Triple H returns to Raw once again to respond to The Undertaker’s claim that he’ll put The Game down again! Plus, fallout from the brutal Shield beatdown!
- Nikki Bella w/ Brie VS Ruby Riott w/ The Riott Squad; Nikki wins.
- The Authors of Pain VS Rodney Ace & Nathan Bradley; AoP wins.
- Raw Tag Team Championships: Drew McIntyre & Dolph Zigger VS The B-Team; McIntyre & Ziggler win and retain the Raw Tag Team Championships.
- Kevin Owens VS Tyler Breeze; no contest.
- Bobby Roode & Chad Gable VS The Ascension; Roode & Gable win.
- Ronda Rousey & Natalya VS Alexa Bliss & Mickie James w/ Alicia Fox; Ronda & Natalya win.
- Finn Balor VS Elias; Finn wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Renee Young is now a FULL-TIME member of Raw commentary!
She is truly honored and humbled to take the chair, and we’re surely grateful to have her.
The NEW dominant trio heads to the ring.
The Show-Off and the Scottish Psycho aren’t just newly minted Raw Tag Team Champions, but they have the Monster Among Men with them! Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre & Braun Strowman lead the same swarm of superstars that joined them in their anti-Shield assault last week. Strowman and the tag champs take the ring while the rest of their “pack” flank the ring. Ziggler says, “We told you so!” He repeats it, and says that there’s only one way to describe last week: “We beat them down.” Strowman agrees with McIntyre from then, and says they feasted on The Shield’s bloody carcasses. But McIntyre says that if you don’t believe them, just watch the replay.
We relive the last few weeks, with The Shield uniting again to keep Strowman from cashing in. But Strowman gathered men to his cause to make this HIS Yard! However, The Shield wanted payback, only to be intercepted by the Raw roster, arrested by the police, then truly outnumbered by a majority of Raw’s roster to end the night. The three ring leaders were proven right as they beat down, embarrassed and just about left The Shield for dead. Back to the present, fans boo while Strowman says the only reason Roman Reigns is still Universal Champion is “because he’s a coward and can’t handle business on his own.” Roman has his hounds of justice, but Strowman has his dogs of war!
The Shield has been running rampant far too long, but their numbers have failed to match up to this pack! The men standing with them made the hard choice and stood up to The Shield’s “bullying” and “for what was right.” Things have shifted and now these dogs run wild! They vow to set an example for everyone when they truly dismantle and destroy The B-Team in tonight’s tag title rematch. And even that won’t compare to what Strowman does to make sure he can #GetTheseHands on the Universal Championship. But wait, The Shield’s music hits, and The Shield is back! Battered and bruised as they are, they’re going to go right at this pack of animals!
They get The Ascension first, then Drew Gulak and The Authors of Pain! Mike Kanellis and Mojo Rawley aren’t enough, either, as Dean Ambrose presents AX HANDLES! They swing wood on everyone, including Kevin Owens and Jinder Mahal! The ring leaders flee, so it’s the Modern Day Maharaja who takes a head-hunting swing from Ambrose! Strowman smirks, because he still gets after Roman at Hell in a Cell, but will The Yard be taken back by the Cerberus of WWE?
The Bella Twins find their locker room vandalized.
The Riott Squad left their names all over the walls, but that only angers the Total Divas stars. Nikki wants payback, will she succeed?
The Shield stands toe to toe with New Orleans police.
Constable Baron Corbin doesn’t want a repeat of last week, so he reasons with NOPD. He also reasons with The Shield. They should compete here on Raw, not destroy it. Maybe if The Shield listens, the police won’t arrest them. Otherwise, titles will be forfeit and they’ll be arrested for a long, long time. Ambrose wants to keep going but Rollins accepts the terms for the team. Roman drops his ax handle, as do Rollins and Ambrose. The trio walk it off, but will they keep level heads throughout the whole night?
Nikki Bella w/ Brie VS Ruby Riott w/ The Riott Squad!
The twins returned but not everyone likes that. Ruby and her trio of misfits have always caused trouble in a general sense, but they’re focused on a target now. Will Nikki be able to keep momentum going against the red hot rocket Ruby’s been strapped to? Or will the former Diva’s Champion keep this aspiring superstar from #StartingARiott?
Brie almost gets in on the action, but The Squad clears out before she can. Nikki stands alone against Ruby as the bell rings. They tie up and Ruby gets a headlock. She gets a takedown, too, but Nikki works against it. Nikki rolls Ruby to a cover but ONE and Ruby has control again. Ruby and the Squad taunt Nikki while fans duel. Nikki gets up and fights out, but Ruby runs her over with a shoulder. The Squad celebrates but Nikki drops Ruby! Cover, ONE, but she gets a leaping snapmare. The Squad regroups and Nikki has to stay back. Nikki waits patiently, and ties up with Ruby again. Nikki powers Ruby to a corner and rams her shoulder in. She backs off at 4, but then misses and hits buckles. Ruby sees Nikki coming back out and stops her with an STO. Cover, ONE!
Ruby keeps on Nikki with pie faces, but she runs into a tackle! Nikki fires off forearms but Ruby gets free and to the ropes. Then she gets Nikki with a bicycle boot hotshot! Nikki falls out but Brie protects her twin. The Squad taunt Brie while Nikki recovers and we go to break.
Raw returns and Ruby has Nikki in a cravat. Nikki endures and fights back with forearms. Ruby knees Nikki in the face and sits her down. Ruby trash talks Brie but walks into Nikki’s spinebuster! Fans rally as both women are down. Nikki stands and swings Ruby into the cravat facebuster! Nikki rallies and drops Ruby with a dropkick. She runs in but into a mule kick. Ruby climbs and catches Nikki with a headscissor, but Nikki yanks Ruby down to the mat. Nikki hits the Fearless kick, covers, TWO! The Squad is relieved while Nikki grows a bit frustrated. Fans rally up again and Nikki lifts Ruby. Sarah Logan distracts but gets that Fearless forearm for it. Ruby catches Nikki into a complete shot! Cover, TWO!! Ruby grows frustrated, while Brie rallies New Orleans behind her twin.
Ruby stands Nikki up and toys with her. She wrenches the arm, but Nikki catches the Riott Kick into the fireman’s carry. Liv gets in but Brie takes her out with that right hand of her own! Rack Attack 2.0! Cover, Nikki wins!
Winner: Nikki Bella, by pinfall
The Bellas are back and have a quick 2-0 overall. Will Nikki & Brie find themselves climbing back up the Women’s Division ranks with this?
WWE and Raw honor the new Connor’s Cure roster.
Super Messiah conquers evil with love while the sweet and sassy Diva Supreme braves the brave fight. Charlie the Champ, Brayden the Punisher, Lae Lae the Unstoppable and many more are all here tonight with The Big Show. “Unlike what we do in the ring, we fight to win matches, these incredible superstars” are far braver, and fight for something far greater. He personally introduces them, and acknowledges they’re all from Louisiana! New Orleans supports its own, from Super 4 to Brayden, from Diva Surpreme to Super Messiah, from T-Vic the Skull Crusher to Charlie the Champ, and from The Quiet Storm to Lae Lae the Unstoppable.
WWE is very proud and honored to present these kids, and wish to acknowledge the many other real life heroes. They need our help, and ask everyone in the WWE Universe to join the fight. Give it up one more time for Connor’s Cure!
Drake Maverick prepares the Authors of Pain.
The general manager for 205 Live and personal manager to Akam & Rezar wants them to harness their rage and let no one forget the carnage they will cause. He leads the way tot he ring, will Maverick’s mind behind the Authors’ aggression be what they need to reach the top?
The Authors of Pain VS Rodney Ace & Nathan Bradley!
The former NXT Tag Team Champions may not have titles, but they’ve still got destruction and malice on their minds. Will Team Sweet ‘n’ Sour stand a chance of being anything but lambs to a slaughter? Rezar starts with Ace, picks him up, and throws him right at a post! Rezar then drags Ace off for a Fall Away Slam! He glares at Bradley, and Bradley retreats. But Akam runs him over! Akam puts Bradley in, tags in from Rezar, and then takes Ace and whips him for a powerslam onto Bradley! Tag back to Rezar, and each one takes an opponent. They Super Collide the two! Cover on Ace, AoP wins!
Winners: The Authors of Pain, Rezar pinning
As if there was ever any doubt. Maverick raises the hands of his duo of destruction. Will he lead them to those tag titles while McIntyre & Ziggler hold the gold?
A limousine pulls up to the stadium.
But who is riding in the back? Triple H! The COO is here to again bring back The Game!
Triple H heads to the ring!
The Game’s best friend in The Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels, spoke in defense of his chances at Super Show Down, only to be confronted by The Phenom! The Undertaker vows to put HHH down again, but now he’s here to respond. HHH said the Era was back, and out of mutual respect they would go #OneLastTime in Melbourne. Legends came out of the woodwork to give their opinions and fans voted on polls. The Undertaker won that 81% to 19%, but that’s expected. However, at this level of competition, opinions and predictions don’t mean anything. “Or at least they shouldn’t.” Which is why HHH was shocked when HBK was giving his opinion, that it bothered the Dead Man so much. THE Undertaker felt he had to come out, HHH finds it funny somehow.
But Taker was so rattled that HBK said HHH would win and poof, there he was. “Angry, agitated, accusing Shawn of bitterness and fear.” But this is the Undertaker! HHH admits, he watched it again and it made him mad. HHH felt like Taker lost respect for HBK and HHH. But HHH watched it a second time. Taker hadn’t lost respect for the legends, but for himself. And look no further than the fact Taker didn’t appear to tell HHH to his face. If you look back at the four matches, Taker VS HBK and Taker VS HHH, things weren’t the same after those four. The aura faded, Lesnar would take the streak, and “all that was left is what you see of the Undertaker now: just a reputation.”
HHH says that series of matches were Taker’s last moments of greatness and he blames everyone else for it. But Taker did say one thing that was true: it’s personal. HHH says that in Melbourne, Australia, out of the last bit of respect he has for Taker, he will put him down! The Game looks to be back, as is The Phenom, but who really will end the other in this #OneLastTime match of living legends?
Raw Tag Team Championships: Drew McIntyre & Dolph Zigger VS The B-Team!
Bo Dallas and Curt Axel are no longer “undefeated” under their rebranding, but do they even stand a chance against the ruthless wolves who hunted them and The Revival down to get those belts?
The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and Bo starts with Ziggler. Bo blocks the takedown then gets a standing switch. Ziggler gets to ropes but he elbows out of the ropebreak. Bo is dizzy while Ziggler drops him with a dropkick. Ziggler trash talks and grinds Bo into the ropes. He whips but Bo counters with a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Bo puts Ziggler in the B-Team corner and stomps and punches to the beat of “B-Team! B-Team! Go go go!” Axel tags in and does the same. Tag back to Bo for more of that, then tags Axel again. Bo clotheslines and feeds Ziggler to the DDT! Cover, TWO!
Axel has Ziggler in a corner but Ziggler hits back. Ziggler puts Axel in the corner and throws elbows. He trash talks but Axel throws haymakers. Axel hits McIntyre for good measure, but gets a SUPERKICK! Ziggler tags McIntyre, and McIntyre blasts Axel off the apron! The champions have control while we go to break.
Raw returns and McIntyre grinds Axel down. Fans chant “B-Team! B-Team! Go go go!” but Axel just gets a big back suplex! Cover, TWO! McIntyre stomps Axel’s hand and stands on it! Then he takes Axel’s other hand and bends the fingers way back. McIntyre kicks Axel down but Bo keeps the fans and the chant going. Axel fights back, but still gets caught by McIntyre! Ziggler tags in and adds a SUPERKICK to McIntyre’s inverted Alabama slam! Cover, but Bo breaks it up! McIntyre protests but Ziggler keeps aim on Axel. Axel stands, blocks the kick, and catapults Ziggler at a post! Axel crawls for Bo, but Ziggler grabs his foot. That’s not enough, as Axel shoves him away and tags in Bo!
Bo rallies on Ziggler and McIntyre! He hits low then boots on the run! He runs Ziggler over with a back elbow, covers, TWO! Bo knows he’s close and he keeps the chant going. He drags Ziggler up but McIntyre saves Ziggler from the neckbreaker. Ziggler tries to suplex but Bo counters into a small package! McIntyre kicks the pin apart then headbutts Axel! Bo drags Ziggler up but Ziggler slips out to rake the eyes! Tag to McIntyre, CLAYMORE ZIGZAG! Cover, McIntyre & Ziggler win!
Winners: McIntyre & Ziggler, McIntyre pinning; still Raw Tag Team Champions
But here come the Shield! Ambrose and Rollins are back in their normal ring gear and they knock Ziggler down! They then go after McIntyre together and clothesline him out! Ziggler returns and jumps on Rollins, but Rollins throws him off. Ambrose attacks Ziggler, but McIntyre saves Ziggler from the curb stomp! McIntyre & Ziggler get away with their belts, but what will the consequences for Rollins & Ambrose be?
Speaking of, Baron Corbin speaks with Ambrose & Rollins!
What’s it going to take to get it through their skulls? Do they want to get arrested? Corbin told The Shield to leave! Oh, the Shield did leave. And if Rollins knows those guys as well as he does, they’re probably off in a bar somewhere on Bourbon Street. This is just Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. Two isn’t The Shield. Semantics! And this is blatant disrespect. He’s having them arrested again. Oh like he did last week? No, he was preventing– Cut the crap! Someone got them arretsed. 25 years of Raw and only now does someone really get arrested? Why didn’t Braun, Dolph & Drew get arrested? And then what about those goons they had with them to jump The Shield alst week? They reminded The Shield of Corbin.
What’re they getting at? That the threats are as bogus as the charges. And those policemen, they’re pretty bogus. Oh who is he? A lawyer? No, but they do know the sheriff of New Orleans to issue a warrant for Corbin’s arrest. They have no proof! Then he’s all yours, sheriff. The sheriff reads Corbin his rights! Okay, hold on! They need to talk this out privately. Well… Okay. Stand down, sheriff. The Architect and the Constable talk things out while Ambrose talks with the sheriff. Whose idea was it to put a stop sign there? No idea. And did he have to search Ambrose’s car? It wasn’t really speeding. But anyway, Rollins finishes negotiations. They thank the sheriff, but there won’t need to be any charges pressed at the moment. But they’ll call if they ever do. What are the terms of Corbin’s agreement with Rollins?
Kevin Owens VS Tyler Breeze!
The Prizefighter claimed to have quit just a couple weeks ago, but then he shows up last week to brutally attack the Dominator while he was “meditating” with Jinder Mahal. But without giving reason as to why he’s back, Kevin’s back again! Will he regret going after Lashley unprovoked?
But for now, he faces the lone Fashion Officer, Prince Pretty himself. It’s a big chance for Breeze, but Kevin doesn’t wait for a bell! He kicks Breeze then throws him around ringside. Kevin puts Breeze back in and Breeze fights back! They brawl and Breeze enziguris Kevin out! Breeze slingshots but misses, and gets a SUPERKICK for it! Kevin then gives Breeze an APRON BOMB!! Kevin has endless amounts of rage and an insatiable thirst for violence. He then takes a mic to speak on him walking away. It felt great, but immediately, acting GM Corbin called him up and begged him to reconsider. “Because unlike all of you and the people in the back,” Corbin recognizes the true MVP of Raw.
Kevin agreed to stay, under one very strict condition. He won’t be held accountable for what he does to any of his opponents. He gets to do what he wants to anyone he wants, so beating down Breeze is just him doing his job. And going after The Shield was him doing it for himself. He’s sick of The Shield, so he was just doing his job. Kevin can do anything and everything to anyone and everyone, but there is one man you can blame: Bobby Lashley! That “sick maniac” is why Sami Zayn has been on the shelf! Kevin wanted to quit because of Lashley, but he also stayed because of what he wants to do to Lashley. And this is STILL the Kevin Owens Show! And on his show, expect Kevin to do three things: anarchy; agony; and destruction! “And it is all Lashley’s fault!”
Bobby Roode & Chad Gable VS The Ascension!
The duo that is #ReadyWillingandGLORIOUS returns for their second match together ever. Roode was skeptical, but he admits Gable is a great tag partner. They plan on making the entire Raw Tag Team Division Absolutely GLORIOUS, but will that happen with all the chaos and confusion these days?
The bell rings and Gable tags in right off of Roode? Gable goes after Viktor and spins around from headlock to waistlock to German Suplex! Fisherman suplex and another German, Gable is rolling. Gable hits Konnor then bucks off Viktor. He throws Viktor with an exploder, but Konnor boots him down! Viktor drags Gable up and tags Konnor. Konnor goes after Gable with stomps and a chinlock. Roode cheers his new teammate on as Gable endures. Gable stands up and fights back. Konnor elbows him down then throws hands. He tags in Viktor, and they double team to splash and knee Gable down! Cover, TWO!
Viktor stays on Gable with a chinlock. Roode rallies up the fans and Gable fights back again. Viktor knees low but Gable gets away. Gable reaches for Roode but Viktor yanks him back. Roode dodges Viktor, and Gable back drops Viktor away! Hot tag to Roode! Roode rallies on Viktor! Viktor reverses a whip but Roode hits back. Roode hits Konnor but runs into Viktor’s boot. Viktor runs into the GLORIOUS Spinebuster! Roode winds it up, but Gable tags in again!? Gable winds it up, and rolls Viktor for CHAOS THEORY! Cover, Gable & Roode win!
Winners: Roode & Gable, Gable pinning
Roode is still happy they won, because they’re 2-0 now! Will Roode and Gable be able to work out how… eager, Gable seems? Or will winning help them sail smoothly to the top?
The Pack are furious.
How did The Shield, incomplete or otherwise, get back in the building?! This is not what they agreed on. But in walks Baron Corbin. Did he take care of things or what? Not exactly. Louisiana has the Napoleonic Code, and that gets complicated. But this Sunday, the tag team champions are defending against Dean Abmrose & Seth Rollins. They’re being rewarded for that attack? Why!? Corbin has one big reason, outside of wanting to make his first PPV show huge. This title match will be epic, on top of Strowman VS Roman for the Universal Championship. Stephanie McMahon is behind Strowman all the way. That’s good, because right now, Strowman is going Big Dog hunting!
Ronda Rousey & Natalya VS Alexa Bliss & Mickie James w/ Alicia Fox!
The Baddest Woman on the Planet prepares to rip The Goddess apart again at Hell in a Cell, but tonight it’s about making sure at least one of Alexa’s “friends” stays out of it. Can Rowdy Ronda and the Queen of Harts keep Alexa and Mickie down this close to the PPV?
But as they get in the ring, Alexa riles Natty up by throwing her shirt at her! Natty brings teh claws out already, and asks Ronda let her start. Ronda obliges and the bell rings. Alexa runs away from Natty, using the ropes as a shield. But then she comes back into Natty’s headlock takeover! Alexa gets the headscissors, but Natty pops out. Alexa swings but ends up in a Russian leg sweep. Cover, TWO, but Natty grabs Alexa in a waistlock. Natty throws Alexa around but Alexa elbows out. Alexa whips but misses in a corner to get the rebound drop! Natty then walks all over Alexa to hit the basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Natty keeps Alexa down with a facelock, but both fans and Ronda herself want to see the champ. Ronda tags in, and Alexa runs away!
Alexa tags to Mickie, and Mickie circles with Ronda. Mickie gets a waistlock but Ronda pries her way right out to clothesline Mickie down! Natty wants Mickie, so Ronda tags her in. The friends double suplex Mickie! Mickie reaches but can’t get the tag. Cover, TWO, but Natty drags Mickie up. Mickie sunset flips but Natty rolls through to go for a hold! Mickie gets to the ropes and Natty has to honor the ropebreak. Natty comes back to get a roundhouse! Cover, TWO! Mickie chokes Natty on the ropes, then backs off at 4. Alexa gets a cheap shot, then Mickie drags Natty to a cover. TWO, but Mickie keeps on Natty with a chinlock. Fans rally and Natty gets up. Natty throws Mickie off but runs into a lariat!
Mickie stands on Natty’s hair and pulls! Then she drags Natty over to tag in Alexa. These “friends” throw Natty down together. Alexa trash talks, then hits Insult2Injury with those double knees. Cover, TWO, and Natty reaches for Ronda. Alexa kicks her while she’s down, then puts Natty in the armbar, only for Natty to roll her up! TWO, and Alexa lariats Natty down! Then she SLAPS Ronda!! Ronda glares and chases Alexa down! They go around the ring, and Natty grabs Alexa, HART ATTACK! Ronda scares off Mickie and Alicia while we go to break.
Raw returns and Mickie has Natty down in a body scissors. Natty endures while Ronda rallies the fans. Natty gets around and throws hands on Mickie! Mickie shifts to a guillotine, but Natty has the fans on her side. Natty powers up and heads for buckles! Mickie lets go and Natty throws elbows. Natty hobbles to Ronda but Mickie yanks her down by her hair! Mickie taunts Ronda while dragging Natty away. She bumps Natty off buckles and tags in Alexa. They grind and stomp Natty in a corner, then back off at 4. Alexa puts Natty in a corner and stomps another mudhole into her. She mocks Ronda but still gets scared off by Ronda swiping at her. Natty back elbows Alexa down and tags in Ronda!
Ronda stalks Alexa to the outside. Mickie distracts and Alexa throws her into barriers! Then the apron! Alexa puts Ronda into the apron again, picking on those sore ribs with kicks. The referee counts, Alexa puts Ronda in and covers, ONE! Fans are on Ronda’s side as Alexa bumps her off buckles. Tag back to Mickie and Mickie kicks away on Ronda’s ribs. Fans are thunderous as Alexa tags back in. They keep stomping those ribs. Alexa snapmares and kicks Ronda while she’s down. She pulls Ronda back in a bow ‘n’ arrow style stretch. Fans rally up again but Alexa keeps kicking her while she’s down. Tag to Mickie, and Alexa holds Ronda in the bow ‘n’ arrow for Mickie’s basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Mickie keeps on Ronda with the chinlock, even adding part of a cobra clutch.
Fans rally and Ronda throws Mickie off! Ronda catches her breath while staring Mickie down, so Mickie hits Natty! Mickie has Ronda isolated as she brings her back, but Ronda fires off jabs, and then a lariat! She even gets Alexa with a backhand! Mickie cowers to a corner but Ronda fires herself up. Ronda fires off more with those jabs and body shots! Those ribs slow her down, though, and Mickie kicks her there again. Mickie goes to whip but Ronda counters with those wicked judo throws! She makes Alexa watch as she puts Mickie in the armbar!! Mickie taps, Ronda & Natty win!
Winners: Natalya & Ronda Rousey, Ronda by submission
The Raw Women’s Champion is sore, but she’s still rolling on towards Hell in a Cell. that is, until Alexa gets that cheap shot in! The Goddess has a target, but will even that be enough to reclaim her title from Ronda?
Elias prepares himself.
But his drink is not up to code. He ordered chamomile, but that’s not this. But then Braun Strowman comes roaring through, asking anyone and everyone where Roman is. He even pins one staffer up against a wall, demanding to know where he is. The poor guy doesn’t know a thing, so Strowman just throws him onto trucks! What will Strowman do when he finally finds Roman Reigns? What will he do when he doesn’t?!
Backstage interview with Ronda and Natalya.
They won, but at what cost? Is Ronda going to be okay for Hell in a Cell? Ronda is fine, and would still show up even if she wasn’t. She doesn’t back out of her fights, because even on her worst day, she’s still the best! That may be true, but will a strong will be enough to stop the crafty Alexa Bliss?
Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.
The Drifter is in the birthplace of Jazz and Rock ‘n’ Roll, and now Elias has perfected music. He begins to play, and asks “Who Wants to Walk With Elias?!” New Orleans does, but Elias says something feels off. They all feel so lost. Is it because the Saints lost? The boos don’t exactly deny it. Fans chant “Who Dat?! Who Dat?!” Elias says Drew Brees would never say this in public, but he’s actually sick of representing this “rundown, filthy city.” The season only just began but it’s already done, but Elias can save you. So please, silence cell phones, hold applause and most of all, shut mouths! Elias plays again, but here comes Mick Foley!
The Hall of Famer, former Raw GM and ECW legend is here on the 20th anniversary of his famous if not infamous Hell in a Cell match with The Undertaker. And New Orleans is glad to see him! Foley apologizes, he’s actually a big fan of Elias. Elias has a “rich and resonant voice”, and is very good on the guitar. But as a lyricist, Elias doesn’t have a sincere bone in his body. Sincere? Elias knows Foley is out here to talk about the Cell match, but if Elias is to be sincere, “as hard as it may be to believe, I was a child once.” Elias was there that night as Foley fell from the Cell. Foley’s career was never the same after getting Choke Slammed through the Cell, and his life was changed forever.
Elias would be lying if he didn’t call that a special moment and say Foley is something special. But that was then and this is now. Foley stands with the great Elias, while Elias stands with a broken man. Foley sings the same song every year yet barely remembers the words. Fans hope Mr. Socko makes an appearance. Foley admits Elias has a point, but he’s actually here to talk about the future. Well you’re talking to the future. Maybe Elias is the future, so long as he keeps his eyes on the prize. But no, Elias just means the near future, the Hell in a Cell PPV. Foley went to Stephanie McMahon and asked that with the 20th anniversary, don’t let him just be on the couch. Let Foley be part of that PPV, even as just a timekeeper or bell boy.
Well if Elias knows Stephanie, Stephanie laughed. She did! But then he reminded her of that very match, where it looked like the match was over, there was something that made Foley feel tougher and stronger than he ever was or would ever would be. He got up, climbed the cell, felt the electricity that could’ve lit Pittsburgh for a week, Foley wants to feel that feeling again! Ten minutes after that match, a tooth in his nose, that Foley and Stephanie first met. Foley wants to be part of HiaC PPV so badly. So Foley won’t be keeping time, ringing bell or on commentary. Foley will collide with Strowman and Roman as the special guest referee! “BANG BANG!” Elias is impressed, that was a great speech. But Foley needs to take some advice from Elias and shut up, you’ve taken up enough of his time!
Foley gets back in the ring and makes sure Elias understands one thing. The Constable has a lot on his plate, so maybe Foley could make one more match for right here in New Orleans. And guess what? Up next, Elias VS… FINN BALOR! The Drifter is no stranger to the Extraordinary Man, will Finn make Elias eat his words of offense to Mrs. Foley’s baby boy?
Stromwan continues his hunt for Roman.
He throws down ladders and tosses trash cans while generally terrifying the staff backstage.
Finn Balor VS Elias!
The bell rings and the two circle. Fans are fired up for Finn as he ties up with Elias. Elias scoops and slams then covers, ONE. Finn sits up as fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” Elias rocks Finn with a right, then chokes him at the ropes. Elias backs off at 4, then chops Finn. He whips and runs Finn over with a back elbow. Cover, ONE, but Elias keeps on Finn with a neck wrench. Finn endures and gets back up. Elias knees low and whips, but Finn reverses. Elias sunset flips but Finn rolls through to dropkick! Finn kicks away on Elias’ leg, then pulls it at the ropes. Elias rakes the eyes, then whips Finn. Finn stops himself to kick and chop Elias back. Finn whips but Elias reverses hard. Elias covers, ONE, but he keeps on Finn with a snapmare and stomps.
Elias clamps on a nerve hold but fans rally for Finn. Finn powers up but Elias puts him back down with a tighter grip. Fans continue to rally for Finn and he gets up a second time. Elias scoops but Finn slips out. Finn boots Elias, then dodges to chop Elias. Finn chops Elias again, but Elias knees low again. Elias whips but Finn reverses to then dropkick Elias down. Finn trips Elias and hits double stomps, almost in the face! Fans fire up and Finn hits a slingblade! Finn runs but into Elias’ big knee! Cover, TWO! Elias takes control back while we go to break.
Raw returns once more, and Elias stalks Finn to the ropes. Elias kicks him and punches him while he’s down, then runs. Finn dumps Elias out, then takes a moment to catch his breath before building speed. Elias returns to clobber him with a clothesline! Cover, TWO! Elias grows frustrated while fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” Elias puts Finn in a corner hard, then hoists him up for the electric chair. Finn fights out and hits the elbow drop DDT! Cover, TWO! Finn grits his teeth, then throws a strike fest! He sweeps the legs but misses the stomps. Elias gets the electric chair, then the spin-out sit-out bomb! TWO!! Finn and Elias are down but Elias drags him up.
Elias chops Finn swiftly to a corner, then hoists him up to the top rope. Elias chops again, and Finn almost falls back. Finn fights back, sends Elias down, and takes aim… but the Coup de Grace misses! Elias hits a kick, but Finn gets a small package! Finn wins!
Winner: Finn Balor, by pinfall
Finn gets a sorely needed win to stay afloat in the Raw rankings. Can Finn keep climbing back and see a title match in his future?
Bobby Lashley works out in the gym.
The Man of the Hour, Lio Rush, gives him props! Low weights, high reps, but Lio is here to give Lashley the support he needs. Lio does realize Lashley is busy, right? Sorry, he’s just here to motivate. Lashley appreciates that! Lio talks Lashley up again and that gets Lashley going again. Is this beginning of a new manager-client partnership?
Backstage interview with Braun Strowman.
But he cuts Charly off to ask where is Roman Reigns. She saw him leaving the building. Yeah, but Rollins & Ambrose returned. Therefore, Roman is here somewhere. Maybe if Strowman goes tot he ring, Roman will head there, too? That’s a good idea. Strowman decides to head to the ring. Will he and Roman end up breaking it down?
Braun Strowman heads to the ring!
The Monster Among Men is still seething, and is sick of waiting! He demands Roman get out there and face him like a man! Strowman shouts when nothing happens, but that’s just what he thought. This Universal Champion is a coward. But there’s nowhere to run and hide to inside the Cell. “It’s just a man locked inside a cage with a monster!” Rollins and Ambrose won’t be able to help Roman, nor will Mick Foley. Because if Foley does something, that fall from the Cell will look like a paper cut compared to what Strowman does! Strowman promises to take the Universal Championship and sending Roman to Hell itself! But then Roman’s music hits! Strowman goes looking again, and Roman stands on the announce desk! The two meet at the stage and SUPERMAN PUNCH!
Roman has Strowman reeling as he throws hands. Strowman pushes Roman into the LED stage again and again and again! Strowman headbutts Roman down, then decides to clear off the announce desk! He drags Roman up and over, puts roman on the table, then climbs up with him. Strowman drags Roman up but Roman scoops Strowman! Samoan Drop OFF THE STAGE!! They crash through the panels and to the floor! Roman drags himself from the wreckage, and takes his belt back. He lifts it up victoriously, but will he lift it up again after his Cell match? Or will Strowman come through on his promise to plunge the Big Dog to the depths of Hell, never to be seen again?
Just when I thought Raw was gonna have a good go-home by addressing that anti-Shield “Pack” thing, Vince decides to let the air out of the tires and have Raw limp into Hell in a Cell. When it seemed almost obvious to have The Shield be joined by all the Faces in the locker room (Finn Balor, Titus Worldwide, Roode, Gable, etc) they chose to try and keep it to just The Shield VS Strowman’s Pack. Granted, The Shield geared up with ax handles, but it still seemed like they came out too strong. I do appreciate the accusation of a Constable Conspiracy, and even the silly loophole that The Shield is only The Shield when they wear the old gear. Roman brawling it out with Strowman at the end there was standard, and that Samoan Drop spot sure looked like an attempt at something Gargano and Ciampa did.
The interesting developments coming out of all this is the Raw Tag Team Championship match and Mick Foley as a special referee. Strowman has a point, Foley can’t do too much to stop him, but I’m sure Foley will try. And win or lose, I still feel McIntyre & Ziggler will try to help Strowman, Rollins & Ambrose will meet them, and that in itself might spur Foley to do something to try and keep this just between Roman and Strowman. I’m thinking the Shield will alternate, meaning that something happens where Rollins & Ambrose won’t win, because Vince McMahon will surely want Roman to retain. In a way, that’s fine, because The Shield shouldn’t be so strong as to become a golden trio again. At the same time, it’d be so much more surprising (aka better) if Strowman wins the Universal Championship while Rollins & Ambrose got the tag titles back.
But outside of “THE story”, Raw was quite truly phoned in. There were too many recap packages, and most of them were for SmackDown! SmackDown’s go-home will probably have recaps of their own, but for Raw to waste its time with filler packages was a horrible move. Honestly, I would’ve welcomed filler matches if it meant the live audience in the arena got to watch something. Instead, Nikki Bella buries Ruby Riott just because, and Akam & Rezar squash “Sweet ‘n’ Sour”. McIntyre-Ziggler VS B-Team was alright, but it was obvious this was a formality even before the HiaC match was made. I thought Ronda-Natty VS Alexa-Mickie (originally supposed to have Alicia) was going to be the main event but it was still really good either way. Finn benefits by winning in the “main event”, he needs to be given more chances or just go to SmackDown.
I do like the development in Kevin Owens’ story with Bobby Lashley. Kevin with a blank check as far as his brutality goes is actually a pretty good story, the only thing that marred it is the idea that he was sick of The Shield and joined up with Strowman’s Pack just because. But then Lio Rush being thrown in as Lashley’s hype man (of the hour) is just odd. Between Lio with Lashley and Maverick with AoP, I really hope Vince isn’t insisting on incorporating Cruiserweights with Raw again. That was happening back in the Enzo Amore days and those were not good days. They need to stop this before it gets any worse.
My Score: 7.3/10