Welcome to Ringside News’ coverage of WWE Monday Night Raw for the final time in July 2018!
Tonight’s show is headlined by the return of the WWE Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar. This is Brock’s first appearance since The Greatest Royal Rumble, which was three months ago. I guess at this point enough has been said about Lesnar as Champion and WWE’s horrid booking of him and his opponents. It’s all boring and we’re quickly coming to the end of it, even if that does mean Reigns as Champion. The Beast and Heyman will be on tonight’s show to address the big SummerSlam showdown and probably go face-to-face with Roman.
Also returning to Monday Night Raw this evening is another former UFC Champion but one that fans are excited to see. Yes Ronda Rousey returns to Raw following her suspension for attacking Alexa Bliss and Kurt Angle. Ronda is less than a month away from challenging Bliss for the Women’s Championship, and she will undoubtedly have some things to say tonight.
We also have two David Vs. Goliath matches tonight, in the form of Finn Balor Vs. Baron Corbin and Seth Rollins Vs. Drew McIntyre. The former two men had a match at Extreme Rules that was downright boring, so here’s hoping tonight is a little more exciting. Meanwhile, it feels like we’ve seen Drew Vs. Seth a dozen times recently, but they’re so good together that it hardly matters. That said, WWE really need better feud-building booking than simply making guys wrestle again and again, expecting fans to care when they clash again on PPV.
There’s lots more happening on tonight’s Raw but those are the highlights. Remember to download the Ringside News app and follow us on Instagram. Enjoy the show!
Monday Night Raw opens with a look back at last week’s main event, when Roman Reigns defeated Bobby Lashley to become number one contender.
We see Brock Lesnar backstage with Paul Heyman, then head live to the arena where Roman Reigns makes his way to the ring.
According to Coach, the word of the night is “anticipation” because we’ve been waiting so long for this one. Roman says every time he comes down here the energy and the noise is so loud, that Miami deserves a special shout-out. So does Bobby Lashley, because after going to war with him a few times, he respects Bob. Which is more than he can say for Brock Lesnar, because he has zero respect for that fool. The guy never shows up, but oddly he’s got plenty of time to show up to UFC, to get in Daniel Cormier’s face in the octagon and run his mouth, but he guarantees Brock will not come up in his yard and run his mouth tonight.
Paul Heyman makes his way out and introduces himself. Paul asks for forgiveness and offers Lesnar’s congratulations on Roman’s victory last week. However, from his perspective, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Which is why with all due respect, Reigns should be in a padded cell, not the main event of SummerSlam. He can go on and on about spearing Brock through the cage and that he’s the real Champion, but mark his words, this is not a prediction but a spoiler, at SummerSlam Lesnar is going to put the Big Dog down and go on to UFC to become a two-sport champion.
Roman tells him to shut up and that nobody cares what he has to say, they just want Brock Lesnar to come out, so bring him out here. Heyman says his client is here right now, in the comfort of his luxurious locker room and he’ll come out when he feels like it, IF he feels like it. But don’t worry, at SummerSlam, Brock will– Reigns cuts him off and asks what he’s gonna do, is he actually gonna show up? If he does, he wants Paul to write this down, Roman will send him back to UFC, but not as the Beast, but as Roman Reigns’ bitch.
We go backstage where Seth Rollins is getting ready before his scheduled match tonight against Drew McIntyre before cutting to Ronda Rousey talking with Natalya backstage ahead of Neidhart’s match against Alicia Fox.
Finn Balor makes his entrance, he’ll be wrestling Constable Baron Corbin after the break.
We return from the break and out comes Constable Corbin.
The match begins and Balor controls the opening with a headlock that Corbin can’t get free of. Finally, Corbin shoves him off to the ropes, then catches him with a back elbow. Corbin sets Finn on the top rope but gets kicked in the face. Corbin rolls from the ring, so Finn runs around and hits a jumping elbow.
Corbin tosses Balor back inside, but Finn regains control by kicking him as he slides in. Corbin forces Balor to the corner, then punches him and whips into the buckles. Balor gets to the apron and brawls with Corbin before being clocked with a big clothesline and falling to the floor. Corbin in control as we take to the break.
We return to see Corbin whip Balor into the corner. Corbin then grounds Balor by putting him in a submission. Finn eventually fights out of the hold, but Constable Corbin levels him with a clothesline to score a two count.
He keeps Balor grounded again in a rear chinlock. Again Finn escapes and hits a dropkick. The Constable pulls Balor out of the ring and drops him back-first on the apron. Finn counters a powerbomb and hits a double stomp. Balor knocks Corbin out of the ring and takes him out with a dive. Now Finn is in charge as we head to another break.
We return to see Corbin holding Balor down in a submission once again – I guess Corbin is trying to be the new Orton. Balor gets free and counters a chokeslam into a roll-up for a near fall. He takes The Lone Wolf down with a sling blade, but then he runs right into a chokeslam backbreaker to give Corbin a close two count.
Corbin catches Balor with Deep Six for another near fall. Finn dropkicks him through the ropes and then hits another to send him into the barricade. He sets Corbin up for the Coup de Grace, but the Constable gets up and knocks Finn from the top rope. Corbin hits the End of Days for the win.
Corbin leaves the ring with a smug look on his face. He turns from the runway and gets back into the ring and continues to attack Balor. Corbin drags him outside and throws him into the barricade. Corbin uses his elbow to bash Balor against the barricade before leaving.
Backstage, Kurt Angle tells Heyman that Lesnar is under contract and needs to appear in front of the crowd. Heyman says Lesnar fufilled his obligation the minute Lesnar stepped into the arena. Angle tells Heyman that Heyman is under contract to WWE. If Lesnar doesn’t appear Angle is going to terminate Heyman’s contract. Heyman asks if Angle is serious. Angle tells Heyman that he isn’t kidding. Heyman sighs and walks away.
We see a lengthy recap of last week’s announcement of the women’s PPV, Evolution.
Alicia Fox is backstage warming-up, when Alexa Bliss walks up. Bliss says that Mickie James is injured, so she asked Foxy to take her place. She tells Foxy that she has an opportunity to make a name for herself here, by beating Natalya. Foxy agrees and makes some weird cat noises before walking off.
Natalya comes out to the stage, then waits for Ronda, who gets a big pop. They make their way to the ring as we head to the break.
The bell rings and both women lock up. Natalya takes Alicia down with a shoulder block. Natalya goes for the sharpshooter but Fox grabs the ropes. Fox slides to the outside. Natalya grabs Alicia by the hair but Fox slides her off the ring apron and beats on her.
Fox throws Natalya back in the ring and goes for the cover but a two count only. Alicia Fox with a head lock on Natalya and she slams Natalya’s head into the ring mat. Fox with a modified abdominal stretch on Natalya but Natalya flips her over. Fox runs back and hits Natalya taking her down. Natalya with a right hand takes Alicia. She goes for the cover but a kick out.
Both men get up and a cross body by Fox onto Natalya. Alicia with a northern lights suplex. Fox goes to taunt Ronda Rousey and with the referee distracted, Alexa Bliss hits Natalya. Alicia Fox with a big boot on Natalya as she gets the cover and the win.
After the match, Ronda strips off her jacket and goes after Bliss. Alexa slides in the ring and Ronda goes for an arm bar but Alicia hits her as Alexa escapes. Rousey slams Alicia down. Ronda chases Alicia Fox on the outside but Fox attacks Ronda from behind. Fox throws Ronda Rousey into the barricade.
Backstage, Paul Heyman is sitting with Brock Lesnar. Heyman tries to convince Lesnar to go out to the ring. Heyman says to think of all the t-shirts they could sell and the subscriptions which would drive up the WWE network. And while out there, Lesnar would be able to promote being champion. Heyman says he felt the love for Brock Lesnar when he was out there. Lesnar tells Heyman he has no idea how under his skin he is getting. Lesnar says he doesn’t give a crap about the WWE universe and he doesn’t care if he is here tonight. He would much rather be at home. Lesnar asks Heyman to go get him a steak with a baked potato and steamed broccoli. Heyman leaves the room.
Still to come, Seth Rollins Vs. Drew McIntyre. Sasha Banks & Bayley will take-on The Riott Squad, and Jinder Mahal will get the hands of Braun Strowman. Up next however, Elias!
We return from the break and Ronda Rousey and Natalya are backstage with Kurt Angle. Rousey says she is looking for a match and doesn’t want to wait until Sumemrslam. Angle says to make it official, next week, she will go one on one against Alicia Fox.
Elias is in the ring with his guitar. He introduces himself and plays the guitar. He asks everyone who wants to walk with Elias? He promotes his latest album. He says everyone knows that WWE stands for Walk With Elias. He says that the truth is he could have been even higher in the charts but he got interrupted by Bobby Lashley. The fans start to boo. Elias says not to pretend like they get it. This is a city which worships garbage like Pitbull and The Rock. A loud “Rocky” chant breaks out. Elias says The Rock wants no part of Elias and he wrote a song about the whole thing. Elias tells the fans to shut up and hold their applause.
As he starts to play Bobby Lashley’s music hits and he interrupts Elias again. Elias tells them to cut the music as Lashley gets in the ring. Elias asks what Lashley thinks he is doing here. Lashley says he is a big fan and since he heard his name while backstage, he wanted to come out here and hear what he had to say. Elias says he can see right through him. And he knows he knows he is not out to Walk With Elias but he wants to sing with Elias. Bobby says no, he fights, he doesn’t sing.
Elias interrupts and asks the fans if they want to see Lashley sing with Elias. A loud “Yes” chant from the crowd. Elias says he doesn’t normally do this but for one night only, Bobby Lashley will sing with Elias. But Elias says he will keep things slow and simple, just like Bobby so he can keep up. Elias starts to play the guitar and sing. In comes Bobby Lashley who starts to sing. Elias attacks Lashley from behind! Lashley starts fighting back and hits Elias with a belly-to-belly. Elias rolls to the outside of the ring and leaves as Lashley stares him down. First Zayn, now Elias, Lashley just looks like the most naive man in the world.
Baron Corbin is walking backstage and see Kevin Owens. Kevin congratulates Corbin for his victory earlier tonight. Owens says since Strowman terrorized his kid a few weeks ago, Corbin is now his son’s favorite wrestler. Kevin says the Brock Lesnar situation is very concerning. He says Kurt Angle is jeopardizing his chances of winning Money in the Bank at Summerslam. Because if Lesnar goes out tonight and Braun cashes in, Owens will not have the chance to beat Strowman at Sumemrslam and have the Money in the Bank briefcase. Corbin says Lesnar is Kurt Angle’s problem and walks away. Owens throws his water bottle in frustration.
The bell rings and they tie-up and Strowman pushes Mahal down. Kevin Owens comes through the fans and grabs Strowman’s Money in the Bank briefcase. Strowman goes to the outside and confronts Kevin Owens. Kevin starts to run around the ring and passes the briefcase to Singh. Strowman shoulder blocks Singh down and chases Kevin Owens to the back. Meanwhile, the referee counts to 10 and Strowman is counted out.
Mahal is celebrating as Strowman gets back in the ring. Jinder runs off.
Backstage, Corbin hands his phone to Kurt Angle saying Stephanie wants to talk to him. Angle says he gets she is just trying to protect the main event at Summerslam. He says he understands and hangs up.
Backstage, a bunch of WWE stars are in the locker room – Zack Ryder, The Ascension, Curt Hawkins etc. Mojo Rawley walks in and he says he has been running through the roster. He’s calling everybody out for being lazy, because he is for real. In walks Bobby Roode, who asks Mojo if he has a problem with him. Mojo says and if he did, what would he do about it? Roode punches Mojo down and both men begin to brawl until WWE officials break it up.
Out comes Titus Worldwide for a match.
The bell rings and Apollo is throw via overhead suplex by Akam. He starts throwing Apollo Crews around like he’s a cruiserweight. Akam gets Crews in a headlock in the middle of the ring.
Crews gets up and with a jaw breaker gets out of it. A big kick by Crews to the head. A step up inzighuri by Crews and a spinning moonsault. He goes for the cover but Akam kicks out. Akam runs towards Apollo who is standing in the corner, Apollo moves out of the way and goes for the roll-up and gets the shock win.
Crews slides out of the ring and celebrates with Titus and Dana. The AOP look furious in the ring.
Drew McIntyre is backstage with Intercontinental champion Dolph Ziggler, warming-up for his match against Seth Rollins. That match will be next!
We come back from the break and actually get a promo for NXT, in which we see Tomasso Ciampa win the NXT Championship from Aleister Black.
Seth Rollins makes his way to the ring for a huge reception. Dolph Ziggler is out next, followed by big Drew.
The bell rings and they run right at each other. Drew gets Rollins in the corner but Seth turns the tables and lands a chop. Rollins runs to the ropes but Drew catches him and delivers a quick suplex.
Drew goes to the outside and tries to grab Seth but gets pushed off. Seth runs to deliver a suicide dive but Drew catches him and slams him on the apron. Seth’s head is under the ring and Drew uses him like a slingshot, and Seth’s throat smashes into the metal under the ring. Rollins is gasping for air as we head to the break.
Back from the break and Seth delivers two suicide dives to McIntyre. On the outside, Seth throws Drew shoulder first into the ring apron. Both men are back in the ring and Seth goes for the suplex but Drew reverses it. Seth reverses that and delivers a suplex. He goes for the cover but McIntyre kicks out. Seth runs to the ropes but Drew catches him with a spinebuster and both men are down.
They both get back to their feet and McIntyre lifts Seth up but Rollins with a hurricanrana. Drew gets back up and a super kick by Rollins. Seth gets on the top rope but Drew connects with a right hand. McIntyre gets on the top rope and lifts Rollins on his back. Drew jumps down and slams Seth off the top rope. Drew lifts Seth by the legs and goes to slam him but Seth reverses it into a cover. Drew kicks out and Seth delivers the Curb Stomp! As he goes for the pin, Ziggler slides in and attacks Seth!
Rollins and Ziggler brawl after the match, then Seth knocks Dolph from the ring and hits him with a suicide dive. Jojo announces Seth’s victory as he walks up the ramp and McIntyre looks pissed.
We see a replay from earlier tonight when Paul Heyman and Roman Reigns had their verbal altercation. Then we also see Kurt Angle telling Paul Brock needs to come out tonight, and then Heyman trying to convince Brock to go out there.
We see Roman Reigns sitting on a tablet backstage and in walks Kurt Angle and Baron Corbin. Kurt tells Roman that, to ensure Brock doesn’t get attacked tonight and screw-up SummerSlam, Stephanie wants Roman removed from the arena. Roman says he doesn’t care but Angle says if he doesn’t, he loses his shot at Lesnar. Reigns asks how long this can continue. He says he understands where Angle is coming from, why he has to do this, but he’s been in his shoes and he can’t allow this. Corbin asks for security to come in and Angle isn’t pleased. Roman is escorted to out but he stops to look back at Kurt, then punches Corbin before leaving.
Charly Caruso is in the ring and she introduces the Tag Team Champions, The B-Team, who get no reaction whatsoever.
Caruso asks them what it’s like to be the Champions. Dallas says the B in B-Team stands for Dream because this whole run has been a dream. Axel says he doesn’t want to wake-up. Dallas thanks the fans. Charly says the Deleter’s of Worlds aren’t happy about them being Champions, to which Axel says he is confused by their actions last week. Axel says he’d like to see them do it again. The lights go out and when they come back we see Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt behind The B-Team. Hardy takes the mic and says The B-Teams reigns as Champions is a cosmic anomaly that needs to be fixed. Bray says they keep calling their title run a dream, but dreams aren’t real. Nightmares however, they’re real because they’re manifestations of your worst fears. And they are The B-Team’s worst nightmares. Hardy laughs and says they will haunt The B-Team until they are DELETED!
Out comes The Revival to a nice reaction. Dawson says that nobody even knows what Matt and Bray just said. They get into the ring and tell Matt and Bray to leave the ring, because real top guys are here to do business. The B-Team interrupt and say that they will step aside because The Revival have a problem with The Deleter’s. Bray swings for Dallas but hits Scott Dawson. The B-Team turn tail and run as Hardy and Wyatt clear the ring of The Revival.
Matt Hardy is in the ring with Dawson as we return from the break – The B Team are doing commentary for this one. Matt goes for the cover but Dawson kicks out. Both men back up and Dawson gets Matt in the corner as he tags Wilder in. Dawson with a Boston crab and Dash with an elbow to the back of the head of Matt Hardy. Wilder with the cover but a kick out.
Wilder gets Hardy in a headlock in the middle of the ring. Eventually Matt elbows his way out and tags Wyatt in. Bray comes in hot, with a spinning forearm to take Dash down. Dawson comes off the top rope but Bray catches him and tosses him away. Bray is blindsided and The Revival double team Wyatt. Back in comes Matt who throws Dawson to the outside. Dawson slams Hardy into the barricade. Meanwhile in the ring, Wyatt goes for Sister Abigail on Dash but Wilder grabs Bray’s hair as he tags Dawson. The Revival hit the Shatter Machine and score a big win.
Renee Young is backstage with Seth Rollins. She congratulates him on his victory but says it must be very taxing to deal with two Superstars by himself. He says it is mentally fatiguing but there is no quit in him. He says he will stop at nothing to win back his Intercontinental Championship at SummerSlam. Just then, Rollins is attacked from behind by Ziggler and Rollins. He’s beaten down to a pulp before officials come and make Ziggler and McIntyre leave.
Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan make their way to the ring. They will face Sasha and Bayley after the break.
Sasha Banks and Bayley make their way to the ring for tag team action.
Sarah Logan and Bayley start things off for their respective teams. Logan uses her strength to ground Bayley but the former Champ takes her down with a drop toe hold and tags in Banks for a few double team moves. Am I the only one who thinks WWE backtracked on the Banks/Bayley feud because they plan on introducing Women’s titles and want them to win them?
Sasha lands Meteora to Logan for a near-fall. Bayley comes in for a botched roll-up attempt for a near fall.cBayley lifts up Logan and slams her head-first on the top turnbuckle before Bayley makes a tag to Banks. She hits another Meteora into the ring post as we head to a commercial.
Back from commercial and Liv Morgan has Sasha Banks in a headlock in the centre o the ring. Sasha climbs up and gets Morgan in a pin attempt but Morgan kicks out. Sasha tries to tag Bayley in but Liv grabs Sasha by the leg. Sasha knocks Morgan down and gets the hot tag to the hugger! Bayley comes in and clothslines Morgan before landing a running knee to the face. Bayley then knocks Logan off the ring apron for good measure.
Bayley throws Liv to the corner and looks for her back elbow but Morgan gets her knees up. Liv gets on the top rope but Bayley catches her with a right hand. Sasha tags herself in as Bayley lands a hurricanrana to Morgan. Sasha follows-up with Meteora again but in comes Logan to break it up. Bayley throws her to the outside.
A jaw breaker from Liv Morgan as Sasha tags Bayley. Sasha catches Morgan with the Bank statement and Bailey hits Morgan with the Bayley-To-Belly for the win!
Michael Cole screwed-up the finish as he said Morgan kicked-out. Banks and Bayley celebrate after their in. They’ve even got matching gear now, WWE is definitely building them to win the (eventual) tag titles.
We see Lesnar still sitting backstage, reading his magazine. Heyman comes in and shows Lesnar the time, then says all he has to do is go out there and say hello. Then they can be at a steakhouse in 25 minutes. Lesnar doesn’t seem to care. Heyman sits down and explains to Brock that he will be fired if Brock doesn’t go out there tonight. He begs him to go out to the ring for a minute, if for no other reason than because he is his friend. Lesnar stands-up and grabs Lesnar by the shirt. He says they need to get this straight; he doesn’t work for Heyman, it’s the other way around. Brock asks how long Heyman has been leeching off of him? Then straightens his jacket and tells him to get out there and do his job.
We return from the break and out comes Kurt Angle, flanked by Constable Corbin. Angle gets on the horn and tells Paul Heyman that he gave him to the end of tonight to get Brock Lesnar out here. He says he even got Roman Reigns escorted from the building. He tells Heyman to get Brock out here now or this is his last ever night on Raw.
Paul Heyman comes out without the usual pep in his step. Heyman introduces himself solemnly and gets into the ring. He says Brock Lesnar will not be coming out here tonight. Paul Heyman gets pissed and starts yelling that Brock is the worst Universal Champion ever. He says a Champion is meant to go the extra mile and be a good entertainer but Brock never does that. Paul Heyman says he won’t argue with that because Angle is right, Brock Lesnar is terrible. He says he tried to mould Lesnar and make his a WWE Superstar, but Lesnar respects nobody and listens to no-one. Heyman says if Angle has ramifications to take-out on someone, he should take them out on Brock Lesnar.
Heyman says he has tried all night to convince Brock to get out here. He begs Angle and says they could have a better working relationship. Kurt Angle tells Heyman his contract has been terminated and Heyman drops to his knees and hugs Angle’s leg. Suddenly, Lesnar’s music hits and Heyman’s expression completely changes. Heyman stands-up and smiles. Lesnar comes to the ring with his Universal Championship and sets it on Heyman’s shoulder. Brock takes the microphone and walks up to Kurt Angle. He asks if Angle has a problem with him, then turns to Corbin and asks the same question. Lesnar then lifts Angle and hits an F5! He stares at Corbin, who leaves the ring. Heyman hands Brock the belt back and they laugh at the fallen Kurt Angle. Brock Lesnar suddenly grabs Heyman by the face and puts him on mat. He stares at him as Heyman screams that he can’t breathe. A large portion of the fans chant “We Want Roman!” as Lesnar leaves by himself.
That’s it for tonight’s show! Let us know what you thought in the comments or on the Ringside Talk app and we’ll see you back here soon! Until next time, safe travels!