WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from August 15

Doc-Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured Columnist IVAugust 15, 2022

WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from August 15

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    Bobby Lashley (Credit: WWE)

    Welcome to Bleacher Report's coverage and recap of WWE Raw on August 15.

    Following his successful title defense against Ciampa last week, Bobby Lashley was back to defend the United States Championship against AJ Styles.

    Riddle made an appearance to address his future in an interview, and the women's tag team title tournament continued when Alexa Bliss and Asuka took on Nikki A.S.H. and Doudrop.

    We also got some follow-up on the chaotic ending to last week's show when Dexter Lumis seemingly returned in the closing moments.

    Let's look at what happened Monday.

Opening Segment, Asuka and Alexa Bliss vs. Nikki A.S.H. and Doudrop

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    Rhea Ripley, Finn Balor and Damian Priest came to the ring to brag about their recent accomplishments over The Mysterios. The Archer of Infamy also talked about his match with Edge on next week's show.

    Rey Mysterio attacked them from behind and sent Balor and Priest out of the ring. He had a standoff with Ripley before he had to focus on Balor and Priest again with a chair. The Nightmare ended up being the key to taking him down when she blocked a chair shot.

    Then, Ripley delivered a DDT on Rey right on the chair. The segment ended with officials checking on the Mysterio patriarch while The Judgment Day celebrated.

    This keeps the feud alive, but this storyline only has so much life left. Either Dominik needs to turn on his dad, or they need to move on from The Judgment Day soon.

    Grade: B-


    The first match of the night was part of the WWE Women's Tag Team Title Tournament. Bliss and Asuka took on Doudrop and Nikki to see who would advance to the semifinals.

    Nikki took down Asuka right after the bell and beat her down mercilessly. The heels had the upper hand most of the time until we returned from a commercial break. That was when The Empress of Tomorrow and The Goddess began to build some momentum.

    Doudrop was able to stop Asuka with a Michinoku driver, but it wasn't enough to get the pin. Bliss tagged in to hit a DDT before The Empress tagged back in to apply a submission for the victory. This was a good showcase for all four women, but it also probably reminded a few people how much better Nikki is than she has been allowed to show.

    This might not have been a mat classic, but the crowd seemed into it and the right team won. There's not much to complain about with this one.

    Winners: Alexa Bliss and Asuka

    Grade: B-


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • It's going to be interesting to see if WWE ever allows a male Superstar to hit Ripley. She has been getting more physical with the guys lately, so we might see a proper intergender match at some point.
    • Nikki's gear wouldn't be so bad if she dropped the mask. It just doesn't fit anymore.
    • This is the most energized Nikki has looked in a long time. Getting some real time in the ring will do wonders for a Superstar's mentality.
    • It was nice to see Bianca Belair with Asuka and Bliss since they have formed an alliance to battle Bayley's new group. Storytelling consistency adds a lot.

The Miz and Ciampa vs. Mustafa Ali and Cedric Alexander

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    Theory and Dolph Ziggler got into a backstage brawl before The Miz and Ciampa gave a promo to hype up their team and then took on Mustafa Ali and Cedric Alexander.

    Ali and Alexander have been partners and opponents many times in the past, so they know each other as well as they know themselves.

    Ciampa and Alexander started for their teams with a basic lockup followed by some quick counters.

    The A-Lister and the former NXT champion were in control as the show cut to a break and returned. Ali got the hot tag and started going wild against both opponents.

    Ciampa was able to hit him with a running knee as Ali was trying to hit a 450 splash, and that allowed The Blackheart to hit the Fairytale Ending for the pin and the win.

    This match was fun from start to finish and easily gave us the best combo performance from Ciampa and The Miz to date.

    Ali and Alexander should remain a team to give the tag division some depth, but having The Miz and Ciampa win here felt like the right call.

    Winners: The Miz and Ciampa

    Grade: B+


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Even if being paired with The Miz feels wrong to some fans, Ciampa is doing his best to make this partnership work. Their pre-match promo was good.
    • Ali and Alexander have clearly put some thought into their double-team moves.
    • The way Ciampa tripped Alexander in the middle of a handspring was awesome.
    • Ali sent The Blackheart over the announce table with an awesome suicide dive.

Drew McIntyre vs. Kevin Owens

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    Drew McIntyre came out to a nice ovation to give a promo about facing Roman Reigns at Clash at the Castle. He was interrupted by Kevin Owens, who called him delusional for thinking he has been carrying WWE. They traded a few more words before agreeing to a match.

    They toyed with each other at first by backing the other into the corner for a clean break. As the bout progressed, both men began to incorporate more power moves. While KO was definitely playing the heel, he didn't do a ton of rule-breaking. This was more about proving he was tougher than McIntyre than proving he was smarter.

    While Owens got in plenty of offense, it felt like this was more about making the Scot look like someone resilient enough to beat Reigns. Whenever it looked like The Prizefighter was in control, he would find a way to take over.

    The crowd chanted "This is awesome" as KO tried to figure out how to put The Scottish Warrior away. They hit each other with their biggest shots before The Usos attacked McIntyre to cause a disqualification.

    While a DQ finish is something that most fans hate, it felt like the right call here. If WWE wants both men to be top stars moving forward, having either of them lose clean would have been a mistake. This is one instance when a disqualification was the right call.

    This bout was fun, and the post-match stuff made McIntyre look like a beast after he took a Stunner and still managed to take out both Usos. This was solid booking from top to bottom.

    Winner: Drew McIntyre by DQ

    Grade: A-


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • McIntyre used the words wrestle, wrestlers and wrestling in the same sentence. If you ever needed a sign that Vince McMahon is gone, this was it.
    • The pre-match verbal exchange immediately made Owens feel important again. Both guys were excellent in this segment. McIntyre had more fire behind his words than he has in a long time.
    • KO hitting a textbook moonsault from the second rope will always be entertaining.
    • Owens might go to the top rope more than anyone else his size.

Veer vs. Beaux Keller

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    Riddle returned from his brief injury absence and attacked Seth Rollins during a promo. The segment ended with him chasing The Visionary through the crowd.

    The next match we saw was Veer vs. a local talent named Beaux Keller.

    Keller used his quick feet to stay out of The Lion's grasp and hit a dropkick, but Veer easily recovered and threw him over the top rope to the floor. He dominated the young man before putting him in the Cervical Clutch for the win.

    Squash matches are almost never fun, but at least this one allowed the jobber to hit a move or two before being demolished.

    Winner: Veer

    Grade: C-


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Keller actually looks like a good athlete. This might not be the last time we see him, even if it's for another promotion.
    • Veer needs to lean more into his real personality and give up this monster character. Let him be the style icon he is on social media and he will flourish.

Bobby Lashley vs. AJ Styles

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    The next match on the card was Bobby Lashley vs. AJ Styles for the U.S. title. Just like last week, WWE aired a couple of videos to hype the bout ahead of time so the belt felt more important.

    While Lashley had the edge in the power department, the first several minutes of the match were still a competitive exchange because Styles used his speed and agility to stay out of his grasp.

    When we returned from a commercial, The All Mighty was throwing his rival around in and out of the ring trying to wear his back down by tossing him into any hard surface he could find.

    Lashley's match with Ciampa from last week might have been a bit more exciting, but not by much. This was another fun U.S. title match that allowed the champion to look like one of the top stars on Raw. The way WWE has turned both midcard titles around in just a few weeks has been impressive.

    The Miz and Ciampa came down to watch from ringside, but before The A-Lister could execute his planned attack, Dexter Lumis was shown being tackled by security near the ring. The show abruptly cut to commercial as The Miz looked on confused.

    When we returned from a second break, Styles was beginning to mount some offense. They both hit some of their signature moves before Lashley drilled The Phenomenal One with a Spear for the win.

    This was an outstanding match. Any complaints you could come up with would be minor and inconsequential to whether it was enjoyable.

    Winner: Bobby Lashley

    Grade: A-


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Lashley's entrance shares a few similarities to the entrance Lex Luger had when he was The Narcissist. It's a nice little throwback.
    • The sliding knee Styles hit on the apron looked like it caught The All Mighty a little more than intended, but it didn't slow down the match.
    • The way Styles throws himself into things when opponents Irish-whip him always makes it looks believable. He doesn't slow down right before he makes impact.
    • The way Lumis was shown being tackled and Raw cutting to commercial was great. Nobody thinks he is actually trying to invade WWE, but the presentation has been fantastic so far.

Dana Brooke vs. Dakota Kai

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    Dakota Kai and Dana Brooke met for a singles match, but they also had a brief backstage confrontation earlier in the night.

    After a short but semi-competitive exchange that lasted a few minutes, Kai scored the win. However, she did not win the 24/7 title for some reason.

    This match was short and uneventful, but nothing about it stood out as bad, either.

    Winner: Dakota Kai

    Grade: C-


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Bayley yelling at the announcers is always funny, but it's better when she has Michael Cole to shout at.
    • Kai's running kick in the corner is always fun to watch.

Theory vs. Dolph Ziggler

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    Earlier in the evening, Dolph Ziggler and Theory got into a fight that lasted through a commercial break, so they weren't looking to have a competitive exchange of grappling techniques. They were looking to fight.

    As soon as the bell was rung, they took each other down and began brawling. Ziggler tried to use a few wrestling maneuvers, but Theory laid him out with a stiff left hand.

    The Showoff spent some time on defense before a jumping DDT gave him some room to breathe.

    This bout was fast-paced and hard-hitting. Both men looked like they took being in the main event seriously and put in a great effort to make this exciting for everyone.

    After several close two-counts, Theory hit his finisher for a clean win over the former world champion. This was one of the best matches the 25-year-old has had in WWE. Both men did a great job making this fun and unpredictable.

    For three straight weeks, WWE has produced exciting and entertaining shows. Let's hope this trend continues.

    Winner: Theory

    Grade: A-


    Notable Moments and Observations

    • The way Theory leveled Ziggler with a hard punch looked awesome.
    • We're still waiting to find out what Robert Roode has been up to recently.
    • The spot when Ziggler ran up to the top turnbuckle for a facebuster almost ended badly, but they saved it for the most part.
    • The way The Showoff hits the ring post when someone throws him into it always looks nuts.
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