After learning he has nearly an entire year to cash in his Money in the Bank contract, Brock Lesnar chose to take his time when it comes to Universal Champion Seth Rollins and WWE Champion Kofi Kingston. With “The Purveyor of Paranoia” taking up residence in his psyche, The Beastslayer squared off against “The Critic of the Critics” Sami Zayn in a stunning Raw main event.
When last we left Seth Rollins and Kofi Kingston, they were standing on the sidelines of Brock Lesnar’s waiting game, and it doesn’t look like things are going to get any better for them. The Beast Incarnate was scheduled to select which World Champion he was going to call his shot against as the Money in the Bank contract-holder, but in typical Lesnar fashion, he opted to zig rather than zag at the last second after Rollins left the ring in protest over The Conqueror’s disrespectful flaunting of his case, now a fully functional "Beast Box" with the ability to control the sound in the arena. (He kept using it to play his prospective challengers’ theme songs.) As a result of The Beastslayer’s defiance, Lesnar and Paul Heyman announced they were putting off their decision, leaving the two champions to twist in the wind just a little while longer.
This was of particular frustration for Kingston, who Wild-Carded over from SmackDown LIVE for the sole purpose of goading Lesnar into a cash-in that The Dreadlocked Dynamo hoped to win and cement his legacy. That he apparently did so for nothing was inconvenient enough, but things somehow got worse for the beloved WWE Champion after Lesnar exited and a street-clothes clad Dolph Ziggler slid into the ring and ambushed Kofi in an echo of last Tuesday’s unexpected bushwhacking. Luckily, this time, Xavier Woods was on hand to prevent The Showoff from doing too much damage, though Kingston suffered a crushing Zig Zag on the ramp before Woods chased off Ziggler.
Baron Corbin pulled off what may have been his greatest trick yet in a career that is fast becoming full of them when he ambushed a beaten-down AJ Styles, took the Fatal 4-Way Elimination berth The Phenomenal One’s injury forced him to abdicate and then won it, earning himself a Universal Championship Match at WWE Super ShowDown. The man is good at what he does.
Less fortunate (and less happy) were Braun Strowman, The Miz and especially Bobby Lashley, all of whom were vying for the personal and professional validation that comes with challenging for the Universal Title. The All Mighty went out on a limb by re-forming his on-and-off alliance with Corbin to devastating effect, though he focused on his Super ShowDown foe Strowman instead of the victory and ended up brawling into the backstage area with The Monster Among Men. With the match effectively down to two, The Miz, who had been a house on fire all night, unloaded on Corbin with running knees to the corner but unwittingly sprinted headlong into a decisive End of Days that handed Corbin the victory.
So, to recap: Baron Corbin took out his rival, won a match he wasn’t scheduled to be in and might be Universal Champion two weekends from now. He might not be your hometown's favorite son, but with those results, maybe he should be.
It’s been a roller-coaster of a night for Seth Rollins, and the best thing you can say about The Beastslayer’s evening was that it ended on an up note. Facing Sami Zayn, Rollins fought through a hellacious effort by The Critic of the Critics to cement himself as Monday Night Raw’s pre-eminent workhorse/standard-bearer, drawing yet another parallel between himself and Brock Lesnar.
While Rollins was gritting it out in the ring, battling through a legitimately impressive performance by the former NXT Champion, Mr. Beast in the Bank was conspicuous by his absence, visible only in brief cutaways to his private locker room, where he watched the match with contract in hand and a blank stare on his face. Rollins seemed cognizant of the fact that The Conqueror could rear his head at any second, and a Figure-Four Leglock from Zayn did considerable damage to his surgically-repaired knee. But The Beastslayer still caught Zayn with a Stomp as he slid through the ropes, only stopping to scream “This is my life!” — perhaps more at Lesnar than Zayn — before administering a second for the win.
The victory appeared to give The Kingslayer no peace. He visibly asked himself where Lesnar was as the camera lingered over the post-match scene, and while uncertainty turned to joy in Raw’s closing moments as The Beast failed to appear, the feeling may be unsustainable. As good a night as it was for Seth, Lesnar has a full year to make his move. There’s plenty of time left.
In other action … Dolph Ziggler brawled with Xavier Woods and addressed WWE Champion Kofi Kingston … Shane McMahon def. Lance Anoa’i … Universal Champion Seth Rollins confronted Brock Lesnar … Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch & Nikki Cross def. WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions The IIconics … Ricochet def. Cesaro … Rey Mysterio will surrender the United States Championship next week … Bray Wyatt played limbo on "Firefly Fun House" … and The Raw roster chased 24/7 Champion R-Truth through The Usos’ Memorial Day party.