KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT 7/17: Reigns vs. Joe to earn Universal Title shot at Summerslam, Angle mystery revealed

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
JULY 17, 2017
NASHVILLE, TENN.
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK


IMPORTANT NOTES: Tonight, a couple hours after Raw ends, the debut episode of “The Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast” debuts on PodcastOne. You can stream from their website HERE or subscribe in iTunes HERE or search “Wade Keller” in any other podcast app you use on your phone to subscribe. It is currently the no. 1 pro wrestling podcast in iTunes. We’d like to thank everyone who has already subscribed! Jason Powell from ProWrestling.net will be my guest cohost for this episode.

If you have comments or questions for Jason and me for tonight’s recording of “The Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast,” send to our new email address: wadekellerpodcast@pwtorch.com. We’ll answer questions during the show.

If you plan to attend Raw or Smackdown in person in future weeks, let me know if you are interested in being a guest correspondent who can spend five minutes with us shortly after Raw or Smackdown ends telling us about your live experience and any off-camera matches and happenings.

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ALSO: You can hear me every Thursday on “Steve Austin Show Unleashed” talking about this week’s Raw, Smackdown, the latest WWE PPV news, and other major pro wrestling happenings.


Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Booker T.

[HOUR ONE]

-They opened with a brief montage of Kurt Angle mystery moments including last week’s cell phone call saying “I love you” to the mystery person.

-The announcers introduced the show, hyping Angle’s big announcement first and then Samoa Joe vs. Roman Reigns, winner facing Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title at Summerslam.

-Dean Ambrose came out first to a nice crowd pop. They aired clips of Seth Rollins and Dean coming to each other’s defense during last week’s Raw. Back live, Dean held up a chair and introduced it by the name “Steely Dan.” He said he has a really bad idea. He called Miz and “his two boys” (Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel) to the ring for a talk. He sat on his chair mid-ring. There was no answer. He stood up and told Miz he’d burst his Hollywood bubble so bad, he’d be back on “The Real World” when he wakes up. Instead, Seth came out to his music. The announcers talked about how Dean told Seth he doesn’t trust him. Graves said Seth stabbed his fellow Shield members in the back a long time ago.

Seth asked Dean why he’s picking a fight he can’t win on his own. He asked Dean why he told him last week not to fight his battles, yet came out later in the week and fought for him. Seth told him to take a deep breath and come up with a better plan. Dean made fun of Seth’s “plan” and being an “architect.” He said planning isn’t his thing. He said Seth just happened to be in the area last week when he decided he wanted to get some shots on Miz. He told Seth not everything is about him, which may come as a shock to him. He told him to scram. Seth said he had a question for Dean. He asked if Dean will be standing in his way or by his side when he takes on Miz. Cheers. Dean stared him down. The crowd chanted “Yes!” Dean asked if he called him “brother.” He said: “I ain’t your brother.” He said his brothers were in the Shield and fought with him in the trenches and had his back and stood for something. “You, I don’t know you,” he said. “I knew a guy who looked a lot like you once.” He said that guy stabbed him in the back and through his heart.

Seth yelled: “That was over three years ago, and you know what, I’m sorry!” He said he never said it before, so he’ll say it again. “I’m sorry, alright?” He said he remembers it and lives with it every single day of his life. He said he remembers them tearing it apart in Hell in a Cell together, and Dean cashing in MITB to beat him for the World Championship, but that’s all in the past. He said he’s moved on, so what would it take for Dean to move on. Dean said, “I see your lips moving, but I don’t hear nothin’.” Seth said he’ll let his actions speak for him. Seth turned his back and dared Dean to smashed him across the back. “If that’s going to make you feel better, hit me! Do it, dammit! Hit me as many times as you need to to get this out of your system!” Dean seemed to contemplate, then threw the chair down. As he was talking to Seth, Miz’s music interrupted. Cole: “What a shock.”

Miz walked out onto the stage with Bo and Curtis. Miz said it was quite the scene with two former brothers working out deep seeded issues on a long standing betrayal. He called it touching. “It could be a country song,” he said with a twang. He said it could be a waste of time, though, because when you burn a bridge in this business, it’s a major no-no. He said Dean is a “Lunatic Fringe” whom he has owned for months. He listed his wins over Dean. He said he doesn’t have what it takes to beat him on his own. Miz, Curtis, and Bo surrounded the ring, then attacked Seth and Dean with chairshots to their backs and stomps. Miz threw Dean head first into the ringside steps. Then they took it to Seth inside the ring. Miz gave Seth a Skull Crushing Finale onto a steel chair in the ring. Booker said Miz is a “smart dude” for picking his moments. Miz & Co. walked away with chairs raised high.

(Keller’s Analysis: I like the idea that Dean isn’t any more willing to fully accept Seth than some fans are, so that if Seth eventually does earn Dean’s trust, fans are along for the ride and they might embrace Seth, too. With Miz in the mix antagonizing both, that just adds to fans’ desire to see Dean and Seth get on the same page. And of course one could turn on the other, and fans will be on the lookout for that, which is intriguing. Dean is staying true to his character here, and Seth is coming across as earnest in wanting to earn back everyone’s full trust.)

-Graves plugged Alexa Bliss vs. Bayley up next. [c]

-Backstage Charlie Caruso tried to get a word with Miz & Co. Miz said he had nothing to say that he didn’t say already inside the ring. They hurried out of the arena, as if scared that Dean and Seth could be coming after them.

(1) ALEXA BLISS vs. BAYLEY

Bayley gave a little boy her t-shirt and a hug. He began crying. Graves said, “She made that kid cry. That’s not a good way to start.” Cole said it was tears of joy. (Why doesn’t Cole disagree with Graves and Booker more like that, such as decrying Miz’s actions earlier?) Bliss came out second and Graves said the Goddess of WWE has arrived. Bliss slapped Bailey across the face to start. Bayley lifted Bliss and dove her hard into the corner. Bliss took over right away and then yelled at the ref for scolding her for not breaking. Bayley then leaped out of the corner and pounded away at Bliss. Bliss bailed out to ringside. Suddenly, Nia Jax walked out to her music. Cole said it appears Bliss brought some back-up. [c]

They showed that during the break, Bliss yanked Bayley’s arm over the bottom rope in a good looking move. Bliss had a hammer lock on Bayley center-ring. Bayley came back and landed a second rope elbow drop. Bliss rolled to ringside. Bayley went after her, but Jax blocked her. As they talked, Bliss surprised Bayley with a strike. Bliss threw Bayley into the ring. As Cole decried Jax’s interference, Graves said it’s not Bliss’s fault Bayley has no friends. Sasha Banks ran out and dropkicked Jax hard into the ring apron. Bayley then rolled up a distracted Bliss for a convincing near fall. Bayley then hit her Bayley-to-Belly for the win. Banks hugged Bailey afterward. Cole said Bayley has to be in the conversation for a title match now.

WINNER: Bayley.

(Keller’s Analysis: It was a nice touch that Bayley didn’t win on the roll-up but then quickly went to her finisher and that secured the win. It made her win feel more legitimate and took away from the sense of just a distraction copout finish.)

-Cole plugged the Angle announcement. He said it’ll come later tonight. Then they plugged The Revival vs. The Hardy Boyz. They went to the announcers on camera. As Cole began to throw to a video package, Graves stood up because he received a text. He apologized and left. Cole then threw to a video package on The ESPYs.

-The ESPY’s video showed Cena & Nikki Bella and Miz & Maryse along with other sports celebrities giving out awards. It included Ronda Rousey giving Stephanie McMahon a Sports Humanitarian Award. She said it’s WWE’s mission to put smiles on people’s faces. She talked about WWE’s Conor’s Cure efforts. They showed Steph and Triple H posing with a boy at the event. [c]

-A video aired on Roman Reigns, just a general highlight package. Cole hyped the Raw main event match.

-Backstage Angle was stressing out when in walked Graves. He told Graves he is having second thoughts. He wondered if he is doing the right thing by coming clean. “Maybe this is something I should keep to myself,” he said. “Maybe this is something that shouldn’t be televised.” Graves said it’s going to come out no matter what in this social media age, so he has to go out there and tell the world his truth. He said he has nothing to be ashamed of. Angle agreed. He said the WWE Universe needs to hear this directly from him. Angle thanked Graves and said his friendship “means so much to both of us.” That was awkward phrasing. Angle took some deep breaths.

-They went back to Cole and Booker on camera. They commented on highlights of last week’s Raw of Tozawa kicking the top rope into Neville’s crotch to return the favor and then landing a senton bomb for the win. Then they showed Neville attacking Tozawa on “205 Live” last week to get payback. Cole said Neville doesn’t take losing lightly and he tried to make him regret it.

-Titus O’Neal talked to Apollo Crews and Akira Tozawa. Titus was sitting, as not to tower over the shorter wrestlers he’s managing. He gave Tozawa a pep talk. He said Neville will feel the power of Tozawa the next time they wrestle. In walked Ariya Daivari. He scolded Tozawa for lowering himself to low blows. He challenged him to a fight to show he has honor. He said he’ll finish what he started. Tozawa said, “You got it.”

(Keller’s Analysis: Smart having Titus sit. Ariya getting some speaking time on Raw!)

-They showed The Brian Kendrick & Drew Gulak heading to the ring to face Mustafa Ali & Jack Gallagher. [c]

(2) THE BRIAN KENDRICK & DREW GULAK vs. MUSTAFA ALI & “GENTLEMAN” JACK GALLAGHER

Cole asked Graves what is going on with Angle. Graves said Cole has to find out when the rest of the world does. Clips aired of “205 Live” last week when Kendrick dressed up as Gallagher and then attacked him. Kendrick backed down after some heated words with Gallagher and tagged in Gulak. The announcers talked about Gulak taking to the air recently, but it costing him the match. Cole pushed the Ali vs. Gulak match tomorrow night on 205 Live in a best of three falls match. In the end, Ali pinned Kendrick with an inverted 450 splash. Graves said maybe it should be called the “054.” Clever.

WINNERS: Gallagher & Ali.

-They showed Enzo backstage in street clothes strutting around. [c]

[HOUR TWO]

-Enzo danced to the ring. He said for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. He said if he says something, he owns it. He said sometimes his losses outweigh his assets. He said he finds the same holds true in this business as in life. He said you’re going to win some and lose some, but you always gotta fight for what you believe in. He said there was a time Big Cass fought for what he believed in. He said he fought with reckless abandon and let Cass throw his body at their opponents “because I wanted to win.” He said it was him who was left standing at seven-foot-tall. He said Cass being seven foot tall, though, didn’t win them any championships. He said when he threw him 14 feet to the ground, it’s going to hurt and most people didn’t get up. He said when he picked him up at Great Balls of Fire, he threw him like a piece of trash out of the ring. Enzo said Cass told him his little hind end writes checks that he can’t cash. He asked the director to air Big Show aggressively attacking Cass last week on Raw. They did.

He said Cass has one foot and 100 pounds on him and at Great Balls of Fire he brought it, but last week he faced someone his size and he couldn’t even look him in the eyes. He said when things got tough, he bolted. He began to wrap up, but Big Cass walked out. He first went over to Graves and told him if it wasn’t for him, none of this would have happened. The crowd chanted “asshole.” Cass said Enzo is always running his mouth. He said he didn’t learn his lesson at GBOF and he’s about to come to the ring and beat some sense into him and he hopes he’ll finally learn to shut his mouth. Enzo said, “How can I make sense when I’ve got millions on my mind.” He then jumped out of the ring and over the ringside barrier. He said somebody needs to get him a chair so they can watch the show together. He picked up a kid in an Enzo wig and sat with him. Enzo said they’re going to watch Cass gets smoked and then afterward they’re going to ask him how he’s doin’. Then Show’s music played. Cass breathed deeply. Booker said, “Like a bad break-up, Enzo should just move on.”

Cass knocked Show off the ring apron before he could enter the ring. Show headbutted him and then yanked him to the floor and threw him into the ringside barricade three times. Graves wondered if Cass has ever been manhandled like this. Cass fought back and drove Show hard into the barricade and then threw some punches. The crowd chanted “How you doin’!” Show came back and chopped Cass hard in the chest. Graves said it’s like being cracked with a frying pan in the soul. Cass shoved Show hard into the ringpost while they were standing on the ring apron. Booker noted this wasn’t an official match and there was no referee.

Cass mounted Show and pounded on him. Cole asked when you’ve ever seen Show in that position. Cass kicked Show hard in the ribs. Cole: “Big Show is down, Big Show is hurt!” Booker said at one time Big Show was Big Cass, a young seven-foot stud. Cass kicked Show again and then left the ring. Show was bleeding from the bridge of his nose as he sat up and struggled to use the ropes to stand again. Cass stood on the stage and looked on.

-They cut backstage to Reigns drinking water. Caruso walked up and asked him about being 0-2 against Joe. Reigns said when the stakes are high, he’s at his best. He reminded fans he beat Undertaker, but that’s in the past, just like Joe’s wins over him. He said it’s all about tonight, and he’s going to win and go on to Summerslam to become Universal Champion. He said, “You know why? Because I am the Big Dog around here and this is my yard.”

-Cole plugged the Angle reveal again. Then Graves plugged Finn Balor vs. Elias Samson. [c]

-They went to the locker room where Dean and Seth were bickering. Dean said he’d rather fight Miz & Co. three-on-one than have Seth lurking behind him. Angle walked in and said he’s having a crazy night, so how about next week Dean and Seth face any two members of The Miztourage. Dean suggested they take on all three. Angle asked if they were sure, then said, “You got it!”

-Elias Samson strummed his guitar mid-ring under a spotlight. He talked about having a long history with Nashville. He said he’s played there several times. “We Want Balor” rang out. Samson looked agitated. He said he wants Balor too, and he’s going to get him soon enough, but first he has to ask them to keep their cell phones down and hold their applause until he’s finished. He dedicated his song to “this town filled with ugliness and lies and lust and greed.” He said the people of Nashville are awful and the music couldn’t be much worse. Then Balor’s music interrupted. Booker said, “This guy’s good.”

(3) ELIAS SAMSON vs. FINN BALOR

The announcers talked about Samson playing his guitar outside of NXT until cops were called. Cole said Booker has been singing the praises of Samson for a long time. Booker said the guys knows every inch of the 20×20 ring and has a future. He called him a “guy” and not a “kid” this week. Graves said there is nothing fancy about Samson’s style, but it all hurts. Balor rallied a couple minutes in, but Samson powerbombed Balor to reverse course, good for a believable near fall. Booker said he loves this Samson. Balor rallied at ringside including a running dropkick, sending Samson into the ringside barrier. Samson grabbed his guitar and bashed Balor with it. The ref immediately called for the DQ. Graves said, “Move over Aaron Judge. What a swing!” The goal is to hit the person over the head with the middle part of the guitar. Instead, he hit him with the edge. That cut Balor legit. The replay looked nasty. Balor looked shaken, if not concussed. They showed medics tending to him as he could barely stand. He could have been selling at that point and fine besides the cut.

WINNER: Balor via DQ.

(Keller’s Analysis: You knew that was going to happen sooner or later. Samson should be hitting people with the middle of the back of the guitar, not those harder sides, though.)

-As Balor began to walk to the back, Bray Wyatt showed up on the big screen. He told Balor he wasn’t expecting that. He said he likes seeing the look on Balor’s face. He said he has feelings just like everyone else in this sea of humanity. Bray said he lives for the look of pain and suffering. He said it ignites the fire in his soul, and his soul is thirsty and ravenous. He said he feels the need to put him in pain and agony and punish him. He said he isn’t a myth. He said he’s Balor’s worst nightmare and the eye of the storm. He said the best part is he is going to enjoy every second of it. He laughed maniacally. [c]

-Angle was on the phone telling someone he was anxious earlier but has calmed down. He said he was ready. Bayley and Sasha walked in. Bayley told Sasha she loves her, but she beat Alexa by countout and that barely counts, whereas she pinned Alexa last week and tonight. Sasha made her case that she would be champion if not for “that little troll” running away from her. Sasha asked Angle who he is going to pick to get a title shot. Angle said they’re both deserving, but he’s not going to decide, they are. He said they are going to face each other next week, winner goes on to face Bliss at Summerslam. Bayley and Sasha were okay with it.

-They went to the announcers on camera. They plugged the Smackdown “Battleground” PPV line-up.

-They replayed The Revival beating up the Hardys last week after their match against Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows. Cole said they were picking their bones.

-Backstage Caruso interviewed The Revival. She asked why they attacked the Hardys last week. Dash said because they’re the Hardy Boyz. Dawson said there’s a reason their shirts say “No Flips, Just Fists.” He said the Hardys have done more flips the last two decades. He said they have four good fists and they can’t wait to use them against the Hardys. He said the Hardys will take them seriously after tonight. He closed: “Top Guys. Out.”

-Titus O’Neal led Daivari to the ring. [c]

(4) AKIRA TOZAWA (w/Titus O’Neal) vs. DAIVARI

Cole said earlier tonight, Daivari said he looks up to great wrestling champions form his homeland of Iran, such as Hassan Yazdani, a 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist in Freestyle Wrestling. Daivari went after Tozawa’s shoulder early. Daivari was yelling at Tozawa between offensive moves. Tozawa made a comeback at 3:00 including a nice Saito Suplex. Tozawa climbed to the top rope, still selling his shoulder injury. Back in the ring Daivari went back on the attack and gave him a running knee in the corner for a two count. Graves said he was very impressed by Daivari. No purple ropes, by the way. Titus stood on the ring apron and told told the ref to stop the match to protect Tozawa. Tozawa argued with the decision. Booker said as a warrior, you want to go out on your shield and not be seen as a quitter. Tozawa returned to the stage and yelled he didn’t quit.

WINNER: Daivari via forfeit.

-They showed Angle leaving his dressing room. Cole said he comes clean next. [c]

[HOUR THREE]

-Angle walked to the ring to a chant of “You suck!” He entered the ring and said he’s nervous. He said as a child he was taught that every action has a consequence. He mentioned that coming across in the WWE Network special on him. He said an action he took a long time ago changed his life. He said his family is 100 percent supportive of this. He said WWE is supportive of this announcement, “as I hope you are, too.” He said when he was in college, he dated a young lady, then stopped dating. He said he recently found out she gave birth nine months after their last date to a baby boy. He said he was unaware of the pregnancy or the birth. He said the baby was put up for a closed adoption, two loving parents who taught him great American values. He asked for a chance to brag about this young man. He talked about him being a great student in high school and a three-sport athlete all-star. He said he was drafted after high school to play professional baseball, but he chose to go to college and get a degree and excel in wrestling, and he did both. He had options after college, and he pursued his dream of becoming a WWE Superstar. He said he’s happy he did that.

He smiled and introduced the newest member of Raw, “my son, Jason Jordan.” The crowd gasped. Out came Jordan as Angle began to cry. Jordan walked out in a tan suit jacket and jeans, smiling broadly. They hugged. Cole asked Graves if he knew this all along. Graves said he’s known Jordan since their days in NXT. Cole said it took a lot of courage for Angle to say this publicly.

(Keller’s Analysis: It’s really hard to go to this type of “real life” storyline that’s totally fictional and keep people engaged in the suspension of disbelief that is ideal in the WWE pro wrestling narrative. My first thought is this could be good for Jordan’s career and help give him a chance to become a big star, but it’s also one of those stories – like Big Show being Andre the Giant’s son – that just feels like a soap opera hotshot, like when an “evil twin” shows up on a daytime soap opera or something. So it could also backfire and lead to resent by fans who just don’t like these types of storylines that just don’t seem to fit in the WWE narrative and usually end up botched or abandoned.)

-Cole shifted to plugging Joe vs. Reigns. [c]

-They replayed the Angle-Jordan hug. Then Cole plugged the WWE Network exclusive interview with Angle and Jordan right after Raw.

(5) MATT & JEFF HARDY vs. THE REVIVAL (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder)

The Revival came out second and went after the Hardys before the bell, but the Hardys cleared the ring. A “Brother Nero” chant broke out. They showed Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows watching backstage. Matt worked the opening few minutes and made a comeback. When the Hardys cleared the ring, they celebrated. Then they cut to a break. [c]

The heel duo worked over Matt’s legs. “Isolate and destroy,” said Graves. We even got an Ole Anderson reference. Booker said Revival aren’t taking a shortcut, they’re coming in with a gameplay to beat a legendary tag team and shoot themselves to the top. Finally Matt got the hot-tag to Jeff, which got a big pop. He knocked Dawson out of the ring, then went on a flurry against Dawson and scored a two count. Jeff landed a second rope splash for another two count. Dawson grabbed Jeff from behind to distract him, setting up a Dawson comeback. Matt yanked Dash out of the ring by his leg and then Jeff rolled up Dawson for a believable near fall. Jeff hit a Twist of Fate for a near fall, broken up by Dash. Matt kneeled for Jeff to launch off of him. He hit the Whisper in the Wind, but Dash yanked him off the top rope when he set up the Swanton. Dawson then covered Jeff and yanked on his tights for the win.

WINNERS: The Revival.

-Caruso interviewed Joe backstage. She asked if he has any qualms about stepping into the Big Dog’s yard. He said he’s not a man who has qualms. He said he came within inches of beating Brock Lesnar. He said Reigns is a world class athlete with a wrecking ball for a right hand, but his perspective is skewed. He said Reigns has made the mistake of thinking he’s an obstacle in his way of his destiny to get to Summerslam. He said he will learn tonight he’s far more than an obstacle. He said he is a force of nature who will blow through him on his way to slaying the Beast. He said he guaranteed victory tonight for a third time. “It’ll be a charm,” he said.

(Keller’s Analysis: Good promo from Joe. It felt scripted, but his delivery was intense and badass.)

-Cole threw to a video package on WWE’s involvement in The Special Olympics. They showed Special Olympians standing in the crowd and accepting fan cheers. [c]

-A Table for Three ad aired with Ron Simmons, The Godfather, and Mark Henry, which premiered right after the Angle interview.

-They made their obligatory journey through a music club across the street from the Nashville arena where Raw was taking place.

-Backstage Tozawa confronted Titus O’Neal. “I never quit!” he said. “But you forced me too!” Titus said he knew he wouldn’t quit, but Daivari was about to cause permanent damage to his shoulder. He said he knows he’s mad at him and he’s cool with that, but he was thinking about next week and next year. He said he wants him to be healthy enough to become the Cruiserweight Champion. He said that’s why he stopped the match. Tozawa said he wants a match with Daivari tomorrow night on 205 Live. Titus wasn’t happy. Tozawa stormed off.

-Cole plugged Balor vs. Samson in a No DQ match next week on Raw. Graves plugged Bayley vs. Sasha with a title shot against Bliss at Summerslam on the line. Also, Dean & Seth vs. Miztourage in a three-on-two match.

-Reigns made his ring entrance first to that usual mix of boos and cheers. Booker said this will be a blood feud tonight. Graves said he never bets against Reigns, but Joe has been unstoppable recently. Joe’s music played and he marched out second. Cole asked Graves if Joe has Reigns’s number. Graves said if forced to answer, he’d say yes, there’s no way Reigns beats Joe the way Joe has been on the warpath. Booker said Joe is the most dangerous element in WWE at this time.

(6) ROMAN REIGNS vs. SAMOA JOE

The bell rang and Cole said it’s quite the atmosphere tonight in Nashville. They locked up to start. Joe slapped Reigns. Reigns shoulder tackled Joe in retaliation. Joe retreated, but made a quick attempt to return and surprise Reigns, but Reigns met him with a right. Joe tried again and ate another right. They cut to a break. [c]

Joe took control after reverse whipping Reigns into the corner and hitting his dropdown roundhouse kick. Joe went on sustained offense, and settled into a head twist center-ring for a couple minutes. Reigns eventually came back with two clotheslines and then went for a third, but Joe caught him and went for a urinage. Reigns elbowed out of it and hit the third clothesline and scored a two count. Booker T said Reigns is digging deep in the well. Reigns played to the crowd and signaled for the Superman Punch. Joe rolled to the floor.

Reigns chased him down, but Joe met him with a clothesline that lifted Reigns off his feet and onto the ring apron. Reigns fired back with a clothesline. Cole: “These two big Mack trucks running all over one another!” They cut to a break. [c]

Back live, Reigns headbutted Joe several times. Then he landed a Samoan Drop for a two count. The crowd was popping and really into the match. Joe hit a reverse atomic drop, a big boot, and a running senton for a two count. They showed a slo-mo of a Reigns boot landing on Joe’s face flush. Both were slow to get up. Joe got up first. After another big exchange, Reigns hit a Superman Punch for a two count. Both were slow to get up again. Braun Strowman’s music played and he marched to the ring. The fans popped. An exhausted Reigns’s head dropped.

Strowman yanked Joe off the ring apron to the floor. He looked down at the exhausted Joe. Cole wondered how Strowman was even walking after what he went through at GBOF. Strowman turned to the ring and stared down Reigns. Reigns showed fear. Reigns leaped up and knocked Strowman off the ring apron with a Superman Punch. Strowman kneed Reigns in the gut at ringside and then threw him through the second and third ropes, from the floor, back into the ring. “You gotta be kidding?” said Booker. Joe stood up and looked at Strowman. Strowman stared back. Cole said Joe has to be mad Strowman ruined his match. They exchanged punches. Strowman yanked Joe into a short-arm clothesline. Strowman re-entered the ring and shoved a charging Reigns down with one arm to the throat. He beat up Reigns in the corner, then shoved a boot in his throat.

Strowman turned and charged and splashed Joe in the other corner. Reigns popped out of the corner with a right. Joe applied a Coquina Clutch on Strowman. Strowman walked toward center ring. Reigns then gave Joe a Superman Punch. Both Joe and Strowman dropped. “This is awesome!” rang out from the crowd. Reigns went for another Superman Punch, but Strowman caught him mid-air and gave him a spinebuster. Strowman then charged Joe in the corner. Strowman powerslammed Joe. Strowman powerslammed Reigns next to Joe. Booker wondered what Strowman is made of. Strowman began to step over the top rope, but stopped and turned back to Reigns. Security ran to the ring. Cole wished them luck. Strowman just looked at them and they leaped off the ring apron to the floor. Strowman lifted and powerslammed Reigns again. He then let out a big yell and flexed over Reigns. Strowman then left as his music played again.

WINNERS: No contest.

(Keller’s Analysis: No answers regarding Summerslam. In fact, the same questions of whether it’ll be a one-on-one match, a Triple Threat, or a Fatal Four-way. Good match between Joe and Reigns._


WWE NETWORK POST-SHOW

-Renee Young asked Angle for his reaction to the Reigns-Strowman finish. He said he has a lot on his mind and doesn’t know who will face Lesnar at Summerslam. He said he’s preoccupied by sitting next to his son.

Jordan said he is grateful for how his parents raised him. Renee asked how he felt when he found out he was adopted. He said he found out when he graduated college. Jordan said his parents weren’t particularly athletic, so this explained a lot. He said when he found out he was adopted, he wanted to know more, but he also didn’t want to disrespect his mom and dad. He said they were so supportive of him and they talked about it. Eventually, they agreed that he would reach out. They used a private investigator to track down his birth mother and they arranged a call between them. “And I’m so happy they did it.” Jordan said he knows his birth mother made her difficult decision with the best of intentions, and he wanted her to know he has a fulfilling happy life. He said he wanted to know who his father was. He said he was shocked and it was surreal. “I mean, come on! Seriously. Kurt Angle is my dad?!”

Angle said he wants to be sure Jordan doesn’t make the same mistakes he did. He wants what’s best for him and to be a dad for him. Renee asked if he’ll get a “push” now that Angle is revealed to be his dad. Jordan said he got here on his own and he doesn’t want any preferential treatment. He said he wants to accomplish what’s next on his own. Renee said Jordan has one of the three “I’s” – Integrity. Angle said he has all three, and his college report card shows it. Renee said there’s a real resemblance between them. Angle said, “Yes, he’s a great looking kid.” They laughed.

Renee asked about the birth mother. Angle said she is a very private person and their talk was brief and just to facilitate this moment happening. Angle said he was nervous and thought fans might reject this situation. Angle said he also was worried about his kids. He said he lost his dad to alcoholism and his sister to heroin and his mother to cancer. He said this is a second chance at a career and at being a father. Angle said they’ll talk about this for a long time, and he wants time to get to know Jason more. He asked for a chance to privately get to know his son. Renee said fine.

5 Comments on KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT 7/17: Reigns vs. Joe to earn Universal Title shot at Summerslam, Angle mystery revealed

  1. Not a good show. The Angle reveal was comical. The fans were not buying it from the start. What? What? What? Chants throughout most of the segment. If this has been the original plan from the start they just wrote some of the worst wrestling storyline ever, if this isn’t the original plan, I wonder what they scrapped?

  2. The Angle/Jordan deal is just awful. Vomit worthy. It’s so bad it reeks of the possibility that they may have gotten cold feet on the original idea, but most like it’s just another case of an NXT talent who can’t get over in the big leagues and they do something out of desperation. The only money here is when it turns out to be a hoax orchestrated by Jordan, but the problem with that is does Angle have anything left in the tank that would allow them to do those matches. Unfortunately, that ship may have sailed.

  3. Saturday, I was thinking this leads to a big scheme by the Authority and a way to get them back on tv. This is also vomit worthy. 🙂 I don’t really care to see Angle vs Jordan. Boring.

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