Paul Heyman promised The Beast would be unleashed on this week’s Raw, and The Advocate’s premonition indeed came true, though Samoa Joe proved ready for it.
What was initially set to be Universal Champion Brock Lesnar’s triumphant response to his No. 1 contender’s “message” on last week’s Raw quickly turned into an all-out brawl between champion and challenger. Joe crashed The Conqueror’s first appearance since the Raw after WrestleMania, proving he was as unafraid of Lesnar as he previously professed.
Heyman said that while Joe’s Coquina Clutch could be the difference-maker at the Great Balls of Fire pay-per-view, he didn’t think Joe was “man enough” to lock in the hold, and that claim brought the No. 1 contender to the ring for a face-to-face.
The tense staredown between champion and challenger turned physical in a hurry after Joe headbutted Lesnar to the ground. The brawl grew so intense that Raw General Manager Kurt Angle dispatched a platoon of security guards to restrain the two bruisers, to no avail. Angle's backup plan was to send nearly the entire Raw locker room to the ring, and the plethora of Superstars finally managed to separate the behemoths — but just barely.
Seth Rollins called Bray Wyatt a false prophet last week; those are fighting words where The Eater of Worlds comes from, so the former WWE Champion used his time on Raw to sermonize against the "blasphemous" Architect — which, of course, are fighting words where Seth Rollins comes from.
The Kingslayer interrupted Wyatt’s preaching and confronted the pulpit, leading to a standoff with The Reaper of Souls himself. A still-unimpressed Rollins called out Bray’s M.O. of striking from the shadows, though Wyatt insisted that The Architect did not want to go any further down this road than he already had.
He gave Seth due respect for slaying a King, but a “god,” he claimed, was a little beyond his reach. As if to demonstrate, The Eater of Worlds disappeared from the ring and reappeared on the TitanTron, giving Rollins his signature piece of time-honored advice: Run.
One of the good things about a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match is that it never leaves a doubt as to who truly earned the victory … except, of course, for the rare occasion that it does.
The 2-out-of-3 Falls Raw Tag Team Title Match (the first Tag Team Title variation of the bout in the history of Raw) between Cesaro & Sheamus and The Hardy Boyz brought out the best in both tandems, with The Alabaster Gladiator quickly landing the first fall on Jeff Hardy following a Brogue Kick, and a wild Matt Hardy claiming the second after slamming Cesaro's his head onto each turnbuckle and executing a Twist of Fate.
Seeking fall No. 3, Jeff swooped down with a Swanton Bomb on Sheamus, but Cesaro saved the match by pulling The Celtic Warrior out of the squared circle, kicking off a wild brawl at ringside that resulted in a double count-out.
As a result, the match ended in a draw, which allowed Cesaro & Sheamus to retain their titles. The champions were left in a relieved heap on the ramp, but while The Hardy Boyz didn’t score the final fall, they were the only team left standing in the ring and looking ready to do it again.
In other action … Elias Samson def. Dean Ambrose … Cedric Alexander def. Noam Dar … Apollo Crews def. Kalisto … Sasha Banks, Mickie James & Dana Brooke def. Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss, Nia Jax & Emma … Heath Slater & Rhyno def. Intercontinental Champion The Miz & a bear … WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville attacked Rich Swann … and Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson def. Enzo Amore & Big Cass.
Season 2017 episode guides
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