This weeks episode of Monday Night Raw comes from the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinatti, Ohio.
The roster, including Nikki Cross, is on stage as Vince McMahon brings out Triple H & Stephanie. They talk about making history, and praise all of the superstars past and present. Triple H asks the women to step forward and says that the men behind them support them, the fans support them, and says they are all proud of them. Stephanie says that all of their great moments happened because the fans made it important. The fans asked for more, a revolution started, and they went from divas to superstars. And now she announces on October 28th, over 50 women will compete at Evolution, which is the first all women’s PPV. Say what you will about Stephanie and many will, but they did a hell of a job making this feel special.
Cole adds that it will take place in Long Island, and the Raw, Smackdown, and NXT titles will be defended, and the finals of the Mae Young Classic II will also be held that night.
Raw Tag Team Title Match: Champions The B Team vs. Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt
Matt and Dallas to begin. They lock up, Wyatt tags in and immediately takes him down. He follows with strikes and Axel into make the save, but the challengers take control and the champions powder. Post break, and the champions have the heat on Wyatt as the Revival watch on from backstage. Dallas ground the action, but Wyatt fires up and cuts him off with a lariat. Matt tags in and so does Axel. Matt runs wild and hits corner clotheslines and a side effect for 2. The elbow off the ropes follows, and now he looks for twist of fate, connects, and Dallas makes the save. It breaks down and Wyatt gets run into Matt, allowing Axel to cradle him for the win. Champions The B Team defeated Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt @ 8:20 via pin [**] It was ok as the B Team luck their way into another win.
Post match, Matt & Bray layout the champions. This feud must continue…yup.
Gable & Balor put over the women’s PPV, and people are stealing Balor’s gear at orders from Constable Corbin. Balor has been given a new locker room, a child’s playhouse. Corbin arrives and laughs. He books Drew McIntyre vs. Finn Balor, which we already knew about.
Sasha Banks & Bayley are interviewed, and they say that since last week, they had a long talk. They have a strong friendship, and have big dreams. They put over the women’s PPV.
Sasha Banks & Bayley vs. Jill & Jane Boots & Tights
Bayley starts off, takes control, and tags in Banks. Jill & Jane actually cut of Banks, but she quickly fights back and tags in Bayley. They work quick tags, taking control and the banks statement finishes it. Sasha Banks & Bayley defeated Jill & Jane Boots & Tights @ 1:25 via submission [NR]Squash; all is right for the two for now.
Elias tries to perform again, but Braun Strowman arrives. Strowman says everyone is talking about the Evolution PPV, and he congratulates the WWE women, especially his MMC partner, Alexa Bliss. Also, people are talking about Reigns & Lashley. It doesn’t matter who wins and faces Brock, because he’s the monster in the bank, and will become the new champion. Kevin Owens is actually alive, and slowly makes his way out to the ramp. Kevin says he can’t believe how heartless Strowman is after what he did to him at Extreme Rules. Strowman just comes out and talks like nothing ever happened. Kevin tried to make friends with him because of his son. But Strowman destroyed that dream, just like he crushed Kevin’s ribs. His kids are now afraid, because they see how hurt he is and Strowman tried to take it all away from him. Kevin promises to take everything away from Strowman. He won their match at Extreme Rules, and has nothing left to prove, while Strowman’s problems have just begun. Constable Corbin arrives and he has been empowered to deal with this situation, makes fun of Balor, and says he found someone who can teach Strowman to control his temper. Jinder Mahal arrives, and does his find your calm bullshit gimmick. Fuck off with this bullshit. Strowman says this isn’t working and tells Mahal & Singh to close their eyes. Strowman then chants get these hands and beats the shit out of both. Kevin’s promo was good, and Strowman showed a ton of personality. That’s it.
Ronda Rousey’s Best Friend Natalya vs. Mickie James
Bliss is out with James. They lock up, and work to the ground. Natalya takes control, Bliss distracts her, allowing James to take control. James grounds things, working a front choke. She follows with knee strikes and slams Natalya down. They work to the corner, and Natalya hits a Russian leg sweep and follows with a suplex. Natalya cuts off the head scissors and hits an electric chair drop. The basement dropkick follows for 2. James fights off the sharpshooter, Bliss trips up Natalya, distracting her and James hits the Mick Kick and picks up a win. Mickie James defeated Ronda Rousey’s Best Friend Natalya @ 3:50 via pin [*½] Short and clunky due to the Bliss stuff, but at least Mickie won. (First time since May [Mickie James defeats Sonya Deville]).
Ronda Rousey’s suspension is up next week.
Reigns now cuts a promo on tonight’s main event. Tonight is different and he will beat Lashley tonight. He makes no excuses, and says he’s the workhorse of WWE and the most decorated star of this era. Learn to like it or shut up, he’s going to Summerslam and will whoop Brock’s ass.
The AOP interrupt Elias. They cut a promo and want anyone but Titus Worldwide, because they are done with them. Titus Worldwide arrives and Titus says he wants to help them, and AOP make fun of Titus for his fall at the GRR. Titus says he keeps getting up and Apollo says he’s learned a lot from Titus. He says to show Titus respect. The AOP tell Titus to walk away and retire. They brawl, and Titus Worldwide clear the ring. This “feud” must continue. Enthralling.
Angle praises Stephanie for the Evolution PPV; Corbin & Owens arrive. Stephanie asks if Kevin is ok, but he says life has been rough and blames Angle for all of it. Kevin says Braun tried to take everything from him, and Kevin wants a match with Braun at Summerslam, with the MITB case on the line, and if Braun loses in any way, Kevin wins the case. Stephanie likes it and makes the match. Angle opens her limo door and Stephanie leaves.
Tyler Breeze vs. Mojo Rawley
Breeze attacks at the bell in this rematch. Mojo hits a pounce, and then grounds things as Roode joins us from backstage. He runs down Mojo. Mojo continues to do nothing. Breeze fights back and hits an enziguri. Mojo cuts him off, misses the KO shot and Breeze rolls him up for 2. Mojo hits a sitout Alabama slam for the win. Mojo Rawley defeated Tyler Breeze @ 2:20 via pin [NR] Mojo’s push continues.
Promo time from Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler. They are here, taking over Raw, and tonight, McIntyre will take out Balor once and for all.
Drew McIntyre vs. Finn Balor
Ziggler is at ringside. Balor attacks with strikes and kicks, but McIntyre quickly cuts him off and lays in chops. Balor fires up and dropkicks him to the floor. He follows with a tope. Post break, and McIntyre has things grounded. McIntyre now hits a dead lift suplex and covers for 2. Balor tries to fire up, laying in forearms and hitting a tornado DDT for 2. The enziguri follows, and then sling blade. Balor hits John Woooooo and heads up top. Ziggler crotches him for the DQ. Finn Balor defeated Drew McIntyre @ 7:10 via DQ [***] It was good while it lasted with a nice sense of urgency, I need an extended match between the two.
Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler vs. Finn Balor & Seth Rollins
Rollins and Balor attack and clear the ring. Rollins and Ziggler in; they work into some fun back and forth, and Rollins covers for 2. Rollins takes Ziggler to the floor and follows with a plancha. Post break, and Balor is in and working over Ziggler until Ziggler cuts him off. Balor quickly fires back with a dropkick but Ziggler takes him to his corner, and tags in McIntyre. McIntyre beats Balor down and grounds the action. McIntyre now dropkicks him to the floor and follows. He slams him to the barricade and then rolls him back in. Ziggler tags in and Balor hits a desperation PELE. McIntyre tags in, cutting of Balor, but Balor avoids a charge and tags in Rollins. He dumps McIntyre and hits a suicide dive. Back in and the flying clothesline connects. The blockbuster follows for 2. Rollins fires up and Ziggler distracts him but he rolls up McIntyre for 2. The superkick follows for 2 as Ziggler makes the save. Balor hits Ziggler with sling blade. It breaks down and McIntyre hits the reverse Alabama slam for 2 on Rollins. Ziggler & McIntyre look for a doomsday, but Rollins fights back and runs them together and the black out finishes Ziggler. Finn Balor & Seth Rollins defeated Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler @ 12:05 via pin [***½] This was a very good back and forth tag match, with a great energy and a hot crowd.
Lashley is interviewed about tonight’s main event. Lashley says Reigns will fail again and he will move on to face Brock at Summerslam.
Ember Moon vs. Liv Morgan
Moon’s seemingly endless feud with Logan & Morgan continues. Logan has been barred from ringside tonight. Moon attacks at the bell and the ass kicking has begun. Moon runs wild and Morgan powders. Back in and Moon delivers kicks and knee, but Morgan avoids the high cross. Morgan uses the hair and takes control, working over Moon in the ropes. Morgan grounds the action, until Moon hits a jawbreaker and gets a cradle for 1. Moon slams Morgan to the mat, heads up top but Morgan cuts her off. Morgan looks for a superplex, but Moons slams her to the mat. The eclipse finishes it. Ember Moon defeated Liv Morgan @ 3:32 via pin [*] Ember Moon is really, really good; Liv tries…
Seth Rollins is backstage and reveals that he has a match for Summerslam… an IC Title match with Ziggler.
Elias arrives and Angle interrupts him. Angle says that since Elias has been interrupted all night, he gets his chance to play his song now. Elias monologues and finally sings. He stops because he’s not feeling the vibe and runs down Cincinnati. Lashley arrives.
#1 Contender’s Match: Lashley vs. Roman Reigns
They lock up and work to the ropes. Reigns now lays in strikes and a clothesline, and dumps Lashley to the floor. Back in and Lashley dumps Reigns. He follows but Reigns cuts him off, and Lashley then hits an overhead toss. Post break, and Lashley hits a spinebuster for 2. Lashley now grounds things, Reigns slowly powers to his feet and lays in rights. They work into a double down. They now trade strikes, Lashley hits a clothesline and a belly to belly. Lashley hits a corner spear but Reigns looks for a Samoan drop, but Lashley grabs the ropes and Reigns lay in rights and Lashley hits a clothesline from the apron. Reigns then hits a leg drop in the ropes and covers for 2. Reigns fires up and looks for a superman punch, Lashley counters and gets a full nelson. Reigns escapes, but Lashley hits a flatliner and into a head and arm choke. Reigns manages to escape, Lashley posts himself on a spear attempt, and Reigns follows with clotheslines. Lashley fights back and hits a powerslam for 2. He sets for a spear, Reigns counters with a knee strike, I think it was supposed to be a leapfrog, and he covers for 2. The superman punch follows and Reigns covers for 2. Reigns fires up again and Lashley powders to the floor. Reigns follows and they brawl. Lashley sloppily tosses Reigns (Reigns landed on his head) into the ring and hits a spear for 2. Lashley sets and Reigns hits the superman punch. The spear is countered, but Reigns hits it anyway and wins. Roman Reigns defeated Lashley @ 17:59 via pin [***½] This was a very good match as these two worked well together again. I’m not thrilled about another Reigns vs. Lesnar match, but this was very good.
Lashley of course shakes hands and endorses Reigns post match.
Next Week: Brock & Rousey will be on Raw. Also, Balor vs. Corbin & Rollins vs. McIntyre.
End of show.