WWE Raw Review (August 30, 2021)

Randy Orton RKO
Randy Orton hits an RKO on Lashley

Welcome to the WWE Raw review for this week. The next WWE pay-per-view is Extreme Rules on September 26. Nothing has been announced yet, but we should learn more about it soon.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1475 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the Paycom Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage, insightful columns from our team along with reviews about wrestling’s past (including my reviews of every WWE PPV ever listed in order) and present. Let’s roll.

Let’s Hear from Damian Priest

This week’s Raw episode began with the US Champion Damian Priest in the ring welcoming us to Monday Night Raw. Priest said he’s been dreaming of getting the chance to say that. Priest mentioning winning the US Title at SummerSlam leading to “you deserve it” chants. Priest said that he’ll show this title the respect it deserves like Rey Mysterio, Jeff Hardy and John Cena (all babyfaces like him). Priest said that he’ll show it respect unlike the WWE Champion Bobby Lashley running away like a coward. Priest said he’ll handle this right. Priest said that the United States Title Open Challenge starts right now.

Sheamus, the former US Champion, made his entrance to talk to “Damo” as the fans booed Sheamus. Sheamus said that Lashley does love to run from a fight. Sheamus claimed that the people don’t deserve a US Title Open Challenge. Sheamus said that he’s going to Brogue Kick Priest in the face and then take the gold.

Drew McIntyre was the next interruption noted that he doesn’t want to see Priest beat Sheamus for the 500th time. Drew said it’s time for something fresh and something new, which drew cheers. Drew said that there’s a title that has eluded him in his career – the United States Title. Drew noted he has been WWE Champion, Intercontinental Champion and Tag Team Champion. Drew proposed a match against Priest for the US Title.

The “All Mighty” WWE Champion Bobby Lashley was next in his ring gear with MVP joining him as usual. MVP asked the fans to hold the applause for Lashley, which drew boos from the crowd. MVP said that Lashley wanted to hold an open challenge every single week…and fans chanted “Goldberg” at them. MVP said that Lashley already dealt with that problem. MVP said that Lashley has beaten the roster already, so an Open Challenge is pointless. MVP said Lashley facing Priest to become a double champion would be good for business.

The promo party was interrupted by the Raw Tag Team Champions Randy Orton and Riddle, who entered to Orton’s music. Orton said he thinks everything that what MVP just said sucks. Riddle said not like a Roomba, because that’s what they are supposed to do. Orton called Lashley a greedy son of a bitch that wants something he can’t have and that is a second championship. Riddle wondered how you can physically hold a second championship, he rambled and Randy put his microphone down. Lashley said that he did want another championship, so maybe he should take the Tag Team Titles. Riddle said the word of the day is “Open Challenge” maybe they should have an open challenge against Bobby and his personal rodeo clown, MVP. Orton said that’s not how an open challenge works and MVP said that the tag team match is on. Priest told Drew he’s good.

The WWE Officials Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville showed up with Sonya saying we have two main events in front of them. Pearce said that Priest will defend the US Title against Sheamus & Drew McIntyre in a triple threat match. Sonya said that MVP & Lashley get to challenge the Raw Tag Team Champions Riddle and Randy Orton tonight. The fans cheered two title matches.

Analysis: They set up two big matches for later, which is fine, but what’s interesting is they promoted Lashley vs. Sheamus all week since last week’s Raw. I guess WWE realized heel vs. heel won’t work that well, so they decided to change things up, but they were advertising as recently as this afternoon. It’s just an example of WWE always changing plans. The Randy Orton/Riddle interaction was funny at least in that segment.

Rhea Ripley made her entrance for a match up next.

(Commercial)

Rhea Ripley announced the person in her corner tonight, Nikki A.S.H. They are buddies now. The announce team was Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton as usual.

Shayna Baszler entered with Nia Jax while the announcers talked about their recent problems. Jax did a promo saying that by the end of the match she’ll have splattered both of them on this match and all around the ring. Jax said she’ll do it to Charlotte Flair later in the night too.

Rhea Ripley (w/Nikki A.S.H.) vs. Shayna Baszler (w/Nia Jax)

Ripley and Baszler did some mat wrestlers as they battled over an armbar. Baszler with a kick to the head that rocked Ripley and then a knee to the jaw. Ripley countered Baszler doing a move with Ripley getting an inside cradle for two. Baszler with a clothesline. Baszler trapped Ripley’s hand under the ring apron and stomped on the hand. That led to a break.

(Commercial)

Baszler remained in control working over Ripley’s left arm along with Baszler kicking Ripley in the chest. Ripley blocked a kick, then Ripley hit two clotheslines, a headbutt and a dropkick. Ripley hit a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Baszler came back going for an armbar, but Ripley got her foot on the bottom rope to break it. Nikki encouraged her buddy Ripley, so then Jax ran over Nikki with a shoulder tackle, whip into the barricade and a Samoan Drop on the floor. Ripley saw that happen, Baszler got a pin attempt and then Ripley countered it into an inside cradle to pin Baszler. It went ten minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Rhea Ripley

Analysis: **1/2 It was a decent match between two tough wrestlers that wrestle a similar style in some ways. It’s a shame how much Baszler loses because she used to be pushed strongly in the past, but ever since she was in a tag team with Jax she has done a lot of jobs. In this case, Ripley was able to counter Baszler after the distraction on the floor.

Post match, Jax went into the ring and ran over Ripley with a clothesline against the ropes. Jax gave Ripley a Samoan Drop in the ring. Baszler didn’t seem thrilled about it. Baszler walked away from Jax instead of being happy about it.

Analysis: Jax said before the match that she would take out Nikki and Rhea, so that’s what she did. I guess we might be witnessing a new push for Nia Jax. That’s not interesting to me.

The Viking Raiders did a backstage promo with a red light in the background. They said that everybody will realize that the raid is on.

The Viking Raiders duo of Erik & Ivar entered for a match against Jinder Mahal & Veer. They are in action up next.

(Commercial)

The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) vs. Jinder Mahal & Veer (w/Shanky)

Ivar decked Veer with a clothesline, then a body slam and Erik tagged in to slam Ivar onto Veer. Ivar back in, he ran the ropes with Veer and Veer hit a jumping Thesz Press to knock Ivar down. Mahal tagged in with shoulder tackles followed by a high knee. Veer with a running splash against the turnbuckle. Mahal was back in with a clothesline followed by an armbar. Ivar broke free with a cartwheel along with a kick. Erik was back in, he tried a slam, Mahal got out of it and sent Erik to the ropes. Erik came back with a jumping knee on Mahal and an overhead suplex on Veer. Mahal got a hold of Erik, but then Erik tossed Mahal over the top to the floor. Ivar hit a senton attack off the ropes onto Veer & Shanky on the floor. Mahal was against Ivar, Erik tagged in and lifted up Jinder right into a Viking Experience powerslam from Ivar. Erik pinned Mahal to win after five minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar)

Analysis: **1/4 A solid match to put over The Viking Raiders to get them back into the title picture with a win over another team. I was a bit surprised that Mahal was the guy to take the pin when they could have had Veer in that spot, but it doesn’t matter that much. I’m glad to see the Viking Raiders pick up a win.

Drew McIntyre was shown warming up backstage with Drew holding Angela the sword.

That US Title match with Damian Priest defending against McIntyre and Sheamus was up next.

(Commercial)

There was a graphic promoting the new NXT is coming soon as we got to see the colorful new logo.

Sheamus was already in the ring with his protective face mask. Drew McIntyre was up next to a big pop with Angela the sword in his hands. The United States Champion Damian Priest was up next.

United States Championship: Damian Priest vs. Sheamus vs. Drew McIntyre

Priest and McIntyre worked together to beat up Sheamus, which led to Drew hitting a back elbow. Sheamus bailed to the floor to avoid a double team move. Priest jumped off the middle ropes onto Sheamus on the floor. McIntyre worked over Sheamus with punches and kicks on the floor leading to Priest dumping Sheamus over the barricade to the floor. McIntyre pointed at Priest to come in the ring with him. The show went to break.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Sheamus battling with Priest. Sheamus was on the top rope and hit a clothesline on Priest. McIntyre was on the apron, so Sheamus sent him shoulder first into the ring post. Priest blocked a backbreaker attempt, Priest with a takedown and a choke around the neck, but Sheamus got out of it. Sheamus hit the backbreaker followed by Priest trying to take the mask off Sheamus, but Sheamus stopped that. Sheamus with punches to the ribs, then the forearms to the chest and the fans chanted along for the ten shots along with a forearm to the back. McIntyre was back up with two clotheslines followed by a belly to belly suplex two times in a row. McIntyre with a neckbreaker. McIntyre charged, Sheamus avoided it and sent him into the ring post. Priest back in with a spinning kick on Sheamus. Priest with running elbows on both guys, then a clothesline for Sheamus and Drew blocked a Chokeslam attempt from Priest. Drew with a boot to the arm followed by a clothesline out of the ring. Drew ran the ropes leading to a somersault dive over the top onto both guys on the floor. Back in the ring, Priest with a back elbow to Drew and then Drew came back with a Michinoku Driver sitout slam for two. McIntyre with chops to Priest and then Drew set up Priest on the turnbuckle. Sheamus got into the ring and he punched Drew in the back of the leg to knock him down. Sheamus with a headbutt using his mask. Sheamus went for a superplex, but then McIntyre reached up and hit a Tower of Doom suplex on both guys. It was obvious that was coming – it was still cool!

(Commercial)

Sheamus and McIntyre were battling in the ring with Sheamus hitting an Alabama Slam for a two count. Sheamus with the Cloverleaf submission on McIntyre, but Priest was back in with a kick to the head. Priest with a sitout Chokeslam for two as Drew broke up the pin attempt. McIntyre and Priest exchanged punches, then McIntyre with chops and neither guy was able to hit a big move. Sheamus with a Brogue Kick that sent Priest out of the ring. McIntyre with a rollup for two on Sheamus and a Future Shock DDT by Drew. The fans were cheering loudly for McIntyre, who charged with a Claymore Kick, but Sheamus came back with a knee of his own (not a Brogue Kick) for a two count. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Sheamus hit Drew with the White Noise slam off the middle rope for two because Priest broke up the pin. I think Drew kicked out at the same time too. Priest worked over Sheamus with kicks, Sheamus lifted up Priest and then Priest sent Sheamus into the top rope. McIntyre back in with a Claymore Kick on Sheamus to send him out of the ring. That left Priest and McIntyre in the ring. McIntyre with a headbutt, but Priest bounced back and hit The Reckoning on McIntyre for the pinfall win after about 20 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Damian Priest

Analysis: **** This was an excellent match that got a lot of time and is probably the best Raw match in the last few weeks. I don’t recall the last Raw match that I rated at four stars like this. The last segment of the match after the final commercial was really outstanding with all of the nearfalls from all three guys, then Drew hit that Brogue Kick on Sheamus and Priest was able to counter Drew into The Reckoning for the win. The best way for fans to care about the US Title is to have competitive title matches like that while the win by Priest puts him over in a big way to show that he can hang with two former WWE Champions. Well done by all three guys. It was a meaningful win for Priest too, which is great for him.

After the match was over, McIntyre shook Priest’s hand and the fans cheered that.

Analysis: Having Drew shake Priest’s hand post match is great for Damian. It shows he earned Drew’s respect. Even though Priest is older than McIntyre, we know Drew is the bigger star with more tenure in WWE, so it benefits Priest.

There will be comments from Goldberg after the break.

A commercial aired for Smackdown this Friday promoting Roman Reigns defending the US Title against Finn Balor. That should be fun.

(Commercial)

They showed highlights from SummerSlam with Bobby Lashley beating Goldberg due to referee’s decision because Lashley beat up Goldberg’s left knee. Lashley also applied the Hurt Lock submission on Goldberg’s son Gage, who was on Bobby’s back and MVP said there was no way Bobby knew that was Goldberg’s son.

They showed a video of Goldberg at home saying he had ligament damage and he was going to have surgery soon. Goldberg ripped on Lashley for what he did while saying his son was hurting. Goldberg said the object has changed – he’s not coming for the WWE Championship, he’s coming for Lashley’s soul and he will rip it straight from his chest.

Analysis: That was mildly interesting. I don’t really care about Goldberg much at this point. However, what he said makes me think he might cost Lashley the WWE Championship and perhaps Big E (from Smackdown) can do the Money in the Bank cash-in on Lashley after that. I figured they would do Lashley vs. Goldberg at the Saudi show in October although I’m not sure when Goldberg will be back.

They showed an earlier today segment with Reggie walking around with the 24/7 Title. R-Truth was there with somebody dressed as a dog. Reggie threw a frisbee at the dog costume guy. They went after Reggie on a kid’s playground. Reggie managed to get away and jumped onto some bridge on the playground. Truth and the puppy went after Reggie, who managed to break free. Akira Tozawa took off the head on the dog costume and Tozawa complained about it. Tozawa left.

Analysis: Another riveting 24/7 Title segment. I don’t mind using Reggie and the comedy guys, but that title needs to go away. It’s just not that interesting.

Eva Marie made her entrance with Corey Graves getting excited about it. It’s easy to see why. Yes, I’m all about the Eva-Lution. Eva did her posing in the ring leading to a break.

(Commercial)

They aired a video package about Eva Marie’s feud with Doudrop. It might be one of the worst feuds of the year, but it gets a video package.

Eva had her back turned for some reason, so Doudrop hit her in the back and hit a body slam. Doudrop with a senton. Doudrop hit a running cross body block on Eva and Doudrop counted her own pin. It was announced that Eva Marie is unable to compete tonight.

Doudrop left the ring to do a promo: “And the winner of this match is Doudrop.” Doudrop celebrated beating up Eva Marie.

Analysis: This was bad. That’s all I have. They promoted it as a match, they did a video package and then didn’t do a match. Boring television. At least Eva is pretty.

Charlotte Flair was shown walking backstage with Sarah Schreiber asking about

Karrion Kross was still wearing the evil mask as part of his entrance. Kross took off the mask when he got in the ring. Humberto Carrillo is the opponent after a break.

(Commercial)

Humberto Carrillo entered to lose a match.

Karrion Kross vs. Humberto Carrillo

Kross powered Carrillo into the turnbuckle. Carrillo with a jumping kick and a cross body block off the top for two. Kross came back with a huge clothesline. Kross with a snap suplex into a pin for two. Carrillo tried chops, Kross bounced back quickly and hit a back elbow. Kross whipped Carrillo into the turnbuckle with Carrillo taking a flip bump. Carrillo charged, Kross caught him and hit an overhead suplex. Kross applied a chinlock, Carrillo broke free and hit a corner dropkick. Carrillo choked Kross across the top, Carrillo jumped off the top and Kross hit a forearm. Kross hit a Saito Suplex and Kross Jacket submission ended after four minutes.

Winner by submission: Karrion Kross

Analysis: *1/2 Easy win for Kross, who continues to win his matches in a dominant fashion. This actually went about two minutes longer than I thought.

Replays aired of Nia Jax’s dominance earlier in the show.

Nia Jax was interviewed saying she will crush Charlotte and anyone who gets in her way. Jax said she’ll take Charlotte’s crown and shove it up her royal behind. Jax made her entrance. Charlotte Flair was shown getting ready. That match is next.

(Commercial)

Randy Orton and Riddle were shown with the Raw Tag Team Titles. Riddle got into a rant about his resume. Orton told Riddle to do a good job of being his tag team partner, Orton will do what he does and they’ll be fine. Riddle did a rundown of things he’s good on for some more rambling leading to Orton walking away from him.

Charlotte Flair made her entrance as the Raw Women’s Champion.

Charlotte Flair vs. Nia Jax

Charlotte did some stalling early on by going to the floor to take a break. They did an aggressive lockup. There wasn’t much going on in the first three minutes with Charlotte going or a tight headlock by the ropes. Jax came back with a spinebuster. Charlotte bailed to the floor. Charlotte left for some more Raw Spiking. Jax charged, Charlotte moved and Jax landed on her feet. Charlotte jumped over the top with an assisted cross body block on the floor.

(Commercial)

Jax powered out of a headlock with a belly to back suplex. That was almost a rough landing, but Charlotte was okay. Jax charged, Charlotte moved and Jax went running into the turnbuckle. Charlotte went up top, Jax got the knee up to block and Jax hit a Samoan Drop. Jax went for a leg drop, Charlotte moved and Charlotte kicked Jax in the head. Charlotte with chops, Jax no sold it and I’m not sure what they were trying to do, but something seemed off. Charlotte countered a move into something like a reverse DDT for two. Charlotte with a chop block and then she wrenched the left knee. Charlotte wrenched on the knee into the mat followed by some ass shaking. Jax blocked a Figure Eight attempt by kicking Flair into the turnbuckle. Jax hit a huge Powerbomb with one arm for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Nia Jax

Analysis: *1/2 It had some sloppy parts to it, but they had some good moments towards the end. Bad match overall. Jax had a spot where she nearly dumped Charlotte on her head and then they messed up some spots. I’d prefer it if they avoided doing heel vs. heel matches like this because there was nobody to root for in the match, but that’s due to Charlotte beating all the faces like Ripley, Nikki and Asuka. Anyway, I guess WWE has decided they want to give a big push to Nia Jax again, so she’s likely going to be in the title picture. It’s been a few years for Jax going after that title. I thought the finish was pretty good in terms of having Jax win in decisive fashion with a move similar to what NXT’s Raquel Gonzalez uses as a finisher.

Nia Jax had a big smile on her face. Charlotte Flair was smiling almost as if she was happy to get some competition and Flair hugged the Raw Women’s Title that still belonged to her.

Analysis: Last week there was a tease of Charlotte feuding with Alexa Bliss, but now that appears to be off.

John Morrison was shown backstage saying that The Miz backed off, so he won’t have a match against him now. Morrison said he wanted to impress his acting coach by asking for a match against the largest human being he knows, which is Omos. That led to Omos saying “it sucks to be you” and Morrison said, “I guess it does.”

Omos made his entrance with AJ Styles by his side.

(Commercial)

John Morrison made his entrance as “America’s Moist Wanted” and he’s in babyface mode now. Morrison had a bucket of Drip Sticks that he used to shoot some water into the crowd.

John Morrison vs. Omos (w/AJ Styles)

Omos punched a Drip Stick out of Morrison’s hand. Omos charged, Morrison moved and kicked Omos. Morrison charged, Omos caught him and Morrison hit a kick to the head. Omos grabbed a hold of Morrison leading to Omos tossing Morrison over the top to the floor. Omos with a whip into the steps, but Morrison jumped over it. Morrison tried a flip off the steps, he stumbled and Omos decked him with a clothesline. Back in the ring, Omos flipped Morrison so that he sent him legs first into the top rope. Omos hit a Tree Slam for the pinfall win after two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Omos

Analysis: 1/2* A squash for Omos with Morrison barely getting any offense. Omos is still very green in a lot of ways. You can just tell. I don’t understand booking Morrison this way after he just turned face last week. It’s good for Omos for sure, but I’d like to see them utilize Morrison better than this.

Xavier Woods made his entrance for a match. Woods was without Kofi Kingston by his side. Woods faces AJ Styles after a break.

(Commercial)

AJ Styles (w/Omos) vs. Xavier Woods

Woods was aggressive with chops, then Styles with a whip and Woods hit a Russian legsweep. Woods went to the floor, Styles tried an attack, so Woods sent him into the barricade. Back in the ring, Woods hit a senton to the back for two. Woods charged right into a kick from Styles. Styles with a forearm. Styles went for an attack, but Woods bailed to the floor, so Styles hit a running dropkick. Styles wrenched Xavier’s left knee against his shoulders and then Styles hit a kneebreaker on the left knee. Styles wrenched on the left knee. Woods with an armdrag followed by a kick. Woods got a rollup for two. Woods with an uppercut followed by a rolling elbow. Woods with a bridging suplex for two. Styles countered a suplex with a knee followed by a jumping kick. Woods countered a Powerbomb, he slipped on a move and Woods set up Styles against the turnbuckle. Woods hit a corner dropkick for two. Styles with a kick to the injured left knee. Styles applied Calf Crusher submission on the left leg, Woods reached for the bottom rope, but then he couldn’t do it and Woods tapped out. They got about seven minutes.

Winner by submission: AJ Styles

Analysis: **3/4 A good match between two of the better wrestlers on Raw. It was just a match without any kind of storyline. Woods did a nice job of selling the knee, Styles was aggressive in working on it and even though Woods got some offense, it was the right call to have Styles come back and win.

Riddle made his entrance as one of the Raw Tag Team Champions. Randy Orton was up next as the RK-Bro team was ready for the main event. AJ Styles watched on from ringside since they lost the Raw Tag Team Titles to Orton/Riddle at SummerSlam.

(Commercial)

The team of AJ Styles and Omos remained ringside with Styles on commentary.

The All Mighty WWE Champion Bobby Lashley and MVP made their entrance for this title match.

WWE Raw Tag Championships: RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Riddle) vs. Bobby Lashley & MVP

MVP worked over Riddle with a suplex. Orton tagged in with some kicks to the leg and stomps on the body. Riddle was back in with Orton holding his hands out, so Riddle did a flip off them. Riddle hit a twisting splash on MVP and Lashley on the floor as the show went to break.

(Commercial)

The show returned with Lashley hitting a lifting flatliner for two. MVP was back in for the heels, Riddle managed to break free and brought in Orton. Clotheslines by Orton, MVP covered up and Orton kept on punching. Orton with a corner whip, MVP got a boot up and Orton came back with a powerslam. Orton with a kick to Lashley on the apron and Orton hit the draping DDT off the ropes. MVP was back up with a boot to the face. Lashley tagged in with shoulder tackles followed by another running shoulder tackle on Orton. Lashley with a neckbreaker. Lashley shoved Orton off, Riddle tagged in with a boot to the face and connected on forearms. Lashley came back with a rising knee to the face. Riddle hit the Floating Bro on Lashley for two as MVP broke the pin attempt. MVP tossed Orton out of the ring. MVP was back in with a boot in the face. Riddle got out of MVP’s finish and hit a move. Orton avoided an attack from Lashley and shoved Lashley into the ring post. Orton avoided an attack from Omos, then he slammed Styles onto the announce table. Riddle was in the ring with MVP with Riddle hitting a pump knee followed by the Floating Bro top rope move. That was enough to win after 11 minutes. The fans liked it.

Winners by pinfall: RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Riddle)

Analysis: ***1/4 It was a good tag team match with MVP as the obvious guy to take the pinfall and that’s exactly what happened. Lashley wasn’t in the ring that much while selling because they want to keep him strong, but obviously we know Riddle/Orton were in a good spot to be pushed. Nice finish to the match with Riddle taking care of MVP while Orton took care of the guys out on the floor. The RK-Bro act is working very well at the moment. I’m enjoying it a lot.

Post match, Lashley with a Spear on Riddle. Lashley was going to do more, but then Orton showed up and hit him with the RKO. Orton and Riddle posed with the Raw Tag Team Titles. The show ended there.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Damian Priest
  2. Drew McIntyre/Sheamus
  3. RK-Bro

 

The Scoreboard

6 out of 10

Last week: 5.75

2021 Average: 5.91

 

Final Thoughts

It was a typical average Raw, which I seem to write nearly every week. I’m not sure what to say sometimes. The highlight of the show was clearly the US Title match between Damian Priest, Drew McIntyre and Sheamus. After that, there were several pointless matches and segments that it was hard to keep my entrance. The last two matches were both very good, so that helped end the show in a strong way.

I’ll give WWE some credit for booking a show without rematches. That is something I complain about often, so at least we got fresh matchups this week. The problem with that is that there weren’t a lot of interesting story developments. I doubt a lot of fans are happy about Nia Jax getting a push either. That match with Charlotte was so off. I don’t know what they were doing out there.

The next WWE pay-per-view is Extreme Rules on Sunday, September 26. There is nothing official yet.

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John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport

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