WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from August 13
The Raw brand had one last opportunity to leave an impression on the WWE Universe just six days from SummerSlam in Brooklyn, New York, and it kicked things off with "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey.
From there, the top rivalries took center stage, with the final hype for their matches unfolding over the course of the three-hour broadcast.
With tag titles on the line and a contract signing between Seth Rollins and intercontinental champion Dolph Ziggler on tap, find out what happened as Raw hit the USA Network airwaves Monday night.
Ronda Rousey Kicks Off Raw
Ronda Rousey kicked off Raw, just six days from her shot at history against Alexa Bliss for the Raw Women's Championship at SummerSlam.
Rousey addressed the news from earlier in the day, that being the death of the legendary Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart.
Bliss and Alicia Fox eventually interrupted the proceedings. The champion called Rousey an overhyped, privileged rookie and said she is sick of hearing their match is a foregone conclusion.
At the suggestion of Constable Baron Corbin, Bliss hired her own personal security.
Rousey laid waste to three of the four security guards, with the fourth tucking tail and running.
From there, Ember Moon joined Rousey in the ring and a match between The Shenom and Bliss was announced for after the break.
This was totally worth it for the ass-kicking Rousey handed to the security guards.
Beyond that, it was a segment that needed to happen to explain Natalya's absence. She has been an integral part of the story so not being there six days before SummerSlam is a big deal.
Bliss was great on the mic, Rousey was her believable badass self, and the result was a strong segment to kick off the go-home show.
Ember Moon vs. Alexa Bliss
Moon frustrated Bliss early, controlling the match heading into the break.
Bliss turned the tide, working over Moon and taunting Rousey from inside the squared circle.
Moon fought her way back into the match and delivered the Eclipse and was moments from a victory before Alicia Fox broke up the pin, drawing the disqualification.
Fox attacked Moon after the bell, but Rousey made the save, clearing the ring of The Foxy One.
Rousey stared her rivals down to close out the segment.
Moon defeated Bliss
It is nice to see WWE Creative protecting Moon, but would it have killed the writing team to have Bliss go over to sell the threat of interference from Fox at SummerSlam? We already know it is coming, but one more not-so-subtle reminder that the threat of Fox's involvement in Sunday's match should be of great concern for Rousey would not have hurt.
A solid enough match that was undoubtedly rebooked hastily due to the news from earlier in the day.
Tyler Breeze vs. Constable Corbin
Ahead of his match with Finn Balor at SummerSlam, Constable Corbin squared off with Breezango's Tyler Breeze.
He wore his smaller opponent down, working the head and neck as he sought out what he figured to be an easy win.
As the action spilled to the floor, Breeze caught Corbin with an enzuigiri. Back inside, though, he fell prey to the Deep Six, which scored the authority figure the win.
After the match, Corbin introduced Jinder Mahal, and Kevin Owens joined Corbin in the ring ahead of the upcoming tag bout.
Corbin defeated Breeze
It made sense that Corbin would take the opportunity to beat up a smaller NXT export such as Breeze just days before he battles Finn Balor at SummerSlam.
That said, this was a squash match that did nothing to better Corbin and, if anything, only further diminished Breeze's credibility.
Finn Balor and Braun Strowman vs. Jinder Mahal and Kevin Owens
Owens and Mahal singled out the smaller Balor, rightly isolating him from his larger, more furious opponent and working him over for the majority of the bout.
A hot tag to Strowman gave way to a babyface comeback that saw him bounce both The Prizefighter and Modern Day Maharaja around the squared circle.
After a suicide dive had the babyfaces rolling, Mahal and Owens again seized control by working over Balor.
Strowman tagged back in and delivered his trademark powerslam to Mahal for the win.
Balor and Strowman defeated Mahal and Owens
WWE does these types of tag team matches really well. Their talent is almost programmed not to have a bad tag match featuring primarily singles competitors and this was no exception.
It did a solid enough job of spotlighting Balor, Strowman and Owens ahead of their SummerSlam matches, and Mahal was obviously there to take the pin.
It's surprising when one remembers just one year ago how significant a role Mahal played in the build to the summertime spectacular.
Bobby Lashley vs. Ricky Roberts
Elias interrupted a promo by Ricky Roberts, his self-proclaimed biggest fan, and said if the unknown wanted to impress him, he would go out and beat the seemingly unstoppable Bobby Lashley.
Elias plugged his concert this weekend and teased playing a new song before Lashley interrupted.
Roberts attempted to get an early upper hand by shattering a guitar over Lashley's back, but the former NCAA star shrugged it off and proceeded to squash him in short order with a spinebuster. No match.
This is such a lackluster program WWE Creative is not even bothering to find a spot on the SummerSlam card for Lashley or Elias. It has not hit the right note at all since its inception, and segments like this only further prove that fact.
Perhaps that has to do with the Grand Canyon-sized difference in the competitors' charisma.
Triple Threat Match for the Raw Tag Team Championships
The B-Team put its Raw Tag Team Championships up for grabs Monday night in a Triple Threat match against the two biggest threats to their reign, The Deleters of Worlds and The Revival.
Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt sought their second run with the titles, while Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder were determined to prove they are the best team in the industry.
The action-packed match concluded in controversy as The Revival delivered Shatter Machine to Wyatt, only to have Axel sneak in and steal the pin and win.
The champions obnoxiously celebrated their victory, leaving Wilder and Dawson dismayed.
The B-Team defeated The Revival and The Deleters of Worlds
This was a fast-paced, action-packed sprint of a match that did exactly what it had to: It gave the champions a big win, essentially eliminated the former champions from contention and gave The Revival a real argument for a rematch.
As we would find out later in the show, that rematch will be held on the Kickoff Show at SummerSlam.
Wilder and Dawson are so far ahead of the other two teams that an official coronation in Brooklyn is the only way this can really end.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman Outsmart Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns cut a familiar promo about his upcoming match with Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship but was interrupted by Paul Heyman, who made his way to the ring and immediately sought to endear himself to The Big Dog.
Heyman laid it on thick, even speaking Samoan, surprising Reigns as he attempted to align himself with the No. 1 contender.
Heyman gave Reigns an agreement of sorts he had drawn up and gave him a week to look it over. With The Big Dog distracted, the manipulative manager sprayed him in the eyes, blinding him. From there, The Beast Incarnate's music played and Lesnar made his way to the squared circle.
Heyman watched from ringside, a smile on his face, as Lesnar drove his knees into Reigns. A chokeout followed. From there, the champion marched back into the squared circle and flattened his SummerSlam opponent with an F-5 to close out the final hype for their championship clash Sunday.
Heyman is so good at what he does that his performance here single-handedly elevated the segment's grade.
Utterly manipulative, he played the family card to lure Reigns into a sense of security before pulling the rug out from under him and giving way to a beating at the hands of wrestling's most dangerous man.
The reaction to the teased partnership is interesting in that it almost feels as though WWE was testing the waters, trying to see exactly how the WWE Universe would view such a union. The reaction was favorable, so do not be surprised to see Reigns and Heyman pull the wool over the eyes of the WWE faithful and reveal a union that alters the company for good.
Or Reigns wins straight up in the biggest foregone conclusion of the year.
Bobby Roode and Titus Worldwide vs. The Authors of Pain and Mojo Rawley
Ah, the latest chapter in the rivalry absolutely no one was asking for.
Bobby Roode and Titus Worldwide's Titus O'Neil and Apollo Crews battled The Authors of Pain and Mojo Rawley in tag team action.
The match broke down late, with the two tag teams fighting to the floor.
Back inside the squared circle, Roode dropped Rawley with a Glorious DDT for the win.
Roode and Titus Worldwide defeated The Authors of Pain and Mojo Rawley
This served no purpose in hyping Sunday's pay-per-view and existed only to put eyes on two lower-level feuds that will not be represented on the SummerSlam card.
It is interesting to see The Authors go down in such a meaningless match, but the luster is off that diamond based on the manner in which they have been utilized—or not—since making their main roster debut.
Sasha Banks vs. Ruby Riott
Ruby Riott returned to the squared circle after months on the sidelines, watching as her teammates Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan engaged Sasha Banks and Bayley in a rivalry, and squared off with The Boss in singles competition.
Riott seized control of the match after sandwiching Banks' hand in the ring steps and savagely attacking it. Targeting the injured body part, she kept The Boss grounded.
That is until Banks launched herself through the ring ropes and wiped out Morgan and Logan at ringside.
With Bayley counteracting interference by Morgan, Banks fell prey to the momentary distraction and Riott scored a rollup win.
Riott defeated Banks
It was nice to see Riott back and victorious, but the finish was so lazy and predictable that her win is essentially meaningless.
We know The Riott Squad are heels and they cheat. We have known that for the last year. Would it have killed WWE Creative to book Riott to go over Banks clean and establish herself as a legitimate threat in the women's division?
The answer? No.
Especially against someone as routinely protected as Banks.
Intercontinental Championship Contract Signing
With questions surrounding Seth Rollins' travel difficulties, Raw general manager Kurt Angle took to the squared circle for the contract signing for Sunday's Intercontinental Championship match between The Architect and champion Dolph Ziggler.
Ziggler and McIntyre interrupted the proceedings and launched into a heated promo in which he compared Rollins' current run to his, even saying the fans care now but they won't, as he discovered when they stopped supporting him while he stole the show.
Crediting McIntyre with inspiring him as a wrestler, he was prepared to accept the victory over Rollins via forfeit until the No. 1 contender arrived. He said it was not his travel plans that had kept him away but, rather, the man who will be in his corner at SummerSlam.
With that, Dean Ambrose made his much-anticipated return, joining Rollins in clearing the ring and standing tall to close out the show.
As much attention will be given to Ambrose's return, this segment should be remembered for Ziggler's promo.
Have we heard promos similar to it from The Showoff before? Sure, but the intensity and conviction with which he spoke elevated this beyond all of them. A great segment of television and a quality promo from one of the hardest working performers in the industry.
Which brings us to Ambrose, whose change in appearance may have thrown some fans off.
The long hair is gone. He's more jacked than he has ever been before. There was a seriousness and intensity that painted his face. He looked more mature and dangerous than before.
All of that adds up to an intriguing element to Sunday's match.
A great segment to close the show.