WWE Raw results, recap, grades: Universal title match twist, new champions crowned
The Seth Rollins-Baron Corbin rematch at Stomping Grounds will be getting some added drama
With the latest venture into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia out of the way with, it was back to business as usual for WWE Raw on Monday night in San Jose, California, as the Stomping Grounds -- a card stockpiled with rematches -- event looms in less than two weeks.
Raw has taken its licks in recent weeks with some shoddy presentations, though Monday's episode got things back on a bit of an enjoyable track, at least for one week. Among the more notable highlights from Raw included an action-packed six-man tag match featuring some potential future United States championship challengers, a championship changing hands and a little intrigue added to the universal title match upcoming at Stomping Grounds.
Let's take a look at everything that went down on Monday's Raw.
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Twist added to Seth Rollins-Baron Corbin rematch
Universal champion Seth Rollins headed out to kick off Raw this week, steel chair used to inflict damage onto Money in the Bank holder Brock Lesnar from Super ShowDown in hand. Baron Corbin was then out to interrupt and said that he'll be the one needing to worry about Lesnar after he becomes the universal champ. Corbin revealed that he met with WWE executives earlier on Monday, and among other things, it was decided that a special guest referee of Corbin's choosing will be the official for the Universal title rematch at Stomping Grounds.
As Rollins scoffed at the notion of someone being on Corbin's side in a special guest referee role, Sami Zayn emerged, and he told Rollins that being champion is toxic for him given his obsession with Lesnar. Zayn said that, with Corbin as champion, we could finally have someone who's not completely obsessed with Lesnar. Rollins threatened to slap the taste out of Zayn's mouth as Kevin Owens then made his way out. Owens said he, too, has Corbin's back. Rollins closed by telling Owens that he'll take him on in the main event of the show before walking past the trio of heels on his way to the back. Backstage later in the night, Shane McMahon appointed Zayn an "outside referee" so he can call things down the middle upon Zayn's request.
Lensar wasn't in attendance on Monday, but Paul Heyman was there. Lesnar's advocate cut an in-ring promo where he called out Rollins for being a thug and an undeserved champion for delivering the Super ShowDown beating. Heyman said that that they're not going to reveal when the Money in the Bank cash-in will take place before teasing not only Lesnar being in San Jose to cash in but possibly serving as the special referee for the Stomping Grounds universal title match.
Kevin Owens def. Seth Rollins via disqualification: Zayn was, naturally, a nuisance throughout and called for the DQ after Rollins accidentally hit him with a suicide dive. Rollins attacked Zayn after the decision, and Corbin ran out to try and even the odds, but he was run off by the champ. Rollins then turned his attention back to Zayn, pummeling him with the chair and finishing him off with the Stomp as Corbin looked on from the top of the ramp.
The special guest referee drama was needed for this Rollins-Corbin rematch because, quite frankly, no one believes the former acting general manager can defeat the universal champ all by his lonesome. Depending on who this mystery official ends up being, it adds pretty much the drama required to make this rematch watchable at Stomping Grounds. And, of course, sprinkling in the reminder that the most dangerous threat in WWE is still walking around with that briefcase and now is refusing give us the courtesy of knowing when he plans on taking advantage of Money in the Bank keeps you -- and Rollins, for that matter -- on your toes that much more. Grade: B
What else happened on Raw?
- Lars Sullivan def. Lucha House Party in an elimination match. Sullivan first disposed of Kalisto via pinfall following the Freak Accident. Lince Dorado was next, the victim of a running powerbomb followed by the 1-2-3. Finally, Sullivan earned the official victory after a flying headbutt onto Gran Metalik. This was the squash that should've happened in Saudi Arabia.
- 24/7 champion R-Truth found himself trapped in an elevator with EC3, Cedric Alexander, Heath Slater and Drake Maverick as he and Carmella evaded a slew of mid-carders. The elevator door eventually opened later in the night after a couple comedic segments were shown of the elevator throughout the show, but Truth and Carmella were able to get back in and escape.
- Raw women's champion Becky Lynch and Lacey Evans took part in a side-by-side interview with Michael Cole to hype up their rematch at Stomping Grounds. Lynch talked up her obsession with being champ while Evans accused Lynch of fearing falling back into obscurity.
- Ricochet, The Miz & Braun Strowman def. Cesaro, Samoa Joe & Bobby Lashley via pinfall in an incredibly entertaining six-man tag match after Ricochet nailed Cesaro with the 630 for the victory. Earlier in the segment on "Miz TV" prior to the match, Miz, Strowman, Lashley, Ricochet and Cesaro all attempted to stake their respective claim to a shot at Joe's United States championship.
- Lacey Evans & Alexa Bliss def. Bayley & Becky Lynch via pinfall in a match highlighting the participants in the women's title matches at Stomping Grounds. Evans, after a blind tag, put Bayley down with the Woman's Right and the pinfall for the win. Earlier in the evening, a solid segment aired in which Bliss manipulated her new "best friend" Nikki Cross into thinking Bayley isn't the bubbly person everything assumes her to be.
- The IIconics def. Aaliyah Mia & Lisa Lace via pinfall in a squash match. They never differentiated between the two local enhancement talents, but Billie Kay got the pinfall victory after a running knee from Peyton Royce.
- Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre celebrated McMahon's Super ShowDown victory over Roman Reigns in the ring. McMahon drank champagne out of the World Cup trophy while McIntyre said he's going to administer a beating to Reigns that will make him unrecognizable at Stomping Grounds. McMahon brought out The Revival for the upcoming Raw tag team title match and told them they're invited to the party as long as they bring gold.
- Raw Tag Team Championship -- The Revival def. Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins (c) [via pinfall] and The Usos to win the titles: Great finish with Jey Uso planting Ryder with a superkick but Scott Dawson making the blind tag under the triple threat rules on Uso to sneak in and steal the pin to make The Revival two-time Raw tag team champions.
- This week's "Firefly Funhouse" opened with Mercy the Buzzard threatening to eat Ramblin' Rabbit again. Wyatt allowed Ramblin' Rabbit to speak his mind, but after he threatened to expose what's really going on in the Funhouse, Wyatt maniacally began smashing him with a mallet before licking his "blood." To close, Wyatt pitched jars of "Ramblin' Rabbit Bohemian Breakfast Spread," insinuating that he had made jam out of the rabbit's blood.
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