WWE Raw results, recap: Brock Lesnar, Braun Strowman battle and a huge return
A big-time WWE superstar made his return to Raw on Monday, one night after SummerSlam
One week after Raw snapped a recent negative trend by presenting a go-home episode worthy of the SummerSlam pay-per-view card that followed it days later, the red brand came up huge once more on the night after WWE's mid-summer classic.
With high energy from the opening segment of Braun Strowman attacking universal champion Brock Lesnar to a series of strong and intense matches which carried through to the main event, Raw kept the pace quick and the storylines entertaining in front of a wild (if not unpredictable) crowd in Brooklyn, New York.
An early tease toward a possible feud between John Cena and Roman Reigns was quickly swerved when an outstanding promo from The Miz led to the top babyfaces being paired up for a main event tag team match opposite him and Samoa Joe.
Let's take a look at all that transpired during a busy night as WWE invaded the Barclays Center for the third night of a four-day stand.
WWE Raw results
Confrontation -- Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman and Braun Strowman: One night after Lesnar retained his championship at SummerSlam, Heyman worked hard to put over his client's toughness and continued to play the conspiracy card in regards to WWE attempting to remove Lesnar from the title equation by booking a Fatal 4-Way match. Out came Strowman to stare him down. Lesnar avoided a chokeslam but ran into a big boot. Strowman followed with a pair of running powerslams to leave the champ down and out.
If we weren't 100 percent sure a Lesnar-Strowman feud was up next, consider this a perfect confirmation. This feud has nothing but violence and money written all over it, providing Lesnar a rare opportunity to play the smaller and more athletic opponent to the giant Strowman.
Enzo Amore def. Big Cass in a Brooklyn Street Fight: After Amore opened his promo by reminding Cass how he broke his heart, Amore went backstage and returned with a shopping cart filled with weapons. Cass instantly ran up the ramp to take him out and rammed the cart into his fallen body. A lengthy in-ring beat down followed until Cass missed a running kick as Amore held down the top rope, sending him to an awkward fall on the floor. Cass favored his left knee the rest of the way, and it gave out when he planted to attempt an Empire Elbow. The match was eventually called off by the referee after Cass was ruled unable to continue.
Despite the referee using the WWE's universal hand signal for a real-life injury (making a cross with his arms), this one felt like a work. It makes sense when you consider Amore is at too much of a physical disadvantage to win cleanly and badly needed a win in order for this already played out feud to continue.
Backstage -- Emma and Nia Jax: Emma complained to Dana Brooke about her lack of opportunity and claimed to have both started the women's revolution and "changed the industry." She then talked trash about tonight's opponent, Jax, who snuck up from behind to interrupt. "After our match tonight," Jax said, "the trend on Twitter is going to be, 'Give Emma CPR.'"
Nia Jax def. Emma via pinfall: This squash match was over not long after it began. Jax fought off a brief Emma rally to hit a Samoan Drop for the pin.
Elias def. R-Truth via pinfall: Elias said he looked directly into the solar eclipse "and it made everything so clear." He then trolled R-Truth's theme song by briefly playing it on his guitar before the match. Once it began, it was all Elias. He quickly hit his swinging neckbreaker finisher, dubbed Drift Away, for the 1-2-3.
Confrontation -- John Cena, Roman Reigns, The Miz and Samoa Joe: General manager Kurt Angle welcomed Cena to Raw as his surprise for the night. The "free agent" said he accepted the invite because "for a long time I've wanted to stand in this ring … and be face to face with a certain WWE supertar." Out came Reigns, who Cena said was exactly who he was hoping to see. After they briefly exchanged words, The Miz came out to interrupt. Cena ad-libbed nicely by calling out Miz for mispronouncing Barclays Center. But The Miz came right back with a passionate promo that got the fans buzzing. "How many moments do you two get? Honestly?!" The Miz said. Sick of sitting back and waiting for his moment, The Miz criticized Angle for bringing back Cena and burying Miz on the SummerSlam card. Cena acknowledged that Miz, indeed, was deserving for a moment and offered a main event tag team opportunity against him and Reigns. Out came Joe to insert himself into the equation, forcing Miz to join his side. After Joe told off Reigns, he attacked Cena to start a melee. Reigns took out The Miztourage by himself before rescuing Cena. The crowd showered down "you both suck" chants as Reigns and Cena were the last men standing.
Let me try and count the many reasons why this segment was great. Not only did The Miz put forth a reality based promo that was nothing short of hot fire, the brief tease of a Reigns-Cena feud down the road was impossible incredibly intoxicating. Not to be outdone, Joe was his typical convincing self on the microphone.
Gran Metalik, Rich Swann, Cedric Alexander & Mustafa Ali def. Drew Gulak, Noam Dar, Tony Nese & Ariya Davari via pinfall: This two-segment bout was largely an innings eater until Metalik hit a breathtaking springboard moonsault to the outside. Alexander attempted to best him using his finisher, the lumbar check, as he launched Nese three feet into the air upon impact before recording the pin.
Backstage -- Neville: During an interview with Charly Caruso, the cruiserweight champion's rant was interrupted by Titus O'Neil and Akira Tozawa. O'Neil called him a gargoyle and said they only have one word for Neville, which Tozawa punctuated by yelling "rematch," which takes place Tuesday on 205 Live.
Backstage -- Kurt Angle and Jason Jordan: Despite mentioning that he wasn't looking for preferential treatment, Jordan followed through by asking his biological father for a match tonight. When Angle responded that The Miz already had a match, Jordan insisted on Finn Balor ... and Angle eventually agreed.
In the ring -- Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose: The new Raw tag team champions said they'll take on any team, anytime and anywhere. Out came The Hardy Boyz to congratulate them on their victory. Teasing his Broken gimmick throughout, Matt Hardy made an offer for a match. Rollins, who said he and Ambrose idolized The Hardyz growing up, accepted.
Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose def. The Hardy Boyz via pinfall: With former champions Sheamus and Cesaro watching on a monitor backstage, the two teams worked hard to put forth a pay-per-view quality match. Rollins and Ambrose hit the spot of the match with dual suicide dives. Shortly after, Rollins hit a knee to the face on Jeff Hardy, which sent him into Ambrose for a Dirty Deeds. Rollins covered for the 1-2-3.
Backstage -- Samoa Joe, The Miz &and The Miztourage: The Miz attempted to hype up Joe as they sat in the locker room. Joe told him to shut up and instructed The Miztourage to remain a constant presence on the outside. Then he turned to Miz and said, "You do your annoying unorthodox thing that you do in the ring."
Confrontation -- Sasha Banks & Alexa Bliss: The new Raw women's champion talked about breaking her Brooklyn curse and said the world "doesn't need a Goddess, just one Legit Boss." Out came Bliss to remind Banks she has never successfully defended her title a single time despite holding it four times. Banks offered to settle their beef right now and Bliss declined, preferring a title rematch next week.
Finn Balor def. Jason Jordan via pinfall: Jordan was a strong presence throughout in this physical, two-segment match that proved he belonged against top singles competition. The match had strong intensity and seesaw action, featuring a double knockdown spot late. In the end, Balor packaged a missile dropkick with his Coup de Grace finisher to secure the pin.
John Cena & Roman Reigns def. Samoa Joe & The Miz via pinfall: While the Brooklyn crowd did its best to distract by hitting a beach ball around for the second straight match and orchestrating a wave (which drew the attention of Cena both times), the match quality never suffered. This one produced a palpable buzz and energy. Joe applied a Coquina Clutch on Cena late in the match, but Reigns' attempt to break it up with a Superman Punch accidental caught Cena on the chin. The miscue didn't cost the babyfaces in the end, however, as Cena rallied to counter a Skull Crushing Finale attempt by The Miz with an Attitude Adjustment for the 1-2-3. Reigns and Cena ended the broadcast presumably on good terms.
The ending may not have justified the means in terms of nothing actually happening in terms of storyline with the result, but the match was surely fun while it lasted. Reigns and Joe appear very much headed into their own program while it remains to be seen whether Miz and Cena will do the same.
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