The first night of our new Monday Night Raw! Wow! So we cover Dean being lifted by the SmackDown roster last night, and then it’s fresh new music for the start of Raw, and also our new commentary team and the new place for the announce table… hang on, can people not be put through tables anymore? Steph and Mick introduce us to the entire roster of Raw, playing the new music, too. Apparently Neville and Mark Henry were the only ones who didn’t get the memo about wearing their own clothes, and are still wearing their Raw shirts.
Steph has a huge go at Roman about failing to get the title off Dean last night, and calls him out in front of the entire roster. She says that Raw has always had a heavyweight championship, and so that’s what they’re going to get. There will be two fatal fourway matches, with the winners of those facing each other in single’s competition, and the winner of that will face Seth for the new WWE Universal Championship, at SummerSlam.
The men are Sami Zayn, Cesaro, Sheamus, Chris Jericho, Roman Reigns, Rusev, Kevin Owens, and Finn Balor! FINN! Finn comes out, and Seth’s looking over his shoulder, looking genuinely scared at the prospect of facing Finn at SummerSlam. Mick says that because Charlotte lost her match last night, she has to put the title on the line against Sasha tonight! Blimey!
MATCH: Cesaro vs. Rusev vs. Kevin Owens vs. Finn Balor – Fatal Fourway
Finn gets his full music, whereas everyone else got a truncated entrance, but then, that’s what we expect, because Finn’s debuting here. Kevin Owens is the first in, the Rusev getting in Finn’s face, Cesaro the only one not getting weird
- Finn and KO first after each other, Rusev and Cesaro together
- Cesaro with a running uppercut to Rusev in the corner, chops from KO to Finn
- Headlock from KO to Finn in the middle of the ring as Rusev and Cesaro fight on the outside
- Rusev with a huge right to Cesaro on the apron
- Kevin with a shoulder tackle and mocking the ‘too sweet’ hand gesture, and then Finn hits him with a huge dropkick, both men going to the outside
- Cannonball from Cesaro off the apron and into Rusev against the barricades
- Back from commercials, during which Cesaro and Finn suplexed Rusev together
- Kevin’s got a knee on Finn in the corner, while Rusev punches Cesaro almost off the apron
- Suplex from Rusev to Finn, and KO applauds, taking his turn with another suplex to Finn
- Rusev hits a German suplex on Finn, and KO goes for the same, but Finn fights his way out, until Owens hits him with a blow to the back of the neck
- KO goes for the cover, Rusev ambling back to Cesaro for some reason, Finn kicking out
- Rusev flings Finn out of the ring, and Rusev and KO double team suplex Cesaro, with Rusev pinning for two
- Rusev with a running senton to Cesaro, and KO rolls out to Finn, throwing him back into the rin
- Forearms from Finn to KO and Rusev, Cesaro rolling out of the ring to safety
- Finn comes in for a clothesline, KO gets him up on his back for a back body drop, then it’s Rusev on KO, Finn rolling clear
- KO and Rusev slugging at each other, and Cesaro with a flying cross-body landing on both of them
- Uppercut train from Cesaro, each of the other three men in a corner
- Cesaro goes to take Owens swinging, but Rusev is in from behind, sending him into the ropes, but Cesaro gets a boot up, the two of them toppling over the ropes together
- Finn looks like he’s going to leap on them, but KO comes up behind him and there’s a big back body drop, Finn rolling through, Owens out of the ring, Finn flying onto all three men
- Finn goes to climb the ropes, Rusev grabbing at his foot, and then Cesaro is in against Finn, and he’s hitting a low dropkick
- 1916 from Finn to Cesaro, pin for two and a half
- KO and Cesaro are in the corner when we come back, Rusev on the mat in pain, and Finn joins Cesaro and KO on the top rope
- Superplex from Rusev, who topples all three men off the ropes
- Boot from KO to Cesaro, spin kick from Rusev too
- Overhead kick from Finn to Rusev, the two grappling, KO coming in to Finn with a torture rack into a neckbreaker, covering Finn
- Cesaro breaks the pin, but KO goes to the top rope and hits a frogsplash on Finn, pinning him for two and a half, before Rusev breaks up the pin
- Pop-up powerbomb from KO to Finn, and a pin for two, Cesaro breaking it up
- Cesaro rolls Finn out and goes for the Neutralizer, KO counters but Cesaro lands on his feet
- Cesaro with a springboard uppercut to Cesaro, goes to take Owens swinging, but Rusev comes in with a kick to Cesaro and another one to Owens
- Accolade onto Owens from Rusev, but Cesaro comes in and lifts Rusev high for a suplex
- Owens rolls out of the ring, Cesaro pins Rusev for two
- Step through from Cesaro, trying to get the Sharpshooter, Rusev rolls him into the Accolade, Cesaro rolls through, pin for two
- Huge kick from Cesaro, Rusev lying flat in the ring almost pinning Cesaro
- Cesaro and Rusev trade blows in the centre of the ring, and Cesaro takes Rusev swinging, then locks in the Sharpshooter
- KO comes in to break that up, kicking Cesaro to break it
- Cannonball from KO to Rusev in the corner, Finn with a dropkick to KO, shoving him into Rusev, then a slingblade to KO, dropkick to Rusev and a Coup de Grace from Finn to Rusev – and he gets the win!
Corey calls this an upset, says that this isn’t what’s meant to be happening, so that’s Finn going through to face someone from the other fatal fourway, for a chance to face Seth at SummerSlam. Hell, I’d love to see Finn vs. Seth, that would be bloody incredible.
We get a Nia Jax video package, and she’s fucking scary and incredible and I bloody love her. Back from commercials, Cole and Corey and Byron are there, talking about how Raw won’t fall behind SmackDown.
MATCH: Nia Jax vs. Britt Baker
Nia’s going to squash her, look at her, she’s amazing and strong and incredible and I love her so, so much.
- Britt jumps up, Nia catches her and hangs her up on the ropes for a chop
- Shoulder tackle from Nia to shove Britt into the turnbuckles
- Leg drop from Nia, pin for two, then drags Britt up by the hair
- Leg drop again from Nia – and the pin for the win.
Well, that was barely worth commenting on, I get that they wanted her to debut, but I could have done with a match that was more than two minutes long, to be honest. That’s not how I want to start up the new era with the women.
Goldust and R-Truth looking like they’re taking a picture of Sasha, and she challenges them on that, but it’s okay, they’re just playing Pokémon Go. Tom Phillips talks to Sasha, who says that she’s been living her dream, and she’s not going to let Charlotte get away from her. The new era needs a new champion, and it’s going to be the boss.
MATCH: Chris Jericho vs. Sheamus vs. Sami Zayn vs. Roman Reigns – Fatal Fourway
Jericho out first, and I’m loving the heel goatee he’s got, before it’s bioluminescent Sheamus hunting prey in the ocean depths, then lovely gingerbread sunshine Sami, before it’s the man we all love to hate, Roman Reigns. Poor boy, I feel a little sorry for him, getting chewed out by Steph in front of the whole roster, like a naughty schoolboy, but then, I’m sure Steph’ll do the same to Brock Lesnar when he comes back, right? Right?
- My stream fails, so when I get back in, Sheamus and Jericho are taking their time to shove Roman around and into the barricades a lot, Sami in the middle of the ring as both men come in after him
- Blows to Jericho from Sami, then clothesline from Sheamus to Sami
- Chops from Sami to Jericho, but again, Sheamus moves Sami aside, and there’s a lariat knocking Sami down
- Back body drop from Sheamus, Jericho crumpled in the corner, Sami going down hard
- Sami and Sheamus trade blows, but Sami runs into a kick from Sheamus in the corner
- Jericho and Sheamus shove Sami towards the ropes, but Sami won’t go off the apron, hurricanrana to Sheamus, Jericho launched over the edge of the ropes too, onto Sheamus
- Sami goes to fly, but Jericho and Sheamus move out of the way, Sami coming off the ropes and landing on his feet
- Roman comes in from behind and slams Sami into the mat, getting a pin for two
- Suplex from Roman to Sami, another cover for two
- Chorus of boos for Roman as he headbutts Sami in the corner
- “How would Roman respond, I think he responded pretty well.” He literally said nothing, just silent fighting
- Roman sucks chants as Roman clubs Sami with a forearm
- Springboard leapfrog from Sami, sending Roman over the top rope with his own momentum and into the barricades
- Sheamus on the opposite repose, grabbing Sami for blows to the chest
- Jericho in with a dropkick to Sheamus, then goes for Sami, Roman toppling both Sami and Jericho off the apron
- Roman goes flying through the air, landing on the three men outside the ring
- Back from commercials, Jericho and Sheamus suplex Roman, Sheamus following it up with a kick to the spine
- Jericho and Sheamus get Roman in the corner, whip him into the opposite corner, then Sheamus whips Jericho into him, and follows up himself
- Roman topples like a redwood in the corner, having a little nap, while Jericho goes after Sheamus
- Sami with a high cross-body to Sheamus and a pin for two
- Clothesline from Sami to Jericho, then Sheamus to Sami
- Roman surges up, clotheslines to Sheamus, then a flying clothesline to take him out
- Jericho gets a Samoan drop, and then Roman comes around the apron for a drive-by to Jericho and Sheamus, dragging Sheamus back in with him
- Forearms in the corner, and Reigns dodges just as Jericho comes running in, then continue to club both of them
- Blue Thunder Bomb from Sami to Roman, and it’s a pin for two and a half – so close!
- Sami goes for a Helluva Kick, and Roman catches him with a boot, razor’s edge from Roman, pins Sami for two, but Sami kicks out
- Actual chants for Roman, and the man himself looks legitimately confused as to how this is happening as he cocks his fist and the chorus of boos comes up again
- Brogue Kick from Sheamus to Roman, Helluva Kick from Sami to Sheamus, pin for two
- Olé chants as Sami and Jericho slug it out, Sami with a kick to Jericho and chops to the chest
- Tightrope from Sami, Jericho catches him, trying to turn him into the Walls of Jericho, locked in
- Sheamus comes in with a kick, breaking the Walls, pinning Jericho, Sami with an elbow, breaking it up
- Sami and Sheamus left in the ring – and the stream goes down
- Spear from Roman to Jericho, pendulum for the pin from Jericho, Roman kicks out at two
- Roman flat in the middle of the ring and Jericho screaming at him to stay down, with vicious kicks to the ribs
- Jericho mocks Roman’s roar, Roman with a massive leapfrog over Jericho and a spear, pinning Jericho for the win.
Well, that won’t be a popular move, will it? There’s a mix of cheers and boos as Roman looks smug, but also a little confused as to what’s happened. Then the smug grin reasserts itself, and we consider that Roman has yet to speak a single word since he’s come back.
The New Day are here, our lovely champs, fresh from their loss from the Wyatts. They’ve got balloons for 337, as they’re the longest reigning tag team champions – if you ignore certain things, I guess – and we’re choosing to do that, because these colourful unicorns make us smile. Woods says that the match didn’t go as he wanted, but it obviously doesn’t change the fact that they’re our tag team champs! That’s a loooong time, Big E says.
We have a great video package documenting how we fell in love with these weird, hilarious, brilliant men, who took a gimmick that shouldn’t have worked and made it work with a mix of charisma, talent, and humour. They’ve done a hell of a thing, and are now best-selling for merch throughout the company, so that’s stuff to legitimately be proud of for them. It’s impressive as fuck.
The crowd chants ‘New Day Rocks’ as the boys talk about their package, and how it’s big enough, and gets the job done. Of course, lovelies. They say they’re selecting one person to be an honorary member of The New Day, and Byron wants it to be him. Big E rolls out of the ring, and the rest of the team join him, looking around the crowd at ringside, and they select a big black guy in a Booty O’s t-shirt, who tells us that his name is Sonny Boy. The joke goes on. A long time. They cheer him, and the crowd chants for him, because they’re easily led. He’s allowed to carry a New Day Rocks chant, and gyrate for us, and then Gallows and Anderson are here, dragging Kofi and Woods out, Big E their target as Sonny Boy rolls out and back to the safety of the crowd. Gallows and Anderson decimate The New day, then climb out of the ring to wrestle the shirts off Kofi and Xavier, shoving Xavier into the steps.
They then make their way to our audience plant, who’s stood in the corner where they found him, and start to threaten him, throwing the jackets they took off the boys towards Sonny. They too sweet, because making your fingers kiss is totes manly and shit, and then we fade out.
MATCH: Curtis Axel vs. Neville
Our commentators talk us back into the show, with reference to Finn and Roman as our main event later in the night. Jojo announces Curtis Axel as ‘Mr Irrelevant’, because he was picked last, but he takes the mic from her and says he’s not irrelevant, they save the best for last. But you are, dude, because NEVILLE IS BACK! Bit hard for him to have to be in the same building where he broke his ankle and screwed himself over for WrestleMania.
- Going for a test of strength, Neville with a kick
- Hurricanrana from Neville, Axel into the corner
- Springboard moonsault from Neville, into a headlock on Axel
- Clothesline from Axel, Neville down, then back into it, coming off the ropes, leapfrog, and a standing shooting star press
- Pin from Axel to Neville off another clothesline, pine for two, and then a headlock
- Clubbing blows from Axel, lifting Neville into a backbreaker, then jabs on the mat
- Axel grabs Neville by the ankle a kick to Axel’s chest, then his face
- Waist lock from Neville and a German suplex to Axel, followed up by a forearm and a kick in the corner
- Belly-to-back suplex from Neville, heads to the top rope
- Red Arrow from Neville, and that’s the win!
It’s so damn good to see the man from Newcastle back in it, and he looks incredible in the ring, too, so I’m very happy with that, to see he’s not questioning himself with landing those moves after the time off. Ring rust? Never heard of it.
Darren Young and Bob Backlund are talking about the shitshow that was the IC title match last night, and Darren says no one puts his hands on his coach. Goldust and R-Truth come and catch some Pokémon, and Backlund goes off on them, and not even Young can calm him down. It’s sort of cute, I guess?
There’s a Finn Balor video package, and he’s just so pretty. *sighs happily* I’m very happy to see him come up, and I wish I thought he was going to beat Roman tonight, because I’d watch the hell out of Seth and Finn.
Tom Phillips has been allowed to talk to Charlotte and Dana before the match, and Charlotte’s not intimidated by Sasha talking about winning, and the mic keeps cutting out. Oh dear. Dana stands behind Charlotte as her mistress says that Sasha will bow down to the queen, and that Charlotte will be keeping that championship. Phew.
MATCH: Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks – WWE Women’s Championship Match
Sasha out first, as it should be, stalking down to the ring, but she had Bayley last night, and tonight, she’s alone, and Charlotte has Dana for back up. Charlotte stalks out, Dana by her side, and the two of them look pretty dominant together. We get a recap of last night, too.
- Let’s go Sasha chants
- The women lock up, vicious to start, both women down to their knees, Charlotte finally shoving Sasha away
- Back to it again, headlock takedown from Sasha
- Sasha thrown back into the corner, Charlotte goes in with a forearm, Sasha dodges and shocks Charlotte
- Backslide by Sasha, Charlotte rolls free
- Charlotte whips Sasha into the ropes, back elbow from Charlotte
- Dana grabs Sasha’s foot, the ref sees it and warns her that he’s keeping an eye on her
- Backstabber from Sasha, straight into the Banks Statement
- Charlotte to her feet, throwing Sasha into the turnbuckles
- Sasha with a takedown, Banks Statement back in, but Charlotte gets her feet under the ropes
- Charlotte to get back into the ring, huge dropkick from Sasha, Charlotte going down hard on the outside
- Knees from the apron to Charlotte, knocking her down, pulling Charlotte back into the ring and pinning her for two
- Charlotte with boots in the corner, but Sasha tangles her up on the ropes, going for double knees to the gut, but Charlotte dodges
- Headbutt from Charlotte sends Sasha off the apron and to the outside
- Charlotte goes to the outside, vicious moves, with Sasha’s head bouncing off the barricades as Charlotte hefts her title, waving it at Sasha and telling her that she doesn’t deserve it
- Huge boot from Sasha, kicking Charlotte back and away, she lets go of the title
- Sasha throws the title at Dana, then attracts the ref’s attention, getting Dana sent to the back so that this has to be one on one now
- Back from commercials, Charlotte dragging Sasha around by the hair, getting her into a stretch, putting her foot into Sasha’s back
- Back elbow from Charlotte, then double knees from Sasha, both women out, and the count starting from the ref
- Both women rise at eight, forearms from both women, Charlotte coming off the ropes with a boot, Sasha dodging and taking Charlotte down with shoulder tackles
- Knee to the face from Sasha, double knees with Charlotte hung up on the ropes, and a pin for two for Sasha
- Charlotte bounces Sasha off the turnbuckles, a suplex, but Sasha lands on her feet, so Charlotte hits a neckbreaker
- Up to the top rope, Charlotte goes for a moonsault, Sasha moves and Charlotte lands on her feet
- Charlotte comes down hard, a knee from Sasha sending Charlotte to the outside and Sasha diving through to her
- Sasha rolls Charlotte back in, pin for two, Charlotte kicks out
- Both women to the top rope, and Charlotte goes for a superplex, both women moving awkwardly, Sasha landing ribs-first on the top rope
- Another moonsault from Charlotte, from the top rope to land on the outside, holy shit chant is absolutely right
- Charlotte gets Sasha back in with a cover for two
- Charlotte goes ‘woo’, goes for Figure Eight, Sasha counters, and then Charlotte hits Natural Selection, Sasha kicks out
- Sasha breaks another pin with the bottom rope, then Figure Four locked in, Sasha coming in with slaps to stop Charlotte bridging it
- Charlotte keeps the Figure Four, slithering off the apron, holding Sasha’s leg and stretching it
- LET’S GO SASHA chants
- Charlotte again for Figure Four, but Sasha gets the Banks Statement in, she tries to roll out of it – she manages to get to the ropes with a foot
- Charlotte runs towards Sasha, backstabber and the Banks Statement – and Charlotte taps!
Sasha’s the champion! Wow, I thought for sure that they wouldn’t let that happen until SummerSlam, that’s a hell of a thing to happen, and you can see Sasha’s struggling not to cry, and there’s a second where Charlotte’s face looks happy for her ex friend, her tears coming too. Sasha can’t stop herself from crying with Byron in the ring, and she can barely breathe as a ‘YES’ chant comes from the audience and ‘you deserve it’ as well. She’s clearly overcome with emotion, and after a nearly 20-minute match, she’s probably pretty exhausted, too! She manages to shout ‘I did it’, and tells us that this has been her dream since she was ten, and proves she’s the best – bringing in the era of the boss, the era of change, the era of women’s wrestling. I’m crying, the ‘YES’ chant even louder as Sasha promises to show us that she deserves this championship.
MATCH: Braun Strowman vs. James Ellsworth
Tiny guy vs, big guy, this is a squash then, kinda interesting to see these coming through like this, like NXT does it
- Ellsworth throws a punch, Strowman doesn’t even react
- One hand from Strowman, and Ellsworth stops still
- Strowman throws him into the turnbuckles, then runs across the ring with a huge clothesline, dragging Ellsworth into a reverse chokeslam
- Cover for three, easy.
Strowman is our monster heel, so we’re selling that as hard as we can, I guess. Seems to make sense.
MATCH: Enzo & Big Cass vs. The Shining Stars
Enzo and Big Cass are here, and we’ve only got about 20 minutes left on the show, so I guess Roman’s going to squash Finn? Because if we’re going to four hours on Raw, I quit. I can’t do four hours. Cass says that he likes it Raw, to Enzo, and I’m like… guys. And then out come the Shining Stars, and… we’re going to put these teams against each other? But we LIKE Enzo and Cass. They call the Shining Stars sawft, and the crowd joins in.
- Epico and Enzo to start, Primo tagged in, dropkick from Epico to the back of Enzo
- Snapmare from Primo to Enzo
- Enzo hung up throat-first on the ropes
- Enzo dodges and Primo goes through the ropes
- Big Cass in, big splash in the corner and a powerslam, followed by the Empire Elbow to Primo
- Epico in, Enzo thrown out, Cass clotheslines Epico out
- Big Cass sent out by Primo, R-Truth and Goldust come through, breaking up the match
- Big Cass gets the pin off the interruption
All those Pokémon Go refs for the break up of one tag team match? Okay, I guess that’s fine.
MATCH: Finn Balor vs. Roman Reigns – #1 Contender for WWE Universal Championship Match
Finn and Roman meet, and Finn says he’s Irish, and they invented luck. Roman says he’s Samoan – enough said. Well, at least he actually spoke before the match went off, I guess, because otherwise it could be a little awkward. Finn’s out first, stalking out to the cheers of the audience. We’re pitting a man universally loved against a man universally hated, and we’re all assuming the man who isn’t liked it going to win? Still… we might be wrong. The boos are very strong as Roman ambles out, Finn swiping sweat off his face.
- CrossFit Jesus sign in the crowd
- Roman with blows to gut straight away, tossing Finn across the ring like he weighs nothing
- Roman stands above Finn in the corner, and another toss, Finn in the opposite corner, crumpled up
- Finn whipped into the corner, bounces out of the way, enzuigiri to Roman’s head
- Shoulder tackle from Roman, hit boot on Finn’s neck on the ropes
- Dropkick from Finn, Roman going down hard
- Finn gets Roman by the hair, with a kick to the gut as well, then an elbow drops Finn
- Clotheslines in the corner to Finn, over and over, having to be moved back by the ref, and Finn ragdolls, throat balanced on the bottom rope
- Drive-by, but Finn’s quicker, stomp to Roman’s chest with a bounce off the ropes
- Finn runs towards Roman, dropkick to the face and sending him into the barricades
- Back from commercials, Roman throws Finn out of the ring, but he’s back in and Roman’s covering him for two
- Roman’s holding his left knee, and we’re shown Finn bouncing off it
- Roman planting Finn, pin for two, Finn kicks out
- Headlock from Roman, Finn trying to get out
- Finn standing, punches to the gut, headbutt from Roman in response
- Finn in the corner, whipped into the other, kick to Roman’s face, two forearms to Roman
- Going for a third forearm, Finn gets caught and rolled up, Reigns lifting and dropping Finn, a pin for two and a half
- Finn crumpled in the corner, Roman setting up for the Superman Punch, Finn dodges, they trade kicks, and Roman’s sent toppling off the apron
- Huge kick from Finn, toppling Roman, Finn to the top rope, Roman to his knees, and Finn lands on the back of Roman’s head
- Pin from Finn, and Roman kicks out at two
- Finn takes Roman by the hair, tries to lift him, but Reigns fights out
- Slingblade by Finn, who rests in the corner as Roman crawls
- Finn runs straight into a Superman Punch and a pin from Roman, but Finn kicks out
- Roman’s lip is split, bleeding slightly, and Finn lies in the middle of the ring
- Roman lifts Finn for a razor’s edge, but Finn hooks him, rolling him up or two and a half
- Roman lifts Finn and plants him twice, pinning him for two and a half, Finn kicking out
- Roman’s almost grinning at the challenge now, heads to the corner, and roars to the crowd
- Roman goes for the spear, Finn hits the slingblade, and then a Coup de Grace off the top rope
- Balor takes the win!
Holy SHIT this is a fucking wonder of a Raw, can we have this every week, please? Happy birthday Finn indeed, bloody hell! Finn goes on to face Seth Rollins at SummerSlam! This Raw, after that PPV last night… have we been very, very good, or are they just warning up us for something terrible to happen? Because this has been everything I wanted, and Battleground was incredible as well, and… good GOD this has been amazing. We close out Raw with Finn in the middle of the ring, celebrating, as a crestfallen Roman Reigns limps to the back, Tom Phillips asking if he’s got anything to say. He says he hopes Finn beats Seth, because he wants that fight again. “I respect that dude,” he says, as Balor stands on the turnbuckle, and the crowd chants his name.
Here comes the new Raw – very different from the old Raw!