SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRIMER
AUGUST 27, 2018
TORONTO, ONT. AT SCOTIABANK ARENA
AIRS ON USA NETWORK, 8:00PM EDT
BY FRANK PETEANI, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Writer’s Note: Due to my personal schedule this week, this article was completed the day before Raw.
Arena / Opening Thoughts
Tonight, WWE travels north of the border into Canada as they arrive into Toronto, ON. Raw will emanate from the Scotiabank Arena after last appearing in August of 2017. We start to pull away from SummerSlam weekend and begin to turn our attention towards Hell in a Cell, which comes to us on September 16, 2018 (the birthday of yours truly ;o).
Last week we got another near cash-in of the Money in the Bank contract by Braun Strowman which lead to the reunion of a favorite stable. Ronda Rousey served up another armbar to her good buddy Stephanie McMahon, which almost directly lead to a new general manager. The Revival kept up with their desire to be tag team champions. These are the items of focus according to WWE.com so with that said, let’s look further into each topic.
Braun Strowman Wants Roman Reigns Face-to-Face
Last week Roman Reigns successfully defended his newly won Universal Championship against former champion Finn Balor. Towards the end of the match, Braun Strowman made his way out to, without question, cash in his Money in the Bank contract on the winner. Following Reigns’ pin on Balor, Strowman emerged in the ring. He would kick down Reigns, and hand the briefcase to the referee indicating he wanted to cash in for a title match. The referee would make the announcement; however, the bell would not ring but rather The Shield’s music would hit. Out came Reigns’ former Shield “brothers” Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, who ended up foiling Strowman’s cash-in. They would end up hitting the signature “Shield Bomb” on Strowman to close out the show, and The Shield would stand united. Tonight, Strowman has demanded to meet Reigns “face to face” in the ring, but it’s not clear if this is for a match or just a confrontation. He still owns the MITB briefcase. Strowman had tweets this week following Raw last week:
— Braun Strowman (@BraunStrowman) August 21, 2018
— Braun Strowman (@BraunStrowman) August 24, 2018
— Braun Strowman (@BraunStrowman) August 24, 2018
Thoughts: The dynamics are certainly interesting here as WWE gave the crowd essentially two things for which to cheer, Strowman’s cash-in and The Shield reunion. Strowman did kick Reigns down before the cash-in. He’s claimed to want to cash-in face to face and technically he did so; however, kicking Reigns down could be perceived as heelish even though most of the crowd wants to see Reigns lose the title. The Shield reunion is basically a way to bury Roman in a crowd-favorite stable and get him cheered yet stopping Strowman from cashing in the title also could be viewed as heelish considering it’s their classic three-on-one gang mentality. While I can’t be 100 percent certain, since Vince is bent on keeping Reigns a babyface, it’s possible by default Strowman could be going heel. A lot of people viewed Strowman as such in his recent feud with Kevin Owens, so the possibility is not far-fetched. Bear in mind also, Paul Heyman made his case for Brock Lesnar to get his rematch, perhaps at Hell in a Cell. Kurt Angle would have none of it and threw in a Brooklyn “fughettaboutit.” (As someone who was born about 20 minutes away from the Barclays Center, not bad Kurt!) . Kidding aside it’s not known the future of Brock Lesnar, but they positioned themselves to go in either direction if Brock and WWE still want to work together in the near future or not.
Ronda Rousey Repercussions / Baron Corbin New Interim General Manager
I tie these sections together as they are very possibly related and could signify way may happen with Ronda Rousey in the near future.
Last week, Stephanie McMahon came out with the women’s roster to officially congratulate new Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey following her SummerSlam victory over Alexa Bliss and give her the belt customized with her name on it. Stephanie of course just couldn’t help herself as she went on to praise herself, saying she made Ronda Rousey by “shining her up like a diamond” (sorry, I could have used the Rock here with one of his old-school “shine it up real nice and turn that sumbitch sideways” schtick). ANYWAY, following her self-praise champion Rousey would make her way out. She would have the women come onto the apron rather than stand ringside, would praise Natalya for being the cornerstone of the division, and promised to be a fighting champion. She said she couldn’t wait to face each woman. Stephanie warned all the women Ronda only wanted to break their arms to which Ronda replied there was only one person her deserved it, and that was her. Ronda would lock her signature armbar on Stephanie and would be praised by the babyfaces.
Tonight, WWE.com has pointed out she may face repercussions for her actions although they are not specific at this time. Alexa Bliss still deserves a rematch, and if that happens either tonight or at Hell in a Cell, a stipulation could be added as “punishment.” Later in the evening, Alexa and “Constable” Baron Corbin were tending to Stephanie in the back. G.M. Kurt Angle would come in and express his concern, only to be (shockingly) reprimanded by Stephanie. She questioned how he could let Ronda put her in an armbar. After a year and a half, she claimed Kurt may need a vacation. Baron Corbin was named interim general manager.
Thoughts: I tie these items together because it was Kurt Angle that teamed with Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania earlier in the year to defeat Stephanie and her husband, HHH. By naming Corbin interim G.M., he can make life miserable for new champion Rousey and also Kurt Angle upon trying to “return” from vacation. In storyline they may have never gotten over the defeat and want to punish these two as much as feasible. It could just be a way to put a heel in charge of Raw following a babyface figure running the ship for quite some time.
Following their unsuccessful attempt to gain the Raw Tag Team Championship from the B-Team (Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas) on the SummerSlam kickoff show, The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) faced the B-Team in separate one-on-one matchups. Dawson defeated Bo in three minutes, and Dash followed suit over Axel immediately thereafter.
WWE.com is not specific as to what they’ll do tonight, but this is a point of emphasis. Dawson and new interim G.M. Baron Corbin did exchange on Twitter this week. Here’s their “chat”:
— Baron Corbin (@BaronCorbinWWE) August 22, 2018
Thoughts: Based on past WWE writing in situations like this, a rematch for the championship could be in order tonight. In an effort to stretch this out for whatever reason they could also do a non-title match, with the stipulation being if the Revival wins they get another championship opportunity at Hell in a Cell.
- Dean Ambrose saw his first in-ring action in over nine months defeating Dolph Ziggler.
- Kevin Owens was nowhere to be seen after essentially losing a squash match to Braun Strowman for the MITB briefcase at SummerSlam. Nothing is out there pertaining to an injury or any issues backstage at the moment; however, he just signed a new contract with WWE. It’s interesting to note that Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin expressed his displeasure at Owens being squashed in such a manner. His “guru” Jinder Mahal was not on the show last week either.
- Bobby Lashley defeated Baron Corbin (prior to his being name interim G.M.) in around 13 minutes. While the match was decent, it was met with chants of “boring.” Lashley continues to struggle to gain worthwhile traction since his return to WWE.
- The Riott Squad defeated the trio of Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Ember Moon.
- For the first time in quite a while, Triple H cut a promo discussing his upcoming match with The Undertaker at The Super Show-Down taking place in Australia come October. It’s interesting how he plugged “his era” to the point where various articles this week have speculated as whether or not that was purposeful, meaning it could lead to a bigger story involving members of that time period. Speculation is out there about an nWo reunion, Hulk Hogan has recently returned to the fold, and Shawn Michaels said he may be open to “another match.” It’s hard to say specifically what it all could mean, but the breadcrumbs are certainly out there to have worthwhile conversation.
- Elias defeated Curt Hawkins in two minutes, as Hawkins sported colors of his favorite baseball team the New York Mets. Michael Cole just couldn’t help himself saying Hawkins and the Mets share losing records. (Hey Cole, lay off the making fun of the Mets please. I’ve suffered enough in my lifetime as a fan.)
On the arena’s website, start time shown is 7:30 p.m. but they do not indicate when doors will open. There are no matches advertised.
Follow me on Twitter @FrankPeteani and ask any question you may have. Thank you for reading!
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S TOP RAW HAPPENINGS: TOP 3 DEVELOPMENTS – RAW 8/20: The Shield Returns, A Terrible Women’s Segment, Triple H Prepares for Undertaker