HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 8/20: Alt Perspective coverage of the live show including Summerslam fallout, Ambrose vs. Ziggler, Triple H’s return, and more

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR


HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT
AUGUST 20, 2018
BROOKLYN, NY
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK

Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, The Coach

[HOUR ONE]

-The show opened with a live shot of the crowd and Michael Cole touting last night’s Summerslam as the “most watched in history.” From there, Roman Reigns hit the ring with his newly won Universal Championship hand to a very mixed response from the Brooklyn audience. As Reigns walked to the ring with the belt over his shoulder, Cole told the critics to criticize, but that Roman Reigns was the new Universal Champion.

Heydorn’s Analysis: My goodness, that Reigns walk is killing me. It’s even worse now with the belt slung over his shoulder backward. It screams arrogance and entitlement.

Once Reigns got to the ring, he grabbed a microphone, continued to take in the reaction and then spoke to the audience. He said that he was a man of his word and that he said he’d beat Brock Lesnar and he did. After he said this, part of the audience got a loud “you still suck” chant started. Roman continued by saying that he promised he’d defend the belt once he won it. From there, he said he would do just that, tonight. At this point, Reigns said he’d typically give anyone a shot, but he has a special person in mind. Roman then announced that he’d defend the belt against Finn Balor.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Very smart booking. WWE positioning Reigns as the guy to finally give Finn Balor his Universal Title shot is the perfect way to get that Brooklyn audience off his back. It worked well too. Instead of hating on Reigns as champion, the crowd can look forward to a stellar main event later in the show that just so happens to feature the champion they all hate. Brilliant stuff.

Balor’s music then played, and Finn walked to the ring to a big reaction. Balor then asked Roman what was up and accepted his challenge. He then said that he’d take HIS title back tonight. From there, Baron Corbin interuppted and said that that match would absolutely not take place. Corbin said that after what he pulled last night with The Demon, he was in breach of contract. Then, Corbin said the lights, smoke, and noise distracted him and that he didn’t hear the bell ring. Corbin said that he would be facing Finn Balor instead. Roman then chimed in and told Corbin he sucked as the fans did too. Corbin responded and then Kurt Angle made his way out to the ramp. Angle told Corbin that on Raw, he makes the matches. Angle said he didn’t care what Corbin thought and asked the audience if they wanted to see Balor vs. Reigns for the Universal Championship. The audience cheered loudly so Angle made the match official for the main event. Angle finished up by announcing that Corbin vs. Bobby Lashley which he said would take place immediatley. As Lashley made his entrance, the show went to commercial break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: WWE set that up very well. Reigns alleviated boos, Balor looked like a star, Corbin got loads of heat, and Angle was the smart GM who did the ring thing for his audience. Wins on all fronts. Further, with  Balor embroiled in a feud with Corbin, that could be WWE’s out to have Balor lose the title without causing a riot at the Barclays Center. 

(1) BARON CORBIN vs. BOBBY LASHLEY

Right out of the commercial break, the match began and Lashley got the early upper hand with some early take downs. Corbin escaped the holds, but Lashley kept pouring the offense on by slamming Corbin into each ring post. Dazed, Corbin rolled out of the ring to regroup. After waiting him out for a few seconds, Lashley followed Corbin to the outside of the ring and continued his assault. From there, Lashley rolled Corbin back into the ring and nailed him with ten punches in the corner that the audience counted along with. Corbin then rolled out of the ring again. This time, Lashley waiting longer to head to the outside, but eventually did and rolled Corbin back into the ring. Then, Lashley jumped up to the ring, but Corbin heelishly kicked him off the apron. This caused Lashley to tweak his knee to which Corbin capitalized on immediatley. He slammed Lashley into the ring barricade before tossing him back into the ring and connecting with strikes. Corbin then went to toss Lashley into the ropes, but Lashley countered with a stiff clothesline. After, Lashley went for the pin, but Corbin kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Lashley went for a suplex, but Corbin countered and knocked him out of the ring. Corbin followed with a clothesline on the outside as the show went to break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Slow paced, but heavy hitting so far. Crowd appears to getting a little restless.

After the break, Baron Corbin was fully in control of the match and smashed Lashley’s shoulder into the ring post. He went to do it again, but Lashley countered and did the same thing to him instead. From there, both men exchanged right hands before Lashley took over with a series of clotheslines. As he did, the audience chanted “Rusev Day.” The chants didn’t appear to phase either man and Lashley kept up his attack by nailing Corbin with a spinebuster. Right after, he attempted a pin, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Corbin rolled out of the ring for a breather. Lashley followed and rolled Corbin back in, but then as he got in, Corbin kicked him in the face.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Ok, that’s the third time in this match that Lashley’s lost control after leaving the ring. Stop leaving it! He’s been around long enough to know that that type of psychology for his character won’t do him justice.

The two men fought on the top rope, but Corbin took over after hitting the Chokeslam Back Breaker. Finally, Lashley secured the victory after he countered Corbin offense to hit his own finisher for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Lashley via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: Eh. That entire thing just kind of happened. The audience didn’t care and the slow pace overshadowed the hard hitting nature in the end. Corbin now has two decisive losses in a row. His character can withstand it, but it’s a 180 degree difference from where he was heading into Summerslam. 

-After the match, Kurt Angle was shown backstage. He looked on and then addressed Paul Heyman who entered his office. Heyman said that he had a mission for the evening and that was to invoke Brock Lesnar’s rematch clause. Angle asked him if he was kidding and Heyman proceeded to explain himself. Angle said that it would be a long time before Lesnar gets his rematch because he likes the fact that he has a fighting champion. Heyman instead suggested that the rematch take place at Hell In A Cell. Angle flat out told him no and then walked out. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Interesting. Heyman asking for a rematch is a smart story for WWE to weave into their programming whether or not Brock Lesnar is signed or not. It positions him as a star in the company without him actually having to be there. Further, it lines up a story for Reigns and Brock if/when Lesnar decides he wants to return. 

-Out of the commercial break, Corbin barged into Kurt Angle’s office and demanded to know what was up. He ran through his list of grievances and said that he was tired of not giving him what he wanted. Angle said that his job is only to do what is best for the WWE Universe and not Corbin. Corbin then said that Stephanie was in the building and that he’d take it up with her.

Heydorn’s Analysis: If Angle can maintain his authority and not be emasculated by McMahon during a confrontation this segment could progress this story between Angle and Corbin to a nice place. I have my worries though. 

-After the segment, Cole and the announce team cued up a video highlighting Triple H vs. The Undertaker at WWE’s Super Show-Down special event in Australia.

(2) SASHA BANKS, BAYLEY, & EMBER MOON vs. THE RIOTT SQUAD

Right after the video, Sasha Banks’s music hit and Banks made her way down to the ring. Bayley came out right after and as both walked the down the ramp the announce team plugged WWE Evolution. From there, Ember Moon made her entrance to team with Banks and Bayley. After Moon, the Riott Squad walked out. Once they got to the ring, the match began with Banks and Riott starting things off. Banks nailed Riott with punches out of the gate before she tagged Bayley in. Bayley got her shots in as well before she tagged Moon into the match. Moon entered and immediatley rolled Riott up for a pin, but only got a two count. After the pin, Riott tagged Logan into the match. Moon owned Logan before both sides cleared their corners and battled with Moon connecting with her running suicide dive through the ropes on Logan as the show went to break. (c)

-After the commercial, Bayley had Liv Morgan down on the mat in a submission. The audience cheered Bayley on and as they did, Bayley attempted to connect with a series of elbows on Morgan in the corner. As she did, the rest of Liv’s team attacked Bayley from behind. Once they did, Morgan tagged Riott into the match and Ruby used her strikes to keep momentum in the match. Riott then tagged Morgan back into the match.  As soon as she entered, Morgan attempted a pin on Bayley before locking in a choke hold. As she did, the audience cheered for Bayley to make the tag.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Bayley has sold this beat down well and the audience is firmly behind her. The hot tag to Banks or Moon should get a great pop. 

The Riott Squad proceeded to dominate the match by keeping Bayley trapped on their side of the ring. Eventually, Bayley made the the tag to Sasha Banks and the audience cheered loudly. Banks proceeded to crush Riott with her knee drop before making a pin attempt. Right before the three count, Morgan interuppted to break it up. For her troubles, Moon tossed Morgan over the ropes and out of the ring before connecting with a suplex on the outside. Banks then connected with a meteora on Logan before jumping back into the ring. As she did, Riott caught her and crushed her with the Riott Kick for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Riott Squad via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: A to B match that was decent enough for TV. My confusion falls within the story. What is being told here? Each week these sides keep fighting and each week the Riott Squad comes out on top cleanly. If these six women are going to feud, give them a reason to do so. 

-After the match, Michael Cole hyped Triple H’s upcoming appearance before the commercial break. (c)

-Out of the commercial break, Triple H’s music played and The Game walked to the ring to a huge pop from the Brooklyn crowd.

[HOUR TWO]

As he walked to the ring, Cole recounted calling the last Undertaker/Triple H match before promoting their upcoming match in Australia. In the ring, Triple H picked up a microphone and paused at the audience chanted “NXT.” Triple H touted the weekend for WWE and said that it had been incredible. Triple H called himself a fan and said that he loved the business before saying he’d work until he died to make sure the business would be around for a long time. From there, Triple H said that weekends like the one he just had made him get the itch to wrestle again. He then told the audience the story of Vince asking him to wrestle at Super Show-Down. He recounted telling Vince “no” when he was asked to wrestle Undertaker because of how much their last match meant together meant to him. From there, he went through his feelings after that night as the audience chanted “you still got it.” He said that after thinking it over, because of how much it meant it him, he decided that he was “in.” Triple H then pumped up the match and the crowd by saying he’d become the game again and that the feeling would be back because the era is back.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Not enough people can cut a promo like that anymore. I’m sure Triple H is given a much larger leash than most guys on the current roster, but he showcases just how talented he is and what the talent gap is between top guys like him from his era and the current era of guys. 

-After Triple H, Cole and the announce team cued up a recap video that detailed the main event Universal Championship match from last night at Summerslam.

-When the video was over, Seth Rollins hit the ring to a massive pop from the Brooklyn audience. After him, Dean Ambrose walked out to a pop similar in size. The show then went to a commercial break. (c)

(3) DEAN AMBROSE vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER

Out of the break, Dolph Ziggler made his way to the ring along with Drew McIntyre. McIntyre’s pop and aura was simply larger than Ziggler’s and the audience proved it by popping louder for Drew than they did from Dolph. Once the men got to the ring, the match kicked off right away. Before it did, Graves drove home Ambrose’s loyalty to Rollins.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Seeds for a heel turn there? These things are said for a reason and to my knowledge, Ambrose’s loyalty has never been a focal point from a character perspective. 

Ambrose controlled the match out of the gate. To avoid losing momentum completely, Ziggler rolled out of the ring to regroup. As he reentered, he attempted to take Ambrose down to the mat, but Ambrose countered with a take down of his own. Soon after, both men got to their feet and Ambrose chopped Ziggler before knocking him to the mat with an elbow to the face. Ambrose then kept pace and locked in a side headlock. Eventually, Ambrose was distracted by McIntyre from the outside of the ring. Rollins ran over to take care of Drew, but as Ambrose attempted to to focus on Ziggler again, Dolph clocked him with a dropkick before the show went to break. (c)

When the show returned, Ziggler still had full control of the match and bashed Ambrose with kicks before pushing him in the face and calling him an idiot. That seemed to fire up Ambrose as he responded by clotheslining Ziggler and following that with series of knees to the midsection. From there, Ambrose attempted to splash Ziggler in the corner, but he countered and went for a pin. Ambrose kicked out at two and out of the pin, he connected with a fall away slam.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Ambrose is showcasing a very serious style tonight and the announce team is playing it up big time. This tells me his character is in for a shift at some point. Even as a babyface though, it works great as he comes across as real competitor instead of just a lunatic. Well done. 

Then, Ambrose launched Ziggler into the corner with a catapult before he attempted a running shoulder tackle. Ziggler moved out of the way which sent Ambrose crashing into the ring post. On the outside of the ring, McIntyre and Rollins got into it and Ziggler joined the fray. Eventually, Ambrose got involved in the melee and tossed Ziggler back into the ring. He went for Dirty Deeds, but it was countered by Ambrose. In the end, Ambrose countered a Ziggler DDT into the Dirty Deeds for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Ambrose via pinfall

-After the match, Cole and the announce team discussed Ambrose’s new style as highlights of the match aired.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Fun match. Ambrose looked great and Rollins provided some flare to make the entire thing even more exciting. Cole and his team aren’t bringing up Ambrose’s new found seriousness for no reason. Something is afoot. 

-Backstage, Elias was running down his roadies and told them they were on their third strike. He then picked up his guitar and walked to the ring as the show went to break. (c)

-Out of the break, Finn Balor was shown warming up backstage and was confronted by Braun Strowman. Strowman said he refuses to cash-in from behind. He then told Balor good luck in his match later as he held up his briefcase.

Heydorn’s Analysis: I like that they are positioning Strowman as someone who wants to use his briefcase cleanly. That said, immediatley AFTER a championship isn’t cleanly. WWE is missing the boat with that narrative.

-Back in the ring, Elias was introduced in his typical fashion. He then strummed the guitar a bit before saying that someone in the world wanted to throw off his performance at Summerslam by ruining his guitar. Elias then did his Walk With Elias chant before running down the Brooklyn crowd and playing his song. As he did, Curt Hawkins interuppted and said that Elias could be number one, but one as in the first guy to lose to Curt Hawkins. Hawkins then challenged Elias to a match so he could end his 218 match losing streak. Elias responded by calling Curt Hawkins a loser. He said he was born a loser and would die a loser like everyone in the audience. The crowd booed as Elias told Hawkins to get lost so he could play his song. Hawkins walked up the ramp, but then stopped as Elias started playing. He got back on the microphone and reiterated his challenge. This time, Elias accepted and the match began.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Hawkins got a nice pop that was fully rooted in Elias’s heel work. Elias has become quite the worker on that microphone and connects with the audience each time he is out there. If he could just stop with the trolling, he’d be a main event level heel. 

(4) ELIAS vs. CURT HAWKINS

Right after the bell rang, Hawkins rolled Elias up for a quick pin and got a two count. After the pin, Elias nailed Hawkins with a very stiff knee and then followed with an elbow drop. Out of the elbow drop, Elias went for a pin, but Hawkins kicked out. After the kick out, Hawkins tried for another quick roll up, but only got a two count. Then, after a quick flurry of offense and with the crowd chanting “You Can Do it,” Elias hit the Drift Away for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Elias via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: It was what it was. More impressive than the match was Elias’s ability to quickly get people to care about Hawkins ending his losing streak. Not all talent have that ability, but he does. So far, it’s been underutilized. 

-After the match, Titus O’Neil was shown walking backstage as he looked for his partner, Apollo Crews. He found them as Crews was going over strategy for their upcoming match against AOP without him. Dana Brooke said she found a way to beat AOP and proceeded to keep discussing that strategy with Crews. From there, AOP’s music hit and they walked to the ring ahead of the match before the break. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Dissension in the ranks of Titus Worldwide? Both men need a reboot. If this is it, I’m all for it and willing to be open minded as the story gets told. 

(5) TITUS WORLDWIDE vs. AUTHORS OF PAIN

After the break, the match was fully underway and O’Neil was getting pounded by AOP. They cut the ring in half and both men tagged in and out to stay fresh. Eventually, O’Neil hit a vertical suplex on Akam which gave him the opportunity to tag Crews into the match. As Crews entered the ring, Razar tagged in and together with Akam hit a double team suplex on Crews. From there, Razar locked in a front head lock before he cut the ring in half again and tagged Akam back into the match. In the end, after a bit of offense from Titus Worldwide, AOP connected with the Last Chapter for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: AOP via pinfall

Heydorn’s Analysis: This win for AOP reminded me of the Riott Squad win earlier in the night. They’ve now beaten the same team repeatedly for weeks and therefore negated their own win. The story needs some stakes at this point and quickly as AOP is quickly becoming a jobber bathroom break-esque tag team on Raw. 

-After the match, Cole hyped Ronda Rousey for the upcoming segment after the commercial break. (c)

-Out of the break, the ring was surrounded by the Raw women’s division and a select group of others for a special championship ceremony. Stephanie McMahon’s music hit which prompted a mixed reaction from the crowd.

[HOUR THREE]

Stephanie said that when she thinks of the women’s division she is proud. She then promoted the all women’s PPV, Evolution. She then cued up a highlight package from the Raw Women’s Championship match last night at Summerslam between Alexa Bliss and Ronda Rousey.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Ugh. The women look like props out there. I like Stephanie in the ring hyping last night and Evolution. The women around the ring is just overkill and ruins the mystique of their characters.

After the video, Stephanie said that Ronda Rousey was the first ever UFC and Raw Women’s Champion. From there, Stephanie said that without her, Ronda’s win couldn’t have happened. She said that with her business acumen, Rousey made history. As Stephanie talked herself up, Rousey interuppted and walked to the ring to a nice pop.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Stephanie is so great at generating heat when she wants to. Not only does she drum it up, but she focuses it all in the exact right spots. Because of Stephanie’s work, the entire crowd is ready for Ronda. Well done. 

As soon as Ronda got to the ring, Stephanie went for a handshake, but Ronda dodged her and grabbed the mic. From there, the audience chanted “Ronda Rousey.” Stephanie told Ronda “your welcome,” to which Ronda responded by asking what Stephanie was doing. Rousey invited all the women at ringside to join her in the ring to which Stephanie responded to by saying that she was unbecoming of a champion. Ronda Rousey then touted the achievements of the other women around her and said that she was looking forward to fighting and getting in the ring with new opponents. Ronda then said she wasn’t Brock Lesnar. From there, Stephanie said that the real woman Ronda Rousey is is someone that wants to break the arms of all her opponents. She said that Ronda simply wants the spotlight. Rousey then said that she isn’t in WWE to break everyone’s arm, only the ones who deserve it. Ronda then attacked Stephanie and put the arm bar on her. The segment ended with Rousey holding up her title with the babyface acts as the heel acts consoled Stephanie.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Loads to dissect there. Wow. I’m not sure people want to see the fun loving and caring Ronda Rousey. They want the ass kicker. When she connects best, she’s destroying someone and not talking nice and being friendly. If breaking arms is what it will take to stay champion, that should be what she should be doing. To everyone. The crowd was into this, but the tone was off to me. Nothing that will derail her, but it certainly brought her a little closer to earth after her dominant win last night. 

-After the segment, Cole and the announce team once again hyped the fact that last night was the most watched Summerslam of all time before playing a recap video of the events that kicked off the show between Roman Reigns and Finn Balor. (c)

-Out of the break, The B-Team hit the ring and got a nice reaction from the crowd. In the ring, they recapped their match at Summerslam and then dedicated their upcoming matches to the audience. They finished by saying that the B in B Team stands for Brooklyn. After, Scott Dawson from The Revival entered and the match began.

(6) SCOTT DAWSON w/ Dash Wilder vs. BO DALLAS w/ Curtis Axel

The match began with Dawson decimating Axel with clothesline and catapults. As Dallas got beat up, the audience chanted for him. Eventually, Dallas took over the match with a running body tackle. He then went for a top rope DDT, but Dawson countered. Dawson then hit his Impaler finish for the 1,2,3 win. (c)

WINNER: Dawson via pinfall

(7) DASH WILDER w/ Scott Dawson vs. CURTIS AXEL w/ Bo Dallas

Out of the break, Wilder and Axel were already mid match. Both sides got equal offense in before Wilder connected with a version of a Dory Bomb for the 1,2,3 victory.

WINNER: Wilder via pinfall

-After the match, Dallas got on the mic and said that even though they were defeated separately, they are still the Raw tag team champions.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Well, The Revival will still be the number one contenders after this. That is a good thing. That said, the B Team looked really weak, which for them and their gimmick, could be a good thing. If nothing else, this segment shines a light on a very depleted Raw tag team division.

-Backstage, Roman Reigns was interviewed by Renee Young backstage. He said he didn’t regret defending the belt tonight. From there, Reigns said that Balor deserved the opportunity, but he would lose the opportunity. Reigns then addressed Braun Strowman and said he’d be ready no matter what. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Not bad from Mr. Reigns. He found his sweet spot. Short, sweet, and confident. Man, they are milking this Balor thing for all its worth aren’t they. It begs the question, if all of this other babyface talent is more over and can be used to protect Roman, why not just go with them as the lead of the show? 

-Out of the break, Stephanie McMahon was shown icing her arm backstage. Kurt Angle asked if she was ok and Stephanie berated him for not being out there to help her. Baron Corbin then piled on and said that Raw was in chaos with Angle in charge. Stephanie said that the job was wearing on Angle and that he possibly needed a vacation. Angle said he didn’t need anything, but Stephanie disagreed. She then made Baron Corbin the acting General Manager of Raw.

Heydorn’s Analysis: More emasculated Kurt Angle. Does nothing for me. Corbin’s reign is and always has been too out of left field for me to buy. 

(8) FINN BALOR vs. ROMAN REIGNS – WWE Universal Championship Match

Balor walked out first and as he did, the announce talked up just how important this match was for him.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Really like how the announce team is talking this up for Finn Balor. This IS a huge moment for Finn and they are treating it that way.

Reigns walked out next to a worse reaction than earlier in the night. As Reigns walked out, the announce team talked up the character of Reigns and that he truly was a fighting champion for offering this opportunity up to Balor.

Heydorn’s Analysis: More heavy handed commentary regarding Reigns. They’d do themselves a huge favor if they backed off just a little bit. 

After Reigns got to the ring, official introductions were made and the bell rang for the match to begin. Both men circled each other in the ring to start the match before tying up. After the tie up, Reigns shoved Balor to the mat. He then kept up by elbowing Balor in the mouth before locking in a headlock. Balor eventually escaped the headlock, but was quickly knocked to the mat with a shoulder tackle. After the tackle, Balor rolled Reigns up for a quick pin attempt, but just got a two count. After, Balor attempted a step up enziguri, but Reigns countered with a punch to the face. Balor fell to the outside of the ring from the punch before the show went to break. (c)

Out of the break, Reigns was still fully in control of the match until Balor connected with a dropkick. This stunned Reigns which allowed Balor to administer another which knocked Reigns to the outside of the ring. From there, Balor attempted the PK, but Reigns countered and sent him face first into the ring apron.

Heydorn’s Analysis: I like the pace of the match thus far. Reigns is looking like a dominant champion which is causing sympathy for Balor. Smart booking and psychology.

Eventually, Balor gained momentum after double stomping Reigns in the chest. He followed that with a series of chops to the chest that Reigns no-sold. In response, Reigns delivered ten clotheslines to Balor in the corner, before hitting the ropes for a spear. Instead of hitting it, Balor countered with a dropkick that sent Reigns out of the ring. Seeing this, Balor connected with his flipping suicide dive onto Reigns. From there, Balor tossed Reigns back in the ring and made the cover, but Roman kicked out at two. (c)

Heydorn’s Analysis: Great action. That flipping dive is a thing of beauty from Balor and the crowd really ate it up. They have them. 

Out of the break, Reigns was fully in control of the match, but the audience was visibly distracted and reacting to something in the crowd. Both men exchanged strikes before Balor knocked Reigns to the mat with a reverse pele kick. Out of that move, Balor fired up and destroyed Reigns with stomps that got the crowd back.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Good work by Balor and Reigns. Not sure if that stomp spot was planned, but it got everyone back into the match. 

After the stomps, Balor attempted his corner dropkick, but Reigns countered it into a one armed sit down powerbomb. He then went for a cover, but Balor kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Reigns attempted a superman punch, but Balor countered. Eventually, Balor scaled the ropes for the Coup De Gras, but Reigns countered. After, Reigns connected with the Superman Punch and followed with a cover, but Reigns kicked out at two. After the kick out, Reigns called for the spear as the audience booed. He went for it, but Balor countered with a knee to the face and roll up. Immediately after the roll up, Reigns decked Balor with a second Superman punch and called for the spear again. As he did, Braun Strowman’s music hit. As it did, Reigns was distracted. Balor responded by nailing the Sling Blade. He then went for the Coup De Gras, but Reigns countered again with a spear. He then made the cover for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Reigns via pinfall

-After the match, Braun Strowman kicked Reigns in the gut and went to cash-in. As that match was about to begin, The Shield’s music hit. As this happened, Cole said the bell did not ring for Strowman vs. Reigns. The Shield then surrounded the ring around Strowman as the audience chanted holy shit. Strowman attacked Reigns anyway which caused The Shield to defend him. They cleared the ring of Strowman and Ambrose proceeded to remove the monitors from the announce table. They then went for the triple powerbomb, but Strowman battled out. Eventually, Reigns connected with the spear and they did get Strowman up for the triple powerbomb. From there, the Shield’s music hit again as all three members stood tall with one another. The show ended as they did their hand gesture.

Heydorn’s Analysis: Very interesting and newsworthy end to the show. WWE pulled out all the stops to avoid a Reigns catastrophe and it worked. We can debate the merits of having to do it that way, but the execution did its job tonight. 


NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: HEYDORN’S WWE RAW REPORT 8/13: Alt Perspective coverage of the live show including final hype for Summerslam, Bliss vs. Moon, and more

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