Almost Live, Definitely Half Assed Review of WWE Raw – 23 July ’18

Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal. Principal architects Alfred T. Fellheimer & Stewart Wagner. Philippe Cret & Roland Wank as consulting architects. Picture by Tana Weingartner c/o WVXU.

The WWE starts us off with Vince McMahon introducing HHH & Stephanie McMahon. They are not joking around with this one. While HHH thanks the wrestlers, I can only think about how excited Jeremy is that Nikki Cross is front row on the stage. The ladies all get to step forward. HHH gets to name all of the firsts of the past. He talks about how they have stolen the show, again and again. Stepahnie ends up thanking “#GiveDivasAChance” in helping to bring about the change. Evolution in October 28th will be an all women’s pay per view. Sounds like a stacked card with all women’s championships plus the finals of the Mae Young Classic.

Bo Dallas wants to really talk about their match tonight with Curtis Axel. Dallas says that Axel is the brother he “never had.” Hilarious. Even better, they forget their belts before departing the locker room and have to come back for them. Elias shows up to promote his EP but gets cut off quickly by Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt. The Deleters get the early upper hand. Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder are still watching the TV WWE style. I’m pretty sure that’s the 3rd straight Raw that’s been the only thing they’ve done. Wyatt is the one to take a beat down which is strange since Hardy has been taking the single’s losses. Side Effect only gets a two count. Twist of Fate gets broken up by Dallas. Wyatt attacks Dallas. Wyatt misses a charge and bowls into Hardy. Axel rolls up Hardy for the win. Hardy gives “Applause” but when he sucks in Dallas & Axel, they attack.

Finn Balor is talking to Chad Gable just shooting the breeze, which is odd since no one talks about random stuff. Baron Corbin gives Balor a “new locker room” which is a play set. This segment would have resonated more if they hadn’t already mentioned this match.

Bayley & Sasha Banks get a refresher. Bayley tells us that their differences make them a strong unit. They are super chummy again. So is this going to last? Just asking for my sanity. They’re sporting similarly designed ring jackets. They are taking on two women who’s names I will need to rewind to get. Samantha Simon & Amanda Lundy. Corey Graves killed me with the line “My brother forgot to call me on my birthday once. I haven’t talked to him in 11 years” when describing the possibility of Banks & Bayley clearing up their differences. Bayley knees one of the ladies. Bank Statement for the win. They hug after the match. If the WWE plans on a women’s tag division. I’m behind this reunion. Couldn’t think of a better flagship duo.

Elias gets another spot. Braun Strowman interrupts. This time, it makes sense for Elias to be upset. Last time, Hardy & Wyatt had already told us they were coming. Braun shouts out the ladies, especially Alexa Bliss. He turns his sights on Bobby Lashley & Roman Reigns. He reminds us that he has the Money In The Bank briefcase. Kevin Owens slowly comes to the stage. He stammers about what happened to him at Extreme Rules. Owens tells Strowman that his son wanted them to be friends so that he could take Nicholas’s spot as Braun’s tag team partner. Owens tells Braun that his problems are just beginning. Constable Corbin comes out to try and “help” Strowman. Corbin brings out Jinder Mahal to get Braun to calm down. Shanty doesn’t work. Strowman gets everyone to close their eyes. He then gets everyone to chant “Get These Hands!” Of course Sunil Singh takes the whooping.

Mickie James is out with Alexa Bliss. She is taking on Natalya. James gets to wear down Nattie early. An Electric Chair starts Natalya’s real come back assault. Mickie kicks Nattie through the ropes. Bliss drags Natalya outside while the ref looks at James rolling into the ring. Nattie clocks Bliss. She turns into a Mick Kick for the win James win.

Roman Reigns is out accepting The Humanitarian Awards from ESPN. People that hate him are still going to hate him. Charley Caruso wonders what will be different for Reigns this match against Lashley. He knows how much he’s won in the past and he’s ready to win again. Reigns was good in both platforms.

Elias gets a third take. The Authors of Pain interrupt him this time. Akam & Rezar are not being messed with for good reason. They’re ready for everyone. They’re done with Titus Worldwide. Titus O’Neil comes out dressed in street clothes. Apollo Crews even gets to talk. He talks up Titus about being a real professional and there’s a reason that he’s been in the WWE for as long as he has. They end up attacking AoP and clear them from the ring.

Kevin Owens & Constable Corbin bring their case to Stephanie McMahon and Kurt Angle. Owens wants a rematch with Strowman. If Owens wins in any form, Owens gets the MITB briefcase. I’m not sure why Angle is upset. Strowman can just whoop Owens and win.

Tyler Breeze gets to be a bump machine for Mojo Rawley again. Bobby Roode gets an inset interview during the match. Rawley is hiding behind his key board against the likes of No Way Jose & Breeze. Sit Down Alabama Slam for the win.

Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre had a plan when they came back to Raw. It’s working because Ziggler is Intercontinental Champion. McIntyre’s plans hit a snag last week when he lost by way of Finn Balor. He’s ready to take out Balor for retaliation.

Elias gets interrupted by Finn Balor this time. Flip dive by Balor leads to a commercial. McIntyre is working over Balor after the commercial. Balor eventually uses his speed to get the upper hand on Drew. Sling Blade leads to a drop kick into the corner. Balor goes up to the top rope and Ziggler interferes for the DQ. Seth Rollins makes the save. We get a tag team match. Rollins & Ziggler start off the second match. Faces in charge at the first commercial break this time too. Balor gets to take a second beat down. Bicycle Kick by Balor creates an opening. Rollins gets the hot tag. Suicide dive onto both McIntyre & Ziggler. Rollins gives McIntyre a Block Buster. Rollins calls for the Stomp but gets interrupted by Ziggler, who gets clocked. They have a big four way brawl. McIntyre Reverse Alabama Slams Rollins. Drew only gets two. McIntyre puts Rollins on his shoulder. He tags in Ziggler but their move back fires. Rollins slips out, tosses McIntyre out of the ring and Stomps Ziggler for the win.

Charley Caruso interviews Bobby Lashley. He came back for the big matches. Lashley saying there’s “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” is going to win over some fans.

Ember Moon takes on Liv Morgan again. Moon is ready to Ecplise Morgan because of Morgan’s actions last week. At least we have a reason. Sarah Logan is barred from ring side because of the Riott Squad shenanigans. Morgan does get in some offense even without Logan at ring side. A Jaw Jacker opens things up for Moon. Face First STO. Moon goes to the top but gets caught going up. Moon blocks a Superplex attempt. Morgan gets planted face first. Eclipse for the win.

Seth Rollins met with Kurt Angle. He says he gets a rematch with Ziggler at Summerslam.

Elias gets interrupted by Kurt Angle who then gives him the floor again. Of course he plays off of O.A. R. Who is in the crowd because they helped the WWE raise money for cancer. Naturally, he finally starts to make fun of Cincinnati. Bobby Lashley is the last man to interrupt Elias. Lashley takes over early but I get a feeling something weird is up since this match started around 10:53 p. They come back from a break at 10:59. Lashley Spine Buster’s Reigns. He then puts a knee in his back and pulls back his arms. Lashley is tossing around Reigns more than the other way around. Reigns side steps a Spear. Reigns leg drops Lashley on his way back into the ring. Reigns sets up for a Superman Punch. Lashley locks in a Full Nelson Submission. Reigns back elbows out of it. Lashley locks in a modified head and arm triangle. Reigns rolls over Lashley for a pin attempt. Lashley breaks the move. Reigns dodges another Spear attempt.  Reigns clothes lines Lashley in the corner. Lashley catches Reigns into a Power Slam. Lashley sets up for another Spear. Reigns tries to leg frog Lashley? Yes, the question makr is there for a reason. Not sure what was planned but it didn’t go exactly to plan. End result was the same though. Superman Punch lands a second time but only gets a two count. Lashley rolls out of the ring. Reigns goes for a Superman Punch outside but gets stopped by Lashley. Reigns gets rolled back into the ring. Lashley connects with the Spear finally but only gets two. Superman Punch after another Spear attempt. Lashley counters one Spear but not another. Reigns wins. I’m going to see if Twitter is on fire. Lashley and REigns shake hands after the match. – Kevin DiFrango

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply