Monday brings us another edition of WWE Raw and as always I’ll be here with you throughout the night to give you the blow-by-blow. So watch this space!
The show begins once more with a tribute to Pat Patterson with the whole roster out on the stage. Randy Orton makes his way out. We then see a vignette of last weeks events with Randy, Bray and Alexa.
After it ends, Orton says any ordinary man would tremble at the sight of the Fiend but he’s not a normal man. He left his moral compass behind long ago and he doesn’t need a mask to let his darkness out. When his time comes, he is going to stare the devil in the eye and let him know that the most evil son of a bitch on Earth has come home. In the meantime, he’ll be knocking on that Funhouse door and wondering just exactly who is going to let him in.
On queue, the Funhouse music hits. The piping has Orton as the heel and Bray as the face here incidentally. Bray says Alexa isn’t here because he was so mean last week so he’ll have to settle for me. Randy says he’s not here to paly games but saying that word gets Bray excited and we cut to a gameshow called “Let’s Get Randy”. Muscle Man Bray is the presenter for the prizes which includes the rotting corpse of Friendship Frog. When asked, Ramblin’ Rabbit suggests the Fiend should sit down with Randy and discuss their feelings. Bray says that’s revolting, he’s sick.
None of the contestants are correct, but unfortunately for Orton, ‘he’ always has the answer. Orton holds up the mic and says he wants a match with Bray and Bray happily accepts!
Now we see a recap of the last two weeks in which Lana and Asuka managed to defeat the women’s tag champs in non-title matches. We do know this tag title match will happen at TLC, and for now atleast they’re pretending it’s just a regular match but I’d be stunned if it doesn’t get made into a Tables match. It just wouldn’t make sense to do anything else. Which means it’s definitely not out of the question that they wouldn’t do it, but still!
Nia backstage is advising Shayna Baszler. Nia wants to finish Lana forever and twist and contort her in all sorts of directions. They conclude that she is going to have boobs on her back.
Asuka vs. Shayna Baszler
Lock-up. They break up quick. Lock-up again, Asuka rolls her through for an ankle lock. Shayna reverses for a heel hook. Asuka reverses into a kneebar! Baszler powers her up though with a back suplex. Fight spills to the outside, heels go after both Asuka and Lana but Lana does manage to evade Nia Jax. Commercial break. Shayna trips Asuka as we come back, going for her arm, Asuka is trying very hard to escape a hold. Rolls over for the cover for 2. Baszler ducks a high kick, Shayna with a leg kick, roundhouse kicks to the chest.
Asuka ducks a kick, Ankle Lock into the German Suplex! Asuka with a boot up on a charge, Codebreaker! Takes her into a Flying Cross Arm-Breaker! They each roll through, Asuka covers for 2. Nia attacks Lana from behind outside. She hoists her up but Lana escapes a powerslam and shoves her into the steps! She leaps off the steps at Nia but she catches her in Powerbomb position! But Lana with a Lanacanrana sends her into the announce table! Lana flees as Shayna yells at her, Asuka rolls Shayna up for the win.
Winners: Asuka & Lana
Almost to the end of this feud, one can hope…
Kofi Kingston takes on Shelton Benjamin later on tonight. Wonder if this match happened on ECW on Syfy back in ’08… Hurt Business bully some audio assistant backstage, as they tend to do.
Riddle brings Ricochet and Dana Brooke some Bronuts while they’re talking strategy ahead of their mixed tag match tonight. Riddle asks them to let them know if they see MVP.
Ricochet is interviewed about teaming up with Dana. Ric says he’s not opposed to being on a team but he is opposed to being on a team of jackasses. Tonight they’ll show Slapjack and Reckoning what real retribution is all about. Dana says she won’t let anyone disrespect her after she’s worked so hard and so long to get here. If Ali tries to disrespect them tonight, he won’t hesitate to slap him around again. She points to her bruised eye and says she owes Reckoning one tonight.
Reckoning and Slapjack backstage say they will expose Dana and Ricochet as failures. Ali says they will meet their end at the hands of Retribution.
Slapjack & Reckoning vs. Ricochet & Dana Brooke
Dana and Reckoning start out with some shots. Dana double legs her and pounds on her but Reckoning reverses, they’re rolling around and more or less having a more physical catfight. Reckoning wins out and throws her ot the corner for a charging big boot. Dana with an enziguri though, tag to the boys. Ricochet with a rana takes Slapjack outside, Ric with a huuuuge corkscrew tope! Ric throws Slapjack into the ring as Ali howls at him that they belong to them. Slapjack with a unique version of a Falcon Arrow for a nearfall! Goes for a Cannonball, Ricochet evades, he might’ve landed on his head off that landing! Tag back to the women, Reckoning seems distracted by Ali’s words, Dana with a Fireman’s Carry Slam for the win.
Winners: Ricochet & Dana Brooke
Afterwards Ali is screaming at Reckoning and Slapjack for letting him down again.
Keith Lee confronts Sheamus, says it’s just a matter of time before he stabs Drew in the back. Sheamus says he’s going to go out there with the champion and beat the hell out him.
MizTV time. Miz says he’s been busy, yesterday was Tribute to the Troops and he plugs Miz & Mrs again. Tonight they have a very special guest who earned a WWE Championship match against Drew McIntyre at TLC. It’s AJ Styles! Miz apologizes for not finding a chair big enough for the associate but Styles assures him the big tree prefers to stand. Miz says his match against McIntyre is in fact a TLC match, so how will he stop them?
AJ says this is the first time he has ever faced Drew McIntyre so it’s challenging if you will. But it’s simple. He will take a steel chair and wrap it around his back until it breaks. Every table he sees, he’ll put him through it, he’ll be coughing up splinters for months. His size, he’s huge, his heart, his strength, his passion… won’t mean a thing when he knocks him out cold and climbs up the ladder and grabs that title. And he gets his spot at the top of the mountain as the new WWE Champion.
Miz and Morrison mock McIntyre and Sheamus’ accents. Miz plays the part of Sheamus and Morrison plays the part of McIntyre and they argue with each other, playing out their betrayal. Eventually Sheamus cuts them off. He comes out and says he’s sick of people telling him he’s going to betray his best friend. He says listening to them talk, he can close his eyes and transport himself back to a pub in Dublin. But if they actually were in that pub and he heard them talk nonsense like that, he’d nail their heads to the bar and sling them out to the slums where they belong.
Morrison asks if they teach math in Ireland. Point out that he’s outnumbered and has no friends with him. But this time Sheamus did bring backup and Drew McIntyre is out here in his most Scottish attire yet. Drew says AJ makes so many threats, so hostile. But he doesn’t make threats, he makes promises. TLC might give AJ an upperhand, the big man in his corner might give him the upperhand. But he’s overcome the odds against everyone so far.
Says no matter how many times they knock Miz and Morrison down they keep coming back for more. Notes that people backstage have been talking crap about the Miz, saying he has no balls. McIntyre says that’s not true, he knows he does, just not his original pair. He knows Maryse keeps those in his purse, but he replaced them with Morrison’s when he made him his sidekick bitch. AJ slips outside and says it’s not 3-on-2, it’s 4-on-2 since he’s standing next to Omos. However McIntyre and Sheamus quickly lay waste to Miz and Morrison and toss them from the ring before they ever swarm on ’em. McIntyre chucks Miz’s briefcase as hard as he can to the stage and apparently breaks a part of the tron doing it.
New Day out now, Kofi/Shelton is next.
Kofi Kingston vs. Shelton Benjamin
Shelton immediately goes off on Kofi, nailing him with hard kicks. Drives him into the corner, knee lift to the gut. Whip to the opposite corner for a Stinger Splash but Kofi counters with a leaping footstomp to the chest! Blade chops, Single Leg Dropkick! Hits the ropes, Shelton ducks a line, kick to the gut, whip to the corner, Kofi leaps off the top rope over Benjamin, wants the SOS but Shelton Gutwrenches him up for a Doctor Bomb! Kofi kicks out but right into the Ankle Lock! Kofi grabs the ropes for the break.
Shelton with a Monkey Flip out of the corner but Kofi lands on his feet! Though that ankle is bothering him now, Shelton ducks a line and suplexes him to the floor! Benjamin charges him outside but Kofi sidesteps him into the barricade! Shelton beats the count just barely but then rushes right into a Trouble In Paradise for the win.
Winner: Kofi Kingston
Short, but a very good match for sure. Cedric on the mic afterwards says he’s sick of them slipping through their fingers, he wants to run that back. Challenges Kofi to step back into the ring and he’ll break him like he did Xavier last week! Kofi limps on back to accept as we head to commercial.
Incidentally I went and checked and indeed, Kofi and Shelton squared off on ECW On Syfy back in 2008 many times. We don’t exactly have a lot of such rematches available to us today. Other matches from those same shows include Armando Estrada vs. Colin Delaney, Mark Henry vs. Nunzio, and Kane in a Handicap match against Chavo Guerrero & Bam Neely.
Kofi Kingston vs. Cedric Alexander
This match has begun as we come back, Cedric deposits Kofi to the floor. He throws him back in and hooks the injured leg for a 2, transition to a grapevine! Pulls him up, legbreaker! Kofi punches his way free, taken to the corner but Kofi with a one-legged footstomp to get some space! Kofi limps up, Blade Chops ensue. He flips and floats over for an inside cradle for a close nearfall! Kofi hits the worst SOS of his career for a nearfall. Trying to do that with one foot was maybe ill-advised.
Anyway he hits a Sunset Flip for two, Cedric with a Spinning Brainbuster for a nearfall! Cedric takes Kofi up top, nails him, goes for a superplex. Kofi reverses and sends him to the mat though, stands up there, leaps off but Cedric ducks a shot, Kofi lands badly on that leg, Cedric with a big Lumbar Check for the win!
Winner: Cedric Alexander
Yo, Cedric getting to look really damn good AND win two weeks in a row over some real legit folks. This is cool to see, and it might even be leading to him and Shelton becoming tag champs! I mean you can’t keep this feud going for this many matches and have them lose every single time right? Surely…
They play the Pat Patterson “My Way” tribute again. It’s very lovely.
And now out comes Drew McIntyre, this actually isn’t the main event, really? Kinda weird but alright, we’re doing the handicap match now.
Recap of Tribute to the Troops yesterday.
Drew McIntyre & Sheamus vs. The Miz, John Morrison & AJ Styles
Morrison and McIntyre start, Drew drops him with a hard forearm and then just tosses him into the heel corner. AJ acts like he’ll tag in but then puts his hands up. McIntyre catches a kick, Glasgow Kiss. Takes him to the face corner, tag to Sheamus. He batters him, side headlock takedown. Morrison fights to his feet, reverses into a headlock. Sheamus shoots him off, Morrison with a boot off a back body drop but Sheamus ignores it and nails him with double axehandles.
Sheamus knocks Styles to the floor! Takes Morrison into the ropes, big shots to the back, hooking the arms for the beats but Miz comes in, Sheamus knocks Miz to the floor but Morrison wraps his legs around Sheamus to take him to the floor. Miz is trying to attack from behind, McIntyre is coming up to Miz, Miz ducks a Sheamus shot and he nearly runs into McIntyre. They stare off for a moment and Morrison tries to leap at them but they catch him and toss him over the announce table! The buds smile and high five as we go to commercial.
Sheamus with a flying shoulder block as we come back. Takes him to the corner, McIntyre tags in and gets him with some knees, chop in the corner. Pulls him out, tag to Sheamus, Double Suplex sends Miz flying! Gets Miz with an armbreaker. Miz with a Jawbreaker on his way up though, shoulder thrusts in the corner. McIntyre fights back, tag to Sheamus, holds him for McIntyte chops! Sheamus deposits Miz but he hangs on and stays on the apron. Sheamus pulls Miz up for Ten Beats of the Bowery, begging AJ to come in – he still hasn’t tagged in yet.
Regal Roller to Miz, throws Morrison into the ring when he tries to attack him! Miz rakes the eyes of Sheamus though, It Kick. Now he pulls him to the middle rope and chokes him. Morrison with a kick to the face! Morrison tags in and covers for a 2 count. Stomps him, kicks to the chest. Forearm to the face. Sheamus blocks a kick, throws him away. Sheamus crawls over but Morrison with a super slick Oklahoma Roll type move to bring Sheamus to the heel corner, AJ FINALLY tags in. He brings Sheamus to the corner, chop, wants a whip but Sheamus is holding on. Kick to the arm.
Front Facelock on Sheamus as he tries to reach for McIntyre. He powers AJ up, Styles slips out, rolls him into the Calf Crusher! McIntyre breaks it up. AJ gets in his face, Drew dares him to make a move. AJ goes over and wants to hit the Styles Clash but Sheamus counters with White Noise! McIntyre and Morrison tag in, Drew is a house of fire with clotheslines, Big Overhead Belly To Belly nearly drops him on his head! Second one sends him flying across the ring! Miz rushes in but Drew drives him into the corner, Double Overhead Belly To Belly, kip-up! Wants the Future Shock on Morrison but he breaks away only to get sent flipping with a back body drop!
McIntyre stalks for the Claymore but Miz pulls Morrison to safety. AJ with a shot from behind to McIntyre behind the ref’s back, Sheamus tags himself in. AJ tags in too. Irish Curse to Styles, Brogue Kick to Miz, Morrison with a Flying Chuck but Sheamus ducks it, Brogue Kick misses Morrison and hits McIntyre! Styles with the Phenomenal Forearm to Sheamus and gets the win!
Winners: AJ Styles, The Miz & John Morrison
Good stuff! Fun match for sure. Afterwards McIntyre holding his jaw and he looks so sad as Sheamus is just staring at him.
Lana backstage is panicking, says she can’t face Nia Jax alone next week. Says she thinks she and Asuka can win maybe win the tag titles but she can’t face Nia next week, she can’t…. Asuka tells her to say “I believe in myself”, “I can beat Nia Jax”, “And then we will become women’s tag team champions”! Lana repeats after her over and over, eventually turns around and sees Nia. Nia shakes her head until Lana walks off, petrified.
Sheamus backstage says he knows McIntyre is going to try to kick his ass and he has to kick his. Says it wasn’t intentional. Drew walks up and Sheamus asks if he knows it wasn’t intentional. Drew says Sheamus knows exactly what’s about to happen. They stare down tensely as we go to commercial.
We come back from break, I thought this was gonna be a fakeout but nope, Sheamus and McIntyre are brawling backstage! There’s a crowd of folks cheering ’em on as Pat Buck tries to separate them. He actually does manage to get between them for a bit but then Sheamus asks “Is this guy serious?” and they pummel him and double powerbomb him through a table! McIntyre smiles, Sheamus tells him this time he’s buying the pints.
Riddle meets up with Jeff Hardy backstage, still with his Bronuts. He suggests teaming up with him and becoming the Hardy Bros. He likes his ideas but he’s literally warming up for a match and has to go.
WWE United States Champion Bobby Lashley vs. Jeff Hardy (Non-Title)
Lock-up. Lashley with a waistlock takedown. Lashley drives Jeff into the buckle, elbows to the side of the head. Elbow to the back of the head. Lashley with a big clothesline in the corner. Jeff with boots up on a charge, hits the ropes, Lashley leapfrogs, kick to the gut, wants the Dominator but Hardy lands on his feet off of that, nice! He goes for a Twist of Fate, Lashley counters and tries for the Hurt Lock but Hardy breaks free, Lashley sends him to the corner. MVP with a distraction, Lashley hoists him up, Riddle is here to take out MVP. Hardy takes Lashley to the floor, baseball slide. Flying clothesline off the apron! Commercial break.
Lashley with a big clothesline as we come back from break. During the commercial Lashley drove Hardy hard into the ringpost. For some reason Riddle brought the Bronuts out here by the way. Lashley deposits Hardy and then goes out to get in the face of Riddle. He throws Jeff into the barricade. Lashley takes Hardy up on the top rope, into the tree of woe and kicks at his torso. Lashley pulls him up with a wicked snap suplex, nearfall! Lashley pulls Jeff up for the Hurt Lock, Hardy tries to roll out but Lashley rolls through and has him in a Sleeper! Jeff elbowing him but Lashley pulls him into a headlock instead.
Jeff slowly fighting to his feet… elbows, Sit-Out Jawbreaker! Blocks a shot, nails him with some punches. Whip, Lashley reverses but Hardy with a forearm! Inverted Atomic Drop, Legal Low Blow, Basement Dropkick aaaand there’s the Short Splash for a nearfall! Hardy with an Inverted Enziguri, goes up top, Whisper In The Wind! Nearfall! Lashley with a Hot Shot though, Flatliner! Nearfall! Looks for a suplex, Hardy fights out, lands the Twist of Fate! Jeff goes up top. Lashley avoids him though, Jeff has to land on his feet, Lashley with a spear! Yanks him up by the hair, Hurt Lock is now cinched in finally! Jeff is struggling mightily but he has to tap.
Winner: Bobby Lashley
Very solid stuff, as you’d imagine. Afterwards Lashley keeps the hold on until Riddle rushes the ring, Lashley throws Hardy at Riddle!
Orton hears something at his door. He opens it but there’s nothing there. Turns away but then suddenly Ramblin’ Rabbit is there at the crack of his door, tells him he can’t wait for the match, it’s gonna be so much fun! Bizarrely this did not result in Orton RKO’ing Ramblin’ Rabbit. That main event is up next.
Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt
Bray is blowing kisses to Randy as he enters the ring. He stands with his hands clasped as he circles around the ring .They lock-up, Orton with a side headlock. Bray shoots him off, shoulder block! Bray is flexing and laughing about how strong he is. Orton with European Uppercuts to take him to the outside, he is going for his back suplex on the table but Bray is able to stand his ground, headbutt, now HE Back Suplexes him onto the table instead and good God is it a painful looking bump!
Wyatt takes up a headset and says “Yowie-wowie, we’ll be right back!” to send us to commercial break. Classy. We come back to see Orton stomping on Bray. Grinding the boot against his face. Stomping his chest. Bray fights back with shots to the throat, whip to the corner, Orton with a back elbow off the charge. Takes him down, hits the ropes for a knee drop. Cover for 2. Stomp to the gut. Orton gets Bray in a headlock. Bray fights to his feet but Orton drives him back to the mat. Cover for 2. And another headlock.
Bray fights up with elbows, Orton hits the ropes but Bray whips around with a big lariato! Bray hangs upside down in the corner, goes over for big right hands, ducks a shot, Atomic Drop, charging clothesline in the corner! Hits the ropes, crossbody! Wyatt with a DDT for a nearfall! Pulls him up for Sister Abigail, Orton counters into the Inverted Backbreaker for a nearfall! Orton stomps him into the mat. Bray rolls to the apron, Orton pulls him up, headbutt drops Bray to the floor. Orton follows him out there and this time manages to Back Suplex him onto the announce table!
Throws Bray into the ring, rushes right into a Sister Abigail attempt but Orton escapes, poke to the eye, takes him to the ropes for the Hangman’s DDT! He starts stalking for the RKO! But the lights start going out. Orton is looking around… but Bray sneaks up on Orton only to get an RKO immediately before the lights go all the way out! When they come back on, now the Fiend is under Orton instead! He has him in the Mandible Claw as the ‘crowd’ cheers and this match is not gonna have a finish.
And that’s the show.
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