The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 09/13/21 Review

Welcome to the WWE Raw Deal review for this week. The NFL is back for Monday Night Football, so I don’t watch Raw live during this time of year since I’m watching the NFL game live. That means a Tuesday morning writeup, so here I am for that.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1477 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage, insightful columns from our team along with reviews about wrestling’s past (including my reviews of every WWE PPV ever listed in order) and present. Let’s roll.

The show began with a shot of the crowd in Boston. No pyro or intro music or anything like that. The announcers plugged Bobby Lashley defending the WWE Championship against Randy Orton. That was going to be at Extreme Rules, but WWE changed it to Raw.

Let’s Hear from Big E, Randy Orton and Bobby Lashley

Big E from Smackdown appeared with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Big E made it clear on Twitter earlier in the day that wanted to cash in the Money in the Bank contract on Raw. Randy Orton was next with his tag team partner Riddle – they are the Raw Tag Team Champions that the fans love. The All Mighty WWE Champion Bobby Lashley was next in a suit with MVP by his side. The Raw announce team was Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton.

If you didn’t know, Big E mentioned cashing in on Raw earlier in the day.

The ring was full with Lashley and MVP on one side, Orton and Riddle on the other side and Big E in the middle. Big E said that if there’s any confusion, he still intends on cashing in his Money in the Bank contract tonight. The fans cheered. Riddle welcomed Big E to Raw, but told him not to cash in on Randy since he is Riddle’s best bro. MVP told Riddle to shut his dumbass up. MVP told Riddle that Randy won’t win the WWE Title tonight. MVP said he normally laughs at Big E, but they are in no mood to laugh tonight. MVP said that they were supposed to challenge for the Raw Tag Team Titles, but somehow Orton politicked his way to get a WWE Title shot tonight instead of Extreme Rules.

Orton said it has been 14 long years since he has faced Lashley. Orton figured why wait two more weeks? Orton said that there was no way that he could throw Lashley off his game, but maybe he could change the date. Orton said that he went to who he needed to go to, told them what he wanted, they did it and it’s because he is Randy Freakin’ Orton. The crowd popped. Big E was excited about it.

Analysis: Good explanation of why WWE changed the date of the match. Basically, they wanted to put a big match on Raw with the Money in the Bank tease to try to boost the audience.

MVP asked if the crowd forgot about the Crown Prince with the Money in the Bank briefcase. MVP said he thought that Big E would be the first of New Day to win the WWE Championship. MVP talked about Big E breaking out as a singles star as Mr. Money in the Bank, but now he has run from Smackdown to Raw because he’s scared to cash that in on Roman Reigns or scared of Brock Lesnar (Lashley said “I’m not”) and MVP told Big E he will fear Lashley too. Orton said he has proved for weeks that all it takes is one RKO to bring Lashley down to his knees. Orton said that’s what will happen when he beats Lashley to become the new WWE Champion. Big E said then he can cash in on Orton to become the new WWE Champion.

Lashley said that he’s going to take the pleasure of beating up Orton all around the ring. Lashley told Big E that if he comes close to Lashley with the contract he’ll shove it so far up Big E’s ass that he’ll be able to taste the fine print. Lashley shoved the briefcase out of his face as he argued with Big E and then Orton hit Lashley with the RKO out of nowhere. The crowd popped huge for Orton’s third RKO in three weeks on Lashley. Orton left as his music played.

Analysis: That was a strong opening segment. They set up the WWE Title match for later in the show while also teasing Big E’s desire to cash in Money in the Bank. The fans were solidly behind Orton and Big E throughout the segment while Lashley/MVP did a nice job of getting heat. I like that Lashley commented when MVP mentioned Lesnar since we know Bobby has wanted to face Brock for many years.

Charlotte Flair was shown backstage getting ready for her match up next.

There was a commercial for the new NXT look debuting on Tuesday (tonight).


There were highlights from last week when Shayna Baszler cost Nia Jax her Raw Women’s Title match against Charlotte Flair last week.

Charlotte Flair was interviewed by Sarah Schreiber. Charlotte did her usual promo bragging about how she is the very best in every way humanly possible. Charlotte said that her reign will last forever: “Long Live The Queen.”

Charlotte Flair vs. Shayna Baszler

It’s a non-title match between two heels. They call it a “Championship Contender Match” now when it’s non-title.

The action spilled to the floor quickly with Flair avoiding a move as Baszler slid under the bottom rope and Flair hit a cross body block over the top onto Baszler. They went to break one minute into the match.


There was a video that aired letting us know the WWE Draft begins on October 1 on Smackdown and October 4 on Raw. That has been rumored for a while, so now it’s confirmed.

Flair was in control against Baszler, but when Flair went to the turnbuckle, Baszler shook the ropes and then a kick led to a two count. Flair avoided a charging Baszler leading to a rollup for two. Flair powered out of a submission attempt with a belly to back suplex. Baszler came back with a German Suplex followed by a knee to the face for two. Baszler with kicks to the body, Flair bounced off the ropes with a clothesline and hard chops. Charlotte went for a boot, Baszler avoided it and Charlotte hit the back elbow to the head for two. That’s a spot that Charlotte’s fiancé Andrade does, so that was a move she got from him. Baszler with a boot to the face, but then Flair with a backbreaker and she sent Baszler into the turnbuckle. Baszler to the floor, so Flair went up top and hit a moonsault where she hit Baszler with her left arm. That led to Nia Jax going to ringside, Charlotte pointed at her lower body for some reason, Jax was disgusted by that and Baszler whipped Flair into the steel steps.


The match returned with Flair hitting a running clothesline while Jax was shown watching at ringside. Baszler hit another German Suplex on Flair. Charlotte with a chop block to the left knee and a knee bar submission against the ropes. Baszler with a jumping knee, then Jax went on the apron, Baszler was distracted and Flair hit a running kick for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Charlotte Flair

Analysis: **3/4 An average match with a similar ending to last week since Baszler cost Jax in that match while Jax cost Baszler in this match. Their chemistry was off a bit and it went a bit too long for a heel-heel match. It’s tough when there’s nobody to root for. Flair was the one that benefitted from distractions against both women in back-to-back weeks.

Alexa Bliss made her entrance with Lilly the evil doll along with a box that appeared to be a gift. Bliss will challenge Flair at Extreme Rules for the Raw Women’s Title. Bliss said that she had a gift for Charlotte thanking her for accepting her challenge for a match for Extreme Rules. Charlotte said she doesn’t collect dolls, she collects championships. Bliss wanted her to have some fun and said that everybody loves a good gift. Flair said no to Alexa’s gift, but Alexa insisted and that led to “YES” chants. Flair had the gift leading to an “OPEN IT” chant. Good crowd. Flair opened the title to reveal a doll that had blonde hair and a Raw Women’s Championship around the waist. Bliss said that her name is “Charlie” leading to “Charlie” chants. Bliss wanted to give her something to play with after she takes Charlotte’s title at Extreme Rules. Bliss said that everybody needs a friend, even a “narcissistic, self-absorbed bitch like you.” Good line. Charlotte said that of course everybody wants their doll to look like Flair. Charlotte said that you are crazy if you think you are taking that championship and crazy if you think Charlotte wants a doll. Charlotte threw the doll at Bliss, so Bliss attacked. Flair went for a kick, Bliss threw her out of the ring. Flair went back in and Bliss hit a Code Red (sunset flip Powerbomb) and Bliss posed with the title. The fans popped.

Analysis: This was a decent segment. I don’t love the Bliss character, but when you book her like a babyface that has some good lines to say then she’s certainly tolerable. I think it’s possible that Bliss could beat Flair for the Raw Women’s Title since WWE doesn’t book title reigns for Charlotte. I felt like this time maybe Charlotte would have a long title run, though. Anyway, the fans reacted favorably to Bliss throughout the promo while Flair was booed, so the reactions were what WWE wanted.

They showed some highlights of Randy Orton as a champion in his career. He faces Bobby Lashley later.

Drew McIntyre entered for tag team action. Good pop for Drew as usual.


Jinder Mahal, Veer and Shanky attacked Drew McIntyre and then Drew’s partners were next – the Viking Raiders. They did the introductions out of order to set that up.

Drew McIntyre, Erik & Ivar vs. Jinder Mahal, Veer & Shanky

Erik rocked Veer with a forearm, but then Veer ran off the ropes leading to a jumping Thesz Press. Mahal with a clothesline on Erik followed by a dropkick. Erik avoided a move from Veer, so then McIntyre tagged in and McIntyre was back in with clotheslines for all three guys and a belly to belly suplex on Veer on the floor. Mahal sent McIntyre to the apron, McIntyre with a spinebuster. Shanky got the tag with a punch, then a charge, Drew moved and Drew hit a Michinoku Driver on the big man! That’s impressive. McIntyre did the 3-2-1 leading to the Claymore Kick for the pinfall win after about three minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Drew McIntyre, Erik & Ivar

Analysis: *1/2 This was all about putting over Drew McIntyre in a big way. McIntyre lost to Sheamus last week in cheap fashion, so they wanted to get Drew a big win. I feel like Drew is likely heading to Smackdown post-WWE draft as a future opponent of Roman Reigns. That’s just my hunch.

Big E was backstage with Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods for a New Day reunion. Woods said that Big E deserves this. Big E said that tonight is the night. Kofi said that they are in the B – his hometown. Big E asked Kofi for advice, so Kofi said that Big E has everything it takes to be the face of WWE and a great champion, so Big E didn’t need his advice. They did their “we want some New Day” chanting to hype up Big E.

Analysis: It’s good to see them together again.

Damian Priest made his entrance for a US Title defense. The announcers put over Priest being on a roll.


Reggie was shown backstage with the 24/7 Title while D-Truth, Drew Gulak, Akira Tozawa and others tried going after Reggie, who avoided them. R-Truth told Drake that his plan didn’t work. Drake said that the plan wasn’t the problem, the execution was. Truth and Tozawa argued about it.

Jeff Hardy got a huge pop for his entrance. It’s so great to hear that “No More Words” song again. Jeff had some funky blue/green/black facepaint. Jeff greeted fans around the ringside area. Priest issued an open challenge that Hardy accepted. Sheamus entered to join commentary for the match. Sheamus faces Damian Priest at Extreme Rules.

United States Championship: Damian Priest vs. Jeff Hardy

Priest with a shoulder tackle. Hardy went for a Twist of Fate, but Priest avoided it and they paused for a moment. The fans chanted “Hardy” for the WWE legend. Priest sent Hardy into the ropes leading to an elbow smash. Hardy with a dropkick to the leg, then an atomic drop, a double leg drop and a low dropkick. Hardy with a back kick that sent Priest out of the ring. Jeff kicked Priest on the floor and hit a clothesline off the apron to the floor. The fans chanted “Let’s Go Hardy” as Priest sent Hardy to the apron and punched him to the floor. Priest jumped off the middle rope with a flipping dive onto Hardy. That was impressive.


The match returned with Priest/Hardy battling on the turnbuckle. Priest went for a suplex off the ropes, but Hardy turned it over into a pin attempt for two. Sheamus laughed at the crash landing. Priest with a legsweep leading to a pin attempt using his legs to pin Priest for two. Priest with punches, but then Hardy came back with a Slingblade for two. Hardy with a boot to the face, followed by a splash off the middle rope for two. Priest hit a spinning heel kick to the head for two. Priest kicked Hardy down off the ropes and Priest hit a leaping leg lariat off the middle rope to knock Jeff down. Jeff was able to counter a move into a pin attempt for two. Sheamus thought that was three. Priest hit The Reckoning for the pinfall win after about 11 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Damian Priest

Analysis: ***1/4 Good match here with Hardy getting a lot of offense throughout the match until Priest was able to put him away. Even though Hardy hasn’t been booked well on Raw of late, he still has a lot of credibility as a WWE legend that has done it all in WWE, so having Priest beat Hardy in a competitive match is a good thing. The finish felt a bit rushed because they looked like they were exchanging pin attempts and then it just ended with Priest hitting his finisher. I still enjoyed the match.

Post match, Sheamus attacked Priest with punches. Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick on Hardy to send him out of the ring. Sheamus went for a Brogue Kick on Priest, but Priest was ready and hit a kick of his own. Sheamus bailed to the floor.

Analysis: I expect Priest to keep the US Title at Extreme Rules. There’s no need to do a title change.

Rhea Ripley and Nikki A.S.H. were standing backstage behind the curtain. Nikki wanted to think of a celebration while Ripley said she has a match with Natalya. Tamina and Natalya showed up with the Women’s Tag Team Titles. That led to some trash talk. Natalya said that they dominate eras. Nikki said she’ll show them what she is capable of, so Tamina shoved her and the four women were arguing. Sonya Deville showed up to break it up. Sonya said that Tamina faces Nikki A.S.H. right now before Natalya and Rhea Ripley have their match.

Nikki A.S.H. made her entrance with Rhea Ripley.

The announcers mentioned it was Pediatric Cancer Awareness month. A video aired featuring some kids dressed as superheroes. You can donate at to support.


They showed some media outlets covering the news about Olympic Gold Medalist Gable Steveson signing with WWE. Huge news for WWE signing the 21-year-old future star.

Randy Orton was in the locker room with Riddle, who was rambling about Orton possibly carrying two titles. Orton had headphones on. Riddle said he’ll be out there with him. Big E showed up with the Money in the Bank briefcase wishing Orton good luck and telling him he’ll see him later. Big E ended with “toodles” so Riddle said he had a pet named that and Orton put on the headphones again.

Tamina (w/Natalya) vs. Nikki A.S.H. (w/Rhea Ripley)

Tamina tossed Nikki across the ring a couple of times. Nikki tried to get some offense going, but Tamina decked her with a clothesline. Tamina applied a headlock. Nikki broke out of it with kicks, but then Tamina punched Nikki in the jaw although the replay showed that it was more like a hard slap. Tamina with a body slam and missed elbow drop because Nikki moved. Nikki with kicks to the legs, a double boot to the face and a corner splash. Nikki with a headscissors that was poorly sold by Tamina. Nikki with some weak punches against the turnbuckle, but Tamina with a right hand to the face. Nikki got a boot up and Nikki hit a Tornado DDT for the three count with Tamina getting her left shoulder up right after the three count. It got about five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Nikki A.S.H.

Analysis: 3/4* This was a sloppy match. It was mostly Tamina offense and some bad selling from Tamina until Nikki got the win that probably wasn’t supposed to happen. I think maybe they messed something up there with Tamina being slow to kick out of the three count, so the referee counted it. I think Tamina was just late in getting her shoulder up.

They announced Tamina as the winner while Tamina’s music played (what?) even though Nikki won. That would suggest that they botched the finish.

Post match, Tamina attacked Nikki while Natalya hit Ripley from behind. Tamina slammed Nikki into the barricade. Natalya entered for her match against Ripley after a break.

Analysis: The team of Natalya and Tamina were clearly in a face role after WrestleMania when they won the titles while now they are heels in this story. I don’t think WWE cares that much about the heel/face side for this team.


Natalya (w/Tamina) vs. Rhea Ripley (w/Nikki A.S.H.)

Natalya and Ripley battled over an armbar leading to a headlock. Nikki was being checked on by the medical team. Natalya hit an impressive pin attempt for two, but Ripley countered into a crucifix pin for two. Natalya with a headscissors and a slam into the mat. Natalya told the fans to “kiss my ass” since she’s a heel now. Ripley with an elbow to the throat and a kick that sent Natalya under the rope to regroup on the floor. Ripley hit a dropkick on Tamina when Natalya moved, so Natalya hit the discus clothesline on the floor. They went to the other side of the ring where Natalya hit a suplex on the floor.


Ripley got some offense going with two clotheslines and a headbutt. Ripley with a running dropkick. Ripley with a spin kick to the body. Ripley charged, Natalya moved and hit a slingshot slam followed by the running kick on the back and a low dropkick for two. When Natalya went for a clothesline, Ripley with a kick and a Northern Lights Suplex got a two count. Ripley hooked Natalya’s legs with her arms and went for a submission, Natalya avoided that and Ripley was on top for two. Natalya came back with a German Suplex. Ripley got out of a Sharpshooter attempt and got a rollup. Ripley went for the Riptide, Tamina on the apron, Natalya off the ropes, but Nikki was there and she tripped Natalya. Ripley kicked Tamina to knock her down on the floor. Natalya with a rollup with feet on the ropes, but Nikki pushed the feet off the ropes for a two count. Ripley with a headbutt. Ripley applied this elevated Cloverleaf submission leading to Natalya tapping out. This went 12 minutes.

Winner by submission: Rhea Ripley

Analysis: ***1/4 This was a good technical wrestling match between two of the best hard-hitters in the women’s division. Having Ripley win with a submission move puts that over as a possible weapon for her to win matches instead of just the Riptide slam. Natalya always has good matches when she’s given time like this. It was also smart to have Nikki play a role in the finish to prevent the cheating from the champions and that led to Ripley getting the win.

Ripley and Nikki celebrated the win. They should get a Women’s Tag Team Title shot soon. Natalya and Tamina held up their titles in the aisle.

Analysis: Natalya and Tamina haven’t defended the titles on television since Smackdown on May 28 beating Liv Morgan and Ruby Riott. Since then, they have lost several non-title tag team and singles matches. I know Natalya missed a month with an ankle injury, but it’s lazy booking to have no title matches for nearly four months. Anyway, I can see Ripley and Nikki getting the titles when they get a title shot.

There was a replay of Randy Orton dropping Bobby Lashley with an RKO in the show opening segment.

The team of Mansoor & Mustafa Ali made their entrance for an eight-man tag team match with New Day’s Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston joining them as teammates. Mansoor did some cheesy dancing with New Day while Ali was not in favor of that.


A replay was shown from earlier in the night when Charlotte Flair beat Shayna Baszler after Nia Jax distracted Baszler. They also showed Alexa Bliss gifting Charlotte with a doll named “Charlie” that Charlotte did not like.

Charlotte Flair was shown backstage with Sarah Schreiber interviewing her. Charlotte grabbed the Charlie doll and tossed it into the trash where it belongs.

Mace & T-Bar entered. They showed a pre-taped promo with ridiculous dialogue comparing their opponents like cattle going to the slaughterhouse. AJ Styles & Omos were next to complete the heel side of the match.

AJ Styles, Omos, Mace & T-Bar vs. Mansoor, Mustafa Ali, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods

Mansoor with a couple of armdrags on Styles along with a dropkick. Kofi stomped on Styles, Woods stomped on Styles, Mansoor stomped on Styles and Ali was mad that nobody would tag him in, so Ali tagged himself in. Styles countered Ali into a suplex. T-Bar tagged in with a boot to the face on a running Ali, who did a great flip bump. T-Bar and Mace laid out New Day by kicking them off the apron. Mace gave Mansoor a Chokeslam on the ring apron while T-Bar hit a clothesline on Ali on the floor. Back in the ring, Mace with a belly to back suplex on Ali for two. Mace tossed Ali over the top to the floor.


Mansoor was in the ring against T-Bar with Mansoor hitting a kick to the head. Styles tagged in, Mansoor rocked him with a kick and Woods tagged in against Styles. Kingston with a missile dropkick into a legsweep by Woods for two. Kingston with two boots to the face and a splash to the back of Styles. Woods with a Tornado DDT on T-Bar and Kofi sent Mace to the floor. Ali and Mansoor each hit dives on opposite sides of the ring. Styles caught Kofi going for a move and hit a slam into the knee with Ali breaking up the pin. Mace with a spinning slam on Ali, Mansoor with a reverse DDT on Mace and T-Bar launched Mansoor out of the ring. Woods with a superkick on T-Bar and Styles with a Pele Kick on Woods. Kofi got a rollup for two. Ali tagged himself in with a Tornado DDT, but then Styles landed in his corner leading to Omos tagging in for the first time. The fans reacted in a big way with Omos tagging in for the first time. Omos with a whip into the corner followed by a shoulder tackle. The four faces all tried to take down Omos, but he was able to toss Mansoor, Woods and Kingston out of the ring. Omos with the two-handed lifting slam on Ali for the one-handed pin for the win after about 10 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: AJ Styles, Omos, Mace & T-Bar

Analysis: **3/4 A dominant win for Omos to end it. The faces got plenty of offense before that on the other guys in the match, but then Omos tagged in for the first time and it was all over there. No bumping for Omos. It’s all about Omos kicking ass. They continue to book him strong. The New Day guys were great in the match as usual.

A video sponsored by Pizza Hut was shown to put over the dominance of the WWE Champion Bobby Lashley.

Bobby Lashley and MVP were interviewed by Kevin Patrick. MVP said that Big E is not a distraction – he’s an annoyance. MVP said that Lashley’s focus is about retaining the WWE Championship and inflicting as much pain and misery on Randy Orton. MVP mentioned that Kofi Kingston, Drew McIntyre and Goldberg all tried to take the title from Lashley, so now Orton will be added to that list. MVP put over Lashley as the dominant WWE Champion. Big E walked into the scene saying that he fully intends on cashing in the Money in the Bank contract. Big E: “Have fun.” Big E was yelling that he can’t wait for it.

Doudrop made her entrance. She got married over the last week, so congrats to her.


Eva Marie made her entrance to boos from the crowd. At least she always looks good.

Doudrop vs. Eva Marie

Eva with a forearm, then knees and a headlock. Doudrop with a shoulder tackle, then a running splash and Eva moved. Doudrop missed a corner charge, Eva sent Doudrop into the turnbuckle repeatedly and Doudrop did a knockdown like a clothesline. Doudrop with a running splash. Doudrop with a lift, Eva with an eye rake and Eva tried a rollup, but she could not do it and Eva hit a senton splash. Doudrop with a running cross body splash for the pinfall win after two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Doudrop

Analysis: DUD Please just end the feud now. I think it made sense for Eva to be paired with another woman. It fits Eva’s character better than putting her on her own.

Karrion Kross did a backstage promo in a darkened part of the arena. Kross said his name while telling us that we already knew that. Kross talked about how the suffering he has generated has led to a list of casualties on Raw continuing to grow. Kross said if you want to know his motives, desires and ultimate plan – he doesn’t know the answers. Kross said that he is not there to get lost in the shuffle. Kross said every week he will pulverize everyone around him until everyone learns to fall and pray.

Analysis: I like Kross more than most, but I hope they add Scarlett to his act on Raw because she helps a lot with his presence on screen. Kross saying “I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know” early in the promo is similar to what Sean O’Haire used to do in promos during his brief WWE run.

Randy Orton made his entrance as one-half of the Raw Tag Team Champions with Riddle by his side. Riddle was on a scooter as usual. Orton got a big pop from the crowd as usual when he’s in babyface mode.

This week on Smackdown, they wondered if Roman Reigns can survive as the Universal Champion since he has to deal with “The Demon” Finn Balor and Brock Lesnar. Nothing specific was announced.


Next week on Raw: Shayna Baszler vs. Nia Jax.

The All Mighty Bobby Lashley entered as the WWE Champion with MVP by his side. Lashley won the title on March 1 on Raw, so this was over six months since Lashley won the title 196 days ago. Both wrestlers stood in the ring for the championship introductions by Raw ring announcer Mike Rome, who does a great job. Orton was a 14-time World Champion in WWE. The fans were into this.

WWE Championship: Bobby Lashley (w/Montel Vontavious Porter) vs. Randy Orton (w/Riddle)

Orton bailed to the floor with Lashley following him out there. Lashley was distracted by Riddle, so Orton hit a forearm to the back and the whip into the ring post. Orton sent Lashley into the hood of the announce table. Back in the ring, Orton only got a one count. Lashley with repeated shoulder tackles to the ribs, then a charge and Orton sent Lashley into the turnbuckle. Lashley sent Orton over the top to the floor with Orton favoring the left leg. Lashley left the ring, Orton with a back body drop onto the barricade. Orton with a clothesline on Lashley on the floor. Orton limped back into the ring.


The match returned with Lashley on the turnbuckle for some reason as Orton worked him over with punches. Orton had the right foot on the top with the left foot on the middle and he hit a superplex. Randy likes doing that off the top, but with a bigger guy like Lashley it’s okay to have a foot on the middle rope. Anyway, that got a two count. Lashley to the floor, Orton followed him and Lashley lifted Orton onto his shoulder and drove Orton face first into the ring post. With Orton on the apron, Lashley ran the ropes, hit him with a forearm and Orton bumped into the barricade. Back in the ring, Lashley with a running shoulder tackle. Lashley hit a neckbreaker for two. Lashley with a chinlock. Orton avoided a spinebuster, he hit two clotheslines and Orton worked over Lashley with punches. Lashley charged right into a powerslam from Orton for a two count. Orton hit the draping DDT off the ropes. MVP looked concerned at ringside. Orton fired up with the fans cheering, Lashley blocked an RKO attempt, shove into the ropes and Lashley hit a Spear for just two. That was close! Orton fought off a Hurt Lock attempt, Orton with a back elbow that rocked Lashley and he hit an RKO. Huge pop for that. MVP pulled Lashley to the apron, so Orton couldn’t cover right there. MVP argued with Riddle at ringside. Orton left the ring and hit an RKO on MVP on the floor. The fans loved that too. When Orton got back into the ring, Lashley was back up and he hit another Spear for the one…two…and three. It went 14 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bobby Lashley

Analysis: ***1/2 This was a great match between two talented veterans. Lashley did a tremendous job of selling for Orton when needed, taking all of the big moves and then they used MVP to play a part in the finish. While MVP didn’t blatantly help Lashley other than pulling him towards the apron, it was more about Orton taking the time to drop MVP with the RKO and that led to Lashley recovering to hit the Spear. I thought it was booked well with the hot crowd reacting to everything and buying into the nearfalls. Orton and Lashley worked well together.

Post match, Lashley tossed Riddle out of the ring while Orton was on the floor as well. Lashley had Riddle on his shoulders and drove him into the ring post. Lashley went over to Orton on the floor and gave him a huge spinebuster through the table. After Lashley hit the move, he was favoring his own left knee to sell it as if he was hurting. Lashley limped his way into the ring.

That led to Big E making his entrance with referee Shawn Bennett to cash in the Money in the Bank contract right now! The fans were popping huge. They went to break.

Analysis: The commercial break was poorly timed since there were only about six minutes left in the show. Fans wanted to see this right away, so waiting three minutes for it is a bit of a pain. With that said, it was a way to keep fans tuned in to see what would happen.


Lashley didn’t want to defend the WWE Title, so Big E slapped Lashley and Lashley told the referee to ring the bell.

WWE Championship: Bobby Lashley (w/MVP) vs. Big E

Lashley with a takedown leading to punches. Lashley hit a corner clothesline, but then Big E avoided a clothesline. Big E hit a running chop block to the left knee. Lashley avoided the Big Ending and hit a Spear for two! Great nearfall. The fans chanted “Big E” for the challenger. Lashley lifted up Big E, who slipped out of it and Big E hit the Big Ending for one…two…and three! NEW WWE CHAMPION! It was under two minutes.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW WWE Champion: Big E

Analysis: 1/2* The rating doesn’t matter. It’s all about the moment and it was pretty damn cool to see that for a guy like Big E that is so deserving of the WWE Championship. I thought it was booked perfectly with Lashley showing some reluctance about defending the title, so then Big E slapped him in the face and Lashley wanted the match to begin at that point. Lashley went for his power moves, Big E got out of it and Big E hit the Big Ending to win. Well done.

Big E celebrated with the WWE Championship. The fans popped huge for that moment. Big E’s New Day brothers Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods joined him in the ring. The fans were going crazy. Big E celebrated with the WWE Championship while Lashley and MVP were out on the floor.

Big E posed on the turnbuckle with the WWE Championship looking excited about the victory. Big E continued the celebration as the fans cheered him. That was the end of Raw.

Analysis: This was one of those moments where I miss when Raw would run a few minutes past the top of the hour. It would have been cool to see more of the celebration, but they had to sign off and end the show. I’m so happy for Big E as the WWE Champion. He’s a guy that is easy to like, the fans respect him for everything he has done in his career and there’s no question that he deserves it. It is also the end of Lashley’s title reign. While I feel bad for Lashley about that, it was the right time to do a title change to try to see if that can help Raw. Lashley did great as champion. I just think Raw needed a change and maybe Big E can be that spark to make Raw a better show moving forward.

I assume they will go with Big E defending the WWE Title against Bobby Lashley at Extreme Rules on September 26, but that is not official yet.

Here’s the post match interview from Big E.

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Big E
  2. Bobby Lashley
  3. Randy Orton


The Scoreboard

7.5 out of 10

Last week: 6.75

2021 Average: 5.97


Final Thoughts

This was a pretty good show with plenty of solid in-ring action and a happy moment to end the night with Big E becoming the WWE Champion for the first time in his career. It was booked very well with Randy Orton putting up a fight against Bobby Lashley, who found a way to win, but Big E still cashed in much to the delight of the crowd. It felt like a big moment.

In terms of the matches, they were good for the most part. A lot of them were fresh too. Raw has had a big problem in the past of booking too many rematches, but they freshened it up this week and that led to a better show.

The 7.5 out of 10 rating that I gave this show is the 2021 high for Raw. I hope this is the start of some good shows for Raw. I know the WWE Draft is coming, so it will allow them to change up the roster too, but I just hope they book it better moving forward.

Lastly, I thought the crowd in Boston was great. Their energy helped a lot.

The next WWE pay-per-view is Extreme Rules on Sunday, September 26. Here’s what we know so far.

WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Finn Balor

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Bianca Belair

Raw Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Alexa Bliss

United States Championship: Damian Priest (c) vs. Sheamus


You can contact me using any of the methods below. Go Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Rams. Be safe and smart out there.

Thanks for reading.

John Canton


Twitter: @johnreport

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