Bobby Lashley defends the WWE Championship against Randy Orton in one of the two title matches of the night. Jeff Hardy challenges Damian Priest for the US Championship in the other. Shayna Baszler faces Charlotte Flair to see if she can succeed where she made sure Nia Jax failed. Rhea Ripley takes on Natalya. The New Day, Mansoor, and Mustafa Ali team against MACE, T-BAR, AJ Styles, and Omos. And Big E tweeted earlier that he’ll be cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase.
I’m Amanda and this is the RAW review.
Charlotte Flair def. Shayna Baszler
Drew McIntyre & The Viking Raiders def. Jinder Mahal, Veer, & Shanky
Damian Priest def. Jeff Hardy
Nikki A.S.H. def. Tamina
Rhea Ripley def. Natalya
AJ Styles, Omos, MACE, & T-BAR def. The New Day, Mustafa Ali, & Mansoor
Doudrop def. Eva Marie
Bobby Lashley def. Randy Orton
Big E def. Bobby Lashley
♦ Big E opened the show. RK-Bro followed him out, as did Bobby Lashley and MVP. E got things underway by saying he’s still intending to cash in tonight. Riddle asked him not to cash in on Randy because he’s his best bro.
MVP told him to shut up. Orton isn’t going to win but he wanted to know why Orton is getting a title shot instead of them getting a tag title match.
Orton said the only way he could think of to throw Lashley off his game was to change the date. So he spoke to who he needed to, and they did it because he’s Randy Orton.
MVP had some nice things to say about Big E coming into his own and fulfilling his potential, then accused him of being scared of Roman Reigns and/or Brock Lesnar. He assured him he’d be scared of Lashley after tonight.
It got a bit predictable after that. Orton said he’s going to win. Lashley said he’s going to win and threatened to shove the MITB contract up Big E’s ass if he tried to cash in. He knocked the briefcase out of his hand when E put it in his face. Orton interrupted their argument and ended the segment by RKO’ing Lashley.
♦ Charlotte Flair acknowledged that Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax are great competitors, but they get in each other’s way. Baszler will never get to her level if she continues to be dragged down by dead weight (that’s very harsh on Jax). Flair didn’t get to be the best by having friends, but she is the very best in every way, and her reign will last forever.
Footage from earlier in the day showed Nia Jax asking Baszler for an explanation for costing her the match last week. Baszler said she just did to Jax what Jax would have done to her. She still believes Jax can’t beat Flair. And she believes she can. Jax started to say she’s beaten Flair, but stopped herself and suggested they get on the same page. She did not accompany Baszler to the ring.
Charlotte Flair vs Shayna Baszler – Contender’s Match – took a while to get going but it was decent enough. Flair worked hard to get the crowd going, but she got them loud eventually. Just before a break, she took Baszler down with a moonsault to the outside. While Baszler was on the floor, Nia Jax came out. Flair let herself get distracted and Baszler chucked her into the steps.
Back from the ads, Flair started softening up Baszler’s knee with a chop block and by hanging off the ropes by it. Baszler rocked her with a knee to the face, and Nia Jax got on the apron. Shayna Baszler looked at her until her vision was obscured by Flair’s boot in her face. Baszler got pinned, so I guess that makes her and Jax even.
Alexa Bliss, and Lilly, brought Charlotte Flair a present after the match to thank her for accepting her challenge for Extreme Rules.
Flair said she doesn’t think Bliss knows her taste and told her there comes a time when every little girl needs to leave their dolls at home. Flair refused the gift, but the crowd convinced her to take it.
It was a Lilly-like doll, only with yellow hair. Her name is Charly and she’s for Flair to play with when she takes her title. She knows Flair said she didn’t need anyone, but everyone deserves a friend. Even a narcissistic, self-absorbed bitch like her.
Flair agreed she’s a narcissist. She did appreciate that the doll had matching accessories, but she didn’t want it. When she’d finished her spiel, she threw it at Bliss’ head. Outraged, Bliss jumped on her, fists flying. It ended with Charlotte Flair outside the ring after taking a sunset flip, wondering what happened, while Bliss posed with the title.
♦ The WWE Draft 2021 is coming. It starts on SmackDown on October 1st and finishes on the October 4th RAW.
♦ Drew McIntyre & The Viking Raiders vs Jinder Mahal, Veer, & Shanky started with Mahal & Co attacking McIntyre before Erik and Ivar even arrived. They ran down to make the save and the match proper began. It was short and violent. Drew McIntyre got the win for his team with a Claymore on Shanky.
♦ The New Day were reunited backstage. Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods celebrated him, encouraged him, and were generally awesome friends. They had a little sing and dance together to get rid of tension.
♦ Reggie used a ton of acrobatics and a packing crate to get away from the 24/7 chasing pack. Drake Maverick seems to be masterminding the plan to catch him. R-Truth and Akira Tozawa are still at each other’s throats.
♦ Damian Priest (C) vs Jeff Hardy – United States Championship match – was good. In a video played during his entrance, Priest said facing Jeff Hardy is something he’s always dreamed of. Hardy is someone he truly admires. Sheamus, Priest’s Extreme Rules opponent, joined commentary unexpectedly for the match.
There was a bit of a mid-match confrontation at the announce desk between Priest and Sheamus after Priest put Hardy down on the outside. We went to the ads with them arguing, but Priest and Hardy were back in the ring when we came back. They took a rough landing from the top, with Hardy landing across Priest’s neck. It was only worth a two-count, as was his next attempt, and the next few. Priest was similarly unsuccessful and the failed attempts piled up on both sides.
Priest retained with The Reckoning. Sheamus was on him before the announcement was made, and gave Hardy a Brogue Kick for good measure. Priest kicked Sheamus out of the ring with a Brogue kick of his own.
♦ Tommaso Ciampa, LA Knight, Kyle O’Reilly, and Pete Dunne fight for the NXT Championship on tomorrow’s new-look new-attitude NXT 2.0. Samoa Joe relinquished the title yesterday due to “undisclosed injuries”.
♦ WWE are supporting Connor’s Cure for paediatric cancer awareness month.
♦ Nikki A.S.H. wants to come up with a special team celebration for her and Rhea Ripley. Ripley told her it was a bad time. She has to concentrate on Natalya, and Nikki should be focused on the tag titles.
Natalya and Tamina arrived to tell them they’ll never be tag champions. They said such mean things they made Nikki A.S.H. angry. Tamina laughed at her and pushed her. Sonya Deville had to break up the resulting brawl and set A.S.H. vs Tamina to happen before Ripley and Natalya’s match.
♦ Gable Steveson has signed a WWE deal.
♦ Riddle’s incessant talking made Randy Orton put headphones on in the locker room. He took them off when Big E arrived and wished him luck for the match, reminding him he’ll be watching closely, then put them straight back on as Riddle went back to auto-ramble.
♦ Nikki A.S.H., with Rhea Ripley, vs Tamina, with Natalya, was largely Tamina showing her dominance. Nikki is the perennial underdog though, and resilience is her middle name. She really needed it because Tamina was putting her on the deck with single strikes. Then, suddenly and completely against the run of play, it was over. Nikki A.S.H. delivered a tornado DDT and got the win.
Tamina was announced as the winner by mistake, but she was giving A.S.H. a post-match beating by then and commentary didn’t mention the error. Ripley tried to help her partner but got shoved into the apron by Natalya. Tamina swung A.S.H. into the barricade to finish the job.
Rhea Ripley vs Natalya was in progress after a break. Tamina was still ringside, but Nikki had been taken backstage for medical attention. Natalya might be the best she’s ever been right now. She’s upped the aggression and toned down the cheesiness, and it’s working for her. Tamina took one for the team. One being a dropkick into the barricades meant for Natalya. Unfortunately, Ripley landed with her leg on the corner of the steps and stood just in time to take a clothesline from Natalya.
Ripley slapped her way out of a Sharpshooter, but she was in trouble going into the break after taking a snap suplex on the outside.
Tamina got on the apron when Ripley set up for Riptide. Nikki A.S.H. reappeared and tripped Natalya while Ripley was arguing with Tamina. Ripley dropkicked Tamina from between the ropes, which undoubtedly saved Nikki from more damage. Nikki knocked Natalya’s legs off the ropes when she tried to use them to leverage a pin. and was rewarded by watching her partner tap Natalya out.
Nikki A.S.H. jumped into Ripley’s arms for a post-match celebratory cuddle again. Ripley smiled through the pain and appeared used to it now, so I think that’s the team celebration sorted.
♦ Charlotte Flair is going to destroy Bliss and Lilly at Extreme Rules. She found Charly backstage and threw her in the bin. I somehow doubt getting rid of her is going to be that easy.
♦ The New Day, Mustafa Ali, & Mansoor vs AJ Styles, Omos, MACE, & T-BAR was fun. The New Day failed to get Mustafa Ali to dance during their entrance, but Mansoor got right into it. Omos standing beside MACE and T-BAR really highlights how big he is. He towers over them and they’re two huge guys. They kicked Woods and Kingston off the apron mid-match then absolutely decimated Ali and Mansoor. Somehow, Ali kicked out of MACE’s pin, and the follow-up.
Omos tagged himself in when Mustafa Ali was alone. Before he could do too much damage, Mansoor appeared and jumped on Omos’ back. Woods and Kingston grabbed a leg each. Omos threw them off and out of the ring, then picked Ali up by his head and slammed him into the mat. No one has got up from that yet.
♦ MVP assured Kevin Patrick that Big E would not distract the champion. He’s nothing more than an annoyance. Lashley’s sole focus is on keeping the title by imposing his will and inflicting as much pain on Randy Orton as is humanly possible. Orton is about to be added to a long line of people who have tried and failed to take the title from Lashley, and Big E is welcome to add his name to the list too.
Big E showed up to remind them he’s still planning to cash in.
♦ Doudrop has new music and has got her attitude back. I wish she’d gone back to Piper Niven, but as long as she’s happy and kicking ass, what’s in a name.
Doudrop vs Eva Marie actually happened this time. I’m not sure what Eva Marie has done with her time away from WWE, but I suspect wrestling training didn’t feature heavily. She raked Doudrop’s eyes, which just pissed her off. Seconds later, she took a senton and a crossbody and it was game over.
♦ Karrion Kross had a promo segment with music overlaid that made it sound like a eulogy. The promo was all about who he is and what he wants. Basically, he’s a big scary man who wants to hurt everyone until he makes it to a title and everyone learns to ‘Fall and Pray’.
♦ Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax go one on one next week.
♦ Bobby Lashley (C), with MVP, vs Randy Orton, with Riddle, – WWE Championship match – was the main event of the evening. Riddle got a ‘Randy’ chant started during the introductions, albeit briefly.
Orton made Lashley follow him in and out of the ring to start things off. Lashley got distracted by Riddle and gave Orton the opening he needed to hit him from behind and bounce him off the barricades and announce desk.
Lashley tipped Orton over the ropes to the floor. He took a bad landing and messed up his knee, but it didn’t stop him tipping Lashley into the timekeeper’s area. An Orton superplex winded them both and it took Orton too long to cover. Orton had his head bounced off the ringpost and was knocked from the apron to the barricades.
Riddle got another ‘Randy’ chant going when Orton really needed it, and it seemed to help because he started to build momentum. The draping DDT found its mark but Lashley countered the RKO with a spear. Orton powered out and got the RKO, but MVP pulled Lashley under the ropes. Orton gave MVP an RKO while he was arguing with Riddle but as soon as he got back in the ring he fell victim to Lashley’s spear and got pinned.
Lashley attacked Riddle after the match and smashed him into the ringpost. Not satisfied, he put Orton through the announce desk, but he hurt his knee doing it. As he hobbled back up the steps, Big E arrived as promised and cashed in.
Bobby Lashley (C) vs Big E – WWE Championship match MITB Cash-in – nearly didn’t happen. Lashley tried to get out of it because of his knee, but E slapped him and Lashley was already on top of him punching him when the bell rang. It looked scary for Big E after he took a spear, but he kicked out and delivered a Big Ending for the win.
Big E is the new WWE Champion. Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods ran down to celebrate with him.
That was an actual genuine and unspoiled feel-good ending to a decent episode of RAW. Nothing dragged. There wasn’t too much repetition. And we got a (probably temporary) New Day reunion as well as a new champ. I couldn’t be happier for Big E and, for once, everyone on social media seems to agree. WWE even changed their Twitter screen name to ‘Big E is WWE Champion’. Well-deserved and long overdue.