The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 07/26/21 Review

Welcome to the WWE Raw Deal review for this week. The big news coming out of last week’s Raw was that Nikki A.S.H. (Cross) cashed in her Money in the Bank contract on Charlotte Flair to become the Raw Women’s Champion. Nikki cashed in after Rhea Ripley hit Charlotte with the Riptide slam on the floor. They were really rushing to get it in at the end of last week’s show. Also, Bill Goldberg came back to challenge Lashley for the WWE Title, which is a match that will likely take place at SummerSlam on August 21.
This is the Raw Deal for episode #1470 of Monday Night Raw. It's taking place at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage, insightful columns from our team along with reviews about wrestling’s past (including my reviews of every WWE PPV ever listed in order) and present. Let’s roll.

The show began with a video package about Nikki A.S.H. cashing in her Money in the Bank contract on Charlotte Flair to become the new Raw Women’s Champion.
There was a good crowd on hand in Kansas City as Nikki A.S.H. made her entrance with the Raw Women’s Title around her waist. Nikki did the babyface thing by greeting a lot of fans at ringside. The Raw announce team was Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton as usual. Nikki got a nice reaction from the crowd.
Let’s Hear from Nikki A.S.H.
Nikki held up the Raw Women’s Title to big cheers. Nikki said she’s always wanted to say this: “Welcome to Monday Night Raw!” The fans cheered. Nikki said she’s so happy we are all back together and she’s standing there as the new Raw Women’s Champion. Nikki said it feels like a dream as the fans chanted “you deserve it” for her, so she paused for that. Nikki said that this dream is now real. Nikki spoke about how in the past when she reached for the stars, she didn’t have the confidence that she needed because she was so afraid to fail. Nikki said one day she realized that if she failed then she failed, it’s not a big deal and “I’m still me.” Nikki said when she puts on this outfit it gives her confidence, and she wanted to remind all of the fans that if you believe in yourself you can overcome all of the odds. Nikki said it worked for her, it can work for you and we can all almost be superheroes.

Charlotte Flair, the former Raw Women’s Champion, made her entrance in dress clothes. Charlotte joined Nikki in the ring. Charlotte said that Nikki is telling a nice fairytale, but this fairytale doesn’t have a happy ending and said that this is a disgrace. Charlotte trashed Nikki dressed like that and said that Al Roker would laugh at her on the Today Show. Charlotte said in her book, you have to work for it to become a champion. Charlotte said that she is there to add star power and perspective to this ring. Charlotte said before this “almost idiot” takes a victory lap, let’s take a look at what happened last week. The fans chanted “you suck” at Charlotte. Charlotte said that last week when she proved her superiority over Rhea Ripley, Rhea couldn’t handle it because she acted like a teenager that had her cell phone taken from her and that’s why Nikki was able to cash in. Charlotte said that she wasn’t even on her feet when the referee started the match. Charlotte complained about how Nikki stole her title. Charlotte said she’ll continue to be the opportunity, Nikki can play dress-up and Charlotte will get her rematch. Charlotte said that you can all bow down to Charlotte as the champion.
Charlotte said that all of this is not Nikki’s fault. Charlotte said that this is the fault of the fans that are jealous of Charlotte. Charlotte said that you see people more successful than you and none of you can handle it.
Rhea Ripley was next up for the interruption in her unique style of street clothes. Ripley got some cheers as she stood in the ring saying they were all jealous of Charlotte holding the title for one day. Rhea said that Charlotte is an 11-time Women’s Champion, but the only way you can win a title is by pinfall or submission while pointing out that Charlotte got intentionally disqualified last week. Ripley said it should be her getting a title shot at SummerSlam.
Nikki cut them both off saying that each of them represented this division wonderfully as champion. Nikki said that the women’s division is ready for a metamorphosis and she will be leading that change as the new Raw Women’s Champion. Charlotte said she was sick of Nikki’s superhero crap and said that at SummerSlam, she is walking out as Raw Women’s Champion. Rhea Ripley said that title is going to be around Rhea’s waist.
The WWE Officials Adam Pearce & Sonya Deville appeared on the stage. Sonya said that the only fair thing to do is to make a triple threat match for the Raw Women’s Championship at SummerSlam: Nikki A.S.H. vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley. Charlotte said it was ridiculous and Charlotte said she wanted a match against Nikki A.S.H. tonight, so Nikki said she’s on. Pearce said it’s official tonight in Kansas City (cheap pop). Charlotte punched Ripley and tossed her out of the ring. Nikki hit a dropkick on Charlotte and knocked Charlotte out of the ring. After nearly 20 minutes, this segment was over.
Analysis: This went on too long. I like Nikki and she was fine doing her promo, but it just dragged on too long until Charlotte finally showed up. What Charlotte said was mostly true especially that she never stood up to start the match last week, but that’s what happens in WWE sometimes. Ripley was also right in saying Charlotte got disqualified last week, so it was a valid point made by her as well. I’m not surprised that they are doing a triple threat match at SummerSlam.
Damian Priest did a pre-tape promo earlier in the day saying that he should be the United States Champion, not Sheamus. Priest faces Sheamus up next.

Sheamus was already in the ring. Damian Priest got a good ovation for his entrance.
Sheamus vs. Damian Priest
This is not for the US Title held by Sheamus, who is wrestling with a black protective facemask. Sheamus with a shoulder tackle and then Priest came back with a jumping shoulder tackle as well. Sheamus with a knee to the ribs followed by forearms to the back. Priest with punches, then a kick and a jumping back elbow. Priest with a clothesline over the top to the floor. Priest teased a diving attack onto the floor, but then Sheamus caught Priest and slammed him on the apron. They went to break two minutes into the match.

Sheamus was in control as he pulled on the mouth of Priest to force a smile. Sheamus with forearms to the back, but then Priest came back with a running clothesline. Priest with the bell-clap and then a spin kick that knocked the mask off of the face of Sheamus. Sheamus was freaking out about his mask being off and got a boot up. Sheamus went up top and then Priest hit an impressive Chokeslam off the top for a two count. Sheamus got out of The Reckoning attempt, but Sheamus came back with an Alabama Slam for two. Sheamus went for the Cloverleaf submission, Priest broke up the fingers, Priest kicked his way free and Priest delivered kicks to the body. Sheamus bounced off the ropes with a jumping knee strike for two. Priest to the apron, back elbows to the head and a roundhouse kick to the head. Priest hit The Reckoning for the pinfall win after about ten minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Damian Priest
Analysis: ***1/4 They did a good job here with a lot of cool spots between two bigger guys and the fans bought into the nearfalls throughout the match. Priest winning clean is good for him because it sets him up for a future US Title match and I think he’d be a good choice as the next champion. Sheamus usually has good matches any time he gets over ten minutes like he did here. I think they can end the mask gimmick for Sheamus now.

Post match, Sheamus said that Priest broke his nose again and he needs a doctor. Poor Sheamus.
The Raw Tag Team Title match is up next.

AJ Styles and Omos were in the ring for their Raw Tag Team Title match. I don’t know why their entrance wouldn’t be shown. The Viking Raiders entered as the challengers. The fans like these guys.
Raw Tag Team Championships: AJ Styles & Omos vs. Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar)
Erik with a knee on Styles and Ivar with a splash. Erik and Ivar worked together to knock Omos off the apron to the floor. Viking Raiders hit the Viking Experience double team move, but Omos was there to break up the pin. Omos sent Erik into the barricade and he tossed Ivar into Erik against the barricade as well. They went to break less than two minutes into this match.

Omos was in control of Erik with his hands against the face of Erik. Styles back in with chinlock and then some strikes, but Erik decked Styles with a punch to the face. Ivar was back in with a side slam followed by a cross body block on Styles on the mat. Ivar charged, Styles avoided a corner attack, Styles with a forearm and Ivar did a cartwheel to avoid Styles going off the top. Ivar with a clothesline. Ivar charged, Styles with a kick to the body and a Tornado DDT out of the corner for two. Styles tried to break free, but Ivar hit him with a clothesline. Erik was back in with a knee to the face and another knee to the face (with leg slap) for two while Ivar was holding the leg of Omos. Styles hit a Pele Kick on Erik and Omos got the tag. Omos with a body slam on Erik leading to Omos hitting a corner splash and kick for Ivar. Omos with a splash on Erik again. Omos hit the two handed Tree Slam to drop Erik and Styles wanted the tag. Styles hit a springboard 450 Splash for the pinfall win after nine minutes.
Winners by pinfall: AJ Styles & Omos
Analysis: **3/4 This was a solid match that was the same formula as their last match. Build up to Omos getting the tag, he cleans house and it’s over. It's still weird to see them using that formula with Styles/Omos as heels because it's such a babyface thing to do, but they remain as heels. Viking Raiders are a good team, but it wasn’t the right time for a title change. Styles is 44 years old and makes it look easy all the time even when doing a springboard 450 Splash like that.

They showed highlights of last week when Drew McIntyre was very angry on Raw after Jinder Mahal and friends cot Drew the Money in the Bank Ladder Match win. Last week on Raw, Drew beat up Shanky with a chair, so he faces Veer this week.
This Friday on Smackdown, Roman Reigns denied John Cena’s challenge and then Roman accepted Finn Balor’s challenge. Has Roman put an end to the Summer of Cena? Find out on Smackdown. They’re still doing Reigns vs. Cena at SummerSlam. Worry not, fans. They have time to set it up.

Jinder Mahal made his entrance with Veer and some other guy in a suit. Jinder said he was there to give Drew the opportunity to apologize for what he did to Shanky. Jinder introduced us to his personal attorney and he said the name, but I didn’t get the whole thing. Jinder said that they will sue Drew. McIntyre asked if he should apologize with the fans yelling “NO” to answer that. Drew said that sometimes he has a bit of an anger problem, but he’s going to ask Kansas City their opinion. Drew asked if he should apologize and buy them a steak dinner tonight? The fans said “NO” to that. Drew asked if he’s going to make Veer pay or something like that and the fans cheered that. Drew led the fans in a “Drew is gonna kill you” chant for Jinder.
Drew McIntyre vs. Veer (w/Jinder Mahal)
I don’t know much about Veer as a wrestler, so let’s see what he can do. Veer with a forearm and a body slam. McIntyre came back with a shoulder tackle and a body slam. Veer with a slap, which was a bad idea and McIntyre came back with a barrage of punches. Mahal used a chair to hit the apron to distract Drew, so Veer knocked down Drew and delivered some punches. Veer with a running splash against the turnbuckle followed by a running body attack. Veer hit an elbow drop for a one count. Veer with a chinlock, McIntyre with punches to the body and McIntyre with two clotheslines. McIntyre with an elbow smash. The fans were solidly behind Drew as he delivered a belly to belly suplex across the ring. McIntyre with a neckbreaker variation pulling back on the head. Veer with a punch to the throat, Mahal gave Veer a chair and McIntyre hit a Claymore Kick into the chair on Veer. That led to Drew being disqualified, so Veer wins. It went about five minutes.
Winner by disqualification: Veer
Analysis: *3/4 I certainly didn’t expect a win by Veer, but at least you can say McIntyre looked strong since he did the Claymore Kick into the chair. Veer did a solid job of doing some basic wrestling moves, he has some power and an impressive leap on an elbow drop. I’d rather see Drew get the pinfall win instead of the ending they did here, but I get why it was done this way to show Drew was ready for the chair attack.
Even though McIntyre lost the match, they played his music. Mahal went up to the ramp with Veer while the lawyer stayed at ringside for some reason. Drew tossed the lawyer into the ring and Drew hit a 3-2-1 (and middle finger) Claymore Kick on the lawyer to put an end to this. The fans popped for that too. Drew was very popular with this crowd, which is great.

Analysis: It was a way to end the segment on a positive note with Drew standing tall. They are setting up Drew vs. Jinder at SummerSlam. It’s just not official yet.
Eva Marie was shown stretching with Doudrop behind the curtain. Eva Marie said that after they win tonight they will be closer to become Women’s Tag Team Champions as long as Doudrop does her part. The thing about that is that Doudrop does all the work. They are in action up next.
This week on NXT on Syfy (in the US), they wonder if anything can stop Karrion Kross? That was it. They didn’t mention the Adam Cole vs. Bronson Reed match that was advertised last week. Anyway, they taped that show already last week.

There was a graphic letting us know that with over 3.5 million views, John Cena’s return to WWE was WWE’s most popular post ever on Instagram.
Natalya & Tamina vs. Eva Marie & Doudrop
This is not for the Women’s Tag Team Titles held by Natalya and Tamina. Eva Maris started, she shoved Natalya and then Eva went to the ropes. Doudrop tagged in with a shoulder tackle on Natalya. Doudrop with a forward roll, then a rollup and into a slow bridging pin for two. Natalya reversed it for a two count. Natalya hurt her knee or foot and one of the trainers checked on her on the floor. Tamina tagged in for her team, Doudrop kicked the leg of Tamina and Doudrop hit a running cross body block on Tamina. Eva tagged in for a two count on Tamina. There was a video for Lilly the doll saying this was the Lilly-Lution mocking Eva Marie’s gimmick. Eva Marie turned around and Tamina hit a superkick for the pinfall win after about four minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Natalya & Tamina
Analysis: 1/2* Bad match with the distraction from the Lilly doll since Alexa Bliss is feuding with Eva/Doudrop a bit. It was the right call for the champs to retain, but the match fell apart a bit after Natalya got hurt.
Post match, Natalya was helped to the back by a trainer with Tamina helping as well. It looked like a right leg injury for Natalya.
Analysis: I hope Natalya is okay. She has been so durable in her career, but injuries are part of pro wrestling too. She is having so much fun teaming with Tamina and now this happened, so who knows what the future will hold.
Keith Lee and Karrion Kross were shown on split screens and they are in action up next.

Karrion Kross made his entrance as the always serious NXT Champion who lost his Raw debut match last week. Keith Lee made his entrance in his second match back on Raw after being out of action for about five minutes. The fans liked seeing back in action.
Analysis: It was one year ago when Kross beat Lee for the NXT Title, which led to Lee moving to Raw shortly after. Just like last week, I think WWE should have Scarlett with Kross the way she’s with him in NXT.
Karrion Kross vs. Keith Lee
Lee grabbed Kross around the waist and tossed him across the ring. Lee with a clothesline over the top to the floor. Lee left the ring, Kross drove Lee into the ring apron and Kross shoved Lee into the ring post. Kross hit an overhead suplex on Lee on the floor.

Kross hit a running clothesline on Lee, then a back elbow and another clothesline although Lee was not knocked down. Lee tried to fight back with punches to the body, but Kross hit a DDT for a two count. Kross went for the Kross Jacket submission, Lee was able to get out of it and slam Kross down. Lee with a clothesline. Lee with a back elbow, then a headbutt and a corner splash. Lee with a running shoulder tackle knocking down Kross. Lee wanted a Spirit Bomb, but Kross got out of it and hit a belly to back suplex dropping Lee on his head/neck. Kross with a running forearm to the back. Kross applied the Kross Jacket submission on Lee and this time, Lee tapped out. It went eight minutes.
Winner by submission: Karrion Kross
Analysis: **1/2 The match was just average for the time given. Kross was in control, Lee made the comeback with some big moves and then Kross hit some of his best moves for the win. While it’s nice to see Kross being booked the right way after what happened last week, I would have preferred to see him against somebody other than Keith Lee, who could use a win. Lee lost last week to Lashley and lost again here. Lee needs a win next week.

They showed another replay of Nikki A.S.H. winning the Raw Women’s Title last week.
Nikki A.S.H. was interviewed backstage by Sarah Schreiber. Nikki said that she wants the little boys and girls to know that the hardest of challenges are worth fighting for. Nikki said that no matter what happens tonight, she will be defending her championship at SummerSlam. Rhea Ripley walked into the screen to make Nikki look small. Ripley said that she believes that she will walk out with the Raw Women’s Championship and she hopes that tonight, Nikki gives Charlotte hell. That match is later.
Mace & T-Bar entered for tag team action. They are not on Raw very often.
There was a commercial for Broken Skull Sessions with Kevin Nash available now. It was a fun interview. I didn’t review it, but Nash is a really good storyteller.

Mace & T-Bar did a pre-tape promo that was shown as they made angry faces towards the camera like 1980s bad guys. Mansoor and Mustafa Ali entered as the opponents. There was a pre-tape promo from Ali and Mustafa with Ali telling Mustafa to follow Ali’s lead.
Mustafa Ali & Mansoor vs. Mace & T-Bar
Mace & T-Bar hit a double tea knee attack on Ali against the turnbuckle. Mace hit a spinning slam on Ali for a two count with Mansoor making the save. T-Bar tagged in with a running boot to the face of Mansoor to knock him off the apron. T-Bar with a running kick on Ali for a two count. Ali avoided a kick by T-Bar and Ali hit a spin kick to the head. Mansoor got the tag against Mace with Mansoor hitting a forearm followed by an enziguri kick. Mansoor hit a reverse DDT on Mace for two as T-Bar broke up the pin by kicking Mansoor out of the ring. Ali jumped onto T-Bar on the floor with a DDT on the floor. Mansoor: “That was awesome!” Mansoor kicked Mace in the arm to knock to break up a move on Ali. Mansoor jumped off the top and did a headscissors into a pin attempt sitting on top of Mace for the pinfall win after three minutes. The win drew a mild pop.
Winners by pinfall: Mustafa Ali & Mansoor
Analysis: *3/4 It was fine for a shorter match with a lot of action. Ali’s DDT on T-Bar on the floor was outstanding not just from Ali, but the way T-Bar sold it was perfect. Mansoor picking up the win was the right move since he’s the babyface on the team while Ali is a heel, so it’s a way for the face Mansoor to keep convincing Ali they should be a team.
Post match, Ali was shocked about the win while Mansoor was excited about it.
The All Mighty WWE Champion Bobby Lashley is up next as we head to the end of hour two.

Let’s Hear from Bobby Lashley and MVP
The All Mighty WWE Champion Bobby Lashley made his entrance with MVP. Lashley was in his wrestling gear with the WWE Title around his waist while MVP was in a suit. They showed a clip from last week with Goldberg getting in Lashley’s face.
MVP told the crowd to show some respect for the All Mighty WWE Champion Bobby Lashley. There were boos and cheers. MVP said that Lashley is like Tom Brady (they are close in age actually), which was a shot at KC since Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl over KC back in February. MVP said that everybody is talking about Lashley vs. Goldberg, so MVP asked if Goldberg is next? Lashley said he won’t dignify Goldberg’s challenge with a response. Lashley said that this is his ring and he won’t be disrespected by anybody.
Cedric Alexander made his entrance for some reason. Cedric was part of The Hurt Business in the past. Cedric complained about how he was disrespected when he was kicked out of The Hurt Business earlier this year. Cedric claimed that Bobby knew that Cedric was better than him. Cedric said he wanted his opportunity against the champ.
Shelton Benjamin also showed up with a promo as another former Hurt Business member. Benjamin trashed Alexander for having a voice that sounds annoying. Benjamin said he wasn’t there to cry about The Hurt Business because that’s over – he was there to give Lashley a real challenge. MVP said that The Champ doesn’t want to deal with either of them. Lashley said he’ll take them both on at the same time.
Bobby Lashley (w/MVP) vs. Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin
Lashley with a neckbreaker on Benjamin. Alexander attacked from behind and Lashley hit a lifting flatliner on Alexander. Lashley with a shoulder tackle on Benjamin against the turnbuckle. Lashley left the ring where he put Alexander on his shoulders and drove him into the ring post. Back in the ring, Benjamin with punches, Alexander grabbed the foot, Benjamin with a knee and Alexander hit a Tornado DDT off the ropes. Lashley easily kicked out of a pin attempt. Lashley with a huge spinebuster on Alexander. Lashley ran through a clothesline by Benjamin and hit a Spear. Lashley hit a Jackhammer slam (like Goldberg) on Benjamin. Lashley gave Alexander a Dominator slam on Alexander onto Benjamin. Lashley stacked and pinned both guys after about four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Bobby Lashley
Analysis: *1/4 A dominant win for Lashley as usual for him. I liked how it was booked with Lashley selling a bit, but not that much and Lashley ended up winning easily. Lashley is booked as well as anybody in all of WWE although he did lose to Xavier Woods before Money in the Bank, so I wonder if that will be brought up again.

Post match, Lashley and MVP celebrated the win. No Goldberg this week even though he was part of the Raw preview that WWE had on their website.
John Morrison and The Miz were backstage with Miz in the wheelchair. AJ Styles and Omos walked up to them. Styles talked to them while Omos stood in front of them, so we couldn’t hear what they were saying.
Riddle made his entrance on a scooter as usual. The fans popped for Riddle with “bro” chants for him and they popped for the flops getting kicked off when he got into the ring.

John Morrison made his entrance with The Miz in a wheelchair since Miz is dealing with a knee injury. Miz sprayed water on Byron Saxton a lot.
Riddle vs. John Morrison (w/The Miz)
These guys had some good matches recently. Riddle with a sunset flip leading to an Ankle Lock submission with Morrison rolling out of it. Riddle with an overhead suplex leading to a two count. Riddle charged and Morrison jumped off the ropes with a kick for a two count. Riddle powered out of a suplex with a suplex of his own for two. Miz sprayed some water on Riddle so Morrison got a rollup for two. Riddle came back with a knee to Morrison’s chin. Riddle on the apron did a running kick on Miz to knock Miz over in the wheelchair and there was water all over the floor. The fans loved that spot as Riddle mocked Miz on the floor.

The match continued with Riddle hitting an overhead kick on Morrison. Riddle with an overhead suplex. Riddle with a kick to the chest of Morrison followed by a springboard attack off the middle rope onto Morrison on the floor. AJ Styles & Omos walked out to the ringside area, so Riddle was distracted. Morrison with a jumping side kick on Riddle leading to a knee to the face for two. Riddle escaped a suplex, then he hit a knee, a Powerbomb and another knee to the face for two. Riddle was distracted by Styles holding Riddle’s scooter, so then Omos broke the scooter over his knee. Morrison took advantage with a spinning slam and Morrison hit Starship Pain on Riddle for the pinfall win after ten minutes.
Winner by pinfall: John Morrison
Analysis: *** This was a solid match although they had some better matches in recent weeks. The ending was cheap with the distraction, but I’m glad that Morrison was able to get a win like that. Morrison slipped a bit on the Starship Pain move on the first attempt, but then he hit it and it looked impressive. Riddle always has good matches.
Post match, Styles went into the ring and beat up Riddle with punches. Styles hit the Styles Clash on Riddle as well. The fans wanted Randy Orton, but there was no sign of him this week.

Analysis: This should lead to Styles & Omos vs. Orton & Riddle at SummerSlam assuming Orton returns to action by then. I have been talking about that match at SummerSlam for a couple of months now. It just makes sense as a title match.
They showed a clip of Reginald becoming 24/7 Champion last week.
R-Truth did his “What’s Up” entrance to hype up the crowd because he’s against Reginald up next.

Reginald did some impressive flips on his way to the ring for a 24/7 Title defense. R-Truth was wearing a microphone during the match.
24/7 Championship: Reginald vs. R-Truth
Reginald used his athleticism to avoid Truth, then Truth took Reginald’s jacket and Reginald avoided an attack. Truth threw the coat on Reginald. Truth missed a corner splash and a jumping kick because Reginald got out of the way. Reginald hit a running somersault dive onto Truth’s chest for the pinfall win after two minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Reginald
Analysis: * Reginald did not do any bumps in the match and looked impressive showing off his athleticism. Truth was funny as usual.
Post match, some midcard wrestlers went into the ring to go after Reginald, but Reginald jumped over the top to get out of the ring. Reginald did some backflips while on the ramp. That was it.
Analysis: It was more of a showcase for Reginald getting a chance to show off what he can do with his flips.
Charlotte Flair was backstage prior to her match with Sarah Schreiber showing up for an interview. Charlotte complained about Rhea Ripley attacking her last week and that’s why Nikki A.S.H. was able to beat her. Charlotte said she was going to prove how good she is while showing confidence as usual.
Charlotte Flair made her entrance for the main event.

Nikki A.S.H. made her entrance as the Raw Women’s Champion. It was the second straight week with a Charlotte Flair match in the main event.
Nikki A.S.H. vs. Charlotte Flair
This was not for Nikki’s Raw Women’s Title. Charlotte was aggressive early on with punches, slaps and chops. Charlotte hit a back elbow to knock Nikki down. Charlotte charged into a back elbow and Nikki got some offense with some forearms. Charlotte used her size advantage leading to punches and kicks against the turnbuckle. Charlotte went for a suplex, so Nikki turned it into a cradle and then a rollup from Nikki. Nikki with a headscissors to send Charlotte out of the ring. Nikki kicked Charlotte to knock her down on the floor. Charlotte got a hold of Nikki and tossed her over the barricade onto the chairs at the announce table. That led to a break.

Charlotte with an overhead suplex for a two count. Charlotte worked over Nikki with a chinlock, Nikki broke free and avoided a kick on the apron. Nikki sent Charlotte to the floor and hit a cross body block. Charlotte went for a kick, Nikki stretched the knee across the top and Cross got a rollup for two. Nikki with a cross body block, a clothesline and Charlotte blocked a sunset flip. Nikki hit a bulldog for two. Charlotte came back with chops (the fans chanting “woo” for them) and Charlotte set up Nikki on the turnbuckle. Nikki with some kicks leading to a Tornado DDT out of the corner. Nikki jumped off the top with a cross body block, but this time Charlotte floated over and landed on top to get the pinfall win after 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Charlotte Flair
Analysis: *** The match was good although I think it would have been better if Charlotte cheated to win instead of a simple float over into a pin. That was a weak ending to the match. Most of the match saw Charlotte on offense so I actually thought that Nikki might get the win because that’s how WWE tends to book these things. Nope. Nikki lost one week after winning the title, which hurts Nikki because it makes her look like less of a champion.
Post match, Kevin Patrick showed up to interview Charlotte Flair. That led to Charlotte bragging about how nobody is in her league. Nikki said “almost a superhero.” Nikki said that she lost that match, but she almost could have won. Nikki said that she had the confidence that she can beat Charlotte, so next week she challenged Charlotte to a rematch. Charlotte said that she can beat Nikki this week, she can beat Nikki next week, so you got it next week. They shook hands and Charlotte hit a forearm to the face. Charlotte hit a boot to the face to the face as well. Charlotte taunted Nikki by a Nikki A.S.H. sign in the crowd. Back in the ring, Charlotte hit another big boot to the face. Charlotte stood over Nikki to end it.
Analysis: They had a non-title match this week to set up another non-title match next week. That’s because WWE loves rematches and since they have a title match at SummerSlam, they don’t want to do a title match on TV.

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Bobby Lashley
  2. Damian Priest/Sheamus
  3. Charlotte Flair/Nikki A.S.H.

The Scoreboard
5.5 out of 10
Last week: 6
2021 Average: 5.93

Final Thoughts
This felt like an average Raw to me. There were some good matches like Damian Priest beating Sheamus, John Morrison beating Riddle and the main event with Charlotte Flair and Nikki A.S.H was fine. A lot of time was given to Nikki/Charlotte considering the long opening promo and the main event. Do we really need to see it again next week? They LOVE rematches. The Morrison/Riddle match saw AJ Styles & Omos target Riddle and Styles beat him up after Riddle lost so that should lead to Randy Orton saving Riddle soon. It also sets up a Raw Tag Team Title match at SummerSlam.
Bobby Lashley had an impressive showing by getting a win in a handicap match.  I was very surprised that Goldberg wasn’t there considering they advertised him on a graphic for Raw with Lashley (that we used as the main banner). There’s still plenty of time for SummerSlam, but I figured they would have Goldberg there.
It was good to see Karrion Kross win in dominant fashion. I just think they should have picked somebody other than Keith Lee, who has lost two weeks in a row now. Lee needs a win. Lastly, it sucked seeing Natalya get hurt. She has been so durable for so long, but sadly that’s a part of pro wrestling sometimes.
The next WWE pay-per-view is SummerSlam on Saturday, August 21. Here’s the official lineup so far.

Raw Women’s Championship: Nikki A.S.H. (c) vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley
You can watch SummerSlam on Saturday Aug. 21, streaming at 8 ET/5 PT exclusively on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network everywhere else.

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John Canton
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