Powell’s WWE Raw Live TV Review: Bayley and Sasha Banks go to counseling, Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley vs. The Revival, the build to Extreme Rules continues

By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Raw on the USA Network
Aired live on July 2, 2018 from Sioux Falls, South Dakota at Denny Sanford Premier Center

[Hour One] Raw opened with a recap of last week’s show and focussed on The Revival scoring the upset win over Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley, the Intercontinental Championship match… The broadcast team was Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Jonathan Coachman…

Roman Reigns made his entrance to the usual mixed reaction. Reigns said The Revival are extremely talented and they have a bright future, but he never thought he’d say he lost to The Revival. “I’m not making excuses, but I did have the worst tag team partner of all time.”

Reigns said he doesn’t like “Bob” because he’s an egomaniac who believes he’s the guy when the truth is that he wasn’t the guy a decade ago because he couldn’t handle the role. “Ten years from now you still won’t be the guy, because I’m the guy,” Reigns said. “I’m the big dog who runs this yard.”

Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre made their entrance. Ziggler mocked the idea of Reigns saying someone else is an egomaniac. Ziggler pointed out Reigns claiming the ring is his yard. Ziggler said Reigns wants everything to go through him and everything to be about him. McIntyre said that since Reigns stuck his nose in their business, it was only fair that they return the favor.

McIntyre started to remove his jacket when Reigns punched him and then Ziggler. Reigns quickly lost the numbers game. Seth Rollins ran out and saved Reigns. McIntyre dragged Ziggler to ringside to get him away from Rollins. Seth’s music played to end the segment… [C]

Powell’s POV: The feud between these teams is entertaining and I’m genuinely curious to see if they end up adding a third man to the mix with Ziggler and McIntyre since Dean Ambrose should be returning within the next couple of months based on his original prognosis. In other words, this could all lead to another Shield reunion.

Reigns and Rollins told Kurt Angle backstage that they want Ziggler and McIntyre. He said they could have the match next week. They objected. Angle pointed out that Reigns was already in a match with Lashley against The Revival. With a little more pressure, Angle granted their match…

Matt Hardy made his entrance. Cole noted that Bray Wyatt was injured over the weekend and left it at that. Curtis Axel popped up on the big screen doing his impersonation of Hardy. Bo Dallas popped up doing his impersonation of Bray Wyatt and said Hardy must face the ferocious B Team all by his lonesome. They sang the “whole world in his hands” song. They kept signing and dropped below the camera shot again. Cole hyped Hardy and Wyatt vs. The B-Team for the Raw Tag Titles for Extreme Rules. Axel and Dallas made their entrance…

Powell’s POV: For those who missed the story on the main page, Wyatt was in a car accident on his way to the airport and ended up missing this event and the weekend house shows.

1. Matt Hardy vs. Curtis Axel (w/Bo Dallas). Cole spoke about the match purpose being to build momentum going into the pay-per-view. They cut to a break early in the match. [C] Hardy performed a modified Side Effect on the ring apron at 7:45. Hardy followed up by running Axel’s face into the turnbuckles. Hardy hit a Side Effect in the ring for a two count.

Hardy performed a couple of elbows from the middle rope for a two count. Hardy set up for his finisher, but he was distracted by Dallas on the apron. Axel launched Hardy into the corner and Hardy’s head hit the ring post. Axel scored the pin moments later and then had another over the top celebrations with Dallas…

Curtis Axel defeated Matt Hardy in 9:25.

The broadcast team hyped Reigns doing double duty in the previously mentioned tag team matches. They also hyped Bayley and Sasha Banks going to counseling. Graves said a look at Bayley’s first session was coming up after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: I guess Axel’s win helps make up for his father losing the AWA Championship to Jerry Lawler in similar fashion. Lawler slingshotted Curt Hennig into the corner and Hennig’s head hit the ring post before he was pinned. I remember things like this from decades ago, but I struggle to remember what happened last week on Raw. Strange.

Rollins told Reigns about his Iron Man match for the Intercontinental Championship at Extreme Rules. Selfish ass Reigns grumbled that he still doesn’t have a match. Bobby Lashley showed up. Rollins left once Reigns assured him that he had it. Lashley told Reigns that no one other than Rollins likes Reigns. “I don’t like you either,” Lashley said. He told Reigns to put his ego at the door and focus. Reigns said he would start, finish, and win the match. Reigns told Lashley to flash his phony smile and collect the win. Lashley said he would hold Reigns responsible if he didn’t focus. Reigns asked if that was a threat. Lashley said it was…

The broadcast team recapped footage of last week’s Bayley and Sasha Banks’ meltdown…

Footage aired from earlier today of Bayley and Banks at their counseling session. They found out that they had a session scheduled for the same time in the same room. They bickered until Dr. Shelby showed up and told them he would guide them through their friendship counseling together. He asked them to follow him into the friend zone. Inside his office, he said the only rules are the seven tenants of friendship: love, helping, joy, sharing, time, honestly, and respect…

The Titus Worldwide trio made their entrance. Cole said they would face Authors of Pain after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: Yes! Dr. Shelby is awesome. I can’t say that I think this is the best approach for Banks and Bayley given how well Bayley’s attack on Banks was received by the live crowd last week, but at the same time I’m thrilled to see Team Hell No’s silly doctor return. I wonder if Harold can make a cameo appearance too of if his deal with ROH as Scorpio Sky will stand in the way?

2. “The Authors of Pain” Akam and Rezar vs. Titus O’Neil and Apollo Crews (w/Dana Brooke). The AOP entrance was televised. The duo dominated Crews for a stretch and they connected with a neckbreaker/powerbomb combo and had the match won, but Titus broke up the pin. They ran Titus through the ropes and into the post. A short time later, they hit the Last Chapter on Crews for the win…

The Authors of Pain defeated Titus O’Neil and Apollo Crews in 2:50.

Powell’s POV: This was a squash style win for AOP. After a staggered start, it looks like creative is getting behind the former NXT Tag Champions.

Rollins and Reigns were shown getting ready for their match. Cole said they would face Ziggler and McIntyre after the break… [C] An ad for Smackdown focussed on Team Hell No appearing on Smackdown Live for the first time in five years (I guess last week doesn’t count)….

Kevin Owens was shown arriving at the building in a four-door Nissan. A valet told him that he couldn’t park in that area and asked for his keys. Owens told the man no chance and then entered the locker room apprehensively…

Ring entrances for the tag match took place. Cole hyped the 30-minute iron man match for the IC Title at Extreme Rules…

[Hour Two] 3. Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler. Rollins started the match. Reigns wanted in to face McIntyre a few minutes in. The heel duo ended up isolating Reigns for a stretch. Rollins took a hot tag and hit a frogsplash on Ziggler and had him pinned, but McIntyre broke it up. Rollins catapulted Ziggler to ringside and then went up top and performed a cross body block onto both opponents. [C]

Rollins was setting up to make a hot tag to Reigns when The Revival showed up and attacked them for the DQ. The Revival beat up Reigns at ringside while McIntyre and Ziggler worked over Rollins inside the ring. The Revival ended up hitting the Shatter Machine on Reigns, who was left lying along with Rollins…

Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins beat Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler by DQ in 15:40.

Powell’s POV: A good match with a good finish that builds to the tag match later in the show. I wonder if this is building to Ambrose returning for a handicap match. I’d rather see Lashley turn heel and team with McIntyre and Ziggler to face The Shield, but we’ll see. At this point, I don’t even know if Ambrose will be returning on Raw, so it’s all just speculation. The important thing is that they are doing a nice job of putting heat on the heels. By the way, thanks to Dot Net reader Jack C Catalano for pointing out that Mike Rome is filling in as the ring announcer for JoJo this week. I assume she’s home with boyfriend Bray Wyatt following his car accident. There’s no word yet as to whether she was involved in the accident that has him sidelined.

Footage aired of last week’s Braun Strowman and Kevin Owens angle… Backstage, Owens pleaded with Kurt Angle to send Strowman to therapy, suspend him, or even fire him. Angle booked Stromwan vs. Owens for later in the show…

Baron Corbin made his entrance heading into a break… [C] A clip aired from therapy with Bayley talking while Sasha looked frustrated…

Corbin delivered a promo in the ring and wanted an apology from Finn Balor for what happened when they teamed together last week. Balor made his entrance. Corbin apologized for pulling Balor to ringside last week and hitting him with a forearm, saying he merely wanted to talk and forgot how much bigger and tougher he is.

Balor apologized that his comments about Corbin’s vest got him fired from TGI Fridays. Balor said Corbin deserves an apology from whoever gave him his haircut. Corbin called him a little twerp while saying hew as trying to help him out. He said guys like Balor don’t get paid as much as him. He told Balor to suck up his pride and apologize.

“I’m sorry that you stopped deserving anyone’s respect the day that you became Stephanie McMahon’s stooge,” Balor said. Corbin punched Balor, who came back with a sling blade clothesline. Corbin fled the ring and was dropkicked through the ropes by Balor…

Backstage, Elias was strumming his guitar when Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan asked if he would be performing. He said he wasn’t going to for the fans, but he would for them. They shoved a few items down as he played. Graves hyped Morgan vs. Ember Moon for after the break… [C]

A John Cena PSA aired with him concluding that love has no labels. Cole said loving our country means love has no labels…

4. Ember Moon vs. Liv Morgan (w/Sarah Logan). Cole noted that Ruby Riott was injured at a live event over the weekend. They took a break early in the match. [C] Ember hit the Eclipse for the win…

Ember Moon beat Liv Morgan in 7:20.

They went back to the counseling session footage. Shelby wanted to play a game called “honesty theater” where they play the other person. Banks, pretending to be Bayley, acted like a little girl. Bayley, pretending to be Banks, impersonated her Boss bit and said she would stab you in the back because she’s a legit boss. She also said her mailman’s cousin is Snoop Doog. Banks took offense and they started bickering again. Shelby tried to intervene. They told him to shut up and bickered. “Enough!” Shelby yelled. A “to be continued” graphic was shown…

The Revival made their entrance… [C] The tail end of Roman’s entrance was shown and then Lashley made his entrance…

5. Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley vs. “The Revival” Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder. Reigns sold rib pain coming out of the match earlier in the night.

[Hour Three] Reigns was isolated by the Revival. Cole noted that Reigns could have tagged out a couple of times, but opted to tell Lashley to stay in the corner to see how it’s done. Reigns put Dawson down and could have made a tag, but he kept fighting both Revival members even though Lashley was calling for the tag.

Lashley ran in and hit a pair of spinebusters on Dawson and tossed Wilder to ringside. Lashley went back to the corner and begged for the tag, but Reigns motioned no and then set up for a spear. Wilder reached in and grabbed his leg, then the Revival worked over Reigns until they were disqualified.

Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley beat The Revival by DQ in 7:20.

After the match, the Revival continued to work over Reigns while Lashley slowly walked to the back. A “one more time” chant broke out briefly. Graves said Reigns is his own worst enemy…

Kurt Angle was shown watching the match on a backstage monitor. Kevin Owens showed up and said the show Angle runs is chaos. He suggested he cancel his match against Braun Strowman and even offered to get Angle tickets to see Shania Twain. Angle ended up telling him that there was no way he was getting out of the match. Owens said he doesn’t deserve Twain tickets…

They cut back to the ring where the “proud warrior” Reigns was struggling to get to his feet. Cole questioned if Reigns’ pride got in the way. Coachman spoke about Lashley walking away and doing nothing to help Reigns. Coachman hyped Owens vs. Strowman. Cole set up a special preview of the Ant-Man and The Wasp movie…

Powell’s POV: The broadcast team is trying to act like they were split in terms of whether the actions of Reigns or Lashley were worse. They both look like meatheads, but Reigns looks worse if only because he refused help, yet now Coachman is telling the story that Lashley was the bad guy for not helping a guy who didn’t want his help after the match. Strange. Speaking of strange, the referee stood and watched as Lashley interfered in the match, then ended up disqualifying The Revival a short time later for working over Reigns in the corner. I’m happy they didn’t give Reigns and Lashley a true win back, but the match made the referee look like a dope.

The broadcast team recapped the previous match… Angle was on his phone backstage when Reigns showed up and pleaded for a match with Lashley. Angle said Lashley just asked for the same thing. The match will take place at Extreme Rules…

No Way Jose and the Rosebud Rejects made their entrance (only a portion of it was shown). Mojo Rawley came out and mocked the idea of giving Jose a rematch because he dances. “No Way, Jose,” Rawley said. Jose swung at Rawley, who ducked it then clotheslined Jose from behind. Rawley went to ringside and tossed a Rosebud Reject to the ground and shoulder tackled him into the barricade. Jose hit Rawley with some punches, but Rawley ended up driving him into the ring apron and then picked him up and chokeslammed him onto the apron…

Powell’s POV: Rawley continues to look vicious and his promo delivery is solid. Meanwhile, Jose can’t even get his fully televised entrance when it’s basically his main roster calling card. Ditch the Rosebuds and give this guy a chance.

The broadcast team set up a video package on Alexa Bliss cashing in the MITB contract to become the Raw Women’s Champion and the angle that followed the next night that resulted in Ronda Rousey being suspended. Footage aired of Renee Young interviewing Rousey, who said her suspension doesn’t cover Extreme Rules, so she will be buying a ticket and sitting front row…

Alexa Bliss and Mickie James made their entrance. Cole hyped James vs. Nia Jax for after the break… [C]

Jax made her entrance and delivered a pre-match promo on the stage. She said she thought she was finished with Bliss after WrestleMania and other times, but now they are right back where they started now that Bliss took the Raw Women’s Championship. She said it needs to end. She said it will end with Rousey sitting at ringside at Extreme Rules. Jax said Angle agreed to make their match an Extreme Rules match (no DQ, etc). Jax introduced Natalya as her backup…

6. Nia Jax (w/Nataya) vs. Mickie James (w/Alexa Bliss). Cole wished Bret Hart a happy birthday. They went to break a couple minutes into the match. [C] James worked over the left knee of Jax coming out of the break. Cole said it would be a major upset if James won. Jax came back with a sit-out powerbomb and had the pin. Bliss distracted the referee. Natalya pulled Bliss off the apron. Jax hit a Samoan drop on James and pinned her…

Nia Jax pinned Mickie James in 9:55.

Powell’s POV: The friendship triangle between Natalya, Jax, and Rousey is bizarre. It’s not as bizarre as Rousey being suspended from Raw and not pay-per-view events. And even that’s not as bizarre as Rousey feeling the need to buy a front row ticket for a pay-per-view she’s not suspended from.

Backstage, a stressed out Kevin Owens was doing breathing exercises. He said they weren’t working. The camera pulled back and showed Jinder Mahal giving him instructions while Sunil Singh stood by. Charly Caruso showed up and said he seemed shaken up. Owens said he was a little surprised because she popped up like a little gremlin. He said he was thrilled that the match with Strowman is still on. Owens said he’s fought the monster before and now he knows his every move to the point that he looks at him and knows what he’s thinking. Owens said he would show the world how to destroy a monster. Owens went back to doing his breathing exercises with Mahal and Singh… [C]

An ad for NXT TV hyped Johnny Gargano vs. EC3 for Wednesday night’s show… The Raw broadcast team spoke by their desk. Cole said people say Reigns as a proud warrior while others say he’s an egomaniac. Graves said he refused to let his tag partner take part in the match. Then Coachman said it was hard to blame Lashley for walking away…

Powell’s POV: Wait, didn’t Coach complain about Lashley walking away?

Backstage, Renee Young interviewed Lashley, who said Reigns got what he asked for since he told him to stay out of the match. Lashley said Reigns made a big name for himself while he was gone because he was gone. Lashley said Roman’s yard would have been a concrete patch in a trailer park had he been around…

The broadcast team ran through some of the Extreme Rules matches… Owens was out first for the main event. They replayed the angle from last week with Owens’ car being left upside down by Strowman… [C] Graves hyped Mustafa Ali vs. Buddy Murphy in a No DQ match for WWE 205 Live… Braun Strowman made his entrance…

7. Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens. Cole worked in a pre-match plug for Raw in Boston for next Monday. Strowman shoved Owens to the mat. Owens rolled to ringside and then ran to the back.

Braun Strowman defeated Kevin Owens via count-out in 0:50.

[Overrun] Strowman immediately left the ring and ran after Owens. Backstage, Owens realized he didn’t have his car keys. Owens ended up hiding inside a portable toilet. Strowman searched the area near the portable toilet while the fans chanted “porta-potty.” Strowman nearly gave up his search but he stopped and looked at the portable toilet and used a high-pitched voice to ask if anyone was inside. Owens told him to go away.

Strowman picked up some duct tape and wrapped it around the porta-potty to lock Owens inside. Owens dragged it inside the building. Graves referred to the scene as the Porta-Potty Iditarod. Strowman dragged the portable toilet into the arena to the side of the stage. Strowman pulled it onto the stage and eventually got a running start and shoved it off the other side of the stage. A “holy shit” chant comically broke out. Eventually, they showed Owens covered in the blue liquid from the porta-potty as trainers tended to him on the floor.

Powell’s POV: A ridiculous and highly entertaining angle all at the same time. The live crowd loved it. A lot of crowds groan when the action leaves the arena, but the South Dakota fans had a lot of fun with this even before they returned. This is leading to a cage match based on the arena advertising for Extreme Rules, so I guess the idea is that Angle will punish Owens for walking out on the match.

Overall, a decent show that held my interest. Creative is getting more out of their damaged heels. It’s unfortunate that the company didn’t pay tribute to the late Matt Cappotelli during the show, but perhaps they will do so on Smackdown. I will be by later tonight with an audio review for members. In the meantime, check out my free interview below with former WWE Smackdown head writer and current MLW producer Alex Greenfield.



Readers Comments (6)

  1. Jack C Catalano July 2, 2018 @ 7:54 pm

    I laughed out loud when you said Axel winning makes up for Henning losing the title.
    Btw, did you see a picture of Team Hell No in Dr. Shelby’s Office?

  2. Curt Hennig lost his very first match in WWF the exact same way. Well his first as Mr. Perfect anyway. It was against Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake.

  3. Jack C Catalano July 2, 2018 @ 7:59 pm

    Btw, JoJo isn’t there. It looks like Mike Rome is doing the announcing, although I could be like Chris Jericho and think it’s Tom Phillips.

  4. “Balor apologized that his comments about Balor’s vest”

    ummmm.

  5. Someone please hide the microphone from Nia. Her delivery is so off. I don’t know what it is, but it feels almost as if she’s out there reading off a cue card directly in front of her.

    Btw, also not creative’s finest moment tonight with the Rousey bit. Why wouldn’t Kurt just extend her suspension now that’s she’s announced her plan? And how is 30 days not 30 days?

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