SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE RAW TV REPORT
SEPTEMBER 26, 2022
EDMONTON, ALTA. AT ROGERS PLACE
AIRED ON USA
REPORT BY DANNY DOUCETTE, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, & Byron Saxton
Ring Announcer: Mike Rome
-The show opened with the “Then. Now. Forever. Together” signature. The Raw intro then played followed by a shot inside the arena of pyro blasting at the top of the stage. Smith asked how extreme will things get with Extreme Rules right around the corner.
-Bianca Belair’s music hit as Belair, along with Asuka and Alexa Bliss, walked out to the stage and headed to the ring. The commentators ran down other matches for the night’s card. Picture-in-picture footage was also shown of Bayley defeating Alexa Bliss the previous week. The footage ended with Damage Control attacking Bliss, Asuka, and Belair.
-Belair said she considered coming out and challenging Bayley tonight. Belair said she would not make this about just her and Bayley. Belair said that Bayley can’t fight her battles alone. Belair said that Bliss and Asuka will be at Extreme Rules to make sure Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai stay out of the match.
Damage Control’s music hit to no reaction. Bayley said Belair was groomed and handpicked for her position as champion. Bayley said she trained herself and has been wanting to wrestle since she was twelve year old. Bayley said Belair was chosen for all her accomplishments. Belair rebutted saying that she earned everything she has. Belair said she won’t downplay her accomplishments to go down to her level. Bayley said she was injured and had to teach herself to walk again, but she still pinned Belair at Clash at the Castle. Bayley said everything Belair accomplishment was because she was injured and she needs to fall in line. Belair said Bayley was here when she was at the top of her game and had beaten her already. Belair said she understands why Bayley came back with Sky and Kai. Bayley said that she was tired of talking about the past and challenged Belair to a ladder match for Extreme Rules. Belair accepted and said she will get extreme with Sky tonight. Sky called for a referee.
(Doucette’s Analysis: Belair was great here. She sounded confident, but not cocky and made relevant points to challenge Bayley’s gripes. Bayley was still mediocre and looked like a deer in headlights at one point. I think Sky, Bayley, and Kai may need to move from being in a group to loose affiliates and quietly disband.)
(1) BIANCA BELAIR (w/Asuka & Alexa Bliss) vs. IYO SKY (w/Bayley & Dakota Kai)
Belair dropkicked Sky immediately after the bell and Sky fell to the ringside floor. [c]
An S.U.V. pulled up in the parking garage. Solo Sikoa and Sami Zayn (wearing sunglasses and talking on the phone) got out of the vehicle and walked toward the arena.
Back in the ring, Belair hit Sky with a belly to back suplex. Belair dominated things for a while, until Sky escaped a waistlock and propelled Belair into the bottom rope. Sky then hit Belair with a kick to the head to shift the momentum. [c]
Belair executed a sideslam on Sky and followed up with a couple of shoulder blocks. Belair then hit a delayed vertical suplex for a nearfall. Sky rolled up Belair for a two count, then stepped on Belair’s braid. Belair recovered and was able to land a backflip splash for a two count. Sky tried a flying crossbody, but Belair caught her and hit a fallaway slam for a nearfall. Belair blocked a hurricanrana by Sky, but Sky rebounded with an armdrag off the ropes. Belair sent Sky to the outside and then hit a bodypress on Bayley and Kai. Back in the ring, Belair hit Sky with a K.O.D. for the win.
WINNER: Belair in 20:00.
(Doucette’s Analysis: Like Sky and Belair’s previous match a few months ago, I was underwhelmed again here. Something about it doesn’t click for me.)
-Kevin Patrick interviewed Rey Mysterio backstage. Patrick asked Rey what’s going through his head when Dominik Mysterio tried to goad him into hitting him with a chair shot last week. Rey appealed to Patrick as a father saying they know what it’s like to raise a child and watch them grow. Rey said he will always love Dominik and will never fight him. Rey said when he faced Dominik last week, that wasn’t his son. Rey said it was Rhea Ripley manipulating him. Rey said he has to be at his best when facing Seth Rollins tonight. Rey said he has mercy for his son, but will not show any mercy for Rollins.
(Doucette’s Analysis: Another great promo from Rey here. Rey has really been on his A-game since the Dominik turn.)
-The Miz was backstage briefing a team of security guards. Miz called them “Miz Force”. Miz ordered them to make sure Dexter Lumis was not there.
-Rollins music hit and he made his way onto the stage dancing and conducting the crowd as they sung his music. Camera shots showed a couple of kids in the crowd with pro-Rollins signs. A picture-in-picture recap was shown of Rollins’ three confrontations with Matt Riddle last week. Rollins egged the fans on into singing his music some more. Rollins welcomed the fans to “Monday Night Rollins”. Rollins called himself a visionary and revolutionary. Rollins said he should be the U.S. champion because of Riddle. Rollins said that Riddle cost him the U.S. title and now they’ll face each other at Extreme Rules in a fight pit. The fans continued to sing Rollins’ song. Rollins said no one thinks he stands a chance because this is Riddle’s type of match. The fans booed. Rollins said he looked in the mirror and realized he’s Seth Freakin’ Rollins. The fans cheered. Rollins said he’s won all types of matches. Rollins said he has what Riddle doesn’t have, an Einstein-level acumen for the fight game. Rollins said Riddle will be flat on his back, with everyone singing his song, as everyone calls him “King of the Fight Pit”. Rollins told Riddle to watch as he gives Rey the beating he’s too much of a coward to give his own son.
(Doucette’s Analysis: This was good stuff by Rollins as he was a total heel, but the fans were loving him. It’s not helpful to Riddle who is a top babyface on Raw to feud with a heel people like.)
Rey’s music hit and he came down to the ring in a more serious mood than usual. Rey dropkicked and pounded on Rollins before the bell. Rollins retreated to the outside of the ring angrily. [c]
(2) SETH ROLLINS vs. REY MYSTERIO
Rey threw Rollins head-first into the ring stairs, which gave Rollins a cut on his forehead. After some back-and-forth action, Dominik walked down to the ring with a chair. At first, Dominik teased hitting Rollins, but then patted Rollins on the back. Rollins smiled in approval. [c]
Dominik was sitting as ringside as Rollins was in control of the match. Rollins kicked Rey in the head, then first-bumped Dominik. Rey reversed a turnbuckle powerbomb attempt into a hurricanrana. Rey hit Rollins with a springboard crossbody for a nearfall. Rey hit Rollins with a 6-1-9 that sent him rolling to the outside. Dominik teased hitting Rey with a chair, but gave the chair to Rey instead. Dominik told Rey to hit him, but Ripley came out of the crowd and pushed Rey into the ringpost. Dominik tossed Rey into the ring where Rollins hit him with a stomp. Rollins then applied a Peruvian Necktie submission. Rey was knocked out, so the referee called for the bell.
WINNER: Rollins in 18:00.
(Doucette’s Analysis: This was Riddle and Rollins so the match technically good, but it was slowed a bit by the storyline involvement of Dominik and Ripley.)
-Backstage, Riddle was watching Rollins leave the ring on a monitor. Lashley tapped Riddle on the back, which surprised him. Lashley said that he and Riddle know what it’s like to fight in the cage. Lashley encouraged him to pin or submit Rollins. However, Lashley told him not to interfere in his matches again. Lashley told Riddle to knock Rollins’ teeth in. They fisted bumped and Riddle gleefully thanked him.
-Johnny Gargano and Kevin Owens were walking to the ring and they found one of Miz’s security knocked out on the ground. Owens laughed and Gargano looked surprised. [c]
-Alpha Academy made their entrance and both Otis and Chad Gable both came out waving American flags. Gargano was out next and Owens came out last to a huge pop. Graves criticized Gargano and Owens for making separate entrances. Owens tore up a sign that said “K.O. fight my sign”.
(3) ALPHA ACADEMY (Chad Gable & Otis) vs. JOHNNY GARGANO & KEVIN OWENS
Gargano and Gable started things off with some mat wrestling as the fans sang “K.O., K.O., K.O.” to the tune of Sami Zayn’s “Olé, Olé, Olé ” chant. Otis hit Gargano with an overhead press powerslam. [c]
Gargano was getting double-teamed by Gable and Otis until Owens tagged in. Owens dished out a barrage of offense until Gable got his knees up on a Swanton Bomb attempt. Owens regained control after Gable missed a moonsault. Owens locked Gable in a Sharpshooter, but Otis broke it up. Gable and Otis hit a Steiner Bulldog on Gargano for a nearfall as Owens broke it up. Owens superkicked Otis onto the announcer’s table. Owens then hit a flying elbow from the barricade through the table. Gargano was distracted by Austin Theory and Gable hit a Cliffhanger DDT for a close nearfall. Theory tried to hit Gargano with the Money in the Bank briefcase outside, but Gargano ducked and hit him with a superkick. Back in the ring, Gargano nailed Gable with the One Final Beat DDT for the win.
WINNERS: Gargano & Owens in 11:00.
(Doucette’s Analysis: Very fun match. Crowd enchanced it for sure and was super into everything Owens did. Gargano’s reactions were pretty weak, though. I liked that Alpha Academy busted out a Steiner Bulldog too. I feel like I haven’t seen it in ages.)
-A.J. Styles was shown walking backstage. Styles spotted another one of Miz’s security guards knocked out. Patrick approached Styles and asked him why he turned down The Judgment Day’s offer to join last week. Styles asked if everyone has forgotten what Judgment Day did to him. Finn Balor showed up and patted Styles on the shoulder. Styles shrugged him off. Balor said he comes in peace as his friend. Balor said Judgment Day has achieved so much already, but they could change the business again by joining together. Balor said Zayn has Sikoa watching his back, so Judgment Day can watch his back. Styles said he could watch his own back and walked away.
-Omos and M.V.P. were shown walking through a backstage hallway. Smith said Omos will be in action next. [c]
-A “Royal Rumble Classic” highlight was shown of Steve Austin winning the 1998 Royal Rumble.
-Theory was backstage with Gable and Otis. Theory asked where the “Gable Method of Success” was. Gable said Otis hasn’t been one-hundred percent since facing off with Braun Strowman on Smackdown. Gable called Strowman a doofus. Theory said they need to get even. Theory’s phone rang and he said it was for Gable. It was Strowman on the phone. Strowman challenged Gable to a match next Monday in his hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota so they won’t have to fly his body back home for his funeral. Gable weakly said “shoosh please”. Theory volunteered Otis to face Gargano and end his career.
(Doucette’s Analysis: Although kind of absurd, I thought Strowman randomly calling Theory to threaten Gable was quite funny.)
(4) GREG LESTER & JOEY GIBSON vs. OMOS (w/M.V.P.)
Omos dominated Lester and Gibson and hit them both with two handed chokeslams. Omos pinned Lester with one foot for the win.
WINNER: Omos in 1:00.
-After the match, Omos stacked Lester and Gibson on the rebuilt announcer’s table, stood on top of the table, and roared.
-Miz walked backstage where his security guards were all laid out. Lumis was behind him in an Edmonton Oilers uniform. Lumis hit Miz with a hockey stick and choked him out. Lumis then stroked his face.
(Doucette’s Analysis: Can we please get to the point of this storyline? Is Lumis just obsessed with Miz in some sort of romantic way? Does he want to be his enemy? His tag team partner? His friend? His son? I don’t get how I am supposed to feel about this. I deduced that since he was wearing the local hockey team’s uniform, he’s supposed to be a babyface.) [c]
-A recap was shown of Lumis choking out Miz.
-Nikki A.S.H. was in the ring awaiting her opponent and Candace LeRae made her surprise entrance. Nikki was shocked to see LeRae. Graves called LeRae “The Poison Pixie”.
(5) NIKKI A.S.H. vs. CANDICE LERAE
LeRae nailed Nikki with a dropkick to start. Nikki trapped LeRae in the ring skirt from a baseball slide and hit her with punches. LeRae fought back to regain control. LeRae hit Nikki with a swinging neckbreaker from the second rope for the win.
WINNER: LeRae in 2:00.
-LeRae celebrated as Nikki looked distraught in the ring. Nikki had taken her mask off.
(Doucette’s Analysis: This was quite a surprise. Definitely a welcome one as some new blood is needed in the women’s division. They’ve been teasing Nikki dropping the superhero gimmick for a while. It’s time to get to it as she can be an asset.)
-A hype package was shown for the Logan Paul-Roman Reigns match at Crown Jewel.
-A graphic for the match between Styles and Zayn. [c]
-The Judgment Day was shown backstage talking about Styles. Balor said Styles will come around. Patrick came up and asked if Priest would take it easy on his former friend Riddle. Ripley called it a dumbass question. Priest said he will have zero remorse as Riddle is his former friend. Priest said Judgment Day is his friends and family. Priest said that Riddle has been pretending to be somebody else and now Rollins has him thinking he’s back in the UFC. Priest told Riddle he is not The Viper, a cagefighter, or his friend. Priest said Riddle will fall while the Judgment Day will rise, but it was nothing personal.
(Doucette’s Analysis: Priest has improved greatly on promos. He seemed cool and believable here. Reminded me a lot of Scott Hall or Kevin Nash. Good stuff.)
-Zayn made his entrance along with Solo Sikoa as a recap aired of Zayn being accepted into the Bloodline as an honorary member on Smackdown. Styles made his entrance next.
(6) SAMI ZAYN (w/Solo Sikoa) vs. A.J. STYLES
Zayn got an “Ole, Ole, Ole” chant just as Owens did. Zayn hit Styles with a springboard backflip to the outside. Styles jumped to the outside and hit Zayn with a forearm on the ringside floor. Styles then faced off with Sikoa. [c]
(Doucette’s Analysis: Facing Styles would be a good first feud for Sikoa.)
During the commercial, Styles hit Zayn with a sliding knee of the apron. Zayn also whipped Styles into the corner hard to regain the advantage. Zayn hit Styles with a big boot and a Blue Thunder Bomb for a nearfall. Zayn landed a modified Orange Crush on Styles for another two count. Zayn threw Styles into the timekeeper’s area in an attempt to get a countout victory. However, Styles got back into the ring at nine. Styles hit Zayn with a Pele Kick and both competitors were out on the mat. [c]
-A commercial for the “season premiere” of Raw aired. Advertised was the twenty-fifth anniversary of D-Generation X and an appearance from The Bloodline.
Back in the ring, Styles locked Zayn in a Calf Crusher, but Zayn grabbed the bottom rope. Sikoa looked pleased that Zayn escaped. Zayn hit a jawbreaker, but Styles went for a sunset flip into a Styles Clash attempt. Sikoa hit Styles with a Uranage onto the apron as Zayn distracted the referee. Zayn hit Styles with a Helluva Kick for the win.
WINNER: Zayn in 20:00.
Doucette’s Analysis: A great back-and-forth match. Zayn has showed he has still got it and deserves a prominent spot. During the “conspiracy theorist” gimmick, Zayn’s wrestling ability seemed to take a back seat. Now, he has really been allowed to return to form and Styles was game as well.)
-Zayn and Sikoa left the ring. Styles was still down in the ring as Judgment Day’s music hit. Balor, Dominik, Ripley, and Priest walked down to the ring. Balor said that if Styles had accepted his help, the match result could have been different. Balor said Styles deserves better and asked him as a friend to join Judgment Day. Styles stood up a nodded and was about to give Balor the “two sweet” sign, but Styles shot him the middle finger instead. Balor and the rest of Judgment Day attacked Styles. Balor put a chair around Styles’ neck and went to stomp on it, but stopped. Balor said off-mic that he could’ve ended Styles but that’s not what friends do. The Judgment Day posed over a fallen Styles. [c]
-Bliss and Belair were backstage singing “Happy Birthday” to Asuka. LeRae walked by and LeRae told Belair she hoped she would shut Bayley up at Extreme Rules. Belair congratulated LeRae on her win. Bayley showed with Sky and Kai. Bayley said to LeRae that compliments is just jealousy in disguise. LeRae said that bullies are just cowards in disguise. Bayley stepped up to LeRae, but Kai told her to worry about Extreme Rules. LeRae challenged Kai, but Bayley told her to wait until next week. Bayley told Belair she’ll see her at Extreme Rules. Belair said they don’t have to wait until then, but the groups separated the two.
-The commentators hyped Strowman-Gable and Gargano-Otis for next week.
-The Judgment Day was still in the ring with Priest warming up for the match. Riddle’s music hit as he made his way to the ring on a scooter.
(7) DAMIAN PRIEST (w/Rhea Ripley, Dominik Mysterio, & Finn Balor) vs. MATT RIDDLE
Priest and Riddle traded submission holds early. Priest took over with a spinning kick. Priest mounted Riddle and hit him with punches. Priest yelled that Riddle was trying to embarrass him on his birthday. A lot of September 26th birthdays, I see. Priest tossed Riddle into the corner, but Riddle pulled Priest outside the ring with a Triangle Choke. Riddle threw a kick for Priest, but Balor jumped in the way. Priest punched Riddle and front suplexed him onto the barricade. [c]
Riddle used a knee strike to start a comeback. Riddle kicked Priest in the chest and hit a Floating Bro onto Priest at ringside. Riddle hit a powerbomb and another knee strike for a nearfall. Riddle went to the top rope, but Priest pushed Riddle off and he landed on the barricade. Priest grabbed Riddle, ran, and tossed him into a barricade on the opposite side. [c]
Riddle fought back with a flurry of strikes. Priest tried to stop Riddle’s offense, but Riddle hit Bro Derek for a two count. Riddle went to top rope, but Ripley distracted him and Priest hit him in the back with a forearm. Priest leveled Riddle with a big clothesline and a Flatliner for a two count. Priest tried a chokeslam, but Riddle blocked and tried an R.K.O., Priest blocked it, but Riddle blocked Priest’s offensive attempt. Priest springboarded, but Riddle hit him with a knee strike. Riddle tried another R.K.O., but Priest went for a chokeslam. Riddle rolled up Priest for the win.
WINNER: Riddle in 20:00.
-Balor and Judgment Day immediately attacked Riddle after the bell. Edge ran out to a huge pop for the save. Edge took out Priest and Balor with spears. Edge closed in on Dominik, but Ripley pulled him out of the ring. Edge said The Judgment Day has always tried to finish him, but he always comes back. Edge challenged Balor to an I Quit match at Extreme Rules.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I liked this episode. The main event was really good. I like the hard-hitting style that Priest and Riddle brought and I was surprised that Riddle won. The Damage Control and Lumis-Miz stuff are still a low-lights. However, they were kept short and Belair shined on the mic brighter than she has in some time. Even in the Triple H era, Raw is still paint-by-numbers. It’s not captivating television (not that it necessarily needs to be), so I grade it on a curve with that in mind. However, were getting further away from how bad things used to be and I’m happy with that.