Emanating out of Charlotte, North Carolina, WWE’swas OK. It wasn’t bad, per se, but there was nothing on the show that was truly exceptional, with most of the event being average to good. Seth Rollins was the MVP of the night, being a key part of the strong open and closing matches. Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks was on its way to being a standout match but was stymied by a poor finish.
Here’s a quick rundown of highlights:
- Seth Rollins is still Universal Champion, but he and Braun Strowman lost the Raw Tag Team Championships to Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler. Not that it’ll end up meaning anything, but Rollins was pinned fairly cleanly by Roode.
- AJ Styles vs. Cedric Alexander was on the preshow, for some reason.
- Becky Lynch retained her Raw Women’s Championship via DQ, lengthening her feud with Sasha Banks.
- Roman Reigns vs. Erick Rowan was a waste of time — until Luke Harper returned.
Below you’ll find all the results of the night, as well as match recaps and ratings. See you next month for WWE’s Hell in a Cell event, which will be headlined by Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt.
Seth Rollins retains his Universal Championship
Hot start, with Strowman bulldozing Rollins and going for his powerslam finish. Rollins escapes, works over Strowman’s legs and hits three superkicks followed by a frogsplash. Rollins is so good. Two count.
Good action, with Rollins springboarding all over the place and Strowman showing great intensity. The crowd is quiet, tired from a long and only OK show. Strowman hits his running shoulder tackle on the outside twice, but Rollins sidesteps him on the third one. Strowman crashes through an announce table, and Rollins hits dual suicide dives. The two end up fighting on the turnbuckle, and Strowman eventually hits a frogsplash from the top. Props.
We get a light, polite “this is awesome” chant. Rollins locks in a sleeper hold but Strowman rolls out. Rollins hits a curbstomp for a one count. He hits another for a two count. A third stomp for another two count. Rollins goes for a fourth but Strowman counters, hoisting him up for a powerslam. Strowman’s leg gives out, Rollins nails a pedigree and then a final curbstomp for the pin.
After the match Rollins is attacked by Bray Wyatt, aka The Fiend. They’ll wrestle next month at Hell in a Cell.
Rating: 3.5 stars. Very similar tobetween Rollins and Brock Lesnar, but not as good. Suffered from a flat crowd, but still a solid main event.
Erick Rowan beats Roman Reigns (!)
Not much to this match. It’s no DQ, so it’s just a bunch of brawling outside the ring. Rowan has improved his intensity a great deal, but the crowd doesn’t buy him as a threat to Reigns. Which is a shame, because the match was just Rowan beating down Reigns, trying to convince the audience he’s a threat to Reigns.
One moment did impress the crowd. On the outside, Reigns jumps from the steel stairs for an elevated Superman Punch, but Rowan counters by grabbing him by the throat and pulling him up for a huge powerbomb through an announcer’s table. This gets Rowan a 2 count.
Match ends when a returning Luke Harper blocks a spear attempt from Reigns. Harper and Rowan double team Reigns. Rowan gets the win.
Rating: 1.5 star. Cool powerbomb spot and it’s awesome that Luke Harper, who is awesome, is back. Other than that, this was not good.
Kofi Kingston retains his WWE Championship
Orton and Kingston start slow. This is likely because they’re following a hot match and want to restart the crowd, but it’s also vintage Orton.
The wrestling here is actually very tight. The two exchange snug shots, and Orton ends up bumping Kingston out of the ring. He then follows up with suplexes all around the outside area, including two on the announce table.
The pace slows down though as Orton picks apart Kingston. Eventually Kingston mounts a comeback, but it’s not a particularly vigorous one. He goes for a Trouble in Paradise, but Orton counters with a nice neckbreaker. Kingston gets some of that missing fire, though, with a huge over-the-top-rope dive.
Orton regains control and there’s more slow-paced dissection. He sets up an RKO but Kingston counters into a rollup. Kingston starts a comeback but is cut off with an RKO outta’ nowhere. Kingston gets a foot on the rope at 2. Orton goes for his infamous punt but Kingston dodges and nails a Trouble in Paradise to retain.
Rating: 3 stars. A lot of nice wrestling here, but nothing remarkable.
Sasha Banks beats Becky Lynch via DQ
Crowd reacts big to Lynch, and is more into this match than the last few. Lynch starts out on top, but once Banks gets control the crowd breaks out into loud “Let’s go Sasha!/Let’s go Becky!” dueling chants.
After Banks worked over Lynch for some heat, Lynch mounts a comeback. She gets cut off in spectacular fashion though, with Banks countering a flying clothesline with a Banks Statement submission. Lynch powers out and hits an exploder suplex. Crowd has been more quiet, but wakes up with more dueling chants.
The two women trade submissions in the center of the ring, Banks going for the Banks Statement and Lynch the Disarmer armbar. Lynch ends up on top, getting her submission, but Banks gets her foot on the rope. Good stuff here. Banks nails double backstabbers and rolls Lynch into a Banks Statement for an intense false finish, but Lynch gets the rope break.
Banks villains it up, tossing in a chair to distract the ref and then, while the ref isn’t looking, hitting Banks in the torso with another chair. She follows up with a shining wizard for a two count. The ref accosts Banks for using a chair and then Lynch takes a chair herself and swings for Banks, but Banks ducks and Lynch hits the ref.
The two then brawl into the crowd. Lynch uses the stair rails to put Banks in a Disarmer armbar, which was gnarly. Banks and Lynch brawl into the backstage area, where Lynch smears Banks with mustard, and eventually come back to the ring. We’re told by Michael Cole that Lynch has been disqualified for hitting the ref. Cool. Inside the ring Lynch destroys Banks with a chair.
Rating: 3.5 stars. A very good match with a weak finish. In fairness, Lynch looked like a badass babyface tearing apart Banks and leaving as a defiant champion, but that’s in spite of an uninspired ending.
Shinsuke Nakamura retains the Intercontinental Championship
After The Miz’ entrance, Sami Zayn comes out to berate the audience, talk smack about The Undertaker and to introduce Shinsuke Nakamura. It sucks that Zayn is a manager, because he’s such a terrific wrestler, but he is a fantastic manager.
Nakamura and The Miz open with some chain wrestling. Zayn immediately takes the mic and starts commentating from the side. After about 30 seconds of amazing commentating, Zayn’s mic gets cut off.
Miz works over Nakamura’s leg throughout the match, leading up to a Figure Four submission that gets a nice pop thanks to this being Charlotte, North Carolina, aka Flair Country. Nakamura grabs the ropes to break up the pin. Zayn distracts Miz, allowing Nakamura to his a modified Kinshasa to the back of Miz’ head for a 2 count. Miz regains control and nails a Skill Crushing Finale, but Zayn distracts the ref.
Ending comes as Miz chases Zayn around the ring. Nakamura cuts him off, then hits a Kinsasha in the ring for the win.
Rating: 3.25 stars. This match had a slow start, got very good towards the end but had a finish that made The Miz look dumb. Miz’s offense also looked weak at points.
Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss retain Women’s Tag Titles
Alexa Bliss comes out with a Harley Quinn-inspired look tonight.
Nikki Cross starts the match with Mandy Rose, who after some taunting from Cross tags in Sonya Deville. Eventually Rose is back in the ring against Bliss. Some sloppy stuff here, some of Bliss’ forearms and slaps look great but there was some conspicuous mishaps too. The two were at some points a second or two out of sync.
R-Truth runs into the ring and is chased by the 24/7 Championship crowd for a quick distraction. Bliss tries to rollup Truth, but he kicks out and runs into the crowd. This sentence must be completely incomprehensible to someone who doesn’t regularly watch Raw.
Deville and Rose hit a double-team move on Bliss, but the pin was broken up by Cross. Bliss tags in Cross, Cross scores the pin on Rose after a top-rope neckbreaker.
Rating: 2 stars. Not bad, a well laid out match (except for the 24/7 distraction), but there was a lot of sloppy wrestling here and the crowd wasn’t particularly interested.
The Revival defeats The New Day
The Revival are awesome and The New Day very good, but these teams are struggling to get the crowd alive. The New Day dominate until The Revival out Xavier Woods and double team Big E. The crowd did wake up when Big E, after around 5 minutes of being beaten down, tagged in Woods.
Woods runs wild on The Revival, but is cut off when he gets kicked in his injured leg. Big E comes in for a nice sequence that ends up with The Revival hitting a Shatter Machine on the outside. Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder then pick apart Woods in the ring and nail him with a Shatter Machine. They could go for a pin but decide to work over Woods’ leg more.
Dawson puts Woods in a submission lock and Woods taps out.
Rating: 2.75 stars. Some nice wrestling here, but the middle section of the match felt plodding and the crowd, though sporadically invested, on the whole wasn’t super into it.
Bayley retains her SmackDown Women’s Championship
Flair opens hot with a big boot to Bayley, who then retreats out of the ring. Flair chases Bayley around and, back in the ring, hits her with some chops and some snug-looking strikes. Outside the ring Flair throws Bayley into the ringside barricades. Pretty gnarly looking. Here the crowd pipes up with a “Let’s go Charlotte!” chant.
Flair starts working over Bayley’s leg. The story of the match so far is that Flair is murdering Bayley. Bayley reteats to the corner and the ref stops Flair from keeping the offense up. Bayley takes the bottom turnbuckle padding off, pulls Charlotte into it in an illegal move and, surprisingly, gets the 1-2-3.
After the match Bayley legs it to the back.
Rating: 2.5 stars. This match actually told a coherent story. Flair was killing Bayley, who blatantly cheated to retain her title. The hero looks strong, the villain looks evil. It was too short to be a great or even good match, but was solid for what it was.
Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler are Raw Tag Champions
Good opening match here. It opens with Strowman dominating both Roode and Ziggler, then tagging in Rollins. Ziggler turns the tide with a wicked DDT on Rollins outside the ring. The crowd was a little quiet at the beginning, but really got into the match as the bad guys kept cutting off Rollins from tagging in Strowman.
Big pop when Strowman gets tagged in. He runs wild — literally running Ziggler and Roode down on the outside — but Ziggler rakes his eyes and double teams him with Roode. Eventually Strowman tags in Rollins. Amazing hot tag. This guy was flying all over the place, springboards inside the ring, suicide dives outside, more springboards inside.
Match ends when Roode sets up a Glorious DDT and Strowman bumps Roode into Rollins. Strowman and Ziggler take a tumble outside, and Roode hits a DDT on Rollins for the win.
Robert Roode, bottom of the card a month ago, pins the Universal Champion.
Rating: 3.5 stars. Slow start, but ultimately a solid match with a very good final few minutes.
AJ Styles defeats Cedric Alexander in a United States Championship match: The first surprise of the night is that this match was on the preshow. Styles beats Alexander in a 5-minute match.
Drew Gulak retains the Cruiserweight Championship: Gulak beats Humberto Carrillo and Lince Dorado in a triple-threat match.