Bayless’ WWE RAW Rundown 8/21/17

August 21, 2017
From the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY
Your hosts are Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Booker T

Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman start off the show by coming out to the ring. We see still photos from last night’s Fatal Four Way Universal Title match at SummerSlam that Lesnar won after hitting Roman Reigns with the F5 after leaving on a stretcher at the beginning of the match due to Braun Strowman. The crowd chants “Suplex City” before Heyman reminds us that Lesnar retained the Universal Title at SummerSlam. Heyman then tells us how he has been telling us for years about his predictions being correct. He also tells us for the first time in Lesnar’s life he was carted off during competition but neither of other three men could get the title because Lesnar refused medical testing and came back to keep his title. The crowd cheers and even starts the “yes” chant after Heyman reminded us Lesnar pinned Reigns last night then says if there is beating or conquering that needs to be done its peformed by Lesnar but Strowman comes down to interrupt. The crowd chants for Strowman as he stares at Lesnar. Strowman tries for a chokeslam but Lesnar floats over then is able to boot Lesnar down and hit a powerslam. Strowman then follows with a secomd powerslam before yelling out and grabbing the title as the crowd goes nuts, doing the “yes” chants.

After last night, and even something you could see last week on RAW, its clear Lesnar vs. Strowman is the direction of the next title match. There wasn’t much to this segment but it was effective and the crowd went mental for Strowman, which was to be expected after his performance at SummerSlam. This is a title match that all fans will want to see. Forget Reigns, Strowman is the guy people want to see and is more charismatic. He should be the future of the company. 

Back from commercial, we get a replay of Strowman destroying Lesnar.

We are shown still photos of Cass beating Big Show last night with Enzo suspended above the ring in a shark cage, even after Enzo escaped. Enzo’s pre-match promo was about Cass stabbing Enzo in the back and promises their story will end where it started. He heads out back then comes out with a shopping cart filled with weapons.

Brooklyn Street Fight: Big Cass vs. Enzo Amore

Enzo, as we are told by Cole, has requested this match. Cass runs up the ramp and knocks Enzo down. He tosses Enzo down the ramp then rams him with the cart. Cass tosses Enzo into the barricade then into the ring. Cass grabs a chair then gives it to Enzo to help him out as Enzo charges only to get booted in the face. We head to break then return with Cass still in control. Enzo manages to stun Cass with a jawbreaker then crawls towards the car but is pulled away. Cass follows with a corner splash then raises his hand as the crowd boos while Booker tells us that Big Show is not here tonight. Enzo swings but Cass picks him up and unloads in the corner. Cass charges but Enzo low-bridges him and spills outside. Enzo crawls towards the chair and picks it up but Cass runs in and stomps on the chair then limps around. Cass hits a slam but his knee gives out then he starts getting pissed as he is in pain. A trainer comes over and the bell rings as Enzo wins by forfeit (8:52) *. After the match, Enz dances around the ring then at ringside.

Thoughts: The Cass injury was reported as being legit on and he will undergo an MRI to determine the severity of the injury. Not much to this match before the injury as it was incredibly dull and boring for a streetfight but the big story is the injury to Cass. Hopefully he has a speedy recovery.

Emma is backstage with Dana Brooke. She is on her phone and pissed about Sasha getting a title shot over her while Dana reminds her she tapped out. Emma goes on and on while claiming she started the “Diva’s Revolution” but Nia Jax interrupts to tell her they have a match tonight and the fans will be chanting for her to get CPR when its over. This was basically the same promo Emma did last week with Mickie James.

Nia Jax vs. Emma

Emma slaps Nia across the face then hammers away. Nia runs her over and drops a few elbows before tossing her in the corner. Nia then hits an avalanche but misses a second charge as Emma fights back. Nia catches Emma and hits a Samoan Drop for the win (1:07) 1/4*.

Thoughts: An easy win for Nia as they are keeping Emma’s gimmick of wanting to get a chance and getting embarrassed at each turn. After getting called up 3.5 years ago and a demotion to NXT, she has failed to get over. It might be about time to cut bait.

Elias is in the ring. He asks who wants to walk with him then makes fun of Brooklyn and starts to sing but R-Truth interrupts.

Elias vs. R-Truth

Elias backs Truth into the corner and tries a cheap shot but Truth fights back. Truth hits a spinebuster then an avalanche before hammering away. Elias catches Truth with an elbow but Truth comes back with a leg lariat then more punches but ducks his head and gets hit with the Drift Away as Elias picks up the win (1:23) 1/2*.

Thoughts: Elias is the one getting a push and picked up an easy win. This played out exactly how it should have.

Kurt Angle heads out to the ramp. He talks about promising us a surprise tonight then welcomes John Cena to RAW. Cena sprints out to the ring then plays up to the crowd. He lets the crowd partake in a dueling chant and smiles before saying “Why am I here?” He mentions seeing Angle at SummerSlam and getting asked if he wants to come to RAW. Cena said he immediately said yes not because Smackdown is bad but for a long time he wanted to come to RAW and go face-to-face with a certain superstar as Roman Reigns’ music comes out. The crowd chants as Cena says Reigns is who he was looking for on RAW. Reigns tells Cena to stop running his mouth on Twitter then says since he is in “his yard” then say what he wants to his face. The crowd chants for Undertaker as Cena says he did not come here to talk. He rips off his shirt and the two look ready to throw done but Miz & The Miztourage interrupt. Miz jokes about this is how the Barclays looks when sold out as Cena makes fun of how he pronounced the arena name. Miz goes off about having to wrestle in a nearly empty arena last night on the pre-show before saying he is sick-and-tired of Cena and Reigns always getting their moments as the crowd is going crazy. Miz is upset over the fact Angle thinks RAW needs an addition while the Intercontinental Champion “rides the pine” at SummerSlam. He then asks the crowd is RAW needs Cena and they mostly chant no as Miz chastises Cena for treating this as a joke. Miz goes off on the crowd for not knowing when to cheer or boo Cena and Reigns then demands his moment as the crowd chants “you deserve it” and “where’s his moment” happen. Cena then decides to make a main event on RAW where Miz can pick anyone one of his lackeys to go up against Reigns and himself. Miz doesnt go for it as he calls out Cena for being selfish but Samoa Joe’s interrupts. Joe stares down Cena then says he has a strong opinion about the situation and tells Miz if he has a partner, its not going to be the Miztourage as Joe says he will be in the match. Joe is sick of Reigns telling everyone how this is his yard then tells Reigns he “owns” him before attacking Cena. Reigns fights off Miz and the Miztourage while Joe slips off of Cena’s shoulders and locks on the Coquina Clutch until Reigns makes the save with the Superman Punch. Cena and Reigns are left in the ring as a “you both suck” chant breaks out.

This was quite the segment. The crowd was red-hot and Miz was gold on the mic. What he said was mostly true and that is why the crowd ate it up, even though he was the heel. Cena really hammed it up and came off obnoxious here while Reigns blended in like background scenery. The guy really does not stand out as a star and the corny “my yard” stuff is way too forced and shoehorned into everything he says. Joe’s arrival seems like they are going to possibly build to a triple-threat match between the three. Anyway,this leads to an intriguing main event of the show and is worth catching for the Miz alone. 

Gran Metalik & Rich Swann & Cedric Alexander & Mustafa Ali vs. Drew Gulak & Ariya Daivari & Noam Dar & Tony Nese

Gulak grounds Metalik with a side headlock to start. The announcers talk about how Neville winning the Cruiserweight Champion opens up the doors for a new challenger. Metalik runs wild then Daivari and Ali tag into the match. Ali comes back with a crossbody for two then uses a front facelock. Swann is in and sends Daivari scurrying after using a roundhouse kick. Dar refuses to tag in so we get Nese as Swann dropkicks him outside. Nese runs in to cut off a dive attempt then counts his ab muscles as we head to commercial. The match returns with Gulak working the leg of Swann, who eventually comes back with a enziguiri as the crowd is now doing the wave. Hot tag to Cedric as he runs wild on everyone until Gulak makes the save on a pin attempt. Gulak gets dumped then Metalik hits a ropewalk moonsault to the floor. Back inside, Nese gets two with a backslide but Cedric comes back with a handspring enziguiri then the Lumbar Check for the win (8:42) **1/4.

Thoughts: I feel for the Cruiserweights. They try but the company has no clue how to get people into this division. The crowd was disinterested too. With the win they might be building up Cedric as the next challenger for Neville but at this point there are no credible challengers left on the heel or face side I can think of besides him. Although a future NXT callup (Itami or Strong) could be in the works.

Backstage, Charly Caruso is with Neville. She asks him about beating Akira Tozawa at SummerSlam to regain the Cruiserweight Title. Neville puts down the crowd for thinking a “Japanese punk” like Tozawa could win last night. Titus O’Neill interrupts with Tozawa and tells Neville they can use verbal insults too and calls Neville “gargoyle” before saying Tozawa will have his title rematch tomorrow night on 205 Live. And we now have our 205 Live main event as these three will have their third match in an eight day span.

Angle has Jason Jordan backstage with him. Jordan says he is not looking for preferential treatment but wants to face Finn Balor. Angle asks if he is ready for that level of competition ten gives him the match. There is no chemistry whatsoever between these two in this storyline and its failing to get Jordan over. It was a terrible idea to begin with and the longer it goes and worse it gets nothing good will happen from it.

Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins come out to the ring proudly wearing the RAW Tag Team Titles. They pump up the crowd by talking about how they reunited and won the belts. Ambrose says they know Cesaro & Sheamus have a rematch coming and will face anyone at anytime. However, the Hardy Boyz come out and head into the ring. We get a “delete” chant as Matt teases that before Jeff congratulates the new champions. Matt says that they know about brothers fighting and when they reunite it is a beautiful thing and have come out here to challenge them to a match. Seth asks if they are serious since they grew up idolizing them but Matt says they have been revolutionizing the Tag Team Division and want to do it tonight in Brooklyn as the champs agree and ask for a referee, who comes out as Cole wonders if this mach will happen as we head to commercial.

Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins (c) vs. The Hardy Boyz

This is a non-title match. Matt and Ambrose start this off. The Hardy Boyz work over Dean until he makes the tag. Rollins kicks Jeff down for a two count as we see Cesaro & Sheamus watching backstage on a monitor. The Hardy Boy come back and hit Rollins with a pendulum slam that looked nasty. Rollins stops a charge and sends Matt into the corner then tags out as the champs take control briefly until all four men enter and we get a stalemate. Everyone brawls until then champs are on the outside with Jeff taking out Seth from the apron as we head to break. The match returns with Rollins kicking down Jeff then making the tag. Ambrose runs wild on Matt until missing a pescado. Matt backdrops Rollins outside then Jeff flies out with the Poetry in Motion. Back inside, Jeff hits a corner splash on Ambrose then tries the Whisper in the Wind but Rollins pushes Ambrose out of harms way as Jeff crashes and burns. Rollins tags in and works a front facelock. The champs now cut off the ring as Matt rallies the crowd behind his brother. Jeff finally comes back with the Whisper in the Wind then tags out as Matt runs wild on Rollins. He gets a two count with a bulldog. Ambrose makes a blind tag then holds up Matt so Rollins can hit a sling blade as Jeff breaks up that pin attempt. All four men are brawling but the Hardy Boyz get dumped while the champs fly out with stereo topes. Matt then slams Rollins on the apron and runs inside where he hits the Side Effect on Ambrose after a reversal sequence. Matt heads up top but Ambrose cuts him off then Ambrose heads up and knocks Matt off. Jeff makes the blind tag and tries to hit Ambrose with the Swanton but Ambrose got his knees up as everyone is down. Ambrose is up first but cannot hit Jeff with the Dirty Deeds so he makes the tag and the champs hit Jeff with the ripcord knee smash/Dirty Deeds combo for the win (16:49) ***1/4.

Thoughts: This was fun and a competitive win for the champs. I thought Rollins was knocked loopy during the pendulum slam spot but he was able to finish the match. The crowd liked both teams and they wrestled it as a babyface match too and did it well.

Braun Strowman vs. Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title is announced for No Mercy

Miz & The Miztourage are in the locker room with Samoa Joe. Miz is flattered Joe wants to part of the Miztourage and says he has Cena’s number and knows his weaknesses but Joe tells him to shut up. He tells The Miztourage to keep their presence and orders them what to do before walking away.

Sasha Banks heads out to the ring as we look at still photos from SummerSlam where she defeated Alexa Bliss for the RAW Women’s Title. She talks about being from Boston but for the past three years she has left her heart in Brooklyn. She mentions facing Bayley at the first Brooklyn Takeover and faced Charlotte last year, even wishing Ric Flair best wishes, before saying we do not need a “fake goddess” like Alexa. Sasha says she does not need to talk her way out of a match and does not need Nia Jax but Alexa interrupts. Alexa then laughs about Sasha saying she will defend a title as she has never made a single Women’s Title defense despite four title reigns. Sasha then says Alexa has run away or tapped out in all of their matches then suggests she use her rematch clause right now. Alexa says maybe she should but will not as none of these “Brooklyn fan boys” deserve her celebration and does not want to break Sasha’s heart but will use her rematch clause for next week, where Sasha will not be the “legit boss” but rather the “legit loser.” The story for Sasha’s fourth title reign, which they were hyping as a big deal earlier in the show, is that she has yet to make a successful title defense. If you have Alexa win next week then you are using the formula that got Bayley to were she is today as storylines designed to prove the heel right does nothing but kill off your babyface. And, while Alexa’s promo was good overall the last line was just awful.

Jason Jordan vs. Finn Balor

Jordan grounds Balor to start. He stays in control using mat work until Balor catches him with a dropkick. Jordan extend his hand but Balor kicks it away then takes him down before using a side headlock. Jordan gets dumped outside but rolls back inside to avoid a running soccer kick as we head to break. The match returns with Balor in control as he keeps kicking out Jordan’s leg. Jordan fights back and gets more aggressive. He gets two with a butterfly suplex then uses a butterfly lock. Balor gets to his feet and eventually escapes and hits a basement dropkick as the crowd is focused on something else. Balor runs wild then tosses Jordan outside. He dropkicks him then connects with a soccer kick before heading inside where Jordan tosses Balor with an overhead suplex. Jordan tries his finisher but Balor falls on top then Balor hits an overhead kick as both men are down. Jordan picks up Balor and keeps ramming him into the corner but gets kneed on a charge. Balor connects with a sling blade and a shotgun dropkick before the Coup de Grace gets the win (11:42) **3/4.

Thoughts: The crowd was distracted by a beach ball and did not pay any attention to the match itself, which was actually good. The longer this Jordan storyline continues the less over he will become as he is not getting any reaction whatsoever and no one bought him as having a chance in this match. I have no idea what they do with Balor but a move to Smackdown Live might be for the best as Cena added to RAW means he is further down the card.

Miz w/ Maryse & The Miztourage & Samoa Joe vs. John Cena & Roman Reigns

This match started during the break. Axel tags out after Cena hit him with a bulldog then we get Joe and Cena as the camera shows security taking away the beach ball in the crowd. Joe beats on Cena in the crowd as an “asshole” chant is directed towards security. Miz is in and he beats on Cena too. Cena catches Miz with a clothesline as the crowd is entertaining themselves with a wave. Cena even joins in with them but gets hit with a DDT as Miz nearly put him away. Cena is isolated in the corner but fights back and tags out as Reigns runs wild on Joe. Reigns misses a Superman Punch and gets hit with an uranage then Miz tags and tosses Reigns outside. Bo clotheslines Reigns then Miz tosses him back in for two. Reigns fights back and lifts up Miz with one hand for a powerbomb as both men are down. Joe tags in and targets the neck of Reigns and Miz does the same but Reigns escapes and tags out as Cena runs wild. Joe puts Cena in the clutch but that gets broken up when Joe ducked a Superman Punch that ended up hitting Cena. Joe tosses Reigns outside but is hit with a Superman Punch while attempting a dive then Cena blocks the Skull Crushing Finale and puts Miz away with the AA (13:07) *3/4.

Thoughts: Take away the crowd being distracted and this was still a subpar match. Cena really just seemed like he was fucking around out there and his selling was abysmal if you ask me. Despite the miscommunication, Reigns & Cena were able to win but I’m sure a pissed off Joe will confront them both next week. Poor Miz had to eat the pin here after wrestling in front of a nearly empty arena last night.

Final Thoughts: The big news is that Cena is back on RAW and Strowman vs. Lesnar will take place at No Mercy. The top of the card on RAW is looking good as Cena vs. Reigns is going to be a major match when it takes place. They also set up a match for next week and for 205 Live too. However, the women’s and Cruiserweight Divisions are short on credible title contenders and the Jordan/Angle should probably be scrapped entirely at this point because I cannot see anyone caring in the near future. The crowd became distracting at the end and its a little weird to get that preoccupied by a beach ball but like Bryan Alvarez said on “Wrestling Observer Radio,” Cesaro ripping the beach ball might encourage more people to bring them to the shows. Anyway, RAW at least came out of SummerSlam in much, much better shape than Smackdown and have the next month to build towards No Mercy.

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