By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw (Episode 1,531)
Live from Edmonton, Alberta at Rogers Place
Aired September 26, 2022 on USA Network
[Hour One] The Raw opening video aired… The broadcast team was Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton, and Mike Rome was the ring announcer…
Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair made her entrance and was accompanied by Asuka and Alexa Bliss. Belair spoke of Bayley getting help from Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai. She wished her luck with that in their title match because Asuka and Bliss would have her back.
“Damage CTRL” Bayley, Iyo Sky, and Dakota Kai made their entrance and entered the ring. Bayley said Belair was chosen, whereas she did it all by herself. Belair said nobody handed her anything. She said she’s been showing up and showing out, then asked if Bayley was rehabbing. Belair said she wouldn’t downplay her accomplishments to a level that Bayley is comfortable with.
Bayley said she taught herself how to walk and run again. She boasted that she pinned Belair at WWE Clash at the Castle, noting that she was the first person to do it in over 300 days. Bayley said all of Belair’s accomplishments occurred only because she was injured.
Belair pointed out that when she headlined WrestleMania, Bayley was present. Bayley said Belair was living in the past. Bayley said she wants to win the Raw Women’s Championship in a ladder match at Extreme Rules. Belair accepted, then turned her focus toward her Raw match with Sky. The other wrestlers left the ring and then a referee entered…
1. Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair (w/Asuka, Alexa Bliss) vs. Iyo Sky (w/Bayley, Dakota Kai) in a non-title match. Belair dropkicked Sky once the bell rang. Sky rolled to the floor and the show cut to a commercial break. [C]
Coming out of the break, an SUV arrived backstage. Solo Sikoa exited the SUV, followed by Sami Zayn, who was talking on his phone. The broadcast team plugged Zayn vs. AJ Styles for later in the show.
In the ring, Sky took offensive control and hit a seated Belair with double knees in the corner. Sky covered Belair, who kicked out quickly. Belair stuffed an octopus hold attempt, so Sky rolled her up for a two count. Belair came back with punches in the corner while standing on the middle rope.
Belair flipped over Sky, then punched and covered her for two. Belair grabbed Sky in a waist lock. Sky dove legs first through the ropes, causing Belair to the hit ropes. Sky delivered a Drive By style kick from the floor and then mugged for the crowd. [C]
Belair performing a standing moonsault for a near fall. Sky stuffed a KOD attempt. Sky went for a top rope crossbody block, but Belair rolled through and performed a fallaway slam for a near fall. A short time later, Sky went up top. Belair shoved her onto her partners, who braced her fall. Belair dove over the top rope and took out Bayley and Kay.
Sky hit Belair with a couple of palm strikes and then rolled her back inside the ring. Sky went for a springboard move that Belair avoided. Belair hoisted up Sky and hit the KOD before covering her for the three count…
Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair beat Iyo Sky in 18:15 in a non-title match.
Powell’s POV: A solid opening match. I assume the fact that they went with this match means that Sky and Kai will be sticking together as a tag team. On a side note and I admit that it may seem petty, but I wish they would go to a split-screen shot when they want to show something happening backstage during a match. It made the match feel less important when they came back from a commercial break and went right to the shot of the SUV arriving while the match was taking place. It’s not a huge thing, but I’m all for making the matches feel as important as possible.
Backstage, Rey Mysterio was interviewed by Kevin Patrick. Rey spoke about holding his newborn child and always wanting the best for him when he grew up. He said he doesn’t recognize the man that his son Dominik Mysterio has become. Rey said it’s Rhea Ripley manipulating Dom. Rey turned his attention to his match with Seth Rollins. Rey said he might have mercy for his own flesh and blood, but he won’t show any mercy on Rollins… [C]
The Miz was shown walking past an Edmonton Oilers display. Miz told a group of security guards that he was offering them a prize package worth up to $1 million, including an exclusive cameo in a spinoff of The Marine franchise, gift cards, a certified pre-owned car, and career advice from himself. Miz said he didn’t want big and bulky security, he wanted smart and stealthy. He got them to chant “Miz Force” and told them to go find he who shall not be named…
Seth Rollins made his entrance while footage aired from his U.S. Title match with Bobby Lashley from last week, along with the post match scene that saw Matt Riddle challenge him to a Fight Pit match. In the ring, Rollins played maestro while the crowd chanted his entrance theme. Rollins welcomed them to Monday Night Rollins.
Rollins said he should be the new U.S. Champion, but he’s not because of Riddle. Rollins said he had Lashley dead to rights when Riddle forced him to take his eye off the ball for one second. Rollins said he and Riddle would finish it once and for all inside the Fight Pit. The crowd chanted Rollins’ song again.
Rollins said no one thinks he stands a chance inside the Fight Pit because everyone thinks it’s Riddle’s match. Rollins said he had to go home, look in the mirror, and come to the harsh conclusion that he’s Seth “Freakin’ Rollins. He said he’s been in all sorts of gimmick matches and he’s won them all.
Rollins said he has an Einstein level acumen for the fight game. He said it might be his first time inside the Fight Pit, but when it’s over, Riddle will be on his back and everyone will dub him King of the Fight Pit. Rollins said he was going to give Rey the beating that he wouldn’t give his own son.
Rey Mysterio made his entrance. Smith noted that it wasn’t the same energetic Mysterio due to everything that’s been happening with Dom. Rey entered the ring and immediately dropkicked Rollins. Rey mounted Rollins and threw punches at him. Rollins rolled to ringside… [C]
2. Seth Rollins vs. Rey Mysterio. The match was joined in progress. Rollins had a small cut on his forehead coming out of the break. They aired footage from during the break of Rey slamming the head of Rollins into the ring steps. Dom walked out in regular attire with a chair in his hand while Rollins had Rey down at ringside. Dom approached Rollins, then turned and stood at his side and smiled. Rollins laughed heading into a break. [C]
Dom was seated at ringside and fist-bumped Rollins. In the ring, Rey avoided a Stomp. Rollins went for a Pedigree, but Rey avoided that as well. Rollins went for a powerbomb, but Rey punched him several times and sent him to ringside, then did a baseball slide from the ring onto Rollins on the floor.
[Hour Two] Dom stood up from his chair. Rey sent Rollins back inside the ring and hit him with a top rope splash for a near fall. Rollins avoided a 619 and slid to the apron. Rollins put Rey down, then went up top and was cut off. Rey went for a top rope huracanrana, but Rollins stuffed it. Rollins went for a powerbomb from the middle rope, but Rey countered into a huracanrana. Rey hit Rollins with a 619, but Rollins rolled to the floor. Rey went to the apron and performed a huracanrana.
Dom stood up and tossed his chair to his father and dared him to hit him with it. While the referee held back Rollins, Rhea Ripley ran in through the crowd and hit Rey from behind. Rey was rolled back inside the ring where Rollins Stomped him. Rollins put Rey in a Peruvian Necktie submission hold for the win…
Seth Rollins defeated Rey Mysterio.
Powell’s POV: A fun match and no one had an eye plucked out. It’s crazy how good Rey is at age 47. I thought his career was finished at one point due to his various knee injuries, but he’s really had an amazing run. And, yes, the match had outside interference, which has been an issue lately, but it was fine by me in this particular case due to the ongoing story they are telling with Rey and Dom. Graves was fun on commentary while saying that Rey needs to understand that children leave the nest. He also told Saxton that he hopes he falls in love one day and moves out of his mother’s house because “it’s a hell of a way to live.”
Matt Riddle was shown watching the match on a television in his locker room. Bobby Lashley showed up and startled Riddle. Lashley wished Riddle good luck in his upcoming matches. Lashley put over the Fight Pit and noted that you either tap out or get knocked out. Lashley also told Riddle that he knew he wanted to help him, but he never wanted him to do that again. Riddle said it was his bad. They bumped fists…
Kevin Owens and Johnny Gargano were shown walking through the backstage area. They found one of Miz’s security guards on the floor. Owens laughed… [C]
Powell’s POV: There was an Elton John sign in the background behind Owens and Gargano! So I’m 99.9 percent sure that Sir Elton is the White Rabbit and will be headlining WrestleMania! Okay, maybe only 99.7 percent sure. On second thought, never mind.
A Connor’s Cure video aired with Bianca Belair and The Street Profits hanging out with young cancer patients…
Alpha Academy made their entrance waving American flags. They were followed by Kevin Owens and Johnny Gargano…
3. Kevin Owens and Johnny Gargano vs. “Alpha Academy” Chad Gable and Otis. Saxton told a story of Owens and Gargano meeting one another ten years earlier on a tour of Germany. He said they bonded over their mutual love of pandas and wrestling. Graves wondered if they bonded over celibacy, then told Saxton that he should be hanging out in Reseda with the rest of the dorks.
Gargano got the better of Gable to start, but Otis tagged in and overpowered him with a press slam. Gable kissed his partner as they cut to a break. [C] Owens applied a Sharpshooter at one point, which got a rise out of the Canadian crowd. He also hit a top rope Swanton Bomb on Gable for a near fall.
A short time later. Owens had Otis on the broadcast table and then went to the barricade and put him through it with an elbow drop. In the ring, Gargano clotheslined Gable.
Austin Theory showed up and distracted Gargano. Gable performed a cliffhanger DDT on Gargano for a near fall. Gargano ended up at ringside where he ducked Theory swinging the Money in the Bank briefcase at him. Gargano superkicked Theory. Back inside the ring, Gargano put Gable down with One Final Beat and scored the pin…
Kevin Owens and Johnny Gargano defeated “Alpha Academy” Chad Gable and Otis in 13:10.
Powell’s POV: A high energy, crowd pleasing tag match. Owens was super over with the Canadian crowd, and Gargano wasn’t far behind. And the PWG references continue on WWE television with Graves referencing the promotion’s longtime home base of Reseda, California.
AJ Styles was interviewed by Kevin Patrick backstage. Styles asked if everyone has forgotten what Judgment Day did to him (yes, yes we have). Finn Balor showed up and said that if they worked together, they could change the business again. Balor noted that Styles was facing Sami Zayn, who would have Solo Sikoa watching his back. Balor said Judgment Day could watch AJ’s back, but he said he would watch his own back and then walked away…
Omos and MVP were shown walking backstage while Smith said Omos would be in the ring after the break… [C] A Royal Rumble Classic video aired of Steve Austin winning the 1998 event. Tickets for next year’s Rumble were promoted as going on sale this Friday…
Austin Theory, Chad Gable, and Otis were shown talking in the backstage area. Theory asked Gable and Otis what happened. Gable said Otis hasn’t been 100 percent since he threw down with Braun Strowman on Smackdown. Theory answered his phone and said it was for Gable.
Braun Strowman was on the phone and took issue with what Gable said. Strowman challenged Gable to a match in St. Paul for next week’s Raw. Strowman said they wouldn’t have to transport Gable’s body out of his hometown once he finished him. Gable looked petrified. Theory fired up Otis about facing Gargano next week on Raw…
4. Omos vs. two local wrestlers in a handicap match. MVP sat in on commentary. Omos dumped both opponents to ringside and followed them. Omos ran one into the ring steps, then picked up the other and dropped him on the apron. Omos threw a kick at one of them, then threw him back in the ring and splashed him in the corner. Omos pulled the other wrestler back into the ring. Omos hit his tee slam finisher on both men and then stood on one of them while the referee made the three count.
Omos beat two local wrestlers in 1:35.
After the match, Omos tossed both men to ringside. Omos joined them on the floor and stacked them on top of one another. Omos climbed onto the table and posed with his foot over them…
Powell’s POV: I caught the name Joey Gibson for one of the locals, and I think Smith said Brad Lester was the name of the other. This was pretty standard stuff for an Omos squash match. The most interesting part was MVP stating that Braun Strowman is the Monster of All Monsters, but Omos is the one true giant. Another battle of the big men is coming soon.
Miz found his “Miz Force” security team laid out by the Edmonton Oilers display. Suddenly, what appeared to be a full bodied display was revealed to be Dexter Lumis dressed in Oilers’ gear. Lumis his Miz with a hockey stick twice and then choked him out. Lumis caressed Miz’s head once he was out cold… [C]
Powel’s POV: Miz’s first clue should have been that Lumis was dressed as a regular skater, yet he was wearing a goalie’s mask.
Edmonton imagery was shown… The broadcast team recapped Lumis attacking Miz… Nikki ASH was already in the ring. Candice LeRae made her surprise entrance…
5. Candice LeRae vs. Nikki ASH. The broadcast team acknowledged that LeRae is married to Johnny Gargano. ASH acted shocked, then attacked LeRae and got the better of her to start the match. LeRae took offensive control with some forearm shots and punches in the corner. LeRae put ASH down with a backstabber and went to the ropes. ASH cut her of and barked at her while standing on the ropes. LeRae hit ASH and then performed a neckbreaker from the ropes and scored the pin…
Candice LeRae beat Nikki ASH in 1:45.
After the match, ASH sat in the corner with her superhero mask off and cried…
A Logan Paul video package aired for his Crown Jewel match with Roman Reigns… [C]
Powell’s POV: The crowd applauded LeRae, but their reaction was nothing special. Even so, it was nice to see LeRae in a Raw ring and, for that matter, just back in a wrestling ring for the first time since she gave became a mother.
Photos were shown of Bianca Belair on the set of ESPN College GameDay with Pat McAfee and the rest of the crew…
Backstage, Finn Balor told the rest of Judgment Day that AJ Styles would eventually come around. Kevin Patrick showed up and asked if Priest would hold back when he faces his former friend Matt Riddle.
[Hour Three] Priest called it out for being a stupid question. He said Riddle is a former friend, whereas Judgment Day is his family. Priest said Riddle isn’t a Viper, a cage fighter, or his friend. Priest said Riddle will fall while The Judgment Day rises…
Sami Zayn and Solo Sikoa made their entrance. Footage was shown from the awesome segment from Smackdown with Roman Reigns presenting Sami with his new Honorary Uce t-shirt. In the ring, Sami was proudly showing off his t-shirt. Graves spoke about the symbiotic relationship between Zayn and Sikoa. AJ Styles made his entrance while the broadcast team recapped his Twitter feud with Zayn from over the weekend…
6. Sami Zayn (w/Solo Sikoa) vs. AJ Styles. Zayn put Styles down and then held up one finger. Styles came back briefly, then Zayn regained control and picked up a couple of one counts. Zayn dumped Styles to ringside. Zayn dropped to the floor and bumped fists with Sikoa before slamming styles’ head off the apron. Zayn performed a springboard moonsault on Styles. Back in the ring, Zayn covered him for a two count.
Styles rallied and went for a Styles Clash, but Zayn stuffed it. Styles put Zayn in the torture rack and then spun him into a powerbomb. Styles covered Zayn for a two count. Zayn rolled to the floor. Styles leapt over the top rope and hit him with a forearm to the head. Styles stood up and had a staredown with Sikoa. [C]
Powell’s POV: A local ad for Raw in St. Paul listed Seth Rollins vs. Matt Riddle as next Monday’s dark main event.
Styles tossed Zayn back inside the ring and then jawed at Sikoa. Styles returned to the ring and Zayn hit him with a boot to the head. Zayn put Styles down with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a near fall. Zayn hit what Graves labeled as a modified version of the Orange Crush move (sit-out powerbomb style), which led to a near fall.
Zayn dumped Styles to the floor and ran his head into the ring post. Zayn dumped Styles in the timekeepers’ area and hoped for the count-out win, but Styles beat the referee’s count. Styles and Zayn traded forearms. Zayn hit Styles with a boot to the head, but Styles came right back with a Pele Kick that left both men down heading into a break. [C]
An ad touted a DX reunion and The Bloodline appearing on the October 10 edition of Raw in Brooklyn, New York, which they are billing as the season premiere…
Late in the match, Zayn distracted the referee while Sikoa pulled Styles down to the floor and gave him a uranage slam on the ring apron. Zayn smiled and then hit a Helluva Kick on Styles and pinned him…
Sami Zayn defeated AJ Styles in 20:00.
“The Judgment Day” Finn Balor, Damian Priest, Rhea Ripley, and Dominik Mysterio made their entrance while Styles was still down in the ring. Balor had a mic and said he felt things would have been different had Styles accepted their support. Balor entered the ring while his allies stood on the apron. Balor told Styles that he was asking him as a friend to rise up and join The Judgment Day.
Balor held up the too sweet sign. Styles teased doing the same, but then he opted to stick his middle finger in Balor’s face. The Judgment Day attacked Styles. They wrapped a chair around the neck of Styles. Balor teased stomping it. Balor said he could have ended AJ’s career, but he’s his friend and that’s not what friends do…
The Priest vs. Riddle made was listed as coming up next… [C]
Powell’s POV: Zayn vs. Styles ended due to outside interference, but I’m fine with it because of the storytelling. In this case, they strengthened the Zayn and Sikoa relationship, and it played into Judgment Day trying to convince Styles that he needs them. I continue to wonder if Styles will get some help from his old buddies Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson (if they are contractually able to return).
The broadcast team touted John Cena breaking the record for most Make-A-Wish wishes granted with 650…
Candice LeRae greeted Bianca Belair, Asuka, and Alexa Bliss in the backstage area and said she hopes Belair shuts up Bayley at Extreme Rules. Bayley, Iyo Sky, and Dakota Kai entered the picture with their suitcases. Bayley said compliments are just jealousy in disguise. LeRae said bullies are just cowards in disguise. Bayley said something about LeRae needing to wait until next week to face Dakota Kai…
The following matches were advertised for next week’s Raw: Braun Strowman vs. Chad Gable, and Johnny Gargano vs. Otis…
7. Matt Riddle vs. Damian Priest (w/Finn Balor, Rhea Ripley, Dominik Mysterio). Riddle’s entrance was televised. Saxton said it was a first-time ever match on Raw. The crowd chanted “Bro” and one fan held up a sign that asked, “Where’s Randy?” Riddle ducked an early spin kick. He ended up on his back. Priest tried to stomp with his boot twice, but Riddle avoided it and then kicked Priest’s ass. Priest mockingly applauded.
Priest came back with a kick to Riddle’s face. Riddle used his legs to pull Priest over the top rope and then wanted to kick him from the apron, but Balor shoved Priest out of the way and took the kick instead. Riddle jumped off the apron into a punch from Priest, who then performed a Broken Arrow onto the barricade. Priest made the throat slash gesture while Riddle sold by yelling out in agony while lying on the floor. [C]
Riddle went on an offensive flurry coming out of the break. Riddle powerbombed Priest, then rolled him onto his knees and blasted him with a knee to the face that led to a two count. Riddle went to the ropes, but Priest recovered and shoved him to the floor. Riddle sold rib pain on the floor. Priest picked him up and threw him back first at the barricade heading into the final commercial break. [C]
Riddle performed a top rope fisherman’s buster suplex coming out of the break and covered Priest for a near fall. A short time later, Priest had Riddle hoisted up, but Riddle countered into Bro Derek for another near fall.
Ripley distracted Riddle, which led to Priest hitting him from behind. Priest put Riddle down with a clothesline and then followed up with a modified Flatliner for a near fall. Priest set up for the South of Heaven chokeslam, but Riddle flipped out of it. Priest stuffed an RKO attempt. Priest went for a springboard move, only to be hit with a knee to the face.
Riddle dove at Priest, who struggled before he eventually hoisted him up. Riddle countered into an inside cradle and got the three count.
Matt Riddle defeated Damian Priest in 19:25.
The Judgment Day attacked Riddle. Priest put Riddle down with a South of Heaven chokeslam. Edge’s music played and he stormed the ring. Edge ducked a Balor clothesline and then speared Priest. Edge looked at Dom, who was pulled to the floor by Ripley. Edge speared Balor and then stood tall.
Edge was given a mic. “You have tried to finish me over and over again,” Edge said. “But I always come back. Even if it takes me nine years, I come back. And I got to come back in Edmonton, in my country. You see I don’t quit. So Finn, I’m going to challenge you. At Extreme Rules, for the first time ever Edge vs. Finn Balor in an I Quit match.”
A graphic listed Candice LeRae, Bianca Belair, Asuka, Alexa Bliss, Sami Zayn, and Solo Sikoa for Raw Talk…
Powell’s POV: A good main event despite the hiccup at the end with Priest struggling hoist up Riddle. It was nice to see a clean finish to that match despite the numbers being stacked against Riddle. Edge’s return was very well received by the live crowd, and he set up yet another gimmick match for Extreme Rules. Overall, an entertaining episode with a lot of good in-ring work. I will have more to say about Raw in my weekly post show audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).