KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (12/5)
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HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT
SEPTEMBER 9, 2019
NEW YORK, NY
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young
-The show opened with Stone Cold Steve Austin hitting the ring to a massive pop from the New York audience. Austin walked to the ring with a purpose and hit his pose on each turnbuckle for old times sake. Cole and the commentary team were quiet as Austin made his full entrance.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Smart of WWE not to overproduce this moment with corporate commentary. The Austin entrance with the glass breaking speaks for itself. Well done.
After the ring announcer introduced Stone Cold, Cole spoke and said that everything was right in the world because Stone Cold Steve Austin was back in MSG. In the ring, Stone Cold clanged two beers together and drank them as the audience roared in approval. He then grabbed a microphone and said “Oh hell yeah.” Austin continued and said it was good to be back in the Garden and that it had been 20 years since he’d performed in the building. Austin then reminisced about good times at MSG including wrestling Bret Hart, stunning Vince McMahon for the first time, and facing the Undertaker at Summerslam in 1998. From there, Austin continued and said that you need a real SOB in the ring to finally get the Universal Championship match contract signed. He asked the audience if they were ready to get the contract signed to give them a “hell yeah” and the audience did. Austin then introduced Braun Strowman and Strowman walked to the ring before doing his yell at the top of the stage.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I could listen to Steve Austin tell stories for hours and hours and hours. He has the “it” factor that you just don’t see much these days.
As Strowman walked to the ring, Cole and the announce team hyped all of the action surrounding Strowman and Seth Rollins coming up on Sunday at Clash Of Champions. Once Strowman stood in the ring, he and Austin faced off to a nice pop and an “Austin” chant from the crowd. As the tension grew between Strowman and Rollins, Austin turned and welcomed Seth Rollins to the ring. Rollins received a strong reaction as well and posed in the ring with the belt once he rolled in it. With both Strowman and Rollins across from each other, Austin spoke again and shook the hands of both competitors. He said he was there to get the contract signed. Rollins took the microphone right away and was excited about the fact that he was in New York with Stone Cold Steve Austin. He said this is what it means to “Burn It Down.”
Heydorn’s Analysis: What’s that now? Remember that corporate speak I mentioned a bit earlier? This was that and it made no sense. How is that “burning it down?” Huh?
Rollins told Austin that Strowman thought he might have it out for him and as he did, the audience started to do the “what” chants over him. Rollins acknowledged them and Austin did too. From there, Steve Austin looked at Seth and said that he needed to get the contract signed. Rollins agreed and told Strowman that he wouldn’t turn his back on him on Sunday. He said he was the best wrestler in the world though and that he would still be Universal Champion on Sunday. Rollins then signed on the line. Strowman spoke next and said that he had respect for Stone Cold Steve Austin, but that a rattlesnake always stays a rattlesnake. He told Rollins that he wouldn’t turn his back on him either because he loved being tag team champions, but would love even more to be Universal Champion. From there, he signed on the dotted line as well.
Heydorn’s Analysis: This worked. Austin’s star power enhanced the segment and while there isn’t a real issue between Rollins and Strowman, the Austin factor made the match feel big.
Once Strowman signed the contract, AJ Styles hit the ring and mocked Stone Cold Steve Austin being back in the garden. He said that he and the OC weren’t there to fight with Steve Austin, but asked the audience if they really cared about him anymore. The crowd chanted “yes” which prompted Styles to mock them with a “what” chant. At at that point, Styles told Austin to “sit this play out, or he might get hurt.” Styles continued and the what chants did as well. Styles said that he was only out there to address Braun Strowman and Seth Rollins. As the “what” and “asshole” chants reigned on him, Styles complained that Rollins and Strowman didn’t give Gallows and Anderson a rematch. Austin then called Styles an asshole and Styles called him one back. Styles continued to complain about how Braun Strowman got a title match by just looking at the Universal Championship. The crowd responded by chanting “soccer mom.” As they did, Austin dragged the table out of the way and said he knew where he was going. At that point, both Strowman and Rollins attacked each member of the OC. Strowman handled Gallows and Anderson while Rollins took care of Styles in the ring. As Rollins went for the Stomp, Styles countered and tossed him over the top rope. He then celebrated as Austin stood behind him. From there, Austin dropped Styles with a Stunner as the audience roared ferociously. Austin then celebrated with a beer bash before heading up to the ramp and leaving. Styles laid in the ring as Cole hyped other happenings on the show. The show then went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Really fun stuff. The back and forth between, Austin, the audience, and Styles was on point and felt off the cuff. That said, Rollins could have gotten a nice rub had he been the one to hit a move on Styles before the Stunner so as to attempt to position near Austin’s level. If there was a miss in this segment, that was it.
(1) CEDRIC ALEXANDER vs. A.J. STYLES
Out of the break, Styles remained in a bad way after the stunner he received. From there, Alexander made his entrance and ran to the ring to start the match. Once he got to the ring, the attacked Styles and got the match underway. Alexander beat Styles up around the ringside area before rolling him back into the ring and connecting with a series of shoulder shots in the corner. From there, Cedric connected with a hurricanrana before hitting a series of dropkicks. After, he covered, but only got a two count. Eventually, Styles countered the Alexander offense and took control of the match. He hit a combination of chops before whipping Cedric into the ropes. Alexander countered and hit the Neuralizer before nailing Styles with a flipping suicide dive over the top rope.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I like the booking of this match thus far. Alexander ran out to fight Styles after the attack he sustained. Consistency week to week has been a negative on Raw for months now. This is a step in the right direction to fix that significant issue.
After that, Alexander rolled Styles back into the ring, but Styles rolled through it and out the other side. As Alexander pursued him, Styles hung his shoulder over to the top rope to gain momentum in the match once again. From there, the show went to commercial beak. (c)
Out of the break, the action continued with Styles still firmly in control of the match. Styles grounded Cedric with a shoulder submission until Alexander battled out with a series of strikes. From there, Alexander battle back with his own chops before connecting with a Michinoku Driver. Cedric attempted a pin, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Alexander went for his back elbow, but Styles countered. Cedric connected with a step up enziguri instead and tried to follow that with a springboard clothesline. As he jumped to the top rope, Gallows and Anderson hit the ring and interuppted the match. This caused the referee to ring the bell.
WINNER: No contest
-After the match, the full OC attacked Styles, but the Viking Raiders made the save. They handled Gallows and Anderson as Alexander dropkicked Styles out of the ring. From there, the Viking Raiders hit the Viking Experience on Anderson. They then celebrated in the ring as the announce team hyped other upcoming matches on the show.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good match with another level to go to if they want. Glad to see Alexander has some friends backstage. WWE needs more of this from babyfaces on the show.
-Sasha Banks and Bayley where shown backstage. Banks and Bayley cut a promo saying that they were happy that they were back together. They said that they would beat Becky and Charlotte and that the audience could take that to the bank. After, Becky Lynch and Charlotte were shown warming up. Lynch stared a hole through Charlotte as she wrapped tape around her wrist. From there, Bray Wyatt hyped another episode of the Firefly Funhouse later in the night. The show then went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Major praise for how Becky Lynch interacted with Charlotte. Not only was it right in line with her character, but it played into the dark history the two have together. Really good stuff.
-Out of the break, Michael Cole cued up a video that detailed WWE’s work in the pediatric cancer space. After, Roman Reigns hit the ring to a good reaction. He said that almost a year ago, he took a leave because of his cancer diagnosis. He said when he made his return, the love and strength of the fans made him change his perspective. He said he did and that ever since he came back he wanted to raise awareness and provide love and strength to play it forward. From there, Reigns talked about meeting patients and welcomed some to the stage. After the children walked out, Reigns spoke again and said that they’ve been through the biggest fights, but are still standing as strong as ever. He said the work wasn’t done and that some out there are only just beginning their fight. He said he wanted folks to join him and support the future superstars today. The show then went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: A touching segment to be sure. I think it needs a specific call to action from the audience though. Just a graphic on where to donate would be effective and impactful.
-Out of the break, Becky Lynch hit the ring to a big pop from the New York crowd. Lynch posed on the ropes as Cole and the announce team discussed whether or not she and Charlotte could coexist. At that time, Charlotte made her entrance to “Woos” from the crowd. Once Charlotte got to the ring, the announce cued up a highlight video that detailed the events of last week between Bayley, Sasha Banks, Charlotte, and Becky Lynch. When the video ended, Banks and Bayley hit walked out. Their reaction sounded mixed.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Banks brought the pose at the top of the ramp back. A mistake. Ending it was a clear differentiation between her two characters.
As Banks and Bayley walked down the ramp, Becky and Charlotte jumped out of the ring and met them halfway. The brawl ensued and it spilled in and out of the ring. With Banks and Bayley on top, Charlotte hit the ring with a chair to even the odds. This caused Sasha and Bayley to roll out of the ring and as they did, the show went to commercial break. (c)
(2) SASHA BANKS & BAYLEY vs. CHARLOTTE FLAIR & BECKY LYNCH
Out of the break, the action was calmed down, and the match began. Lynch took over early on Bayley and rolled her to the outside of the ring. There, she beat Bayley up around the ringside area as Sasha Banks looked on. Eventually, Lynch rolled Bayley into the ring and tagged Charlotte into the match. Charlotte kept momentum and hit a series of chops in the corner. From there, she attempted a neck breaker, but Bayley countered and slammed her to the mat. This gave Bayley the opportunity to tag Sasha into the ring. Sasha maintained momentum and crushed Flair with a series of offense before tagging Bayley back into the match. At that point, Charlotte took over again and drove Bayley near their corner. Because of this, Lynch tagged back into the match and laid in her own moves on Bayley. Lynch connected with stiff kicks on both Bayley and Banks before Bayley hung her up on the second rope. The move cause Lynch to fall out of the ring and while she was out there, Sasha Banks illegally attacked her. After, Banks rolled Lynch back into the ring and tagged into the match. She then made a cover, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Banks hit Lynch with a suplex before using the ropes for a submission. She then tagged Bayley into the match. Right as she did, Lynch hit Bayley with a neckbreaker to halt her momentum. This allowed her to make the hot tag to Charlotte. Bayley made the same tag to Banks. Charlotte owned the moment from there and hit banks with chops before hitting a fallaway slam. After, she booted Bayley off of the ring apron before smashing Sasha’s face into the turnbuckle. From there, she hit a neckbreaker before making the cover for a two count.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Smooth match thus far with a good story. Bayley needs to play up her heel act more within the confines of the match. She hasn’t tweaked her in-ring style to go along with the new bad attitude character. Until she does, she’ll continue to get the babyface chants from the crowd.
Out of the pin, Charlotte yelled at the referee before whipping Banks into the ropes. Banks countered the whip and put Charlotte into the Banks Statement. Eventually, Charlotte rolled through the move and put Banks in the Figure 8. As Banks was about to tap out, Bayley hit the ring to make the save. Lynch stopped her and set her up for the Disarmer, but Bayley threw her at Charlotte to break the hold. At that point, Banks hit Charlotte with a running Meteora as the show went to break. (c)
After the break, Sasha Banks controlled Charlotte with a chokehold until Charlotte backed her into the corner. This caused Banks to break the hold, but she followed it up with a running knee strike. After the move, she made the cover, but only got a two count. From there, Bayley tagged in and kept the ring cut in half in her favor. She hit Charlotte with a series of shoulder strikes. Charlotte countered Bayley’s offense and then was able to tag Becky into the match. Lynch hit Bayley with a flying shoulder strike and then hit Sasha Banks with a Bec-Sploder. From there, she hit Banks with a baseball slide before nailing her with a flying forearm. Back in the ring, Lynch continued to beat on Bayley until Bayley hit her with a kick to the face. From there, Banks hit Lynch with the backstabber. Right after, Charlotte hit Banks with a big boot to the face. Banks and Bayley proceeded to attempt a double team on Charlotte, but Charlotte countered and sent them both into a top rope dropkick from Becky Lynch. Out of that move, Charlotte connected with a moonsault and made the cover, but only got a two count.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Nice near fall, but Charlotte doesn’t need this move. If she hit it consistently, that’s one thing, but she missed again which makes the move ineffective.
Out of the pin, the action spilled outside of the ring. There, Bayley hit Becky with a Bayley To Belly into the guardrail before hitting Charlotte with a German suplex. After, she rolled Charlotte into the ring. She then tried for a top rope elbow drop, but it was countered by Charlotte. From there, Charlotte went for the spear, but Banks stopped her. Bayley then rolled Charlotte up for a pin, but only got a two count. Right after, Charlotte hit Bayley with Natural Selection before covering for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Lynch and Flair via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good tag match that left enough on the table between the four women on Sunday. The near falls were well worked and each woman had their moment to shine. Bayley still isn’t fully in the heel camp and Cole’s announcing around her isn’t either. Her hitting big, intense moves on the outside of the ring is a good start, but not enough to get the heel reaction she’s presumably looking for.
-After the match, Styles and the OC were shown backstage. The were interviewed and addressed what happened during the contract signing. They said that they run the show before being interuppted by Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode. The mocked the OC for happened earlier, but said they had common opponents. Ziggler said they would take care of business before offering to shake A.J.’s hand. Styles shook it and Ziggler left with Robert Roode.
-Rey Mysterio made his way to the ring to a good reaction from the crowd as the show went to break. (c)
-Out of the break, Gran Metalik hit the ring. Once he got there, the bell rang, and the match began.
(3) REY MYSTERIO vs. GRAN METALIK
To start, both men tangled with one another and exchanged a handful of holds. As they did, Graves talked up the history of Gran Metalik.
Heydorn’s Analysis: It took them all of Metalik’s existence in WWE, but Graves finally told his story. That story gives him credibility. Took them long enough, but finally they went there.
Both men continued to exchange holds and lucha maneuvers before Mysterio got the upper hand and went for a pin. Out of the pin, Mysterio looked to maintain control, but Metalik halted his kick by catching it. In response, Rey tossed him out of the ring and attempted a sliding DDT. Metalik dodged it and clocked Rey with a kick to the face. After, Metalik hit Mysterio with a flipping suicide dive and landed right on Rey’s head.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Scary bump there by Mysterio. All of Metalik’s weight seemingly landed on his head. Yikes.
From there, Metalik rolled Mysterio into the ring and connected with a springboard senton. Metalik covered, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Metalik chopped Mysterio in the corner until Rey countered and hit him with a hurricanrana. Next, Mysterio connected with a seated senton before hitting a springboard cross body. Metalik countered from there and hit Rey with a dropkick in the corner. To follow, Metalik hit a hurricanrana off of the top rope and covered for a two count. Out of that pin, Mysterio connected with a sunset bomb and covered for a two count of his own. Out of that, Rey hit the 619 and followed with the Frog Splash for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Mysterio via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Really good match with fast paced action. The bump that Rey took on the outside of the ring was scary, but he didn’t show any signs of injury throughout the rest of the match.
-After the match, Mysterio lifted Metalik to his feet as the audience cheered.
-Rollins and Strowman were shown talking with Cedric Alexander backstage as the show went to break. (c)
-Out of the break, Cole announced a 10-men tag team match for the main event later in the evening. After, the Street Profits were shown backstage and hyped the upcoming Raw matches and Clash Of Champions. When they wrapped up, a video package aired that detailed the events of last week between Roman Reigns, Erick Rowan, and Daniel Bryan. When the recap video ended, Samoa Joe hit the ring for the King of the Ring semifinal match. Once he got there, he hit his pose as the show went to commercial break. (c)
-After the break, Corbin finished his entrance and right after he did, Ricochet walked out to a good pop from the crowd. He stared at the KOTR throne before walking down the ramp. Once he got to the ring, Cole and the announce played highlights that detailed how the triple threat semifinal match came to be.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I maintain last week’s analysis that this would have been a more effective match for Ricochet if it was one on one against Corbin. This still feels watered down and it didn’t need to be.
(4) RICOCHET vs. SAMOA JOE vs. BARON CORBIN – King Of The Ring tournament semifinal match
To start, Ricochet took over early and hit a flurry of fast paced offense on Samoa Joe. With his back turned, Corbin took Ricochet down with a shoulder tackle to a loud chorus of boos. Corbin ignored the boos and kept up his offense until Ricochet countered. He then hit Corbin with an step up enziguri before landing a standing shooting star press. He tried for a pin, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Ricochet connected with running suicide dives on both Joe and Corbin. The show then went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Is that a dueling chant for and against Baron Corbin? New York, you ok out there?
Out of the break, Ricochet attempted a hurricanrana on Baron Corbin. Corbin countered and sent Ricochet face first into the ring post. In response, Joe crushed Corbin with a running suicide dive through the ropes before staring him down. From there, Joe tossed Ricochet into the post again before rolling Baron Corbin back into the ring. There, Joe and Corbin exchanged strikes as the audience cheered and booed. Finally, Corbin hit Joe in the throat, but Joe quickly battled back and hit him with an Atomic Drop that he followed with a running senton bomb. After, Joe went for a pin, but Ricochet broke it up. Out of that pin, Ricochet and Joe traded strikes until Joe floored him with a chop. He then hit him a snap power slam before covering for a two count.
After the pin, Joe lifted Ricochet to the top rope. He attempted a superplex, but Ricochet stopped him. From there, Corbin tried to powerbomb both men off, but Joe smashed him to the mat. Instead, Ricochet jumped off for a move, but missed and was hit by a Corbin clothesline. This left each man down and the audience cheered.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Unique spot and unexpected given WWE’s track record of that powerbomb ALWAYS working. All three men have good chemistry together and have the audience hooked in.
Ricochet and Corbin got to their feet first and exchanged punches in the center of the ring. Ricochet connected with a dropkick, but was then dropped with a boot to the face. From there, Corbin attempted a chokeslam, but Ricochet countered it into a two count pin attempt. Right out of the pin, Corbin hit him with a powerbomb and followed that with Deep Six. Corbin went for a pin again, but Joe broke it up and locked in the Kokina Clutch on the outside of the ring. With Joe firmly locked into the hold on the ground on the outside of the ring, Ricochet connected with a running shooting star press from the apron. This left both men laying on the outside until Ricochet got to his feet first. From there, Ricochet rolled Joe into the ring and climbed to the top rope. He tried for the 630, but missed because Joe rolled out of the way. Instead, he connected with the “codebreaker” and climbed to the top rope again. From there, Ricochet connected with the 630, but was pulled out of the ring by Corbin. Corbin then pinned Joe for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Corbin via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: A good match with a confusing batch of the audience on Corbin’s side. With the triple threat match in play, the finish was predictable, but logical in keeping heat on Corbin while protecting Ricochet. Look for Chad Gable to win tomorrow night given this outcome.
-After the match, Corbin celebrated on the ramp as Ricochet looked on in disbelief. Corbin then posed up by the KOTR throne before putting the crown on his head. From there, Lacey Evans made her entrance as the show then went to commercial break. (c)
-Out of the break, Natalya made her entrance. Once she got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began.
(5) NATALYA vs. LACEY EVANS
Nattie aggressively owned the early part of the match until Evans connected with a neckbreaker on the outside of the ring. From there, Evans took over and dominated with stomps in the corner, chops and other moves inside the ring. Evans attempted her second to third rope moonsault and missed which allowed Nattie to lock in the Sharpshooter. Evans tapped out right away to give the win the Nattie.
WINNER: Natalya via submission
Heydorn’s Analysis: Like last week, one of the better outings for Evans though that isn’t saying a whole lot at this point. Nattie is the perfect opponent for her as she simply learns to work better in the ring. It was what it was and nothing more.
-After the match, Nattie celebrated as the show went to break. (c)
-Out of the break, Cole and the announce team recapped the events that took place during the show involving the 24-7 Championship. From there, Cole and the announce team hyped Clash Of Champions on Sunday night.
-A new episode of the Firefly Funhouse aired. When the episode ended, the show went to commercial break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Intriguing as usual. The segments are creative and innovative in a lot ways and because of that Bray’s performance in them isn’t talked about enough. He’s spot on with the presentation and buys into the gimmick fully. Great stuff.
-Out of the break, Seth Rollins made his way to the ring for the main event. The rest of his team was already waiting in the ring and after he got there, Ziggler and Roode walked out. They were followed by all three members of the OC. Once they got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began.
(6) BRAUN STROWMAN, SETH ROLLINS, CEDRIC ALEXANDER, & THE VIKING RAIDERS vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER, ROBERT ROODE, A.J. STYLES, & THE OC
Seth Rollins started the match and hit his offense until the match devolved into a brawl between both teams. Strowman connected with a chokeslam on Ziggler and the show went to commercial break as the Ziggler rolled out of the ring. (c)
Out of the break, order was restored in the match and Styles maintained control over Cedric Alexander. Alexander countered the action and slammed Styles to the ground as the audience got the wave going.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Cheering Baron Corbin and now the wave? Alright then.
Back in the ring, Roode continued to hold momentum over Cedric. He locked in a chokehold submission as the audience clapped for Alexander to break it. Eventually, Alexander did, but Roode slammed him to the mat and covered for his troubles. The pin only yielded a two count. Out of the pin, Roode locked in another submission as Rollins worked on the apron to get the audience firmly on their side. Finally, Alexander hit Roode with his back elbow. From there, he made the hot tag to Seth Rollins. Rollins hit the Sling Blade and enziguri on Gallows and Anderson and followed that with a Falcon Arrow on Anderson. Rollins then attempted a pin, but Ziggler broke it up. From there, each team member hit their signature maneuvers on each other until Rollins was the sole man standing in the ring. He connected with a suicide dive on Gallows which led to Strowman crushing him with a running shoulder tackle. After, Strowman hit his running power slam and tried for a cover, but Rollins was knocked into the pin by Roode and Ziggler. From there, Rollins and Strowman argued with each other as the show went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Classic WWE. I was waiting for this to come and pleasantly surprised that it hadn’t yet. That said, here we are. It’s low IQ booking and over done. Plus, Strowman and Rollins aren’t acting it well either.
After the break, the OC controlled the action over Seth Rollins. Rollins attempted to make the tag to his team, but was dropped with an Atomic Drop instead. Anderson tried for a pin, but only got a two count. From there, both men climbed to the top rope before Rollins knocked Anderson off. Rollins then connected with the Blockbuster and attempted to make the tag once again. Ziggler got the tag on his side and intervened, but Rollins hit him with the buckle bomb to create some space. As Rollins went for the tag again, Styles stopped him until he rolled under a clothesline to tag Strowman. Braun destroyed Styles with an array of moves, but his momentum was stopped once Styles dodged a shoulder tackle that sent him into the ring post. From there, the Viking Raiders tagged in and gained the upper hand for their team. Ivar connected with a flipping dive onto everyone in the match not named Cedric Alexander and A.J. Styles. In the ring, Styles and Alexander faced off and Alexander hit the Lumbar Check on A.J. Cedric then made the cover for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Alexander, Viking Raiders, Strowman, and Rollins via pinfall
-After the match, Stone Cold Steve Austin returned to the ring and celebrated with the winners via a beer bash. The show then faded to black.
Heydorn’s Analysis: A fun, go-home happy ending, but not one that builds specific intrigue for matches at Clash Of Champions.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 9/2: Alt Perspective coverage of the live show including second round King of the Ring tournament action, the return of Rey Mysterio, and more