WWE: Monday Night Raw was LIVE from the Toyota Centre in Houston, TX on 8/29/16!
The show starts off with an in-ring interview segment with Corey Graves and the four men involved in the fatal fourway elimination match tonight for the Universal Title. Seth Rollins says he is responsible for the entire match thanks to Finn Balor getting injured. Big Cass, Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns are there as well. Seth says that he’s gonna question the one man who needs to prove himself, KO. Owens plugs Corey Graves “Culture Shock” and panders to the fans in a very sarcastic way. Classic KO. A MASSIVE “Fight Owens Fight” chant breaks out. Wow. KO mocks the segment as if it were a therapy session. KO says he’s a prizefighter and the stakes are higher than ever. KO says Seth talks big, but he delivers big. KO turns to Roman Reigns, who is heavily booed, and Cass gets a lukewarm reaction. KO says Cass is really tall and that’s about it. Crowd comes alive with a “How U Doin” chant. KO mocks the fact that Enzo talks for Cass and he calls him a puppet who gets their strings pulled. Cass says he gets it. Nobody expects him to win, and he’s got nothing to lose. Seth says Enzo even took out a bet against him. Gold.
“No matter what you’ve been telling yourself the past few years, size does matter.” -Big Cass referencing Seth’s twitter debacle
That was brilliant. You could tell Seth was flustered by that crack. Seth cracks on Cass and KO again. Roman is sitting there quietly as Seth references the fact that death and taxes are guaranteed as is Seth beating Roman. Roman stands up to talk, but he decks KO. Cass attacks Rollins as Cass and Roman have a staredown. Seth takes Cass out and a superman punch by Reigns clears the ring and stands tall as his music plays to end the opening segment.
Chris Jericho is shown backstage wearing a quality scarf and looking as surly as ever. We find out that after the commercial, we’ll receive the gift of Jericho as he competes against Neville in singles action. After the break, a wonderful promo with Tom Phillips about Neville getting “it”. Phillips finishes the line and Jericho says what does “it” even mean? Neville will get the gift of Jericho and he can “drink it in maaaan”. Brilliant.
Chris Jericho defeats Neville via submission with the Walls Of Jericho. Oh what a match! If they started off every Raw with a good 12-15 minute match like this one was, we’d be in good shape for future fans. Many near falls and tremendous back and forth action. Neville missed a high risk maneuver opportunity and Jericho countered a hurricanrana into the Walls with the knee to the neck for the victory.
Backstage segment where Bayley runs into the world tag team champions, The New Day. The New Day do the Bayley chants and she does the New Day shtick before Dana Brooke interrupts her and plugs “swerved” at the same time. Dana said she doesn’t belong there, where the New Day remind Dana who she beat. Dana says maybe she should go find Gallows and Anderson. The New Day mock that idea and it looks like we’re gonna have a mixed six man tag match later in the evening the way it sounds.
Nia Jax defeats Hyan in a squash match with the Samoan Drop/Sidewalk Slam. Before the match, Hyan, a Houston local, was interviewed about facing Nia Jax. She stated she had a lot of heart, but she is told by Andrea DeMarco that hopefully after the match she’ll still have her heart. Nia made short work of the enhancement talent.
Pre-taped promo with former doctors, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. They have left the medical profession and moved on to opening an Octogenarian center. They say the Dudleys can play table tennis, watch Matlock and do other things. They turn their attentions to the New Day where they’ll have help from “nurse” Dana Brooke. Looks like the mixed tag is on.
Sami Zayn defeats Jinder Mahal with the Helluva Kick. Jinder is turning heads since his return from an in-ring perspective. You can really see how trusted a hand he is. He and Sami put on a very watchable match for the time given. Jinder ultimately ate an exploder suplex and the Helluva kick to end his night, but nevertheless, job well done. After the break, we’ll have the mixed six man tag match as announced earlier.
Bayley and The New Day defeat Dana Brooke and The Club thanks to a Bayley-To-Belly suplex by Bayley on Dana Brooke. Kofi, Big E. and Bayley were the tandem in for the faces and we had Charlotte on commentary during the match as well. The crowd very much enjoyed this one as both the in-ring showing and entertainment value were high for all parties involved. With the injury and suspension bugs that have bitten the RAW women’s division, matches like these are a very smart way to keep things fresh. They add intrigue to the storyline progression as well. Bayley is incredibly over, as are the world tag team champions, and this was a great treat for Houston fans.
Cesaro is shown backstage as Tom Phillips comes in for a brief interview on the best of seven series. Cesaro talks about being in a tough spot being down one match already. He says nobody likes Sheamus. The crowd gets into the segment as well. He says he’ll take Sheamus for the big swing. The best of seven series continues next!
Sheamus defeats Cesaro via submission with a Texas Cloverleaf to go up 2-0 in the best of seven series. This was an even better matchup than their first. Both men had very decisive near falls and sold beautifully. The end came as Cesaro was backdropped into the ringpost on the outside and Sheamus was able to get the submission victory back inside the ring. Cesaro certainly in a bad way now after falling in two falls. The comeback trail begins now for the leader of the Cesaro section!
A beautiful dedication for the late, great Harry Fujiwara, better known as Mr. Fuji, was shown after the match. Mr. Fuji was a tremendous prankster, a five time world tag team champion and the manager of such tandems as the Orient Express and such tremendous singles stars such as Don “The Rock” Muraco and of course, the former world champion, the late Yokozuna. Fuji Vice was shown. That is still one of the grandest skits that you’ll ever enjoy. Thank you for your contributions to the ring and ringside area Mr. Fuji. We will certainly pass the salt for you!
Braun Strowman defeats Americo in a squash match with a high altitude flapjack. Yes, Americo. This undersized luchador was set to speak on why he was going to best Braun Strowman, but he was jobbed out in short order. He had very similar gear to Konnan’s “Max Moon” gimmick. This was simply amazing though. These get better each week.
After the break, the RAW commissioner, Stephanie McMahon, heads to the ring and she calls out “The Advocate” Paul Heyman to answer for the action of Brock Lesnar at Summerslam. Steph orders Paul to the ring for an apology. She doesn’t like being referred to as “Madame McMahon” as an “ECW” chant breaks out. She references when she bought ECW and they bring out a “CM Punk” chant which is quickly ignored. Heyman says Lesnar besting Orton was a victory for the RAW brand, and RAW won Summerslam thanks to Brock. Paul Heyman is there “hat in hand” to pay Brock’s very fair $500 fine which he promptly pays in singles. That was brilliant. Stephanie was not pleased with that gesture. She says Brock provides value, but what value does Paul provide? She says, what will he tell his children when he’s fired for patronizing her. There is a storm coming, and it’s coming his ugly way, according to Steph. Heyman says his client is the storm. Heyman says the apology goes out to Stephanie McMahon. Paul understands the compromising position that he puts her in with the board of directors, her father and others. He says he is staring at the heir to the boardroom and the entire McMahon family fortune. Paul pleads for her to accept his sincerest apology. Stephanie does so and she leaves the ring and heads up the ramp as Heyman smiles in the ring.
Darren Young (w/ Bob Backlund) defeats Titus O’Neil with a crucifix. The never ending feud continues this week with Young getting the upper hand with a surprise pinfall. After the match, Titus with a vicious assault on the faces. It is what you’ve expected from the feud through this point and nothing much has changed. After the match, Seth Rollins hugs Stephanie McMahon, who is backstage with Mick Foley, and she wishes him good luck.
The entrances are made with Reigns heading out first, KO coming out second to a great reaction, Rollins out third and Big Cass coming out last with Enzo Amore leading the charge. They do their introductory shtick and get a great reaction as the bell sounds and JoJo makes the introductions. The match is underway after the break!
Kevin Owens defeats Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Big Cass to become the new Universal Champion. Incredible spot early in the match where Cass boots Roman over the top rope. They both spilled to the floor like an overflowing glass. Unreal! It looked sensational! Reigns takes flight over the top rope, crashing onto his opponents on the floor. Big Cass is the first man eliminated as Rollins hits him with a superkick to the face and then Kevin Owens gets the three count after a big frogsplash off the top rope. They take the final commercial break and return to crown the new Universal Champion. Triple H comes out of nowhere via the crowd and pedigrees the hell out of Roman Reigns! He tells Seth to get him in the ring and he complies. Reigns eats a three count and is eliminated! It’s Owens and Rollins! Oh snap! It’s the ultimate swerve! Rollins eats another pedigree! Owens with the cover and we’ve got a NEWWWWWWW Universal Champion and it’s a tremendous finale! Triple H is back and he’s putting the belt on the right guy! So many cool ways to go with this angle. Triple H using the NXT guys, HHH pissed at Seth for hurting Finn. This should make for terrific TV and what a reward for one of the hardest workers in the business! A huge “You deserve it” chant to end the show! What a colossal Raw!
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