HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 8/19: Alt Perspective coverage of the live show including the start of the King Of The Ring tournament, Strowman vs. Styles, and more

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR (@zheydorntorch)



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HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT
AUGUST 19, 2019
ST. PAUL, MN
AIRED ON USA NETWORK

Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young

[HOUR ONE]

-The show opened with Roman Reigns hitting the ring to a mixed reaction from the St. Paul audience. Reigns hit the entrance with a ton of fire and yelled to the crowd before walking down the ramp.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Excellent intensity from Reigns. This is the Reigns that people can get behind. As soon as he fired up, the audience popped louder for him. Take notes, WWE as this worked.

-Reigns continued his usual entrance and as he did, Michael Cole introduced Jerry Lawler to the announce team. Corey Graves was said to be on vacation. As Reigns continued to pose, Cole cued up highlight videos and interview with Reigns that detailed the attacks on him throughout the past few weeks.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Well done all around. WWE always hits these videos out of the park and they did so again here. 

-When the video ended, Reigns paced in the ring and waited for his opponent. From there, Dolph Ziggler walked out to a small negative reaction. Ziggler briskly walked down to the ring and as he did, the announce team highlighted some of his tweets from the past few weeks. Once he got the ring, Ziggler spoke on the microphone and said that he was glad that Reigns was ok after everything that happened to him. The audience booed loudly as Ziggler spoke and chanted “you suck.” Ziggler responded by saying he was trying to big the bigger man before telling the audience to shut up. Ziggler continued by discussing getting speared by Goldberg to which the audience chanted “Goldberg.” Ziggler continued and spoke about other legends that have wronged him including Shawn Michaels. Ziggler called Roman Reigns the big dog, but said that it should be him. Ziggler kept that narrative up and then crushed Reigns with a superkick. The audience booed and chanted “you still suck” as the referee checked on Roman Reigns. The audience also chanted Goldberg again. Eventually, Reigns got to his feet and the bell rang for the match to begin.

Heydorn’s Analysis: That worked. Not special in any way, but it framed Reigns as the ultimate babyface against Ziggler. Crowd should be firmly on Roman’s side for the match. Effective. 

(1) ROMAN REIGNS vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER

Out of the gate, Reigns clocked Ziggler with a punch that sent Ziggler to the outside of the ring. Reigns followed while selling his jaw. Reigns attempted a jumping Superman Punch from the steel steps, but Ziggler countered it into the Zig Zag. With Reigns down, the show went to commercial break. (c)

Out of the break, Ziggler maintained control of the match with a side headlock. Ziggler broke the hold and punched Reigns before gloating to the booing audience. From there, Ziggler ran at Reigns, but Reigns lifted him up and dropped him over the top rope and to the outside for a counter. This time, Reigns followed and connected with Drive By before tossing Ziggler back into the ring. There, Reigns hit a jumping clothesline and followed it with a series of then clothesline shots in the corner. After, Reigns nodded to the cheering audience and clocked Ziggler with a big boot to the face. Out of that move, Reigns called for the Superman Punch, but Ziggler countered it into a two count rollup. Out of the pin, Ziggler hit Reigns with a DDT and covered again, but Reigns kicked out at two. From there, Reigns attempted a spear, but Ziggler countered. Ziggler then went for the Famous-er but Reigns countered. Out of that, Reigns tried to nail Ziggler with a running shoulder tackle into the corner, but Ziggler moved at the last minute. This allowed Ziggler to hit the Zig Zag again and cover, but Reigns kicked out at two.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Really smooth action between both men. Nice chemistry and they’re playing off each other well. 

Out of the pin, Ziggler tuned up his super kick as the audience booed. He went for the move, but Reigns caught the foot for a counter and then hit Ziggler with the Superman Punch. After, he made the cover, but Ziggler kicked out at two. As Ziggler got to his feet, Reigns attempted the spear, but Ziggler countered it into the Famous-er. He then made the cover, but only got a two count.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Really unique counter and a good example of the physical gifts that Dolph has in the ring. Seeing it not only made you go “wow, great move” but also “what if he could just put all the pieces together.”

In the end, Ziggler taunted Reigns while Reigns was down and called him an idiot. He yelled for Roman to “do something” before trying a flying splash. Reigns countered that move into the spear and covered Ziggler for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Reigns via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: Really good TV match. Reigns fired up at the appropriate moments and shed some of the arrogance that can turn the audience off. Ziggler was proper heel foil for Reigns and played his role well. In addition, he brought it physically within the match as well. 

-After the match, the announce team plugged the other happenings on Raw before the show went to commercial break. (c)

-Out of the break, Michael Cole and Renee Young discussed “what was wrong with Sasha Banks.” They then cued up highlights from last week that detailed her attack on Natalya and Becky Lynch.

-When the highlights ended, a Becky Lynch interview aired in which she explained why she called members of the women’s division out. She said she wanted the best and most aggressive version of everyone coming after her championship. She said she wanted everyone at their peak which is what Sasha Banks was at that moment. She told Banks to thank her for that. From there, Lynch said that Banks spent the last 4 months crying and that in a couple media interviews Becky made Sasha Banks more popular than she’s ever been. Lynch then asked Banks why it took her to unleash the real Banks. Lynch said that when she does get her hands on Banks, she’d give her something to really go home and cry about.

Heydorn’s Analysis: A good promo to be sure, but I wish WWE would stay away from real life talk like “I got you hot in media interviews.” There is enough history between Banks and Lynch to tell an effective story that gets over because of the story. This won’t cripple the feud, but is unnecessary. 

-After the Lynch promo, Jerry Lawler stood in the ring and welcomed everyone to the King’s Court. Before he welcomed Sasha Banks, Jerry Lawler talked about the King Of The Ring tournament and said it was his favorite tournament of the year. Lawler highlighted previous KOTR winners including Bret Hart, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Brock Lesnar. He said that the top WWE stars would compete at the shot at becoming the King Of The Ring. From there, Lawler cued up the KOTR bracket.

Heydorn’s Analysis: In 2019, the KOTR tournament needs stakes. Until there are some around it, I’m worried all we’ll get is a new superstar running around in a king outfit. That said, these matches should be very good.

Once the King Of The Ring hype was done and after he picked his winners from the Raw and SmackDown side of the bracket, the lights flickered and The Fiend’s appearance was imminent. Lawler said the had seen this before and tried to leave the ring. He walked up the ramp as the lights turned off. When they turned back on, The Fiend stood behind Lawler and locked in the Mandible Claw. After, the Fiend stood over knelt over Lawler and posed before the lights went out again. When they came back on, he was gone, but Lawler was laid out on the stage. The audience cheered a bit for Wyatt and chanted Yowie Wowie as the show went to commercial break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Standard Fiend stuff, but worked well. Lawler sold the anticipation of the attack perfectly in leaving the ring and Wyatt played his creepy self well as usual. Good stuff. 

-After the break, the announce team recapped the events between The Fiend and Lawler before introducing 205 Live announcer, Vic Joseph, the booth. Joseph gave his well wishes to Lawler and Cole again hyped tonight’s first round matches in the King Of The Ring tournament.

-Ricochet made his way to the ring to a nice reaction from the audience. As he walked down the ramp, Ricochet looked at the ramp which housed the KOTR crown and cape before finishing his entrance. Once he got to the ring, The Miz made his entrance and was followed by Drew McIntyre and Baron Corbin.

(2) THE MIZ & RICOCHET vs. DREW MCINTYRE & BARON CORBIN

The action was fast and furious out of the gate with Ricochet getting the time to showoff his flashy offensive style. After high flying moves to the outside of the ring on both Corbin and McIntyre, the show went to break. (c)

Out of the break, Corbin and Miz exchanged punches in the middle of the ring. Eventually, Corbin crushed Miz with a running clothesline and too momentum with McIntyre from there. Corbin gloated and tagged McIntyre. Once McIntyre hit the ring, he hit Miz with an overhead suplex before pinning Miz for a two count. Out of the pin, the announce team debated McIntyre’s effectiveness as a wrestler and as a potential favorite to win King Of The Ring.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Sports-like commentary around McIntyre. If each guy in the tournament is framed in this way, the tournament will be better off. It still needs some stakes to go along with it though. 

The beating on Miz continued with Corbin tagging into the match. Miz battled with a series of strikes, but was hit with a splash in the corner before being dropped by a Spinebuster from Drew McIntyre who tagged in. After that move, Drew hit Miz with a chop, but Miz followed with a DDT. Miz then hit the hot tag to Ricochet as the audience cheered. He hit the ring with a fast pace and connected with a series of high flying moves including a springboard clothesline, enziguri, and rolling dropkick on Corbin. After that combination, Ricochet made the cover, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, the audience chanted for Ricochet as he hit a second springboard clothesline on Corbin. From there, he hit a standing moonsault and covered, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, McIntyre got involved in the match again and took out both Miz and Ricochet. With Ricochet down, Drew cued up the Claymore, but Ricochet countered it. Miz then hit the Skull Crushing Finale on Drew which sent him out of the ring. That left Ricochet and Corbin in the ring. Ricochet attempted offense, but Corbin countered it into the Deep Six. After hitting it, Corbin made the pin attempt, but only got a two count. After the pin, the audience chanted “Corbin sucks” as Ricochet hit a dropkick off of the top rope. Corbin countered more offense and tried for a running cross body in the corner. Seeing this, Miz pulled Ricochet out of the way which caused Corbin to crash into the post. Ricochet then hit him with Recoil for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Ricochet and Miz via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: Good match and smart to put this combination of guys together ahead of their KOTR matches. Stealing from the G1 are we WWE?

-After the match, Ricochet and Miz celebrated as the show went to commercial break. (c)

-Out of the break, Sasha Banks was shown getting ready for a backstage interview. After, Cole said that Banks would address her actions from last week.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Phew. Thought that they were going to abandon this interview without explanation. Consistency is king and glad they stayed consistent with this. 

-From there, Cole welcomed Booker T to the show via a live video.

[HOUR TWO]

They discussed Lawler getting beat up by The Fiend before talking about what the King Of The Ring tournament win did for his career. Booker T then picked Drew McIntyre to win the tournament before signing off.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Like Stone Cold Steve Austin last week, this was a good use of a returning legend. Booker sold the Fiend while hyping the KOTR tournament by talking about what it meant to him. Well done. 

-Braun Strowman made his way to the ring to a big reaction from the Minnesota crowd. As Strowman walked to the ring, Joseph said that he has thought all week about coming the United States Champion. While Strowman walked to the ring, Cole cued up highlights from last week between A.J. Styles and Strowman. After the highlights, Styles made his entrance with the O.C. As they walked to the ring, the announce team played a clip from last Monday where Styles challenged Strowman to the championship match. After, the announcers discussed whether Styles had bitten off more than he could chew. Once Styles and O.C got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began.

(3) A.J. STYLES w/The O.C. vs. BRAUN STROWMAN – WWE United States Championship

Strowman owned the match right out of the gate. He attacked Styles in the ring and then chased Styles around the ring before hitting him with a slam inside of it. Next, Strowman attempted a shoulder tackle, but Styles countered it. After, A.J. looked to hit the Phenomenal Forearm, but Strowman countered it with a slap to A.J.’s chest. With Styles down, the O.C attacked Strowman from behind which caused a no contest.

WINNER: No contest

-After the match, Gallows, Anderson, and Styles beat on Strowman until Seth Rollins made the save. Big pop fro Seth Rollins.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Huge pop for Rollins. He looked like a top star running to the ring. A good sign for WWE.

Rollins hit the ring quickly and cleaned house by tossing each O.C member over the top rope. The audience then chanted “Burn It Down” as Rollins helped Strowman to his feet while saying “I think we’re even big man.” Strowman shook his hand as Seth’s music played and the audience continued to cheer.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Simple angle, but very effective. Rollins looked like a top babyface and continued to build a relationship with a fellow babyface in Braun Strowman. One has to think a tag team match is up next here which makes perfect logical sense for next week. Good stuff.

-Samoa Joe was shown walking backstage ahead of his first round King Of The Ring match. The show then went to break. (c)

-After the break, Braun Strowman was shown walking backstage. Rollins caught up to him and said that he saw how Strowman looked at his Universal Championship last week. Rollins said he thought Strowman would be a great first challenger for him, but that they needed to deal with the O.C first. Rollins said he wanted to face the O.C in a tag title match and asked what Strowman thought. Strowman grunted in favor which prompted Rollins to run off to get the match official.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Ha! I guess we’re doing the tag match now? I’d have given the audience something to look forward to. Either way, the logical direction continues which is half the battle on Raw these days. 

-Samoa Joe made his way to the ring. As he did, an inset video aired in which Joe called himself the king and saying he would win the King Of The Ring tournament. Cesaro walked out next and had an inset video as well. He said the KOTR was a favorite of his and that it played to his strengths. He then said that the King Of Swing would be known as the King Of The Ring. After, the announce team hyped the bracket. From there, the bell rang, and the match began.

(4) SAMOA JOE vs. CESARO – First round King Of The Ring tournament match

Out of the gate, Cesaro ran and clocked Joe with a running uppercut strike. Cesaro attempted a quick cover, but Joe kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Joe got some offense in, but Cesaro quickly took back momentum. Cesaro tried for his swing, but Joe countered and chopped Cesaro in the chest. He then hit Cesaro with a step up kick before following that with a suicide dive through the ropes. The move sent Cesaro into the audience and he stayed there as the show went to break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Fast paced thus far and with a sense of urgency behind it. A great start between two premiere performers.

After the break, the action continued with Joe and Cesaro exchanging blows in the middle of the ring. The exchange continued until Joe crushed Cesaro with a clothesline. This gave Joe momentum back and he used it. He locked in a chin lock on Cesaro before clocking him with a vicious uppercut of his own. After, Joe tried to connect with a running Senton Bomb, but Cesaro countered by moving out of the way. He followed up with a series of uppercuts in the corner before hitting a big boot to Joe’s face. After, he went for a cover, but only got a two count. As the action continued, Cole broke the news that there would be a tag title match tonight between Rollins, Strowman, and The O.C.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Smart of WWE to frame this news in this way. It didn’t hinder the match, but called attention to big news that would shape the rest of the show. This felt like breaking news cutting into an NFL game about another game or a player in the current game. 

Back in the ring, Joe battled Cesaro and hit more chops before the chops were countered by Cesaro. Both men rolled to the outside of the ring which allowed Cesaro to connect with a running uppercut. From there, Cesaro connected with a top rope cross body before covering again. Again, he got a two count. Out of the pin, Joe hit his running Senton Bomb and made his own cover, but only got a two count. After, Joe tried for clothesline, but Cesaro countered it into the Cesaro Swing. He then hit the Sharpshooter as Joe writhed in pain. Joe shifted his position which pinned Cesaro, but only got a two count. Out of that move, Cesaro attempted offense, but Joe countered each attempt. On the last counter, Joe pulled Cesaro into the Kokina Clutch. Cesaro tapped almost immediatley to give Joe the victory.

WINNER: Joe via submission

Heydorn’s Analysis: Good match. Joe looked menacing while playing the babyface role in the match. Hard hitting and good start for the tournament. 

-After the match, Joe stood in the ring and celebrated as the updated KOTR bracket was shown. The show then went to break. (c)

-Coming out of the commercial break, the announce team aired clips of what happened to WWE 24/7 Champion, Elias, in his recording studio. When the clip ended, Elias was shown in the ring. Elias spoke, but there was fuzz on his microphone that made it hard to hear him. He said he would be executing a farewell performance due to the fact that he was so busy. He said he couldn’t risk being out in the ring live each week, but that he had a ballad as a final song. From there, he asked the audience to shut their mouths before starting to play. The guitar was out of tune and in response, Elias asked for a second guitar. Someone from the dark slid a guitar into the ring. To that, Elias responded and told the person to hand it to him in the ring. He did so and revealed himself to be R-Truth. Truth smiled and then rolled up Elias. Elias kicked out twice. After the pin, Truth hit Elias with a leg drop and covered again, but only got a two count. Out of that pin attempt, Truth looked at the guitar and held it up as the audience chanted “yes.” He then took a swing at Elias, but Elias rolled out of the ring. As Elias walked up the ramp, Truth yelled that he wanted his baby back.

-Rey Mysterio was shown packing backstage. The show then went to break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Typical 24-7 stuff. Good for a laugh I guess, but out of place to me. 

-Out of the break, Rey Mysterio was interviewed by Charly Caruso. Rey thanked Charly for the time and for the forum. He said that he has been a very fortunate man with a beautiful family. He said he’s been wrestling since he was a little boy and he’s been able to meet friends from all over the world. From there, Rey said that recently things haven’t been clicking. He said that Andrade ripping his mask off was an insult. Rey said what hurt him the most was that he hasn’t been able to do anything about it. Next, Rey talked about his athleticism in the ring and said he isn’t able to visualize his work like he used to. He said he worried that his injuries may have caught up to him From there, Rey said it was time to hang up his mask and let the future superstars ride in. The audience reacted and Rey attempted to remove his mask. As he did, Rey’s son Dominic stopped him and convinced him to not retire. Dominic said he wanted to be in the ring with the legendary Rey Mysterio. In response, Mysterio said he would stay because he loved his son and hugged him as the action spilled back into the ring.

Heydorn’s Analysis: A bit sappy, but it got the desired reaction from the live audience. It’s important to note just how behind Mysterio fans seem to be. WWE needs to run with that somehow and for better or worse, it looks like they are with a story involving Dominic. 

-Big E and Xavier Woods made their entrance as the audience cheered. Cole called their appearance part of the Wild Card Rule.

Heydorn’s Analysis: So, that’s still a thing? Got it. Eye roll. 

Once Woods and Big E got to the ring, the Revival made their way to the ring. After they got there, the bell rang, and the match began.

(5) BIG E & XAVIER WOODS vs. THE REVIVAL

To start, E and Woods got the upper hand on the Revival. Eventually, Dawson took over on Woods and slammed his face into Wilder’s boot before Wilder jumped in. Wilder maintained momentum with uppercut shots in the corner. He then whipped Woods into the corner for a move, but Woods countered with a flipping clothesline that sent Wilder out of the ring. The show then went to commercial break. (c)

Out of the break, the action continued with Big E and Woods taking control. Big E went for a diving suicide dive through the ropes, but Randy Orton hit him with the RKO to cause a disqualification.

WINNER: No contest

-Once the match officially ended, Orton and the Revival beat up Woods and Big E which prompted Kofi Kingston to make the save. Kingston hit a nice run of offense on the three heels, but eventually was neutralized. Orton hit Kingston with an RKO and tried to keep up the attack, but was stopped by Woods. Orton turned his attention to Woods and instructed the Revival to hit him with a devastating move off of the top rope. Before they did, Orton grabbed Kofi and forced him to watch. From there, the Revival hit a vicious strike from the top rope onto Woods’ leg. Woods screamed in pain as Kofi looked on and Orton smiled.

Heydorn’s Analysis: It took a while and walked the line of being too cool, but they got the heat they were looking for. The RKO alone and done in unique ways pops the audience. As a heel vying for the title, Orton needs to recognize that and add other heelish elements to his act. Forcing Kofi to watch his friend’s leg getting brutalizes is a good example of that and neutralized Orton’s growing babyface reaction out there.

-Michael Cole interviewed Sasha Banks on the big screen. Cole thanked Banks for joining them and then got the interview moving.

[HOUR THREE]

Cole asked Sasha if she wanted to explain her actions. She said yes and that it was an emotional week for her. She then said she wanted to explain everything from the beginning. Banks said that last week she looked in the mirror and realized that blue was her color. She said that she looked good and felt even better. Cole pushed her after her comments and said nobody was talking about her hair. He asked her to specifically address her attack on Natalya and Lynch. To answer, Banks simply said “you’re welcome” before walking out of the shot.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Heelish to be certain. Once or twice, this will work, but then it will become trolling. At some point, we’ll need Banks to cut a heel promo in the ring explaining herself and building her eventual match with Becky.

-Once the interview ended, Nikki Cross hit the ring and was followed by Alexa Bliss. Both women made their way to the ring as the show went to commercial break. (c)

-Out of the break, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville made their way to the ring. Once they got there, the bell rang, and the match began.

(6) MANDY ROSE & SONYA DEVILLE vs. NIKKI CROSS & ALEXA BLISS

Deville and Bliss started things off with Deville getting the early momentum. She tagged Rose into the match and she maintained the offensive momentum after a quick pin attempt. Out of the pin, Bliss battled back but was out done athletically by Rose. From there, Rose hit Bliss with a dropkick and followed that with a running knee strike. As this happened, the announce team discussed what Cross and Bliss do for each other as competitors and partners.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Based on the commentary, it appears that Bliss and Cross are true teammates now. Before it was clearly about Bliss’s manipulation of Cross, but that story isn’t being told any longer.

Eventually, Bliss got the momentum to her side after connecting with a baseball slide through the ropes. She then tagged Cross into the match and Cross locked in a headlock. Right after, Cross release the hold and tagged Bliss back in. Bliss was immediatley crushed with a second knee attack. At that point, the hot tag was made to Cross and Deville. Deville took Cross down with strikes before hitting her own running knee. After, she went after Bliss, but Bliss dodged it. This allowed Cross to go on the offensive. As she tried for a running shoulder on Deville, shit hit Rose instead. From there, Bliss hit Deville with a spinning neckbreaker before covering for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Cross and Bliss via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: Not much of a match here. Clearly an avenue to get Cross and Bliss momentum as tag champions, but the entire thing felt forced and flat. 

-Backstage, Rollins and Strowman were preparing for their match. Rollins discussed strategy, but Strowman was distracted by the Universal Championship bout. Rollins got up and told Strowman they would take care of the Universal Title situation after the tag team title match. He said that if Strowman follows his lead, they could walk out tag team champions. Strowman stood up and said that if they listened to him they could become champions before walking out of the shot. The show then went to break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: I like both babyfaces showing their alpha sides during their interactions. With the Universal Championship hanging over their relationship, there are some stories to be told here between Strowman and Rollins. Crossing my fingers for a logical finish to the match tonight and not one that forces dissension between them. 

-Out of the break, Cedric Alexander made s way to the ring. As he did, a backstage promo aired in which he said he was a man of few words, but also a man of action. He said with a win, he would raise the age of Alexander to new heights. Sami Zayn walked out next and posed with the King Of The Ring stuff before walking down the ramp. Like Alexander, a Zayn promo aired inset as well. In it, Zayn called the last couple of months garbage. He said it was loss after loss and that the King Of The Ring tournament will right his momentum. Once he got to the ring, the KOTR bracket was shown, the bell rang, and the match began.

(7) CEDRIC ALEXANDER vs. SAMI ZAYN – First round King Of The Ring tournament match

Zayn hit Alexander to the mat and covered him for a quick two count to start things off. After, he choked Alexander on the ropes. Alexander battled back with chops, but Zayn countered them and connected with a backbreaker before making two consecutive two count covers. Out the pin, Zayn punched Alexander in the face before locking in a sleeper hold as the audience clapped and cheered for Alexander to escape. Eventually, Zayn hit a version of the Blue Thunder Bomb before covering for a two count again. Out of that pin, Zayn struck Alexander before locking in a sleeper hold again. This time, Alexander battled out with his own strikes and chops before connecting with spinning reverse elbow. After, he hit a flying forearm before hitting Zayn with a boot to the face, a back flip hurricanrana, and suicide dive. From there, Alexander hit the Neuralizer and followed that with the Lumbar Check before making the cover for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Alexander via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: Disappointing. Not bad, but was expecting more given the bar set earlier by Joe and Cesaro.

-After the match, Alexander celebrated in the ring as the Street Profits looked on. They each examined their bracket until Dawkins tore his up because he had Cesaro going all the way. From there, they hyped future KOTR matches. Dawkins then questioned why there wasn’t a tag team King Of The Ring tournament called Kings of the ring. Montez Ford said they were kings and then hyped that the big tag team championship match main event was coming up next. The show then faded to commercial break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Probably the best performance yet from the Street Profits. I can do without the hype part of their act, but when Ford called themselves “Kings” he changed facial expressions and showed the other side of their act and the one that is most valuable to WWE. It also just happens to be the side of the Street Profits we see on NXT. This is their sweet spot. 

-Out of the break, A.J. Styles pumped up Gallows and Anderson ahead of their match. Styles said they were the original and only club that mattered.

-Natalya was shown backstage and cut a promo saying she just saw the WWE doctor. She said that she knew these last few weeks would be emotional but that she didn’t expect Sasha Banks. She called Sasha her friend which was why she couldn’t understand why Banks would do that to her. Banks then attacked Nattie again and slammed her into staging crates. Banks drove the crates into Nattie’s arm before addressing Nattie. In doing so, Banks told Natalya to “go to hell and say hello to her dad down there for her.”

Heydorn’s Analysis: Ugh, leave Nattie’s father out of this. The attack was good as was the intensity by Banks. The audience either missed or ignored the Banks line about Nattie’s Dad being in hell. A classic example of WWE trying too hard to be edgy for the sake of being edgy.

-After the attack, Seth Rollins made his way to the ring to a big pop from the audience. As he walked down the ramp, the announce team discussed his Summerslam match. As Rollins posed on the ropes, Cole said he was interested to see how both Rollins and Strowman would work together given that Strowman had his eyes on the Universal Championship. From there, Strowman hit the ring to another good reaction. With both men in the ring, the show went to break. (c)

-Out of the break, the O.C walked down to the ring with A.J. Styles. Strowman glared at them as they did. Once they got to the ring, official introductions were made, and the match began.

(8) BRAUN STROWMAN & SETH ROLLINS vs. THE O.C. w/A.J. Styles – WWE Raw Tag Team Championship

Strowman took over early in the match, but the O.C quickly took over once Seth Rollins hit the ring. Rollins connected with chops and kicks on Anderson to gain momentum back. From there, Rollins tried for a vertical suplex, but it was countered. From there, Gallows tagged into the match, but Seth stayed in control by kicking both Anderson and Gallows out of the ring. Gallows slammed the injured ribs of Rollins on the ring barrier to gain momentum back as the show went to break. (c)

Out of the break, the action continued with Anderson connecting with a massive spinebuster on Rollins. Anderson lifted Rollins to the top rope after the move and connected with a few strikes before joining him. From there, Anderson attempted a superplex, but Rollins blocked it. He knocked Anderson off and then hit him with a Blockbuster. Rollins attempted to make the tag, but Strowman was knocked off the apron. In response, Rollins hit a series of offensive moves including a suicide dive and a Falcon Arrow. After, he went for a pin attempt, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Rollins hit the top rope again for a move, but was knocked off by Styles. Gallows then entered the match and double teamed Rollins. Gallows made a pin, but Seth kicked out at two. Finally, Rollins countered the offense but his momentum was short-lived. As Gallows and Anderson attempted to continue their beating, Strowman got back up and nailed Anderson with a running shoulder tackle. This allowed Rollins to make the tag to Braun. Braun hit the ring and nailed Gallows with a Power Slam. Strowman went for a cover and as he did Styles tried to interfere. Rollins hit the Stomp on him which allowed Strowman to get the win.

WINNER: Strowman and Rollins via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: Fun match. Strowman got a massive pop for the comeback which was setup by Rollins earlier on due to the selling that he did for Gallows and Anderson. Should Rollins be selling as much for a team of habitual jobbers? Remains to be seen. Either way, a really good television match.

-After the match, Rollins and Strowman celebrated together at the top of the ramp. As they raised their arms, Strowman stared at the Universal Championship as the show faded to black.

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