Date: August 27, 2018
Location: Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, ON
The Big Takeaway --
Braun Strowman appeared to turn heel, joining with Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler to beat down Roman Reigns. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins tried to make the save, but they were taken out as well. Strowman gave powerslams to all three Shield members.
Kevin Owens quit after losing an open challenge for the IC Title against Rollins.
Trish Stratus made a special appearance in a segment with Elias. She also plugged her match against Alexa Bliss at Evolution, and was in Natalya’s corner tonight along with Ronda Rousey. Nikki and Brie Bella announced they would return to in-ring action next week.
Show Recap --
Roman Reigns came out to start the show and was loudly booed by the Toronto crowd. The announcers recapped what happened last week and showed Braun Strowman’s Twitter challenge for a one-on-one confrontation. Michael Cole mentioned that Reigns defended his title all weekend, which is not something we’ve had in a year in a half.
His music cut and the crowd continued booing. Reigns said he told Strowman he’d be in the ring at 8:00pm and now it was 8:05pm, but if Strowman didn’t want to show, he was ready to challenge someone else. Strowman came out to the ring.
Strowman laughed at Reigns calling himself a workhorse after his boys had to save him last week. Reigns said the Shield were a brotherhood of workhorses, and those boys made a choice. They knew what it took to be at the top of the mountain, unlike Strowman.
Reigns mocked his “get these hands” catchphrase and said his own hands knew what it was like to hold every title in WWE. Reigns dared him to a title match here in Toronto. The crowd chanted “Yes.” Strowman said he wouldn’t cash in tonight, which was booed, because we all knew his “little boys” would interfere.
Strowman challenged him to a Hell in a Cell match at the PPV, where his boys couldn’t interfere. The crowd seemed happy with that. They shook hands on the match.
Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre interrupted. Ziggler said his Intercontinental championship was stolen by Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. Ziggler went on for a while, then he and McIntyre told Strowman and Reigns that they were their next challenge because they were on top of the mountain. They wanted a match tonight.
Reigns said they could fight right now, but Baron Corbin interrupted. Corbin said Strowman’s title match at HIAC has been approved. Corbin also made a main event that Kurt Angle couldn’t dream of, which was the match they basically all just agreed to, Strowman and Reigns against Ziggler and McIntyre. Strowman said he would get the title at HIAC and Ziggler and McIntyre would get these hands.
The announcers ran down what happened, then they cut back to Corbin in the ring alone. Corbin put himself in a match against Finn Balor, the man, not the demon.
Baron Corbin defeated Finn Balor
Corbin had Balor in a rest hold as the crowd chanted “Corbin sucks” and “you can’t wrestle.” Cole put over Balor’s performance last week in his title match and Jonathan Coachman called it “a five star.”
Corbin had control until Balor hit a slingblade on the outside leading to commercial. After the break, Balor was back in a rest hold. Balor came back with a forearm, strikes, double foot stomp, and slingblade, but Corbin countered a dropkick into a Deep Six for a nearfall.
Balor responded with a flip dive. After Corbin placed a steel chair on the apron, Balor went for the Coup de Grace, but Corbin moved and hit him with the chair. The referee called for the bell, but Corbin said he forgot to mention that the match was no DQ. Corbin had the match restarted, hit Balor in the back with the chair, then used End of Days for the pinfall win.
The initial match went 11:25 and went 20 more seconds after it was restarted. This was the fourth televised singles match between these two since July 15th.
They aired a video package for Triple H vs. Undertaker, with comments and predictions from Ric Flair, Christian, Mick Foley, Jeff Jarrett, and Kevin Nash. They announced that Shawn Michaels would be on Raw next week, not tonight in Toronto, unfortunately.
Apollo Crews told Dana Brooke she deserved to be on WWE Evolution and could prove it tonight in a tune-up match. Crews seemed to think the match would be against a jobber, but Titus O’Neil showed up and said he got her a match with Sasha Banks. They psyched her up, but after she left, Crews was worried because Banks is no tune-up match and Brooke has only had one singles match in the past nine months. O’Neil was excited and believed in Brooke.
Sasha Banks (w/Bayley) defeated Dana Brooke (w/Titus O’Neil & Apollo Crews) (2:30)
Bayley wore a Banks t-shirt and Banks wore a Bayley t-shirt. Brooke got a lot of offense but Banks won quickly with a Bank Statement. Crews consoled Brooke afterwards.
Ambrose and Rollins were shown chatting backstage. After a break, Ambrose was still standing there staring at nothing. He was approached by Jinder Mahal and Sunil Singh. Mahal said he’s noticed the anger in Ambrose since he returned. Mahal offered to help and told Ambrose to close his eyes. Ambrose closed his eyes. Ambrose said he saw Mahal and himself. He saw himself breaking Mahal’s teeth and his face. He saw Mahal crying. Ambrose opened his eyes and told Mahal to get out of his face. Mahal left.
Rollins came to the ring and got a good reaction. Rollins said last week (helping Reigns) was about family business. He spoke about being a fighting champion. He thought he would have to deal with Ziggler and McIntyre again, but his he doesn’t, he issued an open challenge.
Kevin Owens came out to a huge pop. Owens was glad that Rollins was happy. However, since coming back to Raw, his own life has been a living hell. When he was on Smackdown, all he wanted was to come back to Raw and things should be better.
Owens said Rollins had his best friend at his side at SummerSlam, and if Owens had Sami Zayn by his side, he would’ve beaten Strowman, cashed in his contract and would be standing there as Universal champion. The crowd cheered. After mentioning that Zayn was taken out by some brute, Owens said he wanted to leave here as champion.
Owens said they were in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and was about to say he couldn’t think of a better place to win the IC title, but then said Montreal, Quebec would be way better. The crowd booed, then Owens spoke French, which was also booed. Owens said he would win the IC title tonight and the crowd cheered.
Seth Rollins defeated Kevin Owens to retain the Intercontinental Championship (22:11)
Rollins made a comeback using consecutive suicide dives. The third was blocked by Owens, but Rollins shoved him off the apron and hit a third dive anyway leading to the second commercial break of the match.
After a break, Rollins nailed a frog splash for a nearfall which brought a “this is awesome” chant. Owens avoided a curb stomp, sent him shoulder first into the post, then applied a crossface but Rollins eventually got a rope break.
Owens slapped Rollins and I think said “it’s my goddamn title,” which was bleeped. Rollins slapped him back and hit a superkick, but Owens responded with a Stunner for a nearfall. This got a big pop and “holy shit” chants. This also got the crowd solidly behind Owens.
Rollins nailed a buckle bomb but Owens popped back with a superkick for a very close nearfall. They traded fists on the top rope, Owens hit a headbutt, then Rollins hit an enziguri. Owens dropped Rollins over the top rope, but he missed a springboard moonsault and Rollins hit the curb stomp for the pinfall win. Really fun match by the end.
They showed a social media post by Kurt Angle about the uncertainty of his future in WWE.
Corbin, truly taking on the role of GM, was shown texting backstage. Strowman gave him the Money in the Bank briefcase and told him to bring it to Money in the Bank.
After a break, Owens was still in the ring, now sitting on a chair as the crowd chanted for him. Owens looked around for a moment, then very abruptly said, “I quit.” He left.
Renee Young interviewed Ziggler and McIntyre who said they saw tonight as a perfect opportunity to strike on Reigns and Strowman. It took them a lot of words to get this point across.
The Revival defeated The B-Team in a non-title match (8:50)
Revival won with the Shatter Machine on Curtis Axel. After the match, they gave Bo Dallas a Shatter Machine as well. Including the SummerSlam kick-off show, this was the fifth straight show these four have had some kind of match together.
Revival grabbed the tag title belts and microphones. They said the tag division has been a joke thanks to these morons. Dash Wilder said B-Team were making a mockery of the sacred history of tag team wrestling. Scott Dawson told them to keep the belts clean because they could take them any time.
Cole announced that SummerSlam would take place in Toronto next year, along with NXT, Raw, and Smackdown. You could hear the crowd cheering in the background. I would’ve had Renee Young announce this in front of the live crowd.
Elias was in the ring and performed on his guitar as the crowd clapped along. The crowd chanted “walk with Elias.” Elias said they were singing for him but they didn’t need to. He had a realization, that when Drake said he started from the bottom, he literally meant Toronto. They booed. Elias said John Tavares told him that going from New York to Toronto was the biggest disappointment of his life. (Tavares signed as a free agent, he wasn’t traded.)
Trish Stratus interrupted to a nice ovation. Elias was happy to see Stratus take a break from changing diapers to join us. Stratus was impressed was his ability, but when it came to trash talking her city, she told him to shut his mouth.
Elias said a performance from him in Toronto was like the Stanley Cup--they’ll never see it in their lifetime. That led to a “Go Leafs go” chant. Stratus responded by saying he’d never win a WWE championship. Stratus reminded him that she was a 7-time champion and said it wouldn’t be long before she was facing Alexa Bliss at Evolution.
Elias was looking forward to their swimsuit model pillow fight. Stratus told him to pack up his guitar and leave. Elias figured the only reason she was out there was that she wanted to walk with Elias, but he doesn’t date women in their sixties. Stratus slapped him.
That was basically the end of the segment. Ronda Rousey and Natalya came out for the next segment with Stratus still in the ring. Elias disappeared.
Natalya (w/Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey & Trish Stratus) defeated Alicia Fox (w/Alexa Bliss & Mickie James) (2:14)
Before the match, Bliss told Stratus that she replaced her and all the yoga in the world wasn’t going to help her at Evolution. Bliss also informed Rousey that she was getting her title match at Hell in a Cell. Bliss made a dig at Toronto, which was lame compared to what we just got from Elias. Bliss said they had another friend as backup, someone Stratus knew well, which brought out Mickie James. (The only one of these women who didn’t get their music played was Fox.)
Natalya hit a discus clothesline and won quickly with the Sharpshooter. Natalya, Rousey and Stratus posed, then Natalya pointed to the sky.
Nikki and Brie Bella embraced Rousey, Natalya and Stratus backstage. Nikki told Rousey they were proud that she was representing the division. Brie said they spoke to Corbin and they would be back in action next week. They were all happy and Natalya took a group selfie.
They aired more comments on Triple H vs. Undertaker, this time from Steve Austin, Booker T, Big Show and Diamond Dallas Page.
Corbin was on the phone with Stephanie McMahon and told her that he would try to iron things out with Owens. He also told a stagehand to get a masseuse. Bobby Lashley showed up and mocked him for wanting a masseuse.
After they bantered for a bit, Corbin told Lashley that he didn’t forget about him and had a match for him up next, though he couldn’t think of the opponent’s name. Lashley acted impressed by Corbin and smacked him twice on the shoulder. Lashley was actually pretty amusing here.
After a break, Corbin announced that Lashley actually had a handicap match.
2-on-1 handicap match: Bobby Lashley defeated The Ascension (2:30)
Ascension briefly got the heat but Lashley won quickly with his Dominator variation on Viktor.
Based on how many times he has said it tonight, it seems Corey Graves has decided that Corbin’s new first name is “Acting-General-Manager.”
Dean Ambrose defeated Jinder Mahal (w/Sunil Singh) (3:45)
Graves suggested Mahal channel his inner John Olerud and wear a helmet tonight, which is a reference I can’t imagine too many people understood.
There was a moment where Ambrose shoved Sunil hard into the barricade, but Mahal took control after that. Ambrose came back with clotheslines and back elbow, then Mahal caught him with a high knee for two. Ambrose then countered a Khallas into a Dirty Deeds for the pinfall win. Ambrose didn’t celebrate long before marching to the back.
Ambrose wrestled without a shirt this week. He still has a bandage on his arm. He did not use the rebound clothesline in this match, nor did he do it last week.
Strowman approached Reigns in the locker room and warned him he was taking the title at HIAC. Reigns said Strowman would have to wake up the day after HIAC, look himself in the mirror and realize that he couldn’t get the job done.
Universal Champion Roman Reigns & Braun Strowman defeated Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre via DQ (9:00)
The match started after 11:00 pm. I know there’s an overrun, but why would you schedule the main event to start after the show is presumably supposed to end?
The heels had the heat on Reigns forever and came close to a hot tag but McIntyre cut him off with a belly-to-belly suplex. Reigns eventually caught Ziggler with a superman punch and made the tag to Strowman.
Strowman remained on the apron instead of entering the ring. He watched as McIntyre and Ziggler put the boots to Reigns. The referee eventually called for the bell. Strowman entered the ring, then McIntyre and Ziggler backed off.
Strowman grabbed Reigns, headbutted him, then nodded at McIntyre, who continued the attack. Ziggler hit a superkick, then Ambrose ran down. He wildly attacked but he was overwhelmed. Rollins ran down next, selling his shoulder from his match against Owens. They cut him off easily and Strowman gave him a powerslam. He then gave powerslams to Ambrose and Reigns.
Strowman posed with Ziggler and McIntyre to end the show. The crowd cheered a bit when Strowman attacked Reigns, but they were mostly booing when he was teaming with the other two to attack the Shield. Either way, this definitely came across like a heel turn.