Monday Night Raw was LIVE from the Philips Arena in Atlanta, GA on 8/1/2016!
We immediately start things off right as Sasha Banks heads to the ring and thanks the fans for supporting her as she captured the WWE women’s title last week. She talks about setting a standard and references her match with Bayley. Charlotte comes out and refutes her claims and the two have a back and forth exchange. Charlotte has a good line as the crowd chants “you tapped out” by saying she was swatting at a fly. “Quiet, quiet, quiet”. I love when Jericho does that and he does it tonight. Chris Jericho comes out and defends Sasha’s comment about Charlotte being the result of a Ric Flair one night stand. Enzo Amore comes out after that and we have a brilliant exchange between all four people. This leads to Mick Foley coming out and making a mixed tag match and we’ll have Kevin Owens on commentary for it!
Chris Jericho and Charlotte defeat Enzo Amore and Sasha Banks in a mixed tag match after Charlotte hits Banks with Natural Selection after Dana Brooke interferes. Post match, Big Cass sends Jericho fleeing.
Braun Strowman defeats Evan Anderholm in a squash match with the reverse chokeslam. Prior to the match, Byron Saxton interviewed the kid who says he only took the match because he got a thousand bucks, if he wins, he gets five. Byron says he’d be smarter playing the lottery.
The Shining Stars defeat The Golden Truth with a rollup after R-Truth misses a tag from Goldust while playing Pokemon Go.
Seth Rollins takes the microphone away from Michael Cole and proceeds to interview Finn Balor in his stead. Rollins compares Balor to second tier remakes and says he played second fiddle to all the work that Seth had done first. Balor mocks Seth’s laugh after Rollins has to pause so the Atlanta crowd can do the Braves chop. Balor promises to become the man when he bests Seth just he does everytime he faces someone. Balor says that unlike Seth, he’s earned everything he’s ever gone after. Rollins begs to differ and says he earned everything he’s gotten and the only thing he’s gonna be handed is the Universal title. Balor says that’s incorrect, he’ll be handed his arse. Rollins tries to strike, but instead, he eats an overhead kick that sends him into retreat mode. The two ring generals eye what looks to be a splendid Summerslam main event.
A graphic is shown for the match that will occur after the break, a US title match between the newly married Rusev, and Mark Henry.
Rusev (c) (w/ Lana) retains the US Title against Mark Henry via submission with the Accolade.
Roman Reigns takes exception to Rusev putting down the American people and the American Olympians. He’s getting a mixed reaction compared to the usual negative feedback from the crowd. He did have a tremendous matchup last week with his three opponents and then ultimately, Finn Balor. The two men have a stare-down and have an exchange. Rusev goes to leave, but not before he eats a beautiful Superman punch from the former world champion. Looks like we have the start of a new program. These two should produce something enjoyable.
Video package for Nia Jax and words from Michael Cole about her continued dominance tonight.
Titus O’ Neil defeats Darren Young (w/ Bob Backlund) with a handful of tights. O’Neil worked as a heel for the entire match and the two men put on a very enjoyable contest for the time given. O’Neil may be looking at a featured spot as a heel on Raw.
Backstage segment with Stephanie McMahon giving Mick Foley a tablet to get him “with the times”. Sheamus interrupts the segment asking if they are all jokes. Before he can finish, Cesaro makes his presence known. Stephanie says she and Mick both saw the interviews on the network where both men questioned where they were picked. If you haven’t seen that interview that Cesaro did with JoJo, find it. That was incredible. Foley books singles action between the two with the winner getting a future US title shot.
After the break, Titus O’Neil threatens Bob Backlund who calls him on his cheating. Darren Young attacks O’Neil and asks if his former partner has lost his mind. We head to the ring.
Nia Jax defeats Ariel Monroe with a Samoan Drop/Forward Slam combo in another squash match. Nia attacks her opponent again after the match after a poorly worded question from Byron Saxton.
Tom Phillips interviews Sami Zayn about his match with Seth Rollins that will take place later. Sami says Seth’s one big weakness is his mouth. Zayn said it’s the same issue Kevin Owens had right before he beat him. Zayn says he’s got something to prove just like Rollins does too. They quickly pan to the New Day backstage who are headed to the ring for tag team action against Gallows and Anderson.
The New Day setup a tag team situation against Gallows and Anderson by cutting a promo in Xavier Woods hometown. One of the members of the trio would be banned from ringside after Gallows and Anderson lodged a complaint. Woods wouldn’t be fighting in front of his hometown after drawing the wrong piece of fruit. Kofi and Big E. had oranges and Woods had a banana. You can figure out the joke that followed but it led to tag team action.
Big E. is shown backstage having his stomach injury tended too following the assault from The Club before the commercial. They head to ringside for Cesaro and Sheamus in a singles bout, the winner seeing a future US title opportunity.
The New Day defeat Gallows and Anderson via pin fall after a Big E. rollup during a 2Sweet exchange. After the match, the Club begins an assault that eventually ends with Big E. eating the Boot of Doom to further the program and setup a tag team title match for Summerslam. Gallows and Anderson looked strong even with the loss. Xavier Woods is decimated in his hometown of Atlanta after the match as well. Big E. takes even more an assault after Woods does. That match should be great.
Cesaro defeats Sheamus with the Gotch Neutralizer after a brilliant matchup with Sheamus. Very exciting work here by both men. A great matchup between two capable hands and Cesaro will be heading towards a future title opportunity against Rusev!
Cesaro and Sheamus are still trying to go after one another, but we pan to Heath Slater standing in the ring with Jinder Mahal and they have formed up 2LB! They are only missing Drew Galloway to reform the band! Mick Foley apparently doesn’t want a reunion tour as he gives the two men an opportunity to face each other in a match and the winner gets the final Raw roster spot. Heath doubts that Jinder in gonna turn on him, but he turns and eats a Yakuza kick for a quick three count. We’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the veteran presence of Mahal once again and it’ll be great to see him given an opportunity to succeed on Monday Nights!
Chris Jericho is backstage and he cuts a promo as only Chris Jericho can running down both Enzo and Cass while defending his $750 scarf. He says if Enzo has Cass defending his back, then he has someone defending his and it’s Jim. He basically makes up a name and says the guy represented Winnipeg in shot-put. The scene pans out and Kevin Owens is standing there and tells Jericho the guy isn’t a real person. He says not to worry though, he’ll get Jericho’s back. Looks like a tag team affair for Summerslam? I can get on board for this one. After the commercial, Sami Zayn and Seth Rollins will do battle!
Seth Rollins defeats Sami Zayn with the Pedigree in the main event of the evening. What a sensational match! I am convinced at this point that the former El Generico doesn’t know how to have a bad match. With respect, Rollins is the same way. These two really got after it as one would expect and it was an absolute treat with great interactions and storytelling and captivating nearfalls. Rollins looked strong after the match as he prepares for the title match with Balor at Summerslam.
We find out after the break that next week Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs witll be a guest star on next week’s RAW. Hate if you will, the man is funny, was responsible for some great music and just so happened to grace a recent Cigar Aficionado that I own because he’s a man who a passion for fine cigars. Needless to say, hopefully that will be fun. We lead into “The Advocate” Paul Heyman is out for the final segment of the evening to promote “The Real” Brock Lesnar (Yes, I am going to call “The Beast” that again) and his forthcoming Summerslam match with “The Viper” Randy Orton. Heyman calls him the “Viper Slayer”. Brock comes out to a positive reaction which is shocking considering the allegations surrounding him and his UFC fight. They vilified Reigns for popping and getting suspended for 30 days, but “The Beast” is an incredible attraction no matter what and Brock doesn’t care. He’ll go home and enjoy life, it’s what makes him so cool. “Suplex City” chant early. Heyman uses his words to paint a masterpiece. He verbally destroys Orton, the entire McMahon family and even good ole’ Mick Foley, but in character of course. He talks about Orton not being man enough to get Lesnar in position for an…THE VIPER STRIKES! Before he can even say what we think he’s gonna say, Orton strikes with an RKO on behalf of Smackdown LIVE and the crowd is going bananas. That was a sensational promo and a wicked finish to the show. That’s how you build a program! That’s all she wrote for RAW!
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