September 25, 2017
From the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, CA
Your hosts are Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Booker T
Miz TV kicks off the show. Cole narrates a package of still photos from last night’s Intercontinental Title match where The Miztourage helped Miz retain over Jason Jordan. Miz tells us his son will not grow up to become a loser like Kurt Angle’s son before introducing his guest, Roman Reigns. Miz asks Reigns about John Cena’s comments on last night’s “RAW Talk” where he felt Reigns beating him was passing of the torch. Reigns says he now respects Cena and that he held down the fort for 15 years. Reigns says it was the biggest win of his career and that he also celebrated all night and does not know why he has to sit next to an “idiot” like Miz. We get a rebuttal from Miz as he says he’s the guy because of the fact he holds the Intercontinental Title. Miz then brags about being a “loser” like Jason Jordan but Reigns tells Miz Jordan is a thoroughbred, unlike Miz, then asks the Miztourage to make themselves useful and get him a beer. Miz then accuses Reigns of riding The Shield’s coat tails and if the Miztourage was around then no one care about The Shield. Reigns says they would “whoop their ass” then says they are doing there own things as he is set on the Universal Title. Miz then talks about Reigns and the times he has choked against Samoa Joe, Braun Strowman, and Brock Lesnar as Miz puts over how Reigns got pinned by Lesnar at SummerSlam. Miz then talks about the Intercontinental Title is the one to have and will not be disrespected. Reigns then says they should fight but Miz is apprehensive then Reigns asks the crowd if they want to see a fight. Miz bails after saying he doesnt have his gear and is in a suit but GM Kurt Angle comes out. Angle wants Miz to tell Maryse he will be home late tonight as he will face Roman Reigns. He then tells the Miztourage they will face Matt Hardy & Jason Jordan.
I thought Miz was really good here and Reigns came off well too, as he appeared a lot more comfortable than usual. He also got a more favorable reaction here than last night and the crowd was into the tease of a Shield reformation. A nice way to kick off the show.
The Miztourage vs. Matt Hardy & Jason Jordan w/ Jeff Hardy
Cole tells us that Jeff will require shoulder surgery and be out “for a while.” Matt & Jordan work over Axel to start. Bo runs in for a save but gets taken out as we head to break. We return with the Miztourage beating on Jordan. Axel gets a nearfall with a neck snap as the Miztourage continue to cut off the ring. Jordan sidesteps a charge and tosses Axel outside and crawls over for the tag as Matt runs wild on Bo. He gets a two count with a neckbreaker. Side Effect gets two after Axel makes the save then the match breaks down. Jordan hits a double thrust on the Miztourage then suplexes Axel before Matt hits the Twist of Fate on Bo for the win (10:39) **1/4.
Thoughts: The match was basic but the crowd was really into this a lot. Also, Jordan did not get booed as aligning with the Hardy Boyz certainly helped with that. I wonder if they stick Jordan with Matt Hardy for a bit while Jeff is out. At the very least it would prevent him from getting booed.
Highlight package from last night’s Universal Title match between Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman. Which, if you have not seen already, was highly disappointing.
Elias is in the ring. He talks about beating Apollo Crews at No Mercy and how tonight is the encore. He then sings about Crews being a loser and that Titus Worldwide is a failure. Crews then makes his entrance.
Elias vs. Apollo Crews w/ Titus O’Neill
Corey tells us that Crews is more focused than he was last night. Crews works a side headlock after a struggle. Elias escapes and hits some chops but Crews backflips out of the corner then runs wild. Crews takes Elias off of the apron with an enziguiri then takes him out with a plancha as the fans cheer. Elias goes after Titus’s leg after a Titus Worldwide celebration then he rolls a distracted Crews inside and hits the Drift Away for the win (2:41) *. After the match, Elias goes after Titus, who fights back, then bails. Elias tells Titus that he’ll get him next time as he is up on the ramp.
Thoughts: Looks like Elias will continue to feud with Titus Worldwide. Crews celebrating with Titus cost him the match and I wonder if that story will continue going forward.
Charly Caruso is backstage with Finn Balor. She asks him what he has to say about Bray Wyatt, who claimed he could not beat him without his Demon character. Balor thanks Wyatt for pushing him and says he is now on a mission to reclaim the Universal Championship.
Curt Hawkins is in the ring. He tells us we will remember this night forever as the “Curt Hawkins History Machine” is up and running. He promises his 118 match losing streak ends tonight then asks who wants to make history and we get Braun Strowman. Hawkins takes off through the crowd but Strowman chases after him and chokeslams him through a table. He then tosses Hawkins onto the stage and takes him through the screens on the stage with a powerslam. Strowman then storms down to the ring and says after last night, he is on a path of destruction. He then says he’ll not leave until someone comes out and gives him a real fight. Dean Ambrose then comes out and looks at Hawkins before coming down to the ring as we head to break.
Braun Strowman vs. Dean Ambrose
Ambrose’s shoulder is all bandaged up as he tries to elude Strowman but gets overpowered. Strowman starts targeting the shoulder then drives Ambrose into the corner. Ambrose drops after slapping Strowman then tries a sleeper but gets backed into the corner then hit with an avalanche. Ambrose tries to fight back but fails then Strowman works an armbar. The crowd gets behind Ambrose as he catches Strowman with a boot to the face. Ambrose fires away but gets knocked outside where he is able to rake Strowman’s eyes and send him into the post with a knee smash. Back inside, Ambrose fires away in the corner. He then low-bridges Strowman and tries a tope but gets caught then turns it into a DDT on the floor. Back inside, Ambrose covers for two and avoids a charge as Strowman’s shoulder rams into the post. Ambrose tries coming off the top but is caught and hit with a powerslam as Strowman gets the win (6:32) **1/4.
Thoughts: I found this to be a decent match for the time they received. The story of Ambrose being crazy enough to face Strowman while all banged was fine. Strowman lost a lot last night in defeat and this alone will not get his heat back but its a start at least. The question is, where does he go from here?
Kurt Angle is backstage but is interrupted by Enzo Amore, who asks if he can have a Championship Celebration tonight. Angle says the way he won does not warrant a celebration but Enzo says everyone who wins a championship gets to have a celebration so Angle obliges. Angle then asks Enzo if he wants to get advice from a Hall of Famer but Enzo blows him off and leaves as Angle is dumbfounded.
Backstage, Rollins hands Ambrose an ice pack. Isn’t that something. He then asks Ambrose to tone down his reckless tendencies as they are Tag Team Champions and should think things through a little more. Ambrose wants Rollins to become less predictable and like the guy who ended The Authority so Rollins says he will request a match against Strowman next week on RAW but first has to take care of Sheamus.
Alexa Bliss comes out to the ring. She tells the fans they had have their issues in the past but has always considered each and every one of them a friend. And she should be honest with friends and the truth is that she is disappointed in them for not giving her props for beating four women last night. Alexa says the fans are too fascinated with what might happen tomorrow to appreciate a goddess like herself then talks about cleaning out the entire Women’s Division but Mickie James interrupts. Mickie laughs over Alexa’s claim of taking out the entire Women’s Division since she was not in that match. She then wants Alexa to say to her face what she said on “RAW Talk” but Alexa talks about Mickie being a favorite of her’s as a kid and might have even been in her MySpace top eight. Mickie tells Alexa to say this to her face instead of looking around the building so Alexa makes references to her being old and irrelevant. Mickie tells Alexa she is a six-time Women’s Champion and has broken down barriers since she was wearing a training bra, something she says has worked out well for her then wants Alexa to repeat what she said last night. Alexa then calls her an “old lady” but gets slapped. Mickie then takes Alexa down with a super kick as Alexa rolls outside and leaves.
I thought this was one of the better Women’s Division segments on RAW in a long time. Both were excellent on the mic and the crowd was a lot more invested than I would have thought since Mickie has been treated as an afterthought. The callback to last night’s RAW Talk was nice to see as it gives fans a reason to stay tuned after the PPV’s. I assume it builds to a match between the two, possibly even for the Women’s Title.
Another vignette for Asuka airs.
Seth Rollins vs. Sheamus w/ Cesaro
Cesaro is wearing a suit tonight as Cole puts over how he had to get his teeth pulled out of his gums and will require surgery. Sheamus beats on Rollins after the bell. Rollins shoves Sheamus into the post then flies out with a tope and goes over to laugh at Cesaro, who backs off. Back inside, Sheamus catches Rollins with an Irish Curse and follows with a suplex for a two count. Knee drop from the middle rope gets two then Sheamus uses a stretch muffler. Rollins tries to power out but Sheamus turns that into a sit out powerbomb as that gets two. Rollins gets put in the cloverleaf but escapes then sends Sheamus to the floor with a backdrop. Rollins gets clotheslined on the top rope then Sheamus kicks him in the face for a nearfall. Sheamus taunts the crowd but misses the Brogue Kick. Sheamus comes off the top but Rollins kicks him in the face then hits the ripcord knee smash for the win (4:12) **1/2.
Thoughts: These two did a lot in the time they were allotted. With Rollins facing Strowman next week he needed the win. And I do not know what you do with Cesaro & Sheamus now but Cesaro seemed displeased when Sheamus lost then kept whispering in his ear as they walked up the ramp.
Finn Balor is walking through the backstage area when he runs into Goldust, who is back to wearing face paint. Goldust tells Balor he is an extraordinary man who can do extraordinary things but did not need his help and can do things all by himself. Balor says he has nothing but respect for Goldust and considers him a friend. Balor apologizes if he offended him then Goldust thinks it over and gives a fist bump but as that happens he slaps Balor across the face and beats Balor down then tells him to keep his friends close but his enemies closer. This seemed really contrived to me but the beat down looked good.
We get a video package on last night’s Reigns vs. Cena match. It also mixes in some of Cena’s comments from “RAW Talk” and hints at a retirement as they get over how the torch has been passed on to Reigns.
Roman Reigns vs. Miz w/ The Miztourage
Miz tries to get out of the match and shakes Reigns hand but Reigns holds on and knocks him outside with an uppercut. Miz stalls on the outside and gets Reigns to chase him around until they get in the ring where he locks on a headlock. Reigns knocks Miz down but Bo attacks from the apron. Miz hits a big boot that gets two then he applies a chinlock. Reigns powers out but Miz yanks him outside then distracts the ref so the Miztourage can send Reigns into the barricade. Reigns is rolled inside where Miz covers for two. Miz hits a pair of dropkicks but gets too cocky and caught with a Samoan Drop as both men are down. Reigns is up first and hits a bunch of clotheslines then takes Miz down with a big boot and signals for the Superman Punch but gets distracted by the Miztourage as Miz hits him with a corner clothesline. Miz then uses the It Kicks on Reigns until he gets caught. Miz escapes a powerbomb but gets caught with a Superman Punch after that. Reigns then takes out the Miztourage and hits them both with the Drive By. Miz then catches Reigns when he comes inside and hits a DDT for a nearfall. Reigns escapes a Skull Crushing Finale then catches Miz with a spear for the win (8:51) ***. After the match, The Miztourage attacks Reigns from behind. They hold him up for Miz but Reigns fights back. Reigns is about powerbomb Miz but the Miztourage attack him from behind with chairs then hold him up so Miz can hit the Skull Crushing Finale. They leave then return to inflict more punishment as Miz hits a Skull Crushing Finale onto a chair then stands over Reigns as he mocks the Shield fist bump with The Miztourage.
Thoughts: Not a technical masterpiece by any stretch but I enjoyed this match. Both men played their parts well and the crowd was invested. I also liked the post-match beatdown and it was another hint that The Shield might be reuniting. One minor nitpick though: If the Miztourage were going to look this good during the beat down then they should have probably won their match tonight to make them stronger if a match against The Shield is happening.
Goldust vs. Finn Balor
Balor hammers away to start. Goldust gets tossed outside and takes a breather but Balor runs halfway around the ring to hit a dropkick. Balor rolls Goldust inside but gets kneed on the apron then rammed into the post. Goldust roughs up Balor on the outside then we head to break. The match returns with Balor escaping from a waistlock then beating on Goldust in the corner. Goldust fights back and hits a spinebuster for a two count then tries for the Final Cut but Balor escapes then hits a Pele Kick. Balor stomps away then hits a sling blade and a shotgun dropkick before the Coup de Grace gets the win (7:24) **. After the match, the lights go off and we hear a kid’s voice sing “He Got the Whole World in his Hands.”
Thoughts: Really not a whole lot to say about the match itself but for some reason they feel the need to continue with the Balor/Bray feud. And I have no idea why.
Bayley and Sasha Banks are backstage. Sasha gives Bayley a look then is asked if she got a text. Sasha says she was busy then Bayley tells her it was every woman for herself as Sasha is upset over losing but thinks they should concentrate on their tag match tonight against Nia Jax & Emma. Bayley talks about how for the past month all she can think about is her shoulder popping out of its socket when she faced Nia Jax and promises to get revenge tonight. They were strongly hinting at a Sasha heel turn here.
Angle is on the phone in the hallway when Enzo interrupts to ask about his celebration. Enzo is sensing people are jealous and wants a no-contact clause and whoever touches him will forfeit any chance at the title. Angle quickly agrees then takes off.
Nia Jax & Emma vs. Bayley & Sasha Banks
Bayley hammers away on Nia but gets shoved down. Nia hits an avalanche but Sasha makes the save on a Samoan Drop attempt. Nia knocks both women down and dumps them outside as we head to break. The action returns as Emma prevents Bayley from making the tag. Emma tags out as Nia works over the arm of Bayley. Nia then hits an armbreaker and Emma tags in after that but Bayley fights back. Bayley crawls over to the corner and shoves Emma back into Nia before making the tag. Sasha runs wild on Emma then the match breaks down. Bayley and Nia get dumped outside then Sasha takes out Nia with a crossbody from the apron. Nia gets run into the post and Sasha heads inside and is nearly put away with a small package but Bayley makes a blind tag and puts Emma away with the Bayley-to-Belly (8:37) *3/4.
Thoughts: The body of the match took place during the break. There was not any miscommunication or tension between Sasha & Bayley here and I guess Bayley got the win to make up for the fact she took another pin last night. Nia was kept quite strong in this match too.
Next week, Seth Rollins will face Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns will get a shot at the Intercontinental Title.
Enzo heads out to the ring. He gets some boos here. He tells us the dream became a reality as he is the new Cruiserweight Champion. Enzo tells us he woke up this morning in his California bed and saw the most beautiful woman he has seen in his life then reflects over the “haters” and adversity he has faced over the past few months. Enzo says they are jealous, like his former partner Big Cass as the last time they saw him he hobbled and cried out of the arena. He now addresses the “You can’t wrestle” chants and how they were addressed to guys with “mainstream starpower” as he did the impossible, make 205 Live relevant. However, the 205 Live theme plays and the cruiserweights stand on the ramp. Enzo then makes fun of Rich Swann and gets tongue-tied in the process. He rags on the others and is getting booed but now Neville comes out. Enzo rags on Neville to no reaction then Neville tells Enzo he is right and the truth is brutal. Neville says Enzo is so toxic that he has alienated everyone he has come in contact with but Enzo says no one else can touch him tonight. Neville say if it was up to him he would have not allowed Enzo into the division but the others insisted. Neville asks if this is how he repays them as Enzo says he has by getting more eyeballs on the product. Neville then heads down to the ring as Enzo is in the ring with the “No Contact Clause” waving around and says the only reason they are out here in the main event segment is because he is star then makes fun of them all for not being able to sell as much merchandise combined than he can in one night. Neville then beats the piss out of Enzo, who limps up the ramp. The Cruiserweights then back him down where Neville tosses Enzo back inside and shoves the no-contact clause in his mouth and delivers a super kick, drawing mostly cheers. Neville then finishes off Enzo with the Red Arrow as the others applaud.
The Enzo turn was telegraphed throughout the show when he blew off Angle’s advice then demanded a “No Contact Clause” for his celebration. And he needed to turn because a guy winning matches by kicking people in the balls while chastising those who actually work hard to wrestle cannot be a babyface. Enzo did alright I thought in being a complete jerk but this was not his best promo. The crowd was into Neville kicking his ass and maybe this means Neville is off of 205 Live but who knows.
Final Thoughts: They seem to be working towards some sort of Shield reunion. And they set up two key matches for next week. For the first time on RAW they closed the show with a Cruiserweight Division segment that saw Enzo turn heel. The character fits Enzo but this is the antithesis of what the Cruiserweight Division is about. 205 Live is a niche product focused on enjoyable matches and Enzo doing his shtick is not going to benefit anyone. Its really a character better suited off on the main roster.
Anyway, I felt the show was fine overall without any horrible segments as the show focuses on their feuds for the Fall. Those plans could involve The Shield and they could even have then go up against Miz and two other guys besides the Miztourage (Strowman & Joe, perhaps).