Hello! @TheMagnumDA here with tonight’s Raw report, LIVE from Memphis!
Tonight, our main event is a rematch from SummerSlam, where WWE Women’s Champion (Raw) Sasha Banks defends her championship against Alexa Bliss. We start tonight at the commentary booth, where Jerry Lawler is filling in for Booker T.! We are then told that Booker T. was unable to fly out of Houston, TX due to Hurricane Harvey. I want to send thoughts and love to the people in that area…I don’t think anyone saw this coming. Prayers go out to my friends Jesse and Erica out in Katy, TX. I loved going to WrestleMania XXV with you, but I’m sure wrestling’s the furthest thing from your mind right now. Stay safe! We love you!
We start tonight’s show with The Miztourage! WWE IC Champion The Miz is flanked by his wife, Maryse, as well as Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. As they come into the ring, Miz has a microphone in hand. Before he is able to get a word out, we hear the music of Raw General Manager Kurt Angle! Miz is furious about this, and tells Angle that the Intercontinental Champion is getting NO respect. Angle informs Miz that we will be starting Raw with a 15-man battle royal, where the winner gets a shot at Miz’s Intercontinental Championship. Well, that’s that!
Match #1 – Battle Royal – Winner is #1 Contender to the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Alright, let’s get a role call here. We have Curt Hawkins, and…well…we *had* Curt Hawkins. He was thrown out in five seconds! We also have Goldust, The Hardy Boyz, Gallows & Anderson, Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel, ELIAS, R-Truth, Big Show, Kalisto, Apollo Crews, Jason Jordan, and Finn Balor. We’ll fast forward to the 15-minute mark (!!!) where there are six men left. It’s down to Balor, Jordan, Axel, Dallas, Elias, and Jeff Hardy. BRAY WYATT appears from out of nowhere to eliminate Finn Balor. After that, Jordan is able to eliminate both members of The Miztourage with a double clothesline over the top rope! We’re down to three! Jordan continues his hot streak by tossing Elias, as well! However, this allows Jeff to knock out Jason Jordan to win a shot at the Intercontinental Championship! I don’t rate battle royals, but this was pretty long and dull.
Winner: Jeff Hardy
Backstage, Charly is with Alexa Bliss. Alexa repeats the fact that Sasha Banks might be a four-time Women’s Champion, but she cannot successfully *defend* the Women’s Championship. Bliss tells Sasha that she hopes she enjoyed playing champion for the last week, because tonight…the Goddess will be taking back her throne. Every time she says “Goddess”, I think of Elizabeth Berkeley in “Showgirls”. Don’t ask why.
We are then joined by Enzo Amore, who has officially joined the Cruiserweight Division. There is a flashback to last week’s Raw, where Big Cass tore his ACL in a match against Enzo. Amore tells the fans that he proved he can hang with the giants on Raw, so why not give the Cruiserweight Division a shot? I am not sure I follow that logic, but whatever. Enzo namedrops his buddy Money Mayweather (which gets some boo’s!) and then introduces his opponent…”the man with two first names”, Noam Dar!
Match #2 – Enzo Amore vs. Noam Dar
Neville is shown backstage watching this match. This is a pretty pedestrian match, with fists and stomps instead of your typical Cruiserweight fare. Enzo wins with a super sloppy Inverted Stomp Facebreaker for the victory.
Winner: Enzo Amore (*)
After the match, Charly is backstage with Neville. Charly asks, “Is Enzo the type of man that would come for your Cruiserweight Championship?” What kind of question is THAT?! Neville claims that he will hold onto the title “forever and ever.” I wouldn’t be so sure of that, considering Vince’s thought pattern these days.
We are then joined by Paul Heyman and the WWE Universal Champion, BRRROCK LESNAR! Heyman gets out a cheesy line about how they refuse to “Cry the Blues” in Memphis over Braun Strowman. They will admit, however, that Braun is Brock’s most worthy challenger. Heyman talks about Strowman hitting the two Powerslams on Lesnar through a table at SummerSlam, and then reiterated Corey Graves’ description of the way Strowman “powerhandled” Lesnar.
Umm…he did what? I’ll try to keep my mind out of the gutter, sorry.
Heyman also recapped last week, where Strowman hit Lesnar with yet another Powerslam. Paul then tells the Memphis crowd that at No Mercy, Lesnar will do whatever is necessary to get a piece of Strowman. Lesnar will not duck Strowman, and he will face him head-on. Lesnar then grabs the mic and says, “What he’s trying to say is….Suplex City, bitch.” The crowd cheers as they leave the ring area!
Match #3 – Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins
This match is joined in progress. Dean Ambrose and Sheamus, the partners of Seth Rollins and Cesaro, are at ringside for this match. Rollins goes up to the top rope for the Blockbuster, followed by a Sling Blade. Rollins climbs to the top rope again, but Sheamus attempts to trip him up. Rollins makes an incredible leap over Sheamus, but he gets distracted by a brawl between Sheamus and Ambrose outside the ring. Rollins walks RIGHT INTO a huge European Uppercut by Cesaro. This is enough for the one, two, and three!
Winner: Cesaro (**)
After the match, Sheamus and Cesaro celebrate this victory. Somehow, this leads to Sheamus challenging Ambrose to a one-on-one contest. Rollins and Ambrose return to the ring area to accept the challenge. We are then treated to a video package previewing the Contract Signing between John Cena and Roman Reigns for No Mercy.
Match #4 – Dean Ambrose vs. Sheamus
Throughout the match, Sheamus continued to work on Ambrose’s lower back. He pounded Ambrose with vicious knees and clubbing forearms to the lower lumbar area. At one point, Sheamus even had Ambrose in the Stretch Muffler! Sheamus turned up the psychology big time, hitting Ambrose with the Irish Curse and the Rolling Senton from the middle rope. The finish came when Ambrose made his comeback, and Cesaro came up on the apron. Seth Rollins pulls Cesaro off the ropes, and this leads to a big chase where the ref stops Cesaro dead in his tracks. While this is happening, Sheamus is setting up White Noise on Ambrose. With the ref’s back turned, Rollins is able to catch Sheamus with the knee to the face (off a springboard), allowing Ambrose to hit the Dirty Deeds for the one, two, three!
Winner: Dean Ambrose (**3/4)
Emma and Mickie James are backstage bickering to one another about hashtags. I know it’s 2017, but I don’t want to see an angle where women complain to each other about their Twitter trends. Somehow, there’s a stipulation added to this where Mickie will hashtag anything Emma desires…as long as Emma gets the win tonight. If Emma loses, she will be forced to stop tweeting about starting the Women’s Revolution. SO MUCH AT STAKE! Smell the anticipation!
Match #5 – Mickie James vs. Emma
Mickie James kicks Emma RIGHT in the face to start. Mickie goes for a roll-up, but somehow this is reversed by Emma! One, two, three! Well, that’s two minutes I’ll never get back.
After the match, Emma continues to claim that she started the Women’s Revolution. She does this all the way until she leaves the ring area. That’s like claiming you won the 1994 World Series.
John Cena & Roman Reigns – The Contract Signing
For those of you living under a rock, the wrestling world has been abuzz over this promo. We start with Raw GM Kurt Angle, who introduces both men. First, he introduces John Cena. Cena shows some love to the hometown King, and then he heads in the ring. Cena talks about this match being worthy of a WrestleMania main event, but it’s happening at No Mercy. Cena brings up his desire to come to Raw and be face-to-face with the man who says he runs this yard, the big dog…Roman Reigns. Cena then lights up Reigns, calling him a “protected” blue chip prospect. Cena thinks that Roman wants nothing to do with him, because Roman knows that Cena just doesn’t give a f**k anymore.
Angle introduces Roman Reigns, who is booed out of the building. Wow. Reigns is apoplectic that Cena would even think about telling people that Reigns is ducking him. Reigns said that Cena isn’t a big deal anymore (ouch!) and that he did something Cena could never do: retire The Undertaker at WrestleMania. Reigns then tells Cena, “It’s not that I don’t want to fight you…maybe I just don’t need to.” Cena cuts him off and says, “You’re right because you’re the BIG DOG.” I think I caught a hint of sarcasm there. Cena says that while he can be a polarizing wrestler, he gets a reaction. Cena says while there may be some people who want him to turn aggressive, nobody wants to see Roman, period. Cena then calls him a “a cheap ass, corporately created, John Cena bootleg.” Shit’s on. The crowd is chanting “YES!” Unreal!
Cena then turns it up even more: He suggests that Reigns is not “the guy”. Rather…he is just a guy trying too hard to fill shoes that could never be filled. Cena said that he’s not The Undertaker, a hobbled veteran with a bad hip. Cena then claims that he’s faster, stronger, and hungrier than he has EVER been in his entire life. Cena told Reigns that if he signs that contract…the Roman Empire will…(mic drop). The fans went wild for this. Reigns started to retort, but he forgets his words in the promo!! Cena then says, and I quote, “I’ll wait. It’s called a promo kid. If you want to be the big dog, you’re going to have to learn how to do it. See ya, fourth wall!” WOW!
Roman immediately gets pissed and starts tearing down Cena. He called John a “fake bitch,” and then followed it up by calling him a “part-time fake ass bitch.” Reigns says that he’ll be damned if he was going to bust his ass on the road, only for Cena to come in and take his spotlight. He ripped on Cena’s co-hosting spot on the “Today” show, and then ridicules John for showing up on WWE TV “if the company pays him enough money.” Zing! Roman then tells Cena that he won’t be using his golden shovel to bury talent this time, because Roman’s the one guy John can’t bury. Roman then closes with a great line: “Why would I want to cheapen my legacy by being the next John Cena…when I can be the one and only Roman Reigns?” This received considerable heat from the crowd.
Cena comes back with a masterful choice of words: “Everybody in the back thinks I’ve got this mystical golden shovel, these magical powers to control everyone’s fate. It was really the fans who held the keys, they always have and always will. I’ve heard what Reigns has said for ten years. Reigns believes that I hold everybody down. I haven’t main evented WrestleMania in five years, and I was the opening match at SummerSlam. I held the U.S. Championship to give younger stars a chance, guys like Kevin Owens and A.J. Styles. Reigns took the U.S. Championship as a demotion. Reigns blames me, but I blame Roman because I’m still here because Reigns can’t do his job. When it comes to this yard, there’s only one rule: step up or stand aside. And over the years, there’s been a few to step up, but not one to keep up. Then I heard about Reigns, the one who could possibly keep up, but I’ve listened to Reigns. I think that Reigns should be ashamed that I’m part-time, because I can do this better part-time better than Reigns could ever do it full-time.” This could be his best work on the mic, to date.
At this point, they sign the contracts and Reigns turns over the table. Before there are any fisticuffs, the GOOD BROTHERS (Gallows and Anderson) appear! They call out Reigns and Cena, and Angle orders a tag match to take place…now!
Match #6 – John Cena & Roman Reigns vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
This was a showcase for Reigns and Cena, although Reigns was pretty funny as the sarcastic cheerleader in Cena’s corner. Both men start a game of “Can you top this?” with each of them hitting their signature moves. Finally, Cena hits the AA on Luke Gallows! As this is happening, SPEAR by Reigns to Anderson! Roman gets the cover for the one, two, three!
Winners: John Cena & Roman Reigns (*3/4)
Next up, ELIAS is here to treat the Memphis crowd to a new song. Elias recalls a story where Dusty Rhodes once called him the “Elvis” of the WWE. The King cuts off his crooning, which leads to an appearance by “Pelvis Wesley” of Southpaw Regional Wrestling. This is basically Heath Slater in an Elvis jumpsuit. Elias puts the boots to Pelvis as the crowd cries out, “He’s got kids!” Okay, that was a pretty funny chant. Still, what a strange segment.
After this, The Miztourage is backstage leaving the arena. Renee Young tries to interview Miz, but Miz is furious that Jeff Hardy got a title shot simply by winning one match. Young points out that he beat 14 other opponents, but Maryse wisely points out that Jeff did not pin anyone to get the shot. They storm off in a huff. After this, Charly interviews Sasha Banks, who vows to successfully defend her championship.
Main Event – WWE Women’s Championship (Raw)
Sasha Banks (c) vs. Alexa Bliss
Sasha misses a baseball slide early, allowing Bliss to throw her into the dasher boards! Sick! The story of this match focused on the back of Sasha Banks, as Alexa Bliss continued to work it over. Bliss caught Banks with an elbow to the mush, and then followed it up with the Code Red! One, two, no! At this point, Sasha makes her comeback, culminating in the Shining Wizard! One, two, no! The ending came when both women went to the top rope. Bliss caught Banks with an awesome Superplex, but this was quickly turned into a Bank Statement! Bliss is unable to get into the ropes, so she rolls on her back! One, two, no! Sasha tries for the Bank Statement once more, but Alexa runs Sasha’s face and eyes into the ropes! OUCH! With Sasha in a prone position, Banks hits the DDT for the one, two, three! We have a NEW Women’s Champion! The fourth title reign has ended for Sasha Banks.
Winner and NEW Champion: Alexa Bliss (***)
The real story comes after the match, as Nia Jax comes to celebrate with Little Miss Bliss! As Alexa is hoisted onto Jax’s shoulders, you could almost feel the turn coming. Suddenly, Nia Jax DROPS Alexa with an Electric Chair. She grabs the title and holds it up over Alexa’s lifeless body. I think we have a match for No Mercy! The crowd loved this. We go to credits!
Final Thoughts: There was a lot of talking, but it was good. We only had one championship match, but it was a doozy. In the end, the stuff that mattered was really good. That’s all you can ask for. I will be off next Monday, but I will see you on 9/11 for the next Raw report!