Live from KeyArena, Seattle, Washington!
Raw kicked off with a segment from “earlier today”, where an incident in the back shaped part of the night’s show. Confronting The Shield, as they arrived in the building, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn told the trio that they weren’t welcome on Raw. Safely surrounded by other Superstars, Owens was particularly vocal, telling the three men that all they ever did was outnumber people. Owens requested a match with any of the three, and the recently returned Dean Ambrose was more than happy to step up.
Coming back to live footage, Raw opened with the entrance of The Shield, with Michael Cole confirming the match between Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens in the main event.
Before calling out Jason Jordan, The Shield talked about Akam’s injury last week. Seth Rollins claimed that Jason Jordan & The Authors of Pain were lucky to make it out with the victory last week, but karma got them with Akam’s injury. When Jason Jordan did come to the ring, he was joined by Rezar. Each of them held one of the Raw Tag Team Championships.
When Jason Jordan got to the ring, he made it clear that with one member of “Golden Alpha” missing, they weren’t in a position to fight. Instead, Jason Jordan led Rezar in placing the Raw Tag Team Championships on the ground, between themselves and The Shield. Jordan looked in the eyes of Seth Rollins (who had caused the injury), saying “I hope you’re happy…”
As Jason Jordan went to leave the ring, Roman Reigns had an idea, telling Rezar that just because his partner wasn’t here, there was no reason he couldn’t compete. Reigns added that Drake Maverick isn’t running the tightest of operations, so he sees no reason why they couldn't go one on one. While Jordan wanted Rezar to carry on with him, the man who had just apparently vacated his Raw Tag Team Championship was more than happy with the proposal!
Making his singles debut on Raw, Rezar showed his hard-hitting style in an all-out brawl with Roman Reigns. Rezar showed his inexperience in some ways, but his strength and toughest shined through. This saw him match Reigns punch for punch, as the match spilled to the outside. The contest was however robbed of a decisive winner, when Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn (still upset about the confrontation earlier) came down to the ring.
Jumping Roman Reigns as he set up for a Superman Punch, Owens & Zayn’s involvement resulted in a Disqualification.
Roman Reigns bt. Rezar (DQ)
Looking to continue the attack after the bell, Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn looked behind them as they tried to get away before Ambrose & Rollins returned. Helped in the attack by Rezar, the two men were slightly slow when detecting Ambrose & Rollins’ arrival, as they rolled Reigns into the ring.
Quickly getting rid of Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, the two Shield members teamed up to take Rezar out. Ambrose & Rollins were able to hit a Double Dropkick, sending Rezar over to top rope and to the outside. With Raw opening up in chaos, the Interim General Manager Drake Maverick decided to make his presence known.
Tired of the involvement of Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins (who were barred from ringside last week, but still appeared), Maverick said enough was enough. He announced that in the main event, between Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens, every single member of the RAW roster was barred from ringside!
Coming back from the break, Jason Jordan looked to catch Drake Maverick, sucking up to him about the fact that he didn’t get involved as the opening match broke down. As a result, he wanted to know if Maverick could find a way to cancel Seth Rollins’ rematch for the Intercontinental Championship.
When Drake Maverick said there was nothing he could do, JJ decided to give Stephanie McMahon a call. Handing the phone to Drake once Stephanie answered, upon her request, the Interim GM had a quick conversation with his boss. When Stephanie hung up, Drake Maverick informed Jason Jordan that Stephanie isn’t going to do him any favours. He also told him that Stephanie had requested Jason Jordan faces the Universal Champion Braun Strowman in singles competition tonight.
Jason Jordan couldn’t believe what he was hearing, and tried to call Stephanie McMahon back. With Jordan now unable to get through to Stephanie, he turned to Drake. Drake added “she also asked me how to block numbers…” With that, Jason Jordan left, having talked himself into a match against Braun Strowman tonight.
Switching focus from the Universal and Intercontinental Champion, the Women’s Champion featured up next on Raw, as she was invited to take a “front row seat” for Ember Moon’s match with Alexa Bliss.
When Alexa Bliss beat Ember, with the help of Mickie James, she appeared confident she would be the next Number One Contender. Confronting Nia Jax at the top of the ramp, as Alexa celebrated in the ring, Ember Moon questioned why the Raw Women’s Champion didn’t stop Mickie James as she came to the ring. Nia’s answer was simple, as she explained that Ember brought her out to the ring to watch the match, not to get involved in it.
Returning for the second hour of Raw, Ember and Nia’s argument continued in the back. Coming between the two women, Ronda Rousey warned Nia Jax that she was coming for the Raw Women’s Championship… after she has dealt with some business.
Following a video package which promoted her return to Raw, and the “path of destruction” she has carved out since joining the WWE, Ronda Rousey made her way to the ring.
Saying that she has done a lot of thinking since she made Alexa Bliss tap out at SummerSlam, Ronda Rousey realised that before she can move on to the Raw Women’s Championship, she needed to address something. That something was the treatment of Kurt Angle, and the current state of Raw. Going back over her history with Kurt, who trained with her and gave her advice before she debuted in the WWE, Ronda explained that she stood with Braun Strowman and the other members of the Raw roster who want to see Kurt Angle shown the respect he deserves. Joining Ronda Rousey shortly after, Braun Strowman came down to the ring.
When Braun Strowman called for answers from the people who “really run Raw”, he was instead met by Drake Maverick. Drake reiterated than Stephanie was not in the building, but Braun Strowman’s opponent for the evening, Jason Jordan was.
Up until the moment the bell rang, Jason Jordan was looking for ways out of his match with Braun Strowman. While both men are Champions, they are clearly on different levels when it comes to one-on-one action. With Ronda Rousey enjoying watching Braun Strowman manhandle Jason Jordan, the WWE Universal Champion appeared to be playing up to “The Baddest Woman on the Planet”. Eventually, Braun Strowman would pick up the victory, hitting Jordan with a Running Powerslam.
Braun Strowman bt. Jason Jordan
After the match, Ronda Rousey joined Braun Strowman in the ring, as he threw Jason Jordan over the top rope. It was clear from her reaction that Ronda had enjoyed watching the Universal Champion ‘do his thing’.
Later in the evening, Drake Maverick would make another appearance, announcing to the WWE Universe that Stephanie McMahon would be present next week, and she would address the current controversies surrounding the show.
Between that match and the match between Elias and Randy Orton that followed, Titus Worldwide were seen confronting Dana Brooke in the back. Bobby Roode didn’t like this, and jumped to Dana’s side. The Revival also backed up their associate, but did so with a physical assault to Titus Worldwide. Instead of joining in, Bobby Roode stopped the attack, managing to get The Revival to back away. As Dana and The Revival left the room, Bobby showed his compassionate side by checking on Titus O’Neil, who had been hurt in the assault.
Prior to the match the aforementioned match between Elias and Randy Orton, the former began a performance that was interrupted by his opponent.
While Randy Orton said that he way going to let Elias finish his little show, he needed to tell him something. Making fun out of Elias, Orton said that when it comes to guitar playing WWE Superstars, Elias is no Honky Tonk Man, and he’s no Jeff Jarrett. And that goes for his in-ring talent as well as his musical talent.
Faring much better, in a longer and more competitive match, Elias came close to picking up a victory over Randy Orton during the contest. After a close encounter early on, which would have seen a repeat of Randy’s two minute victory from two weeks ago, Elias grew into the match. Giving a good account of himself, inspired by the pre-match taunts of Randy Orton, Elias put everything into the match. However, his best wasn’t good enough, as Orton hit a second RKO and picked up another victory over “The Drifter”.
Randy Orton bt. Elias
Between the two matches, Finn Balor came out and applauded Randy Orton’s victory. When Randy Orton made it to the top of the ramp, Balor told Orton to watch his match up next, because he will be just as impressed.
Staying true to his word, Finn Balor put in an impressive performance against Bobby Roode, who was joined at ringside by The Revival and Dana Brooke. Despite their presence, Roode had demanded that there be no involvement from his apparent associates, and they fulfilled his request. This decision may have been one Roode went on to regret, as he was defeated by Finn Balor. After the match, The Revival questioned Roode’s decision not to utilise their abilities.
Finn Balor bt. Bobby Roode
Not in action on Raw this week was Bobby Lashley, but the Number One Contender to the Universal Championship did appear - albeit by a satellite feed.
Bobby Lashley was clearly in intensive training for his match with Braun Strowman at TLC, talking live to the Raw commentators about how his training regiment conflicted with an appearance on the show. However, Bobby Lashley did say that he would appear next week, promoting an in-depth look at his training regime to accompany his return to Raw. Putting over his appearance next week, Lashley promoted the footage, telling the WWE Universe to share the message, using “#LashleyConnects” on twitter!
Having watched this video, and Lashley’s promise to appear next week, Chad Gable requested interview time. During that time, Gable challenged Lashley to a one-on-one match upon his return! Cutting Gable off, Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler laughed at Chad’s challenge, telling the young Superstar to know his place.
Another match confirmed for the TLC event was the “Loser Leaves Raw” match that would take place between Bayley and Sasha Banks.
Signing the contract for the match in the ring, Bayley and Sasha Banks got extremely personal with each other. Bayley poured out her heart to Sasha, telling her that she was one of the few people she felt she could trust, and somebody whose friendship had made her more confident in herself than she ever thought possible. Sasha Banks was much colder, no selling the friendship between the two and saying that she never cared about Bayley. Banks claimed that she just realised that if she was friends with Bayley, then the “stupid little girls” who bought Bayley’s merchandise would also want to be “Little Legit Bosses”.
Bayley became emotional at that point, saying that Sasha Banks didn’t mean what she said. Even until the end, Bayley told Banks that she was one of the best friends she had ever had, and admitted she one day hoped they could be friends again. Bayley said that she has already lost everyone who matters to her, but added that losing her position on Raw would crush her more than anything. Banks showed no remorse, saying that there was only one loser in the ring, and it would be Bayley who left Raw after their match at TLC.
Taking a look at both men ahead of the main event, Kevin Owens was shown with Sami Zayn, who told his partner that he had prepared a “dossier” on his former friend Dean Ambrose. Kevin Owens wasn’t interested, saying that he knew everything he needed to know about Dean Ambrose. Dean Ambrose on the other hand was seen to be in a laid back mood, fistbumping his fellow Shield members before heading to the ring. Of course, as had been announced earlier in the night, the entire Raw roster was barred from ringside for the main event.
This meant that Kevin Owens and Dean Ambrose could go all out in the way that the two of them always have when they’ve shared a ring. Going back and forth, the competitive match was a highly intense brawl, and either man could have come out victorious. It was therefore unsurprising when the decisive moment came from one Superstar making a mistake. Struggling to keep up with Dean Ambrose for the moment, Kevin Owens rolled to the outside. As Dean Ambrose went after Owens, the former Universal Champion threw a Steel Chair in the ring. Dean Ambrose missed this, as did the referee who looked to bring the competitors back into the ring. When returning to the ring, Kevin Owens looked to set up for a Pop Up Powerbomb, but Dean Ambrose rebounded back with a Clothesline. Then, as the referee bent over to pick up the chair, he was bundled over when Kevin Owens shoved Ambrose into him with his feet. With Ambrose and the referee disorientated, Owens looked to swing the Chair at his opponent, but missed. As Owens turned back around, Ambrose kicked him in the gut, hitting a Dirty Deeds. If that wasn’t enough, Owens connect with the Steel Chair on the way down, knocking him out completely. This allowed Dean Ambrose to pick up a victory.
Dean Ambrose bt. Kevin Owens
With Owens’ attempt to bend the rules backfiring on him, Dean Ambrose stood tall, having scored the biggest victory since his return to Raw. As Raw went off the air, the commentators promoted the appearance of Stephanie McMahon next week, with her addressing the “current controversy” surrounding the show.
Roman Reigns bt. Rezar (DQ)
Alexa Bliss bt. Ember Moon
Braun Strowman bt. Jason Jordan
Randy Orton bt. Elias
Finn Balor bt. Bobby Roode
Dean Ambrose bt. Kevin Owens