WWE had quite the successful Summerslam weekend and I was looking forward to seeing what Raw would bring to the table. There really isn’t much time to rest though as this Raw is a post-Summerslam and technically the go-home episode to Payback. I really have no idea what they were thinking in having shows in back to back weeks because it feels like stories will be rushed and I will definitely get to those. There were some things to look forward to with this episode as Asuka was set to rematch Sasha Banks in a Lumberjack Match and Dominik would team with his father Rey Mysterio to take on Seth Rollins and Murphy. There was also the Raw debut of Keith Lee and I certainly have some thoughts on that. Let us see what Raw had for us this week.
Drew McIntyre In-Ring
Drew is such money on the mic, and it is hard for him to have a bad day with his promos. Drew came out and I loved how he was geeking out over the ThunderDome and how he asked everybody to give him a thumbs up. A side not on the ThunderDome, be better people and stop putting offensive stuff that makes you look horrible on the screen. Back to the promo and Drew was good here as he spoke about how he beat Randy Orton at Summerslam. Drew did give props to Randy about being the best he has faced so far as champion but that he is that much better. Drew spoke about how he is hungrier than Orton and how he wants it more than him because it wasn’t handed to him on a silver platter like it was for him. Drew even said he would give Orton another shot at the title and that seemed to be it. That was until Orton would attack Drew from behind as Drew was making his way to the back and a brawl would ensue. This would lead to Orton hitting two horrible looking punts on Drew and he would leave him laying in Gorilla. Raw would come back from commercial and Drew would leave under his own power.
Nia Jax Backstage
So, Nia is back from suspension and the reason is because she finally apologized. Okay I guess but I really could care less about seeing her on tv. She does nothing for me anymore and this was pretty much a nothing segment outside of Shayna coming in to tell her not to get suspended again and a whole bunch of other stuff.
Bayley vs Shayna Baszler
I was really enjoying this match between these two. It has seemed like of late they have made Shayna into a bit more of a face but have still let her keep her edge a bit. Reminds me a bit of Drew when they turned him face but let him keep his edge that kept him over with the crowd. This was a fun back and forth match, but it would be ended when Nia Jax would attack Shayna. I really do not get why WWE keeps trying to make Nia a thing because she does not look impressive at all. In fact, she really looks like she has regressed more than got better and that is not a very good look. Nia would continue to attack Shayna but would stop when Sasha and Bayley were egging her on to continue. The two would stop fighting and take steps towards the Golden Role Models but Sasha and Bayley would retreat before anything could happen.
The Kevin Owens Show
Prior to the Kevin Owens Show starting, Owens was trying to find Aleister Black backstage to make sure he was appearing on the show. He found his room and asked him if he was still going to show up and it was implied that he would. Owens would come out and then give a nice introduction to Black. Black came out looking like a character from the Metal Gear Solid video game series and I dug this look for him. It wasn’t the typical eyepatch and it certainly suited him. Owens and Black would have a bit of a back and forth about the things Seth Rollins has done and it was clear that Black was not the same person he once was. Aleister would collapse but that was a ruse as he would lay out Owens with a spinning back fist/elbow and the Black Mass. Seems like Aleister has gone heel and his first program will be with Owens. You can sign me right up for that because their matches could be straight fire.
Bayley & Sasha Banks Backstage
Short interview segment here by Sasha and Bayley as they spoke about why they left when Nia and Shayna appeared to be ready to attack them. They kept it simple by saying that Sasha needs to be ready for her rematch with Asuka so she can regain the Raw Women’s Championship. Both women have been doing so well as heels together and I love every wrinkle of their story so far.
24/7 Championship Fatal 4-Way
Honestly, nothing much to see here other than Akira Tozawa ended up winning the title back. Shelton entered champion and left without the title again. Cedric was there as well, and this was a nothing match. I think R-Truth’s entrance might have been longer than the match itself.
Randy Orton In-Ring
Really solid work from Randy here again and the man is just simply on another level right now with his mic work. He actually might be my favorite promo in WWE right now but there are so many that are killing it on the mic. He explained why he attacked Drew and he kept it simple. He attacked Drew because Drew gave him the option of a rematch out of pity and he hated that. He punted him for that reason because he doesn’t want a rematch out of pity. Keith Lee would then make his Raw debut and boy did they mess this up. Lee was great but they did so many things wrong with him. Firstly, they changed his theme to a generic one and the intro totally does not go with it. They need to go back to his NXT theme ASAP because that fits him so much better than this one. Secondly, his gear looked a bit different and not in a good way. Despite all of that, Lee did a good job here with Orton. Lee is being thrown into the deep end and so far, he looks like he is keeping his head above water. Lee would end up challenging Orton to a match, but Orton would decline and say it could happen some other time. We would find out that some other time was later in the night.
Charly Caruso Backstage
Charly provided an update on Drew backstage but would quickly turn her attention to Zelina Vega and Angel Garza as she spotted them. Zelina and Angel would have some back and forth and Zelina continued to deny that she poisoned Montez. Angel implied that Zelina did do it and I am starting to wonder if Angel was the one to do it and he modified the security footage to show it was Zelina. Zelina would leave to get ready for a match and Angel was left between Charly and Demi Burnett from the Bachelor. I honestly have no idea what Demi is doing on Raw because she adds absolutely nothing. Angel tried to sweet talk Charly, but it looks like she is seeing through his games now, but the ditzy blonde known as Demi is not.
Montez Ford vs Angel Garza
The match was fine enough but I am honestly a bit tired of seeing these two teams tangle with one another. The feud has been pretty one-sided with the Street Profits winning the big matches so far. I did love the promo the Profits cut in the picture in picture prior to the match and it is so clear how much chemistry Montez and Dawkins have. Again, the match was fine enough, and the match would change once Ivar came out to sweet talk Demi. Again, she adds NOTHING!!! Angel would be distracted by this and it would allow Montez to pick up the win with his ever-impressive Frog Splash.
Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler Backstage
So, I guess these two are going after a common enemy now. Okay? Nia was her typical Nia self and Shayna was the one I cared most about here. Nia wants to be the leader, but Shayna doesn’t want to hear it, so she gave her a slap. It would be revealed later that Nia and Shayna will be challenging Sasha and Bayley at Payback and I honesty am nowhere near hyped for it.
Nia and Shayna would end up walking off and the Riott Squad would show up talking about their upcoming match. They would be joined by Bianca Belair and the three women would continue to talk about the match as Raw went to commercial.
Zelina Vega & the IIconics vs Bianca Belair & the Riott Squad
Honestly, there was really nothing to this match and it was really about Zelina and Bianca. The IIconics and Riott Squad really felt shoehorned into it and I have no idea why. I would have been much more interested in seeing Bianca take on Zelina rather than have the two teams be involved. The IIconics didn’t even get their entrance and I feel that is a shame because they are so much better than what they have been given in recent weeks. I could say the same for the Riott Squad as well in case you wondered. The match was fine enough, and Bianca would end up winning. I have no idea where they are going with any of these women and it would be nice if they could figure it out.
Cedric & Ricochet Backstage
Cedric and Ricochet were arm wrestling backstage when Mark Henry would come in to say that he needed the arm-wrestling rig because of the Apollo/Lashley segment. The two would share some words with the hall of famer and Mark would leave. MVP would then show up and continue his pursuit of recruiting Cedric to the Hurt Business. Ricochet doesn’t want to hear any of it and Cedric also reiterated that he wants no part in it. It didn’t stop MVP from continuing to make his case and it does look like Cedric thinks about the idea the more MVP provides his logic for it.
Apollo vs Lashley Arm-Wrestling
Well this was a segment that happened, and arm-wresting segments seem to be cursed. They never really do much and this was another one. Lashley and Apollo both cut promos prior to the arm-wrestling and that was something. This really was a nothing segment and just was something to provide something of a build for their match at Payback for the US Championship. Apollo would win and would evade an attack from the Hurt Business again. This program is really feeling too one sided and I have started to lose interest in it because of that.
Mysterio Family Backstage
This was a good enough promo by Rey and Dominik here. You could just see how proud Rey was of his son for his performance last night and you could see how much that meant to Dominik. They continued to speak about how they want to get payback on Seth for everything he has done to them and I was wondering why they didn’t save this for Payback. Dominik does seem to be getting more comfortable on the mic, but you can also see that he still has some room to grow on the mic as well. Rey did the heavy lifting here and both look to exact some revenge on Seth and Murphy for the troubles they have brought to their family.
Natalya and Lana In-Ring
SKIP! SKIP! SKIP! SKIP! SKIP!
Raw Underground Part 1
Raw Underground returned and this first segment had Lashley destroying his competition. I think the first person he tore through was Kona Reeves, but I could be wrong there. Dolph Ziggler, who seemingly is a Raw Underground exclusive now, then stepped up to Lashley and had a somewhat competitive affair. That was until Lashley took over and made short work of him in the end. MVP and Shelton would then throw some random guy into the ring and Lashley would dispose of him quite easily. Lashley really seems at home in the Raw Underground and I do not mind that one bit.
Randy Orton vs Keith Lee
We got a good look at Keith’s new attire here and I was not a fan of it. He is wearing a top now and you know that he is wearing that because Vince told him to. His bottoms aren’t any better either and I hope this is a one-time look and they can work on them to look better. The match itself was actually pretty solid and Randy was giving his all to make Lee look good. Lee is someone that has money written all over him and I think there is talent in WWE that recognizes that, so they are trying their hardest to help him rise to the top. On that note, I could see Samoa Joe with a smile while calling this match and I could imagine he would love to get in the ring with Lee. The match was developing fine enough when Drew McIntyre would come in to attack Randy. Randy would end up running off but it was clear that Drew was still feeling the effects of the two punts from Orton.
Drew McIntyre Backstage
Drew was backstage to explain how he was able to attack Randy after eating two punts, but he was not able to say much as Randy would attack him from behind. Orton would then deliver a third, and best-looking punt at that, punt to Drew and left him knocked out. This is by far the most vulnerable Drew has looked as champion and I am digging it. He said that Orton was his biggest threat as champion when this program started, and I love how they are showing that to be true. You cannot be invincible forever and I love that Drew is showing some weakness here.
Sasha Banks vs Asuka
Really solid match between these two even though I am personally not the biggest fan of Lumberjack matches. They just tend to be a bit overbooked to my liking, but I get that it is a personal preference type of thing. These two do have great chemistry and Asuka has really put in work over the past 24 hours or so. I liked how Shayna had one side of the ring all to herself but also wondered why Nia wasn’t out there with the rest of the women’s roster. Though a part of me was happy for that because it would mean she wouldn’t have the chance to botch out there. The match was fun, and I love seeing these two women work the ring together. I did like that Asuka was selling that she went through two matches last night and that it may impact her performance against Sasha. Bayley tried to help Sasha, but it would not be enough as Asuka would end up retaining the Raw Women’s Championship. I loved how dejected Sasha looked after the match and she is clearly not happy with how it seems like Bayley did not do enough to ensure Sasha could win here when she has done all she can to help her retain her title.
Drew McIntyre Update
Charly had provided an earlier update on Drew that he may have suffered a serious head injury and this segment had Drew in a, ambulance that was heading to a medical facility. Keith Lee would then appear and offer his thoughts on the situation. He said that Drew is his good friend and that he would recover from this. He then noted that he has some unfinished business with Randy Orton and that he wants to take care of that. It would be revealed that Lee will take on Orton at Payback and they truly throwing Lee into the deep end here. It is rumored that they have big plans for Lee, and this seems to be a good indicator of that because Orton doesn’t work with just anybody these days.
Raw Underground Part 2
We returned to Raw Underground and Lashley was seen in a fight with Cedric Alexander. Cedric was putting up a fight but Lashley would make quick work of him and it was interesting to see MVP pull Lashley off of him. MVP clearly doesn’t want Lashley to injure Cedric because he is still trying to recruit him. Things would end up breaking down as Ivar would attack Lashley from behind but Lashley would end up beating him and Erik would join in the fray, but Shelton Benjamin would beat him. The Hurt Business was looking strong here after a not so good showing in the earlier part of Raw. It is also interesting that there were only two Raw Underground segments and I wonder if Vince is starting to sour on the idea a bit since it was scaled back this week.
Dominik & Rey Mysterio vs Seth Rollins and Murphy
This was a fun match and you could just feel how proud and happy Rey was to share the ring with his son. He has made it known he has wanted this chance ever since Dominik expressed that he wanted to wrestle, and his dream came true. I can only imagine the scene in Gorilla before they made their way out and if Rey had any words for Dominik. Honestly, I would love a 24 special on Dominik’s first two matches in WWE because that would be interesting to see just how he felt going into both matches and especially with being able to wrestle alongside his father. You could tell how much Seth and Murphy were guiding Dominik during this match as they would slow down a bit with him because of how green he is. Dominik does look good, but he obviously is not near the level of experience of the other three men in the ring. Dominik also looked a bit gassed at the end but that happens when you are starting out. The match was going along fine until the lights flickered and Retribution made their presence known on Raw. I loved how Seth “noped” right out of there with Murphy and watched as Retribution destroyed Dominik and Rey in the ring. It was interesting that Retribution didn’t even bother to go after Seth or Murphy because they have shown they do not care if you are a face or a heel, they go after everybody. Nice beat down from Retribution here and it is about time they are more than a nuisance on Raw.
Overall, this was an alright to okay episode of Raw. There was a lot to be left desired with some of the segments but there was also some good stuff as well. The Lana/Natalya stuff with Mickie James that I told you all to skip was just horrible. The arm-wrestling stuff wasn’t all that great either and the 24/7 Championship stuff was forgettable. The six-woman match wasn’t all that great either and I am also starting to get tired of the Street Profits taking on Garza and Andrade. Keith Lee ahs bad music and gear but he also had a solid debut and is being thrown into the deep end against Orton. Speaking of Orton, I dug his stuff with Drew, and I love that Drew is vulnerable now. The match with Asuka and Sasha was fun, and I love the continuing friction between Sasha and Bayley. I do not get the Nia/Shayna stuff and am not looking forward to their match against the Golden Role Models simply because of Nia. I am stil into the Raw Underground, but I worry that Vince may be losing interest since there were only two segments. I dug the main event and beat down by Retribution on the Mysterios. I also liked the Aleister/Owens stuff and it looks like we are getting a feud between the two that you can sign me right up for. All in all, an okay episode of Raw this week. Make sure you join us on Sunday for Payback as we will be having a Zoom and traditional style Dignified Discussion for the show and we would love to see you join either one. I am Sovereign S.A.M. and I will see you next week for another Sovereign Statement.