And just like that, Ricochet is headed to WWE Stomping Grounds, where a United States Championship opportunity against Samoa Joe awaits. To get there, the former NXT North American Champion had to win a Fatal 5-Way Elimination Match, though all semblance of order quickly broke down when the ousted Cesaro and Bobby Lashley — both eliminated by The Monster Among Men’s Running Powerslam — lingered past their elimination to assault Braun Strowman and help Ricochet pin the behemoth with the 630 Splash.
With the three heavy-hitters dispatched, the match came down to Ricochet and The Miz, and while the former was smarting after Strowman hurled him over the top rope onto Lashley, a two-minute break in the action helped even things out a bit. Even with that breather, however, Miz was the fresher man and the smarter one, too. The Awesome One mangled Ricochet in the Figure-Four Leglock to clip his wings, but Ricochet amazingly still had some fight in him, and he reached the ropes to break the hold before battling his way to a match-ending 630.
Looking to get in some early work, Joe — who had been scouting from ringside — ambushed Ricochet from behind after the bell, only to find that he, too, had underestimated his new challenger. Ricochet retaliated by forcing Joe out of the ring and swooping down on him from over the ropes. The win seemed to energize Ricochet, who climbed a mountain to earn a title opportunity, but his excitement would best be tempered: With Joe on the horizon, now the hard part begins.
One way or another, the Raw Women’s Championship Match this Sunday is a tipping point: Can Lacey Evans, who has persistently dogged Becky Lynch since WrestleMania, finally break through The Man’s defenses and relieve her of her last remaining title? Or has she inadvertently doomed herself by jolting the Irish spitfire out of post-WrestleMania complacency?
Raw might have given us an idea. And it seems like Lynch has her challenger’s number. The Man provoked The Sassy Southern Belle to come to the ring and kept her talking long enough to leave her vulnerable to a bum-rush as she crossed through the ropes. Lynch sent her challenger tumbling with a Bexploder suplex right out of the gate and stole the Lady’s hat on her way up the ramp. Dirty pool? Perhaps. But this is high-stakes stuff, and any advantage matters. Come Sunday, Lacey Evans will get her opportunity, and we’ll see just how hungry Becky Lynch is.
The Viking Raiders are back, and judging by the state of the locals they annihilated in the ring, it’s like they never left.
Chaos might be following in their wake, too; Erik & Ivar had no sooner steamrolled L.A. brothers Russ and Randy Taylor than the ringside cameraman somehow caught 24/7 Champion R-Truth and Carmella disguised among the crowd. That errant shot brought out the usual mob of aspiring 24/7 Champions, who narrowly cornered Truth before he made yet another great escape (Titus O'Neil nearly pinned him under the ring) into the bowels of the arena. Luckily for them, Erik & Ivar decided they wanted no part of the 24/7 scrum … though given that the Raiders shared a pointed faceoff with SmackDown Tag Team Champions Daniel Bryan & Rowan atop the ramp, that doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t have their eyes set on a bigger fish.
As you saw on SmackDown LIVE last week, The New Day are back to full strength, and they’re showing no signs of stopping. Using his status as WWE Champion to flout the Wild Card Rule, Kofi Kingston teamed with Big E & Xavier Woods in their Team Red return, a 2-out-of-3 Falls victory over Baron Corbin, Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn.
The match itself stemmed from a “Sami and Kevin Show” that took a turn for the bizarre when Corbin’s pick for Special Guest Referee this Sunday — EC3 — was clobbered into unconsciousness by a chair-swinging Seth Rollins and “Weekend at Bernies”-ed by New Day into sanctioning a Six-Man Tag Team Match. A presumably more conscious WWE official added the 2-out-of-3 Falls stipulation, but the semantics of how the match got made soon went out the window when New Day swept their opponents with two straight falls. Woods scored the first pin by rolling up Zayn, and the WWE Champion sealed the deal after Corbin seemingly mistakenly clotheslined Zayn down the stretch, leading to a retaliatory superkick from KO and a walkout by Owens & Zayn. Kofi took advantage with a Trouble in Paradise to hand ya boys the victory, though unfinished business lingers: Corbin needs his guest ref, and Big E & Woods will battle Owens & Zayn at Stomping Grounds this Sunday.
There’s more to being a good brother than makin’ towns and makin’ towns alone, and a doctor-cosplaying Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson got a shove back toward a competitive edge from the still-healing AJ Styles, who attempted to rouse his buddies with a pep talk from the trainer’s room. Unfortunately, Gallows & Anderson couldn’t quite get all their momentum back in one night, and The Usos left Raw with a statement victory over the former Raw Tag Team Champions.
That’s a doubly stinging defeat for Gallows & Anderson, who made their WWE debuts by bushwhacking The Usos in L.A. three years ago and seemed to be cruising to a victory this time thanks to an ironman effort from Karl Anderson. Alas, they got a little ahead of themselves, and Gallows found himself downed by a series of superkicks from the twins en route to a Jimmy Uso pinfall. The result led to as much frustration from Styles backstage as it did for his buddies in the ring, but the good news for The Good Brothers is that this doesn’t have to be the last word: As the old saying goes, a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single stepski.
It’s been pretty good to be in Shane McMahon’s corner the last few weeks: The Revival are once again Raw Tag Team Champions, Drew McIntyre has gotten the better of Roman Reigns a few times, and Shane himself is still dining out on his “Best in the World” status in a fashion that shows no sign of slowing down. His gloating in advance of Reigns vs. McIntyre at WWE Stomping Grounds, however, may be a bit premature.
A round of threats delivered by McIntyre sent Reigns on the hunt throughout the backstage area and into the posh VIP area Shane had constructed for McIntyre and The Revival. Reigns promptly laid siege to Shane-O-Mac’s inner sanctum by dispatching The Revival with a few stiff strikes in the hallway, plowing McIntyre through a table and chasing Shane back out to the arena, where “The Best in the World” was easy pickings for a Superman Punch and Spear. Reigns decided to leave Shane as a living message to Drew McIntyre for what awaits Sunday, and as statements go, it was a pretty good one. All that's left is the follow-through.
Luck smiles once again on The IIconics, who remain WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions thanks to an assist from an unexpected source. With the tandem of Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross surging toward victory in a rare title defense for the Australians, SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley inadvertently swung the result when she went face-to-face with Little Miss Bliss at ringside.
She also, crucially, stopped Bliss from breaking up a roll-up by The IIconics, leading to Cross eating the pinfall and the champs retaining. Given that Alexa had planted a germ in Nikki’s brain that Bayley somehow had it in for The Twisted Sister, The Huggable One’s involvement was enough to push Cross to a potentially fateful decision after the bout: She’ll be in Alexa’s corner this Sunday at Stomping Grounds.
Welcome to “Firefly Fun House,” where ideas are like gardens that just need a little water and sunshine to grow. (Except for ideas with worms. Those are no good.) Bray Wyatt, of course, knows what it’s like for people to look the other way when it comes to him — as he told the audience, he built the Firefly Fun House so he could be with everyone else who knows what it’s like to not belong. Flanked by his friends, Wyatt spread his arms and invited the audience to join him, transforming into The Fiend. As the feed went to static, Wyatt vanished into thin air, and a new twist on a familiar refrain floated through the empty Fun House: Follow the leader.
“Unstoppable” is a word that gets thrown around a lot, but it’s certainly looking apt for Seth Rollins, who pummeled all of Baron Corbin’s prospective guest referees with a chair — condolences to Elias, EC3 and Eric Young, and good on Paul Heyman for wisely begging off pre-emptively — and rode the same intensity to his first one-on-one victory over Daniel Bryan before retribution came calling.
Before his night's ill-fated end, however, Rollins technically won the match twice: Rowan almost immediately administered an Iron Claw to The Beastslayer on the apron, handing Bryan (who was Wild Carded over from SmackDown LIVE specifically for this match) a disqualification loss he was more than happy to accept in the name of a statement beating of Rollins after the bout. Unfortunately for Bryan, a cavalcade of Superstars hit the scene, leading to an all-out brawl and a restart of the match with no one allowed at ringside.
It didn’t seem, for a while, like Bryan needed have bothered with the shenanigans in the first place. Even with Rollins back in the fight, The Beard held firm, locking his foe in two torturous LeBell Locks — one with an added, bow-and-arrow style tweak to it — and blocking a Frog Splash with his knees. The Universal Champion answered with a quick-strike enzuigiri and Stomp for the win, but his celebration was short-lived when Corbin came calling with a chair of his own.
Looking to remind Rollins of who, exactly, he should be worried about this Sunday, The Lone Wolf tenderized Rollins with the chair with several mighty swings, planted him with the End of Days and posed with his title. It was a powerful statement from a powerful challenger, and that’s before we even get into Brock Lesnar potentially showing up or the big question of who will serve as guest ref. For all Seth Rollins’ confidence in bending the game to his will, he leaves Raw much as he went in: Two moves behind and one eye in the dark.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Ricochet defeated The Miz and Braun Strowman and Cesaro and Bobby Lashley in a Five-Way Elimination match to become the #1 Contender for the WWE United States Championship (14:20)
- The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) defeated Russ Taylor & Randy Taylor (00:35)
- The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) defeated Baron Corbin, Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn [2:0] in a Two out of Three Falls Six Man Tag Team match
- The Usos (Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso) defeated Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (2:40)
- The IIconics (Billie Kay & Peyton Royce) (c) defeated Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross to retain the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship (3:30)
- Seth Rollins defeated Daniel Bryan (12:40)
Other on-screen talent