By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
WWE Raw on the USA Network
Aired live on July 15, 2019 from Uniondale, New York at NYCB Live (Nassau Coliseum)
The show began with Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Renee Young welcoming everyone to the show. Brock Lesnar’s music hit and he made his way to the ring with Paul Heyman. Cole jumped right into cringe territory by calling it a Brock Party. They then aired some footage of last night’s Main Event, concluding with Lesnar’s cash in on Seth Rollins.
Heyman introduced himself as Brock’s advocate and called Brock the reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Champion. Lesnar had a big grin on his face. Heyman said it amazes him that he tells people the truth, but they’d rather he told them a lie. He said I told you so, and said that what he said last week on Raw, and last night at Extreme Rules came true, his client cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase for the Universal Title.
The crowd began to boo, but Heyman told them to boo themselves for not listening. Heyman then said he told the company Seth Rollins would not be defending the Championship at SummerSlam, and nobody listened to him. He referenced his stroke and position in the company, and said he would be in charge of finding an opponent for Lesnar at SummerSlam. He said you can ask Vince or Dana White, Brock is not an easy guy to negotiate with. Heyman said in his genius, he came up with the idea to have a cross brand Top 10 Battle Royal to determine who would be victimized at SummerSlam.
The entrants would be:
- Seth Rollins
- Randy Orton
- Big E
- Braun Strowman
- Rey Mysterio
- Baron Corbin
- Sami Zayn
- Bobby Lashley
- Roman Reigns
Heyman said Seth Rollins strolled into Extreme Rules as Becky Lynch’s stallion, but left as a gelding. He told the crowd to Google it if they didn’t get it. He then said when you get in the ring with Lesnar, you risk your health, livelihood, and manhood. Heyman then gave a spoiler, and said anyone who gets in the ring with Lesnar in this Universe is his bitch. Ricochet then made his ring entrance,and Cole said the challenger for Becky Lynch’s championship would be decided later. Ricochet walked by Lesnar, who apparently decided not to make him his bitch.
Alexa Bliss, Natalya, Carmella, and Naomi will have a fatal four way to determine the Raw Women’s number one contendership, and Finn Balor will face Samoa Joe.
Barnett’s Take: Hey folks, Jason has a weather related power outage tonight, so I’m taking over until he gets back online. This was a fairly paint by numbers promo from Heyman, as they’ve had the same album on rotation for Lesnar for the last 4 years, and it’s starting to scratch. I can’t say I’m terribly excited about the choices for Becky Lynch’s next challenger, and the Battle Royal for the Universal Title Challenger seems like it was forced by the sloppy booking over the last few months.
The Usos made their entrance. The Revival and Robert Roode were already in the ring. The Usos cut a brief promo where they called Ricochet Pretty Ricky, and said they would lock down the Uso Penitentiary. This is a two out of three falls match.
1. Ricochet and The Usos vs Robert Roode and The Revival: Ricochet hit a codebreaker they called The Recoil, and then a standing moonsault for the first fall.
Ricochet defeated Scott Dawson at 0:50
The match reset and Ricochet engaged with Robert Roode. He dragged him to his corner and tagged in Jey Uso. The action quickly turned around as Roode took over with strikes and dragged Jey to his corner and tagged in Dash Wilder. They isolated Jey to their half of the ring. Jey tried to punch his way out of the predicament, and tagged in Jimmy after avoiding an elbow drop. Jimmy entered and got in some quick strikes, but was quickly overwhelmed by a Revival double team after a ref distraction by Roode, and fell to the Shatter Machine for the second fall.
Dash Wilder pinned Jimmy Uso at 6:55
The match reset again after the commercial break and resumed with Dash Wilder and Jimmy Uso in the ring. Jimmy tried to break free for a tag, but Dash wilder held onto his arm before applying an abdominal stretch. Jimmy hit a hip toss, but that allowed Dawson to tag in. He knocked Jey off the apron, but Jimmy was able to break free and tag Ricochet. Roode and Ricochet were the legal men, but the match broke down. The Usos splashed the Revival on the outside. Ricochet hit The Recoil and a 630 and got the final fall on Roode.
Ricochet pinned Robert Roode for the final fall at 10:32
After the match, The Club walked down to ringside and got splashed by Ricochet. They Club beat him down momentarily. The Usos superkicked The Revival and The Club, but the Revival recovered in time to hit Jimmy with a shatter machine. Ricochet came back and took out the revival with a springboard splash, but Styles put him down with a Phenomenal Forearm. Gallows and Anderson put on the exclamation point with a Magic Killer, and The Club stood over Ricochet to close the segment.
Backstage, the Viking Raiders were shown backstage. They are in action next…[c]
Barnett’s Take: That was an action packed segment, but I fail to see how it benefitted in any way from the two out of three falls stipulation. If anything, it just made Scott Dawson look like a punk for taking that first fall so easily. Roode also seemed out of place and utterly disconnected from the program. The action was enjoyable, though, and the rest was quickly forgotten after post match attack by The Club. I presume this means The Club will end up in a triple threat with The Usos and Revival at SummerSlam, and we’ll see Ricochet and Styles run it back one more time.
The Viking Raiders made their entrance. Some local talent was already in the ring.
2. The Viking Raiders vs. Local Talent: Total destruction from The Viking Raiders, as you’d expect. Ivar had the match won after a powerslam, but picked his opponent back up. They hit a clothesline and german suplex double team move, and then hit the Viking Experience for the win.
The Viking Raiders defeated Local Talent at 2:11
The announce team threw to a video package of The Undertaker and Roman Reigns vs. Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre. After the video package, the announce team threw to footage from earlier today of some of the locker room members mocking McIntyre. Drew went to the locker room and called out Cedric Alexander for trying to pull a fast one on him last week, and asked if he thought it was a joke. Cedric said when he competes, it’s never a joke. Drew said he wanted to disembowel and dismember him, but that was illegal, so he’d settle for humbling and humiliating him. Cedric said he’d see him out in the ring, but the joke was on him…[c]
Barnett’s Take: Nice to see Cedric on TV again. He’s going to be killed here, but it’s better than being invisible for a few months, right?
Drew McIntyre made his ring entrance, while the announcers tried to make it sound like he got embarrassed last week, despite destroying Cedric Alexander. Cedric then made his entrance.
3. Cedric Alexander vs. Drew McIntyre: The match began with Drew in control after some well placed punches, but Alexander landed a wheel kick and then splashed McIntyre out on the floor. Back in the ring, Drew suplexed Cedric into the corner, and then hit a release vertical suplex for a near fall. Drew continued employ his power, but Cedric caught him with a back elbow to create some space.
Drew went to the top rope, and jumped into a flying nothing that Cedric intercepted with a dropkick. McIntyre hit a headbutt to get back in control, and setup for an inverted Alabama Slam. Cedric managed to reverse into a victory roll and got an upset victory.
Cedric Alexander defeated Drew McIntyre at 5:44
Footage was shown of Shinsuke Nakamura capturing the Intercontinental Championship at Extreme Rules. Backstage, Balor was interviewed and said Extreme Rules was a tough night. He said he doesn’t dwell on the past, and looks for a path forward. He said he wants his Intercontinental title back, and he didn’t care if he had to around, over, or right through Samoa Joe to do it.
Joe was then shown and said he wasn’t going to do any of that. Joe would be waiting for him in the ring, and he would be ready to hand him yet another loss. Joe vs. Balor is next…[c]
My Take: I enjoyed Alexander vs. McIntyre while it lasted, and it’s a match I’d like to see get some more time eventually. The surprise win establishes Cedric as a guy to watch, even though beating Drew doesn’t mean as much as it really should.
Raw Reunion was plugged for next week. Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Steve Austin, and others were shown in video clips. Footage of Paul Heyman’s promo was shown where he announced the Battle Royal that would determine Brock Lesnar’s challenger at SummerSlam. Backstage, Roman Reigns was interviewed by Charly Caruso. She asked how he would carry his momentum from last night into the Battle Royal.
Reigns said he didn’t care what anyone said, this was his week. From the ESPY’s, to the Hobbs and Shaw Premiere, to now the Battle Royal, nobody was going to stop his momentum. He said he would win tonight, and then get ready for SummerSlam. Finn Balor made his entrance in the arena.
4. Samoa Joe vs Finn Balor: Joe used his strength to gain control early one. Balor grabbed a headlock and held on for a good while, but Joe reversed into a crucifix and got a victory.
Samoa Joe defeated Finn Balor at 2:21
After the match, Joe attacked Balor, but he fired back and ended up hitting a full speed dropkick and a Coup de Grace. After he sent Joe packing, the lights went out and Balor could be hurt scuffling with someone. As the lights came back on, Bray Wyatt hit Sister Abigail. They did some spooky lights and he posed in his mask. His voice was heard laughing over the arena speakers as the show went dark. Music played that was clearly inspired by horror films, and there were some white lights with a strobing effect…[c]
Barnett’s Take: Joe gets a needed win here, so I guess we’ll see what happens with the Intercontinental Championshp at SummerSlam. Wyatt making his return is the big story here, and how he’s handled in the ring and on the regular TV show was always a major question. It will be a huge test for this character to integrate into normal WWE programming, and if they are able to do it successfully it could be a major hit with a portion of the fanbase.
Drake Maverick was shown at a hotel, and was registered as Mr. and Mrs. 24/7 Champion. Renee scoffed at being registered under that name, and Drake promised it would be the perfect place to consummate their marraige. She demanded fancy champagne and room service, and he gave the hotel attendant several hundred dollars in cash. Truth then walked up and offered him a dollar for more information on a registered guest named Hornswoggle.
Backstage, The Street Profits said there was a reason guys put height in their Tinder profile. They then speculated about the Women’s fatal four way, and they settled on Alexa with Nikki at her side. Dawkins still has a crush on Nikki Cross. They then got hyped about Big E and Rollins for the Battle Royal later. Zack Ryder was then shown in the ring for a match. Backstage, Mike Kanellis was dressed down by Maria, who said she was going out to take the match. Mike told her to let him take it, but she started out to the ring. He intercepted her halfway down the ramp and got in the ring.
5. Zack Ryder vs. Mike Kanellis: Ryder hit a Rough Ryder and got a pin on Kanellis immediately.
Ryder defeated Kanellis at 0:14
Maria grabbed a microphone and told her that her unborn child had a better chance in the match than he did. The Battle Royal and Women’s Fatal Four way were plugged for later. The Club is in six man tag team action next…[c]
Barnett’s Take: Mike Kanellis has to look like less of a buffoon at some point, right? I’m still trying to assess what the point is of the Street Profits being excited fans backstage, but they are entertaining regardless of their role.
The Club made their ring entrance. Lucha House party followed.
6. The Club vs Lucha House Party: Styles opened up a can on Gran Metalik to start, and then tagged in Anderson. Metalik showed some resilience and hit a bulldog and a dropkick on Anderson, who shrugged it off and tagged in Gallows. He entered and stomped a hole in Metalik in the heel corner. Metalik had an opportunity to tag out after a kick, but failed to do so and got beat down by Gallows and Anderson. Ricochet ran in from behind the timekeeper and pulled Styles off the apron for a beat down. The refs had to seperate them and pull Ricochet to the back…[c]
The match reset during the break. Styles hit a dropkick on Lince Dorado. Frequent tags were made by the heels as they isolated Dorado. Footage was shown of Ricochet attacking Styles before the break. Anderson continued the assault on Dorado, but eventually Lince hit a springboard stunner to escape. Kalisto tagged in took control of the match. He knocked Styles and Gallows off the apron, and then sent Anderson to the floor with a head scissors.
We saw some dives to the floor by Kalisto and Metalik, but Anderson came back and put down Metalik with a Boot of Doom. Styles then tagged in and snarled at the hard camera. He then rolled up Kalisto in the calf crusher, and he immediately tapped.
The Club defeated Lucha House Party at 8:56
Styles refused to break the hold, and Kalisto shouted in pain. Styles eventually broke the hold and kicked Kalisto out to the floor. The Club then celebrated their victory. The announce team then threw to the video package we saw earlier of Lesnar’s cash in at Extreme Rules.
Backstage, Seth Rollins was interviewed about his loss. Rollins said he was spent emotionally and physically, but the most painful thing was watching Brock Lesnar walk around with a title he doesn’t deserve. He then said Becky Lynch was one of the toughest people he knows, and whether or not she shows up tonight is her decision, but Baron Corbin found out what it means to push him too far. He then said he would fight whoever it takes to get a chance to fight and beat Brock Lesnar. We then got some footage of the attack on Finn Balor by Bray Wyatt.
Alexa Bliss made her entrance with Nikki Cross. She was followed by Carmella, Naomi, and Natalya. Becky Lynch then hobbled her way out to sit on commentary…[c]
Barnett’s Take: WWE is playing it up like Baron Corbin killed Becky Lynch with that End of Days, which might be a little over the top, but I guess it would be even worse if she acted like it wasn’t a big deal either. The Four Way doesn’t really have a high profile match for Lynch. I am afraid we’re going to get yet another rushed Natalya feud, simply because SummerSlam is in Toronto. The Club vs. Lucha House party was a fun match, and it’s nice to see a mid card Championship feud get multiple segments on a show.
7. Naomi vs. Natalya vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Carmella: This is an elimination match. Carmella got dumped to the outside early on, and Alexa retreated to have a group chat with Nikki. Natalya and Naomi squared off and both went for dropkicks. Carmella snuck in from the outside and tried to pin them both multiple times and got nothing. She screamed about but the crowd didn’t care. She tossed Natalya out to the floor and put the boots to Naomi.
Naomi fired back with a back elbow and climbed to the top. Carmella met her up there with a head scissors and pulled her down for a near fall. Natalya entered again, and got hit with a head scissors that turned into a big airplane spin for effect. Carmella then hit superkicks on both Natalya and Naomi, but Alexa ran in and rolled her up for a quick pin.
Alexa eliminated Carmella at 3:55
Alexa tried to cover Naomi, but the ref was out of position. Becky ended up just sitting at ringside and not joining on commentary. Naomi sent Natalya to ringside and hit several kicks on Alexa for a near fall. Alexa fired back with kicks and a slap of her own. Both women hit the ropes and collided mid ring…[c]
Natalya pulled Naomi to the floor. Naomi recovered and hit a blockbuster from the steps onto the floor. Alexa snuck up from behind Naomi and hit a forearm smash. She then tossed her into the ring and applied a chinlock. Naomi fought to her feet and hit a Bubba Bomb type move on Alexa for a near fall. Naomi then hit a standing leg drop and got another near fall. Naomi sent Alexa to the outside with a bulldog into the second turnbuckle.
Natalya entered the match and hit a clothesline. She then applied a chinlock before applying a surfboard. Alexa entered and slipped through for a cover on Natalya, who had to release the hold to kick out. Alexa snuck back outside. Naomi hit a kick in the corner, but was stopped from hitting a split leg moonsault by Bliss. Natalya hit a powerbomb out of the corner on Naomi for a near fall.
Alexa entered the match and tried to roll up Nattie, but only got two. She then hit a big forearm strike and sent Natalya to the floor. Alexa then slowed down the pace of the match and applied another chin lock that sucked up a long time. Naomi broke free when Natalya entered the match. Alexa was sent to the floor by Natalya after a flurry of strikes. Nattie then rolled up Naomi a moment later and got the second fall…[c]
Natalya defeated Naomi at 12:54
Nikki Cross got on a microphone and was upset the crowd wasn’t cheering for Alexa. She tried to start a chant, but got boos instead. Alexa hit double knees and covered for a near fall. She then went for a bulldog, but Nattie tossed her aside. Alexa rolled to the floor, where Nattie hit Nikki with a discus clothesline after Alexa ducked. Natalya then applied the Sharpshooter in the ring for the win.
Natalya defeated Alexa bliss at 17:45
After the match, Charly interviewed Natalya, who said Lexi sucks. She said she’s going back to her home country of Canada, facing her friend Becky Lynch, she said it was just amazing. Becky grabbed a mic and said her friend…correction…The Man has something to say. Becky said Nattie knows she hurt, but she always come to fight. Becky said if she thinks that she going to wrestle her friend in her home country, she’s got another thing coming. She said Nattie’s career needs something, and she’s it. She said one things she’s learned through all of this is that she’s better in war than in love.
Nattie said she must not be a very good lover then, bitch. She said she was going to pull the greasy mop off of her head, and the horseshoe out of her ass, and beat her down in Toronto. They got in each other’s faces until refs showed up to separate them.
Backstage, Randy Orton said after he wins the Battle Royal later, he has enough venom to put down the beast with the three most dangerous letters in WWE, RKO. Dolph Ziggler will be a guest on MizTV next…[c]
My Take: That women’s match was entirely too long. The best part of it was Becky and Nattie’s promo at the end, and that could have happened after one fall in 2/3rds the time. I think the match probably would have been better off for it, as they had to introduce a lot of stalling and transitions to and from the floor to fill the time. The promo at the end was surprisingly good, so here’s hoping these two have the same instant chemistry in the ring.
Miz introduced his talk show and brought out Dolph Ziggler. He asked why he wanted to be on the show, and Dolph said he wanted to know if the rumors are true about thim. Miz acted incredulous, and Ziggler asked him why he’s a company stooge now, instead of the guy that used to try to be the best. Miz asked if he was mad about Kofi or Kevin Owens, and he said no, but he asked why Miz has become a company guy with a reality show.
Ziggler continued to go on about how Miz is wearing a shirt about Long Island, and he’s just happy to be there. He’s not from Hollywood, he’s from Cleveland, and gritty city with people that have something to prove. He claimed Miz has become everything he once hated, and he was everything wrong with the business. Ziggler said he abandoned everything that made him great to seek out fame and fortune, because that’s all he cared about, and the same goes for his wife.
This set off Miz, who beat down Ziggler and sent him to the floor. Drake Maverick was then shown in his hotel rome in a bath robe, and we’ll get an update on him next…[c]
Barnett’s Take: A very good promo from Ziggler that will certainly get the attention of people pushing the “Gratitude Era” catchphrase online. This feud is actually a pretty nice landing spot for Ziggler, and Miz hadn’t been featured much lately, and it gives them a chance to cut the kind of promos that will set them up for better feuds down the road.
Drake was in his hotel room, dressed in only the 24/7 Championship. His wife came in wearing her robe, but room service came knocking. Drake found that the waiter was a referee, and that R-Truth was hiding in the food and drink cart. Truth got a near fall on the first pin attempt, and then won it on the second one. Renee screamed as Drake gave chase out of the room in his briefs. After the sketch, the announce team threw to WWE’s appearance at the ESPY’s. The Battle Royal is next…[c]
Barnett’s Take: R-Truth captures the WWE 24/7 Championship again, for what reason I don’t know. I like Truth and Drake, but this division has surprisingly little variety despite the premise of the Championship. Here’s hoping Raw Reunion offers a little more for the 24/7 Championship.
Big E made his entrance for the Battle Royal. He was follwed by Sami Zayn, Seth Rollins, etc. Refer to the list at the top of the report. Before making his entrance, Braun Strowman said these 10 superstars would get these hands. After Braun made his entrance, Lesnar made his way out holding a chair….[c]
8. 10 Man Battle Royal far a Universal Championship Match: Cesaro got on fire early in the match and threw some upper cuts around. He hit a giang swing on Mysterio and tried to catapult him over the top, but Mysterio saved himself. Lashley Gorilla Pressed Cesaro and tossed him out a moment later. Strowman paid him back by tossing him out a moment later. Big E got up in Strowman’s face and talked trash.
Strowman knocked him down with a shoulder tackle, but Big E hit a Big Ending on Strowman a moment later. E turned around into an RKO, and then Zayn tossed Big E out. Orton then hit Zayn with an RKO, and Mysterio hit him with a 619. Orton then tossed him out. Reigns tried to sneak up on Orton, but ate an RKO as well. Mysterio ended up sending Orton to the floor under the ropes, but Corbin quickly eliminated Mysterio. After a series of finishers, Rollins quickly eliminated Corbin. Rollins, Strowman, and Reigns were left. Reigns pulled Strowman over the top rope, and Seth ended up knocking both men to the floor.
Orton snuck back in the match and beat down Seth with strikes and a backbreaker. He then played to the crowd and talked trash to Lesnar. Orton fired up for an RKO, but Seth avoided it and hit a stomp before sending Orton out of the ring.
Seth Rollins earned a Universal Championship Match at 8:33
After the match, Paul Heyman got on the mic and announced Seth “Freakin” Rollins as the Number One contender. He said he is now the man who gets to go to SummerSlam to be beaten, victimized and conquered. Rollins grabbed a mic and told Heyman to shut the hell up. He said he had been a conduit to this for too long. Rollins talked directly to Lesnar, and said he promised him that SummerSlam would look a lot like WrestleMania, where he stomped his head into the mat and stood over him as the reigning, defending, undisputed Heavyweight Champion. The crowd was a bit too tired to get fired up over Seth’s promo.
Seth dared Lesnar to come to the ring with his chair, but he stopped short and stood at ringside and smashed the chair into the ring apron to close the show.
My Take: That was a competent Battle Royal with a lot of star power. The crowd was very into Big E, which was encouraging. Everybody else got in their greatest hits, and got the expected reactions, so the crowd played along well. Seth Rollins getting the win was the most obvious choice, but I almost thought they might give this one to Reigns. Perhaps he’ll end up challenging Kofi Kingston for the WWE Championship. There were quite a few positive developments on this episode of Raw, including the mid card getting some much needed attention and a better than expected promo form Becky Lynch and Natalya. I remain unconvinced that Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar can really heat up their match for SummerSlam given their previous efforts, but I’ll hope for the best.
Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast With Jason Powell featuring guest Jim Ross discussing 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.