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Welcome to Monday Night Ra — er, The Kevin Owens Show! (It’s official, there’s a T-shirt and everything.) The first Monday night of Kevin Owens’ reign as WWE Universal Champion kicked off exactly as you might imagine, with an all-stops pulled celebration of The Prizefighter’s title win, complete with a barrage of insults toward the audience by Owens … oh, and an interruption from Seth Rollins, who was robbed of the title last Monday by Triple H.
More than a little stung by last week’s events, The Architect came out swinging verbally at Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon for hanging him out to dry (she continued to deny involvement) and literally at KO in a display of aggression that got him indefinitely suspended by Stephanie ... until Raw General Manager Mick Foley vetoed it. Opting to give the wronged Rollins an opportunity instead of a punishment, The Hardcore Legend exercised his match-making powers as GM and gave The Architect a chance to win the WWE Universal Title from Owens at Clash of Champions.
Bayley said she was ready for the big time, and what do you know? She was. Following weeks of insisting she was ready to challenge Charlotte for the Raw Women’s Championship, Bayley got her chance to go one-on-one with Charlotte, albeit not with the title on the line. That said, what was supposed to be a power-reaffirming night for Charlotte — she even forced Dana Brooke to literally take notes at ringside — turned out to be a major humiliation after Dana attempted to involve herself in the match, leading to an inadvertent collision between champion and mentor when Bayley reversed a Charlotte roll-up. With Charlotte knocked loopy from a head-to-head collision with Dana, Bayley tightened her headband, let rip with a Bayley-to-Belly, and got her win over the champion. Dana, meanwhile? Dana got a slap after the match for her efforts.
For years, Bo Dallas has been preaching a simple message: “Bo-lieve.” But now, Dallas has changed his mantra to something a bit more specific: “Bo-lieve in Bo.” And, with an all-important match against blue-chip WWE recruit Bin Wang in Shanghai on Saturday, Bo put his new philosophy to the test in a tune-up match of his own against a local competitor named Kyle Roberts. Turns out “Bo-lieve in Bo” worked like a charm: Dallas unleashed a hitherto-unseen aggressive side and looked like a million bucks in the process, decimating Roberts in a matter of seconds.
Following the successes of Jeri-KO and a win over Neville last week, it’s safe to say the value of “The Gift of Jericho” is at an all-time high. (Seriously, there’s a T-shirt and everything.) Also at an all-time high is Seth Rollins’ competitive drive, which meant that Chris Jericho got a healthy dose of it in his first one-on-one match with The Architect in over two years
Rollins was a man on a mission from the very beginning, battering Jericho from jump and forcing him onto his heels. The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla, looking to protect the honor of his best friend, Kevin Owens, rallied midway through to give The Architect a fight, going so far as to lock Rollins into the Walls of Jericho. But Rollins’ fight for his own honor was stronger than Jericho’s fight for Owens’. The Architect reached the ropes to break the hold, rallied from a Lionsault and, when Jericho resorted to desperation mode, executed a much-savored Pedigree for the win. Drink. It. In.
Over the course of Cesaro and Sheamus’ Best of Seven Series, The Celtic Warrior has taken up firm residence in the driver’s seat after knocking off The King of Swing at SummerSlam Kickoff and injuring his foe’s back en route to a tapout victory in Match No. 2 last week. The third bout ended in a win for the Irishman as well, as a still-injured Cesaro was fighting from underneath almost the entire time.
The King of Swing came out strong attempting to get a quick win, but once Sheamus landed a back body drop Cesaro was on the defensive. Give The Swiss Superman credit for his heart: He kicked out of a quartet of Irish Curses. But a Celtic Cross-backbreaker hybrid left The King of Swing shattered and ripe for a Brogue Kicking, giving Sheamus a comfortable three-match lead going into what could very well be a shutout victory this Wednesday at WWE Live in London.
It’s been hard times lately for Puerto Rico’s self-appointed ambassadors, but The Shining Stars are suddenly smelling as sweet as a hibiscus following a surprise victory on Raw over none other than Enzo Amore & Big Cass. With The Realest Guys in the Room looking to regain footing after Cass fell short of the WWE Universal Championship this weekend, the opportunity was ripe for Primo & Epico to make a statement of their own, and make it they did.
Following an extended tirade where Enzo pretended to give birth to a baby that was as "sawft" as The Shining Stars, Muscles Marinara and Don Parmesan were firmly in control of the bout. It looked to be a guaranteed win on the back of Big Cass, but an interfering Primo managed to break up the Rocket Launcher once Cass tagged in Enzo, allowing Epico to prey on an isolated Amore with a roll-up pin.
Being Alicia Fox’s friend has its perks. For one, you might get a match on Raw as a local competitor … but, it might also be against Nia Jax. Alas, that was the double-edged fate that befell Foxy’s old friend Ann Esposito, who was trotted out as Nia’s next target and even got so far as to lock in a sleeper hold on the powerhouse. Jax, despite being momentarily flustered, flattened her opponent again and again against the turnbuckle and pinned her moments later. Alicia, for her part, was not amused at first, but when Nia attempted to get in her face about the match later in the show, Fox's long-dormant claws came out once again in a heated confrontation.
As certified retirement specialists at the Octogenarian Leisure Destination For Aging Retirement Treatment (get it?), Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson know retirement candidates when they see them. Hence their farewell shellacking of The Dudley Boyz a couple weeks ago, and hence their introduction of The New Day’s greybeard counterparts — “The Old Day” — on Raw, whom they trotted out to gain a psychological advantage over The New Day before challenging them at Clash of Champions.
The New Day themselves, of course, had to see their future selves for, well, themselves, and after an uncanny interaction with The Old Day, ya boys decided instead to #BeatUpGallows&Anderson. The good brothers made themselves scarce, of course, but New Day found a solid, potentially paradox-causing alternate: #BeatUpTheOldDay.
Darren Young got the better of Titus O’Neil last week, but it looks like The Big Deal isn’t exactly about to let his embarrassment slide so easily. As evidenced, of course, by his actions during Mr. No Days Off’s bout with Jinder Mahal, which ended in a win for Young but led to a truly surprising display from the typically mild-mannered D. Young.
Despite an attempted interference by Titus, Young pinned The Maharaja with the Gut Check and then went to work, pouncing on his former tag team partner with such ferocity that it took a team of WWE officials to separate them.
Last week, Braun Strowman defeated a luchador named Americo and punctuated the victory by removing his foe’s mask. In the world of lucha libre, this is the ultimate disrespect. So Raw’s resident luchador (and birthday boy), Sin Cara, stepped up to face the big man in retaliation. And, while the gesture ultimately proved futile, The International Sensation did score a moral victory of sorts over his monstrous foe: After Sin Cara briefly got the better of Strowman in an outside-the-ring fracas with a series of kicks, the monstrous Superstar simply threw Sin Cara into the barricade, opting to take a count-out win rather than his usual, dominant pin before flattening him with a final, post-bell charge.
Sasha Banks promised some “bad news” in her first appearance on Raw since SummerSlam, where she both suffered an injury and lost the Raw Women’s Championship. The Boss’ ominous pre-Raw message had the WWE Universe thinking they were looking at a farewell of sorts, but turns out Sasha’s promise was a fake-out: When Dana Brooke came a-callin’ looking for some redemption after costing Charlotte her bout earlier in the night, Sasha sprang into action and locked Brooke in the Bank Statement. Once Brooke was dispatched, Sasha revealed that the “bad news” was really directed at Charlotte, who will have to contend with a fully-healthy Boss at Clash of Champions. How legit is that?
Despite scoring a heartfelt and initially decisive victory over Kevin Owens at Battleground, Sami Zayn — “directionless” in his own words — found himself back in the mix against his old friend Kevin Owens, who’s now the WWE Universal Champion and winning their “race,” in his own words. Zayn, as expected, gave Owens a hell of a fight, nearly snatching victory from the jaws of defeat when he aggravated his previously injured ankle and hit an exploder suplex to KO outside the ring.
Unfortunately, the hobbled Sami couldn't complete the Helluva Kick and Owens capitalized with a superkick and a powerbomb … and that’s when Roman Reigns came for payback of his own, having been denied the WWE Universal Title by Triple H as well last week. Chris Jericho arrived to give Owens some backup, but Mick Foley came to the rescue again, sanctioning Reigns vs. Owens for next week, where, if Reigns wins, he is added to the WWE Universal Championship Match at Clash of Champions. Reigns then laid out Jericho as a warning to The Prizefighter. Sinister alliances, demolished former friends, power struggles, and a looming threat from which the champion may not be able to escape? Just another week on The Kevin Owens Show.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Bayley defeated Charlotte (w/ Dana Brooke) (12:37)
- Bo Dallas defeated Kyle Roberts (0:39)
- Seth Rollins defeated Chris Jericho 13:45)
- Sheamus  defeated Cesaro  in a Best of Seven Series Match #3 (4:05)
- The Shining Stars (Primo & Epico) defeated Realest Guys (Big Cass & Enzo Amore) (7:05)
- Nia Jax defeated Ann Esposito (1:35)
- Darren Young (w/ Bob Backlund) defeated Jinder Mahal (2:14)
- Braun Strowman defeated Sin Cara by Count Out (2:12)
- Kevin Owens defeated Sami Zayn (12:57)
Other on-screen talent