King of the Ring tournament, Clash of Champions, after a crazy Saturday of wrestling, time to come back to Planet WWE on this US Labour Day. Ricochet, Samoa Joe, Cedric Alexander, Baron Corbin, who will go to Clash of Champions and represent the Red brand in the King of The Ring finals? Also on the menu, tonight, Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman signing their WWE Universal Title match contract for Clash of Champions will open the show. A new Firefly Fun House episode from Bray Wyatt and the first-ever Women’s Championship Showcase with WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss going up against RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch and SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley are also announced. Rey Mysterio returns to RAW two weeks after his son stopped him from retiring. With so much to talk about, let’s not waste any more time and see what went down as we check out Monday Night RAW. Tonight is Monday Night Nygma (which night is not Nygma?)…
Big RAW things happening this week:
- Mike Rome introduced RAW Tag Team Champions Braun Strowman and Seth Rollins for Clash of Champions Universal title match contract signing. The 2 guys shook hands in front of Michael Cole. He explained the context of the 2 matches they will have to wrestle at Clash of Champions, they will defend the Tag Team Titles against Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler and then face each other for the Universal title. Cole asked if they will be able to function as a team. Rollins said he’s no stranger to defending two titles. Strowman agreed but said it will be awkward when Rollins’ tag team partner defeats him for the Universal Title later on. Rollins reminded Strowman he slayed the Beast, so he can slay a Monster, and signed the contract. AJ Styles and the OC arrived and claimed history will be made at Clash of Champions. AJ wondered why Strowman has a Universal Title shot and said the United States Champion should be first in line for a Universal Title shot by proxy. AJ mentioned how he doesn’t have a Clash of Champions opponent. AJ continued his rant and said if The OC doesn’t get what they want, then no one is going to get what they want. The OC entered the ring, stared the champs down, and AJ tore the contract up. The table was tipped over on AJ as Rollins and Strowman unloaded on Gallows and Anderson. Rollins and Strowman cleared the ring and talked trash to The OC.
- RAW Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Braun Strowman defeated Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson. AJ Styles was at ringside and did his job, interfering and distracting the referee. After the match, AJ immediately attacked Rollins. Rollins fought back and cleared the ring of AJ and Anderson. Strowman recovered on the outside and ran right over Gallows, then AJ and then Rollins, by accident. Strowman couldn’t believe he hurt his partner. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode ran down to attack Strowman. The OC joined in and they all beat Strowman down at ringside. Rollins tried to make the save but they beat him down as well. Roode and Ziggler helped Gallows and Anderson hit a Magic Killer on Strowman. They all held Strowman next while AJ goes to the apron for a Phenomenal Forearm. Roode and Ziggler stood tall with The OC as AJ’s music hit.
- Cedric Alexander was attacked backstage by The OC as he was interviewed on his King of The Ring match against Baron Corbin.
- Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler defeated Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder.
- Lacey Evans defeated Natalya. She targeted her injured elbow to get the win.
- RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch in the ring to respond to Sasha Banks. The Man heard Banks’ excuses for being away last week and said it’s a load of crap. She asked herself what happened to Sasha since NXT time as WWE has always given her opportunities. She reminded Sasha of her WrestleMania loss when Becky won that night. Becky called Banks a “delusional little weirdo” and said she will teach her a lesson.
The “Little Blue-Haired Freak” came to the ramp and Becky said she was supposed to be her and main-event WrestleMania. Sasha reminded Becky of Nia Jax breaking her face, the reason why she got all that. Banks said this is business, not personal, just like it was business when she beat the hell out of Lynch with a chair a few weeks ago but she can make it personal. The Boss wanted The Man for the title at Clash of Champions. The Man said she got it. Sasha promised that, after that match, The Man would be the Boss’ b**ch. Banks walked up the ramp while Lynch raised the title in the air and looked on.
- Backstage, the Street Profits, Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins, were shocked at what they just saw.
- King of The Ring Quarterfinals match: Baron Corbin defeated Cedric Alexander. Despite the early attack, Cedric Alexander gave it all and offered a great match. Corbin raised the sceptre and sat in the throne, as the King he’s not yet.
- Recap of the Roman Reigns/Daniel Bryan/Rowan story on SmackDown Live. Daniel Bryan since has released a statement, asking apologies from Rowan.
- Stone Cold Steve Austin will be at MSG in NYC next week and offered to moderate Strowman/Rollins contract signing.
- SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley refused to talk about recent comments made by Sasha Banks because they’re personal. If they’re best friends, Bayley said Banks chose to move forward after WrestleMania 35, unlike Sasha Banks. Now her goal is to defend the SmackDown Women’s Champion and, after Nikki Cross last week, she will take care of Alexa Bliss.
Bayley added she’s teaming with Becky Lynch tonight and she doesn’t feel over-shadowed that way and won’t. She goes on about how she always does what she has to win, and by the end of the night, we will see who is standing in the shadow of the other.
- The Viking Raiders killed 2 jobbers from Pittsburgh. Goodnight and good luck, Tyler and Brian.
- Sasha Banks refused to comment on her former best friend match tonight.
- King of The Ring Quarterfinals match: Samoa Joe vs Ricochet ended with no winner. Before the match, Joe said the Kingdom of liars WWE is needs a true King while Ricochet said being King Ricochet is a name he earns to wear. Joe targeted Ricochet’s knees. Some controversy at the end of the match as both men shoulders were down and both had an arm on this other. Who will face Baron Corbin next week? The winner has yet to be announced.
- Rollins and Strowman talked about Stone Cold being involved in their contract signing next week. Strowman thought they would try to screw him, Rollins proved him wrong. Rollins said he’s not turning on Strowman and if Austin will prevent a repeat of tonight with The OC, he’s all for it. Strowman said Austin will get these hands if he gets in the way.
- The Firefly Fun House episode was cut by commercial… Bray Wyatt apologized to Finn Balor for what The Fiend did to him. He talked about Seth and Braun and their teamwork. He presented his own team… and The Fiend appeared… See you in Hell… In a Cell…
- Corey Graves asked referee John Cone his decision. Baron Corbin appeared and Cone told him he would have to face both Ricochet and Samoa Joe next week in a Triple Threat Match.
- Rey Mysterio said he would never thank his son Dominik enough for giving him a reason to continue by pushing him. Rey could never thank him enough for reminding him and talking him into continuing to pursue his passion. Rey stated how crazy this is because as parents, you’re responsible for pushing kids to follow their dreams, but here his son is pushing him to continue chasing his. Mysterio said he’s not done, not just yet, and he still has a lot more to accomplish. Rey added he’s doing this for his son.
- The Miz defeated Cesaro. Nice match and great momentum for The Miz as he’s about to compete for the Intercontinental Championship at Clash of Champions against Shinsuke Nakamura, as Michael Cole reminded.
- RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch & SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley defeated WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Nikki Cross & Alexa Bliss via DQ. Sasha Banks appeared very quickly in the match and watched the action from the ramp. She then attacked Becky Lynch with a chair. Bayley made the save, grabbed the chair and attacked Becky with it.
MAIN EVENT THINGS
The first hour was pretty long despite the OC hijacking the show. I didn’t understand why they hijacked the whole show, but it was a way to tease Stone Cold appearance next week… AJ saying no disrespect to Ziggler and Roode, but they’re not even a real tag team, is a statement that is real. The main roster is stacked with talented tag teams who earned the spot more than Ziggler and Roode. That was even truer when we saw The Viking Raiders destroying 2 jobbers later in the show.
The second hour was better because of King of The Ring matches. Baron Corbin vs Cedric Alexander was good, even if the winner was highly expectable. Ricochet vs Joe was fantastic, both men deserved the win and to advance in the tournament. WWE made the right choice in not doing any choice. The Triple Threat semifinals next week should be a must-see.
The third hour was unexpected. The Fiend is already targeting Hell in a Cell, on October 6, and the Universal Championship. The dichotomy of characters, the Firefly universe is a marvel to watch. If you told me Bayley would turn heel, I would never have trusted you, but it happened. No more hugs, let’s go for chair shots now. Bayley said Sasha and she were still best friends and she proved it. The Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection is not done yet. Maybe we can call it the Boss ‘n’ Shot Connection now…
This episode worked for me, even if the first hour was slightly too OC-focused. I heard many times that, in wrestling, controversy or dissension creates attention. Ten days or so before Clash of Champions, this good old recipe made some magic on RAW.
Nygma Note: Amanda will be back next week and I want to apologize to her because she would have done this review way better than I did… When it comes to RAW, her words are way more interesting than mine (she would say the contrary, but don’t buy it)…
All pics courtesy of WWE