The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 09/16/19 Review


Welcome to another edition of the WWE Raw Deal review. Here’s my WWE Clash of Champions review in case you missed it. The next PPV is Hell in a Cell on October 6th, so they have less than three weeks to build up to it.
Live from Knoxville, Tennessee, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1372 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. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner up top.

The show began with Cole saying they were at the University of Tennessee instead of saying Knoxville (hey Kane) and it looked like a solid crowd on camera anyway.
Let’s Hear from Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins made his entrance with the Universal Title in his hands for the show opening promo. Rollins said Knoxville is loud tonight and the fans cheered his blatant sucking up. Rollins said he wasn't happy about losing the Raw Tag Team Titles, but they had to move forward with the Universal Title on the line.
Rollins said that Braun Strowman is very large, he's strong and gave him the fight of his life. Rollins gave "mad props" to Strowman. Rollins said when push came to shove, he put him down with The Stomp, but it wasn't enough so he gave him a second and third stomp, plus a Pedigree and a fourth Stomp kept the big man down. Rollins said that he is happy that rematch is not happening any time soon.
Rollins said when he went up that ramp, he didn't have time to celebrate before he was cloaked in darkness and taken down by something he can only describe as...fans chanted "Yowie Wowie" at him. Rollins said he was laying there choking half to death and the last thing he saw when he lost consciousness was the face of "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt. Rollins said when he came to, Wyatt was nowhere to be found, but the good thing is in three weeks he gets to go one on one with Bray Wyatt inside Hell in a Cell.

There was a Firefly Fun House video on the screen with Bray Wyatt on his set. Wyatt said it's his future best friend the Universal Champion Seth Rollins. Wyatt said he's glad Seth is there, he's super glad he is okay and Rollins told him he needs some help. Rambling Rabbit told Seth to run and Wyatt told him no. Wyatt said there's no need for name-calling while adding that mistakes happen because Seth should know...lots of mistakes and plenty of people have forgiven him. Wyatt said that just like he told his fireflies last week, friends forgive, but "HE" never forgets and that's why he said hello at Clash of Champion. Bray said that "HE" might have more to say to you tonight. Wyatt laughed: "See you in hell!"
Analysis: The Wyatt gimmick as The Fiend is very popular with the fans, so it's a smart idea to say that The Fiend might see Rollins again later in the night. I think the fans are happy to see Wyatt in the title picture. The Rollins promo was fine. It was typical for the night after a PPV where they recap what happened the one night earlier.

Still to come: King of the Ring finals is Baron Corbin vs. Chad Gable. The graphics were upside down. Also, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross vs. Sasha Banks and Bayley. Renee asked if the graphics were upside down. Seth Rollins will face Robert Roode. The graphics ended there.
Analysis: The idea behind the upside down graphics is that they were caused by The Fiend, so it was intentional for the angle.
Braun Strowman showed up looking angry. Charly Caruso said he wasn't expected to be there and he said the next person that goes to the ring is going to "get these hands." Braun left. Charly is attractive. Just saying.
A commercial aired for NXT on USA Network this Wednesday. The first hour is on USA Network and the second hour is on WWE Network. It will be that way for two weeks because USA is airing Suits at 9pmET for those two weeks. On October 2, the two hours will be on USA Network only.
(Commercial)

Tag Team Summit
The new Raw Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode entered with the titles around their waist. Ziggler was in his street clothesline while Roode was in his wrestling gear. This is supposed to be a tag team summit according to the announcers.
The Revival duo of Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder entered as the Smackdown Tag Team Champions in their ring gear. They entered the ring with the other champions.
Robert Roode did a promo saying nobody could believe that he and Ziggler could be a success while even pointing out Michael Cole didn't believe in them with Roode saying Cole thinks he knows everything. Roode said take a look at the new champions.
Braun Strowman made his entrance and he went down to the ring. Strowman decked Dawson with a punch and he tossed Wilder into the barricade. Roode left the ring, Strowman kicked Ziggler in the face and left the ring. Strowman left the ring with shoulder tackles on Dawson, Wilder and Ziggler while Roode ran up the ramp to get away. Strowman celebrated in the ring with the fans cheering him.
Analysis: There wasn't much to that other than Strowman taking out his frustrations on the two sets of tag team champions. The fans enjoy Strowman doing his running shoulder tackle routine, so it did pop the crowd at least. The reason Roode got away was because he has a match later, so WWE didn't want him getting beat up before his match.

Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross were backstage drinking their coffee. They gloated about their win at Clash of Champions. Bliss said they'll show Sasha and Bayley how to value the titles and be good friends.
There was another plug for Bliss/Cross vs. Bayley/Banks. The graphics were fixed after they were upside down earlier. I guess The Fiend was done his graphic editing work.
AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson made their entrance.
(Commercial)

There was a very short commercial break. The team of Cedric Alexander and The Viking Warriors made their entrance.
AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. Cedric Alexander and The Viking Warriors (Erik and Ivar)
Alexander was aggressive with punches on Styles followed by a rising knee to the face. Alexander with another knee strike and a running kick. Erik tagged in with a knee to Styles. Erik with a punch to the face, Ivar tagged in and Erik bodyslammed Ivar onto Anderson for a two count. Gallows tagged in against Erik, who missed a corner attack and Gallows dumped Erik out of the ring. Styles whipped Erik into the barricade and Anderson with a kick to the jaw of Erik leading to a break.
(Commercial)

Erik was still the face in peril, he gave an arm drag to Anderson and a knee to the face. Ivar tagged in with a cross body block on Gallows, jumping senton on Styles and a cartwheel and a clothesline on Anderson. Alexander tagged in with a springboard clothesline on Anderson. Gallows cleaned house, Erik took him out, Anderson with a neckbreaker on Erik. Alexander with a handspring into a kick to the head and Styles made a blind tag. Alexander knocked down Anderson while Styles hit a Phenomenal Forearm off the top on Alexander for the pinfall win after 8 minutes. Alexander sold it with a flip bump.
Winners by pinfall: AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
Analysis: **3/4 It was a solid tag team match with Styles using his veteran savvy to win after a blind tag and his forearm finisher. They are putting over The OC well as a strong heel stable although they did lose a tag team match last week. The offense from the Viking Raiders is very impressive and the crowd reacts to everything they do.

After the match, Styles stomped away on Alexander. The Viking Warriors battled Gallows and Anderson in the ring, then they went to the floor and Ivar hit a somersault dive onto Erik, Gallows and Anderson. It looked like Ivar bumped right onto his back, so that was probably a painful landing for him. Styles tried an attack on Alexander off the top, but Alexander fought him. Alexander went for a hurricanrana off the top, Styles caught him and hit a Styles Clash off the middle ropes. That looked brutal. It was a safe landing, but it just looks like a vicious move when it's off the ropes.
Analysis: Styles continuing to get the advantage over Alexander is interesting, but I don't think it hurts Alexander too much either since Styles is a main eventer. If it leads to Alexander being off TV then that’s bad, but I think he’ll still be featured. Part of the reason for Alexander could be because of weak crowd reactions. I don't think he's being "buried" which is a term wrestling fans use way too often if somebody loses a match.
The Raw announce team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Renee Young were shown on camera setting up some 24/7 Title hijinks.

There was a clip from "earlier today" with R-Truth and Carmella at a museum in Knoxville. Carmella talked about championship teams from the University of Tennessee. Kane, the mayor of Knoxville, showed up in a suit. Kane talked about Pat Summit, the legendary basketball coach. Truth wondered if he knew him and Kane told him he was Glenn Jacobs, the mayor of Knoxville. Jacobs told Truth he's got a limo outside if he wants to get a tour of Nashville. Truth asked if he had service. Jacobs said no.
Analysis: I think that's the first appearance for Kane using his real name Glenn Jacobs. I'm not surprised that he was on this show when WWE was in his city of Knoxville. It's good to see him again.
Baron Corbin made his entrance for the King of the Ring finals. He was in his black tank top, which is his wrestling gear. The announce team plugged matches and events still to come.

There was a tale of the tape for Baron Corbin and Chad Gable with Graves putting over Corbin's height advantage 6'8" to 5'8" for Gable.
There was a No Way Jose commercial for Kit Kat chocolate bar. The guy is barely on TV, so congrats to him on getting a commercial spot. I'm not sure if he's going to help Kit Kat sales, though.
(Commercial)
Chad Gable, who made the tournament finals representing Smackdown, made his entrance to a mild ovation. Gable blew kisses to somebody in the crowd, so it was likely some family members. Gable and Corbin stood in the ring for the introductions.
King of the Ring Finals: Chad Gable vs. Baron Corbin

Gable grabbed the ankle of Corbin, who got to the ropes and Gable took him down with a front facelock. Corbin came back with a punch to the face. As Corbin worked over Gable, Graves claimed that Gable let America down because he didn't win a medal in the Olympics and Cole called him out for being ridiculous. Gable sent Corbin out of the ring with a dropkick.  Gable charged at Corbin on the floor and Corbin gave him a back body drop onto a leather chair by the timekeeper's area.
(Commercial)
The match returned with Corbin still in control as Gable got back in the ring. Corbin with a punch to the face for a two count. Corbin worked over Gable with elbows followed by a chinlock. Gable came back with punches, Corbin charged, he slid under the bottom rope and went back in the ring for a clothesline for two. Gable sold that by flipping over and landing on his stomach. Corbin sent Gable into the ropes and hit him with a forearm to the back. Gable with forearms to the face, Corbin bounced off the ropes and hit a boot to the face. Corbin yelled "No Chance" at the fans as they booed him loudly. Corbin with a hard whip into the corner that Gable sold sternum first into the turnbuckle. Corbin with punches while Renee noted that Gable's daughter was there, so yeah it's his family at ringside. Corbin with a Powerbomb to counter Gable's strikes and that was good for a two count. Corbin slapped on a chinlock and when Gable broke free, Corbin knocked him down again. Corbin sent Gable into the ropes, Gable bounced off and slapped on the Ankle Lock submission on the left foot. Corbin broke free with a punch, Corbin moved, Gable moved and Corbin went shoulder first into the ring post. Typical big man bump that we see all the time in WWE. Gable went up top and hit a missile dropkick to send Corbin across the ring. Gable charged with a rolling kick to the face two times. Gable hit a third running kick that didn't connect very well. Gable charged, Corbin caught him and tossed him into the air leading to a powerslam for two. The fans were starting to get into this more as the nearfalls continue. They left the ring with Corbin sending Gable into the barricade two times. Corbin sent Gable into the barricade again. Corbin charged, Gable moved and Corbin went shoulder first into the steel steps. When Corbin went back into the ring, Gable drove the left leg into the steel ring post two times. Gable with a dropkick to the left leg. Gable said "you're my size now" and beat on Corbin with punches. Gable charged off the ropes and Corbin hit a Deep Six Slam for a two count, which is the usual result for that move. Gable avoided a Corbin charge and hit a roll into a German Suplex for a two count. It is called the Chaos Theory and it's so impressive. Gable up top, he went for a moonsault, Corbin moved and Gable came back with the Ankle Lock. Corbin tried to get to the ropes, but Gable dropped down with a heel hook around the Ankle Lock. Corbin managed to crawl to the bottom ropes and that broke the hold. The crowd was really into that and thought that was it. Corbin got a hold of Gable, spun him around his shoulders and hit the End of Days slam for the pinfall win. It went 19 minutes.
Winner by pinfall and 2019 King of the Ring: Baron Corbin
Analysis: ***3/4 That was an excellent match. Gable was incredible in selling the beating, making the believable comeback and getting the fans behind him. The Ankle Lock spot with the heel hook on the mat really seemed believable because the fans thought Gable was going to win at that moment. Corbin's cockiness throughout the match made me think he was going to lose because he was so obnoxious and overbearing, but then he still got the win. I think the crowd would have come unglued if Gable kicked out of the End of Days slam. They could have had Gable do that, then go to it a minute later and finished it that way. I really enjoyed this match. This match was better than any match at Clash of Champions.

Baron Corbin celebrated his King of the Ring victory while Graves said "All Hail King Corbin" repeatedly. Corbin walked over to the King of the Ring throne and they cut away instead of showing him put on his King gear.
Analysis: The result isn't going to make a lot of fans happy, but Corbin did well in the tournament in terms of having good matches on a consistent basis. I think he has improved a lot in the ring over the past few months. I also know some fans are always going to hate him and turn the show off when he's on, so he may have been a bad choice.
The Street Profits were backstage with other wrestlers for the Maria Kanellis Gender Reveal Party coming up next.
The announce team talked about NXT on Wednesday on USA Network. That led to a NXT video package.
(Commercial)

Maria Kanellis Gender Reveal Party
Montez Ford of The Street Profits welcomed us to the Gender Reveal Party. Maria Kanellis walked into the room to reveal the gender of her baby. Mike Kanellis was there beside his wife and Maria revealed that it's a boy. Everybody celebrated. Maria told Mike who the father is of her child and she said it's Ricochet. Ricochet said she is obviously lying, he never did it and said he would never do it, then said not that he would ever do it and Mike slapped Ricochet. Mike told Ricochet he's going to the ring. Titus O'Neil told Ricochet to go to the ring to settle this. Angelo Dawkins told Ford he thought it would be his baby, Ford was shocked by that and they joked about the situation.
Analysis: That was bizarre. Cheesy WWE comedy doesn't work a lot of the time and this was one of those times. I do enjoy the Street Profits, though.
Mike Kanellis made his entrance in his street clothes, which was a plain black t-shirt and jeans. Ricochet made his entrance and at least he had his ring gear on.

Ricochet vs. Mike Kanellis
Ricochet tried to reason to Kanellis and tell him that Maria was lying. Mike slapped Ricochet in the face. Ricochet hit a superkick, enziguri kick to the head and the Recoil double knees to the face for the pinfall win after one minute. The commentary was making jokes throughout the match.
Winner by pinfall: Ricochet
Analysis: 1/4* Easy win for Ricochet over Kanellis, who is barely on television.
There was a Firefly Fun House segment with Bray Wyatt talking about his "wall of friendship" that had picture frames of Jerry Lawler, Kurt Angle, Finn Balor and Mick Foley on it. Bray said he needs to add more friends to his wall.
(Commercial)

The show returned with Maria Kanellis on the stage while Mike Kanellis sitting on the ring apron. Maria said Ricochet is not the father. Maria thought that maybe she could motivate Mike and then she said she thought she would reveal the real father...and Rusev made his entrance.
Rusev has a mustache on his face and he was without his wife Lana. Rusev had been off TV for several months.
Mike Kanellis said he was having a really bad day and an even worse night. Mike said he's not looking for a fight or a match. Mike said if Rusev is the father, congratulations. Rusev looks shredded and more tanned than ever. Mike tried to run away, but Rusev ran over him with a clothesline. Rusev whipped Kanellis into the side of the ring and the barricade. Rusev whipped Kanellis into the barricade by the announce table. Rusev tossed Mike back into the ring and the referee rang the bell to start the match.
Rusev vs. Mike Kanellis
Rusev hit a superkick on Mike. Rusev slapped on the Accolade submission. Mike tapped out, so Rusev won in about 30 seconds.
Winner by submission: Rusev
Analysis: No point in rating that. Welcome back Rusev. I missed him and he looks to be in the best shape of his career. That doesn't mean he was out of shape before. I just mean he's looking ready to go.

It was back to R-Truth and Glenn Jacobs from earlier today. They went onto the football field that was home of the Tennessee Volunteers. Truth thought there were volunteers instead of the school nickname. Truth referred to Kane as the President. Jacobs talked about the great people of Knoxville and introduced a policeman, who had a referee shirt under his cop outfit. R-Truth ran away, then hit the goal post in the football stadium. Jacobs went over to Truth, covered him and the referee counted the pin.
Winner and New 24/7 Champion: Glenn Jacobs (Kane)
Kane grabbed the title, he said he was the 24/7 Champion and chanted "I still got it" for himself. That was funny.
Analysis: Congrats to Mayor Jacobs adding another title to his WWE career. If you need a dentist, he knows a guy for that too.
Sasha Banks and Bayley were shown getting ready for the match later.
(Commercial)
There were highlights shown from the King of the Ring finals with Baron Corbin beating Chad Gable in a great match.

They announced that Corbin’s celebration will be on Smackdown Live on Tuesday night.
Rey Mysterio entered for a match. Cesaro said that Rey shouldn’t have listened to his son and if he shows up, Cesaro will beat the hell out of him like he will do to Rey now.
Rey Mysterio vs. Cesaro
Mysterio attacked outside the ring. Cesaro was in street clothes and he wrestled the match in tights and sneakers instead of his wrestling boots. Cesaro with an uppercut and an elbow drop. Cesaro with a hard whip into the corner with Mysterio going sternum first into the turnbuckle (the Bret Hart bump). Mysterio came back with a hurricanrana that sent Cesaro shoulder first into the ring post. Mysterio charged, but Cesaro stopped him with an uppercut. Mysterio hit a 619 kick to the ribs while Cesaro was standing on the apron and then Mysterio hit a suicide dive into a Tornado DDT on the floor for two.
(Commercial)

Cesaro was in control with a clothesline and a chinlock. Mysterio tried to make the comeback, but Cesaro hit him with a clothesline that sent him out of the ring. Cesaro with a senton splash over the ropes for a two count. The crowd was quiet at Cesaro slapped on another chinlock. They did a spot with Mysterio jumping on Cesaro’s back leading to crucifix slam. Mysterio clapped to get the crowd going and he hit another impressive DDT after a springboard attack off the ropes for a two count. Mysterio went off the ropes leading to Cesaro hitting a boot to the face. Mysterio with an enziguri kick, he wanted a 619 after that, but Cesaro caught him and hit a gutbuster knee to the ribs. Cesaro with two vertical suplexes, but Mysterio countered the third with a hurricanrana into a 619 kick and Mysterio up top for another attack. Cesaro caught Mysterio and Mysterio turned it into a Sunset Bomb for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Rey Mysterio
Analysis: *** Good match between two veterans that work well together and their styles mesh very well. Cesaro is one of the better big guys at working with Rey because he’s so quick and can work any style in the ring. The crowd was dead for most of it even though there were some cool spots. I think the problem with the match is there was no storyline or anything going into it to make people care that much. Some fans want more than just “here’s a good match” as a reason to have a match, so when that happens, you might get a crowd like this that didn’t seem to care about these guys.

The announcers put over Mysterio with Cole wondering how Mysterio still does it. The crowd cheered Rey, but it wasn’t that loud.
There was a shot of the Firefly Fun House with Bray putting a picture frame of Seth Rollins on his wall. Wyatt smiled and there were images of The Fiend as well.
(Commercial)
There were images shown with the announcers talking about the WWE Draft on October 11 on Smackdown and October 14 on Raw. Cole: “No more wildcard rule.” They made a point to say that superstars would be brand exclusive meaning one show only.
There was a video package featuring the AOP (Authors of Pain) tag team. They were in suits with Rezar and Akam speaking in English telling us their names. The video continued with them talking in a foreign language (I think Albanian) while the words appeared on the screen. They talked about how every WWE tag team is soft and they are scared to face them. They’re excited about their future while noting “that future will be written in pain.”
Analysis: It will be good to see the AOP back in action soon. I know Akam was out of action for a few months earlier this year due to injury and then WWE hasn’t done anything with them. They both speak perfect English, but they opted to go with the foreign language probably to make them be more evil? I don’t know. It’s just classic wrestling to have people speak in another language to get heat.

Sasha Banks was up first followed by Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley. Graves ripped on Cole for not screaming “It’s Boss Time” anymore with Cole saying he was disgusted by Sasha’s actions. The inflatable tube men are still part of Bayley’s entrance even though she’s a heel.
The Women’s Tag Team Championship duo of Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss entered with their titles. This is a matchup of the current champions against the first champions. Renee was shocked that Graves didn’t freak out about Bliss, Graves said “nope, over it” and that was it. Bliss is more of a face now, so that’s probably why.

Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross vs. Sasha Banks and Bayley
This is not for the Women’s Tag Team Titles. Bliss did her knee drop attacks to the ribs of Bayley. Bliss with a boot to the face and a sunset flip bomb for two. That’s like what Rey used to win the previous match. Bliss hit a running dive onto Bayley and Bliss on the floor. Bliss favored her right knee when she landed. Bayley brought Cross to her corner and Banks hit a knee attack to the ribs. Banks with a suplex on Cross for a two count. Cross with a boot to the face of Banks, then Cross tossed Bayley out of the ring. Bayley grabbed Bliss off the apron, Bliss was grabbing at her right knee and Bayley drove Bliss knee first into the steel steps. Bayley sent Bliss’ knee into the steel steps. The WWE medical team, who were clearly indy wrestlers, checked on Bliss.
(Commercial)

Cross was alone with Bayley hitting a clothesline on her. Bliss was taken to the back due to the knee injury storyline. Banks hit a running splash on Cross. Bayley tagged in and Cross took her down with punches. Banks tossed Cross out of the ring. Cross did the pull the apron spot (hey Finlay) leading to punches on Banks and Cross sent Bayley into the barricade. Cross went up top and she hit a cross body block on Bayley for a two count. Cross with punches to the face, corner splash and a running bulldog. Cross with a dropkick to keep Banks down on the floor. Cross got a rollup on Bayley for a two count. Cross hit a DDT on Bayley coming out of the turnbuckle and it looked like a rough landing for Bayley. Cross hit her twisting neckbreaker off the top rope for two as Banks went back in the ring to make the save. Banks tagged herself in, Cross got a cradle and Banks came back with the backstabber double knees followed by the Bank Statement submission, which led to Cross tapping out for the loss after 12 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Sasha Banks and Bayley
Analysis: ***1/4 That was pretty good with the champs losing non-title, which is a booking move WWE loves to do. Banks and Bayley are awesome together, Cross continues to impress every chance she gets and Bliss sold that injury well. I liked the story of the match. Bayley is doing great as a heel. This will probably lead to a Women’s Tag Team Title match between the two teams. The crowd wasn’t loud during the match, but they have been a quiet crowd for much of the show.

Banks brought a chair into the ring after the match. Becky Lynch ran out for the predictable save with a chair of her own. Banks and Lynch had a chair duel, there were some weak chair attempts from both women where they obviously trying to miss eachother and Bayley was in there with a chair of her own beside Banks. Charlotte babyface Flair showed up in street clothes, Bayley went after her and Flair gave her a boot to the face to the chair while she was in heels. Flair hit Bayley with a chair to the back. Graves talked about how strange it was to have Flair come to the aid of Lynch. Banks tried an attack on Lynch, but Lynch avoided it and Lynch hit Banks in the back with a steel chair. There were “Becky” chants from the crowd as Lynch stood tall in the ring with Flair joining her while Banks and Bayley were on the floor.
Analysis: I enjoyed that. Lynch and Flair getting revenge after the way Clash of Champions ended for them was the right way to book it. The fans wanted revenge for what happened and that's what they got. Good reaction from the crowd, which had been silent for the past hour. These four women are awesome working together.

(Commercial)
Sasha Banks did a promo in the locker room where she spoke into the camera. Banks said she is the star of the women’s division and she’s challenging Lynch to a rematch at Hell in a Cell. Banks said that’s only if Lynch is man enough to accept. Banks: “That’s only if you’re man enough, bitch.”
Analysis: The Paul Heyman influence on creative is promos like that because they never used to do them in WWE, but Heyman probably feels they are more effective, which is true.
They showed an earlier today clip of Mayor Glenn Jacobs (Kane) arriving in a limo with R-Truth on top of it. When Jacobs got out of the limo, Truth gave him the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! and a referee was there to count the pin.
Winner and New 24/7 Champion…again: R-Truth
Jacobs grabbed Truth by the throat with Truth telling “Mr. President” that when you’re 24/7 Champion you have to defend it all the time and he knows Jacobs is busy all the time as the mayor. Truth said let’s call a truce, Jacobs said I guess you’re right. They said let’s go to Raw, Jacobs said Raw is always home and Truth told him he’s still got it.
Analysis: Riveting 24/7 Title action. That’s all I got.

Becky Lynch did a backstage promo talking to the camera. Lynch said she’s focused on Banks even though Lynch was fined $10,000 for inadvertently hitting a referee with a steel chair. Lynch said Banks brought the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view into their business just like Banks brought that chair into the mix. Lynch said she’s not interested in facing Banks at Hell in a Cell, she’s interested in destroying Banks IN Hell in a Cell.
Analysis: It was obvious they were heading to a Hell in a Cell match after what happened at Clash of Champions. It should be one of the better matches of the show.
Lacey Evans, who actually main evented a PPV this year, made her entrance for a match to no reaction.
(Commercial)
Dana Brooke entered as the opponent for a rare Raw match. Brooke usually wrestles on Main Event and I think she has improved in the ring. There was not much of a reaction to her.

Lacey Evans vs. Dana Brooke
Brooke got in a few shots including a kick to the back and forearms while against the turnbuckle. Brooke with a handspring elbow in the corner followed by a dropkick. The crowd is dead quiet for this. Brooke worked over Evans with chops to the chest by the apron, but Evans came back with a legsweep. Evans with a double boot to the face of Brooke for a two count. Brooke came back with two clotheslines, a body slam and a cartwheel attack failed because Evans got her knees up to block. Evans hit the Woman’s Right punch to the jaw. If that is a finishing move, then why even do anything else? Anyway, Evans set up Brooke in a Sharpshooter and said this was for Natalya. Evans did the Sharpshooter with her left knee on the ground, so it wasn’t right. Brooke tapped out to give Evans the win after three minutes.
Winner by submission: Lacey Evans
Analysis: 1/2* It was just a short match to put over Evans since she has a TV feud with Natalya over the last few weeks. Brooke is full of energy and her offense looks good. I don’t think Evans should try to do the Sharpshooter if she’s unable to do it right although maybe the reason she did it was to do it wrong and get heat for doing it wrong.
The announcers plugged NXT on USA Network on Wednesday with Velveteen Dream defending the North American Title against Roderick Strong. That should be an awesome match. I’ll have a review of that NXT show on TJRWrestling on Thursday morning.
Seth Rollins was shown getting ready for his match.
(Commercial)

Seth Rollins, the Universal Champion, made his entrance for the main event. Robert Roode, who is one half of the Raw Tag Team Champions, made his entrance with tag team partner Dolph Ziggler by his side. Next week’s Raw is in San Francisco at the new Chase Center.
Seth Rollins vs. Robert Roode (w/Dolph Ziggler)
This is not for Seth’s Universal Title. Roode worked over Rollins with chops, Rollins came back with a body slam, knee drop and a kick to the back. Roode came back with a knee to the ribs. Rollins came back with a clothesline that sent Roode over the top to the floor. Ziggler went on the apron to distract Rollins, who ran after him and Rollins sent Roode into the apron. Rollins with a jumping knee to the face of Roode. After a Ziggler distraction, Roode knocked Rollins off the apron and into the barricade. Ziggler punched Rollins on the floor. Roode with a suplex onto the top of the barricade leading a break.
(Commercial)

The match returned with Roode hitting a backbreaker for a two count. Rollins was on the floor, he stopped a Ziggler attack with a superkick and Rollins sent Roode into the barricade. Back in the ring, Rollins with a Slingblade neckbreaker. Roode wanted a spinebuster, but Rollins countered into a Falcon Arrow slam for a two count. The fans did a mild “burn it down” chant because they woke up a bit, but it wasn’t much. Rollins got a hold of Roode and gave him the Buckle Bomb into the turnbuckle. Rollins hit The Stomp on Roode and covered, but Ziggler attacked for the DQ finish at 10 minutes.
Winner by disqualification: Seth Rollins
Analysis: **1/4 It was a decent match, but it was also hard to get into it because it was obvious they would go with a DQ finish since Ziggler was at ringside. I think it’s worrisome that the crowd was so dead for a main event match featuring the Universal Champion Rollins. For a top guy like Rollins, the fans should be more interested in the match. They just didn’t seem to care about the match at all.

After the match, Rollins and Ziggler got into a brawl. AJ Styles ran down to the ring with Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows to join in the attack on Rollins. Ziggler hit a superkick on Rollins. Gallows and Anderson hit the Magic Killer on Rollins. Styles hit Rollins with a Styles Clash in the middle of the ring. The five heels stomped on Rollins and Ziggler hit another superkick on Rollins.
Who made the save? IT’S GOTTA BE KANE! Sorry. I had flashbacks, but it was Kane that made the save and the fans popped for their mayor. Kane was in full Kane gear with the mask. Kane punched Ziggler and Roode in the aisle. Kane went into the ring with a Chokeslam on Gallows. Kane hit a double Chokeslam on Anderson and Styles although he did not lift them up that high. The fans popped big for Kane, so it was nice of him to wake them up.
Kane tried to do his famous spot where he sets the ring posts on fire, but there was an interruption with flickering light that stopped it. The lights flashed in the arena and “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt was behind Kane. When Kane turned around, The Fiend gave Kane the Mandible Claw, which meant Kane was just another victim.

The Fiend crawled over to his Hell in a Cell opponent Seth Rollins against the turnbuckle. The Fiend stared at him while the lights flashed on and off and Rollins was there trembling while Wyatt laughed at him.
There was about one minute of the Firefly Fun House song and graphic that kept having technical difficulties. The colors kept screwing up, the song had issues and it was even upside down like earlier in the show. I think it’s a way to show The Fiend can control anything he wants.
Analysis: That was a strong ending to the show with The Fiend looking dominant once again. Kane’s one-night only return drew a big pop, so it was smart to book him in that spot to save Rollins from a 5 on 1 attack. It also set up the attack from The Fiend. Good booking once again.
They utilized The Fiend a lot on this show, which is not a surprise since he’s going for the Universal Title at Hell in a Cell and I assume he’s going to win the title as well.

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Chad Gable
  2. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt
  3. Baron Corbin

Welcome back to Rusev.

The Scoreboard
7 out of 10
Last week: 8
2019 Average: 5.81 (Smackdown is 6.74)
Last 5 Weeks: 8, 6, 7.5, 6.5, 6
2019 High: 8 (September 9)
2019 Low: 3.5 (May 27)

Final Thoughts
This week’s Raw gets a 7 out of 10.
I liked most of the show. I thought last week's Raw was better, but there were plenty of good things here and it was above average from my average Raw grade for this year. The Corbin/Gable match was the best match that was better than anything at Clash of Champions. There were other good matches as well. The Fiend was utilized a lot more than we have seen because he’s against Rollins at Hell in a Cell. They booked the Kane return in a smart way because he was another guy for The Fiend to attack.
I liked the way Banks/Bayley were booked as aggressive heels in their match and then Lynch/Flair got revenge on them. The crowd was dead for most of the second half of the show after they seemed to have a lot of energy in the first half. The “gender reveal” angle was lame. Bad WWE comedy can definitely hurt a show and that’s what happened there.
Welcome back to Rusev, who looks trimmer than ever with a mustache as well. He was never in bad shape in his career, but losing the weight will probably help his speed and agility.

The next WWE PPV is Hell in a Cell on October 6. Here’s the official lineup so far.
Hell in a Cell Match for the WWE Universal Championship: Seth Rollins (c) vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt
Hell in a Cell Match for the Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Sasha Banks
That's all for now. More matches to come.
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You can contact me using any of the methods below. See ya next time for the Smackdown review. Thanks for reading.
John Canton
Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com
Twitter: @johnreport
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