Raw’s first post-draft show features an all-new set…for Raw anyway. It’s the 2014 Summerslam set with red LEDs on it. The show begins with a Battleground recap showing Dean beating Roman. A new theme song begins the “new era” with Golden Truth in the video package. Cole, Byron, and Corey are at the announce position by the ramp while Mick’s theme plays. Mick is in a purple shirt and black velvet suit. Neville has a beard now and the roster comes to the ramp, where Steph buries Roman for losing at Battleground. “You’re not a good guy, you’re not a bad guy – you’re just a loser”.
Mick announces two fatal four way matches to win a mini-tournament to face Seth Rollins at Summerslam for The Brand-New Championship Title – which will be called the WWE Universal Championship. Sami, Sheamus, Jericho, Cesaro, Roman, Rusev, Kevin Owens, and Finn Balor. They COULD make a new main event-level guy in a month by giving Finn the title given how huge a pop he got here. Stephanie says that Charlotte is the Women’s Champion, and Mick says she lost to Sasha last night and she will defend it tonight against Sasha. Cesaro comes out first, then Rusev, then Owens, and then Finn Balor.
Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens vs. Rusev vs. Finn Balor
Cole talks about Finn being a former NWA World Commonwealth Champion and becoming a three-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion and a two-time winner of the Super Juniors tournament. Cesaro starts things off strong with dropkicks and uppercuts before doing a somersault senton to the floor off the apron to Rusev for an ad break. After it, Cesaro eats a beating from Owens, who barks orders to Rusev. “Do that flip” works for Rusev. Rusev misses a diving headbutt to Owens. Finn runs wild and hits a flip dive on the pile on the floor. PK to Rusev off the apron leads to the sliding dropkick to Cesaro mid-ring.
1916 gets 2. After another break, Rusev hits a Tower of Doom on the other men. Torture rack neckbreaker gets 2 for Owens. Owens hits the pop-up powerbomb on Finn, but Cesaro double stomps him to end the cover at 2. Springboard corkscrew uppercut by Cesaro to Owens, but Rusev KOs everyone with superkicks. Cesaro swings Rusev! Slingblade to KO leads to the shotgun dropkick to Rusev. Coup de Gras hits and Balor goes to the main event! Jericho vs. Sami vs. Roman vs. Sheamus is shown on a graphic, and Balor will face the winner of that match tonight. New Day Title and Cereal Celebration happens tonight, and Nia Jax debuts next.
Nia Jax vs. Britt Baker
First, we get a Cruiserweight Classic hype video. Cole brings up SD beating Raw in the ratings only because of Raw stars, and then Nia comes out to face Britt Baker. She dominates with her usual offense and hits a tree of woe hip attack before legdropping her to get the win. Sasha walks backstage while the Golden Truth plays Pokemon Go and Tom Phillps asks Sasha if she feels the pressure tonight. An ad for Raw next week hypes up Brock.
Chris Jericho vs. Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns vs. Sami Zayn
The commentators talk about how Roman always overcomes the odds. Jericho and Sheamus double-team Roman until Sami comes to save. Sami avoids some 2-on-1 action by Sheamus and Jericho to attack Sheamus and then sends Jericho into Sheamus on the floor before teasing a flip dive – but Roman attacks him to boos and a two count. Sheamus clubbers Sami before Jericho hits the triangle dropkick. Big Dog Dive to the pile for an ad break.
After the break, we get a slow motion shot of the dive – and it is stunning in slow-mo. Dive by dropkick to the heels. Roman hits a chain of lariats to Sheamus, then Jericho jumps in to eat some. Roman’s splash mountain gets 2. Roman goes for the spear, but Sheamus kicks him and then Sami hits the Helluva kick – but Jericho tries to steal the pin, but gets 2 thanks to Sami. Sami eats the Irish Curse, but Roman Superman punches him during White Noise. Sami rolls up Roman for 2 and eats a Superman punch. Jericho goes for the Codebreaker, and Roman hoists him up – but they mis-time things and Jericho falls before the Superman punch hits – so they do it again. Codebreaker hits for 2. Roman spears Jericho to win – so tonight’s main event is Finn Balor vs. Roman Reigns.
Mtn. Dew presents inspirational moments in history – with HBK vs. Flair at WM XXIV being showcased, with some film footage thrown in too. New Day comes down while Byron makes lame joke after lame joke. Corey as the voice of the audience rules. “Do they have a name for what’s wrong with you?” They throw to an amazing video package of the growth of the group from channel-changing heat to something that has now gone beyond pro wrestling to some degree. They make a series of “package” jokes. New Day invites “a fan” into the ring to be an honorary New Day member. It’s “Sonny Boy”, leading to a billion jokes of alternating levels of unfunny. Anderson and Gallows beat up the New Day. Neville returns next.
Neville vs. Curtis Axel
“Mr. Irrelevant” Curtis Axel is in the ring to face Neville, and yes, that is his new nickname. Cole explains it as being something that came from the NFL, while Byron talks it up like it’s a good thing before Corey says that Byron is used to that. They engage in action that tells no story while Corey talks about being NXT Tag Team Champion with Neville. Neville hits the deadlift German leads to a Red Arrow and a win. Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks is presented by Mtn. Dew and it’s next.
Bob Backlund and a wacky bowtie chats with Darren while Golden Truth comes in and plays Golden Truth before Backlund scares them off. Balor hype video makes him seem like a megastar. Charlotte tells Tom that Sasha can only beat her with a partner by her side and says other things that are cut off by technical difficulties. Sasha comes out to face Charlotte, who comes down while we get a Battleground recap.
Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte – Women’s Title Match
They tie-up to start, but Charlotte gets her in the corner. Dana pulls Sasha’s foot and gets warned. Backstabber into a straightjacket double knee choke by Sasha. Crossface is on, but Charlotte gets to the ropes. Charlotte boots Sasha into the barricade. Sasha kicks the belt into Charlotte face, then Dana grabs it and Sasha plays Eddie to blame Dana on a phantom belt shot that gets Dana ejected. Charlotte gets a long surfboard, but gets her knee dropkicked and falls into the ropes. Back and forth forearm exchange, but Sasha wins that and gets the corner double knees for 2.
Sasha goes for a suicide dive and lands hard on her face. Charlotte hits a moonsault off the top to the floor for 2. Natural Selection hits for 2 when Sasha gets the rope. Figure four is on, but Sasha turns it over and Charlotte goes to the floor. Sasha rolls into the crossface, but Charlotte counters before Sasha rolls around and then Charlotte gets to the rope. Backstabber into the Bank statement ends it! Sasha wins it! She gets a huge pop and is in tears at the win.
Byron comes into the ring for a post-match promo to get…actual emotion? On a Raw broadcast!? Sasha says she did it and fights back tears to talk about how this was her dream since she was 10. She states that this is the era of women’s wrestling and every week, she will show why she is champion. Braun Strowman comes out to face a jobber. Byron interviews this poor soul. James Eldsworth looks like an old Mid-Atlantic jobber, like literally, he seems 55 years old.
Braun Strowman vs. James Ellsworth
This jobber has the flattest pancake ass in human history. Braun hits a heart punch and then a running boot in the corner. Brawn hits an Amaze Impact for the win. He’s basically in the Wyatt getup, but with the sides of his head shaved – but this whole setup tonight worked. Poor James Ellsworth though. Greatest WWE jobber since Colin Delaney. Hype video for the Big Dog. Golden Truth look for Pokemon, but avoid the Penguins locker room. Cole hypes up Ride Along with Enzo and Cass tonight, who come out.
Enzo says that Monday got a big more raw and he says to quote ODB of the Wu Tang Clan and not the Knockouts, he likes it raw. Cass likes it raw too. He likes raw cookie dough, eggs, egg white, brownie batter, fish, and sushi – but the Shining Stars have no patience for this. The Shining Stars have a great thing going – they get to WWC work in Puerto Rico, do house shows, not appear on TV, and get paid well to do it. The Shining Stars insult Pittsburgh and praise Puerto Rico, resulting in Cass and Enzo declaring them to be SAWFT.
Shining Stars vs. Enzo and Cass
Corey says that Enzo and Cass should go to Puerto Rico to learn how to spell properly. Empire Elbow gets 2, but Truth comes down to play Pokemon Go in the ring. It distracts Epico, who loses to a big boot. Well, that sure was a unique finish. Finn and Roman wish each other look before their match. Finn comes out first, before Roman comes down.
Roman Reigns vs. Finn Balor – Winner Faces Seth at Summerslam for the Universal Title
Roman Biel throws Finn across the ring. Roman hits the chain of lariats, but misses the Drive By and Finn hits a double stomp and a shotgun dropkick against the barricade for an ad break.We see Finn destroy Roman’s knee during the break. Finn lands some forearms, but Roman hits the Backlund lift powerbomb for 2. Finn recovers and hits a PK, the sliding dropkick and then the mushroom stomp to the back for 2. Inverted 1916 is avoided, but he hits the Slingblade. Roman hits the Superman punch for 2.5. Roman hits a double poweromb for 2.9! Finn Balor hits a Slingblade, lands the shotgun dropkick and then WINS THE MATCH WITH THE COUP DE GRAS! They have made a star in one night, and they should go all the way with it and have him win the Universal Title at Summerslam.
Tom Phillips interviews Roman, who says that he hopes Finn beats Seth because when he does, he wants his rematch. Roman put him over and man did they go all-in with Balor tonight. They put him over in the ring, via video packages, and essentially made a new main event-level star in one show. It’s amazing what the company can do when they’re motivated – and they did more in one episode of Raw than they have in ages.
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Tags: monday night raw, new era, RAW, WWE, WWE RAW