The September 3, 2018 Edition of RAW is a Professional wrestling television show of the WWE's RAW brand, which took place on September 3, 2018 at Value City Arena at the Jerome Schottenstein Center, on the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.
One week after throwing in with Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre to deliver his version of “justice” to The Shield, Braun Strowman goaded Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns into an encounter with justice of a different sort.
Well aware that The Hounds of Justice were not going to take their beatdown from last week lying down, Strowman and his “pack” let loose with enough trash-talk to lure The Hounds of Justice out of the shadows for a fight. Acting General Manager Baron Corbin quickly dispatched nearly every Raw Superstar to separate the two trios — it took literally everyone to cool the situation, and even then only briefly — but the local police weren't about to let this be settled in the ring: In the aftermath of the brawl, with the Superstars still barking at one another, local police handcuffed Ambrose, Rollins & Reigns and tossed them in the back of a police van, which quickly sped out of the arena with The Shield in custody.
Only one night into The Bella Twins’ comeback run, and it's already time for a Bellabration. Nikki & Brie knocked off The Riott Squad in the twins’ first match on Raw in almost three years, and the two former Divas Champions were in rare form from the second the bell rang. With Nikki leading a coordinated attack on Sarah Logan's shoulders and Brie raining “Yes!” kicks on Logan's sternum, it took a ringside interference from Ruby Riott to give the Squad its first leg up of the match.
Brie found herself isolated by Morgan & Logan, but a last-second tag brought a red-hot Nikki back into the fray. Ruby attempted to interfere again, but Brie took her and Logan out with a suicide dive, and Nikki sealed the deal with a Rack Attack 2.0 to Liv Morgan. Welcome back, ladies.
In their first stint as a tag team, Bobby Roode & Chad Gable didn't just defeat an established tandem in The Ascension; the match served as a coming-out party of sorts for Gable, an under-the-radar Superstar who made his mark in the most emphatic fashion possible.
Good thing, too. Given that the world-traveled Roode, as a former United States and NXT Champion, was ostensibly the mentor of the newly-formed team (Gable even made it a point to tell Charly Caruso he sought out The Glorious One as a partner in a pre-match interview), Konnor & Viktor focused the entirety of their game plan on him, mercilessly subjecting him to a two-on-one mugging. Every time Gable was in the ring, on the other hand, it seemed like someone was getting suplexed. Given that they seemingly had Roode scouted better, The Ascension fully committed themselves to a game of keep away and isolated The Glorious One.
They were so focused, in fact, that Viktor missed Gable tagging in at the moment of truth, and they paid dearly for that oversight. The former SmackDown Tag Team Champion bounced across the ring at top speed, taking Konnor out at ringside with a cannonball off the apron before planting Viktor with a rolling German suplex that lit Roode's eyes up like Christmas morning. This team may have started due to some hero worship from Gable. But now, it would appear, the admiration is mutual.
Anything Ronda Rousey can do, Alexa Bliss can do better? That might be a bridge too far, at least for the moment, but Little Miss Bliss has clearly been studying some tape as she prepares for her Raw Women's Title rematch against The Baddest Woman on the Planet: Facing Natalya, the five-time Women's Champion didn't just earn a win with Rousey watching, she earned a win with Rousey's own signature maneuver.
Clearly it was a night of disrespect for Alexa, who joined in with Elias on some Buckeye-bashing (in her hometown, natch) before the match began, but there's something to be said for backing up the trash-talk: With the help of a cheap shot from Mickie James and Alicia Fox, Bliss finished off The Queen of Harts by locking in an armbar that she refused to release until Rousey stormed the ring.
Alexa even briefly got the better of Ronda in the ensuing scrap, chop-blocking the Raw Women's Champion while Rousey busied herself with throwing Fox around like a rag doll. Rousey rallied with some haymakers to the ribs to send Alexa running, but there was no denying some damage had been done. And for Alexa Bliss, that's a start.
Ever since the Superstar Shake-up, it's seemed like Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre's ascent to the top of the Tag Team division was only a matter of time. That time has come: After helping get The Shield arrested (thus taking a potential Seth Rollins-Ziggler Intercontinental Title rematch off the table), The Showoff and the Scotsman strong-armed their way into a Raw Tag Team Title bout with The B-Team by taking out previously-announced challengers The Revival. Despite a strong effort from the champions, Ziggler & McIntyre ultimately made good on the ill-gotten opportunity, walking out of Ohio as Raw Tag Team Champions.
That victory ends a remarkable Cinderella story for Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel, but The B-Team didn't shy away from the challenge despite a total lack of preparation for their opponents; they took down the mighty McIntyre at one point, opening Ziggler up to isolation. Axel found himself stranded, however, after The Scottish Psychopath stormed the ring and took Dallas out by fastballing him into the turnbuckle. A superkick cleaned Axel's clock, and the Claymore-Zig Zag twofer shut the lights. New champs. Cue the bagpipes.
Now this is unexpected: Drake Maverick, having won raves from the WWE Universe over the last six months as the General Manager of 205 Live, has apparently decided to expand his portfolio by taking on managerial duties for AOP on Raw. Maverick claimed his goal is nothing less than making AOP Raw Tag Team Champions, and it looks like they're off to a good start. Akam & Rezar feasted on a pair of doomed locals in all of 30 seconds, finishing them off with the Super Collider before posing in the ring with Maverick, signaling a return to basics and the beginning of a surprising new chapter.
Asked to give his prediction on the last-time-ever clash between Triple H and The Undertaker at WWE Super Show-Down, Shawn Michaels didn't hesitate to declare that The Deadman was in over his head and The Game simply had more left in the tank than the legendary Superstar who forced HBK into retirement. Turns out someone was listening.
With the unmistakable toll of the gong and darkening of the arena, The Deadman made his always-ominous entrance to remind Michaels that he'd taken the best both he and The King of Kings had to offer, ultimately surmising that HBK was still bitter over that career-ending defeat in 2010.
Michaels replied that he had honored his vow to remain retired out of respect to the system, the audience and Undertaker himself, despite the constant chants of “One More Match.” Undertaker fired back that maybe Michaels was afraid because he knew if he had come out of retirement, The Deadman would put him down again — the exact fate, he claimed, that awaits Triple H at Super Show-Down.
Titus Worldwide is still trying to get Dana Brooke some momentum, but after an attempt at mid-match coaching that did more harm than good, it looks like the statistician has deduced she's better off on her own.
Teaming with Ember Moon against Sasha Banks & Bayley, Dana did a nice job building off her strides from last week and following up on Ember's impressive groundwork. But Titus O’Neil & Apollo Crews’ conflicting coaching distracted Dana down the stretch, allowing Sasha Banks to roll her up for the pin. When Titus and Apollo's bickering continued after the match, Dana threw up her hands, declared she'd had it with both Superstars and walked off alone.
Does Bobby Lashley need anger management? Debatable, but Acting General Manager Baron Corbin ordered him to undergo a meditation intervention from Jinder Mahal anyway. However, what was starting out as a petty confrontation between Lashley and The Maharaja turned out to be something far more physical when a (genuinely) angry Superstar made his presence known.
Kevin Owens, who quit last week after losing an Intercontinental Title bid to Seth Rollins, made his apparent return by storming Mahal's meditation sanctuary to attack Lashley from behind, throwing the former ECW Champion out of the ring and decimating him with the apron powerbomb. Inner peace achieved? Maybe. Message sent? Absolutely.
Coming into Raw, it seemed possible that Braun Strowman could only be slowed down, not stopped. Coming out of it, it's looking more and more like a certainty. Not only did The Monster Among Men hold off an all-world effort from Finn Bálor, he and his “pack” made short work of The Shield after they posted bail and were released from police custody on their own recognizance ... albeit with a little help from some friends.
Bálor had been slotted into the match with Strowman after Acting General Manager Baron Corbin backed out of a challenge from Finn earlier in the night (Corbin cited his GM duties), but the former Universal Champion seized the main-event spotlight all the same, wearing down The Monster Among Men with an array of submissions. Strowman rallied to defeat Finn with a Running Powerslam, at which point the pack began to circle for another three-on-one mauling.
Enter The Shield, who rolled into the arena in a commandeered police van and made a beeline for their assembled foes. However, before The Hounds of Justice could make a move, a contingent of Superstars led by Kevin Owens — Elias, AOP, The Ascension, Jinder Mahal, Mojo Rawley, Drew Gulak, Sunil Singh and Mike Kanellis — bum-rushed them from behind, kicking off a numbers game attack that The Shield were powerless to stop. While Ziggler helped dispose of Seth Rollins by ramming the van door into his face and McIntyre Claymored Dean Ambrose on the ramp, Strowman downed Roman Reigns by clobbering him with the steel steps and driving him into the ground with a Running Powerslam. (The Shield would ultimately refuse medical attention.) With The Hounds of Justice in ruins, The Monster Among Men ended the show standing tall with Ziggler & McIntyre for the second straight week.
It used to be the only thing that could destroy The Shield was The Shield itself. Clearly, that's no longer the case.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Bella Twins (Brie & Nikki Bella) defeated The Riott Squad (Sarah Logan & Liv Morgan) (w/ Ruby Riott) (11:30)
- Bobby Roode & Chad Gable defeated The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor) (4:55)
- Alexa Bliss (w/ Alicia Fox & Mickie James) defeated Natalya (w/ Ronda Rousey) by submission (3:10)
- The Show (Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler) defeated The B-Team (Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel) (c) to win the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship (10:10)
- The Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar) defeated Jimmy James & Keith Thompson
- Bayley & Sasha Banks defeated Ember Moon & Dana Brooke (w/ Titus O'Neil & Apollo Crews) (5:45)
- Braun Strowman (w/ Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler) defeated Finn Bálor (11:30)
Other on-screen talent