Monday Night Raw
Date: August 26, 2019
Location: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young
The King of the Ring continues tonight but we also need to start the build towards Clash of Champions. The show is in less than three weeks and there is barely anything set up so far. That needs to start changing tonight and odds are it will, including a likely Universal Title match between Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman. Let’s get to it.
Here’s Sasha Banks for a chat, but first we see a recap of Banks attacking Natalya (twice) and Becky Lynch. To be fair Natalya kind of earned it. So why did Banks do it? She worked so hard to get where she is over the years and then took her Wrestlemania paycheck to take a much needed vacation. That was the same Wrestlemania where Becky main evented the show for so much more money without putting in the work. Sasha is back because she runs the division because she is the talk of the division. Now she’s back to deserve all the glory but here’s Natalya for the brawl. Officials and agents need some time to break it up.
The Street Profits hype up the show, including listing off everyone in the Tag Team Turmoil #1 contenders match. Dawkins: “What is a Tag Team Turmoil match????” Ford: “Graphic please.” The winning team gets a title shot and ALL OF THE SMOKE.
King of the Ring Tournament First Round: Ricochet vs. Drew McIntyre
The winner gets Samoa Joe in the quarterfinals next week. Ricochet wants to wear the crown like his heroes and Drew has a seat on the throne. Drew doesn’t care about former winners because they were all disappointments. He’ll change that though. Ricochet gets thrown around to start but Drew gets tossed to the floor for the middle rope moonsault.
Drew is out of the way so it’s a standoff, only to have Drew side slam him onto the barricade. Without putting Ricochet down, it’s a side slam onto the steps as we take a break. Back with Drew working on the back some more but a missed charge in the corner sets up a kick to Drew’s head. A springboard missile dropkick puts Drew on the floor and it’s the big twisting dive over the top to wipe him out.
Back in and the reverse hurricanrana is countered into the reverse Alabama Slam to give Drew two, with the fans reacting to the kickout. Ricochet gets in a rare power display by catching a corner splash, only to have Drew hit the suplex toss (I guess he wasn’t impressed). Ricochet’s springboard clothesline sets up the running shooting star for two but Drew punches him in the face. Well that’s what you get for trying this flying stuff.
They head outside with Ricochet diving off the steps and getting headbutted out of the air for his efforts. Back in and the Claymore is countered with a superkick but Drew clotheslines the heck out of him. A sitout powerbomb gets two so Drew tries to take him up top, only to get shoved down. The Recoil off the middle rope knocks Drew silly though and the 630 sends Ricochet to the next round at 12:51.
Rating: B. This was a great example of power vs. heart with Ricochet winning clean in the end. They’re getting dangerously close to making him into a star, though I have a bad feeling that we’re going to see him lose to Baron Corbin in the Raw final. We’ll worry about that later though and just enjoy a heck of a match here with Ricochet continuing to be pushed as a big deal.
We look back at Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman winning the Raw Tag Team Titles.
Rollins says he’s ready to defend two titles at Clash of Champions but Strowman is looking at the Universal Title. Strowman wants to know who is getting the title shot and Seth gets the idea in a hurry. Rollins accepts the challenge for Clash of Champions. Note: the graphic says this took place last week but Strowman says they won the titles last week.
King of the Ring Tournament First Round: The Miz vs. Baron Corbin
The winner gets Cedric Alexander next week. During the entrances, Miz talks about all the things he’s won in the ring and says this is the first step to becoming King AWESOME. Corbin slugs away at him but gets knocked to the floor, only to have him drive Miz into the barricade. Back in and we get the slide under the bottom rope into the clothesline as Graves and Renee argue over Corbin’s merits.
We come back from a break with Miz knocking Corbin down and hitting running knees in the corner. The chokeslam is countered into a DDT for two so Corbin tries the slide underneath the ropes. That lands Corbin in the Skull Crushing Finale for two (dang it he’s winning, mainly because his head didn’t seem to hit the mat), followed by the End of Days to give Corbin the pin at 10:00.
Rating: C. The match was pretty good but they’re going to give Corbin his mega push whether we like it or not and there’s no way around it. This is a lot better than what we had to put up with from Corbin over the summer but that doesn’t make it good. Corbin switching to a tank top doesn’t make him interesting but that doesn’t matter to WWE because they see him as a star because…..I would say I’d love to know why but the reasoning could scare me.
Post match Corbin puts on the crown and sits on the throne, saying that there was a poll of WWE fans, saying ANYONE but Corbin for the winner. Corbin laughs it off by saying that he’s accomplished everything on his own and soon we will be hearing ALL HAIL KING CORBIN. Thank goodness we got that riveting promo.
The OC isn’t happy with having to be in an eight team Tag Team Turmoil match tonight. They run this turf.
NXT to USA announcement, a mere six days after it was first announced because they waited until Tuesday morning for whatever reason.
We look back at Rey Mysterio teasing retirement but being stopped by Dominick. Mysterio is back with an update next week.
Bayley vs. Nikki Cross
Non-title. For some reason Bayley had her entrance before the NXT and Mysterio videos. Why bring her out like that if it’s just going to be a bunch of standing around that cools the crowd off? Renee and Graves start fast here as Bayley sends Nikki to the floor, only to get sent into the apron a few times. The bodyscissors has Bayley in trouble so Cross can yell at her about being mean to Bliss. Bayley gets tied in the Tree of Woe for some kicks to the ribs but she is right back with a suplex. The ribs get banged up again but Bayley is fine enough to hit a running knee to the face. The top rope elbow finishes Cross at 4:01.
Rating: D+. Well that happened, and none of it matters as it feels like a bunch of waiting around to get to the Charlotte title win. That’s the problem with having someone as dominant as Charlotte and it’s crippling there rest of the division. This match made it seem like they were building to Bliss vs. Bayley though and that’s not a place anyone needs to go again. In addition to that, we never need to have Graves vs. Young taking over a match like they did here because that was getting a lot more focus than the match.
Strowman is ready to win the US Title to go with his Raw Tag Team Title and then the Universal Title.
Tag Team Turmoil
Winners get a title shot at Clash of Champions. War Raiders are in first and B Team is in second (out of eight total teams) with Erik getting beaten down in the corner early on. That doesn’t last long though as he powers Dallas into the corner for the tag to Ivar. House is cleaned and the Viking Experience gets rid of the B Team at 1:20.
The OC is in third and some double teaming puts Ivar down early. They head outside with Ivar hitting a suicide dive, only to take out Erik and Anderson at the same time. The brawling continues and the referee disqualifies both of them 3:25. That’s as good of a way as you can have to get rid of the Raiders. They stay in the ring to stare at each other as Dolph Ziggler/Robert Roode are in fourth and Lucha House Party in fifth.
We’re back from a break with Dorado enziguring Ziggler and making the hot tag to Metalik. The handspring elbow connects with Ziggler and it’s the rope walk dropkick for two. A sunset flip gets the same on Ziggler but he superkicks a handspring out of the air to get rid of the House Party at 10:05. Revival is in sixth with Ziggler headscissoring Dawson down in a hurry. That should be a near fall but the referee is COMPLETELY out of position, with Graves and Young yelling at him over it.
Dawson fights up and a top rope knee/backbreaker combination gets two on Ziggler. A waistlock keeps Ziggler down and Dawson ties him in the ropes for some kicks to the face. Dawson’s slingshot suplex gets two as I can’t help but smile at the old school feels here. An elbow to the face gets Ziggler out of trouble and everything breaks down with what looked to be a tornado DDT not quite working. They keep going though with Dawson hitting a brainbuster on Ziggler but Dolph isn’t legal. That lets Dawson hit the Glorious DDT to eliminate Revival at 15:58.
Back from another break with Zack Ryder/Curt Hawkins in seventh…and Ryder gets superkicked for the elimination at 20:10. We saw less than a minute of Hawkins and Ryder and here are Heavy Machinery in eighth to complete the field. Ziggler and Roode want a breather on the floor so Tucker waits a few seconds before picking Ziggler up for a suplex. Before dropping back he hands it off to Otis, who does the actual suplexing. Roode low bridges Tucker to the floor though and a whip into the steps gets two.
Ziggler’s neckbreaker is good for the same and it’s off to the chinlock. Tucker fights up and gets the tag to Otis so house can be cleaned. The Caterpillar is broken up so Otis splashes both of them in the corner, meaning NOW the Caterpillar can connect (Renee: “MAKE MAMA’S DREAMS COME TRUE!”) for two with Roode making the save. Ziggler breaks up the Compactor with a superkick though and the Zig Zag sends Otis and Roode onto Tucker. The Glorious DDT sends Roode and Ziggler to Clash of Champions at 26:56.
Rating: D+. YES! YES IT IS ZIGGLER GETTING ANOTHER PAY PER VIEW TITLE SHOT! ON THE SAME SHOW WHERE CORBIN IS LIKELY TO WIN KING OF THE RING! AND YES! THE FALLOUT IS GOING TO BE GOING AGAINST MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL AND WE ARE SUPPOSED TO WANT TO WATCH IT!!! WHY CAN THESE PEOPLE NEVER LEARN THEIR LESSONS?????
Long video on Roman Reigns’ attacks, which seems to be the same video with new footage added at the end.
Total Divas is back in October, featuring Ronda Rousey.
Sasha Banks vs. Natalya
Natalya, with a bad arm, comes straight at her to start and they brawl to the floor early on. Back in and Natalya keeps hammering away, setting up a heck of a release German suplex (Sasha landed hard) for two. Banks tries to get to the floor and manages to wrap the bad arm around the post. A whip into the timekeeper’s area and then the post has Natalya in trouble. The arm gets pulled around the middle rope but Banks misses the running knees in the corner. The Sharpshooter doesn’t work and Banks gets in the Bank Statement, complete with pulling the bad arm around Natalya’s throat for the tap at 4:00.
Rating: C+. This was short but they packed a lot into the time they had with Sasha looking like a killer. She comes off like a threat to Becky Lynch at Clash of Champions and that’s what’s been lacking over the last few months. Banks brings the star power, but how long is it going to be before she brings another headache if she doesn’t get the title?
Post match Banks comes back and hooks the Bank Statement again.
AJ Styles isn’t worried about facing Strowman tonight, even if the OC is barred from ringside. Tonight, he’s giving Strowman what he deserves: nothing.
Cedric Alexander vs. Cesaro
Cesaro wastes no time in knocking Alexander into the corner so Cedric starts the flips into the anklescissors. The suicide dive is blocked with an uppercut though and a gutwrench suplex gets two. Cedric gets in a big boot and the springboard Downward Spiral puts Cesaro on the floor, setting up the big flip dive. Back from a break with Cesaro working on the knee but Alexander is fine enough to hit a Michinoku Driver for two.
The knee is too banged up for a springboard though and Cesaro kicks the knee out again. The apron superplex sets up a half crab on Alexander, who gets over to the rope without much trouble. Cedric’s standing Spanish Fly gives him two more but it’s back to the half crab to stay on the leg. With that broken up, Cesaro tries an ankle lock but gets rolled out, setting up the Lumbar Check to finish Cesaro at 10:55. That should damage the knee even more but not quite in WWE.
Rating: B-. They told a nice story here, with some of Cedric’s selling issues aside. What mattered here was giving Cedric momentum going into next week though, as he needs to look good before Corbin finishes him in the tournament. I’m not sure how well that’s going to go, but at least they’re doing something to make it seem like a bigger deal, much like Cedric.
Video on the 24/7 Title changes over the weekend.
Ziggler and Roode say they’re drawn to each other because of shared greatness. They belong together and they’ll become Raw Tag Team Champions, which will be glorious.
The Street Profits talk about the Rollins/Strowman situation but Dawkins is too worried about the after party on Bourbon Street. He has a Mardi Gras mask and beads ready too. Strowman appears and scares them before they can make their pick for the main event.
Video on the Firefly Fun House and the debut of the Fiend.
US Title: AJ Styles vs. Braun Strowman
Styles is defending and the OC is barred from ringside. Strowman throws him over the top almost immediately and it’s time for the running shoulders around the ring. Back in and the Phenomenal Forearm is countered into a chokeslam for two with AJ having to put his foot on the rope. A big boot puts AJ on the floor and we take a break. Back with AJ grabbing a sleeper to take Strowman down to a knee. That’s broken up with a ram into the corner but AJ chop blocks the leg in a smart move. A Lionsault gives AJ two and it’s off to the Calf Crusher in a logical move.
Strowman powers out of it and knocks AJ down again but a missed charge sends Strowman shoulder first into the post. AJ hits Strowman in the back to send the referee outside, allowing a low blow to take Strowman down. A chair is brought in but Strowman hits the powerslam, only to have the OC come in for the beatdown. Strowman fights back with the chair but AJ does the old Eddie Guerrero drop down. The referee says he HEARD the chair shots (that opens up a good number of historical gaps) and that’s a DQ at 9:56.
Rating: C. They did what they could to protect Strowman here and while “I HEARD CHAIR SHOTS” is quite the stretch given how deaf referees have seemed over the years, it’s about as good as you can get outside of the OC running in for the DQ. The match was fine enough and I’m glad they didn’t change the title here as it would be a bit much for one show.
Strowman cleans house and holds up the US Title to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. The wrestling wasn’t too bad with Ricochet vs. McIntyre being quite the match, but seeing more Ziggler/Corbin pushes didn’t do much for me. Clash of Champions is going to be an interesting night if they do things one way but it has the potential to be a show where the fans aren’t happy and don’t get much of what they want coming out of the night. This show didn’t make me all that confident, though they have a few weeks to straighten things out.
Ricochet b. Drew McIntyre – 630
Baron Corbin b. The Miz – End of Days
Bayley b. Nikki Cross – Top rope elbow
Dolph Ziggler/Robert Roode won Tag Team Turmoil last eliminating Heavy Machinery
Sasha Banks b. Natalya – Bank Statement
Cedric Alexander b. Cesaro – Lumbar Check
AJ Styles b. Braun Strowman via DQ when the referee heard chair shots
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