By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw (Episode 1,524)
Live from Cleveland, Ohio at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
Aired August 8, 2022 on USA Network
[Hour One] A video package recapping the return of Bayley, Iyo Sky, and Dakota Kai aired to open the show… The broadcast team of Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton checked in and hyped previously advertised matches.
The following brackets were shown for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Title tournament: Tamina and Dana Brooke vs. Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai will face the winner of Alexa Bliss and Asuka vs. Nikki ASH and Doudrop. On the other side, the winners of Raquel Rodriguez and Aliyah vs. Xia Li and Shotzi will face the winners of Nikkita Lyons and Zoey Stark vs. Natalya and Sonya Deville…
The Tamina and Brooke vs. Kai and Sky match will air on tonight’s show…
Bayley, Kai, and Sky made their entrance and were introduced by ring announcer Mike Rome. The trio spoke in the ring. Bayley said the women’s division needs them. She mocked the fans for enjoying watching Becky Lynch “play dress-up” every week and for enjoying Bianca Belair.
Bayley asked “all of you idiots” how she is the only one who realized what a lethal weapon Sky is and the only one to realize the benefit of bringing in Kai. Bayley mistakenly said “Dakota Sky” and called the crowd dummies while stating that she knew she said it wrong.
Alexa Bliss, Asuka, and Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair made their entrances and then walked to the ring together. Bliss said Sky and Kai would not win the tournament because they wouldn’t get past her and Asuka in round two.
Belair said they had no problem taking care of the three of them on the spot. Bayley said she wanted to do it somewhere it that actually counts, not in Cleveland, which drew boos. Bayley proposed a six-woman tag match for the Clash at the Castle event. Belair said challenge accepted.
Belair said that while Bayley was talking about control, she felt like losing it. Belair struck Bayley and then the six women brawled to ringside and then some went over the barricade. Bliss dove off the barricade onto some of the heels. Adam Pearce and other producers ran out along with referees to break up the brawl…
Powell’s POV: The women being featured prominently is become an early noticeable trend on the Paul Levesque shows, which is a positive. The tournament field is pretty routine as far as main roster pairings aside from the exception of the NXT duo of Nikkita Lyons and Zoey Stark.
1. Seth Rollins vs. Angelo Dawkins (w/Montez Ford). Both entrances were televised. Dawkins, who worked without a shirt on, got the early advantage. Rollins rolled to ringside where he was distracted by Ford. Dawkins shoulder-blocked Rollins over the broadcast table. [C]
Rollins tripped Dawkins and drove his face into the middle turnbuckle pad. Ford checked on Dawkins. Rollins kicked at Ford, who got upset, grabbed a chair from under the ring, and entered the ring with it. The referee stopped Ford from using the chair and ejected him from ringside.
A short time later, Dawkins avoided a Stomp and then put Rollins down with a Sky High powerbomb for a near fall. A graphic listed Ezekiel vs. Kevin Owens for later in the show. Rollins went to the floor. Dawkins followed and charged Rollins, who avoided him and sent him into the ring steps.
Back inside the ring, Rollins missed a Stomp, but then avoided another Sky High. Rollins put Dawkins down with a Pedigree and then pinned him clean.
Seth Rollins defeated Angelo Dawkins in 8:50.
After the match, Rollins put Dawkins down with a Stomp. Ford ran out and chased off Rollins, who then taunted both Street Profits from ringside…
Powell’s POV: A good opening match. I was more confident that Rollins would win this match than I was when he face Ford last week, but it was still enjoyable. And good for Dawkins for getting himself in better shape.
A video package recapped Edge’s promo from last week, along with Edge mistakenly spearing Dominik Mysteiro…
Edge spoke with The Mysterios in their locker room. Edge told them that things went sideways last week, but Rey knows he has his back. Rey agreed. Edge told Dominik that he didn’t need to spear him and then asked if they were cool. Dom said they were, then shoved Edge. Rey held Dom back and told him that he’s known Edge for twenty years and he’s family. Dom said Rey has known him for 25 years and said he couldn’t believe that Rey was taking Edge’s side rather than his. Dom stormed away…
An ad for Smackdown spotlighted Karrion Kross and Scarlett’s return, and pushed the Gunther vs. Shinsuke Nakamura match for the Intercontinental Championship… [C]
A sponsored ad focused on Ciampa earning tonight’s U.S. Title match…
Kevin Patrick stood backstage and introduced The Miz and Ciampa. Miz took issue with Patrick labeling Ciampa’s performance as phenomenal. Ciampa said the late Harley Race was the first U.S. Champion and a man who believed in him. Ciampa said Race died three years ago, and pointed to a Race ring robe that was hanging on the wall…
Powell’s POV: Wait, Harley Race was more than just The King?!? Kidding. It’s really cool that pro wrestling history outside WWE can now be acknowledged on WWE television.
Ezekiel was already in the ring and then Kevin Owens made his entrance for their match. Owens tripped on the ring steps and then stood right up…
2. Kevin Owens vs. Ezekiel. Owens went right at Ezekiel and dominated him to start the match. At ringside, Owens powerbombed Ezekiel onto the ring apron. The referee checked on Ezekiel and then called for help.
Kevin Owens beat Ezekiel by apparent ref stoppage in 0:50.
Owens entered the ring and looked down while Adam Pearce and several referees checked on Ezekiel. EMTs arrived with a stretcher. Owens laughed while watching it all play out…
Powell’s POV: I was a little worried when I saw this match listed, but that was a good way to make Owens look like a sadistic badass while potentially writing off the Ezekiel character. I really don’t need to see Elias return to avenge his “brother” over the next few weeks. Rather, I’m hopeful that Owens can finally be the ruthless heel that he was in ROH, NXT, and even at the start of his main roster run.
Footage aired from during the break of Owens watching from the ring while EMTs rolled Ezekiel away on the stretcher. Smith said their commentary area had been destroyed. He also said Ezekiel was being tended to backstage and added that they would provide updates on his condition…
Powell’s POV: I know there are fans listening closely to find out whether Ezekiel will be taken to a “nearby medical facility” or a hospital. In other words, will the “nearby medical facility” end up on the scrapheap of recently retired WWE lingo?
Finn Balor and Damian Priest made their entrance for an in-ring promo. Balor said Rey Mysterio would find out that he is danger. Priest said that if he wanted to lay out Edge tonight, he would. Priest said they are in Toronto in two weeks. He said Edge hasn’t wrestled on Raw in Toronto in over twelve years. Priest challenged Edge to a match in Toronto. “If you still have a set, let’s end this,” Priest said. He added that Edge started The Judgment Day, but The Judgment Day will end Edge in Toronto…
Rey Mysterio was shown walking backstage. Edge approached him and asked for an update on Dom. Rey said he couldn’t find him anywhere. Edge said his offer to join Rey still stands. Rey said he knows his son and Dom would be out there with him… [C]
A graphic touted 1.3 billion video views across all of its social media platforms during SummerSlam week…
[Hour Two] Rey made his entrance without Dom. Rey walked past a fan’s “Thank You HHH” sign and looked back at the stage for his son a couple times. Awwww….
Rey’s POV: I said, I’d like to see you if you don’t mind. He said, I’d love to, dad, if I can find the time. You see, my new job’s a hassle, and the kids have the flu. But it’s sure nice talking to you, dad. It’s been sure nice talking to you. And as I hung up the phone, it occurred to me. He’d grown up just like me.
3. Finn Balor (w/Damian Priest) vs. Rey Mysterio. Balor performed two of the Three Amigos, which drew boos from the crowd. Rey stuffed the last one and suplexed Balor instead. Rey performed a dropkick on a seated Balor and covered him for a two count. A short time later, Rey went for a 619 on Balor, but Priest sacrificed himself by taking the move from the floor. Balor ran Rey into the ring post. [C]
Rey performed a Code Red from the ring and drove Balor into the barricade. Priest distracted Rey, who asked him where his son was. Rey went back to the apron and was tripped by Priest.
Edge’s music played and he ran out and attacked Priest. Edge dumped Priest over the barricade and followed him. They brawled into the crowd with Edge getting the better of Priest. In the ring, Rey hit a Code Red for a two count.
Rey set up for a 619, which Balor cut off with a clothesline. Balor went for a Coup De Grace that Rey avoided. Rey put him back in 619 position. Rhea Ripley walked out with Dom over her shoulder, which distracted Rey. Balor hit Rey from behind and hit the 1916 and then followed with the Coup De Grace for the win…
Finn Balor defeated Rey Mysterio in 14:00.
Dom’s face looked scraped and bloody as he sat on the stage while Ripley held his head up. Balor joined Ripley on the stage and they stood over Dom…
Powell’s POV: No, I don’t think the idea is that Rhea made a man out of Dom, so get your minds out of the gutter. Bad jokes aside, I can’t rule out the idea that this will be somehow be revealed as a ruse. Either way, it was a good match that forwarded the storyline between Edge and The Mysterios and their feud with Judgment Day.
The broadcast team spoke about the tournament to determine the new WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions while the brackets were shown…
Sarah Schreiber interviewed Dana Brooke and Tamina. Brooke held up her worthless WWE 24/7 Championship and said she has a chance to become a double champion. Bayley showed up with Kai and Sky. Bayley told Brooke to relax because they weren’t going to roll her up for that title. Bayley said the women’s tag titles mean so much because she was the first to hold them. Tamina got in Bayley’s face. Kai said she would see Tamina out there. Sky told Tamina that she doesn’t like her… [C]
Powell’s POV: I was really hoping that WWE would send the WWE 24/7 Championship belt to John Laurinaitis as a worthless parting gift. It’s never too late.
A Superstar Fact graphic listed Dana Brooke as having a fashion degree from Kent State, and being a multi-time competitor in the Arnold Classic bodybuilding competition…
4. Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky (w/Bayley) vs. Dana Brooke and Tamina in a WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship tournament first-round match. Entrances for both teams were televised. Brooke performed an early top rope dive onto Kai and Sky while they were on the ringside floor. Brooke bickered with Bayley. [C]
Tamina got a near fall on Sky that had to be broken up by Kai. Brooke took Sky to ringside and went for a handspring move, but Bayley pulled Sky out of the way, causing Brooke to crash into the ringside barricade. Tamina went for a top rope splash on Kai, who put her feet up, but Tamina landed on her feet. Kai hit Tamina with a couple of kicks and then Sky finished her off with a top rope moonsault…
Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky defeated Dana Brooke and Tamina in 10:00 to advance to the semifinals of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship tournament.
Powell’s POV: This went on too long and felt needlessly competitive. I would have focussed on making the new team look as dominant as possible, but it felt like they were too concerned with making a makeshift team look competitive for no good reason.
Bobby Lashley was shown warming up backstage… [C]
The broadcast team recapped Kevin Owens destroying Ezekiel…
Backstage, Kevin Patrick awkwardly ran up behind Kevin Owens and asked him for a comment. Owens said that unlike Ezekiel, he knows exactly who he is. Owens said there are more eyes on the show than there has been in a long time, so he thought it was the perfect opportunity to remind people that it’s his show, the Kevin Owens Show…
Finn Balor’s win over Rey Mysterio was recapped…
Backstage, a trainer tended to Dom, who held his ribs while seated on the trainer’s table. Rey stood by and watched as his son was examined…
The U.S. Championship video that JBL narrated was replayed along with footage of Ciampa…
Powell’s POV: I’m all for the U.S. Title video being replayed. I could have done without the recap of the Balor vs. Mysterio match so soon after it happened. AEW doesn’t do enough replays, and WWE replays too many things that viewers just saw. I wish one of them would find the sweet spot.
Ciampa made his entrance dressed in Harley Race’s robe and was accompanied by The Miz… [C] Bobby Lashley made his entrance…
5. Bobby Lashley vs. Ciampa (w/The Miz) for the U.S. Championship. Mike Rome delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Lashley overpowered Ciampa to start. Ciampa slipped out of a power move attempt and chop blocked Lashley’s knee. Lashley caught a kick and then dropped Ciampa with a spinning elbow.
Lashley set up in his corner, but Ciampa rolled to ringside and huddled up with Miz. Lashley headed to the floor and hoisted up Ciampa, but Miz blocked him from the ring post. Lashley tossed Ciampa at Miz and knocked him over. [C]
[Hour Three] Lashley speared Ciampa and had him pinned, but Miz put Ciampa’s foot on the rope. AJ Styles ran out and punched Miz, then chased him into the crowd. Lashley turned his focus back to Ciampa, who caught him in an inside cradle for a two count. Ciampa removed the top turnbuckle pad before being hit with a Flatliner. Lashley set up for his finisher.
Miz ran back inside the ring and was followed by Styles. They left the ring, but Lashley was distracted. Ciampa ran Lashley into the exposed turnbuckle once (ran him below it a second time), and then blasted him with a knee to the head. Ciampa set up for his finisher. Lashley slipped out and went for his own, but Ciampa countered into a submission hold.
Lashley powered up Ciampa, who slipped away again and sent Lashley to ringside. When Lashley returned, Ciampa put him down with Willow’s Bell (draping DDT) for another good near fall. Ciampa lowered his knee pad. Lashley stuffed a running knee and then performed a spinebuster before putting Ciampa in the Hurt Lock. Ciampa tried to reached the ropes with his foot, but eventually tapped out…
Bobby Lashley defeated Ciampa in 13:30 to retain the U.S. Championship.
Powell’s POV: A really good match that played into diehard fan speculation that Ciampa would win the title because he’s been a favorite of Paul Levesque in NXT over the years. More importantly, it also had to be effective for casual viewers too, as Ciampa had some very believable near falls before Lashley put him away. Ciampa laid it on thick with the Harley Race jacket and his red, white, and blue ring gear. This was fun.
Omos and MVP were shown walking backstage. Graves said Omos would be in action after the break… [C] Footage aired of Styles and Miz brawling backstage until they were pulled apart. Smith announced that they would have a No DQ match later in the show…
6. Omos (w/MVP) vs. Andrea Guercio and Spencer Slade in a handicap match. Graves said there was no need to learn the names of Omos’s opponents because they wouldn’t remember once Omos was finished with them. Omos destroyed both men and put one foot on one of them while the referee counted the pin…
Omos defeated Andrea Guercio and Spencer Slade in 1:40 in a handicap match.
Powell’s POV: Omos had new gear, but otherwise it was the usual squash match Omos. It will be interesting to see if Levesque and his crew have anything new in mind for the big man.
The broadcast team hyped an interview with Riddle for next week…
Seth Rollins was interviewed by Kevin Patrick on the backstage ring set. Patrick brought up the Riddle interview. Rollins went from laughing to being angry that Patrick asked him about Riddle. Rollins said it’s not like Riddle would have an earth shattering announcement. Rollins impersonated Riddle’s stoner talk.
Rollins touted himself as the gate keeper of the industry in that anyone who wants to be anything has to go through him. Rollins said that as good as Riddle could be, he’s best at flushing his own career down the toilet. Rollins said that if you don’t believe him, ask Dana White. Rollins said that if Riddle doesn’t retire, he might have to “Cody Rhodes his ass right out of the door”…
Powell’s POV: Rollins does a nice Riddle impersonation. It felt like Rollins set this up to be something other than the usual happy stoner Riddle. I don’t want Riddle to lose his stoner charm, but a less cliche and more serious version of Riddle could be even more successful.
Chad Gable and Otis made their entrance for Gable’s match against Dolph Ziggler… [C]
7. Dolph Ziggler vs. Chad Gable (w/Otis). Gable hit his rolling German suplex a couple minutes into the match. Gable took Ziggler down with a dragon screw leg whip and then targeted his left knee. Gable went for a top rope moonsault that Ziggler avoided. Gable landed on his feet and then ran into a DDT from Ziggler, who covered him for a two count.
Gable stuffed a superkick and rolled Ziggler into an ankle lock. Ziggler tried to roll out of the hold, but Gable held on initially. Ziggler eventually escaped only to have Gable avoid a Fameasser and then reapply the hold. Ziggler rolled onto his back and kicked his way free. Ziggler set up for a superkick and then collapsed while selling his knee and ankle. Gable powerbombed Ziggler and put hm back in an ankle lock. Ziggler rolled out of the hold. Gable sat down on him for a two count. Ziggler superkicked Gable and pinned him…
Dolph Ziggler defeated Chad Gable in 6:35.
Powell’s POV: A well worked match, but the lack of crowd enthusiasm for Ziggler in his hometown shows just how much damage has been done to his act over the years.
Smith hyped Alexa Bliss and Asuka vs. Nikki ASH and Doudrop in a tournament match for next week. Both teams delivered brief and separate promos. A car was being loaded onto a flatbed behind Bliss and Asuka. Bayley’s crew showed up and mocked them. They walked away when security or cops ran by. They crossed paths with AJ Styles…
Powell’s POV: I missed it earlier, but the car thing started when Kevin Owens was interviewed in the back. It looked like Nikki ASH and Doudrop were among the people who were looking at a car behind him that looked like it ran into a pillar. I’m not sure where it’s going, but it was much more noticeable this time with people running past the interview that was taking place.
Edge, Dakota Kai, Iyo Sky, Omos, and MVP were announced for Raw Talk…
8. AJ Styles vs. The Miz in a No DQ match. Both entrances were televised. Miz wore his “I have massive balls” t-shirt, and the crowd taunted him with a “tiny balls” chant early in the match. Styles teased pulling out various items and closed with a table, which got a pop from the crowd, but Miz kicked him before he could put the table in play.
Styles battled back and took Miz to the top of the broadcast table. Styles set up for a move, but Miz cut him off and tossed him from the table over the ringside barricade. [C] Styles hit a Phenomenal Forearm and had the pin, but Ciampa showed up and pulled the referee out of the ring.
Styles went after Ciampa and tossed him inside the ring. Styles set up for a Styles Clash, then looked at a table set up on the floor. Ciampa fought back and wanted to suplex Styles through the table. Styles ended up hitting Ciampa with a running forearm that knocked him off the apron and through the table.
Mz rolled up Styles for a two count. Styles did the springboard for his finisher, but Miz threw a chair at him. Miz put Styles down with a Skull Crushing Finale for a near fall. A “this is awesome” chant broke out. Miz beat Styles with a kendo stick. Miz went for a figure four, but Styles kicked him into a chair that was wedged in a corner of the ring. Styles hit a Styles Clash for the win…
AJ Styles defeated the Miz in 12:30 in a No DQ match.
The broadcast team hyped Bliss and Asuka vs. ASH and Doudrop, and the Riddle interview for next week’s Raw. Styles celebrated his win to close the show…
Update: As Styles was celebrating, security dragged away Dexter Lumis from ringside. Graves asked if it was Lumis, and Saxton said it looked like him.
Powell’s POV: We’re seeing some of the big kick out of finisher spots that were successful in the big Takeover matches in NXT. I hope they don’t do this too often on Raw and Smackdown because finishers being protected is more important than getting a “this is awesome” chant during some fairly throwaway television matches.
Overall, the first two hours of the show faded following the U.S. Title match. Styles and Miz worked a nice match, but they’ve both spent too much time spinning their wheels in the mid-card for their match to feel main event worthy. Still, it was a good show, though I think they could have done more to set the table for next week. The Riddle interview compels me, while a first-round tournament match isn’t much of a hook. I will have more to say about Raw later tonight in my weekly same night audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).
The funniest thing, is that Dakota Skye was the stage name of a porn actress (who passed away a couple years ago). Is this what we call a freudian slip?
“The women being featured prominently is become an early noticeable trend on the Paul Levesque shows, which is a positive.”
Years of ratings evidence says the opposite.
The featuring of Rollins and Owens will do much more for the product overall. The potential split of Dawkins and Ford without one burying the other in the turn could also go well. Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky being part of an insufferably long opening talking segment is death.
I know some folks will have a hard time believing this, but some of us fans actually like women WRESTLERS. I know that some of y’all want the return to bra/panty or pudding matches but there are others who actually like watching women athletes do athletic things. just sayin’
Excellent Harry Chapin post there, Jason!
Dakota Kai looks like a rejected Disney Channel witch design.
Finn Balor needing a distraction to beat Rey Mysterio in 2022 just makes Finn look bad.
The pace of the show is much better, but we’re already seeing the booking that was getting badly beaten by AEW every Wednesday night.
Well, Triple H loved Kross, who WON’T move the needle. Triple h loves Ciampa (and loves Harley, btw), so he’s winning tonight.
Vince pushed who HE liked, no matter what the fans wanted, so seems to be the same mindset with Triple H.
>The women being featured prominently is become an early noticeable trend on the Paul Levesque shows, which is a positive.”
Years of ratings evidence says the opposite.<<
Yeah, but self-righteous people have to follow the agenda and cheer what they are "supposed' to cheer….
>I know some folks will have a hard time believing this, but some of us fans actually like women WRESTLERS. I know that some of y’all want the return to bra/panty or pudding matches but there are others who actually like watching women athletes do athletic things. just sayin’<<
In your rush to be so self-righteous and look for a reason to pat yourself on the back, you made yourself look completely ignorant (as does everyone who takes that "LOOK HOW TOLERANT I AM!' BS angle)…NO one said anything about going back to the bra-and-panties BS. BUT HEY, just make sure you don't tear a labrum patting yourself on your back…..LMAO. You're dismissed.
Here we go again. Never say anything positive about women or he will accuse you of being self righteous. Some people are so miserable that when they see others saying or writing positive things, they automatically assume that it’s self-serving and not just an honest feeling or assessment.
Since you like to make this accusation so often, perhaps you can explain what you think one gets out of being “self righteous” while using a fake name on a comment section? If he was virtue signaling, wouldn’t he want everyone to know his name? Stay miserable.
Now that’s more like it. Lashley and Ciampa was excellent and the interference was kept to a minimum. You can’t really put someone like Ciampa over Lashley clean, but a match like that puts him higher up in the casual fans eyes so that he could be the US champ at some other point depending on who he takes the belt off of.
I enjoy good wrestling. Doesn’t matter if it’s men or women
The problem is too many of the women try to (or are instructed to) wrestle the same style as the men and it doesn’t usually work. Someone should develop a style for the women to wrestle that is entertaining but doesn’t push them beyond their physical abilities (and doesn’t feature 50 super kicks per match). I honestly think it could be done and done successfully
But generally it hasn’t happened yet
Someone makes a comment, Powell responds,original poster doesnt respond.
I miss Taryn Terrell and Gail Kim matches; that is all
Solid main event. What the hell in the car/cops/man being dragged away bit? I’m actually intrigued.
“A well worked match, but the lack of crowd enthusiasm for Ziggler in his hometown shows just how much damage has been done to his act over the years.”
Remember the reaction that he got when he cashed in on Alberto Del Rio for the title? It’s been a bunny hill slope downhill from there.
Who was at the barricade at the end when Styles was celebrating? Sounded like one of the commentators said “Is that Dexter Lumis?” And the other was like “looked like him”
That’s what I came to look for!
Did you miss Aj glaring at Dexter Lumis at the end?
Loved this show. Loved the meaningful matches
Added. Missed it live.
I’m pretty sure that the car thing and security running from there past the cameras were all about Dexter Lumis. And Ugly Kid Joe did a pretty good version of Cats in the Cradle by the way.
Ah, it was deathly boring Dexter Lumis. Welp, that knocks the show down a notch.