Date: June 11, 2018
Location: Verizon Arena in North Little Rock, AR
The Big Takeaway --
Ronda Rousey made Nia Jax tap out to the armbar during their face-to-face encounter. Natalya won a fatal four way earlier in the show and they really emphasized the friendship between her and Rousey.
The main event was very good, won by Braun Strowman. Finn Balor almost had Strowman beat but the pinfall was broken up. The highlight was Kevin Owens giving Strowman a frog splash through the announce table off a ladder.
Also, Baron Corbin shaved his head.
Show Recap --
Sasha Banks, Finn Balor, Alexa Bliss, Braun Strowman, Ember Moon, Bobby Roode, Natalya, and Kevin Owens were all standing on different ladders in the ring. Kurt Angle came out on the stage and hyped the ladder matches at Money in the Bank.
Baron Corbin then came out wearing a suit. Oh, and he shaved his head. Corbin told Angle that Stephanie McMahon would be disappointed if Raw doesn’t come home with the contracts.
Bliss told them not to worry because she would win, despite still being injured. Banks asked which part of her was injured, but Bliss forgot what the fake injury was. Moon briefly joined in on the bickering. Angle said Natalya was cleared and she said she was ready to win and eventually face her friend Ronda Rousey.
Owens cut them off because he wanted to talk about something important. Owens wanted the briefcase raised whenever Strowman climbed the ladder because he was so tall. Roode asked Owens if wanted it lowered for him and Owens thought that was a great idea. (Owens also complimented Corbin on his haircut.)
Strowman told Owens to shut up and threatened him. Balor briefly joined in until Bliss shrieked, which shut everyone up. She thought Strowman would win. Banks thought Balor would win. Balor thought Banks would win. Roode called them pathetic and they all argued again until Strowman roared. He said somebody would get these hands and they played his music.
Jonathan Coachman is back on commentary with Michael Cole and Corey Graves.
Fatal 4-Way: Natalya defeated Alexa Bliss, Sasha Banks and Ember Moon (20:35)
Even though they were all in the ring already for the previous segment, Bliss did her entrance after a break while the other three waited. They acknowledged this on commentary. Graves said Bliss deserved a special entrance. Natalya’s left knee was taped (over her tights).
There was a moment where Moon a crazy suicide dive to Banks and the momentum drove them both into the barricade. If the barricade wasn’t there, they would’ve ended up in the third row. Bliss tried to steal the pin but Banks kicked out.
After a break, Bliss worked over Natalya’s leg while the other two slept on the outside. Banks eventually returned and hit Bliss with clotheslines, a dropkick and double knees for two. Moon then jumped in and nailed both Banks and Bliss with a crossbody. She followed with a nice tornado suplex but Bliss broke up the cover.
They did an inset commercial for MITB. The Canadian network actually cut to a regular break for a moment but quickly went back to the broadcast. They did a tower of doom spot where Natalya powerbombed Banks and Moon. Bliss held on and tried Twisted Bliss but Banks got her knees up and they went to yet another commercial.
Banks got Bliss in the Bank Statement but Natalya broke it up. Natalya was really selling her leg. She put Banks in the Sharpshooter but Moon broke that up. Moon gave Natalya the Eclipse but Bliss broke up the pin and they brawled. Bliss tossed her into the steps and tried to steal the pin again but Banks broke it up. “This is awesome” chants.
Bliss tossed Banks into the post, but Natalya put Bliss in the Sharpshooter and she tapped out. Long match but it was pretty entertaining.
Backstage, Owens offered Balor a bowl of olives, because he doesn’t have an olive branch and he knows Balor likes to eat healthily. Owens said they were both former Universal champions and they never got their rematches. If Strowman won MITB and cashed in, he could be champion forever.
Owens said Balor can’t beat Strowman. He claimed that he could beat Strowman but it would probably be pretty taxing. Balor told him to get to the point. Owens wanted them to take out Strowman so he wasn’t a factor at MITB.
Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre defeated Breezango (3:16)
Ziggler and McIntyre won with the Zig Zag/Claymore combo on Fandango. There was a spot where McIntyre powerbombed Tyler Breeze on top of Fandango. Breeze has a beard and he looks pretty different.
Ziggler and McIntyre cut a promo afterwards where they claimed Breezango were Exhibit A of what was the come for the rest of the tag division. McIntyre said they would save the division by taking out every other team.
Backstage, Charly Caruso asked Roman Reigns if he was surprised by Jinder Mahal’s challenge. Reigns said no, because Mahal was an idiot. He said Mahal was the reason he wasn’t in the ladder match and now he’ll “never” get the chance to cash in on Brock Lesnar and take back was legitimately his. He said Mahal has earned this ass-whoopin'.
Jeff Hardy vs. Shinsuke Nakamura was announced for Smackdown tomorrow.
They showed a Tweet from Paul Heyman congratulating Lesnar on his 435-day title reign. Cole announced it was now the longest World/Universal title reign of the last 30 years. Obviously, they didn’t mention CM Punk. Graves defended Lesnar on his lack of title defences over that time, calling him a prizefighter.
Mahal cut a promo. He said Reigns isn’t as good as he thinks he is and the winds are changing. Mahal predicted a win at MITB. Reigns interrupted. Before their match could start, Mahal told Reigns he never said the challenge was for a match against him. He had another opponent in mind. He built it up like it would be Great Khali, but it was actually Sunil Singh, who was surprised by the news.
Roman Reigns defeated Sunil Singh (w/Jinder Mahal) (1:12)
Reigns won quickly with a superman punch and spear. Mahal jumped Reigns afterwards and gave him a Khallas.
B-Team defeated Heath Slater & Rhyno (1:49)
B-Team won quickly with a double-team neckbreaker. Despite having new music and graphics, B-Team still have the crappy white t-shirts.
Afterwards, Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt appeared on the screen and were delighted at B-Team’s success. The lights cut and they showed up on the stage. They issued a warning in their own parlance and threatened to, “eat you and delete you.”
Elias was backstage and said tonight’s performance would be a struggle because he wasn’t used to performing in front of Arkansas hillbillies, which drew a big reaction.
After a break, Elias was in the ring and was booed pretty heavily. He called himself a once in a lifetime performer who would become Intercontinental champion. He told the crowd to shut up during his performance so of course, they booed throughout.
He sang about Seth Rollins, taking shots at his stupid nicknames and called him a tool for doing crossfit. Elias grabbed a second guitar, given to him by John Mayer, which had a custom paint job. (His name and the IC title were painted on it.)
Rollins ran down and dumped Elias from the ring. Rollins grabbed a mic and told him to stop being a coward. He said he wasn’t hard to find and if Elias wanted a fight he just needed to ask. He thought Elias had a good act going, including his guitars. This, of course, drew his attention to Elias’ new guitar.
Rollins grabbed the guitar and offered to put it up for auction. He then put it down and held his foot over it as the crowd chanted “Yes.” Elias begged him not to stomp it. Rollins led the crowd in a “burn it down” chant and eventually stomped it.
Owens approached Roode backstage as he was checking himself out in the mirror. Basically, Owens gave Roode the same speech he gave Balor earlier.
Bayley came to the ring for a match and they cut backstage to the Riott Squad, who were tossing stuff around and creating a mess that would take a few seconds to clean up. Ruby then grabbed a guy’s tie and cut it with scissors. This basically could’ve been a comedy segment for New Day, but instead, this was meant to get Riott Squad over as troublemakers… I guess.
Ruby Riott (w/Sarah Logan & Liv Morgan) defeated Bayley (11:31)
Bayley was in control so Riott went outside to regroup. Bayley left the ring and attempted a dropkick through the bottom ropes (like the Sami Zayn DDT spot), but she completely whiffed. It looked awful. She responded by giving Ruby a back suplex on the mats and they went to commercial.
After a break, Riott applied a resthold just in time for them to show an inset commercial. Bayley missed a flying elbow and Riott got a nearfall. Logan and Morgan distracted Bayley, which allowed Riott to toss her into the ring post. She followed with a Riott kick for the pinfall win.
Afterwards, they used black lipstick (I think) to put marks on Bayley’s face and draw on “R” on her midsection.
Ronda Rousey was backstage waiting for her cue to put her jacket on. Natalya showed up and gave her a hug. She told Rousey to keep on eye on Nia Jax. Rousey thanked her for looking out.
Ronda Rousey/Nia Jax face-to-face
Coachman hosted the segment. Cole mentioned the news of Rousey going into the UFC Hall of Fame. They showed various congratulatory Tweets, including from Triple H (yes, the person she was feuding with).
Jax warned Rousey of all the things that can happen in a WWE ring that wasn’t allowed in UFC, like hair-pulling (not allowed), headbutts, and 12-to-6 elbows. Rousey said she doesn’t game-plan, she improvises, and would improvise her arm off.
Jax said Rousey’s one win was over a businesswoman who was a part-timer in the ring. Jax said she would take Rousey’s legacy and said she wasn’t ready. Rousey stood up. She said nobody thought she was ready for the Olympics at 17 years old, or to wrestle for the Strikeforce belt, or to headline UFC, but she broke records and now she’s going into the Hall of Fame.
She yelled, “I am Ronda Rousey and I was born ready,” then ditched her jacket. Jax got up and took a swing, but Rousey grabbed her arm. Jax headbutted her. As Jax held her, Rousey flipped into the armbar position as Jax fought to stay out of the hold. Eventually, Rousey locked it in and Jax tapped. Jax rolled to the outside and sold her arm as Rousey put her jacket on and left.
They plugged a WWE 24 feature on Matt and Jeff Hardy, which will debut after Money in the Bank. It looks interesting. There’s a clip of Christian who once warned Matt if he continued doing what he was doing he’d end up dead.
No Way Jose defeated Curt Hawkins (0:30)
Hawkins didn’t show, so the referee rang the bell to start the match and began counting him out. Hawkins (dressed as a member of the conga line) suddenly appeared from behind and tried a schoolboy, but Jose kicked out and hit him with the pop-up knockout punch for the win.
Backstage, Balor ran into Roode and asked him of Owens talked to him too. They didn’t trust Owens, but Roode thought maybe they should listen to him, as long as they kept an eye on him. Balor agreed to keep an eye on Owens, but he’d have one on Roode as well.
Renee Young introduced Sami Zayn, who had a military-style obstacle course set up. He didn’t believe that Bobby Lashley served, despite everyone sending him records to prove it. Zayn thought the only way to prove it was if Lashley could complete this course faster than he could. Zayn walked through the course, explaining each step.
Zayn said special forces could complete the course in about two minutes, but he did it earlier in 90 seconds and he wasn’t even that motivated. Zayn said he would dedicate the victory to the country with the greatest military force, Canada. Lashley came out, dressed to participate.
Young flipped a coin to determine Lashley would go first. The crowd actually got into it a bit and chanted for Lashley. He blew right through the course and finished in about 45 seconds. As Lashley climbed down from the final obstacle, Zayn attacked him from behind. Zayn gave him a running kick then swung on the rope in celebration, which was hilarious.
Roode, Owens, and Balor were shown arguing backstage. Strowman showed up and suggested they all team up against him, which was funny. He roared and Owens jumped back.
Fatal 4-Way: Braun Strowman defeated Kevin Owens, Finn Balor and Bobby Roode (25:57)
Owens’ right arm is taped up. Strowman knocked down each guy right away and they went to commercial 60 seconds into the match.
After the break, they swarmed Strowman liked the Shield and attacked him in the corner. Owens wailed, “who’s the monster now!?” as they triple-teamed him. Strowman fought back and shoved them out of the corner. They teamed up on him again outside the ring, but he did the roar spot and they all flew backwards.
Owens tried running away but Strowman chased him down. Strowman tossed aside Balor and Roode, then whipped Owens into a video board. Strowman knocked down some ladders and cleared the announced table.
He was about to kill Owens, but Roode and Balor grabbed a ladder and attacked him with it. They placed Strowman on the announce table and Owens told them to hold a ladder steady as he climbed it.
Owens then gave Strowman a damn frog splash off the top of the ladder. Unfortunately for Owens, they went to commercial almost immediately after. Following the break, Owens and Strowman were still laid out and they showed three replays of the frog splash.
Back in the ring, Balor fought out of a rest hold and hit a Pele kick and they showed another inset commercial. Fortunate timing, because the action picked up as soon as it was over. Eventually, Owens returned and they did a tower of doom spot where Owens powerbombed the other two. At this point, Strowman got up and the crowd cheered.
Balor and Roode each ran into Strowman, who knocked them down. Owens was alone, so he ran away into the crowd. He slipped and fell, so Strowman dragged him back toward the ring and clubbed him. Strowman then did running shoulder tackles to Balor, Roode and Owens. (Strowman slipped before the first one, but he was selling the table spot so it worked out fine.)
As they teamed up on Strowman again, Owens tried a schoolboy on Roode for a two count. Roode gave Owens a spinebuster, then Balor took out Roode.
Balor fired up and gave Strowman a slingblade, running dropkick, and Coup de Grace. He had the match won but Roode broke up the cover. Roode tossed Balor, then gave Strowman a Glorious DDT. Owens broke up that cover and hit Strowman with another frog splash for a nearfall.
Owens grabbed a ladder and hit Strowman with it twice. Strowman then grabbed the ladder out of his hands and gave him a chokeslam. Finally, Strowman gave Owens a powerslam on the ladder for the pinfall win.
Really strong match. The crowd was into Balor’s comeback on Strowman and actually thought he might pin him. Owens really shined in the match as well.