Raw would open up with a still-frame recap of what happened during the main event of Summerslam last night with Rollins defeating Lesnar clean to become the new Universal Champion. Rollins would gingerly make his way to the ring and he would admit that he went into that match not at 100% and it was because of the fans that he managed to dig deep to find a strength within himself he never knew existed. AJ Styles would insert himself into the situation alongside Gallows and Anderson and congratulate Rollins on his victory, and to challenge him to a match. Rollins, never one to turn down a fight, accepted the challenge, and the two would share a stiff handshake.
This would lead to another obnoxious backstage segment with Street Profits. Luckily Dawkins partied to hard the previous night so the whole thing was much more low key as Sami Zayn walked in, warning them to enjoy their time with the WWE while it last because WWE and the fans were going to suck all that energy up and leave them dry. Dawkins would set up Zayn to talk about Samoa Joe, who happened to be right behind him as he ran his mouth, prompting Samoa Joe to invite Sami Zayn to air out his grievances in the ring.
Samoa Joe vs. Sami Zayn: In between back-to-back recaps of what’s been happening to Roman Reigns these last couple of weeks, both competitors would enter the ring. Zayn would go after Joe quickly, getting the upper hand, and raking Joe’s eyes across the ring ropes, but Joe would quickly regroup and plant to Cochina Clutch on Zayn for the win. This match wasn’t good or bad. It simply did what it was meant to do and that was to eat time. Grade: C
The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler: In a “Toronto Is Awesome” t-shirt, the Miz would come down to the ring set to face off against Ziggler. Ziggler, however, had other issues and told Miz he wasn’t medically cleared. This was all a ruse because as soon as The Miz’s back was turned, Ziggler attacked him from behind. After a commercial break at the start of the match (because Vince McMahon said that wasn’t happening anymore), The Miz would be taking it to Ziggler. The two would have their brief back and forth, giving Ziggler the opportunity to set up the Miz for the Sweet Chin Music. The Miz would counter and lock in the Figure 4 for the win. Grade: B
What made this quick match so entertaining wasn’t the match itself, but the fact that Ziggler, like at Summerslam with Goldberg, started running his mouth, calling The Miz a coward for not fighting him man-to-man (even though some time prior, Ziggler had attacked Miz from behind), and would say that his wife Maryse was the better wrestler. The Miz would return to the ring and plant Ziggler with the Skull Crushing Finale.
In an interview with Becky Lynch, Lynch would let everyone know that she was coming to collect on all the wrongs that were done to her by the other female performers. Since, at the time, she didn’t have anyone in her sights, it sounded like it was going to be a free-for-all. It wasn’t. It would’ve been nice though.
Elias vs Ricochet: Elias would come down to the ring to do his worn-out bit again, except with a twist. Instead of playing music and singing about how (enter town here) sucks, he decided to call out any legends who were going to come to the ring and interrupt him anyway. He just wanted to get to the point already. When he believed the coast was clear, he would start playing, only to be interrupted by Ricochet. After a quick back and forth, Elias would challenge Ricochet to a match. There wasn’t anything special or spectacular about the match, something that I’ve come to expect every time I see Ricochet in the ring (maybe I should lower my standards). Both performers would get their spots in, but it was when Elias was getting ready to smash his guitar over Ricochet that the official intervened and told him to put it down. In the distraction, Ricochet would jump up to the top rope and land a sloppy Sunset Roll-Up for the win, despite that Elias’ shoulder was up. Grade: B-
Rey Mysterio vs Andrade (Two Out Of Three Falls): In what I’m sure was meant to be a far bigger deal than how WWE booked it, this match between Mysterio and Andrade felt hollow, and wasn’t half as good as their match last week. What happened to the matches that we saw at the beginning of the year between these two? Andrade would go after Rey hard and fast as he tends to do in his matches, picking up the first win within the first two minutes of the bell ring with assistance from Zelina Vega. After a lengthy back and forth between the two opponents, Mysterio would land the 619 and go to the top rope for his splash and the second pin. Instead, Andrade got his knees up, floundered around with Mysterio briefly, and picked up the second pin and the win with his Hammerlock DDT. Grade: C-
Michael Cole would have an interview with Steve Austin via Skype to get his opinion on Seth Rollins and his match from last night, and to promote his new show airing after Raw. After a commercial break, Charly Caruso would interview a visibly upset Rey Mysterio who kept talking about his family. This would lead to another brief segment with the Street Profits talking about the match for the Women’s Tag Team Titles. It would be the Kabuki Warriors (still hate that name) vs. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross.
Drew McIntyre vs. Cedric Alexander: After a brief interview with McIntyre over what he was planning on doing to Cedric Alexander, the two would face-off (hopefully) one last time. Alexander would use his speed and agility to be one step ahead of McIntyre, but after McIntyre got his hands on him and delivered a rough Bucklebomb, the match would shift. Both competitors would continue landing hard blows and high-impact slams but neither would give up. Much like the Ricochet/Elias match, there wasn’t anything really special happening. If what Drew said in the interview was correct, this would be the last time the two faced off against one another and it felt like they just wanted to get it over.. In the end, McIntyre would pick up the win after landing a Claymore so heavy, it sent Alexander flipping through the air. One of two high spots in the match. Grade: B
No Way Jose vs. Robert Roode (No. Seriously): In a random appearance from both competitors, No Way Jost and Robert Roode would face off against one another. The two would trade blows back and forth, but it was meant to be a short match. In the end, Roode picked up the win with his Glorious DDT. You’d almost forget that Robert Roode was once NXT Champion with his garbage booking. Grade: C
Charley Caruso would interview a very stressed out Paul Heyman after he received word that Brock Lesnar will not be getting any rematches against Seth Rollins. This is clearly setting up Brock Lesnar to move to Smackdown since, apparently, you can’t have Lesnar without a title, and all that leaves is whoever is going to win between Kingston and Orton. Maybe we’re going to see a quick steal and set up Rollins vs. Lesnar Part 5 at Clash of Champions?
Lucha House Party vs. The Revival (I’m not making this up): In another bananas random match, Lucha House Party would face off against The Revival, and by the time you’re finished reading this sentence, that’s how long the match was before R-Truth and Carmella came running to the ring, being chased by the usual suspects of talent. This got weird and random quickly with Lucha House Party and The Revival jumping in and attack all of R-Truth’s chasers. R-Truth would lose the title to The Revival who decided that were both the 24/7 Champions. Calisto would jump in and land the Salida Del Sol on Scott Dawson but before he could get the win, Wilder pulled Calisto off him, and Carmella would pull R-Truth onto Dawson to win the title back. R-Truth and Carmella would take off running once more with everyone tailing behind, but when his back was turned, Elias slammed his guitar on R-Truth’s back to become the 3-Time 24/7 Champion.
Because WWE loves kicking dead dogs, for the second time of the evening, we saw video recaps of everything that’s happened with Roman Reigns and the attacks, which also included Roman Reigns attacking Buddy Murphy for answers and Murphy getting attacked by Rowan. That’s it, nothing else. All we’re left with was an ominous threat that the story of Roman Reigns’ attacker will continue on Smackdown by Michael Cole.
Natalya would come down to the ring in a sling to give her take on her match with Becky Lynch at Summerslam. She let everyone know that she suffered a dislocated elbow, but she’d be fine, because she didn’t know when or where, but she was coming after the Raw Women’s Title and after a teary story of her father coming to her in a dream to say how proud he was of her, the Prodigal Daughter, Sasha Banks returned for the first time since Wrestlemania in April. She’d come down to the ring in a fuchsia-colored wig to console Natalya before turning heel and attacking her. This would cause The Man Becky Lynch to make her way to the ring and the two would start duking it out. Banks would get the advantage and start wailing on Lynch with a chair. She would throw Lynch into the steel steps when she was done and walk away.
The Viking Raiders vs (Enter Local Talent Here): The Viking Raiders would have another squash match and I’m done with them. Grade: F
Women’s Tag Team Championship — Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross (c) vs. The Kabuki Warriors (Without Paige): After a cell phone video from Paige with a filter effect to the max setting, making her look super creepy, the Kabuki Warriors would get the upper hand over Bliss and Cross. However, once we returned from commercial break, it would be Bliss and Cross with the tables turned. Sane would break free for the hot tag and Asuka would run a clinic on both champions. All four competitors would put up another fantastic show with Sane going up to the top rope to deliver the Insane Elbow to Cross. After Bliss broke the three-count, she would drag Cross to their corner for the tag, but Sane would prevent it from happening. Cross would end up delivering the Twisted Neckbreaker (Last week it was called the Twisting Neckbreaker. Cross is trying to become the next Alexa Bliss, I’m telling you) and Bliss would pick up the win with the Twisted Bliss. Grade: B
Seth Rollins vs AJ Styles: With ribs taped, Rollins would take a page from Lesnar’s playbook and put Styles in the corner, driving his shoulder into Styles multiple times. Rollins would reverse Style’s suplex and get a stiff kick in to set up for a quick Curb Stomp, but thanks to interference from Gallows and Anderson, they prevented a quick match. After ANOTHER in-match commercial break, we’d return to see Styles with the upper hand. The two would battle it out, hitting all their classic spots, but the obvious ending looming over the match in the form of Gallows and Anderson really took away from the match. In one brief, shiny moment when the official kicked Gallows and Anderson from ringside, I thought it was going to be a match, but they jumped in and ended the match. Rollins would put up a good fight, but the numbers would catch up with him. Ricochet would intervene and get a few shots in before receiving the Boo of Doom. Styles would set up Rollins for a mid-rope styles clash, but in another surprising return, Braun Strowman made his way to the ring and took apart The O.C. He would then hand over the Universal Title to Rollins and shake his hand. Grade: A
After everything is said and done, this episode of Raw was entertaining, to say the least, with Braun Strowman and Sasha Banks returning. There were a few downsides to the show, like the Mysterio/Andrade, and The Viking Raiders. It’s been four months. HOW MUCH LONGER WILL THESE SQUASH MATCHES GO ON!? WHY PULL TALENT FROM NXT IF YOU’RE NOT GOING TO PROPERLY USE THEM!? This Episode of Raw: C+