10/10 Powell’s WWE Raw Live TV Review: Paul Heyman returns, Seth Rollins vs. Chris Jericho, the build to Hell in a Cell continues

newrawlogo1By Jason Powell

WWE Raw on the USA Network
Live from Oakland, California at Oracle Arena

[Q1] The Raw opening video kicked off the show and then fireworks shot off on the stage… Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton were on commentary. The very first crowd shot had a “Delete” sign (Broken Matt Hardy)…

Sasha Banks headed to the ring wearing the Raw Women’s Championship while Cole recalled her win over Sasha in last week’s main event. He said Sasha wrote inside an armband last week that she’s not afraid and was born to do this.

Sasha was about to speak when she noticed the beginning of a “you deserve it” chant and stopped to let it play out. She said she is on top of the world. She spoke about how it wasn’t long ago that she was watching from the last row and watching Raw at home with her mom every week. Sasha spoke about watching her hero Eddie Guerrero, then wished him a happy birthday (it was Sunday). Sasha said she stole the show and became a two-time women’s champion last week. She said it’s for all the little girls at home who want to be like her. She told them to go get it.

Sasha brought up her match against Charlotte and brought the idea of making it a Hell in a Cell match. Charlotte started to make her entrance, but she was interrupted by Rusev’s entrance music. Charlotte stopped in her tracks while Rusev and Lana walked past her and entered the ring. Charlotte eventually joined them in the ring.

Rusev said no one cares “about your stupid women’s revolution” or that they main evented Raw last week. Rusev said he is the main event wherever he goes. Charlotte took the mic from Rusev. Charlotte said her title might be around Sasha’s waist, then asked Rusev who in the hell he thinks he is, saying no one disrespects the queen.

Charlotte brought up the Hell in a Cell match. Fans chanted yes. “You’re on,” Charlotte said. Rusev took the mic back and he wasn’t finished. Rusev said it’s his ring and what he says goes. Sasha took the mic out of his hand and threw it down. Lana called Charlotte and Sasha need to know their place. She said they whine like little girls and that Hell in a Cell is made for real men like Rusev. Sasha and Charlotte shoved Lana down, then double dropkicked Rusev out of the ring.

Roman Reigns made his entrance and was booed. Rusev, who is growing a beard minus the mustache, removed his shirt, then opted to leave the ring. In a shocking twist, Reigns didn’t say anything, he just looked down at Rusev and Lana. Meanwhile, Sasha and Charlotte jawed at one another off-mic…

Cole hyped Paul Heyman addressing Bill Goldberg’s comments on ESPN(ews). Saxton hyped Seth Rollins vs. Chris Jericho… [C]

Powell’s POV: The announcement of the women’s Hell in a Cell match was well received. It was odd to have the bitter rivals team up to take out Rusev moments later, but it worked in that they went right back to jawing at one another. The cool part about the women in the HIAC match is that they are also expected to main event the pay-per-view. Meanwhile, Rusev needs heat, and they need to stop protecting Roman and let him talk.

[Q2] Cole hyped the WWE video game and said you have to pre-order the game before midnight in order to get Goldberg as a downloadable character…

New Day made their entrance. They stood near the top of the entrance ramp where Big E pulled out BootyO’s from his tights and threw handfuls into the crowd. Xavier Woods brought up Bay Area sports. Kofi Kingston mentioned The Bash Brothers. E mentioned The Splash Brothers. Kingston dropped a Full House reference since the show was set in the Bay Area.

E spoke favorably about Cesaro. Kingston had a sign brought to him to say that Sheamus was hot garbage. Woods noted that Mick Foley granted Sheamus and Cesaro a tag title shot. He said they will show them why they are the best and then did the “New Day rocks” dance. Cesaro made his entrance along with Sheamus. Cesaro and Sheamus stood on opposite corners of the ring and drew opposite reactions from the fans…

1. Cesaro (w/Sheamus) vs. Kofi Kingston (w/Big E, Xavier Woods). Cole noted that Sheamus was on Facebook Live during the match. Sheamus was shown seated on the ring steps with his phone in front of him rather than watching the match. Cesaro and Kingston ended up facing off at ringside and the other New Day members stood behind Kingston, causing Cesaro to turn back and look for Sheamus, who was still on the ring steps. [C]

Sheamus was sitting on a chair at ringside and was still doing the Facebook bit. Kingston went for a springboard move and slipped. Kingston grabbed the back of his leg. At ringside, Sheamus picked up Woods’s trombone. Sheamus shoved Woods down, then E clotheslined Sheamus. Cesaro was distracted by all of this and caught in a small package by Kingston. E carried Kingston up the ramp afterward. Sheamus and Cesaro bickered afterward…

Kofi Kingston beat Cesaro in 7:30.

[Q3] The broadcast team hyped Reigns and Sasha vs. Rusev and Charlotte for later in the show. They also hyped that they would air Goldberg’s statement from ESPN(ews) after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: I mentioned last week that I hoped they would be more creative with the Sheamus and Cesaro bickering. This week we got Sheamus acting more concerned with social media than his partner’s singles match, which was a fun little twist. I hope they continue to have some fun with it rather than just have them squabble. Does anyone else find it odd that Charlotte and Rusev are teaming given the way the opening segment went. In fairness, they did say that Mick Foley booked the match, so perhaps we’ll see some issues between them as well.

The broadcast team set up footage of Goldberg telling ESPN(ews) “never say never” regarding a match with Brock Lesnar… Saxton hyped Paul Heyman’s appearance on the show and said he would address Goldberg’s comments…

2. Bayley vs. Cami Fields. The announcers played up Bayley’s Bay Area homecoming. Bayley won the match with the Bayley To Belly. Bayley went to the stage to celebrate by the inflatable tubes when she was attacked by Dana Brooke. Hilariously, the inflatable men immediately went flat…

Bayley defeated Cami Fields in 2:25.

Cole hyped Mick Foley’s Hell in a Cell Address for after the break, noting that we had yet to hear what he thinks about the women working a Hell in a Cell match… [C]

Powell’s POV: A nice homecoming match for Bayley and a wise call to have Brooke attack her afterward given that the live crowd was sure to be upset by it.

[Q4] Backstage, Jericho was venting to someone on the phone about not getting anything in return from the muttonheads when he gives them the Gift of Jericho. R-Truth was listening and this turned into a product placement spot for a candy bar.

3. Sin Cara and Lince Dorado vs. Tony Nese and Drew Gulak. The heel duo did not get a televised entrance. Cole noted that it was announced on the Raw Pre-Show that Sin Cara had officially joined the cruiserweight division. Despite being heels, Nese and Gulak obeyed WWE’s Code of Honor, er, shook hands prior to the match. Cole noted that TJ Perkins would wrestle later in the show. Dorado performed a Shooting Star Press on Gulak and pinned him to win the match for his team…

Sin Cara and Lince Dorado beat Tony Nese and Drew Gulak in 3:15.

Backstage, Stephanie McMahon praised Mick Foley for his attire. Steph asked if he minded if she joined him in the ring for his address. He said that would be great… [C]

Powell’s POV: I’m still not a fan of the cruiserweights doing the Code of Honor when no one else on the roster does it. I actually feed bad for Sin Cara. He enters the cruiserweight division and his first match is a tag match, then he doesn’t even get the win for his team. Ouch. As usual, the fans were reacting to the high spots, though they did seem more excited about those high spots than other crowds have for the cruiserweights on Raw. Meanwhile, will Steph continue to play nice or is she going to turn on Foley once they get to the ring?

A cancer charity spot aired with Sasha Banks and a breast cancer survivor. Cole spoke about the company’s relationship with the cancer charity and noted the extra pink on the set…

[Q5] Foley had a plaid suit and Stephanie called it awesome. Stephanie said No Mercy was incredible. However, she said that Raw is holding Hell in a Cell in three weeks and it’s going to blow No Mercy away. Steph gave Foley the big introduction. Foley brought up Sasha Banks saying she wants her match to be held inside Hell in a Cell.

Foley said the women don’t get what they want just because they want it. “They get what they deserve,” Foley said. Mick said the women made history. He said he went and watched the match in the eighth row live. He said the women deserve to make history at Hell in a Cell. Foley said he and Stephanie conferred and they will indeed have Sasha vs. Charlotte inside Hell in a Cell. Fans chanted “yes” briefly.

Foley also granted Rollins his rematch against Kevin Owens and announced that it will also be held inside the Hell in a Cell structure. Kevin Owens’ music played and he walked out with Chris Jericho, who carried his list with him. Owens congratulated Foley for making the stupidest decision he’d made to date.

Owens said he doesn’t want to be in an HIAC match. Owens said he wants to have a nice, long career and not end up a washed up general manager like Foley. Owens said he’s better than that because he’s Universal Champion. Jericho asked if Foley is granting requests “like a genie in a stupid suit.”

Jericho asked what would happen if he asked for a private jet. Jericho accused Foley of not liking him and taking it out on Owens. Foley once again explained that he originally liked Jericho, but admitted he hasn’t liked him for 19 years. Jericho asked if Foley was putting his champion at risk in the same match that ended his career. “You’re damn right I am,” Foley said.

Jericho put Foley on his list. Fans cheered. Foley smiled and said he’s on “the stupid list.” Jericho said he made it again. Jericho asked Stephanie to take care of “this guy.” Stephanie said Jericho needs to show Foley some respect, and added that she doesn’t care what list she makes. Stephanie defended Foley’s decision for the rematch. She said Rollins also wants to get revenge on Jericho.

Stephanie said that after watching No Mercy, she thought Raw could do it even bigger and better by doing it inside Hell in a Cell. Stephanie said that if Jericho beats Rollins, then he can be put into the WWE Universal Championship match at Hell in a Cell. Stephanie said everyone would be happy. Jericho smiled. Owens wasn’t pleased. Stephanie told Owens to have a nice day and gave him a thumbs up…

Backstage, Charly Caruso asked for Rollins’ response on what just played out. Rollins said that if Steph’s plan was to turn the title match into Table For 3, then he would crush that plan for her. Rollins said Steph can’t control him anymore and is trying to manipulate Owens. Rollins questioned whether Jericho will be Owens’ best friend or another guy who will do whatever it takes to be champion. Rollins said he will destroy the machine piece by piece…

Cole hyped the mixed tag match for later in the show. Graves hyped the Heyman promo for later in the show… [C]

Powell’s POV: Three Hell in a Cell matches in one night is just too much for my taste. It overexposes the gimmick match and makes it feel less special. Perhaps even bigger than that is the misuse of Foley. I know Foley enjoys being an advocate for the women’s division, but I can’t believe they had him basically cheerlead the idea of the women entering the HIAC structure. This was a great opportunity for him to put over the danger of the match and say that he couldn’t put them in the match in good conscious. Of course, they could have eventually been given the match perhaps even by Stephanie. I just don’t like the idea of making Hell in a Cell a feel good reward for the women when the match should be presented as the most dangerous match the company has.

[Q6] Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel were in the ring for a tag match with Enzo Amore and Big Cass. Bo still carries the stupid political sign. They replayed footage from the pre-show of Axel and Bo rhyming and Axel saying he asked Foley to book them as a tag team. Enzo and Cass made their entrance. Once in the ring, they started to deliver some mic work when they were attacked from behind by Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows. Enzo took the Boot of Doom, and Anderson and Gallows took out Cass with the Magic Killer… [C]

Powell’s POV: It was only a matter of time before they went to this program. Anderson and Gallows were beaten by New Day repeatedly, so it’s time for them to work with the only other babyface team that matters on the Raw roster.

Axel and Dallas stood in the ring. Axel questioned if they were on an episode of Swerved. He said they wanted a match and weren’t going to leave until they got one. He called for Foley to send out opponents. Sami Zayn made his entrance, then Neville made his entrance as his tag partner…

4. Sami Zayn and Neville vs. Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas. Cole said Tom Phillips told him that Foley was scrambling to find opponents for Axel and Dallas when Zayn and Neville volunteered. Zayn caught Axel with a Helluva Kick, the Neville followed up with a Red Arrow for the win…

Sami Zayn and Neville beat Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas in 2:25.

Powell’s POV: I’m guessing that Zayn and Neville are not going to be a regular team. It would be great if the idea was to team them just long enough for Neville to turn on Zayn. Neville could be a really good heel, and they could have really good matches together.

Backstage, Charlotte was stretching when Lana entered the picture. She said she knows Charlotte thinks she’s the queen, but she had no right to put her hands on her. Charlotte said she is superior in every way and she should stay out of the way. Lana told Charlotte to stay out of her husband’s way or there would be severe consequences…

[Q7] [C] 5. R-Truth (w/Goldust) vs. Titus O’Neil. Footage aired of how the match was set up on Facebook. Titus wasn’t happy about Truth taking his candy bar ad. It looked like the Stars were trying to pick Truth’s pocket, but he caught them. Titus was getting the better of the match until he was distracted by Goldust stomping on the ring steps. Truth rolled up O’Neil for the win…

R-Truth beat Titus O’Neil in 2:05.

Backstage, TJ Perkins told Brian Kendrick that he knows the real Kendrick isn’t about cheap tricks. He said Kendrick is afraid because he won’t have more lives if he loses. Perkins said he doesn’t need cheap shots. Perkins asked if Kendrick remembered the road trip they took when his N64 broke, and Kendrick got him a new one. Perkins said it’s not too late for Kendrick to be the guy he knows he really is. They shook hands. Kendrick stood up to sucker punch him, but Perkins beat him to it. “Guess I was wrong,” Perkins said… [C]

Members of the Oakland Raiders were shown in the crowd. Graves mentioned Derek Carr and Michael Crabtree…

Powell’s POV: Is your NFL team 5-0? Skol!

Saxton interviewed Steven and Clay Splash as Braun Strowman came out. Saxton asked if they are really a step up in competition. They think they are…

6. Braun Strowman vs. Steven and Clay Splash in a handicap match. One Splash is white, and the other is black. One wears furry gear and the other wears Zubaz. Strowman destroyed them. Afterward, Saxton tried to interview Strowman, who took the mic and scared him into running away. Strowman addressed Foley and said he wants real competition next week or what happens will be on his hands…

Braun Strowman defeated Steven and Clay Splash in a handicap match in 1:00.

Cole and Graves set up the WWE video game commercial. After the ad aired, Saxton pimped the last chance to pre-order to get Goldberg as a character…

Sasha Banks was standing backstage admiring her title belt when Roman Reigns approached her and asked if she was ready. She was born ready and was ready to have fun. Reigns said Hell in a Cell is anything but fun, but they didn’t need to worry about that tonight. Sasha said she would take care of Charlotte, and Roman could take care of Rusev… [C]

Powell’s POV: I’d like to think that Reigns kinda figured out that brilliant game plan on his own.

The broadcast team set up a Royal Rumble match video. It included classic footage and also hyped wrestlers from Raw and Smackdown fighting over one WrestleMania opportunity and the return to the Alamodome…

Ring entrances for the mixed tag match took place. Cole said there had been three HIAC matches in history, and now there will be three in one night.

[Q9] 7. Roman Reigns and Sasha Banks vs. Rusev (w/Lana) and Charlotte in a mixed tag match. Rusev ordered Charlotte to the corner so he could start. The bell rang and then she tagged herself in. Cole stressed that there will be winners in the HIAC matches because the match requires pinfalls or submissions. The babyface duo was in control heading into the break. [C]

Reigns hit a Superman Punch on Reigns and the adult males booed loudly. Charlotte tagged the weary Rusev, then Sasha entered the match and worked over Charlotte. Sasha kicked out of a Charlotte rollup attempt and immediately applied the Bank Statement. Reigns speared Rusev to prevent him from breaking up the pin. Charlotte tapped out…

Roman Reigns and Sasha Banks beat Rusev and Charlotte in 9:45.

The broadcast team set up footage from earlier in the show of Stephanie setting the stipulation for the Jericho vs. Rollins main event…

Backstage, Tom Phillips interviewed Owens and Jericho inside their locker room. Owens said it doesn’t matter if it’s a singles match or a Triple Threat, he’s walking out with the Universal Championship. Jericho said they are best friends and so if one of them is Universal Champion, they are both Universal Champion. Phillips asked why Owens didn’t save Jericho last week. Owens said Jericho understands that one member of the team has to stay healthy and strong, and the other had to take the bullet for the team. Phillips ended up on Jericho’s list…

A shot aired of Paul Heyman walking backstage. His promo is up next… [C]

Powell’s POV: The fans were into the match and I’m surprised they didn’t give them more time. The finish was surprising in that the challengers both seem like weak challengers in that the babyfaces just won their titles. They need to put some major heat on Charlotte and Rusev over the next two weeks. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the dynamic between Jericho and Owens. It should be really fun whenever their friendship falls apart.

[Q10] An ad for Smackdown featured still shots of Luke Harper showing up at No Mercy. Randy Orton and Kane vs. Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper was announced for Smackdown…

Cole followed the commercial by saying that Raw is the flagship and juggernaut. They set up the footage of Goldberg on ESPN(ews) saying he owes Brock Lesnar a rematch…

JoJo introduced Paul Heyman, who then introduced himself as the advocate for the beast that adjourns the cover of the WWE video game. Heyman set up what he labeled a “most newsworthy” preview. The footage featured Goldberg and Lesnar (fortunately, it didn’t include that damn “Downtown” song again).

“So there it is,” Heyman said. “Just as you remember him.” Heyman said that for 12 years, people have asked what if they could experience that dominance for just one more night. He asked what if there is just one more spear or Jackhammer. Heyman said whenever a new badass has debuted or someone got on a roll, you’d hear the name Goldberg reverberating around the arena.

The fans chanted Goldberg. Heyman stopped to let them chant. Heyman spoke about how many people Goldberg beat and how they were beaten, victimized, and conquered. Heyman said that you say to yourself that Goldberg’s career was running parallel to Lesnar’s career. Heyman said it keeps him up at night that Goldberg is still one up on Lesnar. Heyman said he has been authorized to come out and let the WWE Universe know that Goldberg is challenged to a fight. “One on one, Beast vs. The Myth, Icon vs. Icon,” he said. The fans chanted Goldberg’s name again as Heyman held out the mic.

Heyman said it’s not just the wannabe gangsters and pseudo Samoans in Oakland, this goes out worldwide. Heyman said Goldberg can listen to the WWE audience and live in the fantasy of the WWE video game and remain the one blemish on Lesnar’s career or he can get into the ring and be beaten, victimized, and conquered by Lesnar. “In Suplex City, you’re not Goldberg, you’re next,” Heyman said before dropping the mic…

Cole set up shots of Emma as she goes from Emma to Emmalina. A graphic said the makeover premieres soon… Brian Kendrick came out to join the broadcast team for Perkins’ match… [C]

Powell’s POV: An excellent promo by Heyman. It’s been a while since Heyman has been given something he can really sink his teeth into. He got it here and he nailed it. I assume the match is a lock or they wouldn’t be teasing it to this degree. The big question now is when.

[Q11] The end of the Perkins and Kendrick angle from earlier was replayed… Perkins vs. Kendrick was officially announced for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship was announced for the Hell in a Cell event…

8. WWE Cruiserweight Champion TJ Perkins vs. Ariya Daivari in a non-title match. Footage aired from earlier in the day of Daivari delivering a promo in English and another language. Cole noted that Daivari is the brother of former WWE wrestler Shawn Daivari. Perkins offered his hand. Daivari scowled at him, then took his hand and threw it down more than shook it.

Kendrick said he’s sick of hearing Perkins’ story and said it’s no different than anyone else in the locker room. “Cry me a river, TJ,” he said. The fans chanted TJP briefly. Late in the match, Daivari threw a couple of rolling elbows and a clothesline and got a two count. Perkins avoided a splash from Daivari, who came up limping. Perkins threw a dropkick and then applied a kneebar for the win. Kendrick stood up and applauded Perkins as he walked up the ramp…

TJ Perkins beat Ariya Daivari in a non-title match in 5:15.

Powell’s POV: The fans were quiet, yet more intent than usual with some scattered clapping and TJP chants. It’s great to see Daivari get another shot. He was a one and done guy in the Cruiserweight Classic and deserved better. He’s a veteran of the independent scene who has worked all over the place, so here’s hoping he will become a regular within the division. Shawn hasn’t been shy about saying that he can get heat just by walking into a building even if no one knows him. Ariya is the same way, and they definitely need heels in the cruiserweight division.

Backstage, Stephanie praised Jericho’s scarf and said she has one just like it. Jericho said it probably looks a little better on him. Jericho said he and Stephanie have never had a problem in the 17 years they’ve known each other. Stephanie agreed. Jericho said he removed Stephanie’s name from his list.

Stephanie said she can’t wait to see the look on her brother’s face when their Triple Threat HIAC match blows away the No Mercy main event. Stephanie said that if Jericho and Owens are really as good of friends as he says that they are, then he’ll know what to do. Stephanie walked away. Owens showed up and asked him what that was all about. “Friendship,” Jericho replied…

Hispanic Heritage Month will never end in WWE. Tito Santana was featured in a video…

Powell’s POV: Much to my surprise, Hispanic Heritage month begins on September 15 and concludes on October 15. It’s not an actual calendar month.

[Q12] [C] Bill Goldberg tweeted that he will respond to Paul Heyman’s challenge on next week’s Raw…

9. Seth Rollins vs. Chris Jericho. Jericho gets a spot in the Universal Title match at HIAC if he wins. Rollins was in control when Kevin Owens’ music played and he walked out at 3:25. Jericho took advantage of the distraction and got the better of Rollins heading into the break. [C]

[Overrun] Jericho used an abdominal stretch to play on the rib injury that Rollins is returning from. Cole continued to hype that Goldberg will be live on Raw from Denver next week. Owens watched the match from ringside and shouted encouragement to Jericho.

Rollins went for a cross body block off the top rope and Jericho caught him with a dropkick. Rollins came back. Owens taunted him with the title belt. Rollins kicked him. Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho and received some cheers. Rollins reached the ropes to break the hold.

Later, Rollins performed a suicide dive onto Owens on the floor. Graves noted that he could have hit Jericho instead, but he took out Owens instead. Rollins performed a clunky springboard knee onto Jericho (it appeared Rollins overshot it, as he landed on Jericho). Rollins got a two count. Rollins went up top, but Jericho avoided a splash. Jericho hit a Lionsault for a two count. In the end, Rollins set up for the Pedigree, but Jericho avoided it. Rollins went for his finisher, but Rollins countered into a pin for the win.

Seth Rollins beat Chris Jericho in 19:15.

After the match, Owens attacked Rollins and yelled, “It’s my title” and “I’m the man.” Rollins avoided a Popup Powerbomb and was setting up for his finisher when Jericho blindsided him. Rollins came back and hit the Pedigree on Jericho. Owens had a chance to save Jericho, but he once again stayed at ringside. The broadcast team hyped Owens vs. Rollins in a Hell in a cell match, then reminded viewers that Goldberg returns to Raw next week…

Powell’s POV: There were plenty of people cheering for Jericho as the match went on. It seems like the rest of the fans are just waiting for the fun heel to give them a reason to cheer him. I’m curious to see how that affects Rollins, who is off to a slow start as a babyface. In general, this was a good live crowd and WWE gave them reason to remain engaged. I’m actually disappointed that Jericho lost. I’m not a big fan of Triple Threat matches, but this one is intriguing, so hopefully they still get to it.

Overall, Raw did a better job of filling the three hours than usual. It helped that it was a newsworthy show with all the HIAC match announcements and so many things revolving around those matches, as well as Paul Heyman issuing the challenge to Goldberg. The show was light on filler content and effective in building up the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view and whatever is coming up next with Goldberg and Lesnar. I will have more to say about this show tomorrow in an All Access audio show. I will not be by with a member exclusive show tonight because I will be recording the Jim Ross Podcast momentarily. More details on JR’s Podcast once the show drops on Tuesday night. Thanks for watching along with me.



The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features ODB discussing the fire that destroyed her food truck, the fundraising drive to help her buy a new truck, her appearance on the latest Impact Wrestling television show, Triple H telling her to go to TNA, and much more...


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