Roman Reigns confronted Universal Champion Brock Lesnar
ST. LOUIS — The last time the WWE Universe saw Brock Lesnar, he elbowed Roman Reigns into a gory defeat at WrestleMania to retain the Universal Championship. One day later, he signed a new contract with a surprising proviso: That The Beast would defend his title against Reigns once again in a Steel Cage at the Greatest Royal Rumble event. Now, five days before the showdown in Saudi Arabia, we found out how both Superstars feel about it.
Brock, unsurprisingly, remains unworried. As Paul Heyman explained, it’s his job to gloat. Lesnar simply attacks. And during his contract negotiations, he used his biggest bargaining chip — the Universal Title — to force the Cage Match stipulation specifically because it was the closest thing to a UFC fight that the former cage-fighter could select. Now, with the ink dry on his contract and a home-field advantage of sorts, The Beast had one more objective in mind: To “shred Roman Reigns to pieces” and send him back to the States in “multiple boxes.”
Also unsurprisingly, Reigns was equally unworried. Despite his loss at WrestleMania (to say nothing of the looming threat of Samoa Joe at WWE Backlash), Reigns confronted The Conqueror with a simple promise to his longtime enemy — that no matter how he returned from Saudi Arabia, he would have the title with him — and made his exit in confident fashion. That may not be enough to convince the crowing Heyman that a Lesnar victory is anything but a foregone conclusion, but if there’s one thing this series has taught us, it’s that nobody knows what’s going to happen, and it may well be Reigns who leave Saudi Arabia as the spoiler.
Elias def. Bobby Roode
Getting upstaged by Bobby Lashley led Elias to declare himself a healthy scratch for last week’s Raw, but Team Red’s resident wanderer was certainly not about to let his spotlight be stolen twice. After the heavenly strains of Bobby Roode’s theme song cut off Elias’ traditional pre-match performance, Elias notched an impressive in-ring victory at the expense of The Glorious One.
That’s a big feather in Elias’ cap, but it was also something of a rude awakening (so to speak) for the former United States Champion, who never seemed to think that the match was slipping away from him no matter how tough Elias hung down the stretch. As Booker T put it on commentary, Roode cut off his attack at several points to “admire his own handiwork,” and that showmanship ended up leaving him open to some good old-fashioned chicanery from Elias, who rammed Roode’s shoulder against the ropes to weaken him for a match-ending rollup. So Elias gets his groove back, while Roode’s Raw singles debut is somewhat less than glorious. Given that both Superstars are confirmed for the Greatest Royal Rumble Match, however, there may be another verse yet to this particular ballad.
“Woken” Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt def. The Ascension
Having dispatched The Revival last week to earn a Raw Tag Team Title bout against Cesaro & Sheamus at the Greatest Royal Rumble, “Woken” Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt turned their focus this week to The Ascension, making their Team Red return after coming over from SmackDown LIVE in the Superstar Shake-up.
The match-up was somewhat crucial to “The Deleter of Worlds’” preparation: If you’re looking for a team that can match The Bar’s physical prowess, Konnor & Viktor certainly fit the bill. And the former NXT Tag Team Champions put an undoubtedly hurting on their opponents, pummeling Hardy into the corner while Wyatt was stranded on the apron.
Much like last week, however, The New Face of Fear’s entry into the match proved to be the turning point: He dispatched an interfering Konnor with Sister Abigail, leaving Viktor ripe for the picking of a tag-team finishing maneuver. Now, having outsmarted the brains of The Revival and overcome the brawn of The Ascension, it’s time to see how Raw’s fastest-rising tag team fares when faced with both at once.
The Sami and Kevin Show w/ special guest Kurt Angle
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn make their way to the ring to Zayn’s music. They have pictures of them beating people up on poster boards. The desk is set up like a podcast studio. They welcome the crowd to the hottest new interview show in WWE. They’ll do this whenever they feel like it. Last week, a huge void was left with the loss of The Miz. Who better to step up and fill the void than them? They’ll also step up and win the Greatest Royal Rumble. Owens asks if you know why they call this the Greatest Royal Rumble event. Zayn tries to come up with suggestions before settling on them proving their greatness by winning the Greatest Royal Rumble match. Owens agrees. Zayn tells everyone to take off from work or stay home from school, and they’ll prove they’re the greatest superstars and show why they were handpicked to be the crowd jewels of this show by none other than Stephanie McMahon. Owens says those are all facts, but they’re probably rubbing their guest the wrong way. In respect to their guest, they came up with a song. They then sing, “You suck,” to the tune of Angle’s theme song.
Kurt Angle then makes his way to the ring. Owens wonders where his manners went and pulls out a yard chair from under the table. Zayn asks what he thought of their song. Angle tells them not to quit their day jobs. Owens says Angle is bitter about last week, but they got off on the wrong foot. Owens should be mad if his boss had his manhood in a jar in Hartford, Connecticut. Zayn says they’ve come from a toxic work environment. Owens says they were victims of a conspiracy by Shane McMahon. Owens took matters into his own hands and cracked the skull of Vince McMahon. Zayn says Stephanie McMahon either really appreciates their talents or she must really dislike Angle. Angle wouldn’t blame her if she did. If it wasn’t for him, she’d have Ronda Rousey under her thumb while having full use of her arm. Owens says Angle desperately needs this job. Zayn asks if he has five kids, but Owens says it’s six. Zayn double checks his notes and puts on some nerdy reading glasses. Owens says he forgot Jason Jordan. Zayn says that’s no big deal because Angle forgot about him for years as well. Owens says tonight is not about the past. It’s about the future. Angle is going to tell them how he’ll maximize the investment his boss made in them.
Angle sarcastically says he appreciates the way they treated him. He’ll pay them back at the Greatest Royal Rumble match because he’ll be in that match. So will Daniel Bryan, Chris Jericho, and every other superstars they’ve endeared themselves to over the years. That’s Friday and this is Monday Night RAW. Angle would love to repay them. Tonight, they’ll have a tag team match. Their opponents will be Bobby Lashley and Braun Strowman. Owens and Zayn look upset.
The commentators run down the Greatest Royal Rumble event card.
Later tonight, we’ll see a 10-Woman Tag Team Match. Coming up next, we’ll hear from Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre.
Replays are shown of Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre demolishing Titus Worldwide last week on RAW.
Titus Worldwide vs. Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler starts against Titus O’Neil. O’Neil sends him to the corner and stomps away at him. Apollo Crews tags in and hits a standing moonsault. Crews sends Ziggler into the ropes, but he eats an elbow. Drew McIntyre tags in and big boots Crews. McIntyre chops the chest and clubs away at him. McIntyre then sends him across the ring with a belly-to-belly overhead suplex. McIntyre gets him in position for an inverted Alabama Slam. Ziggler tags in and superkicks him before McIntyre completed the move. They then hit the double-team Zig-Zag/Claymore attack for the win.
Winners by Pinfall: Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler
Charly Caruso gets in the ring and asks Ziggler why he brought McIntyre with him. Ziggler says since day one, no one has had his back. Now McIntyre is watching his back. This man is dangerous. McIntyre takes the microphone and says he is dangerous, especially to a locker room that’s gone soft. There is no fire or ambition. These people are just collecting checks. It makes him sick. McIntyre says he is what a superstar looks like. The times are changing. McIntyre is not what WWE wants. He is the wakeup call and reality check this place desperately needs. Ziggler says they don’t give a damn about stealing the show. They are the show. They then leave the ring.
Kurt Angle is backstage when Chad Gable walks in. Gable says he doesn’t intend to waste this opportunity. Angle says he knows that. Gable asks how Jason Jordan is. Angle says he’ll be back soon, but he’s here as a singles competitor. Jinder Mahal comes in and is furious with Angle for making him defend his title against Jeff Hardy. Mahal says at the Greatest Royal Rumble event and will win back his United States Championship. Mahal demands to be sent back to Smackdown Live. Gable tells Mahal to have some respect. Mahal thinks Gable is Nicholas, the former Tag Team Champion and current fourth grader. Mahal then says he thought Mini Me passed away this week. Gable shoves him. Angle tells them to settle it in the ring right now.
Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh vs. Chad Gable
While Gable is making his entrance, Mahal attacks him and knocks him to the floor. Mahal throws him into the barricade. Mahal gets him in the ring and stomps Gable. The referee backs him up and checks on Gable.
Gable agrees to start the match. Gable ducks a punch and attacks Mahal. Gable takes him down, but Mahal kicks him away before hitting a kick to the face. Mahal stands over him before going for a back suplex, but Gable counters into a pin. Gable pulls the top rope down to get him out of the ring. Gable charges at ringside, but Mahal clotheslines him down.
We come back from the break to see Mahal hit Gable with a suplex for a two count. Mahal stomps Gable and cuts off a comeback. Mahal sends him to the corner, and Gable hits sternum first. Mahal hits a lame looking crossface and elbow to the head. Mahal then applies a chin lock. Mahal chokes him on the ropes and drops some knees. Gable soon boots him back and attacks the knee. Gable hits a dragon screw and stretches the leg. Mahal knees him and lifts, but Gable elbows out. Mahal quickly drops him on the ropes and hits a running knee. Mahal goes for the Khallas, but Gable climbs the ropes and pushes back to pick up the win a la Bret Hart vs. Roddy Piper at WrestleMania 8.
Winner by Pinfall: Chad Gable
Renee Young is backstage with The Riott Squad. Renee asks if they were trying to send a message to Sasha Banks and Bayley. Riott says it was a message to the whole division. Liv Morgan says they’re not here to build bridges or make friends. Sarah Logan says she spent her life tracking animals and knows how to take things down. Riott says they’re like a can of tear gas. They’re equal opportunity agitators. Everyone will be on their knees begging for help. It’s messy and unpleasant. That’s the way they like it.
More tweets are shown for Bruno Sammartino.
Replays are shown of Paul Heyman’s promo from earlier in the night. Roman Reigns came out and simply said he would win the title back.
Samoa Joe is shown in a pre-taped promo. Joe says Brock Lesnar will leave Roman Reigns buried in the sands of the desert.
The commentators run down the Greatest Royal Rumble event card.
The Miztourage is talking to Finn Balor about wanting to team with him. Balor turns them down.
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are in action, next.
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn vs. Bobby Lashley and Braun Strowman
The bell rings, and Owens and Zayn get out of the ring. They go in and out to avoid them, but eventually they’re caught. Lashley hits Owens with a neckbreaker and a spinebuster. Lashley punches Owens back and hits a running shoulder block. Lashley clubs him down and stomps him. Owens is sent into the ropes, but Lashley lowers his head and eats a kick. Zayn tags in. Lashley fights out of the corner and hits a suplex. Lashley hits some back elbows and charges, but Zayn boots him down. Owens tags in and punches away at Lashley. Zayn tags back in. They send Lashley into the ropes. Lashley fights them off, but Owens soon pulls the top rope down to get him out of the ring. Owens follows up with a senton splash on the floor.
We come back from the break to see Zayn chopping Lashley in the corner. Zayn charges, but Lashley sends him across the ring with a huge belly-to-belly suplex. Owens stops a tag to Strowman and punches away at Lashley. Owens goes for a senton splash, but Lashley gets the knees up. Zayn tags in, and he jumps on Lashley’s back for a sleeper hold. Lashley fights up and hits a sidewalk slam. Lashley nearly gets the tag, but Owens pulls Strowman off the apron. Strowman angrily gets back on the apron. Lashley comes back with a club to OWens and a forearm to Strowman.
Strowman is tagged in, and he runs around ringside to murder Owens with a shoulder tackle. Strowman gets in the ring and viciously clotheslines Zayn. Owens gets to his feet at ringside, so Strowman runs him over again. Strowman gets in the ring and turns Zayn inside out with a clothesline. Strowman then goes outside and levels Owens with a dropkick! Strowman gets in the ring, and Zayn runs away. Lashley chases and catches him before putting him back in the ring. Strowman grabs Zayn and clubs him down. A loud “Get these hands” chant picks up. Strowman throws Zayn across the ring after tagging Lashley in. Lashley holds Zayn up for a wild delayed vertical suplex. Strowman is tagged in. Strowman hits Zayn with a Running Powerslam for the win.