Becky Lynch kicked off Raw. She entered wearing an arm sling and they cut to a video package of Bianca Belair’s win followed by the post-match angle.
Lynch spoke in the past about hitting rock bottom and not knowing who she was without the championship but at SummerSlam, she finally remembered who the hell she was. It wasn’t in the fancy clothes but it was in the relentlessness and the pursuit to be better today than she was yesterday.
She could have given up at SummerSlam when she separated her shoulder but she gutted through it for the most painful 20 minutes of her career. She didn’t just do it for herself but she wanted to create the greatest women’s division they ever had, for all of the women in the back who work their asses off every week.
When she lost, she knew she had given her best but it just wasn’t good enough. But she wasn’t defined by one match or by the title, she defined the title. She said she was not defined by the man, she defined “the man.” She planned on starting the greatest comeback ever.
She also wanted to thank someone for making her the B.E.S.T. that she could be. She called out Belair.
Belair told Lynch that she didn’t just define ‘the man,’ “but you are the man.” Lynch told her, “hold it down — I’ll see you soon.” The crowd chanted for Lynch as she left.
Belair had nothing but respect for Lynch. She hasn’t forgotten the underhanded things that Lynch had done but she didn’t want to be handed anything and Lynch made her work for it. She shook her hand at SummerSlam because they had mutual respect and it meant something to have respect from Lynch.
Belair was always ready for her next challenger — whether that was Bayley or her friends. They cut to the back where Bayley, Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky attacked Lynch. Bayley appeared to attack Lynch’s arm/shoulder with a steel chair. Bayley and her friends were gone by the time Belair sprinted to the back. Officials checked on Lynch.
There aren’t any commercial breaks for the first hour but they are spacing things out with video packages.
There was a nice video package narrated by JBL putting over the importance of the United States title and highlighting some of the past title holders including Harley Race, Sgt. Slaughter, Roddy Piper, Dusty Rhodes, Ric Flair, JBL, Scott Hall, Bret Hall, John Cena, Ricky Steamboat, Booker T, Kofi Kingston, Rick Rude, Mr. Perfect, Edge, Miz, Randy Orton, Seth Rollins and now Bobby Lashley.
They showed a video by Logan Paul from social media. He didn’t know when he’d be back but it would be soon and he couldn’t wait.
Triple threat match: AJ Styles defeated Mustafa Ali and The Miz (8:51)
There were some cool spots in the match including Ali giving Styles a tornado DDT off the apron at hyper speed. As Ali entered the ring, Miz caught him with a Skull Crushing Finale but he took too long to make a cover and Ali kicked out. (Miz’s midsection was taped up selling the table spot from last night.)
Ali hit Miz with a 450 splash but his momentum sent him right into the arms of AJ who gave him a Styles Clash onto Miz for the pinfall win (Styles pinned Ali). The crowd popped big for the unique finish.
(With the win, Styles will face the winner of another triple threat and the winner of that will earn a US title match against Lashley.)
Pearce and a trainer checked on Lynch in the trainer’s room.
Sarah Schreiber approached Bayley and company for comment. Bayley said this wasn’t about Lynch, this was about them, and everyone would find out more soon enough.
As they left the building, the Usos arrived. Schreiber asked the Usos about having to face Rey and Dominik Mysterio just days after being the Street Profits. Jimmy and Jey said today would be no different than any other. They beat the Profits again and they would beat the Mysterios again.
Seth Rollins segment
Rollins called tonight a celebration because we wouldn’t have to see or hear from the original idiot Riddle. Rollins said Riddle wanted to be so much like Randy that now he’s on the shelf.
With Riddle out of the picture, Rollins wanted to turn his attention to Roman Reigns and the Universal title. The crowd cheered.
The Street Profits interrupted before he could continue. Rollins didn’t want to share air space with the biggest losers in WWE and he wondered how many times they’ve lost to the Usos. He suggested that they might as well break up.
Angelo Dawkins reminded Rollins that they beat him to become tag champions. Montez Ford remembered that Rollins was the guy who lost to Cody Rhodes with only one booby. Rollins got upset and threatened to stomp them but he was smart enough not to take them both on at once.
Dawkins asked the crowd if they’d like to see one of them beat up Rollins tonight. They cheered. Dawkins suggested rock paper scissors to see who would face Rollins so they brought out a referee to officiate their game. As they started rock paper scissors, Ford grabbed the referee and sprinted to the ring so he could start the match.
Seth Rollins defeated Montez Ford (10:34)
Thumbs In The Middle Pointing Up
Ford got plenty of offence and a few nearfalls — including after hitting a tornado DDT and only getting a two count because Rollins got a rope break. Rollins followed that with a buckle bomb and falcon arrow for a nearfall.
Ford dodged a frog splash and went for one of his own but Rollins got his knees up and hit a curb stomp for the pinfall win. (Good match designed to make you want to see Ford get another shot at Rollins.)
Rollins set up for another stomp but Dawkins ran down to scare him off.
There was a Roman Reigns/Brock Lesnar video package, a plug for Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre at Clash at the Castle, and screenshots of SummerSlam media coverage.
Alexa Bliss vs. Asuka ended in a double DQ/no contest (2:32)
Thumbs In The Middle Pointing Up
They were having a back-and-forth match when Bayley, Kai and Sky attacked for the DQ/no contest.
It seemed like Sky was setting up for a moonsault with a steel chair but Belair ran down to chase them off. Belair demanded a match with any of them.
(We got our first commercial break at about 9:05pm.)
Belair vs. Sky was announced for later tonight.
Chad Gable cut a promo on his way to the ring saying he would win this match, beat that ignoramus AJ Styles and put this country on his back once again. He was a real winner and not a cheater like the Houston Astros.
Triple threat match: Ciampa defeated Chad Gable and Dolph Ziggler (10:28)
They went to break two and a half minutes into the match. After the break, Gable put Ziggler in an ankle lock as Ciampa applied a crossface. Gable kicked Ciampa aside but Ciampa broke things up by giving Gable a leg lariat.
Ciampa gave Ziggler a Air Raid Crash off the middle rope but Gable broke up that cover with a diving headbutt. As Gable gave Ciampa a German suplex, Ziggler brought down Gable with a Zig-Zag for a nearfall.
They all traded cradles and counters until Ciampa hit Gable with a knee strike and Fairy Tale Ending for the pinfall win. (Pretty good match but the crowd was fairly quiet with Ziggler as the only babyface.)
Ciampa will face Styles tonight and the winner faces Lashley for the US title.
Edge enered to a big ovation and he thanked them for that. Edge said, “To be fair, for the past few months, I’ve been a bit of an asshole. But that all changes now because now, we both get what we want.”
Edge thought maybe he could pass on his knowledge of 30 years to Damian Priest and Rhea Ripley. It felt like they were just getting started but their first taste of power clouded their judgment. They thought they learned all that they could but they were wrong. He didn’t see it coming when they put one over on him with Finn Bálor and he admitted that was rare.
Now it was time to kill what he created. He looked into the camera and told them, “I am going to kill Judgment Day.”
This was a good, straightforward promo.
Kevin Patrick interviewed Rey and Dominik. Rey said they were done with Judgment Day and now they have to deal with Edge. He called Edge family after they won the tag titles together. Tonight was all about one thing — beating the Usos and becoming the champions in Houston.
They played clips of the tryout in Nashville over the weekend. Big E was among WWE talent there. Corey Graves mentioned Dwight Howard but they didn’t show him.
Schreiber interviewed Bayley and her buddies. Bayley said these idiots have been on a downward spiral since she left so she reached out to two women who have been waiting far too long for their moment. Dakota Kai said they know how to play the game. Sky said she would see Belair in the ring.
Non-title match: Bianca Belair vs. IYO SKY ended in a no contest (17:16)
Thumbs In The Middle Pointing Up
Sky hit an Asai moonsault and they went to break a minute into the match.
Belair was in control following the break but Bayley and Kai sauntered out and the slight distraction allowed Sky to bring her down from the top with a hurricanrana. Sky slipped out of a KOD and tried a dive off the apron but Belair caught her and swung her into the barricade.
Belair wanted to throw Sky back in the ring but Bayley and Kai sat on the apron to block her path as the ref just stood there and yelled. Asuka and Bliss marched out to even the odds as they went to another break.
Belair hit a superplex and a standing moonsault for two. Sky fought back with a double foot stomp and running knee strike in the corner. Belair bought her down with a spinebuster but Sky got her knees up on Belair’s handspring moonsault attempt.
Bayley tripped Belair as Sky distracted the ref and Sky tried a cover with her feet on the rope but Bliss knocked her off.
Bliss and Asuka jumped in the ring to brawl with Kai and Bayley which led to another no contest/double DQ finish. The faces and heels brawled until officials broke things up as the crowd chanted “let them fight.”
Miz hyped up Ciampa as Patrick approached them for an interview. Miz told Patrick that WWE wasn’t a playground for Youtubers. He was cheated at SummerSlam and blamed Styles.
Ciampa said he used to respect Styles and his path to WWE but Styles chose to support a man who made a mockery of their home so now would crush Styles’ US title dreams. Miz said Ciampa would become a superstar under his tutelage.
Booker T joined commentary for the upcoming match and was introduced to his hometown crowd who gave him a nice ovation.
Ciampa (w/The Miz) defeated AJ Styles to earn a US title match (14:01)
The announcers noted that Styles seemed to be favouring his neck following his earlier match (which happened before Ciampa’s match did).
Styles was in control before a break but Ciampa countered a Styles Clash and hit a series of strikes and a leg lariat for two. Ciampa countered another Styles Clash but Styles suplexed him into the turnbuckles. Styles went for the Phenomenal forearm but Ciampa caught him with a high knee strike for a nearfall. He followed with Project Ciampa for another nearfall.
Ciampa set up for an Air Raid Crash but Styles countered into a Styles Clash. Styles had it won but Miz placed Ciampa’s foot on the bottom rope for a rope break.
Styles chucked Miz into the timekeeper’s area so Ciampa drove Styles into the ring post before also chucking him into the timekeeper’s area. Miz held on to Styles’ foot as he tried climbing over the barricade to get back to the ring and but the ref couldn’t see.
Styles just barely broke the ten count but he ran right into a knee strike. Ciampa followed with Fairy Tale Ending for the pinfall win. Really strong match.
Bobby Lashley told Patrick he would defend the US title any time. He knew Ciampa was dangerous, especially with Miz by his side, but he’d have no problem putting him in a Hurt Lock.
They showed a clip from after SummerSlam of Brock Lesnar getting to his feet, putting on his cowboy hat, climbing to the top of the ring, and tipping his hat to the crowd.
The Usos defeated Rey & Dominik Mysterio to retain the Undisputed Tag Team Championships (15:48)
Thumbs In The Middle Pointing Up
Dominik wiped out the Usos with a dive and they went to break 40 seconds into the match.
The Usos worked over Rey until he made a hot tag to Dominik who handed out neckbreakers to both Usos. After Jimmy avoided a Dominik 619, the Usos caught him on a dive attempt and drove him into the ring post leading to another break.
Rey got a hot tag following the break but Jey superkicked him out of mid-air for a two count. Rey countered a 1D before tagging Dominik and they gave Jimmy a double 619. Dominik hit a frog splash but Jey just barely broke up the cover. The crowd wanted a title change there.
Jey superkicked Rey outside the ring before Dominik wiped him out with a dive (sort of). Dominik battled Jimmy off the top rope and set him up for a 619 but Jey made a blind tag and they hit him with 1D for the pinfall win. Usos retain.
Bálor, Priest and Ripley attacked the Mysterios after the match until Edge ran out to make the save. Edge gave Priest a DDT before setting up Bálor for a spear.
However, Ripley pushed Dominik in front of Bálor and Edge speared Dom by mistake. Edge chased away Bálor.
Rey and medical staff checked on Dominik (after he got hit by a spear) as the show ended.
Overall: Thumbs Up