Thanks to a ruse by The Miz during Raw’s contract signing, Dolph Ziggler unwittingly agreed to a SummerSlam match with imposing WWE Hall of Famer Goldberg! Is The Showoff ready to go one-on-one with one of the most unstoppable competitors in sports-entertainment history? Also on Raw, Roman Reigns was nearly injured in an attempted automotive attack, and new WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions were crowned.
A few weeks ago, Seth Rollins was The Beastslayer; the Conqueror’s conqueror; the one man who had Brock Lesnar’s number. As of last week, however, Rollins wasn’t looking like much of a challenge to The Beast Incarnate, having been F-5’d into a pulp over the course of a beating so heinous that Paul Heyman begged his client to stop and admitted, seven days after the fact, that it bordered on criminal.
And yet, Rollins once again showed up to Raw with a chair in hand to try and gain some ground back before he challenges Lesnar for the Universal Title on Sunday. If it was a reminder that Rollins still possesses the heart of a champion, it was also a reminder that he seems to pose little threat to Lesnar in his current state: Against further protestation from Heyman, Lesnar easily swatted his challenger down by booting him in the injured ribs and administering an F-5 to conclude a beating that was mercifully shorter but no less terrible than the one he inflicted last week.
Despite all this, however, Rollins still grabbed the mic after the beatdown and vowed to make it to Toronto and face Lesnar for the championship in six days simply because it’s worth it to try. “This is all I am,” Rollins groaned after the attack as he struggled to his feet and walked off under his own power. He even threw in a guarantee that he'll defeat Lesnar, a reminder that whether he has The Beast’s number or not, no amount of F-5’s will change who he is: undeterrable, unshakable, and brave to a fault.
The IIconics’ WWE Women’s Tag Team Title reign is no more, but anyone thinking they have an easier crack at the titles might be sorely mistaken — the new champs might be even harder to overthrow.
Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross were the last team standing in a Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match that decided the titles’ future, winning the match by way of a strategy that was, perhaps, short on bravery but begrudgingly realistic: After The IIconics were ousted by Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville, Alexa & Nikki deliberately tagged themselves out in the hopes of keeping the action between Fire & Desire and The Kabuki Warriors, Asuka & Kairi Sane.
The plan proved effective: Asuka evaded the Bed of Roses to submit Mandy with the Asuka Lock, but the effort left both Kabuki Warriors with a decent amount of wear and tear. The comparatively fresher Bliss & Cross didn’t exactly cruise to victory — they had to reduce to chicanery thanks to some interference by Nikki Cross — but they won nonetheless: After Nikki trapped Asuka in the ring apron, Bliss rocked Kairi Sane across the jaw with a hard right and swooped down with Twisted Bliss, sealing the win and earning the titles. And for all the questions about motives, manipulation and who was bending who to their will, there seems to be little doubt as to the state of their friendship now. It’s legit. And they have the titles to prove it.
Fine print is a funny thing. Dolph Ziggler came to “Miz TV” so intent on calling himself a legend, insulting Shawn Michaels and talking up his own show-stealing bonafides that he didn’t even pay attention to the match he was agreeing to. See, The Miz has plenty of time to rack up SummerSlam moments, but he decided, surprisingly, to cede the spotlight to someone who might not have many left: Goldberg.
Yes, Ziggler will face Miz next Monday on Raw, but as for Sunday, The Showoff will have to contend with the former World Heavyweight Champion, and Goldberg seems to have certainly paid attention to the insults that Ziggler has tossed his way of late. “Guess what, son?” he sneered to a retreating Ziggler upon signing the contract, “You’re next.” And then, Ziggler got superkicked by HBK for good measure.
Of course, facing Goldberg doesn’t have to be a death sentence. Ziggler isn’t wrong that he’s shown up and shown off and defied the odds even when he wasn’t supposed to. He just has to do it one more time. And if he doesn’t, well … we all know what comes next.
In other action … Champion Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair def. Natalya & Trish Stratus via Disqualification … Andrade def. Rey Mysterio … Mike Kanellis def. Maria Kanellis to become the new 24/7 Champion; R-Truth def. Mike Kanellis to become the new 24/7 Champion … The Viking Raiders def. Jay Alexander & Eric Abraham … and “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt attacked Kurt Angle.