Live from Tampa, Florida, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1364 of Monday Night Raw. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present.
There was a shot of the crowd in Tampa, Florida with Michael Cole welcoming us to Raw Reunion.
Let’s Hear from John Cena
John Cena’s music hit as the former 16-time WWE World Champion John Cena made his entrance to a thunderous ovation. He was wearing some green “Never Give Up” gear with Cole saying that Cena was the greatest of all time.
Cena asked how everybody was doing and the fans cheered. Cena mentioned legends that will be there like Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Degeneration X and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, who got the biggest pop of them all. Cena said he could not miss this. Cena said this is his home and he doesn’t mean that he lives there in Land O Lakes (in Tampa). Cena said this (the WWE ring) is his home, always has been and always will be. Cena said he knows he isn’t around like he used to be, but this is his heart and you guys are his family while Cena added that he’s just as excited being there as he was on day one.
The Usos made their entrance to a big pop saying that the people want Cena and The Usos to drop some rhymes right now. That led to a “yes” chant. Cena teased leaving, but Jimmy Uso told him that the people came to see the Dr. of Thuganomics and Jey said that’s John Cena, the cat that left us for the movie biz. The crowd let out an "ooohhh" for that line. Cena went back in the ring.
Cena said respect for calling him out, but ain’t no way he’s getting bested and Cena said they all look like their mugshots, how was it getting arrested? The fans popped for that as Cena referenced multiple Uso arrests for DUIs, which are not something that should be celebrated. Jey gave a shutout to Hillsborough, which was a county where he got arrested. Cena said that was fun, gotta bounce, but you can’t see me. They said don’t go because their dad is there and Rikishi made his entrance.
Rikishi got into the ring, Cena left the ring to let Rikishi hang out with his sons, but Rikishi told Cena to respectfully back that ass up. Cena went back in the ring. Rikishi said that Cena is in the ring, but tonight he can’t let him leave fast and furious (wink, wink) without busting a move. They were about to dance, but The Revival made their entrance.
The Revival duo of Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder, who were the Raw Tag Team Champions, made their entrance. D-Von Dudley joined them. No Bubba Ray, who declined the offer since he has an ROH deal. Usos vs. Revival is next.
Analysis: It was a fun opening promo where they had some fun with Cena mentioning the Usos arrests in his rap. Don’t drink and drive, kids. Rikishi got a nice pop. D-Von works for WWE as a Producer, so he’s always there every week anyway. Cena had a lot of energy and the crowd loved seeing him.
Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart were backstage with Hogan saying that he felt like he could beat somebody up tonight. They went to break there.
Booker T made his entrance to a good pop as he joined the announce team for the next match. The regular announce team is Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Renee Young.
The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) w/D-Von Dudley vs. The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso) w/Rikishi
This is not for The Revival’s Raw Tag Team Titles. Jimmy with back body drops on both Revival guys. Jey tagged in with a running forearm. After a distraction from Wilder, Dawson drove Jey into the top rope. Revival did a double team slingshot that sent Jey into the middle ropes. Wilder sent Jey into Dawson’s knee as Dawson took over with elbow drops. Dawson with a back body drop on Jey. When Jey was on the top rope, Wilder shoved him off the top and Jey went into the barricade. They went to a commercial during the match, so I guess WWE stopped their “no commercial during breaks” rule already. Based on tweets I saw, it was just picture-in-picture during the break for 30 seconds in the US, but it was a commercial here in Canada.
Wilder had Jey grounded with a headlock. Dawson tagged in, Jey sent him into the ring post and Jimmy got the hot tag against Wilder. Jimmy with punches followed by a Samoan Drop. Jimmy with a kick to Dash’s face and up top for a cross body where Dawson shoved Wilder out of the way, so Jimmy hit Dawson. Wilder tried a rollup, Jimmy back up and he hit a jumping kick to the head. Jimmy with a running hip attack on Wilder against the turnbuckle. Jimmy up top, Dawson with a blind tag, he saved Wilder and Revival hit an uppercut into a German Suplex for two as Jey made the save. Good spot. Jey hit Wilder with a clothesline over the top to the floor. Rikishi confronted D-Von outside the ring. Dawson yelled at Rikishi, so Jimmy got back up with a superkick on Dawson. Jey tagged in, Jimmy with a superkick on Wilder and Jey hit an Uso Splash on Wilder for the pinfall win after eight minutes. Booker said that Usos are on their way to becoming to be 10-time tag team champions.
Winners by pinfall: The Usos
Analysis: *** Good match as usual from these teams. It’s typical WWE booking to have the champs lose non-title leading to a title match. I’ve been complaining about it for 20 years, but clearly, Vince McMahon loves it. I think they need to stop doing it that way because it has been so repetitive. They should have The Usos beat other teams to earn a title shot. It's not that hard to do it that way. Anyway, I liked how they had Rikishi stop D-Von from interfering and that allowed The Usos to win. Also, it was probably a smart move to not have Rikishi do dance moves at his age.
Alicia Fox was backstage saying she needed a hat on her head. Dana Brooke was there and so as Kaitlyn, who was a guest for Raw Reunion. Fox gave Kaitlyn the hat she had in her hand. The lovely Torrie Wilson showed up to hug Fox. Santino showed up to hug the ladies. Santino said his “sister” (Santina) is fantastic and she’s under the weather. Santino had his other little friend (The Cobra) on his hand. Drew McIntyre walked up to them, said “legends” as if he was scoffing at them and walked away shaking his head as he has a match up next.
Analysis: It’s always good to see Torrie, Kaitlyn and Santino. Fox hasn’t been on WWE TV in months, so I'm not even sure of her status at this point. No surprise that a heel like Drew would hate a segment like that.
R-Truth and Carmella were interviewed by Charly Caruso. They showed a clip from San Diego Comic Con with The Hurricane trying to pin R-Truth for the 24-7 Title and Drake Maverick also tried, but Truth survived.
Truth and Carmella were being interviewed, then Renee Michelle showed up to complain about Truth ruining her life and Drake Maverick rolled up Truth for the pinfall to win the 24/7 Title because he happened to have a referee nearby. They left with Truth chasing after Maverick.
Winner and New 24/7 Champion Drake Maverick
Analysis: The ROLLUP OF DEATH~! strikes again. It’s riveting.
The Godfather showed up as his music played and he danced with Charly Caruso.
Drew McIntyre made his entrance as they showed a clip of Cedric Alexander beating him in a surprise upset last week. Cedric Alexander made his entrance.
McIntyre chased after Alexander on the floor and hit him with a boot to the face. McIntyre charged, Alexander moved and Drew hit the ring post. Alexander with a kick to the face and a moonsault off the middle ropes onto Drew on the floor. McIntyre sent Alexander into the turnbuckle cables. McIntyre drove Alexander back first into the barricade. McIntyre picked up Alexander and gave him a reverse Alabama Slam into the side of the ring apron with Cedric bumping with his hands blocking his face. Drew stood over a fallen Alexander.
Analysis: It was an ass-kicking to give Drew the advantage after he lost to Cedric last week. I expected that to happen in a match, but I guess doing it out of the ring is a way to further the story. Perhaps they’ll do the match next week with Alexander getting another win to keep the story going.
Still to come is a Toast to Monday Night Raw with Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Degeneration X.
The Viking Raiders were shown backstage because they were up next.
A Ricochet video was shown.
Drake Maverick was shown in the locker room with the 24/7 Title as he retrieved his stuff. He opened up some luggage to reveal some worms as The Boogeyman’s music played. The lights were all red in the room as The Boogeyman did his “I’m coming to getcha" catchphrase. Pat Patterson showed up to stomp on Maverick. Patterson put his foot on Drake’s chest to win the 24/7 Title.
Winner and New 24/7 Champion: Pat Patterson
Analysis: Way to put over the young talent. At least it wasn’t a rollup win.
Christian joined the commentary team for the next match. Lilian Garcia was the ring announcer for the match. The Viking Raiders made their entrance saying they are going to raid the competition. Christian said that Viking Raiders are strong and mean and they remind him of The Dudley Boyz. Zack Ryder and Curtis Hawkins made their entrance. Christian: “I’m glad that Zack Ryder still has ‘Still Here’ on his tights because I forgot.” Great line.
The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) vs. Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins
There was a double dropkick by Hawkins/Ryder at Ivar and a Russian legsweep by Hawkins on Erik. Ryder tagged in, but Erik decked him with a forearm to the face. Ivar with a jumping attack on Ryder. When Hawkins tagged in, Ivar with a cartwheel and Viking Raiders hit double team moves to clean house. They slammed Ivar into one of them against the turnbuckle. Ivar hit a suicide dive to take down Ryder/Hawkins. Erik tagged in, they launched Hawkins into the air and Ivar with the Viking Experience slam for the pinfall win after about three minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Viking Raiders
Analysis: * Another easy win for The Viking Raiders. This time it was a win over an established team rather than no-name wrestlers. They still need a real feud, but for now, they are going to keep getting dominant wins. Christian did well on commentary, which was no surprise.
There was a Raw Reunion party backstage with Torrie Wilson, Jillian Hall, Alicia Fox, Jimmy Hart, Kaitlyn and Mike Kanellis was there with Maria asking him what he was doing. Eve Torres was there along with Eric Bischoff (in a blue suit), who mentioned to Mike/Maria about coming over to Smackdown. Maria yelled at Mike and said she is the breadwinner in the family. Ron Simmons showed up, he borrowed Jimmy Hart’s megaphone and said “DAMN” at Mike Kanellis. End scene.
Analysis: There’s your “DAMN” moment of the night. Well played by Ron Simmons as usual. Bischoff had a wise color choice in blue since he’s a Smackdown Executive Director now.
Samoa Joe was shown walking backstage because he’s up next.
The trio of AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson had a chat backstage. They called themselves the Original Club with “The OC” shirts on their chests. Styles said that he was going to beat Seth Rollins tonight. Styles said that they should show the world that they are the most dominant group in WWE, then now and forever as The OC.
Analysis: It seems like the official name for this group is The OC now. I don’t love it, but I’ll warm up to it.
Pat Patterson was shown backstage sitting up against a crate backstage. Gerald Brisco had the 24/7 Title in his hands, so apparently, he won the title. Kelly Kelly with a knee to the ribs of Brisco and she pinned Brisco to win the 24/7 Title. She ran down the hallway as the new champion.
Winner and New 24/7 Title: Kelly Kelly
Analysis: It’s not a surprise that they would use legends to lead to multiple 24/7 Title changes. That’s four title changes so far. Kelly is the first woman to win the title.
Let’s Hear from Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe made his entrance in his ring gear with a towel around his neck. Samoa Joe said there was an atrocity in WWE as they celebrated this Raw Reunion. Joe said that they shouldn’t be celebrating tonight because shows like Raw Reunion are a plague to the WWE. The fans booed. Joe said that they let us put our rose-colored glasses on to indulge our ridiculous love for nostalgia. Joe said that you could have seen Joe doing what he does best beating somebody up, but instead you got The Usos and their daddy spitting limericks at John Cena. Joe said it’s embarrassing. Roman Reigns’ music hit to interrupt Joe.
Reigns got a nice ovation as he slowly made his way down to the ring to confront Samoa Joe. Reigns said if Joe has something to say about his family, then say it. Joe said that he already said something about Roman’s family and they had a staredown. Reigns said that Joe is from the same island, so he knows what happens next. Joe tried a cheap shot, but Reigns blocked him with punches.
Joe raked the eyes of Reigns and drove him shoulder-first into the ring post. Joe whipped Reigns back first into the barricade and he whipped him into the other barricade. Joe worked over Reigns with a headbutt. Joe tossed Reigns back in the ring with another headbutt that knocked Reigns out of the ring. Joe sent Reigns back into the ring again, Joe on the apron and Reigns hit him with a Superman Punch. Joe teased going back in the ring, but then he stopped.
Joe had a microphone again as fans chanted for Roman. Joe asked him if he wants to do this. Joe asked if these people want to see this tonight and the fans cheered. Joe said he’s not doing a damn thing for these people, so he walked away as the fans booed.
Reigns said that he apologized to the fans and he said that not all Samoans are cowards. That struck a nerve because Joe asked if you want this match, Roman said yes and Joe said you’ve got it.
Analysis: This was one of those brawling segments where they battle around the ring and nobody tries to break it up, yet in other segments, referees are out there quickly. Reigns and Joe have feuded in the past, but it’s been a while, so it feels fresh again. Joe is a Raw guy and Reigns is a Smackdown guy although as I have said for weeks now, that stuff doesn’t matter anymore.
Samoa Joe vs. Roman Reigns
Reigns charged, Joe moved and Reigns hit his left shoulder into the ring post. Joe with a snapmare leading to a chinlock. When Reigns got back up, Joe with a running shoulder tackle for a two count. Joe slapped on another chinlock. Reigns broke free with a headlock, Joe grabbed his gear to send him out of the ring and Joe hit a suicide dive with a forearm to knock Reigns down on the floor. Joe worked over Reigns with a forearm to the face, he charged to the floor, Reigns moved and Reigns hit a Drive By kick on the apron. Reigns with a jumping clothesline on Joe followed by ten corner clotheslines and a boot to the face. Reigns charged, Joe with an atomic drop, kick to the face and a running senton splash got a two count. Joe slapped on the Coquina Clutch, Reigns sent him out of the ring and when Joe went back in, Reigns hit a Spear for the pinfall win after six minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Roman Reigns
Analysis: **1/4 Decent match with Reigns getting the clean win after Joe got most of the offense. I thought the finish was well done with Joe going for his finisher submission, Reigns sent him out of the ring and Joe went right back in to lose the match with Reigns hitting the Spear. It was timed well by both guys. If they were to continue the feud and have a SummerSlam match it would be fine with me because neither guy has anything else going on right now. Reigns winning this match clean does make it seem like there won't be much of a rivalry here unless Joe does a cheap attack to keep it going.
Still to come: Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles and yes, AJ’s group is called The OC officially.
The Miz made his entrance to host Miz TV with Seth Rollins as the guest. Cole plugged Miz and Mrs. reality show on Tuesday night on USA Network. That Miz TV segment is next.
Miz TV with Seth Rollins
The Miz was in the ring hosting Miz TV in a suit, so that meant he wasn’t going to be put into a match. Miz plugged his reality show. You would think WWE would push the guy more when he has a reality show that WWE produces, but Miz has barely had anything to do and looked like such a loser in the Shane McMahon feud.
Seth Rollins was introduced by Miz and got a nice ovation from the crowd. A replay aired from last week showing Seth Rollins winning a battle royal to earn another Universal Title shot against Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam.
There was another replay, which showed Lesnar cashing in Money in the Bank on Rollins at Extreme Rules to become Universal Champion.
Rollins said that Miz called Seth’s biggest match of his life a “predicament” and he gets it because it’s Brock Lesnar as he did a Heyman introduction impression. Rollins mocked Lesnar’s beady little eyes and called him a Godzilla looking bastard, which drew laughs. Rollins said who wouldn’t want to be like Lesnar with that strength, power and speed. Rollins said he didn’t want to be like Lesnar and as a matter of fact, Lesnar is a Seth Rollins wannabe. Paul Heyman interrupted.
Heyman was shown on the screen in the Gorilla Position saying that he was Seth’s “dose of reality.” Heyman said that Lesnar shouldn’t start bitching about Lesnar cashing in Money in the Bank on Rollins like Rollins did to Lesnar at WrestleMania 31. Seth said that it took four years for Lesnar to get that revenge on him.
Heyman walked onto the stage. Rollins told Heyman he’s going to give him five seconds, then he’s going to walk down that ramp and stomp his head through it. Heyman said he’s just an advocate, Seth counted quickly to five and Heyman ran to the back like a coward.
Rollins said that for the past 20 years, Heyman has been billing Lesnar as a conqueror or a beast. More like 17 years if you want to be accurate for Lesnar’s WWE main roster debut while Lesnar was also out of WWE for about eight years too. Rollins said that Lesnar is a man, any man can lose and at SummerSlam, he’ll face Lesnar with the Universal Title on the line. Rollins said that Lesnar will lose.
Rollins wanted to talk about tonight with Mikey (oh yeah Miz is still there). Rollins said he gets ready by facing the best of the best, so tonight he is going one on one with the “Phenomenal” AJ Styles, so it is time to ignite the fire and burn it down.
Analysis: It was a solid promo from Rollins showing confidence about facing Lesnar again. I just don’t know if people care that much about seeing Lesnar vs. Rollins again. The reactions to this weren’t that strong. Heyman’s trash talk was ineffective, so it made Rollins look confident because he was able to shut Heyman up.
It was back to the Raw Reunion party backstage with Charly Caruso while Jimmy Hart, Jillian Hall, Torrie Wilson and Rikishi were enjoying the party. Sami Zayn showed up complaining about Raw Reunion show saying these people are pathetic like the audience. Zayn told them to go home, don’t come back at WrestleMania, don’t come back at the Hall of Fame and go home. Rey Mysterio showed up saying Sami should show some respect. Zayn threatened Mysterio. Kurt Angle made his first appearance of the night saying when he was General Manager of Raw they would settle it in the ring. That led to a break.
Analysis: Sami’s promo was similar to Joe earlier. Ripping on the “legends” was an easy way to get some heat on a night like this.
Kelly Kelly walked up with the 24/7 Title with Candice Michelle standing by with Melina and Naomi. Melina said she got her referee’s license, so Candice knocked down Kelly to pin her to become 24/7 Champion.
Winner and New 24/7 Champion: Candice Michelle
Candice did her Go Daddy spin dance, but then Alundra Blayze showed up to choke her from behind. Candice tapped out and Melina was a referee apparently, so Blayze won the title.
Winner and New 24/7 Champion: Alundra Blayze
Blayze said if anybody has a problem with her being 24 Champion (she forgot to say 24/7) then you can tell it to her face because she won’t be 24/7 Champion very long.
Jonathon Coachman made his entrance to join commentary for this match. Rey Mysterio made his entrance followed by Sami Zayn as the opponent.
Rey Mysterio vs. Sami Zayn
Mysterio with a kick to the head, then he went up top and Zayn tripped up Mysterio to knock him upside down against the turnbuckle. Zayn with a corner dropkick on Mysterio. Coach said so many guys backstage had 24/7 Title hopes. Zayn slapped on a headlock on Mysterio. Mysterio with a kick to the face, Zayn caught him in his arms and hit a spinning Powerbomb for a two count. Zayn tried a slam leading to Mysterio hitting a spinning DDT. Mysterio with a kick to the leg, then he sent Zayn into the ropes and Zayn escaped to the floor to avoid the 619 kick. Zayn walked away, so Rob Van Dam’s music hit. RVD stood on the ramp doing his “RVD” hand gesture. There was also Sgt. Slaughter. The Hurricane was next in full costume. Kurt Angle showed up with a huge pop for him. The four legends walked down to the ring. Zayn was out of the ring for longer than ten seconds, but the referee clearly didn’t count. Mysterio with a headscissors into the ropes, the 619 kick connected and Mysterio went up top doing a RVD gesture followed by a Frog Splash for the pinfall win after about five minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Rey Mysterio
Analysis: *3/4 It worked as a way for getting four more legends on the show. It would be nice if Zayn wasn’t booked like such a loser, but sadly that’s all they seem to want to do with him.
Mysterio celebrated the win with the legends at ringside.
Analysis: RVD works for Impact Wrestling now, so there must have been some deal made to allow him on the show. Hurricane works backstage in WWE as a Producer now.
A limo was shown arriving at the building and Ric Flair walked out of it with a big smile on his face. Woo.
A commercial aired for the Smackville special live from Nashville on WWE Network this Saturday. It’s only a one-hour special. I will review it.
The NXT Tag Team Championship duo of Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins, who are known as the Street Profits, were backstage. Dawkins had eye drops because he was chilling with RVD, which is a nice marijuana reference. Dawkins said he was going to the bathroom, talked to RVD, then Mark Henry was in there popping champagne, Kelly Kelly was there and Ric Flair was there too. They chanted “WOO” repeatedly and Dawkins said that Boogeyman was there. Dawkins’ phone rang, he said it was The Godfather, so he left while Ford was shocked.
Analysis: The Street Profits face The Undisputed Era at NXT Takeover Toronto on August 10. I think The Undisputed Era are going to win the titles so that the Street Profits can be full time on the main roster because they need babyface teams.
Alundra Blayze aka Madusa made her entrance with the 24/7 Title. Blayze went to the announce table. She said she’s not going to be the 24/7 Champion for long and she grabbed a trash can like she did on WCW Monday Nitro over twenty years ago. She was about to dump the title in the trash can, but she was interrupted by Ted Dibiase. Ted walked over to her, said that he’ll buy that 24/7 Title, he said that everybody has a price for the Million Dollar Man, he gave her money and Blayze gave Ted the 24/7 Title. Blayze left while Dibiase held up the title as the new champion.
Winner and New 24/7 Champion: Ted Dibiase
Analysis: I don’t mind all the 24/7 Title changes. It’s a comedy title and it’s a way to get more of the “legends” on the show. It’s what I expected going into this show.
Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles is up next as we got to the end of the second hour.
The announce team was joined by Jerry “The King” Lawler for the next match. I saw a stat last week that Lawler has been on more Raw episodes than anybody, which is probably true since he spent so many years as a regular announcer on Raw.
The trio of United States Champion AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson made their entrance. They had “THE OC” logo on the screen while also saying “The Original Club” on the graphic as well. Lawler talked about AJ’s big ego. Seth Rollins made his entrance to face off with Styles.
Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles (w/Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson)
This is not for the US Title held by Styles.
Rollins with a running shoulder tackle on Styles and Styles with chops to the chest. Styles went for a move, Rollins countered with a sunset flip and Rollins with a forearm to the face of Styles. Rollins with a running forearm on Styles, then stomps to the chest and Styles sent Rollins to the apron where Rollins drove AJ’s throat into the top rope. Anderson with a distraction, so Styles knocked Rollins at the apron to knock Rollins down. Rollins was on the ground outside the ring when Triple H and Shawn Michaels showed up (in full Degeneration X gear) as backup for Rollins. They got a huge ovation. Cole said that The OC said earlier they were the most dominant group in WWE, so that’s what led to DX going out there. The match went to break with a staredown.
Analysis: That was a nice way to get DX out there as backup for Rollins.
The match continued with Hunter and Michaels staying at ringside. Styles sent Rollins throat first into the top rope. Rollins came back with a Slingblade followed by a Blockbuster neckbreaker off the ropes. Rollins with a springboard knee, then a superkick and Rollins signaled for The Stomp. Rollins was tripped up by Gallows, the referee saw it and called for the bell for the disqualification. It went eight minutes.
Winner by disqualification: Seth Rollins
Analysis: **1/4 They were on their way to a pretty good match, but then it ended abruptly to make the match feel like an afterthought. It’s understandable that they didn’t want Rollins or Styles to lose in a match like that.
Post match, Styles told DX that they were “one of us” leading to The OC doing the “too sweet” hand gesture. Shawn and Hunter looked at Rollins, so they did the hand gesture to them and then did the “Suck It” sign. Michaels and Hunter cleaned house along with Rollins. Michaels and Hunter hit a double clothesline to send Gallows out of the ring. Styles, Anderson and Gallows had steel chairs.
The New Age Outlaws music hit as Road Dogg made his entrance with X-Pac, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. Nash and Hall had NWO gear on while Dogg and X-Pac had DX gear. Dogg said that with Chyna’s spirit that counts them at about seven, then said he forgot Billy, then said it was nine of them. Road Dogg said that Degeneration X and The Clique are The OG’s. Dogg told The OC to get to stepping quick, so Styles, Gallows and Anderson left the ring. Styles argued with Michaels, which is a dream match. Dogg told Rollins to do the honors. Rollins: “Hey OC, if you’re not down with that, we’ve got two words for ya” and the fans chanted “SUCK IT” right on cue. The faces all hugged in the ring to end it.
Analysis: That was a fun way to end it with the faces getting the upper hand again. It was nice to see Styles trash-talking Michaels as a dream match that will probably never happen since Shawn should stay retired at his age. No Billy Gunn because he works for AEW now.
There was a shot of Mark Henry talking to Mick Foley backstage because Foley is up next. Foley was wearing a Dude Love shirt.
There was a shot of Ted Dibiase in the parking lot with the 24/7 Title that he purchased. When Ted got into the limo, there were some noises and Drake Maverick emerged with the 24/7 Title along with a referee. Renee Michelle was there with Drake telling her that they can finally consummate, but other wrestlers went running after Drake.
Winner and New 24/7 Champion: Drake Maverick
Mick Foley was in the ring doing a promo, then Drake Maverick ran out there with the 24/7 Title and superstars went chasing after them. Foley told them to have a nice day. Foley said he wanted to get his hands on the 24/7 Title. Foley said that so many of the greatest moments of his life took place on Raw over the last 24 years.
Foley said he was asked to show us the favorite moment of his career and it showed January 4, 1999 when he won the WWF Title for the first time. The lights went out and then Bray Wyatt was in the ring with The Fiend mask on his face.
The lights were on with Wyatt in the ring and he put the Mandible Claw on Foley where he jammed his fingers into Foley’s mouth. Wyatt took Foley down to the mat as the lights went on/off and Wyatt’s laugh was heard in the arena.
Analysis: It was smart to have Wyatt use the Mandible Claw on Foley like that. He should use that in matches in the future as well. It’s also good because it prevents Foley from bumping. There’s no need for him to take a bump, but for the Mandible Claw, he can sell it and put over Wyatt. That was well done.
A Moment of Bliss with Becky Lynch as the guest
Alexa Bliss entered with Nikki Cross saying that we could all use a Moment of Bliss. Cross introduced Becky Lynch.
Becky Lynch made her entrance with the Raw Women’s Title to a pretty good pop. Bliss mentioned that Lynch ahs to defend the Women’s Title against Natalya at SummerSlam in Toronto in Natalya’s hometown of Canada. Natalya interrupted before Lynch could say a word and said Becky should say whatever she has to say to her face. They showed a clip of their trash talk from last week.
Natalya said that she met Lynch 14 years ago when she met her in Japan and she complained about Lynch showing her little respect. Lynch said that when she finally made it there, Natalya tried to cut the legs out from under her. Lynch talked about Natalya helping Ronda Rousey train to wrestle. Lynch said that the title is like the scalp of Rousey and she is going to embarrass Natalya at SummerSlam. Natalya said that she is going to embarrass her, they had a brawl and referees broke it up. The fans chanted “let them fight” as referees kept the women apart.
Analysis: This worked because there was a “let them fight” chant. When there’s a face vs. face feud, it is tough to tell a story sometimes, so trying to make it personal is a good way to build up interest. There are rumors of Ronda Rousey returning, but it’s up to her and if it does happen, obviously the money feud is Rousey vs. Lynch in a singles match. I don’t know if it’s going to happen. I expect Lynch to beat Natalya at SummerSlam.
Natalya was interviewed by Charly Caruso. Natalya was fired up saying that the Women’s Evolution was built on the backs of women like her and she’s going to give Lynch an ass whipping at SummerSlam.
Drake Maverick was walking in the parking lot with the 24/7 Title in his hands. Drake walked up to wife Renee Michelle by the limo, Truth showed up for the ROLLUP OF DEATH~!, Carmella kicked Drake to knock him down and Truth covered for the win.
Winner and New 24/7 Champion (again): R-Truth
The limo left with Renee and Truth in it. Maverick realized he lost his title and his wife was gone in the limo while Carmella was standing there with him.
Analysis: The 24/7 Title was back home where it belongs.
Braun Strowman vs. Randy Rowe
Strowman said don’t blink because this ain’t going to last long. Strowman tossed Rowe across the ring two times. Strowman with a running boot to the face. Strowman with a Chokeslam into a pin after less than one minute.
Winner by pinfall: Braun Strowman
Analysis: They had a few minutes to fill, so it was just an easy win for Strowman.
The main event segment was up next with an advertised Raw Toast with Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels.
Raw Reunion Celebration
Ric Flair made his entrance in a suit with Cole saying he looked better than ever. Flair is 70 years old and has had numerous health issues, so saying he’s better than ever is ridiculous, but it’s the thought that counts. The other WWE legends that were on the show earlier stood on the stage including The Hurricane, Road Dogg, X-Pac, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Booker T, Alundra Blayze, Kurt Angle, Booker T, Eric Bischoff, Alicia Fox was there so maybe is she is a former WWE superstar now, Rikishi was there, Ted Dibiase, Ron Simmons, Rob Van Dam, Torrie Wilson and more. I’m not naming them all again. Mick Foley wasn't there since he was selling the attack from Bray Wyatt earlier. John Cena was not there either.
Hulk Hogan made his entrance in a “Hulk Rules” shirt as he joined the others on the stage and hugged his buddy Flair.
Hogan did a promo on the stage saying it was great to be there to celebrate the Raw Reunion. He said he’s sorry to say it Mick Foley, but they were right there in his hometown of Tampa, Florida (cheap pop is the Foley thing). Hogan said some of his favorite memories were in Tampa. Hogan said thanks to the fans that believed in him. Hogan asked, “what-cha gonna do when the Raw Reunion and Hulkamania runs wild on you?” Hogan’s music played again.
The glass broke because it was time for “Stone Cold” Steve Austin with about nine minutes left in the show.
There was a huge pop for Stone Cold as expected. Loudest pop of the night. Austin walked down to the ring looking in great shape as he posed in the ring. There were four coolers in the ring. Austin was tossed beers into the ring and he chugged them with Cole plugging Stone Cold’s new beer. The other superstars stood on the stage applauding Austin.
Austin asked for a “HELL YEAH” three times and the fans did it for him. Austin was alone in the ring. Austin said he remembered coming there back in the day when times were tough with his brothers and sisters (meaning other wrestlers, not actual siblings). Austin said that don’t think he’s going to be all sappy and sentimental. Austin said he would just as soon drop them. Austin said every single person on there has either bled, sweat, tears or damn near crapped themselves riding up and down the road. Austin said that’s his damn family. Austin said all the guys with the camera, setting up the rings, driving the trucks and he said all the fans in the arena are family. Austin said everybody watching at home was part of the WWE family.
Austin said he came out there to celebrate the Raw Reunion. He said he did a podcast with Hulk Hogan, they drank some beer and they ate sushi. Austin said he never hung out Hogan in his life and last night he hung out with Flair all night drinking some beer. Austin said he ordered quesadillas, hamburgers, hot dog, stack of pancakes, a coke (all of it was done to set up "WHAT" chants), he went back one more floor and he saw Ron Simmons. He said when he saw Simmons they were both giddy, so he said: “DAMN!” Austin laughed about how he hugged Ron for like 30 seconds. Austin laughed about how happy they were to see eachother. Austin said they had fun and they kept it going. Austin said he’s thankful for the family reunion. Austin told them to come down to the ring to drink a couple of cold ones.
Austin said thank you to “every sumbitch in the arena” talking about the fans saying it was a sellout. Austin said that he was going to toast to Tampa, toast to the United States, toast to the world, thank you very much and “that’s the bottom line because Stone Cold Said So.”
Austin was hugging people in the ring like Triple H and Mark Henry. Austin had the microphone asking about how much time was left. Gerald Brisco was beside him with a beer with Austin talking about one time in South Africa when they got in trouble together. Austin said that he likes to drink too much and raise hell, but he was having fun. He said Coachman told him to just be himself out there, so that’s what he was doing. Austin said that he’s not going to send Christmas cards or any of that shit and shit wasn’t bleeped. Austin said they were counting him down because they had to go home. Austin’s music played, Austin said “HELL YEAH” and that was it with Raw ending right at 11pmET as usual.
Analysis: It was fun to see Austin back on Raw celebrating the history of the show, but I was hoping for some angle. If you would have asked me before the show if Austin would deliver some Stunners to people I would have said for sure, but that didn’t happen. I’m shocked there was no sign of Vince or Shane McMahon out there to get some heel heat in that segment. I was hoping for Kevin Owens to interact with Austin about KO using the Stunner as a finishing move and maybe Austin could give him his “blessing” or something along those lines, but that didn’t happen. That doesn’t mean it was a bad segment. I enjoyed it for being a fun-loving segment. I was just hoping for some big angle or at least some interaction between current talent with the legends. Instead, there wasn’t much to it other than Austin and company celebrating in the ring.
I don’t have any major complaints about it. I just think they had a much more entertaining Austin return segment at Raw 25 last year when he hit the Stunner on the McMahons. Why not do that again? It would work really well in the main event spot. I just wish they did more with Austin there. That’s all I’m saying.
Here are three minutes of post-Raw celebrations as well with more drinking from Stone Cold.
Three Stars of the Show
- Steve Austin
- The Usos
- Samoa Joe
5 out of 10
Last week: 4.5
2019 Average: 5.55 (Smackdown is 6.72)
Last 5 Weeks: 4.5, 7.5, 6.5, 7, 5.5
2019 High: 7.5 (January 14, July 1)
2019 Low: 3.5 (May 27)
This week’s Raw gets a 5 out of 10.
It’s a tough show to rate because it was all about nostalgia without that much in terms of angle development. They had all those legends in the building and they didn’t interact that much with the current talent. Bray Wyatt dropping Mick Foley with the Mandible Claw as a cool moment. Other than that, I felt like they could have done more with the legends.
The 24/7 Title changes were mildly funny for the most part with different people winning it in cheap fashion.
I’m a huge Steve Austin fan, so I’m always going to enjoy him out there. I just wish they had something more for him to do. The beer bash is fine, but people want to see Stunners and there wasn’t any of that.
They didn’t do much to further current storylines, which is going to disappoint some fans and it should. I think this is the kind of show where you know more people are going to watch because of the legends being there, so why not do some bigger angles? Instead, there was nothing that big unless you want to count Wyatt attacking Foley. I figured there would be more. I had expectations for bigger angles. Instead, it was just an average Raw that was hardly the epic show that many of us were hoping for.
Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Seth Rollins
Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Natalya
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Ember Moon
I assume we will be able to add Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Title, perhaps AJ Styles vs. Ricochet again for the US Title, Bray Wyatt vs. Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Ali for the Intercontinental Title is possible and The IIconics vs. The Kabuki Warriors for the Women’s Tag Team Titles again. Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon is a possibility too.
You can contact me using any of the methods below. See ya next time for the Smackdown review. Thanks for reading.
Personal Facebook and TJRWrestling on Facebook