HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 9/10: Alt Perspective coverage of the live show including Ronda Rousey in tag team action, final Hell In A Cell build, and more

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT
SEPTEMBER 10, 2018
NEW ORLEANS, LA
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK

Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young

[HOUR ONE]

-The show began with Michael Cole hyping the Hell In The Cell event on Sunday. Cole and Graves then welcomed Renee Young to the announce team as full-time member.

Heydorn’s Analysis: This is a smart move for WWE on all fronts. They can continue their women’s evolution narrative while also vastly improving the commentary work at the same time. Young seems to understand the product and what the demands are on her in terms of properly driving storyline and character development.

-From there, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, and Braun Strowman walked to the ring. Of the three men, Strowman got the loudest reaction by far. The audience seemed mixed on their response overall, but legitimate boos could be heard from the audience within that mixed reaction as well. Strowman arrogantly (and slowly) walked out to the ramp to meet his counterparts. Then, all three men did the Strowman yell before walking to the ring. As they made it halfway down the ramp, the heel locker room that beat up The Shield last week walked behind them and surrounded the ring as the trio of Strowman, Ziggler, and McIntyre got inside of it.

Heydorn’s Analysis: The paring of Ziggler and McIntyre was already an out of left field move. To WWE’s credit, it’s worked well and Ziggler has rejuvenated his career with this team. Adding Strowman to the mix feels even more awkward than the original paring of Dolph and Drew. The three  men look out of place with each other and the roar is so manufactured its laughable. As they do that, I don’t think scary heel team.

In the ring, all three men grabbed microphones for their promo as a portion of the audience chanted “get these hands” at Braun Strowman. Ziggler then kicked things off and told the audience that they told them so. He said that there was only one way to describe what happened to the Shield last week and Strowman tagged in before Ziggler could finish to say that they beat them down. Most of the audience booed that line, which Strowman made more intense by saying that they feasted on the Shield’s bloody carcasses. McIntyre was up next and told the audience not to just take their word for it, but to take a look for themselves. He then cued up a highlight video that showed what happened between them and the Shield last week.

Heydorn’s Analysis: The “get these hands” chant for Strowman isn’t a good sign at all. The Shield is the last card Vince has to play in his effort to get Roman Reigns over as a babyface. Strowman getting cheered shows that the card isn’t playing the way Vince thought it would. Trouble here isn’t hard to smell.

When the video ended, Strowman smiled and laughed in the ring before saying that the only reason Roman Reigns still has the championship around his waist was because he was a coward and couldn’t handle his business on his own. Strowman said that Roman has his hounds of justice and he has his dogs of war. From there, Strowman said that the Shield has been getting away with whatever they wanted for far too long. He said that they found out last week that their strength in numbers couldn’t stack up to anything in his pack. Ziggler then picked up the promo again and addressed the men around the ring. He said that they each made a choice and stood up the Shield’s bullying. McIntyre then asked if the WWE Universe could feel the balance of the power shift on Monday Night Raw. He then said that he and Ziggler would dismantle The B Team in their tag title rematch later in the show. At this point, Strowman chimed back in and said that what they did to the B Team would be nothing compared to what he’d do to Roman Reigns inside Hell In A Cell.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Man alive. These three lack chemistry. Plain and simple. It’s as if they are second graders taking turns reading from their chapter book.

From there, The Shield’s music played to a loud pop from the crowd. Reigns, Rollins, and Ambrose walked through the crowd and marched directly to the ring. Then, the brawl ensued as The Shield attacked all of the men around the ringside area. Ambrose then passed out a bag of weapons to the other members for the Shield and the trio destroyed everyone in their path. The finally made it to the ring and caused Strowman, Ziggler, and McIntyre to run up the ramp. The segment ended with both trios staring each other down.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Interesting crowd reaction as by the end it was mixed for the Shield as they took down the heel portion of the locker room. Now, even that act is tainted from being over pushed and the literal Shield for Roman Reigns. People are on to the charade. The boos weren’t loud, but they were there. Could be a sign of things to come.

-When the segment ended, the announce team hyped Triple H’s appearance later in the show and then played video of the Bellas walking into their locker room. In it, the locker room was destroyed and vandalized by the Riott Squad which prompted Nikki to challenge Ruby Riott to match. Then, both Bellas were shown preparing in real time for that match. (c)

-Out of the commercial break, The Shield was shown backstage arguing with local enforcement. Eventually, Baron Corbin appeared and told the law enforcement team to back down because he didn’t need a repeat of last week. He then addressed the Shield and told them to drop their weapons. He said they’d go to jail if they assaulted a police officer and that he wants them in action on Raw and not just causing trouble backstage. From there, Corbin said that if the Shield doesn’t vacate the premises, Seth and Roman would lose their championships. Rollins told Corbin no problem and the trio walked off the shot. Before they did, Reigns had a slight stare down with an officer.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Yuck. This didn’t work for me. Of all people, Baron Corbin seemed to be the level headed guy instead of The Shield. In this instance, the sympathy is on Corbin. Not enough happened to the Shield and not enough heat is on the heels in this story to give Seth, Dean, and Roman a true babyface rub.

(1) NIKKI BELLA w/ Brie Bella vs. RUBY RIOTT

Nikki hit the ring first and was accompanied by Brie. She got a nice reaction from the audience and then talked trash with Riott Squad who had already made their entrance and was congregating on the outside of the ring. From there, the bell rang and the match began. Out of the gate, Riott took Nikki to the mat and owned the flow of the match. The audience chanted for Nikki and she responded by breaking out of the hold. Her escape was short-lived as she was quickly planted in the mat with a shoulder tackle from Riott. Nikki fired up to get some offense in after that, but was soon dominated by Riott once again. Eventually, Ruby kicked Nikki to the outside of the ring before the show went to a commercial break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: For the second week in a row, Nikki is a getting a better than expected reaction. Could it be that her crossover appeal is helping here? Tough to ignore that fact at this point. 

Out of the break, Riott still firmly held control of the match. Finally, Nikki gained momentum by nailing Riott with a spinebuster. From there, Nikki connected with a chin breaker and then crushed Riott with a series of clotheslines. As Nikki looked to maintain momentum, Riott countered and kicked Nikki in the face. That momentum was short lived as Nikki took over again with a springboard kick to the face. At this point, Sarah Logan got involved in the match and distracted Nikki. Ruby took advantage and nailed Nikki with a facebuster before covering, but Nikki kicked out at two. In the end, Nikki had Riott up for the Rack Attack, but was distracted by Liv Morgan. Brie stopped the distraction which allowed Nikki to hit the move for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Nikki via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: Decent little match there and certainly one of a handful more as a warm-up for Nikki as she heads into whatever she’ll be doing at Evolution. Fans haven’t turn on either Bella as passionately as I predicted when their return was announce a few weeks ago. 

-Michael Cole hyped the Ronda Rousey tag team match later in the show as well as a recap video for the Undertaker/Shawn Michaels segment from last week on Raw. (c)

-Out of the break, Big Show appeared on stage and welcomed Connor’s Cure fighters to the stage. Big Show then introduced each one and said they were all from Louisiana.

Heydorn’s Analysis: WWE can be self serving with these events. That said, the affect and happy look on the faces of these kids is undeniable. Good on them for that. 

-A recap video aired that detailed last week’s events between Shawn Michaels and The  Undertaker.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Just a beautiful video. That said, it felt like it was promoting Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels and not Undertaker vs. Triple H. Who knows … maybe it was?

-After the video, the Authors Of Pain were shown backstage with Drake Maverick. Maverick was giving them a pep talk and told them they would not be overlooked. He told them to force the world to not forget the carnage caused by AOP. The three men then walked toward the ring. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: I still don’t like this pairing. That said, Maverick did a nice job of addressing it on 205 Live last week and was not wearing the AOP gear. Two wins right there and am willing to have an open mind as this continues on. 

(2) AOP vs. RONNIE ACE & NATHAN BRADLEY

Out of the commercial break, AOP made their entrance. They got a small reaction from the crowd and as they walked down the ramp, Michael Cole said that Drake Maverick saw something in the two men that he couldn’t ignore. Once they got into the ring, Maverick pumped them up in their corner before the match began.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Its smart for WWE to show continuity between Raw and 205 Live if Maverick is going to be on both shows. This is a deal that WWE would have overlooked and ignored in the past so props to them for acknowledging it now. As for Maverick, he’s smiling too much. It would be one thing if that smile was a smile of arrogance and confidence. It’s coming off as neither and isn’t meshing with the AOP gimmick. 

Out of the gate, AOP dominated and slapped Ronnie onto the top turnbuckle. Razar then connected with a fall away slam. From there, Akam took out Nathan Bradley on the outside and then tagged into the match. From there, he continued the beating and crushed both men with a slam. In the end, AOP connected with their tandem powerbombs for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: AOP via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: A proper squash match and a good one at that. AOP needs that type of dominance to rebuild their gimmick and performances like this will do the trick. 

-After the match, Michael Cole said that Drake Maverick found a gold mine in AOP. He then celebrated in the ring with his team as the show kicked back over to the broadcast table. The announce team then hyped the Hell In A Cell event on Sunday and cued up a hype video for Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy.

-Backstage, law enforcement officials were guarding the entrance as a limo pulled up with Triple H inside. Triple H got out of the limo and then walked into the building and toward the ring. (c)

-Out of the commercial break, Triple H’s music hit to a nice reaction from the crowd. He then walked out and smiled at the crowd on the ramp before heading to the ring. As he did, the announce team hyped his upcoming match at Super Show Down with The Undertaker. After Triple H grabbed the microphone, the audience chanted his name as he began to speak. He said that out of mutual respect, him and The Undertaker would fight each other one last time. He went on to say that since he said that, superstars chimed in on who would win and fans voted in polls, but that shouldn’t matter due to the fact that they are competing on such a high level.

[HOUR TWO]

From there, he said that he was shocked that the Undertaker took such offense to Shawn Michaels saying that Triple H would win the match. He said it was laughable that The Undertaker was bothered by Shawn Michaels’ opinion. He said that when he watched last week’s segment back it made him mad. He said he wondered if The Undertaker lost respect for Shawn or for him, but realized that Undertaker lost respect for Undertaker. Triple H then said that Undertaker was never the same after his series of four matches against him and Shawn and that all that was left after those was Undertaker’s reputation. He said that those matches were Undertaker’s last moments of greatness and that Undertaker blames him and Shawn Michaels for taking it all away. From there, Triple H said that Undertaker said one true thing last week and that was that this match was now personal. Triple H finished up by saying that out of the sliver of respect he had left for Undertaker, he would put him down at Super Show Down.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Standard Triple H promo here and I liked his earlier one on this match better than this. In addition, is there anything more “Triple H” than Triple H trying to bait the audience into thinking that it was that four series of matches that “really” ended the streak? C’mon. If nothing else, that takes away from the big crowning moment that Roman Reigns had at Summerslam after he beat the guy that really did beat the streak. Nonsensical.

-After the promo, Michael Cole showed a recap video of what happened earlier in the night with The Shield. The shot then showed law enforcement officials backstage preventing The Shield from reentering the building.

-Alexa Bliss was shown backstage talking strategy backstage with Mickie James and Alicia Fox ahead of her tag team match later in the night.

(3) DOLPH ZIGGLER & DREW MCINTYRE vs. THE B TEAM – WWE Raw Tag Team Championship

Ziggler and McIntyre hit the ring first and walked to the ramp as the show went to break. (c)

After the break, B Team hit the ring and the audience responded well to their entrance music. From there, official introductions were made and the match began. Dallas and Ziggler kicked things off and mat wrestled a bit until Ziggler got the upper hand with a series of well placed punches. He then connected with a dropkick before whipping Dallas into the corner. Dallas countered that move and smashed Ziggler’s face into his knee. Dallas then tagged Axel into the match to keep momentum. From there, both men worked well together and exchanged tags before Axel got a near fall on Ziggler. On commentary, Young said that B Team was more prepared this time to which heel Graves argued back and talked up the team of Dolph and Drew. From there, Ziggler tagged Drew into the match and McIntyre promptly kicked Axel out of the ring. The show then went to a commercial break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: I know the B Team are former champions, but they simply don’t look to be in the same league as Dolph and Drew. 

Out of the commercial break, Drew McIntyre was firmly in control of the match and had Curtis Axel on the mat with an arm submission. Eventually, Bo Dallas picked up the pace in the match and got a near fall pin on Ziggler that would have won him the tag team championships. He then did his chant with the crowd and rolled Ziggler up for a pin, but that pin was broken up by McIntyre. In the end, Drew and Dolph connected with their tandem finishers before McIntyre made the cover for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Ziggler and McIntyre via pinfall

-After the match and as Ziggler and McIntyre were celebrating their win they were attacked by Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. They cleared the ring and then celebrated in the ring with one another as the audience cheered. Then, the announce team discussed what Baron Corbin would do to them since they broke his rule about leaving the building.

Heydorn’s Analysis: The match itself was essentially a squash match that just lasted longer than other squash matches. Ziggler and McIntyre were the showcase act and deservedly so. A Shield attack like the one after this match would have gotten raucous cheers a year ago. This reaction was tempered. Something is off. 

-The announce team then cued up a hype video for The Undertaker vs. Mankind in a Hell In A Cell match at the 1998 King Of The Ring.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Awesome video package as a memorial for that match. That said, the dramatization of it can overshadow the negative impact its had on Mick Foley’s quality of life. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be dramatized, but something to think about …

-After the video, Kevin Owens walked out to a nice reaction from the crowd. As he did, Michael Cole acknowledged the fact that the world thought he quit. He then reminded the world that he returned last week and beat down Bobby Lashley. The show then went to break. (c)

-Out of the break, Seth and Dean were shown backstage in Baron Corbin’s office. Corbin was upset and asked if they wanted to get arrested. Rollins and Ambrose played coy and said that they were just them and not the Shield because it was just the two of them that led the attack. Corbin said that they knew what he meant and that they were disrespecting their authority. He then said that he planned on having them arrested again. Seth then called Corbin out on them being arrested last week because of Corbin. He then called Corbin’s threats bogus and called Corbin out for falsifying police reports. Corbin was shocked, but Rollins had a sheriff on hand to issue Corbin a warrant for his arrest because of last week’s false police reports. Corbin was then arrested and the audience loved it. Corbin then asked if he and Seth could talk privately. Dean then left the room, but was joined by Seth shortly thereafter. Seth said that in the end, they wouldn’t need to press charges and they walked off.

Heydorn’s Analysis: This story gets more and more strange to me. Don’t get me wrong, parts of this was entertaining. Ambrose in particular. That said, the story doesn’t have roots or emotions attached to it. It’s just happening.

(4) KEVIN OWENS vs. TYLER BREEZE

With Owens already in the ring, Breeze made his entrance next. As soon as he got to the ring to do his typical routine, Kevin Owens kicked him out of the ring. Owens then destroyed Breeze around the ringside area before rolling him back into the ring. From there, Breeze was able to battle back, but got beat down in the end after he missed a slingshot over the rope. After the miss, Owens nailed Breeze with a superkick before power bombing him into the ring apron.

WINNER: Owens via KO

-After the match, Owens said that a week ago he quit the company and it felt great. He said that within that week he got a call from Baron Corbin who begged him to reconsider. Owens then said that Baron Corbin recognizes him at the true MVP of Monday Night Raw. He then said that he agreed to come back under one condition which was that he would not be held responsible for what happens to his opponents. He said that from now on, his job is to do whatever he wants whenever he wants. He then addressed Bobby Lashley and called him a sick maniac for what he did to Sami Zayn. In the end, Owens said that the audience can expect anarchy on the show moving forward and it was all Bobby Lashley’s fault.

Heydorn’s Analysis: This was a nice promo from Kevin Owens. It tied up many loose ends that surrounded his character, gave a foundation for his feud with Bobby Lashley, but also honed in on a mission statement which was his anarchy on Raw. In addition, Owens delivered the promo in a way that portrayed him as unhinged. Jokester Kevin Owens may just be behind us, folks. And know, that’s not a pig flying overhead. 

-A commercial aired for Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles at Hell In A Cell.

-Bobby Roode’s music played and Roode walked to the ring with Chad Gable right behind him. As they made their entrance, a video promo aired that featured both Roode and Gable. In it, Roode said he was skeptical about his pairing with Gable. He then said it was Glorious and Gable finished the Glorious chant for him. The show then went to commercial break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Really? I hope this works out for both men and Gable certainly has the personality to pull something unique out of Roode. Right now though, it’s just a bit too cheesy and one dimensional for me. 

(5) BOBBY ROODE & CHAD GABLE vs. THE ASCENSION

Out of the commercial break, The Ascension just entered the ring ahead of the bell. From there, the bell rang and with Roode in the ring, Gable tagged himself into the match to start and dominated after he did. He hit both opponents with suplexes before the Ascension finally took over. Gable made the tag to Roode and Roode picked up where his partner left off and owned the ring. Roode then called for his Glorious chant, but Gable tagged in blindly. Gable then connected with his rolling German suplex for the win. (c)

WINNER: Roode and Gable via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: It could go either way, but I’m going with Roode getting jealous and turning on Gable. The seeds are planted, now they need to grow. Yes, his is low card stuff, but it’s character development for both guys. Both guys need it too. 

-After the break, Dolph Ziggler addressed his team and complained that the Shield was still in the building. Corbin walked in and told Ziggler and Drew that they would be defending their titles against Rollins and Ambrose at Hell In A Cell. Ziggler and McIntyre complained and asked what his reason as for making that match.

[HOUR THREE]

Corbin answered and said that that match is epic and he needed an epic match for his first PPV. Corbin then addressed Strowman and told him that Stephanie expects him to win the WWE Universal Championship. He said he would and that he was going Big Dog hunting.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Yes, a clever way for Rollins and Ambrose to get a title shot out of the heel GM, but still, there are a lot of moving parts here that just don’t add up. Like, the why in all of this. 

(6) ALEXA BLISS & MICKIE JAMES vs. RONDA ROUSEY & NATALYA

Bliss and James hit the ring first and as they did Michael Cole promoted that Bliss was wearing a Connor’s Cure t-shirt for charity.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Ok. How the heck does Bliss get heat after that type of commentary. Good grief. 

Natalya came out next and was followed by Ronda Rousey who got a large reaction from the crowd. Her and Nattie walked to the ring together and once they were in the ring, Ronda walked directly up to Bliss and held the championship in front of her.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Really liked Rousey here. She looked confident and that move with the belt toward Bliss felt genuine. Good stuff. 

From there, the bell rang and the match was underway. Natalya and Bliss started things off with Bliss instantly running away from the Nattie offense. Nattie caught her quick and blocked her from making a tag to her partner. As the match went on, the announce team debated on exactly what Bliss needed to do to beat Rousey this time given the fact that she got dominated in their match at Summerslam. Back in the ring and though she was firmly in control of the match, Nattie tagged Rousey in. Rousey jumped back and forth to pump up and then tied up with James. Rousey won the tie-up and dominated with clotheslines and suplexes before tagging Nattie back into the match. Nattie kept up the pressure and attempted her Sharpshooter, but James grabbed the ropes to break the hold. While in the ropes, James hit a cheap shot kick on Nattie which gave James the momentum she needed in the match. From there, James owned Nattie and locked in a submission hold before leveling her with a clothesline. James then taunted Ronda by standing on Nattie’s hair near their corner. After that, James tagged Bliss into the match and Bliss continued their domination.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Great selling by Nattie. She yelled out to Ronda as she was being hurt and it had a nice effect on the match in that people engaged with Ronda and her eventual tag back into the match. 

Bliss then attempted Ronda’s arm bar on Nattie, but Nattie countered with a pin attempt instead and Bliss kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Bliss slapped Rousey in the face and Ronda chased her around the ringside area as the show went to commercial break. (c)

After the break, Bliss and James were still in control of the match and Nattie was still selling the hot tag to Rousey. James locked in a neck submission on Nattie as Bliss taunted her from the ring apron. Eventually, Nattie made the hot tag to Ronda to big pop from the crowd. Bliss sold the tag brilliantly and looked like she had just seen a ghost. She then tried to run away, but Rousey caught her on the outside. Rousey was then distracted by James which allowed Bliss to get some offense in. She tossed Ronda into the guardrail and into the apron before rolling her back into the ring. In the ring, Bliss got more offense in by slamming Ronda’s face into the ring post. As this happened, the crowd chanted for Ronda, but Bliss and James kept her at bay. In the end, and after some nice selling by Ronda, Rousey battled back and put Mickie James in her arm bar as Bliss looked on. James quickly tapped out to give the win to Team Rousey.

WINNER: Rousey and Natalya via submission

-After the match, Bliss kicked Rousey in her injured ribs which Rousey sold all match long.

Heydorn’s Analysis: I liked this a lot. Rousey looked like the star and the champion, but Bliss finally got some credible offense in on Rousey that defines her as a worthy and credible champion. A long time coming and it worked great. Not only did Bliss look good, but Rousey sold well for her too. Her selling looked real, was clean, and was a piece of her work that we hadn’t seen before. With the attack at the end, the ribs are a story going into the match and will certainly be something they build the story of the match around. 

-A hype video aired for Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch at Hell In A Cell

-Elias was shown backstage and spit tea in the face of a stagehand backstage. As he did, Braun Strowman was heard yelling while he looked for Roman Reigns. Strowman then beat up some backstage folks as he kept up his search. (c)

-Out of the break, Elias was introduced and the audience cheered for him. He said that New Orleans was the birthplace of jazz before he perfected it. He then strummed his guitar for the live crowd as they tried to clap along. From there, Elias did his usual “who wants to walk with Elias” gimmick with the fans and then ran them down as usual. He made fun of the Saints and the audience responded by chanting “Who Dat.” From there, Elias continued to make fun of the city and told the audience that even Drew Brees thinks their season is done. At that point, Elias called for his historical song, but was interuppted by Mick Foley.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Great pop for Foley. Let’s see if he can teach Elias a few things here. 

Once Foley got into the ring, he paused as the audience chanted “Foley.” He said he was a fan of Elias as a vocalist and a guitarist, but told him he didn’t have a sincere bone in his body as a lyricist. Elias laughed it off and then addressed Foley’s HIAC match. He said that was then and this is now and he was standing in the ring with a broken man. The audience gave Elias loads of heat for that comment and chanted “Mr. Socko.”

Heydorn’s Analysis: Elias is showing what his true heel character could look like with this promo. The guys has “it” enough to not just be a troll and this proves it. 

Foley responded by saying he really wasn’t there to talk about the past, but to talk about the future. Elias said he was the future and Foley responded by saying that he could very well become Universal Champion someday. Foley then addressed something and someone else. He said he spoke with Stephanie McMahon and asked her to let him be a part of Hell In A Cell given its history. He then walked Elias through his feelings of that match and did some in a very emotional way. Foley said that Stephanie told him that he’d be refereeing the Strowman/Reigns match on Sunday inside Hell In A Cell. Foley then wrapped up with his Bang Bang yell, but was called back by Elias. Elias then told him to shut his mouth and that he took up enough of his time. Foley then stared down Elias and said that Stephanie granted him the ability to make one match and the match he made was Finn Balor vs. Elias. Balor then hit the ring for the match as the show went to break.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Outside of this being a Hell In A Cell match, Foley’s involvement is out of nowhere. That said, this promo segment was effective. Foley did a good job in making the Hell In A Cell match seem dangerous and Elias sold the presence of this legend well. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen the serious Mick Foley in a promo and this was it. No doubt a treat. 

(7) FINN BALOR vs. ELIAS

Out of the commercial break, the match had begun, and Elias controlled it out of the gate with kicks and neck submission hold on Balor. Eventually, Balor battled back with chops and a dropkick that dropped Elias to the mat. Balor followed those with a double foot stomp to the chest of Elias which he followed with Sling Blade. Then, as Balor went for another Sling Blade, Elias countered and crushed Balor with a knee to the face. (c)

Out of the break, Elias was back in control of the match and countered Balor’s suicide dive with a running clothesline. Out of that move, Elias went for the cover, but Balor kicked out at two. In the end, after missing the Coup De Gras, Balor rolled Elias up for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Balor via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: A relatively exciting match and one that Elias kept up in. Good stuff from both guys. 

-After the match, Bobby Lashley was shown working out and was confronted by Lio Rush. Rush worked to pump Lashley up and Lashley addressed him with his typical awkward way. He asked Rush to inspire him and Rush continued to talk him up as the show kicked back the backstage broadcast team.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Awkward. More awkward from Lashley. As for Rush, this guy knows his character and that character is slowly getting over on 205 Live. Here’s to hoping they don’t sacrifice the success of that to get over the pipe dream that is Bobby Lashley as a babyface. 

-Braun Strowman was interviewed backstage, but stopped the interview and said he asked the questions. The question he asked was, “where is Roman Reigns.” Charly Caruso told him she didn’t know, but that he should go to the ring so Reigns could find him. Strowman said she was right and then walked out to the ring. (c)

[OVERRUN]

Heydorn’s Analysis: So you didn’t think of that yourself there, Braun? Got it.

-Out off the break, Strowman walked out to the ring and did his roar. As he made his entrance, the announce team plugged the Hell In A Cell main event for Sunday. Once Strowman got to the ring, he got on the mic and said he was sick of waiting and that he demanded Roman Reigns to face him like a fan. Reigns didn’t show, which prompted Strowman to call him a coward. He then said that at Hell In A Cell, he wouldn’t be able to hide or have Seth and Dean help him out. Strowman then addressed Foley and said that if he got involved, he’d hurt him more than he was during the Hell In A Cell match twenty years ago. Finally, Reigns entered the arena and got a better reaction than normal. Reigns took a while to show up, but then appeared on the announce table. The two men then did battle on the stage. Strowman got the quick upperhand with a few headbutts, but in the end, Reigns finished Strowman off by putting him through the stage. The show then ended as Reigns stood tall on the ramp with his Universal Championship.

Heydorn’s Analysis: I’m not a big fan of stunts, but stunts make sense here. The story going is that HIAC is the only place that can contain these men. Doing a stunt going into that match is a good way to not only sell just how much they want to hurt each other, but how they need the cell to get a finish. The spot itself was fine, but not one that the audience reacted great to.  


NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 9/3: Alt Perspective coverage of the live show including the return of Shawn Michaels, The Bellas in tag team action, Balor vs. Strowman, and more

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