Monday Night Raw – August 16, 2021

Monday Night Raw
Date: August 16, 2021
Location: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
Commentators: Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, Jimmy Smith

It’s the go home show for Summerslam and that means it is time for the big final push towards Goldberg vs. Bobby Lashley. That’s the big focal point of this show, no matter how uninteresting it might be. Maybe they can come up with something to set up their three minute match on Saturday. Let’s get to it.

The opening video looks at Randy Orton returning last week and attacking Riddle to end the show.

Here is Randy Orton to open things up. Orton talks about how he does not need fans but has to stop for the RKO chants. This is still his world and tonight he promises to take Omos out with the RK…..and here is Riddle to cut him off before the O. Riddle thinks that Orton was trying to teach him something last week.

Orton isn’t sure what that means, but Riddle says that he gave him the RKO last week to show Riddle how it is really done. As Orton tries not to strangle Riddle, the offer to reform RKBro is tossed out again. Cue AJ Styles and Omos, with AJ saying how about RK NO! Tonight, no one is saving Orton from Omos but that’s not enough for AJ. He wants to face Riddle right now, so Riddle, calling AJ Skipper, accepts.

AJ Styles vs. Riddle

Omos stays at ringside but Randy Orton turns his back and walks away. Hold on though as he stops on the stage as AJ grabs an early suplex. Riddle takes AJ back though and hits the quick backsplash, only to have Styles come back with an abdominal stretch. With that not working, it’s time to work on the leg but Riddle grabs a triangle over the ropes.

Styles gets pulled outside for a crash and the apron kick puts Styles down again. There’s the springboard flip dive and we take a break. Back with Riddle grabbing a German suplex for two but another backsplash is countered into the Calf Crusher. Riddle makes the rope and knocks AJ down again. The Floating Bro is loaded up but Omos offers a distraction, allowing AJ to take the leg out. The Styles Clash finishes Riddle at 10:57.

Rating: B-. Rather good match here with the story being told as it should have been. The idea of Riddle being in over his head but never giving up despite being in over his head is a good story. Now just go with whatever you want for the payoff, and either option could go just fine. The action itself was good too and that’s a nice way to open the show.

Nikki Ash talks about how the outfit makes her feel confident and when you believe in yourself, you can be almost a superhero. She is so confident that she knows she can retain the title at Summerslam. These promos are getting more and more insufferable every week. As goofy as it was, just go full Hurricane with it and have some fun. This “ALMOST” a superhero deal having to be explained every week is getting worse and worse. Stop trying to have some brilliant concept and do what has worked before.

Riddle says he never gave up on RKBro, but now he’s just sad.

Nikki Ash vs. Rhea Ripley

Non-title and hold on though as here is Charlotte to join commentary. Ripley starts fast with a quick toss to send Nikki flying. Back up and Nikki sends Rhea outside, setting up the big dive off the apron as we take a break. We come back with Rhea hitting a delayed vertical suplex but missing a charge into the corner. A tornado DDT gets two on Ripley but she is right back with a suplex. The Riptide plants Nikki for the pin at 8:26.

Rating: D+. Another week, another chance for Nikki to be the most pathetic face on the roster. Ripley should be beating her but Nikki shouldn’t be the champion at this point so there was no way around this. I cannot wait for this deal to be over so we can move on to whatever else they have, as bad as it might be. Just get Nikki out of this stuff already because it isn’t working, at least as it is being presented.

The big brawl is on post match with Nikki kicking Charlotte to the floor.

Jinder Mahal tells Veer and Shanky to get this right, because he has given them a great opportunity. Now get rid of Drew McIntyre and his sword.

Video on Bobby Lashley.

MVP orders supper for Lashley and isn’t worried about tonight’s face to face with Goldberg.

Veer/Shanky vs. Drew McIntyre

Jinder Mahal is here too. McIntyre punches Veer into the corner to start so it’s off to Shanky to take over. The big elbow from Veer sets up the chinlock, causing McIntyre to fight back up and take over. There’s the neckbreaker to Veer and a Michinoku Driver to Shanky, setting up the Futureshock. The Claymore finishes Shanky at 3:33.

Rating: D+. I’m sure this will set up some big showdown at Summerslam where Mahal gets the win because of the sword somehow, meaning it’s time to set up a bunch of rematches. I still have no idea why this is supposed to be some hot feud, but McIntyre has a sword named Angela. That might not be interesting, but it is certainly a thing that is happening.

Post match Veer goes after the sword but McIntyre takes it away and has a message from Shanky: he wishes he could be as amazing/sexy as McIntyre and has seen the error of his ways. Now Shanky wants McIntyre to win at Summerslam. McIntyre promises to destroy Mahal and we get a quick audience poll supporting the idea.

Charlotte wants revenge for Summerslam so she can find a partner for a tag match against Nikki Ash and Rhea Ripley tonight.

We get what looks to be the same “Elias Is Dead” vignette from last week.

It’s time for, I kid you not, MoistTV, with John Morrison bringing out the Miz for answers about his suddenly fine knee. Morrison asks about Miz’s favorite movie, which is every time he was in the Marine. When asked if he was really hurt, Miz goes into a bit about how he would never lie to you.

Cue Damian Priest to call Miz a liar (in Spanish) and promise to win the US Title at Summerslam. Miz goes on a rant about how this is his first injury and lets it slip that he has been cleared for weeks. Morrison isn’t happy and Priest talks about Miz running off last week. As Miz goes on, Morrison asks why he wasn’t told about Miz being healthy. The solution is clear: Miz vs. Priest tonight, which works for Priest. It works for him so well that he shoves Miz in the kid’s pool (because there is a kid’s pool).

Damian Priest vs. The Miz

Sheamus comes out to join commentary and Miz is in street clothes. Miz starts fast and actually hits the top rope ax handle but Priest punches him in the leg. Priest charges into a boot but Morrison won’t give him the Drip Stick. Instead, Priest gives him a hard clothesline and it’s a Brogue Kick to finish Miz at 2:40.

Post match, Sheamus shouts about this being his title. No one is ever going to take it from him, especially Priest. Sheamus does have a broken face but after Summerslam, Priest will have a bleeding head.

We look at Doudrop being scared by Lillie winking at her, giving Alexa Bliss a win.

Eva Marie doesn’t want to hear it and thinks they should go to the playground. By that, she means bring her Lillie.

Alexa Bliss plays with Lillie.

John Morrison and Miz agree that things are ok, all while New Day plugs their shirts behind them. Miz and Morrison have a very wet idea for Summerslam.

It’s time for Alexa’s Playground with Alexa Bliss pushing a Lillie dating show. Doudrop comes in and tries to steal Lillie, stops and stares at her, and hands her back to Bliss before walking away. Bliss: “See you at Summerslam!”

Mace vs. Mansoor

T-Bar and Mustafa Ali are here too. Mace hammers away to start but misses an elbow, allowing Mansoor to make the comeback. The sidekick misses for Mace but he shoves off a Dudley Dog attempt. Mace counters a sunset flip in the corner so Ali dropkicks him down, giving Mansoor the pin at 1:57.

AJ Styles and Omos are ready to destroy RKBro.

Randy Orton vs. Omos

An early RKO attempt doesn’t work and Orton has to try something else. Right hands in the corner don’t work either as Omos throws him down and grabs the neck crank. Orton fights up to knock him into the corner but Omos knees him in the ribs. A missed charge lets Orton fail at the RKO again, with the shove sending him outside this time. AJ goes after Orton on the floor and that’s good for a DQ at 3:38.

Rating: C-. That’s about all you can do here as you don’t want Omos to lose but you don’t want him beating someone of Orton’s caliber right before a title shot either. The reason for the DQ was kind of lame but it was the right way to go with a match like this one. It’s also smart to leave Omos in there for a short burst instead of a long match, as he just isn’t ready for anything beyond that yet.

Post match, Omos tosses Orton over the barricade with ease. AJ loads up the Phenomenal Forearm but Riddle runs in for the save, including a dropkick through the ropes to take Omos down. AJ gets kneed in the face so Omos carries him away. That leaves Riddle to help Orton up, leaving Orton to say respect is earned. He respected Riddle at one point but that does not mean he respects him today. After everything he has done in the last week though, Riddle has earned his respect. RKBro is BACK and Riddle is so happy that he throws out the title challenge for Summerslam.

We recap Jeff Hardy vs. Karrion Kross.

Jeff Hardy has spoken to his higher power and got the wrong answer. He’s bringing everything against Kross tonight….and here is Kross to jump Hardy.

Karrion Kross vs. Jeff Hardy

Non-title and Hardy starts fast…..but gets pulled into the Krossjacket for the tap at 42 seconds.

Eva Marie isn’t happy with Doudrop for failing to get Lillie so it’s a pair of slaps to the face. Doudrop is so angry that she stands that glaring as Eva leaves.

Earlier today, Reggie went to the park and talks about how he learned to do his flips and tricks here. R-Truth, in a grass costume, and Akira Tozawa run up for the chase and fail miserably. Reggie flips over the top of the car (Reggie: “Too easy.”) and drives off. Truth and Tozawa yell at each other.

Summerslam rundown.

Elias goes to his own grave. Elias is still dead.

Rhea Ripley/Nikki Ash vs. Charlotte/???

The partner is Nia Jax, who laughs at Nikki for trying to take her down. The power game has Nikki down in a hurry instead and the villains take over. Charlotte comes in for a big boot on the floor to send us to a break. We come back with Nikki hitting a bulldog out of the corner, allowing the hot tag off to Ripley. Everything breaks down and Ripley gets Samoan dropped. The Banzai Drop is loaded up but Charlotte tags herself in, knocks Nikki down, and hits Natural Selection for the pin at 7:28.

Rating: D+. Another match where Nikki is basically an afterthought, because that’s all she is in the division. Ripley isn’t that much better, and now it seems that we might be heading for Charlotte vs. Jax down the line. I’ve given up hope in this division and the title match on Saturday isn’t exactly making that any better.

AJ Styles is ready to destroy Riddle and Randy Orton.

Here is Goldberg for the face to face with Bobby Lashley, but first of all, he gets to talk, because GOLDBERG is so known for his verbal dominance. Goldberg brings up MVP and Lashley talking about fatherhood, which brings Goldberg to his son Gage. It’s true that Gage can see videos of Goldberg wrestling, but Goldberg wants him to see it in person (Haven’t we heard him say that like FIVE TIMES NOW?).

Lashley and MVP come out with MVP saying Goldberg has been talking a lot lately. Lashley gets in the ring and says this is his house and the house always wins. Goldberg calls that BS and spears him before posing with his son (who seems to have his high school football team with him) to end the show. This was as bad as everything else has been in this feud, because it is the same story they have told with Goldberg and his son before and it isn’t exactly interesting to hear Goldberg talk (or wrestle, but that’s a different problem).

Overall Rating: D-. I can’t call it a complete failure because some of the wrestling was good and the AJ/Omos vs. RKBro angle is working well (more on that later). The problem is everything else, as this show has some of the worst plot devices and storytelling I’ve ever seen. We have feuds based on someone being ALMOST a superhero, a sword, a water gun, a sentient doll, and someone’s son who needs to see his dad wrestle despite having seen his dad wrestle several times in his life.

That’s where everything falls apart on Raw: the stories are not good. It also doesn’t help that with those stories, we’re getting (in order): more Charlotte dominance, Jinder Mahal, Miz and John Morrison every week, Alexa Bliss and Lillie the Fiend and more Goldberg main events. This show was supposed to make me want to see Summerslam, meaning this is their best foot forward stuff. This is their BEST, making me scared of what it is going to be like when they aren’t trying to get me to give them money.

It’s also what makes the Tag Team Title feud stand out. As out there as Riddle is (and he’s out there), he’s displaying a human emotion. Riddle wants Orton to be his friend, Orton won’t do it, Riddle stays at it and gets what he wants through hard work. That is something people can relate to and that is what is lacking everywhere else on Raw. The rest of the characters and stories are not things people are going to relate to and it comes off more as WWE just doing whatever they feel like instead of putting on good material. That’s how we got in this situation and I have no idea how to get out of it. Another awful, horrible Raw.

AJ Styles b. Riddle – Styles Clash
Rhea Ripley b. Nikki Ash – Riptide
Drew McIntyre b. Veer/Shanky – Claymore to Shanky
Damian Priest b. The Miz – Brogue Kick
Mansoor b. Mace – Sunset flip
Randy Orton b. Omos via DQ when AJ Styles interfered
Karrion Kross b. Jeff Hardy – Krossjacket choke
Charlotte/Nia Jax b. Rhea Ripley/Nikki Ash – Natural Selection to Ripley




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