WWE Raw Reunion Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights
It's time for the reunion. The July 22 edition of WWE Raw promised a huge night of returns as legends of the past made special one-night appearances on the flagship show.
Some of the biggest names in the business had already booked their tickets. Just a few of the names confirmed included "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Mick Foley, Kurt Angle, Ted DiBiase, Mark Henry and even D-Generation X in full force.
Before WWE set its sights on SummerSlam, the company looked back at the legends of the past. It was an easy bet to trust that bringing in familiar names would spark interest.
However, it did pose a risk. If WWE could not capitalize on the added attention, those returning fans would be wasted. Ratings boosts for one week wouldn't be enough. The new stars had to get a lift from the legends.
This left fascinating questions for Raw Reunion. How would some of the biggest acts in the business be used on this one night? Who would benefit from working with these legends most? Would the night be able to build up what matters or reinforce the sad state of the current product?
Only time would tell, but at least everyone knew there would be a few new 24/7 champions by the end of it all.
John Cena Returns; The Usos (w/ Rikishi) vs. The Revival (w/ D-Von Dudley)
John Cena opened the show to talk up how much he still cares about WWE. The Usos interrupted to challenge The Doctor of Thuganomics to drop some rhymes. Cena acquiesced for a moment, but he quickly decided he was done.
Jimmy and Jey weren't, though, as they brought out Rikishi. Standing with his sons, The Samoan Stinker challenged The Champ to dance, but The Revival interrupted with D-Von Dudley coming out to join them.
Booker T joined commentary for The Usos vs. The Revival.
In a fast and physical battle, Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder gave Jimmy and Jey all they could handle. However, after Dawson got distracted by Rikishi staring down D-Von at ringside, he walked into a superkick and a splash for the loss.
Usos def. Revival by pinfall
This was a fun way to start and balance out the focus on young stars and legends. Cena got the show rolling but quickly handed the baton to The Usos and The Revival, who got some tag team legends in their corners for their match.
Thanks to the picture-in-picture addition to Raw, which had become a staple of SmackDown Live, the wrestling wasn't rushed or awkwardly stopped and restarted. The two teams did good work together and hopefully set up another great title clash.
The Legends Come Out to Become 24/7 Champions
Charly Caruso interviewed R-Truth about barely escaping Comic Con in San Diego with the 24/7 Championship at the weekend.
Renee Michelle interrupted the conversation to distract Carmella, and Drake Maverick rolled up Truth to steal the title. As Maverick attempted to escape, The Boogeyman scared him into falling into position for Pat Patterson to pin him.
Gerald Brisco then took down Patterson to win the title, but Kelly Kelly caught him with a low blow to quickly become champ. Melina revealed a referee shirt to set up Candice Michelle to pin Kelly. Alundra Blayze then choked out Michelle to cause another quick title change.
Blayze was ready to trash the championship before DiBiase bought it from her.
Maverick caught DiBiase in his limousine to regain the championship. Truth finally caught the 205 Live general manager on his way out with a roll-up and ran off with the title and Maverick's wife.
Truth def. Maverick; Patterson def. Maverick; Brisco def. Patterson; Kelly def. Brisco; Michelle def. Kelly; Blayze def. Michelle; DiBiase def. Blayze; Maverick def. DiBiase; Truth def. Maverick to become the new 24/7 champion
This was as stupid as ever in the best way possible. Everyone got involved in a series of skits that made clear this title is still the best thing WWE has going. It also proved Truth and Maverick are still carrying the story.
Renee has taken to Maverick's story and is helping him regain the title, but Truth has now run off with his rival's wife.
The story deepens every week and is now legitimized by legends.
Drew McIntyre Doesn't Give Cedric Alexander a 2nd Chance at Him
Drew McIntyre shook his head as Torrie Wilson, Alicia Fox and Santino Marella reminisced backstage.
The Scot let his anger and frustration simmer until he got to the ring. He cut off Cedric Alexander on the entrance ramp and beat him down before hitting him with a reverse Alabama Slam onto the apron.
This was a smart way to keep this feud moving without quickly cutting off Alexander's momentum. It would have been a waste to have the two quickly wrestle again. This now feels personal, even if this type of storytelling feels overdone.
Alexander has ticked off The Scottish Psychopath, but it will be more interesting to see how the former cruiserweight champion responds to McIntyre. This is his chance to take a massive leap forward like only he can.
The Viking Raiders vs. Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder
Christian joined commentary, and Lilian Garcia returned to the announcer position for this next match.
In a pretaped interview before the bout, The Viking Raiders promised to wipe out everyone in their path.
Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder did their best to ground and isolate Erik and Ivar from each other early, but they would not be denied.
Ivar took both men out with a suicide dive and set up The Viking Experience for the win.
Viking Raiders def. Hawkins and Ryder by pinfall
The commentators played this off like a first meeting when these teams have fought multiple times already. Ryder and Hawkins were treated much the same as the enhancement stars Erik and Ivar have been recently running through.
Hopefully, the Raiders will graduate soon to competition that will give them a challenge. They've shown how impressive they are. Now they need to show how great they can be.
Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe ran down Raw Reunion as a nostalgia trip before using the opening segment as an example.
As he insulted Rikishi and The Usos, Roman Reigns arrived. The two quickly threw out words and began to brawl. Joe dominated The Big Dog until taking a Superman Punch.
The Samoan Submission Specialist was ready to retreat and fight another day until Reigns called him a coward. Joe relied on the damage he inflicted before the match, but The Big Dog got a second wind. He escaped the Coquina Clutch and landed a Spear for the win.
Reigns def. Joe by pinfall
This was a good segment and match between two great performers. They have done so much better work together that meant so much more, but this was a way to keep both men on TV while reminding everyone of their situation.
If The Samoan Submission Specialist had retreated, it might have hinted at a rivalry Joe could benefit from. If Joe had won even by nefarious means, it would have helped him keep his momentum. Instead, Reigns walked out with the victory, and none of it mattered.
Seth Rollins Promises to Show Brock Lesnar Is Human on 'Miz TV'
The Miz invited Seth Rollins to "Miz TV" to speak his mind on Brock Lesnar, and The Architect was not shy about it.
Paul Heyman interrupted to advocate for The Beast Incarnate until The Architect ran him off.
Rollins then made clear Lesnar was only human and would fall at SummerSlam on August 11.
This was far too bland for the talent involved. Miz did not even need to be involved for it to work. Rollins just repeated his talking points from past promos on Lesnar.
This would have been a perfect moment for a legend to get involved and talk up The Architect or question whether Rollins could defeat Lesnar twice.
Sami Zayn vs. Rey Mysterio
Sami Zayn interrupted the legends' party backstage to call out all the has-beens. Rey Mysterio took offense before the two almost came to blows.
Kurt Angle asked that they settle it in the ring.
The Master of the 619 kept The Critic of the Critics on his toes until Rob Van Dam, Sgt. Slaughter, Angle and The Hurricane came out.
The distraction allowed Mysterio to hit a 619 and five-star frog splash for the win.
Mysterio def. Zayn by pinfall
This was a clear example of what WWE should not be doing with Raw Reunion. Mysterio lost all momentum when he was beaten by Bobby Lashley in his return, and this was not the way to get it back. It felt more like a way to embarrass Zayn again.
These two could have a good rivalry, but neither is being treated as a big enough deal for that to happen. This was just a way to again silence the naysayers about the legends reunion.
Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles
Jerry Lawler took a guest spot on commentary, and he watched as Seth Rollins struggled early to keep up with AJ Styles inside the squared circle and Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson at ringside.
Triple H and Shawn Michaels marched to the ring to even the odds for The Architect against the trio, who are now going under the new name of The O.C.
As Rollins started to take back the match, Gallows and Anderson stormed the ring to cause a disqualification. Afterward, The O.C. tried to convince Triple H and Michaels to work with them, but D-Generation X refused and started a brawl.
Styles, Gallows and Anderson grabbed steel chairs before Road Dogg arrived, trailed by X-Pac, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. The combined forces sent The O.C. running.
Rollins def. Styles by DQ
This was a disappointing use of two of WWE's best. Repeated interference made this more of a tease than a true match. Eventually, we'll get Rollins vs. Styles again, but this week wasn't the week for that.
The use of all these legends in one segment only served to embarrass a stable that just got rebranded. This should be the most dominant trio on the red brand, but they were sent running by a bunch of guys who can barely walk.
The Fiend Takes Out Mick Foley with the Mandible Claw
Mick Foley came out to celebrate his favorite moment in Raw history, winning the WWE Championship.
After just a few seconds of showing the clip, the lights went out, and Bray Wyatt laid out the Hardcore Legend with the Mandible Claw.
This was short, sweet and to the point. Wyatt got another chance to stand out in memorable fashion, and Foley seemed to be passing on the Mandible Claw to The Fiend.
It's a shame this meant Foley didn't get a chance to win the 24/7 Championship, though.
'A Moment of Bliss' Descends into Brawl Between Becky Lynch and Natalya
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross introduced Becky Lynch to "A Moment of Bliss," but Natalya quickly interrupted.
The two SummerSlam opponents got into a war of words and began brawling. They were separated by officials after several minutes.
Backstage, The Queen of Harts called out The Man as ungrateful and disrespectful, promising to take her down a peg when she wins the Raw Women's Championship.
While this rivalry has not earned this level of animosity, it was the rare segment on Raw Reunion that looked forward. Lynch and Natalya's rivalry was made out to be the only thing that mattered as much as the legends.
Hopefully, this continues to build the expectation that these two hate each other and will not take the match easy. Natalya needs this spotlight to even remotely feel like she's on Lynch's level.
Braun Strowman vs. Local Competitor
Braun Strowman promised to make this quick.
He destroyed a young local competitor, hitting a big boot then a running powerslam to take the win.
Strowman def. local competitor by pinfall
Why is The Monster Among Men squashing jobbers? The answer is WWE somehow has nothing for him. He is the kind of star who should easily appeal to any fans tuning in for the old-school legends. He's big, powerful and explosive.
Strowman has remained in the same position for years, though. In any other era, he would be a multiple-time world champion by this point.
Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin Thank the Fans for Tuning in
The legends filed out to the stage with Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair at the head.
The Hulkster thanked the crowd for supporting them throughout the years. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin arrived with beer to celebrate his WWE family all coming together for this moment.
Not to be a grouch at the end of the night, but this was such a waste of bringing in all this talent. Hogan and Austin came back to remind everyone it matters that they keep tuning in, but this never gave anyone a reason to do so.
The Rattlesnake could have been celebrating by hitting stunners with Kevin Owens, and Hogan could have taken a moment to put over a young star as the future of the business.
While the legends were enjoying themselves, this felt a little too self-congratulatory at a time when WWE is doing everything in its power to keep people invested.