WWE Raw Review 9.23.19

The Fiend is beginning to take over Raw, the intro to the show was distorted. Yowie Wowie!

Seth Rollins kicked off the actual show.  The Beast Slayer started talking about how he encountered the living embodiment of a nightmare last week & how he’ll be in for the fight of his life at Hell in a Cell.

But before long Braun Strowman interrupted Rollins & the two had an intense staredown. Strowman called Rollins out, after Rollins said last week he was glad he didn’t have to face Braun any time soon.

Seth then laid out a challenge to face Strowman tonight, and Braun gladly accepted.

After weeks of relatively exciting openings to Raw, we were back to a 10-minute promo segment, which in my mind isn’t a great way to kick off the show.

Below I rank the rest of Monday Night Raw, ranking the segments from best to worst followed by my rating at the end.

Universal Title Rematch: 

An angry Braun Strowman ran through Seth Rollins out of the gate. Even after the commercial break, Rollins still couldn’t muster any offense.

Soon enough, Seth would chop down Braun as he took his legs out. But despite the offensive flurry from the champion, Strowman would kick out several times.

Braun battled back and attacked Rollins on the outside, but as he was going for the Power Slam, the lights went dark, and all-too-familiar sound played throughout the arena.

The Fiend was in the ring, attacking Strowman with the mandible claw! But then turned his attention to Rollins and Seth’s selling of this was tremendous. Seth acted like he had seen a ghost.

But the Fiend would finish taking out Strowman, then would glance back ominously at Rollins as Raw went off the air.

Viking Raiders face the OC:

The OC got their own entrance music, which was neat to see! Once this heavyweight tag team match got underway, the Viking Raiders gained the upper hand early on.

When the OC got back in the match, AJ Styles tried to interfere on his friends’ behalf but was caught by the referee and kicked out.

Then Styles was ambushed by Cedric Alexander at the top of the ramp, so it looks like Cedric is still coming after the United States Title.

But back to the tag match, these teams traded blows, and there were a couple big near falls. However, the Raiders would win with an insane-looking Viking Experience. This was an incredible match & the best this team has looked in months.

Firefly Funhouse!

Huskus the Pig Boy and Rambling Rabbit were fighting over a Seth Rollins action figure. Bray told the two to share because “sharing is caring.”

Bray then said the Fiend is trying to protect Seth Rollins and that “he” never forgets.

The buildup for this has been great, and I can’t wait to see the Fiend in action in just a couple weeks!

Fatal 5-way match delivers:

Rey Mysterio, Ricochet, Robert Roode, AJ Styles, and Shinsuke Nakamura competed here, with the winner taking on Seth Rollins next week for the Universal Title.

The action was fast and furious, with superstars pulling out all the stops to try and gain the upper hand. Ricochet would hit a recoil on Roode, but would get hit with the Kinshasa and was eliminated.

After the break, the pace picked up significantly. Blows were traded back and forth, and we even caught a glimpse of an old rivalry between Styles and Nakamura.

The following two eliminations were back-to-back as Styles would take out Nakamura with the Phenomenal forearm, but then Roode eliminated Styles with the Glorious DDT.

Roode and Mysterio, the two remaining men, would do battle for a few minutes before Rey would hit the ‘619’ and then drop the dime to pick up the win.

This match was action-packed, and Rey Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins should be a great match next week. However, the outcome is pretty predictable with Seth set to take on The Fiend in two weeks.

The Boss stays hot: 

Just two weeks from her big match at Hell in a Cell, Sasha Banks was here to take on Nikki Cross.

Banks was cocky as ever here but also brought her A-game. However, Cross was up for the challenge and countered Banks’ early offense.

But the comeback by Cross was short-lived as “The Boss” would assert her dominance again and methodically beat down Nikki.

However, Cross had one final push in her, stunning Sasha and hit a wicked neck breaker. But Bayley, seeing her friend was in trouble, distracted the referee.

Banks then turned a cross body into the Bank Statement and tapped Cross out for the win. Impressive match by these two women.

24/7 shenanigans:

R-Truth and Carmella were on the run again, but this time Mella prevented anyone from pinning Truth. She then told Truth that it’s exhausting having to be on the run 24/7 and she was done.

This was all an act, though! Mella would roll Truth up & win the title! Truth, not affected by the loss, helped Mella escape the women chasing after her.

A great line on commentary too from Renee Young, telling Corey Graves that “you can finally consummate the 24/7 title!” To which Graves replied, “too late for that!”

This was a fabulous segment in my mind.

King Corbin:

As predicted, Corey Graves was obnoxiously obsessing over King Corbin and his new entrance.

Corbin would dominate the early portions of this match, and right before the break, he threw Chad Gable into the crowd, knocking over a couple of security guards.

Gable was only able to get in minor bursts of offense, as Corbin was on the attack for much of the match.

But when Gable made his push at the end, the crowd fully behind him. WWE has an organic babyface on their hands, and they need to capitalize on this.

Gable had the match won with the ankle lock, but the “King” would use his scepter to attack & force the DQ. This way really the only way out of this match, as a loss for either superstar would have been wrong.

Moon vs. Evans:

Ember Moon is so impressive, it’s a shame she is not featured more on WWE TV. And honestly, I’ve been impressed with Lacey Evans ever since her debacle this summer with Becky Lynch.

These women had quite a good TV match, as they both showcased their arsenal of moves. Ember even hit an incredible-looking match on the outside.

But in the end, Lacey Evans hit a “Women’s Right” and locked in the sharpshooter for the win. Clearly, they are building to a rematch with Natalya, evident by the post-match interview with Nattie.

Miz makes an announcement:

Here Miz had two big announcements. First, he and his wife welcomed a baby girl into the world last week! The second announcement was for next week’s Raw, as he will be hosting a must-see episode of Miz TV with guests Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan (crowd booed when Hogan’s name was said).

WWE is pulling out all the stops for this “season debut” of Raw next week.

Becky Lynch interviewed:

Here Becky explained her reasoning for wanting Sasha Banks inside Hell in a Cell. She wants to keep Sasha in the ring & avoid her “running away” again.

This match is shaping up to be an all-time classic. But it was a bit disappointing to not see Becky and Sasha have any interaction just two weeks before their match.

Rusev back in action:

The Bulgarian Brute is back after several months, but here got little audible reaction from the crowd. Did WWE botch his return?

Anyways, he was here to face EC3, but at the start of the match, all the crowd could chant was “We Want Lana!”

Rusev dominated this match from the start, and put EC3 away in mere minutes. Dominate performance for sure, but will Rusev get the push he’s so long deserved? Guess we’ll find out in the coming weeks.

Overall I thought this was a solid episode of Raw. The Fiend throughout the night was gold, and we saw great matches with the fatal five-way as well as the Viking Raiders and the OC.

It wasn’t all great though, as I’m still wondering what the plan is for Rusev, and the women’s title picture got little air time.

Overall though I thought there were more positives than negatives. Next week is a big show though, as you only heard 100 times that next week is the Raw “season premiere” and WWE seems to be going all out for that show.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5