17th Jul2018

WWE Raw – July 16th 2018: Results & Review

by Nathan Favel

2018-raw-logo

Welcome to this week’s Monday Night RAW review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and this the RAW after Extreme Rules, which was a good night marred by some bits of bad booking every so often. We will be looking at the repercussions of Sunday’s PPV and what is being built for Summerslam. Please note that all match titles come from WWE.com and all match recaps do as well, while my opinion on what has happened will be noted by the phrase “My Take:”. Let’s get to the action and remember… I’m hopelessly devoted, to you! …but now, there’s nowhere to hide, as you pushed my life aside/oh, the wind in my hair/hopelessly devoted, to you/ooooooo/hopelessly devoted to yoooooouuuuuu/hopelessly devoted, to you. What the hell just got into me? Maybe a little…greased lightning! All right, that’s enough… especially since I still can’t afford a backspace or a delete button…damn it.

Match #1: Roman Reigns def. Finn Bálor and Drew McIntyre to advance to a match to determine Brock Lesnar’s next challenger for the Universal Championship

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Last night, Kurt Angle offered Brock Lesnar an ultimatum: Come to Raw, agree on a time and place for his next Universal Title challenge, or be stripped of the championship. The Beast didn’t obey Angle’s command to the letter — a flustered Paul Heyman emerged instead to insist Lesnar’s ultimate goal was to win the UFC Heavyweight Title while representing WWE as Universal Champion — but the message was nonetheless received. Thanks to Angle’s “hard bargain,” Lesnar will defend his title at SummerSlam, and while the challenger has yet to be determined, a familiar face is back in the running.

That would be Roman Reigns, the self-proclaimed “uncrowned Universal Champion” who won the first of two Triple Threats to advance him to a win-and-you’re-in match next week. In Reigns’ battle were Finn Bálor, who wanted to reclaim the title he never lost, and Drew McIntyre, who was looking to launch “Phase Two” of his master plan after helping Dolph Ziggler retain the Intercontinental Title. (The other three potential contenders — Bobby Lashley, Elias and Seth Rollins — were placed in the second Triple Threat).

For his part, Reigns said he wanted a fight at the beginning of the show. He certainly got one, as the match was, for the most part, a showcase for McIntyre’s newfound ruthlessness. Much of McIntyre’s efforts were focused on Finn, but when The Scottish Terminator turned his attention to Reigns in the closing match, the Claymore intended for The Big Dog ended up rocking Finn instead. Reigns Superman Punched McIntyre out of the ring, flattened the punch-drunk Bálor with a Spear, and that was that.

My Take: This was a good match that had a nice mixture of talent. The predictable finish happened, with Reigns going through to the finals, next week. As far as the action is concerned, I don’t think you should expect any-thing like the matches with AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels and Samoa Joe, but this match did get the job done.

Match #2: Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler def. Bobby Roode

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Dolph Ziggler may have needed Drew McIntyre to survive a WWE Iron Match last night, but The Showoff went a long way toward dispelling the notion that he can’t win without The Scottish Terminator by beating Bobby Roode in a match The Glorious One goaded him into after mocking the champ’s seeming reliance on the “psychopath” at his flank.

Though Ziggler made a point of refusing to place the Intercontinental Title on the line, he nonetheless brought all his tricks to bear in a match where his pride was at stake. One of those tricks decided the bout when Dolph targeted Roode’s knee after The Glorious One tweaked it coming off the top rope. With Roode staggered, Ziggler uncorked a frozen-rope Superkick that dropped his foe to the mat and earned him the win. Underhanded? Debatable. Opportunistic? For sure. But he did it all by himself

My Take: This was a very good match that brought these two back together for some more fun. Roode has had a middle-of-the-road career in the WWE, with his run in NXT being the thing that he can hang his hat on, at least for now. Ziggler seems to be content with his lot in life and knows his worth, so he can just have fun with the mid-card role he’s forced to play. Over-all, this was good stuff and a good match.

Match #3: Mojo Rawley def. Tyler Breeze

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Having powered past No Way Jose, Mojo Rawley is on the hunt for fresh chum once again, with Tyler Breeze as his prey of choice on this week’s Raw. Rawley feasted on Prince Pretty in an impressive display, though Breeze certainly held his own even without the injured Fandango in his corner. Rawley finished Breeze off with a sprinting forearm and a ring-shaking Alabama Slam, but never one content with making just one enemy in a night, he seemed to set his sights on the next rung up the food chain as well: Before his match against Breeze, he made a point of seeking out Bobby Roode in the backstage area and mocking him for his loss to Dolph Ziggler.

My Take: Rawley and Breeze looked good here, with Breeze continuing his run as a real diamond in the rough.

Match #4: Alicia Fox & Dana Brooke def. Bayley & Sasha Banks via Disqualification

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Friendship counseling didn’t go so well for Bayley and Sasha Banks, but that doesn’t mean there’s no friendship to save. Kurt Angle tried a different tactic to get the two Superstars back on the same page, threatening to trade one of them to SmackDown LIVE if they couldn’t coexist in tag team action against Alicia Fox & Dana Brooke. To their credit, The Huggable One and The Boss didn’t break down entirely, though an aggressive effort by Banks to save Bayley from a ringside attack got the duo disqualified.

A confrontation between the two behind the curtain provided some window into Banks’ mentality. First off, she wouldn’t allow anybody else besides her to beat up Bayley. And, despite their issues, The Boss still loves Bayley for a variety of reasons, from her comfort with her own emotions to her desire to be friends with everybody, to the fact that she always cares. It took a lot out of the notoriously guarded Boss to admit all that, and judging by Bayley’s look after their conversation, the message was well received.

My Take: This was a pretty basic match that came and went pretty quickly.

Match #5: Raw Tag Team Champions The B-Team def. The Ascension

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas’ surprise Raw Tag Team Title win at WWE Extreme Rules cemented the former lackeys’ transition into a top-flight tag team, and The B-Team showed they’re here to stay with a victory over The Ascension to solidify themselves as the tandem division’s pace-setters on Raw. Of course, they’re not out of the woods yet as far as challengers go. Not only were The Revival watching from backstage once again, deposed former champions “Woken” Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt appeared on the TitanTron following The B-Team’s match to announce they were invoking their rematch clause for next week’s Raw. The B-Team had better hope their momentum holds, or their reign will be OVAH before it even starts.

My Take: There wasn’t much here to write about, but at least The B Team won.

Match #6: Ronda Rousey attacked Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Ronda Rousey came a fingertip away from finally getting her hands on Alexa Bliss last night, and now, The Baddest Woman on the Planet finally has a time and a place for when she’ll get to fight her for real — provided she serves a little extra time first. Rowdy Ronda made her presence known during Bliss’ snarky victory lap in the wake of her WWE Extreme Rules victory over Nia Jax, emerging through the audience despite having two days left on her 30-day suspension. This time, Rousey caught Bliss as she attempted to flee, and it was only the arrival of Kurt Angle that prevented her from snapping The Goddess’ arm in the armbar.

Given that Rousey had violated her suspension, Angle had no choice but to extend her sentence by another week. (“Constable” Baron Corbin pushed for more, and when he threatened to protest to Stephanie McMahon, Angle stole The Lone Wolf’s phone to lead him on a wild goose chase). But Angle offered a carrot in addition to the stick: A match against Bliss at SummerSlam for the Raw Women’s Championship. All Rousey has to do is toe the line. Whether that’s too much to ask of her, of course, remains to be seen.

My Take: This whole match was all to set up Rousey trying to kill Bliss. There you go.

Match #7: The Authors of Pain def. Titus Worldwide

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Having been bulldozed by The Authors of Pain, Titus Worldwide came to Raw looking to take care of business against their tormentors. It didn’t quite go down that way. Akam & Rezar ran roughshod over Titus O’Neil & Apollo Crews once again, taking out The Big Deal in the early goings by ramming his head into the turnbuckle before systematically dismantling his partner, culminating in a hellacious Last Chapter.

My Take: …and you thought the Ironman Match was long… well, it was and this match wasn’t.

Match #8: Sarah Logan def. Ember Moon

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

If anything has been made abundantly clear from their backstage anarchy, The Riott Squad are stronger together than they are apart. So it stands to reason that they finally got a win over Ember Moon by employing their inherent numbers game advantage, a strategy that carried Sarah Logan across the finish line against Moon and answered The Shenom’s two consecutive wins against Liv Morgan. Logan kept the match competitive, countering Moon’s speed with her strength, with Morgan popping up intermittently to keep Ember on her toes. The former NXT Women’s Champion rallied to set up the Eclipse, and Liv made her boldest move of the match, tripping Moon up on the top turnbuckle. The force of the impact stopped Ember dead in her tracks, and Logan quickly pounced for the pin.

My Take: Logan looked pretty good getting a victory over a more known name in Moon.

Match #9: Main Event – Bobby Lashley def. Seth Rollins and Elias to advance to a match to determine Brock Lesnar’s next challenger for the Universal Championship

The following is courtesy is of WWE.com:

Bobby Lashley claimed he returned to WWE to make a play for the Universal Championship. He’s now two victories away from that goal, having defeated Elias and Seth Rollins in the night’s second Triple Threat, earning himself a second date with Roman Reigns where a SummerSlam title match with The Beast hangs in the balance.

That said, Elias certainly did his best to steal Lashley’s thunder, as The Living Truth dished out knees to anything with a pulse to gain an early lead and stayed steady in the eye of the storm even as the chaos of the Triple Threat began to build. Rollins kicked into overdrive in response, targeting both his opponents at once. But thanks to a last-second breakup of the Stomp by Lashley, the fight rolled on, and the former ECW Champion scored the win with a thunderous Spear to Elias after the guitarist hauled Rollins out of the ring. One more victory, and Lashley has Brock Lesnar. Two more, and he has the Universal Title.

My Take: This was a good main event that gave the crowd a Lashley victory. Lashley and Rollins were the best thing about the match, while Elias is still struggling to catch-up in the wrestling quality department. Over-all, this was a good way to end the card.

News of the Night:

  1. The Sasha Banks/Bayley feud seems to be getting some nuance, as Banks admitted that she still loves Bayley, but reserves the right to be the only one who beats.
  2. The idea that Sasha Banks or Bayley could be traded to Smackdown was suggested by Kurt Angle when Bayley admitted that she and Banks might not be able to co-exist on the same show.
  3. A feud between Bobby Roode and Dolph Ziggler, as well as a feud with Mojo Rawley for Roode, might be in the works.
  4. Bobby Lashley will wrestle Roman Reigns next week for the number one contender’s spot to Brock Lesnar’s Universal Title Match at Summerslam.
  5. Ronda Rousey will wrestle Alexa Bliss for the Women’s Title at Summerslam.
  6. The B Team will defend their Tag Titles against The Deletors of Worlds, next week.

Final Verdict: This was a good show that had a few fine matches to tout, as well as a rare instance of depth with the feud between Sasha Banks and Bayley.

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