RAW 7/25/16

Welcome to the NEW ERA

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The New Era is here and you can spot it from a mile away. A new intro with new music and a new set up. Even the announcers have a new viewing spot. No longer are they so close to ringside, they’ll be calling it from afar. For those of you who are unfamiliar, get acquainted to the voice of Corey Graves. He’s the tatted up new guy with Saxton & Cole. He’s the voice of NXT and also the best in the company at what he does. The trio send us to the ring where the Commissioner and the General Manager are prepared to make some announcements.

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Mick Foley declares that the New Era begins tonight. He calls the RAW roster out to the stage. He promises to make each week of RAW the best week of RAW. He’ll be working hands on with all the talent to give the Universe what it wants.

Stephanie takes over and blames Roman Reigns for RAW’s lack of a top title. He DID get pinned last night, and Stephanie feels that Seth would’ve won if Roman wasn’t there. The fans boo Roman of course. Stephanie declares that RAW has always had a Heavyweight Champion and that tradition won’t change. She and Foley surprise everyone with some big news. Foley speaks. He informs us that he and Stephanie have decided to have two Fatal 4 Way matches tonight. The winners will face each other in the Main Event. The winner of that will go to Summer Slam and face Seth Rollins in a championship match for RAW’s NEW title, the WWE Universal Championship, named for the fans. The reveal the 8 Superstars. They are: Chris Jericho, Sheamus, Sami Zayn & Roman Reigns in one match, and Cesaro, Rusev, Kevin Owens and Finn Bálor in the other.

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“You’re not a good guy, you’re not a bad guy, you’re just a LOSER.” – Stephanie McMahon

Foley also has some news for the WWE Woman’s Champion, Charlotte. Because she lost the tag team match at Battleground, she’ll be defending her title against Sasha Banks tonight on RAW! Exciting news for the New Era and the first Fatal 4 Way will be next!

Kevin Owens Vs. Cesaro Vs. Rusev Vs. Finn Bálor – Fatal 4 Way #1 Contender Semi-Finals Match

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Wow. What a way to start RAW?! Who would’ve thought this would be the first match of the New Era?

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This is a barn burner. It starts with KO and Rusev teaming up. They beat up on Balor and Cesaro for a while. When Owens goes for a pin, Rusev breaks it up and the Alliance is over.

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After one of those Superplex/Powerbomb spots, Rusev is the last man standing. He charges Owens in the corner and is greeted by a boot. Owens is uppercutted by Cesaro who is kicked by Rusev who then attacks Bálor and gets floored with a Pele kick. I know, it’s a lot of action and it’s AMAZING!

Owens and Bálor are the only two men in the ring. Owens snuck up on Bálor and plants him with the same Neckbreaker he used to beat Cesaro a couple weeks ago on RAW. He goes for the pin and Cesaro breaks it up at two. He pulls Owens out of the ring and catches a Super Kick for his trouble. Owens scurries up to the top rope. Finn is still out of it. Owens lands a Frog Splash and covers Finn. This time Rusev breaks it up at 2. Owens tosses Rusev outside and nails him with a Super Kick. Finn charges Owens and gets hit with a Pop Up Powerbomb. Owens covers and Cesaro jumps in to break up the count. Owens was so close 3 times. He, Cesaro, and Rusev duke it out while Bálor tries to get his soul back into his body.

Eventually, Cesaro gets erased. It’s Rusev and Owens in the ring. They’re fighting in the corner and Bálor appears! He kicks Owens and hits him with a Slingblade. Owens is out of the picture. Finn kicks Rusev into the corner and climbs the top rope. Coup de Grace! Finn pins Rusev and wins his first match ever on RAW!

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Nia Jax Vs. Britt Baker

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This is just a chance to showcase one of RAW’s NXT draft picks. A top NXT contender going against a Breaking Ground hopeful? Yeah. Baker gets in zero offense and Jax somehow manages to win the match twice. She’s not like most girls.

Sasha Shoots Her Shot, Golden Truth Explore

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Goldust and R-Truth are up to their usual shenanigans, just walking around minding their own. They’re playing Pokémon GO and they find a Pokémon! It happens to be on Sasha Banks and she doesn’t have time to play games. She DOES allow them to catch it before she answers a few questions and says a few words to the Universe. The Golden Truth runs off.  Sasha claims that Charlotte will be exposed tonight. This goes back to when she was 10 years old. She’s ready to fulfill her lifelong dream and prove all her doubters wrong. The Boss is ready.

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Chris Jericho Vs. Sheamus Vs. Sami Zayn Vs. Roman Reigns – Fatal 4 Way #1 Contender Semi-Finals Match

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As soon as the bell rings, Jericho and Sheamus go after Reigns. They beat him into a corner and Zayn just watches, unsure of what to do. Reigns starts to fight out of it and then Zayn jumps on him! It’s a 3-1 assault. Sheamus and Jericho take the fight to Reigns outside the ring and leave him on the floor. They focus their energy on Zayn.

Zayn manages to dump Jericho and Sheamus out the ring, and is attacked from behind by Reigns. The two go at it until Reigns gets dumped, and Sheamus comes back into the picture. Jericho takes out Sheamus and starts pounding on Zayn. Reigns clothesline both men to the floor and then takes flight jumping on everyone.

Reigns gets Brogue kicked, Sheamus gets Helluva kicked, and Sami goes for the pin. Jericho throws Zayn out to go for the cover himself. Zayn comes back to break it up. Reigns comes back and Superman punches everyone except Jericho. Jericho and Reigns are the last men standing. Jericho manages a Codebreaker but only gets a 2 count. He tries to disrespect Reigns by cornering up and going for a Spear. Reigns would get around it and counter with a Spear of his own. Ladies and gentlemen, Bálor Vs. Reigns is our Main Event!

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New Day Championship Celebration

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The ring is all decked out in pink, blue, and white balloons. There are even unicorn ones! The New Day come out and are pretty excited about their new record. They show a video compilation of all their exploits over the past year and announce the sale of their actual cereal. You can now preorder Booty O’s online at fye.com! The New Day want to pick someone in the crowd to be an honorary New Day member. They leave the ring and pick a guy. They bring him in the ring and Big E  asks, “What is your name, Sonny boy?” The main responds, “Sonny Boy!” There seems to be some miscommunication. They ask him about 7 different times, each a different way and every time he responds,”Sonny Boy!” They decide to roll with it. The crowd even starts chanting, “Son-Ny Boy! Son-Ny Boy!” The 4 men start dancing in celebration.

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The dancing is cut short when the party is crashed by The Club. Gallows and Anderson wreck Woods and Kingston and hit Big E with a Magic Killer. Sonny Boy is able to get back to his seat during all the commotion. The Club find him. They had stripped Kofi and Xavier of their shirts. Anderson gets Gallows to rub his sweaty face into one of them and they throw it at Sonny Boy. Celebration canceled.

 

Curtis Axel Vs. Neville

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The Social Outcasts are no more but Bo and Axel were both drafted to RAW. Slater didn’t get drafted at all and that’s another story. Axel was RAW’s last draft pick making him Mr. Irrelevant. He’s found yet another title to go by. He’s so quick! Well, not as quick as a returning Neville. In his first match back from injury, Neville doesn’t go through his full arsenal of assault. He does hit a Red Arrow and send Curtis Axel packing. Curtis Axel could be a great mid-carder if he wants to.

Missed It By THIS Much

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The Golden Truth are at it again and this time they stumble upon Darren Young and Bob Backlund. Darren is still beating himself up about last night and Bob is coaching him through it. Goldust asks Bob to stand still because there is a Jigglypuff under his bowtie. Bob becomes unglued and Golden Truth flee. Young is left trying to calm down his life coach.

Being the Best

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Charlotte is not pleased with Sasha’s remarks from earlier. She has some words for the challenger. There is no way her fantasy of becoming champ will happen on Charlotte’s time. Hard to argue that with Dana by her side and Bayley back at NXT. Charlotte fully expects to leave tonight the same way she has for almost a year now, champion.

Sasha Banks Vs. Charlotte (w/Dana Brooke) – WWE Woman’s Championship Match

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The match starts and Sasha and Charlotte lock up. They’re feeling each other out and looking for an advantage. Dana would prove to be one of Charlotte’s advantages when she grabs Sasha’s leg. Dana boldly does this right in front of the ref! Instead of calling it a DQ or even ejecting Brooke, the ref just gives Dana a warning.

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Charlotte failed to capitalize on the exploits of her protege and Banks gets her in a submission hold. Charlotte would escape and crawl out of the ring. Banks brought the fight right to her. After a boot from Charlotte, the Woman’s champ grabs her title and rubs it in the face of Banks, telling her she’ll never get it and other nasty things. Banks kicks it out of her hand and the two brawl again. Charlotte escapes by pushing off and climbing back in the ring. Sasha picks up the title and eyes Dana Brooke. While the ref is checking on Charlotte, Sasha throws the title up in the air to Dana. Dana catches it and Sasha cries wolf. The ref sees Dana with the title in her hand and Sasha cowering. He has no choice but to eject Dana Brooke from ringside. Sasha waves goodbye to Dana. An old trick from a true legend goes a long way. Viva La Raza!

We come back from a commercial break and Charlotte finally has things in her favor. Who would’ve known that it would HELP to lose your valet? A few cool things happen here.

Sasha almost kills herself with a dive.

Charlotte almost kills herself with a Moonsault.

Woman’s wrestling in 2016 people. Be grateful.

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Charlotte is throwing everything at Sasha. She hits Natural Selection but Sasha was close enough to the ropes to grab them at 2. She gets a Figure 4 locked in and Sasha flips out of it, reversing the pressure. Charlotte crawls out of the ring with the hold still locked in and spins around. For a moment, Sasha was in some serious pain.

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Charlotte gets back in the ring and walks right into a Bank Statement. Charlotte would manage to force a rope break. Both women are giving it their all. They both stand and Charlotte mouths the words, “You will never beat me, ever!” She charges Banks but Banks slides under and around and hits her with a Back Stabber and into the Bank Statement. This time it’s in the middle of the ring, and Charlotte taps out. New champion!

Saxton is in the ring to get a few words from the new champ. The Universe is chanting, “You deserve it,” and Sasha is fighting through tears and “YES” chants.

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“I promise you, every single week, every time I step into this ring, I’m gonna show everyone why I am champion…..” – Sasha Banks 

Braun Strowman Vs. James Ellsworth

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Saxton stayed in the ring to interview James Ellsworth. The guy looks like an Average Joe who just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He has a bunch of heart and a lot of faith. Strowman slowly walks down the ramp and enters the ring. He walks straight to Ellsworth and Ellsworth crumbles in fear. The ref backs off the beast and calls for the bell. This does not end well for James Ellsworth.

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Ellsworth DID manage to get two ineffective punches in. He hurt himself in the process.

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After throwing his weight around, this repackaged Braun Strowman ends the match with a faceplanting reverse chokeslam. Lesnar match in his future?

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Truth Has the Phone

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Goldust takes a break from being a trainer and lets R-Truth give it a go. Truth leads them to a wall in the arena. He mistakes the wall art for a Pokémon. No Truth, the Pittsburgh Penguin is NOT a Pokémon. They keep it moving.

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Enzo & Cass Vs. The Shining Stars

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Enzo and Cass come out and do their whole spiel. Their happy to have been selected to RAW. So happy in fact, that Enzo sings some ODB and Cass begins to list all of the things he likes raw. Before Cass could approach explicit raw items, The Shining Stars interject. They talk about the raw beauty of Puerto Rico and invite everyone to visit the shining star of the Caribbean. The match starts.

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Primo and Epico are doing pretty well, putting a hurting on Enzo. Everyone is in the ring and are taken out one by one. Primo is the last man standing. Golden Truth come through and get in the ring. They’re still chasing Pokémon and Truth has one in his sights. Primo is upset and distracted by this. He watches Goldust and R-Truth leave.

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Primo turns around and catches a boot from Cass. 3 count. I think the Shining Stars will be looking forward to getting their hands on Golden Truth soon.

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Luck Vs. Strength

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Roman and Finn cross paths in the hallway before their match. Finn wishes Roman luck and Roman does the same. Finn says he doesn’t need it because he’s Irish and he invented luck. Reigns counters with, “I’m Samoan. Nuff said.” They’re ready to go!

Roman Reigns Vs. Finn Bálor – #1 Contender Match

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The Big Dog takes on The Demon. Oh my. Foley wasted no time getting their #1 NXT pick out there. This is a big deal. If Bálor has already pinned the US champion tonight, what will stop him from pinning Roman Reigns? Or do we see Reigns Vs. Rollins again? We’ll know by night’s end.

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Reigns has a significant size advantage and he shows that by literally tossing Finn around to start the match. It’s very much so Power Vs. Speed. Reigns has learned a thing or two since his suspension. Balor fights with a ton of kicks.

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Things get interesting when Bálor lands a double stomp on the back of Reigns’ head and only gets a 2 count. After a slingblade, Bálor sets up for a dropkick. Reigns counters with a Superman punch and goes for a cover. 2 count. Bálor counters a Crucifix Powerbomb and rolls into a pin. Reigns kicks out at 2 and goes double powerbomb. Finn kicks out at 2. Reigns sets up for the Spear and Bálor counters with a slingblade! He gets up and hits Reigns with a dropkick. Reigns bounces off the turnbuckle and is in position for the Coup de Grace. Bálor climbs the top rope and goes for it. He connects! Bálor goes for the pin and gets the 3 count. Bálor will face Rollins at SummerSlam for the WWE Universal Championship.

Another Round?

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After the match, Reigns was asked if he had any words. Here’s what he had to say:

“I hope Finn Bálor beats Seth Rollins for that WWE Universal Championship at SummerSlam. Because when he does, I want him again. I respect that dude.” 

What’s next for Roman Reigns? And what else does the New Era have in store? This might have been the best RAW in the past 5 years!

 

 

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