Seth Rollins takes on Dolph Ziggler on this week’s RAW. Apparently, he’s defending Shawn Michaels’ honour or something after Ziggler superkicked Michaels on SmackDown Live. Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe are having a ‘Samoan Summit’, some kind of peace talks… but I think we know how that will go. Alexa Bliss has a non-title match against Becky Lynch. There will be a gauntlet match to determine the next challenger for AJ Styles’ US Championship and a Triple Threat tag title match. And the show will open with a ‘Mosh Pit Mixed-Tag match’ between R-Truth & Carmella and Drake Maverick and his wife Renee Michelle.
I’m Amanda and this is the RAW review
R-Truth & Carmella def. Drake Maverick & Renee Michelle
Rey Mysterio def. Cesaro > Rey Mysterio def. Sami Zayn > Andrade def. Rey Mysterio > Ricochet def. Andrade
The OC def. The Revival and The Usos (TITLE CHANGE)
The Viking Raiders def. Johnny James & Cole Carter
Becky Lynch def. Alexa Bliss
Becky Lynch def. Nikki Cross
Seth Rollins def. Dolph Ziggler (DQ)
The Key Bits
♦ The show opened with a big hype package for the 24/7 Championship, and the RAW mid-card surrounding the ring for R-Truth & Carmela vs Drake Maverick & Renee Michelle – Mosh Pit Mixed Tag match. They acted as lumberjacks during the match, but they were there for the end. 24/7 rules were suspended for the duration of the match, but the second the bell rang for the end of the match, it was back in play.
R-Truth and Maverick started things off. Carmella and Renee Michelle only got into the ring to roll around pulling each other’s hair and punching each other after Renee Michelle broke up R-Truth’s pin on Maverick. Drake Maverick pulled his wife away and got slapped by Carmella then pined by R-Truth.
Everyone piled on top of R-Truth after the bell and the ref counted the pin. Mike Kanellis emerged from under the heap with the belt.
Kanellis ran off backstage with the pack in pursuit and locked himself in the official’s dressing room. The pack gathered and hammered at the door, Maria Kanellis arrived and faked stomach pains to make them disperse then demanded he let her in. He questioned whether it was really her and the unpleasantness of her response convinced him.
Later in the hour, Maria belittled him into laying down so she could pin him with her foot on him. Then she walked into the corridor shouting ‘pregnant champ’ and yelling at people. She even yelled at Braun Strowman much later after having her 24/7 champion photo shoot.
I’m really uncomfortable with WWE running what is essentially a domestic abuse storyline on a PG show in 2019.
♦ The gauntlet match for the opportunity to face AJ Styles started with Rey Mysterio vs Cesaro. Rey Mysterio won after a great match that went quite long for the first of a four-part gauntlet.
Rey Mysterio vs Sami Zayn started immediately. It didn’t last long, Mysterio rolled Zayn up inside a minute, despite Zayn starting by attacking Mysterio from behind. Rey Mysterio vs Andrade followed, with Zelina Vega accompanying her client. It would have been a brutal match even if Mysterio hadn’t already survived Cesaro and Sami Zayn, but it’s definitely one we need to see more of. Andrade pinned Mysterio with the hammerlock DDT, but that wasn’t enough for him. He stomped on Rey Mysterio and ripped his mask off. Ricochet ran down as the final challenger to make Andrade stop. Andrade vs Ricochet was another excellent match. Zelina Vega’s distraction techniques were enough to give Andrade a temporary advantage, but she couldn’t secure the match for him. Ricochet took a lot of punishment but finished the match with a 630.
It will be Ricochet vs AJ Styles, again, at SummerSlam. In his post-match interview, he said no one could believe it when he won the US title from Samoa Joe, people only believe what they can see, at SummerSlam, everyone will believe.
♦ In A Moment of Bliss, Alexa Bliss called Maria Kanellis an example of women in WWE breaking boundaries.
They talked about the RAW Reunion and Dolph Ziggler superkicking Shawn Michaels. Then showed footage of Becky Lynch kneeing Fit Finlay and attacking Natalya during training. The crowd cheered for Becky after the footage and Bliss told them off for condoning the behaviour. Bliss said that when she faces Lynch she’s going to knock The Man down a few pegs.
Becky Lynch appeared on the big screen from backstage and said she thought she’d take a few minutes out of her evening to threaten her. They have a match later and Bliss can say whatever she wants for free now, but she’s going to pay for it later. Then she asked Nikki Cross if she really came all the way from Scotland to be a coffee maker for Alexa Bliss. Where’s her Celtic pride?
Bliss and Cross didn’t get the opportunity to react to Lynch’s words because The Usos came out for their match.
Becky Lynch vs Alexa Bliss, with Nikki Cross, was all Lynch until Nikki Cross punched Lynch in the face when the ref wasn’t looking. Bliss’ advantage was short-lived, just long enough to get Lynch back into the ring, but it was a bit more even after that.
Bliss had a couple of good chances, including countering the Dis-Arm-Her. The match was stopped when Alexa Bliss collapsed to the mat crying and clutching her ankle after a Bex-ploder.
Nikki Cross yelled at Becky Lynch and challenged her to a match and Becky Lynch vs Nikki Cross happened after the break with Alexa Bliss sat at ringside with her leg on a chair. It was short but fun. Becky Lynch pinned Nikki Cross with a Manhandle Slam.
Alexa Bliss, miraculously recovered, attacked Lynch from behind while she was celebrating. Bliss and Cross stomped on Lynch in the corner until Natalya ran down. They got out of the ring and Natalya put Becky Lynch in a Sharpshooter.
Backstage, Natalya said she wanted to challenge Becky Lynch to a submission match but she doesn’t think Lynch is Man enough to accept the challenge, so she’s not going to issue it.
♦ The Revival (C) vs The Usos vs The OC – RAW Tag Team Championship match. Standard rules, two teams in the ring and you can tag anyone in. Jimmy Uso and Scott Dawson got things underway. The Usos and Revival kept The OC out of the match for the whole first part of the match. Gallows got involved by taking Jey Uso out on the outside just as we went to a break.
When we came back, Karl Anderson was in the ring with Jey Uso. The Revival got back in when Karl Anderson stumbled into their corner. It descended into the inevitable chaos after Anderson entered the ring to break up a pin and once the attack and payback concluded, everyone was laid out at ringside. Jimmy Uso made sure of that by suplexing Scott Dawson off the top turnbuckle onto everyone else.
The chaos continued in the ring for a brief moment, before The OC became the new RAW Tag Team Champions with a Magic Killer on Jimmy Uso.
Backstage, after the match, Gallows and Anderson crashed in on AJ Styles being interviewed about their win (he’d been shown watching both this match and the gauntlet match backstage). It was just loud celebrating from that point.
♦ Seth Rollins vs Dolph Ziggler started with Ziggler coming out to Shawn Michaels music and having a delusional rant on the mic. Once the bell rang, Rollins did his best to shut him up.
Rollins was getting things all his own way until Ziggler DDT’d him on the apron as we went to the break. Rollins was back I control when we came back. Ziggler had a chance at a pin when he caught Rollins with an elbow but couldn’t get the three count even with his feet on the ropes. He got another with a Zig-Zag, but Rollins kicked out again. When Ziggler went for the Sweet Chin Music, Rollins was ready and superkicked him in the face, twice.
Brock Lesnar appeared and attacked Seth Rollins just as Rollins had been gearing up for the Stomp. Dolph Ziggler held Rollins leg so he couldn’t evade Lesnar, then vanished. Rollins took a beating at ringside including several trips into the barricades, a suplex on the floor, and an F5 into the ring post. Lesnar tossed Rollins back into the ring and picked up a chair before he followed him in. He hit him with it, sat on it and watched him roll around a bit, then gave him three F5s onto it. Paul Heyman got in between Lesnar and Rollins, begging Lesnar to stop before he eventually left.
Rollins was retching and spitting out blood by the time medics put him on a stretcher-trolley.
After the break, Lesnar stopped the ambulance containing Rollins and dragged the trolley out of it. He tipped Rollins onto the floor, with Rollins retching up blood the whole time, then F5’d him onto it while it was on its side.
The Other Bits
♦ The Viking Raiders vs Johnny James & Cole Carter was yet another pointless squash match. There is no storyline for it to further and we learned nothing new about either the characters or their skillset. Other than a reminder they’re still around, I don’t know what it achieved.
♦ Street Profits were back with their backstage commentary. Montez Ford suggested Angelo Dawkins may be the mystery father of Maria Kanellis’ baby. Dawkins didn’t take it too well, but they were distracted by a visit from Seth Rollins on his way to the ring. Rollins told Ford off for starting to yell ‘Burn it Down’ but he let them join in when he did it. It should be noted that Street Profits are at least as entertaining in the ring as they are talking… it would be nice if RAW viewers got to see some of that.
♦ Roman Reigns and Becky Lynch were watching Rollins being wheeled through the backstage area. The Usos walked through shot and were beaten back into it by The OC, then Samoa Joe attacked Reigns. Reigns and The Usos came off worst but officials were still splitting it up when the cameras moved to catch the drama with Rollins.
The ‘Samoan Summit’ was supposed to close the show but Samoa Joe announced it was cancelled due to catastrophic failure of peace talks. He invited Roman Reigns to come out so he could finish the beatdown he started out the back. Reigns came out and they got straight on with the fighting and quickly spilt out of the ring.
Samoa Joe sent Reigns into the steps, Reigns picked them up and threw them at him. As soon as Joe was down, Drew McIntyre ambushed Reigns and they fought through the crowd. When they got back to ringside Samoa Joe was back up and teamed up with McIntyre to take Reigns down.
Cedric Alexander came down to help out and gave Reigns a breather, by taking a beating from Drew McIntyre and Samoa Joe himself. McIntyre beat Alexander up to the stage and Joe and Reigns followed. Before McIntyre and Joe could put Reigns through the announce desk, The Usos turned up, as did Gallows and Anderson. Cedric Alexander jumped from the top of the LED backboard ad took everyone down, friend and foe alike.
McIntyre dragged Alexander to the ring but took a dropkick instead of delivering a Claymore. Everyone else caught up and the brawl continued. Roman Reigns provided the final move of the night with a spear to Samoa Joe and the show ended with Reigns, The Usos, and Cedric Alexander standing tall.
It’s that time of year when most of the show is part of a key storyline again. Enjoy it, SummerSlam isn’t far off now. Sadly, until they find a way to take it off Maria Kanellis, the 24/7 title has effectively been paused. It’s been one of the most entertaining parts of recent weeks, so let’s hope it’s back soon.
One takeaway from tonight’s show, the wrestling continued through the ad breaks. Whether it’s a one-off or they’ve dropped the new rule remains to be seen, but it wasn’t a popular rule with the live crowds or on social media.