September 12, 2016
From the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, MD
Your hosts are Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, and Michael Cole
We get a video package centered around the Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens match at Clash of Champions and tonight’s main event of Owens vs. Roman Reigns, with Reigns added to that title match if he wins.
The live show starts with Mick Foley in the ring. He brings up the main event for tonight then talks about offering up the “premiere destination” of women’s wrestling on RAW after congratulating Becky Lynch and her title win last night at “Backlash.” Charlotte and Dana Brooke head out to the ring as we see a clip of Bayley beating Charlotte last week on RAW and Charlotte slapping Dana. We then saw Dana interrupt Sasha Banks’ speech but failed as Sasha declares she is going to recapture the Women’s Title. Charlotte tells us she has something to get off of her chest and tells Dana she would never apologize to her and that Dana owes her an apology for costing her the match. Charlotte also tells Dana she is petitioning to get her loss changed in the record books before demanding Dana apologize or else her “mentorship” will end. Mick tries to speak but Sasha now interrupts. Sasha tells Charlotte she is the face of the women’s division and the legit boss of the WWE. Sasha also tells Charlotte she will take back the title at Clash of Champions as the crowd chants her name. Bayley then heads out and the crowd chants for her a lot. Bayley says while wanting to see Sasha compete for the title tonight, she did beat Charlotte last night and maybe she is the one who deserves the title shot. Sasha tells Bayley that while they go way back, she has no friends when it comes to the title and head to the back of the line. Charlotte tells Sasha the only business they have is for her to continue the career-ending beating and that she is the champion, meaning Charlotte does not dictate how she defends the title. Mick interrupts and says he is the one who dictates the title shots as Charlotte tries to stir up the pot between Sasha and Bayley. Dana suggests Sasha and Bayley compete in a best of seven series to determine a number one contender but Charlotte threatens her for speaking. Mick then makes Sasha vs. Bayley for tonight to determine the #1 contender but Dana slaps Charlotte across the face, drawing a big chant from the crowd, and Foley includes her in the match to make it a triple-threat.
I was not really a fan of this segment. Sasha did okay but Bayley’s weakness is on the mic and that was apparent here. The Dana/Charlotte stuff surprised me when the crowd cheered for Dana seeing that these two were teasing a split within weeks of their alliance. I figured no one would even care at this point.
WWE Women’s Title #1 Contender Match: Sasha Banks vs. Bayley vs. Dana Brooke
Charlotte is now on commentary. Dana cleans house to start as Charlotte talks about Dana screwing everything up for her and doubts she will win tonight. Bayley rolls up Dana from behind then beats on her for a bit. Bayley works the arm then Sasha takes Dana down as she teams with Bayley to hit Dana with a double clothesline. Sasha and Bayley have a staredown as we head to break and the action returns with Dana putting Bayley in a surfboard as Sasha is out on the floor. Sasha then heads in to attack Dana but grabs her back. Bayley then stops Sasha using the double knees but gets rolled underneath as Sasha hits Dana but Bayley rolls out on the apron. Dana hits both girls with a clothesline after Bayley hit Sasha with a crossbody. They use a Tower of Doom spot then Sasha fights back but Dana blocks a lungblower. Sasha then puts Dana in the Banks Statement but Bayley breaks that up and hits Dana with the Belly to Bayley as Sasha breaks that up and uses a jackknife cradle for the win (12:22) *3/4.
Thoughts: The end looked like a double pin to me but they gave the win to Sasha and never even mentioned it on commentary. The last few minutes of this were decent but the rest was sloppy and after having Dana get a loud face reaction after slapping Charlotte, she worked as the heel here. Speaking of Dana, she has good presence but in the ring, she continues to struggle.
Backstage, Dana walks backstage and apologizes to Charlotte, who yells at her to shut up and take her bags. They are back to teasing the breakup as Dana is remorseful after slapping her mentor. After the opening segment, Dana remains with Charlotte for reasons I cannot fathom.
The Shining Stars are trying to sell R-Truth some timeshare to their own resort. They pressure him to buy now then Goldust saves his partner as they walk off. Enzo & Big Cass now enter and call out the Stars for cheating last week in their match. The Stars deny they cheated then Enzo challenges Epico, who puts a brochure in his chest and walks away. Enzo then says for now on he is going to be bilingual. So, this is going to be a new feud.
Tom Phillips is backstage with Kevin Owens, who is still sporting a suit. He tells Phillips that Foley is trying to stack the odds against him because Foley is not on the level of his mentor, Triple H. Owens then vows to beat Reigns tonight and to walk out of Clash of Champions with the Universal Championship. Owens leaves as Jericho walks off and blames Foley for costing him his guest on the Highlight Reel tonight. However, he scored a new guest in Sami Zayn and promises to expose him before doing is “it” routine with Phillips. This was a bit entertaining at least and having Sami on the Highlight Reel is an intriguing prospect.
Bo Dallas vs. Brandon Scott
Dallas beats on Scott to start. Scott mounts a brief comeback but Dallas cuts that off and hits a gutbuster. Dallas shows some more aggression until hitting the Roll of the Dice for the win (1:14).
Thoughts: Another quick win to get over Bo’s new aggressive character. We will see how this will work out in the long run. The fans actually chanted “let’s go jobber” at Scott here.
Highlight Reel with guest Sami Zayn is next. But first, Jericho calls out Foley for putting Owens in a match tonight and now he has to interview the “lowest of the low” in Zayn, who sarcastically thanks Jericho for his introduction. Jericho then asks “What, should I say ole, ole, ole” as the crowd starts up that chant. Jericho then wants to know what kind of man Zayn is that he blew his friendship with Owens, an honorable guy. He then said the problem is Zayn, who does not care about Owens but does care about the Universal Championship. Zayn then tells Jericho if he thinks Owens is a good friend, then he truly is a “stupid idiot.” Zayn keeps telling Jericho that Owens only cares about himself but Jericho is not buying this. Zayn then talks about spending his whole adult life traveling around the world trying to make it on top in the WWE so he could be like Jericho, who is now Owens’ bitch. Jericho pulls out his phone and tells Zayn Owens texted him what to expect tonight but he smashes it in Zayn’s face then hits the Codebreaker before leaving.
I thought this was a good segment. Jericho was awesome and the end was great. Zayn did okay for himself and a feud between these two should be decent.
Best of Seven Series: Cesaro (1-3) vs. Sheamus (3-2)
We see a clip of Cesaro winning match #4 last week in London. Sheamus targets the back of Cesaro to start. Cesaro comes back with a clothesline that gets two but Sheamus beats him down in the corner. Cesaro catches Sheamus with an uppercut then tries for a sharpshooter as Sheamus bails. Cesaro hits a senton from the apron then a running uppercut before heading back inside as we head to break. The match returns with Cesaro escaping a backbreaker submission. Sheamus hits Cesaro with forearm smashes to the chest. Sheamus sets up for a superplex but Cesaro fights him off and hits a crossbody while clutching his back as that gets two. They duke it out for a bit then Sheamus hits a rolling senton for two. Cesaro rolls out of a cloverleaf then gets two with a springboard corkscrew uppercut. They work a reversal sequence then Cesaro applies the sharphooter as Sheamus makes it to the ropes. Cesaro then tries the swing but his back gives out. Sheamus hits the Irish Curse for two but Cesaro slips out of the Celtic Cross and rolls Sheamus up while putting his feet on the ropes and gets the win (9:59) ***. After the match, Cesaro celebrates in the crowd with a smirk on his face.
Thoughts: The match was good but since no one ever loses a Best of Seven in the 5th match, I did not feel any sense of urgency and it takes away from the suspense of the match. Cesaro did a great job selling the back and I did like the finish as well.
Seth Rollins is in Foley’s office. Rollins tells Foley he thought he was coming around but why did he involve Reigns in the title picture. Foley said Reigns was in the same situation as Rollins says if Foley wants to make it about being fair then maybe he should call Stephanie. Foley tells Rollins that Stephanie is in Singapore at a speaking engagement as Rollins makes it like he will interfere in the match tonight. Foley gets pissed about Rollins questioning is integrity as Rollins then laughs and asks Foley if he will suspend him before calling Foley a fool for being Stephanie’s pawn.
We learn that Foley has made Zayn vs. Jericho at Clash of Champions.
Alicia Fox vs. Nia Jax
Before the match, Jax tells Phillips that she does not deal with crazy and is going to beat the crap out of her tonight. Jax sends Fox into the corner to start. Fox tries to fight back but gets dumped outside. Fox catches her with a boot to the face then jumps on her back but Jax backs her into the post then starts swinging her into the barricade by her hair. Jax then spears Fox through the barricade and stars her down as the ref checks on Fox and the match is ruled a no contest as Jax walks away to cheers (2:14) 1/2*.
Thoughts: An effective way to keep building up Jax as a monster. She has the presence and charisma to make it work too.
After the break, we see a replay of Jax destroying Fox as Cole lets us know Fox was helped to the locker room and being evaluated.
The New Day head out to the ring. Big E even pours Booty O’s out of his boot into a bowl that some kid was holding out. Xavier talks about last week’s segment and how Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson tried to entertain as he is angry and states entertaining is their thing. They act like they are introducing the Old Day segment from last week but says they burned the footage and make fun of how terrible that was as the company seems to even acknowledge it was horrendous. Gallows & Anderson come out as Anderson makes fun of the New Day for pandering to a stupid crowd like Baltimore. Gallows promises to rip off their unicorn horns and beat them before taking the Titles at Clash of Champions but they will face off in a non-title match next. It seemed like this was segment was more about acknowledging how terrible last week’s Old Day segment was rather than the feud at hand.
Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
This is a non-title match. Woods works over the arm of Anderson as Cole notes they have held the titles for 386 days. Kofi tags and hits a flying stomp for two then starts working the arm. Kofi is backed into the corner as Gallows tags and runs him over. Kofi comes back with a flying forearm for two but gets tossed to the floor after that. Anderson roughs up Kofi on the outside. Gallows & Anderson continue to work over Kofi in the ring as the announcers put over the IWGP accolades. Anderson gets a nearfall with a spinebuster then Gallows takes Kofi off of the apron with a roundhouse kick. Gallows & Anderson continue to cut off the ring until Gallows misses a senton and Kofi finally tags out as Xavier runs wild on Anderson. Xavier takes Gallows off of the apron then trades strikes with Anderson. Xavier catches Anderson with a DDT then heads up top for a springboard elbow smash as Gallows breaks up the pin then the match breaks down and Kofi is sent outside then Gallows & Anderson hit the Magic Killer for the win (9:50) **1/2.
Thoughts: Decent match as they gave Gallows & Anderson a win in an attempt to reestablish them as a powerful team. However, the comedy has killed this feud for the most part and seeing how they won here, I suspect Gallows & Anderson will lose at Clash of Champions.
The announcers tell us that the Cruiserweight Division will arrive next week after a video hyping the Cruiserweight Classic Finals.
Phillips approaches Roman Reigns backstage. He asks Reigns what is going through his mind as Reigns says the only thing on his mind is winning the Universal Championship and to do that, he will kick Owens’ ass tonight.
Jinder Mahal is in the ring. He is announced as the man that comes in peace. He tells us how he felt rage and hate before leaving but as learned to let that all go as he found inner peace in the Himalayas. Mahal says that peace is a way of life and a gift he wants to share with all of us. He then gets interrupted by his opponent, Jack Swagger. Mahal did not cut a good promo.
Jinder Mahal vs. Jack Swagger
Mahal begs for mercy and lures Swagger in and choke him out. They head outside where Swagger lands some shots but Mahal boots him in the face from the apron then works the arm. Swagger breaks and hits a backdrop then dodges a corner splash as he runs wild. Mahal gets his knees up on a Swagger Bomb then hits a variation of a neckbreaker for the win (3:18) 1/2*.
Thoughts: I guess Mahal is getting a lower card push now with his new gimmick, which is really weak to be honest. And poor Swagger, from a former World Champion to this. Crowd was silent for this match.
After the break, Phillips approaches Swagger and asks about his RAW contract expiring soon. Swagger breathes heavily then walks off. Seven weeks after the draft and we are already doing angles on expiring contracts?
Enzo & Big Cass head out to the ring and do their intro. Enzo tells Epico how he will beat him and after that, he will plant some of his favorite flowers around him.
Enzo Amore w/ Big Cass vs. Epico w/ Primo
Primo comes out to the ring and hands out brochures for his timeshare. Enzo hits a headscissors then hammers away in the corner. Epico whips Enzo in the corner and hits a few suplexes but Enzo fight back and heads up top. Primo distracts him until Cass boots him down. Epico takes Cass out with a tope then Enzo takes the Stars out with a plancha. Enzo then tries to suplex Epico inside but Primo trips him up and holds down his leg as Epico gets the win (3:18) *.
Thoughts: This feud continues. You’d never guess that just two weeks ago, Cass was fighting for the Universal Title. Now, he is feuding with two guys who sell timeshare. That’s not how I would go about creating stars as this feud will really cool Enzo & Cass as the Shining Stars are heatless.
Owens and Rollins are backstage. Rollins tells Owens he wants him to beat Reigns tonight because he wants a one-on-one at Clash of Champions and since Triple H is too chicken to show up, he cannot think of anything better than beating his golden boy. Owens then tells Rollins he has not done anything without help and that Triple H found someone who is better. Owens then points out how Rollins has done nothing but failed since his return from injury until Foley comes in and tells him to stop as Owens mocks Rollins’ laugh and leaves. Great promo by Owens as they continue to head towards a slow face turn for Rollins.
Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens
Owens rolls outside to stall as Reigns heads out and hammers away. They head back inside where Owens gains the advantage. Owens hits a back elbow smash for two and mocks Reigns, who fights back. They are back outside where Reigns sends Owens into the barricade. Owens returns the favor then rolls inside where he catches Reigns with an elbow then follows with a senton for two. Owens works a chinlock for a bit until Reigns powers out. Owens then rams Reigns into the post as we head to break and return with Owens working another chinlock as he yells that Reigns does in fact suck. Owens sends Reigns outside and rams him into the barricade and steps but Rollins runs down from behind and destroys Owens for the DQ Foley comes out and goes nuts on Rollins and says they will have a talk as they head up the aisle as Foley orders the match to restart as Owens is in disbelief. Owens rolls Reigns inside and yells at Foley as Reigns fights back. They slug it out as Reigns wins that battle. He catches Owens with a Samoan Drop as that gets two. He places Reigns up top but Owens cuts him off and bites underneath the arm. Reigns gets up to cut him off and heads back up but Owens turns it into a fisherman’s buster for two. Frog Splash gets two as Owens cannot believe that Reigns kicked out. Reigns starts to hulk up but gets cut off with a super kick. Owens mocks Reigns but whiffs on a cannonball as both men are down. Reigns signals for a spear but is cut off with a knee smash. Reigns then comes back with a Superman Punch for a nearfall. He hits Owens with the Drive By but back inside, Owens hits another super kick and follows with a pair of cannonballs. Reigns leapfrogs over a Pop Up Powerbomb attempt and comes back with a deadlift powerbomb for two. Rusev then jumps up on the apron to provide a distraction and Reigns goes after him, allowing Owens to hit the Pop Up Powerbomb for the win (21:45) ***3/4. After the match, Rusev attacks Reigns as the crowd cheers for him.
Thoughts: This started off sluggish but turned into a damn good match at the end. Things really picked up after Foley ordered to restart the match. I thought Reigns in particular did a great job tonight. I did like Rusev running out to cost Reigns the match as they can go back to their feud and finally have that match we were promised at SummerSlam. This also gives us the top two matches at Clash of Champions as this was by far and away the best thing on the show.
Final Thoughts: Besides the main event, this show was really uninspired and even terrible at times. Lots of cold feuds, storylines, and characters. Sure they pushed newer acts but they are all retreads and none of the characters are compelling whatsoever. Are we as fans really supposed to get passionate or even entertained over guys handing out timeshare brochures? Does anyone still want to see the New Day/Gallows & Anderson feud or a Jinder Mahal push? After tonight, does anyone care about the Dana Brooke/Charlotte alliance?
RAW lacks focus right now. Clash of Champions might look good on paper but it has no momentum going in and the brand itself is just not compelling. The Cruiserweight Division might help fill up time but unless they start putting out coherent storylines, they are going to lose more viewers to football or other shows. This was a chore to watch.