Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley kicked off Raw with a Falls Count Anywhere Match, which came to a shocking conclusion when The Monster Among Men drove The All Mighty through the LED wall at the top of the entrance ramp. What’s next for Strowman and Lashley following this career-threatening incident? Also on Raw, The Undertaker confronted Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre and AJ Styles re-formed The Club with Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson after a brutal U.S. Title Match against Ricochet.
The previously announced Falls Count Anywhere Match between Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley came to an abrupt halt when both Superstars went crashing through the LED board following a brawl throughout the American Airlines Arena, leading to a medically-induced match stoppage.
Strowman caused the chaos, charging the former Intercontinental Champion through the boards and setting off a shower of sparks that briefly blacked out the arena. Despite Strowman initiating the collision, however, the impact did not spare The Monster Among Men in any sense of the word; both he and Lashley were incapacitated when WWE officials hit the scene, and EMTs quickly arrived to extricate the two Superstars from the wreckage.
With WWE workers and stagehands looking on, Strowman and Lashley were each loaded onto stretchers and carted out of the arena, presumably to a local medical facility for evaluation.
As epic as it is that The Undertaker will team with Roman Reigns against Shane McMahon & Drew McIntyre at Extreme Rules, the one lingering question surrounding The Deadman’s return was why the legendary Superstar decided to team with the man who sent him into self-imposed exile for a full year. On Raw, we got our answer.
Amidst rumors of his imminent arrival, Undertaker confronted “The Best in the World” and the Gaelic giant at his side with some clarification as to why they had roused the reaper. (Pointedly, both men scurried out of the ring despite beating their chests about their fearlessness just seconds earlier.) The Deadman revealed that he didn’t target Shane out of some kind of loyalty to Roman Reigns, as The Big Dog had never asked him for the favor. He returned for the sole reason of putting Shane-O-Mac in his place, as the prodigy he’d battled at WrestleMania in a Hell in a Cell Match had been consumed by an ego grown monstrous and run amok. Proclaiming himself as the “reaper of wayward souls,” The Deadman declared he was coming to collect, and Shane & McIntyre would suffer nothing less than damnation at his hands.
AJ Styles’ non-title victory last week over Ricochet was as much an appetizer as it was a shocker — here was a Superstar returning from injury, defeating a newly-crowned champion and seemingly seizing next-man-up status — but what happened in the follow up(s) this week was a statement.
Still trying to bring out “the real AJ Styles,” Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson stoked some backstage scuttlebutt to turn the friendly rivalry between Styles and Ricochet into a heated battle with the title at stake. During the title fight in Raw’s main event, The Phenomenal One seemingly pinned Ricochet to become United States Champion, but the decision was reversed after a review, as Ricochet’s foot had been under the ropes. Hence, the bout was restarted.
With his victory taken from him, Styles was left flustered and out of sorts for several reasons — the looming presence of Gallows & Anderson at ringside being one and Ricochet’s persistence the other. Nothing Styles did seemed to be enough to keep the champ down; he had taken AJ’s best shot, and the challenger struggled in orchestrating a follow-up. A Brainbuster and rack bomb couldn’t get the job done, but a dizzying rollup by Ricochet did, and he scored the 1-2-3 against Styles for a title retention.
Styles seemed to begrudgingly accept the results of the bout, even once again shaking Ricochet’s hand. But when Gallows & Anderson climbed on the apron to mean-mug their good brother, Styles surprised everyone by seemingly agreeing that he wasn’t quite being himself. The Phenomenal One turned around and decked Ricochet, kicking off a three-pronged beating that included a Magic Killer from The Good Brothers and a second-rope Styles Clash from AJ. It goes without saying that Ricochet showed his mettle tonight. But there’s an argument to be made, in hindsight, that he didn’t quite know who AJ Styles was. It’s a mistake painfully rectified and dearly paid for.
In other action … Samoa Joe & The Viking Raiders def. The New Day … Lacey Evans def. Natalya … The Miz def. Elias (2-out-of-3-Falls Match) … Universal Champion Seth Rollins & Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch def. Mike Kanellis & Maria Kernels … NXT Tag Team Champions The Street Profits confronted Paul Heyman … and Nikki Cross def. Carmella.