WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from August 12
On the heels of a blockbuster SummerSlam at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, the Superstars of WWE Raw hit the USA Network airwaves Monday eager to build on the momentum they established 24 hours earlier.
From the same site of The Biggest Party of the Summer, what awaited new universal champion Seth Rollins? Would a new challenger to his title present himself? More importantly, would Brock Lesnar make his presence felt?
Find out the answers to those questions and more with this recap of the August 12 broadcast.
Seth Rollins Addresses the WWE Universe
New universal champion Seth Rollins kicked off the evening's show, fresh off a clean victory over Brock Lesnar in the main event of SummerSlam.
Rollins applauded the fans for reminding him what it took to defeat Lesnar; what he had to do to be The Beastslayer again.
Before he could go on, the music of United States champion AJ Styles played and The O.C. interrupted the proceedings.
Styles challenged Rollins to a champion vs. champion match, to which the face of Raw accepted.
This was short, sweet and to the point.
In one brief promo segment, fans get the rematch from Money in the Bank that features (arguably) the two best in-ring performers on Raw.
Styles hinting The O.C. won't be involved is likely a swerve, but the match should still be an explosive headliner.
Samoa Joe vs. Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn's mouth got him in trouble again Monday as he talked trash on Samoa Joe during a backstage segment also involving The Street Profits. It led to a match between The Underdog from the Underground and The Destroyer.
Joe unleashed his frustration on Zayn and choked him out with the Coquina Clutch.
After the match, Joe grabbed a mic and took exception to people thinking he could ever have something to do with the heinous attacks on Roman Reigns. For that, he will never forgive them.
Joe defeated Zayn
Joe having hurt feelings over being suspected of horrendous actions when he once carried around a knife in TNA Wrestling feels like a bit of a stretch.
He is a ruthless, relentless badass who takes pride in beating down people, doing them physical harm and choking them unconscious, but dropping some equipment on Reigns? He's not that evil.
Frustrated over his treatment by fans, he vowed never to forgive them. I'm sure that cuts deep.
The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler feigned injury, announcing he would not wrestle The Miz after enduring three straight spears from Goldberg at SummerSlam. It was a ruse, of course, as he attacked The Hollywood A-Lister heading into the commercial break.
The Showoff controlled the bout, working over his battered opponent. Miz fought back, though, and dropped Ziggler. From there, he applied the Figure Four, forcing a tapout from the former world champion.
After the match, Ziggler grabbed a microphone and insulted the victor, claiming Maryse was the best wrestler in the Mizanin family.
Miz headed back to the ring and delivered a Skull-Crushing Finale to wrap up the segment.
The Miz defeated Ziggler
The match was a whole boatload of nothing, with a heaping side of meaningless.
What it did, though, was allow Ziggler to continue his post-match trash-talking followed by further pain, punishment and suffering on his part.
It remains to be seen where that character is going, what the payoff will be or if there even is one, but it is the most interesting thing Ziggler has been allowed to do in a year or two, so there's that.
Ricochet vs. Elias
Elias offered any Superstar interested in interrupting him the opportunity to get it over with. No one answered, giving him false hope that his performance would go off without a hitch. Ricochet finally did appear and said Elias sucks. The match got underway.
Elias sent Ricochet flying with a wicked back body drop and controlled the match. A momentary comeback ended when The One and Only crashed to the floor.
Back inside the squared circle, Elias teased utilizing his guitar, but the official pulled it out of the way. Ricochet delivered a big kick to the head and surprised Elias with the pinfall victory.
Ricochet defeated Elias
"What do we have for Ricochet?" "Nothing."
"What do we have for Elias?" "Nothing."
"Put them together, have the babyface say 'suck' and book an impromptu match."
It is very possible that was the creative process behind this match earlier this afternoon given how little effort went into it. Ricochet is red-hot, but with Styles tied up in the main event, there was nothing else going on. Thus, he ends up stuck in a meaningless match with a guy who may be wildly entertaining but has become a tackling dummy for higher-profile babyfaces.
2-Out-Of-3 Falls Match: Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade
The rivalry between Rey Mysterio and Andrade continued Monday with a 2-out-of-3 Falls match.
El Idolo benefited from the interference of Zelina Vega and added leverage from the ropes to pick up the win in fall No. 1 early.
Andrade leads 1-0.
Mysterio, on the defensive, delivered an ugly headscissors driver from the outside for a strong near-fall. Andrade was able to kick out, evading defeat. Vega continued to make her presence felt, but Mysterio was able to deliver the 619. He tried for the frog splash, but Andrade got his knees up.
Capitalizing on the staggered future Hall of Famer, Andrade delivered a hammerlock DDT to pick up the second fall.
Andrade defeated Mysterio, 2-0
This was uncharacteristically sloppy.
Mysterio and Andrade are phenomenal athletes with above-average in-ring chemistry, but the rushed nature of this one and the extracurricular activities with Vega really forced them off their game.
That is unfortunate given the potential this had to be a real show-stealer.
The commentary team put Andrade over strong, hinting at a potential significant push for the Mexican-born competitor while discussing how strange it was to see Mysterio lose two straight falls. Perhaps that plays into The Master of the 619's future plans.
Cedric Alexander vs. Drew McIntyre
Cedric Alexander already had one win over Drew McIntyre by the time they took to the squared circle Monday night. The former cruiserweight champion sought to make it 2-0 against The Scottish Psychopath this week.
A missile dropkick stunned McIntyre early, but the former NXT champion grounded Alexander, using his power advantage to impose his will on his smaller opponent.
Alexander fought back, though, and set McIntyre up on the top rope. The sinister Scot, though, countered and delivered a big Side Effect to the mat below. On the arena floor, McIntyre added a punishing chop. Alexander recovered and delivered the Lumbar Check on the floor.
Back inside, McIntyre tried for the Claymore, but Alexander caught him with a small package for two. Up on top, he drove his opponent to the mat below with a top-rope Spanish Fly.
The action continued as Alexander countered an inverted Alabama Slam into a victory roll for two. The combatants recovered, and McIntyre delivered a wicked Claymore that turned Alexander inside out and secured him the victory.
McIntyre defeated Alexander
This was a superb match.
McIntyre got the win, but he gave Alexander a ton of opportunity to shine. The 205 Live export broke out with this performance, looking like a bona fide main roster competitor deserving of the opportunity he has had over the last month.
He was legitimized by McIntyre, who bumped like crazy for him. The near-falls were excellent, and the fans' chants of "this is awesome" proved the performers were able to suck them into the action.
Regardless of who won, hopefully this leads to bigger and better things for both men, who never really should have found themselves in this position on the card in the first place.
No Way Jose vs. Robert Roode
In a "They still work here?" match, Robert Roode and No Way Jose squared off in singles competition.
Roode delivered a big spinebuster and followed with the Glorious DDT for the pinfall victory.
Roode defeated Jose
Staying in catering would have been better for Roode than being involved in this.
The match served no purpose, is not at all indicative of any sort of renewed push and really only felt like a favor to the former TNA and NXT world champion in front of his hometown fans.
The commentary team barely gave it the time of day either, instead opting to pay more attention to Charly Caruso's upcoming interview with Paul Heyman.
Put that all together and what do you have? An insult to the guys in the ring.
Lucha House Party vs. The Revival
Chased by several other Superstars, R-Truth and Carmella rushed the ring, interrupting the match between The Revival and Lucha House Party's Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik.
Carmella tripped the persistent Drake Maverick, while Dorado and Metalik fought anyone around them. This allowed Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder to deliver a Heart Attack on Truth, pin him and win the 24/7 Championship.
Truth would regain the title moments later, making him a 12-time champion.
As the champion and The Princess of Staten Island made their way through the backstage area, Elias came from out of nowhere and blasted Truth with a guitar to win the title for a second time.
The Revival, R-Truth and Elias all won the 24/7 Championship
On a show that is rarely genuinely fun, the 24/7 title provides a laugh here and there while giving undercard talent something productive to do.
Elias winning the title is the right move if there is nothing more pertinent for him to be involved in. He is a talent deserving of the airtime and a perfect foil for Truth. Let them work their magic and deliver the entertainment we know they are capable of.
Oh, and The Revival won some more gold, if that means anything at this point.
The Boss Is Back!
Fresh off a disappointing loss in a submission match against Becky Lynch at SummerSlam, Natalya hit the ring to address her fellow compatriots. The Queen of Harts vowed that she and Lynch would tangle again and then discussed her late father Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart and his pride in her.
Suddenly, familiar music played and Sasha Banks returned to television for the first time since WrestleMania. The Boss attacked Natalya from out of nowhere and removed a purple wig to reveal new blue hair underneath. She brutalized the gatekeeper of the women's division until Lynch hit the ring for the save.
The original horsewomen of NXT brawled around ringside until Banks sent The Man into the guardrail. From there, she unloaded with chair shots about the body of the Raw women's champion, leaving her lying to close out the segment.
Just when it looked like Lynch had run out of viable contenders to her throne, The Boss is back and ready to remind the world why she was the face of the women's revolution not all that long ago.
The intensity with which she pummeled Natalya and the remorselessness of cutting off a tribute to her father is indicative of a heel who is worried only about herself. That is the Sasha Banks that captured the imagination of fans in NXT.
That is the Sasha Banks that was missing from WWE upon her call-up to the main roster.
A natural heel, she will do wonders to restore some credibility to a division that has been an unfocused mess of sorts since the historic first WrestleMania main event.
Furthermore, the matches with Lynch will be phenomenal, and their history gives them something to work with. Expect greatness and set those expectations high.
The War Raiders in Action
Erik and Ivar, The War Raiders, returned to action Monday night as they battled unknowns Carter Mason and Sebastian Suave.
The War Raiders squashed the opposition, putting them away with the Viking Experience to secure the win.
The Viking Raiders defeated Mason and Suave
Can we please find something for The War Raiders to do? They are far too talented and were way too hot in NXT to come up to the main roster and wallow in mediocrity the way The Authors of Pain have.
These squash matches are fine early in their run, but they have been part of the show for months now and have yet to have a meaningful match.
The longer this goes on, the quicker the audience's interest is wasted and, eventually, lost.
Women's Tag Team Title Match: Kabuki Warriors vs. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross
A week after falling just shy of winning the Women's Tag Team Championships, Asuka and Kairi Sane challenged Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross for the gold.
The Kabuki Warriors cut a frenetic pace early, keeping the champions off guard. Back from the commercial break, though, Bliss and Cross cut off the ring from Sane. They isolated her from The Empress of Tomorrow, hoping to score the fall on the smaller Superstar.
The Pirate Princess made the hot tag to Asuka, who exploded into the match.
The action broke down, with Asuka and Bliss pairing off on the floor. An errant kick by Asuka missed Bliss and collided with the ring post. Little Miss Bliss followed up, sending her opponent into the post and rendering her obsolete for the rest of the match.
Back inside, Cross delivered a neckbreaker and her partner followed with Twisted Bliss to retain the titles.
Bliss and Cross defeated Asuka and Sane
There are some who are rightfully irritated and frustrated with the use of Asuka to this point in her main roster career. She is just another woman after one of the greatest runs in NXT history. The Empress of Tomorrow deserves better than what she has gotten from a creative standpoint.
With that said, her and Sane have wicked chemistry as a team and helped elevate this match beyond the level it may otherwise have attained.
Bliss and Cross' chemistry is no joke either, as they play well off and complement each other's styles. The question now is whether there is enough depth for another team to rise up and challenge them.
Champion vs. Champion: Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles
United States champion AJ Styles dominated the first half of Monday's main event, taking advantage of universal champion Seth Rollins' numerous injuries to ground him.
Rollins, though, delivered a Sling Blade to spark a babyface comeback that also featured a big falcon arrow for a two-count. He continued fighting off Styles and set up for a big splash.
A distraction from Karl Anderson allowed Luke Gallows to hop on the ring apron and shove Rollins off. He crashed rib-first onto the mat below.
Styles was unable to take advantage, though, as Rollins dodged a Pele kick. Just as it appeared Rollins was en route to a victory, Anderson and Gallows hit the ring, drawing the disqualification.
Ricochet made the save, taking the heels down with his lightning-quick pace and elusiveness. He eventually found himself on the receiving end of the Magic Killer, though, as The O.C. sent him to the floor.
The heels continued their three-on-one beatdown of Rollins until Braun Strowman's music played and The Monster Among Men rushed the squared circle. He obliterated anyone in his path, eventually leveling Styles to a thunderous ovation.
Strowman cleared the ring and retrieved the universal title from ringside. He handed it over to Rollins, and the babyfaces stood tall to close out the show.
Rollins defeated Styles via disqualification
Even a middling Rollins vs. Styles match is better than most. The action was crisp, and they kept fans engaged, even if the outcome was predictable.
What was not was Strowman's involvement at the end of the night.
Is this the case of a Superstar keeping friends close and enemies closer so that he can eventually strike and take the title from The Beastslayer? Or is Strowman eyeing up the U.S. title?
That is something that bears watching going forward.
Kudos to Rollins for staying alert, keeping distance between him and The Monster Among Men and having his fist balled up, ready to fight if necessary. Given Strowman turned heel on Roman Reigns at this time last year, it makes sense and was a nice little touch by the universal champion.