KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (11/14)
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HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT
AUGUST 12, 2019
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young
-The show opened with a video recap of last night’s Summerslam main event between Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar with the WWE Universal Championship on the line.
Heydorn’s Analysis: A great video package per the usual from WWE. Framed the match as a major deal and the Rollins win as significant moment. Good stuff.
-When the video ended, Michael Cole welcomed the audience to the program as Seth’s music played to a big pop from the Toronto crowd. Rollins walked to a nice reaction and a loud “Burn it down” yell. Seth paused at the top of the ramp as the announce team talked up his win with Renee Young saying the Universal Title looked at home on his shoulder. From there, the announcers discussed the Rollins win further and debated him being the champion after beating Brock Lesnar. Once Rollins got to the ring, he paused and soaked in chants of “Burn it down” as he looked at his Universal Championship belt. Finally, he addressed the crowd and said that he didn’t know if he had what it took to beat Brock Lesnar. He said that the last few weeks have been rough. Rollins put over Brock Lesnar and called him a beast to which the audience responded to by chanting “Beast-Slayer.”
Heydorn’s Analysis: A strong and predictable reaction for Rollins coming out of the big win last night. Rollins looked like a star here and had a reaction that furthered that narrative. In addition, the commentary team was strong in presenting Rollins. Discussing how the title belt looks on him and talking highly about how he beat Lesnar conveys the notion that Rollins is a top guy in the company. Small stuff, but important and impactful at the same time.
From there, Rollins said that in his match when he had nothing left, the fans came alive and took him to a place that he’s never been to and that he could never go to alone. He said that he could only go to that place together and that within that moment he realized he had what it took to slay the beast. He said that in that moment he remembered that he was Seth Freaking Rollins and that because of that moment he is the Universal Champion.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Pro wrestling promo lesson #1. Tie the fans into your journey and mission. Rollins did that here and the crowd popped and stuck with him. Well done.
Rollins lowered the microphone at this point and was interuppted by A.J. Styles and the OC. Styles, Gallows, and Anderson walked down to the ring and confronted Rollins face to face as the audience stood in anticipation. Once they got to the ring, Styles spoke and said that The OC decided that they wanted to be the first people to congratulate Seth. Styles said that he didn’t need to worry about Brock Lesnar any longer, but that he needed to worry about him instead. From there, Styles challenged Rollins to match because he wanted to prove that he was a better champion than Seth was. In response, Rollins said that he used to respect Styles, but that he didn’t anymore. Rollins then said that he never backed down from any fight and accepted A.J,’s challenge. Once hd did, Seth’s music hit and he attempted to leave the ring. Instead, Styles held out his hand for Seth to shake it, but Seth looked concerned and worried since Gallows and Anderson were in the ring. Styles asked both to leave and attempted to shake Seth’s hand again. This time, Seth shook the hand and stared Styles down as left the ring with his buddies. As this happened, the announce team ran down other key segments on the show.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Rollins vs. Styles is a big match that WWE has in its back pocket to go to when the time is right. Interesting to see them pull it out here without the Universal Championship on the line and without a lot of context around it.
When they finished, the Street Profits were shown on the big screen. They further hyped the show and then were interuppted by Sami Zayn. Zayn gave the Street Profits advice and discussed the fact that the audience will suck their souls. Zayn ran Seth Rollins down to the Street Profits before turning his attention to Becky Lynch. From there, Samoa Joe appeared behind Zayn as Zayn ran him down too. Finally, Joe confronted Zayn and challenged him to a match. He called Zayn the water boy for Kevin Owens before pushing him down and walking toward the ring as the show went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: The Street Profits as serious wrestlers and not backstage hype men is what will make WWE the most money in the long run. It behooves WWE to watch and see what made the Street Profits popular in NXT. Replicating that presentation won’t be difficult and will realize the biggest return possible for that act.
-Out of the break, Joe was in the ring awaiting Sami Zayn as his opponent. Zayn made his entrance next. Once he got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began.
(1) SAMOA JOE vs. SAMI ZAYN
Zayn attacked Samoa Joe out of the gate once that bell rang. Zayn hit Joe with a series of punches before hitting the ropes for a clothesline. Joe countered with a clothesline of his own and followed it with a series of his own strikes. After, Joe locked Zayn into the Kokina Clutch which prompted Zayn to tap out immediatley for the loss.
WINNER: Joe via submission
-After the match, Joe grabbed a microphone as the audience chanted “Joe.” Joe said that he wanted to make something clear. He said he forgave Roman Reigns for his accusations last week, but that he couldn’t forgive the fans. Joe then dropped the mic and glared at the audience before walking off. As he did, the audience continued to chant “Joe.” From there, the show went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: A standard segment from Joe top to bottom, but one that got some viable cheers from the crowd. Something to watch as Joe has consistently been defined as a heel character. Joe can flourish as a heel or babyface, but needs booking that matches how the crowd is reacting. This promo missed that point and ran him counter to how the audience perceives him.
-Out of the break, the Miz made his entrance for his match against Dolph Ziggler. Miz got a good reaction from the Toronto crowd and walked to the ring as Cole proclaimed, “Toronto, you have a real movie star.” As Miz entered the ring, Cole and the team recapped the events of last night at Summerslam between Dolph Ziggler and Goldberg. From there, Ziggler made his entrance. Ziggler walked down to the ring without his ring gear on. Once he got there, he spoke on the microphone while the audience chanted “Goldberg.”
Heydorn’s Analysis: Admittedly, that’s a good reaction for Ziggler. As good as he’ll get these days with his gimmick. This alone makes the Goldberg match last night worth the time.
Ziggler called Miz a coward and said that everyone knew that Miz didn’t have a chance against Ziggler at Summerslam. He ridiculed Miz and then talked about getting speared by Goldberg last night as the audience applauded. Ziggler said he couldn’t medically compete and that all of the blood thirsty Canadiens in attendance wanted to see him in a match. From there, Ziggler dropped his microphone and appeared to walk out of the ring. Instead, Ziggler ran and attacked Miz from behind as the show went to break. (c)
(2) DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. THE MIZ
Out of the break, the match was underway with Ziggler controlling the action over the Miz. He knocked Miz to the mat with a clothesline and attempted to follow with strikes. Miz countered and connected with a series of strikes of his own. After, Miz hit Ziggler with kicks in the corner before connecting with running knee strikes. He followed those with his patented corner clothesline before hitting Ziggler with and axe smash from the second rope. From there, Miz connected with more kicks until Ziggler countered them into a two count pin attempt. Miz kicked out a two. Out of the pin, Miz tried for his finish, but Ziggler countered into the Zig-Zag. After, Ziggler made the cover, but Miz kicked out at two. In the end, Ziggler went for the superkick, but Miz countered into the figure four leg lock. This caused Ziggler to tap out after some struggle, thus giving the win to Miz.
WINNER: Miz via submission
Heydorn’s Analysis: A to B in almost every way. Miz his some signature spots, but the entire thing lacked purpose from the beginning.
-After the match, Ziggler called Miz a coward while he writhed in pain in the ring. Ziggler said that Maryse was a better wrestler than Miz and then called him a reality show wannabe. As he said those words, Miz hit the ring and hit Ziggler with the Skull Crushing Finale before walking out of the ring once again.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Laughs aren’t what WWE is going for here. That said, they got some. Ziggler is piecing together funny quotes and delivering them in a way that is so over the top that it illicits a positive reaction. Positive, but inconsistent. Ziggler needs consistency and this schtick, while entertaining, doesn’t help specifically define who he is. The Ziggler glass ceiling is still firmly in place.
-Becky Lynch was interviewed backstage. Lynch took over the interview out of the gate and said that she didn’t come to Raw to celebrate. From there, Lynch said that she wasn’t around to make friends and that she wouldn’t rest until she deals with everyone. To that, Lynch riled up the Raw women’s division and told them to go after her before handing the microphone back to Charly Caruso. The show then went to break. (c)
-Out of the break, Elias was in the ring executing his usual deal in front of the fans. He said that Toronto would get the first ever uninterrupted Elias performance which was immediately interuppted by Ricochet. Ricochet addressed Elias on the microphone and said that people don’t interrupt Elias because it’s cool, but they do it because he sucks. In response, Elias told Ricochet that he wouldn’t let Ricochet tell him what was cool and what wasn’t. He then challenged Ricochet to a match. At that point, a referee ran down and rang the bell so the match could begin.
(3) ELIAS vs. RICOCHET
The action was 50/50 out of the gate until Elias took control with strong strikes. After, he hit Ricochet with a towering back drop before covering for a two count. Out of the pin, Elias locked in a side headlock as the crowd clapped for Ricochet to escape. Eventually, he did and capitalized right away with a rolling dropkick. In the end, Ricochet connected with a diving rollup pin from the top rope after knocking Elias off of the top rope. This led to the 1,2,3 win for Ricochet.
WINNER: Ricochet via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: A Ricochet showcase, but in the least impactful way possible. Way too much of a 50/50 match given the type of opponent he was against. Small stuff like this won’t hurt Ricochet in the long term. After all, he got the win. What will hurt is a consistent effort to present him at that 50/50 level. It puts a ceiling on Ricochet which is unnecessary given that he isn’t defined to a certain spot on the card.
-After the match, Rey Mysterio was shown walking to the ring as the show went to commercial break. (c)
-Out of the break, Michael Cole announced that Summerslam would take place in Boston next year. From there, Rey Mysterio made his entrance to a nice reaction from the Toronto crowd. As he walked out, the announce team cued up Raw highlights from a few weeks ago in which Andrade attempted to remove Mysterio’s mask.
When the highlights ended, Andrade made his entrance with Zelina Vega at his side. Once they got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began.
(4) ANDRADE w/ Zelina Vega vs. REY MYSTERIO – 2 out of 3 Falls Match
Andrade crushed Mysterio with a boot to the face to start things off. Soon after and while Mysterio was distracted by Vega, Andrade rolled Mysterio up to win the first fall.
FIRST FALL WINNER: Andrade via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Really WWE? We’re still doing this nonsense? Eye roll.
The second fall started with more Andrade control out of the gate. Mysterio turned the tides quickly with a hurricanrana off of the apron and down to the floor on the outside. Mysterio rolled Andrade back into the ring as the referee counted both men out and covered for a two count. From there, Rey attempted a springboard moonsault, but Andrade caught him and countered with a spinning back elbow. Andrade owned the match from there and beat on Rey with a series of different strikes to the midsection and chest of Mysterio. From there, he tried for his running knee attack in the corner, but Rey rolled out of the way to counter. In the end, Mysterio hit Andrade with the 619 and followed with a frog splash. Andrade countered the splash and connected with the hammerlock DDT before covering for the 1,2,3 win.
SECOND AND FINAL FALL WINNER: Andrade via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Incredibly refreshing to see this match end with two straight falls. Less formulaic and something that will keep fans on their toes if they need to go to this nonsensical 2 out of 3 falls gimmick later down the road.
-After the match, Michael Cole introduced Stone Cold Steve Austin and interviewed him live on the Raw broadcast. Cole asked Austin about the performance of Seth Rollins last night and Austin put Rollins over in a big way.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Austin has criticized Rollins for not showing the audience who and what he is as a character. Austin putting over the fact that Rollins answered that question last night after his Lesnar win is a big deal and a ringing endorsement from someone that hadn’t been on board from the beginning. A smart way to use Austin to further the current product when clearly the purpose of the appearance was to promote and hype the premiere of Austin’s show.
From there, Austin continued discussing Rollins and plugged the premiere of his new show, Straight Up with Steve Austin, after Monday Night Raw. The show then went to break. (c)
-The first commercial in the block plugged the return of the King Of The Ring tournament which will return next week on Raw.
-Out of the break, Rey Mysterio was shown walking backstage. He was interviewed and said that he has never lost two falls in a row like he just did against Andrade. Mysterio questioned his career, but said he had a family to support. From there, Mysterio got choked up as he talked about his family before walking off. After, the Street Profits were shown again. Ford hyped up Mysterio before attempting to wake Dawkins up. They then hyped future segments on the program before Drew McIntyre was interviewed. He said that his feud with Cedric Alexander would end tonight and that the Alexander fairy tale would be over after Drew caves in Cedric’s skull.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Sure, that’s a a bit much and bit graphic given that this Cedric program is mid-card and unfocused at best. That said, it paints Drew McIntyre as a cold a psychotic heel. Plenty of money to be made with him in that role.
-Drew McIntyre made his entrance as the show went to break. (c)
-Out of the break, Cedric Alexander made his entrance. As he did, the announce team played highlights from two weeks ago on Raw where Alexander dove off of the video board and onto McIntyre during a brawl. After the highlights, the bell rang, and the match began.
(5) DREW MCINTYRE vs. CEDRIC ALEXANDER
Alexander took control early and hit Drew with a flying dropkick off of the top rope. After, he went for a pin attempt, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Drew took over and crushed Alexander with a high angle buckle bomb. McIntyre tried for a pin after the move, but only got a two count. After the pin, McIntyre kept momentum and locked in sleeper submission. Eventually, Cedric broke up the hold but was then suplexed across the ring. Drew then locked in a second submission before Alexander broke it up with a springboard kick to McIntyre’s head. Alexander tried for a pin right after, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Cedric connected with a tornado DDT and covered again, but got a two count.
Heydorn’s Analysis: An impressive move from Alexander and one that woke the audience up.
Out of that pin, both men climbed to the top rope. McIntyre crushed Alexander with an inverted sidewalk slam from the top turnbuckle before covering for his own two count. Out of the pin, the action spilled to the outside of the ring where Drew stalked Alexander and beat him up around the ringside area. From there, Cedric connected with the Lumbar Check on the outside of the ring to alter momentum. He climbed back into the ring to break the referee’s count, but then dove to the outside for a move. Drew countered and slammed Cedric on the steel ramp before carrying him back into the ring. There, Drew went for the Claymore Kick, but couldn’t hit it because Cedric fell to the mat. From there, Alexander rolled Drew up out of nowhere for a pin, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Cedric kept him momentum and hit Drew with a top rope Spanish Fly. The audience chanted “this is awesome.”
Heydorn’s Analysis: The Spanish Fly is a Cedric Alexander special and has been since his 205 Live days. The move itself is impressive enough, but what’s more impressive is how its uniquely built into every important match Alexander has. Being that creative isn’t always easy, but Alexander thrives when it comes to the protection of this spot. Really good stuff.
Eventually, Drew countered Alexander’s offense into the Claymore Kick before covering for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: McIntyre via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Very good match. Alexander and McIntyre have tangible chemistry and brought it from start to finish. Clearly, the right act went over as well. In looking at potential Rollins contenders moving forward, Drew is on the short list and needs wins like this to help build his story leading in to a title match.
-After the match, A.J. Styles was shown talking backstage with the OC. Gallows and Anderson joked with Styles about him losing to Brock Lesnar. Styles was a bit offended but then turned his attention to Seth Rollins. He said that Seth may be a good champion someday, but that he would embarrass him in their match later in the evening. He then called himself a fighting champion before throwing up the too sweet sign with his OC buddies.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good heel work from Styles and good consistent storytelling from WWE in mentioning the Styles history with Brock Lesnar. Even though they are defined as the lowest of low on the Raw roster, Gallows and Anderson help Styles radiate arrogance which helps his heel gimmick through and through.
-Paul Heyman was shown walking backstage and into Brock Lesnar’s locker room as the show went to break. (c)
-Out of the break Charly Caruso posted up outside of Lesnar’s locker room for a future comment from Lesnar and/or his advocate. From there, the action went back into the ring where No Way Jose made his entrance. After him, Robert Roode walked out. Roode got some nice commentary around him that framed him as a bigger deal than usual.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Ahhhh the power of commentary. If you’re a first time watcher of the show, the commentary around Roode would lead you to believe that he is a premiere guy on the show. Of course he isn’t, but the framing worked to make him appear as a big deal. Well done.
Once he got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began.
(6) ROBERT ROODE vs. NO WAY JOSE
Roode took over quickly and nailed Jose with the Glorious DDT before making the pin for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Roode via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: A nothing match, but the finish mirrored the commentary around Roode and maintained his presentation as a worthwhile star. It remains to be seen whether this is a renewed effort to push him, but its a step toward that direction.
-After the match, Charly Caruso interviewed Paul Heyman. Heyman asked Caruso why he had the exclusive and she didn’t. Of course, Heyman didn’t allow Caruso to answer. From there, Heyman said that his client would not be getting any rematches against Seth Rollins. The audience cheered loudly. After, Heyman tried to explain his reaction to that news, but couldn’t. In response, he walked off as the show went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Not your typical Heyman appearance, but one that was extra intriguing because of that fact. A twist and one that makes sense given the story told since Summerslam. Well done.
-After commercials, The Revival faced off with the Lucha House Party.
(7) LUCHA HOUSE PARTY vs. THE REVIVAL
Dash and Dawson took over early and decimated Lince Dorado with a series of moves and tags to keep him grounded. Eventually, Dorado took the momentum back with a moonsault. After he hit it, R-Truth’s music hit and he and Carmella hit the ring with the locker room running after him.
WINNER: No contest
-After the match, a brawl ensued between the locker room, Revival, and Truth. Dash and Dawson hit Truth with a move and covered him together to become co-24-7 champions. Soon after, Truth got the win back and ran off as the locker room chased him.
Heydorn’s Analysis: It’s been well documented via my reports that I’m not a fan of the 24-7 title. However, I can recognize that it’s getting a reaction and people in general are liking it. It lives in its own narrative though. There, it’s fine. In this instance, the 24-7 title interuppted and superseded a serious match with serious contenders. If the joke title continues to overshadow true competition, the popularity of said title will diminish.
-R-Truth was interviewed with Carmella backstage. As they spoke, Truth was hit with a guitar by Elias and covered to lose the 24-7 Championship. The show then went to break. (c)
-Out of the break, recap videos were shown that documented the recent Roman Reigns conspiracy incidents. When the highlights ended, Cole said that more would be revealed regarding this story tomorrow on SmackDown Live.
-Natalya walked to the ring with a sling on her shoulder and as she did, Cole and the broadcast team cued up still photos from her match last night at Summerslam against Becky Lynch. When the recap ended, Nattie stood in the middle of the ring as the audience reacted in a mixed way toward her. She then addressed the audience and said that Becky Lynch was the better woman at Summerslam. She said she had a dislocated elbow and that she meant every word she said about Becky Lynch. She said she didn’t know where or when, but guaranteed that her and Becky would wrestle once again. From there, Nattie discussed her father. Some in the audience chanted boring, but the rest cheered as Nattie told her story. From there, Sasha Banks it the ring to a big pop from the crowd. Banks walked out with her usual gear and soaked in the cheers. She walked into the ring and embraced Nattie before walking to grab a microphone. Instead, Banks turned and clocked Nattie in the face. Right after, she revealed she had a wig on and that her true hair color was blue. Banks beat Nattie to a pulp in the ring and around the ringside area. She targeted Nattie’s injured arm before grabbing a steel chair. At that point, Becky Lynch walked out to a nice reaction to make the save. Lynch and Banks brawled until Sasha got the upper hand. Banks destroyed Lynch with a flurry of chair shots before leaving as the officials checked on Lynch. The show then went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Effective work from Banks, Lynch, and Nattie and an effective angle start to finish. Banks looked genuinely happy to be back during her initial entrance, but was able to change the tone of her return with the heel turn. She was authentic in her heel mannerisms and has a natural heel charisma. All good things, but the audience cheered some of those heel mannerisms tonight. Banks is so effective in this role that she’ll need to check herself throughout to ensure that she doesn’t become a cool heel that fans want to cheer. Given their brawl tonight, Banks vs. Lynch appears to be on tap. If tonight is any indication, that will be a hot story and a match that folks want to see. Good stuff all around. The commentary helped sell this turn as well as Cole, Graves, and Young were all angered and appalled by Sasha’s actions. A good example of good commentary helping progress a narrative. Well done.
-Out of the break, the announce team recapped the events between Sasha Banks, Natalya, and Becky Lynch. When the recap ended, the Viking Raiders made their entrance. As they walked to the ring, a pre-recorded promo aired in which they said that all teams on Raw would fall to them. Once they got to the ring, the bell rang, and their match began.
(8) VIKING RAIDERS vs. CARTER MASON & SEBASTIAN SUAVE
The Raiders took over right out of the gate and owned Mason and Suave with various high impact offensive moves. Eventually, they hit the Viking Experience and made the cover for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Viking Raiders via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Another week, another squash. Eventually, they’ll need something impactful to sink their teeth into. Until then, this type of match works to showcase who the Viking Raiders are.
-After the match, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross were interviewed backstage. Bliss called her and Cross fighting champions and Cross thanked Bliss for being her partner. From there, Bliss said that when it was her and Cross against the world, they get results. They then walked off as the show went to commercial break. (c)
-Out of the break, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross made their entrance. As they did, Michael Cole cued up highlights that detailed Bliss and Cross winning the women’s tag team championship last week on Raw. After the highlights, Kairi Sane and Asuka made their entrance and as they did, Paige cut a promo that said the Kabuki Warriors would win the titles. Once they got into the ring, the bell rang, and the match began.
(9) THE KABUKI WARRIORS vs. ALEXA BLISS & NIKKI CROSS – WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship
Sane and Bliss started things off with Sane getting the upper hand early. Sane made the tag to Asuka an both women double teamed Bliss. After, Asuka made the cover on Bliss, but only got a two count as the show went to break. (c)
Out of the break, Nikki Cross assumed control of the match and had Sane in a chinlock submission. Sane tried to battle out with strikes to Cross’s midsection, but Cross grounded her and locked in the submission even deeper. Eventually, Sane broke the hold and attempted to tag Asuka, but was tossed away by Cross. Finally, Sane made the tag after rolling under Cross’s clothesline. Asuka hit the ring and crushed Cross with a series of kicks. After, she hit Cross with a German suplex. Cross made the tag to Bliss and Bliss hit the ring by nailing Asuka with a DDT. After, Bliss made the cover but only got a two count. In the end and after back and forth action which included and Insane Elbow, Cross hit Kairi Sane with a swinging neckbreaker. She then tagged Bliss into the match and Bliss connected with Twisted Bliss before covering for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Bliss and Cross via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: A fine television match with the obvious, but correct, team going over. Glad to see it was promoted ahead of time and given the proper time to be something significant on the show. Bliss and Cross continue to be a unique team and a unique pairing opposite Sane and Asuka who are credible from an in-ring perspective, but lack a character that resonates with the audience.
-After the match, Seth Rollins cut a promo backstage and said that he is the champion Styles wishes he could be. He said that he did something that Styles could never do in beating Brock Lesnar twice. From there, he addressed the fact that he’s already beaten Styles and that he hoped Styles forgot about it. Why? So he has another reason to stomp his head into the mat and remind him who the real champion on the show is. From there, Rollins walked toward the camera. The show then went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Nothing fancy there, but it did the trick. The hook with Rollins is that he is the best wrestler and champion. This promo played off that narrative nicely. Well done.
-Out of the break, a hype video for King of the Ring aired. After the video, Seth Rollins hit the ring to a nice pop from the crowd. Cole called him the Beastslayer “two times” as he walked down the ramp and to the ring. Styles made his entrance after to a small reaction from the Toronto crowd.
(10) A.J. STYLES vs. SETH ROLLINS
Once Styles got down to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began. Rollins revealed that his ribs were taped up which prompted an immediate comment from Renee Young. To start, Rollins hit Styles with a series of shoulder tackles in the corner. From there, Rollins lifted Styles and hung him upside down in the corner before stomping him in the chest. Rollins continued to own momentum and nailed Gallows with a suicide dive. He kept momentum until Styles attacked from behind while he dealt with the OC members even further. The show then went to commercial break. (c)
Out of the break, the action continued with Styles holding full control over Seth. Eventually, Seth turned the tide and smashed A.J.’s face on the ring apron. At this point, both men were down which prompted a count from the referee. Styles made it back into the ring first, but Rollins made the count at the last second. When the action returned to the ring, Rollins picked up his pace again and nailed Styles with a Falcon Arrow and Rolling Elbow. From there, Rollins went for a pin, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Rollins lifted Styles to the top rope in the corner. Styles knocked Seth off, but Rollins battled back. He was knocked off again which allowed Styles to go for the Phenomenal Forearm. Rollins countered that move and hit Styles with his superkick. From there, Rollins hit the top rope for a frog splash, but Gallows and Anderson knocked him off. At this point, the referee tossed both men, but they returned to interrupt the match shortly thereafter. Once they did, the referee called for the bell and ended the match.
WINNER: Rollins via disqualification
-After the match, Rollins was beat up by the OC until Ricochet made the save. He got some offense in, but was eventually overwhelmed by the OC too. From there, Braun Strowman hit the ring to a big pop and evened the score. Strowman cleared the ring and roared as Seth looked on. To close the show, Strowman grabbed the Universal Championship and handed it to Seth Rollins. He then shook his hand as the show faded to black.
Heydorn’s Analysis: A nice tease of what Styles vs. Seth is. We saw the full version at Money In The Bank, but didn’t need it here. Ricochet and Strowman making the save worked and framed Rollins as a likable guy with friends. In addition, it positioned the Universal Championship as something that everyone wants even if your friend may have it. Good stuff.
NOW CHECK OUT HEYDORN’S MOST RECENT REPORT: HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 7/29: Alt Perspective coverage of the live show including Rollins vs. Ziggler, Lynch vs. Bliss, Samoan Summit, and more