WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from August 16
Saturday is this year's SummerSlam pay-per-view, so Monday's episode was the go-home show for the Raw roster as it prepares for the Biggest Party of the Summer.
Before the clash over the WWE Championship at SummerSlam, Goldberg and Bobby Lashley had one more face-to-face meeting.
Randy Orton battled Omos in singles competition. This came one week after The Viper hit Riddle with his patented RKO. Did The Bro return the favor or did he help Orton in an attempt to get back on his good side?
We also saw Drew McIntyre take on Veer and Shanky in a handicap match with the added stipulation of Jinder Mahal's henchmen being banned from ringside at SummerSlam if McIntyre won.
Let's take a look at everything that happened on Monday's Raw.
Riddle vs. AJ Styles
Raw opened with a video package recapping what happened last week with Orton and Riddle before The Legend Killer made his way to the ring. He grabbed a mic and addressed what he did to The Bro.
Orton said he doesn't need friends because he is a 14-time champion. He listed off all of his nicknames and said he doesn't have to explain himself to anybody. Riddle soon joined him and said Orton hit him with the RKO because he wanted to teach him a lesson. He thought Orton did it to teach him how to hit the RKO properly.
AJ Styles and Omos came out on the stage to taunt the former tag team partners. He told Riddle that he is sick of hearing him say the word "Bro." Styles and Riddle agreed to have a match. Orton looked like he might stay to watch, but he ended up walking away.
Styles rushed The Bro after the bell and hit a huge backbreaker for a two-count. Riddle nailed him with a kick to the chest and a senton before throwing him with a gutwench suplex.
Riddle hit a nice senton from the middle rope to the floor as the show cut to a commercial. We returned to see The Bro hit a German suplex into a bridge for a near-fall.
Styles was able to apply the Calf Crusher, and Riddle barely made it to the bottom rope. Omos distracted Riddle to prevent him from hitting the Floating Bro. The Phenomenal One hit the Styles Clash for the pin.
Styles is right. Riddle can be incredibly annoying, but nobody can take anything away from him in the athleticism department. He and Styles worked well together and put on a good show.
The Bro is just as good at selling as he is at hitting his own offensive moves. It's a trait he shares with guys like Dolph Ziggler and Rey Mysterio.
The opening promo was better than expected, too. All in all, this was a decent opening. The crowd seemed into it and that's all that matters for most segments.
Nikki A.S.H. vs. Rhea Ripley
Nikki A.S.H. gave another inspirational promo from backstage before she came to the ring for a match against Rhea Ripley.
Ripley easily overpowered the Almost Superhero and threw her down to the mat. Nikki managed to recover and hit a bulldog off the corner and a crossbody from the apron to the floor.
We returned from a break to see Ripley hit a nice delayed vertical suplex. Nikki broke out of a bear hug and took her down with a headscissor takeover.
A tornado DDT scored Nikki a two-count. Ripley caught her in a crossbody and hit a beautiful northern lights suplex for a near-fall. She hit the Riptide a moment later for the clean win.
The Queen taunted Nikki until the Almost Superhero attacked her out of anger. She and Ripley took turns hitting her before throwing her out of the ring.
Nikki might look like a superhero, but WWE is booking her like the living embodiment of one of those Live, Laugh, Love posters. Saying inspiring things is fine, but superheroes also talk about beating up the villains from time to time. It's kind of their thing.
As usual, Charlotte was the perfect antagonist on commentary. She is so good at saying things that sound both evil and reasonable at the same time.
This was a decent match but at times, Nikki and Ripley appeared to have almost no chemistry as opponents. They got better over time, but it wasn't enough to make the crowd get loud. Booking a champion to lose clean right before a title defense is questionable at best.
Having Nikki lose her cool at the end is something WWE should make part of her character. If she has a small dark side she can't control, she will be a lot more interesting.
Drew McIntyre vs. Veer and Shanky
McIntyre got the upper hand against Veer right away, but Shanky gave him a run for his money once he tagged into the ring. He nailed a big boot before tagging Veer back in.
The Scottish Warrior began to make a comeback and hit Shanky with a Michinoku driver. He spiked Veer with a Future Shock DDT before taking out Shanky with a Claymore for the win.
Mahal being so scared that McIntyre will actually murder him with a sword is kind of funny, but WWE hasn't used his fear in a comedic way yet. Nobody thinks McIntyre is going to stab him, so there is no reason to play this so seriously.
This match didn't need to be too long. In fact, it was just about the perfect length of time. It's just that they didn't use that time as effectively as they could have.
McIntyre should have been fighting from underneath, not looking like he could easily handle two men who are just as big as him. The crowd did not seem to care about this at all.
The post-match promo from McIntyre was better than some of his other recent speeches.
Moist TV and The Miz vs. Damian Priest
John Morrison came out to host the first episode of Moist TV. The Miz joined him as his first guest, but when he went in for a hug, JoMo did not return it.
He asked The Miz about his favorite movie before asking him if he was pretending to be injured. The A-Lister said he is not a liar, and Morrison should know that better than anybody.
Damian Priest quickly interrupted. He and The Miz exchanged some insults and The Miz said he had never been injured before, so he didn't know what to expect. He accidentally revealed he had been cleared for weeks.
Morrison was getting upset that his partner lied to him about being healthy. He suggested Priest take on The Miz tonight. The Archer of Infamy immediately agreed and pushed The Miz into the kiddie pool that was in the ring.
Sheamus came down to watch from the commentary table. The Miz tried to give him a high-five, but the U.S. champion refused. Priest attacked him from behind and brought him back into the ring.
The Miz pretended to fall on his bad knee so he could hang Priest up on the top rope. Johnny Drip Drip acted like he was going to hand The Miz a drip stick before pulling it back and walking away. Priest leveled him with a clothesline. He used Sheamus' own Brogue Kick to defeat The Miz as a way to mock his SummerSlam opponent.
Considering all of this started during the Royal Rumble, Priest and The Miz have been feuding on and off for almost eight months. This needs to be the end of it.
Luckily, it appears WWE may be setting up Morrison and The Miz to have some issues moving forward while Priest keeps up his feud with Sheamus over the U.S. title.
Moist TV had a few laughs, and the match that followed was right down the middle. The Miz and Morrison are both excellent at what they do, but they didn't have much to work with in this segment.
Priest using Sheamus' finisher was a nice bit of mental manipulation at the end.
Mace vs. Mansoor
Mustafa Ali accompanied Mansoor to the ring for his match against Mace. T-Bar was there to support his partner, too. Ali said he will be there to watch Mansoor's back because he still has a lot to learn.
Mansoor went for a single-leg takedown, but Mace threw him away like a bag of garbage. He slammed Mansoor with ease and put him in a camel clutch.
The young Superstar broke free and began to build some momentum. Ali interfered while the ref was looking the other way and helped Mansoor reverse a pinning combination to get the win.
The little bit we saw between Mace and Mansoor was good, but it was too short to be memorable. Considering the match ended with some shenanigans, it wasn't as egregious as it could have been.
Ali breaking the rules to help the valiant Mansoor is something that should not sit well with him. Mansoor needs to express doubt about his tactics next week.
Mace and T-Bar continue to be the most powerful jobbers in the business. Remember when T-Bar was having five-star matches with Keith Lee in NXT? Those were good times.
Omos vs. Randy Orton
Omos said he was going to kill the legend that is Orton in a pre-match interview. The Viper actually looked a little intimidated as he looked Omos in the eye during his entrance.
Orton went for the RKO right away, but Omos pushed him away. He caught Orton's fist in midpunch and scooped him up for a massive body slam.
Orton was almost able to hit the RKO, but he was shoved out of the ring. Styles attacked Orton when he thought the ref wasn't looking, but the official saw him and called for the bell to declare a DQ.
The Phenomenal One rolled The Viper back into the ring and told Omos to finish him. He brought Orton back out and threw him into the barricade to send him into the crowd.
Styles prepared to hit the Phenomenal Forearm before Riddle ran down to make the save. He sent Styles out of the ring and kicked Omos off the apron. He helped Orton to his feet, and The Viper asked for a mic and said Riddle earned his respect. R-K-Bro is back.
Ending this with a disqualification might extend the feud a bit, but it was the laziest option WWE had. A no-contest finish would have been slightly better.
Everything else about this was booked well. The way Omos dominated Orton made perfect sense, and The Viper did a great job putting him over as a monster.
The crowd seemed happy to see Orton and Riddle reunite. It looks like we now know who will challenge for the Raw tag titles at SummerSlam.
Jeff Hardy vs. Karrion Kross
Karrion Kross attacked Jeff Hardy backstage to get an early advantage before the match began. Hardy still decided to compete and went right after Kross as soon as he got into the ring.
The Charismatic Enigma hit a series of signature moves before Kross countered the Twist of Fate and locked in the Krossjacket submission. Hardy had no choice but to tap out.
If this is how their first match was booked, Kross might have started building momentum on Raw. He should be portrayed as a dominant monster like this.
The only thing wrong with this is how Scarlett has not once appeared on Raw with him. There is no logic behind that decision.
This match was very short, but it's also exactly what it needed to be, so it's hard to judge it too harshly for being a little anticlimactic.
Nikki A.S.H. and Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte and Nia Jax
After Sonya Deville and Adam Pearce booked Charlotte in a tag team match with Nikki and Ripley, The Queen recruited Nia Jax as her partner.
Jax and Nikki started for their teams. Nikki tried to hit some forearms to the body, but Jax brushed her off like an annoying bug. She scooped the Raw women's champion up and dropped her in the corner. She hit Nikki and shook her butt in her face in the corner like she was Rikishi.
Charlotte tagged in and nailed Nikki with a big boot at ringside. After a commercial, Nikki was finally able to tag in Ripley to unleash a flurry of clothesline on The Queen.
She single-handedly took out Jax and Charlotte before getting a two-count with a northern lights suplex. After Jax tagged in and took control, Charlotte tagged herself in so she could hit Natural Selection on Ripley for the win.
This match was all right. There was nothing wrong with it; it just didn't do anything to hype the Triple Threat match at SummerSlam or make anybody but Charlotte look good.
Shayna Baszler watching from backstage could have led to something interesting, but it didn't, at least not yet. We will have to see what happens with her and Jax down the line.
This makes two matches in one night when WWE made the Raw women's champion look weak—and not in an underdog kind of way.
Goldberg and Bobby Lashley Meet 1 More Time
Goldberg came out to close the show with his confrontation with Lashley. He said MVP and Lashley keep bringing his son into this, so he officially introduced Gage Goldberg to the crowd. He said he wants his son to see who his father really is at SummerSlam.
The All Mighty's music hit and he made his way out with MVP by his side. Lashley's hype man said Goldberg used to be a man of action, but now all he does is talk because he is scared of the WWE champion.
Goldberg used a not-so-PG word to respond and speared Lashley after he tried to take a cheap shot.
The stuff with Goldberg and his son was cool, but nothing else about this did anything to elevate his upcoming match with Lashley.
Their exchange was as generic as it gets. When you contrast this to the segment with John Cena and Roman Reigns on SmackDown, it's a big difference in quality.
This week's show was relatively tame for a go-home episode, but it had some enjoyable moments, which is more than can be said about some weeks. At this point with Raw, average is the best we can hope for.