Ronda Rousey addresses the loss of Jim Neidhart and SummerSlam
What Happened: With her RAW Women’s Championship this Sunday, Ronda Rousey was torn between grief and excitement. Rousey didn’t have words to describe the impact of the loss of Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart. She went on to credit Natalya for being the first one to open her arms to her upon her arrival to RAW and vowed to defend her honor this Sunday at SummerSlam. She then introduced Alexa Bliss’s opponent for tonight Ember Moon. But as the champion herself made her entrance, she continued to drag Ronda Rousey’s through the mud, accusing her of being a hotheaded, overhyped rookie. In the same vein of Rousey’s short temper, the Goddess accused General Manager Kurt Angle of protecting his entire roster except for her, and as such got permission from Constable Baron Corbin to hire personal security to counteract Rousey. But that plan didn’t pan out so well, as a provoked Rousey took out three of the guards (the fourth bailed of his own accord) before the bell even rang.
Ember Moon def. RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss by Disqualification
What Happened: With Alexa Bliss’s plan to keep Ronda Rousey occupied during the opening match having backfired, Bliss took on Ember Moon while keeping a third eye on the Baddest Woman on the Planet. Bliss and Moon exchanged momentum moves throughout causing Alicia Fox to attempt to cause a distraction. This caught the attention of Rousey, who neutralized Foxy, but was then taken out by Bliss in turn. The whole exchange gave the Shenom the time she needed to recover and hit the Eclipse on the champion. Moon was a half second away from the most significant pin of her RAW career, but was forced to settle for a disqualification victory after Fox attacked her. Knowing full well that it was Alexa Bliss who initiated the entire sequence, Ronda Rousey went right after her SummerSlam opponent, but was cut off by a likely regretful Alicia Fox, who was slung around by the same arm that Rousey near ripped apart last week.
My Opinion: Originally, Bliss was supposed to face Natalya tonight, but with the passing of her father, plans of course changed in a hurry. This was a great opportunity for Ember Moon, as she got to show that she can perform with who WWE considers to be either their number one or number two female competitor (interchangable with Charlotte Flair).
Baron Corbin def. Tyler Breeze; Kurt Angle flips the table on Corbin and Stephanie
What Happened: After a brief argument with Kurt Angle about some matches that Stephanie McMahon approved on his behalf, Baron Corbin made quick work of his opponent for the night Tyler Breeze with the Deep Six. After his match, the Constable insisted that he is just trying to help the Superstars of RAW, and as such, would be giving Finn Balor an opportunity to prove just how extraordinary the Extraordinary Man is by placing him in a Handicap Match against Jinder Mahal and Kevin Owens. But before the match could get underway, Kurt Angle came out and reiterated that, as General Manager, he makes the matches and made Corbin’s planned massacre of Finn Balor into a tag team match. Balor’s partner? BRAUN STROWMAN!
Mr. Money in the Bank Braun Strowman & Finn Balor def. Kevin Owens & Jinder Mahal
What Happened: As Kurt Angle and Baron Corbin went backstage, the latter absolutely fuming, Braun Strowman and Finn Balor teamed up against Jinder Mahal and Kevin Owens. Mahal and Owens were intent on keeping the Monster out of the match, but for Owens, he was even more intent on not being near Strowman. So intent that as soon as Balor made the tag, KO tagged in the Modern Day Maharaja while running full speed and then taking refuge in the WWE Universe. Mahal survived Strowman’s initial onslaught, but Braun’s second run as the legal man was a completely different story as the Monster literally ran through Mahal, Owens, and Sunil Singh before powerslamming Mahal for the win. After the bell, Strowman chased KO backstage, allowing Baron Corbin to ambush an exhausted Balor with the End of Days.
My Opinion: It was nice to see Kurt Angle make a move that directly defies Stephanie McMahon, as it provides an opportunity to revive the Angle-Authority feud that initially started in the buildup to Survivor Series.
The B-Team (c) def. The Deleters of Worlds & The Revival (Triple Threat Match for RAW Tag Team Championships)
What Happened: After the Deleters of Worlds interrupted a non-title match between the B-Team and the Revival, all three teams battled it out in Triple Threat match with the Tag Team Championships onthe line. The Revival maintained control in the early goings and the B-Team was kept out of the action. But once Triple Threat rules began to take hold, chaos erupted, leaving all six men sprawled out on the outside. The first three men to recover were Matt Hardy, Bray Wyatt, and Scott Dawson. But the fourth man Curtis Axel became legal on a blind tag on Dawson. The Revival, unaware of the tag, delivered the Shatter Machine to Wyatt, afterwhich Axel took the pin as the legal man to keep the Cinderella story going for one more chapter.
My Opinion: How is is not midnight yet? Not even Daniel Bryan’s Cinderella story lasted this long. I’m sure there is going to be a rematch at SummerSlam, but my goodness.
Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar set a trap for Roman Reigns
What Happened: With only six days remaining until he takes another crack at Brock Lesnar and the Universal Championship, Roman Reigns had some things on his mind. But before he could spell them all out, Paul Heyman made his presence known. And he seemed to want to strike a deal with the Big Dog, promising to all but hand-deliver the Universal Championship to him at SummerSlam. Despite Reigns adamantly refusing the Advocate’s offer several times, Heyman handed Reigns an agreement that would make the partnership official. But just as he did so, he also maced Reigns, opening the door for a heinous attack on the defenseless challenger, culminating in a guillotine choke and F5.
My Opinion: I am split on how I feel about this segment. Of course a Reigns-Heyman partnership is out of the question, but the whole ploy was sold brilliantly by Paul Heyman from the start, but I feel like they should have had Strowman cash-in, but you know what, it’s whatever.
Ruby Riott def. Sasha Banks
What Happened: Last week, Ruby Riott returned from injury to cost Sasha Banks and Bayley a win against Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan. Tonight, the Boss looked to pay Riott back for the pinfall she fell victim to last week as a result of Riott’s actions. While she seemed to have a bit of ring rust, Riott’s raucous instincts took over as she trapped Banks’s hand in the handle of the steel stairs. With blood in the water, the leader of the Riott Squad did not let up, constantly targeting the injured hand. Despite the hinderance, the Boss fought back, but with the numbers game against her and Bayley once again, it was inevitable that Riott pickup the victory.
My Opinion: As I stated last week, Riott’s injury simply postponed the official destruction of the “Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection.” Most likely, this will continue until Hell in a Cell.
Dean Ambrose returns to neutralize Drew McIntyre
What Happened: Throughout the night, Seth Rollins’s whereabouts were in question as he was suffering from travel issues from his trip to Shanghai. General Manager Kurt Angle tried to get in contact with the Architect several times, but was unable to, leaving him in quite the strap. It didn’t help that he was constantly being harassed by Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre, who were anxious for the clock to run out on Rollins after discovering that contract entitles the challenger to have a Superstar in his corner to combat Drew McIntyre. When the time finally did come, Ziggler urged the GM to declare a Rollins forfeit, thereby relieving him of any obligation of defending the Intercontinental Championship this Sunday. But just as it looked like Angle would have no choice but to comply, Rollins’s music hit, and the Man himself appeared, explanation at the ready. Seth explained that he had actually been in the arena the whole time, but he was in fact dealing with some travel issues. Ziggler, McIntyre, and Angle were all very much confused, so Rollins went to use the champion’s own words against him. By his logic, the only way for Seth Rollins to combat a “Scottish Psychopath” was with a Lunatic. The roar from the crowd was deafening as Dean Ambrose emerged to stand by Rollins’s side. In a desperate last attempt to prevent Rollins from signing the contract, Ziggler and McIntyre charged, but were quickly dispatched by the Shield brethen, allowing the Architect to make his SummerSlam match official and even the odds.
My Opinion: For weeks on end, WWE has been teasing Ambrose’s return. While I don’t necessarily agree with the timing (I would have rather seen Ambrose return at SummerSlam as opposed to tonight), I am elated to see him back in action. Most of the WWE Universe knew that Renee Young being picked as a substitute commentator tonight was no coincidence, but everything was really tied together nicely.
While I feel there were a few key spots missed tonight, I do believe that this Go Home Show was more successful than the previous ones. I am most certainly more excited for the RAW side of SummerSlam this week than I was last week.
Overall Rating: 6.5/10
Segment of the Night: The best part of this week’s show was of course the contract signing, for obvious reasons. As a side note, Renee Young on commentary was an absolute joy for me and I hope they decide to keep her there.