WWE: Monday Night Raw was LIVE from the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, TX on 8/15/2016!
Raw starts with a pre-taped promo from just outside the arena with Seth Rollins. He speaks about making history by becoming the first ever Universal Champion. He talks about unfinished business with Finn Balor. He says he’s gonna call out “The Demon King” right now! He mocks the demon with that fantastic laugh of his. He says the demon is too scared to find the man, but the man is gonna find the demon king.
We pan right to the ring with the US Champion, Rusev, and a shrieking Lana, visibly upset from the cake tomfoolery that occurred last week with the interruption by Roman Reigns. Rusev says there will be No Raw tonight. We’ll have no “stupid superstars” or anything until Roman comes out to apologize. Seriously, how great is Rusev these days? “USA” chant from the Texas crowd. The Raw GM, Mick Foley, takes exception to having Rusev threaten to take the show hostage and he’s out to the ringside area where Rusev says to stop “that stupid music”.
“Yes, I know it’s Foley.” -Rusev responding to a “Foley” chant
He is on point. Rusev says he’s the greatest US champ ever and he demands respect. Rusev said last week he called Mick Foley the greatest GM of all MANKIND last week. Well he lied, and Foley sucks. Rusev is on point tonight. I am laughing my rear end off and it’s only a few minutes into the show. Rusev demands Stephanie McMahon come out and handle the situation. The RAW commish comes out to her music and joins Foley at ringside. Steph says she backs Foley and then Rusev threatens to call “little Daniel” and maybe he’ll entertain having some great talent on his show. Roman Reigns has heard enough and he’s out and he quickly apologizes. But he says he apologizes that Rusev found that website where he met his wife. He is also sorry that one day they’ll bump uglies and have Sasquatch babies. Rusev says Roman disgusts him and he’s a greasy pig. Seriously, I am still laughing. Let’s have Rusev win another Money In The Bank match right now. Roman doesn’t feel like waiting until Summerslam for the title, let’s do it right now. Foley books a non-title match tonight with Rusev and Reigns non-title for Lana’s honor. Great piece of business between two hosses that Corpus Christi will enjoy.
A graphic is shown for Randy Orton and Brock Lesnar and Lesnar on RAW tonight. We then preview Seth Rollins again promising to call out “The Demon King” live tonight. Hope Finn doesn’t show up in the makeup. I always thought that was best saved for PPV audiences. We’ll see how that plays out. They head to a commercial.
Back from the break, Sheamus is standing in the ring for singles action. They show highlights from last week of Cesaro nearly beating Rusev for the US Title where Sheamus cost Cesaro the match. Sheamus will be competing against Sami Zayn. Before he competes, he talks to Byron Saxton about how he “proved” that he’s a better athlete then Cesaro and he says Sami Zayn is a twitter warrior. Sheamus says Sami is just a ripoff of the Celtic Warrior and tonight, he’ll kick his head off. Zayn hits the ring to a good reaction and the action ensues!
Sami Zayn defeats Sheamus with the Helluva Kick after Cesaro, who was on commentary for the match, caused a momentary distraction. This was a great match to be frank. Sheamus is a very enjoyable veteran hand to watch and Sami really delivered with a high profile victory. He hasn’t done much since beating KO last month, and this was a good way to continue the Cesaro/Sheamus story and establish Sami Zayn as a presence on RAW.
Tom Phillips is backstage talking to Kevin Owens about his match later with Big Cass. The two talk about having each other’s backs tonight and heading into Summerslam. Jericho says how can Enzo be a “certified” G without a license? They mock the spelling of “SAWFT” and they have called Tom the wrong name several times already. They say Enzo and Cass are a cancer in the locker room. They turn on the serious and say that Cass was a big problem tonight and he better watch “it”.
After another break, we have a heated backstage segment with Cesaro and Sheamus. Holy cow! Mick Foley is putting Cesaro and Sheamus in a best of seven series starting with the first match at Summerslam! Reminiscent of the Benoit/Booker T. TV Title feud from WCW which made both men at that time. Cesaro and Sheamus will certainly feature prominently the next few months and this should be fun. We then head to the ring for a non-title match between the New Day and their 358 day tag team title reign and the Dudley Boyz. The New Day are interrupted on the way to the ring by “Doctor” Gallows and “Doctor” Anderson who are cracking on Big E’s injuries yet again. The references to the genitalia flow heavily and they are “well endowed” with the most up to date technology. It ends with a zany microwave gag and the action begins in the ring.
The New Day defeat The Dudley Boyz via a Trouble In Paradise on D-Von Dudley by Kofi Kingston. They immediately cut back to the good “Doctors” who say this might be a “ballbuster” but we need more test subjects. There is a large jar with Big E’s “eggs” and two smaller and empty jars with Kofi and Xavier’s names on them. Kofi and Xavier get the crowd on their side by saying they’ll be damned if the Club is gonna beat them at Summerslam. Kofi talks about the power of positivity and he says they’ll persevere and overcome. They say the Club doesn’t have the power to lay a finger on their “new day rocks”. That was clever. The champs celebrate as we get a promo for a Nia Jax match next and we head to another break.
Seth Rollins is backstage still searching for “The Demon King”. Apparently he’s having a coffee at catering? Seth runs into Neville, who warns him not to take “The Demon” lightly, as he’s been in the ring with him. Neville leaves and Seth tells him to go back to his hobbit hole as we head to ringside for a Nia Jax match.
Nia Jax defeated Rachel with a Samoan Drop/Sidewalk Slam variant in a squash match. Rachel was geared up like she was ready for a roller derby match. She had a cool look, but obviously was there for a cup of coffee as Nia destroyed her. Smart to keep booking her and Braun Strowan like this as they get prepared for meaningful feuds. Nia will eventually be headed towards a program with Sasha Banks.
We see “The Advocate” Paul Heyman backstage headed towards “The Real” Brock Lesnar’s dressing room and he knocks on the door, getting ready to head to the ring as they head to another break. Back with Brock and Paul headed to the ring and we get clips from Raw and Smackdown where Brock and “The Viper” Randy Orton attacked each other and set the stage for their Summerslam match. Brock gets a HUGE pop from Corpus Christi and his “Suplex City” shirt and you can tell he appreciates it. He smiles and thumbs up the crowd. That was pretty cool. Heyman has a live mic and says “Ladies and Gent..” and then he’s interrupted by the undrafted Heath Slater. Oh my Heath. This is reminiscent of Scotty 2 Hotty heading to the Royal Rumble with Taker and Kane in the ring. I echo JR’s words, “turn around kid”. Heath Slater is warned of his transgression by Heyman and Slater reminds us that he’s the hottest free agent in sports today. He’s out there to acquire Paul’s services. Paul says he’s not laughing with Heath, he’s laughing at him. Does he really think repping Brock and Heath Slater has a nice ring to it? Slater isn’t amused. Heath has been informed that he’ll be able to acquire a Raw contract by beating “The Beast Incarnate” tonight. He asks for the match. Heath has cojones big enough to warrant interest from “Doctors” Gallows and Anderson. Heyman has had enough of this nonsense. He goes back to talking about the Summerslam match, but Heath shouts at the top of his lungs and says that he needs this. He has to feed his kids. Paul says he’s doing Slater a favor by saving his rear end. Brock takes the mic and says that Heath has guts and that he appreciates what Heath is doing. He appreciates him having to feed those empty mouths. Brock has kids too. Brock invites Heath in the ring. He doesn’t give a “s###” about the kids. Yep, he dropped the “S” bomb. He says Heath can stand there and keep ticking him off. Heath prepares to leave, but he turns to charge and gets destroyed. He eats a clothesline and then takes multiple trips to suplex city. He eats an F5 and is thoroughly disposed of. Lesnar stands there, proud of the destruction. Heyman gives Heath a ton of credit for standing up to Lesnar. He says Orton doesn’t have the guts to do the same thing. Heyman says Orton can’t measure up to Brock Lesnar. Heyman is supposed to sell us on Summerslam, but he can’t do that. He’d be lying to us all. He says this is the Summer of the conqueror and the Beast is in heat. He asserted his dominance in the “Brocktagon” and he’ll do it again this Sunday at Summerslam. Brock Lesnar is the box office this Sunday. Wow. What a promo and to be frank, despite the end result, Heath Slater really looked good in that segment. Heyman killed it as usual and he added even more hype to an already attractive match. Looking forward to that one for sure. After the break, it’ll be Big Cass against Kevin Owens as promised earlier in the evening.
Big Cass defeats Kevin Owens by Disqualification after interference from Chris Jericho. A very entertaining match for the time given before Jericho inserted himself into the contest. The two heels beat down the big man, looking strong heading towards Summerslam on Sunday.
After the match, we catch up with Roman Reigns backstage as he says a few words about tonight’s non-title contest before he is assaulted by Rusev. Rusev with a violent assault before he hiptosses Reigns into a catering table as a payback for the cake incident last week. A herd of officials break things up as we head to a break.
Back from the break and we get a one night reunion of the “Primetime Players”. Bob Backlund is with them and we have a segment from earlier where they talk about getting back together for a tag team contest and Backlund agrees to it and he heads off to make it happen.
The Shining Stars defeat The Primetime Players via pinfall after Titus O’Neil hits Clash Of The Titus on Young following a miscommunication. Well that was quite short lived. The two old friends seemed to be back on the same page but while Backlund was conferring with Titus on the apron, Young unintentionally knocked him to the floor. Titus took offense and as a result, Monica Puig wasn’t the only person from “La Isla Del Encanto” to seize a huge win this week! Primo and Epico win a big victory and the veteran hands will hopefully shed the foolish travel agent gimmick and focus on delivering a great in-ring product, which they can and have done in the past. After another break, we’ll have Neville in action against Jinder Mahal.
Neville defeats Jinder Mahal with The Red Arrow. This was a very enjoyable contest for the time given. Neville hit a twisting moonsault to the floor at one point and Mahal hit a savate kick and gave Neville a run for his money. I always thought Mahal was an underrated hand and this showed that he can be quite good if given some time to perform. Neville was brilliant as always.
Backstage with Foley and Steph and we find out that Jon Stewart, formerly of the Daily Show, and a man who once cost John Cena a match with a steel chair, will be the RAW guest at Summerslam. Seth Rollins shows up and is still looking for “The Demon King”. Long story short, he is directed to the ring by Mick Foley, who at one point, cues his music via a walkie talkie, that was funny. After the break, Rollins will call out “The Demon King”.
As promised, Rollins is in the ring and with a live mic, he promises that nothing will stop him from becoming the first Universal Champion. He tells everyone to call the press, to call all the sports writers, because that’s the inside scoop. He calls out “The Demon King’ again but to no avail. He says Finn is scared of him. He says that Finn will be just like every other person that came before him, nobody can beat him, he’s Seth freakin’ Rollins. He calls the Demon another chapter in the book of Rollins. In his story, the Demon won’t come out to the ring because he’s terrified. He’ll see something in Seth’s eyes that no author could dream up. He says he’s the face of his failure. The lights flick and you hear some demonic chanting as Rollins tries to continue. The lights cut to black and the Demon Balor music hits. Balor crawls out onto the stage in full makeup. Wow, it’s always so incredible, but I wish they saved it for Sunday for new fans that didn’t enjoy NXT. The crowd is hip to it though and they sell the fear from Rollins as Finn completes his full entrance and entertains the Corpus Christi fans. On his arm, in a cool calligraphy style it says “Long Live The Demon King”. Now that is legit. “Holy S***” chant from fans new and old. Yes, it truly is something to see. “This Is Awesome” chant. This match gives me goosebumps. These two are gonna tear the roof off the joint at Summerslam. They come to blows. We have some kick exchanges and Balor misses Coup De Grace only to execute a somersault plancha to perfection. Rollins takes the opportunity to escape and get out of harm’s way and Finn stands tall in “The Demon King” regalia. Hopefully it simply means we are going to have the Demon, but we’ll also enjoy at least a 25-30 minute contest between two premiere athletes, and with recent booking, I’m sure we will!
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson defeat The Golden Truth with the Magic Killer. Goldust looked like a million bucks as usual and R-Truth held his own, but for the most part, this was straight dominance heading into Summerslam for The Club. After the match, Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston hit the ring and lay a beatdown on the Club. Xavier has Francesca 2 in his grasp, looking to nail Anderson below the belt, but Gallows pulls his partner out of harm’s way as a “New Day Rocks” chant rings out for Kingston and the high level Pokemon Go player and friend of G1 Climax winner, Kenny Omega of the Bullet Club, Xavier Woods!
We have a backstage segment where Charlotte is telling Dana Brooke that she’s going to head out to the ring to defeat Alicia Fox on her own, and then after she wins back the women’s title from Sasha Banks at Summerslam, she’ll ask Stephanie McMahon to replace Dana. Charlotte asks if Dana is going to cry before heading towards the ring.
Charlotte defeats Alicia Fox with Natural Selection while Sasha Banks was on commentary. Sasha leaves the booth to grant Sasha’s wish for the champ to come down to the ring. As expected, Dana Brooke cuts Sasha off as she gets into the ring and the segment ends with Charlotte applying the figure eight, leaving the heel looking strong heading into Summerslam. The Summerslam card is stacked, the NXT: Brooklyn card is stacked, gonna be a great weekend! After the break, we’ll see Roman Reigns and Rusev competing in a non-title contest as promised earlier.
Before the Rusev/Reigns match, we get a cool video package for Braun Strowman and his amazing theme song. Braun is shown looking dominant, and if they give him a better finisher and a little more ring time, he could be a major player. Lana is shown in the ring, she introduces Rusev, Reigns follows and the match is on!
Roman Reigns defeats Rusev with a spear in one heck of a non-title contest. I will be frank folks, I expected this to be very watchable, but this was very, very good. Rusev utilized the classic technique of working a part of the body with the shoulder, and Reigns sold the injury. It made for a great match and a predictable Reigns victory heading into Summerslam, but neither man looked the worse for wear as a result of this contest. Great way to end Raw!