By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw (Episode 1,471)
Live from Chicago, Illinois at Allstate Arena
Aired August 2, 2021 on USA Network
[Hour One] Jimmy Smith welcomed viewers to the show and noted that they were playing to a sold out crowd. Smith was joined on commentary by Corey Graves and Byron Saxton, and Mike Rome was the ring announcer…
WWE Champion Bobby Lashley and MVP made their entrance. MVP used his cane while heading to the ring. Once in the ring, MVP said he knew everyone was excited to see Goldberg, but Lashley asked him to address some things first. There were some boos for Goldberg.
MVP said Lashley has not dignified Goldberg’s challenging him to a title match. MVP said Goldberg is a Hall of Famer who is still capable of annihilating a man on any given night, but Lashley is no ordinary man. MVP said Lashley is an unstoppable monster.
A loud “Goldberg” chant broke out. MVP said that it won’t end well for Goldberg if Lashley accepts his challenge. MVP said it could be Goldberg’s final night as a competitor if he takes the match. He asked if Goldberg wants to be remembered as a champion or as a casualty.
Goldberg’s entrance music played and he made his entrance. Once in the ring, Goldberg said that if anyone should be worried about losing something, it’s Lashley, who should be worried about losing the WWE Championship. Goldberg said MVP sounded scared and Lashley looks scared.
Another loud Goldberg chant broke out. Goldberg asked Lashley if he thinks he’s up for the challenge. He said Chicago can smell fear a mile away. He said Lashley either crapped his pants or he’s scared out of his mind.
Goldberg said it doesn’t matter if he’s 35, 45, or 105, Goldberg will always be Goldberg. He said he lives by the spear and Lashley will die by the spear. Goldberg told Lashley that he’s next at SummerSlam. Goldberg left the ring and bumped fists with his son at ringside while Graves pointed out that Lashley never flinched once.
MVP pointed out Goldberg’s son. MVP went to ringside and told Goldberg’s son that Lashley would end his father’s career. Goldberg returned and speared MVP at ringside. Goldberg and his son Gage headed to the stage while Lashley checked on MVP. Goldberg barked, “I’ll kill you” to Lashley, who helped MVP up to his feet…
Drew McIntyre stood backstage with his sword and was shown talking with Sarah Schreiber. “Look at the size of Drew McIntyre’s sword,” Graves actually said. Footage aired of McIntyre hitting Shanky with 34 chair shots two weeks ago, and then they hyped McIntyre vs. Veer and Shanky in a handicap match for after the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: Look at the size of McIntyre’s sword? Wow. Anyway, the Goldberg and Lashley segment was solid. Goldberg’s never been a great talker and he had some detractors, but he was more over with the Chicago crowd than I anticipated. Oh, and Goldberg is 54 years-old just in case you were wondering after hearing him throw out all those ages.
1. Drew McIntyre vs. Veer and Shanky (w/Jinder Mahal) in a handicap match. McIntyre’s entrance was televised, but his opponents were standing in the ring coming out of the commercial break. The heels cleared the ring when McIntyre entered out of fear of his enormous sword. McIntyre set up for a Claymore on Veer, but Shanky grabbed his ankle from the floor. Jinder Mahal entered the ring and hit McIntyre with a chair for the DQ.
Drew McIntyre beat Veer and Shanky in a handicap match by DQ in 3:15.
McIntyre went to ringside and grabbed his massive sword. McIntyre brought his huge sword into the ring and used it to knock the chair out of Mahal’s hand. Veer raised his chair, but McIntyre kicked him and then cut his head off, er, headbutted him. Shanky threw his chair down and backed into the corner while McIntyre stuck his big sword right in his face. Shanky left the ring. McIntyre stood on the ropes and held up his giant sword for the crowd to admire.
Backstage, Jinder tried to lead his crew out of the building. Kevin Patrick showed up and got a word with Mahal, who said McIntyre was a madman…
Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler were shown standing backstage. Jax looked into the camera and said that if you were shocked by what you just saw, just wait until you see what she would do to Rhea Ripley… [C]
Powell’s POV: As if it wasn’t tough enough to take Mahal and his henchmen seriously against McIntyre, now they are fleeing the building while in fear of a sword he stuck in Shanky’s face before letting him leave the ring without using it? Poor McIntyre deserves so much better than this shit feud.
McIntyre was walking backstage with his enormous sword over his shoulder in Dexter Saint Jock style. Kevin Patrick approached McIntyre and brought up the heel trio running away. McIntyre spoke about giving Mahal nightmares…
2. Rhea Ripley vs. Nia Jax (w/Shayna Baszler). Jax was already in the ring while Ripley’s entrance was televised. Ripley took out Baszler with a cannonball dive off the apron. Jax hoisted up Ripley and gave her a Samoan Drop against the barricade. [C]
Ripley performed a missile dropkick and covered Jax for a near fall. Jax came up with blood on one side of her face. Ripley set up for her finisher. Baszler distracted Ripley. Jax charged at Ripley, who moved early and ended up rolling up Jax for the win…
Rhea Ripley defeated Nia Jax in 7:35.
After the match Jax and Baszler bickered. Baszler took her jacket off and told Jax that she’s been keeping it together. Baszler left the ring and there were boos. Ripley entered from the other side and threw a high kick at Jax and followed up with her Riptide finisher…
Powell’s POV: I didn’t catch what caused Jax’s cut. WWE loves their distraction finishes, but apparently this one was an attempt to set up an eventual Jax and Baszler split. It’s time. I just hope that they finally get it right with Baszler on the main roster, but I’m not holding my breath.
Highlights aired of Mustafa Ali and Mansoor beating Mace and T-Bar last week… Mace and T-Bar made their entrance… [C] Mustafa Ali and Mansoor made their entrance coming out of the break. An overzealous Mansoor hugged Ali, who wanted nothing to do with it…
3. Mustafa Ali and Mansoor vs. Mace and T-Bar. Mansoor performed a suicide dive on Mace by the broadcast table. Ali looked annoyed on the other side of the ring and was attacked by T-Bar. Ali came right back with a tornado DDT into the ring.
Mansoor was tagged in. Ali went up top, but T-Bar kicked Mansoor into the ropes, which knocked Ali down. T-Bar ended up taking out Mansoor with a big boot and then pinned him.
Mace and T-Bar beat Mustafa Ali and Mansoor in 2:40.
Afterward, Ali barked at Mansoor. Ali noticed Mace and T-Bar behind him. Ali shoved Mansoor to make him roll out of the ring, then turned and took a double chokeslam. Mansoor returned to the ring and checked on his partner and apologized while doing so…
Powell’s POV: That’s a distraction finish followed by parity booking on your Raw bingo cards. Remember, no four corners allowed for this game.
Nikki ASH was shown running back and forth in the backstage area. Saxton hyped that viewers would hear from Charlotte Flair coming out of the break… [C]
Charlotte Flair made her entrance in non-wrestling attire.
[Hour Two] Flair brought up U.S. Gymnastics team member Simone Biles withdrawing from several competitions due to mental health reasons. She said the more she learned, the more she empathized with her. Flair shot down some “Becky” chants by saying she wasn’t there. “I’m the one who sold out the Allstate Arena, not her,” Flair said.
Flair vented about Nikki ASH stealing her Raw Women’s Championship and said she would have her own nervous breakdown. She boasted that she is the most decorated woman in the history of the business. Flair walked to ringside and said that cashing in the Money in the Bank contract is the most cowardly way to win a championship.
Flair pulled a kendo stick, a broom, and a chair out from underneath the ring and slide them into the ring while saying she had been chased in on three times. Flair reentered the ring and spoke about facing Nikki ASH in a No Holds Barred match. ASH showed up and hit Flair from behind with a chair. Flair rolled out of the ring…
Backstage, Patrick spoke with Eva Marie and Doudrop on the interview set and asked Doudrop about Natalya’s injury. Eva hijacked the interview and said she didn’t care about Natalya’s injury. Eva said Lilly-Lution is “eww, yuck, gross.” She said Natalya paid the price for getting in the way of the Eva-Lution and no so would Tamina. The duo made their entrance for Doudrop’s match against Tamina… [C]
4. Doudrop (w/Eva Marie) vs. Tamina. Tamina made her entrance with both WWE Women’s Tag Titles over her shoulders while the broadcast team noted that Natalya underwent surgery last week. Tamina put Doudrop down with a hip attack in the corner and went to the ropes, but she was distracted by Eva.
Doudrop ran Tamina into the ring post. Later, Dropdrop got distracted while listening to Eva’s instructions and was late to go for a cross body block that Tamina avoided. Tamina performed a Samoan Drop and scored the pin…
Tamina beat Doudrop in 3:50.
After the match, Alexa Bliss appeared on the big screen with Lilly in her hands. Bliss laughed while saying that Eva Marie was the loser of the match…
Powell’s POV: The crowd was very quiet during the match. I keep waiting for a development with Eva and Doudrop. It seems like Doudrop is annoyed by Eva some weeks and on the same page with her other weeks.
Damian Priest was shown walking backstage. Riddle rolled up to him on a scooter. He recalled breaking Omos breaking his other scooter and said thankfully he had this one in the stable. Priest asked Riddle if he was worried about Omos doing the same thing this week. Riddle spoke about having the power of Randy Orton coursing through his veins. They also spoke about Priest appearing on Miz TV…
The Miz and John Morrison made their entrance for the Miz TV segment… [C] Miz sat on his wheelchair while Morrison was next to him in the ring on a director’s chair. Miz said he couldn’t hide his disdain for his guest and then introduced Damian Priest.
Priest asked if anyone knows what’s wrong with Miz. He asked if he’d ever wrestle again, then asked if it was an injury to his legs or a different type of situation in between them. Miz said he would smack the taste of Priest’s mouth if he wasn’t in the wheelchair. Priest stood up, leaned in, and dared him to do it.
Morrison said Priest was disrespecting two legends. He claimed kids around the world grow up dreaming of being Miz and Morrison. Priest said there wasn’t a kid on the planet who grew up dreaming of being Johnny Sidekick. Priest also spoke about Miz using people to get ahead.
Priest said he came out to officially challenge Sheamus, but they’ve pissed him off and he would rather fight. Miz tried to use the drip stick, but Priest blocked it. Morrison went after Priest, who quickly cleared him to ringside, leaving Miz alone inside the ring. Priest picked up a drip stick and sprayed it at Miz…
Powell’s POV: This was one of those segments where the fake laughter coming from one of the broadcast team members seemed to be louder than the live crowd’s reaction.
5. Damian Priest vs. John Morrison (w/The Miz). Priest went to the ropes a couple minutes in. Miz distracted him by spraying him with a drip stick, allowing Morrison to take offensive control. Morrison set up for Starship Pain, but Priest cut him off. Morrison hit him with a knee and a standing shooting star press for a near fall. Priest caught Morrison going for a springboard move and slammed him face-first. Priest followed up with his Hit The Lights finisher and scored the pin…
Damian Priest defeated John Morrison in 4:10.
Afterward, Sheamus attacked Priest. Ricochet ran out for the save and helped Priest clear the heels from the ring… [C]
Powell’s POV: I guess the creative forces thought enough time had passed that they could go back to something involving Priest with Miz and Morrison and not have it feel tired and repetitive. The creative forces were wrong. The live crowd was only slightly louder during this match than they were during Tamina vs. Doudrop. Hopefully they have something good for the top of the hour to wake up the typically lively Chicago crowd.
6. Damian Priest and Ricochet vs. Sheamus and John Morrison (w/The Miz). Smith said Sonya Deville came out during the break and booked the match, which was joined in progress. There was a waterslide spot where Miz got the ringside mat wet via the drip stick. Morrison slid Ricochet across the wet mat and into the ring steps. Funny. In the end, Priest hit The Reckoning on Morrison and pinned him…
Damian Priest and Ricochet beat Sheamus and John Morrison in roughly 3:00 of television time.
Powell’s POV: The crowd was a little livelier for the tag match, but they’ve definitely faded as this show’s gone on. The waterslide spot was fun. Fortunately, Ricochet was able to slide even though Miz didn’t get much water on the ringside mat.
A recap of the Goldberg and Lashley segment aired…
Lashley was shown pacing backstage while MVP was still selling Goldberg’s spear. The broadcast team said Lashley would respond to Goldberg’s challenge after the break… [C]
Sarah Schreiber approached Lashley and MVP and asked for Lashley’s response to Goldberg. MVP tried to speak, but he winced. Lashley said he hopes that Goldberg brings his son to SummerSlam so that he can see him annihilate his father…
Graves officially announced Lashley vs. Goldberg for the WWE Championship for SummerSlam…
Riddle made his entrance to a good reaction and “Bro” chants. Backstage, Kevin Patrick recalled Omos destroying Riddle’s scooter and then asked what could be expected from him in the ring. Omos said Riddle’s scooter was first and his spine is next. Omos made his entrance without AJ Styles.
[Hour Three] Riddle put Omos in a sleeper, but Omos flipped him off his back.
7. Omos vs. Riddle. Riddle avoided a charging Omos to start and tried to use his quickness to his advantage. Omos eventually caught him by the throat and tossed him over the top rope. Omos followed to ringside and dumped Riddle in the timekeepers area. Riddle beat the referee’s count.
Omos headbutted Riddle to the apron, then knocked him to ringside with a shoulder block. Riddle beat the ref’s count again. Riddle threw three knees to Omos and then ran into a big clothesline. Omos pulled up Riddle and gave him the Baldo Bomb and then pinned him…
Omos beat Riddle in 2:35.
Powell’s POV: This was entertaining for what it was. Riddle did a good job. Omos doesn’t do much in the ring, but they make his limited offense count.
Alexa Bliss and Lilly were on the Playground swing set. Doudrop attacked Bliss from behind. Eva Marie walked onto the set and picked up Lilly. Eva spoke about how much uglier the doll was in person and then dropped it. “This is Eva-lution,” Eva said before walking away with Doudrop. Lilly magically stood up…
NXT Champion Karrion Kross made his entrance for a rematch with Keith Lee… [C] The broadcast team touted photos of Bianca Belair hanging out with Megan Thee Stallion at Lollapalooza… A Kross pre-tape aired with him holding an hourglass while talking about how Lee’s time is up… Keith Lee made his entrance…
8. NXT Champion Karrion Kross vs. Keith Lee in a non-title match. Graves called out Lee for performing slingshot dive over the ropes onto Kross and then “basking in the adulation” of the fans. Kross took offensive control with an exploder suplex. The match spilled to ringside where Kross suplexed Lee into the side of the ring steps. [C]
Late in the match, Kross hit Lee with this shot to the head. Kross applied his Kross Jacket submission hold. Lee powered out of the hold and flipped Kross over. Kross charged Lee, who caught him and hit him with a Spirit Bomb for the win…
Keith Lee defeated Karrion Kross in 11:00 in a non-title match.
Powell’s POV: Lee gets a win after losing his two previous matches, and the main roster booking continues to damage the Kross vs. Samoa Joe match for the NXT Championship that will presumably headline NXT Takeover 36. Why couldn’t they have just waited to tell this Kross story after SummerSlam weekend?
Rhea Ripley was interviewed by Kevin Patrick, who asked if she would be watching the No Holds Barred match. Ripley spoke about the weapons that could be involved and said she would be watching. She also said she would leave SummerSlam as the Raw Women’s Champion…
WWE 24/7 Champion Reggie made his entrance for a title defense. As if the guy isn’t having a hard enough time getting over, Saxton felt the need to say, “Go Reggie, Go Reggie”… [C]
9. Reggie vs. Akira Tozawa for the WWE 24/7 Championship. Tozawa’s entrance was televised. Reggie continues to wrestle in his regular clothes. Reggie used his regular finishing flip onto Tozawa and then scored the pin…
Reggie beat Akira Tozawa in 2:05 to retain the WWE 24/7 Championship.
Powell’s POV: The usual with Reggie using his acrobatics and quickness to make his opponents look silly. The live crowds continue to seem impressed by the athleticism, yet not all that into Reggie as a character.
Nikki ASH was interviewed by Kevin Patrick, who asked if she’s ever been in a match like No Holds Barred. Nikki brought up her Sanity days. Er, she said she had not. ASH said Flair beat her last week, but she said she has the confidence to beat her. She said that if she beat Flair, she could show the world that if they believe in themselves then they could be almost a superhero. ASH made her entrance for the main event and stopped to visit some kids along the way… [C]
Drew McIntyre, Reggie, Mansoor, and Mustafa Ali were advertised as the guests for Raw Talk… Charlotte Flair made her entrance…
10. Raw Women’s Champion Nikki ASH vs. Charlotte Flair in a No Holds Barred, Championship Contenders Match. Flair dumped ASH to ringside and cleared off the broadcast table. Saxton pulled Smith out of the way while barking at him to get out of the way. The crowd chanted for tables. Flair obliged by pulling one out from underneath the ring. Flair leaned the table against the side of the ring.
ASH shoved Flair into the ring post. Flair came right back with a forearm shot and then slapped ASH. Rhea Ripley was shown watching the match on a backstage monitor from one of WWE’s oddball angles. Flair performed a fallaway slam at ringside. Flair speared ASH through the barricade and into the timekeepers area. [C]
ASH showed some signs of life, but Flair caught her leaping off the ringside barricade and then powerbombed her through the broadcast table. Flair eventually brought ASH back inside the ring and then placed one foot over her as the ref made a two count. ASH got to her feet. Flair charged, ASH moved, and Flair crashed through a table that was set up in a corner of the ring. ASH performed a draping neckbreaker and scored the clean pin.
Nikki ASH defeated Charlotte Flair in 14:30 in a non-title No Holds Barred match.
ASH celebrated her win and held up the title while the broadcast team hyped the Triple Threat for the Raw Women’s Championship at SummerSlam. ASH went to ringside and sat on the barricade to continue her celebration and then went into the crowd as the show concluded…
Powell’s POV: The live crowd was receptive to ASH vs. Flair as the main event. A lot of the fans stood and watched even at times when both wrestlers were in the ring. ASH was over with the crowd and Flair got her usual good heat. Overall, though, Raw simply doesn’t have enough going to fill the three hours in a compelling manner. We’ve seen episodes that were far worse than this one, but there were plenty of really flat segments. I will have more to say in my weekly same night audio review of Raw for Dot Net Members. Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.
“That’s a distraction finish followed by parity booking on your Raw bingo cards. Remember, no four corners allowed for this game.”
Still waiting for the AEW review that harps on 8 straight segments with interruptions.
I’ve criticized AEW for going overboard in that area several times in written pieces and on audio shows. I just don’t drone on and on about it every week like an obsessive lunatic. So, are you going to let us know why you continue to watch AEW when you hate it so much or are you going to disappear again now that the question has been asked?
Well Jim Cornette hates AEW and he still watches and DVR’s it every week; I guess wrestling is just a tough habit to break.
Jim Cornette reviews the show in what I’m sure are very popular segments on his podcast, so it makes sense that he watches. Thotless just makes the same complaints every week and most have been made by Cornette on his podcasts. To be fair, he does provide some good original thoughts and/or criticisms too at times. But whenever someone asks why he keeps watching AEW if he dislikes the product so much, he disappears. It’s actually very comical that he just can’t answer that question.
Well I will listen to Cornette’s youtube segments on certain topics of interest because he does possess a lot of good knowledge from the wealth of his first-hand experience. I do notice at times that some of the things that he is griping about with AEW are similar to styles and methods that were present in ROH when he was involved with that promotion. So that much leaves me a little perplexed.
This was a very dull show with very few highlights. It opened well, ended well, everything else was meh
Oh THERE he is! We’ve been waiting for you in the million-plus AEW viewership article comments that you’ve been avoiding!
Come on in and join us, we have a LOT to talk about
At least the Berserker tried to stab a few people with his sword. Drew just looks like a total dork when brings one to the ring. Either leave it on the stage as part of the entrance or dump it.
Agreed. They had something good going with Drew. Their idea of glitzing him up has done more harm than good.
Jason: First of all great content. After watching pretty much all of wwe content for 30 years straight, they finally drove me off of raw completely. So I read your report and watch the top ten on wwe’s youtube to keep up to date. As someone who just enjoys wrestling, thotless makes a few points, but is mostly a troll. I do agree with alot of what Cornette says about non finishes, no selling for 100 mph spots, etc. that happen in aew. And I read your content on nxt and aew as well. To be honest and fair, I don’t listen to the podcast, so I am sure you mention it there, but as a reader, you do sometimes seem to be more lax on aew’s mistakes vs. wwe’s. This by no means, means you in aew’s pocket, like some would say but as a reader of your work, I have noticed it. I rarely post comments. Just wanted to put in my two cents. Thanks. Keep up the great work.
What you call “glitzing him up”, I call adding WWE stink.
That’s pretty much all the Beserker (Nord the Barbarian up in Minnesota) ever did in WWF. Otherwise he just walked around the ring and made indecipherable loud noises.
Remember when Prince would get into a fight with his record label and then would release an album he knew was terrible just to meet his contractual obligations?
It just feels like WWE is making Raw terrible intentionally. I just can’t figure out the end game
Can’t sell to Peacuck if USA still wants it…