The following is a guest post from WrestleTalk. Subscribe to their YouTube channel for new videos every day.
The 8/22/16 edition of WWE Monday Night Raw reviewed in about 4 minutes – including Finn Balor forfeiting his newly won WWE Universal Championship, and how he’ll be on the shelf for the next six months from injury, Bayley is called up to the Raw roster, the Dudley Boyz leave the company and more…
Raw opened with Steph-oley announcing that Finn Balor injured his shoulder at the previous night’s Summerslam, and that he’ll be out of action for six months – meaning he has to give up his WWE Universal Title.
Balor cut a rather monotone ‘I’ll be back’ babyface promo, before that thing happened where wrestlers come out one-by-one to challenge for the title. Stepholy announced four one-on-one matches for tonight, with the winners going onto a fatal fourway for the Universal Championship next week. What is it with the fatal fourways right now? It’s like 2016’s Battle Royal.
I feel for WWE, because they had to rebook everything on the fly with Balor’s injury. But at the same time…they’ve gone with the least exciting story. Pretty much anything else would’ve been more thrilling. Samoa Joe debuts and annihilates Finn Balor. He’s taken out backstage by a mystery attacker. Several factions form to take advantage of the power vacuum. But the company’s Plan B is probably Vince’s Plan A: Roman Reigns, as we’ll see by the end of the show.
SETH ROLLINS BEAT SAMI ZAYN
Rollins beat Zayn in the first qualifier, where Sami had a really smart injured ankle spot. After the Finnjury announcement, and Zayn’s fantastic selling, another potential injury made you really invested in the babyface – wondering whether what’s going on in the ring might actually be real, just like the Lesnar/Orton match the previous night. Rollins won with a pedigree, but Zayn looked strong.
KEVIN OWENS BEAT NEVILLE
Speaking of ankle injuries, here’s Neville in the second qualifier! Jericho distracted The Man Creative Forgot for Owens to pick up the win, keeping everyone looking strong.
BIG E. BEAT KARL ANDERSON
Big E celebrated his return from a groin injury with some extra vigorous hip thrusting. He went balls out. Big E. ended up beating Karl Anderson in a singles match, which means Galanderson lose again. Even when they win, like at Summerslam the previous night, they still somehow manage to lose.
TITUS O’NEIL PROMO
Titus O’Neil cut a pretty dire promo calling out Darren Young and getting Bob Backlund instead. Backlund got Titus in a chicken wing, so O’Neil beat him and Young down.
BIG CASS BEAT RUSEV
In the third qualifier, Rusev was selling his ribs from the Reigns brawl at Summerslam the previous night. He ended up walking out on the match and losing by countout.
BAYLEY BEAT DANA BROOKE.
Dana Boobs’ new ring gear has a Brooke window. Charlotte did her usual long promo schtick until Mick Foley interrupted, introducing Bayley as Raw’s newest roster addition. The Brooklyn crowd went crazy, the wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube men went crazy, but Charlotte wouldn’t face her. Bayley beat Brooke instead, setting up a title feud in Sasha’s absence.
BRAUN STROWMAN BEAT JOHNNY KNOCKOUT
In the best reason for facing Braun Strowman so far, local competitor Johnny Knockout said it’s because he likes big, sweaty men. Here’s the start of WWE’s positive portrayal of LGBT characters. Strowman squashed him, twice, and Johnny loved it.
DUDLEY BOYS HANG UP THE TABLES
It was teased throughout the night that the Dudley Boys would be retiring in their home city of New York. Bubba and D-Von cut a great promo about how they changed the industry with TLC against Edge and Christian, and the Hardy Boyz – which started a ‘DELETE’ chant at a WWE show. Weirdly, though, the Shining Stars then came out to get beat down by the Dudleys. And then the Dudley got beat up by Galanderson.
After a month of slowly building discontent between Bubba and D-Von, WWE never gave us the Bully Ray heel turn. There was a lot of missed potential on this show, but this is by far the most egregious. They squandered what could have been an incredibly hot angle, especially in front of this crowd.
And now the main event…
For Oli’s thoughts on Roman Reigns vs Chris Jericho, WWE addressing the controversial Brock Lesnar/Randy Orton Summerslam finish and what he thought of Raw as a whole, watch the video below…
Support WrestleTalk – buy a t-shirt!