Anything John Cena can do, Roman Reigns can do better? The Big Dog matched the 16-time World Champion's feat from last week's Raw by defeating Jason Jordan in a competitive match, and though it took Jordan far longer to assert himself this time around, the former SmackDown Tag Team Champion made no less of a statement in defeat when all was said and done.
Reigns looked past Jordan's offer of a pre-match handshake and imposed his will upon the young competitor from the jump, outpowering his foe to such a degree that the only offense Jordan could manage was a submission attempt that Reigns quickly escaped. A pair of surprise suplexes opened the floodgates for Jordan down the stretch, but The Big Dog rallied from the edge of disaster to claim the win with the trifecta of a Drive-By, Superman Punch and Spear.
Reigns was, at least, compelled to finally shake Jordan's hand, but Cena, who had been watching the match on a monitor, seemed to have a few thoughts of his own on his future opponent's performance.
Cena vs. Reigns on the mic, Round Three. The ever-escalating war of words between the WWE No Mercy opponents picked up right where it left off, with each critiquing the quality of the other's victory against Jason Jordan.
Cena quickly grabbed hold of the conversation, accusing Reigns of failing to rise to his level in each of their head-to-heads on the microphone. Reigns countered by insinuating that Cena came to Raw because the 16-time World Champion sensed The Big Dog encroaching on his supremacy and was worried he wouldn't be able to break out of WWE the way, say, The Rock did. Fighting fire with fire, Cena got an emphatic last word, and Reigns seemed ready to throw down right then and there. In two weeks, he'll get his wish.
Emma's #GiveEmmaAChance campaign got her in the hunt for the Raw Women's Championship, but she's got a way to go before she crosses the finish line.
The Australian Superstar had her first one-on-one opportunity against one of her fellow contenders for Alexa Bliss’ Raw Women's Title, Sasha Banks (Alexa and the third challenger, Nia Jax, watched from commentary), and to her credit, Emma fearlessly went toe-to-toe against the four-time Raw Women's Champion. But Banks remained a step ahead of her foe, locking in the excruciating Bank Statement for a victory that sent Emma back to the drawing board. Clearly, Emma has done enough to give herself a chance. Now, she needs to make good on it.
Of course, that doesn't mean Alexa will coast to WWE No mercy unchallenged: In a backstage confrontation between Bliss and Nia Jax, the latter revealed Raw General Manager Kurt Angle had sanctioned a match between the two for next week. And even if she does survive the next two weeks as champion, Alexa may well end up yearning for the days of Fatal 4-Ways after the impending arrival of Raw's newest acquisition: Asuka.
Here's a fact that Brock Lesnar should find disconcerting: Braun Strowman has gotten the better of him for a solid straight month.
From the shellacking The Monster Among Men administered to the Universal Champion in SummerSlam's Fatal 4-Way Match to the follow-up the night after, Strowman has owned the titleholder at almost every turn, and — even more potentially troubling for Team Brock — he did it again on Raw.
But, while the gravity of the situation hasn't escaped The Conqueror, he isn't sweating his challenger. In fact, Lesnar, with Paul Heyman in tow, came to Anaheim to invite Strowman to Suplex City to see if he was “badder than the baddest due on the planet.”
And once The Monster Among Men accepted, a fight is what Lesnar got. Alas, it was a losing fight for The Conqueror, who hit a German Suplex that barely fazed Strowman and quickly suffered a ring-shaking Running Powerslam. If this all turns out to be an elaborate scouting report, it may give Lesnar the edge, but for now, consider his suspicions confirmed: Braun Strowman may not be the baddest dude on the planet just yet, but he's a bad man all the same.
Does the paint make the man? Bray Wyatt seems to think so. The Reaper of Souls convinced Finn Bálor to abandon his Demon alter-ego for their WWE No Mercy rubber match and seems to think he has a Man-to-Man faceoff in the bag, especially if what he did to Goldust on Raw is any indication of what's to come.
The Eater of Worlds dispatched the former Intercontinental Champion with Sister Abigail and began stripping the paint from The Bizarre One's face in an attempt to prove that surface trappings aren't enough to defeat him in the long run. Bálor himself quickly arrived to show Wyatt just what he's capable of, but the former WWE Champion opted out of a fight. Paint or not, it seems he's hedging his bets for the time being.
It's every tag team for themselves on Team Red. A week after Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson threw down against Cesaro & Sheamus, who are next in line for Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins’ Raw Tag Team Titles, a match was sanctioned between “The Bar” and the good brothers, only it never quite got off the ground after Cesaro & Sheamus got into it with the champs at the commentary table. Gallows & Anderson were quick to join the scuffle, which led to a massive three-way brawl among the teams.
Ambrose & Rollins were game for a match against both tandems, but Raw General Manager Kurt Angle, looking to keep his champions in one piece as WWE No Mercy approaches, offered a compromise instead: Find another team to join them, and they would get to tee off on Cesaro, Sheamus, Gallows and Anderson all they wanted in an Eight-Man Tag Team Match.
The Walking With Elias World Tour continues, and the West Coast stopover was a hit for Raw's resident guitarist. The sinister singer's newest song was interrupted by Kalisto, to be sure, but despite an astounding showing by The King of Flight (who sported a gold mask for Pediatric Cancer Awareness month), the match ended up being a greater showcase for Elias’ skills than his opponent's.
Right as Kalisto was revving up, Elias smashed his foe face-first into the apron and set about quickly clipping The King of Flight's wings. Even then, it's a testament to Kalisto's abilities that he rallied to keep the match going, but an earthshaking powerbomb from Elias stopped him cold, and Drift Away put him down.
How did Braun Strowman do against John Cena? Technically, he lost, but it sure didn't seem that way judging by the state Cena was left in by The Monster Among Men, who made a hellacious statement despite suffering a disqualification loss in their "monster of a match."
From the word go, Strowman seemed more interested in dismantling Cena than defeating him, and even when the 16-time World Champion muscled himself into the fight, Strowman stayed slightly ahead of him. After an Attitude Adjustment sent Strowman rolling out of the ring, The Monster Among Men smashed the steel steps into Cena's face and later administered the Running Powerslam atop the stairs to stop the match. Cena can have his win; judging by the victorious pose Strowman struck in the ring (to say nothing of Roman Reigns' satisfied reaction backstage), it was clear who had won the night.
Congratulations are in order for The Miz and Maryse: Not only does The A-Lister continue to creep up the ranks of longest-tenured Intercontinental Champions of all time, but The Miztourage is growing by one with the announcement that the couple are expecting, an announcement they chose to make in the same place they met: WWE.
But before The Awesome One could read a speech, planned “Miz TV” guest Enzo Amore cut the celebration off, prompting a tirade from Miz about how Enzo didn't know when to shut up and stating that Smacktalker Skywalker only joined the Cruiserweight division because he had driven away all his allies in the Raw locker room and had nowhere else to go. The Realest Guy in the Room counter-jabbed by calling Miz a paper champion, which was enough to goad the Intercontinental Champion into a match right then and there.
Enzo Amore has shown a willingness of late to play fast and loose with the rules to win matches, and true, his mid-match insults of The Miz technically landed him a win over the Intercontinental Champion in an impromptu contest. That being said, The Realest Guy in the Room may have taken things a bit too far in a bout that quickly devolved into a trade-off of insults between the two when each grabbed a mic in the middle of the match and started throwing shade.
It was Miz's theft of Enzo's “How you doin’?” catchphrase that prompted Amore to cross the line; the top challenger for the WWE Cruiserweight Title fired off a disparaging comment toward Miz and his expecting wife Maryse, and a hellacious beatdown from The Miztourage ensued. A disqualification win for Enzo went with it, but Miz and his growing family were left basking in the spotlight ... much to the delight of WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville, who encountered Enzo backstage after the match and laughed in his face without saying a word.
Cesaro & Sheamus predicted that, when it came down to it, Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins would turn on each other and cost themselves the Raw Tag Team Titles, but that day didn't come on Raw. In fact, “The Bar” ironically couldn't keep their own impromptu alliance together for Team Red's main-event, an Eight-Man Tag that teamed them, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson against Ambrose, Rollins & The Hardy Boyz.
True, the former champs were initially a well-oiled machine alongside the good brothers, despite fighting them for two straight weeks. They even managed to cut Ambrose off from his allies for almost the entire match. But once Seth Rollins tagged in, all bets were off: The Kingslayer singlehandedly took the fight to both Gallows & Anderson, and a pair of Twists of Fate to The Suntan Biker Man were enough to prompt “The Bar” to call it a day and make their exit.
With Anderson left alone in the ring, a unified one-two of Rollins’ ripcord knee and Ambrose's Dirty Deeds spelled the end of the match, a display of perfect teamwork that nonetheless didn't seem to shake “The Bar’s” confidence as their title match nears... at least, not yet.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Roman Reigns defeated Jason Jordan (15:15)
- Sasha Banks defeated Emma by submission (7:15)
- Bray Wyatt defeated Goldust (3:00)
- Elias Samson defeated Kalisto (4:25)
- John Cena defeated Braun Strowman by disqualification (13:10)
- Enzo Amore defeated The Miz (w/ Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel & Maryse) by disqualification (3:00)
- Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins and The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy) defeated Sheamus & Cesaro and Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (13:30)
Other on-screen talent