Last week’s Raw was focused on the aftermath of Stomping Grounds, and the beginning of the road to Extreme Rules. The key events that occurred were the announcement of
the Winner Takes All mixed tag match pitting Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch vs Lacey Evans and Baron Corbin, as well as the shocking return of The Undertaker to help Roman Reigns in his beatdown from Drew McIntyre and Shane McMahon. In the main event of the show, AJ Styles was able to pull off a major victory pinning newly-crowned US Champion Ricochet, which would seem to assume a title shot is awaiting for The Phenomenal One.
Announced segments for tonight’s show were Bobby Lashley vs. Braun Strowman in a Falls Count Anywhere match, The Viking Raiders vs. SmackDown’s New Day and A Moment Of
Bliss with guest Nikki Cross. Raw took place from the American Airlines Centre in Dallas, Texas.
The show kicked off with a recap of what is to come with The Undertaker, as well as Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins being announced for later in the night.
Falls Count Anywhere Match
Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley
Yes, Raw opened with a match, which is a very rare occasion. These two have been feuding since May, and Strowman has come out on top for the majority of their encounters, with Super ShowDown being the prime example. The match started off quickly with Lashley hitting a spear and a second one being reversed into a shoulder tackle. They brawled into the crowd, with Lashley in control using a steel chair to his advantage. Some big moments included a Lashley snap suplex on the stage and a Strowman tackle through the entrance ramp, causing explosions and both the fans and Graves to shout “Holy s–t!”. This led to referees and backstage personnel to appear, with the two behemoths seemingly incapacitated and stretchered off. This would seem to lead to a Last Man Standing match at Extreme Rules.
The New Day vs. The Viking Raiders
This would be Big E and Xavier Woods, as expected, against the undefeated Viking Raiders. The former five-time champions started in control, with E hitting a splash on the apron to Erik. Before the match could really get going, though, it would be over as Samoa Joe would surprise attack Xavier Woods, causing a DQ win for New Day. This brought out the WWE Champion Kofi Kingston to attack Samoa Joe, before Joe and the Viking Raiders stood up against The New Day to lead to …
The New Day vs. Samoa Joe & The Viking Raiders
Holla Holla Holla, it’s a tag team match playa! The New Day started well, attacking Ibor by hitting a splash/elbow combo before Samoa Joe swung the advantage. The pressure was put on Xavier Woods with the ribs being targeted first by body blows from Erik and a senton by Joe. Randomly during this match, Graves made the claim that Joe vs. Kofi at Extreme Rules would be a Ladder match, but nothing was confirmed. Woods made the tag to the WWE Champion who would clean house on both War Raiders, hitting a Boom Drop on Erik. The finish saw multiple dives by Woods and Ibor, before Joe caught an unexpected Kingston with a Coquina Clutch, forcing the WWE Champion to pass out and suffer his first singles loss since February.
Drake Maverick was spotted with his wife backstage, who gives him the ultimatum of her or the 24/7 Title. R-Truth appeared next to Drake to say he’s “a believer in love”. Another backstage scene saw GalAnderson and AJ Styles focus on how AJ barely scraped past Ricochet, with Anderson putting his ‘Hot Asian Wife’ on the line if AJ
could not beat Ricochet again.
No Way Jose vs. Cesaro
This match started as a 24/7 fiasco, but the bell never rang as Cesaro laid out Jose with a Neutralizer on the outside.
Charly Caruso interviewed Raw debutants in the NXT Tag Team Champions, The Street Profits. They introduced each other with Montez Ford claiming “they want the smoke”,
which is in reference to competition one would assume.
Sarah Schreiber interviewed The Miz over his Two Out Of Three Falls loss to Elias last week due to Miz interference. Miz claimed he made a mistake, and noted how The Undertaker may deal with Shane McMahon.
Shane McMahon & Drew McIntyre Segment
This was to discuss “The Undertaker situation”, based on Taker attacking Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre in defence of Roman Reigns. Shane showed a recap of Roman being dominated by them both until UT arrived. They focused on the “inevitability” of the situation, and that despite “being the greatest legend in WWE history”, Taker will fall as Drew McIntyre claimed he wasn’t afraid of, nor did he give a damn about, the Phenom, with the promise of extermination at Extreme Rules. This led to the arena going dark and lightning bolts before Taker appeared. Drew and Shane backed off into the crowd, with McIntyre staring down Taker. The Reaper Of Wayward souls claimed he wasn’t here to help Roman, but to collect souls to torture for eternity. Undertaker finished by claiming that Shane and Drew will “never Rest In Peace”.
Lacey Evans and Baron Corbin were shown backstage, with Corbin asking Seth if Becky is “worth it”, and that the Extreme Rules stipulation is in their favour. Lacey promised victory over Natalya for later on tonight, which is as safe a bet as the idea of Raw remaining on Mondays.
Lacey Evans vs. Natalya
This was seemingly done to show the threat of Lacey Evans before Extreme Rules. Evans took control through head shots into the turnbuckle and elbows in between the top and middle rope. Baron Corbin interference would cost Natalya, with Dallas’ favourite son tripping up Natalya, leading to a Women’s Right and a win for Lacey.
Charly Caruso interviewed Ricochet over his loss to AJ Styles, who claimed last week was “one of the biggest honours of his career”, and that he could beat AJ if they went again. GalAnderson stirred the pot, claiming AJ made a mistake in not putting down Ricochet down earlier. They then spoke to AJ, claiming they don’t know where the old AJ is “who would walk up to Ricochet and slap him in the face”. AJ would confront Ricochet and demand a US Title match for tonight before slapping Ricochet. The US Champion accepted before slapping AJ back.
Two Out Of Three Falls Match
The Miz vs. Elias
The match started before the bell with Miz attacking Elias and, in a matter of seconds after the bell, hitting a Skull-Crushing Finale to go 1-0 up. This would disappear in a matter of minutes as Elias, after close pinfalls, hit a Drift Away to tie at 1-1. Some big moves were a sit-down powerbomb by Elias and a missing knee into the ring post. This led to Miz applying the Figure-Four Leglock on Elias for the win.
Backstage, we had an exclusive interview with Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch. After Rollins wished the best of recovery to Lashley and Strowman, they moved on to their match at Extreme Rules. When asked about “impulsiveness”, the two joked around whilst also showing tension. This led to The First Lady Of 205 Live herself Maria Kanellis to appear with her husband Mike Kanellis, demanding a match tonight with Maria and Mike against Rollins and “your bitch”.
We were told that Bobby Lashley was reportedly still in a medical facility, whilst Strowman has a “ruptured spleen”.
Seth Rollins & Becky Lynch vs. Mike Kanellis & Maria Kanellis
Well it would be an understatement to have not seen this coming at all: a Mike Kanellis match on Raw. This was a glorified squash match, with Rollins and Becky being completely dominant. Maria refused to get tagged in and claimed that she’s pregnant, although she doesn’t know “how Mike could possibly do the job”. Becky then forced Mike to tap out (that’s how he does the job). Post-match, Maria claimed “there was only one Man in Becky Lynch … maybe I should ask her to impregnate me”.
Charly Caruso interviewed Paul Heyman, who teased that Brock Lesnar would be there tonight, before being interrupted by The Street Profits. The NXT Tag Team Champions
claim they’re huge fans of Heyman, and Ford impersonated Heyman’s “BROOOOOCCCKKK LESNAR” line before the Beast’s Advocate walked off.
A Moment Of Bliss w/ Nikki Cross
Alexa started by wishing Lashley and Strowman good luck and thanking Nikki Cross for helping her to become #1 contender last Tuesday night on SmackDown. Bliss claimed
that tonight is “Nikki’s moment”, before Carmella interrupted, claiming Nikki is being used by Bliss. Alexa would call Carmella a S-I-D-E-K-I-C-K before being challenged to a match.
Alexa Bliss vs. Carmella
As soon as the match began, Alexa was shocked by a quick roll-up and a three count for Carmella, her first ever win over Alexa Bliss.
Nikki Cross vs. Carmella
In response to Alexa’s quick loss, Nikki was given the opportunity to avenge the Goddess Of WWE. Nikki dominated Carmella early on, using the ring apron to her advantage, before Carmella took control with a boot to the corner and an X-Factor. Nikki won after countering the superkick into a swinging neckbreaker. Commentary focused on how Alexa Bliss would turn on Nikki Cross as she has with all her previous friends, despite the fact that Alexa was giving Nikki the spotlight post-match.
Alexa and Nikki were then interviewed by Sarah Schreiber. When asked that the WWE Universe want Nikki Cross in the title match at Extreme Rules against Bayley rather than Alexa, the former five-time champion grabbed Nikki and walked off to “no comment”.
The 24/7 division remained strong, with Drake Maverick regaining the 24/7 Title by pinning R-Truth after using his honeymoon suitcase in a blindsiding attack.
WWE United States Championship Match
Ricochet (C) vs. AJ Styles
For the second week in a row, Ricochet and AJ Styles main evented Raw with the added incentive of the United States Championship being on the line. This match would start different than last week with a higher intensity by both. Ricochet hit a high springboard elbow, followed by a standing shooting star reversed into a cradle. This led to a duelling AJ Styles/Ricochet chant. AJ in the space of two minutes would then hit the Phenomenal Forearm and win, until Ricochet’s foot was seen underneath the bottom rope, and the match was restarted.
Once the match was restarted, GalAnderson made their presence known, observing on the outside as Ricochet hit an enzuiguri into swinging suplex combo. AJ retaliated by hitting a Phenomenal Forearm on the outside, followed by a brainbuster for a close two-count. The finish saw Ricochet outsmart AJ and roll him up for the three-count to retain the United States Championship. Post-match, AJ shook Ricochet’s hand before attacking him (thus turning heel) with the help of Gallows and Anderson, bringing the “old AJ Styles” back. The assault finished with a second rope Styles Clash on the US Champion, with The Club reformed.
Overall, this was a very complex but entertaining episode of Raw, with the opening carnage of Braun and Lashley to the fun of the 24/7 division, the continuation of the Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross story, the appearance of The Undertaker and the show-long story of AJ Styles and GalAnderson leading to the reformation of The Club.