Event: Monday Night Raw
Date: September 30, 2019
Location: Phoenix, AZ
WWE Raw Results & Highlights
The season premiere of Monday Night Raw opened with Rey Mysterio thanking his son Dominick, who was in the audience, for motivating him to keep fighting. Brock Lesnar‘s music hit and The Beast entered with Paul Heyman by his side. Lesnar straight away attacked Mysterio and delivered an F5. He did not stop there as he went for Rey’s son. Lesnar pulled Dominick out from the audience and dragged him in to the ring after crashing him on the ring post. The Beast decimated the father-son duo with slams, suplexes, and F5s. The attack was so brutal that Dominick had to be carried away by the emergency medical team. What a way to start the show!
Sasha Banks defeated Alexa Bliss: The match started with Becky Lynch joining the commentary desk. Towards the end of the match, Banks called Bayley for help and acted as if she is about to attack Bliss from behind. This distracted Bliss which gave enough time for Banks to steal a roll-up victory. Post-match, Lynch entered the ring and started a brawl but Banks managed to slip away into the crowd.
Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler defeated Heavy Machinery to retain the Raw Tag Team titles: Though the challengers dominated earlier in the match, the champions gained control mid-way through. Towards the end of the match, when it looked like Heavy Machinery were going for the win, Ziggler interfered and hit a Zigzag to Tucker and a Superkick to Otis. Roode delivered a Glorious DDT to Tucker to secure the win.
Miz TV with Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan: The Miz invited Flair and Hogan (accompanied by Jimmy Hart) to the ring and announced a 5-on-5 Team Flair vs Team Hogan match for WWE Crown Jewel at Saudi Arabia on October 31 with both the legends as team coaches. Hogan announced Seth Rollins as his team captain and Flair announced Randy Orton as his team’s captain. An impromptu Captain vs Captain match was announced but King Corbin interfered before the match could start and attacked Rollins along with Orton. Rusev rushed in to make the save and delivered superkicks to Orton and Corbin. Team Hogan stood tall to end the segment.
Backstage: Rusev challenged Seth Rollins for the Universal Championship match for later in the night. The scheduled match between Rollins and Mysterio was canceled as Mysterio had to accompany his son Dominick to the hospital after getting brutally attacked by Lesnar earlier in the show.
The Viking Raiders defeated The OC (Gallows and Anderson) in tag team action. The big men impressed in the ring with some beautiful combination moves. Ivar made it look like 205 Live as the 330-pound behemoth went for a splash from the top rope and pinned Gallows for the win.
Ricochet defeated Cesaro: Power vs agility was in action as the two superstars displayed excellent in-ring skills in singles action. Ricochet delivered a stunning Hurrincanrana to secure a pinfall victory.
AJ Styles defeated Cedric Alexander to retain the United States Championship: Both the challenger and the champion thrilled the audience in a match with a lot of near-falls. Styles countered a Lumbar Check from Alexander and delivered a Styles Clash to retain the title.
Lacey Evans defeated Natalya: Evans got the upper hand after she hit Natalya’s head on to the steel steps. Natalya recovered and got control with a devastating Clothesline but only to be scratched on her face by Evans who then rolled up and held on to Natalya’s tights to secure the pinfall victory.
Backstage: Paul Heyman apologized for Brock Lesnar’s actions and said that Vince McMahon is to blame for allowing Lesnar to be on the premiere episode of Monday Night Raw when he knew that Lesnar was in “fight mode”. He also said that Lesnar will defeat Kofi Kingston this Friday at SmackDown’s debut on FOX to become the new WWE Champion.
Raw Main Event – Seth Rollins vs Rusev for the Universal Championship match ended in a no-contest. The match was interrupted by a returning Bobby Lashley who brought out another returning superstar and Rusev’s wife, Lana. To the surprise of everyone, and reminiscent of Attitude Era storylines, Lashley and Lana kissed in front of Rusev (for an uncomfortably long time) only to be interrupted by The Fiend who attacked Seth Rollins and put down the Universal Champion with the Mandible Claw to end the show. What a crazy night!
Takeaways from Monday Night Raw
1. What a Start!
Brock Lesnar on WWE television is always a welcome sight, and this week on RAW he absolutely dismantled Rey Mysterio and his son Dominick. The whole segment reeked of an Attitude Era throwback and was a fun way to get things started in the new era.
Brock Lesnar got his pyro back too, which was a refreshing sight. Lesnar demolishing Dominick is definitely going to have future storyline implications.
It was reported a few weeks earlier that WWE is trying to set up a feud between Mysterio and his son, and this could sow the seeds for a future conflict. Mysterio unable to save his son from the Beast could be a potential start of a father-son clash down the line.
2. One More Match? Thankfully Not!
It was officially confirmed last week that WWE is returning to Saudi Arabia on Halloween for yet another rendition of Crown Jewel. Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan revisited their old times on Miz TV and teased a showdown at Crown Jewel. The very thought of two sixty-year-olds in the ring would’ve made any wrestling fan sick, but thankfully, WWE went the sane route.
Flair and Hogan forming their own teams for a 5-on-5 showdown at Crown Jewel is a smart move, as it brings more purpose to the match and will help to build feuds in a better way.
3. Goodbye 50-50 Booking
One of the worst things about WWE’s booking system is the use of 50-50 booking, where in the same match takes place a few times on television, with the opponents trading victories. The Viking Raiders and The OC have had their issues ever since both the teams eliminated each other during the Tag Team Turmoil a few weeks ago.
Viking Raiders picked up definitive victories over the OC for two weeks in a row, which is a promising sign for the former NXT Tag Team Champions.
As much as it hurts to see Gallows and Anderson get the inferior treatment, WWE is being consistent in their booking, which is the way to go.
Elsewhere, Otis and Tucker are quickly becoming the best things on WWE television. Hopefully, they are rewarded with a title run soon.
4. What’s Next For AJ?
AJ Styles has now defeated Cedric Alexander for the second time in three weeks, with a clean win over the former Cruiserweight Champion. The Phenomenal One’s US title reign has seen him face the likes of Ricochet and Braun Strowman, and he is still going strong.
The defeat for Alexander is surely the last bit from this feud, and AJ will definitely move on to bigger things for now. The RAW roster is quite thin when it comes to babyface mid-carders, which surely begs the question of who’s next for AJ?
5. It’s a Bizarro World
Rusev competed in a Universal Championship Match, Bobby Lashley returned to WWE along with Lana, Lashley and Lana made out on national television for a full two minutes, following which, The Fiend attacked Seth Rollins to close the show.
This is not a fantasy booking, this is exactly what happened in the main event of RAW last night, which was completely bizarre. The segment made absolutely no sense and felt rushed throughout. The crowd went from anticipating a Seth Rollins-Rey Mysterio main-event to a Bobby Lashley-Lana softcore porn session.
What went through in the minds of Vince McMahon and Paul Heyman before booking this segment is unknown, and hopefully, it isn’t a trend for weeks to come.