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KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
AUGUST 12, 2019
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young
Tonight after WWE Raw, join me live with guest cohost Cameron Hawkins from the PWTorch East Coast Cast to break down the show with live callers, mailbag, and an on-site correspondent from Toronto, Ont.
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-A dramatic highlight reel aired of Seth Rollins beating Brock Lesnar at Summerslam to regain the Universal Title.
-Seth made his ring entrance. Graves said it’s safe to say it’s once again Monday Night Rollins. He said Seth knows he was in a fight last night. Cole called it one of the grittiest performances he has ever witnessed. As Seth soaked up the cheers, Renee said she’s not sure Seth believes he’s once again Universal Champion. Fans chanted “Burn it down!” Seth said he has to be honest with the fans because he doesn’t know any other way, last night he didn’t know he had what it took to beat Brock. He said he walked to the ring injured and lacking confidence, and he stared the Beast in the eyes and defeated him. Fans began chanting “Beast Slayer!” He said he emptied his tank, but then something happened. “You guys came alive, and in that moment, you took me to a place I have never been in my entire career,” he said. “You took me to a place I couldn’t go on my own. You took me to a place only we could go together!” He said in that moment he knew he had what it took to slay the Beast. He said it was then he remembered he is Seth “Freakin'” Rollins and that’s why he is standing there as Universal Champion. He held up the belt, and then A.J. Styles music played.
The OC walked out – Styles, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson. They entered the ring. Styles said The OC would like to be the first to congratulate him. (Nobody has since last night?! That’s not very nice.) Styles said he might not have to worry about Brock anymore, but he has to worry about the man standing in front of him. Styles said since he’s come to his senses, he has a lot to prove. He said he wants to prove he is a much better champion than he is. Boos. Seth said he’s always had a ton of respect for him. Fans chanted “Yes! Yes! Yes!” Styles said he should listen to him. Seth said he doesn’t respect him anymore. Boos. (Daniel Bryan was right, these fans are fickle.) Seth said he doesn’t back down from a fight, so challenge accepted. Cheers. Cole excitedly said they just have to make it official – champion vs. champion. Graves wondered if this was wise for Seth given how beaten up he is. Seth’s music stopped and Styles remained in the ring as Anderson and Gallows left. He offered a handshake to Seth, as if to say he’d fight him one-on-one. Seth shook his hand. Cheers. Anderson and Gallows leaped onto the ring apron and Styles made a quick lunge toward Seth as Seth began to turn his back. Seth turned back quickly to face Styles. Styles laughed and said Seth is scared. A loud “A.J. Styles!” chant broke out.
(Keller’s Analysis: A really strong Seth promo. Bonding with the fans in that way and connecting with them and giving them credit for inspiring them is what many athletes do, especially on the college and pro level in media interviews. He was convincing and walked right up to the line of being sappy without crossing it. The crowd then chanting for Styles is more a sign of a part of the fanbase who likes the rebellious confident world class worker with his resume and the tie-in with the Bullet Club. It’s also “The Day After Summerslam” crowd. We’ll see how this plays out as the show progresses. Styles was really smooth and confident there.)
-Backstage the Street Profits were hanging out. Montez Ford began singing about Seth. Angelo Dawkins wasn’t cheerful. He said the afterparty last night went a little long, and he’s a little dehydrated. Sami Zayn walked up to them. He said he gets how exciting it might seem, but the longer they’re there, the parasites in the crowd will suck the soul out of them. He said it happens to everyone. He said Seth is a perfect example. He said Seth was once raw and gritty, and now he’s become “a pandering fool.” He said it’s pathetic. He said when Becky Lynch became “The Man,” it was real, but now it feels so manufactured. Dawkins noticed that Samoa Joe has walked up behind Sami, although Sami wasn’t aware. He asked Sami if Samoa Joe is another example. Sami said Joe arrived like King Kong and last week he was worried about Roman Reigns. He said it in a mocking tone. Joe let Sami know he was behind him at that point. Sami stammered. Joe said since he’s such a big softy, he wanted to give Sami a chance to get it off his chest out there in the ring right now. He said maybe he can show everyone he is more than Kevin Owens’ water boy. Joe shoved Sami down hard. Cole wondered if Joe would be facing Sami next.
(Keller’s Analysis: Sami’s really good in his performance here, but I’m not sure they should be planting seeds that Seth is “pandering” and Becky is “manufactured.” It just might cause fans to start looking at what they’re doing through that lens, and if there’s some perceived truth to what he is saying, it could undercut their acts.) [c]
-A commercial announced the King of the Ring tournament returns next week on Raw.
(Keller’s Analysis: That’s a good idea for a week before the “new season” begins after Labor Day and when the next PPV is as far out as it is.)
-They went to the announcers on camera. Cole said he was excited for the return of the classic KOTR tournament. Then they went to a recap of the Roman Reigns situation.
(1) SAMOA JOE vs. SAMI ZAYN
Cole said this match was made official during the commercial break. They showed the heavily-produced video clip of the car smashing into Roman’s car with all of those camera angles, and then Triple H helping Roman out of the car after apparently applying a quick fix to the exterior of the car because it was no longer dented. Cole plugged the premiere of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s new show on USA Network that airs after Raw. He said Austin would be interviewed later on Raw. Joe took it to Sami early with an aggressive beatdown and then put him away quickly with a Coquina Clutch.
WINNER: Joe in 1:00 via submission.
-Fans chanted “Joe! Joe! Joe!” Joe said afterward that while he may forgive Reigns for pointing the finger at him for the so-called freak accidents backstage, that forgiveness isn’t extended to any of them. He said they thought he was capable of such heinous atrocities, and because of that, he will never forgive any of “you people.” (A Pat McNeill-inspired closing statement if I’ve ever heard one.)
-Graves said Seth as accepted Styles’s challenge. Cole said Austin would comment about Seth’s win in an interview from his L.A. home later.
-They showed Miz walking backstage with a smirk, ready to head to the ring to face Dolph Ziggler. [c]
-WWE Fact: Summerslam was the no. 1 most social show on all of TV last night.
-Miz made his ring entrance, sporting the French tuck for his “Toronto is Awesome” t-shirt. When Graves said he’s exhausted by the pandering of The Miz sucking up to the Toronto faithful, Renee said, “If you got a march check, you would too.” Cole commented on freeze-frames of Goldberg’s win over Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler walked out in street clothes, looking too beaten to wrestle. Cole said he doesn’t look like he’s dressed to compete. Then Graves almost literally repeated what Cole said word for word. Cole said the just said that. Graves said, “I wasn’t paying attention, I rarely do.” Fans taunted Ziggler with a “Goldberg” chant, although it was a sloppy chant until Ziggler acted annoyed. Then it picked up a little steam.
Ziggler said, “I hope you’re happy, Miz, you coward.” He said Miz knew he didn’t have a chance against him at Summerslam, so he stuck Goldberg on him. (For the record, Ziggler hadn’t yelled at this point and it’s so much better.) He said he got speared so many times yesterday that he can’t medically compete tonight. He said Miz’s plan backfired and “Miz screwed Miz.” He called the fans “bloodthirsty Canadians.” Ziggler pretended to leave. Miz turned to the crowd. Ziggler then attacked Miz from behind and ripped off his Toronto t-shirt. Cole said it appears they’re going to have the match. [c]
(2) THE MIZ vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER
The match was in progress after the break. Cole said Ziggler was in control since the match started. Miz eventually ducked a telegraphed superkick and then went after Ziggler’s leg and applied a figure-four quickly. Ziggler reached for the bottom rope, but Miz pulled him back to center ring, so Ziggler tapped out.
WINNER: Miz in about 5:00.
-Afterward Ziggler, writhing in pain on the mat, asked for the mic. Miz had made his way half way up the ramp when Ziggler called Miz a coward and said he couldn’t beat him fair and square and he’s not even the best wrestler in his family because Maryse is. Miz returned to the ring and gave Ziggler a Skull Crushing Finale. Cole wondered what is wrong with Ziggler. Renee said he’s tripping. Graves said he’s “too tough for his own good.” Cole said “tough” wasn’t the word he was thinking of.
-Backstage Charly Caruso interviewed Becky Lynch. Lynch took the mic from Charly and said she can take it from here. Becky said Natalya owed her a debt and last night she took care of it. “So respect to you, Nattie, respect.” She said a long time ago she said she was coming for anyone who did her wrong. She said she won’t rest until everyone has been dealt with. She said it’s a cat and mouse game. She said their smart play is to get her before she gets them. “Game on. Thanks, Chuck!” She handed the mic back to Caruso.
-Cole hyped Styles vs. Seth tonight. [c]
-Elias sat mid-ring. Graves said, “Don’t change the channel, don’t change the channel. Not yet.” Elias said last night another legend interrupted him. He said he’s getting the hang of how this all works. He asked whoever is going to interrupt him to just come on out. He told them to count it down with him – 3-2-1. He did it again – 3-2-1. Nothing. Graves again begged viewers not to change the channel. He said tonight will be the first-ever uninterrupted Elias performance. Graves excitedly said this would be big. Then he was interrupted by Ricochet’s music. Ricochet said people don’t interrupt him because it’s the cool thing to do, it’s because he sucks. Fans “ohhh’d.” Elias said, “That’s a clever insult.” He said a guy who comes out there dressed as a comic book character won’t tell him what’s cool and what’s not. He said he’ll embarrass him in this ring tonight. He called for a referee. Ricochet was game. A referee ran to the ring.
(3) RICOCHET vs. ELIAS
Ricochet had last night’s blue and black pants, but was shirtless. Ricochet went on the attack early, but Elias took control less than a minute in. He landed a high backdrop and then scored a two count. Elias avoided a running flip dive by Ricochet, who landed with a thud at ringside. Elias brought his guitar into the ring. The referee forced him to drop it. Ricochet then caught Elias with a kick to the head. Ricochet then climbed to the top rope and landed a sunset flip for the win, although the announcers rightfully noted Elias’s left shoulder was off the mat for most of the count.
WINNER: Ricochet in 4:00.
-They showed Rey Mysterio backstage. Graves said he faces Andrade next. [c]
-Cole noted Summerslam is coming to Boston next year.
(4) REY MYSTERIO vs. ANDRADE (w/Zelina Vega)
When the bell rang, Andrade kicked Rey in the head and stomped away at him. Graves said Andrade was upset he wasn’t featured at Summerslam. Rey head scissored Andrade into position for a 619. Zelina grabbed at Rey’s leg as he rebounded off the ropes. Andrade then schoolboyed Rey and put his foot on the ropes and Zelina held his foot in place and the ref counted to three. The announcers agreed it wasn’t a good night for the referees so far.
FIRST FALL WINNER: Andrade in 1:00.
Rey took Andrade off the ring apron with a flying body scissors a couple minutes in. Andrade made a comeback and took it to Rey for a couple minutes. Fans chanted “Rey Mysterio!” Rey landed a sunset flip, and there seemed to be miscommunication as Andrade almost broke his neck on the landing on the back of his head and neck. Geesh. He kicked out, so he was okay. Rey then kicked Andrade into position for the 619. Zelina distracted Rey and slowed him down a little, so Andrade ducked the 619 and small packaged Rey for a near fall. Rey then rolled up Andrade for a near fall. Rey landed an enzuigiri next and then hit the 619, as Andrade was kind enough to fall right into position for it after getting kicked. Rey then landed a top rope frog splash right on Andrade’s knees. Andrade then quickly gave him the hammerlock DDT for the win. Graves said it’s not often two-out-of-three falls matches don’t go to the third fall, but Andrade gets credit. Graves said Andrade isn’t the future, he’s the here and now.
WINNER: Andrade in 6:00 total.
-Cole interviewed Austin on split-screen live. He asked Austin if he was impressed by the performance of Seth last night at Summerslam. Austin said the performance was off the charts because he had to dig deep. He said he got his ass whipped week after week on Raw. He said the match itself was badass, but he asked himself if it was worth it week after week getting his ass handed to him. He then said this is all I am, and this is all I’ve got. He said that’s exactly what he believed his whole career. He said he’s always wondered who Seth is when he says “Seth Freakin’ Rollins,” and now he knows who he is. He said the man is committed to be the best in the world, and when you believe like that, you can be anything. Cole said Austin had a chance to speak with Seth at Raw Reunion. Austin said they all have good times and bad times, and the key is to stay determined. He said he relied on the crowd and dug deep. He said he understands what he is all about “finally, after all these years.” He congratulated him for a badass win. Cole then plugged his TV show.
(Keller’s Analysis: Austin was true to his past take on Seth, even saying on my podcast a couple years ago he just didn’t get what Seth “Freakin'” Rollins was. So this was his way of saying, “Now I see who he is.” It’s a great endorsement.) [c]
-A video aired on the Toronto Raptors winning the NBA Title.
-Caruso interviewed Rey backstage. She asked if he’s met his match in Andrade. A dejected Rey said he’s never lost two falls like that in a row. He said he has no idea where his career is going, but he knows he has a family to support. He was teared up and he hung his head. “Is there something you are trying to say,” she asked. Rey muttered about his family again and walked away. Hmmm.
-Montez told Rey to keep his head up because he’s a legend. He said, “619 forever, right?” Dawkins was passed out on a chair next to him. He woke him up and told him they’re on live TV. Ford brought up Nikki Cross & Alexa Bliss facing The Kabuki Warriors later. Dawkins was still all groggy. Dawkins chugged a gallon of water to get ready to watch that match.
-An unnamed blond lady interviewed Drew McIntyre backstage. He said his issue with Cedric Alexander ends tonight. He said it’s all part of a fairy tale he has concocted in his head and he apparently thinks it’s going to end in a big victory over him in Toronto, but that won’t happen. He said’s going to take his boots and cave his skull in, and then his fairy tale will be over.
-Drew made his ring entrance. Cole talked about how Drew was embarrassed and humiliated by Cedric in the past couple of weeks. Cole noted they’ll both be in the King of the Ring tournament next week. [c]
(5) DREW MCINTYRE vs. CEDRIC ALEXANDER
Really good back and forth match ending with a Claymore Kick by Drew for the clean win. Cole said that move brought the fans out of their seats. Cedric’s bump was fantastic. Graves said it was one of the most hellacious Claymore Kicks he’s ever seen.
WINNER: Drew in 7:00.
-Backstage The OC talked about how Seth might have done the impossible in beating Brock. Anderson and Gallows laughed that even Styles couldn’t beat Brock. Styles said, “I’m standing right besides you.” Styles said he got super-close, but it won’t be that close tonight when he runs through Seth. He said Seth will be a great champion some day, but he’s going to embarrass him tonight. He said he leads by example as U.S. Champion. He said after tonight, the WWE Universe will know who the true champion is.
-They showed Paul Heyman walking through security and barging into Brock Lesnar’s locker room. He looked snotty and angry. Graves asked what he was doing there. [c]
-Caruso stood outside of Lesnar’s locker room and she said Heyman promised her an exclusive interview soon.
(6) NO WAY JOSE (w/Conga Line) vs. ROBERT ROODE
After Roode’s entrance, they showed a split screen of Heyman standing impatiently next to Caruso. Cole said the interview would take place after this match. I hope it goes to a 30 minute draw. Roode wiggled his fingers and set up his Glorious DDT. Then he delivered and beat No Way Jose decisively.
WINNER: Roode in under 2:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: I appreciate sneaking in a Roode squash win, and showing Raw viewers that No Way Jose is technically a wrestler, while keeping viewers bribed to stay tuned with the pending Heyman interview.)
-Caruso said history was made at Summerslam. Heyman mocked her voice while slapping his two phones together. Heyman said earlier today WWE made a declarative statement that Lesnar gets no rematches against Seth. Heyman asked how he explains that. He stammered as he tried to put words to his frustrations. He then just returned to Lesnar’s locker room. Cole said it’s not often Heyman is at a loss for words.
-Cole hyped Seth vs. Styles again. [c]
(7) THE REVIVAL vs. LUCHA HOUSE PARTY (Lince Dorado & Gran Metalik w/Kalisto)
A couple minutes in, R-Truth was chased to the ring by a crowd of 24/7 contenders. The Revival gave Truth a Hart Attack clothesline and then double-pinned Truth. That made Revival co-24/7 Champions.
WINNER: The Revival over Truth to win the 24/7 Title.
-Kalisto then gave Salina del Sol to Dawson. Dash yanked Kalisto out of the ring. Carmella then draped Truth’s arm over Dawson to regain the 24/7 Title.
WINNER: Truth to become 24/7 Champion.
-The crowd of wrestlers chased Truth to the back. Renee wondered if Drake Maverick had consummated his marriage yet. Truth then snuck back onto the stage as soon as Drake went to the back looking for him. Backstage, Truth and Carmella were shown celebrating. He said he’s the 72 time 747 7-11 European TV Title or something like that. He said he’s been champion more times than Ric Flair and John Cena combined. Elias then hit Truth from behind with his guitar and scored a three count.
WINNER: Elias to become 24/7 Champion.
-They showed the dash cam view of the car hitting Reigns’s car. Cole said they’d have an update next. [c]
-After a King of the Ring plug, Renee said there will be eight wrestlers from Raw and eight wrestlers from Smackdown, “and someone will hit it big.” Cole then threw to a video package on what happened with Reigns on Smackdown last week and Summerslam last night. He said that saga continues tomorrow night on Smackdown.
-Natalya made her ring entrance. She had her left arm in a sling. They went to freeze frames of the match at Summerslam. Then back live, some fans chanted “You tapped out.” Natalya said last night, she faced Becky for the Raw Championship and she tapped out. She said Becky outwrestled her and was the better woman. She said she has a dislocated elbow and is getting an MRI tomorrow. She said this is the part where she’s supposed to take back everything she said about Becky, but she won’t change a damn thing. She said she meant every word she said about her. She said she doesn’t know when or where, but they’ll do it again. She said in the mean time, she wants to share something special with the fans. She said this morning when she woke up, she remembered in her dreams that her dad spoke to her. She said her dad congratulated her and said how proud he was of her. Fans applauded. She said it was one year to the day that her dad died. A few seconds of silence was interrupted by Sasha Banks. Cole went bonkers. Graves said just when he thought she couldn’t lose any more class, this is despicable.
Sasha strutted to the ring as Graves said her ego knows no bounds. He said she’s been busy pouting. Renee said she’s back so get used to it. “What a moment!” said Cole. Graves said he didn’t miss her and said she should go back to posting cryptic messages on Instagram. Sasha consoled Natalya. She hugged her and they shed tears and some private words. Sasha asked for the mic, but then turned and smacked Natalya. Graves said he’s been telling everybody all along. Sasha threw off her purple wig and showed off her new blue hair. One fan was picked up by the mic shouting, “Welcome back, you look so good, baby!” Fans chanted, “Thank you, Sasha.” (Bizarro World, right?)
She whipped Natalya into the ringside steps, then back into the ring. She then grabbed a chair and brought in into the ring. She kicked Natalya in the head, then stomped away at her injured arm. Becky’s music played and she made the save. Sasha and Becky had a hockey fight. Becky got the better of her and Banks retreated to ringside. Becky followed her, but Sasha then knocked Becky down and took it to her for a minute, including a chair shot to Becky’s back seven times. Then a hard one to her left arm. Cole said somebody’s got to come out to stop that. More chairshots as referees ran up to her to implore her to stop. Graves said she’s been this person forever and he asked if he’s the only one who has seen it. He said she’s despicable and everything is about her. Sasha rammed Becky into the ringside steps.
(Keller’s Analysis: Great return for Sasha. Red-hot opponent for Becky, with Natalya also having a reason to want revenge. The women’s division got the spark it needed there.)
(9) THE VIKING RAIDERS vs. CARTER MASON & SEBASTIAN SUAVE
Cole said it was five years ago Erick was in a car accident and doctor’s said he wouldn’t make it, and here he is today.
WINNERS: Viking Raiders in 1:00.
-Caruso interviewed Cross & Bliss about their successful title defense last night and the one coming up tonight. Bliss said they are fighting champions, unlike The IIconics. Nikki thanked Bliss for making this possible. Bliss thanked Nikki back. [c]
(10) NIKKI CROSS & ALEXA BLISS vs. THE KABUKI WARRIORS (Asuka & Kairi Sane) – Women’s Tag Team Title match
A soundbite aired with Paige who said she can’t be there because she has to undergo another neck surgery. She said she’s confident the Kabuki Warriors will win. They cut to an early break after Kairi flew onto Cross at ringside. [c]
Back from the break, Nikki was in control. In the end, Bliss tagged in and landed Twisted Bliss on Sane for the win.
WINNERS: Bliss & Cross in 8:00.
-Backstage Seth said he is the champion that Styles only wishes he could be. He said his boys are right, he beat Brock Lesnar twice. He said more importantly, he beat Styles already at Money in the Bank. He said he hopes Styles has forgotten, so he can stomp him and remind him who “thee” champ around here is.
(Keller’s Analysis: Nice stage-setting promo.) [c]
-A video showed past key winners at King of the Ring and hyped next week’s tournament.
(11) SETH ROLLINS vs. A.J. STYLES (w/Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows)
Seth made his ring entrance. Then Styles made his entrance with his OC cohorts. Seth went after Styles early. When he set up a stomp, Anderson and Gallows yanked Styles to safety. Seth leaped onto Gallows at ringside, but he was soon outnumbered. They cut to a break as Cole said, “With Rollins in deep, deep trouble, can he climb back in this?” [c]
Back from the break Styles was in control. Seth made a comeback with a spinning elbow. As Seth gained momentum and set up a Stomp, Anderson and Gallows attacked Seth.
WINNER: Seth in 8:00 via DQ.
-Ricochet ran out for the save, but he got beat up including a Boot of Doom double-team move. The OC threw Ricochet out of the ring, then turned back to Seth. Braun Strowman then made the save. He cleared the ring of Anderson and Gallows quickly, then fended off a Styles attack and gave him a turning powerslam. He let out some yells and got the crowd to roar with him. “Braun Strowman with a statement!” declared Cole. He gave Styles a running powerslam next. Braun picked up the Universal Title belt from ringside and presented it to a leery Seth. They shook hands. Ricochet showed up and they stood together to end the show.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good finish to a good episode.)