Monday Night Raw
Date: August 6, 2018
Location: Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, Florida
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Jonathan Coachman
With less than two weeks to go before Summerslam, we have the main event set, along with the issues between Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle. It’s hard to say what else we might get set up in the next two shows, but tonight will be focused on Ronda Rousey’s in-ring TV debut. Let’s get to it.
We open with a video showing the whole Lesnar/Paul Heyman/Angle story from last week.
Here are Angle and Baron Corbin with Kurt hyping up Rousey’s match tonight. She’s a former UFC Champion who has no problem fighting on Raw. Corbin warns Angle to watch it but Angle goes on a rant about Brock having no integrity after last week. Heyman still has his job though because he did get Lesnar out to the ring before the show. Cue Roman Reigns to interrupt to say Lesnar attacked because the Big Dog wasn’t here to protect the yard.
Corbin laughs at this but Reigns is worried about a potential Lesnar suspension. That’s not happening and the Summerslam match is still on. Angle wants to see Reigns give Lesnar the beating he deserves, which Corbin thinks is rather unprofessional. Reigns accuses Corbin of running away last week but Corbin says he left after beating up Finn Balor. The guy who actually won the Universal Title. Corbin yells at Angle for just being the guy that makes matches so Angle makes Reigns vs. Corbin right now.
Roman Reigns vs. Baron Corbin
Corbin hits him in the face before the bell but Reigns gives him a Superman Punch for two. Back from an early break with Corbin sliding under the bottom rope for the clothesline, giving Reigns a look like he just dislodged something from his throat. We hit the chinlock for a bit until Corbin just slams Reigns head first onto the mat. He’s not the most diverse guy in the ring but he can make things look painful.
Another chinlock goes on for a few more moments so Reigns fights up with a clothesline to the floor. The apron dropkick connects but Corbin posts him to send us to a second break in less than nine minutes. Back with Corbin holding a chinlock (dude, enough) and Reigns fighting up with clotheslines (dude, also enough).
The Deep Six gets two but Reigns hits his second (a lot of repeating in this match) Superman Punch for the same. Corbin looks to take a walk, drawing out Finn Balor to cut him off. The third Superman Punch, this one off the steps, drops Corbin and the spear gives Reigns the pin at 18:45.
Rating: D. Back in the 80s, Dusty Rhodes yelled at Big Bubba Rogers for botching a move. His words: “Don’t do s*** you don’t know how to do.” That’s the case with putting Baron Corbin in these long matches. He doesn’t know how to do them and we’ve seen him go nearly forty minutes combined in the last two weeks with about six chinlocks combined. Corbin has two cool moves. Let him do those, then get out in about eight minutes. The matches are boring and Reigns wasn’t helping things here. Also, who is Reigns going 18 minutes with a guy like Corbin less than two weeks before the World Title match at Summerslam?
Post match Balor dropkicks Corbin into the corner and hits the Coup de Grace.
We recap Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre jumping Seth Rollins again last week.
Rollins comes in to see Angle and gets a tag match set up for tonight with a partner to be named. They wouldn’t bring Dean Ambrose back tonight would they?
Bobby Roode vs. Mojo Rawley
Fallout from last week’s brawl in the locker room. Roode slugs away and dropkicks Rawley off the apron as we take a break. Back with Rawley holding a waistlock (better than another chinlock) and dropping a knee to the ribs for two. The waistlock goes on again (Mojo: “How you feel right now? A little bit glorious?”) until Roode fights back with more right hands. Roode’s neckbreaker drops Rawley and the Blockbuster does it again. Rawley tries a fireman’s carry but Roode slips out and hits the Glorious DDT for the pin at 8:08.
Rating: D+. You build Mojo up for a few weeks and have Roode pin him clean? Other than the song, what is there to like about Roode? The match was more boring stuff as neither guy showed any energy and, just like the first match, a lot of it was spent in a hold on the mat. The ribs didn’t even go anywhere this time. I like Rawley so I’m annoyed to see him lose, but having it be to Roode is even worse.
Elias is in the back and seems to be in the middle of filming another documentary. The first one was decent enough so why not.
Here’s Elias to play some guitar. He brags about the album’s success, which is pretty impressive to only have four songs. The documentary came out last week but it was wrong, which is why he’s filming his own version. Elias wants the camera crew to circle around him but the audience isn’t right. Maybe their faces could be blurred or cropped out with another crowd? I don’t think Elias knows what cropping means. Elias isn’t happy, just like he wasn’t last week when bobby Lashley interrupted him.
Cue Lashley to say that he liked the original documentary but Elias wasn’t a fan. That thing made him seem egotistical! Lashley is here to steal the spotlight, just like when he came back in April. Lashley’s comeback has been a joke, but he doesn’t want to hear anything else from Elias. The filming crew leaves and Elias throws a clipboard at him so the beatdown can be on. Lashley gets in a spinebuster and has the cameraman film while he gives Elias the delayed suplex. At least do a delayed Jackhammer.
Cole makes it clear that Ambrose will NOT be Rollins’ partner. Thanks for taking care of the option people might be interested in seeing.
Tyler Breeze offers to be Rollins’ partner, saying he’s kind of gorgeous if you’re into that whole Crossfit Jesus look. Breeze offers the Shield fist when Reigns comes in to say he has Seth’s back. In case 18 minutes of Reigns wasn’t enough for you.
Titus O’Neil vs. Rezar
Rezar knocks Titus down as we hear about his MMA career. Titus’ right hands give him a breather and a big boot rocks Rezar. Akam offers a distraction though and Rezar gets in a big boot of his own. A spinebuster finishes Titus at 3:12.
Rating: D. At the beginning of this match, the announcers talked about Titus being almost a hometown boy here after college and his charity’s big Back to School Bash event, which was a really cool event. Better make sure to do this match, which could have been swapped with last week’s match IMMEDIATELY because this great feud, which started with the Authors squashing Titus Worldwide in two minutes, needs to be advanced. Little things like that almost bother me as much as the big dumb things they do.
It’s time for the return of the Kevin Owens Show with Jinder Mahal as the guest. Owens praises his personal guru, who is responsible for Owens’ back being healed. They share something special but the fans cut him off with a WE WANT STROWMAN chant. Owens brings up Mahal defeating Strowman via countout last week, which is a way Owens could win the Money in the Bank briefcase. As for tonight though, we need Mahal vs. Strowman one more time. There’s no Strowman…because he’s underneath their platform and turns it over. Well that was scary.
Braun Strowman vs. Jinder Mahal
There’s no contact early on as Owens grabs the briefcase. The chase is on again but this time Strowman thinks better of it and comes back. Owens runs off with the case again but Strowman catches him this time. Jinder comes up and gets hit in the ribs with the briefcase for the DQ at 1:47. So to recap: they spend months building Strowman up, then give the big title shot to Reigns again, then have him lose a few matches to Mahal. And his pops are going down…why again?
Clip of Rollins and Reigns doing the Shield pose with a fan over the weekend.
Corbin gives Angle a phone call from Stephanie McMahon, who has an order for him. Angle isn’t pleased.
We get a sitdown interview with Reigns to talk about his match with Lesnar. We go through their whole history, including the great Wrestlemania XXXI match, the pretty bad Wrestlemania XXXIV match, the stupid Greatest Royal Rumble match and then last week’s Lesnar segment, which really had nothing to do with Reigns. He’s sick of Lesnar using WWE and disrespecting the fans, so Lesnar is learning a lesson at Summerslam.
This was a long recap of their story, and did little more than tell us that it’s been going on for a very long time. Your stat of the night: Lesnar has held the title 487 days. He’s had five televised title defenses and three of them have been against Reigns. Two of them have also involved Samoa Joe and Braun Strowman. In total, four different people have gotten title shots in 487 days.
Corbin tells Reigns that he can’t be Rollins’ partner due to Stephanie’s orders. If he tries to wrestle, he’ll lose his Summerslam title shot. Handicap match time, but only after Reigns punches Corbin in the ribs.
Balor vs. Corbin is set for Summerslam.
Seth Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre/Dolph Ziggler
Rollins slaps McIntyre in the face and gets a chase going, setting up a low superkick to really put him down. Ziggler distracts Rollins on top though and McIntyre tries to catch a high crossbody. I say try because McIntyre kind of drops him on the knee but Rollins seems to be ok.
The armbar goes on for a good while until Ziggler comes in for the first time. It’s not a good time though as he misses a charge in the corner, allowing Rollins a much needed breather. McIntyre posts himself and it’s a Sling Blade to Ziggler. The suicide dive sends Ziggler into the barricade and there’s the buckle bomb back inside. Rollins avoids the Fameasser but McIntyre runs him over again. The superkick puts Rollins away at 7:07.
Rating: C-. I can’t count how many times I’ve said this in recent years, but I’m already burned out watching these two fight. Starting with Ziggler’s title win on June 18, that’s the sixth time he and Rollins have been against each other in some form. You have this big of a roster and there’s no other way to do this feud? Have them fight some jobbers to the stars and then cut promos. Is that really thinking outside the box anymore?
Replays show that Ziggler wasn’t legal. Ok then.
Video on Alicia Fox, trying to make her seem important before her match with Rousey. Did you know she’s been on Total Divas???
B-Team vs. Revival
Non-title. B-Team now has a very new theme, sounding like a high school cheer. I liked their old theme but this fits them much better. Wilder and Axel start with the former being taken into the wrong corner. Dallas comes in and gets the same treatment, with Revival clubberin away. It’s off to Dawson for a chinlock….and there go the lights. They come back up and it’s Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt on the apron instead. The two of them come in and it’s a no contest at 3:10.
Rating: D. Well at least Revival didn’t lose. We can have the triple threat match at Summerslam because Heaven forbid we don’t have one of those crammed in. This division isn’t in great shape right now and Matt/Bray aren’t really adding anything to it other than a face team. But hey, at least another comedy team gets the titles.
We get a sitdown interview with Paul Heyman, who doesn’t know where he stands with Brock Lesnar. Brock has disconnected his phone number and won’t respond to intermediaries. Heyman looks like he’s about to burst into tears as he says Lesnar is just going to get annoyed at this interview. He considers Lesnar a friend and this isn’t how he pictured it ending.
They had talked about riding off into the sunset together with the Universal and UFC Heavyweight Championships on his shoulders. Heyman starts crying but says just do it. When asked about any potential new clients, Heyman says it would be inconceivable just a week ago, but doesn’t say year or no. He still picks Lesnar, because he’s never been so angry. Reigns doesn’t stand a chance. This was the best thing on the show tonight, mainly because it was actually different.
We look back at Strowman turning over the stage.
Riott Squad vs. Bayley/Sasha Banks
Sasha starts with Morgan and sends her face first into the middle buckle. Bayley comes in for the sliding clothesline and an armbar on Logan. The middle rope crossbody gets two but Bayley goes hard into the corner to put her in trouble. Back from a break with Logan holding a chinlock (of course) to keep Bayley down. Bayley powers up and sends her into the corner before avoiding a charge from Morgan.
The hot tag brings in Banks to clean house, including a knee to Logan’s face. The super hurricanrana from Bayley sets up the top rope Meteora for two on Logan with Morgan making the save. Bayley loads up a dive from the apron but a hooded woman pulls Morgan out of the way. The hood comes off to reveal Ruby Riott, whose distraction lets Logan roll Banks up for the pin at 10:39.
Rating: D+. I’m glad to have Ruby back but I’m so over the Bayley/Sasha program. Are we supposed to be setting up a handicap match for Summerslam? We went from the I love you to this in the span of three weeks? I can understand why they would back off of that, but a little closure, even a line explaining why it’s barely been mentioned since then, would have been nice. Or at least any kind of story to be seen here.
Video on Ronda Rousey’s WWE career so far, including her success and being in the title match when Alexa Bliss cashed in Money in the Bank, setting up their match at Summerslam.
Next week: B-Team vs. Revival vs. Matt Hardy/Bray Wyatt for the Tag Team Titles.
Ronda Rousey vs. Alicia Fox
Natalya and Alexa Bliss are the seconds. Before the match, Bliss is asked about Rousey and mocks the interviewer for not being able to come up with something better. Fox shows a clip of herself beating up Rousey last week and talks about how great Rousey is at everything else. Was she the captain of the Raw Survivor Series team? Bliss cuts her off and thanks Fox for everything she’s done. Rousey can deal with what’s left of Rousey in Brooklyn and here’s Rousey to cut her off.
We get the Big Match Intros and Fox chills in the corner at the bell. Rousey isn’t impressed by the trash talk and shoves her to the floor. Back in and Fox bails right back to the floor again. A Bliss distraction doesn’t work very well as Natalya cuts her off, only to be posted. Fox tries a charge at the distracted Rousey but the referee stops her for some reason.
Fox pounds away in the corner….and there’s the death stare. The rights and lefts have Fox rocked and the judo throws have Fox rocked. Fox bails for the third time but Rousey follows her for a whip into the barricade. Back in and Fox gets suplexed with ease, followed by the armbar (with a lot of shouting to Bliss) for the tap at 3:47.
Rating: C+. The stuff where Rousey was smashing Fox was fun but this would have been better served as bell, armbar, bell. To be fair though, it’s kind of hard to complain when Rousey beating the heck out of people is some of the most entertaining stuff WWE can do. Maybe not as fun as WWE trying to turn Fox into something worthy of the spot but still fun nonetheless.
Post match Rousey gets interviewed by Bliss tries a sneak attack. Rousey flips her over and gives Bliss a look saying “are you kidding me?” Bliss bails and Rousey promises to win the title.
Overall Rating: D. This was the rough show that only WWE can pull off. The Heyman promo and the Rousey destruction were fun but other than that, it felt like WWE dragging us along on the way to Summerslam whether we like it or not. It’s the same problem that has been around for so long: it’s really hard to make myself are about the same matches on pay per view that I’ve seen on TV so many times already. The Reigns vs. Lesnar stuff has been a rough sit and I have a feeling it’s not going to be the end of Reigns being screwed out of the title. I didn’t like this show and it was getting harder and harder to watch all night long.
Roman Reigns b. Baron Corbin – Spear
Bobby Roode b. Mojo Rawley – Glorious DDT
Rezar b. Titus Worldwide – Spinebuster
Jinder Mahal b. Braun Strowman via DQ when Strowman used the briefcase
Dolph Ziggler/Drew McIntyre b. Seth Rollins – Superkick
B-Team vs. Revival went to a no contest when Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy interfered
Riott Squad b. Bayley/Sasha Banks – Rollup to Banks
Ronda Rousey b. Alicia Fox – Armbar
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