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WWE Raw live results: Reigns vs. Lashley, Stephanie's announcement

Date: July 23, 2018
Location: U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, OH

The Big Takeaway --

Roman Reigns beat Bobby Lashley clean and will face Brock Lesnar for the Universal title at SummerSlam. Lesnar is advertised for next week’s show. (It may not come up next week with Lesnar on the show, but Braun Strowman must defend his MITB contract at SummerSlam against Kevin Owens.)

The story of the show was Stephanie McMahon’s announcement of an all-women’s pay per view in October. They talked about it throughout the show and it was probably brought up in every segment until the main event.

There were three women’s matches on tonight’s show, averaging 2 minutes and 49 seconds in length.

Dean Ambrose did not return.

Show Recap -- 

The entire locker room was on the stage, along with Kurt Angle. 205 Live wrestlers were there too, along with women from Smackdown. Vince McMahon was in the ring and he introduced Stephanie McMahon and Triple H, who got their own entrance. Stephanie shook hands with Angle, Triple H did not.

Triple H thanked the entire roster, everyone from Raw, SmackDown, 205 Live, NXT and NXT U.K. He said they can’t be successful alone and said he saw a large bond between this group. He then asked the women to step forward. (Nikki Cross was among them.)

Triple H said the men on the stage support them, and many of them nodded. He said the fans do too and they cheered. He spoke of all the firsts the women have accomplished recently, then became emotional and said he was proud of them.

Stephanie said these things are important because the fans deemed it so, after demanding more for the women. She said the fans started a hashtag and 30-second matches turned into main events.

Stephanie announced that there would be a “first ever” all-women’s pay per view on October 28th called Evolution. The women celebrated on the stage as everyone else applauded. Michael Cole said the event would take place at Nassau Coliseum in New York and would feature Raw, Smackdown, and NXT women’s title matches, as well as the finals for the Mae Young Classic. 

Backstage, Curtis Axel told Bo Dallas how excited he was about the women’s PPV. Dallas spoke about how far the two of them have come and now they get to defend their titles on Raw. Axel agreed they used to be rotten. They said the “B” stands for brothers and best. They were about to leave all excited, but then realized they forgot to take the belts with them.

Elias was on the stage for a performance but was interrupted by Matt Hardy’s entrance. 

B-Team defeated Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt to retain the Tag Team Championship (8:20)

Hardy and Wyatt were in control and they went to commercial less than two minutes into the match. The Revival were shown watching the match backstage. B-Team worked over Wyatt after a break until he made a hot tag to Hardy, who did a good job getting the crowd into the match.

He ran wild on Axel and hit a side effect for two. He used a Twist of Fate but Dallas broke up the cover. Wyatt went after him, but Dallas ducked. Dallas sorta tossed Wyatt aside, Wyatt fell on Hardy, then Axel applied a cradle on Hardy almost by accident for the pinfall win. So another fluke win for B-Team.

After the match, Hardy and Wyatt applauded for B-Team, then attacked them and took them out with their finishers. This wasn’t treated like a heel turn, just Hardy and Wyatt getting their heat back. 

Finn Balor spoke with Chad Gable backstage. He asked Gable why he was in his gear, and Gable said he always stays ready. They talked about Stephanie’s announcement when some guy walked by with Balor’s suitcase. Another guy had his jacket, so Balor stopped him.

The guy said Baron Corbin instructed them to move him into a new locker room. It was a kids playhouse. Corbin showed up and said he deserved it. Balor said he was happy to have his own fun house. Corbin didn’t think that was funny and told Balor to get ready for his match with Drew McIntyre.

Charly Caruso interviewed Sasha Banks and Bayley, who were all smiles. Bayley said they had a long talk and agreed it was their differences that made their friendship strong. Banks said they had the same dream and their dreams keep getting bigger after Stephanie’s announcement. They expressed their admiration for each other and left. 

There have been three backstage segments and in every one, the wrestlers have specifically referred to Stephanie’s announcement. 

Sasha Banks & Bayley defeated Samantha Simon & Karen Lundy (1:23)

Banks and Bayley beat two jobbers quickly with Banks winning via submission. They hugged afterwards. During the match, Jonathan Coachman tried to make a comment about women being different from men, but before he could continue, Corey Graves spoke all over him. 

I neglected to mention it earlier, but they’re pushing that the women’s PPV will feature over 50 women superstars. 

Braun Strowman promo

Elias was on the stage again and plugged his album, but he was quickly interrupted again, this time by Braun Strowman. (They plugged Strowman before the break, so Elias should’ve known better.) Strowman put over Stephanie’s announcement and wished good luck to all the women, especially his mixed match partner Alexa Bliss.

He said it didn’t matter if the champion was Roman Reigns, Bobby Lashley, or Brock Lesnar, sooner or later a monster would come calling. He asked the crowd how he would look as Universal champion and they cheered.

Kevin Owens interrupted. He slowly walked out on the ramp. His arms are taped up. His music got a pop but fans were booing him when he began speaking. He mentioned Strowman throwing him off the cage and people cheered. He couldn’t believe Strowman was just trying to move on to the Universal title.

Owens tried to befriend Strowman before because his son thought maybe he could become tag champs with him like Nicolas did at WrestleMania. He said Strowman crushed his son’s dream, just like he crushed his ribs. Now both his kids are scared to see him walk down the stairs because they see the pain he’s in.

Owens said Strowman tried to take everything from him, now Owens would take everything from Strowman. Strowman dared him to come to the ring. Owens said he won their match at Extreme Rules, so he had nothing to prove. He said Strowman's problems have just begun, which brought out Corbin.

Corbin said Stephanie has empowered him to deal with this. (Corbin made a short joke about Balor in here and Owens didn’t laugh.) Corbin said there was someone who could deal with Strowman, which brought out Jinder Mahal and Sunil Singh.

Mahal said some words and did his little chant. Strowman told him to stop and wanted to demonstrate his own mantra. He told them both to close their eyes, then began a “get these hands” chant. Mahal and Sunil could tell this was bad news but remained in the ring. Strowman booted Mahal and gave Sunil a powerslam. 

They showed Tweets from Bliss, Sonya Deville, Nikki & Brie Bella, Charlotte Flair, Ruby Riott and Nia Jax about the announcement. 

They plugged Aleister Black vs. Tommaso Ciampa for the NXT title on Wednesday. 

Mickie James (w/Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss) defeated Natalya (3:44)

James took control after a distraction from Bliss, but Natalya came back with a Russian leg sweep, electric chair drop and basement dropkick for two. Bliss yanked Natalya off the apron, so Natalya took her out with a discus clothesline. James then caught Natalya with a superkick for the pinfall win. 

They showed pictures of Ronda Rousey (with Travis Browne) and Reigns at the Kid’s Choice Awards, plus Stephanie and Charlotte at the ESPYs. They aired a clip of Reigns accepting the Sports Humanitarian Award from ESPN.

Backstage, Reigns told Caruso that tonight was a night of firsts, and he would beat Lashley for the first time. He admitted Lashley beat him once, but he has a long list of accomplishments over the past five years. He called himself the most decorated superstar of this generation. He would beat Lashley and go to SummerSlam.

Reigns said people can complain about him being crammed down their throats, but they can learn to like it or shut their mouths, because he was going to whoop Lesnar’s ass.

Elias was on the stage again to plug his album but was again interrupted, this time by Authors of Pain.

There’s an amusing new Burger King commercial with Shinsuke Nakamura, Charlotte Flair and Ron Simmons.  

Authors of Pain were in the ring and Titus O’Neil cut a promo on them, saying they had a lot to learn. AOP mocked him and wondered what he could teach them, like maybe how to trip and fall over themselves. O’Neil said everyone falls.

Apollo Crews went on with a lame promo, talking about everything O’Neil has taught him, like how to be an asset to the community and a quality person. The crowd was completely silent. Akam suggested O’Neil retire. O’Neil and Crews attacked AOP and tossed them from the ring. O’Neil’s music played as AOP yelled at them from outside the ring. This sucked.

Angle was with Stephanie in the parking lot and was happy to be GM, especially after hearing her announcement. Owens and Corbin showed up, wondering how they should deal with Strowman. Owens suggested another match with Strowman, but this time with the MITB contract on the line.

Angle thought this was a stupid idea, but Stephanie liked it and made it official for SummerSlam. Owens was thrilled and almost hugged her, but she shook his hand instead. Owens then hugged Corbin. Stephanie cleared her throat so Angle would open her limo door for her. He did. She wished them good night and left. 

Mojo Rawley defeated Tyler Breeze (2:17)

Rawley won with a sitout Alabama Slam. The crowd chanted “we want Ambrose” during the match. Bobby Roode did an awkward inset promo during the match. He basically called Rawley a keyboard warrior. It sounded like he had more to say but then just stopped.

Ziggler and McIntyre did a selfie promo. Ziggler said they had a strategic plan to take over Raw, and it was working. McIntyre was on his way to becoming Universal champion, but Balor lost in their qualifying match last week. He said he would wipe the ridiculous smile off Balor’s face. 

Elias was interrupted again, this time by Balor. 

Finn Balor defeated Drew McIntyre (w/Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler) via DQ (7:10)

They went to commercial 80 seconds into the match, but not before Balor crunched McIntyre with a flip dive. McIntyre had control after the break as the crowd chanted for Balor. Balor nailed a forearm but McIntyre didn’t budge, so Balor took him down with a tornado DDT for a two count. Balor missed the Coup de Grace but hit a sling blade.

Balor went up again for the Coup de Grace but Ziggler crotched him for the DQ. They put the boots to Balor until Seth Rollins ran down to make the save. Angle came out and made a tag match. Ziggler and McIntyre tried leaving but Rollins and Balor went after them. 

Seth Rollins & Finn Balor defeated IC Champion Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre (11:49)

Coachman said he didn’t think we’d see Balor and Rollins on the same side, then Graves admonished him for not watching Raw lately.

They worked over Balor until he used a Pele Kick on Ziggler and made the hot tag to Rollins. Rollins nailed both opponents with a suicide dive, then launched Ziggler into the barricade. He followed with a springboard clothesline on McIntyre, then used a blockbuster for two.

Rollins hit a superkick but Ziggler broke up the cover. Balor gave Ziggler a sling blade, but Ziggler gave him a superkick. McIntyre then gave Rollins a reverse Alabama Slam for a nearfall. “This is awesome” chants. Rollins sent McIntyre out of the ring with a hurricanrana, then gave Ziggler the curb stomp for the decisive pinfall win. Rollins was the star of this match.  

Lashley told Caruso that big matches like tonight were why he came back. He main event WrestleMania and was victorious, whereas Reigns failed in his matches against Lesnar, just like he will tonight. When Lesnar shows up next week, Lashley will look him in the face to show him who he has to fight at SummerSlam. He hoped Lesnar was well-rested, because there was no sleep till Brooklyn.

They showed more Tweets about Stephanie’s announcement, this time by Banks, Bayley, Carmella, Ember Moon, Natalya and Beth Phoenix. Cole confirmed that Phoenix, Lita and Trish Stratus will be on the PPV. They replayed Stephanie’s announcement for at least the second time. 

Ember Moon defeated Liv Morgan (3:30) 

Moon won with the Eclipse. The match they had a couple of weeks ago was kind of fun. This one was not. (Sarah Logan wasn’t there because she was banned from ringside.)

Backstage, Rollins told Mike Rome he was excited about the women’s PPV and beating Ziggler tonight. He said Angle gave him a title match against Ziggler at SummerSlam. 

They aired a long video package for Lashley vs. Reigns.

Elias was on the stage again but was interrupted by Angle, who said he wasn’t there to interrupt him. Angle said the floor was his and asked him to perform a song from his new album. Elias was thrilled and told Angle, “despite what everybody says about you, you’re okay in my book.”

Elias suggested everyone buy two copies of his album, one for themselves and one for the person they become after listening to it. Elias began performing but stopped because he wasn’t feeling the vibe. He realized they were in Cincinnati and mentioned how gross everyone was. Lashley interrupted. 

They announced the following for Raw in Miami next week: Rousey returns, Balor faces Corbin, and Rollins faces McIntyre. They also announced the return of Lesnar, which was booed.

Roman Reigns defeated Bobby Lashley to become number one contender for the Universal Championship (18:01)

A minute into the match, the crowd chanted “we want Ambrose.” Lashley gave Reigns a belly-to-belly on the outside and the went to commercial two minutes into this high stakes match.

After the break, Lashley hit a spinebuster for two. Reigns fought out of a submission but Lashley followed with a suplex. Reigns came back later with a leg drop for two. Lashley dodged a superman punch and applied a full nelson. Reigns fought out but Lashley then applied a head and arm submission until Reigns managed to fight out again.

Lashley went shoulder first into the post, then Reigns gave him corner clotheslines. Lashley caught him off the ropes with a powerslam for two. Lashley went for a spear but Roman countered with what looked like a jumping leg lariat (it was probably supposed to be a clothesline or superman punch but he jumped too high).

Reigns suddenly hit a superman punch for a nearfall. They fought on the outside briefly, but Lashley tossed Reigns back in the ring and hit a spear for a nearfall. Lashley went for another spear, but Reigns caught him with a superman punch. Lashley countered the spear, but Reigns bounced off the ropes and hit the spear anyway for the pinfall win.

Reigns wins clean. Lesnar vs. Reigns at SummerSlam.

Afterwards, Lashley shook Reigns’ hand before leaving. They played up how devastated Lashley was as he left.