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KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
AUGUST 23, 2021
SAN DIEGO, CALIF.
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
-They opened with a video package of Summerslam highlights.
-Jimmy Smith introduced the show and said that at Summerslam, some things changed, but not the All Mighty Era.
-Bobby Lashley made his ring entrance with MVP. As Lashley showed off the WWE Title belt, Byron Saxton said if MVP didn’t interfere, who knows how it would have ended. Smith dismissed Saxton’s astute comment and said what he saw was an absolute display of dominance. Saxton said what Lashley did to Gage Goldberg was despicable. Fans booed when Lashley’s music stopped. MVP said he wanted to address what happened “Sunday at Summerslam.” (Wait, there was a second night?! Uh oh.) MVP said they all know about Goldberg’s extraordinary history, but his less-than-extraordinary history lately. He said Goldberg is a Hall of Famer and a powerhouse “and still a worthy challenger.”
MVP speculated that Goldberg brought Gage there to be a distraction. He said Goldberg arrived “looking amazing.” He said there were a few times he backed Lashley up. Lashley took off his sunglasses and shot MVP a look. MVP said he even got a couple two counts. He said he even made Lashley angry, and the angrier Lashley gets, the more dangerous he gets. He said Goldberg found that out the hard way. He said Lashley is the only man who has stopped Goldberg. MVP said Goldberg quit, which makes him a coward. Fans started a weak and scattered and unsustained “Goldberg” chant.
MVP said after the stoppage, Gage attacked Lashley from behind “like a coward.” MVP said Lashley did what he would have done to anyone who jumped him from behind and put him in a Hurt Lock and threw him to the ground. He pointed out to various specific fans that he’d do that them, too. Boos. MVP said that won’t happen tonight because they’re in San Diego and the fans are all cowards. (They’re asking for trouble with this approach.) MVP said anyone who thinks Lashley owes Goldberg or his son an apology can go to hell.
Suddenly the music of Damian Priest played. Graves said no one other than perhaps Lashley has been as hot as Priest lately. Priest entered the ring and rebutted MVP’s promo. He took issue with MVP calling fans cowards for not jumping him from behind. MVP said, “No, because they’re cowards.” Priest asked Lashley if that makes him proud. Priest said he isn’t jumping Lashley from behind and he isn’t half his size. He challenged him to a one-on-one match tonight. Priest, by the way, towers over Lashley. Priest said if Lashley doesn’t accept his challenge, he’s the coward. Lashley punched Priest. Priest fought back. Lashley threw off his jacket. Priest kicked Lashley out of the ring. Lashley grabbed his belt. MVP accepted the challenge. “You asked for it, you’ve got it.” He said Lashley is going to change clothes and fight him right now.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good segment. The crowd wasn’t into that “Goldberg”chant, were they? This is a good test for Priest. He talked a little fast there, but otherwise had the gravitas of standing opposite of Lashley and MVP.) [c]
(1) BOBBY LASHLEY (w/MVP) vs. DAMIAN PRIEST
Graves said he’s a big fan of Priest, but he thinks he’s made a big mistake. Smith said people shouldn’t let their mouths write checks they can’t cash. Back and forth for a minute. When Priest had Lashley down, Sheamus ran out and attacked Priest.
WINNER: Priest via DQ in 2:00.
-Drew McIntyre then charged out and clotheslined Sheamus at ringside. He then went after Lashley in the ring. He clotheslined Lashley over the top rope, although Lashley basically dove over the top rope and bumped early. Drew then suplexed Lashley onto the announce desk.
(Keller’s Analysis: I think it would’ve been crazy to have a full match with Lashley and Priest on short-notice on Raw, but it was a nice teaser.) [c]
(2) BOBBY LASHLEY & SHEAMUS vs. DREW MCINTYRE & DAMIAN PRIEST
McIntyre and Sheamus battled in the ring after the break. Lashley threw Priest ribs-first into the ringpost at ringside a minute later. Lashley did it again, then they cut to a break. [c]
Lashley was in control of Priest after the break. Saxton said the heel duo were dismantling Priest. Drew got the hot-tag a few minutes later and tossed Lashley around the ring, then he kipped up and played to a cheering crowd. He signaled for the Claymore, but Sheamus DISTRACTED him. Drew punched Sheamus off the ring apron, so Lashley then slammed Drew. Lashley signaled for a spear, but Drew side-stepped him and threw him shoulder-first into the ringpost. Lashley tagged Sheamus back in. Sheamus delivered a White Noise off the middle rope for a near fall. When Sheamus lifted Drew, Priest tagged himself in and went after Sheamus. He also ran over and kicked Lashley off the ring apron. When he turned back around, Sheamus caught him with a knee. Lashley turned and walked out on Sheamus. They focused on Sheamus, who wasn’t pleased. Drew tagged back in and hit a Claymore for the win.
WINNER: McIntyre & Priest in 15:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: I was curious who would take the fall here. Was Lashley walking out on Sheamus just a way to help Sheamus save face in losing, or a tease of a match between them and perhaps a babyface turn by Sheamus?)
-They showed Eva Marie slapping Doudop backstage. Then they aired highlights of Eva Marie vs. Alexa Bliss at Summerslam.
-Sarah Schreiber interviewed Doupdrop backstage. She asked what happened between her and Eva Marie. Doudrop said Eva helped her get a foot in the door at WWE, but she didn’t sign up to get spoken down to and treated like she’s worthless. She said she likes the name Doudrop, though, and that’s her name now. She said next time she sees Eva Marie, she’s going to Doudrop her. Eva rolled a cart into Doudrop and slammed her head into it a few times. Eva stood on her, brushed her hair back, and said, “This is Eva-lution.” Doudrop sat up and called Eva “bitch.”
(Keller’s Analysis: There was such pushback by fans to the name Doudrop, and it was given by heel Eva Marie, so if Doudrop is embracing the name, does that hurt her changes to get over as a babyface?)
-Karrion Kross made his ring entrance. He’s wearing a new mask. [c]
-A slideshow aired of Summerslam highlights.
(3) KARRION KROSS vs. RICOCHET
Ricochet’s music faded, but his ring entrance didn’t air. The bell rang and Kross fended off Ricochet’s early attack and then he tossed him around. He’s wearing red and black straps across his chest and back now. He gave Ricochet a Doomsday Suplex and then the Kross Jacket.
WINNER: Kross in under 2:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Is Ricochet leaving WWE for AEW? I mean, why would they feed Ricochet to Kross like that, barely putting up a fight, otherwise?)
-They aired a “WWE Digital Exclusive” with Sarah Schreiber interviewing Baron Corbin. As he lamented how little money he had left. Schreiber saw Big E and ran over to him like she was being reunited with a loved one at the airport returning from years away at war. It looked ridiculous. Big E celebrated getting his briefcase back. Logan Paul walked over and congratulated Big E. Corbin then asked Schreiber why she stopped interviewing him so suddenly. Logan said, “Maybe because you’re an asshole.” Fans cheered. Corbin shook his head.
-They showed Logan Paul chatting with the Viking Raiders backstage as Graves plugged he’d be on Moist TV next.
-John Morrison made his ring entrance without Miz. [c]
-Backstage Sheamus confronted Lashley and yelled at him. He said he saved him and that’s the thanks he gets. Lashley said he didn’t need his help. More yelling ensued. MVP stepped between them.
(Keller’s Analysis: Sheamus wouldn’t put up with a partner walking out on him, so I’m glad they had him confront Lashley like that. I’m curious where it’s going.)
-Moist TV: Morrison introduced Logan Paul. Graves called him his favorite boxer on God’s green earth. “Is there anything Logan can’t do?” Grave asked. Fans booed. Logan said, “I know, hi.” He looked crestfallen. “I know you don’t love me yet, but I love all of you and WWE. I’m happy for the invite. I’m excited to test the waters again. It’s good, it’s good.” Morrison said the people are thirsty to find out what’s next for him. He was drowned out by boos. Miz then made his ring entrance.
Miz told Morrison he forgot to introduce him. He said he’s Logan’s favorite wrestler. Logan said he’s more of a New Day fan. Fans kept booing him loudly. He plugged his brother’s fight against Tyron Woodley and said it’ll be fun. Fans chanted “You suck!” Miz said, “When my hand goes up, your mouth goes shut.” He insisted fans show Logan Paul some respect. Logan thanked Miz. Miz said he and Logan are from a great city, Cleveland. He said his brother Jake is fighting in a sold out arena. He said the Logan brothers are great. He said he’s build his name from YouTube to podcasts to boxing Mayweather. Miz said everyone wants to know, “In what round is your brother getting knocked out in?” Logan laughed, but then realized Miz was serious. Miz said everyone want to know.
Logan said his brother is going to be the one knocking out Tyron, and he said if there’s another question like that, he’ll knock him out. Logan walked up to Miz and had a staredown. Miz told Logan to get out of his face. Morrison said as much as fans would like to see Logan knock out Miz, they should cool down. Miz took exception to Morrison making that comment. Miz said he gave Morrison Miz TV out of the goodness of his heart. Logan said he’s going to let them do their thing and he’d leave. Fans booed him loudly again.
Miz then said thanks to Morrison, Logan left. Morrison said Miz made the interview all about him. Miz said it was his fault he wasn’t wrestling for a title at Summerslam. Morrison accused Miz of faking his injury. Miz denied that. Miz was seething mad he didn’t invite him onto his show. They yelled over each other. New Day’s music played. Xavier Woods shook Logan’s hand on the entrance stage. Xavier brought his trombone with him to the ring. Graves said he was worried Miz wouldn’t be focused in his match with everything going on.
(Keller’s Analysis: That segment was set up to get Logan cheered, and the fans weren’t having it at all. That was hilarious.) [c]
-A vignette aired with Elias in the woods with the remains of his burned guitar. He said he won awards and had fans eating out of the palms of his hands. He said music didn’t fail him, but it just wasn’t enough. He dropped a gravestone near his guitar. He said WWE once stood for “Walk With Elias,” but now Elias is dead. The tombstone said 2017-2021. Still no clue what’s next for him, though.
(4) MIZ (w/John Morrison) vs. XAVIER WOODS
Graves said watching Miz and Morrison argue is like watching your parents argue. Morrison gave Miz a pep talk before the match, so they didn’t completely break up yet. Xavier was wearing NWO-style trunks with “NDR” in place of “NWO.” Graves said Xavier is trying to pay tribute to Scott Hall in a variety of ways. After an Xavier senton, Miz kicked out at one and rolled to the floor. Xavier pursued him, and Miz threw him into the barricade at ringside. Morrison pulled out a Drip Stick and poured water on the mat at ringside. Graves said, “This is my favorite thing.” Xavier reverse-whipped Miz into the water puddle, and Miz slid and crashed into the ringside steps. They cut to a break. [c]
Back from the break, Miz was in control, kicking away at Xavier’s chest Yes Kick style. Xavier went for a wrecking ball kick, but Miz bumped early and Xavier’s feet didn’t come close. Xavier instead then did a running flip dive over the top rope onto Miz. That connected. Xavier then landed a top rope bodypress for a near fall.
Miz came back and went for a Skull Crushing Finale. Morrison sprayed a Drip Stick at Xavier, but Xavier ducked. Miz rolled up Xavier and yanked on his trunks, but the ref was scolding Morrison and was late to count. Xavier then rolled up Miz, who was complaining to the referee, and scored a three count.
WINNER: Woods in 9:00.
-Afterward, Miz complained to Morrison. Morrison apologized and then grabbed the bucket of Drip Sticks. Miz then attacked Morrison from behind. Fans booed. Graves said they’re watching one of the greatest friendships of all time dissolve. “This is something I truly never thought I’d see,” he said, sounding disgusted. Miz left Morrison face down on the mat as fans continued to boo. They milked the angle and stayed with it for a few minutes.
-A video package aired on the Raw Women’s Title match at Summerslam.
-Nikki A.S.H. approached Rhea Ripley backstage. She said she won’t let what happened at Summerslam keep her down, and she said it would lift her spirits if she’d team with her again tonight. Ripley thought about it and then said beating the hell out of Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler would lift her spirits too. “I’m in,” she said.
-Smith said Reggie is ready to defend his 24/7 Title next. [c]
-They went to Reggie buying two ice cream cones from a truck. R-Truth showed up disguised as a tree. Tozawa popped out of a trash can. He handed them the ice cream cones. Reggie climbed a tree and then leaped onto the roof of the ice cream truck. He then leaped down and ran between them. They bumped into each other. Reggie then sped away. Truth and Tozawa argued cartoonishly with each other. A guy ran out of a nearby RV wondering what was going on.
(Keller’s Analysis: If that guy wasn’t part of the skit, I can only imagine what was going on in his mind when he looked over and saw Truth and Tozawa arguing in front of a camera.)
-They went to the announcers at ringside. Graves laughed about the shirtless guy in suspenders who ran out of the RV looking upset at the ruckus. Then they threw to a sponsored video package on the Riddle & Randy Orton victory at Summerslam. Riddle rode his scooter up to Orton backstage and went in for a hug. Orton blocked it. Riddle said it’s okay if last week’s hug was a one-time thing because his step-dad wasn’t much of a hugger, either. He said he is excited about this special celebration. He assured Orton he’d love it. Orton said he’s not big on surprises and celebration. He told him not to do anything stupid. Riddle said, “Trust me, bro. Would I do something stupid?” Orton didn’t look convinced.
(Keller’s Analysis: Orton and Riddle are a blast playing off of each other. It’s giving Daniel Bryan and Kane a run for their money.)
-Jinder Mahal made his ring entrance with Veer and Shanky by his side. [c]
(5) JINDER MAHAL (w/Shanky, Veer) vs. MANSOOR (w/Mustafa Ali)
During Mansoor’s entrance, they aired a conversation between Mansoor and Ali in the locker room where Mansoor asked Ali to let him win the right way and not interfere. Jiinder overpowered Mansoor early. Mansoor scored a two count at 1:00 after a top rope bodypress. Jinder took control again and settled into an armbar. Jinder ignored the ref’s five count in the corner as he bashed away at Mansoor, so the ref DQ’d him. Ali stood at ringside with his arms crossed and his back turned.
WINNER: Mansoor in 2:00 by DQ.
-Ali entered the ring and asked Mansoor what happened. He said they can do things Mansoor’s way or his way. Saxton pointed out that Mansoor was the winner.
-They showed Lashley walking out on Sheamus earlier.
-Backstage Drew admired Priest already being showered and looking refreshed. Priest said a champ’s gotta look good all the time, from what he’s heard. He said Drew should know. Drew said, “It’s been a minute.” Priest thanked him for what he did earlier. Drew said there was something in it for him because those are two wrestlers he dislikes more than anyone on planet Earth. He congratulated Priest for beating Sheamus. Priest said he’s dreamed of winning this U.S. Title ever since he grew up in Puerto Rico and New York. “It feels I’m living the dream,” he said. Drew invited Priest to a night on the town to see how he measures up to Sheamus as a drinking buddy. Priest was on board.
-Charlotte Flair made her ring entrance. [c]
-Charlotte stood mid-ring and bragged about being a 12-time champion, more times than she has fingers. She said she doesn’t need family, friends, or the fans. She said this morning she looked in the mirror and saw more than her beautiful cheekbones, her chiseled physique, and the talent “only God could have given me.” She also saw a champion. She said she is there to restore order because it’s time a real woman held that title and remind everyone what it’s like to be proud of watching Raw.
NOTE: If you plan to attend a future WWE Raw, WWE Smackdown, or AEW Dynamite, 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:
- 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.
- Raw 9/20 in Raleigh, N.C.
- SD 9/25 in Philadelphia, Pa.
- Raw 9/27 in Cincinnati, Ohio
- And all TV events in October and beyond
She said she’s not messing around anymore. She said she started the first-ever Women’s Evolution and tonight she’s starting a new one. She said they can thank her now or later, but don’t forget to bow. “Long live the Queen,” she said. As she held her belt up, Alexa Bliss’s music played and she walked out with Lilly. Bliss stood in the entrance area, smiled, and said, “Congratulations Charlotte. Lilly and I just wanted to say hi.” Charlotte tilted her head curiously at Bliss and Lilly.
-Backstage Baszler sarcastically asked Jax if she’s sure she wants to team with her instead of Charlotte like last week. Jax said she saw an opportunity last week to get back into the title picture, but it didn’t work out, so she won’t make that mistake again. Baszler said Jax should know what Charlotte is all about. She told Jax that no one is better than them as a team. She said she should go out there and prove they are the unstoppable force.
-Nikki A.S.H. made her entrance. [c]
-Another Elias vignette aired. He said he conquered entertainment as Elias, but he said that’s not why he came to WWE. “I’m here to conquer wrestling and become a champion. Once I do that, I can conquer the world. From the ashes come opportunity. The old Elias is dead. Long live Elias, the WWE Superstar.” They again showed the gravestone that said “Elias: 2017-2021.” He put on a white hat and walked away in the sunset. A translucent WWE logo appeared center-screen.
(6) RHEA RIPLEY & NIKKI A.S.H. vs. NIA JAX & SHAYNA BASZLER
They cut to a break at 3:00 with Jax and Baszler in control against Nikki. [c]
Smith and Graves said it’s just been one-sided dominance the whole way. Saxton said the ref might want to consider stopping the match. Nikki slipped under Jax and threw her into the corner turnbuckles. Nikki kicked Baszler in the face as Jax carried her on her shoulders. Jax took over again and smiled as she set up a corner swing splash, but Nikki kicked her off balance. Nikki then crawled over and hot-tagged in Ripley. Fans cheered as Ripley went after Baszler including a headbutt. She knocked Jax off the ring apron before hitting a basement dropkick on Baszler mid-ring. She showed fire and then gave Baszler a Northern Lights suplex into a bridge for a near fall. Ripley leaped off the top rope with a missile dropkick on Baszler for a near fall. Jax broke up the cover but ended up splashing Baszler. Ripley knocked Jax out of the ring. Nikki leaped off the top rope onto Jax at ringside with a body press. Ripley smiled and clapped, then delivered a Rip Tide to Baszler for the win. Nikki leaped into her arms. Ripley gave her a look, but then loosened up and smiled.
WINNER: Ripley & Nikki in 11:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Ripley showed great fire as a babyface. Ripley and Nikki are a mini-version of Orton and Riddle, it appears. Another odd couple friendship forming.)
-Graves lamented what happened between Miz and Morrison earlier. Saxton called it surreal and called them one of the greatest tag teams of all time.
-Backstage, Morrison said, “After tonight, no more Miz & Morrison, no more Dirt Sheets, not more music videos.” He said he’s ending it next week when he gets that double-crossing son of a bitch in the ring.
-Riddle made his entrance on his scooter. [c]
-Riddle stood in the ring as his music played and fans chanted “Bro.” There were balloons in the corners of the ring. He recapped the ups and downs with Orton briefly and cheerfully. He then introduced his best bro, Randy Orton. Orton’s theme played and he walked out, looking leery of what awaited him. Pyro blasted. Riddle said friendship is as important as championships, so he got him something special. He handed Riddle a scooter as a gift. It had purple tassels. Riddle showed him how to open it and fold it. A.J. Styles then interrupted with is music. Riddle looked dismayed when Styles walked out.
Styles looked on in disbelief at the scene in the ring. Omos came up behind Styles. Riddle asked if he had something to say. Styles pulled a mic out of Omos’s jacket. Styles told Riddle he noticed Orton didn’t get him a gift. “No present, no candy, no plant – that seems like the obvious thing to give you.” Some fans laughed at the marijuana joke. Styles said he has something for him – a Phenomenal Forearm to knock the smile off his face. He said he’s going to keep beating his ass until they get a rematch. He said he’d do it “right here, right now.” Omos nodded. Riddle accepted the challenge, saying he can do anything with Orton in his corner. He said he’d beat him with the three most dangerous letters in all of sports entertainment – R-K-Bro. Graves said that’s five letters. Riddle offered Orton a fist-bump. Orton fist-bumped back. [c]
-A slideshow of Summerslam moments was shown.
-They announced Lashley vs. Sheamus, Eva Marie vs. Doudop, and Miz vs. Morrison next week.
(7) A.J. STYLES (w/Omas) vs. RIDDLE (w/Randy Orton)
Riddle rolled up Styles at the bell for a quick near fall. Styles landed a flying forearm on Riddle in the corner. Riddle made a comeback and applied a triangle. Styles lifted him up. Riddle and Styles tumbled over the top rope to the floor. With both down, they cut to a break. [c]
When Riddle rallied, Smith said Riddle does seem to get something extra from having Orton at ringside. Styles came back with a springboard backflip inverted DDT for a near fall. Styles followed up with a pump-handle gut-buster. Styles then signaled for a Phenomenal Forearm, but Riddle grabbed him off the top rope. Styles countered Riddle’s counter into a Calf Crusher. Riddle countered into a Bro-mission. Styles flipped over and leveraged Riddle’s shoulders down for a near fall. Riddle landed a kneelift to the jaw. Riddle was DISTRACTED by Omos at ringside when Omos walked over to him when he climbed to the top rope. Styles knocked Riddle off balance. Graves said Riddle made the exact same mistake again. Orton went over to Omos, but Omos tossed Orton aside. Styles then took over against Riddle. He set up a Styles Clash, but then Orton attacked Omos with the scooter. Styles turned and was DISTRACTED by all that. Riddle then landed a final flash knee and the Bro Derek for the win. Orton joined Riddle in celebrating victory in the ring. When Styles stood, Orton gave Styles a sudden RKO. Styles rolled into the arms of Omos at ringside.
WINNER: Riddle in 14:00.