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Raw Puts Spotlight On Its Tag Teams

Raw Puts Spotlight on Its Tag Teams

Monday Night Raw’s  tag team division has often been an unexpected source of great moments in the last year and a half.  From Grammy winning rapper Bad Bunny’s guest turn as Damien Priest’s tag team partner, to the unlikely formation of RK-Bro, the division is home to some of the Raw roster’s most consistent performers, whose matches are always high energy and visually engaging. On September 6’s Raw, World Wrestling Entertainment decided to double down on this and threw all of their tag team performers in a Tag Team Turmoil match in the broadcast’s second and third hours; a tag team turmoil match which put the spotlight on Raw tag teams.

The action began with current Raw tag team champions RK-Bro, Randy Orton and Riddle, who opened the show before the crowd at American Airlines Center in Miami, Florida. When Orton slung an insult at WWE Champion Bobby Lashley, Lashley and MVP interrupted Orton and Riddle. The two teams had a tense exchange which ended with a challenge being set for the upcoming Extreme Rules event: Orton taking on Lashley for the WWE championship. MVP and Lashley also declared themselves for the Tag Team Turmoil match.

The contributions of The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) to the Tag Team Turmoil match, and to Raw September 6 in general can’t be overstated. It need hardly be said, at this point, that the New Day give joy every time they are on-screen, because at this point in their decades long career the 11 time tag team champions have become jester-priests of joy, delighting crowds as soon as their theme music drops. Entering the fray in NWO Wolfpac inspired gear, they first took on the Viking Raiders. Despite the size and weight discrepancy between the two teams, in the favor of the Raiders, the New Day utilized their trademark speed and agility and were able to secure the win, Xavier Woods claiming a pinfall victory.

Next to face the New Day was Jinder Mahal, teaming with his lackey, Veer. Action centered on Woods v. Mahal, and the 1x WWE Champion Mahal was aggressive, seeking an early cover. Woods powered out, and fought to his feet, holding Mahal off with chops. Mahal trapped him in  side standing headlock, but again Woods fought back and fought out valiantly. Mahal decided Veer, instead, was the man for the job and tagged him in. Veer weakened Woods with a punishing submission maneuver to his arms, and tagged Mahal back in, Mahal delivering a suplex to Woods. Woods held off Mahal’s attempt at a Boston crab submission and made a tag to Kofi Kingston. With speed, grace, and agility, Kingston delivered a flying elbow from the top to Mahal, then ran to the other side of the ring to deliver to knock Veer from his perch at the ropes, just for good measure. Mahal evaded Kingston’s forearm strike, sending Kingston into the post, but he didn’t lose a beat and used the post as leverage for a modified dropkick to Mahal. Kingston positioned an inert Mahal over his knee, and tagged in Woods who dropped in with a flying strike and got a cover on Mahal for another victory for the New Day.

The New Day continued to dominate, coming out victorious against Lucha House Party and Mace and T.Bar. When Mace and T.Bar continued to attack Woods after the end of the match, an indignant Mansoor came out to defend him, flanked by Mustafa Ali. Ali’s old RETRIBUTION comrades were enraged at the sight of him, and events descended into a brawl that delayed the continuance of the Tag Team Turmoil Match.

After a break for the teams, Tag Team Turmoil continued with Ali and Mansoor vs. The New Day. The New Day, perpetual babyfaces who put up a hard, but clean, fight are the perfect opponents for Mansoor’s stated objective. He and Ali have had tension because Mansoor wants deserved but fair victories, with minimal ‘rescuing’ from Ali and not with undue brutality on either of their parts. Ali’s mentality has, so far, been: ‘good luck with that.’ Both teams have a certain superheroic appeal.

Kingston and Mansoor locked up. Kingston targeted and got control of Mansoor’s arm, but he swiftly turned it into an arm drag on Kingston. Kingston got free, but stumbled while evading Mansoor, crashing through the ropes, which Ali was craftily holding open, to the floor. Mansoor and Ali backed off a concerned Woods, while Mansoor tagged Ali in and he rolled Kingston back to the ring and attempted to cover for a pinfall win. Kingston powered out, and Ali sought a submission with  a sleeper hold. Kingston battled back to his feet, and managed to fell Ali with a leg sweep. He tagged in Woods, who hit Ali with a knee strike to the neck. Ali tagged in Mansoor and Kingston tagged in Woods. The New Day used Mansoor to set up a superplex from Kingston to Ali. From this point, Mansoor and Ali were less confident, and the New Day found their second wind. Although Ali evaded Kingston’s ‘Trouble in Paradise’ maneuver with a superkick, he did not survive a flying strike from the top from Woods, and for the third time that night the often underestimated Xavier Woods got a cover and a win via pinfall for the New Day.

Despite their heroic showing against nearly every team in their division, the New Day’s chance to challenge RK-Bro for the tag team championships ended with a crushing defeat to A.J. Styles and Omos. They, in turn, were defeated by MVP and Lashley, setting up a new chapter of ‘The All Mighty Era’, the possibility that Lashley will become a reigning double champion, with the WWE and Raw tag team championships to his name. While a more understated reign than Roman Reigns’s Universal Championship run on Friday Night SmackDown, Lashley’s time as WWE champion on Raw has not been without its dramatic tension.

Victors or not, the New Day brought more than their share of joy on September 6’s Raw, and its entire tag team division continues to be one of the brand’s best elements.

More from LWOS Pro Wrestling

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can check out an almost unlimited array of WWE content on the WWE Network and Peacock including the WWE matches of the month for August.


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