The nights after a huge weekend from WWE featured changing landscapes. A huge return for the Women’s division, a no show, budding talent gets a showcase.
Monday Night Raw:
Toronto is home to Monday Night Raw on 8/12/19 from the ScotiaBank Arena, fresh off the heels of Summerslam.
New contender. A fan favorite tournament returns. Confusing Samoan.
The new Universal Champion, Seth Rollins, is out to thank the fans after he slayed “The Beast” Brock Lesnar, once again. This leads to the booking of our main event where Rollins will defend against AJ Styles, the US Champ, in a non-title bout.
The King of the Ring returns to Raw next week and it’ll be 8 stars from Smackdown and 8 from Raw looking to vie for the crown.
The Street Profit entertain the fans before Sami Zayn appears and besmirches Samoa Joe, it led to a match where Joe tapped Zayn out in record time with the Coquina Clutch. Joe stated after the match he still doesn’t care for the fans even as he showed sympathy for the attempt on Roman Reigns. He knew he was innocent and we didn’t believe him.
Dolph loves hurt. Elias is Elias. A legend quietly passes the torch.
The Miz defeats Dolph Ziggler via submission after DZ said he wouldn’t compete after not being medically cleared following his match with Goldberg. Ziggler attacked Miz and after a quality bout, the injuries caught up with Dolph and he tapped to the figure four.
Elias is set to perform and he’s interrupted by Ricochet. Elias wants a match and Ricochet bests him with a sunset flip roll-up, regaining momentum after losing a US Title match to AJ Styles last night. Ricochet doesn’t miss a beat as he was heavily cheered by the fans.
Andrade defeats Rey Mysterio in a two out of three falls match in two straight falls. Double-team tactics from he and Zelina Vega led to a quick first fall and a Hammerlock DDT got him the second and final fall after a solid contest. Mysterio was dejected after the loss and it led to a backstage interview later where he questioned where his career is headed and all he wants to do is take care of his family. Andrade looked like a major star here. Hopefully, this leads to a title bout down the line.
Heyman fingerprints all over.
Drew McIntyre beat Cedric Alexander with a Claymore Kick, and these two tore the roof off the joint. The crowd loved this and it not only revitalized Drew’s career after a few down months, but Alexander was a made man, despite the loss. This was fantastic and perhaps we’ll see these two again next week in a King Of The Ring qualifier, Drew is my personal pick to win the thing at this moment. We shall see.
Robert Roode is relevant again during the Heyman Era of Raw as he made short work of No Way Jose with a Glorious DDT. He’s a talented veteran and a good hand, so hopefully they have plans for guys like he and Cesaro with long term booking.
The Revival and Lucha House Party barely have a match before a 24/7 scuttlebutt leads to Dash and Dawson winning the 24/7 title together. R-Truth wins it back after a chase and he eventually loses the title backstage to Elias, who came out of a locker room and hit a guitar shot. R-Truth is a 13 time 24/7 champion already, but now he’ll have to do business with Elias.
Huge return! Squash is getting annoying. Women’s Tag Titles in front again.
Natalya comes to the ring with her arm in a sling and she starts to talk about her father when out of nowhere, “The Boss” Sasha Banks, makes her return to a massive pop. She embraces Nattie before beating the holy hell out of her. Banks is sporting blue hair now and “The Man” Becky Lynch, comes to Natalya’s aid only to be physically leveled by Banks. The Boss puts Becky down with rapid-fire chair shots. Banks and Lynch is money and with Sasha embracing her heel persona, we’re set for some great television if they embrace the real life story of why Banks took time off.
The Viking Raiders destroyed two jobbers again and we may get a meme of Sebastian Suave, who was shown in a crumpled heap on the outside. The Raiders have title aspirations and they indirectly stated such before the match.
Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss retain the Women’s tag team titles against the Kabuki Warriors as a Twisted Bliss from Alexa is enough to put things away after a competitive match. Both teams worked well together, but Bliss was able to take advantage of a scrum later in the match to hit her finish.
Foreshadowing a title match?
Seth Rollins says he’s beaten Lesnar twice and he’s beaten AJ Styles in the past as well. He wants to remind Styles who the champ is around here. The main event is next.
The main event ends in a DQ after the OC interferes. Rollins and Styles were putting in work when Gallows and Anderson attacked. Ricochet ran out to assist, but he is leveled with a boot of doom. This led to the “Monster Among Men” clearing house and as Ricochet and Rollins recovered, Strowman handed Rollins the title and offered his hand for a shake. Is this our next Universal Title match? We shall see.- Joel Reser.
On SDL Shane imposes the only power he has left, budding talent gets a showcase, the Viper calls out Kofi’s win, Roman gets answer.
Spinning wheels again then a highlight.
Here we go again.
KO gave what we all wanted at SummerSlam by crushing the Omni-Shane. However, in true Vincent Kennedy McMahon fashion.. Shane is determine to make Kevin Owen’s life hell. Sound familiar? Let me pull up Stone Cold vs Vince on WWE Network to remind you, it’s only $9.99 a month (for now). WEll, Shane fines KO a $100k for hitting Elias in a refs uniform, because he was in uniform. Yep, here we go again. I understand in trying to make a story keep going on, but this is not what fans wanted. Yes Vince, there is such a thing called bad publicity.
Charlotte Flair defeates Ember Moon via Figure 8
Umm, here we go again. Flair is pushed to the top after SummerSlam, while the talented Moon is buried again. Not much to talk about. Unless you want to talk about the impending match vs Bayley at Clash of the Champions.
Bury some, give the spotlight to one. Roman Reigns defeats Buddy Murphy via Spear.
Well now, just when I was about to write off the 1st SDL after SummerSlam, WWE gives us this gem. What this match did was not only show Roman underestimating his opponent. But gave Buddy Murphy a spotlight on the Main Roster to show what he can do. Not only did Buddy survived a Superman Punch and Spear, but he took it to Reigns. Murphy did so well against Roman that the Big Dog gave him a nod in respect after the win. This does well for Buddy as he heads in to the King Of The Ring Tournament. This may be the in the top 5 SDL matches of 2019.
Confusing booking. Under par main event. Roman seeks his answer.
Samoa Joe defeats KO via roll up pin fall.
Joe comes in as the sacrificial crowd fodder. As KO is in his hometown and WWE wants them to cheer him. Elias again interferes allowing Joe to quickly roll up KO for the pin fall. In which goes in the opposite face direction WWE teased for Joe. Bad booking, bad storytelling, just bad all over. I mean they couldn’t find another lackey for KO to lose to? C’mon man.
Randy Orton/The Revival defeat The New Day via Shatter Machine.
Well, what we thought was over continues as Randy Orton calls out the way Kofi won their match. So this became a six man tag match. The Revival took advantage of Woods injured arm for the Shatter Machine pin fall. Afterwards Orton decimates New Day with RKO’s. Eh.. it was ok. Furthering a storyline? Maybe. Was it good booking, nope and nope. It was another case of WWE spinning their wheels.
Will Roman get his answer?
Throughout the show Roman goes Blues Clues on trying to find his would be murderer. This accumulates in to Daniel Bryan and Rowan beat down Buddy Murphy in to stating he was lying. This concludes with Roman standing in front of the Planeteers and Bryan telling him he will know next week. I’m ok with this & hope it does become a slower build for the story. Let’s just hope it wasn’t Rikishi.- David G
Jack Gallagher vs Akira Tozawa w/Brian Kendrick
As one would expect from two of the most talented guys in the division. Gentleman Jack and Akira had a fantastic outing here. It was back and forth for a solid 15 minutes until Tozawa picked up the pin. That wasn’t the end of the story though! Upon replay it appears Gallagher got his foot on the rope. But Kendrick may or may not have knocked it off.
Humberto Carrillo, Kalisto & Lince Dorado vs Ariya Daivari & the Singh Brothers- Footage was shown from earlier in the day where Carrillo found an injured Gran Metalik in a backstage hallway. With Metalik out, Drake Maverick subs Humberto into this match alongside the other 2/3 of Lucha House Party. The story for most of the match is the lack of trust between LHP and their temporary partner. However, it’s eventually Daivari who abandons his teammates. The trio of luchadors win the match and exchange tentative handshakes after.
Cruiserweight Title Match Drew Gulak(c) vs Oney Lorcan
Two days after facing each other at Summerslam. Lorcan is granted another opportunity due to some of the less than noble tactics employed by Gulak on Sunday. The previous match was a tough, hard hitting affair. But each man brought hightened animosity to the rematch making it even more smash mouth. Gulak eventually got the victory with his Gu-Lock submission. However, with Lorcan passing out rather than willingly submitting this probably won’t be the last battle these two men fight. -Jason Moore
This week NXT brought us their standard post TakeOver show featuring recaps of what went down along with backstage interviews from some of the competitors. Pete Dunne is still interested in chasing Velveteen Dream’s North American Title. Undisputed Era’s Fish & O’Reilly are mad about the finish of the tag title match. They claim that the illegal man was pinned. Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler looks banged up and doesn’t want to talk. There were also two matches taped in Toronto for this week’s broadcast.
Breezango vs Forgotten Sons (Blake & Cutler w/Ryker ringside)
The first match of the night saw the newly reunited Breezango debut their slightly more serious fashion sense against the Forgotten Sons. It’s interesting to me that NXT does such a great job of balancing the fun loving nature of a team like Breezango while also letting them be legitimate competitors in the ring. Too often on the main roster superstars are either all serious or all joke, but here in NXT they understand that it’s ok to joke around outside of the ring and then get serious when the bell rings. This was a relatively brief match, but Ryker managed to make his presence known more than once. Eventually the ref ejected him, and the fashion Police were able to focus and get the job done to establish themselves already as a top team on the NXT roster.
Breakout Tournament Finals: Jordan Myles vs Cameron Grimes
After weeks of tournament matches the final came down to Myles (fka ACH) and Grimes (fka Trevor Lee). The two former indy stars have been great so far, but this match had a little bit different feel. Myles was a bit more serious than usual and very focused on winning. Grimes did his best to ground his opponent and prevent some of the more flashy moves he’s known to employ. Both men walk away from this tournament in solid positions, but it was Myles who claims victory with a 450 splash. General Manager William Regal joined him on stage to present the contract Jordan can now use to go after the title of his choosing.-Jason Moore
Mark Coffey w/Wolfgang vs Flash Morgan Webster w/Mark Andrews
Webster and Andrews are trying to earn their way into a tag title shot when TakeOver is in their home country of Wales later this month. This is the 1st of two matches General Manager Johnny Saint has set forth for them to prove they deserve that opportunity. Primarily this was a test of the speed of the Modfather vs the power of the Scotsman. Wolfgang attempted to interfere several times, but in the end the heels only managed to distract themselves and open the door for a roll up victory from Webster.
Between matches we got a really awkward interview from Women’s Champion Toni Storm. I think she was trying to act a certain way regarding her upcoming title defense against Kay Lee Ray, but her acting skills need work because it was very unclear. A separate backstage segment was interrupted by Rhea Ripley and Piper Niven brawling their way through the hallways.
Kenny Williams vs Travis Banks
Before the match could even get started the participants were distracted by the arrival of Noam Dar who proceeded to join the commentary table. The match itself was fast paced and featured a lot of creative, cruiserweight style offense, but the real focus of the segment was on Dar talking down both of the competitors. After Banks picked up the victory he exchanges taunts with Dar from the stage.
Nina Samuels vs Isla Dawn
Both Nina or Dawn are currently involved in an ongoing storyline. But the match served as a good reminder of the quality of depth this women’s roster holds. Dawn and Samuels have met twice before with Dawn claiming victory each time. The Scot couldn’t repeat that success a third time though as Nina Samuels picked up the win.
We’re next reminded of recent battles between Dave Mastiff and Joe Coffey. Johnny Saint and his assistant Sid Scala have decided that the two powerhouses will settle their issues at TakeOver in a “Last Man Standing” match. Speaking of Takeover, Walter is shown preparing for his UK Title defense against Tyler Bate. Walter is back home in Germany berating students at his gym and pretending that they are Bate. The champion and the challenger will have a face to face encounter next week!
Kassius Ohno vs Ilja Dragonov
The veteran Ohno continues to play gatekeeper to NXT newcomers. Dragonov was undefeated entering the match, but this was by far his biggest test and his longest match since joining the brand. The match featured a lot of great technical work and some very impressive feats of strength as the young Russian managed to take his much larger opponent off the ground multiple times. Ultimately, though he looked fantastic for putting up as much fight as he did, Dragonov suffered his first NXT loss thanks to some underhanded tactics from “the knockout artist.”-Jason Moore
News & Notes:
- Summerslam 2020 will be in Boston Aug 23. WWE will broadcast from the TD Garden 4 nights in a row for Friday Smackdown, Saturday TakeOver, Sunday Summerslam, and Monday Raw.
- Smackdown Live’s Fox debut on Oct 4 has been announced as a celebration of 20 years of Smackdown. Much like the recent Raw Reunion special. WWE they’re expected to bring in as many past stars as they can for a ratings pop.
- It’s highly unlikely that this is the direction they will go. but Bayley offered the Clash of Champions SD Women’s title shot to Candice LeRae via Twitter this week. It’s far more likely that former Champion Charlotte Flair is the one facing Bayley next month.
- King of the Ring returns next week! 8 men from Raw and 8 men from SDL will participate in the multi-week tournament across both shows with the winner expected to be crowned at Clash of Champions. The official bracket has not yet been released, but the participants are The Miz, Ricochet, Cedric Alexander, Samoa Joe, Drew McIntyre, Baron Corbin, Sami Zayn, Cesaro, Kevin Owens, Ali, Apollo Crews, Chad Gable, Elias, Andrade, Buddy Murphy, and Shelton Benjamin.
- Indy standout and former Impact wrestler Santana Garrett has finally been signed to a WWE developmental deal. In addition to her experience with nearly every other promotion that features women, Garrett is no stranger to Full Sail. She worked as an NXT enhancement talent in the past as well as participating in the first Mae Young Classic.
- Also signing as part of the newest class at the PC is current Evolve Champion Austin Theory who was shown in the crowd during TakeOver Saturday night.
- 7 other less familiar names were make up the remainder of the new PC class. They were discovered at a variety of tryouts held in multiple countries recently. They are Tehuti Miles, EJ NDuka, Aleksander Jaksic, Briana Brandy, Rita Reis, Marcos Gomes, and Catalina Garcia.
- El Hido del Fantasma (Lucha Underground’s King Cuerno), who was mentioned as a possible signee last week, is said to have been introduced internally as part of the new PC class even though he’s not included in the official press release. He could potentially be revealed as soon as this week’s Full Sail taping.
- WWE Network show “Table for 3” seemingly is testing sponsorship. With one of the latest “Table of 3” in an Applebee complete with server suggestions. Braun Strowman, Alexa Bliss, and Ember Moon of course order one of each, all of which are eventually consumed by the “Monster among men.”
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