SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
FEBRUARY 13, 2017
LAS VEGAS, NEV.
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
-The screen opened with acknowledge of the death of Chavo Guerrero Sr.
-The Raw opening aired. Then pyro blasted as they panned the live audience and Cole said: “Place your bets because you’re playing with house money tonight.” They hyped the Festival of Friendship and Charlotte defending the Raw Women’s Title against Bayley.
-Stephanie McMahon strutted to the ring. Graves said she looks to be a good mood. Cole said who wouldn’t be in a good mood since the next Raw PPV is less than three weeks away. They talked about two scheduled matches for Fastlane – Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman and Kevin Owens vs. Goldberg.
-Stephanie magically knew to speak only after the announcers stopped. She welcomed everyone to Monday Night Raw with a grinding voice. She said Mick Foley was overworked last week and that’s why he embarrassed himself at the Samoa Joe contract signing. She said as his benevolent employer, she gave him the night off and next week she expects he’ll be back with his priorities in order. She said tonight she is running Raw. She went for the cheap pop and said they were in Las Vegas. She got a mixed response. Then Roman Reigns’s music played and he didn’t seem to get a mixed response, but rather all boos. Cole said he’s not 100 percent after last week’s beating at the hands of Braun Strowman. Cole noted that Reigns cost Strowman a chance at the Universal Championship, just as Strowman cost Reigns.
Reigns entered the ring and said he’s not waiting until Fastlane, he wants Strowman “right now!” Stephanie said she’s running Raw, and it’s not about her or him, but rather the WWE Universe. She asked the fans what they wanted. Stephanie told Roman that those fans don’t care about him and how he’d get hurt if he faced Strowman this week after getting beaten to a pulp last week. She said while they don’t care, she does. Roman said he doesn’t care what she thinks. She said he once again fails to see the big picture. She said Strowman is already booked against Mark Henry this week anyway. Reigns said it sounds like one hell of a fight, so maybe he’ll come out to the ring and watch it live. She said if he lays a hand on Strowman, she’ll take away his match at Fastlane and maybe any chance he’d get at WrestleMania. He said maybe he isn’t making himself clear enough. He was interrupted by the music of Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson.
Anderson apologized for interrupting. He told Stephanie they couldn’t listen any longer to Roman disrespect her any longer. Gallows said as the Rolling Stones said, you can’t always get what you want. They said instead of facing Strowman, how about Reigns accept their challenge to a two-on-one match. Stephanie said in honor of Teddy Long, who will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year, “I think we have a match, playa.” Reigns glared at her. Anderson and Gallows attacked Reigns at ringside. Referees separated them.
(Keller’s Analysis: I liked that Reigns didn’t act like a big shot who likes the idea of this match, but rather saw it as a steeper challenge than he’d prefer.) [c]
(1) ROMAN REIGNS vs. KARL ANDERSON & LUKE GALLOWS
Cole noted that Anderson and Gallows have to tag in and out. Reigns made a comeback shortly after the break. He fended off interference from Gallows, giving Anderson a chance to surprise him with a schoolboy. Reigns kicked out and then hit Anderson with a Superman punch. Gallows hit Reigns from behind. The heel duo stomped on him illegally. Even Graves said the ref had to step in. The ref called for the bell. Cole said Stephanie has to be smiling about this.
WINNER: Reigns via DQ in 3:00.
-Afterward they set up the Magic Killer, but Reigns kicked out of it. He gave Gallows a Superman punch to knock him off the ring apron, then kicked a chair out of Anderson’s hands. The heel duo retreated as Reigns stood mid-ring with his music playing. Cole said Strowman needs to takes notes on what he’s facing at Fastlane.
-Cole plugged Henry vs. Strowman coming up later on Raw. Plus the Festival of Friendship.
-An extended video feature aired of the Chris Jericho-Kevin Owens friendship focused on The List. [c]
-The New Day danced out. Kofi Kingston pointed out that Bo Dallas is in the ring looking really lonely. He cracked himself up asking if he’s some kind of social outcast. They did their “Who? Who?” bit. Xavier Wood said they’ve been working day and night to bring the fans something special, because they are holding the blueprints for the very first New Day Ice Cream Machine. He said after Kofi makes quick work of Bo, they will share with the world how they plan to bring them all ice cream. Graves said, “People need nutrition, not garbage like ice cream!” The crowd chanted “We Want Ice Cream.” New Day danced along.
(2) BO DALLAS vs. KOFI KINGSTON (w/Big E, Xavier Woods)
Kofi kicked Bo to the floor at the start. Bo began to dance to the ice cream chant. But it was all a ruse to steal the blue prints for the ice cream machine from Big E. He threatened to tear it up. Then he did. Xavier and Big E collapsed. Kofi did a flip dive onto Bo at ringside. Back in the ring, Bo gave Kofi a knee to the gut. He then scored a two count after a neckbreaker off the ropes. He scored another immediate two count. Graves said if Bo wins, he’ll spearhead the effort to give everyone wheat grass shots. Kofi came right back with an S.O.S. for the win.
WINNER: Kofi in 3:00.
-Afterward, New Day poured cereal into Bo’s mouth. Bo spit it out. Graves said everyone knows you don’t feed cereal to a knocked out person. He said it belongs on a Vegas buffet along with orange chicken.
-An unidentified woman interviewed Neville. He interrupted her as she began to ask him about last week on “205 Live” when Jack Gallagher became the no. 1 contender. He said he will easily deconstruct Gallagher at Fastlane. He said he’s obliterated T.J. Perkins on multiple occasions, and he stands more of a threat to him than Gallagher does. Gallagher walked in and offered to quote Shakespeare. Neville said he can’t. He told him to take a long look in the mirror because he’s just a boy and he’s out of his depth. He said he’s not on his level. Gallagher told him to calm down because they’ll find that out at Fastlane.
-Another video feature aired on the Jericho and Owens, this time Jericho helping Owens retain his Universal Title at Hell in a Cell. [c]
-Austin Aries replaced Saxton on commentary. They showed Gallagher’s dive off the top rope with an opened umbrella onto a crowd at ringside, followed by pinning Perkins after a running dropkick to earn a Cruiserweight Title shot at Fastlane.
(3) JACK GALLAGHER vs. NOAM DAR (w/Alicia Fox)
Graves said he might be the biggest fan of Gallagher in the entire world, but Gallagher isn’t ready for Neville. Aries said Gallagher has a bunch of weapons he could beat Neville with including the best running dropkick other than his. When Cole said Dar is a bit strange, Aries said, “That’s like saying Mauro Ranallo is a bit over the top.” Graves said in three minutes, Aries has said more sensible things than Saxton has in three years. Cole said that’s not really saying much. Gallagher headbutted Darr and then won with his running dropkick.
WINNER: Gallagher in 3:00.
-As Cole plugged “205 Live,” Neville interrupted Gallagher’s victory celebration. He stood on the stage and raised his belt in the air while looking menacing.
(Keller’s Analysis: Gallagher is so quirky, but he’s the type of character that can get a cult following and help the Cruiserweight Division stand out. With Neville and Gallagher as the top two who are focused on right now, WWE has made the right calls. Now let them do their thing and stay the course, getting the next challenge for Neville heated up while keeping an eye on Gallagher’s crowd response and whether he catches on in a way similar to, say, New Day.)
-Backstage, a limo drove up to the arena. Samoa Joe stepped out. Triple H got out also. They both looked dapper.
-A video message aired from Emmalina saying fans have waited so long and it’ll be worth the wait. Graves said she premieres next! [c]
-Another video package aired on the Jericho-Owens friendship.
-Emmalina walked out. Graves was breathlessly excited. He warned Saxton not to ruin it for him. She strutted out onto the stage. “Good god in Heaven, she has arrived!” Graves said. She got some howls from the men. She said for 17 weeks they have waited for her makeover. “Well, here I am,” she declared. She said now they will see the makeover from Emmalina to Emma. Graves said, “Huh? Come again?” She left the stage. Hmmm.
-An unidentified woman said Emmalina is leaving more questions than answers. She shifted to talking with Bayley about her chance at the Raw Women’s Championship in her “first main event title match.” She asked if she’s ready. Bayley said she’s nervous, but excited. She said Charlotte doesn’t believe she belongs, but she believes in herself. She said at the Royal Rumble she came very close, and tonight is her second opportunity. She said she’s hitting the jackpot in Vegas because she’s achieving her dream.
-They went to Jericho asking Owens if he’s ready for the Festival of Friendship. Owens said he can’t wait, although he seemed a little unsure of what was going on. Triple H walked up and asked if Owens had a second to talk. Hmmm. [c]
-The showed Triple H off-mic making some sort of a pitch to Owens. Owens was listening intently. Graves said he’d love to be a fly on the wall.
(Keller’s Analysis: I’m just thrilled they didn’t have Triple H give his plan out to Owens on-mic, but everyone else had to pretend they didn’t hear it.)
-They showed Braun attacking Reigns last week at the end of Raw.
(4) BRAUN STROWMAN vs. MARK HENRY
Graves said Henry is a legend in the strongman world. He hoped they reenforced the ring. Strowman and Henry exchanged some words, then locked up in a collar and elbow. Stalemate. Graves said this is unfamiliar territory for Strowman to not be able to enforce his will at the start. Henry patted his chest and trash-talked a bit. Strowman threw the first blows and backed Henry into a corner. Henry fought out of the corner and backed Strowman up into the opposite corner. As the ref stepped between them, Strowman took a cheap shot with a right to the face. Henry went down. Strowman kicked him in the ribs.
Strowman settled into a chinlock as WWE showed confidence in Strowman vs. Henry as the match in progress as people tuned in to check out Raw at the start of the second hour. Cole said it’s unfortunate to watch how Strowman takes his time in complete and utter destruction of the World’s Strongest Man. Henry began to fight back, though, as he finished saying that. Henry lifted Strowman., but fell backward under his weight. Strowman dropkicked Henry and then powerslammed him for the win.
WINNER: Strowman in 5:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: In making Henry look strong in defeat, they made Strowman’s victory seem like a bigger deal.)
-Immediately Reigns came out to the ring to his music. Strowman knocked Reigns off the ring apron. Reigns looked at ringside as Strowman yelled, “Come get me! Come get meeee!” Reigns yanked Strowman over the top rope and then gave him a Superman Punch. Strowman staggered, then shook it off. Reigns hit Strowman again with a Superman Punch, and Strowman went down on one knee. When Reigns charged, Strowman caught him and powerslammed him to some cheers. He stood over Reigns, then left and growled and smiled as Reigns struggled to stand back in the ring.
-Graves hyped Charlotte vs. Bayley later on Raw.
-They showed Samoa Joe getting a mic clipped onto his suit for a sit-down interview coming up next.
-Another video package aired, this one on Reigns vs. Owens as “Roadblock: End of the Line” with Jericho giving Owens a Code Breaker, leading to Reigns being DQ’d, thus Owens retained the Universal Title. [c]
-They showed Bryce Harper from the Washington Nationals. Graves said he’s one of his favorite players.
-Backstage Cesaro and Sheamus were giving Bayley a pep talk. Sheamus and Cesaro got into an argument over Sheamus hitting Cesaro too hard with a high-five. Enzo and Big Cass were behind them. Enzo asked if they had a couple of haters. Sheamus said after what they pulled last week, yes, because they had no business being out there. Cass said he always has his partner’s back. Enzo said Sheamus & Cesaro don’t know about that. Enzo said if they don’t like what they did, they can do something about it. Sheamus offered. Cesaro stepped in, too. Cass then stood up to Cesaro, which gave Enzo the confidence to up the trash-talking.
-They showed Saxton and Graves at the announce table without Cole. They said he was about to interview Samoa Joe backstage.
-Cole interviewed Joe. He said many people are saying Joe used dishonorable tactics. Joe said they’re right, but he didn’t come to WWE to curry favor and garner people’s respect because he came to WWE to hurt people. He said the only person’s opinion he cares about is Triple H’s. He said Triple H gave him an opportunity nobody else gave him. Cole asked why Triple H chose this moment to move him from NXT to Raw after 18 years in the business. Joe said the results speak for themselves. Cole asked if Triple H is scared of Seth, and that’s why he’s there. He said Triple H has given a lot of opportunities to a lot of people, perhaps more people in history than anyone else. He said there have been a lot of great athletes who have come out of NXT, but none at his level.
Joe said for 18 years he carved a path of destruction around the world, and the only reason he wasn’t in WWE was they were scared of hiring him. Bingo. He said the last couple weeks show he is a very dangerous man. Cole said Seth is a perfect example. Joe agreed. “Redesigned, Rebuild, Reclaim, Reinjure.” He said Seth was the crown jewel of Raw for years and he couldn’t last two minutes with him. He said he will destroy anyone who stands in his path. He said because of him, Seth will miss WrestleMania for the second year in a row. Cole said Seth will come back and he will slay the King, Triple H. Joe smiled and asked if this interview is about him or Triple H. Joe said he keeps hearing Triple H’s name being brought up a lot and it’s a little annoying to him. He said if Seth decides to come back, he said he has no qualms putting him right back on the shelf.
Cole said he’d switch back to talking about Joe. He said he beat Reigns last week. He said in two weeks, he beat The Man and The Guy. He said for 18 prior years, he beat everyone put in front of him. “I cannot stress it enough. I am here to change everything. I am here to wreck shop, slap people in the face, and take everything from them.” He said Reigns is just another example of that. “I am not a Sami Zayn, just happy to be on Raw,” he said. He said nobody on the roster can stand toe-to-toe with him. Cole said others have been put in this situation by Triple H. Cole listed Shawn Michaels, Batista, Randy Orton, and Seth Rollins. He said those relationships went incredibly sour. Joe said a major difference between those men and him is that he doesn’t need to be propped up Triple H and have their hand held and have the help of The Game to get the job done. “I am not those men, I don’t need his help, I don’t need to be propped up, I don’t need to be his heavy.” He said he finally has somebody he can rely on because he knows what’s best for business. He said to anyone who decides to get in his way, they will learn by The Creator unleashed The Destroyer. He eyed Cole and then yanked off his mic and walked away.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was stellar. Just excellent. I mean, it really addressed every concern I had with Joe’s early appearances on Raw and how he was framed. Besides Joe’s delivery just being fantastic, and the whole structure of the interview being strong, Joe explaining that the only reason he wasn’t in WWE sooner was everyone was scared of what he’d do was so important to establish. It prevents him from being seen like a late bloomer of a minor league lifer who came in at the tail end of his career because he’s finally, maybe, good enough. Instead, it frames him as someone who belonged long ago, but was too dangerous. The fact that he got irritated by all the question about Triple H is an intriguing seed to plant. It remains open-ended whether Seth makes it to WrestleMania, at least based on how WWE is talking about him. That is the promo style that I think suits Joe best, rather than frothing and yelling. Nobody does that style interview better than him. He’s believable and intimidating.)
-Sami Zayn made his ring entrance. [c]
(5) SAMI ZAYN vs. RUSEV (w/Lana)
Graves quoted Anderson Silva, saying that after his fight this past weekend he said he has fighting in his heart. He said that reminds him of the fighting spirit Sami always exhibits. Rusev powered Sami down and out grappled him for a couple minutes. Cole asked Graves if “Handsome” is Rusev’s new official nickname. Graves said it is and should be. Sami dropkicked Rusev to the floor, then flip dove toward him. Rusev seemed to side-step him and shove him to the mat hard, but Rusev sold like he got hit and Sami sold it like he hit Rusev. Seconds later Rusev kicked Sami to the floor and they cut to an early break. [c]
Rusev put Sami in a bearhug after the break. Graves said he’s living up to being a “super athlete.” Rusev set Sami against the ropes and bashed him. He then tossed Sami over his head. He lost his protective face gear, but then put it back on. Sami blocked a top rope suplex by Rusev and headbutted him to the mat. Sami leaped at Rusev, but Rusev round kicked Sami to the side of the head for a near fall. Rusev came back and overpowered Sami. Sami, though, side-stepped Rusev who flew through the ropes into the turnbuckle. Rusev yanked Sami to the floor by his leg, though, and took control once again. Immediately after Rusev threw Sami back into the ring, Sami hit a Heluva kick out of nowhere for the surprise upset win.
WINNER: Sami in 11:00.
-An unidentified woman interviewed Sami on the stage. He said he had a lot of momentum the last few weeks going into a match for the U.S. Title and it sucked that Owens cost him his win over Jericho. He said tonight was a huge win and step in the right direction. He said it’s what he’s all about. He said he comes back after tough losses and never stays down after getting beaten down. He said he heard Joe’s comment about how he’s not some Sami Zayn. “You’re damn right, Joe, you’re no Sami Zayn, because Sami Zayn doesn’t clean up other people’s messes.” He added that he doesn’t do what he’s told when he’s told to do it and sure as hell doesn’t sell out. He said this time of year, the only thing on people’s minds is WrestleMania. He was interrupted by Joe’s music. Graves said he might have a chance to say what he has to stay to Joe’s face. Sami waited for Joe to show up, but Joe came at him from the side. He threw him around the stage and into the video wall, then applied the Kokina Clutch. Joe let go and then yelled at Sami that if you say his name, you put respect on it.
-They went backstage to Charlotte lacing up her boots, while strategically showing off her cleavage for the camera.
-A commercial aired announcing that Bray Wyatt defends his newly won WWE Title against John Cena tomorrow night on Smackdown. [c]
-Cole threw to a video package on Teddy Long being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year. Cole said Fox Sports broke the story earlier in the day. They showed some vintage footage of Long managing Dan Spivey & Sid and Doom (Butch Reed & Ron Simmons) including a young Paul Heyman with a head of hair, but also footage of Long as a referee and dancing as the Smackdown G.M.
(6) ARIA DAIVARI vs. AKIRA TOZAWA
Brian Kendrick joined the announce team. He said Tozawa reminds him of him because he takes things seriously. He said he guaranteed there’s one cruiserweight playing video games two in the back and another looking at his phone. He said you have to pour everything into being successful, and Tozawa does that. Graves said Perkins is the one playing video games in the back. Kendrick said he was the first indy darling to be contracted by WWE back in 2003, and if he had failed, the door would have been closed on everyone like him including Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, Sami Zayn, and even Austin Aries. Aries asked Kendrick why Tozawa always screams. Kendrick said he’s bringing his insides out. Tozawa launched through the ropes and tackled Daivari at ringside. He followed up inside the ring with a spin sidekick. Daivari ducked a spin wheel kick. Tozawa, though, instantly caught him with a German suplex for the win. Kendrick stood and clapped. Cole said Tozawa hasn’t acknowledged him once. Kendrick said he’s not looking for attention, he’s just applauding his protege. Cole called him “Brian Belichick.”
WINNER: Tozawa in 3:00.
-Another Owens-Jericho friendship clip aired. [c]
-A commercial hyped NXT, noting that Tyler Bate and Trent Seven battle it out for the UK Title.
-Jericho appeared on the big screen and said the moment they’ve been waiting for is here. He said the 61 Minute Man presents to them the greatest extravaganza in WWE history. He presented them Festival of Friendship. Out came a half dozen Las Vegas female dancers with huge feather hats. Jericho led them to the ring by his arms. Owens seemed to think this was all a bit over the top. Cole said Chris Jericho thinks he’s Tom Jones. Jericho was wearing a white glittery hat and and white glittery jacket plus leather pants and his U.S. Title belt.
Jericho revealed a Ralph Guggenheim statue of two best friends in an embrace. Owens asked what it is. Jericho said it shows two best friends intertwined. Jericho said it cost him $7,000. Owens thought it was overpriced, clearly, but thought better of saying it and instead said it was underpriced, humoring Jericho. Jericho then unveiled a painting of Jericho and Owens touching fingers based on the “Creation of Adam.” Owens asked what he called it. “It’s the Creation of Kevin.” Jericho asked Owens to hang it in his home. Owens said, “I have two kids. I can’t be having them see this. You don’t even have any pants on.” Jericho said, “It’s art. You don’t need pants.” Jericho introduced “Friendship the Magician.” A guy entered the ring and began doing some cheesy magic. He had a dark suit but a bright lime green dress shirt underneath. Owens said they got their nine year old son a magic kit for Christmas and he can do the same tricks. Jericho asked him what kind of magician he is anyway. He asked if he knows what happens when he doesn’t make an elephant disappear. He put him on The List. The crowd cheered. The Magician wasn’t sure what to make of it. Jericho told him to do another trick and disappear. Owens asked where he found him. Jericho admitted Craig’s List.
Jericho said he’s calling Goldberg down to the ring this week, something he said he should have done last week. Goldberg, of course, didn’t come out. He said he’s going to “get… it!” They suddenly cut to a break. [c]
Back from the break Jericho was frozen in his pose waiting for Goldberg. After a pause, Goldberg’s music played. Graves said this isn’t a good decision and it’s like inviting a bear to a birthday party. Out came Gillberg. Owens didn’t look amused. Owens attacked him on the railway and stomped away at him and then threw him at the ring apron. Cole explained that he was a parody Goldberg back in WCW. Jericho applauded and smiled. Owens told Jericho to listen because he felt the whole point was to get Goldberg out there so they could beat up Goldberg together. “I don’t understand,” he said. The crowd chanted “Gillberg.” Jericho said he thought it was funny and he’s sorry it wasn’t what he expected it to be. He said he did all of this to show him what he means to him as a friend. He said he’s had such a good time working with him and it’s been one of his favorite years of his career, and he said a lot of that is because of him. He said he’s had a lot of friends and partners, but he didn’t have the chemistry that he has had with him. He thanked him. Jericho assured Owens he had his back against Goldberg at Fastlane and he’d come out on top once again. Owens didn’t look convinced. Jericho said he’s his best friend and his brother. “I love you, man. Honestly. I really do. I’ll have your back always, that’s never going to change. Really,” Jericho said.
Owens said he was sorry. He said this all wasn’t what he expected, but he went to a lot of trouble and did all of that for him, so it’s great and he loves him too. He moved in and hugged him. Owens said he knows he has his back against Goldberg and he knows he will walk out of Fastlane still the Universal Champion. He said he feels bad because after seeing all of this, he didn’t realize he’d go all out. He said he got him something too, but it’s nothing by comparison. He presented him with a box. He said it comes from the heart. Jericho opened it and inside was a new List. Jericho smiled and said, “It’s perfect.” Jericho said his last list was beat up and getting full. Jericho then saw that it said, “The List of KO.” Jericho looked over at KO. KO got a sinister look and attacked Jericho. He began destroying the Festival of Friendship set. Cole said KO has lost it. Owens threw Jericho around ringside and into the barricade. Saxton wondered what triggered this. Cole said it has to be more than how he feels about the Festival of Friendship. Owens gave Jericho a powerbomb onto the edge of the ring apron. Owens paused as some referees checked on Jericho, but then went after him again. He threw him into the ring. He threw Jericho into the Festival of Friendship light-up sign which shattered. The crowd chanted “Holy shit!”
Owens strutted around the ring, knocked over more of the set, and then walked away with his Universal Title belt. He was booed. No “Thank you, Owens!” chants tonight. [c]
-They replayed clips of the Owens attack. Then they showed Jericho being loaded into an ambulance on a stretcher. Then more clips aired of the previous segment.
-Enzo & Big Cass came out. Enzo made fun of Cesaro’s ring entrance. He said one minute he claims to be Swiss Superman and then he suddenly becomes James Bond and then he tears off his velcro breakaways and looks like a Baywatch lifeguard. He said he’s going to save him the hasstle-hoff (get it?) and he can let his “bay-watch” and he can take his best shot, but he will “swiss-miss” because “you choke a lot.” Cass said, “Nicely done.” Cass suggested they top him off with some marshmallows. They dropped some on the mat. Cass said there’s only one word to describe them – S-A-W-F-T. [c]
(7) CESARO (w/Sheamus) vs. ENZO (w/Big Cass)
Enzo caught charging Cesaro with a boot, then gave him a DDT off the ropes. Cesaro bailed out to ringside. Cesaro reentered and caught Enzo with a surprise lift-and-drop European Uppercut for the win. Sheamus and Cass shoved each other afterward. Cesaro pushed Sheamus away.
-A Rosa Parks segment aired with narration by WWE wrestlers.
-Backstage Charlotte crossed paths with Sasha Banks before her title match. Charlotte said it’s so nice WWE lets her watch backstage, but she’d prefer she is banned because she’s merely a reminder of how easy it is to see someone fall. Sasha said if she keeps running her mouth, she’s drop her anyplace and anytime. Charlotte said she can’t walk the walk, so watch the Queen do something she can’t do, which is win. She let out a “woo” and Sasha snarled. [c]
-They announced Braun Strowman vs. Big Show next on Raw in Los Angeles.
(8) CHARLOTTE vs. BAYLEY – Raw Women’s Title match
They cut to a break at 2:00. [c]
Deep into the match, Charlotte gave Bayley a running boot at ringside, then moonsaulted off the ringside barrier onto her with and her leg hitting her neck. Back in the ring Bayley teased a comeback and they collided mid-air in the ring. Two minutes later Bayley landed a top rope flying elbow drop for a two count. Charlotte came back and climbed to the top rope. Bayley knocked her off balance. Bayley went for a top rope huracanrana and she scored a believable near fall. The crowd went bonkers for that. They cut to a crowd shot of the emotional reaction of the fans. If they saved crowd cutaways for moments like that, it wouldn’t be as irritating. Dana Brooke came onto the ring apron and distracted Bayley. Bayley knocked her off the ring apron. Bayley fended off Charlotte and applied the figure-four. Dana raked Bayley’s eyes. The ref didn’t see it. Charlotte then put Bayley in the Figure-Eight. Sasha ran out and hit Dana with her crutch. Then she jabbed Charlotte with her crutch when Charlotte was vulnerable upside down in the Figure-Eight bridge. She hit Charlotte in the chest, but Charlotte sold it like it crushed her larynx. Bayley then hit the Bayley-to-Belly and scored the pin.
WINNER: Bayley to capture the WWE Raw Women’s Championship.
-Sasha entered to congratulate Bayley. Bayley then slapped hands with the crowd. Cole said Bayley shows if you work hard enough, you can achieve whatever you desire.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I’ll fill in more analysis and details later, as this is my live report and I’m about to go live on the PWTorch Livecast to talk about this episode with listeners, but what an eventful edition of Raw!