Monday Night Raw – August 9, 2021

Monday Night Raw
Date: August 9, 2021
Location: Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

It’s a homecoming of sorts for Raw as they are back in the original Thunderdome about a year after they arrived in the first place. We are less than two weeks away from Summerslam and while most of the card is set, there are still a few adjustments that need to be made. Now just don’t have a horrible show. Let’s get to it.

Here is the returning Randy Orton (now looking like Dexter Lumis with the mustache) to a heck of a face reaction. Orton grabs the mic but here’s Riddle to cut him off. Riddle is REALLY happy that Orton is back because now they can be a team again. Riddle wants to know where Orton has been because his stepdad left like that too and never came home. Orton asks why Riddle thinks Orton wants to be a team with someone as goofy as Riddle. He talks about how ridiculous Riddle is, prompting Riddle to ask if that means Orton doesn’t want to team with him.

Cue Omos and AJ Styles, with AJ talking about how Orton is a snake and of course he’s done with the team. AJ keeps going until Orton cuts him off, saying the only thing bigger than AJ’s ego is this jackass right here next to him. The challenge is thrown out for tonight and Orton uppercuts AJ. The RKO to Omos is swatted away and Riddle’s attempt doesn’t go much better. A chokeslam (and not a good one) leaves Riddle laying and Orton walks away, with Riddle staggering behind him.

We look back at Drew McIntyre wrecking havoc with his sword (Angela) last week.

Baron Corbin, here via the Brand To Brand Invitational, is still down on his luck and is basically homeless. Then Jinder Mahal called him with an offer for money if he can take out Drew McIntyre. Yeah McIntyre could cut his head off with the sword, but it’s risk vs. reward.

Drew McIntyre is ready to beat up Corbin tonight because he once saw Corbin take a man’s money and his dog.

Baron Corbin vs. Drew McIntyre

Graves: “I tried to Venmo Corbin money this weekend but his phone was out of minutes.” Corbin looks defeated to start and Drew sends him into the corner. A suplex into a clothesline sends Corbin outside, where McIntyre sends him hard into the barricade. Back with Corbin hitting a superplex but the under the ropes clothesline is cut off with the Glasgow Kiss.

McIntyre snaps off the belly to belly into the neckbreaker….but McIntyre grabs the mic. McIntyre says he feels sorry for Corbin and wants to do something nice for him. How much would it cost to get him a meal, a bed and a shower for a few days? Corbin says $100,000, which McIntyre says is reasonable. How about $200,000? $300,000? It turns into the Claymore countdown so McIntyre can kick his head off for the pin at 9:48.

Rating: C+. See what happens when you try something new with a character? Corbin was one of the least interesting people around because he was doing the same things every week. Now they’ve mixed it up a bit and things are that much better because they’re actually trying something. Granted I’d bet that it was Corbin’s idea because WWE creative isn’t creative, but I’ll take what I can get.

Post match here are Jinder Mahal and company but McIntyre grabs the sword to hold them off.

Riddle comes up to Orton and says if they can’t be a team, can they at least be friends? Orton can’t mean that. Of course he does, and don’t call him bro. There’s your weekly Airplane reference.

Karrion Kross vs. Jeff Hardy

Non-title. Kross goes aggressive to start and knocks Hardy outside. That earns him a toss into the barricade though and they head back inside, only to have Kross knock him off the top. We take a break and come back with Hardy hitting the legdrop between the legs (Graves: “All these years, I’m still not sure how that move is legal.”), followed by a middle rope splash for two. Hardy’s rollup (with trunks) gets two but Kross pulls him into a hard Doomsday Saito. The Krossjacket Choke makes Hardy tap at 8:01.

Rating: C-. What does it say that it’s a breath of air to not have Kross, the reigning NXT Champion and the kind of guy that WWE would love to push, lose to Jeff Hardy? The match went as it should have and they teased a near fall more than once. At least Kross won, but I’m still more than a bit scared for his future.

We recap Alexa Bliss tormenting Eva Marie.

Video on RKBro. These two are still great together and deserve the music video treatment.

Riddle is depressed, but he’s still a stallion so he’ll get through it.

Alexa Bliss vs. Doudrop

Lillie is here with Bliss, meaning it’s a WE WANT WYATT chant, which is mysteriously cut off. Eva Marie is here with Doudrop, who runs Bliss over to start. A choke doesn’t do much good for Bliss, who gets sent outside. An Eva Marie distraction lets Doudrop jump Bliss from behind and they head inside. Doudrop runs Bliss over….but we go to a closeup of Lillie, who winks at Doudrop. The fear allowing Bliss to grab a rollup pin at 3:35.

Rating: F. But NXT is the show that is a complete failure and needs an overhaul. Doudrop just lost to a lame special effect and I think Bliss is supposed to be the face in this mess. Raw now has its own Twilight Zone angle because this is somehow better than Alexa Bliss being….anything else apparently.

Sheamus doesn’t want Miz and Morrison to screw up and it’s a staredown over the Drip Stick.

Ricochet vs. Sheamus

Non-title and Ricochet starts fast by sending Sheamus outside. Back in and Sheamus runs him over into a quick chinlock. Ricochet fights up and sends him outside again, this time (after a slight delay for balance gathering) for a heck of a springboard crossbody onto the announcers’ table.

Back with Sheamus working on an armbar as an excuse to grab Ricochet’s face. Ricochet gets up and manages to head to the apron for the springboard clothesline into a heck of a Lionsault for two. For some reason Ricochet tries a middle rope headbutt but crashes into the mask to knock himself silly. The Brogue Kick finishes Ricochet off at 10:35.

Rating: B-. Questionable logic from Ricochet aside, this was a good back and forth power vs. speed match, which is going to work every time. Sheamus might not be the biggest star in the world, but he is just about perfect in this role: he can be cowardly, but he can also hit people really hard. Ricochet….I’m not sure if he makes it to the end of August, but if he winds up getting cut, someone is getting a heck of a star.

Post match here is Damian Priest to get in Sheamus’ face. Sheamus back off and his attempt at a cheap shot gets him sent to the floor. Cue Miz and John Morrison and it’s a staredown in the aisle with Sheamus.

Damian Priest vs. John Morrison

Miz is here with Morrison, who takes Priest down for a headlock to start. Priest fights up and blasts Morrison in the face over and over. The Broken Arrow is countered and it’s a movie martial arts style scene until they both hit kicks to the head for a double knockdown. Morrison sends him outside for a corkscrew crossbody and they head back inside. Priest gets in a kick to the head and, after no selling the Drip Stick, hits the Reckoning for the pin at 4:26.

Rating: C-. Another match which came and went, but it seems we are getting Priest vs. Sheamus for the US Title at Summerslam, which is certainly a good thing. Priest needs to be built up and that has seemingly been the endgame of Sheamus’ title reign the entire time. Letting him be the bull until someone stands up to him and takes the title makes sense, so let us see what he can do for Priest.

Post match Priest goes after Morrison and sprays him with some Drip Sticks. Priest turns to Miz…who pops to his feet and runs off. Now Priest has something to say to Sheamus, who comes out to say Priest needs to say this to his face. Priest issues the challenge for the title at Summerslam and Sheamus says it’s on. Morrison tries to run in and gets kicked in the face, with Priest saying that’s what’s coming for him at Summerslam.

Mansoor gets Mustafa Ali a special jacket to make up for last week’s loss. Ali likes it but says he would rather have Mansoor learn. That’s what he needs to do tonight: watch and learn.

Mustafa Ali vs. T-Bar

Mansoor and Mace are here too. T-Bar sends him flying with a backdrop to start but Ali comes back and sends him outside. The dive is pulled out of the air though, setting up a heck of a toss into the barricade. Back in and a backbreaker gets two but Ali’s foot is on the ropes. The chokeslam is countered and Ali hits the tornado DDT, only to get crotched on top. Feast Your Eyes finishes Ali at 3:04.

Rating: C-. What the heck happened to Ali? He is crazy athletic and can cut good promos with an interesting backstory but he’s here in this worthless story. I don’t know if they’re setting up some big moment for Mansoor in Saudi Arabia or what, but it would be nice to see them doing something that isn’t so lame.

Reggie is doing a photo shoot when Akira Tozawa and R-Truth, in costumes, come after him. Reggie Parkours his way to freedom and escapes. This joke really needs to be retired already.

AJ Styles doesn’t care that Randy Orton is back because he is a champion who deserves respect. Orton made a colossal mistake so tonight, they need to break Randy just like Riddle’s scooter.

Here are MVP and Bobby Lashley for a chat. MVP recaps last week with Goldberg defending his son from him, which was a huge mistake. If Goldberg has to defend his son, maybe the son shouldn’t be here. After Summerslam, Goldberg will have all the time in the world to be with his son because Bobby Lashley is taking him out. Lashley says that at Summerslam, Goldberg isn’t next, because he’s done.

We recap Nikki Ash beat Charlotte last week.

Rhea Ripley is ready for Nikki tonight and to get the title back at Summerslam.

Nikki knows she might lose but she is ready to believe in herself. She is going to retain her title at Summerslam, even if her dream might turn into a nightmare.

Nikki Ash vs. Rhea Ripley

Non-title and Nikki has banged up ribs. Nikki headlocks her down to start but gets faceplanted in a hurry. Ripley sends things outside and Nikki goes ribs first into the apron. We take a break and come back with Ripley planting her down again and hammering on the ribs. A flapjack is countered into a DDT though and both of them are down. Nikki rolls her up for two and counters the Riptide into a crossbody for two. Ripley catches her on top but the superplex is broken up, only to have Charlotte come in to shoves Nikki down for the DQ at 9:20.

Rating: C. The match was starting to cook but then it was Charlotte coming in to be the big monster. I can go with the idea of neither of them losing because they both need to win something. However, maybe it would be better if we weren’t at the point where the champ and former champ both need to avoid losses so desperately.

Post match Charlotte takes out Ripley with Natural Selection. Charlotte holds up the title, because she is smarter and better than everyone else.

We get an Elias video, showing flashbacks to his battles with Jaxson Ryker. Then he burns his guitar and says WWE stood for Walk With Elias, but Elias is dead. Ok then.

Charlotte laughs at people who think she is done and promises to win the title back at Summerslam.

Randy Orton is ready for AJ Styles.

Randy Orton vs. AJ Styles

Omos is here with Styles. Orton takes him down to start and gets in the big stomp before sending Styles outside. An Omos distraction lets AJ send him into the apron though and there’s the slingshot forearm to send us to a break. Back with Orton fighting out of a chinlock to start the slugout. The powerslam and backbreaker get two each but Orton comes up favoring his knee.

After blowing a kiss to Omos, Orton loads up the top rope superplex but AJ slips between the legs and pulls him down. The Calf Crusher goes on, sending Orton straight to the rope. The hanging DDT plants AJ but Omos offers a distraction to break up the RKO. Cue Riddle to post and choke Omos, who drives him into the post for the break. The Phenomenal Forearm is countered into the RKO to give Orton the pin at 11:19.

Rating: B-. The ending alone boosts this one up as that was a heck of a finish. Orton got a heck of a face reaction here and that isn’t a surprise given how long he was gone. It helps that he wrestles a style that can change so quickly and that was on display here. Good match, with the post match stuff with Riddle likely to make it even better.

Post match Orton yells at Riddle for coming out here but Riddle wants a hug. Orton tries to leave but eventually gives in to the hug. The fans love it and they pose….until the RKO lays Riddle out. Yeah you knew it was coming, but I’m not sure if that was the team breaking up (assuming they were a team in the first place).

Overall Rating: C-. The wrestling was pretty good for the most part but this show was boring. It set up or advanced things for Summerslam and did some character development, but it was such a long show that I was losing focus by about the halfway point. That being said, this show only had one really stupid part and that means they tightened things up at least for this week. There are still parts that need fixing and the show still needs a huge overhaul, but things have been slowly crawling back over the last few weeks. It’s really, really, really slow progress, but it’s progress.

Results
Drew McIntyre b. Baron Corbin – Claymore
Karrion Kross b. Jeff Hardy – Krossjacket Choke
Alexa Bliss b. Doudrop – Rollup
Sheamus b. Ricochet – Brogue Kick
Damian Priest b. John Morrison – Reckoning
T-Bar b. Mustafa Ali – Feast Your Eyes
Nikki Ash b. Rhea Ripley via DQ when Charlotte interfered
Randy Orton b. AJ Styles – RKO

 

 

 

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