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KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
AUGUST 30, 2021
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA.
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
-A space robot animation floated above the Raw entrance area and pointed to the ring as Jimmy Smith introduced the show.
-Damian Priest walked out and Smith and Corey Graves really pushed the idea that no one has more momentum right now in WWE. He introduced Raw in Spanish and said he always wanted to do that. He said he’s going to be a U.S. Champion fans can be proud of, “showing it the respect and honor it deserves.” He cited Rey Mysterio, Jeff Hardy, and John Cena as good examples. He said Bobby Lashley did not. He said he showed everybody what kind of champion he is last week when he ran like a coward. He said that won’t be him. He promised everyone he will handle things the right way. He then said: “We know why we’re here. The United States Open Challenge starts right now!”
Sheamus walked out. Priest sighed. He sarcastically told the booing fans, “Great hospitality, guys.” He said he agrees with Priest. He said he likes that Priest has this smile on his face vowing to defend the U.S. Title with honor, “even if these people don’t deserve it.” He said he’s going to use his Brogue Kick to wipe the smile off his face and take back his gold. Drew McIntyre then walked out. He said as much as he wants to see Priest “beat Sheamus’s ass for the 500th time.” He said, though, the WWE Universe deserves something new.” He said he’s won the IC Title, the WWE Title, and the WWE Tag Team titles, but never the U.S. Title. He proposed Drew vs. Priest tonight. Drew walked up to Priest and has maybe an inch on him height-wise. Priest said to a yelling Sheamus, “I kind of like his idea.”
Lashley and MVP walked out next. Fans taunted Lashley with a “Goldberg” chant. MVP said that problem has already been taken care of. He said Priest’s open challenge is admirable, but not necessarily good for business. He said it’d be good for business if Lashley beat Priest to become a dual champion.
Randy Orton and Riddle came out next to Orton’s music and a big RKBro graphic on the screen behind them. Fans chanted “R-K-Bro!” Orton said everything MVP said sucked. Riddle said, “Yeah, but not like a Roomba because that’s what they’re supposed to do.” (Dumb.) Orton said Lashley is being greedy. Riddle said it’s physically impossible to hold two championships. Orton covered up Riddle’s mic with his hand and pushed down on it. Lashley said maybe he’ll choose to take their tag titles. Riddle said he has a great idea. Riddle issued an open challenge against Lashley and “his own personal rodeo clown, MVP.” Orton whispered, “You do know that’s not how an open challenge works.” MVP jumped in and said they accept. Priest and Drew renewed their interest in fighting later.
Sonya Deville and Adam Pearce walked out and said they have two great main events standing there. Pearce made Priest vs. McIntyre vs. Sheamus official. Deville confirmed the WWE Raw Tag Team Title match, too. Rhea Ripley’s music then played. She made her way past Deville and Pearce for her match.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was all fine setting up some fresh mixes of wrestlers battling in main events later. It’s noteworthy they’re not pushing Karrion Kross into this mix right away.) [c]
-The announcers hyped the two main events.
(1) RHEA RIPLEY (w/Nikki A.S.H.) vs. SHAYNA BASZLER (w/Nia Jax)
Smith said that while Nikki brings positive energy, Baszler brings the opposite. Jax said by the end of the match, she’ll have splattered both Ripley and Nikki on the ring, and later she’ll do the same to Charlotte. Baszler turned to ask Jax what she was talking about. Ripley jumped Baszler. Baszler took control and stomped on Ripley’s hand a couple minutes in. They cut to a break as the announcers over-dramatized whether Ripley could come back from this situation. [c]
Nikki gave Ripley a pep talk at ringside after the break. Baszler put Ripley in a Kirafuda Clutch. Jax attacked Nikki and gave her a Samoan Drop on at ringside. When Ripley noticed, Baszler rolled her up from behind. Ripley countered it and scored the three count.
WINNER: Ripley in 11:00.
-Jax gave Baszler a Samoan Drop in the ring. Graves said Jax vowed to splat both Nikki and Ripley, and she did.
-The Viking Raiders were back in the smokey foggy room with red light cutting a promo with their put-on gravely voices and Viking cliches. “After tonight, everyone will realize the raid is on!” said Erik.
-Saxton plugged The Viking Raiders vs. Jinder Mahal & Veer.
-The Viking Raiders made their ring entrance. [c]
(2) THE VIKING RAIDERS (Erik & Ivar) vs. JINDER MAHAL & VEER
A few minutes in, Ivar leaped off the apron and flip-dove into Jinder and Veer. Seconds later in the ring, the Raiders double-slammed Jinder and scored a clean win. They found a guy in the crowd pounding his chest along to the Raiders and seized on it with a close-up.
WINNERS: The Raiders in 5:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Interesting that Jinder took the fall there instead of his sidekick.)
-They showed Drew and his sword Angela backstage. [c]
-An ad aired showing the new NXT logo and new-vibe music.
(3) DAMIAN PRIEST vs. DREW MCINTYRE vs. SHEAMUS – U.S. Title match
Sheamus was in the ring after the break with his music fading, while Drew got his full ring entrance on TV and so did Sheamus. Drew got a mix of cheers and boos. Priest got a slightly better reaction. Neither seemed super-mega-over by any means based on ring intro crowd reactions. Drew whipped Sheamus into Priest at ringside, and Priest backdropped Sheamus into the time keeper’s area. They then turned and eyed each other and smiled. They cut to a break at 2:00. [c]
Back from the break, Sheamus was in control. He knocked Drew to the floor, then turned to battle Priest. A minute later Drew re-entered and went for a Future Shock DDT. Sheamus blocked it and rolled up Drew for a two count. He then threw Drew bicep-first into the ringpost. Priest took Sheamus down with a spin wheel kick. He pounded his chest and fired up to little crowd reaction. A minute later Drew landed a running flying flip dive onto both Priest and Sheamus at ringside. Drew gave Priest a Michinoku Driver in center ring for a two count. Drew set up a superplex on Priest, but Sheamus broke it up. Drew was hanging upside side down in the corner as Sheamus shoved his boot into his throat. Priest grabbed Sheamus’s hair, but Sheamus headbutted him. Sheamus then superplexed Priest, with help from Drew sitting up and aiding it. All three were down and slow to get up. Graves said, “We’ve got a car crash on our hands!” [c]
Back from the break, Priest rallied and set up a Reckoning. Drew intervened with a Claymore to send Sheamus to the floor. Priest kicked Drew. Drew headbutted Priest. Priest countered with a Reckoning for the win. Smith said, “I know it’s early in his career, but a career-defining performance for Priest.” (Priest is a 38 year old 6-year veteran.)
WINNER: Priest in 21:00 to retain the U.S. Title.
-After the match, Drew stood up and walked toward Priest. There was some tension. Priest set his belt down. Drew then offered a handshake. Priest accepted after a few seconds. Drew left as Priest’s music played.
(Keller’s Analysis: That’s a big win for Priest to score the three count on Drew. It sends a message to viewers WWE is serious about his push. Drew has enough credibility to absorb the loss, especially since he was a good sport about it afterward.)
-Graves commented on freeze-frames of Lashley-Goldberg at Summerslam. Graves said they’d have an injury update from Goldberg from earlier today next. [c]
-Highlights aired of the Lashley-Goldberg match and the post-match angle with Goldberg’s son, Gage.
-A roving reporter approached Goldberg and asked about the extent of his injury. He said he has ligament damage and needs knee surgery. “Does that answer your question? I don’t really care,” he said. Then he paused and said he just left the house and said his son’s shoulder is in rough shape. He said the objective has changed. He said he’s not coming for the WWE Title, he’s coming for Lashley’s soul and he plans to rip it from his chest.
-They went to the announcers who reacted to Goldberg, then transitioned to Reggie.
-Reggie walked through a park wearing his 24/7 Title. He said growing up he dreamed of leaving the hood and traveling the country. He turned and saw R-Truth and a guy in a dog mascot outfit. Reggie threw a frisbee at the dog, then fled into the playground area. He flipped over them off of a hill and then onto playground equipment. Truth sent the “dog” running at Reggie, who flipped over him and then avoided Truth with more acrobatics. Akira Tozawa pulled the dog head off himself and told Truth that he told him the costume wouldn’t work. Truth said every dog has its day, but he said he didn’t act enough like a dog. Tozawa left.
-Eva Marie made her entrance as Graves went bonkers. Graves gushed about her style, grace, and beauty. Saxton told Graves he’s the only one in the arena who feels that way. Graves said he’s the only person in the arena who has a chance with her.
-A video package aired on the history between Doudrop and Eva. Doudrop then made her first babyface entrance. She skipped to the ring and acted juvenile like Nikki. Doudrop attacked Eva from behind, bodyslammed her, and then landed a senton splash. Eva sat up. Doupdrop splashed her and made the cover. The ref didn’t count because he hadn’t started the match yet (because referee’s never start a match after an attack before the bell?!?!) The ref told Mike Rome that Eva is unable to compete tonight as a result of the pre-match attack. Doupdrop asked for the mic. She then announced she’s the winner of the match. Graves said nobody won and it was an embarrassment.
-Sarah Schreiber interviewed Charlotte backstage who said she’s the most decorated female wrestler in WWE history, so she’ll slay Jax. She closed with, “Long live the Queen.”
-Kross made his ring entrance and wore his Lord Humongous-style facemask during his ring entrance.
(Keller’s Analysis: At least the face mask blocks the inauthentic, cartoonish looking snarling facial expression Kross always leans way too hard into. But the outfit resembles a gimmick that’d be given to some mid-card green wrestler in the late 1980s in a dying territory that had no big name wrestlers left and was just slapping “menacing” looking ring gear on green guys.) [c]
(4) KARRION KROSS vs. HUMBERTO CARRILLO
Kross dominated early. Humberto fought back with some chops, but Kross absorbed them and then scored a near fall. “A veteran like Carrillo isn’t going to go down easy,” Smith said. (He’s 25 and less than three years into his WWE career, but he’s a veteran while Priest, at age 38 and a 6-year veteran is “early in his career,” according to Smith. Sometimes he just “says stuff” and it’s just not connected to anything.) Humberto made a comeback and showed some fire. He snapped Kross’s neck over the top rope, then leaped off the top rope at him. Kross landed a forearm to his neck and then delivered a Doomsday Saito Suplex. He followed with the Kross Jacket for the tapout win.
WINNER: Kross in 4:00.
-Schreiber asked Jax backstage if she’s still confident she can splatter Charlotte. Jax said she’s going to “take her invisible crown and shove it up her royal behind.” (Ugh.) [c]
-Another artsy NXT ad aired with the updated splash-paint animated logo.
-Backstage, Riddle said he’s always had a hard time putting his resume together because he has so many hobbies plus “I went to high school and graduated, bro.” Orton asked if he’s sure about that. He said the only thing he needs to be good at today is being his tag team partner. He said if he does his part, they’ll be find. Riddle then went back to listing what he’s good at – motor biking, talking to the babes, getting a tan, being fast, being slow, talking.” Orton turned to walk away, exasperated. Riddle said, “I’m good at growing, too. I used to be really small and now I’m big.”
(5) CHARLOTTE vs. NIA JAX – Non-Title match
Charlotte went for an early suplex, but Jax blocked it and headbutted Charlotte. Jax nailed Charlotte on a rebound off the ropes with a nasty clothesline. They fought back and forth and then cut to a break a few minutes in. [c]
Back from the break, they continued to battle. Jax powered out of a figure-four attempt, sending Charlotte hard into the corner turnbuckles. The ref checked on her, and her body was largely limp. Jax then delivered a powerbomb for the clean win. They showed Charlotte standing up eventually and putting her belt over her shoulders.
WINNER: Jax in 14:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: So more “challenger beats champion in a non-title match” formula. The match was clunky a lot of the way.)
-John Morrison said he was supposed to have a match with Miz tonight, but Miz ran back to Hollywood. He said he was going to prove in his match against Miz that he would prove he is the bigger man, and he still wants to prove that, so he asked for and was granted a match against the largest human being he knows. The camera panned over to show Omos. Omos looked down at Morrison and said, “It sucks to be you.” Morrison said pensively, “Yes, yes it does.”
-Omos made his ring entrance. [c]
(6) JOHN MORRISON vs. OMOS (w/A.J Styles)
Morrison’s ring entrance took place after the break. Morrison cartwheel-kicked Omos and then charged at him, but Omos grabbed him by his throat and shoved him over the top rope. Omos went to ringside and threw Morrison into the ringside steps, but Morrison avoided them and then launched himself off the steps with a flip. He stumbled and Omos swung and missed. Fans laughed. Omos then wound up again and clotheslined him. Omos threw Morrison back into the ring. He let out a roar after bouncing him off the top rope. Next, he lifted him by his skull and slammed him for the clean win.
WINNER: Omos in 3:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: That’s more than they usually ask Omos to do, and it seemed the only slip up was Morrison. He’s still very limited, but continues to grow as a performer who at least seems comfortable doing the few things he does.)
-After the match, as Styles entered the ring to celebrate with Omos, New Day’s music played. Xavier came out alone with his trombone to face Styles. [c]
(7) XAVIER WOODS vs. A.J. STYLES
Graves talked up Xavier’s drive and said he always wants to prove he can stand on his own two feet. Saxton said some people still underestimate what Woods can do. He dropped Styles over the ringside barricade a minute into the match and then chopped him hard before throwing him back into the ring. He scored a one count in the ring. They fought back and forth for several minutes before Styles applied a Calf Crusher for the win.
WINNER: Styles in 7:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good action throughout.)
-As Styles celebrated with Omos, Riddle’s music played. Then Orton’s music took over and they headed to the ring as Styles and Omos looked on. Styles climbed onto the announce desk. [c]
(8) RIDDLE & RANDY ORTON vs. A.J. STYLES & OMOS – WWE Raw Tag Team Title match
Riddle beat up MVP early. When Lashley went to check on MVP at ringside, Riddle launched onto him at ringside. They cut to a break. [c]
Orton tagged in and went after MVP in the corner with a barrage of punches that the fans counted along to. The heel duo took over. Fans chanted “Randy! Randy!” Lashley tackled Orton in the corner and then landed a neckbreaker. Omos stood behind Styles as he did commentary. When Orton went for an RKO, Lashley pushed Orton away, but right into his corner where Riddle tagged in. Riddle landed a high knee and then a quick Floating Bro for a near fall. MVP broke up the cover by stomping on Riddle’s foot. Orton ran in, but MVP threw him out of the ring. Orton shoved Lashley into the ringpost. Styles sent Omos after Orton. Riddle wrecking ball kicked Omos. Orton then slammed Styles onto the announce table. Back in the ring MVP went for a back suplex, but Riddle gave him a pump knee to MVP’s arm followed by a Floating Bro for the win.
WINNERS: Riddle & Orton in 13:00 to retain the Raw Tag Team Titles.
-Lashley delivered a spear on Riddle as he celebrated. Graves said he cut Riddle clean in half. Orton then gave Lashley an RKO. “I don’t believe it!” said Smith. (Why not?) Orton’s music played as he celebrated at ringside with Riddle as the show ended.