The Big Takeaway --
Finn Balor's alterego, "The Demon King," will be unveiled next week. Roman Reigns interrupted Rusev and Lana's celebration of love and fought Rusev. The segment ended with Lana's face in a wedding cake. Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho will face Enzo and Cass at SummerSlam.
Those were the only major points from a show where much of the pre-show hyped turned out to be much ado about nothing. Mick Foley and Daniel Bryan's meeting was basically Foley getting mad that Bryan derided the name of the WWE Universal Championship. And Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs appeared on only one segment.
Show Recap --
Enzo Amore and Big Cass started the show. Enzo brought up hitting on Sasha Banks last week. Cass said she was smitten with him. Enzo quoted lyrics from Sublime. Cass compared Amore to Mike Trout, which actually got some boos. Enzo said he was on the verge of hitting a home run with Banks when Chris "Bon Jovi" Jericho robbed him.
Enzo said he and Cass were some Anaheim Angels taking a Stairway to Heaven and Jericho was on a Highway to Hell. Amore welcomed Jericho to the Jungle, "You're going down."
Jericho walked out and said Enzo was more irritating than "Achy Breaky Heart." He said the only reason Amore was still on Raw was because every time Enzo made a mess, he had a 7-foot maid to clean it up for him. Jericho said Cass may be Enzo's backup, but he had his own backup. Kevin Owens walked out with Jericho.
Jericho admitted he had Owens had problems when they first met, but Jericho talked to JimMartin Luetter in Winnipeg and Owens has his back. Jericho, sounding uncertain, asked Owens if has his back. Owens didn't answer at first, but said he thought it was a rhetorical question and said he had Jericho's back.
Cass wondered if they had each other's back the same way Bert and Ernie had each other's back washing each other's back in a bathtub.
Owens said he used to like Cass in NXT because he could relate to him. Owens had a waste of space by his side that was doing nothing but holding him down (referring to Sami Zayn). Unlike him, Cass didn't get rid of the dead weight and carried it with him to Raw.
Even worse, Owens had to listen to Enzo every week, so he doesn't like Cass anymore and he didn't care that Cass was seven foot tall, he was going to hurt him. Owens stared at Cass, seemed to reconsider, and said that if he can't beat Cass up, then Jericho would. Jericho looked at Cass and said if Owens doesn't want to hurt Cass, he would.
Cass challenged him to a fight. Jericho said he wasn't talking to Cass. Cass said Jericho was looking right at him. Jericho said he was referring to the "Hip Hop Hobbit." Jericho said Enzo should watch it. Enzo said he didn't know what "It" was that Jericho kept talking about, but he was going to find out and shove it down Jericho's throat.
Chris Jericho defeated Enzo Amore by DQ (11:10)
Owens interfered, grabbing Amore from behind. Jericho hit the codebreaker on Amore. Cass hit the ring and gave Jericho a big boot for the DQ. Jericho and Owens celebrated like they had just won a gold medal in the Olympics, complete with Owens mocking Amore's "How you doin'?' by asking "How are you?"
Post-match, Cass challenged Jericho and Owens to a tag team match at SummerSlam in Brooklyn. Owens accepted.
Mick Foley talked to an absent Stephanie McMahon on a cell phone when Sasha Banks walked up. Banks said her match with Charlotte at SummerSlam should be a handicap match because of how often Dana Brooke interferes, referring to last week's match where Charlotte beat Banks in a tag match. She didn't sound like she was being sarcastic.
Foley said he would book Banks vs. Brooke tonight. If Banks wins, then Brooke would be banned from ringside for the match at SummerSlam. If Brooke wins, then the match at SummerSlam would be a handicap match and the deck would be stacked against Banks.
Braun Strowman defeated Jorel Nelson (:50)
Braun Strowman used the reverse chokeslam for this week's squash victory. Byron Saxton did a pre-match interview with Nelson asking him why he took the match against Strowman. Nelson got a blank look of fear on his face and said nothing. Saxton's mannerisms look like Vince McMahon from the 1970s during these stand-up interviews.
Foley ran into Puff Daddy backstage. Combs mentioned the Bad Boy family was going on tour again. Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods walked in. Woods congratulated Combs on being the Executive Producer of the WWE 2K17 video game.
Combs asked about Big E's nuts. Kingston said Anderson and Gallows were like the Vanilla Ice of the tag team division. Woods alluded that Big E wasn't there tonight.
Darren Young defeated Titus O'Neal (1:57)
After Titus O'Neal used a schoolboy cradle while holding the trunks to pin Darren Young last week, Young used a schoolboy cradle while holding the trunks to pin O'Neal this week. Young looked like he got caught by a knee to the face in the match's opening spot. Bob Backlund was with Young and went wild again after the win.
Rollins came out for the 9:00 PM promo. He said the new era of the WWE is upon us and he must admit he's learned a thing or two. Case in point, Finn Balor. He followed Balor's career for a long time and figured Balor was a second-rate version of himself.
He said Balor was Jared Leto to his Heath Ledger. But after Balor kicked him in the head last week, he was forced to reevaluate his thoughts about Balor.
Rollins said everyone knew Balor was athletic, agile, and a lethal striker, but he was no normal man. Rollins said Balor wasn't even his real name. He said Finn Balor was an Irish mythology name. Finn meant "Irish warrior" and Balor meant "Demon King."
Rollins laughed and said that would be like calling himself Rambo Apocalypse. Rollins said Balor is one of the most disrespectful human beings he's ever encountered because Raw was his show and this was his ring. Yet Balor had the arrogance to get in his face last week and say he was going to beat him for the WWE Universal Championship at SummerSlam.
Rollins said of all the people Balor has beaten, he hasn't beaten Rollins. Rollins was furious that Balor said his chance at the Universal Championship was handed to him. He brought up overcoming his knee injury. Rollins said he knew his place in the WWE: the very top.
Rollins said he didn't need to surround himself with smoke and mirrors, myths and legends. He knows who he is and what he's capable of. He is the myth, he is the legend, and he is the man.
In 200 years, when parents sit around the fireplace with their kids, they're going to tell stories about how Rollins rode in on his white horse and crushed the face of the man who runs the place. Parents would tell stories of Rollins conquering the Roman Empire (which got cheers, one of the first things in this interview that got a reaction).
Cesaro defeated Sheamus (10:57)
Cesaro won after a ref bump. The referee nearly got sandwiched in the corner after an Irish Whip. With the referee standing between them, Sheamus landed a punch on Cesaro, but the referee went down. Sheamus had the pin with a schoolboy cradle, but no ref.
As Sheamus got up to revive the ref, Cesaro used his own schoolboy cradle to win. Had the same finish in the previous match. This was a rematch from last week. If you'll recall, Foley told the winner of last week's match they would get a title shot. That was never mentioned this week. Instead, they claimed Foley ordered a rematch because there wasn't a decisive winner last week, even though Cesaro won with his finisher.
A series of near falls about 8:00 in got the fans involved. Cesaro threw a dropkick on Sheamus where he was standing on the top rope. Near falls for Sheamus after the Irish Curse and White Noise. Solid match.
They aired a video package building up Lesnar/Orton. They aired footage of Lesnar winning the NCAA Heavyweight Championship at Minnesota on ESPN. That led to footage from Ohio Valley Wrestling with the voice of Jim Cornette included.
Orton talked about how Lesnar left the WWE in 2004 because he didn't like people, which pissed Orton off. Lesnar did a promo saying that he didn't care what Orton thought of him, how Orton was just another guy just like the rest of the guys in the locker room. Paul Heyman said Orton was the best surfer on the beach. He can surf better than anyone but he forgets about the shark waiting to eat him up.
Orton said he was going to kill the legend of Lesnar and this was the biggest match in SummerSlam history.
Lesnar will be on Raw next week.
Neville & Sin Cara defeated the Dudley Boyz (5:19)
Neville pinned D-Von Dudley with the Red Arrow. Bubba Ray Dudley accidentally clotheslined D-Von, which led to the finish. This match was set up during the pregame show when the Dudleyz bullied Neville around during an interview and ordered him to go find a partner. Bubba did some facial expressions like he was pissed at D-Von after the loss.
Rusev and Lana had their celebration of love in honor of getting married last week. Lana came out in her wedding dress. There were several wedding cakes (you know where this is headed), a bottle of champagne, and a bouquet of flowers in the ring.
Lana said she was Rusev's princess, and when you marry a princess, you're supposed to give her a wedding of her dreams. Lana said none of the fans could attend because it was VIP only. Fans started chanting "What" and Rusev laughed at them.
Lana said they would reenact their special day for everyone. Rusev said Lana was beautiful and she was all his. She kissed his bicep. Lana introduced a video of the wedding, which was really a slideshow of Lana and Rusev on a beach and various photos.
Crowd chanted "boring." Rusev acted like they chanted "More" but said they had no more portraits. Lana said the fans couldn't afford a one-bedroom apartment, much less a beach. She talked about her custom-made dress made by a Russian designer. Rusev brought up the cakes which cost more than any of the fans make in a month.
Lana said they wrote their own vows and they would relive their special moment. Many heads turned to the back waiting for Roman Reigns to come out. Lana ordered fans to pull out their cell phones to take pictures of this moment. Almost no one did. Reigns finally came out. He still got a mixed reaction even after being demoted.
Reigns said he wasn't there to fight Rusev, he was in the back watching the video and noticed that Rusev didn't have a best man. So Reigns figured he needed to step up and be the best man. So he said he should pour drinks and toast them. Rusev refused. So Reigns challenged Rusev to a match for the U.S. Championship at SummerSlam.
Rusev declined that, as well. Reigns said then Rusev would have to hear his toast. Reigns poured some champagne, guzzled it, and thanked them because he had never seen a wedding between a Bulgarian Sasquatch and a mail order bride.
Reigns said he was disappointed in Rusev, he was expecting more, just like Lana was expecting more on her wedding night.
Rusev jumped Reigns and they brawled. Rusev put the fists to Reigns. But Reigns rose up and hit Rusev with an uppercut, Rusev bumped into Lana, who took the predictable face-first bump into the wedding cake. Reigns walked out. Lana did a great job getting the cake everywhere on her.
Backstage, Rusev screamed at Foley as Lana stood covered in icing. Rusev demanded that Foley do something. So Foley ordered Rusev to face Reigns for the U.S. Championship at SummerSlam.
WWE Women's Champion Sasha Banks defeated Dana Brooke in a non-title match, so Banks vs. Charlotte will be an one-on-one match at SummerSlam (2:41)
A collection of mistimed spots, the worst of all at the finish. Charlotte was supposed to accidentally slap Brooke while aiming for Banks. The problem was Charlotte was slow on the trigger. By the time Banks moved, Charlotte hadn't even started her motion yet. It looked like Charlotte slapped Brooke on purpose when that wasn't the case.
Banks won with the double knees to the gut off the second rope.
Balor did a pre-taped interview with eerie music playing in the background and smoke hovering around him. Balor said what Rollins called disrespect, he calls honest. What Rollins calls arrogance, he calls confidence. What Rollins calls ignorance, he calls irony.
Balor brought up various myths and Finn MacCool, a giant who threw a piece of land into the sea and created the Isle of Man. He brought up the Banshee, whose wails signaled the end. And the King of the Demons, Balor. When Balor's evil eye opens, the world ends. First the grass burns, then the seas boil, then the air catches fire and all of humanity falls.
Balor said these aren't just stories, these are sources of power. When a warrior enters a great battle, when he knows his limbs and flesh aren't enough, he can tap into the stories and become a man greater them himself. Rollins has never seen a demon like him, and at SummerSlam, Rollins will see the Demon King.
Then the camera zoomed in on Balor's eyes, which transformed into black makeup like Gene Simmons' makeup. Much better interview presentation for Balor here.
Later on, it was announced that Rollins would call out the Demon King next week.
Anderson and Gallows did a comedy promo where they stood in white robes proclaiming themselves doctors. They said some tag teams in the WWE are suffering from "Ringpostitis." They showed repeated highlights of Big E's crotch getting rammed into the post last week.
They had various double entendres about testicles as Anderson said Kingston could suffer from ringpostitis later tonight.
Luke Gallows defeated Kofi Kingston (1:31)
Gallows won with the Festus Flip, which is a Fireman's Carry into a flap jack. Same move that Tama Tonga uses. Anderson tried to interfere, but Woods stopped him. However, Anderson threw Woods into the post. Post-match, Gallows and Anderson tried to give Kingston ringpostitis, but Woods sent the heels scrambling with a chair.
Foley did an interview and said he lived by a philosophy "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and an ear for an ear." But that was a rule of thumb that was archaic and against goodwill. He brought out Daniel Bryan for the big reaction.
Bryan said it pains him to say it, but Foley has been doing an excellent job as the Raw GM. Foley put over Bryan's work on SmackDown and his work with Mauro Ranallo during the Cruiserweight Classic. Fans chanted "Yes" as the two proceeded with the script.
Foley apologized for Lesnar's actions on SmackDown laying out Orton. Bryan said Foley didn't have to apologize because SmackDown fired the first shot since Orton gave Lesnar an RKO on Raw last week. The two dropped the good nature when Foley showed a video where Bryan joked about the name of the Universal Championship.
Rusev came out and said Raw doesn't need another champion, it has a champion and it was him. Rusev said the next time a SmackDown wrestler showed up on Raw, he was going to crush him in honor of the great Raw GM, Foley. Bryan wondered if Rusev was trying to kiss up to Foley in order to get out of his match with Reigns.
Cesaro came out and said Rusev was having a bad night and he had an idea to make it worse. Foley said he could earn a championship opportunity and he's proven the last two weeks he deserves one.
Foley said Sheamus did almost have Cesaro beat. Cesaro thought Foley was a man of his word. Bryan butted in and said he thought Cesaro was being underutilized on Raw. Foley stopped Bryan and ordered an immediate U.S. Championship match between Cesaro and Rusev.
United States Champion Rusev defeated Cesaro to retain his title (9:36)
Rusev won after Sheamus interfered. Rusev hit a thrust kick after Sheamus gave Cesaro a Brogue Kick. Cesaro had a 5-rep Giant Swing that turned into a Sharpshooter. At that point, Sheamus ran down. Cesaro went after Sheamus, allowing Rusev to hit a thrust kick. Cesaro kicked out. Crowd was dying for a title switch at this point.
Rusev went for the Accolade, but Cesaro escaped and pushed Rusev into the referee, who also collided with Sheamus. Cesaro hit the Gotch Neutralizer, and had him pinned, but there was no ref. Earlier, the crowd popped when Rusev escaped the Accolade by hitting the Electric Chair.
Post-match, Reigns ran out and gave Rusev a spear on the floor.