Date: August 13, 2018
Location: Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, NC
The Big Takeaway --
Dean Ambrose returned. He will be in Seth Rollins’ corner at SummerSlam for his IC Title match against Dolph Ziggler. Ambrose and Rollins attacked Ziggler and McIntyre in the main event segment, which was set up by a show-long storyline.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman were on the same page this entire time. Heyman pepper-sprayed Reigns, allowing Lesnar to make a “surprise” attack. Lesnar laid out Reigns with an F5.
Show Recap --
Ronda Rousey came out to start the show. Michael Cole introduced Renee Young to the announce table. She thanked them for the opportunity.
The crowd loudly chanted for Rousey. Rousey announced the passing of Natalya’s father Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart. Rousey said our fathers were our reassurance that everything was going to be okay, but when that’s ripped away, you realize they’ve been raising you to be the pillars of strength your family needs.
She told Natalya to stay strong. “We all love you.” The crowd chanted for Nattie. Rousey said Natalya was the first to welcome her in WWE, and she would be the first to stand up for her. She said Alexa Bliss has cheated to defeat Natalya but she was going to defeat Bliss and become Raw Women’s champion. Rousey introduced Ember Moon.
Bliss and Alicia Fox (with her arm taped) came out next. Bliss said Rousey would need all the support she could get. Bliss knows people think it’s a foregone conclusion that Rousey would win, but she’s only had three matches whereas Bliss was already a five-time champion. Crowd booed her as she spoke.
Bliss was tired of Rousey and her stupid mean face, then did a mean face of her own. The crowd chanted for Rousey. She was also sick of Kurt Angle giving others preferential treatment except for her. Bliss spoke with Baron Corbin who allowed her to hire her own security. Four male security guards came out.
After they all got to the ring, Bliss shoved Moon into Rousey. Rousey tried to attack but security got in the way. One of them put his hand on her shoulder, so she judo tossed him. She kicked another in the head and took out a third with a judo throw. She stared down the fourth guy and he ran from the ring. Rousey then attacked Fox but she managed to escape the ring.
Rousey came off well attacking everyone and the crowd loved her.
Non-title match: Ember Moon (w/Ronda Rousey) defeated Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss (w/Alicia Fox) via DQ
A few seconds into the match, they did an inset commercial for SummerSlam, plugging the Universal title match. A few minutes later, they took an actual commercial break.
After Moon hit a tornado suplex, Fox got on the apron, so Rousey launched into the barricade. Bliss took the opportunity to attack Rousey from behind and toss her into the barricade. When Bliss entered the ring, Moon gave her a gutbuster and the Eclipse. She had the match won but Fox interfered.
It was easy to miss Fox breaking up the cover so the crowd started booing. The referee eventually called for the bell. After Fox attacked Moon, Rousey made the save and tossed her around. Rousey stood tall with her music playing. Moon looked really good on offense.
They plugged Smackdown 1000 then aired a video packing of Brock Lesnar attacking Angle and Paul Heyman. They also showed the unaired footage of Renee’s interview with Heyman, where he said Reigns doesn’t stand a chance “unless” before walking away.
Angle argued with Corbin backstage. Angle was pissed that Corbin went over his head with Stephanie McMahon. Corbin left, then Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre showed up. Ziggler wondered why Seth Rollins wasn’t here yet. Angle said Rollins had travel issues but would be here. The heels chuckled and left.
Baron Corbin defeated Tyler Breeze (4:11)
Breeze hit an enziguri on the outside, but Corbin caught him with a Deep Six in the ring for the win. The story is that Corbin arranged for singles matches for himself and Finn Balor tonight and he got to pick their opponents.
Corbin laughed and bragged afterwards and said this is what would happen to Balor at SummerSlam. Corbin introduced Jinder Mahal as Balor’s opponent. After Mahal entered, Corbin said it was actually a handicap match and his other opponent was Kevin Owens.
Balor came out smiling. As Corbin left, Angle interrupted. He said he can’t cancel the match, but he can add to it (huh?) and introduced Balor’s tag team partner. Braun Strowman came out to a huge reaction.
Finn Balor & Braun Strowman defeated Kevin Owens & Jinder Mahal (w/Sunil Singh) (14:00)
Balor made a tag to Strowman and the crowd erupted. Owens tagged out and ran into the crowd. Strowman had his way with Mahal, then tagged in Balor. He scoop slammed Balor onto Mahal, then Balor hit a dropkick. Owens stopped Balor from attempting a dive, so Strowman chased after him. Balor then nailed a big flip dive to both Owens and Mahal.
After a break, they did an inset commercial, this time for NXT Takeover. After a while, Balor hit a slingblade and made the hot tag to Strowman, who hit Mahal with shoulder tackles and a clothesline. There was a funny spot where Strowman charged around the ring, picked up Sunil and used him as a battering ram on Owens.
Mahal caught Strowman with a high knee in the ring, but Strowman gave him a powerslam for the win. This was fun and Strowman came off like a big-time star.
Afterwards, Strowman chased after Owens, then Corbin appeared to give Balor the End of Days. The crowd chanted “you still suck” at Corbin.
Backstage, Angle tried calling Rollins and left him a voicemail. Ziggler and McIntyre showed up again and suggested if Rollins couldn’t show up tonight to sign the contract, he wouldn’t get the IC title shot at SummerSlam. Angle assured them that Rollins would be there as a light “we want Ambrose” chant started.
JoJo introduced a man in the ring holding a guitar, from here in Greensboro, named Ricky Roberts. He said his favourite artist was Elias. The crowd chanted “what” as he spoke, then Elias interrupted. Elias claimed he didn’t know who the guy was. He wondered if the guy was a big enough fan to go on WWE Shop and buy his new “What Would Elias Do” bracelet.
He said the guy could truly impress him if he would beat up Bobby Lashley. Elias also announced he would be performing at Gramercy Theatre in New York on Saturday and they showed a graphic to plug it. (Tickets are $26 according to the theatre’s website.) Elias buried Greensboro, then Lashley came out.
Lashley told Roberts to get a new schtick. They were about to have a match but Roberts cracked the guitar over Lashley’s back. Lashley killed him with a spinebuster.
Backstage, Bo Dallas freaked out because he realized their odds of winning were worse than usual. Curtis Axel didn’t believe him. Dallas said the odds of them winning were 33.3333%. Axel said they got to where they were with B-teamwork and they psyched each other up for the match.
B-Team defeated Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt and The Revival to retain the Tag Team Championship (10:16)
The Revival used a Hart Attack on Hardy early in the match, which was acknowledged by the announcers. After a break, Wyatt ran wild and gave Uranages to both members of the Revival as well as Dallas. Dash Wilder tried a suicide dive, but Wyatt caught him and bounced him off the apron. Dallas took out Wyatt with a clothesline on the outside.
Hardy went to the top and Scott Dawson tried to stop him, then Hardy gave him a superplex onto everyone outside the ring, which didn’t look fun for anyone. Back in the ring, Revival gave Wyatt a Shatter Machine. However, Axel had made a blind tag, so he tossed Dawson from the ring and got the pinfall win on Wyatt. B-Team retain.
It’s kind of weird that Wyatt has been pinned twice in a row on TV.
Reigns was shown walking backstage and he bumped into B-Team as they celebrated. He seemed confused by their happiness, perhaps because he never has anything to celebrate.
Backstage, Angle asked Ziggler if he was happy with the details in the contract. Ziggler said Angle likes to play favourites and wondered why there was a clause that Rollins could have someone in his corner. Angle said that was standard, which is why McIntyre is allowed in his corner. This somehow did not lead to an Ambrose chant. Angle offered to remove the clause, which meant McIntyre wouldn’t be allowed at ringside. Ziggler declined.
Roman Reigns promo
Reigns said he’s told himself to leave this place better than he found it, but he can’t do that as long as Lesnar is around and it was time to get rid of him. Reigns said he would take back his title and send Lesnar so far back into UFC that he would find himself up Dana White’s ass. Paul Heyman interrupted.
Heyman didn’t want to steal a line from another act, but said it was a new day. He didn’t mind stealing a line from the Usos and called them the future of the tag division. Heyman seemed ready to put over Reigns, who was skeptical but couldn’t wait to hear it.
Heyman said Reigns was in a position to make history and could do so tonight. Heyman referred to his interview with Renee where he let it slip that there was an “unless.” He offered to give Reigns all of Lesnar’s secrets, which would guarantee Reigns the title. Heyman offered a handshake but Reigns declined. Reigns said he didn’t need the help.
Heyman offered his services to Reigns and introduced him like he does Lesnar. Reigns said he’s been groomed for this position and his father taught him how to swim with sharks. He said Heyman was drowning and wished him luck on his future endeavours.
Heyman talked about riding in cars with Afa and Sika. He handed a paper to Reigns and told him to think about the offer and give him an answer on Sunday. As Reigns read the paper, Heyman pepper sprayed him.
Brock Lesnar came out and handed Heyman the belt. Lesnar attacked Reigns with knees and then applied a guillotine choke. As Lesnar left, Cole went nuts calling this a cowardly attack because Reigns couldn’t defend himself. Lesnar returned to the ring and gave Reigns an F5 before finally leaving with Heyman.
The crowd was mixed for this. Nothing you wouldn’t expect. Reigns was booed when he entered but cheered when he spoke about riding us of Lesnar’s title reign. Lesnar got a mixed reaction when attacking Reigns. He was booed for some of it but also got “one more time” chants after the F5.
Bobby Roode, Apollo Crews & Titus O’Neil (w/Dana Brooke) defeated Mojo Rawley & Authors of Pain (2:46)
Roode got the win quickly with a Glorious DDT on Rawley.
Reigns was being tended to by the trainers backstage. Angle was with them. The concern was Reigns’ eyes after being pepper-sprayed, not the beating he just received from Lesnar.
They aired a very nice tribute video for Jim Neidhart. The video highlighted his time doing shot put, his marriage to Ellie Hart, his success teaming with Bret Hart, and his relationship with Natalya and the rest of the family. The crowd gave a standing ovation. Renee called Natalya a close friend and knew what a great father Neidhart was.
The announcers ran down the SummerSlam card. B-Team will defend the tag titles against Revival on the kick-off show.
Ruby Riott (w/Sarah Logan & Liv Morgan) defeated Sasha Banks (w/Bayley) (8:55)
Cole did the thing where he sends us to commercial, but they didn’t actually take a break. A few moments later, he did it again and they did go to break.
During her comeback, Banks hit a wild suicide dive on Logan. However, with the referee checking on Riott, Morgan attacked Banks. Bayley laid out Morgan, but Riott booted Banks and won with a schoolboy.
Backstage, a stagehand told Angle there was no sign of Rollins. Corbin said Stephanie won’t be happy that he jeopardized a big match by leaving the contract signing to the last minute. Angle stormed out. Are we really supposed to think the only way this match can be made official is if Rollins shows up in Greensboro to sign the contract in person?
SummerSlam Intercontinental Championship Contract Signing
Angle addressed Lesnar’s attack and said Reigns will still be able to compete at SummerSlam, which was booed. Angle won’t suspend Lesnar because he wants Reigns to kick his ass. He called Lesnar the worst champion ever when Ziggler and McIntyre interrupted.
Ziggler offered to do a comedy show since Rollins won’t be here. Angle introduced Rollins, but he didn’t show. Ziggler and McIntyre went on and on, suggesting Rollins quit to avoid facing them. The crowd was silent. McIntyre did give Rollins respect for fighting so hard, but all he did was make them work harder and now Rollins was the architect of his own demise.
Ziggler said Rollins did everything to impress the audience, and that was his mistake. Ziggler said he knew first hand what that was like and said their admiration meant nothing because they would turn on you the first chance they got.
Ziggler said the fans weren’t there for him when he was down, but McIntyre was. Ziggler went on for a while, then told Angle to make Rollins’ forfeit official. Ziggler signed the contract, then Rollins’ came out.
Rollins apologized for being late and for making the crowd sit through Ziggler’s promo. Rollins admitted he was actually here for a while, but wanted to make sure Ziggler signed the contract. Rollins said he was dealing with travel issues, but not his own.
Rollins said Ziggler would have a Scottish psychopath in his corner, so he wanted a lunatic in his. Dean Ambrose came out to a big reaction. Ambrose has short hair and beard. He also looks bigger.
Rollins and Ambrose ran down and attacked the heels. Ambrose sent Ziggler out of the ring, then Rollins gave McIntyre a superkick and Ambrose followed with Dirty Deeds. They did the Shield pose as the show ended.
Final Thoughts --
I’m not sure I would’ve brought him back this way after so long, but I’m very glad Dean Ambrose is back.