A week after joining forces with Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler, Braun Strowman kicks off Monday Night RAW (at Ohio State University, in Columbus) with his new pals and something of an explanation for his actions. According to Strowman, what happened last week was “justice” for how The Shield attacked him three-on-one the previous week. Promising to “dismantle” Roman Reigns a Hell in a Cell, he at least acknowledges that that match will be one-on-one. But as far as this new trio goes, Strowman makes another thing clear to Reigns: “Big Dog—I’ve got a pack of my own now. And I’m going to show you, that this is my yard.”
Drew McIntyre chimed in to call this new pack “the new kings of the jungle” on RAW, while Dolph Ziggler decided to up the trash talk and call them a more dominant group than the Nation of Domination, D-Generation X, and of course, The Shield. That right there is more than enough to get The Shield to come out from the crowd and get ready to get some revenge, but acting General Manager “Constable” Baron Corbin sends out the roster to prevent a fight from breaking out between the two groups. He then has to do that two more times, because The Shield keeps getting through to attack the pack, and even when things seem calm, it ends up always being a matter of time before Seth Rollins breaks free and opens up the floodgates for his brothers to get to through as well.
This takes the entire roster all backstage, where eventually this chaos turns into the cops arresting The Shield. (They were the ones to attack first, after all.)
The Bella Twins (Nikki & Brie Bella) def. The Riott Squad (Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan)
In their return to Monday Night RAW competition after over three years away from the brand, there was a bit of a question of whether The Bellas Twins had any ring rust? The Columbus crowd certainly didn’t think so, and despite Liv Morgan—who dared to start the match off with a John Cena-esque “YOU CAN’T SEE ME” to mock Nikki Bella—and Sarah Logan’s new era proclamations, as well as Ruby Riott’s attempts at interfering, the Bellas ended up on the winning end of this encounter. All thanks to Liv ending on the losing end of Nikki Bella’s Rack Attack 2.0.
The question is, will the Bellas fare this well when they team-up with Ronda Rousey to take on the whole Riott Squad trio at Super Show-Down in Melbourne, Australia?
As Corbin attempts to keep RAW rolling on in the aftermath of the chaos that got The Shield arrested, Finn Balor approaches him demanding a fair, man-to-man rematch. “Two men, equally prepared,” he says, with no tricks. And Corbin gives in to his request—after being challenged in his manhood a bit—in the main event of this particular RAW.
Bobby Roode & Chad Gable def. The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor)
After a hyped-up pre-match interview with Charly Caruso, Bobby Roode and Chad Gable officially made their glorious debut as a tag team against The Ascension. Although, before the match got underway, The Ascension decided it was a good idea to trash talk both men on the mic, calling Roode “a flash in the pan … who couldn’t make it in the singles division” and Gable a… “sawed-off duck butt,” whatever that is. Gable then proceeded to spend the majority of the match suplexing the hell out of both members of The Ascension—Roode tried his best to help too once Gable tagged him in, but Gable cleaned up once he tagged himself back in—and that’s also how he finished them off. It’s like Gable told Charly before the match: “Being in a tag team is what I do best.”
Still upset about the interruption by Trish Stratus from last week and the way in which she slapped the taste out of his mouth, Elias made sure to introduce a new song about being “slapped by an insane girl” (“in an insane world”) this week, all while letting the world know one thing: “I strongly dislike women who hit men.” (James Ellsworth agrees.) Actually, he had another thing to let the world know, which is how much he hates Columbus, OH.
Before he could debut another song, Columbus’ own Alexa Bliss (with her lady squad of Mickie James and Alicia Fox) joined Elias on stage to talk about her homecoming… surrounded by “the sound of all the mindless Ohio imbeciles.” To make matters worse, she also called her hometown friends and everyone else in stayed in the state “zombies,” which Elias certainly agreed with—just like he agreed they were all jealous of “beautiful and gifted Superstars” such as themselves. After Bliss runs down “Ronda Rousey and her pet cat Nattie,” she requests Elias’ newest song, because she too wants to walk with Elias…
But that too is interrupted, this time by Rousey and then Natalya. Because Ronda’s got Natalya’s back, no matter how many insults Bliss wants to throw their way.
Alexa Bliss def. Natalya
With Bliss’ RAW Women’s Championship rematch scheduled to take place at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, Corey Graves mentions how she’s been training in jiu-jitsu to add something new to her arsenal and give Rousey a run for her money. That’s not immediately apparent in the early goings of this match though, as Natalya very easily out-wrestles Bliss. The tide turns when Bliss gets Natalya with a right hand though, distracts the referee, and then allows Fox and James to get some hits in on her opponent.
One DDT later, it looks like Bliss easily has the match, but instead, she busts out her new move: an armbar of her own. And she wins the match with this armbar and then holds onto it for much longer until Rousey runs in to help her friend. While Rousey ends up standing somewhat tall in the post-match shenanigans—poor Alicia Fox gets ragdolled once more at her hands—Bliss clearly gets in some good shots from attacking “The Baddest Woman On The Planet” from behind, whether it’s a toss into the stair or a chop block to the back of the leg. Will Rousey even be 100% going into Hell in a Cell?
And with The Shield out of the way, Strowman and his pack made clear to Corbin that this is their show now, and they wanted some actual competition. Since Ziggler couldn’t cash-in his Intercontinental Championship rematch, he and McIntyre demanded a RAW Tag Team Championship opportunity. Since The Revival were already announced to have a title match against The B-Team tonight, Ziggler and McIntyre stepped away to confirm that the rumors were true that The Revival weren’t fit to compete.
Well, the rumors weren’t true about The Revival at first, but they certainly ended up being so.
Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler def. The B-Team (Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas) (c), for the RAW Tag Team Championship
The B-Team apparently didn’t hear the rumors either, nor did they see McIntyre and Ziggler attack their tag team opponents before the match, so they were definitely not prepared for this tag team title match. Renee Young asked on commentary if The B-Team still have Lady Luck on their side, and in a way—for as long as they were able to last against McIntyre and Ziggler—they absolutely did. But their best chance was after Curtis Axel hit the Perfect Plex on Ziggler, and once McIntyre broke up that pin attempt, the end was pretty seriously night for B-Team. One Claymore/Zig Zag later and: NEW CHAMPS.
Speaking of new, that perfectly describes AOP and Drake Maverick’s new association (and ensemble-matching).
AOP (Akam & Rezar) def. Keith Thompson & Jimmy James (local talent)
So, to explain the new association—sort of—Maverick got on
Back in the locker room, Ronda Rousey tries to comfort a hurt Natalya, but Natalya is sick of Bliss and the girls’ games and decides to go off and get some space. The Bellas are then left with Rousey, letting her know she’s the one who inspired them to come back to WWE, and that they’ll totally be her training partner if she wants. Of course, Rousey is loyal to Natalya on that front—and still worried about her right now—but The Bellas are still willing to offer any advice to rookie Rousey at any time.
As promised, Shawn Michaels returned to give his two cents on the Triple H/Undertaker match at Super Show-Down (and to do a little merch and WWE Network shilling, of course). He’ll even be flying out to Melbourne to see the match live and in-person on October 6. But something he’s really surprised about it all his fellow WWE legends saying that Undertaker has this match in the bag, as though he’s still the same Undertaker with a WrestleMania streak. That is absolutely not the case. And while Triple H may be HBK’s best friend, that not why he’s picking him to win. “Triple H is still The Game,” he says. “He is still the Cerebral Assassin.” And he also thinks Triple H has a lot more in the tank than Undertaker does.
That’s enough for The Undertaker to make a surprise appearance in Columbus to put the fear of, well, him in Shawn Michaels. Because Undertaker doesn’t buy what Michaels has to say; in fact, he thinks that Michaels and Triple H’s egos just can’t accept that “The Dead Man” is the one they just can’t put down. Especially since he took both a part of Michaels’ soul and his career, which is the one thing he thinks Michaels just can’t accept. Michaels disagrees with the type of passion that has the WWE Universe screaming for “ONE MORE MATCH,” but Undertaker calls out the man’s fear before promising he’ll put Triple H down. Again.
Bad news for Balor: As Corbin’s ended up in a mountain of work because of “all that acting General Manager stuff,” he won’t be able to face Balor one-on-one. The good news is: Balor will still be in the main event though… against Braun Strowman, who demanded Corbin give him some real competition. There it is.
Sasha Banks & Bayley def. Dana Brooke & Ember Moon
After last week’s valiant but still disappointing effort against Sasha Banks, Dana Brooke is back in action again thanks to Titus Worldwide deal-making, this time in a tag team match against “The Boss & Hug Connection,” with Ember Moon as her partner. That right there was a coup in and of itself, and Dana certainly got the chance to show off how much she’s improved in the ring in all this time off. But after having to witness Titus O’Neil and Apollo Crews bickering at ringside the whole time, Dana had enough as soon as she got on a roll, and she told them to cut it out… which was enough of a distraction to allow Sasha to compose herself and get a roll-up victory. For Dana Brooke, this really was enough, as she told her fellow Titus Worldwide partners that she was done with both of them and stormed off.
Despite how busy he’s been, Baron Corbin somehow found the time to give Bobby Lashley a performance review, one which demanded he get over his anger issues by attending a “special in-ring meditation intervention” with Jinder Mahal.
The meditation session took place right in the middle of the ring, and while it took some time for Lashley to finally give into Mahal’s requests to take it seriously, once he did… he immediately regretted it, because Kevin Owens (who “quit” last week) attacked him from behind.
NEXT WEEK in New Orleans: Triple H and Mick Foley will appear, while Ronda Rousey and Natalya will take on Alexa Bliss and Alicia Fox in tag team action.
Before the main event, Corey Graves relayed a text message from Mike Rome with Shield arrest update #3, informing everyone that The Shield were let out on bail, released on their own recognizance.
Braun Strowman def. Finn Balor
Flanked by the new RAW Tag Team Champions, Braun Strowman went into this match looking more like he wanted to have some fun, not competition. So even though he constantly got Balor down and could’ve tried to end the match many times, he instead chose to toy with “The Ordinary Man Who Does Extraordinary Things.” Finn Balor, on the other hand, had an actual strategy for attempting to win in this David vs. Goliath match-up, going for multiple sleeper holds—taking a page out of Dolph Ziggler’s playbook, coincidentally enough—and eventually a triangle choke. He even attempted to use “The Monster Among Men’s” weight against him, which worked for a time. But unfortunately for Balor, Strowman eventually decided playtime was over and put him away with his patented powerslam.
Of course, that was only the end of playtime within the constraints of the actual main event match. Post-match, Braun and his pack decided to attack Balor with a sick sense of glee and no attention paid to the Columbus crowd chanting “SHIELD.” Luckily for Balor, The Shield made their return to RAW—with a stolen police van, as if they didn’t have enough legal trouble—before the pack could destroy Balor with a Shield-style triple powerbomb on the steel steps. Unfortunately for The Shield, this time, members of locker room didn’t try to stop this confrontation: They instead joined in on the decimation of The Shield. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.