Date: August 6, 2018
Location: Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, FL
The Big Takeaway --
Ronda Rousey beat Alicia Fox in her Raw debut.
Show Recap --
After a long recap of last week, Kurt Angle and Baron Corbin came out to start the show. (The recap didn’t include any of the “we want Roman” chants from the end of the show.)
Angle said it would be a historic night because Ronda Rousey would make her Raw debut, which was cheered. Angle said Rousey had no problem competing tonight, unlike the other former UFC fighter. He criticized Brock Lesnar for what he did last week, and also confirmed that Paul Heyman was still employed. Corbin warned him about speaking of Lesnar.
Angle had more to say about Lesnar, but Roman Reigns interrupted. Reigns said Angle should’ve known better. “If you kick the big dog out, who’s going to protect the yard?” Reigns ran down Corbin for backing down last week. Angle confirmed Reigns would fight Lesnar at SummerSlam and hoped he would kick his ass.
Corbin told Angle he shouldn’t play favourites. Reigns called Corbin a coward. Corbin said he chose to be the bigger man and was also worn out from beating little Finn Balor. He mentioned that Balor actually won the Universal title, unlike Lesnar. Angle said Corbin could have acted like a man, so Corbin reminded him who this show really belonged to.
Angle put Corbin in a match with Reigns and people cheered. Corbin was pissed, then punched Reigns in the face right as the bell rang.
Roman Reigns defeated Baron Corbin (18:42)
Reigns hit a superman punch right away, but Corbin kicked out and they went to commercial. Of course, after the break, Corbin was in control. After a long rest hold, Reigns clotheslined Corbin out of the ring and followed with a drive-by. Corbin then rammed Reigns’ head into the ring post and they went to another break.
Back from break, Corbin has Reigns in a rest hold. Reigns came back with an elbow, clothesline, boot, and Samoan drop for two. Reigns followed with clotheslines in the corner and big boot. Corbin avoided a superman punch and hit Deep Six for two. Reigns followed later with a superman punch for a nearfall.
Reigns set up for a spear, so Corbin left the ring. Balor came out to his music to stop him from leaving. Reigns then gave him a superman punch and spear for the win. This was a dull match and the crowd seemed quieter than usual for a Reigns match.
Reigns gave Balor a fist bump as he left, then Balor hit the ring and gave Corbin a dropkick and Coup de Grace.
Rousey and Natalya were showing talking backstage, and Bobby Roode was shown checking himself out in a mirror.
Seth Rollins spoke with Angle about having to deal with both Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre. Angle suggested he find a partner and they could have a tag match tonight. Rollins was happy with this.
Bobby Roode defeated Mojo Rawley (9:05)
They went to commercial a minute into the match. After the break, Rawley had Roode in a rest hold. They should just save us the trouble and have every match start with the babyface in a headlock.
Roode came back with a forearm, clotheslines, neckbreaker and blockbuster. Rawley caught Roode as he came off the middle rope, but Roode countered into a Glorious DDT for the win.
A stagehand tried to talk tonight’s performance with Elias, but he wasn’t worried about it and told the guy tonight would be perfect.
After a break, Elias was in the ring and performed on his guitar. He plugged his album and said he topped the charts despite it only having four songs. He seemed dissatisfied with the documentary they aired for him last week, so he had his own crew here to film him.
He gave the film crew direction and likened them to Bobby Lashley who couldn’t remember the lyrics to Rockin’ Robin. He also wanted them to CGI the crowd and remove their faces so he didn’t have to stare at people from Jacksonville. This got a lot of heat.
Lashley interrupted. He said Elias may not have liked the documentary, but he did. They spoke about it like anybody actually saw it. Elias said Lashley’s comeback has been a joke. Lashley said Elias’ boots, his scarf, his guitar, his album, his documentary and everything else about him was a joke. Lashley warned him not to speak of him again.
Elias had enough so he sent the film crew out of the ring, then gave Lashley a cheap shot. The attack didn’t last long as Lashley gave him a spinebuster. Lashley brought the crew back in the ring so they could film him doing a delayed vertical suplex. I thought last week’s segment was fun. This wasn’t.
Cole told us that Rollins’ partner tonight would not be Dean Ambrose because he is still out from tricep surgery.
Tyler Breeze approached Rollins and offered to be his partner. Breeze called himself gorgeous and said Rollins was passable, if you were into the whole CrossFit Jesus thing. Breeze suggested their team be called “CrossFit Breezus” and said Rollins should accept before he changed his mind. Reigns showed up and said he had Rollins’ back tonight and they left Breeze hanging.
Rezar (w/Akam) defeated Titus O’Neil (w/Apollo Crews & Dana Brooke) (3:02)
Rezar won with a spinebuster.
They confirmed Reigns would be Rollins’ partner tonight.
The Kevin Owens Show
Owens introduced his guest and personal guru Jinder Mahal (with Sunil Singh) who has been helping him with the stress of Braun Strowman. Owens said he’s never felt more relaxed thanks to Mahal. He thought he would live the rest of his life in pain thanks to Strowman, but now he can play with his kids pain-free.
He said everyone sees Strowman as a monster, but Owens beat him in a grueling cage match. He mentioned that Mahal also beat Strowman, though it was only by countout. Everytime Mahal tried to answer a question, Owens cut him off and answered for him. Owens said he would become KO in the Bank and regain the Universal title.
Owens suggested Mahal beat Strowman again tonight. Mahal didn’t like this idea. Owens called out Strowman but he didn’t show. Suddenly, the platform they were sitting on (set up beside the stage) began tipping over. The set toppled over and Strowman appeared from under it. He posed with the briefcase and marched to the ring.
They showed a bunch of replays and it looked sillier each time. The bump they took would be like falling off your bed.
Jinder Mahal (w/Kevin Owens & Sunil Singh) defeated Braun Strowman via DQ (1:47)
Owens tried to run off with the briefcase, so Strowman chased after him and knocked him down. Mahal went after him, so Strowman hit him with the briefcase which was a DQ. He was about to kill Mahal but Sunil saved him. Strowman decked Sunil and Mahal left through the crowd. This stuff isn’t helping anyone.
Corbin gave Angle a cell phone so Stephanie McMahon could tell him something. Does she not have his number?
WWE congratulated themselves on having 15 million Instagram followers.
They aired a video package for Lesnar vs. Reigns. It included clips of Reigns being interviewed by Corey Graves. Reigns said Lesnar never beat him in their first match, but admitted to getting beat at this year’s WrestleMania. Reigns said he beat Lesnar at the Greatest Royal Rumble and was the rightful champion. Reigns was sick of Lesnar disrespecting his family’s business and they showed headlines about Lesnar heading back to UFC. Reigns said he would beat Lesnar, “because I have to win.”
Backstage, Corbin and Angle approached Rollins and Reigns. Corbin said Stephanie didn’t want to jeopardize the SummerSlam main event and didn’t want Reigns competing again. Reigns didn’t care. Corbin said he’d be forfeiting his title match if he didn’t listen. Rollins told Reigns not to worry about it.
After Rollins left, Reigns re-entered the frame and asked Corbin if his ribs were feeling alright. Corbin didn’t understand, so Reigns punched him in the ribs, which was funny.
Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin was announced for SummerSlam.
2-on-1 handicap match: Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre defeated Seth Rollins (7:06)
Crowd chanted “we want Ambrose” as the match began. There was a botched spot early on where McIntyre was supposed to catch Rollins off the top but they just sorta fell over. After Rollins hit a suicide dive, Cole shouted, “can Seth Rollins pull this off!?” then said it again two seconds later.
The finish came out of nowhere. Rollins tried fighting off both guys but Ziggler caught him with a superkick and won. The crowd was silent. This was weak.
They aired a video package for Alicia Fox. Later, Rousey was shown warming up.
Non-title match: Tag Team Champions B-Team DDQ The Revival (3:09)
B-Team have wacky new entrance music designed to get people to chant along. A couple minutes into the match, the lights went out and Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt appeared on the apron. They laid out Scott Dawson and Bo Dallas in the ring for the double disqualification. Disqualifications are usually lame but this match was dying anyway.
Paul Heyman sit-down interview
Renee Young did a sit-down interview with a disheveled Paul Heyman. Heyman doesn’t know where he stands with Brock Lesnar, who has disconnected his phone. Heyman looked around and informed people in the room that all of this was just going to piss off Lesnar. Renee tried to continue and Heyman accused her of enjoying this.
She just wanted to get to the bottom of this and asked if he still considered Lesnar a friend. Heyman said yes, and his children were friends with Lesnar’s children. He didn’t see it ending like this. He wanted to see Lesnar holding the Universal title and UFC title on each shoulder. He became emotional and couldn’t finish his sentence.
Renee asked if Heyman had his eyes on any other talent, assuming his relationship with Lesnar was done. Heyman said that question would've been inconceivable a week ago. He said this whole situation was inconceivable and wondered how he could just go with someone else.
She asked who would win at SummerSlam. Heyman said he’s never seen Lesnar this violent and Reigns doesn’t stand a chance. He took a deep breath and the segment ended. Heyman was tremendous here.
Sarah Logan & Liv Morgan defeated Sasha Banks & Bayley (10:35)
Graves went on a weird rant about how Banks and Bayley enter separately, unlike Logan and Morgan. Of course, he said this as Banks and Bayley walked to the ring together. (Banks does come out a few seconds earlier than Bayley, but they still enter together.)
Near the end of the match, Bayley went after Morgan on the outside, but a hooded figure appeared to save Morgan, who then gave Bayley an enziguri. Banks was distracted, so Logan rolled her up for the win. It was Ruby Riott under the hood and she celebrated with her friends as Banks consoled Bayley.
I suppose you could say Bayley was hurt, but I’m not sure why the faces didn’t go after the heels for this. Instead, they just sulked on the floor.
They aired a video package for Rousey/Bliss.
There’s a Table For 3 tonight with Beth Phoenix, Nia Jax and Natalya. Next week on Raw, B-Team defends their tag titles in a triple threat against Hardy & Wyatt and The Revival.
Ronda Rousey (w/Natalya) defeated Alicia Fox (w/Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss) (3:44)
Before the match, Charly Caruso tried to ask Fox about Rousey. Bliss interrupted and didn’t appreciate her asking about Rousey. She put over Fox as a trailblazer in the division. Caruso asked Fox how she prepared for Rousey. Fox bragged about taking her out last week and showed a replay. Fox also bragged about being the captain of Team Raw as people booed.
Bliss kicked Caruso out of the ring and continued talking as the show passed the three-hour mark. Bliss thanked Fox for her contributions. She said Rousey didn’t deserve a title match. They kept going until Rousey’s music finally hit. They gave this match the big pre-match introductions like it was a title match.
Fox taunted Rousey then tried to punch her, but Rousey blocked it and shoved her down. After a series of distractions, Bliss tripped Rousey. Fox hammered away at Rousey in the corner, but Rousey came back with fists and three consecutive judo throws.
Bliss tried another distraction but Rousey caught Fox and hit a suplex. Rousey then stared down Bliss as she applied the armbar on Fox, who tapped immediately.
Natalya and Rousey hugged. Caruso congratulated Rousey when Bliss tried to attack from behind but Rousey fought her off. Rousey grabbed the mic and said it didn’t matter how tight Bliss held onto the belt, because it was hers at SummerSlam.
Final Thoughts --
This was a weak Raw show, even compared to recent standards. The main event was fine but it was probably overbooked. Rousey could’ve just beaten Fox in 30 seconds, then her and Natalya could’ve fended off the heels after.