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After a look back at last week’s show, Stephanie McMahon opened Raw, joined by her representatives for SummerSlam, Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn.
First of all Stephanie explained the stipulation that has been agreed to, which states that if Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn beat Kurt Angle’s team, the Raw GM will be removed from power. However, if Kurt Angle’s team is victorious, Angle is given full match making control for both Raw and the brand’s PPV contests. When Stephanie finished hyping up her two trusted associates (who she says come highly recommended by her husband), Jason Jordan made his way to the ring.
Jason Jordan came to the ring, telling Stephanie McMahon that he was ready for SummerSlam, saying that whoever his partner was, they would kick Kevin & Sami’s asses. Stephanie McMahon laughed off Jason Jordan’s threats, before Kurt Angle came out.
In an awkward moment, Kurt Angle told Jordan that nothing was official yet, and he hadn’t named his representatives for the match at SummerSlam. Jason Jordan was confused, feeling sure that he would be one of the two. Angle reiterated that nothing had been announced yet, before saying that one thing that is official was the fact that he would go one on one with Sami Zayn, in the match that was scheduled for last week.
Sami Zayn was able to defeat Jason Jordan in the show’s opener, but after the match it appeared that the duo were not done with Jordan. Circling their prey, on the orders of Stephanie McMahon, Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn brought Jason Jordan back to his feet. However, before they could issue the post-match attack (designed to ‘send a message’ to Kurt Angle), Seth Rollins ran down to the ring.
The Intercontinental Champion was ready to take the fight to KO & Zayn, but the two members of Team McMahon escaped before he could get his hands on them. Taking a microphone from ringside, Seth Rollins declared his intention to take part in the match, requesting to be a part of Kurt Angle’s team.
This gave Jason Jordan an idea, as he suggested to Kurt Angle that it was fate. Former Raw Tag Team Champions, Jason Jordan was convinced that he and his former partner would be perfect. He tried to convince Seth Rollins of this, but the Intercontinental Champion was more focussed on the match Kurt Angle made between himself and Kevin Owens. He told Jordan this is no uncertain terms, saying “I don’t care what you do, as long as you stay the hell out of my business!”
It would be at the end of that Owens/Rollins match, in the Main Event of the evening, where the identity of Kurt Angle’s two representatives would be confirmed.
Another high stakes match taking place at SummerSlam was confirmed last week, following the sneaky attack from Mickie James and Alexa Bliss.
Worried about the backlash from that, Alexa Bliss stayed in the back as Mickie James defeated Natalya, hoping to avoid her SummerSlam opponent. As a result of Mickie being left alone, Ronda Rousey was able to get ro her, sending a message to Alexa Bliss.
While Ronda could easily have reinjured the arm of Mickie, taking her out of SummerSlam completely, she relented, instead informing Alexa Bliss that if Mickie James was going to get involved in this business - as she did with a metal plate last week - then Rousey would bring her own backup to SummerSlam. Later in the night, Ronda confirmed that she would have someone in her corner at the event, and announced that person would be at Raw next week.
Number One Contendership Match for the Raw Tag Team Championship
An elimination match to find the next challengers to the Raw Tag Team titles, all four teams in the match came into this with a focus. Even the more light-hearted of the duos were shown to be taking this contest extremely seriously, as “selfie” promos were shown from each of the teams prior to the beginning. Before the match, The DELETERS of Worlds cut a promo, putting over the competition in the Tag Team Division. In it, they spoke to all four teams, discussing what a match at SummerSlam would represent in each scenario.
Going into the matches as favourites, the duos of The Revival and McIntyre & Ziggler controlled the early goings, before facing off against each other. Eventually, Axel & Dallas and Titus Worldwide came back into it, but found themselves in trouble. In quick succession, the two teams were eliminated by The Revival, who built the momentum to take the fight to Drew and Ziggler.
The Revival eliminate Axel & Dallas and Titus Worldwide
This momentum helped them, but Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre had been laying low, and took advantage of the fact that they expounded less energy in the match.
Despite The Revival being responsible for the first two team’s eliminations, it wasn’t enough, as McIntyre and Ziggler managed to isolate Dash Wilder. Hitting the Claymore Kick / Zig Zag combo for the victory, Dolph & Drew confirmed their place at SummerSlam..
Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre bt. Axel & Dallas, The Revival & Titus Worldwide
Heading into the break, Elias was seen walking through the back, scheduled to appear “next”. As the camera followed Elias, Rhyno could be seen down on the ground behind him. Looking back, with a smirk on his face, Elias carried on. Returning from the break, Elias had a singles contest with Heath Slater, a chance to avenge an embarrassing defeat from last week. Elias was successful, and took his anger out after the match, hitting Slater with a second “Drift Away”.
Prior to the Women’s Number One Contendership match, a uncharacteristically suited Bobby Roode was interviewed. This followed footage of his defeat to Jinder Mahal last week.
Bobby Roode was honest and frank in his interview, saying that he didn’t have a match tonight and he doesn’t see a place for himself on the SummerSlam card. Putting it simply, he said that he didn’t deserve a spot on the card. Roode promised to be back, and to be better than ever, as he wheeled his suitcase behind him and left the building. Later in the evening, Jinder Mahal continued his good run, defeating Tyler Breeze in just a few minutes.
Number One Contendership Match for the Raw Women’s Championship
Going into the match, the focus of Bayley and Sasha Banks was completely on each other, probably to the detriment of their chances. As Bayley looked for revenge after the defeat at Extreme Rules, Ember Moon and Ruby Riott remained focus on becoming the Number One Contender. Throughout the match, and the eventual exchanges of all four competitors, Ember Moon was the star of the match (as she had been at the Money In The Bank a couple of month’s earlier). However, one such moment from Ember Moon, where she jumped from the apron and hit a Moonsault to a standing Sasha Banks, cost her greatly. Taking advantage of a tweak to the knee of Ember, Ruby Riott threw her into the Steel Steps. Riott then returned to the ring, hoping to take out the last remaining opponent. This backfired for her however, as Bayley hit her with a Bayley-to-Bayley out of nowhere, pinning Riott for the win.
Bayley bt. Ember Moon, Sasha Banks & Ruby Riott
As Bayley celebrated in the ring, it was put over that her more focussed style served her well in the match. Despite showing a more serious side recently, Bayley was overcome with joy, a shot at the Raw Women’s Championship providing her with the light at the end of what has been a long, dark tunnel for her. Unfortunately, the joy of Bayley was short lived, as she was attacked from behind by Sasha Banks as she celebrated. The clearly jealous and bitter Sasha Banks was furious, having lost out to the woman she defeated just a few weeks ago. The assault showed similar brutality to the original attack last month, and Sasha Banks set up again for a Banks Statement. Before she could lock the move in however, the Raw Women’s Champion made the save.
Sasha Banks knew to get out of the way of Nia Jax, as she stormed down to the ring. Well away as Jax entered the ring, Banks backed up the ramp, but made it clear she felt she was the deserving Number One Contender. Checking on Bayley, Nia Jax helped the challenger back to her feet, a sign of respect to her SummerSlam opponent.
The issues for the night didn’t finish there however, as shortly after the match, Sasha Banks approached Kurt Angle. Making the argument that her singles victory over both the Champion and Challenger should count for something, Banks looked to find a way into the SummerSlam match. Kurt Angle remained firm, telling her that the result of the match is final, and Bayley will face Nia Jax at SummerSlam.
It wasn’t until the start of the third hour that there was in-depth talk about the SummerSlam Main Event, as a video package replayed the events of last week. Both Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns were seriously hurt when crashing through the LED screen at the top of the entranceway, and have been forced (against their will) to take a night off from Raw. While Brock Lesnar was also absent, it was put over that all three competitors would be present next week, for a final showdown before the Universal Championship match at SummerSlam.
The chaos didn’t end there for the night, as a scheduled contest between Baron Corbin and Bobby Lashley was never allowed to get going. This was due to Baron Corbin jumping Bobby Lashley during his entrance.
Seemingly not rating his chances in a fair one on one fight, Baron Corbin took complete control of the situation, putting Bobby Lashley in a position that he hadn’t been in since his return to the WWE. Showing Corbin in a different light, the attack had a ruthless focus, with the less experienced Superstar clearly desperate to make a name for himself. The fight never even reached the ring, as Corbin set up the Steel Steps on the outside. Hitting an End of Days to Lashley, Corbin left his rival needing medical assistance.
Following the stretcher in the back, the WWE cameras witnessed Bobby somehow remove himself from the stretcher, willing to keep fighting. Demanding to get his hands on Corbin, Lashley walked straight back into danger, being hit with a sucker punch by “The Lone Wolf”, who was ready for him. Lashley fell to the ground and once again had to be helped by the medics.
Moving forward to the Main Event, it was put over on commentary that after Seth’s declaration of intent to represent Kurt Angle at SummerSlam, the Raw General Manager has confirmed the Intercontinental Champion’s place on his team. On to the match itself, Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens had an expectedly good match, with both men putting in an impressive performance. Despite this, it was not the action in the ring that was decisive, but the involvement from the outside.
As Seth Rollins seemed to be closing in on victory, Sami Zayn ran down the ramp (having been absent throughout the match), jumping in the ring and causing the DQ.
Seth Rollins bt. Kevin Owens (DQ)
Shortly after the bell, as the two men continued to attack Rollins, it became clear that Stephanie McMahon was behind the attack, as she joined Owens & Zayn at ringside.
Shouting instructions at her SummerSlam representatives, Stephanie encouraged Owens & Zayn to take Seth Rollins out. Sami Zayn dragged Seth Rollins to his feet, and Kevin Owens set up to hit him with a Superkick. However, before he could hit the move, the music of Finn Balor hit.
Sprinting down to the ring, Finn Balor ran straight past Stephanie McMahon, giving her only a glance as he slid under the bottom rope. Taking the fight to both Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, Finn Balor was joined by a resurgent Seth Rollins. The two men worked together and eventually sent Owens & Zayn packing. Joining Stephanie at the bottom of the ramp, the team regrouped. As they did this, Kurt Angle made his way out, standing on the stage.
With a microphone in his hand, Kurt Angle gestured towards the ring, introducing Stephanie McMahon to the two men who would represent him at SummerSlam in 13 days. In the ring, Finn Balor and Seth Rollins stood on the second ropes, telling Owens & Zayn that they were more than ready for whatever “Team Stephanie” had planned.
Sami Zayn bt. Jason Jordan
Mickie James bt. Natalya
Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre bt. Axel & Dallas, The Revival & Titus Worldwide [Tag Team N.O.C]
Elias bt. Heath Slater
Bayley bt. Ember Moon, Ruby Riott & Sasha Banks [Women’s N.O.C]
Jinder Mahal bt. Tyler Breeze
Seth Rollins bt. Kevin Owens (DQ)