The first Roadblock PPV was just last year in Canada, featuring eleven matches total, with the main event of Triple H vs Dean Ambrose, where Triple H retained the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. This year, it has been rebranded as a Raw exclusive PPV and renamed Roadblock: End Of The Line. It will take place in Pittsburg, PA at the PPG Paints Arena. Let’s take a look at the match card and make some predictions.
Big Cass vs Rusev – Preshow Singles Match
This feud all started when Lana accidentally saw Enzo Amore’s twig and berries while he was locked out of the locker room. Rusev caught Enzo attempting to hit on Lana, which resulted in Lana pretending to leave Rusev so she could lure Enzo to her hotel room where her husband beat the living daylights out of him. Cass isn’t one to let things slide when it comes to his best friend and tag partner, so he now has it out for Rusev. I’m glad it was a ruse and WWE wasn’t honestly trying to make a mockery of a real life marriage, plus it eased us into an easy feud. I don’t believe either of these men belong on the preshow, but let’s hope they give us a good match.
F2H Prediction: Rusev
Rich Swann (c) vs T.J. Perkins vs Brian Kendrick – Triple Threat Match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
The Cruiserweight Division is still struggling to find its place on Raw, and it doesn’t help that they now have their own show after Smackdown on the Network; that’s just too much wrestling to pack into one night. T.J. Perkins was a great pick as our inaugural champion and had a good run before losing the title to Brian Kendrick. Our resident pirate then lost his title on 205 Live, exclusively on the Network, to Rich Swann. Swann is an incredibly charismatic guy and a fantastic wrestler, so he will bring a lot of prestige and interest to the Cruiserweight division.
F2H Prediction: Rich Swann
Seth Rollins vs Chris Jericho – Singles Match
Kevin Owens saved Jericho from a Pedigree on the go home episode of Raw, so the friendship is back on… I think? Rocky, but they definitely will have each other’s backs. This doesn’t sit well for Rollins, who has been trying his best to get back on top of the Raw brand where he belongs. Rollins wants Owens’ title, but Jericho has been blocking him at every turn, so now they have their own issues to squash before Rollins can move on. If Owens interferes, I want it to happen after we get a clean win. Owens can beat the hell out of Rollins if he wants, but not until the bell has rung.
F2H Prediction: Seth Rollins
The New Day (c) vs Sheamus & Cesaro – Tag Team Match for the Raw Tag Team Titles
At the WWE Tribute To The Troops, Cesaro and Sheamus won a Fatal 4 Way match, beating Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson, The Shining Stars, and The Golden Truth to earn a chance to challenge New Day for their titles. The New Day are now the longest reigning tag team champions in WWE history, which is huge. At this point, their titles are fair game. They broke the record, made history, and can now give up the titles without really losing. Cesaro and Sheamus are such an odd couple, but they are both fantastic athletes and ended up teaming well together, eventually. It’ll be interesting to see if they are able to keep it together and capture those titles.
F2H Prediction: New Day
Sami Zayn vs Braun Strowman – Singles Match with a 10 Minute Time Limit
Braun Strowman has been crushing everybody in his path, but he did manage to make time to make James Ellsworth famous and get him a WWE contract, so he’s not all bad. Mick Foley has stopped matches between these two because Zayn is so outgunned, which is where the time limit comes into play. Granted, Strowman can probably end the match in 60 seconds, so perhaps 10 minutes is being a bit generous. Zayn is a great competitor, but I feel that WWE is still working on building Strowman into an unstoppable monster, and he needs to keep that going for a little while longer.
F2H Prediction: Braun Strowman
Sasha Banks (c) vs Charlotte – 30 Minute Iron Man Match for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship
These women are just taking it to the extreme more and more, and it’s going to get to the point that someone gets seriously injured if they aren’t careful. I’m glad they keep trying to top themselves, but I’m more worried about their health and possible long absences due to injury (miss you, Finn Balor). Their cage match left a lot to be desired, thanks to a drawn out “injury” that nearly kept Banks from competing, but they made up for it during their next match where Banks tangled Charlotte in the stadium railing to lock in the Banks Statement and force a tap. We’ve already seen Banks compete in an Iron Man match on NXT, so I’m expecting main event material here.
F2H Prediction: Sasha Banks
Kevin Owens (c) vs Roman Reigns – Singles Match for the WWE Universal Championship
I’m so annoyed with this match. I hate it. Why does Roman Reigns, a guy already holding a title, get a title match on this PPV? I hate it. Have I mentioned that I’m not too fond of this main event? I hope Chris Jericho interferes in every shady way possible without causing a disqualification. I hope Owens beats his ass into the mat, and then powerbombs him into the apron a few dozen times. I hope Reigns can’t walk by the end of this match. Listen, I used to be a fan of Reigns, believe it or not. I just can’t buy into this fist-cocking, show-boating nonsense he insists on doing. I don’t want another John Cena. Give me quiet, brooding Roman Reigns back and I’ll be on board.
F2H Prediction: Kevin Owens
Roadblock: End Of The Line will begin at 8pm EST, with the preshow starting at 7pm, exclusively on the WWE Network. Unfortunately for fans, Lita will not be present, as new reports have stated that she has left the company. Jerry Lawler has also been removed from on air events. Live tweet with @FaceToHeel and writers @MrNotWell and @OhhhTweener, and be on the lookout for our next giveaway!
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
After watching an amazing three hours of wrestling on Sunday, courtesy of Impact’s BoundO for Glory, Monday Night Raw has a lot to live up to. We are live from Los Angeles tonight and will see Sasha Banks fight for the Women’s title, plus have an exclusive interview with Seth Rollins. Our ropes have gone white and pink for Breast Cancer Awareness month. The night kicks off with Roman Reigns, which is frustrating. Give that title back to Rusev! He was getting cheered until he started talking. Thankfully, Lana interrupts looking lovely as always. After a “Thank you, Lana” chant from the crowd, Lana says that she is here to negotiate a rematch. She says that Rusev will destroy and embarrass him. Reigns counters by talking about Rusev’s balls, and Lana tells him to go to hell.
Cue Rusev and his balls; he runs to the ring to attack Reigns. The two trade punches outside of the ring before Rusev is thrown into the barricade. He counters by ramming Reigns into the other side, but Reigns quickly regains control, rolling Rusev into the ring. He cocks his fist, which is just the coolest move ever (heavy sarcasm), and goes for the Superman Punch, but Rusev catches him. Reigns slaps Rusev across the face, driving him from the ring, but is thrown into the steel steps, then kicked into the crowd by Rusev. Why couldn’t Rusev be like this when my husband and I were watching him live at the PPV?? Rusev grabs the United States Championship and holds it high over his head. It looks like Rusev wins the segment, walking off with the title, but Super Reigns attacks him from behind as he reaches the top of the ramp. Some idiot gives him a microphone, and Reigns says that he’ll fight Rusev in a cell at the Hell In A Cell PPV that is upcoming.
Up next, our Cruiserweight division takes the stage in the first official match of the night; champion TJ Perkins versus Brian Kendrick. Perkins starts the match strong with a back body drop followed by a springboard off the rope into a cross body. Kendrick tries to counter, but Perkins catches himself in between the ropes, then sends Kendrick flying outside the ring. He is showing off his athleticism at Kendrick’s expense until Kendrick lands a kick to Perkins’ face. He pins Perkins’ hand on the turnbuckle with his foot, then sends him out of the ring as we break for commercial. During the break, Perkins hits a beautiful hurricanrana to take Kendrick down. Kendrick counters with Sliced Bread into a pin, but Perkins kicks out. He then locks in the Captain’s Hook submission, but Perkins rolls it into a pin. Kendrick kicks free and ends up caught up on the rope, allowing Perkins to get a kick to his head. He recovers and gets the Captain’s Hook in again to force a tap. Good thing this wasn’t for the title.
Michael Cole is up next with his pretaped interview with Seth Rollins. Rollins says he is feeling better, then says that while Kevin Owens is the Universal Champion, he didn’t beat him. Owens was handed that title by Triple H and didn’t win it fairly at Clash of Champions. You make enemies on your climb to the top, and Rollins acknowledges that he’s made quite a few. Rollins says he is irreplaceable, and Owens isn’t a replacement. Owens is simply a cog in the machine. Rollins plans on tearing that machine apart, piece by piece, starting with Owens and his championship. He will prove to the entire world that he is still the man.
BRAAAAUUUUUNNNNNNN is up now! Poor Chase Silver is in the ring now to make his dreams come true. Apparently he dreamt that he beat Braun Strowman up, so here he is. Strowman invites Silver to come at him, and Silver starts throwing kicks and punches before Strowman takes him down easily with a shoulder bump. He screams “THIS IS ALL YOU COULD DO??” Silver takes advantage and hits him from behind, but Strowman immediately counters by getting him in the corner and hitting him with a splash. Silver is lying on the mat while Strowman screams for him to get up. As soon as he rises, Strowman hits another shoulder. He gets him up on his shoulders and slams him to the mat for the pin. Rest in peace, Chase Silver. Strowman then demands that Foley get him a real opponent next week or there won’t be a next week. For a guy who doesn’t get on the mic a lot, this was awesome!
Kevin Owens comes to the ring, dressed to impress, accompanied by his BFF Chris Jericho. Owens calls Rollins stupid for requesting a rematch for the Universal Championship. Owens doesn’t think he deserves a rematch; Rollins lost and he only has Owens to blame for that loss. Since Rollins blamed the referee last match for the loss, Owens thinks that their next match should feature a referee that can handle himself. He suggests Jericho, but Jericho decides that they should challenge New Day for the tag team titles instead. What? He wants to make history, but Owens says that it sounds like a lot of work.
Hold on, Team Kevin and Chris; the Power of Positivity is coming to the ring! I love that New Day can turn the entire crowd into birds as soon as they ask a question which has the answer of “WHO? WHO? WHO?” Big E calls for a champion’s huddle; Owens is invited but Jericho is not. Guess who just made the list? Owens says that New Day has compromised the health of children all over the world with their questionable cereal (too much sugar). Xavier Woods counters with a fat joke that is actually good. Jump, jump, Owens. But lucky for us, New Day grants Owens and Jericho the match!
After the commercial break, Sami Zayn makes his way into the arena to face Titus O’Neil. Poor Zayn looks so teensy next to O’Neil. This is strength versus speed, and neither one can keep the advantage. O’Neil eventually catches Zayn mid-jump and slams him into his knee, then to the mat. He catches Zayn in a bear hug and throws him across the ring before delivering a backbreaker. He loudly taunts Zayn, who catches his opponent off guard and lands a clothesline. He then suplexes O’Neil into the corner and hits the Haluma Kick for the win. Not good for O’Neil, though I have a hard time believing Zayn could win this one. No offense.
You want it? You got it; the Golden Truth. What’s Up? R-Truth and Goldust are in a tag match against The Club. Truth and Anderson start off the match with Truth in control. He and Goldust take Anderson to the mat, then Goldust hits a clotheline into an arm drag to lock Anderson in an arm bar. Anderson counters, gets to his corner to knock Goldust down and tag in Gallows. He gets Goldust in a headlock as Truth tries to hype up the crowd. Both Anderson and Truth are tagged in; Truth hits clotheslines into a dropkick to take Anderson down for a pin, but Gallows breaks it up. Anderson tags back in Gallows while Truth is distracted, and the pair hit him with the Magic Killer for the win. After the bell rings, The Club begin attacking Goldust, hitting him with the Magic Killer as well.
Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson are confronting Jericho and Owens backstage, so I am tuning out. Not even Owens and Jericho can save this. Ha; nevermind! Jericho saved it at the end. With… IT! Back in the ring, Enzo and Cass are dressed in their “More Than Pink” shirts. Susan “Certified G” Komen held a contest, and we have three winners in the ring with Enzo and Cass; three breast cancer survivors. How you doin? Enzo tries to unveil their prizes, but gets all tangled up in the pink sheet. Still, each woman is gifted with a Women’s Championship title, which is pretty darn awesome. Cass spells out SAWFT after ensuring that it does not apply to the women in the ring. These poor women look so confused! Anyway, don’t donate to Susan G Komen; they are one of the worst organizations when it comes to getting the money to where it SHOULD go.
Oh dear god… Kutcher and Masterson are on commentary, so now Corey Graves is trying even harder to be funny and it isn’t working. It’s godawful. Shut up, Corey Graves. Shut up forever. Back to the wrestling; Owens and Jericho are facing Woods and Big E. Woods does some clever dodging, but the stronger Owens gets Woods in the corner where he tags in Jericho and the two team up on him for a moment. Woods recovers and flips into Jericho to hit a clothesline into a cover. Woods tags in Big E, who hits the fresh Owens with a clothesline. The crowd starts a “New Day Rocks” chant as E spears Owens the corner. Jericho tags in, and pins Big E in the corner with his boot, then showboats to the crowd. As Jericho distracts the referee, Owens gets some cheap shots in on Big E. It’s difficult to pay attention to this match with everyone babbling on commentary about things that have nothing to do with the match. Owens gets a good laugh mocking how the guys play dead on the mat as he reaches for Big E.
Out of nowhere, Seth Rollins’ music hits! Now I’m interested! Woods hits Owens hard, thanks to the distraction, and now E and Jericho are tagged in. Big E hits a belly to belly, and it looks like Jericho might have a bloody nose. Owens jumps in to save his partner, but Big E throws him from the ring to set up Woods to take him down. E hits Jericho with an elbow, then a splash. As Jericho locks Woods into a submission, Rollins runs in to distract him. This allows Big E and Woods to hit The Midnight Hour and pin Jericho for the win! I guess they won’t be getting that title shot after all. Rollins wins the segment by hitting Jericho with a Pedigree.
More cruiserweight action is up now, with Rich Swann and Tony Nese. Swann gets control early, but Nese counters and hits Swann in the face. He hits some knees and pins Swann for a two count. Swann hits a hurricanrana to throw Nese across the ring, but he hits a kick to Swann’s head before pinning him in the corner and laying him with kicks until the referee separates the two. Nese whips Swann into the corner, but Swann hits another hurricanrana to throw him away. It’s strange how they are unable to capture the magic we saw during the Cruiserweight Classic. Swann bounces off the ropes, but Nese catches him and pins him for the win. Honestly, these guys are great, but I feel that someone is telling them to hold back.
Tag team time; Sheamus and Cesaro versus Jobber 1 and Jobber 2. Cesaro gets one jobber in his corner before Sheamus tags himself in and showboats to his tag partner. Cesaro tags himself in, saying GET OUT, and the jobber tries to hit a sunset flip. This is so dumb, it might work. Jobber 2 gets hit with an Irish Curse Backbreaker, then Cesaro dives into the ring and jumps off of Sheamus to hit Jobber 1 with a DDT. Sheamus hits a Brogue Kick to jobber 2 and wins the match.
Before our main event, we get a fantastic video package featuring Charlotte and Sasha Banks’ journey from NXT to WWE to championships. Backstage, Charlotte and Dana Brooke taunt Bayley, but our resident hugger throws Brooke across the hallway and shows that she isn’t going to be pushed around. I am so happy to have the women main eventing Raw! Banks will hopefully defeat Charlotte and take back her title. Banks is thrown to the mat immediately, and Charlotte tries for the Figure 8 right away. Charlotte goes out of the ring and Banks hits a suicide dive, and then they go to ANOTHER COMMERCIAL? We were 20 seconds into that match. When we return, Charlotte has Banks’ arms pulled behind her with her knee in her back. Apparently we missed a lot of awesome out of ring action during the commercial. THANKS GUYS. Charlotte goes for the cover, but Banks is out at one. Charlotte then begins attacking Banks’ injured back. She bends Banks over her knee to put stress on her lower back, but Banks kicks away. Our champ hits another backbreaker and tries to hit Banks in the corner, but she dodges and sends Charlotte into the ringpost. Banks gets back in the match, hitting a dropkick, then driving Charlotte to the mat with her knees for a pin. Banks hits a hurricanrana, then a baseball slide to send Charlotte from the ring. Charlotte tries to throw Banks into the ring apron, but misses.
Charlotte starts hitting chops, and puts Banks up on the ropes. She tries to throw her from the top rope, but Banks blocks it. Banks jumps from the top rope and hits Charlotte with double knees for a pin, but our champ stays alive. Banks tries for a backstabber, but Charlotte grabs the ropes and sends Banks out of the ring. She goes to the top rope and does an amazing dive off the top to take Banks down. Back in the ring, Charlotte hits Natural Selection, but Banks kicks out at the last possible second. There is a kick ass DELETE DELETE DELETE sign in the audience! Ha! Nice. Banks is down and out, but she manages to lock Charlotte into the Banks Statement after Charlotte runs at her. Charlotte counters, but Banks locks it right back in and forces the tap! What a main event!! Charlotte is left in tears as Sasha Banks holds her title high.
This wasn’t the greatest Raw, but that main event was money. Those women put it all out there and gave us one hell of a main event. The best Raw main event we’ve had in a while. Tomorrow, we will be covering the go home episode of Smackdown ahead of the No Mercy PPV. Be sure to follow us on Twitter at @FaceToHeel; we had our first giveaway last week and more are headed your way!
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
If you missed last week’s RAW review, Finn Balor was injured at SummerSlam and was forced to vacate the Universal Championship less than 24 hours later. Tonight, we crown a new champ in a Fatal-4-Way.
The show kicks off with Corey Graves in the ring with the four competitors fighting for the title. Seth Rollins interrupts him early and tells everyone to thank him for injuring Finn Balor at SummerSlam. Rollins says he is feeling nice and wants to donate his talking time to Kevin Owens. Crowd starts a “Fight, Owens, Fight!” chant. He says Rollins talks big but he (Owens) delivers big. He insults Reigns and Big Cass as well. Cass then talks and actually does incredibly well. He insults Owens and Rollins, who then becomes infuriated and starts yelling at everyone. Rollins orders Graves to ask Reigns how he is going to win tonight. Reigns stands up and Owens laughs at him. Then Reigns punches him out of his chair. Rollins attacks Cass and Reigns pulls him off. Cass and Reigns square off. But before anything can happen Rollins attacks from behind. Reigns throws Cass out and then Superman Punches Rollins. Crowd vocally unhappy, booing Reigns as he eyes the Universal Championship. Nice opener for once.
Chris Jericho comes down to take on Neville. Y2J rolls out of the ring at the start of the match and yells at the crowd. Neville comes up behind him and kicks him in the gut. He rolls Jericho back in the ring, climbs the top rope and leaps off into a cross body cover. Jericho kicks out at two and then crawls to the corner and wraps his arms around the ref. Jericho rakes Neville’s eyes and clotheslines Neville to the mat. Commercial. Neville is in control when we return. Standing Shooting Star Press and Neville covers. Kick out at two. Jericho rolls out of the ring, Neville comes around and kicks him off the apron and moonsaults off the second rope, taking Jericho down. Back in the ring, Neville can’t keep Jericho down. Jericho goes for a Code Breaker, but Neville kicks him in the face. Red Arrow off the top rope. Jericho moves and catches Neville in the Walls of Jericho. Neville taps. This whole Y2J on top thing is getting old. He is beating too many young guys. This does absolutely nothing for Neville. And really does nothing for Jericho either. Neville recently returned and is getting tapped out. Didn’t like this booking at all.
Nia Jax up next. Probably another squash match so not really sure why I should even bother covering it. Shortly after typing this she wins. Yawn. Where’s Sasha Banks? Jinder Mahal and Sami Zayn have a match that nobody wants to see, honestly. The crowd chants for Slater throughout. Zayn wins. Boring match. Not sure what this does for Zayn. Just a lot of odd booking choices tonight.
Bayley and The New Day take on Dana Brooke and The Club next with Charlotte on commentary. Starting to see more of these mixed tag matches which is a big positive for WWE. This match is okay. Sort of a goofball spotfest instead of a fun wrestling match. Bayley and New Day are a little clumsy. The Club and Dana do a nice job. The big go home is Bayley to Belly on Dana for the pinfall victory. Raw has sort of lost me since the opening segment. They haven’t really set up any feuds or rivalries outside of the Universal Championship.
Sheamus comes out to fight Cesaro in a match that probably won’t pick up the momentum of the show. This is match #2 of their best of 7 series. Oh goodie. And lucky for us they let Byron Saxton interview Sheamus before the match. That’s just cringe-worthy. The match itself is decent. But what else is there for these two to do? They are just going to have seven straight up matches? That isn’t exciting at all. Cesaro lands a pretty vicious European uppercut off the ropes. Crowd not bothering to get up for this one. Can’t really blame them. This series is definitely going to 7 so we are just going to watch them go through the motions 6 times prior. In a surprise twist, Sheamus wins the second match with a submission tap out. Sheamus goes up 2-0. Mr. Fuji video package after the match. Sad. Rest in Peace to the Hall of Famer.
Big announcement after the break that the Cruiserweights are coming to Raw in 3 weeks! Finally! Stephanie McMahon comes down to the ring. Paul Heyman interrupts her. Stephanie cuts him off and tells him to get in the ring and apologize. Instead, Heyman says Raw won SummerSlam when Lesnar defeated Orton. Heyman says he is here tonight to pay Lesnar’s $500 fine. He pulls out a huge stack of bills. He starts counting to five hundred using single dollar bills. HaHaHa. At six, Stephanie slaps the money out of his hand. Heyman sweet talks Stephanie and apologizes. She accepts and walks out. Weird segment.
Titus O’Neal comes to the ring, smiling at the replay from last week. Darren Young comes out with Bob Backlund. Weirdly, this is one of the better matches of the night. The two tell a good story and put some emotion into their fight. Titus looks like a beast and although Young has yet to embody this so-called greatness Backlund claims, he looks solid tonight. Darren Young gets the pinfall victory and then tosses Titus out of the ring. He and Backlund celebrate in the ring. Titus spoils the fun, running in and attacking them both from behind. Clash of the Titus on Young. Crowd boo’s as Titus walks out and up the ramp.
Main event time. Big Cass comes out with Enzo Amore which I find an odd decision. Makes Cass look like he can’t stand on his own, something Owens alluded to earlier in the broadcast. This is a big moment for Cass, and Enzo kind of hijacked it. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Certified G, but he really has no business here. Oh well, what’s done is done. The bell rings and Owens rolls out and leans against the barricade, letting the other three beat each other up. Eventually Cass and Reigns square off alone in the ring. They trade blows, but Reigns knocks Cass down. Reigns misses with a Superman Punch. Cass off the ropes and he kicks Reigns out of the ring, as both men go tumbling out of the ring. Cass and Owens are fighting and Reigns dives out to take them both down. Commercial break.
As we come back from the break, Owens drops an elbow off the apron onto Cass. Rollins clobbers him, rolls Cass in the ring, and manages a two count. All four guys take turns running the show. It’s a well choreographed match for having four guys at once. Frog Splash by Owens and he eliminates Big Cass. Good showing for the big man. And then there were three….and another commercial break. Owens hits two cannonballs on Reigns and Rollins in separate corners. Superman Punch by Reigns, but Owens kicks out. Crowd in a frenzy. Stephanie and Mick ringside, practically drooling. Reigns hits all his moves on the outside to both guys. Triple H runs in and Pedigrees Reigns out of no where! He throws Reigns into the ring, gets Rollins up and tells him to cover him. He does and Rollins eliminates Reigns. HHH walks over to Owens and rolls him in the ring. HHH turns and hits Rollins with a Pedigree. Owens covers and wins the title! Holy shit! HHH walks out. Owens celebrates and holds the belt up. And despite the heel-ness, crowd starts a “You Deserve It!” chant. Wow. Talk about making a big impact. Everybody is going to be talking anout this all week long.
Great beginning, great ending. The rest of Raw was pretty much garbage for the most part. But if Creative burned all their juice on making Owens the champion, we have to take it. What a fantastic new direction for the company. Congrats to the NEW Universal Champion, Kevin Owens. See you tomorrow for Smackdown Live.
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Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
After a long weekend of wrestling, we are back for another episode of Monday Night Raw. NXT gave us Takeover: Brooklyn 2 on Saturday, and last night saw the conclusion of the summer with the 2016 SummerSlam pay-per-view. Let’s see what Vince and Co have in store for us tonight.
The show starts with breaking news that Finn Balor injured his shoulder in the match against Seth Rollins to capture the Universal Championship. He has a torn shoulder and will be out of action six months. Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley are in the ring and they bring out Balor. This guy showed guts finishing the match last night. Damn fine champ. He will be missed the next few months. Balor gets on the mic and says the title represents a lifetime of sacrifices. Balor thanks WWE, the wrestlers, and Seth Rollins. He then thanks the crowd, which starts a “Thank you, Finn!” chant. He assures the fans that when he returns, the title is the first thing he is coming for. Balor relinquishes the title to Foley and then walks out of the ring. As Balor gets to the top of the ramp, Seth Rollins comes out strutting and laughing. He strolls right by Balor, chomping his gum and heads to the ring. Balor stares daggers into Rollins’ back.
Rollins gets in the ring and hugs Stephanie. He gets on the mic and says what a shame, what a pity, let’s not live in the past. “At least now we know who the REAL winner was at SummerSlam last night, right?” Rollins says let’s have a celebration for the true Universal Champion. Sami Zayn interrupts. Zayn doesn’t say anything. Just points at the title. And then Chris Jericho comes down. He also says nothing. Kevin Owens comes down. Enzo Amore and Big Cass come down, and for once Enzo is not on the mic. The ring is quickly filling up. Rollins stands off to one side, leaning against the ropes and looking annoyed as the other men argue. Then Roman Reigns comes down. Still nobody says anything. Crowd starts a “We want Slater!” chant. Foley finally speaks. He says everyone in the ring is deserving, so WWE is doing a series of matches with the crowning of a new champion next week. Sami Zayn and Seth Rollins are the first competitors and it happens next, right after the first commercial break.
Rollins takes quick control and after a few moments, Zayn crumples under a bad left leg. Seems to have gotten legit injured. Zayn launches himself out of the ring, flips, and knocks Rollins down. Zayn screams and grabs his ankle. Rollins throws him in the ring, knee to the face, cover, but Zayn kicks out at two. Commercial break. When we return, Zayn hits Rollins with a big clothesline. He still can’t put any weight on his leg. The two trade blows until Rollins kicks him on the side of the head. Rollins gets a leg submission on, but Zayn rolls to the bottom rope. Pedigree by Rollins for the pinfall victory. Shocking start to Raw. Not even sure what to make of it. Balor out at least six months, and now Sami Zayn injured. Tough day to be a wrestling fan.
Kevin Owens comes down to take on Neville, who is in the tournament for the Universal title apparently. Winner advances. Neville drops Owens outside the ring as soon as the match starts, then hits him with a 450 splash. Jericho comes down to distract, allowing Owens to attack Neville from behind and take the upper-hand. Commercial break. After, both men trade offense, topped off by Neville hitting a suplex. Owens misses a frog splash. Neville hits a corkscrew moonsault off the top rope and covers, but Owens kicks out at two. Neville lifts Owens up and suplexes him into a bridge cover. Kick out at two. Impressive match so far for Neville. Neville tries a Red Arrow, misses, Owens super kick. Neville kicks him, climbs up for the Red Arrow again, and Jericho distracts. Neville kicks him off the apron but Owens recovers and puts Neville into a torture rack into a neckbreaker. Cover and that’s it. Owens wins and advances. After the match, Michael Cole says the match for the title next week will be a Fatal-4-Way.
The New Day comes down after the break. New Day celebrating 365 days as champions. Incredible. The Club interrupts, calling New Day and the crowd stupid. Big E vs Anderson in singles competition. Big E dominating to start the match, until he takes a shot to his knee and falls down, clutching it. Anderson immediately attacks it. Big E tosses him out of the ring. Gallows tries to interfere, but Xavier and Kofi stop him. Big Ending in the ring and Big E covers Anderson for the pinfall victory. Okay match, short and not really all that entertaining.
Titus O’Neal is in the ring. He fumbles for his words and can’t seem to form a coherent sentence. He complains about The New Day and Brooklyn. He then insults Darren Young and Bob Backlund. He calls out Young, but instead Backlund runs down. He puts the crossface chickenwing on Titus, but he gets out of it and slams Backlund to the mat. Darren Young runs down to check on Backlund. Titus picks up Young and hits the Clash of the Titus. That was a cringe-worthy segment.
Tom Phillips interviews Stephanie about actions against her brother by Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. She says there will be consequences. Lana is in the ring and brings out Rusev. His opponent will be Big Cass who comes out with Enzo on the mic. Cass goes to work on Rusev’s taped up ribs. He clotheslines him out of the ring as we go to commercial break. Rusev has taken control when we return, and strikes Cass in the back. Outside the ring, Rusev kicks Enzo to the floor. Cass rolls out and gets him in the ring. Splash in the corner and some punches to the ribs. Rusev rolls out of the ring, avoiding an Empire Elbow. Cass follows him out and throws the US champ into the steel steps. Rusev walks up the ramp and allows himself to get counted out. Cass wins and advances.
Charlotte comes to the ring with Dana Brooke. She insults Sasha, calls herself the queen, and goes to leave. As she is getting out of the ring, Mick Foley comes out. Charlotte asks for the night off and says there is no one else to challenge her. Mick says not so fast, please meet the newest member of the Monday Night Raw roster….Bayley! Crowd goes wild! Bayley comes out and this moment has been a long time coming. Yay! You cannot help but to love Bayley. Crowd starts chants for her before anybody can speak. Bayley thanks Foley and asks if they can seal the deal with none other than a hug. Bayley challenges Charlotte for the title. Charlotte isn’t dressed to compete, but Dana Brooke is. That match is next!
Bayley has fun to start and then gets to work against Brooke. Dana recovers and slams here into the corner. Bayley returns the favor and pounds her head in the corner and then bounces her off the turnbuckle. Cover, but Brooke kicks out at two. Charlotte distracts and Brooke knocks Bayley off the apron. Brooke throws her against the barricade. Back in the ring, Brooke clobbers Bayley and tries a cover. Bayley fights back and drops an elbow off the second rope. Bayley to Belly suplex and Bayley wins her Raw debut! Charlotte looks on in anger.
Braun Strowman roars his way down to the ring, set to take on yet another jobber. Should be short and sweet. Few powerful moves and then a cover. Strowman wins. Meh. This just doesn’t interest me. And if this is leading to Strowman facing Kane, Big Show, or Mark Henry, you can count me out.
The Dudley Boyz come out, set to say farewell to the WWE. Bubba Ray and Devon will be sorely missed and are well on their way to a Hall of Fame bid. Hometown crowd goes wild for them. The Boyz give a heartfelt speech, thanking the crowd, the WWE, Edge and Christian, and even The Hardy Boys. As The Dudley’s go to leave, they are interrupted by The Shining Stars. Crowd starts a “We want tables!” chant. Primo and Epico offer them two tickets to Puerto Rico. Devon and Bubb Ray shut this shit down, clobbering both men. Bubba holds up 3D. They hit it! Then they hit WAZZUP from the corner! Bubba Ray shoves his brother and the crowd screams get the tables, and I swear to god I got tears in my eyes. Devon gets a table out. Bubba sets it up, and Primo is about to go for a ride. But Anderson and Gallows interrupts! Devon is thrown into the steel steps! Magic Killer on Bubba Ray on the floor. Crowd boo’s. My goodness, this segment took a turn. Devon tries to fight back, but he is double teamed and thrown back into the ring. They set Devon up for Magic Killer and hit it, sending him through the table. Wow! That was easily my favorite segment of the whole night. Hope this sets up a feud! Maybe The Dudleyz have one more match in them!
Chris Jericho comes out ready to take on Roman Reigns for the final spot in next week’s Fatal-4-Way to determine the new Universal Champion. Jericho controls the flow to start the match. Crowd is starting to lose interest in the show, starting chants and doing the wave. This Brooklyn crowd has been pretty rude the past few days, to be honest. Headbutt by Reigns, followed by some punches but Jericho answers with a dropkick. Headlock by Y2J and he screams for Reigns to give up. Reigns is favoring is left eye. He clotheslines Jericho to the mat. Reigns misses with a Superman Punch but blocks Jericho’s submission. Kick to the head and Reigns is down. Kick out at two. Y2J off the top rope but Reigns catches him with a punch. Y2J on the apron and Reigns kicks him. Jericho tries a lionsault, but Reigns gets his knee up. Superman Punch and a cover, but Jericho kicks out on a long two. Y2J attempts a Code Breaker, but Reigns catches him and powerbombs him. Jericho kicks out at two. Kevin Owens runs in to distract, Jericho rolls Reigns up, but kick out at two. Superman Punch and instead of covering, Reigns goes to the corner. He runs for a Spear, but Jericho drops him and locks in the Walls of Jericho. Reigns crawls to the rope and forces the break. With the refs back turned, Owens punches him in the face. Jericho hits Code Breaker, covers but Reigns kicks out at two! That was an unexpected false finish. Nicely done! The match continues. Owens screams at Jericho to do it already. Y2J slaps Reigns in the back of the head over and over. Owens gets up on the apron, Superman Punch on him, Reigns turns, off the ropes, and Spears Y2J into a pin for the win. He joins Owens, Rollins, and Big Cass in the Fatal-4-Way next week.
Hard to get into the show with such a depressing opener. Sort of took the wind out of the sails right out of the gate. Hats off to all the guys, they did their best in the ring. But WWE programming just isn’t getting better, and now yet another setback with Balor’s injury. WWE just can’t catch a break. I won’t judge too harshly as Raw was interesting to watch and I didn’t really complain much. But we needed more. Overall, though, this wasn’t a terrible Raw. And we have to give WWE a fair shake whenever we can because they make a lot of mistakes. The booking tonight was mainly out of their hands. What do you guys think about Finn Balor’s injury and the future of Monday Night Raw? Let us know in the comments below. See you tomorrow for Smackdown Live!
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
It’s time for Monday Night Raw! This is the go home show before the Summerslam PPV; WWE’s second largest event of the year. We start off with a look back earlier today, where Seth Rollins lets us know why he is the man and why he will be the first WWE Universal Champion. He addresses Finn Balor, calling out the Demon King, then feigning surprise when no one shows up. If the Demon King is too scared to find The Man, then The Man will find the Demon King.
Back in the arena, Rusev and Lana are in the ring and both look enraged. Rusev accuses Roman Reigns of ruining a historic event, so he is cancelling Raw tonight. All is on hold until Reigns apologizes. These stand-offs always go so well, don’t they? The crowd starts a USA chant, because they aren’t creative. Thankfully, Mick Foley breaks things up, wearing an amazing “Have A Nice Raw” shirt. Rusev demands respect as Foley pleads with him to leave the ring. After an awkward few seconds, Stephanie McMahon comes out to the ring, at Rusev’s request. McMahon calls Rusev’s behavior unacceptable, especially the disrespect of Foley. Rusev threatens to call up Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon, which is when Reigns decides to make an appearance and offer an apology.
Reigns makes a terrible joke about mail order brides, then says that their future babies will be ugly. He has a hell of a black eye, which I can’t say doesn’t make me a tiny bit happy. The crowd again starts chanting USA, and Reigns launches into his best impression of Ghetto Cena, and challenges Rusev to a title match right now. Foley decides that they will have a match tonight, but the title will not be on the line. Instead, this match will be all about Lana’a honor.
We return from commercial to find Sheamus in the ring with Byron Saxton. Sheamus says he is more dominant than Cesaro and shouldn’t have lost the match last week. He proved that he is the better athlete when he interfered in Cesaro’s title match later in the night. Sheamus promises to kick Zayn’s head off, and the two literally trip over the referee trying to beat each other up before the bell even rings. As the match begins, Cesaro joins the commentary table, which is always awkward; Cesaro needs to work on his public speaking and interview skills. Zayn throws Sheamus from the ring and tries to go to the top rope, but Sheamus ducks out of the way and then knocks him into the ringpost and to the ground. During the commercial, the two get back into the ring where Sheamus tries for the first pinfall. Zayn is able to send Sheamus over the top rope, then dives over the rope to knock him down. He gets Sheamus back in the ring and goes to the top rope again, but Sheamus hits White Noise (and Michael Cole calls it the wrong move) and tries for another pinfall. As Sheamus sets up the Brogue Kick, Cesaro leaves commentary and heads to the ring. His distractions allows Zayn to hit a Helluva Kick and win the match.
Backstage, Tom Phillips is interviewing Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho, who have recently formed an alliance. Owens will face Big Cass tonight, but it won’t be a one on one match because Jericho has Owens’ back. They mock Enzo and Cass, saying they are closer than their Summerslam opponents will ever be, and that Cass can’t spell to save his life. Cass better watch IT. And by IT, they mean watch Owens beat Cass tonight and watch them humiliate the team at Summerslam.
It’s time for some positivity, as New Day (minus Big E) come to the ring. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, our resident MDs, deliver a message regarding Big E’s ringpostitis. The ball jokes are amazing. And the microwave has a NADS button! Kingston and Woods face The Dudley Boyz, and D-Von is in complete control of Woods as Bubba yells from ringside. Using quick tags, they keep Woods down, but a misstep sends the Dudleys into each other. Kingston tags in and hits Trouble in Paradise for a quick win. Confusing squash match. Anderson and Gallows appear on the screen again, for more testicle jokes at poor Big E’s expense. They produce more jars as a warning that Woods and Kingston are next on their hit list. Kingston gets serious and says that this isn’t a game to them; this is serious business. Patchy-haired human plalluses have no chance of beating them at Summerslam.
Seth Rollins is walking around backstage, searching for the Demon King. He finds Neville, who tells Rollins that he isn’t ready for the Summerslam match against Balor. Back in the ring, Nia Jax is facing Rachel Levy, who has been watching the Olympics nonstop, so she can do anything she sets her mind to. Okay, Rachel. Jax throws Levy across the ring, then sets her on the top rope before shoving her hard off the rope and to the floor. The ref begins the count as Jax retrieves her opponent. She slams her to the mat and gets the pin for the win. I love Nia Jax, but we have got to give her longer matches.
Paul Heyman goes into Brock Lesnar’s dressing room to speak with The Beast before they go to the ring. The crowd is cheering like crazy and chanting Suplex City. Heath Slater interrupts at Heyman begins his speech, and says that he is the hottest free agent in sports entertainment. He proposes becoming a Heyman guy, and Heyman just laughs. Slater clarifies, saying that what he wants is a match with Lesnar to earn a contract. What? The crowd is into it, but Heyman goes back to his speech. Slater screams an interruption, saying do NOT disrespect him! I love Heath Slater. He doesn’t want to face Lesnar, he HAS to. Heyman is trying to save him from a beat down, but Slater’s ass can’t be saved! Lesnar gets on the mic and tells Slater he has guts. He invites Slater in the ring to talk about his kids. Lesnar gets right in his face and says “I don’t give a shit about your kids. You’ve got two choices right here. One, you walk out of here on your own two feet. Two, you can stand there and keep pissing me off.” Lesnar is a scary dude. Slater fakes him out and tries to attack him, but Lesnar hits a clothesline and then takes him to Suplex City! He hits an F5 and kicks Slater out of his ring. Heyman puts on Slater’s sunglasses and gives Slater credit for stepping up to Lesnar, something Randy Orton doesn’t have the guts to do. The beast is in heat, which is an uncomfortable thought.
Up next, Big Cass will face Kevin Owens. I dare you not to smile when Enzo is in the ring. He addresses the Summerslam match, or Summerslam BBQ as he calls it. If Jericho and Owens want beef, they’re bringing it straight to their grill. Cass hits a shoulder tackle and pins Owens in the corner, but he rolls to safety before Cass can get a kick in. He hits Cass on the rope and throws his opponent from the ring where Jericho delivers a cheap shot while the ref is distracted. Owens has controlled the match during the commercial break, and continues as we return until Cass hits a side slam. Owens finally gets a kick to his face from Cass, who then hits a splash in the corner and tries to throw Owens from the ring. Owens grabs the rope to send Cass flying. He tries for a powerbomb, but Cass counters. Jericho and Enzo are fighting outside of the ring, then Jericho begins fighting Cass and the match is called for disqualification. Owens and Jericho don’t mind the loss; they continue to attack Cass. Jericho hits a Code Breaker to take Cass down for good.
Roman Reigns is backstage, promising a bunch of nonsense, when Rusev comes out of nowhere to attack him. He throws him around like a rag doll as Lana watches on from a safe distance. Eventually, the referees and security are able to break things up as we go to commercial. I love seeing Reigns get his ass kicked.
Titus O’Neil’s music hits, but Bob Backlund comes out. He is followed by Darren Young and O’Neil, who all attempt to do the Millions of Dollars dance. On the Raw preshow, Young and O’Neil buried their beef and reunited as a tag team with Backlund’s blessing for one night only. They are facing the Shining Stars. Watching the two together makes me miss them as a tag team; they are great as a duo. Primo manages to get O’Neil pinned in the corner, and Epico tries (and fails) to get the crowd behind them. O’Neil gets back to his feet and easily tosses his opponent aside. Young inadvertently knocks O’Neil off the ring, so he retaliates by hitting Clash Of The Titus and abandoning the match, allowing the Shining Stars to get the win. What?
Now it’s time for the return of Jinder Mahal! Is it weird that I am excited for this? He’s facing off against Neville, who trips in the ring as he tries to go to the top rope to pose. Neville gets an early pin, but Mahal kicks out. He’s controlling this match, hitting the Red Arrow from the top rope to take down Mahal outside of the ring. Mahal begs Neville to stop, using it to bait Neville in and try for a pin. Neville goes to the top rope again and hits the Red Arrow, beating Mahal in his return match. I see we’re still not done shitting on 3MB. Shame.
Meanwhile, Seth Rollins is still searching for the Demon King. Foley and McMahon haven’t seen him either, and Rollins says he’s looked everywhere and has to change his focus to his title match. He asks for the night off, and McMahon doesn’t have anything for him. Foley says that before he takes the night off, go out to the ring and try to get him to come out… unless he’s scared.
Foley calls for his music and Rollins heads to the ring. Rollins is insulted; Balor talked about the Demon King last week, and for what? Rollins says there is nothing and no one that can stop him from winning on Sunday. He calls out the Demon King and is greeted with silence. Finn Balor is only trying to intimidate Rollins because he is scared. Our former champ says that no one can touch him; even he would be afraid of himself if he was someone else. The Demon King is just another chapter in the book of Rollins. He suddenly stops talking, focused on something in the ring that we don’t get to see. The lights start going wonky and the sound is messing up, but Rollins continues to yell.
Finally, out of the smoke, comes Finn Balor! I have chills all over! I will say, they definitely should have saved this moment for Summerslam, but damn if this isn’t amazing to watch. I don’t understand the logic of this decision, but I’m enjoying the moment. As is the crowd! The two men stare each other down as the crowd chants HOLY SHIT and THIS IS AWESOME! The two begin fighting, and Balor takes Rollins down quick. This is the first part of Raw that has gotten me hyped for Summerslam, so maybe there was a logic behind this bizarre decision. We’ll see.
We return to the ring to the Golden Truth, who are facing Anderson and Gallows. Anderson and Truth start off this tag match, with Anderson quickly gaining control and tagging in Gallows. Truth hits an amazing kick to break The Club’s momentum and tag in Goldust. Unfortunately, The Club hits the Magic Killer on Goldust and wins the match. Another quick squash for our go home Raw. Out of nowhere, Kingston and Woods come out to attack The Club. New Day has their game faces on. They take out The Club and make their intentions for Sunday clear.
Dana Brooke is backstage, apologizing for losing last week to Charlotte. Charlotte isn’t having it though; she wanted the handicap match on Sunday to happen. She calls Brooke an epic failure and walks away to prepare for her match against Alicia Fox. Sasha Banks is on commentary and isn’t buying into any of Charlotte’s big talk. Fox goes for an early pin, but Charlotte kicks free. Charlotte pins Fox on the ropes as the crowd chants for Banks. Fox is hit with Natural Selection and pinned for the loss as Charlotte turns her attention to Banks. Banks walks to the ring and Brooke runs out to distract Banks so that Charlotte can lock in the Figure Eight. The refs are unable to break the hold, thanks to Dana Brooke, and Banks looks hurt. Charlotte is playing the villain to perfection.
Moving on, Braun Strowman has a video package showing the way he has evolved since being separated from The Wyatt Family. Back in the ring, Lana addresses the altercation between Rusev and Reigns before welcoming her husband to the ring. Reigns comes out and the two go at it immediately. This match should not be happening. We’re getting a match at Summerslam; I don’t want to see this beforehand. The bell has not rung as Reigns dominates Rusev while the ref pleads for him to stop. During the commercial, Rusev injured Reigns’ arm, and as we return, Rusev is still working it. Maybe he’ll be “injured” and unable to compete Sunday? Reigns is getting back in the match, screaming and making faces, but Rusev throws him into the ringpost and out of the ring. Our US Champ throws Reigns into the steps once again, then targets it as the crowd chants RUSEV MATCHKA!
As we return from hopefully our last commercial break, Rusev has a mic and demands that the crowd cheer for him. Reigns is looking rough, and Rusev doesn’t let up, hitting him with knees and still targeting the arm. The two men go to the top rope, but Reigns blocks Rusev’s attempts and hits a clothesline. Reigns starts doing his best John Cena impression, cocks his fist and goes for the Superman Punch, but Rusev counters. Rusev hits flying headbutt after headbutt on Cena/Reigns, but he kicks out at two. Reigns manages to hit a clothesline and send Rusev out of the ring. He tries for another Superman Punch, but Rusev kicks him in the ribs. Please end this match. Cena/Reigns finally hits the AA/Superman Punch and pins Rusev for a nearfall. Rusev goes for the Accolade but can’t get the right arm locked in. He finally lands a kick that allows him to get the Accolade locked in. Reigns manages to grab the rope to force a break. Reigns hits a spear and wins the match. That was exhausting.
Overall, this wasn’t a great Raw, especially for our go home episode for Summerslam. The main event was godawful and most of the matches were mediocre at best. There was only one moment tonight that got me hyped for Sunday, and that was a moment that ended up angering a lot of other fans. Please leave your thoughts below, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter at facetoheel. We will have predictions coming for NXT Takeover and for Summerslam; you don’t want to miss out.
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
Tonight, Sean Combs will be on Raw, for reasons I don’t quite understand or care about. Raw kicks off with Smacktalker Skywalker himself; Enzo Amore and his partner, Big Cass. He hasn’t even spoken yet and I’m already grinning from ear to ear. Enzo addresses the crowd regarding last week’s match and flirtation with Sasha Banks, that Chris Jericho ruined. Jericho comes out in his best scarf to talk to “Enzo Annoying,” saying that he is nothing without Big Cass at his side. Now, Jericho has backup of his own in the form of Kevin Owens. I’m not crazy about this pairing; I’m not big on Jericho (sorry, hardcore wrestling fans) and I prefer Owens as a solo wrestler. Owens says that Cass is one of the few people he liked in NXT; they had a waste of space as a best friend as something in common. But unlike him, Cass still carries his dead weight around with him. Owens asks a “reforical” question, and threatens to hurt Enzo and Cass. The segment ends abruptly with Enzo getting the last word, and a match is set for after the commercial break.
Enzo and Jericho are in the ring for a singles match, with Cass and Owens ringside to support their respective teammates. Owens is screaming insults at Enzo as Jericho pins him in the corner and hits chops to the chest. Enzo hits a Hurricanrana, but Jericho responds with a clothesline that breaks his momentum. As the official is distracted, Owens hits Enzo with a cheap shot. The two men move outside of the ring, where Owens and Cass come to their defense as we move to our second break. When we return, Michael Cole says that it has been Jericho’s match during the break. Enzo quickly turns it around and hits a Crossbody into a shoulder tackle, then running forearm into a cover. Jericho locks in the Walls, but Enzo makes it to the rope. Jericho hits a Codebreaker after a distraction by Owens, prompting Cass to hit Jericho with a kick to the face. The ref calls the match thanks to the disqualification and Jericho is declared the winner. Enzo is down and out on the mat as Owens celebrates with his new BFF. Cass gets on the mic and challenges the duo to a match at Summerslam to settle the score, and Owens accepts. How you doin?
Mick Foley is on the phone backstage with Stephanie McMahon, discussing the issue with Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton, when Sasha Banks steps in. She proposes that the Women’s Title match be a handicap match so that she can keep an eye on Dana Brooke as she fights Charlotte. Foley counters, saying that Banks will face Brooke tonight. If she wins, Brooke will be banned from ringside at Summerslam. If she loses, she will get her handicap match.
Braun Strowman comes out to the ring now, and I am cracking up again at the loud BRAAAAAUN scream at the beginning of his new entrance theme. It’s amazing and I love it. Jorel Nelson is his opponent tonight, and in his pre-match interview, he was unable to say a single word. He comes out after Strowman, looking absolutely terrified. Nelson immediately exits the ring once the bell rings, and Strowman knocks him off the apron before throwing him back into the ring and hitting a killer clothesline. Nelson is hit with a reverse chokeslam before being pinned for the loss. Strowman then grabs him by the ankle and throws him from the ring before screaming “Everyone Will Fall!”
Sean Combs greets Foley backstage, and I tune out for a moment. Kofi Kingson and Xavier Woods save this segment with some delicious Booty-Os and congratulations to Combs for his work on the WWE 2k17 soundtrack. Our next match is Titus O’Neil and Darren Young, former tag team partners and now seemingly new enemies thanks to O’Neil’s questionable victory last week. Young takes a knee to the face early on, then the match moves outside of the ring as O’Neil shoves Young into the apron and hits a hard chop to the chest. Young tries a move off the second rope, but O’Neil catches him. Young is able to roll up O’Neil and pin him with a hand on the tights, exactly how O’Neil won his match last week. Bob Backlund picks him up in victory; he was conveniently not watching as Young cheated his way into a win. Quick, throwaway match.
Our former WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Seth Rollins comes to the ring. Rollins addresses his Summerslam opponent, Finn Balor, calling him a Seth Rollins knockoff. The Jared Leto to his Heath Ledger. Rollins says that Balor’s name, which translates to “Demon King,” is absurd. Rollins wants to know who Balor truly is. He calls him disrespectful and arrogant, and thinks it’s a joke to even entertain the idea that he’ll beat him at Summerslam for the Universal Title. Rollins says he belongs at the top of the WWE, and he doesn’t need the smoke and mirrors to make himself into something he isn’t. This is a fantastic promo by Rollins; he’s tearing down Roman Reigns, John Cena, and everyone else who isn’t in his league.
The next match is a rematch from last week; Sheamus versus Cesaro. The two are clearly angry and lock up as soon as the bell rings, with Sheamus getting Cesaro down almost immediately. Cesaro knocks Sheamus from the ring, then executes an impressive dive to take him down. Cesaro starts in with the uppercuts as the ref pleads with him to get Sheamus out of the corner. Sheamus is finally able to take control of the match, but we move to commercial. When we return, Sheamus dives from the ropes to pin Cesaro. He locks Cesaro in a headlock on the mat, and the two rise to begin trading punches. It’s a pretty slow match, to be honest. There are a lot of false finishes and a lot of counters to finishing moves, but it’s failing to keep my attention. The two leave the ring, and Cesaro rams Sheamus into the barricade before returning to the ring for an uppercut party. The ref is caught up in the crossfire and Sheamus is able to pin Cesaro for the win, but the ref doesn’t see it. This allows Cesaro to capitalize and pin him for the win. He celebrates with the crowd as Sheamus looks understandably upset.
We move on to a video package with Randy Orton and Brock Lesnar, going back 15 years to get a recap of their journey through WWE. It’s crazy to see them so young and to see everything they have accomplished over the years. Orton says that he isn’t impressed with Lesnar because he left the WWE. Lesnar basically says he doesn’t give a shit what Orton thinks or says. Lesnar giggles when they replay him F5ing Orton on Smackdown. It’s a bad ass promo, and I want to see the unedited version, because Lesnar cusses a lot.
Bubba Ray and D-Von are up now for a tag match against Neville and surprise partner, Sin Cara. Oh, joy. Sin Cara is dressed all in black and looks like he came to rob a bank but forgot his shirt. He starts off the match against Bubba. The crowd is chanting for tables as Sin Cara hits a moonsault to take Bubba down. Bubba knocks him from the ropes into the barricade, then throws him back into the ring and tags in D-Von. D-Von mocks the Lucha chant before throwing Sin Cara into the turnbuckle, not allowing him to regain his footing or tag in Neville. He’s finally able to make it to his partner, who gets a pin on D-Von, but can’t hold him down. He flies out of the ring to take down Bubba before returning to the ring to hit a Missile Drop Kick on D-Von. Neville goes to the top rope and hits the Red Arrow for the win. A shaky match, but Neville looked great.
Our newlywed United States champion and his lovely wife, Lana, come out to a decorated ring to celebrate their marriage, which was filmed for Total Divas. The crowd is hating on the couple, and I’m wondering how Lana can walk in those shoes without tripping. I can’t manage it in my Chuck Taylors, nevermind 6″ heels. Lana says that since we weren’t invited to their VIP wedding, they will reenact it for us now. We get photos of their special day along with cheesy music, and the crowd responds with BORING chants. I love me some Lana, but I have to wonder what this is leading to. I have zero interest in hearing their vows and want this to move on.
Be careful what you wish for… Roman Reigns interrupts and the crowd cheers. Kudos to WWE for finding a way to get people to cheer for this guy again. He offers to be Rusev’s best man and says he will toast to their marriage. When Rusev refuses, he challenges him to a match, which Rusev also refuses. Patiently waiting for a cake to fly into somebody. Reigns decides to do the toast anyway. Reigns tries hard to be clever, but reminds us all that the promo talent that The Rock is blessed with is certainly not genetic. Reigns and Rusev start fighting, and poor Lana gets shoved into the cake. She’s covered in frosting, and Reigns slinks away with a stupid look on his face. Poor Lana. Backstage, Rusev is screaming at Foley, saying that Reigns needs to pay for ruining their celebration. Foley makes a match at Summerslam for the US Title; Rusev versus Reigns. They start yelling in Russian, and we cut away. Poor Lana…
Sasha Banks us set to face Dana Brooke to decide if the Summerslam match will be one-on-one or a handicap match. A belated congratulations goes out to our Women’s Champion, who recently got married to Sareth Ton, a WWE costume designer and former WWE wrestler known as Mikaze. Charlotte is screaming at Brooke, shouting instructions on how to take Banks down. Brooke goes for multiple pins, but The Boss kicks free. Charlotte tries for a cheap shot to Banks, but hits Brooke instead. Banks hits Brooke with knees to the chest and wins the match, banning Brooke from the Summerslam match.
Finn Balor takes his turn to address the situation with Seth Rollins and to properly explain the origin of his name. Balor’s origins aren’t a myth, they are pieces of himself that he is able to tap into and use to his advantage. He will introduce the Demon King to Rollins at Summerslam. It’s a pretty decent package, and I’m excited to see their match.
Moving on, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson are dressed as doctors to address ringpostitis. They also have eggs in a jar to represent Big E’s balls. It makes them “a bit testy.” Tonight, they promise to add Kofi’s nuts to their collection. Testicles. Luke Gallows will face Kingston now. The match kicks off with Gallows in total control, and he never loses it. This is a fast match, with Gallows getting a quick pin on his opponent. He and Anderson drag Kofi to the ring post and get ready to take his fun bits for a ride, but Woods grabs a steel chair and sends them running up the ramp.
Outside, R-Truth is in Scooby Doo’s Mystery Machine. R-Truth accuses Goldust of replacing him with Scooby, and he almost fights the dude in the suit, but all is well and they run off to watch the movie. Back in reality, Mick Foley comes to the ring to welcome Smackdown GM, Daniel Bryan. The two trade compliments before Foley apologizes for Lesnar’s actions on Smackdown. Bryan offers his own apology for Orton’s actions, but Foley isn’t buying it and pulls up video of Bryan insulting the Universal Title. Surprisingly, Rusev interrupts and threatens Bryan, saying anyone who tries what Orton did will be crushed. Now Cesaro is out in the ring, saying that he proved he deserves a title shot and wants Foley to deliver. Foley says that Cesaro can have his shot tonight, even though it’s 10:55pm.
It’s 11pm as we return to our title match. Cesaro starts the uppercut party and goes for the swing, but Rusev goes for the rope. He flies out of the ring to attack Rusev before rolling him back into the ring. He goes to the top rope and hits Rusev with a crossbody for an unsuccessful pin. Rusev regains control and throws Cesaro into the ringpost. He is targeting Cesaro’s shoulders, then moves to his midsection. Cesaro tries for the swing again, but Rusev blocks it. He almost scores a win, but Rusev isn’t allowing it. The uppercuts continue at the expense of Rusev, who is then hit with a Tornado DDT. Rusev is angry now and goes for the Accolade, but Cesaro fights free, lifting Rusev on his shoulders before dropping him to the mat. Cesaro lands a solid uppercut and calls for the swing. He gets Rusev up, then locks the Sharpshooter in. Sheamus unfortunately breaks it up, allowing Rusev to get up and take Cesaro down. The referee gets knocked out, not seeing Cesaro getting a successful pin. Rusev pokes Cesaro in the eye, then Sheamus kicks him in the face, allowing Rusev to retain his title. As he celebrates, Reigns comes out and spears him. We end the night with Reigns’ music as he flashes the peace sign and walks into the back.
Summerslam is in two weeks, and we will bring you a run down of the matches and our predictions closer to the event. Tonight was a decent build to our second biggest WWE event of the year, and it was successful in getting me excited for a good number of the matches. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @facetoheel, and we will see you all tomorrow night for Smackdown.
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
It’s nice to be excited about Raw again. The debuts and brand split have given us one solid week, and I’m hoping this week is equally as successful. With the exception of the ridiculous name, it’s fantastic to know that a new title is being introduced. The introduction of the “Last Week On Raw” graphic before the recap is a nice touch. Raw kicks off with Sasha Banks, and damn does that belt look great around her waist. The crowd starts a “You Deserve It” chant, as Banks discusses her epic match with Bayley back at NXT Takeover. Charlotte interrupts, walking to the ring alone. She promises to beat Banks at their title match at Summerslam, and brings up her long title reign. Charlotte calls Banks a “one night stand.” Banks retorts by saying that if it wasn’t for a one night stand, Charlotte wouldn’t be standing there.
The gift of Jericho interrupts, because he wants to fight Sasha Banks for the title? He calls Banks an ungrateful, disrespectful little punk. Charlotte is royalty and doesn’t deserve the verbal abuse. Jericho says that Charlotte has outdone her father already with her accomplishments. He then calls Banks the boss of purple hair and stupid idiots, and ends by calling her a brat.
Unexpectedly, Enzo and Cass’s music hits! Enzo comes out solo, takes Sasha’s hand, and very smoothly asks “how you doin” before kissing her hand. Charlotte interrupts by saying “when it comes to Enzo’s love life, there’s only one word to describe him.” Good one. Enzo says that listening to Jericho speak makes time pass like a kidney stone, and watching him try to process words is like having a conversation on an iPhone, watching those little 3 dots, but the person never hits send. He calls Jericho Bon Jovi, mocks the Direct TV commercials, and destroys his stupid scarf. Mick Foley decides now is the time to break this up, setting a match for after the break; a mixed tag match with Charlotte and Jericho versus Sasha Banks and Enzo Amore. My husband called this the minute Jericho set foot in the ring.
After the break, Kevin Owens has joined the announce team and has stolen Corey Graves’ tie. Owens says that after hearing Enzo and Sasha flirt for 15 minutes, the fans might need something enjoyable, so he is here to provide it. In the ring, Jericho embraces Charlotte as an odd way of tagging her in after going against Enzo. Banks tries to pin Charlotte with a backslide, but Charlotte kicks out and delivers chops while yelling “I’m the boss!” Enzo and Jericho get back in the ring, and Sasha and Enzo team up to knock both competitors out of the ring. After the break, Jericho is in control of the match as Owens calls Byron Saxton “unbearable.” Jericho tries for a Running Bulldog, but Enzo counters and is able to take Jericho to the mat for a pin. Jericho tries for the Walls, and is able to lock it in, but Enzo manages to grab the bottom rope. Enzo goes to the top rope, but Jericho counters his move with a Dropkick that may have ended up injuring his own knee. The women are in the ring now, and The Boss is in control. Banks hits a Backstabber, but Dana Brooke runs out and distracts her. Charlotte is able to hit Natural Selection and get the pin for the victory. As Enzo checks on Sasha, Jericho hits a Neckbreaker. Thankfully, Big Cass picks this moment to come out and Jericho runs away with his tail between his legs.
Braun Strowman is out now, and I’ve gotta say, his entrance theme makes me laugh hysterically and I love it. He is in another squash match with a local named Evan, who says he gets $1,000 for fighting and $5,000 if he wins. The bell rings and Evan tries to run before Strowman throws him clear across the ring. He knocks him down with his shoulder, then throws him into the turnbuckle. He hits a reverse chokeslam and pins poor Evan for the win.
Backstage, Mark Henry is speaking to Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley about his involvement in the Olympics and to discuss reopening the Hall of Pain. Henry wants one more run before he steps away from the ring and goes into another role. Foley puts Henry in a match tonight with our United States champion, the newlywed Rusev. We then move to R-Truth and Goldust, who are still catching Pokemon; they run off before we cut to another break.
Time for your bathroom break match of the night; Golden Truth are facing the failed Shining Stars. Primo has Goldust pinned on the rope as R-Truth chases Pokemon (or Poke-MAN if you’re talking to Michael Cole). Goldust is able to hit a Powerslam and is trying to make it to Truth for the tag, but his partner is still looking for virtual creatures to catch. The Shining Stars are able to pick up the win, and the entire arena comes together in a show of not caring whatsoever.
Michael Cole invites Finn Balor to the ring now for an exclusive interview. Cole states that his draft pick was a shock, and his win last week proved that the pick wasn’t a fluke. Balor says that he knows he needs to make an impact on Raw, but Seth Rollins decides he’s had enough and steps out. Rollins kicks Cole out of the ring (thank you, Rollins), and tells us that Balor is a former NXT champ, but surely wasn’t the first; that honor goes to Rollins. Everything Balor has done, Rollins has not only done first, he’s done it better. The crowd starts doing the Tomahawk chant, likely confusing any wrestling fans that haven’t ever been to a Braves game. The two trade insults, and it’s 100% effective at getting me excited to see them at Summerslam. The two briefly trade punches before Balor drives Rollins from the ring with a well placed kick.
The lovely Lana is in the ring, looking like she just came from her wedding with Rusev. She introduces her husband, and I’m wondering now if it was a legit wedding because Cole says that it was filmed for Total Divas and a second wedding will be held in September. Mark Henry comes out wearing his patriotic gear, and I feel sad because I like Henry but am pretty confident he won’t be winning this title match. Henry comes out strong, effortlessly lifting Rusev before powering him to the mat. Rusev tries to gain momentum, but Henry hits a shoulder tackle before jumping THROUGH the bottom and middle ropes to squash Rusev. Mary Henry jumped through the ropes, you guys. I love it! Rusev tries for the Accolade, but Henry fights out and hits some strong clotheslines before trying for a kick, but Rusev counters with kicks of his own. Rusev goes for a second Accolade and Henry reluctantly taps out. Rusev then tells the crowd that no American deserves to win a medal in the Summer Olympics and that no American will take his title.
Roman Reigns decides to come out and try to intimidate Rusev, wearing a shiny new vest with bright red trim. He looks absolutely ridiculous. Easy way to get the crowd to cheer for him though; put him against the guy that just insulted America while in Georgia with countless rednecks in the audience. I get to say this; I lived there for a good nine years. Rusev starts hitting Reigns with punch after punch, but Reigns knocks him down and lands a Superman Punch outside of the ring. Please don’t let Reigns win the US Title, you guys. I’m not emotionally strong enough for that.
Nia Jax has a solid video package after Cole does an uncomfortable job talking her up, and then we move on to Darren Young who will face former tag team partner, Titus O’Neil. O’Neil gets Young down early, then tries to be friendly and help his former partner up, but Young slaps his hand away. O’Neil has the size and strength advantage, and hits a backbreaker before sending Young across the ring. He goes for a lazy pin that Young rolls out of. O’Neil locks in an arm bar, then lands a deafening hit that grounds Young. He lifts Young up and violently drops him to the mat, going for another pin. Young manages to briefly lift O’Neil onto his shoulders, but he can’t keep him there. He rolls up Young and is able to pin him for the win. Bob Backlund is furious, likely because O’Neil had a good grip on Young’s trunks to secure that pin.
Sheamus and Cesaro are backstage, arguing with each other and Steph and Mick about their positions in the draft and the fact that Henry got a title shot that they deserved more. Foley says that whoever can impress them the most this evening will be the one to get a title shot. In another area, the unstable basketcase that is Backlund is screaming at O’Neil, which gives Young a chance to knock him down. This fell flat, no pun intended.
Back in the ring, Nia Jax is facing another local talent, Ariel Monroe, who looks unimpressed with Jax. She’s able to get in a solid kick before Jax clotheslines her and takes her down. Jax is dominating the poor girl, whose punches have zero effect. Jax is getting some decent reactions from the crowd thanks to her strength and pins Monroe with her boot; not even bothering to go down to the mat. A very short squash match; we need to get Jax in longer matches if we’re going to build her up properly. After the match, Saxton asks Jax how it feels to compete on Raw. Jax responds by attacking Monroe one last time and instructing Saxton to ask Monroe how it feels.
Sami Zayn is speaking to Tom Phillips about his upcoming match with Rollins, whose weakness is his big mouth according to Zayn. Speaking of big mouths, he takes this time to call out Owens again, calling that chapter of his life closed, and promising to shut Rollins down later tonight. But now, it’s time for New Day to bring us into our final hour. They are facing Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, but thanks to a complaint by The Club, Xavier Woods will be banned from ringside. Big E and Anderson start things off; Anderson starts strong but E breaks his momentum with a Belly to Belly. While Gallows and Anderson are busy showing off, Big E gets the win. They have no time to celebrate; The Club immediately attacks New Day, with Big E taking the brunt of the punishment. Woods comes out to help his teammates, but he’s defenseless against The Club. They may have blown their shot at the titles, but they definitely made a statement.
Cesaro and Sheamus are up now, trying to impress the Raw General Manager, Mick Foley. The two trade blows and uppercuts; Cesaro eventually takes control, prompting Sheamus to roll outside of the ring for a breather. Cesaro goes after him, where Sheamus targets the taped shoulder before hitting the Beats of the Bodhrán. He pins Cesaro after a shoulder tackle, but Cesaro kicks out. The most impressive thing about this match thus far is how bushy Sheamus’ beard is right now. He yells “RESPECT THE HAWK” before spitting gross yellow garbage into said bushy beard. Cesaro picks up the win, but I don’t think either man was impressive enough tonight to earn anything. It wasn’t a bad match, just painfully average. Apparently, during the commercial break, the two men started brawling and security had to come break it up.
But the real action is back in the ring! Not only is Heath Slater out there, but Jinder Mahal is there too! 2MB baybay! Foley comes out to address the situation, since neither man is a part of the Raw roster. Foley decides to hold a battle between both men to decide who should be part of Raw. Slater refuses to let the band get broken up, but Mahal is all about it and the bell rings. Mahal kicks Slater in the face and pins him to win the match and a Raw contract! Dude. This is hilarious. Welcome back, Jinder!
Chris Jericho and Tom Phillips are speaking backstage about the match with Enzo earlier and the fact that Enzo has Big Cass to help him while Jericho has no one. According to Jericho, he has someone to watch his back as well. When Phillips asks who it is, he spouts off with some nonsense. In steps Kevin Owens to save this bit. Surprisingly, he tells Jericho that he will have his back. Also, Tom’s new name is Tim.
I’m ready for the main event; Seth Rollins versus Sami Zayn. I’m curious to see if Balor makes an appearance, given the confrontation earlier. Rollins quickly rolls out of the ring and to safety once Zayn starts gaining momentum, but Zayn follows him out and takes him down with a moonsault from the barrier. Some overzealous fan yells “JESUS, that had to hurt!” as Zayn is thrown into the barricade. Zayn tries to go to the top rope, but Rollins knocks him down and out of the ring. We return from commercial to hear that Rollins has been in control during the entire break. Rollins is unable to hit the Pedigree, so he throws Zayn into the turnbuckle instead. Zayn retaliates with a clotheslins, and is able to hit a DDT but Rollins again rolls out of the ring. This is a great match, but I’m slightly distracted because I’m trying to figure out what Brock Lesnar will be doing when he eventually comes out. After two failed attempts, Rollins hits the Pedigree and pins Zayn for the victory.
Paul Heyman is in the ring as we return from break, introducing The Beast of the Brock-tagon, The Viper Slayer; Brock Lesnar. Heyman promises that Lesnar will entertain us at Summerslam, but his form of entertainment is politically incorrect and violent. Lesnar isn’t here to put his stamp on this new era, nor is he here to court favor with Foley or McMahon or anyone else in the locker room. Heyman is gold on the microphone. As he goes on about how Randy Orton will never hit Lesnar with an RKO, Orton appears from thin air and hits it! Orton walks into the crowd as McMahon and Foley call out every single security guard they have hidden in the back. Orton rips off his shirt as the crowd chants “R-K-O!” and that concludes our Raw for this evening.
The brand split is definitely agreeing with Raw; this was a very enjoyable night. Next week, Sean Combs will be part of Raw, which I couldn’t care less about. American Alpha will be debuting on Smackdown tomorrow night, which I am thrilled to see. Let us know your thoughts on tonight, and follow us on Twitter at @facetoheel.
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
Nia Jax was drafted to Raw and made her debut on July 25, 2016. The people I noticed on Twitter didn’t seem too impressed with her, content to mock her “ill-fitting” ring attire or the fact that she was fighting local talent. My husband isn’t a fan as well, and can’t stand her entrance theme music. I feel that my fondness for Jax is the unpopular opinion.
Jax is a former college basketball player and model, signed to NXT in 2014. She debuted in May 2015 at a house show under the name Zada where she was victorious in a tag match against Bayley and Carmella. Her on-screen debut came in October of the same year, where she embarked on a winning streak, squashing local talent and targeting Carmella. She formed a brief and unnecessary alliance with the talentless Eva Marie that led to her first rivalry with Bayley. Jax went after Bayley’s Women’s Title and challenged her at NXT Takeover: London in December, but failed to win.
In May of 2016, Jax won a triple threat match, defeating Carmella and Alexa Bliss to become the number one contender to the Women’s Title, now held by Asuka. She challenged for the title at NXT Takeover: The End in June, but again failed to score a win. Her last NXT match was against Bayley; she lost to Bayley who was battling her on the road to her own redemption.
Nia Jax has only been wrestling for about two years. She is The Rock’s cousin, but that isn’t a fact that is shoved in our faces in the way it is with The Usos or Roman Reigns. Compared to her colleagues, Jax is still very green. Her journey through NXT, squashing locals, is something we’ve seen other wrestlers do throughout the years and something fellow Raw competitor Braun Strowman did later in the same night. It’s a simple way of portraying someone as unstoppable without damaging the reputations of anyone else on the roster.
You can say that she “sucks” and make fun of her weight, but Jax is exactly what the Women’s division needs. She isn’t cut from the same cloth as the majority of other female wrestlers, in any company. Jax is a powerhouse that forces her competitors to really get creative if they want to defeat her. She presents a new challenge and gives us something different than any other female currently on the roster. She can accomplish what Tamina Snuka tried and failed to; to be a true monster heel.
I am a huge fan of Nia Jax, and I urge you to stop the harsh judgments and give her a chance. She’s had two years in the ring and in training at WWE’s Developmental Center, and still has a long road ahead of her. Jax has the potential for greatness; with more practice and by taking advice from veterans, she can conquer the Women’s division and could eventually win the Women’s title. She is different, she is dangerous, and she is perfect for the new era in WWE.
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
Just 24 hours removed from the Battleground pay-per-view, Monday Night Raw kicks off featuring a new logo (above), a new commentary area, a new commentator, Corey Graves, and a new video intro with new song. So far, this is promising. They are at least trying to give the appearance of a “New Era.”
The show kicks off with Mick Foley and Stephanie McMahon in the ring. Foley brings out the entire Raw roster. They stand at the top of the ramp. Stephanie insults Roman Reigns for costing the Raw brand the World Heavyweight Championship. Foley says the show will feature two Fatal-4-Way matches. The winners face each other in singles competition for the main event. The winner of that match, faces Seth Rollins at SummerSlam for the brand new championship title, the WWE Universal Championship. Oh brother. Didn’t think they would introduce a new title so soon. And didn’t expect it to sound this terrible. Mick lines up all the competitors for both matches. Stephanie asks Charlotte to step forward. Foley says Charlotte last her match last night and she has to defend her title tonight against none other than against Sasha Banks. The roster returns to the back and we have our first commercial break.
First Fatal-4-Way on after the break. Cesaro, Rusev, Kevin Owens, and Finn Balor! Holy shit we are about to see a great match. It’s a little crappy that Balor’s first match has to be with three other guys. All hell breaks loose as soon as the bell rings. Rusev and Owens take turns suplexing Balor. Then they double suplex Cesaro off the apron and into the ring. Cesaro uppercuts all three men in the corners. Belor hits a 1916 on Cesaro, cover, but kick out at two. Owens hits a popup powerbomb on Balor, cover, but Cesaro breaks it up. Cesaro sets up to swing Owens, but Rusev kicks them both. He stomps Owens in the back and locks in the Accolade. Cesaro grabs Rusev and suplexes him. Owens rolls out of the ring. Cesaro cover, but Rusev kicks out at two. He attempts a Sharpshooter on Rusev, but it’s reversed into an Accolade. Cesaro rolls back into a cover, two count and they break apart. Swing on Rusev by Cesaro, locks in the Sharpshooter. Before Rusev can tap, Owens kicks Cesaro in the face. Slingblade by Balor on Owens, then he hits the foot stomp finisher that I can’t spell on Rusev, covers him and moves on to the main event.
Long string of commercials. When we finally come back, Nia Jax has her debut. She takes on some jobber named Brit Baker. Match is over in about two minutes. So much for a debut. That was a waste of time. Another break. After, the second Fatal-4-Way is up. Chris Jericho, Sheamus, Sami Zayn, and Roman Reigns. Slow start to this one. Too much Jericho for my taste. Every time Reigns makes a move the crowd eats him alive. Nothing but boos for him. Sami Zayn really shines throughout, clearly the fan favorite. Reigns runs the table for a few minutes. Sami hits him with a Blue Thunderbomb. Near fall. Y2J locks in the Walls of Jericho on Sami. Sheamus kicks him off, covers Jericho but only gets a two count as Sami breaks it up. Reigns pulls off about ten thousand Superman Punches on every opponent then Spears Jericho for the cover. Get out of my face with this pile of crap match. Why does WWE keep pushing a guy that nobody wants?
The New Day comes out. Booty-O’s cereal is now a real thing and you can pre-order it from FYE. New Day brings someone out of the crowd to be an honorary member of their group. The Club attacks out of no where and hit the Magic Killer on Big E. Later, Neville returns from injury to take on Curtis Axel. Red Arrow for the pinfall. Commentary does a fantastic job of absolutely burying Curtis Axel for no reason. Dick move. Neville looks hesitant, but he’ll get back into the swing of things once he shakes the ring rust.
Sasha Banks vs Charlotte for the women’s championship after the break. This match is solid, if not a little too slow. Dana Brooke gets involved, as per usual. Outside the ring, Charlotte throws Sasha into the barricade. Dana goes to hit Sasha with the title belt, but the ref sees and ejects her to the back. This one gets a lot of time, as it should. A year ago, WWE would have given this four minutes with a crap finish. Big moonsault off the top rope outside the ring by Charlotte. She hits Natural Selection in the ring, but Sasha manages to reach the bottom rope. Hanging Figure Four off the apron and Sasha’s left leg is hurt. Charlotte tries again and Sasha reverses it into a Bank Statement submission. Charlotte gets her foot on the rope to break it up. Back Stabber into a Bank Statement, Charlotte taps. Your winner…and NEW…WWE Women’s Champion! After the match, crowd starts a “You Deserve It!” chant as Sasha cries. Byron Saxton interviews her and she says this is the era of women’s wrestling. Excellent finishing moments for the match, right lady won, great segment.
Braun Strowman comes down. There’s a smushed face jobber in the ring. Strowman has a weird entrance song and an even weirder hair cut. Total squash match. Strowman wins, easily. Not much substance to this segment. Enzo and Big Cass come out. They are just getting started when they are interrupted by The Shining Stars. R-Truth wanders into the ring, distracts Shining Stars and Cass rolls them p for the pinfall. Weird segment. The last twenty or so minutes hasn’t been very good.
Main event time with Roman Reigns taking on Finn Balor. Match starts with Reigns throwing him around the ring. Balor dropkicks Reigns outside the ring into the barricade and we go to our first commercial break. Decent action throughout, but they are selling Reigns as a little too much of a monster. Balor is a seasoned vet and shouldn’t be walked over like this. He does have several big time moves and he of course carries his own. The real crime here would be having Reigns win this match. Superman Punch on Balor late in the match and he barely kicks out. Dropkick and Balor climbs the top rope to stomp on Reigns. Cover and a three count! Wow! WWE did something right! Finn Balor vs Seth Rollins at SummerSlam. “I smell money!” – Vince
I can’t rate this Raw too high. It had some really good spots, but also a couple of head-scratching segments. But overall, it was watchable. I didn’t get bored, but WWE definitely needs to build on this and make their product soar between now and SummerSlam. I can give this a solid B+ though. Two huge thumbs up for the Sasha and Balor wins. What did you all think? Let us know in the comments below. See you all tomorrow for Smackdown Live.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker