During a tag team main event pitting Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman against Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre, The Monster Among Men betrayed The Big Dog and ultimately joined his supposed foes in taking down each member of The Shield, one by one. How might Strowman’s apparent alliance with The Showoff and The Scott Terminator change the landscape of his title clash with Reigns inside Hell in a Cell on Sept. 16?
If nothing else, Baron Corbin can now claim that the scales have been balanced against Finn Bálor, whose surprise transformation into The Demon at SummerSlam handed The Lone Wolf a trouncing he’s spent the last two weeks stewing over. Now, however, the Acting General Manager has used his own superpower — managerial oversight — to hand The Extraordinary Man a lopsided loss of his own, though he had to pull quite a bit of corporate chicanery to do it.
Corbin had to pull rank, ultimately, because even the last-minute match announcement wasn’t enough to stop the former Universal Champion. Finn rallied down the stretch to such a degree that Corbin had to whack him with a chair, announcing after the fact that he had “forgotten” the match was under No Disqualification rules. Corbin didn’t hesitate to exploit the rule change, hitting Bálor again with the chair before executing a textbook End of Days for the 1-2-3.
It’s been a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad summer for Kevin Owens, but it appears the former Universal Champion’s woes may be over. Not because he made good on his promise to leave Toronto with a title, mind you, but because KO’s fiercely contested bid for the Intercontinental Championship ended in a loss that left him so demoralized he up and quit on the spot.
The match came about in the first place because Seth Rollins had reinstituted his Intercontinental Title Open Challenge policy when it became clear former champion Dolph Ziggler was otherwise occupied. That brought out Owens, who was hungry for redemption after a Raw return that has not gone quite as he’d hoped. He gave a great fight, too, brutalizing The Architect’s arm and forcing him to fly on a clipped wing. When an agonizing submission and surprise Stunner failed to get the job done, however, KO got desperate with a last-ditch moonsault. Rollins dodged, hit the Stomp, and that was that.
Rather than accept his outstanding performance as a moral victory — to say nothing of Rollins’ post-match nod of respect and a “Kevin Owens” chant from the audience — Owens opted for a knee-jerk reaction of the highest order: After stewing in the ring for the entire commercial break, KO grabbed hold of a microphone and declared, “I quit.”
Last week, Braun Strowman felt the wrath of The Shield. This week, he got even. During a main event that saw The Monster Among Men team with Universal Champion Roman Reigns against Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre, Strowman accepted a crucial tag from a battered Reigns but refused to enter the ring. Instead, The Gift of Destruction gave The Showoff and The Scottish Psychopath free reign to decimate The Big Dog, ending the bout in a disqualification and opening the door for Strowman to exact his payback.
The extended three-on-one beatdown of Reigns first brought out Dean Ambrose and eventually the one-armed Seth Rollins, but the two other Hounds of Justice were no match for the makeshift trio. The Lunatic Fringe suffered the Claymore-Zig Zag combo, Rollins caught a Zig Zag of his own, and all three were subjected to Running Powerslams from The Monster Among Men. Ziggler & McIntyre couldn’t have been more right when they opined that Strowman and Reigns couldn’t get along as partners and that they were teaming only as a matter of pride. What they didn't realize was how far that pride would motivate Braun Strowman to go.
In other action … Braun Strowman agreed to cash in his Money in the Bank contract at WWE Hell in a Cell … Sasha Banks def. Dana Brooke … The Revival def. Raw Tag Team Champions The B-Team … Trish Stratus confronted Elias … Natalya def. Alicia Fox; The Bella Twins revealed they will be back in action next week … Bobby Lashley def. The Ascension (1-on-2 Handicap Match) … and Dean Ambrose def. Jinder Mahal.