Live from Denver, Colorado, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1322 of Monday Night Raw. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner up top. Please check out even more of our great content over at TJRWrestling on Patreon now!
There was a new “Then, Now, Forever” quick video at the start of the broadcast. They call it a “WWE signature” on the Youtube clip. Watch it here.
Raw began with a limo pulling up to the arena. Baron Corbin was there. It was Stephanie McMahon, who walked out of the limo. Corbin said “Happy Birthday” to Stephanie and sang poorly. Triple H was in the limo with his wife. Corbin said that he set up the office like she asked, so they can talk. Stephanie said she can talk to him there. Triple H excused himself.
Stephanie said to Corbin that she expected Corbin to make good decisions. She asked Corbin if putting himself in a championship match was a good decision. Corbin complained about The Shield. She said he’s not in control, he’s not a leader and she said if he has a problem with The Shield, he can find two partners to take on The Shield later. She told Corbin to take care of business or Kurt Angle may be back from vacation sooner than expected. Birthday girl Stephanie left. Corbin looked concerned.
Analysis: I’m tired of the Corbin in charge angle. Bring back Kurt already.
The Shield trio of Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose made their entrance by walking in through the crowd like they usually do when they are a group. Reigns had the Universal Title with him, Rollins had the Intercontinental Title and they went into the ring.
The Raw announce team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Renee Young welcomed us to the show. They plugged The Shield vs. Braun Strowman, Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler at Super Show-Down in Australia on October 6.
Let’s Hear From The Shield
The Shield trio soaked up the cheers from the crowd. Ambrose said they are the three workhorses in WWE. Ambrose said that they may have lost a few battles here and there, but they have never lost a war and as you can see, they are still standing. Reigns spoke, the crowd booed him a bit and he mentioned that you can read off their resumes, but it would probably take all day. Reigns and Rollins held up their titles in the air. Reigns said that these championships are the keys to the kingdom and everybody should want them. Reigns said that’s why Brock Lesnar came back, that’s why Baron Corbin booked himself in a championship match and he said that these will change your life. Reigns said the men that deserve the championships are the ones in the ring right now. Rollins said that this is and always will be about being the best. Rollins said that Braun Strowman said he wanted the power so much he recruited some jackasses to try to take down The Shield at Super Show-Down. Rollins called Baron Corbin the world’s largest substitute teacher and if he overhead correctly, he heard Steph tell Corbin to find some partners and show The Shield who is the boss. Rollins said they are out there and would love to show Corbin how big of a problem they can be…right now.
Baron Corbin, the acting GM of Raw, made his entrance on the stage. Corbin said it was Stephanie’s birthday, he said that he’s not going to let Raw get out of control and the third thing was that they will throw The Shield around like ragdolls. Corbin said that he’ll make his boss proud. Corbin said there isn’t anyone in the locker room that likes The Shield as individuals, let alone collectively including these guys.
The trio of Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre made their entrance on the stage. Strowman told Reigns to shine that championship belt (title not a belt!) up real nice because he’s not going to be wearing it that long. Strowman said that he can already see the cracks forming in The Shield and they will implode. Strowman said at WWE Super Show (he said that instead of Super Show-Down) it’s going to be the four of them against The Shield. Strowman said that he thinks Ambrose is starting to see the light. Ziggler said that The Shield needs Ambrose, but Ambrose didn’t need them. Ziggler pointed out that two years ago on Smackdown, Ambrose was WWE Champion and he did it on his own. Ziggler said he knew how good Ambrose was, but look at him now. McIntyre gave Ambrose credit for pushing him to his limits and McIntyre said that he was lucky to come away with the victory. McIntyre said that Roman and Seth don’t deserve Dean and said that Dean deserves more. Ziggler pointed out that Ambrose has sacrificed himself for Rollins and Reigns, so now both of them are champions while Dean is just a sucker. Rollins said that Ziggler is full of it. Ziggler pointed out that Ambrose doesn’t even get to talk. Ziggler mentioned that as soon as Ambrose was hurt, Rollins was teaming up with Jason Jordan. He asked if Rollins even texted Ambrose when he was hurt. Ziggler said that they are already the Tag Team Champions, Strowman is going to beat Reigns for the Universal Title at Crown Jewel and that means Ambrose can be Intercontinental Title by joining them. Reigns told Ziggler to shut up. Reigns said the fans didn’t pay their hard earned money to watch them flap their gums, Reigns said they came for a fight, so let’s do it.
Corbin prevented the fight from happening. Fans chanted “yes” because they wanted the match. Corbin told Ziggler and McIntyre that they must defend their Raw Tag Team Titles later. Corbin said that he and his two partners will face The Shield later. Strowman’s music played to end it.
Analysis: There was a lot to digest there, but I liked that opening a lot with heels trying to get in Ambrose’s head by convincing him to turn his back on his Shield brothers. A lot of fans are wondering when Ambrose might turn heel. I think it should be early next year and that if they did it now it would be too soon, but the idea of teasing it is certainly interesting. Ziggler came across as a smart heel during that segment because of the way he laid things out. Strowman got the name of Super Show-Down wrong, but other than that they got through the segment fine.
Still to come: Raw Tag Titles match is McIntyre and Ziggler vs. The Revival, Bobby Lashley vs. Elias and Finn Balor was shown backstage getting a hug from Bayley because Balor faces Jinder Mahal up next.
Jinder Mahal was joined by Sunil Singh like always and Alicia Fox was with Mahal since they are Mixed Match Challenge teammates. Bayley entered first followed by Finn Balor since they are Mixed Match Challenge teammates.
Jinder Mahal (w/Sunil Singh and Alicia Fox) vs. Finn Balor (w/Bayley)
Mahal with a body slam followed by a shoulder tackle early in the match. The fans chanted for Balor as Balor sent Mahal into the ropes with a dropkick followed by a clothesline over the top to the floor. Balor hit a somersault dive over the top to take out Mahal on the floor.
Back from the break, Mahal with a knee to the ribs of Balor. Mahal with a knee drop to Balor’s chest. Mahal slapped on an abdominal stretch. Balor got the momentum going with a dropkick, forearm to the face and Balor hit a double foot stomp to the chest of Mahal. Balor avoided a corner attack, but Mahal hit him with a kick to the face. Mahal went to the middle rope, Balor hit a jump kick to the head and Balor hit a Slingblade neckbreaker. Singh tried a trip on Balor, Mahal got a rollup and an elbow to the back. When Mahal went to the ropes, Bayley tripped up Mahal as payback and the referee never saw that either. Fox went up to Bayley outside the ring, so Bayley decked Fox with a punch. Bayley hit a Bayley to Belly suplex on Sunil Singh on the floor. The crowd loved it. Balor with the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! pinned Mahal for the win at 9:55.
Winner by pinfall: Finn Balor
Analysis: **1/4 It was a decent match with Balor making the big comeback to get the win. The crowd was into the match with Bayley getting involved to help Balor get the win. I don’t like the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! finish because it’s done too often, but that’s a finish WWE loves to do at least once per week on their shows.
Post match, Balor and Bayley celebrated the win. Mahal sent Sunil into the ring and he was mad at him for costing him the win. Mahal stopped himself from attacking, so Mahal did the “Shanti” sitting pose in the ring. Renee said there was no way this would end well for any of those three.
A replay aired from last week’s Raw with Ronda Rousey issuing an open challenge, which led to problems with The Riott Squad and The Bella Twins had to save Rousey.
Natalya made her entrance with The Bella Twins. At least I didn’t have to hear the “Brie Mode” song this week since it was just the regular Bella song.
The Riott Squad’s entrance concluded as the show returned from break. They face Rousey and the Bella Twins at Super Show-Down on October 6.
Natalya, Brie Bella and Nikki Bella vs. The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan, Liv Morgan)
Nikki with a backbreaker on Morgan for a two count with Graves trying to explain how successful the Bella Twins are. Brie and Nikki did a double team move for a two count. Brie worked over Liv with kicks to the chest, then Morgan leaned forward and Brie kicked Morgan hard in the face two times. That looked bad. Brie was very sloppy there. Brie managed to help Morgan get to the corner as Riott tagged in and Logan tried to help Morgan. The referee was checking on Morgan, so he missed a pin attempt. The announcers did mention the injury to Morgan although not that much. Brie got her momentum back with a missile dropkick off the middle rope for a two count. The announcers were bickering about the Bellas success. They did a six woman spot with three suplexes by the faces at the same time. That’s a popular house show spot. Morgan got back into it because she was feeling better. Brie was on the apron, so Riott punched her down as the show went to break.
Back from break, Logan took down Brie with a headlock. Morgan was gone from ringside. When Brie broke free, Logan decked Brie with a forearm. Riott worked over Brie with a kick while Cole noted that Morgan was taken to the locker room to be evaluated (she was actually at ringside). Renee did her thing to talk about how busy the Bellas are. Riott and Brie did a double hair pull spot to knock them both down. Natalya got the hot tag against Logan with a German Suplex and the Natty by Nature clothesline for two as Riott broke up the pin. Riott with a knee to Nikki’s ribs. Riott made a blind tag, Natalya slapped on a Sharpshooter on Logan, Riott with a superkick on Natalya and Riott hit a Riott Kick on Natalya for the pinfall win at 10:30. After the match, Ruby and Sarah rolled to the floor where Morgan was being looked at by doctors, so Cole saying that she was in the back being evaluated was not true.
Winners: The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan, Liv Morgan)
Analysis: *1/2 The match was below average with the idea that the Riott Squad got the win to give them some momentum going into the Super Show-Down match against the Bellas and Rousey. The finish made Natalya look like a fool because she barely did anything in the match only to lose easily for her team. What people will remember from the match were Brie’s sloppy kicks that legitimately hurt Morgan. Brie made mistakes when she did bad suicide dives in recent weeks also.
Post match, the camera stayed on the Bellas and Natalya in the ring without showing the winners since Morgan was there even though Cole said she was in the back for some reason.
Brie sent out an apology tweet to Morgan and hopefully Morgan is okay from it.
Every match on #Raw is an opportunity for us to entertain our fans. Our intentions as @WWE Superstars is to win the match, never injure our opponents. Thinking about @YaOnlyLivvOnce tonight. ❤️ -B
— Nikki & Brie (@BellaTwins) September 25, 2018
Still to come is a six-man tag match featuring The Shield vs. Baron Corbin and two opponents of his choice.
The superstars of Raw filled the stage for some special segment after the break.
WWE supports Pediatric Cancer month
There was a segment in the ring with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon talking about WWE’s work in raising money and awareness for pediatric cancer while specifically mentioning Connor’s Cure. Stephanie said that Connor’s Cure has raised over $2.5 million and helped over 400 families. They talked about the money they have raised. Triple H said that their superstars have met these child superstars. Stephanie said that this year they are proud to have a new tag team partner.
A video aired featuring WWE and the Hyundai Hope on Wheels campaign. They showed some kids that have dealt with cancer. Seth Rollins gave a kid an Intercontinental Title. They showed a Hyundai car with handprints on it to show WWE’s support of what Hyundai is doing.
The Hyundai Hope on Wheels car with the handprints was driven into the arena at the side of the stage. Stephanie introduced two new WWE Superstars that are not just conquering cancer, but they are thriving. Stephanie introduced Carter and Elizabeth along with the spokesman from Hyundai. They were given a big ovation. The kids and Hyundai’s spokesman got into the ring with Hunter and Stephanie.
Hunter encouraged Elizabeth to do some dance and she did it, which did applause. Hunter said that around here when you’re a champion, you have to have something to show for it. They were given a replica Universal Championship for Carter and the Raw Women’s Title for Elizabeth. Fans chanted “you deserve it” for them. That’s nice.
Zafar Brooks, who is the Executive Director of Hyundai’s Hope on Wheels, spoke about how those kids know about fighting and winning. Brookes talked about Hyundai’s Hope on Wheels working for 20 years to try to help raise awareness for childhood cancer and they are pleased to be working with WWE. Zafar said that they are putting a smackdown on pediatric cancer. Zafar said on behalf of Hyundai, they would like to make a generous gift donation to Connor’s Cure in the amount of $200,000. There was a giant check that was given to Hunter and Stephanie as they stood in the ring with the kids. For more info on donating, you can visit ConnorTheCrusher.com now.
Analysis: It’s WWE being philanthropic while using their platform to raise awareness. I’m certainly fine with using ten minutes of TV time to do that. Next month is breast cancer awareness month, so get ready for WWE plugging that all month long in October.
Still to come is Ziggler and McIntyre vs. The Revival.
Dean Ambrose was alone in the backstage area. Dolph Ziggler showed up, Ambrose told him to get out and Ziggler said he’s not there to fight. Ziggler wondered where The Shield was when Ambrose was out for nine months while noting that Ambrose almost died from a staph infection, which Ambrose revealed in an interview recently. Ziggler said that they don’t care about Ambrose. Ziggler said that he saw Ambrose do everything on his own on Smackdown where Ambrose was WWE Champion. Ziggler said that tonight, Ambrose doesn’t have to do anything, they will be out there watching and Ambrose just has to give them the signal with Ziggler saying “we’ll take care of the rest” leading to Ziggler leaving.
Analysis: It was a good way of teasing something for later in the night while continuing to plant the seed in Ambrose’s head that maybe he should go against his Shield brothers.
Chad Gable and Bobby Roode were in the ring. Gable did a pre-match promo saying if he gets in trouble he should just ask what would Bobby Roode do and the answer is “be glorious.” Konnor and Viktor of The Ascension made their entrance because this week Gable has to face the big man Konnor. There was a pre-match promo from Konnor, who told Gable he should have walked away.
Chad Gable (w/Bobby Roode) vs. Konnor (w/Viktor)
Konnor worked over Gable with punches followed by a hard whip into the corner. Gable went for an armbar using the ropes. Gable with a dropkick. Running kick by Gable and a German Suplex got two. Gable went up top, he jumped off with a moonsault, Konnor moved, Gable landed on his feet and Konnor hit a running cross body attack. Konnor picked up Gable on his shoulders and hit a Dominator like slam onto Gable’s stomach for the pinfall win at 2:35. Gable said there was a “stunned silence” from the crowd. That’s another way of saying the fans didn’t care.
Winner by pinfall: Konnor
Analysis: * A short match to give Konnor of The Ascension a rare win. I think that was done to try to give them credibility since The Ascension team rarely wins any matches. It doesn’t mean that much from a tag team standpoint, but at least it tells people that The Ascension guys can win a match. Gable worked hard to make it mildly entertaining. It was not that interesting and the crowd was dead for it.
There was a shot of Triple H and Stephanie in the parking lot by their limo. Charly Caruso showed up to ask Hunter about The Undertaker. Hunter told Stephanie that he’s got this, so she went in the limo. Hunter said that if Undertaker is worried about Hunter in a suit then he’s already lost. Hunter talked about how they won’t be fighting in a suit or in a boardroom. Hunter noted that he sold his soul a long time ago. Hunter said that the end is near.
There was a plug for The Undertaker with Kane vs. Triple H with Shawn Michaels at Super Show-Down on October 6. No in-ring promo for that match this week.
Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre made their entrances for the Tag Team Title match.
There was a plug for Nikki Bella, John Cena and Nia Jax as nominees for People’s Choice Awards. I’m not voting.
There was no intro for The Revival for this match, which is lame for a championship match. It makes them look like losers before the match even began. The reason it’s a title match is because Ziggler and McIntyre attacked The Revival prior to their title match a few weeks ago.
Raw Tag Team Championships: Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre vs. The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder)
It’s rare to see a tag team match with two heel teams, but that’s what we have here. There were quick tags form both sides and then The Revival took control with Wilder hitting a belly to back suplex on Ziggler. Dawson hit an impressive Northern Lights Suplex for two. Wilder tagged in with a shoulder tackle on Ziggler. Uppercut by Ziggler and then Wilder launched Ziggler into the air to counter a DDT attempt. Wilder slapped on a submission on the arms of Ziggler. Dawson ran into Ziggler leading to a cross body block over the top to the floor. What? No commercial? That’s a surprise after that spot. Wilder charged at Ziggler, who moved and Wilder went shoulder first into the steel steps. McIntyre tagged in, hit a suplex on Wilder and the show went to break there.
Back from break, Wilder made the tag to Dawson, who was on fire with a jumping kick to Ziggler and he kicked McIntyre off the apron. Dawson with a double underhook Powerbomb for a two count on Ziggler. Nice move. Dawson set up Ziggler on the top rope, superplex by Dawson, Wilder tagged in and hit a splash off the top when Dawson landed. That was good for two with McIntyre breaking up the pin. McIntyre went for a chop on Wilder on the floor, but Wilder moved and McIntyre chopped the ring post. Ouch. Dolph Ziggler was shown watching backstage. Ziggler and Wilder each got rollups. Ziggler went for a Fameasser, Wilder held Ziggler and they stumbled a bit, but got through it with Wilder putting Ziggler on his shoulders. Dawson tagged in with a clothesline off the top like Legion of Doom for a two count. The crowd bought into that as a nearfall. McIntyre tagged in for the team, he caught Wilder in his arms and Dawson hit a dropkick off the middle ropes with Wilder pinning McIntyre for two. McIntyre with a headbutt on Wilder and kick for Dawson. Ziggler tagged back in leading to a Claymore Kick from Drew leading to the Zig Zag from Dolph for the pinfall win at 12:30.
Winners by pinfall: Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre
Analysis: ***1/4 That was a very good tag team match that was competitive from the moment it started. I’m glad that it wasn’t something that went only five minutes with The Revival losing and looking like losers. I loved the LOD finisher by The Revival that nearly won them the match. The finish could have been set up a bit better. I think they just did it that way because they wanted McIntyre to dominate when he got in there and that’s what he did leading to a Ziggler tag for the win. I’m not that surprised by the champs winning, but I hope that this performance by The Revival impressed the bosses because they should be champs one day.
There were plugs for matches still to come. The crew at ringside set up the arena for the “Kevin Owens Show” talk show segment.
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A clip aired from last week when Lio Rush managed to avoid attacks from Kevin Owens and Elias with Lashley saving his manager Rush.
The announcers plugged Super Show-Down on October 6 as well as the tag team match featuring John Cena teaming with Bobby Lashley against Kevin Owens and Elias.
The Kevin Owens Show with Elias
Elias was in the ring for his weekly “concert” where he said that Denver didn’t deserve an Elias performance tonight. He said he’s going to pass it on to a brother and friend of his, a man he can have a conversation with and his partner in Australia at Super Show-Down. He said together they will take on Bobby Lashley and a 16-time WWE Champion John Cena. Elias introduced his biggest fan and the host of the Kevin Owens Show…it’s Kevin Owens. Funny how that works.
Kevin Owens made his entrance where he got into the ring that had a desk in it, a chair for Owens, a stool for Elias and a “Kevin Owens Show” logo.
Owens sat at the desk with a microphone on it. Owens said that he is Elias’ biggest fan and that’s why he’s excited to team with Elias against Lashley and Cena. Owens said that they will also face the man that is arguably the greatest superstar today and that Owens beat in his first match in WWE, John Cena. Owens moved on to talk about Bobby Lashley and his manager Lio Rush, so Owens invited Rush to step on the grandest stage to be a part of the Kevin Owens show.
Lio Rush stood on the stage thanking them for being on the KO Show. Owens told him that before he keeps referring to himself in the third person, Owens wanted him to go into the ring. Rush said that he and Bobby humiliated them last week, so Lio will stay up there. They had a booster seat on the “set” of the show because Lio is short. Lio laughed about the joke. Lio said that he’s got somebody that’s not just a man, he’s a Rocky Mountain made machine that happens to have a rematch up next Elias. Rush introduced Lashley as “Denver, Colorado’s own” Bobby Lashley, so that led to a louder than usual reaction for Lashley.
Analysis: It was a decent “show” with some good lines by the heels and the booster seat bit was funny. They are trying to make us care about this tag team match where they mention John Cena repeatedly even though Cena is not around because he’s in China filming a movie.
Lashley is on Mixed Match Challenge this week with Mickie James as a partner against Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox.
Bobby Lashley (w/Lio Rush) vs. Elias (w/Kevin Owens)
Lashley was in control with a waistlock takedown. Elias took control with a headlock. Lashley with a leapfrog and a shoulder tackle. Elias ran the ropes, Lashley with a cross body block, corner clothesline and punches against the turnbuckle. Lashley with a sidewalk slam for two. Elias took control with an eye gouge, a chop block to the back of the left leg and then he wrenched on the left leg of Lashley. Elias drove Lashley’s left leg into the steel ring post two times. Elias with a knee drop onto the left leg of Lashley. Elias kicked away at the injured leg of Lashley. The comeback started for Lashley with a clothesline that sent Elias over the top to the floor. Lashley sent Elias face first into the barricade at ringside. The fans chanted “Bobby” for the hometown boy. Lashley was on the apron, Elias kicked the left leg and Lashley went down as the show went to break.
The show returned with Elias still in control as he stomped away on the left leg of Lashley. Elias charged in and Lashley hit a flatliner that slammed Elias face first into the mat. Lashley with a forearm to the back, a clothesline and Lashley hit a delayed vertical suplex. Lashley with a Spear that sent Elias and Lashley through the ropes and onto the floor. Owens chased Rush around ringside, Rush avoided an attack and Owens ran into Lashley, so the referee called for the bell for the disqualification ending at 13:05.
Winner by disqualification: Bobby Lashley
Analysis: **1/2 It was an average match that went a few minutes too long for my liking. They could have used some better nearfalls. Elias working over the leg was fine, but it wasn’t like fans were going to buy into Elias winning with a submission. The result surprised me because I thought it would be a pinfall win for Lashley rather than the lame DQ finish. If you give a guy a new manager then you want to put that wrestler over at least for a couple of weeks.
Post match, Owens and Elias went after Rush again. Lashley got back into it by pulling Elias out of the ring and Lashley caught Rush when Owens went for a Powerbomb. Lashley punched Owens to knock him out of the ring.
Analysis: This rivalry is not that interesting to me, but at least Lashley and Owens have a storyline for now.
Drew McIntyre was shown backstage as his fellow black hair and bearded man Seth Rollins showed up to talk to him. Rollins said that he was there to deliver truth to McIntyre. Rollins said that Strowman is using them while McIntyre is carrying Ziggler. Rollins told McIntyre to take a long look in the mirror to think about who is being used. Rollins left, Ziggler showed up to ask what that was about and McIntyre said don’t worry about it as Drew left.
Nia Jax made her entrance with Ember Moon by her side. Did you hear Nia Jax is not like most girls? It’s in the song.
A clip aired of Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish did a quiz about WWE to plug their movie “Night School.” Hart asked her WWE questions and she gave answers that he didn’t like.
Alicia Fox entered to lose a match with her buddies Alexa Bliss and Mickie James by her side. Thee were pre-match comments from Moon and Jax that I didn’t pay attention to.
Nia Jax (w/Ember Moon) vs. Alicia Fox (w/Alexa Bliss and Mickie James)
Jax whipped Fox across the ring two times. Moon attacked James with a dive off the apron. Jax rolled Fox into the ring, which led to Fox getting in some offense with a neckbreaker. Fox slapped on a chinlock, Jax broke free and Fox hit a running kick for two. Jax put Fox on her shoulders and hit a Samoan Drop for the pinfall win at 2:55.
Winner by pinfall: Nia Jax
Analysis: * It was an easy win for Jax like most of her matches. I am so bored by Nia Jax squash wins as a face. The announcers kept calling Jax a “game changer” to plug some People’s Choice award that Jax is nominated for. Bliss didn’t take a bump because she has some injury that kept her off the road this weekend.
There was a shot of Dean Ambrose backstage and Drew McIntyre walked up to him. McIntyre said that Rollins talked to him. McIntyre said that he thinks Rollins realizes everything that Drew and friends said was true. McIntyre said that maybe Seth should have checked on Dean more when he was hurt, maybe Seth is looking for a replacement and maybe Drew is just overreacting. Drew mentioned “it’s not like Seth hasn’t stabbed you in the back before.” Drew left after that point, which is something that Rollins has done.
Analysis: I like the ongoing story during the show with different people talking about the potential Shield issues.
The announcers mentioned Super Show-Down on October 6 on WWE Network. A video aired promoting Triple H vs. The Undertaker for the “Last Time Ever” in a singles match. The video lasted for about four minutes.
Next week on Raw: Shawn Michaels will be there to talk about Triple H vs. The Undertaker at Super Show-Down.
The Shield trio of Universal Champion Roman Reigns, Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose made their entrance through the crowd. They showed a tweet from Kurt Angle saying he was excited to see Baron Corbin get his butt kicked by The Shield. Reigns defends the Universal Championship on November 2 at Crown Jewel aka Cash Grab 2.0 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia against Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman.
Next week on Raw: Bobby Lashley vs. Kevin Owens. Also, Ronda Rousey will face Ruby Riott in a match sponsored by the letter R. I added that last part.
Baron Corbin made his entrance. The acting GM Corbin said that tonight is the first Shield match back together on Raw in over a year. Corbin said from the way things are going, it might be the last. Corbin said that they all see the breakup coming. Corbin said that with so many choices he had to go with the cream of the crop, so he went with guys that have been decimating the roster. Corbin welcomed AOP with Drake Maverick as his partners.
Analysis: It was not a surprising choice because of how strongly AOP has been booked in the last six months. At least it’s some progress for AOP after winning squash matches repeatedly.
The trio of Braun Strowman, Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler walked out to the ramp with chairs in hand. They sat down on the chairs on the ramp to watch the match.
The Shield (Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose) vs. Baron Corbin and AOP (Akam and Rezar) w/Drake Maverick
The match started with Ambrose taking down Corbin with an armbar. They battled for about a minute and then Rollins squared off with Akam with Akam hitting Rollins with a running shoulder tackle. Ambrose tagged back in, Rezar got a tag and Rezar cleaned house with a double clothesline. Ambrose avoided a Rezar attack leading to Reigns getting the tag for a big showdown. Reigns with a punch, Rezar drove Reigns into the turnbuckle, Reigns with an elbow and a leaping clothesline. Rezar got back up quickly, which stunned Reigns. All six guys had a face off in the ring, The Shield cleaned house while Strowman, Ziggler and McIntyre moved closer to the ring. Corbin and AOP took advantage of the distracted by getting revenge and taking The Shield out of the ring. Corbin with a Chokeslam backbreaker for two as they went to break.
Back from break, Reigns hit a Samoan Drop on Corbin. Tag to Rollins against Akam with Rollins hitting a jumping kick, a step up enziguri, Akam powered out of a suplex and Rollins hit a Blockbuster neckbreaker off the middle ropes for two as fans chanted “burn it down” for Rollins. That led to Rollins hitting a kick to the gut, Maverick distracted the referee and Corbin pulled down the top rope to send Rollins over the top to the floor. Corbin drove Rollins back first into the barricade two times. Rezar grounded Rollins with a headlock and he drove Rollins into the corner where Akam tagged in with a boot to the chest for two. Rollins with a jawbreaker, but Akam took him down with a headbutt. Corbin worked over Rollins with punches. They did a spot where the AOP guys took out Ambrose and Reigns on the apron to prevent a tag. The AOP team hit a Last Chapter double team move on Reigns on the floor. Rollins managed to get a rollup on Corbin for two, but Corbin came back with the Deep Six Slam for two. There were quick tags by the heels with AOP going for a team move, but Rollins hit a headscissors that sent Rezar out of the ring and a Rollins superkick hit Akam in the chest. Ambrose got the hot tag against Corbin. The crowd erupted as Ambrose went after Corbin with two clotheslines, a knee to the ribs, forearm to the face and Ambrose got an inside cradle for two. Ambrose with a clothesline that sent Corbin out of the ring. Ambrose kicked Corbin and AOP into the barricade. Back in the ring, Ambrose up top, but Akam tripped him up when the ref wasn’t looking. Ambrose hit a neckbreaker on Corbin. Ambrose up top with the elbow smash into the pin for two with AOP making the save. Reigns back in with a Superman Punch on Rezar, Akam kicked Reigns out of the ring, Rollins sent Akam out of the ring, Rollins hit two suicide dives and hit The Stomp on Corbin as well. Ambrose with Dirty Deeds on Corbin. Ambrose hit a suicide dive outside the ring. Reigns made the tag and hit a Spear on Corbin for the pinfall win at 19:12.
Winners by pinfall: The Shield (Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose)
Analysis: ***1/2 It was the typical very good Shield match that we have seen dozens of times over the years, but the first time in a year. When you get nearly 20 minutes it helps the quality of the match. Rollins is great at taking a beating and then they build up to the hot tag very well. This was by far the best match that AOP has had on the main roster because they have had short matches on the main roster. In their NXT days, AOP had a lot of great matches. I thought Ambrose should have been the one to get the win, but I get that they did it that way to set up the idea that Ambrose didn’t know what to think.
Post match, Reigns and Rollins celebrated in the ring. Ambrose got back up to his feet and walked outside the ring in the direction of Strowman, McIntyre and Ziggler. Ambrose was shown on one knee looking like he was thinking of what to do. Ambrose looked towards Strowman, Ziggler and McIntyre. Ambrose went back into the ring to join Rollins and Reigns as they did their Shield pose with their fists together. Strowman laughed about it. Ambrose hugged his buddies to end the show. Ambrose pointed at his fist in the direction of the heels as if to tell them the Shield bond is too strong.
Analysis: I like the way the story was presented all show long with Ambrose as a guy that could turn on his buddies. They played it up early on, then backstage and in the main event. It’s a smart way to tell a story.
Three Stars of the Show
- Dean Ambrose
- Seth Rollins
- Roman Reigns
6.5 out of 10
Last week: 5.5
2018 Average: 5.77
Last 5 Weeks: 5.5, 5.5, 5, 6.5, 6.5
2018 High: 8 (February 19)
2018 Low: 4 (June 4, July 2, August 6)
I give it a 6.5 out of 10.
Raw was better than the last few weeks due to the quality of two tag team matches (main event six-man and tag team title match) and I liked the story of the heels trying to convince Dean Ambrose to turn on his Shield buddies. Most of the other matches were better than usual too.
The unfortunate accident with Brie Bella kicking Liv Morgan too hard was tough to watch. It was obviously not on purpose and Brie has apologized. Hopefully, Liv can bounce back from it quickly.
At @WWE Super Show-Down in Australia, @JohnCena RETURNS to the ring to team with @fightbobby against @FightOwensFight & @IAmEliasWWE! #WWESSD #RAW pic.twitter.com/AqdZ3fFy4a
— WWE (@WWE) September 25, 2018
Here’s the updated lineup for Super Show-Down on October 6 from Melbourne.
Triple H (with Shawn Michaels) vs. The Undertaker (with Kane)
The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins) vs. Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre
WWE Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe
Bobby Lashley and John Cena vs. Elias and Kevin Owens
Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz – The winner is the #1 contender for the WWE Championship
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Charlotte Flair
Smackdown Tag Team Championships: The New Day (c) vs. Cesaro and Sheamus
Ronda Rousey and The Bella Twins (Brie Bella and Nikki Bella) vs. The Riott Squad (Liv Morgan, Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan)
Cruiserweight Championship: Cedric Alexander (c) vs. Buddy Murphy
Asuka and Naomi vs. The IIconics (Billie Kay and Peyton Royce)
That’s ten matches. There may be more.
You can contact me using any of the methods below. See ya next time for the Smackdown review. Go Los Angeles Rams. Thanks for reading.
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