Last week, Finn Bálor made his triumphant return after nearly a year on the injured reserve list. It was awesome. This week, he earned his first singles victory since SummerSlam, defeating the on-a-roll-lately Jinder Mahal in a surprisingly hard-hitting match where the Irish Superstar essentially got punched in the face over and over again.
A battered Bálor answered with a match-ending Coup de Grâce, but, of course, a Superstar as high-profile as Bálor is bound to attract challengers from all sides. And Bray Wyatt, having recently crossed over from SmackDown LIVE, appeared on the TitanTron to declare three things: 1) Raw is his new home. 2) he's bringing his House of Horrors WWE Title Match with him to the Raw-exclusive Payback event, and 3) that he would be watching Finn very, very closely.
Roman Reigns may run the yard after defeating (and potentially retiring) The Undertaker at WrestleMania, but he clearly hasn’t learned to keep an eye on the monsters running around in it.
The Big Dog was in the middle of a sit-down interview with Michael Cole when Braun Strowman attacked, savagely beating Reigns all over the backstage area to such a degree that he had to be loaded, on the spot, into an ambulance. However, The Monster Among Men ambushed the EMTs and threw Reigns off the loading dock while he was still strapped to the gurney. And then, when they finally got The Big Dog into the ambulance, Strowman straight-up tipped it over, leading to cracked ribs, internal injuries and a possible separated shoulder.
Superstar Shake-up or not, Monday Night Raw is still The Kevin Owens Show, and the U.S. Champion will not take a backseat to the arrival of a new star like Dean Ambrose. Unfortunately, however, he might end up having to make do. The non-title Champion vs. Champion bout pitting “The Face of America” against The Lunatic Fringe ended with the curtain falling on KO’s head.
All of this was fairly unexpected because Owens was having his way with the Intercontinental Champion and showed no signs of stopping early in the bout. A trip to Chinlock City and a straight-up heave-ho, ribs-first into the turnbuckle left Ambrose gasping for air and Owens with a perfect target that he did not skimp on punishing.
Ambrose managed to maneuver his way into planting Owens with Dirty Deeds to seal the match, but The Prizefighter’s night was far from over.
Chris Jericho made his presence known, blasting Owens with a Codebreaker as some retribution for getting put through a table last week. It wasn’t capital-P Payback just yet (that’s in a few weeks), but it was definitely a start. Shane, Daniel? You’re up.
In other action … Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose confronted “John Cena” … The Revival def. The New Day … Big Show knocked out Curt Hawkins … TJ Perkins def. Austin Aries … Raw General Manager Kurt Angle revealed Seth Rollins’ fate … Nia Jax def. Charlotte Flair … Sami Zayn def. The Miz … Raw Tag Team Champions The Hardy Boyz, Cesaro & Sheamus def. Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson & The Shining Stars … and Alexa Bliss and Mickie James confronted Raw Women’s Champion Bayley and Sasha Banks.