WWE Raw Results: Bobby Lashley, Roman Reigns on Repeat and Top Takeaways
Sunday's WWE Extreme Rules was an awkward night of action that led to frustration from many fans, but the moments that came from that event had the potential to set up an explosive July 16 edition of Raw.
The biggest news that came out of Monday's show was the announcement that Brock Lesnar would compete at SummerSlam, putting his title on the line against the winner of a two-week No. 1 Contender tournament.
This week, six men fought in two Triple Threat matches that eventually left Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley as the victors, and the pair will face off next week for a shot at the Universal Championship.
Bobby Roode and Ronda Rousey also looked to get into title contention, driven by clear conflicts with the current champions. The former UFC star was more successful in her attempts despite her suspension.
One pair of wrestlers with no direction, Bayley and Sasha Banks, continued to drift along in a story that has no end in sight.
Of all the champions on Raw, though, no one stood out more this week in promoting the diversity of the division than The B-Team, who defended their titles against The Ascension.
These were the major events from the first night heading straight toward SummerSlam on Aug. 19, with everyone seeking an opportunity ahead of one of the biggest nights on the WWE calendar.
Bobby Lashley Has to Defeat Roman Reigns Twice in a Row to Face Brock Lesnar
Raw general manager Kurt Angle opened the show by speaking directly to Paul Heyman to determine how they would settle the situation with universal champion Lesnar, which lead to the announcement of a short tournament.
This week, Reigns and Lashley walked out victorious to set up a rematch of their bout at Extreme Rules.
While it was unofficial on Sunday, many expected the winner of Reigns vs. Lashley would already determine who would face The Beast Incarnate at SummerSlam.
However, this artificially arranged rematch will force The Dominator to do something rarely accomplished in WWE: defeat The Big Dog twice in a row.
Regardless of how excited fans are for this rematch, it would be a big deal for Lashley to pin Reigns twice in eight days, establishing him once more as a dominant force for the brand. No one would question why The Destroyer was getting a shot so quickly at Raw's world champion after that.
In fact, it might be too much momentum too quickly as it would be hard to imagine Lashley beating Reigns twice and then losing to Lesnar.
It is unlikely The Beast walks out of SummerSlam as champion, but the real question for the show is whether Lashley, Reigns or Braun Strowman will leave with the title.
Most fans are likely just hoping Lesnar does not continue to hold a title he never defends, with significant backlash possible if Reigns is the one to dethrone him after months of prolonging that moment.
Lashley and Strowman are safe fresh heavyweights to be Raw's new top guy.
Bobby Roode Heading Straight Down the Roster
Bobby Roode challenged Dolph Ziggler this week to try to show he deserved more opportunities than he was getting. However, after tweaking his knee during the contest, he fell to a superkick.
As The Glorious One stewed over his loss backstage, Mojo Rawley mocked the former United States champion.
While his match with Ziggler was strong, it was sold as a one-off encounter rather than setting up a feud. This leaves Roode in a story with Rawley, which is a huge step down from where he was expected to be on the main roster.
Clearly the former Hype Bro has been built as a bigger deal recently, but he is still not around title contention. Roode was a big-time signing for WWE, and he was treated as a main event-caliber talent in NXT, similar to Finn Balor and Shinsuke Nakamura.
At best, The It Factor will take down Rawley and remain waiting for an opportunity to shine, but it is just as likely he is used as a stepping stone for the heel to finally move into the spotlight.
The primary issue right now is Roode has always been best as a heel, headlining Impact Wrestling in such a role and taking on the same persona in NXT.
It is hard to imagine a reason Roode hasn't been given that opportunity on Raw, which is lacking for major villains at the moment.
Bayley and Sasha Banks Continue to Run Around in Circles
After a final ultimatum from Kurt Angle, Bayley was forced to team up with Banks again against Alicia Fox and Dana Brooke with the promise that failure would lead to one of them getting traded to SmackDown Live.
When Bayley was isolated outside and beaten down, Banks lost it and assaulted both their opponents.
This led to the referee disqualifying the faces. Later, Bayley asked Banks why she did what she did, and Banks made clear she loved her and always had. It was a surprise turn in this rivalry with The Boss finally opening up to put a stop to their conflict.
It is tough to say what comes next here, but it is not a great sign that Bayley and Banks are again back to where they were.
This rivalry has gone on for so long without any real momentum. Bayley's outburst seemed to be the start of something, but now it may mean nothing.
The promo from The Boss was well-delivered and showcased just how long this tale has been going on, but it's about time something more comes of this dynamic other than fights and reconciliations.
The B-Team's Title Reigns May Finally Add Diversity to Tag Team Division
In their first night as Raw tag team champions, Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel defended their titles against The Ascension.
Despite Konnor and Viktor giving them a tough bout, The B-Team emerged victorious with The Revival watching backstage before being challenged to a rematch by Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt.
Bo and Axel are fun to watch as champions for the short term even if their shtick as overly celebratory champions may grow old. What was more impressive here was seeing some variety in the challengers, with The Ascension appearing on TV for the first time in months.
Once The B-Team defeat the former champions again next week, the options will be wide open for the next rivalry. In particular, Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder could finally get a chance at gold, following up their return to prominence in their short feud with Reigns and Lashley.
The Raw tag team division has looked understaffed since the latest Superstar Shake-up, but there's still talent here to rely on.
If The Revival get their shot followed by The Authors of Pain, The B-Team could be the answer this division needs to become interesting again.
Ronda Rousey's Road to the Top May End at SummerSlam
Alexa Bliss and Mickie James came out to gloat over Sunday's controversial victory, but a still-suspended Rousey marched down to the ring through the crowd and attacked Bliss.
Despite Constable Baron Corbin telling Angle to wait, the general manager decided to give Rousey a title shot at SummerSlam.
WWE logic is rarely 100 percent sound, but this was an oddly structured segment with Angle rewarding Rowdy for breaking her suspension and assaulting his brand's champion. It led to what everyone expected, though, with Rousey vs. Bliss a money match at SummerSlam.
At Money in the Bank, the UFC Hall of Famer got her first singles match and title shot, and some expected that would be the moment she emerged as Raw's top woman. It seems much more likely she will now take that title from Bliss.
Is a rookie going into her third match ever ready for that opportunity? Nobody can be certain, but she's proved to be a quick learner.
Her first two in-ring performances were impressive to say the least, and she's going to turn heads in the mainstream media if she becomes the company's top female champion.