Monday Night Raw
Date: August 30, 2021
Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
We are on the way to Extreme Rules and that means we need some things to set up for the show. That could take some time, as Raw has a tendency to not exactly rush things. There isn’t much going on with this show though, as we need something other than RKBro and waiting around for Goldberg to show up for the Bobby Lashley rematch. Let’s get to it.
Here is Damian Priest to get things going. He welcomes us to the show and talks about how he is going to show the title the respect it deserves. We hear about some famous US Champions, including Rey Mysterio, Jeff Hardy and John Cena, because the title’s history is about six years old. That’s unlike WWE Champion Bobby Lashley, who ran away from a challenge last week. Therefore, let’s have an open challenge.
US Title: Damian Priest vs. Sheamus
Sheamus is challenging but hang on because he needs to say he agrees with “Damo”. He promises to kick Priest in the face and take back his title but here is Drew McIntyre to interrupt. McIntyre thinks it’s time for something fresh and new because he has never been US Champion. Priest sounds game but Sheamus gets into it with McIntyre….and here are Bobby Lashley and MVP to interrupt.
The GOLDBERG chants cut MVP off as he tries to talk about Lashley wanted to issue his own open challenge. What’s good for business is Lashley becomes the new US Champion. Now Randy Orton and Riddle interrupt, with Orton saying he thought everything MVP said sucked. Riddle: “But not like a Rumba, because that’s what it’s supposed to do.” Orton thinks Lashley is a greedy son of a b**** and Riddle asks how you would even hold a second title.
Lashley says he could use a second title, but maybe it should be the Tag Team Titles. Riddle says the word of the day tonight is Open Challenge, they can have an open challenge one on one against Bobby Lashley and MVP. Orton tries to explain the concept of an open challenge but MVP says they accept. McIntyre, Sheamus and Priest are ready to fight so here are Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville to interrupt. We’ll have a triple threat match for the title, plus the Tag Team Title match. We’re STILL not done though as Rhea Ripley comes out…for her scheduled match. Well that’s less exciting.
Rhea Ripley vs. Shayna Baszler
Nikki Ash (uninvited it seems) and Nia Jax are here too. Hold on though as Nia promises to crush both Rhea and Nikki, just like she’ll do to Charlotte tonight. Shayna takes Rhea to the mat to start and cranks on an armbar. Some kicks to the head rock Ripley but she grabs a small package for two. Ripley tires the hand in the ring skirt and stomps away to send us to a break.
Back with Baszler kicking at the arm some more but Rhea tells her to bring it on. Some clotheslines and a headbutt rock Baszler and a basement dropkick connects. Baszler is fine enough to try a cross armbreaker but can’t get it on before a rope is reached. The Kirifuda Clutch is broken up as well but Jax crushes Ash on the floor. The distraction lets Baszler grab a pretty awesome torture rack into a rollup, which Ripley counters into a small package for the pin at 10:30.
Rating: C. The frustrations continue around here as they were having a pretty good match and the rollup Baszler used was cool. That’s where the good ends though, as this was still about Nikki being around and Jax getting to beat both of them up rather than letting Ripley have a moment to shine. Why is that so much to ask?
Post match Jax Samoan drops Ripley, just to make sure you remember who the star is.
The Viking Raiders are ready for you to join the raid.
Viking Raiders vs. Jinder Mahal/Veer
Shanky is here with Mahal and Veer. Ivar and Veer start things off with Veer hitting a heck of a Thesz press to take Ivar down in a hurry. Mahal comes in to stomp away, setting up the chinlock, because that’s what you expect from a former World Champion. Ivar fights up and brings in Erik to clean house. Everything breaks down in a hurry and Ivar Cannonballs off the apron to take everyone out. That leaves Mahal to get caught in the Viking Experience for the surprise pin at 4:48.
Rating: C-. The match didn’t have much time to go anywhere, but it gives me some hope that Mahal took a clean loss in a pretty nothing tag match. Maybe WWE is finally realizing that Mahal just isn’t that interesting and there is no point in wasting him in a higher level on the card. As has been the case since he returned: there is a place for him in WWE, but it isn’t that high up on the card despite what WWE thinks.
US Title: Sheamus vs. Damian Priest vs. Drew McIntyre
Priest is defending and it’s Sheamus getting stomped down in the corner to start. Sheamus is sent outside for a step up flip dive from Priest, with McIntyre joining in for some chops. A backdrop sends Sheamus over the barricade and into the timekeeper’s area, leaving us with McIntyre vs. Priest as we take a break. Back with Sheamus hitting a top rope clothesline for two on Priest but the Irish Curse is countered into something like a triangle choke.
That’s broken up and the Irish Curse sets up some shots to the face, even with Priest going for the mask. The forearms to the chest keep Priest in trouble and he crashes out to the floor. McIntyre gets back in though and some clotheslines put Sheamus down. The Futureshock is countered though and McIntyre is sent shoulder first into the post. It’s Priest getting back in for a spinwheel kick to drop Sheamus but McIntyre clotheslines Priest to the floor.
That leaves McIntyre to hit the big flip dive onto the two of them for a bit of a breather. Back in and McIntyre plants Priest with a Michinoku Driver for two. Priest is sat on top but Sheamus knocks McIntyre into the Tree of Woe. The big situp German superplex (nearly a Tower of Doom this time) sends everyone flying though and we take another break. Back again with McIntyre and Sheamus slugging it out until Sheamus gets two off the Alabama Slam.
Priest comes back in to break up the Texas Cloverleaf on McIntyre, setting up South of Heaven for two on Sheamus. McIntyre and Priest slug it out again until Priest loads up the Reckoning. Sheamus breaks it up with a Brogue Kick though and McIntyre rolls Sheamus up for two. Futureshock drops Sheamus but he cuts off the Claymore with a knee to the face for a heck of a near fall.
The fans deem this awesome as Sheamus hits a super White Noise for two more with Priest making the save (which you couldn’t really see until the camera changed to a wide shot). Priest drops Sheamus onto the turnbuckle and ducks a Claymore so McIntyre kicks Sheamus’ head off. The Glasgow Kiss rocks Priest but he counters a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker into the Reckoning to retain at 21:30.
Rating: B+. I can always go with three big bruisers beating each other up for over twenty minutes and this was a heck of a match. They had me believing that you might see a surprise title change and that’s the idea of something like this. Priest pinning McIntyre means a lot for him and they all looked quite awesome. Sometimes the solution to a lot of your problems is to have a good, long match and that’s what they did here.
Post match, Priest and McIntyre shake hands in a show of respect.
We look back at Goldberg losing to Bobby Lashley at Summerslam, because that’s how you keep the momentum going.
Goldberg says he needs knee surgery but he’s coming for Lashley’s soul.
Reggie is in the park when he sees R-Truth in a wig and Akira Tozawa in a dog costume. The chase is on but Reggie uses a Frisbee to escape. Reggie Parkours away but they corner him on a bridge. Tozawa crawls after him like a dog but Reggie flips away again. Tozawa thinks the dog is a bad idea and leaves.
Video on Eva Marie vs. Doudrop, with Eva bringing her in but Doudrop not liking her and rebelling.
Eva Marie vs. Doudrop
Doudrop runs her over, sits on Marie’s chest and hits the basement crossbody for her own count. No match.
Doudrop announces herself as the winner as Marie isn’t sure what happened.
Charlotte laughs off the idea of Nia Jax squashing her.
Karrion Kross vs. Humberto Carrillo
Carrillo starts fast with a crossbody but Kross clotheslines his head off to take over (he hit him so hard that Smith thought Kross was fighting Ricochet). Kross runs him over again and sends Carrillo flying with a northern lights suplex. The chinlock goes on but Carrillo makes the comeback, only to get forearmed out of the air. The Doomsday Saito into the Krossjacket finishes Carrillo at 4:18.
Rating: D+. Near total squash here and that makes it so much more frustrating. WWE clearly knows how to push someone like Kross (in-ring gear aside) but they let him waste a few weeks with those early losses. It continues to make WWE look like they have no idea what they’re doing week to week and that is going to cause a problem in a hurry.
Nia Jax promises to do something painful with Charlotte’s invisible crown.
Riddle thinks a win over Bobby Lashley/MVP would make for a good win on RKBro’s resume….but how do you make a resume? Randy Orton says just be a good tag partner and let him do his thing. That’s cool with Riddle, who lists off some more of his own skills. Talking and scootering are included.
Charlotte vs. Nia Jax
Non-title and Charlotte bails from a charging Jax to start. Back in and Charlotte dodges again before slapping her in the face. Jax sends her into the corner but misses a running hip attack. Charlotte grabs a headlock to get as far as she can before switching to a dragon sleeper over the ropes. Jax is right back with a spinebuster (THUD) and Charlotte needs a breather on the floor. They change places and Charlotte takes her down with a dive as we take a break.
Back with Nia dropping Charlotte hard in a belly to back drop (not suplex, but just a drop), only to miss a charge in the corner. The moonsault hits knees and Nia hits a Samoa drop. The running legdrop misses and Charlotte kicks her in the face. Charlotte gets on her back for a delayed reverse DDT for two more. With nothing else working, Charlotte starts in on the knee, including the DDT to take it down. Charlotte mocks Jax’s hip based material and gets kicked into the corner. Back up and Jax hits one of the hardest powerbombs I’ve seen in a long time to win at 13:46.
Rating: F. This was horrible in every sense of the word and I’m not sure how much they were working together at various points. Charlotte looked completely bored, Jax could barely move, and Charlotte got dropped hard more than once. Simply put, Jax cannot go this long at this size and it showed bad here. She is nearly immobile and can only do so much. Throw in Charlotte looking like she would rather be having gum surgery and this was a total disaster. Have fun with the Extreme Rules rematch!
We recap RKBro’s celebration last week.
John Morrison’s match vs. Miz has been canceled for no apparent reason, but he wants to prove he can act anyway. Therefore, he’ll face Omos tonight. Omos: “Sucks to be you.”
John Morrison vs. Omos
Morrison’s Drip Stick is smacked away and he can’t quite strike away at the giant. Omos shoves him outside so it’s time to bust out the Parkour. A bit of a slip lets Omos hit a clothesline, setting up the double chokeslam for the pin at 2:03. This was really not good while it lasted.
Xavier Woods vs. AJ Styles
Woods starts fast with a Russian legsweep and AJ needs to head outside. That means a big dive from Woods but AJ gets in a shot to the face back inside. The threat of the Phenomenal Forearm sends Woods outside so AJ hits a hard dropkick through the ropes. Back in and AJ starts in on the leg, including something like a Stunner out of the corner.
Woods grabs a rollup for two, followed by a northern lights suplex for the same. AJ can’t get the Styles Clash as Woods flips out and ties him in the Tree of Woe. The dropkick in the corner gives Woods an awkward looking two (it’s like they couldn’t get the cover right) but Styles is right back with the Calf Crusher for the tap at 7:13.
Rating: C-. This was another awkward one and I’m not sure if it had to do with the crowd not being thrilled after Charlotte vs. Jax. Styles beating Woods is fine as it isn’t like losing to a multiple time World Champion is some kind of a career killer. Not a bad match, but it seemed more like a way to get Styles onto the show than anything else.
Tag Team Titles: RKBro vs. MVP/Bobby Lashley
RKBro is defending and AJ Styles, with Omos behind him, is on commentary. MVP drives Riddle into the corner to start but Riddle is right back with some shots to the face. That’s enough to put MVP on the floor, setting up the big springboard Floating Bro as we take a fast break.
We come back with Lashley working Riddle over until a hot tag brings in Orton. The hanging DDT hits Lashley but MVP is still legal and gets in a cheap shot. It’s back to Riddle for a knee to Lashley, setting up the Floating Bro for two. Everything breaks down and AJ decks Lashley, only to have to deal with Omos. The distraction lets Riddle hit a jumping knee to MVP, setting up the Floating Bro to retain at 10:49.
Rating: B-. Now this was more like it with much more of an action packed match. They had a bunch of stuff happening throughout and the ending was the right call. There wasn’t much doubt about a possible title change, but at least they got in and did their thing with some time. Not a great match, but it was good enough to get the show out of a bit of trouble.
Post match Lashley goes after Riddle but walks into an RKO to end the show. Orton vs. Lashley could be interesting.
Overall Rating: D+. I don’t remember the last time I saw a Raw this up and down. The triple threat match was one of the best matches Raw has had in months (if not longer) but the Jax vs. Charlotte match might be the worst WWE match I’ve seen in ten years (ignoring matches with people who have no business being in a ring). The rest of the show wasn’t exactly good either, and the result was another week where I was wondering how bad things could get. Raw continues to be a miss, as they seem happy with running off in whatever direction they want and not caring how bad things get.
Rhea Ripley b. Shayna Baszler – Rollup
Viking Raiders b. Jinder Mahal/Veer – Viking Experience to Veer
Damian Priest b. Sheamus and Drew McIntyre – Reckoning to McIntyre
Karrion Kross b. Humberto Carrillo – Krossjacket
Nia Jax b. Charlotte – Powerbomb
Omos b. John Morrison – Chokeslam
AJ Styles b. Xavier Woods – Calf Crusher
RKBro b. Bobby Lashley/MVP – Floating Bro to MVP
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