WWE Raw Recap and Reactions (August 1, 2022): Control the Game Like Janet
Hey! It’s the first Raw since Slam summer! Will Edge answer questions? Is Becky Lynch a face now? And what happens with Bayley, Dakota Kai and IYO SKY joining forces as the Legion of Doom? Claire also watches and no doubt asks herself the same questions. But since she blogs, she can’t really say all that.
Let’s talk Raw!
IYO SKY against Bianca Belair. How did we come here? WWE threaded the story in Rawthe first two hours of preparation for a match. First, Becky Lynch hit the ring when Raw started with a good babyface promo. Becky adequately explained her evolution from The Man to Big Time Becks back to The Man. And she thanks Bianca Belair for part of that change. Bianca hit the ring, the two hugged and Becky told the champ to hold it down until she came back after healing a separated shoulder. As Bianca basked in her fame and noted that the respect she had for Becky didn’t extend to Bayley, IYO SKY or Dakota Kai, these same three women assaulted Becky backstage. Bianca rushed to Becky’s defense – in heels no less! – But it was too late.
Several games and minutes later, Asuka faced Alexa Bliss. Bliss talked about moving up the ranks after she threw Doudrop, and Asuka was her first rung. The match went well but was lucky to be anything but as Bayley, Dakota and IYO interrupted proceedings. Guess who came to the ring in a very fresh pair or Air Jordan 11s and ready to fight?
Bianca chased the newly created trio and challenged either to a match. IYO agreed.
IYO and Bianca were all about the two women feeling each other out. IYO hasn’t shown her mastery of the skies while Bianca hasn’t shown her might as often as one might think. The most vicious moment was Bianca catching IYO’s Frankensteiner attempt and banging her head against a barricade.
It was at this precise moment that the real goal of the match was revealed. Bayley and Dakota, already at ringside, stopped Bianca from sending IYO back into the ring. Asuka and Alexa evened the odds as the six women stood face to face. Bianca and IYO struggled a little more but there were plenty of distractions.
Eventually, it all went downhill as the four women on the outside of the ring fought inside the ring, forcing the referee to ring the bell and declare the match a no contest.
While some may be hesitant that the two women’s games this week are a form of disqualification, but the finishes served a bigger purpose. The Bayley crew wants to control Rawwomen’s division. Making their presence known to every match on the map makes sense. Beating every woman just to make a point is the key to that. And, to make matters worse, they actually took Becky out of commission after she “aggravated” her shoulder problem.
I feel it all and can’t wait to see where it goes. Bianca is not really a team player. Neither Asuka nor Alexa for that matter. Seeing all three of them take on a legitimate stable has a lot of potential. Can they get along? Will they get along? Which of Bayley’s band members wants Bianca’s championship? How violent will it get? Hopefully we will get answers to these questions and more.
Ciampa will survive
Once AJ Styles won his triple threat match against Mustafa Ali and Miz, the winner of Ciampa, Dolph Ziggler and Chad Gable was obvious. The winner of each match earned the right to fight. The head-to-head winner earned the right to face Bobby Lashley for the United States Championship.
While the Ciampa vs. Chad vs. Dolph didn’t work out as much for me as the previous one with AJ, it was a solid deal. The highlight was Chad and Dolph showing off their mat wrestling acumen for a brief moment. Also? Weird Dolph returned for Theory and for now, does nothing with Theory.
Either way, Ciampa and AJ took on Miz in Ciampa’s corner. And it was, of course, a very good game. It’s not so much styles clashing – no pun intended – with these two, but rather two vets who know each other very well thanks to scouting from afar. Rey dodged the Pele Kick. AJ flipped the air raid into a clash of styles! Ciampa saw the phenomenal forearm coming and countered with a patent knee kick. Without Miz, these two could still struggle right now.
But Miz is a thing and he’s helped Ciampa many times. The biggest of those moments came when the action hit the outside. Ciampa threw AJ over the barricade in the timekeepers section. And guess who was holding AJ’s leg while the ref counted him? If you said “Maryse”, then clearly your brain is in the wrong place. Well, it is, but now is not the right time.
It was Miz. It was Miz who held his leg and it was Miz who almost got AJ disqualified. Ultimately, Miz’s presence gave Ciampa the heights, allowing him to attack AJ as soon as Styles returned to the ring and end the match with an Ending of the Fairytale variety.
Now we get Ciampa vs. Bobby Lashley for the US title. Words that I thought impossible to write after these last months. But it was a solid story told through a good fight in three games with different flavors. It’s a win for everyone.
I believe it’s time for Lashley to vacate the US title, so give me Ciampa as the champion. Please?
so much style
AJ Styles showed me something new this week. At the end of this great triple threat opener, Ali hit Miz with a 450 splash to bounce right into AJ’s hands and fall victim to the Styles Clash. Oh, and AJ performed said Styles Clash right over Miz. It was a perfect end to a great game.
Miz was hobbled for most of the match due to a few broken ribs in his Slam summer match. He did the DDP tape work, so kudos to him because it’s always appreciated. Logically, that meant AJ and Ali were playing a game of all you can do, I can do better. And both men, at different times, did their best to get out and focus on the injured Miz.
The best example was Ali launching off the top rope and hitting AJ with a DDT Tornado on the floor. Ali is so dope and reasons like that are small examples of why. Although AJ getting the win was never in doubt, it was truly a showcase for Ali. And he, as usual, answered the bell. Grand opening game for Raw with many challenges.
Who wants smoke now, bitch?
Seth Rollins, who apparently doesn’t care that his wife was assaulted earlier that night, came out worried about Riddle. The Street Profits, who were still nursing their injuries after losing to the Usos, came to their friend’s defense. Seth said what he meant, clowned them for losing, told them to break up and said if it was just one of them then maybe he would beat. Well, the Profits accepted that offer and decided to play Paper, Rock, Scissors for the right to fight “Franklin” Rollins. Well, in a move surely hinting at a friends break, Montez basically said “no” to that, grabbed the referee and ran to the ring.
What followed was a great match to prove that Tez can go dolorous with one of WWE’s best. His injured ribs were the other part of the story, meaning his normal high impact attack was hurting him just as much as Seth. And it came back to bite him at the end.
Tez dodged Seth’s frog splash and went for his own. But he grabbed two knees at those injured ribs. Rollins hit a Blackout, or Curb Stomp, whatever they call it, and got the W.
He went for another post-game but Angelo Dawkins came on alongside his partner. Mission accomplished on all fronts, Tez. Unfortunately, this probably means we are getting closer to separating profits and walking on either side of the block.
Don’t judge, the less you will be judged
Edge is back. Edge cut a good babyface promo. Edge even apologized to the crowd for being, in his words, an “asshole.” Edge made it simple: he’s here to end Judgment Day.
The only complaint I have is the fact that he didn’t use the music and presentation of Slam summer. But I will live.
Oh it’s not over
Edge was not done. This week’s main event saw The Usos defend their titles against The Mysterios. Which… I thought was funny. Of course they won their Slam summer match, but they lost their tag match before that one. The only reason they had this spot was for something at the end of the show Where for a title change. As the match unfolded, and was a solid affair, it became apparent that a title change was not in the cards. The Usos continued their reign – which is getting boring – and Judgment Day hit the ring for some good old fashioned revenge. Cue Edge music. The Rated R interrupted the beat and Rhea fired the life out of a Mysterio with her thighs like Xenia Onatopp. For…reasons…I want more.
Either way, Edge cleaned the house and set up Damian Priest for a spear. Only for Rhea to push Dom in front of him. Edge showed no remorse for the accidental spear and chased his former crew through the aisles.
Rey, who noted her friendship and history with Edge earlier, did not see Rhea push Dom but did see Edge spearing him. He looked confused and no doubt upset that his longtime friend was doing something so heinous.
I’m not sure this story needs that layer of drama since it’s already writing itself. But, here we are.
Raw was an entertaining sight this week. Every game had some sort of stakes, their new group grew, and the United States Championship feels like a big time belt rather than just a prop. And we had a solid, good or great fight all night, combined with some good promotions. Not every match was perfect and I wonder if they are overbooking the beef between Judgment Day and Edge.
This is my note and I stick to it. Your turn.