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KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
SEPTEMBER 26, 2022
EDMONTON, ALBERTA, CANADA AT ROGERS PLACE
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
Ring Announcer: Mike Rome
-The Raw opening theme aired. Then pyro blasted as Jimmy Smith introduced the show. Graves said a social media dispute led to the Honorary Uce feeling disrespected, so he’s going to face A.J. Styles.
-Bianca Belair, Asuka, and Alexa Bliss made their way to the ring. Highlights aired of the angle last week where Damage CTRL attacked Belair and then Bayley trash-talked her. Belair said she really considered going to the ring and challenging Bayley again to fight tonight and not wait until Extreme Rules. She said she then realized Bayley wouldn’t come out there alone. She said Bayley should have faced Alexa alone last week, but she won’t fight her battles alone. Belair said “her girls” will be making sure the fight at Extreme Rules is just between the two of them.
Bayley, Dakota Kai, and Io Sky walked out. Bayley said their battle isn’t just about the two of them. She said it’s bigger than that. She said Belair was groomed and hand-picked and trained for her position. She said people like them had to groom themselves and train themselves. She said she’s been wanting to “do this” since she was 12 years old. (At least she didn’t say she wanted to be a sports entertainer since age 12.) She entered the ring and again said Belair was chosen.
Belair said, “Girrrl, eh eh.” She said nothing has been handed to her. She said she’s been showing up and showing out while Bayley was rehabbing. (Not quite the dig Belair thought that was.) Belair said she won’t downplay her accomplishments to meet her at a level she’s comfortable with. Bayley screeched that she was injured and did get hurt. She said she couldn’t even walk ten months ago, but she taught herself how to walk again. She said she pinned her at Clash at the Castle, something no one else has done in 300 days. She said she was, yes, injured before that. She told Belair to “fall in line like everyone else.” Belair said the last time she checked, she was active when she main evented WrestleMania. She said the last match she had, she KOD’d her on a ladder at Hell in a Cell. She said she returned with Dakota and Sky because she knew she couldn’t face her alone.
Bayley said that gave her a good idea. She suggested they wrestle in a ladder match at Extreme Rules. Belair said, “Well, consider the ante up.” She then approached Sky and said, “Since I can’t have you, I’m going to get extreme with your girl tonight.” Graves wondered if they’re going to have that match right now.
(Keller’s Analysis: Decent talking segment. The route to the ladder match challenge for Extreme Rules ultimately felt slightly contrived, but no big deal.)
(1) BIANCA BELAIR (w/Alexa Bliss, Asuka) vs. IYO SKY (w/Dakota Kai, Iyo Sky)
Belair dropkicked Sky as soon as the bell rang. They cut to an immediate break. [c]
They showed a Chevrolet Suburban showing up in the parking garage and out came Solo Sikoa and Sami Zayn. Sami was wearing sunglasses and acting like a big shot. He didn’t appreciate having to close the door himself.
Back in the ring for the match, Belair and Sky were battling. Belair mounted Sky in the corner and punched her ten times as the crowd chanted along. Sky dove through the ropes to escape Belair’s grip, then landed a running kick to the side of her head. With Belair out at ringside, they cut to a break. [c]
Back from the break, Belair made a comeback and kipped up. Belair landed a delayed vertical suplex for a two count. Sky made a comeback and stood on Belair’s braid. Graves noted that’s legal. Belair quickly fired back with a handspring moonsault for a two count. Fans chanted “This is awesome!” Sky escaped a KOD attempt, then leaped off the top rope with a crossbody. Belair rolled through and lifted Sky, then delivered a fallaway slam for a two count.
Belair blocked a Sky huracanrana attempt off the ropes. Belair then climbed to the top rope, but Sky leaped up to meet her and armdragged her to the mat. She landed running knees in the corner, but Belair knocked her off the top rope to ringside. Bayley and Kai caught her. Belair leaped onto all three. Sky recovered and threw Belair into the ring. Belair countered Sky and landed the KOD for the win.
WINNER: Belair in 18:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good match.)
-Kevin Patrick interviewed Rey Mysterio backstage in the ring set. He asked him about his son Dominik begging him to hit him with a chair. Rey said Patrick is a father so he knows what it’s like to hold your baby and want wants best for them as they grow up. He said he’ll always love his son and he won’t, under any circumstances, fight him. He asked what happened to the kid he raised because he doesn’t recognize the man he’s become. He said he knows deep down inside that’s not his son; instead, it’s Rhea Ripley influencing his mind. Rey said he’s going to give his best against Seth Rollins. He said he’s had his fair share of battles with Seth and he knows what a savage he is. He said he tried to hurt Riddle with the same chair Dominik wanted him to use. He said he will show mercy for his son, but he won’t show mercy for Seth.
-Smith hyped Seth vs. Rey. [c]
-They cut backstage to Miz in front of Edmonton Oilers jerseys on display at the arena. He talked to a group of security guys he said he recruited for a purpose. He said he is offering a prize package worth up to one million dollars, a camero in a spinoff of “The Marine” franchise, and gift cards for career advice from him that is worth up to millions. He said he didn’t want big, bulky muscular dumb security. He wanted smart and stealthy. He said that’s why he chose them. He said they are Miz Force. He had them yell “Miz Force!” He told them to go find “he who shall not be named” and make sure he isn’t in the arena. “Go go go!” he yelled. Miz looked proud of himself.
As Seth Rollins made his ring entrance, they showed clips from last week of Rey chasing Seth away as he was aiming to hit Riddle with a chair, followed by the pullapart brawl backstage later between Seth and Riddle. Fans sang Seth’s song and he led them. He welcomed everyone to “Monday Night Rollins.” He said he is a visionary and a revolutionary. He talked about Riddle being a thorn in his side for months, but he said he’s cost him for the final time. He said they’ll finish things at Extreme Rules in two weeks in the Fight Pit. Fans went back to singing his song. Seth smiled. He said the past week, he’s heard the whispers and read the tweets, and no one thinks he stands a chance in the Fight Pit. He said he had to go home and take a look in the mirror and he realized he is Seth “Freakin'” Rollins who has been in every single type of match one can imagine, and he’s won them all.
Seth pointed at his head and said he has an Einstein-level acumen for the fight game. He said he will be known as King of the Fight Pit after Extreme Rules. Graves said it has a nice ring to it. Smith said he’ll have to earn it. Seth said first he’s going to give a beating to a father who is too cowardly to give that same beating to his own son.
-Rey Mysterio made his ring entrance. Smith said Rey looks to in be a different state of mind than usual. Graves said he’s not in a head space he needs to be. Rey dropkicked Seth as he was taking off his jacket. The ref pulled Rey off of Seth. They cut to a break. [c]
(2) SETH ROLLINS vs. REY MYSTERIO
Seth was bleeding from the forehead as they returned from the break with the match in progress. They replayed Rey throwing Seth into the ringside steps during the break. Graves said Rey has to come to grips with fatherhood and the reality that kids are going to leave the nest some day. They fought back and forth for a few minutes. When Seth gave Rey a gut-buster and threw him under the bottom rope onto the mat at ringside, Dominik walked out with a chair in hand. Fans booed. The QR code briefly flashed on the screen which led to a 16 seconds video clip of wrestlers saying various words such as “you did feed your head.” The clips included Randy Orton, Steve Austin, Road Dogg, Papa Shango, Cody Rhodes, The Rock, Kurt Angle, Edge, and Al Snow, among others. [c]
Dominik watched from ringside. Saxton said he knows what it’ll do to Rey to have Dominik watching him take a beating from Seth. Graves said Rey needs to stay focused. Rey made a spirited comeback a few minutes later and scored a near fall. They cut to a nice wide shot of the arena from the upper deck. Seth came right back with a buckle bomb for a near fall. They cut to Dominik watching at ringside. Seth and Rey tumbled over the top rope. Seth fell to the floor, Rey landed on the ring apron. Rey then landed a head-first sliding splash on Seth on the floor. Back in the ring he landed a top rope splash for a near fall. Both were slow to get up. Graves said Rey’s heart is big, but it’s not entirely in this match. Fans chanted “Dominik’s useless!”
Seth ducked a 619 and then climbed to the top rope slowly. Rey stood and knocked him off balance. Then he went for a huracanrana, but Seth blocked it. Rey countered the counter and landed it, followed by a 619. Seth rolled to ringside to avoid getting covered. Rey leaped at Seth at ringside with a head scissors. Dominik then picked up a chair and stood in front of Seth. He threw the chair down and kneeled and smiled. He dared Rey to hit him again. Rhea Ripley ran up behind Rey and shoved him into the ringpost. Dominik threw Rey back into the ring. Seth landed a Stomp center-ring and then knocked out Rey with a Peruvian Necktie submission. Graves said that was a message to Riddle.
WINNER: Rollins in about 18:00 via submission.
-They cut to Riddle backstage watching the match on a monitor. Bobby Lashley came up behind him and startled him. He wished Riddle luck. He said they both know how to fight in a cage, and Seth doesn’t. “Don’t let him get out of this one,” he said. Riddle said Seth isn’t going anywhere. Lashley told Riddle he knows he just wanted to help last week, but he told him sternly not to ever interrupt one of his matches again. Riddle said he understood and took blame. Lashley then told Riddle to knock Seth’s teeth out. Riddle said, “Damn straight, bro!”
-They showed Kevin Owens and Johnny Gargano walking backstage. They walked past someone who was knocked out on the floor. Smith asked if that was a member of Miz’s security force. Gargano lightly kicked him to see if he was knocked out. KO smiled. [c]
-They talked about the Connor’s Cure charity.
(3) ALPHA ACADEMY (Chad Gable & Otis) vs. JOHNNY GARGANO & KEVIN OWENS
Otis and Gable came out first. As KO and Gargano made their entrance, Saxton said Gargano and Owens met ten years ago on a tour of Germany and bonded over a mutual love of pandas. Saxton said he liked that. Graves said, “You should be hanging out in Reseda, Saxton, with all the rest of the dorks.” Saxton said he took offense to that. Graves said that was the goal. (Hmmm. Young Bucks easter eggs are a curious inclusion on WWE TV.) Gargano opened against Gable. KO battled Otis next. Otis got the better of Gargano after he tagged in, including pressing him above his head and then powerslamming him. Gable kissed his forehead as Graves asked if he could get back into this. [c]
Owens hot-tagged in after the break and landed a Cannonball on Gable followed by a fisherman’s shoulder-breaker for a near fall. Owens applied a sharpshooter, which got a big pop. Graves called it a Scorpion Death Lock. Otis made the save, plowing into Owens with a clothesline from behind. KO rolled over and tagged in Gargano. Gargano threw Gable head-first into the top turnbuckle. Owens landed a top rope swanton bomb for a believable near fall. Gable avoided a Pop-up Powerbomb and then landed a back suplex. Owens immediately tagged in Gargano. Gable tagged in Otis again, who put Gargano on his shoulders in the electric chair. Gable then landed a top rope bulldog, but Owens broke up the cover. Otis went after Owens and then clotheslined him at ringside. Gable and Gargano, meanwhile, were on their backs in the ring. Otis pulled the lid off the announce desk. KO avoided a charging Otis and then superkicked him twice onto the table. He followed with a flying elbowdrop off the ringside barricade. The table collapsed. Both KO and Otis were down and out.
Back in the ring, Gargano got up first and showed fire as he set up Gable. Austin Theory yanked on Gargano’s leg. Gable then gave a distracted Gargano a tiger DDT for a believable near fall. Gable kicked Gargano to the floor where Theory took a swing at him with his briefcase. Gargano ducked and superkicked Theory. Gargano then landed his Final Beat DDT for the win.
WINNERS: Gargano & Owens in 13:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really good, high-energy match with a good mix of styles. The Theory interference at least didn’t lead to the finish.)
-Patrick interviewed A.J. Styles backstage about turning down The Judgment Day’s offer. Styles said to get respect, you’ve got to give respect. He said he’s been on his own for a while. Finn Balor walked up to him and put his hand on Styles’s shoulder. Styles slapped it away. Balor said he comes in peace. He said if they united, “We could change this business again.” He said they’d like to offer him, once again, an olive branch. Styles said he’ll watch his own back and turned and walked away.
-They cut to Omos and MVP backstage. [c]
-Theory asked Gable and Otis what happened out there. He said he thought they were master of the Gable Method of Success. Gable said Otis hasn’t been the same since throwing down with “that moron Braun Strowman on Smackdown.” Theory said he wishes he knew that ahead of time, but he wants to get revenge. His phone began ringing. Theory answered it and he said it was for Gable. He handed the phone to Gable who pushed speakerphone. Braun said next Monday he won’t be laughing because the Monster of All Monsters is challenging him to a match in his hometown of St. Paul. “That way they don’t have to fly his body back for the funeral.” Gable was petrified. Theory said Otis will face Gargano next week. He said it’ll be Gargano’s last match and the end of his “very short and sad career.” Otis yelled, “Yeah!”
(4) OMOS vs. TWO JOBBERS
They showed MVP at the announce desk. Omos tossed them around. Saxton asked what he does to motivate Omos. MVP said he reminds him that his ancestors anointed him to be the greatest thing to ever come out of Nigeria. (Can ancestors do that, technically speaking?) Omos slammed both in the ring and put his foot on one of their chests for the three count.
WINNER: Omos in 1:00.
-After the match, Omos stacked both wrestlers on the announce desk and stood over them and let out a big yell.
-Miz noticed his security guys were all knocked out in a stack on the floor. Miz freaked out and said his security force was supposed to be the best. Miz then panicked and said, “He’s here.” Dexter Lumis was standing behind him in an Edmonton Oilers uniform including the helmet and hockey stick. Dexter bashed Miz with a hockey stick and then sat down next to him and applied a submission hold. Miz passed out. Then he pet Miz’s head as he stared ahead. [c]
-They aired postcard shots of Edmonton.
-They replayed Dexter putting Miz to sleep, then caressing him. The announcers weren’t sure how to react.
(5) “THE POISON PIXIE” CANDICE LERAE vs. NIKKI A.S.H.
Graves said Nikki is trying to get her career back on track. Then Candice came out as a surprise opponent. Nikki looked crushed. Graves touted her as a big arrival. Smith said Nikki panicked when she saw who her surprise opponent was. Graves said she is driven by passion and honed her skilled traveling the globe like Gargano and Owens. LeRae climbed to the top turnbuckle. Nikki knocked her off balance and then yelled at her. LeRae then gave her a twisting neckbreaker off the second rope for the win. Graves said it was an impressive debut. Saxton said the division was already stacked. Nikki was sobbing in the corner after the loss.
WINNER: LeRae in 2:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: The way the announcers made a big deal out of LeRae, it looks like she’ll be in for a significant push.)
-They went to the announcers at ringside. Smith threw to a video package on Logan Paul at the press conference. He talked about how he’s wrestled his entire life and this is what he does. They showed photos of him as an amateur wrestler.
-Smith plugged Crown Jewel. [c]
-Patrick interviewed Priest with Balor, Dominik, and Ripley backstage. He asked if he’ll be holding back a little against his one-time friend Riddle. Ripley laughed. Priest said no. He said The Judgment Day run Raw and all he sees Riddle running is his brain into the clouds as always. He said Seth has Riddle so confused, he thinks he’s back in the UFC. He said he’s not a Viper or a cage fighter anymore, and he’s not his friend anymore either. He said, like everyone else, Riddle will fall and Judgment Day will rise. “Nothing personal,” he said. He laughed and said they rule.
(6) SAMI ZAYN (w/Solo Sikoa) vs. A.J. STYLES
Sami made a cocky ring entrance. Solo followed with a stoic stride. When Styles came out, the announcers commented on graphics of their back-and-forth on Twitter that led to this match. After some back and forth action, Styles slung himself at Sami over the top rope to ringside and knocked Sami down with a forearm. Solo stared down Styles as they cut to a break at 4:00. [c]
They showed that during the break, Styles gave Sami a sliding knee to his head at ringside, but then Sami took control after avoiding a Styles charge in the corner. Styles made a comeback and rolled up Sami for a near fall at 9:00. Styles suplexed Sami into the turnbuckles in the corner. Solo watched as Sami fell to the mat. Styles rolled to the floor and threw Sami back into the ring. He took a few seconds to stare down Solo. When he re-entered the ring, Sami caught him with a boot to the face and a Blue Thunder Bomb for a near fall. Styles barely avoided getting counted out. Styles small package Sami for a quick two count. Styles landed a Pelé kick. They cut to another break at 13:00. [c]
A commercial hyped that the season premiere of Raw would be in two weeks in Brooklyn, so the day after Extreme Rules. Graves said it would feature The Bloodline, plus DX celebrating their 25th Anniversary. “A night for the ages,” he said. Styles set up a Styles Clash, but Sami slipped free. Sami overhead-suplexed Styles suddenly into the corner. He followed with a Helluva Kick set-up, but Styles rolled to the floor. Sami rolled Styles into the ring. Styles surprised Sami with a Calf Crusher. Sami teased tapping. Graves said he would be humiliating The Bloodline if he did that. Sami reached the bottom rope. Smith said that was probably Sami’s motivation to hold on.
Styles and Sami battled against the top rope. Solo yanked Styles down and then gave him a uranage on the edge of the ring apron. Sami charged at Styles with a Helluva Kick for the win.
WINNER: Sami in 20:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: As you’d expect with those two, a really good match. The trend of a high percentage of matches ending on WWE TV with interference as a factor continues. Each situation can be justified given how WWE tells stories, but collectively it’s just too high a percentage and it’s undercutting the believability and credibility of near falls otherwise.)
-As Styles recovered in the ring, The Judgment Day’s music played and they all walked to the ring. Balor had a mic in hand and told Styles it pains him to see him that way. He said he can’t help but think if he had accepted their earlier offer, the outcome of this match would have been different. He again offered Styles the chance to join. Styles stood and took a deep breath. He gave off the idea that he was considering it, but then as he raised his fingers to meet Balor’s offer for the hand gesture, he turned it into a middle finger. The Judgment Day attacked Styles. Balor put a chair around his head and was going to stomp him, but then he stopped mid-stomp and kneeled down and said he could have ended Styles right there. He said he’s his friend, though, and that’s not what friends do. The Judgment Day raised their arms over Styles as their music played.
-Smith plugged Riddle vs. Priest. He said it’s their first match ever against each other.
-A commercial aired for NXT. [c]
-Backstage, Candice walked up to Belair, Asuka, and Alexa Bliss, who congratulated her on her successful Raw debut. Bayley, Sky, and Kai interrupted their conversation. Bayley said compliments are just cowards in disguise. Candice said bullies are just cowards in disguise. Bayley said she’s sure confident after one victory. Candice then challenged Dakota to a match. Bayley said they can do that next week. Bayley said she’d see Belair at Extreme Rules.
-They went to the announcers at ringside who hyped Raw next week including Gable vs. Braun and Otis vs. Gargano.
(7) MATT RIDDLE vs. DAMIAN PRIEST (w/Finn Balor, Rhea Ripley, Dominik Mysterio)
Riddle’s ring entrance took place. Riddle and Priest fought back and forth. They reset with shoves and some standing counter moves. Riddle avoided two Priest stomps, upkicked him, and then kipped up and smiled. Priest mock applauded, then took a swing at Riddle. Riddle gave him a quick gut-wrench suplex and a Bro-ton for a one count. Saxton said people get fooled by Riddle’s chill attitude behind the scenes, but when it’s Go-time, he’s all serious. Priest took over and mounted Riddle and threw punches down at him. Riddle head scissored Priest over the top rope. He tried to kick him, but Balor shoved Priest out of the way and absorbed the kick instead. Priest then slammed Riddle on the barricade. They cut to a break. [c]
After more back and forth action, Riddle landed a twisting springboard dive onto Priest at ringside. Then Riddle kneed Priest for a near fall. Riddle climbed to the top rope, but Priest shoved him to the floor. Priest shoved him into the barricade again. They cut to another break with Riddle down at ringside. [c]
Priest set up a chokeslam, but Riddle slipped free and went for an RKO. Priest blocked it. Riddle gave him a high knee. Priest lifted Riddle onto his shoulders, but Riddle cradled Priest for the three count.
-Afterward, The Judgment Day attacked Priest. Edge made the save. He got a big pop. Fans stood and applauded. Edge said to The Judgment Day gathered at ringside that they keep trying to finish him, but he keeps coming back. He said even if it takes him nine years, he still comes back. He challenged Balor to a match at Extreme Rules. “For the first time ever, Edge vs. Finn Balor in an I Quit match.”
(Keller’s Analysis: Extreme Rules is taking shape nicely. Good match. One of Priest’s better matches. Real credit to Riddle for being part of that.)