Date: September 30, 2019
Location: Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, AZ
The Big Takeaway --
Brock Lesnar beat up Rey Mysterio and Dominick, so we instead got Seth Rollins defending his Universal title against Rusev. That match ended in a no contest (or whatever) after Bobby Lashley returned to make out with a returning Lana as Rusev looked on. Bray Wyatt then entered to attack Rollins as the show went off the air.
Show Recap --
The signature video that starts the show is the same, but the music is different. Raw started with a new intro video, song and fireworks. The video featured wrestlers from both brands. There’s a new stage as well which is basically a giant video board. Vic Joseph, Dio Maddin and Jerry Lawler are the announcers.
Rey Mysterio entered as the announcers ran down tonight’s card. Dominick was shown at ringside. Mysterio mentioned his match against Seth Rollins and credited Dominick. Mysterio said he would bring home the title tonight, then Brock Lesnar’s music hit. He entered with Paul Heyman.
The crowd booed as Lesnar snatched the mic away from Mysterio and gave it to Heyman. Heyman was about to speak, then Mysterio grabbed the mic back. Before Mysterio could speak, Lesnar gave him an F5. They showed Dominick at ringside as Lesnar gave Mysterio another F5.
Lesnar locked eyes on Dominick and went outside the ring as Dominick slowly sat back down. Lesnar grabbed him pulled him over the barricade and slammed him into the ring post. Lesnar gave Dominick a big German suplex in the ring, then gave Mysterio another F5. The crowd booed as Lesnar left. Heyman acted shocked.
Lesnar returned to the ring as officials ran down. Lesnar handed out vertical suplexes to both men as officials and Heyman pleaded with him to stop. Lesnar was about to leave, then returned to the ring again, attacked two agents and chucked both Mysterio and Dominick from the ring. The crowd booed and chanted “a--hole.” Lesnar smirked, posed for the crowd, then left.
This was good… except for the fact that no other wrestlers tried to help.
During the break, Dominick was taken out on a stretcher. Mysterio was actually back on his feet. He apologized to Dominick and said this was his fault. (Lawler repeatedly referred to Dominick as a teenager, even though I believe he’s in his early 20s.)
Sasha Banks defeated Tag Team Champion Alexa Bliss (4:22)
Bliss had fireworks in her entrance. Becky Lynch joined commentary and her entrance included a weird smoke effect. Lynch said she was glad to have her steam back in her entrance. A minute into the match, Lynch and Banks yelled at each other from across the arena (since the commentary table is still close to the stage) and they took a very brief commercial break.
Lynch watched the rest of the match while standing on the table. Sirens could be heard in the background and the announcers explained that it was the ambulance taking Dominick away. Lawler said Lesnar was being questioned by the authorities.
Bliss was about to go after Banks, when Banks motioned for Bayley to interfere. Of course, Bayley wasn’t there, but Bliss fell for it. Banks kicked her leg out of her leg and rolled her up for the pinfall win.
Lynch attacked Banks afterwards but Banks bailed into the crowd. Lynch said Banks wouldn’t be able to leave Hell in a Cell on Sunday until she wanted her too. She said Banks made things personal, but she would make things painful. Retribution was coming around. The crowd liked Lynch.
They plugged The Rock appearing on SmackDown by showing his Tweet. I feel like there are better ways to announce this.
They aired a recap of the Bray Wyatt stuff from last week, then Charly Caruso interviewed Seth Rollins. Rollins was pissed about what Lesnar did to Mysterio. He admitted he wasn’t sure how to prepare for Bray Wyatt, but he worked too hard for the title and would prevail. Rollins said Mysterio wasn’t able to compete tonight, but he would give him the opportunity when he was ready. Rollins said he would still defend his title tonight against someone else.
Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler defeated Heavy Machinery to retain the Raw Tag Team Championships (11:10)
Otis wrestled shirtless. (So did Ziggler and Roode.) Lawler likened Otis to Fat Bastard from Austin Powers.
Heavy Machinery controlled through a break, but Roode dropped the top rope down on Tucker and attacked him on the outside to gain control. Tucker blocked a Ziggler dropkick and made the hot tag to Otis, who ran wild on both guys. Otis no-sold a Roode chop and followed with a suplex.
The crowd came alive for Otis. He gave Ziggler a spinning slam and squished Roode in the corner. Otis did the Caterpillar elbow drop on both men. Heavy Machinery set up for the Compactor, but Ziggler gave Tucker a Zig-Zag, then they posed Otis. Ziggler gave Tucker a superkick and Roode followed with a Glorious DDT for the pinfall win.
The announcers plugged Total Divas, NXT with Adam Cole vs. Matt Riddle, SmackDown with Kofi Kingston vs. Brock Lesnar plus an appearance by The Rock, as well as Hell in a Cell.
Miz TV with guests Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan
Miz started by sending his thoughts to Mysterio and Dominick. Miz introduced Ric Flair, who got a big reaction. Flair wore a dark purple suit and was impressed with Miz’s red suit. Miz then introduced Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart. The crowd gave Flair and Hogan a standing ovation.
Flair said he loved Miz, then told Hogan he was tired of hearing his music the past 30 years. Miz opened it up to Hogan, who said it was great to be on Raw, great to be in Phoenix, and great to be in the ring with the greatest of all-time — the Nature Boy.
Flair said Hogan, Austin and Undertaker were recognized as being the biggest draws for this company, but Flair called himself the best in the ring. He said he had no equal in the ring, including Hogan. Hogan got up and asked Flair if he wanted one more shot at the 24-inch pythons.
Flair got up and threw down his jacket and the crowd popped big like we might see a fight. They teased fighting but settled down. Flair said he was just kidding and they laughed. Hogan said they were no spring chickens as the crowd chanted “one more match.”
Flair joked that he wanted his next paycheck to be as big as Hogan’s. Miz had an announcement for Flair: at Crown Jewel, there would be a Team Hogan vs. Team Flair match, where they would each be coaches of a five-on-five match. I guess Hogan knew about this already because he introduced his captain, Seth Rollins.
Rollins was excited to be captain of Team Hogan. Flair was about to introduce his captain but somebody got impatient and Randy Orton’s music hit before he could say anything. Flair was pumped to have Orton on his team. Orton told Rollins to crawl out of Hogan’s ass and challenged him to a match right now. Rollins was happy to oblige.
Stagehands rolled the black carpet out of the ring and the match was about to start but they were interrupted by Baron Corbin. Orton attacked Rollins from behind, then Corbin joined in.
They put the boots to him when Rusev made the save. Rusev attacked Corbin, blocked an RKO and gave Orton a superkick. Rusev gave Corbin a superkick and Rollins took out Orton with a dive. The crowd chanted “Rusev Day.” Hogan’s music hit, then Rollins and Rusev jogged to the top of the stage to pose with him.
Mysterio was shown leaving with Dominick earlier and the announcers confirmed that Rollins would have a mystery opponent later on. (Mysterio took off his mask in the ambulance, but his face wasn’t clear behind the windshield.)
Backstage, Caruso asked Rusev where Lana was. Rusev didn’t answer. She asked what he was hoping to accomplish now. Rusev wasn’t here to talk about his problems at home and would rather talk about Rollins’ problems at work. He said Rollins was getting beat up until he stepped in and figured Rollins owed him one. He challenged Rollins to a Universal title match tonight.
The announcers again plugged the upcoming week’s events, there was an AOP promo, then a commercial plugging The Rock on SmackDown.
Rollins vs. Rusev was made official for tonight.
The Viking Raiders defeated Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (10:27)
For the second straight week, the Viking Raiders beat Gallows and Anderson in 10 minutes. Ivar took out Anderson with a dive and followed with a diving splash on Gallows for the win. The crowd was dead until the very end.
Caruso gave us an update Lesnar. Cesaro interrupted her. He didn’t think Lesnar's actions were criminal. If anything was criminal, it was that he stole an opportunity to beat up Dominick. Ricochet showed up and told Cesaro that he wasn’t half the man that Mysterio was. Cesaro said he was literally twice Mysterio’s size. Ricochet challenged him to a match.
Ricochet defeated Cesaro (2:46)
Ricochet won fairly quickly with his own version of Mysterio’s West Coast Pop, which was cool. Cesaro wrestled in his pants and sneakers (which makes sense if he wasn’t planning on wrestling). His mouthguard read “UPPERCUT.”
Firefly Fun House
The puppets all appeared to be afraid of something. The rabbit passed out and died. Bray Wyatt said “Oh well” and chucked it aside. The puppets were afraid of what’s to come at Hell in a Cell. Wyatt was afraid too. He told the pig it was like a world without chocolate, only worse.
Wyatt said it was a place you could enter but never truly leave, and Rollins would be stuck in there with Him. Wyatt said He would always protect them and had a bad feeling that He couldn’t wait to hurt Seth.
(It should be noted that the crowd appeared to pop pretty big every time they plugged the Firefly Fun House earlier in the show.)
AJ Styles defeated Cedric Alexander to retain the U.S. Championship (9:39)
Alexander made a comeback after a break and got a nearfall which led to duelling chants. Styles came back with a reverse DDT for two. Alexander ducked a Phenomenal forearm and hit a Michinoku Driver for a nearfall.
Alexander tried to flip over Styles but he couldn’t pull it off after a couple of attempts, so Styles just grabbed him and gave him a German suplex, then followed with a facebuster for two. Alexander used a rollup for two then went for the Lumbar Check, but Styles countered into a Styles Clash for the pinfall win. This was enjoyable.
The Street Profits plugged their tag match on NXT and plugged HIAC. Montez Ford warned Angelo Dawkins not to say the Fiend’s name three times or else he’ll appear.
WWE congratulated themselves on having a lot of social media activity.
Lacey Evans defeated Natalya (3:48)
Evans smashed Natalya’s head against the steel steps, which was not a DQ. Evans went to the top but Natalya yanked her off, nailed a few punches and landed a discus clothesline for two.
Evans crawled to the apron and the referee held back Natalya. As he did, Evans raked her eyes and rolled her up for the win. Lame finish. Evans then knocked down Natalya with the “women’s right.” They made it seem like this was the last time we’d see these two wrestle with the draft coming up.
Heyman told Sarah Schrieber that he was sorry for what Lesnar did, but if you wanted to blame someone, you should blame Vince McMahon. He said they should have known better than to schedule Lesnar on Raw while being in fight mode, because Lesnar was prepared for Friday. Heyman gave us a spoiler, that Lesnar would defeat Kingston to become WWE Champion.
Elsewhere, Caruso asked Maria Kanellis about Rusev. Maria said Rusev was not the father of her baby and he has enough going on with Lana. She left. Sasha Banks jumped in and grabbed the mic to issue a warning to Lynch and said she would make her tap-out.
A limo was shown arriving.
Universal Championship match: Seth Rollins vs. Rusev
Corbin and Orton watched from the stage.
Rusev offered a handshake, then immediately tried to go for the Accolade but Rollins slipped out. Rusev followed later with a fallaway slam sending Rollins out of the ring and they went to break one minute into this world title match. Before they did, Wyatt’s face flashed on the screen and he could be heard saying “let me in.”
After the break, Rollins fought out of a bear hug and hit a blockbuster. They traded strikes, which Rollins got the better of, then he hit a slingblade and consecutive suicide dives. Rusev caught him off the top rope, but Rollins countered into a rollup for two. Rusev followed with a side slam for two.
Rollins ducked a kick and hit a kick of his own, then followed with a Falcon Arrow for two. Rollins went for a springboard move but Rusev caught him with a kick to the head.
At this point, Bobby Lashley’s music hit and he entered. He motioned to the back but nobody entered. He motioned to the back again and nobody entered. He motioned to the back again and Lana entered.
Lana hugged Lashley, which looked pretty awkward… and then they made out. The crowd was stunned as Rusev just looked on. Then they kept making out as Lana’s music kept playing.
Her music stopped, then the lights went out as Rollins looked around. Wyatt appeared and put Rollins down with the mandible claw. Wyatt’s laugh played on the speakers as they went off the air.
What a crap ending.
Final Thoughts --
It’s only the beginning.