By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw (Episode 1,529)
Live from Portland, Oregon at Moda Center
Aired September 12, 2022 on USA Network
[Hour One] The Raw opening aired and then pyro shot off on the stage… The broadcast team was Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton, and the ring announcer was Mike Rome…
Seth Rollins made his entrance. The broadcast team hyped the previously advertised matches, including Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair’s open challenge. Rollins played maestro once he was in the ring while the crowd chanted his entrance theme.
Rollins welcomed viewers to Monday Night Rollins and said he would be their host for the evening. Rollins asked the live crowd if they believe in karma. He said the universe was in perfect harmony when he Stomped the head of Riddle twice and beat him at the WWE Clash at the Castle event.
Rollins said he is living rent free “in that little pea brain” of Matt Riddle, because Riddle challenged him to a rematch. Rollins said the problem is that he’s not very interested in a rematch. Rollins said he pondered what’s next for him. A “rematch” chant broke out. Rollins barked at the crowd, telling them he already told them he wasn’t interested in a rematch with Riddle. Rollins said it has been far too long since he’s held championship gold.
Matt Riddle’s entrance music interrupted Rollins and he headed out with a mic in his hand. “Bro,” Riddle said before dropping the mic and charging the ring. Rollins and Riddle fought in the ring. Riddle shoved Rollins to ringside and followed him. Rollins slammed Riddle’s head on the broadcast table and then hopped over the barricade. Riddle chased Rollins into the crowd. Rollins escaped, hopped the barricade, and then ran to the back.
The Judgment Day entrance theme played while Riddle was standing at ringside. Finn Balor and Damian Priest stood on the stage with mics in their hands. Balor said they weren’t there to fight and claimed that Riddle is their friend. The duo entered the ring. Priest said he and Riddle go way back and they were there to offer him a spot in Judgment Day.
Balor told Riddle that Dominik Mysterio has grown over the last two weeks and he would take care of Edge later in the show. Balor said they know Riddle has problems. Balor said he and Priest are problem solvers and asked Riddle to let them take care of his problems. Priest told Riddle to rise with The Judgment Day or fall against them.
“Bro, we do go back, dude,” Riddle said. “But right now my focus is on Seth, so right now my answer is no, bro.” Balor said he knows the laws in Portland are a lot more relaxed so maybe Riddle’s brain was a little cloudy. Balor told Riddle that he either stands with The Judgment Day or he stands in their way. Riddle blasted Balor with a knee to the had and then cleared Priest from the ring heading into a commercial break… [C]
Powell’s POV: When is the last time that a crowd actually chanted “rematch”? And this crowd was totally hot for Rollins in terms of singing along with his song, but they outright called for the rematch after he said he wouldn’t do it. Someone asked me in my Q&A audio show what I thought the main event of Extreme Rules would be if Roman Reigns isn’t on the show. I spaced out the Rollins vs. Riddle feud at the time (hey, it’s Monday), but I think it’s strong enough that fans would accept view a rematch as a quality show main event.
1. Matt Riddle vs. Finn Balor (w/Damian Priest). The match was joined in progress coming out of the commercial break. Riddle dumped Balor to ringside and set up for a kick from the apron, but Priest stood in his way. Balor took advantage of the distraction and went on the offensive until Riddle caught him with kicks on the apron. Balor came right back with an inverted DDT on the apron. [C]
Riddle took offensive control and then Balor ended up at ringside. When Priest got in the way, Riddle performed an Asai style moonsault onto both men. Back in the ring, Riddle dropped Balor with a ripcord knee. Riddle went up top, but he was distracted by Priest again. Balor rolled up Riddle for a two count. Riddle stood up and threw a kick at Balor, who ducked it. Balor put Riddle down for a two count.
Rey Mysterio attacked Priest at ringside and chased him away. In the ring, Riddle hit a GTS and a suplex into a bridge for a near fall. Riddle went up top and went for a Floating Bro, but Balor put his knees up. Balor dropkicked Riddle in the corner and then went up top for his finisher, but Riddle avoided it. Riddle put Balor down with a Draping DDT. Riddle played to the crowd and then struck the Viper’s Pose.
Seth Rollins came out and distracted Riddle, who went after him. Balor put Riddle down with a 1916 and followed up with the Coup De Grace for the win.
Finn Balor defeated Riddle in 13:35 of television time.
After the match, Rollins entered the ring and performed the Stomp on Riddle. Rollins yelled that Riddle needs to move on…
Powell’s POV: A good match. The distraction finish probably won’t be popular, but it gave Balor a win that didn’t hurt Riddle, while also adding to the issues between Riddle and Rollins.
Sarah Schreiber interviewed “Damage CTRL” Bayley, Iyo Sky, and Dakota Kai on the backstage ring set. Bayley vented about the wrong person being pinned when Sky and Kai lost the tournament for the tag team titles. Kai said they would make things right tonight… [C] Portland imagery was shown…
Dominik Mysterio sat in a dark room with a light shining on him. He said he’s only been known as the son of the legendary Rey Mysterio. He said that all changed at Clash at the Castle and he felt alive. Dom said Edge got exactly what he deserved. Footage aired of Dom low-blowing Edge. Dom said he would finish what he started.
Dom said he knows his father is disappointed, but it’s his life, not his father’s life. Dom said Rey should look in the mirror and ask himself why he never got to know him. He said that for such a tiny man, Rey casts a large shadow and he’s done living under it.
Rhea Ripley entered the scene and whispered in Dom’s ear. Dom looked into the camera and addressed his father. Dom said he’s not your baby boy anymore, he’s a man. Dom stood up and walked away. Ripley looked into the camera and smiled…
Powell’s POV: Great stuff. I could be mistaken, but this felt like something that Paul Heyman produced. Regardless, they made the right call in pre-taping this and having Dom speak away from a live crowd.
A Johnny Gargano video package aired with highlights airing along with the audio from his Raw debut promo. The footage included Austin Theory saying he’s already done everything that Gargano wants to do, along with a clip of Gargano superkicking Theory…
Backstage, Austin Theory delivered a promo and said Gargano’s first opponent would be a close friend. Theory introduced Chad Gable, who entered the picture with Otis. “Johnny Wrestling, after tonight the only thing anyone is going to know you as is Johnny Shooosh”…
Smith hyped the women’s tag team title match, and then a Connor’s Cure video featuring The Street Profits was shown… [C] Entrances for the women’s tag team title match took place…
2. Raquel Rodriguez and Aliyah vs. Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai (w/Bayley) for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles. Mike Rome delivered introductions off-camera once both teams were in the ring. Rodriguez picked up Kai in suplex position and tossed her across the ring. Aliyah tagged in and went for a quick cover. A short time later, Kai eventually fled to ringside. Rodriguez shot a charging Sky to the floor as well, then pressed Aliyah and threw her partner onto the challengers on the floor. [C]
Aliyah was isolated by the challengers and they did multiple spots where she was blocked from tagging out. Sky and Kai went for a double suplex, but Aliyah landed on her feet and performed a double neckbreaker. Rodriguez tagged in and performed a fallaway slam on Kai, then hit her twisting splash from the middle rope. Rodriguez powered up Kai and had Aliyah tag in Rodriguez slammed Kai and then slammed her own partner onto her.
[Hour Two] Rodriguez and Sky tumbled to ringside. Alliyah rolked up Kai for a near fall. Aliyah followed up with a facebuster and had the pin, but Bayley put Kai’s foot on the bottom rope. Rodriguez went after Bayley at ringside. Sky performed a moonsault onto Rodriguez. In the ring, Kai hit her Destroyer into a Backstabber combo move on Aliyah and scored the pin.
Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai defeated Raquel Rodriguez and Aliyah in 12:30 to win the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles.
After the match, Damage CTRL went to the stage area and celebrated while some pyro shot off…
Powell’s POV: There were some rough moments, including Rodriguez releasing Bayley and waiting for Sky to hit her with the top rope moonsault, and a spot where Aliyah went for a pin and the referee wouldn’t count because her opponent’s shoulders weren’t on the mat. I’m just happy they moved the tag titles. Rodriguez has a bright future and the jury is still out on Aliyah, but they had no on-air chemistry as a tag team.
Backstage, Dom warmed up while Rey tried to tell him it wasn’t too late to call off the match. Dom looked straight ahead while Rey said Edge is family, but Dom has never seen this side of him before. Rey told Dom that if he went through with the match, things would never go back to the way they were because Edge is that dangerous.
Rhea Ripley showed up and said Edge isn’t the only one who is dangerous. She said Dom isn’t Rey’s little boy anymore. She preferred to Dom as “papi” and said he’s all man now. Dom and Ripley walked away together…
“Alpha Academy” Chad Gable and Otis made their entrance. Smith hyped Gable vs. Johnny Gargano for after the break… An ad for Smackdown touted Ronda Rousey earning a title match with Liv Morgan, and the four-way tag team match for a shot at the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles… [C] Johnny Gargano made his entrance to a good reaction…
3. Johnny Gargano vs. Chad Gable (w/Otis). A “Johnny Wrestling” chant broke out as the match started. Graves said Gargano conceded that he might have been a big fish in a small pond in NXT, but he wouldn’t know for sure until he tried to swim with the sharks. Gargano performed an early leaping head-scissors takedown and followed with a nice roll into a pin for a two count.
Graves said Gargano does have a tendency to show off. He said you have to be careful because one right hand can change things. Right on cue, Gable dropped Gargano with a right fist. Gargano came back and sent Gable to ringside and then dropkicked him through the ropes. Gargano performed a senton dive onto Gable on the floor. [C]
Gable was in offensive control coming out of the break. Smith said Gable targeted the left knee of Gargano throughout the break. Gable picked up a near fall and then went up top for his moonsault, but Gargano moved. Gable landed on his feet and stuffed a kick. Gable came right back with a nice suplex into a bridge for a near fall.
A short time later, Gable caught Gargano in the ankle lock. Gargano rolled out of the hold. Gable went for his rolling suplex. Gargano rolled Gable into a pin, but Gable rolled through and got a near fall. Both men traded strikes with Gargano throwing a big clothesline that was followed by both men staying down for a moment. A “this is awesome” chant broke out.
Gargano sent Gable over the top rope where Otis caught him. Gargano performed a suicide dive to the back of Gable, which drove Otis into the broadcast table. Back in the ring, Gargano hit One Final Beat and scored the pin.
Johnny Gargano defeated Chad Gable in 13:50.
After the match, Otis went after Gargano, who used his quickness to land some strikes. Gargano gave Otis a crotch chop and left the ring. As Gargano backed his way toward the stage, Austin Theory came out and hit Gargano with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Theory took selfies while posing over Gargano. A “you suck” chant broke out while Theory walked to the ring and showed off his photos to Gable and Otis…
Powell’s POV: A very good match. I really wish they would ditch the Shooosh shit and give Gable more of an edge. That said, this was a very enjoyable match a strong in-ring debut for Gargano. The broadcast team hit all the right notes while talking about Gargano too. The post match angle set up Otis as a possible television opponent for Gargano, while Theory is obviously Gargano’s first big match opponent.
Austin Theory stood in the ring and delivered a promo. He said he was sorry that Gargano disappointed them. Theory said someone had to show Gargano how it works around here. Theory said Johnny Wrestling is an overrated, bottom-feeding fish at the bottom of the food chain. The crowd gave him the “What?” treatment.
Kevin Owens made his entrance and the crowd chanted “KO” as he stood on the stage. Theory said he’s sick of people like Owens ruining his moments. Theory ran through some of his usual lines. Owens said everyone has heard it all over the last few minutes.
Owens recalled telling Theory that he was the handpicked future of the company. Owens said that may have been the case, but that’s not the way things are done anymore. Owens said he and Gargano don’t look like Theory, who interrupted and said no one looks like him. Theory said he’s done more in the last five months than Owens and Gargano have done in the last five years.
Owens said statements like that show just how much of a delusional jackass Theory is. Owens entered the ring while talking about how Theory had his biggest accomplishments handed to him. Owens said he couldn’t blame Theory, because he had the world championship handed to him on a silver platter.
Owens said the comparisons between them end there and he couldn’t be more proud of that. Owens said there were hundreds of chiseled guys who came to WWE like Theory and they fizzled out. Owens said you could count on one hand the guys like him and Gargano who have made it to the main event.
Owens said he and Gargano are one in a million and they are the heart and soul of the business. Owens said people like Theory are the appendix of the business because they are completely disposable. Owens said Theory may be different, but he’s watched him and he doesn’t think he has what it takes to be the future of the business.
Theory tried to speak, but Owens told him to make his own moments and leave everything in the ring every time he steps in front of the people. Owens shoved Theory and said that’s how you become the future and the face of WWE. Owens shoved Theory again. Another “KO” chant broke out.
“You’ll never be like me, Kevin,” Theory said. Owens said talking sense into Theory didn’t work, “but maybe this will.” Owens slapped Theory across the face. They traded punches. A few referees ran out to pull them apart. Owens caught Theory with a boot to the face. A group of producers came out and pulled Theory to ringside.
Owens dove off the apron onto Theory and continued working him over. Owens tossed Theory inside the ring. Theory tried to hit Owens with the MITB briefcase, but Owens ducked it. Owens kicked Theory, who fled the ring before Owens could hit him with a Stunner. Theory was bleeding from the nose. “I broke your nose and this was just the beginning, bitch,” Owens said from the ring…
Bianca Belair was shown walking backstage while the broadcast team said her open challenge was up next… [C]
Powell’s POV: Someone doesn’t miss scripts. Owens delivered another awesome promo. I’m surprised that they are setting up Owens and Theory in a feud before we’ve even seen the first Theory vs. Gargano match. That said, I am looking forward to seeing both of those matches.
The broadcast team plugged the NXT 2.0 one-year anniversary show for Tuesday. Graves announced that Pretty Deadly will face the Creed Brothers in a steel cage match for the NXT Tag Titles (fans voted for the cage match stipulation)…
Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair made her entrance. She said she will always have a target on her back as champion. She said she called for the open challenge. She said she’s the EST of WWE and you can’t work her. She asked if there was anyone backstage who wanted a piece of her.
Sonya Deville made her entrance. “Oh my God,” Smith said on commentary. Really, Jimmy? Deville walked out and asked Belair why she looks so confused. Deville said Belair made a mockery of he and cost her the job as a WWE official. Belair called for a referee to get the match started…
4. Bianca Belair vs. Sonya Deville for the Raw Women’s Championship. Rome delivered introductions from the floor. A couple minutes into the match, Belair performed a handspring into the ropes followed by a standing moonsault for a two count. Deville rolled to ringside. Belair followed with a backflip off the apron. Deville clotheslined Belair on the floor. [C]
[Hour Three] Deville was in offensive control coming out of the break. Belair rallied with a fallaway slam. She went for another standing moonsault, but Deville avoided it and then hit a running knee that led to a two count.
A short time later, Deville leapt from the middle rope and hit Belair with a flying knee that resulted in a two count. After a clunky exchange, Belair ended up using her feet to flip over Deville and then hoisted her up and executed the KOD for the win.
Bianca Belair defeated Sonya Deville in 12:00 to retain the Raw Women’s Championship.
After the match, Bayley came out and mockingly applauded Belair. Bayley recalled saying that Damage CTRL would take control of the entire division and her team winning the tag titles was just the beginning. Bayley accused Belair of having “a big fat ego.” Bayley said Belair wouldn’t be able to sleep at night until she gets her in the ring. Bayley said she hadn’t wrestled in over 300 days and was still able to pin Belair. Bayley said they would have their match when the time is right.
Belair placed her title belt on the mat. Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky climbed on opposite sides of the ring and entered the ring along with Bayley. Belair threw forearm shots, but sh was quickly outnumbered by the heel trio.
Asuka and Alexa Bliss ran out. Bliss put Sky down with Twisted Bliss. Asuka took out Kai with a knee lift. Bayley was cornered by the three babyaces. Bayley took a swing at Belair, who ducked it and then put Bayley down with a spinebuster…
Powell’s POV: Deville coming over from Smackdown to challenge for the championship felt flat and totally unworthy of the shock that Jimmy Smith tried to convey. The match was rough in spots and It was hard to buy Deville as a threat to beat Belair for the championship. The post match angle was solid and likely sets up another six-woman tag. And that’s fine as long as the match isn’t given too much time again.
Omos and MVP were shown walking backstage together. A graphic warned that Omos would be in action after a break… [C] Omos made his entrance and they had technical issues. A graphic listed technical difficulties and then the picture returned.
5. Omos (w/MVP) vs. Khash Morazzi and Ryan Tombs in a handicap match. Omos destroyed both men and then stacked them on top of one another before pinning them…
Omos defeated two local wrestlers in 0:40.
Powell’s POV: More of the same for Omos, who doesn’t have an actual feud taking place. I believe this was only his second Raw appearance since the creative shakeup. I don’t know if I got the names of the local wrestlers right. But Khash is better known as Invictus Khash, and has made appearances on AEW’s YouTube shows.
Backstage, Rey Mysterio said that as a fellow father, Edge could understand just how upsetting this is to him. He asked Edge to give him one more chance to talk to Dom. Edge said the match would happen whether Rey likes it or not. “I apologize now,” Edge said before walking away… [C]
Kevin Patrick caught up with Seth Rollins in the backstage area after the announcers recapped his earlier attack on Riddle. Rollins asked how many times he would have to Stomp the head of Riddle until he figured out that you can’t miss if you want to test the face of Raw.
Bobby Lashley showed up dressed in a suit and took issue with Rollins referring to himself as the face of Raw. Lashley put the U.S. Title belt over his shoulder and said that he who has the gold is the face of Raw. Rollins said MMA guys don’t think and questioned how many brain cells that Lashley had left. Rollins challenged Lashley to put his title on the line next week on Raw to find out who the real face of Raw is. “Let’s fight about it,” Lashley said…
Powell’s POV: That’s a big television match, so I’m happy to see them give it big television match treatment by advertising it a week in advance rather than just have it develop within the course of the show.
Footage aired from “earlier this week” Miz being interviewed at his home in Los Angeles. His daughters ran up to him and then started playing a nearby piano. Miz ushered them out of the room. Maryse showed up and Miz said she looked incredible. Miz said they had five minutes until the interview started. Miz asked if she was comfortable leaving. She spoke about how they have guards, an alarm system, and dogs. Maryse headed out and then Miz scolded the production crew for wearing shoes inside his home.
Miz started venting to the production crew how he had extra security last week and Dexter Lumis was still able to do what he did. The crew member asked what Lumis did. Miz said he didn’t want to talk about it and told the crew to leave. Miz opened the door and walked out with Maryse. He opened his SUV door for Maryse and told the crew that they better not be there once he returns. Miz and Maryse drove away. A camera from outside the house showed Dexter Lumis inside holding up a drawing of Miz and his family…
Dominik Mysterio and Rhea Ripley were shown walking backstage… [C] Smith hyped the Lashley vs. Rollins match for the U.S. Title for next week, then set up footage from the Austin Theory and Kevin Owens segment from earlier in the show. Saxton announced Theory vs. Owens for next week’s Raw… Entrances for the main event took place…
5. Edge vs. Dominik Mysterio (w/Rhea Ripley). The bell rang to start the match and then Edge ran over and shoved Dom into the corner. “You wanted this, Dom,” Edge barked at his opponent. Edge dominated the offense to start. Dom, who was wearing black and purple gear, rolled to the floor.
Ripley told Dom that his father believed in Edge more than him. Dom returned to the ring and was quickly put down with a clothesline. Edge kicked Dom back to the floor by Ripley. Edge went to ringside and continued to work over Dom. “This is what you wanted, Dom,” Edge said. “Your a man now, Dom.”
Dom started to beg off while referring to Edge as Uncle Edge. It didn’t work, as Edge booted him and then tossed him back in the ring. As the referee checked on Dom, Ripley swept Edge’s leg from the floor. Dom went back to the floor and shoved Edge’s bad knee into the ring steps. [C]
Dom continued to target Edge’s bad knee. Dom performed the Three Amigos suplexes. Dom went up top and did the Eddie Guerrero shimmy, but Edge crotched him on the ropes. Edge climbed up and headbutted Dom repeatedly and then tried superplexed him, but Ripley held Dom in place, causing Edge to crash into the ring.
Dom did the shimmy again and then performed a top rope frog splash for a near fall. Dom set up for a figure four, but Edge kicked him and Dom’s head went through the ropes and hit the ring post casing. Edge flapjacked Dom and picked up a two count shortly thereafter. Dom rolled over and punched Edge’s bad knee several times.
A short time later, Edge tied up Dom’s arms in the ropes and reminded him that he wanted this. Edg threw punches at Dom while the crowd counted along. The referee made Edge back off and the crowd booed. Edge slapped Dom and then threw more punches until the referee made him back off again.
Edge set up to spear Dom, but Rey Mysterio entered the ring and blocked his path. Edge walked around Rey, who stopped him from going at Dom. Damian Priest pulled Rey to ringside and tossed him onto the broadcast team. Meanwhile, Finn Balor attacked Edge for the DQ finish.
Edge defeated Dominik Mysterio by DQ in 15:10.
Saxton said it wasn’t about winning a match, it was about punishing Edge and Rey. Edge started to get the better of Balor, but Ripley hit Edge’s bad leg with a chair. Ripley handed the chair to Dom and barked orders, which Dom followed by slamming the chair over Edge’s bad knee four times.
Dom set the chair down. Balor laid Edge’s foot over the chair. Balor performed a Coup De Grace onto Edge’s bad leg. Ripley jawed at Edge and then The Judgment Day posed over Edge while the crowd booed. A replay aired of the Coup De Grace. Balor grabbed Edge’s face and told him that he is dealing with The Judgment Day. The heels posed over Edge to conclude the show…
Powell’s POV: A fun main event that was laid out in a way that showed Dom couldn’t hang with the legend without getting help from Ripley. It was the right way to play this rather than have Dom suddenly portrayed as a badass heel. I’m pleasantly surprised by how committed the creative forces seem to be when it comes to putting heat on Judgment Day.
Overall, another good episode. It feels like every segment had thought behind it and served some purpose beyond just killing time. I will have more to say about Raw in my weekly same night audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).