The July 16th, 2018 edition of WWE RAW was the first episode after Sunday’s Extreme Rules event, and took place at the Keybank Center in Buffalo, NY.
– Fans are now entering the Keybank Center and being seated for tonight’s show.
– RAW opens up with a memorial graphic for the late Masa Saito.
– RAW GM Kurt Angle comes out to the ring to kick off the show. Kurt gets on the mic thanks the wrestlers for their passion and dedication, except for Brock Lesnar. Kurt says issued his ultimatum to Lesnar last night: Either come to RAW and negotiate a Universal Title defense, or he’s stripped of the Title. Paul Heyman then comes out to interrupt. Kurt cuts off Paul’s introduction and says we know who he is, and he needs to see Lensar now or else he’s stripped of the Title. Heyman teases that he’s about to introduce Lesnar, but Lesnar is not there. Kurt says that’s it, Lesnar’s stripped of the Title. Heyman asks Kurt to hold on a second as he steps into the ring. Heyman pleads his case to Kurt, saying that Lesnar does actually care about WWE and being the Universal Champion. Kurt asks why he doesn’t show up if he cares. Heyman reuiterates that Lesnar does care, but Lesnar’s big game plan is to become a two-sport Champion: the WWE Universal Champion and the UFC Heavyweight Champion. Heyman makes a comparison to Angle having both the Olympic gold medals and the WWE Championship. Angle says that sounds nice, but Lesnar must defend his Universal Title at SummerSlam or else he’s stripped of the Title. Heyman looks nervous, as the crowd chants “make him wrestle” and Kurt tells Paul to answer him about SummerSlam. Heyman finally says that Lesnar will defend the Title at SummerSlam. Heyman thanks the fans for voicing their opinions that they want more of Lesnar, which the crowd boos. Heyman says the only thing to determine now is who Lesnar will conquer at SummerSlam. Bobby Lashley’s music hits and Lashley walks down to the ring.
Lashley gets on the mic and backs Heyman into a corner. Lashley says he accomplished his first goal back in WWE by beating Roman Reigns, and his second goal is to beat Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title. Drew McIntyre’s music hits and he comes out to the ramp with a mic. Drew says phase one of his comeback was helping Ziggler secure the Intercontinental Title, and phase two of his comeback is the Universal Championship. Seth Rollins’ music hits and Rollins comes out next to interrupt. Rollins steps in the ring and gets in Drew’s face, but Elias quickly comes out to interrupt next. Elias comes out on the stage with his guitar and asks if everyone is walking with Elias. Elias steps in the ring and talks about his intentions for the Universal Title, and also says he has a debut album dropping next week. Finn Balor comes out to interrupt next and talks about being the first Universal Champion. He thinks Finn Balor vs. Brock Lesnar makes the most sense, but then Roman Reigns comes out to interrupt next. Reigns walks down to the ring, and Coach says on commentary that thinks Reigns is owed a shot at the Universal Title too. Reigns gets in the ring and says he has no excuses and he doesn’t want Lesnar, he just wants someone to fight tonight. Kurt announces two Triple Threat matches tonight, and the winners will face each other next week to earn the shot at Lesnar at SummerSlam.
Kurt’s first Triple Threat is Elias vs. Rollins vs. Lashley, and the second Triple Threat match is McIntyre vs. Balor vs. Reigns — and that mach starts right now. Kurt heads to the back as the other wrestlers stare each other down.
– Back from commercial, Baron Corbin approaches Kurt Angle backstage. Corbin says Kurt didn’t consult with Stephanie before making his decision tonight, and also asks why Kurt didn’t put him in the match. Kurt points out that Finn Balor beat him last night and Corbin should think about that.
– Roman Reigns vs. Finn Balor vs. Drew Mcintyre: Balor and Reigns clear Drew out of the ring early on, and then Balor clotheslines Reigns to the outside. Balor follows up with a suicide dive out to ringside on Reigns and McIntyre to take control of the match. Back in the ring, Drew comes back and drops Balor, then works over Reigns in the corner. Drew fights off Balor again, then boots Reigns in the face. Drew suplexes Reigns down for a two count. Drew knocks Balor outside and continues to pummel on Reigns. Balor finally connects with a shot on Drew, then Reigns clotheslines McIntyre down. Balor tees off on Reigns now until Reigns comes back with another clothesline. Balor ducks a shot from Reigns and dumps him to the apron then stomps on him. Drew then goes flying out of the ring with a big suicide dive on Reigns on the floor. Balor bumps Drew into the ring steps, then stomps on the back of his neck. Balor throws Reigns back in the ring and stomps on him for a two count. Balor drops Reigns again then goes up top, but Drew smashes a steel chair over his head, which is legal under Triple Threat rules. Reigns gets up and beats on Drew in the corner, but Drew turns the tide and slams Reigns into the ring post for a two count. Reigns fights back, but Drew shuts him down with a spinebuster for another two count. Drew looks for a powerbomb, but Balor smashes a steel chair over Drew, and then repeatedly over Reigns. Things spill out to ringside where Balor dropkicks Drew into the barricade, and then Reigns hits a big spear on Drew on the floor. As Reigns gets to his feet, Balor hits a Sling Blade on the floor. Back in the ring, Balor hits another Sling Blade on Reigns. Balor looks for a dropkick, but Reigns hits a superman punch to shut him down. Reigns goes for a spear, but Balor knees him in the face and dropkicks him. Balor goes up top and hits the Coup De Grace, but Drew breaks up the pin. Finn and Drew brawl at ringside until Drew throws him into the ring steps. Back in the ring, Drew looks for the Claymore, but Reigns superman punches him down. Balor rolls up Reigns, but Reigns gets out and superman punches him too. Drew headbutts Reigns and goes for the Claymore, but he hits Balor instead. Reigns superman punches Drew to the outside, and then he spears Balor for the three count.
Winner: Roman Reigns
– Reigns got cut above his left eye at some point during the second half of the match. We go to replays as all three competitors recover in the ring. Reigns will now be competing next week to earn a shot against Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam.
– Bayley approaches Kurt Angle backstage and talks about her friendship counseling with Sasha Banks. Bayley says it didn’t go well despite both her and Sasha trying. Bayley says she doesn’t think she’ll ever be together with Sasha again. Kurt decides to book Bayley and Sasha in a tag match against Dana Brooke and Alicia Fox. Kurt says if they can’t get along, one of them is going to get traded to SmackDown.
– Dolph Ziggler is backstage watching his Intercontinental Title belt being polished.
– Dolph Ziggler comes out to the ring next and gets on the mic. Ziggler talks about last night being the first time the IC Title main-evented a WWE pay-per-view in 17 years. Ziggler says that was because of him, not Rollins, but adds that he does respect everything Rollins did to contribute to the IC Title’s legacy. He says Rollins is no Ziggler though, and adds that he pinned Ziggler five times. Bobby Roode then comes out to interupt. Roode says he hears Ziggler giving credit where it’s due, aside from Drew McIntyre, who helped Ziggled win. Roode says if not for Drew’s involvement, Ziggler would be at a comedy club telling bad jokes right now. Ziggler points out that Roode watched from the sidelines last night as Ziggler headlined the show. Roode says the sidelines suck, and that’s why he’s here, to challenge Ziggler for the Title right now. A ref comes out, but Ziggler makes one last-minute comment: He’ll have a match with Roode, but it won’t be a Title match.
– Dolph Ziggler vs. Bobby Roode: Ziggler looks for a superkick off the opening bell, but Roode side steps and they wrestle down to the mat. Ziggler shoulder blocks Roode down, and Roode fires back with a hip toss. Ziggler controls the next several minutes of the match and works on keeping Roode grounded. Roode tries to fight back but Ziggler shuts him down with a swinging neckbreaker for a two count. Ziggler looks for a shot in the corner, but Roode shuts him down with a clothesline. Ziggler drops Roode into the turnbuckle, and both men are down recovering. Ziggler keeps Roode grounded with a rear chin lock until Roode fires back with some strikes, and then Ziggler misses a splash in the corner. Ziggler looks for a sleeper hold, but Roode throws him down and follows up with some clotheslines. Roode hits a side suplex and then a splash in the corner. Roode keeps control as he hits a blockbuster off the turnbuckle. Roode looks for the DDT but Ziggler fights him off. Ziggler looks for the Fameasser but Roode avoids it, which leads to a series of pin attempts. Roode looks for the DDT again, but Ziggler breaks free and hits the Zig Zag for a two count. Ziggler looks for a Superkick but Roode blocks and sends Ziggler into the corner. Roode follows up with a spinebuster for a two count. Roode misses a shot off the middle rope and appears to tweak his knee. This leads to Ziggler connecting with a superkick for the three count.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
– Ziggler heads up the ramp with his IC Title as we go to the broadcast table, where Michael Cole introduces some replays of Kurt Angle’s announcement at the top of the show and the Triple Threat match.
– Lashley cuts a promo backstage about having the skill and ability to beat The Beast at SummerSlam. Lashley says Lesnar has never faced anyone like him, and he will be the Universal Champion.
– We see Bobby Roode backstage recovering from his match, when Mojo Rawley gets in his face. Mojo sarcastically says “you’re supposed to be glorious?” Mojo walks off and Roode doesn’t look happy.
– Mojo Rawley vs. Tyler Breeze: The opening bell sounds and Mojo immediately takes the fight to Breeze with strikes in the corner. The fight briefly spills outside before Mojo takes things back in the ring and applies a chin lock. Breeze fights free and stuns Mojo with a dropkick before hitting a forearm shot in the corner. Breeze throws Mojo outside, but Mojo jumps back into the ring and hits a splash on Breeze in the corner before hitting a running shoulder tackle. Mojo hits a running punch to the face in the corner and then hits the Alabama Slam for the three count.
Winner: Mojo Rawley
– Mojo celebrates the win and gets in Breeze’s face. Michael Cole and Coach seemed to get into it on commentary during that match, with Cole purposefully talking over Coach at points, and Coach then making a remark about being “buried.”
– Bayley and Sasha Banks are shown together walking to the gorilla position, but neither of them look happy about it.
– Alicia Fox & Dana Brooke vs. Bayley & Sasha Banks: Bayley and Alicia start this one off. Alicia starts off strong, but she misses a shot in the corner and retreats out to the apron. The ref pulls them apart, which leads to Fox hitting a big boot for a two count. Dana tags in and hits a springboard elbow on Bayley. Dana goes for another one but misses. Dana drops Bayley again, then drops Sasha off the apron. Bayley fights back and takes down Dana then pummels on her. Bayley knocks Fox off the apron, then beats on Dana in the corner. Dana comes back with a clothesline and then throws Bayley outside. Fox attacks Bayley at ringside until Sasha comes for the save. Dana gets involved and Sasha slams her down to the floor off the apron. Sasha hits a cross body off the apron onto Fox and Dana at ringside, and the ref calls for the DQ.
Winners via DQ: Dana Brooke & Alicia Fox
– Sasha heads up the ramp alone as Bayley recovers at ringside.
– Bayley approaches Sasha backstage and asks Sasha what that’s all about. Sasha says she cares about Bayley but she hates talking about her feelings, and she says she loves Bayley and always will, then she walks off.
– Braun Strowman does an interview backstage where he says he regrets not being able to congratulate Kevin Owens on his victory last night. Strowman says no matter who wins Universal Title at SummerSlam, he’s got a contract for a Title match any time, any place.
– New RAW Tag Team Champions The B Team come out to the ring as we see replays of their victory & celebration last night at Extreme Rules.
– The B Team (c) vs. The Ascension: The Tag Titles are on the line in this one. The Champions control this one early on until Viktor gets the hot tag and cleans house. Dallas mounts a comeback until Konnor comes in with a cheap shot. The B Team dumps Konnor outside, and then Axel tags in for the double team on Viktor for the three count after a short match.
Winners & still Tag Team Champions: The B Team
– Immediately after the match, the glass shatters and Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt appear on the big screen. They say The B Team must pay for their cosmic crimes, and they will take back their rightful Tag Championships next week. Hardy says they will be deleted forever, and leads the crowd in a Delete chant.
– Alexa Bliss and Mickie James are shown backstage getting ready to come out to the ring.
– Alexa and Mickie come down to the ring and Alexa gets on the mic. Alexa talks about her victory last night, and how she outsmarts and outperforms all her opponents. She starts trashing Ronda Rousey for her involvement last night when she was supposed to be there as a fan. As Alexa talks about Ronda, Ronda appears in the crowd. Ronda runs down through the crowd and blocks off Alexa and Mickie on the ramp as they try to retreat. Ronda chases them back to the ring and she beats down Mickie. Ronda goes to put Mickie in an armbar as Alexa and referees try to break it up. Ronda grabs Alexa next and goes to put an arm bar on her, but Kurt Angle comes out on a mic and asks her to stop. Ronda lets go of Alexa as Kurt steps in the ring. Kurt tells Ronda she needs to calm down and go home, because she only has 2 days left of her suspension. Baron Corbin comes out and says Ronda should be punished for her action, and suggests that Kurt does his job and takes care of it. Corbin disagrees with Kurt’s management style and says he’s going to call Stephanie McMahon right now for her ruling. Corbin realizes he forgot his phone somewhere, and he freaks out and leaves to find it. After Corbin leaves, Kurt reveals he has it in his pocket. Kurt says after her suspension, he will give Ronda a match against Alexa for the RAW Women’s Title at SummerSlam. Alexa is not happy about the news and yells from the stage. Kurt tells Ronda to go home and Ronda seems glad to hear about the match.
– We see a pre-taped promo from Titus and Apollo Crews talking about the Authors of Pain. Titus says they’re going to handle business in the ring tonight and represent Titus Worldwide.
– Titus Worldwide vs. The Authors of Pain: Crews and Akam start off, and a distraction from Rezar leads to Akam taking control. Akam slams Titus into the post then levels him on the floor with a clothesline. Akam gets back in the ring and Apollo kicks him down. Akam backs Crews into the corner and tags in Rezar, who hits a full nelson slam. Rezar continues the assault on Crews, then backs him into the AoP corner and tags in Akam. Rezar hits an inverted atomic drop, then Akam hits a big boot. Rezar tags back in for another double team on Crews. They double team Crews again with the Last Chapter for the three count after a short one-sided match.
Winners: Authors of Pain
– The Authors raise their arms in the ring while Titus Worldwide recovers at ringside.
– We go backstage, where No Way Jose’s conga line runs into the Riott Squad. They don’t seem impressed by the conga line and they keep walking. Sarah Logan vs. Ember Moon is coming up next.
– Ember Moon vs. Sarah Logan: Ember starts off strong in this one, but Logan knocks her off the turnbuckle to shut her down. Logan takes her back in the ring and beats her down on the mat to take control of the match. Liv Morgan hits a cheap shot on Ember behind the ref’s back. Logan continues to beat on Moon and keep her grounded. Ember escapes a suplex attempt and decks Logan with a right hand. Ember continues with strikes and drops Sarah with a knee to the face. Ember hits a facebuster, then knocks Liv Morgan off the apron. Logan rolls up Ember from behind for a 2 count. Ember boots her in the face for a 2 count of her own. Ember dumps Logan outside and follows up with a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Ember covers for a 2 count. Liv distracts Ember once again, which leads to Logan dropping Ember and stealing the three count.
Winner: Sarah Logan
– Logan and Morgan retreat up the ramp to celebrate, while Ember is the ring and she doesn’t look happy.
– Elias is backstage tuning up his guitar and getting ready to come out to the ring.
– Elias comes out to the ring with the spotlight on him and he trashes the hometown crowd. He gets the crowd to chant “walk with Elias,” and talks about his upcoming album and his plans to win the Universal Title. Elias sings about Brock, Buffalo, and his opponents tonight, until Seth Rollins comes out to interrupt.
– Seth Rollins vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Elias: Before the bell, Elias attacks Rollins. The ref allows Rollins some time to recover before calling for the opening bell. The match officially starts and Elias immediately takes the fight to Rollins. Rolls rolls outside and Lashley drops Elias. Elias rolls outside for a breather now, and Rollins clotheslines him down on the floor. Rollins gets in the ring now and faces off with Lashley. Rollins takes Lashley down, but Lashley fights his way up and throws Rollins off the ropes. Lashley elbows Rollins down, then he knocks Elias off the apron. Lashley takes Rollins down with a headlock now, but Rollins fights up and levels him with a dropkick. They fight in the corner, which leads to Rollins springboarding off the top rope, but Lashley blocks him with a boot. Elias runs in and drops Lashley, then goes at it with Rollins. Rollins hits a hurricanrana on Elias, but Elias fights back with a knee to the face. Kurt Angle, Paul Heyman, and Baron Corbin are shown watching backstage on a monitor.
Lashley gets back in the ring as Rollins hits a jawbreaker on Elias. Lashley clotheslines down Elias, then hits a belly to belly overhead suplex. Lashley drops Rollins next, then spears Elias in the corner. Lashley goes for the vertical suplex on Elias, but Rollins kicks Lashley down. Lashley fires back with a spinning powerslam on Rollins, then a spinebuster on Elias. The fight spills out to ringside where Elias throws Lashley into a ring post, then he fights off Rollins too. Elias throws Lashley in the ring and hits a flying elbow off the top for a two count. Rollins comes flying in with a frogsplash, but Elias moves and Rollins hits Lashley. With Lashley down, Rollins and Elias go at it now. Rollins hits a blockbuster but it’s not enough for the finish. Rollins takes Elias up to the top rope, but Elias fights him off. Lashley comes back in and hits Elias, then climbs up top with him. Lashley looks for a belly to belly suplex off hte top, but Rollins comes from behind and grabs Lashley, then buckle-bombs him into the opposite corner. Rollins goes back over to Elias and hits the superplex and Falcon Arrow for a two count. Rollins hits a suicide dive on Elias on the outside now, then he runs through and hits a suicide dive on Lashley on the other side of the ring. Back in the ring, Rollins hits the Sling Blade on Elias. Rollins boots Elias and then hits the curb stomp. Rollins covers, but Lashley breaks up the pin.
Rollins and Lashley trade right hands in the middle of the ring now. Rollins hits a series of elbows to the face, but Lashley fires back with a big clothesline. Lashley picks up Rollins for a stalling vertical suplex and he nails it. Lashley goes for a spear, but Rollins jumps out of the way and Lashley crashes into the corner. Rollins kicks Lashley and looks for the curb stomp, but Elias grabs Rollins from the floor and drops him at ringside. Elias slides in the ring and walks right into a spear from Lashley. Lashley covers and gets the three count.
Winner: Bobby Lashley
– Lashley will now face Roman Reigns again next week, and the winner gets Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam for the Universal Title. Lashley heads up the ramp and celebrates with fans after the match as Rollins looks on from the ring and Elias recovers on the floor.