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Suplex City is in Anaheim tonight as Brock Lesnar will be on Raw live tonight ahead of No Mercy, Finn Balor and Bray Wyatt inch closer to their next showdown, the Raw Women's Championship is now a Fatal 4-way at No Mercy and John Cena and Roman Reigns could enlighten us with another verbal masterpiece....all this and more tonight on Monday Night Raw.
The show begins paying tribute by having all of those in attendance to please rise in a moment of silence for the devastation that occurred 16 years ago on 9/11. The crowd claps and chants "USA" after the brief silence.
The Beast is advertised for later tonight. John Cena and Braun Strowman will meet up for the first time for a one-on-one match.
MATCH: Roman Reigns vs Jason Jordan
Jordan tries to shake the hand of Roman, but does not happen. The two stalk each other around the ring to start. John Cena watches backstage. The two men interlock, but are evenly matched. They trade counter attacks, but Roman lands a big right hand. Reigns tosses Jordan around the ring and into the ring posts. Jason fights back with his own hard strikes. A belly-to-belly throw floors Reigns and gives Jordan the chance to get in some much needed offense. Reigns lands a sneaky forearm to level Jordan and change momentum. Roman lands his signature forearms in the corner and adds a big boot. He teases the Superman Punch early. Jordan counters and wrestles Roman to the mat and gets him in the cross-face submission. Roman reaches the ropes and breaks the hold.
Jordan is reeling after the break. He tries to mount a comeback, but is knocked back down. Reigns wears down Jordan and remains in control. Jordan once more fights back, but it hit with a Samoa Drop for a near-fall. Jason breaks the hold Reigns has on him and back Roman into the corner. He counters a big boot and tosses Reigns halfway across the ring. Both men are down and slowly race to get back on their feet. Jason is up first and lands a huge clothesline for a near upset. They trade blows and Jordan gains an upper hand with a huge comeback. He nearly gets the pin on Reigns. They counter big moves, but Jason drops the Big Dog once more for another near-fall. He lands the big shoulder in the corner and lands two Northern Lights for a very close pin. Another cross-face submission is locked and Roman gets his fingertips on the rope with mere seconds to spare. Reigns fights off his opponent and dodges Jason, who lands hard into the ring post shoulder first. Roman goes outside the ring for a Drive By. A Superman Punch and Spear puts away Jason Jordan. Roman walks over and shakes the hand of his opponent. Backstage, Cena is interviewed about his comments, but says he is going out to the ring to talk to Roman face to face.
RESULT: Roman Reigns wins via pinfall
THOUGHTS: Jason Jordan may have looked strong in most of his matches, but they have been mostly loses. He is clearly being endorsed by two of the biggest stars in the company right now. This match took awhile to finish and will tease another face-to-face with Roman and Cena, which is next actually...shocker....
PROMO (In-Ring): John Cena comes out to speak his mind about Roman's match. Roman waits patiently for Cena, who is welcomed with mostly cheers in Anaheim. He brings two mics into the ring with him. He mocks Roman's tactical pants and calls out the fact that Roman called out Cena for almost getting beaten by the same rookie who almost beat Reigns. Reigns states he was having a great match and that he has had more great matches in two years than Cena has had in his career. John mocks Reigns for burying himself with his mic skills. Cena does give him props for his talents, but has his head up his rear. No one has ever cut Roman down to size and that is what Cena is here to do. Cena says he challenges himself to try everything everyday and that Reigns is feeling too entitled. He will teach Roman what real failure is. Reigns has failed and failed in their promos together. Cena is feeling cocky and wants Reigns to bring it at No Mercy or else it will be a cake walk. Reigns tells Cena to get his b****-a** back in the ring. Roman takes credit for putting seats in the stadium and boosting revenue. Cena needs WWE because he can't cut it in Hollywood. Reigns even brings up The Rock as a guy he knows who can help Cena make it. At No Mercy, Cena will be a drug-test for Reigns and he won't get past him.
THOUGHTS: Another solid promo. Cena is killing it and Reigns is actually gaining some momentum with his side of the promos. There were several hot shots at each other that made this feel more real. They just have to deliver in the ring at No Mercy like they have on the mic.
Sasha Banks is coming to the ring for her match.
MATCH: Sasha Banks vs Emma
Alexa Bliss on at the announcer's table. Emma and Banks are even to start. Just as the match is getting started, Nia Jax's music hits. She strolls out to pause the match and walks over to Bliss on commentary.
Emma is in control of Banks, going for several pin attempts. Banks fights back and goes for a roll-up. Sasha slams Emma' face off the ring post and hits a standing dropkick. Emma lands a bit boot and regains control in the match. Banks is tied up in the ropes and Emma takes advantage of a prone Banks. Banks kicks out again. Emma is trapped in the Banks Statement and taps out.
RESULT: Sasha Banks wins via submission
THOUGHTS: The antics on commentary distracted away from the match itself. It was just a way to hype the match at No Mercy. It did little for the feud.
A replay is shown of the steel cage match between Big Show and Braun Strowman. It was a classic big man match and Big Show was literally destroyed when Strowman threw The Giant through the steel cage. Cena's match with Strowman is hyped for later. The Beast Brock Lesnar is next.
PROMO (In-Ring): Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman stroll their way to the ring. Ladies and gentlemen, Brock Lesnar is back on Raw. Heyman says his job is to sell the crowd on the No Mercy WWE Universal Championship match, even though it has already be sold to them. Strowman is called the most worthy opponent and that Lesnar is the underdog for the first time since his match with The Undertaker. The fact that Strowman man-handled The Beast back-to-back nights made him the ultimate favorite to unseat The Beast. Braun will have to rip it from Lesnar, not just pin him for the belt. Heyman brings up 2002, when Lesnar took WWE by storm. Heyman questions if Braun can monster-handle Cena tonight and if he can survive Suplex City. Heyman calls out The Monster and asks if he is ready. The music hits and out comes Strowman, headed straight for Lesnar. Lesnar attacks, but Braun hammers on him. Lesnar breaks free and hits a suplex. Braun pops right up as if nothing even happened to him. Lesnar is shocked and eats a chokeslam. He gets up and suffers a running slam to keep The Beast down. He stalks the belt and raises the belt high over Lesnar.
THOUGHTS: This started out as another hype from Heyman. Strowman coming out was a nice touch, but what really won this segment was the fact that Lesnar was able to actually get in some offense and that Strowman popped right up from the german suplex like no other. Strowman is being booked beautifully so far and this match is way more hyped than Reigns vs Cena ever will be.
MizTV featuring Enzo Amore is hyped. Bray Wyatt is next.
The announcers give out prayers to those who were affected by Harvey and Irma in recent weeks. Booker T said Houston is going strong. "Woo" chants are heard in the background for Ric Flair.
MATCH: Goldust vs Bray Wyatt
We see Goldust in action for the first time in some time. Bray Wyatt appears on the screen and says he has been watching The Bizarre One. He calls him scared for hiding behind his painted face. Like Balor, the paint is his weapon to protect him from the truth of being mortal. The lights go out and Wyatt's entrance begins, fireflies and all. The match starts with Goldust striking first. He takes Wyatt outside and even levels him with a forearm. Wyatt answers back with a flurry of strikes. Goldust rolls out of the way of a running senton and flips off the apron and drops Bray. Bray slams The Bizarre One into the ring post, but Goldust counters with a pin attempt. Sister Abigail ends the match quickly for Bray before Goldust can continue his control of the match. Wyatt grabs a rag and wipes the paint off Goldust and the crowd is not happy. Balor runs out to the rescue and scares off Wyatt.
RESULT: Bray Wyatt wins via pinfall
THOUGHTS: This was actual entertaining. Goldust has not been in action much lately and it was nice to see him compete and actually hold his own against Bray. Of course, he was just a pawn in Wyatt's feud with Balor. Nonetheless, this was quite a nice segment for Bray. This could effect Goldust and change him over the next few weeks. Doubtful, but still.
PROMO (Backstage): Backstage, Sheamus and Cesaro are interviewed. They have a match against Gallows and Anderson tonight and they see their opponents tonight as bigger threats than the tag team champions. They don't think the champs are a true team. Cesaro calls them each selfish and that will be their doom. They will throw each other to the wolves and then the tag team titles will return to Sheamus and Cesaro.
MATCH: Sheamus and Cesaro vs Gallows and Anderson
Ambrose and Rollins sit at commentary. The champs and contenders end up brawling and Gallows and Anderson joins in to beat down the champions. The two heel teams brawl and the champions jump back in. Officials try to separate the teams and get them backstage.
RESULT: Match did not take place
THOUGHTS: Ambrose and Rollins on commentary was actually starting to become entertaining and humorous. The match did not take place and ended in a three team brawl. It was a nice change of pace from the singles bouts we have seen over the last few weeks. Gallows and Anderson seem to be the third wheel in the championship feud and could enter the picture in the near future.
PROMO (Backstage):Rollins want a match with both heel teams tonight. Angle says if they can find two tag partners, then it can be an eight-man tag match. Ambrose swears to find Batman and Mickey Mouse if needed.
PROMO (Backstage): Asuka is teased to Raw soon. Nia and Bliss watch this and are not happen to have another woman interfere in the crowded title picture. Bliss feels is should be her and Jax in the match for the title and not in a four-way. Alexa apologizes for betraying her friend and Jax is hesitant to be friends again. Jax says she spoke to Angle and Bliss has a one-on-one match next week on Raw with her.
PROMO (In-Ring): Who wants to walk with Elias? Elias is actually impressed with the crowd's response. His song takes a shot at Anaheim and how the only thing to do is to pack and leave. He also takes a shot at the Mighty Ducks as well. Kalisto interrupts and enters for their match.
MATCH: Elias vs Kalisto/b>
Kalisto uses his speed to evade Elias. A crossbody from the top rope has Elias retreating. Kalisto launches himself out of the ring and drops the bigger man. He uses his kicks to keep Elias at bay. Elias is able to toss Kalisto down on the apron and change the tide. He attacks Kalisto in the corner and floors him with a big shoulder. Elias works on the left arm of the smaller man. He uses his power to literally use Kalisto like a ragdoll. Kalisto goes for the roll-up, but Elias breaks it. A tornado DDT nearly puts away Elias. A powerbomb nearly breaks Kalisto in half. Elias ends it with Drift Away. He takes his guitar and gloats in the ring.
RESULT: Elias wins via pinfall
THOUGHTS: Kalisto and Elias are both worthy of big pushes and we saw glimpses in this match. Elias can do wonders in WWE if they tap more into his musical talents.
MATCH: Braun Strowman vs John Cena
John Cena runs right at him, but is tossed right out of the ring. Cena ducks and dodges Braun. Cena is dropped hard and splashed in the corner. Reigns watches backstage. Cena is unable to stay on his feet against Braun. Cena lands a dropkick, but Braun answers with his own monster dropkick. Cena is smashed in the corner again. He starts toying with Cena, who tries to crawl back into the match. Cena goes full comeback and goes for the AA, but Braun powers out and drops him again. The pace is slow, but Strowman is picking apart Cena. Strowman lands a fall away slam and Cena rolls out of the ring in pain.
Strowman continues to monster-handle the 16 time world champion. Cena fights back and goes for the AA, but collapses under the weight of Braun. Cena once again dodges the big man and lands the side suplex. He is on his feet and teases the five knuckle shuffle. Strowman jumps up and hits a spinebuster out of nowhere. Cena once more dodges a big move and finally hits the AA. Braun rolls out before Cena can attempt a pin. Cena goes out of the ring and is met with steel steps. The steps are tossed into the ring Braun throws Cena in as well. He grabs Cena and powerslams him into the steps. The bell is rang for the DQ and Strowman celebrates regardless on top of the steps. Roman is interviewed backstage ad asked about the match. He said we won't show mercy like Braun.
RESULT: John Cena wins via DQ
THOUGHTS: John Cena won via DQ, but that was the only thing he won in this match. Cena was able to hold his own most of the time against Braun, but Strowman destroying the likes of Cena speaks highly of Braun. He is being pushed as one of the top stars for the company and it seems likely he will defeat Lesnar.
PROMO (Backstage): Rollins and Ambrose are desperate for tag team partners. They even ask two crew guys if they are interested. They eventually find the Hardy Boyz and the match is set.
PROMO (In-Ring): The Miz and his Miztourage come to the ring for MizTV. Miz has a very special announcement and they announce it where they met...WWE in front of the WWE Universe. They are expecting a baby. The crowd congratulates them. He has even prepared a speech. He begins it, but is interrupted by Enzo Amore. The Miz is not pleased with Amore's antics. Enzo wanted to come out and celebrate with them and with their news. He says he doesn't think before he speaks. Miz says that Enzo and Cass were a top item in WWE and now he is kicked off of tour buses and locker rooms. Miz says that he was dropped in the cruiserweight division because there was nothing else for WWE to do with him. Miz feels his pain and the way he feels. He could teach Amore his ways and rebrand himself. He has talent, but makes too many mistakes. He won't stand a chance against Neville and would rather hangout with third-rate rappers. The 205 Live roster will jump circles around him and doesn't have Cass to carry him. Amore reacts to The Miz's statements. Enzo says Miz copies legends and that is why he was hated. Amore is original and Miz is a copy. He vows to beat Neville and then beat Miz the next night on Raw. Miz is nothing more than a paper champion. The crowd is actually behind The Miz. Miz says Cass wouldn't have left him if he was championship worthy. Amore picks a fight right here and now with Miz. He calls Miz 'swaft' to end the segment as the two stare down.
THOUGHTS: The Miz is gold. I cannot stand watching him and knowing WWE doesn't think he is worth top tier level. Miz bringing up Enzo's real time heat and Amore firing back with Miz's past with the roster and locker room is what WWE is doing right with promos lately. They have truth and they are real to an extent. Amore is still relevant regardless of that heat with the rest of the locker room and Miz did the same. There is a chance Amore falls in his footsteps and turns it around. Bravo from both men on this promo.
The men lock up with each other, but Amore evades Miz. Amore even slides out of the ring and grabs his mic. Amore calls out Miz's wrestling 'straight to DVD'. Miz is aggressive and drops Amore with a clothesline. Miz grabs a mic as well and mocks him. He slams his head off the apron while mocking him on the mic the whole time. Miz goes top rope and Enzo hits him hard, dropping him to the mat. Amore grabs the mic and fires back his own insults and throws a shot at the unborn child. Miz goes wild and beats him down. Bo Dallas and Axel join in and the bell rings for DQ. The duo continue to beat Amore down. They toss him to Miz back in the ring. Skull Crushing Finale ends Amore and keeps him down. Miz celebrates in the ring.
RESULT: Enzo Amore wins via DQ
THOUGHTS: This match went an interesting route. Both men mixed in mic work throughout their match and I think it made the match better overall. Miz's aggression came out and that is when he is at his best in the ring. Congrats to the couple of their upcoming child.
PROMO (Backstage): Backstage, Amore is still hurting. He comes face-to-face with Neville, who laughs in his face.
MATCH: Sheamus, Ceasro, Gallows, and Anderson vs Rollins, Ambrose, and Hardy Boyz
The match starts as an all-out brawl between all eight men. Jeff and Cesaro are left in the ring as the match is official. Jeff goes vintage early. He tags in Matt and they double team Cesaro. Cesaro fights back with an uppercut and tags in Sheamus. Matt nearly lands the Twist of Fate. He throws out Cesaro and Sheamus. He tags back in Jeff and he lands Poetry in Motion over the ropes and to the outside.
Ambrose and Anderson are the legal men and they are back and forth. Gallows is tagged in and man-handles Dean. Dean eats a bog boot to the face and is down outside the ring. Ambrose stumbles to his feet, but Gallows throws him back down and lands another big kick. Sheamus tags himself in and him and Cesaro double team Dean twice. Dean kicks out at one. He fights back, but Sheamus keeps him grounded. Gallows keeps him isolated in their corner. Anderson gets a two-count. They keep a depleting Dean away from his corner and wear him down more and more. Dean makes it to his feet and trades blows. Dean goes for a back-slide for a two-count. Matt jumps in to break a pin, but is beaten down. Ambrose goes on a comeback and lands a swinging neckbreaker. Gallows knocks down everyone in Ambrose's corner. He fights out of the Magic Killer and somehow is also able to land a big clothesline to stay in the match. Sheamus is tagged in and is nearly rolled up for a pin. Rollins is back to the apron, but Dean remains in control and finally tags out. Rollins starts dropping bodies off the apron and hits the blockbuster on Anderson. He suicide dives to take out Gallows on the outside. Gallows recovers to break the pin. Jeff and Matt each hit Twist of Fate on Gallows. The champions double team Anderson for the win as the Hardy Boyz keep off Sheamus and Cesaro from getting into the ring.
RESULT: Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Hardy Boyz win via pinfall
THOUGHTS: The Raw Tag Team Division is very strong and powerful, as we saw in this match. The issue is that their whole division was pretty much in this match. Four teams and they are all in the title picture. SmackDown Live has depth in their division and it makes them stronger. Some trades may need to be made to fix Raw's tag team dilemma.
THOUGHTS: Overall, the show was a roller coaster. It seemed rushed at times and there were many short segments followed by a commercial break that also made the show seem slow paced. There were great angles and twists throughout the night and it is positive. WWE seems to be trying new things still and that is a good thing: don't make things stale with the same thing every week and every match.
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