9/25 Powell’s WWE Raw Live TV Review: Roman Reigns appears on Miz TV, the night after WWE No Mercy

By Jason Powell

WWE Raw on the USA Network
Live from Ontario, California at Citizen’s Business Bank Arena

The Miz’s music played. Michael Cole welcomed viewers to Raw and was joined on commentary by Corey Graves and Booker T. The Miz, Bo Dallas, and Curtis Axel were already in the ring for the Miz TV segment. The broadcast team narrated still shots of Miz beating Jason Jordan to retain the Intercontinental Title at No Mercy.

Miz held up the IC Title and grinned and said it was a night of celebration. Miz said he was heading to his home in the Hollywood Hills the moment the segment was over and told Maryse to keep the champagne on ice “because daddy is coming home.”

Roman Reigns was introduced as Miz’s guest. There were far more boos than cheers for Reigns. Roman looked at the crowd when they booed after his music stopped playing. Miz asked the fans if they were done. Miz apologized to Reigns for the fans and welcomed him to the show. “We like it loud,” Reigns said.

Miz said Reigns beat and retired Undertaker at WrestleMania and said he had an equally impressive victory over John Cena. Miz recalled Cena saying it was a torch passing moment. He questioned how Reigns felt hearing that from Cena. Roman said he would cut to the chase. “I respect John Cena now,” Reigns said.

Roman said that Cena said a lot of things to him, but he backed it up in the ring. Reigns said Cena held down the fort for 15 years and no one else can say that. “And that’s why I’m proud to say that I beat John Cena last night,” he said. Reigns added that it was the biggest win of his career. He said Miz wasn’t the only one celebrating last night and said he didn’t know why he was there talking to “an idiot like you.”

Miz brought up Reigns being labeled “the guy” and said the real guy is the guy in the ring with the championship. Miz boasted that he proved that Jordan was a loser. Reigns said he’s been in the ring with both men and there’s no way Miz would beat Jordan without help from Axel and Dallas. Reigns told Miz’s cronies to fetch him a beer. Miz said it’s a classy establishment and they don’t drink beer on Miz TV. Steve Austin’s music played. Wait, no it didn’t.

Miz accused Reigns of riding the coattails of two other men while in The Shield. He asked Reigns if he knew what would happen if The Shield faced The Miztourage. Reigns laughed and said he thought Miz was joking. “We would whip y’all’s asses, no problem,” Reigns said. However, Roman said it wasn’t going to happen because Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins had their thing, and his was going after the WWE Universal Championship.

Miz asked Reigns about all the times he’s choked when he’s faced Samoa Joe, Braun Strowman, and Brock Lesnar. Miz started yelling about how he has carried Raw and how he won’t be disrespected. Reigns casually invited him to fight him. Miz backtracked and pointed out that he was wearing a suit and added that he had a pregnant wife at home who needed him. Miz, Dallas, and Axel left the ring.

Raw general manager Kurt Angle’s music played. Angle told Miz to tell Maryse that he would be home a little late. Angle booked Reigns vs. The Miz for later in the show. Angle also booked Axel and Dallas in a match against Matt Hardy and Jason Jordan…

Powell’s POV: The live crowd loved Angle and everything he said with the exception of mentioning Jordan. Ouch. By the way, Angle acknowledged that Jeff Hardy was injured. The actual segment was solid. The Miz was his usual strong self, and Reigns played it confident and cool. I noted earlier today during Prowrestling.net Live that I would hate to see them book The Shield for a reunion match against The Miztourage. Rather, I’d prefer the trio reunite for a bigger match (perhaps Braun Strowman, Sheamus, and Cesaro) on pay-per-view, and then they can eventually face Miz and company on Raw. In other words, do the money match first and then go with the inferior match for television ratings.

[Q2] [C] 1. Jason Jordan and Matt Hardy (w/Jeff Hardy) vs. Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas. Cole narrated highlights of Jeff injuring the shoulder from a tame spot. Jordan received a flat reaction for his entrance. Jordan received a flat reaction for his entrance. The babyfaces were in control heading into the break. [C]

Jordan suffered a small cut on his face before making a hot tag to Matt, who worked over Dallas. Cole said Matt has been successful as a singles wrestler and will do well. Booker said those days are long gone.

[Q3] Jordan took out Axel with a suplex, then Matt hit the Twist of Fate on Dallas and pinned him…

Jason Jordan and Matt Hardy beat Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas in 10:35.

Cole hyped The Miz vs. Reigns for later in the show. Graves hyped an in depth look at the WWE Universal Title match between Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman from No Mercy for after the break… [C] A Smackdown ad questioned how Shane McMahon would respond to Kevin Owens…

Powell’s POV: Wait, didn’t they ask that same question about how Shane would respond to Owens last week? Did they screw up and play the same ad again or are they getting lazy? Anyway, the tag match was fine as an opener, though I’m not sure that and the promise of a Reigns vs. Miz match is going to make it a tough decision for fans who enjoy WWE and Monday Night Football. Finally, how odd is it that Jeff Hardy took all those crazy bumps over the years and that’s the one that caused an injury that requires surgery?

The broadcast team stood behind their desk and hyped Total Bellas and a replay of last week’s season premiere airing after Raw. They also set up the Lesnar vs. Strowman still shots from the No Mercy main event…

Ring announcer introduced Elias for his musical performance. He boasted about walking through Apollo Crews and said this would be the encore. He spoke about the city having no soul before telling them to silence their cellphones. Elias sang a song about Crews being a loser and Titus Worldwide failing. Crews’s entrance music interrupted him…

Powell’s POV: For those who like to keep track of which host cities are mentioned on WWE television, there was no mention of Ontario, California during Elias’s insult song, but the broadcast team mentioned it moments later.

2. Elias vs. Apollo Crews (w/Titus O’Neil). Crews performed some early acrobatics before performing a dropkick. Graves called Crews “a ridiculous athlete.” Crews and Titus were celebrating Crews’s early match success on the floor when Elias kicked his ass. Titus sold it as if he was shot. Back inside the ring, Elias caught Crews with a boot to the face and then performed Drift Away for the win…

Elias defeated Apollo Crews in 2:35.

After the match, Elias went after Titus as he entered the ring, but Titus quickly recovered and worked him over with punches. Elias left the ring. Graves said Elias should send Titus a letter of apology. Booker said Titus cost Crews the match…

Powell’s POV: It appears they are setting up an Elias vs. Titus match. The fans popped for Titus working over Elias, and one can only assume that Titus will also put over Elias. This has been a pretty uneventful start to the show.

[Q4] Graves hyped Finn Balor for after the break… [C]

Backstage, Charlie Caruso interviewed Finn Balor, who thanked Bray Wyatt for essentially bringing out the best in him. He said he hopes Wyatt is feeling a sense of humility for Goldust and the others he has victimized. Caruso asked what’s next for him. Balor said he wants to reclaim the Universal Championship, which drew some cheers from the live crowd…

Curt Hawkins stood in the ring and said his 118 match losing streak would end. “Who wants to make history with Curt Hawkins?” he asked. Braun Strowman’s music played. Hawkins ran away once Strowman entered the ring. Strowman chased him through the crowd and chokeslammed him through a table that just happened to be set up on the floor. Strowman tossed Hawkins onto the stage. Strowman picked up Hawkins and powerslammed him through the screen on the stage.

Strowman headed to the ring as three referees checked on Hawkins. Strowman said he’s on a path of destruction and he wouldn’t leave until someone came out and gave him a real fight. Dean Ambrose’s music played. Ambrose, who had his left shoulder bandaged, surveyed the damage that Strowman did to Hawkins before heading to the ring… [C]

Powell’s POV: Well, at least Hawkins didn’t take loss number 119, and it looks like the show is finally getting interesting. Balor stating that he wants the WWE Universal Championship would seem to suggest that he’s next in line for a match with Brock Lesnar. However, Lesnar is not advertised on the WWE website or the Target Center website for WWE TLC, so this might be a Survivor Series match.

The broadcast team recapped Strowman destroying Hawkins…

[Q5] 3. Braun Strowman vs. Dean Ambrose. Strowman had a bit of a black eye from his match with Lesnar, but nothing major. Strowman dominated the opening minute. Ambrose slapped him and fell over backward. Cole said Strowman dominated a lot of the match. Booker and Graves indicated that it took one slip and credited to the experience of Lesnar.

Ambrose caught a charging Strowman with a kick and then hit him with several punches only to have Strowman club him and send him to ringside. Strowman followed Ambrose to ringside and ran him into the barricade. Ambrose poked Strowman in the eye and then ran him into the ring post.

Back inside the ring, Ambrose avoided a charging Strowman, who tumbled back to ringside. Ambrose went for a suicide dive. Strowman caught Ambrose, who then DDT’d him on the floor. Back inside the ring, Strowman caught Ambrose going for his top roe elbow and then powerslammed and pinned him…

Braun Strowman pinned Dean Ambrose in 6:30.

Powell’s POV: I was hoping for more carnage from Strowman tonight with the goal of heating him up again after his loss to Lesnar. The Hawkins attack was an example of that, but then he had a more competitive match than usual with Ambrose. I am genuinely curious to see who Strowman feuds with next, but I’m not sure if we’ll find out tonight.

Backstage, Angle was telling a referee to keep an eye on the Miztourage when he was interrupted by Enzo Amore, who asked how big he wants to make Raw. Enzo said he was in a celebratory mood and nothing was bigger than a celebration for the new king of the cruiserweights.

Angle said he didn’t know if the way Enzo won was worthy of a celebration. Enzo said everyone who wins a title gets a celebration and he’s a star. Angle said he would get his celebration. Angle asked if he wanted some advice from a Hall of Famer. “No, I’m good,” Enzo said before walking away…

A shot aired of Alexa Bliss walking backstage. Graves said she would appear after the break… A sponsored ad featured footage of the Beer Bath angle from March 1999… [C] A Hell in a Cell ad focussed on New Day vs. The Usos for the Smackdown Tag Titles…

Backstage, Seth Rollins brought Ambrose a bag of ice and asked him if he could tone down his self destructive ways. Rollins said they are tag champions and what one of them does affects the other. Rollins said he had a match with Sheamus later in the show and wanted Ambrose out there for it. Rollins asked him to think a little more next time. Ambrose said maybe Rollins needs to think a little less. Rollins said he was going to talk to Angle and demand a match against Strowman…

[Q6] Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss made her entrance. She said she hasn’t always seen eye to eye with the fans, but she’s always considered them her friends. She said you have to be honest with your friends. “I am very disappointed in each and every one of you,” she said.

Bliss said she beat four future Hall of Famers at No Mercy, but social media was full of nonsense and gossip. She said the fans are so fascinated by what might happen tomorrow that they don’t appreciate being in the presence of a goddess. Bliss boasted that she cleaned out the entire women’s division.

Mickie James came out and mocked the idea of Bliss cleaning out the entire division when she wasn’t in the match at No Mercy. Mickie invited her to repeat what she said about her on Raw Talk. Bliss said James was one of her favorites when she was a little girl and was even on her top eight on Myspace.

Bliss said James still has a lot to offer WWE and there are a couple of fans who think she still has it. She said they were talking about her personal appearances and charity. She added that it’s great that Mickie’s demographic has someone who represents them. Bliss said she respects James in the ring but doesn’t want to see her break a hip.

James said she knows who she is. She noted that she is a six-time women’s champion. “I have broken bones, I have broken hearts, and I have broken down barriers for women in WWE all before you were still wearing a training bra,” James said. She said she sees that’s still working out for Bliss. James demanded that Bliss repeat what she said on Raw talk or leave the ring because it’s no place for a coward. Bliss said James is an old lady. James slapped her twice and kicked her to ringside…

The broadcast team hyped Reigns vs. Miz, and Rollins vs. Sheamus… A video package hyped that Asuka will debut at TLC… [C]

Powell’s POV: A nice segment. The crowd was nearly silent when James made her entrance, but they got behind her a bit and reacted to most of the insults the women exchanged. Here’s hoping they intend to do more with James than just feed her to Bliss in a Raw match. I was wondering why they didn’t just add James to the title at No Mercy, so it’s good to see they had a good reason for not doing so.

Cole hyped an auction for a Conor’s Cure championship title autographed by Triple H and Stephanie McMahon…

[Q6] 4. Seth Rollins vs. Sheamus (w/Cesaro). The broadcast team recapped Cesaro’s dental issues and the tag title match at No Mercy. Rollins went for an early springboard move, but Sheamus caught him and performed the Irish Curse. Sheamus got a two count off a sit-out powerbomb and then applied the cloverleaf, which Rollins broke by reaching the ropes.

Sheamus blasted Rollins with a kick from the apron that drew gasps from the crowd. Sheamus talked to Cesaro briefly and then mugged for the crowd while setting up for his finisher. Rollins ducked the Brogue Kick. Sheamus then went for a move off the ropes, but Rollins superkicked him. Rollins followed up with a high knee for the win…

Seth Rollins pinned Sheamus in 4:10.

Powell’s POV: A good television match. We’ve seen these teams work singles match against one another before and so the announcement of this match didn’t do much for me, but they made the most of their time. The only thing I question is why they felt the need to do the Rollins and Ambrose backstage segment before this match. They could have done it afterward with the benefit being that it wouldn’t have felt so obvious that Rollins would win since viewers would not have known he would face Strowman next week. Major props to Cesaro for even going to the ring given his dental condition.

The same ad for Smackdown aired from earlier. The narrator states Hell in a Cell is just two weeks away, so they really did produce a commercial that asked the question of how Shane McMahon would respond to Kevin Owens two weeks in a row… [C]

Backstage, Finn Balor asked Dustin Rhodes what was going on. Dustin corrected him and said it was Goldust, as he was back wearing face paint. Goldust took offense to Balor coming to his defense and said he could do it all by himself. Balor said he considers him a friend and apologized if he offended him. Goldust apologized and offered a fist bump. Balor complied, then Goldust punched him and worked him over. Goldust knelt over him and recited the Godfather II line about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer…

[Q8] The broadcast team set up a video package that recapped the Reigns vs. John Cena match from No Mercy. The footage included Cena’s Raw Talk comments in which he said he was beaten by a better man. They included shots of Rock hugging Cena, and then Cena hugging Reigns. Cena said it felt like a giant burden had been lifted off his shoulders in the best way possible. He said he doesn’t know how much longer he can keep it up. Cena said he’s not done, but he doesn’t know how much longer he can keep up at the current level. “I’m not gone, but things are changing for me,” Cena said…

Graves hyped Reigns vs. Miz for after the break… [C] A Did You Know graphic noted that over 40 WWE wrestlers have over one million Twitter followers with John Cena topping the list with over ten million followers…

5. Intercontinental Champion The Miz (w/Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel) vs. Roman Reigns in a non-title match. Cole said Reigns could not be 100 percent healthy after facing Cena the night before. Miz tried to talk his way out of the match and offered Reigns a handshake. Reigns shook his hand, but did not let it go. Cole said he was a fan of Miz at one time, but he’s never heard a man make so many excuses.

[Q9] Miz went on the offensive after Dallas cheap shotted Reigns while the ref was checking on Miz. Reigns came back with a Samoan Drop and sold back pain after getting a two count. Miz rebounded with a distraction from his sidekicks. Reigns hit Miz, Axel, and Dallas with Superman Punches. Miz rolled to ringside. Reigns followed and performed a Drive By on both sidekicks. Back inside the ring, Miz performed a DDT for a near fall. Reigns ended up spearing Miz for the win…

Roman Reigns pinned The Miz in a non-title match in 8:50.

After the match, Dallas and Axel attacked Reigns. He eventually fought them off and clocked Miz with another Superman Punch. Reigns picked up Miz for another move, but Dallas struck him with a chair. Dallas and Axel both worked over Reigns with chairs. Miz performed a Skull Crushing Finale on Reigns.

Miz and company started to leave, then headed back to the ring and worked over Reigns some more. Miz performed a Skull Crushing Finale on a chair. Miz stood over Reigns and did the Shield fist bump with Axel and Dallas…

A shot aired of a limping Balor backstage. Cole hyped Balor vs. Goldust… [C]

Powell’s POV: A fine television match. The Reigns supporters were louder here, as it seemed like the anti-Reigns crowd got the boos out of their system earlier in the night. It’s still hard to take Miz as a serious threat to the Raw main eventers. It felt like he was on the main event path on Smackdown before he was shipped to Raw, and he’s been back in pest heel mode more often than not. It’s especially hard to take Miztourage seriously as a threat to credible babyface trios, so I continue to hope they are not setting them up as the first team to face a reunited Shield. However, it certainly looks like that’s the plan. By the way, Rollins and Ambrose look like pricks for not making the save just as Reigns looked like a prick for not saving them from past beatdowns.

[Q10] An NXT ad hyped Adam Cole vs. Eric Young for Wednesday’s television show…

6. Finn Balor vs. Goldust. Balor’s entrance was televised while Goldust was waiting in the ring. Booker said Goldust was more aggressive backstage than he had seen him in some time. Balor was back in black, so calm down all of you blue and gray haters. Goldust dropped Balor on the barricade heading into a break. [C] Balor came back after the break and hit the Coup de Grace for the win…

Finn Balor defeated Goldust in 7:20.

After the match, the Wyatt video flashed. The child singer sang the “He’s got the whole world in his hands” song and then the video flashed again…

Graves hyped Bayley and Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax and Emma for later in the show… [C]

Powell’s POV: So they are not finished with the Balor vs. Wyatt feud after all. They had a good match at No Mercy, but it felt like it was time to move on. Wyatt feuds always seem to overstay their welcome.

[Q11] The broadcast team recapped the women’s championship match from No Mercy…

Backstage, Bayley was selling shoulder pain when Sasha Banks entered the room. There was tension. Bayley asked if she got her text. Banks said she was caught up with other stuff. Bayley said it was every woman for herself at No Mercy. Banks was still frustrated that she was close to taking the title back. Bayley said she wasn’t the only one. Banks said they needed to focus on Jax and Emma. Bayley said she sees Nia laughing at her shoulder injury whenever she closes her eyes, so she wanted to make her feel her pain. Sasha and Bayley hugged…

Powell’s POV: Apparently, they wanted viewers to think that Bayley and Banks fighting one another during the five-way was a bigger deal than it was. Both characters are colder than they should be and Bayley summed it up when she said it was every woman for herself, so it just didn’t feel like anything special.

Backstage, Enzo approached Angle again and asked for a no contact clause for his championship celebration. Angle agreed and then told him that he’s annoying as hell… Nia Jax made her entrance for the tag match… [C]

The Hispanic Heritage month video aired on Julio Cesar Chavez… Graves hyped Akira Tozawa vs. Tony Nese for 205 Live…

7. Bayley and Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax and Emma. Emma did not get a televised entrance. Jax dumped Banks and Bayley to ringside heading into a break a minute into the match. [C]

[Q12] Jax worked over Bayley’s shoulder. She wrapped her leg over the top of the shoulder and then dropped down in a cool spot. Emma worked over Bayley briefly, but Bayley kicked her into Jax and then made the tag. A short time later, Jax was run into the ring post. Back inside the ring, Bayley tagged in and ended up catching Emma with the Bayley to Belly finisher for the win…

Bayley and Sasha Banks beat Nia Jax and Emma in 8:40.

Backstage, Enzo Amore was yapping to anyone in the area about how his party was about to go down…

Powell’s POV: My God, Enzo Amore’s championship celebration is the final segment of the show? I kept waiting for something else to pop up, but it looks like they really are going with this as the final segment on Raw.

Cole hyped Rollins vs. Strowman, and The Miz vs. Roman Reigns for the Intercontinental Championship for next week…

Enzo Amore made his entrance. Graves said the honest and honorable champion was replaced by a muppet. Enzo did his entrance schtick and the live crowd was flatter than usual. Enzo had something covered up inside the ring. Enzo said it was all a dream and then that dream became a reality. “Enzo Amore is your new cruiserweight champion,” Amore said.

Enzo spoke about his morning. He said he woke up in a California King bed and he saw the most beautiful woman he had ever seen in his life. Enzo said he reflected about last couple of months and noted that he’s had to deal with more than a couple of haters. He held up the title belt and said they are just jealous. He mocked his former tag partner Big Cass and said he was actually holding him up.

Enzo noted that fans chanted “you can’t wrestle” at him. He said those words were once chanted at Rock and John Cena and they have mainstream power just like him. A drumroll played and he unveiled a Certified G jersey. Enzo claimed he made 205 Live relevant, which was greeted by some boos and mostly crickets.

[Overrun] The awful 205 Live entrance theme played. Enzo asked what the terrible music was. The cruiserweight wrestlers minus Neville came out and stood on the stage. Enzo called them a bunch of haters. He called out Rick Swann and said he could hardly see him because he’s so small.

Enzo said he danced his way back to being a nobody. He called Cedric Alexander the man that charisma forgot. Enzo said he likes Gran Metalik, but someone needs to bring a scale out because with a gut like his there’s no way he’s under 205 Live. He said he was happy that Drew Gulak wore a suit and not his underwear look.

Neville’s music played and he walked out sporting a mean face with wild hair. Enzo asked where his crown was. “Oh, that’s right, it’s on the shoulder of a real man,” he said. Enzo mocked Neville for having satellite dishes on the side of his head. Enzo said he could see pain in Neville’s eyes because the truth hurts. Enzo did his dance.

Neville said Enzo is right, the truth is brutal. He said the truth is that Enzo is just an unbearable and toxic individual who has alienated everyone he has come in contact with. Enzo said no one was making contact with him. Neville said Enzo arrived on Raw with great fanfare and was then dumped on the cruiserweight’s doorstep because no one else will have him.

Neville said it was the “so-called nobodies” behind him who insisted that Enzo be given a chance, yet this is how he repaid them. Enzo claimed he made them stars. Neville called him a disgrace and said Enzo made a joke out of the title belt and him. Neville said that on behalf of the cruiserweight division, he was there to end him.

Enzo said Neville couldn’t touch him. He held up a piece of paper that he said Angle signed. Enzo said if he did touch him then he’d never have a chance to get his title back. Enzo pointed out that they were in the main event of Raw, and they never sniffed that hour when Neville was champion. Enzo boasted that he’s a star and they couldn’t touch his merchandise checks.

Enzo said he would see all of them on Tuesday and told Neville to get out of his ring. Neville looked back at the wrestlers on the stage, then delivered a spin kick to Amore. Neville tossed Enzo into the framed jersey and then tossed him to ringside. Neville ran Enzo into the barricade. Enzo backed up the ramp, but the other cruiserweights marched him back to the ring.

Neville picked up the Angle paperwork and shoved it Enzo’s mouth before kicking him in the face. The wrestlers applauded. Some fans cheered, some booed, most seemed to be silent. Neville performed the Red Arrow on Enzo while the other wrestlers cheered. Neville’s music played to end the segment. Cole questioned what the aftermath of this would be on 205 Live…

Powell’s POV: Enzo was an arrogant prick, so was this a double turn? I assume so, but Graves always hates on Enzo and praises Neville, so it made it difficult to tell what they wanted since he did his usual routine here. Sadly, none of this left me anxious to watch 205 Live. As for the overall show, this felt like a filler episode with the company just going through the motions rather than a strong night after a pay-per-view edition. I will have more to say in my members’ exclusive audio review.



The Best of The Boom features Eric Bischoff joining Jason Powell in this March 20, 2019 discussion on whether there are similarities between Verne Gagne's booking during the AWA's dying days and Vince McMahon's WWE booking today, AEW, a Turner network shakeup, and more...


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