WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from September 16
WWE Clash of Champions was a night when champions largely came out on top. From Seth Rollins' impressive defeat of Braun Strowman to AJ Styles' dominant showing against Cedric Alexander, Raw champions stood tall.
With the field wide-open for new challengers, fresh talent stepped up to ensure those same champions were not standing tall by the end of the September 16 edition of Raw.
What would Bray Wyatt do next to keep his edge over Rollins? Would Strowman take his main event loss with grace or cause even more destruction?
Who would stand up to Styles and The O.C. next? Could anyone match their strength in numbers?
Could anyone keep Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks apart after their brutal match-ending brawl on Sunday? Would Bayley continue to take the wrong path for the sake of her best friend?
Most importantly, one question stood out for this week's Raw: Who would be the next King of the Ring? Would Chad Gable complete his heroic underdog story, or would Baron Corbin begin a reign of terror over WWE?
Only time would tell on this packed episode the night after Clash of Champions.
Bray Wyatt Begins the Mind Games with Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins put over the work of Braun Strowman in their match and the work he had to go through to put down The Monster Among Men.
However, Bray Wyatt interrupted The Beastslayer the moment he started talking about The Fiend.
Wyatt wanted Rollins to be his new best friend, but he warned that The Fiend had not forgotten about their history.
The Eater of Worlds threatened to bring out his alternate personality before laughing it off for now.
It was smart to send The Fiend straight to the main event because he has added so much interest to a title scene that was lacking excitement. He is great at everything he does and is selling two distinct personalities.
The mind games of Wyatt will elevate this to the most interest rivalry Rollins has had in years. Every week leading up to Hell in a Cell on October 6 promises to bring something fresh.
Braun Strowman Ruins the Tag Team Summit
Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler attempted to hold a tag team summit to celebrate their Raw Tag Team Championship win alongside new SmackDown tag team champions The Revival.
However, an angry Braun Strowman stormed the ring and laid out everyone. Scott Dawson, Dash Wilder and Ziggler took big shoulder checks while Roode escaped to the back.
As always, Strowman is treated more as a tool to humble heels than a genuine top star. The big man has never won a true singles title, but he has been a tag team champion twice. On both occasions, it just made the tag division look worse.
There was no real purpose to him steamrolling four credible heels like this. It merely served as a reminder that the tag team division will never matter more than the singles division, even for one week.
The O.C. vs. The Viking Raiders and Cedric Alexander
The O.C. dominated The Viking Raiders and Cedric Alexander in this six-man tag team match until the latter got the hot tag. He seemed unstoppable, but AJ Styles got the blind tag and caught him with a Phenomenal Forearm for the win.
Afterward, the brawling continued. Ivar hit a diving somersault plancha onto Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson with Erik caught in the mix.
Alexander looked poised to get some revenge on The Phenomenal One, but the United States champion grabbed him on the top rope for a Styles Clash.
The O.C. def. Alexander and The Viking Raiders by pinfall
This was a great spotlight for The Viking Raiders and a disappointing showing for Alexander. The face team continued to benefit from the spotlight they have been given by feuding with a team adjacent to Styles.
However, Alexander has gained little from feuding directly with Styles. Just one week has turned all his momentum to ash. He looks outmatched against the champion despite how much commentary attempts to put him over.
King of the Ring: Baron Corbin vs. Chad Gable
Baron Corbin did not take Chad Gable seriously at first and mocked him. Despite the dangerous overconfidence, The Lone Wolf dominated long stretches of this match thanks to his size advantage. However, the Olympian refused to give up.
Gable battled through and wore down the right leg of Corbin. The damage slowed the former Raw general manager, but he did not stop, nearly taking the win with the Deep Six.
The smaller performer ducked through End of Days and caught The Lone Wolf with an ankle lock.
However, Corbin got to the ropes and caught Gable with End of Days for the win.
Corbin def. Gable by pinfall to win the 2019 King of the Ring tournament
Outside of perhaps Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks, Corbin and Gable outshined the entire Clash of Champions card after getting taken off it at the last minute. This was a great match and a worthy end to the King of the Ring tournament.
In particular, this was the best individual performance of The Lone Wolf's career. He had a sensational tournament. It's just a shame WWE highlighted the familiar star rather than go all-in on Gable, who was a star in his own right throughout the competition.
King Corbin feels more likely to go the way of King Sheamus rather than King "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
Maria Turns Her Gender-Reveal Party into a Father-Reveal Party
Maria Kanellis hosted a gender-reveal party for her child and made clear her baby was a boy, but she did not let Mike Kanellis celebrate. She instead said Ricochet was the father.
The One and Only tried to convince Mike she was lying, but he wasn't listening. He challenged Ricochet to a match that did not last long before the former United States champion connected with the Recoil for the win.
After Mike was left moping in the ring, Maria admitted she lied and the real father of her child was Rusev. The Bulgarian Brute returned to action, without wife Lana, and took a quick victory of his own thanks to the Machka Kick and Accolade.
Ricochet def. Mike by pinfall; Rusev def. Mike by submission
This whole story has been terrible, and it's frustrating that Rusev has been dragged into it. The Bulgarian Brute got no reaction in his return because he was tossed into this lifeless storyline.
If he is being thrown together with Maria, it will be even worse, as it would break up Lana and Rusev again.
If WWE is trying to get people talking and tell unique stories, this is about as far as it could go from pulling off something interesting. Mike, in particular, is likely never to recover from all this.
Mayor Glenn Jacobs Gives R-Truth a Tour of Knoxville
Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs found R-Truth backstage and offered to give him a tour of Knoxville, Tennessee.
During that tour, he took the champion to Neyland Stadium. Jacobs revealed he had sworn in a referee, and Truth ran into a field-goal post, setting up Jacobs to pin the champion and win the 24/7 title.
Truth rolled up Jacobs when he returned to the arena and then talked the big man down, convincing him it wasn't worth being 24/7 champion.
Jacobs def. Truth by pinfall to become the new 24/7 champion; Truth def. Jacobs to become the new 24/7 champion
Simple and entertaining, this gave Kane a chance to win one more championship. It was interesting for WWE to admit Kane and Jacobs are the same person, but the segment played it off well.
Truth has made it to 16 championship reigns at such a ridiculous rate that it's been hard even to keep track. The championship has only been around for four months.
Rey Mysterio vs. Cesaro
Cesaro interrupted Rey Mysterio and told the legend he made a mistake by choosing not to retire, threatening Mysterio's son, Dominic.
A brawl started and turned into an impromptu match in which The Swiss Superman dominated.
The strength of Cesaro made it seem like The Master of the 619 had no chance. However, Mysterio caught The Swiss Cyborg with a sudden Canadian Destroyer for the win.
Mysterio def. Cesaro by pinfall
This was a fun match between two great performers. As always, the problem is that The Swiss Superman can pull off a great match but never win. There's no suspense anymore when he comes to the ring.
Mysterio continues to turn his momentum around with victories, but they come off as hollow. He chose to stay for his son, but Dominic has not been seen since. Meanwhile, the luchador is just showing he didn't need to retire at all.
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross vs. Bayley and Sasha Banks
Alexa Bliss injured her knee during this match and was forced to head to the back, but Nikki Cross was impressive on her own as she maneuvered around Bayley and Sasha Banks.
The Twisted Sister looked unstoppable and caught The Hugger with the swinging neckbreaker, but The Boss made the save and forced Cross to tap out to the Bank Statement.
Banks attempted to do more damage to the Scot, but Becky Lynch fended her off with a steel chair. Bayley grabbed a chair as well, but Charlotte Flair headed to the ring. The Man took down The Boss while The Queen did the same to The Hugger.
Backstage, Banks challenged Lynch to a rematch at Hell in a Cell. The Man accepted but added that she wanted to fight inside the cage.
Banks and Bayley def. Cross and Bliss by submission
This was another great showcase for Cross. She got the crowd behind her throughout her rally, and it felt like she might just pull off the upset. It may have been a bit too close, especially with Banks and Bayley getting embarrassed right afterward.
While the team has been great, The Boss 'N' Hug Connection continues to look like a chump in big moments. Somehow, the odd-couple pairing of Lynch and Flair is unstoppable in comparison.
Lacey Evans vs. Dana Brooke
Lacey Evans did not let Dana Brooke make any kind of statement in this one-sided fight.
The Sassy Southern Belle dominated and connected with the Woman's Right. Rather than take the pin, she slapped on the Sharpshooter as a message to Natalya and forced the tapout.
Evans def. Brooke by submission
While it is good to see WWE telling stories with the women outside the title scene, its obsession with Evans is frustrating. If anything, Brooke was the more impressive performer in this match, but she was treated as an afterthought.
Even fans watching every week might have already forgotten Evans vs. Natalya was a weekly feud for the red brand.
Seth Rollins vs. Robert Roode
Seth Rollins fought the best he could against Robert Roode, with Dolph Ziggler keeping a close eye on the action.
When The Beastslayer caught The Glorious One with the Stomp, The Showoff attacked and caused a disqualification.
Afterward, The O.C. joined the action as the heels all beat down the WWE universal champion. Kane arrived to clear the ring, but The Fiend appeared. He choked out The Big Red Machine and then stared at a helpless Rollins.
Rollins def. Roode by DQ
The match between Rollins and Roode was solid but unspectacular, and the beatdown of the universal champion by an army of heels was overdone. None of it mattered once Wyatt arrived, though.
He got to take out Kane, which felt like a further passing-of-the-torch moment after his Mandible Claw on Mick Foley in July. More importantly, he ended another show on top.
Raw closed with the creepy image of The Fiend leaning over Rollins.