Monday Night Raw
Date: September 23, 2019
Location: Chase Center, San Francisco, California
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young
We’re in kind of a strange place this week as next week will be one of the busiest and most important that WWE has ever seen. Based on all of those changes, this week’s show doesn’t mean as much, but WWE is trying to make it interesting by having a #1 contenders match for a World Title match next week, even though the title is on the line next Sunday. Let’s get to it.
The Then Now and Forever video is taken over by the Fiend, sending us into a recap of last week’s issues between Bray Wyatt and Seth Rollins.
Here’s Rollins for an opening chat. Last week he was attacked by five people and then the living embodiment of a nightmare was right next to his face. There’s a monster waiting for him next week but he’ll do what he always does: survive and prevail. Cue Braun Strowman, who doesn’t like Rollins saying he prevailed over him. Rollins says Strowman can do something about it and a match seems to be made for tonight. They’ve been getting better at these opening sequences. There was a recap before Rollins came out and they were in a commercial by 8:12. If you have to do these talking segments, at least make them fast like this.
Good Brothers vs. Viking Raiders
AJ Styles is here with the Brothers. Erik throws Anderson around to start and Ivar comes in for a knee to the head. The slam drops Ivar onto Anderson so it’s off to Gallows for a change. AJ gets in a cheap shot on Ivar so Gallows can take over and that’s an ejection. Cue Cedric Alexander to jump AJ and we take a break.
Back with Ivar fighting out of the corner and handing it off to Erik to strike away. Everything breaks down and the springboard clothesline/German suplex combination is broken up by Anderson. The Boot of Doom hits Erik for two but the Magic Killer is broken up. Ivar comes back in and the Viking Experience is good for the pin at 10:44.
Rating: C+. This was all about having two teams hit each other rather hard for ten minutes and that’s all it needed to be. The Raiders almost have to be next in line for the Tag Team Titles as there is no one left to stand in their way other than the champs. Other than the AOP, who is supposed to stop them?
Robert Roode promises to win the five way and become GLORIOUS next week.
Michael Cole has a sitdown interview with Becky Lynch. First up, why would Becky want to face Sasha Banks inside the Cell? Becky loves the idea of Sasha being on a hot streak because she can’t make history on her own. Yeah Banks has been in the lone Cell match in women’s history but she lost. Who cares if Bayley is going to be running around ringside? Becky wants Sasha at her best, because Becky certainly will be.
Rusev vs. EC3
The fans want Lana and commentary makes it clear that Rusev isn’t the father of Maria Kanellis’ son. EC3 goes straight at him to start and gets knocked back without much effort. Some suplexes send EC3 flying and the jumping superkick sets up the Accolade for the tap at 1:41.
Rey Mysterio doesn’t think it’s impossible for him to win the #1 contenders match tonight. Thanks to Dominick he’s still here and now he has a chance. Tonight’s match is dedicated to Dominick.
Sasha Banks vs. Nikki Cross
Bayley and Alexa Bliss are here too. Sasha drives her into the corner to start and hits the running slap, only to get run over with a shoulder. Back up and Banks gets in some shots to the face, setting up an armdrag into the armbar. The chinlock doesn’t last long so Nikki goes with a crossbody for two.
They head outside with Nikki grabbing a sleeper until Sasha drops backwards for the crash (nasty looking one too) and we take a break. Back with Nikki sending her to the apron but getting kneed in the face. A slingshot Meteora gives Banks two but she misses a charge in the corner. Nikki hits some forearms and a bulldog out of the corner gets two.
Sasha is right back with a twist of the leg but Nikki sends her outside and hits a running crossbody off the apron. With Banks still staggered, Nikki ties her in the ring skirt and hammers away, followed by the Purge back inside. Bliss and Bayley get in a fight though and the delay lets Banks roll through a high crossbody into the Bank Statement for the tap at 15:33.
Rating: C-. That was a good bit longer than it needed to be and well done for making a champion tap out twice in two weeks. There really was no one else that could be put in this role whatsoever and the best result was to have the champ lose again. The match was only hurt by the length, though to their credit they never seemed to run out of things to do, which is more than some people can say.
The OC is annoyed so AJ is going to win the five way tonight.
Brock Lesnar is back next week.
The Street Profits hype up the five way before talking about Ricochet being accused of being the father of Maria’s son. Cue Miz to make two announcements: his second daughter was born last Friday and next Monday, Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan will be on MizTV.
We see Brock Lesnar returning and challenging Kofi Kingston for the first Smackdown on FOX. Kofi accepted and got F5ed.
Lacey Evans vs. Ember Moon
Lacey throws a napkin at her and gets knocked down in a hurry. Ember sends her to the apron but gets caught with the slingshot dropkick to get knocked outside. Back in and we hit the chinlock for a bit as Natalya is watching backstage. The slingshot Bronco Buster gets two more and it’s back to the chinlock.
Back up and the Woman’s Right is blocked, allowing Ember to hit an enziguri to start the comeback. Lacey gets sent outside but gets Ember hung upside down by her feet above the floor. That’s fine with Ember, as she pulls herself up and kicks off the apron into an Eclipse on the floor. After that awesome move gets two, Lacey breaks up the regular Eclipse with the Woman’s Right and finishes with the Sharpshooter at 5:14.
Rating: D+. The Lacey vs. Natalya feud has all the legs of a bowling ball but that has never stopped WWE before. Why I would want to see a rematch between them is beyond me and I don’t even know why Lacey is doing this after their previous matches. That Eclipse was awesome though, even if Moon continues to flounder.
Natalya says if Lacey wants a rematch, she better be ready to tap out.
It’s time for the Firefly Fun House, with Bray hanging pictures on his Wall of Friendship. This one is blank and Bray says there is always room for one more. Huskus and Ramblin are fighting over a Seth Rollins action figure because they’re such big fans of Seth. Bray says you have to share because if you love something so much, it can make you weak. He knows what it’s like to be abandoned by those you love most. Ramblin doesn’t want the Fiend to hurt Seth, but Bray says the Fiend doesn’t like to share. The two of them can though, so Bray breaks the figure in half. Sharing is caring and he’ll see you in h***.
R-Truth and Carmella run to the ring with the Mob not far behind. Carmella says hang on though and grabs the mic. They need a break because this has been going on for four months now. Truth isn’t worried because his clown friend is giving them a ride to Derry, Maine. Carmella says she can’t do this anymore….and rolls him up for the pin and the title. What took them so long to get there? Renee: “Graves! You can finally consummate the 24/7 Title!” Cue the women’s locker room so Truth gives her a ride out of the arena. The regular Mob isn’t sure what to do. Graves: “Great night to be me.”
Bayley and Sasha Banks give the terribly scripted speech about beating Becky soon.
Sami Zayn gives Shinsuke Nakamura a pep talk before the five way but Nakamura shushes him.
Baron Corbin vs. Chad Gable
Corbin has a new crown and cape (which looks like the Barbarian’s version from about 1991), plus a remixed entrance song. Hold on though as Corbin has to get in some short jokes before the bell. Gable’s waistlock is thrown outside and we’re in the very early chinlock. Gable is back up with a spinning armdrag and a flip neckbreaker to send Corbin outside. One heck of a toss over the barricade sees Gable knocking out some security guards and we take a break.
Back with Corbin getting two off his under the rope clothesline and the chinlock goes on again. Gable fights up and hits a middle rope crossbody but Corbin sends him into the corner for a running clothesline. Corbin makes sure to soak in the booing and point at his crown and cape though as he is slowly getting this heel thing. Another sliding clothesline is cut off by the Liger Kick and a few more connect in the corner.
The moonsault is broken up with a crotching and a chokeslam gets two. For some reason Corbin goes to the middle rope but lands throat first on top, allowing Gable to hit a German suplex. This time the moonsault connects for two and the ankle lock goes on. Corbin can’t make the rope (which he’s next to) so he grabs the scepter and knocks Gable silly for the DQ at 14:55.
Rating: B-. Not as good as last week’s match but this extends the feud and makes Gable look like he has a future. Corbin is getting a lot better at the heel stuff and has gotten better over the course of the tournament. Again: he has always had a place around here, as long as they don’t go into complete overkill with him.
Post match Corbin lays Gable out with the scepter a few more times.
We get another AOP sitdown interview with the two of them promising to show us who they are. They get up and go into the hallway to beat up two people (one of whom looked like Heath Slater) before going back into the dark room and saying that’s who they are.
Rey Mysterio vs. Ricochet vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. AJ Styles vs. Robert Roode
Non-title, elimination rules and the winner gets a Universal Title shot next week. Sami Zayn is here with Nakamura for a bonus. Roode heads straight to the floor to start so Ricochet and Rey hit a headscissors each, allowing Rey to roll him up for one. Instead of going after each other again, it’s a pair of dives to the floor and we take a break.
Back with Ricochet kicking Nakamura in the face but missing a dive to the floor, allowing AJ to clothesline him down. Roode throws Rey outside for the inadvertent sliding splash to Ricochet, leaving AJ and Roode to glare at each other. As the TNA chants begin, they decide to beat up Ricochet instead, only to turn on each other seconds later (well duh).
Nakamura gives Ricochet a gordbuster and knees him in the head but Ricochet flips out of the reverse exploder. Ricochet knocks him to the floor and gets the showdown with Rey. Cue AJ to break that up pretty quickly though, only to get dropkicked down instead. The Recoil hits Roode but Ricochet walks into Kinshasa for the first elimination at 9:45. Back from a break with Mysterio getting the worst of a Tower of Doom and Roode covering everyone for two each.
Nakamura hits the middle rope knee for two on Roode and a sliding knee gets the same on AJ. Rey is back up with a 619 to Nakamura but AJ suplexes Rey on the apron. The Phenomenal Forearm gets rid of Nakamura at 17:44 and the Glorious DDT finishes Styles at 18:03. We’re down to Roode vs. Mysterio and the fans come alive for Rey. The Glorious DDT is countered but the 619 is cut off with a spinebuster for two. Rey is right back up with the 619 into the springboard splash for the pin and the title shot at 20:04.
Rating: C+. The match was fun and Rey winning is a safe pick. He’ll have a good match with Rollins and even if he loses, it’s not like it’s going to hurt anything. It helps that Rey has the slightest glimmer of stealing the title as Wyatt beating him to win the title would work as well. Good match and a better result so nicely done.
Rollins says congratulations to Rey and he’s ready to face both Mysterio and Fiend next week because that’s what he does.
Seth Rollins vs. Braun Strowman
Non-title. Strowman starts fast by running Rollins over with the referee having to check on him. Rollins gets knocked to the floor in a heap and we take a break. Back with Rollins fighting out of a bearhug and dropkicking the knee. The Pedigree is easily broken up and Rollins bails to the floor.
For once Rollins is smart enough to avoid the charging Strowman by jumping over the barricade, though Strowman is fine enough to throw him down anyway. Back in and Strowman charges into some boots in the corner and then the post for a bonus. Seth wraps the leg around the post and hits a pair of frog splashes for two.
A suicide dive doesn’t knock Strowman down so Rollins hits a second to take him down. For some reason Rollins tries a third and stumbles a bit, allowing Strowman to chokeslam him onto the apron. The running powerslam hits on the floor so Strowman loads up another one in the ring….and there go the lights. They come back on with Strowman in the Fiend’s Mandible Claw for the DQ at 12:30.
Rating: C+. I liked what we got well enough and I’ll take Strowman winning via DQ and getting knocked out over Rollins pinning him again and taking away even more of Strowman’s status. The Fiend interference isn’t shocking but that doesn’t make it a bad idea, as taking out someone like Strowman is a little more impressive for him.
Post match Strowman is out as Rollins cowers in the corner, even screaming a bit as the Fiend crawls to him. Strowman gets up so Fiend claws him down again and glares a lot as the lights go out to end the show with more laughter.
Overall Rating: B. Strong show here with mostly good wrestling throughout and a nice segment at the end to make the Fiend look even more intimidating. That’s what they have to do with so little time between pay per views and at this point, he almost has to win the title. Other than that, things are building towards next week, which should be a heck of a time for WWE. Now if only they can live up to the hype/pressure for once.
Viking Raiders b. Good Brothers – Viking Experience to Anderson
Rusev b. EC3 – Accolade
Sasha Banks b. Nikki Cross – Bank Statement
Lacey Evans b. Ember Moon – Sharpshooter
Chad Gable b. Baron Corbin via DQ when Corbin used the scepter
Rey Mysterio b. Robert Roode, AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura and Ricochet – Springboard splash to Roode
Braun Strowman b. Seth Rollins via DQ when the Fiend interfered
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