We get a recap of Raw to start us off – Seth vs. Finn, Roman vs. Rusev, and Randy Orton defying the laws of physics with an RKO out of literally nowhere. Then Brock showing up on SmackDown to suplex Orton. God, can you show us something interesting? Apparently DBry is also crossing rosters, with a sit down with Mick Foley tonight. They don’t have time for interviews on SmackDown, it would detract from all the women’s matches they aren’t having.
Bitterness laid aside, because Enzo and Cass are here! Enzo’s dressed pretty conservatively for him, actually, and Big Cass appears to be wearing their own blue vintage shirt. Huh. I might need to buy that. Cass lets Enzo tire himself out off the lead again, because that way he’ll eat all his chow and sleep through the night. Enzo talks about his flirty time with Sasha – bit awkward, man, she just got married – and calls her smitten. We’re going on record here and saying… no, babe. You’re lovely, but Sasha’s got a real hubby. Enzo says that Jericho’s a big meanie for breaking the man code by wearing a scarf and no shirt. Now, now, Jericho’s allowed to dress like a dad, he’s that age these days.
Of course, Jericho can’t leave a challenge unanswered, so out he ambles, scarf and no shirt again, and his tiny dad panties. Again, Jericho, whatever is growing on your face looks like you grew it on the back of a yoghurt, please get rid of it. Jericho makes the same dog joke I made earlier in this section, so I should probably charge him with plagiarism. Jericho says he has someone to back him up, too, and out comes Kevin Owens, the dad squad are here! Kevin looks like he’d rather be backstage with a podcast and some sort of weighty literary tome, before they get into the ring as well. Jericho calls them Canadian brothers, and Kevin just stares down until finally Chris asks him directly about whether he’s got his back or not.
Cass says that if they’ve got each other’s backs, are they like Bert and Ernie, sharing the same bathtub? Kevin’s mouth twitches almost into a smile, and the camera cuts away to let him compose himself. KO says that he used to like Cass, but he compares Enzo to Sami, says they’re both annoying wastes of space, and he’s annoyed that Cass has carried that dead weight onto Raw. He says he doesn’t care that Cass is 7ft tall, and they stand toe to toe for a second, and KO says he’s going to hurt Cass… but that if he doesn’t, Jericho will. Jericho says he totally will, he will, but as Cass challenges them, Jericho says he was talking to Enzo, not Cass. Suuuuure, boys. Also, Jericho calls Enzo a ‘hip hop hobbit’… I don’t want to split hairs here, guys, but Jericho’s shorter than Enzo. Just a fact, there. They also call Cass Enzo’s ‘seven foot maid’. There’s a mental image.
MATCH: Chris Jericho (w/ Kevin Owens) vs. Enzo Amore (w/ Big Cass)
Bell rings literally as soon as we get back from the commercials, but then, we had all the trash talk before we got into this, didn’t we?
- The guys lock up straight away
- Two quick clotheslines from Jericho and Enzo’s down easily
- Dropkick from Enzo taking Jericho down
- Armbar off a deep arm drag from Enzo
- Chops from Jericho as he asks Enzo ‘how are you?’
- Two hurricanranas from Enzo, taking Jericho down, as Kevin asks “How you doin’, buddy?”
- Cheap shot from Kevin to Enzo as he’s near the ropes
- Snap suplex from Jericho and his foot on Enzo’s face for a lax cover
- Wild swings from Enzo, Jericho walks into a dropkick from Enzo… hang on, Michael Cole is fucking calling this match like he means it. What is this, please?
- Enzo sent over the ropes, and uses his own strength to pull himself back in, sending Jericho over the ropes instead, where he lands with a thud
- Owens drags Jericho away from Enzo and Cass on the outside, where the announce tables used to be, as we go to commercials
- When we come back, Enzo is crumpled in the corner, with Jericho smacking him about, and the ref having to stop Cass getting involved
- Jericho whips Enzo into the corner, Enzo gets a foot up as Jericho runs towards him, the climbs the ropes and knocks him down
- Jericho misses with a clothesline, and a cross-body takes Jericho to the mat
- Running forearm from Enzo, pin for two
- Kevin on the apron is just chanting ‘CHRIS. CHRIS. CHRIS.’
- Enzo goes for a hurricanrana, gets caught, and Jericho drops him down, turning him over and into the Walls of Jericho
- Cass bangs on the apron, rallying him, and Enzo reaches the ropes to break the hold
- Elbow through the ropes from Enzo, and he leaps from the top rope to a staggering Jericho in a cross-body, pinning him for two
- Jericho rolls out, and Enzo comes out of the ring onto him, throwing him back in
- Owens grabs Enzo’s foot to stop him getting back into the ring, and as Big Cass tries to draw attention to it, Jericho hits a Codebreaker
- Big Cass comes in with a boot to break up the match
- Winner by disqualification, Chris Jericho
God, I love Kevin Owens when he’s had no part in a match and he’s still taking victory credit, he’s wonderful. Cass gets on the mic and sets up a Summerslam match between Enzo and Cass and KO and Jericho. Jericho grins as KO covers his ears for Enzo and Cass calling them sawft, and then it’s all over but the smug Canadian heels being smug.
Lana and Rusev are apparently going to share the joy of their nuptials with us on Raw tonight, and I, for one, can’t wait. That might be because my first wedding anniversary is coming up on Saturday, the 13th, and I’m a sap for a good marriage story.
Mick Foley is backstage on his phone, and he’s wearing a suit. He’s on the phone to Steph, and he lies to her that he’s using the tablet and not the old clipboard. Sasha’s here. She says that the match shouldn’t be one-on-one, because Dana will absolutely interfere, and she’d rather have a handicap match, because at least that’s a fair match. Mick says there’s a match tonight, Sasha vs. Dana, and if Sasha wins, Dana’s banned from ringside, but if she doesn’t, then it will be the handicap match. He wishes her luck, but Sasha doesn’t need luck.
MATCH: Braun Strowman vs. Jorel Nelson
Oh, god, not another squash match, please? Can he fight someone with an actual personality at some point? Variety is the spice of life, Raw writers, remember that? Change it up a little! Byron’s trying to interview Nelson, who just mouths some things, but says nothing. He stares out at his local crowd, and then clambers nervously into the ring as Strowman licks his lips.
- Jorel climbs straight out of the ring again
- Referee blocks Nelson’s view, Strowman knocks him so far off the apron he hits the bottom of the ramp
- Reverse chokeslam
- Lazy pin with a foot on Nelson.
Strowman literally throws him out of the ring, slinging him like a sack of potatoes, and commentary insist that Strowman’s a monster in the ring, while we all try to ignore that he’s got no personality or talking skill. He licks his lips in a way that might be supposed to be sensual, or scary, but… mostly, it’s just weird.
Puff Daddy is here, and I don’t give even half of a shit. I really, really don’t care. I wish I could, but I can’t fucking care. Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston are here, and we talk about how Puff Daddy has done the soundtrack for WWE 2K17, and he asks how Big E’s nuts are doing. Apparently not very well. They’re all going to go and call him, give him some well wishes, but not Foley, because he’s old and white.
MATCH: Darren Young (w/ Bob Backlund) vs. Titus O’Neil
Darren and Backlund are busy having a moment on the apron as the match starts, and we get a recap from last week where Darren took exception to Titus upsetting Bob.
- Early slap to Titus
- Running knee from Young
- Titus knocks Young off the apron and comes out to get him
- Darren sent back-first onto the apron, then laid out for some chops
- Darren rolled back into the ring, Titus pulls him to his feet and into a clothesline
- Young is crawling in the ring
- Titus beating Young down in the corner
- Another big slap from Young to O’Neil, breaking him away, and then a couple of rights
- Young goes for a cross-body, Titus looks for the running powerslam
- Young rolls up O’Neil and gets the win by holding the trunks
Darren says an eye for an eye as he stands on the ramp with an excited and cheerful Backlund, and the two enjoy their win.
Salty Seth has come to the ring to tell us all about why he hates Finn Balor – is it because he got to go to Japan on his own merits, Seth, is it? – and his cocky strut to the ring almost makes me cackle in delight. I resist, because I don’t want to start a chain reaction. Seth says, yeah, we know Finn’s agile and athletic and a fast striker. Seth says that if being the best was an Olympic sport, he’d have all the gold medals, and that he doesn’t want to talk too much about himself, because everyone already knows he’s the best in the world. Christ.
Seth goes on to tell us that Finn Balor isn’t Finn’s real name, and then talk about how Finn ‘means’ famous warrior, and Balor ‘means’ demon king. Well, no, Seth, that’s not how it works, you see, they’re both taken from names of a famous warrior and a demon king from Irish mythology, but Finn actually means ‘fair’, and balor means ‘sea giant’, so Finn’s name actually makes him a pretty big fish! Seth laughs at the idea of being called ‘demon king’, and says it’s like calling himself ‘Rambo Apocalypse’. Hell, I’d call my baby that, this baby that Seth said I’d going to have after Battleground.
Seth calls Finn disrespectful, says that Raw is his show, and the ring is his, and that Finn’s not supposed to talk to him like a regular person. If you close your eyes, you could almost believe that it’s Chris Jericho talking in the ring, to be honest. Supposedly, Finn might have beaten people who are no joke, but they’re not Seth Rollins, so there’s no way Finn will get past him. Seth says he’s worked for everything in his life, and he’s never had anything handed to him, ever. He says his place is right at the top of WWE, and he doesn’t need to surround himself with myths and legends. Apparently people will tell stories of Seth riding in on a white horse in 200 years, and he literally calls himself the man, the myth, the legend. I’m amazed you don’t float off into space with all that hot air in you, Seth, to be honest.
Commentary are trying to decide whether or not Seth is making a big mistake, or whether he’s going to make more history at SummerSlam, and they talk about Lesnar and Orton again, as it’s the first time they’ve met one-on-one on pay-per-view. We get a replay of the RKO out of nowhere, which was a brilliant moment, I’ve got to admit that, and then we’re told we’re meant to be excited about a Brock Lesnar match. I just can’t, guys, I really can’t. This is like watching an anaconda fight a wall of flesh, it’s meant to be interesting, but it’s just background noise to the rest of the RPG.
Commentary are talking about the WWE Scooby Doo thing, and Michael Cole looks like he’d rather be dead than admit that he’s in it, poor thing. Honestly, Michael, is it much worse than being called out for all the times you call a move incorrectly?
MATCH: Sheamus vs. Cesaro
Sheamus comes out as his bioluminescent self, swimming up from the deeps, and then out comes our fashionably dressed Cesaro, and Byron says that Cesaro stripping off his suit is his favourite part. Mine too, man, but I’m not sure I’d admit to it on live television. Actually, who am I kidding, of course I would. We get a recap of last week, as well.
- The men lock up straight away, Sheamus getting Cesaro into the corner, taking him down with a deep arm drag
- Side headlock from Sheamus, followed by a shoulder tackle
- Leapfrog from Cesaro, followed by a dropkick to Sheamus
- Sheamus sent to the outside, suicide dive from Cesaro to Sheamus on the outside
- Bringing Sheamus back in, Cesaro gets a kick for his troubles, and some rights from Sheamus
- Sheamus goes for a suplex, blocked, Cesaro takes Sheamus into a vertical suplex instead, and a pin for one
- Big kick from Cesaro in the corner to Sheamus, and then uppercuts
- Cesaro on the top rope, Sheamus knocking him down and gets him on the shoulders for a rolling senton
- Back from commercials, Sheamus is on the top rope, shoulder tackle onto Cesaro’s bad arm and a pin for two
- Side headlock from Sheamus, Cesaro fights out, a couple more uppercuts
- Weird spot where Cesaro takes himself over the ropes, gets a foot up for a kick, and Sheamus catches him
- Cesaro to the top rope, cross-body, pin for two
- Cesaro gets a knee to the head, then a neckbreaker from Sheamus, and a pin for two
- Cesaro back up on Sheamus’ shoulders for White Noise, Cesaro counters, gets a roll up for two, but Sheamus gets out and pins for two
- Cesaro goes for the Neutralizer, Sheamus counters, but Cesaro slides through his legs and grabs him for a roll up, pinning him for two
- Sheamus hits the Irish Curse Backbreaker, and it’s a pin for two
- The sweat is pouring off Sheamus as he gets to his feet and gets Cesaro onto his shoulders for White Noise and a pin for two
- Sheamus turns to a member of the crowd and tells them ‘kiss my arse, you muppet’, which is… interesting
- Cesaro comes in with an uppercut, knocking Sheamus down on the top turnbuckle, and the two trade blows until a dropkick from Cesaro sends Sheamus tumbling off the apron
- Cesaro with an uppercut on the outside, and there’s an annoying spot with the ref in the ring where he gets in between the two larger men and gets a glancing blow
- Sheamus rolls up Cesaro, but the ref is unable to count
- Cesaro rolls up Sheamus after Sheamus gets the ref’s attention, and it’s the three count!
Cesaro sits in the crowd and gets cuddled by people in the front row, and Sheamus looks utterly baffled and shocked by the fact that this is the outcome. Poor Sheamus, things just don’t go your way, do they buddy? Cesaro’s got a smug little grin on his face as he high fives members of the crowd and makes his way out of the ring.
I’ll admit, I skipped the Lesnar/Orton promo, but I caught Brock being bleeped out a few times. Yawn.
MATCH: The Dudley Boyz vs. Neville & Sin Cara
Speaking of yawn, apparently Neville and the Dudleyz had an argument on the pre-show, and I’d be annoyed, but I love Neville, so I’m happy to watch this, and super glad to see Neville in the ring. God, those thighs. Ah, he brought Sin Cara! Who appears to be dressed for a sex party later tonight, rather than for a match. No, no, the section with Lana and Rusev is later, not right now!
- Sin Cara again Bubba to start, boot from Bubba and some big punches
- D-Von tagged in, knocking Sin Cara to his knees in the corner, and then punches to the gut
- Cheap shot to Neville from Bubba on the apron
- Bubba grabs Neville’s leg and asks how it is, before twisting, then Sin Cara is over the ropes and knocking Bubba away
- Springboard moonsault from Sin Cara to Bubba, then Sin Cara goes… through the second rope?
- D-Von knocks Sin Cara off the apron and into the barricades, and Bubba rolls him back in, tagging D-Von on his way
- Elbow drop from D-Von, cover for two
- Neville trying to rally the crowd for his teammate
- D-Von mocks the Lucha chant above him, then throws Sin Cara into the corners
- Sin Cara dodges, and D-Von headbutts the turnbuckle, Sin Cara getting the tag to Neville
- Neville with some great kicks to D-Von, then punches in the corner
- Missile dropkick from Neville, kip up as he displays his surgically repaired foot as good
- Neville ducks out of the way and lets D-Von clothesline Bubba, then rolls D-Von up for two and a half
- Neville comes over the top rope at Bubba, then he’s back on the ropes for a missile dropkick hitting D-Von
- Up to the top rope for Neville again, and it’s a Red Arrow for the win!
The Dudleys lie strewn in the ring, while Neville and Sin Cara celebrate their win. I love watching Neville, I could honestly do it all day, and I kinda like the beard thing, too. Sort of into that. It suits him.
Rusev and Lana are going to ‘celebrate their love’ with us, and we’re all hoping we’re not going to have to watch a live sex celebration. Please, no. Please don’t let there be a bed in the ring.
Oh, thank god, it’s more like a wedding breakfast, that’s okay, we can deal with that. Rusev walks his ravishing Russian wife down to the ring, and it’s all beautifully soft and respectful as we see three cakes laid out and Rusev holds open the ropes so no one sees his wife’s knickers. There’s a hint of genuine happiness on Lana’s face, which is the cutest damn thing, as she calls herself Rusev’s princess. Everyone chants ‘what’ at Lana as she says Rusev gave her everything that she could ever want, and Rusev gets grumpy, telling people to respect his wife. There’s a small child in the background looking very excited as Lana kisses Rusev’s bicep, and we’re told that their wedding is going to be re-enacted in front of all of us, so we can see what true love is.
We get a slideshow of pictures, Lana’s dress, her hair, the two of them standing together, and sitting on the beach together… it’s all so lovely, and the crowd might chant ‘boring’, but I assure you, it’s not boring. It’s rather fucking lovely, actually. There’s a pause when she calls Rusev ‘the greatest man’, and they both look so damn earnest, and it’s lovely. I can’t hate them with this, because they’re do damn happy, and it’s gorgeous. The crowd boos, and Lana tells them to get their phones to film this moment where they say they’re going to re-deliver their vows. Oh my god, I want my vow renewal to be like this – can I have my vow renewal in a WWE ring? Can we pay for that?
Then again, maybe I wouldn’t want to, as Roman Reigns comes to interrupt, heading down to the ring, as commentary say Roman’s vow is ‘ruin everything’. Ouch, a little on the nose there. He makes his way into the ring, and Lana looks utterly miserable, and the crowd can’t decide if they’re going to chant for Roman or boo him. There’s a small section chanting for him, though. Roman says that Rusev didn’t have a best man at his wedding, so he’s come to step up and be that best man, pour some champagne and bless them with a toast. Lana hands the mic to Rusev, and he says that he doesn’t need Roman’s toast – so Roman says he can have a challenge for the title at SummerSlam, which Rusev also says no to.
Roman doesn’t like being denied, so he says that if they won’t take his challenge, they’ll hear his toast, and pours champagne really badly into glasses, draining one before he starts. Don’t quit to become a sommelier, Roman, it wouldn’t work out. He thanks the happy couple for letting him see the marriage of a Bulgarian sasquatch and a mail-order bride, which Lana takes huge offence at. He holds a glass of champagne and says he didn’t mean it, and they’re off on the wrong foot. As Rusev unbuttons his waistcoat, Roman tells him to ‘put that beef away’, which has absolutely got to be in a fanfic somewhere. He says he’s not having a good time, and he’s a bit disappointed with Rusev – just like Lana was on their wedding night. Roman absolutely deserves the punches he takes from Rusev, but Roman gets Rusev in the corner for headbutts. Rusev powers out to take Roman to the other corner, ramming him in the gut and… well, we all knew what was happening the second cake appeared, right?
Roman pushes Rusev back, right into his ravishing wife, who is sent face first in the sheet cake. She screams ‘I hate you’ at Roman, echoing most of the internet wrestling community, and Roman steps out of the ring with a little shrug of ‘whoops’ as Lana and Rusev destroy the rest of the cakes and Lana collapses in tears in the ring.
Backstage, Lana is still screaming, and Rusev is telling Mick that Roman needs to answer for his insolence – and Mick says that they can sort it out at SummerSlam with a match for the US title. Whoops indeed.
MATCH: Sasha Banks vs. Dana Brooke (w/ Charlotte)
So, we saw the stipulation for this earlier – if Sasha wins, Dana’s banned from ringside at SummerSlam, and if she loses, the match becomes a two on one handicap match. The champion comes out first, because fuck wrestling tradition, as LittleKuriboh would say, and we get to watch a recap of the tag match from last week.
- We start off with the women circling, and Dana sends Sasha straight into Charlotte by the ropes
- Big slap from Sasha to Dana, then she ducks under a clothesline and hits a hip toss and double knees for a pin on Dana for two
- Dana in the corner, catches Sasha and bounces her head off the turnbuckle
- Big rights from Dana to Sasha on the mat, but Sasha fights her way out of a submission hold
- Two big clotheslines from Sasha, followed by a dropkick, and she knocks Dan easily into the corner
- Clothesline from Dana to Sasha, cover for two, then another cover for one, and another for one
- Vicious slaps from Dana to Sasha, and Dana holds Sasha near the ropes, Charlotte gearing up for a slap, which misses and hits Dana
- Sasha dropkicks Charlotte away from the ring, then gets Dana tangled in the ropes in the corner to deliver the double knees
- Pin for three – Dana’s banned from ringside at SummerSlam.
Disappointingly short at under three minutes for what looks like it’ll be our only women’s match on Raw, and Charlotte tries to get into the ring, but Sasha’s on the offensive straight away, keeping Charlotte out. Then we get a Nia Jax promo, because that’s much better than letting her be in a match. *sighs* Raw, I had such hopes for you, I really did.
We get to hear from Finn about what he doesn’t like about Seth. He says Seth has misconceptions about him – he’s not disrespectful, he’s honest, he’s not arrogant, he’s confident, and he’s not ignorant, either. He asks if Seth knows his history, and gives us a lesson in Gaelic mythology that’s quite nice to hear, honestly. It’s all sepia toned and Finn tells a heck of a story. Can I get him to come and do bedtime stories for me?
Finn says he can tap into the powers of these men, and says he knows that Seth has his demons… but he doesn’t have demons like Finn, and then Finn transforms into the demon. Does this mean we’re getting the face paint at SummerSlam? God, I hope so.
Anderson and Gallows are pretending to be doctors, talking about ‘ringpostitis’, and we get a whole heap of ball jokes because of what they did to Big E last week, and dear god, I’m bored.
MATCH: Kofi Kingston (w/ Xavier Woods) vs. Luke Gallows (w/ Karl Anderson)
Kofi and Xavier are here, with their Booty O’s, and no Big E, because he has a contusion. He’s at home with a bag of frozen peas on his groin. Gallows and Anderson come out in the doctor’s coats, and Anderson just looks ridiculous, because he’s wearing trunks.
Having to cut short this recap, due to time constraints, so all I can tell you is that Gallows wins the match, but that obviously they try to send Kingston into the ring post, but Xavier Woods comes after them with a chair and chases them away. The New Day will be facing Gallows and Anderson for their tag team titles at SummerSlam.
Weird Golden Truth thing with the Scooby Doo nonsense that frankly makes me want to take my eyes out with a melon baller, so let’s not dwell, shall we?
Mick Foley and Daniel Bryan are having their interview, and the general theme is self-congratulatory and smug, until they start talking about the Universal Title, and Daniel Bryan has to defend what he said on Talking Smack.
Rusev comes down to complain and say that Raw doesn’t need a Universal Title, because it has the US Championship, and he says he’ll crush DBry, and anyone from the SmackDown Live roster. Cesaro appears to say that Rusev has had a bad night, and he’s got an idea on how to make it even worse. He says he wants that championship opportunity – and he wants it now. DBry stirs the pot a little, and it’s pretty glorious to see.
MATCH: Cesaro vs. Rusev – United States Championship
Again, we’re cutting for time, but then, Raw probably wishes it could do that every so often. There’s a long, hard-fought match where it looks like Cesaro will come out of this the victor, and then Sheamus comes down to interrupt just as it looks like Rusev will tap to the Sharpshooter! It looks like Rusev has the pin off the distraction, but Cesaro manages to kick out. There’s an eye poke from Rusev, then a kick from Sheamus, and Rusev retains his title over Cesaro.
Down comes Roman, spearing Rusev at the bottom of the ramp, and leaving Rusev on the floor, the title down by the barricades. We close out Raw with Rusev flat out on the floor, as Roman surveys his handiwork from the top of the ramp. I’ll see you next week, guys – next week.