The Big Takeaway --
This week's show did more to build up next week's Raw in Los Angeles than it did to help its own cause tonight. Next week, Charlotte defends the Raw Women's Championship against Sasha Banks. The guest stars will be Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson, who played up an angle with Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho.
As for the best-of-seven series between Sheamus and Cesaro, the winner was...no one. It ended in a tie. That's what they actually chose to go with. Instead, Sheamus and Cesaro will now be tag team partners and receive a shot at the New Day for the Raw Tag Team Championships. So that led to Sheamus and Cesaro doing the tag partners who hate each other gimmick.
Stephanie McMahon also shouted down Mick Foley for questioning her about the finish of last night's PPV.
Show Recap --
United States Champion Roman Reigns and Rusev went to a double countout (25:34), so Reigns retained his title
Rusev got several near falls with various kicks, including a thrust kick after Reigns missed a Superman Punch. Reigns caught Rusev's boot as he delivered stomps and hit a Superman Punch for a two count. Lana got up on the apron for some reason. Reigns knocked Rusev out of the ring, hit the Drive By. They brawled into the crowd for a double countout. Once they arrived back at ringside, Reigns threw Rusev into the ring steps, then attempted a Superman punch, but Rusev jabbed Reigns in the midsection with a chair.
Rusev threw Reigns back in the ring and tried to hit him with a chair, but Reigns caught him with a spear. Reigns picked up the chair and stood over Rusev like he was going to maim him with it. Instead, he sat down and posed with the championship belt. As Rusev got to his knees, Reigns clubbed him across the back with the chair.
Earlier, Reigns went for a Superman punch, but Rusev caught him in midair and they tumbled over the top rope together. Rusev took a nasty bump where Reigns fell on top of his neck. The fans were into the match. They popped when Reigns broke out of a waist lock, but Rusev responded with a nice standing dropkick.
Mick Foley came out to discuss how the seventh match in the best-of-seven series between Sheamus and Cesaro ended at Clash of Champions---in a draw. He called down both men. Sheamus said the man who was more physically dominant in the series would get a championship opportunity. Cesaro said that was why he was here. Sheamus demanded a championship opportunity. Cesaro said he was ready to fight last night while Sheamus was doing the walk of shame. They argued about who was tougher.
Foley screamed that Sheamus and Cesaro were both right. They both proved they were physically dominant and it was impossible to determine who was the better man. Keep in mind that Cesaro had won two previous matches over Sheamus before the series started.
Foley said they would share the same opportunity as tag team partners for the Raw Tag Team Championship. Both men were upset and I bet they weren't alone. They would face the winner of the upcoming match between the New Day and Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows.
Raw Tag Team Champions The New Day defeated Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows to retain their titles (11:01)
Kofi Kingston pinned Anderson with Trouble in Paradise. Kingston was all bloody after Anderson threw his head into the ring steps. Big E. and Kingston hit the Midnight Hour on Anderson, but Gallows made the save. Big E. gave Gallows a tope where he took a hard bump, as well. Gallows tried to cover Big E. after the Magic Killer, but Kingston made the save. Solid match.
They showed the finish of the Kevin Owens-Seth Rollins match last night. They added in the wwe.com exclusive footage of Stephanie McMahon and HHH leaving together in a limo. Michael Cole announced that Rollins wasn't medically cleared to compete on Raw because of damage to his ribs, which were diagnosed at a doctor's office earlier in the day.
Sheamus and Cesaro argued some more backstage. Foley walked up and said he watched the seventh match with Arn Anderson and Michael Hayes last night and they stole the show on a great show. Foley tried to make sense of the angle by saying if he chose one man over the other, then he would be at risk of losing one of them. He told them they were amazing and he knew something about pinning tag teams together that were odd couples. Cesaro and Sheamus looked like they understood after Foley's promo.
Bayley defeated Anna Fields (2:06)
Bayley won with the Bayley-to-Belly. Bayley did an interview, and said Charlotte and Sasha Banks are the top two industry right now, but they haven't seen the last of her. She said the WWE Universe and her are on a journey together and she won't stop until she's holding the championship.
Rich Swann & Cedric Alexander defeated Lince Dorado & Drew Gulak (8:12)
Rich Swann pinned Drew Gulak with a Rich Kick and jackknife cradle. Lince Dorado did an Asai Moonsault onto Cedric Alexander and Swan before a commercial. Alexander used the Lumbar Check on Dorado before the break. They do a UFC-style arm raising after these cruiserweight matches. Swann and Alexander did an inset promo with Swann talking about how they're ready to party later tonight, and Alexander reminding him they had a match tonight. With all these fighting tag teams, I thought I was watching 2007 Impact again.
Cesaro & Sheamus defeated Willis Williams & Nick Cutler (3:31)
There was a unique spot where Willis Williams tried to give Cesaro a double axehandle, but Cesaro broke out of Nick Cutler's grip and gave Williams an European uppercut. As Cesaro was about to hit the Gotch Neutralizer, Sheamus sauntered into the ring and gave both men a Brogue Kick. Cesaro pinned Cutler. Cesaro and Sheamus did the cliched tag team partners that hate each other spots you've seen a million times. The crowd chanted "Let's go jobber."
T.J. Perkins did a promo saying he's had a dream of competing on Monday Night Raw since 1998 and he's the WWE Cruiserweight Champion, but he never thought he would ever see that. Brian Kendrick walked in and asked Perkins if it felt good depriving him of his dreams.
Kendrick said Perkins owes him for his career, his success. Kendrick told Perkins to go to the ring tonight and enjoy his dream, because the next time they get in the ring, that would be when he wakes up from his dream. Good promo by Kendrick.
Charlotte and Dana Brooke came out. Charlotte said Clash of Champions was once again her night and proved why she was the queen of the WWE Women's Division. She defied the odds and defeated Bayley and Banks. She said the difference between her and Banks and Bayley is she talks the talk and walks the walk. She turns back all of the challengers because she isn't an Internet darling or someone who hugs everyone, she's the money maker in the women's division.
Banks walked out and said Charlotte still has her title. She said Charlotte pinned Bayley last night and she wants a rematch tonight. Crowd popped for that. Charlotte said as good as Banks thinks she is, she's that much better. Charlotte said she'll give Banks a title match...next week. Because if I didn't give the match to her, she would cry about it to Foley. Charlotte admitted as much as she beats Banks down, Banks keeps getting back up.
Banks got in Charlotte's face, vowed to win the championship next week in Los Angeles, and slapped Charlotte. Brooke attacked Banks, who quickly put Brooke in the Bank Statement. Charlotte tried to make a comeback, but Banks threw both of them out of the ring.
Rollins showed up backstage as they teased Chris Jericho and Owens in a Highlight Reel segment. He was stopped by Foley, who asked him how he was feeling. Rollins demanded to go out there during the Highlight Reel. Foley said now wasn't the time because Rollins wasn't medically cleared. Rollins said he saw Stephanie get in the limo with HHH. Mick tried to talk to him, but Rollins said all he heard was Stephanie's words coming out of Foley's mouth.
They announced Perkins vs. Kendrick next week for the Cruiserweight Championship.
WWE Cruiserweight Champion T.J. Perkins defeated Tony Nese in a non-title match (8:48)
Perkins won with the Ankle Lock after a Detonation Kick. Tony Nese's gimmick is calling himself "The Premier Athlete." He did a twisting tope where he landed on his feet. Crowd got bored and started chanting for C.M. Punk. Perkins did the Ryusuke Taguchi Dodon for a two count.
This week's Hispanic Heritage superstar honoree was Pedro Morales. Seeing Pedro on the Tuesday Night Titans set with enough jewelry that his spine could barely withstand was quite the highlight.
Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson did a promo on Instagram running down Owens and Jericho. They claimed to be closer friends than Owens and Jericho and vowed to show up next week in Los Angeles.
Jericho came out for the Highlight Reel and responded that if they do show up, he was going to put them on the List of Jericho. Then he scolded the cameraman for shooting him on the wrong side of the ring. Jericho said Rollins was also on the list because he got hurt again. Jericho said he had been in the WWE for 17 years and he's never been injured. Then he introduced Owens.
Jericho put Owens over for beating Rollins. Owens said he would usually be wearing a suit and tie, but he was wearing his tank top and shorts for Cincinnati because it was the city who gave birth to Dean Ambrose. Jericho mentioned that Ambrose still owes him for destroying his jacket.
Owens said he proved at Clash of Champions that he was the man who deserves to be in the main event. Not only did he defeat Rollins, he put him on the injured list. He said what happened to Rollins last night was karma because of the list of men he injured: John Cena, Finn Balor, Sting. Rolling may have been the most dangerous man in the WWE, but Owens took him out last night so that made him the most dangerous man in the WWE.
Rollins came out with fire in his eye. Security stopped him at once. Crowd wanted to see them fight. Owens taunted Rollins as Fit Finley, Foley and a host of others forced him to the back.
Enzo Amore and Big Cass came out. Jericho said "we" are doing fine, "we" are Universal Champion and put them on the list of Jericho. Owens helped Jericho spelled Enzo and Cass.
Cass wondered if Jericho was Santa Claus. Jericho said maybe he was, maybe he'll "come down there and sit on your lap." Cass asked him to repeat that, but Jericho didn't want to acknowledge what he said. Jericho said he was going to punch him in the face. They started arguing over what Jericho said. Owens said it didn't matter, he'll punch Cass in the mouth. Jericho said they didn't have a match set for tonight. Cass corrected Jericho and said they do have a mention scheduled tonight for the main event.
Kevin Owens & Chris Jericho defeated Enzo Amore & Big Cass (16:30)
Owens pinned Amore after a power bomb. Cass got to look good at the end as he gave Jericho a big boot, and they both crashed to the floor. Highlight of the match was Owens mocking Enzo's backward run during his ring entrance. Amore got the heat for several minutes. He tried to give Jericho a crossbody, but Jericho hit him with a dropkick. If you took a drink every time the announcers said Cass was a 7-footer, you would have no liver. No Rollins in sight at the finish.