HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 7/23: Alt Perspective coverage of the live show including Stephanie McMahon’s big announcement, Reigns vs. Lashley number one contender match, and more

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR



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HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT
JULY 23, 2018
CINCINNATI, OH
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK

Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, The Coach

[HOUR ONE]

-The show kicked off with the entire WWE locker room on the stage and Mr. McMahon in the ring. McMahon received a load of cheers and welcomed the audience to Monday Night Raw. He then introduced Stephanie McMahon and Triple H for their historic announcement. As Stephanie and Triple H walked to the ring the announce team discussed and broke down what the announcement could be.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Based on the way Cole talked about this announcement, it leads me to believe it will be more significant than just women’s tag team titles. 

In the ring, Stephanie hugged her Dad before she smiled at the audience as they booed. She then told them to get it out of their system. From there, Stephanie and Triple acknowledged the WWE superstars on the stage and said that big announcements are possible because of their dedication and sacrifice. He then said that they don’t do it alone though and that the WWE is a team effort. Triple H said that WWE superstars form a bond in that team effort. Triple H then called for each woman to step forward on the stage. He said that the men support them and that the audience supports them too.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Wow. In case you needed a refresher on the narrative that WWE pushes to its superstars on what it means to be in the WWE, there it was. Overall, Triple H is on the right track with what he says and is correct in a lot of ways. The corporate nature of it though is so over the top that it comes off as not genuine. 

Triple H then ran down all of the pillar moments of the women’s revolution and said that the world stood in awe as they stole the show over and over. With a tear in his eye, Triple H said that he was proud of them. From there, Stephanie got back on the mic and said that moments don’t just happen, but they happen because the fans demanded it. She then ran down how the women’s revolution came to be starting from when the fans got Give Divas A Chance trending. She then said that because of the fans support she could make another announcement. Stephanie then announced the first ever all women’s PPV – Evolution. The crowd cheered as did the women on the stage. The announce team talked about how cool the annoucement was as the shot zoomed in Stephanie, Triple H, and Vince McMahon clapping. After, Cole ran down the event and said that all major women’s titles in the WWE would be defended. He also said that the finals of the Mae Young Classic would take place at the event as well.

Heydorn’s Analysis: This should be a tremendous event that the women in the WWE deserve. With all titles on the line and past superstars returning, it will be entertaining in a lot of ways. That said, with this announcement I can’t help but think of what went down earlier in the year with the WWE and their Saudi Arabia event. This announcement and that event is a shining example of laughable hypocrisy. This event is absolutely a good idea, but WWE should be consistent and accountable for the equality that they promote and make money off of.  

-Brat Wyatt and Matt Hardy were shown on the big screen and did the “we’re here” entrance before the show went to a commercial break. (c)

-After the break, the B Team was shown backstage. They talked to each other about the Evolution event before Curtis Axel said that they need to stay focused. Bo then chimed in and reminisced about their run. He said that they’ve always been a team and even if they had some rough goes, they would always be a team.

-Elias was announced and as he strummed his guitar with his album information on the screen, he was interuppted by Hardy and Wyatt. As Bray and Matt walked out, the announce team heavily plugged Elias’s new album.

Heydorn’s Analysis: The numbers that the announce team plugged for Elias are good numbers and a positive sign for him as a star. He still needs to find his lane as a true heel or a true babyface. It appears as if we should be ready for a heavy dose of Elias throughout this show as instead of being placed in the ring, he was on the ramp. 

-The B Team walked out next and got a nice response from the Cincy crowd.

(1) THE B-TEAM vs. MATT HARDY & BRAY WYATT – WWE Raw Tag Team Championship

The match began with Hardy and Dallas. They tied up in the middle of the ring before Wyatt tagged into the match and owned the ring after clotheslining both of his opponents. This caused Dallas and Axel to roll out of the ring as Wyatt did his spider walk ahead of the commercial break. (c)

Out of the break, Axel had assumed control of the match on Bray Wyatt. He locked in a chin lock before slamming Wyatt into his corner before tagging Dallas into the match. Dallas kept the pace and locked in a sleeper hold as the audience chanted and clapped for Bray to escape. From there, Dallas broke the hold and went for a clothesline, but Wyatt countered with his own. Wyatt then made the tag to Hardy at the same time Dallas made it to Axel. Hardy entered and clotheslined Axel before slamming his face into each ring post turnbuckle. He then connected with a Side Effect before covering for a two count.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Hardy and Wyatt are over here. They always have that element of being over in an entertaining way, but tonight the crowd is invested in them winning. That’s a new kind of over and level of engagement had been missing for them since they debuted together. Is tonight a one off? Time will tell.  

Out of the pin, Hardy connected with the Twist Of Fate before covering again, but this time the pin was broken up by Bo Dallas. Then out of nowhere, Wyatt was hit into Hardy which allowed Axel to roll him up for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: B Team via pinfall

-After the match, Hardy and Wyatt appeared to be about to shake their opponent’s hands, but instead they attacked them and gave them their finishers before walking off. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Heel turn? It looked like it, but the commentary team didn’t drive that turn home. If it is a true heel turn, shame on Cole and company. The fact that the audience doesn’t know for sure highlights the bigger problem though. That narrative needs to be easy to follow and in this case it’s not. In turn, it makes it harder for fans to pick a side and get invested in the story. 

-Out of the break, Finn Balor was shown backstage talking to Chad Gable. They talked about Stephanie’s announcement and then questioned why stage hands were moving Balor’s stuff to a new locker room. Balor then followed them to a small doll house before Corbin walked into the picture. He told Balor that he though a locker room like the one he picked out was perfect for his size. Balor then said he always wanted a Finn Fun House which appeared to anger Corbin. Corbin then told Balor to enjoy his match later in the night against Drew McIntyre.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Just awful writing. Finn’s fun house? That’s lame to begin with, but that comment shouldn’t anger Corbin as much as it did. This entire thing is just silly.

-Sasha Banks and Bayley were then interviewed by Charly Caruso. Bayley said Banks and her had a long talk. She said that they realized that even though they are different, their differences make their friendship even stronger. From there, they talked about Stephanie’s announcement before walking off the shot to takeover the world ahead of their match. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Well, it appears that last week’s segment brought this saga to a close. Looking back its mind numbing to think that Bayley and Sasha didn’t have a match throughout that story, but maybe that’s for the best. The story was botched from the start. Now, because they didn’t have a match, when they do, the WWE can do it right. 

(2) SASHA BANKS & BAYLEY vs. SAMANTHA SIMON & KAREN LUNDY

Banks hit the ring first and was followed by Bayley. The two walked to the ring together and did their entrances together before the match began. Banks started the match off and gathered momentum in the match. Simon got some quick offense in before Banks hit a knee to the face before tagging Bayley in. Bayley continued the momentum in the match and in the end, Sasha Banks got the victory with the Bank Statement.

WINNER: Banks and Bayley via submission

-After the match, Banks and Bayley hugged as the announce team called their situation heart warming. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Squash match city. Bayley and Sasha getting a definitive win on the same page is refreshing. The two tagging together can’t be a coincidence either. Hello women’s tag belts perhaps?

-Out of the commercial break, Elias was introduced again and as he spoke about it, Braun Strowman interuppted him. Strowman received a massive pop as he held up the Money In The Bank briefcase. As Strowman walked to the ring, Cole highlighted the India media tour that Braun took part in last week.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Does WWE have to show photos of the media tour? It takes away from Strowman’s gimmick and the destruction he’s certainly about to deploy. 

In the ring, Strowman grabbed a mic as the crowd cheered loudly for him. As the audience chanted “get these hands,” Braun said that the WWE Universe was talking about two things. The all women’s PPV event and the match between Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley. He hyped that match a bit and as he did the crowd booed. He then said it didn’t matter who won the match because sooner or later the monster would come calling for the Universal title. Strowman then asked the audience how he’d look as the Universal Champion and the crowd cheered loudly. Strowman then did his pose to the crowd before Kevin Owens hit the ring.

Heydorn’s Analysis: I liked that promo from Braun. Week to week, he’s becoming more comfortable on the microphone. That will be a tremendous difference maker in if he can truly become the top guy for the company moving forward. 

As he walked out, Cole and the announce team reminded the world about his fall through the ladder. Owens then spoke at the top of the ramp and said he couldn’t just pretend that nothing happened between them at Extreme Rules. Owens said that when he tried to befriend Strowman, he was trying to be kind. He said that he attempted to be friends because of son and that Strowman crushed his son’s dream at Extreme Rules.

[HOUR TWO]

Owens said that his kids used to think he was a superhero but now they see the pain on his face at every turn. Owens blamed Strowman for taking everything away from him and said that he was going to take everything from his now. Strowman told Owens to come into the ring and prove it. From there, Owens said he won their cage match and had nothing to prove. Baron Corbin’s music hit and Corbin said that he was given the responsibility to handle the situation between Owens and Strowman. Corbin said that what Strowman did at Extreme Rules was reprehensible. He then said that he found someone to help teach Braun how to control his temper. From there, Jinder Mahal’s music hit and the announce team plugged his yoga skills as a means to controlling Strowman.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Mahal and yoga? WWE contradicts themselves and their equality narrative when they present such a stereotypical gimmick. It’s an equivalent to bra and panties matches to the women. 

Mahal carefully got into the ring with Strowman and told him that he could help find his karma. He then said that Stephanie and the Constable appointed Mahal to help find Braun’s inner peace. Mahal then told Strowman to close his eyes and breathe. Strowman told Mahal to stop and that his breaths weren’t working. He said that he had a calming technique of his own. From there, Strowman called Sunil Singh over to hold the microphone for him. He then told everyone to close their eyes. As they did, Strowman started a “Get These Hands” chant before kicking Mahal in the face and throwing Sunil at him. Strowman then destroyed Sunil in the ring with a Power Slam as the audience chanted ‘Get These Hands.”

Heydorn’s Analysis: This segment was long. Too long. The takeaway though is that the live audience was engaged for all of it. A major feather in the cap of Strowman who carried everything well. These segments make him a more rounded performer and he needs that experience in order to carry the company as it’s top star. 

-After the segment, Cole recapped Stephanie’s big announcement before promoting Natalya vs. Mickie James ahead of the commercial break. (c)

-Out of the commercial break, the announce team plugged NXT and further hyped the all women’s PPV event, Evolution. The announce team then cued up a recap video that highlighted last week’s events between Ronda Rousey and Alexa Bliss.

-After the video, James and Bliss were the ring awaiting Natalya. Then, Natalya was introduced.

(3) NATALYA vs. MICKIE JAMES

The match started with James and Natalya tying up in the middle of the ring. Nattie took James to the mat and attempted her running dropkick before she was distracted by Alexa Bliss. The distraction caused James to get the upper hand in the match and she capitalized by taking Nattie to the mat with a front head lock. James then hit Nattie with a knee before slamming her back down the mat. As this went down, Cole said that Rousey’s suspension would end next week and that she would be on Raw from Miami. Back in the ring, James maintained control of the match before Nattie shifted the tides by taking James down with a fireman carry and a vertical suplex. She then hit a series of shoulder tackles on James in the corner before the referee made her stop. From there, Nattie hit the electric chair drop on James and followed with her running dropkick. Nattie then went for a cover, but James kicked out at two.

Heydorn’s Analysis: With tonight’s announcement, this is a nice throwback match to feature. Both of these women have been through a lot in their career and tonight has to feel good for them. 

In the end, Nattie was distracted by Bliss at ringside again. Nattie crushed Bliss, but was then kicked in the face by James. James then covered for the victory.

WINNER: James via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: This match had nothing behind it and a quiet crowd to go along with it. Chicken or the egg? 

-After the match, Roman Reigns was interviewed by Charly Caruso. He said that his match tonight against Bobby Lashley would be different than their one at Extreme Rules. Reigns then called himself the most decorated man of his generation and for the haters to shut their mouths. He said he would win, go to Summerslam, become Universal Champion, and whip Brock Lesnar’s ass.

Heydorn’s Analysis: The most decorated man of his generation? Wow. That’s one way to say it, Roman. This type of line is what makes people dislike Roman Reigns. His delivery was fine and confident in nature, but it’s rooted in something his “haters” will never get behind. If the goal is to change their minds, this line fails 10/10 times. That said, his mission statement was effective and something the audience needed to hear him say directly. 

-Elias was introduced again and continued his thoughts about his debut album. Once again, he was interuppted. This time, by Authors Of Pain. (c)

-After the commercial break, AOP got on the mic and said they wanted anyone, except for Titus Worldwide. This prompted Titus Worldwide to hit the ring. Titus called AOP legitimate contenders, but that they were young and still needed to learn. AOP thought this was insanity and asked Titus what he could possibly teach them. AOP made fun of Titus falling at the Greatest Royal Rumble and Titus shrugged it off. From there, Apollo Crews highlighted Titus’s accomplishments and told AOP to respect Titus. AOP responded by saying that maybe Titus should retire instead. This prompted Titus and Crews to attack AOP. They cleared the ring of AOP and celebrated as their music played.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Good grief, AOP needs a mouthpiece of some kind. They seem to have an incredibly hard time talking with confidence and its hurting their overall presentation. 

-Backstage, Kurt Angle was shown talking to Stephanie McMahon. Angle said that at first he was worried about Stephanie’s appearance, but that  in the end, he was proud of her announcement. From there, Kevin Owens appeared and pleaded his case to Stephanie about how Kurt Angle has mishandled the Braun Strowman situation. Owens said that all he wants is a chance to take everything away from Braun at Summerslam. Angle questioned whether Owens was series and Owens said he was, but that he wanted their match to be for MITB briefcase. Angle then opened the limo door for Stephanie McMahon before she got in and drove off. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Finally some stakes. This could be interesting. I certainly don’t see Kevin Owens winning this match. That said, because he stipulated that no matter how Braun loses, he still wins the case, it gives Owens a leg up that he didn’t have before. This is heelish in nature and defines their roles more.

(4) TYLER BREEZE vs. MOJO RAWLEY

The match began with Breeze getting the quick upper hand with punches and kicks. Eventually, Breeze hit the ropes for a move, but Rawley countered and crushed him with a shoulder tackle. Rawley then locked in a sleeper hold while Bobby Roode was interviewed in a split screen. Roode said that Rawley was hiding behind his keyboard in reference

Heydorn’s Analysis: Running a commercial picture in picture is one thing, a promo is something entirely different. While it was going on it was hard to pay attention to that OR the match. If it’s important enough to need a promo, WWE needs to give it one. Otherwise, audiences will treat it like the throw in its presented as. 

Back in the ring, Breeze rolled Rawley up out of nowhere for a two count. Out of the pin, Rawley hit Breeze with a sit down Alabama Slam before pinning Breeze.

WINNER: Rawley via pinfall

-After the match, Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre gave a selfie promo. Ziggler said that their plan was to takeover and that it was working as Ziggler was the IC champion. McIntyre then said their plan was dealt a mild blow last week when he didn’t win his match to put him on a path toward the Universal Championship. He said he would rectify that loss in his match later with Finn Balor. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Short but sweet. I can’t believe I’m typing this, but Dolph Ziggler looks the part with that belt. He’s really resurrected his career after a tough run on SmackDown Live near the end of 2017.

-Elias was back after the break and told the audience that he was sick of being interuppted. On cue, Finn Balor interuppted him as the the announce team plugged Elias’s album once again. Balor received a nice response from the audience before Drew McIntyre hit the ring with Dolph Ziggler at his size.

(5) DREW MCINTYRE vs. FINN BALOR

The match began with McIntyre kneeling on the mat. He stared at Balor as Finn walked up to him and clocked him in the face. Balor then connected with additional punches before Drew took over after a stiff chop to the chest. Drew held the match for a short period of time before Balor connected with a drop kick that sent McIntyre to the outside of the ring. This gave Balor the opportunity to hit his flipping suicide dive over the top rope before the show went to break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Balor’s reaction is something to behold. It’s loud and passionate, but based on absolutely nothing given how he’s been booked. You’d think WWE would want to fully capitalize on that connection, but they don’t. Curious. 

Out of the break, McIntyre had full control of the match after he tossed Balor into the ring post and kicked him in the chest. McIntyre then lifted Balor up for a suplex before locking in a rear chin lock. As this happened, the audience cheered and chanted “let’s go Balor.”

[HOUR THREE]

Finally, Balor escaped and put Drew down with a spinning DDT. Immediatley after, Balor covered for a two count. Out of the pin, Balor deliver a running chop before connecting with a step up kick and Sling Blade. Balor then drop kicked McIntyre into the corner before he climbed to the top rope for a Coup De Gras. As he was about to hit it, Ziggler got involved and knocked Balor off to cause a DQ.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Finn Balor just can never quite hit that Coup De Gras can he? All joking aside, saw this coming a mile away, but it still worked in getting the heat Ziggler desired. Well done. 

WINNER: Balor via disqualification

-After the match, McIntyre and Ziggler beat down Balor before Seth Rollins made the save to a huge pop.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Massive pop for Rollins. If that was THAT big. Imagine what it would have been tonight if he beat Roman Reigns and went on to face Lesnar. Ahhh money left on the table …

With Balor and Rollins in the ring and Ziggler and McIntyre walking away, Kurt Angle’s music hit. Angle said that the match was to begin as a tag team match. The audience went crazy as the match restarted.

(6) SETH ROLLINS & FINN BALOR vs. DREW MCINTYRE vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER

Out of the gate, Rollins and Balor ran down their opponents on the mat and brawled with them. They battled back down toward the ring before the referee organized both sides for the match to officially start again. Once they were settled, Ziggler and Rollins began the action. Ziggler got the quick upper hand with punches to the body of Rollins. Rollins battled back and nailed Ziggler with a slingshot over the top rope before the show went to another break. (c)

After the break, Rollins and Balor were fully in control of the match. Balor connected with a basement dropkick on Ziggler and then covered, but Dolph kicked out at two. Right out of the pin attempt, Ziggler pushed Balor to his corner and was able to tag Drew into the match. McIntyre crushed Balor with punches before locking in a shoulder submission. As Balor was about to escape and make the tag, Drew viciously whipped Balor into his corner. From there, McIntyre knocked Balor out of the ring and kept up his attack. He then tagged Ziggler into the match and Ziggler proceeded to maintain control until Balor connected with the Pele Kick out of nowhere. With both men down, Ziggler made his tag to Drew and Drew stopped Balor from making his. Finally, Balor made the tag after he dodged a shoulder tackle from McIntyre.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Huge pop for the hot tag and a great build to it as well. Balor’s selling was excellent and the fire Rollins showed as he hit the ring mirrored the selling. Perfect work. 

Seth hit the match and connected with his suicide dive through the ropes. He then connected with his top rope neck breaker before attempting a cover. Out of the pin, Rollins cued up The Stomp and kicked Drew in the midsection to set it up. Dolph then interfered, but Rollins dismissed him with a punch to the face. Rollins then rolled McIntyre up out of nowhere for a two count. Both teams then went back and forth with offense until McIntyre covered Rollins after an impressive suplex. Rollins kicked out to a huge pop and a “this is awesome” match. In the the end, Rollins hit a hurricanrana on McIntyre that sent him out of the ring. Rollins then connected with The Stomp on Ziggler for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Rollins and Balor via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: Great match. Good luck to Reigns and Lashley. They have their work cut out for them.

-After the match Bobby Lashley was interviewed backstage. Lashley said that he came back to the WWE because of big matches like the one he’ll have tonight. Lashley said that Reigns had two chances against Lesnar and he failed. From there, Lashley said that he would beat Reigns and then he would move on to Brock at Summerslam. He told Brock to rest up because there would be no sleep til Brooklyn.

Heydorn’s Analysis: C’mon. The promo was actually very good until the end. Who talks like that? 

-After the match, once again, Michael Cole recapped Stephanie’s big announcement. From there, Ember Moon hit the ring for her match to a nice pop. The show then went to a commercial break. (c)

-Right after the commercial break, Ember Moon cut a promo on Liv Morgan ahead of Morgan’s entrance. Morgan’s music hit and Liv hit the ring without Sarah Logan.

(7) EMBER MOON vs. LIV MORGAN

Moon quickly started the match off by connecting with a stiff dropkick on Morgan. From there, Moon owned much of the match until Morgan got the upper hand after Moon missed a twisting cross body. After the miss, Morgan connected with kick to the face and followed that with a submission hold in the ropes. Out of the hold, Morgan slammed Moon to the mat by her hair before covering for a two count. Out of the pin, Morgan locked in a sleeper hold as the audience cheered Moon on. Finally, Moon hit a chin breaker on Morgan to break the hold. Out of the break, Moon hit an inverted STO on Morgan before covering for a two count. Out of the pin attempt, Moon climbed to the top rope, but Morgan stopped her by attempting a top rope suplex. Eventually, Moon knocked Morgan off and connected with the Eclipse for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Moon via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: A showcase match for Moon and a good one at that. Morgan is still very green, but man, she can sell the Eclipse better than anyone. Good stuff. 

-After the match, Seth Rollins was shown backstage. He was interviewed and Rollins said the night was going well. He then said that after he pinned Ziggler in their match, Kurt Angle gave him an Intercontinental Championship match at Summerslam. From there, Rollins said he’s going to burn it down in Brooklyn before walking out of the shot. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: No surprise here and a contender for match of the night once Summerslam is in the can. There isn’t any match gimmick at this point and I hope it stays that way. Ziggler and Rollins are capable of having an incredible match without all of that. Let them do their thing and the rest will happen naturally. 

-Out of the break, Cole and the announce team cued up a highlight video for Reigns and Lashley.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Great video. It would be nice if the intensity of the video was truly realized within the actual feud though. 

-Immediatley after the video, Elias was introduced again. This time, Elias waited for an interruption before he started playing. Of course, he was interuppted by Kurt Angle anyway. Angle told Elias that the floor was his and that the audience wanted to hear a song from his debut album. Elias told Angle he was ok and then told the world that they should buy two copies of his album, one for them and one for the person they’d become after they hear it. Elias then shouted out to OAR before calling himself the biggest musical act on the face of the planet. He then did his usual shtick before beginning his song. From there, Elias stopped playing mid-song because he didn’t feel the right vibe. He then ran down Cincinnati as the audience booed him. He then called the audience the grossest collection of humans that he’s ever seen. After he said that, Bobby Lashley hit the ring to a mediocre pop at best.

Heydorn’s Analysis: More of the same from Elias. The guy gets a tremendous reaction, but it’s not harnessed by the WWE in the correct way. 

After Lashley made his entrance, the show cut away to commercial. (c)

-Out of the break, the announce team hyped two matches for next week as well as the return of Ronda Rousey. They also hyped the return of Brock Lesnar.

-Roman Reigns’s music then hit and the crowd exploded with a 50/50 reaction at best.

Heydorn’s Analysis: This match needs to be incredible. I have a feeling that anything less and the crowd will turn on it. WWE made the bed, now they have to sleep in it. 

(8) BOBBY LASHLEY vs. ROMAN REIGNS – Universal Championship Number One Contender match 

Reigns did his typical entrance before he entered the ring and stared Lashley down. From there, the bell rang and both men tied up in the middle of the ring. The tie up lasted until Reigns backed Lashley into the corner. Lashley then exploded out of the corner at Reigns, but Reigns dodged him and took him to the mat for a pin attempt. At that point, Lashley rolled out of the ring and Reigns followed. The two then battled on the outside until Reigns tossed Lashley back into the ring. As this happened, the crowded battled back and forth with a Roman chant.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Well, the crowd is into this match. That is a better place than I thought it would be at this point. A 50/50 chant for Reigns has to be considered a win at this point. 

Back in the match, the action spilled to the outside again. Reigns worked Lashley and attempted a Drive By, but Lashley caught him in midair. Lashley then smashed Reigns to down to the outside mats before the show went to break again. (c)

Out of the commercial break, Lashley destroyed Reigns with a spinebuster before making the cover for a two count.

[OVERRUN]

Right after the pin, Lashley locked in a shoulder submission Reigns. Reigns attempted to battle out and did so to a mixed reaction from the crowd. Both men then hit each other with clotheslines that left them both down in the middle of the ring. Eventually, both men stumbled to their feet and exchanged a flurry punches. Out of those, Lashley tossed Reigns around the ring with a belly to belly suplex. Reigns then lifted Lashley for a Samoan Drop, but Lashley countered by using the ring ropes. From there, Reigns hit the ropes, but Lashley countered again with a clothesline. From there, Reigns, got momentum back by connecting with a devastating leg drop onto Lashley. After, he went for the pin, but Lashley kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Reigns cued the Superman Punch, but Lashley countered with a full nelson. Reigns fought out of the hold with well placed elbows, but Lashley kept his attack up by connecting with an inverted sleeper hold.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Amazed by the audience’s engagement in the match. In each interview, they booed. Now, they are cheering the reaction. They still aren’t on the side of Reigns like WWE wants, but again, this has to be considered a win. 

In the end, Roman Reigns kicked out of Lashley’s spear before reversing his own into the Superman Punch. From there, Reigns connected with his own spear and then covered for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Reigns via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: This needed to be a great match and it was one. Reigns let his ring work take over and it helped him get the match over. He won’t get this reaction at Summerslam, but WWE will take the win when they can. 

-After the match, Reigns and Lashley shook hands. From there, Reigns celebrated as the show faded to black.


NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 7/16: Alt Perspective coverage of the live show including Extreme Rules fallout, the future of the Universal Championship, and more

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