SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE Raw News & Notes 8/1
– Randy Orton “crossed over” from the Smackdown brand to RKO Brock Lesnar out of nowhere to close Monday’s Raw. The main event segment was Paul Heyman hyping Lesnar ahead of Lesnar-Orton at Summerslam. Lesnar’s first WWE TV appearance since WrestleMania then ended with Orton coming out of the crowd to surprise Lesnar with an RKO.
– Seth Rollins and Finn Balor had their first WWE TV confrontation setting up their first-ever match, which takes place at Summerslam to determine the first-ever WWE Universal champion.
– Rusev retained the U.S. Title over Mark Henry, who WWE tried to build up as WWE’s ambassador to the Summer Olympics in Brazil.
Roman Reigns then answered Rusev’s post-match speech about American Olympians being cheaters. Reigns knocked down Rusev with a Superman Punch to set up a new feud.
– Raw opened with a Women’s Title segment involving new champion Sasha Banks, former champion Charlotte, Chris Jericho, and Enzo Amore. This led to Charlotte & Jericho beat Enzo & Sasha in a mixed tag match with help from Charlotte’s protege, Dana Brooke. This brought out Big Cass to get involved. Later, Jericho enlisted the services of Kevin Owens as his tag partner.
– Jinder Mahal returned to WWE TV to initially re-form 3MB (now 2MB) with Heath Slater. However, Mahal pinned Slater in 15 seconds to earn a Raw contract. Slater is still without a home.
– Titus O’Neil and Darren Young rekindled their Prime Time Players run in a singles match that turned into Titus heeling on D-Young with a hook of the tights to win. D-Young’s coach, Bob Backlund, had a confrontation with Titus after the match.
– Braun Strowman and Nia Jax won squash matches for the second consecutive week of the New Era for Raw.
– NBA star Dwight Howard was shown on the front row during the show in his hometown of Atlanta. Howard was a regular at WWE shows in Houston when he was part of the Houston Rockets.
– WWE hyped Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs guest-starring on next Monday’s Raw from Anaheim, California.