HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 6/24: Alt Perspective coverage of the live show including Stomping Grounds fallout, Styles vs. Ricochet, Reigns vs. Shane and McIntyre, and more

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR (@zheydorntorch)



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HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT
JUNE 24, 2019
EVERETT, WA
AIRED ON USA NETWORK

Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young

[HOUR ONE]

-The show kicked off with Seth Rollins marching to the ring to a loud pop and “Burn It Down” yell. Rollins was decked out in his new gear and confidently walked to the ring with the Universal Championship on his shoulder. As he walked down the ramp, Michael Cole called Rollins the Beast-slayer before recapping the happenings between him, Baron Corbin, Lacey Evans, and Becky Lynch from Stomping Grounds.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Big pop for Seth. If you thought his tweets would cause a backlash, in this market, it didn’t.

When the recap ended, Rollins stood in the ring and soaked in the cheers and chants. From there, he spoke and said that last night at Stomping Grounds, Baron Corbin thought he would take the Universal Title from him. Before he could finish that thought, Becky Lynch’s music hit. Becky received a nice pop as well. She held her championship above her head and then walked down the ramp to meet Rollins in the ring. Once she got to the ring, Becky posed as Rollins looked on smiling.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Like Seth, big pop for Becky Lynch. Maybe even louder than Rollins. Was eager to hear their reactions coming off the match last night. All seems to be fine. 

When the posing subsided, Becky picked up a microphone before pausing to take in the “Becky” chants. Rollins then addressed Becky and said she kinda interrupted him. Becky said “did I,” and then allowed Rollins to continue. Seth spoke again and gave Baron Corbin credit. He gave Corbin credit for trying to set the deck against him because he knew that he couldn’t beat him man to man. Seth then said that he wasn’t smart enough to realize that he had the best back-up on the planet in Becky Lynch. In response, Becky said that it paid to be the man’s man and that her and Seth showed the world why they are the respective champions in their divisions. From there, Becky recapped what happened between her and Lacey Evans from last night. She said trying to steal one title is bad, but she draws the line at two titles. When she finished, Baron Corbin’s music hit. Lynch and Rollins turned to the stage, but Becky was attacked from behind by Evans. Her and Lynch brawled until Becky got the upper hand. Once she did, Rollins pulled her off. In response, Lynch pushed him. That prompted Rollins to move out of the way which gave Becky the space to continue her beatdown. As that happened, Corbin attacked Seth from behind. From there, Becky and Rollins fought off the heels and tossed them out of the ring.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Good brawl with the babyfaces owning the ring and looking like the stars. There was a clear delineation between who the stars were and who the supporting acts were. Smart booking.

When the two sides separated, Corbin spoke on the microphone and told Rollins that Lynch handled all of Seth’s business last night. Evans chimed in and said the same thing. From there, Corbin said that if it wasn’t for Becky last night, he would be Universal Champion. He said that he picked Lacey Evans as a referee for a reason as she is the only real woman on Raw. He said that he would choose Evans as his mixed tag team partner at anytime. Evans said she would accept that invitation and suggested that they fight at Extreme Rules. Lynch eagerly accepted, but did so under one condition. That condition is that Corbin and Lynch would no longer get any title shots if Seth and Becky win. From there, Baron Corbin accepted, but added a stipulation of his own – both the Universal Championship and the Raw Women’s Championship would be on the line and the winner would take all. Corbin then tossed his microphone on the ground and walked back up the ramp.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Interesting. On the surface, I’m not a fan of these winner take all stipulations with singles titles on the line in tag team matches. It waters down the singles titles and paints the champions in a very tight corner from a booking perspective. With Rollins and Lynch as hot as they are, I’ll hold official judgement until a few more weeks play out. In the end, if Rollins gets pinned, Becky shouldn’t lose her title. Regardless of the story told, that’s a tough hurdle to get past. 

-Daniel Bryan made his entrance alongside Rowan. As he did, the show went to commercial break. (c)

-After the break, the Revival made their entrance and were followed by The New Day and The Usos. As the Usos walked down the ramp, they cut a promo in which they said their team would be victorious. Once the Usos got to the ring, they danced a bit with Big E and Xavier Woods before heading to their corner. After, the bell rang, and the match began.

(1) DANIEL BRYAN, ROWAN, & THE REVIVAL vs. THE USOS, BIG E, & XAVIER WOODS – Elimination Match

Xavier Woods started things off against Scott Dawson in the middle of the ring. Woods quickly tagged Big E into the match and E took over after hitting Dawson with a shoulder tackle, splash, and belly to belly suplex. From there, Rowan tagged into the match and took momentum back after crushing Big E with a leg drop. He then tossed both Usos out of the ring before attempting a standing splash on Big E. Big E countered which allowed him to tag Woods into the match. As he did, Bryan tagged in as well. Bryan owned Woods and connected with a flurry of offense. He then went for a suicide dive, but hit Scott Dawson by accident. From there, Bryan hit Woods with a top rope dropkick before kipping up as the audience cheered him on. Bryan then hit Woods with a series of Yes Kicks before rolling him up for a two count. The Woods kickout launched Bryan near the ropes which allowed Dawson to crush Bryan with a shot to the face. Woods then rolled Bryan up for the 1,2,3 elimination.

Bryan and Rowan Eliminated.

Soon after, The Revival hit Woods with the Shatter Machine and covered for the 1,2,3 elimination.

Big E and Woods Eliminated.

With two teams left, the match paused as the show went to commercial break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Solid, but overly paced action thus far. Because of that fast pace, the eliminations felt forced and appeared out of the blue. That said, Bryan picked up where he left off last night in terms of his in-ring intensity and the audience responded to him loudly.

Out of the break, the Usos took out Dash and Dawson with tandem suicide dives. From there, they hit a double back body drop on Dawson. After, Jey hit a top rope cross body on Dash before covering for a two count. Out of that move, the Usos connected with a double team neckbreaker and covered, but only got a two count. Eventually, Dash turned the tides after nailing Jimmy uso with a power slam. From there, Dash and Jimmy battled on the ring apron and exchanged strikes that included chops and headbutts. Dash took over momentum which led to him and Dawson connecting with a top rope double team. After, they went for the cover, but only got a two count. The action then headed to the top rope. Dawson attempted a vertical suplex on Jimmy, but Jey made a blind tag into the match. Soon after, Dawson hit the suplex on Jimmy, but then was hit with a splash by Jey. Jey then covered Dawson for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Usos, Big E, and Woods via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: Good match. Especially the second half between the Usos and Revival. Both teams have tremendous chemistry. WWE has a ready-made classic tag team rivalry if they want to go it. They’ve been shy before, but after judging the crowd reaction, fans want it. All they need to do is listen.

-After the match, Cole and the announce team recapped the Stomping Grounds match between Drew McIntyre and Roman Reigns. When the recap video ended, The Miz was shown walking backstage. From there, the show went to break. (c)

-Out of the break, Braun Strowman was shown warming up for his tug of war against Bobby Lashley by pulling a 17,000 pound truck. The show then kicked back into the ring where the Miz was waiting with a microphone.

Heydorn’s Analysis: 17,000 pounds? He needs to warm up for a tug of war with Bobby Lashley by pulling 17,000 pounds? My goodness …

Miz welcomed the audience to Miz TV and then welcomed his special guests, Carmella and the WWE 24-7 Champion, R-Truth. As their music hit, Carmella and Truth walked to the ring while looking around them to fend off any potential challengers. When they got to the ring, Miz told Truth to relax. He said that WWE officials told him that 24-7 rules would be suspended during his interview.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Doesn’t that stipulation negate the entire purpose of the 24-7 championship? 

From there, Miz questioned Truth after running down all of the different places that the 24-7 title changed hands. He then cued up a video of Drake Maverick losing the title to Truth at his wedding last week. When the video ended, the audience cheered as Truth smiled. Miz questioned Truth’s judgement in going after the title at someone’s wedding. In response, Truth said that the 24-7 title was not a joke. He said he eat, sleeps, and drinks the title. He said that he has WWE superstars showing up at his house dressed up as police officers. From there, Carmella spoke and said that while interrupting a wedding is extreme, it shows the importance of the title. Then, Drake Maverick walked out and said that winning the 24-7 title was the biggest moment of his career. He then said that his wedding was supposed to be the most important moment of his entire life. Maverick said that his wife wouldn’t talk to him and that they hadn’t consummated the marriage yet. In response, Truth said that fiber was good for that. In response, Miz questioned Truth and Truth said fiber was good for constipation. This caused the audience to chant “constipation.” Finally, Maverick said he wanted a chance to win back the love of his life. Carmella felt bad for him and told Truth he just wanted his wife back. Maverick countered and said he didn’t want his wife back, but the 24-7 title. He then challenged Truth to a one on one match. Truth thought it over and Miz confirmed that other superstars would not be allowed to fight for the title during the match. Hearing that, Truth accepted the match and the show went to break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: I like that title is going to be defended in an actual match. However, WWE altering rules to facilitate that match is the type of inconsistency that fans push back against. If WWE didn’t treat this title like a circus joke for weeks, they could be more serious with official title defenses. Because they did, they have to break their own rules to accomplish what they want to.

(2) R-TRUTH vs. DRAKE MAVERICK – WWE 24-7 Championship

Out of the break, the bell rang and the match began. Truth immediatley connected with offense that floored Maverick. He then made the cover for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Truth via pinfall

-After the match, superstars in the back poured into the ring to try and win the championship. Truth escaped the brawl and ran away through the crowd as Maverick looked on from the ring. He was visibly devastated before being interviewed. Maverick was asked one question, but couldn’t respond because he was so distraught. Maverick then left the ring as the audience chanted at him.

Heydorn’s Analysis: A nothing match that turned into typical 24-7 title stuff. The opportunity at more depth for this championship was on the table with this match. WWE chose to stay in its original lane. Not the wrong choice either given how they set it up.

-Roman Reigns was shown walking backstage as the show went to commercial break. (c)

-After the break, the announce team recapped the events from earlier in the evening between Lacey Evans, Baron Corbin, Seth Rollins, and Becky Lynch. When the recap ended, Evans and Corbin discussed how they would beat Becky and Rollins at Extreme Rules. Corbin finished their conversation by saying that after they win, they would be the new power couple of WWE.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Not a bad follow-up to the opening segment. The fact that there was any at all is a step in the right direction for WWE programming. Evans continues to hit a solid note with her character. That said, like any featured star, she needs to not be overexposed. Her gimmick exposed to much will wear faster than others on the roster.

-When the backstage promo ended, Shane McMahon hit the ring. McMahon received a small reaction and was followed by Drew McIntyre. When Shane and Drew got to the ring, Shane demanded he get his usual introduction.

[HOUR TWO]

He got it and after, told the referee to make the match a two on one match in which Reigns would have to face both Shane and Drew at the same time. After that announcement, Reigns made his entrance to a nice reaction from the audience. As he did, the announce team said he was entering a dangerous situation. After Reigns got to the ring, he attacked his opponents right away and the bell rang.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Like yesterday, this was a smart way to book the start of this match. A tie-up simply wouldn’t do the feud justice. This attack does. Good stuff.

(3) DREW MCINTYRE & SHANE MCMAHON vs. ROMAN REIGNS

Out of the gate, Reigns got some brief momentum. It was short-lived as the double team of McMahon and McIntyre was too much to overcome. From there, Drew and Shane owned the match. They crushed Reigns’ face with the steel steps and then beat him down in the middle of the ring. McIntyre hit his Claymore Kick before Shane demanded Reigns be lifted to his feet. From there, Shane hit Reigns with a spear before telling Drew to hit another Claymore. He obliged and crushed Reigns in the face. After, Drew dragged Reigns into the corner and held him down. Shane climbed to the opposite turnbuckle for his Coast To Coast. As he was about to jump off, the lights went dark and the gong hit signaling the Undertaker. When the lights turned back on, Undertaker was in the ring. He caught Shane out of mid air and planted him with a Choke Slam. From there, Undertaker destroyed both Shane and McIntyre before posing in the ring as Reigns looked on. The show then went to commercial break. (c)

WINNER: No contest

Heydorn’s Analysis: Well, that certainly was as surprise. The crowd reaction was epic because of that fact and Undertaker looked relatively crisp as he delivered his offense. Fun moment and no doubt the spark for a tag match at Extreme Rules.

-Out of the break, the announce team recapped the surprise return of the Undertaker. After, Braun Strowman made his way to the ring for his tug of war against Bobby Lashley. As Strowman walked to the ring, the announce team played the clip of Strowman warming up in the parking lot by pulling a truck. Once Strowman got to the ring, Bobby Lashley made his entrance. As he did, footage of him warming up aired as well. Once Lashley got into the ring, Cole cued up the tale of the tape and the announce team broke it down. After, both men got into their corner and the tug of war officially started.

(4) BOBBY LASHLEY vs. BRAUN STROWMAN – Tug Of War

Lashley owned the early part of the war, but Strowman quickly pulled Lashley over the line. As he did, Lashley attacked Strowman and drove his shoulder into the ring post. With Strowman down, Lashley used the rope as a weapon until the referee broke it up. The rope targeted Strowman’s eyes which left him unable to see properly. Eventually, Lashley attempted to keep his momentum, but Strowman dropped him with a shoulder tackle. He couldn’t capitalize and because of that, Lashley drove him into the ring barrier. From there, Strowman stayed down and Lashley walked away.

WINNER: Strowman via tug of war rules

Heydorn’s Analysis: The tug of war was a lame, but easy way to set this feud into a second gear. Lashley gained some legitimacy with his beat down and Strowman was able to build some sympathy as well. That has alluded him before, but is a simple avenue to increased crowd engagement. Nothing fancy, but got everything from A to B.

-After the tug of war, AJ Styles was interviewed backstage. He said he was ready to go after being injured and said he challenged Ricochet after seeing his match against Samoa Joe at Stomping Grounds. As he talked, No Way Jose’s music played. AJ then appeared annoyed as he saw Gallows and Anderson dancing in Jose’s conga line. Styles confronted them and asked them what happened to them. In response, they said they would prove him wrong right now against the Viking Raiders. They then walked out of the shot as the show went to commercial break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Intrigued to see this story grow and payoff. Styles has credibility with Gallows and Anderson that plays nicely as he talks down to them as a parent. Something tells me this isn’t the last we’ve seen of these three together in the ring tonight with AJ’s match against Ricochet still to come. 

-Out of the break, Michael Cole plugged the WWE Espy category and said “pretty cool huh?” From there, Gallows and Anderson were shown in the ring. As they looked on, The Viking Raiders made their entrance. Once they got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began.

(5) THE VIKING RAIDERS vs. GALLOWS & ANDERSON

Gallows started things off and dominated with a flurry of punches in the corner. Out of that, Gallows tagged Anderson into the ring. After he entered, he lost control of the match and was nailed with a double team by Erik and Ivar. Soon after, Anderson gained momentum back and tagged Gallows back into the match. Gallows kept momentum and locked in a sleeper hold before hitting the Boot Of Doom double team on Erik. From there, Anderson attempted a cover, but stopped and opted for punches to the face instead. When he finished, Anderson posed to the crowd which left him open to a shoulder tackle. In the end, the Raiders cleared the ring of Gallows and nailed Anderson with the Viking Experience for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Viking Raiders via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: A continuation of the Gallows and Anderson story with Styles given that Anderson lost control of the match when he celebrated and joked around. Smart to book a strong win for the Viking Raiders within this story. Well done. 

-After the match, a disgusted AJ Styles was shown backstage. From there, Alexa Bliss was confronted by Nikki Cross. Cross told Bliss she was sorry and blamed Bayley for losing both title opportunities throughout the last week. Cross said she lost control and that she thought it was her fault. In response, Bliss said she should use that feeling as motivation. Cross then surmised that there had to be a way to get a rematch. Bliss agreed and said she needed a plan. Alexa then dismissed Cross as the show went to break. (c)

-Out of the break, Nikki Cross was confronted by Natalya and Naomi. They told Cross that they didn’t want her to get off on the wrong foot with Alexa. They warned Cross about Bliss, but Alexa interrupted. She questioned Cross’s allegiance and then talked down to Naomi and Natalya. Naomi then told Bliss they would handle things in the ring before walking off.

-After the segment, Heath Slater was shown in the ring ahead of a match. Before the match began, R-Truth wandered into the ringside area. This caused other stars to follow him and the brawl was on. Truth eventually got pinned by Slater, but then won the title back. From there, Cedric Alexander pinned Slater before being pinned by EC3. As EC3 celebrated, Carmella stole the championship from him. As EC3 yelled at her to give it back, Truth rolled him up for the 1,2,3. Right after, Truth ran through the curtain with Carmella at his side.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Standard 24-7 stuff that got a big reaction from the crowd. This gimmick isn’t for me, but hard to argue against the reaction it gets on a weekly basis. 

-When the 24-7 stuff ended, Ricochet was interviewed backstage. He said that winning the United States Championship gave him a feeling that he doesn’t want to go away. He said winning the title took the support of his friends, family, and WWE Universe. He then addressed AJ Styles and said that he has looked up to AJ in the early part of his career. He said that by beating AJ he wanted to prove that he was worthy of holding the US title. The show then went to break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Between announcer commentary and video packages, WWE has made an effort to make Ricochet look like a big deal to fans. This interview helped too. Short, sweet, and showed what being champion meant to Ricochet. Plus, he defined his mission for tonight within his match against AJ Styles. Well done. 

-Out of the break, Kofi Kingston made his entrance. Once he got to the ring, he was about to be interviewed, but that interview was stopped by Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. Zayn ran down Charly Caruso and then addressed Kingston. Zayn called Kingston a paper champion and said that his reign was defined by his friends helping him out. Zayn said that he and Owens destroyed his friends at Stomping Grounds. From there, Zayn asked Kofi about Big E and Xavier Woods. In response, Kofi said that his relationship was like that of brothers. He then addressed Zayn’s criticism and said that he has beaten Kevin Owens by himself without the help of his friends. Kofi then said that he would beat Zayn tonight all by himself as well. In response, Zayn said that Kofi was arrogant and that he’d do something about it. In response to that, Kofi said he was sick of them talking and suggested they get in the ring and get kicked in the head courtesy of the WWE Champion. The show then went to commercial break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Good promo. Kofi looked like a centerpiece babyface and the heels fed him nicely on the microphone. In addition, Kofi responded to Zayn’s criticism with concrete historical points of reference. Consistency like that makes Raw infinitely more fun to watch. 

(6) KOFI KINGSTON vs. SAMI ZAYN

Right after the break, the match began. Both men exchanged offense throughout the early part of the match including some fast paced action from Kofi. Eventually, Kofi attempted a baseball slide out of the ring, but Zayn dodged it and dropped Kingston.

[HOUR THREE]

With Kofi down, Zayn distracted the referee which allowed Owens the opportunity to interfere. From there, Zayn took control of the match and grounded Kofi with a sleeper hold. Eventually, Kingston battled out and nailed Zayn with a flurry of punches. Kingston tried to whip Zayn off the ropes, but Zayn countered with punches of his own. Zayn then bounced off the ropes, but Kingston countered with a clothesline. Kofi then made the cover, but Zayn kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Zayn took control again and slammed Kingston into ring post with an overhead suplex. After, he went for a pin, but only got a two count. Out of that pin attempt, the action moved to the top rope. Kingston attempted a top rope dive, but Zayn moved out of the way. He then nailed him with the Blue Thunder Bomb and covered for a two count. Out of the pin, Zayn kept momentum in the match and countered all Kingston offense including a boot to the face to negate a springboard clothesline. In the end, Kingston rolled through a powerbomb attempt and into a pin for the 1,2,3 win over Zayn.

WINNER: Zayn via pinfall

-After the match, Kofi celebrated on the ramp and laughed as Zayn looked visibly upset in the ring. Seeing this, Kevin Owens got angry and said that he didn’t believe Kingston was the champion he thought he was. He then challenged Kingston to another match against him right now. Kofi accepted the challenge and walked to the ring as the show went to break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: A fun little match. Good back and forth counter sequences that felt exciting as they happened. Well done. 

(7) KEVIN OWENS vs. KOFI KINGSTON

Out of the break, the match was underway with Owens demolishing Kingston at every turn. Finally, Kingston turned the tide with a back body drop as Corey Graves ranted on how Kingston was silly for accepting the challenge. From there, Kingston connected with the SOS on the steel steps. This appeared to hurt Owens and the match abruptly ended with a count out.

WINNER: Kingston via count out

-After the match, Kingston tossed Sami Zayn out of the ring and then hit a flying suicide dive on both him and Owens. From there, Kingston walked up the ramp and was attacked from behind by Samoa Joe. Joe slammed Kingston into the video board before dropping him onto the steel ramp. Joe then stared Kingston down before heading to the back. Kingston attempted to get back to his feet, but Joe ran back out and choked him out. Joe then looked on again as Kingston was tended to by officials. The show then went to break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: A strange ending to the match as Owens appeared to legit hurt himself on the SOS spot. As for the Joe beat down? Tremendous. A vicious Samoa Joe is the best Samoa Joe. Kingston is a great champion to sell that brutality and overcome it. Good stuff. 

-After commercials, the announce team recapped the earlier return of the Undertaker during the McMahon/McIntyre vs. Roman Reigns match. When the highlights ended, Michael Cole announced that Roman Reigns would team with the Undertaker at Extreme Rules to face Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Big match. You have to think Undertaker was embarrassed by the Super Showdown match in Saudi Arabia. This is a way to cleanse himself of that. In addition, he’ll be protected with young performers like Reigns and McIntyre around to handle the activity. If he needs to wrestle, this type of scenario makes sense.

-Naomi hit the ring for her match and was followed by Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss. Once Bliss got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began.

(8) ALEXA BLISS vs. NAOMI

Bliss took control of the match earlier until Naomi tripped her and nailed her with the split drop. After, Naomi made the cover, but Bliss kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Bliss rolled out of the ring and went to Cross. Seeing this, Naomi attempted a baseball slide, but Bliss moved out of way. This caused Cross to get hit instead. With Naomi distracted, Bliss connected with her lifting DDT. She then covered for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Bliss via pinfall

-After the match, Bliss attacked Naomi and held her up while encouraging Cross to seek revenge. Cross responded by pushing Naomi down. This prompted Natalya to hit the ring. As she ran down the ramp, the show went to commercials. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Nikki Cross continues to sell her manipulation in a way that doesn’t make her look like a total fool. It’s close, but she isn’t there yet. That selling makes the dynamic between her and Bliss interesting to watch. Well done.

(9) NATALYA & NAOMI vs. NIKKI CROSS & ALEXA BLISS

Out of the break, the action was underway. Cross took over quickly and then tagged Bliss into the match. Soon after, Natalya gained control and football tackled Bliss into her corner. From there, she tagged Naomi into the match and Naomi responded by connecting with a full nelson slam. Eventually, the action led to Nikki Cross getting the tag into the match. Cross hit Nattie with a bulldog and then covered, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Cross hit a mini dropkick on Natalya before climbing the top rope. From there, she connected with a cross body and covered for a two count. Out of the pin, Nattie battled Cross toward Cross’s corner. With the action near her, Bliss made the blind tag into the match. Right after, Cross hit a neck breaker on Nattie and Bliss covered for the win.

WINNER: Cross and Bliss via pinfall

-After the match, Graves and Cole debated whether or not Cross did all of the work in the match as Alexa and Nikki celebrated together in the ring. From there, both AJ Styles and Ricochet were shown walking backstage. The show then went to break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: A nothing match, but worked in furthering the story between Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross.

-Out of the break, AJ Styles made his entrance to a nice reaction from the audience. As AJ walked to the ring, the announcers discussed whether or not Styles would experience ring rust due to the time off. Once AJ got to the ring, his music faded, and Ricochet made his entrance. As he walked down the ramp, Michael Cole discussed the hot couple weeks that defined Ricochet’s career up to this point. After Ricochet posed in the ring with the belt, the bell rang, and the match began.

(10) RICOCHET vs. AJ STYLES

Out of the gate, both men circled each other in the ring before locking up. AJ backed Ricochet into a corner and then walked away because of the referee break. As this happened, the audience dueled with “Ricochet” and “AJ Styles” chants. From there, they tied up again, but this time Styles took him down to the mat. Eventually, Ricochet escaped. As they were about to tie up again, Gallows and Anderson walked down to the ring as the audience booed. Quickly, they tried to get involved in the match, and Styles yelled at them for doing so. He then picked up a microphone and told them that they weren’t going to ruin their match. He said the match wouldn’t continue until they left. They did leave as the show went to break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Nah, they definitely will stay in the back. Nothing in WWE history says otherwise. You guys are crazy. 

Out of the break, the match continued. Ricochet took over early with a hurricanrana/dropkick combo and followed that with some crisp punches in the corner. From there, Ricochet took Styles down and locked in a shoulder submission. Eventually, AJ escaped the hold and rocked Ricochet with set of forearm shots to the face. After, AJ connected with chops before connecting with the Pele Kick. AJ then went for the cover, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, AJ kept momentum and stomped Ricochet with tactical strikes to various body parts. He then hit a back body drop. Eventually, Ricochet took momentum back and crushed AJ with his own forearm shots to the face. This caused AJ to roll out of the ring. Seeing this, Ricochet hit his corkscrew dive over the top rope and onto AJ on the floor. Ricochet rolled AJ back in the ring, but only got a two count. In the end and after a handful of near falls, AJ Styles countered Ricochet into the Phenomenal Forearm for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Styles via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: Good match with more on the table if they want to go it. Styles winning gives Ricochet an immediate challenger, but it also slows some of the momentum that Ricochet picked up the last few weeks. Time will tell whether or not this booking choice was a sound one. 

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