RAW kicks off with Corey Graves facilitating a serious, adult discussion about the WWE Universal Championship between the wrestlers involved, Kevin Owens, Roman Reigns, Big Cass, and Seth Rollins. Rollins is a jerk, Owens is a cynical a-hole, Cass impressively mocks Reigns who just so-happens to be booed mercilessly. Reigns, thankfully says nothing, however is the one to start the brawl, but Cass and Owens were the standouts of the segment. Rollins is typical egomaniac heel we are familiar with, and the sight of Roman Reigns causes pain. Gotta say, Big Cass certainly seems like a legit contender, so How You Doin’?
Our first match features Chris Jericho earning a submission victory over Neville. Some funny bits pre-match, calling Neville “Mighty Mouse.” The funny part, is Neville originally was going to have a gimmick similar to the diminutive hero. No joke. Great match, with Neville making bumps look good, and even being bent backwards with a real Walls of Jericho.
I am really enjoying this sinister and self-absorbed version of his heel character. Jericho is just so good at reinventing his nasty side.
Backstage: Bayley and The New Day hang out, and much hilarity and gyrating occurs. All is right in the universe. Dana Brooke interrupts, but no one cares.
Nia Jax destroys yet another jobber. Sigh. Maybe she and Braun Strowman will tag soon.
Hysterical promo from Gallows and Anderson. Giving up their medical careers, they turn to setting up their own business in the form of a Retirement Community. This is too funny. Then Brooke shows up as the nurse, and does the stereotypical glove-snapping thing.
Sami Zayn defeats Jinder Mahal. So… What was the purpose of bringing him back? Typing this sentence lasted longer than the match.
Recap of the pre-show, Sasha Banks promises to reclaim the WWE Women’s Championship. Charlotte dismisses her as a threat while joining the announce team for out next match.
The New Day and Bayley defeat Gallows, Anderson, and Dana Brooke
Brooke is horrible. My wife reminds me the reason she is employed is due to her two contributions kept close to her chest. She is so horrible, she nearly pulled a Scott Steiner as Bayley was ramming her head into the turnbuckle. Google that. Then, she pre-sold a dropkick by falling before Bayley even left the ground. I hate Dana Brooke. Thankfully, the other five wrestlers put on a great and entertaining match. Bayley gets the win via Bayley to Belly Suplex. What a great finish. Crowd lost their minds.
Backstage: Cesaro has some words for Sheamus, and coincidentally, in the ring, Sheamus has some words for Cesaro before their second match in the Best of Seven.
Sheamus defeats Cesaro via Submission. Decent match, with some bigtime spots. Cesaro hit some great running uppercuts, and Sheamus clobbered him with some huge drops on the ring apron. Major turning point, Cesaro charges on the outside, but is caught and backdropped by Sheamus into the ringpost and lands really awkwardly. I have never seen that before. Sheamus rolls Cesaro in, locking in the Cloverleaf for the tap out win. Post match, trainers check on Cesaro.
Nice promo package for the WWE Hall of Famer, Mr. Fuji.
Braun Strowman destroys another jobber, the masked lovechild of Max Moon and The Patriot named Americo. Maybe he and Nia Jax should team up.
I love how the announce team ask “who can defeat him” and “who will be able to face him” considering he’s been facing jobbers who last all of a minute. This is just stupid now.
Stephanie McMahon comes out and botches in the first minute by saying tonight the first-ever Universal Champion will be crowned. So, we are re-writing history this quickly and forgetting SummerSlam happened? Paul Heyman interrupts and attempts to pay off Brock’s $500 fine in singles. Stephanie and Heyman have an awesome verbal exchange, but as always, Rabbi Paul Heyman cuts the promo of the night. We get an interesting conclusion, with Stephanie appearing to “forgive” Heyman and Lesnar for their actions at SummerSlam.
It’s the second hour, so it’s time to bring out Bob Backlund, Darren Young, and Titus O’Neal for yet another train-wreck of a segment.
Throughout the night, various promos featuring the main event wrestlers were shown.
WWE Universal Championship Match: Kevin Owens vs. Big Cass vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins
Gotta say, the opening moments of Big Cass taking down Reigns was pretty awesome. What was most interesting, was the elimination stipulation added to this one. A bit disappointing to see Big Cass eliminated first, following a superman punch by Reigns, a kick to the head by Rollins, and a huge Frog Splash by Owens. Cass shined well though, getting huge pops every time he clocked Reigns. Cool counter by Rollins, turning a missed superman punch into a Falcon Arrow for a near fall. Owens rolls over everyone with cannonballs. Love it. Owens eats multiple superman punches but manages to stay in it. Even Roman Reigns used his strengths-based attacks to some crowd appreciation, both Rollins and Owens sold it for money.
SUDDENLY, A WILD TRIPLE H ATTACKS!!! He plants Reigns with the Pedigree, and Seth Rollins eliminates him. As Triple H appears to set up Owens, he TURNS ON ROLLINS and plants HIM with the Pedigree!! Owens, in disbelief, covers Seth Rollins and becomes your NEW WWE Universal Champion!!
Not the cleanest finish, but hell, Kevin Owens as the champion of RAW? I’ll take it!!!