Brock Lesnar returns to Raw to kick off the official Road to Summerslam. Plus, hype for Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor and more developments for Week 2 of the brand split. …
WWE Raw TV Report
August 1, 2016 – Episode #1,210
Live in Atlanta, Ga.
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor
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- Week 2 of the Brand Split – Raw run by Stephanie McMahon & Mick Foley
- Brock Lesnar returns to WWE TV
- WWE tag champions New Day vs. The Club
- Titus O’Neil vs. Darren Young
- Summerslam PPV build-up
Raw opened with a sports-like video package recapping last week’s events, including Finn Balor becoming #1 contender for the new Universal Title against Seth Rollins at Summerslam. Plus, Sasha Banks capturing the Women’s Title from Charlotte.
In the arena, full pyro kicked off the show as Michael Cole introduced the show. After a pause, Sasha Banks’s music played to bring out the new Women’s champion. Cole and Byron Saxton hyped Sasha vs. Charlotte in a title re-match at Summerslam. WWE then showed Cole, Saxton, and Corey Graves standing at their new broadcast position to talk up last week’s big title win for Sasha.
In the ring, Sasha waited out cheers and applause, then “You deserve it” chants. Sasha thanked the crowd for their support. She said it’s about time that Raw popped off with a Bank Statement from the new WWE Women’s champion.
Sasha said that last year during Summerslam Weekend, the WWE audience went home talking about Bayley and The Boss from NXT: Takeover. This year, the reign of The Boss has just begun and she will take home a W against Charlotte at Summerslam.
Charlotte’s music interrupted to bring out the former Women’s champion missing a little gold around her waist. Charlotte told the crowd to talk to the hand as her music randomly stopped. She eventually entered the ring and Sasha acknowledged a “You Tapped Out” chant directed at Charlotte, who sold being aghast. “You mad?” Sasha asked. You seem to be missing something. Where’s all your gold? That’s right, I made you tap out last week.
As a matter of fact, where’s your little friend Dana Brooke? Charlotte told Sasha to get over herself because she doesn’t need Dana or her dad (wooos!) to beat Sasha. She said Flair is off vacationing somewhere in a resting home, and at Summerslam, she will beat Sasha all by herself.
Charlotte called Sasha a one-night stand who won’t get a ring on her finger. Sasha smiled and told Charlotte that she’s the daughter of Ric Flair. If not for a one-night stand, she might not be standing here. Charlotte sold being aghast again.
Suddenly, there was a shout of “quiet!” from Chris Jericho. Jericho emerged from the back continuing to shout “quiet!” to interrupt Charlotte and Sasha. He told Sasha to stop talking. Jericho said he was standing backstage minding his own business when he heard Sasha talking to Charlotte like that. Jericho said Charlotte is royalty. He said Charlotte has outdone everything Flair accomplished. I mean, who has Ric Flair ever beat?
Jericho wanted to know what kind of Boss Sasha really is. Are you going to pay my salary? Reprimand me? Write me up? Maybe you’re the Boss because you’re somehow related to Snoop Doog? Puff Dady? (Next week.) Jericho told Sasha that she’s not a boss, but a brat.
Suddenly, Enzo Amore’s music played to bring out Enzo to a huge reaction. No sign of Big Cass. Enzo looked around the arena before introducing himself. He looked to the back as if he were going to introduce Big Cass, but instead skipped his part and strutted down to the ring. Enzo walked up to Sasha and asked how she’s doing, then kissed her hand.
Enzo got happy feet as the “Enzooo Amoreee” sing-song broke out. He said usually he comes out here with his buddy Big Cass, but three’s a crowd in this situation. Enzo said he’s a Certified G and Sasha’s a Boss, so he would like to do some business. Enzo wanted Sasha to make a deposit via the Bank Statement. They went back and forth with How You Doings?
[q2] Charlotte told Sasha to keep going, then said rumor has it when it comes to Enzo’s love life, there’s only one way to describe him. Before Charlotte could spell it out, Enzo and Sasha noted there appears to be some hat-ahs. Enzo then cut a promo on Jericho’s promo.
Jericho waited out “Stupid Idiot” chants, then told Enzo to watch it. What’s “it?” Enzo and Jericho went back and forth, settling for a discussion of Jericho’s scarf. How you doin’? Jericho said he doesn’t care how they’re doing, or how anyone is doing.
Suddenly, Mick Foley’s music interrupted to perhaps move this somewhere after 18 minutes. Foley walked out on-stage with a Raw clipboard to make some orders. Foley said he might not be The Boss, but he is their boss. So, he’s going to make some Certified GM decisions. Foley took a second to plug his “Holy Foley” show premiering on WWE Network after Summerslam, showing favoritism to Enzo and Sasha for appearing on his show.
Foley said tonight they are going to have the mixed tag match of the new era. He booked Jericho and Charlotte against Sasha and Enzo. And the match not only takes place right here in Atlanta … but it starts right now.
[ JC Reax: Fine change of pace with some different characters in the opening mix, but this went way too long running out of material. Effect of Three-Hour Raws in the opening segment. ]
[Commercial Break at 8:21. But, first, a plug for Dean Ambrose on the Stone Cold Podcast next Monday after Raw.]
Still to come: Brock Lesnar returns to Raw tonight.
1 — Women’s champion SASHA BANKS & ENZO AMORE vs. CHARLOTTE & CHRIS JERICHO — mixed tag match
Before the match started, WWE showed Kevin Owens joining Cole and Co. at the announce table. Owens was sporting a tie over his ring gear to look “formal” at the announce table. He said he was out there to give people something interesting to listen to after sitting through 15 minutes of Sasha and Enzo (the faces) talking. He also took exception to Sasha claiming people were talking about the Women’s Title match from NXT Takeover when he and Finn Balor were in the main event. Cole reminded Owens that Balor retained over him. Moving on, Kevin wanted to take exception to Enzo Amore.
In the ring, Sasha dominated Charlotte until Charlotte tagged out to Jericho. Jericho then walked right into a flying bodypress from Enzo. The heels recovered on the floor, so Sasha and Enzo thought things over in the ring. They followed with stereo suicide dives to wipe out Jericho and Charlotte on the floor. Sasha and Enzo bounced back into the ring for Sasha to do Enzo’s run-around-the-ring bit heading to break.
[Q3] [Commercial Break at 8:30]
Back on Raw, Jericho was working over Enzo in the ring. Meanwhile, Owens talked about being on commentary to give the audience someone they want to hear. Jericho then airballed a corner attack and Enzo came back with a body-press for a two count. Enzo tried a corner attack, but Jericho blocked and slapped on the Walls of Jericho. Enzo reached the bottom rope, though.
Tags were made to Sasha and Charlotte, who took a double knee smash to the gut from Sasha. Backstabber, then Dana Brooke suddenly showed up to run interference. Sasha ran her off, then slapped Jericho, but Charlotte surprised Sasha with her Natural Selection finisher. Charlotte pinned Sasha for the win.
WINNERS: Jericho & Charlotte at 9:58.
Post-match, Dana hit the ring to celebrate with Charlotte. Enzo checked on Sasha, but Jericho snuck back into the ring to attack Enzo from behind. This brought out Big Cass, who hit the ring to scare off Jericho. Jericho wanted nothing to do with Cass, who looked down on the heels as they collected themselves.
Suddenly, referee John Cone approached Charlotte with the Women’s Title belt. Oops. Old habit. Charlotte tried to subtly motion toward Sasha, then Cone disappeared off-camera to give Sasha the Women’s Title belt. The faces recovered in the ring to end the opening sequence.
Still to come: Finn Balor is on Raw.
[Commercial Break at 8:37]
In-ring: Braun Strowman was introduced to the ring for the next match. And, Byron Saxton was standing by in the ring with this week’s victim – Evan Anderhaul (sp?). Evan said he took this match to face Braun because he gets paid $1,000. And if he wins, he gets $5,000! This is terrific identifying a difference between winning and losing to reinforce match outcomes mattering. More of this.
2 — BRAUN STROWMAN vs. EVAN ANDERHAUL
A reverse chokeslam ended Evan in one minute. Pin him, pay him $1,000. It was enough time for the announcers to talk up Braun as a scary human being who seemingly cannot be stopped.
WINNER: Strowman at 1:01.
Authority Office: WWE cut to Stephanie McMahon and Foley talking about business thus far. Steph dogged Shane McMahon over on Smackdown, then Mark Henry walked in. Henry was announced as the WWE ambassador to Rio for the Summer Olympics. He said the battle with Smackdown got his creative juices flowing. Henry said he thinks it’s time to re-open the Hall of Pain. Steph said they actually brought him to Raw to be more of a mentor. You know, because everyone looks up to him. Henry said he means no disrespect, but he disagrees. Henry said he has a lot left in him and he just needs one more run. Foley said he has an idea. He booked Henry in a title match against U.S. champion Rusev tonight. “Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about!” Henry shouted. Henry vowed to bring it back to America. “Because that’s what I do!” he shouted. Steph sold being frightened as spit and sweat flew her direction.
Backstage: R-Truth and Goldust were still playing games on Truth’s phone. It’s next.
[Commercial Break at 8:47]
In-ring: R-Truth and Goldust were introduced to the ring as the Shining Stars were standing by in the ring. They had a bone to pick with Golden Truth after they interfered in their match last Monday, costing them a win.
3 — GOLDUST & R-TRUTH vs. SHINING STARS (PRIMO & EPICO)
Goldust basically went at it alone because Truth was too busy playing on his phone. Goldust worked on Primo, then tried to tag in Truth, but Truth remained distracted. The Stars isolated Goldust, who eventually broke free and tried to hot tag Truth, but Truth missed the tag trying to play on his phone. Truth dropped his phone on the ground, then a distracted Goldust got rolled up by Primo for the win.
WINNERS: Shining Stars at 2:01.
Up Next: Get to know Finn Balor. He’s live on Raw.
Smackdown plug: American Alpha makes their in-ring debut and A.J. Styles has a message for John Cena.
[Commercial Break at 8:54]
Still to come: Brock Lesnar is on Raw.
Ringside: Dwight Howard was shown down at ringside, having migrated from his front-row WWE seats at Houston’s Toyota Center to his hometown of Atlanta.
[Q5 — second hour]
Finn Balor Promo Segment
In-ring: Michael Cole was standing by in the ring to introduce Finn Balor, who officially said good-bye to NXT two nights ago in Houston. Balor did the full ring entrance dressed to wrestle in his leather jacket and Balor Club t-shirt. Balor made his way around ringside, then posed on the ring apron. Full light show posing with the crowd in the background.
Cole said Foley & Stephanie shocked everyone when they drafted Balor in the First Round of the Draft two weeks ago, but he proved them right when he won two big matches. Balor said he knew he had to make an impact when he came to Raw.
Suddenly, Seth Rollins’s music played to bring out Rollins with an early interruption. Balor flashed a smile in the ring as Rollins slowly approached the ring with something to say. Rollins yanked the mic away from Cole and told him to take a hike. Thank you very much.
Rollins did the big over-done heel intro for Balor, who Rollins described as a former NXT champion. But, not the first one. Actually, that was me. Thank you, thank you very much. But, hey, Finn was a First Round pick in the Draft. Oh wait, he wasn’t first overall because that was him.
Okay, okay, so last week on Raw, Balor shocked the world when he pinned Roman Reigns. Oh wait, he pinned Reigns on his first night back from a career-threatening injury. He described Balor as a copycat, a really bad copycat like those bad Hollywood re-makes. “Are you done? Balor asked. Balor vowed to become the first-ever Universal champion at Summerslam, topping Rollins.
Rollins said that’s pretty funny. Almost as a big of a joke as the Atlanta Braves winning the World Series. I mean, it’s just not gonna happen. The crowd booed, then did the Braves’s tomahawk chop chant. Rollins paused for the crowd to get in their chant. “Your team sucks. Face it!” Seth deadpanned. “No amount of tomahawking is going to change that.”
Seth told Balor that this is his ring and he is The Man around here. Balor said he’s been watching Seth for a long time on TV, and his laugh is even worse in-person. Balor said every place he’s been, everywhere he’s gone, there’s been someone who was The Man. And every time, he beat them to take his spot.
Seth said this is different because he’s never faced anyone like him. Rollins shouted in Balor’s face that he doesn’t know who he’s dealing with. He told Balor to watch later tonight when he beats his little buddy Sami Zayn. Balor took a step back to note that the difference between them is that he earned his title shot last week, while Seth had it handed to him.
Rollins heeled on Balor that he’s never had anything handed to him! And Finn will realize that he is The Man. They were within inches now. Balor shouted back that the only thing Seth is going to have handed him at Summerslam is his ass. The crowd popped, then chanted “Finn, Finn, Finn.”
Seth relaxed as if he were done with this, then tried to hit Finn, but Finn blocked and kicked Seth out of the ring. Seth shouted that that’s disrespectful. Cole said Balor showed tonight that he will not back down from anyone. Seth yelled and screamed up the ramp as Balor stood his ground in the ring.
[ JC’s Reax: Strong, strong work from Rollins guiding Balor through the promo exchange. Balor will need some time to strengthen on the mic in this setting, and Rollins is the perfect foil. Very simple story of Balor wanting to be first to the Universal Title after Rollins beat him to everything else. ]
Still to come: The Club vs. WWE tag champions New Day, with one member of New Day barred from ringside.
Up Next: Mark Henry challenges Rusev for the U.S. Title.
[Commercial Break at 9:10]
Moments Ago: Finn Balor cleared Seth Rollins from the ring. Still to come: Sami Zayn vs. Seth Rollins.
[Q6] In-ring: Lana was standing by, apparently still wearing her wedding dress from Friday’s ceremony in California. Lana introduced her new husband, Rusev, who was fired up for his first title defense as a married man. Mark Henry was out next as Michael Cole claimed that Henry is reinvigorated and ready to be champion again.
Once everyone was in the ring, Jo Jo handled formal ring introductions. Rusev demanded to be introduced first ahead of the champion. Henry sold being fired up as he limped around the ring trying to get warmed up to face Rusev.
4 — U.S. champion RUSEV (w/Lana) vs. MARK HENRY — U.S. Title match
On commentary, Cole tied this match back to the Summer Olympics in Atlanta 20 years ago. There was a certain former WWE champion involved in that. Angle, Kurt. In the ring, Henry and Rusev battled for control before Henry flung Rusev down to the middle rope. Henry followed with a running splash crushing Rusev’s throat into the middle rope. Henry played to the ringside crowd as Raw cut to break with Cole hyping a potential big moment for Henry.
[Commercial Break at 9:20]
Back from break, Henry scored a super-close nearfall that drew in the crowd. But, that was his last gasp. Rusev kicked Henry in the head, then charged him from behind to knock down Henry face-first. Rusev slapped on The Accolade and Henry was forced to tap. On commentary, Saxton wanted to know who can truly stop Rusev.
WINNER: Rusev via submission at 6:35 to retain the U.S. Title. This week’s false hero gives way to…
Post-match, Rusev took the mic to taunt America. He said this is who is representing you at the Olympic Games? Rusev said the only reason why America wins every year is because the Olympics are rigged. He said no American athlete deserves a gold medal in Rio. And that’s why no man can take his U.S. Title. “I am a super athlete and a natural-born winner!” Rusev shouted.
Suddenly, Roman Reigns’s music played. The crowd was mixed for Reigns back in Atlanta where he played college football at Georgia Tech. Out came Reigns sporting a red Shield vest to change up his look. Reigns slowly marched down to the ring, then walked into the ring to go face-to-face with Rusev. Once Reigns’s music stopped, there was a mix of boos and cheers.
Rusev started to leave the ring, but the heavily-bearded Reigns cut him off each time. Rusev got angry at Reigns blocking his exit, then Rusev ran his mouth at Reigns, who cocked his fist. Rusev flexed in Reigns’s face, then teased leaving the ring, but Rusev stopped and turned around to smash Reigns in the face.
Reigns fell down to one knee, then intercepted Rusev with a leaping strike. Reigns tried the Superman Punch, but Rusev ducked and exited the ring. So, Reigns ran off the ring steps with a running Superman Punch. Rusev took it, then stumbled up the entranceway along with Lana. Back at ringside, Reigns clutched the U.S. Title belt.
[Q7] Announcers: Cole, Saxton, and Graves were shown standing at their new announce position. Cole fed to a video package hyping Nia Jax. She “destroys Raw” later tonight.
[Commercial Break at 9:32]
In-ring: Darren Young was introduced to the ring back from break along with Bob Backlund. Already in the ring was Titus O’Neil. They cut to footage from the Raw pre-show of Titus dogging his former tag partner with a passive-aggressive dig.
5 — TITUS O’NEIL vs. DARREN YOUNG (w/Bob Backlund)
Titus broke off a clean lock-up with a cheap shot to take down his former Prime Time Player tag partner. Titus was ultra-aggressive with Young, playing a bit of a heel. Titus then caught Young for a backbreaker into a toss across the ring. Big corner splash from Titus for a two count.
O’Neil continued to beat down Young as Backlund sold concern from ringside. Young fought back with chops, but O’Neil smashed him in the gut with a knee. Titus followed with a hard slam to continue controlling Young. Titus eventually put his hands on hips frustrated with Young.
Young tried to make a comeback with a gutbuster, but Titus blocked, then chucked Young into the corner. Titus caught Young and rolled him up from behind with a hook of the tights, getting a three count. Young sold shock that his buddy heeled on him. Titus told D-Young to talk to his “coach” about what he’s going to do about it.
WINNER: Titus O’Neil at 3:56. A fine subtle heel turn for Titus, who needs something new to work with.
Authority’s Office: Foley and Stephanie went over Foley’s clipboard. Steph had a present for Foley – a Raw tablet to advance into the future. She tried to take the clipboard from Foley, but he wanted to keep it. Sheamus barged in. He wanted to know why Mark Henry got a U.S. Title shot tonight. Cesaro interrupted, saying no one wants to see Sheamus, but him.
Steph noted they watched the post-Draft special where they both talked about not liking their spot in the Draft. Foley said he and Shane McMahon both had access to the same medical report on Cesaro, whose shoulder is a big question mark. And, Sheamus, you’re too hard-headed and haven’t been the same since cashing in Money in the Bank. So, you want to prove yourselves? Whichever one impresses them the most will get a future title shot. (Impress as in “win,” or just look good doing things?) Cesaro and Sheamus agreed, then trash-talked on the way out of their office.
Backstage: Nia Jax was shown walking down the hallway. She’s in action next.
[Q8] [Commercial Break at 9:45]
Video Package: The Cruiserweights. They’re coming to Raw. TBD.
Backstage: Bob Backlund yelled at Titus O’Neil for cheating and breaking his principles. Titus shouted back that his principles never got him anywhere. Bob called O’Neil a cheater. Titus shouted back that he needs to calm his old self down. That was enough for D-Young, who exploded on Titus off-camera. Young told Titus never to disrespect coach like that. Backlund pulled D-Young away as O’Neil sold on the floor.
In-ring: Nia Jax was introduced to the ring as the announcers identified her opponent as Ariel Monroe.
6 — NIA JAX vs. ARIEL MONROE
Monroe tried to kick Jax in the face, which angered Jax. Jax then press-slammed her down to the mat and stood over her. Jax followed with a fireman’s carry powerslam, then she put her foot on Ariel’s chest for a cocky three count and win.
Post-match, Saxton entered the ring to interview Jax. Asked how it feels to compete on Raw, Jax rhetorically asked, “How does it feel?” She ran over to Ariel and shoved her into the corner. Jax told Byron to ask her how that feels.
WINNER: Jax at 1:09.
Backstage: Tom Phillips brought in Sami Zayn to discuss facing Seth Rollins, who is using Zayn to prove a point. Zayn said he’s battled Rollins for years, and he knows Seth’s weakness – a big mouth. It reminds him of another guy he’s been battling with – Kevin Owens, who he beat at Battleground. Now, Zayn said he’s going to prove himself against Rollins tonight.
Backstage: New Day drew fruit from a sack. Xavier Woods got a banana, while Kofi Kingston and Big E. drew oranges. Apparently that meant Xavier was the odd-man out of the tag match tonight.
[Commercial Break at 9:54]
Exterior Shot: Raw is live tonight in Atlanta.
Backstage: WWE zoomed in on Brock Lesnar’s locker room door. He is here tonight for the first time since WrestleMania.
[Q9 — third hour]
Back in the arena, Big E. introduced New Day to the live crowd. WWE ran footage of The Club beating down New Day last week. Now in the ring, New Day addressed The Club filing a complaint against them to where one of them was banned from ringside. Xavier held out his banana, Big E. and Kofi slowly placed their oranges near the banana, and they pulled away before completing the penis and balls visual for the Audience of One.
Xavier shouted that this is wrong and he should be allowed to wrestle right here in front of his hometown fans and family on the front row! But, he will simply go backstage and enjoy a big ol’ bowl of Booty-Os. Club was introduced to the ring and they ran off Xavier before the tag match.
7 — WWE tag champions NEW DAY (BIG E. & KOFI KINGSTON) vs. THE CLUB (KARL ANDERSON & LUKE GALLOWS) — non-title match
Big E. caught Karl watching Xavier leave ringside once the bell sounded. But, Karl landed a big knee to the face to slow down Big E. Karl and Gallows too-sweeted, then Big E. suddenly rolled up Anderson from behind for a quick three count.
WINNERS: New Day at 1:20.
Post-match, Karl and Gallows quickly beat down Big E. out of frustration. Kofi also took a beating, then Xavier ran down to ringside, but The Club beat him up, too. Back in the ring, Karl and Luke dropped Big E. with the Magic Killer.
Suddenly, Xavier yanked Karl out of the ring and blasted him into the barricade. But, Gallows grabbed Xavier by the hair from behind, allowing Karl to recover and smash Xavier in the mid-section. Gallows and Anderson seemed satisfied with their destruction and began leaving ringside. But, they stopped and focused on Big E., pulling him hard into the ringpost. Now The Club was satisfied and left ringside as WWE focused on New Day being compromised again tonight.
[Commercial Break at 10:09]
Moments Ago: The Club destroyed New Day. Cole said Big E. had to be helped out of the arena after being wrapped around the ringpost.
Backstage: The trainer checked on Big E.’s oranges as New Day tried to calm him down.
Announcers: Cole, Graves, and Saxton reinforced Club’s beat down on Big E. Cole acted super-serious about Big E.’s condition, trying to squeeze as much juice out of this.
In-ring: Cesaro made his James Bond ring entrance. Sheamus was out next as Cole noted Sheamus feels like the League of Nations run affected him so badly that he hasn’t been able to get on track since going back to singles.
8 — CESARO vs. SHEAMUS
Big, physical European battle early on. Sheamus then knocked down Cesaro with a running double axe handle smash. Cesaro answered with six, seven, eight, nine windmill uppercuts. And then a hard uppercut across the ring. And another. Sheamus eventually just bailed to the ring to get a breather. But, he didn’t see Cesaro coming with a cannonball splash off the ring apron. But, Sheamus made a desperation move whipping Cesaro shoulder-first into the ringpost, targeting Cesaro’s question-mark shoulder.
Back in the ring, Sheamus delivered repeated clubbing forearms to the chest. Sheamus posed for the crowd, then slowly climbed to the top turnbuckle as the announcers talked up Sheamus’s long list of career accolades. It sure makes his fall from grace even more pronounced.
Sheamus slowed the pace wearing down Cesaro, telling him he’s not as tough as him. Suddenly, Cesaro dead-lifted Sheamus into the air and suplexed him to the mat as Cole freaked out about his display of strength. But, Sheamus answered with a rolling senton.
Sheamus took forever to follow up, allowing Cesaro to drop him to the mat. Suddenly, Cesaro caught Sheamus in position for the Gotch Neutralizer. Cesaro connected and scored the pin.
WINNER: Cesaro at 5:54. Fine battle, but Sheamus really needs a whole new approach in the ring. The mannerisms, the in-between moves activity (or lack thereof), etc. needs to change. It’s time to reinvent instead of feeling like the same ol’ Sheamus from Three-Hour Raws. Cesaro got the win, but it wasn’t clear what title shot he’ll get or when it will happen.
Still to come: Brock Lesnar is on Raw. It’s apparently the main event segment.
[Commercial Break at 10:21]
Back on Raw, Sheamus and Cesaro were still having issues. Security was out trying to keep Sheamus and Cesaro separated from each other to keep the issue going after their match.
Suddenly, Heath Slater’s voice was heard. Slater was in the ring with a returning Jinder Mahal. That was anti-climatic. Slater said 2MB is going to set Raw on fire as the hottest free agents in WWE.
Mick Foley’s music interrupted. Foley said neither one of them is on the Raw roster. But, Slater has given him an idea. He suggested a Battle of the Band. Foley asked for a referee. Slater complained that they don’t need a referee, and they’re not even dressed to wrestle. Foley said there is only room for one of them on the roster. Slater said you can’t just dangle a carrot in front of them and think it’s going to break up this brotherhood…
9 — HEATH SLATER vs. JINDER MAHAL
Slater was mid-sentence when Mahal told the ref to ring the bell. The ref did before Slater was even aware of what was going on. Slater then turned around and took a big boot to the face. Jinder covered Slater for the win. Mahal then left ringside and shook hands with Foley while Slater tried to figure out what just happened.
WINNER: Mahal at 0:14. And, Mahal has been defined down back to where he was in 3MB with a strange reintroduction.
[Q11] Backstage: Tom Phillips brought in Chris Jericho to ask if he’s a marked man after picking a fight with Enzo Amore and Big Cass. Jericho ran through Enzo’s show-opening promo, then mocked Enzo and Cass. He said he got someone to watch his back. “Who?” Phillips asked. Jericho sold being taken aback. “I’m sorry. What?” Phillips asked again. “Jim. Jimin Marvin Luder.” In walked Kevin Owens. Owens told Jericho he just made up that name. But, that’s okay, because I got your back. Owens slowly walked off. Jericho smiled. Yeah, that’s right, Kevin Owens has his back, Tim. “It’s Tom,” Phillips replied. “It’s Tim. Stupid idiot!”
Up Next: Seth Rollins vs. Sami Zayn.
[Commercial Break at 10:32]
Earlier Tonight: Seth Rollins and Finn Balor got into it verbally and physically ahead of their Universal Title match at Summerslam.
In-ring: Seth Rollins was introduced to the ring while rubbing his chin still hurting from taking a kick to the face from Balor. Cole noted Finn and Seth have never met in their careers. Sami Zayn was then introduced to the ring for the main event. Cole plugged Raw in Anaheim next Monday night before the opening bell.
10 — SETH ROLLINS vs. SAMI ZAYN
The crowd was buzzing early on for this first-ever Raw TV match-up, according to Cole. Zayn took early control, so Seth rolled to the floor to get a breather. Zayn caught him with a moonsault off the guardrail. But, back in the ring, Rollins crotched Zayn on the top turnbuckle. Seth knocked Zayn to the floor to take control heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:43] [Q12…]
[…Q12] It was all Rollins during the break, according to Cole. Zayn tried to fire back with an armdrag, but Rollins dropped Zayn with the Slingblade (also used by Balor and Tanahashi). Rollins then kicked around Zayn, who suddenly sprung on Rollins with a quick roll-up for a two count. Zayn followed with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a close nearfall.
Zayn tried to follow up, but Seth kept trying to leave the ring. Zayn walked into a trap, taking a kick to the head. Rollins then tried the Pedigree, but Zayn blocked and nailed a swinging DDT off the top turnbuckle. Zayn wanted a Helluva Kick, but Seth rolled out of the ring to the floor. Zayn then flew over the top rope with a flip dive wiping out Rollins.
Back in the ring, Zayn tried a top-rope move, but Rollins intercepted with a boot to the gut. Rollins tried the Pedigree, but Zayn countered. Zayn tried the Helluva Kick, but Rollins moved and Zayn crashed into the top turnbuckle. Rollins followed right up with the Pedigree for the pin and the win.
Post-match, Rollins talked trash on his way out of the ring.
WINNER: Rollins at 11:39. Solid match reinforcing Rollins before Summerslam and giving Zayn a strong showing.
Backstage: WWE showed the exterior of Brock Lesnar’s locker room door. Paul Heyman walked out looking well-tanned. Heyman poked his head back inside the door and said, “I’ll see you out there.”
[Commercial Break at 10:53]
Next Monday: Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs is on Raw from SoCal.
Brock Lesnar Returns
Jo Jo introduced Paul Heyman, who was standing by in the ring. Heyman introduced himself, then noted everyone has been waiting three hours for the return of the biggest box office draw in combat sports. Heyman built up Brock as the ruler of the Brocktagon, the Viper Slayer, Brock Lesnar.
Lesnar’s music played for the first time since WrestleMania to bring out Lesnar not quite back in Brock Mode looking in-between WM32 and UFC 200 size. Cole hyped Lesnar vs. Randy Orton at Summerslam in three weeks.
[Q13 — over-run] Lesnar stood in the ring looking around the audience gauging the reception. Heyman then spoke. Heyman said at Summerslam on Sunday, August 21, Brock Lesnar will “entertain you.” Heyman said that sounds so absurd coming from him. But, he said Lesnar’s form of entertainment is not the same type of entertainment they like to sell and market to you here in WWE.
Heyman said Lesnar’s form of entertainment is politically incorrect and violent. He said he is standing next to Brock Lesnar, which means he can say whatever he wants to say. Heyman said Lesnar is not here to endorse the New Era because the New Era needs to step up to Brock Lesnar. He said Lesnar is not here to curry favor with Mick Foley, Stephanie McMahon, Vince McMahon, or any member of the Raw or Smackdown roster.
And that goes specifically for Brock’s opponent at Summerslam, Smackdown Live’s Randy Orton. (Light reaction for Orton’s mention.) Heyman asked Brock if he’s heard of this Randy Orton chap. Heyman said Orton possesses the great equalizer, the RKO, and he is one RKO away from victory at any moment. And, Orton has the potential to take out Brock with one RKO, just like Brock broke The Streak at WrestleMania. Boos. Heyman told the crowd to get over it!
Heyman said Orton has some wild ideas thinking one RKO will take down Brock. He said Brock will drag Orton down to Suplex City. And, if Orton’s voices in his head are telling him that he can survive a trip to Suplex City, then please tell them to shut up. Heyman told Orton to take a victory off the table and just set low expectations to survive and not take a trip to the hospital. As the crowd sat quietly, Heyman shouted that Orton isn’t man enough to get Brock in position to hit an RKO.
Suddenly, outta nowhere, Randy Orton dropped Lesnar with an RKO in the middle of the ring. Heyman fell to the mat and backed up in the corner, stunned by the presence of Orton, thinking he wouldn’t be on Raw since he’s Smackdown brand.
Suddenly, referees and security ran out to chase away Orton. Stephanie and Foley also charged out from the back to tell security to get Orton out of here. Orton high-tailed it to the top of the arena, where he did the RKO pose with fans in the crowd. “He’s posing!” Stephanie shouted to anyone who would listen. That was hilarious. Orton got fired up in the crowd as Brock woke up in the ring and smirked toward the top of the building, vowing to get Orton at Summerslam. Raw signed off eight minutes past the top of the hour with back-and-forths of Orton and Lesnar.
[ Reax: They really needed something to get Lesnar-Orton going since the crowd wasn’t really interested in what they were being sold from Heyman… Until the surprise RKO. If the feud wasn’t in desperate need of some juice, it would be a mistake to compromise the brand split in Week Two, but the trade-off was worth it here. ]
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