Roman Reigns delivers harsh words for Brock Lesnar
What Happened: With another shot at the Universal Championship only three weeks away and Brock Lesnar confirmed to be at the American Airlines Arena, Roman Reigns wasted no time making his intentions clear and demanding that the Beast face him. Rather than get his wish, Reigns got Lesnar’s advocate Paul Heyman, who stated that the champion simply “didn’t feel like” coming out. This sparked a verbal battle between Heyman and Reigns, but it was the Big Dog that got the last word, saying that he would, in no uncertain, send Brock Lesnar back to the UFC, as anything but the Beast.
My Opinion: Of course, Brock Lesnar isn’t going to show up. Even when he actually shows up, he doesn’t show up. But I suppose I’ll save the real criticism until after RAW goes off the air.
Baron Corbin def. Finn Balor
What Happened: With his various attempts to humiliate Finn Balor netting no yields, Baron Corbin decided to take matters back into the ring. The Constable was able to Balor grounded for the most part, but also got more and more frustrated as the match continued due to the Extraordinary Man’s refusal to stay down. But he managed to stay focused, countering the Coup de Grace with the End of Days for a very satisfying win. But apparently the victory wasn’t satisfying enough, taking advantage of the rare upper hand that has longed for over his foe to deliver a post-match beatdown.
My Opinion: I find no reason for this feud to continue. No non-title feud should last more than the period from one pay-per-view to next. UNLESS THE DEMON KING GIMMICK IS BEING BROUGHT BACK IN THIS FEUD, DROP IT!!!
Alicia Fox def. Natalya
What Happened: Despite a few speed bumps along the way, Ronda Rousey has finally served out her suspension, and she returned to RAW to support her best friend and training partner Natalya as she went one-on-one with Alicia Fox. As luck would have it, RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss was also at ringside, giving the Baddest Woman on the Planet a chance to confront her SummerSlam opponent three weeks ahead of schedule. Despite a slow start, Fox showed that she isn’t the longest tenured woman on the roster for nothing, trapping Natalya between the apron and the ring to take the upper hand. And as Natalya began to surge, Foxy once again displayed her veteran status by going after Rousey, distracting the official long enough to allow Bliss to land a cheap shot on Natalya, and by time order was restored, the Queen of Harts found her opponent’s boot in her face and her shoulders on the mat. After the bell, an incensed Rousey went after Bliss, but Alicia paid dividends for the champion once again, slinging Rousey into the outside barricade multiple times, leaving her wounded and seething.
My Opinion: Not how I saw this one going down. I do love Alicia Fox though, so I’m glad she wasn’t just used as a sacrificial lamb for Rousey. But she very well may be next week.
Jinder Mahal def. Braun Strowman via Countout
What Happened: After Jinder Mahal failed in his mission to help Braun Strowman tame his aggression, the Modern Day Maharaja looked to fight fire with fire. But while Strowman was occupied with Mahal, Kevin Owens tried to steal the Money in the Bank briefcase. Well, KO got found out, but not only did he manage to get the briefcase out of his hands by tossing it to an unsuspecting Sunil Singh, he got the Monster counted out, a scenario in which, Owens would win the Money in the Bank contract at SummerSlam. Braun Strowman was not happy, but perhaps now realizes that his aggression may cost him someday.
My Opinion: Once again, you have got to love the interactions between Kevin Owens and Braun Strowman. I honestly don’t think there is anything more entertaining on RAW at this juncture.
Apollo Crews def. Akam
What Happened: After a brief but heated scuffle between Titus Worldwide and the Authors of Pain last week, Apollo Crews and Akam represented their respective teams in singles action. Typically, Crews enjoys a power advantage against his opponents, but he quickly figured out that just wasn’t the case against Akam. But just as quickly, he found a way to counter that, using a rare speed advantage to pull off the upset after his bigger opponent went shoulder-first into the ringpost.
My Opinion: I have always been a big Apollo Crews fan and have been saddened to see his potential ruined since he came up to the main roster. This match was a reminder that Crews has what it takes to make it big in WWE, but only if he is given the opportunity.
Seth Rollins def. Drew McIntyre via Disqualification
What Happened: Having secured another shot at the Intercontinental Championship, Seth Rollins looked to send a direct message to his usurper by defeating his partner-in-crime in one-on-one action. Fueled with the nagging knowledge that it was Drew McIntyre that cost him the Intercontinental Championship on multiple occasions, the Architect came out blazing. Momentum changed sides over and over, with the Scottish Terminator matching Rollins’s agility with his power, a matchup so even that it looked like it would come down to who could hit their big move first. The answer to that question was Rollins, but Dolph Ziggler intervene before he could make the cover, forcing the disqualifcation. But with McIntyre still down, the Showoff couldn’t get the advantage after the bell, eating a suicide dive that left his SummerSlam challenger saying “that close.”
My Opinion: As much as I love what Rollins, Ziggler, and McIntyre bring to the table as far as in-ring competition, they are being used despicably outside of competition. But I haven’t said that before.
The Revival def. The Deleters of Worlds
What Happened: After a chaotic scene involving the B-Team, the Revival, and the Deleters of Worlds, the latter two teams battled it out for momentum towards potentially gaining a future championship opportunity. The battle went back and forth, but the Top Guys once again did what they set out to do, nearly breaking Bray Wyatt’s jaw with a Shatter Machine for the win.
My Opinion: We knew this was coming, but at least it’s something fresh in the tag team division.
Sasha Banks & Bayley def. The Riott Squad
What Happened: With Sasha Banks and Bayley seemingly back on the same page, they put their renewed resolve to the test against the very team that ripped them apart, the Riott Squad. Banks and Bayley’s teamwork seemed to have reached new heights with consistent tags and effective double team maneuvers off of those tags. Even as the Boss lost the advantage, the Huggable One remained supportive, urging her friend to get back in the fight, and eventually Banks was able to make the tag, leading to a backstabber and Bayley-to-Belly combination to pick up the win.
My Opinion: I don’t where this is going, but I kind of missed seeing Banks and Bayley on the same page again. Let’s see how long it lasts.
Paul Heyman pays the price for Brock Lesnar
What Happened: After Brock Lesnar refused to go to the ring at the start of the show, General Manager Kurt Angle put the pressure on Paul Heyman to deliver what was advertised or find himself in the unemployment line. With his job on the line, the Advocate tried various tactics to get his client in the ring, even for just one minute. But after hearing Heyman beg, plead, and request, the champion lost his cool, nearly snatching his advocate up by the collar and ordering him to “do his job.” But with the show almost over and no patience left, Angle gave Heyman one last opportunity to produce the Beast. With clear despair and disappointment in his voice, the Advocate confessed that he was unable to convince his client to make an appearance, causing the General Manager to blow up. In a last gasp effort to save his job, Heyman himself ripped into his own client before suggesting that Angle take action against the man whose presence he required. But just as Angle declared Heyman’s contract terminated, Lesnar’s music hit and he slowly made his way to the ring and shockingly delivering an F5 to Kurt Angle. It looked like Lesnar and Heyman were enjoying the moment together, until the Beast almost choked out his own advocate before stalking away alone.
My Opinion: I’m not sure which one WWE is trying harder to do, get heat for Lesnar or make Reigns look good. Either way, this entire situation was a joke tonight. Brock Lesnar should have been legitimately stripped of the Universal Championship and quite possibly fired. Instead, the company insists on holding on to him for as long as humanly possible despite the fact that Lesnar has no interest in remaining in WWE, especially with a UFC Heavyweight Championship bout guaranteed to him in the near future.
Not only was RAW full of repeat matches and storylines, the creative team made utter fools of themselves tonight.
Overall Rating: 2/10
Segment of the Night: The best segment of the night was the final segment of the night, simply because of the potential consequences Lesnar faces next week.