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WWE RAW TV REPORT
AUGUST 8, 2022
CLEVELAND, OHIO AT ROCKET MORTGAGE FIELDHOUSE
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
REPORT BY DANNY DOUCETTE, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, & Byron Saxton
Ring Announcer: Mike Rome
-A recap of Bayley, Iyo Sky, and Dakota Kai showing up at SummerSlam. Also shown was the group’s attacks on Becky Lynch, Alexa Bliss, and Asuka from last week’s Raw. The brawl between Kai, Ski, Bayley, Bliss, Asuka, and Bianca Belair was also highlighted.
-Graphics aired for the U.S. title match between Bobby Lashley & Ciampa and brackets for the Women’s Tag Team title tournament. Specifically highlighted for the tournament was the upcoming match between Kai and Sky versus Dana Brooke and Tamina.
-Bayley, Kai, and Sky made their entrance to the ring. Bayley said, “Ding dong” and laughed. Bayley called the fans dumb and said that they dont want to be there, but the fans need them. Bayley said she came back to do something about the women’s division. Bayley mocked Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair. Bayley continued and said that she, Kai, and Sky are bringing out the fire and hunger in the women’s division. Bayley questioned how she was the only one to believe in Kai and Sky. Bayley said “Dakota Sky” by mistake, but acknowledged that she messed up because she was so mad at the crowd. Kai said that she and Sky will win the tag team title tournament.
Bliss, then Asuka, and finally Belair interrupted and made their entrances to the stage. Bliss, Asuka, and Belair got into the ring. Bliss said Kai and Sky won’t win because they will have to face her and Asuka. Belair said she wanted to finish what she started with Sky. Belair wanted to fight right now, but Bayley challenged them to a six woman tag match at Clash at the Castle. Belair accepted and said that while Bayley is trying to keep control, she’s about to lose it. Belair, Bliss, and Asuka then attacked Bayley, Kai, and Sky. The six women brawled around the ring and into the crowd as referees attempted to break things up. Bliss jumped off the barricade onto everyone (even Belair and Asuka) in the crowd. [c]
(Doucette Analysis: This was okay. Bayley’s group continued to look strong, but they went to the “out-of-control brawl” well again. I still don’t think Bliss really fits in this role and Asuka is still made to be too quirky. It looks like Bianca and her tag-a-long buddies. Bayley’s group has to win this feud in a dominant fashion.)
-Seth Rollins made his entrance as a recap was shown of Rollins’ match with Montez Ford from last week. Angelo Dawkins then made his entrance along with Montez Ford.
(1) SETH ROLLINS vs. ANGELO DAWKINS (w/Montez Ford)
Ford mocked Rollins at ringside with some animated behavior and Dawkins hit him with a shoulderblock that sent Rollins flying over the announce desk. [c]
Rollins began to get an advantage and Ford tried to hype Dawkins up. Rollins kicked Ford. Ford got upset, grabbed a chair, and ran into the ring. The referee stopped Ford and ejected him from ringside. Dawkins clotheslined Rollins to the outside, then hit a dive onto Rollins at ringside. Dawkins got a near fall from a Sky High on Rollins. Rollins rolled out of the ring and Dawkins followed him. Dawkins charged, but Rollins threw him into the ring stairs. Rollins hit a Pedigree on Dawkins for the win.
WINNER: Rollins in 9:00.
-Post-match, Rollins hit the stomp on Dawkins. Ford ran into the ring, but Rollins retreated.
(Doucette’s Analysis: Dawkins was better than I was expecting here. I haven’t seen anything great from him singles wise before this. Rollins is the measuring stick of WWE, so Dawkins having a good showing against him bodes well. It seems further seeds are planted for the Profits breakup with Ford being late to save, while Dawkins successfully saved Ford from a stomp last week.)
-A recap aired of the rivalry between the Mysterios and the Judgment Day. Also shown was Edge accidentally spearing Dominik last week. Backstage, Dominik was hyping up Rey and Edge appeared. Edge told Dominik spearing him was an accident and he has their back tonight. Edge asked Dominik if they were cool and Dominik said they were cool, but then Dominik shoved Edge. Rey told Dominik to calm down and that he’s known Edge for twenty years. Dominik said Rey has known him for twenty-five and that he can’t believe Rey is taking Edge’s side. Rey told Edge he will talk to Dominik. [c]
(Doucette’s Analysis: It was kind of funny hearing Dominik say Rey “has known him for twenty-five years” as if he’s his friend, not his father. Yes, it’s technically true, but still funny.)
-A video package for Ciampa. It acknowledged his NXT title run and highlighted his win in the triple threat and against A.J. Styles last week to earn a U.S. title match.
-Kevin Patrick was backstage with The Miz and Ciampa. Both men seemed to get positive reactions from the crowd. Patrick asked Ciampa if tonight was his night, but Miz interrupted before Ciampa could speak. Miz said, “Phenomenal” and said it described Ciampa’s performance. Miz ran down Styles for siding with Logan Paul and costing him his match at SummerSlam. Ciampa said to believe in him as Harley Race, his trainer and the first U.S. champion, did. Ciampa said three years ago, Race passed away and he’s dedicating his title win to him. Ciampa pointed to Race’s robe behind him. Ciampa said Lashley will see the sacrifice in his eyes and realize he has already lost.
(Doucette’s Analysis: This was a total babyface promo. It’s hard to root against Ciampa giving a fired up promo and dedicating the match to a deceased wrestling legend like Harley Race. Maybe that is how we are supposed to feel to set up Ciampa’s turn on Miz?)
-Ezekiel was already in the ring and Kevin Owens made his entrance. Owens received a nice pop. Owens marched to the ring with intensity.
(2) EZEKIEL vs. KEVIN OWENS
Owens attacked Ezekiel right away and threw him into the announce desk. Owens powerbombed Ezekiel onto the apron. The referee called for the E.M.T. Adam Pearce and more referees came to check on Ezekiel. E.M.T.s came out to put Ezekiel in a neck brace and had a stretcher nearby.
WINNER: Owens by referee stoppage in 2:00.
(Doucette’s Analysis: Woah! DId Owens just powerbomb Ezekiel into a repackaging? That seemed to be a pretty definitive statement on Ezekiel. No entrance and a two minute squash/stretcher job.) [c]
-The commentators recapped what happened between Owens and Ezekiel. During the break, Ezekiel was wheeled out on a stretcher.
-Finn Balor and Damian Priest made their entrance. Balor grabbed a microphone and asked if he was supposed to be scared of Rey. Balor said he is not afraid of anyone and that fear is not real. Balor said danger is real and he will show Rey that he is danger. Priest called out Edge and challenged him to a match in two weeks in his hometown of Toronto. Priest said Edge hasn’t wrestled in Toronto in twelve years on Raw. Priest said if Edge still has “a set” to accept. Priest said he wants to end Edge in front of his family and “whatever friends he has left”.
-Backstage, Rey walked to the ring and was approached by Edge. Rey said Dominik still hasn’t answered his calls. Edge said his offer to back Rey up still stands. Rey said Dominik will come to his senses. [c]
-Rey made his entrance alone and kept looking behind him, appearing to hope that Dominik would join him.
(3) FINN BALOR (w/Damian Priest) vs. REY MYSTERIO
The match was fairly even to start. Balor mockingly performed the Three Amigos suplexes, but Rey blocked the last one and suplexed Balor instead. Rey set Balor up for a 6-1-9, but Priest got in the way and took the move. This allowed Balor to recover and ram Rey into the ring post. [c]
Rey slid under the bottom rope and sunset flipped Balor into the barricade. Priest attempted to distract Rey. Rey focused his attention back to Balor and Priest tripped Rey on the apron. Edge’s music hit and he ran out to fight Priest. Edge and Priest fought to the back through the crowd. Balor was shocked, but tried to capitalize on Rey. Rey hit another sunset flip powerbomb on Balor for a near fall. Rey and Balor traded punches, with Rey getting the best of it. Balor fell on the second rope and Rey tried a 6-1-9, but Balor cut him off with a clothesline. Balor dropkicked Rey into the corner and tried the Coup de Gras, but Rey moved. Rey set up Balor for the 6-1-9 again, but Rhea Ripley appeared on the stage carrying Dominik on her shoulder. Ripley dropped Dominik and his face was beaten up. Balor took advantage of the distraction and hit 1916 and a Coup de Gras for the win.
WINNER: Balor in 15:00.
(Doucette’s Analysis: This was better than their match a few weeks ago. Edge got a monster pop, but Rey didn’t seem to get much reaction for once. It might be time to finally move on from this story. Ripley’s dynamic continues to be entertaining, but I want to jump to the conclusion of whatever is going to happen with Dominik.)
-Post-match, Rey layed on the mat in pain as Balor and Ripley stood over Dominik on the stage.
-The brackets for the women’s tag team title tournament were shown.
-Backstage, Sarah Schreiber interviewed Dana Brooke and Tamina. Bayley, Kai, and Sky interrupted. Bayley told Brooke not to worry, because they don’t want the 24/7 title. Bayley said they want titles that suit them and it’s the tag team titles, because she was the first one to hold them. Tamina threatened to take out Bayley. Bayley walked off as Kai said she would see them out there. Sky said she didn’t like Tamina. [c]
-Kai and Sky made their entrance followed by Brooke and Tamina.
(4) DAKOTA KAI & IYO SKY (w/Bayley) vs. DANA BROOKE & TAMINA – Tag Title tournament, First Round
Kai and Brooke started off. Brooke got most of the offense in and then tagged in Tamina. Tamina knocked Sky off the apron and Kai retreated to the outside after a suplex. Brooke dived from the top rope onto both Kai and Sky. [c]
Kai worked on Brooke as the crowd chanted, “Bayley sucks”. Brooke got the upper hand long enough to tag Tamina in. Tamina got a near fall on Sky when Kai broke it up. Brooke tried a handspring splash onto Kai, who was on the barricade, but Bayley pulled Kai out of the way. This caused Brooke to crash into the barricade. Kai kicked Tamina in the head after Sky blocked a splash. Sky hit a moonsault on Tamina for the win.
WINNERS: Kai and Sky in 9:00. [c]
(Doucette’s Analysis: I was impressed with the ability of WWE to piecemeal enough teams together for a tag title tournament. Sky and Kai advanced as they should. They tried to make this match decent, but it wasn’t an easy task.)
-A recap aired of Owens taking out Ezekiel earlier. Patrick caught up with Owens backstage as Owens was leaving the arena. Owens threatened to beat up Patrick and said unlike Ezekiel, he knows exactly who he is. Owens said the attack on Ezekiel was a statement to prove to everyone that Raw is still the Kevin Owens show.
(Doucette’s Analysis: Perfect. This seemed to frame Owens exactly as he should be, an intense, focused wrestler who poses a serious threat.)
-A recap aired of the finish of the Rey-Balor match. Backstage, Dominik was being checked on by a trainer while Rey looked concerned.
-A promo highlighting the history of the U.S. title, narrated by John Bradshaw Layfield, aired. At the end, a quick promo for the match between Ciampa and Lashley was inserted.
-Ciampa made his entrance wearing Harley Race’s robe. He was flanked by Miz. A post from Ciampa’s instagram was shown where he paid tribute to Race. [c]
Miz was hyping up Ciampa in the ring as Lashley made his entrance.
(5) CIAMPA (w/The Miz) vs. BOBBY LASHLEY – U.S. Title match
Ciampa attacked Lashley right away, but Lashley shoulderblocked him down. Lashley set up for the spear, but Ciampa rolled out of the ring. Miz tried distracting Lashley as Ciampa tried to sneak up on him, but Lashley attacked Ciampa before he could. Lashley picked up Ciampa in a fireman’s carry outside the ring and Miz tried to stop him, so Lashley threw Ciampa into Miz. [c]
Back from the break, Ciampa was attempting to undo a turnbuckle. Ciampa landed punches on Lashley from a mounted position. Lashley recovered and got a near fall from reverse suplex. Lashley tried another suplex, but Ciampa reversed it into a DDT. Lashley hit Ciampa with a spear and went for a pin. It only got two after Miz put Ciampa’s foot on the rope. A.J. Styles came out of nowhere and attacked Miz. Miz and Styles brawled into the ring distracting the referee. Ciampa used the distraction to throw Lashley into the exposed turnbuckle. Ciampa hit Lashley with a knee strike for a close near fall. Ciampa went for the Fairytale Ending, but Lashley fought out. Ciampa tried a crossface, but Lashley fought out of that as well. Ciampa threw Lashley out of the ring. Lashley came back into the ring and Ciampa hit him with a draping DDT for another near fall. Ciampa charged at Lashley, but Lashley hit him with a spinebuster. Lashley then put Ciampa in the Hurt Lock. It looked like Ciampa would escape, but Ciampa tapped out.
WINNER: Lashley in 15:00.
(Doucette’s Analysis: This was really good. Ciampa looked strong even in losing. He lasted longer in the Hurt Lock than anyone I can remember besides Drew McInytre. I’d gladly watch another match between these two.)
-Omos and M.V.P. were walking backstage. Graves announced Omos as “in action” next. [c]
-Styles and Miz were shown in a recap fighting backstage as officials came to break it up. Miz verses Styles in a no disqualification match was announced for later in the night.
-Omos made his entrance.
(6) OMOS (w/M.V.P.) vs. ANDREA GUERCIO & SPENCER SLADE – Handicap match
Slade was wearing ametuer wrestling headgear. Graves said there was no use in learning Guercio and Slades names, because they will forget their own names by the end of this match. Smith said a prayer for them. Omos dominated Guerico and Slade. Omos hit Slade with a big boot then chokeslammed Slade and pinned him with one foot.
WINNER: Omos in 5:00.
(Doucette’s Analysis: This is a fine use of Omos. I always get a kick out of the enhancement talent, it’s a fun throwback to the old school.)
-An exclusive interview with Riddle was advertised as next.
-Patrick was backstage with Rollins. Patrick congratulated Rollins on his win earlier. Patrick asked Rollins what he thought about Riddle’s interview “next week”. Rollins was angry that Patrick asked about Riddle, because he already said he was done with him. Rollins said he knew what Riddle would say, and mocked him by saying “bro” and “Rannnnndy”. Rollins said he is the gatekeeper and that anyone or anything that is good goes through him. Rollins said Riddle could be great, but he’s even better at flushing his own potential down the toilet. Rollins said if you don’t believe him, then ask Dana White. Rollins said Riddle needs to retire or he will Cody Rhodes his ass out the door. Rollins closed by saying if Riddle has something to say, then so does he.
(Doucette’s Analysis: Very good promo from Rollins. He just seems to believe everything he says no matter how outlandish. I’m assuming Riddle’s interview is next week though, not tonight.)
-Chad Gable and Otis made their may to the ring as Gable was scheduled to take on Dolph Ziggler. [c]
-A short highlight package aired for Alpha Academy.
(Doucette’s Analysis: Nice. This is how you build up your talent and it took only a few minutes.)
(7) CHAD GABLE (w/Otis) vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER
Dolph was still announced as residing in Hollywood, Florida. Whoops. Saxton actually cleaned it up and mentioned that Ziggler is from Cleveland. Ziggler and Gable did some mat wrestling as the crowd chanted, “Let’s go Dolph”. Gable hit a nice German suplex on Ziggler. Gable dominated for the next few minutes until Ziggler moved out of the way of a moonsault. Gable landed on his feet, but Ziggler hit him with a jumping DDT for a near fall. The crowd again chanted for Ziggler. Ziggler went for a superkick, but Gable caught the leg and applied an ankle lock. Ziggler got out and tried a Famouser, but Gable got in another ankle lock. Ziggler got out and tried another superkick, but Ziggler’s knee gave out. Gable applied another ankle lock. Ziggler got out, but Gable rolled him up for a two count. Gable tried an Angle Slam, but Ziggler scored a superkick for the win.
WINNER: Ziggler in 6:00.
-Afterwards, Otis tried to attack Ziggler, but Ziggler rolled out of the ring and escaped.
-A graphic aried for a match between Asuka and Alexa Bliss versus Nikki A.S.H. and Doudrop in the tag title tournament next week.
-Backstage, Nikki and Doudrop said they want to win the titles and crush Asuka and Bliss’ hopes and dreams.
-Bliss and Asuka were another part of the backstage area. Bliss said Nikki and Doudrop have it all wrong and they will manifest their dreams. Asuka said no one is ready for her and Bliss, but was interrupted by Bayley, Sky, and Kai. Bayley said no one cares about them. Bayley asked if Asuka was her new toy, but then some security guards ran by distracting them. Bayley, Kai, and Sky walked off and were passed by Styles, who was on his way to the ring. [c]
(Doucette’s Analysis: That is an obvious change impletened lately. There is a flowing backstage environment and the camera happens to catch it during a pre-scheduled interview. It feels much more realistic.)
(7) A.J. STYLES vs. THE MIZ – No Disqualification Match
Miz and Styles traded punches to start. Miz ran to the outside of the ring, but Styles slammed him into the announce desk. Styles cleared the desk, but Miz flapjacked Styles onto the apron and threw him into the ring stairs. The fans chanted “tiny balls” at Miz. Miz was briefly distracted by the chant and Styles hit him with a knee. Styles tossed a kendo stick and chair from under the ring in favor of a table. The fans popped for the table. Miz hit Styles with a dropkick through the ropes and put the table back under the ring. Miz followed Styles inside and hit him with a kendo stick. Miz opened a chair and sat down in the middle of the ring. Miz took a swing at Styles with the kendo stick, but Styles ducked. Styles then knocked Miz out of the chair with a sliding elbow. Styles went for a Styles Clash through the announce table, but Miz punched him in the throat and threw him off the table into the crowd. [c]
Back from the break, Styles set up a table outside the ring. Styles went after Miz, but Miz hit him with a kendo stick. Back inside, Miz hit Styles with the kendo stick and choked him with it. Styles fought out and hit a Pele Kick. Miz returned the favor and beat down Miz with the kendo stick. Styles hit Miz in the groin area with the kendo stick and gave him a Russian leg sweep. Miz recovered and tried a Skull Crushing Finale, but Styles rolled him up for a two count. Styles hit a Phenomenal Forearm, but Ciampa pulled the referee out before the three count. Styles attacked Ciampa and went for a Styles Clash, but stopped and looked at the table outside. Styles threw Ciampa onto the apron, but blocked and tried to suplex him. Styles hit Ciampa with a jumping forearm, sending Ciampa through the table. Miz rolled up Styles by surprise for a two count. Styles went for another Phenomenal Forearm, but Miz threw a chair at Styles and hit a Skull Crushing Finale for a near fall. Miz hit Styles in the leg with the kendo stick and went for a figure-four. Styles kicked Miz away and Miz went head first into a chair propped in the turnbuckles. Styles hit a Styles Clash for the win.
WINNER: Styles in 13:00.
(Doucette’s Analysis: Standard WWE No DQ match. Styles getting hit with the chair mid-springboard was a sight to see though.)
-Afterwards, Styles celebrated the win. Then, Styles was distracted by something as he looked on into the crowd. It looked like security was taking out a fan. Graves and Saxton said it looked like Dexter Loomis. The camera was focused on Styles and Loomis wasn’t shown clearly on camera.
-Graphics for Bliss & Asuka versus Nikki A.S.H. & Doudrop and Riddle’s interview next week. Styles continued to pose as the show went off-air.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Aside from a few noticeable changes, Raw continues on the same steady path it was on before. Nothing bad, nothing great. It was great to see Owens get spotlighted in a serious manner. The sooner Ciampa separates from Miz, the better, because he looked great tonight.
However, things feel more exciting and unpredictable than in a long time. That is a staple of how things felt in a more exciting time when, if you missed a Raw, you missed out on something. Without a drastic change to point to, that feeling is what we have gained as viewers. That air of excitement is more valuable than any number of miniscule changes that may occur. Many people felt like that air was lost after years of “same old, same old” booking and now faith in the company has been restored a bit. It buys more patience for their product, but be careful WWE.