WWE Raw Recap: July 15, 2019
S27 episode 29 Aired on July 15, 2019

Superstars from Raw and SmackDown LIVE locked up in a Cross-Branded All-Star Top 10 Battle Royal for the opportunity to face Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at SummerSlam. Who will stand across from The Beast Incarnate at The Biggest Event of the Summer?

Your SummerSlam match for the Raw Women’s Championship will be Becky Lynch vs. Natalya, and it’s shaping up to be a very, very personal affair. That’s somewhat surprising for a match involving Natalya — The Hart Dungeon graduate is about as respectful as it gets — but The Man did more than enough to bring out The Queen of Harts’ inner trash-talker, confronting the former SmackDown Women’s Champion moments after she won the Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match that sent her to SummerSlam.

Natalya had certainly shown her in-ring bonafides before she went face-to-face with Becky, eliminating Naomi and Alexa Bliss en route to victory (Alexa eliminated Carmella to score the first ouster of the match). And yet, The Man seemed more than a little unimpressed with her new challenger, declaring that she was the special something Natalya’s career needed and dispelling any notion that their match was going to be some kind of contest among friends.

The Queen of Harts took the hint, firing back with some trash-talk of her own — “I’m gonna rip that greasy orange mop off your head” was just a sampling — and going nose-to-nose with the champion in a heated confrontation WWE officials were quick to break up before they came to blows. As much as these two respect each other, it’s fair to say they liked each other a lot more before this match was made. Much like the challenger herself, that's about as old-school as it gets.

A night of pleasure turned to pain for Drake Maverick when R-Truth struck, reclaiming the 24/7 Championship moments before Maverick was set to complete the long-awaited consummation of his marriage to Renee Michelle. In and of itself, that’s about the most demoralizing conceivable end to Maverick’s second reign, but the fashion in which Truth relieved Maverick of the title was a brutal twist of the knife all its own: With the referee disguised as the room service attendant at the Mavericks’ hotel, Truth smuggled himself into their room underneath a champagne tray, emerging to crossbody Drake on top of the rose petal-covered bed to score the pinfall. Truth took the title and bounced, leaving Maverick to frantically chase after the love of his life and leave his beautiful wife behind.

Say this for Seth Rollins: He doesn’t stay down for long. In a lightning-quick rebound from his Extreme Rules loss — and in an odd mirror to the Royal Rumble Match win that netted him a Universal Title bout at WrestleMania — The Architect triumphed in a Cross-Branded All-Star Top 10 Battle Royal featuring 10 Superstars from Raw and SmackDown LIVE, setting himself up for another Universal Title bout against Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam.

That’s not to say he didn’t have competition: Cesaro ran through the field with the Uppercut Express; Randy Orton dished out RKOs to anything that moved, Big E hoisted Braun Strowman up for a Big Ending before Sami Zayn scored an upset elimination of the SmackDown Tag Team Champion, and Baron Corbin was ousted by Rollins, Strowman and Roman Reigns after unceremoniously tossing Rey Mysterio.

Rollins suffered an errant Spear by Reigns in the final stretch of the match, but he recovered quickly enough to eliminate The Big Dog and Strowman, who were in a deadlock on the apron. Orton, however, had been biding his time after being sent through the ropes, and he immediately struck from behind, narrowly eliminating the unsuspecing Rollins. The Architect recovered again, administering a Stomp to The Apex Predator and tossing him over the ropes to win the match and send himself to SummerSlam, where Lesnar lies in wait.

Paul Heyman was quick to attempt to get in Rollins’ head from his and Lesnar's perch atop the stage, sneeringly announcing The Kingslayer as both the winner of the match and the sacrificial lamb for The Beast Incarnate. Rollins countered with some fiery words of his own and a promise that he would repeat his WrestleMania triumph come SummerSlam. Given that Lesnar briefly stalked to the ring with a chair in hand, it’s fair to say he’s taking Rollins seriously this time around. And if Seth Rollins recaptures the title, Brock Lesnar won’t be able to say he wasn’t warned.

In other action … Paul Heyman and Universal Champion Brock Lesnar addressed the end of WWE Extreme Rules … Ricochet & The Usos def. Raw Tag Team Champions The Revival & Robert Roode (2-out-of-3-Falls Match) … The Viking Raiders def. Vinny Gruner & Jackson James … Cedric Alexander def. Drew McIntyre … Samoa Joe def. Finn Bálor; Bray Wyatt attacked Bálor after the match … Zack Ryder def. Mike Kanellis … and The Club def. The Lucha House Party.

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