Braun Strowman wanted The Big Dog and, well, he got him. After demanding a confrontation with Universal Champion Roman Reigns, The Monster Among Men took an unbelievable ride from atop the Raw announce desk through the stage itself, courtesy of a thunderous Samoan Drop. Will Strowman suffer a similarly painful fate this Sunday inside Hell in a Cell?
A last-minute switcheroo was no trouble for Ronda Rousey & Natalya, who prevailed against Alexa Bliss & Mickie James on Raw despite The Goddess’ last-ditch attempt to throw her opponents off with a sub (her original scheduled partner was Alicia Fox until less than an hour before Raw began). But despite the victory, the effects of the match might leave Rousey at a surprising disadvantage going into her Raw Women's Title defense against Bliss at WWE Hell in a Cell.
Team Alexa’s strategy, unsurprisingly, revolved around keeping Rousey out of the ring at all costs. Team Ronda’s strategy, unsurprisingly, revolved around getting Rousey into the ring with the woman she savaged at SummerSlam. Thanks to some tag team chemistry (they broke out the Hart Attack in tribute to Natalya’s late father, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart) and some grit from Natalya, they got Alexa where they wanted her, but The Goddess proved a greater threat to Rousey than anticipated.
Playing off Ronda’s single-minded aggression, Alexa lured the champion outside the ring and went to work on her already-tenderized ribs, throwing Rousey torso-first into the barricade and apron. Rousey fought through the pain to submit Mickie with the Armbar, but she tellingly had to fight through a lot of pain to do it. And given that Alexa landed one more cheap shot that brought the champion to her knees, it’s clear she’s banking on a less-than-100 percent Rousey this Sunday. She just might get it.
There are few Superstars who know the Hell in a Cell structure, inside, outside and on top, better than Mick Foley. So it stands to reason that he and Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon would put aside their differences and come to an agreement that’s clearly best for business: As Foley revealed in a 20th-anniversary commemoration of his infamous Hell in a Cell bout with The Undertaker, The Hardcore Legend, looking to feel the magic once again, will be the Special Guest Referee for the Universal Title Match between Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman inside Hell in a Cell this Sunday.
The issue, however, was that he announced this right as Elias had been preparing to serenade New Orleans with his musical genius, and The Living Truth wasn’t about to let Foley’s emotional speech pass without incident. In fact, Elias was so vocally unimpressed with Foley’s decision, his history, and Foley himself, that he told the WWE Hall of Famer to “shut his mouth.” But Foley had the last word: As a former General Manager, he had received special permission to make a match for the night. The match he’d chosen? Elias vs. Finn Bálor.
After the events of Raw's opening, Braun Strowman went "Big Dog hunting" in an arena-wide search for Roman Reigns. And after his rampage through the arena came up empty, he decided (off the suggestion of a terrified Charly Caruso) to go to the ring and let Reigns find him. He got what he asked for, though perhaps not what he wanted.
With Reigns initially refusing to answer Strowman’s call-out, The Monster Among Men reiterated his promise to take Reigns’ title at WWE Hell in a Cell and even threw a warning in the direction of guest referee Mick Foley. That’s when The Big Dog made his presence known, appearing atop the commentary table with his title in hand. Strowman pursued Reigns up the ramp and got the better of him in the initial throwdown by driving him into the stage’s LED board before laying him out atop the commentary desk.
His attempts to finish The Big Dog off, however, were literally upended. From atop the announce desk, Strowman hoisted Reigns onto his shoulders and dropped him through the stage with a titanic Samoan Drop that The Gift of Destruction was unable to rise from. Give Reigns credit for doing the near impossible and managing to keep Strowman down. To keep his title, however, he’ll have to do it again. And again. And again. And again.
In other action … The Shield confronted Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre … Nikki Bella def. Ruby Riott … Big Show introduced the Connor's Cure "Superstars of Tomorrow" … AOP def. Ronnie Ace & Nathan Bradley … Triple H addressed The Undertaker … and Raw Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre def. The B-Team; Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins attacked after the match.