SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE RAW TV REPORT
SEPTEMBER 19, 2022
SAN JOSE, CALIF. AT SAP CENTER
AIRED ON USA
REPORT BY DANNY DOUCETTE, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, & Byron Saxton
Ring Announcer: Mike Rome
-The “Then. Now. Forever. Together” signature started off the show. Then, the Raw intro aired followed by a shot of the stage with pyro blasting.
-Seth Rollins’ music hit and he seemed to get a pop as he made his way to the stage. Rollins danced his way down the aisle as the fans sang his theme song. In the ring, Rollins made conducting motions as the fans continued to sing even after the music faded. Next, Bobby Lashley made his entrance. Unfortunately, he did not receive as strong of a reaction initially. It sounded a little more lively when Lashley got into the ring and saluted the fans. Rome then did ring introductions for both competitors.
(1) SETH ROLLINS vs. BOBBY LASHLEY – U.S. title match
Lashley overpowered Rollins out of a few lockups to start. Rollins piefaced Lashley, which angered him. Rollins ran out of the ring and Lashley gave chase. Rollins was quicker and landed a dropkick through the ropes. Rollins tried a dive, but Lashley caught him. Rollins wiggled out and shoved Lashley into the ring post. Rollins tried a springboard knee, but Lashley went for the Hurt Lock. Lashley couldn’t lock it in and Rollins got catapulted Lashley into the turnbuckle. Rollins hit a superkick and tried stomp as Lashley was in a pushup position, but Lashley blocked it by stiffening his body. Lashley then hit Rollins with a back elbow and clotheslined him over the top rope. Lashley then hit Rollins with a shoulder block and high-fived some fans in the front row. [c]
Rollins had Lashley in a short arm scissors coming out of the commercial break. Lashley cradled Rollins into a pin for a two count. Rollins hit an armbreaker and a Sling Blade for a near fall. Rollins continued to work Lashley’s arm and hit a springboard knee for a two count. Lashley powerbombed Rollins out of another short arm scissors. Rollins fought back by clotheslining Lashley over the top rope. Rollins hit two dives onto Lashley, but Lashley was able to bounce Rollins head off the ring post from a fireman’s carry position. Both competitors were down on the outside. [c]
Rollins charged at Lashley in the corner, but Lashley nailed him with strikes and elbows. Lashley nailed a Dominator into a facebuster for a nearfall. Lashley set up the spear, but Rollins hit him with a knee. Lashley was able to still hit a reverse S.T.O. for a nearfall. Lashley tried a superplex, but Rollins countered with a turnbuckle powerbomb and a Frog Splash for a two count. Rollins locked Lashley in a crossface. Rollins talked trash to Lashley as he tried to battle out. Rollins tried a Pedigree, but Lashley reversed into a pin for a nearfall. Lashley hit a powerslam and set up another Spear. Rollins countered the Spear attempt into a Pedigree for a close near fall. Rollins tried a Phoenix Splash, but Lashley caught Rollins in the Hurt Lock. Rollins catapulted himself off the middle rope into a pin for a two count. Lashley and Rollins landed on top of the referee in the commotion. Rollins back kicked Lashley in the groin as the referee was recovering. Rollins set up the stomp, but Matt Riddle’s music hit. Riddle ran down the aisle, but stopped before getting into the ring. This distracted Rollins enough for turn around into Spear from Lashley for the win.
WINNER: Lashley in 20:00.
-Rollins was shown on the mat sneering at Riddle, who appeared to be satisfied with exacting some revenge. Lashley celebrated with the title in the background.
(Doucette’s Analysis: Great match. I understand that Riddle needed to cost Rollins something big to get a rematch against him, but I hated that it had to be a distraction finish.)
-A recap was shown of Damage Control’s title win from last week. A limousine was shown pulling up to the arena. Bayley got out first followed by Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai. (c)
-Smith and Graves announced that Survivor Series will feature a War Games match.
-Damage Control’s music hit as Bayley drove Sky and Kai down to the ring in a golf cart designed with the Damage Control logo. There was an absurd amount of pyro on the stage and streamers in the ring. There were also black and red balloons on the ring posts. Bayley said that San Jose’s Bay Area hero is here. Bayley said they were going to have a homecoming celebration, but just for her, Sky, and Kai, not the fans. Bayley told the fans to stop booing because they are in the presence of champions since the San Jose Sharks can’t get it done. Sky said they are in control now. Sky spoke in Japanese and Bayley said Iyo doesn’t have to thank her. Bayley thanked them for coming on the journey with them. Kai said the division needed them, but they don’t need Asuka, Alexa Bliss, and Bianca Belair. Kai said they were once the face of the division, but now they are in control of nothing. Kai said Asuka used to be a warrior, Bliss looks like she got a lobotomy in therapy, and Belair has been phoning it in. Kai said Bliss, Asuka, and Belair need to pack it up and go home.
Belair’s music hit as Belair, Asuka, and Bliss came down to the ring. Belair said they were going to let them have their celebration However, after their disrespectful comments, they will teach them some respect. Bayley asked if Belair has no patience. Bayley said Belair needs to be more like her. Bayley said they will fight when she decides she wants her title. Bayley called Bliss and Asuka Belair’s accessories. Bliss threatened Bayley and Bayley responded by insinuating Bliss was washed up. Bliss challenged Bayley to a match later in the night. Bayley didn’t accept or deny. Bliss stepped up and Bayley, Kai, and Sky backed off. Bayley then charged at Bliss, but Bliss punched him. Bayley treated outside the ring with Kai and Sky. Belair, Asuka, and Bliss celebrated inside the ring.
(Doucette’s Analysis: This was terrible. Bayley still seems off her game. Kai hasn’t been great either, but she’s been better than Bayley as of late. The golf cart, streamers, and pyro were too much (as I’m sure was the point), but it didn’t seem to land with the crowd. I thought being in Bayley’s hometown would guarantee a nice reaction, I was wrong. The babyfaces coming out seemed to help the segment, but Damage Control is starting to look like a flop.)
-Austin Theory was shown warming up backstage for his match with Kevin Owens. [c]
-Theory made his entrance to the ring. Alongside the entrance, a picture-in-picture recap was shown of Theory’s attack on Johnny Gargano, Owens’ promo, and the brawl between Theory and Owens last week.
-Owens’ music hit and there was a camera view from behind of Owens walking onto the stage. Theory knocked Owens off the apron and tossed him into the crowd barricade before the match officially started.
(2) AUSTIN THEORY vs. KEVIN OWENS
Owens yelled at the referee to ring the bell and he hit Theory with punches. Theory gained the upper hand and beat Owens down a bit in the corner. Owens regained momentum with a back elbow and a Senton Splash. Owens went for the Cannonball Splash in the corner, but Theory bailed outside. Owens followed him out, but Theory threw him into the announce table. Owens fought back and threw Theory into the ring stairs. Theory tripped up Owens as he was on the apron. Theory then landed a neckbreaker to Owens on the ringside floor. [c]
Owens dominated out of the commercial break, but Theory took over again after Owens missed another Cannonball Splash. Owens rallied back and hit a big clothesline on Theory for a nearfall. Owens hit a Swanton Bomb on Theory for another nearfall. As Owens went to the top rope again, the crowd chanted “Who’s your daddy” at Theory to which Owens yelled “I’m his daddy!” Theory tried to superplex Owens, but Owens headbutted him and slapped him down to the mat. Owens missed a twisting splash from the top rope. Theory did a rolling somersault into a Blockbuster for a nearfall. Theory then tried several more pins attempts to no avail. Theory tried a Theory got a tried to go for the Money in the Bank briefcase, but Gargano appeared at ringside and took it away. Owens superkicked Theory, hit another Cannonball Splash, and a Pop-Up Powerbomb for the win.
WINNER: Owens in 12:00.
(Doucette’s Analysis: Another distraction finish? Is Vince booking again tonight? This was another good match that deserved a better finish.)
-Gargano got into the ring and dropped the briefcase onto Theory’s groin and laughed.
-A recap was shown of the brawl between Riddle and Rollins, Riddle’s interaction with The Judgment Day, and Riddle’s match with Finn Balor from last week.
-Riddle was shown walking through the backstage area and he was stopped by Kevin Patrick. Patrick mentioned Riddle cost Rollins the U.S. title. Riddle agreed and said he wouldn’t stop until he gets his rematch against Rollins. Patrick mentioned that Riddle would be teaming up with Rey Mysterio to face Balor and Damian Priest. Riddle said Riddle said he couldn’t wait to help Rey get some sweet revenge on Judgment Day.
-Smith hyped that the Logan Paul-Roman Reigns Unified title match was now official.
(Doucette’s Analysis: I can’t find the facepalm key on my keyboard, but – yeah that. Logan is talented in the ring, but he doesn’t deserve this yet. Kofi Kingston was WWE champion for six months and got squashed in seconds. Reigns should go over in the same fashion. Reigns will obviously win, but do I expect it to happen in that way? No.) [c]
-A recap was shown of Logan’s interaction with Paul Heyman on Smackdown and the press conference between Reigns and Logan. Smith and Graves hyped the match a bit more.
-The Brawling Brutes’ music hit as Butch and Ridge Holland made their way to the ring. A recap from Smackdown was shown of Holland and Butch earning a tag title shot.
-Butch said Monday Night Raw is fight night. Holland told the fans to get used to seeing them as they will be the next Unified champions. Holland continued saying that Sheamus is preparing their celebratory party for when they beat The Usos. The Street Profits’ music interrupted Holland. Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins made their way out as red solo cups rained on the stage. Dawkins congratulated Holland and Butch on their win on Smackdown. Ford said they are Triple Crown winners and despite the other teams they beat, they haven’t beat them. Butch got fired up and threw his hat and jacket at the Profits. Ford told him to calm his Butch ass down. Holland challenged them to match. Ford accepted and said he’s feeling sharp as grass and ready to whoop their ass. Ford and Dawkins said the Street Profits are up and they want the smoke. Saxton said to get a referee out there as the Brutes and Profits squared off in the ring. [c]
(3) THE BRAWLING BRUTES (Butch & Ridge Holland) vs. THE STREET PROFITS (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins)
Ford and Butch started things off and it was a pretty even matchup. The Brutes then dominated the Profits until the commercial break. [c]
The Profits began to fight back and stopped the offense of the Brutes. Dawkins hit Butch and Holland each with big shoulderblocks. Ford dove onto Butch and Holland on the ringside floor. The Profits went for a Doomsday Device, but Butch twisted Ford’s fingers. The Brutes executed a head kick/bodyslam combination on Dawkins for the win.
WINNERS: Brawling Brutes in 15:00.
-Holland and Butch celebrated in the ring after the match.
-A recap was shown of the Dominik Mysterio-Edge match and The Judgment Day’s attack on Edge and Rey from last week.
-Sarah Schreiber interviewed Rey backstage and asked him if a reconciliation with Dominik was possible. Rey said if he would’ve known about Dominik’s resentment, he could’ve done something about it. Rey said Dominik won’t speak to him. Rey said Edge is sidelined, but not out of the fight. Rey said he hopes Dominik will find a way back to his family. Rey said he will never give up on him. Rey said everything he’s every done was for Dominik to give him a life he never had and a legacy for him to carry on if he wanted to. Rey started to talk about Balor and Priest, but Riddle showed up. Riddle said he was ready to help Rey take out The Judgment Day. Riddle asked if Rey was ready and he said he was.
(Doucette’s Analysis: Great heartfelt promo from Rey. As a father myself, this felt believable. It shows realistic reasoning why Rey will continue to put up with the abuse from Dominik and The Judgment Day.) [c]
-Gargano was walking backstage and he ran into Chad Gable and Otis. Gable called him “Johnny Shoooosh”. Gable was not happy with Gargano for costing their “close, personal friend” Theory his match. Gable said Theory has strength in numbers. Gable said when you mess with Theory, you mess with Alpha Academy. Owens appeared and asked if there was a problem. Gable said they have a problem with Gargano, not Owens. Owens said if they have a problem with Gargano, they have a problem with him. Gable and Otis challenged Gargano and Owens to a match next week. Owens said he beat Gable in Toronto a few weeks ago and next week Raw is in Edmonton. Gable tried to put the match off for two weeks, but Owens wouldn’t allow it. Owens and Gargano then shooshed them.
-The Judgment Day appeared on the stage and walked to the ring. Smith said that Edge suffered an MCL sprain from the attack last week. As Rhea Ripley whispered in Dominik’s ear during their entrance, Graves mentioned that Dominik and Ripley have a budding relationship.
Ripley told the fans to calm doing as they booed. Ripley said that the Judgment Day runs Monday Night Raw. Ripley said that with Dominik by their side, they will run Raw, especially since he’s all man now. Balor praised Dominik for standing up to his father. Priest said he loves Dominik and he no longer walks in a shadow and fights his own battles. Priest said he proved that against Edge last week. They taunted Edge for being injured. Ripley said she is proud of Dominik.
Dominik began to speak and the crowd started to boo. Ripley, Priest, and Balor riled up the fans by telling them to shut up. Dominik tried to speak and the boos got louder. Dominik said he is proud to stand alongside his new, real family. The four of them then took a picture in the ring. Balor began to speak again, but Riddle’s music cut him off. Riddle came out on a scooter and he was then joined by Rey. [c]
(Doucette’s Analysis: This was a good promo from Judgment Day. I assume those were piped in boos, but they were loud. From my experience at live events, it probably encouraged more boos. Either way, they seem to gel and get more comfortable each week. I hope they phase out the “spooky” elements of the group. They are becoming a good dominant heel stable that don’t need the extra bells and whistles.)
(4) FINN BALOR & DAMIAN PRIEST (w/Rhea Ripley & Dominik Mysterio) vs. MATT RIDDLE & REY MYSTERIO
Balor and Priest double-teamed Riddle until he got the upper hand on Balor. Riddle tagged in Rey and hit a double-team leg drop of Balor for a two count. Priest nailed Rey with a big clotheslined to shift the momentum back in their favor. Balor tried the Three Amigos suplexes, but Rey reversed the last one. Rey tagged in Riddle, who hit Balor with a V-Trigger. Riddle gave elbows in the corner to both Priest and Balor. Priest chokeslammed Riddle onto the apron. Dominik clapped in approval as Riddle and Balor laid on the ringside floor. [c]
Balor tossed Riddle outside the ring and distracted the referee. Ripley backdropped Riddle on the floor. Graves said that if Ripley wasn’t already spoken for, he might’ve just fallen in love. I guess he forgot about Carmella. In the ring, Balor and Priest dominated Riddle. Riddle kicked Priest in the head and hit him with a Bro To Sleep to set up a comeback. As Rey punched Balor in the corner, he locked eyes with Dominik and Balor tripped him up. Rey came back to set up the 6-1-9, but Priest pulled him out of the ring. Riddle hit Priest with a Floating Bro on the outside. Rey hit Balor with a successful 6-1-9, but Ripley distracted the referee. Rollins attacked Riddle from behind and grabbed a chair, but Rey took the chair away. Rollins escaped through the crowd. Dominik goaded Rey to hit him with the chair. Rey quickly teased hitting Dominik, but ultimately refused. Balor hit Rey with a Sling Blade when he got back into the ring. Priest hit a chokeslam and Balor hit a Coup de Gras for the win.
WINNERS: Balor & Priest in 17:00.
(Doucette’s Analysis: MORE distractions. What is going on tonight? Also, why would Rey, even briefly, tease hitting Dominik with the chair? He JUST said he would never fight his son and Dominik didn’t even significantly interfere in the match.)
-A recap was shown of Dexter Lumis stalking Miz in his home. Ciampa and Miz were on their way to the ring. [c]
-Backstage, a camera ran towards some commotion. It was several officials breaking up a fight between Riddle and Rollins. Rollins told Riddle he would give him the rematch and to name the time and place. Riddle laid down a challenge for a Fight Pit match at Extreme Rules. Rollins accepted.
-Miz and Tommasso Ciampa were in the ring for MizTV. Miz said he wasn’t live and present last week because of deranged madman. Miz said Lumis crossed the line by coming into his home. Miz asked what kind of lunatic breaks into someone’s home to draw a picture of their family and put it on the coffee table. Miz said he is tired of looking over his shoulder. Miz said his daughter had a birthday part with Minion’s characters. Miz said he was paranoid and punched a Minion. Miz said he is going crazy and people are asking him what did to him. Miz said they should be asking why him. Miz challenged Lumis to come out and face him man to man. When he did show up, Miz kept calling Lumis out. However, a knife could been seen cutting through the ring mat. Miz said next time he sees Lumis he will kick his ass. Lumis popped out from under the ring and tried to pull him under the ring. Ciampa interjected and Lumis tried to pull him down. Ciampa hit Lumis with the microphone and he disappeared. Miz peeked into the hole, but Lumis’ head popped out and he stared wide-eyed as Miz and Ciampa retreated. [c]
(Doucette’s Analysis: Ciampa got his first name back! I still don’t get what is going on with Lumis. I actually felt sorry for Miz here. Miz is a character that we have known for years, so that makes him sort of an endearing figure. We still don’t know Lumis or his motivations. He’s torturing someone for no explained reason and stalking his family. It doesn’t come off well for building a babyface.)
-Smith and Graves noted that Alpha Academy versus Johnny Gargano and Kevin Owens if official for next week. Also official is Riddle versus Priest.
-Patrick interviewed The Judgment Day backstage. They were in a jovial mood. Patrick asked what’s next after their win. Dominik asked if he should check on his dad. They all started laughing and Dominik said he was just kidding. Dominik said they need to go out and party. Priest said Riddle didn’t get enough of an ass kicking tonight so he’ll handle him next week. They walked off and Balor spotted someone and said he’d handle it. It was revealed to be A.J. Styles. Balor walked up to Styles and asked why they haven’t spoken in a while. Styles said Balor joined Judgment Day and turned his back on him.
Balor said he joined Judgment Day, but he never turned his back on Styles. Balor said he has always had Styles’ back. Styles asked if he should join Judgment Day and turn his back on everyone he loves like Dominik. Styles said he wants no part of Judgment Day. Balor said he was looking for his friend and Styles is looking for a fight. Balor sternly asked again if Styles was looking for a fight. Balor and Styles got in each other’s face, but Balor smiled and Styles isn’t looking for a fight. Balor hugged Styles and said the offer to join him still stands.
(Doucette’s Analysis: This was good all the way around. Dominik is still a little wooden on the mic, but Judgment Day are starting to seem more like real people than supernatural beings. I liked the Balor-Styles interaction. Balor was particularly good. I’m excited to see this play out!)
-Graves asked why he is the only one who noticed the Lumis tried to abduct Miz and Ciampa. Saxton said everyone is freaked out by Lumis. Smith said Lumis went back into his hole and it happens.
-A highlight video for Bliss aired. Bliss then made her entrance along with Asuka and Belair. Bayley entered next with Kai and Sky.
(5) ALEXA BLISS (w/Bianca Belair & Asuka) vs. BAYLEY (w/Dakota Kai & Iyo Sky)
Bayley attacked Bliss’ knee, slamming in against the apron. Bayley then hit Bliss with a clothesline from behind for a nearfall. On the outside, Bliss hit Bayley with a Flipping Body Attack from the announce table to the floor. Bliss writhed in pain as her knee was hurt on the move. [c]
Bayley worked on Bliss’ injured knee. At one point, the arena lights went out for a second and came back on. It looked purposeful. The crowd was split; some chanting for Bayley, some against her. Bayley hit a Bayley-to-Belly on Bliss for a nearfall. Bliss tried a desperation Sunset Flip Piledriver for a two count. Bayley tried to pin Bliss with her feet on the ropes, but Belair moved them off. Sky and Kai shoved Belair into the ringpost. Asuka attacked Sky and Kai. Asuka tried ramming Kai into the stairs, but Kai moved and Asuka crashed into the stairs. Bliss hit a DDT on Bayley, but Kai distracted the referee. Sky came from behind and shoved Bliss off the ropes. Bayley hit a Roseplant for the win.
WINNER: Bayley in 14:00.
-After the match, Damage Control attacked Bliss further. Asuka tried to save her, but she was taken out by a Bayley and Kai-assisted Springboard Moonsault from Sky. Belair ran in and punched Kai and Sky. Belair hit Bayley with a clothesline, but Kai and Sky double-teamed Belair. Bayley slapped Belair and hit her with the Roseplant. Bayley grabbed a mic and said she’s in control now. Bayley said she gets what she wants, when she wants. Bayley said she wants the Raw title at Extreme Rules. Damage Control posed as the show ended.
(Doucette’s Analysis: This didn’t click for me. Bayley looked a lot better in-ring, but it was very slow at times. I suppose it was a result of Bliss selling the knee. As I alluded to before, the Damage Control-centric Raw division is just not working for me.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Terrible match booking all night. Almost every match ended with a distraction finish. There were enough good matches and good promos to keep things from being a bad show. However, I am still left feeling dissatisfied.