WWE gain a new superstar tonight when Dominik Mysterio signs both his WWE contract and the contract for his match against Seth Rollins. Bianca Belair faces Zelina Vega to try to beat the truth out of her regarding Montez Ford being poisoned last week. We’ll see more from Shane McMahon’s RAW Underground. Kevin Owens goes one on one with Randy Orton. Asuka tries to secure a SummerSlam rematch against Sasha Banks by taking on Bayley. And after over a year away, Mickie James returns tonight.
The new faction, RETRIBUTION, crashed SmackDown last week and trashed the place after causing technical issues on both shows. There’s no telling what they’ll do on RAW, but we’re about to find out.
I’m Amanda and this is the RAW review.
Seth Rollins def. Humberto Carrillo
Angelo Dawkins def. Andrade
Bianca Belair def. Zelina Vega
Shelton Benjamin def. Apollo Crews
Cedric Alexander, Ricochet, & The Viking Raiders def. Akira Tozawa & ninjas
Peyton Royce def. Liv Morgan
Asuka def. Bayley
Randy Orton def. Kevin Owens
This week’s RAW was dedicated to the memory of James ‘Kamala’ Harris.
♦ Samoa Joe opened the show to officiate the contract signing. He explained that Dominik would be signing both contracts then brought Seth Rollins out. He made it very clear he had been reminded to maintain professional attitude or he’d have a lot of other things to say about Rollins. Rollins had Murphy with him. Dominik brought a kendo stick.
Rollins said Dominik looked like a scared little boy with the kendo stick, so Joe took it off him. When Rollins got on his high horse Samoa Joe told him a few home truths. He said that Rollins should be the greatest superstar of his generation but instead, he got all up in his feelings because he got booed a couple of times and used it as justification to do whatever he wanted. And he said it was sad he was giving a young man with no training no choice but to face him in the ring.
Rollins went off on a ‘woe is me, I’m the real victim’ trip. Rey Mysterio had a choice, Dominik Mysterio had a choice, but they made the wrong ones and he had no choice but to do the things he’s done for the greater good. He asked when it’s going to be enough and it was Dominik who answered, ‘It’s never gonna be enough’ and told Rollins the only greater good he’s serving is for himself.
Rollins said Mysterio should be thanking him. He’s on the cusp of realising his dreams and it’s all because of him. Dominik said it was his dream, but now his dream is kicking Rollins’ ass at SummerSlam. Rollins laughed and said everyone knows Dominik wouldn’t last ten seconds in a one on one with him, so he’s going to do him a favour and let him bring the kendo stick, or any other toys he wants, so there are no excuses when he ends Dominik’s career before it’s begun.
The contracts were signed. Rollins asked for a round of applause for the newest WWE Superstar, then told Dominik to get out of his ring and sit and takes notes to get ready for what he’s forcing Rollins to do to him at SummerSlam.
Seth Rollins vs Humberto Carrillo got started after a break. Dominik stuck around to be in Carrillo’s corner, and he did prevent Murphy interfering, but Rollins won the match with a Stomp after a very short match.
Murphy attacked Dominik after the match. Rollins made Murphy drag him into the ring and hold him still. He was going to make him watch while he Stomped Carrillo again, but Dominik got free. He fought hard, but it was two on one and he soon felt the business end of his own kendo stick. Rollins made Murphy rip Dominik’s shirt off so he could see the marks he was leaving on his back. Then they tied him up in the ropes and beat his chest with the stick. Murphy got a kendo stick as well and together they beat Dominik stripy. They broke the skin in a few places as well.
Samoa Joe sent his support to Dominik after the break.
♦ Andrade, with Zelina Vega and Angel Garza, vs Angelo Dawkins. Zelina Vega protested her innocence in the poisoning of Montez Ford before the match and had a few choice words for her opponent later. There was another technical issue during Angelo Dawkins’ entrance.
The match was decent. Zelina Vega tried to distract the ref by getting up on the apron. Bianca Belair ran down to take care of her, and Dawkins won with the Cash Out.
After the pin, Belair rolled Vega into the ring for their match. Bianca Belair vs Zelina Vega started after a break. Zelina Vega is scrappy and clever and really should get more time in the ring, but Bianca Belair is strong and was angry. It made for an entertaining match. Vega used an eye rake to get an advantage and delivered a DDT, but it wasn’t enough to keep Belair down. Belair caught her as she flew off the top turnbuckle, pressed her above her head and dropped her. Vega continued to protest her innocence, right up until the K.O.D. that finished the match.
Charly Caruso asked Belair after the match if she had any proof Vega was involved in poisoning Montez Ford. Belair said she just knew, and it didn’t matter how much Vega denied it. Asked for an update on Ford’s condition, Angelo Dawkins confirmed the Street Profits will be ready for SummerSlam.
♦ MVP’s speech about why he lost last week can be summed up as ‘Boo Hoo, it’s not fair’. Crews came out and mocked him, as well he should. It got mean and Crews told MVP he’ll be putting his lights out at SummerSlam. MVP sent Lashley and Benjamin after Crews but as they got out of the ring Crew got in. MVP escaped and Crew threw a sofa at them.
Apollo Crews vs Shelton Benjamin followed the ads. It should have been Crews’ match, but Bobby Lashley caused a distraction by grabbing Crews’ legs and Benjamin got the win with a roll-up. Lashley put Crews in a full nelson after the bell. MVP made him let go, saying he needed Crews healthy for SummerSlam. It looked like MVP was going to punch Crews, but Crews dropped him with a kick to the head before he got chance.
♦ A cinder block was thrown through the door of the Performance Center. RETRIBUTION are in the house.
♦ Mickie James’s return interview was interrupted by Natalya and Lana when James talked about leading the locker room. They were dressed the same and being very in-sync. It’s weird.
♦ Cedric Alexander, Ricochet, & The Viking Raiders vs Akira Tozawa and ninjas was short and fun. A couple of Tozawa’s ninjas got obliterated but Tozawa escaped with one ninja who refused to fight. When they got to the ramp a referee appeared and the ninja pinned Tozawa for the 24/7 Championship then revealed himself to be R-Truth.
♦ Drew McIntyre said he had an epiphany about Randy Orton. The reason he doesn’t help younger talent and keeps dropping legends is self-preservation. Orton wants to stay at the top of the tree for as long as possible. He ripped the torch from Mick Foley’s hand years ago. At SummerSlam, McIntyre will rip the torch from his hand and kick him in the head as hard as he can and Orton will realise evolution has passed him by. Charly Caruso asked what if Kevin Owens rips the torch from Orton’s hands tonight. McIntyre said if that’s the case he and Owens would be having a long talk about the future of Monday Night RAW.
♦ Liv Morgan, with Ruby Riott, vs Peyton Royce, with Billie Kay, wasn’t much longer than The IIconics’ pre-match ramble. Billie Kay tried to interfere and Riott jumped up on the apron to stop her, but it was Riott that got caught. Morgan was distracted and got pinned. Liv Morgan hadn’t seen Billie Kay about to attack her, so blamed Riott for the loss.
♦ Riddick Moss won the first RAW Underground match of the night.
♦ Asuka vs Bayley was great. By halfway through the match Bayley had done enough damage to Asuka’s leg that she had a focal point and she worked it mercilessly. Things nearly went Bayley’s way as well. If she hadn’t mocked Kairi Sane, she might even have won. Ten seconds after the mocking happened, Bayley was tapping out in an Asuka Lock.
It will be Sasha Banks versus Asuka for the RAW Women’s Championship at SummerSlam.
♦ Arturo Ruas won the second RAW Underground match. Dabba-Kato won the third one then was confronted by Shayna Baszler. She didn’t get to fight him and there were no takers from the crowd, so Baszler picked one at random and started beating on her. She also took down the two people who came to her aid. It was three on one at one point, but Baszler came out on top.
♦ RETRIBUTION overturned a car and were playing on it.
♦ Randy Orton vs Kevin Owens started suspiciously early for a main-event match. It seemed unlikely that Orton and Owens would go half an hour on a random Monday night. They went just over ten hard-fought and brutal minutes finished with an RKO when Owens went for a stunner.
Randy Orton grabbed a mic after the match and said he wanted to ask Ric Flair to stay put so they could talk after a break. Orton said he has every right to be angry with Flair because he was only in the match with Owens because of Flair’s ego, but he can’t be angry with him. He’s the nature boy, the dirtiest player in the game and he’s learned so much from him over twenty years. Flair has been with him and has had his back and he’s one of the reasons Orton is still in the ring. He talked about a time when he was 22 and Flair got him out of trouble. After that he not only respected him, he loved him. But now he doesn’t respect or love him because he’s a liability to his career. He stepped over the line saying he thinks Flair saw him as the son he wished he had, then told him he’s not the Ric Flair he used to know. That Ric Flair wouldn’t need a pacemaker to keep his heart beating, wouldn’t have slipped into a coma a couple of years ago, and wasn’t a whore for the spotlight. This Ric Flair is a junkie for the spotlight and he’s washed up and can’t do it anymore.
At SummerSlam, Orton is going for his fourteenth WWE Championship and that’s all Flair needed to be concerned with but instead, he was only worried about himself.
Flair said he’s taking it very personally and he hears him. That Ric Flair he used to know is gone. He does think Orton is the greatest and he wants to be part of this. He does like the spotlight, who wouldn’t. He’s 71 and he’s on RAW. He wants to be there to see Orton break his record. He got emotional about the things they’ve been through as he watched Orton grow from a child to the man he is today and teared up talking about waking up in intensive care and wanting to tell the people he loved how much they meant to him. Randy Orton took the mic off him, hugged him and then low-blowed him. He kept hold of him and lowered him to the canvas whispering to him the whole time then lined up for the punt kick. The lights went off briefly while he was lining up and again when he made contact. When they came back on, Ric Flair was out cold. Drew McIntyre chased Orton off and called him an ‘evil son of a b**ch’. He stayed with Flair while medics looked after him and promised Orton he was going to hurt him at SummerSlam.
That episode didn’t deliver everything it promised. Mickie James’ return could have been more dynamic, and RETRIBUTION still haven’t made any more impact on RAW than a few electrical issues. Other than that, it wasn’t actually a bad show. SummerSlam has a lot of potential but that’s as optimistic as I’m prepared to get at this stage.