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WWE Raw Report
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 8/17: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - Final Summerslam hype, Lesnar & Taker, Cena returns from injury, more

Aug 17, 2015 - 10:15:06 PM


WWE Raw TV Results
August 17, 2015 - Episode #1,159
Live in Minneapolis, Minn.
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor

- The Card: The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar back on Raw for the final Summerslam hype, John Cena returning from injury, Cena and Seth Rollins contract signing for their title vs. title match at Summerslam, Randy Orton & Cesaro vs. Sheamus & Kevin Owens, Divas champion Nikki Bella vs. NXT Women's champion Sasha Banks in a big short-notice giveaway, Roman Reigns vs. Luke Harper, and more.

Live Raw on USA Network

Raw opened with Lilian Garcia introducing The Authority, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, to boos. Out came the kinda-heel power couple as Michael Cole noted you know it's going to be an explosive show when The Authority kicks off Raw. Cole, Byron Saxton, and JBL were shown on-camera to preview tonight's show.

In the ring, Hunter and Stephanie introduced the show. Steph said Raw feels like six days before Christmas morning waiting to open your presents. She hyped Summerslam "only" on WWE Network. Hunter said for the first time in history, Summerslam is so big and epic that it's four hours. Hunter said careers will be defined, scores will be settled, and history will be made.

The Summerslam theme played as Hunter broke down the PPV line-up, starting with The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar. Hunter got the cheap pop noting Lesnar is from right here in Minnesota. Steph tried to talk up Taker-Lesnar, but WWE already moved on to hyping Seth Rollins vs. John Cena at Summerslam. Hunter then heeled on Cena putting his "mangled face together" to face Rollins in a title vs. title match. Steph noted Seth and Cena will have a contract signing here tonight.

Moving on to Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns vs. The Wyatts. Hunter described Ambrose as Reigns's "so-called brother," then booked Reigns against Luke Harper tonight. Steph followed up with hype for the Divas Revolution trio vs. trio vs. trio match at Summerslam. She noted it's Divas champ vs. NXT Women's champ tonight in a preview match.

Hunter said Summerslam will be epic - nine matches, four hours, and "only" on WWE Network. Hunter said it doesn't get any bigger than that. Steph said actually it does get bigger because they have a host for Summerslam, Jon Stewart. Mix of cheers and boos for the live announcement. Hunter said the Road to Summerslam begins right here, right now.

Hunter and Steph posed in the ring, then Randy Orton's music played. Orton came out dressed to wrestle. No interruption, just the opening match. Hunter & Steph disappeared from the ring before Orton entered, so there was no run-in with his former bosses. Orton posed in the ring, then Cole plugged Orton and Cesaro against Sheamus and Kevin Owens up next.

[Commercial Break at 8:10]

In-ring: Randy Orton was hanging out back from break. Cesaro was then introduced as Orton's tag partner tonight. Cole officially announced that ESPN SportsCenter will be broadcasting from Summerslam on Sunday morning and Sunday evening from outside the Barclays Center, hosted by former WWE announcer Jonathan Coachman.

[Q2] Kevin Owens was then introduced as the first heel opponent. Sheamus joined him clutching his Money in the Bank briefcase. Orton paced the ring wanting a piece of Sheamus, who walked past his tag partner to enter the ring.


Cesaro and Sheamus opened things up. Owens danced around the ring, then bailed from the ring, tagging in Sheamus. So, Cesaro asked Orton if he wanted to get a piece of Sheamus. Orton obliged and circled the ring. No lock-up, as Sheamus bailed from the ring to taunt the crowd chanting "You look stupid" at him. Sheamus returned to the ring, then locked up with Orton at 1:22 for the first physicality of the match. Make 'em wait.

Sheamus landed a shoulder tackle, then stroked his mohawk to taunt the crowd. Orton fired back, so Sheamus bailed from the ring again. Sheamus ran back into the ring, but tagged Owens. So, Orton reached over to Cesaro tag him in, but he turned his back on Owens, who attacked him from behind. Orton responded with a clothesline, then Orton tagged in Cesaro, who immediately put Owens in the air with a delayed vertical suplex. The Cesaro Section got fired up and the crowd picked up a "Ces-ar-o" chant. Cesaro nailed a flying uppercut on Owens, who ran out of the ring to recover heading to break.

[Commercial Break at 8:21]

Back from break, Orton and Sheamus were battling mid-ring. Sheamus tagged in Owens, who teed on Orton, then knocked Cesaro off the ring apron. Owens taunted the crowd, then sent Orton head-first into Sheamus's boot. Sheamus tagged in as Cole hyped Owens's big weekend challenging for the NXT Title on Saturday and facing Cesaro on Sunday.

Owens tagged back in and slapped on a chinlock. "That's a chinlock, Randy!" Owens taunted the master of the chinlock. Owens then tossed Orton out of the ring and tried to follow up on the outside, but Orton caught him with a back drop into the barricade. Sheamus yelled at Cesaro to get back into the ring, which he did just before 10. Cesaro tagged in Sheamus, but Sheamus lost control of Orton, bringing in Cesaro on the hot tag.

Cesaro went nuts on Sheamus with running European Uppercuts to each corner, then successive uppercuts into a clothesline. Cesaro then flew off the top with a big cross-body splash for a two count. Cesaro then put Sheamus in position for the Big Swing, but Sheamus grabbed the bottom rope for a break. Sheamus then bodyslammed Cesaro and went up top. Ill-advised, though, as Cesaro nailed him with a mid-air uppercut. It was good for a two count.

[Q3] Orton tagged in, then Cesaro got hung up in the heel corner on the way. The heels cleared him, but Orton caught Sheamus from behind to set up the second-rope DDT. Owens tried to sneak-attack Orton, but Orton blocked. Owens pushed Orton away, which sent Orton right into Sheamus for a big RKO. Cesaro yanked Owens out of the ring, then Orton covered Sheamus for the win.

WINNERS: Orton & Cesaro at 13:01. Very nice opening tag match. The subtle delay at the beginning was really smart, as it engaged the audience and kept them engaged for the length of the match.

Announcers: Cole and Co. re-visited the Brock Lesnar-Undertaker issues leading to Summerslam.

Total Divas plug: WWE claimed in a voice-over that Eva Marie has "always been loved by the fans." Which fans? Even in a separation of wrestling fans and Total Divas fans, do TD fans even like her? The spot teased Eva getting booed out of the building at Full Sail University, airing Tuesday night on E!.

[Commercial Break at 8:33]

Back on Raw, blue fog filled the screen and druids were doing druid chanting. The Undertaker spoke, apparently in a pre-tape? Taker said when The Reaper calls your name, there is no remorse. It's just over. Taker sent Lesnar a warning that his spot in eternal damnation is calling his name. "Lesnar, your name has been called," Taker said. "At Summerslam, you will never rest in peace."

Back at the announce position, Cole hyped Brock vs. Taker Sunday at Summerslam. Cole hyped Summerslam "only" on WWE Network. In the very next sentence, JBL did the flashcard reading of Summerslam available on cable for $54.99, or the exact same PPV on the Network for $9.99. It's not "only" if it's also available on PPV. What is wrong with these people?

Authority's Office: Seth Rollins was standing with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. Seth said in the lobby of WWE HQ, there are statues of legends. So, after he beats John Cena at Summerslam, he feels like he deserves a spot next to the legends. Steph was willing to play along, saying if Seth does beat Cena on Sunday to hold two titles, they'll look into a statue. Hunter played along, too, telling him to get the job done at Summerslam.

In-ring: Dean Ambrose was introduced to ringside to have the back of Roman Reigns, who emerged through the crowd to walk down to ringside. As Reigns completed his ring intro, Ambrose joined commentary to hype their tag match against The Wyatts at Summerslam. Cole put more emphasis on Ambrose on commentary than Reigns in the ring next.

[Q4] [Commercial Break at 8:45]

In-ring: Roman Reigns was hanging out in the ring. Meanwhile, Ambrose had moved away from JBL to the other side of the announce table to sit down next to Saxton. Bray Wyatt's video interruption then played to bring out Bray and Luke Harper to face Reigns. Before the match started, Ambrose yanked Saxton's chair away from him to shove toward Wyatt so he could keep his eyes on him. Poor Saxton even getting picked on by so-called babyfaces.

2 -- LUKE HARPER (w/Bray Wyatt) vs. ROMAN REIGNS (w/Dean Ambrose)

Once the bell sounded, Harper and Reigns stared each other down before locking up. Harper took control as Ambrose ran down Wyatt and Harper not being strong-enough to stand up to a real brotherhood. Reigns then kicked Harper out of the ring and followed up with his double-foot dropkick on the ring apron. Reigns stood tall in the ring with his back to the camera heading to break.

[Commercial Break at 8:53]

Back from break, Harper was working on Reigns with a headlock. Harper followed with a modified Michinoku Driver for a close two count. Harper then stalked Reigns for another headlock. Reigns escaped with a back body drop, then kind of shook the ropes and walked right into a big boot from Harper for a two count. Harper followed with gator rolls as Reigns remained stuck on the mat.

Reigns finally built some momentum with clotheslines, then he ran right into a back elbow smash. And a knee lift. Reigns shook it off, then hoisted Harper into the air for a body drop. Reigns followed with corner clotheslines, then low-bridged Harper out of the ring. Reigns followed with a running clothesline off the ring apron.

[Q5 -- second hour] Back in the ring, Reigns rolled up Harper for a two count. Reigns then awkwardly clotheslined Harper out of the ring as the crowd remained quiet. Reigns tossed Harper back into the ring, then hit another clothesline for a two count. Reigns then lifted up Harper and executed a Samoan Drop for another nearfall. Reigns decided to engage the crowd 12:40 into the match, teasing a Superman Punch, but Harper saw it coming and bailed from the ring.

On the outside, Harper big-booted Reigns right in the mouth. Reigns collapsed to the floor, so Harper returned to the ring looking for a count-out win. Reigns got a bit of a rally from the crowd, then Harper decided he didn't want to wait for a count-out, so he charged the ropes, only to take a Superman Punch to the face. Apparently it wasn't very super, as Harper caught Reigns with a bodyslam when Reigns returned to the ring.

Harper followed up with a standing kick to the face, then he delivered a big sit-out powerbomb, but Reigns kicked out of a pin. Harper then stalked Reigns for his discus lariat, but Reigns nailed a Superman Punch into the big spear for the pin and the win.

Post-match, Bray Wyatt sat quietly stroking his beard off to the side of the ring. Ambrose stood up and told Bray he'll see him on Sunday, then he backed into the ring to celebrate with Reigns. Meanwhile, Bray just sat quietly in his chair un-moved by the result.

WINNER: Reigns at 15:01. A stilted match that felt like Harper had to slow down to match Reigns's first-gear speed. Watching from the outside, it looks like Reigns has not put it all together yet in the ring - crowd interaction, moves, sequences, timing, etc. it doesn't help that WWE put Reigns in a lot of street fight/gimmick matches on house shows over the past year when he needed to be wrestling long-form singles matches without depending on weapons to carry his in-ring work.

Post-match, Bray entered the ring, the lights went down, and Bray checked on his fallen loyalist. "Follow the buzzards!" Bray shouted into the darkness as he cradled Harper's head.

Network Plug: WWE went through the Network layout on Apple TV/iTunes. A lot of other Apps on the main screen got some TV time.

[Commercial Break at 9:08]

Announcers: Cole and Co. hyped female athletes revolutionizing sports. This led to a look at Tamina in the ring for singles action while Naomi and Sasha Banks hung out ringside. Becky Lynch was then introduced to the ring, joined by Charlotte and Paige.

3 -- BECKY LYNCH (w/Charlotte and Paige) vs. TAMINA (w/NXT Women's champion Sasha Banks and Naomi)

Becky was full of energy running around the ring as the bell sounded. Lock-up and Tamina won the exchange, then mocked Becky's fired-up routine. Tamina scored a nearfall, then WWE cut backstage to show Team Bellas watching the match backstage.

[Q6] Tamina missed a corner attack to give Becky an opening for a comeback. A close nearfall prompted Team B.A.D. to freak out ringside. Becky then slapped on her Disarm-her submission finisher and Tamina was forced to tap out.

WINNER: Becky Lynch via submission at 4:01. Nice, high-energy TV match. Becky seems like the third wheel in the group, but she could be a solid enforcer-type who eliminates heels with Becky Justice.

Still to come: Divas champion Nikki Bella vs. NXT Women's champion Sasha Banks. Plus, U.S. champion John Cena-WWE champ Seth Rollins title vs. title contract signing for Summerslam. Also, Brock Lesnar's homecoming to Minnesota.

[Commercial Break at 9:19]

And now for the opposite of the Divas Revolution, WWE turns to a video review of the Lana-Summer Rae cat-fight business. Included was Summer putting Lana in The Accolade last week on Raw.

Back live, Rusev and Lana were standing by in the ring. Meanwhile, Lana was ringside on commentary. Lana said she has a plan to get back at them. Mark Henry was then introduced as Rusev's opponent. Henry was doing the U-S-A routine waving the American flag on the way to the ring.

4 -- MARK HENRY vs. RUSEV (w/Summer Rae)

Lana admitted that Summer Rae's Accolade hurt last week, and her neck hurt for a while. Meanwhile, Henry and Rusev quickly moved the match to the outside. Henry whipped Rusev into the barricade, then sent him back into the ring. Henry stalked Rusev for a bodyslam resulting in a one count, then another bodyslam for a two count.

Rusev rolled out of the ring to recover, drawing in Henry, who ate the ringpost. Rusev then sent Henry chest-first into the ringspot and rolled him back into the ring. Rusev yelled at Lana on the way back into the ring, then nailed his pump kick to Henry. Rusev said it's time to crush, then he tried to put Henry in The Accolade, but Henry fought it off. Henry showed some life, engaging the crowd, but Rusev smashed his back and applied the submission for the tap-out.

Post-match, Summer Rae joined Henry in the ring to celebrate. The Bulgarian flag with Rusev's face dropped from the rafters to accentuate the celebration.

WINNER: Rusev via submission at 2:50. Basic re-building job for Rusev going back to the patriotism theme.

[Q7] After Rusev and Summer Rae left the ring, Lana entered the ring to cheers. Lana pointed to Summer Rae and called her out for a fight. Summer took exception to this challenge and returned to the ring for a fight. Lana slapped Summer, then pointed at Rusev, telling him to bring it. Rusev smirked. But, he entered the ring and stalked Lana. Loud "Ziggler, Ziggler" chant from the crowd, then Lana looked past Rusev to the video screen. Dolph Ziggler's music played and Ziggler ran out from backstage to huge cheers as Lana smiled. Lana still has a little bit of heel in her saying last week on Raw that Ziggler would return after Summerslam.

Ziggler, returning from a two-month absence, hit the ring and jumped on Rusev to snap off a big elevated DDT. Ziggler threw off his jean jacket, then stalked Rusev, who suddenly pulled Summer in harm's way to boos. Lana kicked Summer, then Ziggler knocked Rusev out of the ring to loud cheers. Ziggler and Lana stood tall in the ring and smooched while the heels retreated on the outside.

[Commercial Break at 9:33]

Back from break, Cole plugged ESPN SportsCenter live at Summerslam on Sunday morning starting at 10:00 a.m. EST. Cole hyped it as a College Gameday atmosphere at the Barclays Center.

Backstage: Jo-Jo caught up with Ziggler and Lana backstage. Ziggler said he thinks Summerslam needs one more match - him against Rusev one more time. Ziggler said it feels great to be back. Cole said he wonders what The Authority will have to say about Ziggler's match request.

Video Review: The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar feud, going back to WrestleMania 30 when Lesnar ended The Streak. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's voice was heard in a voice-over, then more wrestlers enhancing the story. Included was Randy Orton referencing Lesnar as a former UFC Hvt. champion.

Still to come: Brock Lesnar's homecoming.

In-ring: Ryback's music played to bring out the Intercontinental champion. Cole hyped Ryback returning to action against The Miz next.

[Q8] [Commercial Break at 9:45]

Video Hype: Big Show in and Dean Cain in "Vendetta," out Tuesday on home video.

In-ring: Ryback was pacing the ring, then Cole and Co. talked to Big Show about his movie role. Show said he plays a bad guy in the movie. How many times does he turn in the movie? The Miz's music then played to bring out one-third of the IC Title match. Miz had a mic.

On the way to the ring, Miz heeled on Show thinking he's a movie actor. He said the only thing Show is good at is blocking everyone's light and eating up catering. Miz then heeled on Ryback, noting both will cancel each other out at Summerslam. Miz called himself a star who will win the IC Title on Sunday.

5 -- IC champion RYBACK vs. THE MIZ -- non-title match

Show said Miz is trying to get in their heads since he doesn't pose a physical threat. As soon as the bell sounded, Ryback attacked Miz in the corner. But, Miz attacked the knee to work on the staph infection. Cole brought up Ryback taking Big Show off his feet last week, prompting Show to deflect by saying that's the past and he's about the future.

Ryback mounted a comeback with clotheslines into a big powerslam. Ryback pounded his chest, then hit the corner to lead the crowd in the Feed Me More chant. Ryback ran over Miz with a big Meathook Clothesline. He tried to follow up, but Miz kicked him away. Just a delay for Ryback to hoist Miz into the air with a delayed vertical suplex that he turned into Shell-Shock for the pin and the win.

Post-match, Ryback immediately grabbed the mic and challenged Big Show to get in the ring and get fed. Cole told Show to get in there. Show smirked and said Ryback just thinks he wants a piece of him. Show put down his headset and casually walked away from ringside while Ryback watched from the ring. Show just kept on walking, prompting Ryback to pace the ring as his music played.

WINNER: Ryback at 2:22. Nice, effective TV return for Ryback leading into Summerslam.

Up Next: WWE Title vs. U.S. Title contract signing.

Total Divas plug: The voice-over man said of Eva Marie: "She's always been loved by the fans." Again, what? Now, she faces the tough Full Sail crowd on Tuesday night's episode.

[Commercial Break at 9:55]

Title Match Contract Signing

Back from break, Triple H's music was playing out. Hunter and Stephanie were in the ring for the title contract signing. Steph said it's time to make the title match official for Summerslam. Hunter then welcomed out WWE World Hvt. champion Seth Rollins.

[Q9 -- third hour] In the ring, Rollins hugged Steph and Hunter before beginning his latest speech. Rollins congratulated Hunter and Stephanie on putting together the Summerslam card. He said he would also like to congratulate himself for the statue that will be built in his honor after he defeats John Cena on Sunday. But, most importantly, he needs to congratulate each and every fan. He said it is not very often that someone knows they will witness history. And, it is a very special time to be part of the audience.

Seth said you don't go to a baseball game thinking you're going to see a no-hitter. Well, unless the other team is the Twins, and then that might happen. The crowd booed Seth heavily, drawing one of his classic "no, no, that's not what I meant" responses. Seth continued that he will make history as the WWE champion and U.S. champion at the same time.

Seth approached the contract, but paused. A loud "Let's Go Cena / Cena Sucks" chant broke out. Seth noted that a famous song-writer from Minnesota, Bob Dylan, once wrote that the times are a changing. And, he is the one to bring about change because for the last ten years, John Cena has sat atop the mountain and knocked everyone down every time. Seth said Cena gets off in some sick and twisted way thinking he's doing a good deed knocking everyone down. He said Cena has actually been the villain holding the entire audience hostage for the last decade. "Yes!" chants from the vocal males.

Seth continued that Cena is a disease. That drew cheers and boos from the pro-Cena audience. Seth said that with one knee to the face, he shattered Cena's face. He said that began the process of sending Cena down the mountain to free everyone in the audience from being held captive. He said Cena is the disease and he is the cure.

Rollins said Cena disrespects him every chance he gets, calling him and his title reign a joke. He vowed to have the last laugh when he takes Cena's U.S. Title and crushes his legacy, "like I crushed your stupid face." Seth said Cena didn't even have the guts to accept his challenge face-to-face. Rather, he accepted it on Tough Enough and used "that cripple" Daniel Bryan. Seth wondered aloud how pathetic Cena is.

Suddenly, Cena's music played having heard enough from Seth. Cena returned to Raw TV to the loud "John Cena Suuuuucks" sing-song. As Cena walked to the ring, Cole plugged Cena's charity work. Cena then entered the ring and said he's not in the mood to have a seat. As Rollins stood across the table with arms folded, Cena listened to the crowd breaking into a dueling chant.

Cena said Rollins is trying to defend his title reign when half of the crowd is chanting for him, half are chanting he sucks, and no one is saying anything about Seth's title reign. He said Seth might be the champion, but he's a sorry excuse for a champion and a cheap imitation of John Cena. Seth laughed at this claim. Cena said Hunter hand-picked Seth, thinking it's a way for Hunter's legacy to live forever through Seth. But, the problem with that plan is the same plan Hunter has been dealing with for a decade - The Real Champ is here.

Cena backed away, then re-approached Seth. He said he busted his nose, but here he is. And all he's been thinking about over the past few weeks is payback. Maybe he breaks Seth's knee, or his arm, or his nose. Cena said those are just injuries, though. Cena said something hit him. What he's going to do to him on Sunday is going to haunt him for the rest of his life. And Hunter's.

Cena said he is a 15-time World Hvt. champion, and he designed this new #15 t-shirt months ago thinking he would never get another title shot while Hunter is in charge. But, then, Seth opened his big, fat mouth, and now on Sunday he will become WWE World champion for the 16th time. "Whoos" from the crowd. So, when Seth loses on Sunday, then Hunter loses. Cena said the all-time record is held by Ric Flair, who passed his legacy to Hunter.

Cena said this Sunday he's going to prove them wrong that Seth isn't the future, but a footnote. He's going to be the answer to a trivia question on who Cena beat to become 16-time World champion. He said Sunday is not just a match, but a fight for the past, present, and future. Of Triple H's legacy. He said there is one major difference here. Cena said Hunter was never Ric Flair's b----. "This Sunday, I'm going to make you mine," Cena said. Cena signed the contract, flipped it toward Seth, and left the ring holding up the U.S. Title belt. Seth seethed, Hunter seethed, and Steph sold sensing combustible elements here.

[ Reax: Cena was strong here. Very measured keeping the audience hanging on every word hyping the WWE Title match on Sunday. Seth was also strong with better material to work with. Solid segment, and they saved the physicality for Sunday. ]

[Q10] ESPN plug: Brock Lesnar is on SportsCenter Tuesday morning at 9:00 a.m. EST.

Still to come: Brock Lesnar live on Raw.

Video Package: Lesnar-Taker hype for Summerslam.

[Commercial Break at 10:18]

Back on Raw, the Prime Time Players were dancing in the ring while masked men shared the ring with them. New Day's music then played to bring out Big E., Xavier Woods, and Kofi Kingston. Big E. quieted the music, then Big E. and Kofi rhymed, but Xavier turned his rhyme into a rant about how unfair Summerslam is having to face three other tag teams for the Tag Titles. Big E. and Kofi shushed him, then finished the promo. Apparently this is an eight-man tag match.


Torito and Xavier got into it ringside despite being on the same team for this bout. New Day and Los Matadores had an issue ringside, then Kalisto waited for un Matador to turn around to give him a springboard huracanrana. Kalisto scored the pin for the win.

WINNERS: Team Players at 2:10. A chaotic situation trying to promote the Tag Title match on Sunday.

Earlier Tonight: Dolph Ziggler returned to TV to confront Rusev on behalf of Lana.

Summerslam announcement: Ziggler vs. Rusev is official for Summerslam. The announcers then brought up Stardust & King Barrett vs. Neville & Stephen Amell.

[Q11] [Commercial Break at 10:30]

Comic Book Feature: Stephen Amell became physically involved last week on Raw, creating a tag match of Amell and Neville against Stardust and King Barrett at Summerslam.

Somewhere: Stardust and King Barrett were standing by with a public announcement for Stephen Amell. Barrett said Amell is an imposter in his kingdom. Stardust then pulled out some spikey shoulder pads and placed the pads around Barrett's shoulders.

In-ring: The Bellas were introduced for singles action. They were in heel mode this week, continuing their weekly identity crisis. Divas champion Nikki Bella faces the NXT Women's champion next.

[Commercial Break at 10:38]

Smackdown plug: Reigns & Ambrose & Orton & Cesaro vs. Wyatt & Harper & Owens & Cesaro this Thursday in a bonus dark match type match.

Back from break, NXT Women's champion Sasha Banks was already in the ring, making this champion vs. champion match instantly less important than it could have been.

7 -- Divas champion NIKKI BELLA (w/Brie Bella and Alicia Fox) vs. NXT Women's champion SASHA BANKS (w/Naomi and Tamina)

The two heels squared off claiming to be the real champion, then exchanged control early on. Nikki took control and acted heelish, making Sasha the sympathetic heel. Very convoluted match set-up. As Nikki continued to dominate, WWE cut backstage to show Paige, Becky, and Charlotte kind of watching the match on a monitor. Sasha wrestled control away from Nikki, then did some push-ups heading to a break.

[Q12] [Commercial Break at 10:46]

Back from break, Sasha was in control and the Bellas were trying to start a rally for Nikki. The crowd had no idea what to do with this. Nikki mounted a comeback, then posed for the crowd, which remained as confused as the NXT crew watching Giorgia's match last week on Tough Enough. Sasha tried a victory roll, but Nikki impressively turned it into an electric chair drop for a nearfall. Sasha responded with her Bank Statement submission and Nikki had to tap out.

Backstage, Renee Young approached Paige, Becky, and Charlotte for their thoughts on what they just saw. Paige ran down both wrestlers as losers, then Charlotte said they'll win at Summerslam with flair.

WINNER: Sasha via submission at 10:36. Tapping on that match set-up. Sasha should be in-line for a Divas Title shot after Summerslam.

Announcers: Cole and Co. were shown on-camera to hype John Cena appearing on NBC's "Today" show this week. His next appearance is Thursday morning.

Video Review: Brock Lesnar broke The Streak at WrestleMania 16 months ago.

Up Next: Brock Lesnar's homecoming.

NXT: Takeover plug: Finn Balor vs. Kevin Owens for the NXT Title in a ladder match and Sasha Banks vs. Bayley for the NXT Women's Title this Saturday at 9:00 p.m. EST on WWE Network.

[Commercial Break at 10:56]

Brock Lesnar's Homecoming

[Q13 -- over-run] Raw returned right at the top of the hour with Paul Heyman standing by in the ring. Heyman introduced himself and hyped his client, Brock Lesnar, as the only man to hold the WWE World Hvt. Tite, the UFC World Hvt. Title, and the NCAA Division I Hvt. Title, which he won at the University of Minnesota. Big crowd pop. Heyman welcomed out The Beast, The Conqueror, Brock Lesnar.

Lesnar's music played to a huge pop after three hours of anticipation. Lesnar bounced out on-stage looking ready to destroy someone or something. Lesnar Bounce on the stage, pyro, and the crowd was full-throat. The arena was lit up like Bray Wyatt's ring entrance with camera phones. Confetti exploded in the arena like Lesnar just won the G1 Climax tournament and WWE plugged Lesnar on SportsCenter tomorrow morning.

Lesnar hit the ring to another loud ovation, then bounced up and down in the ring sporting his "Suplex City: Minneapolis" edition t-shirt. Lesnar posed for a "Lesnar Country" sign, then fired up a crowd that was already at a 10. Loud "Suplex City" chant as one fan held up his Lesnar #69 Minnesota Vikings jersey. Lesnar walked around the ring trying to hold in a smile as the crowd chanted "Suplex City ... Minny."

Heyman decided just to get down on both knees and bow before Lesnar, who waved him off. Heyman sang as if he were in church that his eyes have seen the glory. "Glory, Glory, Brock Lesnar," Heyman sang. The Undertaker did not appreciate this new addition to the hymn book, as the bell tolled and the lights went out. The lights came back on and there was no Taker. Lesnar laughed and smiled to himself. Heyman also smiled easier, then the crowd picked up a "Suplex City" chant.

Heyman resumed his speech. He said that's the best Taker has? Mind tricks? Heyman said this Sunday at Summerslam, Taker can get God and the devil to team up with him and Lesnar will take all three to Suplex City. Heyman paused, then said that every since the referee's hand hit three at WrestleMania 30, Taker has obsessed over the moment when he can take revenge on Lesnar. And then at Battleground, Taker made his presence known ... with a low blow.

Why would Taker go for a low blow? Because Taker knew when he locked eyes with Taker that he was done. He said Taker has not ever, not once beaten Brock Lesnar. And after this Sunday at Summerslam, he will make the very same statement. Because Lesnar now has the knowledge that Taker fears Brock Lesnar.

But, Heyman said, Lesnar is not taking Undertaker lightly. He said Taker would beat every single wrestler today. Only, Taker is not fighting a man, but a beast. Not just any beast, but The Beast who put the One in what's now 22-and-1. "This Sunday night at Summerslam, my client, Brock Lesnar, offers no respect to The Undertaker's accomplishments," Heyman continued. He said Lesnar offers no retribution.

Suddenly, the lights went out. The bell tolled and Undertaker was in the ring. Taker kicked Lesnar low to boos. Lesnar sold the groin shot, then Taker stalked Lesnar for a chokeslam. Taker connected center-ring to loud boos. Taker called for the Tombstone, and he connected center-ring. More boos. Taker knelt down over Lesnar as Heyman sold disbelief at ringside. Taker then turned his attention to Heyman before posing next to Lesnar's fallen body. The lights dimmed, the bell tolled, blue light filled the arena, and Taker left the ring as Lesnar sold the Tombstone in the ring.

Taker walked up the ramp toward the stage as Lesnar recovered in the ring and Heyman checked on him. Cole hyped Taker-Lesnar at Summerslam on Sunday, Taker turned back to look into the ring, he rolled his eyes back Nagata-style, and Taker posed on the stage with his fist in the air. Raw signed off 14 minutes past the top of the hour to close out the final hype for Summerslam.

[ REAX: Basic heat transfer trying to take the feel-good, cool moment of Lesnar returning home into heat on Taker going into Summerslam. It's a bit weird for Taker to be in a heel role when he's played the respected legend for so many years, so it's interesting to see if the audience outside of Minnesota feels as strongly about this. WWE wanted to come up with something more than just two big names locking up again at Summerslam, but the selling point really is two big names locking up again at Summerslam. It is what it is, unless the story plays a bigger role in building to something at WrestleMania. ]


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He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).

He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)


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