July 10, 2017
From the Toyota Center in Houston, TX
Your hosts are Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Booker T
We are shown a highlight package of what took place after the Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman match at Great Balls of Fire.
The live show starts with Big Cass heading to the ring. He is booed by the crowd then angers them more by asking “how you doin’.” Cass tells us he could not feel any better after what he did to Enzo Amore last night and asks for some still photos to be shown on the titantron as he narrates how he destroyed his former best friend. We are then shown Enzo backstage after his match as referees helped him to the trainer’s room. A “Casshole” chant breaks out from the crowd as Cass wants that footage to let the RAW locker room know that will happen if you mess with him. He does not want people to hop on his bandwagon and wants his doubters to know that one day he will be the Universal Champion and when that happens he will hold the title up high and shove it down our throats. Cass talks about how he will represent WWE to the fullest everyday and that is because no one is bigger than him then the Big Show comes out to interrrupt. Show stares down Cass from the apron then heads in as they start brawling. Show starts laying into Cass with knee strikes in the corner as the crowd chants but Cass bails and retreats.
Good segment. Cass started off slow and came off as wooden but really picked it up at the end. I liked how Cass told us why he destroyed his friend and how he is on a mission to prove all of his doubters wrong so he can taunt them with his success while not caring who he goes through or hurts in the process. A feud with Big Show is logical too since they had issues during the whole mystery of who attacked Enzo. It also appears that it might be the end of the Cass/Enzo feud but they did state that Enzo was not here tonight so the feud can resume at a later time.
Tonight, we will get an update on the condition of Braun Strowman. Also, Finn Balor will face Elias Samson.
Elias Samson tells the crowd to keep their cellphone noise down and hold their applause until after he finishes. The crowd cheers to mock him as Samson sings the song he wrote for Finn Balor. Samosn sings about Balor not being a savior who tried to upstage him but Balor’s music interrupts.
Elias Samson vs. Finn Balor
Samson slams Balor to start. He tries it again but Balor floats over and grabs a side headlock and works that for a bit. Balor rolls through a sunset flip and hits a basement dropkick then sidesteps a charge and hits an enziguiri. Samson rolls outside to avoid the Coup De Grace as we head to break. The action returns with Samson in control. He hits a suplex for a two count then applies a full nelson. Balor escapes and fights back until he eats boot on a charge. Balor then takes Samson off the top rope with an enziguiri. Samson rolls outside where Balor ties a running soccer kick but Samson catches his foot and yanks him down onto his previously injured shoulder. Samson now locks in a Fujiwara armbar but Balor gets out and hits a double stomp as both men are down. Balor misses a running elbow in the corner then gets beaten down. Samson gets a few nearfalls and tries to work the arm again but Balor uses an overhead kick to break that up. Balor comes back with a sling blade then a shotgun dropkick before hitting the Coup De Grace for the win (10:06) **3/4.
Thoughts: Solid match. I’m a little bit surprised that Samson lost clean on TV so soon but Balor is ahead of him in popularity and has more star potential so its not going to damage him or anything.
After the match, The Hardy Boyz come out to congratulate Balor then head out to the ring. The announcers put over their friendship as Cole tells us the Hardy’s are in action after the break.
Back from break, The Hardy Boyz talk about last night’s Tag Team Iron Man Match and how the other teams are thinking their time is past as Jeff talks about teams thinking they are “obsolete.” Matt,sporting a nice shiner on his right eye, says they are not going anywhere and will make magic but Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson interrupt. Gallows said they were the team who said they were washed up as Anderson says they are not the Hardy Boyz of old but just the old Hardy Boyz. Gallows tells these “nerds” to get out of the ring as they are the magic killers. Matt says they are bruised and perhaps a little “broken” then decides to challenge them to a match since they are so confident in themselves. The hints of the Hardy Boyz broken characters were quite strong here. Good back-and-forth between the two teams here.
Hardy Boyz vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
The Hardy Boy work over Anderson to start as the announcers put over last night’s Iron Man Match. Gallows is in now as the Hardy Boyz hit him with Poetry in Motion then we head to break. The action returns with Anderson blocking a jawbreaker from Jeff with a knee strike. Matt makes the save after Jeff is hit with the Boot of Doom then Jeff hits a jawbreaker and tags out as Matt runs wild on Anderson.The crowd chants “delete” as Matt hits a bunch of turnbuckle smashes. Matt follows with a Side Effect then soon after that tries the Twist of Fate but Anderson counters then Gallows knees Matt in the back. Anderson knocks Jeff off of the apron then hit Matt with the Magic Killer for the win (6:54) **.
Thoughts: The match was fine for what it was. It put Gallows & Anderson over and if the Hardy Boyz are switching to different characters then they can afford to lose. Plus, the Hardy’s were selling from last night’s Iron Man match.
After the match, The Revival come out to the ring as they walk right between Gallows & Anderson before beating up on The Hardy Boyz as the crowd boos. It looks like The Revival are back in the tag team mix. Also, it sets up for a Revival vs. Hardy Boyz feud and you can even use this to turn Gallows & Anderson face as The Revival walked right between them en route to the ring and they did not look too pleased.
Miz TV tonight presents “The Mizzies” awards. We have three awards in the ring as Maryse & The Miztourage are also in the ring. He gives Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel the first award for their roles in the Miztourage. Bo thanks Miz for changing not only his career but also his life as he wants to change the world. Axel tells Miz he looks and feels like a million bucks and now will make that much as Miz puts them over for being underutilized in the past but will now be superstars. The second award for “Leading Lady” goes to Maryse as she thanks her husband then the final award for “Greatest Man in WWE” is next but Miz opens the envelope and says “Dean Ambrose” but says he was kidding as its himself as he will always be the greatest man in WWE history. Miz says he would make the Intercontinental Title prestigious again and he has then says while people can talk a good game but the frauds are those like The Hardy Boyz, Akira Tozawa, and Seth Rollins who stated they would win but failed last night. Dean Ambrose then comes right out and attacks Miz but gets outnumbered as the Miztourage runs in but Seth Rollins comes in for the save and helps Ambrose clean house. The Mizzies were not very amusing and Ambrose running out was predictable. However, having Seth run out can set up a feud with Miz and against his former partner in Ambrose. We might even get a triple-threat Intercontinental Title match at SummerSlam.
We see Sasha Banks & Bayley walking backstage as they will be facing Alexa Bliss & Nia Jax tonight.
Back from break, Ambrose catches up to Rollins backstage and is not pleased with him making the save. Ambrose tells Rollins he does not trust him and to fight his own battles. I like the possibility of these two feuding and a heel turn for Ambrose is needed to add edge to his character, which has become stale.
Sasha Banks & Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss & Nia Jax
This is a rematch from last week where Bayley needed to be helped to the back but Sasha still managed to win. Alexa runs away from Sasha then tags out. Nia shoves Sasha, who tags out then knocks Alexa off of the apron as Nia beats on Bayley. Sasha & Bayley then clear the ring right before the break and we return with Sasha beating on Alexa. Bayley tags and gets two with a bulldog but Alexa is able to tag out. Bayley dropkicks Nia then hits a neckbreaker between the ropes. Alexa distracts her and gets knocked down but it allowed Nia to attack from behind. Nia overpowers Bayley then tags out as Alexa slaps Bayley across the face. Nia is back in as Bayley tries to make the tag but gets driven into the corner. Alexa tries to slap Sasha off of the apron but Sasha was ready and they jaw at each other. Alexa finally slaps off Sasha then hits Bayley with the Twisted Bliss but Sasha makes the save. Sasha gets tossed out by Nia, who misses a charge and hits the barricade, then Bayley rolls up Alexa for the win (9:25) **1/4.
Thoughts: Decent TV match. The win helps give Bayley some credibility that she desperately needs after the past few months of horrendous booking. It does not appear that the Sasha/Alexa feud is ending so I expect another title match between the two to happen again sooner rather than later but after this I can see where they would book a Fatal Four way at SummerSlam.
Goldust quotes “Reservoir Dogs” before telling R-Truth that he was not made for the spotlight and despite trying to ruin his picture last week, the “Shattered Truth” was a box-office smash and promises an encore performance.
We get a video package on last night’s Ambulance Match between Strowman and Reigns. When it ends, Cole tells us that GM Kurt Angle will have an update on Strowman’s condition.
R-Truth heads out to the ring. We are shown how he attacked Goldust from behind last week after the “Shattered Truth” video.
R-Truth vs. Goldust
No personal cameraman this week for Goldust. Goldust cheap shots R-Truth after using the ref as a shield. Truth fights back and hammers away.He hits a corner splash then lands a few punches as he stays in control. Goldust escapes from mounted punches in the corner then stalks Truth for a bit before firing away. Goldust works a chinlock for a bit then lands more punches in the corner but Truth fights back with a powerbomb as both men are down. Truth is up first and runs wild then misses a scissors kick as Goldust takes him out with a chop block. Goldust targets the knee but gets kicked outside and comes back to eat a spinning heel kick. Truth gets a nearfall with a scissors kick but Goldust floats over on a Truth or Consequences attempt and after that rams Truth in the corner before hitting the Golden Finale for the win (5:40) *1/4.
Thoughts: Not a good match. Truth looked washed up but Goldust seemed game. Goldust is the one who can do more anyway so having him win clean seems to signal the end of this feud so he can move on to something else. The crowd was not into this match.
Angle comes out to the ring. He calls Great Balls of Fire a huge success but that things did get out of hand. He does not know when Strowman will return since he refused treatment but the show must go on as he introduces the Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar. Angle tells Lesnar he probably took a few years off of his life during their WrestleMania XIX match and congratulates him for beating Samoa Joe last week where Lesnar pulls away his hand during a handshake attempt. Angle then asks Lesnar & Heyman if they have any ideas for a SummerSlam title match. Heyman says he was unaware of a creative meeting here tonight then says he does not do any corporate meetings and for Angle to acclimate to his new role. Reigns comes out to interrupt and stares down Lesnar, who laughs. Angle tells Reigns that he has a lot of nerve coming out after what he pulled last night. Reigns tells Angle is standing in the ring with Lesnar, Heyman, and himself and think he went too far. Reigns says Angle should thank him as he did not know how to handle Strowman then he tells Lesnar that he’s never around as Lesnar gets closer to Reigns, who tells Angle he wants Lesnar at SummerSlam. Heyman says he likes that but Lesnar tells Reigns he must be kidding to think he deserves a title shot as he does not deserve “shit,” which was bleeped out. Lesnar says this is the closest they will get to the title but Joe comes out. Joe says aren’t we all living in a wonderful fantasy land so he can all drag us back to reality. Joe tells Lesnar the reality is that he kicked his ass last night and that Lesnar did not beat him, he escaped. Joe then reminds Reigns that he never beat him then Heyman interrupts to say that Reigns beating Undertaker earns a title shot but that Joe will never get a title match again. Joe tells Lesnar that is his advocate, who is protecting him, and then tells Reigns he is real mouthy for a man who lost to Strowman. Reigns asks Joe to find Strowman then Angle interrupts and says next week, Reigns will face Joe to determine the #1 contender at SummerSlam. He wants both guys to rest as they stare each other down. Angle says he will cancel the match if they attack each other.
Excellent segment, even if the show-long tease of Strowman’s update was that they had no update because he refused medical treatment. All three men, particularly Joe, were great on the stick. He’s been on a roll the past several weeks. And Reigns came off the best he has in a long time too. The big news is that Joe vs. Reigns will face off for the third time for a #1 contender’s match. This segment made you want to see all three guys fight each other. It was excellent.
We cut back to the announcers then Graves looks at his phone and heads backstage. Back from commercial, Angle is with Graves and says he cannot let this get out and that he might have to go public. Graves does not think Angle has to say goodbye and has all of the confidence that everything will be just fine. Graves leaves as Angle looks worried.
Akira Tozawa w/ Titus O’Neill & Cedric Alexander vs. Noam Dar w/ Alicia Fox & Neville
Tomorrow night on 205 Live, Cedric will face Dar in an “I Quit” match. Also, we are shown Tozawa telling Titus backstage after last night’s PPV that he needs to make things right and set up a rematch. Dar tries to kick Cedric but that fails. Cedric lands a few shots then Dar ducks outside to hug Fox. Cedric heads out as Fox steps between him then the action heads inside. Tozawa is in and gets two with a basement dropkick. He stomps a mudhole in the corner then Neville tags in and gets beaten down for a bit. Neville takes control then Dar lands some shots in the corner from the apron as we go to break. The match returns with Neville working the arm as Graves is back on commentary but refuses to divulge what took place between Kurt and himself. Tozawa hits Neville with a knee smash then makes the tag as Cedric flies in with an attack. He hits Neville with a handspring enziguiri but Dar provides a distraction as he was on the top rope, allowing Neville to cut him off. Neville climbs up but Cedric crotches him then smiles as he tags in Tozawa. Cedric dives out to take out Dar then Tozawa kicks Neville off the ropes and climbs up for the senton and gets the win (9:32) **1/2. After the match, Titus and Cedric celebrate with Tozawa.
Thoughts: Tozawa got a little bit of revenge over what happened last night as he still wants a rematch against Neville and the Cruiserweight Title.
Charly Caruso is backstage the with Seth. She asks him about his match tonight against Bray Wyatt but also about running in to help out Ambrose. Seth said he ran out for one reason, which was to shut up the Miz then calls Bray a cheater and will expose him tonight.
We get another Wyatt promo as he tells us people cannot change. He then tells Seth that he is everywhere and for his sins he will not be forgiven.
Bray Wyatt vs. Seth Rollins
They start off by fighting over a lockup. Seth hammers away in the corner after Bray landed a cheap shot. Bray fights back then runs into a super kick but is able to take Seth down with a tackle. Seth escapes from a Sister Abigail attempt then sidesteps a charge as Bray dumps outside. Bray blocks a tope but runs into the steps before heading back inside. Seth now breaks the fingers of Bray and tries a springboard move but gets caught and hit with an uranage as we head to break with Seth on the outside rolling around in pain. The match returns with Bray working a chinlock in the ring as the crowd is doing the wave. Seth escapes and hits a dropkick in an mistimed spot but Bray cuts him right off after that. The crowd chants for Seth then Bray spikes him with a DDT as that gets two. Bray grounds Seth with a chinlock then places him on top where they fight. Seth takes him off and rolls through a dive as both men then knock each other down after trading kicks. Seth is up first and fires away. He hits a sling blade then Bray rolls outside where Seth flies out with a tope. Seth hits a top rope clothesline for a nearfall and soon after that hits a blockbuster for another two count. The crowd starts a “this is awesome” chant then Bray cuts Seth off on the top rope but Seth gets off and hits a Falcon Arrow for two. He escapes from anotehr Sister Abigail but gets headbutted in the injured eye from last night as Cole tells us then Bray hits the Sister Abigail for the win (16:57) **3/4.
Thoughts: They had some rough spots at the beginning and these two do not have the greatest chemistry together but they did pick things up a lot towards the end. I’m shocked Bray actually won two matches in a row since he rarely wins big matches and his character is ice cold. If they were going to the finish they did then they should have sold Seth’s eye injury more during the show and on commentary. Anyway, it seems like they are moving these two away from each other and I cannot complain about that as the feud has underwhelmed to say the least.
After the match, the lights go out as Miz & The Miztourage appear ringside. They surround the ring then attaack but Ambrose comes out and clears the ring with a chair.
Angle is shown backstage telling someone to come on RAW next week so they can “tell the whole world together” and whatever happens, happens.
Final Thoughts: Overall, I thought this was a solid edition of RAW. Plus, with the #1 Contender’s match and the cliffhanger regarding Angle and this text message mystery they’ve built up next week’s show quite well.
They set up a lot of directions tonight for where they can go at SummerSlam too. Plus, nothing tonight was anything I would consider as terrible. With some actual direction in place and if this Angle storyline pays off then RAW could have some strong momentum as we get deeper into the Summer.