Monday Night Raw
Date: August 15, 2022
Location: Capital One Arena Washington DC
Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
The resurgence of the United States Title continues as we have Bobby Lashley defending against AJ Styles in a match that somehow has not happened before. Other than that, we might be getting more from the odd adventures of Dexter Lumis, who returned last week, seemingly unannounced, and was arrested to end the show. Let’s get to it.
Here is Judgment Day to get things going. Rhea Ripley is rather pleased by taking out Dominik Mysterio last week and Finn Balor says the Mysterios will not be here tonight. That’s enough about this week and last week though, because Damian Priest is ready to destroy Edge next week. As for tonight though, does anyone want to see Edge confront this team right now? Well too bad because he isn’t here.
Priest is ready to send Edge back into retirement and that means no more movies or TV shows, but rather more of him being wheeled around. Cue Rey Mysterio to jump the team, but he can’t bring himself to hit Rhea Ripley. Instead Rey goes after Finn Balor with a chair, only to have Riple get in the way. The numbers get the better of Rey and Rhea DDTs him onto a chair. The Coup de Grace onto a chair onto Rey leaves him laying. Anytime this feud wants to be over, I’d be glad to assist in any way I can.
Women’s Tag Team Title Tournament First Round: Asuka/Alexa Bliss vs. Doudrop/Nikki Ash
Bianca Belair comes out to offer some support to Asuka and Bliss. The villains are knocked outside early on and we take a break just over thirty seconds in. Back with Bliss getting away from Doudrop and handing it off to Asuka to clean house. Some strikes to Ash set up a bridging German suplex for two but Doudrop is back up to run Bliss over to put everyone down. Ash is sent outside and Doudrop’s Michinoku Driver gets two on Asuka. Bliss comes back in to break that up and it’s the cross armbreaker to make Doudrop tap at 8:48.
Rating: C. The doubt was lacking but Bliss and Asuka work well enough together to make a match passable. Doudrop and Ash are just sad at this point though, as the team continues to lose while Ash looks ridiculous as a villain with a name involving being (ALMOST) a superhero). Let her be herself again and it should be fine, but that could take some time given how long this has been going.
Post match Belair, Asuka and Ash go to leave but run into Bayley, Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky. Yelling ensues.
Theory is ready to cash in his Money In The Bank briefcase and become the World Heavyweight Champion. Cue Dolph Ziggler to mock Theory for losing over and over, but Theory calls him a has been. The brawl is on and we take a break.
The brawl continued during the break.
We recap last week’s rather awesome Bobby Lashley vs. Ciampa’s United States Title match.
Ciampa says he worked hard last week but we don’t have participation trophies around here. Next time, he’ll be champion. Miz blames AJ Styles for interfering last week and smells collusion about Styles getting a title shot this week. As for Ciampa, Miz gives him a necklace with a picture of the two of them inside (Miz has a matching one because).
Miz/Ciampa vs. Cedric Alexander/Mustafa Ali
Ciampa drives Alexander up against the ropes but gets taken down into a hammerlock. Back up and Alexander hits a dropkick before handing it off to Ali for a slingshot hilo, followed by Alexander hitting a slingshot hilo for two. Ciampa runs Alexander over though and applauds with Miz as we take a break.
Back with Alexander fighting out of a chinlock and bringing Ali in to chop Miz. Ali hits a running boot to Ciampa in the corner, setting up the rolling…well kind of Sling Blade as Miz wasn’t facing the right way for the neckbreaker. Alexander comes back in with a Michinoku Driver for two on Miz, with Ciampa putting the foot on the rope. Ali hits a heck of a dive to take Ciampa out and dropkicks Miz into a sunset flip to give Alexander two. Back up and Ali kicks Miz in the face but Ciampa knees/kicks a 450 out of the air (pretty sweet). The Fairy Tale Ending finishes Ali at 9:49.
Rating: C+. This is the kind of match that can happen in almost any given week as there is so much talent around that all they need is a chance. Ali and Alexander are capable of having a good match at any time and they did it here against Miz and Ciampa. If nothing else though, it is nice to see Ciampa actually getting another pin, which hasn’t happened enough around here.
We look back at Kevin Owens taking out Ezekiel.
Ezekiel’s family (including Elias and others, likely including Elrod) is standing around his bedside, with his father, Ernie Jr., saying his son will be back. That’s quite the visual.
Drew McIntyre is on his way to the ring and passes someone putting out a fire in a trashcan, with Adam Pearce and others standing by.
Video on the Wrestlemania on sale launch party.
Here is Drew McIntyre for a chat. Drew is tired of hearing about the Island of Relevancy and is ready to win the titles and defend them everywhere they should be. Now there have been reports that he is suffering from a bit of a back injury. That’s true, mainly because he has been carrying the load of twenty men for three years in and out of the ring. This isn’t a job for him because he is living a dream. He’s here to scout future opponents, so what do you think of him vs. Ciampa? Or AJ Styles? Seth Rollins? Maybe Karrion Kross?
Cue Kevin Owens to interrupt and Drew likes that idea too. Owens doesn’t like his name being left out and thinks Drew believes he is in Medieval Times. If Drew thinks he has been carrying anyone around here, he is a real dumb***. Owens knows who he is though because he is Kevin Owens and he is as real as it gets in this business. For the last few years, he has been having a good time coming to work, but then something dawned on him earlier today as he got to the arena.
This is the same arena where he and Sami Zayn had the fight of their lives and left it all in that ring six years ago. There is a side of him that is missing and he misses the old Kevin Owens. It might be time to bring back the prizefighter and now he wants a title again. Every champion is a target and he doesn’t care if it’s McIntyre or Roman Reigns because he is coming for the biggest prize of them all.
McIntyre is tired of people making stuff up to get a cheap reaction and goes on a rant about how he has done everything around here. They called him to come back after he was the Chosen One fifteen years ago. Now he’s a two time World Champion and he’s ready to go. Drew: “We’re wrestlers in a freaking wrestling ring so let’s wrestle!” For the first time in years, that probably won’t get him fined so Owens is in.
Drew McIntyre vs. Kevin Owens
Feeling out process to start with Owens’ shoulder not having much of an effect. Owens grabs a headlock and sends him into the corner for the Cannonball into a backsplash. A middle rope moonsault gets two but McIntyre is up with a toss, sending Owens outside. Back in and Owens sends McIntyre outside, setting up….nothing as McIntyre cuts him off with a forearm. Owens posts him and hits a frog splash off the apron as we take a break.
Back with McIntyre fighting out of a chinlock but the Futureshock is countered into a DDT from Owens. The Swanton only hits knees though and McIntyre gets a breather. Owens catches him on top but McIntyre does the situp….with Owens blocking the choke throw. Another Cannonball in the Tree of Woe sets up the bullfrog splash for two, followed by a Swanton for two more.
McIntyre catches him on top with the super White Noise for two before hitting a Glasgow Kiss. Owens is back with a superkick but McIntyre clotheslines him down for another double breather. Back up and the slugout goes to McIntyre, who hits the Futureshock. The Claymore is loaded up but the Usos come in to jump McIntyre for the DQ at 14:52.
Rating: B. That was a rare occasion where the DQ ending was the right call, as you don’t want either of these two taking a fall right now. McIntyre is going on to the World Title match at one of the biggest shows of the year and this was Owens’ return to form. The good thing is that Owens looked like his own self out there and it made for a hard hitting fight between two guys who could bring it. Pretty awesome match here and I could go for a rematch.
Post match McIntyre fights the Usos off and backdrops Jey onto Jimmy on the floor (OUCH) but walks into a Stunner from Owens. The 1D is broken up though and McIntyre drops the Usos again. If this is what the Usos are doing, get the titles off of them already.
Here is Seth Rollins to watch a special interview with Riddle. Rollins mocks Riddle for needing to retire from his mother’s basement but maybe he can go finish seventh grade or start a farm (that’s very lucrative). Riddle pops up on screen to say he’s medically cleared and it’s on. Rollins mocks every other time it has been on and promises to wreck Riddle again. He wishes Riddle was here right now so he could stomp the final brain cells out of his head.
That’s cool with Riddle, who is in fact here right now, meaning he’s coming to the ring RIGHT NOW. Riddle storms the ring and head fakes Rollins to avoid the Stomp. Rollins drops him onto the apron anyway and they go over the announcers’ table with Rollins unloading on him. The Stomp through the table misses though and Riddle knees him over the barricade. The chase is on through the crowd.
Video on Bobby Lashley vs. AJ Styles later tonight for Lashley’s US Title.
Riddle wants to fight Seth Rollins and issues the challenge for Clash At The Castle.
Veer Mahaan vs. Beaux Keller
Keller bails to the floor and Veer isn’t happy with having to get in a chase. Back in and Keller hits a dropkick, earning himself a big toss out to the floor. Mahaan hits something like a Thesz press minus the press, setting up the Million Dollar Arm. The Cervical Clutch puts out Keller’s torch at 1:46.
Bayley, Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky are ready to win the Tag Team Titles, plus the six woman tag at Clash At The Castle. They go over to see Dana Brooke, who is ready 24/7. Kai tells her to be scared.
United States Title: Bobby Lashley vs. AJ Styles
Lashley is defending and powers him down to start but Styles is back up with the drop down into the dropkick. They head outside with Lashley blocking a posting but getting caught with a Phenomenal Forearm off the apron. We take a break and come back with Styles being sent hard into the barricade. Styles is back with a few shots of his own but gets whipped hard into the corner.
Cue Miz and Ciampa to watch as Styles is dropped onto the top rope. Miz goes outside to go after Styles….and someone (Dexter Lumis) dives out of the crowd and onto Corey Graves. Security breaks it up and we take an abrupt break. Back with commentary confirming that it was in fact Lumis and Lashley missing a spear to the floor. Styles hits a slingshot forearm to take Lashley down again but Lashley is back with a running powerslam.
They go up top with Styles slipping out of a superplex and hitting a spinning torture rack bomb for two. Lashley is fine enough to hit the spinning Big Ending for two and takes him outside for the posting. Back in and Styles grabs the Calf Crusher but Lashley powers out again. A forearm sets up a missed Phenomenal Forearm, allowing Lashley to hit the spear for the retaining pin at 21:40.
Rating: B. Another awesome match here as you had two guys beating the figure out of each other. The Miz/Ciampa stuff was appropriate and tied into the things that they had been doing before so there was even some logic there. On top of that, you have the Lumis stuff, which continues to be intriguing as we wait for an explanation. Great stuff here, with the US Title growing every week right before our eyes.
Dakota Kai vs. Dana Brooke
Non-title. Kai starts fast and knocks her down, setting up some rather cocky kicks to the head. Brooke fights up but gets knocked into the corner without much trouble. The running boot to the face gives Kai the pin at 2:19.
Video on Edge vs. Judgment Day.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Theory
Ziggler takes him down to start but Theory is back with a heck of a forearm. Ziggler’s arm is sent into the post twice in a row, allowing Theory to talk some trash. Ziggler is fine enough to catch him on top with a super Fameasser. We take a break and come back with Theory hitting his rolling dropkick, setting up another ram into the post.
Ziggler fights up and hits some right hands in the corner, setting up the jumping elbow for two. Theory catches him on the middle rope but another slingshot dropkick is countered with a Fameasser to give Ziggler two of his own. They slug it out from their knees until the Zig Zag is blocked.
Theory hits a running shot to the face and loads up A Town Down, which is countered into a sunset flip for two more. The Zig Zag gives Ziggler another near fall so Theory rolls him up for two, despite his feet being on the ropes. Ziggler is back up and walks into A Town Down for the clean pin at 16:07.
Rating: B-. Theory winning clean is weird to see but it is the kind of win that he needed to make a comeback after his not so great last few weeks. What matters here is that they had another good wrestling match without many shenanigans. That is the kind of thing that audience needs to be reeducated towards and if it helps build Theory up in the process, so be it.
Overall Rating: B+. This was a heck of a show with three rather good matches, some storyline advancement and reason to believe that Kevin Owens might be going somewhere sooner than later. The wrestling carried this show and, again, there was nothing terrible to drag the show down. Heck of a show and one of the best Raw’s in longer than I can remember. Maybe it is due to so many years of awful, but the last few weeks have been great and this is the best one of the new run by a fairly wide margin.
Asuka/Alexa Bliss b. Doudrop/Nikki Ash – Cross armbreaker to Doudrop
The Miz/Ciampa b. Mustafa Ali/Cedric Alexander – Fairy Tale Ending to Ali
Drew McIntyre b. Kevin Owens via DQ when the Usos interfered
Veer Mahaan b. Beaux Keller – Cervical Clutch
Bobby Lashley b. AJ Styles – Spear
Dakota Kai b. Dana Brooke – running boot in the corner
Theory b. Dolph Ziggler – A Town Down
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