WWE Raw 7/31/17 Recap – Joe vs. Reigns vs. Strowman

Kurt comes out in Pittsburgh to a huge ovation. The announcers are shown and Corey has a bizarre-looking white-ish orange getup on. Kurt hypes up tonight’s triple threat main event of Joe vs. Reigns vs. Strowman and talks about winning an Olympic gold medal 21 years ago today. Heyman and Brock come down and tease the UFC rumors with Heyman saying that if Brock loses at Summerslam, Brock leaves WWE. It’s amazing how in 14 years, Kurt looks like a completely different person while Brock looks so much bigger and badder than him.

The Hardys come down with The Revival on commentary to face The Club. Luke hits a cheapshot allowing Karl to hit the Rocket Kick. Matt hits a Twist and Jeff swantons him to end it. The Hardys brawl with everyone up the ramp before hitting a poetry in motion off the ramp to Wilder and Anderson. Renee chats with her hubby about the Miztourage stuff and Seth comes in and says it felt like old times. Dean says he doesn’t trust Seth and he won’t allow himself to be burned again. Cesaro and Sheamus walk up to Seth in their new slick tanktops and talk about how Dean was his ally and now he’s alone and couldn’t even be on Ride Along, so it would have to be Ride Alone. Seth yells at them a bit and it’s time for “205 Live Cruiserweight Action” with guys who don’t even get an intro.

Cedric and Swann and mid-ring waiting for their partner Tozawa to face TJP, Tony Nese, and Ariya Daivari. Cedric has new Joker-colored gear while Tozawa actually has on the purple Titus Worldwide shirt. Daivari has a new nickname of “The Sheik of the Cruiserweights” and Cole uses the phrase “on fleek” for reasons that I’m sure made sense to him at the time. Cedric and Swann hit big dives to the floor, leading to Cedric taking TJP down and Tozawa winning with the flying senton.Well, this truly helped no one.

Miz and Maryse come out for Miz TV with Jason Jordan. Jordan has a new theme, which combines a tiny touch of Kurt’s theme with some bizarre trumpets. This sounds like some horrible TNA knockoff theme. It doesn’t help that he comes down in jeans and a shirt with a sports jacket over it, and Miz talking about how JJ being booed doesn’t help him. JJ says that fans can boo him if they want and Miz talks about Kurt handing JJ anything if he wants it. Miz buries Kurt for being a washed-up jock who got a job out of pity before ruining lives, including his own while pining for glory days that aren’t coming back. Okay, Smacking Talk lives with Miz TV. Jason is being smart here by never saying “dad” when talking about Kurt, and so if they backpedal on this, they at least have an out. JJ tosses Miz into the Miztourage.

We get a Roman hype video showing him retiring Taker and then kicking Brock’s ass in the past. Sheamus and Seth come out for their match and Cole talks about how Dean needs to just forgive Seth. Really now? They had a months-long rivalry and the lead babyface announcer is just burying Dean here. Sheamus and Seth have really good chemistry here, but the match itself is just a backdrop for an angle. Seth cradles him to win, so Cesaro attacks him and we get a double team beatdown before the fans chant for Dean. Dean comes down, but eats a beating too.

A Joe hype video shows just how serious he now is as a top-shelf act. Bray comes to the ring and says a bunch of words before Balor appears before him when the lights come on. They have a sloppy brawl and Balor hits the Pele kick and then shotgun kicks him into the crowd. Braun says a bunch of scary words about reducing guys to piles of broken bones and he’ll take them out tonight to face Brock solo at Summerslam.

The match itself starts as a walk and brawl with Roman and Braun going all over the place. Joe chokes Braun down and then lands his usual corner elbow/high kick combo on the barricade to Roman. Joe comes in and eats a kick from Roman before Roman avoids the uranage. Roman hits a big running boot and lands a run-up Superman punch off the steps. Roman sets up a spear through the barricade, so Braun just kicks him for being a moron and setting it up for a thousand years. Braun bowls over Joe on the floor. Braun tosses the steps in after tossing Roman from the floor into the ring.

Joe hits a big senton for 2. Braun whiplashes Roman’s neck into the buckle a bunch of times before finally going for the steps. Braun gets a big yes chant from the fans who want him to mangle Roman, who did try to kill him two weeks ago. Roman Superman punches him and knocks him to the floor with the steps. He spears Joe to win it. Well, they set Joe up as a super-underdog for Summeslam here.

Show and Enzo chat backstage and Show tells him that he’ll teach Cass respect. Elias is mid-ring to sing and face Kalisto. Kalisto has a much better theme now than his “Lucha, Lucha” one. Kalisto hits a springboard seated senton ala Rey, to no pop. Elias pulls the mask into his knee to knock him around before hitting Cross Rhodes to win it. Alexa talks about embarrassing it must be for Sasha to lose to Bayley and Nia will demolish her tonight.

Seth’s match with Sheamus is recapped and Dean says that Seth planned all of that. Okay, well now they’ve made Dean a bit of a prick and it’s up to Seth to prove his worth to Deah – so they’re moving forward. Bayley comes out to face Nia Jax, who is in fact unlike most girls. Nia is a basic monster here while Bayley has to use quick offense to survive. Bayley sends her outside, leading to Alexa coming down and getting knocked down. Nia checks on her, giving Bayley time to plan a move and avoid a charge into the steps. Like Braun, Nia has a weakness for running into things and losing by countout.

Cass insults Enzo and Show. Enzo comes out for yes, the main event of the show – Big Show vs. Big Cass. Show chops him, but Cass kicks the knee and chop blocks him. Cass hits a big boot, but Show loses by DQ when Enzo comes in to jump on Cass. Cass boots him and then Show hits the knockout punch. All righty. This program should absolutely not be closing out Raw.

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