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WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from August 22

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    Iyi Sky, Dakota Kai and Bayley (Credit: WWE)

    Welcome to Bleacher Report’s coverage and recap for WWE Raw on August 22.

    This week’s show was in Toronto, which means Edge was back in front of his hometown crowd for the first time in a while. He faced his former associate, Damian Priest.

    Speaking of Canadians, Trish Stratus made a special appearance Monday, but WWE did not advertise the purpose of her arrival ahead of time.

    We also saw the women’s tag title tournament continue when Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky took on Asuka and Alexa Bliss in the semifinal round.

    Let’s take a look at everything that happened on Monday’s show.

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    The show opened with Seth Rollins and Riddle brawling from the backstage area out into the crowd. After several officials broke things up, the announcers gave us a rundown of some of the segments set for the show.

    After the usual pyro was fired off to properly start the show, Trish Stratus came out to a warm welcome from her fellow Canadians. She spoke about how the ring will always be home to her before Bayley, Sky and Kai made their way out.

    Bayley and company actually said some nice things about Stratus before asking what she was doing there. This brought out Bianca Belair to stand up for one of her idols. Asuka and Alexa Bliss joined the party, but there was no physicality before the match got started.

    Asuka took control of Kai at first, and the New Zealand native seemed hesitant to engage with her after their initial lockup. After a break, The Empress of Tomorrow and Sky made contact for the first time, but they were not in the ring together for long.

    We got a more competitive exchange between them later that allowed Asuka to take control for a bit. After a long and competitive contest, Sky and Kai were able to steal the win to advance to the finals of the tournament.

    This was a good, energetic bout to kick off the show. All four women had multiple moments to shine, and the segment that came before it set up some interesting possibilities for a potential return to the ring for Stratus.

    The first 40 minutes of Raw got the show off to a good start.

    Winners: Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky

    Grade: B-

    Notable Moments and Observations

  • The outfit Rollins was wearing looked kind of like ring gear Shinsuke Nakamura would wear.
  • Stratus’ Canadian accent was a little more audible than it usually is.
  • It looked like Sky and Asuka were intentionally kept apart for most of this match. A lot of fans have wanted to see them fight in a WWE ring for a long time, so their first exchange was saved for after the break and was kept short.
  • Dakota was supposed to duck a backfist but missed, so Asuka had to do it again. It looked a little awkward, but it wasn’t too bad.

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    Dolph Ziggler battled Finn Balor in the second match of the night, but before they went to the ring, they had a backstage altercation that ended with The Prince getting punched in the face by The Showoff.

    They locked up and immediately began having a fast-paced encounter. The first couple of minutes felt relatively even, but Balor began to gain control after taking Ziggler down by his legs and unloading with hard right hands.

    The Showoff began to make a comeback after the commercial break, but Balor was able to stop him every time he tried to shift into the next gear. The longer it went, the more both men started to show some wear and tear.

    The Irish Superstar missed the Coup de Grace and almost lost to a Zig Zag but kicked out at the last possible moment. Thanks to a cheap shot from Rhea Ripley, Balor was able to hit the Coup de Grace for the pin.

    As expected, this was a fantastic outing for both men and had the crowd on its feet, especially in the final minutes.

    Winner: Finn Balor

    Grade: A-

    Notable Moments and Observations

  • Balor tried to call his 42-year-old opponent a veteran who was trying to cling to younger stars for success, but Ziggler is only a year older than The Prince and started his career three years later, so it’s good that he brought up their similar ages to show how the Irishman’s argument didn’t hold water.
  • Nobody sells getting Irish-whipped into the turnbuckle chest-first better than Ziggler and Bret Hart.
  • The Judgment Day got another new entrance song this week. It’s all right. It’s not that distinctive, but it might grow on people over time.
  • Ziggler hits the Fameasser better than either one of Billy Gunn’s kids. But in fairness to The Assboys, The Showoff has been doing it longer than they have.

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    Chad Gable and Otis came out to announce that Alpha Academy was accepting applications for new students. Gable issued an open challenge that was eventually answered by Canada’s own Kevin Owens.

    The Prizefighter took it to the former Olympian at first, but as soon as Gable started trying to wrestle instead of fight, he was able to take control for a bit.

    This match seemed like it might be over quickly when it started, but they ended up fighting through a commercial break and well into the next segment. The outcome was pretty obvious as soon as KO’s music hit, but it was still an entertaining bout that helped make Gable look like a tough competitor.

    Instead of using the Stunner, KO finished Gable off with a Pop-up Powerbomb. Otis attacked Owens as soon as the match was over, but the Canadian was able to hit him with a Stunner before he dropped Gable on top of the big man with a powerbomb to end the segment.

    Winner: Kevin Owens

    Grade: A-

    Notable Moments and Observations

  • Gable got a little pop mentioning Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews.
  • Turning KO babyface in Canada was a wise decision. He was going to be cheered anyway, so using this segment to possibly make him into a fan favorite again makes perfect sense.
  • The back body drop followed by a German suplex on the apron was a nice sequence. Owens sold both bumps like a pro.
  • There was almost no mention of Ezekiel or what Owens did to him, which might be for the best.

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    Aliyah, who got a decent reaction from her hometown crowd in Toronto, was the first opponent for Bayley since she returned at SummerSlam.

    While Aliyah was able to get in some offense early on, the former Hugger eventually took control and began to dominate her less-experienced opponent.

    Honestly, this probably lasted a few minutes longer than it needed to. This was not the time to try to make Aliyah look competitive. This was the time to reestablish Bayley as a major threat to anyone who steps into the ring with her.

    This match was passable, but nobody is going to remember it by tomorrow. The Role Model picked up the win and celebrated with Kai and Sky when it was over.

    Winner: Bayley

    Grade: C

    Notable Moments and Observations

  • Bayley’s new gear is…something.
  • Aliyah has been with WWE for seven years and wrestling for nine overall. Can we stop treating her like a rookie just because she looks younger than she is? She’s 27, not some bright-eyed newcomer.
  • That said, she has never been known as one of the best workers. This was one of her better WWE performances to date, and part of that may have something to do with who she was facing.
  • Aliyah losing in Toronto is one more entry in the long list of wrestlers who have lost in their hometown.

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    AJ Styles and Bobby Lashley teamed up to take on The Miz and Ciampa. The Phenomenal One started off against the former NXT champion and hit an early dropkick to take control.

    We returned from a break to see that the tide had turned in the favor of The A-Lister and Ciampa. They took it to The Phenomenal One for quite some time.

    This match followed the standard pattern we see in tag team contests, especially in WWE. The heels dominated one of the babyfaces for a long time, and then the other face got the hot tag and cleaned house for a bit.

    The United States champion came in like a bull looking to gore some clowns at the rodeo and started throwing both opponents around the ring. Once Styles had recovered, a hooded figure attacked him at ringside and was hauled off by security.

    A moment later, Dexter Lumis dragged The Miz away through the crowd. The match was called off, but Lashley and Styles still hit their finishers on Ciampa to end the segment.

    This was good, but the ending is what will have people talking. The result will get a mixed response, but the stuff with Lumis has created genuine intrigue.

    Winners: No-contest

    Grade: B-

    Notable Moments and Observations

  • Lashley’s vertical suplex is one of the best in WWE.
  • The way The All Mighty threw Ciampa at The Miz outside the ring looked good. The A-Lister caught him and sold the bump well.
  • The Miz has always been in good shape, but it looks like he has made an effort to slim down a bit recently. He has more muscle definition than he has in years.
  • It was hard to tell who the first guy was who attacked Styles, but clearly he was a decoy so he may not be important.

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    After a commercial break, Johnny Gargano made a completely unexpected return to WWE to a huge ovation from the crowd. He seemed a bit overwhelmed at how positive the response was.

    He was joined by Theory, and they talked about old times in NXT a bit, but A-Town’s new cocky attitude was much more apparent than it was the last time Johnny Wrestling saw him.

    When Theory asked for a high-five, Gargano nailed him with a superkick instead to get a huge pop from the crowd.

    Not only was the 35-year-old’s return not advertised in advance, or even heavily rumored to be happening this week, but it was also an awesome moment.

    The fact that WWE did it randomly after a commercial break makes it feel like just about anything can happen in WWE again, and that is going to create an exciting atmosphere.

    Grade: A

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    The main event of the evening was the grudge match between Edge and his former protege, Damian Priest.

    Rhea Ripley and Finn Balor did not accompany the 39-year-old to the ring, so he had to fight The Rated-R Superstar on his own.

    Beth Phoenix was shown sitting in the crowd as the match got started. They locked up and backed each other to the corner a couple of times before Edge sent Priest out of the ring. Edge continued to show Priest who was boss by embarrassing him a few times, but it just made the former NXT North American champion angrier.

    After a commercial break, a couple of minutes of this fight took place at ringside. Priest sent the 48-year-old through the announcer’s desk to send us into the next break.

    This match had a big-fight feel to it from start to finish. The crowd was invested, and the Superstars worked their butts off. The referee was knocked out, so The Archer of Infamy grabbed a couple of chairs, but Edge avoided the hit and used one of the supports from a chair to lock in a crossface for a few moments.

    Priest nailed Edge with the piece of chair, but Edge kicked out when the ref recovered. He hit his former ally with a Canadian Destroyer before taking Priest out with a Spear for the pin and the win. The show ended with Ripley and Balor attacking their former mentor until Phoenix stopped them with a chair.

    This was an enjoyable main event that set the stage for some interesting possibilities moving forward.

    Winner: Edge

    Grade: A

    Notable Moments and Observations

  • Edge wearing gear that was mostly white and red was clearly a reference to the Canadian flag.
  • You don’t often see someone utilize a simple shove in a wrestling match, but it actually worked in this instance.
  • The powerbomb Edge used to send Priest into the timekeeper’s area was great.

  • The table spot from Priest looked great, too.
  • Edge hitting a hurricanrana from the top rope was a nice surprise.



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