Live from Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York!
The Raw after SummerSlam opened with two very different scenes. First, Stephanie McMahon was seen in the back, speaking to Raw Superstars such as Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley, Bobby Roode and Natalya. In amongst those were the other members of the Raw roster who had been left off the SummerSlam show.
Stephanie McMahon spoke down to the Superstars that she had gathered in the back, telling them that they should all be disappointed in themselves for not making it to the SummerSlam card. She added that there are only so many spots on the show, and it is their job to prove they deserve to be on it. Making it clear that it was now exclusively her favour that they have to court, she told told the Superstars “those of you who know what to do… need to start doing it now”. Heavily implying that they would be given greater opportunities if they dealt with the Superstars she has issues with, Stephanie McMahon suggested that the men and women gathered did “whatever it takes” to “catch her eye”. She closed her speech to the roster by telling them “... don’t let yourself be left off WrestleMania”. Particularly fired up by Stephanie McMahon’s words, it was clear Jinder Mahal intended to make an impact tonight.
This was immediately contrasted, as the next segment took place in the locker room. Standing in the room, addressing the roster, was the new WWE Universal Champion, Braun Strowman.
Braun Strowman spoke to the Superstars in the locker room, with Chad Gable, Finn Balor and Seth Rollins stood up with him. These are four men who had stood by Kurt Angle, and who by extension stood against Stephanie McMahon. The Universal Champion declared that the four men stood tall stand with Kurt Angle, and encouraged the rest of the Locker Room to do the same. While few gave a reaction, one from the back of the room stood up.
Getting out of his chair, it appeared that Roman Reigns - who was pinned by Braun Strowman just 24 hours earlier - had heard enough. Staring down Braun Strowman, Roman Reigns exited the room, clearly not ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with the new Universal Champion.
”Welcome To Monday Night Raw!”
Following that extended opening, the credits to the show played and the commentators welcomed viewers to Raw. This led into stills from the previous night’s SummerSlam event, as Cole promoted the WWE Network. Putting over the show as a momentumental night in WWE history, tonight’s Raw was put over as a huge show also, as the landscape of the brand’s future will be laid out. That future of course features a new Universal Champion, but no more Kurt Angle as General Manager. Out of the video package, the focus turned to the ring, where Jason Jordan, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and The Authors of Pain stood.
They awaited the entrance of Stephanie McMahon, who’s music immediately began to play. Walking down to the ring with a huge smile on her face, the Commissioner of Raw took a microphone from ringside.
Addressing the men in the ring, Stephanie McMahon made it clear that these men were not here to represent her. She said that this isn’t a “new Authority regime… or a new Corporation”. Stephanie McMahon said that the WWE Universe were simply looking at the men who “stood up… and saved
Monday Night Raw!” Stephanie then demanded a standing ovation for the five men.
While she promised that the men would be thanked, and rewarded, for their service, Stephanie emphasised that the link between them and her starts and ends tonight. She called them five “brave warriors” who allowed Raw to get the fresh start it needed. That, she said, should be all the reward they need. Stephanie McMahon then took a step to the side, as Jason Jordan took a microphone.
Jason Jordan had a huge grin on his face, and laughed off the suggestion that he turned his back on his father last night. Instead, Jordan said “my father turned his back on me the day he conceived me!” Continuing Jason Jordan bemoaned his “own father” overlooking him for SummerSlam, saying that it was the very moment that he finally accepted that Kurt Angle would never be his real father. He added that all those years ago, his father disowned him, and tonight he officially disowns his father!
Switching gears, Jordan said that it is no surprise that the night that his resentful father is kicked out of power, he is given the Intercontinental Championship match he deserved. Running down his former Tag Team Championship partner, Jason Jordan said that he was taking that title tonight. This brought out a furious Seth Rollins.
Coming to the ring alone, the fired up Seth Rollins was ready to take on every single person in the ring. His focus however stayed with Jason Jordan. Rollins told Jordan that what he did last night was the biggest mistake he will ever make, and while Seth Rollins will issue his Intercontinental Championship open challenge tonight, there is no way that he is going to let Jason Jordan be the man to get that shot. Turning to Stephanie McMahon, Seth Rollins tells her to change whatever plan she’s drawn up for tonight, because Rollins / Jordan isn’t happening. Stephanie simply rolled her eyes at Seth Rollins, saying that the night’s show had nothing to do with her, claiming that she wasn’t the one putting the matches together. Michael Cole found this laughable, given what the match last night was all about, but before discussion could continue, Stephanie McMahon decided it was the perfect time to introduce the new “Interim General Manager of Monday Night Raw...”
Diminutive in stature, Drake Maverick made his way to the top of the ramp. Clearly not buying the idea that the 205 Live GM was now in charge of Monday Night Raw, Seth Rollins said “so this is your new puppet, huh, Steph?” Before Stephanie McMahon could answer, Drake Maverick uttered his first line as Interim General Manager of Raw, coming back at Seth by saying “and you would know all about that wouldn’t you Mr. Rollins…”
This got a reaction from Seth Rollins, who turned his attention to Drake Maverick. Maverick continued by telling Seth Rollins “and I do make the matches around here, not you”. Confirmation then came that Seth Rollins would
defend his Intercontinental Championship tonight in the Main Event. Drake Maverick then said that with all the emotion flying around, it would only be right that tonight’s Main Event is contest under No Disqualification rules. Seth Rollins was furious, but Drake told him to “settle down”. He then informed the Intercontinental Champion that he needed to get out of the ring and go and find his buddy Finn Balor. While Maverick was aware of the injury Finn suffered at the hands of The Authors of Pain at SummerSlam, he smirked as he revealed that Rollins’ partner would go one on one with “the sinister… Drew McIntyre!”
Opening up the show, the match looked to keep the hyped crowd on side, with a hard-hitting contest. Following the Super Collider, as well being thrown into the Steel Steps, at SummerSlam, Finn Balor had his ribs taped up, and it was previously expected that he would not be in action tonight. However, Drake Maverick made the match, and Finn Balor seemed more than willing to go one on one with Drew McIntyre. This proved to be a poor call of Finn’s behalf, as he went all out despite the injury. In not holding back, Finn may have cost himself the match. The decisive moment in this was when Balor went to the top rope. Clearly struggling, Finn Balor had his legs swiped away by Drew McIntyre, causing his ribs to fall directly down onto the ring ropes.
The match could have been stopped there, and while the referee wanted to check on Balor, McIntyre refused to relent. From there, he was able to take control of Finn Balor, hitting a Gutwrench Powerbomb which seemed to particularly hurt his opponent. McIntyre would then set up for the Claymore Kick, hitting the move and scoring perhaps the biggest singles victory since his arrival on Raw. Interestingly, all this was done without Dolph Ziggler by his side.
Drew McIntyre bt. Finn Balor
Returning to the back, after Drew McIntyre stood tall, the next segment saw Drake Maverick in the General Manager’s office. Directing some removal men to take the boxes of Kurt Angle’s stuff away, Drake Maverick was in conversation with Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.
The two men had some questions of Drake Maverick, seemingly wondering what their deal is, given they aren’t booked on the show. Giving a knowing look, Drake touched his nose, before beginning to explain what is expected of them. Before he could go into too much detail, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn walked away. Maverick was confused, but as a shadow cast over him, the Interim General Manager realised why. Noticing the room had got slightly darker, Drake Maverick was confused, before turning around to see the WWE Universal Champion stood behind him.
For a moment the focus was simply on the height difference between the two, and the terror in the heart of Drake Maverick. Shortly after, Braun Strowman told Drake Maverick that he doesn’t know what is going on “behind the scenes”, but he doesn’t trust him, or Stephanie. Braun Strowman added that whatever they have planned, they’d better make sure that it doesn’t screw with him. Otherwise, Drake’s run as “Interim General Manager” will be a very short one. Strowman then left, with his message ringing in the ears of the intimidated Drake Maverick.
Returning from the break, the commentators talked about the “welcome” that Drake Maverick got from Braun Strowman, laughing about the Interim General Manager’s reaction. However, when it comes to the changes on Raw, it isn’t all fun and game. This led to footage from “During The Break”, which was prefaced with a reminder of how Jinder Mahal reacted to Stephanie McMahon’s words earlier.
Midway through what appeared to be a sneak attack, Jinder Mahal was seen laying into Chad Gable. Much stronger than the man he was assaulting, Jinder Mahal manhandled Gable. Picking him up by his singlet straps, Jinder Mahal forcefully threw Chad into a production equipment box. With Chad Gable down and out, Jinder Mahal was seen breathing heavily, fired up by the words of Stephanie McMahon.
Returning live, Drew McIntyre was approached by Dolph Ziggler and Dana Brooke, as he riffled through his bag.
Dolph Ziggler and Dana Brooke had just arrived at the building and asked “so what’s happening tonight?”, seemingly unaware of the huge victory that Drew McIntyre had just attained against Finn Balor. Drew McIntyre was annoyed to have to inform them that he had already been in action, and told them that he was going to shower. Dolph told him that Dana was in action later tonight, asking if he wanted to be at ringside with them. Drew decided to pass, telling Dolph that he wanted nothing to do with it.
Returning to ringside, the commentators introduced more stills from SummerSlam, this time focussing on the action in the Women’s Division. After talk about Nia Jax retaining her title at the show, the Raw Women’s Champion made her way to the ring.
Nia Jax proudly held her Championship and cut a promo about being the Raw Women’s Champion. While she put over her title run, and the victory at SummerSlam, the segment was only leading to one thing. As Nia Jax appeared to be wrapping up her promo, the music of Ronda Rousey began to play.
Making her way to the ring, Ronda Rousey went nose to nose with the Raw Women’s Champion - the first interaction between the two since Rousey joined the WWE. The look between the two made Ronda Rousey’s intentions clear, and it took a while before a word was spoken. Eventually, Nia Jax looked to break the silence, but Ronda took the microphone from her hand. Jax didn’t appreciate that, nor did she appreciate what Rousey had to say:
”Nia… I want your title!”
Nia Jax may have been expecting this, and reacted with a smirk. Looking down on the much smaller competitor, Nia Jax let out a small laugh. Not even giving the former MMA star an answer, Nia Jax patted Ronda on the shoulder, then left the ring.
As Nia Jax left up the ramp, Ronda Rousey made it clear that she felt disrespected by the gesture. However, before she could react, the music of The Riott Squad began to play. Nia Jax looked at them, before carrying on to the back. It quickly became clear that their focus was on the woman in the ring.
With a microphone in her hand, Ruby Riott explained that things were about to change for the female Superstars on Monday Night Raw, and it was starting tonight. Riott said that without Kurt Angle going to bat for her, Ronda Rousey was no longer protected on Raw. Entering the ring, Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan looked to deliver this message to Ronda physically. While the numbers made it difficult for Rousey, especially when Ruby got involved, she was able to shake off Morgan and Logan, sending them to the outside. Eventually one on one with Ruby Riott, Ronda told her to bring it on. Looking to back up her statement, Ruby quickly found herself taken down by Rousey. Standing tall, as The Riott Squad backed up the ramp, Ronda Rousey was clear in her intention to be the next Raw Women’s Champion.
Back for the second hour, Drake Maverick was joined in his new office by Jason Jordan.
Jason Jordan questioned why, as had been mentioned in passing earlier, Kurt Angle would be getting a chance to say goodbye to the WWE Universe. While Drake insisted, even to Jordan, that he was
in charge of what happens on Raw, he did admit that the decision was made by Stephanie McMahon, not him. Satisfied by this, Jordan went to leave the room. However, as he opened the door, he was stopped in his tracks, as Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar stormed past the General Manager’s office…
Returning to ringside, discussion began about the previous hour of Raw, as well as the presence of a pissed off Brock Lesnar in the building. It was at this point that it was brought up that Kurt Angle’s chance to say goodbye to the WWE Universe would be up next. While many were confused by Angle being allowed to appear on Raw, it was confirmed by Michael Cole that Stephanie McMahon herself had given the green light for Kurt Angle to say goodbye. While Coach saw this as evidence that she maybe still had some respect for the man who she has had constant issues with since he took the Raw GM job, Corey Graves wondered if the “Billion Dollar Princess” had something up her sleeve for Kurt Angle’s departure.
Hearing his music for the final time on Monday Night Raw, Kurt Angle made his first non-GM appearance since returning to the WWE. Clearly feeling emotional, Kurt Angle orchestrated the “You Suck” chant, as he took in the reaction for the last time. Now not in an official role, Kurt Angle made his way to the ring, dressed in more casual attire than usual.
Kurt Angle’s address to the WWE Universe was fairly positive, despite the clear frustration that he was feeling. While Kurt looked to focus on the list of Superstars (including Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman and even guys like Elias) he has been given the opportunity to work with, his tone made it clear that he was hurting. As Kurt Angle took a fairly long pause, the commentators were certain that the events of SummerSlam, and the betrayal of his son Jason Jordan, were playing on his mind. Despite this, Kurt Angle continued, thanking Mr. McMahon for giving him the opportunity to return to the WWE, and The Shield for giving him a moment that he will never forget. Finally Kurt Angle moved on to thank the WWE Universe. However, before he could do this, he was stopped by the music Brock Lesnar. Clearly emotionally drained, this was the last thing Kurt needed. His reaction portrayed him as a beaten man.
Brock Lesnar had his eyes squarely on the former General Manager - who played a part in Braun Strowman’s plan to cash in his Money In The Bank briefcase - as he made his way to the ring. Walking with Lesnar, Paul Heyman made it clear that Kurt Angle was not going to enjoy what was about to happen.
Kurt Angle told the pair that he wanted no trouble with the former Universal Champion, who looked naked without the title over his shoulder. Angle tried to tell Brock Lesnar that now wasn’t the time, but he didn’t take any notice. Instead, Brock Lesnar immediately lifted Kurt Angle on to his shoulders, hitting him with an F-5 in the middle of the ring. Adding to Kurt Angle’s humiliation, it was obvious that Brock Lesnar at least held him partially responsible for his loss. Now with a microphone in his hand, Paul Heyman was ready to add insult to injury, standing over Kurt Angle. However, before he could open his mouth, the music of Braun Strowman hit.
Quickly, Paul Heyman was out of the ring, while Brock Lesnar remained firm. With the Universal Championship over his shoulder, Braun Strowman came out to save Kurt Angle from whatever was planned for him. When Braun Strowman entered the ring, Brock Lesnar looked ready to go. As the two dominant Superstars went face to face, the Barclays Center was ready to see them go at it. However, Paul Heyman (who stood on the apron) had a word in Brock Lesnar’s ear. Standing protectively over Kurt Angle in the ring, Braun Strowman stood completely still as Brock Lesnar left the ring. Strowman kept his eye on Lesnar as he walked all the way up the ramp. Once they reached the top of the ramp, Paul Heyman addressed the WWE Universal Champion.
Paul Heyman warned Braun Strowman that Kurt Angle wasn’t the martyr that “The Monster Amongst Men” should attach his cause to. He said that Braun Strowman knows what happened last night, and he didn’t beat Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship, he beat Roman Reigns. Heyman added that Brock Lesnar wasn’t making excuses, he was just stating facts. Another fact is that there are places that Brock Lesnar could go where he can fight one man at one time and to be beaten, the Champion actually has to be beaten. Heyman closed by saying that Brock Lesnar will be Champion again in the future, but he would becoming the Champion on his own terms. What they meant by that was questioned on commentary, as the two left the building.
Strowman checked on Angle down in the ring, and it became clear that he was in a bad way. Braun Strowman seemed concerned, having been distracted previously by the presence of Brock Lesnar. Calling to the back, Braun angrily demanded that medical personnel came down to the ring to check on Kurt Angle. The former GM wasn’t moving, and a stretcher was brought out. Braun Strowman stayed with Kurt Angle as he was carried out down the side of the ramp.
Returning from the break, the concerned commentary team talked about Kurt Angle’s condition, showing footage of what happened previously. They said that an update would be provided as soon as they got it, with Kurt Angle currently being assessed in the back. Focus then turned to Drew McIntyre’s victory over Finn Balor earlier, and the crossed words between Drew and Dolph Ziggler that followed. This led into the next match.
Dana Brooke was joined by Dolph Ziggler at ringside, but his presence didn’t help a great deal. As far as the action in the ring went, Ember Moon was in charge from the early goings of the match, and there was a little Dana could do to change it. Having been part of the group of “underachievers” chastised by Stephanie McMahon earlier in the night, Ember Moon scored a decisive victory, hitting an Eclipse to silence any doubters.
Ember Moon bt. Dana Brooke
Switching focus from the victory of Ember Moon, the commentators gave an update on Kurt Angle, who they said would be taken from the arena to a local medical facility for further assessment. Sending to the parking lot, where Kurt Angle was being loaded into an ambulance, the Universal Champion was seen with the former General Manager.
As Kurt Angle was put into the ambulance, Braun Strowman placed a hand on his arm and told him “Kurt… I’m going to make this right!”
As the ambulance drove out of the arena, Braun Strowman turned, shouting at somebody off screen. “Where the hell is he? Where is Brock Lesnar?!” When Braun Strowman was informed that Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman had left the building, he went to a nearby pick-up truck, pulling the door open. As he got into the vehicle, Braun Strowman shouted ahead of himself, telling Brock “BEASTIE BOY… I’M COMING FOR YOU!”
Strowman then drove out of the building, in pursuit of the man who assaulted Kurt Angle and his advocate Paul Heyman.
Two other Superstars who had been the subject of Stephanie McMahon’s “motivational speech” earlier in the night went one on one, finally meeting after weeks of physical encounters. While Baron Corbin again tried to take the fight to Lashley before the bell, Bobby was able to stop the attempted cheap shot. When the match began, the two big men went back and forth. While they both have a background in combat sports, Bobby Lashley was better able to put this to use in the match. This allowed him to take control of the contest, and score what in the the end was a fairly comfortable win. He did this after hitting Baron Corbin with a Dominator.
Bobby Lashley bt. Baron Corbin
Following the match, Bobby Lashley stood tall, finally getting one over on the man who had attacked him several times over the last month.
Returning from the break, after a recap of what had happened earlier in the night, it was time for Roman Reigns to close the second hour of the show. Having been pinned last night at SummerSlam, it was obvious from the way he walked to the ring that Roman Reigns was not in the best of moods.
Taking a microphone, Roman Reigns addressed the WWE Universe, saying that last night was supposed to be his night. Roman Reigns said he had planned everything out, he was going to beat Brock Lesnar, take his Universal Championship, and then become the Champion that Raw has deserved for the last 18 months. That was supposed to be the career defining moment of Roman Reigns. But then Braun Strowman happened. When Braun Strowman was added to the match, Roman Reigns knew he’d have to change his plans, but he still had his eyes on the prize. But last night, he saw Braun Strowman take the Championship from Brock Lesnar, doing what he has been trying to do for the past year. Roman Reigns wanted to be the one who “slayed The Beast”, and said that seeing somebody else do that makes him sick. Reigns added that looking at Braun Strowman with the Universal Championship over his shoulder will be a constant reminder, and he told the WWE Universe that he won’t be able to shake that feeling until he takes the title from Braun Strowman!
On this note, as he made his intention to challenge Braun Strowman clear, Roman Reigns was interrupted by the music of Triple H. Having not been seen since WrestleMania, Triple H’s entrance confused both Roman and the commentators alike.
Coming down to the ring, Triple H made it clear that he wanted no trouble with Roman Reigns. Speaking to the clearly unhappy Reigns, Triple H said he just wanted to talk. He asked Roman Reigns to hear him out, and not to say anything until Triple H has said everything he has to say. Roman replied “I don’t feel like listening right now…”, but Triple H told him that he will want to hear him out.
“You’re going to want to hear me out, Roman. Let me explain something to you….”
Roman Reigns didn’t feel in the mood to be patronised, but nonetheless heard Triple H out.
“The only reason that Roman Reigns has never been the WWE Universal Champion… is Roman Reigns.”
Roman Reigns rolled his eyes, and let out a sarcastic laugh, but Triple H continued went on to explain. Triple H told Roman Reigns that he is free to come out to the ring and make all the excuses in the world, but it’s coming to the time in his life when it’s “now or never”. Triple H added that Roman Reigns has been doing this for a hell of a long time now, he’s been coming out to these reactions, he’s been talking about what he’s going to do. But last night, Roman Reigns failed again. Roman Reigns failed again and the more Roman Reigns continues to fail to deliver on his promises, the less likely people are to buy into “The Big Dog”.
”Roman, it’s starting to look like ‘The Big Dog’ is all bark… no bite.”
And the less that the people believe in Roman Reigns, the more transparent his excuses get. Triple H continued, telling Roman Reigns that nobody buys into this hard luck story, nobody believes that he is being held down.
”What the WWE Universe sees is a man who has been given opportunity after opportunity… and failed every time!”
Triple H said that there’s a reason that Roman Reigns has been given so many chances, and he fears that Roman Reigns is too hard headed to ever realise it. Spelling it out, Triple H told Roman Reigns:
”Pressure creates diamonds, Roman. That’s all we’ve ever tried to do. You were always ‘The Chosen One’.” “It’s always been you, Roman…”
Continuing, Triple H said that Roman Reigns has a responsibility to his family, and to his wife and children to make the right choice. Reigns objected to his family being brought into it, but Triple H told him to calm down. Hunter added that they can make that empty feeling away, they can give him a real chance at making up for failure after failure.
”Roman Reigns… you just need to say the word. One word and this Universe… becomes your empire!”
But Triple H didn’t need an answer there and then, knowing how much Reigns appreciates his wife’s input. Triple H had arranged a car, with Roman’s wife and his daughters ready to go. He added that Roman Reigns was being given the week off, knowing how important that time with his family will be for him. He was clearly being played by Triple H, but was obviously tempted by the offer. Triple H reiterated that Roman Reigns didn’t need to commit himself in front of all these people, but he owes it - to his family - to at least go for that week. Triple H said that the car is waiting in the parking lot, ready to take them to a week in a resort where he will be treated like a King, and his daughter like the princesses that he sees them as. Triple H then left the ring, with a final message for Roman Reigns…
“If not for your sake, make the right call for your family… nobody wants their daddy to be a failure, your girls don’t deserve that.”
As Triple H left up the ramp, Roman Reigns stayed in the ring, clearly conflicted by the difficult situation that Triple H had put him in.
Returning for the final hour of Raw, footage was replayed from Triple H’s proposal to Roman Reigns. Offering him a week on vacation with his family to consider an offer to be “the company guy”, Triple H put Roman Reigns in a difficult situation. Now in the parking lot, Roman Reigns spoke with his wife on the phone.
Roman Reigns clearly didn’t want to give Triple H and Stephanie McMahon the satisfaction of him even appearing to consider their offer to be “their guy”, but it was clear that his wife and daughter wanted time with him. Eventually, Roman Reigns appeared to come round to the idea of the family needing time together, admitting to his wife that he hadn’t been himself recently. Roman Reigns then told his wife that he loved her, adding “I’ll see you soon” before getting into the car that was waiting for him.
Back in the building, Jason Jordan was seen preparing for the evening’s main event. Coming into the locker room, confronting his former partner, Chad Gable had a lot to say.
Despite being seriously hurt earlier in the night, Gable told Jordan that he was disgusted by his actions at SummerSlam, calling him a “coward”. Jason Jordan didn’t rise to Chad Gable, ignoring him as he continued to prepare for his match. When Gable continued to berate him, Jordan eventually looked up, saying “Chad, as a friend… I’d get out of here right now if I was you”. As he said this, Akam & Rezar came up behind Gable.
Grabbing him by an arm each, The Authors of Pain led Chad Gable out of the locker room. Grimacing in pain from the injury suffered at the hands of Jinder Mahal earlier, Gable kicked back against Akam & Rezar. As Gable was unable to free himself, Jason Jordan turned to The A.O.P, saying “guys… take it easy on him”. With a smirk, Jason Jordan went back to his final preparations.
Returning to the WWE, Alicia Fox made her way to the ring, cutting a promo on her opponent Bayley. Running her down, Alicia Fox said she way going to put her opponent down for good. Shockingly, Alicia Fox’s return did end in victory, as she pulled off a huge upset against the former Women’s Champion. Going from bad to worse, Bayley reached rock bottom, as she was rolled up by the returning Fox.
Alicia Fox bt. Bayley
As Bayley sat in the ring, clearly having reached her lowest ebb, the music of Sasha Banks began to play. With a microphone in her hand, Sasha Banks made her way to the ring.
Running down the defeated Superstar, Sasha Banks said that Bayley needed to give up, just like all her fans have on her ever achieving anything. When she made it to the ring, Sasha Banks stood over the clearly upset Bayley and told her to stay down. As Bayley tried to get back to her feet, Banks slapped her, sending her back down to the mat. Looking down on Bayley, Sasha Banks said that she was a “pathetic loser” who didn’t deserve to be a part of the WWE.
Returning to the locker room that Jason Jordan was preparing in, Stephanie McMahon joined the man who will challenge Seth Rollins in the main event.
Saying that she and Triple H went ready to leave the building, Stephanie pointed out to Jason Jordan that Finn Balor, Chad Gable and Kurt Angle had been dealt with, and Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns were not in the building. She said that last night he helped them out, and tonight is his opportunity. Stephanie McMahon said that Jason Jordan knew going into this that if he scratched their back, they’d scratch his. Tonight is Jason Jordan’s reward, and Stephanie doesn’t intend to give him favourable treatment going forward. Leaving the locker room, she reminded Jason Jordan of the “tools” he possessed and said that with all those people out of the equation, and the No DQ stipulation, he knew what he had to do.
Returning to the ring, a Guitar was stood in the middle it, in front of the usual Elias set up. Missing from the scene was Elias himself, and instead the Guitar was flanked by Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel.
With their heads bowed, the two men solemnly informed the WWE Universe that there would be no performance from Elias tonight. While he tried his very best last night, the reaction of the WWE Universe to the actions of The New Day and Rusev have left him feeling that he can’t face a New York crowd. They declared that along with Heath Slater, the WWE Universe were now just as responsible for the lack of Elias on Monday Night Raw. Before the two men could continue their downbeat speech, they were cut off by The DELETERS of Worlds.
Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy spoke positively that “The Drifter” was not there, calling on Bo and Axel to reject his “wicked ways”. Bray Wyatt said that being a follower is not the way to go forward, saying that tonight was a new dawn on Raw. With “The Hero of The Games of Olympia” gone, there is a new landscape emerging. As Tag Team Champions, Bray & Matt want to be at the forefront of ensuring the standard that has been set remains. They will do that by challenging any team in the WWE, starting with Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel.
The following match was probably more competitive than the Raw Tag Team Champions may have expected, possibly due to them coming off a hard fought victory 24 hours ago. As a result, Axel & Dallas were able to make a good account of themselves, before eventually falling to defeat.
The DELETERS of Worlds bt. Axel & Dallas
Heading again towards the back, the show went to a commercial break with Stephanie McMahon and Triple H seen leaving the building together. As they walked towards the exit of the arena, they were confronted by Ronda Rousey.
Rousey told McMahon and HHH that she knew exactly what was going on, and they won’t get away with what they did to Kurt Angle. She added that she knows that they set Angle up for failure, and after everything he did for her, they aren’t going to get away with it. Stephanie McMahon stepped up to Ronda, still holding ill will from WrestleMania, but Triple H got between them. Trying to cool the situation, Triple H told Ronda Rousey that things are changing on Monday Night Raw, and she’d be better served keeping her head down and getting on with her job. With that, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon left the building, leaving Ronda Rousey to stew.
Returning from the break, Seth Rollins was interviewed in the back, ahead of perhaps the most important challenge of his Intercontinental Championship reign.
Seth Rollins shared the sentiment that tonight would be the toughest title defence he has faced, putting that down to the situation surrounding the match. Rollins said that he would love to come out and say that he’s looking at it like any other match, but he can’t. Tonight, the odds are stacked against him. He only has to look at last night and see that Jason Jordan has Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, The Authors of Pain and whoever else they can find on his side. Who does Seth Rollins have? Finn Balor is down and out, Chad Gable has been taken out back by those thugs Akam & Rezar and Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns are out of the building.
Seth Rollins said that he has to believe, but he is also a realist. Looking down to the Championship, Seth Rollins said that tonight could be the final day of one of the best title runs of his career. With that said, as long as Seth Rollins is the WWE Intercontinental Champion, he is going to do the same thing he has done since he won the title… fight!
No Disqualifications Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Going into this match, the events of the evening so far were recapped. As Raw kicked off with a united front from Jason Jordan, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and The Authors of Pain, the commentators suggested that something may be planned for this Main Event match, especially after some of the shady goings on throughout the night. After Finn Balor and Chad Gable were taken out by Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal respectively, the pool of talent likely to help Seth Rollins appeared to be thinning out. When his friend Roman Reigns joined Braun Strowman in leaving the building, it became apparent that if Seth Rollins wanted to walk out as Champion, he’d have to do it alone.
One minor positive note was the fact that his opponent was Jason Jordan, a man who (having held the Raw Tag Team Championships together earlier in the year), he knows well. Unsurprisingly, Seth Rollins did get the better of the early parts of the match, but the No DQ stipulation loomed large over proceedings. When Seth Rollins appeared to be closing in on victory, the appearance of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn (who defeated Seth last night), took his attention away from his title defence.
While Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn didn’t appear interested in physically getting involved, their distraction relieved the pressure on the challenger, and Jason Jordan tried to get back in the match. Things went from bad to worse for Seth Rollins, as The Authors of Pain soon joined Owens & Zayn at ringside. Akam & Rezar however were more than happy to involve themselves in the match.
Having spoken to Triple H earlier today, Corey Graves confirmed that the husband of Stephanie McMahon was a big fan on The Authors of Pain, and recently spoke to Paul Ellering after Akam & Rezar had a difficult start to their Raw careers. Seemingly now aligned with Jason Jordan, The Authors of Pain attacked Seth Rollins in the ring. The attack was brutal and physical, and there was nothing the referee could do about it. Enjoying seeing Seth Rollins suffer, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn eventually climbed onto the apron, looking to get a piece of the action now that the Intercontinental Champion was defenceless.
Not only was the Champion outnumbered 5 to 1, the commentators reiterated that there is nobody in the back with any reason to help Seth Rollins, and those who would help him aren’t here.
Resigned to the fact that Seth Rollins’ reign would end in this manner, the commentators spoke in a fatalistic tone, as Jason Jordan began to smirk. Sitting in the corner, Jason Jordan smiled as Akam & Rezar hit the “Last Chapter” to the Intercontinental Champion. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn then entered the ring, scooping Seth Rollins off the mat. Encouraging Jason Jordan to get up to his feet, Owens & Zayn seemingly wanted The Authors of Pain to set Seth Rollins up for a Triple Powerbomb.
As they brought Seth Rollins back to his feet, all hope was lost, and Michael Cole begged “not this way…” Cole’s prayers were perhaps answered, to the shock of everybody in the ring. As Seth Rollins was picked up for the move that would have consigned him to defeat, a theme that hadn’t been heard in a long time began to play….
Making his return, after 8 months on the sidelines, Dean Ambrose emerged from the back with a Steel Chair. As he ran down to the ring, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn went to meet him on the ramp. Ambrose swung the Steel Chair at Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, continuing to make a beeline for the ring. There, he was met by Akam & Rezar, who were ready for whatever he had planned. Jason Jordan’s shock eventually turned smug, as he realised that Dean was just as unfavoured as Seth Rollins.
Grabbing another Steel Chair, Dean Ambrose climbed up the steps, standing on the ring apron. Looking to the WWE Universe, Dean Ambrose shrugged, before throwing the chairs at Akam and Rezar. Entering the ring, Dean Ambrose began throwing hands at both members of The Authors of Pain, who had been distracted by the flying chairs. Still, Dean Ambrose had to fight against 3 to 1 odds, and he looked to even the score by kicking Akam straight between the legs. While this took the big man down, he still had Rezar to deal with. When the Authors of Pain member grabbed Ambrose, a heel to his groin had much the same effect. Dean Ambrose then had Jason Jordan right where he wanted him. Jordan threw a right hand at Ambrose, but the returned Superstar blocked it. Grabbing Jason Jordan around the neck, Dean Ambrose kicked the cocky challenger in the gut, dropping him with the Dirty Deeds.
Dean Ambrose still had to deal with a resurgent Authors of Pain, but was now aided by Seth Rollins, who threw one of the previously thrown chairs over Akam & Rezar, into the hands of his friend. Working together, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins took The Authors of Pain out of the ring, swinging Steel Chairs until they were rid of them. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn watched from the ramp, but clearly weren’t as invested in ensuring Jason Jordan became the Intercontinental Champion as Akam & Rezar. Dean Ambrose then directed the traffic, encouraging the WWE Universe to get behind Seth Rollins. Rollins didn’t need much encouragement, as he hit Jason Jordan with a Curb Stomp in the middle of the ring. Completing a comeback from the jaws of defeat, Seth Rollins pinned Jason Jordan, retaining his Championship.
Seth Rollins (c) bt. Jason Jordan
Following the match, the returning Dean Ambrose helped his friend back to his feet, standing tall in the ring. Having saved Seth Rollins from losing his WWE Intercontinental Championship, Dean Ambrose took to the second rope. Returning in front of a raucous Barclays Center crowd, Dean Ambrose stood tall with Seth Rollins as Raw went off the air. In a night where a dark cloud descended over Raw, and the future looked uncertain, the show ended with the return of one of the brands biggest stars, and a successful Intercontinental Championship defence for Seth Rollins. Michael Cole signed off on a huge night in the history of Monday Night Raw, telling those wondering what the future of the show looks like, that they are in for a bumpy ride as the brand is once again transformed… into the Ambrose Asylum!
Drew McIntyre bt. Finn Balor
Ember Moon bt. Dana Brooke
Bobby Lashley bt. Baron Corbin
Alicia Fox bt. Bayley
The Deleters of Worlds bt. Axel & Dallas
Seth Rollins (c) bt. Jason Jordan [Intercontinental Championship]