Battling Natalya in a Submission Match may be a taller order than Becky Lynch anticipates: For all The Man’s bravado, she found herself ensnared in The Queen of Harts' Sharpshooter for the second consecutive week, this time at the conclusion of a tag team bout that paired Lynch and Charlotte Flair against their respective SummerSlam opponents, Natalya and WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus.
On the bright side, Becky technically won the match, given that The Queen of Harts refused to release the hold past the count of five, handing Becky & Charlotte a disqualification victory. (Charlotte decked her partner and took a walk following an intense tag by The Man.) But the win is unlikely to register as anything but hollow; that Trish pulled Natalya off of Becky was the only reason The Man was able to walk away, albeit gingerly, when all was said and done.
Last week, Andrade ripped Rey Mysterio’s mask clean off his face, an insult tantamount to spitting straight in the legendary luchador’s eye. But The Ultimate Underdog’s bid for retribution fell tragically short, as Andrade withstood a furious effort from the former World Heavyweight Champion to win the duo’s first singles bout on Raw.
It was, indeed, vintage Mysterio on display, as the masked marvel uncorked counter after counter, using his speed and ingenuity to quite literally run circles around the former NXT Champion. And even after Andrade began to counter with his strength, Mysterio’s heart helped keep him in the fight — the Grand Slam Champion kicked out of several big swings and even connected with a 619 down the stretch.
Andrade, however, had a single ace in the hole, which he deployed to devastating effect: He once again targeted Mysterio’s mask, attempting to tear it off his face as a last-ditch effort. After the ref pulled the two apart, Zelina Vega took advantage of the fracas to land a cheap shot on Mysterio, and Andrade followed up with the Hammerlock DDT to end a match that served as the continuation of one trend and the start of a new one: We’ve known for a while that Andrade is the type of Superstar who will commit whatever flagrant acts of disrespect he deems necessary. The difference is that he’s looking more and more like the type who’ll get away with it.
For one glorious moment, Mike Kanellis was again the man of the house: After weeks of emasculation at the hands of his pregnant wife Maria, the embattled Superstar pinned his beloved during her OB/GYN appointment to win the 24/7 Championship she had committed to lording over his head for an indefinite amount of time. Alas, Kanellis’ victory was short-lived, as R-Truth — disguised as a pregnant woman — struck with a roll-up pin of his own in the waiting room to defeat Mike for the title just moments later.
A few weeks ago, Seth Rollins was The Beastslayer; the Conqueror’s conqueror; the one man who had Brock Lesnar’s number. As of last week, however, Rollins wasn’t looking like much of a challenge to The Beast Incarnate, having been F-5’d into a pulp over the course of a beating so heinous that Paul Heyman begged his client to stop and admitted, seven days after the fact, that it bordered on criminal.
And yet, Rollins once again showed up to Raw with a chair in hand to try and gain some ground back before he challenges Lesnar for the Universal Title on Sunday. If it was a reminder that Rollins still possesses the heart of a champion, it was also a reminder that he seems to pose little threat to Lesnar in his current state: Against further protestation from Heyman, Lesnar easily swatted his challenger down by booting him in the injured ribs and administering an F-5 to conclude a beating that was mercifully shorter but no less terrible than the one he inflicted last week.
Despite all this, however, Rollins still grabbed the mic after the beatdown and vowed to make it to Toronto and face Lesnar for the championship in six days simply because it’s worth it to try. “This is all I am,” Rollins groaned after the attack as he struggled to his feet and walked off under his own power. He even threw in a guarantee that he'll defeat Lesnar, a reminder that whether he has The Beast’s number or not, no amount of F-5’s will change who he is: undeterrable, unshakable, and brave to a fault.
It was nasty, it was brutish, it was short: The Viking Raiders made quick, savage work of the latest locals to try their hand against the former NXT Tag Team Champions, obliterating Jay Alexander & Eric Abraham by way of the Viking Experience in mere minutes. At this point, you question the wisdom of the locals who decide to take their chances with Erik & Ivar … unless, of course, you’re a more tenured member of the Raw Tag Team division. In that case, you’re probably just happy these two wolves have plenty of lambs to keep them occupied.
Kurt Angle’s Pittsburgh homecoming was far from a happy one, as the WWE Hall of Famer became the second legend to fall victim to “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. Angle had been tapped to serve as the special guest ref for Cedric Alexander vs. Drew McIntyre — a match that never got underway and quickly turned into a ringside brawl following a sneak attack by McIntyre — when the lights went out and The Fiend emerged to lock in the Mandible Claw, muscling The Olympic Hero to the mat before he vanished into the night, returning from whence he came.
The O.C. clearly had no intention of humoring a Champions vs. Champions bout with The New Day on Raw, mugging SmackDown Tag Team Champions Big E & Xavier Woods with the help of United States Champion AJ Styles. And even after Ricochet helped New Day even the odds, the ensuing Six-Man Tag Team Match proved to be just the latest flex for the revived, and rolling, trio of Styles, Gallows & Anderson.
Woods nearly singlehandedly pulled his team out of the pit with an inspired sequence, but a face-paint wearing Luke Gallows proved to be the difference maker for the good brothers and eventual victors. Painting himself up as a throwback to his Japan days did indeed bring out a different side of The Suntan Biker Man; he went blow for blow with Big E and thwarted Ricochet right as he threatened to turn the tide of the bout, setting the trio up for the match-ending Magic Killer.
Roman Reigns had another close call Monday on Raw, as The Big Dog was nearly run down by a car when he pulled his own ride into the arena. This, of course, comes just six days after a forklift incident sent a piece of rigging falling on top of him and certainly seemed more deliberate than that near-disaster, which Reigns had chalked up to an accident.
Ironically, the parking lot incident also seemed to simultaneously clear one of last week’s most prominent suspects: Recent rival Samoa Joe had spent the entire show aggressively professing his innocence, and given that the crash happened as he was marching to confront Reigns in the parking lot (and given that Joe chased the car away and stood guard over Reigns while the medics arrived), the two-time United States Champion appears to be exonerated of any wrongdoing. So now, we ask again: Who? And why?
The IIconics’ WWE Women’s Tag Team Title reign is no more, but anyone thinking they have an easier crack at the titles might be sorely mistaken — the new champs might be even harder to overthrow.
Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross were the last team standing in a Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match that decided the titles’ future, winning the match by way of a strategy that was, perhaps, short on bravery but begrudgingly realistic: After The IIconics were ousted by Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville, Alexa & Nikki deliberately tagged themselves out in the hopes of keeping the action between Fire & Desire and The Kabuki Warriors, Asuka & Kairi Sane.
The plan proved effective: Asuka evaded the Bed of Roses to submit Mandy with the Asuka Lock, but the effort left both Kabuki Warriors with a decent amount of wear and tear. The comparatively fresher Bliss & Cross didn’t exactly cruise to victory — they had to reduce to chicanery thanks to some interference by Nikki Cross — but they won nonetheless: After Nikki trapped Asuka in the ring apron, Bliss rocked Kairi Sane across the jaw with a hard right and swooped down with Twisted Bliss, sealing the win and earning the titles. And for all the questions about motives, manipulation and who was bending who to their will, there seems to be little doubt as to the state of their friendship now. It’s legit. And they have the titles to prove it.
Fine print is a funny thing. Dolph Ziggler came to “Miz TV” so intent on calling himself a legend, insulting Shawn Michaels and talking up his own show-stealing bonafides that he didn’t even pay attention to the match he was agreeing to. See, The Miz has plenty of time to rack up SummerSlam moments, but he decided, surprisingly, to cede the spotlight to someone who might not have many left: Goldberg.
Yes, Ziggler will face Miz next Monday on Raw, but as for Sunday, The Showoff will have to contend with the former World Heavyweight Champion, and Goldberg seems to have certainly paid attention to the insults that Ziggler has tossed his way of late. “Guess what, son?” he sneered to a retreating Ziggler upon signing the contract, “You’re next.” And then, Ziggler got superkicked by HBK for good measure.
Of course, facing Goldberg doesn’t have to be a death sentence. Ziggler isn’t wrong that he’s shown up and shown off and defied the odds even when he wasn’t supposed to. He just has to do it one more time. And if he doesn’t, well … we all know what comes next.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair defeated Natalya & Trish Stratus (7:40)
- Andrade (w/ Zelina Vega) defeated Rey Mysterio (12:25)
- Mike Kanellis defeated Maria Kanellis (c) to win the WWE 24-7 Championship
- R-Truth defeated Mike Kanellis (c) to win the WWE 24-7 Championship
- The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) defeated Jay Alexander & Eric Abraham (1:20)
- The New Day (Big E & Xavier Woods) defeated Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson by DQ (0:25)
- A.J. Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson defeated The New Day (Big E & Xavier Woods) & Ricochet in a Six Man Match
- Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross defeated The IIconics (Billie Kay & Peyton Royce) (c) and The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka & Kairi Sane) (w/ Paige) and Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville in a Fatal Four Way Tag Team Elimination match to win the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship
- Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville eliminated The IIconics
- The Kabuki Warriors eliminated Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville
- Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross eliminated The Kabuki Warriors
Other on-screen talent