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WWE RAW TV REPORT
AUGUST 1, 2022
HOUSTON, TEX AT TOYOTA CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
REPORT BY DANNY DOUCETTE, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
WWE Raw Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, & Byron Saxton
Ring Announcer: Mike Rome
– The show opened with shots of the crowd and then Becky Lynch’s music hit. Becky walked out with her right arm in a sling. Jimmy Smith threw to a highlight package of the match from SummerSlam between Becky and Bianca Belair. The package also featured the returns of Bayley, Dakota Kai, and Iyo Sky (the former Io Shirai). The crowd chanted for Becky. Becky cracked a smile and welcomed the crowd to the big time. Becky referenced her downward spiral the past year and said she was reminded who she was. Becky said she separated her shoulder at SummerSlam, but still went through the match. Becky said she fought to make the women’s division the best it could be. Becky said she will not be defined by a title or any man and said she defines the title and is the man. Becky then called out Bianca Belair to thank her for bringing out the best in her.
Belair’s music hit and she headed down to the ring. The fans chanted “EST!” as Belair grabbed a microphone. Belair said Becky is the man and they shook hands and hugged. Becky told Bianca to hold it down and that she would see her soon. The fans chanted “Becky!” as Becky left the ring and headed backstage. Belair said she respects Becky and acknowledges how she can trust her after Becky turned on her. Belair said she earned Becky’s respect and learned a lot from her. Belair said that she is still the Raw Women’s champion and referenced Bayley, Kai, and Sky attempting to show her up at SummerSlam. The camera cut to backstage where Bayley, Kai, and Sky were attacking Becky and hit Becky’s injured shoulder with a chair. A referee came to break up the commotion. Belair ran backstage to help Becky, but Bayley, Kai, and SKY were already gone. Belair checked on Becky along with the referees and officials. Belair asked if Becky was okay and where her attackers went.
(Doucette’s Analysis: This was a good way to presumably write Becky out while rightly returning her to babyface status. This also gave the rub to Bianca and got Bayley, Kai, and Sky over as a threat. Good segment all around.)
– The camera cut back to the commentators who seemed concerned. Graphics then aired for a few of the matches set to take place later in the night. The Mysterios were scheduled to The Usos for the United Tag Team Championship. Then, there were a pair of triple threat matches advertised to determine a contender for the United States championship. The first was set to feature Ciampa, Chad Gable, and Dolph Ziggler. The second triple threat match was slated to feature A.J. Styles, Mustafa Ali, and The Miz. The winner of each match was going to face each other later in the night to determine the sole contender.
-A video package aired highlighting the history of the United States championship.
-Styles, Ali, and The Miz made their separate ring entrances for the upcoming match.
-A highlight package aired of the Miz-Logan Paul match from SummerSlam. The Miz was shown in the ring upset at the video package with his ribs taped. A video of Logan Paul cutting a promo from Twitter was shown. Paul said he can’t wait to get back in the ring.
(1) A.J. STYLES vs. MUSTAFA ALI vs. THE MIZ – Winner advances to number-one contender match for the United States Championship
The Miz ran to start while Ali caught Styles with a Hurricanrana. Miz then attacked Ali, but Styles then dropkicked him. Ali also hit Miz with a dive onto the outside. Miz began to get offense in on both Ali and Styles as a “tiny balls” chant rang out from the crowd. Styles disposed of Miz and then he and Ali began to slug it out and Styles hit Ali with a hard slap. Ali recovered with a neckbreaker on Styles as Styles dropped Miz with a reverse DDT at the same time. Ali tried a 450 splash on Styles, but it didn’t connect and Styles hit him with a Pele Kick. Styles threw Miz onto the announce table. Ali came off the top with a Tornado DDT on Styles onto the floor. Miz caught Ali coming back into the ring and hit him with a Skull Crushing Finale. Miz’s injured ribs caused him not to capitalize immediately. By the time he got the pin, Ali kicked out at two. Ali was able to recover and hit the 450 splash on Miz. However, as Ali flipped after landing on Miz, Styles caught him in a Styles Clash onto Miz for the three count.
WINNER: Styles in 10:00.
(Doucette’s Analysis: Great match with an incredible finish!)
-A recap aired of Bayley, Kai, and Sky’s attack on Becky Lynch.
-Becky was backstage being tended to by the medical staff with Adam Pearce standing nearby. Becky asked for some ice, seemingly trying to downplay the severity of her injury.
-Sarah Scrheiber caught up with Bayley, Kai, and Sky backstage and asked about the “targeted attack” on Becky. Bayley called Becky conceited for calling it a targeted attack. Bayley told Schrieber to watch what they do next. As Bayley, Kai, and Sky walked away, they crossed paths with and greeted The Usos who appeared to be entering the building. Schrieber then interviewed The Usos. The Usos said they beat the Street Profits at SummerSlam again and will beat the Mysterios again tonight. They said the Mysterios are the twos, are they are the ones.
-Seth Rollins’ music hit and Rollins came down to the ring. A recap aired of Rollins’ attack on Riddle on last week’s Raw and at SummerSlam. Rollins welcomed the crowd to “Monday Night Rollins”. Rollins cackled and said it’s a time for celebration because we don’t have to see Riddle. Rollins said Riddle wants to be so much like Randy Orton, that now he is injured just like Orton. Rollins said that since Riddle is out of the picture, he can turn his attention to Roman Reigns and the Undisputed title. The Street Profits music interrupted and the Profits came out to the stage. Rollins yelled at the Profits and told them not to talk. Rollins theorized that the Profits came out to confront him because they are friends with Riddle. Rollins then ran down the Houston Rockets and called the Profits losers just like them. Rollins said the Profits should just break up. Angelo Dawkins said that the Profits beat Rollins for the Raw tag titles. Montez Ford said Cody Rhodes beat Rollins with “one boobie”. Rollins said he would love to Stomp the Profits into the stage, but there’s two of them and one of him. The Profits said they would play rock, paper, scissors to determine who would face Rollins. The Profits asked for a referee. Before they could play, Ford grabbed the referee and ran down to the ring.
(2) SETH ROLLINS vs. MONTEZ FORD
Ford ran avoided a Stomp as he slid under the bottom rope to start. Ford beat on Rollins around the outside of the ring. Rollins tried a Pedigree on Ford outside the ring, but Ford escaped. Rollins rammed Ford hard into the ring post. This almost caused Ford to be counted out, but he got back into the ring at nine. Rollins had the upper hand on Ford until Ford hit a top rope crossbody, but it only got a two count. Ford and Rollins traded offense and momentum throughout the match. Ford hit a tornado DDT on Rollins for a near fall, but Rollins had his foot on the ropes. Rollins got a near fall from a turnbuckle powerbomb and a Falcon Arrow. Rollins missed a Frog Splash and Ford attempted one of his own, but Rollins got his knees up. Rollins hit Ford with the Stomp for the three count.
WINNER: Rollins in 10:00.
(Doucette’s Analysis: Another excellent match. I thought Ford had the win there and the crowd was also ready for it. I’m not horribly opposed to Rollins winning as it shows Ford is on the cusp of being a single star, but still needs room to grow. His first big singles win will mean that much more when it comes.)
-Rollins went to stomp Ford again after the match, but Dawkins ran off Rollins for the save.
-A highlight package aired of the Roman Reigns-Brock Lesnar match from SummerSlam. Graphics aired showcasing the mainstream coverage a few of the SummerSlam headlines received.
-Alexa Bliss and Asuka separately made their entrances for the next match.
(3) ALEXA BLISS vs. ASUKA
Bliss and Asuka locked up and did some chain wrestling to start. Asuka hit Bliss with a knee to the face and followed up with a dropkick. Bayley, Kai, and Sky ran into the ring and attacked Asuka and Bliss.
WINNER: No Contest in 4:00.
-The beatdown on Asuka and Bliss continued. Sky headed to the top rope and Kai went to hand her a chair. Belair ran out for the save as Bayley, Kai, and Sky escaped through the crowd. Belair demanded a match with either Bayley, Kai, or Sky tonight. [c]
(Doucette’s Analysis: Yes, that was a whole hour without commercials. That is probably the single biggest difference of the show so far.)
– It was announced that Iyo Sky had accepted the challenge to face Bianca Belair tonight.
-Dolph Ziggler and Ciampa made separate entrances. Chad Gable made his entrance with a microphone. Gable said he has a brain twice the size of Texas and will win the United States championship to represent this country. Gable said he will not have to cheat to win…..like the Houston Astros.
(Doucette’s Analysis: Gable is hilarious. His promo was standard heel stuff, but he executes it so well. His pause and grin before calling the Astros cheaters was great because everybody knew what was coming, but it was delivered nicely.)
(4) DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. CIAMPA vs. CHAD GABLE – Winner advances to face A.J. Styles in a number-one contender match for the United States Championship
Rapid-fire action to start as Gable and Ciampa mostly teamed up on Ziggler. Gable tried to roll up Ziggler with his feet on the ropes, but it only got a two count. Ciampa shooshed Gable at one point during the double team on Ziggler. [c]
The action continued during a split-screen commercial break as the three competitors traded offense and near falls. Back from commercial, Gable had Ziggler in an anklelock. Ciampa then locked Ziggler in a crossface at the same time. Byron Saxton asked who would be the winner if Ziggler tapped out. Ciampa fought off Gable and Ziggler tried to escape. Gable reapplied the anklelock, but Ciampa broke it up. Ciampa hit White Noise on Ziggler off the top rope on for a pinfall attempt, but Gable broke it up with a flying headbutt. Gable deadlifted Ciampa into a German suplex, but Ziggler hit Gable with a Zig Zag at the same time. However, it only got a two count. Ciampa and Ziggler traded roll ups while using the tights for leverage. Both attempts only got two. The three competitors traded more rapid-fire offense and nearfalls. Ciampa got the best of this and scored the Fairytale Ending on Gable for the three count.
WINNER: Ciampa in 10:00.
(Doucette Analysis: Another great match. I cannot remember a more wrestling-centered Raw in quite a while. It has been a pleasant surprise!)
-A recap of the Edge-Judgment Day backstory aired. A graphic indicated that Edge was appearing after the break. [c]
-Photo highlights were shown from SummerSlam. In one of the photos, Liv Morgan looked like she was smiling while Ronda Rousey had her in an armbar.
-Edge’s music hit (his classic “Metalingus” theme) and he came out to a big pop from the crowd. Edge thanked the crowd for the ovation and said he had been a bit of an asshole. Edge said he created The Judgment Day to give underutilized talent, specifically Damian Priest and Rhea Ripley, some of the knowledge he acquired in his thirty-year career. Edge admitted he didn’t see what Finn Balor, Ripley, and Priest did coming. Edge said he will end what he created and kill The Judgment Day.
(Doucette’s Analysis: Short and sweet promo. Edge said “Sorry, I was a jerk.” and the fans forgave him. That works for me. No further explanation needed. This is exactly how it needed to be done.)
-Backstage, Rey and Dominik Mysterio were interviewed by Kevin Patrick who asked them about the match with The Usos tonight. Rey said that he was glad to have the Judgment Day in their rear view and now they have Edge to deal with. Rey said they want to defeat the Usos and become the Undisputed Tag Team champions. Rey said, “Viva” and Dominik finished with, “Mi raza”.
-Belair-Sky was advertised as being next. [c]
-Schreiber was backstage with Bayley, Kai, and Sky again. Bayley said everybody is talking about SummerSlam, but about them not Belair or Becky. Bayley said she outsourced two of the best talents in the world, referring to Sky and Kai. Kai said they know how to play the game and Sky told Bianca she would see her out there.
-Sky made her entrance to the ring. Belair entered soon after.
(5) IYO SKY vs. BIANCA BELAIR
Sky and Belair brawled to start. Sky hit Belair with a moonsault from the ring to the outside. [c]
Back from the break, Belair bodyslammed Sky. Belair tried a Glam Slam, but Sky catapulted her into the ropes. Sky caught Belair in a side crossface, Belair tried to power out, but Sky then hit a Russian Leg Sweep for a two count. Belair caught Sky coming from the top rope into a fallaway slam. Belair headed to the top rope at one point, but was distracted by Kai and Bayley showing up at ringside. Sky used the distraction to strike Belair and hit a Hurricanrana off the top for a two count. Belair tried a K.O.D., but Sky flipped out of the attempt.
The action moved to the apron as the two competitors traded strikes. Sky attempted a Hurricanrana from the apron, but Belair caught her and tossed her into the apron. Bayley and Kai sat on the apron as Belair tried to throw Sky back in. Belair yelled at them to move. Asuka and Bliss then came down to even the odds as there was another split-screen commercial break. [c]
Belair dominated during the break as Bayley and Kai taunted her from ringside. Back from the break, Belair release superplexed Sky from the top rope. Belair then executed a backflip splash for a near fall. Sky fought back by converting a roll-up into a hard stomp to Belair’s midsection. Bliss and Asuka rallied the fans to chant “E.S.T.” in support of Belair as Sky gained momentum. Bayley grabbed Belair’s leg as she came off the ropes. Then Bliss, Asuka, Bayley, and Kai jumped into the ring and began brawling.
WINNER: Double disqualification in 18:00.
-The brawl between Bliss, Asuka, Belair, Sky, Kai, and Bayley continued as officials and referees came out to break things up.
(Doucette’s Analysis: Aside from the Asuka-Bliss match, which never really got going, this was the weakest match of the night. It started quite slow and never really picked up. The fans seemed into the brawl at the end and the overhead camera shot made it look more chaotic. Overall, this was simply okay. I do like Bayley, Kai, and Sky as a stable. However, Bliss and Asuka have been defined down so much that I don’t expect them to pose much of a threat. Belair and Becky as a team, even outnumbered, was much more intriguing to oppose them.)
-Backstage, Ciampa was warming up as Miz hyped him up. Kevin Patrick showed up to interview them. Miz called Logan Paul, “An entitled YouTuber looking to cash a few paychecks.” Miz said Styles cowardly took out Ciampa during the match with Paul. Ciampa said he respected Styles and his path to the WWE, but now he chose to support Paul and it will be satisfying to defeat him. Miz said he will help Ciampa become the next United States champion. [c]
-Booker T was introduced as a special guest commentator for the next match. Ciampa and Miz were already in the ring. Styles then made his entrance.
(6) CIAMPA (w/The Miz) vs. A.J. STYLES – Winner receives a United States championship match
Styles and Ciampa started with a test of strength. Ciampa caught Styles in a side headlocked as the fans chanted “tiny balls” at Miz. Styles nailed Ciampa with a springboard forearm on the outside. Styles then got up to chase away Miz, who tried creeping up on him. [c]
Back from the break, Ciampa and Styles were both down as the fans seemed to be antagonizing Miz. Styles tried a Styles Clash, but Ciampa fought out and hit a Famouser for a two count. Styles attempted a Phenomenal Forearm, but Ciampa countered with a jumping knee strike. Ciampa pinned Styles, but only got a two count. Ciampa and Styles traded strikes on the top rope and Styles gained the advantage to set Ciampa up and hit a Styles Clash. Styles went for the pin, but Miz put Ciampa’s foot on the rope to break up the count. Styles hit Miz and threw him into the timekeeper’s area. Ciampa followed Styles out and threw him into the timekeeper’s area as well. The referee almost counted out Styles as Miz held Styles’ foot. Styles was able to get free and re-enter the ring before he was counted out. Ciampa hit Styles with a knee strike and then the Fairytale Ending for the three count.
WINNER: Ciampa in 14:00.
-Miz and Ciampa celebrated the win in the ring. The match between Bobby Lashley and Ciampa for the United States title was set for next week’s Raw.
(Doucette Analysis: Another good match. It was made more intriguing due to the ongoing rivalry with Styles & Ciampa-Miz. This was hardhitting and I wouldn’t mind the feud continuing a bit longer. It looks like Ciampa is presumably benefitting from Triple H being in power already. He deserves this spot though.)
-Backstage, Kevin Patrick interviewed Bobby Lashley. Lashley said he has no problem with facing Ciampa and will beat him up and put him in the Hurt Lock.
-A graphic aired for the upcoming match between the Mysterios and the Usos. [c]
-The Mysterios’ music hit as Rey and Dominik made their way to the ring. The Usos were next to enter while a clip of the aftermath from the Lesnar-Reigns match at SummerSlam was shown. Lesnar got into the still tipped-over ring, put his cowboy hat on and saluted the fans.
(7) THE MYSTERIOS (Rey Mysterio & Dominik Mysterio) vs. THE USOS (Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso) – Unified Tag team title match
Jey and Rey started things off. Jey tossed Rey under the bottom rope and Rey went sliding outside. Dominik then jumped off the top rope onto both Usos outside as the program went to split-screen commercial. [c]
During the break, Jimmy and Jey dominated the offense on Rey. Rey tried to fight back, but was unsuccessful. Back from the break, Jimmy still had the advantage on Rey. Rey almost made the tag to Dominik, but Jey cut Rey off. Rey gained an advantage by using a headscissors to catapult Jimmy into the turnbuckle. Rey tagged in Dominik who hit a flying crossbody on Jimmy. Jimmy evaded a 6-1-9 from Dominik. Dominik tried to dive onto the Usos on the outside instead, but they caught him and rammed Dominik into the ring post. The Usos posed and Dominik writhed in pain as there was another split-screen commercial. [c]
Back from the break, Jimmy and Dominik were on the top rope. Dominik hit a Tornado DDT on Jimmy off the top. Rey and Jey were tagged in. Rey got a seated senton on Jey and tried a springboard crossbody, but Jey superkicked him for a near fall. The Usos tried the 1-D, but Rey fought back. Rey and Dominik hit a double 6-1-9 on Jimmy for another nearfall. It was broken up by Jey at the last second. Dominik fought off a superplex attempt by Jimmy and set up Jimmy for the 6-1-9. However, Jey tagged himself in and caught Dominik with a 1-D for the win.
WINNERS: Usos in 16:00.
(Doucette’s Analysis: Another good match. This was a great night for in-ring action! The Usos and Mysterios brought the goods as usual. The crowd was enthusiastic as well.)
– Post-match, Priest, Balor, & Ripley ran in from the crowd to attack Rey and Dominik. Edge ran out for the save and attacked Priest and Balor. Edge hit an Implant DDT on Balor and set up for the spear. However, Ripley pushed Dominik in front of Balor, so Edge speared him instead by mistake. Priest, Balor, & Ripley escaped through the crowd. The show ended with Dominik laying on the mat in pain as Rey and the trainers checked on him.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This was a very good episode of Raw. The three hours went very quickly, especially the first hour. If there is going to be drastic change, it will be gradual, which is a good idea. However, the most obvious alteration tonight was the heavy focus on in-ring action. It was fantastic and given plenty of time for the most part. This felt like a wrestling show, not Saturday Night Live with a few minutes of wrestling thrown in. If this is the direction for Raw going forward, I am all in.