SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT
SEPTEMBER 16, 2019
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young
-The show opened with Seth Rollins hitting the ring to a big reaction from audience. In the ring, Rollins said that Knoxville was loud and they cheered even louder. From there, he said Clash Of Champions was a good night, but that he had a lot to unpack. He talked about losing the tag team championships and said that him and Braun lost those titles as a team. He said they couldn’t worry about it for very long because they had to prep for their Universal Championship match later in the show. To that, Seth gave “mad props” to Braun Strowman for taking him to the limit. He said when the smoked cleared, he gave Strowman four stomps and a Pedigree to keep him down.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good work from Rollins. Not only did he put over his win in a big way, but he emphasized all that Braun took to keep him protected as well. Clearly that was important, so well done.
From there, Rollins said that he was happy that the rematch wouldn’t happen sometime soon. At this point Rollins discussed what happened after the match. He said he was cloaked in darkness and all he remembered as he choked and lost consciousness was the face of Bray Wyatt. He said that when the darkness subsided, The Fiend was nowhere to be found. To that, he said it was ok because he couldn’t wait to face The Fiend in Hell In A Cell. From there, Bray Wyatt appeared on the big screen during an impromptu Firefly Funhouse.
Heydorn’s Analysis: More good stuff from Rollins. Put over the angst of dealing with Wyatt, but also sounded powerful, confident, and in control when talking about facing him.
In it, Wyatt talked about friendship and that the Fiend may have more to say to Seth Rollins later in the show. When the episode was over, Rollins confusingly looked around the ring as the Firefly Funhouse music played. From there, the announce team hyped other matches on the show with graphics that appeared to be upside down. Renee Young noticed them and wondered what was going on.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I liked that interaction. It didn’t get too weird too quick and left different avenues to explore throughout the build to Hell In A Cell. The Rollins facial expressions were on point and helped define the creepiness of the Fiend/Wyatt. A good follow-up to what happened at the end of Clash Of Champions. Well done. What’s up the upside down graphics? Young noticed them and commented so it felt a bit planted, but hard to see why. Time will tell.
-Braun Strowman was shown walking backstage. He was interviewed and explained that while he wasn’t supposed to be there, he was going to the ring and the next person he saw there would “get these hands.” The show then went to commercial break. (c)
-After the break, Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode made their way to the ring for their tag team championship summit. As they made their way to the ring, the announce team talked the team up and highlighted their win last night at Clash Of Champions. Once they got to the ring, the Revival walked out with the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. When they got to the ring, Roode spoke and talked about teaming with Dolph Ziggler. He said that nobody could believe their pairing, but for everyone to take a look at greatness. As he said it, Braun Strowman walked out to the ring to a good reaction from the crowd. Strowman made a b-line from the ring and was met halfway by the Revival. Strowman beat both Dash and Dawson up and then turned his attention to Ziggler and Roode. Strowman hit the big boot on Ziggler before connecting with a series of running shoulder tackles on the outside of the ring. Robert Roode spared himself and ran up the ramp instead of getting hit. From there, Strowman celebrated in the ring as the audience cheered.
Heydorn’s Analysis: We can all stop wondering what Vince McMahon thinks of the tag team division in WWE. Nobody else on the roster can take this beating? Hawkins? Ryder? No Way Jose? Anyone? Using the newly crowned tag team champions from BOTH shows in this way and in this role is bad business. Plain and simple.
-Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross were shown talking backstage. They talked about retaining the women’s tag titles and then discussed how Sasha Banks and Bayley were pathetic for not taking them seriously when they had them. They said they would show them what it meant to be true champions before clinking their coffee mugs together.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Personally, I’m not a fan of their high school, mean girls, act. That said, at least they talked about their titles here. It’s a start I suppose.
-A.J. Styles and the OC made their way to the ring. As they did, the show went to commercial break. (c)
-After the quick break, the action returned with Styles and O.C finishing their entrance. Once they got to the ring, Cedric Alexander made his way to the ring and was followed by the Viking Raiders.
(1) CEDRIC ALEXANDER & THE VIKING RAIDERS vs. THE OC & A.J. STYLES
Once Alexander and the Viking Raiders got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began. Styles and Alexander started things off by exchanging strikes in the middle of the ring. Cedric got the quick upper hand and rallied with a series of punches to Styles. From there, Alexander connected with a sidekick before punching Styles more in his corner. Alexander tagged Erick into the match and continued with the momentum. Eventually, Styles tagged Karl Anderson in, but Ivar maintained control for his match. Eventually, Gallows and Erick tagged in and exchange strikes in the middle of the ring too. After the strikes, Erick tried for a double knee strike in the corner, but Gallows moved out of the way to counter. This swung the momentum back to the OC. They continued to dominate as the show went to commercial break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Ivar got some buzz when he tagged into the match. He’s got a special athleticism about him that stands out from the roster. The reaction to it and him is something WWE needs to watch.
After the break, the action continued. Anderson hit a perfect dropkick on Erick before Erick made the tag to Ivar. Ivar connected with a sidewalk slam before hitting Styles with a senton and a clothesline to Anderson. From there, he tagged Alexander into the ring and he made the cover, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Alexander connected with a springboard enziguri on Anderson, but was then hit with the Phenomenal Forearm by Styles who tagged into the match blindly. Styles then made the cover for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Styles and the OC via pinfall
-After the match, Styles attacked Alexander, but the Viking Raiders got involved for the save. From there, a brawl between both teams ensued. Ivar hit his own partner and the OC with a top rope flipping dive which left Cedric and Styles in the ring together alone. Alexander and Styles brawled to the top rope. As Cedric went for a big move, Styles countered into a top rope Styles Clash. With Alexander knocked out, Styles celebrated and gloated to the audience in the ring.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Decent match. The post-match angle with Alexander and Styles leads me to think the program between them isn’t over. Though, if that’s the case, you’d think WWE would want to present Alexander as a suitable challenger again. This wasn’t that and Styles wasn’t all that heelish in giving Alexander the move off the top rope. After all, the brawl brought them up there. Plainly put, what they were going for didn’t click.
-R-Truth and Carmella were shown in a Knoxville museum. Glenn Jacobs (Kane) interuppted them and introduced himself as they mayor. Truth looked confused and discussed Knoxville with Jacobs before walking out of the shot as Carmella looked on.
-Baron Corbin made his way to the ring to a nice negative reaction from the audience. When he got to the ring, Cole and the announce team ran through the tale of the tape between him and Chad Gable. The show then went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: There’s a good usage of the tale of the tape as it presents the match as sports-like in nature. WWE needs to follow suit with its booking and present the winner like that as well.
-After the break, Chad Gable made his entrance and pointed at the KOTR throne before walking down the ramp. The announce talked about all he went through to make it to the final and said that his daughter was in attendance to see the match. As he climbed into the ring, Cole cued up the KOTR bracket. He discussed the bracket with the announce team and then official introductions were made in the ring.
(2) BARON CORBIN vs. CHAD GABLE – King Of The Ring Tournament Finals Match
The match began with both men tying up in the middle of the ring. They quickly broke their tie up and Gable responded by shooting to grab Corbin’s ankle. Gable got it, but Corbin forced a break by reaching the ropes. From there, Gable shot in again and grabbed a front headlock on Corbin. After controlling the match for a short while, Corbin broke the hold and punched Gable in the face. Gable responded by tying up again, but Corbin broke out of it with a back elbow to the face. Corbin controlled the match from there and decimated Gable with a flurry of punches and strikes. He slammed Gable into the ring post and kept up with the strikes as the audience chanted “Corbin sucks” and booed. Corbin acknowledged the boos and taunted the audience, but was then dropkicked out of the ring by Gable. Gable rolled out to capitalize, but ended up getting back body dropped into the timekeeper area. The show then went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Corbin already has the crowd chanting at him and booing him. Because of that, Gable is in a great spot and should get a big pop when he wins. There is no equity in a Corbin win here. The equity is in Gable and the big pop helps define him in a brighter light. Here’s to hoping that’s the booking WWE went with.
Out of the break, the action continued as Gable crawled back into the ring as the referee’s count neared ten. As soon as he got there, Corbin went for the pin, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Corbin locked in a chinlock as Gable writhed in pain. The audience cheered for Gable which prompted him to get to his feet. Gable punched his way out of the hold, but was then destroyed with a vicious Corbin clothesline. Corbin covered, but again, got a two count. Out of that pin, Gable hit a series of strikes on Corbin, but once again, Corbin stalled his moment with a big boot to the face. After, he yelled “no chance” to the audience as they booed him.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Some solid selling by both Gable and Corbin. Gable is taking the Corbin in a way that’s building a tremendous amount of sympathy. Corbin is selling the beating to by engaging with the audience after each move to fan the negative reaction. The story is clicking and the audience is along for the ride. Good stuff.
Corbin kept the momentum in the match and dropped Gable’s sternum on his knee. After, Corbin walked Gable to the corner and connected with a series of sharp elbows to Gable’s jaw. Gable stopped the strikes by locking in a submission hold, but Corbin slammed him to the mat to break it. From there, he made the cover, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Corbin continued to taunt the crowd as they booed him. With Corbin a bit distracted, Gable was able to lock in the ankle lock submission. Corbin broke the hold by raking the eyes and then charged at Gable in the corner. Gable moved which caused Corbin to crash into the post. From there, Gable connected with a missile dropkick which launched Corbin to the opposite side of the ring. Seeing this, Gable ran and connected with a series of somersault kicks. He hit three, but on the fourth Corbin countered with slam and covered for a two count. Out of the pin, the audience chanted “Gable” as he attempted to get to his feet.
Once he did, he rolled out of the ring and Corbin followed. Out there, Corbin slammed Gable into the ring barrier and steel steps. From there, Corbin attempted a running shoulder tackle, but Gable countered which caused Corbin to crash into the steel steps himself. Gable rolled into the ring and Corbin did the same shortly after. With Corbin rolling in late, Gable grabbed his ankle and wrapped it around the ring post. From there, he hit a basement dropkick on Corbin’s ankle before connecting with a series of punches. After, Gable hit the ropes for a clothesline, but Corbin countered with Deep Six. Corbin then covered, but only got a two count. After, Corbin made the pin, but only got a two count.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Great looking move and perfectly timed in the match.
Out of the pin, the audience loudly cheered for Gable. Corbin went for another clothesline, but Gable countered into his rolling German suplex. From there, Gable attempted a moonsault and missed as Corbin rolled out of the way. Gable landed on his feet which allowed Corbin to attempt the End Of Days. Gable rolled through it and locked in the ankle lock again instead. Corbin writhed in pain, but eventually got to the ropes. Once Gable broke the hold, Gable tried for a tornado DDT, but Corbin countered it into the End Of Days. This time he hit it fully and made the cover for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Corbin via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Sure, King of the Ring is a gimmick that typically works better for heels. That said, how much more heat can Corbin get at this point? This tells me we’re due for silly “king” stuff from him now. Not the type of material that will suddenly make him a main event heel.
-After the match, Corbin engaged with his throne. From there, the Street Profits hyped their upcoming gender reveal party for Maria Kanellis later in the show. After, Michael Cole plugged NXT on the USA Network this week ahead of a video package promoting the show and brand. The show then went to commercial break. (c)
-Out of the break, the Street Profits were shown backstage for Maria’s gender reveal party. Maria announced that the baby was a boy to which the crowd of wrestlers cheered. From there, Maria confronted Mike and said that the real father of her child was Ricochet. Mike confronted Ricochet and Ricochet denied it and said Maria was lying. Mike then slapped Ricochet and told him to meet him in the ring. From there, Ricochet was told by Titus O’Neil that he needed to go out and take care of business. Ricochet left the shot as the Street Profits and other discussed potentially being the father.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Pure silliness and a weak attempt at comedy. Not a good sign that Ricochet is involved with this nonsense.
-Mike Kanellis made his way to the ring. Once he got there, Ricochet made his entrance and got into the ring begrudgingly. When he got there, the bell rang, and the match began.
(3) MIKE KANELLIS vs. RICOCHET
Out of the gate, Ricochet tried to not fight Mike, but had to once Kanellis starting to fight him. At that point, Ricochet quickly took care of business and hit the recoil for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Ricochet via pinfall
-After the match, Ricochet continued to plead his case to Kanellis. Kanellis looked confused as Ricochet walked away.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Again, WWE. You have a roster full of guys. Is this really something that Ricochet needs to be involved with?
-Bray Wyatt was shown once again in the Firefly Funhouse. He was adding to his wall of friendship, but said that something was missing. He then said it was time to add more friends before the episode wrapped up. The show then went to break. (c)
-After the break, Maria berated Mike Kanellis in front of the audience. She said that maybe if she embarrassed Mike he would be man enough to defend the honor of her and her unborn child. From there, Maria said she wanted to reveal the true father of her child. She introduced Rusev and Rusev walked to the ring. Mike Kanellis held Rusev up and told him that he was having a bad day and a horrible night. He told Rusev that if he was truly the father, he was fine with it and was happy for him and Maria.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Ok, what now?
From there, Mike rolled out of the ring. Rusev followed and beat Mike up around the ringside area. Cole called Mike Kanellis a loser as the beating continued. Eventually, Rusev rolled Kanellis back into the ring. When he did, the bell rang.
(4) RUSEV vs. MIKE KANELLIS
Rusev nailed Kanellis with a superkick to start things off. He then put Kanellis in the Accolade to force an immediate tap out.
WINNER: Rusev via submission
Heydorn’s Analysis: Alright, what is there to say about this? For one thing, this storyline hasn’t been featured for weeks. Now, in the end, Mike Kanellis just gives it all up? Good grief.
-R-Truth continued his tour of the University of Tennessee with Glenn Jacobs. In the end, Jacobs pinned Truth to become the 24-7 champion. From there, Sasha Banks and Bayley were shown backstage. The show then went to break. (c)
-Out of the break, it was announced that Baron Corbin would have his coronation ceremony tomorrow night on SmackDown Live. From there, Rey Mysterio made his way to the ring. As he did, the announcers reminded the viewer that his son Dominic talked him out of retirement. Once Mysterio got into the ring, Cesaro walked out. As he did, Cesaro spoke on the microphone and said Rey shouldn’t have listened to his son. He said that if he ever saw Dominic, he would do to him like he was going to do to Rey – beat the hell out of him. From there, Rey dropkicked Cesaro off of the apron as he tried to enter the ring. This led to a mini brawl that the referee eventually broke up. He got each man into the corner and then rang the bell for the match to begin.
(5) CESARO vs. REY MYSTERIO
Right out of the gate, Cesaro hit Mysterio with a stiff European uppercut. Cesaro maintained momentum in the match until Rey sent him into the ring post with the hurricanrana. From there, Rey tried for an aerial move, but Cesaro countered it into another uppercut. From there, Cesaro tried for a vertical suplex, but Rey countered. After, he hit Cesaro with a kick to the liver and followed that with a suicide dive into a tornado DDT. The show then went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: A tremendously dead crowd right now. And for Rey? What gives Knoxville?
Out of the break, the action continued with Cesaro maintaining his control over Rey. Rey battled back eventually, but the momentum was quickly squashed due to a stiff knee from Cesaro out of a gorilla slam. From there, Cesaro made a cover, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Mysterio set Cesaro up for the 619 and hit it. He then attempted his top rope splash, but Cesaro caught him in mid air. As Cesaro tried to reverse him into his own offensive move, Rey countered it into a flipping sunset flip for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Mysterio via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: A good match that the crowd seemed disinterested in until the very end. Not sure where they are going with the Mysterio storyline at this point. Judging by the crowd reaction though, they need to get there quicker.
-After the match, Mysterio celebrated until Bray Wyatt was shown again on the screen in the Firefly Funhouse. He put a picture of Seth Rollins on the wall and smiled as the scened ended. The show then went to break. (c)
-Out of the break, Cole and the announce team discussed the upcoming WWE Draft. A pre-taped promo then aired for the Authors Of Pain.
Heydorn’s Analysis: That was done well. Out of the blue? Totally, but done well nonetheless. AOP defined themselves as fighters and gave a logical reason for their absence that lines up with their characters. The best promo we’ve seen from AOP to this point.
-After the promo, Sasha Banks and Bayley made their way to the ring. The walked out on their own, but then joined for the walk to the ring.
-From there, Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss made their way down. Both teams got similar pops. Once Bliss and Cross got into the ring, the bell rang, and the match began.
(6) SASHA BANKS & BAYLEY vs. ALEXA BLISS & NIKKI CROSS
Bayley and Bliss started things off, but Banks quickly tagged into the match. Banks got a few shots in, but tagged Bayley in. Bayley continued their momentum, but eventually got hit by Bliss. From there, Bliss hit her double knee stomp which she followed with her moonsault knee stomp. After, she went for a pin, but only got a quick two count. From there, Bliss kept the momentum on Bayley and tagged Nikki Cross into the match. Nikki gained the early upper hand with her offense, but it was soon halted by Banks and Bayley. Banks took over and hit Cross with a vertical suplex before covering for a two count. After, Banks taunted Cross before kicking her in the back and Bliss on the ring apron. From there, she tried for her patented knee drop in the corner, but Cross countered. with a punch. The Cross momentum was short-lived as Banks hit Cross from behind to maintain control. She was able to because Bayley was beating Bliss up on the outside and slamming Alexa’s knee into the steel steps. The medical officials checked on Bliss as the show went to break. (c)
Out of the break, Nikki Cross took over the match. She hit a flurry of offense on both Bayley and Sasha including a cross body off the top rope on Bayley and stiff shots to Banks while Banks with wrapped up in the ring apron. Cross continued and connected with a tornado DDT on Bayley. Cross then hit a top rope neckbreaker on Bayley and made the cover, but Banks broke the pin. Out of the pin, Banks was the legal woman and was rolled up by Cross. Banks kicked out at two and then hit Cross with the Backstabber that she followed with the Banks Statement. Cross then tapped out.
WINNER: Bayley and Banks via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Nikki Cross looked great in this match. She had the crowd with her the entire way and in an organic way that felt natural. Bayley and Banks acted like heels here and got the desired reaction for the most part. Like earlier in the night with the men’s tag champions, did the women’s tag champions really need to be sacrificed here?
-After the match, Banks grabbed a steel chair and attempted to hit Cross with it, but Becky Lynch made the save. She walked to the ring with a chair of her own and both her and Banks swung at each other a handful of times. From there, Bayley made her way into the ring with a chair of her own. As this went down, Charlotte walked out. Bayley ran up the ramp to meet her with the chair, but got booted in the face. This left Banks all alone in the ring with Lynch. Lynch clocked Banks with the chair causing Sasha to roll out of the ring. Her and Bayley stumbled up the ramp as Lynch celebrated in the ring. The show then went to the break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Big pop for Lynch and Charlotte for that matter. Looks like we’re headed toward another round of singles matches between these four and this segment teased that nicely. Simply, but nicely.
-After the break, Sasha Banks cut a promo backstage. She said she was the woman and that she was the one cashing the winners check after last night. She then challenged Becky Lynch to a rematch for the Raw Women’s Championship inside Hell In A Cell. Banks called Lynch a B***h before leaving the shot.
Heydorn’s Analysis: That worked. Banks looked fired up and angry while delivering the lines smoothly. Really well done and the match feels big.
-Another segment with Glenn Jacobs and R-Truth aired. In it, Truth won back the 24-7 Championship.
-After the segment, Becky Lynch cut a promo backstage and said that she was fined ten thousand dollars for hitting the referee last night. She called Banks a trapped rat and said that she was not interested in facing Banks at Hell In A Cell, but that she wanted to destroy her inside Hell In A Cell. From there, Lacey Evans made her entrance as the show went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Short and sweet, but effective. Especially opposite Sasha’s promo. Both of these women have chemistry together and their feud feeds off it. Good stuff.
-Out of the commercial break, Dana Brooke made her entrance to the ring. Once she got there, the bell rang, and the match began.
(7) DANA BROOKE vs. LACEY EVANS
Brooke took over the match early with a dropkick that she followed with a series of punches in the corner. After, Brooke hit Evans with a handspring elbow and then covered for a two count. Out of the pin, Evans rolled out of the ring and Brooke followed to keep momentum. She connected with a series of chops, but they were eventually countered by Evans. Evans hit Brooke with a swinging springboard dropkick and followed that with a neck submission move. Brooke hit Evans with a knee to the face to break the hold and then clotheslined Evans to the mat. Eventually, Evans hit Brooke with the Woman’s right and then patted her face with a handkerchief. Instead of pinning her, Evans put Brooke in the Sharpshooter to cause a tap out.
WINNER: Evans via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: A couple nice spots, but your typical Lacey Evans match. Evans using the Sharpshooter is a smart way to prolong the Evans/Natalya feud. It’s a mid-card feud that the women’s divisions need on a week to week basis.
-After the match, Seth Rollins was shown warming up backstage as the show went to commercial break. (c)
-Out of the break, Seth Rollins made his entrance. As he walked down the ramp, the announce team discussed the night that Rollins had at Clash Of Champions once again. From there, Cole hyped Rollins vs. The Fiend at Hell In A Cell. Once Rollins got to the ring, Robert Roode made his entrance.
(8) SETH ROLLINS vs. ROBERT ROODE
After Roode got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began. Both men tied up to start things off with Rollins getting the early upper hand. Roode hit Rollins with a back elbow, but Rollins countered back quick with a hip toss into a arm bar submission. Roode broke the hold quickly by backing into the corner and then hit Seth with a run of three punches. From there, Roode tried to whip Rollins into the opposite corner, but Rollins countered it into a body slam that he followed with a jumping knee strike. Out of that, Rollins whipped Roode into the ropes, but Roode hit Seth in the midsection with knee strike. Eventually, Seth battled back and knocked Roode to the outside of the ring. Seeing this, Seth went for a suicide dive, but was interuppted by Ziggler who stood on the apron. Rollins chased Ziggler around the ring and clocked both Ziggler and Roode as he did. From there, he rolled Roode into the ring and tried for a springboard clothesline, but Roode knocked him off due to a distraction by Ziggler. This allowed Roode to maintain control on the outside as the show went to break. (c)
After the break, the action continued with Roode maintaining his control on Rollins with a bear hug to target the ribs. Rollins battled out with chops, but was then hit with a back breaker. After, Roode made the cover, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Rollins rolled to the outside where Dolph Ziggler attempted a superkick. Rollins ended up hitting one first which dropped Ziggler. He then went back into the ring and hit Roode with Sling Blade. From there, he hit Roode with a Falcon Arrow and covered, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Rollins climbed to the top rope, but Roode hit him with a right hand to stagger him. Roode then followed him up and tried for a superplex, but Rollins countered it into a buckle bomb. After, he hit a superkick and followed with the stomp. As the referee was counting the three, Dolph Ziggler entered the ring and broke it up. This caused the referee to end the match with a DQ.
WINNER: Rollins via disqualification
-After the match, Ziggler and Roode beat on Rollins and the OC ran down to join them. Styles hit Rollins with the Styles Clash and then smiled and gloated with other members of the OC. The beat down continued as the announce team wondered who could stop this five on one assault. From there, Kane walked out and destroyed everything in his path. As the audience cheered him, the lights went out, and the Fiend appeared behind him. The Fiend hit Kane with the Mandible Claw and then stared at Seth Rollins. The Fiend crawled toward Rollins and stared him down face to face. From there, the Firefly Funhouse logo and theme song played. The logo flipped upside down and right side up as the music skipped. The show then faded to black.