WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from July 17

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterJuly 18, 2017

WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from July 17

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    Credit: WWE.com

    A shocker was the talk of Monday's WWE Raw.

    A long-running mystery arrived at its soap-opera-esque conclusion when Raw general manager Kurt Angle announced Jason Jordan is his illegitimate son. The reveal will change the rising star's career forever. And Raw suddenly has quite the story to play with.

    Elsewhere on the show, a number of rivalries moved forward as SummerSlam draws nearer.

    Big Cass beat down a defiant Enzo Amore. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins continued to tease revisiting their partnership.

    And in the night's main event, Braun Strowman bulldozed his way into the contest that was supposed to determine who will face Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at SummerSlam.

    Which of these moments clicked? What storylines didn't make much progress?

    Read on for a breakdown of the latest Raw, from Ambrose wielding a steel chair to The Monster Among Men clobbering Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns.

Dean Ambrose Kicks Off Raw

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    Dean Ambrose called out The Miz and The Miztourage.

    Seth Rollins eventually emerged instead. He said Ambrose should better plan his approach against The Miz. Tension simmered between the former partners as The Lunatic Fringe said he didn't trust Rollins.

    The Miz and his crew stepped onto the ramp where the intercontinental champ said Ambrose couldn't beat him.

    The heels closed in on Ambrose and Rollins. They laid out both men.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Ambrose names a steel chair "Steely Dan."
    • "Bring the whole cast from that terrible Christmas movie you were in. Bring the whole gang."—Ambrose.
    • "Will you be standing in my way or standing by my side?"—Rollins.
    • Rollins turns his back, urging Ambrose to hit him with a chair.
    • The Miz hits Rollins with a Skull-Crushing Finale onto a chair.






    The Miztourage needed a moment like this. The audience needed to see more of this crew tearing folks apart in order to start buying into them.

    The Ambrose-Miz feud has gone on far too long, but it at least has some new characters involved.

    Where Rollins and Ambrose go from here is the most intriguing element of all of this.

    Although, this isn't the right time for The Shield to reform. WWE can't rush that eventual reunion. The more time in between the breakup and the reconciliation, the better.

Alexa Bliss vs. Bayley

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    A fiery Bayley charged at Alexa Bliss early.

    Nia Jax soon stepped out to stand in the champ's corner. She watched on as Bliss took control and slowed the bout down.

    The fight left Bayley's arm weakened. She battled back regardless.

    Jax distracted Bayley, but the babyface soon had Sasha Banks in her corner. The Boss attacked Jax. That allowed Bayley to take down Bliss with a Bayley-to-Belly.



    Bayley wins via pinfall.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Bliss stands on Bayley's hair outside the ring.
    • Banks dropkicks Jax into the ring apron.






    A short match offered a touch of something different from Bayley. This is the most aggressive she's been. That's a good place to start as she continues to find her footing as a character.

    Bliss losing so often isn't the best way to build her up as champion, though.

    We need to see more of her captivating predatory side. That's hard to showcase in a brief bout where she gets toppled.

    The Raw Women's Championship scene is inching closer and closer to a Fatal 4-Way match at SummerSlam.

Mustafa Ali and Jack Gallagher vs. Brian Kendrick and Drew Gulak

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    Jack Gallagher outwrestled Drew Gulak early on.

    Gulak's brawling only earned him the advantage for a second. Mustafa Ali and Gallagher were able to put away the heels in short time.

    An inverted 450 splash was enough to end the bout.



    Gallagher and Ali win via pinfall.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Gulak mocks Gallagher's chest-pat gesture.






    How is this bout supposed to sell the 2-out-of-3 Falls match on 205 Live between Ali and Gulak? Ali easily put away his opponent here. There was no addition to the animosity between them or an advancement of their story.

    The same goes for Gallagher vs. Kendrick.

    The cruiserweights are getting tossed into tight spaces with not nearly enough room to work with. It's hard to grow connected to anyone in the division with throwaway contests like these.

Enzo Amore Sets Up Big Cass

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    Enzo Amore talked about taking risks and striving for victory. He aimed his anger at Big Cass, recalling his former partner's brawl with Big Show.

    Big Cass came out to fight, but Amore slipped away, took a seat and watched on as Big Show walked out and the two giants went to battle.

    Big Show slugged it out with Big Cass outside the ring.

    The Babe Ruth of Beatdowns eventually took control, downing Big Show and taking out a would-be cavalry in Amore.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "There isn't a man in this business who can elicit a reaction on the microphone like Enzo Amore."—Amore.
    • "You being seven feet tall didn't win us any championships."—Amore on Big Cass.
    • "If I get knocked down nine times, I'm getting up 10."—Amore.
    • Amore sits with a young fan in an Amore-style wig.
    • Big Show flings Big Cass into the security barricade.
    • "That's like getting hit with a frying pan to the soul."—Corey Graves.






    Amore is having the best stretch of his career from a promo perspective.

    He's coming off as a scrapper and a never-say-die underdog. He's been far more focused, and his humor is more effective when it's in the midst of a strong storyline like it is right now.

    WWE wisely gave fans something different here. Instead of an official match, these two big men just had themselves an unsanctioned hoss fight.

    The end result made Big Cass look like a badass and gave both Amore and Big Show reason to come after him later.

Finn Balor vs. Elias Samson

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    Elias Samson talked of his history with Nashville before serenading the crowd.

    Once the bell rang, Finn Balor found himself in trouble. Samson methodically went after the babyface, dominating the action.

    Balor's speed allowed him to take over.

    The fight moved to the outside where Balor blasted the heel—that is until Samson smashed him over the head with the guitar. The referee called for the bell; Samson slunk away.

    Bray Wyatt appeared on the big screen to mock Balor.



    Balor wins via disqualification.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Fans chant "We want Balor!"
    • "The people here are awful. And the music couldn't be much worse."—Samson.
    • Samson slams Balor halfway across the ring.
    • Balor dropkicks Samson into the ring barricade.
    • "Move over Aaron Judge. What a swing!"—Graves on Samson's guitar attack.






    A strong night for The Drifter. This is the best Samson has looked in the ring thus far. Smashing the guitar was his biggest moment to date, too.

    Even so, Samson vs. Balor is clearly a holdover feud for The Demon King. The Drifter is likely soon going to be pushed aside to make way for Wyatt.

    Wyatt's appearance points to a more interesting story developing. WWE will have so many fun elements to play with in a rivalry that includes Balor's demon alter ego and Wyatt's supernatural ways.

Akira Tozawa vs. Ariya Daivari

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    Titus O'Neil tried to rally Akira Tozawa and Apollo Crews in the locker room. Ariya Daivari interrupted, telling Tozawa he was going to beat him.

    In the ring, an aggressive Daivari focused on Tozawa's left shoulder as he seized the advantage. O'Neil's client favored his arm afterward as he tried to respond.

    The referee stopped the match per O'Neil's request. That angered Tozawa to no end.



    Daivari wins by referee stoppage.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "He twisted you up like some origami."—O'Neil about Neville forcing Tozawa to submit.
    • "I never quit. You don't care about me!"—Tozawa.






    The match gave Daivari a touch of momentum, but the focus will be on Tozawa and O'Neil's relationship moving forward.

    Titus Worldwide is already on shaky ground. That's a surprising move as O'Neil and Tozawa only just recently joined forces.

    This alliance hasn't done much for Tozawa yet. And now it's threatening to delay his title chase.

Kurt Angle Reveals His Secret

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    Backstage, Angle wondered if he should reveal what he's been hiding. Announcer Corey Graves convinced him to be the one to tell fans before someone else did.

    Later in the show, he walked out to the ring to explain himself.

    He said that during college he dated a woman who gave birth to a son he didn't know about. He revealed that son to be Jason Jordan.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Angle is in tears as Jordan arrives.






    WWE wisely didn't play this for laughs. This was no ridiculous reveal, something that's been a staple for the company.

    All the buildup led to a logical development, a soap-opera moment and a touching embrace. Jordan suddenly has an intriguing means to gain traction.

    Being billed as Angle's son is quite the seal of approval.

    This was short and not fully explored, but that's been the nature of this narrative. WWE has been patient from day one with this angle.

The Hardy Boyz vs. The Revival

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Matt and Jeff Hardy started out strong against The Revival.

    The veterans had Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder reeling with a series of double-team moves. The Revival was able to recover by focusing on Matt's knee. The heels pummeled Matt, leaving him hobbled.

    A furious comeback had the Hardys nearly pick up the win, but a cheap shot and a hold of the tights got The Revival the win.



    The Revival wins via pinfall.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Fans chant "Brother Nero!" referencing Jeff's old character from his Impact Wrestling days.
    • The Hardys flip over Dawson by his arms.
    • "That game plan is to beat nostalgia."—Booker T.
    • Wilder pushed Jeff off the top rope to prevent a swanton bomb.






    Another strong outing from The Revival. Dawson and Wilder meshed well with The Hardy Boyz in one of the best bouts of the night.

    WWE was smart here to get the heels another big win. Knocking off the Hardys is a big boost for them, and their underhanded victory gets them some heat along the way.

    The Hardys' losing streak is an interesting story of its own. More defeats and more frustration is an easy way to set up a character transformation for the brothers.

Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe (Universal Championship No. 1 Contender's Match)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Joe blasted Reigns in the early stages of their slugfest. The Destroyer pounded Reigns with strikes before grinding him into the mat with submission holds.

    Each time Reigns looked ready to make a comeback, Joe halted his momentum.

    Braun Strowman interrupted the battle. He battered Reigns before colliding with Joe. The Monster Among Men assaulted both men until they were unmoving slabs of meat on the canvas.



    Match ends in no-contest.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "He's a world-class athlete with a wrecking ball for a right hand."—Joe on Reigns.
    • Joe catches Reigns in the air to prevent a Superman Punch.
    • Joe clotheslines Reigns onto the ring apron to break up a Drive-By.
    • "How the hell is Strowman here? How's he walking?"—Michael Cole.






    An excellent hoss fight ended in chaos.

    Joe looked tremendous while on the attack. WWE continues to book him as a monster regardless of the outcome.

    As many expected, Strowman got involved here.

    He added an electricity to the scene. A vengeance-hungry Strowman is absolutely captivating. He will no doubt figure into the Universal Championship title chase.

    That likely means a Fatal 4-Way between four of WWE's most powerful men is coming to SummerSlam.