Even by his brazen standards, Jason Jordan may have made what was his boldest bid for respect yet this week on Raw. After misses against Braun Strowman and Kane, the gold-blooded Superstar challenged Roman Reigns for a title bout right as the Intercontinental Champion was demanding Angle sanction a match between himself and Samoa Joe, and even offered to throw down with Joe himself when the former NXT Champion stole his thunder by emerging to accept Reigns’ challenge.
When Reigns failed to treat Jordan's presence seriously, the young Superstar suplexed the champion out of nowhere, forcing Reigns into a title match while Joe watched from the ramp. Jordan made good on the opportunity to showcase his abilities (catching Reigns midair out of a Superman Punch and charging him into the steps was a thing of beauty, as were his one-legged Northern Lights Suplexes), but the win was once again just beyond his grasp. Reigns sealed Jordan's fate by targeting his taped-up knee — which Jordan re-injured after a tumble over the ropes — and landing the devastating Superman Punch-Spear combo for the win.
Jordan wasn't about to let his effort be overlooked by Joe, however, as he intruded on a post-match attack from The Samoan Submission Machine by suplexing him away from Reigns just as Joe was locking in the Coquina Clutch. The Big Dog repaid Jordan by Superman Punching him out of the ring, and when Jordan demanded a match with Joe from Angle moments later in the locker-room area (while Angle was defending himself to Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon on the phone, no less), The Samoan Submission Machine added insult to injury by sneak-attacking him right in front of his father.
Paige hadn't competed in over a year before going one-on-one with Sasha Banks on Raw. That inactive streak officially came to an end with her victory over The Boss, though the former Raw Women's Champion's woes didn't stop at just an in-ring defeat.
With Bayley and Mickie James backing Banks at ringside to offset the presence of Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville of Absolution, Sasha had the opportunity to face Paige one-on-one and took advantage of her foe's rust to force her onto the defensive. Paige rallied with a sunset flip powerbomb, but couldn't put Sasha away until after Mandy and Sonya took out Bayley and Mickie at ringside, distracting Banks and leaving her defenseless for a boot to the face and ring-rattling Ram-Paige — to say nothing of a post-match attack the hands of Absolution, who tried and failed to entice Sasha into their ranks last week.
As for Alexa Bliss? The Raw Women's Champion was at commentary for the entirety of the match, though she vanished the second Absolution got their hands on Banks.
Last week, Kurt Angle sanctioned two Fatal 4-Way Matches to determine who would battle for the right to challenge WWE Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore. Rich Swann won the first, and now, Drew Gulak has prevailed in the second to each clinch their place in next week's one-on-one match, setting up a potential confrontation between a member of The Zo Train and their ringleader (who had an interesting interaction with Nia Jax in the locker room area before the match began).
It was almost going to be a battle between Swann and Cedric Alexander, who's been both a friend and tag team partner to the former WWE Cruiserweight Champion over the last couple of months. Alexander unleashed the full scope of his offense against Gulak, Tony Nese and especially Mustafa Ali, the high-flyer who matched Cedric move for move in the early goings and resurfaced for another throwdown toward the end.
Alexander even rallied from Ali's astonishing springboard Spanish Fly to take out both Nese and Ali with Lumbar Checks, but Gulak blasted Cedric with a knee to the head before he could cover Ali, stealing the win for himself. Gulak had even planned to address the potential collision between himself and Enzo in the form of a PowerPoint presentation; alas, the show went to commercial before he could launch into his slides. That said, Gulak may end up making his point yet at Swann's expense ... and, perhaps, Enzo's.
Elias came within inches of the Intercontinental Championship last week, so he was understandably miffed when Kurt Angle bestowed the next opportunity at Roman Reigns’ title to his son instead. That said, Elias may have been a little too blunt in his criticism of The Olympic Hero, which is why he ended up facing a mystery opponent that turned out to be Braun Strowman.
To Elias’ credit, he didn't even try to fight The Monster Among Men, instead leading the behemoth into a mad pursuit before the bell rang. When that didn't get him anywhere, he went down swinging — literally. Elias smashed the guitar over the back of Strowman, who quickly shook it off and planted Elias with a Running Powerslam for his troubles.
Strowman had eyes on an even more sinister outcome, tossing the steel steps into the ring, but his attack was cut short when Kane emerged on the TitanTron with retribution on his mind for Strowman's assault the previous week — as well as a challenge for another in-ring confrontation. “Together, we will descend into the abyss,” said The Big Red Machine. “But only one monster will emerge.”
Alicia Fox is unpredictable, but not so unpredictable that she's ready for Asuka. The Empress of Tomorrow followed up on her near-instantaneous defeat of Dana Brooke last week (setting a record for fastest submission victory in a women's match) by toppling the former Divas Champion, though Alicia did manage to make it interesting (that big boot!) before suffering the fateful armbar that spelled her end.
The arrival of Absolution quickly complicated the situation, as they encircled the ring with both Asuka and Alicia still inside. Asuka once again accepted a stalemate and exited when Absolution made no move, leaving Alicia alone in the proverbial lion's den. Paige reassured her “best friend” Fox that she had nothing to fear from her — the same couldn't be said, however, for Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose, who quickly decimated the former Divas Champion.
With The Miz out of action shooting a movie, The Miztourage's quest to represent his brand continues apace. This week, it was Bo Dallas — entering to Miz's music, no less — who flew the flag against Finn Bálor in a match he intended to dedicate to The A-Lister, should he prove victorious.
He did not, though not for lack of trying. Dallas’ open challenge to Finn was certainly a bold maneuver, and he utilized The Awesome One's “Mizdom” to pulverize Bálor with a bruising attack of his ribs. But the first-ever Universal Champion answered Dallas' impressive efforts, unleashing a quick-strike Sling Blade and a final Coup de Grâce that took him halfway across the ring for the victory.
Last week's loss to Bray Wyatt seemed to have destroyed Matt Hardy. Not so. The former Raw Tag Team Champion deployed a message to interrupt Wyatt's latest sermon, enlightening the WWE Universe as to what, exactly, had happened to him seven days prior.
The Eater of Worlds had warned the WWE Universe against trusting “the ramblings of a madman,” but Hardy countered that his true self had become “woken,” and that he had burst free of his mortal "vessel" as a result of his defeat. While Wyatt promised he would “burn” all those who opposed him, Hardy got the last word this time around, sentencing Wyatt to nothing less than “deletion.”
Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins’ bid for their second Raw Tag Team Championship fell short not once but twice in a single evening, as their battle with Cesaro & Sheamus quickly descended into chaos that involved a reconfiguring of the match and an unwelcome appearance by Samoa Joe.
The Lunatic Fringe and The Kingslayer technically defeated The Bar at first, albeit via disqualification when Sheamus rushed the match without a tag to stomp Rollins into a pulp. Raw General Manager Kurt Angle disputed the conclusion of the title bout and restarted it under No Disqualification rules, which opened the door for The Samoan Submission Machine to provide a decisive (and legal) assist. His interference handed The Bar a more concrete victory over their challengers when Sheamus connected with a savage Brogue Kick on Ambrose after Roman Reigns hit the scene to chase Joe off.
The Alabaster Gladiator threw legal man Cesaro on top of The Lunatic Fringe to notch a pinfall that Reigns was a beat too late to save, though he did manage to help drive The Bar and Joe back up into the high ground of the WWE Universe. They may find, however, that giving Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns a common enemy could leave them with precious few places to hide.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Roman Reigns (c) defeated Jason Jordan to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship (20:38)
- Paige (w/ Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville) defeated Sasha Banks (w/ Bayley & Mickie James) (16:05)
- Drew Gulak defeated Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali & Tony Nese in a Fatal Four Way match to be the #1 Contender for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship (14:54)
- Asuka defeated Alicia Fox by submission (2:20)
- Finn Bálor defeated Bo Dallas (w/ Curtis Axel) (5:38)
- Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose defeated The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro) (c) by DQ in a WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match (17:08)
- The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro) (c) defeated Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose in a No Disqualification Match to retain the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship (1:33)
Other on-screen talent
Roman Reigns vs. Jason Jordan
Paige vs. Sasha Banks
Drew Gulak vs. Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali vs. Tony Nese
Bran Strowmann attacks Elias
Asuka vs. Alicia Fox
Finn Balor vs. Bo Dallas
Cesaro & Sheamus vs. Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins