The September 17, 2018 Edition of RAW is a Professional wrestling television show of the WWE's RAW brand, which took place on September 17, 2018 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. This was the Raw after Hell in a Cell.
Things got complicated inside Hell in a Cell last night, as the unexpected arrival of a bearded, furious Brock Lesnar threw the Universal Title main event into such chaos that it ended in the first-ever no-contest ruling to occur inside the structure. So, understandably, everyone involved was demanding satisfaction on Raw.
Universal Champion Roman Reigns wanted a piece of Lesnar. Jilted challenger Braun Strowman demanded another opportunity at the title. And Acting General Manager Baron Corbin opted to split the difference, sanctioning a Triple Threat title match between Reigns, Strowman and Lesnar for WWE Crown Jewel, the return to Saudi Arabia that will occur on Friday, Nov. 2.
Strowman was irate after the announcement. Paul Heyman, who appeared after the declaration with the Hell in a Cell door in tow, was thrilled since his client now has another opportunity to raise his stock in advance of any UFC plans. Reigns was less than impressed with Corbin's maneuvers as well, but The Lone Wolf reassured the champion that he might not have to worry about it: Given that the GM had seen Reigns’ injury report, he was more than happy to capitalize on the champion's wear and tear, sanctioning a title bout for tonight between The Big Dog and ... himself.
Dean Ambrose has made it a point to target Drew McIntyre during almost every scrap the two have been involved in since his return. Tonight, The Lunatic Fringe got his wish — and suffered the consequences, as the former WWE Champion was defeated by The Scottish Terminator in a match that took both Superstars to the limit one night after a marathon show-stealer for the Raw Tag Team Championships.
Between the lingering effects of the tag team match and their brawl atop Hell in a Cell, both Superstars were banged-up and Ambrose took advantage with a focused attack on McIntyre's left leg. The strategy was enough to even the playing field against the mighty Scot, and a Cloverleaf to the big man left him all but hobbled. But McIntyre broke the hold by reaching the ropes and switched his style, baiting Ambrose outside the ring and dodging a frantic flying axe handle off the turnbuckle that carried Dean full-speed into the barricade. A woozy Ambrose barely managed to beat the ten count back into the ring, but he sprinted headfirst into a Claymore that earned McIntyre the win — and make no mistake, he had to earn this one.
Over the past few weeks, Chad Gable has proved a crucial component to his and Bobby Roode's burgeoning status as a tag team. The question is, how good is he on his own?
The answer is, pretty darn. The Minnesota stretcher squared up against Viktor of The Ascension — one half of the team he and Roode have been facing of late — and except for a brief stretch when his enthusiasm got the better of hi, he was never really out of the driver's seat. The former SmackDown Tag Team Champion battled at a million miles an hour, ultimately planting Viktor with the rolling German suplex, much to Roode's delight at ringside.
Of course, Gable's got the speed, he's still outmatched in the power department — a point Konnor made when he plowed Gable into Roode on the apron on his way up the ramp.
As the Last Time Ever approaches, Triple H and The Undertaker have both taken things to a very personal place, with The Game insinuating that The Last Outlaw has lost all self-respect — a “delusion,” according to the returning Undertaker, that is little more than a symptom of Triple H's “broken soul” and the harbinger of his inevitable downfall.
Though Undertaker believed Triple H's transition from in-ring warrior to captain of industry may have blinded him to the “demise” that awaits him, he did admit he had every expectation Shawn Michaels would be in The King of Kings’ corner to help him “outrace the reaper.” So, the legendary Superstar declared he would bring reinforcements of his own: His brother, Kane.
The end result would not just be that The Deadman takes Triple H's career like he did HBK's — that is all but foregone to The Last Outlaw. He would take his soul, and with Kane at his back, the Last Time Ever “will be just like the first time. I will put him six feet under. Game over.”
Dana Brooke may have taken her first step toward individual glory by breaking away from Titus Worldwide, but her path to the top still has yet to progress. The former statistician fell to Bayley in a bout that saw The Huggable One accompanied to the ramp by five Kid Superstars: Jacob “The Open-Heart Hound,” Kourageous Karter, Michael “Super Shadow” Maldonado, Khadance “The Diva Destroyer” and Johnny “The American Beast” Hernandez.
The good news for Dana, however, is that progress was made. Dana bullied Bayley about the ring in convincing fashion — much to the consternation of Sasha Banks at ringside. But she got overzealous in her efforts, and a few canny maneuvers got The Huggable One in position for the Bayley-to-Belly that won her the match. For Dana, it's clear the pieces are there. She just has to put them together.
New chapter, same story for AOP, who devoured their third consecutive set of local competitors in what is shaping up to be a very prolific resurgence under the eye of 205 Live General Manager Drake Maverick. Akam & Rezar dispatched tattooed upstarts Gregory James & Barrett Brown in a matter of seconds, pausing briefly to unveil a particularly nasty new maneuver — a fireman's carry charge into the corner — before closing things out with the Super Collider.
What, you thought a little 15-foot trip off the side of Hell in a Cell would be enough to take the Intercontinental Title off of Seth Rollins? Despite an overt attempt by Dolph Ziggler and Acting General Manager Baron Corbin to swindle the title off The Kingslayer's waist — Corbin thought Rollins was too banged-up to compete and offered to hand Ziggler the title via forfeit if he evoked his rematch clause — the champion showed up and fought through the pain, ultimately denying The Showoff's bid for his seventh Intercontinental Championship.
Neither was at 100 percent. Rollins was clutching his back at every turn and the typically spry Showoff was a step lower than usual, turning the bout into a war of attrition. Rollins was too worn down to complete the superplex-Falcon Arrow twofer, giving The Showoff a crack at a tights-assisted rollup. But Rollins had enough left to hit the Stomp seconds later, and even though it took him longer than usual to crawl over for the cover, two nights’ damage had been enough to keep Ziggler down for three. Give Dolph credit for a well-fought battle, but if anybody wants to end Seth Rollins' Intercontinental Title reign, they'll clearly need to throw him off a bigger cage.
With Alexa Bliss out of the way, Ronda Rousey is firmly ensconced as Raw Women's Champion and the division is officially wide open for any challengers. Literally: Despite the lingering damage to her ribs, The Baddest Woman on the Planet decided on Raw she would institute an Open Challenge policy, but what was looking to be a friendly challenge from her training partner Natalya ended up playing host to The Riott Squad's biggest power play yet.
Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan — who'll face Ronda and The Bella Twins at WWE Super Show-Down — answered The Queen of Harts’ music, dragging the former SmackDown Champion out to the ramp after an apparent backstage attack. Ruby declared she would be accepting the challenge instead, though Ronda wasn't interested, rocking her with a right hand to instigate a three-on-one mugging from the entire Riott Squad. The Bellas quickly arrived to even the odds, helping the still-wounded Ronda dispatch of Ruby and her cronies and giving them the early advantage as Super Show-Down approaches.
Lio Rush has been Bobby Lashley's manager for all of five seconds, but he might have just entered himself into the managerial pantheon: Not only did 205 Live's “Man of the Hour” give Lashley a big-time intro by interrupting Elias, he proved to be instrumental in helping to turn away Kevin Owens, who still has contractual carte blanche and sinister designs on punishing Lashley himself.
What KO didn't account for was Rush, who leapt over the former Universal Champion from his perch at commentary and led him on a chase down the ramp. The 23-Year-Old Piece of Gold nailed Elias with an enziguir when The Living Truth tried to ensnare him, handing Lashley a DQ loss. But Rush made it up to his client when he allowed Lashley to use him as a projectile: The former ECW Champion scooped Rush up and gorilla-pressed him over the top rope and onto Owens and Elias. Like the old saying goes, this is the start of a beautiful friendship.
About the only solace Alexa Bliss could take Monday night is that she wasn't actually in the ring in a Women's Tag Team Match, which pitted her allies Mickie James & Alicia Fox against Ember Moon and a returning Nia Jax, whose very presence has spelled doom for The Goddess for most of 2018.
Well aware of what The Irresistible Force was capable of, Alicia & Mickie worked hard to focus their efforts on Moon and kept the Dallas native away from her partner as long as they could. Alas, they couldn't keep her away long enough: Nia entered the match and singlehandedly swung it her way, holding an interfering Mickie in place for the Eclipse and dispatching Alicia with a Samoan Drop.
As Acting General Manager, Baron Corbin has many powers. He could make himself a Universal Championship Match at a moment's notice to pick on beat-up champion Roman Reigns. He could even, say, restart that match as a No Disqualification if he ends up in too deep of a hole and decides to break out a chair to even the odds. What he couldn't do, no matter how he stacked the deck, was close out.
Yes, Corbin missed out on the Universal Title despite a massive managerial advantage over The Big Dog that he didn't hesitate to exploit, not to mention some help — Braun Strowman showed up to attack Reigns after the restart, instigating a brawl that ended up roping in Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre and the rest of The Shield. But even with all conceivable odds stacked in his favor, Corbin fell to a quick-strike Spear when he attempted to make his move. Strowman, Ziggler & McIntyre opted not to make a move on The Shield, seemingly preferring to save their energy for WWE Super Show-Down. So while it'll take more than shenanigans to topple Roman Reigns as champion, that doesn't mean a big fight isn't on the way all the same.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Drew McIntyre defeated Dean Ambrose (11:55)
- McIntyre was one half of the Raw Tag Team Champion at the time of this match.
- The Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar) (w/ Drake Maverick) defeated Gregory James & Barrett Brown (1:00)
- Seth Rollins (c) defeated Dolph Ziggler to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship (9:30)
- Ziggler was one half of the Raw Tag Team Champion at the time of this match.
- Roman Reigns (c) defeated Baron Corbin via Disqualification to retain the WWE Universal Championship
- Roman Reigns (c) defeated Baron Corbin in a No Disqualification match to retain the WWE Universal Championship (17:35)
Other on-screen talent