Challenge Seth Rollins for his WWE World Heavyweight Title? Sure, why not. That’s part of the gig. Hell, he’ll even tolerate a second challenger. But enough is enough, and “The Man” wants his statue back from Sting, who pulled a disappearing act with The Architect’s monument two weeks ago and has been holding it hostage ever since. So Rollins’ first order of business in Baltimore was to retrieve his effigy from The Vigilante. Iimagine Rollins' surprise when Sting actually responded to his frothing ramblings by displaying the statue, hidden in an undisclosed location, and dared Rollins to come and get it.
Oh, and if that wasn’t enough for Rollins to worry about, Sheamus all but called his shot on a Money in the Bank cash-in at Night of Champions. Then The Authority slotted him for a pair of contests — a Champion vs. Champion bout against Ryback, and a Champions vs. Challengers showdown that would team him and The New Day against John Cena & The Prime Time Players. Just another day in the life of “The Man.”
You want Sasha? You got Sasha! Fan-favorite rabble-rouser Sasha Banks found herself back in the spotlight on Raw in a one-on-one match against Paige. The Boss did not waste her time in the spotlight, knocking off The Diva of Tomorrow once again in singles competition. The former NXT Women’s Champion first rode the assistance of Team B.A.D. to stave off victory, but Banks struck out on her own when she hammered her way out of the Ram-Paige.
Naomi & Tamina returned in the nick of time, however, rushing the ring as Paige prepared to apply the P.T.O. The ref broke his concentration to shoo B.A.D. away, and by the time he returned to the action, Sasha had rolled Paige up into what turned out to be the pinfall. Legit.
The Cosmic Wasteland will have to wait. Despite shoring up their numbers on SmackDown by allying with a true-blue supervillain, The Ascension found themselves on the receiving end of Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns’ flailing fists come Raw time. After entering through the crowd like the old days, Ambrose & Reigns ramped up for their showdown with The Wyatts by knocking off the former NXT Tag Team Champions. It took a Doomsday Device and Dirty Deeds to do it, but they got it done before The Wyatts made their presence known by appearing on the TitanTron and warning the self-styled brothers (and their mystery third man) of what awaits them.
Another win for The Big Guy! Even with Kevin Owens seemingly lurking in the wings, Ryback rode his trademark intensity — and a timely assist from Sting — to upend Seth Rollins himself in the first of The Architect’s two Authority-mandated Raw contests. But even before The Icon resurfaced, the Champion vs. Champion contest was almost all Ryback. The Human Wrecking Ball beat Rollins to and fro with impunity until The Architect rammed him face-first into the ring post and steps.
Rollins set to work, systematically picking The Big Guy apart, coming within a hair’s breadth of a pinfall before Sting appeared on the TitanTron to taunt the champ. That was all Ryback needed to spring with a small package, earning a pinfall that left Rollins twitching with rage in the ring, though not as much as The Vigilante appeared again to affix a Sting mask to Rollins’ statue.
So depending on whom you ask, Summer Rae either fielded an unwanted advance from Dolph Ziggler or snuck an unwanted peek into The Showoff’s shower last week on Raw in an attempt to break Ziggler and Lana apart. Either way, Rusev’s new ambassador/arm candy decided to set the record straight and apologize for dragging The Bulgarian Brute’s heart through the mud.
Good news: The former U.S. Champion happily accepted the apology. The bad news is, his continued trash-talking of Ziggler and Lana brought out The Showoff, who reinforced the strength of his relationship and gave Rusev a “message” from the currently injured Lana: a superkick to the face. Oh, and he got a Night of Champions rematch, too.
With one win apiece, the rivalry between Randy Orton and Sheamus steamrolled into Baltimore for the pair’s rubber match. When all was said and done, The Apex Predator slithered away with the series with another win over Mr. Money in the Bank. He owes a slight debt to the WWE Universe, whose jeers turned the Irishman into a gusher of frustration , meaning all Orton had to do was wait until a frothing Sheamus rushed into a Brogue Kick, at which point he dodged the big boot and hit the RKO.
That was where the good news ended, though. As a response to Orton's seeming collusion with Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns backstage, The Wyatt Family appeared after the bell and obliterated The Viper before feeding him to Braun Strowman. That'll teach him, or anyone, really, to flirt with the idea of stepping up for Night of Champions.
Los Matadores aren’t thrilled about The Dudley Boyz bullying their way to the front of the race for the WWE Tag Team Titles. If only they came better prepared to face the boys from Dudleyville on Raw. In fact, a miscommunication between the bullfighters landed them on the wrong end of a 3D, and when they took out their frustrations on El Torito, The Dudleyz grabbed hold of a table and powerbombed one of the offending Matadores through the pine.
Last week, it was a blow to Cesaro’s ribs that robbed him of a win. This time, it was an unwelcome guest. Teeing off with The Miz after a tiff on the Raw Pre-Show, Cesaro took Miz apart and seemed to have a lot of fun doing it until the Hollywood A-lister targeted The Swiss Superman’s tenderized ribs outside the ring. Big Show’s arrival seemed to spell curtains for the Hollywood A-lister until Miz took flight, ending the match in a double count-out … but not Cesaro’s night. The frustrated giant took his anger out on the prone “Professional” with a KO Punch as he made his exit.
Charlotte wanted a Divas Title Match? Well, she got a Divas Title Match! The “generation kid” of the Divas Revolution made a point of telling Nikki Bella she had petitioned The Authority to move up her title bout to get a fair shake on cutting Nikki’s reign short of AJ Lee’s longevity mark. And as Charlotte revealed by interrupting Team Bella's weekly gloat session, she’d been granted such an opportunity. To punctuate the announcement, PCB went to town on a gobsmacked Team Bella, sending the champion and her retinue retreating to the showers, with an apparently injured leg, no less. Now that’s doin’ it with Flair.
Sept. 20 is Night of Champions, but Sept. 7 was Night of Challengers as John Cena & The Prime Time Players united to defeat a trio that, together, holds four of WWE’s six championships. That’s a pretty solid day’s labor — especially for The Prime Time Players, who’ll challenge The New Day for the Tag Titles on the season premiere of Raw next week. After The New Day ran roughshod over Cena, Titus O’Neil and Darren Young tagged in and the groundwork for the 15-time World Champion to swoop in and win the day with an Attitude Adjustment to Kofi Kingston.
And then, Sting reappeared again, Seth Rollins’ statue still in tow and bad intentions on his mind. Given that Rollins never came to find him, The Vigilante revealed his whereabouts to be the arena loading dock, where he tossed the statue into the bed of a garbage truck, crushed it into powder, and cruised off into the night. Rollins made a point of displaying his two titles to reinforce his continued dominance — he is still Seth Freakin’ Rollins after all. But, alas, he’s got no freakin’ statue.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Sasha Banks (w/ Naomi & Tamina) defeated Paige (w/ Charlotte & Becky Lynch) (9:55)
- Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose defeated The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor) (2:52)
- Ryback defeated Seth Rollins (17:42)
- Randy Orton defeated Sheamus (15:50)
- The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & Brother Devon) defeated Los Matadores (Diego & Fernando) (w/ El Torito) (1:35)
- Cesaro vs. The Miz ended in a double count out (4:09)
- John Cena and The Prime Time Players (Darren Young & Titus O'Neil) defeated Seth Rollins and The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) (w/ Xavier Woods) (12:57)
Other on-screen talent