Raw is in Tampa, and starts with Judgement Day. Okay, that’s one segment featuring this crew… and it’s a DumbDumb celebration.
Fortunately the Quebec Connection puts a quick stop to all this. End result – Sami Zayn is challenging for the North American Championship tonight.
Becky Lynch vs. Zoey Stark
If Becky wins she gets Trish at SummerSlam.
Becky goes on the hard offence quickly. Trish interferes (shocking, I know) behind the referee’s back (even more shocking, I know). Decent counter exchange leads to the Disarm-her. Eventually Trish interferes even more (shocking, I know) but it’s to no avail. Lynch walks away with the duke following the Manhandle.
Winner: Becky Lynch
Rematch set for Summer of Slam.
Cody Rhodes is out next. Decent promo talking up Mama Rhodes. I guess Brandi is not signed to a contract… yet. Brock does not show up this week.
Ricochet chats with Jackie Redmond next, while he awaits the arrival of Logan Paul. Nothing of consequence.
Dominik Mysterio vs. Sami Zayn (North American Championship)
So paint-by-numbers, I’m not giving this the attention it wants, aside from noting that Owens was attacked. NEXT!
Owens is checked out backstage. Injury angle played up.
Elsewhere, Ricochet chats with Shinsuke Nakamura before Tommaso Ciampa enters the picture. The latter two discuss Bronson Reed.
Even elsewhere, J-Day are celebrating Mysterio’s win, which leads to a rare appearance by Apollo Crews (hey remember when he was re-drafted to Raw?) and Akira Tozawa. End result – Crews vs. Priest.
Bronson Reed vs. Tommaso Ciampa
Very decent match. Ciampa battles well against Reed’s size. Impressive Air Raid Crash by Ciampa on Reed for two. Reed actually did more selling than you’d expect.
Nakamura comes out midway through the match and Ciampa confronts him but nothing results. Reed hits a tackle from the apron to Ciampa then brings him back in for the Tsunami. Again, solid match but at some point we’ll need to see a story advance with Reed.
Backstage, Liv Morgan confirms that Raquel Rodriguez is injured. Rhea Ripley, apparently, is to blame. The two square off later tonight. Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville enter the picture at one point and do nothing of note.
Rhea Ripley vs. Liv Morgan
This match could have been saved for the PPV, and as quickly as I type that the match is thrown out as Ripley attacks before Morgan can get into the ring. Vicious assault including a steel chair and barricade antics.
Winner: No contest
So what is Rhea doing at SummerSlam? Seconding DumbDumb? That’s it?
In the back, Alpha Academy throws out a couple challenges to the Viking Raiders and Valhalla.
Ricochet is out next for the face-to-face with Logan Paul. Paul jumps him from behind, but ends up eating a couple highspot moves. The two will indeed square off at Summer of Slam.
Backstage, Shayna Baszler challenges Ronda Rousey to a fight at SummerSlam. Maybe we’ll get the NXT octagon?
Elsewhere, Byron Saxton confronts Logan Paul. Chatter.
Damian Priest vs. Apollo Crews
Elegant squash. Crews got a morsel of offence in but this was a forgone conclusion.
Winner: Damian Priest
Viking Raiders promo. We’re getting Valhalla vs. Maxxine Dupree next week. What happened to the Alpha Academy specialty match?
Gunther and Drew McIntyre are out next. Back and forth ultimately leads to the announcement of the two battling over the IC title at SummerSlam. In the interim though…
Drew McIntyre vs. Ludwig Kaiser
I like the story being told here – McIntyre slowly going through Imperium before taking on Gunther.
Kaiser has a good control sequence after some strong stuff outside the ring, but the advantage is short lived. McIntyre hits a slew of cool offence, including borrowing White Noise from Sheamus.
McIntyre sets up for the Claymore but Kaiser hits a kick of his own. Enziguri follows, but McIntyre quickly follows with a completed Claymore. Very decent match
Post-match, Imperium attacks McIntyre. Matt Riddle attempts to interfere but eats a powerbomb.
Backstage, Ronda Rousey accepts the “fight” challenge.
Contract time. Seth Rollins and Finn Balor are out, but Adam Pearce is not out to oversee the signing. Rollins says that if Balor does win, Priest will cash in on his J-Day brother. After Balor signs, J-Day comes down. Priest knocks Rollins out and ponders a cash-in, but before he can, Zayn runs out and attacks with a chair. Ripley counters and Zayn is beaten down.
J-Day stands strong to close, and no cash-in. Feh.
Until next time, Stay Classy.