WWE Raw results, recap: Lesnar, Reigns and Samoa Joe feud; Angle's cryptic call
Raw may not have been as hot as Great Balls of Fire, but it delivered some much-needed follow-up
One night after WWE's Great Balls of Fire pay-per-view kept fans buzzing due to the violent reveals and physical nature of the double main event, Monday's episode of Raw kept the intensity going. It may not have been the most even three hours of wrestling from beginning to end, but Raw delivered a trio of exciting storylines that left a lot more questions than answers, which is exactly the right way to keep viewers coming back.
The show's highlight was a red-hot dialogue segment between Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe, which began to reveal what the future might look like in terms of booking heading into SummerSlam. It was announced that Reigns and Joe will meet next week for a shot at Lesnar's universal title in August.
There was also the unresolved developments between former Shield partners Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose, which stretched out over a pair of segments, after both wrestlers -- still more cautious foes than friends -- rescued one another from extended beatings at the hands of The Miz's new stable.
The juiciest recurring storyline, however, proved to be the one that closed the show as Kurt Angle's ongoing "personal issues" provided a cliffhanger for next week regarding the true nature of his cryptic text messages and phone calls.
WWE Raw results
In the ring -- Big Cass and Big Show: Entering to his new industrial metal theme song, Cass was met with a chorus of boos. After showing pictures of Sunday's beatdown against former partner Enzo Amore, Cass chastised fans who only cheered for Amore over the years. He proceeded to share his future goals, which included winning the universal championship, main eventing WrestleMania and appearing on "The Tonight Show." After Cass finished with a promo, claiming there's no one in WWE who can look him in the eye, out came Big Show. After Cass whispered something into his ear, Show hit him with a head butt. A brawl ensued and Cass escaped after being briefly stomped in the corner.
There was a reason why Cass was first paired with a virtuoso talker in Amore and that fact was exposed here. Not only is Cass' theme song an odd fit, his mic work is just not up to the level it needs to be in order for this heel turn to be a massive success.
Finn Balor def. Elias Samson via pinfall: Samson's acoustic jam about the city of Houston was interrupted by Balor's entrance. The two-segment match provided "The Drifter" with plenty of room to get off offensively. Balor ultimately rallied and hit a running missile dropkick to set up his Coup de Grace for the pin. Balor ran into the Hardy Boyz while exiting the ring and greeted both brothers by playfully executing their respective hand gesture (including "Delete!"). The trio has taken a number of pictures together backstage as of late.
In the ring -- The Hardy Boyz: Still sore and injured from their iron man match on Sunday, Matt and Jeff popped the crowd with brief mentions of "obsolete" and "broken" (an ode to their Impact Wrestling personas). The brothers also made a proclamation that they aren't going anywhere. Out came Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows , who called them nerds and said "that ring belongs to us." Despite Matt having been stitched up the night before, the Hardyz accept the challenge for an impromptu match.
Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows def. The Hardy Boyz via pinfall: An early Boot of Doom on Jeff nearly gave the Good Brothers a victory before Matt dove in to break the pin. Anderson & Gallows continued to dominate until a Magic Killer on Matt gave Gallows the clean pin. After the match, The Revival came out to pick the bones of the Hardyz. Dash Wilder hit a knee to the face of Matt off the second rope before both members connected on a Shatter Machine against Jeff.
The increased teases of the Hardyz' "Broken Universe" returning helped ease the issue of seeing them get beaten down twice by a pair of heel tag teams. Still, this was a smart use of The Revival in their return from Wilder's broken jaw, adding much-needed depth to the Raw tag team division.
Miz TV -- The Mizzies: After calling out the Academy Awards for snubbing his "Marine 5" movie in the Oscar for best picture, The Miz handed out a series of awards: Best Supporting Actor to Miztourage members Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel, Sexiest Wife to Maryse and Greatest Man in WWE to himself. Miz then ripped the WWE roster for not following through on what they say. Out came Dean Ambrose to attack him before quickly getting swallowed up by the Miztourage. Seth Rollins ran in to even the sides and run the heels out of the ring.
Backstage -- Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins: Ambrose angrily approached Rollins backstage, telling his former partner he knows him and doesn't trust him. "This ain't going to be no Shield reunion," Ambrose said. "You stay out of my business. You fight your battles, and I'll fight mine."
The extreme customer fatigue of seeing the Miz-Ambrose feud continue was quickly extinguished by the booking possibilities moving forward now that Rollins has entered the picture. Many on social media wondered whether there was a coincidence in all three Shield members losing their singles matches at Great Balls of Fire. While that remains to be seen, putting Ambrose and Rollins together as friends or foes means big business ahead.
Sasha Banks & Bayley def. Alexa Bliss & Nia Jax via pinfall: Bliss continued her cowardly ways from Sunday by tagging in Jax early to avoid Banks, only to have Banks chase her down to trigger a brawl. Later on, Jax handed out an extended beatdown to Bayley. Bliss then hit her finisher, the Twisted Bliss, for a would-be pinfall that was broken up by Banks. Jax tossed Banks out of the ring but missed a running splash into the barrier wall. Bayley used the distraction to roll up Bliss for the 1-2-3 in a match that heated up late.
Goldust def. R-Truth via pinfall: After a repetitive video promo from Goldust filled with movie quotes, the two former teammates produced a forgettable match in front of a dead crowd. R-Truth missed a splash into the corner and hurt his shoulder. Goldust followed with his Final Cut finisher for the pin.
In the ring -- Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman, Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe: The general manager said he doesn't know when Braun Strowman will return but that "the show must go on" and welcomed Lesnar. Angle acknowledged his history with Lesnar and praised him for getting better every year. As Angle was on the verge of sharing his idea for Lesnar's SummerSlam plans, Heyman interrupted him and attempted to leave, referencing Angle's personal problems and cryptic text messages.
Reigns suddenly crashed the party, which caused Angle to say, "You have a lot of nerve coming out here after what you pulled last night." Reigns referenced the Attitude Era, saying he was merely modeling himself after the three of them. He then told Angle he should thank him "cause you don't know how to handle Braun Strowman" before turning to Lesnar and saying, "and your'e never around to." Because of that, Reigns said Angle owes him one, and recommended a title match against Lesnar at SummerSlam.
An animated Lesnar grabbed the mic from Heyman and told Reigns "you don't deserve shit." Samoa Joe came out to rip everyone, creating a red-hot and intense trash talk debate between all participants (including Heyman, who laid into Joe). Angle settled the heated matter by booking a Reigns-Joe match for next week with the winner facing Lesnar for the title at SummerSlam.
This is about as great as it gets for a dialogue segment on Raw these days. Absolute fire would be the best description. Reigns showcased his new smug heel persona to great effect while Joe and Heyman were dynamite trading insults. And nothing is better on WWE than putting a live mic in front of Lesnar's hands. This has all the makings to be an incredible main event push toward SummerSlam. The only gaping hole in this segment (and the episode in general) was how casually it was glossed over that Reigns, you know, attempted vehicular homicide the night before and wasn't punished.
Backstage -- Kurt Angle and Corey Graves: After Graves left the announce desk in a hurry due to another cryptic text message, he met Angle to discuss. The GM admitted he needed to go public next week with the information. "I hope they support me," Angle said. "My career could be destroyed." Graves said he has all the confidence everything will be just fine.
Akira Tozawa & Cedric Alexander def. Neville & Noam Dar via pinfall: Tozawa exacted revenge for his title loss on Sunday by crotching Neville on the top rope. After Alexander sacrificed himself to hit a suicide dive on Dar outside (while crashing into the wall face first), Tozawa kicked the rope to amp up Neville's pain. He then hit a senton bomb off the top rope for the 1-2-3.
Backstage -- Seth Rollins: During an interview with Charly Caruso, Rollins said he didn't run in earlier to aid Ambrose but instead to shut up The Miz. He went on to call Bray Wyatt a fraud and a coward, saying, "He's got to know better than to think one shot to my eye will change anything."
Backstage -- Bray Wyatt: "The finest pieces of Seth Rollins are all a part of me now. All that's left behind is sin and regret because you can't change who you are Seth. You can't turn back the clock." Wyatt went on to scold Rollins for defying him, adding, "You will never deny me again."
Bray Wyatt def. Seth Rollins via pinfall: Good energy and action in this evenly booked main event. Rollins escaped a Sister Abigail attempt with a roll up but Wyatt answered back with a head butt onto the same eye he poked the night before, leading to victory. Wyatt followed with his finisher for the pin before his music hit and he disappeared. The Miz and the Miztourage ran in from the crowd to beat down Rollins. Ambrose soon came to run them out of the ring but not before nailing Miz with a chair four times.
Backstage -- Kurt Angle: "I totally understand. Stop thinking that way. Why don't you come here next week and we'll both do that together. Neither of us have anything to be ashamed of. I'm proud of you, and I hope you think the same about me. Why don't you come here and tell the world with me next week and whatever happens, happens. I love you."
Talk about a cryptic ending to leave you on the edge of your seat debating the possibilities. Is Angle's character ready to come out? Is he having an affair with Raw commissioner Stephanie McMahon? What about the surprising WWE return of former TNA owner Dixie Carter this week for Angle's WWE 24 documentary? The fact that we don't know and have such little information to stand on is exactly what has made this long term angle work.
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