August 29, 2016
City: Houston, TX
Venue: Toyota Center
Commentary: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
Ring Announcer: Jojo
“Mr. Fuji” Harry Fujiwara, 1934-2016.
Last week Finn Balor won and vacated the Universal Title, so a series of matches on RAW set up a Fatal 4-Way to take place tonight for the championship.
Corey Graves is in the ring with Roman Reigns, Kevin Owens, Big Cass, and Seth Rollins. Rollins takes credit for injuring Balor and setting up tonight’s title match. Feeling benevolent, Rollins gives up his speaking time to Owens. Owens says he’s at his best when the stakes are high, like tonight.
Big Cass says that he has nothing to lose. Cass then insults Rollins’ manhood, so he takes his mic time back. He runs down the other competitors, ending by saying that he beat Reigns every time. Graves asks for a comment from Reigns, but he’d rather start a brawl. Which he does. Reigns ends up clearing the ring.
Tom Phillips asks Chris Jericho about costing Neville his match last week and their match tonight. Jericho says that Neville will get what he really wants: the gift of Jericho.
Neville vs Chris Jericho
(referee: Rod Zapata)
Result: Chris Jericho wins via submission with the Liontamer
Time: 7:19 (1 break)
Really good match. It started with some comedy from Jericho, but as the match went along it became more serious. These two matched up well, and the final sequences were very fun to watch. I think this match helped Neville seem like a more serious contender rather than more of a guy who is just brought out to fly.
Earlier today Bayley encountered New Day. Dana Brooke spoiled the fun by telling Bayley that she doesn’t belong, but New Day reminds Bayley who she beat last week. Dana threatens to go get Gallows and Anderson. New Day thinks that’s a great idea.
Earlier today Andrea D’Marco asked Hyan about facing Nia Jax. She says her heart is big.
Nia Jax vs Hyan
(referee: Shawn Bennett)
Result: Nia Jax wins via pinfall with a fireman’s carry into a side slam
Squash. Yet again.
Anderson and Gallows talk about helping the Dudley Boyz retire. They think that New Day should also retire.
A look at Seth Rollins and his path to the Universal Title match.
Jinder Mahal vs Sami Zayn
(referee: Darrick Moore)
Result: Sami Zayn wins via pinfall after a Helluva Kick
Pretty good match. Zayn was still selling an ankle injury and Mahal gave Zayn a few rough-looking strikes that helped this match be more than a squash.
Michael Cole welcomes Charlotte to the announcer table. He then shows a video clip of Sasha Banks on the RAW Pre-show where she says she’s coming back better than ever.
6 Person Mixed Tag Match
New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E w/ Xavier Woods) (Tag Champs) & Bayley vs Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows & Dana Brooke
(referee: John Cone; guest commentary: Charlotte)
Result: Bayley pins Dana Brooke after a Bayley-to-Belly
Time: 10:06 (1 break)
Pretty good match. I like the team of Bayley and New Day, but this match took a little while to get going. The last part of the match was fun though. Also, Dana Brooke seemed a little hesitant at time, and seeing her in there with Gallows and Anderson just made me wish that Amber O’Neal was there instead.
Tom Phillips tells Cesaro that he’ll be in a rough spot if he loses to Sheamus again tonight. Cesaro doesn’t seem worried though. He also doesn’t like Sheamus.
Big Cass and his journey to the Universal Title Match.
Sheamus makes his way to the ring where Byron Saxton tries to ask Sheamus about what Cesaro said earlier. Sheamus says that Cesaro isn’t handsome, and he hasn’t been in a Hollywood movie.
Best-of-Seven Series – Match 2
Sheamus vs Cesaro
(referee: Rod Zapata)
Result: Sheamus wins via submission with a cloverleaf
Good match. There were some good near falls and nice sequences. Cesaro took an ugly looking back drop on the floor into the ring post which led directly to the finish. It was very convincing.
Remembering Mr. Fuji.
Kevin Owens and his journey to the Universal Title Match.
In the ring, Byron Saxton asks Americo about facing Braun Strowman.
Americo vs Braun Strowman
(referee: Darrick Moore)
Result: Braun Strowman wins via pinfall after a push-up slam
Squash. And Strowman pulled off Americo’s mask after the match.
Tommaso Ciampa, Cedric Alexander, and Johnny Gargano are coming to RAW.
Stephanie McMahon talks about Brock Lesnar’s attack on Shane McMahon, but she’d interrupted by Paul Heyman. Steph orders Heyman to get into the ring and apologize. Heyman gets in the ring and reminds Steph that RAW won at Summer Slam when Lesnar destroyed Randy Orton, but he does acknowledge that Lesnar went too far when he attacked Shane. He pulls out a stack of cash and starts counting singles to pay the $500 fine imposed on Lesnar. Steph slaps the money out of his hand.
Steph doesn’t appreciate Heyman’s antics. She gets in his face and calls him ugly while warning him of an impending storm. Heyman says that Lesnar IS the storm. He understands that he and Lesnar put Steph in a compromising position. He knows that she’s the only rightful heir to the company. He apologizes. Sort of. Stephanie accepts the apology and walks away while Heyman smiles.
Roman Reigns and his journey to the Universal Title Match.
Titus O’Neil vs Darren Young w/ Bob Backlund
(referee: Shawn Bennett)
Result: Darren Young wins via pinfall with a crucifix pin
An okay match. I like the viciousness of Titus, but not a whole lot happened in the match. The best part was when Darren was whipped towards the corner, went over the top rope, and nearly landed on a cameraman at ringside.
Mick Foley tells Stephanie that he should have backed up Steph with Heyman. He also suggests that they ban all friends and tag partners from ringside in tonight’s main event. She agrees. Seth Rollins walks up and says tonight will be a great night. Steph and Mick are both excited for Rollins’ chances.
WWE Universal Title Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match
Roman Reigns vs Kevin Owens vs Seth Rollins vs Big Cass
(referee: Chad Patton; at ringside: Stephanie McMahon, Mick Foley)
Result: 1. Kevin Owens eliminates Big Cass with a frog splash
2. Seth Rollins pins Roman Reigns after a pedigree on the floor to Reigns by Triple H
3. Kevin Owens pins Seth Rollins after a pedigree from Triple H an becomes the new WWE Universal Champ
Time: 18:17 (2 breaks)
Even with the complete story-line, ultra-interference ending, this was quite a good match. Big Cass got eliminated fairly early, but he did have some nice moments. Most of his moments consisted of boots to people, but they were good. Everyone else lasted until pretty much the end.
I liked the show. The first and last matches were easily the best, and not every segment was super great, but overall it was entertaining.
I’ve been tired of the squash matches since they’re the same thing every single time. A few times is fine, but they’ve done them so much with Strowman and Jax. It’s boring and it doesn’t serve a purpose anymore. We get the point. Do something else.
I liked the title match though. It felt important. I liked the outcome, and I don’t even really mind how it happened. There was no real story going into it, so this is the obvious catalyst for the story that we’ll see play out over the next few weeks or months.
Match of the Night
Universal Title Fatal 4-Way Match
This is a pretty easy decision. It as a big title win, it was interesting from a story perspective, and the action was good. I think the Jericho/Neville match should get an honorable mention though.