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WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRIMER
NEW YORK, N.Y. AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
SEPTEMBER 9, 2019
AIRS ON USA NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EDT
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young
Arena and Items Advertised by WWE
We are less than one week away from Clash of Champions and WWE has a huge pit stop this week, as they bring both Raw and Smackdown “home” to Madison Square Garden in New York City. You could do a report on the history and what Madison Square Garden means to WWE. The arena opened in 1968 and is considered the “mecca” of professional wrestling. There are tons of great memories starting with the Bruno Sammartino years, the first WrestleMania as well as 10 and 20, the first SummerSlam as well as in 1991 and 1998, the night that “Stone Cold” Steve Austin gave Mr. McMahon a stunner for the first time in 1997, many more Raw and Smackdown events, and the return of the Rock to in-ring action in 2011 when he teamed with his future WrestleMania opponent John Cena. Even Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling snuck in here earlier in the year with the G1 Supercard, an even I had the pleasure of attending. WWE’s relationship with MSG ended in 2005 when the operating cost became unfavorable to WWE. They patched things up a year later and had the September 11th edition of Raw in 2006, another event I attended. They were to have the 20th edition of SummerSlam in 2007, but WWE instead had the event in what was known at the time as the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J.
With Monday Night Football set to have its annual doubleheader tonight, WWE has certainly gone out of its way to advertise what they are doing. Here’s what’s on tap thus far for tonight:
- “Stone Cold” Steve Austin to moderate Universal Championship contract signing between Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman
- Raw King of the Ring Semifinal Match becomes a Triple Threat
- The battle of WWE’s Four Horsewomen
- Rey Mysterio returns to action against Gran Metalik
- Cedric Alexander looks for payback against A.J. Styles
Matches & Segments:
Universal Championship Contract Signing: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin to Moderate Signing Between Champion Seth Rollins and Challenger Braun Strowman
Last week, Raw Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman attempted to sign the contract for their Universal Championship match at Clash of Champions. They were interrupted by the O.C. (U.S. Champion A.J. Styles and Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson). Styles would make fun of how championship matches are awarded in WWE (it’s as if he knows us) and eventually all three men got into the ring. Styles tore up the contract, and eventually Rollins and Strowman cleared the ring. They went on to defeat Gallows and Anderson in an “impromptu” non-title match. Following the match, all three men beat down Rollins and Strowman and were eventually assisted by Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler. Roode & Ziggler challenge Rollins & Strowman for the Raw Tag Team Championship at Clash of Champions. No babyfaces came to help Rollins & Strowman.
Later in the evening WWE announced that Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, who had already been announced for the MSG show, would moderate the contract signing tonight. Austin has one of the more memorable moments in WWE MSG history from September 22, 1997:
Frank’s Analysis: As I mentioned earlier, WWE is doing what it can to draw in viewers opposite Monday Night Football’s 2019 debut. I’m sure both Rollins and Strowman will be stoked to share a ring with Austin. Rollins was 11 and Strowman was 14 the night he stunned McMahon in MSG. As far as the contract signing tonight, I don’t have much to add. I do find it silly when they do these things because why wouldn’t there be a signing for at least every championship match?
King of the Ring Tournament Raw Triple Threat Final: Ricochet vs. Samoa Joe vs. Baron Corbin
Last week on Raw, Baron Corbin advanced to the finals of the Raw side of the King of the Ring Tournament when he defeated Cedric Alexander in about 14 minutes. Later in the evening, Ricochet took on Samoa Joe to determine who would face Corbin tonight. That’s where things got fuzzy as Ricochet and Joe worked to a “double pin.” Ricochet fought off Joe’s Coquina Clutch on the top rope and both men fell to the mat with their arms draped over each other, shoulders down. Referee John Cone then counted to three. He would go on the headset to talk to another official and would take what he was told under advisement.
Corey Graves went to interview Cone when Corbin walked in. Cone advised Corbin that management has decided neither Ricochet or Joe were eliminated, and thus the Raw finals of the King of the Ring tournament would be a triple threat match involving all three men. Here’s a little Twitter trash talk between Corbin and Ricochet:
— Soon to be KING (@BaronCorbinWWE) September 4, 2019
Frank’s Analysis: There have been plenty of double-pins in WWE history. The match was either restarted, redone, or both men were considered defeated. I don’t know what the better option was, but to have both men advance in the tournament is silly. Do they have triple threat World Series? Anyway, I get the sense they want Ricochet to go to the finals, and defeat both men at once in a “defy the odds” type of story, but I’m not 100% sure. I don’t rule anything out at this point.
The War of the Four Horsewomen: Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair vs. Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley & Sasha Banks
A lot happened on Raw & Smackdown last week involving these four women. Bayley turned on her partner Becky Lynch following their DQ defeat of WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross. The following night on Smackdown Bayley cut her “heel” promo. She talked about nothing changing, how hard she is working to lift the women’s division, how she’s doing it for the kids, giving people opportunities, and how she’s facing the most selfish person at Clash of Champions in Charlotte Flair. Charlotte then came out and acknowledged how she is selfish, but there’s no confusion or blind-siding. What you see is what you get. Sasha Banks then came out, and both women double-teamed and chair-shotted Charlotte.
As they did with other matches for tonight, on Friday WWE announced that Bayley & Sasha Banks will team up for the first time since WrestleMania and take on Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair. It’s a “combination of matches,” so to speak, from Clash of Champions. Bayley defends her title against Charlotte while Becky Lynch defends her title against Sasha Banks.
Bayley made it a point to retweet WWE Now’s video regarding the timeline of what has happened between these women:
…want what’s best. https://t.co/ZSS6aA1ATS
— Bayley (@itsBayleyWWE) September 6, 2019
Frank’s Analysis: I’m not a fan of Charlotte turning babyface if that’s what they’re doing, and certainly don’t want to see Becky & Charlotte teaming together. I hated it when they teamed together against Natalya and Trish Stratus a month ago. Above all else, something with the horsewomen should be built over a period of time. At any rate, that’s not what WWE does these days. This won’t have a finish, and thus they can go to it later on. They need to explain to us why Becky and Charlotte are teaming together given what they’ve been through over the past year.
Rey Mysterio vs. Gran Metalik
Last week, Rey Mysterio was interview by Charly Caruso. He talked about how his son Dominick convinced him to keep fighting, and how he has watched him grow up and become a man. He later said he was not done.
This past Friday, WWE announced that Mysterio goes one on one with Gran Metalik of Lucha House Party. It will be the first time these two go at it. WWE.com alludes to Dominick “watching closely.” Cedric Alexander certainly expressed his pleasure at the announcement of this match:
THERE IS NO FORM OF COMMUNICATION THAT COULD POSSIBLY DESCRIBE HOW MUCH I WANT TO SEE THIS MATCH!!!!!!!!!! https://t.co/6x28T8IXG8
— Cedric Alexander (@CedricAlexander) September 6, 2019
Frank’s Analysis: Gran Metalik is a good opponent to get Mysterio back on the winning track, unless they’re going to run some kind of angle with Dominick or with the rest of Lucha House Party (Lince Dorado and Kalisto). It’s not crazy to imagine Dominick teaming with his father to face two member or all of LHP.
Non-Title Match: U.S. Champion A.J. Styles vs. Cedric Alexander
Last week, Cedric Alexander failed to advance in the King of the Ring tournament as he was defeated by Baron Corbin. Prior to the match, he was attacked by the O.C. in the back:
Cedric had been involved somewhat with the O.C., especially when he did a dive off the Titantron onto Gallows & Anderson, The Usos, and Samoa Joe the night Joe and Roman Reigns were supposed to have a “Samoan Summit.” Nonetheless the attack hindered him in his match with Corbin. Tonight, he attempts to get a measure of revenge as he faces U.S. Champion A.J. Styles in a non-title match.
Frank’s Analysis: All titles are supposed to be defended at Clash of Champions, and there isn’t a U.S. Championship match set at the moment. This could certainly set that between these two men, if that’s the way they’re going. They can run some kind of angle or have Cedric defeat Styles, as they’ve done in non-title matches recently, and have him earn the shot that way.
Other Match Results and Notable Segments from Last Week
#1 contenders for the Raw Tag Team Championship Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler defeated Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins. No love for Long Island huh WWE? (Just kidding, this match was actually too long.)
- Lacey Evans defeated Natalya.
- Becky Lynch called Sasha Banks a little weirdo. Sasha should totally team with Ronda Rousey if she ever comes back and call themselves “The Little Weirdos.”
- The Viking Raiders won another squash match. The jobbers heeled on Baltimore before the match.
- In the Firefly Funhouse, Bray Wyatt alluded to challenging the winner of the Universal Championship match at Clash of Champions. I could see him interfering and that’s how they get out of the finish for that match.
- The Miz defeated Cesaro.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome! Thank you for reading.