Monday Night Raw – August 23, 2021

Monday Night Raw
Date: August 23, 2021
Location: Pechanga Arena, San Diego, California
Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves

It’s the night after Summerslam and we are going to be dealing with a lot of the fallout. We have a long road to Extreme Rules and there were a lot of things at Summerslam worth talking about. The problem is that most of them had to do with Smackdown so we might not be in for much going on. Let’s get to it.

We open with a long recap of Summerslam.

Here are MVP and Bobby Lashley (in a snappy orange jacket) to get things going. After another recap of Goldberg vs. Lashley, because Raw needs more montages than a Rocky movie, MVP says he’d like to explain what happened on Sunday at Summerslam. We all know about Goldberg’s extraordinary history but not so much about his recently unextraordinary history.

What we didn’t know was that his son would be at Summerslam. Maybe he needed a good luck charm or something but Goldberg did score a couple of two counts. Either way, Lashley beat up Goldberg and won by referee stoppage. Goldberg quit like a coward and Lashley would have done that to anyone, including everyone here in San Diego. Lashley doesn’t owe Goldberg or his son an apology but here is Damian Priest to interrupt.

Priest doesn’t care about Lashley and MVP calling people a coward. Well Priest isn’t jumping him from behind and the challenge is on for tonight. Lashley seems interested but MVP tries to talk him out of it. Priest suggests that Lashley is the coward for not saying yes and the fight is on. A big boot sends Lashley outside so MVP says the match is on.

Damian Priest vs. Bobby Lashley

Non-title and Lashley starts fast with the shoulders in the corner. A running shot to the face in the corner rocks Priest again but he makes the comeback….and here is Sheamus to jump Priest for the DQ at 1:28.

Post match the beatdown is on but Drew McIntyre runs in for the big brawl. A suplex puts Lashley onto the announcers’ table and I think we have a Teddy Long special.

Damian Priest/Drew McIntyre vs. Bobby Lashley/Sheamus

Joined in progress with McIntyre hammering on Sheamus until he gets taken into the wrong corner. Lashley comes in for a hard whip into the corner but McIntyre comes out with a clothesline. A shot to the throat cuts McIntyre off but he gets over for the tag to Priest anyway. Lashley takes him outside in a hurry and it’s a hard ram into the post. Back from a break with Priest fighting out of Sheamus’ chinlock but Lashley comes in for a head and arm choke.

That’s enough to drag Priest back into the corner for the tag back to Sheamus as the beating continues. Priest elbows his way to freedom though and the hot tag brings in McIntyre to clean house. The numbers game lets Lashley knock McIntyre down but the missed charge in the post puts Lashley in more trouble. Sheamus comes back in and catches McIntyre on top for a super White Noise and a near fall. Priest comes back in to clean house with the variety of kicks but Priest knees him in the face as Lashley walks out. McIntyre comes back in and Claymores Sheamus for the pin at 14:00.

Rating: C+. Nice power tag match here but I’m more curious about where this is heading for Lashley. They aren’t going to do another match with Goldberg at Extreme Rules, but a four way hoss fight between these four could be an interesting way to go. At least Priest didn’t lose in his first match as champion either.

We look at Doudrop turning on Eva Marie at Summerslam.

Doudrop says she made a mistake associating with Eva Marie but she likes the name Doudrop and that is who she is. Marie rolls in an anvil case to hit her in the ribs and the beatdown is on. Marie puts a boot on her and says this is Evaloution.

Karrion Kross vs. Ricochet

Kross now has what looks like a bedazzled hockey mask during his entrance. Once the bell rings, he has a big studded X over his chest, looking like the back of a pair of suspenders on either side. Ricochet gets knocked into the corner to start and a clothesline cuts off his comeback bid. A powerbomb into the Doomsday Saito sets up the Krossjacket choke for the fast win at 1:18. Dominant win, but the entrance gear was too laughable to make it matter.

Backstage at Summerslam, Big E. and Logan Paul interrupted a Baron Corbin interview. Paul suggested that Corbin was an a******.

Sheamus and Bobby Lashley argue in the back and have to be separated.

It’s time for MoistTV because THEY REALLY ARE RUNNING WITH THIS. John Morrison brings out Logan Paul, who tries to keep the crowd from killing him. Morrison asks what is next for the Paul Brothers but here is Miz to cut them off. Miz says he knows he’s Paul’s favorite star but Paul says he is more of a New Day fan. Paul talks about getting to put Floyd Mayweather on his highlight reel and this weekend, his brother is boxing former UFC fighter Tyron Woodley.

Miz isn’t impressed and asks what round Paul’s brother is getting knocked out in. Miz: “Bettors want to know.” Paul says his brother is doing the knocking out and threatens to knock Miz out. Morrison has to separate them and says that Miz always makes everything about himself. Miz goes on a rant about how this is a spinoff of MizTV and Paul leaves while the two of them argue. The argument is on, with Morrison accusing Miz of faking his knee injury. Cue Xavier Woods, who high fives Paul on the stage and it’s match time. I love Miz and Morrison, but they need to go away for a long, long time.

Miz vs. Xavier Woods

John Morrison is here with Miz. Feeling out process to start until Woods, in NWO Wolfpac gear (as the Scott Hall tributes continue) headlock takeovers him over. Back up and Woods starts going after the knee, including some shots in the corner. Hold on though as Miz has to be checked on by the referee, allowing Miz to pop up and knee Woods in the ribs. They head outside with Woods being sent hard into the barricade, allowing Morrison to spray a bunch of water on the floor. As expected, Miz is sent sliding into the steps and we take a break.

Back with Miz firing off the YES Kicks but the big one is countered into a rollup for two. A neckbreaker out of the corner gives Woods a breather and he fights up with the variety of strikes. Miz is knocked outside for the big running flip dive. Back in and a high crossbody gives Woods two but Miz loads up the Skull Crushing Finale. Morrison gets on the apron for no logical reason with the Drip Stick. That misses everyone and the distraction means the referee doesn’t see Miz’s rollup. Instead, Woods grabs a small package for the pin at 11:41.

Rating: C-. The match itself was good as Woods and Miz could probably have a passable match in their sleep, but then they had to do the stupid gags to put the focus on anything else. It wasn’t a great match by any means, but this was a good example of how Miz and Morrison’s shtick has gotten really old because of how long it has been going on.

Post match Miz and Morrison argue but finally seem to get on the same page. The Drip Sticks are loaded up but Miz jumps Morrison to finally split things up. The Skull Crushing Finale leaves Morrison laying.

We look at Charlotte regaining the Raw Women’s Title at Summerslam.

Nikki Ash came up to Rhea Ripley to ask if they could be partners tonight. Ripley is in. This might be more dramatic if the match had not already been announced.

Earlier today Reggie tried to go get some ice cream but Akira Tozawa and R-Truth attacked. Reggie jumped into a tree, jumped out, and landed on top of an ice cream truck. Reggie jumped into the truck and they got away.

We look at RKBro winning the Tag Team Titles at Summerslam.

Riddle comes up to Randy Orton and says he understands Orton not being a hugger. He knows Orton is going to love their celebration tonight, but Orton says he isn’t quite into it. Just do him one favor: don’t do anything stupid. Riddle: “Would I do something stupid?”

Earlier today, Mansoor asked Mustafa Ali to not interfere no matter what. Ali seemed cool with it but didn’t seem to think Mansoor was making the right move.

Jinder Mahal vs. Mansoor

Veer, Shanky and Mustafa Ali are all here too. Mahal hammers away to start but Mansoor snaps his neck across the top. A high crossbody gives Mansoor two but Mahal forearms him down again. The chinlock goes on as Ali doesn’t seem pleased. A superkick rocks Mansoor and Ali stays unpleased. Mahal is so annoyed that he unloads in the corner for the DQ at 2:17. This was mostly a squash and that isn’t exactly making Mansoor look like a star.

Post match the beatdown is on and Ali only gets in after the villains leave.

Drew McIntyre and Damian Priest seem to get along and are off for some drinks. Er, pints. Yeah pints.

Here is Charlotte for her championship speech. She told us it would happen and now she has her twelfth title. There is no one as talented as she is and she is going to hold this title as long as she wants. She doesn’t need friends, family or the WWE Universe because she only needs the title.

That’s enough for some pyro to go off and Charlotte talks about how great she looked in the mirror this morning. She knows how amazing she is and she is here because she is starting the new Women’s Evolution (there’s a Stephanie McMahon joke in there somewhere). Long live the Queen….but here are Alexa Bliss and Lillie, who are just here to say hi.

Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler argue again, this time over Nia Jax teaming with Charlotte last week.

Elias walks away from his grave. This time he’s wearing a hat.

Nikki Ash/Rhea Ripley vs. Shayna Baszler/Nia Jax

Baszler takes Ripley to the mat to start but the big stomp on the arm is broken up. Nikki comes in for a rollup on Baszler and a headscissors sends Baszler into the corner. Now Baszler can stomp her down though and it’s off to Jax for a fireman’s carry drop. Baszler drops Ripley and knees Nikki in the head as we take a break.

Back with Ash fighting out of Jax’s chinlock but getting caught in a side slam/running knee combination. Jax hits a running hip attack into a Stink Face but the Banzai Drop is broken up. The hot tag brings Ripley back in and house is cleaned, including the missile dropkick. Everything breaks down and Nikki flips down onto Nia, leaving Riptide to finish Baszler at 10:36.

Rating: C-. The wrestling was competent, but this was a good example of the lack of character work in WWE. There is no logical reason for Jax and Baszler to keep being a team. They haven’t won anything of note in a good while, they have literally argued since they started teaming, and Baszler loses over and over. Why are these two still a team? The answer would be because the script says they are, and that has been obvious for a long time now.

Oh and how cool is it that Ripley got her token three month title reign, never pinned Charlotte, and has now been dropped into a tag team while Lillie and Bliss go after the title? That is a story that could have been taking place without the title while Ripley got to be the star for a bit, but that would mean Charlotte isn’t the star so the last few months have basically been erased.

We look back at the Miz/John Morrison switch.

Morrison says that’s it for all of the shows and music videos, because he wants Miz next week.

Here is Riddle for the RKBro title celebration, complete with balloons and a red mat. Randy Orton comes out, looking rather annoyed. After a bunch of pyro and a special introduction as champions, Riddle has a present for Orton: his own scooter, complete with his name and tassels! Cue AJ Styles and Omos, with AJ calling this stupid and promising to beat Riddle right here, right now. Riddle admits that he lost last week but that was before he had Orton in his corner. Riddle promises to win with the three most dangerous letters in wrestling: RKBRO! Orton looks like he has a headache.

Post break, we have a few recaps, including announcements of Bobby Lashley vs. Sheamus, Doudrop vs. Eva Marie and John Morrison vs. Miz for next week.

Riddle vs. AJ Styles

Omos and Randy Orton are here too. Styles charges straight at him and they go to the mat for the technical off. That’s broken up and Riddle looks just fine with the whole thing. Riddle kicks him to the apron and then out to the floor but the springboard is broken up. AJ still can’t get anything going as Riddle rolls some gutwrench suplexes for two. A sunset flip can’t set up the Styles Clash so Riddle hurricanranas him over the top for the big crash to the floor instead.

We take a break and come back with Riddle kicking him in the head, setting up the Broton for two. The bridging German suplex gets the same but Riddle is favoring his hamstring. AJ is back with the middle rope moonsault into the reverse DDT for two of his own. The Phenomenal Forearm is broken up but AJ gets him into the Calk Crusher on the bad leg. That’s reversed into the BroMission but AJ flips back for another near fall.

Riddle goes up but another Omos distraction breaks it up (just like last week). This time Orton goes after Omos, earning himself a toss into the barricade. A Burning Hammer gives AJ two as Orton unloads on Omos with the scooter. The distraction lets Riddle hit a jumping knee and the Bro Derek for the pin at 14:22.

Rating: C+. The talent lone in this one is going to make it work but Orton getting in there and helping Riddle out made things that much better (especially with the scooter). Riddle gaining energy from Orton makes for such a great story and I’ve liked the whole thing. It was a good main event and probably the best match on the show, which shouldn’t be that surprising.

Post match RKBro poses and AJ gets the RKO to end the show.

Overall Rating: C-. Well there was nothing big and new and the only major change seems to be in the Tag Team Title scene. What interests me is that you really can see a dividing line on Raw with the good and the bad. In essence, it’s almost anything involving the women’s division and Miz/John Morrison on the bad side, and just about everything else is on the good side (with Jinder Mahal in the middle depending on how high he is on the card).

The problem is the stuff that is bad is REALLY bad and it drags everything else down. If you had the opening matches, Kross’ squash, the women’s tag (maybe) and the main event, you have a pretty watchable show. There is a path to making Raw a watchable show. The problem is that it involves getting rid of a lot of bad things and I don’t think WWE sees them as negatives. Until that changes, Raw isn’t getting any better in any significant way.

Results
Damian Priest b. Bobby Lashley via DQ when Sheamus interfered
Drew McIntyre/Damian Priest b. Bobby Lashley/Sheamus – Claymore to Sheamus
Karrion Kross b. Ricochet – Krossjacket choke
Xavier Woods b. Miz – Small package
Mansoor b. Jinder Mahal via DQ when Mahal attacked in the corner
Rhea Ripley/Nikki Ash b. Nia Jax/Shayna Baszler – Riptide to Baszler
Riddle b. AJ Styles – Bro Derek

 

 

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