WWE Raw Recap: September 30, 2019

A.K.A. The Start Of A New Era

Results:

  • Sasha Banks def. Alexa Bliss
  • Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode (c) def. Heavy Machinery to retain the WWE Raw Tag Team Championships
  • Viking Raiders def. The O.C.
  • Ricochet def. Cesaro
  • A.J. Styles (c) def. Cedric Alexander to retain the WWE United States Champion
  • Lacey Evans def. Natalya
  • Seth Rollins (c) vs Rusev for the WWE Universal Championship goes to a no-contest


Match of the Night: A.J. Styles (c) def. Cedric Alexander to retain the WWE United States Champion

This is likely the last shot at the United States Championship for Cedric Alexander, but he made it a close one. The match went back and forth with both men scoring near falls. Commentary made a point of how both men know each other so well by this point, and their match showed that. Now someone else can step up to challenge Styles.

Three Thoughts:

New Look

The newest era of Monday Night Raw had some notable differences. A new stage was introduced by the new announce team of Vic Joseph, Dio Maddin & Jerry Lawler. There were new graphics, and even some pyro for the first time in a long time. Did it feel different overall?

Yes and no. The presentation felt different and updated, but the new feel won’t be fully realized until the draft. Having Joseph & Maddin on the call was fresh, but Lawler took viewers back to the Attitude Era. WWE also went back to the well and used Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan on the show, making it feel stuck in the past as well. It wasn’t a full change, but the building blocks are there for the new era.

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Beast Is Best

Brock Lesnar looked like a massive bully to start this show. Lesnar was an animal, tossing around his former rival Rey Mysterio and Rey’s son Dominik to start the show. He returned multiple times to inflict more damage on the father and son. The Beast Incarnate looked like a world-beater, making his match with Kofi Kingston on Friday even more must-see. Can Kingston’s title reign survive a reinvigorated Lesnar? My guess is no.

Also – Dominik can take a heck of a bump.

Quite The Ending

What a strange way for the first Raw of a new era to go off the air. Rusev was battling Rollins in a Universal Championship match when a limo rolled up. Eventually, it was revealed to be Bobby Lashley returning as he came out on the entrance ramp. Lashley then motioned to the back and Rusev’s wife Lana appeared. Then came the big makeout session between Lashley and Lana, to which Rusev could only stare in disbelief.

As that happened, the lights went out and The Fiend attacked Rollins. The show went off the air with Rollins being besieged by Wyatt. While it definitely gives people reason to tune in next week, the timing of the segment felt off. The Lashley-Lana pairing is also very strange, but we will have to see where WWE goes from here.

Grade: B-

Some new bells and whistles came with some familiar matchups. The new era was more of a soft-launch, as the Hell in a Cell show is upcoming and needed promoting. Once the pay-per-view is over and the draft can take place, the new era will feel more fresh. Alexander-Styles had a good match as usual, and having three title matches on free television is always a good hook.

One More Thing: 

Becky Lynch’s promo game is still strong heading into Hell in a Cell. 

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