By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw (Episode 1,530)
Live from San Jose, California at SAP Center
Aired September 19, 2022 on USA Network
[Hour One] The Raw opening aired and it still doesn’t include Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns or Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos… Pyro shot off on the stage… The broadcast team was Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton, and Mike Rome was the ring announcer…
Seth Rollins and Bobby Lashley made their entrances for the U.S. Title match. Smith hyped Kevin Owens vs. Austin Theory, and Graves touted footage of Logan Paul challenging Roman Reigns to a title match at WWE Crown Jewel, and Saxton hyped Rey Mysterio and Matt Riddle vs. Finn Balor and Damian Priest for later in the show…
1. Bobby Lashley vs. Seth Rollins for the U.S. Championship. Mike Rome delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Rollins sent Lashley to ringside and went for an early suicide dive that was stuffed. Lashley hoisted up Rollins, who slipped away and shoved Lashley into the ring post.
Back inside the ring, Rollins went for a Stomp, but Lashley remained on all fours and his head didn’t flinch. Lashley got up and clotheslined Rollins to ringside, then followed him to the floor and hit him with a shoulder block heading into a commercial break. [C]
Rollins targeted the right arm of Lashley coming out of the break. Lashley caught Rollins in powerslam position, but Rollins slipped out of it and wrenched Lashley’s arm over the top rope. Rollins followed up with a flying knee and covered Lashley for a two count. A Damage CTRL championship celebration was listed in a graphic for later in the show.
Rollins hit Lashley with two more suicide dives. Rollins had a rough landing on the second one, but he popped right up. So did Lashley, who hoisted up Rollins and swung him into the ring post heading into another break. [C] Lashley slammed Rollins to the mat and picked up a near fall.
Lashley went for a spear, but Rollins caught him with a knee. Lashley responded with a Flatliner and covered Rollins for a two count. Rollins came back and went to the ropes, but Lashley cut him off and wanted superplex him, but Rollins raked his eyes. Rollins performed a Buckle Bomb on Lashley and then performed a top rope frog splash for a near fall.
Rollins went for a Pedigree, but Lashley sat down on him and got a two count. Lashley followed up with a running powerslam. Lashley went for a spear, but Rollins leapt up and Pedigree’d him, which led to a close near fall. A “this is awesome” chant broke out.
The crowd chanted the Rollins’ entrance theme. He acknowledged them and went to the ropes and attempted a move that Lashley avoided. Rollins went for the Stomp, but Lashley dodged it and put him in the Hurt Lock. Rollins used his feet to push off the ropes into a pin for a two count, and Rollins legs landed on the referee. REF BUMP!!! Lashley maintained the hold, but Rollins kicked him below the belt while the referee was down. Rollins went to a corner to set up for his finisher.
Matt Riddle’s entrance music played. Rollins took the bait and turned his attention to Riddle for a moment, then turned back into a Lashley spear. Lashley covered Rollins and pinned him…
Bobby Lashley defeated Seth Rollins in 20:15 to retain the U.S. Championship.
Riddle jawed at Rollins coming out of the match while Lashley celebrated his win…
A video package recapped Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai defeating Raquel Rodriguez and Aliyah to win the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles… A limo arrived backstage. Bayley, Sky, and Kai exited the limo while Smith hyped their championship celebration for after the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: A very good match to open the show. It’s interesting that WWE went with their biggest match in the thirty minutes leading up to the time when they will be opposed by both of the Monday Night Football games. Meanwhile, I was happy to see the ring announcer get some face time with the in-ring introduction for the title match, and it was also nice to see Damage CTRL get the limo treatment.
The broadcast team touted the announcement of WarGames matches taking place at Survivor Series while Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” played…
Bayley drove a golf cart covered in multiple Damage CTRL stickers to the ring while WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai rode on the back. There were red and black balloons attacked to all four ring posts, and streamers shot off once the three wrestlers entered the ring.
Bayley, who is from the Bay Area, touted herself as a hometown hero. The crowd cheered, but she quickly turned on them and insulted the San Jose Sharks hockey team. Sky spoke briefly, then Kai spoke about the damage they did to Bianca Belair, Asuka, and Alexa Bliss. The crowd gave Kai the “What?” treatment.
Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair, Asuka, and Alexa Bliss made their entrance. Belair said they would have to teach Damage CTRL some respect, and then the babyface trio entered the ring. Bayley and Bliss exchanged verbal jabs with Bayley telling Bliss that she’s “a shell of the former Alexa.” Bliss challenged Bayley to a match. The heels teased leaving. Bayley went for a sneak attack, but Bliss dropped her with a forearm…
Austin Theory was shown warming up backstage for his match against Kevin Owens… [C]
Powell’s POV: The feud between Damage CTRL against Belair, Bliss, and Asuka feels like it has run its course. I’m looking forward to Belair vs. Bayley for the Raw Women’s Championship, but I’m over the alliance between these three babyface characters. On the bright side, the live crowd reacted favorably to Bliss challenging Bayley for later in the show.
A “King Crusher” video aired for Connor’s Cure featuring a young cancer survivor…
Austin Theory made his entrance while the broadcast team recapped footage of his angle with Kevin Owens from last week. Owens made his entrance for the match. Owens climbed onto the apron and was immediately knocked down by Theory, who then ran him into the ringside barricade…
2. Kevin Owens vs. Austin Theory. Once in the ring, Owens barked at the referee to ring the bell. Owens was the early aggressor. Theory ended up at ringside and ended up taking control until Owens slammed his head on the ring steps and the broadcast table. Theory tripped Owens on the apron and then gave him a neckbreaker on the floor. [C]
[Hour Two] After some good bath and forth action, Owens stuffed a superplex attempt and then hit Theory until he fell to the mat. Owens went for a double jump moonsault that Theory avoided. Theory performed a standing Blockbuster and then went for pins.
Theory eyed up the Money in the Bank briefcase that was lying in his corner. Johnny Gargano showed up and took the briefcase before Theory could get to it. Owens superkicked a distracted Theory and hit him with a cannonball in the corner. Owens followed up with a Popup Powerbomb and then pinned Theory.
Kevin Owens defeated Austin Theory in 13:15.
After the match, Gargano entered the ring and taunted the fallen Theory with the MITB briefcase. Gargano eventually dropped the briefcase on Theory…
Powell’s POV: Another good match with another distraction finish.
Backstage, Matt Riddle was interviewed by Kevin Patrick. Riddle said he would hunt Rollins every day until he gets his rematch. Patrick asked him about teaming with Rey Mysterio to face The Judgment Day. Riddle spoke about helping Rey and said that Priest was cool until he and his friends started dressing up like the goth kids on South Park…
Smith hyped details on Logan Paul challenging Roman Reigns to a title match for after the break… A Smackdown ad spotlighted the return of Roman Reigns, The Usos vs. Ridge Holland and Butch for the Smackdown Tag Titles, and Braun Strowman vs. Otis for Friday’s show… [C]
Bay Area imagery was shown and then San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle was shown flexing in the crowd…
A highlight video recapped the path the company took to get to Roman Reigns vs. Logan Paul for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at the Crown Jewel event…
Ridge Holland and Butch made their entrance. Footage aired of the duo winning a four-way tag match on Smackdown to earn a shot at the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles. Holland was about to speak, but Butch pulled the mic toward himself and said, “Monday Night Raw, it’s Fight Night.” Holland said he and Butch will smash the Usos and take control of the tag team division.
“The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins made their entrance. Dawkins congratulated Holland and Butch on their win on Smackdown. The Profits entered the ring while noting that while Holland and Butch beat three other teams, they were not among them. Butch threw his hat and jacket at the Profits. Holland challenged the Profits to a match… [C]
3. “The Brawling Brutes” Ridge Holland and Butch vs. “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins. Smith put over Holland and Butch by saying there are not many teams that would accept a match with the Profits just days before challenging for the tag team titles. The Brutes worked over Ford with a double team version of Sheamus’s ten beats. Butch ran the ropes and hit Ford with a forearm to the back of the head, which knocked Ford to ringside. [C]
Ford was isolated and eventually made the tag to Dawkins, who worked over Holland. The Brutes eventually came back and double teamed Dawkins while Ford was down selling at ringside. Butch put Dawkins in an armbar. Dawkins powered up and then backed into his corner just as Ford returned to the apron. Ford tagged in and hit a Blockbuster on Butch, who was held up by Dawkins. A brief “this is awesome” chant broke out.
A short time later, Ford performed a flip dive onto both opponents at ringside. The Profits set up for another top rope move on Holland that Butch broke up. Butch snapped Ford’s fingers. Holland held up Dawkins and then Butch kicked his head before Holland powerslammed him. Butch covered Dawkins and scored the pin…
Ridge Holland and Butch beat “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins in roughly 13:00.
Powell’s POV: Holland and Butch had to go over going into their tag title shot on Friday. And it was good to see a clean finish to a longer match. The pre-match promo was telling. The live crowd reacted to Butch, but they were near silent in response to Holland’s part of the promo. It didn’t help that Holland sounded nervous and unsure of himself, but there’s just nothing to latch onto with Holland from a character standpoint.
A video package recapped Judgment Day’s attack on Edge from last week…
Rey Mysterio was interviewed by Sarah Schreiber on the backstage ring set. Rey said he wished he had known about all the resentment that Dominik Mysterio had because he could have stopped Judgment Day from poisoning his mind. Rey said he would never give up on his son. He looked into the camera and told Dom that everything he’s done is for him and his legacy is for Dom to carry on if he wants it. Matt Riddle showed up on the interview set and spoke about dropping a hammer of justice on Judgment Day… [C]
Johnny Gargano was walking through the backstage area when he was stopped by “Alpha Academy” Chad Gable and Otis. Gable took issue with Gargano costing Austin Theory his match. Gable said that if you mess with Theory, then you mess with Alpha Academy. Kevin Owens showed up and said that if they mess with Gargano, then they are messing with him.
Gable challenged Gargano and Owens to a tag team match. Owens recalled Gable challenging him to a match in Toronto. He said he learned that he loved kicking Gable’s ass in Canada, then pointed out that next week’s Raw is in Edmonton and they can have the match then…
“The Judgment Day” Rhea Ripley, Finn Balor, Dominik Mysterio, and Damian Priest made their entrance. Smith said Edge suffered a grade two MCL sprain when he was attacked last week and they don’t know when he will return. Ripley whispered in Dom’s ear and caressed his chest while the faction posed.
Ripley spoke first and said Judgment Day runs Raw. Ripley said no one would stop them now that Dom is at their side, “especially now that he’s all man.” Balor praised Dom for standing up to his father, and then Priest praised him for fighting Edge last week. Rhea said she’s proud of Dom
Dom thanked Ripley. The crowd booed loudly. Balor and Priest played into it by telling the crowd to respect Dom, who said he couldn’t be prouder to be standing by his new family. Balor said he felt like they were having a moment and they needed a family portrait. The group posed while a ringside photographer took their picture.
Matt Riddle’s entrance theme played and he came out on his scooter. Rey Mysterio made his entrance and headed to the ring with Riddle. Saxton said Dom should have been man enough to tell his father than he wanted to do things on his own… [C]
4. Finn Balor and Damian Priest (w/Dominik Mysterio, Rhea Ripley) vs. Matt Riddle and Rey Mysterio. Graves tried to downplay the possibility of Dom or Ripley getting involved in the match.
[Hour Three] A “Bro” chant broke out while Riddle got the better of Balor. Rey tagged in and worked over Balor, who tagged in Priest. Rey went for a crossbody block, but Priest caught him. Priest put Rey down with a clothesline and then he and Balor isolated Rey. Balor performed two the Three Amigos. Rey reversed the third and ended up tagging out. Priest eventually tagged in and chokeslammed Riddle on the apron. [C]
Rey rolled Balor into 619 position, but Priest pulled Balor to the floor. Riddle took out Priest, and Rey ended up hitting a 619 on Balor. Rey went to the top rope, but Ripley distracted him.
Seth Rollins showed up and went after Riddle, but Rey chased Rollins away with a chair. Dom approached his father and dropped to his knees while encouraging Rey to hit him with the chair. Rey dropped the chair and returned to the ring where Balor took out his knee. Priest tagged in and chokeslammed Rey, and then Balor tagged in and hit Rey with the Coup de Grace on Rey and pinned him.
Finn Balor and Damian Priest beat Matt Riddle and Rey Mysterio in 17:40.
Powell’s POV: A good match with more heat added to Judgment Day. Rollins interfering in this match didn’t bother me because it wasn’t a major factor and it was also meant to be payback for Riddle interfering in his match earlier in the night.
Highlights aired from last week of the Miz and Dexter Lumis angle from Miz’s home… Miz and Tommaso Ciampa were shown walking backstage… [C]
Backstage, Seth Rollins and Matt Riddle were being pulled apart by referees and producers. Rollins told Riddle to name the time and place. Riddle said Extreme Rules and they meet in the Fight Pit. Rollins said it’s on…
Smith pointed out that Riddle “used to fight for a living.” Graves said he doesn’t question Rollins’ decisions, but he didn’t know if that was the right one…
Powell’s POV: Doesn’t Seth Rollins’ character fight for a living in WWE? Smith is obviously referencing Riddle’s MMA career, but it sounded silly. They also acted like everyone knows what a Fight Pit is even though I believe it has only been used on NXT television. No, Shane McMahon’s Raw Underground doesn’t count. I like the Fight Pit so I’m happy to see it make its way to the main roster, but they really need a video package or something to explain it to unfamiliar viewers.
The Miz stood in the ring with Ciampa and took issue with Dexter Lumis breaking into his home. He challenged Lumis to come out and face him. Lumis didn’t come out. Miz started ranting, but a knife poked through the ring and created a hole behind Miz. Lumis poked his head out of the hole and tried to pull Miz down.
Ciampa, who had been at ringside, saved Miz. Lumis tried to pull Ciampa down the hole, but Ciampa hit Lumis with a knee to the head. Miz and Ciampa sat back and looked at the hole in the ring. Miz put his face over the hole and then Lumis stuck his face up through the hole again, causing Miz to leave the ring. Lumis lowered his head back into the hole… [C]
Raquel Rodriguez was featured in a Hispanic Heritage video…
The broadcast team hyped Kevin Owens and Johnny Gargano vs. Alpha Academy, and Matt Riddle vs. Damian Priest for next week’s Raw…
Judgment Day was interviewed by Kevin Patrick, who asked the what is next. Ripley said it was time to celebrate. Dom said he might have to go check on his Dad, then laughed along with the rest of the group. Dom said they had to go out and celebrate because he had a new mommy. “And Mommy knows best,” Ripley said. Priest mentioned his match against Riddle and said it was time to party.
Finn Balor spotted someone and told the rest of Judgment Day that he would be fine. AJ Styles was shown talking on the phone. Balor said Styles hasn’t spoken to Styles lately. Styles said they haven’t talked since Balor joined Judgment Day and turned his back on him. Balor said he’s never turned his back on Styles, who said he would never turn his back on his family and friends like Dom did. Balor asked Styles if he was looking for a fight, then hugged him and said they are boys. Balor said the offer still stands…
Powell’s POV: My guess is that this is leading to Styles bringing in Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson to feud with Judgment Day.
The broadcast team spoke about the show’s main event and a brief video aired on Alexa Bliss before she made her entrance with Bianca Belair and Asuka. Damage CTRL made their entrance… [C]
5. Bayley (w/Iyo Sky, Dakota Kai) vs. Alexa Bliss (w/Bianca Belair, Asuka). Smith said Bliss beat Bayley five years ago in the same venue to win her first championship. He also said Bayley and Bliss had not met in a match on Raw since April 2019. Graves played up the idea that Bliss hasn’t been the same since she had her identity crisis. Bayley and Bliss fought to ringside. Bayley placed Bliss on the broadcast table. Bliss kicked Bayley away, then did a flip dive off the table onto Bayley. Bliss held came up holding her left knee. [C]
Bliss continued to sell a knee injury. Bayley targeted the bad knee with a kick late in the match and then hit a Bayley to Belly for a near fall. Later, Bliss ran up the ropes for a tornado DDT and sold her bad knee. Bayley tackled Bliss and went for a leverage pin, but Belair knocked her feet off the ropes. Sky and Kai shoved Belair into the ring steps. Asuka fought them both, but Kai avoided a Hip Attack, causing Asuka to slam her ass on the ring steps.
In the ring, Bliss put Bayley down with a DDT and then went to the ropes. Graves said Bliss showed no urgency and needed to sto\ep on the gas peddle despite her knee injury. Kai climbed onto the ring apron and distracted the referee while Sky shoved Bliss off the ropes. Bayley hit Bliss with the Rose Plant and pinned her.
Bayley defeated Alexa Bliss in 15:05.
After the match, Asuka ran in and was attacked by the three heels. Bianca Belair entered the ring and got the better of the heels briefly, but the numbers advantage won out. Bayley performed her finisher on Belair. Bayley got the mic and knelt over Belair while telling her that she’s in control and gets what she wants, when she wants. Bayley said she wants the Raw Women’s Title at Extreme Rules…
Powell’s POV: Another distraction finish? They are telling a story with Bliss’s character not being the same as she was and yet they couldn’t have her take a clean loss? You can’t protect everyone. Overall, it was an entertaining episode despite the irritating finishes. The show wisely didn’t give away too much with stiff competition in the form of the only Monday Night Football doubleheader of the year. I will be back shortly with my weekly same night audio review of Raw for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).