After a rough week of travel for the roster, the Labor Day edition of Raw takes place at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio tonight.
Since the August 26 house show in Rochester, New York, the Raw wrestlers have been in Toronto, London, Osaka, and Shanghai for events over the past week before flying home for TV. Tonight's show will feature Nikki & Brie Bella's return to televised in-ring action, a Tag Team title match, and an appearance by Shawn Michaels.
Nikki & Brie will be teaming up against two members of The Riott Squad. In the Raw Tag Team Championship match, The B-Team will defend against The Revival after Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder defeated them in non-title action last week.
Michaels' appearance will be to build up Triple H vs. The Undertaker at Super Show-Down in Melbourne, Australia on October 6.
Plus, the build to Hell in a Cell will continue after Braun Strowman aligned with Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre last week.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Cole welcomes us to Raw on Labor Day before Braun Strowman comes down with Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler. Renee Young returns to commentary with Corey and Cole. Bruan is mid-ring with a big grin on his face and demands that they air a replay of his beating of Roman last week. We see that alongside the proper context of it being a response to the Shield powerbomb Braun through the announce table two weeks ago.
Braun tells us that he gave Roman a chance to just face him for the title, but he had to get his friends involved - and that just showed him how weak Roman was. Dolph and Drew are his pack and this is now his yard.
Drew talks about how great they are before Dolph says this group will be more dominant than the Nation of Domination, DX, and especially The Shield. The Shield comes down, but Corbin sends mid-carders down to stop them. The Shield topple them before surrounding the ring, so Baron calls out more goons who get beaten up, so even more come down and then with several dozen folks out, they separate them. The fans chant "let them fight" and Seth breaks out and he and Roman run backstage.
The return of Shawn Michaels and the Bella Twins are hyped, before we get a recap of the opening segment.
Backstage, Baron has the Shield arrested.
The Bella Twins defeat The Riott Squad
The Riott Squad gets a jobber intro. The Bellas come back with Jojo essentially giving them a press release as a ring introduction. After that, the announcers talk about how they're two of the busiest people in all of Hollywood. Renee is non-plussed at her husband's recent arrest, but is excited to see the Bellas return. Liv runs from Nikki before Sarah overpowers her. Nikki is trying to gain the advantage with her chain wrestling skill. I sense a flaw in her plan. Logan grinds away on the arm of Nikki, but Nikki gets a tornado divorce court for 2.
Brie tags in and hammerlocks her mid-ring. Sarah reaches out for a tag and gets it, leading to a long Liv chinlock. Logan comes in while Cole talks about her being a viking and Corey talking about Logan actually making her own belt. Brie hits the yes kicks before nailing two Brie Mode knees. Sarah attacks Brie on the floor. After a break, Logan armlocks her. Nikki comes in and sends Logan out, leading to Brie faceplanting off a tope and Nikki beating Liv with the Rack Attack 2.0.
Nikki and Brie team with Ronda to face the Riott Squad at Super Show-Down.
The B-Team vs. The Revival is hyped up alongside HBK's return. Corbin tells Stephanie that Raw is back on track. Finn Balor meets with him and demands a rematch. Baron gets his manhood insulted, so he grants him his rematch in the main event spot. .
Bobby Roode and Chad Gable defeat The Ascension
Chad shines more than he has in two years on the main roster by German suplexing everyone and looking impressive while doing so. Roode comes in for chops and gets 2 off a suplex. Viktor gets a long chinlock on Roode and a slick Hawk-esque fistdrop for 2 before Konnor gets a long chinlock and then tags Viktor in for a long modified chinlock.
Gable blind tags in and runs wild with crossbodies and hits a cannonball off the apron before landing a missile dropkick. He hits Chaos Theory and wins it. Elias is backstage with a guy showing his album off on iTunes.
Elias comes out and says he's done dealing with crazy chicks and if Christopher Columbus knew his name would be used for his city, he'd have turned his ship around. He also can't stand the buckeye, and it's far inferior to Michigan's wolverines.
Alexa, Mickie, and Alicia come down while Alexa gets a ton of cheers being in her hometown. Alexa says she graduated high school in the very building they're in and does her high school chant before insulting the fans for doing it and being overjoyed that she got out of this place when she did. Alexa gets in a fantastic "hi zombies!" line at the crowd. Alexa hits on Elias before Ronda Rousey's theme hits and Nattie comes out to face Alexa.
Alexa Bliss defeats Natalya
Alexa stalls to start before Nattie flips around and outwrestles her on the mat. Basement dropkick gets 2 for Nattie. Alexa slugs her before she distracts the ref so Foxy and Mickie can choke Nattie on the rope. Alexa DDTs her and gets an armbar and Nattie taps out. After the match, Ronda goes for a Karalen lift to Alexa, but Foxy jumps in and gets thrown around before Alexa chopblocks Ronda and throws her into the steps. Ronda slugs away and sends Alexa packing. Ronda helps Nattie up and helps her out of the ring.
A recap airs of the Shield being arrested earlier. Renee strangely says that the Shield's arrest was justified, even with that involving her husband. We get an update that the Shield has been fingerpinted. Corbin tells a stagehand to get his Rolex cleaned. Braun tells Baron to find he and his friends some competition.
Drew and Dolph want a tag title match and threaten that the Revival will be taken out. Braun tells Baron he wants competitoin tonight too. The Revival are interviewed by Charly about The B-Team and they call them a mockery. Drew and Dolph attack them. The Revival could've prevented this beating if they just watched the show at a 90 degree angle like everyone else.
The B-Team comes out, but The Revival doesn't. Instead, Drew and Dolph take their place.
Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre defeat The B-Team
Axel gets a backslide for 2 after Bo low-bridges Drew. The heels regroup on the floor for an ad break. Drew dominates Axel for a while, but Bo gets a desperation tornado DDT. Axel comes in with Dolph, who eats 2 off a Perfectplex. Dolph superkicks him before they win with the Claymore/Zig Zag combo.
After the loss, Cole talks about how good the B-Team were while Drew and Dolph celebrate with their belts amid blue lighting. They did a good job presenting both men as bigger stars with the revamped lighting.
The Authors of Pain walk backstage with Drake Maverick in AOP garb.
Authors of Pain defeat Jobbers
AOP walks out with Drake Maverick, who Cole and Corey talk about as the 205 Live GM. Drake talks about being the GM of 205 Live and now being the manager of AOP and he'll make them the tag team champions. Rezar hits the corner death valley bomb before they hit the super collider and win.
Corey says that with AOP, Drake Maverick may just be the most dangerous person in all of WWE. There's putting people over and there's saying ridiculous stuff like that. HHH vs. Taker is hyped up. Last week's hall of famer-filled video airs for their match at Super Show-Down.
Ronda and Nattie chat backstage before the Bellas come in and Nattie leaves because she doesn't feel good. The Bellas call Ronda the greatest women's champion ever and the only reason they came back was for her. In a comedy highlight for the ages, they offer to train Ronda Rousey, and the Olympic medalist and former UFC World Champion accepts the offer.
HBK comes out and says that HHH has more in the tank than Undertaker does and still picks him to win. Undertaker comes down and says that over the last 20 years, he's taken the best both HHH and HBK had and put them both down. He took a part of them, but their egos can't accept and he chose HHH because he took his career from him
HBK says that he stayed retired to keep his integrity and out of respect for Undertaker. He always hears the chant for one more match, but can't do it. He hears the fans want it, and half the roster wants it - and it's been nearly a decade with him turning down millions of dollars for one match.
Taker asks if it's respect or fear that keeps him retired. Taker tells him that if he came back, it would be for a match against him - and HBK knows just like the fans do, that he would put HBK down again. He'll put HHH down in Melbourne too, and they did an outstanding job building up both the HHH vs. Taker match and especially a Taker vs. HBK match if they ever do one.
Sasha Banks and Bayley defeat Dana Brooke and Ember Moon
Mike Rome sends a tweet out on The Shield - they have been charged with inciting a riot and already met with a judge. Sasha Banks comes down with Bayley for a tag match. Dana Brooke comes out with Titus and Apollo to team with Ember Moon. Odd to have two babyface agaisnt a babyface and a heel. Sasha and Bayley dominate Dana in the corner before an ad break.
Ember tags in and hits a springboard crossbody on the face before tagging Dana in. She goes for a kick, but Sasha catches her foot and boots her in the face. Take 2 works better for Dana and she lands an enzuiguri. Sasha gets a victory roll out of hte corner to win. Dana is tired of losing and leaves Titus Worldwide.
Jinder comes down to medidate with Bobby Lashley, but before things can truly begin, Kevin Owens jumps Lashley. He hits the apron powerbomb while the fans chant "one more time!"
The Purge presents a recap of John Cena defeating Batista at Extreme Rules with a roll of duct tape.
A recap of the HBK-Taker segment airs and we're told that HHH will be on Raw live next week as will Mick Foley. Corey updates us on The Shield being released from jail. Finn Balor comes down before Braun does with his guys. Drew and Dolph do Braun's roar now - which is great.
Braun Strowman defeats Finn Balor
Braun headbutts and boots Balor, but Finn gets a brief edge off a sleeper. He stomps Braun and sends him to the floor for an ad break. Braun cranks the neck before clubbing his chest. Braun goes to steamroll him on the floor, but Balor counters with a slingblade. Braun goes for a corner charge, but eats a boot before landing it the second time.
Braun eats a shotgun dropkick and is locked in another sleeper before Bruan throws him in the corner. Braun misses his corner charge and his shoulder hits the post, sending Braun outside. Balor hits a flip dive onto everyone. Finn Balor locks on a triangle choke, but Braun hits a Rampage bomb and the powerslam to win.
Dolph and Drew send Balor in for another powerslam. They go to keep beating up Balor, but the Shield returns in the police van. We get a staredown between these groups before KO and more mid-carders come down to attack the Shield. Braun hits Roman with the steps twice. Dean is set up for a big boot by Drew on the ramp while Dolph superkicks Seth after he goes into glass and comes up bloody - covering one of the Ascension guys in blood.
Braun powerslams Roman on the floor before the heels roar to close the show.