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Raw recap & reactions (Sep. 5, 2022): The Strowman Express rides again

Braun Strowman returns. Papi makes her demands. Damage CNTRL’s revenge.

What a weekend. Right? Let’s just get into it while the good-ish wrestling vibes flow.

And shoutout to Claire for working like a mad woman all weekend. That continued tonight too in her blog.

Monster Among Bad Logic

Walk with me a bit, Cagesiders. Now, I’m not the biggest Braun Strowman fan, so keep that in mind while you read these words. That said, I understand his purpose and know the crowd loves him. So he clearly has value to the game—double entendre intended. You know what I am a fan of though?


The Fatal 4-Way match for a shot at the Usos was on thin ice before Braun showed up and wrecked shop. First off, we got a really fun moment between Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston. Both New Day members were the legal men as Alpha Academy, the Street Profits, and Los Lotharios looked on with great delight. Xavier and Kofi fronted like they were really going to do the damn thing only for Xavier to lie down in the middle of the ring while Kofi went for the pin. Smart!

A great illustration of New Day’s experience over every other team in the ring with them. The other teams quickly swarmed the ring and chaos ensued as the ref stopped counting. Also makes sense. Kofi and X fought off everyone and got the other teams outside of the ring.

Now, I initially thought that X and Kofi’s next moves made no sense. Rather than go for the pin attempt again since, ya know, the other teams are outside of the ring, discombobulated, and distracted, Kofi Xavier went for...suicide dives. The two men who just tried outsmarting everyone didn’t do that same trick when they were in an even better position to pull off such a thing! But apparently, Otis was the legal man at that point. I wasn’t the only one confused since Xavier explained the back and forth in an exchange on that Bird app.

So the match continued. And it was a good one because these are good tag teams. Then that familiar roar echoed throughout Kansas City. Braun Strowman is back, people. He looks good, there are no more remnants of someone choo-choo-choosing him, and the crowd adored him. But, back to the logic again: Did it have to happen during an important match? More to the point, did it have to happen at the expense of all those teams?

Braun monster-handled three prominent tag teams—sorry, Los Lotharios—by himself. New Day? Wrecked. Street Profits? Laid out on the floor. Alpha Academy? Sent them back to school. WWE essentially told us Braun by himself should be the tag team champions. Much like when he teamed with that kid at WrestleMania.

And to top it off, the match didn’t finish! He destroyed everyone, obliterated the commentary table, ruptured the barricade with Otis’ body, and security finally calmed Braun until he walked to the back. Seriously, his onslaught against WWE’s top teams continued into the commercial break. It was picture-in-picture action. One of my favorite Pusha T songs “If You Know You Know” played during a Pizza Hut commercial and was basically the soundtrack to Braun’s destruction.

IF Braun is back, there’s gotta be a way to do it that doesn’t son a bunch of teams vying for tag team championship glory. Putting their bodies on the Strowman Express tracks while the train runs over them is shortsighted and does nothing for nobody involved. Except Strowman. And even then, only time will tell how bright that makes his star. What’s next for Braun? He’s going to SmackDown, so Geno will fill you in on how that goes down.


What Papi Wants...

Edge cut a hell of a promo during Raw’s opening segment. He perfectly told the story of his relationship with Dominik and his closeness with the Mysterio family. He transitioned to the fact he no longer sees Dom as a nephew or even as a little boy. He sees him as a “WWE Superstar” and “when you play a man’s game, you pay a man’s price.” Which is a very dope line. Edge called out Dom, Rey came to the ring instead.

Rey, decked in leather pants, pleaded for Edge’s forgiveness on behalf of his son. Edge said nah. Rhea Ripley showed up and told the world she made Dom “into a man.”

Do with that what you will but I cannot comment on it since I like my job.

This led to Finn Balor and Damian Priest jumping Edge and destroying his knee with a chair. All while Dom stood by Rhea’s side, dressed in black, and watched the carnage as his father pleaded with him to snap out of it.

With Edge out of commission and Dom under Rhea’s spell—which I completely understand—Ray challenged Finn or Damian to a match. Damian accepted and defeated Rey in a match where Rey never seemed focused. Of course not with his son on the outside of the ring. Even while emotionally compromised, Rey almost beat Priest. Rey dialed up the 619 but Dominik stood on the ring apron and blocked his dad. That was enough to throw Rey off of his game and get planted by the South of Heaven.

With Rey laid out, Dom and the Judgment Day stood over him. Rhea announced there’s one more person they need eradicated: Edge. “And what Papi wants, Papi gets.”

Again, do with that what you will.

So next week, Dom takes on Edge in a match I’m looking forward to because this is Raw’s most compelling story at the moment.

Please Mickey Don’t Sue Us

Damage CNTRL isn’t exactly the best way to illustrate the name, but I get it. Pretty sure Marvel licensed “Damage Control” and Disney owns Marvel. And if there’s one group of lawyers you never want to go into battle against, it’s Mickey Mouse’s lawyers.

But I digress.

Bayley, Dakota Kai, & IYO SKY hit the ring to gloat. As they should. Dakota and IYO announced their match against the women’s tag champs because apparently, Dakota wasn’t the legal woman even though she took the pin in the tag team championships finals. We shall see how that plays out.

The big story here is Bianca Belair showing up and challenging Bayley. Bayley, with the line of the night, says she doesn’t work on Labor Day, just wants to celebrate pinning the champ.

Bayley did hit a good note: Bianca can’t handle the fact she took the pin. So of course she wants to fight Bayley as soon as possible. Bayley, the heel she is, wants that fight on her terms and her time, which gives Bianca more time to stew. I kinda dig that. The follow up is important but digging a little deeper into Bianca’s psyche and putting the “control” in Bayley’s hands has potential.

Fight for Your Right

KO is a fighter. That’s the story every week and every match reinforces that. KO found himself against Austin Theory this week. Why? Because Theory ran his mouth inside of the ring and KO took offense in the name of good taste. And because he dislikes arrogant and delusional people in wrestling. After Theory failed yet another cash-in attempt at Clash at the Castle, KO believes Mr. Money in the Bank is the most arrogant and delusional person in the business.

They put on a really good match with Ko controlling most of the action but Theory showcasing some ruthlessness that serves his character well. The most ruthless moment was Austin slamming the back of KO’s head onto the edge of the steel steps. Seriously, ouch. I have no clue how Owens finished the match.

Yeah, I know it’s a worked spot but there’s no easy way to protect your skull against steel. But finish he did and he got the W for his troubles. He fought through that that pain and left Austin lying from a Pop Up Powerbomb and a Stunner.

KO’s rise continues while Austin Theory’s role as an inept punk moves to its next chapter. Which, is probably Johnny Gargano. Gargano returns to the ring next week, so it’s only a matter of time before those two wrassle.

Rage in the Cage

Miz refuses to talk about Dexter Lumis. So much so that he and Ciampa refer to him in the same way people in the Harry Potter universe refer to Voldemort. Despite him ignoring a thing trying to rid it of its power, Dexter overturned Miz’s truck and even showed up during his cage match with Bobby Lashley. Dexter’s appearance makes me not even want to mention the way Ciampa and Miz did their best to decimate Bobby before the bell rang. But I just did so there’s that. It was a fine match but because I knew Dexter was coming, I found myself more interested in how and where.

When Miz and Ciampa double teamed Lashley once again, stopping him from exiting the cage by pounding his head repeatedly with the cage door, Miz climbed the cage. Perched from atop and looking down, he spots Dexter, who was apparently under the ring the whole time. The shot of Dexter’s stoic face looking up at Miz was the funniest thing on Raw in quite some time. I’m still laughing thinking about it.

Lashley finished Miz with a spear, retained his title, and locked the cage to give Dexter and Miz some alone time. Then the show went off the air. It was a pretty abrupt ending to an okay show. I have no idea where they’re going with Dexter and Miz but I find myself feeling less interested the more it goes.

Maybe the end result will shock my system and get me back on board but we’re repeating the same beats here just in different forms. Dexter kidnapped Miz, then popped up in the back of his truck, and now they’re in a cage together. Dexter already got his hands on Miz more than once so locking them together in a cage loses it’s heft since there’s really no cat and mouse game afoot.

Just One More Thing...

Aliyah & Raquel Rodriguez defeated Doudrop and Nikki A.S.H. It was a blink and you miss it affair. Later in the show, Doudrop and Nikki were arguing in the background of Damage CNTRL’s shot, with Nikki walking away in anger. Maybe they broke up? Maybe they’re just on the outs? Maybe I’m looking too much into something that no one else cares about? All are possible.

This wasn’t a newsy show coming off of an excellent event in Wales. Braun’s return is the headline but everything else, minus the Judgment Day’s story with Edge and Rey, was simply solid. Nothing wrong with solid at all but not necessary episode of Raw either. Which isn’t the place they need to be with the NFL kicking off in a couple days and Monday Night Football looming over the entire television landscape like an ominous cloud.

Grade: B

That’s my grade and I’m sticking to it. Your turn.

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