It is a new regime promising a new era but how much will things really improve or change within the WWE and with its products? I guess we are about to find out with the Raw after SummerSlam.
Becky Lynch, the woman with more exaggerated, over the top facial expressions and reactions than Shawn Michaels at his peak and more alignment changes than Big Show, comes out wearing a sling around her arm right arm. For once, she is dressed in normal street clothes and not done up like a complete clown or Ziggy Stardust on a bad acid trip.
The fickle, easily swayed WWE crowd is already cheering for her again. They really do have awful short-term memories.
Lynch says at SummerSlam she remembered who she really was. Really? She learned that she doesn’t need validation anymore yet she prattles on and on about how hard she fought so hard through her separated shoulder at SummerSlam.
She is on yet another “comeback story”. How many comebacks is this now? She has had more than Michael Myers.
Lynch praises Bianca Belair and asks that she come to the ring. All seems to be forgiven as they hug it out.
Lynch asks Bianca to “hold the fort down” and then leaves the ring. All of a sudden Belair has all the respect in the world for Lynch despite all the trash she talked about her and all the shenanigans she pulled. Sure.
As Bianca yacks in the ring, Bayley Dakota Kai, and Iyo Sky attack Becky Lynch beating the snot out of her in the backstage area. Bianca arrives to assist Lynch. She looks around and around like a cartoon character for the perpetrators. Hopefully this means we won’t have to see Lynch for awhile. Whew!
JBL narrates a history of the United States Championship segment. Almost 20 minutes into the show and still no wrestling.
AJ Styles versus Mustafa Ali versus The Miz – Triple Threat Match
The winner of this match faces the winner of the second triple threat match later tonight to determine a challenger to United States Champion Bobby Lashley. The Miz’s ribs are wrapped up. The Miz heads to the outside but Styles and Ali won’t let Miz sneak away like that. Ali splashes The Miz on the floor. The Miz takes over on Styles and Ali until Styles just hauls off and punches him in the face. Ali flips backwards off the top rope landing on his feet but Styles catches him with a suplex. Ali misses a 450 splash. He lands on his feet. Styles takes him out. The Miz ends up on the floor. Miz halts the Phenomenal Forearm. Styles slams Miz into the announce table. Ali jumps off the top rope drilling Styles with a Tornado DDT on the floor. The Miz catches Ali coming back into the ring with a Skull Crushing Finale. Miz’s rib injury doesn’t allow for him to cover Ali quick enough. He misses putting Ali away in time. Ali connects with the 450 Splash on The Miz. AJ Styles catches Ali though on the rebound and pins him with a Styles Clash. Clever ending.
Winner: AJ Styles
It only happened just a few minutes ago but we relive the entire backstage attack on Becky Lynch. Lynch is seen receiving some medical attention with Adam Pearce looking on. Lynch mumbles something about a chair, her knee, ferrets, rainbows, coconut cream pie, highland dancing as well as Batman and Robin. Then demands some ice, anything to numb the pain. If she is that bad shouldn’t she be heading to a hospital? Just a thought.
Bayley and the gang are roaming around the backstage area. Bayley says what they did tonight isn’t about Becky or Bianca. It is about them. Next up are The Usos. They have no doubt that they are beating the Mysterios later tonight.
Seth Rollins heads to the ring. Yet another interview segment? What the hell? Is this Raw Talk? I really thought this was a WRESTLING show.
In forty minutes commercial free we have had 8 minutes and 50 seconds of actual wrestling.
Rollins says that Riddle has crossed the “stupid line” once too often. Now he is on the shelf like Randy Orton. Rollins puts Roman Reigns on notice. That riles up the crowd…until the Street Profits appear.
Rollins calls the Profits losers. He has lost count how many times The Usos have defeated them. He advises the Profits to break up and end the agony. The Profits fire back that Rollins was beat by Cody Rhodes and Rhodes had only one good shoulder and arm. Rollins challenges them but he doesn’t have a partner. Dawkins has a good idea. How about a singles match against Ford?
Montez Ford versus Seth Rollins
Montez batters Rollins on the floor. Montez almost pins Rollins with a super kick. Rollins goes for a Pedigree on the floor. Montez back drops him. Rollins picks up Montez smashing his ribs into the steel ring post. Montez barely beats the count back in. Rollins focuses all of his punishment on Ford’s sore ribs. The crowd tries to bring Ford back into the match. Rollins smacks and slaps Ford demanding he get up.
Rollins barely kicks out of a crossbody from the top rope. Ford makes a comeback and shows guts and great endurance. Ford fights out of buckle bomb. He spikes Rollins with a Tornado DDT. Rollins drapes his foot over the bottom rope to stop the pinfall. Rollins crotches Ford on the top rope, buckle bombs and a Falcon Arrows him for…a two count?!!?
“Who has the smoke now bitch?” asks Rollins diving off the top rope.
Ford goes for his frog splash. Rollins gets his knees up and pins Ford. Dawkins arrives just in time to stop Rollins from stomping Ford’s head in.
A really good match…especially for Raw.
Winner: Seth Rollins
In a commercial free hour we have had 19 minutes and 16 seconds of wrestling.
Alexa Bliss versus Asuka
Ugh. With Triple H in charge I hope we don’t see another Alexa Bliss push. She just ain’t what she used to be. She is too tentative in the ring. She seems to be afraid of getting hurt again and her physical stature just isn’t what it once was. She looks frail.
The crowd is shocked to hear that The Empress of Tomorrow is her opponent tonight.
Bliss and Asuka shake hands before the bell rings. Asuka ain’t playing though as she punches Bliss in the jaw. Asuka mocks Bliss’ juvenile mannerisms. You know that stupid wave and crap. Bliss starts punching and kicking Asuka. Bliss does her usual slow-motion double knees, flip crap that always look forced, terrible and awkward. Asuka just unleashes with a strike combo and a hip attack in a corner.
Control hits the ring attacking Asuka and Bliss. Bliss is held for Bayley who delivers a running knee to Bliss. Kai gives Asuka a running kick Asuka in the corner. Bliss and Asuka are stacked up. Io is about to splash them both with a steel chair from the top rope. Bianca Belair makes the save just in time. She demands to fight one of Control. Sky accepts.
Winner: Match thrown out
Dolph Ziggler versus Ciampa versus Chad Gable – Triple Threat Match
I cannot get over Ciampa wearing bright green and pink. I just can’t. Gable tries to sneak a cover with a foot on the ropes. He gets drop kick in the face from Ziggler. Ciampa and Gable start double-teaming Ziggler stomping a mudhole in him, working over his knees and legs. Chad goes for the cover. Ciampa and Chad argue over that. Ziggler has to fight off both men until Ciampa hurls him face-first into a steel post. Ciampa sends Ziggler into next week with a running knee. A running knee and a Fairytale Ending on Gable scores Ciampa the win. Another really good match. Are we sure this is Raw?
An hour and 30 minutes of Raw. Approximately 31 minutes and 24 seconds of wrestling. The first hour was commercial free.
Edge comes out to his ‘Metalingus’ entrance song. You know the one that goes…
On this day I see clearly everything has come to life
A bitter place and a broken dream
And we’ll leave it all behind
He isn’t a vampire, spitting blood or some Batman villain sitting on a throne. Just regular, normal Edge.
Great. Even more talking. Well, at least it is my boy Adam.
We get even more apologies. Edge is sorry for being an “asshole over the last few months”. Edge says he created Judgement Day to pass on his knowledge. They spit in his face. Edge has pulled himself out of hell and he will “kill what he created”. He is going to end Judgment Day.
The Mysterios are backstage getting ready for their tag team match. Rey says Judgment Day will feel Edge’s wrath. Rey promises he and his son will become champions again tonight. ‘Viva La Raza’ and all that.
Bianca Belair versus Iyo Sky
Control is interviewed yet again. Bayley claims to be Kai and Sky’s role model. They have waited for too long for their moment. “We know how to play the game,” says Kai. Hint. Hint. Nudge. Nudge. “We will be in full control,” says Bayley. A mentor with proteges? Sounds like the Judgement Day angle all over again and the million other master/student WWE angles over the last year or so.
So good to see the amazing Iyo Sky on Raw…finally after all that time in NXT. The match goes far too long though.
Bianca uses her strength to keep Sky grounded in a corner not letting her take to the sky. Sky drops Bianca on the top rope and splashes her. Sky’s knees to the face has Bianca collapsing to the mat. Bianca catches Sky off the top rope for a fallaway slam and a face-first slam. Belair climbs to the top rope. Kai and Bayley distract her. Sky sends Bianca flying with a hurricanrana off the top rope. When the fight goes to the floor and Bianca wants to throw Sky back into the ring or perhaps bounce her off of it, Kai and Bayley sit on the apron in her way. Out come Bliss and Asuka to even the odds.
Belair bounces Sky’s head off the announce table. Sky bounces Belair’s head off a steel post. Bayley trips up Bianca. Bliss pushes Sky’s feet off the ropes as she tries to get a sneaky pin. Both sides jump up onto the apron and stare each other down. They brawl in the middle of the ring. The ref calls for the bell.
All that I know is that they need to teach these women how to throw a real punch not the awful fist slaps they do. They look absolutely ineffective and ridiculous in a match or a brawl. You punch with your knuckles not your palm.
Winner: None. Match thrown out.
Two hours and 10 minutes of Raw. Approximately 43 minutes and 13 seconds of wrestling. The first hour was commercial free.
Backstage The Miz says he beat Logan Paul beat until AJ Styles blindsided Ciampa. Ciampa says Paul made a mockery of their sport. The Miz recycles the teacher-mentor angle. How many of these is there happening on one show? Come on, WWE. Is this the default faction or tag team setting now with “learning trees”, “veteran knowledge” and all that crap? Boring. Boring. Boring.
Ciampa versus AJ Styles – USA Championship Contender’s Match
Booker T joins the announce team. Graves calls Ciampa a veteran but then says Miz is teaching him so much as a mentor. Make up your mind, WWE. Is he a cagey veteran or a newbie rookie? Ciampa attacks Styles’ neck and shoulders. Styles limps after a backbreaker. The crowd is totally behind Styles. Ciampa throws Style shoulder-first into the steel post. He then kicks Styles’ into the post and hits him with a running knee as he lays him on the apron.
Ciampa heads to the floor faking an eye injury so he can huddle with The Miz. Apparently, the two-time NXT Champion and NXT Tag Team Champion needs schooling.
He takes his knee pad down but misses his strike. Miz saves Ciampa after a Styles Clash by putting his foot on the rope. Miz is sent into the time keeper’s area by Styles. Styles lands in the same area courtesy of Ciampa. The official starts their count. Ciampa is back in the ring hoping for a count-out. Miz even lends a hand by grabbing Styles’ leg. Styles makes it back in time though. Ciampa introduces Styles to a Fairy Tale ending for the win.
Bobby Lashley says he would defend the title every week on Raw if he could. He calls Ciampa “dangerous”. Lashley wants to bring respect back to the title.
The Usos (c) versus The Mysterios – WWE Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship Match
Rey pulls the ropes down on the Usos so that Dom can leap on top of them. The Usos cut Rey off and work him over after knocking him off the top rope. A hip attack in the corner comes close to pinning a groggy Rey. Rey finally hot tags Dom in. Eventually, it is The Usos with the 1D to retain.
Judgment Day swarms The Mysterios in the ring. Rhea strangles Dom with a triangle choke while Balor and Priest stomp Rey. Here comes the calvary led by Edge. Edge slugs it out with Priest knocking him over the top rope. He has Balor lined up for a spear. Rhea pushes Dom into Edge’s path. Dom gets speared instead. As Edge chases Judgment Day, a concerned Rey looks on as medical staff attend to Dom.
Winners: The Usos
Final Tally: Approximately 1 hour and 8 minutes of wrestling on a three hour show.
Raw, August 1st, 2022
Raw was a mixed bag as far as improvements go. Triple H’s fingerprints are all over this especially when it comes to who is getting a push. The overall match quality was far better than perhaps any edition of Raw in recent memory but there was still far too many promos and far too much talking, interviews, replays and canned footage from SummerSlam. The presentation of the women’s division has improved but I disagree with who they are pushing and the bloated length of that Bianca and Sky match. Raw was better but it still has a very, very long way to go and far more changes to be made before it ever becomes must-see weekly TV again, which hasn’t been in the case in eons not just years. The best thing about tonight’s show…No Theory.