Like any pair of brothers worth their salt, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins were brought back together after fighting it out.
The two former WWE Champions put their cards on the table and threw hands in an explosive confrontation at the opening of Raw, bringing their years of tension and resentment to a head after several weeks of tepidly-received olive branches. So, it was easy to see why Cesaro & Sheamus decided to attack their rivals after the brawl left both men depleted at ringside, only Ambrose & Rollins surprised everyone by driving the Raw Tag Team Champions back as one, Shield fist bump and all. And, given that Raw General Manager Kurt Angle immediately sanctioned a Tag Team Title Match between the two duos at SummerSlam, it might just be time to believe again.
The Boss, in her hometown of Boston, winning her way to SummerSlam to challenge for her fourth Raw Women’s Championship. If that’s not fate, we don’t know what is, though Nia Jax certainly made it difficult for Sasha Banks to punch her ticket from Beantown to Brooklyn, where Alexa Bliss lies in wait.
With the smug Bliss watching from an elevated lifeguard’s chair at ringside, Jax powered her way to an early advantage, ruthlessly swinging Banks into the barricade and tossing her about the ring. Yet, The Boss slowly weathered the storm with strategically-timed submission and roll-up attempts, escaping the ring when it seemed like she was in danger of being pinned.
Banks finally pulled ahead by kicking Jax’s hamstring out while she was perched on the second rope, locking in the Bank Statement moments later to the point of a near submission victory. When Jax hauled herself to her feet with The Boss on her shoulder, Banks floated over into a thunderous tornado DDT and a second excruciating Bank Statement that forced Nia to tap out. Hello, Brooklyn.
You would think the Raw locker room might have learned not to upstage Elias anymore, but R-Truth evidently missed that memo.
When the opening bars of “What’s Up?” silenced the sinister balladeer’s latest performance, Elias took his frustrations out on the former United States Champion in a major, major way, attacking Truth in the ropes and planting him with Drift Away. Suffice it to say, R-Truth will not be joining the Walking With Elias World Tour anytime soon.
What began as a pointed confrontation between Big Cass and Big Show in the shadow of the Shark Tank that will enclose Enzo Amore at SummerSlam turned into a potential dagger for Muscles Marinara and The World’s Largest Athlete. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson got involved in the fray, blindsiding the giant right as he was about to go another few rounds with his opponent on Sunday, Big Cass.
The attack by the good brothers left The World’s Largest Athlete stunned, and Big Cass — who weathered an unholy amount of vitriol from the Boston faithful and dispatched Enzo in the fracas — joined in with the former Raw Tag Team Champions in a coordinated and prolonged assault that appeared to break Show's right hand, though that could not be confirmed as the giant refused a medical evaluation. That KO Punch has been a persistent problem for the seven-footer, but come SummerSlam, he might just have one less problem to worry about.
Titus Worldwide is bringing home the gold. In a stunning turn of events, Akira Tozawa defeated Neville to claim the WWE Cruiserweight Championship, usurping The King of the Cruiserweights and validating the wheeling and dealing from Titus O'Neil that resulted in the title match being moved up from SummerSlam to Raw.
It also showed Neville’s vulnerability for perhaps the first time all year, as The King of the Cruiserweights seemed to be looking past his challenger as he made his way to the ring. Tozawa, meanwhile, was laser-focused throughout, forcing the shaken champion to play dirty and target The Stamina Monster’s previously injured shoulder.
Neville overestimated his strategy, however, and a whiffed Red Arrow allowed Tozawa to strike with the top-rope senton for the incredible championship-clinching victory, kicking off a celebration with Titus and Apollo Crews in the ring. Long may he reign.
Finn Bálor and Bray Wyatt couldn’t wait until Sunday to turn their psychological warfare physical, but a few extra days’ preparation might have been better for the inaugural Universal Champion, as Wyatt defeated his adversary in a heated match stemming from a backstage brawl that occurred earlier in the show.
Much to the shock of the Bálor Club, The Reaper of Souls was firmly in control for most of the match, brutalizing his foe with suffocating chinlocks and a reverse backbreaker-type maneuver that sucked the wind from Finn’s sails. Bálor briefly revved back to life, but The Eater of Worlds tripped Bálor up in the ropes pre-Coup de Grâce and hauled him off the turnbuckle straight into Sister Abigail for the win.
With the battle won, Wyatt administered a second Sister Abigail and briefly vanished, reappearing only to empty a decrepit bucket filled with a viscous, acidic red fluid over Bálor's head, leaving the Irishman squirming in horror. He wasn't done yet, however: A recovering Bálor successfully petitioned Kurt Angle for a rematch on Sunday, leaving Raw with an ominous vow to reveal his "demons" to The Reaper of Souls.
Emma’s one-woman crusade for the spotlight has certainly raised some eyebrows (she lost a close Triple Threat Match last week, after all), but it hasn’t exactly endeared her to women like Mickie James. The six-time Women’s Champion took exception to Emma’s all-about-me mindset in a backstage confrontation and put her in her place in a match later in the show, though Emma was all over her decorated foe from jump.
That James claimed the win was more a matter of her veteran savvy than a lack of skill on Emma’s part; a scramble near the ropes left an overzealous Emma open for a split second, and James threaded the needle with a pinpoint kick to the chin to claim the 1-2-3. A narrow miss, but Emma might make it all about her yet.
Having taken a brief detour into Suplex City the week prior, The Miz has resumed his budding rivalry with Jason Jordan, and The A-Lister and his crew got a measure of payback against the two-time Tag Team Champion when Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel swarmed Jordan in the midst of his bout with Miz, handing the gold-blooded wunderkind a beatdown at the expense of a disqualification loss for Miz.
Luckily for Jordan, two guardian angels quickly came to his rescue. The Hardy Boyz, who were backstage during an earlier confrontation between The Miztourage and Jordan’s father Kurt Angle, swarmed the Hollywood elites to even the odds, which set up ...
Thanks to Scott Dawson’s injury, The Hardy Boyz missed out on an opportunity to get their hands on The Revival. That said, The Miz & The Miztourage made for an excellent substitution as foes for The Most Exhilarating Tag Team In History all the same.
With Jason Jordan joining the former Raw Tag Team Champions, The Hardys unleashed the full scope of their skills in an impromptu Six-Man Tag Team Match. It seemed as though the bout would come down to Jordan and The Miz, at least until Curtis Axel saved The A-Lister from calamity. That kicked off a three-on-one assault of Matt Hardy, at least until Jeff and Jordan entered the fray.
One by one, The Miztourage attempted to break up the action, and one by one they were denied — The Miz was the last to fall to Jordan’s Angle Slam-neckbreaker combo. With Bo Dallas as the last man standing, he was subjected to a belly-to-belly from Jordan, Twist of Fate from Matt and finally a Swanton Bomb from Jeff that sent him to the showers.
Brock Lesnar might be out the door if he loses the Universal Title on Sunday, but if this is The Beast’s last Monday Night Raw, it should be no surprise he went out in a hail of fists and a confrontation that needed every warm body in the locker room to quell it before it escalated into what Paul Heyman called a "prison fight."
After Heyman delivered what might be his final sermon in exaltation of the reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Champion, Lesnar’s challengers surfaced one by one: first Samoa Joe, then Braun Strowman and finally Roman Reigns. The Big Dog quickly speared Joe in retaliation for The Samoan Submission Machine costing him his Last Man Standing Match against The Gift of Destruction the week prior, and Strowman disposed of Reigns with a Running Powerslam.
That left The Beast and The Monster Among Men alone in the ring, and while they made quick work of the legion of security Kurt Angle had hired to enclose the ring, the near-entirety of the Raw locker room barely managed to separate them, though Lesnar and Strowman briefly broke free to land a few wild punches. The rest will have to wait until Sunday, and the titanic main event that could change Raw as we know it.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Sasha Banks defeated Nia Jax by submission to be the #1 Contender for the WWE Raw Women's Championship (14:50)
- Akira Tozawa (w/ Titus O'Neil) defeated Neville (c) to win the WWE Cruiserweight Championship (11:00)
- The Hardy Boyz (Matt Hardy & Jeff Hardy) and Jason Jordan defeated The Miz, Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel (w/ Maryse) (15:00)
Other on-screen talent