Raw Recap: August 8, 2016
S2016 episode 1211 Aired on August 8, 2016

After crashing Rusev and Lana’s post-wedding “celebration” with the WWE Universe on Raw, Roman Reigns targeted the United States Champion once again with a powerful Spear at the end of the night. Will The Bulgarian Brute lose his coveted title at SummerSlam, mere weeks after tying the knot with The Ravishing Russian?

If you had a dime for every time Enzo Amore beat Chris Jericho, you’d have zero dimes. But luckily, Muscles Marinara might get one over on The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla in the long run: After Jericho and his new pal Kevin Owens stepped to Enzo & Big Cass, the “G.O.A.T.” defeated Smacktalker Skywalker in the ensuing singles match when Big Cass rushed the ring and booted him in the face in retaliation for some attempted shenanigans by Owens.

Loopy as Jericho was, that meant he got the DQ win (drink it in, man) and Owens, true to his word, had his back. Big Cass, however, was quick to double-down against him and ‘Zo’s new rivals, challenging them to a match at SummerSlam, and the Canadian destroyers readily accepted. Somewhere, Jimmin Marvinluder weeps for what might have been.

Finn Bálor kicked the smile off of Seth Rollins’ face last week, but The Architect, as the WWE Universe knows, loves to get the last word. And, with a win over Sami Zayn boosting his confidence, “The Man” re-upped on trash-talking his opponent for the WWE Universal Championship at SummerSlam by proclaiming “Finn Bálor” as a cobbled-together identity the Irishman created for himself to bolster his previous legacy. He even went one better than last week, writing off the so-called “Demon” side of Bálor as nothing more than smoke and mirrors, before declaring he was every bit the living legend Bálor claimed to be.

Roman Reigns rained (reigned?) on Rusev and Lana’s figurative honeymoon last week when he punched The Super Athlete in the mouth, but now he’s gone and done one better by ruining their post-wedding victory lap on Raw. What was originally slated to be a recitation of Rusev and Lana’s vows and a viewing of their slideshow turned into an international incident when Reigns showed up with a wedding toast and a challenge for the U.S. Championship.

Both were declined, so Reigns poured some bubbly and gave the toast anyway. It started off contentious and got worse when The Big Dog insulted the groom’s, erm, masculinity, at which point a scuffle ensued that ended with Rusev accidentally shoving his bride into their wedding cake. And when he went to complain to Mick Foley about it, The Hardcore Legend turned the tables and sanctioned the U.S. Title Match for SummerSlam after all.

They say it isn’t how you start a night, it’s how you finish. And so it went when Cesaro, who began Raw with a hard-fought win over Sheamus, and Rusev, who was humiliated by Roman Reigns, underwent a mutual reverse of fortune in an impromptu U.S. Title Match set up by Raw and SmackDown General Managers Mick Foley and Daniel Bryan during their much hyped sit-down over the Orton-Lesnar invasions of the previous week.

Cesaro seemed primed to claim his second win of the evening and make good on the championship match Foley had promised him, but some well-timed interference and an injury to the official saved Rusev’s hide. First, the zebra got taken out in a scrum when Sheamus tried to break up the match, so he missed the three-count of a Cesaro Neutralizer. Then, with the official still reeling, Rusev thumbed The King of Swing in the eye and sent him stumbling straight into a kick from Sheamus. A final kick from The Super Athlete spelled Cesaro’s doom, though Roman Reigns sprinted to the ring for the final Spear of the night. In other words, Rusev survived one title defense, but the next one is always around the corner.

In other action... Braun Strowman def. Jorel Nelson... Darren Young def. Titus O’Neil... Cesaro def. Sheamus... Neville & Sin Cara def. The Dudley Boyz... WWE Women's Champion Sasha Banks def. Dana Brooke to ban her from ringside at SummerSlam... and Luke Gallows def. Kofi Kingston.