Raw comes to us live from Detroit tonight, and we’ve already got Instagram-fuelled rumours that Alicia Fox might be back – a woman other than Sasha who isn’t milk pale and/or blonde? Get out of here. (Spoilers: she wasn’t, and I couldn’t be more disappointed in this.)
We’re starting with a battle royal for The Miz’s IC title, because apparently that’s the level we’re putting the IC title at. I’m literally agog. Art, as always, by the wonderful Sora.
MATCH: Intercontinental Title Battle Royal
The Vaudevillains, the Usos, The Dudley Boyz, Dolph Zigler, Baron Corbin, The Ascension, Darren Young, Goldust, R-Truth, Curtis Axel, Bo Dallas, Jack Swagger, Apollo Crews…. My stream is grainy as hell, and this is a penance for being in the UK, clearly. So, whoever wins the shitshow will get a chance to face The Miz for his Intercontinental Title, and for some reason we’ve got to cope with this mess. The Miz just wants to tell us all how much he loves his wife.
- There’s a sort of cool spot where The Usos try to eliminate each other, then team up again and take out the Dudleys
- The Ascension are out early – oh hey, Konnor’s back from his wellness suspension!
- Curtis Axel is out early, too
- The Miz wants us all to appreciate his lovely wife, and commentary don’t…. awkward.
- Bo Dallas out, four people trying to take out Del Rio
- The Usos go out, followed by Jack Swagger, who ragdolls like his physics engine is broken
- Both Dudleys out
- Left with Del Rio in the middle between Crews, Ziggler, Corbin and Darren Young
- Dolph and Del Rio go at it in the middle of the ring, and Del Rio comes off worse, out of the ring but not over the rope so he’s okay
- Ziggler goes for a Famouser, Corbin bounces him off the turnbuckle and send him over the ropes but not out
- Del Rio back in against Corbin as Ziggler hangs on, but Crews takes Del Rio over the top rope
- Ziggler and Corbin nearly eliminate both of themselves at the same time, Dolph rolls back in but Corbin is on the apron with Ziggler trying to headbutt him out
- Corbin catches Ziggler off the ropes and throws him over, eliminating him
- Crews and Corbin eliminate each other!
Darren Young wins! I guess we are making him great again! The audience chants for him and it honestly makes me so happy, even though he was basically lying down for half the match and doing nothing. The title match is set for Battleground, apparently.
Steph and Shane are here for the first time in a while, because I guess they were having some sort of island vacation. Steph asks why Vince is coming, and Shane says maybe it’s the draft, maybe it’s the Lesnar fight, fire someone or promote someone.
Seth says maybe he’s comes to see him, and that he wants to talk about the Reigns controversy, and has some footage to show us. Apparently we’re getting another talk show, in the Rollins Report. Apparently Roman disrespects the WWE Universe, and it’s very brazen. Seth, you’re really, really not meant to share that sort of thing – revenge porn just isn’t cool. Honestly, I’m sort of interested as to what this is and how they’re going to use it to build heat for Roman, seeing as he isn’t here right now and that has to be their aim. Are we finally getting heel Roman? Please? Pretty please?
We’re talking Brock Lesnar, after his UFC win, and apparently Randy will be on Highlight Reel at Battleground? Okay?
Zack Ryder is here to tell Rusev that he wants a match against him for the United States title. Sheamus attacks him from behind, gargles at him in Gaelic, and then tells him that he doesn’t get to have a match against Rusev just yet, because he’s got one against Sheamus, and it’s next.
MATCH: Sheamus vs. Zack Ryder
My wrestling virgin is back here tonight, and she’s not happy with Zack ripping his shirt off, she says it’s very wasteful.
- Zack jumps straight onto Sheamus, and a clothesline takes both men over the ropes
- Sheamus flings Ryder into the barricades
- YOU LOOK STUPID chants as Ryder kicks Sheamus off the apron
- Dropkick from Ryder to Sheamus, back off the apron
- Both men roll back in, and Sheamus asks what the matter is with Ryder, who jumps at him again and goes for forearms in the corner
- WOO WOO WOO chants
- Sheamus takes Ryder down with a big clothesline
- Ryder dodges a run from Sheamus, whose shoulder hits the turnbuckle, Ryder pins for two
- Commentary respect this match by talking about where they’d draft Brock Lesnar
- Brogue Kick from Sheamus, pins Ryder for the win
Rusev comes down to the ring and Sheamus rolls out of the way as Rusev suplexes Ryder, before kicking him. The Accolade is applied and Rusev says he accepts Ryder’s challenge for his US title and Zack lies in agony in the ring. Lana’s wearing red, she looks incredible and also disdainful. She’s wonderful. “She looks like her whole body is a knife,” says the wrestling virgin. She’s not wrong.
Match: Breezango vs. The Lucha Dragons
God, these boys are so pretty and I’ve never loved them more. Apparently backstage earlier, Fandango said Lucha means disgusting mole people, and so the Dragons threw Tyler’s drink on his Mongolian chinchilla fur jacket. Poor Tyler, it must be so hard having to put up with this shit.
- Fandango starts again Sin Cara, hip take down
- Sin Cara waggles his hips at Fandango, then another head toss
- Headlock from Fandango
- Sin Cara knocks Fandango down off a rebound from the ropes
- Head-scissors takedown from Sin Cara
- Tyler Breeze in now, his half ponytail being very fetching
- And Tyler’s back out, Fandango getting a cover on Sin Cara for two before knocking him back down with a forearm
- Tyler and Fandango trade off for some stomps to Sin Cara before Fandango is back in to hold Sin Cara in a chinlock
- Commentary respect this match by talking about drafting The Club
- Sin Cara with a cheap shot to Tyler, then a springboard moonsault as he tried to make it to Kalisto
- Fandango tagged in against Kalisto, Breeze stepping through and letting Kalisto hit the ropes
- Enzuigiri from Kalisto to Tyler, Fandango comes in too and also gets a kick
- Sin Cara takes out Fandango from the apron
- Tyler rolls Kalisto up for two
- Kick to Kalisto on the turnbuckles
- Tyler rolls up Kalisto gain, and takes the win
Our FaBreeze boys have a cuddle, although Tyler looks a little annoyed to have broken a sweat over two little luchadors as Fandango waggles his hips next to him. He checks his teeth carefully – those were expensive.
Seth! God, this man is a fucking gift and I want to rub his thick belly and I’m not even ashamed of this fact. Unlike Jericho, or even Dean, Seth just ambles out for the Rollins Report in his ring gear and a t-shirt it looks like it might take two people to help him out of. He doesn’t have a talk show outfit? I feel like that’s a mistake for a man who looks so good in a black suit.
Seth tells us that he’s got a scoop for us, because he’s the newest and hottest investigative reporter. He says he’s got footage of a sit-down interview between Seth and Roman, and he asks the questions that no one else will. Huh. Okay. God, the crowd loves Seth. He’s so good on the mic.
Crowd sign says ‘shup up, old man’.
Seth asks if Roman’s disappointed that everyone knows he’s a liar and a cheat, and Seth says that’s interesting, that he’s not here for second place, that he’s not embarrassed. Seth says Roman seems to be proud, and Roman laughs, saying that he went all in. Seth asks if he should be in the triple threat, and Roman says no. When Seth calls Roman a monster and says he’s ruined his career, and asks how he feels about Dean as champion. Roman says he wants to throw up when he hears this.
Obviously this is another interview with Roman, and Seth’s questions are spliced into it to make it look like Roman’s responding to Seth – it’s funny, it’s cleverly done, and when Seth says Roman should be out of the triple threat, the crowd cheers vehemently.
Dean’s music hits, and out he comes, ambling down with the title to the screams of the crowd. He poses on the apron with the title for a second before addressing Seth. He says that was good, he’s glad Seth pulled a stick out of his ass and decided to have some fun. Seth says that Dean’s championship reign is a joke, that he didn’t win it, snuck up on Seth and stole the title, and the title is his life. He calls Dean a coward and says he can’t he can’t beat Seth cleanly – that he tried for a whole year, and couldn’t beat him, and that, in fact, no one beat him for it. Seth says Dean is afraid of a one on one match, so he and Roman can gang up on Seth. Seth says this match will prove who’s the best member of The Shield, finally, and he’ll show the world that it’s him.
Dean’s just humming along to this, as Seth says his fairytale title run will be gone. Dean rubs his temples in response, and says he likes to have fun, to have a good time, he says he proved a long time ago that he’s not the sort of guy to get suspended or to play fantasy in some other sport – shots fired, Brock – but that he likes to have fun being the top guy in the industry. He says Seth has known him for a long time and knows who he is and how far he’ll go for this title. He says that the title will have to be pried out of his cold, dead hands, and that he won’t ever let go of the title. He says he’ll let Seth challenge him anytime, anyplace – and Seth says that Detroit is as good a place as any… but that he’ll see Dean next week for the title match. Seth walks out, leaving Dean in the middle of the ring, beckoning for Seth to bring it on.
Sami comes down to join us on commentary, he says that Kevin had his chance to be on commentary, so he’ll settle in to chatter as well. Well, why not, eh? Kevin’s music hits, but he’s backstage saying he won’t go out with Sami on commentary, because Kevin says it’s an unsafe working environment. The refs are told to move Sami from ringside, and Sami says that Shane has given him leave to be there, but Steph has said he can’t be there. Ah, siblings. The crowd chants ‘let Sami stay’, but what happens is that Sami ends up walking along the ramp next to Kevin, so Sami lunges, and has to be pulled away by the refs. Kevin runs down to the ring and rolls in.
A limo rolls in and it’s Vince, and he says to Renee that he’s here to smell Detroit fresh air, and also to tell us who is going to run SmackDown. He says he might change his mind, but it’ll be someone fresh and new. Can it be Renee? We like her.
MATCH: Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro
Cesaro looks wonderful as always, coming down to the ring. What a guy. Shoulder still taped up, and Kevin is telling him to back up straight away.
- Headlock from Owens, Cesaro flips out of it
- Cesaro lifts KO into a gut-wrench suplex and gets a cover for two
- Headlock from Owens
- Apparently we’re having an ol’ fashioned grapple now
- Leapfrog from Cesaro, followed by a dropkick
- Cesaro goes to take Kevin swinging, but he gets to the ropes to break the hold
- Cannonball from Cesaro off the apron
- KO sidesteps an uppercut and a blow to the jaw takes him over the barricades in to the timekeeper’s area
- Owens rolls into the ring to break the count, then rolls Cesaro back in too
- Running senton from Owens, cover for two
- Again, commentary respects this match by talking about the draft instead of calling the fucking action, talking about fucking John Cena when he’s not even here
- Kicks from Owens to Cesaro’s gut
- Vertical delayed suplex from Cesaro, followed by uppercuts in the corner
- Kevin goes for a superkick, Cesaro catches the foot and uppercuts him
- Cesaro is thrown from the ring, ribs and face hitting the barricades
- When we come back from commercials, it’s more headlocks from Kevin
- Neckbreaker from KO, pin for two and a half, that was a fucking vicious one
- Forearm from KO in the corner, then he goes for a cannonball, but Cesaro rolls out
- Uppercuts from Cesaro, one after another in the corner
- Huge uppercut knocks Owens down, pin for two
- Cross-body from Cesaro, a pin for two again
- Cesaro rolls out of the ring for JBL’s hat and runs around the ring for an uppercut to KO against the barricades
- Cesaro comes off the top rope with a cross-body, the hat flies off, and he hits Owens with yet another pin for two
- Cesaro goes for the swing, Owens fights out
- Owens goes for the tornado DDT, Cesaro catches him
- Weird top ropes spot involving Cesaro landing balls-first on the ropes as KO wriggles out of a superplex
- Pop-up powerbomb from KO for the win
Well, that was a match, I might have enjoyed it more if I could have had some decent commentary. KO rips Byron’s headset off and says he’s not even trying to be the best in the world, and yet he is. Sami flies in to smack Kevin about, and we see that he has a singlet on under his shirt and shorts. Huh. KO rolls back into the ring to get away from Sami, and Cesaro grabs him and swings him. Kevin falls out of the ring looking queasy, poor lamb.
We get a reminder that Enzo and Cass allied themselves with Cena against AJ and The Club. Renee is backstage with The Club and AJ, Anderson makes an unfiltered pun. AJ points out that Cena isn’t here, he’s not backing up his boys, because obviously AJ and his boys are tight. AJ says they should crash the Espys – I don’t know what those are – and beat up John Cena. It’s the only thing they do together anymore, because AJ’s tired of hearing about how Asian Karl’s wife is.
MATCH: Heath Slater vs. Titus O’Neil
Sorry, how has Titus gone from the US title picture to fighting Heath Slater? What the fuck is this, please? Last week he was fighting for the US title ON THE FOURTH OF JULY and now he’s against HEATH SLATER?
- Heath gets thrown into the turnbuckle and hit with chops
- Titus is just chucking Heath around, I’m not even sure these are wrestling moves anymore, I think he’s just beating up a guy
- Heath dodges a run, and starts to stomp on O’Neil over and over
- While the ref is backing up Heath, Curtis Axel goes with a cheap shot
- Bo and Axel go for a Bo train as Heath goes for a kick and get caught
- DDT from Slater, O’Neil pinned for two
- Slater tries to drag Titus to the ropes, but Titus reverses it and flings Slater again and again
- Shoulder tackle then a clothesline from Titus, Heath goes to the second rope but gets caught
- Three backbreakers from Titus, Heath has literally no spine now
- Clash of the Titus and pin for the win
Wrestling virgin appreciated Titus ‘I have a feeling this guy can actually fight’ and also ‘I see your fancy moves, but I’m just going to throw you’!
Sasha’s here with Renee! We’re talking about Dana’s challenge to Sasha, and she says all she’s been able to think about for the whole weekend has been shutting Dana up. God, Sasha’s wonderful. I swear, though, if commentary talk about the men’s draft during that match, I will flip my shit.
So, we’re looking at the spooky shit that’s going down between The New Day and the Wyatt family, with The New Day being invited to the Wyatt compound for a fight, and I’m a little worried this might be WWE’s version of The Final Deletion, and it’s going to end with Xavier Woods in a shallow grave with a burning sort of cross behind him, and that’s just racially really uncomfortable.
We keep seeing this girl in white with a sheep’s mask, and then we see the Wyatts crashing a cra into The New Day’s car, and then they’re coming at them with metal poles, and the glare of the headlights is weird? Xavier Woods is hiding behind a tree, and Bray’s slamming an axe into the tree, and this… really looks like racially motivated violence now? Strowman literally flings a tyre at Kofi, who throws mud in his face, and Strowman cracks a car windscreen by landing on it?
We see Big E and Kofi helping each other up, and Bray drops a motionless Xavier to the ground as Strowman and Harper take apart the remaining members of The New Day. Xavier’s back up as Big E and Kofi are loaded into the truck, though, railing at Bray before he gets shoved into the backseat of a car and Bray smashes the windows with an axe and uses cinderblocks too? What that FUCK?
Xavier still comes back, and throws a ram’s skull at Bray who crouches and laughs as The New Day realise they’re surrounded but car lights, and then surrounded by fireflies, hundreds of figures in sheep masks – and they back away into the darkness behind them, away from Bray’s lights and his followers.
Wrestling virgin: “I’m glad we’re just brushing off that actual snuff film we just watched. But what did The New Day expect when you go to meet a group of white, hairy men in the middle of the countryside in the middle of the night?” Too true.
Match: Gallows & Anderson vs. Enzo & Cass
The Club are here with their boy AJ, because why not, and then Enzo is out to give us the usual entrance spiel, and the ‘how you doin’ chants rise up. Cass says everyone wants Cena’s spot, even him, but that they’ll do it fairly and cleanly, to earn their way up, unlike The Club. He says they’ve stepped up to join the fight. AJ says that’s a cute story, but Cena isn’t even in the arena, because he doesn’t care about Enzo and Cass. AJ! You’ll hurt their feelings! AJ gives them a chance to walk away, but Enzo says that the only place they’re walking is into the ring. And then Cass calls The Club sawft. God, I love these boys.
- The match starts during commercials, because what is pacing?
- Enzo and Anderson in first, Enzo being dragged around by the wrist before he reverses it, bringing Anderson to his knees
- Soccer mom AJ is just here to make sure his boys get their juice boxes and don’t get any boo boos
- Enzo dodges Anderson, rolling him up or two
- Backslide from Enzo, another pin for two
- Headlock takedown from Enzo, the two of them grappling on the mat
- Anderson gets Enzo in their corner, and Gallows is tagged in
- Enzo gets bounced off the turnbuckle hard, Anderson tagged back in
- AJ STYLES vs AJ SUCKS chants are REALLY loud
- Snapmare from Anderson, trying to get Enzo’s shoulders down but not managing it
- Crowd sign says ‘rest hold’ – good spot, crowd!
- Cass tagged in, drops Enzo on Anderson
- Cass pinning Anderson in the corner, Enzo tagging in to be thrown at Anderson
- Enzo dodges a clothesline, rolls up Anderson, but Gallows made the tag
- Enzo gets thrown out of the ring, and AJ goes to crow at him ‘sleeping on the job again?’ – really, that’s how we talk about his concussion? Okay.
- Commentary respects this match by talking about John Cena for most of it
- Back from commercials Enzo and Anderson still in the ring, Enzo gets pinned for two
- Gallows tagged in to throw Enzo around
- Enzo takes a cheap show at Anderson, and then he gets picked up and dumped on the turnbuckle
- Enzo crawling to make the tag, Anderson tagged in along with Cass
- Empire Elbow from Cass
- Fallaway slam from Cass before a big splash in corner, and then Enzo gets tagged in
- Bada Boom Shaka Laka to Anderson, AJ breaks it up, then Gallows breaks up a pin from Enzo
- AJ throws Cass in the crowd, and lies there, still
The Club surround Enzo, and it looks like he’s in trouble as the bell rings and Enzo and Cass win via disqualification, and then Cena’s music hits! Cena’s here to make The Club back off, and the whole crowd chants CENA! The Club back off, and head back up the ramp.
MATCH: Sasha Banks vs. Dana Brooke
Wrestling virgin claws at the screen at these two lovely ladies, and I can’t say I blame her, because they are wonderful. “Sasha’s the better one, though,” she says, which is obviously the truth. Dana comes out to Charlotte’s music and throws an aerial on the ramp. Wrestling virgin is allll about Dana’s thighs and her guns, and… yeah. Dana is marvellous. I love her so much. Sasha comes out and I’m too into this. Let’s see if this match can last longer than five minutes.
- The bell rings when Sasha’s still taking off her jewellery, I think that’s probably unfair
- Big blow to Dana from Sasha, who follows it up by going after Dana, who rolls out of the ring to catch her breath
- Commentary respect this match by talking about Serena Williams, that well-known wrestler
- Dana rolls back in and Sasha’s straight for her on the apron, causing the ref to do that thing they don’t do to the men and put his hands on her to physically move her back, which pisses me off
- Sasha with a takedown, Dana pinned for two
- Sasha grabs the hair, SASHA chants as she comes off the ropes and whips Dana into the corner
- Sasha ends up outside the ropes, Dana grabs her by the hair and pulls her into the ring, before kicking her back to the outside
- Charlotte comes around the ring and waves her title, crowing to the crowd about their girl being down
- Back from commercials, Dana has Sasha in a headlock, and Charlotte is telling her how well she’s going
- Chinlock from Dana, grabbing Sasha by the hair and pushed away
- Elbows from Sasha, Dana with a cover for two
- LET’S GO SASHA
- Dana with big blows in the corner before a boot on the throat out of a handstand
- Snapmare takedown from Dana before a cartwheel lands her body on Sasha, kick out at two
- Headlock again from Dana, Sasha struggling to get out of it
- Snapmare from Sasha, big forearm from Dana, who runs into Sasha’s feet in the corner
- Sasha with huge clotheslines, knocking Dana down, then catches Dana’s foot and kicks her hard
- Dana in the corner, feet caught again and givesn a forearm for her troubles
- Pin on Dana for two
- Sasha leaping out of the corner into Dana’s foot
- Dana sent face-first into the turnbuckle, Sasha going up high
- Dana goes for a superplex, but gets pushed Down, Sasha comes out with a cross-body and pins Dana for two
- Sasha tries to set up for the Banks Statement, but two clotheslines from Dana make her think better of it
- Backstabber from Sasha, Banks Statement, and Sasha rolls her back into the middle so she can’t reach the ropes – Dana taps!
Charlotte stands on the sidelines and gives golf claps for that win. Holy shit, that was a twelve-minute match, even if three of those minutes were commercials. But… yeah, that’s nice. Sasha stands in the ring, face furious, and shouts to Charlotte, who gets on the mic.
Most sarcastic congratulations from Charlotte, who mocks Sasha’s hair colour, and says that one match doesn’t count as an actual win. She says Sasha needs to face Dana again on Thursday, and then maybe she’ll give Sasha a title shot. Charlotte does the mock mocking wink and a woo when she says that if Sasha’s up to it, she’ll see her Thursday. Sasha makes a chatting motion with her hand, and Charlotte holds her title up to prove, no, she isn’t. She’s all talk and all champ.
Vince is backstage, walking like a prick as per usual, and we’ve got at least ten minutes of Vince talking. For a moment, I thought women’s match would be the main event of this show, but of course, why would wrestling be a main event when Big Vinnie Mac could be the main event all by himself, huh? Why on earth would we want to watch wrestling on a wrestling show when we could listen to an old man be self-congratulatory at what is, for me, nearly 4am?
MAIN EVENT: Vince McMahon vs. WWE Universe
So, Shane is dancing his way out, fist-bumping the audience as he goes. Steph slinks out to the general apathy of the crowd, and the screams of one women who seems really excited. In a nice power play, Shane goes to open the bottom two ropes for her, and she stands there, staring until he backs off, then steps over the second rope all by herself. Then the siblings stop fighting because their dad is here to walk like a drunken turkey down to the ring, and I really hope we don’t overrun and this is literally just five minutes.
Vince says his kids are doing a good job, and he never thought he’d see them getting along together – but that he’s a little disappointed, and it’s as if neither of them came from his loins. I don’t want to think about your loins, Vince. He says he doesn’t like this nice little girl that Steph has become, and calls her sweet, something she vehemently snarls against. Then he turns on Shane and says he shouldn’t even be there, because while he’s respected for his ‘ruthless aggression’, he hasn’t shown any of that. Basically Vince says he wants his kids to fight to the death to run his company.
Steph gets to go first, and claims the WWE Network and WrestleMania had the biggest audience, so she can do her own thing. She says Shane’s been talking about how he needed more pats on the back, and that he knows more about wrestling than Vince – she says Shane talks behind Vince’s back all the time, and that Shane is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Shane’s second, and he listens to the crowd chant for him for a second. Steph breaks in, and Shane takes her mic away. Shane says that in the last five months – pause for cheers – in Detroit – pause for cheers – and of course, panders to the audience. He says he should run SmackDown because he represents change, the change the company needs. He says Vince reluctantly respects him because he can be honest and not kiss up to his father, unlike his sister does. He says Vince can make history by giving SmackDown to Shane – if he’s got the balls – and make a case for change.
Vince says he doesn’t care what the audience thinks, because that’s not how you run a business. There’s a ‘Roman Lames’ sign in the background, which says exactly what the crowd knows Vince thinks of them. Vince gets a drumroll, and says that Shane will be running SmackDown. Steph looks utterly heartbroken – and then he stops the part to say Shane won’t be on Raw anymore, because Steph will get that job. Well, I think we all knew that was coming, even if my draft predictions said otherwise, because why not? Vince says he’s not finished, though, because he wants these two shows to compete, and that’s why his kids are being put opposite each other. He talks about attendance records, merch sales, and social media metrics. Yawn. If I wanted a business meeting, Vince, I wouldn’t be up at 4am. Vince says he doesn’t even care if they break the law, as long as they don’t get caught, and that next week on Raw, they each need to name a general manager.
Vince snarls ‘let the games begin’ and there’s a sign in the background with Brock Lesnar’s head on a Blastoise saying ‘Pokémon Go brought me here’. That must be very disappointing for you, sign guy. Steph says that she’s had to work twice as hard for half the recognition, and now she’s going to make Shane wish he’d never been born. Shane says her venom normally means that she’s scared, and Steph almost corpses in the middle of the ring.
Shane says the game’s afoot, and Steph says there’s only one game in this business, and she’s married to him, and slaps Shane. She climbs over the ropes, and taps her chin, as if asking him to try hitting her, and he kisses her jaw. As she steps out of the ring, she stumbles, and the crowd cheer. She stalks up the ramp, and blows him a kiss. Shane thanks Detroit one last time, and we end out Raw with him shaking hands in the crowd. We’ll see you for SmackDown later in the week!