Braun Strowman, Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler are in the middle of a ring surrounded by heels as they talk about the events of the past few weeks.
They talk about feasting on their bloody carcasses and we get the “Dogs Of War” stable name apparently. Strowman says the group was formed because Roman Reigns is a coward and called upon his Shield brothers because he feared losing the Universal Title.
Ziggler and McIntyre will see a rematch tonight against the B-Team for the tag team titles the heels won last week. Acting Raw GM, Baron Corbin, has decreed that the Shield will be arrested if they show up tonight and they will forfeit their individual titles if they got involved with the action. This comes about after the faces jump the barrier at ringside and attack the ringside heels with axe handles and the segment ends in chaos.
The Dogs Of War retreat as the Shield stands strong.
We see the Bella Twins backstage as Nikki Bella prepares for singles action against Ruby Riott.
Nikki Bella defeats Ruby Riott via pin fall with the Rack Attack 2.0
Quite a bit more technically sound than the debacle last week as Nikki fares well in her singles return against the leader of the Riott Squad. Attempted interference backfires and it costs Riott the victory. A little disheartening as one would look to see Ruby Riott involved in the title picture, but all signs point to a Ronda Rousey/Nikki Bella title match at Evolution, so Nikki looks strong this week.
A rare appearance from The Big Show as he is joined by a litany of children to promote Connor’s Cure. Great to see the veteran, and even greater seeing him promoting the cause. The crowd reacts favorably for the segment.
A recap of last week’s magnificent in-ring confrontation between the Undertaker and Shawn Michaels is recapped as we’ll not only see Triple H tonight, but Hall Of Famer Mick Foley as he will speak about the twentieth anniversary of the Hell In A Cell match against Undertaker that made him famous.
Drake Maverick is motivating the Authors Of Pain backstage as they look to satiate their hunger for competition next.
The Authors Of Pain defeat Preliminary Talent via pin fall with the Super Collider.
Another exhibition match of sorts for AoP as they make short work of the two jobbers with power maneuvers and that beautiful super collider. Expect AoP in the title scene sooner rather than later.
Police officers are backstage after the run-in with the Shield earlier as a car pulls up and out steps Triple H! He’s up next!
Triple H continues to hype the forthcoming match against the Undertaker at Super Show-down as he says that Undertaker looked visibly shaken by what transpired last week. He says that Shawn Michaels rattled his cage and he wouldn’t have said what he said if there wasn’t some truth to it. He says that Taker was agitated and he didn’t bother showing up tonight. He says their matches years ago made it so that Taker was never the same. It’s personal now and he’s going to crush Taker in Australia. A fine promo from one of the best.
Alexa Bliss is backstage talking about her tag team matchup later against Ronda Rousey and Natalya with Mickie James and Alicia Fox.
Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre defeat The B-Team via pin fall with the Claymore/Zig-Zag combo to retain the RAW tag team titles.
There were a number of near-falls that teased the B-Team reclaiming the tag team titles. The crowd was a little more behind the former champs this week, but for all their attempts to get the straps back, the heels were too much. They isolated Axel and Dallas at the end of the match and a Claymore/Zig-Zag combo put the match to bed.
Before they could celebrate the victory, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins interfered and chased the heels from the ring.
After a break, Baron Corbin is tearing into the Shield as Ambrose and Rollins inform him that without Reigns present, it isn’t “The Shield”. Corbin gets mouthy, but Rollins says that falsifying a police report is a crime and a local police chief is ready to arrest Corbin, but he asks if he and Rollins can speak privately. Ambrose steps outside with chief and thanks him for that and asks about negociating a speeding ticket down. We appear to have been the victims of a ruse, but Rollins come out with a smile on his face nonetheless.
Kevin Owens and Tyler Breeze is ruled a no-contest.
This one never gets truly started as KO mauls Breeze before the bell, nailing him with the apron powerbomb. He then takes a mic and says he quit out of frustration two weeks ago. He says Baron Corbin begged him to reconsider and said that if he came back, he could do whatever he wanted without repurcussions. He says he went after Bobby Lashley because it was Lashley who injured his best friend, Sami Zayn, shelfing him. He says that many people “do their job”, but the heinous acts that will follow in forthcoming weeks are his job. Solid promo as per the norm from KO.
Bobby Roode and Chad Gable defeat The Ascension via pin fall with a german suplex.
A rematch from last week presents this tag team to a viewing audience once again. They are doing their best to bolster the division and the crowd got behind the faces once again as they focused on Gable’s incredible in-ring works. Roode got in some sound offense as well and poor Viktor and Connor didn’t make it to the pay window once again following the german suplex and victory for the faces.
Baron Corbin interrupts the Dogs Of War backstage. He informs Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre that this Sunday at Hell In The Cell, they will defend the world tag team titles against Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. The champs are livid and without stating as much, they question if this had anything to do with the police man earlier. Corbin says it’s his first PPV as he wants to make a splash. He also tells Strowman that he wants him to take the Universal Title from Roman Reigns.
Ronda Rousey and Natalya defeat Alexa Bliss and Mickie James via submission with the arm-bar on James.
Rousey actually took quite the beating in this match and it was actually refreshing to see her made vulnerable for the first time since her debut while involved in in-ring action. Bliss handled her business in the ring, but the end of this one came when Bliss tagged in James and despite the mounting “injuries”, Rousey forced James to tap out withe the realm arm bar.
Later on, Rousey would comment that this isn’t the first time she’s been injured and sore, but she’s never backed down from a challenge in her life and she won’t this weekend either.
Elias isn’t pleased with one of the locals botching his chamomile tea and he’s headed to the ring next. Braun Strowman is back to frantic Braun backstage as he’s looking for moment. Is it a lot to ask that he simply wait until Sunday night for his championship opportunity? These segments get old to be frank.
We begin to “walk with Elias”, but he’s given the ole’ Heath Slater “legends” treatment as he’s interrupted by the Hall Of Famer, Mick Foley. Foley gets the cheap pop from local fans and he puts over not only Elias, but the cell match that made him famous twenty years ago. He said he had to be involved this Sunday and we find out that he’ll be the guest referee for the Roman Reigns/Braun Strowman title match! Cool.
Foley then says that since Baron Corbin had his hands full, that Stephanie McMahon not only allowed him to ref the match after remimdning her of the events of that epic cell match, but he’ll book a match tonight. It’ll see Elias in action next against Finn Balor!
Finn Balor defeats Elias via pin fall after an inside cradle.
A quality encounter here between two rising stars on Raw. These two really put on a show for the allocated time in front of the Nola crowd. We saw high spots including a magnificent tigerbomb counter from Elias and the end came when Balor missed a Coup De Grace, but Elias looked for Drift Away, but instead, he drifted into the inside cradle which allowed Balor to get the three count.
Great to hear that Foley will ref that title match and even greater seeing Balor with a needed victory on Raw.
We see Bobby Lashley in the gym working out and he’s being motivated by 205 Live star Lio Rush. They are really moving the talent over to Raw in recent weeks. Lashley enjoys the motivation from Rush and either this is a one off, or Lashley now has a mouth piece.
There is no main event quite frankly. Braun Strowman calls out Roman Reigns and it leads to a confrontation on the go-home show for Hell In The Cell that leads to a struggle atop the ramp, the announce table being cleared and Reigns hitting a samoan drop that puts both men through the stage. The crowd reacts, Roman stands strong and that’s how we end Raw heading into the PPV. This was an okay show tonight, hopefully the PPV will be solid and we have a strong return for Raw next week.
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