Another Monday night brings us another edition of Raw. As always, I’ll be with you to give the live blow-by-blow on the show so stick with us! Stay tuned for the WWE Raw Recap!
Somewhat surprisingly Alexa Bliss opens the show, she’s got some kiddy chairs and a creepy puppet in the ring for A Moment of Bliss. She has Randy Orton as her guest and introduces him cheerfully. She seems to think he’s in a foul mood. Says she wouldn’t be in a phenomenal mood either if this happened to her last week, and we see the clip of the Fiend costing Orton the match against AJ. Alexa says she can’t believe he did that to him but, did he ever ask himself WHY he did that? She’d ask herself that.
Randy says he’s known Bray Wyatt for a long, long time but he hasn’t been formally introduced to the Fiend yet. Alexa says he’s one of her best friends. Randy says the Fiend and himself have a lot in common but the difference is all his pain and suffering, he wears on his exterior for everyone to see. All his, he keeps bottled up, tucks it away deep down so that he can blend in. He hears voices, knows the Fiend does too, but the voices that the Fiend hears; it’s Orton’s.
Alexa says that’s not what he told her. Randy says he didn’t tell her everything, he had to find out what Bray’s weakness was and he found it, and burned it to the ground. So now he needs to find the Fiend’s weakness. He needs to find it’s vulnerability and you know what? He stares daggers at Alexa and says it looks like he has. Alexa smiles bright and asks if that’s what the voices in his head are telling him. Maybe they’re telling him lies. Alexa comes up to him and asks him, who is manipulating who?
The lights start to go down. They both ask each other if they see what they mean. The screech plays and Alexa is in Orton’s arms as the Fiend appears. He reaches out for her and Orton slowly walks over to hand her over and swiftly runs off. Orton asks who’s laughing now? They let the screech go on way way too long, it’s a damn scare chord for God’s sakes.
Symphony of Destruction time, I remember these matches being bizarrely violent in the past so let’s see how this goes.
Symphony of Destruction: Jeff Hardy vs. Elias
Jeff blocks a kick. Exchange of shots. Elias with a forearm, whip, Jeff with a kick off a back body drop. Takes him to the floor. He grabs a little viola and looks to leap off the steps with it but Elias catches him with a high knee out of the air. Rams his face into the apron, powers him up onto his shoulders Electric Chair style and drops him facefirst onto the apron. Elias notices the hood of a piano is moving, Elias checks it and R-Truth is hidden in there. He rushes out and the 24/7 geeks chase him but Jeff and Elias for whatever reason feel the need to brutalize them, Drew Gulak and Lince Dorado get violins broken over them before the commercial break.
We come back to see Jeff winning out on a strike exchange. Elias reverses a whip but Jeff gets a clothesline anyway, double leg, Legal Low Blow, Basement Dropkick and a quick splash for the nearfall. Jeff waits for Elias to stand and goes for the Twist of Fate, Elias blocks, Drift Away attempted, Jeff slips out but gets thrown facefirst into a corner-hung guitar! Elias with a cover for the nearfall. Elias puts some guitar picks in his fingers and punches him in the side of the face! Elias grinds the picks into Hardy’s face and shoves him to the mat.
Elias takes Jeff over to the drumset in the corner, plays “Shave and a haircut” and smashes Jeff with a drumstick. He leans Jeff against a gong and charges with a knee, Jeff sidesteps it and Elias goes flying into the gong! That hurt the knee, Jeff grabs his hair and hurls him into the drums. Jeff takes Elias into the ring, grabs a guitar but Elias stops him and drives him in the buckle. He powers him up for a Powerbomb but Jeff with a rana counters! Elias grabs the guitar, Jeff kicks him away out of the corner, goes for Whisper In The Wind but Elias nails him out of the air!
Elias covers but Jeff grabs the rope and for some reason there exists ropebreaks in this of all matches. Elias pulls him away from the ropes and covers again but Jeff kicks out. He rolls to the floor, Elias has his hand on the neck of the guitar. He goes out there and tries to stab Jeff with it but Hardy evades it, Elias stabs the speakers and apparently electrifies himself. Jeff grabs a giant Bass and smashes it over Elias’ back! He takes him onto a table, places a bunch of little ukeleles on him for some reason and then goes up top. SWANTON BOMB THROUGH THE TABLE! That was rough, Jeff seemed to land headfirst onto the steps! But he pins him!
Winner: Jeff Hardy
These continue to feel more brutal than they sound on paper, partly because they use a lot of weapons that are largely untested in wrestling. That finish was yikes too, glad Jeff seems to be okay.
Riddle and Keith Lee are backstage. Riddle talks a bunch about how nervous he is and the goofy things he does to ease his nerves and he annoys him so much that Lee just disappears when he turns away from him.
We see a Retribution promo from 3 weeks ago back when they were doing stuff. And then we see Ali defeating Ricochet. Another promo. Slapjack says Ali made him see that he’d been abandoned and discarded, left as a joke until Ali showed him what he could be, a weapon for Retribution. Ali says Ricochet will learn this as well when he faces Slapjack. Ricochet has a backstage promo where he promises to prove Ali wrong and kick some sense into him.
Ricochet vs. Slapjack
They exchange shots, Ricochet with a boot up off a charge in the corner, goes up top, briefly looks at Ali and Slapjack rips his leg out from under him and he falls hard on the top buckle. Slapjack with a Cannonball! Wrenching at the neck. Charges in the corner but Ricochet with his boots up, charging dropkick! Blocks a shot, gets a few punches in. Slapjack reverses a whip, Ricochet with a flying line! Body shots, rising knee to the face!
Driving shoulder thrust in the corner, Springboard Clothesline, Standing Shooting Star Press for a nearfall! Ali calls out Mace and T-Bar, they pull Salpjack out of the ring, Ricochet with a Tope Con Hilo onto all three of them! Ricochet takes Slapjack into the ring. Ali is yelling at him, Dana Brooke appears behind Ali and starts yelling at him. Slapjack with a roll-up for 2, Ricochet is trying to fend off everybody, Slapjack with a move not unlike Murphy’s Law for the victory.
Forgot for a while that Dana was taken out by Reckoning, that appearance makes a lot more sense now…
The Miz and John Morrison are here, Miz has an absolutely ridiculous suit on. He calls himself the face of USA. Invites their big guest, Sheamus. He comes out in his dumb outfit, and he’s wary of them seeing as they’re facing off tonight. Morrison says know thy enemy, know thyself. Miz says they just want to talk about his partner Drew McIntyre. Miz says two weeks ago Sheamus made a heartfelt gesture by returning Drew’s family chest. Morrison says he got the feels. Miz asks Sheamus what he got in return.
Miz asks why Drew forgot about Sheamus? Morrison says perhaps the fame went to his head, or perhaps he knew that Sheamus would BE JEALOUS of the fact that McIntyre was WWE Champion. Sheamus says he gives a friend a gift, he doesn’t expect anything in return. It was an heirloom that belonged with him anyway. Miz and Morrison say that if one of them were WWE Champion, they’d be sure to give each other a title shot because that’s what friends do. Miz tells Sheamus to cash-in on years of resentment, Miz will cash-in his contract!
Sheamus laughs and says Miz has his moments, that was funny. Miz turns it up and yells about how it’s been five years since Sheamus has been near the WWE Championship for all of two months, he was at the top of the heap once and now McIntyre is instead and he let it happen. Miz says if he wants to laugh, laugh at his own career because it’s a joke. Sheamus says Miz likes to run his mouth about what he will do. He likes to use his hands. He attacks Miz and deposits him, Morrison leaps on his back but gets thrown down. Clobbering him until Miz attacks from behind with the MITB briefcase!
And no McIntyre out to make the save. Maybe they were onto something.
Asuka and Lana are talking about something backstage and seem to be bonding as partners. Afterwards Nia and Shayna are interviewed backstage. Nia says last week they made a rare mistake and Asuka and Lana got lucky. Shayna says she did her part fighting Asuka and Nia was busy not putting Lana through a table. Nia says she was the one who got pinned. Shayna says as an athlete, losing to Asuka is one thing but LANA?! Nia says they will bring them to their knees and put Lana through a table.
WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Lana & Asuka (Non-title)
This match, no joke, begins with Lana taking Shayna Baszler to the mat and outwrestling her for a 2 count. She makes the tag to Asuka, they take the hosses to the floor, look for a double baseball slide but they each catch them, and we have in stereo Nia and Shayna repeatedly hurling Lana and Asuka into the barricade before the commercial break.
We come back to see Lana tag in, battering Nia and leaping onto her back but Nia tosses her to the mat. Blocks a slap and pulls her in for a back elbow to the mat! Kicks her around the ring. HURLS Lana across the ring. Avalanche in the corner. Lana with body shots, Nia shoves her away. Shayna tags in and Nia holds her for more body blows. Trips her and cranks on her shin. Ankle breaker! Nia pulls Lana to the outside, smashes her into the barricade. Hoists her onto her shoulders and wants to drive her into the post, Lana slips behind her and sends her facefirst into the post!
They both barely break the count, Shayna tags in but Lana barely manages to get to Asuka! Hot tag time, Codebreaker, elbow out of the corner, Missile Dropkick off the second rope! Charging Hip Attack for a nearfall! Asuka with some roundhouse kicks, Shayna ducks a Shining Wizard, simultaneous roundhouse kicks drop them both! Lana tags herself in, goes up top, Crossbody but Shayna rolls through. Kirifuda Clutch, Nia rips Asuka away, Asuka fights her off though and manages to break it up with a Shining Wizard! Lana rolls over and pins her for the win!
Winners: Asuka & Lana
I really felt like this was a title match after they already beat them in a non-title match last week but they’re just gonna keep beating the champs instead, cool.
Drew McIntyre meets up with Sheamus backstage. Sheamus asks if he finds what happened out there funny. Drew says it was kinda funny, Sheamus is a physical guy, says that was good TV. Sheamus sarcastically thanks him for coming out to save him and lets him know if the roles were reversed he’d do the same. Drew says that’s why they’re friends.
The New Day emerge to the ring and Kofi plugs how Xavier Woods just got named as the newest host for G4. Xavier says things are important to him, becoming a sports entertainer in WWE, becoming a future King of the Ring which is happening, video games are his happy place. He thanks everyone who has ever watched UUDD or supported it in any way because it means more than you’ll ever know.
We see a recap of the New Day defeating the Hurt Business two weeks in a row. They’re gloating over how definitively they have deflected their challenge but of course the Hurt Business interrupt them. MVP, Shelton and Cedric come out. MVP says they’re in desperate need for a dream sequence. Says their math is off, they’re actually 2-2 because the ref raised their hands when Kofi got counted out. So they’re actually tied up! And the next time they put those titles on the line, this amazing historic title reign of theirs will seem like a distant memory. Shelton says this ends with the Hurt Business standing tall and those two in a dream sequence.
Cedric rushes into the ring alone and gets into Xavier’s face, says it was pure luck that they pinned Shelton Benjamin. But he’s not Shelton and he’s about to teach them what the Hurt in Hurt Business is all about. Him and Xavier prepare for a singles match, Cedric attacks him before the bell and takes his tag title before the commercial break!
Cedric Alexander vs. Xavier Woods
We come back from break to see Xavier taking it to Cedric. Chops him across the chest, arm wringer, shots to the shoulder. Cedric fights out but Xavier with a shoulder block, Cedric rolls outside but eats a Baseball Slide. Takes him into the ring, goes for a Springing DDT but Cedric catches him out of the air and hurls him gut first onto the top rope! He bounces to the mat, kick to the back of the head! Chokes him with his shirt!
Elbows to the back. Xavier escapes from an arm wringer with a snapmare, Cedric fights back, Xavier rolls him over off a side headlock. Cedric fights back with chops, Xavier slides through the legs off a whip, series of shots, Spinning Heel Kick! Thrust kick to the gut, takes Cedric onto the middle rope, sliding senton, Honor Roll in the ring for a nearfall! Cedric counters with a brutal Brainbuster, kicking him in the spine to take him to the apron. Wants a suplex, they fight for it, Cedric with a spin kick to the ribs takes him to the floor! He hits the ropes for a suicide dive but Xavier counters and sends him hurling into the barricade! Xavier takes Cedric into the ring – but he surprises him with the Lumbar Check! And that is that!
Winner: Cedric Alexander
Nothing to say other than some real good stuff from some real good wrestlers. It’s nice to see Cedric like this, he is in some kind of mood. He is pumped up celebrating on the ramp, even as MVP and Shelton are a little baffled by what they see from him.
Riddle meets up with AJ Styles and Almos backstage. AJ says they’re calling this a Sudden Death Triple Threat match, it’s serious. Riddle says he’s never won the WWE title before, he knows AJ has but lost it and has never gotten it back since. AJ says that will change after he wins the triple threat. Riddle calls him Skipper which amuses the big man because Skipper is the name of his pet bunny. AJ says that’s a bad name for a bunny because they don’t skip, he should’ve called him Hoppy. Riddle says he couldn’t call him that because Hoppy is the name of his turtle. Besides AJ reminds him so much of Skipper because he’s got mad ups, and he’s really cute. AJ shoves him and asks if that’s cute.
Sudden Death Triple Threat: Keith Lee vs. Riddle vs. AJ Styles
Lee quickly takes both men to the outside and wants a tope but they evade it and he stops short. Riddle and AJ take it to him in the ring, then AJ kicks Riddle around. Lee goozles AJ and Riddle, shoves them away, leap frogs both, ducks under both, they stop short of a Crossbody, Riddle takes AJ down then charges – Lee hits his Crossbody on Riddle for a 2 count!
Lee with a MASSIVE Back Body Drop on AJ, clobbers Riddle across the ring. Riddle with a buncha shots, Lee fires back with a forearm to drop him. Lee fires back but AJ takes Lee to the floor from the apron. Lee shoves him away, Almos helps AJ to the apron where he gets a sliding knee to Lee! Riddle with a running kick takes AJ to the floor though, Riddle with a Tope Floating Bro onto both! Commercial break.
We come back to see Riddle running wild. PK and Broton to Lee, Gutwrench to Styles, he wants another Broton but AJ gets the boots up, dang! Lee with a power whip sends AJ under the bottom rope and into the post, whatta bump. Lee with a biel toss to Riddle, clothesline in the corner. And he hurls him again! Exchange of shots, Riddle with a shot to the face does stun him, but Lee pops him up for a Spirit Bomb but Riddle fires back, wants an Arm Triangle to counter. Lee is holding on, AJ runs in and Lee uses Riddle as a weapon to knock him down!
Riddle makes it to his feet, shot in the corner, Exploder to AJ, he charges Lee but a Pounce sends him flying! Lee with a late cover for a nearfall. He wants a Powerslam on AJ but he escapes, gets him to a knee, flying forearm smash for a nearfall! AJ up top, Lee with a rising headbutt to stop him. Lee goes up top and hooks him for a superplex! Riddle attacks from behind, pulls him away for a Powerbomb but he’s just too heavy and he slips to his feet to toss him, AJ with a Crossbody to Lee for a nearfall, AJ is sent flying off onto Riddle off the kickout for another nearfall!
AJ wants a Styles Clash, Lee grabs him from behind for a German Suplex, Riddle slips free, AJ escapes Lee’s arms, knocks him away but Riddle with a Pele Kick and a German Suplex! Lee and Riddle fighting now, Riddle lands the Final Flash, AJ with a Phenomenal Forearm to Riddle for the win!
Winner: AJ Styles
Good match. AJ against McIntyre should be a damn good match.
Miz and Morrison backstage, they are happy to watch a replay of the MizTV segment from earlier on. They celebrate and say they have a strategy for the match tonight. They set their sights on Orton and the WWE Championship disappeared from him. Miz says McIntyre has to watch out for AJ Styles now, plus, his own partner! Interviewer says Miz is just rattling off facts without presenting an actual plan. Miz laughs this off and the two make their leave.
Reckoning now finally makes her debut. Backstage she talks about making an example out of Dana Brooke and chastising her for taking it out on Ali. Says Retribution doesn’t play games, she will feel her Reckoning.
Dana Brooke vs. Reckoning
Dana assaults Reckoning in the corner, she’s already lost her mask. She batters her around until Reckoning stops her with a knee to the gut. Chops in the corner, switching to the old chop and strike combo. Snapmare, kick to the back, knee buried into the spine. Dana fights up, elbow to the gut. Boot up off a charge. Back elbow off another. Clotheslines. Handspring Back Elbow, snapmare. Ali appears on the apron. Dana swings at him, blocks a kick and rolls her up for the win.
Winner: Dana Brooke
Yeah that’s about how one would expect Reckoning’s debut to go. Ali then gets mad and lies to her about there being no failure in Retribution.
Miz and Morrison come up with a pie to AJ. He says cut the crap, he knows how hard it is to take down McIntyre, he knows they want his help in beating McIntyre and getting that cash-in win. They get nervous but AJ says he’ll do it. Miz is confused as to why he’d be so eager to help but AJ says quite plainly that it’d be a lot easier to beat Miz at TLC than McIntyre. Morrison agrees and Miz is not so happy with it. AJ then happily accepts the pie.
Riddle backstage is sore. MVP confronts him and asks what happened out there. Riddle says losing sucks but atleast he had an opportunity unlike Bobby Lashley. MVP takes exception but Riddle says atleast now they have time to talk about his ideas. He wants to start a new weeding and donuts company called Bronuts. MVP says his ideas are dumb, he’s ridiculous and he’s glad he lost. He facewashes him, Riddle bows up and gets him in a Full Lash/Hurt Lock until he tosses him away.
Lee confronts Sheamus about the possibility of him turning on McIntyre. Sheamus says it’s none of his business. Mocks him by saying he’s gonna go out there and turn on his partner, fella.
Drew McIntyre has an interview ahead of this main event. He says first of all it feels damn good to stand here as WWE Champion. Sometimes you have to get knocked on your arse but he promised he’d Claymore Orton’s head off and take his title and he did just that. He also told Roman Reigns he’d humble him, knock him off his pedastal and that’s exactly what he did.
You can tell a lot about a man looking into his eyes, at the beginning of that match Roman was the most confidant man in the world but during that match it turned to confusion as he kicked out of Spear after Spear, it turned to fear. But then Jey Uso interfered and Roman took advantage to win the battle. Drew tells Roman that he won the battle but McIntyre will win the war and you can believe that.
He moves on to say what he does to AJ will be phenomenal. Tells Miz that briefcase is the only thing keeping him relevant and threatens to stick him inside of it.
Drew McIntyre & Sheamus vs. The Miz & John Morrison
Sheamus goes right after Miz to start. Big overhead throw, Miz rolls out but McIntyre sends him right back in, Sheamus with a line! Throws him into the corner. Morrison tags in, spins parkour style for no reason, Sheamus with a shoulder block. Kicking Morrison in the corner, McIntyre tags in. Shoulder tackle sends Morrison flying. Tag to Sheamus, kicks and kness aplenty. Sheamus with Ten Beats on Morrison, Miz comes in and gets the same even harder! Sheamus hits a Regal Roller on Miz on TOP of Morrison!
Sheamus then stops to yell at AJ and ask him to come in here too. Styles stands up and Sheamus is out there to confront him. Miz goes for the attack from behind but Sheamus turns around and nails him. Then Sheamus comes face to face with Almos. Off the distraction Morrison gets Sheamus with a baseball slide that sends him over the announce table before the commercial break. Sheamus being doubled teamed as we come back, Miz with a Russian Legsweep for a 2 count.
Morrison and Miz with charging knee and kicks combo, Morrison with a Standing Shooting Star Press for a nearfall! Kicks him around the ring, Sheamus is driving him down, Morrison with a bodyscissor to prevent him. Morrison pulls him away to the center though, into a headlock. Sheamus fights his way up, elbows to the gut. Pump Knee drops him!
Simultags and McIntyre is a house of fire! He sends Miz flying with two straight Overhead Belly to Bellies! Morrison comes flying at him but McIntyre sends him hurtling across the ring with one too! Ducks a Miz line, Neckbreaker, kip-up! He’s setting up for the Claymore, but Sheamus is looking for a tag, he wants the Brogue. Drew goes over there but Morrison takes Sheamus off the apron! Drew turns around into a Phenomenal Forearm from AJ Styles!
Winners: Drew McIntyre & Sheamus (by DQ)
Miz is upset with the DQ but AJ explains to them that they don’t need to win this match, demands the cash in! Morrison hits Starship Pain on McIntyre, Miz with the Skull Crushing Finale! Miz is still hesitating for some reason but he finally asks for the cash-in. But McIntyre back body drops Morrison out of the ring, then does the same to Miz! McIntyre stares down AJ who begs him off, then backflips over the top rope onto his associate’s shoulders. AJ hilariously yells at him as the big man is carrying him like a damn baby. And that’s the show.