It’s the go-home show for SummerSlam, and the big question is whether Seth Rollins is in any condition to compete. Brock Lesnar is due to make an appearance, so even if Rollins is fully recovered from last week, he still has to make it through tonight. We should get an update on why the scenery fell on Roman Reigns on SmackDown Live last week. We’ll find out what’s next for WWE’s first pregnant champion. And there will be all the build for the biggest PPV of the summer.
I’m Amanda and this is the RAW review.
Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair def. Natalya & Trish Stratus
Andrade def. Rey Mysterio
The Viking Raiders def. Jay Alexander & Eric Abraham
SmackDown Live Tag Team Champions The New Day (Big E & Xavier Woods) def. RAW Tag Team Champions The OC (Gallows & Anderson)
The OC (Gallows, Anderson & AJ Styles) def. The New Day & Ricochet
Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross def. Kabuki Warriors, Fire & Desire, and The IIconics (TITLE CHANGE)
The Key Bits
♦ The show started with a moment to honour the victims of the recent shootings in El Paso and Dayton, and the tolling of the bell. The entire locker room were on the stage and the crowd were asked to stand.
♦ The show proper opened with Samoa Joe stood on the announce desk shouting about being accused of pushing the scenery onto Roman Reigns on SmackDown Live last week. He’s not happy about it and yelled at Michael Cole and Corey Graves while they tried to reason with him. It wasn’t Reigns who made the accusation, but Joe is holding him responsible.
They showed the incredibly cheesy footage and Joe yelled some more, he’s apparently going to wait for Roman Reigns tonight and demand an in-ring apology. Then he got cut off by Becky Lynch’s music.
It was the start of the third hour when Samoa Joe tried to collect his apology. He came to the ring and called out Roman Reigns. When Reigns didn’t come out, Joe set up a chair in the middle of the ring, sat down, and declared RAW shut down until Roman Reigns apologises to him. That didn’t work either, nor did pacing the ring calling Reigns a coward. CM Punk chants broke out because that’s what happens when WWE crowds get bored. And after all that, Joe walked off to go and meet Reigns in the parking lot. Just a quick observation, if you’re arriving at the arena two hours into a three-hour show, surely you’re late for work.
They argued while Reigns was stood by the open car door. Suddenly, Reigns dived back into the car as another car drove into the side of his. During the break, Samoa Joe called for a medic and checked on Reigns, trying to make him stay down until they could get the doctors. Triple H arrived on the scene and spoke to Reigns who looked sore and shaken.
♦ Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair vs Natalya & Trish Stratus was the first match of the night. Lynch and Natalya had to be kept apart by the ref while they were waiting for Stratus to arrive. Before the match started, commentary confirmed that Becky Lynch and Natalya’s RAW Women’s Championship match will be a submission match at SummerSlam.
That noted, Lynch and Natalya set about trying to tap each other out to start this one, until they got too close to Charlotte Flair, who tagged herself in. Flair spent a lot of her time taunting Trish Stratus on the apron, but she took a moment to fake an offer of a tag to Lynch as well. Trish Stratus didn’t enter the match legally, although she did get into the ring and try to get to Flair after Flair tried to attack her on the apron.
Becky Lynch tagged herself back in. Charlotte Flair punched her in the back of the head and walked out. While Lynch was still distracted, Natalya locked in the Sharpshooter. Becky Lynch got to the ropes, but Natalya wouldn’t let go, even after she was disqualified. It took Trish Stratus pulling her away to make her release Lynch, Natalya shoved her for it before she left.
Becky Lynch had a backstage interview later, about the SummerSlam match. She was vicious, making digs about Total Divas, Natalya’s Instagram account, being a disappointment to her family, and her people-pleasing nature while pointing out that while Natalya was doing all that, she was winning and changing the business.
Natalya, in her answering interview, said there will be a huge celebration in Canada when she beats Becky Lynch. Natalya won’t tap even if Lynch breaks her arm, and she’s going to end Lynch’s career at SummerSlam with the Sharpshooter.
♦ Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman graced the ring for Heyman to talk about Seth Rollins. Heyman asked ‘Wasn’t Rollins supposed to be the BeastSlayer’, in about twelve different ways. The answer was the footage from last week of Lesnar’s extended attack on Rollins. He said he dropped to his knees last week and begged Lesnar to show mercy on Rollins and called the beating borderline criminal, then revealed that Rollins was in the building. According to Paul Heyman, that proves Rollins has more balls than he does brains.
Rollins limped out with a chair in one hand, clutching his ribs with the other. He stopped outside the ring then used the chair to help him climb the steps and very carefully got in. As soon as he raised the chair, Lesnar felled him with a kick to the gut. Brock Lesnar took the chair off him (following the wrestling law of don’t bring anything into the ring you don’t want to get hit with or thrown into) and beat him with it then beat him up and left him lying in the ring.
Lesnar came back during the break and had another go, so Rollins was still in the ring when we got back. He sat, slumped against the ropes, took a microphone and said it’s gotten to the point where he has to ask himself if it’s worth it. You love something so much you’d do anything to protect it and keep it safe even if the thing you love gets you getting beaten to a pulp week after week. For him, the answer is yes because this is all he is. Every second of every day. This is all he’s ever wanted. This is all he’s got. He’ll be at SummerSlam and he’ll beat Brock Lesnar. He guarantees it. He didn’t sound remotely convinced, just broken, and struggled to stand without support as he left the arena refusing medical assistance.
♦ Kabuki Warriors vs Fire & Desire vs Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross vs The IIconics – Fatal Four-Way Elimination Match for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships – was decent as well. The IIconics started by knocking Kabuki Warriors and Bliss and Cross off the apron to reduce Deville and Rose’s tagging opportunities, but it only served to annoy people. They had it under control though, looking organised and motivated. They pose too much though and got ambushed by Mandy Rose in the middle of one. With Sonya Deville guarding to make sure no one interfered, a knee to the face gave Rose the pin on Billie Kay, eliminating The IIconics and guaranteeing new champions.
Nikki Cross tagged Asuka in at Bliss’ suggestion, with the intention of allowing one of the teams to get eliminated before they had to do anything. Rose tagged Bliss in, but Bliss tagged Deville. Eventually, Bliss had to come in against Kairi Sane, then Asuka, but tagged Mandy Rose back in. Fire and Desire became the second team eliminated when Rose tapped to the Asuka Lock.
After another ad break, it was down to Kabuki Warriors or Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross for the next champions. Asuka had Nikki Cross in trouble (they had a couple of great matches in NXT), but she clawed it back and got to Bliss. Both teams came close multiple times, but Alexa Bliss landed Twisted Bliss on Kairi Sane and secured the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships for herself and Nikki Cross.
I’m very happy to see Nikki Cross with a title, but I want to see those belts defended regularly. Preferably starting at SummerSlam.
♦ The Miz and Dolph Ziggler had a contract signing on Miz TV, officiated by Shawn Michaels. Ziggler spouted his delusional pattern for a while and signed the contract. Only then did Miz reveal he wasn’t going to be Ziggler’s opponent, by telling him he was looking forward to facing him next Monday on RAW. Michaels stood in front of Ziggler, listened to him trash talk for a bit, then told him it wasn’t him… It was Goldberg. Ziggler got out of the ring before Goldberg got in, and Goldberg signed the contract to make the match official. Once he’d signed, he said ‘Dolph Ziggler, guess what, son, you’re next’.
As Ziggler backed away up the ramp, he walked straight into a Sweet Chin Music from Shawn Michaels.
The Other Bits
♦ Rey Mysterio vs Andrade was set up as a chance for Mysterio to get some revenge on Andrade for ripping his mask off last week. It sort of worked. He took a lot of punishment along the way, but he flipped Andrade into the barricade so hard, as we went into the break, that he nearly went through it. Truly superb match, which was happily given a decent amount of time. Andrade tried to rip Mysterio’s mask off again during the match and while the ref was backing him off, Zelina Vega bounced Rey Mysterio’s neck off the middle rope. While Mysterio was still reeling, Andrade finished him off with the hammerlock DDT.
♦ Maria Kanellis has entrusted her protection, and the protection of her title, to her husband. She is still being a bitch. They were at her Ob-Gyn appointment and Mike leaned over to cuddle her except the doctor was a ref and he pinned her. He walked into the waiting room and got pinned by R-Truth who was hiding there in disguise with Carmella.
♦ Kurt Angle was booked as the special guest referee for Drew McIntyre vs Cedric Alexander. He had a backstage interview about it, but it got interrupted by Street Profits advertising NXT TakeOver and being entertaining, then again by Drew McIntyre. He wanted to make sure Angle was going to call things straight down the line and to threaten him a bit.
Drew McIntyre attacked Cedric Alexander before the bell and the match never happened. Alexander fought back and a tornado DDT on the ramp put them both down. The lights went off while they were down, and The Fiend appeared in the ring and took down Kurt Angle with a mandible claw.
♦ The Viking Raiders vs Jay Alexander & Eric Abraham was yet another pointless squash. They’re much too good for this crap. Give them something interesting to do.
♦ There was a nice tribute package to Harley Race, who died last week, and Michael Cole talked about the first time they met.
♦ The New Day vs The OC occurred because they got into it on SmackDown Live last week. Luke Gallows wears face paint again now. AJ Styles accompanied Gallows and Anderson to the ring, but Kofi Kingston was not with Big E and Xavier Woods. It lasted about ten seconds before AJ Styles knocked Big E off the apron and got into the ring to attack Xavier Woods. The beatdown carried on after The OC had been disqualified until Ricochet ran down to even the odds and clear the ring.
The New Day & Ricochet vs The OC started after the break and was another really good match. RAW has had some great matches over the last couple of weeks. The OC picked up the win with a Magic Killer on Xavier Woods.
So that’s the RAW side of things wrapped up for SummerSlam. There are nine announced matches on the card at the time of writing and there will almost certainly be a couple more by the time it airs. It looks like a good PPV, but I’m not sure it will be a great one. However it turns out, join me here next week for all the fallout.