Date: August 26, 2019
Location: Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA
The Big Takeaway --
Ricochet and Baron Corbin advanced in the King of the Ring tournament. Drew McIntyre and The Miz are out. Ricochet beat McIntyre in a pretty good match. There was also an excellent match between Cedric Alexander and Cesaro.
Despite the two good matches, Raw was a slog to get through, brought down by an abysmal tag team gauntlet match and a DQ in the U.S. title main event.
Becky Lynch was not on the show. Seth Rollins was in one backstage segment.
Show Recap --
Sasha Banks kicked off the show. Michael Cole let us know that it’s Boss Time. After Banks hit the ring, they aired a video package that was over two and a half minutes long.
Banks said she was gone for four months, minding her own business, but all she heard was people talking about her. The crowd chanted for Becky Lynch. People said she threw a fit, that she cried on the locker room floor after WrestleMania, that she took her ball and went home. She said that was all true.
Banks said she was relegated to a tag team match at Mania, one she didn’t care about or want to be in, while Lynch got to main event the show against Ronda Rousey. Banks left and took a few vacations with her pay, then noted that Lynch received much higher pay for being in the main event.
Banks decided to return, greeted her own friend Natalya and lied to her face, telling her that her dad would be proud of her. Banks called herself the standard of the division and was the talk of the division. She deserved all the glory.
Natalya’s music hit and she sprinted out (with her elbow/arm taped up) and tackled Banks. They brawled outside the ring until officials ran down to break it up. The women continued to brawl until they were finally separated and they went to commercial. A young fan let Banks know that she liked her blue hair. Banks didn’t get much heat at all for her promo.
The Street Profits were excited about Natalya vs. Banks. They ran down tonight’s card. Angelo Dawkins wondered what the hell a tag team turmoil match was. Montez Ford asked for a graphic and explained the rules as they appeared on the screen. They went on for a while running down all the teams that would be involved.
King of the Ring Round 1 Match: Ricochet defeated Drew McIntyre (12:51)
Cole said this was a big opportunity “for the man who believes he’s a superhero.” Ricochet cut a pre-taped promo reading off some unfortunate dialogue. He said some would consider McIntyre an immovable object, but he was willing to move him aside to climb the mountain. McIntyre said he didn’t care about the past winners and would exile all unworthy superstars as the king.
Cole said we’ve learned that McIntyre has some problems with smaller guys as he launched Ricochet all the way across the ring with a suplex (which was noted by Renee Young). McIntyre blocked a headscissors takedown on the outside and drove him into the barricade and ring apron, then they went to break two minutes into the match.
Shortly after the break, Ricochet mounted a comeback and hit a dive to the outside. McIntyre followed later with an inverted Alabama Slam for two. McIntyre tried a running splash in the corner but Ricochet actually caught him and carried him to the middle of the ring, which popped the crowd. McIntyre countered anyway into a suplex.
Ricochet came back with a springboard clothesline and standing shooting star for two. McIntyre blocked an enziguri and knocked Ricochet from the ring. Ricochet leaped over the steel steps and came back with an enziguri. Ricochet tried a move off the steps but McIntyre caught him with a headbutt.
Back in the ring, McIntyre set up for a Claymore Kick but Ricochet caught him with a superkick. Ricochet hit a few more kicks but McIntyre came back with a big clothesline and sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall. McIntyre pushed Ricochet into the turnbuckle, but Ricochet bounced back and hit a Codebreaker. Ricochet then hit the 630 for the pinfall win.
This was good. The crowd liked Ricochet and really got into the finishing sequence when they realized he might actually win.
Sarah Schreiber interviewed Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman backstage. She mentioned the conundrum of them having the tag titles given that every title will be on the line at Clash of Champions. Rollins was ready to take on any challengers at any time.
Strowman was still distracted by Rollins’ other belt. Strowman asked who he was defending the Universal title against next. Rollins played dumb, then asked if he wanted the next shot. Strowman basically said yes and issued the challenge. Rollins accepted. This was followed with a graphic for the match, which I guess they had ready in case this exact scenario played out.
Cole said they would be defending the titles at the PPV before wrestling each other for the Universal title. Young also noted that Strowman could have a third title if he beats AJ Styles tonight.
King of the Ring Round 1 Match: Baron Corbin defeated The Miz (10:01)
The Miz ran down his accomplishments over his 13 year WWE career (which spans about as long as Bret Hart’s initial WWE run). He said people ask him what he wants and he said he wanted it all. He said he would take the WWE iron throne and become “King Awesome.”
Corbin hit a clothesline and they went to break two minutes into the match. After a break, Miz hit his backbreaker to neckbreaker combo, which looked awful. The crowd chanted for Miz as he followed with It Kicks and running knees in the corner, then an axe handle for two.
Corbin came back with a Deep Six for two. Miz countered a chokeslam into a roll-up for two, then hit a DDT for a nearfall. Corbin used a schoolboy for two, then Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale for a nearfall. Miz missed a springboard move and Corbin hit End of Days for the pinfall win. This wasn’t a good match but the crowd seemed into it. They liked Miz.
After the match, Corbin sat in the big chair and put on the crown. He knew that the fans wanted anyone but him to win the tournament, but he didn’t care. He couldn’t wait to tell them “all hail King Corbin.”
Backstage, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows complained to Kayla Braxton about how unfair it was that Rollins and Strowman got a tag title shot out of nowhere last week, and that they had to go through tag team turmoil tonight. Anderson said they would prove why they were the only club that mattered.
Cole announced NXT to USA as they showed screenshots from various news outlets covering the story. They did this on Smackdown, too. Underwhelming way to announce it.
They aired a clip of the Rey Mysterio and Dominick segment from last week, then announced that Mysterio “returns” next week.
Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley defeated Tag Team Champion Nikki Cross in a non-title match (4:00)
They went back and forth until Bayley hit a vertical suplex and flying elbow drop for the clean pinfall win. They worked well together but this was short. Alexa Bliss was not there.
Backstage, Strowman told Braxton that it would be winner take all after he defends the tag titles, wins the Universal title and wins the US title. He intimated that he would take out the entire OC and nothing would stop him from winning the Universal title.
Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler won a Tag Team Turmoil Match (Gauntlet Match) to become Number One Contenders for the Raw Tag Team Championships
Match 1: The Viking Raiders defeated The B-Team (1:17)
Viking Raiders won with the Viking Experience on Bo Dallas.
Match 2: The Viking Raiders DDQ Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (1:12)
All four men brawled until the referee could take no more and called for a double DQ. Both teams are done. The crowd booed.
Match 3: Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler defeated Lince Dorado & Gran Metalik (w/Kalisto)
Ziggler caught Metalik with a superkick off the ropes for the quick pinfall win.
Match 4: Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler defeated The Revival (5:06)
Ziggler tagged out and was still in the ring way longer than a five-count, which is what resulted in a DQ in the last match but didn’t matter here. Roode gave Scott Dawson a Glorious DDT for the pinfall win. Dawson had an unfortunate wedgie, which I guess was bad enough that the screen went black for a second.
Match 5: Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler defeated Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins
This started during a break and was over almost immediately after it when Ziggler gave Ryder a superkick for the pinfall win.
Match 6: Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler defeated Heavy Machinery (5:29)
The referee rang the bell for the match to start with Ziggler and Roode both outside the ring. There was a cool spot where Tucker had Ziggler up in a vertical suplex position, then handed him off to Otis who finished off the suplex. Roode dropped the rope down on Tucker who fell out of the ring, then Roode proceeded to drive him into the barricade and steel steps (not a DQ).
Tucker ducked a Stinger Splash attempt and tagged Otis. Otis squashed Ziggler in the corner and gave Roode a spinning slam. Otis did the Caterpillar on Ziggler, then slammed Roode for a two count. Otis held up Roode for the Compactor but Ziggler superkicked Tucker, then gave Otis the Zig Zag on top of Tucker. Roode then gave Tucker a Glorious DDT for the pinfall win.
Roode and Ziggler are the number one contenders. The majority of this sucked. The crowd died after the DDQ but woke up a bit for Otis.
They aired a long recap of the Roman Reigns, Daniel Bryan, Rowan and Rowan stuff.
They announced Ronda Rousey joining Total Divas.
Banks’ music hit and Cole, like a trained parrot, said “it’s boss time” again. He had no enthusiasm in his voice this time and Graves made sure to point that out.
Sasha Banks defeated Natalya (3:59)
Natalya dodged a baseball slide attempt, then drove Banks into the barricade and hit consecutive vertical suplexes on the mats. Back in the ring, Natalya countered Banks again and hit a big German suplex. As Natalya tried to grab at Banks, Banks slid out of the ring and drove Natalya’s injured arm into the post. Banks then tossed her into a leather chair and into the post again.
Natalya avoided a double knee strike and applied a schoolgirl for two. Banks slipped out of a Sharpshooter attempt and hit a back cracker into the crossface. As Natalya crawled toward the rope, Banks grabbed her bad arm and wrapped it around her neck and Natalya tapped out.
Banks put Natalya in the crossface again after the match. She smiled as she did it, as she did when she hit the Bank Statement during the match. The crowd chanted for Lynch who didn’t show.
Backstage, AJ Styles told Kayla Braxton that the OC were screwed out of their tag match earlier, and people were doubting him against Strowman. Styles wasn’t intimated by Strowman. Styles said he would beat Strowman and give him what he deserves: nothing.
Cedric Alexander defeated Cesaro (10:53)
They traded strikes, then Cesaro killed Alexander with an uppercut as he attempted a suicide dive. Cesaro hit a gutwrench slam, then slowed things down with a chinlock. Alexander came back quickly with a slingshot flatliner, flip dive and springboard clothesline for two.
During a break, Cesaro smashed Alexander’s knee against the ring board and apron. After a break, Alexander came back with an enziguri. He hoisted up Cesaro while selling his leg, then hit a Michinoku Driver for two.
Alexander went to the top but Cesaro kicked his leg out of his leg and hit a superplex off the middle rope. Cesaro then applied a half grab but Alexander got a rope break. Cesaro came running off the rope but Alexander caught him with an awesome standing Spanish Fly for two.
Cesaro caught Alexander’s legs and initially applied a Cloverleaf but turned into a half crab again. Alexander countered into a victory roll for two, then hit a back elbow. He tried a handspring move but couldn’t quite do it because of his leg and Cesaro caught him in an ankle lock. Alexander fought him off and caught him with the Lumbar Check for the pinfall win.
This was excellent. They’re playing up Alexander having a bad leg going into his second-round match against Corbin.
WWE congratulated themselves on beating Monday Night Football on social media last week.
They aired clips of the 24/7 title going from Elias to Truth to Rob Stone (a guy on Fox Sports) back to Elias.
Schrieber interviewed Ziggler and Roode. They were excited to be a team. Ziggler also thought that the Universal title match would happen before the tag title match at the PPV, which seems unlikely. He called them the real main event and Roode said they were glorious.
Montez Ford talked about Raw but Angelo Dawkins was distracted thinking about the afterparty on Bourbon Street. The crowd cheered. Ford and Dawkins suddenly stopped talking when they saw Strowman, who began walking toward the ring. This looked so dumb. Strowman was just standing in the corner and only started moving when he got his cue. But the Street Profits had to react as though Strowman wasn’t standing there the whole time.
They aired a Bray Wyatt video package, going back to the beginnings of the Firefly Fun House segments.
I don’t know what the attendance is like for this show, but based on the camera angles and lack of crowd noise, it doesn’t seem good.
U.S. Championship match: AJ Styles defeated Braun Strowman via DQ (10:58)
Strowman immediately sent Styles to the outside and ran him over twice with shoulder tackles. Styles caught him with a kick and forearm back in the ring, but Strowman caught him with a chokeslam for a nearfall after Styles got his foot on the rope. Strowman then booted Styles from the ring and they went to break barely 80 seconds into the match.
After a long break, Strowman had his hands on Styles but Styles slipped into a sleeper hold. There were chants of “AJ Styles” and “Get these hands.” Styles avoided a big boot and chop blocked Strowman. Styles hit a forearm to the back of Strowman’s neck, then hit a Lionsault for two.
Styles followed with another forearm to the neck, then applied the Calf Crusher. Strowman sold it like you’d see everyone else sell this move, and even teased tapping out. Strowman then just got up to his knees and slammed Styles against the mat.
Strowman tried a powerslam but his leg sort of gave out. He tried a charge but Styles moved and he went shoulder-first into the post. Styles then shoved Strowman into the referee, who fell to the outside. Styles raked Strowman’s eyes then kicked him in the nuts (which was missed by the director).
Styles grabbed a chair and hit Strowman in the back. He tried that again but Strowman ducked and hit a powerslam but the referee was still down. Gallows and Anderson ran out to attack but Strowman fought them off with the chair. The chair was still in his hands as Styles began to get up. Styles noticed the referee was getting up, so Styles pulled an Eddie Guerrero and fell down.
The referee saw the chair in Strowman’s hands and Styles on the mat. Strowman pled his case but the referee didn’t believe him and called for the DQ. The crowd booed. Strowman handed out powerslams to all three men and posed as they went off the air.