WWE SummerSlam Review 2018

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SummerSlam 2018 Results:

  • Seth Rollins w/Dean Ambrose defeats Dolph Ziggler w/Drew Mcintyre to win the Intercontinental Title via pinfall @22:17 ****1/4
  • New Day defeated The Bludgeon Brothers via DQ so 2B retains the SD Live Tag Titles @9:37 ***1/2
  • Braun Strowman defeats Kevin Owens to retain the Money in the Bank Briefcase via pinfall @1:55 N/A
  • Charlotte defeated Becky Lynch and Carmella to win the SD Live Women’s Title via pinfall @14:45 ***
  • Samoa Joe defeats AJ Styles via DQ so Styles retains the WWE Title @23:20 ***3/4
  • The Miz defeats Daniel Bryan via pinfall @23:25 ****1/4
  • The “Demon” Finn Balor defeats Baron Corbin via pinfall @1:30 N/A
  • Shinsuke Nakamura defeats Jeff Hardy to retain the US Title via pinfall @10:14 **3/4
  • Ronda Rousey defeats Alexa Bliss via submission to win the RAW Women’s Title @4:41 N/A
  • Roman Reigns defeats Brock Lesnar via pinfall to win the Universal Title @6:11 **1/2

Seth Rollins w/Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler(c) w/ Drew Mcintyre for the IC Title:

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These two have 2 bangers already under their belts and they continue it here. Drew Ambrose returning added a much-needed dimension to this match that set it out differently from other Rollins V Ziggler encounters. This was also a very solid decision to open the show and brought a lot of heat to the show early on. I loved this feud and think it ends here. 

Rollins comes down in an awesome Thanos-themed attire. The match starts slow but picks up gradually. Very early on, Ambrose squares up to Drew making sure that this is a fair one-on-one match. Ziggler begins to work the knee of Rollins as always. Ziggler whips Rollins into the corner and Seth takes a hard bump to the outside. Then the match slows down as Ziggler holds a rest hold for a few minutes but then follows it up with a backdrop to ringside giving Seth another hard bump. A crossbody by Ziggler is reversed into a very sloppy suplex to ringside by Seth. Rollins looked off his game in the first half of this match taking rough bumps and lacking the follow through on some of his moves. Rollins gets on fire with a sequence of big moves, suicide dive to ringside followed up by a springboard clothesline and a Ripcord Knee back in-ring for a great near fall. Ziggler hits a great looking Spike DDT on the apron to Seth, Rollins gets back in the ring at a nine count. Rollins hit a superkick/frog splash combo but the splash is rolled up by Ziggler for a near fall. Rollins hits an amazing inverted super falcon arrow for another great near fall. “This is Awesome” chants. Drew takes out Ambrose ringside, Zig Zag hits for a very near fall. Roll up sequence into a buckle bomb by Rollins. Dirty Deeds by Ambrose hits to Drew ringside and Rollins hits the Stomp for the win. 

Rating: ****1/4, Even though it’s close I don’t think this is the best one-on-one main roster WWE match of the year. That still goes to the Miz vs. Seth Rollins at BackLash. However, disregarding the slow and sloppy start, the closing to this match was FANTASTIC. The amazing inverted Falcon Arrow, the great near falls and the Spike DDT on the apron made the crowd hot and the match awesome. This match did exactly what it set out to do and that was fire up the live crowd for what was going to be a LONG show. The added dimensions of Drew and Dolph ringside made this match special and probably the best of their encounters. 

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Bludgeon Brothers(c) vs. The New Day for the SD Live Tag Titles:

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After a hot match to follow, these two teams were ready to lock horns again. Big E and Xavier Woods were the members of New Day to try and take down the undefeated Tag Champs. New Day won the #1 contender tag tournament on SD Live defeating the Bar for the right to face 2B at this show. 

Xavier and Rowan start the match. Early on, a big splash by Rowan gets the first near fall in on Woods. Ringside, a powerbomb on the steps attempt by Rowan to Woods fails and Woods goes for a huricanrana but ends up falling hard on the ringside floor. Big E gets himself in for a hot tag. A great Tope Con Hiro by Woods lays out Rowan, A ringside Deep Six by Harper wipes out Woods, A spear off the apron by E wipes out Harper and a crossbody off the apron by Rowan knocks down Big E to close a great sequence. In-ring Crucifix Bomb by 2B on Big E goes for a near fall save by Woods. Sit-out powerbomb by Harper to Woods for a near fall. Backdrop by Rowan to Kofi but E gets revenge with a Big Ending to Rowan. New Day hits the great uranage/backstabber combo off the apron to Rowan. Woods hits an awesome elbow drop to ringside and takes out Harper. New Day goes for the Midnight Hour to Harper but Rowan attacks with the hammer for a DQ. 

Rating: ***1/2, This is undoubtedly the best 2B match since the repackage and makes Summerslam 2-2 on the banger ratio. The match was just a rush of insane moves headlined by the amazing elbow drop to ringside by Xavier Woods. The ending didn’t make me too mad as it made sense. New Day pushed 2B to their limits for the first time as a team and they had to escape with a DQ to retain the titles. The Bludgeons are weakened now and might lose the titles to New Day at HIAC. 

  • Braun Strowman SQUASHES Kevin Owens. This made me so mad. This match had a lot of good story elements to work on with the briefcase on the line and the champion’s advantage for Strowman being taken away. However, Strowman won in a minute and a half. Strowman is honestly no longer interesting AT ALL. 

Carmella(c) vs. Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch for the SD Women’s Title:

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Carmella has been an infuriatingly bad champion and Charlotte was just inserted into this match at the last minute. Lynch is the only one going into this match that deserves the title and that plays out in the match. 

The match starts out slow as Carmella works on driving a wedge in between the friendship of Carmella and Charlotte. Carmella spends way too much time early on talking and taunting. The match starts to fire up when Carmella hits a top rope huricanrana for the first near fall. Spear/STO spot led by Charlotte goes for a near fall on both Lynch and Mella. Middle rope drop by Charlotte in a Boston Crab on Carmella, transition into the Figure 4 by Flair, Lynch breaks it up with a flying leg drop for a near fall on Charlotte. A great suicide dive by Carmella takes out Becky but an even better Corkscrew Moonsault by Charlotte pretty much misses Carmella and Lynch but still takes them out. Dis-arm-her in the ring by Becky on Flair, Mella breaks it up. Lynch saves a few near falls and hits a Bexploder/Dis-arm-her combo on Mella, Charlotte breaks it up with a Natural Selection on Lynch for the win. 

Rating: ***, The beginning of the match was almost intolerable but it picked up one Carmella stopped taunting. The dynamic of the three women worked well together and Lynch looked really good in this match too. Carmella delivered one of her better performances while Flair took a backseat a majority of the match. Lynch’s heel turn after the match was very justified and was one of the highlights of the show. 

 

AJ Styles(c) vs. Samoa Joe for the WWE Title: 

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This feud has revolved around AJ’s family adding a lot of heat to the match. Joe continues to be amazing on the mic and feels incredibly fresh and different from WWE’s writing mold. AJ’s reign is finally starting to pick up too after nearly a year. 

Samoa Joe grabs the mic pre-match and calls out Style’s wife. The match starts with stiff strikes by both men and AJ going for the leg of Joe. Joe kicks Styles down off the apron for a hard landing and the first near fall. Amazing Suicide Dive by Joe sends Styles into the announce table. In-ring a stiff lariat by Joe flips Styles and goes for another near fall. Styles rocks Joe with a stiff right hand and plancha dives to ringside. Back in-ring, Styles hits a Moonsault Inverted DDT for a near fall. Joe goes to the top rope for a flying leg lariat for a near fall. Amazing show of strength by Styles hitting the ushigoroshi but hurting his knee in the process. Phenomenal forearm attempt by Styles is dodged into an intense snap powerslam by Joe for a near fall. AJ powers into a Styles Clash which doesn’t hit all the way but still goes for a near fall. A stiff strike-fest ensues and ends with an uranage by Joe putting both down. Styles locks in the Calf Crusher but Joe smashes AJ’s head into the mat to get out. Joe locks in the coquina clutch but Styles grabs the ropes. Joe signals bringing back the Muscle Buster finisher that ended a few careers including Tyson Kidd but Styles fights back. Joe step-up enzugiris Styles to ringside off the top rope. Joe sends Styles into the steps busting open AJ. Joe grabs a mic and stands on the announce table to call out Styles’ family again. Styles snaps and spears Joe off the announce table through the barricade and attacks Joe with a chair for a DQ finish. 

Rating: ***3/4, I was really close to giving this match a 4-star rating but the finish made the match weaker. The entire match was awesome, starting with stiff strikes and living at a fast pace. Joe looked awesome in this match and Styles got in the zone again. This tried less hard than AJ vs. Nakamura but was better early on. The match also was wrestled at a more strong style attitude which made it feel surreal that we are watching it in WWE. The end of the in-ring worked played out really well too with multiple near falls and the solid submission sequences. Joe hit an awesome step-up enzugiri to knock Styles ringside and before the DQ finish the work on the outside was awesome. Styles was busted open and therefore looked a lot more intense when he snapped. Joe looked like a devious heel and Styles’ family looked genuinely concerned. The camera cuts were great adding to the story here. However, because the match never had a decisive finish I couldn’t give it a 4-star+ rating. This match makes me really excited for the future of this feud though. 

Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz:482b83b04467cf02882a8f4b466ba02063195f83r1-620-349v2_hq

It’s almost surreal that this match is finally happening. These two have been having an amazing feud since 2012 almost and they had some of the best encounters in 2017 on Talking Smack of the year. The rumors started circling that these two were gonna face off and we are finally here. Let me say, I was not disappointed at all by the outcome. 

An amazing video package starts the hype for this match. Miz hits Bryan’s strike sequence in the corner but Bryan fires up and hits his own strikes. Miz goes for Bryan’s Surfboard Lock but Bryan turns the tables again. The Miz is being an awesome heel and using Bryan’s moves against him. Clothesline off the top rope by Miz sends Bryan to a hard fall. Superhuricanrana by Bryan for the first near fall. Crossbody by Bryan off the top rope to ringside takes out Miz. Yes! kicks to Miz in the tree of woe by Bryan. Super Belly-to-Back suplex by Bryan off the top rope for another near fall. Yes! Kicks by Bryan get caught into a Snap DDT by Miz for a great near fall. Miz’s chest gets completely red due to Bryan’s chops. It! Kicks by Miz, Bryan squares up and delivers stiff ass slaps to the Miz. Running Knee attempt by Bryan caught into a slingshot by Miz sending Bryan into the corner, Skull Crushing Finale by Miz hits for a great near fall. Miz goes for the Running Knee but Bryan catches it with a Buzzsaw Kick for another near fall. Miz dodges Bryan’s kick sending his leg into the post, in-ring Figure 4 by the Miz, Bryan flips it over and the Miz grabs the ropes. Skull Crushing Finale attempt by Miz rolled up by Bryan for a near fall. Crucifix roll up by Bryan for another near fall. Bryan locks in the Yes! Lock but Miz grabs the ropes. Jumping Knee off the apron by Bryan sends Miz into the barricade near Maryse. Maryse gives Miz brass knuckles. Bryan goes for a suicide dive but is stopped with a Brass Knuckle punch, Miz gets the pin for the win. 

Rating: ****1/4, I loved this match. These two have insane chemistry and brought a surreal match into reality in the greatest way. The layout of this match was awesome too, the beginning of the match saw Miz try to defeat Bryan with his own moves. The middle of the match had some great showdowns between the two and the end had some awesome near falls but again the ending tarnished the match a little. The Miz cheating to win just means that the feud isn’t over but it also seems like WWE forgot it was Summerslam and is just using this show to progress feuds and not have it be the showdown like it should be. This is the 3rd match of the night without a clear finish and it’s starting to get insanely annoying. Watching the match on its own though shows that it is an absolutely great match with a smart layout and an amazing heel/face dynamic. 

  • Finn Balor brings back The Demon to squash Baron Corbin. 
  • Shinsuke Nakamura defeats Jeff Hardy in a very mediocre match, Hardy takes a hard bump off a failed Swanton Bomb to the apron. Randy Orton comes down for a second but turns back around and goes backstage. **3/4
  • Ronda Rousey squashes Alexa Bliss but the celebration with Natalya and the Bella Twins was a great moment. Ronda deserved the title and hopefully, Bliss is out of the scene for a while. 

Brock Lesnar(c) vs. Roman Reigns for the Universal Title:

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I’m not going to lie, the build-up to this match succeeded in making me like Roman Reigns. WWE subliminally made us hate Brock Lesnar by never having him show up and so you look for Reigns to take the title and save the day. While I think they could’ve done something else with the main event like a Fatal 4-Way again or Lesnar vs. Balor it’s going to be great to see someone else with the big jam belt.

Braun Strowman comes down before the match making everyone think that he’ll cash in and make it a Triple Threat. But, he decides to just watch the match from ringside. The match starts and immediately Reigns hits 3 Superman Punches and 2 Spears, the 3rd Spear is reversed into a Guillotine Choke by Lesnar, Reigns powers into a spinebuster to get out. Lesnar re-applies the Guillotine Choke and Reigns powers out again. Lesnar hits 3 German Suplexes. The First F5 attempt is reversed but Lesnar side steps a spear sending Reigns diving into Braun ringside. F5 hits to Braun Strowman taking him out. Lesnar attacks Braun with the briefcase and launches it to backstage. A Spear that catches a distracted Lesnar in-ring wins the match for Reigns and the Reign of terror is OVER!

Rating: **1/2, this was a fun sprint with not much in-ring action but Braun ringside took much of the attention away from that. Lesnar is finally defeated and there was a definite pop when Reigns won. WWE has succeeded after 3 YEARS in making Reigns a solidified champion. It feels like he deserves the title and honestly he does. I’m going to be the first to say this, Reigns is good and gets an unneeded bad reputation. 

Show Grade: B+

Pros:

  • Demon Return
  • Bryan vs. Miz
  • 2B vs. New Day
  • Rollins vs. Ziggler
  • Lynch heel turn
  • Rousey title win
  • Styles vs. Joe
  • Reigns title win

Cons: 

  • Owens vs. Braun
  • Crappy endings to good matches

Last Word: The name of the game for Summerslam 2018 was to have a classic WWE match but end it with over-booking. Bryan vs. Miz, Styles vs. Joe and 2B vs. New Day all were great matches and all ended with cheating or confusion. The only straight up, no complaints good match was Ziggler vs. Rollins. It seemed like WWE forgot that Summerslam was a big show and just spent it to build new feuds instead of end good feuds. However, the highs in this show are more positive than anything in WWE lately like Rousey winning the title, the Demon returning, Reigns winning the title and the overall match quality. This show absolutely defeats BackLash and Extreme Rules but maybe 2nd or 3rd best PPV of the year against Royal Rumble and MITB. I was much more surprised at the quality of this show against NXT because I went into the weekend believing that NXT would completely overshadow Summerslam and Summerslam would be a bad show. This show was incredibly long and if you don’t have time to watch everything catch Dolph vs. Seth, Styles vs. Joe, Rousey winning and Bryan vs. Miz. 

 

 

 

WWE Raw Review 7/30

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  • In Memory of Nikolai Volkoff and Brian Christopher. 

Roman Reigns Opens the Show:

  • Brock Lesnar is shown actually here in the arena via satellite backstage.
  • Reigns says he won’t let Lesnar enter his “Yard” and run his mouth. Paul Heyman comes down. 
  • Heyman cuts an awesome promo and calls Roman insane for trying to challenge Lesnar again. Heyman also says Lesnar will retain and go on to UFC to become a “Two-Sport Champion”
  • Reigns asks for Lesnar and Heyman says Brock is here but he will only come out when and if he feels like it.
  • Roman says if Brock shows up at Summerslam he will return him to UFC as his bitch. WWE used it’s one and only swear word this year… I love how the crowd acted like saying “bitch” was the craziest thing Reigns has ever done and in PG WWE it probably is. 
  • Backstage Segment with Heyman and Lesnar, Heyman shows Lesnar what Reigns said about him and Lesnar destroys the phone and sits back down. He really couldn’t care less. 

The Brock vs. Reigns mega-feud has reached an official level. Brock’s gimmick is that he doesn’t care anymore which in real life he doesn’t either. Roman looks like the good guy here for once and finally, WWE has made Lesnar someone the hardcore fans hate more than Roman. 

Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin

  • This feud is bad for both men and it continues again this week. 
  • Missile Dropkick by Balor sends Corbin ringside, Finn hits a flying forearm ringside. 
  • Apron Clothesline by Corbin knocks Balor down for a hard landing.
  • Long Rest Hold led by Corbin takes out the match’s minimal momentum it had built up. 
  • Sliding around-the-post clothesline by Corbin gives the match the first fall. 
  • Pop-up Dropkick by Balor sends Corbin ringside and gives Balor some space.
  • Corbin punches Balor while he’s leaning over the ropes, Corbin follows it up with a Back Drop on the apron. 
  • Enzugiri on the top rope by Balor again knocks Corbin to ringside, awesome Tope Con Hiro dive by Balor wipes out Corbin. 
  • Another Long Rest hold by Corbin takes more momentum out. 
  • Chokeslam by Corbin rolled up for a near fall by Balor. 
  • Chokeslam Backbreaker is successful by Corbin for a near fall. 
  • End Of Days attempt reversed into a DDT by Balor getting Finn back on top. 
  • Coup De Grace attempt fails, Balor stays standing but Corbin catches Balor in the Deep Six for another near fall. 
  • Shotgun Dropkick ringside by Balor drives Corbin into the barricade. 
  • Shotgun Dropkick in-ring but the Coup De Grace fails, End of Days by Corbin closes. 

Winner: Baron Corbin

Rating: ***1/2, This match showed what I knew all along, Baron Corbin can absolutely put on a great match given the time. Corbin put on a 3 star+ match while in a suit which I don’t think I’ve seen done before. Finn Balor is still amazing and they have great chemistry after all the matches they’ve had recently. 

  • Baron Corbin comes back again to attack Finn Balor more. 
  • Kurt Angle confronts Paul Heyman saying Brock Lesnar needs to be in front of a live audience of Heyman’s contract is terminated. 
  • WWE Evolution video package transitions into Natalya vs. Alicia Fox.

Natalya vs. Alicia Fox

  • Alicia Fox’s first match back from injury on RAW.
  • Ronda Rousey and Alexa Bliss are ringside. 
  • Rest-hold-mania for a while. 
  • Alicia taunts Ronda allowing for Bliss to KO punch Natalya allowing Fox to pick up the win. 

Winner: Alicia Fox

Rating: N/A, Another throwaway match just so Bliss and Rousey can be the focal point again. Before Evolution WWE needs to learn how to book their women better. 

  • Alexa Bliss and Ronda Rousey chase each other around for a bit.
  • Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman backstage segment and Heyman asks Lesnar to come out to the ring. Brock says nope and asks Heyman to leave the room. 
  • Kurt Angle, Natalya, and Ronda Rousey backstage segment. Angle announces Rousey’s first RAW match against Alicia Fox next week
  • Elias concert interrupted by Bobby Lashley, Lashley sings for a bit but Elias attacks. 
  • Kevin Owens and Baron Corbin backstage segment, Owens brings up the idea that Braun Strowman could cash in tonight before he can win the contract at SummerSlam. 

Braun Strowman vs. Jinder Mahal

  • Jinder Mahal is still continuing the annoying self-renewal gimmick. 
  • Jinder distracts Strowman while Owens sneaks up and grabs the MITB contract. 
  • Strowman chases Owens, Owens gives the briefcase to Singh and Singh gets trucked by Braun. Braun chases Owens backstage for a count-out. Referring to the match at SummerSlam where if Braun gets Counted out or DQ’d he loses. 

Winner: Jinder Mahal via Countout

Rating: N/A, Even though it wasn’t a great match and nothing much happened in-ring there was some great wrestling logic. The countout loss refers to the match at SummerSlam and Owens is a smart heel again. 

  • Jobbers meet up backstage for a segment with Mojo Rawley, the most talented jobber on RAW Bobby Roode confronts Mojo and attacks him. A pretty lame pull-apart brawl ensues. 

Apollo Crews vs. Akam

  • Apollo hits a series of kicks to weaken Akam and finally gets him down with a flying forearm, Standing Moonsault by Crews gets a near fall. 
  • Roll up win by Apollo Crews. 

Winner: Apollo Crews

Rating: N/A, While I’m excited that the very talented Apollo Crews put on a show it came at the cost of making AOP look weak. I’m predicting AOP is another NXT transitioned turned sour, unfortunately. Without Paul Ellering, the Authors of Pain are majorly lacking any character. 

Seth Rollins vs. Drew MacIntyre

  • Great Deadlift Suplex by Drew.
  • Suicide Dive by Rollins is caught, Drew blasts Seth into the barricade. 
  • Slingshot under the ring to the exposed steel ring frame by Drew, a really unique spot sold really well by Seth Rollins. 
  • The Suicide Dive finally works for Rollins so he follows it up with a 2nd Suicide Dive.
  • Rollins whips MacIntyre into the exposed steel ring frame.
  • Amazing Tilt-A-Whirl Falcon Arrow by Rollins for a near fall. 
  • Stomp Attempt by Rollins caught in a Spinebuster by Drew for another near fall.
  • Great sequence of superkicks by Rollins knocking Drew down after Macintyre asked for more.
  • Amazing Super Air Raid Crash by Drewy Mac for another near fall. 
  • Rollins rolls up the inverted Alabama Slam by Drew for a near fall. 
  • Stomp by Rollins hits and Ziggler attacks for a DQ. 

Winner: Seth Rollins via DQ.

Rating: ***1/4, What a match until Ziggler got involved. The very unique ring frame spots matched with the typical big move into near fall flow by Rollins. They put on a banger that had a unique flavor to it and if it had finished clean and went on longer could’ve been one of the better WWE Matches of The Year. WWE does have to save the match quality for SummerSlam to make it feel more special. 

  • Kurt Angle and Roman Reigns backstage segment, Angle says to have Lesnar out in the ring they need to get Reigns out of the building. Police come to escort Reigns out. Reigns sucker punches Baron Corbin down and leaves. 
  • B-Team in-ring interview interrupted by the Deleters of Worlds and they cut the typical weird promo. The Revival come down and stake their claim for the titles. Brawl breaks out between Deleters and Revival but Matt and Bray stand tall. 

Revival vs. Matt and Bray

  • B-Team on commentary.
  • Side Effect by Matt Hardy on Scott Dawson allows tags, hot tag by Bray Wyatt.
  • The crowd is SILENT. 
  • Miami smarks chanting “CM Punk” and “Rusev Day”. People complain the Revival are misused but crap on their matches. 
  • Shatter Machine gives Revival the pin over Bray Wyatt.

Winners: The Revival

Rating: *1/2, the crowd really ruined this one. The Revival finally gets a break from jobbing and the Miami crowd craps on this match. All things considered, the match itself had nothing interesting going on and lacked momentum. 

  • Seth Rollins interview with Renee Young. Drew and Dolph attack Seth. 

Riott Squad vs. Sasha Banks and Bayley

  • AGAIN??
  • Sarah Logan and Bayley start the match. 
  • The Bayley and Sasha frenemy feud is the worst thing on RAW currently. Do something with the feud or drop it already WWE. 
  • Hot tag by Bayley on Liv Morgan. 
  • Diving Meteora by Banks on Morgan goes for a near fall but Logan saves the match. 
  • Cool Backstabber/Bayley to Belly combo gives Bayley the pin over Liv.

Winner: Banks and Bayley

Rating; **, The feud is crazy repetitive and a snoozefest at this point especially this late into RAW. The only good thing was the Double Team Backstabber/Bayley to Belly finish. Stop with the feud already WWE. 

  • Backstage segment with Heyman and Lesnar and Heyman finally tells Brock about Angle’s ultimatum. Brock squares up with Heyman. 

Brock Lesnar Segment

  • Kurt Angle comes down with Baron Corbin and asks for Lesnar or Heyman is fired. 
  • Paul Heyman comes down in a somber tone. The crowd sings “Goodbye”.  Paul Heyman says Lesnar is not coming down here tonight. 
  • Kurt Angle gets fired up and talks down on Lesnar calling him “The Worst Universal Champion of All Time!” Paul Heyman agrees and says he’s tried to mold Brock in Angle’s image. Heyman says to take Angle’s punishment out on Lesnar. 
  • Kurt Angle fires Paul Heyman and Heyman clings onto Angle. 
  • Brock Lesnar comes down and Paul Heyman’s face immediately turns into a sadistic smile. Heyman is the best. 
  • Brock immediately squares up with Angle and Corbin, Lesnar delivers an F5 to Kurt Angle but Baron Corbin ducks out. 
  • Brock Lesnar chokes Heyman down. 
  • Crowd chants “We Want Strowman”. They don’t get that and Lesnar leaves. 

A great closing segment with great performances by Paul Heyman and Kurt Angle. Brock Lesnar is still an actual dick though, in character and in real life. Horrible, horrible champion. 

Show Grade: D+

Last Word: Man, what a disappointment this show was. RAW continues to march towards SummerSlam looking like crap. Brock Lesnar did nothing here other than continue to be an actual heel and make people like Roman in comparison to Brock. Paul Heyman carried all of the segments with Lesnar. There were two solid matches in Corbin vs. Finn and Drew vs. Seth but the rest of the show lacked severely and was just filter.

WWE Raw Review 7/23/2018

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  • The show opens with the roster on the stage and Vince Mcmahon in the ring. Vince calls for Stephanie to come down.

Stephanie Mcmahon’s Historic Announcement

  • Triple H congratulates the roster for making WWE historic lately with NXT, 205 Live, SD Live, Raw and NXT UK. Then mentions the strong bond the roster has formed with each other. Nikki Cross is officially on the main roster making a slight appearance on the stage. 
  • Triple H asks all the women to come forward and says the WWE Universe and Men’s Locker Room supports them like crazy. 
  • Stephanie Mcmahon turns face for a change and thanks the crowd for opening up the doors for women to become strong lately. 
  • Stephanie Mcmahon announces an event called “Evolution” on October 28th which is going to be an all Woman WWE PPV. That is awesome!

This was a great opening segment that felt insanely important with Stephanie, HHH, and Vince all here to make the announcement. An all Women’s PPV is a great idea which has been rare from WWE lately. An actual “historic” opening to RAW and I’m excited to see where the Women’s PPV goes from here. 

The “B” Team(c) vs. Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt for the RAW Tag Titles

  • Backstage “B” Team promo highlights how far they’ve come from the jobber life. 
  • An Elias concert is interrupted by Matt and Hardy entering. 
  • Matt Hardy and Bo Dallas start the match. 
  • The Rotunda Brothers face off again but Wyatt knocks Dallas down with a stiff crossbody.
  • Revival shown looking on. 
  • A Lariat by Wyatt to Dallas opens up a hot tag by Hardy on Axel. 
  • Side Effect by Hardy on Axel for a near fall. 
  • Twist of Fate by Hardy onto Axel, near fall but Dallas, saves the match, Wyatt comes to take out Bo but Dallas trips Wyatt into Hardy, Axel gets a roll up win for a B-Team retain. Confusing finish but a rightful winner. 

Winners: The B-Team Retain (8 Day Reign) 

Rating: **1/4, the same match from these two teams we’ve seen before but this round has an added urgency because it looked like the “B” Team could lose the titles. It played out like a normal tag match until the end which had Dallas take out Wyatt who took out Hardy inadvertently so Axel can get the win. Even though the ending was fast and convoluted, The B Team needed to retain, they’ve been entertaining as hell lately. 

  • After the match, Bray and Hardy attack Axel and Dallas. 
  • Backstage segment with Gable and Finn sees Finn move into his own locker room which turns out to be a kid’s sized house. Another WWE “HA, He’s so small joke.” Constable Corbin puts Finn Balor in a match tonight against Drew MacIntyre.
  • Interview with Sasha Banks and Bayley confirm they are again STILL friends. 
  • In a tag team match, Banks and Bayley beat locals and actually look like a good tag unit. 

I know WWE is trying to annoy us with the constant Love/Hate relationship between Bayley and Sasha Banks but that is almost working too well. These both are really talented and need to either move on or put on a great match like they totally could. Especially, with the all WWE Women’s PPV coming soon they need to book their women a bit better. 

  • Elias tries to talk about his new album again and gets interrupted by Braun Strowman. 

Monster in the Bank/Braun Strowman Segment:

  • Strowman congratulates the women on getting their own PPV but especially Alexa Bliss. 
  • Braun talks about Lashley vs. Reigns later on tonight and says it doesn’t matter who’s champion he says sooner or later he will cash in his briefcase. 
  • Strowman plays the crowd up but Kevin Owens interrupts. 
  • Kevin Owens says he tried to befriend Strowman for the sake of his son being Braun’s fan, Owens also says that Strowman crushed his son’s dream like he crushed his spine at Extreme Rules. Kevin Owens is definitely the face in this feud. 
  • Kevin Owens says Braun’s problem has barely started, Baron Corbin’s theme hits and, under the “power” of Stephanie, Corbin sends Jinder Mahal out to “control” Braun’s temper with his self-renewal bullshit. 
  • Braun hits Running Powerslams to Mahal and Singh.

This segment was pretty bad, the stereotypical treatment of Jinder Mahal, Kevin Owens continuing to be an empathetic face even though WWE is booking him heel and Braun Strowman doing the same thing he does every week. It’s surely time for a refresh in all of their gimmicks and it feels like I’ve seen this exact segment every week on RAW.

Natalya vs. Mickie James

  • Again with this match/feud??
  • Electric Chair Drop by Natalya lays both women out, surprisingly high spot. 
  • James kicks Natalya from in-ring out to ringside, awkward sell by Nattie, Bliss gets involved but Natalya wipes out Bliss. 
  • James hits a superkick for the win. 

Winner: Natalya

Rating: N/A

  • Interview with Roman Reigns, he says “tonight is a night of firsts and I’ll beat Lashley for the first time tonight.” 
  • Elias tries to promote his album again but AOP interrupts this time. 

Authors of Pain Segment:

  • AOP says they need a challenge and they’re done with Titus Worldwide. I guess not as Titus Worldwide comes down.
  • I feel so bad for Apollo Crews, he has too much talent for Titus Worldwide. I guess, Titus does too. Just leave Dana Brooke and call it Dana Worldwide. 
  • AOP says Titus should just retire which starts a brawl, they somehow stand tall even though AOP would legitimately crush them if this was NXT. 

Another Raw Cliche segment. I feel like 4/5 people in this segment are too talented to be in this spot. AOP was shown as weak which was bogus after they looked like monsters in NXT for YEARS.

  • Stephanie, Angle, Corbin, and Owens backstage segment. Kevin Owens asks for a match against Braun Strowman at SummerSlam. If Owens wins (by Countout and DQ) included he gets the Money in the Bank briefcase. 

Even though seeing Braun vs. Owens again might be too repetitive, I’m looking forward to it. The stipulation should make it fun with Owens going for the MITB Briefcase and Stephanie Mcmahon being on the side of Owens might add extra importance to the storyline. Another solid looking SummerSlam match made. 

  • Mojo Rawley squashed Tyler Breeze (who deserves better) while Bobby Roode (who also deserves better) cuts a promo on a pop-up screen.
  • Drew Mcintyre and Dolph Ziggler cut a selfie promo. 
  • Elias gets interrupted AGAIN by Finn Balor’s entrance. 

Finn Balor vs. Drew MacIntyre:

  • Dropkick by Finn Balor sends Drew ringside, an awesome Tope Con Hiro Dive follows.
  • Deadlift Vertical Suplex by Drew for a near fall, great show of power from Macintyre. 
  • Great Tornado DDT by Finn Balor finally gets MacIntyre down after Finn fails to get him down after a series of forearms. 
  • MacIntyre dodges the Coup De Grace attempt but Finn hits a follow-up slingblade and a shotgun dropkick. Off a second, Coup de Grace attempt Ziggler interferes for the DQ. Seth Rollins comes down to stop the attack on Balor and even the odds.
  • Kurt Angle restarts the match as a tag team match. 

Finn Balor and Seth Rollins vs. Drew MacIntyre and Dolph Ziggler:

  • Rollins and Balor work together to take out Drew before the bell even rings. 
  • Dolph Ziggler and Seth Rollins start the match. 
  • Plancha Dive by Seth Rollins takes out Ziggler ringside. 
  • After Drew and Dolph settle into the tag match, they start to dominate and isolate Balor. 
  • Drew Macintyre Gorilla Presses Balor over the barricade. 
  • Pele Kick by Finn Balor lays him and Ziggler down opening up tags, Drewy Mac makes it before Balor though and stops him from making the tag. 
  • Seth finally tags in for a hot tag and Suicide Dives Mac and Ziggler down. 
  • Diving Blockbuster by Rollins to Macintyre for a near fall. 
  • Superkick by Rollins to Macintyre leads to a very near fall but Ziggler makes the save.
  • Stomp attempt by Rollins to Ziggler but Macintyre stops Seth in his path. Alabama Slamma by Macintyre for a very near fall. 
  • “This Is Awesome” chants!
  • Rollins huricanranas McIntyre ringside and hits a Stomp on Ziggler for the win. 

Winners: Seth Rollins and Finn Balor

Rating: ***3/4, The match was an amazing showcase for Drew Macintyre having another very strong performance on the main roster. Seth, like normal, carried a lot of the match and Balor took less of the heat after a solid match against Macintyre earlier. The whole half-hour segment here was very good and focused on wrestling instead of crappy gimmick stuff like the rest of the show has been. Ziggler is finally where he should be, high-mid card and everyone leaves this match looking great. The match had some amazing near falls and tag moments. Seth Rollins is amazing!

Liv Morgan vs. Ember Moon

  • Moon immediately hits a single-leg dropkick after the bell rings.
  • Springboard Crossbody by Moon misses Dropkick by Liv for a near fall. 
  • Liv is working a little bit sloppy. 
  • The crowd is dead silent. 
  • Inverted STO by Moon for a near fall. 
  • Inverted Superplex by Ember Moon followed by an Eclipse for the win. 

Winner: Ember Moon

Rating: N/A

  • Backstage Interview with Seth Rollins, Rollins announces him vs. Ziggler for the IC Title at Summerslam. So no Brock vs. Rollins after all. 
  • Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley video package plays. 
  • Elias comes out for another try at promoting his album, succeeds for longer than before but Kurt Angle interrupts. Kurt finally gives him the chance for a concert. Elias shouts out the band O.A.R who are ringside. After a little bit of playing with the crowd, Elias actually starts his performance. Elias stops the song to trash the town which happens to be Cincinnati tonight and Bobby Lashley interrupts. 

Bobby Lashley vs Roman Reigns for the chance to face Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title at SummerSlam:

  • Brock Lesnar will be on RAW next Monday. 
  • Drive-By attempt by Reigns caught into an overhead suplex ringside by Bobby Lashley.
  • Spinebuster by Bobby Lashley for a near fall. 
  • Huge Double Lariat lays both men out.
  • Strikefest leads to a great looking leapfrog lariat by Lashley. 
  • From the apron, Lashley knocks a running Reigns down with another lariat. 
  • Reigns dodges a charging Lashley, Lashley gets back in the ring and Reigns hits a very sloppy leg drop for a near fall. 
  • Superman Punch attempt caught into a Full Nelson by Lashley, Reigns fights out. 
  • STO into an Anaconda Vice by Lashley, pin attempt for a near fall by Reigns getting out of the hold.
  • Huge Powerslam by Lashley for a very near fall.
  • Spear attempt by Lashley caught with a leg lariat by Reigns for a near fall. 
  • Superman Punch by Reigns finally hits for another near fall.
  • Lashley throws Reigns from ringside back into the ring, hard fall on Reigns’ neck taken. Spear by Lashley for an awesome very near fall.
  • Another Spear attempt by Lashley gets caught with a superman punch. 
  • Spear attempt by Reigns gets countered but Reigns bounces back off the ropes and finally hits the spear to win the match. 

Winner: Roman Reigns

Rating: ****1/4, WHAT A MAIN EVENT! This is a contender for my favorite Reigns match and definetely one of the best Lashley matches. These two tore the house down. Constant amazing near falls added to the evenly match atmosphere that these two thrived in. There were a few sloppily worked moments like Reigns’ leg drop over the middle rope or Lashley throwing Reigns into the ring and having Reigns land on his neck but in the end, the near falls and the crowd participation made something special. These two battled for a great main event and even though Lashley should’ve won and looked amazing in this match, I’m not even mad about Reigns vs. Lesnar 4. 

Show Grade: B+

Last Word: This is one of the best episodes of RAW recently even though it was far from perfect. Reigns and Lashley was a fantastic main event, Rollins, and Balor vs. MacIntyre and Ziggler was a great TV mid-card tag match. However, the shine of these two matches just barely overshadows stuff like AOP and Titus Worldwide feuding AGAIN, The Strowman segment and Bayley vs. Banks hate/love thing again. This is without mentioning the amazing opening segment though, as WWE used tonight to announce the all Women’s WWE PPV “Evolution”. This episode of RAW will actually be remembered and for good reasons, not like the Lashley’s Sisters episode of RAW.