Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode are somehow the No. 1 contenders to the Raw tag team titles! Can the King of the Ring tournament escape the pull of Baron Corbin’s midcard vortex? And is WWE ruining the Raw tag division. Again.
And when will AJ Styles be retiring from WWE?!
Click the timestamps in the video description below to go straight to any of those stories.
I’m Oli Davis – give us a subscribe, press the thumbs up button, and answer our question of the day in the comments: Should Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson have gone to AEW? Because I’ll be replying to people FROM OUTTA NOWHERE! And click the ‘i’ above my head to give your rating of the show – where you can choose from: RawSome, Cor, AVRAWGE, Poor and RawFul – as I review the 26th August episode of Monday Night Raw!
It’s BLUE Time! Sasha Banks opened the show making jokes about Natalya’s passed away father – you’re such a loser, Nattie! – which is made even cheaper, by the fact it’s all actually just a backdrop to Sasha’s feud with Becky Lynch.
It was a rather stilted in-ring promo from Banks, which would’ve been much better as a pretaped backstage segment. And it wasn’t just Natalya who agreed, running down for a brawl to end it, but also Lynch, who tweeted: “Pity you can’t promo in emo memes and song lyrics too, huh?”
Also, congratulations to WWE, for somehow going a whole three hour episode of Raw without mentioning Becky getting engaged to Becky Lynch’s boyfriend and WWE Universal Champion Seth Rollins.
This paid off with Sasha making Natalya tap in a modified Banks Statement in a match later in the night.
Drew McIntyre came out for his first round match against Ricochet next, posing on the King of the Ring throne while holding the crown and sceptre – a tantalising glimpse at how stupid the eventual winner will look.
The action was back-and-forth, with some fantastic spots – like a Ricochet superkick counter to the Claymore, and Drew headbutting a flying Ricochet on the outside – and even better near falls, with the crowd genuinely into Ricochet as the winner. Sadly, that’s the only thing they were into that night, with the New Orleans crowd being unusually quiet for the rest of the show.
The only thing I would’ve changed here would be to have McIntyre advance further in the tournament – where he could finally be defeated by Cedric Alexander for a nice babyface payoff to their recent feud.
In his only appearance on the show, Becky Lynch’s fiance Seth Rollins then accepted Braun Strowman’s Universal Title match for Clash of Champions in a backstage segment – which WWE already had a graphic for. You’re exposing the business, Kevin Dunn.
The Miz then took on Baron Corbin in the final first round match of King of the Ring – where they worked pretty well together with near falls and Corbin doing his run round the ring post thingy. But with Cedric Alexander facing the winner next week, it really should’ve been McIntyre vs The Miz, and Ricochet vs Corbin, unless… dear God, Baron actually might win.
Which he took one step closer to here, beating Miz and then posing on the throne to declare himself King Corbin. Because not even King of the Ring can escape the pull of Baron Corbin’s midcard vortex!
WWE continued their excellent promotion of NXT moving to the USA Network, by showing some articles covering the story online. WWE, you’ve got a video package for every little thing Roman Reigns does. Why can’t we have one promo telling the epic story of NXT and what a big deal getting on TV is?
Now Bayley is feuding with Charlotte, you better believe WWE are actually going to feature the SmackDown Women’s title on Raw. Bayley beat Nikki Cross convincingly with an elbow drop to hardly any crowd reaction.
Kayla Braxton interviewed Braun backstage, which was half to have Strowman say how he’s going to win all the titles, and half to show how short Kayla Braxton is.
And then we got a Tag Team Turmoil match to crown Seth and Braun’s No. 1 contenders for Clash of Champions. Hey Street Profits, what, exactly are the rules for a Tag Team Turmoil match?
Ah, well, two teams start the match. And then when one team is eliminated, a new team enters. And teams can be eliminated by pinfall, submission, DQ or count out.
So a gauntlet match.
Unfortunately, the booking was nowhere near the quality of WWE’s recent gauntlet stipulations – with each fall being over too quickly for anyone to actually gain momentum.
The Viking DON’T MENTION THE WAR EXPERIENCE Raiders squashed the B Team first, and then got DQ’d with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson next with a lame count out.
I thought the Good Brothers losing their tag titles to Braun and Seth last week was part of a bigger story for them in WWE, as The O.C. has been such a great faction since reuniting a month ago. Unfortunately, it seems WWE really sees them as nothing more as AJ Styles’ valets – despite them recently re-signing long term deals with the company.
To make the tag division even more frustrating, the brand new, randomly thrown together Franken-team of Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode then beat Lucha House Party, The Revival, Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder and finally Heavy Machinery to win. Meaning the Clash of Champions tag title match will be Seth and Braun vs Roode and Ziggler – two teams that literally didn’t exist 8 days ago, making every other established tag team on Raw look a bit naff. And Roode didn’t even have a moustache.
Ronda Rousey joining the Total Divas cast then got the same amount of promotion as NXT moving to the main roster.
Ahead of his match against Baron Corbin next week, Cedric Alexander took on Cesaro here. Which means… uppercuts! This had some great in-ring work based around Alexander selling the knee, but again the crowd were very quiet. Cedric’s injury will undoubtedly play into his King of the Ring match against Corbin next week oh God that means Corbin’s going to win, doesn’t it.
The 24/7 title got a celebrity champion over the weekend when college football pundit Rob Stone pinned R-Truth for the belt, which Elias regained shortly after. Vince McMahon has seemingly grown bored of the gimmick title, as it’s hardly featured on TV since SummerSlam.
We got a Firefly Fun House segment that was in fact just all the previous episodes repackaged together in a montage. So nothing was actually new.
And then we got the main event of Styles vs Strowman for the United States title, which hilariously had the Street Profits hype backstage, for Braun to randomly materialise next to them. Where, in kayfabe, was Strowman before they saw him? In that box? Was he delivered to the arena? Or he was just standing there the entire time waiting for his camera cue. Wrrrrestling!
For a moment I thought WWE were going to put yet another belt into the Strowman vs Seth feud, with Braun almost winning the US title here with a visual pin after a ref bump. Instead, he was DQ’d in some classic Eddie Guerrero shenanigans, and he got to powerslam the Good Brothers until the show went off air. Really good decision not going to AEW, Gallows and Anderson – you definitely won’t regret that!
Nothing really happened on this show besides all the other storylines and divisions slowly being sucked into Strowman and Seth’s main event feud. The tag division has quickly become an afterthought again, and The O.C., after being one of the best things on TV since their reunion, has just become fodder for Braun to powerslam and kill time with until he faces Rollins. This week’s Raw is Poor.
And now over to Laurie with the news!
Thanks Oli, lush review pet.
But we kick off this news update with some positive news for NXT favs worried about their favourite show moving to a two-hour slot on US TV and potentially being ruined by the company… ok it’s me… I’m that fan…
So I’m pleased to say that for the time being the show will continue to film at Full Sail University until at least December this year.
WWE announced the on-sale dates for upcoming NXT on USA TV tapings and the ones they gave list the show as remaining at its home arena until December.
And I think that’s the best decision, the Full Sail crowd are super into the product and a big part of the feel and presentation of the show – having a smaller but highly vocal crowd in the arena is a good way to make NXT feel like something worth getting behind. Also means that all the talent still have constant access to the performance centre and NXT can still to some degree help with development of talent.
The news stops people worrying that the show would become another endless touring show for WWE too, where they’re trying to masked magician the empty seats out of sight or get people to actually care about Cruiserweights. I’m so sorry guys, you’re killing it, but it may as well be in a vacuum.
It’s cold in a vacuum, but what you want in wrestling is heat.
And that’s exactly what AJ Styles is getting recently with his heelish antics – Latino Heat if the borrowed Eddie Guerrero spot is anything to go by.
AJ is clearly having a great run after having joined up with Gallows and Anderson and formed the OC.
But how much longer can that last? Well people seem to think that AJ will have penned a five-year deal with the company when he resigned earlier this year.
Which AJ himself has now said will be his last.
In an interview with Lillian Garcia on her Clashing Glory podcast he said:
“I had no doubt that you know this is what I was going to do for my career. It really was. And you couldn’t have told me any different. And I can tell you that the contract that I signed, here in the WWE, is my last. This is it for me. This is where I’m going to end my career no matter what happens. I got to, you know? I want to be there for my kids.”
So that should end any speculation that AJ will return to New Japan or head over to All Elite and join his Bullet Club buddies… sad…wanted to AJ to AEW confirmed… won’t get the chance now… great news for your kids though AJ… you prick…
One person who is AEW confirmed though is Kenny Omega.
Who had some choice words for that namby pamby MRSA in his elbow suffering Jon Moxley on this week’s Being The Elite, pff, what a wuss:
“In the excitement of being a free man, you called it a paradigm shift. Right? That was cool. That could go on a shirt. And then you went to Japan. How did that tournament go in Japan? Did you win? I know that I did. First try. Got the shirt to prove it. You decided to start wanting to check off all those boxes on that bucket list of yours. Did anyone really talk about you in Japan? You got a boo-boo on your elbow,”
“Did I go to Japan and wrestle 24 days of the month before fighting you?! No. You see, I did this thing, John, it’s called being a professional.”
Kenny is obviously referring to Moxley having pulled out of All Out to have elbow surgery for a “serious case of MRSA” which Chopper forgot to mention in his rumours video this weekend, because he recorded it before it happened, but please feel free to tweet him about it, oh and wish him a happy birthday. His Twitter is PeteQuinnell, that’s PeteQuinnell, to Ls to Ns and a Q.
Thankfully AEW managed to find a replacement for Mox lickedy split, you’re old buddy, the bastard PAC.
Now there are some conflicting reports about how PAC was booked for the show.
On an episode of Wrestling Observer Radio it was said that AEW may have planned to have PAC run-in during the show and that he was always set to be in Chicago for the PPV.
But then Meltzer went back on his own secret, correcting himself on a different episode saying: “I said Pac was going to be in Chicago anyway — I was wrong about that. Pac was not booked in Chicago to be on that show. As far as what he did, it was a booking they made after they found out about Moxley, so they moved it real quick because it wasn’t really long that they knew about Moxley.”
Which is it Meltz? Are you working us? You think we’re punks? CM Punks. Is he going to be there? Oh please tell me…
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I’ve been El Fakidor and that was lucha.