7/9 Powell’s WWE Raw Live TV Review: Final hype for Extreme Rules, Finn Balor and Bobby Roode vs. Baron Corbin and Elias, Bayley and Sasha Banks counseling session continuation

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

WWE Raw on the USA Network
Aired live on July 9, 2018 from Boston, Massachusetts at TD Garden

[Hour One] Raw opened with a recap from last week of Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley tearing each other down in a promo exchange…

Roman Reigns was shown walking backstage and he was immediately booed loudly by the Boston fans. Bobby Lashley entered the picture and asked where he was going. Reigns said he was going wherever he wants to and suggested that Lashley get out of his way. Lashley suggested that Reigns call him out and said if he does he would come to tear him apart. Lashley stepped aside and Reigns walked past him. The crowd was chanting for Lashley…

The broadcast team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Jonathan Coachman checked in while Reigns made his entrance to mostly boos. Once in the ring, Reigns said there was a lot he could come out and talk about, but he’s literally haven’t had someone stare him in the face and tell him to call them out. Reigns said he was curious to see what “Bob” could do. Reigns called out Lashley. Lashley made his entrance and entered the ring and stared down Reigns.

Kurt Angle and Baron Corbin walked onto the stage. Angle told them to save it for Sunday. Reigns and Lashley started exchanging punches. Corbin was shown yelling at Angle on the stage. Finn Balor, Curt Hawkins, Titus O’Neil, Apollo Crews, Mojo Rawley, and Bobby Roode ran out and pulled them apart. They broke free and then additional wrestlers ran out to help keep them apart. Lashley and Reigns broke free a couple times. Lashley knocked Reigns down with a shot and the crowd cheered.

Reigns rolled in the ring by himself while the other wrestlers moved Lashley toward the ramp. Reigns performed a big leap over the top rope onto Lashley and the pile of wrestlers. Reigns backed up the stage as wrestlers tried to keep them apart. Roman’s music played. Coachman said the WWE ring isn’t big enough for the egos of Reigns and Lashley and something would have to give on Sunday. Reigns ran back to ringside and the pull apart brawl was back on with more punches exchanged. Reigns finally headed backstage while Lashley was being held back and barked at the other wrestlers to get off him…

Backstage, Alexa Bliss and Mickie James were shown watching the brawl on the big screen. James said it was pain and destruction. Bliss said it was nothing compared to the pain and destruction they would dish out to Nia Jax and Natalya. Cole hyped the women’s tag match as coming up after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: The company needed to do something to heat up the Reigns vs. Lashley feud because it felt very flat coming into the show. They succeeded in that pull apart was well done and made their pay-per-view match feel more important and their rivalry more intense. Well done. Reigns saying there was a lot he could talk about was clearly a reference to Brock Lesnar showing up at UFC. The company addressed it on their website, so it will be interesting to see how they address it on Raw tonight.

1. Nia Jax and Natalya vs. Alexa Bliss and Mickie James. They cut to a break early in the match. [C] The heels isolated Natalya. Bliss slapped her across the face and drew gasps from the crowd. Jax took a hot tag and ended up putting James away with a press and drop followed by a legdrop for the win.

Nia Jax and Natalya beat Alexa Bliss and Mickie James in 8:00.

Bliss immediately attacked Jax with a kendo stick. Cole pointed out that it would be legal on Sunday at Extreme Rules. Jax battled back, took the kendo stick, and broke it over her knee before throwing it toward Bliss and James at ringside…

Coachman hyped Matt Hardy vs. Bo Dallas for later in the show. Graves hyped a look at Braun Strowman making Kevin Owens’ life miserable… [C]

Powell’s POV: Jax showed good fire at one point and had the crowd with her. They ate up her power moves.

The broadcast team recapped the Bliss and Jax post match angle… Backstage, Charly Caruso approached Jax and brought up some of the things that Bliss has said and done. Jax said she didn’t need the full recap. She said Bliss has tried to break her down. “She can’t break me, but I can break her,” Jax said. She also said she would take back the Raw Women’s Championship…

A video package recapped Braun Strowman tormenting Kevin Owens in recent weeks…

Backstage, Kevin Owens showed up with his travel bag and Kurt Angle asked him what he was doing. Owens said he’s a professional and he shows up for work. Owens presented Angle with a doctor’s note that stated he’s not cleared to compete. Owens said since he was there he would hang out in Angle’s office where he knew he’d be safe from Strowman. Owens took a seat and looked around nervously…

Mojo Rawley made his entrance for his latest match against No Way Jose… [C]

Powell’s POV: Why didn’t Owens get a doctor’s note to get him out of the match on Sunday? And if he’s not medically cleared for Raw, why would a scared Owens stick around? We’ll see where it goes, but it seems like there are some holes in this story. That said, Owens hanging out in Angle’s office could be fun.

2. Mojo Rawley vs. No Way Jose. Only a portion of Jose’s entrance with the Rosebud Rejects was televised. Cole said some people claim Rawley has been ducking Jose since beating him. Rawley caught Jose in the corner and pried him free from the ropes before hitting the Alabama Slam and then pinning him…

Mojo Rawley defeated No Way Jose in 4:10.

Powell’s POV: I’m happy to see this hasn’t become a parity booking feud where they simply trade wins. I’d rather see one of these guys elevated than watch them trade pointless wins and losses.

Footage aired of Sasha Banks and Bayley meeting with a new female therapist in the same office they used last week. Bayley complained about being stabbed in the back repeatedly and being lied to by Banks. She said Sasha will only ever care about Sasha…

Seth Rollins was shown walking backstage. Jinder Mahal and Sunil Singh entered the picture. Mahal told Rollins that life is beautiful and instead of burning it down he should embrace it. Rollins said it was deep and he’d never thought of it that way. Rollins said when he burns it down, he may actually be burning a piece of his soul. He asked Mahal to help him. Mahal and Singh closed their eyes as they did their breathing exercises and then Rollins walked away…

Cole hyped the Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins iron man match for the pay-per-view and said Rollins would appear after the break… [C]

[Hour Two] Seth Rollins made his entrance to a strong reaction while Cole hyped the 30-minute Iron Man match. Rollins stood in the ring and soaked up the cheers for a bit before saying Boston always knows how to party. He spoke about his history in the city and his various nicknames. He said the only monicker that matters is “former Intercontinental Champion.” He said the good news is that he has an opportunity to change that.

Rollins explained the basics of the Iron Man match. Rollins mentioned Ziggler bringing Drew McIntyre with him. He was interrupted by the entrance of Ziggler and McIntyre. Ziggler told Rollins not to think for a second that he wasn’t walking out of Extreme Rules as IC Champ. McIntyre said at least Rollins will still have his catchy little nickname, but he would have a career defining loss that would provide him with a look “at the future of this place.”

Ziggler pumped up Rollins and then said he’s no Ziggler. He said he may win 5-0, 10-0, or even 100-0. Rollins told him he’d been bleaching his hair for too long. Ziggler said everything Rollins poured into the title made it so much sweeter when he took it from him. He said you don’t win an Iron Man match by doing CrossFit, you do it by racking up victories. Ziggler said he racked up so many wins at Kent State University that he was the all-time winningest wrestler with 121 wins.

Rollins asked if McIntyre helped him win all those matches too. McIntyre spoke about going straight to the top. Rollins said McIntyre would go wherever Ziggler tells him to go. “Why are you taking orders from this little pipsqueak?” Rollins asked. “Why are you letting him lead you around on a leash?” Rollins asked if there are photographs. He said he knows it’s lonely in Scotland and there are only so many sheep to go around.

McIntyre took his jacket off and was ready to go to the ring, but Ziggler stopped him. McIntyre challenged Rollins to a match on Raw. Rollins looked to the crowd and a “yes” chant broke out. Rollins accepted. Rollins said he better be careful because “I’m a baaaaaad man.” McIntyre charged the ring, but Rollins avoided him, went to ringside, and smiled as McIntyre seethed in the ring…

The broadcast team hyped Finn Balor and Bobby Roode vs. Baron Corbin and Elias… A shot aired of Curtis Axel wearing his Matt Hardy wig. Bo Dallas showed up in his Bray Wyatt gear and told him to relax because it was him. “You got me good,” Axel said. They impersonated the Raw Tag Champions briefly and then laughed. Coachman hyped Hardy vs. Dallas as coming up next… [C]

Powell’s POV: I’m really looking forward to the Rollins vs. McIntyre match, but I can’t say I understand why Ziggler was scripted to hold back McIntyre and then look like he didn’t want him to face Rollins. Shouldn’t his character want Rollins to be softened up as much as possible heading into the pay-per-view? Rollins continues to be super over. I’m happy that Ziggler is getting a real opportunity again, but I can’t say that his mic work did much for me in this segment.

Ring announcer JoJo is back after missing last week. She introduced Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel, who did an impersonation of Hardy and Wyatt that didn’t get much of a reaction. Hardy and Wyatt appeared on the screen and said they would eat and delete them on Sunday. Wyatt asked why they should wait until Sunday when “we’re here”. The video flashed and then the Raw Tag Champions were in the ring…

3. Bo Dallas (w/Curtis Axel) vs. Matt Hardy (w/Bray Wyatt). Hardy suplexed Dallas on the floor heading into a break about 90 seconds into the match. An ad for Extreme Rules aired during the match while the match was shown on a smaller screen (this happened during a previous match as well). Later, Hardy whipped Wyatt with the idea that he’d go under the bottom rope, but Dallas hit his face on the bottom rope. Back in the ring, Hardy tried to suplex Dallas to ringside. Axel distracted him. Wyatt took out Axel, but then Dallas performed a draping neckbreaker and scored the pin.

Bo Dallas beat Matt Hardy in 8:45.

Axel and Dallas celebrated afterward. The Wyatt video flashed, then Hardy and Wyatt hit the ring. Wyatt performed a uranage on Axel, then Hardy performed a Twist of Fate on Dallas. Wyatt barked off mic about how the B-Team will be punished…

Powell’s POV: I’m still not sure if they want fans to cheer for the lovable losers now that they are finally winning matches or the Raw Tag Champions. The fans seem confused enough that they’re not really cheering for much beyond the Hardy and Wyatt entrance.

The broadcast team said Angle made the Rollins vs. McIntyre match official for later in the show. They recapped the opening segment as footage of the Reigns and Lashley pull-apart aired. They also hyped Reigns vs. Lashley for Extreme Rules…

Lashley was shown backstage. Renee Young asked him what his mindset is heading into such a heated match at Extreme Rules. Lashley said he has respect for everyone he steps in the ring with, including Sami Zayn. Lashley said he has zero respect for Reigns. He said he does like that he’s willing to fight him. He said Reigns will show up to fight him, but he won’t walk out. Lashley looked into the camera and said, “Believe that”…

Backstage, Tyler Breeze handed Fashion Violation t-shirts to Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan. “We don’t do fashion,” one said. “We riot,” the other added. Morgan and Logan tore the shirts and threw them at Breeze. Graves hyped an Ember Moon vs. Liv Morgan rematch for after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: That’s more than I expected to see of Breeze tonight on Raw given that Fandango sidelined with a shoulder injury. Heck, that might be more than we would have seen of Breeze if Fandango were healthy. It’s not like they’ve been all over television lately.

Additional footage aired from the Banks and Bayley therapy session. Banks was talking, but the broadcast team just spoke over it. Coach asked if they knew that their careers could be on the line if they don’t make up. Cole hyped more footage later in the show.

Cole turned the attention to Ronda Rousey entering the UFC Hall of Fame and hyping her appearance in the front row for the Raw Women’s Championship on Sunday. Footage aired of Jax and Bliss from the post match angle from earlier in the show. A Bliss selfie style promo aired. She said Jax can say whatever she wants about her, but she will call her the Extreme Raw Women’s Champion after Sunday…

Powell’s POV: You know, guys, something else pretty big happened at the UFC events in Las Vegas over the weekend. It’s absurd that we’re over halfway into the show and no one is talking about the WWE Universal Champion showing up at UFC 226.

4. Ember Moon vs. Liv Morgan (w/Sarah Logan). Apparently, Riott Squad are not always low stakes vandals. Cole said Morgan told him that she’s driven by passion and wants to leave a blueprint rather than a carbon copy. They took a break early in the match. [C] Late in the match, Moon performed a fallaway slam. Logan climbed onto the apron and Moon knocked her off. Morgan tried to roll her up, but Moon countered into a pin…

Ember Moon beat Liv Morgan in 8:00.

Powell’s POV: Cole acknowledged that Ruby Riott is out with an injury, so at least they addressed that. I’m not really sure we needed a rematch. Again, though, at least they went with the same winner in both matches rather than parity booking.

Finn Balor was smiling backstage when Renee Young started to ask him questions. Bobby Roode showed up and spoke about how they are cut from the same cloth. Roode teased the glorious line, but said they would be victorious, then he added the glorious line. Balor said Corbin would find out that he’s not half of anything and he’s twice as good. Balor said they could talk about how tough they are, but he and Roode like to do their talking in the ring… Graves hyped the tag match for after the break… [C]

A sponsored flashback focussed on Daniel Bryan winning the WWE Championship at WrestleMania…

Inside Angle’s office, Owens sprayed air freshener while Angle was on his phone. Angle said it didn’t smell before Owens arrived and wondered if it’s left over from the porta-potty angle from last week.

[Hour Three] Ziggler and McIntyre entered the room. Angle informed them that if McIntyre lost his match to Rollins, then he would be banned from ringside for the Iron Man match. Ziggler protested. McIntyre said it was fine because Rollins wouldn’t go through “this mountain”…

Elias played his guitar in the ring and was cheered loudly when he was introduced. Elias announced that he’d been in the studio recording his debut album. He did the Walk With Elias bit. Elias performed a song. As usual, he heeled on the host city to boos. “When I hear your Boston accent, I want to punch your face,” Elias sang. The crowd responded with a “f— you” chant. It seemed like it was turned up rather than muted.

Elias introduced Corbin as someone who respects him. Corbin asked Elias if he’d give him a shot at a lullaby for Balor. Corbin sang “Itsy Bitsy Balor.” The babyfaces made their entrances while the broadcast team acknowledged the Twitter exchanges between Corbin and Balor… [C]

5. Finn Balor and Bobby Roode vs. Elias and Baron Corbin. Another Extreme Rules ad aired during the match. Corbin tried to trip Balor, who was then shoved face first into the middle rope by Elias. [C]

Balor was setting up for a move on Elias on the apron when Corbin blasted him to a shove to the face. Roode rolled up Corbin for two. Roode hit a Blockbuster for another two count. Later, Roode did the build Glorious buildup and then hit a spinebuster on Elias. Corbin hit Roode from behind and then hit End of Days for the win…

Elias and Baron Corbin beat Finn Balor and Bobby Roode.

Powell’s POV: A good time filling match with the right guy losing the match for the babyface team. The Roode character continues to be one dimensional and he needs a heel turn. On the flip side, it will be interesting if they play into the cheers that Elias gets by turning him babyface.

Braun Strowman entered Kurt Angle’s office. Owens freaked. Angle said he invited Strowman. Angle said that since Owens keeps running from Strowman, he booked them in a cage match against one another at Extreme Rules. Strowman picked up the air freshener and said Owens reeks of fear, then sprayed him… [C]

The broadcast team recapped the opening angle with Reigns and Lashley again…

Reigns was interviewed by Renee Young on the backstage interview set. Reigns said he had no respect for Lashley until he saw the fire in his eyes earlier in the night. He said Lashley can’t beat him because he’s a dog in the ring and he has the killer instinct that Lashley doesn’t know anything about. Reigns said he’ll win and then Bob will be the guy somewhere else…

Powell’s POV: What about that other guy who wants to be the guy somewhere else? You know, the WWE Universal Champion.

Cole and company ran through the Extreme Rules lineup… Seth Rollins made his entrance for the main event. [C] McIntyre and Ziggler made their entrance. Fortunately, they didn’t interrupt McIntyre’s entrance to play Ziggler’s shitty theme music…

6. Seth Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre (w/Dolph Ziggler). The stipulation is that McIntyre is banned from ringside at Extreme Rules if he loses this match. McIntyre was in offensive control heading into a break six minutes in. [C] Rollins battled back as the top of the hour neared.

[Overrun] Rollins performed a couple of suicide dives and then rolled him back inside the ring. Rollins performed a clothesline off the ropes for a two count. A short time later, McIntyre avoided a Stomp and flung him face first into the mat. Fans chanted “Burn It Down” in support of Rollins a couple of times.

McIntyre powerbombed Rollins for a two count. Coach started babbling about how McIntyre was seconds away from winning and said he didn’t think Rollins had anything left in the tank. In a shocking twist, Rollins came back by crotching McIntyre on the top rope and then kicking him. McIntyre was caught in the tree of woe. Rollins went up top, but McIntyre sat up and threw him from the ropes and freed himself.

McIntyre set up for the Claymore Kick, but he ran into a superkick. Rollins performed a falcon arrow for a two count. McIntyre connected with a headbutt and covered Rollins for a near fall. McIntyre slapped himself a couple of times and then hoisted up Rollins and carried him to the corner where he climbed to the second rope. Rollins slipped away and walked across the ring and performed a buckle bomb.

Rollins followed up with a kick to the face and then went to the ropes. Ziggler climbed onto the apron. Rollins kicked him away and performed a cross body block for a near fall. Rollins connected with a kick. Ziggler tried to enter the ring, but Rollins performed a Stomp on him. Rollins turned into a Claymore Kick and was pinned. Afterward, McIntyre put Ziggler on his shoulders and carried him to the back while Cole delivered a final pitch for Extreme Rules…

Drew McIntyre defeated Seth Rollins in 21:05.

Powell’s POV: A strong main event. If there are any eyes that needed to be opened backstage, hopefully McIntyre was able to do it with this match. The show had strong bookend segments again this week. The opening segment involving Reigns and Lashley was important in that it took a match that seemed cold going into the show and made it seem like a much bigger deal. There were plenty of forgettable segments in between, but the main event closed the show on a strong note even if it wasn’t a fan pleasing finish. I will have more to say in my members’ exclusive audio review.



Readers Comments (2)

  1. And yet no mention of Lesnar still. Go figure.

  2. I’m just in shock that there was no mention of Lesnar whatsoever. It’s like the WWE is purposefully ignoring him and the Universal Title. At this point, that may be for the best. Ziggler and Rollins is way better than pretty much Brock against anybody right now anyways. My question is this….with Brock officially unretired from MMA and scheduling a potential title early next year, does that mean he might avoid big matches in WWE so as to avoid his buying power? If Brock loses in a bad way, UFC fans will write off any potential title fight as not worth spending money on. Would WWE really allow Brock to just hold the title that long? Honestly, I’m sick of the dude. Pick a direction and go there. The worst part is, he will likely get straight up beat down in a fight against DC.

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