31st Jul2018

WWE Raw – July 30th 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 we have a night of Brock Lesnar to cover, so let’s get to it before he attacks us. He’ll do it… he’s mean!

Match #1: Constable Baron Corbin def. Finn Bálor

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Baron Corbin has made it a goal to demean and insult Finn Bálor over, among other things, their height difference across the past few weeks. The Extraordinary Man hasn’t exactly broken down over the insults, but Corbin did use his size to his advantage in his victory over the first-ever Universal Champion in a rematch of their bout from WWE Extreme Rules. Corbin, much he did in the first match, focused on a ground-and-pound strategy that put Bálor firmly on the defensive. Bálor dug deep as the match progressed, even setting Corbin up for the Coup de Grâce after employing a stick-and-move counter to Corbin’s aggressive press. But The Constable dodged Bálor and sprang with the End of Days to earn the victory — pausing only briefly after the match before returning to mug Bálor some more.

My Take: This may have been the longest match of the card, but it was also the weakest. Corbin is too basic a wrestler to be ready for television at this point, so much so that not even Finn Balor can make him interesting.

Match #2: Alicia Fox def. Natalya

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Alexa Bliss remains the undisputed master of mind games in the Raw Women’s division, this time exploiting Ronda Rousey’s aggression to swing a match that neither were competing in to cost Rousey’s training partner Natalya a potential victory in the process. Rousey had been at ringside to support The Queen of Harts in her match against Alicia Fox, who boasted Bliss in her own corner. (Mickie James was out of action for the evening). Alicia was in the driver’s seat when she swatted at Rowdy Ronda, causing Rousey to climb up on the apron and distract the ref. Alexa took advantage by blasting Natalya with a hard right, teeing Alicia up for an easy win. When Ronda pursued Bliss after the match, Alicia again capitalized, jumping Ronda from behind and setting Rousey up for an overwhelming two-on-one-attack. Clearly, Rousey’s aggression was building to critical mass (by her own admission), and Raw General Manager Kurt Angle had a solution: Next week, Ronda would have her first-ever Raw match against Alicia Fox.

My Take: There wasn’t too much to this match, but it wasn’t bad.

Match #3: Jinder Mahal def. Braun Strowman via Count-out

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Braun Strowman has long been a proponent of disregarding wins and losses in favor of causing as much destruction as possible, but those carefree days may be short-lived for Mr. Monster in the Bank: Not only does he have a match looming against Kevin Owens where any kind of loss will cost Strowman his Money in the Bank contract, but his tunnel vision landed him on the wrong side of a count-out loss to Jinder Mahal on Raw. Stemming from Strowman’s decimation of Mahal and Sunil Singh on last week’s Raw, the match began as you might expect — with Strowman heading toward a rout of the former WWE Champion, despite The Maharaja’s attempt to Shanti Strowman into passivity. Then, Owens appeared, stealing Strowman’s Money in the Bank briefcase and leading The Gift of Destruction on a mad chase that gave Mahal a count-out win. Strowman seemed a bit more shaken up than usual by this loss and with good reason. If it happens at SummerSlam, he loses the contract. Clearly, he’ll have to be something he usually isn’t when it comes to his rivalries: Careful.

My Take: I’ve puked longer than this match went. This didn’t do any-one any favors, as it was a dull mess.

Match #4: Apollo Crews def. Akam

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

The Authors of Pain’s rivalry with Titus Worldwide persists, largely because Titus Worldwide refuse to roll over for the ascendant powerhouses. So, Akam decided to zero in on Apollo Crews to forcibly extract deference from the veteran tag team. It didn’t quite go the way he’d hoped. After Crews proved to be harder to put away than expected, Akam got desperate and accidentally charged into the turnbuckle, leaving him to stumble backward straight into a match-ending rollup.

My Take: I wonder if Willie Mack still wishes he had gotten the job offer that Uhaa Nation, the current Apollo Crews, has now. I read this interview he once gave that comes close to implicating Crews got the job Mack felt he should have. The bad push that Crews has gotten would make me pretty happy I got rejected. Any-way, this match sucked.

Match #5: Seth Rollins def. Drew McIntyre via Disqualification

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Usually, it’s Drew McIntyre who plays spoiler during Seth Rollins’ matches against Dolph Ziggler. This time around, the roles were reversed: After McIntyre’s dominant performance was cut short by an out-of-nowhere Stomp from Rollins, the Intercontinental Champion provided an eleventh-hour save of his hulking enforcer, saving McIntyre the humiliation of a pinfall loss at the hands of The Kingslayer. Unfortunately, Ziggler’s interference also cost McIntyre the match, albeit via disqualification. The Showoff took advantage of the surprise to briefly put Rollins on his back, though The Kingslayer rallied to hit a suicide dive on the champion and leave in one piece. Of course, by that time, McIntyre had gotten back to his feet and given Rollins a stare that indicated The Architect isn’t quite as in the clear as he thinks.

My Take: This was a solid match that some good wrestling. McIntyre is finally getting back to normal, as far as his wrestling is concerned. For a little while, Drew was acting more like “Chosen One” Drew instead of “I can finally wrestle good, Mama!” Drew. Rollins is still having a hell of a year and that continued here.

Match #6: The Revival def. “Woken” Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

For weeks, The Revival have been scouting the Raw Tag Team Title picture as the championships shifted from the clutches of “Woken” Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt to the jubilant hands of The B-Team. Now, the “Top Guys” are making their move. After crashing a confab between The B-Team and The Deleters of Worlds, Dash & Dawson threw a wrench into the Tag Team division when they defeated Hardy & Wyatt in an impromptu match stemming from the confrontation. They used their time-honed tactics to do it, too, with Dash Wilder grabbing a handful of Wyatt’s dreadlocks before he could suffer Sister Abigail. With The Reaper of Souls thrown, Scott Dawson tagged in, and the team executed a textbook Shatter Machine to close out the match, a feat that was best summed up by The B-Team on commentary: “That’s a big win.”

My Take: The Revival won, so I’m happy.

Match #7: Main Event – Sasha Banks & Bayley def. The Riott Squad

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

You’d think they never had to go to counseling. Bayley & Sasha Banks earned their second consecutive victory as a team this week, this time toppling The Riott Squad despite an impressively fought contest from Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan. Building off their matches with Ember Moon over the previous few weeks, Morgan & Logan turned in one of their crispest performances yet, battling back as Bayley & Sasha steadily began to roll. Once Logan was tossed out of the ring, however, Morgan found herself at a numbers disadvantage that became too much to overcome, and Banks & Bayley put her down with a combo of a Backstabber into a Bayley-to-Belly.

My Take: Technically, the Brock Lesnar/Kurt Angle segment after this match is the main event, but we don’t dignify talking segments as equal to matches. The match in question was good, but nothing spectacular. It’s nice to see that they have put the feud between Bayley and Sasha Banks on hold, as there would be nothing for them to do after it was over. The longer they wait, the better the feud between Banks and Bayley will be. Over-all, thus match accomplished its mission… and exploded in five seconds.

News of the Night:

  1. Bobby Roode fights Mojo Rawley next week.
  2. Ronda Rousey makes her RAW wrestling debut against Alicia Fox, next week.
  3. Brock Lesnar claimed Paul Heyman isn’t his friend and threatened him later in the show.
  4. Brock Lesnar attacked Kurt Angle with and F5. Fifteen years ago, if Lesnar had done that, he and Angle would be fighting for the title, which would actually draw.
  5. Roman Reigns was escorted out of the arena, because Stephanie McMahon said so! That doesn’t have the same ring to it that it does when Steve Austin says it.

Final Verdict: This was a dull card that’s strongest match was also its weakest. Corbin just isn’t ready for television yet, but he is getting better. Reigns just keeps receiving a more negative crowd reaction every week. If RAW wants to get more ratings, try booking great wrestling cards that feature wrestlers who the people pay to see. Reigns can’t make that happen, even though he is talented.
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Thanks for reading and I’ll see you for the Smackdown review.

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