Match Ratings, Podcast Notes For WWE Raw 8/20/2018 From Sean Ross Sapp

Opening segment

  • Roman Reigns comes out to HUGE boos. He says he's a man of his word.
  • Reigns says tonight he's going to defend his championship tonight in Brooklyn against another guy who won his title in Brooklyn and never got his shot at it again -- Finn Balor. He gets a great ovation for this.
  • Balor comes out, and is followed by Constable Corbin. Corbin says he didn't agree to face the Demon, he agreed to face Balor, and tonight he will.
  • Kurt Angle doesn't agree, and asks the crowd what they want. It's Reigns vs. Balor tonight for the title. Corbin will face Lashley, who gets zero pop.
The Rock: Vince McMahon Was One Of My Greatest Business Mentors And A Father Figure

Lashley defeated Constable Corbin
4.5/10

  • Wow, what an incredibly pointless match this is.
  • Lashley really dominates Corbin early on until Constable rushes him out of the ring. Corbin follows up with his Bossman clothesline, but to the outside.
  • We see the ol' CORBIN CROSSFACE. Why would they book this? He gets a chokeslam as the crowd shouts "BORING."
  • Lashley wins with an over the shoulder lift turned into a Big Ending. I figured I'd explain it instead of just calling it the Yokosuka Cutter. Braun Strowman used it for a while.
  • The execution was fine, but this was long and boring and pointless.

Angle's Office

  • Kurt Angle is backstage, approached by Paul Heyman. Heyman wants Lesnar to get his rematch at WWE Hell in a Cell, but Kurt Angle says he doesn't have a time frame that he was obligated to return the rematch in. He says it'll be a cold day in hell when that happens.

Riott Squad defeated Ember Moon & Boss N' Hug Connection
5/10

  • I miss Renee Young on commentary.
  • This is not Ember Moon's best night. It's rare that she's off, but tonight she was. There was some weird double underhook accident as she ducked a double clothesline from Riott Squad. Logan just got.....pivoted. Ember Moon then missed a suicide dive.
  • The hot tag really works for Sasha Banks' offense.
  • Ember Moon gets her swinging suplex off the apron, that was a nice transition.
  • Riott hits one of her best Riott kicks ever on Banks for the win.
  • If this had a little more screen time and the two botches wouldn't have went down it would have ended up better. The finish was good, which pushed it back up to par.

Dean Ambrose (w/ Seth Rollins) defeated Dolph Ziggler (w/ Drew McIntyre)
5.5/10

  • It's good to see Ambrose back in the ring. A Drew distraction was able to gain the advantage for Ziggler.
  • Ambrose has really switched things up offensively. He's added muscle and it helps him. He hits a fallaway slam.
  • Drew and Rollins battle outside after a face off.
  • Ziggler counters a Dirty Deeds with a spinning back fist. Rollins suicide dives McIntyre during the match.
  • Ambrose hits a sweet lift out of a DDT into Dirty Deeds. What a finish!!!
  • This is a reinvigorated Dean Ambrose, and that's great.

Elias defeated Curt Hawkins

  • Elias goes off on a stage hand backstage. He's in the ring performing when we come back from a commercial break.
  • Elias knows someone messed with his guitar, because Fender makes a quality product.
  • He's interrupted by Curt Hawkins to a huge pop. He wants to end his losing streak.
  • Elias totally destroys Hawkins with a big flying knee.
  • Graves mentions that people should stop interrupting Elias so he'll stop hijacking the show.
  • Hawkins gets some offense, but is cut off with another knee. Drift Away, pin.
  • A Ryder/Hawkins team would fit in with this tag team division.

Authors of Pain defeated Titus Worldwide (w/ Dana Brooke)
4.5/10

  • Titus can't find Apollo and Dana Brooke, and when he does, they give him the cold shoulder. Well, sort of.
  • Authors of Pain work over Titus, then he suplexes one. Tag to Apollo, ass kicking.
  • Apollo is awkwardly guillotine choked for about a minute. AOP hit the side slam/stomp.
  • Apollo is fighting by himself for the majority. There's a nice spot where Apollo counters a push up kickout with a standing star press.
  • Last Chapter, that's it. This sucked. Dana Brooke was far more concerned with Apollo than Titus.
  • Why did this need to happen again? There are several wrestlers who can't get on the roster, so WWE has the same matches over and over again.

RONDA EL ZERO M

  • Why would they have the roster out here for this? Well, they are. Alexa Bliss has a sling.
  • Stephanie McMahon returns and takes credit for Ronda Rousey's success in the WWE, and calls her a protege.
  • Rousey says for once, it's not about Stephanie McMahon, it's about the women at ringside.
  • Ronda Rousey: "I'm not Brock Lesnar, I'm going to be a fighting champion."
  • Rousey breaks Stephanie's arm and the heels tend to her.
  • Stephanie McMahon is backstage with Constable Corbin and Alexa Bliss in the trainer's room. They go off on Kurt Angle for being irresponsible.
  • Stephanie McMahon names Constable Corbin the new acting GM of WWE Raw

Scott Dawson (w/ Dash Wilder) defeated Bo Dallas (w/ Curtis Axel)
Dash Wilder (w/ Scott Dawson) defeated Curtis Axel (w/ Bo Dallas)
5.5/10

  • We don't get to see Dawson work singles a lot, so I'm liking the change, at least for one night.
  • Dallas does like a miniature version of the Bray Wyatt Ferrari body press.
  • Dawson avoids the Au Revior and wins with the Rampaige. Pour one out.
  • This was too short too rate, and we go right into Axel vs. Wilder.
  • Wilder lands a great fireman's carry backbreaker, and wins with a Gory Bomb.

 

WWE Universal Championship
Roman Reigns (c) defeated Finn Balor
7/10

  • Reigns should give everyone BUT Lesnar their rematches they didn't get. Balor, Owens, GOLDBERG.
  • Braun Strowman wishes Finn Balor luck in his WWE Universal Championship match tonight.
  • Reigns cuts off Balor a couple of times pretty early in the match. Once with a big punch, and another where you throw a person's foot back and slam them on their face.
  • Balor gets some offense, but this is very much a 2015-2016 Balor performance up until this point. That changes.
  • They're really hammering home tonight that Reigns is WILLINGLY defending his Universal title and that he's got such great character for doing so.
  • Balor just fired up the crowd with stomps. He then gets powerbombed for two.
  • Eye of The Hurricane from Balor gets 2.9 for a great reaction. A slingblade and a Superman Punch both hit, but Balor is up, too.
  • WWE production missed a Reigns Superman Punch. If Kevin Dunn has ONE FUCKIN' JOB, it's to make sure he catches Roman Reigns' offense, pal
  • Braun Strowman's music hits and Reigns is distracted. He avoids a Coup de Grace, but spears Balor for the win.
  • Strowman goes to cash in and The Shield returns and attacks him.
  • Strowman tries to fight back, but gets powerbombed through the table
  • This was one of the best finishes to Raw in recent memory. A+
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