WWE Monday Night RAW
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Date: July 25, 2016
“Then. Now. Forever.” The WWE video leads us into the show.
A video showcases Dean Ambrose pinning Roman Reigns at last night’s WWE Battleground event to retain the WWE Championship. The WWE Championship is on Smackdown Live now.
Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, and Corey Graves welcome us to the show. The announcers are situated at the top of the ramp much like Eric Bischoff had them years back. Mick Foley and Stephanie McMahon are in the ring. Foley welcomes us to Monday Night RAW. Because we’re in a New Era for WWE, the first episode of the New Era of Monday Night RAW begins tonight, right here in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Foley wants to introduce everyone to the entire roster of Monday Night RAW.
The RAW stage has changed a bit. The new RAW roster makes their way to the stage. Foley says as General Manager of Monday Night RAW, he’ll be working hand in hand with the superstars on the stage to bring the most action packed episode of RAW every week. Stephanie says Foley will have full authority to do just that. However, she wants to talk about what happened last night at WWE Battleground in the main event for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship (that’s exactly what she called it) when Roman Reigns lost it for everyone. The crowd boos him. Now the WWE World Heavyweight Champion is on Smackdown Live, her brother’s show. Seth Rollins had it in the bag before Reigns screwed it up for everyone. As far as she’s concerned, he’s not a good guy or a bad guy. He’s just a loser. The crowd cheers that. In 1,209 episodes of RAW, there has always been a Heavyweight Champion. The WWE Universe demands a WWE Heavyweight Champion on RAW. The world demands it and by god that’s exactly what they’ll get.
Foley says tonight’s episode of RAW will feature two Fatal Four-Way matches. The winners of those two matches will face each other in the main event of RAW. The winner of that main event match will go on to face Seth Rollins at SummerSlam for the brand new championship title. Foley says the championship title is named for everyone in the WWE Universe. They have decided to call it the WWE Universal Championship. Foley says they’re going to begin with Sami Zayn. The crowd gives him a good hand. Sheamus will also take part in the qualifying matches, as will Chris Jericho. Cesaro will be in it along with Roman Reigns, who gets heavily booed. The United States Champion Rusev will participate. Kevin Owens will be in it as well. The eighth slot goes to their draft pick from NXT, Finn Bálor. Bálor steps out to the center to a great ovation from the crowd. Today is Finn Bálor’s 35th birthday.
Stephanie says the WWE Women’s Champion remains on RAW. Stephanie asks her to step forward. Charlotte comes forward to boos from the crowd. Foley says she was part of an exciting tag team match, but she lost it when she tapped out to Sasha Banks. That’s why she will be defending the WWE Women’s Championship in this very ring against “The Boss,” Sasha Banks. That gets a good round of applause. Stephanie says it will be a historic night for Monday Night RAW. For the eight men in the two Fatal Four-Way matches, they better be ready. The first one will happen right now.
Cesaro vs. Rusev vs. Kevin Owens vs. Finn Bálor
The bell rings, and Bálor immediately goes after Owens while Cesaro squares off against Rusev. Owens clubs Bálor back, but Bálor starts punching away at him in the corner. Cesaro floors Rusev with a running uppercut that takes him out of the ring. Owens chops Bálor’s chest and applies a side headlock. Rusev punches away at Cesaro at ringside. In the ring, Bálor whips Owens off, but Owens shoulder blocks him down. Owens hits the ropes, but Bálor leapfrogs him and takes him down with a dropkick. Cesaro sends Rusev hard into the barricade and wipes him out with a summersault senton off the apron.
We come back from the break to see Owens and Rusev stomping Bálor. During the commercial break, Cesaro and Bálor gave Owens and Rusev a double suplex. Owens chokes Bálor in the corner while Rusev punches Cesaro on the apron. Owens taunts the crowd, but Bálor begins to fight back. Bálor hits the ropes, but Owens back elbows him down. Rusev then walks up and gives Bálor a suplex. Owens claps for Rusev before connecting with a suplex of his own on Bálor. Rusev grabs Bálor and gives him a German Suplex before getting in Owens’ face. Owens grabs Bálor and goes for a German Suplex, but Bálor fights back. Owens quickly clubs him in the back of the head before bowing for the crowd. Owens picks up a near fall. On the apron, Cesaro starts punching away at Rusev. Owens quickly comes in and makes the save by punching him. Rusev throws Bálor out of the ring and turns back to Cesaro. Owens and Rusev then suplex Cesaro into the ring. Rusev covers Cesaro, but Owens breaks it up and yells at him. Owens tries to talk strategy. Owens catches Cesaro with a senton splash and tells Rusev to “do that flip.” Rusev gives Cesaro a summersault senton splash.
Bálor gets in the ring and starts punching away at Owens and Rusev. Bálor hits the ropes, ducks a clothesline, and goes for a running cross-body block, but Owens catches him and gives him reverse powerslam. Rusev breaks up the pin and gives Owens a back suplex. Rusev goes to the second rope for a diving head-butt, but Owens rolls out of the way. Owens and Rusev punch away at each other before Cesaro takes them both out with a cross-body block. Cesaro gets to his feet and starts the uppercut train on Rusev and Owens before giving one to Bálor to be fair. Cesaro showcases his amazing cardio before going for the Cesaro Swing on Owens, but Rusev puts a stop to it. Rusev sends him into the ropes, but Cesaro hangs on and boots him in the face. Cesaro then gives Rusev a hip toss over the top rope and goes over with him. Bálor teases a plancha, but Owens stops it. Bálor gives him a back body drop before giving him a low dropkick to the face. Owens rolls out of the ring to recover. Bálor then takes out his three opponents with a summersault plancha!
Bálor gets Cesaro in the ring and goes to the top rope, but Rusev grabs his foot. Bálor viciously kicks him down before kicking Cesaro in the face. Bálor gets off a flurry of strikes before dropkicking him in the side of the head. Bálor connects with the 1916 for a near fall.
We come back from the break to see Owens punching away at Cesaro in the corner. Owens puts him on the top rope and goes for a superplex, but Bálor stops him. Rusev comes up and gives them the tower of doom spot. Rusev’s eyes start bugging out of his head as he surveys the carnage in the ring. Rusev charges Owens in the corner, but Owens boots him in the face. Cesaro quickly follows up on Owens with a running uppercut. Rusev wipes Cesaro out with a spin kick and clubs Bálor, but Bálor takes him out with a Pelé kick. Bálor grabs Rusev, but Owens takes him out with a torture rack neckbreaker. Cesaro breaks up the pin, drags Owens out of the ring, and eats a superkick from Owens. Owens quickly goes to the top rope and hits Bálor with a frog splash for a near fall broken up by Rusev.
Owens throws Rusev out of the ring and superkicks him. Owens surprises Bálor with a Pop-up Powerbomb, but Cesaro breaks up the pin with a double stomp. Cesaro rolls Bálor out of the ring and goes for the Neutralizer on Owens. Owens gives him a back body drop, but Cesaro lands on his feet. Cesaro ducks a clothesline and connects with a springboard corkscrew uppercut. Cesaro is starting to feel it now as the crowd cheers him. Cesaro goes for the Cesaro Swing on Owens, but Rusev runs in and superkicks him. Rusev kicks Owens in the head and signals for the Accolade. Rusev stomps Owens and applies the Accolade. Cesaro runs in and drops him with an unbelievable vertical suplex for a near fall. Cesaro then grabs Rusev’s legs for a Sharpshooter, but Rusev fights out and goes for the Accolade. Cesaro immediately rolls through and rolls up Rusev for a two count. Rusev kicks Cesaro in the head, but Cesaro immediately rebounds with a clothesline that turns Rusev inside out.
Rusev looks like he’s been knocked for a loop before trading punches with Cesaro. Cesaro then takes Rusev down and gives him the Cesaro Swing with six revolutions before transitioning into a Sharpshooter. Owens runs in and superkicks Cesaro. Rusev crawls to the corner, and Owens connects with a cannonball. Bálor comes in out of nowhere and dropkicks Owens into Rusev. Bálor hits the ropes and takes Owens out with a Sling Blade. Bálor viciously dropkicks Rusev into the turnbuckle before going to the top rope to hit the Coup de Grace for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Finn Bálor
Match Rating: ***
Finn Bálor celebrates his big win as the crowd gives him a standing ovation. He’ll be in tonight’s main event against the winner of the second Fatal Four-Way match tonight. The winner of that match will face Seth Rollins for the newly created WWE Universal Championship at SummerSlam in August.
The New Day will celebrate the New Era, their New Cereal, and becoming the longest reigning WWE Tag Team Champions in history. Coming up next, we’ll see the RAW debut of Nia Jax.
A video showcases some of the amazing cruiserweights the WWE has signed. The Cruiserweight Division is coming exclusively to Monday Night RAW.
The commentators discuss the upcoming Cruiserweight Division.
Britt Baker vs. Nia Jax
They lock up, and Jax powers her down onto her face. Jax throws her into the corner and avalanches her. Jax sends her into the ropes, but Baker ducks a clothesline and goes for a cross-body, but Jax catches her. Jax drives her into the corner and puts her in the tree of woe. Jax avalanches her upside down body before dragging her into the center of the ring for a leg drop. Jax covers her, but she lifts her shoulder before the three counts. Jax head-butts her down and drops a leg for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Nia Jax
Match Rating: 1/4 *
Sasha Banks is warming up backstage when The Golden Truth walks up to her with a phone out. She asks if they’re taking a picture of her, but they say they’re playing Pokémon Go. They then run off. Tom Philips asks if she’s feeling the pressure about facing Charlotte for the WWE Women’s Championship. Sasha says she thrives on pressure. Charlotte has been trying to dodge her since they got to the WWE. Ever since they started the Women’s Revolution, she’s been living her dream. When she finally beats Charlotte for the title, she’ll make the dream come true. The New Era is about to have its first new champion. There’s nothing Charlotte or Dana Brooke can do about it. The WWE Universe better get ready because the WWE Women’s Championship is going to have some new swag to it. It’s going to get lit tonight.
Coming up next, we’ll see Sami Zayn take on Sheamus, Roman Reigns, and Chris Jericho in a Fatal Four-Way match. The winner will face Finn Bálor in tonight’s main event. The winner of that match will face Seth Rollins for the WWE Universal Championship at SummerSlam.
Brock Lesnar returns to Monday Night RAW next week.
Chris Jericho vs. Sheamus vs. Sami Zayn vs. Roman Reigns
The crowd is booing Reigns as the bell rings. Sheamus and Jericho double-team him in the corner as Zayn watches on. Zayn then joins in, and they’re triple-teaming Reigns. Reigns gets out of the ring to recover. Jericho and Sheamus send him into the barricade. Sheamus sends Reigns into the barricade and high-fives Jericho. Jericho and Sheamus get in the ring and eye up Zayn. Zayn tries to fight them both, but they quickly overtake him. Sheamus drops Zayn with a short-arm clothesline. Jericho stomps Zayn, but he begins to fight back. Jericho and Sheamus quickly cut him off before sending him into the ropes for a back elbow. Sheamus and Jericho continue to double-team Zayn. Zayn fights back, but Sheamus takes him out with a back suplex. Sheamus sends Zayn into the ropes, but he lowers his head and eats a kick. Zayn punches away at Sheamus before sending him to the corner. Zayn charges him, but Sheamus big boots him down. Sheamus and Jericho throw Zayn onto the apron. Zayn shoulders Sheamus and flips back into the ring. Zayn ducks a clothesline and takes Sheamus out with a hurricanrana. Sheamus rolls out of the ring to recover. Jericho tries to attack Zayn, but he gives him a back body drop over the top rope onto Sheamus. Zayn teases a plancha, but Jericho and Sheamus move.
Reigns comes in from behind and slams Zayn down to loud boos from the crowd for a near fall. Reigns punches Jericho and Sheamus off the apron. Reigns hits Zayn with a suplex for a two count. Reigns shoulders Zayn in the corner and punches him. Reigns puts him in the opposite corner and punches him down. Zayn starts to fight back, but Reigns knees him in the midsection. Reigns puts him against the ropes and clubs him in the back of the head. Zayn springboards over Reigns and holds the top rope down to get him out of the ring. Zayn goes for a plancha, but Sheamus grabs him and gives him the 10 Beats of the Bodhrán. Jericho quickly takes Sheamus out with a springboard dropkick. Reigns runs in and gives Zayn and Jericho a double clothesline over the top rope to loud boos from the crowd. Reigns then hits the ropes and takes all three out with a diving plancha over the top rope.
We come back from the break to see Jericho and Sheamus give Reigns a double-team suplex. Jericho puts his foot on Reigns, but gets a no count for that. Jericho and Sheamus stomp Reigns in the corner before sending him to the opposite corner. Sheamus whips Jericho into Reigns for a corner clothesline. Sheamus then avalanches Reigns. Jericho attacks Sheamus from behind and chops him in the corner. Sheamus reverses a whip and hits a running shoulder to the midsection before hitting a knee lift. Zayn then takes Sheamus out with a cross-body block for a two count. Zayn clotheslines Jericho down. Sheamus then clotheslines Zayn down for good measure. Reigns ducks a clothesline and hits Sheamus with a pair of clotheslines. Sheamus reverses a whip, but Reigns takes him down with a flying clothesline as the crowd loudly boos him. Jericho charges Reigns, but Reigns hits him with a Samoan Drop. Reigns hits Jericho and Sheamus with a Drive by Dropkick before putting Sheamus in the corner for some clubs. Jericho tries to break it up, but Reigns just clubs them both instead. Zayn charges in and hits Reigns with the Blue Thunder Bomb for a near fall! Zayn cannot believe he kicked out!
Zayn waits for Reigns to get up. Reigns kicks him and connects with a sit-out crucifix powerbomb for a near fall. Reigns sets up for the Superman Punch, but Sheamus hits him with a Brogue Kick. Zayn then gives Sheamus the Helluva Kick, but Jericho breaks it up. Jericho covers Sheamus, but Zayn breaks it up. Zayn punches away at Jericho as an “Olé” chant fires up. Zayn kicks Jericho in the chest before going for an arm drag, but Jericho takes him down for the Walls of Jericho. Zayn has a look of agony on his face as he claws to the bottom rope, but Jericho drags him to the center of the ring. Sheamus then takes Jericho out with a Brogue Kick, but Zayn breaks up the pin. Jericho rolls out of the ring to recover.
Sheamus punches away at Zayn before knocking him down. Sheamus gives him the Irish Curse Backbreaker before going for White Noise, but Reigns takes him out with a Superman Punch. Reigns hits Jericho with a Superman Punch before knocking Sheamus off the apron with a Superman Punch. Zayn rolls Reigns up for a near fall. Reigns immediately pops up and hits Zayn with a Superman Punch. Jericho goes for a Codebreaker on Reigns, but Reigns pushes him off and hits a Superman Punch. The crowd is loudly booing Reigns now. Jericho kicks him in the face as he goes for a Spear and hits the Codebreaker for a near fall. Jericho screams for Reigns to stay down. Jericho waits for him to get up and goes for a Spear, but Reigns leapfrogs him and hits the Spear for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Roman Reigns
Match Rating: ** 1/4
Reigns will face Finn Bálor in tonight’s main event. The winner will face Seth Rollins for the WWE Universal Championship at SummerSlam. The crowd is mercilessly booing Reigns.
Coming up next, The New Day will celebrate becoming the longest reigning Tag Team Champions ever.
“OHH PITTSBURGH – DON’T YOU DARE BE SOUR! CLAP FOR YOUR WORLD FAMOUS TWO-TIME CHAMPS AND FEEL THE POWER!”
The New Day comes out to a big reception holding balloons that read out “337,” the amount of time they’ve held the WWE Tag Team Championships. The ring is decorated with regular balloons and unicorn balloons. Xavier Woods says last night against The Wyatts didn’t exactly go as planned, but he is glad Bray Wyatt is on Smackdown Live. That doesn’t change the fact that for 337 days, The New Day have been the WWE World Tag Team Champions. Big E says 337 days is a long time. 337 days ago, Gwen Stefani and Jennifer Garner were still married. Not to each other, but that would be cool. Kofi Kingston says 337 days ago, Booty O’s were just a dream, but now it’s an actual breakfast cereal. Preorder them from FYE stores. Booty O’s – They make sure you ain’t booty.
A video package highlights all of the great moments The New Day has had over the last year. A loud “New Day Rocks” chant breaks out. They talk about the “huge” package and how great it is. Woods says they will select someone from the crowd to be an honorary member of The New Day. The crowd loudly cheers this. They do their “who” shtick while going around the ring. They select a rather large man from the crowd who nearly falls over going over the barricade. He says his name is “Sonny Boy.” They don’t believe that’s really his name. A light “Sonny Boy” chant breaks out. Sonny Boy gets into it. Kingston says he must celebrate with them because New Day Rocks. Sonny Boy gyrates in the ring.
Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows run down and drag Kingston and Woods out of the ring. They send them into the steps and the barricade. They then get in the ring and take Big E down before hitting the Magic Killer. The Club then goes outside and rips the shirts off Woods and Kingston. Gallows then sends Woods headfirst into the steps. The Club then goes up to Sonny Boy, snots into a New Day shirt, and throws it into his face before spitting on him.
Coming up next, we’ll see the return of Neville.
Curtis Axel is in the ring. JoJo introduces him as “Mr. Irrelevant.” Axel says he was picked last in the draft, but they’ve saved the best for last.
Curtis Axel vs. Neville
The bell rings, and they circle the ring. Neville blocks a kick and applies a side headlock. Axel whips him off, but Neville comes right back with a head-scissor takeover. Axel avoids an avalanche, but Neville elbows him in the head. Neville flips over him and connects with a hip toss. Neville dropkicks him in the head for a two count. Neville applies a chin lock, but Axel fights up and applies a side headlock. Neville whips him off, but Axel shoulder blocks him down. Neville leapfrogs him and hits the ropes. Axel drops down in anticipation, but Neville stops and hits a standing shooting star press. Neville wrenches the arm, but Axel takes him down. Axel dropkicks him down for a one count. Axel applies a chin lock, but Neville fights up. Axel knees him in the midsection before hitting a backbreaker for a two count. Axel punches away at Neville and stands over him. Axel grabs the ankle, but Neville kicks him in the face. Neville kicks him in the midsection and hits a deadlift German Suplex. Neville hits a running forearm in the corner before kicking him in the head. Neville hits a snap back suplex before connecting with the Red Arrow for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Neville
Match Rating: 1/2 *
Coming up next, we’ll see Charlotte defend the WWE Women’s Championship against Sasha Banks in a match presented by Mountain Dew.
Darren Young is talking about how he almost had the Intercontinental Championship. Mr. Bob Backlund says they’ll learn from their mistakes. The Golden Truth walks in and says there is a Pokémon on Backlund’s bow tie. Backlund screams at them, and they run off.
A highlight package airs for Finn Bálor. Bálor will face Roman Reigns in tonight’s main event with the winner facing Seth Rollins for the WWE Universal Championship at SummerSlam.
Tom Philips is backstage with Charlotte and Dana Brooke. Charlotte says the facts are Sasha had a partner last night. Tonight, she’s all alone. Sasha has the audacity to talk about pressure, but she doesn’t know anything about it. She defends the title night after night. She’s been leading this Women’s Division and evolved it into what it is today. Sasha can keep dreaming, but tonight she’ll bow down to the Queen. She can bank on that.
Sasha Banks makes her entrance. She’ll face Charlotte for the WWE Women’s Championship, next.
WWE Women’s Championship Match
Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte (c) w/ Dana Brooke
JoJo does the introductions in the ring to give this a big fight feel. The crowd is definitely buzzing over this upcoming match-up.
The bell rings, and they circle the ring before locking up. They tussle for position before locking back up. Sasha takes her down and tries to pin her shoulder to no avail. Charlotte shoves her to the corner and goes for a clothesline, but Sasha rolls her up for a no count. Charlotte goes for a takedown, but Sasha blocks it and executes a backslide pin for a one count. Charlotte sends her into the ropes, but she eats an elbow. Dana Brooke grabs Sasha’s foot in full view of the referee, and Charlotte takes Sasha down. The referee yells at Dana. Charlotte goes for a body slam, but Sasha lands on her feet and applies a straightjacket with some extreme bending. Charlotte gets to her feet and backs her to the corner before whipping her off. Sasha takes her down and goes for the Bank Statement, but Charlotte gets out of the ring. Sasha gives her a vicious baseball slide before doing the double knee off the apron! Sasha gets her in the ring for a near fall.
Sasha blocks a boot and tries to lay her against the ropes, but Charlotte gets out and boots her back. Charlotte connects with a hangman’s neckbreaker. Sasha boots her back and goes to the apron, but Charlotte knocks her off the apron. Charlotte yells at the crowd before going outside and booting Sasha into the barricade! Sasha’s head and upper back bounces off the barricade. Charlotte grabs her WWE Women’s Championship and says Sasha doesn’t deserve it. Sasha drives her into the apron, but Charlotte shoves her off. Sasha tosses the Women’s Championship at Dana and drops down. The referee sees Dana holding the belt and ejects her from ringside. Sasha smiles as Eddie Guerrero’s old trick worked to perfection.
We come back from the break to see Charlotte applying a surfboard stretch. Sasha fights out and hits a head-scissor takeover before dropping her into the ropes. Charlotte elbows her back and sends her into the ropes, but Sasha takes her down with double knees to the face.
The referee is counting them both down, but they each answer the count. They trade forearms before Charlotte knees her in the midsection. Sasha avoids a big boot and connects with a pair of clotheslines and a dropkick. Sasha blocks a kick and knees her in the face. Sasha blocks a boot in the corner and lays her against the ropes for a double knee to the midsection for a two count. The crowd is really getting into this match. Charlotte drops her into the turnbuckle and goes for a suplex, but Sasha lands on her feet. Charlotte quickly twists into a neckbreaker. Charlotte smiles as she steps on Sasha. Charlotte goes to the top rope for a moonsault, but she lands on her feet when Sasha moves. Charlotte goes for a summersault senton splash, but Sasha gets her knees up. Charlotte rolls out of the ring to recover. Sasha connects with a suicide dive and lands in a truly scary moment much like Lita did in the match against Trish Stratus from 2004. That looked awful. Luckily Sasha is quickly to her feet not feeling the effects and gets Charlotte in the ring for a near fall. Unbelievable.
Sasha goes to the top rope, but Charlotte cuts her off. Charlotte clubs away at the back and goes for a superplex, but there’s what appears to be a misstep and Sasha lands on the ropes and falls out of the ring. Charlotte then goes to the top rope and does a moonsault block to the floor! A loud “Holy shit” chant breaks out. Charlotte gets her in the ring for a near fall. Charlotte grabs the leg and lets out a “WOO” before going for the Figure Eight, but Sasha counters with a roll-up for a near fall. Sasha quickly boots her in the face, but Charlotte immediately big boots her down. Charlotte quickly follows up with Natural Selection and cover, but Sasha grabs the bottom rope! Charlotte is looking very flustered. Charlotte applies the Figure Four Leglock, but Sasha punches and claws at her. Charlotte tries for the Figure Eight, but Sasha rolls through. Charlotte then hangs off the apron while applying the Figure Four. Sasha grabs her leg in pain. Charlotte gets in the ring and goes for the Figure Four, but Sasha boots her off. Charlotte goes for a jackknife pin, but Sasha counters into the Bank Statement! Charlotte rolls through and gets her feet on the ropes. Sasha has to break the hold.
Sasha looks physically and mentally exhausted. Charlotte sneers at her and says Sasha will never beat her. Charlotte charges at her, but Sasha counters into the Bank Statement in the center of the ring! Charlotte has no choice but to tap out!
Winner and new WWE Women’s Champion: Sasha Banks
Match Rating: *** 1/2
Mike Chioda hands Sasha Banks the WWE Women’s Championship, and she stares at it in disbelief before beginning to break down. Charlotte looks disgusted.
Byron Saxton gets in the ring and congratulates Sasha Banks before saying the New Era has its first new champion. He asks what this moment means to her. A thunderous “You deserve it” chant breaks out. Sasha smiles and looks very moved. Sasha says, “I did it!” This has been her dream since she was 10 years old. She told everyone that she was the best and this proves it. It’s a New Era in the WWE. It’s the era of The Boss, change, and Women’s Wrestling. A loud “YES” chant breaks out. She promises that she’ll show everyone why she’s champion and how there is only one boss in the WWE. Sasha holds up the WWE Women’s Championship and smiles proudly.
Michael Cole says this may be the true main event of the evening. Replays are shown of the big moments in the match. Cole wishes Bálor and Reigns luck trying to follow that up.
Finn Bálor will take on Roman Reigns with the winner facing Seth Rollins at SummerSlam for the WWE Universal Championship later tonight.
Byron Saxton is in the ring with a very tiny man named James Ellsworth. Ellsworth says he’s nervous about facing Braun Strowman, but he believes he can pull off the upset.
Braun Strowman is sporting a new haircut with the sides of his head shaved.
James Ellsworth vs. Braun Strowman
The bell rings, and Ellsworth punches him, but hurts his hand. Strowman grabs him and just clubs him down. Strowman lifts him up and easily throws him across the ring before big booting him into the corner. Strowman avalanches him in the corner and hits a reverse chokeslam for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Braun Strowman
Match Rating: 1/4 *
A video package plays highlighting Roman Reigns. Reigns will face Finn Bálor in tonight’s main event.
The Golden Truth is walking around looking for more Pokémon. R-Truth mistakes a Pittsburgh Penguin for a Pokémon.
Enzo and Big Cass make their entrance to a thunderous reception. A loud “How you doin’” chant breaks out. Enzo does his usual shtick with the crowd saying it along with him. Enzo says Monday nights just got a little more RAW. To quote the ODB, “Oh baby I like it RAW!” Big Cass simply says, “Nice.” Big Cass says he also likes it RAW, but he likes other things raw, like cookie dough, eggs, eggs whites, brownie batter, fish, sushi…
The Shining Stars interrupt them. Primo says the only raw thing they should be talking about is the raw beauty of their island paradise. Epico says when they’re done with them, they’ll invite the people of Pittsburgh to leave their ugly city behind and come to Puerto Rico, the Shining Star of the Caribbean. Cass says there is only one word to describe them, and he’ll spell it out for them: S-A-W-F-T!
Enzo and Big Cass vs. The Shining Stars
Enzo starts against Epico. They lock up, and Enzo applies a side headlock. Primo blind tags in, but Enzo punches him. Epico dropkicks Enzo into the ropes, and Primo splashes him. Primo hits a snapmare before jumping on his face. Primo kicks him in the spine before choking him against the ropes. Enzo avoids a splash and tags in Big Cass. Cass hits a shoulder block and knocks Epico off the apron. Cass slams Primo and hits the Empire Elbow. Epico breaks up the pin. Epico throws Enzo out of the ring, and Cass clotheslines him out of the ring. Primo pulls the top rope down to get Cass out of the ring. R-Truth gets in the ring looking for Pokémon Go before randomly leaving. Primo was confused as to what was happening. Cass then big boots Primo for the win.
Winners by Pinfall: Enzo and Big Cass
Match Rating: 1/2 *
Roman Reigns is walking backstage when he bumps into Finn Bálor. Bálor wishes him luck, and Reigns does as well. Bálor says he’s Irish and they invented luck. Reigns says, “I’m Samoan. Enough said.”
Brock Lesnar will return next Monday on RAW.
Winner faces Seth Rollins at SummerSlam for the WWE Universal Championship
Finn Bálor vs. Roman Reigns
JoJo does the introductions in the ring to give this more of a big fight feel. Finn Bálor gets a big reception from the crowd while Roman Reigns is harshly booed.
The bell rings, and Reigns quickly punches him to the corner before throwing him across the ring. Michael Cole says, “Welcome to the big time, Finn!” Reigns stands over Bálor before throwing him across the ring again. Reigns whips him hard into the corner, but Bálor avoids an avalanche by jumping to the apron. Bálor kicks him in the head and applies a side headlock. Reigns whips him off and shoulder blocks him down. Reigns chokes him against the ropes before head-butting him. Reigns hits the ropes, but Bálor quickly dropkicks him down. Bálor unloads a flurry of punches and kicks on Reigns before Reigns elbows him down. Reigns begins wildly clubbing him in the corner. Bálor looks out on his feet as Reigns punches him in the face. Bálor is laid out against the bottom rope. Reigns goes for the Drive By, but Bálor moves. Bálor then hits a slingshot double stomp to the midsection before connecting with a running dropkick into the barricade.
We come back from the break to see Reigns give Bálor a modified Samoan Drop for a two count. During the commercial, Bálor focused on Reigns’ knee. Reigns catches him with a back suplex slam for a two count. Reigns applies a chin lock, but Bálor fights up and punches him. Reigns quickly head-butts him before punching him in the corner. Reigns whips him hard into the opposite corner before running into a boot. Bálor connects with some running forearms before Reigns rolls him up before lifting him up with one arm for a slam to pick up a two count. Reigns signals for the Superman Punch, but Bálor moves. Bálor runs into a boot. Reigns goes to the top rope, but Bálor kicks him in the face to send him to the floor. Bálor hits a baseball slide before getting on the apron for a running kick to the face. Bálor gets him in the ring and gives him a flying double stomp to the back of the head for a near fall. Bálor cannot believe he kicked out.
Bálor sets up for the 1916, but Reigns fights out. Bálor then floors him with a Sling Blade. Bálor sets up in the corner running into a Superman Punch. Reigns picks up a near fall. Reigns’ lip is busted. Reigns gets a furious look on his face before grabbing Bálor. Reigns goes for a crucifix powerbomb, but Bálor rolls him up for a near fall. Reigns quickly gives him a double powerbomb for a near fall. Reigns smiles in disbelief before going to the corner. The crowd is really booing as Reigns sets up for the Spear. Bálor counters with a Sling Blade before dropkicking him into the corner. Bálor goes to the top rope and connects with the Coup de Grace for the win! Finn Bálor has pinned Roman Reigns on his 35th birthday!
Winner by Pinfall: Finn Bálor
Match Rating: ** 1/2
Finn Bálor will face Seth Rollins at SummerSlam in Brooklyn for the newly created WWE Universal Championship! Reigns gets out of the ring looks physically and mentally defeated.
Tom Philips walks up to Reigns and asks if he has anything he wants to say following this loss. Reigns says he hopes Bálor beats Seth Rollins for the WWE Universal Championship because he wants to face him again. Reigns says he respects Bálor. Bálor celebrates in the ring as this unbelievable night comes to an end.
Quick Match Results
* Finn Bálor def. Cesaro, Rusev, and Kevin Owens
* Nia Jax def. Britt Baker
* Roman Reigns def. Chris Jericho, Sheamus, and Sami Zayn
* Neville def. Curtis Axel
* Sasha Banks def. Charlotte via Submission to win the WWE Women’s Championship
* Braun Strowman def. James Ellsworth
* Enzo and Big Cass def. The Shining Stars
* Finn Bálor def. Roman Reigns