WWE Raw Recap: August 20, 2018
S26 episode 34 Aired on August 20, 2018

After defending his Universal Championship against Finn Bálor, a battle-weary Roman Reigns faced a seemingly inevitable Money in the Bank contract cash-in from Braun Strowman, but his Shield brothers had his back. Get all the details on this shocking Hounds of Justice reunion.

The last time Triple H battled The Undertaker, it was said to be the End of an Era. So why are The King of Kings and The Deadman resurrecting their rivalry one last time at WWE Super Show-Down in Melbourne, Australia?

As it turned out, it took some convincing to get Triple H to accept the bout: Making a special appearance, The Game revealed to the Raw audience that he felt there was nothing he could do to top the iconic image of himself, Undertaker and Shawn Michaels atop the ramp at WrestleMania XXVIII, and not only from an in-ring perspective. After that match, HBK would step out of the spotlight almost entirely, The Phenom’s Streak would end, and The Game himself would trade in his boots for a suit — a trio of events that seemed to well and truly close the book on the three former champions' era.

Ultimately, that didn’t sit well with Triple H. Unwilling to pass up a chance to recapture the old magic, The Game inevitably decided to again lace up the boots, provided The Undertaker agreed to bring the fight as well. Given all that, the bout at Super Show-Down comes down to much more than a match being made. For the last time ever, “The Era is back.”

Last night at SummerSlam, Ronda Rousey savaged Alexa Bliss to win the Raw Women’s Championship, becoming the first woman to have ever held a title in both UFC and WWE. But if you ask Stephanie McMahon, the victory was as much hers as it was Ronda’s, which meant The Baddest Woman on the Planet’s coronation ceremony quickly turned into a victory lap for Stephanie, who claimed to have singlehandedly molded Rousey in her own image and turned her into a champion.

The Baddest Woman on the Planet was quick to correct the commissioner, inviting the assembled Superstars onto the apron so she could give them proper credit for paving the way for her — from Natalya for serving as the division’s “cornerstone” to Sasha Banks and Bayley for tearing the house down at NXT TakeOver and helping spark the Evolution.

Stephanie balked, claiming Rousey was being disingenuous and wouldn’t hesitate to break the arms of every Superstar on the apron. Ronda calmly countered by saying she would only break the arms of the deserving — a group Stephanie evidently belonged to. Rousey flipped the Commissioner over, locked her in the Armbar and sent her rolling out of the ring before posing with her title and the Superstars who made her reign possible in the first place.

Roman Reigns defeated Finn Bálor one-on-one to retain the Universal Championship in a title match two years in the making, but when it came to repelling Braun Strowman and his Money in the Bank contract, the Universal Champion needed a little help from his friends.

Before Strowman showed up and all hell broke loose, however, Reigns and Bálor put on an instant classic where The Extraordinary Man summoned the full reserves of his legendary heart. Reigns, unfortunately, had reached his proverbial final form and took everything Bálor had to give him. The arrival of Strowman allowed Finn to set up the Coup de Grâce, but Reigns avoided the move and spiked the Irishman with a thunderous Spear for three.

Strowman quickly entered the ring and struck down the reeling Reigns with a vicious kick, but his Monster in the Bank cash-in was cut short by the unmistakable crackle of “Sierra, Hotel, India” and the arrival of Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, back in the signature black colors of The Shield. Strowman didn’t hesitate to throw down with the brothers in black, but The Hounds of Justice overwhelmed him all the same after Reigns Speared Strowman on the outside, setting up a monstrous Triple Powerbomb through the announce table. Clearly, the message of Reigns’ bout with Bálor was that Raw does, indeed, have a fighting champion. The message of what happened after is that Braun Strowman isn’t the only one with an ace in the hole.

In other action … Universal Champion Roman Reigns named Finn Bálor as his first challenger … Bobby Lashley def. Constable Baron Corbin … The Riott Squad def. Sasha Banks, Bayley & Ember Moon … Triple H addressed his match with The Undertaker at WWE Super Show-Down … Elias def. Curt Hawkins … AOP def. Titus Worldwide … Scott Dawson def. Raw Tag Team Champion Bo Dallas … Dash Wilder def. Raw Tag Team Champion Curtis Axel … and Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon named Baron Corbin the Acting General Manager of Raw.

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