WWE RAW PRIMER 8/20: SummerSlam Fallout, New Universal Champion Reigns, New Raw Women’s Champion Rousey, New IC Champion Rollins, The Demon’s return, Next for the B-Team

By Frank Peteani, PWTorch Specialist

Seth Rollins (artist Travis Beaven © PWTorch)

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRIMER
AUGUST 20, 2018
BROOKLYN, N.Y. AT THE BARCLAYS CENTER
AIRS ON USA NETWORK, 8:00PM EDT
BY FRANK PETEANI, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

 Arena / Opening Thoughts

Tonight, WWE stays put in the Barclays Center as they have for the past two nights as they roll out the Raw following SummerSlam and all the fallout we can expect from what WWE touts as the “biggest party of the summer.”

We have three new champions to discuss.  Roman Reigns finally conquered Brock Lesnar and became Universal Champion in his third attempt in 2018.  He became the fifth Universal Champion in the title’s two-year history which began at SummerSlam only two years ago.  Ronda Rousey became the Raw Women’s Champion for the first time in her WWE career which began at the Royal Rumble this year as she defeated five-time champion Alexa Bliss.  Seth Rollins regained the Intercontinental Championship from Dolph Ziggler after losing it only a month ago.  We saw the return of “The Demon” Finn Balor, and nearly saw the Money in the Bank contract cashed in by Braun Strowman.

WWE.com doesn’t advertise any matches as of this writing, which lends to the theory they want to keep things close to the vest especially in the Raw following SummerSlam.

New Universal Champion Roman Reigns

Roman Reigns defeated Brock Lesnar in a short, but efficient and effective matter last night to become the WWE Universal Champion for the first time in his career.  It is the fourth time he has held a world championship.  He was previously WWE World Heavyweight Champion on three different occasions from late 2015-mid 2016.

Braun Strowman, who had retained his Money in the Bank contract earlier in the evening, announced he was cashing in on the winner of the match before it began.  This would not happen, as Lesnar would incapacitate Strowman with his signature F-5 on the floor as well as a shot with the MITB briefcase.  He would then hurl the briefcase to the titantron, and further attack Strowman with chair shots.  Eventually he returned to the ring and attempted to hit Reigns with the chair.  Reigns hit his spear and scored the pinfall.  Here’s Reigns on Twitter following the win:

 

Thoughts:  There’s a bit of a disconnect for me as far as what became of Strowman following the match.  Are we to believe that the man known as “the monster among men” was so incapacitated he couldn’t rebound from a single F-5 and a few shots from a briefcase and a chair?  This is the same issue we faced when Lesnar defeated Strowman with a single F-5 at last year’s No Mercy.  It is what it is, and WWE will have to explain that.  They’ll also have to follow up on the failed cash in.  He didn’t want to be a coward and do so “behind someone’s back” as he touted last night and thus, does Strowman cash in tonight or for the next PPV?  Outside of that the story between Reigns and Lesnar is done at least for now, and we can move on to other things.  It will be interesting to see if Lesnar is on the show tonight to seek a rematch, as he is advertised according to the Barclays Center’s website.  He’s shown as the Universal Champion, which doesn’t surprise me as I can’t expect them to update the site only 12 hours after the title changed.  Remember folks, every former champion has a rematch clause ;o).   

New Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey

 Last night in three minutes, Ronda Rousey defeated Alexa Bliss to gain her first Raw Women’s Championship in her short career in WWE which only began at the Royal Rumble earlier this year.  According to WWE we should expect to see Ronda tonight for the first time as champion and wonder if Bliss will exercise her rematch clause.  Alexa was negative on Twitter following her loss:

https://twitter.com/AlexaBliss_WWE/status/1031396619110043648

It was announced by WWE Saturday night that Alexa would be facing Hall of Famer Trish Stratus at the upcoming all-women’s PPV Evolution in October.

Thoughts:  Both players here did their job, especially Alexa.  This needed to be a dominant win for Ronda, and it was just that.  I agree with Wade Keller in his SummerSlam report, as we should expect Ronda to show more offense especially if she’s going to be a champion.  Time will tell if this happens.  Ronda doesn’t wrestle or appear every week but should show up enough to make it feel special when she does appear.  Let’s look to see if Alexa exercises her rematch clause.

New Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins

In a 20-plus minute match last night, Seth Rollins regained the Intercontinental Championship from Dolph Ziggler.  He did so with his former Shield “brother” Dean Ambrose in his corner, which Ziggler was flanked by his usual cohort Drew McIntyre.  Ambrose foiled many attempts by McIntyre to interfere, ultimately culminating in Ambrose hitting his signature Dirty Deeds finisher on McIntyre on the outside.  Rollins would nail his Curbstomp finisher on Ziggler moments later and score the pinfall.  This is the second time this year Rollins is hoisting the Intercontinental Championship.  He is certainly expected in the building tonight and should be flanked by Ambrose.  Ziggler and McIntyre will not be far behind.

Thoughts:  It’s not crazy to expect a rematch tonight between Rollins and Ziggler as they will be in the same building as last night.  It’s also not crazy to think we could see a tag match involving Rollins/Ambrose vs. Ziggler/McIntyre.  It was speculated that Ambrose could turn on Rollins, which I didn’t expect for last night.  It could happen tonight although I give it a low probability.  Either way the crowd will be hot tonight, and these are the key players that could provide the signature match.

Next for the B-Team

In the SummerSlam pre-show, The B-Team (Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel) retained their Raw Tag Team Championship over the Revival (Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson).  Tonight, WWE touts “what’s next for the B-Team and their Cinderella story?”

There’s one thing we won’t see for sure, and that’s the show Total Fellas they discussed with their former leader The Miz from their days in The Miztourage:

On a serious note, Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy will not be challengers in the near future.  According to WrestleZone, he will be shadowing producers while nursing injuries.  He did so last night at SummerSlam.  He is not officially retired from in-ring competition, but we shouldn’t expect him any time soon.  Here are some tweets from Hardy.

Thoughts:  You can’t help but laugh with the B-Team.  With that said, I would expect the Authors of Pain to be on deck as challengers for the championship.  There are no rumors of NXT callups in terms of tag teams, although nothing can be ruled out in that regard.

The Return of “The Demon” Finn Balor

For the third straight SummerSlam, Finn Balor arrived as “The Demon,” only this time we were surprised.  He defeated his scheduled opponent, “Constable” Baron Corbin in decisive fashion.  While nothing is specific on WWE.com, they allude to the possibility of Balor facing “retribution” from Corbin.

Thoughts:  Initially I thought “The Demon” was a waste on Corbin, but I found myself completely psyched when the lights went out.  You could tell the crowd ate it up.  It shows Balor is still a key player especially with “The Demon” in his pocket.  I would expect this feud to continue but we likely get “regular” Balor tonight.      

Other Items 

  • Elias attempted to serenade the “disgusting New Yorkers” last night but broke his guitar.  With me being from New York, I have no sympathy!  With that said, there could be follow-up tonight as I’m certain he will attempt to perform.
  • Braun Strowman retained his MITB briefcase over Kevin Owens in what essentially turned out to be a squash match.  It was odd to see, especially since Strowman was essentially squashed later in the evening in his attempt to cash in MITB.  Owens could be headed for a babyface turn or at the very least some sort of issue with his “guru” Jinder Mahal.  It’ll be interesting to see how Owens’s story is told going forward.
  • Natalya was on-hand and congratulated her good friend Ronda Rousey in the ring following Ronda’s victory.  It was good to see her considering the week she had losing her father, WWE legend Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart.  The Bella Twins were also on-hand to congratulate Ronda and received a negative response upon their entrance to the ring.  They came across very unlikable in a video they aired earlier in the evening discussing Total Divas and Evolution.
  • NXT callups are not out of the realm of possibility following SummerSlam.  Adam Cole, Velveteen Dream, Shayna Baszler, and EC3 could be candidates to arrive on either Raw or Smackdown.  All except for Dream lost their matches at NXT:Takeover Saturday night.  I could see EC3 and Baszler on Raw, but that’s just speculation on my part and not based on any knowledge.  Nothing is definitive on the others mentioned, as that’s also speculation by me.

Start Time

On the arena’s website, start time shown is 7:30 p.m. but they do not indicate when doors will open.  Another eight-man tag “main event” is advertised.  This time the participants shown are Reigns, Strowman, Rollins, and Balor vs. Ziggler, McIntyre, Owens, and Corbin.  As I said earlier they show Brock Lesnar as Universal Champion and also show Alexa Bliss as Raw Women’s Champion.


Follow me on Twitter @FrankPeteani.  Thank you for reading!


NOW CATCH UP ON OUR SUMMERSLAM COVERAGE: WWE SUMMERSLAM RESULTS 8/19: Keller’s report on Lesnar vs. Reigns, Bliss vs. Rousey, Styles vs. Joe, Ziggler vs. Rollins, Carmella vs. Charlotte vs. Becky, Braun vs. Owens

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