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WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRIMER
KNOXVILLE, TENN. AT THE THOMSON-BOLING ARENA
SEPTEMBER 16, 2019
AIRS ON USA NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EDT
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young
Arena, Clash of Champions Results, and Items Advertised by WWE
Clash of Champions is now behind us and we get ready for Raw tonight as WWE heads over to the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, TN. The arena opened in 1987 but didn’t start hosting televised WWE events until 2001 with the April 16th episode. On that night, Triple H defeated Jeff Hardy for the Intercontinental Championship. Various Raw, Smackdown, and other now-defunct WWE events have come from this arena. Raw’s last appearance was in November of 2017.
Here are the Clash of Champions results from last night:
- Drew Gulak defeated Lince Durado and Humberto Carrillo to retain the Cruiserweight Championship
- A.J. Styles defeated Cedric Alexander to retain the U.S. Championship
- Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler defeated Seth Rollins & Braun Strowman to win the Raw Tag Team Championship
- Bayley defeated Charlotte Flair to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship
- The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder) defeated New Day (Big E & Xavier Woods) to win the Smackdown Tag Team Championship
- Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross defeated Fire & Desire (Sonya Deville & Mandy Rose) to retain the Women’s Tag Team Championship
- Shinsuke Nakamura (w/Sami Zayn) defeated The Miz to retain the Intercontinental Championship
- Sasha Banks defeated Becky Lynch via DQ. Lynch retains the Raw Women’s Championship
- Kofi Kingston defeated Kofi Kingston to retain the WWE Championship
- Erick Rowan defeated Roman Reigns with the help of a returning Luke Harper
- Seth Rollins defeated Braun Strowman to retain the Universal Championship. Bray Wyatt attacked Rollins after the match.
There’s one match, the King of the Ring final, advertised for tonight. Otherwise they’re just following up on some high points from last night’s show. I’m sure more specific matches and segments will be announced later in the day. We turn our attention now towards Hell in a Cell, coming October 6, a quick turnaround. Here is what WWE is advertising thus far for tonight’s show:
- The King approaches
- Back on Boss Time?
- What will be the fallout from The Fiend’s ruthless assault on Rollins?
- Alexander the second?
Matches & Segments:
King of the Ring Final: Baron Corbin (Raw) vs. Chad Gable (Smackdown)
We have reached the end of the line with the King of the Ring tournament as the finals take place tonight. WWE moved this from Clash of Champions where it was originally slated to happen. Last week on Raw Baron Corbin won a triple threat match between him, Ricochet, and Samoa Joe. The triple threat match came about as a result of Joe and Ricochet working to a double pin two weeks ago. Corbin eliminated Cedric Alexander that same night.
Chad Gable defeated the “Best in the World” Shane McMahon in a heavily criticized two-out-of-three falls match at last week’s Smackdown in Madison Square Garden. Kevin Owens was the special guest referee. Shane inserted himself into the tournament when WWE announced Elias was injured. I went into detail in my Smackdown On-Site report with parts of that segment that didn’t make TV so please refer to that, Wade Keller, or Brandon LeClair’s Smackdown report for more details.
Here’s Gable in a WWE.com exclusive following his win, as well as Corbin on Twitter who seems to have high aspirations:
— Soon to be KING (@BaronCorbinWWE) September 13, 2019
Corbin and Gable go one-on-one tonight for the King of the Ring “title.”
Frank’s Analysis: This is a mess on a lot of levels. I don’t care that the finals are Gable vs. Corbin. It wouldn’t have been my pick, but it doesn’t bother me. It’s how they got here. Getting to the triple threat last week was stupid. I don’t understand why they needed it. Replacing Elias with Shane the way Shane replaced Miz in the World Cup last year is dumb. Tuesday night’s ending was a debacle. Go find my guest editorial here at PWTorch.com on King of the Ring: A Chance to Elevate or an Opportunity to Agitate. They chose the latter. I don’t care who wins.
Back on Boss Time? Following up on Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks Feud
Last night at Clash of Champions, Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch was disqualified when she inadvertently hit Sasha Banks with a chair. They ended up brawling through the crowd and then back into the ring. The announcers informed us Becky Lynch was DQ’d, and eventually the ring announcer did as well, but the referee was unconscious from the point of getting hit by the chair and never officially made a call. Following the match, WWE announced Lynch had been fined $10,000. Prior to the announcement, she talked a little trash. Sasha showed her appreciated to Vince McMahon for the fine. Also, check out a WWE.com exclusive with Lynch:
— The Man (@BeckyLynchWWE) September 16, 2019
— WWE (@WWE) September 16, 2019
Frank’s Analysis: It was fine overall, but I felt kind of apathetic. It was a bit long. Screwy finishes are fine, but WWE does them too often as a means of getting out of a finish. It was dumb to for Becky to be DQ’d by an unconscious referee. Who made the decision? Anyway, this feud has to have Hell in a Cell written all over it.
“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt Attack on Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins retained his Universal Championship by defeating Braun Strowman in the main event of last night’s show. He did so after hitting four Stomps, as well as pulling out a tool “from the past” in the Pedigree. Strowman kayfabe hurt his knee jumping off the top rope in a splash attempt on Rollins. Earlier in the evening, Strowman and Rollins lost the Raw Tag Team Championship to Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler.
As Rollins was making his way up the ramp and celebrating with the crowd, the arena went dark. As he has done before, Bray Wyatt appeared and gave Rollins the mandible claw. The horror movie sounds played in the background. Previously on the Firefly Funhouse, Wyatt alluded to challenging the winner of the Universal Championship match, so this came as no surprise to those whom have been paying attention.
Frank’s Analysis: It seems a bit soon to go to Wyatt being in the Universal Championship picture. With the announced draft taking place on October 11th and 14th, it may not be so sudden if they decide to put the title on Wyatt and move Rollins to Smackdown. I hadn’t thought about that until I saw it on Twitter (moments ago admittedly), but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. They have certainly made Wyatt feel like a special act.
Cedric The Second: Fallout from Loss to A.J. Styles in the U.S. Championship Match
During the pre-show, A.J. Styles retained the U.S. Championship over Cedric Alexander who had his family at ringside in his hometown of Charlotte, N.C. Following the match, Styles’ O.C. partners Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson got involved and triple teamed Alexander. They then made “two sweet” gestures towards the crowd.
Alexander earned the championship match pinning Styles last week on Raw in a 10-man tag team match. Earlier in the night they had a one-on-one non-title match which ended with Alexander getting a DQ win when Gallows and Anderson interfered in the match. He was visibly disappointed in last night’s result, as he told Sarah Schreiber in a WWE.com exclusive. The O.C. were also interviewed by Schreiber:
Frank’s Analysis: This feud probably continues. They tend to pass the U.S. Championship around, so Alexander could win the title out of this, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he doesn’t. It was surprising to a degree this match was on the pre-show, but then again, it’s not the first time a U.S. title match has been placed as such.
Other Match Results and Notable Segments from Last Week
Here are a few things from Raw that weren’t furthered at Clash of Champions:
- Rey Mysterio defeated Gran Metalik
- Natalya defeated Lacey Evans via submission. They have traded wins the last two Raws.
- R-Truth lost and regained the 24/7 Championship from former N.Y. Knick and current Boston Celtic Enes Kanter
As was reported here at PWTorch and by WWE last week, they announced their will be a two-night draft starting on the Friday October 11th edition of Smackdown and concluding on the October 14th edition of Raw. Several other wrestling media outlets reported as such as well as Fox Sports:
BREAKING: The destiny of @WWE’s Superstars will be determined during a two-night draft taking place live on #FridayNightSmackDown on October 11 at 8 pm ET on @FOXTV and #MondayNightRaw on October 14 at 8 pm ET on @USA_Network https://t.co/9huKsc7kRg pic.twitter.com/bHsMdfIufO
— WWE Public Relations (@WWEPR) September 15, 2019
Frank’s Analysis: In the previous roster split era from 2002-2011, the draft was how the rosters were “shaken up.” In this era, which began in 2016, we’ve had the “Superstar Shakeup” where we find out that wrestlers have been drafted to a show by hearing their entrance music and them coming out. It’s to see them go back to doing it this way. They are certainly going all out to make the first two Smackdowns on FOX a big deal.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome! Thank you for reading.