WWE Monday Night Raw is starting yet again! My name is Jordan Huie aka the One Zeel One and as always, I’ll be giving you the live recap and results of the show as they come! Watch this space for the play-by-play for WWE Raw!
The show opens with Team Raw in the ring with Adam Pearce. Pearce welcomes us to Raw. Says last week we saw a match resulting in a new WWE Champion, Drew McIntyre. Then it was the end of an era where we all gave a farewell to the Undertaker. He says Team Raw sweeped SmackDown and a feat like that deserves rewards. He says one of them may be next in line to face Drew McIntyre. He wants to give them all a moment to state their case. He wants to start with AJ as the Captain but Sheamus tells us he’s not his champion. He congratulates Drew McIntyre on his title win, being that they’re best friends. He considers himself the MVP of the team but AJ interrupts.
AJ says he’s trying to use the good ‘ol boy system to get a title opportunity since they’re friends but the Captain is the worthy challenger. Keith Lee interrupts and says he saved AJ and pinned the actual captain of Team SmackDown when he secured the victory so he’s the rightful No. 1 Contender. Riddle says last night was pretty sick, he beat King Corbin and thinks that makes him King Bro. He’d like to face Drew McIntyre because if he beats him and gets that dope sword, it’d go well with the dope crown. Sheamus says Riddle is a dope. More bickering over nicknames.
Pearce then takes it to Braun Strowman. Braun takes exception to the term “last but not least” somehow. Pearce explains himself but Braun grabs him by the collar and yells in his face about what he does for the company and demands he pick him NOW. He headbutts him. The others try to help him up as Braun shouts. Commercial break.
Hurt Business confront New Day backstage. MVP calls them the worst of the worst, chiding them for letting Raw down last night. Shelton asks for another title opportunity. Xavier says they did this last week and what happened. Cedric says while those two were busy cosplaying last night he was sitting on the sidelines and he does not like that. Says they’re not asking, they want a championship opportunity tonight. Xavier says they want it, they’ve got it. And apparently it’s just happening right now as they start coming out! Sorta weird to just have this rematch immediately but I did love seeing it last week so I can’t complain.
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship: The New Day (c) vs. The Hurt Business (Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander)
Shelton and Xavier start. Woods ducks a line, dances and mocks him. Benjamin double legs him and pounds him, looking for a waistlock. Xavier is scrambling up but Shelton controls and gets him down, knee drive to the shoulder. Woods get taken the outside as we go to commercial break. We come back to see Woods get an arm drag, tag to Kofi, springboard clothesline, blade chops, dropkick. And he hits the ropes, leaping clothesline! Now he’s going for the Boom Drop – and hits it, thoughtfully doing it quickly rather than doing his usual big leap, didn’t wanna get countered again.
Kofi clapping for the SOS, Shelton rushes him, Shuriken, goes up top. Shelton fights with him, Kofi knocks Benjamin to the mat. Cedric rips Kofi off the top rope! However the ref is counting fairly quickly, Shelton is slowly dragging Kofi into the ring and he gets to 10 right before Shelton takes him inside, okay.
It’s a double count-out. MVP is on the mic yelling about how they want a restart. New Day aren’t happy with it but they goad them into re-entering the ring and indeed we get an announcement for the restart just before the commercial break.
Kofi clobbering Shelton in the corner as we come back from break. Benjamin back body drops him over the top rope to the floor, Kofi favoring his knee off the landing. Shelton drags him inside. Cedric tags in and is battering him around. Singles out the leg, Cloverleafs him as he tags in Shelton. He gets a knee drop to the shin in, and now there’s a kneebreaker! Elbow drop to the knee, tag to Cedric who takes his place. Tags and isolation ensue. Shelton gets Kofi in a leg grapevine, Kofi punches him away but Shelton drags him up for a Short-Arm Clothesline.
Alexander gets a big dropkick to the leg in, Kofi with a foot on the ropes to stop the pin. Cedric with a form of Single Leg Crab. Isolation continues. Kofi evades a Benjamin charge in the corner, Cedric takes Xavier off the apron to prevent the tag! Kofi gets Benjamin with an SOS for a nearfall! Cedric tags in with a front chopblock, Xavier is PISSED watching that. Cedric with a grapevine, Kofi kicks him away. He’s limping, barely makes the tag to Woods! He’s in hot, back elbows, rolling heel kick, Benjamin gets dumped, he takes Cedric to the middle rope for a Senton/Baseball Slide, he barely hits Shelton but he covers for it with some mounted punches. Back in the ring he Pancakes Alexander for a nearfall!
Shelton blind tags in as Woods takes Cedric down, Shelton with a DDT, Kofi breaks it up! Kofi kicks Cedric out of the ring, can’t springboard so instead he launches gut-first off the top rope for a flip tope onto Cedric! Woods counters a Benjamin powerbomb with a sunset flip for the victory!
Winners: New Day
Neat stuff. Liked their previous matches better but the story of this was good.
Backstage Adam Pearce has a bruise on the top of his head. He says Braun has been escorted out of the building, if it were up to him he’d be fired and never seen again but he doesn’t know what the repercussions will be. He’s asked what his announcement was going to be. Bobby Lashley interrupts and points out that he’s the only Raw champion who was victorious last night so before he makes a decision, they should have a discussion.
Now Pearce is interviewed again but this time Randy Orton is interrupting him. Are we building to a tournament here? This is a ton of contenders at this point, I hope it’s a tournament!
Lana backstage hilariously calls last night the greatest moment of her career. I cackled.
Now four straight backstage segments, Pearce is here AGAIN. He says we’re gonna settle this in the ring. Three singles matches tonight, next week the winners face off in a triple threat match. First match will be Riddle vs. Sheamus and that match starts right now. Yeah okay, close enough to a tournament.
Sheamus vs. Riddle
Sheamus with a side headlock takedown. Riddle wrestles over him for a waistlock takedown! They fight in the ropes for a bit until the ref forces separation. Riddle takes Sheamus down again, gets him in a hammerlock. Sheamus reverses but Riddle fights up, gets some painful strikes in but Sheamus with a clothesline takes him down. Gets him in a double wristlock. Riddle fights to his feet, sends some blows, Sheamus shoves him away, clothesline takes him to the floor! Sheamus tries to come off the apron to fly at him but Riddle gets him with a Final Flash out of the air, barely nicks him but still.
He rolls him into the ring, Broton for a nearfall! Sheamus fights up, big body shot, huge shot to the face! Takes him to the apron, Ten Beats of the Bowery! Shoves him to the floor. Pulls him back in, Riddle fights back but Sheamus takes over and gets him with an Irish Curse for a nearfall. Sheamus takes Riddle to the corner, Riddle sidesteps a charge and sends him into the post! Riddle with some roundhouse kicks to the chest now! Sheamus ends up on the ropes so the ref backs him off, but Riddle manages a big forearm. Goes for another Roundhouse Kick but Sheamus catches the kick, Alabama Slam! Commercial break.
We come back in time to see Sheamus lay Riddle out with a big pump knee strike! Nearfall! Riddle takes Sheamus outside with a PK, Floating Bro on the outside! Throws him inside the ring, goes up top! Riddle comes at him with a Crossbody, Sheamus catches him out of the air, Black Hole Slam! Nearfall! Sheamus with a Cloverleaf now! Riddle fights to the ropes and and gets them, Sheamus holds on for the count of four! Riddle to the apron, catches him with a Kimura in the ropes! Has to break, but he gets a Hot Shot!
Back into the ring, Sheamus reverses a waistlock with a Heel Hook! Tearing at the bare foot! Riddle swings at him, but he can’t break it until he starts pelting him with Axe Kicks! Riddle with a Final Flash, nearfall! Riddle up top, Sheamus stops him. He’s going for a Back Superplex but Riddle knocks him to the mat. Sheamus stops him again though. Climbs up. Avalanche White Noise!!! NEARFALL! Sheamus sets up for the Brogue Kick but Riddle collapses before he can kick him. Sheamus pulls him up by the chin. He tells him he’ll never be in title contention but Riddle stops him with a Headbutt! Sheamus ducks a roundhouse kick, hoists him onto his shoulders, Riddle with a Victory Roll but Sheamus rolls through into the Cloverleaf! Riddle pulls him into a Cradle though and gets the win!
Very good match, these two have a lot of chemistry, it’s clear they enjoy this match-up quite a bit. Riddle puts their 1-1 as he also advances to the triple threat next week.
Lana backstage meets with Asuka. Lana seems nervous about the idea of challenging for her title but Asuka says she likes challenges, she accepts! Who knows, tonight she may go home the Raw Women’s Champion! She applauds her and smiles as she leaves.
Firefly Funhouse begins. Alexa and Bray say this episode is about something vile: friendship! Bray says friends will always let you down, which in the WWE world is entirely correct. Bray says friends will be with you one minute and the next, they’re burning something else. Friends are no good just like Alexa’s opponent tonight Nikki Cross.
A frog appears to tell Alexa not to let Nikki hop away. He’s the Friendship Frog and he believes true friendship lasts forever. Bray says Alexa should show Friendship Frog what she’ll do to Nikki Cross tonight. Bray puts his hand to her forehead and whispers in her ear. She opens her spooky eyes. The Frog says this doesn’t seem very friendly, she repeatedly smashes it until it’s oozing slime. We have a brief moment of silence for the frog, and see a bunch of stills. It ends with a tribute card, 1980 – 2020. Alexa says he was a fine amphibian. Bray says it’s a real shame he croaked. They both crack up at this.
WWE Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka (c) vs. Lana
The match is set to begin when Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax come down the ramp. Anyway bell rings, lock-up. Lana with a side headlock, Asuka shoots her off, duck under. Lana blocks an arm drag, rolls her up for a 2 count. Asuka dodges a round kick, Pop-Up Knee to the face. Shayna and Nia stand up and pull Asuka from the ring to attack her for the DQ.
Winner: Asuka (By DQ)
Now Shayna rips the announce table cover off, Nia has Asuka on her shoulders. Lana makes the save and pulls her off, Lana and Asuka flee together. Shayna and Nia on the mic challenge Asuka and Lana to a tag match and they quickly accept.
WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler vs. Lana & Asuka (Non-title)
Lana is attacking Nia after commercial but Nia quickly takes over and starts tossing her around the ring. Nia tosses Lana to the floor, Shayna tags in and goes out to kick her. She takes her into the ring. She steps on her foot to keep her from making the tag. Neck Crank. Nia tags in and continues pounding on her. Lana fights back with baby slaps, Nia drives her into the heel corner. Shayna tags in. Body shots. Snapmare, kick to the back. Shayna kicking Lana around the ring. Goes after her but Lana evades her and sends her to the floor, gets a kick in and tags to Asuka!
Asuka gets Nia with a Hip Attack, thrust kicks to Shayna leading to the Codebreaker! Charging Hip Attack in the corner, hoists her up for a German, ducks a Backfist, gets the Release German Suplex! Shining Wizard for a nearfall! Roundhouse kicks to the chest, Shayna grabs her leg and trips her up, knee to the face for a nearfall! Jax pulls Lana to the floor as this is happening just to bully her some more. She drags her over and strips off the announce table. Nia hoists her up but Lana escapes, kick to the face. Nia shoves her into the table. Charges but Lana side steps and Nia flies over the table! Shayna pops up and drags Lana to the apron for a Kirifuda Clutch for some reason! Asuka rolls her up for the win.
This was far by the strongest Lana has been booked this year. There’s few things I could say that would mean less.
Riddle comes up to MVP and he’s all chummy. Asks him about Lashley, MVP says he’s preparing for his match with Keith Lee. Riddle says he’s all about business and he has a million ideas, he wants to have a Pizza-flavored Yogurt. MVP says he’s not his bro and Riddle is sad about it. Tells him he does appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit and asks him to give him his ideas. If they like them, they’ll do business. If they don’t like them… they’ll do business.
WWE United States Champion Bobby Lashley vs. Keith Lee (Non-title)
Chain wrestling exchange to start. Lee with a headlock. Lashley reverses into a wristlock. Into a headlock of his own. Lee shoots him off, shoulder block collision, neither man goes down. Lee takes him into the corner and pounds him with body shots. Grizzly Magnum in the corner! Lashley with a side-step on a charge, clothesline doesn’t drop him! Reverse STO gets him down though – for a 1 count! Lashley wants a Full Lash but Lee avoids it, clothesline drops him! And then he clotheslines him out of the ring.
Lee cracks a smile, hits the ropes, MVP tries to trip him up. Lee stares him down. Slowly he goes out there after him. As he approaches though, Lashley blindsides him. Punching him into the barrier, drives him into the barricade. Hoists him up and drives him hard into the ringpost! Lee is laid out as we go to commercial break. We come back to see Lashley grinding away with a top wrist lock in the ring. Lee is fighting his way up slowly. Lashley has a NASTY gash on his forehead. Neckbreaker, cover for 1. Lee fights up again, Lashley with a leapfrog to avoid a charge and he Spears him! Delayed Veritcal Suplex!
Now he wants the Hurt Lock again which is what they’re calling it this week, he tries it but Lee avoids it and takes him into the corner. Back elbow off a charge, leap frog over another to send Lashley into the turnbuckles! Lee with some body shots, punch to the face. Avalanche, and then the Pounce sends him to the floor! Runs across ringside for a big crossbody! Takes him into the ring, ref is dealing with Lashley and MVP posts Lee! Lee staggers into the ring, Lashley tries for the Hurt lock! Struggles to get his big arms locked in, Lee is fighting it… yes he hoists him up onto his back! Drives him onto his back! MVP rushes into the ring and attacks Lee!
Winner: Keith Lee (by DQ)
Lee fends MVP off. That was uncharacteristically stupid of MVP but anyway, good fight.
Brief vignette for Bliss/Cross. Nikki backstage says for the last few months she’s done nothing but try and help her. She tried but she’s done trying. Last week she made it perfectly clear that she doesn’t want her help. She doesn’t want her, she wants the Fiend. Message received, Alexa and the Fiend can have each other. She’s so sick and tired of worrying about her. Tonight she’s going to beat the Fiend out of Alexa Bliss.
Alexa Bliss vs. Nikki Cross
Nikki asks Alexa what’s wrong with her as the bell rings. She pleads with her to listen to her. Alexa slaps her hands and poses. Ducks a shot. Nikki charges and Alexa gets her with a Drop Toe Hold. Alexa leaves the ring and makes Nikki chase her around the ring. She’s just messing with her as she re-enters the ring, Nikki pulls her outside, clotheslines her to the floor! Takes her into the ring and stomps her into the corner, pulls her up for a Short-Arm Clothesline. Alexa is laughing as she gets her with another! And a third! Nikki grabs her by the hair and slams her head into the mat repeatedly, pounding on her.
Nikki yells at her and hits a Seated Senton for a 2 count. Emmamite Sandwich! Keeps pounding her with forearms in the corner. Alexa is starting to look all sad. Nikki yanks her out of the corner. Alexa is tearing up, acting like she’s coming to her senses. She starts crying and reaching for her, asks for her help. Nikki puts a hand to her shoulder. Helps her up… they hug, Alexa with a Reverse STO! She smiles bright as she covers for the win!
Winner: Alexa Bliss
Alexa definitely seems to be having fun with this character, she plays it nicely.
Recap of The Undertaker’s send-off last night.
Randy Orton makes his way out for the main event, the last of the Triple Threat Qualifiers.
Randy Orton vs. AJ Styles
AJ tries for an immediate roll-up for a 2 count. Orton with an uppercut, AJ ducks a line, outspeeds him but a European Uppercut drops him. Randy stomping him. AJ with a throat thrust! AJ with a dropkick for a 2 count! Randy with a poke to the eye, throws him to the floor. Randy goes out there, Almos the Associate distracts Orton, AJ with a baseball slide. Back Suplex sends Orton on top of the announce table! Commercial break. Orton with a headbutt to AJ between the ropes as we come back. Orton wants a Superplex, AJ slips between Orton’s legs and trips him to the mat! Going after the leg, he chopblocked it during the break, now he’s working it over.
Legbreaker. Just grinding on it. Orton fights back, AJ tries to roll him into the Calf Crusher but Orton rolls through and stomps AJ in the face. Stun Gun, nearfall. Styles fights back and hoists him onto his shoulders for an Ushigoroshi but Orton slips back for his signature Backbreaker. Because of his bum leg he can’t pin right away, nearfall. Orton wants the Draping DDT but AJ escapes the ropes, rolls him into the Calf Crusher! Randy dragging himself slowly to the ropes… grabs it for the break! AJ charges, Orton with a Snap Powerslam counter for a nearfall! Randy wants an RKO, Styles shoves him away. Enziguri!
The fight goes to the floor, the Fiend’s sound effect starts. Orton is spooked but nobody appears. He goes back into the ring, AJ with the boots up, wants a Phenomenal Forearm but Orton blocks it, Draping DDT! But now the lights are slowly going off. The screech begins again with the red lights and the Fiend appears behind Orton! He gets jumpscared, the lights go off. When they come back AJ is on the apron and Orton is shook looking for the Fiend. He turns right around into a Phenomenal Forearm for the win.
Winner: AJ Styles
Honestly kind of a relief that Orton’s finally out of the title picture. He’s done great in the spot but that was like the entire last half of the year, it was high time for new challengers.
Bray’s laughter echoes as Orton is furious and the show abruptly goes off the air.