Bayless’ WWE RAW Rundown 7/17/17

July 17, 2017
From the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN
Your hosts are Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Booker T

We are shown a video package regarding Kurt Angle’s secret, which will be revealed tonight.

Also happening tonight, Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe with the winner facing Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Title at SummerSlam.

The live show starts off with Dean Ambrose heading to the ring as we are shown clips from last week where he was attacked by Miz & The Miztourage and told former partner Seth Rollins that he still does not trust him after Rollins saved him from the attack. Ambrose is holding a chair as he dedicates the show to his chair, which is refers to as “Steely Dan.” He talks about beating up Miz and his pals and wants them to come out now as he takes a seat. However, Rollins comes out as Cole talks about how their could be a possible Shield reunion. Rollins tells Ambrose that he is all over the place as last week he helped him out after saying he was only going to fight his own battles. Ambrose said he was in the mood to hurt Miz & The Miztourage with a chair and not everything is about him as he tells Rollins to “scram.” Rollins says he is here to ask a question and wants to know with Ambrose will be standing in his way or by his side as he fights with Miz. The crowd starts a “yes” chant as Ambrose tells Rollins he’s not his “brother” as he calls Rollins a liar who stabbed him in the back. Rollins yells about that being over three years ago and apologizes as the crowd applauds. Rollins points out how Ambrose cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to beat him for the title and that he moved on and wants to know what it will take for Ambrose to do the same. Ambrose tells Rollins he sees his lips moving but cannot hear anything as Rollins says he will let his actions speak for him and tells Ambrose to hit him in the back to feel better. He keeps yelling at Ambrose to hit him as many times as he needs to get it out of his system. Rollins’ backed his turned but Ambrose tosses the chair outside and talks to him but Miz & The Miztourage interrupt. Miz sarcastically says how this is touching and could even be a country song but it will never work as burning bridges “in this business” is a major no-no before pointing out how he always wins then puts down Ambrose for not having what it takes to win on his own. Miz also tells Ambrose that he is all over then has the Miztourage surround the ring with chairs as Miz grabs one himself. Ambrose & Rollins try to fight them off but get outnumbered. Miz hits Rollins with a Skull Crushing Finale on a chair as the crowd boos.

Decent segment here. They are slowly building to Rollins & Ambrose reuniting, which could end up in Reigns joining with them as well. He was not mentioned here although the crowd chanted for him a bit near the end. I thought this was a good step in the right direction.

After the break, Charly Caruso catches up to Miz, Maryse, and the Miztourage but gets blown off as they head out of the arena.

Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss

Cole thinks a win by Bayley could get her another title shot. Alexa slaps Bayley across the face but gets driven into the corner. Bayley hammers away until Alexa ducks out on the apron then Nia Jax’s music hits as we head to commercial. We return with Alexa working a surfboard then targets the shoulder. Alexa cuts off a comeback but Bayley remains tenacious and runs wild. Bayley clutches her arm but still hits a Saito suplex then heads up top for an elbow drop. Alexa rolls outside and Bayley follows where Nia stands in her way, allowing Alexa to land a cheap shot. Sasha Banks runs out and starts beating on Nia. Alexa gets distracted then Bayley rolls her up for a two count before putting her away with the Bayley-to-Belly (8:15) **. After the match, Sasha runs in and hugs Bayley while Nia and Alexa retreat up the ramp.

Thoughts: A basic TV match as they are building up Bayley to the point where she is back in title contention, with Sasha and Nia also in the picture.

Corey once again heads backstage, right before we get clips of WWE stars at the ESPY Awards.

A video package to hype tonight’s Reigns vs. Joe match.

Angle is anxiously pacing around his office, asking if he is doing the right thing by coming clean. Graves tells him they live in the age of social media and it will get out anyway so he might as well go out and tell the truth.

We are shown clips of Tozawa giving Neville a taste of his own medicine by crotching him on the ropes to beat him in a tag match last week followed by Neville running out to attack Tozawa in his match against Ariya Daivari on “205 Live.” After that, we see Titus Worldwide in the locker room. Titus pumps them up as Daivari interrupts to call out Tozawa for lacking honor because he begs for rematch. Daivari then tells Tozawa if he has any honor he’ll get in the ring to finish what he started last week.

Brian Kendrick & Drew Gulak vs. Mustafa Ali & “Gentleman” Jack Gallagher

We are shown clips from last week’s “205 Live” where Gallagher snapped on Kendrick for making fun of him. Gulak and Gallagher start things off as Cole talks about Gulak’s anti high-flying campaign. Gallagher works the leg to start but Kendrick trips him up then Gulak knocks Ali off of the apron. Gulak stomps Gallagher then chops him down then makes a blind tag as Kendrick comes in and gets hit with a headbutt. Ali tags in and hits the inverted 450 for the win (2:17) *.

Thoughts: The crowd was dead until the finish. The announcers also plugged tomorrow night’s 2/3 Falls Match between Ali and Gulak. Also noticeable was the lack of purple ropes for the cruiserweight matches tonight.

Enzo Amore heads out to the ring. He does his shtick as Corey calls him out for wearing knock-off Gucci clothes. Enzo then talks about how no one else in “this business” can garner a reaction on the microphone like himself. He then talks about fighting for what you believe in and how Cass used to do the same. Enzo said he let Cass toss him onto their opponents because he wanted to win and how Cass being seven-feet tall did not win them any championships. He goes back to Great Balls of Fire and how he got tossed around but per usual, he keeps getting back up. We are shown clips from last week with Big Show beating up Cass as Enzo rags on him then talks about how Cass folded like a lawn chair when the going got tough. Cass interrupts just before Enzo could call him “sawft” then blames Corey as to why this happened. The crowd chants “Casshole” as Cass tells Enzo since he did not learn his lesson he’ll beat some sense into him tonight so he can learn to shut his mouth. Enzo then taunts Cass and ducks out then tells the crowd he wants to see a fight so he hops over the wall and grabs a young fan with an Enzo wig . Enzo said when Cass loses, he’ll get up and stand over him while asking “How you doin’?”The Big Show comes out as Cass kicks him off of the apron then heads outside but Show roughs him up. Cass fights back as they are in the aisle but Show regains control and slams him on the floor. He rolls Cass inside then hits a chop as the camera shows Enzo celebrating in his seat. Cass fights back and drives Show into the post a few times from the apron. Cass now hits mounted punches in the ring as Enzo is now worried. Show’s nose is busted up then Enzo runs in and gets booted in the face. Cass stands tall then leaves.

I did not care for Enzo’s promo. He talked about always getting up and never backing down then proceeded to back down when Cass came out.  Plus, for a guy that got obliterated at Great Balls of Fire it made zero sense for Enzo to talk about how he “brought the fight.” It appeared they were heading to a Show vs. Cass match but it just ended up 

Reigns is warming up backstage. Charly approaches and brings up how Joe has beaten him twice already and the stakes are higher tonight. Reigns says he does better with more on the line and reminds us all once again that he is the big dog and its his yard.

Rollins & Ambrose are in the locker room. They both talk about not needing each other’s help but Angle comes in to say he is giving them an opportunity to face any two members of the Miztourage next week. Ambrose wants to take on all three and Rollins agrees to Angle makes it official.

Elias Samson is in the ring. The crowd chants for Finn Balor as Samson is pissed. Samson says he wants Balor too and will get him soon enough but wants the crowd to keep quiet until he finishes his song. However, Balor comes out to cut him off.

Elias Samson vs. Finn Balor

Balor works the arm to start. Samson slams Balor then slams his head off of the ring apron a few times from the outside. Balor breaks out of a full nelson then soon after that runs wild. Samson is able to catch Balor on a float over attempt and turns that into a sitout powerbomb for a nearfall. Balor fights back again and takes Samson outside. He hits a running soccer kick then drives Samson into the barricade with a shotgun dropkick. Balor runs around the ring again but gets a guitar smashes over his head for the DQ (5:09) **.

Thoughts: The action was fine for what it was as they are building up to a likely stipulation match.

After the match, Bray Wyatt interrupts. He laughs at Balor about not expecting the guitar smash but likes to see a look of pain on his face as it means he has feelings. Bray laughs some more then says he is more dangerous than a demon. These Bray promos have lost their effectiveness. Its a character that needs to be retooled and taken off of TV for a while.

Sasha & Bayley come into Angle’s office. They want some help on deciding who deserves a title shot at SummerSlam. They both state their cases while complimenting each other so Angle puts them in a number #1 contender’s match that will take place next week. Both are fine with that as Angle is still anxious over his upcoming announcement.

Charly is backstage with The Revival and asks why they attacked the Hardy Boyz last week. They both said “why not” then talk about feeling disrespected over the fact they did not know about them but said after tonight, they will care about The Revival.

Akira Tozawa w/ Titus O’Neill vs. Ariya Daivari

Tozawa takes control early but Daivari gets his knees up on a senton attempt. Daivari targets the shoulder that was injured by Neville last week as Titus bangs on the apron to rally behind his client. Daivari gets two after ramming Tozawa into the corner but Tozawa snaps off a hurricarana then hits a Saito suplex as both men are down. Tozawa heads up top while clutching his shoulder then rolls off as Daivari hits an armbreaker for a nearfall. Daivari keeps attacking the arm while the ref tells him to stop as Titus is on the apron and gets the ref to stop the match (2:59) *. After the match, Tozawa yells at Titus about how he never quits then leaves.

Thoughts: Unless the plan is for Titus to screw over Tozawa at some point and get a new client, I have no idea why this was the finish as the guy in the Cruiserweight Title hunt should be able to beat Daivari with ease.

Angle heads to the ring. He apologizes for wasting our time with this stuff and found out the actions of his past have a serious consequence. Angle said he was afraid of change because he thought it would hurt his family. However, his family is supportive as he talks about dating someone in Clarion University in Pittsburgh and recently found out that she gave birth nine months after their first date. He was unaware of both and said the boy was adopted by two loving parents who taught him “great American values.” Angle puts over the boy’s athletic accomplishments and that he excelled in wrestling but went to college and now wants to become a WWE superstar. So, he introduces us to his son, Jason Jordan.

Yeah, I do not know about this. It’s too convoluted and if you want to have Jordan get pushed as a singles act and get the rub from Angle there are much easier ways. This type of storyline in 2017 feels out of touch if you ask me. I give Angle credit for selling this but the closeups of him crying was overkill and made it appear comically bad more than anything else. 

Hardy Boyz vs. The Revival

These teams fight as soon as they are in the ring. The Revival duck outside as the ref settles things down. Dawson and Matt start off the match with Matt winning that battle. The Hardy Boyz work over Dawson in the corner Dawson is able to tag out as The Revival beat on Matt in their corner but Matt fights back and hits Dawson with multiple turnbuckle smashes. He hits a bulldog for two then tags out as the Hardy Boyz hit a few double-team moves to clear the ring as we head to break. The match returns with The Revival attacking Matt’s knee. They stay in control by attacking the knee while using frequent quick tags. Dawson methodically cuts off a tag attempt with a basement dropkick but Matt is able to push him outside with his foot then makes the tag as Jeff runs wild on Dash. The match breaks down a bit as Jeff hits Poetry in Motion and goes up top but Dash shoves him off then Dawson rolls up Jeff and grabs the tights for the win (13:33) ***.

Thoughts: Good match that really picked up once The Revival started working the knee. The Revival get a big win as they showed off how effective they are in the ring. Its a great heel act in that regard.

Samoa Joe is backstage with Charly. She asks him about Reigns’ “path of destruction” but Joe says his path is skewed and made the mistake by thinking he is just an obstacle standing in his way. Joe says he has laid out Reigns twice already and that the third time is a charm.

Titus is backstage with Tozawa, who has a giant ice pack on his shoulder. Titus also said he knows Tozawa never quits but he had to step in because he was thinking about his future. Tozawa tells Titus that he wants another match against Daivari tomorrow night on “205 Live” then leaves.

Next week, Balor vs. Samson in a No DQ Match. Also Sasha vs. Bayley, with the winner facing Alexa for the Women’s Championship at SummerSlam, and Ambrose & Rollins vs. Miz & The Miztourage.

Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe

These two go back-and-forth to start. Reigns knocks Joe outside then off of the apron as we head to break. We return with Joe taking Reigns down with an enziguiri in the corner as that gets him a two count. Joe fires away in the corner as the crowd is engaging in dueling chants. Joe cuts off a comeback with a running elbow smash then attacks the neck. Reigns fights back then breaks up an uranage attempt before hitting a clothesline for a two count. Reigns hits ten clotheslines in the corner then follows Joe outside where they both hit each other hard and end up on the floor as we head to another commercial. The action returns with Joe beating on Reigns inside of the ring. Reigns escapes a Samoan Drop and hits one of his own for a two count. Both men are tired then Reigns counters an uranage with an arm drag then hits a Superman Punch but Joe is able to kick out then Braun Strowman heads down to the ring and tosses out Joe. He then slowly turns towards Reigns and heads inside but Reigns takes him out with an uppercut. Strowman fights back and ends up tossing Reigns through the ropes back into the ring. Joe starts kicking Strowman but fails to Irish whip him and gets clotheslined. Strowman is back inside as he beats on both men. Reigns boots Strowman then Joe sits on the top rope and locks on the Coquina Clutch. He is on Strowman’s back then Reigns hits Strowman with a Superman Punch. Strowman is able to fight back and takes out both men. Several referees are telling Strowman to stop as he continues to beat on both men then he leaves as this is ruled a no-contest (20:00) ***1/2.

Thoughts: The run in by Strowman was not a surprise but everything before that was really good. Strowman looked like a beast against two guys that went all out and beat the crap out of each other. If the rumored four-way at SummerSlam does take place, then we saw a pretty good preview of what to expect.

Final Thoughts: Overall, I though the show was okay. They have some intriguing storylines going on and this had a good main event. However, the Angle reveal appeared to bomb live and some of the middle and lower card stuff was not very good. At least they have direction heading into SummerSlam with their top matches and they did set up three matches for next week as the PPV card will become clearer over the coming weeks.

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