Live from Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan!
Straight out of the opening credits, Braun Strowman made his entrance. Holding his Money In The Bank briefcase, Strowman made his way to the ring.
Talking about last night’s Money In The Bank, Braun Strowman said that he is holding the most powerful object he has ever had in his hand. He then said that from grappling hooks to production trucks, there has never been anything more dangerous in his hands than the Money In The Bank Briefcase. Strowman then spoke to the “Champ”, telling him that he isn’t good at sneaking up on people, adding that when he cashes in his Money In The Bank, the Champion is going to know about it. With everybody running scared, Strowman said that he isn’t surprised that nobody has yet interrupted him, because nobody wants to “Get These Hands!” Taking this as an invitation, Seth Rollins made his way to the ring.
Seth Rollins agreed that a lot of guys in the back were afraid of Strowman, but he’s not one of them. He added that Strowman is talking about nobody wanting these hands, but finds it interesting that Strowman is yet to answer one of Rollins’ Intercontinental Championship Open Challenges. Impressed by the guts that Seth Rollins showed in confronting him, it is clear that there is a respect between the two men in the ring, with the commentators calling them the two of the hottest properties in WWE today. While they agreed to a match there and then, Kurt Angle brought a halt to that idea, informing Braun Strowman that he was already in action on the night’s show. He did however tell Seth Rollins that the floor was open, leading to another Open Challenge from the Intercontinental Champion.
Answered by Baron Corbin, Seth Rollins was able to retain his Championship, in a hard fought defence against “The Lone Wolf”.
Sasha Banks then stated her intention is a backstage interview to call out Bayley later tonight. Having agreed to put their rivalry to bed recently, and go their separate ways, Sasha Banks requested just one final meeting with Bayley, wanting to put a line under all the ill feelings that have developed between them. After Bayley agreed to meet with Sasha, it was hyped throughout the night. Marked as the end of an up and down relationship, a video package recapped the entire story of the two women, beginning with their days in NXT all the way up to the present day.
Next up, it was time for reaction from Money In The Bank, where Dana Brooke seemingly turned her back on Titus Worldwide. Accompanied by Titus O’Neil, Apollo & No Way Jose were defeated by Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre, but it was the events following the match which were most telling. With No Way Jose down in the ring, as Dolph & Drew stood tall, Dana Brooke made her entrance, approaching Apollo Crews.
Announcing her resignation from Titus Worldwide, Dana Brooke revealed that she was starting her own “talent agency”, urging Apollo Crews to jump ship and join her. Crews was disgusted, making it clear he wasn’t interested. Far more interested by Dana’s proposal was Dolph Ziggler, who offered to take her to the back and “talk business”.
Another huge talking point out of Money In The Bank was Roman Reigns’ dominant victory over Jinder Mahal. Preparing to go and address the WWE Universe, Roman Reigns was confronted by Finn Balor.
Roman Reigns would further annoy Finn Balor, “big leaguing” him and telling him that he had a job to do, and didn’t have time for Finn’s complaining.
When he was in the ring, Roman Reigns made his message loud and clear, he hears that Paul Heyman will be at Raw next week, and he wants him to tell Brock Lesnar that he coming for his shot at the Universal Championship. This brought out Finn Balor, who appeared to speak for the WWE Universe in opposing Roman Reigns receiving another shot at the WWE Universal Championship. Responding to Balor asking why he deserves the shot, Reigns said that he beat Brock Lesnar in Saudi Arabia, and he will do it again. Finn Balor found Roman Reigns believing he deserved another shot absurd, especially when Finn Balor - who never lost the Universal title - was never given the opportunity to regain the Championship.
Roman Reigns quickly turned this on Balor, telling him that his issue is simple - he’s been coasting for too long. Reigns added that a fake smile and a six pack will only take you so far in the WWE. This fired Finn Balor up, but Roman Reigns had an answer for everything that was thrown at him. Telling Finn Balor that the WWE is a “shark tank”, Reigns said that if Finn Balor is staying still, he’s getting left behind. With Balor looking to respond again, Reigns cut him off, saying that he’s said what he came out here to say, and he isn’t interested in Finn Balor, because he has bigger fish to fry!
Over on the Women’s side of the roster, The Riott Squad looked to make an impact, following their lack of appearance at the Money In The Bank show. A defeat to Natalya tipped Ruby Riott over the edge, and the group once again showed their power in numbers. Tired of this, Ember Moon and Nia Jax came out to make the save for Natalya.
Standing against The Riott Squad, Nia Jax asked the group what it would take for their campaign against their fellow Superstars to end, and was given a simple answer. Ruby Riott agreed that the attacks would stop, if Nia Jax gave her a shot at the Raw Women’s Championship.
The reaction to Money In The Bank came throughout the show, with Sami Zayn the next to address the events of the previous evening. At the show, Sami Zayn was left to fight on his own, despite a pact that he has made with Kevin Owens. Calling his “best friend” out, Sami Zayn wanted to know where the two men currently stand.
Sami Zayn’s asked Kevin Owens about his no show in the Main Event of Money In The Bank, saying that thought that no matter what happen, their focus was on winning that Briefcase. Zayn will admit that what he did a few weeks ago wasn’t above board, but if they had followed out the plan last night, they would be stood out here with the Money In The Bank Briefcase. They would have been just one step away from holding the WWE Universal Championship. Because of this, Sami Zayn is questioning their friendship. He asked Kevin Owens straight up if they’re still about doing this together?
Kevin Owens defended his actions last night, saying that Sami Zayn made this an issue when he made this about himself. Owens said that Zayn lost sight of their shared goal and now they’re suffering for it. Kevin Owens added that he didn’t know if he could trust anybody anymore. Zayn didn’t like this implications, suggesting that if Kevin Owens is serious about this, then he just needed to say the word. Owens told Zayn that he had been Universal Champion before, and he didn’t need Sami then. This was enough for Zayn, who told Owens that was fine, vowing that whether they do this together… or alone, he was going to become the WWE Universal Champion.
Having approached Kurt Angle earlier in the night, asking to know the identity of his opponent, Braun Strowman was introduced to Bobby Roode. Roode told Strowman that he was desperate to prove himself on Raw, and was targetimg the biggest threat on Monday Night Raw. During the match, Bobby Roode impressed against Braun Strowman, taking the fight to “The Monster Amongst Men”. Eventually, Braun Strowman overpowered Bobby Roode, with “The Glorious One” coming up short yet again.
Braun Strowman bt. Bobby Roode
Following the match, Braun Strowman held the Briefcase high in the air, while the commentators promoted the appearance of Paul Heyman on next week’s show.
Opening up the final hour of Raw, Alexa Bliss and Mickie James came to the ring. Earlier in the night, footage was shown from Money In The Bank, where Ronda Rousey got her hands on Mickie James, one on one. The result was Mickie James being locked in the Armbar, requiring medical assistance following the altercation.
When Mickie James appeared, her arm was in a sling and she looked in severe pain. Alexa Bliss then began to bemoan Ronda’s behaviour, calling her “dangerous” and “unsporting”, in reference to her injuring Mickie James at Money In The Bank. This time, when Ronda Rousey came out to confront the duo, Alexa Bliss hightailed it, leaving Mickie James alone once again. This contradicted her apparent concern for Mickie’s wellbeing.
Struggling to leave the ring, Mickie James was left alone, but Ronda had no interest in retreading old ground. Instead, she sent a clear message to Alexa Bliss - telling the former Women’s Champion - you’re next!
With a clash of philosophies in the Tag Team Division, the lighthearted Breezango and The Ascension were fairly easily defeated by The Revival and The Authors of Pain. After the match, The Revival tried to make the teams pact official, but A.O.P were not interested.
Returning from the break, Elias’ performance was cut off by Chad Gable. Gable said that he wanted a match with Elias, but “The Drifter” had other ideas. Claiming that the people were here to listen to Elias, and not to watch them to have a match, he left the ring after being unsatisfied by the crowd’s reaction.
Having seemingly had a change of heart, following his sub-5 minute defeat to Roman Reigns last night, Jinder Mahal asked for a chance to prove himself on Raw, and was given a match against Lashley. Desperate for change, Mahal told Angle, and later Lashley, that there would be no Sunil Singh, and there would be no cheap tactics. Of course, one knows not to believe a word that Jinder Mahal says, and when Bobby Lashley took control, Sunil Singh was not far off.
Having blamed Singh for his defeat, it quickly became apparent that Jinder Mahal hadn’t meant a single thing he had said about watching to make a change. Despite this, Singh involvement was quickly negated, and Bobby Lashley came out of the match victorious.
Bobby Lashley bt. Jinder Mahal
The final part of Raw was dedicated to the “Last Chapter” of the Bayley and Sasha Banks story, and footage was once again shown of their history. From bitter enemies in NXT, to respectful rivals, the two women first learned to respect each other, before becoming best friends. Making their way to the ring, the two women took a trip down memory lane.
Sasha Banks led the segment, telling Bayley that while the last few months have been messy, she wants to remember their relationship fondly. In that spirit, Banks apologised for her behaviour, asking that Bayley do the same. Bayley wasn’t so sure, feeling that she had done anything wrong. Banks moved past this, saying that whoever was to blame, they both agree that they need space from each other. Maybe they can pick this up in the future, but for now, they need to go on their separate paths.
Bayley agreed, pointing out that it feels like both of their careers have been put on hold for the past 6 months, and they need to draw a line under it. From this moment forth, Bayley and Sasha Banks agree that instead of being known as the “bickering best frenemies”, they need to be known as what they are, two of the best Superstars in the entire WWE. Bayley then offered Sasha a handshake, with Banks instead going for a hug. Raising Sasha arm in the air, Bayley looked set to move on, telling Banks “I’m so happy to put behind me”. Sasha smiled, but seemed unsure.
As Bayley went to leave the ring, Banks asked her to hold on. Sasha Banks said that she knows that they need to keep their separate careers, but asked “we’re still friends, right?” Bayley smiled and nodded, and Sasha added “and you still trust me…” Caught off guard by the needy line of inquiry, Bayley didn’t answer. Sasha followed this up, saying “because if you don’t trust me… then we aren’t
friends.” Bayley tried to explain herself, saying that after what has gone on between them, she just needs some time.
Looking disappointed, after she had tried to mend the bridges, Banks tried to guilt trip Bayley, putting her head down and exiting the ring. However, as Bayley turned her back, Sasha Banks returned to the ring, hitting her from behind. Put over as a significant moment between the two women, the commentators presented this as the “point of no return”, as Sasha Banks laid hands into Bayley, her demeanor changing completely. Pulling on the hair of her former friend, Sasha Banks began to slap Bayley. A distressed Bayley merely looked to try and get away from the vicious Sasha, who appeared to have snapped. Dragging Bayley back into the middle of the ring by her hair, Sasha Banks slapped Bayley, telling her “you just made the biggest mistake of your life”.
Seemingly just as emotionally hurt as she was physically, Bayley simply didn’t have the strength to fight back. Eventually, Sasha Banks locked a Banks Statement on Bayley, looking to send her to sleep. Refusing to release the hold, which included more hair pulling, referees flooded the ring to get between the two women. Rolling Bayley out of the ring, and to safety, medical professionals checked on her, as Sasha Banks stood tall in the ring. Closing out Raw, Sasha Banks presented a handful of Bayley’s hair that was in her hand, dropping it onto the mat. Putting over the brutal attack, Corey Graves said that Sasha Banks had finally showed her “true colours”, suggesting that the Raw roster better be on notice, as a sleeping giant has just been awoken.
Seth Rollins (c) bt. Baron Corbin [Intercontinental Championship]
Dolph Ziggler & Drew Galloway bt. Apollo Crews & No Way Jose
Natalya bt. Ruby Riott
Braun Strowman bt. Bobby Roode
The Authors of Pain & The Revival bt. Breezango & The Ascension
Bobby Lashley bt. Jinder Mahal