Monday Night Raw
Date: September 2, 2019
Location: Royal Farms Arena, Baltimore, Maryland
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young
The King of the Ring continues as we find out the final names on the Raw side. This time around it’s Ricochet vs. Samoa Joe and Baron Corbin vs. Cedric Alexander, meaning you should be able to guess where both matches are going. Other than that we’ll likely get some more build to Clash of Champions. Let’s get to it.
Here are Braun Strowman and Seth Rollins to open things up with a contract signing. Rollins knows they can work together to beat Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler but his intentions are to walk out of Clash as a double champ. Strowman says he’ll win but Rollins brings up slaying the beast to win the Universal Title, which is something Strowman doesn’t know about. At Clash, he’ll slay the monster.
Seth signs but here’s the OC to interrupt before Strowman can do the same. AJ explains the double title concept and asks who he’s going to face. He’ll just walk around showing off his title because that’s how you get a title shot around here. AJ wants to know why the Good Brothers aren’t getting their title shot and threatens to slap Cole’s teeth down his throat. Once inside, he rips up the contract that Strowman hadn’t signed, so the table is turned over and the fight is on.
Braun Strowman/Seth Rollins vs. OC
Non-title and joined in progress with Rollins kicking at Anderson before it’s off to Gallows for the power. Strowman comes in and kicks Gallows down without much trouble so it’s back to Anderson for an armbar on Rollins. Seth gets sent outside and into the barricade for a knockdown as we take a break.
Back with Rollins hitting an enziguri on Gallows and bringing Strowman in for the house cleaning. The running powerslam is broken up and everything breaks down, with AJ getting on the apron for a distraction. That’s broken up and Rolling grabs a rollup to finish Anderson at 11:43.
Rating: C-. Just a match here with the break in the middle breaking up the momentum. That being said, I’m much happier with the champs winning instead of having them lose so soon into their title reign. I know they’re not going to be long term champions or anything, but there is no need to have them lose here. For once WWE gets that and doesn’t have the champs lose, which is nice for a change.
Post match Strowman does the run around the ring shoulders but hits Rollins by mistake. Cue Roode and Ziggler to help with the beatdown as all five lay out Strowman and Rollins.
Post break the OC lays out Cedric Alexander before he can give an interview. Cedric seems to have a bad arm injury.
Dolph Ziggler/Bobby Roode vs. Curt Hawkins/Zack Ryder
Ziggler starts fast on Hawkins with Ryder getting knocked off the apron. Roode drops Hawkins ribs first across the top rope but an elbow to the face lets Ryder come in off the hot tag. Everything breaks down and it’s a superkick into the Glorious DDT to finish Hawkins at 4:01.
Rating: D. Just a squash for Roode and Ziggler, which is a fine way to do things. It’s nice to give them a chance to establish themselves a bit more as they have only teamed together once so far. It’s not like beating Hawkins and Ryder means much either way but it’s better than having a team go from debuting to the title match with nothing in between.
Natalya vs. Lacey Evans
Natalya jumps Lacey from behind during the entrances and takes her down to start. They head outside early on and a whip into the barricade has Natalya in trouble for a change. Back in and Lacey calls her a nasty before throwing on the chinlock. The double jump moonsault misses so Natalya hits a discus lariat for two. Lacey grabs a tissue and throws it at Natalya though, setting up the Woman’s Right for the pin at 5:11.
Rating: D. I get that Natalya was angry and emotional, but the cat ears took something away from the emotion they were going for. This felt like a way to get Evans back on track, which she certainly needs, though a win over Natalya isn’t meaning as much as it has before. Evans is a good heel, though she needs someone to feud against.
Here’s Becky Lynch to respond to Sasha Banks. Becky wants to know where Sasha is after she heard a bunch of reasons Sasha left after Wrestlemania last week. She remembers Sasha being a star in NXT while Becky was off to the side. Then Sasha and Charlotte came up to the main roster while Becky was trying to get TV time. Sasha even got bouquets of flowers after her matches. Then Sasha left after Wrestlemania and Bayley has done just fine without Sasha, which has to sting her a bit.
Sasha should be the center of attention, just like Becky is now. If Sasha wants to do this right now, come out here right now you little blue haired freak. Cue Sasha, who laughs off the idea of wanting to be Becky. Sasha: “Haha I wish Nia Jax broke my face so people cared about me!” Becky offers to fight right now but Banks laughs it off because she isn’t fighting for the people. She’ll do it for the paycheck at Clash of Champions. Becky accepts and Sasha promises to make the man the Boss’ b****. Banks is much better as a heel and already the best challenger Becky has had since she won the title.
The Street Profits aren’t sure what to think about that so they send it to commercial.
King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Cedric Alexander vs. Baron Corbin
Cedric’s arm is injured coming in and Corbin promises to win. Corbin starts fast with the slide under the ropes for the heavy clothesline but Cedric scores with a dropkick. The Neuralizer sends Corbin outside and a springboard clothesline gets two back inside. Corbin has had it with this and sends him arm first into the post twice in a row as we take a break. Back with driving elbows into the shoulder and cranking on the chinlock. Alexander fights up and hits a corner dropkick but the springboard Downward Spiral is countered into Deep Six for two.
Cedric gets back up and sends him shoulder first into the post four times in a row, followed by some hard kicks in the corner. The running flip dive to the floor hits Corbin again and a missile dropkick gets two (not bad as it barely connected). The Michinoku Driver is good for the same but another springboard is broken up. Corbin gets serious and finishes with End of Days at 14:30.
Rating: B-. Easily one of the better Corbin matches to date, though I have little faith in him to keep this up. At the same time though, it’s the problem of everything that he’s done over the last few months being a bit harder than that to shake off. Having him come back and win three or four matches doesn’t make up for the horrible last nine months, but I have a feeling WWE will see it differently.
Corbin sits on the throne again.
Long video on the attacks on Roman Reigns.
We look back at the opening segment.
Bayley has no comments on Sasha Banks. Yeah they’ve talked about what is happening lately and their conversations are personal. Banks left but Bayley stayed and took the opportunities. Tonight she is teaming with Becky so ask her a question about that. She isn’t worried about Becky overshadowing her tonight because she’s the Smackdown Women’s Champion.
Viking Raiders vs. ???/???
Before the match, the jobbers say they came all the way from Pittsburgh and are going to make the Raiders look like some Balti-morons. German suplex/springboard clothesline, crossbody against the barricade to another, Razor’s Edge toss sends one into the other and the Viking Experience is good for the pin at 1:24.
King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Samoa Joe vs. Ricochet
The winner faces Corbin next week. Before the match, Joe promises to make this his kingdom. Ricochet on the other hand talks about always redefining what is possible. Ricochet goes for the arm to start so Joe kicks away at the knee to take him down. The comeback out of the corner lets Ricochet get in some shots of his own but a sunset flip doesn’t work.
A low bridge to the floor does though and Ricochet’s moonsault off the barricade drops Joe again. Back in and Joe goes after the knee again by slamming it off the mat and putting on the half crab. Ricochet grabs a rope and is fine enough for two off a Lionsault (that’s a fast healing knee). Joe doesn’t like the lack of selling so he takes it outside for a suplex into the barricade.
We hit the neck crank before a toss across the ring has Ricochet in trouble. Back from the break with Ricochet fighting out of another chinlock and hitting the springboard clothesline. The running shooting star press gets two and Joe is sent outside for the Space Flying Tiger Drop. Back in and Ricochet goes up, meaning it’s the Koquina Clutch from Joe. Ricochet drops back for the big crash though….and it’s a double pin at 16:00.
Rating: C. The knee being fine after the break was a bit much but I’m more worried about where this is going. This sounds like a way to get Corbin to the finals while not having Ricochet lose and other than him, I don’t see anyone stopping Corbin in the whole thing. It’s going to be a long Clash if that’s where we’re going and I have a feeling it is.
The referee goes outside to get a headset and seems to call another referee for a ruling. That ruling….will come later so Ricochet beats up Joe a bit more.
Strowman isn’t happy that Steve Austin is back to moderate the next contract signing next week. Rollins laughs off the idea that he and Austin are in this against Strowman, so Strowman threatens to give Austin these hands.
It’s time for the Firefly Fun House with Bray saying that what the Fiend did to Finn Balor was super duper rude. He apologizes to Balor on behalf of everyone here but it’s Demon Vince popping in to say Bray shouldn’t have challenged the Universal Champion at Hell in a Cell. It’s almost time to be fired but Bray pulls out the money he has been making and feeds it to Vince.
That’s enough for Vince, leaving Bray to say Seth and Braun aren’t a great team but they stole something from him before. We see Bray’s team, which is all of his puppet friends. They help him cope with pain but the Fiend helps him inflict it. Bray: “See you in h***. Let me in. BYE!”
The official decision: a triple threat match next week with Corbin involved.
Rey Mysterio talks about Dominick convincing him not to retire. They had a father and son talk about what it means for Dominick to grow up in the WWE family. It’s a parent’s responsibility to push their children to pursue their dreams but Dominick is pushing him to pursue him. Rey isn’t done because he has more to accomplish.
The Miz vs. Cesaro
The running uppercut gives Cesaro two at the bell and another uppercut gets the same. Miz comes back with some YES Kicks, only to get uppercutted down again. To mix things up a bit, Cesaro uppercuts him off the top and busts out the apron superplex. We hit the armbar for a bit until Miz fights up with kicks in the corner. Swiss Death cuts Miz off for two more but his grab of the rope gets him caught. Miz slugs away but gets uppercutted again, only to come back with the Skull Crushing Finale for the pin at 5:05.
Rating: D. As much as Cesaro showed over in the UK, it was nothing but uppercuts here and that got a bit annoying. Can you blame him though? He has a rather good match over at NXT and comes here to put over Miz before another run at the Intercontinental Title in five minutes. I know someone had to take the loss, but can we find ANYONE other than Cesaro? The fans have long since caught on that he isn’t going to get a big win so the returns are going to diminish in a hurry.
Bayley/Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss/Nikki Cross
Non-title. It’s a brawl to start with Bliss and Cross being knocked down on the floor…and here’s Sasha early on. Back with Bayley in trouble as Cross and Bliss take turns throwing clotheslines and splashes in the corner. Cross cuts off a diving tag attempt, drawing in Becky for the double stomping in the corner.
The Stunner over the ropes but Bliss cuts off the tag this time around. That’s not enough to cut the tag off three times though as it’s Becky comes in to clean house with MMA style strikes. A middle rope legdrop gives Becky two and she unloads on Bliss in the corner, only to have Banks come in for the DQ at 10:53.
Rating: D+. This was tag team formula stuff until the ending and I can give them a few extra points for not having a champion get pinned (they’ve been doing a bit better about that as of late). Banks vs. Lynch could be an interesting match and certainly feels bigger so the ending works well in that area.
Post match Banks grabs a chair but Bayley takes it away….and turns on Becky with chair shots of her own. The beating continues to end the show. Now that’s interesting as Bayley is more likely to retain over Charlotte while also throwing in a curve ball to Becky vs. Banks. Smart booking choice there, and it’s not like face Bayley was working anyway.
Overall Rating: C-. What an odd show with mostly bad wrestling, good creative and….Baron Corbin with the match of the night? Huh? Anyway, it’s nice to see the champions getting a focus for a change, though it’s kind of annoying that it takes the calendar to make them feel extra special. It’s quite the mixture of good and bad overall but there were a few too many instances of wondering when something was going to end to tilt it down just a bit. That being said, I’ll take them getting rid of the especially annoying stuff and replacing it with slightly uninteresting stuff so they’re moving in the right direction to an extent.
Seth Rollins/Braun Strowman b. OC – Rollup to Anderson
Dolph Ziggler/Robert Roode b. Curt Hawkins/Zack Ryder – Glorious DDT to Hawkins
Lacey Evans b. Natalya – Woman’s Right
Baron Corbin b. Cedric Alexander – End of Days
Viking Experience b. ???/??? – Viking Experience
Samoa Joe vs. Ricochet went to a double pin
The Miz b. Cesaro – Skull Crushing Finale
Bayley/Becky Lynch b. Alexa Bliss/Nikki Cross via DQ when Sasha Banks interfered
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