Hell in a Cell was one of the best WWE PPVs this year, but now it’s onwards towards Super Show-Down and Evolution. There will, of course, be all the Hell in a Cell fallout, including Brock Lesnar’s reappearance and its implications for the Universal title picture. A new challenger needs to be found for Ronda Rousey. The RAW preview asks if Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose still have unfinished business with Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler – I’m going with yes considering the Shield have a match against Ziggler, McIntyre, and Strowman at Super Show-Down. Oh, and The Undertaker is popping in for a visit.
I’m Amanda, and I’ll be your guide through Monday Night RAW.
Drew McIntyre def. Dean Ambrose via pinfall
Chad Gable def. Viktor via pinfall
Bayley def. Dana Brooke via pinfall
AOP def. Gregory James and Barrett Brown via pinfall
Seth Rollins def. Dolph Ziggler via pinfall – Intercontinental Championship match
Elias def. Bobby Lashley via disqualification
Ember Moon and Nia Jax def Alicia Fox and Mickie James via pinfall
Roman Reigns def. Baron Corbin via pinfall – Universal Championship match
The Best Bits
– The show opened with Roman Reigns. He said last night was brutal and it didn’t really go to plan, but he woke up this morning still Universal champion. He knew Brock Lesnar was due a rematch, but he didn’t think he’d kick in the door to hell and attack him when he was down. Then he called Lesnar out.
He got Strowman instead. Strowman told Reigns he should be grateful Lesnar interrupted the match because that’s the only reason Reigns is still champion. That’s the second time Lesnar has screwed him out of the title and there won’t be a third so if anyone is going to get their hands on Lesnar it’s Strowman, then he’s coming for Reigns.
Baron Corbin came out next and said no-one was more upset about the outcome of the match than him and he’d been on the phone to Stephanie McMahon trying to sort it out. He had a solution he thought everyone would like. On November 2nd, in Saudi Arabia, at an event called Crown Jewel, Reigns will defend the title against both Strowman and Lesnar.
Strowman said that sucks, Corbin sucks, Reigns sucks, the situation sucks, and everyone in the arena sucks. He started to walk away but there was another body to join the party.
Paul Heyman came to the stage and got extras to bring out the cage door Lesnar kicked off. He said he was there to educate and proceeded to talk about Brock Lesnar wanting the title back because it increases his power and worth to UFC, which in turn increases his worth and the amount of money he can make in WWE. Only Heyman used a lot more words.
Strowman stalked up the ramp and Heyman ran off.
After Strowman had chased Heyman off Corbin told Reigns he was privy to all kinds of information, including injury reports. He knows Reigns is banged up and he doesn’t think he should worry about the triple-threat, because he may not be champion by then. He’s given Reigns a title defence for tonight, against him.
Ahead of the match, Braun Strowman found Corbin warming up. He told Corbin he hopes he wins because Corbin sucks and Strowman knows he can kill him.
Just before the match, Corbin tried to intimidate the ref by reminding him that he’s his boss and controls his ability to provide for his family.
Roman Reigns vs Baron Corbin – Universal Championship match – Corbin went for the early pin, but Reigns wouldn’t stay down and set about proving a beaten-up Roman Reigns is still better than a fresh Baron Corbin. The result was a very good match.
Baron Corbin threw a chair into Roman Reigns face and the ref disqualified him. He looked distraught then ordered the match to be restarted under no disqualification rules. Corbin went to use the chair again, took a Superman punch instead but kicked out. When Corbin was down Reigns picked the chair up.
Braun Strowman turned up before he could use it. Reigns was busy watching him and Corbin attacked him from behind. Strowman started the beatdown on Reigns but got sent shoulder-first into the ringpost.
Corbin hit the Deep Six and Reigns still kicked out.
Ziggler and McIntyre ran down to help, Rollins and Ambrose followed to even things up and chaos ensued.
Ambrose and Rollins landed tandem suicide dives onto Strowman, Ziggler, and McIntyre. Reigns was going to fly onto Strowman but Corbin intercepted with a punch. As Corbin got back into the ring to capitalise, Reigns hit him with a spear and pinned him.
– The Undertaker said they say delusion is the final recourse for the damned. That no man can spin a web of lies like a man that has a broken soul. And he has never seen anyone with a more broken soul than Triple H. Last week he came out and said Undertaker had lost all his self-respect. Delusion will be his downfall. There was a time when Triple H was wicked, savage, a warrior. But these he tends to play a more corporate game. His battlefield is the boardroom. His life’s so filled with lies he can no longer decipher truth. He can’t see the fear in his own friend’s eyes and he can’t see his own demise. The Undertaker puts no stock in what any man thinks, only what he knows, and what he knows is this. When he faces Triple H for the last time the result will be just like the first time. He will put him six feet under, game over. Triple H will do everything he can to outrace the reaper, he’s going to move heaven and earth, even enlist his best friend, Shawn Michaels. So let him have his deceit, his delusion, let him have Shawn Michaels. That’s where the devil is in the details. Because Michaels isn’t going to go all the way to Australia to sit in the audience and watch, he’s going to be standing in Triple H’s corner. But Undertaker is ok with that because he will have Kane in his corner. Everyone knows that The Undertaker took Shawn Michaels career and he’s going to do the same to Triple H. But Triple H deserves worse so he’s also going to take his soul and put him down. At Super Show-Down, with Undertaker’s brother of destruction watching his back, Triple H will Rest In Peace.
– Dean Ambrose vs Drew McIntyre was the first match of the night. McIntyre used his power advantage early on and threw Ambrose around like a rag doll for a while. Ambrose focused his share of the offence on McIntyre’s knee. Ambrose could have taken a count out victory, but he wasn’t satisfied with that. He launched himself off the top turnbuckle and hit the barricade when McIntyre shoved him in mid-air, then nearly got counted out himself. He managed to get back in the ring on nine, ate a Claymore kick, and got pinned.
Backstage, after that match, Baron Corbin set up another match by speaking to Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre. He congratulated McIntyre then told Ziggler he’d heard he was invoking his rematch clause tonight. Ziggler said no because he fell off the cell last night. Corbin said Rollins is also in no state to compete, and wasn’t even there, so if Ziggler invokes his rematch and Rollins can’t compete then Corbin would have no choice but to strip Rollins of the title and Ziggler would win by forfeit.
Seth Rollins was shown arriving a bit later and given the news. He seemed unsurprised and said that Baron Corbin might be acting general manager, but he needs to be reminded it is still Monday night Rollins.
Seth Rollins vs Dolph Ziggler – Intercontinental Championship match – It wasn’t going to be one of their more incredible matches because they were both still selling their fall from the cage. Rollins was the more obviously hurting of the two. They went for it though, with the bumps looking all the bigger for the existing injuries, and it was still pretty great. Rollins eventually hit a superplex but couldn’t get the falcon arrow follow up. Ziggler tried to roll him up using the tights but Rollins struggled free, hit the Stomp and after a brief delay got the pin.
Some Other Bits
– Ronda Rousey joined a conversation between Natalya and the Bella Twins. She wanted to know how to go about doing an open challenge. Nikki Bella started to tell her, but Natalya interrupted and said the guys just do it. She told Rousey to go to the ring and let people know she wants to fight. Making the challenge is easy, winning it is something else. No prizes for guessing what was on Natalya’s mind.
Later in the show, Rousey issued the open challenge, after thanking and congratulating Alexa Bliss. Natalya’s music hit and Rousey smiled. The Riott Squad dragged Natalya to the stage unconscious and told Rousey it was her fault.
Rousey did well when Riott, Morgan, and Logan attacked, but the numbers game and the injured ribs caught up with her. When they had her trapped in a corner the Bella Twins ran down to help her out. They cleared the ring, and that sets up their Super Show-Down match nicely.
– Elias was interrupted by Lio Rush this week. Elias’ responded with ‘whose kid is this’. Rush introduced himself, and Elias told him he doesn’t care. Eventually, Rush brought out Bobby Lashley. Lashley will team with John Cena to face Elias and Kevin Owens at Super Show-Down. Lio Rush joined commentary which meant no attention was paid to Elias vs Bobby Lashley. Rush is Lashley’s manager now.
Kevin Owens came out mid-match and Rush had to get creative with the flippy stuff to evade him and Elias. He got Lashley disqualified when he dropkicked Elias. Lashley saved Rush from taking Owens’ apron powerbomb then threw him onto Owens and Elias. The segment ended with Lio Rush sat on Bobby Lashley’s shoulders.
– Alicia Fox and Mickie James vs Ember Moon and Nia Jax – Alexa Bliss decided she’s going to help James and Fox elevate their tag team status, which would make more sense if they’d just announce women’s tag titles. They challenged Moon to find a partner. Ember Moon brought Nia Jax. Neither James nor Fox wanted to get in the ring. Decent enough match, Moon dealt with James with an Eclipse and Nia Jax finished the match with a Samoan drop on Alicia Fox.
There were three other matches this week. Chad Gable vs Viktor continued what seems to be a feud between Gable and Roode and The Ascension. Gable’s current character appears to be ‘Bobby Roode fanboy’. The match was fun. Gable won with a German suplex. Konnor flattened Gable and Roode after the match.
Bayley vs Dana Brooke started with Bayley and Sasha Banks bringing some of the Connor’s Cure Campaign kids out for Bayley’s entrance. The match was short but decent. Bayley won with a Bayley to Belly.
AOP vs Gregory James and Barrett Brown was another squash match. Bored now. It’s time they had some proper competition.
With three big shows to build to before WWE even start talking about the next PPV on the usual schedule, RAW feels busy. It’s a bit of an adjustment from the usual build-PPV-repeat format, but it’s mostly good stuff, so long may it continue.