Live from Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois!
Raw opened with footage from earlier in the day, which highlighted the fact that Stephanie McMahon was in the building. Moving on, the promised #LashleyConnects video package kicked off the show, with the intensive training regime of Bobby Lashley being highlighted. Coming out of the video package, which was recorded at the American Top Team Training Facility, the commentators put over the fact that another incident went down at the Facility earlier this week, footage of which would be shown later.
Before the incident was shown, Bobby Lashley was interviewed about what happened, but refused to comment. Instead he was focussed on his match with Chad Gable in the show’s main event.
Throughout the night, illusions were made to the incident which went down, with a clip eventually being released which showed Braun Strowman in a pick-up truck. Pulling up at the American Top Team’s location, Braun Strowman was shown approaching the building. Cutting off there, the footage was once again delayed, with hype continuing throughout the night. Michael Cole pushed “#WWEWhatHappenedNext?” calling on the WWE Universe to send in their predictions of what Braun Strowman did once he entered the building. After some of the best suggestions were read out, footage was shown from Braun Strowman’s visit to the Training Facility, with the WWE Universal Champion having invited a WWE camera crew along with him.
Braun Strowman was then shown destroying the gym, including a moment where he tore part of the cage away from the facilities octagon. On the hunt for Bobby Lashley, Braun Strowman was involved in a confrontation with the American Top Team founder Dan Lambert.
A close friend of Lashley’s, Lambert told Braun Strowman that Bobby was not at the gym, encouraging him to stop the destruction of his gym, and take up his issues on Raw. Braun Strowman accepted that Lashley was not present, but told Dan Lambert to send him a warning. Strowman said that whether it is in the ring, or on the streets, he was going to tear Bobby Lashley apart.
During the final match of the night, Chad Gable looked to score a career-defining victory against Bobby Lashley, and used his amateur background to try and outmaneuver his opponent. Despite being belittled by the likes of Drew McIntyre, Dolph Ziggler and Jinder Mahal, Chad Gable gave everything he had in an impressive display against the number one contender. While these effort will undoubtedly gain the young Superstar some plaudits, Gable was unable to defeat Lashley, as the latter eventually proved too much.
Overpowering Chad Gable, Bobby Lashley was eventually able to secure a hold of the match, one which he would not relinquish until the final bell. Hitting Gable with a Spear, Bobby Lashley picked up what was in the end a decisive victory.
Bobby Lashley bt. Chad Gable
Immediately following the main event, Braun Strowman came to the top of the ramp, looking to confront Bobby Lashley. However, before the Universal Champion could reach the ring, he was jumped from behind by Baron Corbin.
Having not been seen since Bobby Lashley defeated him the night after SummerSlam, Baron Corbin’s decision to attack Lashley’s rival confused the commentators. Hitting Strowman with a Steel Chair from behind, Baron Corbin was able to take Braun Strowman off his feet, continuing with a vicious assault.
While Braun Strowman eventually fought back against Corbin, he was on the back foot from the word go. As the two men continued to brawl on the ramp, Bobby Lashley watched on with a smile on his face. Seemingly just as in the dark as everybody else, Lashley was happy for Braun to be sidetracked by the unprovoked attack, less than two weeks before their TLC main event.
Earlier in the night, Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre singled out Randy Orton for special attention, calling “The Viper” the very symbol of just doing enough to get by.
Getting in Randy Orton’s face, Drew McIntyre said that his arrival was a step backwards for the show, but that his signing was a mistake they would have no trouble resolving. Having said that, it wasn’t Drew who was in action with Randy, but rather Dolph Ziggler. While Randy Orton was able to win the match, he was subject of a post-match attack. Saving Orton from serious harm, Finn Balor ran down to the ring, helping “The Viper” to clear the ring.
As Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler backed away from the two men, Finn Balor had a huge smile on his face, an expression which appeared to unsettle Randy Orton.
Making her much anticipated return to Raw, Commissioner Stephanie McMahon’s intentions were speculated at throughout the night. Hear to apparently address the recent controversy surrounding the show, it was implied (and understood by the commentators) that Stephanie McMahon would look to alleviate the rosters concerns about the treatment of Kurt Angle. When Stephanie McMahon came to the ring, it became clear that something else was on her mind.
Stephanie McMahon said that she understood the issues that concerned the WWE Universe, and she was going to address them. This address turned out to be about the Raw Tag Team Championships, which she announced would officially be vacated. She didn’t however reveal the future of the titles. This made it clear that Stephanie’s appearance was designed just for her to “show her face”, but this wasn’t enough for some Superstars. Coming down to the ring first, Ronda Rousey was joined by Braun Strowman, and then The Shield. All five of them demanded answers from Stephanie.
Each of the Superstars in the ring spoke about their connection with Kurt Angle, praising the fair and open environment that Raw was with him in charge. Seth Rollins said that before Stephanie got involved, Kurt Angle was doing just fine as GM of Raw. Ronda Rousey put over the help Kurt Angle had given her, while Braun Strowman praised Kurt Angle’s role in ensuring the WWE Universe got what they wanted to see at SummerSlam.
Roman Reigns remained somewhat quiet throughout, but after Dean Ambrose ran down Interim General Manager, Drake Maverick, “The Big Dog” made a threat to Stephanie McMahon. Reigns said that Stephanie McMahon and Triple H made him an offer a couple of months back, but she isn’t the only McMahon capable of trying to cut those deals. Roman Reigns added that with Smackdown 1000 just around the corner, the five of them were capable of showing their faces and making the most historic Smackdown of all-time, all that more special.
The implication that five of her top stars may be willing to jump ship to Smackdown should she not give them what they wanted clearly concerned Stephanie, and the usual composed Commissioner excused herself, leaving the ring without a response for the Raw Superstars.
Also on Raw:
- Having been given an earful by the Raw Commissioner, Drake Maverick looked to hand the show a boost ahead of Tables, Ladders & Chairs, announcing a TLC match that would take place between Jason Jordan, Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn and the team who were scheduled to reunite at last year’s event, The Shield!
- Mickie James defeated Ember Moon, who was once again upset at Nia Jax’s lack of help. Ember later told Nia Jax that her lack of action would allow Alexa Bliss to take hold of the Women’s Division again. This resulted in clear tension between the two Superstars.
- Bobby Roode joined commentary for a match between The Revival & Titus Worldwide. When No Way Jose stood up for the two members in the match, Roode rushed to the side of The Revival, telling Jose to back off.
- Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn scored a victory over The Deleters of Worlds
- After a match with Alicia Fox, Bayley was attacked by The Riott Squad. Ruby Riott then challenged Bayley to a match next week, promising her that her last night on Raw would result in a defeat!
Mickie James bt. Ember Moon
The Revival bt. Titus Worldwide’s Apollo & Titus
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn bt. The Deleters of Worlds
Randy Orton bt. Dolph Ziggler
Bayley bt. Alicia Fox
Bobby Lashley bt. Chad Gable