Monday Night Raw – August 28, 2017: Stick to the Plan

Monday Night Raw
Date: August 28, 2017
Location: FedEx Forum, Memphis, Tennessee
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, Corey Graves

We’re less than a month away from No Mercy and the show is already looking big. With Braun Strowman vs. Brock Lesnar already on the card and some more potentially huge matches being added, this show has suddenly gone from a nothing pay per view to something pretty big. Let’s get to it.

The Miztourage is in the ring to open things up. Before Miz can get a single word out though, here’s Kurt Angle to interrupt. Angle talks about how the Intercontinental Title has been taking some hits as of late, there’s going to be a title match soon. Miz cuts him off to yell about the lack of respect the title has been shown as of late. It’s going to be fixed soon though as we’re going to have a battle royal right now with the winner facing Miz for the title next week.

Battle Royal

Big Show, Curtis Axel, Bo Dallas, Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy, Finn Balor, Jason Jordan, Curt Hawkins, R-Truth, Kalisto, Goldust, Apollo Crews, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, Elias

Big Show is now clean shaven. Hawkins (listed as Curtis) is put out at the bell and everyone else turns their attention to Big Show. That goes poorly for everyone else as Show cleans house and things spread out a bit. Kalisto is put out and the Hardys feed Elias to Show for some loud chops. Cole: “That’s music to Big Show’s ears.”

Anderson and Gallows get together to try and get rid of Show but it’s Balor’s assistance that finally gets rid of the giant. Elias (called Samson by Cole in what might be a mistake) decks Balor from behind and things break up again. The Miztourage gets rid of Truth and Goldust is put out as well at the hands of Anderson and Gallows.

Back from a break with Crews having been eliminated. Matt gets rid of Gallows and pulls Anderson to the apron for another elimination, only to have Gallows pull Matt out for the elimination. Miz saves Dallas as the referees are distracted and things settle down again. We’ve got Balor, Jordan, Dallas, Axel, Jeff Hardy and Elias to go.

Balor starts cleaning house but gets into a staredown with Jeff that gets the fans’ attention. Some running dropkicks in the corner have people in trouble, but here’s Bray Wyatt to eliminate Balor and then disappear again. Jordan starts throwing suplexes and gets rid of the Miztourage. There goes Elias, followed by Jordan at Jeff’s hands to give Hardy the win at 16:17.

Rating: D+. I like the choice of a winner there as Jeff is someone who can easily get a spot like this and even win the title. While I still think we’re heading for a Jordan title match at No Mercy, it’s nice to see someone get a surprise shot in the middle. Hardy winning the title wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world, but either way it’s a good idea to see him getting more of a singles push.

We look back at Braun Strowman laying out Brock Lesnar last week.

Alexa Bliss promises to regain the title tonight. Tonight, the goddess reclaims her throne.

Here’s Enzo Amore to talk about beating a giant like Big Cass last week. Not only can he hang with bigger men like him, he can also compete in the fast paced, high flying cruiserweight division. After bragging about winning money on Saturday’s fight, he dances around and announces his opponent.

Enzo Amore vs. Noam Dar

Amore spins out of a wristlock to start but gets kneed hard in the ribs. Dar pulls at the hair and knees away in the corner before being sent face first into the middle buckle. Enzo pops right back up and grabs Eat Defeat for the pin at 2:55.

Neville says if Enzo is his competition, he’ll be Cruiserweight Champion forever.

Here are Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman for a chat. Heyman talks about what happened last week with Braun Strowman, who is the kind of monster that his parents warned him about. Strowman had an historic night at Summerslam when he, as Corey Graves said, monster handled Lesnar by powerslamming him through two tables. We see a clip of last week’s attack on Lesnar, which Heyman says made him know Strowman is a monster. At No Mercy, Lesnar is going to be ready for Strowman. Heyman explains what’s going to happen but Brock takes the mic. Brock: “What he’s trying to say is Suplex City b****.”

Long recap of last week’s segment with Miz, John Cena, Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns, including their tag match. Cena vs. Reigns is confirmed for No Mercy and their contract signing is tonight.

Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins

Rollins and Ambrose did their entrances before the commercial and before the package. That seems like some mistiming, which you don’t see around here too often. Seth starts fast by sending Cesaro outside where he comes up holding his back. Back in and a standing moonsault gives Seth two but he’s sent outside as well. Ambrose and Sheamus have the staredown but Rollins catches Cesaro diving off the apron. A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker cuts Rollins off though and we take a break.

Back with Cesaro dropping him with a gorilla press and rolling some gutwrench suplexes. A slam sets up Cesaro’s high crossbody but Seth rolls through for two. There’s the Sling Blade and a Blockbuster but Cesaro catches him on the top. Sheamus and Ambrose get into it on the floor and the distraction lets Cesaro hit a European uppercut for the pin at 10:19.

Rating: C+. I’m already over these teams fighting but that’s no excuse to not have the same singles matches over and over on Raw. Can’t someone just ask Paul Heyman for 842 ways to advance a feud without doing anything else? This seems to be the only idea they know and since there are almost no other teams, this is what we’re stuck watching.

Sheamus says he and Ambrose are up next.

Sheamus vs. Dean Ambrose

They fight to the floor to start and it’s off to an early break. Back with Sheamus getting two off a top rope superplex and grabbing a Stretch Muffler (Brock Lock). That goes nowhere so it’s off to a Texas Cloverleaf instead. The ten forearms to the chest keep Dean in trouble and he hobbles into a boot in the corner.

Dean grabs a swinging neckbreaker for two but gets caught on top, setting up a super Regal Roll. The Brogue Kick misses but Dean can’t hit Dirty Deeds. Cesaro and Rollins get into another argument and the chase is on through the ring. The referee deals with Cesaro, allowing Seth to knee Sheamus in the face. Dirty Deeds is good for the pin on Sheamus at 10:45.

Rating: C+. Well at least they got it out of the way in a hurry. This was the obvious next match but please tell me they’re not just going to switch the opponents next week. The division feels completely depleted at this point and having these teams feud over and over again really doesn’t prove otherwise.

Emma is complaining about the whole Twitter thing again because she started the Women’s Revolution. Mickie James is sick of hearing about it (preach it) and has an idea: if Emma beats her tonight, she’ll Tweet anything Emma wants. If Mickie wins, Emma can’t say she started the Women’s Revolution again.

Mickie James vs. Emma

Emma has new music and they’re fighting over hashtags. Mickie kicks her down a few times but gets caught in a quick rollup to give Emma the pin at 1:42.

Emma grabs the mic and says she started the Women’s Revolution all the way to the back.

Kurt Angle is in the ring for the contract signing between Cena and Reigns. Cena is out first to say that he’s on Raw to face one man and Angle has made that happen for No Mercy. He’s seen Reigns being treated as the untouchable star and we’ll see how he can hang at No Mercy. Cena signs and here’s Reigns. Roman says that as great as Cena is, there’s one thing that he’s done that Cena can never do: retire the Undertaker at Wrestlemania.

Cena kneels before him and says some people are still trying to figure Reigns out. We hear about the fans wanting to see Cena change his ways (with the term heel turn being dropped in a rare moment) before Cena says Reigns is just a guy trying to fill shoes he can never fill. Cena isn’t a man at the end of his career with a bad hip. The reason Reigns won’t sign that is because the Roman Empire is done if he does.

Reigns says Cena sucks so Cena puts his arm around Angle and says the fans think he does too but he won a gold medal. Roman seems a bit shaken and lost for what to say. Cena: “Go ahead find it. I’ll wait. It’s called a promo and if you want to be the big dog you’re going to have to learn how to do it. SEE YOU FOURTH WALL!” Reigns gets fired up and goes on a rant that sounds straight off a message board, talking about how hard he works on the weekend so Cena can be on the Today Show.

Then Cena gets on his tour bus and shows up at a show if they pay him enough with the big shovel to bury people around him. Reigns is the one guy he can’t bury or see. Cena calls him out for being repetitive and says “it took you five years to cut a halfway decent promo but now I’m about to cut you down to size.” He talks about the mythical golden shovel but it’s always the fans who hold the keys and they always will.

Cena is tired of hearing the same thing for ten years by a lot tougher people. Here’s the thing: Cena hasn’t main evented Wrestlemania in five years and he was the opening match at Summerslam. He won the US Title and used it to introduce new stars to the WWE including Kevin Owens and AJ Styles (I believe he means Sami Zayn as AJ debuted way later). Reigns took the US Title as a demotion and now stands there blaming Cena for not being able to hang with him.

Cena has seen a lot of people trying to hang at this level and he’s heard about one guy getting to do it. Now he sees Roman face to face and gets the line of the night: “You’re lucky I’m a part timer because I can do this part time way better than you ever could full time.” Reigns signs and turns over the table….and here are Anderson and Gallows to make it a tag match in the most ridiculous ending to an amazing promo I can remember in a long time.

Cena DESTROYED Reigns here, making him sound like every other heel. Now if Reigns wins at No Mercy (which he probably will), everything will be fine for him but at the end of the day, almost no one ever can hang with Cena on the mic and he picked Reigns apart the entire time. If nothing else the lines about Reigns needing to learn promos and the fourth wall thing were outstanding. Now let’s get to this ridiculous tag match.

Anderson and Gallows vs. John Cena/Roman Reigns

Joined in progress with Cena in trouble in the corner as Gallows grabs a headlock. Anderson comes in for a chinlock as the announcers rave about everything Cena was saying. Gallows misses an elbow and the hot tag brings in Reigns. Roman cleans house and you can tell Reigns is ticked off here. The Superman Punch connects to both guys and it’s an AA and spear at the same time to give Reigns the pin on Anderson at 6:02.

Rating: D+. While I still have no idea what the point of this was, Reigns vs. Cena is going to be a huge match when we get to No Mercy. Cena’s promo is going to be talked about for a few weeks as he made the match feel even more awesome than it’s likely to be. If Reigns wins he’ll be fine, but he has a lot to make up for at this point. Now can someone explain to me why this match happened? I really don’t get it.

Here’s Elias to sing a song to the tune of Hound Dog about how much he hates Memphis. This brings Jerry Lawler out of his seat to say that Elias has a good voice but he’s missing his audience. While the people of Memphis might not appreciate what Elias is saying, they might appreciate this man: Southpaw Regional Wrestling’s own Pelvis Wesley (Heath Slater). Elias beats him up without too much effort. Cole: “I guess he didn’t want to walk with Elias.”

Miz and Maryse are annoyed at Jeff Hardy getting a shot by just winning a battle royal.

Sasha Banks is ready to beat Alexa.

Women’s Title: Alexa Bliss vs. Sasha Banks

Banks is defending and gets rolled up for an early two. Sasha sends her hard into the corner and grabs an armbar. They’re starting with a slow pace and Bliss bails to the floor for a breather. There are the double knees from the apron and we take a break. Back with Bliss holding an armbar of her own before starting in on the back.

It’s off to a bow and arrow hold but Banks fights up without too much effort. The Bank Statement doesn’t work so Sasha goes with the running knees in the corner, only to miss a second attempt. Bliss goes with a hard right hand and a Code Red for a pretty close two. Banks gets in a few more knees and some aggressive forearms in the corner.

Back up and Alexa catches her in the corner by sending her face first into a buckle. A top rope superplex connects to bust up the back even more. Bliss is slow to cover and gets caught in the Bank Statement. That’s reversed into a rollup for two and there’s the DDT to give Bliss the title back at 15:00.

Rating: B. I’m really not getting the lack of successful title defenses for Banks. That makes four reigns and she’s lost the title in her first defense every time. As for the match itself, Bliss winning clean is an interesting call and the right one if you have to change the title. She looked better than she has before in the ring and is getting to the point where she can hang with the better workers. Couple that with the insane charisma and persona and she’s quite the force.

Post match Nia Jax comes out and destroys Sasha before putting Bliss on her shoulders. One electric chair later and Jax holds up the title over the new champ to end the show.

Overall Rating: B. The wrestling was good, the hype for the pay per view was solid and the Cena promo was outstanding. It might not have been a perfect show or anything really close but they felt like they were executing a plan tonight. Raw is smoking Smackdown at the moment and it’s really not even close. Good show this week and one of their best in a long time.

Results

Jeff Hardy won a battle royal last eliminating Jason Jordan

Enzo Amore b. Noam Dar – Eat Defeat

Cesaro b. Seth Rollins – European uppercut

Dean Ambrose b. Sheamus – Dirty Deeds

Emma b. Mickie James – Rollup

Roman Reigns/John Cena b. Anderson and Gallows – Spear to Anderson

Alexa Bliss b. Sasha Banks – DDT

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up the Complete 2002 Monday Night Raw Reviews in either E-Book or Paperback. Check out the information here:

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11 comments

  1. Hamler says:

    Cena obliterating Reigns on the mic alone makes this Raw a solid B+ for me. Reigns looked visibly upset and that puts a smile on my face.

    Other than that, I’m hoping they FINALLY build Nia into the unstoppable force she is until Asuka is healed up and dethrones her.

    [Reply]

  2. Hamler says:

    Also, what is it about Reigns that makes him a face? He comes off as such an arrogant dick and never really panders to the crowd. That’s heel 101 right there.

    [Reply]

    klunderbunker Reply:

    He was absolutely a heel tonight. That was never a doubt for me as I was watching that obliteration.

    [Reply]

  3. OliverT says:

    Alexa shouldn’t have lost the title. She is an awesome character, has awesome mic skills and great charisma. Those are the things that make you a star and not ring skills. She is an awesome champion.

    [Reply]

  4. Sagar says:

    Cena’s burn of Reigns was other worldly. Reigns was just holding the microphone at the end like a dumb guy who got roasted. As I said earlier, it was verbal crime committed by Cena. Reigns will have to come up with something extra special to match up. I do believe he will win at No Mercy though. Especially if they are building him up for a now most likely Wrestlemania world title match against Lesnar. But man, this promo will remembered for quite some time.

    I do believe they went a little too far with the insider lingo. Like they knew what smarks and internet is thinking right now and we’re just gonna give it to them, let them buy in hook, line and sinker. It made for some exciting moments but I just felt it was a little too much. Cena and Rock did it too but they kept it quite subtle.

    [Reply]

  5. Jay H (the real one) says:

    I think we saw more a legit TKO from Cena to Roman than we did with Mayweather & Connor McGregor last weekend in that farce of a fight. I was looking forward to their Match at No Mercy but now after that promo im even more looking forward to it.

    I was surprised Sasha once again lost the RAW Womens Title so quickly but with Asuka coming up to RAW by the TLC PPV in October i guess it kinda makes sense as she can run right through Alexa Bliss if Alexa gets by Nia Jax.

    [Reply]

  6. Your Eternal Reward says:

    “wow Cena you just verbally destroyed me, lets team together!”

    [Reply]

  7. Jerichoholic94 says:

    “We’re less than a month away from No Mercy and the show is already looking big. With Braun Strowman vs. *Roman Reigns* already on the card”

    [Reply]

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Much appreciated.

    [Reply]

  8. M.R. says:

    I get the impression Roman walks around backstage with his chest puffed out like an arrogant prick, could be wrong though.

    [Reply]

  9. Dmxfury says:

    Love seeing Roman being embarrassed. Dude is like a larger and stronger Xpac to me. I’d rather not see him at all than boo him

    Good segment though, it was fun to watch and I got lost in it which is cool

    [Reply]

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