Monday, 2 August 2021

WWE Raw Highlights 2 August 2021

 

WWE Raw 8/2/21 August 2nd 2021



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WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from August 2

Sana Ejaz Khan

    Credit: WWE.com

    With just under three weeks until SummerSlam on August 21, WWE still has a lot of work to do when it comes to filling up the card.

    After Bobby Lashley refused his challenge for a Universal Championship match at the pay-per-view, Goldberg made an appearance this week in an effort to change The All Mighty's mind.

    Last week, Charlotte Flair confronted Nikki A.S.H. about how she won the Raw Women's Championship. This week, the two met in a No Holds Barred contest. 

    We also saw Riddle take on Omos in what might be his biggest challenge to date both literally and figuratively. 

    Let's take a look at everything that happened on this week's Raw. 

Goldberg Challenges Lashley...Again

1 OF 10

    Lashley and MVP came out at the top of the show to address a few things before Goldberg showed up to respond. MVP said the veteran is an icon who can still beat most men, but he also said The All Mighty is not like most men. 

    Lashley mugged for the camera while MVP asked if Goldberg wants to be remembered as a champion or a casualty. That was when the former WCW champion came out to give his response. He said if anybody should be worried, it's Lashley.

    He told The All Mighty that he looked scared. Lashley just stared at him as he talked about what makes him Goldberg. He once again declared himself to be next before walking away. 

    After the Hall of Famer had left, Lashley got in his son's face at ringside. MVP talked some trash to his son before Goldberg came back out to hit him with a Spear. 

    Grade: C+

                           

    Analysis

    This was a relatively tame segment, but it was also exactly what it needed to be. Lashley still hasn't officially accepted his challenge, so WWE is trying to stretch this out.

    It was smart to have Goldberg go after MVP instead of Lashley. The best way to build this feud is to not have them fight before the PPV so when they finally make contact for the first time, it means something.

    Goldberg has never been a promo guy but he held his own here. As usual, MVP was on top of his game. This segment wasn't anything special but it was a decent way to kick things off in Chicago. 

Veer and Shanky vs. Drew McIntyre

2 OF 10

    Drew McIntyre had an uphill battle this week when he took on Jinder Mahal's henchmen, Veer and Shanky, in a handicap match.

    The Scottish Warrior backed Veer to the corner and unloaded on him, but Shanky ended up tagging in and they ran McIntyre into the ring post together. 

    Mahal's sidekicks kept the upper hand for a couple of minutes before McIntyre began to build up a head of steam. Veer took the brunt of his offense, which is only fair after Shanky had to take a few dozen shots from a steel chair. 

    Mahal ended up causing a disqualification when he attacked McIntyre with a chair. Veer and Shanky each grabbed their own chair, so McIntyre grabbed his sword. He knocked the chair from The Maharaja's hand and knocked Veer out of the ring. Shanky just put his chair down and got out of the ring. 

    Grade: C-

                            

    Analysis

    WWE has the unique ability to devote an entire segment to a feud without advancing it in a significant way, and this was one of those times. 

    McIntyre won by DQ, Veer and Shanky looked weak by needing Mahal's help, and The Maharaja looked like a coward. Nobody gained anything from this.

    The match itself was average at best until the finish. At least McIntyre got a decent reaction from the crowd. 

Rhea Ripley vs. Nia Jax

3 OF 10

    Nia Jax and Rhea Ripley were aggressive from the opening bell. Ripley tried to hit Jax with a headbutt, but the Samoan's hard head protected her and sent the damage back to Ripley. 

    She crushed Ripley's head against the ring post by throwing her whole body into her, but her second attempt ended with the Aussie avoiding the impact.

    Ripley took out Shayna Baszler at ringside when Jax avoided a senton from the apron. Jax took advantage of the situation and sent her into the barricade as the show cut to a break. 

    The former Raw women's champion began to make a comeback after the commercial. She nailed Jax with a missile dropkick and countered a powerbomb.

    Baszler tried to distract Ripley but it ended up backfiring when she rolled Jax up for the win. Jax and Baszler began to argue after the match. The Queen of Spades left while Ripley came back in and took Jax down with the Riptide. 

    Grade: B-

                                 

    Analysis

    While they have faced each other in a few tag matches, this is the first time Ripley and Jax have faced off in singles competition. 

    Getting fresh matches like this is going to be important over the next few months as WWE continues to visit various cities for the first time in over a year. The crowds won't stay hot if they keep getting rematches week after week.

    Ripley is the perfect kind of opponent for Jax because she has the power needed to keep the fight competitive while still allowing Jax to look like a dangerous competitor.

    This was one of the better matches Jax has had in quite some time, and Ripley is the main reason why it stood out. Baszler and Jax might be heading for a breakup, which is probably for the best. That team has run its course. 

Mace and T-Bar vs. Mustafa Ali and Mansoor

4 OF 10

    Remember how we mentioned WWE needing fewer rematches? Well, Mustafa Ali and Mansoor were back to take on Mace and T-Bar for the second successive week. At least this feud hasn't been run into the ground yet. The Chicago crowd gave Ali a great hometown welcome. 

    Mace and T-Bar immediately asserted their dominance and took out both men. Ali was wiped out at ringside and Mansoor was hit with a flying elbow drop from the top rope. 

    Ali recovered and tagged in to take on his former stablemates. He used his speed and agility to knock Mace off the apron and T-Bar out of the ring. He and Mansoor hit simultaneous suicide dives on opposite sides of the ring, but Ali looked a little upset about it for some reason. 

    T-Bar kicked Mansoor into the ropes and caused Ali to lose his balance. This allowed the two powerhouses to score the win. 

    Grade: B-

    Analysis

    This match was a little on the short side, but it was fun while it lasted. Mace and T-Bar have developed good chemistry as a tag team, but Ali and Mansoor were the standouts.

    Having a tag team feud that is separate from the tag title storyline is necessary if WWE wants to rebuild the division, which it desperately needs. 

    Ali getting such a great reaction in Chicago was not shocking, but it should be a sign to management that the crowd wants to see him get a bigger push. 

Doudrop vs. Tamina

5 OF 10

    After Natalya was injured during a tag match last week, Tamina was forced to fly solo this week as she took on Doudrop, who had Eva Marie in her corner. 

    They collided into each other a couple of times before Tamina took Doudrop off her feet. Eva got on the apron to distract Tamina and prevent her from hitting a Superfly Splash.

    Doudrop ran her into the ring post and then hit an elbow drop for a two-count. The crowd started a short "CM Punk" chant while Tamina tried to regain her composure. 

    Eva tried to give Doudrop some instructions, but Tamina was able to avoid the crossbody and hit a Samoan drop for the pin. Alexa Bliss taunted Eva from the titantron after it was over. 

    Grade: C

                                 

    Analysis

    This match started out promising. Both women are powerhouses and used their size to their advantage, but it started to fall apart toward the end. 

    The sequence when Eva tried to tell Doudrop when to hit her finish had a few timing issues and looked sloppy. Everything leading up to that point was fine.

    WWE did not address the future of the women's tag titles, so it will be interesting to see if Tamina tries to defend them by herself or if she will be forced to vacate or find a new partner. 

Damian Priest and Ricochet vs. John Morrison and Sheamus

6 OF 10

    After appearing on a forgettable episode of Miz TV, Damian Priest took on John Morrison in what felt like their 50th match this year.

    Priest took control early and hit a unique leg drop takedown from the middle rope, but Johnny Drip Drip was able to kick out at two. 

    America's Moist Wanted was able to ground his opponent in a submission, but a few knees to the body helped Priest escape his predicament. He began to unleash a series of kicks and strikes.

    The Miz sprayed him with a drip stick so JoMo could take over. Priest countered Starship Pain but failed to avoid a standing shooting star press. The A-Lister looked surprised that Priest kicked out. 

    The Archer of Infamy dropped Morrison on his face before picking him up for a big chokeslam to get the pin and the win. Sheamus attacked him after the match, but Ricochet ran down to even the odds and make the save. This turned into a tag match during the break. 

    Sheamus spent a long time punishing Ricochet before he started to fight back with elbow strikes to the head. After both men made the tag, Priest hit Morrison with his finisher to pin him for the second time. 

    Grade: C+

                                 

    Analysis

    Out of all the matches Priest and Morrison have had together, this was easily the most uneventful. It wasn't bad, but they have done much better in the past.

    Adding Ricochet and Sheamus to make it a tag match did not do much to improve the situation, and it just led to poor Morrison losing twice in one night. 

    The Miz TV part of this segment was about as boring as it gets. Nothing new was said and the crowd did not seem to care one bit. Even Morrison's moist puns couldn't save it. 

    At least WWE gave fans an ample bathroom break with all of this. 

Riddle vs. Omos

7 OF 10

    Riddle tried to get the upper hand before the bell by putting Omos in a sleeper hold, but the big man easily threw him to the mat.

    They took the fight out of the ring and Omos threw The Original Bro into the timekeeper's area. He barely beat the count back into the ring. Omos immediately knocked him back down to the floor with a body tackle. 

    Riddle tried to gain some momentum with a few knee strikes, but Omos took him down with one big clothesline to stop him in his tracks. He picked his rival up for a two-handed chokeslam to get the pin. 

    Grade: B

                                

    Analysis

    This is how you book a giant. He looked as dominant as possible while exerting as little energy as he could. It was simple and effective.

    Riddle did a good job selling for him and making it look like he might be able to make a comeback before AJ Styles' Personal Colossus ended the match once and for all. 

    Nobody is going to call this the match of the year, but it was one of the most logical booking decisions WWE made all night. 

Karrion Kross vs. Keith Lee

8 OF 10

    After suffering a defeat at the hands of Karrion Kross last week, Keith Lee was looking to get some payback in this rematch.

    They locked up and struggled around the ring until The Limitless One put Kross in the corner. The NXT champion fought back and seemed to have an answer for everything Lee tried. 

    Lee hit a slingshot crossbody from the apron. Kross took him out of the ring and suplexed him into the side of the steel steps as the show went to a break. 

    We returned to see Kross still dominating the action. Lee started to show some life with a flurry of punches and his signature double chest chop. 

    Both men countered each other's finisher before Kross was able to apply the Krossjacket submission. Lee broke free and hit the Spirit Bomb for the win. 

    Grade: B

                                 

    Analysis

    This match started a little slow, but it picked up steam as they built toward the conclusion. Seeing Kross lose another match on Raw is a bit disheartening, but nobody wanted to see Lee lose again either, so it was a tough call.

    The way WWE has used Kross on Raw has been baffling. He has a lot less charisma without Scarlett, and he is losing more than he is winning. This is not how you book the champion of another brand.

    The crowd seemed to get into the match near the end, but it took longer than it should have. 

Reggie vs. Akira Tozawa

9 OF 10

    Reggie had his second 24/7 Championship defense this week against a man who has held the title a few times, Akira Tozawa. 

    They locked up and traded waistlocks before going back and forth with attempted strikes. Reggie suckered Tozawa into running into the barricade. 

    Tozawa did a ninja power pose before Reggie hit a few quick moves to get the win. 

    Grade: C+

                                

    Analysis

    This was barely a real match, but the crowd actually seemed to be enjoying Reggie's antics, so it worked on an entertainment level. 

    It's nice to see the 24/7 title being defended in the ring every week instead of people just chasing the champion around backstage. It's going to take some time, but WWE could make this belt mean something eventually.

Nikki A.S.H. vs. Charlotte

10 OF 10

    WWE closed out this week's Raw with a No Holds Barred match between Charlotte and Nikki A.S.H. 

    The Queen went at the champ hard right out of the gate. She slammed Nikki's face into the middle turnbuckle before throwing her out of the ring. 

    The crowd chanted for tables, and Charlotte obliged by pulling one out and leaning it against the ring. She continued to dominate Nikki and speared her through the barricade. 

    We returned from a break to see The Queen putting Nikki on the top turnbuckle for a superplex. The Almost Superhero fought her off but missed a crossbody. Charlotte nailed her with a big boot and intentionally stopped the ref from counting the pin. She did it a second time just to prove a point. 

    Nikki dropkicked a chair into Charlotte's face and hit a DDT on the floor at ringside. The Queen caught her opponent coming off the barricade and powerbombed her through the announce table. 

    Charlotte tried to cover her with one foot, but Nikki kicked out. She avoided a charging Queen and sent her through a table that was set up in the corner. Somehow, Charlotte kicked out at two. 

    Nikki grabbed her between the ropes and hit a twisting neckbreaker for the win. 

    Grade: A

                               

    Analysis

    This was easily the best match of the night and one of the best performances we have seen from Nikki in quite some time. In fact, this might be her best bout since she and Asuka fought to a draw in a Street Fight in NXT.

    Charlotte played to the crowd perfectly but still managed to be the heel she needed to be for this to work. Nikki did an excellent job being the valiant underdog.

    Even if the rest of the show wasn't mediocre, this still would have stood out. Seeing the crowd come alive as they kept hitting bigger spots helped make it feel like a bigger win for the champion.

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