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KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
AUGUST 2, 2021
CHICAGO, ILL. AT ALLSTATE ARENA
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
-The camera panned the crowd as Smith touted a sellout crowd at Allstate Arena.
-Bobby Lashley made his ring entrance alongside MVP. MVP asked the fans, “Where y’all been?” He said everybody is very excited to see Goldberg. The crowd loudly booed and literally no one cheered. They cut to a crowd shot of people doing thumbs down gestures and no one cheering. MVP said the “All Mighty” has asked him to address a few things. He said Lashley has yet to dignify Goldberg’s challenge with a response. He said Goldberg is an icon, a GOAT, and a Hall of Famer capable of annihilating almost any opponent. He said Lashley isn’t just anyone, he’s a larger than life, unstoppable monster. A “Goldberg” chant rang out. (No telling if it was piped in, as it died off quickly after about four chants.)
Goldberg’s music interrupted MVP. They found some fans cheering to put on camera. Then the “Goldberg” chant rang throughout the arena, but again crowd shots revealed not many were actually chanting it. He then walked out and got a nice fleeting pop. He told MVP he looks scared and he said Lashley looked scared. He (annoyingly) chomped on his gum and spit in Lashley’s face as he said he knows what he’s thinking. Another “Goldberg” chant rang out. He started pacing and laughed and asked if he thinks he’s really up for a challenge at his level. The crowd chanted “We Want (something).” He said he can smell fear a mile away, so either he has crapped his pants or he’s scared out of his mind. He said no matter his age – 35, 45, or 105 – he lives by the spear and Lashley will die by the spear. “That’s why I am Goldberg,” he said. Then he left the ring. Goldberg fist-bumped his son, Gage, in the front row. Lashley and MVP leaped to ringside and got in his face. MVP vowed that Lashley will end his career. Goldberg returned and speared him at ringside. He left with his son.
(Keller’s Analysis: Goldberg was Goldberg here. I’m not sure introducing his son in this, who looked like he’d rather be anywhere else, is going to help Goldberg win over skeptical fans.)
-They showed Drew McIntyre chatting backstage with interviewer Sarah Schreiber. Graves plugged his match up next. c]
(1) DREW MCINTYRE vs. SHANKY & VEER (w/Jinder Mahal)
Drew shoved his sword into that fake rock on the entrance floor (it looked better going into the stage). The announcers said he named his sword “Angela” after his mother. Jinder, Veer, and Shanky bailed out to the the floor to chat before the match began. Drew chopped away at Veer in the corner at the start. The heel duo made a comeback and shoved Drew shoulder-first into the ringpost. An audible “C.M. Punk!” chant broke out. Once Drew took over offense, the fans got back into the match. Shanky held Drew’s boot to stop a Claymore. Jinder then attacked Drew with a chair so the ref called for a DQ.
WINNER: McIntyre via DQ in 3:00.
-All three heels surrounded Drew. He grabbed his sword, which got a nice pop. Jinder bailed out as soon as Drew blocked his chair swing with his sword. He knocked Veer down. Then Shanky just bailed out. Drew’s music played as fans cheered. Kevin Patrick caught up to Jinder and his men backstage. Jinder said Drew is a madman who swung a sword at them and put their lives at risk. He said they were leaving, “but karma will come around.” They cut back to Drew who was still playing to the crowd as his music played.
-Backstage, Nia Jax alongside Shayna Baszler looked at the camera and said if you’re shocked by what you just saw, just wait until they see what she does to Rhea Ripley. Graves said it’s the first time ever those two have wrestled. [c]
-Patrick interviewed McIntyre backstage. Drew said he didn’t finish the job. He said Chicago is blood-thirsty tonight and wanted him to finish the job. He said Jinder can choose the hospital, the graveyard, or Angela. He said that’s not a threat, it’s a promise.
(2) NIA JAX (w/Shayna Baszler) vs. RHEA RIPLEY
Jax was in the ring after the break with her music fading. Ripley’s full entrance aired and she walked out to cheers. Jax threw Ripley shoulder-first into the ringpost, then crushed her head against it. Jax drove Ripley into the ringside barricade with a Samoan Drop. They cut to a break at 2:00. [c]
After the break, Ripley took Jax over with a head scissors. Jax came up bleeding from her left forehead area. Ripley then landed a top rope dropkick for a near fall. They replayed it in slo-mo. Ripley avoided Jax sitting down on her sunset flip attempt. Smith noticed Jax bleeding heavily. She landed a legdrop for a near fall. Half her face was covered in red blood at this point. She lifted Ripley for a Samoan Drop, but Ripley fought out of it. Baszler stood on the ring apron and DISTRACTED Ripley. Jax charged at Ripley, but Ripley moved and then rolled up Jax for the pin.
WINNER: Ripley in 8:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: WWE’s getting more creative with distraction finishes with a high percentage backfiring now, which does change up the predictability. It’s nice when Smith’s voice doesn’t should like he’s shouting at us at a loud concert while straining like he’s trying to lift a truck. He had a few instances where it was just a regular voice and it was so refreshing.)
-After the match, Jax yelled at Baszler, somehow blaming her. Baszler heard enough and yanked off her jacket. She yelled at Jax, “I’ve been keeping it together.” She turned her back on Jax and left the ring. Fans booed, apparently wanting them to come to blows. Ripley then re-entered the ring and kicked Jax before giving her a Rip Tide. She let out a loud yell.
(Keller’s Analysis: Ripley’s clearly been cast as a definitive babyface now, which is good. Damage has been done given her first few months as half-hearted heel that led to ambivalence by fans. She’s good enough to overcome it, though.)
-They replayed Mansoor scoring the three count win with Mustafa Ali against T-Bar & Mace last week. Saxton said there just might be a future for them as a team.
-Mace and T-Bar made their ring entrance. Graves wondered if Mansoor & Ali could catch lightning in a bottle a second week in a row. [c]
(3) MACE & T-BAR vs. MUSTAFA ALI & MANSOOR
Mansoor was a little too enthusiastic for Ali in a pre-match hug. Ali shoved him away and made a face that it was too much. Mansoor battled Mace in the ring as T-Bar clotheslined Ali at ringside. The heels beat on Mansoor for a minute. When Ali got the hot-tag, the crowd popped. A graphic advertised Damien Priest would be a guest on Miz TV later. Mansoor and Ali took it to the heels on opposite sides of the ring. Mansoor smiled at Ali. Ali looked like he was beginning to be impressed. Ali rallied against T-Bar in the ring including a tornado DDT off the middle rope. Ali tagged in Mansoor, but T-Bar kicked him into the ropes, which knocked Ali off balance. Mansoor was DISTRACTED by Mace approaching him on the ring apron. T-Bar then kicked Mansoor in the head for the win. After the match Ali shoved Mansoor away and then turned around only to be met by a double-chokeslam.
WINNERS: Mace & T-Bar in 3:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Rapid-fire action. If you predicted the heels would even the score via distraction, you win. The fans seem ready to really get behind Ali, but the storyline isn’t helping.)
-They went to Smith, Graves, and Saxton at ringside who commented on clips of Charlotte beating up Nikki last week. [c]
-Charlotte made her ring entrance. She talked about Simon Biles dropping out of the Olympics. She said the more she learned, the more she began to empathize with her. She said she was going somewhere with this, so stick with her. She reacted to “Becky” chants by saying, “Becky’s not here. I’m the one who sold out the Allstate Arena. Not her.” Boos. She said Nikki stole the Raw Title from her. She as an 11-time champion, she is the most decorated woman in the history of the business. She said cashing in the Money in the Bank contract is the most cowardly way to win a title. “It is not competition, it is theft,” she said. She has been cashed in on three times. She pulled a kendo stick, a broom, and a chair out from under the ring, although it was pretty awkward. She said she asked for a one-on-one match against Nikki to prove her superiority. She said the only thing fans seem to like more than a champion is a martyr. She said Nikki is both, and later there is no hiding from her. Fans cheered as Nikki entered the ring and bashed Charlotte from behind with a chair. Graves called it a cowardly sneak attack that proved Charlotte was right about everything he said.
(Keller’s Analysis: Graves isn’t wrong. I don’t get why they book babyfaces to ever attack anyone from behind.)
-Patrick asked Doudrop about Natalya’s injury. Eva Marie said nobody should care about Natalya. She shifted to complaining about Alexa Bliss and her doll friend. Eva said Doudrop was probably scared and alone living on a farm somewhere before Eva-lution. As Doudrop was going to say something, Eva cut her off and said Tamina is about to pay a price just like Natalya did last week.
-Doudrop made her entrance alongside Eva Marie. [c]
(4) DOUDROP (w/Eva Marie) vs. TAMINA
They showed Natalya’s tweet about her injury. When Tamina took early control and began to climb to the top rope, Eva DISTRACTED her. Tamina yelled at her. Doudrop then got up and threw Tamina into the ringpost. The crowd seemed to audibly groan at yet another DISTRACTION in a match. Doudrop elbowdropped Tamina and scored a two count. A graphic hyped Riddle vs. Omos later. Doupdrop landed a running senton next. Tamina avoided a running splash and then landed a Samoan Drop for the win. Eva threw a fit at ringside. Graves said Doudrop didn’t listen well enough to Eva.
WINNER: Tamina in 4:00.
-After the match, Alexa Bliss showed up on the big screen with her doll Lilly in her lap and laughed uproariously. She announced, “And the loser of this match is Eva Marie!” She then laughed some more.
-The announcers commented on clips of Priest beating Sheamus.
-Backstage Riddle showed off his scooter to Priest. He talked about taking his pet gold fish to the beach, and he’d lose him, but then he’d go back home and his gold fish was back in his tank. Priest just looked at him. Riddle said he’s got the power of Randy Orton coursing through his veins and more voices in his head than he can count. Priest said he believes that. Riddle asked why Priest isn’t partying somewhere. Priest said he had a lot of fun over the weekend at Lalapalooza. He said he could handle Miz and Morrison before, and he’ll make sure Morrison is in a wheelchair like Miz if they try anything. Riddle smiled and rode off.
-Miz and Morrison made their entrance.
-A Smackdown commercial hyped Sasha Banks and John Cena. [c]
-Miz TV: Miz introduced Miz TV and then introduced Priest. Priest sat down and Miz and Morrison did their intentionally annoying “Coooo-rect” bit which prompted a loud “C.M. Punk!” chant. Priest asked if Miz has an injury to his legs “or a different situation in between them.” Miz said, “How dare you?” He said he was in wrestling for 16 years and was never injured until this one instance. He said if he wasn’t in that wheelchair, he’d smack the taste out of his mouth. Priest said he’s dealt with people like Miz when he used to run clubs, and he loved putting people like him in their place.
Morrison stood and got in Priest’s face. He said kids will dream one day of growing up to be half as cool as Miz and Morrison. Priest said there isn’t one kid on this planet who wants to grow up to be second-fiddle. “Ain’t that right, Johnny Sidekick?” he asked. Morrison said, “The wet don’t forget, bro.” Miz said they won’t forget him saying bad things about “America’s Moist Wanted.” Priest said he came out there to officially challenge Sheamus, but they’ve pissed him off and now he’d rather just fight him tonight in Chi-town. Morrison replied: “You’re about to find out that the wet guy is the best guy because tonight we are gonna have the last splash.” Priest blocked Morrison’s punch and tossed him out of the ring. Then he went after Miz, who wheeled himself backwards in a panic. Priest sprayed Miz with the water and then poured a bucket of water on his lap. [c]
(5) DAMIAN PRIEST vs. JOHN MORRISON (w/Miz)
Priest beat up Morrison until Miz sprayed him with the Drip Stick. Morrison overhead slammed him over the top rope. He set up a Starship Pain, but Priest countered with a chokeslam attempt. Morrison rolled through for a near fall. Priest came back and pinned Morrison after his finisher.
WINNER: Priest in 5:00.
-Afterward, Sheamus attacked Priest. Ricochet made the save. Smith said to “expect the unexpected” after the break. [c]
(6) RICOCHET & DAMIAN PRIEST vs. SHEAMUS & JOHN MORRISON (w/Miz)
They match was in progress after the break. Ricochet flip dove onto Sheamus at ringside. Smith said, “Are you kidding me?” Graves said, “I kid you not.” Priest then hit Morrison with his Reckoning again for another three count.
WINNERS: Priest & Ricochet in 4:00.
-The announcers commented on a replay of what happened with Lashley, MVP, Goldberg, and Gage earlier in the show.
-They showed Lashley and MVP backstage. MVP was still wincing in pain as Lashley paced. Smith said Lashley would respond to Goldberg’s challenge after the break. [c]
-Backstage, Schreiber asked Lashley how he responds to Goldberg spearing MVP earlier. He said he hopes Goldberg brings his son out to Summerslam so he can watch him annihilate his dad.
-Graves said that makes it official. They showed the graphic of Lashley vs. Goldberg at Summerslam.
-Riddle made his ring entrance. They replayed what Styles did to Riddle last week. Patrick interviewed Omos and asked what we can expect this week after he destroyed his scooter last week. Omos said his scooter came first last week, and his spine will come second this week.
(7) RIDDLE vs. OMOS
Omos then made his ring entrance. No sign of Styles. (Uh oh.) Riddle jumped Omos from behind when he entered the ring. Omos threw him down, tossed him around the ring, and then shoved him with force over the top rope. When Riddle got back on the ring apron, Omos knocked him off the ring apron hard. Riddle got back in the ring at the count of nine. Riddle hit a series of flying knees, but Omos finally countered with a hard clothesline and then his head-vice slam for the clean win.
WINNER: Omos in 2:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: That’s a big spend to have Riddle lose clean like that, indicating big plans for Omos. Is Styles visiting Orton somewhere?)
-Bliss said backstage in her playground that Lilly has been influencing people for a long time such as Jack the Ripper and the Zodiac killer. Doudrop attacked her from behind. Eva walked in and said Lilly is yuckier and grosser in person. She said, “This is Eva-lution” and then left with Doudrop. Lilly then stood up on her own. (Oooh!)
-Karrion Kross made his entrance, again without Scarlet. Graves said, “Doomsday is upon us. The time has come to fall and pray.” Smith said he’s an experienced martial artist and master submission specialist. Kross pounded his chest and let out a big yell. Graves hyped a rematch for Keith Lee. [c]
(8) KARRION KROSS vs. KEITH LEE
Kross’s music was playing after the break. They showed a pre-recorded inset interview of Kross holding an hour glass. He said everyone’s time is limited and Lee’s time is coming up and he, too, will fall and pray. Kross paced and then finally Lee’s entrance began. Graves said, “Allow us to remind you of what Keith Lee is capable of.” They replayed Lee pinning Orton. He wondered if Lee can get back on the horse today. Saxton said Lee didn’t take the loss to Kross well and insisted he is better than he looked last week. Lee played to the crowd as Smith said Lee returned and faced Lashley first and then Kross, so it hasn’t been easy. Graves said a third loss in a row could be catastrophic for Lee. An “NXT” chant started. When Lee got in some offense, Graves criticized Lee for basking in his glory instead of following up. Kross took over and overhead tossed Lee into the ringside steps. They cut to a break. [c]
Kross controlled after the break, but Lee made a comeback. He charged at Kross and knocked him down. Kross came back with another Cross Jacket. The fans chanted “Keith Lee.” Lee powered out to mild cheers. He then gave Kross a Spirit Bomb for clean win.
WINNER: Lee in 7:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: So Samoa Joe has to just squash Kross at Takeover, right? I mean, this feels just like a passive-aggressive FU to NXT’s attempt to get Joe over by beating the previously unbeaten Kross, but in the process is willing to greatly damage Kross at a time Vince badly needs untainted new top tier stars.)
-Patrick interviewed Ripley backstage. She talked about the violence she expects in the main event match later. She said she hopes Nikki beats the living hell out of Charlotte. She said no matter what happens tonight, she’ll walk out of Summerslam as the Raw Champion.
-Reggie danced to the ring. [c]
(9) REGGIE vs. TOZAWA – 24/7 Title match
Reggie pinned Tozawa after another acrobatic flip splash. Besides marveling at his athleticism, the announcers debating his fashion during the match.
WINNER: Reggie in 2:00.
-Patrick asked Nikki if she’s ever been in such a dangerous match. Nikki said no, but Charlotte doesn’t know what to expect from her other than she’ll give it her best. [c]
(10) NIKKI A.S.H. vs. CHARLOTTE – No Holds Barred
They fought to the floor a few minutes in with Charlotte in control. Charlotte speared Nikki through the ringside barricade. They cut to a break. [c]
Charlotte remained in control after the break. Charlotte countered Nikki’s comeback at ringside and powerbombed her through the announce desk. Smith said a pin would be merciful at this point. Saxton said Charlotte is trying to send a statement to the locker room and the WWE Universe. Charlotte finally stood on Nikki’s chest, but Nikki lifted her shoulder before three. Charlotte kicked Nikki in the ribs. Saxton said she just won’t quit. Charlotte charged at Nikki, but Nikki moved and Charlotte crashed through the table leaning in the corner. Nikki scored a near fall. A “This is awesome!” chant rang through the arena. Nikki then landed a neckbreaker off the middle rope for the win. Smith said he didn’t believe it. Saxton said to believe in the impossible.
WINNER: Nikki in 15:00.