Here are seven things we learnt from the show:
Roman Reigns is NOT retired
Reigns opened the show with an emotional speech and announced that he has leukaemia and is relinquishing the Universal Championship.
He said that Roman Reigns had promised he’d be there as champion every week – but his real name is Joe and he’s now battling the disease for the second time in 11 years.
Reigns confirmed that he had fought the disease aged 23, when he had no money, a baby on the way, and when football had finished with him.
The crowd was stunned at first but soon rallied behind the star by chanting, “Thank you Roman”.
Reigns left the Universal belt in the ring and was met by his Shield brothers Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose for a heartbreaking moment on the ramp.
But Roman was adamant that he isn’t retiring. He told fans: “I will beat this and I will be back very, very soon.”
The Shield are no more… despite winning the tag titles
After Roman’s emotional departure, it was the perfect night for remaining Shield members Rollins and Ambrose to win back the Raw Tag Team Championship.
They battled Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre for the titles, which turned to chaos when Braun Strowman came out to brawl with Drew through the arena.
(It was retaliation for an attack earlier in the night and we’re happy to see this escalating – Braun v Drew is a money feud.)
Rollins hit Ziggler with the curb stomp for the win, but the celebrations were short-lived –Ambrose sneak attacked Rollins seconds later.
Ambrose continued to assault his now-former brother and pulled up the ringside mats to nail Rollins with Dirty Deeds on the hard floor below.
The heel turn has been weeks coming, but you have to question whether this was night to do it – just hours after their show of solidarity over Roman’s real-life illness.
It’s Brock v Braun the Universal title at Crown Jewel (and Braun is the good guy again)
Paul Heyman cut a heartfelt promo about Roman Reigns – but also managed to expertly shill the title match at Crown Jewel.
Heyman said: “My thoughts and prayers are with the man you know as Roman Reigns.
“It is humbling to be amongst the members of that locker room tonight and to have been in the presence of such courage and such greatness.”
But WWE still has a show to sell, of course, so Heyman followed up by saying with Roman out of the picture, Brock Lesnar is the worthiest competitor for the now-vacant title.
Braun Strowman arrived to send a message to Lesnar via Heyman – he said he’ll win the Universal Championship and bring it to Raw every single week.
Seizing the opportunity to turn Braun babyface again, WWE scripted Braun to say: “I know I’ve had my differences with him… but when Roman Reigns beats leukaemia he’ll be first in line for a title opportunity.”
But there was a shocking end to the promo when Drew McIntyre jumped Braun from behind with a thunderous Claymore Kick.
DX v Brothers of Destruction needs to rest in peace
It’s been just two weeks since Shawn Michaels announced he’s coming out of retirement to reform DX and battle Undertaker and Kane at Crown Jewel.
And already this feud is dragging Raw six feet under. Michaels and Triple H came out to cut a boring promo about nostalgia, prompting Taker and Kane to appear on the titan tron.
Hanging out in a cemetery (as you do) Taker and Kane’s banter was so bad, it could have been a Bray Wyatt promo.
EVOLUTION How to watch and travel to WWE PPV plus match card
Taker said: “Your reunion will be the vessel of your total annihilation. We will own your black and blistered souls for eternity… you will never rest in peace.” We wish they would.
WWE seems to be pushing ahead with Crown Jewel despite calls to cancel the controversial show.
Instead, WWE is giving the show the Benoit treatment by just not mentioning Saudi Arabia by name.
Even without the sour taste left by the Saudi business deal, it takes something to make legends Undertaker, HBK, and Triple H the worst thing on Raw. But WWE has somehow managed it.
Nothing’s off the table for Ronda Rousey v Nikki Bella
Last week Ronda cut close to the bone with jibes about Nikki’s failed relationship with John Cena, so Nikki fired back last night with some personal jibes of her own.
It happened after Ronda invited the Bellas to the ring to sign the contract for this Sunday’s title match and gave them her word that she wouldn’t attack them.
(If Nikki and Brie were that worried about getting beat up, where was the security team they had last week?!)
Nikki questioned the value of Ronda’s word, asking it Ronda had promised her own mother – a gold medalist in judo – that she’d win the Olympics, the World Championships, and retire from UFC undefeated.
All of which Ronda failed to do, of course.
Nikki said: “Did you give you mother your word to all those things? Your mother is already ashamed of you.”
Nikki signed the contract and slapped Ronda. For a second it looked like Ronda would smash Nikki through the table.
But Ronda restrained herself, signed the contract, and gave her word once more – she promised to end Nikki this Sunday.
Sasha Banks’ big return was a letdown
“The Boss” made her in-ring return last night with a singles match against Ruby Riott.
It was looking good for Banks as she was about to lock in the Bank Statement. But fighting broke out at ringside between Bayley, Natalya, and the other members of the Riott Squad.
Banks jumped out of the ring to aid her pals, but Ruby caught her with the Riott Kick for the win.
It’s all to set-up a six-woman tag match at Evolution this Sunday, but feels like half-hearted filler.
Sasha has been slipping down the ranks for over a year but could have had some renewed momentum here. She’s crying out for a Becky Lynch-style heel turn.
It was a smash hit night for Elias
Elias defeated Apollo Crews in singles action, then returned to the arena sing a celebratory song.
But Baron Corbin came out to silence Elias and sent him off stage – prompting Elias to smash Bazza from behind with a guitar.
The crowd loved it. They’ve been dying to cheer Elias for months and would happily see Corbin clouted with weapons all night long.
Hopefully this doesn’t turn Elias fully babyface and kill his ability to get incredible heel heat every week.
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