Monday Night Raw
Date: September 20, 2021
Location: PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina
Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
It’s the go home show for Extreme Rules and in theory that should mean that it is time to actually add something EXTREME to the card. It would be nice to have the show actually live up to its name, though I think you can guess what kind of stipulations we are going to be seeing. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Big E. cashing in Money in the Bank to win the WWE Title last week.
Here is New Day to celebrate Big E.’s title win. Big E. is rather emotional as he soaks in the YOU DESERVE IT chants and says this feels like Thanksgiving to him. He is thankful for everyone who has been here chanting New Day Rocks and (and those who chanted NEW DAY SUCKS).
There are some great people here to celebrate with and one more above watching down (cue the BRODIE chants, and Big E. has to pause for a second). As for tonight though, it is time for some business because the New Day has to deal with the Bloodline. This is their show though and they will send Bloodline packing, because…..and they take so long loading up the catchphrase that the Bloodline cuts it off.
Bloodline vs. New Day
Kofi and Jimmy start things off with Roman Reigns pausing to point at the ceiling a lot. Jimmy gets snapmared down and Kofi adds a running kick to the chest, setting up Woods’ middle rope elbow for two. It’s time to start in on the arm but it’s off to Jey in a hurry. Kofi makes a blind tag though and springboards in with a high crossbody for two of his own. Reigns is sick of this though and pulls Kofi outside for rams into the announcers’ table and the post.
A big staredown takes us to a break and we come back with Kofi crawling for the tag but Jimmy knocks Woods off the apron. Kofi gets sent into the corner but runs up the buckles for a spinning top rope dropkick. The double tag brings in Reigns and Big E. for the heavyweight showdown. Overhead belly to belly suplexes send Reigns flying and a regular belly to belly drops him again. Big E. has to get rid of Jey though and Reigns is back up with a release Rock Bottom.
The Superman Punch is countered into another belly to belly but Reigns slips out of the Big Ending. It’s back to Woods as Big E. tosses Kofi onto the Usos but Reigns is back up with the Superman Punch. Woods superkicks Reigns for two but here is Bobby Lashley to take out a lot of people, with the referee watching the whole thing. Since we can’t have a DQ in this thing, Reigns spears Woods for the pin at 13:04.
Rating: B-. The ending really dragged this down, as this is the kind of match that could have just as easily ended with a DQ, but instead the solution is to make the referee look like an imbecile. Lashley being all ticked off about losing the title is a fine way to go, but could you at least make it look better? The match itself was the kind of big time showdown you would expect from these teams, but the ending just made my head hurt (for the first time tonight).
Post match Lashley spears Reigns down and hits another one to drive Big E. through the barricade.
Post break Bobby Lashley goes to see Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville to rant about Big E. Lashley insists he can beat Big E. or Roman Reigns, so the bosses stare at him.
MVP is out of action with a broken rib after Randy Orton gave him an RKO last week.
Riddle has made sure that he and Orton have the same Spotify playlists and talks about how they are on a roll. Orton isn’t impressed, even as Riddle talks about how Orton can beat AJ Styles tonight. Riddle wonders what his spirit animal would be, thinking it might be a mongoose. Orton thinks Riddle is confusing a movie with real life and says he’s ready for AJ tonight. Oh and the headphones Riddle gave him? Pretty cool. Riddle responds by singing Orton’s theme song.
We recap Eva Marie vs. Doudrop.
Eva Marie vs. Doudrop
Hold on though as Eva says this isn’t a fair match because she’s put together and Doudrop is a mess. Girls like Doudrop can’t beat women like her but we ring the bell anyway. Doudrop chases her around the ring to start, catches her, and finishes with the basement crossbody at 1:19. This is in no way, shape or form different than their previous match, except that it was more recent.
Post match, Doudrop declares the Eva-Lution dead. Until their next three matches I’m sure.
Big E. storms into the bosses’ office and says he wants Bobby Lashley and Roman Reigns tonight. They still say nothing.
Post break, Paul Heyman comes in to see the bosses and goes on about how people have come in here and complained about everything tonight. Heyman doesn’t do that, because he has a message from Roman Reigns. Sonya Deville cuts him off and makes a triple threat match for tonight. Now go tell Reigns that it is official.
AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton
Omos and Riddle are here too. Orton wastes no time in taking AJ down with a headlock but it’s broken up in a hurry for a staredown. The armbar with some hand cranking has AJ in trouble again but the threat of an RKO sends him bailing to the floor. Back in and Orton grabs a suplex for one as this is total dominance so far. Orton starts the Garvin Stomp, allowing Riddle to strike Orton’s pose.
Omos offers a bit of interference though and that means it’s an ejection, with Riddle getting beaten up for dancing in celebration. AJ finally gets something going by knocking Orton outside for the slingshot forearm. Omos finally leaves and we take a break. Back with Orton whipping him chest first into the corner and hitting some clotheslines. Orton snaps off the powerslam for two and knocks AJ out to the apron. The hanging DDT is broken up though and AJ tries the Phenomenal Forearm but has to settle for a sleeper.
That’s broken up as well and Orton busts out a t-bone suplex of all things. AJ is back with a shot to the head but the Styles Clash is countered with a backdrop, which is countered into a cradle for two. A Lionsault of all things gives AJ two so it’s time for the Forearm. Orton teases the RKO counter so AJ drops back to the apron, allowing Orton to kick him down and hit the hanging DDT. The RKO finishes for Orton at 14:57.
Rating: B. You had two talented wrestlers doing their thing here and it worked out well, even with the extra time that they had. I know Orton might not be the most popular, but he can have a quality match with just about anyone and that is an incredibly valuable thing to have on your roster. The same is true for Styles, but he loses points for not having the mustache.
We recap Nia Jax vs. Shayna Baszler. They teamed together, they argued, they won, they argued, they lost, they argued, they lost some more, they argued, they did the same for about six more months before we FINALLY got to this match.
Nia Jax vs. Shayna Baszler
Nia brags about how she is the talented one and grabs a Samoan drop, only to put Shayna down and say it was that easy. Baszler knees her way out of the corner and a big kick to the head puts Jax down on all fours. Another kick to the face sets up the Kirifuda Clutch, which is countered with straight power. Shayna gets it again so Jax drops back onto her….and passes out at 2:22. I didn’t see that one coming but I’ll take it.
Post match Shayna takes her outside and kicks the mostly out cold Jax in the head. Shayna puts Jax’s hand in the steps for a running stomp to make Jax scream. Shayna looks conflicted but stomps on the arm anyway, meaning it’s higher pitched screaming. This was total destruction of Jax and should mean a pretty lengthy hiatus, which is a good thing at the moment.
Angel Garza/Humberto Carrillo vs. Mansoor/Mustafa Ali
Garza and Carrillo say they’re family and both rather handsome so why not team together. Ali gets taken down in a hurry to start, setting up a double slingshot suplex for two. Carrillo grabs an early chinlock but Ali is back up in a hurry for the tornado DDT. Mansoor and Garza come in with the former kicking him in the head. A belly to back suplex/top rope double stomp combination gets two on Garza with Carrillo making the save. Everyone heads outside with Garza posting Ali HARD (that was a great sound) and it’s a Muta Lock/dropkick combination to finish Ali at 2:43. I’ve wanted more Garza for a bit and this worked.
Video on Karrion Kross.
Rhea Ripley and Nikki Ash come out to tell us about how great Connor’s Cure really is. They dedicate their Women’s Tag Team Title shot to the sick children and hold up a V for victory over cancer. Ignore Rhea partially forgetting her lines here, as she seems to be rather emotional about the whole speech.
Women’s Tag Team Titles: Natalya/Tamina vs. Nikki Ash/Rhea Ripley
Natalya and Tamina are defending (for the first time on TV for the first time in about four months) and I don’t like their odds here after that promo. Nikki gets knocked into the corner to start and Tamina stomps away as the champs control early. The Superfly Splash misses but it’s back to Natalya to cut Nikki off. Ripley takes Tamina outside and Riptides her onto the apron. That leaves Ash to small package Natalya for the pin and the titles at 2:15. That’s about as much hype as Natalya and Tamina’s reign deserved as it came to an end.
We recap Charlotte throwing her version of Lillie in the trash.
It’s time for Alexa’s Playground. Alexa Bliss brings out her guest for the week, and it’s a doozy: Charlotte. After picking up a microphone off the rocking horse, Charlotte says she would rather remind people that Bliss used to be a competitor. Bliss: “There she is ladies and gentlemen: the fun police.” Bliss wants a girl’s night between the two of them and Lillie, but there is no Charlie (Charlotte’s doll).
Worry not though because Bliss has Charlie….who gets a chant of her own. Charlotte wants the real Alexa Bliss, because this is just a way to hide how fragile Bliss really is. Start by getting rid of the black lipstick and then realize that Lillie is more popular than Bliss. How did Charlotte go from main eventing Wrestlemania to playing with dolls on Raw? She has beaten everyone and now she has to beat an adult who has to dress like a kid. Should she beat Bliss up tonight or wait until Sunday?
Bliss mocks Charlotte for being the best ever and points out that Charlotte has lost more titles than any woman ever. Without a title, who is Charlotte anyway? Without a title, she doesn’t have anything and her insecurities are stamped right on her forehead. Bliss says that’ not original, with Charlotte saying they don’t want to get into the whole lack of originality thing. Bliss calls her a narcissistic little b**** and says at least she knows who she is. You can call her crazy, but on Sunday, you can call her champion.
Charlotte shoves her so Bliss charges, earning herself a big boot. Charlie is ripped apart but Bliss gets up before Charlotte can get to Lillie. The DDT sends Charlotte running. The stuff where they were actually saying things to each other was good, but then it becomes about the dolls all over again and any positives are completely lost.
Drake Maverick and the usual band of idiots have a whiteboard plan to capture Reggie. A net is involved and they capture Drew Gulak instead. Reggie escapes and Maverick is livid.
Sheamus vs. Jeff Hardy
If Hardy wins, he’s in the US Title match at Extreme Rules and Damian Priest is on commentary. Sheamus grabs a headlock takeover to start and then hits a shoulder to put him down again. Jeff drives him into the corner but has to elbow his way to freedom. That’s enough to send Sheamus outside but Poetry in Motion is countered into a drop onto the apron. Sheamus rips the face shield off and we take a break.
Back with Hardy hammering away and getting two off a middle rope splash. Sheamus kicks him in the face and nails the top rope clothesline for two. The knee to the face gets the same but the Brogue Kick is countered into the Twist of Fate. The Swanton hits knees though (egads that looked bad) but Hardy grabs a sunset flip for the pin at 9:02.
Rating: C+. I can go for these two having a nice match like this and that’s what we got here. Hardy being added to Sunday is a good idea as we’ve done Sheamus vs. Priest before and it is a good idea to add something fresh. I’m not sure what to expect on Sunday and that’s the right way to go.
Post match Sheamus goes outside to yell at Priest and the fight is on.
Bobby Lashley vs. Roman Reigns vs. Big E.
Non-title and Lashley and Big E. start brawling to start fast. Big E. takes him to the apron for the splash as Reigns stands back and watches. Some trash talking takes too long though and Reigns hits the apron dropkick on Big E. as we take an early break. Back with Big E. grabbing an abdominal stretch on Lashley until Reigns breaks that up. Reigns’ jumping clothesline drops Big E. for two but Lashley breaks up the apron dropkick.
They head back inside with Reigns hitting a heck of a Samoan drop for two on Big E. as Lashley is back up. Reigns takes Lashley up top but Big E. turns it into a Tower of Doom as we take a break. Back with Big E. throwing Reigns around with some suplexes until Lashley breaks that up. A delayed vertical suplex drops Reigns bug Big E. takes them both down and hits a double Warrior Splash.
The Big Ending rocks Reigns but Lashley pulls Big E. outside and puts him through the announcers’ table. Back in and Reigns Superman Punches Lashley to break up the spear but Lashley’s second attempt connects. Big E. breaks up that cover but has to block the Hurt Lock. Reigns makes the save with a Superman Punch and Big E. hits the spear to drive Reigns through the ropes. Back in and the Big Ending hits Reigns but Lashley breaks it up with a chair. Lashley unloads on Big E. with the chair….and walks into a spear to give Reigns the pin at 20:10.
Rating: B. This worked very well as they followed the formula for most good triple threat matches: let a bunch of people hit each other really hard until one scores a fall. At the same time, this probably sets up a chairs match between Lashley and Big E., which certainly works as a Raw main event. Reigns winning over Lashley is fine here as a champion didn’t take a fall and it came at the end of a very hard hitting match. Rather good main event.
Overall Rating: C+. I rather liked this and I can’t remember the last time that has been the case with Raw. The biggest positive here was the lack of anything terrible. There were certainly flaws and some of the stuff didn’t make a ton of sense, but what matters the most is there was no moment where I wanted to switch to a good folk dancing competition. I have no reason to believe that the show is getting better in the long term (though the destruction of Nia Jax gives me a bit of hope) but for a one off show, I will absolutely take this over the drek we’ve been seeing for….well years really.
Bloodline b. New Day – Spear to Woods
Doudrop b. Eva Marie – Basement crossbody
Randy Orton b. AJ Styles – RKO
Shayna Baszler b. Nia Jax – Kirifuda Clutch
Humberto Carrillo/Angel Garza b. Mansoor/Mustafa Ali – Muta Lock/dropkick combination to Ali
Rhea Ripley/Nikki Ash b. Tamina/Natalya – Small package to Natalya
Jeff Hardy b. Sheamus – Sunset flip
Roman Reigns b. Big E. and Bobby Lashley – Spear to Lashley
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