9/17 Powell’s WWE Raw Live TV Review: Undertaker responds to Triple H, fallout from WWE Hell in a Cell including Brock Lesnar interfering in the main event

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

WWE Raw on the USA Network
Aired live on September 17, 2018 from Dallas, Texas at American Airlines Center

[Hour One] WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns made his entrance to open the show. Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Renee Young were the broadcast team. Ring announcer JoJo introduced Reigns and then the broadcast team raved about the Hell in a Cell event that was held the night before. A video package recapped the Reigns vs. Braun Strowman main event, including the interference by Brock Lesnar.

Reigns paced around the ring and then said last night was rough, brutal, and didn’t go to plan for him. Reigns said he woke up and is still the Universal Champion. Reigns said he knew Brock Lesnar had a rematch coming, but he didn’t think Lesnar would kick the door down and attack him while he was down. Reigns challenged Lesnar to come out and get his rematch on the spot.

Braun Strowman made his entrance instead. Once in the ring, Strowman said Reigns should be thankful that Lesnar interfered because he’s the only reason he’s still Universal Champion. Strowman said it’s the second time that Lesnar has cost him an opportunity and there won’t be a third. Strowman said he wants Lesnar and then once he’s finished with him he’ll come for Reigns.

Acting Raw general manager Baron Corbin came and and said both men need to calm down. Um, Strowman said he was going after Lesnar first. Anyway, the crowd chanted “you suck” at Corbin, who said he would wait and then the fans immediately stopped chanting. Corbin said no one was more upset than him about Lesnar interfering in their match. He said he’d been on the phone with Stephanie McMahon all day.

Corbin announced Reigns vs. Lesnar vs. Strowman in a Triple Threat for WWE Crown Jewel, which will be broadcast from Saudi Arabia on November 2. This was met with the sound of silence from the fans. “I think that sucks,” Strowman said. He added that he thinks Corbin, Reigns, the situation, and everyone in the arena sucks.

Powell’s POV: There’s the official confirmation of the Saudi show being broadcast on WWE Network. You know, because WWE doesn’t have enough shows to promote. So you’ll have the men only show on November 2 just says after the women’s WWE Evolution event on October 28. Interesting timing, huh?

Paul Heyman walked onto the stage and spoke about Brock-enomics. He said it’s simple in that the the more leverage you have and the bigger star you are then the more money you are worth in UFC. Heyman said the more power you yield in UFC then the more money you can make in WWE, and nothing is more powerful than winning the WWE Universal Championship.

Heyman said Lesnar will go to Saudi Arabia and reclaim the title and become the crown jewel of WWE. Strowman left the ring and walked up the ramp toward Heyman, who fled backstage. In the ring, Reigns took the mic from Corbin, who took it right back. Corbin said he’s privy to the injury report and he knows that Reigns is banged up after Hell in a Cell. Corbin said Reigns may not even make it to Crown Jewel as champion because he would have to defend the WWE Universal Championship against him Raw…

Cole hyped Undertaker’s appearance for later in the show… Dean Ambrose’s face was shown. Young announced Ambrose vs. Drew McIntyre as coming up after the commercial break… [C]

Powell’s POV: While I can’t say the match does much for me on paper, it’s logical for Corbin to abuse his power by giving himself the title shot the night after HIAC. It’s also logical to book Reigns against a wrestler who is unlikely to be cheered.

1. Dean Ambrose vs. Drew McIntyre. Cole noted that both men came out without their tag partners. Graves said it might have a lot to do with both men falling off the HIAC structure and cashing through tables.

They cut to an early break. [C] Ambrose targeted the knee of McIntyre and put him in a Sharpshooter, but McIntyre reached the ropes to break it. McIntyre went to ringside and Ambrose left off the top rope and crashed into the barricade when McIntyre moved. Ambrose barely beat the referee’s count, but he was greeted with a Claymore Kick and pinned…

Drew McIntyre defeated Dean Ambrose in 11:55.

The broadcast team hyped the Crown Jewel event and the Triple Threat for the WWE Universal Championship, and Reigns vs. Corbin for the Universal Championship for later in the show. They also hyped that Ronda Rousey would appear after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: An entertaining opener and a pleasant surprise to see McIntyre go over clean. It’s the right move, but this is a company that tends to be reluctant to have their high end babyfaces lose clean in television matches.

Backstage, Dolph Ziggler sold his injuries and told McIntyre that he did a hell of a job. Corbin showed up and said one down and two to go. He boasted that he would beat Reigns later, then asked Ziggler if he was going to invoke his rematch clause for an Intercontinental Title shot. Ziggler said no because he fell off the HIAC structure. Corbin said Rollins did too and he heard that Rollins wasn’t even in the building. Corbin said that Ziggler could win the title by forfeit. Ziggler liked the sound of that and took the match. Corbin boasted about how great he is at his job to a random person backstage…

The broadcast team narrated still shots of the Raw Women’s Championship match from HIAC…

The Bellas were talking with Natalya in a locker room when Rousey entered the room. Rousey asked them how open challenges work. She questioned whether she goes to the ring and announces it or if she has to run it by Corbin. Natalya told her to go to the ring and make the announcement. Natalya said you never know who will take the challenge. Rousey said she has two arms and that’s one more than she needs…

Powell’s POV: They are really loading up this show with at least three title matches. No complaints. The show quality has been rough in recent weeks so hopefully this will break that slump. That said, this is something I would have announced before or at least at the top of the show if they have a good challenger in mind.

Bobby Roode and Chad Gable made their entrance. A pre-taped promo aired with Gable talking about how he’s been feeling. Roode gave him the go ahead to say he’s been feeling glorious. Cole said Gable would work a singles match after the break… [C]

2. Chad Gable (w/Bobby Roode) vs. Viktor (w/Konnor). The Ascension entrance was not televised. Gable performed his rolling German suplex into a bridge for the win. After the match, Konnor hit Gable and Roode from behind and then went to ringside and jawed at them…

Chad Gable defeated Viktor in 3:30.

The broadcast team hyped previously advertised segments… [C]

Powell’s POV: Please, please, please, WWE, don’t make us wait a week for the Roode vs. Konnor match. Fake enthusiasm aside, the match was fine even though the outcome was never in question. The Ascension are cemented as traveling enhancement guys, but Viktor is very good at what he does.

[Hour Two] Seth Rollins limped as he arrived at the building. Kayla Braxton was there to inform him of his match against Ziggler, plus the news that Corbin said he would forfeit the title if he’s unable to compete. Rollins said Corbin may be acting general manager, but this is still Monday Night Rollins…

The Undertaker made his entrance to a great reaction from the crowd. The fans chanted his name once he was in the ring and his music stopped playing. “They say delusion is the final recourse for the damned,” Taker started. “That no man can spin a web of lies like a man that has a broken soul.” Taker said he’s never seen anyone with more of a broken soul than Triple H.

Taker recalled Hunter saying last week that he’d lost all of his self respect. “Delusion will be his downfall,” Taker said. He said there was a time when Hunter was a wicked, savage, warrior, but these days he plays a more corporate game and his battlefield is the boardroom. Taker said Hunter’s life is so filled with lies that he can’t see the truth, nor can he see the fear in his friend’s eyes or his own demise.

Undertaker said that when he faces Triple H for the last time the result will be the same as the first time. “I will put him six feet under, game over,” he said. Taker said Hunter will move heaven and earth to outrace the reaper and will even enlist Shawn Michaels. Taker said let Hunter have his deceit, delusion, and Michaels. “But right there is where the devil is in the details,” Taker said. He added that Michaels will be in Triple H’s corner. He said he’s okay with that because standing in his corner will be Kane.

Taker said he took the career of Michaels and he will take the career of Hunter’s as well. He said he would take his soul and put him down. Taker said that with his brother of destruction watching his back, Triple H will rest in peace. The broadcast team gushed over the Taker vs. Triple H match while hyping the WWE Super Show-Down event as Taker made his exit…

Powell’s POV: A well delivered and received promo. The company has done a great job of taking what felt like a fairly flat legends match when it was announced and turning it into something that feels important.

A video package recapped the HIAC main event again. Cole hyped the Crown Jewel event again. Graves and Young hyped previously announced segments for Raw…

Cole set up a video package on the Conor’s Cure charity and then several pediatric cancer patients walked onto the stage with Sasha Banks and Bayley… [C]

3. Bayley (w/Sasha Banks) vs. Dana Brooke. The match was joined in progress. Cole noted that Brooke was solo because she’s no longer with Titus Worldwide. Bayley won the match clean with a running knee and then a Bailey-to-Belly suplex…

Bayley defeated Dana Brooke in 3:00.

AOP and Drake Maverick were shown walking backstage. Rezar picked up a production member and shoved him against the wall. Maverick called him off and told him to save it for the ring… [C] The broadcast team set up an extended ad for the WWE 2K19 video game…

4. AOP (w/Drake Maverick) vs. Gregory James and Barrett Brown. AOP won the squash with their Super Collider finisher…

AOP defeated Gregory James and Barrett Brown in 1:00.

Powell’s POV: It’s been well established that AOP can destroy enhancement wrestlers. This is apparently a reset for them, but it remains to be seen how they will be booked differently once it’s time to face the main roster teams.

Backstage, Ziggler complained about Rollins showing up despite Corbin’s assumption that he would not appear. Corbin told Ziggler that Rollins is more injured than he is and gave him a pep talk. Rollins entered the room. Ziggler encouraged him to back out of the match. Rollins said he was ready for a fight and questioned if Ziggler was… Young said the IC Title match was coming up after the break… [C]

Still shots aired of Rollins and Ziggler falling off the side of the HIAC structure and through tables on Sunday…

5. Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship. Both men sold their injuries before the match. JoJo delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. They cut to break less than two minutes into the match. [C] Rollins avoided a Zigzag and a superkick, then hit a ripcord knee for a near fall at 7:30.

Rollins caught Ziggler on the ropes and performed a superplex. Ziggler came back by rolling up Rollins and holding his tights for a two count. Rollins got up and performed a Stomp, sold back pain, made the cover, and got the win.

Seth Rollins pinned Dolph Ziggler in 9:30 to retain the Intercontinental Championship.

Powell’s POV: This wasn’t nearly as long or good as some of their previous matches, but I get it given that they are selling injuries from HIAC. It was still entertaining for what it was.

Roman Reigns was shown watching Rollins backstage when Charly Caruso entered the room and asked him about being the underdog going into his title defense against Corbin. Reigns said he doesn’t feel like the underdog. He said he might be when he faces Lesnar or Strowman, but he’s not when he faces Corbin and that means he’ll still be Universal Champion…

Powell’s POV: The message of this promo was essentially there’s nothing to see here. I don’t get the strategy. If Reigns doesn’t fear losing the title because he’s injured or because Corbin could play games due to his status as the general manager, then what’s the hook for this match?

Ronda Rousey was shown shadow boxing backstage… The broadcast team set up the Hispanic Heritage month video that featured Nikki Bella and Andrade Almas talking about their fathers. Zelina Vega raved about Rey Mysterio. Sasha Banks talked about Eddie Guerrero being her hero. Titus O’Neil spoke about Roberto Clemente and praised his charity work and said it’s everything he wants to be as an athlete…

A graphic boasted that WWE Hell in a Cell was the most socially active event on television last night…

[Hour Three] Ronda Rousey made her entrance and was all smiles as she headed to the ring. There was a “Ronda Rousey” chant as she stood in the ring and giggled. Rousey congratulated Alexa Bliss and said it was the best performance she’s seen from her. Rousey said she didn’t expect Bliss to fight at that level or push her to her limit. She thanked Bliss for showing her that she’s more of a champion than she thought she could be.

Rousey said she wants to be the best champion the fans have ever seen. She said she wants to be like Bret Hart, Steve Austin, and Ric Flair. Rousey issued an open challenge. She got mean and said that if any woman has the gumption to come out and try to take her title then “let’s see who it is.”

Natalya’s entrance music played. Rousey smiled and nodded. “A little friendly competition,” Young said on commentary. Natalya didn’t come out right away. Cole wondered if she was playing mind games. The Riott Squad members dragged Natalya onto the stage and left her there. Ruby Riott spoke as as they headed to the ring. She said they don’t dislike her or like her, so she would be the one accepting her challenge.

Rousey punched Riott off the apron, then got the better of Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan. Rouey sold her previously established rib injury and was speared by Riott. The Riott Squad put the boots to Rousey in the corner. The Bella Twins music played. Nikki Bella and Brie Bella rushed to the ring and helped Rousey fight off Riott Squad. Rousey hit her finisher on Ruby and the babyfaces stood tall in the middle of the ring while Cole hyped their six-woman tag match for Super Show-Down…

Powell’s POV: It would have been wild if Nikki attacked Rousey and pinned her since Rousey had issued an open challenge. Instead, this was just an angle to promote the six-woman tag match for Australia. I guess this explains why the broadcast team spoke about the IC Title match being the first of two title matches on the show since we never actually got the women’s title match.

A video package recapped Corbin giving himself a title match. Corbin was shown warming up backstage. Braun Strowman showed up and said he hopes Corbin wins because Corbin sucks and he knows he could kill him… Elias could be heard strumming his guitar going into a break… [C] An ad for Smackdown touted a surprise guest for Miz TV to open the show…

Powell’s POV: The only thing heelish about Strowman tonight was his line about the fans sucking. Otherwise, his bit with telling everyone else they suck is getting pops. This was another case of creative feeling the need to remind everyone that Corbin is a weak challenger.

Cole hyped Riott Squad vs. Rousey and The Bellas for WWE Super Show-Down…

JoJo introduced Elias, who sat on a stool in the ring and strummed his guitar. He introduced himself and then played a blues tune on his guitar. The fans cheered at the end. Elias said he knows how bad the show can be before he shows up (amen!). He said it would be three hours of Elias if he had his way, but he always gets interrupted and he chalked that up to jealousy.

Elias said he had to take care of Bobby Lashley. He said Lashley looks great, but he’s a constant disappointment who never gets it done when it matters. Elias said Lashley reminds him of the Dallas Cowboys. He said the fans wearing jerseys come off like they are proud to advertise failure. Elias started to play again, but he was interrupted.

Lio Rush walked onto the stage and said he was looking at a rock star. Rush spoke about Elias being repetitive. “Okay, hold on, whose kid is this?” Elias asked. Rush introduced himself as the man of the hour. “Listen, kid, I don’t care,” Elias said. He offered to get security to come out and take him to lost and found. Rush laughed and said the big man told him that Elias had lots of jokes or maybe that he was a joke, but either way he had unfinished business with him. Rush introduced “my man.”

Bobby Lashley made his entrance. The broadcast team narrated highlights of Kevin Owens attacking Lashley during the bad segment with Jinder Mahal and Sunil Singh (well, one of the many bad segments involving Jinder’s peace loving character). Cole hyped Lashley and John Cena vs. Elias and Owens for the Super Show-Down event… [C]

6. Bobby Lashley (w/Lio Rush) vs. Elias. The match was joined in progress. Rush actually sat in on commentary for the match. Young asked what his relationship with Lashley is. Rush said every great man needs a manager and that’s what he is. In the ring, Lashley leapt off the top rope and into a knee from Elias.

Kevin Owens’ music played and he came out and went after Rush, who leap frogged him and then avoided a chair that Owens threw at him. Rush headed to ringside and avoided Elias, who was counted out. Lashley picked up Rush and threw him onto the heels. Lashley put Rush on his shoulders and they played to the crowd…

Bobby Lashley defeated Elias by count-out in 2:10 of TV time.

Powell’s POV: So Vince McMahon is finally over his belief that managers are too old school wrasslin’? Some people used the word mouthpiece around him to avoid it, and it’s one of the reasons why Paul Heyman is called the advocate for Brock Lesnar. Anyway, Rush is very charismatic and the way he dodged the heels got some laughs and cheers. I still think this act would work better if Lashley and Rush were heels, but at least they are trying something new with the flat Lashley act.

Alexa Bliss, Mickie James, and Alicia Fox crammed into the same camera shot. Bliss said they are all future Hall of Famers. She spoke about her friends facing Ember Moon and a partner. James and Fox scoffed at the notion of Moon having a friend. Graves hyped the match for after the break…

Cole hyped the season premiere of Total Divas for Wednesday night and set up a preview video…

A sponsored flashback focused on Trish Stratus. Cole noted that she will be back in action at WWE Evolution… Ember Moon and her partner made their entrance…

7. Nia Jax and Ember Moon vs. Mickie James and Alicia Fox (w/Alexa Bliss). The heel trio’s entrance was not televised. James and Fox wanted nothing to do with Jax. Moon worked them over until she was shoved off the top rope. The heels isolated Moon for a stretch to set up the hot tag to Jax, who worked over Fox. Moon took out an interfering James with the Eclipse, and Jax performed a Samoan drop on Fox and pinned her. Cole noted that Jax won a SeeHer Now Award…

Nia Jax and Ember Moon defeated Mickie James and Alicia Fox in 5:55.

Powell’s POV: There were a couple of clunky moments such as when the referee stopped counting a James pin and then when Jax apparently forget that she was supposed to duck under Fox in the corner. Nevertheless, Jax came off well in her return, though it would have been more impactful had she won after her initial flurry of offense.

Corbin told a referee backstage that he wanted him to call the match evenly even though he’s his boss. Corbin made the referee call him the acting general manager of Raw…

The broadcast team stood by their desk and asked fans to donate ten dollars to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Florence relief… [C] Ring entrances for the main event took place…

8. Roman Reigns vs. Baron Corbin for the WWE Universal Championship. There was a forced sounding debate with Cole and Young complaining about Corbin abusing his power while Graves defended it. JoJo delivered in-ring introductions for the main event. Corbin caught Reigns with a clothesline and covered him for two heading into an early break. [C]

[Overrun] Reigns continued to sell while the broadcast team played up his injuries coming out of HIAC. Reigns came back with punches and clotheslines and had the vocal part of the crowd behind him. Reigns threw ten clotheslines in the corner and then delivered a big boot to the face of Corbin.

Reigns looked to the crowd and nodded while waiting for Corbin to get to his feet. Corbin rolled to ringside instead and then punched Reigns from the floor. Corbin raced back to the ring and took a Samoan drop for a two count. Reigns did the locked and loaded bit and then Corbin rolled to the floor again. Reigns followed and gave him a Superman Punch off the ring steps.

Reigns threw Corbin back inside the ring and let out a war cry, but Corbin once again rolled to ringside. Reigns went after him again and Corbin threw a chair at his face. Cole complained that the referee didn’t call for the bell. He eventually did and Reigns was named the winner by DQ.

Corbin told JoJo to announce that the match was being restarted as a No DQ match. She complied. Corbin threw Reigns back inside the ring and brought a chair in with him. Reigns blasted Corbin with a Superman Punch for a two count. Reigns picked the chair.

Braun Strowman’s music played and he walked onto the stage. Corbin hit Reigns from behind. Strowman entered the ring and worked over Reigns with clotheslines. Reigns avoided a power slam and then a spear from Strowman, who tumbled to ringside. Corbin hit Reigns from behind and ended up hitting his Deep Six move for a near fall.

Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler ran to ringside and helped Strowman to his feet. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins ran out and fought with the heels at ringside. Reigns knocked Strowman off the apron with a Superman Punch. Rollins and Ambrose entered the ring to check on Reigns, then performed stereo suicide dives onto Strowman and his crew. Strowman got back to his feet and Reigns went for a running dive over the top rope, but Corbin caught him with a forearm. Corbin entered the ring and was speared and pinned by Reigns…

Roman Reigns defeated Baron Corbin to retain the WWE Universal Championship in 17:35.

Cole hyped The Shield vs. Strowman, McIntyre, and Ziggler for WWE Super Show-Down to close the show…

Powell’s POV: The regular match was uneventful and lacked any sense of suspense. The No DQ portion was entertaining because the outside interference helped make it seem like Corbin had a chance to win.

Overall, Raw filled the time nicely with a couple of title matches, but it didn’t really address the ongoing issues. The heels aside from Braun Strowman, Drew McIntyre, and Dolph Ziggler have been damaged, and even the big heel trio feels shaky in that fans don’t have the same passion for Strowman as a heel as they did for him as a babyface. Plus, WWE is going way overboard on promoting too many events and television shows all at once. I will have more to say in my members’ exclusive audio review later tonight.

Check below for the latest ProWrestling.net Live audio show hosted by Matt Koon and I earlier today.


Readers Comments (6)

  1. I won’t lie I was hoping so badly that when Heyman and Brock Lesnar came to the ring last night I was praying Braun was about to be revealed as a Paul Heyman guy…

  2. I would like to think that maybe this Roode/Gable team is a way to somehow setup Jason Jordan’s return. I’d like to see Jordan try to be Rollins tag team partner again. I thought he found his groove before he got hurt. Plus, all this could lead to Ambrose and Rollins vs. American Alpha

  3. Hey, it’s Hispanic Heritage Month. Time to dust off the ol’ Sasha Banks “Eddie Guerrero was my idol” quotes again…

  4. Man I swear nobody takes an Eclipse in the ring as good as Mickie James. Reminds me of 20 years ago when the Rock would over-sell the Stone Cold Stunner, that was the tits.

  5. I think it’s hilarious how heel Authority figure Baron Corbin wears a Connors cure pin on his vest

  6. ““They say delusion is the final recourse for the damned,” Taker started. “That no man can spin a web of lies like a man that has a broken soul.”

    No, Undertaker, they don’t say that. Nobody in the history of the World has ever said that last part.

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