Here are five things we learnt from the “go-home” edition of Raw last night:
Ronda Rousey can’t be stopped – not even by Alexa Bliss’ personal security
Rousey opened the show with a slanging match against Alexa Bliss, who revealed she’d hired a security team to protect her from Ronda’s wild attacks.
But they didn’t last long. Ronda laid out three of them with fists and judo throws, before the fourth man scarpered.
In the following match, Ember Moon – Ronda’s handpicked opponent for Bliss – almost got a win over the champ with the Eclipse, but Alicia Fox jumped in to stop the pin.
That prompted Rousey to launch another crazed attack.
She assaulted the already-injured arm of Foxy while Alexa Bliss ran to safety.
For WWE’s creative faults, these Ronda v Bliss segments have been thoroughly enjoyable.
Expect Rousey to walk away from SummerSlam as Raw Women’s Champion.
The Brock Lesnar/Paul Heyman split was a set-up
Somebody give Paul Heyman an Oscar (a Slammy will do) because his performance over the last few weeks has been a stroke of evil genius.
First Lesnar attacked his long-time advocate, then Heyman gave a tearful interview about losing his best friend, and last night he attempted to court Roman Reigns.
Declaring that he could become Reigns’ advocate after he defeats “The Beast” at SummerSlam, Heyman handed Reigns a contract proposal. Naturally, it was all a ruse.
Heyman pepper sprayed the distracted Reigns, giving Lesnar the chance to charge out and beat the blinded Reigns senseless.
Lesnar locked Reigns in a guillotine choke – nice to see Lesnar do something different – and finished Roman off with an F-5 (fans chanted “one more time”).
But it was Heyman’s moment, watching the assault while clutching Lesnar’s Universal Championship.
Dean Ambrose is back
The big story of the night was a contract signing for the Dolph Ziggler v Seth Rollins IC title match at SummerSlam.
After some pointless faffing about whether Rollins would or wouldn’t show up, he arrived at the last minute.
Rollins said that with Drew McIntyre – the “Scottish psychopath” – in Dolph’s corner, he needed some backup from a “lunatic” (we could have told him that weeks ago).
Dean Ambrose – sporting a new hair and beard combo – then made his not-so-surprising return from injury, helping Rollins chase off Dolph and Drew in a red-hot brawl.
It’s all fun and games now, but a tenner says Ambrose has turned on either Rollins or Roman Reigns by this time next week.
Kevin Owens is on the run from Braun Strowman
Tensions are mounting between Raw’s GM Kurt Angle and Constable Baron Corbin. Seriously, has there been a less interesting clash of authority figures in WWE?
Corbin set up a handicap match for Finn Balor – forcing him to face both Jinder Mahal and Kevin Owens – but Angle evened it up by making Braun Strowman Finn’s tag partner.
Strowman demolished Jinder and KO, forcing Owens to eventually run away from his SummerSlam opponent.
(Check out the hilarious clip of Owens hiding out in the car park after the show.)
But don’t count Owens out this Sunday. This one-sided feud has swerve written all over it – KO could end up winning Braun’s MITB briefcase
It’s a lukewarm build to SummerSlam
Things are exciting enough in the top-tier feuds, but the Raw mid-card is looking very dreary heading into the big show this Sunday.
Bobby Roode found himself teaming with Titus Worldwide to battle Mojo Rawley and the AoP. Has there been a bigger fall from grace for any former NXT Champion?
Bayley cost Sasha Banks a match against Ruby Riott for the millionth incidence of speculation about their doomed friendship.
Bobby Lashley destroyed an Elias super-fan after no-selling a guitar shot – essentially the same Lashley v Elias segment WWE has been running for weeks.
Baron Corbin attacked Finn Bálor to set up a match that not a single person cares about.
At least The Revival, erm, revived the Raw tag division in a decent triple threat against The B-Team and Deleters of Worlds.
Until WWE announced The B-Team v The Revival for the tag titles on the near-pointless SummerSlam kick-off show.
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