Ladies and Gentlemen, after some issues last week, we return to our regularly scheduled WWE Raw breakdown. Steve showed he was a true good brother and stepped in last week to make sure our loyal readers got their weekly fix of Raw goodness, but now it’s time to get back to normality. Last week the show started great, but went steadily downhill. Will this be more like the start of last week’s show, or will it continue that downwards trajectory? Let’s find out…
We kick off the show with our Universal Champion, so Michael Cole got to ejaculate really early in the show tonight. They call Roman “polarising” again, because that’s their newest word for him, and we get a recap of the Shield reforming last week. There’s a new Shield tshirt, because of course there is. He calls out Strowman so they can face off after some shite they had on Twitter, and out comes Braun. A direct Coach quote: “This crowd is alive”… yeah, because they’re normally dead due to the state of this shitshow.
Roman goes on about how the Shield is a brotherhood of workhorses. He says he didn’t ask for the Shield to attack Braun, but they understood Roman’s position. Roman says Braun’s hands lift objects, but his have lifted every championship WWE has to offer. He dares him to cash in the contract, but Braun says no because he knows the Shield will interfere. Braun offers a deal; he won’t cash in until September 16th, and he’ll see Roman in Hell in a Cell. They shake hands, and ZigIntyre’s music hits.
Dolph & Drew hit the stage, and talk about how Seth Rollins tole the IC title from Dolph. He says he will invoke his rematch clause (these clauses need to die) on his terms. Dolph says they’ve proven themselves to Seth & Dean, and Drew says Roman & Braun are a different proposition. Out comes “acting general manager” Constable Corbin and we have a tag team match, playa playa…. This took 15 minutes! Also, why do I smell a Braun heel turn coming?
Halfway through the show Braun brings the MITB briefcase into Corbin’s office and tells him to make sure to bring it to Hell in a Cell. What if it turns out Braun never signed the contract, and now Corbin can sign it and become Mr. Money in the Bank? We then get some separate backstage bits with ZigIntyre and Roman & Braun before the match itself.
Reigns starts off the match against Dolph, and dominates early, with Braun nodding along in approval on the apron. The ref gets distracted and Roman eats a Big Boot from Drew, and Dolph takes control.
The majority of the match is around the teamwork of ZigIntyre against the inexperienced team of Roman & Braun. Eventually Braun gets a tag, but ZigIntyre start to gang up on Roman as Braun watches on from the apron. This causes a DQ, and eventually Braun gets into the ring. He stares down ZigIntyre, then turns to Roman, picks him up, screams “I told you I’m not finished with you” and lays him out with a headbutt.
Braun throws Roman into the corner and signals for ZigIntyre to attack him. This brings out Dean Ambrose, but he gets laid out with a ClayZag, and out comes Seth Rollins. He’s still selling the shoulder from earlier, and quickly gets laid out with a ZigZag followed by a Running Powerslam. Braun Powerslams Ambrose, and Drew passes Roman to him to hit one on him too. Braun & ZigIntyre stand tall as we go off the air, with a majority of cheers from the crowd
Our first match of the night was the acting GM Constable Corbin facing Finn Balor, the man. Corbin knew of this last week, but Finn is only finding out now. That doesn’t matter though, because Balor Club has come to Toronto. The crowd started a “Too Sweet” chant, and Corbin responds by throwing up a “Too Sweet” of his own… nice!
Corbin controls a large portion of the match, playing up the fact that he was more prepared, even though they’ve fought multiple times in the past 3 months. Balor goes for the John Woo, but gets caught in a Deep Six. Balor with a dive to the outside, but Corbin grabs a chair on the way back. Finn goes for a Coup de grâce, but Corbin moves, then lays Finn out with a chair, causing a DQ. Oops, he forgot to tell us it was no-DQ, so it’s restarted. He hits an End of Days, and 50/50s it up from Summerslam. Fuck this…
Seth Rollins comes down to the ring to Burn It Down. He says that last week was about taking care of some “Family Business”. He says they’re workhorses, so they’re really driving that narrative. Apparently they’re also fighting champions. Since Drew & Dolph are already busy, we’re going to have an open challenge. But who will answer it? How about another former Universal Champ, Kevin Owens!
Owens says he’s glad Seth is happy. He has his friends, his title, crossfit. But since he’s come back to Raw his life has been a nightmare. He says Seth had a good Summerslam, because he had his best friend by his side, but Kevin didn’t have his friend. If he had Sami Zayn by his side, he would be Universal Champ right now. This terrible Summer will end now, because he’s winning the IC title.
During the match Coach says that we’re seeing the best Shield we’ve ever seen. They had one 3-on-1 attack and hit a triple powerbomb, so how on earth can you say that based on that evidence, you absolute idiot?
The match itself is as expected from these guys. Rollins goes to hit 3 dives in a row, Owens cuts off the 3rd one, but Rollins recovers and hits the 3rd. Owens counters “The Knee” into a Crossface, but Seth reaches the ropes. Rollins with a Superkick, but Owens hits a Stunner for a 2 count. Superkick from KO for another 2. KO misses his Double Jump Moonsault, and Seth hits a Curb Stomp for the win. Great match!
KO stays sitting in the ring after the match, as the crowd chants his name. Eventually he says “I quit”, and leaves the ring. Here’s me watching KO’s booking lately:
Elias came out and done his usual act, but is interrupted by Trish Stratus! He says it’s nice to see she took a break from changing diapers to step in the ring with him. She says she’s become a fan of his, but since he’s run his mouth about Toronto, she’ll have to ask him to silence his cell phone, hold his applause, and shut his mouth. Elias makes a joke about how the Maple Leafs will never win the Stanley Cup, but Trish says it’s like him winning a title. The whole thing was just a plug for her match at Evolution against Alexa Bliss.
Natalya & Ronda Rousey come out to join her as Elias leaves, and then Bliss & Alicia Fox come out and gets on the mic. Bliss says Trish looks great, but all the yoga in the world won’t help her at Evolution. Then she turns to Ronda, and says she knows Ronda wanted to break her arm at Summerslam. She will cash in her rematch at Hell in a Cell, and then brings out someone Trish knows very well, Mickie James.
Nattie makes light work of Foxy to get the win with a Sharpshooter in Canada. Backstage afterwards they bump into the Bella Twins. They announce they will be back in action next week, and the crowd audibly groans…
Baron Corbin def Finn Balor
Sasha Banks def Dana Brooke
Seth Rollins def Kevin Owens
Revival def B Team
Natalya def Alicia Fox
Lashley def Ascension
Dean Ambrose def Jinder Mahal
Roman Reigns & Braun Strowman def Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre (DQ)
I’m honestly so torn about this episode. The inevitable matches between Braun & ZigIntyre vs Shield should be pretty damn good, but we’ve seen them all face off so often over the past year that it diminishes the whole thing really. I’m also curious to see where the Kevin Owens thing is going, but at the same time it may do him some good to be off TV for a while after all the damage his character has taken over the past few months.
I also find it frustrating that they spent so long using him to put Braun over strong as a babyface, only for them to flip-flop on Braun so soon after they end their feud in an attempt to put Roman over. How much talent must be fed to Roman in order to try get him over as “the guy” before they realise they’ve wasted so many better opportunities?
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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