Welcome to Monday Night Raw! This week is the go-home show before Summerslam, where Brock Lesnar will defend his title against Roman Reigns for the billionth time, among other things that don’t really matter to WWE. Before we begin, just a heads up that if this episode is particularly bad, we may have something extra special planned for our Alleged Wrestling Podcast this week to make up for it. No point in delaying the inevitable, so let’s just jump into the action…
We kick off the show with the reason for the whole Women’s Revolution, Ronda Rousey. There’s also the fantastic Renee Young making her Monday Night Raw commentary, which is awesome! Ronda kicks off by passing on her condolences to Natalya for the loss of Jim Neidhart. The crowd chants for Nattie too, which is a nice touch.
Ronda says Nattie was the first one to welcome her in the door, and for that she will always defend Nattie. She says Alexa Bliss cheated to beat Nattie many times, but this Sunday she is going to beat Alexa for Nattie, and become the new Raw Women’s Champ. But for now, someone else is going to beat Alexa: Ember Moon!
Ember makes her way to the ring, and out comes Alexa. She gets on the mic and runs down the fans and Ronda. She says Summerslam will be Ronda’s humiliation, and that she’s sick of hearing about her. Alexa brings up the fact that Kurt Angle kicked Roman Reigns out of the building to protect his match at Summerslam, but won’t protect her. She spoke to Constable Corbin, and he recommended she hire her own security, so here come the Rent-A-Cops.
Before the match could start, Alexa knocks Moon into Ronda, then hides behind the security. Ronda promptly dispatches of 3 of the security guards, then scares the 4th out of the ring. Seriously, if she’s able to destroy these guys this easily, how can we believe Bliss could possibly win Sunday?
We follow that good opening segment with the Moon-Bliss match. Literally 1 minute back from the break we get an in-screen ad promoting Summerslam… Women’s wrestling matters, and all that. Ember with a nice flurry of a kip-up-rana, barrel roll legsweep and Sliding Flatliner. Bliss rolls to the outside and stares at Ronda, but eats a Baseball Slide from Ember.
Bliss gains the advantage and the crowd goes dead, so Ronda tries to summon a chant for Ember on the outside. She’s really getting the finer aspects of things ridiculously fast. We have a proper ad break a couple of minutes later, and come back to Alexa still in control. Ember rallies briefly, but Alexa keeps her grounded.
Ember fires up and hits her tornado suplex spot for a 2 count. Alicia Fox gets up on the apron but Rousey takes care of her pretty swiftly, Alexa sends Bliss into the barrier. Ember nails a Gutbuster, followed by an Eclipse, and Fox botches breaking up the pin, but still causes a DQ. After the match Ronda throws Fox around a bit and stands tall.
We get a recap of Paul Heyman’s interview from last week. This week they included the bit that was left out, where Heyman says “Unless…” after it cut off. We will also have an interview with Roman Reigns later.
Fairly hostile reception for Roman, but can hear some cheers from the higher-pitched audience members. He talks about trying to leave the place better than he found it, and he won’t be able to do that with Brock around. Roman is fed up of Brock, so it all ends this Sunday. He says he’ll send Brock so far back into UFC, he’ll find his head up Dana White’s ass. Ahem-hem, here comes Paul Heyman!
Paul is all cleaned up after last week, and is back to his jovial self. He talks about Roman making history, and finishes the sentence he almost let slip last week. The “unless…” was that he could tell Roman all of Brock’s secrets. He keeps trying to pimp himself out to Roman, and extends his hand to him but gets rejected.
Paul says he’s not interested in the past, only in the future. He does an intro where he is the advocate for Roman, and gets rejected for a handshake again. Roman goes on about his upbringing, and says it made him able to spot that Paul is drowning, and wishes him well in his future endeavours.
Paul brings up something he learned from Roman’s father, something Roman would have learned in Samoan. He hands Roman a contract, and pleads with Roman to give him his answer Sunday. As Roman glances at it, Paul pepper sprays him, and out comes Lesnar! Brock with knees and a Guillotine Choke, followed by an F5.
Constable Corbin beat Tyler Breeze in the world’s longest squash match. He won with a Deep Six, so nice to see him win with something different.
Immediately after that, Corbin made a handicap match between Finn Balor and the team of Jinder Mahal & Kevin Owens. Before that could start, Kurt Angle came out and gave Finn a tag team partner, Braun Strowman!
On commentary, the conversation turns to yoga. Corey can do the “down dog”, and has a great “tree pose”. I seriously wish this was a 2 person booth with Cole & Renee, I genuinely think that could be a great commentary pairing. Renee has been putting Corey in his place a few times, and having a laugh with both of them, but am preferring the bits of her & Cole just calling the action together.
When Strowman gets tagged in Owens bails and hides in the crowd. Braun smash, Braun kill, poor Jinder is getting destroyed. Braun scoops slams Balor onto Jinder for a 2 count, which was pretty funny! Balor with a huge dive out onto Jinder & KO… seriously, push that man!
We come back from an ad and almost immediately get an in-screen ad for NXT Takeover. Even when Jinder is in control I will not be ok with these ads. Braun gets the tag and picks up Sunil Singh, runs through Owens and throws him into the barrier. Poweslam on Jinder, and Braun gets the win. After the match, Corbin hits an End of Days on Balor.
We were scheduled to have a contract signing between Seth Rollins & Dolph Ziggler for their IC title match this Sunday. This match was made weeks ago, why are they only signing it now? Corbin echoes those sentiments before the main event slot, when Seth still hasn’t arrived. Anyway, throughout the night we get told Seth has had some travel issues so is running late. To pass some time, Dolph asks for the contact so he can read it, essentially saying if the contract signing had have gone ahead as planned with Seth arriving on time, he wouldn’t have read it. We also get a Seth backstory in the guise of a Subway ad, for some reason.
Apparently, there is a clause in there that says Seth can have someone in his corner this Sunday. Kurt points out that’s the same clause that means Drew can corner Ziggler, so Dolph is happy to leave it there. It won’t mean anything if Seth doesn’t show up anyway. I wonder why would they point out that particular clause…
To close out the show Kurt makes his way to the ring, and ZigIntyre come out and run him down. Dolph says the match is off since Seth didn’t show up, so Kurt needs to officially call it off. Drew brings up how they respect Seth for how hard he worked, because it pushed them to work even harder, and Dolph agrees. Dolph says the fans always forget, like they forgot how he used to steal the show. He says how for the first time ever he has someone that truly has his back, and they do what they want. Dolph signs the contract so he can officially win by forfeit, but guess who’s music hits…
Seth comes out and apologizes for being late, and sorry the fans needed to sit through Dolph’s promo. He’s been lying to us. He was hiding backstage until Dolph signed the contract because he was worried Dolph would back out. Seth was dealing with travel issues, but they weren’t HIS travel issues. He brings up that clause that was so conveniently pointed out earlier, and says it was put there for a reason. Since he knows the Scottish Psychopath will be in Dolph’s corner, he needed a lunatic in his corner… OH MY!
Out comes Dean Ambrose, to a great reaction! And he’s looking absolutely jacked! They hit the ring, all 4 brawl a bit, then Seth nails a Superkick on Drew, and Dean hits a Dirty Deeds for the first time in roughly 9 months. Seth signs the contract to make the match official as we go off the air.
The B Team defended their Raw Tag Team titles against the Deleters of Worlds and The Revival. B Team had a good promo backstage before the match, which was fairly funny. During the Deleters entrance, we get an ad for Mile 22… fuck off with all the ads in ridiculous places.
Apparently, a flip of a coin decided who would start the match… how does that work with 3 teams? Matt just screamed that he’s V1, so think he’s traveled back in time a few years. Revival hit a Hart Attack, which was a nice touch to Anvil. Renee puts over how much she likes the no-nonsense approach of the Revival.
Dash goes for a Suicide Dive, but gets caught for an Uranage onto the apron by Bray. Matt suplexes Dawson from the middle rope onto everyone on the outside. Axel with a blind tag on Dawson, and Revival hit a Shatter Machine on Bray. Axel throws Dawson through the ropes onto Dash, and gets the pin to retain. Clever finish, and a decent match.
Ember Moon def Alexa Bliss (DQ)
Baron Corbin def Tyler Breeze
Braun Strowman & Finn Balor def Jinder Mahal & Kevin Owens
Bobby Lashley def Local Talent (Death)
B Team def Deleters of World & Revival
Bobby Roode & Titus Worldwide def Mojo Rawley & AOP
Ruby Riott def Sasha Banks
We’re normally incredibly critical of go-home shows these days, but this one was pretty damn good! The Brock-Roman bit was actually pretty good, and they managed to actually progress storylines a bit. They didn’t resort to having a champ get pinned, although Bliss was about to, and the big return of Ambrose to close the show adds an intriguing wildcard into that picture. Even our Twitter poll had 0 negative votes, for the first time ever:
So what everybody think of #RAW tonight?
— 2Bit Wrestling (@2bitwrestling) August 14, 2018
Also, I have to give a mention to Renee Young on commentary, who I really enjoyed. She was great on NXT before, and I hope we see more of her on Raw instead of the ironically vanilla Coach. I thought at times Corey was a hindrance and put her off, but there was some good exchanges between her & Cole that really impressed me. Would love them to do a 2-person booth of the pair of them sometime, but Vince prefers a 3-person booth so he can be feeding stuff to them easier, so that won’t happen anytime soon.
While you’re here, make sure to check out ‘The Alleged Wrestling Podcast’ where we have the craic looking back over the wrestling events of the past week! (It’s also on iTunes and Stitcher and all those nice things)
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