Bayless’ WWE RAW Rundown 8/7/17

August 7, 2017
From the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Your hosts are Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Booker T

Miz TV kicks off the show. Miz tells the crowd that he is not in the mood and that the show will not begin until he gets what he wants, which is for Jason Jordan to come out right now. Miz says he is tired of being cheap-shotted on his own show and wants to finish what Jordan started last week. However, Kurt Angle comes out and says that Jordan will not be a guest on his show tonight because he’ll be facing Curtis Axel. Angle then says he has a guest for Miz that will exceed expectations as Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman come out to the ring as the crowd goes nuts. Miz tells Heyman when his hand goes up his mouth goes shut as Heyman smiles and tosses the microhpone before Miz goes on about Lesnar being guaranteed to lose at SummerSlam. Miz then questions who will walk out of SummerSlam as the Universal Champion as Lesnar does not have to be pinned in order to lose the title. Miz also brings up how Heyman said they will leave the WWE if Lesnar does not walk out of SummerSlam as the champion and will put his money on anyone but Lesnar because the others will walk out as the champion and calls out Lesnar for taking his ball and going home if he loses. Heyman then tells introduces himself and does some role playing with Miz and the Miztourage. He has Miz play Roman Reigns, Bo Dallas as Samoa Joe, then Curtis Axel as Braun Strowman. Heyman then tells Lesnar to give us a preview of SummerSlam as Lesnar clotheslines the Miztourage and hits Miz with a German suplex before destroying all three men.

The end of this was awesome with Lesnar kicking all sorts of ass, including one of the best F5’s I’ve ever seen on Bo Dallas. And I like how they are playing up the story that Lesnar can lose without even getting pinned and how they are stacking the odds against him. However, I was not a fan of the beginning with Miz calling out Jordan, only for Angle to come out and basically fight his son’s battle for him. I have no idea what they are trying to go for with those two but its been three weeks now and its not compelling in the slightest. 

Seth Rollins vs. Sheamus w/ Cesaro

This is a rematch from last week, where Rollins won with a sunset flip. Rollins takes control early. Sheamus catches Rollins dive to the outside but Rollins fights out and knocks Sheamus down. Rollins snaps Sheamus’ neck then gets two with a springboard clothesline. Sheamus crotches Rollins on the top rope then knocks him outside before heading out. Rollins tries to fight back but Sheamus slams him on the apron as we head to break. We return with Sheamus in control. He cuts off a comeback then hits Rollins with the Beats of the Bodhram before hitting a rolling senton. Rollins ducks the Brogue Kick and lands a few kicks of his own as both men are down. Rollins runs into a double boot in the corner but Rollins cuts off Sheamus up top. Sheamus fights him off a few times but Rollins takes him down with a hurricarana. Rollins gets two with a super kick then uses rapid fire kicks to the face. Rollins hits a sling blade and knocks Cesaro off of the apron. Rollins heads up top but Cesaro distracts him then Sheamus uses a reverse rollup for the win (8:39) **1/4. After the match, Rollins hits both men with a tope but ends up getting outnumbered. The Champs beat on Rollins then look towards the ramp in anticipation of Ambrose’s arrival but he never shows up so they take Rollins inside and hit an assisted Samoan Drop as the crowd boos.

Thoughts: Their match last week was better but they are continuing the story of Rollins and Ambrose, who does not trust his former Shield partner and wants nothing to do with him while Rollins is trying to do whatever it takes to regain his trust.

After the break, we see Rollins limp around backstage. He sees Ambrose, who told him not to do that again as it makes him look like a jerk. Rollins tells Ambrose he is a jerk and asks what he has to do to prove he’s not the guy who screwed him over. Ambrose tells Rollins that he has Cesaro tonight and has to go alone as he still does not trust Rollins. Both guys, Ambrose in particular, are starting to seek their teeth into this storyline and its resulting in some of the better segments on the show.

Jason Jordan comes out for his scheduled match against Curtis Axel. However, Axel is not medically cleared as Angle then finds some guy warming up and sends him to the ring instead as we learn his name is Jean-Pierre Goulet. He is actually Canadian Independent wrestler Tomer Sidi Shalom.

Jason Jordan vs. Jean-Pierre Goulet

Jordan comes out to crickets here. We get a “let’s go, Tomer” chant for Goulet as Jordan tosses him around. Jordan finally puts this guy out of his misery with a pop-up neckbreaker (1:21).

Thoughts: Jordan is not over at all in this role. The problem with this storyline is that no one believes Jordan is Angle’s son and they need a hook to make you want to suspend disbelief enough or to even entertain but they are failing at both. Plus, at this point I believe the crowd is just waiting for Jordan to turn but in the process are losing patience and that could turn into restlessness. They need to do something with this angle before it turns into a complete failure.

Bayley heads out to the ring with her arm in a sling. Charly Caruso asks her about suffering a separated shoulder last week in here match against Nia Jax. We see the replay of the injury with Bayley getting shoved down to the mat before Charly asks her about not even looking up at the footage. Bayley says that it “sucks” and watching the footage makes her mad and angry. She talks about knowing she was hurt during the match but if she did not finish it no one would take her seriously as a challenger at SummerSlam. Bayley ignores the boos and says she is thanking those sending their wishes. She is getting booed quite a bit here. Bayley is asked about her replacement at SummerSlam as Bayley thinks it should be her friend, Sasha Banks. We then have Sasha come out and give Bayley a hug as she will face Alicia Fox and Emma in a Triple Threat qualifier after the break. Poor Bayley got booed by the crowd here and seemed thrown off a bit by that but was able to turn it around. When you get positioned to fail as a babyface, as we’ve seen happen to Bayley since she became champion, this is the result even if you are injured.

Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox vs. Emma

Alexa Bliss comes out to join on commentary. Sasha tosses Emma outside but gets booted down by Fox. Sasha ducks a kick in the corner and gets two with a rollup as Alexa talks about not having any sympathy for weak people like Bayley. Emma wheelbarrow suplexes Sasha into the ring apron then heads inside and takes down Fox. The crowd chants for Emma as she is in control of the match. Cole brings up the rumors of Alexa being afraid to face Sasha as Alexa says that they are just rumors. Fox fights back and gets a nearfall with a Northern Lights Suplex but Sasha runs in with a Shining Wizard on Emma then runs wild on both women. Emma yanks Sasha off of Fox and almost gets the pin. Emma gets one with a rollup then tosses Fox down before hitting a running tackle in the corner that Sasha breaks up. Fox puts Sasha in a small package for two but misses a scissors kick then Sasha puts her on the Banks Statement. Emma rolls up Sasha for two but Sasha counters with the Banks Statement for the win (4:45) *1/2.

Thoughts: Despite tapping out, Emma got some shine here and reminded us that she is more than capable in the ring. Fox had a bad night as Sasha won, and that was the expected result.

Renee Young is backstage with Braun Strowman. She asks him about the importance of tonight’s Last Man Standing match. Strowman talks about how much he enjoys beating on Reigns and promises to turn the “Big Dog” into a “puppy.” The lines were not the best but Strowman’s delivery can make this stuff work.

Enzo Amore comes out. He does his shtick before introducing the Big Show. Enzo tells Show they are like a “dream team” then Show talks about Cass needing to learn respect but they get interrupted by Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson, who put them down and say if they want a challenge, they are standing right here. Gallows says if they accept, they can brag about beating another pair of “nerds.” Enzo says he was too distracted to hear what they were saying then calls them “Dr. Evil and Mini Me” before accepting the match.

Enzo Amore & Big Show vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson

Show takes down Gallows, who retreats halfway up the ramp with his partner right before the break. The action returns with Gallows & Anderson beating on Enzo. They cut off the ring as Cole talks about Scott Dawson’s biceps injury and how he will be likely need surgery. Enzo dodges a diving attack in the corner from Anderson but is unable to tag out. Gallows is in and cuts off a comeback before landing a super kick. Big Cass comes down the ramp now as Show is distracted. Gallows then boots Show off of the apron then Anderson comes in or the Magic Killer but Enzo fights that off. Enzo rolls up Gallows for two but Anderson breaks that up with a running kick for the win (6:36) *1/2. After the match, Cass beats on Show until Enzo flies out with a tope. Enzo hammers away until Cass tosses him into the barricade then back inside. Enzo rolls out and has Cass chase him until Show pops up and knocks him out.

Thoughts: What we saw was fine but most of this took place during the break. And the finish was done to add more fuel to the Show/Cass feud.

We get a replay from last week where Finn Balor played mind games with Bray Wyatt and got some revenge. After that we are shown Balor heading to the ring as we go to commercial.

Finn Balor heads to the ring after we return from commercial. He tells Toronto that they are Balor Club and the crowd starts a mild “too sweet” chant. Balor talks about kicking Bray’s teeth down his throat. He also talks about Bray and says when fear stands up to you, kick it in the face before he tells Bray he will finish whatever Bray wants to start. The lights go off and Bray appears in the ring with Balor perched on the top turnbuckle. Balor eludes Bray and kicks him in the face then takes him down with a sling blade. The lights go off and again then return with Balor alone in the ring. We hear Bray laughing and see him on the screen. Bray tells Balor after he rips him down from the heavens and the fans will fall with him before telling Balor to “run.” This feud is not clicking, even with the fans into Balor. Its getting to the point where you roll your eyes whenever a Bray promo happens on TV. Its one of the least interesting characters in wrestling at this point.

Cesaro w/ Sheamus vs. Dean Ambrose

These two end in a stalemate after some mat work. Cesaro takes Ambrose down with a test-of-strength but Ambrose escapes. Cesaro then beats on Ambrose in the corner but Ambrose comes back with a clothesline before landing mounted punches in the corner. Cesaro takes Ambrose down and his face whacks the turnbuckle as he regains control of the match. Cesaro works a chinlock but Ambrose gets out and clotheslines Cesaro outside. Ambrose takes out Cesaro with a pescado then becomes distracted by Sheamus until Cesaro attacks from behind as we head to break. The match returns with Ambrose fighting out of an abdominal stretch. They end up on top where Ambrose gets crotched then Cesaro stands on the post and tries for a superplex to the floor but Ambrose counters as both men are out on the mat. Cesaro is up first and targets the back. He puts on a backbreaker submission but Ambrose escapes then starts to fire up. Cesaro cuts him off with an uppercut that gets two. Cesaro follows with rolling gutwrench suplexes for a nearfall but eats boot on a charge then the two work a reversal sequence ending with Cesaro fighting out of a sharpshooter attempt. Ambrose low-bridges Cesaro then sets him up for a tope but gets cut off with an uppercut as Cesaro runs in and makes the cover but only gets two. Cesaro then sets up for a superplex but that gets blocked as Ambrose dumps Cesaro then almost puts him away with a La Magistral. They slug it out until Ambrose hits his rebound clothesline as both men are down. Sheamus then provides a distraction as Cesaro takes Ambrose down and applies the sharpshooter. Ambrose is fighting with everything he has then reaches the ropes. Cesaro starts pie-facing Ambrose then charges and ends up getting backdropped to the floor. Ambrose heads up top after that and flies out with an elbow smash as both men are down. Back inside, Sheamus tries to distract Ambrose but fails as Ambrose is able to roll up Cesaro for the win (19:18) ***1/4. After the match, Sheamus & Cesaro beat on Ambrose until Rollins runs out to clear them from the ring. Rollins yells at the champs while Ambrose struggles to get to his knees. Ambrose sees Rollins as the fans cheer then start going nuts with the “yes” chant. Ambrose gets to his feet and looks at Rollins as the two stare each other down. Ambrose looks conflicted then sticks out his fist as Rollins looks at him as the crowd is going crazy. However, Rollins shakes his head and leaves.

Thoughts: A long but good match. Cesaro in particular had a strong night as the fans went out of their minds at the prospect of a Rollins/Ambrose reunion. Having Rollins walk out was odd to me because having Ambrose trust him again was what he wanted but instead he left him hanging, like Ambrose did two weeks prior.

Replay from earlier tonight where Lesnar destroyed Miz & The Miztourage.

Clips of Akira Tozawa defeating Ariya Daivari last week on “205 Live” for the right to face Neville at SummerSlam for the Cruiserweight Championship. After that, Tozawa is with Titus O’Neill & Apollo Crews as they celebrate the fact Tozawa will be the new champion. Neville interrupts to rain on their parade but Titus calls Neville out for needing help to retain over Tozawa. Neville then tells Tozawa he will be scouting him in his match tonight.

Ariya Daivari vs. Akira Tozawa 

Titus O’Neill is on commentary and gives Booker T a Titus Worldwide shirt. Daivari takes control early and gets a few nearfalls before working over the injured shoulder of Tozawa. Titus talks about Tozawa vs. Neville at SummerSlam as Tozawa fights back. Tozawa takes Daivari off of the apron then leads the crowd in his chant before flying out with a tope that gets him a two count. Tozawa fights off Daivari again and hits a Saito suplex before putting him away with the senton (3:50) *1/2. After the match, Titus heads to the ring to celebrate with his client.

Thoughts: The action was fine but I’ve seen enough of these two over the past few weeks. At least they’ve built up Tozawa well enough to be a credible challenger to Neville and the chant is over a bit with the crowds.

Renee is now backstage with Roman Reigns, who is not afraid of anyone.

Mickie James vs. Dana Brooke vs. Nia Jax

The winner of this faces off against Sasha Banks next week for the right to face Alexa Bliss at SummerSlam with the RAW Women’s Title on the line. Alexa is back on commentary and talks about being best friends with Nia and would love to give her a title shot. Nia overpowers both women to start. She spills outside after hitting the post then Mickie and Dana slug it out. Mickie catches her with a neckbreaker that gets two but Nia comes in and runs her over. Dana fights off Nia briefly until getting flattened with a clothesline. Mickie takes Nia down with a seated senton and covers Dana for two but gets shoved outside then Nia puts Dana away with a leg drop (3:02) 1/2*. After the match, Nia motions for the belt while looking at Alexa.

Thoughts: This was not good at all but it could have been worse. There was also zero doubt as to who would win this match, either. Nia looked okay at least as the inevitable Sasha vs. Nia #1 contender match will happen next week. Not the most inspired way to crown Alexa’s SummerSlam opponent.

Rich Swann vs. TJP will take place tomorrow night on “205 Live.”

We get another Goldust promo. He tells us that absence makes the heart grow founder and will soon share his next great masterpiece with us as he is looking out potential heroes, villains, or even a leading lady.

Big Cass interrupts Angle and wants a match against Big Show at SummerSlam. Angle says he was thinking the same thing but Cass wants Enzo Amore locked away. Angle suggests have him hang above the ring in a shark cage as Cass is pleased with the decision. He leaves as Angle wonders if Enzo is afraid of heights. Odd seeing the heel suggest a cage match with a babyface hanging above the ring in a cage to say the least.

We learn that Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt will take place at SummerSlam.

Last Man Standing Match: Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns

Reigns attacks Strowman in the aisle but Strowman fights back and takes him inside the ring. He knocks Reigns outside as we head to break. The action returns as Reigns starts to fight back. He hammers on Strowman in the corner then uses the steps that Strowman tossed into the ring as a weapon. He drops the steps on Strowman’s chest before tossing them outside. Strowman is able to knock Reigns down then rests in the corner. Reigns is able to catch Strowman with a pop-up Superman Punch as both men are down but are able to beat the ten count. Strowman dropkicks Reigns outside to the floor but able to avoid an attack. Reigns sends Strowman down on the steps after hitting the Drive By then pulls a table from underneath the ring. He puts the table inside then tries another Drive By but gets clotheslined instead. Strowman heads inside and sets up the table then yells “welcome to my playground” but Reigns fights back then puts him through the table with a Samoan Drop as both men are down. Strowman rolls outside where Reigns charges but gets a rolling chair launched at him in a crazy spot. Reigns just beats the ten count then the two head into the crowd. They make it to the announcers area as Reigns is down but just able to beat the ten count yet again. Strowman drives Reigns into the screen then tries to put him through the table but Reigns slips out. Reigns staggers Strowman down the ramp with a pair of Superman Punches before setting up for a spear but runs into a knee smash. Strowman heads down to the ring but Reigns runs down the ramp for the spear. Strowman is down at the right count but Samoa Joe reaches from the crowd and puts Reigns in the Coquina Clutch. Joe puts Reigns out as both men are out on the floor. Joe stands over both men then Strowman gets up at eight and wins the match (22:00) ***3/4.

Thoughts: It was a given that Joe would interfere here since he had not been on the show up until that point and is part of the main event at SummerSlam. With that being said, the match was really good as both guys continue to have great chemistry together. The spot with Strowman chucking the office chair at Reigns was great as the challengers to Lesnar’s Title keep beating each other up en route to the PPV.

Final Thoughts: The build for the Universal Title match has been strong and the intrigue over the Ambrose/Rollins stuff is getting over with the fans and giving us inspired performances from both men, who were in desperate need of character direction. However, the Jordan angle is going nowhere and the other RAW matches announced for SummerSlam are with little fanfare. There was some good stuff here on the show but as a whole it was just okay.

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