RAW kicks off with Universal Champion Seth Rollins who is here to talk about his Hell in a Cell opponent “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. Rollins says at Hell in a Cell he will do what he always does, he will survive and prevail. Rollins is interrupted by his former Tag Team partner and Clash of Champions opponent Braun Strowman who wonders if Rollins has issues with him. Strowman blames Rollins for losing the Tag Team Championships and wonders why Rollins is glad Strowman doesn’t get a rematch. Rollins doesn’t appreciate Strowman getting in his face and while was happy not to face Braun again, he wants to fight. The challenge is laid out and I’m assuming the match will happen later tonight.
Viking Raiders vs. The O.C.: The O.C. has a new entrance theme which is pretty cool. During the match, AJ Styles tries to trip up Ivar and while it didn’t work, it allowed Gallows to kick Ivar right in the face. The referee was in view of the infraction so he gives AJ the boot from ringside. As AJ is leaving he is jumped by Cedric Alexander. If WWE keeps showcasing the Viking Raiders they can be very popular with the WWE Universe. The Viking Raiders pull off a big win countering a Magic Killer, disposing of Gallows, then hitting the Viking Experience on Anderson for the win.
Backstage Robert Roode is asked why does he think he is going to come out on top in tonight’s Fatal Five Way to determine a new Number One Contender for the Universal Championship. Roode points to the fact that he was the one to pin Rollins at Clash of Champions to win the Tag Titles.
Michael Cole gets a few words from Raw Women Champion Becky Lynch regarding her Hell in a Cell opponent Sasha Banks. Lynch is looking forward to the match because Sasha has to go through her to escape the Hell in a Cell.
Rusev dominated EC3 in his second match back to action. Rey Mysterio dedicates his match tonight to his son Dominic.
Sasha Banks (w/ Bayley) vs. Nikki Cross (w/ Alexa Bliss): Nikki was controlling every aspect of the match until the action went outside. Cross hopped on Sasha’s back and locked in a Sleeper Hold. The only way Sasha could escape the hold was falling straight back onto the ringside floor. Banks turned the match in her favor attacking Nikki Cross’ left leg. Even with the hurt leg, Nikki keeps taking the fight to Banks. Cross catches her with the Finlay ring skirt trick. Cross blocks a Backstabber and hits Sasha with a rolling neck breaker. Before the referee can count for three Bayley gets on the apron breaking the momentum. Bayley is done away with thanks to Alexa. Nikki comes off the top with a cross body but Sasha rolls through and locks in the Banks Statement and Nikki is forced to tap. Sasha jumps Alexa as she tries to enter the ring then puts her in the Banks Statement before exiting the ring.
Although AJ Styles is not happy about getting jumped by Cedric earlier, he is ready for tonight’s Fatal Five Way.
The Miz, who just became a father for the second time, announces that next week he will host a special MizTV on the season premiere of RAW with guests Ric Flair aaaaaand…Hulk Hogan.
Lacey Evans vs. Ember Moon: Lacey was really impressive in this match pulling out a ton of unique moves. Ember found an opening executing a Stunner from an upside hanging position outside. She was a bit too slow heading to the top allowing Lacey to hit Ember with the Women’s Right. Lacey then locks in the Sharpshooter throwing shade to Natalya. Ember Moon taps. Backstage it looks like Natalya is ready for a rematch.
This week’s Firefly Funhouse has Bray Wyatt breaking a Seth Rollins figurine in half to demonstrate sharing. Right.
We have a new 24/7 Champion! It’s Carmella! Wait what?
“King” Corbin vs. Chad Gable: Corbin has a new crown, scepter, robe, and royal theme. This was another amazing match from these two. Both men just know how to play the size difference and tell a great story in the ring. The crowd was well behind Gable and were equally as loud when booing Corbin. The crowd was on the edge of their seat thanks to all of the well done close calls. In the end, Corbin illegally used the scepter to get himself disqualified. Corbin leaves Gable laying in the ring.
AOP jumped Heath Slater and who looks to be No Way Jose backstage to show they are super scary bad men.
Fatal Five-Way Elimination Match: Ricochet was the first competitor to be eliminated. Ricochet hit the Recoil on Roode but then got hit with an unexpecting Kinsasha from Nakamura. Shinsuke was the next to be eliminated due to a ducking Robert Roode who got out of the way of a Phenomenal Forearm. After AJ got the elimination Roode blindsides him with a Glorious DDT to eliminate Styles. After a few sequences, Mysterio blocks a Glorious DDT and sets Roode up for a 619. Rey follows up the 619 with a Slingshot Frogsplash for the win. Next week we will see Seth Rollins defend the Universal Championship against Rey Mysterio.
Seth Rollins vs. Braun Strowman: This is a non-title match. The beginning saw Strowman use his size and power to dominate the match. When we come back from break Rollins is trying to mount a rally and escape a bearhug. Strowman just keeps going after Rollins who uses Strowman’s momentum against him. The Universal Champion has a small comeback and is now on offense. Braun kicks out of two frogsplashes. Rollins hits two suicide dives but stumbled on a third and gets chokeslammed on the apron. It looks like Braun is about to put things away when the lights go out. The Fiend is here. The Mandible Claw is locked on Strowman and Rollins is in the corner cowering like a baby, he is absolutely terrified. Strowman tried getting to his feet to attack The Fiend but gets trapped right back into the Mandible Claw. Rollins is left scared for his life as the show fades to black.
Overall I really enjoyed this Raw and I thought it was a great Raw to set us up for the season premiere which is rumored to start a new feel to WWE programming, stop me if you’ve heard that before. Great match between Gable and Corbin. I’m oddly looking forward to Rollins vs. Mysterio even though I’m fairly certain it will lead to The Fiend choking someone out. The Fiend is absolutely terrifying and I do not see that changing anytime soon. Good stuff.