Monday Night Raw
Date: September 16, 2019
Location: Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, Tennessee
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young
It’s the night after Clash of Champions and thankfully that show is out of the way. Last night offered a grand total of nothing important as it was just a show that had to be done before we could get on to the Cell next month. The Fiend is already haunting Seth Rollins and the Universal Championship so expect the big push to begin tonight. Let’s get to it.
I was in the arena for this show, sitting in the middle section of seats and looking directly at the Titantron. The lower area of the hard camera side and all of the upper deck on the hard camera side were tarped off but the rest of the arena was mostly full.
Here’s Seth Rollins to get things going. There is a lot to unpack last night because he and Braun Strowman lost the Raw Tag Team Titles. It doesn’t matter whose fault it was though because the two of them faced off for the Universal Title later that night. Strowman is large and strong and last night he gave Rollins a heck of a fight. Four Stomps and a Pedigree later though, Rollins is still Universal Champion.
Then things got even worse because the Fiend knocked him out but ran away before Seth could do anything about it. Don’t worry though because Seth is getting his shot at the Fiend inside the Cell. Seth: “Yowie wowie indeed.” That sounds like summoning Bray though and it’s time for the Firefly Fun House. Bray says Seth is his future best friend but he has to cut off the pesky Ramblin Rabbit from telling us the truth. Anyway, Seth has done some bad things and the Fiend never forgets. Maybe he’ll even have something else to say to Seth tonight. Bray goes silent for a bit before laughing and saying he’ll see him in h***.
The graphics for what is coming later tonight are now upside down. Cole and Graves start talking but Renee asks if they have been upside down the entire time, bringing the whole thing to a grinding halt. I’d assume that was a Bray thing as the song is still playing, but either way it was quite the noticeable deal.
Braun Strowman says whoever is in the ring is going to get these hands.
Here are Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode, followed by the Revival, for a Tag Team Champion Summit. Roode brags about how awesome they are but here is Strowman to run them over to a pretty big reaction, though he misses Dawson and Roode runs before Strowman can hit him. So we have four new champions who are being run over by a well known choker so the choker can be rebuilt again to set up future choking. There was no one else who could have gotten beaten up here? Or this couldn’t have happened later?
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross brag about their win last night and are ready for Sasha Banks and Bayley tonight. It was interesting how Banks talked about how the titles didn’t matter after she lost them and Bayley is just pathetic. Words to toast to.
OC vs. Cedric Alexander/Viking Raiders
Cedric slugs away at AJ to start and kicks him in the face but the Michinoku Driver is escaped. Styles falls into the wrong corner though and it’s Erik coming in to scream in AJ’s face. Anderson comes in as well, so Erik slams Ivar onto him for two as it’s one sided so far. It’s off to Gallows instead so Erik hits him in the face, only to miss the running knees in the corner.
Erik gets sent to the floor and into the barricade, setting up a big boot to send us to a break. Back with Erik fighting out of a chinlock and handing it right back to Ivar to clean house. Everything breaks down and it’s a Neuralizer to Anderson but AJ tags himself in and hits the Phenomenal Forearm to finish Cedric at 8:25.
Rating: C-. That has to be it for Cedric going after Styles right? He’s lost twice in a row with one of them being a clean pin in a title match. I was thinking they might go somewhere with him but it seems that the legs have already been cut off. That’s quite the shame as Cedric has been great lately, but it’s not surprising to see a push cut off so soon.
Post match the beatdown is still on but Ivar hits a big flip dive to the floor to take a bunch of people down. Back in and Cedric crotches AJ on top and hammers away, only to have his super hurricanrana countered into a super Styles Clash to really hammer in the point.
R-Truth and Carmella were at the Women’s College Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville earlier today with R-Truth being confused by the big basketball on the roof. Cue Mayor Glenn Jacobs (named as such here) with Truth trying to figure out how tall the University of Tennessee women’s basketball players are. Truth thinks the Mayor is Magic Johnson or Larry Bird, but gets an offer of a tour of historic Knoxville. Now Truth thinks he’s talking to the President as Carmella just looks confused. I could go for more of this.
King of the Ring Finals: Baron Corbin vs. Chad Gable
We get the Big Match Intros and a quick mention of Don Muraco being the first king, which isn’t something referenced very often. Gable goes for the ankle to start but gets elbowed in the head for his efforts. A dropkick works a bit better for Gable as Corbin is knocked outside but he’s fine enough to backdrop a charging Gable into the timekeeper’s area.
Back from a break with Gable diving back in to beat the count (which he did two more times during the break). Corbin elbows him in the face a few times and we hit the required chinlock. That’s broken up so Corbin slides under the ropes for the big clothesline instead. A big boot drops Gable again as he can’t do much with the size and power. We hit the chinlock again as the announcers make every reference they can to various kings and royal courts.
Gable fights out and gets the ankle so Corbin hits him in the head to escape. Corbin’s charge hits the post (becoming WAY too popular of a spot) and the fans are getting into Gable here. The missile dropkick sets up some rolling Liger kicks in the corner but Corbin is right back with a pop up World’s Strongest Slam to put them both down. They head outside with Corbin sending him into the barricade over and over but a charge hits steps.
Gable wraps the leg around the post a few times and hammers away back inside. The leg is fine enough to hit a heck of a Deep Six for two, only to have Gable grab the rolling Chaos Theory for the same. End of Days is escaped and Gable gets the ankle lock again. The grapevine goes on but Corbin makes it over to the ropes and you can hear the energy getting sucked out of the arena. Gable goes back to the ankle but Corbin makes the rope and spins him into End of Days for the win at 19:42.
Rating: B. It’s amazing how much easier it is to put up with Corbin when he’s not appearing in ten segments a show. Corbin winning is far from shocking and maybe the King thing can go somewhere for him, though he is still walking a thin line. Just don’t overpush him like WWE always wants to do and he could be downright tolerable.
Corbin poses in front of the throne and limps off.
And now, a gender reveal party for Maria Kanellis’ unborn child, with various wrestlers holding up Team Boy and Team Girl signs. So it’s a boy, and the father happens to be Ricochet. Mike freaks out as Ricochet says it’s a lie and that he wouldn’t….ok not that he wouldn’t…..and Mike slaps him in the face. He’ll wait for Ricochet in the ring. Titus O’Neil tells Ricochet to go handle this and the Street Profits suggest a baby on a pole match. Dawkins: “How about a Maria on a pole match?” Ford: “Maria on the pole is how they got in this mess in the first place.”
Mike Kanellis vs. Ricochet
Kanellis is in street clothes and Ricochet doesn’t want to do this. Ricochet begs off and says this isn’t happening so Mike hits him in the face. Some weak stomping has Ricochet in trouble but he comes back with a shot of his own. A kick to the head in the corner sets up a springboard clothesline and the Recoil finishes Kanellis at 1:06.
We get another Firefly Fun House, with Bray adding names to his Wall Of Friendship, which includes painted over faces of Kurt Angle, Finn Balor, Mick Foley and others. He’s off to find a new friend.
Post break Mike is sitting on the apron as Maria comes out to yell at him some more. Obviously Ricochet isn’t the father but she’ll introduce him to the real father right now.
Mike Kanellis vs. Rusev
Nice to see Rusev again, mainly because of the chiseled physique and incredible mustache. Mike begs off and says he’s had a bad day and he’s just ok with all of this. Congratulations to the two of them, but Rusev isn’t letting him leave and beats the heck out of him before the bell. As Graves calls Mike a beta cuck, a jumping superkick and the Accolade end Mike at 34 seconds. Lana being salty over Rusev apparently cheating on her should be interesting.
R-Truth and Kane go to Neyland Stadium, home of the Tennessee Volunteers football team (BIG pop for that). Truth thinks the team is made up of volunteer Santas but we get a nice speech about all the people who make the city work. Actually a new officer has been sworn in is here, though Truth thinks he’s Robocop. Actually hang on though, as he wasn’t quite sworn in as a police officer. Instead, he’s a referee, so Truth tries to run and crashes into the goal post, meaning we have a new champion. Remember when Kane took the WWF Title from Steve Austin in 1998? Now he’s doing this.
Rey Mysterio vs. Cesaro
Before the match, Cesaro says that if Rey’s son Dominick doesn’t leave WWE, he’ll beat Dominick up like he’s about to beat up Rey. The fight is on in the aisle before the bell, followed by a bell and the uppercut from Cesaro. There’s an elbow for two as Cesaro is in red street shoes and what appears to be a lack of socks. A powerbomb out of the corner is broken up with a hurricanrana into the post but the suicide dive is countered with Cesaro’s uppercut. Rey is fine enough to hit a 619 to the back and we take a break.
Back with Cesaro grabbing a chinlock, followed by a slingshot hilo for two. The chinlock goes on again but Rey fights up with a crucifix bomb for the breather. A tornado DDT gives Rey two so Cesaro pulls him down into the Crossface. With that not working, the Radicalz treatment continues with Three Amigos. That’s fine with Rey, who hits a 619 and the Code Red for the pin at 11:48.
Rating: B-. This is where Cesaro shines, though unfortunately it is so often in defeat. At some point he needs to win something to keep his stock up a bit, though WWE doesn’t seem to agree. Mysterio’s retirement tour is worth seeing of course, as he is a true legend and can do whatever he wants on the way out. I’m not sure what they’re going to do with Dominick, but Mysterio has earned the right to do something special like that.
We get a short form Firefly Fun House with Bray adding Seth’s picture to the wall and not saying anything.
The Draft is coming on October 11/14.
Video on the AOP, who talk about how they came to WWE so they could fight. Instead they’ve been sat on the sidelines because no one is willing to fight them. Now, you might be wondering how this is significantly different than Aleister Black sitting in a room, asking for someone to fight him. The answer: there are two of them here.
Sasha Banks/Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss/Nikki Cross
Non-title and Cole is so disgusted with Sasha that he doesn’t even do the catchphrase anymore. Bayley and Bliss start things off with Bayley taking over to start, only to get hit in the face instead. Bliss gets up a boot in the corner and a sunset flip gets two. A flip dive off the apron takes both villains down but Bliss may have hurt her knee. Cross comes in and gets double Banks’ double knees in the corner.
More knees are blocked with a shot to the face but Bayley pulls Bliss off the apron. The knee is banged up again and here are some trainers to check on her. To be fair, it has been at least a month since Bliss had a knee injury. We take a break and come back with Bliss gone and Cross fighting out of a chinlock. Nikki shrugs off some double teaming in the corner and hammers away, including tying Banks in the ring skirt. Back in and Cross hits a tornado DDT on Bayley, setting up the hanging Purge for two as Banks makes the save. The Bank Statement makes Nikki tap at 12:14.
Rating: C+. This worked well in a way to make Cross look good, which is something that needed to happen. Bayley and Banks not losing is the right call as well, as both of them are still getting themselves established in their new roles. Good effort from everyone here and some smart booking to get them out of a sticky situation.
Post match the beatdown is still on until Becky Lynch comes out with a chair for the save. Banks and Bayley get their own chairs so it’s Charlotte making the save to take care of Bayley. The beatdown on Banks sends the villains leaving.
Post break, Banks wants a rematch with Becky at Hell in a Cell.
The limo arrives at the arena with R-Truth on top. That means a rollup to give him the title back, because that joke is still going. They come to a truce because they both work hard 24/7 to do their jobs.
Becky doesn’t just want to face Banks at Hell in a Cell, because it should be IN the Cell.
Lacey Evans vs. Dana Brooke
Well at least it isn’t Natalya again. Lacey isn’t wasting time and kicks her into the corner but gets driven into the corner. Dana hammers away and gets one off a suplex so Lacey sweeps the leg to take her down. A nasty slingshot dropkick to the face rocks Dana and it’s time for the armbar. Dana fights up for the comeback but walks into the Woman’s Right. She’s out cold but Lacey slaps on the Sharpshooter for the win at 3:12.
Rating: D. Dana was trying and looked good at times, but GOOD GRIEF why is Lacey vs. Natalya continuing? They’ve already split some matches and now we need to have them play mind games? The ending made me roll my eyes because I never need to see the two of them fight again and now we’re likely heading to some big showdown that no one but the two of them care about.
Seth Rollins vs. Robert Roode
Non-title and Dolph Ziggler is here with Roode. Feeling out process to start with Roode armdragging him into an armbar. That lasts as long as any average armbar and Roode hits him in the ribs to take over. Roode knocks him off the barricade so Ziggler can get in a cheap shot and we take a break.
Back with Roode still on the ribs before sending Seth outside. This time Ziggler’s interference is cut off with a superkick and the comeback is on. The springboard knee misses but so does Roode’s spinebuster. That means Rollins can hit a Falcon Arrow for two, followed by the Buckle Bomb. The Stomp looks to finish but Ziggler comes in for the DQ at 10:25.
Rating: C-. Not much to see here as Ziggler just won’t go away and kept popping in here, despite not being the most intriguing presence in the world. I can appreciate not having a new champion lose though, even if it’s to the World Champion. Just don’t let Ziggler and Roode (or at least Ziggler) around Rollins much longer and things should be fine.
Post break the OC comes in for the 5-1 beatdown but Kane (in full gear and mask) of all people makes the save to a huge pop. Chokeslams abound as I try to imagine masked Kane without hair. There is something amusing about the costume coming complete with a huge wig….and there go the lights. The Fiend is here and it’s a Mandible Claw to Kane. Fiend crawls over to Rollins and a minute long Firefly Fun House logo, with the colors changing, the graphic going upside down and the voice sounding rather evil, ends the show. Good ending, with the mind games and evil continuing.
Overall Rating: C-. I wasn’t sure about this one as it had a lot of things going on, though very few of them felt all that important. Rollins vs. Fiend should be interesting, but you can tell the attention is shifting more towards Smackdown as Raw is starting to feel a lot smaller. That should be the way things go once they get to FOX, but I would hope for some extra attention on Raw in the way of storylines, as a lot of the things on this show felt like they were just thrown out there to fill in the three hours. Not a terrible show, but it wasn’t exactly a show to get invested in.
OC b. Cedric Alexander/Viking Raiders – Phenomenal Forearm to Alexander
Baron Corbin b. Chad Gable – End of Days
Ricochet b. Mike Kanellis – Recoil
Rusev b. Mike Kanellis – Accolade
Rey Mysterio b. Cesaro – Code Red
Sasha Banks/Bayley b. Alexa Bliss/Nikki Cross – Bank Statement to Cross
Lacey Evans b. Dana Brooke – Sharpshooter
Seth Rollins b. Robert Roode via DQ when Dolph Ziggler interfered
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