The September 30th episode of WWE RAW aired live from the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, AZ. It was the season premiere of RAW and debuted a new set that can be seen in the video below.
Here are 6 takeaways from this week’s show:
Brock Lesnar Brutally Attacked Mysterio & Dominick
Mysterio told his son that he loved him and it was because of him that he was here right now. Rey stated that he was going to bring the Universal Championship home but was quickly interrupted by Brock Lesnar.
Lesnar’s pyro went off and The Beast marched to the ring alongside his advocate, Paul Heyman. Brock snatched the microphone out of Rey’s hands and gave it to a cackling Heyman.
Paul tried to speak but Mysterio ripped the microphone back out of his hands. Lesnar got pissed off and planted Mysterio with the F5 as Dominick looked on. Brock lifted Rey up with ease once again and hit him with another F5. Brock paced around the ring before staring at Dominick in the crowd. Lesnar got out of the ring and walked towards the barricade as Dominick sat down in fear. Brock grabbed Dominick and threw him to the floor.
Lesnar slammed Dominick into the ring post and Body Slammed him to the floor. Brock hurled Dominick into the ring and hit him with a ridiculous German Suplex that sent him flying across the ring. Mysterio tried to help his son but Lesnar hit him with another F5. Lesnar hit them both with a couple more Suplexes as Heyman pleaded with him to stop.
Brock then started beating the hell out of WWE security before throwing Mysterio and Dominick out of the ring. During the commercial break, Dominick was stretchered out of the ring with Mysterio by his side.
Well, that was a wildly entertaining and epic start to the show. Lesnar got a very loud “asshole!” chant as he smirked and posed in the ring after the segment. Brock will face Kofi Kingston for the WWE Championship this Friday night on SmackDown’s debut on Fox.
Sasha Banks Ran Away From Becky Lynch
Sasha Banks squared off against Alexa Bliss tonight on RAW. Bayley and Nikki Cross were barred from ringside for the match. RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch came down to the ring and posed with the title before joining commentary for the match. Lynch will defend her title against Sasha Banks this Sunday at Hell in a Cell.
Banks controlled the match early and knocked Bliss out of the ring. Banks got up on the turnbuckle and started taunting Lynch. Becky responded by getting on top of the announce table and raised the title once again as RAW went to a commercial break.
When RAW returned, Bliss rolled up Sasha for a two count. Becky Lynch was still standing on top of the announce table as Sasha connected with a kick that knocked Bliss to the floor. Back in the ring, Bliss battled back and sent Banks face-first into the middle turnbuckle.
Alexa connected with a couple of Clotheslines and then Double Knees to the midsection. Banks hit a knee to the face and went for the cover but Bliss kicked out at two. Sasha booted Bliss in the knee and then covered her while grabbing Alexa’s tights for the victory.
After the match, Becky rushed the ring and tackled Sasha to the canvas. Banks tried to escape but Lynch caught her with an uppercut. Sasha rolled out of the ring and retreated into the crowd. Lynch told Banks that she can run now but she isn’t leaving the cell Sunday until she is done with her. Becky added that Sasha had made it personal and now she is going to make it painful.
Roode & Ziggler Retained
RAW Tag Team Champions Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler defended their titles against Heavy Machinery (Otis & Tucker) this week on RAW.
Tucker dominated early and hit Dolph with a Dropkick for a two count. Tucker lifted Ziggler up for a Suplex and tagged in Otis. Tucker handed Dolph off to Otis who held Ziggler up for a while before finally planted him with a Suplex for a near fall. Otis leveled Roode and Ziggler with a shoulder tackle and then Heavy Machinery hit dueling Suplexes as RAW went to a break.
When RAW returned, the champs were in control as Roode sent Tucker into the barricade surrounding the ring. Back in the ring, Roode stomped Tucker down in the corner before tagging Dolph back in.
Ziggler hit a Neckbreaker and went for the cover but Tucker was able to kick out at two. Roode and Ziggler isolated Tucker in the corner of the ring and took turns beating him down. Roode planted Tucker with a Spinebuster for another near fall.
Tucker finally was able to battle back and sent Ziggler flying into the ring post. Roode and Otis tagged in and Otis started dancing around the ring as he beat the hell out of Dolph and Roode. Otis did the caterpillar across the ring and connected with an Elbow Drop on Ziggler and Roode.
Tucker tagged in and Ziggler hit him with the Zig Zag. Roode and Ziggler sent Otis out of the ring and teamed up on Otis. Roode connected with the Glorious DDT on Otis for the pinfall victory.
Team Hogan Versus Team Flair Was Announced For Crown Jewel
Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair were guests on Miz TV tonight. Jimmy Hart accompanied Hogan to the ring.
The Miz stated that he hoped Rey and Dominick were okay following the attack by Lesnar before introducing Ric Flair.
The Miz then introduced Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart to a great reaction from the crowd.
Ric Flair started off the segment by saying that he is sick of listening to Hogan’s theme music. Flair and Hogan started trash-talking and traded some insults. Hogan pointed out that they aren’t spring chickens anymore and the crowd responded with a “one more match!”.
The Miz announced Team Hogan versus Team Flair at Crown Jewel on October 31st. It will be a 5 vs. 5 match with Hogan and Flair serving as coaches. Universal Champion Seth Rollins was announced as the captain for Team Hogan. Rollins came down to the ring and vowed to mop the floor with Team Flair. Randy Orton was announced as the captain of Team Flair and made his way to the ring.
Orton told Rollins to take his head out of Hogan’s ass and listen up for a minute. Randy challenged Seth to a match and Rollins quickly accepted. Before the match started, King Corbin interrupted and walked towards the ring. Orton capitalized and attacked Seth from behind. Corbin hit Seth with the sceptre several times before Rusev rushed the ring for the save. Rollins leveled Randy with a Suicide Dive as Rusev booted Corbin out of the ring.
WWE‘s Saudi Arabia shows rely on nostalgia acts, so it was no surprise that this was just an advertisement for Crown Jewel disguised as a promo. I would have preferred to see The Fiend show up and give the Mandible Claw to Hogan and Flair. It is also is a bit goofy that WWE is having this match at Crown Jewel when Survivor Series is in November.
AJ Styles Retained The United States Championship
AJ Styles defended his United States Championship against Cedric Alexander tonight. AJ connected with a Jawbreaker but Cedric shrugged it off and hit Styles with a Dropkick. Styles knocked Cedric to the outside and hit him with a forearm to the face as RAW went to a commercial break.
When SmackDown returned, Styles was still in control and had Alexander trapped in a Headlock. Cedric escaped and connected with a Flatliner that sent both superstars the canvas.
AJ set up for the Styles Clash but Alexander blocked it and hit a Michinoku Driver for a near fall. Alexander went for the Lumbar Check but AJ beautifully countered into the Styles Clash for the pinfall victory. AJ Styles is still the United States Champion.
Lana Made Out With Bobby Lashley
Seth Rollins defended his Universal Championship against Rusev in the main event of this week’s RAW. Mysterio was originally supposed to get the title match but was unable to compete after the attack from Brock Lesnar. Before the match, a limo was shown pulling into the parking lot.
Rollins and Rusev went back and forth as Corbin and Ortin watched on from the entrance ramp. Seth hit Rusev with the Falcon Arrow and went for the cover but Rusev kicked out at two. Bobby Lashley made his return and came down to the entrance ramp with Lana. Lashley and Lana made out for what felt like an eternity as Rusev just stood there in the ring. The lights in the arena went out and The Fiend locked in the Mandible Claw on Rollins to close the show.
RAW started off well this week and then turned into a complete disaster by the end. I could not believe how awkward and dumb this was. First of all, Rusev looked like a complete idiot just standing there watching someone kiss his wife for at least 30 seconds. A camera cutting to Lana every other minute isn’t going to save Bobby Lashley from being a charisma vacuum and one of the least interesting superstars on the roster.
The Fiend attacking Rollins felt rushed and didn’t get that big of a reaction because it happened immediately following the makeout session. Hell in a Cell is this Sunday night and this trainwreck was RAW’s go-home show for the PPV. It is a brand new season but still the same terrible show.