Live from Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario, Canada!
Kicking off Raw, following a look back at last week’s action packed episode, Dean Ambrose opened the show. Joined in the ring by Seth Rollins, the stage was his to address the WWE Universe.
Dean Ambrose spoke about his return, saying that his first long-term lay off since he joined the WWE has made him hungrier than ever. Ambrose wanted to make up for lost time, having missed 8 months of actions, and Seth Rollins said that it was great to have him back. The two men then realised that there was “someone missing”, given that two thirds of The Shield were present. Having not been seen together since their short lived reunion, Dean and Seth were disappointed when the next theme song they heard was Stephanie McMahon’s.
Stephanie McMahon told Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins that Roman Reigns isn’t in the building, and neither was Jason Jordan. McMahon told Dean Ambrose that his involvement in the match last week injured the challenger, and Jordan will be out of action. However, Stephanie McMahon had it from Drake Maverick that Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins would be in action to open the show, against The Authors of Pain!
This contest could barely be considered a match, as it kicked off with a huge brawl breaking out between all four men. While the referee eventually managed to settle them down, the match continued in a similar, combustible manner throughout. Eventually, this aggression spilled beyond the legality of the match and the referee had to step in. When The Authors of Pain refused to relent, the referee warned them. This led to a moment where both Akam & Rezar were in the ring, having knocked Dean Ambrose off the apron. Refusing to stop their assault on Seth Rollins in the corner, the referee had no choice but to disqualify The Authors of Pain. Clearly, they didn’t care.
Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins bt. The Authors of Pain (DQ)
After the match, the beatdown on Rollins continued, until Dean Ambrose came back at The Authors of Pain. Ambrose was quickly outnumbered, and thrown to the outside, while Akam & Rezar focussed on Seth Rollins. Continuing the assault, the two men set Rollins up for a Last Chapter, but Dean Ambrose returned to the ring. This time, Dean Ambrose had a Chair. A few swings later saw The Authors of Pain exit the ring, backing away as Dean Ambrose stared them down, before checking on his friend Seth Rollins. A return from action that suffered something of a false start, Dean Ambrose will certainly be looking forward to the next time he steps in the ring.
When Raw returned from the break, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins confronted Interim General Manager Drake Maverick in his office.
The two called Maverick a puppet for Stephanie McMahon, and said that he needs to fix what happened out there, and set up a rematch. Drake tried to wriggle out of it, but was unsuccessful. That was until Chad Gable entered the office, providing some respite.
After the events of last week, a furious Chad Gable demanded that he be given a one on one match with Jinder Mahal. Drake Maverick was happy for a change of subject, telling Chad he would get exactly what he wanted, later in the night. Unfortunately, when it came down to that match, Jinder Mahal’s callout of Chad Gable served as merely a set-up, allowing Sunil Singh to attack Chad Gable from behind.
While Chad Gable was more than capable of brushing off Singh, the distraction allowed Jinder Mahal to take Gable down. Bringing Chad back into the ring, Jinder Mahal hit a Khallas to his scheduled opponent, standing over him. As a result of the attack, the match never managed to take place.
Looking back at last week, and Bobby Lashley’s victory over Baron Corbin, the winner was interview in the back.
Lashley told Renee Young that he was delighted to be moving on from the rivalry, and was ready to deliver on his promise. Lashley said it was time for him to capitalise on his momentum… and time for him to connect!
Following a successful return to the WWE last week, Alicia Fox was brought to the ring by Sasha Banks. The two women spent time running down Bayley, calling her a loser. Bayley looked to defend herself, but also knew she could rely on the backup of Nia Jax. Jax joined Bayley ahead of a tag team match between the two sides.
Another tag team match which lacked order, Bayley and Sasha Banks were once again clearly preoccupied by one another. For a while, this worked as part of the match, but soon the bickering on the outside became too much. Breaking out in a brawl on the outside, while Alicia Fox and Nia Jax competed in the ring, Bayley and Sasha Banks essentially discounted themselves from the match. When it came down to the one on one, Nia Jax was more than a match for Alicia Fox, who she pinned in the middle of the ring.
The second hour of Raw teased a “Miracle” coming to the show, before looking back at Ronda Rousey’s “Path of Destruction” since coming to the WWE. Showing the various moments where she has switched gears to teach her fellow Superstars a lesson, the video package promoted a sit-down interview later in the evening.
That interview saw Ronda Rousey discuss her victory at SummerSlam, before turning her attention to Nia Jax. Making her intentions clear, Ronda told the WWE Universe that it was her goal to be the next Raw Women’s Champion!
Responding to the interview, Sasha Banks spoke to Drake Maverick, complaining about Ronda Rousey. Sasha believed she should be the next Raw Women’s Championship contender, getting a one on one since she beat Bayley when they faced off. Drake Maverick appeared to have taken a shine to Bayley, and stood up for her. He then informed Sasha that the two would go one on one next week, the winner putting themselves forward for the number one contendership.
The next match after that was between Finn Balor and Mojo Rawley, with the latter telling the first ever Universal Champion that he is about to make his month go from bad to worse. This prediction turned out to be wrong, as Finn Balor defeated Mojo Rawley. After the match, as Finn Balor celebrated a much needed victory, his moment was cut short as Jason Jordan appeared on the big screen.
Having been injured last week, at the hands of Dean Ambrose, Jason Jordan was resting up at home, but looked to be in total comfort. Jason Jordan talked about how terrible it was to not be out there competing in Canada, but his expression made it clear that he was enjoying resting up. Jason Jordan explained that he wouldn’t be out of action for too long, and said he would be back for the Intercontinental Championship. Finn Balor was obviously annoyed by the upstaging.
Despite Drew McIntyre’s obvious annoyance at Dolph Ziggler’s behaviour last week, the duo successfully teamed up to score a victory on Raw. After beating Rhyno & Slater, Dolph Ziggler celebrated, despite Drew McIntyre doing almost all of the work. The over-the-top celebration rubbed McIntyre up the wrong way, as he walked away instead of joining in the post-match celebration.
Later in the night, when Dolph Ziggler confronted Drew McIntyre about what happened, the Scottish Superstar made his feeling clear in no uncertain terms. Telling Dolph Ziggler that “you’re just like the rest of them!” it appeared that Drew McIntyre was beginning to lose faith in the idea that Ziggler could help him change the culture of the WWE.
Having spoken earlier in the night about his desire to do his home nation proud in the Scotiabank Arena, Bobby Roode was given the chance to do just that, going one on one with Roman Reigns. The match was competitive, and Bobby Roode came close on occasion, but ultimately fell to “The Big Dog”. After the match, Roman Reigns was approached by Renee Young, who asked if he had made a decision RE: Triple H’s proposal last week.
Reigns appeared offended by the line of questioning, with Michael Cole suggesting that Roman was insulted anybody would think he’d become Stephanie and Triple H’s “golden boy”. Roman Reigns didn’t however say that, instead refusing to comment on speculation that he was finally willing to side with those in power.
Returning from the break that followed, and starting the final hour of Raw, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins spoke to Roman Reigns. They asked him what was going on, pointing out that he hadn’t spoken to either of them in the last week.
Roman was equally dismissive of his two friends, telling Dean Ambrose that “I don’t appreciate your woman putting a microphone in my face”. This caused a clear tension between the two, that was only stopped from going further by the intervention of Seth Rollins. Roman Reigns then walked away from the situation, leaving Dean Ambrose stewing.
Before a match between Bray Wyatt and Curtis Axel, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn cut a promo talking about Roman Reigns’ situation, clearly trying to stir the pot. The pair were interrupted by The Deleters of Worlds, who have had issues with Owens & Zayn in the past. The back and forth resulted in Kevin and Sami leaving the ringside area, but not before warning Hardy and Wyatt to “watch their backs”.
Joined by their partners at ringside, there was little to write home about in the match between the two. That was until the involvement of The Authors of Pain.
Taking out Matt Hardy on the outside, The Authors of Pain soon entered the ring and targeted Bray Wyatt, who had been in control of the match. By now, the contest had been thrown out, and The Authors of Pain continued a brutal targeting of Wyatt. When his partner Matt Hardy returned to the ring (as Dean had earlier), he looked to help the situation, only to find himself in the same dire circumstances.
As the attack continued, the commentators made it know that this was the first interaction between the two teams since The Authors of Pain “no showed” a Raw Tag Team Championships match against The Deleters of World. Later, it was revealed that The Authors of Pain’s advisor Paul Ellering had got back into contact with them, having spoken to Triple H. The Authors of Pain finished the assault with a Super Collider, and made it clear that now they’ve returned, they are looking for the Raw Tag Team Championships once again!
The final match of the evening saw Ruby Riott’s “Riott Squad” kicked out of the ringside area. As a result of this, Ember Moon was able to pick up an impressive victory over the group’s leader. With her win, Ember Moon added her name to the list of Superstars vying for the Raw Women’s Championship. A list which appears to be growing by the week.
Having been promoted heavily throughout the evening, Braun Strowman closed the show, with his official Champion’s celebration. Braun Strowman’s most memorable moments were shown, including various feats of strength, as well as his Helicopter arrival at Extreme Rules earlier in the year. The new Universal Champion then made his way to the ring, given the platform to address his victory at SummerSlam.
Braun Strowman opened by saying that as the WWE Universal Champion, his responsibilities are simple. Saying that he isn’t going to be another Brock Lesnar, he explained:
“My job as Universal Champion... is to represent the WWE Universe!”
He went on to explain that as the reason why he chose to “Cash In” his Money In The Bank Briefcase at SummerSlam. Braun knew that the WWE Universe didn’t want to see a replay of the WrestleMania Main Event at SummerSlam and he stepped in. Just like he stepped in at WrestleMania and made a member of the WWE Universe a Tag Team Champion! He could have done it the easy way, but that is not how Braun does his business.
But since WrestleMania, Braun had his eye on just one thing… and one man - Brock Lesnar! Saying that it will be different now he’s Champion, Braun told Brock that he knows exactly where Braun Strowman is… and the WWE Universal Champion is ready for him whenever he’s done crying at his ranch. Braun added that the same point goes for everybody, saying that whoever wants to be the one to step up to the WWE Universal Championship had better be ready to prove themselves!
Braun Strowman then used his platform to discuss the Kurt Angle controversy, saying that even if the General Manager who helped him take his place in the SummerSlam Main Event isn’t here, he still wants to thank him. Strowman said that he didn’t know what was going on at the moment, but said that after what happened last week, Angle’s focus should be on recovering from what Brock Lesnar did to him. That brought him to the “Interim General Manager” Drake Maverick. Braun laughed at the idea that Drake had any real power in the WWE, saying that he’s nothing but Steph’s “new pet”. Strowman then made it clear to whoever is really in charge, whether it’s Stephanie McMahon, Triple H or Drake Maverick, he doesn’t answer to them… but to the WWE Universe!
Strowman continued, saying that he learned that mantra from Mr. McMahon, adding that for all the bickering from Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns over who is “Vince’s Boy”, he knows the truth.
”Damn right I’m Vince’s Boy… I’m taking him out for steak tonight!”
Braun added that he was going to finish it off with some Maple Syrup and Pancakes. With this crowd pandering line, Braun Strowman was cut off by Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.
Kevin Owens said he had heard enough, explaining that Braun Strowman sucking up to the WWE Universe was making him feel physically sick. Owens then patriotically pandered to the Canadian audience, before using this as evidence of how easy they were to manipulated. He explained that he could do the same thing next time they’re in Toronto, and they’d fall for it again. Changing the subject, Sami Zayn said that he knows all about Braun Strowman, saying that “The Monster Amongst Men” loves one thing above all else… a challenge. As a result of this knowledge, he has a plan. Sami Zayn said that he heard Braun Strowman was looking for a first challenger, but questioned why it had to be singular. Zayn suggested that right there and then, Braun Strowman makes history with his first ever defence of the WWE Universal Championship!
Braun Strowman looked at them, suggesting that they rethink their plan, but was clearly more than willing to take on both men. However, when they surrounded him, clearly planning to rough him up before any potential match, they were put off by the music of Bobby Lashley.
Having teamed with Strowman in the past, Bobby Lashley ran off the threat to the WWE Universal Champion, despite Braun not looking in desperate trouble. This resulted in Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn leaving the ring, heading up the ramp as the two men stood tall. Raising his WWE Universal Championship over his head, Strowman yelled out “BBBRRRRRRAAAAAAAUUUUNNNN!” towards the two men as they retreated.
Out of nowhere, as Braun Strowman turned back towards the ring, Bobby Lashley hit him with a Spear! Dropping Strowman with it’s ferocity, Lashley made an unbelievable impact on the Universal Champion...
Shocking the Raw commentary team, Michael Cole couldn’t believe what had just happened. Not only were they surprised by Bobby Lashley’s attack on his friend, they also were surprised to see Braun Strowman taken down with such force. Saying that he had never seen Braun Strowman drop like that, Corey Graves put over the devastating Spear that Bobby Lashley had just hit the WWE Universal Champion with. In a position that he has never been in during his WWE career, Braun Strowman ended Raw looking up at the lights, as a stern faced Bobby Lashley stood over him. Having been all smiles since his return to the WWE, Bobby Lashley may have just unleashed “The Destroyer” onto the WWE Universe… and their Universal Champion!
As the show went off the air, Bobby Lashley looked directly into the camera that was broadcasting the close-up of his face, uttering two words…
Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins bt. The Authors of Pain (DQ)
Bayley & Nia Jax bt. Alicia Fox & Sasha Banks
Finn Balor bt. Mojo Rawley
Ziggler & McIntyre bt. Slater & Rhyno
Roman Reigns bt. Bobby Roode
Bray Wyatt bt. Curtis Axel
Ember Moon bt. Ruby Riott