Baron Corbin technically isn’t yet the permanent General Manager of Raw, but he’s feeling pretty good about his odds. With Braun Strowman laid up in the hospital and facing elbow surgery, The Lone Wolf dubbed himself the “General Manager-Elect,” all but declaring himself the pre-emptive winner of their high-stakes TLC Match that wages Strowman’s Universal Title opportunity against Corbin's job status — he gets the permanent job if he wins, and loses all authority if he loses.
The reason the match is still scheduled is because Corbin refused to cancel it, openly angling for a forfeit win over The Monster Among Men. (Strowman appeared on the TitanTron from his hospital bed and vowed that Corbin, Drew McIntyre and “The All Mighty” Bobby Lashley would Get These Hands, but Corbin scoffed at Strowman’s chances.) With McIntyre and Lashley pegged as his prospective lieutenants, Corbin seems to have a lot more muscle to flex, barring a miracle return by The Gift of Destruction. Corbin made a point of highlighting that he would remember which Superstars stood by his side after he gets the permanent gig, but given that Elias rained on his parade with a call-and-response of "Bobby Lashley Sucks" before a match with The All Mighty, it's safe to say The Lone Wolf can count at least one Superstar among his enemies, promotion or no.
“All Mighty” or not, even Bobby Lashley needs a hand sometimes. Faced with a gritty challenge from Elias, Lashley found himself bailed out by “General Manager-Elect” Baron Corbin when The Lone Wolf turned the match into a No Disqualification bout after Elias connected with a top-rope elbow drop and Lio Rush broke up a surefire three-count by yanking the ref out of the ring. That opened the door for Drew McIntyre and Corbin to join in on a 3-on-1 beatdown too savage for The Living Truth to overcome. Off the strength of a little help from his friends, Lashley sealed the night with a parade of poses, culminating with a knee on Elias’ chest that — despite a last-gasp effort to break the count — was enough to put the guitarist down for three.
The Revival’s never-ending Lucha House nightmare continues, as Dash & Dawson’s rematch with The Lucha House Party was once again contested under the “Lucha House Rules” that allow Kalisto, Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado to all compete legally in the contest. Who exactly authorized the stipulation was somewhat up for debate, as Corey Graves screamed that “General Manager-Elect” Baron Corbin hadn’t signed off on the change.
In any case, whatever game plan the “Top Guys” had was quickly overwhelmed by rapid-fire tags that the stipulation afforded their opponents. Despite some mid-match adjustments — including a cheeky Gory Special from Dash Wilder — the speed was too much for the two-time NXT Tag Team Champions, who made a pre-match show of painting Lucha House Rules as disrespectful to the tag team traditions they claim to embody. As such, the final trifecta of Kalisto’s Salida del Sol, Metalik’s senton off the ropes and a Shooting Star Press from Lince Dorado didn’t so much end the match as put Dash & Dawson out of their misery.
Here’s a hot take from Nia Jax: Ronda Rousey hasn’t been the same since facing her at WWE Money in the Bank last summer. It’s a bold statement, but despite Rousey’s Raw Women’s Title victory, the two Superstars have undergone respective reversals of fortune. Though still undefeated, Rousey has been mauled by Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch, and Jax is a resurgent Superstar with a title match at WWE TLC in her future and a face-breaking fist in her arsenal. As far as Nia's concerned, she’s the one sitting at the top of the mountain.
Rousey, of course, wasn’t going to stand for such trash-talk, and she attempted to goad Nia into an instant title bout. The Irresistible Force, however, has clearly learned from her hasty challenge of Rousey this past spring: The challenger kept Rousey’s attention long enough for Tamina to flank her, though Nia’s attempt at an ambush quickly turned chaotic when Natalya attempted to make the save … only to be thwarted by The Riott Squad, who had been lying in wait for The Queen of Harts. Rousey and Natalya fought off Ruby Riott and company, but they concluded their night surrounded enemies: The Riott Squad atop the ramp and Nia and Tamina in the ring — maybe not atop the mountain, but looking down on Ronda all the same.
Bobby Roode & Chad Gable relentlessly made fun of Drake Maverick for his bladder mishap last week, but they probably wish they hadn’t right about now. Though the fresh-faced tandem earned a championship match with Maverick’s AOP as a result of their non-title victory last week, they found themselves unmanned by a dastardly distraction from the 205 Live General Manager-turned-tag-team impresario.
During the title match, Maverick slyly stole Roode’s robe and waltzed into a backstage bathroom, where he draped the garment over a toilet and loudly relieved himself all over $10,000-plus threads. Adding insult to injury, he whistled Roode’s theme song while doing the deed. This inglorious distraction was more than enough to throw off Roode & Gable, allowing AOP to bulldoze Roode into Gable at ringside and administer the powerbomb-neckbreaker combo to The Glorious One to retain their titles.
Among the ripples of Braun Strowman’s injury has been its unexpected effect on the Mixed Match Challenge: With the Raw playoffs set to start tomorrow night, Ember Moon now has to start fresh with a new partner in Curt Hawkins. Teaming up with a Superstar that boasts a 236-match losing streak is tomorrow’s problem, though, and Moon certainly looks primed to shoulder her share of the load.
The former NXT Women’s Champion defeated Alicia Fox with a breathtaking Eclipse in a preview of tomorrow’s match, much to the delight of Hawkins, who now has some genuine hope to add a long-awaited notch to the win column. Hawkins and Ember even joined in on No Way Jose's conga line before Jose's match against Jinder Mahal — a pre-emptive celebration, to be sure, but it's been a long, hard road for The Prince of Queens, and the light at the end of the tunnel may finally be within sight.
Jinder Mahal has had a rough go of it over the past few weeks, but the WWE Universe got their first glimpse in a long time of the vicious competitiveness that once carried The Modern Day Maharaja to the WWE Championship. Mahal was as dominant as could be against No Way Jose, even securing the match-ending Khallas without the assistance of The Singh Brothers at ringside. It’s a first step back to form and a long way back to the top, but if this attitude is what all that inner peace has brought Mahal, then great things are sure to follow.
Dean Ambrose has gotten very creative in his mind games with Seth Rollins — this week, he got vaccinated — but The Kingslayer isn’t about to let The Lunatic Fringe worm any deeper into his head. Or so he says. Despite reinstating his Open Challenge to prove he was above Ambrose’s tricks, Rollins was a step slower than usual, and his challenger, Dolph Ziggler, was quick to capitalize.
The Showoff was clearly looking to take advantage of Rollins’ struggles by catching him off-guard in an Open Challenge for the second time this year, and it didn’t hurt that Ziggler is actually coming off a win against Rollins in their series. As such, the match was mostly all Dolph until Rollins began to slowly claw his way back into it. By the time The Architect had built up a full head of steam, Dolph was scrambling to keep up — Drew McIntyre was conspicuous by his absence here — but when he finally had Rollins where he wanted him, Ziggler went to the top turnbuckle to make a statement instead of putting the match away quickly. The big gesture gave Rollins time to recover, scale the ropes and execute the superplex-Falcon Arrow twofer for the win. So Rollins reclaims a little pride and retains his championship, but make no mistake: The true test is yet to come.
When he isn’t changing the rules in the middle of matches, “General Manager-Elect” Baron Corbin is busy making some personnel moves with long-term repercussions. Specifically, he appointed Alexa Bliss to oversee the Raw Women’s division, and The Goddess began her tenure with an “Open Forum” with Sasha Banks & Bayley as her first act of business. Ostensibly, the sit-down was an opportunity for The Boss ‘N’ Hug Connection to answer fan questions (for the record, Bayley wants the Women’s division to continue to grow, and both Superstars want to send Alexa back to SmackDown LIVE and/or “hell”) but Alexa used the time to try and stir the pot between the two friends.
She wasn’t the only one looking to advance her agenda: During the confab, Mickie James, Alicia Fox and Dana Brooke bum-rushed The Boss ‘N’ Hug Connection from behind, though Sasha & Bayley fought their way out of the ambush and hurled their attackers from the ring, ending Alexa’s first night as steward on a down note.
In retrospect, Finn Bálor probably should have seen this coming. After The Extraordinary Man Who Does Extraordinary Things overwhelmed Baron Corbin in The Lone Wolf’s first match as “General Manager-Elect,” Corbin grabbed the microphone to announce that this was now a Handicap Match, and Drew McIntyre was his partner.
Given that Bálor was worn down from a full match before Corbin pulled the rug out from under him, it was obviously going to be a tall task for the first-ever Universal Champion to get the win. He fought hard, as Finn Bálor always does, but a fresh McIntyre and the numbers advantage were too much to overcome, so The Scottish Psychopath's match-ending Claymore was all but elementary. The bell had barely rang when Bobby Lashley quickly got in on the fun, subjecting Bálor to the second three-on-one beating of the night from the GM-Elect and his enforcers. McIntyre provided the coup de grâce, so to speak, with another Claymore, before which he, Lashley and Corbin shared a victorious pose — not for the first time and, if Corbin gets his way, certainly not the last.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Bobby Lashley (w/ Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre & Lio Rush) defeated Elias in a No Disqualification Match (14:05)
- Lucha House Party (Kalisto, Lince Dorado & Gran Metalik) defeated The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder) (2:30)
- Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar) (c) (w/ Drake Maverick) defeated Bobby Roode & Chad Gable to retain the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship (8:30)
- Ember Moon (w/ Curt Hawkins) defeated Alicia Fox (w/ Jinder Mahal, Samir & Sunil Singh) (1:50)
- Jinder Mahal (w/ Samir & Sunil Singh) defeated No Way Jose (4:25)
- Seth Rollins (c) defeated Dolph Ziggler to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship (20:50)
- Baron Corbin & Drew McIntyre defeated Finn Bálor in a Two On One Handicap Match (13:40)
- Dark Match: Bayley, Ember Moon, Natalya, Ronda Rousey & Sasha Banks defeated Nia Jax, Tamina & The Riott Squad (Liv Morgan, Ruby Riott & Sarah Logan)
Other on-screen talent