Who will face Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship? The answer is no clearer than it was last week. After the Universal Champion's contract negotiations hit an unspecified "snag," Raw General Manager Kurt Angle was forced to backtrack and cancel the planned multi-man bout to determine The Conqueror's challenger — much to the chagrin of Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley, who were the first two Superstars announced for the contest.
The lingering tension between Reigns and Lashley gave Angle a chance to make lemonade when he contemplated sanctioning a singles match between the two at Extreme Rules. But the true opportunists of the situation ended up being The Revival, who resurfaced to demand a rematch after last week’s loss. Constable Baron Corbin, who had been lurking on the periphery throughout the entire confrontation, was more than happy to make his presence known, granting the tag match on the spot.
Okay, so The Revival were one week off in their assessment that they could get one over on a squabbling Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley. But Dash & Dawson’s prediction came true all the same, as civilities broke down between the thrown-together heavyweights in the middle of an impromptu tag team match. The tag team specialists capitalized accordingly, earning the kind of marquee win that has long been frustratingly out of reach for the two-time NXT Tag Team Champions.
Unsurprisingly, Reigns & Lashley’s alliance was a tenuous one at best, though it seemed they would work through their aggression and power their way to a victory all the same. But when Reigns tried to steal the winning tag in the same manner Lashley had last week, things went pear-shaped in a hurry: Reigns olé’d a charging Dawson into Lashley on the apron and Speared the chrome-domed “Top Guy” —but unfortunately, Dash Wilder was the legal man, and he trapped The Big Dog in a match-ending roll-up. So, The Revival finally get a signature victory, and Reigns, who was chewed out by Lashley following the loss, is forced back to square one.
Curtis Axel: Woken Warrior? The former Intercontinental Champion earned the latest in a string of shocking victories for the dark-horse tandem when he toppled one-half of the reigning Raw Tag Team Champions, “Woken” Matt Hardy, in advance of the two teams' title clash at Extreme Rules.
Literally. Axel earned his victory by reversing a superplex into a crossbody and pinned the stunned Woken One in surprisingly short order. And while it seemed as though a combination of Hardy’s loss and another B-Team cosplay of the champions was going to provoke The Deleters of Worlds into a fight, the titleholders instead offered The B-Team a “Woken O.” Hardy also said the win was a "fluke," though given B-Team's recent success, it could well be a harbinger. Three weeks until we find out.
As the race for the Raw Tag Team Titles heats up, The Authors of Pain have been conspicuous by their absence the last couple of weeks. Akam & Rezar rectified that on Raw, resurfacing by bullying a stagehand behind the curtain and confronting Titus Worldwide before absolutely brutalizing a pair of local competitors named Rich & Rex Gibson, who had been wrangled to face them. The beatdown from the former NXT Tag Team Champions was so vicious that Titus O’Neil & Apollo Crews had to make the save, though AOP opted to close the book on this particular evening and leave the ring rather than throw down.
Thanks to Raw General Manager Kurt Angle’s ruling from last week, Ronda Rousey is suspended from Team Red for 30 days. Natalya has no such restraints, though Alexa Bliss might be wishing she did right about now: The Queen of Harts — a training partner of Rousey’s — didn’t just confront Little Miss Bliss right as she and Mickie James were running down the absent Rowdy Ronda; she shocked the Raw Women’s Champion in a Kurt Angle-sanctioned match.
Natalya had some backup in the form of Nia Jax — the Superstar Alexa dethroned as Raw Women’s Champion — who was in Natalya’s corner to lend a literal hand. Right when Alexa got a head of steam, The Irresistible Force tripped the champion up in the ropes (payback of sorts for similar interference on Mickie’s part) to set up Alexa to tap to Natalya’s signature Sharpshooter.
Last week, Sasha Banks & Bayley’s friendship deteriorated to the point of thrown fists (and one chucked water bottle), but Raw General Manager Kurt Angle won’t give up so easily.
Citing the two champions’ importance to the Raw brand, The Olympic Hero gave them one final chance to get on the same page, sanctioning a Six-Woman Tag Team Match between Sasha, Bayley & Ember Moon against The Riott Squad. Angle’s gambit failed to pay dividends in more ways than one: Flashes of teamwork aside, Sasha and Bayley were barely tolerating each other from the jump, and after The Boss was pinned by Ruby Riott to close the match, Bayley pounced all over Sasha and pummeled her ruthlessly about the ring, refusing to let up until after she’d thrown Banks into the steel steps not once, but twice. The outcome was so savage, in fact, that Angle immediately handed ultimatums to both Bayley and Banks after the match: Each woman must attend mandatory counseling next week, or lose her job.
No Way Jose wanted another crack at Mojo Rawley after being embarrassed last week. It didn’t quite pan out the way he wanted. Initially, Rawley outright refused to compete against The Dominican Dancing Machine on the grounds that Jose was bringing a literal conga line of people down a WWE ramp who hadn’t earned the honor. (He had some particularly harsh words for a cheeseburger named Todd). Then, when Jose — equally unworthy of the honor, according to Rawley — rushed to defend his entourage, Rawley sucker-punched him and backed up the ramp.
Kevin Owens wanted to be Braun Strowman’s friend. This week, he got what he wanted, and unsurprisingly, it wasn’t all he wanted it cracked up to be. True, teaming with Mr. Monster in the Bank did help Owens notch a win against Finn Bálor & Baron Corbin in a shuffled-up rematch of last week’s main event. And true, they meshed well enough. But the former Universal Champion was wary from the start about Strowman’s intentions, and his concerns turned out to be well-founded the second the final bell rang.
After the match ended in a count-out when Finn and The Constable came to blows, Strowman refused Owens’ offer of a handshake and instead pursued his tag team partner throughout the entire backstage area. KO seemingly managed to lose The Gift of Destruction by hiding in an empty locker room, but when he made his way to the parking lot, he found a cackling Strowman lying in wait with KO's keys in hand. Owens feared the worst, but it turned out Strowman had put These Hands to another use: Flipping over Owens' getaway car. Mr. Monster in the Bank strolled away, apparently satisfied with his handiwork, while Owens was left to stew in well-founded worry. After all, Braun Strowman had tried being his friend. He seems to like him better as an enemy.
For the last few months, Seth Rollins has built his identity around being a fighting Intercontinental Champion, so last week’s surprise title loss to Dolph Ziggler hit The Kingslayer hard. Rollins technically got even by defeating Ziggler in the rematch, but thanks to a disqualification ruling, the title will remain around The Showoff’s waist.
It’s a bitter ending for The Architect, but given the progression of the match, it wasn’t unexpected. The Kingslayer was so aggressive in his opening salvo that the commentary team openly raised the possibility of both a disqualification and, later, a count-out after the action spilled to the outside. Ziggler’s efficient, scientific counter-attack seemed to foreshadow a straight-up defeat for The Architect ... at least until an interfering Drew McIntyre got himself ejected, giving Rollins his biggest break of the match.
The Kingslayer did not waste his moment, and it took The Showoff a long while to gain ground as The Architect began to surge. But McIntyre didn’t stay in the locker room for long, re-emerging to haul the ref out of the ring after Rollins executed the superplex-Falcon Arrow. A surefire post-match beating from Ziggler & McIntyre was cut short by the arrival of Roman Reigns, and The Big Dog’s assistance in driving them away allowed Rollins to end the night with a brother at his side and a battle well fought. Rollins remains a fighter, to be sure — but not a champion.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder) defeated Roman Reigns & Bobby Lashley
- Curtis Axel (w/ Bo Dallas) defeated Matt Hardy (w/ Bray Wyatt)
- The Authors of Pain defeated Rex & Rich Gibson
- Natalya (w/ Nia Jax) defeated Alexa Bliss (w/ Mickie James) by submission
- Bliss was the Raw Women's Champion at the time of this match.
- The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan) defeated Sasha Banks, Ember Moon & Bayley
- Mojo Rawley vs. No Way Jose match didn't get started
- Kevin Owens & Braun Strowman defeated Finn Bálor & Baron Corbin
- Seth Rollins defeated Dolph Ziggler (c) by disqualification in a WWE Intercontinental Championship match (27:47)
Other on-screen talent