7/24 Powell’s WWE Raw Live TV Review: Bayley vs. Sasha Banks for a Raw Women’s Championship match at SummerSlam, Finn Balor vs. Elias Samson in a No DQ match, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose vs. The Miz, Bo Dallas, and Curtis Axel

By Jason Powell

WWE Raw on the USA Network
Live from Washington, D.C. at Verizon Center

[Q1] Raw opened with a recap of last week’s Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe match with Braun Strowman’s interference… The broadcast team was Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton with JoJo serving as the ring announcer…

Kurt Angle made his entrance and welcomed viewers to Raw once he entered the ring. Angle recalled introducing the world to Jason Jordan as the son he never knew he had. Angle said he was terrified, but he knew he did the right thing when Jordan made his way down the aisle. Angle said he’s been making up for lost time with his son this week. Angle said Jordan would have his first match on Raw. He said he gave Jordan the opportunity and the rest is up to him.

Angle shifted the focus to the WWE Universal Championship match at SummerSlam. Angle was about to announce which wrestler would challenge Brock Lesnar when he was interrupted by Braun Strowman’s entrance music. Strowman headed to the ring and told Angle that the next words out of his mouth better be his name. He said he won his match at WWE Great Balls of Fire unlike Joe and Reigns, and he said Lesnar fears him.

Samoa Joe made his entrance. Graves said a lot of people felt that Lesnar barely got by Joe at Great Balls of Fire. Once in the ring, Joe introduced himself to Strowman and said he is the man who tamed the beast and he was just seconds from putting him to sleep at GBOF. Joe said he is the man who doesn’t fear Lesnar, “and I definitely don’t fear you.” Angle stood between Joe and Strowman. Joe said the only thing Strowman accomplished last week was saving Reigns from losing to him for a third time. Joe said Strowman and Reigns have a lot to settle, and Angle should give him The Beast.

Roman Reigns’ music hit and was followed by more boos than cheers. Reigns walked slowly to the ring while Booker labeled him as oozing confidence. Reigns said it was funny that Joe comes out and talks about what he almost did. “You haven’t done anything around here,” Reigns said. He added that Strowman has been around for a hiccup and hasn’t done anything either. Reigns listed his title history and said he won the Royal Rumble and it was loud in Philadelphia that night. After running through his credentials, Reigns told Joe and Strowman to tell him what they’ve done.

Reigns was ready to get physical, but Angle got between them. Angle said they all made valid points and he changed his mind. Angle booked Lesnar vs. Joe vs. Reigns vs. Strowman in a four-way match for the Universal Championship. Angle’s music played and he started to leave the ring, but Joe cut it off and asked what this was. Angle said it was over. Joe said he’s the only man who can go one-on-one with Lesnar. Strowman said he doesn’t care about anything other than piling bodies.

Reigns shook his head in disgust, told Strowman to shut up, and then punched him. Reigns and Joe both worked over Strowman and eventually dumped him over the barricade at ringside. Joe threw a punch to the face of a distracted Reigns and then brought him inside the ring where they traded blows. Strowman returned and clotheslined Joe, then tossed Reigns into the corner and into the post.

[Q2] Security ran out, but Strowman destroyed them. One of them took a mega bump over the top rope and down to the floor. Joe applied the Coquina Clutch. Angle called for help. Goldust, Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, and Curt Hawkins ran out and helped. Reigns returned and speared Strowman and Joe simultaneously, then cleared the extra wrestlers form the ring. Other wrestlers including Sheamus, Cesaro, R-Truth, and others were at ringside. Strowman picked up Reigns and power slammed him…

The broadcast team hyped the handicap tag match, the women’s No. 1 contender match, the No DQ match, and Enzo Amore vs. Big Cass for later in the show… [C]

Powell’s POV: A red hot opening with the three contenders getting physical along with the announcement of the four-way main event for SummerSlam. Reigns bringing up the crowd reaction in Philadelphia for his Rumble match win plays into his jab at the crowd being quiet for last night’s WWE Battleground, which led to him and John Cena exchanging social media jabs, presumably to set up something down the road. By the way, the security guard who Strowman tossed over the top rope deserves more than the standard WWE extra pay. That guy took one hell of a bump.

Elias Samson sat on a stool in the ring for his pre-match song. He said he hurt one of his babies (guitar) last week, but he got a new one. The fans chanted for Finn Balor. Samson dedicated his song to Balor. He sang a bit before Balor’s entrance interrupted him…

1. Finn Balor vs. Elias Samson in a No DQ match. Balor, who had his left shoulder taped, attacked Samson once the bell rang and tossed him to ringside. Balor kicked Samson through the ropes and then worked him over at ringside. Balor hit Samson from behind and knocked him down heading into the break. [C]

[Q3] The broadcast team showed footage of the guitar shot from last week and tried to tell the story that Samson was targeting the shoulder of Balor. Samson targeted the shoulder coming out of the break. Balor came back and grabbed a chair, but Samson cut him off and struck Balor with the chair heading into another break at 9:50. [C]

Samson performed a shoulderbreaker coming out of the match for a two count. Samson wedged a chair in the corner and tried to run Balor into it, but Balor reversed it. Balor caught Samson in the ring apron while Cole made the Finlay comparison. Balor stomped on Samson repeatedly while he was caught in the apron. Once Samson escaped, Balor delivered a kick from the apron and then dropkicked him into the barricade.

Balor picked up the chair and ended up slamming it over the back of Samson repeatedly. Balor followed up with a running dropkick to a seated Samson in the corner, then followed up with another dropkick. Balor went to the top rope and performed the Coup De Grace. Before he could make the cover, the Wyatt video flashed and then Bray Wyatt was in the ring and put Balor down with Sister Abigail.

[Q4] Samson crawled over and covered Balor for the win while Wyatt watched from the corner. After the match, Wyatt crab walked over to Balor and spoke to him before striking his crucifix pose…

Elias Samson defeated Finn Balor in a No DQ match in 18:25.

The broadcast team hyped Jason Jordan’s Raw debut for after the break… [C] A commercial for Sonic aired with Bayley and the Hardy Boyz. She talked about a big return. They thought she was talking about them, but she was talking about a hot dog…

Powell’s POV: A strong and lengthy opening brawl. The injured shoulder story was big with Samson targeting it and Balor doing a nice job of selling it. Unfortunately, the interference by Wyatt was needlessly foreshadowed last week. It’s too bad they didn’t have him simply attack Balor out of nowhere. The first thing Graves asked was “why?” so it’s not like the promo told a necessary story.

Michael Cole set up a video package that recapped Jason Jordan being revealed as Kurt Angle’s son. The video included footage from their WWE Network interview…

Backstage, Renee Young interviewed Angle about Jordan’s first match against Curt Hawkins. Angle said Jordan didn’t want to wait for his first match and believes he can do it on his own. Angle was talking about being nervous about the match when Emma showed up and complained about being put on the sidelines and watching while Sasha Banks and Bayley get opportunities. “Oh, I know, maybe I’ll start dating your son,” she said. Angle laughed and booked her in a match against Nia Jax. She didn’t look happy…

Enzo Amore was walking backstage when Big Show approached him and asked if he was sure he wanted to face Cass again. Enzo said he had a plan to bring the fight straight to Cass. Enzo headed away while Show shook his head… [C]

Powell’s POV: I was actually excited by the thought of Emma getting some creative love until it became a quick setup for a likely Jax squash.

[Q5] Enzo Amore made his entrance for the match with Big Cass. He said the fans are the key to starting his engine and delivered the sawft bit…

2. Big Cass vs. Enzo Amore. Cass picked up Enzo for a power move, but Enzo applied a sleeper. Cass backed him into the corner to break it and then slammed Enzo and dropped elbows on him. Cass slammed Enzo’s heading into the burnbucke repeatedly and finished him off with a big boot. Cole said he admires Enzo for standing up for himself, but it’s time to move on…

Big Cass beat Enzo Amore in 3:35.

Cass went after Enzo afterward. Big Show’s music hit and he headed to the ring. Cass held Enzo in front of him and threatened to harm him if Big Show approached. Cass shoved Enzo at Show and then caught Show with a big boot to the head. Cass performed three Empire Elbows on Show, who got back to his knees and slapped Cass across the chest. Cass kicked Show and went back to performing the Empire Elbow before putting the boots to him. Cass waited for Show to get back to his knees and then kicked him in the gut. A referee finally stepped between Cass and Show…

Cole hyped the handicap tag match for later in the show, and Graves hyped Sasha vs. Bayley for later…

Backstage, Renee Young interviewed Alexa Bliss and asked if she has a preference between facing Sasha or Bayley. She said she’s not worried about SummerSlam and said the friendship of Sasha and Bayley will explode. She said Sasha thinks she’s the best at everything and her ego can’t handle Bayley getting the title shot. She said Bayley could end up sitting home crying about her best friend stealing the spotlight. Bliss said she is the real winner tonight…

Powell’s POV: More of the same with Cass destroying Enzo and getting the better of Show again this week. A solid promo for Bliss. Meanwhile, there was a generic ad for tomorrow’s Smackdown television show that focussed on Jinder Mahal retaining the WWE Championship at Battleground. The narrator asked what lies ahead for Mahal. Please say it’s anything other than a rematch with Randy Orton. I’m not an Orton hater, but the feud has run its course and there need to be other men in the title picture.

[Q6] [C] Cole and Graves hyped the WWE Tap Mania game…

3. Nia Jax vs. Emma. Jax received a televised entrance while Emma was already in the ring. Jax tossed Emma in the corner and splashed her, then dropped an elbow on her. Jax performed a summersault splash on Emma and pinned her clean…

Nia Jax beat Emma in 1:25.

Powell’s POV: An all out squash win for Jax. The crowd popped for Jax’s finisher, which Emma sold by staying down in the ring afterward.

Backstage, Akira Tozawa, whose shoulder was heavily taped, was shown footage of Ariya Daivari attacking his shoulder on 205 Live. Tozawa said now you see why he wants a rematch with Daivari. Titus O’Neil showed up and said that his shoulder is a liability and thus he had the match with Daivari cancelled. Tozawa was upset and said he was going to the ring for his match. Tozawa made his entrance and Titus followed. Titus tried to talk him out of the match, but Tozawa shoved him. They had a staredown heading into the break… [C]

[Q7] Tozawa stood in the ring (Titus was gone) with a mic in his hand and called for Daivari to come out and face him like a man. Neville came out with a mic in hand instead. Neville took credit for injuring Tozawa’s shoulder. Tozawa wanted to face him. Neville said it was the fighting spirit of the Japanese and called it admirable. He said he tried to warn Tozawa, but he opted to trust the false promises of Titus.

Neville entered the ring the ring and told Tozawa to his face that he’s a joke and a shell of his former self. Tozawa attacked Neville and ended up performing a top rope senton on him. Tozawa held his injured shoulder in pain. Ariya Daivari showed up and attacked Tozawa and put him down with a nice clothesline. Daivari picked up Neville and gave him a clothesline. Daivari motioned for the title belt. Cole said Daivari was putting the cruiserweights on notice…

Backstage, Bayley was preparing for her match when Sasha Banks approached and was upset over what Bliss said about them. Bayley told her not to fall into Alexa’s trap. Sasha said she can’t wait to get her hands on Bliss at SummerSlam. Bayley said Sasha might want to focus more on their match. Sasha said they both want to be champion and said they should go out there and tear the house down. Bayley said may the best woman win. Sasha said the best woman will win… [C]

Powell’s POV: It’s nice to see Ariya Daivari getting some creative attention in the cruiserweight division. I wish this was the end of Titus O’Neil’s worthless role in this saga, but I assume we’ll be seeing him again. Meanwhile, the backstage exchange between Bayley and Sasha was true to their personas and set the stage for some tension during their match.

A sponsored flashback award recapped Vince McMahon giving the Vincent J. McMahon Excellence Award to Stephanie McMahon, which led to the surprise return of Shane McMahon…

The broadcast team spoke at their desk about Shane being in charge of Raw, then said Kurt Angle is in charge of Raw and set up a recap of the SummerSlam main event announcement…

Renee Young interviewed Jason Jordan backstage about getting his first Raw match with Curt Hawkins. Jordan said he’s grateful for the opportunity. He said he knows that it’s all eyes on him, but he can handle the pressure. Jordan admitted he had butterflies. Young asked about finding out Angle is his father. Jordan said it was incredible. He said the man he grew up idolizing is his father. Jordan said he’s no poet, but if he could it into words it’s like having one of the wildest dreams and it came true…

Powell’s POV: I’m still waiting for my wild Jessica Alba dreams to come true.

Backstage, Seth Rollins spoke with Dean Ambrose about teaming together and coming up with a plan. Ambrose said he’s not big on plans. Rollins said it’s not just Miz out there and you have to worry about Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. Ambrose said Rollins had to worry about three guys, while he needed to worry about four…

[Q8] Bayley made her entrance. Cole hyped the Royal Rumble for Philadelphia and said tickets for his favorite event of the year go on sale on Friday… [C] Sasha Banks made her entrance. Graves raved about the Bayley vs. Sasha match from NXT Takeover: Brooklyn. He also noted that Bayley was Sasha’s surprise partner at Battleground one year ago today…

4. Bayley vs. Sasha Banks for a shot at the Raw Women’s Championship at SummerSlam. Alexa Bliss came out and sat in on commentary. The broadcast team clearly wasn’t paying attention to Bliss’s backstage interview because they asked her who she would prefer to face at SummerSlam. Bayley was bumped off the ropes to the floor heading into a break a few minutes into the match.. [C]

[Q9] Banks applied a Bank Statement, but Bayley eventually escaped it. They traded slaps and then punches. Sasha wrenched Bayley’s arm and drove her face first into the bottom turnbuckle before stomping on her back. Banks went up top and missed a double knee press. Bayley performed a running knee. Banks got to her feet and performed a shining wizard.

Sasha and Bayley got to their feet and traded more punches. Bayley caught Sasha with a nice elbow to the head and then tossed her through the ropes. Sasha caught herself on the apron and knocked Bayley down. A dueling chant for the women broke out. Bayley caught Sasha on the ropes and set up for a superplex. Sasha blocked it and dropped Bayley face first from the ropes. Sasha performed a frogsplash from the top for a two count. Bayley kicked out and rolled over on top of Sasha for the win…

Bayley pinned Sasha Banks in 12:15 to earn the SummerSlam title match.

After the match, Bayley and Banks sold for a bit. Bliss walked to the ring. Sasha rolled to ringside. Bliss held up her title belt. Bayley stood up and they exchanged comments off mic…

Powell’s POV: A nice match. The live crowd was very quiet before the break, but the women got them into the match as it went on. I’m surprised to see Bayley get the SummerSlam title match if only because we’ve seen plenty of Bliss vs. Bayley, while Sasha challenging feels fresher. No complaints, thought, as it seems like Bayley is regaining some momentum despite how poorly she was booked in the past.

Backstage, Renee Young tried to ask Curt Hawkins about facing Jason Jordan, but he said he’s sick of everyone talking about him. Hawkins said he would smack him in the face and ruin his debut, then everyone will be talking about him instead…

The broadcast team set up a video package on their work with the Special Olympics. Cornell Gray, who was featured in the video along with Dana Warrior, was shown at ringside…

5. Jason Jordan vs. Curt Hawkins. Jordan received a televised entrance, while Hawkins was already in the ring. The fans were quiet as Jordan made his entrance. Hawkins took a cheap shot at Jordan, who shook it off and gave the ref his approval to start the match. Jordan tossed Hawkins around and they showed Angle smiling as he watched the match on a backstage monitor.

[Q10] Hawkins caught Jordan with another cheap shot from the floor, but Jrodan came back again and performed a nice belly-to-belly suplex. Jordan took the straps of his singlet down and charged Hawkins in the corner, then tossed him into the air and performed a neckbreaker on the way down. Jordan covered Hawkins for the win. Angle was shown looking pleased after the match…

Jason Jordan pinned Curt Hawkins in 1:45.

Powell’s POV: A nice squash win for Jordan. I’m not sure if the fans know what to make of him yet. He’s coming off like the nicest guy in the world in his promos, which isn’t always a good thing in pro wrestling. Will the nice guy routine work or will the fans turn on him if he doesn’t develop more of an edge? Or is he being a nice guy now with the plan to shock people by revealing that Angle being his father was a ruse orchestrated by people such as Triple H and Stephanie McMahon?

The broadcast team recapped the Hardy Boyz vs. Revival feud. The Revival was shown walking backstage… [C] Cedric Alexander and Rich Swann vs. TJP and Tony Nese, and Neville vs. Ariya Daivari were advertised for 205 Live…

Charly Caruso stood in the ring and introduced The Revival as her guests. She tried to ask them questions, but Scott Dawson cut her off and said he and Dash Wilder know what she will ask before it comes out of her mouth. Caruso left the ring. Dawson asked Wilder to explain why The Revival is so special. Wilder said they dominated NXT and now they are taking their spot as the future of the tag division on Raw. They took credit for sending New Day to Smackdown, beating the Hardys, and causing the Enzo and Cass split.

Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson interrupted the promo and said they couldn’t listen to it anymore. Anderson said D.C. is a “good brother town.” Gallows said they beat up New Day, the Hardys, and were even bald first. Gallows called them nerds and the match was on…

6. “The Revival” Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Anderson and Gallows cleared Dawson and Wilder from the ring and then played to the crowd going into a break.

[Q11] [C] Sheamus and Cesaro were shown watching the match on a backstage monitor. Gallows caught Dawson with a big boot and then pointed at him and yelled nerd. Anderson tagged in and they set up for the boot of doom, but Wilder cut it off from ringside. The Revival set up for their finisher, but they were distracted by the Hardy Boyz running out. Anderson and Gallows tossed The Revival to ringside and motioned for the Hardys to enter. The Revival returned to the ring and hit Shatter Machine for the win…

The Revival beat Luke Harper and Karl Anderson in 8:35.

After the match, the Hardys hit the ring and fought with the Revival. They cleared Dawson from the ring and then hit Poetry in Motion on Wilder. Matt followed up with Twist of Fate on Wilder. Jeff went up top for the Swanton, but Dawson pulled Wilder to ringside…

Powell’s POV: Anderson and Gallows are apparently babyfaces at least for this match. I’m for trying something new with them since creative never got behind the duo as heels.

Backstage, The Miz spoke with Curtis Axel, Bo Dallas, and Maryse and said they are a cohesive unit. Miz and Maryse vented about Hollywood rebooting successful franchises. Miz said they will prove they are what’s new and prove that Ambrose and Rollins are a box office bomb waiting to happen… A SummerSlam commercial aired… [C]

The broadcast team hyped Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman vs. Samoa Joe in a Triple Threat, and Miz TV with Jason Jordan for next week…

Powell’s POV: Wow, that’s a pretty big Triple Threat to throw out there without any fanfare.

Wale was shown in the crowd and received a nice reaction from the crowd… Ring entrances for the handicap match took place…

[Q12] 7. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose vs. The Miz, Bo Dallas, and Curtis Axel (w/Maryse). Miz whispered instructions to his teammates and teased starting the match before tagging in Axel. Sheamus and Cesaro were shown watching this match on the backstage monitor too. Ambrose and Rollins cleared the heels from the ring heading into a break four minutes into the match. [C]

Cole hyped that this was the first time in over three years that Ambrose and Rollins have teamed together (they want you to play along if you’ve been to a recent Raw house show). Rollins was isolated by the heels. Miz worked over Rollins, then Axel tagged in (awkwardly) and performed a Natural Selection (it wasn’t called that). Axel threw a dropkick and then said, “Oh my God, how good was that?” Miz checked in. Rollins showed signs of live, but Miz dropped him with a DDT for a two count.

[Overrun] Rollins made the hot tag to Ambrose, who worked over Axel and Dallas and then punched Miz off the apron. Ambrose dove over the top and caught Miz with a knee, then ran him into the timekeeper’s area. Ambrose worked over Dallas and performed his top rope elbow. Ambrose went for a cover, but Miz broke up the pin. Rollins clotheslined Miz to ringside, but Axel grabbed Rollins and drove him into the barricade.

Later, Miz made a blind tag and hit the Skull Crushing Finale on Ambrose and had him pinned, but Rollins broke it up. Dallas charged Rollins, who shoved him underneath the bottom rope. It looked like Dallas’s face hit the bottom rope. The heels all ended up at ringside. Rollins and Ambrose looked at one another and then performed stereo suicide dives. Miz returned to the ring. Ambrose followed him and ate a DDT for a two count. Miz went for his finisher, but Rollins caught him with a high knee from the ropes. Ambrose performed Dirty Deeds and pinned Miz clean…

Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins beat The Miz, Bo Dallas, and Curtis Axel in 17:25.

Ambrose was fired up afterward. Rollins hugged him. Ambrose played to the crowd. Rollins offered a fist bump. Ambrose pumped his fist, but didn’t do the fist bump, leaving Rollins standing in the ring with his fist out. Cole said their win was a start…

Powell’s POV: An entertaining match and I like that they didn’t solve all of their issues with one win. It’s interesting that Sheamus and Cesaro were shown watching this match on a backstage monitor. I assumed we’d be getting the Hardys challenging for the Raw Tag Titles at SummerSlam, but perhaps it’s going to be Ambrose and Rollins while the Hardys face The Revival. I’d rather see two tag matches than have them try to cram all those teams in one match, as the story of Rollins and Ambrose has become compelling enough that it should stand on its own. Overall, this was another solid edition of Raw. The show peaked in the opening segment, but there was more than enough going on to keep things interesting the rest of the way. I will be back later tonight with my member exclusive audio review of Raw.

SPECIAL EPISODE

WE VALUE YOUR PRIVACY

Readers Comments (6)

  1. “No complaints, thought, as it seems like Bayley is regaining some momentum despite how poorly she was booked in the past.”

    Just because you keep saying it, that doesn’t make it true.

  2. Hey, Steve, where were you with these comments when fans were literally booing the once lovable Bayley character because creative did such a piss poor job with her? The character was terrific in NXT. Yes, they lost their way with her on Raw. I know people in the company who wholeheartedly agree with that assessment.

    • “Booing” seems a tad disingenuous as opposed to the reality of not cheering as hard. Which anyone can hear when watching the episodes. Also, if Steve doesn’t believe your opinion on Bayley, why would you think saying you know nameless people in the company agree would?

      • Exactly. The people in the company are often out of touch. Bayley has been getting the same reactions, after the enormous pop for her debut, that she’s always gotten. The booking hasn’t hurt her at all even with the flaws in it.

  3. I just do not like Bayley at all and never did and I am not happy at all about her being back in a championship match, and WWE Creative gives away her match with Banks on free tv is not wise either. Well you can bet Brock Lesnar will drop the belt at Summerslam without being pinned.

  4. Shield reunion at Summerslam, with Ambrose and Rollins helping Reigns powerbomb everyone through tables, ultimately handing him the belt. Earlier in the night, Ambrose and Rollins win the tag titles. Shield era 2 begins.

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