Date: September 20, 2021
Location: PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina
The Big Takeaway --
Roman Reigns won twice tonight.
Show Recap --
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Bryan Danielson was removed from the signature video intro that starts every WWE show. Ric Flair’s “woo” has been removed now as well.
The New Day kicked off the show. Big E did the introduction for the reunited New Day, introducing Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston individually before introducing himself as the new WWE Champion.
Big E got a very nice reaction and “you deserve it” chants and he took a few moments to soak it in. Big E thanked every fan who “New Day rocks” and even the fans who once chanted “New Day sucks.” He thanked those who cheered when he won the Money in the Bank contract and was grateful for the fans who lost their minds when he became the new WWE Champion.
He was thankful for everyone — especially one person in particular watching from the heavens. A few fans chanted for Brodie Lee.
Big E said they’d have to cut their celebration short because they had business tonight against the Usos and Roman Reigns (whose name got a big reaction). He said Raw was their show and they’d send the Bloodline packing because New Day rocks.
Reigns and the Usos entered. Reigns held his belt up high and Big E responded by doing the same. The crowd was into this. The match is up next.
Six-man tag match: Universal Champion Roman Reigns & The Usos defeated WWE Champion Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods (13:02)
New Day were firmly in control until Reigns yanked Kingston out of the ring, bounced him off the announce table, drove him into the post, and chucked him right over the table. Reigns and the Usos faced off with Big E and Woods as they went to break.
(This is a somewhat minor complaint, but Woods was fully in a position to try to save Kingston but he didn’t. Normally this would be because he’s not the legal man, but neither was Reigns.)
Shortly after returning from break, Kingston fought back by knocking down Jey Uso with a missile dropkick. Big E and Reigns each tagged in and the crowd collectively got on their feet.
They traded blows until Big E handed out three straight suplexes as the crowd cheered. A momentary distraction by Jey allowed Reigns to hit a Uranage for two. Reigns went for a superman punch but Big E caught him and hit a suplex and a running splash.
Jimmy Uso tried to get involved so Kingston wiped out both Usos with a dive. This allowed Reigns to knock down Big E with a superman punch. Woods and Reigns had an exchange that led to Woods hitting a superkick for a nearfall.
Lashley sprinted out and speared Big E (outside the ring) before posting Kingston as the referee just watched. Lashley also laid out the Usos.
Woods was distracted so Reigns nailed a spear for the pinfall win.
Lashley speared Reigns after the match before spearing Big E through the barricade.
(I’m not sure why Lashley’s attack wasn’t a DQ but this was a fun match and the crowd was very hot for everything.)
After a break, Lashley complained to Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville about Big E cashing in last week while he was hurt. Lashley claimed he could beat Big E or Reigns any day of the week. It was still the All Mighty era and that it wasn’t about to end. (They all stared at each other for a while until the segment ended.)
Randy Orton vs. AJ Styles was announced for tonight. They also mentioned MVP breaking a rib thanks to an Orton RKO last week.
Riddle approached Orton in the locker room. Riddle rambled about something until Orton asked him if he was confusing a movie with real life. Orton told Riddle to keep an eye on Omos while he breaks a few of Styles’ ribs.
Orton thanked Riddle for getting him new headphones. Riddle had a matching pair. He put them on and sang Orton’s theme music. You can imagine Orton’s reaction.
Marie grabbed a mic. She said she wasn’t into shaming or negativity, but asked the crowd to take a look at her before taking a look at Doudrop. Marie was well put together while Doudrop was a mess. The crowd cheered Doudrop, who was unbothered by Marie’s comments.
Doudrop defeated Eva Marie (1:19)
Marie tried avoiding Doudrop but Doudrop gave her a senton before hitting a running crossbody for the pinfall win.
A pissed-off Big E marched into the office of Deville and Pearce. He demanded a match with Lashley and Reigns.
(“Raleigh” appears to be on the list of banned words. The announcers are only calling it “NC State.”)
Paul Heyman approached Deville and Pearce to complain about Big E. Heyman and Pearce began arguing until Deville informed Heyman that there would be a triple threat between Reigns, Big E, and Lashley tonight. (The crowd cheered.) Heyman seemed fine with this.
Raw Tag Team Champion Randy Orton (w/Riddle) defeated AJ Styles (w/Omos) (14:57)
Orton was in control until he was tripped by Omos. Orton complained to the referee and encouraged the crowd to do the same. The ref tossed Omos from ringside but Omos laid out Riddle before leaving. Styles sent Orton to the outside near Omos, who was still standing there. Styles hit Orton with a slingshot forearm before Omos finally left and they went to break.
Orton tried fighting back but Styles used a chop block and targetted the leg from there. Orton avoided a charge and Styles went face-first into the middle turnbuckle. They traded strikes until Orton hit a powerslam for two. They traded counters until Styles applied a sleeper. A few more reversals led to Orton hitting an exploder suplex (out of Riddle’s playbook) for two.
Styles came back with strikes and a Pelé kick for two. Orton blocked a Styles Clash but Styles hit a low forearm for two. Styles followed with a Lionsault for two.
Styles set up for the Phenomenal forearm but was momentarily distracted by Riddle. Styles set up for it again but stopped when he saw Orton set up for a mid-air RKO. (They pointed at each other, acknowledging that they each know what the other was thinking, which was funny considering they always do some version of this spot.)
Orton caught Styles anyway with a draping DDT and an RKO for the pinfall win. Strong match.
Shayna Baszler defeated Nia Jax (2:21)
The match began with an argument over who was better. Jax was briefly in control until Baszler hit a series of kicks. Baszler tried the Kirifuda Clutch but she couldn’t quite keep it locked in. She managed to lock it and Jax tried to counter by falling back on top of her. However, Baszler held on to the submission and Jax passed out. Baszler wins.
After the match, Baszler contemplated what to do before deciding to attack Jax. Baszler squeezed Jax’s hand into a gap in the steel steps and stomped on it. She held Jax’s arm against the steps before stomping on it. Baszler seemed to be doubting her own actions as officials checked on Jax.
(This all made it seem like they were setting up Jax as a sympathetic babyface.)
Before the upcoming match, Byron Saxton acknowledged that Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo were usually at odds. The two men did a pre-match promo where they basically said they’d be better off together.
Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo defeated Mustafa Ali & Mansoor (2:47)
After Garza launched Ali into the ring post, Carrillo applied a submission while Garza dropkicked him in the head. That was enough for Carrillo to cover Ali for the pinfall win.
It appears Garza and Carrillo will be a heel team.
There was a Karrion Kross video package.
Nikki ASH and Rhea Ripley entered. (For Nikki’s entrance, they’ve added a Bat-Signal effect with her name in the spotlight.) They spoke about Connor’s Cure. They dedicated their match to anyone affected by pediatric cancer and anyone that has supported Connor’s Cure.
Nikki ASH & Rhea Ripley defeated Natalya & Tamina to win the Women’s Tag Team Championships (2:32)
Tamina and Natalya used a Hart Attack 25 seconds into the match but Ripley broke up the cover. Jimmy Smith actually mentioned that Ripley is only allowed one save and she just used it early in the match. Tamina hit a Samoan drop but instead of going for the cover, she went for a diving splash and Nikki got her knees up (sort of).
Nikki went for a tag but Ripley had been knocked out. Natalya dropkicked Nikki while Tamina tried going after Ripley. Ripley gave Tamina a Riptide on the apron while Nikki rolled up Natalya for the pinfall win. Ripley and Nikki are the new tag champs.
They moved on from this very quickly. This could have been done a lot better.
The ring was set up with the swing set, play horse, and slide. Alexa Bliss introduced Charlotte Flair. Charlotte entered and mocked Bliss for barely being a “competitor” (wrestler) anymore. Bliss called Charlotte the fun police. Bliss said she didn’t have any tricks up her sleeve and noted how short her sleeves were.
Bliss noticed Charlotte didn’t bring her Charly doll but, not to worry, she had a new one. The crowd chanted for the doll. Charlotte said she didn’t want the doll and the crowd booed. Charlotte wanted the old Bliss, the five feet of fury, the former champion. Charlotte called all of this an attempt to hide how fragile Bliss really was.
Charlotte mentioned that they haven’t crossed paths a lot because they’ve been on different brands. She wondered how she went from main eventing WrestleMania 35 to dealing with dolls. She went from beating the Nightmare to feuding with a child. Charlotte wondered if she should beat up Bliss now or wait until Sunday.
Bliss mocked Charlotte for constantly bragging. It was true that Charlotte had won more titles than any other woman, but that also meant she lost more than anyone. Bliss didn’t need to play games to expose Charlotte. Without the title on her shoulder, we didn’t really know who Charlotte was.
The crowd yelled “woo” and Charlotte posed but Bliss said that chant didn’t originally belong to her. Charlotte said Bliss isn’t the one who should be talking about originality. Bliss called Charlotte a bitch and said Charlotte would be able to call her champion on Sunday.
They got into a brawl and Charlotte got the better of it. Charlotte ripped the head off of Charly before going after Lilly. Bliss saved Lilly by knocking down Charlotte with a tornado DDT.
There was 24/7 segment in the back. Drake Maverick devised a plan for Truth, Drew Gulak and Akira Tozawa to drop a net on Reginald but they failed and Gulak wound up in the net.
Damian Priest joined commentary for the upcoming match.
Jeff Hardy defeated Sheamus (approx. 10 min)
Hardy hit a Twist of Fate but Sheamus got his knees up (which looked painful for Hardy). This looked like the end for Hardy, but he managed to roll up Sheamus for the pinfall win. (Sheamus came up bleeding from the nose during the match.)
By winning this match, Hardy has been added to the Priest vs. Sheamus match for the US title on Sunday.
Sheamus confronted Priest after the match and blamed him for the result. They got into a long brawl that officials failed to break up.
They’re plugging tonight’s triple threat between Big E, Lashley and Reigns by saying it’s a match we’ll never see again.
(They plugged Reigns’ match against Finn Bálor at Extreme Rules, but there was no mention of Brock Lesnar or Crown Jewel.)
Non-title triple threat match: Universal Champion Roman Reigns defeated WWE Champion Big E and Bobby Lashley (20:07)
Big E came out last and went right after Lashley. Reigns decided to just watch until he had an opportunity to hit Big E with a drive-by dropkick, leading to a break 49 seconds into the match.
Big E was still after Lashley after the break (despite what we just saw) until Reigns knocked him down with a clothesline for two. Reigns tried a drive-by on Lashley but Lashley clotheslined him on the apron. Lashley used tackles on both men in the corner but Big E knocked him down with an STO. Big E went after Reigns but ate a Samoan drop for two.
Reigns repeatedly clotheslined Lashley in the corner before hoisting him up on the top turnbuckle. Reigns set up for a superplex but Big E got under them and did the big tower of doom powerbomb, which led to break.
Reigns was in control of Big E (despite what we just saw) when they returned. Big E came back and hit consecutive suplexes on Reigns until Lashley yanked him out of the ring and drove him into the barricade. Lashley gave Reigns a flatliner and an impressive delayed vertical suplex for two.
Big E came back in the ring and knocked down both men before hitting them both with a splash. He covered Lashley for a two count. Big E went for a running spear through the ropes but Reigns got his knee up. Lashley gave Big E a spinebuster but Reigns broke up the cover and tried a cover himself for two.
Big E ducked a superman punch and gave Reigns a Big Ending but Lashley yanked Big E out of the ring. Lashley gave Big E a chokeslam right through the announce table.
Lashley tried to spear Reigns but Reigns hit a superman punch for a nearfall. The crowd chanted “this is awesome.”
Reigns tried to spear Lashley but Lashley speared him first and Big E just barely broke up the cover. Lashley tried to put Big E in the Hurt Lock but Reigns hit a superman punch. Big E followed by spearing Reigns out of the ring.
Big E gave Reigns a Big Ending but Lashley hit a Big E with a chair. (I think the crowd was expecting the bell but it’s no disqualification.)
Lashley repeatedly hit Big E with the chair until he was speared by Reigns for the pinfall win. Reigns pins Lashley. Very fun match.
(It’s telling that Reigns won both the opener and the main event. At the very least, Big E came across like a guy who very much belonged with Reigns and Lashley. That being said, Big E almost certainly should have picked up a win tonight.)