By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw (Episode 1,522)
Live from New York, New York at Madison Square Garden
Aired July 25, 2022 on USA Network
[Hour One] Raw opened with Logan Paul and The Miz brawling in the ring while the broadcast team of Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton called the action. Several referees and producers ran out and separated Paul and Miz. Smith said Paul called out Miz prior to the show going on the air. Footage aired from their brawl…
Roman Reigns’ entrance music played. The Bloodline of Reigns, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, and Paul Heyman made their entrance. “Big titles with three men,” Smith said on commentary. Ring announcer Mike Rome introduced the Bloodline members. Smith noted that Reigns was walking the same MSG aisle as Bruno Sammartino and Pedro Morales before him.
“Madison Square Garden, acknowledge me,” Reigns stated to a mixed response. Reigns told Heyman that he didn’t feel like talking anymore and then passed the mic to him. Heyman welcomed viewers to the Island of Relevancy. Heyman’s mic went out. “We have a sound guy that must be from New Jersey or something,” Heyman said once the mic worked. “We want your name written down, you are the next one out the door.” Funny.
Heyman picked up where he left off and said Sunday will mark 700 days that Reigns has been the champion. Heyman said Brock Lesnar loves to piss on everyone’s parade. Heyman said Randy Couture was the best UFC heavyweight of all-time and Lesnar ruined his party. Heyman said Lesnar also ruined Undertaker’s WrestleMania streak party. He also recalled Lesnar taking out John Cena.
Heyman said Lesnar looks at Reigns being just one day away from the 700-day mark on Saturday and wants to ruin the party. Heyman made references to Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, and other legends, then said Reigns will do whatever it takes to do at SummerSlam to finally rid himself of Lesnar. Heyman said Reigns has nothing to say because he can’t handle the sound of Lesnar’s name. Heyman said Lesnar won’t be able to stand at all at SummerSlam.
Theory made his entrance carrying his Money in the Bank briefcase. Theory said the Bloodline talks a lot, but they forgot the most important details. Theory said he will take back his U.S. Championship from Bobby Lashley and then cash in his MITB contract on Reigns or Lesnar and become the new Undisputed WWE Universal Champion.
Reigns asked Theory if he was going to stop at ringside. Reigns said that if Theory is going to enter his arena, he should at least enter his ring and acknowledge his Tribal Chief. Theory entered the ring and looked apprehensive. Reigns told New York that Theory was nervous and asked the fans to take it easy on him.
Reigns said they like Theory, but he has no idea what he’s doing with the briefcase. Reigns said Theory needs the wiseman. Reigns told Theory he needs to analyze the situation. “Your daddy’s not here anymore,” Reigns said. The crowd gasped. The crowd chanted “Daddy’s gone.” Reigns said Theory heard them, his daddy is gone. The crowd chanted “who’s your daddy.” Reigns said he run the Garden now.
Reigns walked past Theory and patted him on the back. Jey Uso slapped the back of Theory’s neck as he walked past him. Theory responded by hitting him with the MITB briefcase twice. Reigns held back the Usos. The crowd continued to chant “who’s your daddy” and then Reigns’ entrance theme played as The Bloodline headed toward the stage…
Powell’s POV: The Paul and Miz brawl was a unique opening for Raw. It will be interesting to see if they follow through with Paul’s advertised talkshow or if that’s the end of his night. MSG would likely savage Paul, so it would be a smart move to call it a wrap for tonight. Meanwhile, it was encouraging to see Theory show some balls by entering the ring and not taking Jey Uso’s shit. Reigns telling Theory that his daddy is gone was fantastic.
Mike Rome stood at ringside and introduced Theory as the youngest MITB holder in WWE history. Theory said it was the introduction he deserved. Theory started to speak, but he was quickly interrupted. Drew McIntyre made his entrance with his stupid giant sword. “He doesn’t even go here,” Graves said…
1. Drew McIntyre vs. Theory. McIntyre dominated Theory to start the match while Saxton questioned what type of condition Theory would be in on Saturday at the rate the match was going. Theory fired chops at McIntyre, who no-sold them and went right back on the offensive. McIntyre set up for his finisher, but Theory rolled to ringside. McIntyre followed and then picked up Theory and dropped him on the broadcast table. [C]
Theory got some offense coming out of the break. McIntyre got the better of a punch exchange in the middle of the ring. McIntyre put Theory down with a spinebuster for a two count. McIntyre played to the crowd and went to a corner to set up for his finisher. Sheamus, Butch, and Ridge Holland ran out attacked McIntyre for the DQ finish.
Drew McIntyre defeated Theory by disqualification in 9:45.
Sheamus, Butch, and Ridge Holland beat on McIntyre inside the ring. Sheamus jabbed a shillelagh in McIntyre’s eye, but U.S. Champion Bobby Lashley made his entrance and helped clear the trio from the ring. Theory was left behind, but he escaped before McIntyre and Lashley could get their hands on him… [C]
Powell’s POV: Yep, the first finish of the Paul Levesque creative era was a disqualification. While that’s a letdown, I can’t say that I really expected a clean finish either. The important thing is that the crowd was hot for the match and the post match angle.
2. U.S. Champion Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre vs. Theory and Sheamus (w/Ridge Holland, Butch). The match was joined in progress and the broadcast team said that Adam Pearce made it during the break. Sheamus put McIntyre down and teased making a tag, but he messed with Theory by staying in the ring. McIntyre put Sheamus down with a Glasgow Kiss headbutt and then tagged out.
Lashley powered up Sheamus for a nice suplex. Theory ran in and ate a Flatliner. With both heels at ringside, Lashley followed and charged Theory, only to have Sheamus catch him with a leaping knee to the face. Butch entered the ring and distracted the referee while Holland pulled McIntyre off the apron. McIntyre hit Holland with a Glasgow Kiss and then suplexed Butch onto him. The referee ejected Holland and Butch. [C]
Lashley was isolated by the heels. A graphic listed Logan Paul’s “Impaulsive” talkshow (groan). Lashley made a hot tag. McIntyre worked over Theory with clotheslines and suplexes. McIntyre put Theory down with a neckbreaker and then kipped up and played to the crowd. Theory avoided the Future Shock DDT, but McIntyre performed a sit-out spinebuster for a near fall.
Later, Sheamus put McIntyre down with White Noise while legal men Lashley and Theory were in the ring. Theory called for his finisher and hoisted up Lashley on his shoulders. Dolph Ziggler appeared at ringside. Lashley slipped away from a distracted Theory and then put him in the Hurt Lock and got the submission win…
U.S. Champion Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre beat Theory and Sheamus in 12:20 of television time.
After the match, Theory went to the stage and held up his MITB briefcase. When he turned to walk to the back, the Usos dropped him with a double superkick. Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman walked out. Reigns picked up the briefcase and placed it on Theory and then told him when he cashes in on Saturday, he has to bring the briefcase. Another “Who’s your daddy” chant broke out…
Powell’s POV: Really good energy through the match with everyone involved working a fast pace. I like the finish in that the idea is that there was some mystery as to whether Theory could have beaten Lashley had he hit his finisher were it not for the Ziggler distraction. It was a bit odd to see McIntyre and Lashley coexist without even a hint of drama given their history as rivals.
A video package aired on Rey Mysterio for his 20th anniversary to the tune of Metallica’s “Wherever I May Roam.” It included recycled comments from Batista, JBL, Randy Orton, and AJ Styles. It included footage of him winning the championship while his son Dominik and daughter Aalyah were shown at ringside. There were additional comments from Dom, Kurt Angle, Kevin Owens, and John Cena…
An SUV arrived backstage. Rey Mysterio got out of the vehicle and then his don Dom climbed out and hugged him. Rey went around to the other side and let out his wife Angie and daughter Aalyah. The broadcast team said the 20th anniversary celebration was up next…
An ad listed Kurt Angle for Sunday’s A&E Biography… [C]
Powell’s POV: Last night’s A&E Biography on Brie and Nikki Bella was a pleasant surprise. The Bellas came off really well as they spoke openly about how much they wanted to wrestle and how much resistance they faced before the company finally started to do more with the female talent. It’s worth taking the time to watch if you haven’t seen it yet.
[Hour Two] The latest eery video that may or may not be for Edge featured the mystery person drawing “I am coming to” in red paint…
Kevin Patrick interviewed Dolph Ziggler, who said he thinks Theory needed to be taught a lesson. Ziggler said he’s seen a thousand come and go. He said Theory has accomplished everything so quickly. Ziggler said Theory is a hell of an athlete “and as handsome as I am,” and can do it all.
AJ Styles showed up and started to say something when he was shushed by Chad Gable, who was accompanied by Otis. Gable challenged Ziggler and Styles to a tag team match. Styles and Ziggler accepted…
Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio made their entrance. Their family and others were shown cheering as they watched the backstage monitor. Rey said he wanted to thank some people and mentioned Dean Malenko, Konnan, Batista, Kurt Angle, Edge, and Eddie Guerrero.
Rey said he feels truly humbled and appreciative for the support that the fans have given him for the last twenty years. A “thank you, Rey” chant broke out. Rey said it means that much more to be able to celebrate with his family. The crowd chanted “you deserve it.” Rey thanked his wife and daughter, who were shown watching backstage.
Rey told Dom that he’s proud of him and the man that he has become. Rey said Dom will represent the Mysterio legacy to the fullest once he’s no longer around. Rey thanked the fans for accepting him, always rolling with the Mysterios, and for 20 of the dopest and most awesome years.
Rey thanked the fans in attendance, saying he saved the best for last. He said he could have been any place in the world, but he was at the legendary and iconic MSG. Rey thanked the live crowd and said love them all. Rey spoke briefly in Spanish. Rey spoke in English and thanked the fans, saying it meant the world to him.
Finn Balor was shown applauding as he entered through the crowd. Damian Priest entered through the crowd on the other side of the ring heading into a break… An ad for Smackdown focused on the previously advertised matches… [C]
3. Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio vs. Finn Balor and Damian Priest. The match was joined in progress. Dom powerbombed his father onto Balor at one point. Rey got Balor in the corner and did the Eddie Guerrero shimmy, but Balor whipped him into the opposite corner and then tagged in Priest. The heels isolated Rey for a stretch. Dom tagged in and went for a suicide dive on Priest, who caught him and slammed him into the barricade. [C]
Balor hit Rey with a Coup De Grace and had him pinned, but Dom broke it up at the last moment. Priest grabbed a chair from ringside and passed it to Balor. Priest distracted the referee. Balor passed the chair to Rey and then laid down on his back, but the referee didn’t turn around because Dom distracted her.
Rey hit Balor with the chair and then tossed it to him, and the referee turned around. Balor pleaded with the ref not to disqualify him. Rey performed huracanranas on Balor and then Priest, and then he and Dom performed stereo 619s. Rey went up top and frogsplashed Balor and then pinned him…
Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio defeated Finn Balor and Damian Priest.
Powell’s POV: A nice win for Rey on his anniversary night. I’m surprised that they brought in family members and they didn’t turn Dom heel. No complaints.
A video package recapped Cody Rhodes winning the ESPY Award for WWE Moment of the Year… Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair was shown walking backstage… [C]
The Mysterio party was in full effect backstage. Rey and Dom arrived and were greeted by their family and fiends. Rey was given a champagne bath and he took a shot. His daughter gave him a gift box. Rey opened it and it contained a mask and gear.
Rhea Ripley entered the room. Aalyah told Ripley to leave. Ripley pie-faced her. Ripley grabbed Dom by the hair and pulled him into the hallway. Rey followed and was attacked by Damian Priest and Finn Balor. Ripley joined in putting the boots to Rey. Priest powerbombed Rey through a table in the backstage area. Rey’s family checked on him (while one party goer stood by with his champagne glass)…
Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair made her entrance while a sponsored recap spotlighted her win over Carmella from last week. Belair stood in the middle of the ring and was about to speak when she was interrupted by Becky Lynch’s entrance music.
Becky Lynch walked out and tried to talk, but Belair cut her off. Belair went into her EST routine while Lynch entered the ring. Lynch tried to speak, but Belair kept going with the EST bit until Lynch hit her with a cheap shot. Belair fought back. Belair went for her finisher, but Lynch held onto the ropes.
Lynch ended up pulling Belair over the top rope by using her braid. The brawl continued at ringside where Belair and Lynch fought over the broadcast table. Adam Pearce, Shane Helms, and referees pulled Belair and Lynch apart…
Powell’s POV: Belair doing her EST routine was annoying enough that I found myself siding with heel Lynch. I hope there’s more to come from Belair and Lynch, because this felt pretty routine and was not a strong final push for their big Raw Women’s Championship.
The broadcast team switched to recapping Asuka and Alexa Bliss beating Nikki ASH and Doudrop two weeks ago for some odd reason…
Backstage, Sarah Schreiber, whose name was shown on a graphic, introduced Alexa Bliss and asked her what’s next for her. Bliss said ASH and Doudrop make fun of her for being friends with Lilly, but she questioned why they are friends. Bliss said that the winner of Belair vs. Lynch should watch their back because she intends to take back her place at the top of the women’s division. Bliss made her entrance for a match against Doudrop… [C]
Pearce and trainers were tending to Rey while Dom stood by. Priest and Balor showed up again and were stopped by Dom and others. Ripley appeared and kicked the arm that Rey was favoring. “Happy 20th, Rey,” Ripley said while laughing…
4. Alexa Bliss vs. Doudrop (w/Nikki ASH). The final moment of Doudrop’s entrance was televised. ASH grabbed the Lilly doll. Bliss punched Doudrop off the apron, which the production crew cut away from (it was replayed). Doudrop used the distraction to go on the offensive.
Later, Bliss avoided a charging Doudrop in the corner. Bliss went up top for her finisher, but ASH pushed her off the top rope. Doudrop picked up Bliss for a move, but Bliss countered into a DDT and got the three count…
Alexa Bliss beat Doudrop in 4:20.
Powell’s POV: The crowd was as flat as they’ve been all night when Bliss got the predictable win. I really hope that ASH and Doudrop are repackaged now that Vince isn’t calling the creative shots. Of course, I also hope that Theory and Ciampa get their first names back, Drew McIntyre ditches the stupid sword, and a lot of other changes are made. I’m not surprised that we’re not seeing any notable changes yet, but it’s safe to assume that change is coming.
Backstage, AJ Styles told Logan Paul to do everyone a favor and shut Miz’s mouth at SummerSlam. Smith hyped the Paul talkshow for after the break… [C] New York imagery was shown… The opening segment brawl involving Logan Paul and The Miz was recapped…
[Hour Three] Logan Paul made his entrance. An “Impaulsive TV” logo was set up in the ring along with two chairs. Paul played to the NYC crowd and plugged that his brother Jake Paul will be fighting in MSG next weekend. Fans booed. Paul said it’s not next weekend.
Paul said it’s today and today is tonight and tonight is Monday Night Raw and the debut of Impaulsive TV. There were some boos. He said it’s like Miz TV, only people actually watch. Paul called out Miz to resume their brawl. Miz didn’t come out. Paul called him out again and said he was probably backstage trembling with fear with his little tine prunes.
Maryse made her entrance carrying small disco balls on a chain (or something). She worked in a plug for the season finale of The Marjo Show while walking to the ring. Maryse entered the ring and said she doesn’t appreciate Paul talking about her man’s package. Maryse spoke about the average size of a man’s testicles and said her husband’s fit into those perimeters. Paul mocked her for using the word testicles.
The Miz made his entrance and entered the ring. Miz said Paul owes his WWE career to him. He said Paul would get big match Miz. Paul interrupted Miz trying to do his awesome catchphrase and said he always knew he had tiny balls. Marye slapped Paul, who said she has bigger balls than her husband.
Ciampa attacked Paul, who quickly fought him off and then tackled Miz. Ciampa hit Paul from behind. Paul tackled Miz and threw punches, but Ciampa joined in and they beat down Paul while Maryse watched from ringside. Miz put Paul down with a Skull Crushing Finale. A “one more time” chant broke out as Miz and Ciampa stood over Paul…
Powell’s POV: Yawn. Logan Paul is a heel. It’s too late to change things before SummerSlam, but hopefully this will be corrected soon.
Backstage, Kevin Patrick introduced The Street Profits, The Usos, and guest referee Jeff Jarrett. The teams bickered until Jarrett told them both to shut up. Jarrett told them that he would remember if anyone got out of line. He told them to keep the peace tonight and walked away. Both teams said their catchphrases. Jarrett returned and looked at both teams before walking away…
Powell’s POV: Two great tag teams heading into a showdown match and yet they had to stand there and act like scolded children for the special referee.
AJ Styles and Dolph Ziggler made their entrance for their tag team match against Alpha Academy… [C] A Superstar Fact graphic noted that Chad Gable is a former Minnesota State High School wrestling champion and earned the right to compete at the 2012 London Olympics…
Chad Gable and Otis made their entrance. Gable spoke as he walked to the ring and spoke about his 4.0 GPA and heeled on the live crowd. He said Styles and Ziggler was just a thrown together team that would end in disappointment. Gable said they reminded him of the New York Knicks…
5. AJ Styles and Dolph Ziggler vs. “Alpha Academy” Chad Gable and Otis. Styles threw an early dropkick at Gable, who rolled out of the ring. Styles leapt over the top rope and hit Gable with a forearm on the floor. [C] Ziggler superkicked Gable and had him pinned, but Otis broke it up. Styles took out Otis with a Pele Kick. Gable went for a rolling suplex on Styles, who held onto the ropes. Ziggler put Gable down with a Zigzag and pinned him…
AJ Styles and Dolph Ziggler beat “Alpha Academy” Chad Gable and Otis in 6:30.
The broadcast team ran through the SummerSlam lineup. They added Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio vs. Finn Balor and Damian Priest in a No DQ match…
Powell’s POV: I’m not surprised that the makeshift team won, but I am disappointed. Gable and Otis are a good team, but they have been devalued by losing too often. Meanwhile, I’m guessing the No DQ stipulation appears to stack the deck against the Mysterios, but it will probably lead to Edge helping them out instead.
The Bloodline made their entrance for the six-man tag team main event… [C] The Street Profits and Riddle made their entrances. Graves said the Profits want the smoke and Riddle always knows where to find it. Funny…
6. “The Bloodline” Roman Reigns, Jimmy Uso, and Jey Uso (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Riddle and “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins. The Profits wore New York Knicks inspired gear. Ford performed a flip dive from the ring onto both Usos heading into an early break. [C]
Ford worked over one of the Usos, but he didn’t realize that Reigns was the legal man. Reigns put Ford down with a uranage slam. Ford suffered a nasty facial cut at some point and the referee checked on him. Ford was isolated going into the final break. [C]
Coming out of the break, footage aired of Reigns running Ford into his corner. The broadcast team said that’s when Ford was cut, and they played up the possibility that he suffered a broken nose. Ford performed a running Blockbuster on Reigns and then made a hot tag to Riddle while Reigns tagged in Jimmy.
Riddle had a flurry of offense on both Usos. He went for a Draping DDT on Jimmy, but Jey held his brother’s legs from the floor. Riddle ended up taking them both out with a dive. Riddle and Jimmy returned to the ring. Reigns made a blind tag and hit Riddle with a Superman Punch and had the pin, but one of the Profits broke it up.
Dawkins shoulder blocked one of the Usos into the timekeepers area. Reigns ran Dawkins into the ring steps. When Reigns returned to the ring, Riddle hit him with a Draping DDT. Riddle struck the Viper’s Pose and went for the RKO, but Reigns threw him to the mat. Reigns let out the war cry and then speared and pinned Riddle…
“The Bloodline” Roman Reigns, Jimmy Uso, and Jey Uso defeated Riddle and “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins in 19:25.
After the match, Seth Rollins came out and crossed paths with The Bloodline as he headed to the ring. Rollins attacked Riddle and Stomped him at ringside. Rollins placed Riddle’s head over the ring steps and then gave him another Stomp.
Powell’s POV: I’m happy they didn’t have one of the Profits take another loss heading into their tag title match, but Riddle feels like he’s lost some momentum after losing to Reigns during their title match on Smackdown and then failing to win the MITB ladder match. I wonder if he’ll get his mojo back with a win over Rollins at SummerSlam.
Overall, this was a solid show, though not the night of dramatic change despite the fact that it was the first Raw following the retirement of Vince McMahon. I don’t think anyone should be surprised by that given that the focus is on Saturday’s SummerSlam. I am very anxious to see if we start to see significant change beginning next week, perhaps even with some post SummerSlam call-ups from NXT. I will have more to say in my weekly same night audio review of Raw for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).
Join me for my live reviews of WWE SummerSlam and the Ric Flair’s Last Match event this weekend.