Original Air Date: August 20, 2018
Event Date: August 20, 2018 (aired live)
Commentary: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Jonathan Coachman
Ring Announcer: Jojo
The new Universal Champ, Roman Reigns, heads to the ring. Reigns says he’s a man of his word. He said he would become champ, and he did. He also plans to defend the title tonight. The man he wants to offer a title shot to is Finn Balor.
Finn Balor heads to the ring and accepts Reigns’ challenge. They shake hands, but Baron Corbin comes out immediately after. Corbin says Balor versus Reigns isn’t happening tonight. Corbin is upset about last night. He says Balor is in breach of contract for wrestling as Demon Balor last night. It was also dark and he didn’t hear the bell, so their Summer Slam match never happened. Tonight, Corbin wants to face Balor the man, not Balor the demon.
Reigns says Corbin is dumb and terrible. Corbin responds by saying Reigns only won last night because Lesnar was more concerned with Braun Strowman than Reigns. Kurt Angle comes out to the stage.
Angle again reminds everyone that he makes the matches. Angle asks the crowd if they want to see a title match between Reigns and Balor. They say “yes.” Angle makes the match. He also makes a match for Corbin, right now. His opponent: Bobby Lashley.
Baron Corbin vs Bobby Lashley
(referee: Dan Engler)
Result: Bobby Lashley wins via pinfall with a modified Dominator
Time: 9:07 (1 break)
I wasn’t really into this match. I feel like both guys are kind of aimless right now, and I’m not a huge fan of either man’s wrestling.
Paul Heyman informs Kurt Angle that Lesnar would like to invoke his rematch clause. Angle says the contract doesn’t say when Lesnar will get his rematch. Lesnar isn’t going to get his match for a very, very long time. Heyman thinks Hell in a Cell would be a good time, but Angle says “no.”
Baron Corbin is angry at Kurt Angle. Corbin is tired of not getting what he wants. Angle says he’s not here to give Corbin what he wants, he’s here to do what’s best for RAW. Corbin says Stephanie McMahon is here tonight, so he’s going to see what she has to say about it.
Coming up at Super Showdown in Australia, Undertaker and Triple H will face each other for the final time.
Sasha Banks & Bayley & Ember Moon vs The Riott Squad
(referee: Darrick Moore)
Result: Ruby Riott pins Sasha Banks after the Riott Kick
Time: 6:48 (1 break)
Good match. This built up to a nicely done finish with everyone getting involved. The Riott Squad looked particularly good. Very nice teamwork from Ruby, Liv, and Sarah.
Triple H heads to the ring. He gets excited as he talks about this past weekend. He’s still a fan and he loves watching, but watching also makes him want to get back into the ring. He was excited when he got the news that he’d be wrestling in Australia, but he was less excited when he found out he’d be facing The Undertaker.
Triple H talks about the last time he faced Undertaker, saying the final moments with Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, and himself were as real as it gets. That match changed all three of them. It was the end of an era for all three of them. After all this time though, Triple H decided he would be The Game again is The Undertaker would be The Phenom. The era is back one last time.
Dean Ambrose w/ Seth Rollins (IC Champ) vs Dolph Ziggler w/ Drew McIntyre
(referee: Chad Patton)
Result: Dean Ambrose wins via pinfall after Dirty Deeds
Time: 6:46 (1 break)
Good match. Rollins and McIntyre eventually started to get involved in the match, and I really liked how it seemed like everyone was fighting even though neither Rollins nor McIntyre ever hit Ziggler or Ambrose. I enjoyed the finish a lot as well. Ambrose does seem a little different in the ring. It felt like he was a little less agile and was focusing more on a slower, stronger style. I’m not sure how much I like that yet, but we’ll see how it goes.
Elias angrily speaks to some of the backstage crew.
Braun Strowman holds his Money in the Bank briefcase in Finn Balor’s face and wishes Balor luck in the main event.
In the ring, Elias is still upset about his guitar breaking last night. He knows someone is out to ruin him. But now, he needs some silence so he can perform his greatest song. As he starts to play his guitar, Curt Hawkins comes out to the stage.
As he walks towards the ring, Hawkins says Elias can be “number one,” as in the first guy to lose to Hawkins. Elias says Hawkins is funny, but he’s a loser. Elias tells Hawkins to go away. Hawkins starts to leave, but when Elias starts playing again, Hawkins again challenges him. Elias has had enough, so he agrees to a match.
Elias vs Curt Hawkins
(referee: Rod Zapata)
Result: Elias wins via pinfall after Drift Away
This was kind of fun, but it was a super easy match for Elias.
Titus O’Neil has been looking for Apollo Crews and Dana Brooke all night. He finds them. They all talk strategy.
Authors of Pain vs Apollo Crews & Titus O’Neil w/ Dana Brooke
(referee: John Cone)
Result: Akam pins Apollo Crews after The Last Chapter
Time: 5:04 (joined in progress)
Apollo Crews looked very good in this match, but he got overwhelmed by the unsurprising offense of Akam and Rezar.
The RAW Women’s division (including the Bella Twins) stands around the ring as Stephanie McMahon heads to the ring. Stephanie says how proud she is of the women’s division and of the RAW Women’s Title match at Summer Slam last night. She is especially proud of Ronda Rousey. Steph is proud of how she turned Rousey into a star bigger than any of the other women on RAW.
Ronda Rousey heads to the ring. Rousey says tonight isn’t about Steph, it’s about the women who wrestle on RAW. Rousey invites everyone into the ring. Steph does not approve, but Rousey doesn’t care. Rousey compliments Natalya, Sasha, and Bayley. Rousey says she isn’t Brock Lesnar, she’s going to be a fighting champ. Steph tries to shame Rousey for hurting Alexa Bliss, saying Rousey wants to take out all the other women so she can stand in the spotlight be herself. Rousey says she’s not here to break everyone’s arms, only those who deserve it. Rousey then briefly puts Steph in an arm bar.
Rousey holds up the RAW Women’s Title alongside some of the women in the ring (everyone except the Riott Squad, Alexa, and Alicia).
The B-Team heads to the ring. They talk about the wild ride they’ve been on for the last few weeks. They’d never won a tag match on RAW, but now they are undefeated and are the champs. Tonight, they’re dedicating their matches to everyone in Brooklyn.
Bo Dallas w/ Curtis Axel (RAW Tag Champs) vs Scott Dawson w/ Dash Wilder
(referee: Chad Patton)
Result: Scott Dawson wins via pinfall after a cradle DDT
Dawson rolled over Dallas. It was kind of a beating.
Curtis Axel w/ Bo Dallas (RAW Tag Champs) vs Dash Wilder w/ Scott Dawson
(referee: Chad Patton)
Result: Dash Wilder wins via pinfall after a Gory Bomb
Time: 2:17 (joined in progress)
It wasn’t quite the beating that Dallas took, but it was close.
After the match, Bo Dallas says they might have lost tonight, but The B-Team are still champions.
Renee Young asks Roman Reigns if he has any reservations about putting his title on the line tonight. He doesn’t.
Baron Corbin and Alexa Bliss watch as Stephanie McMahon has her arm looked at. Kurt Angle walks in and asks Steph if she’s okay. She isn’t. She and Corbin think Angle is doing a terrible job. Steph suggests that Angle needs a vacation. So Corbin is now the acting GM of RAW. Angle is excused.
Universal Title Match
Finn Balor vs Roman Reigns (Universal Champ)
(referee: Dan Engler)
Result: Roman reigns wins via pinfall after a spear
Time: 12:10 (2 breaks)
Good match. There was a lot of energy in this towards the end, and it felt like any single move could end the match after a while. This was a match about each man hitting big move after big move in order to end it. It was fun, and it was very nice to see a Universal Title match on RAW.
Braun Strowman had made his way to ringside before the title match had ended. Immediately after the bell, Strowman enters the ring. When Reigns stands up, Strowman kicks him down to the mat. Strowman hands the Money in the Bank briefcase to the referee, and Jojo announces that Strowman is cashing in his title contract.
Before the bell can ring to start the match, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose head to the ring in their Shield gear. Rollins and Ambrose surround Strowman. After a few seconds, Strowman attacks Reigns. Rollins and Ambrose join in the brawl which makes its way to ringside. The Shield sets Strowman up for a triple powerbomb, but Strowman fights out of it. The Shield persists and finally powerbombs Strowman through the announce table. Rollins, Ambrose, and Reigns touch fists as the show ends.
There were definitely some low points on the show (Corbin and Lashley springs to mind), but overall I liked this show fine. Despite not being a big fan of Reigns as Universal Champ, there are some really big positives associated with it. For one, we got a Universal Title match on RAW, and Finn Balor was in that title match. Also, seeing The Shield back together is always fun (though I always dread the possibility of Rollins wrestling in that dumb vest of his). Despite not being technically great, I did enjoy the main event and its aftermath. Still, having Reigns as champ is going to get old very quickly, especially if he’s feuding with Strowman.
I’m not sure I really like having Ronda Rousey as champ right now. I like her a lot, but she still feels like a part-timer. I mean, she had her first singles match on RAW after she’d been on the show for months. She also feels completely unstoppable which I feel makes it difficult to create tension in matches. They’re definitely trying hard to make her feel like part of the women’s division though (rather than being on top of it).
Match of the Night
Finn Balor vs Roman Reigns
It wasn’t structured in a terribly interesting way, but there was a lot of excitement to be had in this match.
Official results: https://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2018-08-20