SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW TV REPORT
AUGUST 2, 2021
ROSEMONT, ILL. AT THE ALLSTATE ARENA
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
REPORT BY BRUCE LEE HAZELWOOD (@B_Lee253), PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
Ring Announcer: Mike Rome
Backstage Correspondent(s): Sarah Schreiber, Kevin Patrick
Tonight after the show, join Wade Keller and guest cohost Rich Fann of PWTorch.com to break down the show with live callers and emails.
•STREAM LIVE HERE ABOUT 5 MINUTES AFTER THE SHOW CONCLUDES
•CALL: (347) 215-8558
•EMAIL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: firstname.lastname@example.org
•IF YOU DON’T LISTEN LIVE, SEARCH “WADE KELLER” ON YOUR PODCAST APP TO SUBSCRIBE AND THEN DOWNLOAD OR STREAM THE FULL SHOW AN HOUR OR SO AFTER RAW
-They began with a wide shot of the crowd as Jimmy Smith welcomed viewers, with the Rawbot, from Chicago even though the Arena is listed as being in Rosemont. Bobby Lashley’s lighting and music hit as his Tron played to start the show. He drew a round of boos from the crowd, pretty audibly, then received more as he posed at the entrance as Mike Rome introduced him as “The All Mighty WWE Champion.”
Byron Saxton said Lashley has backed up the talk every week. Smith said Lashley said he had been his own worst enemy with the champagne and women, and Corey Graves said it’s back to business. M.V.P. said Chi-town, welcome back to Monday Night Raw. He said where y’all been like Vince McMahon a few weeks ago. He said he knows everyone is excited to see Goldberg (they booed), then said he had some things to address on Lashley’s behalf.
He said Goldberg showed up uninvited and challenged Lashley for his WWE Championship and that Lashley hasn’t dignified the challenge with a response. He said Goldberg is still a legend, capable of beating any man on any night, but he didn’t challenge any man, he challenged the All Might. He said Goldberg is a gladiator and is used to stepping into this colosseum and crushing any gladiator before him, but Lashley isn’t a gladiator, he’s a kaiju, a living, breathing, unstoppable monster.
M.V.P. said he’s out here to stop a tragedy from unfolding. The crowd started chanting “Goldberg.” M.V.P. said he knows Goldberg is listening and we all know that if Lashley accepts, it may be the last match of Goldberg’s storied career. He said Goldberg, “Bill if I may,” do you want to be remembered as a champion or a casualty? Goldberg’s music hit to a big pop.
He entered after about 30 seconds to a bigger pop. He annoyingly chewed his gum as he glared at Lashley, then did his traditional entrance. M.V.P. was shown whispering something to Lashley. Goldberg hugged his son at ringside, now almost as tall as his father. Goldberg entered the ring with a mic and yelled at Lashley, saying let’s get something straight, the only person who needs to be worried about losing something it’s him losing the WWE Championship.
He said after listening to the intro, Lashley is nothing but scared, and Lashley looks scared. He said he knows what Lashley is thinking: he’s a high-level athlete, a gladiator (he paused as the crowd chanted “Goldberg”), but high-level athlete, gladiator, he shows weakness. He said so, then laughed, then asked if he’s up for the challenge because the first time he saw Goldberg walking down that ramp, he saw a victim. Goldberg said guess what, this ain’t your colosseum, this is Chicago (which really didn’t pop), and they can smell fear a mile away and Lashley either crapped his pants or is scared out of his mind.
Goldberg said it doesn’t matter if he’s 35 or 45 or “One hundred and freaking five,” Goldberg will always be Goldberg. Goldberg will always live by the spear, and you, champ, will die by the spear. He said that’s why he’s Goldberg, and because he’s Goldberg, at SummerSlam, Lashley’s next. Goldberg left.
M.V.P. pointed to Goldberg’s son on the outside. Lashley approached, then M.V.P. said see that man right there? That man is going to end your father’s career. He said it’s done. Goldberg came back down and hit M.V.P. with a spear, then backed away with his son behind him. Lashley exited the ring to check on M.V.P. as he glared at Goldberg. Goldberg said he’ll kill Lashley.
-They cut to the back where Sarah Schreiber was shown standing next to Drew McIntyre for an interview as he held the sword with the point down. The sword was nearly as tall as Schreiber. They showed McIntyre hitting Shanky with 34 chair shots, then hitting Veer with a Claymore to the chair last week. They hyped a handicap match next. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: That was not a good promo from Goldberg. He stayed at one loud note the entire time. It also seemed he wasn’t sure where he was supposed to go with his lines at least once or twice. The crowd also did not react at all to his “money” lines, particularly the one about Lashley crapping his pants. That segment didn’t achieve its goal based on the crowd reaction.)
-They returned with Mahal and his cronies already in the ring as Saxton said SummerSlam is brought to you by WWE 2K22. McIntyre made his entrance to a pretty big pop. The fans cheered louder when he raised the sword, then popped for the plunging of the sword/pyro. McIntyre grinned at the three in the ring, then withdrew the sword from the stone. He pointed it at the three as he walked down as Smith said McIntyre named the sword Angela after his late mother. The three heels scattered as McIntyre entered the ring with the sword because of course he would use the sword on a human on national television.
(1) DREW MCINTYRE vs. SHANKY & VEER (w/Jinder Mahal) – Handicap match
Veer began the match as this handicap match is employing tags. Veer kicked McIntyre, but McIntyre just came right back with strikes, then chops and punches in the corner. Veer hit a double thrust to the throat, then tagged in Shanky. They double-teamed him by sending him shoulder-first into the opposite ring post. Shanky placed McIntyre into the corner and hit and elbow, then a punch. McIntyre fought back with a chop, but was caught with a clothesline after a rope run for a one-count. Graves noted how Shanky had to shake off the pain in his arm after hitting a clothesline. A “C.M. Punk” chant started.
Veer tagged back in and hit a running clothesline for a two-count, but missed an elbow as McIntyre rolled away. McIntyre looked to be regaining his aggression, then hit a few clotheslines before hitting a back elbow after sending Veer off the ropes. He then hit his overhead belly-to-belly from the corner followed by his leaping neckbreaker and kip up. He gave a crotch chop on the way up to Shanky, then took him out with a punch. He delivered a spinebuster to Veer, then began the countdown only for Shanky to grab his leg. Mahal entered with a chair and waylaid McIntyre to cause the DQ.
He directed the two to grab chairs. They all stood in front of McIntyre with the chairs as McIntyre looked up. He retreated to grab his sword, then entered the ring to a pop. Mahal tried swinging the sword, but McIntyre swung it away with the sword. Mahal fled. Veer tried, but McIntyre took him out with kicks. McIntyre pointed the sword at Shanky, who shook his head, then took a long time to back away; he only left when McIntyre feigned swinging the sword at him (Shanky is not a good actor). The three heels looked on from the stage as McIntyre pointed the sword at them.
WINNER: Drew McIntyre at 3:15 by DQ
-They cut to three running in the back as Kevin Patrick approached. Mahal said McIntyre is a mad man and he threatened their lives. He said they’re leaving, but that karma will come around. They cut back to McIntyre posing on the ropes with the sword, gaining a huge pop.
-They cut to the back with Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler who said if you’re shocked by what you just say, wait until you see what she does to Rhea Ripley. Graves hyped their match next as a first-time ever match. They cut to break. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: Maybe McIntyre is more over than we thought based on that reaction, but maybe that’s also due to him NOT being in the WWE Championship picture AND taking on Mahal. Let’s see what his reactions are like after this feud.)
-They returned with McIntyre walking in the back holding his sword like a bat as Patrick approached. He asked about wielding the sword. McIntyre said to be completely fair, he didn’t finish the job. He said Chicago is bloodthirsty tonight. He said he loves Mahal getting away every week because Mahal has to think about McIntyre and has nightmares about him every night. He said it’s nice when you can pick: the hospital, the graveyard, or Angela here. He said they’ve known each other for 10 years and that’s not a threat, that’s a promise.
-They cut to the ring with Jax already in the ring. Ripley’s music hit and she received an above-average pop. She entreated a louder pop as she entered and the crowd obliged. Saxton hyped the Women’s Championship triple threat match at the upcoming pay-per-view.
(2) RHEA RIPLEY vs. NIA JAX (w/Shayna Baszler) – Singles match
They locked up, with Jax shoving Ripley away. They locked up again, and this time Jax forced Ripley into the corner. Ripley responded with double boots and a big headbutt, but Jax no-sold and landed her own (it was a good spot). She then just tossed Ripley in the post shoulder-first, then hit a running hip attack that sandwiched Ripley’s head into the ring post. Ripley crumpled.
Ripley did fight back, hitting a head kick. She tried a Riptide, but Jax hit a back elbow and ran Ripley into the post again. She tried for the hip attack, but Ripley moved. Ripley went for a somersault senton off the apron, but hit Baszler. This allowed Jax to hit a Samoan Drop against the barricade as they cut to break. [c]
Jax had Ripley in a torture rack as they returned, but Ripley fought out with elbows, then forearms to the chest. She hit a few short-arm clotheslines, then a rope-assisted rana that sent Jax into a corner. Ripley rushed, but Jax sent her to the apron. Ripley hit a head kick then climbed to the top rope to hit a missile dropkick for a two-count.
Jax set for a powerbomb, but Ripley turned it into a sunset flip attempt. She dodged as Jax tried hitting a senton (she has a cut over her left eye). She ran down Ripley and hit a leg drop for a believable near-fall. Jax was in disbelief. Jax went for a Samoan Drop, but Ripley escaped. She tried for a Riptide, but Bazsler distracted her. Jax went to attack, but Ripley sidestepped and rolled up Jax for the win.
After the match, Jax & Baszler argued in the ring. Baszler removed her jacket, which got a rise from the crowd. They kept arguing, then Baszler left the ring. Ripley reentered and sneak attacked Jax with a headkick and a Riptide, which drew a big pop from the crowd. Ripley did a heel move there, as her disposition seemed to be, yet drew a pop. That could be she’s coming over as cool in-person, people disliking Jax, or both.
WINNER: Rhea Ripley at 8:07 (rollup)
-Smith cut to replays of Mustafa Ali & Mansoor’s victory over T-Bar & Mace last week, their first match as a team. The latter two made their entrances, and they actually drew some boos instead of apathy, so that’s a good sign. They cut to break hyping the rematch. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: So it seems like WWE is finally breaking up Jax & Baszler…or this is a red herring. I would love for Baszler to just be given a badass run like her NXT character, channeling her mixed martial arts background to full effect. I’m glad Ripley went over and we don’t have to have a fatal four-way at SummerSlam. Beyond that, the match was decent, with one or two clunky spots, and that Riptide was impressive.)
-The heels were in the ring saying they were going to destroy their foes as they returned. Mansoor entered to no reaction. However, Chicago’s own Ali received a huge pop. He walked out looking arrogant (have to love him soaking up the crowd yet still maintaining a heel persona). The crowd chanted “Ali.” Mansoor lifted Ali to the latter’s chagrin.
(3) MACE & T-BAR vs. MUSTAFA ALI & MANSOOR – Tag team match
Mansoor and Mace began as Mace took out Ali, then turned his attention to Mansoor. Mansoor tried fighting out of the corner, but ate a leg lariat from Mace. T-Bar tagged, then ran down Ali on the outside, then hit a springboard elbow to Mansoor for a two-count. He readied Mansoor for a powerbomb, but Mansoor slipped out and hit an enziguri. The crowd chanted for Ali again, who made the tag to a big pop.
He took out Mace, then avoided T-Bar and hit a kick. He hit his rolling neckbreaker from the apron, sending him outside. He hit a tope as Mansoor hit one to Mace on the opposite side, surprising Ali. T-Bar then threw Ali into the apron, but Ali hit a tilt-a-whirl tornado DDT to T-Bar. Mansoor tagged in, but got kicked into the ropes as Ali was climbing to the top. Ali fell. Mansoor was distracted on the middle rope by Mace. T-Bar took out his feet, then hit a discus boot for the victory.
After the match, the heels entered the ring. Ali smiled, pushed Mansoor out of the ring, and turned to his former Retribution brethren, who gave him a double chokeslam. He saved Mansoor from punishment, “Accepting his fate,” as Saxton said.
WINNER: Mace & T-Bar at 2:42 (discus boot)
-Smith cut to last week’s “Championship Contenders” match as Charlotte Flair defeated Nikki A.S.H., then her attack after the match. They showed A.S.H. warming up in the back, doing little sprints back and forth as they cut to break. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: 50/50 booking doesn’t help either team here. The move probably should have been to continue with Ali & Mansoor winning and THEN running into a roadblock with a more established tag team down the line. Ali’s tornado DDT spot was a sight to behold; check that if you missed it.)
-Flair’s music hit to mostly boos as they returned to start the second hour of the show. Flair did the confident-bordering-cocky slow, methodical entrance and pose, drawing more boos. She had a cameraperson lower the middle rope for her. She took a mic as “Woos!” rained down. She said a few days ago she woke up to a headline that Simone Biles withdrew from the Olypmic Games. She said it caused her to ask herself why the greatest gymanst wouldn’t go for gold. When she found out it was for mental health reasons, she started to empathize more with Biles. She said she’s going somewhere with this, then responded to the Becky chants by saying Lynch isn’t here and she’s the one who sold out the Allstate Arena.
She said A.S.H. illegitimately stole and won Flair’s Women’s Championship by cashing in the contract. She said she’s been in the business a long time, but didn’t know what happened and was on the verge of her own nervous breakdown. She said she’s an 11-time champion, the most decorated woman in the history of the business (she walked out of the ring). She said cashing in the contract is the most cowardly way to win a title. She said it’s not victory, it’s theft. She reached under the ring and retrieved a kendo stick, saying she’s going to beat “Nikki Cross” with this. She reached and grabbed a broom and tossed it into the ring too. She said she’s been cashed in on three times (this time she tossed a chair into the ring).
She said cashing in on her is the only way to make a name for yourself, cashing in on all of her hard work. She said she asked for a singles match to show her superiority to all of the wannabe superheroes like A.S.H. in the crowd. She said A.S.H. had the audacity to challenge her even though she had just lost? She said A.S.H. is gullible, so she punched her. She said the only thing people like more than a champion is a martyr, and A.S.H. will be both in their no holds barred match tonight. A.S.H. appeared behind Flair and hit her in the back with a chair. Graves was apoplectic, calling it cowardly (he’s right). The fans popped, though. The segment ended with Flair glaring at the champ as the latter pumped up the crowd.
-Smith shifted to last week’s match between Natalya & Tamina vs. Eva Marie & Doudrop that saw Alexa Bliss interfere by way of Tron with a reality TV type video on Lilly spoofing Eva-Lution with “Lilly-Lution.” They showed Marie & Doudrop in Gorilla as Patrick asked about Natalya’s injury from last week. Marie said who cares as Doudrop did look regretful. Marie said they should be concerned about the “smear campaign” from Bliss and her doll. She said before Eva-Lution, Doudrop was probably on a farm somewhere. She asked what the hell is a “Lilly-Lution” but ew, yuck, gross. She said Natalya paid the price for stepping in front of the Eva-Lution and tonight, so will Tamina. They made their entrance as Graves nearly had a heart attack on air. They cut to break. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: Flair’s response to the Becky chants was good, and she didn’t have the rollercoaster voice and emotions. It was a good promo, but the end of it started to drag. Throwing the weapons in only made sense if you connected it to the No Holds Barred match, but looked clunky mostly because it caused Flair to stop speaking as she retrieved the items.)
-The heels were in the ring waiting as they returned. Tamina’s music hit to no response either. She carried both titles. They showed replays of Natalya’s injury last week, saying she suffered torn ligaments. They showed one of Natalya’s tweets about her injury (I wrote up a news story on her injury for the Torch).
(4) TAMINA vs. DOUDROP (w/Eva Marie) – Singles match
They locked up, then broke. They locked up again with Doudrop getting the side headlock. She ran off the ropes with a shoulder tackle, but Tamina hit her own that dropped Doudrop. She then hit a corner avalanche, then a running hip attack to the head. She went to the top, but Marie climbed the apron and distracted Tamina. She backed away, allowing Doudrop to ram Tamina’s head into the ring post.
Doudrop went to the apron, then hit an elbow drop stepping off the second rope for a two-count. A “C.M. Punk” chant started again as Doudrop slammed Tamina and hit a running senton for a two-count. Doudrop locked in a sitting Cobra Clutch to Tamina. The crowd is quiet for this match outside of the match. Tamina fought to her feet, then gave a push kick to Doudrop out of the corner to drop the latter. Doudrop hit a big right hand, then they started trading blows, but Tamina started landing more and hit a running clothesline.
She hit a corner avalanche, but her superkick was blocked. Doudrop took out her leg, but Marie distracted Doudrop telling her to hit the running crossbody. Doudrop missed, then Tamina hit a Samoan Drop for the victory.
WINNER: Tamina at 3:50 (Samoan Drop)
-After the match, Bliss and Lilly appeared on the Tron. Bliss cackled, then announced Marie as the loser of the match. Marie looked offended and pointed to Doudrop, saying Doudrop lost the match. Marie looked offended in the ring as Doudrop sold the match.
-Smith cut to last week’s match between Sheamus and Damian Priest that saw the former’s mask come loose. Priest landed Hit the Lights to win the “Championship Contenders” match. They showed Priest walking in the back as Riddle rode up on his scooter, drawing a huge pop. Riddle had a new scooter after Omos “destroyed” the other one last week. Riddle said it’s like his goldfish when he was younger, Swim Shady, and how he would lose him at the beach, but the fish would be home and he returned.
Priest said aren’t you concerned Omos will do the same thing tonight? Riddle made some comments about having a lot of voices in his head. They shifted to The Miz & John Morrison. Priest said he has experience with them, and if Morrison wants to do anything with that “stick thingy,” he’ll put Morrison into a wheelchair just like The Miz.
-Morrison’s music hit as he and The Miz entered. They sprayed their Drip Sticks in slowmo as Graves said it’s getting moist in here. They cut to break with Saxton telling The Miz, “Don’t you dare come over here.” [c]
Mike Rome introduced Morrison as “America’s Moist Wanted” again. They both had mics as The Miz did his usual intro. The Crowd said “MIZ TV” at the appropriate time. The Miz said he wants to let “bygones be bybons” and introduced Priest, saying he hates Priest. Priest entered to a little pop.
Morrison said look here my dry amigo, keep your mouth shut or he’ll have to moisten him up. The Miz asked who is responsible for putting him in a chair and taking advantage of him as of late, as well as being the cheater who ripped Sheamus’ mask off and won last week. Morrison said Priest to all three, then they did their annoying “COOREEEECCCTT!” thing.
Priest said they have to be out of their minds as another Punk chant started. Priest said Sheamus was clered to wrestle, but he fought injured, and that’s respectful, unlike The Miz. He asked if anyone even knows what the injury is, if The Miz will fight again, then if he actually has a problem with what’s between them; he really brought out a Latino accent at the end.
The Miz said he wrestled for 16 years and was never injured until one match with Priest. He said he would slap Priest if he could stand up. Priest stood up and put his face in The Miz’s. The Miz didn’t swing, so Priest said he thought so and he’s dealt with bullies like them his whole life. Morrison interrupted, then said they’re two legends who will go into the Museum of Moistness or something. Priest said no one wants to be number two, right Johnny Sidekick? He then said no one wants to be a jackass who uses his best friend. They warned him, and Morrison said, “The wet don’t forget.”
Priest asked what’s wrong with both of them? He came out to officially challenge Sheamus, but they’ve made him so bad he wants to fight them in Chi-town. The Miz tried spraying Priest, but he grabbed the stick and tossed it. He gave a thunderclap to Morrison and tossed him outside. He grabbed the stick and sprayed The Miz, then took every stick The Miz tried to grab and sprayed him, then dumped the bucket on his lap. They cut to break. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: My only thought about that segment is yikes.)
(5) DAMIAN PRIEST vs. JOHN MORRISON (w/The Miz) – Singles match
They returned with Priest’s music playing. Smith said Sonya Deville made it official. Priest had his leg caught, but hen used the ropes as leverage to stomp Morrison down. He then hit a running back elbow in the corner, but Morrison slipped out of Broken Arrow. Priest went to the apron and used a second rope leg lariat to land a two-count.
He landed a haymaker to Morrison, but Morrison flipped off of Priest’s back and landed a series of kicks to the knee, chest, and head for a two-count. Morrison mounted Priest and landed a few punches, then locked up both arms with his legs omoplata style. Priest kneed his way out of it, then hit a back elbow to a rushing Morrison, followed by a punch, combo of kicks, then big clothesline.
He climbed to the top, but The Miz sprayed him (where’s the DQ?). Morrison kicked him off the top to the apron, put him on his shoulders, then hit a reverse rolling senton over the top rope. As he went for Starship Pain, Priest caught him and went for a chokeslam, but Morrison countered into a victory roll for a two-count, then landed a standing Shooting Star Press for a two-count.
Priest fought back and caught Morrison as he went for a springboard, actually hitting a Bianca Belair K.O.D. type of move. He then hit South of Heaven (chokeslam) for the victory.
WINNER: Damian Priest at 4:03 (South of Heaven)
-After the match, Sheamus attacked Priest from behind and laid into him. Ricochet’s music hit to a big pop as he fought off Sheamus. Priest took out Morrison. They cut to break, maybe with a tag match next. [c]
(6) DAMIAN PRIEST & RICOCHET vs. SHEAMUS & JOHN MORRISON (w/The Miz) – Tag team match
They returned with the match in progress (I started the timer during the break, but it will be an estimate). Ricochet tagged in and hit a springboard dropkick and a springboard crossbody to Sheamus, followed by a running PK and a springboard dropkick to send Morrison outside. He hit a springboard moonsault to Sheamus for a two-count; it’s Springboard City!
Ricochet was knocked from the apron after a distraction by Morrison, who then tagged in. The Miz started spraying the ground, then Morrison threw Ricochet on the ground, who slid directly into the steel steps, slip-n-slide style. Morrison scored a two-count, then tagged in Sheamus.
Ricochet tried fighting back, but Sheamus landed an Irish Curse and then a series of seated forearms to Ricochet. He hit another one to the back, but Ricochet hit a bunch of back elbows, maybe 20, then an enziguri to the shoulder. Morrison tagged in, but Ricochet hit a snap German. Priest tagged in and took out Morrison, then Sheamus. Morrison landed a gut kick, but had Moonlight Drive countered into an Alabama Slam/backbreaker then South of Heaven. The pin was broken up by Sheamus.
Priest dodged and attack, hit a spinning heel kick, then clotheslined Sheamus over the top. Ricochet hit a moonsault off the second rope to Sheamus. Priest hit The Reckoning (I think I got that and Hit the Lights mixed up, or they changed the name), for the victory.
WINNER: Damian Priest & Ricochet at approximately 5:55 (The Reckoning)
-Smith then shifted Goldberg’s challenge to Lashley as they replayed the promo about living by the spear from the first segment. They showed Goldberg spearing M.V.P. as well. They showed Lashley & M.V.P. in the back, the latter hunched over selling the spear as Lashley paced angrily. They cut to break hyping Lashley’s answer. [c]
-Schreiber approached in the back as they returned. M.V.P. tried intervening, but couldn’t. Lashley said Goldberg brought his son to watch him, now he can watch him lose as Lashley accepted the challenge. Graves said it’s official, and the graphic was ready.
-Riddle entered to a big pop and loud “Bro!” chants as he fist bumped people around the ring, giving his hat to a dude who looked like Tazz. They showed Omos snapping the scooter last week, causing his loss to Morrison. They also showed A.J. Styles hitting the Styles Clash after the match.
-They showed Omos in Gorilla as Patrick approached asking what to expect in the ring. Omos said the scooter came first; Riddle’s spine comes next. He entered sans Styles, maybe his first solo entrance. The crowd was silent, maybe in awe of his size. Riddle tried hitting a rear naked choke, but Omos tossed him off and one handed his head, throwing him away.
(7) RIDDLE vs. OMOS (c) – Singles match
The bell rung and Riddle hit a bunch of running forearms until Omos caught him and ran him over the top rope to the outside. He exited pretty smoothly, then tossed Riddle into the timekeeper’s area and reentered the ring as the ref counted. Riddle just beat the count.
Omos hit a headbutt that sent Riddle to the apron, then a running hip attack that launched Riddle to the floor. The ref counted again as Omos watched the ref. Omos broke the count to grab Riddle, but Riddle flipped in and hit one, two Final Flash moves, then a springboard Final Flash. Omos just hit a running clothesline to floor Riddle; Omos has yet to hit the mat. He pulled up Riddle by the arm, then lifted him for the two-arm chokeslam. He pinned Riddle for the win.
WINNER: Omos at 2:34 (two-handed chokeslam)
-They cut to the back with Bliss & Lilly. She welcomed viewers back and said Lilly’s been thrilled with how well this “Lilly-Lution” has been going. Bliss said Lilly’s been influencing people for a long time. She named Jack the Ripper before Doudrop attacked her from behind, then kicked her in the gut. Marie appeared, grabbed Lilly, and called the doll disgusting. They walked away with Bliss selling the attack. Suddenly, Lilly the doll stood right up.
-Karrion Kross’ music hit as he stood on the entrance stage with the NXT Championship around his waist. He slowly made his way to the ring, and I couldn’t really tell if there was any reaction. Graves said Kross is well-versed in many martial arts. They hyped a rematch with Keith Lee as they cut to break. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: Omos looked good. He actually moved pretty quickly and smoothly getting in and out of the ring. However, I’m also keeping in mind they’re asking him to do very little in the ring as of now, which is the smart move to accentuate what he can do well and hide what he can’t do as well yet. Also, as a friend put it, “They really didn’t want him to be cheered,” with the absence of Styles.)
-They returned with showing Belair’s tweet with Megan Thee Stallion from Lollapalooza over the weekend. I hope they didn’t catch that Delta with all those people there.
-Kross was in the ring and they played a pre-recorded promo. He said just like the grains of sand in this hourglass, all of our days are numbered and unfortunately for Lee, his time is up and he shall fall and pray. Pretty basic, flowery promo with little substance you expect in WWE. Lee entered and got a big pop when his music hit, and an even bigger one when he entered. Graves then shifted to showing some photos on split-screen of Lee pinning Orton at Payback last year. Smith said it hasn’t been an easy road for Lee with Lashley and Kross.
(8) KARRION KROSS (c) vs. KEITH LEE – Non-title singles rematch
They locked up, moving around the ring, with Lee forcing Kross into the corner. He landed a combo of body punches, then went for Grizzly Magnum in the corner, but Kross reversed position. Lee then went for a belly-to-belly, but Kross fought out. Another attempt from Lee was thwarted, but he landed a shoulder tackle, then another. Kross sent Lee to the apron, but Lee hit a slingshot from the apron, but no pin. Graves chastised him for “basking in his own glory.”
Kross hit a kick, then a forearm, then hit a big exploder to Lee that sent him into a corner. Kross went outside and brought Lee with him, then hit a modified pumphandle overhead throw into the steps as they cut to break. [c]
They returned with Kross in control, hitting a running corner clothesline and a series of strikes. He ducked a Lee clothesline and landed his own for a two-count. There was a quiet Keith Lee chant going as he elbowed Kross and then kicked him before sidestepping Kross and landing a combo of punches that ended with a headbutt. Lee hit Girzzly Magnum in the corner that rung throughout the arena.
Lee powered up like a Saiyan, then hit a running shoulder tackle that almost sent Kross out of the ring. Lee didn’t attempt a pin, and instead motioned for the Sprit Bomb. Kross slipped and looked for his Doomsday Saito, but Lee fought it off. Kross trapped an arm and hit his big forearm to the back of the head, dropping Lee to his knees. Kross went for Kross Jacket, but couldn’t get a good hold as Lee fought it off.
Lee rose to one knee as “KEITH LEE WHOOP WHOOP!” chants started. Lee rose to his feet, then flung Kross over and hit a popup Spirit Bomb to gain the victory and a BIG pop. Lee posed in the ring as the fans cheered.
WINNER: Keith Lee at 9:23 (popup Spirit Bomb)
-They cut to Patrick and Ripley in the back. Ripley said her match with Jax was brutal, but nowhere near to a no holds barred match. She smiled, then said she will be watching and hopes A.S.H. beats the living hell out of Flair. She said don’t get it wrong, nothing that happens tonight doesn’t change the fact that she’ll walk out of SummerSlam with the Women’s Championship.
-Reginald then made his entrance, back handspringing and dancing to the ring. He did his springing flip into the ring that I erroneously said was like Ricochet last week when I meant Sin Cara. They cut to break. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: WWE should really stop with the 50/50 booking. Kross just sandwiched a win between losses, while Lee won one after losing two. Are we supposed to believe that either man is actually going to be a serious threat if they hover around .500, alternating wins and losses essentially? Separate the two and have them go on separate win streaks so both can be built as contenders, particularly since it seems like Kross will be dropping the title to Samoa Joe on NXT.)
-Reginald was in the ring holding his title as they returned. They showed a pre-recorded promo where he said Reginald was the name he used to get into the WWE. Carmella needed a sommelier, so he jumped in. He said he’s Reggie, and Reggie’s overcome all challenges he’s faced. Akira Tozawa entered, still wearing the ninja garb, to no reaction. Sad; I’ve always liked Tozawa.
(9) REGGIE (c) vs. AKIRA TOZAWA – 24/7 Championship match
Saxton actually said “the 24/7 Championship mob, if you will.” Reggie removed his blazer, and Tozawa did some cartwheels himself and motioned for Reggie to bring it. They countered each other, then Reggie dodged some strikes using his balance, then backflipped from the apron to avoid a strike.
He sat on the barricade, then dodged as Tozawa leaped at him. Tozawa chased him into the ring, but cut his face on the bottom rope on the way in. He yelled for Reggie to stop, then did some stereotypical “ninja power” stuff. Reggie nailed some moves, then his seated somersault senton for the victory.
WINNER: Reggie at 2:06 (seated somersault senton) to retain 24/7 Championship.
-They cut to Gorilla where Patrick approached A.S.H. She said she’s never been in such a dangerous match and she doesn’t know what to expect, but that’s part of what’s it like to almost be a superhero. She said you have to bring your best even if you don’t know what to expect. She said she has the confidence to beat Flair, and if she does she proves to the world that if you believe in yourself, you can be almost a superhero. She posed, then entered as her music hit. She received a decent pop, but not even close to the bigger pops of the night. Rome announced it as another “Championship Contenders” match. She spoke to a few kids on her way to the ring. They cut to break. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: Reggie seems to be entertaining the live crowds enough that he just might get over now that he’s separated from Jax & Baszler. People who criticized Ricochet and Will Ospreay for being too acrobatic years ago will NOT like Reggie, but it’s obvious why the appeal is there considering he’s able to do ridiculous things so fluidly that’s rarely, if ever, been seen in professional wrestling.)
-They returned with a Raw Talk promo featuring Reggie, McIntyre, and Ali & Mansoor.
-A.S.H. was in the ring bouncing around. Flair’s music hit and she slowly made her way. A.S.H. stopped bouncing and looked seriously at Flair. Graves hyped the triple threat match. Flair had the referee lower the middle rope for her.
(10) NIKKI A.S.H. (c) vs. CHARLOTTE FLAIR – Championship Contenders match
The bell rung with just under 15 minutes remaining until the top of the hour. Flair pointed at A.S.H., criticized her, but was hit by a crossbody for a quick count. Flair then landed a gut knee to stop A.S.H., then hit her backbreaker/flatliner into the turnbuckle combo. She yelled to the crowd, “This is your superhero?!”
She tossed the champ outside, then cleared the announce table while yelling, “No more cashing in on me!” She glared at Smith, who was pulled away by Saxton. The crowd started a “we want tables” chant. Flair went under the ring and pulled out a table to a big pop. They showed a few fans with masks on in the crowd, but very few. Flair went for her exploder, but A.S.H. slipped out and drove Flair face-first into the ring post.
Flair fought off A.S.H. as she used her arms to block the impact. They showed Ripley watching in the back at an unnatural angle. Flair landed some chops and dropped A.S.H. with a push kick, then landed the exploder on the outside. Flair rushed at A.S.H. and hit a spear through the timekeeper’s barricade. She rose to her feet and yelled in triumph as they cut to break. [c]
Flair was delivering shoulder thrusts and a chop in the corner as they returned from break. The crowd did the same table chant as both women were fighting on the ropes. A.S.H. knocked off Flair, but missed a top rope crossbody, then ran into a big boot from Flair for a two-count. They replayed the spear before the break.
Flair lifted A.S.H. to her feet, then landed another boot. She pinned A.S.H., but lifted her before three. Smith said that’s the second time, and the replay seemed to show that was the case with the first boot as well. Flair exited the ring and grabbed three chairs. As she went to climb the apron with one, A.S.H. hit a dropkick into the chair to Flair’s face, then hit a tornado DDT from the apron to the floor.
Flair grabbed her nose, though I’m not sure if that’s just selling or if it’s injured. Another Punk chant started as Flair regained the advantage with chops. Flair sent A.S.H. over the barricade, then posed and said no one is cashing in on her anymore. She turned around and caught A.S.H., who attempted a crossbody from the barricade. Flair then powerbombed A.S.H. through the announce table she cleared earlier to a big reaction. The crowd started a “yes” and “this is awesome” chant.
Flair taunted the fans behind the announce table, then dragged A.S.H. with one arm to the ring, yelling at A.S.H. that A.S.H. is only there because of Flair. Smith said a pinfall would be merciful at this point. Flair slowly walked up the steps and entered the ring. She dragged A.S.H. to the middle and placed her boot on the chest for the heel cover. A.S.H. kicked out at two, angering Flair. Flair then gave a stiff kick to the gut of A.S.H., then set for a spear through a table in the corner. Predictably, A.S.H. moved and Flair crashed and burned (hey, Steve Corino!) through the table. It looked like her head hit hard.
A.S.H. made the cover, but Flair kicked out at two. Flair had blood on her back from the wood of the table, slight scrapes it appeared. A.S.H. sold some injuries as she looked around the crowd. They chanted “this is awesome” as A.S.H. grabbed Flair and pulled out her old NXT finisher, the twisting neckbreaker elevated off of the ropes, for the victory.
WINNER: Nikki A.S.H. at 14:35 (elevated twisting neckbreaker)
-After the match, they quickly showed replays from the match as Graves hyped the SummerSlam triple threat match. A.S.H. slowly rose to her feet with her title, then raised it in the middle of the ring as they showed the triple threat graphic. Flair was still laid out in the ring as A.S.H. began celebrating at ringside, straddling the barricade, to end the show.
(Hazelwood’s Take: They did a lot in that match, and both women took brutal bumps with A.S.H. seemingly taking the brunt of punishment. I was actually surprised at the finish, but Flair did hit the table hard, and if they show how A.S.H. won matches in NXT with that very maneuver in a video next week, it helps lend credibility to her victory tonight. For a TV no holds barred/no DQ/street fight match, it was a great showing.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: That was just an overall bad show, with that second hour being especially brutal. The main event did help a bit, and while some matches were decent to good, the 50/50 booking tonight just hampers things too much. It’s OK to have clean victories that don’t need to be traded! Also, some of the promos (Goldberg) and acting (Marie), among others, were just atrocious. Now we know Lashley vs. Goldberg is official, and it seems Priest vs. Sheamus will happen at SummerSlam, so there was advancement toward that end at least. It also seems like unless Ripley has some matches before the big show that she would just look like a fool if she can’t win the title with both her opponents having gone through that brutal match.