Monday Night Raw
Date: July 29, 2019
Location: Verizon Arena, North Little Rock, Arkansas
Commentators: Michael Cole, Renee Young, Corey Graves
The rapid fire build to Summerslam can build tonight as we have less than two weeks to go before the show. A lot of the matches have already been set, but there are several more to go and the ones that already exist need some more time to really be ready. The shows have been somewhat better as of late so hopefully the trend can continue. Let’s get to it.
We open with a look at the history of the WWE Championship being the most important title in history, but now things have changed. Now the 24/7 Title is the most sought after title in the company, even being defended on a plane. The title is redefining greatness.
24/7 Title: Drake Maverick/Renee Michelle vs. R-Truth/Carmella
Good thing Drake got his wife back. This is a Mosh Pit Mania match, which starts as a mixed tag with R-Truth and Carmella defending (only the men can win the title) and a bunch of people on the floor in roles that aren’t quite explained to start. The 24/7 Rules are suspended for the match but they go back into effect once the match is over, hence everyone on the floor.
Drake rolls him up for two to start but gets backdropped to the floor where the people on the floor catch him in the air. Drake gets thrown back in, making this a lumberjack mixed tag under a different name. Back in and everything breaks down, with Carmella slapping Drake in the face, leaving Truth to hit a gordbuster for the dancing pin at 1:56.
Post match everyone piles on and it’s a group pin, with Mike Kanellis being named champion. Mike runs off and hides in a room marked OFFICIALS with the mob trying to get in. Maria comes in holding her stomach and is allowed to come in, mainly due to threatening to “kick Mike in his vagina.” Renee Young: “I’m going to recommend that doesn’t happen.”
The winner gets AJ Styles for the US Title at Summerslam. Rey Mysterio is in first and Cesaro is in second with the latter sweeping the legs to start. A headscissors into a rollup gives Rey two but Cesaro clotheslines his head off. Cesaro slaps on the chinlock for a bit until Rey winds up on Cesaro’s shoulders. They fall over the top with Cesaro landing on his feet with Rey still on his shoulders. A headscissors sends Cesaro into the apron and Rey hits the sliding splash.
Back in and a springboard hurricanrana but Cesaro is out of the way of the 619. That’s fine with Rey, who anklescissors Cesaro into the crowd as we take a break. Back with Cesaro in trouble as Rey was powerbombed into the post during the commercial (so the no action during breaks policy seems to be over, thank goodness). Cesaro’s camel clutch doesn’t last long as he puts Rey on top for a top rope seated senton. A kick to the head gives Rey two but Cesaro uppercuts him out of the air for two of his own.
The running big boot gets two but Rey sends him into the corner again. They fight on top with Rey managing a super sitout bulldog. The top rope splash finishes Cesaro at 11:13. Sami Zayn is in third, misses a big boot, and gets rolled up for the pin at 11:53. Andrade is in fourth and we take another break.
Back again with Rey not being able to hit a flying mare so he grabs a headlock instead. That goes nowhere so they chop it out with Andrade hitting Three Amigos into the double moonsault for one. Rey’s enziguri looks to set up the 619 but Andrade reverses into a spinning Rock Bottom backbreaker. The hammerlock DDT finishes Mysterio at 21:57. Post fall Andrade rips Rey’s mask open and we see most of his face in a big surprise. Ricochet is in fifth to make the save and we take another break.
Back with Ricochet flipping over Andrade and nailing a dropkick to put Andrade on the floor. Zelina Vega breaks up the dive though and Andrade sends Ricochet into the barricade. Back in and Ricochet gets hiptossed into the corner for a painful looking crash. The double knees in the corner give Andrade two but the hammerlock DDT is broken up. Ricochet drops him on his head with a reverse hurricanrana and it’s the 630 to send Ricochet to Summerslam at 32:27.
Rating: C+. This was your usual gauntlet match, though they did give most of the falls some extra time to make it a little easier to watch. Ricochet winning was the logical move and it’s good to see him back in the ring after the elbow deal. At the same time, it was rather nice to not have every fall be the space between commercials. The whole no action between the breaks deal was a bad solution to a problem that didn’t need to be solved.
Post match Ricochet says at Summerslam, you’ll believe it when you see him holding the US Title.
Mike Kanellis is proud of his win but Maria tells him to lay down so she can win the title. That way her unborn child can have a champion for a parent. Mike does just that and Maria is champion. Maria: “FIRST EVER PREGNANT CHAMP!” She leaves the room and laughs at a bunch of people who can’t do anything to her because she’s pregnant.
It’s time for A Moment of Bliss with Alexa Bliss talking about how inspiring it is for Maria to win the title. Nikki Cross was inspired by seeing last week’s Raw Reunion, though Alexa brings up Dolph Ziggler superkicking Shawn Michaels the next night on Smackdown. Speaking of disturbing, we see a clip from earlier in the day with the arena empty and Fit Finlay training some women in the ring, including Natalya, to block the Disarm-Her. Becky Lynch ran in, kicked Finlay low, and put Natalya in the Disarm-Her. Bliss and Cross have no respect for Becky so Bliss is going to knock her down a few pegs tonight.
Becky pops up on screen to say she can hear what Bliss is saying. Therefore, she’s going to take the time to threaten Bliss for a bit. Bliss can say what she wants for free now because she can pay for it later. As for Nikki, where is her Celtic pride? Becky is coming for Bliss later tonight.
Tag Team Titles: Revival vs. Usos vs. OC
The Revival is defending, one fall to a finish, and we even get Big Match Intros. Dawson headlocks Jimmy down but gets reversed into a headscissors for his efforts. With the mat stuff not working, Dawson chops him in the corner and gets in some southern trash talk. Wilder comes in with a headbutt for two but Jimmy chops him back, allowing the tag to Jey. The slugout goes to Wilder and it’s back to Dawson to keep Jey in trouble.
Jey superkicks his way to freedom and brings Jimmy back in as the OC watches rather intently. The armbar goes on but Dawson goes old school with a sleeper. That lasts as long as most sleepers are going to and, as tends to be the case, seems to fire someone up instead of putting them to sleep. Jey gets sent outside though and Gallows runs him over as we take a break.
Back with Anderson chinlocking Jey and Gallows coming in for one of his own. Jey fights up and makes the tag off to Jimmy for the house cleaning, including a running hip attack and a bunch of superkicks. The Samoan drop gets two on Wilder but Dawson makes a hot tag for a Steiner Bulldog of all things. Anderson makes the save so Dawson suplexes him over the top, with Anderson landing on his head like a DDT in a scary crash.
Gallows kicks Dawson in the face and Jimmy adds a dive onto everyone. Jey superplexes Dawson onto everyone, bringing the referee running over to check for injuries as everyone is down. Back in and Jimmy misses the Superfly Splash and walks into the Shatter Machine but Gallows made a blind tag. The Magic Killer to Jimmy gives the OC the pin and the titles at 14:24.
Rating: C+. This is one of those instances where you learn to never say never in wrestling. Remember a few months ago when Gallows and Anderson were all but destined to leave the company for anywhere else? Now they’re on new five year deals and they have the Tag Team Titles while involved in one of the more prominent stories on the show. Not bad for a turnaround over the last few weeks no?
The OC has a big celebration with AJ Styles, including food and champagne.
Raw Reunion recap.
We look at Dolph Ziggler superkicking Shawn Michaels, which Michael Cole calls one of the most disgusting thing he’s ever seen. Michaels was in a match eight months ago. Ziggler didn’t beat up Pat Patterson.
Viking Raiders vs. Cole Carter/Johnny James
Cole gets knocked down to start so James tries to walk away, earning himself a spinning kick to the face on the floor. Hansen crushes them both with a double Bronco Buster in the corner. The Viking Experience is good for the pin at 1:25.
The Street Profits talk about the night so far with Dawkins seeming to like talking about Maria. Ford suggests that Dawkins is the baby’s father which is NOT cool with Dawkins. Seth Rollins comes in and the Profits say the locker room is behind him to get Ziggler for what happened to Shawn. They all do BURN IT DOWN.
We look back at the 24/7 Title shenanigans.
Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss
Non-title and Nikki Cross is in Bliss’ corner. Becky takes her down without too much work so it’s the early Disarm-Her attempt. That’s broken up as well but Cross gets in a cheap shot so Bliss can take over. Becky is right back with some knees to the face but Bliss pulls her off the ropes for two. The seated abdominal stretch has Becky in even more trouble and Insult to Injury gets two more. Bliss tries it again but only hits mat, allowing Becky to get in a kick to the chest. The Bexploder sends Bliss into the corner and she comes up holding her ankle. The trainer comes over to check on her and it’s a referee stoppage at 7:00.
Rating: C-. Not bad here though the ending feels a little fishy. You can all but pencil in Nikki to come in and face Becky next and there is a good chance that Natalya is behind this. I’m not sure why Bliss and Natalya would suddenly be friends, but there is no consistency to most of the women’s division booking anyway.
Post match Cross yells at Becky and let’s do it again.
Becky Lynch vs. Nikki Cross
Non-title again. Becky starts fast in the corner as Bliss is sitting at ringside with her ankle elevated. Cross takes over and puts on a chinlock which works as well as anything else. Becky is right back up with the Manhandle Slam for the win at 2:36.
Post match Bliss is fine (duh) and the double beatdown is on. Cue Natalya for the save, meaning she can put Becky in the Sharpshooter.
In the back, Natalya says that she wants to challenge Becky to a submission match, but Natalya won’t accept so she won’t bother.
Maria has a photo shoot when Braun Strowman comes in to glare at her. She goes into a rant about how men like making the baby but not taking care of it. Maria wants to see how big and strong he is so Strowman breathes a lot.
Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler comes out to Shawn Michaels’ music and does his entrance before asking what happened. He thinks Seth looks like he lost his smile, which should be the case. Last week the legends were taking the spotlight, just like Goldberg before Raw Reunion. Rollins jumps him to start and they head to the floor with Ziggler getting punched around ringside. They get back up and Ziggler manages a DDT onto the apron as we take a break. Back with Rollins striking away, including a rolling elbow.
The Sling Blade gets two but Ziggler goes to the ropes and gets in an elbow to the face. The running DDT is reversed into a Falcon Arrow for two and they’re both a bit tired. Ziggler sends him into the post and gets two off the Zig Zag, allowing them both to lay down. The Band is Tuned Up but Rollins hits his own pair of superkicks to cut Ziggler off. The Stomp is loaded up….and here are Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman with Lesnar coming in for the DQ at 9:18.
Rating: C. If you can’t have Baron Corbin, at least you can have Dolph Ziggler. This was every Rollins vs. Ziggler match you can imagine until the ending, though I’m still not managing to get angry at Ziggler for attacking Michaels. I can’t imagine we’re going for Ziggler vs. Michaels, though Ziggler insulting Goldberg is…..well it’s not interesting but it’s different.
Post match Lesnar destroys Rollins with suplexes and an F5 into the post. Lesnar chairs him down and has a seat to laugh at Rollins. That’s not it though as Lesnar hits a pair of F5’s onto the open chair. Rollins starts coughing up blood so Lesnar loads up a third. Even Heyman tells Lesnar to stop as Brock hits the third F5 onto the chair. That’s enough for Rollins to go out on a stretcher. Remember in the build to Wrestlemania when Lesnar hit a bunch of F5’s and Rollins came into the match banged up? No reason for asking.
Post break Rollins is taken to the ambulance as Roman Reigns and Becky Lynch look on. The OC and Samoa Joe come up and gets in a fight with the Usos coming in to get beaten down as well. Rollins leaves in the ambulance, though this time without Lynch to make sure that it’s a little different. Hang on though as Brock blocks the ambulance from leaving and pulls Rollins out to beat him up even more. A release F5 onto the stretcher makes Rollins scream, though it looked awesome.
Here’s Samoa Joe for the Samoan Summit with Roman Reigns. Joe says the Summit has been canceled due to the catastrophic damage. He’s here to fight anyway and wants Reigns out here to finish the fight. Cue Reigns for the fight with Joe sending him into the steps. To even things out, Reigns throws the steps at Joe’s head for the big crash. This brings out Drew McIntyre for the big fight into the crowd but they’re back at ringside in a hurry so Joe can make it a double team.
Cue Cedric Alexander for the save until Joe takes his head off with a clothesline. McIntyre takes Alexander up to the stage and suplexes him into the set. Joe and McIntyre load up something through the announcers’ table but the Usos run out for the save. Cue Anderson and Gallows for the next save but Cedric has climbed the set and dives onto everyone for a rather cool visual.
Drew and Cedric go back to the ring with Cedric hitting a dropkick and going up but Anderson and Gallows come in to break it up. Reigns saves Alexander from the Magic Killer and Cedric hits the running flip dive onto McIntyre. The Usos superkick Joe and Reigns spears him down to end the show. It’s a hot ending to the show and probably sets up an eight man tag at Summerslam, though ending on the dive would have felt bigger.
Overall Rating: C+. This show felt like a mixture of some new ideas and what we were seeing for the last few months. It worked out rather well actually and the show was very easy to watch. Above all else, nothing felt long or dragged, which gave me quite the surprise when there were fifteen minutes left in the show. The Summerslam build is very rushed but they’re doing as much as they can with the time they have. It’s not the best but it could be a lot worse.
R-Truth/Carmella b. Drake Maverick/Renee Michelle – Gordbuster to Maverick
Ricochet won a gauntlet match last eliminating Andrade
OC b. Usos and Revival – Magic Killer to Jimmy
Viking Raiders b. Johnny James/Cole Carter – Viking Experience to Carter
Becky Lynch b. Alexa Bliss via referee stoppage
Becky Lynch b. Nikki Cross – Manhandle Slam
Seth Rollins b. Dolph Ziggler via DQ when Brock Lesnar interfered
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