WWE Raw Recap: July 30, 2018
S26 episode 31 Aired on July 30, 2018

After making it clear that Paul Heyman isn’t his friend, Universal Champion Brock Lesnar attacked his longtime advocate after hitting Raw General Manager Kurt Angle with an F-5. How will Roman Reigns — who was forced to leave the building moments earlier — react to his SummerSlam opponent’s malicious onslaught?

Baron Corbin has made it a goal to demean and insult Finn Bálor over, among other things, their height difference across the past few weeks. The Extraordinary Man hasn’t exactly broken down over the insults, but Corbin did use his size to his advantage in his victory over the first-ever Universal Champion in a rematch of their bout from WWE Extreme Rules.

Corbin, much he did in the first match, focused on a ground-and-pound strategy that put Bálor firmly on the defensive. Bálor dug deep as the match progressed, even setting Corbin up for the Coup de Grâce after employing a stick-and-move counter to Corbin's aggressive press. But The Constable dodged Bálor and sprang with the End of Days to earn the victory — pausing only briefly after the match before returning to mug Bálor some more.

Usually, it’s Drew McIntyre who plays spoiler during Seth Rollins’ matches against Dolph Ziggler. This time around, the roles were reversed: After McIntyre’s dominant performance was cut short by an out-of-nowhere Stomp from Rollins, the Intercontinental Champion provided an eleventh-hour save of his hulking enforcer, saving McIntyre the humiliation of a pinfall loss at the hands of The Kingslayer.

Unfortunately, Ziggler’s interference also cost McIntyre the match, albeit via disqualification. The Showoff took advantage of the surprise to briefly put Rollins on his back, though The Kingslayer rallied to hit a suicide dive on the champion and leave in one piece. Of course, by that time, McIntyre had gotten back to his feet and given Rollins a stare that indicated The Architect isn’t quite as in the clear as he thinks.

As it turns out, he wasn't: Later in the show, Rollins was only seconds into a backstage interview when Ziggler & McIntyre struck, mobbing The Kingslayer and leaving him in a heap.

All throughout Raw, Kurt Angle tried everything he could to get Brock Lesnar to come to the ring — he even had Roman Reigns banned from the building at Stephanie McMahon's request — but his biggest threat was that he would fire Paul Heyman if The Beast failed to show. Surely, if anything would rouse The Beast into action, it would be the defense of his most strident and loyal advocate, right? Not necessarily.

Not only was Lesnar completely unmoved by Heyman's plight — he made it perfectly clear that he tolerates Heyman's "leeching" because it gets him paid during a tense backstage meeting — he only treated Heyman slightly less roughly than he did Angle when The Conqueror finally emerged from his locker room.

Heyman had been reduced to a pleading mess before Brock made his presence known, frantically admitting Brock is a bad champion and claiming he tried to “rehabilitate” The Conqueror in Angle’s image before falling to his knees and pleading for mercy from the Raw General Manager. Brock's music hit, and a relieved Heyman slipped right back into hype man mode as The Beast Incarnate dropped Angle with an F-5 after almost zero warning. (Constable Baron Corbin, having already been punched in the face by Reigns after The Big Dog was banned, wisely hit the bricks).

As he so often has, Heyman celebrated the champion's dominant display, only for Lesnar to grab him by the face and shove him down to the mat while the WWE Universe rained chants of “We want Roman” down on the Universal Champion. Of course, Reigns wasn’t there anymore, and it remains clearer that Brock Lesnar answers to no one. Not the General Manager. Not his advocate. Not the Constable. If anybody wants him to stop, the solution is as simple as it is daunting: Somebody needs to stop him. The question is whether anybody can.

In other action … Universal Champion Brock Lesnar refused to confront Roman Reigns … Constable Baron Corbin def. Finn Bálor … Alicia Fox def. Natalya … Elias challenged Bobby Lashley to a duet … Jinder Mahal def. Braun Strowman via Count-out … Apollo Crews def. Akam … The Revival def. “Woken” Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt … and Sasha Banks & Bayley def. The Riott Squad.

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