Monday Night Raw
Date: September 17, 2018
Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Commentators: Michael Cole, Renee Young, Corey Graves
It’s the night after the Cell and that means things are now heading towards a variety of shows because the days of building towards one event on Monday night is gone. In this case we’re coming up on Super Show-Down, Evolution and the next Saudi Arabia show. Oh and Survivor Series is down the line and we can get there eventually. Roman Reigns retained the Universal Title last night over Braun Strowman via a no contest when Brock Lesnar interfered. In the Cell. Let’s get to it.
Here’s Reigns to open things up but first, a video on last night’s Cell match. Reigns says last night was brutal but he’s still Universal Champion. He knew Lesnar would get a rematch and if he wants the title, come get it right now. Cue Strowman instead, to say that Lesnar saved the title last night. That’s the second time Lesnar has screwed him over and there won’t be a third time.
Strowman wants Lesnar before he gets to Reigns but here’s Baron Corbin to interrupt. He’s upset about what happened too and has gotten together with Stephanie McMahon to come up with a plan. At Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia, Reigns will defend against Strowman and Lesnar in a triple threat match. Strowman: “I think that sucks. I think you suck and I think you suck.”
That’s enough for Strowman but here’s Paul Heyman to take his place. He’s here to educate the fans and shows us the door that Lesnar kicked off of the Cell last night. You can boo Lesnar all you want but tonight it’s all about Brockonomics. The bigger star you are, the more money you’re worth in WWE and UFC.
There is nothing more powerful than the Universal Championship though and look at all the money WWE brought in when Lesnar was champion. Lesnar will get the title back and become the crown jewel of WWE. Heyman leaves but Corbin is still not done. Reigns is banged up so let’s have a Universal Title match tonight with Corbin himself getting the shot.
It was an acceptable opening segment, but we’re now hyping up a show in NOVEMBER because Super Show-Down and Evolution just aren’t enough. Super Show-Down is already overshadowing most of the show and now we need to start getting ready for another show a month later? It didn’t work during the build to the Cell and it isn’t likely to work again here, which is why WWE is going with it full steam ahead.
Dean Ambrose vs. Drew McIntyre
No seconds. Ambrose goes straight for the leg to start and wraps it around the post. The leg gets sent into the LED board (Remember when the side of the ring was a skirt and didn’t make noise? I miss those days.) but Drew runs him over on the floor. Back from a break with Dean in an armbar but hitting a right hand to the jaw. A clothesline takes Drew down and the knee is banged up again, only to have him kick Dean away.
Drew gets crotched on top and goes down into the Tree of Woe, only to sit up and choke superplex Ambrose down. Ambrose avoids a Claymore though and the Texas Cloverleaf has McIntyre in more trouble. A rope is grabbed so Dean knees him outside for a suicide dive. Dean goes up but misses the top rope standing elbow to the floor. He dives back in at nine, only to run right into the Claymore for the pin at 11:25.
Rating: C+. This was all it needed to be and there’s nothing wrong with that. Drew getting a clean pin over a former World Champion is a good sign and hopefully it leads to several more once this feud is over. Strowman is going to tie up the title picture for a long time as we wait around for the Saudi Arabia show, which will totally benefit Reigns’ time with the title.
Post break Dolph Ziggler congratulates Drew when Corbin comes in to say he’s winning the title tonight. Corbin also talks Ziggler into invoking his rematch clause tonight because Rollins might not be here, meaning it would be a forfeit to make Ziggler champion. My goodness Corbin isn’t working in this role.
We look back at Ronda Rousey retaining the title last night.
Natalya talks with the Bellas when Rousey comes in. They are SO proud of her and Rousey wants to issue an open challenge tonight. For some reason this requires some instructions. This “we’re all giggly sisters who totally love each other” is nauseating.
Chad Gable vs. Viktor
Gable wastes no time in taking him to the mat but Viktor cartwheels away (ok then) and chops Gable into the corner. A butterfly suplex gives Gable two but a Konnor distraction lets Viktor elbow him down. The chinlock doesn’t go anywhere as Gable is right back up with the armbar over the ropes. A crossbody puts Viktor on the floor for a cannonball, followed by a missile dropkick back inside. Rollins Chaos Theory gives Gable the pin at 4:14.
Rating: D+. Viktor was trying here but there’s only so much you can get in a four minute match with zero doubt to the ending. The Gable/Roode team is fine but this is going to set up Roode vs. Konnor, despite Ascension losing clean twice in a row already. There is no reason for the feud (Is this even a feud?) to continue and whatever steam Gable and Roode might have had is going away.
Post match, Konnor lays out Roode and Gable because THIS MUST CONTINUE.
Rollins arrives and is told about the title match. He doesn’t seem to mind.
Here’s Undertaker to respond to HHH about Super Show-Down. During his very well received entrance, Cole says many consider Undertaker the best of all time. Those people would be wrong. Undertaker talks about how no one can spin a web of lies like someone with a broken soul and no one has a soul as broken as HHH. The delusion will be HHH’s downfall because his new battlefield is the board room.
HHH can no longer decipher truth and can’t see his own demise. Undertaker doesn’t care what anyone thinks and only cares about what’s coming: HHH going six feet under again and Game over. HHH can have his delusion and his best friend Shawn Michaels, but Shawn is going to be at ringside. Therefore, Undertaker will bring Kane to even things up. Undertaker already took Michaels’ career and he’s going to do the same to HHH. As a bonus, he’s going to take HHH’s soul.
This didn’t sound like an Undertaker promo as it felt like someone cutting a promo while in Undertaker gear. It certainly wasn’t bad or anything, but Undertaker talking at a normal pace and speaking about board rooms was just a bit off. You can see the big tag match coming from here and…my goodness I don’t really care if it’s not at Wrestlemania.
Same Reigns vs. Strowman match from earlier.
Video on wrestlers going to the Dallas children’s hospital.
The kids come out with Bayley and Sasha Banks.
Bayley vs. Dana Brooke
Joined in progress with Bayley fighting out of an armbar but getting caught with a handspring elbow in the corner. Dana sends her hard into the corner for two and some handstand knees to the ribs get the same. Bayley snaps the throat across the top, slips out of the Samoan driver and hits the Bayley to Belly for the pin at 2:54 shown. Nothing to see here.
The AOP nearly kills a guy in the back.
AOP vs. Gregory James/Barrett Brown
I think you get the idea by now. The Death Valley Driver into the corner sets up the Super Collider for the pin at 1:04. The team is as much of a layup as you can get but they’re going to have to wait a few months to get into the title hunt, again because things are set up so far in advance these days.
Ziggler and Corbin are in the back when Rollins comes in to say he’s ready to go. That was in doubt after he appeared earlier?
Intercontinental Title: Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler
Rollins is defending and they’re both really banged up after falling off the Cell last night. Rollins sends him outside to start but Ziggler beats him back inside and knocks the champ into the barricade to send us to a break. Back with Rollins elbowing him in the face, followed by a Blockbuster to put them both down.
The Sling Blade is countered into a sleeper but the superkick is countered into the ripcord knee for two. Rollins gets crotched on top, only to have Ziggler get crotched as well. The superplex looks to set up the Falcon Arrow but Ziggler slips out into a rollup for two. He takes too long getting up though and the Stomp retains Rollins’ title at 9:38.
Rating: C+. Was there really a need to go from the Cell one night to ANOTHER rematch between these two the next night? You couldn’t just have them cut promos on each other and set up a match in….two weeks maybe? This was the shortened version of what these two have done for three months now and I really don’t care anymore as WWE continues to take away any impact the Cell could have.
Reigns says he’s not the underdog tonight.
Hispanic Heritage Month video on the fathers of wrestlers. And Roberto Clemente.
Here’s Rousey for her open challenge. Rousey congratulates Alexa Bliss who pushed her hard last night and showed Rousey how to fight like a champion. She wants to be like Bret Hart, Steve Austin and Ric Flair, so the open challenge is on. Cue Natalya…or at least her music as the Riott Squad pulls Natalya out onto the stage. Ruby is the one accepting the challenge but Rousey beats all three up without much effort until a spear cuts her down. The Bellas make the save because we need the six woman tag to set up Evolution.
We look at Corbin giving himself a title match by just giving himself a title match.
Corbin is warming up when Strowman comes up. He hopes Corbin wins the title because, and I quote, “You suck and I know I can kill you.”
Here’s Elias for a song. Elias is tired of being cut off every week but it’s all jealousy. Everyone who interrupts him knows that WWE stands for Walk With Elias and that gets on people’s nerves. Tonight he has Bobby Lashley, who has all the tools but he can’t win in the clutch. Kind of like the Dallas Cowboys. The song continues but here’s Lio Rush to cut him off. Rush is tired of hearing Elias play the same dish track every week. Elias: “Who’s kid is this?” Rush introduces himself so Elias says security can come out here and take Rush back to lost and found. That gets a chuckle from Rush, who is ready to see Lashley take Elias apart.
Bobby Lashley vs. Elias
Joined in progress with Rush on commentary, introducing himself as the Manager of the Hour. Lashley powers out of a chinlock and elbows Elias in the jaw before going up. That’s not the best idea as Elias knees him out of the air. Cue Kevin Owens to go after Rush, who does all of his flipping and diving to escape. Elias goes after him as well and the match is thrown out at 2:52.
Post match Lashley throws Rush at the other two and the villains bail. That’s a good usage of Rush, who can always work a match if necessary, which is a huge perk.
Alexa Bliss, Alicia Fox and Mickie James are ready to take care of Ember Moon tonight.
Ember Moon/??? vs. Alicia Fox/Mickie James
The mystery partner is….Nia Jax. Fox and James hide on the apron until Moon starts for the team. Moon cranks on the arm but gets sent into the corner so James can come in. That doesn’t work well either as Moon sends her outside for a suicide dive. Back in and Fox takes her down into a chinlock as they’re building towards the hot tag to Jax.
James adds her own chinlock before Fox gets two off a big boot. A belly to back suplex attempt doesn’t quite work though and it’s a diving tag to bring in Jax. Everything breaks down and the Eclipse drops James, leaving Fox to kick at Jax’s legs. That goes as well as you might expect with the Samoan drop finishing Fox a few seconds later at 5:55.
Rating: D. Totally standard formula tag match here and bringing Jax back is fine, though there’s not much for her to do at the moment. Rousey and the title are tied up in Bellaville, Jax has beaten Bliss multiple times and the Riott Squad wouldn’t exactly be thrilling. Maybe put her against Moon, but that’s not the most inspiring stuff either.
Corbin insists the referee call the title match down the line.
Cole and company talk about the Hurricane Florence victims and show us how to donate to the Red Cross.
Universal Title: Roman Reigns vs. Baron Corbin
Reigns is defending and is banged up after last night. Corbin goes right for the ribs to start and gets two off a rollup. They head outside with Reigns hitting the apron dropkick but getting clotheslined down as we take a break. Back with Corbin holding a chinlock, followed by a chokebreaker for two.
That’s enough non-chinlocking so we hit it again to keep Reigns in trouble. Reigns fights up for the corner clotheslines as the announcers are STUNNED that he can do this. Dude he had a 24 minute match last night where nearly ten minutes was spent laying down. Rollins and Ziggler had a 25 minute match and then FELL OFF THE CELL and wrestled for ten minutes tonight. Reigns isn’t that impressive.
The Samoan drop gives Reigns two and there’s the Superman Punch off the steps. Corbin has finally had it and throws a chair at Reigns and yeah I’m not falling for this. There’s the restart with No DQ. Back in and the Superman Punch gives Reigns two. Reigns goes for the chair but here’s Strowman to take Reigns down. Strowman misses a charge into the post but Corbin grabs Deep Six for two. Now it’s Ziggler, McIntyre, Rollins and Ambrose running in for another fight, including double suicide dives to put Ziggler and McIntyre down. The spear retains the title at 16:53.
Rating: D. Well duh. I can get behind the idea of a champion having to overcome the odds and still retain the title in an obvious finish but Corbin is one of the least threatening heels in years. When your big move is “I’LL CALL STEPHANIE!”, I’m not going to buy you winning the title. All the run-ins didn’t offer any help either and the match was just boring as we waited for the inevitable spear. Reigns can carry things, but he’s not a miracle worker yet.
Overall Rating: D+. This was a very lethargic show as the Cell continues to mean less and less every single year. Tonight, Rollins and Ziggler wrestled after falling off the Cell (which is apparently less devastating than about twelve minutes of wrestling inside of the thing, which is a debatable point at best) and Reigns was treated like a god (again) for wrestling to a no contest inside of the thing. No time to worry about that though, because we have three shows to build to at once. The Saudi Arabia show is going to dominate the news in short order and that’s not going to help all the problems that Raw already has.
Drew McIntyre b. Dean Ambrose – Claymore
Chad Gable b. Viktor – Rolling Chaos Theory
Bayley b. Dana Brooke – Bayley to Belly
AOP b. Gregory James/Barrett Brown – Super Collider
Seth Rollins b. Dolph Ziggler – Stomp
Bobby Lashley vs. Elias went to a no contest when Kevin Owens interfered
Nia Jax/Ember Moon b. Mickie James/Alicia Fox – Samoan drop to Fox
Roman Reigns b. Baron Corbin – Spear
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