backbreaker! Sheamus signals for the Brogue Kick, but Cesaro goes to ringside and distracts. Sami takes advantage and hits his Helluva Kick and covers to receive the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: Sami Zayn
Segment #3: Backstage Promo
Tom Phillips is with Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho. They will be wrestling Big Cass and Enzo Amore, but do not appreciate their opponents’ personalities. They make fun of Cass and Enzo, and don’t call Tom by his actual name. Later, Kevin will be taking on Cass.
Segment #4: Backstage Promo
Sheamus and Cesaro are brawling with referees trying to split them. GM Foley gets between them and agrees they have both shown him how much they want to be used on Raw. He books a Best-of-Seven series, which commences at Summerslam!
Match #3: Tag-Team – The Dudley Boyz (Bubba-Ray and D-Von) VS. Tag-Team Champions The New Day (Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston) (Non-Title)
Xavier and D-Von start out, with D-Von getting the better first. He clotheslines Woods and punches him, and then rams his head into the top turnbuckle. Bubba is in, but Xavier battles back. D-Von switches but accidentally hits Ray; New Day capitalize with Kofi hitting his Trouble In Paradise spin-kick for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pinfall: Tag-Team Champions The New Day
Post-match, Luke and Karl microwave an egg, which fails. They talk innuendos about the groin area, and insinuate they will collect more “eggs” from Kofi and Xavier. New Day doesn’t take this kindly, and they promise to retain their Tag Titles at SummerSlam against The Club for Big E.
Segment #5: Backstage Promo
Seth is in search for “The Demon King.” Instead, he walks into Neville, who tells Rollins that he’s “not ready,” as he has already wrestle “The Demon King.” Seth states that he is and orders Neville to “go back to whatever little Hobbit Hole you came from.”
Match #3: Single – Rachel Levy VS. Nia Jax
Nia completes this one quickly with her finisher, a Samoan Drop/Fireman’s Carry into a side-slam!
Winner via Pinfall: Nia Jax
Up next, Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar will be out to talk about Randy Orton!
Segment #6: Arena Promo
Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar make their way to the ring. Before they get started, Heath Slater interjects. He pleads his case to be a “client” of Heyman, but Paul E. just laughs him off. Slater gets real serious, saying that he has to do this for his kids. After some debate between Heyman and Heath, Lesnar invites Slater into the ring. Brock first sympathizes as he has kids too, but then declares that he doesn’t care about Heath’s. He warns Slater to leave, but Heath tries to stand up even more for himself with a punch. Lesnar puts him to the canvas with an F-5 and kicks him out of the ring.
Paul continues in the ring, comparing the fact that Heath had the guts to do what Orton didn’t – face “The Beast” one-on-one. Heyman rages on about the overriding force that Brock is and what he will do to Randy at SummerSlam.
Match #4: Single – Big Cass (with Enzo Amore) VS. Kevin Owens (with Chris Jericho)
Owens kicks at Cass and hammers on his back, but Big hits a shoulder-block to take over. Cass punches in the corner, but Kevin holds onto the ropes out of a whip, and then jawbkreaks Cass against the ropes. He throws Cass to the floor where Chris kicks him as the referee was looking away. Owens then runs Cass into the ring post.
Kevin is still governing but Cass boots back. Owens goes for a powerbomb on the floor, but Cass backdrops him. On the other side, Jericho hits Enzo, which angers Big. He is also hit on and put on the mat with a Codebreaker. Owens was officially DQ’ed.
Winner via Disqualification: Big Cass (with Enzo Amore)
Segment #7: Backstage Promo
Roman is interviewed by Tom, and proclaims that he is good-to-go for anything that Rusev wants to bring to him. The United States Champion responds immediately, hitting Reigns in the back. They both brawl around the hall, with Lana cheering on Rusev from the background. They are eventually split by referees and agents.
Match #5: Tag-Team – The Shining Stars (Primo and Epico) VS. The Primetime Players (Titus O’Neil and Darren Young) (with Bob Backlund)
Titus begins with Epico, taking him to task for a bit until The Stars mudhole-stomp him in the corner. O’Neil slams back on Primo, and then tags in Young, who gets a little offense in. Unfortunately, Darren is run into Titus on the apron as O’Neil was getting advice from Backlund; Titus isn’t a fan of the action and slams Young down with his Clash of the Titus double-chokeslam. He walks away, and as Primo looks shocked, Epico tells him to cover; he does and they take this!
Winners via Pinfall: The Shining Stars
Match #6: Single – Jinder Mahal VS. Neville
Mahal punches to start, but Neville rolls him in a Majistral-Cradle for a quick count! Neville front-dropkicks Jinder through the ropes, and then flies off the top with a twisting splash/kick to the outside! Neville goes to the top turnbuckle, but Mahal begs for a break. He capitalizes with a hard-kick and then wears Neville down. “The Man That Gravity Forgot” counters the submission with a jawbreaker. He gears up and twirls off the top turnbuckle with his Red Arrow splash to finish!
Winner via Pinfall: Neville
Segment #8: Office Promo
Mick and Stephanie are talking, and Foley says that Jon Stewart has agreed to appear at SummerSlam. Seth walks in, still looking for “The Demon King.” He says he can’t find him, so instead he’s going to leave. Mick convinces him otherwise, to request “The Demon King” from the ring. Rollins agrees, and Mick laughs as he radios for Seth’s music to be played.
Segment #9: Arena Promo
Seth Rollins is in the ring and announces “there is nothing and no one that can stop me from becoming the first-ever WWE Universal Champion.” He decides to let “The Demon King” answer him and awaits … no response.
“Finn Balor is only trying to intimidate me because Finn Balor is scared of me;” Rollins speculates this because of the status that Seth holds. “In my story, ‘The Demon King,’ he won’t come out to this ring because he’s ‘terrified.’”
A fan suddenly enters, but the camera quickly cuts away and focuses on Seth. He stares and then inquires if that was “The Demon King.” The lights begin to flicker and a disguised voice sounds out on the P.A. System. The lights go out completely, and then flicker red and black. Finn Balor, dressed in his “Demon King” persona, crawls to the stage and then makes his entrance. (Which a very-cool entrance, by the way.)
They stare-down each other and then fight. Both kick each other, but Balor runs at Seth in the corner with a running front-dropkick. He goes to the top turnbuckle and jumps off with his Coup-De-Grace (jumping double-foot stomp), but Rollins rolls out of the ring. “The Demon” follows with an over-the-ropes swanton-dive! He gets back in the ring and poses while the lights go black and red again; Seth walks back up the ramp and glares in fear.
Match #7: Tag-Team – The Golden Truth (Goldust and R-Truth) VS. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
Golden Truth put up a bit of an effort, but Luke and Karl use their Magic Killer double-team finisher to win.
Winners via Pinfall: Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
Post-match, Tag-Team Champions New Day run out and attack. Xavier almost crotches Anderson with the trombone, but Luke pulls Karl from the ring.
Segment #10: Backstage Promo
Charlotte is stretching and Dana Brooke walks up. She says she is sorry for losing to Women’s Champion Sasha Banks and getting banned from ringside at SummerSlam. Charlotte mocks Dana’s career, and dismisses her.
Match #8: Single – Alicia Fox VS. Charlotte
(Note: Women’s Champion Sasha Banks is on commentary.) An elbow/collar tie-up begins, and Charlotte pushes off from the corner. She kicks Alicia in the gut, but Fox rolls her up for a quick count. She hits a couple of dropkicks and a twisting-crossbody! Charlotte regains and stomps on Fox against the bottom rope.
Alicia kicks back out of the corner, but is yanked from the second turnbuckle. She is given the “Natural Selection” snapmare-facebuster and Charlotte covers to get the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: Charlotte
Post-match, Charlotte calls Banks to the ring. The Women’s Champion retorts to the ring but is promptly attacked by Dana Brooke, who rolled into the ring. Charlotte chop-blocks Sasha and clamps on the Figure-4! It takes two referees to remove Charlotte from Sasha, who then poses over a potentially-injured Banks.
Up next, Roman Reigns and United States Champion Rusev are still scheduled to wrestle.
Segment #11: Video Promo
Braun Strowman’s recent destructive path is shown.
Match #9: Single – United States Champion Rusev (with Lana) VS. Roman Reigns (Non-Title)
They go at it right away with uppercuts, kicks, and punches. Rusev blocks and punches in the corner, and technically, the bell has not rung. (Thanks, Cole!) Reigns chucks Rusev to the outside and follows with the Drive-By. He whips Rusev, but the U.S. Champ reverses into the corner of the barricade.
The bout seems to officially have started and Rusev is working over Roman. He slammed Reigns’ left arm against the ring post while in break. Roman favors the arm, but is able to give Rusev a Samoan Drop with just his right arm! he ducks a clothesline and hits a couple of his own and then a leaping-clothesline! He runs at Rusev in the corner, but Rusev moves and hurls Reigns left shoulder first into the ring post. Rusev slams Roman’s arm on the steel steps, and then stomps on it against the steps. “The Bulgarian Brute” grabs his U.S. Title and goes to hit Roman, but the referee stops him. He continues to hit Roman with his hands.
Rusev now has a microphone and wants the fans to keep applauding for him. He continues to punish Roman, choking him with Reigns’ outfit in a rear-chinlock. He tries to suplex from the top turnbuckle, but Reigns stops him. He headbutts and then leaps off with a clothesline, and hits ten of them in the corner!
Roman signals for the Superman Punch, but Rusev reverses and gives him a spinning-wheel kick! 1 – 2 – Reigns lifts his shoulder! Rusev rockets from the turnbuckles with a four headbutts, but can’t take this with subsequent covers. He misses a fifth, as Roman rolled! Reigns rapidly punches and then clotheslines Rusev to the floor! He runs, using the steps for a jumping point, but Rusev counters with a kick.
In the ring, Rusev raises his arms but is met with a Superman Punch! 1 – 2 – Rusev raises his shoulder! Roman roars for The Spear, but Rusev counters with kicks. 1 – 2 – Reigns lifts his shoulder! Rusev throws a tantrum, and then points at Lana. He yells and stomps on Roman’s back. He tries to clutch on The Accolade, but Roman wiggles out. He runs again, but Rusev basically tosses him away. Rusev kicks Reigns in the back-of-the-head, and then locks him in The Accolade. Roman struggles but just manages to clasp the bottom rope!
Rusev stomps in frustration, and then runs, but Roman moves. He runs again, but Roman ducks and Spears! He covers and receives the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: Roman Reigns
Post-match, Lana cries and Rusev falls to the floor. Roman smiles in the ring to close the show.
End of Raw.
This was a greater Raw than last week and built their side of SummerSlam well. However, it wasn’t all wonderful, so I will get to that to.
Excellence: promos from Rusev/Stephanie/Roman, Chris Jericho/Kevin Owens, Gallows/Anderson, Neville, Rachel Levy, Heath/Heyman/Lesnar, Enzo/Cass, Mick, Seth, and Charlotte. Matches between Sheamus/Zayn, Jinder/Neville, and Rusev/Owens.
Loving what Heath Slater’s doing right now and hopefully tonight isn’t the end of the gimmick. He also really turned it up on the mike when speaking about his kids; that was some passion and I’d like to see that even more out of him.
I’m actually liking the comic side of Gallows and Anderson; I really thought they would flop when split from A.J., but they have proven they have some verbal skills of their own! Charlotte was also good with her “dressing down” of Dana.
While I would’ve like “The Demon King” to wait until Sunday, I’m not surprised that they revealed him to the Raw audience, and I did like that Balor didn’t say a word, keeping some mystique. Glad he almost no-sold Seth’s kick to, to show another side of Finn that doesn’t get rattled and part of that persona.
Enjoying the feud between Cass/Enzo/Kevin/Jericho, but I also think that it will be a one-off at SummeSlam and the winners move on.
Foley and Steph were much better at being in charge tonight; they actually acted like Commissioners and General Mangers, respectively, and dealt with only their roster, not concerning themselves with Smackdown! Live.
Bogus: the order of the show; while Roman and Rusev is proving to be a decent feud, they should not have kicked off the show and definitely should have not ended it. I think Seth’s video promo was fine, and then get into Sami/Sheamus. Close Raw with Seth and Balor/“The Demon King,” especially if the Universal Championship is supposed to be the “big” title.
I understand the psychology of having Truth/Goldust job quickly to Anderson/Gallows, but I think Karl and Luke could’ve gotten away with the promo instead; they didn’t need to have a match to prove dominance before Sunday.
Why bring back Jinder only to job him out? Neither he nor Neville should’ve been booked against each other, as they both needed the win to re-establish themselves. Would’ve liked Owens/Cass to go a bit longer as well, and Alicia/Charlotte, particularly for Alicia to gain a good upperhand and show some weakness in Charlotte without Dana.
While I know they will put on great matches, I think Cesaro VS. Sheamus could’ve been kept to a Two-Out-Of-Three Falls at SummerSlam; Best-of-Seven is just too much for a non-title rivalry.
All-in-all, a pretty-great Raw to “go-home” for SummerSlam. I will provide my predictions after tomorrow night’s Smackdown! Live report. Until then, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Fans!