WWE RAW Report 7/23

– Tonight’s WWE RAW opens live from the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio as Michael Cole welcomes us. He’s joined by Jonathan Coachman and Corey Graves.

– We see the entire roster on the stage. Vince McMahon is in the ring to welcome us. He introduces RAW Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and Triple H. They come out to Stephanie’s music for the big historic announcement.

Stephanie gets some boos as they enter the ring and she takes the mic. She tells everyone to get the boos out of their system and goes on to talk about making memories. Triple H wants to thank the WWE Superstars before the announcement. The McMahon family turns to the roster on the stage as Triple H gives props to the rosters of WWE NXT, 205 Live, RAW and SmackDown. He says nights like tonight happen because of them. He talks about the bond between Superstars and says he has never seen the bond stronger than it is with the group of athletes WWE has today. Triple H asks the female Superstars on the stage to step forward and they do.

Triple H wants the women to know how much the male Superstars behind them truly support them. He also talks about how much the WWE Universe supports the women’s division as they do every single night. He gets a bit emotional when talking about watching them steal the show again & again. He just wants to let them know that we are so proud of them. Stephanie says these moments don’t just happen because of opportunity, incredible talent, someone or something deems them important. They happen because all of us deem them important and worthy of what we love. She says fans demanded more opportunities for the women of WWE. Once again Stephanie tells the story of how the women’s revolution began with a hashtag. Stephanie says because of that, the Divas became the Superstars they were born to be. She goes on about the women’s evolution and announces “Evolution” for Sunday, October 28th – the first-ever all-women’s pay-per-view event with more than 50-women. She indicated that the 50 women will be made up of talents from the past and present. Everyone gives a standing ovation and the roster celebrates.

– We go to Cole and the announcers. Cole reveals that Evolution will take place from the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. The event will feature the finals of the 2018 Mae Young Classic plus three title matches – the RAW Women’s Title, the SmackDown Women’s Title and the NXT Women’s Title.

– The announcers hype tonight’s matches. We see Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy on the big screen, announcing they are here. We go to commercial.

– Back from the break and The B Team is backstage getting ready for tonight’s title defense with a bit of comedy.

RAW Tag Team Title Match: Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt vs. Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas

We go to the ring and out comes Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt. RAW Tag Team Champions The B Team are out next. We get formal ring introductions from JoJo.

Wyatt starts off with his brother and they go at it. Wyatt launches himself into Bo Dallas to take control. Wyatt and Hardy both get involved now as Curtis Axel also comes in. Wyatt turns upside down and Matt stands with him to taunt the champs, sending them retreating from the ring. We go to commercial with Wyatt and Hardy standing tall in the ring.

Back from the break and Axel has taken control of Wyatt. Dallas comes back in but Wyatt floors him. Hardy and Axel tag in at the same time and Hardy unloads. Hardy with corner shots and the “delete!” chant. Hardy with more offense and a Side Effect for a 2 count. Hardy goes to the middle rope and hypes the crowd up. Hardy nails the elbow to the back of the neck as Axel tried to get up. Hardy calls for the Twist of Fate and gets the “delete!” chant going again. Hardy nails the Twist of Fate but Dallas breaks the pin.

Wyatt runs in and nails Dallas after he broke the pin up. Wyatt misses a splash in the corner. Dallas dodges a move, which leads to Wyatt falling on top of Hardy. Axel takes advantage and rolls Hardy for the win.

Winners: The B Team

– After the match, Axel and Dallas celebrate as Wyatt checks on Hardy. We go to replays. The two teams face off and it looks like The B Team is getting some respect but they get attacked instead. Wyatt and Hardy deliver a Sister Abigail and a Twist of Fate to leave the champs laying. Hardy and Wyatt stand tall as their music plays.

– Still to come, Constable Baron Corbin has booked Finn Balor against Drew McIntyre. Also, Bobby Lashley vs. Roman Reigns in a big #1 contenders match. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and we see what just happened with The B Team getting attacked.

– We see the band O.A.R. at ringside in the front row. They are partnering with WWE to raise money for Connor’s Cure on their tour that kicks off this week.

– Finn Balor and Chad Gable are backstage. They talk about the Evolution pay-per-view when staffers start walking by with Balor’s belongings. One guy says Constable Baron Corbin has ordered them to move Balor into a new locker room. The guy walks Balor over to a plastic playhouse for kids, decorated with one of Balor’s t-shirts and some other gimmicks. Corbin walks up and says after Balor’s win at Extreme Rules, he’s just too big of a Superstar to not have his own dressing room and this one is perfect for his size. Balor says Corbin is a great Constable and he’s always wanted his own funhouse. Corbin tells him to enjoy his funhouse and enjoy tonight’s match with Drew McIntyre. Corbin storms off.

– Cole shows us recent happenings between Sasha Banks and Bayley, including Sasha telling Bayley she loves her & always will last week. Charly Caruso approaches Bayley and Banks backstage now. Charly asks if they’re ready to work as a team and show everyone they are moving past their differences. Bayley says they know those differences make their friendship so strong. Banks says they are two different people but they have the same dream. They talk about Evolution and Banks says they are more ready than ever to be on the same page. Bayley says it was good to finally hear last week how her best friend feels about her. Bayley tells Sasha it’s time to go take over the world and they leave smiling. Back to commercial.

Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Samantha Simon and Karen Lundy

Back from the break and out comes Sasha Banks and Bayley. Two enhancement talents wait in the ring, Samantha Simon and Karen Lundy.

Bayley starts off and quickly takes control. Bayley goes to the corner and tags in Banks. Banks goes down and her opponent takes her to the corner for some double teaming off a tag. Banks gets worked over but turns it back around. Banks goes to her corner for some double teaming with Bayley. Bayley delivers a big knee and knocks the other opponent off the apron as Banks applies the Banks Statement for the win.

Winners: Sasha Banks and Bayley

– After the match, Banks and Bayley stand tall as Sasha’s music hits. They hug in the middle of the ring.

– We get stills from Extreme Rules from the Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens Steel Cage match. Braun will be here tonight. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and Elias is on the stage with his guitar. He announces that his debut album is now available but he’s immediately interrupted by the music as Braun Strowman comes out with his Money In the Bank briefcase.

Braun marches to the ring and congratulates the women’s division on the Evolution event, especially his Mixed Match Challenge partner, RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss. Braun also talks about tonight’s Bobby Lashley vs. Roman Reigns match. Braun doesn’t care who has the title after SummerSlam – Reigns, Lashley or WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar, because soon a monster will be coming for them as he has the briefcase. Braun raises the MITB briefcase for a pop. The music interrupts and out comes Kevin Owens to the stage.

Owens says he can’t believe this… you callous son of a… Owens tries to speak from the stage but he’s upset. Owens recalls Braun throwing him off the cage at Extreme Rules, saying he can’t believe he’s out here acting like nothing happened, talking about the Universal Title. Owens screams “no!” a few times. Owens says he tried to befriend Braun out of the kindness of his heart and because his 10 year old son thought it was a good idea, because maybe his son could take the place of Nicholas some time and win the tag team titles with Braun. Owens says Braun crushed that dream like he crushed Owens’ spine at Extreme Rules. Braun laughs in the ring and that makes Owens angrier. Owens says he used to be indestructible to his kids but that has changed, thanks to Braun. Owens says Braun took everything from him and now he will take everything from Braun. Braun tells Owens to hobble his ass to the ring and try. Owens says he won the match at Extreme Rules and has nothing to prove. Owens says Braun’s troubles are just beginning. The music hits and out comes Constable Baron Corbin.

Corbin reminds Braun that RAW Commissioner Stephanie McMahon is here tonight. Corbin says Stephanie has empowered him to handle this situation on his own. Corbin says Braun’s actions at Extreme Rules were legal but they were morally reprehensible. Corbin goes on about how he’s tried to help everyone since being promoted and he’s going to help Braun tonight as he has found someone to help Braun control his temper. The music hits and out comes Jinder Mahal with Sunil Singh.

Jinder hits the ring and says he senses a storm of anger within. Jinder goes on with his “inner peace” shtick but gets the “what!?” treatment from fans. Jinder says Stephanie and Corbin have appointed him to assist Braun in his journey of finding peace. Jinder tries to lead Braun in some breathing exercises but Braun isn’t interested. Braun says this isn’t working and he does have a temper but he’s got an idea of his own. He calls Singh over and tells him to hold the mic. He needs Singh, Mahal and the WWE Universe to close their eyes, breathe deep and repeat after him. Braun mocks the breathing exercises and leads a “get these hands” chant. Braun floors Jinder with a big boot. Braun tosses Singh across the ring next. Jinder retreats but Braun grabs Singh again as fans cheer. Braun scoops Singh and hits the running powerslam. Braun yells out and raises his briefcase as the music hits. Jinder watches on from the ramp as Braun plays to the crowd.

– Cole shows us a replay of the big Evolution pay-per-view announcement earlier in the ring with Vince, Stephanie and Triple H.

– Still to come, Mickie James vs. Natalya. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and we get hype for Ronda Rousey vs. RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss at SummerSlam.

Mickie James vs. Natalya

We go to the ring and out comes Mickie James with RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss. Natalya is out next.

Back and forth to start. Bliss gets on the apron early on but Natalya beats her up and sends her down. Mickie takes advantage and turns it around. Mickie keeps Natalya grounded and goes for a few pin attempts. Natalya tries to fight up and out but has no luck.

Bliss barks orders at Mickie as she keeps Natalya down. Natalya fights Mickie off from the corner and hits a neckbreaker. Mickie slaps Natalya but Natalya comes right back with a suplex. Natalya rams Mickie into the corner and hits her with shoulder thrusts. Natalya runs into an elbow. Mickie goes to the top but Natalya drops her back with an Electric Chair. Mickie looks to go for a tag but there’s no one there obviously. Natalya takes advantage and hits the basement dropkick.

Bliss ends up pulling Natalya off the apron as the referee is distracted. Natalya drops Bliss on the floor with the discus clothesline. Natalya returns to the ring but Mickie takes advantage and drops her for the pin.

Winner: Mickie James

– After the match, Mickie goes to the floor and checks on Bliss, who is laid out.

– They show a video of Superstars making mainstream appearances last week, including Roman Reigns and others at the ESPN Humanitarian Sports Awards. Charly Caruso is backstage with Roman Reigns, who is very confident about winning his match with Bobby Lashley tonight and going to SummerSlam to defeat Brock Lesnar for the title.

– Still to come, Finn Balor vs. Drew McIntyre.

– We go back to the stage and Elias is there to try and announce his debut album once again. This time he’s interrupted by The Authors of Pain, Akam and Rezar. They march to the ring as we take another commercial break.

– Back from the break and The Authors of Pain are in the ring with mics. They won’t wait forever, they want competition. Anyone besides Titus Worldwide as they are done with them forever. The music interrupts and out comes Titus Worldwide anyway.

Titus O’Neil gives The Authors props for being legit but says they are young, which means they have a lot to learn to make it in WWE. They aren’t trying to hear it and knock Titus for tripping & falling. Titus Worldwide has entered the ring now, including Dana Brooke. Apollo Crews praises Titus for being an asset to his community and teaching Crews to be the same. Crews says The Authors should show Titus respect as he’s been in WWE for a long time and seen people come & go, but he’s still here, which means he knows something. Crews says The Authors would be champions & championship quality people if they had half the class that Titus had. The Authors say maybe there is something Titus can do for them – he can walk away and retire. Titus speaks but they turn out of nowhere and attack The Authors. Titus and Crews clear the ring and stand tall as their music hits.

– RAW General Manager Kurt Angle is backstage with RAW Commissioner Stephanie McMahon. He was worried when he heard Stephanie was coming but the Evolution news was big and he’s proud to be GM. Baron Corbin and Kevin Owens walk up. Corbin wants to see how Stephanie wants to handle the situation with Owens and Braun Strowman before she leaves. Owens blames Braun for his life being hard. Corbin throws Angle “under the bus” to Stephanie. Owens tells Stephanie Braun tried to take everything away from him and now he wants the chance to take everything from Braun. Owens wants Braun at SummerSlam with the MITB briefcase on the line. Angle says that’s absurd. Stephanie says she kind of likes the idea. Stephanie congratulates Owens on getting the match. Stephanie and Owens shake hands. Owens and Corbin celebrate and Stephanie hops in her limousine, telling everyone goodnight before driving off.

– Still to come. Lashley vs. Reigns. Back to commercial.

Mojo Rawley vs. Tyler Breeze

Back from the break and Tyler Breeze is wrapping up his entrance. Mojo Rawley is out next.

The bell rings and Mojo misses a takedown. Breeze nails a kick. Mojo tries to dump Breeze but he stays on the apron and comes back in. Breeze runs the ropes but Mojo floors him and talks some trash. We get a replay of the big collision.

The announcers are joined by Bobby Roode from backstage. He has choice words for Mojo after Mojo dissed him on Twitter this past weekend. Breeze counters a move and nails a jumping kick to the head. More back and forth now. Breeze with a close 2 count via roll-up. Mojo catches Breeze in mid-air and rams him back into the turnbuckles. Mojo keeps control and nails the sit-down Alabama Slam for the pin.

Winner: Mojo Rawley

– After the match, Mojo stands tall as his music plays while the referee checks on Breeze.

– We go backstage to Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre. Dolph talks about how they came to RAW with a plan to take over and that plan is working. Drew addresses Finn Balor and says he will wipe that ridiculous smile off Balor’s face permanently tonight. Back to commercial.

Finn Balor vs. Drew McIntyre

Back from the break and Elias is on the stage once again. He’s sick and tired of being interrupted… the music hits and out comes Finn Balor to interrupt. Drew McIntyre is out next with WWE Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler.

Back and forth to start the match. Drew looks to take control but Balor nails a dropkick. Drew ends up on the outside now. Balor runs the ropes and nails a suicide dive to take Drew down on the floor. We go to commercial with Balor in control.

Back from the break and Drew has Balor down in the middle of the ring now. Balor tries to make a comeback but Drew shuts him back down. Balor hits the ropes and nails more offense now. Drew is still standing. Balor with a big spinning DDT for a close 2 count. Balor with more strikes and chops in the corner now. Drew catches Balor on his shoulder but he slides out and nails the enziguri.

Balor goes to the top for the Coup de Grace but rolls through as Drew gets up. Balor with a Slingblade and a big dropkick in the corner. Balor goes back to the top but Ziggler crotches him, right in front of the referee.

Winner by DQ: Finn Balor

– After the bell, Ziggler hits the ring for the double team on Balor. The music interrupts and out comes Seth Rollins to make the save. Rollins gets a big pop as he unloads on Ziggler and McIntyre before they retreat. Kurt Angle comes out and orders the match to be re-started as a tag team match.

Finn Balor and Seth Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler

Balor and Rollins go right to work on Ziggler and McIntyre. Rollins brings Drew into the ring and works him over. Balor brings Ziggler down the ramp and rolls him into the ring. Ziggler gets sent out. Rollins and Balor double team Drew, sending him over the top rope. Balor and Rollins stand tall as the referee tries to restore order. Ziggler and McIntyre regroup on the outside.

Ziggler returns to the ring and locks up with Rollins. Rollins gets the upperhand and nails a big hip toss for a 2 count. Rollins keeps control and sends Ziggler over the top rope to the floor. Rollins launches himself out of the ring and takes Ziggler down on the floor again. Rollins stands over Ziggler on the floor as we go back to commercial.

Back from the break and Rollins drops Ziggler for a 2 count. Balor tags in and chops Ziggler as Drew looks on. Balor runs into an elbow and goes down. Balor comes back and hits the basement dropkick for a 2 count. Ziggler pushes Balor back into the corner and in comes Drew for some double teaming. Drew unloads and drops Balor in the corner. Drew stomps away and grounds Balor in the middle of the ring with a submission, focusing on the shoulder. Drew stops Balor from tagging and whips him hard into the corner. Drew dropkicks Balor out to the floor. Drew picks Balor up and drops him over the barrier throat-first.

Ziggler keeps control now. Balor drops Ziggler out of nowhere and they both go down. Drew tags in and stops Ziggler from tagging. Rollins tags in and unloads, sending Drew out for a suicide dive into the barrier. Rollins launches Ziggler into the barrier now. Rollins returns to the ring and nails a flying clothesline on Drew as fans pop. Drew runs into a big boot in the corner. Rollins goes to the top for a Blockbuster but Drew still kicks out at 2. Rollins cranks up for The Stomp as fans chant “burn it down” now. Seth kicks Drew but has to drop Dolph off the apron as he approaches. Seth and Drew go back and forth now. Seth nails a kick for a 2 count as Ziggler rushes in to break it up.

Balor with a Slingblade to Ziggler. Ziggler superkicks Balor in the face. Rollins and Drew go back and forth again. Drew with another close 2 count. Fans chant “this is awesome” as Ziggler tags back in. Drew puts Rollins on his shoulders. Ziggler tries to come off the top for the double team but Ziggler gets crotched. Rollins sends Drew through the ropes to the floor. Rollins nails The Stomp on Ziggler for the pin.

Winners: Seth Rollins and Finn Balor

– After the match, Rollins and Balor celebrate on the outside as Drew hit the ring looking for a fight. We go to replays as Rollins’ music plays. Drew and Dolph look on from the ring as the winners pose on the ramp.

– Charly Caruso is backstage with Bobby Lashley now. Lashley says he’s at his best in big matches like this. Lashley says Roman Reigns has failed against Brock Lesnar twice, just like he will fail tonight. Lashley hopes Lesnar is resting up because he will confront him next week on RAW and let him know that there’s no sleep ’til Brooklyn. A confident Lashley walks off.

– The announcers show us a replay of the WWE Evolution pay-per-view announcement from tonight’s opening segment.

Ember Moon vs. Liv Morgan

We go to the ring and out first comes Ember Moon. Back to commercial.

Back from the break and out comes The Riott Squad’s Liv Morgan by herself. Sarah Logan has been banned from ringside. The bell rings and Ember goes right to work, sending Liv out to the floor. Liv comes back in and turns it around for two quick pin attempts.

The finish sees Liv climb up top for a superplex but Moon fights back. Moon drops Liv face-first to the mat. Moon stands up and hits the Eclipse for the pin.

Winner: Ember Moon

– After the match, Moon stands tall as we go to replays.

– Mike Rome is backstage with Seth Rollins, who reveals Kurt Angle has given him another shot at WWE Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler for SummerSlam.

– Cole leads us to an exclusive look at Tom Cruise in the new Mission Impossible movie.

– Back from the break and the announcers plug Sunday’s season 3 finale of Total Bellas and The Bella Twins’ appearance on Jimmy Fallon this Wednesday.

– We get a video package for tonight’s main event.

– Elias is on the stage again with his guitar. RAW General Manager Kurt Angle interrupts but comes out and says it’s not what Elias thinks. He’s just here to inform Elias that the floor is his to perform a song from his new album. Elias goes on and gives props to the band O.A.R. at ringside but also mocks them. Elias starts playing a song but stops and knocks the people of Cincinnati. The music interrupts again and out comes Bobby Lashley for tonight’s main event. Back to commercial.

#1 Contenders Match: Bobby Lashley vs. Roman Reigns

Back from the break and Lashley waits as Roman Reigns makes his way out. The winner of this match will become the new #1 contender to WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar for a match at SummerSlam.

Back and forth to start the match. We hear some fans chanting “Roman sucks” as he rocks Lashley and takes control. Reigns clotheslines Lashley over the top rope to the floor. Reigns follows and rocks Lashley, bringing him back into the ring. Lashley turns it around and knocks Reigns out of the ring this time. Reigns goes for a Drive By on the floor but Lashley catches him in mid-move. Lashley with a big belly-to-belly suplex on the floor. We go to commercial.

Back from the break and Lashley levels Reigns in the ring with a Spinebuster for a 2 count. Lashley keeps Reigns down in the middle of the ring now. Reigns fights up and out as they trade shots. They both go in and collide in the middle of the ring. The referee counts while they’re both down now.

They get up and trade big blows in the middle of the ring. Lashley gets the upperhand and tosses Reigns around. Lashley charges with shoulders in the corner. Reigns counters a move and goes for a Samoan Drop but Lashley holds on to the top rope. Lashley lands on the apron but Reigns rocks him. Reigns runs the ropes but Lashley meets him with a big clothesline from the apron. Reigns goes down in the ring. Reigns recovers and knocks Lashley off the apron. Lashley comes back in but Reigns leg drops him to the back of the neck for a 2 count.

Lashley dodges a Superman Punch and applies a Full Nelson. Reigns starts fading in the middle of the ring. Reigns fights up and out of the hold, sending Lashley into the corner. They end up on the mat as Lashley applies a modified triangle. The hold is finally broken by Reigns. They’re slow to get up now. Lashley charges in the corner but Reigns moves and Lashley hits the ring post shoulder-first. Reigns with big clotheslines in the corner as fans count along. Reigns runs the ropes but Lashley catches him in a big powerslam for a close 2 count.

Lashley waits in the corner as Reigns struggles to get up. Lashley charges for a Spear but Reigns jumps up and drops him with a right. Reigns covers for another close 2 count. Reigns looks out and gets hyped up now. Reigns nails a Superman Punch but Lashley still kicks out. Reigns shows some frustration now. Lashley gets up and ends up out on the floor, possibly for a breather. The referee counts. Reigns stalks Lashley on the outside. Reigns jumps off the steel steps but Lashley catches him. Reigns rocks Lashley and avoids a suplex on the floor. Reigns gets tossed back in but lands bad on his neck. Lashley enters the ring and nails a Spear for a close 2 count. Lashley has words with the referee as we get a replay.

Reigns ends up nailing the Superman Punch as Lashley went at him. Reigns charges for a Spear but Lashley kicks him. Reigns comes right back with a Spear for the win and the title shot at SummerSlam.

Winner and New #1 Contender to WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar: Roman Reigns

– After the match, Reigns recovers and stands tall as we go to replays. Reigns will now face Lesnar at SummerSlam. Reigns and Lashley look at each other as they recover in the ring. Reigns nods at Lashley, showing respect. We get another replay. We come back to Reigns and Lashley shaking hands in the middle of the ring. Lashley exits the ring and Reigns stands tall as his music starts back up. Lashley stumbles up the ramp and Reigns hits the turnbuckles to pose. RAW goes off the air with Reigns standing tall in the ring.

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