Somehow, someway, Braun Strowman isn’t finished with Brock Lesnar.
The Beast Incarnate managed to stave off The Gift of Destruction (and Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe) despite being put through two tables and buried under a third by Strowman at SummerSlam, but The Monster Among Men made it quite clear that the Universal Champion wasn’t out of the woods yet in Raw’s opening moments.
After Lesnar and Paul Heyman sufficiently crowed over the successful title defense, Strowman emerged and obliterated The Beast Incarnate without speaking a single word, preferring to let a pair of bone-jarring Running Powerslams and a pose with the Universal Title do all the talking necessary. Fittingly enough given the annoucnement later in the night, you could almost say he showed no mercy.
The band is back together, and the dream matches have already begun. Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins opened their unlikely Raw Tag Team Title reign by declaring the evening to be a “party” and inviting any team in the locker room to step to them, seemingly expecting Cesaro & Sheamus to come looking for a rematch. Instead, they got a gentleman’s challenge from The Hardy Boyz, and it was exactly as epic as you might have imagined. (Cesaro & Sheamus scouted from the locker room.)
The Most Exhilarating Tag Team In History didn’t just hang with the younger tandem, they came awfully close to defeating the new champions after Matt Hardy hit The Lunatic Fringe with the Twist of Fate to tee him up for Jeff Hardy’s Swanton Bomb. However, Rollins superkicked Matt right after Jeff tagged in, and Ambrose got his knees up to block the Swanton, leaving The Charismatic Enigma alone to suffer the one-two combo of Rollins’ ripcord knee and a match-ending Dirty Deeds.
The Miz got his main event moment, though likely not the one he expected, as The A-Lister suffered the deciding pinfall in Raw’s main-event tag team match that pitted the Intercontinental Champion & Samoa Joe against the strange, uneasy alliance of John Cena & Roman Reigns.
The Cenation Leader and The Big Dog never quite entirely got on the same page in the bout, though to be fair, Miz & Joe were struggling as well. The WWE Universe’s incessant chanting got in The Awesome One’s head early and often, nearly nullifying the pre-match strategy Joe had so intimidatingly laid out.
Despite the crowd noise, The Samoan Submission Machine was all business, cutting off a Five-Knuckle Shuffle attempt on The A-Lister and kicking off a brawl that nearly allowed Miz to claim the win after Reigns, who was seemingly aiming for Joe, accidentally Superman Punched Cena while he was trapped in the Coquina Clutch. But Miz took too long to set up his own Skull-Crushing Finale and was planted with a match-ending Attitude Adjustment for his troubles.
Cena and Reigns didn’t seem much excited by their win, sharing a tension-filled moment in the ring wherein Reigns visibly said “my bad” for hitting Cena with the punch. By his partner’s look, it seemed like the apology would, for this time, at least, suffice.
In other action … Enzo Amore def. Big Cass in a Brooklyn Street Fight … Nia Jax def. Emma … Elias def. R-Truth … Intercontinental Champion The Miz and Samoa Joe confronted John Cena and Roman Reigns … Cedric Alexander, Rich Swann, Mustafa Ali & Gran Metalik def. Noam Dar, Ariya Daivari, Tony Nese & Drew Gulak … Alexa Bliss confronted Raw Women’s Champion Sasha Banks … and Finn Bálor def. Jason Jordan.