HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 7/16: Alt Perspective coverage of the live show including Extreme Rules fallout, the future of the Universal Championship, and more

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR


HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT
JULY 16, 2018
BUFFALO, NY
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK

Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, The Coach

[HOUR ONE]

-The show began with Kurt Angle’s music playing and the crowd chanting “you suck” as Angle stood in the ring. Angle then thanked each Raw superstar for competing at Extreme Rules. Angle questioned Brock Lesnar’s dedication and the audience booed. From there, Kurt Angle outlined his ultimatum again and said that he hadn’t heard from Lesnar’s associates in 24 hours. He then stripped Lesnar of the championship right as Paul Heyman hit the ring.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Man, stripping Lesnar of the championship is getting a huge reaction from the crowd. I’m not buying that will actually happen here. That said, whatever does happen may get a dwarfed reaction because the crowd wants Lesnar stripped so badly.

Heyman attempted to introduce himself, but Angle told him to cut it out as everyone already knows who he is. Angle then told Heyman to bring Lesnar out or he was wasting his time. From there, Heyman teased bringing him out to the ring only to say that Lesnar was not in the building. Angle responded by saying that he has no choice to strip Lesnar of the Universal Championship. As he said this, Heyman ran to the ring to stop him. In the ring, Heyman said that Kurt and the fans have Lesnar misunderstood. He said that the sentiment appears to be that Lesnar doesn’t care about being the Universal Champion. Heyman then said that that was wrong and that Lesnar loves the WWE and being Universal Champion. The audience booed loudly during this. Angle then chimed in and said that if Lesnar loves WWE so much, “why doesn’t he show up?” Heyman answered by saying that Lesnar wants to be the Universal Champion and the UFC Champion. Kurt said that Lesnar would have to defend the championship at Summerslam or else he would know longer be champion. The crowd chanted “strip the title” as this went down and as they did Heyman said that Lesnar will in fact defend the championship at Summerslam.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Ha! As predicted. Angle’s announcement got a reaction, but not as big as the fans that wanted to see Lesnar stripped outright. This tells you just how frustrated the audience is with Lesnar. They’d rather just not see him again instead of seeing him wrestle. Regardless, him wrestling and dropping the title officially will be better and more appreciated in the long run – especially if its to someone like Seth Rollins who the fans adore. 

From there, Heyman suckered the crowd and congratulating them for wanting more of Brock Lesnar. This got mega heat from the audience.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Straight fire by Heyman. Understanding where the fans are at in their heads and being able to milk their dissatisfaction with Lesnar by touting how great he is was sheer brilliance. Heyman still is the best WWE has on that mic and he showed why here. 

Heyman then called Angle a negotiating genius and then told Angle to choose will be beaten next by Lesnar at Summerslam. As he said this, Bobby Lashley’s music hit and he walked to the ring to confront Heyman. In the ring and as the crowd chanted “Bobby,” he said that when he returned he had two goals. The first was beating Roman Reigns which he did at Extreme Rules and the second was to beat Brock Lesnar and win the Universal Championship. Lashley stared Heyman down after he said this and as he did Drew McIntyre’s music played. Drew told Lashley to hold on and asked the men in the ring if they knew why he came back to the WWE. He answered for them and said that he came back for change and to get the intercontinental championship on the waist of Dolph Ziggler. He said that was phase one and that it was time for phase two. Phase two, he said, was the Universal Championship. This prompted Seth Rollins to hit the ring. Rollins got a tremendous pop and walked to the ring with a purpose.

Heydorn’s Analysis: I love Rollins directly walking up to McIntyre and speaking his words whilst in a face off. It shows consistency from last night while presenting Rollins as a fearless babyface. Plus, the crowd loved it. Well done. 

Rollins walked into the ring and got in McIntyre’s face immediatley. The crowd chanted “Burn It Down,” and Rollins told Angle that if he’s looking for someone to face Brock Lesnar, he’s the guy. After Rollins, Elias walked out and strummed the guitar as he made his way to the ring. Just like the men before him, Elias said that he deserves the shot at Lesnar for the championship. Once Elias was done talking, Finn Balor walked out and said that it would make sense for him to challenge Lesnar for the championship since he was the first ever Universal Champion. Once Balor hit the ring, Roman Reigns walked out to a chorus of boos from the Buffalo crowd. As he did, the announce team discussed his legitimate claims to being Universal Champion.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Are they legitimate? The fact that this nonsense hasn’t gotten over is because it’s the opposite of legitimate.

As the audience chanted “Roman sucks,” Reigns said the has no excuses for his loss last night and that he just wants to fight someone. With the ring filled with possible Lesnar opponents, Angle cleared up the situation and announced two triple threat matches that would take place tonight. He then said the winners of those matches would compete against each other next week with the winner facing Brock Lesnar at Summerslam for the Universal Championship. He announced that the first match between Roman Reigns, Finn Balor, and Drew McIntyre would take place immediatley. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: I thought this segment worked well. It lined up a handful of potential challengers to Lesnar and set a hook for the rest of this show as well as next week’s show. If the WWE puts someone like Balor or Rollins against Lesnar, that babyface will have a tremendous amount of steam behind them due to the fact that Lesnar is so hated. Reigns being the man to face Lesnar would take some of the heat away from Lesnar and move it onto himself. That outcome wastes some of what Lesnar brings to the table with his final WWE match. 

-After the commercial break, Angle was shown backstage and was confronted by Baron Corbin. Corbin asked him what he was thinking in making the triple threat matches and that Corbin should have been considered for the match. Angle told him he didn’t deserve it and then walked off.

(1) DREW MCINTYRE vs. ROMAN REIGNS vs. FINN BALOR

The match began with Reigns and McIntyre doing battle and exchanging strikes. As they did, Balor rolled Reigns up before getting punched in the face by him. From there, Drew and Reigns battled again in the corner before Finn Balor intervened to get his on Reigns. All three men then fought which led to Drew and Roman falling to the outside of the ring. With them there, Balor hit the ropes and jumped out of the ring, landing on both of his opponents. As he did this, Cole said that Balor has been on a two year mission to regain the Universal Championship he never lost.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Well, it took a very long time, but Balor was given a mission statement here within Cole’s commentary. It’s a story that WWE could have been telling for years. Hopefully that story sticks after this match and into whatever program Balor heads into next. 

Eventually, all three men got back into the ring and kept the fight going. Drew took over momentum by crushing Reigns with a vertical suplex before covering him for a two count. With Reigns down, McIntyre decimated Balor with punches and chops before heading back to Reigns. Drew connected with a stiff shot to Reigns’s face before trying a cover again, but again, Reigns kicked out at two. Out of the pin attempt, McIntyre kept up his assault on Reigns by hitting a neck breaker before making the cover for a two count. (c)

Right out of the break, the battle raged on, only this time, the action took place outside of the ring between Drew and Balor. McIntyre then tossed Balor back into the ring and followed him in. In the ring, Drew stomped Reigns in the corner before turning his attention to Balor again. As he did this, Reigns fired up and got back into the match with clotheslines and strikes to both Balor and McIntyre. From there, Reigns attempted the Drive By on Balor, but Finn dodged it and connected with a double foot stomp. This caused Reigns to roll out of the ring which allowed McIntyre to crush Reigns with a flip dive over the top rope.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Such an impressive move by Drew. The guy just oozes talent. That said, Cole comparing that to a cruiserweight move is a mistake. It tells the audience not to bother watching 205 Live because they can see all of their moves done by Drew McIntyre on Raw. That division already has an uphill battle to climb. This type of commentary doesn’t help. 

With both men down because of that move, Balor took over and smashed Drew into the seal steps before double foot stomping him from the apron. Balor then rolled Reigns into the ring to maintain his momentum. As Balor lifted Reigns up, Roman backed Balor into the corner. From there, Balor hit Reigns with a kick to the face before climbing to the top rope. While he was there, Drew crushed Balor with a chair which sent him falling to the mat. Cole dictated that the chair shot was legal because of the no DQ stipulation attached to the triple threat match. (c)

When the show came back from the break, Reigns was on the offensive after connecting with ten clotheslines to McIntyre in the corner. Reigns then cued up the Superman Punch, but the move was reversed into a spinebuster. After, McIntyre went for a cover, but Roman kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Balor crushed McIntyre with the steel chair. From there, Balor looked and Roman Reigns and crushed him with the same chair to which the audience popped huge.

Heydorn’s Analysis: What a pop from the audience. Nothing like the lead babyface getting decimated by another top babyface’s chair shots right? Only Roman Reigns …

Balor then rolled to the outside to keep up his attack on McIntyre. As both men brawled, Reigns attempted a spear on both of them, but Balor moved out of the way. This caused Reigns to hit the move on McIntyre. Balor took advantage of this and hit the Sling Blade on Reigns before rolling him back into the ring. Out of nowhere, Reigns crushed Balor with the Superman Punch and then covered him for a near fall two count. Right after the pin, Reigns called for the Spear but it was countered by Balor. Balor then drop kicked Reigns into the corner post before climbing the top rope and nailing Reigns with the Coup De Gras. From there, Balor covered Reigns as the crowd cheered, but McIntyre pulled Balor off of him.

Heydorn’s Analysis: The audience wanted Balor to get the fall there. McIntyre pulling him away got a nice negative reaction from that same audience. A well booked spot in the match. 

In the the end, Roman Reigns hit the spear on Finn Balor after crushing McIntyre with a second Superman Punch. Right after the spear, Reigns covered Balor for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Reigns via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: Really good match that can’t fully be judged until we find out who his opponent will be later in the show. 

-After the match, Kurt Angle confronted Bayley and asked her how the friendship counseling went. Bayley said it didn’t go well, but that she tried. Bayley then simply told Kurt that it didn’t work. Angle responded by saying that he booked a match in which her and Sasha would team up. Bayley said she thought that wasn’t a good idea, but Kurt insisted. He then said that if they can’t get along, one of them would get traded to Smackdown Live. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: They are partnering again? Angle said in this promo that things are settled in the ring on his show. Then why not have these two fight to “settle things?”

-After the commercial break, Dolph Ziggler hit the ring and as he walked down the ramp the announce team walked through highlights of Ziggler’s Iron Man victory last night at Extreme Rules. In the ring, Ziggler said that at Extreme Rules he did everything he said he would. Ziggler then called himself the Iron Man and the Intercontinental champion. From there, he said that last night the IC title main evented a WWE PPV for the first time in 17 years and that was because of him, not Seth Rollins. Ziggler then gloated about beating Rollins five times in their iron man match before he was interuppted by Bobby Roode.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Ziggler’s content was good here. He put over Rollins while talking himself up as well. The delivery was off though. It seemed as if Dolph forgot some lines and laughed to himself so as to cover it up. Dolph is in a much better spot than he was at this time in 2017. He can thank his in-ring work for that. If he wants to stay in this upper mid-card position, his promo needs to come around once and for all. 

As Roode walked down the ramp, he said that he heard Ziggler giving people credit, but didn’t hear him give Drew McIntyre credit for helping him win. Ziggler then asked Roode if he had fun watching him in his main event match from the sidelines. Roode told Ziggler that sidelines suck and that he wanted to challenge for the Intercontinental championship ‘right now.” Ziggler looked uneasy about Roode’s suggestion which prompted Bobby to call Ziggler out for not being able to win on his own. Ziggler then accepted, but as the match was being announced, Ziggler said that he would wrestle, but not for the IC title. From there, the bell rang and the match began.

(2) BOBBY ROODE vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER

The match began with both men tying up in the middle of the ring.

[HOUR TWO]

From there, Roode took Ziggler down to the mat with a head lock. Ziggler quickly battled out and then used the same maneuver to take Roode down. Roode broke the hold by sending Ziggler over the top rope to the outside floor. Roode followed right away to keep up the momentum, but Ziggler pushed him into the ring barrier. From there, Ziggler rolled back into the ring and crushed Roode with a dropkick as Roode followed him in. Ziggler then went for a pin, but Roode kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Ziggler hit another dropkick and maintained momentum in the match. Roode hit bits and pieces of offense, but each time, they were squashed by Ziggler. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Roode just isn’t garnering a reaction and its severely hurting his matches. Nobody cares. 

After the break, Ziggler still had momentum in the match, but it was quickly extinguished after Roode hit the Blockbuster. Roode then went for the Glorious DDT, but Ziggler countered. Ziggler then hit the Zig Zag and followed with a two count near fall cover. Out of the pin attempt, Ziggler cued up the superkick, but it was blocked. Roode then capitalized by hitting Ziggler with a sling shot which he followed with a spinebuster. From there, Roode made the cover, but Dolph kicked out at two. Right after the pin, Ziggler tried for another Zig Zag but it was countered. Roode then jumped off the top rope for a move, but tweaked his knee in the process. Seeing this, Ziggler kicked him in that leg before crushing him with a super kick for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Ziggler via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: The action in this match was well paced and exciting. The audience’s lukewarm interest in Roode hurt it though. He just couldn’t get the audience into a place in which they wanted him to win. Heel turn or not, Roode needs a tweak to his character so that the audience can engage with him again. 

-After the match, Bobby Lashley cut a promo backstage. He said that The Beast has never faced a man like him and that he would be the next Universal Champion. (c)

-Out of the commercial break, Bobby Roode was shown walking backstage. He was confronted by Mojo Rawley who mocked him before asking “you’re supposed to be glorious?” Rawley then hit the ring for his match against Tyler Breeze.

(3) MOJO RAWLEY vs. TYLER BREEZE

Rawley got a small reaction from the audience and shoulder tackled Breeze into the corner as the bell rang. Breeze connected with a drop kick before knocking Rawley out of the ring with a clothesline. Breeze followed Rawley to the outside but was pushed into the ring barrier. Rawley then rolled Breeze back into the ring and locked in a chin lock. As this happened, the announce team talked Rawley up and highlighted his football and athletic accolades. In the end, Rawley destroyed Breeze with a running shoulder tackle before connecting with a reverse Alabama Slam. From there, Rawley made the cover for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Rawley via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: A to B match, but a feature match for Mojo. He’s starting from the bottom of the ladder, but the build is working for him. He’s already getting chants in the audience and has always had a natural charisma about him. If WWE stays the course and maintains the steady build without abruptly stopping it, Rawley could play nicely in the mid card scene on Raw. 

-After the match, Sasha Banks and Bayley were shown walking backstage for their upcoming tag team match. (c)

-When the show returned from the break, Dana Brooke and Alicia Fox were waiting in the ring for Sasha Banks and Bayley.

(4) SASHA BANKS & BAYLEY vs. ALICIA FOX & DANA BROOKE

Bayley hit the ring next to a decent response. Banks came out next to a good response as well and a larger one that Bayley got. As both walked out, the announce team debated whether or not they could coexist on a team together. Collectively they decided they couldn’t before Cole asked the team if they thought Angle was doing a good job in working to get these two back together and on the same page.

Heydorn’s Analysis: My question is, why does Kurt Angle care? The locker room is full of people who don’t get along. Why does he care about these two so much? Just another piece of this program that doesn’t fit together. 

The match began with Bayley and Sasha gaining the momentum and upperhand. Eventually, Bayley got kicked to the outside of the ring and double teamed by both opponents. Banks walked over to even the odds and did so, but was then disqualified for doing so. Banks walked away right after the bell rang as Bayley stared at her. (c)

WINNER: Fox and Brooke via disqualification

Heydorn’s Analysis: I’m almost certain that exact outcome happened months ago. It’s time to put up or shut up here. That didn’t feel like they got along to me. Kurt, trade one and put us out of our misery. It pains me to say that about a Bayley and Banks feud that can and should be so much more. 

-After the commercial break, Banks was shown packing up her stuff backstage. Bayley confronted her and asked what she was up to out there. Sasha told her that HER beating up Bayley is one thing, but she couldn’t stand by and let others do it. Bayley responded and told Banks that she cared. Banks then said of course she cared and that Bayley didn’t get it. From there, Sasha ran through all the things she loves about Bayley before saying that she loved her and always will.

Heydorn’s Analysis: At least its a progression of the story. I’m grasping at straws, but at this point I’ll take anything new involving these two. 

-Braun Strowman was then interviewed backstage by Renee Young. Strowman said that he regrets not being able to congratulate Kevin Owens on his win. As he said this, he chuckled. Young then asked him about why he didn’t throw his name out to face Lesnar at Summerslam. In response, Strowman held of the MITB briefcase and said “because I have this.”

(5) THE B TEAM vs. THE ASCENSION 

The B Team walked out first and as they did, Cole cued up clips of them celebrating their title win last night at Extreme Rules. (c)

Out of the break, the match had already started and The Ascension was firmly in control until Axel picked up momentum after pushing Konnor into the ring post. As this happened and as The B Team took control, The Revival was shown watching the match backstage. Finally, Victor tagged into the match along with Bo Dallas. Victor tossed Dallas into both ring posts before crushing him with a knee to the face. From there, Victor covered for a pin, but Axel broke it up. In the end, Curtis Axel hit Konnor with his finish and covered for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: The B Team via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: Pretty much a squash affair. I’m a fan of squash matches, but the B team squashing anyone goes against their underdog nature. These guys need consistency to their gimmick. If they are going to be seen as true champions, the wild and surprised look on their faces after a win need to go. If they are to be the lovable losers who win, squash matches need not happen.

-After the match, Hardy and Wyatt ended The B Team’s celebration by announcing their rematch next week over the big screen. Hardy said they would become tag team champions again and that the B Team would be deleted forever.

-Alexa Bliss and Mickie James were shown walking to the ring ahead of the commercial break. (c)

-Out of the break, Alexa Bliss hit the ring with Mickie James at her side. In the ring, Bliss said that amidst all the distractions last night, she left Extreme Rules as champion.

[HOUR THREE]

Bliss then said she wrote the last chapter of the Bliss/Jax feud last night. She said the story ended as all stories should end which was the bully falling and the goddess standing tall. Bliss then said that she has beaten every single woman  in the entire Raw locker room. After, the audience chanted “Ronda Rousey.” In response, Bliss said she heard the audience but that Rousey doesn’t count. From there, Bliss ran down Rousey as Ronda walked out into the arena from the stands. Bliss hightailed it out of the ring, but Rousey blocked her exit. Eventually, Bliss ran away and Rousey ran after her. In the end, Rousey caught James and hit her with her finisher. Then, Bliss and Raw officials pulled James away and Rousey chased after all of them and knocked them all down. From there, Rousey dragged Bliss back into the ring and attempted to put the arm bar on her. Instead, Kurt Angle ran out to stop her. Angle told her to go home because her suspension wasn’t lifted yet. This prompted Baron Corbin to come out. He told Angle that he needed to give Ronda an additional punishment. Angle said he agreed and tacked on another week to Rousey’s current suspension. Corbin said that wasn’t enough and that Stephanie would be upset with that choice. Corbin then left to call Stephanie and as he did, Angle gave Rousey a title match against Bliss at Summerslam. The caveat was that if Rousey pulls anything while she is suspended, her title match would be cancelled. As this annoucement happened, Bliss and James were visibly upset as Rousey smiled in approval.

Heydorn’s Analysis: More greatness from Ronda Rousey. She has an innate ability to convey an intensity that is must see within these segments. That said, the setup was clunky with Corbin forgetting his phone backstage and Angle awarding a title match to someone who has openly defied him twice.

-After the segment, Seth Rollins was interviewed backstage and said that tonight would be his night. Rollins then said that Summerslam would be his night too when he wins the Universal Title. From there, Rollins said he has a ton of respect for Roman Reigns, but he needs to do what he needs to do and if that means beating him next week, so be it. (c)

(6) AUTHORS OF PAIN vs. TITUS WORLDWIDE

The match started with Titus and Apollo getting the early momentum. Eventually, AOP landed a full nelson slam on Crews which put the momentum in their court. From there, it was all AOP.

Heydorn’s Analysis: You could hear a pin drop in the arena during this. Graves commented on it too. The allure that AOP had in NXT clearly has not carried over. Promo time with a mouthpiece would do wonders for these guys. 

From there, AOP connected with The Last Chapter and then covered for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: AOP via pinfall

-After the match, the Riott Squad were shown walking backstage and were interuppted by No Way Jose’s conga line. (c)

(7) EMBER MOON vs. SARAH LOGAN w/ Liv Morgan

Moon hit the ring after the break to a nice response from the crowd. Logan walked out after with Morgan and the bell rang soon after she entered the ring. Logan took over early with a body slam on Moon before she took her to the mat with a front headlock. From there, Moon had some flashes of momentum, but Logan owned the match for the most part. Eventually, Moon took over after connecting with a stiff right hand to Logan’s face. After, Moon picked up the pace and connected with a flurry of knee strikes before face planting Logan into the mat. Right after, Moon made the cover, but Logan kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Logan rolled out of the ring and Moon capitalized by connecting with a running suicide dive through the ropes. Moon then rolled Logan back into the ring and covered for a two count. After the pin, Moon climbed the ropes for the Eclipse, but was distracted by Morgan. This caused Logan to knock Moon off the ropes and then pin her for the win.

WINNER: Logan via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: A standard match, but Moon and the Riott Squad are telling a good story overall. Sure, it’s a mid card feud, but its working and progressing logically. Moon is over and when its her turn to be on top, she’ll shine. 

-After the match, Elias was shown warming up backstage as the show went to commercial break. (c)

-When the show returned from the break, Elias was in the ring and ran through his typical act with the Buffalo crowd. He stared into the camera before saying he was depressed because he was in Buffalo. From there, he said that his new album which drops soon would heel the lost souls of Buffalo. He then revealed that his album would be called Walk With Elias. The audience yelled his line with him and after, Elias called himself something special before telling the audience to shut up so he could play.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Same old thing with Elias. Inconsistencies are everywhere with his gimmick, but he gets a monster response. If he would maintain some integrity with his character, that response and his effectiveness in that character would grow exponentially.

Elias began his song which was eventually interuppted by Seth Rollins.

(8) SETH ROLLINS vs. ELIAS vs. BOBBY LASHLEY

After Seth made his entrance, the show went to commercial break. (c)

Right out of the break, Lashley made his entrance and Elias beat down Rollins ahead of the bell. Once the bell rang, Elias maintained control until Lashley landed some punches which caused Elias to roll out of the ring. While on the outside, Rollins clotheslined Elias and then entered the ring to take on Lashley head on. The two men tied up before Rollins took Lashley down to the mat. Rollins kept a headlock locked in on the mat before Lashley escaped and knocked Rollins down with a clothesline of his own. From there, Lashley locked in his own head lock and took Rollins down to the mat. Rollins escaped as well and nailed Lashley with a dropkick after doing so. Rollins then tried a springboard clothesline, but it was countered by Lashley. Lashley tried to take advantage, but Elias hit him in the back from behind which sent him crashing into the ring post. Out of that, Rollins rolled Elias up for a pin, but only received a two count. Then, Kurt Angle, Paul Heyman, and Constable Corbin were shown watching the match backstage as the show went to a commercial break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: I like the pacing and the moment where Rollins respectfully faced Lashley in the ring. That is how babyfaces build a feud together. With one look, they conveyed respect for each other and the need to win. Well done. 

When the show returned from the break, all three men were in the ring with Lashley decimating both opponents with belly to back suplexes and power slams. After his last slam on Elias, Lashley made the cover, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Lashley worked to go for a spear, but Elias rolled out of the ring to avoid it. While on the outside, Elias was able to push Lashley into the guardrail which injured Lashley’s shoulder. From there, Elias tried to capitalize and did so by hitting Lashley with an elbow drop off the top rope. Immediatley after, Rollins landed a top rope frog splash on Lashley. After, Elias tossed Rollins out of the ring and covered Lashley himself, but Lashley kicked out at two. With Lashley down, Elias and Rollins went toe to toe with Rollins gaining the upper hand due to a top rope blockbuster. After, Rollins climbed to the top rope with Elias as the audience chanted “Burn It Down.” Eventually, Elias pushed Rollins off the top rope. Lashley then got back into the match and climbed the top rope to suplex Elias, but was stopped by Rollins. Rollins then hit the buckle bomb on Lashley before running up the ropes and suplexing Elias before nailing him with the Falcon Arrow. Out of that combination, Rollins made the cover, but Elias kicked out at two.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Whoa. Great combination by Rollins. He continues to roll with his in-ring performances. 

[OVERRUN]

Out of the pin attempt, Rollins connected with suicide dives on both Bobby Lashley and Elias. He then cued up the Stomp with a “Burn It Down” chant. Rollins then hit it, but the pin was broken up by Bobby Lashley. From there, Rollins and Lashley exchanged punches before Lashley connected with a delayed vertical suplex. Lashley then went for a spear, but Rollins jumped out of the way. From there, Rollins went for the Stomp on Lashley, but Elias tripped him up. Elias then hit the ring and was speared by Lashley. Lashley then made the cover for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Lashley via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: From a storyline perspective, this makes sense. Lashley got the win at Extreme Rules against Reigns and kept his momentum here tonight. To be, Seth Rollins can bring the most out of what is left in Brock Lesnar. Neither Lashley or Reigns can utilize Lesnar’s heat to the fullest like Rollins can. That said, I’m looking for Reigns to get his win back next week to setup yet another match between him and Lesnar. 

FINAL THOUGHTS: Both triple threat matches were well done and the Universal Championship story was woven into the show in a way that painted it in a light that made it seem like a bigger deal than it has in a long time. All superstars wanted their shot at it which gave the entire program a sense of direction that is missing when that belt isn’t around or discussed.


NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 7/9: Alt Perspective coverage of the live show including the final hype for Extreme Rules, Rollins vs. McIntyre, and more

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