Last week, Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe slugged it out in Raw’s main event, and to the winner went a Universal Title opportunity against Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. Then, Braun Strowman resurfaced and destroyed everybody, throwing the result into question. Raw General Manager Kurt Angle promised answers, and he cut right to the chase in Raw’s opening moments, settling the tension among the three heavyweights to announce the title match would go to … all of them, in a Fatal 4-Way Match at The Biggest Event of the Summer.
Only one of them — Samoa Joe — was unhappy with the ruling. Reigns and Strowman weren’t buying The Samoan Submission Machine’s protestations, and a three-way brawl ensued that ended with Strowman nearly driving Reigns through the canvas with a thunderous Running Powerslam, despite a plethora of Superstars attempting to break up the brawl. Looks like three of the SummerSlam competitors have gotten off to a roaring start. They'll even fight in earnest in a Triple Threat next week. All that's left is the fourth.
Even in a disqualification loss last week, Elias Samson got the better of Finn Bálor courtesy of a vicious guitar to the shoulder. This week, a No Disqualification environment allowed the balladeer to defeat the Irish Superstar outright — well, that, and a well-timed assist.
Despite Samson dealing out a tremendous amount of punishment to Bálor’s shoulder, the charismatic Irishman clawed his way out of a deep, deep hole to tee up his foe for the Coup de Grâce. But right after he landed the maneuver, Bray Wyatt appeared in the ring and smote Bálor with Sister Abigail.
Samson dragged himself to cover Bálor for the victory, but Bray was left lurking over Finn’s downed body. The message being, of course, that whether he walks with Elias or not, Finn Bálor still dwells in Bray Wyatt’s world.
Big Cass didn't just pitch a shutout on Raw, he pitched two. First, a rematch with Enzo Amore from WWE Great Balls of Fire went the same way as the first: With the seven-footer once again stomping his old running mate into the ground, despite a gutsy effort by Smacktalker Skywalker.
Then, when Big Show came to the rescue after Cass refused to stop the beating after scoring the win, the Queens-born big man once again got the better of the giant, albeit this time in a much more dominant fashion than their previous encounter. First, he held Amore hostage to slow Show’s advance, then threw him into the giant and flattened Show with a street-style mugging that included one, two, three, four Empire Elbows.
Emma says it’s all about her, but to hear her tell it, she’s been on the sideline for far too long while others get opportunities she deserves. That said, she may have gone about approaching Kurt Angle the wrong way — she suggested that maybe The Olympic Hero would give her more opportunities if she dates his son. So, Angle gave Emma a chance to remind the Universe of her talents … by putting her in a match with Nia Jax.
Unfortunately for Emma, that went about as well as one might expect. She managed to evade her imposing opponent’s clutches for a few moments, but once Jax got ahold of her, it was only a matter of time before Emma was defeated — and it didn’t take long, as Jax quickly downed Emma and hit an impressive running swanton for the victory.
A banged-up Akira Tozawa came to Raw looking for another fight with Ariya Daivari after last week’s ill-fated matchup, but after Titus O’Neil got the match cancelled out of concern for his client's health, Tozawa dismissed his benefactor and decided to go it alone. As it turns out, Daivari had loftier designs in mind.
When The Stamina Monster first came to the ring to demand The Persian Lion present himself, he was instead met by WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville, who gleefully mocked his former challenger’s compromised state and paid dearly for it, suffering Tozawa’s big senton after a brawl.
Unfortunately for Tozawa, the maneuver aggravated his injured shoulder, so he was easy pickings for Daivari when he finally made his appearance … as was Neville. The Persian Lion decimated both Cruiserweights with a pair of hellacious chickenwing-clothesline combos before laying his hungry eyes on the Cruiserweight Title itself.
The comeback kid is heading back to her home turf.
Bayley powered past Sasha Banks in a grueling bout between best friends to earn an opportunity against Alexa Bliss at SummerSlam, sending The Huggable One back to the site of one of her biggest triumphs to potentially complete a remarkable rebound run back to the Raw Women's Title.
Banks, somewhat surprisingly, seemed to be almost looking past Bayley in the lead-up to this match, focusing more on her desire to punish Bliss in a pre-match powwow than on how to defeat The Huggable One. All she would say of the match was that "the best woman" would win.
True to Bliss’ own prediction earlier in the night, friendship did kind of go out the window — Bayley hung so tough that the two women resorted to a hockey-style fight at one point — and it came down to the absolute wire, as Bayley kicked out of a Frog Splash and instantly rolled up Sasha for three.
Alexa, who was on commentary for the match, didn’t miss the opportunity to hit the squared circle and flaunt her title in the face of her challenger. SummerSlam is set. May the best woman win.
As it turns out, Jason Jordan is a chip off the old block.
Kurt Angle’s newly revealed son showcased his “gold-blooded” pedigree and one of the Three I’s in particular — intensity — in a dominant debut against Curt Hawkins. The former SmackDown Tag Team Champion decimated his foe with an array of impressive, amateur-style takedowns and suplexes that left The Prince of Queens no recourse but to elbow Jordan in the head — hard — in hopes of stopping him cold.
It didn’t work. Jordan yanked his singlet straps down, screamed in Hawkins’ direction and charged him into the corner before finishing him off with an impressive hybrid of the Angle Slam and a neckbreaker, all while the proud papa beamed in the back as he watched on a monitor. Next week's "Miz TV" sitdown should be truly must-see for the young competitor.
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson may have had a point when they confronted The Revival: They did indeed accomplish almost everything Dash & Dawson have first, down to going bald. They even seemed like they would add to their laundry list of accolades by becoming the first tandem to defeat the two-time NXT Tag Team Champions on Raw.
That said, The Revival still managed to pull out the win, albeit a narrow one. Luke Gallows ran roughshod over Dash & Dawson, but a combination of a chop block by The Revival and the unexpected arrival of The Hardy Boyz (who have unfinished business with both teams after losing to each of them recently) allowed Dash & Dawson to hit Anderson with the Shatter Machine for the win.
Matt & Jeff quickly hit the ring to pick the bones of The Revival after the match, but Dash & Dawson managed to get away before a Swanton Bomb could truly take the Top Guys, well, out.
So, can Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins co-exist? Yes! But have they truly moved on from past events? That answer’s a little more complicated.
Despite Ambrose’s vocal distrust of The Kingslayer, the two former Shield members managed to recapture enough of the old magic to outlast The Miz & The Miztourage in Raw's 2-on-3 Handicap main event. The Lunatic Fringe even came to Rollins’ rescue after Miz and his crew feasted on The Architect for most the match.
The favor was repaid when Seth broke up the pinfall after Miz connected with a potential match-ending Skull-Crushing Finale on Ambrose. Rollins also saved Ambrose from a second Skull-Crushing Finale with a flying knee that teed up Dirty Deeds.
Ambrose, fired up from pinning The Awesome One, allowed a brief post-match embrace from The Architect, though he was still a bit too conflicted to partake in the traditional Shield fist bump, much to Seth’s disappointment. Baby steps, though. Ambrose might just get there yet.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Bayley defeated Sasha Banks to be the #1 Contender for the WWE Raw Women's Championship at SummerSlam (12:00)
- Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins defeated The Miztourage (The Miz, Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas) (w/ Maryse) in a 2-on-3 Handicap Match (17:30)
Other on-screen talent