Bayless’ WWE RAW Rundown 7/24/17

July 24, 2017

From the Verizon Center in Washington D.C.

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Booker T

The show starts with a video package from last week where Braun Strowman ran down and interfered in the Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe #1 Contender Match for the Universal Title.

Kurt Angle comes down to the ring to kick off the live show. Cole reminds us how last week it was revealed that Jason Jordan is Angle’s son. Angle talks about how he revealed the fact Jordan was his son as it was consuming all of his time over the past few weeks and even interfered with his ability to work. Angle talks about trying to make up for last time and he will get an opportunity to wrestle tonight. He then addresses last week’s #1 Contender Match and has come to a decision on who Brock Lesnar will be facing but Strowman interrupts. Strowman tells Angle he better get that title shot “or else” as Strowman talks about not fearing Lesnar and even claims Lesnar fears him. Joe interrupts now and tells Strowman he does not fear anyone and says all Strowman did last week was save Reigns from losing to him for a third straight time. Joe then tells Angle he wants the title match but Reigns now interrupts. Reigns tells both men they have not done anything here was Reigns puts over how in five years he’s been Tag Team Champion, U.S. Champion, World Champion, Royal Rumble Winner, and has main evented three straight WrestleManias. He then motions towards both men but Angle stops him and says he has changed his mind again because at SummerSlam, it will be Samoa Joe vs. Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman vs. Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title at SummerSlam. He leaves as Joe yells about wanting Lesnar 1 vs. 1 while Strowman only cares about “piling bodies” but Reigns tells Strowman to shut up and uppercuts him. They all brawl with Reigns & Joe gaining up on Strowman. They head outside and dump Strowman over the barricade then Joe cheap shots Reigns and they brawl in the ring. Strowman comes back in as Angle yells for security to come out but Strowman tosses them all out. Joe puts Strowman in the clutch then the locker room empties to separate them. Reigns spears Strowman as Joe had him in the clutch then Reigns clears the ring but Strowman gets up and attacks Reigns before hitting a powerslam.

The promo was alright and the Fatal Four Way announcement was not a surprise. However, the brawl was fantastic and all three men looked like threats who are worthy enough for a title match. 


Elias Samson is in the but the crowd starts a “we want Balor” chant. Samson dedicates the song to Balor but is cut off shortly after he begins.


No Disqualification Match: Elias Samson vs. Finn Balor

Balor tosses his jacket at Samson then hammers away. He takes Samson out with a baseball slide then rolls him inside. Samson rolls out where Balor hits him from behind with a flying forearm as we go to break. The action returns with Samson targeting the injured shoulder of Balor. He does that for a while but Balor fights back. Balor heads outside and grabs a chair but Samson boots him in the gut. Samson whacks Balor in the shoulder with the chair as we head to another break. The match returns with both men going back-and-forth. Samson targets the shoulder again then gets a nearfall with a shoulderbreaker. He grabs a chair and sets it up in the corner and tries an Irish whip but it gets reversed as Samson’s head slams off of the chair. Balor hits an upkick then fights back with his good arm. He trap Samson between the ring apron then stomps away. He then drives Samson into the barricade with a shotgun dropkick before grabbing a chair. He targets Samson’s back then climbs up top and hits the Coup De Grace but the lights go off and it returns with Wyatt in the ring as he hits Balor with the Sister Abigail then watches in the corner until Samson drapes his arm over Balor for the win (18:27) **1/4. After the match, Wyatt stalks Balor then lays over him.

Thoughts: Really underwhelming for a DQ match. I guess they gave these two this stipulation in order to protect Samson and move Balor into a feud with Wyatt, whose act remains ice cold. I have no idea what they do with Samson now but it appears they think enough of him to not get buried so a midcard feud seems in the works.


Clips from last week where Angle revealed that Jordan was his son and there interview that aired on the WWE Network immediately after RAW went off the air.


Renee Young is with Angle and asks about Jordan wrestling Curt Hawkins tonight. Angle thinks he will be a successful singles competitor and has butterflies in his stomach. Emma interrupts and asks when is it going to be her turn as she does not get opportunities. She then suggests dating Jordan so Angle then tells Emma she will get an opportunity tonight against Nia Jax.


Big Show asks Enzo Amore if he really wants to fight with Big Cass tonight. Enzo claims to have a plan but then acts nervous and says he just has to go out and do this.


Enzo comes out to the ring. He tells us about having a tank full of “passion” and the crowd is the key that starts his engine. Enzo then says he is not a pit stop and


Enzo Amore vs. Big Cass

Enzo dropkicks Cass’s knee then jumps on his back but Cass shoves him off. Cass tosses Enzo across the ring but Enzo fights back. Cass breaks up a sleeper then catches Enzo with a slam. He beats on Enzo in the corner then stomps a mudhole before getting the win with a big boot (3:38) 1/2*. After the match, Cass inflicts more punishment until Big Show runs out for the save.  Cass then holds up Enzo and promises to snap his neck if he steps inside. Show steps in so Cass shoves Enzo at him then hits a big boot on Show and beats on him for a while.

Thoughts: Not much different than their match at Great Balls of Fire. The post-match beatdown took a really long time but Cass did get some heat out of the deal as the next step appears to be a match against Big Show, who will likely have Enzo in his corner.


Renee is backstage with Alexa Bliss. She asks her about who she would rather face: Sasha Banks or Bayley. Alexa does not care as she is too happy over the fact their friendship can be destroyed.


Emma vs. Nia Jax

Emma avoids Nia then lands a cheap shot. Nia comes back and runs Emma over but Emma gets pissed and hits a pair of dropkicks. Nia then tosses Emma across the ring and hits an avalanche before getting the with with a flipping senton (1:24).

Thoughts: Nia dominated Emma here and showed off a new finishing move, which looked impressive. I don’t know where they go from here with Emma or if she actually does try to play mind games with Angle and Jordan but she is floundering at the moment.


Charly Caruso is backstage with Akira Tozawa. His shoulder his all bandaged up as we are shown clips from last week where Ariya Daivari attacked his shoulder. Titus comes in to tell Tozawa he is here for his health and went to both Angle and the medical staff to cancel his match tonight against Daivari. Tozawa is pissed and says he is going to the ring now and heads out, saying he is fine with Titus trailing behind trying to stop him. They are in the ring now where Tozawa slaps Titus and says not to touch him as we go to break. We return with Tozawa telling Daivari to come out and face him now. However, Neville comes out instead. Neville mocks Tozawa, who wants to fight, but Neville tells Tozawa that the false promises from Titus have gotten him nowhere. Neville mocks Tozawa for being a joke but Tozawa knocks him down then climbs up top and hits a senton. Tozawa grabs his shoulder but Daivari runs in to attack him. Daivari then yells at Neville and takes him down before motioning that he will be the next champion.

I liked the confrontation between Neville and Tozawa but this did not appear to get over with the crowd. I also do not know about shoehorning Daivari into this angle as he does not stand out in any way I can think of but hopefully it does not interfere too much with this feud. 


Bayley and Sasha are backstage. Sasha is backstage and upset what that “troll” Alexa said about her and that nothing can hurt their friendship. They then promise to tear the house down with Sasha saying the best woman will win their match tonight.


We are shown Angle making the Fatal Four Way Universal Title match for SummerSlam that took place earlier tonight.


Renee is with Jordan and asks him about his first match on RAW. He talks about being nervous and how everyone will be watching him before saying he is focused on winning the match.


We see Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins backstage. Rollins wants to come up with a game plan but Ambrose still does not trust him. Rollins says they have to worry about three men tonight. However, Ambrose says he has to worry about four men as he continues to distrust his former partner. Good finishing line from Ambrose as he continues to not trust his former partner.


Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Bayley vs. Sasha Banks

Alexa comes out to join on commentary. The match starts with both mixing it up. Bayley avoids a dropkick and gets two with a rollup. They trade arm drags then Bayley works a front facelock. Sasha escapes but runs into a backdrop as Bayley gets two. Bayley heads up to but Sasha cuts her off as Bayley falls out to the floor just before commercial. We return with Sasha working a stranglehold. Sasha then tosses Bayley into the corner but Bayley fights back. Sasha sends Bayley into the corner and hits a double knee smash then puts on the Banks Statement. Bayley almost reaches the ropes but Sasha takes her to the middle of the ring. Bayley fights out of a chinlock then they trade slaps before hammering away. Sasha wins that battle then heads up top but Bayley ducks an attack then they trade Shining Wizards with both women down. They both get up and slug it out until they knock each other down again. Bayley runs into a knee smash then Sasha heads up top as we get a dueling chant from the crowd Bayley cuts off Sasha. They fight up top where Sasha dumps Bayley then hits a frog splash but Bayley rolls through and gets the win (12:13) ***1/4. After the match, Alexa heads into the ring and taunts Bayley with the belt.

Thoughts: Good, hard-fought match as Bayley gets another win and will once again face Alexa for the Women’s Title.  Hopefully, the match at SummerSlam is better than what we saw earlier this year.


Renee is with Curt Hawkins, who is sick about hearing of Jason Jordan. He plans on ruining his RAW debut and smacking him right in the mouth.


Curt Hawkins vs. Jason Jordan

Hawkins slaps Jordan across the face before the bell. Jordan takes Hawkins down when the match begins then hammers away. He gets two with a Saito suplex as a happy Angle watches backstage. Hawkins fights back and yells at Jordan, who fires up then runs wild. Jordan lowers his straps and hits a spear in the corner before putting Hawkins away with a lifting neckbreaker (1:43).

Thoughts: Jordan showed great fire in the ring here and he needs to as his mic work is lacking. My only compliant is his finisher. It’s clunky and will be difficult to do against larger opponents. Hawkins remains a fine enhancement talent.


Tomorrow night on 205 Live we will see Rich Swann & Cedric Alexander vs. TJP & Tony Nese and Neville vs. Ariya Daivari


Charly Caruso is in the ring and welcomes out The Revival. Dawson tells Charly she is great at her job but they are professionals and can handle things themselves as they ask her to leave. Dash talks about dominating NXT and showing they are the greatest tag team today. Dawson brags about how they sent New Day packing to Smackdown and beat the Hardy Boyz then put themselves over some more but Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson interrupt. They talk about Washington D.C. being a “good brother town” and how they beat up the New Day and Hardy Boyz before them then laugh over The Revival thinking they are top guys and calls them nerds. Gallows & Anderson came off as babyfaces here but have not officially turned on TV while The Revival did okay on the mic but there best work is in the ring.


The Revival vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson

Dawson and Anderson fight over a lockup. Anderson slaps Dawson after getting shoved but The Revival are able to trap Anderson in their corner. Anderson fights back and tags out as we see Sheamus & Cesaro watching the match backstage on a monitor. The Revival beat on Gallows for a but but Gallows fight back then The Revival get dumped outside as we head to break. The action returns with Dawson working the arm of Anderson. Dash tags in but runs into a kick the Gallows tags and runs wild. Dash breaks up a Boot of Doom attempt then Dawson chop blocks Gallows but the Hardy Boyz come out on the ramp. Gallows & Anderson are distracted and that allows The Revival to hit Anderson with the Shatter Machine for the win (8:35) **. After the match, the Hardy Boyz run out and beat on The Revival.

Thoughts: Really an average TV match with almost half of it taking place during the commercial break. The next step now is a feud between Revival and Hardy Boyz but with Cesaro & Sheamus watching the match backstage it could signal a multi-team title match for SummerSlam.


The Miz is in the locker room as he gives his Miztourage a pep talk while referring to Ambrose & Rollins as a “Box Office Bomb” waiting to happen.


Next week, Jason Jordan is the guest on “Miz TV.” Also, Reigns vs. Strowman vs. Joe.


Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins vs. Miz w/ Maryse & The Miztourage

Miz immediately tags out to avoid Ambrose as Axel gets beat down. Rollins tags himself in and beats on Axel for a bit as we once again see Sheamus & Cesaro watching from backstage. Dallas is in as Rollins works him over too. Bo comes back with a tackle then tags out as Miz targets the back of Rollins then works a chinlock. Rollins escapes then tags out but Miz rolls outside. Ambrose chases Miz around then fights off an attack by Axel. Rollins tags as he and Ambrose work together to clear the ring before the break. The match returns with Dallas hitting Rollins with a back suplex. Miz tags in and once again targets the back while taunting Ambrose. Rollins remains in trouble but eventually makes it to his corner and tags out as Ambrose runs wild. Rollins is shoved outside as the Miztourage are alone with Ambrose, who fights off a double-team move. However, Miz makes a blind tag and hits the Skull Crushing Finale but Rollins makes the save. The heels are all on the outside then Rollins & Ambrose fly out with topes. Back inside, Rollins hits Miz with a springboard knee smash then Ambrose hits the Dirty Deeds for the win (17:21) **3/4. After the match, Rollins offers a fist bump but Ambrose bails and celebrates by himself on the ramp.

Thoughts: This got a lot better in the second half. Ambrose & Rollins were able to get on the same page and even did some nice double-team stuff but the story remains Ambrose unable to trust Rollins, who is doing everything to show he has changed.


Final Thoughts: The opening segment was effective and set up for next week’s main event. Plus, there were a couple of good matches. However, the rest of the show mostly fell flat. They still have a few more weeks until SummerSlam to build up and announce other matches but this was not the most inspired start.

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