Original Air Date: September 2, 2019
Event Date: September 2, 2019
Commentary: Michael Cole, Renee Young, Corey Graves
Ring Announcer: Mike Rome
Braun Strowman heads to the ring, and Seth Rollins comes out next. Both men are here to sign the contract for their Universal Title match at Clash of Champions. Michael Cole oversees the contract signing, but before that, he asks Rollins if he and Strowman can coexist and defend their tag titles prior to their Universal Title match. Rollins plans to keep both his titles. Strowman plans to make things awkward by beating Rollins. Rollins makes things awkward by reminding Strowman that he never beat Lesnar, but Rollins has.
Rollins signs, and as Strowman is about to sign, The OC comes out to the stage. Cole tries to keep The OC away from the ring, but AJ Styles doesn’t care about what Cole has to say. Styles wants to know why Strowman is getting a Universal Title match. Styles thinks the US Champ should be first in line for a Universal Title shot. After all, who is Styles supposed to defend his title against at Clash of Champions?
Styles also wants to know why Ziggler and Roode get a tag title match. They aren’t even a real team. The OC is a real team though, and if they don’t get what they want, then no one will get what they want. Cole tries to interrupt, but Styles yells at him. The OC enters the ring, and Styles rips up the Universal Title contract. That starts a brawl with The OC versus Rollins and Strowman. The OC is cleared from the ring as the show goes to a commercial break.
Braun Strowman (RAW Tag Champ) & Seth Rollins (RAW Tag & Universal Champ) vs Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows w/ AJ Styles (US Champ)
(referee: Dan Engler)
Result: Seth Rollins pins Karl Anderson with a schoolboy
Time: 7:18 (joined in progress, 1 break)
Pretty good match, but I was hoping for a different result. As it was, Strowman and Rollins didn’t seem to have too much trouble handling Anderson and Gallows, at least until Styles got involved.
Immediately after the match, The OC attacks Rollins. Rollins and Strowman fight back, but Strowman ends up running into Rollins at ringside. Recognizing what he did, Strowman pauses. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode run out and join The OC in beating up Strowman. Strowman is dragged into the ring and hit with Magic Killer and a Phenomenal Forearm.
Charly Caruso welcomes Cedric Alexander. Cedric begins to talk about Baron Corbin, but he is quickly attacked by the rampaging OC. Cedric is down, and he’s hurt.
Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder vs Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler
(referee: Rod Zapata)
Result: Robert Roode pins Curt Hawkins after the Glorious DDT
A good yet unsurprising match. This was mostly just an exhibition for Roode and Ziggler since they aren’t a real tag team, yet they have a tag title match coming up in a couple of weeks.
Lacey Evans holds an umbrella as she walks.
Lacey Evans vs Natalya
(referee: Dan Engler)
Result: Lacey Evans wins via pinfall after the Woman’s Right
Pretty good match, even though Corey Graves’s commentary was atrocious for it. Natalya started strong, but Lacey dominated most of the match. Lacey missed her moonsault and that led to Natalya looking like she might set up for a win, but a strange ending had Lacey cheat in a strange way to get the final advantage in the match.
Becky Lynch walks while wearing the RAW Women’s Title.
Becky Lynch heads to the ring. She says everything Sasha Banks said last week is crap. What happened to Sasha? She has no reason to be whining. She’s been given main events on the main roster since her debut, but Becky struggled to reach the top.
When Sasha left after Wrestlemania, she left with nothing. But Bayley has been doing just fine. Becky says that with all of her talent, Sasha should be the game-changer that Becky Lynch is. As she speaks, Sasha Banks comes out to the stage.
Sasha says she was supposed to main-event Wrestlemania instead of Becky. The only reason Becky did that is because Nia Jax broke her face. Sasha gloats about beating Becky with a chair. Becky wants to fight right now, but Sasha says Becky doesn’t get it. Sasha won’t do anything for free for the fans. She’ll fight for the paycheck, and she’ll fight for the title. Becky accepts Sasha’s title challenge for Clash of Champions.
The Street Profits don’t know what to say about what they just saw in the ring.
King of the Ring Quarterfinal Match
Baron Corbin vs Cedric Alexander
(referee: Chad Patton)
Result: Baron Corbin wins via pinfall after End of Days
Time: 11:28 (1 break)
Good match. Cedric came into this match with an injured arm because of the attack from The OC earlier in the night. So right away there was a pretty high expectation that Corbin was going to win. Corbin did dominate a lot of the match, but Alexander made a convincing comeback fairly late in the match. This was better and more exciting than I thought it would be, mostly because I figured Corbin had every excuse to obliterate Cedric (even though he obviously shouldn’t). I think this match was a testament for how good Cedric Alexander is as a sympathetic good guy.
A recap of the whodunit featuring Roman Reigns, Daniel Bryan, Rowan, and a bald guy with a beard.
Charly Caruso welcomes Bayley. Bayley has no comment about Sasha’s return. Bayley would rather focus on her tag match tonight where she’ll team with Becky Lynch. Charly wonders if Bayley feels overshadowed by Becky, but Bayley doesn’t feel that way. The SmackDown title means just as much as the RAW title. Last week Bayley beat Nikki Cross, so tonight it’s Alexa Bliss’s turn.
The Viking Raiders breathe heavily in their red room.
In the ring, Charly Caruso asks Tyler Hastings and Brian Thomas why they chose to fight the Viking Raiders tonight. Tyler and Brian insult Baltimore.
Tyler Hastings & Brian Thomas vs The Viking Raiders
(referee: Darrick Moore)
Result: Erik pins Tyler Hastings after the Viking Experience
Sarah Schreiber asks Sasha Banks if she’s rooting for Bayley in her tag match teaming with Becky Lynch tonight. Sasha yells at Sarah, telling her to get out of her face.
King of the Ring Quarterfinal Match
Samoa Joe vs Ricochet
(referee: John Cone; watching in the back: Baron Corbin)
Result: Samoa Joe and Ricochet pin each other after they falls from the second rope
Time: 12:56 (1 break)
This was a very good match, and even the strange, staged finish didn’t hurt it too much. Joe and Ricochet work very well together, and they were both hitting everything great tonight. The finish ended up being a setup for some story stuff, but the action was very entertaining up to that point.
After the match, referee John Cone goes to the timekeeper’s area and gets on a headset. He talks to someone, saying that he saw both men’s shoulders down and pinned to the mat. Cone gets off the headset, but rather than make an announcement of a winner, he just walks to the back while dismissing Ricochet’s attempts to get an answer.
Samoa Joe attacks Ricochet, but Ricochet fights him off. Both men head to the back as Corey Graves says he’s going to go get some answers.
Braun Strowman doesn’t like that Steve Austin will oversee the contract signing for the Universal Title match. Seth Rollins is frustrated with Strowman’s paranoia.
Firefly Fun House
Bray Wyatt apologizes to Finn Balor on behalf of The Fiend. The Vince McMahon puppet appears and gets angry that Wyatt has apparently challenged for a Universal Title shot at Hell in a Cell. Wyatt shows Vince the money he’s been making, then Wyatt feeds the money to Vince. Vince seems satisfied and goes away.
Wyatt says Rollins and Strowman are a terrible team. Wyatt has the support of of his friends though. They help Wyatt deal with the pain. The Fiend helps Wyatt inflict pain.
Corey Graves asks John Cone for a ruling on the Ricochet/Samoa Joe match. Baron Corbin walks up and says both men are out, and he gets a bye in the tournament. John Cone says the official decision is that both Ricochet and Samoa Joe will advance to the next round, making Corbin’s semi-final match a triple threat.
Charly Caruso is super shocked about the ruling John Cone just announced. She also welcomes Rey Mysterio. Mysterio says he can’t thank his son Dominic enough for convincing him to keep wrestling. Rey still has a lot to accomplish, and he’s doing it for his son.
The Miz vs Cesaro
(referee: Darrick Moore)
Result: The Miz wins via pinfall after a Skull Crushing Finale
This was fine. Cesaro looked good, but considering that The Miz has an IC Title shot coming up, the direction the match went was no surprise. It was pretty enjoyable though.
Bayley and Becky Lynch (probably) discuss strategy.
Nikki Cross & Alexa Bliss (Women’s Tag Champs) vs Bayley (SD Women’s Champ) & Becky Lynch (RAW Women’s Champ)
(referee: Chad Patton)
Result: Becky Lynch and Bayley win via DQ when Sasha Banks attacks Becky
Time: 6:57 (1 break)
Pretty good match. Sasha Banks came out early in the match though, and even though she stood on the stage and watched, it was pretty clear it was only a matter of time before she ended the match. Up until then though, Lynch and Bayley had some good individual performances while Nikki and Alexa kind of worked together as a team. I’m still not sold on Bliss and Cross as a team, and I’m even less sold on these matches with so many champions involved. Rarely is anything ever clear and definitive in these types of matches. The action was fine though.
After the match, Sasha Banks continues to attack Becky Lynch. Sasha grabs a chair and uses it on Becky. Bayley takes the chair away from Sasha. They stare at each other for a few seconds… then Bayley amiles and hits Becky with the chair as the show ends.
This was an okay episode of RAW. I was underwhelmed by it. I guess it’s because we’re so close to Clash of Champions and people are being protected, but a lot of the wrestling felt like exhibitions without any real story or intrigue. The King of the Ring stuff were two of the exceptions, but the finishes to both matches left me not liking those matches as much as I could have.
I’m also not so sure it was a good idea to have a referee talk to people in the back about a ruling in a match. I understand that it makes sense from a sports perspective, but it sets a strange precedent for pro wrestling. If there are judges or whatever in the back watching matches and helping with decisions, then it kind of changes everything about how pro wrestling has always been about the referee’s decision in the ring. Realistically, there should be no more cheating behind the referee’s back or bad calls to end a match. I mean, I suppose it could just be that the referee tonight wanted some advice, but it still feels strange.
Match of the Night
Ricochet vs Samoa Joe
Despite the contrived ending, I enjoyed this match a lot. I also liked Cedric Alexander’s match, but it’s just frustrating to watch Corbin, so I couldn’t pick that.
Official Results: https://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2019-09-02