This week’s WWE Raw featured The Bloodline trio in a six-man tag against Riddle & The Street Profits while Rey Mysterio celebrated 20 years in WWE.
It’s also the start of a new era in WWE because we found out on Monday morning that former WWE Champion and Hall of Famer Triple H (Paul Levesque) is officially the Head of WWE Creative, replacing the now-retired Vince McMahon. It’s hard to know what changes there will be immediately, but we should see things looking and feeling a little bit different in the weeks ahead. I’m pretty optimistic and excited about things going forward as I wrote about in this blog post I did here on TJRWrestling. It’s a pretty big day considering for the first time in most of our lives, Vince McMahon is not in charge of WWE Creative. I never thought July 2022 would be one of the most newsworthy months in wrestling history, but here we are. As for Vince, it’s all because of his own greed and his own mistakes. I’m thankful for him creating WWE and building this product, but he’s got himself to blame for not being in the position of power that he used to be in.
As we move forward, SummerSlam is on Saturday night and that means I’ll be back with a preview of that show with the TJR team later this week, most likely on Friday. As for Raw, it’s an MSG edition of Raw with a sold out NYC crowd. I think it’s a great spot to start a new regime for WWE.
This is the Raw Deal for episode #1522 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.
Raw started with a brawl in the ring with Logan Paul fighting with The Miz. Paul tackled The Miz in the ring while Miz held onto his arm to t ry to stop the attack. There were officials and referees that went to the ring to try to break it up as Miz left the ring while Paul was being held in the ring. The announcers said that Logan Paul had a microphone doing a promo saying he wanted The Miz to come get him, so that led to the fight.
Analysis: Interesting way to start Raw by having a brawl as they came onto the air. I thought this feud needed some physicality added to it going into the build, so that was an effective way to do that.
The Raw commentary team was Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton as usual.
Let’s Hear from Roman Reigns and The Bloodline
The Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns made his entrance along with the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos and the Special Council “Wise Man” Paul Heyman. Reigns and crew did their slow walking entrance in front of a sold out MSG crowd that gave them a mix of cheers and boos. Reigns defends the two titles against Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam this Saturday.
Reigns took his time as he posed in the ring. There were some “Roman” chants, but also some booing. It was a loud reaction. Reigns: “Madison Square Garden…acknowledge me!” That led to more boos and cheers from the crowd. Reigns called on the “Wise Man” Heyman because Reigns said he didn’t feel like talking anymore.
Heyman welcomed us to the Island of Relevancy where tonight…and the microphone went out. Heyman joked that they had a sound guy that must be from New Jersey or something. Heyman got a new microphone saying “you’re the next one out the door.” That’s funny. Heyman said that MSG was their City Hall. Heyman noted that this Sunday will mark 700 days of the Head of the Table, The GOAT, Roman Reigns. Heyman said that this plays into the hands of the challenger of the Undisputed WWE Title because he likes to piss on everybody’s parade and he’s talking about Brock Lesnar. Heyman mentioned Lesnar beating Randy Couture in UFC, beating Undertaker at WrestleMania when he was 21-0, when John Cena was running around as WWE Champion it was Lesnar bursting that bubble and now Lesnar looks at Saturday as Day 699 while thinking he can ruin the party for Reigns. Heyman said that this is why Reigns takes it so seriously. Heyman mentioned sports rivalries along with WWE rivalries and said that after Saturday, you won’t think of Lesnar again when it comes to Reigns. Heyman said that they are sick of Lesnar’s name, they are sick of Lesnar riding on the coattails of Roman’s reign and it’s time for Lesnar to go back to Saskatchewan to slaughter a bunch of hogs. Heyman said Reigns will do what he has to do to keep Lesnar down while adding it’s their very last match together where Reigns will rid himself of Lesnar. Heyman added that Reigns can’t stand the sound of the name Lesnar. Heyman said after this Saturday night at SummerSlam, Lesnar won’t be able to stand at all.
Theory showed up with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Theory said that what’s so funny to him is that they have forgotten an important detail about SummerSlam. Theory said he’ll win back the US Title from Bobby Lashley and he’s also going to cash in the Money in the Bank contract saying it doesn’t matter if it’s Lesnar or Reigns because he’ll be the new Undisputed WWE Universal Champion.
Reigns responded to Theory asking if he’s just going to stop right there on the floor. Reigns said that he should at least step into the ring to acknowledge the Tribal Chief. Theory slowly got into the ring with his briefcase. Reigns laughed about how Theory was nervous and Reigns said that they like him while Heyman said he’s alright. Reigns told Theory he has no clue what he’s doing with the briefcase. Reigns offered some words of wisdom saying his daddy is not here anymore (Vince McMahon reference) while adding that this is Roman’s ring. The fans chanted “Daddy’s Gone” and then “Who’s Your Daddy” with Reigns saying if Theory keeps messing up then Reigns will be his daddy. Reigns said he runs The Garden now. Reigns walked right by Theory, then Jey slapped Theory in the back of the head and Theory hit Jey with the briefcase in the back two times. Reigns held Jey back instead of starting a fight. The fans chanted “Who’s Your Daddy” at Theory. Reigns left with his crew.
Analysis: A long promo segment that we have seen many times in the opening segment on Raw. Heyman’s promo was great as usual. Theory showed a lot of confidence, then Reigns intimidated him and Theory backed down a bit at that point. The chants from the crowd were funny. The MSG crowd is always going to have fun like that. Anyway, since Lesnar isn’t on Raw this week it’s a way to promote SummerSlam without him by having Theory out there to remind Reigns about the MITB briefcase factor. I think Reigns beats Lesnar at SummerSlam and I don’t think Theory will attempt a cash-in on Reigns after regardless of what’s being said now.
Theory was introduced as the youngest Money in the Bank holder in WWE history. Before he could get going, Drew McIntyre made his entrance with Angela the sword. Graves said Drew doesn’t even go here in reference to Drew being a Smackdown guy, but we know the brand extension “rules” barely exist at this point.
Drew McIntyre vs. Theory
Drew with a clothesline followed by some hard chops to the chest. Drew hit a delayed vertical suplex. Theory with chops of his own, Drew no-sold them and Drew did a suplex into a slam across the ring. Theory with a jawbreaker along with punches while Drew was down in the corner. Drew bounced off the turnbuckle with a clothesline followed by a belly-to-belly suplex across the ring and a Future Shock DDT. Drew set up for the Claymore Kick in the corner, but that led to Theory bailing to the floor. Drew followed Theory to the floor where he dropped Theory onto the commentary table hood. It wasn’t enough to break the table. They went to break there.
Theory was in control as he sent Drew out of the ring and into the steel steps. The referee was counting Drew out, but Drew got back in before the ten count. Drew countered a Theory suplex by hitting a suplex of his own. They exchanged punches leading to Drew hitting a spinebuster for two. Drew set up for the Claymore Kick, but that led to Sheamus, Ridge Holland and Butch attacking Drew for the DQ finish after 10 minutes.
Winner by disqualification: Drew McIntyre
Analysis: *** It was a fresh matchup that I enjoyed. They had good chemistry with Drew dominating at times as the bigger guy, but then Theory got some offense too and it was set up for a Drew win before the DQ finish. I was hoping for less DQ finishes in this new era of WWE, but I get why they did it this time because it would lead to the post match interaction.
Post match, Sheamus and crew went after Drew some more with Theory joining in. Bobby Lashley, the US Champion, made the save for Drew. They quickly cleared the ring of the heels. It sets up an obvious tag team match.
The announcers said that WWE Official Adam Pearce booked the match during the break.
Sheamus & Theory vs. Drew McIntyre & Bobby Lashley
Sheamus was in control against Drew with stomps in the corner. Sheamus followed up with a backbreaker. Sheamus teased tagging in Theory, but then Sheamus didn’t do it. Drew knocked down Sheamus with a headbutt (using his hand as usual) and that led to Lashley tagging in. Lashley with a corner clothesline on Sheamus, then a running shoulder tackle in the corner and a delayed vertical suplex. Lashley with a flatliner on Theory, who went into the ring. Lashley clotheslined Sheamus out of the ring. Lashley went for a Spear on Theory on the floor, but Sheamus with the interception leading to a jumping knee to Lashley’s face. Butch went into the ring, Holland went after Drew, but Drew tripped him up and Drew suplexed Butch onto Holland. The referee ejected Drew and Holland from ringside.
The match returned with Theory grounding Lashley with a chinlock. Sheamus tagged in with a punch on Lashley and Sheamus knocked Drew off the apron. Lashley hit a spinebuster. Drew was back on the apron wanting a tag, so the crowd was fired up as Drew tagged in against Theory with clotheslines, a belly-to-belly suplex across the ring and a neckbreaker. Drew hit an impressive spinebuster for a two count. Lashley tagged in with his own version of a spinebuster on Theory and Sheamus broke up the pin with a knee drop off the top. Drew clotheslined Sheamus out of the ring. Sheamus with an eye poke followed by the White Noise slam on the floor. Theory looked over at the commentary table where Dolph Ziggler was by the commentary table looking at Theory’s phone. Theory was distracted by that, so Lashley applied a Hurt Lock submission. Theory quickly gave up. The match went about 12 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Drew McIntyre & Bobby Lashley
Analysis: *** A solid tag team match with the faces getting the win. I wasn’t sure if they would have Theory lose this close to SummerSlam, but I guess that was the best option instead of having Drew or Sheamus lose ahead of their big match on Smackdown. The fans were into Lashley and Drew as a babyface team.
Theory was shown with the MITB briefcase by the entrance area. Theory held up the Money in the Bank briefcase, then he turned around and The Usos were there for a double superkick. Roman Reigns walked to put the MITB briefcase on Theory’s chest. Reigns told him to bring the briefcase and make sure it’s the right choice.
Analysis: It was a rough night for Theory since he has a lot of enemies, he lost the match and then he was left laying on his ass by the entrance area. Theory got a lot of screen time in hour one. He was featured a lot.
A video aired honoring Rey Mysterio, who made his WWE debut on Smackdown on July 25, 2002. That means it was 20 years since his WWE debut although obviously, he spent years before that in WCW, ECW and Mexico as well. This was about his WWE run. They showed his big Royal Rumble 2006 win leading to the World Heavyweight Title win at WrestleMania 22. They had comments from some of Rey’s friends/peers and Dominik talking about working with his father. They showed when The Mysterios won the Tag Team Titles together. Lots of people talked about Rey as being one of the best wrestlers ever and his enormous impact on the business.
Analysis: That was a cool video. Rey is one of my favorite wrestlers of all time. They captured a lot of what made him special. I think what they could have added is that he was so influential in the high-flying wrestling style that is a lot more popular today than it was in decades past. People studied Rey and learned from him because he was so talented. His durability has been incredible too.
Rey Mysterio was shown arriving earlier in the night with his son Dominik Mysterio along with his wife and daughter. Rey is up next.
A video aired featured a mystery man like we have seen for several weeks.
Dolph Ziggler was interviewed by Kevin Patrick about Theory. Ziggler said he has seen guys like Theory in the past and AJ Styles showed up to chat with Ziggler. That didn’t go very far at all before the Alpha Academy’s Chad Gable and Otis showed up. They exchanged some words, it led to a match challenge by AA and Styles/Ziggler accepted. That’s cool.
Rey Mysterio 20-Year Anniversary Celebration
Rey and Dominik Mysterio made their entrance to a good ovation. The fans loved Rey just like they have done for his entire career in WWE. Rey’s been a babyface during his entire run in WWE. They showed some random people watching on a TV backstage.
Rey talked about how this is special. Rey said that he was 14 years old when he had his first match in Tijuana and he never imagined then that he would perform in a WWE ring. He talked about how he got to travel the world, make money and create rivalries for all of us to enjoy. Rey said guys his size weren’t major superstars, but he was able to break the mold. Rey talked about as a smaller guy that was a damn proud Latino, he became a World Champion at WrestleMania 22. Rey wanted to thank some friends for helping pave the road: Dean Malenko, K-Dog (Konnan), Batista, Kurt Angle, Edge and we cannot forget the great Eddie Guerrero, which drew a huge ovation along with an “Eddie” chant. Rey said he loved Eddie and he missed him every damn day while saying that he wouldn’t be there without Eddie while adding that Eddie is always watching over him. Rey thanked Eddie. Rey thanked the fans for the love and support they have given him for the past 20 years. Rey said to be able to live all of that with his family, it just means that much more. The fan chanted “You Deserve It” for Rey. Damn right he does. Rey mentioned Angie and Aliyah watching backstage saying thanks for always being there and he loves them both. Rey told Dominik he was proud of him, he is proud of the man that he has become and he knows Dominik will be representing the Mysterio legacy to the fullest. Rey told Dominik he loved him. Rey thanked the fans for always rolling with the Mysterios and for 20 of the dopest, most awesome years. Rey said last but not least, he wanted to thank the fans. Rey said he could have been any place in the world, but he’s here tonight in the legendary and iconic Madison Square Garden celebrating 20 years. Rey told the fans he loved them. Rey spoke in Spanish a bit as well ending it with: “Viva Mi Rasa.” Rey thanked the fans saying he loved them so much and they had no idea.
Analysis: I enjoyed that promo from Rey. He got plenty of time, covered a lot and the fans were listening to him rather than shouting “WHAT” or not reacting. Fans love and respect Rey for an incredible career. Rey deserves that love for sure.
Finn Balor appeared in the crowd with The Mysterios pointing him out. Damian Priest was on the other side as Priest and Balor surrounded The Mysterios. That tag team match is next.
This Friday on Smackdown: Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus in a Donnybrook Match with the winner getting an Undisputed WWE Universal Championship match at Clash at the Castle. That should be a Drew win. It is one night before SummerSlam.
Rey & Dominik Mysterio vs. Finn Balor & Damian Priest
There was fast-paced action to start the match. Rey battled Balor for a bit, Dominik tagged in and slammed his father onto Balor. Rey did a bit of an Eddie shake for a pop, but Balor came back with a hard whip into the turnbuckle. That led to the heels taking over with Priest choking Rey against the ropes. Priest with a jumping elbow smash on Rey followed by a suplex into a slam for two. Balor back in, Rey with an enziguri kick to the head and Dominik tagged in with a cross body block off the top. Dominik sent Balor across the ring, Priest tagged in and when Dominik tried to dive onto Priest on the floor, he was caught. Priest slammed Dominik into the barricade leading to a break.
The match continued with Rey getting the tag, he kicked Priest in the head and hit a senton dive off the top onto Priest for a two count. Rey ran off the ropes, but Priest stopped him with a kick to the face for two. Priest set up Rey, but Rey countered with a headscissors. Balor tagged in leading to a running clothesline followed by a shotgun dropkick in the corner. Balor up top and he hit the Coup de Grace double foot stomp for two as Dominik made the save. Balor dumped Dominik out of the ring. Priest gave Balor a chair, then Balor tossed a chair to Rey. Dominik distracted the referee, they did the chair trick behind the referee’s back. Rey and Dominik hit a double 619 on both Judgment Day guys, Rey went up top and hit a Frog Splash on Balor for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Rey & Dominik Mysterio
Analysis: ***1/4 A good tag match with a happy ending since The Mysterios picked up the clean win. It’s nice to see WWE book a babyface like Rey to go over strong on a night where they celebrated his career. Some people may have thought Dominik would turn on his dad, but I’m glad they didn’t do that. They built to the finish very well with the double 619 followed by Rey’s Frog Splash. The bad thing about this is that it makes The Judgment Day guys look a bit weak, but I don’t think it’s that bad for them. They’ll be fine long-term.
They showed a video of Cody Rhodes winning the ESPY Award for Best WWE Moment last week. The fans voted for Cody’s return at WrestleMania as the best moment. Cody thanked the fans for it. Good choice.
— WWE (@WWE) July 26, 2022
Bianca Belair, the Raw Women’s Champion, was shown walking backstage because she’s up next.
They showed Rey’s family/friends celebrating in their room backstage. Rey and Dominik showed up to celebrate. Aliyah gave Rey a present that was his gear when he competed at Halloween Havoc 1997 in a five-star classic against Eddie Guerrero. Rhea Ripley from The Judgment Day walked in wearing an “I’m Your Papi” shirt. Aliyah stepped in front of her, told her get out of there and Ripley shoved her. Ripley also shoved Dominik. Priest and Balor showed up to attack Dominik and Rey as well. Balor stomped on Rey saying it was Finn’s birthday (it is). Priest picked up Rey and gave him a huge Powerbomb through a table in the backstage area. Rey’s family/friends checked on him.
Analysis: There’s the cheap attack by the heels following their loss. That means the feud will continue.
Bianca Belair made her entrance. She defends the Raw Women’s Title against Becky Lynch at SummerSlam.
Let’s Hear from Bianca Belair…and Becky Lynch
Bianca Belair, the Raw Women’s Champion, was about to do a promo, but Becky Lynch’s music interrupted her. Lynch was dressed in some unique gear as usual along with some shoes that had huge heels, so she looked taller than usual. Belair talked about how she was the best, Lynch didn’t like that Belair cut her off and Lynch punched Belair to knock her down.
They got into a fight with Belair delivering elbows and punches. Lynch avoided a KOD attempt, but held the ropes and pulling the hair. They were on the floor with Lynch shoving Belair into the ring post. They went brawling over the commentary table at ringside when officials and referees showed up to break it up.
Analysis: That was a shorter segment leading to the brawl. I thought there would be longer promos from Bianca and Becky there, but instead it was brief leading to the brawl. I liked the brawl with Becky doing the hair pulling over the top rope to the floor as well as the post bump and brawling by the table.
A clip was shown of Alexa Bliss pinning Nikki A.S.H. in a tag team match two weeks ago.
Alexa Bliss was interrupted by Sarah Schreiber, who asked about her match with Doudrop and what is up with Alexa in the future. Bliss talked about Doudrop and Nikki having issues while bragging about Lilly being number one at WWE Shop. I don’t believe that. Bliss said that it doesn’t matter if it’s Becky or Bianca at SummerSlam because Bliss said she is reclaiming her place at the top of the women’s division.
Alexa Bliss made her entrance for singles action.
Rey Mysterio was shown grabbing his shoulder while being checked on by doctors. Damian Priest and Finn Balor showed up, so the mass of people made them move back. That led to Rhea Ripley kicking Rey in the shoulder to knock him down. Ripley congratulated Rey on 20 years.
Alexa Bliss vs. Doudrop (w/Nikki A.S.H.)
Alexa punched Nikki off the apron, so Doudrop hit a running cross body block for two. Doudrop with punches to the arm, a headbutt to the arm and a suplex. Doudrop held Bliss with a chinlock leading to a clothesline for a two count. Bliss avoided a corner charge, but Doudrop came back with a headbutt. Bliss tripped up Doudrop, Bliss delivered knees to the face and a running dropkick for two. Doudrop drove Bliss into the turnbuckle, and then Doudrop missed a corner attack because Bliss moved. Bliss went up top, so Nikki tripped her there to send Bliss to the mat. Doudrop went for a powerslam, but Bliss countered it into a DDT for the pinfall win after four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Alexa Bliss
Analysis: *1/2 Easy win for Bliss getting the win even after Nikki was at ringside helping Doudrop during the match. I thought the finish was booked well with Bliss countering a power move with a DDT. They’re slowly pushing Bliss to get her into title contention post-SummerSlam, which is a smart move.
They showed AJ Styles talking to Logan Paul in the backstage area. Styles told Paul that if he needs anything, just say the word. Styles told Paul to shut The Miz’s mouth at SummerSlam. Paul is up next.
Analysis: It’s smart to do a segment like that where a babyface like Styles endorses Paul so that way it might make skeptical fans like Paul because they saw Styles likes him.
They showed highlights of Logan Paul and The Miz brawling earlier in the night.
Impaulsive TV with Logan Paul
Paul shouted out “New York City” while saying his brother is going to be fighting there next weekend. The fans booed. That’s funny. Paul said it’s like Miz TV, but people actually watch. Paul called out Miz to finish what they started earlier in the night. No sign of Miz. Paul shouted out Miz again while mocking Miz for his “tiny, little prunes” referencing Miz’s small balls, which is the gimmick they keep pushing.
Maryse walked out in a pink dress that was very short and revealing in the right places. I have missed her. Maryse plugged the TV show Miz & Mrs. after Raw, then she told Logan not talk about her kids and Maryse didn’t like Paul talking her man’s genitalia…she had trouble saying that, so then she said “package” instead. The fan chanted “tiny balls” I think s, so Maryse told them to shut up. Miz claimed her husband’s testicles fall into the average parameters and Paul asked who measures their testicles.
The Miz walked out there in a pink suit saying “I do” about his measurement. Miz claimed that Paul owes everything to Miz, who said that you are getting big moment Miz. It led to Miz saying when the dust settles, you will know why Miz is awesome. Paul said all he does is talk while telling Miz that he always knew he had tiny balls. Maryse slapped the microphone from Paul and Paul said that she had bigger balls than Miz. Ciampa attacked Paul from behind, so then Miz joined in the attack and they knocked Paul down. Paul tried to fight off both guys, but he couldn’t do much. Miz hit Paul with the Skull Crushing Finale. Some fans chanted “one more time” even though Paul is supposed to be the face. Miz touched fists with Ciampa to thank him for the help.
Analysis: The interesting thing about this segment is that the fans still wanted to boo Paul even though he was clearly positioned as the face. It’s clear that WWE is trying so hard to get Paul cheered, yet the fans reject him and don’t really care about him. Maryse tried to get heat while pushing the “balls” gimmick they have going on, Miz joined as well and even the cheap attack with Ciampa didn’t lead to much booing. I think Paul will win at SummerSlam, but I don’t know if he will be cheered that much.
The Street Profits and The Usos were interviewed backstage by Kevin Patrick with special referee (at SummerSlam) Jeff Jarrett also there. The Profits said that they get a preview tonight, then The Usos replied with trash talk of their own and Jarrett told them to shut up. Jarret told them if anybody gets out of line tonight, he’ll remember it for SummerSlam. Jarrett told them to keep the peace. Street Profits did their catchphrase and Usos did theirs as well.
AJ Styles & Dolph Ziggler entered for tag team action.
The Alpha Academy’s Chad Gable and Otis made their entrance. Chad did his “SHOOSH” gimmick along with his “thank you” as well. Gable said that this island will collapse under the weight of human garbage. Gable ripped on Styles and Ziggler are a couple of guys thrown together as a team that will be a disappointment, which reminds him of the embarrassment that he calls the New York Knicks. Gable bragged about his team while the fans booed.
AJ Styles & Dolph Ziggler vs. Alpha Academy (Chad Gable & Otis)
Ziggler with a dropkick on Gable. Styles tagged in with a dropkick on