9/10 Powell’s WWE Raw Live TV Review: Ronda Rousey and Natalya vs. Alexa Bliss and Mickie James, Triple H responds to Undertaker, Mick Foley on Hell in a Cell

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

WWE Raw on the USA Network
Aired live on September 10, 2018 from New Orleans, Louisiana at Smoothie King Center

[Hour One] Michael Cole welcomed viewers to the show as the camera panned the crowd. They cut to the broadcast team of Cole, Corey Graves, and Renee Young. Cole noted that it was the first time ever that a woman was a full-time member of a WWE broadcast team. Graves welcomed her and said oped they would have some fun. She spoke about how excited she is.

The broadcast team was interrupted by the entrance music of Dolph Ziggler, who was followed onto the stage by tag partner Drew McIntyre, and then Braun Strowman. The trio headed to the ring and were followed by a large group of heels that included the Ascension, Authors of Pain, Jinder Mahal, Sunil Singh, Drew Gulak, Kevin Owens, Mike Kanellis, and Mojo Rawley.

Strowman, McIntyre, and Ziggler delivered an in-ring promo while the other heels stood around the ring. “We told you so,” Ziggler boasted regarding what happened to The Shield. Strowman said they beat them down. McIntyre set up a video package that recapped the big beatdown angle.

Powell’s POV: The NFL doubleheader is airing opposite Raw tonight, so Raw airs a long video recap in the opening segment? I would be more understanding if I thought they were going to phone in this episode as they’ve done in past years, but I don’t believe they will do that with Hell in a Cell on Sunday. By the way, all of the focus was on Young in that opening clip and there was no mention made of Jonathan Coachman being demoted to the pay-per-view kickoff shows.

Back live, Strowman said Roman Reigns is a coward who can’t handle business on his own. Strowman said Reigns has his hounds of justice while he has his dogs of war. He said The Shield have run rampant for far too long, but their strength in numbers fails to compare to his pack. Ziggler addressed the wrestlers at ringside and praised them for standing up to The Shield and doing what was right.

McIntyre said the balance of power has shifted and now they are in control. He added that they will dismantle B-Team when they face them later in the show in a rematch for the Raw Tag Titles. Strowman said that will be nothing compared to what happens when he gets his hands on Reigns inside the Hell in a Cell structure.

The Shield entrance music played. Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose made their entrance through the crowd. The trio fought with the heels at ringside. Ambrose pulled out axe handles that he, Reigns, and Rollins used to work over the heels at ringside. They entered the ring and glared at Strowman, McIntyre, and Ziggler, who had retreated to the stage. The Shield music played to end the segment…

Powell’s POV: It’s bad enough that they have all the title belts tied up in the Shield vs. Strowman, McIntyre, and Ziggler feud, but now the Shield were able to destroy a large group of heels in short order. I wouldn’t complain if it was all undercard guys, but guys like Owens, Elias, and AOP were made to look bad by being lumped in with the undercard talent.

Footage aired of the Bella Twins entering their locker room to find that it had been ransacked by the Riott Squad. The Bellas were shown backstage. Cole noted that Nikki would face Ruby Riott after the break…

Backstage, The Shield jawed with police officers (who looked a lot like independent wrestlers). Baron Corbin showed up and told them that they don’t want to get arrested for assaulting police officers. He said Reigns would be stripped of his title and they would go to jail for a long time. Reigns glared at a cop, who backed up and allowed the trio to pass…

Powell’s POV: You don’t want to assault cops, but apparently its okay to steal their transport vehicles (see last week’s show).

1. Nikki Bella (w/Brie Bella) vs. Ruby Riott (w/Liv Morgan, Sarah Logan). The Bellas received televised entrances while the Riott Squad was already in the ring. Cole and Young spoke the Bellas having reality shows, a clothing company, and a Youtube channel. Graves said those are things that the Riott Squad want to acquire. Riott kicked the top rope into the throat of Nikki, who was down at ringside heading into a break. [C]

Riott scored a near fall off a distraction. Nikki blocked a kick and hoisted up Riott. Brie stopped Morgan from interfering and then Nikki hit the Rack Attack 2.0 for the win…

Nikki Bella defeated Ruby Riott in 8:30.

The broadcast team hyped previously announced matches and a look back at the Undertaker and Shawn Michaels confrontation… [C]

Powell’s POV: When I think of the Riott Squad characters, I don’t think of them as the type of act that would want reality shows, a Youtube channel, and a clothing line. They trash locker rooms and destroy things backstage. The idea seems to be that they are anti-authority, not women who crave the things the Bellas have. I’m surprised Graves of all people would frame them that way, though who knows if this was something he was instructed to say. The match was fine and I expect them to make Nikki look even stronger than usual if the reports of her facing Ronda Rousey at WWE Evolution are accurate.

Big Show stood on the stage with a group of kids for something involving the Connor’s Cure charity. Cole set up a video package of the pediatric cancer patients who have their own wrestler personas. They were shown making entrances to the NXT ring with Stephanie McMahon making introductions and a lot of wrestlers on hand. Back live, Big Show asked fans to give the “superstars of tomorrow” a warm round of applause. The fans cheered. Show said wrestlers fight to win matches, where the kids fight for something greater than winning a match. Show noted that the kids were all from Louisiana and introduced them in their wrestling personas while their family members stood behind them on the stage in most cases. Show asked fans to join their fight. A graphic listed connorthecrusher.com…

A shot aired of the Superdome while Cole set up the recap of the Undertaker and Shawn Michaels segment from last week…

Powell’s POV: Another video package. This poor live crowd. So much for thinking the company wouldn’t phone it in due to the NFL doubleheader.

Graves touted the Triple H vs. Undertaker match for WWE Super Show-Down. Cole hyped Triple H’s appearance for later in the show…

Backstage, Drake Maverick told AOP they will not be ignored. He told them not to let anyone forget the carnage they cause… [C]

Powell’s POV: Hey, isn’t that one of the tag teams that had their asses handed to them by The Shield earlier? Sigh. On a positive note (and it’s been tough so far), Drake isn’t wearing matching AOP gear this week. He wore a black tank top and fighting gloves.

2. “Authors of Pain” Akam and Rezar (w/Drake Maverick) vs. Ronnie Ace and Nathan Bradley. A squash match that AOP won with the Super Collider…

Authors of Pain defeated Ronnie Ace and Nathan Bradley in 1:20.

Powell’s POV: I couldn’t see the pants that Maverick wore during the backstage segment, but he’s actually wearing AOP gear minus the vests they wear to the ring. Baby steps?

The broadcast team spoke and Graves said Maverick may be one of hte most dangerous men in WWE due to his association with AOP (unless The Shield are around)…

A video package showcased the Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy feud…

Triple H arrived at the building in a limo and smiled and shook his head at the cops from the Shield segment… [C]

Triple H made his entrance to a strong reaction from the crowd. Ring announcer JoJo introduced Hunter, who walked to the ring wearing a suit. The broadcast team gushed over Super Show-Down. “I cannot believe we get to witness this,” Young said.

[Hour Two] Hunter recalled saying the era was back and that he and Taker would meet out of mutual respect. He said the legends came out of the woodwork to make their predictions. Hunter pointed out a poll graphic that had fans picking Undertaker with 81 percent of the vote. Hunter said those predictions don’t bother him and they don’t mean anything or at least they shouldn’t.

Hunter said Shawn Michaels giving his opinion on the match bothered Undertaker. He said it’s almost laughable that Undertaker was so bothered by HBK’s opinion. Hunter accused Taker of baiting Michaels with threats over his opinion. He said it made him angry because it made him feel that Undertaker lost respect for him and Shawn. Hunter said after watching it back he realized that Taker had actually lost respect for himself.

Triple H said the proof is that Taker didn’t show up in person this week to tell him to his face. Hunter said Taker was never quite the same after his four matches with him and Shawn. He said the aura, streak, and mystique all went away. He said what you see of Undertaker now is just a reputation. He said their matches were Taker’s last epic moments of greatness and he blames him and Michaels for the demise.

Hunter said Taker was right last week when he said it’s now personal. Triple H said that out of the last little bit of respect he has remaining for Taker, “I will put you down.” Hunter dropped the mic and stared into the camera until his music played…

Powell’s POV: Another good promo. They have done a much better job of hyping the Australian stadium event tonight than they have Sunday’s Hell in a Cell event.

The broadcast team recapped the opening segment with The Shield beating up a bunch of heels. Corbin actually told The Shield that they had to vacate the premises immediately or forfeit their titles…

The cops remained outside the building. Young hyped Mick Foley’s appearance for later in the show. A shot aired of Alexa Bliss talking with Mickie James and Alicia Fox… Dolph Ziggler’s horrible entrance them played again and McIntyre followed as they made their entrance for the tag title defense… [C]

3. Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler vs. “B-Team” Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas for the Raw Tag Titles. JoJo delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. McIntyre delivered a big boot to the head of Axel and knocked him to ringside heading into a break at 2:30. [C]

Dallas led the crowd in the B-Team chant as the tag champs worked over Axel. Dallas took a hot tag and got a near fall. He went back to cheerleading. McIntyre broke up a pin and then took out Axel. Ziggler raked the eyes of Dallas while the ref was caught up with McIntyre. The tag champs performed their Claymore Kick and Zigzag combo finisher for the win…

Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler beat B-Team in 8:50 to retain the Raw Tag Titles.

After the match, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose hit the ring and worked over McIntyre and Ziggler briefly. Rollins set up for a stomp on Ziggler, but McIntyre pulled him to ringside…

The broadcast team spoke about the possibility of Rollins and Ambrose being arrested. Cole hyped Foley’s appearance for later in the show. Cole warned viewers that the footage they were about to see was extremely uncomfortable. A video package aired on the Undertaker vs. Mankind legendary Hell in a Cell match.

They showed Foley’s insane bump through the table and then there were older comments from Jerry Lawler, Chris Jericho, Kofi Kingston, and Jim Ross. They also showed Foley returning and being chokeslammed through the cage down to the ring. Comments aired from Mark Henry, Dallas Page, John Cena (remember him?), Terry Funk, and Shawn MIchaels. Graves hyped Foley as coming up later in the show to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the legendary match…

Kevin Owens made his entrance for a match. Cole said they thought he quit until he showed up last week and attacked Bobby Lashley. A sponsored recap aired of Owens attacking Lashley last week… [C]

Backstage, Baron Corbin told Rollins and Ambrose that he had no choice but to have them arrested. Rollins tried to claim Corbin banned The Shield, but those guys were down on Bourbon Street. Rollins and Ambrose introduced a sheriff and said they were having Corbin arrested on charges of falsifying a police report. Huh? The sheriff started to read Corbin his rights when Corbin asked Rollins if they could speak in private.

Ambrose and the cop walked into the other room. Ambrose asked whose idea it was to put the stop sign there and added that they didn’t have to search his car. Rollins entered the room and thanked the cop while adding that they won’t need to file charges. Ambrose said he would call the cop the next time he’s arrested…

Tyler Breeze made his entrance. Kevin Owens attacked Breeze, who fought back, but was eventually left lying with the usual powerbomb on the apron. Owens entered the ring and said he quit two weeks ago, but Corbin immediately called and begged him to reconsider. Owens said that unlike the fans and people in the back, Corbin recognizes his value as the true MVP of Raw.

Owens said he agreed to return under the condition that he would not be held accountable for what he does to his opponents. “My job is to do whatever I want, whenever I want,” Owens said. He said there’s noting anyone can do about it. Owens said they can blame Bobby Lashley for being the sick maniac who intentionally injured his best friend Sami Zayn.

Owens said he quit because of Lashley and yet he’s also the reason he is back. He said what he did to Lashley last week was just the beginning. He also reminded fans that it’s still the Kevin Owens Show. Owens told the fans to expect anarchy, agony, and destruction and that’s all Lashley’s fault. Owens dropped the mic…

Powell’s POV: They couldn’t have just had the heel authority figure give Owens this stroke without having Owens quit, which got fans interested in where it was going only to leave them feeling disappointed when he returned the very next week?

The broadcast team set up a video on the AJ Styles and Samoa Joe feud…

Bobby Roode and Chad Gable made their entrance. A pre-taped promo aired with Gable stealing Roode’s “glorious” line and Roode cringing a bit and then telling him it was good… [C]

4. Bobby Roode and Chad Gable vs. “The Ascension” Konnor and Viktor. The Ascension entrance was not televised. Late in the match, Gable tagged himself into the match and did his rolling suplex finisher on Viktor and pinned him…

Bobby Roode and Chad Gable defeated The Ascension in 3:15.

A shot aired of Ronda Rousey shadow boxing while Natalya stretched next to her… [C]

Powell’s POV: Everything points to Roode and Gable being a short-term tag team since Roode already seems a bit irked by Gable stealing his thunder. If you were hoping to see the Ascension beaten up twice in one night then you’re probably loving this show. We’re just under two hours in. Can Konnor and Victor get beat up in each hour of the show?!?

Cole ran though the list of awards that WWE personalities were nominated for in the E People’s Choice Awards. Nikki Bella and Nia Jax were nominated. Raw was also nominated for the show of 2018…

[Hour Three] Backstage, Ziggler was complaining to Strowman and McIntyre about The Shield being back in the building. Corbin entered the room and said Ziggler and McIntyre would defend the tag titles against Rollins and Ambrose on Sunday. The Raw Tag Champs were not happy. Corbin said it’s his first pay-per-view as acting GM and this would make Stephanie happy. Corbin told Strowman that Stephanie wants him to take the title from Reigns. “Good, I’m going Big Dog hunting,” Strowman said before leaving the room…

5. Ronda Rousey and Natalya vs. Alexa Bliss and Mickie James (w/Alicia Fox). Cole noted that Bliss was wearing a Connor’s Cure t-shirt that fans could bid on. The broadcast team noted the change from Fox to James as Bliss’s tag partner. At 4:20, Bliss looked at Rousey and teased applying an armbar on Natalya, who avoided it. Bliss slapped Rousey, who then chased her around and back into the ring. Natalya grabbed Bliss and held her while Rousey performed a Hart Attack clothesline heading into a break. [C]

Rousey took a hot tag at 10:05 and chased Bliss to ringside. James distracted Rousey, who was run into the barricade and apron by Bliss. Alexa worked over Rousey in the ring while the broadcast team said this was the worst position Rousey had been in since she arrived in WWE. James tagged in and Rousey flung her to the mat. Rousey went for a tag, but James knocked Natalya off the apron.

Rousey threw some punches at James and clotheslined her, then knocked Bliss off the apron. Rousey threw more punches at James in the corner while selling a rib or abdominal injury. James caught her with a kick to the ribs. Rousey threw James around by the arm and then applied the armbar while Bliss cringed at ringside…

Ronda Rousey and Natalya beat Alexa Bliss and Mickie James in 13:50.

After the match, Bliss delivered a kick to the side of Rousey and immediately left the ring. Graves said the baddest woman on the planet may have the worst ribs in the women’s division. They aired a slow motion replay of Bliss’s kick to Rousey’s ribs…

The broadcast team spoke as the women left the ring. Cole mistakenly said Rousey will defend the title against James on Sunday. He set up a video package on the Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch feud… The broadcast team ran through some of the HIAC matches and pimped WWE Network…

Powell’s POV: I appreciate the effort to make Rousey seem vulnerable going into her match with Bliss. I don’t think it’s going to convince anyone that she’ll lose on Sunday, but at least they tried.

Backstage, a production staffer gave Elias a cup of something to drink, which Elias spat in his face and told him to fix it. Braun Strowman was shown barking at random people backstage while demanding to know where Roman Reigns was at. He picked up one guy by the neck and eventually threw him onto some production crates… [C]

Charly Caruso asked Rousey about her ribs while Natalya stood by her side. Rousey said she’s fine, but even if she was hurt she would still be there. She said she’s never pulled out of a fight and not because she’s never been injured. “Even on my worst day I’m still the best,” Rousey said…

Elias played his guitar in the ring and then said something just feels off tonight. Yeah, no kidding. He asked if it was because the Saints lost on Sunday. The fans booed. Elias said Drew Brees told him that he is sick of representing the rundown and filthy city. He said Brees just wants the year to be over because the season is done. Elias said his song could bring them back to life.

Mick Foley’s entrance theme interrupted Elias. There was a loud “Foley” chant. Foley said he’s actually a very big fan of Elias and said he has a rich and resonant voice. He said he may not be Nita Strauss, but he admires his craftsmanship. Foley said Elias does not have a sincere bone in his body as a lyricist.

Elias said Foley was there to talk about the 20th anniversary of the HIAC match with Undertaker. Elias said he was a child and watched the match in the crowd in Pittsburgh. Elias said Foley’s career was never the same. Elias said he prayed that Foley would stay down, but Foley got up and was chokeslammed through the cell and his life was never the same again.

Elias said that was then and this is now. Elias said Foley is a broken man who is singing the same sad song he’s been singing for the last twenty years and he barely remembers the words. Some fans chanted “Mr. Socko.” Foley said he actually came to talk about the future. Elias said he is the future.

Foley said he paid an uninvited visit with Stephanie McMahon and asked to be involved at HIAC in some way. Elias assume she laughed in his face. Foley said she did. Foley got worked up as he spoke about rolling off the stretcher at HIAC. He asked Stephanie how he could feel as alive as he did almost 20 years ago when he was almost dead.

Foley said he won’t be ringing a bell or keeping time on Sunday. Foley announced that he will be locked inside the HIAC structure with Reigns and Strowman as a special referee. “Bang bang,” Foley yelled. A Yes chant broke out with some fans. Foley started to leave. Elias stopped him and said that was special, but he needs to shut his mouth and go back where he came from.

Foley returned to the ring and said Elias plays to millions each week and will be a superstar for years to come. Foley said he’s Mick Foley and Elias will listen to what he has to say. Foley said that Stephanie allowed him to book one match for old time’s sake. Foley introduced Elias’s opponent. Finn Balor’s entrance theme played and he made his entrance… [C]

Powell’s POV: Foley was over with the live crowd. He tried to explain that he convinced Stephanie to give him the role on Sunday and obviously we have the anniversary and yet it still feels out of the blue. If nothing else, it’s a nice last minute nostalgia hook for some fans.

Strowman continued to throw a hissy fit while searching for Reigns in the backstage area. They sure have a lot of metal poles in the backstage area at WWE events…

6. Finn Balor vs. Elias. There was a small and brief Bullet Club style “too sweet” chant from the live crowd. Elias was in offensive control heading into a break around 4:00. [C] Elias performed a sit-out powerbomb for a two count around 9:00. Balor came back with a finisher attempt, but Elias moved out of the way. Balor caught Elias in an inside cradle and pinned him…

Finn Balor pinned Elias in 10:15.

Powell’s POV: Balor needed a win after losing the last two Raw main events.

Footage aired from earlier in the day of Bobby Lashley working out while Lio Rush sang his praises by saying he looked and smelled like money. Lashley asked if Rush realized that he was working out. Rush said he was there to motivate him. Lashley hit him hard on the shoulder, but then said to go ahead and motivate him. Rush went back to singing the praises of Lashley…

Caruso was reluctant in attempting to interview Strowman, who then asked where Reigns was. She said maybe if he goes to the ring then Reigns will find him. Strowman said that’s what he would do… [C]

Powell’s POV: How many 205 Live cast members will be moonlighting as mouthpieces on the main roster? I’m all for Rush serving as a heel Lashley’s mouthpiece if that’s where this is heading.

[Overrun] Cole announced that Undertaker would appear next week…

Braun Strowman made his entrance. Once in the ring, Strowman said he was sick of waiting and then called for Reigns to come out and face him like a man. Reigns didn’t come out. “That’s what I thought, the Universal Champion is nothing but a coward,” Strowman said. He added that there won’t be anywhere for him to hide on Sunday once he’s locked inside the cell with him. Strowman said that if Mick Foley gets in his way then the injuries that he suffered in his match with Undertaker will look like a paper cut compared to what he does to Foley. Strowman said he’s taking the Universal Championship on Sunday.

Roman Reigns’s music played and he came out and stood on the broadcast table. Strowman went up to the stage where Reigns gave him a Superman Punch. Strowman quickly took control of the fight and headutted Reigns. Strowman took the broadcast table apart and knocked Reigns onto it. Strowman climbed onto the table. Reigns recovered and powered him up and performed a Samoa Drop off the table and through the stage in front of it. Both men crashed through the stage.

Reigns got back to his feet and there were some boos as he picked up the Universal Championship belt. Reigns held the belt above his head and there was a mixed reaction at best before his entrance music played…

Powell’s POV: That was the go-home angle? The champion putting his monster challenger through the stage? Really? The addition of Foley as special referee is once again a fun nostalgia addition, but beyond that this show failed to increase my level of enthusiasm for Sunday’s event. If you watched the NFL games and plan to speed through Raw or catch up via Youtube then the good news is that it won’t take you long to see the relevant material. I will have more to say in my members’ audio review tonight and in my WWE Raw Hit List on Tuesday. Stop back on Sunday night for my live coverage of WWE Hell in a Cell beginning with the Kickoff Show notes at 5CT/6ET.

The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Jim Ross on his role in AEW, Tony Khan as a leader, whether Ross knew Shawn Spears was going to hit Cody with a chair shot to the head, working with Excalibur and Alex Marvez, his new book and speaking engagement deal, and much more... Search "Pro Wrestling Boom" in Apple Podcasts or any podcast app to subscribe.

Readers Comments (7)

  1. Why is Owens still around when he quit, snd WHY is he following Strowman around? Do the writers even remember what happened on the previous weeks shows?

    • Because there are many many many people in the “universe” (including the guy on this site that does the “hits and misses” column) that allow Vince and H to do things that make no sense and have no continuity. Want proof? Read the “hits and misses” column tomorrow about this show.

  2. If you think RAW is sucking tonight Sam Darnold is playing really well in his first start with the Jets… Congrats Renee Young, big improvement in the broadcast team, wish she was replacing Cole… I totally agree with BH, I’m thoroughly confused about Kevin Owens situation. It’s the 25th year anniversary of the X files and there is a marathon on BBC America. So that’s an option if you get sick of the horrible writing on RAW…

  3. RAW hasn’t been that bad so far.

    Throwing Owens and the AoP in with all those other heels doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to me. It’s impossible to make Owens mean any less than he does after Strowman mowed through him, and knowing Lashley will. And they’re destroying the AOP’s mystique already with the matching “little buddy” clothes Drake is wearing, so…

    I think Elias should’ve been protected more, though.

    Not loving the super Rousey show though. If she wrestles Nikki at Evolution, I’m going to have to pull for Nikki, I guess.

  4. Did Ralph cirella from the Howard Stern Show become Mick Foley’s hair stylist ?

    What on Earth was Alicia Fox wearing? That was straight up out of Rob Halford closet

    Kevin Owens blaming Bobby Lashley is hilarious, all his troubles stem from all the beatdowns sustained from Braun strowman. funny how just because Braun is supposedly a heel they had to resort to Bobby Lashley being the problem

  5. Braun’s fake tough guy voice is so annoying. They should have moved Renee to Smackdown and replaced Corey there, since he is way overexposed being on both shows every week.

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