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KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
AUGUST 16, 2021
SAN ANTONIO, TEX.
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
-They opened with a three minute video package on the return of Randy Orton also week and ultimately blowing off Riddle and giving him an RKO at the end of the show.
-They went live to the arena in San Antonio, panning past the fans in the front row as Smith introduced the show. He said everyone is feeling the nerves. He said the big stage is where legends shine, such as Orton.
-Orton made his ring entrance. He said everyone has been asking him all week why he gave Riddle an RKO. He said he doesn’t need friends. He said he would have defeated A.J. Styles last week with or without help from Riddle. He said he’s a 14 time world champion, “and I did it all by myself.” He said he doesn’t owe anyone anything, including an explanation. He talked about facing Omas later. He said he’s an undefeated force of nature “and a bit of jackass, too.” He said he’s gotten himself into quite a mess. An “RKO” chant broke out. He said he’s going to hit him with the three most destructive letters in sports entertainment. “R-K…” at which point Riddle’s music interrupted with “Bro!” The announcers chuckled.
Riddle rode to the ring on a scooter. Saxton said he thinks Orton does owe Riddle an explanation for hitting him with the RKO last week. Riddle said Orton doesn’t have to explain himself to anybody because he knows why Orton hit him with an RKO last week. Orton said, deliberately, “I highly doubt that.” Riddle said he realizes that Orton is just teaching him. Riddle said he had been hitting RKO’s during his absence, and Orton wanted to show him the proper way to execute it to teach him a lesson. Riddle said he learned his lesson, so he’d like to “give this team thing another chance.” He asked him to please bring back R-K-Bro. Fans cheered. Before Orton could respond, A.J. Styles’s music played.
Styles and Omos walked onto the stage and Style suggested, “How about R-K-No?” He said nobody cares why he R-K-O’d Riddle, and he said he enjoyed it and he could do it again. He suggested Orton give an R-K-O to himself. He said he proved nothing last week, though. He said “if not for that turd Riddle,” he wouldn’t have beat him. He predicted Omos will “defang the Viper.” Styles said he’s so sick of Riddle saying “Bro” that he wants him in a match tonight. Fans chanted “Bro!” He said he wants to break his jaw so doctors have to wire it shut. Riddle said he accepted his challenge. He said when he has Orton in his corner, he’s unstoppable. Orton looked at Riddle quizzically. Riddle told him to come to the ring right now. Saxton asked, “Is this match actually going to happen?” Graves said they’d try to make it official during the break. A graphic appeared advertising the match and then Smith said it is coming up next. So it became official quite quickly, apparently. [c]
(1) RIDDLE vs. A.J. STYLES (w/Omos)
Before the match, Orton walked away from ringside. Riddle looked crestfallen. Styles jumped Riddle at the bell. Riddle made a comeback a few minutes in and landed a corkscrew moonsault off the ring apron onto Styles on the floor before they cut to a break. [c]
They fought back and forth after the break for a couple minutes. Riddle countered a Style suplex attempt with a high knee and then an exploder suplex into the turnbuckle. Riddle stood on the top rope and was DISTRACTED by Omos at ringside. Riddle yelled at him for just walking at ringside. Styles knocked Riddle off balance and then gave him a Styles Clash for the win.
WINNER: Styles in 11:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Complaining about DISTRACTION finishes is almost becoming as annoying as DISTRACTION finishes, but it’s gotta be pointed out what a ridiculous overdone crutch it has become for WWE for months now. It’s comically predictable and takes away drama from the rest of the match because viewers are being trained to not think a finish can occur until there’s a distraction. And it also makes babyfaces look like imbeciles. In Riddle’s case, that might be more of a feature than a flaw, I suppose.)
-A clip aired of Charlotte shoving Nikki A.S.H. off the top rope last week before attacking Rhea Ripley.
-Sarah Schreiber interviewed Nikki backstage. She said she just has to look at herself and remember she wears her outfit for herself and everyone out there who’s just like her – trying to achieve. She said they have it in her, but they have to believe they can be Almost a Superhero. She said it works for her, and it can work for everyone else too.
-Nikki made her ring entrance as Graves plugged the Nikki vs. Rhea Ripley match.
(Keller’s Analysis: The idea that WWE doesn’t think it’s a problem that they have the same wrestlers face each other with slight tweaks week after week after week after week is astounding. The repetitiveness just takes away most of the novelty and undercuts the anticipation of seeing them ultimately battle with slightly higher stakes or slightly different circumstances at the PPV. Raw is like that veteran NBA player on a mid-level team who is just going through the motions to fulfill his contract, but not really trying anymore because he’ll get paid the same either way.)
-Riddle was walking backstage dragging his scooter behind him, sulking. Kevin Patrick approached him. Riddle said when Orton was gone, he held out hope they’d reunite. He said even when Orton hit him with an RKO last week, he didn’t give up. He said tonight he just left him alone against Styles and Omos. He said it made him sad. He walked away, hanging his head.
(2) NIKKI A.S.H. vs. RHEA RIPLEY
After Ripley’s entrance, Charlotte’s entrance began. She joined the announcers on commentary. Nikki landed an early running crossbody block off ring apron onto Ripley on the floor.
(Keller’s Analysis: The formulaic nature of WWE’s match structure is also just lazy at this point. They cut to a break after a babyface hits a move off the ring apron and celebrates a couple minutes into the match occurred back-to-back already.) [c]
A graphic plugged that Moist TV hosted by John Morrison would feature The Miz as a guest. Charlotte said Nikki is champion because of her. Ripley won with her Riptide finisher.
WINNER: Ripley in 8:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: So no distraction here, but a challenger beating a champion in a non-title match is another cliche in WWE overdone to a ridiculous degree.)
-Charlotte taunted Nikki after the match. Nikki had enough and attacked her. They showed Ripley smiling in the ring. When Charlotte entered the ring, Ripley clotheslined her. Nikki and Ripley took turns kicking Charlotte before throwing her out of the ring. Nikki yelled down at Charlotte as Ripley’s music began to play.
-Backstage, Jinder Mahal gave Veer and Shanky a guilt trip/pep talk about all he’s done for them and his expectations they beat Drew McIntyre. He said it’s their last chance to take away his precious sword. He said then at Summerslam, Drew will crumble at his feet.
-Drew made his ring entrance. [c]
-MVP ordered a stagehand to deliver an unseasoned chicken breast filleted medium (they’re artificially eating Raw chicken?) and purified water. Then Patrick approached with a mic, which obviously wasn’t needed as we heard MVP just fine before Patrick got there with a mic. He said Lashley will beat Goldberg, and it could be at Summerslam but it could also be sooner.
NOTE: If you plan to attend a future AEW Dynamite, WWE Raw, or WWE Smackdown, let me know if you’re interested in being an on-site correspondent for us on the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post-show. We’d bring you on the live post-show for 10 minutes, give or take, to talk about your experience at the event and share off-air details and crowd notes. Email: email@example.com and include the city in the subject line.
In particular, we still need correspondents for:
- AEW 8/18 in Houston, Tex.
- SD 9/3 in Jacksonville, Fla.
- Raw 9/6 in Miami, Fla.
- SD 9/10 in New York City, N.Y. at MSG
- Raw 9/13 in Boston Mass.
(3) DREW MCINTYRE vs. SHANKY & VEER (w/Jinder Mahal)
The announcers said if Drew wins, then Shanky & Veer are barred from ringside at Summerslam, but if Drew loses, he can’t bring his sword to Summerslam. We got an “Are you kidding me?!” after a Michinoku Driver from Drew. Drew then delivered a Claymore Kick to Shanky for the clean win.
WINNER: McIntyre in 2:00.
-After the match, Veer went for Drew’s sword at ringside. Drew stopped him and gave him an overhead suplex at ringside. Drew then leaned his sword against the turnbuckle and said he knows Mahal is terrified of it. He told Jinder that Shanky, who was still trying to regain his senses in the ring on his back, wants him to know he realizes the error of his ways and hopes he beats Jinder at Summerslam. He said Shanky also wished he could be as confident and sexy and a badass like Drew. He told Jinder that he is a former world champion in peak physical condition, so maybe he is underestimating him. He asked the fans if they think Jinder will win. Fans booed. He then asked fans to raise their hands if they know he will beat Jinder. Drew said the votes are in “and it appears you are screwed!” His music then played.
-Charlotte approached Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville. She wined about how she was doing her job and then Nikki just attacked her “for no reason.” Pearce offered Charlotte to find a partner and she could get revenge later against Nikki & Ripley. Charlotte said she doesn’t play well with others. Sonya said take it or leave it. Charlotte huffed and left.
-Moist TV: Miz strutted out and sat down on set, which included a kids plastic pool and a flotation device. Morrison asked Miz what his favorite movie is. Miz said all “The Marine” moves he starred in. Morrison looked serious and asked if he was lying about being injured. Miz asked if he ever lied to him or used him. Morrison said no. Miz asked if he faked an injury. Morrison said he’s not sure. Miz said he’s not a liar and got upset. He asked the fans if they think he’d lie to his best friend. Damian Priest interrupted.
Priest entered the ring and said he planned to beat Sheamus and go out in Vegas afterward and celebrate as the new U.S. Champion, but first he wanted to know why Miz faked an injury to have Morrison push him around in a wheelchair as his own personal servant. Miz emphatically said his knee was injured because of Priest, and before that he never had a major injury and was the most durable wrestler in WWE history. He admitted he was cleared a couple of weeks ago. Morrison spun him around and asked if that’s true. Miz said he was cleared, but that doesn’t mean he was 100 percent. Priest said he looked just fine last week. Miz told Morrison that Priest is spinning things around to make it about them. Morrison said that gave him a great idea. He said the best way to make the premiere episode of Moist TV memorable is to have a match – Miz vs. Priest. Miz protested as Priest said, “Yes, let’s do this.” Priest then shoved Miz into the kids pool which had water and rubber ducks in it. Saxton said something good came out of Moist TV. [c]
(4) MIZ vs. DAMIEN PRIEST
Back from the break, Miz was complaining to the ref. He said he was wearing expensive shoes and he didn’t want his first match in a crap town like San Antonio. Out came Sheamus to his music. Graves said making Miz wrestle in his Gucci loafers is putting him at great risk of suffering another injury. Sheamus talked about his intentions against Priest at Summerslam. In the ring, Miz slowed Priest by catching him with a boot as Priest charged at him. When Miz reached for the Drip Stick that Morrison was holding at ringside, Morrison pulled it away and walked off. Priest took back control and then pounded his chest while looking at Sheamus. He then finished Miz with a Brogue Kick.
WINNER: Priest in 4:00.
-Clips aired of the Doudrop, Lilly, Alexa Bliss, Eva Marie stuff last week.
-Eva Marie told Doudrop she blew it last week, but the Eva-lution is all about second-chances. She told Doudrop to visit the playground to take care of their other problem. “Bring me Lilly; I’ll be waiting right here.”
-Bliss, in her playground, told Lilly they’re expecting a guest, and she should be on her best behavior. [c]
-Miz approached Morrison backstage and asked, “What the hell was that!?” He said he needed his help and he could have ended up reinjured because he walked out on him. Morrison said he doesn’t know the meaning of the word hurt. He said he wanted to know what it feels like to have the one person he trusts not have his back when he needed his help. Miz said maybe he’s right, maybe he deserved it, and asked if it’s water under the bridge. Morrison agreed and they were all smiles again. New Day photobombed them and plugged their t-shirts, then left. They got excited about going to Summerslam in Las Vegas because everybody is hurtin’ for a squirtin’ and they’ll whet their appetite.
-Bliss asked Lily what Eva-lution even means. She laughed at the idea of someone wanting to be like her. In walked Doudrop, who snatched Lilly out of her hands. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” Bliss warned. Doupdrop stared at the doll and looked freaked out. She handed the doll back to Bliss and left.
-T-Bar and Mace made their ring entrance.
-A video package aired on the Ali and Mansoor developments last week. [c]
-WWE Fact: WWE’s TikTok channel has over 12 million subscribers, more than UFC, MLB, PGA, NHL, NASCAR, and the NFL.
-A soundbite aired with Ali telling Mansoor he did okay last week. Mansoor said he was just watching his back. Ali said he doesn’t need anyone watching his back, but Mansoor does, so he’ll have his back tonight.
(5) MACE (w/T-Bar) vs. MANSOOR (w/Mustafa Ali)
A graphic on the screen early in the match advertised Nikki & Ripley vs. Charlotte & a mystery partner later, so apparently that became official. Late in the match, Mace sat down on a Mansoor sunset flip, but Ali kicked him from ringside. That sent Mansoor into a leverage pin on Mace for the three count. Smith exclaimed, “What a turnaround!” Graves said, “A win is a win at any cost.” He got no push-back. Saxton said he’s not sure Mansoor saw Ali interfere.
WINNER: Mansoor in 2:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: The announcers celebrated the win like it meant something. I guess we are supposed to think Mansoor thought he won clean and doesn’t realize Ali helped him, and he’ll be upset later.)
-Schreiber interviewed Styles and Omos. Omos said he’s going to kill the legend that is Randy Orton, the Legend Killer. Styles told Omos he’ll be the new Legend Killer, and since he beat Riddle earlier, he’s now the Moron Killer.
-Orton made his ring entrance. [c]
(6) RANDY ORTON vs. OMOS
They stared at each other. Omos and Orton engaged in a test of strength. Then Omos slammed Orton. Orton avoided a charging Omos in the corner. Orton set up an RKO, but Omos shoved Orton off of him to the floor. Styles kicked Orton. The ref DQ’d Omos. Graves said, “Let’s be honest, Randy Orton was no match for Omos.” Smith said, “One-sided from the start.” Graves said Orton had no answer for him at any point.
WINNER: Orton via DQ in 2:00.
-Styles threw Orton into the ring. Omos threw Orton to the floor, then he dropped to the floor and shoved him into the ringside barricade. Orton flew into the front row area. Graves said he did that with one massive arm. Graves wondered who will stop him. Saxton said Omos is going to do whatever he wants. Omos threw Orton back into the ring. Styles set up a Styles Clash. After “Bro!” blared over the speakers, Riddle ran out for the save (without accompanying music) and attacked Styles. Smith yelled, “Are you kidding ME!” (stressing “me” for some odd reason, the emphasis indicating Smith thinks Riddle is trying to kid HIM in particular, rather than being surprised by his actions in general). He called Omos into the ring. Omos stood on the ring apron, but then dropped down and shook the bottom rope in frustration, then walked over to Styles and carried him to the back. Smith said Riddle might have saved Orton’s career given the beating he was about to get.
Riddle helped Orton up after Orton accepted his hand. Orton then said, “Riddle, respect isn’t something that is handed out for free. Respect is something you must earn.” He said he respected him in the past, but that doesn’t mean he respects him today, but after everything he has done to him, he still came to his aid. He said as a result of him having his back tonight, he has earned his respect. “Yeah, it’s happening,” he said. “R-K-Bro is back!” Cheers from the fans. Riddle offered a handshake. Orton gave it to him. He also moved in for a hug. Riddle then said, “Randy, you make me so happy.” Fans laughed. Riddle said they are challenging Styles & Orton for the Raw Tag Team Championships at Summerslam. Saxton acted shocked, as if there existed another team in the vicinity who might get that title shot instead.
(Keller’s Analysis: They continue to protect Omos by asking him to do nearly nothing physically, but overall the mirage might be effective combined with the effusive commentary and star wrestlers selling like crazy for him. The journey they took toward RKBro reuniting seemed true to Orton’s character and Riddle’s innocence and determination.)
-A clip aired of Karrion Kross beating Jeff Hardy last week.
-Patrick interviewed Hardy. He asked what motivated him to ask for a rematch with Kross this week. Hardy said he made a big mistake disrespecting him like he did. He said he better check his hour glass because his 15 minutes of fame on Raw is almost done. Kross jumped Hardy and yelled, “Tick tock!”
-Kross made his ring entrance. [c]
(7) JEFF HARDY vs. KARRION KROSS
As Hardy made his entrance, Graves said it’s not a wise decision for him to enter this match. He said he doesn’t understand the meaning of fear, but he tonight he ought to learn it. Hardy went after Kross immediately with a barrage of moves. He signaled for a Twist of Fate, but Kross blocked it and applied the Cross Jacket for the win.
WINNER: Kross in 1:00.
-Eva told Doudrop she let her down. She slapped her in the face twice. [c]
-A video aired of Reginald at a park talking about how when he played tag as a kid, he would avoid tags with acrobatics. Akira Tozawa was hiding in a trash can photo-bombing him. He said he didn’t have the easiest upbringing, but the park was a safe haven for him to clear his head. R-Truth charged at him, camouflaged in leaves. He charged and knocked into Tozawa in the trash can. Reginald backflipped to avoid them and then leaped over his car and drove away. “Too easy!” he said. Truth and Tozawa exchanged some heated words afterward.
-They went to the announcers on camera who previewed the entire announced Summerslam line-up.
-A new vignette aired on Elias sanding in front of a tombstone that said he lived from 2017-2021, but that he’s now dead.
(8) NIKKI A.S.H. & RHEA RIPLEY vs. CHARLOTTE & NIA JAX
When Jax came out, Graves said, “The Queen had an ace up her sleeve.” Saxton said he wasn’t sure Charlotte would even find a tag team partner. A minute in, Charlotte gave Nikki a boot to the face at ringside. They cut to a break. [c]
They showed Shayna Baszler watching backstage on a monitor. Jax set up a move off the second rope, but Charlotte tagged herself in. Charlotte then gave Ripley a Natural Selection to win. Jax wasn’t pleased.
WINNERS: Charlotte & Jax in 7:00.
-Patrick interviewed Styles regarding defending the Raw Tag Titles at Summerslam against Orton & Riddle. Styles said they’ve already proved their better than them. He said they’ve defeated The Viking Raider and New Day, and no one is left. Styles said it’s just five days until Summerslam, and Orton will grow to despise Riddle by Saturday.
-Goldberg made his entrance. “Goldberg! Goldberg!” rang out in the arena. [c]
-Goldberg talked to his son Gage at ringside, who was with his football buddies. He said he is the sole reason he returned to WWE. He told his son that he can watch who his father was decades ago, but he wants to show him in person who he is. His son looked on, smiling and proud.
Bobby Lashley and MVP interrupted. MVP said they’re hearing a lot more words from Goldberg than usual whereas he usually lets his actions do the talking. MVP said maybe he is overcompensating for something because when he saw Bobby, maybe he realized he is about to face someone more ferocious, more dangerous, more explosive, and more dominant. Goldberg shook his head no the whole time. Lashley let MVP know he’d take it from there, and he entered the ring.
Lashley told Goldberg he gave him every opportunity to bow down and walk away and save him the embarrassment that will come his way against him. He said he has to play by house rules, and the house always wins. He said he will leave him with just enough so he can go on to tell his family and friends that his career was ended by the All Mighty. They went nose-to-nose.
Goldberg said, “Lashley, that’s bullshit!” Lashley turned and dropped the mic and handed MVP his title belt. He took a swing at Goldberg, but Goldberg ducked and then speared Lashley. Graves said if that happens this Saturday night there will be a new WWE Champion. Goldberg pulled his kid out of the front row and walked a round ringside with him. His son flexed his biceps, but they cut away immediately. They cut back to Lashley, then to Goldberg and Gage on the stage standing side-by-side.