Raw Recap: September 12, 2016
S2016 episode 1216 Aired on September 12, 2016

One of the perks of being Raw General Manager is that you’re free to change your mind. So despite the running assumption that Charlotte would defend the Raw Women’s Title against Sasha Banks at Clash of Champions following The Boss' return last week, Mick Foley opened Raw by announcing to the assembled Women’s division that he was unmaking the match … pending a potential switch.

Since Bayley pinned Charlotte last week, Foley figured the hug-happy Superstar was in line for an opportunity to challenge for the title as well. So The Hardcore Legend sanctioned a new No. 1 contender’s bout between Banks and Bayley. The kicker came when Charlotte’s continued insults toward Dana Brooke led the student to slap the champion in the face, a display of aggression that convinced Foley to throw her into the match as well.

The Boss stays The Boss. Despite being forced to defend her No. 1 contender’s spot against a surging Bayley and a newly brazen Dana Brooke, Sasha Banks kept it 100, as they say, by fending off both her lingering injury and her would-be challengers to retain her spot at Clash of Champions.

Sporting athletic tape on her torso, Banks began the bout tentatively, but quickly found her footing. Brooke impressively played spoiler almost the entire time, including a crucial swipe that landed Sasha back-first on the ring apron and temporarily left The Boss licking her wounds. Sasha stormed back soon enough to take both her foes out with a Tower of Doom. Though Bayley broke up an ensuing Bank Statement to Brooke and made a final push with a Bayley-to-Belly to Brooke ... until Sasha charged that pinfall, rolled Bayley up and scored the win to retain her No. 1 contender’s spot.

Maybe Kevin Owens really is the champion of the universe: It keeps finding ways to give him what he wants. Not only did Owens beat Roman Reigns to keep him out of the WWE Universal Championship Match at Clash of Champions, but he also beat him twice. Granted, the first time was via disqualification when Seth Rollins jumped KO in the middle of the match — defying the wishes of a furious Mick Foley. But after Foley restarted the match, another Superstar crashed the proceedings and cost Reigns the match in a far more definitive fashion.

That interfering Superstar, by the way, ended up being Rusev, though The Bulgarian Brute certainly allowed KO to get wailed on good before he made his entrance. Once he did, though, Reigns took his eye off the proverbial ball and nailed the U.S. Champion with a Superman Punch, allowing Owens to capitalize. He hurled Reigns into the ropes and executed a textbook Pop-up Powerbomb. Once that was over, Rusev picked the bones, dismantling Reigns in the ring while Lana observed from the ramp. Give Rusev credit: Not only did he pick his moment, he, well, he crushed it.

In other action... Bo Dallas def. Brandon Scott... Sami Zayn appeared on “The Highlight Reel”... Cesaro def. Sheamus; trails Best of Seven Series 3-2... Alicia Fox vs. Nia Jax ended in a No Contest... Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson def. Raw Tag Team Champions The New Day... Jinder Mahal def. Jack Swagger... and Epico def. Enzo Amore.