Date: July 22, 2019
Location: Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL
The Big Takeaway --
Raw Reunion was a letdown outside of Steve Austin’s appearance at the very end of the show.
There were no big angles involving the legends, outside of maybe Bray Wyatt attacking Mick Foley.
Ric Flair was allowed to soak in the crowd, but never spoke. Scott Hall and Kevin Nash appeared with DX in their nWo gear, but they also never spoke, nor did they get their music. Kurt Angle had one line. The 24/7 title changed about eight times. AJ Styles, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows are The OC now.
Read below for more.
Show Recap --
John Cena kicked off the show. He received a big reaction and people sang “John Cena sucks” to his music. Michael Cole called him the greatest of all-time. Once his music cut, he was mostly cheered. He wondered if all he had to do was get cheered was be part of a reunion. He ran down the some of the names appearing tonight, including Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, DX, and Steve Austin. (They were all cheered. A very small number booed Hogan.)
Cena said he missed being here. He called this is home, and he wasn’t just saying that because he lives in the Tampa area. He said he was as excited to be here tonight as he was on day one. He wanted to get the show started, and that brought out The Usos.
The Usos said the fans wanted them to drop rhymes with Cena. Cena began leaving, so the crowd booed. The Usos wondered if he was still the doctor or the man who left us for the movie business.
Cena came back in and proceeded with a rap, telling the Usos they looked just like their mugshots and asked what it was like being arrested. The Usos appreciated the line. Cena was about to leave again, but they told him to stay because their dad was there. Rikishi came out and people chanted for him.
Cena went to leave again, but Rikishi called him back in. Rikishi said he couldn’t let Cena leave “fast and furious” without busting a move first. They got ready to dance, but The Revival interrupted. Before coming to the ring, they brought out back-up -- D-Von Dudley.
Backstage, Hogan told Jimmy Hart he was pumped up and mentioned some of the names he was excited about, like Kurt Angle, Austin and Jerry Lawler.
I’m not sure if this aired everywhere, but there was a WWE Network commercial that ended with a brief flash of Bray Wyatt.
Booker T entered and joined commentary for the next match.
The Usos (w/Rikishi) defeated The Revival (w/D-Von Dudley) (7:51)
In Canada, they took a quick commercial break a few minutes into the match. I guess in the U.S. there was an in-set commercial instead and the match continued through the break.
After Jey Uso fell to the outside, D-Von was about to go after him, but Rikishi got in his face and backed him off. Jimmy Uso gave Scott Dawson a superkick and another to Dash Wilder. Jey Uso gave Dawson a diving splash for the win.
Seth Rollins will be on MizTV and face AJ Styles tonight.
Backstage, Alicia Fox gave Kaitlyn a sparkly hat. Dana Brooke was with them. Torrie Wilson showed up, then they were joined by Santino. They were excited to see him and he said, “it’s me, it’s me!” They asked where his sister was and he said she was under the weather. They asked about his little friend and he pulled out the cobra. He teased them for a bit until Drew McIntyre showed up. He shook his head at these “legends” and walked off.
Charly Caruso interviewed R-Truth and Carmella. She aired a clip of Truth at Comic-Con doing an interview with IGN. During that interview, Hurricane Helms tried to roll him up but failed. Drake Maverick tried too and also failed.
Truth made animal jokes to Caruso when Renee Michelle showed up to tell Truth that he ruined her wedding. Carmella got in her face, then Maverick rolled up Truth and won the 24/7 title. Maverick and Michelle ran away, then Truth and Carmella chased after. Godfather showed up and danced with Caruso. The crowd popped when Maverick won.
Drew McIntyre vs. Cedric Alexander
The match never happened. McIntyre left the ring and attacked Alexander during his entrance. Alexander fought back and hit him with a soccer kick and moonsault off the second rope (to the outside). McIntyre then launched him into the post and drove him into the barricade. McIntyre then gave him the inverted Alabama Slam onto the edge of the ring, which looked perfect.
Maverick scampered into the locker room to grab his stuff. He opened his luggage which was filled with worms and he freaked out. The lights turned red and the Boogeyman appeared. Maverick backed away but fell on his ass. Pat Patterson appeared and kicked away at him. Patterson then pinned him and won the 24/7 title. The crowd popped for that too.
Christian entered and joined commentary. He hugged fellow Canadian Renee Young. Lilian Garcia was introduced and was the ring announcer for the next match.
The Viking Raiders defeated Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins (2:35)
During the first match, Booker spent most of his time putting over the Revival. Here, Christian put over the Viking Raiders. Christian made sure to say they could surpass the accomplishments of The Dudleys, as opposed to himself and Edge. Corey Graves asked who was better between him and Edge. Christian said he was better than Edge.
Hawkins and Ryder tried to catch them off guard at the beginning, but it didn’t work. Viking Raiders won quickly with the Viking Experience. Christian said Hawkins and Ryder might’ve won if they were Christian-heads instead of Edge-heads.
There was a party backstage. Maria Kanellis yelled at Mike Kanellis, who was speaking to Eve Torres. Eric Bischoff, who was cheered, was there too and offered them a job on SmackDown. Maria yelled at Mike some more before leaving. Ron Simmons showed up, grabbed Jimmy Hart’s megaphone and said “damn” at Mike. I think it legitimately made him jump. Jillian Hall was in the background but wasn’t acknowledged.
Tomorrow on Smackdown, Shane McMahon addresses Kevin Owens, and Kofi Kingston issues a SummerSlam challenge.
Backstage, AJ Styles spoke with Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows. They have a new t-shirt with “The O.C.” on it. Styles said they were the originals, but of the most part, they’re actually calling themselves “The O.C.” Styles said he would beat Rollins tonight.
Backstage, Patterson was on the ground. Gerald Brisco was standing over him with the 24/7 title. Brisco had already defeated him for it. Patterson called Brisco a stooge as he celebrated. Kelly Kelly showed up and hugged Brisco. She then low-blowed the 72-year-old man and pinned him to win the title. She’s the first woman to win it.
Samoa Joe promo
Samoa Joe came out. Joe said shows like Raw Reunion were a plague to WWE because it fed the fans’ ridiculous addiction to nostalgia. Instead of seeing Joe doing what he does best — painting in brutality and sculpting in violence — they got the Usos with their daddy spouting rhymes with Cena. He was surprised they didn’t dance around more.
Roman Reigns interrupted. Reigns told him if he had something to say about his family, to say it to his face. Joe responded, “I already said something about your family” and got in his face. Reigns said they were from the same island, which means Joe knew what comes next.
Joe tried for a cheap shot but Reigns fought him off. Joe then raked the eyes and launched him shoulder-first into the post. Joe tossed Reigns around ringside as the crowd chanted for Reigns. Joe was all over him until Reigns came back with a superman punch, knocking Joe off the apron.
Joe grabbed a mic and wondered if the fans wanted to see this tonight. The crowd cheered. Joe said he didn’t care, then began leaving. Reigns assured the crowd that not all Samoans were cowards. Joe agreed to a match and threatened to put Reigns to sleep.
Roman Reigns defeated Samoa Joe (5:40)
Reigns was in control until Joe dodged a charge and Reigns again went shoulder-first into the post. Joe chucked Reigns out of the ring and nailed him with a suicide dive. Joe went for another dive later but Reigns moved, then hit a dropkick. Reigns came back with a leaping clothesline, clotheslines in the corner and a big boot.
Joe avoided a superman punch and hit an inverted atomic drop, big boot and senton for a nearfall. Joe applied the Coquina Clutch but Reigns slipped out and followed with a spear for the pinfall win. The crowd liked Reigns and popped when he won but they weren’t that into his comeback/trademark spots.
MizTV with guest Seth Rollins
The Miz plugged his show and admitted to not being above promoting his own stuff. He introduced Rollins. They showed a replay of Rollins winning last week’s battle royal, then Miz showed a replay almost immediately after that of what happened at Extreme Rules.
Rollins did some lame comedy, impersonating Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar. He said despite Lesnar’s gifts, he would never want to be him. He then called Lesnar a Seth Rollins wannabe.
Heyman interrupted. He was in Gorilla position. Heyman told Rollins he can’t complain about Lesnar cashing in because Rollins did the same thing at WrestleMania 31. Rollins said that was true, but it took Lesnar four years to return the favour because he’s a Rollins wannabe.
Heyman came out onto the stage, but after Rollins threatened him, Heyman ran away. Rollins said Lesnar was just a man, and any man can lose. Rollins said the Universal title would be on the line at SummerSlam, and Brock Lesnar would lose.
Rollins said he didn’t get ready by resting like Lesnar, he got ready by facing the best of the best and would burn it down against Styles tonight. This was really bad.
Back at the party, Caruso wanted to interview a few legends but Sami Zayn stopped her. Zayn said those people weren’t legends, they just happened to be there at the time. He said watching tonight’s show was like watching it through the face app. He told them all to go home and stay there. Rey Mysterio appeared and told him to show respect to people who paved the way.
Zayn threatened to pave the road right through him. Kurt Angle showed up and said, when he was GM, they would settle things in the ring. That was Mysterio’s cue to go to the ring, even though Angle has no power. Angle delivered the line like it was Teddy Long making a tag match, but the crowd didn’t react because it’s not a memorable line.
Kelly Kelly showed off her title to Candace Michelle. Naomi and Melina showed up. Kelly wondered what Melina had been up too. Melina said she got her license — her referee’s license. Candace attacked Kelly and pinned her to win the title. She pranced around, then Alundra Blayze showed up and choked her out (while saying how much she hated women like Candace). Blayze told them she wouldn’t be champion for long, then walked off with the belt.
Jonathan Coachman joined commentary. Cole hung his head when Coach showed up.
Rey Mysterio defeated Sami Zayn (5:00)
Mysterio set up for a 619 but Zayn escaped the ring. He was about to leave until RVD’s music hit and he came out. He was joined by Sgt. Slaughter, Hurricane Helms, (this should be a countout by now), and Kurt Angle. Zayn slipped back into the ring where Mysterio caught him with a 619 and frog splash for the pinfall win (he did the RVD pose before landing the splash).
Ric Flair arrived in a limo.
Montez Ford found Angelo Dawkins who was applying eyedrops. Ford wondered why, and Dawkins told him he was just hanging out with RVD. The party included Mark Henry, Kelly Kelly, Ric Flair, and the Boogeyman. Dawkins took a call from the Godfather and walked off. Ford was jealous. The crowd laughed at the line about RVD.
Alundra Blayze came out to the commentary desk and threatened to toss the 24/7 belt in the trash. Ted DiBiase came out and offered her cash for it. She accepted without an issue. They announced that DiBiase was now the champion. Graves didn’t know you could buy championships. Young was laughing and smiling as Blayze was about to trash the belt.
(The Street Profits bit and the Blayze/DiBiase segment were the only things that happened between commercial breaks.)
There was a SummerSlam commercial that ended with Bray’s masked face again (like the Network commercial earlier). Jerry Lawler joined commentary for the next match.
Seth Rollins defeated U.S. Champion AJ Styles (w/Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson) via DQ in a non-title match (8:04)
Lawler said Styles was the nicest guy when he showed up to WWE, but now he seems full of himself. Graves wondered about someone who calls himself “the king” accusing someone else of being full of themselves.
Rollins was easily distracted by Anderson, so Styles knocked him off the apron. The three OC members were about to go after him but the DX music played and Triple H and Shawn Michaels came out.
They did a full-length commercial break, then after the break, Styles and Rollins were in the ring ready to go and the referee signalled for them to start. So they just stood around for a few minutes during the break. Rollins caught Styles with a few kicks, then Anderson tripped him for the DQ (which happened like a minute after they came back from break).
DX jumped in the ring to stop a beat down from the OC. Styles and his buddies offered to “too sweet” them. DX pretended to oblige but did the crotch chop instead. DX sent them from the ring. Styles was pissed and the OC all grabbed steel chairs.
Before they could attack, Road Dogg’s music came out and he entered with X-Pac, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. Hall and Nash wore their nWo shirts but didn’t get their music. Road Dogg introduced the OC to the actual OGs. He was about to tell them to suck it, but let Rollins do the line instead. (The crowd seemed disappointed that Road Dogg didn’t do it.) This was lame.
DiBiase jumped into a limo, proudly carrying the 24/7 title. After the door closed, there was a commotion in the car. Maverick emerged as the 24/7 champion and celebrated when he saw Renee Michelle, then he was chased away by the usual losers. Michelle told him to come back as she waited to enter the limo (the one with DiBiase’s body inside).
Mick Foley segment
Foley came to the ring and as he spoke, Maverick ran away from the other wrestlers through the ring and to the back. Foley wanted to go after him, but didn’t. Foley said he was asked to pick a favourite moment of his career from Raw. He began showing a replay of his WWE Championship win when the lights began to darken. Bray Wyatt appeared. The lights turned on and he put Foley down with the mandible claw. The lights went out as Bray posed. The crowd popped when he appeared, but it was a mixed reaction after he attacked Foley.
A Moment of Bliss with guest Becky Lynch
Alexa Bliss hosted alongside Nikki Cross. Bliss said that after what we just saw, we needed a moment of Bliss. They introduced Lynch. Bliss was about to ask her about Natalya, but Natalya interrupted. Natalya said if Lynch had something to say about her, she could say it to her face. Bliss showed a replay of their exchange last week.
Natalya couldn’t believe the lack of respect Lynch showed her. Lynch accused Natalya of trying to cut her legs out from under her when she came to WWE. Lynch also said Natalya volunteered to train Ronda Rousey to beat her at WrestleMania, but Lynch beat Rousey anyway. Lynch referred to her title belt as the scalp of the baddest woman on the planet.
Lynch said she would embarrass Natalya in her home country, then they got into a brawl until it was cut off by officials. Lynch was good here.
After a break, Natalya told Caruso that Lynch made this personal by trying to re-write history. She said the women’s evolution was built on the back of women like her and she would take the title at SummerSlam. This was alright, but Natalya was flustered.
Maverick found Michelle waiting in the limo. They were about to leave but Truth rolled up Maverick to win the belt. Truth jumped in the limo and it drove off, with Michelle still in the car (and presumably DiBiase’s body). Maverick freaked when he realized the title was gone. Carmella showed up and at that point, he realized Michelle was gone too.
Braun Strowman defeated Randy Rowe (0:40)
Strowman won with an elevated chokeslam. They aired replays of every move he did, but because of the way it was shown, it probably took longer than the match itself. Graves said something about the jobber that seemed to make Cole laugh hard enough that he muted himself. You couldn’t hear Cole at all, but Graves was cracking up because he broke Cole.
Main Event - A Toast to Monday Night Raw
Ric Flair entered to his music. As he posed on the stage, all of the old wrestlers came out to join him (with his music still playing). The crowd was on its feet.
Hulk Hogan’s music hit and he came out next. He and Flair bowed to each other. Hogan apologized to Foley before getting a cheap pop from his hometown of Tampa. He thanked the fans and said, “Whatcha gonna do when the Raw reunion runs wild on you?” His music played again. The camera panned the row of legends as Cole talked about the history of Raw.
Steve Austin’s music hit and the crowd erupted. Austin came out and marched straight to the ring. He posed around the ring, then grabbed a cooler filled with his own brand of beer.
The crowd chanted for Austin, then he got to them to yell “hell yeah” three times. He reminisced about being in Tampa but assured us he wasn’t going to get sentimental because he was also ready to drop everyone on the stage.
He then said everyone on that stage has bleed, sweat, cried, and probably crapped and pissed themselves for the business. The crowd cheered. He said they were his family. The guys holding the cameras, driving the trucks, they were all his family. The fans in the arena and watching on TV, they were all his family. He was glad they could all celebrate this reunion.
Austin said he arrived early and spent time with Hogan. They recorded a podcast and ate sushi. He noted that he had never hung out with Hogan before. He also went out last night with Ric Flair and drank all the beer at the bar.
He went back to the hotel and ordered everything he could (he ran down everything and the crowd yelled “what” after each item). He wasn’t ready for his night to be done, so he went downstairs and bumped into Ron Simmons. He yelled “damn” when he saw him and they hugged for 20 minutes. He told all of the wrestlers to come to the ring so they could have some beers.
Austin toasted everyone watching and ended with “‘cause Stone Cold said so.”
Austin handed out beers. He told them to cut the music and asked how much time they have left. They told him 60 seconds. He admitted he didn’t know what to say tonight, but Coachman told him earlier to just be himself. He thanked everyone in the ring, but told them he wasn’t sending them Christmas cards or “any of that sh*t,” then realized they were counting him down. They played his music again and they went off the air.
Obviously, Austin was great here and by far the highlight of the show.