WWE Raw Recap: October 15, 2018
S26 episode 42 Aired on October 15, 2018

In a six-man main event rematch, The Shield battled not only Braun Strowman and Raw Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre, but their own internal strife, as repeated miscommunication between Dean Ambrose and Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins nearly brought Dirty Deeds upon The Architect. Find out how The Hounds of Justice prevailed and why Ziggler & McIntyre incurred the wrath of The Monster Among Men.

Dean Ambrose provided a key assist in helping Seth Rollins advance over Drew McIntyre to a slot in the WWE World Cup — a development that should have put to rest any question of whether The Lunatic Fringe is still all in on The Shield, except the aftermath of Ambrose’s interference left Rollins and Roman Reigns with more questions than answers as to where their brother’s head is at these days.

It's not that Ambrose was conspicuously absent for the pre-match confrontation between Rollins, Reigns and Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler & McIntyre — the “pack” that has tormented them over the past couple of months and handed Ambrose the deciding, demoralizing pinfall in last week’s main event. Rollins knew Ambrose would show up when it mattered, and he did, though he waited until the last possible minute to do so (Ziggler had interfered several times from ringside), instigating a scramble outside the ring that led to a narrow count-out victory for The Kingslayer after he hit McIntyre with a Stomp on the arena floor.

Rather, any questions about The Shield's unity will likely stem from their interaction after the match in the backstage area, where Rollins gently razzed Ambrose for his down-to-the-wire timing. “Lunatic time,” Rollins called it, but Ambrose didn’t take it as a term of affection. The former WWE Champion lashed out at his brothers over the implication that he was only good for a laugh until they needed bailing out before walking off to prepare for his own qualifier against Ziggler, alone.

Seth Rollins is in the WWE World Cup thanks to Dean Ambrose. Dean Ambrose is out of the WWE World Cup despite Rollins’ attempt to return the favor. The Kingslayer rushed the ring as an equalizer against Drew McIntyre, who crashed The Lunatic Fringe’s match with Dolph Ziggler in the hopes of providing a key assist to his fellow Raw Tag Team Champion. Ambrose shoved Rollins on his backside after a ringside scrap — in fairness, he was rising to his feet and may not have realized who was out there with him — but unfortunately, he rolled back into the ring and ran straight into a superkick from The Showoff that ended the match and rounded out the Raw participants of the World Cup.

Needless to say, Ambrose was in no mood to put on a happy face after the loss; he and Rollins got into a shoving match at the top of the stage that was so heated Roman Reigns emerged in a desperate attempt to play peacekeeper. Luckily for them — kind of — Acting General Manager Baron Corbin showed up and sanctioned a rubber match between The Shield and Braun Strowman, Ziggler & McIntyre as an opportunity for The Hounds of Justice to “redeem” themselves.

It was a tale of two teams in Raw’s main event, and the third bout between The Shield and Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre seemed like it wouldn’t come down to who could hit a Powerslam or a Stomp first, but which team would crack after weeks and weeks of stress. Would it be The Shield, who were threatening to implode thanks to the mercurial Dean Ambrose? Or would it be Strowman’s “pack,” which was under such pressure from their putative leader it was bordering on antagonism?

For a while, it looked like The Shield would crack, especially since Ziggler shoved Seth Rollins into Ambrose to spark a fresh round of hostilities among The Hounds of Justice. But Strowman’s increasingly hostile demands that his teammates pull their weight led to some internal hostilities of their own, so Ziggler went back to the well and shoved Rollins into Ambrose again, this time as he was attempting to record the deciding pinfall after hitting McIntyre with Dirty Deeds.

Ambrose was so heated that he attempted to hit Rollins with his signature maneuver as well, but Roman Reigns quickly rushed the ring to clean house. Not only did he olé McIntyre into blasting Braun with a Claymore, he shook off a Zig Zag attempt moments later that sent The Showoff tumbling into the waiting clutches of a Triple Powerbomb.

Ambrose scored the winning pinfall, The Shield embraced in solidarity after surviving the night, and then Strowman went to work. Having hit his limit, The Monster Among Men flattened Ziggler with a Running Powerslam, only to be Claymore’d again by McIntyre, this time on purpose, before the Scotsman turned and left Strowman and Ziggler in the ring. In short, faced with Strowman’s warning of "get-these-hands," Drew McIntyre has seemingly done the one thing that could possibly counteract The Monster Among Men: He went looking for them.

In other action … Nia Jax & Ember Moon def. Dana Brooke & Tamina … The Bella Twins confronted Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey … Finn Bálor def. Jinder Mahal … Bobby Lashley def. Tyler Breeze … Alexa Bliss & Mickie James confronted Trish Stratus & Lita … AOP def. The Conquistador (Handicap Match) … and Natalya def. Ruby Riott via Disqualification … Apollo Crews confronted Elias.

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