Almost Live, Definitely Half Assed Review of WWE Raw – 25 July ’16

The interior of the Cathedral of Learning on the University of Pittsburgh's campus. Saved from No photo credit given.

The interior of the Cathedral of Learning on the University of Pittsburgh’s campus. Saved from No photo credit given.

The WWE starts us off with a new introduction which already includes Finn Balor. They also give us an announce position from up on the stage instead of at ring side. Mick Foley presents us with the roster of Raw. Stephanie McMahon makes fun of Roman Reigns and blames him for losing the WWE Title. She gives Seth Rollins a bye into the Championship match. Mick Foley creates the WWE Universal Title and there will be an eight man tournament for it. Sami Zayn, Chris Jericho, Cesaro, Rusev, Sheamus, Roman Reigns, Kevin Owens and Finn Balor all get that privileged. Charlotte “kept” the WWE Women’s Championship on Raw even though it wasn’t on the line at Battleground. She ends up getting a match against Sasha Banks, thus undermining their own point. Oh, it isn’t a tournament. It’s a pair of Fatal Four Way matches. That’s stupid.

Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, Rusev and Cesaro. The other three duck out of the ring for Balor’s first entrance. They pair off early. I’m more amazed by Byron Saxton talking up Rusev than anything. The heels are beating up on the faces after the break. Cesaro gets dumped outside so that Rusev & Owens can double team Balor. They continued their work on Cesaro when he popped into the ring. Balor made a short lived come back. Rusev & Owens finally turned on each other. Cesaro cross bodies them. He hits the Uppercut Train on all three men. Cesaro’s moment gets stopped by Rusev. Balor gets to senton onto all three men on the outside. Rusev triple power bombs everyone after another break. They get to trade finisher type moves. Owens gets a short pin on Balor until Cesaro breaks it up. Owens can’t get a win after a Frog Splash. Owens then connects with the Pop Up Powerbomb. Cesaro breaks up the pin with a Double Stomp. Rusev super kicks Cesaro as he attempted a Swing. Rusev repeats with Owens. Rusev locks in the Accolade. Cesaro comes back in and suplexes Rusev out of the Accolade. Rusev counters a Sharpshooter into an Accolade that turns into a Super Kick with Cesaro firing back a clothesline. Cesaro Swing then into a Sharp Shooter. Owens super kicks Cesaro. Cannonball by Owens. Balor comes in and drop kicks Owens into Rusev. Balor Sling Blades Owens. Balor drop kicks Rusev into the corner. Coup de Grace for the win. I approve of this victory. Really, really love Balor.

They follow up one debut with another. Nia Jax is the one debuting. Britt Baker is making her squash debut. Jax puls the old King Kong Bundy and pulls her up from the pin. She head butts her and follows up with another leg drop for the win. Not much of a debut even though it’s exactly what should be done.

Sasha Banks isn’t feeling the pressure. It’s a “Women’s Revolution” now. She’s going to be the first new WWE Women’s Champion. Tonight is going to be Lit.

Roman Reigns, Sami Zayn, Sheamus and Chris Jericho are the other quartet. Jericho & Sheamus start to beat up Reigns. Zayn joins in only when necessary. Sheamus & Jericho turn their ire to Zayn. They all get some chances at being on offense. It ends with Reigns diving over the top ropes onto all three other Superstars. All of them go back to trading chances. Zayn gets a chance after a Blue Thunder Bomb. Reigns follows up with a Razor’s Edge into Power Bomb. Zayn kicks out.  Zayn nails Sheamus with a Helluva Kick but Jericho breaks up the pin. Jericho gains control and locks in the Walls of Jericho. Sheamus with the Brogue Kick on Jericho. Zayn breaks up the pin. Reigns dishes out some Superman Punches. Zayn ducks out so that Sheamus takes a second one. Reigns doesn’t miss the second time. Same for Jericho. Jericho kicks Reigns going for the Spear. Code Breaker for a near fall. Reigns leap frogs a Jericho Spear attempt and connects with his own for the win.

New Day comes out to their usual. Xavier Woods admits that things didn’t go as planned last night but they are still champions. They have a retrospective video. They are going to pick one person to be an honorary member. The Stunt Granny makes his way into the ring. His name is Sonny Boy but they don’t believe him. They get him to dance. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson attack. They take out Kofi first, then Woods and finish off Big E with the Magic Killer. They yell at Sonny Boy and throw shirts at him.

Curtis Axel isn’t Mr. Irrelevant because he was the last one picked. Neville fractured his ankle in Pittsburgh. I noticed because I was trying to figure out which buildings in Pittsburgh I used already. Axel ends up getting control of Neville early in the match. Neville turns things around. He starts the big assault with a stutter German Suplex. Neville plants Axel with a Belly To Back Suplex to set up for Red Arrow for the win.

Bob Backlund tells Darren Young to learn how to win when he’s in the ring. Goldust & R Truth try to catch Pokemon again. I didn’t write about it the first time. Backlund screams them off and tells Young he needs to find a way to win when he’s in his next match aka war.

Charlotte gets interviewed just before her match. Charlotte reminds us that Sasha Banks doesn’t have any help like last night. Charlotte tells Sasha she’s going to need to bow down to the Queen.

Sasha Banks takes on Charlotte for the WWE Women’s Championship. They tie up for an extended period early. Sasha has the first big move of the night by tying up Charlotte with a Straight Jacket. Sasha drop kicks Charlotte on the outside. Sasha drops the double knees on her. Charlotte takes control after they come back into the ring. Charlotte fore arms Sasha off the apron. Charlotte kicks her into the barricade. That looked rough. Sasha attacks after Charlotte trash talks her with the Championship. Sasha pulls an old Eddie Guerrero move with the Title Belt to get Dana Brooke kicked out of ring side. Charlotte is in control again until Banks drops a pair of double knees on Charlotte. Sasha is slow to get up but gets rolling. Charlotte kicks out from the double knees in the corner. Charlotte gives Sasha a neck breaker. Sasha gets out of the way of a moonsault then knees Charlotte who attempted a tumbling leg drop. Sasha almost kills herself on a suicide dive. Sasha gets dropped over the top rope. Charlotte connects with a moonsault to the outside. That was picture perfect.  Natural Evolution only gets a two count because Banks grabbed the ropes. Sasha rolls Charlotte out of the ring when she had the Figure Four on. Sasha counters into a Bank Statement. Charlotte gets her legs on the ropes. Back Stabber into the Bank Statement for the victory. Sasha Banks is the new WWE Women’s Champion. Sasha gets interviewed in the ring. The crowd chants “You deserve it!” She did it. This was her dream since she was ten. She has now proven that she is the best. Good for her.

Braun Strowman take on some jobber who gets an interview with Byron Saxton, who buries him before the match. James Elsworth is his name, James Elsworth is his name, James Elworth is his name… Strowman has a new hair cut. Strowman with the reverse choke slam for the win.

Enzo Amore & Big Cass come out. Enzo likes it Raw. Cass gets to list what foods he likes raw. The Shining Stars interrupt them. They want us to appreciate the raw beauty of Puerto Rico. Enzo starts off taking a beating. Cass comes in and drops the Empire Elbow. Primo is the only one left in the ring when the Golden Truth comes through looking for Pokemon.  Big Boot by Cass for the win. What would I ever do if I lost these wacky, zany segments with Golden Truth?

Finn Balor and Roman Reigns have their match for their spot in the Championship Match. Reigns tosses Balor across the ring. Reigns uses his power while Balor shows the speed difference. Balor dodges a Drive By and follows with a spring board double stomp. Balor follows up witha drop kick into the barricade. Reigns turns it around with a Samoan Drop. Reigns starts wearing down Balor. Reigns one arm power bombs Balor for a two count. Balor kicks Reigns in the face and off the top ropes. Balor counts witha  running knee. Double Stomp to the back of Reigns. It only gets a two count. Sling Blade by Balor. Reigns Superman Punches a charging Balor. He kicks out. Reigns double power bombs Balor who kicks out again. Sling Blade when Reigns goes for the spear. Balor follows up with the drop kick into the corner. Coup de Grace for the win. Good for him. I look forward to the match. WWE Universal Championship sounds hokey to me even if they call us the WWE Universe. Roman Reigns says he hopes Balor beats Rollins at Summerslam. He wants another shot at Balor because he respects the hell out of him. – Kevin DiFrango

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