Date: August 20, 2018
Location: Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY
The Big Takeaway --
The Shield is back.
Roman Reigns successfully defended his Universal title in an exciting match against Finn Balor. Balor came close a few times but Reigns beat him clean with a spear. After the match, Strowman was about to cash in, but Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins came out as the Shield to make the save. Reigns, Rollins and Ambrose powerbombed Strowman through the announce table and posed together to end the show.
Ronda Rousey locked Stephanie McMahon in an armbar, which resulted in Stephanie putting Kurt Angle on “vacation” and making Baron Corbin the acting GM.
Brock Lesnar was not on the show. Paul Heyman was there and claimed Lesnar wanted a rematch, but Angle said it would be a long time before we see that.
Nobody debuted from NXT.
Show Recap --
Michael Cole welcomed us to the show coming off the heels of “the most-watched SummerSlam in history.”
Roman Reigns came out. He was loudly booed. He let them go for a while before saying, “I’m a man of my word. I said I was going to beat Brock Lesnar, and I did.” The crowd chanted “you still suck.”
Reigns said he was going to defend the Universal title tonight. He said he would normally open the opportunity to anyone, but he had someone specific in mind--Finn Balor. The crowd popped, then Balor came out (in his normal gear). Balor accepted the challenge and said he would take back his title tonight. They shook hands.
That brought out Baron Corbin, who said this match wasn’t happening. Corbin said Balor no-showed their match last night and sent the Demon instead, then claimed he breached his contract. Corbin also didn’t hear the bell ring to start their match, so as far as he’s concerned, it wasn’t official. Corbin said he would face Balor (the man) tonight.
Reigns told Corbin that he sucked, then Corbin said the only reason he won the title was because Lesnar was more concerned with Braun Strowman. Kurt Angle interrupted. Angle said he makes the matches, not Corbin. Angle polled the crowd who wanted the Reigns-Balor title match, so he made it official. Angle also put Corbin in a match against Bobby Lashley.
Bobby Lashley defeated Baron Corbin (12:40)
Lashley was in control until he leaped onto the apron and Corbin kicked his leg out of his leg, then tossed him into the barricade. There was kind of a nasty looking spot where Corbin shoved Lashley into the ropes and he slipped between them, bounced off the apron before falling outside. Corbin clotheslined him leading to commercial.
Lashley made a comeback using clotheslines and a spinebuster for two. There were modest chants for New Day and Rusev Day. With Corbin back in control, it sounded like a “boring” chant broke out. Eventually, Lashley kicked out of a backbreaker and hit a variation of the Dominator for the pinfall win. Dull match that went too long.
Paul Heyman approached Angle and said Lesnar wanted his rematch. Angle said his contract doesn’t state when Lesnar get his rematch and added that it would be a long, long time before he gets that match. Heyman proposed they do the match at Hell in a Cell. Angle said no. Actually, he said “fahgettaboudit” because they’re in Brooklyn.
WWE congratulated themselves on being more active on social media last night than Celebrity Family Feud (among other things).
Corbin blamed Angle for the Demon Balor showing up last night and was pissed he had to face Lashley. Angle said his job wasn’t to do what Corbin wanted. Corbin told him that Stephanie McMahon was here tonight and was going to see her now.
They plugged Triple H vs. Undertaker at Super Show-Down, then announced Triple H was here tonight.
6-Woman Tag Match: The Riott Squad defeated Sasha Banks, Bayley & Ember Moon (10:09)
The babyfaces were all over the Riott Squad early on and Bayley was still in control after a break. Ruby made a tag and gave Bayley an STO on the outside to take over. Bayley eventually made a hot tag to Banks who ran wild on Ruby.
She nailed double knees in the corner but Morgan broke up the cover. Moon then gave Morgan a tornado suplex off the apron. Bayley tried to fight off Logan but ate a clothesline instead. Banks gave Logan Meteora then went to the top, but Ruby cut her off and hit the Riott Kick for the win. Not much of a match. The crowd liked Banks.
Triple H promo
Triple H came out to a babyface reaction. There were also “NXT” chants, which he enjoyed. He said NXT blew the roof of the joint and SummerSlam was on another level. He said he was a fan just like them and he would work until the day he dies to make sure this is around forever. Weekends like this made him want to rip off the suit and become The Game again.
He said “hell yeah” when Vince McMahon asked him to wrestle in Australia, but said “hell no” when he was asked to face the Undertaker. However, it wasn’t for the reason you think. He reminisced about their Hell in a Cell match which ended with himself, Taker and Shawn Michaels standing together on the stage. The crowd chanted “HBK.”
He would always remember that moment, but it also changed all three of them. After that happened, Michaels was gone, the streak died, Taker disappeared, and Triple H left in-ring action. He didn’t want to sound like a bitter veteran, but said their era was something special. The crowd chanted “you still got it.”
He said he decided to call Vince to agree to the match. He would lace up his boots and become The Game again as long as Taker picked up his hat and gloves to become the Phenom one more time. He ended by saying their era was back.
Triple H’s performance here was good, except for trying to pretend that Undertaker left after he lost to Reigns, or kind of making it seem like he himself never really wrestled again after losing to Taker.
Dean Ambrose (w/Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins) defeated Dolph Ziggler (w/Drew McIntyre) (9:47)
Ambrose wore grey jeans and a sleeveless shirt. He also had a bandage on his right arm. McIntyre got involved early on, so Ambrose confronted him. Rollins pulled him away, but the distraction allowed Ziggler to dropkick Ambrose off the apron.
After a break, Ambrose killed Ziggler with two clotheslines. Ziggler tried a pin with his feet on the ropes, but Ambrose kicked out and followed with a fallaway slam. Ziggler dodged a charge and Ambrose went shoulder-first into the post. Rollins confronted McIntyre. The crowd popped when McIntyre took off his jacket and dared Rollins to do something.
Rollins attacked McIntyre but Ziggler cut him off. Ambrose made the save, then Rollins gave McIntyre a suicide dive. Ziggler went for a jumping DDT, but Ambrose countered into a Dirty Deeds for the win. Crowd popped big for the finish, which was a cool spot. Cole put over Ambrose’s new style in the ring, which takes advantage of his new physique.
Balor, still in his normal gear, was approached by Strowman with a warning. Strowman showed off his briefcase and wished Balor luck.
Elias was in the ring and stated that someone was trying to mess with him. The crowd loudly yelled “walk with Elias.” He said his doctor warned him to stay out of Brooklyn because being around these people was bad for his health, but he wanted to perform anyway. He told them to shut their mouths, which he knew was difficult for New Yorkers.
This brought out… Curt Hawkins. Hawkins (from New York) said Elias could be number one, as in the one to lose to Curt Hawkins. Elias called him a loser and said he would die a loser, too, just like everyone here. Elias told him to leave. Hawkins was sad and began leaving, but then marched back to the ring and challenged him to a match. Elias accepted.
Elias defeated Curt Hawkins (1:33)
Graves let us know that Hawkins was from Queens, not Brooklyn. Hawkins got a couple of nearfalls using cradles, but Elias won quickly with Drift Away. Hawkins’ losing streak is up to 219, apparently.
Authors of Pain defeated Titus O’Neil & Apollo Crews (w/Dana Brooke)
AOP won with Last Chapter on Crews. Crowd was dead.
It seemed like Brooke was paying special attention to Crews and kind of ignoring O’Neil. There was a quick segment before the match where Brooke and Crews were talking backstage without O’Neil, who said he was looking for them.
Ronda Rousey - New Raw Women’s Champion
The Raw women’s roster surrounded the ring, including Natalya, Nikki & Brie Bella, and Alexa Bliss whose arm was in a sling. Stephanie McMahon was introduced and the fans booed. The heel wrestlers clapped for her and the babyfaces didn’t. Stephanie said she was proud of the division and they aired a video package highlighting Rousey’s title win.
Stephanie said she was especially proud of Rousey and it was her business prowess that turned Rousey from a raw talent into a champion. The crowd booed. Stephanie was about to introduce her “protégé” when Rousey came out.
Stephanie offered a handshake but Rousey ignored it and grabbed a mic. Stephanie tried sucking up to her but Rousey wasn’t buying it. She wondered why Stephanie was in the ring while the rest of the women were surrounding it. She told Stephanie that not everything was about her while the women hopped on the apron.
Rousey said Stephanie was not above them, and Stephanie shouldn’t try to put her above them either. Rousey put over Natalya as a cornerstone of the division and the crowd chanted “Nattie.”
She put over the match Banks and Bayley had in Brooklyn three years ago and said they may not be here now if not for that match. Rousey said she was not Brock Lesnar. She was here to defend her title every night.
Stephanie said this wasn’t the Rousey that she wanted. She pointed out the pain that Bliss was in and showed an image of Rousey trying to break her arm. Stephanie warned the roster that Rousey was out to break their arms. Rousey said she didn’t plan on breaking the arms of anyone--just those who deserved it.
Rousey locked Stephanie in the armbar and she quickly tapped. The heels tended to Stephanie and the faces (Bellas included) posed with Rousey.
Scott Dawson (w/Dash Wilder) defeated Bo Dallas (w/Curtis Axel) (2:27)
Dawson won quickly with a Rampage. The crowd was doing the wave during the match. Before the match, B-Team said they were dedicating their singles matches to the fans because the “B” stood for Brooklyn.
After the match, Axel told Wilder to get in the ring for their match. The announcers were laughing at Axel for some reason. I guess they thought he didn’t know the match was already announced, but that’s not how it came off.
Dash Wilder (w/Scott Dawson) defeated Curtis Axel (w/Bo Dallas)
Wilder won quickly with a Gory Bomb. After the match, Dallas reminded the Revival that they were still the champions. This was not good television.
Backstage, Reigns told Renee Young he had no reservations about defending his title against Balor, who deserved the shot. He was going to beat Balor and send him to the back of the line. He also wasn’t worried about Strowman. This is his yard and he’s going to defend it. This was a dull interview. Reigns spoke like there was a sleeping baby in the next room.
A trainer tended to Stephanie as Corbin and Bliss looked on. Angle showed up and asked if she was okay. Stephanie said he was the GM and blamed him for what happened because he was supposed to be in charge. Corbin piled on. Stephanie said being GM for the past year and a half was wearing on him. She said he should go on a vacation. She made Corbin the acting GM of Raw, which was booed. Angle was annoyed and left.
Roman Reigns defeated Finn Balor to retain the WWE Universal Championship (19:37)
Balor wore his regular gear. Reigns was mostly in control early on until Balor dropkicked him out of the ring and hit a flip dive. Back from break, Reigns was in back in control until Balor nailed a Pele kick.
Balor stomped away at Reigns and the crowd cheered louder after each one. Reigns came back with a one-armed sit-out powerbomb for two. Balor avoided a superman punch and hit an inverted DDT for a nearfall. Balor followed with a slingblade, but Reigns came back with a superman punch for a nearfall.
Balor countered a spear into a roll-up for a nearfall and Reigns followed with another superman punch (which was missed by the director). Reigns set up for a spear when Strowman’s music hit and he came out. Balot hit a slingblade and dropkick but missed Coup de Grace. Reigns hit a spear for the win. Really fun match. Cole was freaking out.
Strowman entered the ring as soon as the match ended. He booted Reigns and handed the briefcase to the referee. They announced Strowman was cashing in when The Shield’s music hit. Ambrose and Rollins came out wearing their Shield gear. The crowd chanted “holy shit” as Reigns, Rollins, and Ambrose surrounded Strowman.
Strowman attacked Reigns but the Shield swarmed him and sent him over the ring. They cleared the announce table (which was at ringside instead of by the stage) and set up for the powerbomb. Strowman fought them off for a moment but they got the better of him and powerbombed him through the table.
Reigns, Rollins and Ambrose did the Shield pose as the show ended.
This was all pretty exciting and the fans were going nuts. It was the minority, but some people were booing when Ambrose and Rollins attacked Strowman.