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Photo credit: WWE.com
Desperate times require desperate action, a lesson the WWE universe learned from Raw on Monday night with the return of Shane McMahon and the introduction of a brand new faction that aims to mess things up with record-breaking TV ratings.
These two recent developments resulted in a show that also featured the long-awaited showdown between Apollo Crews and MVP for the U.S. championship, and Drew McIntyre and Randy Orton, who ended up sharing the same arena since the Viper̵
What developments were there, how did you make your way to SummerSlam on August 23 and what did this mean for the superstars involved?
Find out with this week’s USA Network show summary.
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The following have been announced in advance for today’s broadcast:
- WWE champion Drew McIntyre and Randy Orton face off
- Shane McMahon returns to Raw
- United States Championship Match: Apollo Crews vs. MVP
Crews vs. MVP was promised at The Horror Show at Extreme Rules, but a storyline violation prevented crews from competing. Although the competition is unlikely to be a classic in-ring encounter, it should continue the continued growth and development of the MVP “Hurt Business” faction, which also includes Bobby Lashley and 24/7 champion Shelton Benjamin are.
The personal confrontation between McIntyre and Orton should be interesting because it gives the audience an indication of how the tone of the feud will lead to SummerSlam.
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Moments after the mystery of the lights subsided, commentator Tom Phillips, the American champion Apollo Crews, apologized for defending his title against MVP. The lights went out and Phillips again blamed weather and production problems.
MVP threw a “truth bomb” on the WWE universe, described itself as the true US champion, and claimed that the beef he has with crews will be over when the referee counts three.
When the challenger gained the upper hand, the lights flickered up and down again and played a key role in the events of the night.
The crews took down his opponent with a snap suplex and worked on his arm. The challenger escaped and shot crews in the face with a direct kick. The champion answered with a shot of his forearms in the face. Bobby Lashley and Shelton Benjamin from The Hurt Business pulled their mouthpiece to safety, but Crews threw a plancha over the top rope when the show started to break.
Back from the break, MVP worked with a tie over crews and then turned him over with a big clothesline.
The crews fought back, unloaded MVP and knocked him out with a spinebuster for two. He followed with the throwing powerbomb for victory and successful defense of the title.
After the match, MVP made a devastating promo blaming the lighting problems and “unsafe working conditions” for his loss before challenging crews to rematch at SummerSlam.
Crews defeated MVP
The match itself was good enough for what it was.
MVP is still a solid worker, but there is definitely an upper limit to what he can do as a single worker at this point in his career. The crews looked solid and barely missed a step when he successfully defended his title. He was clearly a step or two ahead of his opponent and in reality should probably be working with Lashley instead.
The lighting problem is clearly a forerunner for this new faction that WWE has revealed on social media. That or it is related to what Shane McMahon is up to tonight. In any case, it was a solid way to tease something significant that is going to happen later on the show.
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Backstage, Sarah Schreiber joined The Golden Role Models for a backstage promo.
Sasha Banks and Bayley threw it on a video pack that summed up the former’s victory over Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship last week. It ended with the empress of tomorrow promising that “revenge … will be sweet”.
From there, Shayna Baszler interrupted and said she had a problem with what Banks was doing because she had been waiting in line long enough. She adorned The Boss and left it on the floor before leaving.
No matter how much the video pack tried, it couldn’t make up for the terrible booking for the end of the game last week.
Nevertheless, this was incredibly effective since Asuka’s path of revenge was taken and Baszler was presented with the cover picture at the same time.
We haven’t seen The Queen of Spades against Banks yet, so it’s at least a new game fans can look forward to.
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The Kevin Owens show was scheduled next, but before the talk segment namesake could introduce his guest, he brought up Shane McMahon’s return and asked his microphone to turn off.
Finally, he introduced Ruby Riott, who spoke about her recent victories against The IIconics, before saying she wished Liv Morgan had been there to celebrate. Owens produced the former Riott Squad teammate who had little patience for her former partner.
Owens approached her, made friends, and admitted that he had made many mistakes about former partners and friendships. He didn’t know if it was worth it, so he begged Morgan to listen to Riott.
An emotional riot remembered their trip in the past six months before Peyton Royce and Billie Kay were interrupted. They talked about garbage despite further microphone interference before beating Owens to hell. “Ladies … please help a little,” said Owens as Riott and Morgan The IIconics jumped into the break.
After the commercial, we received the predictable tag team match.
The IIconics worked on Riott until a hot day triggered Morgan’s comeback. The New Jersey native fought off her opponents and rolled Royce up for the win.
After the match, Riott and Morgan worked together to take down Kay before going together. Despite obvious hesitation, they were reunited.
Morgan and Riott defeated The IIconics
The Kevin Owens show segment should have ended, and the match should take place next week. Instead, WWE Creative packed everything into this two-segment block, and the result was a rash match that was largely unremarkable.
Riott and Morgan, who are reviving their partnership, are the right move for both women who are too talented to be wasted to the extent that they have been for several months. It is a welcome change that WWE Creative at least takes the initiative to tell a story instead of just putting it together.
Owens should also replace Ellen on network television. KO brings people together. That’s all.
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WWE Champion Drew McIntyre made his way to the ring to face his # 1 contender Randy Orton in person.
McIntyre reviewed Orton’s promotional form last week and discussed the dichotomy between him and The Viper. He was not cared for, did not drive with evolution in limousines. He was fired, he scratched his ass to come back, and he reached greatness himself.
Orton interrupted and said he was there because he wanted to be. because he likes to drop people with RKOs and kick people in the skull.
Orton agrees that he should have been fired a long time ago, but he wasn’t. Why? Because it’s more valuable to WWE than McIntyre will ever be. He begged Drew to come up with his own original thought.
McIntyre remembered The last ride Documentary and Orton tell the story of The Undertaker who reaches down and pulls him to his level. McIntyre asked when was the last time Orton reached down and dragged someone up to his level?
“I see a selfish tail,” Mcintyre said before swearing to kick Orton’s head off SummerSlam’s shoulders. And The Viper is “damn sure it will come”.
This was a great promo segment driven by Orton’s continued excellence and some raw McIntyre emotions.
In fact, McIntyre should really have some leeway to be himself and show his personality more often. It was obvious that it was a little uncomfortable for him to break out of the script, but it is not his own fault. If you have a scripted professional life, breaking the limitations of the written word leads to discomfort.
At the same time, it is clear that he is spoiled for choice to wear a promo segment by being himself. Let him run free and maybe he could reach the next level that fans haven’t seen since CM Punk almost a decade ago.
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A week after getting her hands on backstage producer Pat Buck, Nia Jax stood with the former wrestler in the middle of the ring and denounced the idea of an apology. Instead, she challenged Buck to a match. She harassed him and refused to take his “no” for an answer.
Buck suspended Jax indefinitely without payment.
The Irresistible Force bumped Buck on the mat and threw him out of the ring. Her frustration and anger boiled over.
Then her music played, even though she was suspended indefinitely when she made her way back.
That was one thing that happened.
Why Jax was brought back and then written directly from TV is a question that needs to be answered. Just a week ago, she was firmly anchored in the cover of the women and ready to argue with Baszler about the next title opportunity.
Now it’s gone.
Hopefully she won’t have an injury after finally returning to WrestleMania earlier this year.
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Shelton Benjamin’s 24/7 championship was next in a triple threat match against Akira Tozawa and R-Truth.
Benjamin beat up Tozawa and the ninjas who wanted to get involved before joining Lashley on the ring to defeat the black-clad martial artists. The distraction allowed Tozawa to capitalize on a fallen truth, deliver his Senton, and claim victory and title.
Tozawa defeated Benjamin and Truth to win the title
The novelty of the 24/7 title has waned.
Even though Truth is still one of the most consistent performers on the squad, creativity is gone and the title is swapped between the same handful of superstars every week.
It repeats itself here, the opposite of what the title was originally intended to promote.