Hears! it is the first one Raw as summer festival! Will Edge answer questions? Is Becky Lynch a face now? And what about Bayley, Dakota Kai and IYO SKY joining forces as the Legion of Doom? Claire is also watching and no doubt has the same questions. But since she blogs, she can’t really say all that.
Let’s talk Raw!
IYO SKY vs. Bianca Belair. How did we get here? WWE threaded the story in RawThe first two hours prepare for a game. First, Becky Lynch stepped into the ring when Raw started with a good babyface promo. Becky adequately explained her evolution from The Man to Big Time Becks back to The Man. And she thanks Bianca Belair for part of that change. Bianca hit the ring, the two embraced, and Becky told the champion to hold him down until she returned from tending a severed shoulder of hers. While Bianca basked in her glory and noted that her respect for Becky does not extend to Bayley, IYO SKY or Dakota Kai, those same three women assaulted Becky backstage. Bianca ran to Becky’s defense—in heels no less!—but it was too late.
Several matches and minutes later, Asuka faced Alexa Bliss. Bliss talked about climbing the ladder after ruling out Doudrop, and Asuka was the first rung on her. The match was fine, but had a chance to be anything but as Bayley, Dakota and IYO interrupted the process. Guess who stepped into the ring in a very fresh pair or Air Jordan 11s and ready to fight?
Bianca chased off the newly minted trio and challenged any one of them to a match. I she accepted.
IYO and Bianca were all about both women feeling each other. IYO didn’t show her mastery of the skies, while Bianca didn’t show her power as often as one might think. The most vicious moment was when Bianca caught IYO’s Frankensteiner attempt and slammed her head into a barricade.
It was at that exact moment that the true purpose of the match was revealed. Bayley and Dakota, who were already ringside, stopped Bianca from throwing IYO back into the ring. Asuka and Alexa evened the odds as all six women went head-to-head. Bianca and IYO fought some more, but distractions abounded.
Eventually, everything deteriorated and the four women outside the ring fought each other inside the ring, forcing the referee to ring the bell and declare the match a no contest.
While some may balk at the fact that both of this week’s women’s matches were a form of DQ, but the finals served a greater purpose. Bayley’s team wants to control Rawfemale division of s. Making your presence known at every game on the card makes sense. Hitting every woman just to make a point is key to that. And, to make matters worse, they did indeed take Becky off duty after her shoulder problem “got worse.”
I’m feeling all of this and I can’t wait to see where it goes. Bianca isn’t exactly a team player. Neither Asuka nor Alexa either. Seeing all three go up against a legitimate stable has a lot of potential. Can they get along? Will they get along? Who in Bayley’s group wants Bianca’s championship? How violent will this get? Hopefully we get answers to these questions and more.
Ciampa will survive
Once AJ Styles won his triple threat match against Mustafa Ali and Miz, the winner of Ciampa, Dolph Ziggler and Chad Gable was a no-brainer. The winner of each match earned the right to fight each other. The one-on-one winner earned the right to face Bobby Lashley for the United States Championship.
Although Ciampa vs. Chad vs. Dolph didn’t work for me as much as the previous one with AJ, it was a solid affair. The best moment was when Chad and Dolph showed off their wrestling acumen for a brief moment. Also? Weird Dolph is back for Theory and as of now, he’s not doing anything with Theory.
Regardless, Ciampa and AJ squared off with Miz in Ciampa’s corner. And this was, of course, a very good match. It’s not so much about conflicting styles, no pun intended, with these two, but about two veterans who know each other very well due to scouting from afar. Rey dodged the Pele Kick. AJ reversed the Air Raid into a Styles Clash! Ciampa saw the phenomenal forearm coming and responded with a patented knee strike. If it wasn’t for Miz, these two could still be fighting right now.
But Miz is one thing and he helped Ciampa several times. The greatest of those moments came when the action hit the outside. Ciampa threw AJ over the barricade into the timekeeping section. And guess who held AJ’s leg while the referee counted him out? If you said “Maryse”, then clearly your brain is not in the right place. Well, it is, but this is the wrong time.
it was Miz. It was Miz who held his leg and it was Miz who almost disqualified AJ. Ultimately, Miz’s presence gave Ciampa the high ground, allowing him to attack AJ as soon as Styles returned to the ring and end the match with an Ending of the Fairytale variety.
Now we have Ciampa vs. Bobby Lashley for the US Title. Words I thought impossible to write after the last few months. But this was a solid story told through good wrestling in three different flavored matches. That’s a win for everyone.
I think it’s time for Lashley to give up the US title, so give me Ciampa for champion. Please?
a lot of style
AJ Styles showed me something new this week. At the end of this very good early triple threat match, Ali hit Miz with a 450 splash only to bounce right into AJ’s hands and fall victim to the Styles Clash. Oh, and AJ executed said Styles Clash right on top of Miz. It was a perfect ending to a great match.
Miz was limping for most of the match due to some broken ribs in his summer festival play. He did the DDP tape work so thank you for that because it’s always appreciated. Logically, that meant AJ and Ali played a game of whatever you can do, I can do better. And both men, at different times, did their best to draw each other out and focus on the injured Miz.
The best example was Ali diving off the top rope and hitting AJ with a tornado DDT to the ground. Ali is so dumb and reasons like that are small samples of why. While AJ was never in doubt about getting the win, this really was a showcase for Ali. And he, as usual, answered the bell. Great opening match for Raw with many bets.
Who wants the smoke now, biotch?
Seth Rollins, who apparently doesn’t care that his wife was assaulted earlier in the night, came out worried about Riddle. The Street Profits, still licking their wounds after losing to The Usos, came to his friend’s defense. Seth spoke his language, clowning around for losing, telling them to split up, and saying that if he was just one of them, then he might fight. Well, the Profits accepted that offer and decided to play a game of paper, rock or scissors for the right to fight “Franklin” Rollins. Well, in a move that surely hints at a rift between friends, Montez basically said “nah” to that, grabbed the referee and ran into the ring.
What followed was a great match that tried to prove that Tez can walk away with one of the best in WWE. His bruised ribs were the other part of the story, which meant his normal high-impact attack caused her just as much pain as Seth. And he bit him again at the end.
Tez dodged Seth’s frog splash and went for her own. But he took two knees to those bruised ribs. Rollins hit a Blackout, or Curb Stomp, whatever they call it, and got the W.
It was for another post-match but Angelo Dawkins arrived at the side of his partner. Mission accomplished on all fronts, Tez. Unfortunately, that probably means we’re one step closer to gains splitting up and walking on opposite sides of the block.
Do not judge, for not being judged
Edge came back. Edge cut a good babyface promo. Edge even apologized to the crowd for being, in his words, an “asshole.” Edge kept it simple: he’s here to end Judgment Day.
The only knock I have is the fact that he didn’t use the music and the presentation of summer festival. But I will live.
Oh it’s not over
Edge wasn’t done. This week’s main event saw The Usos defend their titles against The Mysterios. Which… I thought was funny. Sure, they won their summer festival match, but they lost their tag match before that one. The only reason they had this spot was because of something at the end of the show. either for a title change. As the match progressed, and it was a solid affair, it became apparent that a title change was not in the cards. The Usos continued his reign, which is getting boring, and Judgment Day stepped into the ring for some good old-fashioned revenge. Cue Edge music. The rated R interrupted the beating and Rhea squeezing the life out of a Mysterio with her thighs as Xenia Onatopp. For…reasons…I want more of it.
Regardless, Edge cleared the house and readied Damian Priest for a spear. Only for Rhea to push Dom in front of him. Edge showed no remorse for the accidental spear and chased his old team through the halls.
Rey, who previously noted her friendship and history with Edge, did not see Rhea push Dom, but did see Edge throw him. He seemed confused and no doubt upset that his old friend would do something so heinous.
I’m not sure this story needs this layer of drama as it writes itself. But, here we are.
Raw it was an entertaining show this week. Every match had some sort of stake, their newest group had some development, and the US championship looks like a big belt instead of just a fixture. And we had a solid, good or great fight all night, combined with good promotions. Not all the matches were perfect and I wonder if they are exaggerating the feud between Judgment Day and Edge.
That’s my rating and I’m sticking to it. Your turn.