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WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRIMER
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. AT THE CHASE CENTER
SEPTEMBER 23, 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 now in full swing as far the build towards Hell in a Cell as that event is less than two weeks away. We may or may not start getting a better idea tonight as to what WWE has planned. We know of two matches already as Becky Lynch will defend the Raw Women’s Championship against Sasha Banks and Seth Rollins defends his Universal Championship against “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. Both of those matches will take place inside the aforementioned Hell in a Cell. Banks was involved in the first women’s HIAC match against Charlotte Flair back in 2016.
Tonight’s Raw emanates from the Chase Center in Sacramento, CA. They are calling next week’s Raw a “season premiere,” which coincides with AEW starting their Dynamite show in two days on TNT. The paint is probably drying as we speak as the arena opened just a few weeks ago on September 6th. It will be the home of the recent frequent NBA Champion Golden State Warriors.
Here is what WWE is advertising thus far for tonight’s show:
- Who will challenged for the Universal Title on the season premiere of Raw next week?
- What’s in store on a new “Firefly Fun House”?
- Can the Boss combat Nikki Cross’ chaos?
- Chad Gable to square off with Baron Corbin in a King of the Ring Final rematch?
Matches & Segments:
Fatal Five-Way to Determine Challenger for the Universal Championship: Rey Mysterio vs. Ricochet vs. U.S. Champion A.J. Styles vs. Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Raw Tag Team Champion Co-Holder Robert Roode
As I mentioned earlier, WWE is calling next week’s Raw a “season premiere.” This is likely to counter AEW starting their Dynamite show on TNT two days later.
Seth Rollins is set to defend his Universal Championship against “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. He made his presence known last week throughout the show with a “Firefly Fun House” episode and coming out at the end to attack a returning Kane, who had come to his former rival Rollins’ aid. Before that, he will have to defend his title on Raw next week against the winner of a big fatal five-way match tonight.
There are quite a few entanglements in this match tonight. Ricochet recently held the U.S. Championship but for a short time, dropping it to A.J. Styles over the summer. Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura had a long rivalry throughout 2018 when they feuded over the WWE Championship beginning with their match at WrestleMania. Styles and Robert Roode have history from their days in TNA/Impact Wrestling when they feuded over their World Heavyweight Championship. Rey Mysterio worked with Nakamura upon his full-time WWE return last year. Roode and Rollins worked in the main event of last week’s show, which saw Rollins win via DQ when Dolph Ziggler got involved.
Tonight, all five men go at it to determine who will face Rollins next week for the Universal Championship.
Frank’s Analysis: Boy this is a tough one to guess. I honestly can’t rule anyone out, except maybe Roode? Rollins vs. Ricochet is fresh, as is a match with Mysterio. Styles and Rollins worked at Money in the Bank earlier in the year, but Styles has since turned heel and the O.C. has gotten involved with Rollins a lot lately. Nakamura and Rollins did Survivor Series last year but could still feel fresh to a degree. I guess Styles is the best opponent, so that’ll be my pick but I’m not putting money on it. Also, it’s really interesting that Rollins has to defend his title twice before the draft starts on October 11. Does he drop the title next week and have a straight up Hell in a Cell match with Wyatt, then go to Smackdown? Does he retain next week and drop to Wyatt and still go? Does he retain both times? With AEW starting and NXT getting ready to roll out their full-time show that week, it’s not crazy to imagine a Universal title change on TV. The last time a “world” championship changed hands on TV, and I may be off on this, was A.J. Styles dropping the WWE Championship to Daniel Bryan on Smackdown pre-Survivor Series last year.
A New Episode of Firefly Fun House with Bray Wyatt
As I talked about earlier, Bray Wyatt made his presence known throughout Raw last week. In less than two weeks, he challenges Seth Rollins for the Universal Championship inside Hell in a Cell at the aforementioned PPV. On last week’s episode, he pointed out how Rollins has made mistakes. He talked about how friends forgive, but “he never forgets.” Later in the evening, Rollins defeated Raw Tag Team Championship co-holder Robert Roode via DQ when his partner Dolph Ziggler got involved. The O.C. then came out but Rollins was saved by a returning Kane who had been appearing on the show in pre-taped videos as himself, Knoxville, TN. mayor Glen Jacobs. He even had a reign as 24/7 Champion. Nonetheless, Wyatt appearing under his “Fiend” persona attacked Kane, then stared down a prone Rollins.
Tonight, we get another episode of the Firefly Fun House. It’s a school night, so the kids should be in bed.
Frank’s Analysis: You just never know what to expect out of the Firefly Fun House. Wyatt is all about the Easter eggs and references, so pay close attention. I get why people like his character, but I’m with Todd Martin who’s bearish overall. Go VIP to hear The Fix with Todd which is one of the outstanding shows you get with a VIP membership here at PWTorch.com. It is well worth your money. On last week’s Part One episode, he discusses his thoughts on the Bray Wyatt character.
Sasha Banks vs. Nikki Cross
Last week in a battle of the “first vs. the current,” Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley & Sasha Banks defeated Women’s Tag Team Champions Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross in a non-title match. Bayley & Banks were the inaugural champions winning the Elimination Chamber earlier in the year. Bliss’ knee was “injured” during the match getting rammed into the steps, rendering Cross to do most of the dirty work. She eventually tapped out to the Banks Statement. Following the match, Banks threw a chair in the ring, but Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch came out with a chair of her own. As they swing chairs at each other, Bayley came into the ring to aid Banks. Smackdown’s Charlotte Flair came out to even up the odds and kicked Bayley. Lynch avoided a chair shot from Banks and hit her across the back. Banks and Bayley retreated.
Following the match, Banks challenged Lynch to a Raw Women’s Championship match inside Hell in a Cell at the aforementioned PPV. Lynch accepted later on in the evening. Tonight, matters continue with Cross as Banks and they go one on one. Here’s some Twitter chat from Cross:
Tommorrow night! First time ever!! singles match between myself, one half of the @wwe Women’s Tag Team Champions and the Boss. #RAW don’t miss this, it’s going down, get your popcorn, coffee (no decaf) and watch! Will make my bestie bliss baby proud! https://t.co/n6cGZrYs79
— Nikki Cross (@NikkiCrossWWE) September 22, 2019
I got your back!!! I will avenge what they did to you last week! And we have greats butts!!!!!!!! https://t.co/On3r39O0pE
— Nikki Cross (@NikkiCrossWWE) September 22, 2019
Frank’s Analysis: This is really just to continue cementing Banks’ heel character along with Bayley, whom we can assume will be close by. It sure feels like Charlotte has turned babyface which I’m not sure people wanted to see. Given they turned Bayley and Banks and how they’ve pushed other women, and also looking at the level of talent, it’s not surprising. Charlotte isn’t a terrible babyface but much better as a heel. As far as Cross and Bliss it looks like there’s no end in sight to this partnership, which is fine. It does seem like they’re being careful with Bliss given her concussion history. Cross seems to be doing most of the heavy lifting in their matches.
King of the Ring Final Re-Match: Baron Corbin vs. Chad Gable
Last week on Raw Baron Corbin joined WWE Hall of Famers “The Magnificent” Don Muraco, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Harley Race, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Edge and Booker T before him as he won the 2019 King of the Ring tournament. It was the first tournament as such since 2015 which saw Wade Barrett take the crown. He defeated Chad Gable in the finals match.
Corbin was coronated the following night on Smackdown, and invited Gable out. He proceeded to lay in a bunch of “short” jokes when Gable finally had enough. He attacked Corbin, who would retreat. He destroyed the chair and Corbin’s crown. Here’s that footage in case you missed it and a little Twitter chat between the two:
— THE KING (@BaronCorbinWWE) September 23, 2019
Tonight, Gable and Corbin go one-on-one in a rematch.
Frank’s Analysis: I’m glad Gable finally snapped and attacked Corbin, but the short jokes went way too far. Also, there’s been too much pouting and too much of Gable looking like a fool just taking the abuse. Hopefully, he stands up for himself going forward and they limit the abuse because this is not how you build up somebody. As far as Corbin being king, you just have to imagine that this is what Vince McMahon wanted from the beginning. It’s actually a good thing as he likely won’t be involved in more meaningful championship matches, so there is that!
Other Match Results and Notable Segments from Last Week
- Braun Strowman attacked both new Raw and Smackdown Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode and the Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder)
- The O.C. (U.S. Champion A.J. Styles and Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson) defeated Cedric Alexander anThe Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar)
- Maria Kanellis revealed she was having a boy
- Ricochet defeated Mike Kanellis
- Rusev returned and defeated Mike Kanellis
- Rey Myserio defeated Cesaro
- AOP (Akam & Rezar) did a sit-down interview explaining nobody has wanted to fight them since WrestleMania
- Lacey Evans defeated Dana Brooke
- Before appearing at the end to rescue long-time rival Seth Rollins, Glen Jacobs (Kane) gave 24/7 Champion R-Truth a tour of Knoxville, Tenn. They traded the title in pre-taped segments.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome! Thank you for reading.