WWE Raw results, recap, grades: Roman Reigns' surprise partner, Paul Heyman's Extreme Rules tease
The go-home Raw on Monday featured a somewhat surprising ally for the 'Big Dog'
The annual WWE Extreme Rules pay-per-view is directly on the horizon this Sunday, and Monday's Raw from Newark, New Jersey, served as the go-home edition of the flagship show. It was also the second week of the Paul Heyman-era Raw, with some more evidence sprinkled in throughout the show that the future of Monday nights is in the correct hands.
On the flip side, though, Raw did have a few agonizing missteps, such as the abuse of the 2-out-of-3 falls and elimination tag match stipulations. Hopefully, leading into SummerSlam, we can find a much more constructive and entertaining way to dance around the reported timing demands of Vince McMahon. Let's have a look now at everything that went down Monday night on the Extreme Rules go-home edition of Raw.
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Roman Reigns get a surprising partner
Throughout the evening leading up to the main event, Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre were trolling in their search to select Roman Reigns' partner for the main event tag match. They approached an arena garbage man and a beer vendor before they came across a janitor named Gary who was carrying a severe limp. In the locker room, McMahon and McIntyre offered Gary the janitor $5,000 to merely stand on the apron for the contest while serving as Reigns' partner. Gary accepted, with the added condition that he wear a mask to ease his pressure seeing as McMahon and McIntyre are so recognizable. In the middle of all this, Reigns was interviewed backstage where he pretty much no-sold his opponent's shenanigans knowing full well what they're all about.
Prior to the match, McMahon and McIntyre cut a promo on Reigns from the top of the stage and brought out Gary -- now going by his full name of Gary "The GOAT" Garbutt -- under the mask, though it was clearly evident this tag team partner was just a bit shorter than the Gary we were introduced to just a short time earlier.
Shane McMahon & Drew McIntyre def. Roman Reigns & Gary Garbutt via pinfall: Garbutt confirmed everyone's suspicions during the bout that he was someone other than the man we saw earlier when he whipped out an aerial arsenal on both McMahon and McIntyre. He was eventually caught with a devastating Claymore kick from McIntyre before McMahon slid into the pinfall as Reigns was incapacitated on the outside. Reigns reentered the ring to send the heels packing, and before the show went off the air, it was revealed that Reigns' mystery partner was none other than former cruiserweight champion Cedric Alexander.
The storyline encapsulating the entire show throughout the night with forgettable mini-segments made it difficult to care about much less even remember this was going our final go-home gift on Raw before the PPV on Sunday. The constant McMahon trolling is becoming tiresome, as is this program seeing as few legitimately care about seeing The Undertaker enter a ring again on Sunday. That said, however, the closing image of Alexander standing next to Reigns in the main event segment of a Raw episode that also featured a McMahon was another positive sign in the direction that the Heyman era of Raw will do everything in its power to ensure talents are maximized to their full potential in one way or another. Grade: C+
What else happened on Raw?
- Seth Rollins & Becky Lynch def. Andrade & Zelina Vega in a mixed tag elimination match after Rollins pinned Andrade following the Stomp. Lynch earned the first elimination of the match by forcing Vega to submit to the Dis-Arm-Her. Post-match, Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans -- who appeared ringside to distract Lynch during the match -- attacked and left the champions laying at the top of the ramp. In a backstage interview with Corey Graves, Rollins and Lynch were pegged again about the awkward situation where one could lose the title for the other on Sunday. Lynch wasn't having it, though, berating Graves before the two walked off.
- Paul Heyman cut a brief in-ring promo where he initially led everyone to believe Brock Lesnar would definitely be cashing in the Money in the Bank contract at Extreme Rules on either Rollins or Kofi Kingston. He would go on to admit, however, that he could be lying to screw with everyone's heads.
- The Usos & The Miz def. The Revival & Elias 2-1 in a 2-out-of-3 falls match. Tied at 1-1, Jimmy Uso quickly took the third fall for his team after a splash onto Scott Dawson. Elias retreated to the back near the end of the first fall.
- 24/7 champion Drake Maverick was hiding out backstage with his wife Renee Michelle. After he promised her a proper honeymoon in the near future, he screeched a bit too loudly at the prospect of finally consummating his marriage that he triggered the usual slew of mid-carders to chase him off. Later in the evening after being chased throughout the episode, Maverick believed he was in the clear when he met back up with his wife. R-Truth emerged from a crate but Maverick raced off.
- Rey Mysterio issued an open challenge upon his return to action, which was answered by Bobby Lashley. In quick fashion, Lashley disposed of the legendary Mysterio with a spear ahead of his Last Man Standing match against Braun Strowman this Sunday. After the match, Lashley launched Mysterio into a group of referees at the top of the ramp before grabbing the mic and letting Strowman know he'll be the last man standing at Extreme Rules.
- Cesaro def. No Way Jose via submission with the sharpshooter.
- The Street Profits cut two entertaining promos backstage hyping up Extreme Rules.
- Mike Kanellis, armed with a bouquet of flowers, attempted to apologize to Maria, but all he was rewarded with was a demand from his pregnant wife for ice cream and pickles. Mike returned later in the night with the requested treats but was met with Maria scolding him for bringing too much.
- The Viking Raiders def. Colin Justin & Devin Justin (enhancement talent) via pinfall with the Viking Experience in a squash.
- Ricochet def. Luke Gallows via pinfall after surprising him with a sunset flip rollup. Afterwards, AJ Styles called out the United States champ's pre-match comments where he referenced having to face all three members of The Club. A match with Karl Anderson was on from there. Important side note: Huskus of the "Firefly Funhouse" was lurking behind Ricochet as he was making his way to the ring backstage.
- Ricochet def. Karl Anderson via pinfall after the 630. Styles and Co. immediately pounced on the U.S. champ after the match. Styles connected with a brainbuster before The Good Brothers hit the Magic Killer. Styles warned Ricochet to stay down after teasing another Styles Clash from the second rope, and when the champ tried to get to his feet, he was hit with a Phenomenal Forearm for not heeding the advice.
- Nikki Cross def. Bayley in a beat the clock challenge that carried the stipulation of the winner earning the right to choose the stipulation for the SmackDown women's title match on Sunday between Bayley and Alexa Bliss. Bayley defeated Sarah Logan in 4:32, but Cross didn't require as long to defeat Dana Brooke with her swinging neckbreaker finish. Cross chose a 2-on-1 handicap match before eating a Bayley-to-Belly followed by an elbow drop from the top rope.
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