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The build towards Extreme Rules hit a fever pitch this week, as the Go Home Show promised the first appearance of Brock Lesnar since the Greatest Royal Rumble event. Opening the show, Braun Strowman was shown at the entrance of the building.
A large amount of security were seen stopping him from entering the arena, after Paul Heyman and Kurt Angle’s “bosses” came to an agreement that Strowman would be banned from the building, both on this week’s Raw, and at the Extreme Rules event.
Following footage that recapped this, as well as the rivalry between Finn Balor and Roman Reigns, it was explained that the show would open with the match between the two. This decision was made after Finn Balor claimed he “couldn’t wait” to get his hands on “The Big Dog”.
Kicking off the show in a huge way, the two competitors came straight out of the gates, looking to set the crowd alight. Having felt overshadowed by Roman Reigns on a constant basis - particularly since he was announced as the Universal Championship Number One Contender - Finn Balor took the fight to his opponent, and started well. As the match went on, Finn Balor’s speed was caught up with by the power of Roman Reigns, and “The Big Dog” looked in control. This allowed Finn Balor to kick off a comeback, which was cut short when both men suffered a clash of heads, sending them down to the mat. As both competitors, exhausted from the match, remained on the mat, the music of Brock Lesnar began to play. Joined by Paul Heyman, the Universal Champion made his way down to the ring.
When he entered the ring, the referee called for the bell, knowing what was about to come. As he did this, Brock Lesnar ran the referee out of the ring.
Lifting Roman Reigns up from the mat first, Brock Lesnar hit “The Big Dog” with an F-5, before rolling him out of the ring with his boot. Lesnar then turned his focus to Finn Balor, which was noted as the first interaction between the two. Brock Lesnar flicked Balor with his boot, showing zero respect to his challenger. Lesnar then lifted Balor to his feet, hitting him with a single German Suplex. Dragging him back to his feet, Lesnar blocked a feeble attempt at throwing a right hand by Finn Balor, hitting him with an F-5 in the middle of the ring. Paul Heyman then joined Brock Lesnar.
Cutting a promo hyping his client Brock Lesnar, “The Advocate” put over this Sunday’s match as an exhibition for the Universal Champion, saying that despite Finn Balor being extremely talented, he will not be the man who takes the Universal Championship. Paul Heyman continued by talking about Braun Strowman, and the fact that he is barred from the building at Extreme Rules. That will mean that Brock Lesnar isn’t going to get any nasty surprises, and Paul Heyman promises that his mind and his body are both 100% ready to continue the longest Heavyweight Championship reign of the “modern era”.
Returning from the break, Kurt Angle was seen at the entrance of the parking lot, having been called their by the “Head of Security”. Angle was informed that they were unable to locate Braun Strowman at the moment. While they claim to have every entrance marked, the security team are unable to confirm the whereabouts of the “The Monster Amongst Men”. This will be of some concern to Kurt Angle, who will tell the security team to keep searching for Strowman, saying that “if Braun Strowman gets into the building… it’s my neck on the line!”
The commentators would then recap the events of Raw so far, looking back at the first half hour of the show. Following that, Kurt Angle would be seen back in his office on the phone. As he talked about Braun Strowman being missing, Paul Heyman walked in, causing Kurt to abruptly end the call.
Having come close to Heyman finding out that Strowman may be in the building, Kurt Angle acted suspiciously as Paul Heyman spoke to him. As Heyman started to discuss business with the flustered Raw GM, Kurt’s son entered the room.
Dropping his father in it, a smiling Jason Jordan asked Kurt “so, did you find Braun yet?” Kurt Angle facepalmed, as Paul Heyman reacted by demanding answers from Kurt Angle. The General Manager of Raw attempted to play it down, but Heyman was furious. Storming out of the room, Paul Heyman said that he had to get Brock Lesnar out of here. Now left with his father in the room, Jason Jordan asked for a match tonight, requesting that Kurt Angle put him in the ring with an “elite level Superstar”. Kurt was clearly annoyed with Jason blabbing, and said “I’ll see what I can do”.
Returning to ringside, it was time for a performance from Elias, ahead of his match with Chad Gable. Elias sang a song before the match, which he dedicated to Chad Gable and Jason Jordan, a “ballad of a friendship destroyed by a backstabbing partner”. When Chad Gable made his entrance, he was surprised when Jason Jordan joined him, clearly having not been invited by his former tag team partner.
During the match, Jason Jordan served as a cheerleader for Chad Gable, albeit not one that he had asked for. Trying to remain focussed on the action in the ring, it was clear that Jordan’s antics were becoming a distractions. While Elias did use various underhanded tactics during the match, it still came somewhar out of the blue when Jason Jordan grabbed “The Drifter” by the leg, as he looked to close in on victory.
Chad Gable had missed this involvement, but nonetheless took advantage when Elias turned his back. This allowed Gable to score the victory via a rollup.
Chad Gable bt. Elias
After the match, as the referee raised the hand of Chad Gable, Jason Jordan wanted in. Moving the referee out of the way, Jason Jordan raised the hand of Gable, who once again looked wholey uncomfortable with the situation.
After that, the first hour of Raw was concluded with Paul Heyman leading Brock Lesnar out of the building.
Surrounded by security, Paul Heyman was clearly worried about the threat that Braun Strowman possessed to the Universal Champion. Brock Lesnar however was not outwardly afraid, demanding to know “where is he?” and putting over that Paul is the reason they’re leaving not Brocl. Getting into a car, the pair were driven away. As the car drove off, Braun Strowman was seen in the parking lot.
Watching as their vehicle left the arena, Strowman turned to enter the building.
Returning to the second hour of Raw, another recap video showed the events of Raw so far. Braun Strowman was then shown to be still at the entrance of the building, with security telling him that he is barred from entering. Approaching the scene, Kurt Angle told security to let him in.
The “Head of Security” told Kurt that the call had come from the very top of the WWE, but Angle insisted that they let Strowman in. Since he was running the show, the Head agreed to allow Braun Strowman in the business, telling his team “it’s this guys neck on the line… let him in!”
Having been allowed in the building, Braun Strowman made his way down to the ring.
Speaking of his fury that he won’t be at Extreme Rules, Braun Strowman said that somebody was going to “Get These Hands” tonight in Boston. Braun Strowman’s demands were heard by Kurt Angle, who told him that he would be in action “right now” against Jason Jordan!
Braun Strowman was able to defeat Jason Jordan in a fairly decisive manner, with it quickly becoming clear that the son of Kurt Angle wasn’t quite on the level of his opponent just yet. The finish came following a Running Powerslam by “The Monster Amongst Men”. On commentary it was put over that Braun Strowman was barred from the building at Extreme Rules, as a result of Paul Heyman’s talks with “Kurt’s bosses”. This was part of an agreement to ensure that Brock Lesnar would defend his Championship on Sunday.
Braun Strowman bt. Jason Jordan
Raising his Briefcase in the air, Braun Strowman made it clear that he would be coming for Brock Lesnar sooner rather than later. After he exited the ring, Jason Jordan was left to pick himself back up, and was joined in the ring by Chad Gable.
As Chad Gable helped his former partner to his feet, Jordan smiled at him. Gable did not smile back. When Jason Jordan was back on his feet, Gable took a microphone. Jason Jordan smiled again, asking Gable to “lighten up”. Chad Gable shook his head. Gable then told Jason Jordan that one thing has been going through his head since Jordan returned. Jordan was confused, until Gable explained. Saying that he didn’t want to think it to be true, and he didn’t even want to have to say it, Gable told Jordan he has been unable to shake the feeling. Jordan would ask him “what are you talking about?” and after a fairly sizeable pause, Gable would say “... I don’t believe Elias attacked me three weeks ago… I think you did it Jason!”
With this accusation, Jason Jordan’s eyes went wide, in disbelief at what he is hearing from his best friend. Jordan had no response to the claim however, instead leaving the ring and heading up the ramp, offended at what had just been said.
Later in the evening, reacting to Chad Gable’s accusation, Jason Jordan confided in his father, outraged by what had been said. While Angle didn’t believe Jordan to be the attacker, his answer wasn’t what Jordan wanted to hear. Kurt Angle seemed to side with Gable, saying that he understands the suspicion, explaining “you did show up right after Gable was taken out”. Jason couldn’t believe what he was hearing, telling his father that he will prove his innocence. To do this, he demanded that Kurt set up a lie detector test, for this Sunday at Extreme Rules.
While the friendship of Gable and Jordan appeared to be on the rocks, one that has “passed the point of no return” is that between Bayley and Sasha Banks. Coming face to face for the first time - in a meeting mediated by Renee Young - the two women promoted the match this Sunday at Extreme Rules.
Going back and forth, it was clear that the emotions between the two women were still very raw, as they almost spilled over into violence on several occasions. Bayley played up how much the friendship had meant to her, saying that whatever happened between them, she never thought it would go this far. Bayley took the time to ask Sasha Banks why she did what she did, which set “The Boss” off.
Sasha Banks claimed that she wasn’t the one who ended the friendship between them, refusing to be painted as the bad guy by Bayley. Banks then turned on Renee Young, asking her who is in her ear trying to paint Sasha as the bad guy. Banks said that Bayley ended the friendship when she told Sasha that she didn’t trust her. Sasha Banks just put her back in her place. “The Boss” then compared Bayley to an annoying little sister, saying that if she is the one representing all the young girls in the crowd, then Banks represents all those who are tired of those crying, complaining, spoiled little brats! Sasha Banks added that this isn’t about “good vs. bad”, but about “Bayley vs. Banks”. Sasha then promised that on Sunday night, any misguided little girl who looks up to Bayley would be going to bed crying, and waking up knowing that Sasha Banks is “The Boss of Monday Night Raw”.
These words in turn set Bayley off, but she was too emotional to articulate her feelings. As a result, she stepped to Sasha, looking to start the fight 6 days early. However, before the two women could come to blows in the ring, the music of Ronda Rousey hit.
Coming between the two women, Ronda declared that she had been speaking to Kurt Angle, and the decision has been made. At Extreme Rules, Ronda will be the Special Guest Enforcer for the match between Bayley and Sasha Banks.
Moving beyond that, there was Championship action on Raw, as Kevin Owens challenged Seth Rollins for the Intercontinental title. Earlier in the night, Kevin Owens was seen talking to Sami Zayn, saying that having watched how close Sami came to defeating Seth Rollins a few weeks ago, he has the blueprints to ensure “they” become the Intercontinental Champion tonight.
Intercontinental Championship Match
An even and competitive contest, the result of the match could not be looked at without the context of the involvement from outside interests. Throughout the match, Sami Zayn had looked to involve himself in the action, but after a while these minor infractions weren’t enough. As a result, when Sami Zayn actually looked to get in the ring, directly influencing the outcome of the match, Roman Reigns made his way out from the back.
Negating the involvement of Sami Zayn, while also causing a distraction to Kevin Owens, the challenger was left regretting his attempts to “steal one”. Backfiring on him completely, Kevin Owens was dropped to the mat by Rollins, falling into the Curb Stomp that scored the win.
Seth Rollins (c) bt. Kevin Owens
Following the match, as Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns stood in the ring, they stared down Owens & Zayn. As KO & Zayn looked to leave, Kurt Angle appeared on the large screen behind them.
Angle informed the teams that they would face off in a tag team match at Extreme Rules. Later in the night, when Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns asked what the “Extreme” stipulation would be, Kurt Angle told them they would “Spin The Wheel”, with the teams only finding out the match type moments before heading to the ring on Sunday.
Coming back for the final hour of Raw, Nia Jax was set for a warm up match against a member of The Riott Squad, prior to her match against the leader of the group at Extreme Rules. Tired of the constant outside involvement, Nia Jax said that she simply wanted to make this match what it already was, challenging all three members of The Riott Squad to face her at once. This resulted in a handicap match, where Nia Jax spent the entire 8 minutes fighting off relentless attack. While she had made the match to make a point, Nia would soon regret her decision, as the group beat her down. Jax showed great resilience in the match, but eventually all three women were able to take her down. Using their combined strength, and the second rope, The Riott Squad were able to hit an assisted Powerbomb to their much larger opponent.
Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan would then grab her by the arm, leaving Jax prone to a “Riott Kick”. Ruby Riott would then pin Jax, who had given taken a huge amount of punishment by the three women.
The Riott Squad bt. Nia Jax
After the match, as The Riott Squad stood tall,the commentators put over the threat to the Women’s Championship. Soon, Ember Moon and Natalya came to the top of the ramp. Natalya announced that at Extreme Rules, the match between Ruby Riott and Nia Jax would now be a Lumberjack match - promising that if nobody else does, then at least they have Nia’s back!
Having accepted Slater & Rhyno’s challenge, Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler ran down their opponents, using them as examples of guys who have found themselves all too happy to sit back and earn a cheque. While Slater protested “I got kids”, Drew McIntyre replied “... but you’ve got zero heart!”
Drew Galloway & Dolph Ziggler then beat Slater & Rhyno fairly comfortably.
After that tag team match, a video package played, promoting the Tag Team Championships match at Extreme Rules. Showing the moment that The Authors of Pain put Matt Hardy through a Table, the package ended with Bray Wyatt appearing on the screen.
Bray Wyatt sat in darkness, saying that last week his light was extinguished. Wyatt said that at “Extreme Rules” Matt Hardy would be back, ready to face “The Authors of Pain” in a Tables match!
Following a confrontation between the two last week, Raw’s final match saw Baron Corbin and Bobby Lashley go one on one for the first time ever. While the match was evenly contested, the experience edge of Bobby Lashley shone through, and he once again came out on top. Still yet to be pinned or submitted since his return to the WWE, Bobby Lashley stood tall following an impressive victory.
Bobby Lashley bt. Baron Corbin
Cutting away from Lashley’s celebrations, the Raw before Extreme Rules came to an end with news of an incident in the back. Found on the floor, with Sasha Banks stood over her, it was clear that Bayley had been blindsided by her opponent for Sunday.
As Sasha Banks stood over Bayley, vowing to put her back in her place at Extreme Rules, she was confronted by the Special Guest Enforcer for their match, Ronda Rousey.
Staring down “The Boss” as Raw went off the air, it was clear that Ronda was going to ensure there could be no question marks over who the better woman would be, as Bayley goes one on one with Sasha Banks - at Extreme Rules.
July 15, 2018
Finn Balor went to a No Contest with Roman Reigns
Chad Gable bt. Elias
Braun Strowman bt. Jason Jordan
Seth Rollins (c) bt. Kevin Owens [Intercontinental Championship]
The Riott Squad bt. Nia Jax
Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre bt. Slater & Rhyno
Bobby Lashley bt. Baron Corbin