Welcome to the WWE Raw Deal review right here on TJRWrestling. This is the last Raw before Sunday’s poorly named The Horror Show at Extreme Rules pay-per-view. They’ve advertised a Women’s Tag Team Title match and some other matches like Kevin Owens vs. Randy Orton in a WrestleMania rematch. This show was taped ten days earlier on July 3, so a lot of the Raw wrestlers will have over two weeks off before Extreme Rules on Sunday and then next Monday they tape two weeks of Raw. Here’s hoping WWE’s more aggressive Coronavirus testing goes well moving forward. Please comment on the show below. I always enjoy interacting in the comments, so please comment on the site and I'll reply when I can.
From the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1416 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, insightful columns from our team along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present. Let’s roll.
The Raw introduction video aired to begin the show. It was back at the WWE Performance Center as usual with WWE developmental wrestlers in the crowd wearing masks while making some noise. The announce team of Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and Samoa Joe went over the key matches on the show. They’re calling it a “Night of Grudge Matches” although there aren’t that many grudge matches.
MVP Lounge with Dolph Ziggler
Montel Vontavious Porter was in the ring with the leather couches and the new United States Title was on the couch with him. MVP challenges Apollo Crews for the US Title at Extreme Rules on Sunday. MVP introduced Dolph Ziggler as his guest with Ziggler challenging Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship at Extreme Rules on Sunday. MVP introduced him as “probably the nicest guy that I know” because heels lie.
They showed a replay from last week’s Raw when Ziggler brought Heath Slater out to try to anger Drew McIntyre. That led to Drew beating Heath in a short match, then Ziggler tried to beat up Heath and Drew saved Heath. It ended with Drew and Heath sharing a big hug.
Ziggler said that he loves what MVP has done with the US Championship. Ziggler said maybe he’ll get a new WWE Championship when he wins it. MVP said that Ziggler made McIntyre, so he knows what makes Drew tick. MVP noted that he thought it was a good strategy that Ziggler hasn’t disclosed the match stipulation. Ziggler said he knows what it takes to bring back the same Drew McIntyre that was fired. Ziggler noted that McIntyre hasn’t thanked him for helping him in his career. Ziggler said that without him, Drew doesn’t beat Brock Lesnar in the main event of WWE Championship and he called Drew an unemployed loser waiting for a handout without Ziggler in his life. MVP thanked Ziggler for all that he has done and all of the selflessnesses he has done in his career. Ziggler reiterated that McIntyre will lose the WWE Title.
Drew McIntyre walked out in street clothes and the WWE Championship in his hands. McIntyre said he’s not going to tear up the set again and he’s not going to Claymore MVP again.
Drew said that last week, Dolph brought Heath Slater out there. Drew said that he has done a lot of thinking about how Ziggler used Drew like he has used Mandy Rose and Big E in the past. Drew said that he was the muscle that did Ziggler’s dirty work for him. Drew said that he’s talented, Ziggler cut him off and Drew told him to shut up. Drew told Ziggler he’s going to hurt him, maim him, torture him and make Ziggler regret the day that he called Drew to come to Raw because whatever happens this Sunday is on Dolph. Drew said that he didn’t know if he can wait until Sunday because he needs some action right now.
McIntyre leaned in to Ziggler and punched him in the jaw. McIntyre teased hitting MVP, but didn’t touch him. McIntyre left as his music played to end this segment after about 12 minutes.
Analysis: This was okay. It was pretty basic with Dolph making his points while Drew fired back at him and was right in saying that Dolph used him when they were allies. I should also point out that Ziggler hasn’t won a singles match on television in three months (April 10 vs. Tucker on Smackdown), yet he’s still getting a WWE Championship match just as a guy to give Drew a good match. I would be shocked if McIntyre lost the WWE Title at Extreme Rules.
The trio of Angel Garza, Andrade and Zelina Vega were interviewed backstage by Charly Caruso, who is smitten by Garza. Vega didn’t like Charly pushing a false narrative that her client have issues. Vega talked about how they won with Randy Orton last week and Vega insulted Caruso as well. Garza talked about being in an elimination match while holding a rose. Andrade said that Garza had his back and Andrade has Garza’s back. The Viking Raiders duo of Erik and Ivar showed up, Erik said that they’ll run through Andrade and Angel tonight. Ivar stole the rose and gave it to Charly, who seemed happy about that.
Analysis: It was long for an interview, but it had a funny ending with Charly being happy with Ivar. After all, Ivar is liked by the ladies too.
The Viking Raiders were up first followed by the heel team of Angel Garza and Andrade with Zelina Vega. They showed a replay of last week when Randy Orton led Garza and Andrade to a win over Viking Raiders and Big Show. That meant Garza and Andrade have beat Viking Raiders twice.
Elimination Match: Andrade and Angel Garza (w/Zelina Vega) vs. Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar)
It’s rare for a two-on-two tag team match to be an elimination match, but that’s what we have here. Andrade and Garza attacked early with dropkicks while Andrade hit a chop block to the back of the left leg of Ivar. Garza tagged in, threw the pants at Ivar, who moved and Erik tagged in with an overhead suplex. Erik with a rising knee to the face of Garza with a loud slap to go along with it. Erik slammed Ivar into Garza and Andrade broke up the pin. Erik charged in, Garza moved and Garza hit a superkick. Andrade tagged in with a double knee attack on Erik, Garza knocked Ivar off the apron and Andrade hit a double arm DDT on Erik to pin him and eliminate him.
Erik eliminated by Andrade
Ivar sent Andrade out of the ring and then Garza capitalized with a dropkick. While Andrade and Garza talked to eachother on the floor, Ivar hit a suicide dive to knock them both down outside the ring. Ivar with a handspring back elbow on Andrade, Garza with a cradle and then a dropkick. Ivar stopped himself going into the turnbuckle and turned around with a punch. Ivar with a cartwheel followed by a running clothesline on Garza. Andrade tagged in, Ivar hit a spinning kick to the head and pinned Andrade. The replay showed that Andrade moved Garza out of the way to save his partner.
Andrade eliminated by Ivar
Garza went up top with a missile dropkick on Ivar, then a superkick and Ivar came back with a seated senton. Ivar with a spin kick and Andrade put Garza’s foot on the bottom ropes with Vega telling the referee about it, so the referee stopped the count. The referee did not see Andrade do that. Ivar went for a move against the chest of Garza, who turned it into a powerbomb and Garza pinned Ivar to win after 10 minutes.
Ivar eliminated by Angel Garza
Winners by pinfall: Andrade and Angel Garza
Analysis: **1/4 It was a solid match that was more about telling the story of Andrade and Garza working together to get a win. There was that cheating moment where Andrade put Garza’s foot on the bottom rope to stop a pin and then Garza won soon after that. I think the finish was weak, but it fit the story. I’m also concerned that the Viking Raiders have lost too often. I think it’s a case of WWE realizing they need a heel team on Raw, so that’s why Andrade and Angel keep getting the advantage over the Viking Raiders. It does make sense to me.
Post match, Andrade and Garza did a fist bump to show they were on the same page.
Ruby Riott was about to be interviewed by Sarah Schreiber when The IIconics duo of Peyton Royce and Billie Kay showed up for an interview. Royce and Kay mocked Riott because each of them beat Riott in singles matches. Riott brought in her tag team partner Bianca Belair, who did a promo talking trash to The IIconics.
Analysis: It’s nice to see Bianca Belair finally has something to do on Raw. They need to utilize her more. I wonder if it was supposed to be Liv Morgan there, but she missed the last few tapings since WWE has done more Coronavirus testing. It doesn't mean that Liv had Coronavirus, but she has missed the last few tapings.
This Wednesday on NXT: Keith Lee becomes the first double champion, but does that mean Karrion Kross is coming after him? Also, Io Shirai defends the NXT Women’s Title against Tegan Nox. I have enjoyed NXT of late and review it every Thursday on TJRWrestling. Good matches every week with storylines that make sense.
The IIconics were already in the ring. Ruby Riott was next with Bianca Belair joining her.
Bianca Belair and Ruby Riott vs. The IIconics (Peyton Royce and Billie Kay)
Riott with three quick rollups on Royce, then an armdrag and an STO trip into another pin attempt for two. Kay made a blind tag with a big boot to the head for two. Kay worked over Riott with kicks and Royce tagged in with a knee to the back of Riott. Royce with a spin kick to Riott, then Riott with a jawbreaker and Kay tagged in. Riott kicked Kay away leading to Belair getting the tag. Belair with two shoulder tackles, then a dropkick, corner splash and a running shoulder tackle. Belair with a body slam, then a handspring into a splash for two with Royce breaking it up. Royce sent Kay into the turnbuckle and Riott hit an enziguri kick on Royce. Kay went for a kick, Belair ducked, Belair put Royce on her shoulders and hit the Kiss of Death (KOD) slam for the pinfall win after four minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Bianca Belair and Ruby Riott
Analysis: *1/2 A short match to put over Belair as a threat on Raw while Riott finally gets a much-needed win as a face on Raw. Belair has a very bright future on Raw and it was nice to see her show off some of her moves to win this match. I assume Bianca will be used more as a singles wrestler instead of as a regular tag team wrestler. If Morgan is back soon then maybe she'll team with Riott.
R-Truth was shown walking backstage and he went up to “Richard” aka Ricochet, who was with Cedric Alexander. Truth said that Ricochet was an MVP, but Ricochet said he was wrestling Bobby Lashley with MVP. Alexander mentioned to Truth he was facing Randy Orton and Truth thought he was facing Ric Flair. Alexander said Flair challenged Truth on behalf of Orton and Truth left. Truth went up to Akira Tozawa and asked him how to be a black belt in five or ten minutes. Tozawa tried a rollup on Truth and a referee was there, but Truth kicked out at two. The masked ninjas went up beside Tozawa, so Ricochet and Alexander did ninja poses beside Truth. That led to Truth saying he wanted a 24/7 Title match with Tozawa in the ring now.
Analysis: The comedy of R-Truth always makes me laugh, so I have no problem with stuff like this.
R-Truth made his entrance while Akira Tozawa was in the ring with his three ninja buddies. Truth said he didn’t like Tozawa having three ninjas with him. That led to Shayna Baszler showing up, which is an odd spot for her, but here she is.
Baszler stared at Tozawa, who shoved a ninja at Shayna and Baszler choked out a ninja. Baszler beat up another ninja with hard kicks. Baszler hit a third ninja with a gutwrench suplex (that looked like NXT manager Malcolm Bivens). Tozawa left the ring to avoid getting beat up. Truth told Tozawa to not come back. Truth left with the 24/7 Title and told Shayna he’ll let himself out.
Baszler said she has been so patient. Baszler said she has allowed everyone here to have their fun, but she is done. Baszler complained about weak-minded Women’s Champions that were fooling themselves thinking they were in control. Baszler said that the Queen of Spades is there to shatter the illusion with a hard dose of reality. Baszler said she is that reality.
Analysis: Baszler is the second women’s division return along with Belair. I’m glad both of them are back in the mix because they are both talented. Baszler is a natural heel that is good in the ring and delivers believable promos like that one.
Replays were shown from last week with Rey Mysterio and Kevin Owens beating Seth Rollins and Murphy in a tag team match last week. That led to Mysterio challenging Rollins to an Eye for an Eye Match at Extreme Rules.
Seth Rollins and Murphy were in the backstage area. Murphy asked Rollins if Eye for an Eye means there would literally being an eye being pulled out. Rollins said that it’s about sacrifice while adding that Mysterio asked for this. Rollins told Murphy to focus on his match with Aleister Black and Seth said he had a message to deliver.
The trailer for the WWE 2K Battlegrounds arcade-style video game was shown. The game will be released on September 18 and we have more info on it here.
Let’s Hear from Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins made his entrance. They mentioned the Eye for an Eye Match and the winner has to extract the eye from their opponent. It’s ridiculous, but that’s what they are doing. We have more info on WWE making it a cinematic match with CGI effects.
Rollins said “eye for an eye” repeatedly. Rollins wondered what that means and then said he knew what it means. Rollins said when Rey said it he thought it was a metaphor for revenge because that’s what it means, but what he has come to understand is that Rey Mysterio meant it literally. Rollins said that we have reached a point now where the only way to win is to pull your opponent’s eyeball from its socket. Rollins said that there has never been a match in this company that is so sadistic, so barbaric and what he needs everybody to understand is that he never meant to harm Rey Mysterio. Rollins said that it was never his intention while adding that Rey provided himself in a time of need, so he did what he did because “you” asked him to be a leader of Raw that will lead Raw into the future and that’s what he is doing.
Rollins said that this year’s Extreme Rules is The Horror Show, so he’ll be forced to tear and gouge until Rey is completely blind. Rollins said that Mysterio will never watch his son be married, Rey will never see his wife’s face again, he will never see another sun rise or sun set. Rollins said that Extreme Rules will be the end of Rey Mysterio, but in many ways it will be a new beginning for Monday Night Raw, a bright future…and here comes Kevin Owens.
Kevin Owens had a microphone in hand saying he wasn’t sorry to interrupt. Owens said last week when he came up with the idea about picking the stipulation at Extreme Rules, he expected Rey to pick Last Man Standing or Steel Cage, but instead he went for an Eye for an Eye match. Owens said as disturbed as he is by the concept of that match is the fact that Seth is such a scumbag that he is able to make a man that is virtually respected by a man that is one of the best of all time and a genuine, nice guy. Owens said that’s Rey Mysterio and Seth got him to the point that Rey wants to gouge Seth’s eyes out. Owens said that at WrestleMania he was willing to end his own career to shut Rollins up. Owens told Rollins he didn’t have to be worried because Seth got him covered and Owen said he had what you need. Owens said he was friends with Jean Pierre Lafitte (now PCO in Ring of Honor) and he gave him an eye patch. Rollins called for Murphy to come out there right now. Aleister Black went out to ringside to brawl with Murphy, which led to a break.
Analysis: I enjoy the heel Rollins promos although I know some people don’t like them. To me, what makes it good is that he’s different from other heels and is wrapped up in this over the top, cult-like heel character. I’m really not sure what to think about the Eye for an Eye stipulation match and I am concerned that it is going to be absolutely terrible, but some of the WWE cinematic matches have been good in the past. Owens had some good lines in the promo. It’s a shame Owens is not in a match at Extreme Rules because I think Owens is one of the most likable guys in WWE that needs to be featured more.
The Black and Murphy match began. Phillips called it an impromptu match even though Rollins mentioned it to Murphy earlier.
Aleister Black (w/Kevin Owens) and Murphy (w/Seth Rollins)
Murphy was in control early with a dragon screw leg whip followed by a dropkick to the knee. Murphy wrenched the knee of Black against the middle rope. Murphy with an elbow to the side of the face, then he jumped off the ropes and Black hit a boot to the face. Black with a rising knee to the face, then a legsweep trip and a running knee to the face. Murphy with a forearm to the back of the left knee. Murphy to the ropes and Black hit a rising knee to the face. Black lifted up Murphy, but Murphy hit a kneebreaker to his shoulder. Black kicked Murphy to the apron where Murphy kicked Black in the left leg. Murphy was on the middle ropes going for a suplex, but Black hit him with the Black Mass spin kick to the head. Black tried to cover and then Rollins pulled Black out of the ring for the DQ finish after five minutes.
Winner by disqualification: Aleister Black
Analysis: **1/2 Good work while it lasted for Black and Murphy, who had numerous fun matches in the past. When Black hit his finish right in front of Rollins it was obvious the DQ was coming.
Post match, Rey Mysterio and Dominick made their entrance as the four heels surrounded Rollins, who was in the ring. They went to break there.
This Friday on Smackdown, AJ Styles defends the Intercontinental Championship against Matt Riddle, who beat Styles non-title a few weeks earlier.
Kevin Owens (w/Rey Mysterio, Dominick and Aleister Black) vs. Seth Rollins
Rollins was surrounded by his rivals while Murphy was not at ringside for the match. Owens worked over Rollins with shoulder tackles, a kick to the leg, Rollins took an upside down turnbuckle bump and Owens hit a clothesline leading to a senton splash for two. Rollins wanted Owens to show mercy, but then Owens beat on him with punches and kicks. Owens charged, Rollins with a boot to the face, Black distracted Rollins and Owens hit a running clothesline. Owens with a running cannonball splash on Rollins for a two count. Owens put his knee into Seth’s back while pulling back on the arms to ground Rollins, who came back with a kick to the face and Owens hit a kick to the face as well. Owens dumped Rollins to the floor. Rollins went back in, knee to the ribs and he dumped Owens to the floor where Black stood in front of Owens, so did Dominick and Owens punched Rollins in the jaw. Owens sent Rollins into the barricade. Rollins tried to leave, but Owens hit him with a chop. Back in the ring, Rollins rolled out of the ring again and Owens met him with more punches followed by Owens sending Rollins into the barricade. Owens broke the referee’s count, then they met on the apron with Owens hitting a headbutt to the eye. Rollins hit a chop block to the left leg of Owens and Rollins hit a suicide dive that sent Owens into the barricade.
The match continued with Rollins in control as he was grinding his knee against KO’s face. Rollins whipped Owens into the plexiglass around ringside and talked trash to Black. Rollins with a knee drop to the eye followed by Rollins pulling back on the arms and some face gouging. Owens came back with forearms, chops and they fought over some moves with Rollins hitting a forearm. Owens countered a Powerbomb and hit a superkick as both guys were down. Nice sequence of moves there. Owens with a kick to the gut followed by a DDT for two. Rollins blocked a cannonball and sent Owens face first into the middle turnbuckle. Rollins with a Blockbuster neckbreaker off the middle ropes for a two count. Owens blocked a kick, rollup into a superkick by KO. Rollins avoided the Powerbomb, kick to the side of the face and a superkick for a two count with KO getting the right shoulder up. Owens avoided The Stomp attempt, he sent Rollins to the apron and Owens punched Rollins while on the top turnbuckle. Rollins did some blatant eye-gouging, which drew boos from the crowd. The referee didn’t seem to care. Black on the apron, Rollins looked at him, Dominick on the apron, Rollins went after him, same with Rey and Rollins was distracted. Owens got back up and hit a Stunner on Rollins for the pinfall win after 17 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Kevin Owens
Analysis: ***1/2 Great match by two guys very familiar with eachother. It wasn’t the outcome I expected going into the match since Rollins is in a big match at Extreme Rules, but the win by Owens made sense based on the story they were telling in this match with Rollins all alone against four guys. It’s not like Rollins is going to be hurt that much by losing to a guy that’s the caliber of Owens, so I’m okay with Rollins putting over Owens here. It also means that Owens has beat Rollins twice this year since he beat him at WrestleMania and this match as well. I hope Owens gets a serious push soon.
Post match, Mysterio was in the ring with a promo while Rollins was on the ramp. Mysterio told Rollins he tried to end Rey’s career, Seth put his hands on Rey’s son and Seth crossed every line there is to cross. Mysterio said that this Sunday at Extreme Rules, he’s making a sacrifice of his own and told Rollins he’s walking in with one eye, but he’s going to be carried out with one eye.
Analysis: I am picking Rollins to win at Extreme Rules. Rey’s contract status isn’t known right now, but I just think it’s setting up for a Rollins win especially after he lost this match to Owens.
Ric Flair was shown standing backstage with Big Show walking to him. Flair noted that his career in the wrestling business started 48 years ago. He noted he’s known Big Show for 25 years. Flair said that the big man that he thinks about the most in terms of athletic ability is Big Show. Flair said that Show has unequaled coordination and he’s a great athlete, but now he’s picking a fight he can’t win. Flair said that Show is making money on Netflix now, so he doesn’t need this. Flair mentioned Edge and The Rock in there too. Flair said that Show should think about going into the Hall of Fame healthy, not with an injury because of Randy Orton and he’s got that inner confidence that scares people. Flair told Show to give that some thought, he told Show he loved him and he was about to leave. Show said he knows what Flair was trying to do. Show said he knows what Flair has done to his protégé Randy Orton while saying that Orton may be the best that WWE has ever seen. Show said that he knows what Orton has done to Edge and Christian while tonight Orton faces their friend R-Truth and Show wondered if Flair was willing to sacrifice his friendships so that Orton can be the Legend Killer. Show told Flair to think about that.
Analysis: I liked that segment because the dialogue made sense for both guys and they executed it well. Two veterans that know what they’re doing out there.
A video package aired about Randy Orton’s recent actions where he beat Edge at Backlash and hit Christian with The Punt. They also showed some of Orton’s past Legend Killer behavior when he took out guys like Mick Foley, Hulk Hogan, Sgt. Slaughter, Roddy Piper, Rob Van Dam, Jerry Lawler, Shawn Michaels, Jake Roberts and Batista. They showed Orton doing The Punt to Edge and Christian as well. It ended with Orton talking about the pleasure of being called the Legend Killer once again.
Randy Orton was shown talking to the camera backstage. Orton said that you’re lucky in this business if you have a handful of friends. Orton said he had that handful of friends like Edge, Christian, Big Show and he has Ric Flair. Orton said Edge came back in the Royal Rumble at January to be Rated RKO with him, but Edge couldn’t trust him and Orton sent Edge home to be a husband, father and nurse the triceps injury that Randy gave him. Orton said that Christian was there to defend Edge’s honor, but then Christian had one more match that unsanctioned and Orton took him out. Orton spoke about how he had a lot of history with Big Show while adding that he’s known Show for 20 years with Show talking about how he showed Randy how things worked. Orton said it baffled him that Show would rather defend battered skulls than maintain his friendship with Orton. Randy said that Flair is like family, which is why it would be a shame if Ric were to jeopardize their friendship. Orton said that R-Truth has all of his respect while adding that Truth has made the WWE Universe for years and years, but it will be a shame when Truth is another chapter in the long history of the Legend Killer. Ric Flair walked up to Randy to say let’s do it and Randy said he’ll be right behind him.
Analysis: Orton is a zone right now where every promo he is doing is outstanding. It wasn’t always the case with him because sometimes he was boring doing promos. I think when he’s in a backstage setting like that he’s at his best. I liked that a lot.
R-Truth made his entrance doing his “What’s Up” song on his way to the ring. Truth was the 24/7 Champion that isn’t defending the title in this match.
Ric Flair entered the arena to ask Truth what’s up? Flair congratulated Truth on having an illustrious career while adding that he’s has had a career for two decades. Flair said that Orton loves Truth and he said Orton wasn’t going to give him The Punt tonight, he’ll just give him an RKO. Randy Orton made his entrance for the match with Flair joining him at ringside.
Analysis: I know WWE is testing everybody for the Coronavirus now, but if they stopped booking the 71-year-old Ric Flair for these shows then that would be fine with me. I know Ric is healthy now. However, Ric has had serious health concerns in the last few years. I’d rather see him not get sick and to stay home at this point in his life. For those that think the Coronavirus is nothing, that's fine and I know the death rate is very low. It's not very low for people in their 70s with health issues, though, so common sense should apply.
Randy Orton (w/Ric Flair) vs. R-Truth
The bell rang with Truth saying that he needed to talk to Ric. Orton attacked, Truth fought back with punches, Truth missed a scissors kick and Orton hit an RKO for the pinfall win in under 20 seconds.
Winner by pinfall: Randy Orton
Analysis: A short squash to put over Orton. Truth can have good matches when given a chance, but in this situation I expected a short match.
Post match, Flair wanted Orton to leave and then Orton teased that he was going to attack Truth again. Big Show’s music hit and he walked down to ring. Orton stood on the ring while Show stood on the floor. Orton talked about hitting the punt kick on Edge and Christian while saying he wasn’t going to punt kick Truth, but he was going to do it to Big Show. Orton challenged Big Show to a match next Monday on Raw in an Unsanctioned Match. Show yelled “okay” and went into the ring while Orton bailed to the floor. Show was in the ring yelling at Orton, who told him he’ll show Big Show next week.
Analysis: It is interesting that they set up a big match on Raw instead of at Extreme Rules, but I understand it. I think the reason they do that (along with the IC Title match on Smackdown) is because WWE’s ratings are down on both shows, so they need to set up some PPV-like matches on Raw and Smackdown once in a while. Orton vs. Show isn’t that interesting to the average fan, but they have built it up well. It should be another win for Orton.
Ricochet and Cedric Alexander were shown talking backstage when Bobby Lashley and MVP walked up to them. MVP asked Cedric if he got what he sent, Ricochet asked what, Cedric said it was nothing and they left. MVP was interviewed by Sarah Schreiber with MVP talking about being US Champion at Extreme Rules and then Lashley mentioned the Hurt Business when talking about his match with Ricochet on Raw.
Drew McIntyre was standing backstage, so Sarah Schreiber went up to McIntyre for an interview. Drew said Dolph can pick any kind of stipulation, then Ziggler showed up and got into a brawl with McIntyre. It was quickly broken up by producers and referees leading to a break.
Analysis: There have been a few “get into a brawl and go into a commercial” moments this week. I think it’s WWE trying to have more action leading into the break to try to keep the audience tuned in after the break.
Bobby Lashley made his entrance with MVP wearing the new United States Title and MVP challenged Apollo Crews for the US Title at Extreme Rules. I forgot to mention that when they show graphics for Extreme Rules they have audio with somebody screaming to put over “The Horror Show” idea. Ricochet entered with Cedric Alexander as we got highlights of last week.
Ricochet (w/Cedric Alexander) vs. Bobby Lashley (w/MVP)
Ricochet tried to use his speed to get away, but Lashley tripped him up on the apron. Lashley sent Ricochet back first into the barricade. Back in the ring, Lashley hit a running shoulder tackle on Ricochet against the turnbuckle. Ricochet avoided a corner charge, shoulder tackle by Ricochet and Ricochet jumped off the top, but Lashley caught him. Lashley put Ricochet on his shoulders leading to a Dominator slam for just a two count. Lashley with a suplex for two. Ricochet hit a kick to the shoulder followed by a standing Shooting Star Press for a two count. Ricochet went up top, Lashley charged, Ricochet avoided that and hit a superkick. Ricochet went for a back elbow, but Lashley caught him in a Full Nelson submission and Ricochet tapped out. It went about four minutes.
Winner by submission: Bobby Lashley
Analysis: *3/4 This wasn’t as good as the match they had two weeks ago and that match was also longer. I like their chemistry with Lashley selling well for the smaller opponent, but I don’t think WWE is going to be pushing Ricochet over the bigger man at any point in the near future.
Post match, Lashley held the Full Nelson on Ricochet, so Alexander went in the ring to save his partner. MVP went into the ring, Alexander hit him with a neutralizer kick to the head and Lashley gave Alexander a Full Nelson submission as well. Lashley also gave Alexander a Full Nelson slam. MVP spoke to the camera saying that the Hurt Business was going great.
Analysis: Lashley looks dominant again even though he isn’t in a match at Extreme Rules.
This week on Raw Talk on WWE Network: Drew McIntyre, Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane), Ricochet and Cedric Alexander.
There was a rundown of the announced lineup for The Horror Show at Extreme Rules on Sunday:
* Wyatt Swamp Fight (Non-Title): Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt
* WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler – Ziggler gets to pick the stipulation.
* Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka (c) vs. Sasha Banks
* Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Nikki Cross
* United States Championship: Apollo Crews (c) vs. Montel Vontavious Porter
* Eye for an Eye: Seth Rollins vs. Rey Mysterio
They did not mention Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus in a Bar Fight, which was mentioned on Smackdown. It was not on WWE’s website yet either. I assume we’ll get New Day vs. Cesaro and Nakamura in a Tables Match or Extreme Rules Match as well.
It was back to Charly Caruso for an interview, who asked Big Show if he did accept Randy Orton’s challenge for next week. Show clarified that yes, he accepts the Unsanctioned Match for next week on Raw.
The Women’s Tag Team Champions Bayley and Sasha Banks made their entrance for the main event. Bayley is also the Smackdown Women’s Champion.
Analysis: The women’s division continues to be featured heavily in main events on Raw since Asuka beat Bayley last week in the main event. Two weeks ago it was Dolph Ziggler and Sasha Banks beating Drew McIntyre and Asuka, so that’s three weeks in a row with women in the main event.
Bayley and Sasha Banks did a promo leading to the video package about their run of success. This aired on Smackdown previously as well. After the video, Bayley and Banks hugged in celebration.
The Kabuki Warriors duo made their entrance with Raw Women’s Champion Asuka joined by tag team partner Kairi Sane. They are former Women’s Tag Team Champions. The four women stood in the ring as ring announcer Mike Rome did the championship introductions. However, Banks and Bayley attacked from behind before they were introduced. Asuka and Sane hit the champs with dropkicks to knock them out of the ring, which led to a break.
The bell rang to start the match with just under 20 minutes to end the show.
Women’s Tag Team Championships: Golden Role Models (Bayley and Sasha Banks) vs. Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane)
Banks was wrestling with a headband that said “LEGIT” on it since she’s the “Legit Boss” of course. Banks was reluctant to mix it up with Asuka, then Bayley tagged in and took down Asuka. Banks worked over Asuka a bit by grinding her face against the ropes and Bayley went back in with punches. Asuka shoved Bayley away leading to the Codebreaker double knees to the face. Sane tagged in with a running forearm on Banks (after jumping on Bayley’s back) and knocking down Bayley too. Sane with a double arm drag on both champions followed by a double spear. That was a cool sequence of moves from Sane. Sane hit a running corner clothesline on Bayley. Banks made a tag, Asuka made a tag and the faces hit double hip attacks on the champs. Banks was legal for her team, so Asuka worked her over with kicks to the chest for a two count. Asuka with a hip attack on Banks against the turnbuckle. Bayley pulled Asuka off the apron and Sane, who was legal, was kicked in the face by Banks. Bayley got the tag as the champions did a double catapult that launched Sane into the dreaded plexiglass. That led to a break.
The match continued with the champs making quick tags as they worked over Sane in their half of the ring. Banks hit a suplex. Bayley was back in with a chinlock. Banks went back in with forearms, Sane kicked Banks away and then a spinning back first knocked down Banks. Asuka got the hot tag against Bayley with Asuka hitting a hip attack on Banks on the apron and a shoulder tackle on Bayley. Asuka with a running hip attack on Bayley, a kick to Banks and Asuka hit a clothesline/bulldog combo on the champions for a two count on Bayley. With Bayley on the floor, Asuka with a sliding knee while on the apron and Asuka got a two count when they went back into the ring. Bayley tripped up Asuka to send her into the turnbuckle and Banks tagged back in with a running double knee attack for a two count. Bayley and Banks hit a double team slam for a two count with Bayley making the cover for two. Bayley with a hurricanrana off the top on Asuka, then Bayley knocked Sane off the apron and Banks was legal for her team with a cross body block off the top on Asuka. Banks and Asuka battled in the ring, Asuka slapped on the Asuka Lock on Banks and Sane hit a Spear on Bayley. Banks managed to get her foot on the bottom ropes to break the submission attempt. Banks and Asuka did a bunch of counters, Sane got the tag and kicked Banks in the head. Asuka with a kick to the head of Banks. Sane went up top and hit the Insane Elbow on Banks for two as Bayley pulled Sane out of the ring. Great nearfall there as Bayley was in the perfect spot to break up the pin. Sane went up top and hit a forearm to the face of Banks. Sane with an Alabama Slam on Banks, then Sane charged with a clothesline and Banks countered with a Bank Statement submission. Sane tapped out to give the champions the win at around the 18-minute mark.
Winners by submission: Golden Role Models (Bayley and Sasha Banks)
Analysis: **** Excellent match. The champs retained as expected and they made the right call by having Banks beat Sane instead of Asuka, which is what you would expect if you’re a regular WWE fan. It was a typical WWE match where the heels worked on the face in peril Sane for most of it, then Asuka was on fire and when Sane hit that Insane Elbow it looked like they might win until Bayley was there for the save. I think if that happened in front of a regular crowd the fans would have popped huge for that moment. Banks and Bayley are on a major hot streak not just in terms of wins, but great performance. I think Banks is especially standing out in recent singles matches as well as tags. Also, Asuka and Sane work better as faces than they did as heels, especially Sane, who is such a natural babyface. It will be interesting to see what Kairi’s future is in WWE moving forward because that’s unknown right now.
Banks and Bayley celebrated on the ramp while Asuka and Sane were in the ring. Banks and Asuka had a staredown as they head towards their title match at Extreme Rules. That was the end of the show.
Analysis: I think Asuka will retain the Raw Women’s Title against Banks at Extreme Rules. It might be the match of the night too. We’ll have more thoughts on that in our Extreme Rules preview on Saturday on TJRWrestling. Welcome to plug city.
Three Stars of the Show
- Sasha Banks and Bayley
- Asuka and Kairi Sane
- Seth Rollins/Kevin Owens
6.5 out of 10
Last week: 7.25
2020 Average: 6.42
Note: Since May 25, every episode of Raw has had a score between 6 and 7.25, which was last week. That says it’s a good show that is never that bad, but not great either.
The show was solid this week although I liked last week better. I thought the Women’s Tag Team Title match in the main event was the best of the night as Banks and Bayley continue their winning ways while Asuka and Sane work so well together. Those four women had an awesome match. Owens vs. Rollins was also very good with Rollins having a rough night in terms of the storyline, but I enjoyed his performance. Some of the other matches were too short to really stand out. It was nice to see Shayna Baszler and Bianca Belair back on the show.
I think Raw has been good for most of the last month as we head to Extreme Rules, but they don’t really do anything that exciting. Yes, there are good matches every week. I just think the fans want to see more interesting storylines and right now it's not happening. I also know it's hard in the no-fans era. Anyway, I would recommend the Banks/Bayley vs. Asuka/Sane match if you enjoy tag team wrestling because they put on a great showing in the main event.
The next WWE pay-per-view event is The Horror Show at Extreme Rules, which is this Sunday, July 19 on WWE Network. Here’s what we know so far.
Wyatt Swamp Fight (Non-Title): Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt
WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler – Ziggler gets to pick the stipulation.
Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka (c) vs. Sasha Banks
Eye for an Eye: Seth Rollins vs. Rey Mysterio
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Nikki Cross
United States Championship: Apollo Crews (c) vs. Montel Vontavious Porter
Bar Fight: Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus – Not official, but it did seem like it was set up on Smackdown last week.
I assume we’ll get New Day vs. Cesaro and Nakamura in a Tables Match or Extreme Rules Match.
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