It is a truth universally acknowledged that nearly every episode of “Miz TV” ends with the host catching hands, but The A-Lister’s sit-down with Cesaro & Sheamus ended badly even by those standards when Dean Ambrose and The Hardy Boyz came a-callin’ and scrapped with their WWE Extreme Rules opponents in Raw’s opening moments.
Despite the beating dished out by the Intercontinental and Raw Tag Team Champions, the impromptu Six-Man matchup that ensued from the fracas provided a unique opportunity for Miz — who will challenge for Ambrose’s title on Sunday — and Cesaro & Sheamus — who’ll make a play for the Hardys’ — to gain some momentum heading into Sunday.
Alas, no dice: After being isolated from the Hardys for an significant portion of the match, The Lunatic Fringe summoned Jeff Hardy into the fray. The Charismatic Enigma quickly tagged in his brother Matt, who survived a wild brawl to hit Twist of Fate on The Miz, teeing up Jeff for the fateful Swanton Bomb.
Don’t sleep on Samoa Joe: The burly submission master has been flying mostly under the radar in the run-up to Sunday’s Fatal 5-Way Match, where he’ll battle to become the No. 1 contender to Brock Lesnar’s Universal Championship with three former opponents of The Beast and a fourth whom Paul Heyman explicitly wants to win.
But Joe’s dark-horse status changed in a big way on Raw, when he defeated Bray Wyatt and Finn Bálor in a much-hyped Triple Threat that had been sanctioned by Raw General Manager Kurt Angle in the closing moments of last week’s show.
In the bout Joe had dubbed a battle between “the devil you know and the devil you do not,” The Samoan Submission Machine turned in a hell of a performance, picking apart each of his foes and shaking off a tectonic Tower of Doom by The New Face of Fear. An improbable alliance between Joe and Wyatt put Finn on the ropes, and once The Reaper of Souls made his move and hit Joe with Sister Abigail, Finn pounced with the Coup de Grâce on the former WWE Champion and seemingly had the win in hand.
Joe was waiting, however, hauling Balor off The Eater of Worlds and shoving him into the ring post before pinning the downed Wyatt. He may have been the devil you don't know over the last few weeks, but it's safe to say everyone in the Fatal 5-Way knows him now.
Seth Rollins may have slayed a King, but toppling an empire might still be a little bit beyond his reach.
In Raw’s main event — and the final preliminary bout among Sunday’s Fatal 5-Way competitors — Rollins went head-to-head with Roman Reigns and found himself laid low in The Big Dog’s yard, giving Reigns a major boost of momentum as Sunday approaches.
In a reverse of fortune — given Reigns has been banged up the last few weeks — Rollins was forced to compete at less than 100 percent after The Big Dog landed a Drive-By that sent Seth ribs-first into the ring post. The Architect stayed in the fight on pure adrenaline, but Reigns had an answer every step of the way, rebounding from a buckle bomb with an instantaneous Superman Punch.
Rollins went high not once, but twice in an attempt to put Reigns away and may have done himself in in return, aggravating his ribs with an earth-shattering Frog Splash. That breathtaking move only netted Rollins two but kept Reigns down … at least until The Big Dog avoided a Phoenix Splash, narrowly dodged The Kingslayer’s knee to the face and landed a Spear for the win.
It was a rough way to treat a man Reigns once called his brother, but like Kurt Angle said all those weeks ago: In the race for the Universal Title, it’s every man for himself.
In other action … Elias Samson def. Zac Evans … Rich Swann def. Noam Dar … Titus O'Neil def. Kalisto … Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss presented "Bayley: This Is Your Life" … Enzo Amore was attacked again … and Austin Aries & Gentleman Jack Gallagher def. WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville & TJP.