After last week’s RAW ended with The Shield standing tall and together as one, as it turns out, there are still some questions about where exactly Dean Ambrose stands when it comes to his brothers. So Charly Caruso asks him those questions in the center of the ring to kick off RAW in Seattle, Washington. Surprisingly, Ambrose admits that there was “a lot of truth” to all those things The Dogs of War said to and about him last week: the championship stuff, the injury stuff, even the being replaced with Jason Jordan stuff. And he admits he’s thought about leaving The Shield a time or two. Ambrose says he’s got so many people asking questions about when he’s going to snap—he is a lunatic after all. And he knows he could be back on SmackDown, doing his own thing—like Dolph Ziggler mentioned last week—instead of “cleaning up [his] brothers’ messes” like he has since he’s been back.
But the important part of all of this is that Ambrose is speaking only in hypotheticals and maybes at this point: Because he wants people to stop asking questions and instead judge him by his actions because that’s what he’s always been about:
“The Shield is not a business, The Shield is not a brand. The Shield is a brotherhood. And we will always ride into battle together.”
With that, Ambrose has said all he needs to say, so he respectfully bows to Charly (he did cut her off a whole bunch, so he’s got to apologize a little bit) and moves on his lunatic way… Until Acting General Manager Baron Corbin interrupts him—and gets booed hard by the Seattle crowd—and says all he hears is “whining” from Ambrose. So he’s going to give him three options for tonight: Either he can face his brother Seth Rollins for the Intercontinental Championship, he can face his brother Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship, or he can face “The Monster Among Men” Braun Strowman. “What’s it gonna be, Dean,” Corbin asks. “Your brothers or your career?” To which Ambrose lets him know: “Secret option number four.” That would be him versus Corbin, “right now.” But nope, of course that’s not going to happen. Instead, Corbin decides he will choose for him… And that means Strowman—right now.
Honestly, that’s kind of a short-term solution for the more permanent Shield problem when you really think about it. Like, how about Ambrose have all three (or four, if Corbin’s game at the end) of those matches tonight? That’s how you really break a man. Not that I personally know anything about breaking men…
Braun Strowman def. Dean Ambrose via Disqualification
As expected, Strowman just fricken takes it to Ambrose. But the WWE Universe is behind Ambrose, chanting “DEAN,” a chant that’s never seemed like it should work, but it just does. Strowman tries to beat some sense into both the WWE Universe and Ambrose, screaming, “When are you gonna learn?!? The Shield is never gonna help you!” It’s not that he’s having fun beating Ambrose though: He’s mostly just mad Ambrose won’t stay down. Like when Ambrose slaps him after that insult about The Shield not helping him.
Dean Ambrose’s resilience (and maybe even a little insanity) is honestly everything he has in this match, as he has to go back to the “old” Ambrose and focus on his speed to do anything to get past Strowman. But remember: Braun Strowman’s got speed of his own. So whenever Ambrose gets some momentum going, Strowman gets him right back. Ambrose is finally able to hit a Dirty Deeds on Strowman out of nowhere, but he has to drag himself to cover the monster, and by the time he does, it’s only a two count. He continues to go to the Vintage Ambrose well, with a suicide dive and frantic punches, even getting Strowman to charge into the steel steps. But once it’s back to the ring, it’s Strowman just wrecking Ambrose with the powerslam. And he’s not going to stop—he’d powerslam Ambrose to death if not for Roman Reigns’ interference. Despite Strowman’s earlier words, this Shield brother does come to help Ambrose, leading to a DQ as soon as he hits the Superman Punch on Strowman. Then another
So, Strowman “wins” the match, and then out come Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre as his back-up. And Corbin, who prevents any pre-Super Show-Down brawling and announces two more matches for tonight: Rollins vs. McIntyre and Reigns vs. Ziggler (which is a “right now” situation).
By the way: While Corbin makes some questionable choices tonight, you’ve got to admit, all that stuff about The Shield being the workhorses of WWE? That’s definitely not just a catchphrase. They’ve been putting in the work lately and so have The Dogs of War.
Post-match, Rollins checks on a pissed off Ambrose in the trainer’s room, trying to explain that “it’s about the war, not the battle” and that Reigns only came out to help when he absolutely had to. Ambrose’s response (before he just walks away)?
“You know, it’s funny. I could be Intercontinental Champion right now.”
Roman Reigns def. Dolph Ziggler
Reigns is actually willing to put his Universal Championship on the line with this match… But Corbin comes out once more to say that The Shield don’t run things around here, so neither the Universal nor the Intercontinental Championship is up for grabs tonight (even though they would have been had Ambrose challenged for one of them). Reigns can wait to defend his title in Saudi Arabia, against both Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman. He then tells the referee to ring the bell, and Ziggler is immediately on Reigns.
The thing is, Ziggler should probably absolutely hate Corbin now: Two weeks ago, Corbin made him enact his Intercontinental Championship rematch clause when he was hurt post-Hell in a Cell. Then despite saying he wouldn’t even have to wrestle that night, Ziggler ended up losing that match. And now Corbin’s preventing him from becoming Universal Champion.
But Ziggler still gives this match everything he has, even hitting Reigns with his big ol’ DDT on the outside. However, he know he’s going to need dirtier tactics than that, which is why he does stuff like dig his fingers into Reigns’ eyes when he’s also got the sleeper locked in (which honestly just sets Reigns off and wakes him up) or pull the tights when he has
Ronda Rousey def. Ruby Riott
You can read about this match here.
Konnor def. Bobby Roode
This week, Bobby Roode wants to “avenge” his tag team partner Chad Gable, which is why he’s willing to take on a man the size of Konnor. Beating someone Konnor’s size is the type of thing that would be “GLORIOUS,” which of course is the word Gable chimes in with during their pre-tape—just like it’s of course something Gable is so happy Roode approves of him saying. Yeah, you ”nailed it,” Gable.
Konnor, on the other hand, is certain “the mentor will fall just like the student”… and that is exactly what happens here. Roode’s strategy is to attack the left leg when he can, to prevent the bulldozing from Konnor any way possible, but Konnor is just too built like a truck to stop. After a strong burst of momentum though, Roode is about to get GLORIOUS—and so is Gable on the outside, mimicking his mentor—and might actually win the match. Until Viktor decides to take Gable out, that is. With that, Roode goes to check on his partner, and Konnor uses that as an opportunity to get the sneak win from behind. Everything’s coming up Konnor.
Alexa Bliss takes a moment out of her busy bestie schedule to provide the RAW audience with “A Moment of Bliss,” which you can read about here.
The B-Team (Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel) def. The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder)
On Curtis Axel’s birthday, the former RAW Tag Team Champions hope to get back in title contention by taking down The Revival—who may have had that stellar match against Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler last week but still came up short in grabbing the gold. But The Revival have different plans in general, as they spend the entire match going after the birthday boy’s shoulder. In fact, Bo Dallas is a non-factor for most of this match, unless you count screaming “B-TEAM! B-TEAM! GO! GO! GO!” as participation. (Seriously. It’s a great chant, but surely he’ll lose his voice as a result of this.) Once he finally gets in, The Revival are still able to dominate, but Wilder’s Dawson-assisted splash onto Dallas ends with Dallas getting the knees up and pinning Wilder. Again, The B-Team somehow have The Revival’s number.
But if title contention is what this is for, Axel’s shoulder will be a major liability… as will the major attack from the AOP (under Drake Maverick’s leadership), who get The B-Team back into the ring so they can Super Collider them.
Later, backstage, Baron Corbin voices his satisfaction with the AOP (who were his tag team partners last week) for that, telling them: “That’s how it’s done. Way to leave your mark, boys.” He seems very invested in the AOP and Drake Maverick dominating the tag team division… But that has to lead to them going after the champions, right? And the champions are McIntyre and Ziggler, who are seemingly Corbin’s friends. After all the previously mentioned Ziggler stuff and now this, either Corbin has no idea what he’s doing as Acting General Manager or The Dogs of War should watch their back when it comes to their buddy and his endgame.
Speaking of buddies, Reigns finally takes an opportunity to check on Ambrose, who’s not upset Reigns came to help him late during the Strowman match—he’s actually upset Reigns came out at all. “I had him out there,” Ambrose argues, and while Reigns concedes that he might have, he also reminds him it’s about the greater war. They can’t have Ambrose getting hurt again, especially going into Super Show-Down. Ambrose’s response to that? “If I wasn’t so nice, I might be Universal Champion right now.” Then he leaves Reigns behind to think that one over.
Over in Dogs of War territory, Ziggler is certain “this could be the very last night
Drew McIntyre def. Seth Rollins
With it finally being time for Drew McIntyre vs. Seth Rollins, it should be acknowledged: These two facing off looks like a funhouse mirror. Both men are physical specimens in their own right, but they also both look like different forms of the same man.
McIntyre doesn’t necessarily agree though, as he calls Rollins “nothing” and slaps him to start off the match, adding, “I’m gonna make this bloody quick! I assure you!” Rollins can only take so much disrespect though, and after that, he’s on the big man in the corner. After the referee breaks things up, Rollins is then able to use his quickness to get an advantage… but one well-placed kick in the abdomen switches back to the McIntyre advantage. And then it’s time to torture Rollins. But the thing is, McIntyre forgets about—and maybe even underestimates—the fact that Rollins isn’t just speed and agility: He has the power game too. At first, he struggles to capitalize on McIntyre with some offense onto the ring apron and ends up eating the post for that. But Rollins soon gets fired up enough to get to work; so even when he can’t get a buckle bomb on the first try, he’s somehow able to get the Falcon Arrow on him (no superplex needed). That’s only a two-count. But then he gets the buckle bomb! The power! Then the kick to the head! Then he’s ready for the stomp—but out comes Ziggler, with the major distraction (even getting into
Post-match, Ziggler (clearly trying to prove he’s not the weak link) and McIntyre attack Rollins, with Reigns coming out to make the save and help… only for Strowman to also come out, so the odds are no longer even. Despite all the issues throughout the night, Ambrose also comes out—with one of those
Backstage, Kevin Owens lives the rockstar lifestyle with Elias. That means a triangle of waters, mints, spinach, and… Oh no. He got cashews instead of almonds—Elias doesn’t like cashews. You can guess how that turns out for the stagehand responsible for that…
Now, during the actual Elias—and Kevin Owens—concert, Elias makes one thing clear: The only person allowed to walk with Elias is his brother and friend, Kevin Owens. (Duh.) And then Elias mentions the Seattle Supersonics (may they rest in peace), and… The Seattle crowd won’t stop booing them for the next five minutes straight. There’s something about Super Show-Down and John Cena and Bobby Lashley and being “the absolute best”… but really, this is just the loudest, most concentrated amount of boos to come from the WWE in ages. Seattle’s not over it yet, and they let these two know it.
Lio Rush eventually comes out to do his job and hype up Lashley, but the crowd only cares to chant “SUPERSONICS.”
Kevin Owens def. Bobby Lashley
So, there’s a match: Lashley vs. Owens. It leads to the acknowledgment that while Elias and Owens are very clearly “thick as thieves,” John Cena hasn’t even been around to create chemistry with his Super Show-Down tag team partner. Sure, Lio Rush is around, but suffice it to say, John Cena and Lio Rush bring very different things to the table when it comes to sports entertainment. And no one has ever tried to get Cena into a booster seat because they think he’s literally a child. A bowl of Fruity Pebbles, yes, but never a child.
Also, after that first week of making Elias and Owens look like fools, Lio Rush just keeps on getting destroyed by them. This time, he ends up in a Full Nelson from Elias, which distracts Lashley long enough for Owens to get the roll-up victory.
Post-match, Lashley decides to fight back against Elias and Owens, to defend his business manager, but he fails. And where’s John Cena? According to Corey Graves, he’s off being “the worst tag team partner in the business.” Lashley ends up getting a pop-up powerbomb from Owens, and Elias and Owens hug over the wreckage they’ve caused. (Don’t trust him, Elias! Just ask Sami Zayn! And Chris Jericho!)
Bayley def. Alicia Fox
Bayley and Alicia Fox face off this week to prepare for the Mixed Match Challenge, and Fox is determined to reclaim her title as “captain.” The only way to do that is of course through the power of meditation. Shanti. (She might still be saying “Ashanti” though.)
Now, Fox may be crazy, but she’s definitely not playing around in the ring when it comes to competing against Bayley. She also seems to think the meditation is working… and it might be? Until Bayley is able to create separation and then get in some offense of her own, as well as some offense from her MMC tag team partner Finn Balor, as she does some of his signature moves and also “Too Sweets”s (to which Balor gives Bayley two thumbs up). Jinder Mahal tries to slow Bayley’s momentum by grabbing her leg, but she dropkicks him and Balor finishes him off with a slingblade. One Bayley-to-Belly later, and Team B&B continue to have momentum going into MMC.
As promised all throughout the night, “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels is live at RAW in Seattle to talk once more about the Super Show-Down. When the Triple H/Undertaker match was announced months ago, Michaels says he immediately booked himself a first class ticket to Melbourne. He was planning to be “an innocent bystander,” just watching the match from the crowd—until a couple of weeks ago, when Undertaker made things personal and asked HBK who he thought would win the match.
Now, of course he had nothing but respect for Taker, but he knew that “any day of the week” and even “twice on Sunday,” he’d pick his best friend Triple H over anyone. And “anyone” also included Taker, as disrespected as “The Dead Man” may have felt over that. So now that Taker’s made things personal, Michaels completely accepts that—which is why he’ll be in his brother’s corner in Melbourne, just like Kane will be in Taker’s. But Michaels has a message for Kane too: If he (or “anybody else”) tries to get involved in the match itself, he’ll be eating a Sweet Chin Music for his troubles. A reasonable promise—not even threat—which leads to the unreasonable arrival of Kane, right behind Michaels. Michaels ends up eating a right hand from Kane the second he turns around, and then out comes Undertaker to help his brother go after a helpless Shawn Michaels. In fact, Taker is about to Tombstone Piledriver Michaels when finally Triple H comes out to save his best friend and brother from his Super Show-Down opponent.
Honestly? As much as the Brothers of Destruction are dealing in calling Triple H and Shawn Michaels the broken men, they really don’t look much better jumping them from behind.
When Triple H comes out, he goes straight for Taker, only for Kane to get him down from behind. Then the Brothers double chokeslam both men, and Triple H eventually