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WWE Raw results, recap, reactions (Aug. 26, 2019): Partners in crime

When Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman won the Tag Team Championships last week, it was never actually about the Tag Team Championships. It was always about a bigger prize: The Universal Championship.

The story was always going to be about how these two interacted moving forward. And the result is pretty much what you could expect. Strowman wasn’t shy at all about asking for a Universal Championship match, and Rollins was fairly quick to accept. And despite their mutual respect for one another, they have no interest in actually working as a team.

For example, Strowman had a United States Championship match to main event this show. He and AJ Styles went back and forth for a while until Strowman finally got an edge. Then, the OC did exactly what you’d expect. They intervened on behalf of their guy.

You’d expect a tag team that’s on the same page would come out to support one another, but Rollins was notably absent in the final minutes. And without help, Strowman did what he usually does – he turned to causing as much destruction as possible. In fact, he got himself disqualified because of it.

That was my biggest takeaway from this story. On a night where a quickly-thrown-together tag team is suddenly challenging for the titles, Rollins and Strowman look so focused on their Universal Championship match that these Tag Titles are an afterthought. That seems like a wonderful way to lose said titles.

...Or Braun Strowman turns heel again during that match to beat up Rollins. Solid betting odds on that outcome as well.

Banks back in action

I saw some hate for Sasha Banks’s promo online, but it worked just fine for me. She revealed a bit of her reasoning for turning heel and how she’s treated both Natalya and Becky Lynch. Essentially, she’s sick of being relegated to some tag match when Becky gets all the glory. Also, she wants more money. Those petty reasons culminating in someone doing despicable things just for her “glory” seems like a pretty deplorable character to me – I’m in!

Natalya interrupted the promo to brawl because OF COURSE she would. After what Banks has done, there was no other reasonable outcome. And Nattie was quick on offense in the match that followed later in the show because again – of course she would.

And that offered Banks the perfect opportunity to be the monstrous jerk she’s been, to use underhanded tactics, and to offer Nattie another beating after the bell just because. All of this is totally fine to me – not mind-blowing stuff, but a perfectly fine setup or Lynch vs. Banks.

I’d imagine this begins to pick up in a big way.

Tag Team Turmoil

Hey guys? Serious question: What’s the difference between a Tag Team Gauntlet and Tag Team Turmoil? Does someone just like alliteration backstage?

We learned early in the show that we’d be getting a Turmoil match that involved every tag team on Raw. My immediate reaction was wondering how WWE would protect the Viking Raiders and sure enough, they were the first entrants.

They faced off against B-Team in what was essentially a squash before they forced a double disqualification with the OC. The crowd actually seemed somewhat hyped for that confrontation, so hopefully WWE has a compelling way to revisit that in the future.

But that opened the stage for a new team to make an impact: Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode. As soon as I saw them in the fourth spot, I felt pretty confident that they would win. And after taking out the Revival, things were smooth sailing for the duo.

I don’t hate the partnership. Ziggler and Roode are very similar to me at the moment. They have similar attitudes and aren’t doing anything at the moment, so the pairing feels fairly natural. And now that Rollins and Strowman have the titles, it seems WWE is going to transition those Championships to this new team.

I can’t say that I’m excited, but we’ll see how it goes.

The Rest

King of the Ring, Round 1: Ricochet def. Drew McIntyre – This was easily the best match of the night for me.

Ricochet had that canned babyface promo where they talk about idolizing wrestlers growing up that you’ve heard from every good guy on the roster. Congrats for making it I guess, Ricochet.

Despite that, this match rocked. Really liked the innovation at the end with Ricochet jumping the steps and then flying into a headbutt counter by McIntyre. This felt like a huuuuge win for Ricochet, which is a credit to both men.

King of the Ring, Round 1: Baron Corbin def. The Miz – After being off television for a bit, you had to know Corbin would return with a big win, right? He kicked out of Miz’s Skull-Crushing Finale, felled his opponent with an End of Days, and then delivered a truly horrifying glimpse into some alternate dimension where he actually wins King of the Ring.

That shiver down your spine? It’s not a ghost; it’s Baron Corbin.

Cedric Alexander def. Cesaro - Alexander was in action in preparation for his Round 2 match against Corbin next week, and they were pretty heavy-handed in discussing how hard Cesaro was going after one of his legs. Pair that with Corbin watching backstage, and I’d imagine we might have gotten some foreshadowing on how Corbin beats Alexander next week.

(Another great match, by the way.)

Bayley def. Nikki Cross – So this is the SmackDown Live Champion fighting another SmackDown Live roster member over a dispute that is entirely about SmackDown Live.

Why was this on Raw, again? It’s even more puzzling to me because it didn’t really accomplish all that much, did it? Bayley won, as you’d probably expect.

This show had plenty of happening on it, but nothing really stands out as “you need to see this.” The Ricochet vs. McIntyre match is the only thing, honestly, and it was our opening match of the night.

It wasn’t a bad show, by any means. Just not anything I feel warrants too much praise.

Grade: C+

Am I off base here, Cageside?

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