By Steven Flora
As we gear up for the biggest party of the summer, SummerSlam, a shocking revelation sends shock waves throughout the WWE universe. A jam-packed crowd in Nashville got to witness the The Hardy Boyz' new enemies, a confrontation between Ambrose & Rollins and WWE Universal champion Brock Lesnar's SummerSlam challenger.
Kurt Angle reveals his 'personal problems'
The big story coming out of Raw was the shocking reveal of Angle's illegitimate son, WWE superstar Jason Jordan. Earlier in the night, Angle talks to Graves and is having second thoughts about revealing his secret. Graves tells him he has to do it and has nothing to be ashamed about.
Angle apologizes for being a distraction of late. An action in his past changed his life, but his family and WWE are supportive of his announcement. When he was in college, he dated a lady and he found out she had his baby, a baby boy. He never knew about it. The baby boy was put up for an adoption, and he had a great family that raised him on great values. He praises the young lad, who was a great athlete and student and then became a WWE superstar, he introduces the newest member of Raw, his son, Jason Jordan! They hug and have a happy moment. No Sharmell, but I was close enough.
Side Note: This was a complete swerve to be honest, as I genuinely expected Dixie Carter ... thank God WWE didn't have the same sentiment. After the negative reaction this garnered over social media, I think this is a brilliant way in bringing in Jason Jordan into mainstream (WWE mainstream) attention. Before this, he was just wrestling on house shows/live events and was simply an afterthought. This will no doubt result in Jordan receiving a push, maybe towards the I.C. title perhaps? Regardless Jason Jordan is one hell of an athlete and I can't wait for the WWE universe to see how great of an amateur wrestler he is. Don't mess this up Vince!
One word: BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUN
No. 1 Contender’s Match: Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe ended in a No Contest
Joe controls, grounding Reigns and working a methodical pace as he now applies a neck crank. The neck crank lasts seemingly forever, Joe talks some trash and Reigns finally starts to fight out and hits some clotheslines. Reigns finally takes Joe down, and covers for 2. Reigns continues his attack with corner clotheslines and the big boot. Joe powders to the floor, Reigns follows and Joe cuts off the drive by with a lariat. Reigns then hits a Samoan drop for the near fall. Joe makes a comeback, hitting a lariat and running senton for the near fall. Joe lands knee strikes, but Reigns escapes the uranage and hits the Superman punch for a good near fall. BUT WAIT BRAUN IS NOT DONE WITH ROMAN YET! He pulls Joe to the floor and goes after Reigns. Reigns attacks and goes to the floor and brawls with Braun, but Braun tosses Reigns back into the ring. Joe and Braun go face-to-face and then they brawl! Braun takes him down and goes back on the attack to Reigns. Joe and Reigns attack Braun and Joe locks on the clutch, but Braun fights off Reigns. Reigns hits a superman punch on Braun while he was in the choke. Braun then hits a spinebuster on Reigns, and then a powerslam on Joe. One for Reigns as well and the monster stands tall. Braun then scares away security and powerslams Reigns again. Braun leaves and we have no winner.
Side Note: The run-in was too predictable and I even called it at the end of Raw last week. The match itself was great ... the pace allowed the crowd to get into the match and invest 100% of their focus toward either Joe or Reigns. Joe put on a great performance and still he looks red hot to become the next WWE Universal champion. Reigns has become arguably the best performer in WWE today ... don't believe me? ... watch his matches from 2014 and then compare them to now. Reigns gets the most response from the WWE universe and it's that reason why he's main-evented Wrestlemania 3 years running. As for Braun, how can you not love Braun, the guy is an absolute beast. Strowman's booking over the last year has been great and that says a lot due to their other bookings of WWE superstars. No doubt Strowman will become champion someday, but until then, I'm just excited for him to kick ass.
Bayley pins the Raw Women's Champion
Non-Title Match: Bayley def. Alexa Bliss (c)
Bliss slaps Bayley right away, but that pissed off Bayley and the brawled to the corner. Bayley shows good fire, and then at 40 seconds into the match, Nia Jax arrives. Bayley makes her comeback, hitting a neck breaker in the ropes. Forearms follow and Bayley fired up and hit an elbow off the ropes. The Saito suplex followed and then an elbow drop off the ropes. Bliss bails to the floor, Jax distracts Bayley allowing Bliss to attack. Sasha Banks arrives and takes out Jax. Bayley gets a roll up for 2 and then the Bayley to belly for the win. Winner: Bayley.
Side Note: The match was OK but for the most part, I felt disinterested with the match until the last minute. Bayley getting the win was important as her feud with Bliss really derailed her WWE career. I hope to God they don't do a multi-woman title match because Lord knows we've seen plenty of those since Wrestlemania 33.
The Miz & Miztourage silence Rollins & Ambrose
Ambrose calls out Miz, Dallas and Axel so they can pick up where they left off last week. Rollins arrives, says Ambrose is all over the place and needs a better plan. Ambrose then says that plans are Rollins’ thing and tells him to piss off and that he will deal with this on his own. Rollins calls him brother, and Ambrose cuts him off and says his brothers were in the Shield. Ambrose reminds Rollins of what he did to him and Roman. Rollins snaps and apologizes; he had to live with it every day since. Rollins then provides a brief summary of their issues and wants them to move on. Ambrose doesn’t buy this and Rollins says his actions will speak louder than words, turns his back and gives Ambrose a free shot at revenge. Ambrose considers it but tosses the chair to the floor. The Miz, Dallas and Axel arrive, probably should have held onto that chair. I continue to appreciate Bo Dallas’ Barry Windham cosplay effort. Miz and the lads beat down the former Shield brothers with chairs; Miz hits Rollins with a skull-crushing finale onto a chair. Well, he gently laid him on the chair to end the attack.
Side Note: The teasing of the Shield is this segment was almost as bad as The Hardy Boyz teasing their 'Broken' gimmick. Rollins & Ambrose did seem to be on the same page during the segment and Rollins' passionate speech about apologizing for turning his back on his brothers brought a sense of joy to the WWE universe. The Miz is on a roll as always and I geniunely thank him for bringing Dallas and Axel into a storyline on Raw because they were just stuck in midcard-main event purgatory. The Shield won't obviously return to thwart the threat of the Miztourage, but the seeds are being planted ... bit by bit.
Samson plays out his final tune on Balor's skull
Finn Balor def. Elias Samson via DQ
Balor looked to control early, but Samson hit a toss slam to cut that off. Samson followed with a clothesline, and then worked a full nelson. Balor fought back, hitting a desperation PELE. Balor picks up the pace, taking control and then working over Samson with strikes in the corner. Samson then hit a sitout powerbomb for a near fall. Balor cut off Samson, sending him to the floor and following with a PK from the apron. The shotgun dropkick followed from Balor, but Samson grabbed his guitar and EL KABONGED Balor for the DQ. Winner: Finn Balor.
Side Note: This match was OK but it's something we've seen many MANY times before. The match was too short and in all honesty if they were going to make a feud out of this, they need to keep Balor and Samson separate from each other and not in matches every single week. Balor, of course, has potential to be the face of WWE and Samson, Samson is showing real promise here that he's not just another guitar act (Double J), but a force to be reckoned with in the WWE.
Other notable moments
Enzo delivers the same promo he's given for weeks now and says he will get revenge on Big Cass. Cass comes down the ring but before he can get his hands on Enzo, Enzo has a surprise in store ... WELLLLLLL IT'S THE BIG SHOWWWWWWWWWWWW. Cass attacks as Show makes his entrance and they brawl on the floor. Show tosses Cass around with ease, slamming him to the barricades. Cass finally fights back, laying in clubbing strikes but Show tosses him into the apron. They fight to the apron, and Cass posts Show a few times and tosses him into the ring. Cass lays the boots to Show, Enzo is such a good friend that he is allowing Show to get the bananas kicked out of him. Enzo finally hits the ring and gets KO’d with a big boot. Cass bails.
We have cruiserweight action as the Brian Kendrick & Drew Gulak take on Mustafa Ali & Jack Gallagher. This is combining two of the lower level 205 Live feuds, Gulak and Ali face tomorrow in a 2 out of 3 falls match. Graves is back on commentary. Kendrick talks some smack, leading to Gallagher and Gulak starting things off. Gallagher took control until Kendrick distracted him, allowing Gulak to cut him off with chops. Gallagher fights back, Kendrick blind tags in an eats a head butt. Tag to Ali, he hits the imploding 450 and pins Kendrick. Winner: Ali & Gallagher.
Cruiserweight action is upon us as Ariya Daivari takes on Akira Tozawa. Tozawa runs wild at the bell, but Daivari cuts him off and attacked the shoulder that Neville targeted last week. Daivari takes too much time yelling, and eats a RANA and Saito suplex. Tozawa up top and jumps over Daivari, Daivari hits divorce court and then a running knee strike and covers for 2. Titus then calls off the match “to save Tozawa.” Winner: Ariya Daivari.
Some tag team action is also upon us as The Hardy Boyz take on The Revival. The Hardys attack as the Revival as they made their entrance. The match then properly started with the Hardys taking control, isolating Dawson. The Hardys control as Gallows and Anderson watch on from backstage. The Hardys keep working quick tags, double teams and isolating Dash now in their half of the ring. Post break, the revival takes the heat, working the knee of Matt. Good heat by The Revival, they thrive in their simplicity; cutting off the ring, working a sound heat that makes sense with great execution. Jeff finally gets the hot tag, he runs wild and plays the hits and picks up a near fall. Dawson distracts Jeff, Dash attacks but the Hardys battle back, twist of fate by Jeff and Dash makes the save. It breaks down, poetry in motion by Jeff but Dash cuts off the swanton, crotching Jeff, and allowing Dawson to get the pin pulling the tights. Great heel work. Winner: The Revival.
Overall Raw Rating: B-
Things to look forward to next week
How will the Raw locker room react to Jason Jordan's arrival?
Who will face the WWE Universal Champion at SummerSlam?
Shield Reunion perhaps?
Who will face Alexa Bliss for the Raw Women's champion at Summerslam?
What's next for the WWE Cruiserweight champion, Neville?