WWE Raw Recap: June 25, 2018
S26 episode 26 Aired on June 25, 2018

One week after losing his Intercontinental Title to Dolph Ziggler, Seth Rollins invoked his rematch clause to once again become Team Red’s fighting champion. However, with Drew McIntyre observing the action closely, The Architect faced near-impossible odds.

Okay, so The Revival were one week off in their assessment that they could get one over on a squabbling Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley. But Dash & Dawson’s prediction came true all the same, as civilities broke down between the thrown-together heavyweights in the middle of an impromptu tag team match. The tag team specialists capitalized accordingly, earning the kind of marquee win that has long been frustratingly out of reach for the two-time NXT Tag Team Champions.

Unsurprisingly, Reigns & Lashley’s alliance was a tenuous one at best, though it seemed they would work through their aggression and power their way to a victory all the same. But when Reigns tried to steal the winning tag in the same manner Lashley had last week, things went pear-shaped in a hurry: Reigns olé’d a charging Dawson into Lashley on the apron and Speared the chrome-domed “Top Guy” —but unfortunately, Dash Wilder was the legal man, and he trapped The Big Dog in a match-ending roll-up. So, The Revival finally get a signature victory, and Reigns, who was chewed out by Lashley following the loss, is forced back to square one.

Kevin Owens wanted to be Braun Strowman’s friend. This week, he got what he wanted, and unsurprisingly, it wasn’t all he wanted it cracked up to be. True, teaming with Mr. Monster in the Bank did help Owens notch a win against Finn Bálor & Baron Corbin in a shuffled-up rematch of last week’s main event. And true, they meshed well enough. But the former Universal Champion was wary from the start about Strowman’s intentions, and his concerns turned out to be well-founded the second the final bell rang.

After the match ended in a count-out when Finn and The Constable came to blows, Strowman refused Owens’ offer of a handshake and instead pursued his tag team partner throughout the entire backstage area. KO seemingly managed to lose The Gift of Destruction by hiding in an empty locker room, but when he made his way to the parking lot, he found a cackling Strowman lying in wait with KO's keys in hand. Owens feared the worst, but it turned out Strowman had put These Hands to another use: Flipping over Owens' getaway car. Mr. Monster in the Bank strolled away, apparently satisfied with his handiwork, while Owens was left to stew in well-founded worry. After all, Braun Strowman had tried being his friend. He seems to like him better as an enemy.

For the last few months, Seth Rollins has built his identity around being a fighting Intercontinental Champion, so last week’s surprise title loss to Dolph Ziggler hit The Kingslayer hard. Rollins technically got even by defeating Ziggler in the rematch, but thanks to a disqualification ruling, the title will remain around The Showoff’s waist.

It’s a bitter ending for The Architect, but given the progression of the match, it wasn’t unexpected. The Kingslayer was so aggressive in his opening salvo that the commentary team openly raised the possibility of both a disqualification and, later, a count-out after the action spilled to the outside. Ziggler’s efficient, scientific counter-attack seemed to foreshadow a straight-up defeat for The Architect ... at least until an interfering Drew McIntyre got himself ejected, giving Rollins his biggest break of the match.

The Kingslayer did not waste his moment, and it took The Showoff a long while to gain ground as The Architect began to surge. But McIntyre didn’t stay in the locker room for long, re-emerging to haul the ref out of the ring after Rollins executed the superplex-Falcon Arrow. A surefire post-match beating from Ziggler & McIntyre was cut short by the arrival of Roman Reigns, and The Big Dog’s assistance in driving them away allowed Rollins to end the night with a brother at his side and a battle well fought. Rollins remains a fighter, to be sure — but not a champion.

In other action … Raw General Manager Kurt Angle cancelled the multi-man match to determine Brock Lesnar's next challenger … Curtis Axel def. Raw Tag Team Champion "Woken" Matt Hardy … The Authors of Pain def. Rich & Rex Gibson … Natalya def. Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss … The Riott Squad def. Sasha Banks, Bayley & Ember Moon … and Mojo Rawley refused a rematch with No Way Jose.

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