With SummerSlam only a couple of weeks away this was a packed episode of RAW. Eight matches on a show are fairly unusual, and there were some significant talking segments too. What I’m saying is, we’ve got a lot to get through.
I’m Amanda, and I’m here to make sure you don’t miss anything on RAW.
Roman Reigns def Baron Corbin via pinfall
Bobby Roode def Mojo Rawley via pinfall
Rezar def Titus O’Neil via pinfall
Jinder Mahal def Braun Strowman vis disqualification
Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre def Seth Rollins via pinfall
The B-Team vs The Revival – No Contest
The Riott Squad def The Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection via pinfall
Ronda Rousey def Alicia Fox via submission
The Best Bits
– The Roman Reigns versus Brock Lesnar build has been made more interesting with the twists involving Paul Heyman, Kurt Angle, and Baron Corbin. This week started with a recap of Brock Lesnar’s actions last week, then Kurt Angle and Baron Corbin in the ring. Angle took some shots at Lesnar, who wasn’t at RAW of course, by saying he has no class and talking about how Ronda Rousey is a former UFC champion who doesn’t mind competing on RAW.
Roman Reigns joined them just as Angle was about to tell everyone what the consequences for Lesnar’s attack last week would be.
Reigns said he respects Angle but he should have known better. If you kick the big dog out who’s going to protect the yard? Nobody, and that’s why Lesnar ragdolled them around the ring last week. Corbin was laughing, so Reigns asked him what he did when Angle was getting attacked and pointed out it only took a look from Brock Lesnar to make Corbin run away.
Angle said no-one on WWE from the top down is happy with what happened. Reigns was worried they’d suspended him but Angle reassured him that he’d made sure Lesnar hadn’t been suspended, so the match will take place, and he hopes Reigns kicks his ass.
Corbin accused Angle of being unprofessional. And if Brock Lesnar was here…’
That was as far as he got before Reigns asked him if Lesnar would look at Corbin again so he could run off like a coward.
Corbin said he didn’t run off he chose to be the bigger man. Anyway, he was worn out from beating Finn Balor. He’s already doing everything around RAW, he can’t think of anything else he could do.
Angle said he could have acted like a man last week, which made Reigns smirk.
Corbin asked if Angle is how a man behaves. Angle just makes the matches. Stephanie McMahon has all the power and she appointed him because she doesn’t trust Angle.
Kurt Angle said he’s right, he does make the matches and made a match between Corbin and Reigns immediately.
Baron Corbin vs Roman Reigns – Corbin cheap-shotted Reigns before the match could start. As soon as the ref arrived Reigns delivered a Superman punch and got a two count.
Decent enough match, and long as it was the first match of the night. Solid, entertaining, which is pretty much all I’m asking for in a RAW match. They also managed to take out a cameraman.
As Reigns was readying himself to put Corbin away, Corbin decided he’d had enough and tried to walk out. Finn Balor stopped him by walking slowly down the ramp. Reigns caught Corbin with a superman punch from the steps as he got back to ringside, followed up with a spear when they got back in the ring and got the pin.
Reigns and Balor shared a fist-bump and Balor climbed into the ring, dropkicked Corbin and delivered a Coup de Grace.
– Seth Rollins versus Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler is a feud that’s working. It has featured every show for a while now, but it keeps escalating and there are enough twists to keep it fresh, well fresh-ish, on the build to SummerSlam. It continued this week via segments spaced through the show. In the first, Rollins and Kurt Angle had a conversation in Angle’s office. Rollins basically said he was sick of trying to deal with Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre as a pair while he’s trying to get the Intercontinental Championship back from Ziggler. Every time he’s trying to beat Ziggler, McIntyre interferes. Every time he tries to deal with McIntyre, Ziggler gets involved. Kurt Angle told him to find a partner for tonight and he could have a tag match.
Tyler Breeze asked to be Rollins tag partner in a locker room segment. He suggested their team name could be Crossfit-Breezus. Roman Reigns appeared and told Rollins he would team with him, leaving Breeze hanging for the Shield fist touch.
Kurt Angle had been shown taking a phone call from Stephanie McMahon that made Baron Corbin smirk. All became clear when Rollins and Reigns were on their way to the ring. Angle stopped them and said McMahon had forbidden Reigns from competing by Rollins’ side, to protect the main event at SummerSlam. If he disobeyed, he would forfeit his title opportunity. Rollins went out alone telling Reigns he’d got this. Once he left Reigns returned and asked Corbin if his ribs were ok then punched him in them, much to the amusement of Kurt Angle.
Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre vs Seth Rollins – The crowd were chanting, ‘we want Ambrose’, at the start of the match (Yup, couldn’t agree more), but Rollins fought the match alone. Unsurprisingly, after an aggressive start from Rollins, he took a lot of punishment.
Rollins pulled McIntyre off the apron after Ziggler had tipped him to the outside. With McIntyre down, it was one on one and Rollins made a good comeback. Unfortunately, McIntyre tagged back in after Ziggler took a buckle-bomb. After that, the numbers game caught up with Seth Rollins and Ziggler pinned him off a superkick.
– Ronda Rousey’s first match on RAW also did Alicia Fox some favours. Or, at least, it got WWE to acknowledge the length of her career and show some highlights in order to make her appear a legitimate challenger for Rousey. There was a big pre-match interview with Fox and Bliss as well, but Bliss hogged the limelight in that.
Ronda Rousey vs Alicia Fox – Fox tried avoidance as a tactic to start with. Bliss got involved a couple of time and caused enough of a distraction to let Fox get some offence in. Then Rousey’s expression changed, and Fox was just along for the ride, despite Bliss’ distraction tactics. Ronda Rousey won her first RAW match with a submission.
In Rousey’s post-match interview, Bliss tried to sneak-attack her and got thrown into the canvas before escaping. Rousey grabbed the mic and told Bliss the title is hers at SummerSlam.
The ‘Not For Me’ Bits
– Bobby Roode versus Mojo Rawley was ok, there was nothing wrong with it. Commentary spent the whole match discussing Rawley’s change of attitude and noting how much time he spends trash-talking his opponents. Maybe he should talk less because he lost courtesy of a Glorious DDT.
– Rezar vs Titus O’Neil – After Apollo beat Akam last week, it was O’Neil’s turn to see if he could beat half of the Authors of Pain. It was… ok. Actually, it looked really awkward in places and I’m not remotely invested in this feud, but it was short. Rezar won after a spine buster.
– The Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection versus The Riott Squad is an example of an ongoing feud that hasn’t been built, well, at all actually. They keep having matches in various permutations, but nothing has escalated or developed it’s just been repeated. Does the feud have a purpose? Is it to ready the division for a tag title announcement, is it to lead to another Bayley and Sasha Banks feud? Or is it just a placeholder in lieu of a storyline. We didn’t find out tonight, but Ruby Riott came back halfway through the match and grabbed Liv Morgan as Bayley launched herself off the apron. As a result of the distraction, Sarah Logan pinned Sasha Banks.
I said it was a busy show. In the bits that don’t fit anywhere else, The B-Team versus The Revival was going quite nicely until the Deleters of Worlds appeared, having replaced one member of each team during their blackout, and beat both teams down. There’s a triple-threat for the titles next week.
Elias had a film crew with him. After some Elias style posturing and put-downs of Bobby Lashley, the crew ended up recording him taking a delayed vertical suplex, with a whole lot of delay, from Lashley.
It was an interview heavy week as well. Jinder Mahal was a guest on the Kevin Owens Show, not that he managed to get a word in. He’s Owens’ personal guru now and Owens has apparently never felt better. Owens said he and Mahal share something special, they both beat Braun Strowman. Owens suggested Mahal face Strowman again, Mahal looked unimpressed, but Owens called Strowman out, anyway. He didn’t appear but the platform they were sitting on started to move. Strowman tipped the whole platform over and stalked to the ring for the match. During the match, with a reluctant Mahal, Kevin Owens stole the briefcase again and ran. Strowman chased him and punched him to get the case back. As he pulled it out of Owens’ grasp he hit Jinder Mahal with it and got disqualified.
Corey Graves interviewed Roman Reigns. He asked what Reigns would say to his many critics who don’t see why this time would be any different from all the other times he’s lost to Lesnar. Reigns said there’s no shame in losing to Lesnar, lots of men have lost to Lesnar, but he went through the results of the matches they’ve had to show Lesnar hasn’t always been on top. He’s sick and tired of watching Lesnar disrespect his lifestyle. He’s going to take the title off Lesnar and act like a champion, by doing stuff like turning up and defending it.
Renee Young interviewed a distressed Paul Heyman. She asked him where he and Lesnar stand. He said he doesn’t know because Lesnar has disconnected his phone and he hasn’t been able to contact him through intermediaries. He wanted to but Lesnar won’t take his call. She asked if Heyman considered Lesnar a friend. Heyman said yes, and his children consider Lesnar’s children to be their friends. This wasn’t how he envisaged it ending they had always talked about riding off into the sunset together with the Universal and UFC titles. She questioned was whether there is anyone else he considers a potential client. Heyman was horrified by the suggestion. Finally, regarding SummerSlam, he’s been with Brock Lesnar for 16 years and he’s never seen him more focused and more violent. Against this Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns doesn’t stand a chance.
And that was it for RAW. Finn Balor versus Baron Corbin has now been announced for SummerSlam. There are going to be a few matches on that card that we’ve seen a number of times, I think. We’ll see what next week’s go home show brings.