As Pittsburgh, PA welcomes Monday Night Raw for its final stop before this weekend’s Clash at the Castle show, it also welcomes back one of its own in Kurt Angle. Maybe he’s here for a rematch with Happy Corbin? There’s a title match to determine the new Women’s Tag Team champs tonight, so let’s get to it!
AJ Styles & Dolph Ziggler VS. The Judgment Day (Finn Balor & Damian Priest) w/ Rhea Ripley
Jimmy Smith points out the awkwardness of Styles and Balor, having fairly recently teamed up against The Judgment Day, now being on opposing sides. Bah … wrestlers are used to it. Name another job where you are routinely partnering up, then opposing, then partnering up again with the same people. Politics, maybe?
Balor knocks Ziggler down and takes a moment to mock Styles with a Bullet Club (née Kliq) gesture before both teams tag and the fight spills to the floor, with a forearm by Styles hitting Priest to signal a commercial break. Back from the ads, Balor and Ziggler are in, with Balor mockingly setting up in a Styles Clash posture, but Ziggler turns it into a lifting leg drop before Styles and Priest re-enter.
There’s a curious moment where Styles nearly runs into Balor, who’s on the apron facing the other way, and he hesitates as if he doesn’t want to hit him. Priest takes advantage and tries to deliver his South of Heaven chokeslam, but Styles turns it into a roll-up for two. Styles gets the Calf Crusher on instead, but Balor helps Priest reach the ropes to break the hold.
A slow sequence sees Styles backdropped after Ziggler tags in, and as the ref is checking on Styles for some reason Ziggler had what looked like a three-count on Priest. Instead, Damian recovers with South of Heaven for the ending.
Winners via pinfall: The Judgment Day
As the victorious trio walk back up the ramp, the big screen shows a pick-up truck arriving at the arena and out steps Edge. He stalks his way inside, and The Judgment Day return to the ring to make a stand.
Back from a break, Balor goes on a funny rant about how Priest had Edge beat on Raw, but Edge gets a documentary. Balor himself beat Mysterio, but Rey gets a documentary. Where’s The Judgment Day’s A&E special, Balor wants to know? Priest gets back on topic and promises that they will finish Edge tonight.
The former leader of group makes his entrance, mic in hand. He takes Ripley and Priest to task for failing to heed his lessons while they were with him, and also making fun of the “Judgment Day” name, that he probably helped coin, for some reason. Edge also announces that he didn’t come alone.
Rey and Dominik Mysterio take out Balor and Priest with kendo sticks from behind, and soon the ring is cleared save for Ripley and Dominik. Ripley dares him to strike her as Edge and Rey watch from way up the ramp. Ripley manages to talk him into giving the kendo stick up, and Balor and Priest pull her away before she can use it.
In a clip recorded earlier today, Kevin Patrick tries to get some info from The Miz and Tommaso Ciampa about Dexter Lumis’ attack last week, but Miz doesn’t want to talk about it.
Some wrestlers that do want to talk are Aliyah and Raquel Rodriguez, feeling very confident ahead of their Tag Team Championship match later tonight.
Alexa Bliss, Asuka, & Bianca Belair VS. Dani Mo, Kayla Sparks, & Katie Arquette
This is an intriguing match, because you typically only get the “brand new to Raw” wrestlers match with heels. This is truly hearkening back to the Saturday afternoon WWF Superstars shows.
Needless to say, the team full of champs and former champs run the tables here. Belair does her stalled suplex, Bliss playfully (and a bit sloppily) hits her standing somersault senton, and Asuka lands a backfist and German suplex. The crowd isn’t very animated as they watch the babyfaces pound on the locals. An Asuka Lock ends the match.
Winners via submission: Bliss, Asuka, & Belair
All three grab a mic and threaten their Clash at the Castle opponents that they will be “taking control”. I got it, Belair.
Backstage, Adam Pearce is chatting with The Miz and Ciampa again, telling Miz that he can have whatever he needs from the WWE — counselling, time off, whatever. Miz says once again that he simply doesn’t want to talk about it.
Next out in the ring is Angle, looking pretty good in his entrance gear. He hypes up the upcoming PPV, but before he can say anything else he’s interrupted by the arrival of The Alpha Academy, Chad Gable and Otis.
Gable, not surprisingly, professes admiration for Angle’s Olympic achievements, but soon returns to form and calls out the mouth-breathers of Pittsburgh. Gable invites Angle to join the Academy, but he’s immediately rebuffed. They get into a “Shoosh” match, which Angle sells like it’s WrestleMania. Otis is about to take marching orders to teach Angle a lesson when The Street Profits, Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford, arrive to back Kurt up.
This, believe it or not, leads to a match with one stipulation on the line…
The Alpha Academy (Chad Gable & Otis) VS. The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) w/ Kurt Angle — if the Academy wins, Angle joins the group
Honestly? Do it. Have Angle turn heel and become a part of the Academy.
Otis and Ford start off with chops headed Otis’ way before the big man catches Montez and slams him down hard. Gable tags in and has some fun playing to the crowd, stopped by a high dropkick by Ford who then tags out. Dawkins and Gable run, duck, dodge, and trade arm drags before Otis joins in, though he’s soon sent to the floor where Dawkins dives over the ropes to flatten both Academy members.
Gable catches Dawkins with a dragon screw leg whip in the corner, but he soon manages a tag to Ford who enters with a top rope cross body, and moments later a standing moonsault for a two-count. Ford climbs the ropes again, but Otis slows him down long enough for Gable to bring him down with an overhead throw before commercials.
Coming back, Otis levels Dawkins with an elbow, but with both teams soon making tags Ford hits a second top rope crossbody, with Gable rolling through for his own two-count. Otis re-enters and slams him down for Gable to blindly tag in and dive off the top rope with a headbutt.
Gable mocks Angle by taking down his straps and cinching in an ankle lock on Ford. Montez fights out and puts the submission hold on Gable instead, but Otis splashes Ford to break it up. After Ford flips right out of American Automatic, he lands a frog splash for the ho-hum victory.
Winners via pinfall: The Street Profits
Maybe Angle will still turn on them? Nah, he takes a drink from their solo cups and chokes on it, offering some milk instead which they all enjoy. Angle tosses some pints out to the crowd.
After more ads, Corey Graves moderates a conversation over video feed between Seth Rollins and Matt Riddle, beginning with discussing their parking lot scrap earlier today. Rollins says it’s simply not Riddle’s time, and that he’s going to put him on the shelf just like he did to Cody Rhodes before moving on to the Undisputed Universal WWE Championship … again. Riddle gets one last dig in with a tired insult, that Becky Lynch is “The Man” in Rollins’ household.
Ciampa is accompanying Miz through backstage towards the ring, when Miz does a double take upon seeing Lumis in the hallway. When he looks again, it’s a security guard (he’s got a little Lumis PTSD, it seems).
Back from commercial break, we see footage from Riddle and Rollins having continued their conversation, with Rollins saying that if Matt wants to talk about family, Seth wants to talk about how Riddle’s wife left him and took their kids. Riddle boils over, drops a few censored f-bombs, and seems to set out to find Rollins.
The Miz (w/ Tommaso Ciampa) VS. Bobby Lashley
Miz is wrestling in a t-shirt again — what’s going on with that? He takes a corner spear from Lashleyx, before a reverse atomic drop leads to Lashley ripping off the t-shirt and hitting a big suplex. Again, not much response from the crowd for this match.
Miz is clotheslined to the floor, where moments later he bumps into Ciampa and turns ready punch him, the PTSD still very near the surface. After a break, Ciampa is trying to encourage Miz to get back in the game, distracting Lashley enough for Miz to attack and send Lashley into the announcer’s table and the outside steps, though he’s continuing to look fearfully over his shoulder towards the crowd.
A strong boot to the head of Lashley earns Miz a two-count, then Ciampa brings Lashley down with a running knee knee. Soon after, Miz is readying a Skull-Crushing Finale when he spies Lumis up in the crowd. As he tries to convince Ciampa that Lumis was indeed there, Lashley puts him in The Hurt Lock for the end.
Winner via submission: Bobby Lashley
Backstage once again, Kurt Angle catches up with Edge and I’m sure they could share horror stories about their necks. Edge presents a gift of some pictures for Angle with great moments from their rivalries. Angle says he’s not going to fall for it, but he does — as there is indeed some writing on the back of the pictures.
One says “Sorry Rey and I beat you for the tag titles”, another with “Sorry I beat you for the U.S. title”. Next are “Sorry I shaved your head bald” and “Sorry I started the ‘You Suck’ chant.” Finally, he finishes with the message “You still suck.” Angle thanks him and, after Edge leaves, shows the last one to Rey and Dominik, finally noticing the messages.
Angle leaves and we stay with the Mysterios, with Rey explaining to his son that he needs Edge as his partner against The Judgement Day at Clash in the Castle, but he needs Dominik in their corner. Dom says he’ll be there.
After a break, The Bloodline is in the ring — at least the version featuring Jimmy and Jey Uso alongside Sami Zayn. It’s all about how the Bloodline is going to continue their dominance until Kevin Owens makes his entrance. If you won’t give us a Kurt Angle heel turn, please give us Owens and Zayn versus the Usos.
Owens wants a message delivered to Reigns that he’s still owed a title shot, but Zayn replies that Reigns doesn’t owe him, or anybody, anything. Ever. Owens tells Sami to re-assess where he’s at right now, because he’s a great performer reduced to being The Bloodline’s clown. Jey tells Owens to walk away, but Kevin’s not interested.
He enters the ring and gets in Jey’s face about his interference in his titles match against Reigns eighteen months ago. He calls for a ref to come out and the fight is on.
Kevin Owens VS. Jey Uso (w/ Jimmy Uso & Sami Zayn)
Owens chops, punches, and stomps Jey to the mat, pausing to deliver a crotch chop towards Jimmy and Sami on the floor. Please don’t tell me this is going to be the new mark of sucking up to the boss.
The fight goes outside, where Jey is thrown into the ring steps before they immediately go back between the ropes. Owens takes a hard Irish whip into a corner, grabbing his back before Jey sends him across to the opposite corner as well. Owens dodges a corner splash and returns with a cannonball, but out on the floor again he takes a superkick and a Samoan Drop onto the steps.
Back from ads, Owens lands a Swanton Bomb for a two-count. Owens blocks a superkick and gives one back, but gets one for himself soon afterwards after all. Jey lands an Uso splash for another two-count. Jey tries again, but this time Owens gets his knees up, hits a superkick, and hits his own top-rope splash … for two.
Going outside, Zayn stops Owens from powerbombing Jey onto the apron. As they argue, Jey goes back into the ring to leap over the top and into Owens. Jey orders Zayn to get a chair and strike Owens while Jimmy distracts the ref, but Sami refuses. The Usos berate him and Owens takes advantage by landing a stunner on Jey for the victory.
Winner via pinfall: Kevin Owens
Backstage, Control flexes their muscles, promising wins at Clash at the Castle, as well as on Raw for the tag titles tonight.
Outside, Ciampa chases Miz down in the parking lot to make sure he’s okay. Kevin Patrick again tries to get a word, but Miz refuses before leaving … but Lumis is visible through the back door window!
After ads, there’s another pre-recorded clip, this time with Johnny Gargano relishing his return and acknowledging that he’s got a beef with Austin Theory. Mr. Money in the Bank shows up and asks why Gargano never reached out to congratulate him for any of his accomplishments, concluding that he was, and is, jealous.
Dakota Kai & IYO SKY (w/ Bayley) VS. Raquel Rodriguez & Aliyah – Women’s Tag Team Championship Tournament Finals
For the third time, but it’s been happening all night, I’ll point out the dead crowd. They’re not providing any extra excitement in the air tonight.
Aliyah drags Sky into her corner with a headlock, letting Rodriguez tag in and drop Sky with a big boot. Sky fights back with a stomp to Rodriguez’s gut, bringing in Kai to renew hostilities with her old partner (not that the commentators talk about that). Aliyah enters but misses a baseball slide kick to the outside, with Kai throwing her into the steps.
After ads, Kai brings Rodriguez down from her knees with a flying head scissors to get a two-count. Soon afterwards, Sky enters but Rodriguez throws her right into Kai, but Aliyah’s still down and not available for a tag. Rodriguez runs over both of her opponents for a spell, ending with a second-rope falling elbow drop on Sky. When Sky takes a running clothesline that flips her over, it looks like the end is near.
Rodriguez hoists Sky up for a chokeslam but Bayley interferes and allows Sky to go up for a top-rope moonsault, but only for two. Down the ramp come Bliss, Asuka, and Belair, chasing Bayley into the crowd. Aliyah finally gets back to her corner for a tag, though she hides back on the floor afterwards as neither Sky nor Kai saw it.
As Control focuses on Rodriguez, Aliyah sneaks in and rolls up Kai for the victory. Re-watching the ending, though, there isn’t a clear shot to indicate that Kai was the legal wrestler in the ring for her team, so we’ll have to see where that leads.
Winners via pinfall and new champions: Rodriguez & Aliyah
Bliss, Asuka, and Belair enter the ring to congratulate the new champs. Fireworks erupt as Control stews on the ramp to close the show.
That’s it! Were you expecting somebody else to show up after that match? Maybe stay tuned for Saturday’s show…
Monday Night Raw, August 29th, 2022
Passion from Riddle and Rollins, some fresh faces in the 6-women tag match, and what was, for me anyway, a surprising end to the Women’s Tag Team Tournament were all highlights. Oh, and Sami Zayn earns one of these stars all on his own.