Raw Recap: September 4, 2017
Aired on September 4, 2017

Last week, John Cena and Roman Reigns got on the microphone and aired a few grievances about each other in advance of their dream match at WWE No Mercy. It got deeply personal in a hurry. And they didn’t hold back at all in Round Two, with Reigns openly questioning whether Cena had lost a step after taking so long to beat the “rookie” Jason Jordan.

In response, Cena floated the idea that perhaps he was hanging back, adapting to Jordan’s skills and waiting to drop the hammer … same as he might do to Reigns at No Mercy. As the barbs mounted and mounted, Cena eventually got to the heart of his gripe with Reigns, claiming his foe hasn’t had to scratch and claw the way the likes of Jordan, Chad Gable and even The Miz have. And, when the 16-time World Champion declined The Big Dog’s offer to fight then and there, Reigns replied that the feeling of disrespect was mutual.

The Miz has been claiming for weeks now that both he and the championship he holds are owed much more respect than they’ve been given. He may have just taken that recognition for himself on Raw after retaining his Intercontinental Title against a wild Jeff Hardy, who won a Battle Royal last week to earn the opportunity.

The Charismatic Enigma pulled out all the stops in pursuit of his fifth Intercontinental Championship, forcing Miz to go it alone after both Matt Hardy and The Miztourage were ejected following a ringside brawl. The A-Lister proved to be a worthy opponent, answering almost all of Jeff’s signature moves and dodging a Swanton Bomb at the last possible second thanks to a heads-up from Maryse, who alerted Miz to the incoming Hardy.

The A-Lister sealed the match shortly thereafter, writhing free of the Twist of Fate and transitioning straight into the Skull-Crushing Finale. Even as The Miz accumulates haters by the day, defenses like this ensure his respect grows at an equal pace.

Braun Strowman promised to make a statement during his maiden voyage into a Steel Cage Match and potentially put his foe, Big Show, “out to pasture” before moving on to challenge Universal Champion Brock Lesnar at WWE No Mercy. He certainly made an example of his opponent, but Show did not cede the proverbial stage as easily as The Monster Among Men thought he would.

The giant gave a turn-back-the-clock performance that included an early KO Punch, the return of his old big elbow for a top-rope plunge straight into the heart of The Gift of Destruction, and multiple attempts to escape over the top of the cage. Unfortunately, each of those awesome feats depleted Show’s reserves bit by bit, and the younger Strowman held on to administer a top-rope superplex that failed to collapse the double-reinforced ring, but did enough to finally empty Big Show’s tank.

One Running Powerslam later and the match was over, but the astonishing display of power continued, as Strowman lawn-darted Show through the wall of the cage after the bell, breaking it off its hinges and sending The World’s Largest Athlete plummeting to the floor. He even had a statement of the literal variety to go with it: “Brock Lesnar, at No Mercy, this is your future. And mine is becoming the new Universal Champion.” After what he’d just done, it was a hard point to dispute.

In other action... Cesaro & Sheamus def. Heath Slater & Rhyno... Enzo Amore, Cedric Alexander & Gran Metalik def. Noam Dar, Tony Nese & Drew Gulak... Bray Wyatt challenged Finn Bálor to a match at WWE No Mercy... Nia Jax and Emma def. Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss & Sasha Banks to add themselves to the Raw Women’s Title Match at WWE No Mercy... and Raw Tag Team Champions Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins def. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson.

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