Date: August 15, 2022
Location: Capital One Arena in Washington, DC
The Big Takeaway --
Raw was quite good, maybe even great, for the first two-plus hours but like last week the last 40 minutes or so felt completely skippable.
Show Recap --
The Raw intro and a fireworks display kicked off the show (for the first time in a few weeks I believe).
Judgment Day segment
Rhea Ripley, Finn Bálor and Damian Priest entered. Ripley said Judgment Day runs Monday Night Raw and that’s been a harsh reality to the Mysterios weekly. She even proved to Dominik that she was his Papi.
Bálor didn’t understand everybody’s love for the Mysterios and had sad news for those who did: Rey and Dominik would not be here tonight. Ripley took out Dominik while he destroyed Rey to help solidify his legacy.
Priest was ready for Edge next week (for their match in Toronto) and let the crowd know that he wasn’t there tonight either. The crowd booed. Priest planned on putting the final nail in the coffin of Edge’s career and would do it without Ripley and Bálor at ringside. Toronto would be where Edge goes back into retirement and into a wheelchair.
Rey suddenly attacked from behind and cleared the ring of both Priest and Bálor. Ripley dared him to hit her. Bálor tried to use a chair but Rey kicked it into his face. Rey attacked both men with the chair before Ripley got in his way. Rey wouldn’t use it on her and that allowed Bálor and Priest to finally get the better of him.
Ripley gave Rey a DDT onto the chair as the crowd chanted “we want Edge.” They put on a chair on top of Rey as Bálor nailed a Coup de Grace. Judgment Day stood tall as officials checked on Rey.
Bianca Belair entered to watch from ringside in the corner of Asuka and Bliss. Nikki wore her superhero outfit but ditched the cape in favour of a black leather jacket (her gear is black and gold).
Tag Team Championship Tournament Round 1: Asuka & Alexa Bliss (w/Bianca Belair) defeated Doudrop & Nikki ASH (9:01)
They went to break 50 seconds into the match after Asuka and Bliss knocked their opponents off the apron. Doudrop squished Bliss between herself and the ring post during the break but Asuka made a hot tag and gave Nikki a German suplex for two.
Nikki hit a flying crossbody but Bliss broke up the cover so Doudrop knocked her down with a running crossbody. Asuka knocked Doudrop down with a back fist but Doudrop came back moments later with a Michinoku Driver for two.
Bliss tagged herself and hit Doudrop with a DDT before Asuka tagged back in and hit a Codebreaker. Bliss knocked out Nikki as Asuka made Doudrop tap out in an armbar. (The action was good when Asuka was in and the crowd popped for the finish.)
— After the match, Bayley, Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai entered to confront Belair, Asuka and Bliss. Officials got between them before anything physical could happen.
Kevin Patrick interviewed Theory who said he was still Mr. Money in the Bank and was still the hand-picked future of this business despite what happened at SummerSlam. He learned from what happened and he would be even more dangerous now.
Dolph Ziggler approached him. Ziggler said the briefcase wasn’t handed to him — he earned it — and that’s why it meant something when he cashed in.
Theory dismissed him as a has-been and said when he becomes champion, he wouldn’t screw up the rest of his career like Ziggler did. Ziggler headbutted him and they scrapped into a commercial break. (They continued to brawl during the break.)
Sarah Schreiber interviewed Ciampa and Miz. Ciampa said he came close to winning the US title last week but they don’t give out participation trophies around here. His goal was to become a champion and planned on doing so the next opportunity he got.
Miz blamed the loss on AJ Styles and thought it was collusion that Styles was suddenly granted a title match. Miz was proud of Ciampa and had a tacky gift for him. It was a picture of the two of them in a bedazzled necklace. Ciampa called it awesome.
Earlier today, Mustafa Ali and Cedric Alexander said they were excited to show what they can do in a new era of Raw.
Ciampa & The Miz defeated Cedric Alexander & Mustafa Ali (9:33)
The good guys fought back following a break and Alexander gave Miz a Michinoku Driver but Ciampa put Miz’s leg on the rope to break up the cover. Ali wiped out Ciampa with a suicide dive that sent him over the announce desk before Alexander got a nearfall on a rollup after an assist from Ali.
Ciampa tagged himself in but Ali didn’t notice and he went to the top. Ali tried a 450 but Ciampa flew in with a mid-air knee strike. He followed with Fairy Tale Ending for the pinfall win.
(There were some clunky spots with Miz but this was pretty good and the crowd got into it.)
The announcers claimed that Ezekiel would be out a long time thanks to Kevin Owens. They showed a photoshopped image of Ezekiel in a hospital bed surrounded by various “family members” who all looked like him (Elias included). There was even a short interview with Ezekiel’s dad, Ernie, Jr.
Drew McIntyre was shown walking through the back. He walked by a trash can that was being put out with a fire extinguisher.
Wale was shown in the crowd.
Drew McIntyre/Kevin Owens segment
This was really great.
McIntyre entered and cut a fiery promo. He said it might be a surprise to see him on Raw tonight but it would be an even bigger surprise to see the other guy.
McIntyre warned Roman Reigns that their match wasn’t happening on some fictional island of relevancy — it was happening on his island. He planned on winning the titles and bringing them to every live event like the fans deserved and like the titles deserved.
McIntyre admitted that the reports of him having a bad back were true — it was from carrying the men in the back for the past two years. McIntyre wanted to become champion and defend the belt against the likes of Ciampa, AJ Styles, Seth Rollins and Karrion Kross.
Kevin Owens interrupted. Owens wondered why McIntyre, as big and bad as he was, carried on this tough guy act with his comically loud voice. Owens said McIntyre was delusional to think he was carrying anyone, especially him.
Owens wanted to remind everyone who he was. He admitted he spent the last couple of years showing up to work and just having a good time. But he remembered something today. It was in this arena that he and Sami Zayn fought their asses off at Battleground and tried to kill each other.
Owens said it was time to bring back the prizefighter. It’s been five years since he held a belt in WWE. “Enough is enough, and it’s time for a change.” Owens was coming after every title he could and warned McIntyre that he was coming for the winner of his match against Reigns.
McIntyre was tired of hearing people make things up just to get a cheap reaction. He fired up telling Owens that he knew exactly who he was too. He got fired years ago, worked his ass off, came back, beat Brock Lesnar and won the world title.
McIntyre said they were two wrestlers in a wrestling ring and they should fight right now. Owens agreed. They circled each other as they went to break.
(Corey Graves mentioned that if McIntyre won the world title, he could appear on Mondays, Fridays, and maybe even Tuesdays.)
Drew McIntyre defeated Kevin Owens via disqualification (14:48)
They had an excellent match until the finish.
They went to break after Owens hit a frog splash off the apron but McIntyre fought back after the break with suplexes and a neckbreaker. Owens came back with a DDT for two.
Owens tried a Swanton but McIntyre got his knees up and hit a Michinoku Driver (our third of the evening) for two. Owens responded with a cannonball and frog splash for two, followed by a Swanton for a nearfall. The crowd chanted “this is awesome.”
Owens went to the top again but McIntyre brought him down with a middle rope White Noise for a nearfall. McIntyre headbutted Owens, Owens hit a superkick, and McIntyre clotheslined him before they both collapsed. They traded fists but McIntyre slipped out of a pop-up powerbomb and hit a Future Shock DDT.
McIntyre set up for a Claymore but the Usos jumped him for the DQ. McIntyre fought them and sent them both from the ring.
McIntyre turned around and Owens dropped him with a stunner. Owens told the Usos, “tell your Tribal Chief he owes me one.”
Owens left so that the Usos could take advantage but McIntyre fought them off again and nailed Jimmy Uso with a Claymore Kick. (Jimmy didn’t sell it long. He got up and grabbed his jaw as he walked off with Jey.) McIntyre warned them that he was coming for Reigns on Friday.
Seth Rollins/Riddle segment
Rollins entered. He wanted a front-row seat to hear Riddle announce his retirement. He thought maybe Riddle could go back to middle school and finish the seventh grade.
Riddle interrupted on the screen. Riddle announced that he was medically cleared, “and the next time I see you, Seth, it’s on!” Rollins wasn’t worried and reminded him of what happened the last two times they were in the ring together and that was Riddle getting his head stomped in.
Riddle revealed what was fairly obvious from the background — he wasn’t at home, he was at the arena. Riddle removed his mic and sprinted to the ring. Riddle avoided a stomp and attacked with kicks and a suplex.
Rollins fought him off and set up for a stomp on the announce table but Riddle avoided it again and hit a knee strike. Rollins ran away through the crowd. Riddle chased after but Rollins got away. Riddle posed with the crowd who chanted “bro.”
There was a video package hyping Bobby Lashley vs. AJ Styles. Styles was shown warming up in the back.
Patrick approached Riddle in the back after a break. Riddle challenged Rollins to a match at Clash of the Castle.
Veer Mahaan defeated Beaux Keller (1:52)
Mahaan won with a million-dollar clothesline and cervical clutch.
Lashley was shown warming up in the back. Adam Pearce could be seen speaking with security/police in the background.
(There’s a Raw commercial on Sportsnet in Canada where the first three people shown are Big E, Randy Orton and Becky Lynch.)
Schreiber interviewed Kai, Bayley and Sky. They bragged about the usual before Kai decided to confront Dana Brooke about their upcoming match. Brooke said she was ready to fight anytime and wasn’t intimidated by them. Kai told her that fear was a motivating thing and that maybe Brooke should be afraid.
Bobby Lashley defeated AJ Styles to retain the United States Championship (21:47)
A sliding knee and forearm off the apron by Styles led to break. Lashley chucked Styles around ringside after the break. Styles mounted some offence but was selling his back and Lashley dropped him with a spinebuster. Lashley twice whipped Styles hard into the turnbuckles.
Miz and Ciampa sauntered to ringside as Lashley knocked Styles off the apron.
Ciampa distracted Lashley so that Miz could go after Styles but before he could do anything, Dexter Lumis jumped the barricade near the announce table. Lumis was immediately tackled by security and the announcers bailed from the desk. The camera stayed on this for a little while before the screen went back and they cut to break.
During the break, Lashley speared Miz before the ref tossed Miz and Ciampa from ringside. After a break, Jimmy Smith mentioned Lumis by name but Graves wanted to focus on the match.
Styles fought back and hit a forearm (not quite the Phenomenal forearm) but Lashley kicked out and followed with a running powerslam for two. Styles came back with a rack bomb for two, and Lashley hit a modified Dominator for two.
Lashley drove Styles into the post and went for a spear in the ring but Styles countered into the Calf Crusher. Lashley countered that into a Hurt Lock (from the ground) and Styles reversed into a pin attempt for two.
Lashley ducked a Phenomenal forearm and speared Styles for the pinfall win.
(Good match but the stuff with Miz, Ciampa and Lumis detracted from it.)
Non-title match: Dakota Kai (w/Bayley & IYO SKY) defeated 24/7 Champion Dana Brooke (2:22)
Brooke got some offence but Kai won relatively easily with a running boot in the corner.
Next week on Raw in Toronto:
- Edge vs. Damian Priest
- Asuka & Bliss vs. Kai & SKY in a tag tournament match
(I will be there.)
Theory defeated Dolph Ziggler (16:12)
This was somehow the main event and it even went through a break. They came back from break with a wide shot of the crowd showing visibly empty seats.
The story of the match, I guess, was that Theory was being more aggressive than usual. Twelve minutes into the match there was a cool spot where Ziggler countered a rolling dropkick attempt into a fameasser for two. They traded cradles until Ziggler hit a Zig-Zag for a nearfall. Theory tried a cover with his feet on the rope but the ref caught him.
Ziggler tried another fameasser but Theory countered into an ATL for the pinfall win.
Theory posed and the show ended.