SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)…
KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
AUGUST 30, 2021
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA.
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
Tonight after the show, join me live with guest cohost Javier Machado to break down the show with live callers and emails and an on-site correspondent.
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-A space robot animation floated above the Raw entrance area and pointed to the ring as Jimmy Smith introduced the show.
-Damian Priest walked out and Smith and Corey Graves really pushed the idea that no one has more momentum right now in WWE. He introduced Raw in Spanish and said he always wanted to do that. He said he’s going to be a U.S. Champion fans can be proud of, “showing it the respect and honor it deserves.” He cited Rey Mysterio, Jeff Hardy, and John Cena as good examples. He said Bobby Lashley did not. He said he showed everybody what kind of champion he is last week when he ran like a coward. He said that won’t be him. He promised everyone he will handle things the right way. He then said: “We know why we’re here. The United States Open Challenge starts right now!”
Sheamus walked out. Priest sighed. He sarcastically told the booing fans, “Great hospitality, guys.” He said he agrees with Priest. He said he likes that Priest has this smile on his face vowing to defend the U.S. Title with honor, “even if these people don’t deserve it.” He said he’s going to use his Brogue Kick to wipe the smile off his face and take back his gold. Drew McIntyre then walked out. He said as much as he wants to see Priest “beat Sheamus’s ass for the 500th time.” He said, though, the WWE Universe deserves something new.” He said he’s won the IC Title, the WWE Title, and the WWE Tag Team titles, but never the U.S. Title. He proposed Drew vs. Priest tonight. Drew walked up to Priest and has maybe an inch on him height-wise. Priest said to a yelling Sheamus, “I kind of like his idea.”
Lashley and MVP walked out next. Fans taunted Lashley with a “Goldberg” chant. MVP said that problem has already been taken care of. He said Priest’s open challenge is admirable, but not necessarily good for business. He said it’d be good for business if Lashley beat Priest to become a dual champion.
Randy Orton and Riddle came out next to Orton’s music and a big RKBro graphic on the screen behind them. Fans chanted “R-K-Bro!” Orton said everything MVP said sucked. Riddle said, “Yeah, but not like a Roomba because that’s what they’re supposed to do.” (Dumb.) Orton said Lashley is being greedy. Riddle said it’s physically impossible to hold two championships. Orton covered up Riddle’s mic with his hand and pushed down on it. Lashley said maybe he’ll choose to take their tag titles. Riddle said he has a great idea. Riddle issued an open challenge against Lashley and “his own personal rodeo clown, MVP.” Orton whispered, “You do know that’s not how an open challenge works.” MVP jumped in and said they accept. Priest and Drew renewed their interest in fighting later.
Sonya Deville and Adam Pearce walked out and said they have two great main events standing there. Pearce made Priest vs. McIntyre vs. Sheamus official. Deville confirmed the WWE Raw Tag Team Title match, too. Rhea Ripley’s music then played. She made her way past Deville and Pearce for her match.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was all fine setting up some fresh mixes of wrestlers battling in main events later. It’s noteworthy they’re not pushing Karrion Kross into this mix right away.) [c]
-The announcers hyped the two main events.
(1) RHEA RIPLEY (w/Nikki A.S.H.) vs. SHAYNA BASZLER (w/Nia Jax)
Smith said that while Nikki brings positive energy, Baszler brings the opposite. Jax said by the end of the match, she’ll have splattered both Ripley and Nikki on the ring, and later she’ll do the same to Charlotte. Baszler turned to ask Jax what she was talking about. Ripley jumped Baszler. Baszler took control and stomped on Ripley’s hand a couple minutes in. They cut to a break as the announcers over-dramatized whether Ripley could come back from this situation. [c]
Nikki gave Ripley a pep talk at ringside after the break. Baszler put Ripley in a Kirafuda Clutch. Jax attacked Nikki and gave her a Samoan Drop on the mat. When Ripley noticed, Baszler rolled her up from behind. Ripley countered it and scored the three count.
WINNER: Ripley in 11:00.
-Jax gave Baszler a Samoan Drop in the ring. Graves said Jax vowed to splat both Nikki and Baszler, and she did.
-The Viking Raiders were back in the smokey foggy room with red light cutting a promo with their put-on gravely voices and Viking clihes. “After tonight, everyone will realize the raid is on!” said Erik.
-Saxton plugged The Viking Raiders vs. Jinder Mahal & Veer.
-The Viking Raiders made their ring entrance. [c]
(2) THE VIKING RAIDERS (Erik & Ivar) vs. JINDER MAHAL & VEER
A few minutes in, Ivar leaped off the apron and flip-dove into Jinder and Veer. Seconds later in the ring, the Raiders double-slammed Jinder and scored a clean in. They found a guy in the crowd pounding his chest along to the Raiders and seized on it with a close-up.
WINNERS: The Raiders in 5:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Interesting that Jinder took the fall there instead of his sidekick.)
-They showed Drew and his sword Angela backstage. [c]
-An ad aired showing the new NXT logo and new-vibe music.
(3) DAMIAN PRIEST vs. DREW MCINTYRE vs. SHEAMUS – U.S. Title match
Sheamus was in the ring after the break with his music fading, while Drew got his ring entrance on TV and so did Sheamus. Drew got a mix of cheers and boos. Priest got a slightly better reaction. Neither seemed super-mega-over by any means based on ring intro crowd reactions. Drew whipped Sheamus into Priest at ringside, and Priest backdropped Sheamus into the time keeper’s area. They then turned and eyed each other and smiled. They cut to a break at 2:00. [c]
Back from the break, Sheamus was in control. He knocked Drew to the floor, then turned to battle Priest. A minute later Drew re-entered and went for a Future Shock DDT. Sheamus blocked it and rolled up Drew for a two count. He then threw Drew bicep-first into the ringpost. Priest took Sheamus down with a spin wheel kick. He pounded his chest and fired up to little crowd reaction. A minute later Drew landed a running flying flip dive onto both Priest and Sheamus at ringside. Drew gave Priest a Michinoku Driver in center ring for a two count. Drew set up a superplex on Priest, but Sheamus broke it up. Drew was hanging upside side in the corner as Sheamus shoved his boot into his throat. Priest grabbed Sheamus’s hair, but Sheamus headbutted him. Sheamus then superplex Priest, with help from Drew sitting up and aiding it. All three were down and slow to get up. Graves said, “We’ve got a car crash on our hands!” [c]
Back from the break, Priest rallied and set up a Reckoning. Drew intervened with a Claymore to send Sheamus to the floor. Priest kicked Drew. Drew headbutted Priest. Priest countered with a Reckoning for the win. Smith said, “I know it’s early in his career, but a career-defining performance for Priest.” (Priest is a 38 year old 6-year veteran.)
WINNER: Priest in 21:00 to retain the U.S. Title.
-After the match, Drew stood up and walked toward Priest. There was some tension. Priest set his belt down. Drew then offereda handshake. Priest accepted after a few seconds. Drew left as Priest’s music played.
(Keller’s Analysis: That’s a big win for Priest to score the three count on Drew. It sends a message to viewers WWE is serious about his push. Drew has enough credibility to absorb the loss, especially since he was a good sport about it afterward.)
-Graves commented on freeze-frames of Lashley-Goldberg at Summerslam. Graves said they’d have an injury update from Goldberg from earlier today next. [c]
-Highlights aired of the Lashley-Goldberg match and the post-match angle with Goldberg’s son, Gage.
-A roving reporter approached Goldberg and asked about the extent of his injury. He said…