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HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT
JULY 2, 2018
SIOUX FALLS, SD
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, The Coach
-The show began with a recap videos on last week’s events between Bobby Lashley and Roman Reigns as well as the IC championship match between Seth Rollins and Dolph Ziggler.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good video package. Great one actually. Just not sure the Reigns/Lashley program has the heat worthy of it at this point.
-After the video recap, Roman Reigns’s music hit and Reigns walked to the ring to a 50/50 reaction from the audience. As Roman made his entrance, Cole and the announce team discussed the Reigns/Lashley dissension as well as Reigns’s involvement with the IC title match last week.
On the mic, Reigns waited out “Roman Sucks” chants before saying that he never believed he could ever lose to the Revival. He then said he wasn’t making excuses but that he had the worst partner ever last week in Bobby Lashley.
Heydorn’s Analysis: That is an excuse though, Roman! This is a perfect example of the awful writing Reigns deals with on a regular basis. Babyfaces don’t talk like that and by doing so, it creates a disconnect with the audience. They are supposed to cheer a comment like that? He sounds like a jerk-plain and simple. Plus, he was the one that took the pin. How does this get the “ok” from Vince. Sloppy start.
Reigns then said that he doesn’t want to be “Bob’s” partner because he doesn’t like or respect Bob. Reigns then said that he is the guy and that he is the big dog that runs the yard. This prompted Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre to hit the ring. Ziggler questioned Reigns and said that he makes everything about himself. McIntyre then chimed in and said that Reigns just couldn’t help himself in getting involved in everything. From there, Ziggler then got in the ring to face Reigns and said that because he got in their business last week, they would do the same this week. After that, Ziggler and McIntyre jumped Reigns and beat on him until Rollins was able to make the save.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Huge pop for Rollins. That said, the desperation to get Reigns hooked up with Rollins is laughable. Eye-roll all the way.
After Rollins cleared the ring, he stood with Reigns as Ziggler and McIntyre looked on from the top of the ramp. (c)
-Out of the break, Rollins and Reigns confronted Angle backstage. They said they wanted Dolph and Drew in a match to which Angle agreed. He said he would set it up for next week. This prompted boos from the audience to which Reigns addressed. He said they wanted them tonight. Angle responded by saying that Reigns already had a match and Roman said he didn’t care. Angle then relented and set the match for tonight and the crowd responded with a loud cheer.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Smart play by WWE to have Reigns be the one to speak for the audience’s disappointment in potentially not seeing Rollins/Reigns vs. Ziggler/McIntyre. They were clearly upset and Reigns cashed in on that by getting Angle to change his move. Any positive reaction for Reigns is a good one at this point and this was certainly that.
-After the backstage segment, Matt Hardy made his way to the ring. When he got there, Dallas and Axel impersonated him and Bray Wyatt again on the big screen and sang “he’s got the whole world.” The B-Team then made their entrance for the match.
(1) MATT HARDY vs. CURTIS AXEL
The match began with Hardy attempting to take Axel down to the mat. Instead, Axel took Hardy down and locked in a front chin lock. Hardy quickly escaped and then smashed Axel’s arm over his shoulder numerous times. From there, he covered, but Axel kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Hardy worked to maintain his edge, but Axel took over after he smashed Hardy’s face into the corner. Axel then reversed a Twist Of Fate, before rolling out of the ring ahead of a commercial break. (c)
When the show returned from the commercial break, Axel was fully in control of Matt Hardy. He connected with a perfect dropkick and then smiled at the audience as they booed.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Wow, Axel milking the heel heat. Just a few weeks ago, the B-Team was on the cusp of truly getting organically over as babyfaces. Pairing them with a team like Wyatt/Hardy hurt that organic feel. The push was too soon and its suffocated what was special.
From there, Axel hammered Hardy in the corner before lifting him up for a back breaker. After, Axel made the cover on Hardy for a two count. Out of the pin, Axel maintained the momentum until Hardy crushed him with a Side Effect on the apron. He then rolled Axel back into the ring and smashed his face on the turnbuckles as the crowd chanted “Delete.” After, Hardy connected with another Side Effect and covered for a two count. Right after the win, Hardy climbed the top rope and hit a Ax Smash which he followed with an elbow drop. Hardy then attempted the Twist Of Fate, but was distracted by Bo Dallas. Because of the distraction, Axel dropped Hardy onto the ring post and then followed that with his finisher. Axel then made the cover for the 1,2,3 win. (c)
WINNER: Axel via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Decent little match. It doesn’t really push the story in any good direction though. This feud defines the tag team division as a whole. Stagnant.
-After the commercial, Rollins and Reigns were talking backstage about how Rollins had an Iron Man Match at Extreme Rules. Reigns responded that he didn’t even have a match yet. From there, Bobby Lashley entered the room and Seth left. Lashley questioned Reigns and said that aside from Seth Rollins, nobody likes him. He then asked Reigns to check is ego at the door for their match tonight. Reigns told him to “shut up” and that he would do everything in the match to get the win. Lashley smirked and said that he will hold Reigns responsible if they lose. Reigns asked if Lashley was threatening him and Lashley said he was.
Heydorn’s Analysis: More of Reigns being a total jerk. How does this stuff get on the air?
-A recap video on the events last week between Bayley and Sasha Banks aired. From there, Bayley’s first counseling session was filmed. The segment began with Sasha and Bayley arguing with each other about who was in the right place at the right time. Dr. Shelby then interuppted and said they would be going through the counseling together. Small pop for Shelby and the “boring” chants started. They were faint, but could be heard.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Just awful stuff. The music itself forces the audience to think its a comedy segment. The comedic nature is a complete 180 degree turn from the serious angle from last week. Plus, the comedy isn’t funny. It’s disappointing that this is the type of story we’re getting between these too. Money left on the table to be sure.
(2) TITUS WORLDWIDE vs. AUTHORS OF PAIN
Titus and Apollo hit the ring as the show went to commercial. (c)
After the break, AOP made their entrance as Cole and the announce team heaped praise upon them. The match began with Titus gaining some quick offense, but it was quickly squashed by AOP. AOP then kept momentum and destroyed Crews with a Dominator slam. From there, they backed Crews into the corner and tossed him clear across the entire ring. After, Akim covered, but Crews kicked out at two. Out of the pin attempt, Razar locked in a shoulder submission before tagging Akim in and connected with a double team powerbomb. AOP pinned again, but it was broken up by Titus. In the end, AOP connected with the Last Chapter on Crews before covering for the 1,2,3 pin.
WINNER: AOP via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: An essential squash match and it worked well. AOP looked extremely dominant against a semi-viable team. Last week, I didn’t like the idea of these teams going at it because Titus Worldwide are losers. Because they acted like losers tonight, it worked. AOP’s gimmick is in their dominance. Tonight only helped that cause.
-After the match, Reigns and Rollins were shown getting ready backstage. Rollins asked if Reigns if he was ready and Roman responded by saying yes before they walked toward the ring ahead of the commercial break. (c)
-After the break, Kevin Owens was shown arriving to the arena late. A valet asked him for his keys and told him he couldn’t park where he did. Owens responded by shrugging him off and putting his hood up before walking into the building.
(3) SETH ROLLINS & ROMAN REIGNS vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER & DREW MCINTYRE
Rollins hit the ring to a nice pop and his usual “Burn It Down” yell. As he walked in, Cole and the announce team highlighted his upcoming Iron Man match at Extreme Rules against Dolph Ziggler. Roman Reigns came out next and his boos were worse the second time than his first time out.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Not a good sign. Especially since he has another match to go this evening. Why take the guy who is over the least in his role and feature him three times. You’re begging for a negative response.
Ziggler and McIntyre came out next to a mixed response and with Drew getting a bigger reaction than Dolph.
The match began with Ziggler and Rollins on the mat working to get leverage on the other. Both men took turns exchanging holds before Ziggler got a roll up on Rollins which prompted him to kick out. The two then tied up again and Ziggler locked in a head lock. From there, they ran through a nice sequence of offense with Rollins kicking out of a pin and then slamming Ziggler with a dropkick. This caused Ziggler to fall near his corner which prompted McIntyre to tag into the match.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Rollins and Ziggler have some great chemistry. Ziggler has it with a lot of guys and if he could get his character sorted out and actually “get” the business, he’d be a force to reckoned with.
McIntyre stole the momentum almost immediatley after crushing Rollins with a shoulder tackle. This stunned Rollins a bit so he tagged Reigns into the match. Roman and Ziggler faced off before tying up. As this happened, the audience battle themselves with a “lets go Roman/Roman sucks” chant. Back in the ring, McIntyre backed Reigns down and pounded on him in the corner. As Drew backed off and talked with the referee, Reigns took over with his own punches. Then, after getting distracted by Ziggler, McIntyre crushed Reigns with a headbutt and followed by mounting Reigns and crushing him with a flurry of punches. As this happened, Bobby Lashley looked on from the backstage area.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Is this a sign that Lashley will come out? We’ll see, but WWE history tells us … yes. Yawn.
With full momentum in his hands, McIntyre kept the heat on Reigns by connecting with vicious chops in the corner. From there, he tagged Ziggler back into the match and Dolph took over with their offense. Ziggler connected with a quick run of offense which he followed by taunting Rollins. Ziggler then dove at Reigns, but was crushed with an uppercut. That move gave Reigns the time to tag Rollins in. Rollins owned the match from there hit all his top moves including the sling blade, frog splash, and suicide dive. He then covered Ziggler, but the the pin was stopped by Drew.
Heydorn’s Analysis: What a run for Rollins. Not only did the crowd go crazy for him, but he entered the ring as you should after receiving a hot tag. He looked like a man possessed and not only hit all his moves, but did so with a passion that mirrored the crowd’s reaction. It’s shameful that he isn’t WWE’s main focus right now. He truly has all of the pieces of the puzzle in place.
After the interruption, Reigns handled McIntyre outside the ring as Rollins catapulted Ziggler over the top rope. Rollins then climbed to the top rope and connected with a cross body on both Ziggler and McIntyre on the outside of the ring. The show then went to break. (c)
Out of the break, Seth Rollins was owned by Dolph Ziggler as the audience cheered him on to make a tag. The audience cheered Rollins on, but also battle with a “we want Roman/no we don’t” chant. Just as Rollins was about to make the tag, Ziggler connected with the Famasser before tagging McIntyre in. Eventually, Rollins tossed McIntyre over the top rope and tried to tag Reigns again, but Drew knocked Reigns off the apron. This got some nice heat from the audience. After, McIntyre tagged Ziggler again and Dolph beat up Rollins around the ringside area. He did so until Rollins reversed an Irish Whip that sent Ziggler into the guardrail. Rollins this climbed into the ring for a tag, but couldn’t make it because of McIntyre involvement. Rollins battled out of it and dropped Drew with a kick before attempting the tag again. Again, it was thwarted by Ziggler. Rollins continued though and dropped Ziggler with a powerbomb which freed Rollins again for the tag. Then, just as he was about to make the tag, The Revival knocked Reigns off of the apron again and beat him to a pulp. At this point, the match was over due to a disqualification.
WINNER: Reigns and Rollins via DQ
-After the match, The Revival continued to dismantle Reigns while Ziggler and McIntyre did the same thing to Rollins.
Heydorn’s Analysis: That was a pretty solid piece of business. That crowd wanted to see that hot tag to Reigns and at one point they were battling with a “we want Roman/no we don’t chant. A job well done in that regard. The proof will be in the pudding though. Can this segment and Reigns’s involvement hold the audience. Time will tell, but this match was a great start.
-A recap video aired that highlighted the events between Kevin Owens and Braun Strowman from last week. Then, Owens entered Kurt Angle’s office and said that he needs to do something about Braun Strowman. Angle then said that Owens would just be facing Strowman later in the night to hash out their differences. Owens was visibly upset as he walked off.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I’m still not quite sure what Owens specifically done to get this treatment from Strowman. He is the heel, but I’m still feeling sympathetic toward him. If they want to move this feud forward, tonight Owens needs to illicit some heel retribution on Strowman.
-Baron Corbin’s music hit and he walked to the ring as the show went to a commercial break. (c)
-When the show returned from break, a quick clip of Bayley and Banks in counseling was shown. From there, Baron Corbin was introduced on the microphone. Corbin cut a promo and said that Stephanie appointed him Constable to make Kurt Angle a better GM. Corbin said that he was also there to help other superstars, but that some just are stubborn and don’t want his help. Corbin then narrated the video of him and Finn Balor battling each other last week. After the video, Corbin called Balor’s behavior unprofessional. He then summoned Balor to the ring to offer him an apology.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Corbin as Constable is still as confusing as ever. That said, he still has a presence on the mic that hasn’t fully been tapped into yet.
Immediatley, Balor hit the ring with a mic in his hand. As he walked down, Corbin told Balor to admit he was wrong and that he would never lay a finger on him again. Balor said nothing and Corbin responded by apologizing himself in a demeaning heel way that got a nice negative response from the audience. Balor then made comments about Corbin’s vest and haircut which angered Corbin. Corbin fired up and told Balor to suck up his pride, give him respect, and apologize. The audience chanted “no” as Balor contemplated. Balor then said he was sorry, but that he lost all respect he deserved the day he became Stephanie McMahon’s stooge. From there, Corbin sucker punched Balor and the two battled before Corbin retreated.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Wow, that dialogue was cheesy. Especially from Balor who sounded off as he made fun of Corbin. Clearly they are heading toward a match at Extreme Rules, but the story is hanging on by a thread at best.
-Backstage, Elias strummed his guitar as Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan looked on. They asked Elias if he was playing a song for the crowd tonight and he told them no. He then said he had something for them though and strummed a tune as they destroyed the backstage area. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: I feel silly for defending the Riott Squad destroying stuff backstage. It started out as a quirky piece of their act which worked. Now it needs Elias’s music? C’mon …
(4) EMBER MOON vs. LIV MORGAN
Moon hit the ring first to a nice response from the crowd. Morgan was out next and walked out with Sarah Logan. The match began with both women tying up in the middle of the ring. Moon wrestled Morgan to the ground before hip tossing her across the ring and locking in a front chin lock. Out of the chin lock, Morgan clocked Moon with a forearm to the face before locking in her own side head lock. Moon then battle out of the head lock which caused Morgan to roll out of the ring. (c)
Out of the break, Liv Morgan had Moon locked in a sleeper hold as the audience clapped for Moon to escape. Finally, Moon broke the hold and reversed it into a ankle lock submission. Quickly, Morgan rolled Moon into the ring ropes and then connected with a step up enziguri before covering for a two count. Right after the pin, Morgan locked in the same sleeper hold which Moon broke quickly. The two then traded strikes in the middle of the ring before Morgan dropped her with a forearm. After, Morgan lifted Moon up and taunted her before Moon shoved her into the turnbuckle. From there, Moon connected with the Eclipse and covered for the 1,2,3 win.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Standard A to B match. The Eclipse continues to be such a must see move and Moon continues to progress as a main act on the brand.
-After the match, another counseling segment between Bayley and Sasha was shown. Banks complained about being there and said that they weren’t making any progress. The two pretended to be each other in a game of honesty theater. In this, both women made fun of each other. After, they confronted each other face to face and Shelby tried to intervene.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good lord …
-The Revival hit the ring for their upcoming match as the show went to commercial. (c)
(5) ROMAN REIGNS & BOBBY LASHLEY vs. THE REVIVAL
After the commercial break, Reigns walked out to the ring and was followed by Lashley.
Heydorn’s Analysis: New entrance music for Lashley? I like it. The slow pace fits him better.
The match began with Reigns and Dawson. Both men tied up and went back and forth on offense before Reigns got the upper hand and tossed Dawson out of the ring.
Then, Reigns got distracted by Dash on the outside which gave Dawson the opportunity to strike. His momentum was short lived as Reigns fired up and decimated both men with strikes. Eventually though, their team took Reigns down and positioned them near his corner for optimal offense. As they did this, the announce team discussed how a well oiled team in paramount to having success.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Like last week, I love the announcing around the Revival. They were framed as a true team that worked better because they were just that.
In their corner, Dawson locked in a leg scissor submission on Reigns as the audience cheered for Lashley. It took some time, but Reigns worked to battle out with strikes, but the Revival squashed it with a double team leg drop which they followed with a two count cover. As this happened, Cole said Reigns brought some of the damage on himself because he refused to tag in.
Heydorn’s Analysis: This is going to get Reigns cheered? Not only does he come across like an ego maniac, he comes off as an out of touch one.
Again, Reigns battled back, but as Lashley reached out for a tag, Reigns was taken back down to the mat. After ignoring Lashley’s repeated attempts to tag in, he cleared the ring himself and then tried to get the tag. Reigns ignored him again and cued up a spear. Instead, both Dash and Dawson attacked Reigns and got disqualified.
WINNER: Lashley and Reigns via DQ
-After the match, the beating of Reigns continued as Lashley walked away.
Heydorn’s Analysis: This story is a mess. Coach was flabbergasted that Lashley would walk out on Reigns at the end, but after what Reigns pulled, wouldn’t you? Mixed messages are everywhere. Just a mess.
-Kevin Owens once again pitched Kurt Angle to cancel his match with Strowman. Angle told him no. (c)
-Out of the break, Reigns confronted Angle and demanded a match with Lashley. Angle confirmed the match for Extreme Rules.
(6) NO WAY JOSE vs. MOJO RAWLEY
Jose was in the ring after the backstage segment and Rawley confronted him before it. He said Jose didn’t deserve a rematch and then assaulted Jose and his conga line.
WINNER: No contest as the match never started
-After the “match” Mojo continued his attack and laid out Jose by smashing him into the ring apron.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I like the aggression of Mojo. He’s had off and on pushes, but hope this one sticks even if it is starting at the bottom.
-A recap video aired highlighting the events between Alexa Bliss and Ronda Rousey.
-WWE.com’s interview with Ronda Rousey aired and she said she’d be at Extreme Rules.
Heydorn’s Analysis: It seems like they are building toward Rousey vs. Bliss at Summerslam. I’m on board with that. There is credibility issues there, but Bliss can carry Rousey through this story better than anyone else.
(7) MICKIE JAMES vs. NIA JAX
James walked out to the ring to Bliss’s music as the show went to commercial break. (c)
Jax hit the ring after the match and spoke to Alexa Bliss on the mic. She said that she thought she was finished with Bliss after WrestleMania and Backlash. She then said that after MITB, they were right back where they started. Jax then told Bliss that at Extreme Rules it will. From there, she said that their match at Extreme Rules would be an Extreme Rules match. In the ring, Bliss looked scared about this new detail. Jax then said she brought back up of her own because Bliss was in James’s corner and Natalya’s music hit. Both women then walked down to the ring.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good work by Jax. She’s come a long way on the mic and she was successful in presenting herself as a dominant babyface here. Bliss played her scared heel part well too. Good work all around. The Extreme Rules stipulation will help this match as it won’t have to be a five star mat classic to get a good response. Of all the “extreme” stipulations being placed on the show, this one makes the most sense thus far.
The match began with Jax decimating James around the ring. This caused James to run outside of the ring, but Jax caught her and lifted her above her shoulders. Bliss was there for the save and the four women stared each other down ahead of the commercial break. (c)
Out of the commercials, James had Jax down and out on the outside of the ring. With Jax down, the ref began to count and got to eight before Jax rolled into the ring. After rolling in, James continued beating on Jax and worked the leg with submission holds. Jax worked to break out, but James was able to keep the hold locked in. Eventually, Jax reversed the hold and put her own leg scissor submission on James until James grabbed the ropes to break the hold. Out of the submission, Jax dropped James with a series of shoulder tackles, before running at her in the corner. James countered with a kick the midsection and then went for the Mick Kick. Jax caught her foot and hammered her with a powerbomb instead. Jax tried to make the pin, but Alexa Bliss distracted the ref at ringside by climbing on the apron. Nattie knocked Bliss off and at the same time Jax connected with her Samoan Drop before making the cover for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Jax via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Jax looked good here and James got in enough offense to come across as a viable opponent.
-After the match, Jinder Mahal was coaching Kevin Owens and giving him relaxation tips. Owens was then interviewed and said he wasn’t shaken by the Strowman match. He said he actually was excited for his match. He said some people would be terrified of facing him, but he isn’t. From there, he said that in their match he would show the world how you destroy a monster. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Finally. I’ve been waiting on that promo for Owens for two weeks now and he delivered it perfectly. Just because Strowman is a monster doesn’t mean that the heels can’t talk like annoying dreamers while describing how they’d win against him. Those words and that annoyance is why fans will want to watch Strowman’s destruction. Great work.
-Out of the break, Lashley was interviewed and he said he enjoyed watching Roman get beat down. He then continued to talk Reigns down and concluded by saying that if he would have stayed in the WWE, Reigns’s yard would be a concrete slab in a trailer park.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I can’t get behind this. I just can’t do it. In the match that was 45 minutes ago, Lashley looked as if he wasn’t enjoying watching the beating at all. He tried relentlessly to tag into the match in order to help Roman. Now he changes his tune? More nonsense.
-A recap video of last week’s event between Kevin Owens and Braun Strowman aired. (c)
(8) BRAUN STROWMAN vs. KEVIN OWENS
After the commercial, Kevin Owens was making his entrance. From there, Strowman entered and got a loud reaction from the crowd. As he did, Cole teased that Strowman may toss Owens off the Green Monster next week on Raw from Boston.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Eye-roll
The match began with the crowd hot for Strowman as both men tied up. Instantly, Strowman shoved Owens across the ring which prompted Owens to roll out in order to refocus.
Right after rolling out of the ring, Owens ran away and was counted out of the match.
WINNER: Strowman via count out
-After the match, Owens ran backstage and tried to get into his car. He appeared to forget his keys and panicked. From there, he hid in a Porta Potty as Strowman looked for him in the backstage area. Eventually, Strowman made his way to the parking lot near Owens’s hiding spot but couldn’t find him. As this went down, the crowd chanted “porta-potty.” Eventually, Strowman stopped near the Porta Potty and tapped on the door. Recognizing that it was Owens, Strowman wrapped the hiding place in duct tape and yelled “I told you, I’d find you.” From there, he dragged the Porta Potty with Strowman in it through the arena and to the ring. Finally, Strowman teased pushing the Porta Potty off the ramp as the audience chanted “yes.” From there, Strowman charged at it and knocked it onto the floor as the crowd cheers.
Heydorn’s Analysis: To me, this stacks up as one of Strowman’s better stunts. Sure, Owens could have just opened the door to the Porta-Potty, but I’m willing to suspend disbelief for that. That said, at some point, Owens needs to have the opportunity to get heat so that the audience wants to see Strowman beat him up. That is what will end up making money.
-The show ended with Kevin Owens writhing in pain and covered in “excrement” as Strowman did his roar and the audience cheered.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Flat, flat, and more flat. I look back over the three hours and what even happened? The only story that progressed was Reigns and Lashley and that progressed in the worst way possible. Reigns and Lashley featured across the show multiple times bogged the entire thing down. The miscalculations and inconsistencies didn’t just hurt that feud, but the entire show itself. With two weeks left to go before Extreme Rules, WWE still has a lot left to sort out and it starts with those two men.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 6/25: Alt Perspective coverage of the live show including Rollins vs. Ziggler for the IC Title, and more