HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT
JUNE 11, 2018
LITTLE ROCK, AK
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, The Coach
-The show began with all of the Raw MITB competitors (male and female) standing tall on ladders in the middle of the ring. Production held this shot for a long time ahead of Kurt Angle’s music. At that time, Angle hit the ring to a chorus of “you suck” chants.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Ugh, I guess Owens isn’t scared of heights anymore? Whatever, that’s nitpicking, but what was with holding that shot so long to start the show? It got awkward and looked like these wrestlers were briefcase girls on Deal Or No Deal.
Angle hyped MITB on Sunday and the fact that the ladder matches would house stars from both brands. He then said that the MITB ladder match was the most brutal match in history before running down what the winning star would get for his/her efforts. This prompted Constable Corbin to walk out to the stage. He was decked out in new clothes and a new haircut. He reiterated his purpose as Constable and said that he is supposed to make sure runs smoothly. Corbin said that if the MITB contracts don’t come back to Raw, Stephanie McMahon would be very disappointed. From there, Alexa Bliss said she would win the match and Stephanie would have nothing to worry about. Banks fired back and questioned Bliss’s injury from last week and Ember Moon chimed in as well. At that point, Kurt Angle said that Natalya was cleared to compete in the match on Sunday which prompted Nattie to declare that she would win the MITB match.
Heydorn’s Analysis: This was all over the place. I’m glad everyone got some time to speak, but it was done so in such a catty and high school kind of way. I think the scripted needed to incorporate these competitors taking the next step with their reason for wanting to win. The championship. That was a missing piece to this puzzle.
Kevin Owens then interrupted the women and asked if the briefcase would be raised up because of Braun Strowman’s height. Owens leaned on Constable Corbin and said something had to be done for this injustice. Strowman then interuppted and said he would win the match and then cash-in on Brock Lesnar. The men then bickered before Bliss screamed into the mic to stop them. She said that Strowman would win and then Sasha Banks said that her MMC partner would win. They all continued to bicker again before Braun roared and said that on Sunday someone would “get these hands.” (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: All in, this opening was surreal. Again, I like the fact that it gave everyone an opportunity to talk and Strowman and Owens stood out to be sure. That said, I think it missed the boat on why these competitors want to win this match. It’s not just because they want to please Stephanie McMahon as the Constable outlined. They want to win so they can get a shot at their championship. Lastly, Strowman appearing on top of a ladder could have been a nice spot in the actual match and they gave it away here.
(1) ALEXA BLISS vs. SASHA BANKS vs. EMBER MOON vs. NATALYA
After the commercial break, Bliss entered the ring again with a full blown entrance. As she did, Michael Cole claimed “of course Alexa Bliss would need her own entrance.” From there, the match began with Bliss owning the first part of the bout. She tossed Nattie out of the ring before being slammed to the mat with a fall away slam from Ember Moon. At that point, Sasha Banks got into the ring which prompted Bliss to complain about her “injury” again. Bliss crawled to the outside and then was tossed into the steps by Nattie.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I like the consistency here with the Bliss injury. She plays that part so well as a conniving heel. Well done.
From there, Nattie, Banks, and Moon had quite the sequence in the ring which included roll-ups, dropkicks, and counters from all three women. Eventually, Nattie destroyed Moon with a forearm to the face that caused her to roll out of the ring. This left Banks and Nattie alone and they proceeded to have a nice few sequences together. Sasha controlled most of it until Nattie almost took over with the Sharpshooter. Because of her injury, Banks was able to prevent it from being locked in and kicked Nattie out of the ring. This allowed Moon to capitalize. She ran the table and then connected with a very impressive dive onto Banks on the outside. From there, Alexa clocked Moon with a strike and then attempted to pin Banks as the show went to commercial break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Whoa. Dangerous spot from Moon and Banks. Sasha’s head and neck slammed into the barrier as Moon crashed into her. It was impressive to be sure, but makes you think about what these two might attempt on Sunday. Someone needs to pull them in to keep them safe from themselves. That said, this match has some heat behind it that the crowd is loving.
Out of the commercial break, Bliss was fully in control of the match with a leg submission hold on Natalya to capitalize on her injury from last week. As she did, Cole wondered if she’d be able to climb a ladder on Sunday. Back in the ring, Bliss continued to work over Nattie’s knee until Bliss kicked her out of the ring. After she did, Sasha climbed back in and took over momentum with forearms and a double knee strike to the face. From there, Banks covered, but only secured a two count. After the pin, Banks lifted Bliss to her feet and then both crashed to the mat because of a flying top rope splash from Ember Moon. Moon then connected with a tornado vertical suplex on Banks and followed with a pin attempt. From there, Alexa attempted to secure a pin, but Banks broke it up with a running meteora. This left all three women down in the ring as the show went to a screen in screen commercial for Money In The Bank.
Heydorn’s Analysis: So, we’re doing this again then huh? I don’t know, on the pro side of things it makes the show seem like a big deal. On the flip side, it really diminishes and normalizes the match. This match has been hard-hitting and pretty effective at selling the event itself. I yield to letting that be enough nine times out of ten.
Eventually, Banks, Bliss, and Moon were perched on the top rope. Banks and Moon worked to suplex Bliss off, but she blocked their initial attempt From there, Nattie climbed back in and slammed Banks and Moon to the mat. This caused her knee to buckle and Alexa was left on the top rope. While Nattie rolled out of the ring to recover, Bliss jumped off to hit her top rope moonsault. Instead of landing it, Banks put her knees up to counter. At this point, the show moved to a commercial again. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Like Alexa Bliss, I like the consistency here with Nattie’s injury. In contrast to Bliss, Nattie sold the injury well as a babyface and drummed up a ton of sympathy.
When the broadcast returned from commercial, Banks and Bliss were battling in the ring and Banks immediatley connected with the Banks Statement. With Bliss in the hold, Nattie clipped Banks to break it and hurt her knee again in the process. Cole put over the injury huge as Nattie put Banks in the Sharpshooter. This time, Ember Moon broke the hold with a well placed kick to the neck. From there, Moon hit Nattie with an elbow to the jaw which set her up for the Eclipse. Cole called it the drop zone. Moon connected with the move and then attempted a pin, but was distracted by Bliss. This caused both to battle to the outside where Bliss slammed Moon into the steps. Bliss then climbed back into the ring to pin Nattie but it was broken up by Banks. Out of the pin breakup, Banks and Bliss did battle before Bliss shoved Banks into the ring post. The finish saw Nattie grab Bliss from behind and lock in the Sharpshooter. Bliss tapped out almost immediatley.
WINNER: Natalya via submission
Heydorn’s Analysis: Really good match heading into the PPV. It wove each competitor’s MITB story into the match but didn’t give too much away in terms of big spots before the PPV. Nattie in particular looked fantastic. Shouldn’t go overlooked that they are building her for something. I think it starts on Sunday and will involve Ronda Rousey.
-After the match, Nattie celebrated in the ring and looked up at the briefcase hanging above the ring. From there, the announce team ran down the matches on Sunday’s Money In The Bank card.
-Finn Balor was shown prepping for his match backstage before he was interuppted by Kevin Owens who offered him olives. Balor asked him what he wanted and Owens said they needed to have a plan together in their match later in the show. Owens said that they both are Universal Champions and that neither of them got a rematch for that title after they lost it. He then said that him, Balor, and Roode need to take out Braun Strowman to give them a better chance at winning on Sunday. Owens said to think it over and then left. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Only Kevin Owens could pull off the olives. That said, decent backstage segment that gives the match later a story and reason for happening. I wouldn’t put money on Balor actually going through with it, but it painted Kevin Owens as the sneaky heel he is.
-After the commercial, Breezango’s music blared and Tyler Breeze and Fandango hit the ring.
(2) BREEZANGO vs. DREW MCINTYRE & DOLPH ZIGGLER
Ziggler and McIntyre were out next and like last week, Drew McIntyre got a nice reaction and was the clear alpha of the team. Coach related Drew and Dolph to the Golden State Warriors in that they both believe they are the best. Cole then chimed in and said they did lose though.
Heydorn’s Analysis: This was the problem with them losing last week’s Battle Royal so easily and so quickly. They can’t own their gimmick and talk the way they do if they lose. Winning gives their gimmick credibility and that was lost in last week’s loss. Now, that credibility needs some rebuilding.
Ziggler started the match by decimating Breeze in a ruthless fashion. He then tagged McIntyre in and Drew kept momentum with a stiff chop to Breeze’s chest. From there, Ziggler and McIntyre owned the match and tagged in and out of the match at will as they continued to destroy Breeze. Eventually, Breeze caught Ziggler with an enziguri as Ziggler berated him. They both then tagged in their partners. Upon entering the match, McIntyre owned Fandango and then slammed Breeze on top of him. Drew then tagged Ziggler again and he connected with a superkick on Breeze. From there, Ziggler and McIntyre hit Fandango with the Zig-Zag and Claymore simultaneously before covering for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: McIntyre and Ziggler via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Squash match alert. A well timed one though in that Ziggler and McIntyre already have to be a bit rebuilt after their loss. This match was effective in that respect.
-After the match, Ziggler took the mic and called their loss in the Battle Royal a fluke. He told everyone to deal with it and forget about it. Ziggler then called his haters out for questioning their skill. He then told the entire tag team division to take a look at them and that the show starts and ends with them. From there, Drew McIntyre said he and Ziggler would save their division by taking every tag team out.
Heydorn’s Analysis: This was very similar to their first promo together. It was fine, but just shows they haven’t progressed much as a team. McIntyre continues to look like a beast and I still can’t shake the notion that he is being held down because of his Ziggler association.
-Backstage, Roman Reigns was interviewed by Charly Caruso. He said that wasn’t surprised that Mahal challenged him to a match six days before their MITB match. Reigns called Mahal an idiot for doing so and said that he doesn’t listen to anything he said. He said that Jinder has earned his ass whooping because he caused him to have to sit out of the MITB match and therefore lose his chance to win back what is rightfully his, the Universal Championship. He then told Charly “thank you” and walked away. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: I liked the intensity from Reigns here, but his words are still that of a jerk. Calling Mahal an idiot? Not something a true babyface would say. In addition, I still am against the verbiage of Reigns wanting to claim what is “rightfully” his. It’s a setup for failure and nothing more.
(3) JINDER MAHAL vs. ROMAN REIGNS
After the commercial, Jinder Mahal hit the ring for his match to a chorus of boos. When he got to the ring, he grabbed the mic for a promo as the audience booed even louder. On the mic, Mahal said he challenged Reigns to this match to prove a point. He then highlighted Reigns’s career before saying the winds were changing. He said he could feel that in his bones. He then said at Money In The Bank he sees Reigns being defeated.
From there, Reigns hit the ring to a seemingly positive reaction. As he made his walk, Cole told the story of Reigns believing that he is truly the Universal Champion.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good promo work by Mahal. He was able to secure his heat which shined Roman brighter than usual for his entrance.
With both men in the ring, Mahal said that he believes Roman is truly ready to fight. He said that Roman’s failures were clouding his judgement. Mahal then asked Reigns if he really believed Mahal would go through with it. He said his challenge wasn’t for his match against him but another great man instead. He then announced that Reigns would fight Sunill Singh instead.
(3) ROMAN REIGNS vs. SUNILL SINGH
Singh attempted some offense out of the gate after Reigns punched Mahal off the ring apron. Reigns then connected with a superman punch before hitting a spear. Reigns then covered Singh for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Reigns via pinfall
-After the match, Mahal attacked Reigns from behind and connected with a Collous. He then scurried out of the ring as Reigns writhed in pain inside the ring. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Well, not much of a match in any way, but we all should have fully expected this not to actually happen between Mahal and Reigns. What sense would that have made? In the end, this was an avenue to get heat and for Mahal to get Reigns on the ropes. In that regard. it worked.
(4) THE B-TEAM vs. HEATH SLATER & RHYNO
The B-Team hit the ring out of the break with Slater and Rhyno waiting for them. As they walked to the ring, a recap of last week’s tag team Battle Royal was shown. The match began with Slater and Axel tying up in the middle of the ring. Slater got the upper hand in the match early and until Bo Dallas was tagged into the match. Dallas then dominated with a variety of strikes and holds. From there, he tossed Slater into the corner before knocking Rhyno off the ring apron. They then hit Slater with their double neck breaker before covering for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: The B-Team via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Well, they won again? I guess if they are going into the tag title match, they should be built up. That said, them challenging for these belts so quickly kind of runs contrary to their gimmick. It will be a tough line to walk and they’ll need to walk it gingerly.
-After the match, Graves said the B-Team was getting the job done before Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy were shown on the big screen giving them a round of applause. They then stopped and said “we’re here.” The lights then went out before Wyatt and Hardy were shown on the top of the ramp. The called The B-Team obsolete and told them they were surrounded by the Woken. Wyatt said that they have watched the B-Team and that their insides were burning. He then said that burning was fear. They ended by saying they would eat The B-Team and delete them.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Huh? I’m not entirely sure what they said there and that’s a problem.
-Elias was shown backstage and got nice boos from the crowd. He said that his performance tonight would be hard for him as he is not used to performing in front of Arkansas hillbillies. The show then went to commercial. (c)
-Out of the break, Elias was in the ring and got a massive amount of heat from the crowd. He then strummed his guitar to which the crowd clapped to and then told the audience to remember this moment. He called himself a once in a lifetime performer and that the crowd was seeing him in his final moments without the Intercontinental Championship. He then did his WWE stands for bit and nodded “yeah” as the crowd chanted and cheered him on.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Ugh. The fact that he can turn the audience on a dime like he does shows the kind of skill and connection he has. If only he harnessed it in one direction. That’s where the money is at.
From there, he told everyone to silence their phones, hold their applause, and shut their mouths. The audience responded by clapping extra fast. Elias then started his song which was about Seth Rollins. This time, he actually finished his song and then told the crowd he needed to show them something. He then showed the audience a new guitar that had the Intercontinental Championship painted on it. He said he got it from John Mayer and then called it a thing of beauty.
Heydorn’s Analysis: It totally was.
Elias then said next week as the Intercontinental Champion he would play his greatest song ever. This prompted Rollins to hit the ring and when he hit it, he hit it hard. Rollins sprinted down and forced Elias out before grabbing a mic and calling him a coward. He recapped the last two weeks and told Elias that he isn’t a hard guy to find. Rollins said that he wants to like Elias and put over his gimmick in a big way. He then looked at the new IC guitar in the ring. As he did, the crowd started to chant “smash it.” Rollins said he needed a closer look at it and proceeded to pick it up. Rollins called the guitar really nice and said he’d hate to see the thing go to waste. From there, he asked the crowd if there was any bidders. Elias then said he’d bid which prompted Rollins to set the guitar down. Then, he continued to call it nice before faking a Stomp to it. The crowd loved it and Elias sold for Rollins perfectly. From there, as the crowd chanted “Burn It Down” Rollins actually did Stomp the guitar to a huge cheer.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Great segment. Rollins was fantastic and Elias was equally great off camera. He brilliantly sold for Seth as Seth teased destroying the guitar and had some nice one liners while Rollins was talking. Rollins is just on a different level. His pops are huge and the audience naturally gravitates and cheers him regardless of what he does. He is slowly becoming WWE’s top babyface that the WWE apparently doesn’t want.
-Bobby Roode was shown backstage getting ready for the match as Kevin Owens approached him. Roode asked him what he wanted and Owens said he wanted what was best for them. He said Strowman winning the MITB contract would be awful for all of them. Then, just like he did with Finn Balor, Owens told Roode they needed to work together. He then told Roode he had a nice robe before walking out of the shot.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Pretty much the same promo as before. I like the attempt to weave this story throughout the show.
(5) BAYLEY vs. RUBY RIOTT
Bayley got a nice little pop from the audience and then the Riott Squad was shown destroying stuff backstage. They then cut up a guy’s tie as the show went to break. (c)
After the commercial, Ruby Riott walked to the ring with her Riott Squad beside her. The action began with Riott decimating Bayley with strikes to the head. As she did, Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan yelled at and taunted Bayley from the outside of the ring. With Bayley in the corner taking elbows, she kicked Riott away and then mounted her for strikes of her own. From there, Bayley attempted an flying elbow in the corner, but Riott countered. Out of the counter, Riott attempted a whip into the ropes, but Bayley countered and connected with more strikes. She followed the strikes with a pin attempt, but Riott kicked out at two.
Heydorn’s Analysis: On commentary, Michael Cole doesn’t put over Riott’s heel actions nearly enough. He constantly talks about her DIY attitude and the fact that she’s created opportunities for herself. How does that generate heat?
After the pin, Bayley connected with a spinning elbow off the top rope which sent Riott to the outside of the ring. Then, before the cut to commercial, Bayley connected with a back suplex onto the outside floor. (c)
Back after the break, Bayley was in control of the bout until Riott slammed her face into the ring turnbuckle. After, she covered for a two count before locking in an arm submission. As she did this, another commercial aired in a split screen for Money In The Bank. Eventually, Bayley escaped the hold and connected with her flying knee on Riott in the corner. From there, Bayley climbed to the top rope and jumped off for an elbow drop. Riott moved out of the way and then covered Bayley for a two count after she crashed down to the mat. The finish saw Bayley crash into the ring post after she was distracted by the Riott Squad. Riott then hit her Riott kick before covering for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Riott via pinfall
-After the match, the Riott Squad taunted Bayley and wrote an R on her stomach.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Really nice match for Riott. She looked great and was the sole focus of everything. Unfortunately, as that happened Bayley’s star continued to crash and burn. The “R” thing is interesting. Very NWO-esque and is an act that I thought worked well for Riott’s gimmick.
-Ronda Rousey was shown backstage with Natalya. Nattie told her to be ready for anything when she faces of with Nia Jax. (c)
-Out of the break, The Coach was in the ring and hyped the Raw Women’s Championship match at MITB between Nia Jax and Ronda Rousey. From there, he announced Ronda who got a nice pop from the audience. Ronda walked out with a big smile as usual and slapped hands with the fans. As she walked, Cole put over her UFC Hall Of Fame induction. After Rousey, Nia was introduced and she received a mixed response from the Little Rock crowd.
As they both sat down, Coach asked Nia what she thought of her rivalry turning serious after it was rooted in friendship. She said that she wasn’t surprised and that Ronda and her are both competitors. She said that in that environment, things would get tense. Jax then called Rousey beautiful and said she had a stellar reputation. She then said that she’s new to WWE and that her success was earned elsewhere. Jax then ran down all the thing that are allowed in WWE but not in the UFC. Jax said that on Sunday, she’ll show her what she’s talking about. Ronda responded by saying she doesn’t game plan, she improvises and that on Sunday she’ll improvise Nia’s arm off. From there, Ronda said she has the right to be confident which got a mixed response. Nia then said that her one match was impressive but it was against a business woman who competes part time. Jax said she isn’t Stephanie McMahon and that she’s been around the wrestling business for years grinding. Jax then said if Ronda wants to take her arm, she’ll take her reputation. She then said she knows she will beat Ronda and that Ronda just isn’t ready.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Ok, they’re on the right track, but both Jax and Rousey look too stiff and scripted. That said, Jax seems to be getting more over as she talks. Ronda needs to work on her facial expressions when being talked to. She appears more uncomfortable than confident.
This prompted Rousey to stand up which got a nice pop. Rousey then ran through all of the things people said she wasn’t ready for. She walked through how she proved all of those people wrong and then yelled “I’m Ronda Rousey, I was born ready.” Jax then stood up and held her belt up before attempting a punch on Rousey. Rousey blocked it and Jax nailed her with a headbutt. Jax then talked trash which allowed Rousey the time to lock in the armbar. After a few attempts to break out, Jax tapped out as Michael Cole yelled “could that happen on Sunday.”
Heydorn’s Analysis: Overall, that worked. Sure, it was clunky and overproduced, but I think the message was received by the audience. Ronda is ready and she can win the title. It wasn’t perfect, but mission accomplished. That said, they may have accomplished the mission a bit too well. Giving away the tap out on TV? Not sure I agree with that.
-After the match, Curt Hawkins was shown backstage as No Way Jose’s conga line walked by. (c)
(6) CURT HAWKINS vs. NO WAY JOSE
Jose came out first to a mediocre response. From there, Hawkins was supposed to make his entrance, but he didn’t walk out when his music played. The ref began his count and then Hawkins attacked Jose from behind. He attempted to get his win, but ended up losing immediatley.
WINNER: Jose via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: I guess they need to fill three hours? I’ll choose to look at the silver lining here. Consistency with the Hawkins story? It’s a stretch, obviously, but whatever.
-Backstage, Balor confronted Roode to decide how to go forward in their match. Roode wanted to listen to Owens, but Balor seemed unsure. In the end, Balor said he would keep one eye on Owens and one eye on Roode. He then walked away.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Ok, so Balor’s answer is no eyes on Strowman then? C’mon, that’s just terrible writing.
-After the segment, Cole cued up a promo video on the Special Olympics before heading to commercial. (c)
-When the show returned from the break, an obstacle course was setup ringside and Renee Young introduced Sami Zayn. Zayn annoyingly walked out and then was interviewed by Young. She asked why Zayn wanted to challenge Lashley to an obstacle course. Zayn said all he did was ask Lashley a question last week. He then said the only way Lashley can prove he was in the army was if he defeated Zayn in the obstacle course. From there, Zayn walked everyone through the course itself.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Is this actually happening on Raw? On national TV? If this is the only way to build this feud and progress this program, it shouldn’t be happening.
When Zayn was done walking the course, Zayn said he completed it in a minute and a half. Eventually, Lashley joined the madness and Renee asked him what his reaction was to this challenge. He said that everyone was tired of Zayn running his mouth and that he would beat him at the course before beating him on Sunday. They then flipped a coin and it was decided Lashley would go first. As he was about to start, a “Lashley” chant broke out to which Sami Zayn worked to shut down by saying “shut up.” Lashley then completed the course in 42 seconds to which the crowd cheered. As he climbed down the final rope, Zayn attacked him from behind. Eventually, he hit a Helluva Kick and the crowd booed intensely.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Well, the obstacle deal was a means to an end. The end was effective, but the course was lame an unappealing in my eyes. Zayn getting the upper hand gives him some credibility ahead of Sunday which the feud needed. Vince and the WWE should be thanking their lucky stars that they have Sami Zayn committed to getting this story over. The segment started with crickets in the audience and turned into heat on Zayn with Lashley chants. All thanks to Sami.
-Owens was shown talking backstage with Finn Balor and Bobby Roode. As he was pleading his case, Braun Strowman showed up and told them that the three of them should team up against him. He then laughed and did his roar before walking way. (c)
(7) FINN BALOR vs. BRAUN STROWMAN vs. KEVIN OWENS vs. BOBBY ROODE
Balor was out first and as he walked to the ring Cole and the announce team recapped his ladder spot from last week on Raw. Roode hit the ring next and as usual the crowd reacted, but only to his Glorious entrance. Owens made his way out next and got a nice heel reaction.
Heydorn’s Analysis: As the entrances happened, Michael Cole and the announce team solely focused on selling and promoting MITB on Sunday. Speaks to the increased attention on brand building rather than the building of individual stars.
Lastly, Strowman came out to a big babyface pop. He did his roar at the top of the stage which was mimicked by the adoring crowd. As he entered, Graves said Strowman was the clear favorite to win the MITB contract on Sunday. As Strowman walked out, Cole cued up a recap video of Strowman destroying a ladder last week on Raw. The match began with all four men eyeing the briefcase above the ring. Then, Strowman attacked Owens to start things off and ended up decimating all three men in the process. He tossed Roode around like a rag doll and then slammed Balor into the mat before tossing Owens around the ring as well. With all three of his competitors on the outside of the ring, Strowman stood tall inside of it as the show went to break. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Balor and Roode are still babyfaces. To me, they should have enough integrity and dismiss Owens outright. They seem to be going along with the cowardly Owens though which makes them come off a bit dopey. Dopey babyfaces don’t equal money.
After the commercial, Strowman was getting beat up by all three of his opponents. Strowman secured momentum on various occasions, but each time, the three men kept the assault up. Eventually, the action flowed to the outside of the ring where Strowman continued to fight three men. He chased Owens backstage and then dragged him out onto the ramp. From there, Strowman pulled out the ladders, but they were used against him by Balor and Roode. Both men then put Strowman on the announce table and Owens pulled a ladder near it. Then, with Balor and Roode holding the ladder, Owens climbed up and nailed Strowman with a frog splash through the table. Immediatley after, the show went to commercial.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I like the spot a lot, but again, it’s something that could have been featured on the main show and in the match on Sunday. Like last week, not saying its right or wrong, but it needs to be pointed out. I didn’t like Balor cheering on Owens and telling him “you can do it.” Just last week, Owens and Balor had a battle over Owens costing him a match. Now he’s helping him? And willingly? Just doesn’t portray him as that tried and true babyface he’s supposed to be.
Back in the ring after the break, Roode and Balor were battling one one one in the ring due to Strowman and Owens being incapacitated because of the frog splash. Roode was in control of the match and had Balor locked in an arm submission that targeted Balor’s shoulder. Eventually, Balor escaped and connected with a kick to Roode’s face. At this point, both men were down on the mat and a picture in picture commercial aired for MITB on Sunday. After, the Roode/Balor exchanged continued. In the end, Balor drove Roode into the ring post with his dropkick. With Roode in the drop zone, Balor climbed up for the Coup De Gras, but was knocked off by Kevin Owens who made his way back to the ring. Balor then fought Owens back down the mat and tried to climb to the top rope again. This time, Roode caught him and climbed up for a vertical suplex. From there, Owens slithered in and slammed both to the mat with a power bomb/vertical suplex combo. With the three men down, Strowman got to his feet which got a huge reaction from the crowd. As Strowman walked to the ring, Balor and Roode rolled out of the ring to meet him and were punched directly in the face by Strowman. This left Kevin Owens all alone in the ring. He tried to run away, but Owens caught him and brought him back into the ring area. Then, with all three men around the ring, Strowman shoulder tackled each of them. The finish saw both Roode and Balor hit their finishers on Strowman. Each time, the pin was interuppted. From there, Owens hit his and covered, but Strowman kicked out at two. Then, Owens grabbed a ladder to use on Strowman and he did by smashing him in the ribs. Eventually, Strowman caught the ladder and choke slammed Owens. Strowman then laid the ladder down and hit the running power slam on it with Owens. Strowman then covered for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Strowman via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Really good match in which Strowman looked like a monster. Hard to imagine him not winning on Sunday after this performance.
-After the match, Strowman stood tall and Cole took the show off the air hyping Money In The Bank on Sunday.