SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT
JULY 29, 2019
LITTLE ROCK, AR
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young
-The show opened with a video tribute package that highlighted the WWE 24-7 Championship. The package included clips of various title changes and featured R-Truth, Drake Maverick, the legends from last week, and others. The video ended with the announcer saying “the 24-7 Championship, redefining greatness.” When the video was over, Michael Cole opened the show and said that for the first time ever, the 24-7 championship would be on the line in a match. He said there would be special rules as the camera panned and showed various Raw mid-carders around the ring while Drake Maverick walked to the ring with his wife. From there, R-Truth made his way to the ring with Carmella to a nice reaction from the audience.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Big pop for Truth. Being the first babyface out is responsible for some of that, but he’s undoubtedly gotten himself a bit over with the 24-7 championship. That fact is undeniable even if you’re not loving the 24-7 gimmick. With WWE coming off of their most watched Raw in a while with Raw Reunion, is this really the first thing you want to run with for potential new or lapsed fans that caught the program last week?
When Truth finished his intro song, the bell rang, and the match officially began.
(1) R-TRUTH & CARMELLA vs. DRAKE MAVERICK & RENEE – WWE 24-7 Championship
Out of the gate, Maverick rolled Truth up and as he did, Cole commented and said that the 24-7 rules were suspended for the duration of the match. The announce team then discussed the fact that as soon as the match ended, the official rules would be back and the wrestlers around the ring could attempt a shot at the championship. Back in the ring, Truth took over quickly and tossed Maverick over the top rope. Truth then attempted to pin Maverick after a sidewalk slam. At that point, Renee got herself involved in the match and was attacked by Carmella. From there, Truth was able to to pin Maverick and make the cover for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Truth via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: A nothing match, but a nice reaction for Truth winning. WWE has something there. The question is, do they have something outside of the 24-7 Universe. Time will tell.
-After the match, the superstars around the ring surrounded Truth and attacked. The brawl turned into a pile on which prompted the referee to make the count on Truth. Mike Kanellis rolled out of the pile with the 24-7 title belt and was announced as the new champion. From there, Kanellis ran out of the ring and to the backstage area. The other superstars followed him and chased him into what looked to be a small closet. The superstars pounded on the door to get in, but were manipulated out of the way by Mike’s wife, Maria. With the other superstars gone, Maria demanded that Mike let her in. At first he didn’t do it, but eventually gave in after Maria threatened him.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Not buying that pinfall. How did the referee know that Mike Kanellis was the one on top of Truth? Silliness just for the sake of silliness. In it’s own world, the 24-7 has worked and can continue to work as long as it stays fresh. Opening the show with it in the same montage as the WWE Championship and the likes of Bruno Sammartino holding the championship takes it out of its own world and blends it into everything else. Tone deaf on WWE’s part.
-Michael Cole and the announce team ran down the rest of the show before Rey Mysterio made his entrance for the upcoming gauntlet match. As he did, the show went to break. (c)
(2a) CESARO vs. REY MYSTERIO – United States Championship #1 Contender Gauntlet Match
Mysterio and Cesaro exchanged holds to start the match until Cesaro took over with a strong clothesline. After, he made a quick cover, but Mysterio kicked out at two. Cesaro owned the match from there and locked a side sleeper hold on Mysterio while AJ Styles looked on from the back. Eventually, Mysterio turned the tides after kicking Cesaro in the face. Next, Mysterio planted himself on the shoulders of Cesaro and the two men rolled out of the ring together while holding that position. From there, Mysterio hit Cesaro with a hurricanrana. After, he attempted a suicide dive and connected but hurt his knee in the process. From there, Rey hit a springboard hurricanrana in the ring and followed with another on the outside of the ring. The audience popped big for the sequence as the show went to break. (c)
Out of the break, Cesaro retook control of the match and and slammed Mysterio face first into the corner. From there, Cesaro lifted him to the top rope for a big move. Rey battled back with punches and eventually pushed Cesaro off of the ropes. He then leapt off and connected with a top rope Senton Bomb. Mysterio kept up the pace from there and hit a flurry of offense including a kick to the face. After, Rey made the pin, but only got a two count. Out of the pin attempt, Rey attempted a springboard move, but it was countered by a Cesaro European uppercut. Cesaro attempted a pin right after, but Mysterio kicked out. Out of the pin, Cesaro tried for a powerbomb on Rey, but Rey countered it into a hurricanrana. He then went to the top rope, but was knocked off by another Cesaro uppercut. After, Cesaro carried Rey to the second rope for a move. Mysterio battled out with shots to the kidney and headbutts to Cesaro’s face. Rey then connected with a top rope bulldog. Out of that, he hit the 619 and followed it with a bulldog before covering for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Mysterio via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: That bulldog off the top rope was unique and effective. Really good match. Cesaro and Mysterio have a nice chemistry together. Good stuff.
(2b) REY MYSTERIO vs. SAMI ZAYN
Right after the first match ended, Zayn ran out and attacked Rey. The match began and Mysterio quickly rolled Zayn up for the 1,2 3 win.
WINNER: Mysterio via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: I was waiting for the quick roll-up and it wasn’t hidden well here given how fast Zayn hit the ring. Makes sense for the underdog story they’re telling (and always tell) with Mysterio, but would have liked to have seen the two men have some time to tear it up inside the ring. Another card WWE can play again down the road I suppose.
After the pin, Andrade made his way to the ring. As he did, the show went to break. (c)
(2c) REY MYSTERIO vs. ANDRADE w/ Zelina Vega
Out of the break, the match began. Both Rey and Andrade tied up the middle of the ring. Andrade got the upper hand and locked in an arm submission. Rey attempted a handful of counters but broke the hold with well timed elbow to the face. Andrade continued to maintain control with chops and tried to follow with a back breaker. Rey countered it into a pin attempt, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Mysterio locked in a side headlock, but it was countered after Andrade whipped him chest first into the ring post. From there, Andrade gloated as the audience booed and Vega cheered.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Andrade is such a natural heel. He’s able to generate heat on his own, but the timing of Vega while Andrade is working on his own heat adds a second layer that thickens up the entire act. Its effective and one that could draw in bigger spots if given the time and proper booking protection.
When the gloating ended, Andrade kept control and tossed Rey out of the ring face first. Mysterio hit hard and Andrade followed him to the outside of the ring. As he did, the announce team discussed how Andrade’s slow and calculated strategy was more effective than Zayn’s.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good commentary on the part of Graves there in comparing and contrasting the different approaches of Zayn and Andrade. It gives both of their styles some context and makes what happened earlier in the match matter. Well done.
The action returned to the ring and Rey attempted a springboard moonsault. Andrade caught him and proceeded to connect with a series of three vertical suplexes like Eddie Guerrero used to do. After, he hit sequenced moonsault and covered, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Rey was able to tune Andrade up for the 619 but it was countered. Andrade then hit Mysterio with his finisher and made the cover for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Andrade via pinfall
After the match, Andrade continued to beat up Rey. With Mysterio down, Andrade took Rey’s mask off as the audience booed. From there, Ricochet made his way out to the ring and defended Mysterio by fighting off Andrade. Ricochet checked on Rey and prepped for the last portion of the gauntlet match against Andrade as the show went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: A really nice pop for Ricochet that was setup by the booking of this match. Who wouldn’t cheer the guy running out to save a Rey Mysterio without a mask. Smart and Ricochet owned the moment.
(2d) ANDRADE vs. RICOCHET
The action was on fire from the start. Ricochet hit his fast paced moves, but was then distracted by Vega as he went for a springboard move. Because of the distraction, Andrade hit him from behind and took control of the match. Eventually, the action spilled back into the ring and Andrade stomped on Ricochet in the corner. After, Andrade connected with a round of chops before whipping Ricochet to another corner. As Andrade went for a move, Ricochet countered with a rolling dropkick. From there, Ricochet took over for a short while but ended up getting hip-tossed into the ring post. Andrade followed with his double running knees into the corner and attempted a pin after, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Ricochet rolled Andrade up for a quick two count and then was clocked with a back elbow. Right after that, Ricochet hit Andrade with a reverse hurricanrana and made the cover, but only got a two count. At that point, Ricochet climbed to the top rope, but was followed up by Andrade. There, both men battled until Ricochet knocked Andrade off the top rope. He then hit the 630 and covered for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Ricochet via pinfall and the new number one contender for the United States Championship at Summerslam
Heydorn’s Analysis: Huge pope for the Ricochet win and a really good match. Both Ricochet and Andrade were smooth and even though the outcome was predictable, it didn’t matter because of the match quality.
-After the match, Ricochet was interviewed in the ring. As he was about to speak, the crowd loudly cheered. From there, Ricochet said that nobody believed it when he beat Samoa Joe for the United States Championship. He said that even he couldn’t believe it. He then said that sometimes seeing is believing and that at Summerslam he would beat Styles and make everyone believe – including himself.
-Backstage, Mike and Maria talked to each other. Mike said that he won the title for them. In response, Maria forced Mike to lay down on his back so she could pin him and become champion. Mike did and Maria officially pinned him to become the champion. From there, Maria gloated and walked out of the room in front of the other stars and yelled “pregnant champ.” She taunted the others and teased them for not being able to beat her because she is pregnant.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Well, at the very least, this keeps the strange 24-7 title scene fresh. Maria as champion while pregnant should make for some interesting interactions. Especially between her and R-Truth.
-Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross were shown walking backstage as the show went to commercial break. (c)
-Out of the break, Alexa Bliss made her entrance for A Moment Of Bliss. Nikki Cross accompanied her and when the music ended, Bliss welcomed the audience to her show. From there, Bliss and Cross congratulated Maria for becoming the 24-7 Champion. After, Bliss and Cross discussed the Raw Reunion show and agreed with Stone Cold Steve Austin that the WWE was a family. Bliss then said she was appalled at Dolph Ziggler for super kicking Shawn Michaels and hurting that family atmosphere. From there, Bliss parlayed being appalled about that to being appalled at the video footage she had. At that point, Bliss played the video and it was of Nattie getting lessons from Fit Finlay on how to counter the Disarmer. Lynch then rolled into the ring and interuppted it. She hit Finlay and then put Nattie into the hold.
When the video ended, the audience cheered a bit and Bliss fanned those cheers by asking them if they liked seeing that from Lynch. The audience cheered. After they did, Bliss and Cross reacted and Bliss said she would teach Lynch a lesson during their match later in the show. From there, Lynch appeared on the big screen and addressed Bliss. She ran down Bliss and made fun of her injury before questioning where Cross’s Celtic pride was. She then said that they could run their mouths for free, but would have to pay for it later.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Nothing special, but it worked. Becky looked the part of the star and it will be interesting to see how they parlay that footage into the finish of the match later. Have to assume Nattie will get involved to avenge what happened to her earlier. Simple booking, but effective too in driving more wedges between her and Lynch.
-After A Moment Of Bliss, the Usos made their way to the ring. They cut a short promo that ended with “welcome to the Uso Penitentiary” as the show went to commercial break. (c)
-Out of the break, The OC made their entrance and were followed by The Revival. Once all teams were in the ring, official introductions were made. From there, the bell rang, and the match began.
(3) THE REVIVAL vs. THE USOS vs. THE OC – WWE Raw Tag Team Championship
Out of the gate, Dawson and Jimmy Uso carried the major lifting of the match. Dawson slammed Jimmy into the ring post and followed that with a vicious chop to the chest. After, he connected with a back suplex and then tagged Dash into the match. As soon as Dash entered, he made the cover on Jimmy, but only received a two count. Out of the pin, Jimmy was able to make the tag to Jey and both Usos proceeded to double team both members of the Revival. Jey held momentum over Dash from there and connected with his own chops. Eventually, Jey and Dash exchanged punches in the middle of the ring until Dash tagged Dawson. The fresh Dawson took momentum back and locked in a side headlock on Jey. From there, Jey connected with a superkick and tagged Jimmy back into the match. As the action went on, the announce team focused in on the fact that neither member of the OC had been involved in the match up to this point.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Seeds planted for something with the OC. WWE announcing doesn’t draw that much attention to something in match like Cole and Graves have for it not to mean something. On one hand, good on the announcing for helping the story of the match. On the other hand, the oversell is a bit much. Toning back and finessing the point smoother would be more impactful in the end.
Back in the ring, Dawson locked in a sleeper hold on Jey Uso in the middle of the ring. Dawson voluntarily broke the hold to make the tag to Dash and he did successfully. From there, some of the action spilled to the outside. There, Gallows hit a massive of clothesline as the show went to break. (c)
Out of the break, the action continued. The three teams battled it out with the OC getting the main upper hand over Jey Uso. Anderson cornered Uso near his corner locked in an arm submission. Eventually, Jey battled out of the hold and reversed a back suplex. From there, he was able to make the tag to Jimmy. Jimmy hit the ring hot and nailed Dash with an enziguri. After, he hit Dawson with a running hip attack in the corner which he followed with a top rope cross body on Dash. Dash countered it, but Jimmy countered his counter into a Samoan Drop and covered for a two count. Out of the pin, chaos ensued. Anderson and Dawson hit a nice over the top rope DDT. From there, Jey Uso hit a suicide dive. At that point, Jimmy climbed to the top rope for a move, but was knocked off by Dawson. From there, Dawson climbed to the top rope with Jimmy. Jimmy then hit Dawson with superplex down to the floor on top of all of the other opponents in the match.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Great spot and one that made sense for the moment and the match given the fact that the championship was on the line.
All competitors were down after the move until Jimmy Uso rolled Dash into the ring. He then attempted a frog splash, but rolled through it after Dash moved. Dash and Dawson hit the Shatter Machine after, but couldn’t capitalize because Jey hit a cross body. Right after that move, the OC hit the ring and nailed Jey with the Magic Killer before covering for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Gallows and Anderson via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Well I guess that was the point of the commentary honing in so much on Gallows and Anderson earlier in the match. I expect a Summerslam rematch of some kind, but for the time being the titles on Gallows and Anderson solidify them a smidge higher than they were a month ago. Baby steps, but until WWE uses and presents the tag titles as a serious and important deal, the OC, Revival, and Usos will have a glass ceiling on them.
-After the match, Gallows and Anderson celebrated as the show went to break. (c)
-Out of the break, A.J Styles was interviewed, but that interview was interuppted after Gallows and Anderson barged in to celebrate their win. From there, the announce team cued up highlights of the Raw Reunion from last week. When the highlights ended, Cole and the announce team talked up the show. From there, the Viking Raiders were shown backstage as the show went to break. (c)
-After the break, the Viking Raiders made their entrance. As they walked to the ring, Cole and Graves hyped the athleticism and mentality of the Viking Raiders. Graves proceeded to discuss and explain the Viking training that they received over the weekend.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Viking training? Stick with hyping the athleticism of the Viking Raiders. That’s enough and will get them over. The Viking element sold as hard and unrealistically as Graves did takes fans out of the moment and steers focus away from the seriousness of the act.
(4) COLE CARTER & JOHNNY JAMES vs. THE VIKING RAIDERS
James started things off, but was immediatley decimated by Erick. From their, the Raiders owned the match and finished it in short order with the Viking Experience. They then made the pin for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Viking Raiders via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Another impressive squash match that made the Viking Raiders look physically dominant and convincing. Commentary needs to enhance that part of the act as that part is the true selling point.
-After the match, the Street Profits ran down how exciting the night has been thus far. They discussed the happenings around Maria Kanellis, but stopped as Seth Rollins walked into the shot. Rollins talked with the Street Profits about his match against Dolph Ziggler before they tried to yell Burn It Down. Rollins stopped them since it was his thing, but then led them in yelling it before walking out of the shot. From there, Becky Lynch was shown walking backstage as the show went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: A little too comedic for me and Rollins doesn’t come off as natural and authentic while doing comedy. A reason to not do comedy with him. The other reason? The fact that he is the lead babyface on the A show in a main event against Brock Lesnar at Summerslam. Rollins should be all serious business in that role. This won’t cripple him, but isn’t necessary – especially since he can’t make it work like others can.
-Out of the break, highlights aired of Maria winning the 24-7 Championship earlier in the show. When the highlights ended, Becky Lynch hit the ring to a nice reaction from the crowd.
Heydorn’s Analysis: A loud reaction, but tempered as well. Less passion than we’ve seen and heard lately.
Once Lynch got to the ring, she posed to the audience until Bliss made her entrance. Bliss hit the ring with Nikki Cross and once she got in, the bell rang, and the match began.
(5) BECKY LYNCH vs. ALEXA BLISS
To start, both women tied up in the middle of the ring. Lynch took control early after connecting with a vertical suplex. She attempted the Disarmer after, but Bliss blocked it and Lynch went for a pin instead. Bliss kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Bliss took control and while the referee turned away Cross got involved and hit Lynch with punch from behind. From there, Lynch and Bliss exchanged punches until Lynch knocked Bliss off her feet with a flying forearm. Lynch looked to capitalize, but Bliss countered with a side slam of her own. After, she kept momentum and stomped Lynch in the corner. Becky countered with a rollup pin, but only got a two count. Immediatley after, Bliss took control again and locked Becky in a sitting shoulder submission. Lynch countered the hold into the Disarmer, but Bliss countered that too. She then hit Lynch with knees to the midsection and followed with her backflipping knee into the same area. Bliss covered, but only got a two count. Out of that pin, Bliss crushed Lynch with a series of punches before lifting Lynch to her feet. There, Lynch connected with a dropkick which gave her a slight upper hand. The audience cheered this, but were the cheers were silenced after Bliss took control again with strikes.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Bliss and Lynch have manipulated the crowd well in this match. Lynch’s hope spots get enough cheers to hook the crowd, but Bliss squashes those cheers and inevitably gets more heat. Well done and they’ll cash-in later when Lynch truly does make the full comeback.
Finally, Becky got some momentum and hit Bliss with the Beck-Sploder. After, Bliss clutched her right ankle which prompted the referee to hold Lynch back. The doctor checked on Bliss which prompted the referee to call the match and give the win to Becky Lynch because Lynch couldn’t continue.
WINNER: Lynch via Bliss forfeit due to injury
-After the match, Nikki Cross got in Lynch’s face and challenged Becky to another match. Both women argued back and forth in the ring as the show went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Feels like another way for WWE to create pauses in the action so they can go to commercial break. This one isn’t as egregious, but clearly is there for that purpose.
(6) NIKKI CROSS vs. BECKY LYNCH
After the break, the bell rang, and the match started. Lynch and Cross pushed each other back and forth until Lynch took over with a variety of strikes. From there, Cross took over with a top rope cross body. She followed with a two count pin attempt and then locked in a rear chinlock. In the end, Lynch connected with the Beck-Sploder and made the cover for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Lynch via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Just a nothing match with an obvious finish and the obvious “swerve” of Bliss being ok. When the Bliss/Cross angle started, there was some authenticity there that made Bliss’s manipulation of Cross build sympathy. It’s gone on so long now though that that sympathy has totally evaporated.
-After the match, Alexa Bliss attacked Lynch from behind. Her and Cross stomped on Lynch in the ring which prompted Nattie to hit the ring. As she did, Cross and Bliss dove out of the ring. From there, Nattie put Lynch in the Sharpshooter as Lynch screamed in pain. Nattie then broke the hold on her own before leaving the ring as Lynch writhed in pain. Nattie was then interviewed backstage. Nattie said that fighting for the title wasn’t about making friends, but about being professional. She said that she wouldn’t shake Becky’s hand and wouldn’t offer her hand up to shake because she doesn’t trust Lynch. From there, Nattie said that she wanted to challenge Lynch to a submission match at Summerslam because her Sharpshooter was superior than the Disarmer. She said that Lynch wouldn’t accept though which was why she wasn’t officially proposing it. She then walked off as the show went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Ok then? Why bring it up then? Either bring it up and make the challenge, or don’t. A silly tease like this is just that … silly.
-Out of the break, Maria was taking photos with her newly won 24-7 Championship. She told the photographers to stop and after she did, Braun Strowman entered the shot. Maria yelled at Strowman for crowding her and proceeded to yell at him for being a man and not caring about children. She continued and in response, Strowman growled as she walked off.
Heydorn’s Analysis: And the point of that was?
-Seth Rollins made his entrance to the ring to a nice pop from the crowd. As he walked to the ring, Cole hyped his match against Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at Summerslam. From there, Cole cued up highlights from SmackDown Live last week that detailed the situation that went down between Shawn Michaels and Dolph Ziggler. When the highlights ended, Shawn Michaels’ music played to a nice reaction from the audience. Dolph Ziggler walked out which prompted heat from the crowd. Ziggler walked to the ring and cut a promo. He called Shawn Michaels pathetic and said that Rollins should thank him for doing what he did on SmackDown Live. Ziggler then told Rollins that in their match he’d see the real main event and the real show stopper. From there, he did the HBK pose until Rollins attacked him. After he did, the bell rang, and the match began.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Cheap heat, but heat nonetheless. At this point, Ziggler needs all the help he can get even if that means grabbing low hanging fruit. That said, this could very well be a good match, but WWE has dropped the ball in defining why exactly it’s happening. Yes, Rollins is the locker room leader and wants to avenge the legends like Michaels after what happened on SD, but what about Mick Foley? He was disrespected last week too. Rollins doesn’t care about that? Consistency, WWE. We need consistency.
(7) SETH ROLLINS vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER
Rollins owned the early part of the match within a brawl on the outside of the ring. Ziggler took over here and there, but Rollins continued to hold onto momentum after he tossed Ziggler back into the ring. There, Rollin connected with a stiff kick to the back which he followed with a knee drop to Ziggler’s chin. Eventually, Ziggler took over the momentum after connecting with a DDT to Rollins on the ring apron. The show then went to break. (c)
Out of the break, the action continued with Rollins gaining the upper hand. He connected with series of offense and then attempted a running forearm. Ziggler countered which prompted Rollins to try a springboard clothesline. Ziggler countered that as well and then hit Rollins with the Zig Zag. After, Dolph went for the pin, but Rollins kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Ziggler cued up the super kick as the audience booed. Instead of hitting it, Rollins hit him with his own superkick which prompted a big reaction from the crowd.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I like the superkick tie-in story of the match to hold together the Shawn Michaels involvement. A bit of a stretch and I can see that argument, but the attempt get’s a positive grade.
From there, Rollins cued up the Stomp and as he did, Brock Lesnar’s music hit. Lesnar got a big time reaction and rushed the ring. Brock clotheslined Rollins and then hit him with a series of German suplexes. At this point the referee rang the bell and ended the match.
WINNER: No contest
-After the match, Lesnar beat Rollins to a pulp all around the outside of the ring as the audience booed him. Lesnar glared intensely at Rollins and then picked him up for the F-5. Lesnar proceeded to hit that move into the steel ring post. From there, Lesnar grabbed a steel chair and tossed it into the ring next to Rollins who was defenseless and lying on the canvas. Lesnar crushed Seth with a shot to the back and then sat in the chair as the audience booed. Lesnar kept up the attack and hit Seth with two F-5’s onto the chair in the ring. He then held up the Universal Championship as Rollins was shown bleeding from the mouth. After seeing this, Lesnar hit the move again on the chair which prompted Heyman to plead with Brock to stop. Brock listened, picked up his belt, and left as the audience booed him. From there, Rollins was shown getting put on a stretcher as the show went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Well, that worked. A standard Lesnar beating, but it got the desired negative reaction. In addition, Lesnar came off as a monster with star power and Seth sold the beating like a sympathetic babyface would. WWE needs to up their game in the fake blood department as the stuff in Seth’s mouth looked like Crayola paint from Walgreens. In the end, this progressed the story in a simple way and gives Seth something big to overcome on the way to winning the championship again.
-Out of the break, Seth was shown being wheeled backstage on his stretcher. Roman Reigns looked on in disgust and then immediatley jumped into a nearby fight involving the Usos and the OC. From there, the ambulance with Seth inside was shown pulling away. It then stopped as Brock Lesnar was standing in front of it. Lesnar proceeded to pull Seth out of the ambulance and continue the beating. He slammed Seth on the concrete and then hit another F-5 – this time on the stretcher itself. After, officials intervened again as Seth writhed in pain. The show then went to another break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: More heat for Lesnar and now a bigger hill for Rollins to climb. It’s simple, but I like it. Good stuff.
-After the break, Samoa Joe made his entrance. As he walked to the ring, Cole cued up highlights detailing the events between Lesnar and Rollins in the back. Graves was appalled at the actions of Lesnar and made it known with his commentary. When the the highlights ended, Joe said that the Samoan Summit was cancelled and that he came to fight instead. Reigns’ music hit right away and Roman briskly walked to the ring to fight Joe.
Heydorn’s Analysis: There’s the walk for Reigns. That’s the walk to the ring he needs on a regular basis. Screamed intensity and shed some arrogance that can surround his typical entrances. Great stuff.
The fight was intense and chaotic out of the gate. Both men brawled around the ringside area including a spot in which Reigns tossed the steel steps at Joe. From there, Drew McIntyre got involved in the action on Joe’s side. Both men beat on Reigns until Cedric Alexander helped make the save. He got some quick momentum in early, but was then clotheslined out of his shoes by Joe. From there, McIntyre took over on Alexander and suplexed him into the LED board. From there, Joe and McIntyre attempted to put Reigns through the announce table, but the Usos made the save. They attacked Joe and McIntyre, but were then attacked by the OC. With all the men brawling, Alexander appeared on top of the LED board. He then jumped off and took out everyone below him. The action eventually spilled back into the ring where Alexander connected with a dropkick on McIntyre. They fought each other until The OC got involved and attempted the Magic Killer on Cedric. Roman Reigns made the save and handed out three Superman Punches to both members of the OC and Drew. From there, Joe tried to make the save, but the Usos halted it with a superkick. Reigns then nailed Joe with the spear and celebrated with Jimmy, Jey, and Cedric as the show faded to black.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Some really good action to close the show. Action that the audience clearly enjoyed. Well done. It was without direct context though. The assumption is there are a variety of matches for Summerslam tied up in this brawl. Ahead of this though, the reason for their interaction was a bit puzzling.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 7/22: Alt Perspective coverage of the live show including full reunion coverage with WWE legends, A Moment Of Bliss with Becky Lynch, and more