Monday Night Raw
Date: August 29, 2022
Location: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, Jimmy Smith
It’s the go home show for Clash At The Castle but there is a lot to cover tonight as well. This week will see the finals of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles as Iyo Sky/Dakota Kai face Raquel Rodriguez and Aliyah, plus a special appearance by hometown boy Kurt Angle. Let’s get to it.
AJ Styles/Dolph Ziggler vs. Judgment Day
Rhea Ripley is here with Judgment Day, who Graves says “no one has had an answer for”. As I try to remember when they last won a big match over someone not named Mysterio, Priest stomps Styles into the corner to start and knocks Ziggler off the apron. Styles is back up with a dropkick and a clothesline to the floor, setting up the slingshot forearm as we take an early break.
Back with Ziggler in trouble but managing to counter Balor’s Styles Clash into a Fameasser. That’s enough for the (not exactly necessary) jump into the tag to Styles so the pace can be picked up. Priest knocks Styles into Balor to knock him off the apron but Styles is back with the fireman’s carry backbreaker for two. Balor breaks up the Calf Crusher and Styles is sent outside, setting up the South of Heaven chokeslam to give Priest the pin at 8:30.
Rating: C+. I’m not sure what Graves was talking about with saying no one can stop Judgment Day but they did need a win to put them back on track. The match was good enough for a short opener and that is all it needed to be. Odds are Edge is going to be back for Balor sooner than later and this gives them some momentum towards that match.
Judgment Day goes to leave but we see Edge arriving. That makes the team head back to the ring to wait on him as we take a break. Post break, Judgment Day calls Edge to the ring because we aren’t in Toronto and Beth Phoenix isn’t here to save him. Cue Edge to say we’re not in Toronto but rather Pittsburgh and Beth isn’t here tonight. Edge is confident enough in his masculinity to say he and Beth both wear the pants in his family. That’s because he isn’t a caveman who couldn’t get tickets to the My Chemical Romance tour. Edge is indeed back, but he didn’t come alone.
Cue the Mysterios with kendo sticks (because chairs aren’t a thing in wrestling anymore) but Dominik can’t bring himself to hit Rhea Ripley. Instead he hands her the stick and lets the team leave after a staredown. Dominik continues to look like a moron in this whole story. And he still needs a haircut.
Miz and Ciampa don’t want to talk about Dexter Lumis.
Aliyah and Raquel Rodriguez promise to win the Women’s Tag Team Titles.
Asuka/Alexa Bliss/Bianca Belair vs. Danny Mo/Kay Sparks/Katie Arquette
Belair faceplants Sparks to start so it’s off to Katie, who gets flipped over in the corner. Belair tells the other two to come in and suplexes Katie down. Bliss comes in with a splash before Asuka misses a charge in the corner. Some spinning strikes drop Mo for two and everything breaks down, with Belair hitting the KOD to Sparks. Asuka grabs something like an Octopus on the mat to make Mo tap at 3:17.
Rating: C-. Quick match here with the stars getting a chance to be built up on the way to their showdown at Clash At The Castle. You don’t see that happen very often on Raw and it’s nice to have around for a change. The jobbers got in some offense to keep it from being total destruction but the match accomplished its goal.
Miz doesn’t want to talk about what Dexter Lumis did and since he didn’t press charges, Lumis has been released from custody. He still won’t talk about it.
Here is Kurt Angle for the big homecoming. He hypes up Clash At The Castle but here is the Alpha Academy to interrupt. Post break, Chad Gable talks about how Kurt won a gold medal in the Olympics. Angle: “And I won it with a broken freaking neck.” Gable was ready to continue the open challenge here in Pittsburgh but there is no talent in this town. The fans don’t approve but Gable says there is an Olympic hero in this ring, AND KURT ANGLE, so show some respect.
As a special one night only offer, Angle can join the Alpha Academy with no strings attached. Angle throws the jacket back though, with Gable saying “Exqueeze me?” Angle loads up the It’s True but gets SHHHHsed, setting up a SHUSH off. That’s too far for Gable, but the Street Profits run in before Otis violence can ensue. The Profits set up the match and we’re ready to go. Hang on though: Gable throws in a stipulation that if the Academy wins, Angle joins the Academy. Sure why not.
Street Profits vs. Alpha Academy
Ford chops at Otis to start but gets caught with a gorilla press World’s Strongest Slam. Gable comes in but Ford gets over to Dawkins to pick up the pace. Gable and Otis are sent outside for the running flip dive from Dawkins for a big crash. Back in and Gable dragon screw legwhips Dawkins out of the corner and Otis stands on Dawkins to make it worse.
Dawkins is back up without much trouble though and hands it off to Ford to clean house. A suplex into a standing moonsault gets two on Gable but the frog splash is broken up as we take a break. Back with Dawkins coming in but getting planted by Otis. Ford low bridges Otis to the floor so Dawkins can hit the Silencer for two.
Gable is right back with a bridging northern lights suplex for two and everyone is knocked down. Back up and Gable grabs the ankle lock on Ford, who reverses into one of his own. Otis makes the save with a splash but goes outside to go after Angle. That lets Dawkins knock Otis over the announcers’ table, leaving Gable to get slammed down. The frog splash finishes for Ford at 16:01.
Rating: C+. This was more than a bit longer than it needed to be but the Profits getting a win is a good thing. The problem though is they have nowhere to go as the Usos have the titles tied up seemingly forever and that feud has been done to death. They need something to do to keep the team going, and while this worked for a week, it isn’t going to work long term.
Post match the Profits give Angle a red cup but he spits it out. Angle is ready though and busts out the milk for the feel good throwback.
Riddle and Seth Rollins got in a fight in the parking lot earlier today.
We get a split screen interview between Riddle and Rollins. Riddle wants to fight but Rollins says he isn’t on his level. They’re both ready for the fight, with Rollins not exactly taking things seriously. Riddle promises to prove that there is only one man in their marriage though, and that is Becky Lynch. Rollins gets WAY more serious as we’re out of time.
Miz is paranoid about security as he comes to the ring.
We get some extra footage from after the cameras stopped rolling on the interviews. Rollins wasn’t happy with Riddle talking about his family so let’s talk about Riddle’s family. Oh wait he doesn’t have one because Riddle’s wife left him and took the kids. Riddle wants to know where the f*** Rollins is because he wants to f*** him up. That’s the kind of segment you didn’t get for a long time around here and that’s a nice change of pace.
Miz vs. Bobby Lashley
Non-title and Ciampa is here with the still traumatized Miz. Lashley knocks Miz into the corner to start and then outside, where Ciampa gives him a pep talk. That earns both of them a knockdown as we take a break. Back with Lashley still in control until Miz manages to send him into the steps. Lashley shrugs off some choking and loads up the powerslam before settling for a spinebuster. Ciampa gets in a cheap shot though and a DDT gives Miz two. The Skull Crushing Finale is loaded up but Dexter Lumis is in the crowd. The distraction is enough for Lashley to grab the Hurt Lock for the win at 10:45.
Rating: C-. This was more about Miz being all messed up by Lumis than anything else. Lashley isn’t going to lose to Miz in a cold match on Raw so this was a matter of time rather than anything else. I’m curious about where the Lumis/Miz deal is going, but they are doing a good job of making you wonder what happened to Miz to freak him out this much.
Edge comes in to see Kurt Angle and recreates the messages written on the back of big pictures, talking about the various horrible things Edge did to Angle over the years. The Mysterios find it funny and Angle loses it because Edge did it again. Kurt: “Cripes all Friday!” With Angle gone, Dominik isn’t happy that it’s Edge and Rey vs. Judgment Day at Clash At The Castle but he’ll be there too. That’s the kind of call back that still works because it hasn’t been beaten into the ground.
Video on Connor’s Cure, which started in Pittsburgh.
Here are the Usos and Sami Zayn for a chat. The Usos are excited about Roman Reigns celebrating two years as Universal Champion on Friday but Sami cuts them off. He has been named the master of ceremonies for Reigns’ celebration, which doesn’t sit well with the team. The Usos brag about their success….and here is Kevin Owens to cut them off.
Owens mocks the Usos and Jey is ready to explode. Sami explains the situation to Owens, who doesn’t seem interested in listening. Owens didn’t think Sami could look worse than he did by growing that ridiculous hair out but here he is. Zayn doesn’t get what a joke he is despite being one of the best wrestlers in the world.
Zayn insists that the Usos like him…or at least Jimmy does and they’re working on Jey. Threats are made but Owens gets in the ring anyway, telling the Usos that they can keep sucking up to Reigns, just like when they cost Owens the Universal Title. Zayn says Jey is about to take Owens out, which works for Owens so let’s get a referee out here.
Kevin Owens vs. Jey Uso
Jey Uso and Sami Zayn are here too. Owens starts fast and knocks him into the corner for the right hands to the head. Jey misses a charge and gets Cannonballed as Sami is looking confused at ringside. A distraction brings Owens outside, where Jey hits a superkick and a Samoan drop onto the steps as we take a break.
Back with Owens knocking Jey off the top and hitting the Swanton for two. Jey hits his own superkick and adds a Superfly Splash for two more. Another Superfly Splash hits raised knees though and Owens drops the bullfrog splash for another near fall. Jey gets in another shot and chokes on the ropes as Jimmy offers a distraction….but Sami can’t hit Owens with a chair. Jimmy yells at Zayn, who claims the referee would have seen it, leaving Owens to Stun Jey for the pin at 12:27.
Rating: B-. This is the Owens that I have been wanting to see back for a long time and you can see the long road they are taking with his eventual reunion with Sami. Those two have been joined at the hip for so long but somehow have never won the Tag Team Titles. It would be great to see this story take what seems to be an obvious course, just for the emotional moment at the end.
Bayley, Dakota Kai and Iyo Shirai promise to be taking over.
Miz leaves the arena, despite Ciampa (who is covered in glitter for some reason) asking what happened. Dexter Lumis is in the back of Miz’s car as he pulls away.
We look back at Johnny Gargano’s return last week.
Gargano was in an empty arena and talked about how happy he is to be back in wrestling. Theory didn’t ruin anything because Gargano sees him as family, even though Theory didn’t call when the baby was born. Cue Theory, who asks why Gargano didn’t call when Theory won anything, with Gargano saying they had a baby. Theory thinks that’s an excuse and Gargano must be a bit jealous.
We run down the Clash At The Castle rundown, with Riddle having gotten his Matt back.
Recap of the Women’s Tag Team Title tournament.
Women’s Tag Team Titles: Aliyah/Raquel Rodriguez vs. Iyo Sky/Dakota Kai
For the vacant titles and Bayley is here too. Aliyah and Sky trade rollups to start before it’s off to Kai for a change. Kai misses a charge over a splitting Aliyah, who misses a baseball slide to the floor. That means Aliyah gets sent into the steps while Rodriguez gets knocked down as well as we take a break.
Back with Rodriguez getting kicked down for a running dropkick to the back for two. Rodriguez fights up and takes Sky down in the corner for the spinning Vader Bomb elbow. Kai is back up with a kick to Rodriguez to set up the Over the Moonsault for two. Bayley gets on the apron so Bianca Belair, Asuka and Alexa Bliss run in to chase her off. Rodriguez makes a tag off to Aliyah, who immediately drops to the floor to hide. The villains go after Rodriguez, leaving Aliyah to grab a rollup for the pin and the titles at 11:20.
Rating: C. That ending wasn’t the best as the camera almost missed the pin, though it was a clever enough idea. The problem here is simple though: it’s still the Women’s Tag Team Titles, which mattered for approximately 18 minutes after they were established. Aliyah and Rodriguez are the latest thrown together team to win the belts and that isn’t likely to get a big reaction. I’m sure Banks and Naomi, the previous thrown together team to win the belts after about four matches, returning will be a boost, but then why exactly should I believe that things will be different this time?
Pyro goes off and we hear about some big Clash At The Castle matches to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. I wasn’t feeling this show as much but it was still more than a few miles better than the shows from earlier this year. What matters still is that there is an energy to the shows that wasn’t around for so long and that is a notable difference. This was a go home show for a card that was mostly already set and that doesn’t often leave much for the final episode. If nothing else, we can get Clash At The Castle out of the way this weekend and move on to the build for something else, but for now this was hopefully just a one off misstep.
Judgment Day b. AJ Styles/Dolph Ziggler – South Of Heaven to Ziggler
Asuka/Alexa Bliss/Bianca Belair b. Dani Mo/Kay Sparks/Katie Arquette – Octopus to Mo
Street Profits b. Alpha Academy – Frog splash to Gable
Bobby Lashley b. The Miz – Hurt Lock
Kevin Owens b. Jey Uso – Stunner
Aliyah/Raquel Rodriguez b. Iyo Sky/Dakota Kai – Rollup to Sky
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