21st Aug2018

WWE Raw – August 20th 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 huge main event to bring in the second half of the WWE’s wrestling year. Before we get started, I just want to say… Baba-Booey-Baba-Booey… two yoobuey birds in a bowl of jambooey… Baba-Booey-Baba-Booey-Baba-Booey-Baba-Stop… Hammer Time! That’s hip-hop Morse code. I’m related to him, you know. On the anniversary of his death, we light a telegraph on fire in his honor. Let’s wrestle baby!

Match #1: Bobby Lashley def. Constable Baron Corbin

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Dealing with an unruly Superstar is more art than science, but Kurt Angle certainly made a masterstroke when he decided to place the meddlesome Baron Corbin in a match against Bobby Lashley, who has everything to prove and a chip on his shoulder after a SummerSlam where the former ECW Champion was conspicuous by his absence. Indeed, if not for a fateful loss to Roman Reigns a few weeks back, it would have been Lashley who challenged Brock Lesnar at The Biggest Event of the Summer, so he treated Corbin as a punching bag and launching pad in equal measure. The Lone Wolf rallied to muscle Lashley to the canvas, but he was overpowered when the former ECW Champion hoisted Corbin onto his shoulders and barrel-rolled him into the mat.

My Take: Bobby Lashley was the star here. Corbin just keeps getting worse and worse, which makes me feel bad for him. Corbin could be good one day, but there’s a saying I just saw on the Jeff Dunham: Birth of a Dummy special which is “It’s better to be five years late than one years too early.” Baron Corbin is about three years too early to his own party, as his wrestling skills and his personality are just not there yet, but they may be there in due time. Lashley carried Corbin to a decent match that made Lashley look like a big deal, which he was while in TNA/Impact. Bobbby Lashley deserves more than just being in a random match at the start of Raw and Corbin deserves to have more time to develop his wrestling ability. I wish both men the best and for Vince to treat these guys better.

Match #2: The Riott Squad def. Sasha Banks, Bayley & Ember Moon

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Despite adding Ember Moon to their ranks, the team of Sasha Banks & Bayley came up short for the third consecutive week against The Riott Squad, though The Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection remains strong in the wake of the disappointment. In an often wild match, Bayley found herself isolated by The Riott Squad until she tagged in Sasha, bringing the bout down to The Boss and Ruby Riott. As interferences began to mount, Ember took herself out of the action when she blasted Liv Morgan with a suicide dive, and Bayley found herself waylaid by Sarah Logan at ringside. As the now solitary Sasha ascended to the top turnbuckle, Ruby targeted Banks’ taped-up hand to knock her off her perch and finished her off moments after with a pinpoint Riott Kick.

My Take: There was some decent action at times, but this match just felt like an obligation instead of a pleasure. Banks and Bayley, along with Ember, are all great talents but have a hard time getting the booking in their favor, especially in a way that they can use. Hopefully, now that Ronda Rousey is the champion, these women will get to be in the main event, since any one of them would qualify as a major bout with the champion. Riott still comes across as a clone of Paige, but a good booking staff would salivate at the prospect of pitting the two against each other, if only as a promo of some kind. I’d like for Riott to get some actual depth allotted to her, as she seems to be very unique, which you can never get enough of. Over-all, this match didn’t do the competitors involved any justice.

Match #3: Dean Ambrose def. Dolph Ziggler

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Seth Rollins openly admitted that Dean Ambrose all but made it possible for The Kingslayer to win the Intercontinental Title from Dolph Ziggler at SummerSlam by taking out Drew McIntyre. On Raw, Rollins returned the favor, running interference at the moment of truth to help Ambrose over the finish line against Ziggler in The Lunatic Fringe’s first match following a nine-month layoff due to injury. It seemed, however, like McIntyre would be the one to claim retribution, as the former NXT Champion stalked a weakened Ambrose at ringside, prompting Rollins to step up. The Architect was briefly overwhelmed by a two-on-one attack from Ziggler & McIntyre, but Ambrose broke it up and sent the action back into the ring. Rollins quickly rallied to down McIntyre with a suicide dive, and Ambrose did the rest, putting his new, power-based style to good use by stopping Ziggler’s leaping DDT cold, popping him into the air and catching him in Dirty Deeds for the win.

My Take: This was a good match that revealed a surprise about Dean Ambrose. Ambrose actually didn’t move out in the ring as well as he normally would. I understand that he is still trying to get his footing back after a long lay-off, but it was his body’s flexibility that was the problem. Ambrose wrestled like Kurt Angle in 2010 TNA, which was a good, but limiting year for him, as his body had become rigid due to years of severe injuries. Ambrose looked like that here and even wrestled slower than usual. I think two big problems for Ambrose are his attire being a pair of jeans and a tank top (very constricting gear) and his new, larger physique giving him the same problems Edge once had when he was on steroids back in 2001 (partial immobility). That being said, Phil, remarked that Ambrose looked like a “wrecking machine” and there is evidence later in the night that suggests that Ambrose may still yet be one the path back to his prime. Ziggler worked hard here and added another excellent performance to his record for the year. Over-all, this was a good match that was better when it happened at Summerslam for the WWE World Title a few years ago.

Match #4: Elias def. Curt Hawkins

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Curt Hawkins has lost 218 matches in a row. Elias is out there trash-talking his home city. So it was a case of “if not now, then when?” for The Prince of Queens, who interrupted Elias’ performance, challenged him to a match and gave The Living Truth such a tough fight that it looked as though the former WWE Tag Team Champion’s infamous losing streak would finally be snapped. Alas, the goose egg remained, though Hawkins put up a valiant effort, forcing Elias to spring a trap, catching Hawkins with a knee as he climbed between the ropes to set up Drift Away. Between the heart, the fire and the “You can do it” chants from the WWE Universe, Hawkins can certainly count this one as a moral victory, though a literal one remains just out of reach.

My Take: Poor Hawkins… I told them to make him WWE Universal Champion! This losing streak appears to have gained some momentum as the crowd responded to it when he almost won. Elias comes across as potentially interesting, but feels almost like a pale imitation of himself. I feel bad saying stuff like that, but Elias has the potential to do more and he is being left to spin his wheels as a cheap lounge singer, rather than as an athlete with a drive to succeed.

Match #5: AOP def. Titus Worldwide

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Titus Worldwide have had a rough go of it against AOP lately, and it hasn’t gotten any better despite a clandestine “strategy” session between Dana Brooke and Apollo Crews before the tag teams’ latest bout began. Granted, Crews put up a gritty, highly impressive performance against the former NXT Tag Team Champions, even using their aggression against them at certain moments. But Akam & Rezar would not be denied, and they decimated Crews with the Last Chapter — much to the concern of Dana at ringside, who all but cradled Crews on the outside as he nursed a tweaked wrist.

My Take: They’ve done a thousand of these matches. Guess who won? You already read the results. Yeah, this is the same damn thing, week after week after week after week after week. You know what I’d like? Titus screams “Turd in the Wind” while doing a head stand. That’s right! I watch the internet, damn it! I know what people like! Turd in the wind! It’s good!

Match #6: Scott Dawson def. Raw Tag Team Champion Bo Dallas

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

The B-Team have kept their Raw Tag Team Titles from The Revival largely on a combination of luck and canny exploitation of tag-team rules. More power to them. Without those protections, however, Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel might be more vulnerable than they’d like to admit. The champs’ post-SummerSlam afterglow was spoiled ever so slightly when Scott Dawson knocked off Dallas in the first of two singles matches between the two teams. In fact, save for an elbow from Dallas that kicked off a brief rally, the match was almost all Dawson: The “Top Guy” brutalized Dallas with every old-school tactic he had in his arsenal, grinding his elbow into Bo’s head and ramming his dome into the turnbuckle en route to victory. Axel was quick to rally his team, immediately entering the ring to goad Dash Wilder into their own match.

My Take: This was the greatest wrestling match I’ve ever seen. Wait, no it wasn’t. They needed some-thing heavy to hold the floor down while a big breeze hit the arena, so they sent these two guys out for a couple of minutes.

Match #7: Dash Wilder def. Raw Tag Team Champion Curtis Axel

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Make it two in a row for The Revival against The B-Team, now that Dash Wilder followed up Scott Dawson’s singles victory with a win of his own against Curtis Axel, making The B-Team 0-2 in singles competition against the two-time NXT Tag Team Champions. Wilder lived up to his team’s reputation as in-ring surgeons, targeting Axel’s back before putting him away with a modified Gory Bomb. The B-Team were quick to remind the “Top Guys” they were still Raw Tag Team Champions, though given the events of the night, it might be fair to ask if those days are numbered.

My Take: Somebody farted in the back and these two ran out to get away from the smell. The time-keeper found a fly on the bell and smacked it. The bell rung and they thought someone was at the door so they picked up their loose clothes and tried to let their guests in but there wasn’t a door to answer, so they beat the hell out of each other until one of them fell asleep and the other went to pick up a pizza. Oh, the match was boring. There, I covered the action.

Match #8: Main Event – Universal Champion Roman Reigns def. Finn Bálor; The Shield reformed to take out Braun Strowman

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Roman Reigns defeated Finn Bálor one-on-one to retain the Universal Championship in a title match two years in the making. But when it came to repelling Braun Strowman and his Money in the Bank contract, the Universal Champion needed a little help from his friends. Before Strowman showed up and all hell broke loose, however, Reigns and Bálor put on an instant classic where The Extraordinary Man summoned the full reserves of his legendary heart. Reigns, unfortunately, had reached his proverbial final form and took everything Bálor had to give him. The arrival of Strowman did allow Finn to set up the Coup de Grâce, but Reigns avoided the move and spiked the Irishman with a Spear for three.

Strowman quickly entered the ring and struck the reeling Reigns down, but his Monster in the Bank cash-in was cut short by the unmistakable crackle of “Sierra, Hotel, India” and the arrival of Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, back in the signature black colors of The Shield. Strowman didn’t hesitate to throw down with the brothers in black, but The Hounds of Justice overwhelmed him all the same after Reigns Speared Strowman on the outside, setting up a monstrous Triple Powerbomb through the announce table. Clearly, the message of Reigns’ bout with Bálor was that Raw does, indeed, have a fighting champion. The message of what happened after is that Braun Strowman isn’t the only one with an ace in the hole.

My Take: This was a great main event in a collective week that has already had several great matches. Roman had more of the crowd on his side than usual, but they still wanted Finn to win. Hey, I rhymed! Yeah! As this bout got to its climax, the action reached a height that made this feel like we were on a PPV. These guys worked well together. Reigns limited repertoire (I sound fancy) was noticeable here, but didn’t ruin the fight. Finn had the crowd so invested in him winning that they seemed primed to explode. I hope this is the beginning of a trend for WWE main events that feature great action and exciting moments that actually get you to come back each week.

News Of The Night:

  1. Triple H cut a good promo on why he’s wrestling The Undertaker at Super Show-Down.
  2. Ronda Rousey attacked Stephanie McMahon for being a prick.
  3. Stephanie McMahon sent Kurt Angle on vacation and named Baron Corbin as his substitute until he returns.
  4. Braun Strowman’s cash-in of the Money in the Bank contract was foiled by the The Shield. Dean Ambrose looked more flexible here, so perhaps his previous attire is to constrictive to wrestle in. The crowd went nuts for The Shield and Roman had his best face reaction in years.

Final Verdict: 3 out of 5 – The main event took a decent card and kicked it farther up Quality Street than Raw normally would go.

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One Response to “WWE Raw – August 20th 2018: Results & Review”

  • Nathan Favel

    The review for the Bobby Lashley/ Baron Corbin match had a lot of grammatical errors I didn’t correct.