HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 7/1: Alt Perspective coverage of the live show including the beginning of the Paul Heyman era, Lashley vs. Strowman, New Day vs. Viking Raiders, and more

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR (@zheydorntorch)



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HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT
JULY 1, 2019
DALLAS, TX
AIRED ON USA NETWORK

Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young

[HOUR ONE]

-The show began with Michael Cole opening the program by running down the events of the evening with generic music behind him. He plugged an appearance by Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch, New Day vs. War Raiders, and Shane’s answer to the “Undertaker situation.” After, Cole announced that Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley would kickoff the show and as he did, Braun Strowman made his entrance to a big reaction from the crowd. While Strowman walked to the ring, Cole explained the rules of the match. Once Strowman got into the ring, he posed and roared until Bobby Lashley hit the ring.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Michael Cole defining the rules of this match is a nice and unexpected touch. This should be par for the course for WWE. Create rules and stick to them. 

Lashley got a relatively quiet reaction and as he walked to the ring, Cole cued up highlights of last week’s tug of war between both men.

Heydorn’s Analysis: More good announcing from Cole. He used the recap video to his advantage and succinctly explained how this match came to be. Good stuff. 

(1) BRAUN STROWMAN vs. BOBBY LASHLEY – Falls Count Anywhere Match

When the highlights ended, the bell rang, and the match began. Strowman got some strikes in early, but Lashley countered them and sent Strowman through the ropes and to the outside mats. From there, Strowman hit Lashley with a shoulder tackle and followed that with a running Senton Bomb. After, Strowman covered, but Lashley kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Strowman lifted Lashley for the Power Slam, but Lashley countered and hit Strowman with a spear. He then made a cover, but Braun kicked out at two. From there, the action spilled into the audience. Lashley stalked Strowman and hit him with punches until Strowman fought back with a punch. His momentum was short-lived as Lashley countered with stiff steel chair shots to Strowman’s back. After the third, Lashley covered, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, the battle continued with Lashley getting the upper hand as the crowd chanted “you suck.” Eventually, Strowman turned the tables and kicked Lashley in the gut. Strowman then connected with a running shoulder tackle before covering for a two count.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Fun spot that the audience seemed to enjoy. Strowman ran a long way and it was almost too far of a run because the length made me chuckle. Not quite the response they were probably shooting for. Fun nonetheless. 

Out of the pin, Strowman slammed Lashley into the steel barricade as the audience chanted “get these hands.” Strowman followed that by tossing Lashley onto the stage. Before Braun could capitalize, Lashley connected with a a few shots before hitting Strowman with a vertical suplex on the metal stage. After, he made the cover, but Strowman kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Lashley cued up a running spear, but Strowman countered and speared Lashley into the LED board. The board exploded and sparked, eliciting a massive reaction from the Dallas audience. Graves yelled “holy shit,” as the camera showed both men down and injured. With both men down, the audience continued to react and chanted “this is awesome.” From there, the camera cut to a long shot of the situation in an effort to provide some authenticity around the dire situation being presented. The long, unedited shot of the scene held for a good 3-4 minutes. After, the show went to commercial break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Massive spot that got a massive reaction. Let’s call a spade a spade, the execution looked staged and fake. That said, the follow-up with the quiet announcers and long shot camera footage presented the spot in a serious way. 3-4 minutes without cuts or edits is a long time for WWE. It was out of the ordinary and worked to frame the intensity of the angle. Well done as it added significant intrigue and stakes to the next match between the two.

-Out of the break, the long shot camera angle returned, though this time, Michael Cole recapped what happened as Lashley was loaded into an ambulance. From there, Cole cued up highlights of the spot. After, Braun Strowman was shown on a stretcher as well. Once Strowman was driven away in an ambulance, Michael Cole addressed the audience and said that even though WWE tries to protect it’s performers, sometimes things go awry during the midst of competition. He then cued up additional highlights before telling the audience that both Lashley and Strowman had been taken to a medical facility nearby.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Again, Cole sold the seriousness of the angle well. The note to the audience on WWE’s involvement was another nice touch to get it over big. Cole has been tremendous thus far. 

When Cole finished, the Viking Raiders made their entrance. As they did, Cole said they would have an update on Strowman and Lashley after the break. The show then cut to commercials. (c)

(2) THE VIKING RAIDERS vs. THE NEW DAY (XAVIER WOODS & BIG E)

Out of the break, Woods and Big E made their entrance. They ran down the ramp and as the did, Michael Cole cued up highlights of the events between Kofi Kingston and Samoa Joe from last week. When the highlights ended, the bell rang, and the match began. Big E took over early and connected with a running splash on the apron. From there, he went for a cover, but Erik kicked out. After, Ivar tagged into the match and clotheslined Big E to the mat. He then hit Big E with a handful of strikes before locking in a sleeper hold. That move was short lived as Ivar tagged Erik back into the match. Both Raiders double teamed Big E and covered again, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, the action continued until Samoa Joe attacked Xavier Woods from behind effectively ending the match.

WINNER: No contest

As he did, Kofi Kingston ran out and made the save. Him and Joe brawled until the Viking Raiders joined and helped Joe. As the situation was being controlled, the show went to commercial break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Good start to the match, but it ended abruptly due to the interference. Appears to be another cute way for WWE to stop the match and go to a break. Eye roll. These cute solutions aren’t infinite. Just air the matches and call it a day. No need for tricks. 

(3) THE NEW DAY vs. THE VIKING RAIDERS & SAMOA JOE

Out of the break, the original tag team match morphed into a six man tag. The New Day took over early, but eventually, Joe held momentum over Xavier Woods. Joe planted Woods with a vicious shoulder tackle and then demolished him with headbutts before tagging Ivar into the match. Ivar maintained momentum until Woods battled back with chops to Erik once he tagged in. Eventually, Erik countered the chops and hit a falling suplex on Woods. From there, both Viking Raiders connected with a double team before Joe tagged back into the match. He connected with a running Senton Bomb and then covered, but only received a two count. From there, Joe knocked Big E off of the ring apron and dropped Woods with a stiff chop to the chest. Finally, Woods showed life after connecting with a missile dropkick. With Joe down, Woods made the hot tag to Kingston. Upon entering the match, Kingston nailed Ivar with a clothesline and then climbed to the top rope for a cross body. Ivar caught him and connected with a straight upper cut to Kofi’s chin. After, Erik tagged into the match, but lost momentum. Kingston connected with the Boom Drop and then went for Trouble In Paradise, but it was countered. From there, the action in the ring broke down. Big E attempted a running splash, but it was countered. Instead, Woods hit a baseball slide. Out of that, Ivar hit a suicide dive on everyone on the outside of the ring. At that point, Kingston hit Erik with Trouble In Paradise causing him to roll out of the ring. As Kingston attempted a big spot, Joe grabbed him from behind with the Kokina Clutch. With the hold locked in, Joe took Kingston to the mat. At that point, Kingston passed out and gave the submission victory to Joe.

WINNER: Joe and the Viking Raiders via submission

Heydorn’s Analysis: Joe looked strong. Very strong. If you’re going to book Joe to lose the US championship but challenge for a main title, this is the effective way to go. Joe conveyed a sense of danger and intensity that appeared to be a bit overwhelming for Kingston. The story is Kofi overcoming that feeling and beating Joe in the end. Good setup for what should be a top match at Extreme Rules. 

-After the match, Joe posed on the top of the ramp as Kingston sold in the ring. Eventually, Cole hyped other segments on the show including a Seth and Becky appearance. He also plugged a 2 out of 3 falls match between Miz and Elias. Out of that promotion, Cole recapped the recent events between Drake Maverick, R-Truth, and the 24-7 Championship. After the highlights, Drake Maverick was shown with his wife backstage. She was blindfolded and he told her that soon they’d be on a beach for their honeymoon. Eventually, Maverick’s wife removed the blindfold and was angry that she was at Raw for their honeymoon. Maverick calmed the situation, but was then told that he needed to decide what was more important, the 24-7 championship or his wife. He briefly thought about it, but then said his wife. He hugged her and as he did, R-Truth appeared with the championship in hand. Maverick looked distraught as Truth sang a bit before walking out of the shot. The show then went to break. (c)

-Out of the break, the Good Brothers were shown talking backstage. They were interrupted by AJ Styles who told them that they looked good last week, but lost to the Viking Raiders. In response, Gallows and Anderson told him that he didn’t look dominant against Ricochet last week either. AJ tried to use his injury as an excuse, but Anderson called him out on it. From there, Gallows told AJ that he had a bet with Anderson on whether or not Styles could win the United States Championship from Ricochet. Anderson said his “hot asian wife” was on the line. From there, Styles put Ricochet over, but said he could and would win the championship.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Still waiting on the payoff here. The segment was fine, but didn’t offer any clues as to the next steps. Styles put Ricochet over nicely after last week. We need the flip side of that coin too in the form of a response from Ricochet himself. 

-After the backstage segment, No Way Jose made his entrance with Drake Maverick ringside. Jose danced with Mavericks wife as Truth taunted him. As he did, wrestlers from the back ran out to try and win Truth’s title. In response, Truth ran up the ramp and to the back.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Standard 24-7 championship stuff. Like last week, not for me personally, but the audience reaction was there. 

Back in the ring, Cesaro destroyed No Way Jose. He beat him up in the ring and then connected with the Neutralizer on the outside mats. Because of this, their scheduled match did not take place.

-After the beatdown, The Street Profits were interviewed backstage. They said hello the Charly and that she did well with their introduction. He said they were missing something and then introduced themselves after teasing The Rock’s “finally” gimmick. From there, the danced a bit and sang before Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre were shown walking backstage. The show then went to break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Street Profits should fit right in. They’ve got a gimmick that allows them to talk and highlight their personalities. If Vince let’s them go, they should be able to draw interest on a week to week basis. 

-Out of the break, Michael Cole and the announce team aired highlights of the happenings between Bobby Lashley and Braun Strowman from earlier in the show.

[HOUR TWO]

-After the highlights, an unnamed backstage announcer said that both Lashley and Strowman were being evaluated. She then introduced Miz as her interview guest. Miz said that he felt for Strowman and Lashley. From there, the announcer cued up highlights of Miz getting destroyed by Elias from SmackDown Live last week. When the videos ended, Miz addressed Elias, Shane McMahon, and company. He said that after Miz finishes with Elias, he’d have to go back to playing solo gigs. Miz then said “as for the so called best in the world? The Undertaker may be around.” Miz then walked off.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Decent. Miz needs to find his voice again as a babyface. During the Shane feud he captured some seriousness in a way that gave some credibility to his character. Against other opponents, he has’t found that in the same way. Without it, his babyface character has reached its ceiling.

-When Miz’s interview ended, Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre made their entrance. As they did, the announce team hyped their match against Undertaker and Roman Reigns at Extreme Rules. When they got to the ring, both grabbed microphones as the audience booed. Shane then demanded his proper introduction. Once he got it, the crowd chanted “you suck” until Shane spoke. He said he was worried about Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley and that he had other responsibilities during the show besides gracing the audience with his presence. The audience booed loudly again. From there, Shane addressed Roman Reigns and said that last week while he and Drew beat Reigns up, Roman looked scared. They then cued up highlights from that beatdown. When the highlights ended, Drew spoke and said that that footage spoke for itself. He said that Reigns knows what will happen to him at Extreme Rules. From there, Shane said that he no longer wanted to talk about Reigns, but wanted to talk about the Undertaker. Shane addressed his WrestleMania battle and then said he was looking forward to doing it again soon. Shane said that last week, Undertaker surprised them. He said that they wouldn’t make that mistake again and that at Extreme Rules, he and Drew would bury both him and Reigns. From there, Drew spoke and put Undertaker over as the greatest legend ever. He then said he wasn’t afraid of the Undertaker and that he doesn’t “give a damn” about him. Drew then said that he heard a rumor going around and that he came to fight. This prompted an “Under-Taker” chant. McIntyre then told Undertaker to walk out and that at Extreme Rules they’d exterminate the legacy of the Undertaker.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Shane and Drew set Undertaker up nicely. They had the heat and McIntyre looked particularly strong in how he talked about ending the Taker’s legacy.

From there, lighting struck and the lights went out. With the lights out, lighting struck again before they turned back on. With Shane and Drew circling in anticipation, the gong hit and Undertaker walked out to a massive crowd reaction. As Undertaker walked to the ring, Shane and Drew left it and looked worried. Shane calmed Drew and waited as the Undertaker continued up the steps and into the ring itself. Once there, the music stopped, and the audience roared in approval. From there, Undertaker spoke and said that Roman Reigns never asked him for his help. He said that isn’t who Reigns is. Undertaker then explained that he was the reaper of wayward souls for a very long time and that he was there to collect their souls. The audience cheered and Undertaker addressed Shane. He said that Shane had his respect after their Hell In A Cell match, but that he fell victim to his own greed and ego. Undertaker said that Shane may be the best “in this world,” but where he is going to send them, they’d just feel the stench of death for all of eternity and would never rest in peace. Undertaker then set the microphone down before hitting Shane and Drew with his knife across the throat pose. After, his music hit as the Shane and Drew looked on.

Heydorn’s Analysis: The Undertaker appearance worked. The content of his words need some work. They’re rooted in stereotypical Undertaker-talk, but don’t have a context around them. It’s just line after line after line. Undertaker’s star power allows him to get past it easily, but if written correctly, his appearances would mean even more than they do now. 

-Lacey Evans was shown backstage with Baron Corbin. Corbin addressed the camera as Evans put on lipstick. He said that an Extreme Rules match benefits them. He addressed Rollins and wondered why Seth would risk his championship for Becky Lynch and asked “is she worth it?” From there, Evans spoke about Becky Lynch and said that The Man was more than persona. Evans then hinted that Rollins may have had some wandering eyes for Evans backstage. She said she would beat Natalya later in the night and prove why Seth Rollins should trust her, a lady, over The Man, Becky Lynch. When the promo ended, Undertaker was shown leaving the ring as the show went to break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Nothing game-changing, but it worked.

(4) LACEY EVANS w/ Baron Corbin vs. NATALYA

Natalya took over to start, but the tides quickly turned with Evans getting the upper hand. Evans attempted a pin on Nattie, but got a two count. Out of the pin, Evans locked in a sleeper hold, but lost it after Nattie escaped with an arm drag. Evans attempted a springboard cross body, but missed. Nattie tried to pin out of that miss, but Evans kicked out. In the end, Natalya was tripped up by Baron Corbin. That allowed Lacey Evans to clock Nattie with the Women’s Right and cover her for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Evans via pinfall

-After the match, Corbin raised the hand of Evans in the ring and celebrated. From there, Ricochet was shown backstage. Caruso approached him for an interview and he obliged. Ricochet addressed the comments of AJ Styles and said that facing him in the main event on Raw was one of the best moments of his career. Ricochet said that he doesn’t know whether or not AJ was going full speed last week. He said that if he had another shot, he would win. From there, Gallows and Anderson interrupted and said that AJ had Ricochet beat at the start of the match and he didn’t even know it. Ricochet shrugged off the criticism and said that he didn’t agree, but didn’t want any trouble. He did suggest a match, but both Gallows and Anderson backed off instead.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Not quite the follow-up I was hoping for. Ricochet needed to show some concern after his losing effort to Styles last week. Especially after the excuses AJ spoke of earlier in the show. This Ricochet was too laid back when it came to his record. 

-Miz was shown walking backstage as the show went to break. (c)

-After the break, Gallows and Anderson told AJ Styles all of the things Ricochet said to them. Styles said he would talk to Ricochet. In response, Gallows and Anderson were flabbergasted. Anderson wondered where the AJ Styles of Japan was? He said that the old AJ Styles wouldn’t talk to Ricochet, but would take the championship from him. In response, AJ walked away and confronted Ricochet. He asked him if he really thought he could beat him and Ricochet said yes. AJ laughed that response off and said he would take that championship from him tonight. Ricochet accepted the match and AJ slapped him across the face. From there, Ricochet slapped AJ back. AJ then said “this will be good,” before walking off.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Great segment. Perfectly executed on both accounts. AJ looked like the dominant veteran while Ricochet like the confident rookie. The slaps were well timed and built excitement and anticipation for the bout. Beautifully done. 

-After the segment, Elias was introduced, but was then interrupted by Miz’s entrance.

(5) ELIAS vs. THE MIZ – 2 out of 3 Falls Match

Miz briskly walked to the ring and decimated Elias. His offense led to the Skull Crushing Finale and after, Miz covered for the 1,2,3.

FIRST FALL WINNER: Miz

The action continued out of the first fall and spilled to the outside of the ring. Eventually, the brawl moved back into the ring where Elias connected with Drift Away. He then made the cover for the 1,2,3.

SECOND FALL WINNER: Elias

After the second fall, the show went to break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Seriously? We’re still on this nonsense? This formula doesn’t make sense and hurts both Elias and Miz due to the fact that both got beaten so quick. There has to be a better way to feature full matches without showing two of them in a matter of 90 seconds.

Out of the break, the third fall began. Elias owned the momentum out of the gate and locked Miz into a rear chinlock to keep control. Eventually, Miz battled out, but was hit with a European uppercut for his troubles. The strikes continued until Miz pinned Elias with a backslide for a two count. Out of that, Miz hit a series of chops, but was then dropped face first into the mat. From there, Elias covered, but only received a two count. Out of the pin, Elias attempted to drive Miz into the steel ring post. Miz dodged it which caused Elias to crash into the post knee first. From there, Miz locked in the Figure Four to increase pain on the knee. Elias quickly tapped out to give Miz the victory.

WINNER: Miz via submission

-After the match, Miz celebrated as Becky Lynch and Seth were shown backstage ahead of their appearance. The show then went to break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Just impossible to judge because the 2 out of 3 falls gimmick is awkwardly involved. Neither Miz nor Elias hit a stride and the reaction to them was flat because of it. 

-After commercials, Michael Cole cued up highlights of Seth Rollins vs. Baron Corbin from Stomping Grounds. When the highlights ended, Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins were interviewed. Rollins kicked things off and said he and Becky wished Strowman and Lashley a quick recovery. From there, they addressed their match against Corbin and Evans at Extreme Rules. Rollins said his choice wasn’t impulsive and asked Lynch to vouch for him. From there, they talked back and forth about potentially losing each other’s championships. Lynch said that Rollins better not lose her championship because she sleeps with it every night. Rollins said that was true with a wink to Charly Caruso. Rollins kept talking, but then was interrupted by Maria Kanellis. She talked about giving birth and then said that the only reason Seth Rollins was champion was because her husband never got a shot at the title. Mike Kanellis then walked into the shot. From there, Maria challenged Seth and Becky to a mixed tag team match. She said it would be her and “her bitch” against Seth and “his bitch.” The crowd simmered as Becky walked to Maria. She accepted the challenged and then walked out of the shot. Rollins looked on and then said that they “done messed up” before walking out of the shot as well. The show then went to break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: The back and forth between Maria and Becky worked. Seth and Becky came off as awkward and forced. Their interaction last week was the opposite and it stayed in a natural lane that felt real. Instead of running in that lane, WWE ignored the authenticity of their relationship and wrote for it. The result was uncomfortable high school babbling. Yuck.

-Out of the break, Michael Cole recapped the events of earlier in the evening between Bobby Lashley and Braun Strowman.

[HOUR THREE]

From there, Renee Young gave an update on Lashley and said he was resting comfortably at the hospital. She then updated the audience on Braun Strowman and said he had an injured spleen. After the update, Seth Rollins hit the ring to a big reaction. As he walked to the ring, Cole hyped his match at Extreme Rules with Becky Lynch as his partner. Once Seth got to the ring, Becky Lynch walked out to a similar pop. Mike and Maria made their entrance next and once they got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began.

(6) BECKY LYNCH & SETH ROLLINS vs. MIKE & MARIA KANELLIS

Rollins owned the mach early after slamming Kanellis in the face with a forearm. He then hit his buckle bomb before Maria Kanellis mistakenly tagged into the match. This led to Lynch hitting the ring to a big pop from the crowd. Becky entered the ring which caused Maria to leave it. She then got on the microphone and ran down her husband. She said that Kanellis lied to her when he said he could mop the floor with Rollins. She said that he couldn’t even mop the floor at home. From there, Becky left the ring and attempted to punch Maria in the face. Maria yelled that she was pregnant which caused Becky to stop. From there, Mike Kanellis questioned Maria and asked if she was really pregnant. Her response was “I don’t know how I’m pregnant because I’m not sure you’re man enough to get me pregnant.” Mike then was put into the Disarmer and tapped out to Becky Lynch for the loss.

WINNER: Rollins and Lynch via submission

-After the match, Maria continued to run down Mike and questioned his manhood. She said that the only man around was The Man and that next time she wanted to get pregnant she’d just have Becky do it. Maria then left the ring as Mike looked on in amazement.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Huh? I’m buying a vowel on that one. I suppose an character development for these two is good. 

-Paul Heyman was shown backstage and did his usual introduction. Heyman said it was a strange night for Seth Rollins and a bad night for Brock Lesnar. He said that it might have been the perfect night for Brock to cash-in and that he may be there tonight. Or that he might not be. From there, the Street Profits interrupted and mocked Heyman a bit. Heyman then quickly left. The Street Profits left soon after.

-Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross were shown walking backstage as the show went to break. (c)

-Out of the break, Alexa Bliss walked out for A Moment Of Bliss. Bliss walked out and sat in her chair before giving her thoughts to Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley. From there, Bliss introduced her best friend Nikki Cross as her guest on the show. Cross walked out and quickly sat next to Bliss. Bliss then played clips of Nikki earning Bliss her Extreme Rules rematch against Bayley on SmackDown Live last week. After, Bliss called Cross’s win an incredible achievement. Cross spoke next and thanked Bliss. She said that Alexa was the first person to welcome her to Raw with open arms. Bliss said that was true, but that this moment of Bliss was about her. Carmella interrupted and asked Cross why Bliss was getting a title match when Cross was the one that beat Bayley. Carmella said that Bliss was taking advantage of Cross and that friendships should go both ways. Bliss said that Carmella was just trying to hog the spotlight and that she was just a sidekick for R-Truth. In response, Carmella said she would show Bliss a sidekick when she kicks her in the head in the ring. From there, they both walked down the ramp for a match.

(7) ALEXA BLISS vs. CARMELLA

Both women started things slow, but Carmella rolled Bliss up surprisingly out of the gate for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Carmella via pinfall

-After the match, the show went to break as Bliss looked shocked on the ramp. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Another nonsensical quick finish that makes Bliss look weak. C’mon WWE. This is silly.

-Out of the break, the bell rang with Nikki Cross and Carmella in the ring. As both women battled, Michael Cole said that the match was made during the break. (c)

(8) CARMELLA vs NIKKI CROSS

The action was even for much of the match. In the end, Cross countered Carmella’s superkick into her finisher for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Cross via pinfall

-After the match, Cross and Bliss celebrated in the ring. From there, AJ Styles was shown warming up backstage as the show went to commercial break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: This feud had a couple good weeks, but has stalled. They need to get to chapter two and beyond to maintain interest. 

-Out of the break, Bliss and Cross were shown talking backstage. Cross was then asked how she felt about the WWE Universe wanting her to challenge Bayley for the SmackDown Women’s Championship instead of Alexa Bliss. Bliss told the interviewer “no comment” before rushing Bliss away.

Heydorn’s Analysis: That’s a little better. Seeds planted. 

-Drake Maverick was shown walking with his wife backstage. He said he was over the 24-7 Championship as his wife walked off to use the restroom. From there, a barrage of WWE superstars ran past Drake while looking for Truth. Truth then came out of hiding and looked concerned with Drake nearby. Maverick told him he was over the title, but then nailed Truth from behind with his luggage. He covered Truth and won the 24-7 Championship. As his wife looked on, Maverick told her they could do their honeymoon right – 24-7. He then ran off with his wife and the championship.

Heydorn’s Analysis: For 24-7 lovers, this had to have worked. It was comedic in nature and fit with what Maverick and Truth have brought to the table in this division.

-Ricochet was shown walking backstage ahead of his United States Championship main event. From there, AJ Styles made his entrance to a nice reaction from the crowd. Ricochet walked out next and got a good reaction as well. As he posed in the ring, the show went to break. (c)

(9) AJ STYLES vs. RICOCHET – WWE United States Championship Match

Out of the break, the bell rang, and the match began. Ricochet rolled up Styles early for a pin attempt, but Styles kicked out at two. Out of the pin, AJ slapped Ricochet and Ricochet responded by connecting with a springboard clothesline. From there, Ricochet tried for his standing shooting star press, but Styles countered. Styles owned the match from there and bashed Ricochet into the turnbuckle. As that happened that audience dueled with “Ricochet” and “AJ Styles” chants. Eventually, Ricochet took to the air and connected with a corkscrew suicide dive. As they got back into the ring, AJ hit the ropes and connected with the Phenomenal Forearm. He then covered for the 1,2,3 win, though Ricochet’s foot was under the ropes.

WINNER: AJ Styles via pinfall

-After the match, AJ celebrated in the ring as a second referee walked down to discuss the finish with the current referee. The show then went to break as Cole wondered, “will the decision stand?” (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Again, cute nonsensical booking so as not to take a break during a match. Yes, they shouldn’t break during the match, but this cute booking isn’t sustainable. Just feature good matches in their entirety and all will be well. This match had heat going in and now that heat is squashed even though the bout will continue. Pointless. 

-Out of the break, the official declare that the match restart because Ricochet’s foot was under the ropes.

(9b) AJ STYLES w/ Gallows & Anderson vs. RICOCHET – WWE United States Championship Match

Once the bell rang, the action moved at a furious pace. Ricochet attempted a second corkscrew dive, but missed and landed on his feet. From there, AJ connected with the Phenomenal Forearm and then rolled Ricochet back into the ring. He followed with a brainbuster and made the cover on Ricochet, but only received a two count. Out of the pin, AJ hit the Rack Bomb and covered again, but received another two count. In the end, Ricochet covered Styles out of nowhere and got the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Ricochet via pinfall

-After the match, AJ shook Ricochet’s hand as Gallows and Anderson mocked him with a fake applause. They then got on the apron which prompted Ricochet to get ready to fight. From there, Anderson asked AJ “what would the real AJ Styles do?” In response, AJ clocked Ricochet in the face to a chorus of boos from the audience. AJ then proceeded to beat Ricochet down with Gallows and Anderson at his side. He hit a top rope Styles Clash and then posed with both Gallows and Anderson and proclaimed, The Club was back. The audience booed the pose as the show faded to black.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Well done. Styles needed a refresh and this heel turn not only accomplishes that goal, but it gives Gallows and Anderson something meaningful to do as well. Plus, Ricochet has his first true feud now. He needed that as well. Wins all around. Good stuff. 


NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 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

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