Raw notes: Shinsuke reveals Seth’s secret, Payback card takes shape, KO & Sami team with Cody

Image Courtesy: WWE

** The show kicked off with a gigantic reaction for Sami Zayn, appearing in front of fans from his home province. He was interrupted by a threat from The Judgment Day but a returning Kevin Owens made the save, setting up a tag match for later.

** Michael Cole and Wade Barrett talked about WrestleMania 40 breaking WWE’s all-time gate record, albeit for a two-day event.

** Drew McIntyre & Matt Riddle lost their match to Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods of The New Day due to interference from The Viking Raiders, who would then attack both teams. McIntyre came to the rescue.

** Finn Balor and JD McDonagh were being interviewed together backstage when Rhea Ripley interrupted to fetch Balor, telling McDonagh it was “Judgment Day business.”

** Chad Gable and Gunther had an excellent IC Title match, with Gable winning by count-out.

** Shinsuke Nakamura was featured in an terrific video package that explained what he whispered to Seth Rollins on last week’s show. He said that he knew Rollins had been competing with a broken back and was in constant pain, even when he carried his daughter or hugged his wife. The match between the two for the World Heavyweight Championship was made official for Payback.

** Cody Rhodes took a backstage interview with Byron Saxton out to the arena, where he put over Zayn and Owens.

** After Rhea Ripley beat Candice LeRae in a quick match, Raquel Rodriguez appeared on the entranceway on crutches. As Rhea laughed, Rodriguez threw the crutches away and attacked Ripley in the ring. After a fall-away slam sent Ripley out of the ring and heading to the back, Rodriguez announced that the pair would meet at WWE Payback.

** The Miz cut an in-ring promo calling LA Knight the “Hoobastank of WWE”, among other things. He then brought out Akira Tozawa for a match. Tozawa said “Yeah” too many times for Miz’s liking so he attacked him before the bell.

LA Knight then appeared and joined the commentary team. After a match that was more about Miz and Knight yelling at each other, Tozawa got the fluke win and Knight then delivered the Blunt Force Trauma on The Miz.

** There were a series of promos for John Cena’s appearance on SmackDown on September 1st and his appearance at a WWE ‘Superstar Spectacle’ in India.

** Becky Lynch cut an in-ring promo on Trish Stratus ahead of their steel cage match at Payback. She said there was unfinished business with Zoey Stark when Trish Stratus and Stark appeared.

Stratus began by pandering to the crowd, speaking to them in French. She then told them Quebec City was no Montreal or Toronto. She said if Becky hadn’t been there, she’d have “made like Trudeau and split.” Stratus said she would “stand tall” in the cage match as the crowd chanted something presumably rude in French.

Lynch then told the crowd she would take on Zoey Stark in a falls-count-anywhere match next Monday.

** We saw last week’s segment when Piper Niven just took the vacant Women’s Tag Team Championship belt. Chelsea Green said she got management to approve the move. They then made short work of Kayden Carter and Katana Chance.

** Seth Rollins was interviewed backstage by Jackie Redmond. He said that Nakamura was right and that he has two fractures in the lumbar region of his spine. He added that he did not know how long he could continue at his current pace. He got angry at Nakamura bringing Seth’s family into their feud. Rollins offered Nakamura the chance to face him on next week’s episode of Raw.

** Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens came out for the tag team main event. At this point, it still was not clear which members of The Judgment Day they would face. After a commercial break, Finn Balor and Damian Priest emerged with Rhea Ripley yelling at them to “get along and get it done.”

Zayn started with momentum until he got double-teamed. He hit the tag to Owens, who ran roughshod through both Priest and Balor. JD McDonagh then appeared and threw the Money in the Bank briefcase into the ring. Owens used it on Balor, leading to a DQ win for Judgment Day.

As The Judgment Day piled on, Cody Rhodes ran out to make the save. He insisted that Raw could not end this way (which it couldn’t as there were 20 minutes left). He demanded a three-on-three match, which was made official by Adam Pearce.

** The three-man tag got plenty of crowd participation in favor of the babyfaces and getting on the case of the heels, particularly Dominik Mysterio. In a memorable spot, Rhea Ripley got involved on the outside, slamming Kevin Owens on the ringside floor, which led to a prolonged period with Judgment Day on top.

Owens eventually got the hot tag to Zayn, who cleared the ring as the crowd cheered him on. Ripley once again got involved, yanking Zayn from the top rope. Cody got the tag and went after Dominik Mysterio. Rhodes hit Dominik with the Cross Rhodes but rather than pinning him, he tagged in Zayn. With quick tags, Zayn hit the Helluva Kick and Owens nailed Mysterio with a Stunner for the pin.

After the win, Zayn spoke to the crowd in French for a big pop to close the show.

Match results:

  • Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods def. Drew McIntyre & Matt Riddle
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship: Chad Gable def. Gunther (c) (count-out win — no title change)
  • Rhea Ripley def. Candice LeRae
  • Akira Tozawa def. The Miz
  • Chelsea Green & Piper Niven def. Kayden Carter & Katana Chance
  • The Judgment Day (Damian Priest & Finn Balor) def. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
  • Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn & Cody Rhodes def. The Judgment Day (Damian Priest, Finn Balor & Dominik Mysterio)

Confirmed for WWE Payback:

  • World Heavyweight Championship: Seth Rollins (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
  • Women’s World Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Raquel Rodriguez
  • Steel Cage Match: Becky Lynch vs. Trish Stratus
About Neal Flanagan 775 Articles
Based in Northern Ireland, Neal Flanagan is a former newspaper journalist and copy editor. In addition to reporting for POST Wrestling, he co-hosts The Wellness Policy podcast with Wai Ting and Jordan Goodman.