It was all but assured that something wild would go down in the first-ever “Mosh Pit Mixed Tag Team Match” in which 24/7 Champion R-Truth teamed with Carmella to defend his title against Drake Maverick & Renee Michelle. And sure enough, the bout lived up to its unique name when the 24/7 hopefuls — who had surrounded the ring in anticipation of the match’s end — made their move once Truth pinned Maverick to retain his title. What followed wasn’t so much a mosh pit as a dog pile, but the eagle-eyed referee made the count and recorded a victory for Mike Kanellis.
The new champion grabbed his title and darted up the ramp, but he quickly found he wouldn’t get a moment’s peace — not from the mob, and certainly not from his wife Maria. After Mike holed up in a locker room, Maria convinced him to let her in by verifying her identity with some truly emasculating insults and then twisted the knife even deeper, forcing her husband to lie on the ground in yet another display of dominance so she could pin him with one foot. Maria gleefully strutted out of the locker room (accurately) proclaiming herself the first pregnant 24/7 Champion and, therefore, all but untouchable by all the would-be titleholders surrounding the locker room, unless they wanted to try and pin her at her forthcoming OB-GYN appointment. Judging by the expressions on the faces of Titus O'Neil, EC3, Heath Slater and the like, they had finally stumbled upon a line they weren't ready to cross, and the question now is this: If you want to be 24/7 Champion, how do you solve a problem like Maria?
Ricochet is headed to SummerSlam to once again challenge AJ Styles, and you can’t say he didn’t earn the opportunity: The former (and possibly future?) United States Champion was the last man standing in a Gauntlet Match that featured Rey Mysterio, Cesaro, Andrade and Sami Zayn — a who’s-who of Raw’s most hard-working, under-the-radar Superstars, all of whom have been circling the U.S. Title picture for some time.
Despite the poetic justice that’s now on the table for Ricochet, it seemed like it might be Rey Mysterio’s night after the former champion defeated Cesaro and Sami Zayn in the first two stages of the Gauntlet. The Ultimate Underdog somehow survived a brutal onslaught from Cesaro and surprised Zayn with a flash pin, but the combined effort left him too drained to surpass a fresh Andrade.
The former NXT Champion heaped disrespect upon Mysterio after his victory, tearing the legend’s mask off his face before Ricochet came to Rey’s rescue. For all his swagger, however, Andrade’s confidence proved to be premature: Ricochet withstood everything Andrade threw at him and soared to victory with a beautiful 630. AJ Styles now lies in wait, not that he’s worrying about it: The Phenomenal One responded to Ricochet’s post-match speech about the power of belief with a hearty belly laugh backstage. It’s not unreasonable given Styles’ own in-ring skill, as well as his record against his challenger. But if nothing else, Raw showed that the gap between the two could be slimmer than the champion might care to admit.
Just one month after AJ Styles took them to task for falling short of their potential, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson are once again Raw Tag Team Champions, the entire O.C. has a title around their waists, and the rest of the tag team division is simply struggling to keep up.
That includes former champs The Revival as well as their longtime rivals The Usos, all of whom were participants in the Triple Threat title match that saw The Good Brothers return to the champions’ circle. Perhaps sensing the inevitable, the two teams kept the action among themselves until Gallows & Anderson found their way in, stopping The Usos dead in their tracks and banishing The Revival to the apron.
Dash Wilder eventually tagged his way in on Anderson, bringing things back to The Usos and the champs. An outside-the-ring fracas left everybody down following an Uso superplex to the floor, but a blind tag by Gallows left both the “Top Guys” and the twins none the wiser to The O.C.’s status until it was too late. As The Revival and The Usos traded splashes and Shatter Machines, Gallows & Anderson made their move and made it count: Anderson planted Jey Uso with a spinebuster, Jimmy was downed by a vicious Magic Killer, and new champions were crowned. The turnaround is complete.
Last week, it seemed The Viking Raiders had moved on from locals to more established tandems to conquer as they continue their march through the tag team division. This week against some Arkansas hopefuls, Erik & Ivar doubled back and once again dismantled the would-be competition, but the bout was hardly a reversal of course: After all, new Raw Tag Team Champions were crowned just minutes before the Raiders began their work. With the landscape shifted, it was the perfect time for Erik & Ivar to remind the field of what they're capable of — and, perhaps, who the line should start behind.
Going into SummerSlam, Becky Lynch seems to have Natalya pegged as some do-gooder cat lady whose claws aren’t sharp enough to scratch her. The Man may have read her wrong, or maybe insulted her one too many times, because Natalya looked anything but weak following a painful ambush of the Raw Women’s Champion seconds after Lynch had concluded her second match of the night and a non-challenge that may yet get accepted anyway.
In fairness, the attack was turnabout against The Man, who Alexa Bliss revealed had attacked Natalya before the show while the arena was still empty via some acquired footage on “A Moment of Bliss.” Lynch was anything but repentant about the attack; in fact, her bout with Bliss was stopped by the refs when The Goddess seemingly injured her ankle as a result of Becky’s attack. Nikki Cross provoked Lynch into a second match which the champ ended with a Man-handle Slam, at which point Bliss revealed her injury to be a ruse and joined in with Cross for a two-on-one attack.
The Queen of Harts made her move and drove off Bliss and Cross, but that was basically a bonus: She had come for Becky and got what she came for, wrenching The Man into an agonizing Sharpshooter that the champion could not escape. During a post-match interview, Natalya intimated that, given the events of the night, she’d like to make the title match at SummerSlam a Submission Match pitting the Sharpshooter against the Dis-arm-her. But, given that she’s sure Becky doesn’t have the guts to accept, she won’t be issuing that challenge after all.
For Seth Rollins, Raw was all about righting injustice and getting payback against Dolph Ziggler for humiliating Shawn Michaels last week. A noble quest, to be sure, but with Universal Champion Brock Lesnar looming large in the distance, it’s hard not to think that The Beastslayer was focusing on the wrong opponent — especially since Lesnar came calling on Raw.
The Beast picked the perfect moment to strike, too. Between Ziggler’s superkick of HBK last week and his theft of the Hall of Famer’s entrance on Raw, Rollins was all righteous retribution in defense of the legendary Michaels. That also meant he wasn’t remotely ready for the mere possibility of The Conqueror. Lesnar hit the scene and brutalized Rollins with the slightest assist from The Showoff, who briefly ensnared Rollins’ ankle to leave him helpless against the hard-charging Beast.
“Helpless” was the operative word: Brock brutalized his challenger with German Suplexes in and around the ring and three F-5’s onto the back of a steel chair, which was positioned upright. The third was against the surprising protestations of Paul Heyman, who seemed to think the damage had been done and appeared unable to convince Lesnar to back off.
The brutalization continued in the backstage area when The Beast stopped Rollins’ ambulance from leaving the arena, yanked him out of the back and F-5’ed him again on the side of his stretcher. That’s a surprising turn of events and an ominous sign for SummerSlam. After all, there’s always been at least one person who could control Brock. If that governor no longer applies, then Rollins might have finally found the one hill he can’t climb.
If last week taught us anything, it’s that two Samoans don’t get into the ring just to talk unless they share the same last name. And given that Samoa Joe declared the “Samoan Summit” with Roman Reigns cancelled due to “catastrophic breakdown of peace talks,” it was all but a given that fists were going to fly. (Doubly so given that they got a head start with a pre-Summit brawl backstage). Even so, Roman and Joe sparked a brawl the likes of which nobody seemed to anticipate.
It began straightforwardly enough, with Reigns and Joe trading blows, and Roman even chucked the steel steps right into Joe’s face. But when Drew McIntyre emerged to tilt the odds in Joe’s favor, a parade of Superstars soon joined in on the fray. Cedric Alexander, McIntyre’s rival, came to Reigns’ defense, and when McIntyre seemingly incapacitated the former WWE Cruiserweight Champion by throwing him off the stage, The Usos stormed to their cousin’s aid. Their arrival brought out Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson from The O.C., and it was Alexander who left everybody down when he scaled part of the LED board high above the announce desk and cross-bodied off of it onto the pile of humanity below.
McIntyre recovered quickly and dragged Alexander back to the ring, only to find the former WWE Cruiserweight Champion had a little more left in the tank than anticipated. The O.C. ran interference, and Reigns did as well, Superman Punching both Good Brothers and McIntyre, who Cedric took out for good with a plancha over the ropes. That left Joe standing alone, and The Bloodline took care of him with a pair of superkicks and a Spear to leave Reigns, Alexander and The Usos standing tall. Consider the summit a success.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- R-Truth (c) & Carmella defeated Drake Maverick & Renee in a Mix Tag Team Mosh Pit Match to retain the WWE 24-7 Championship (1:55)
- Mike Kanellis defeated R-Truth (c) to win the WWE 24-7 Championship
- Ricochet won a Five Man Gauntlet Match to become #1 Contender for the WWE United States Championship (32:25)
- Maria Kanellis defeated Mike Kanellis (c) to win the WWE 24-7 Championship
- The O.C. (Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson) defeated The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder) (c) and The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) in a Triple Threat Tag Team Match to win the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship (17:20)
- The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) defeated Cole Carter & Johnny James (1:30)
- Becky Lynch defeated Alexa Bliss (w/ Nikki Cross) via Referee stoppage (6:45)
- Becky Lynch defeated Nikki Cross (w/ Alexa Bliss) (2:35)
- Seth Rollins defeated Dolph Ziggler by DQ (9:35)
Other on-screen talent