It was going to be one hell of a night as WWE rolled into Toronto, a notoriously lively crowd.
The Shield reunited last week and threw Braun Strowman through a table at the end of the episode, leaving questions about Strowman's potential cash-in.
As well as this, we take the next step in the story as Raw General Manager Kurt Angle misses the show as he was placed on leave by Stephanie McMahon, leaving Baron Corbin in charge of the show.
Here are the results from this week's Raw:
ROMAN REIGNS AND BRAUN STROWMAN FACE-OFF
Roman Reigns kicked off the show and demanded Strowman to meet him in the ring.
After a short while, Strowman obliged and confirmed he would not be cashing in his Money in the Bank contract tonight as Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose, Reign's Shield partners, would definitely interfere. Therefore, he told Reigns that he would be cashing in at a place where nobody could interrupt, inside Hell in a Cell - the next upcoming pay-per-view.
Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre entered the arena next and Ziggler once again spoke about how Rollins stole his Intercontinental Championship at SummerSlam, despite him winning cleanly with a Curb Stomp.
Acting GM, Baron Corbin, came out and confirmed tonight's main event would be the two opponents at Hell in a Cell, Strowman and Reigns, facing McIntyre and Ziggler.
It's interesting that Strowman is announcing his cash-in rather than doing a sneaky manoeuvre which many superstars have done in the past. The match continues the long rivalry between Strowman and Roman, which began in early 2017. The cell adds a new dynamic but eliminates the threat of The Shield. However, with two powerhouses inside the structure, expect to see some sort of collapse to allow them to interfere.
BARON CORBIN VS FINN BALOR
Corbin stayed out in the ring as everyone else made their way to the back to introduce the next match. He said he has planned his own match for a week but didn't tell his opponent, Finn Balor. He wanted Balor as the man, not the demon who defeated him in a few minutes at SummerSlam.
Baron Corbin dominated a lot of the early parts of the match with aggressive strikes but Balor's Slingblade helped him recover. As Balor began to build momentum, Corbin got a chair involved but Balor denied it's involvement first of all before Corbin eventually used it and forced the referee to disqualify Corbin.
However, as GM, Corbin abused his power and restarted the match as a no DQ contest. He used the chair again on Balor and hit The End of Days to seal the win.
A solid match, despite seeing it multiple times before, and it was good to see Corbin abusing the power he has as General Manager. It does make Balor look weak though, losing two weeks in a row even though he won comprehensively as The Demon at SummerSlam against Corbin. It looked as though Balor could be a main event player but this loss cemented his place in the mid-card for now.
DANA BROOKE VS SASHA BANKS
Brooke got in a fair bit of offence at the start of the match but it did not last for long. A Meteora from the top rope followed by the Bank Statement. Brooke tapped quickly and was comforted by Apollo Crews in the ring after the defeat.
There was no progression in any storyline. Brooke and Crews have been teasing a romantic connection but there was nothing obvious to the eye tonight to prove that. Also, Bayley and Sasha Banks had no interaction after their recent events led to them becoming a team again.
SETH ROLLINS VS KEVIN OWENS
The current Intercontinental Champion announced an open challenge for this evening since former champion Dolph Ziggler was already involved in the main event. Kevin Owens answered the call in his home country and before the match, spoke about his perils on Raw since the move from Smackdown.
He was cheered at first by the Toronto crowd but then said Raw would be better if it was in Montreal then began taunting the crowd in French to a chorus of boos.
Owens began the match strongest but a flurry of strikes and a massive clothesline from the steel steps put Rollins firmly in control. During the commercial break, Owens spiked Rollins with a massive DDT that put the former Universal Champion in control briefly. He later missed a Cannonball into the barricade and then rolled out the ring when Rollins began to build momentum, but forcing Rollins to perform three consecutive suicide dives.
Owens had been strategically working on the left arm of Rollins throughout the match and it almost helped him win the match as he locked in a crossface submission but Rollins crawled to the ropes to break the hold.
Reaching the crescendo, KO hit a Stunner for a two-count whereas Rollins nailed a buckle-bomb but KO hit a Superkick on the rebound for another real close near-fall. Owens was then on the top turnbuckle and attempted a Moonsault but Rollins moved out the way and hit his Stomp which got the win and meant he retained his title.
After the match and once Raw returned to broadcast, Owens was still sat in the ring and he soaked in the atmosphere before simply muttering 'I Quit' into a microphone. He hastily left the ring.
A brilliant match that was easily pay-per-view quality. Rollins and Owens are two of the best workers on the roster and they had a brilliant match in London back in May. This one was even better than that, as a number of near-falls had the crowd torn between who they thought would be leaving Canada with the gold. Owens hit some moves we rarely see him use, including a Stunner and Moonsault but ultimately, he could not win the IC Championship despite his best efforts.
THE REVIVAL VS THE B TEAM
Last week we saw both members of these teams in singles action, with The Revival going 2-0. Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas worked well as a team to force Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder to the outside, even using them to wipe out each other as they flew over the top rope.
Curtis Axel got the hot tag and dominated Scott Dawson but after a succession of roll-ups, The Revival hit the Shatter Machine on Axel for the win. After the win, they went after Dallas and used their signature move on him too, before claiming the Raw tag division was a joke with The B Team on top.
The match was quite slow and uneventful but the Shatter Machine always looks good when executed by Dash and Dawson. They went after Dallas after the match too, signaling their intent for the Raw Tag Team Championships at Hell in a Cell, or possibly sooner.
NATALYA VS ALICIA FOX
The entire segment actually started with Elias in the ring, playing a short guitar solo before beginning to hurl the insults about Toronto. To everybody's surprise, Trish Stratus interrupted Elias for her first WWE appearance since the first women's Royal Rumble back in January. She and Elias began to trade verbal blows, a highlight of which was Elias claiming he doesn't date women in their 60's, before Stratus gave Elias a hard slap.
Ronda Rousey came out first and then Natalya, back performing in Canada for the first time since the passing of her father. Alexa Bliss announced firstly that she was invoking her rematch clause at Hell in a Cell to face Ronda Rousey once again for the Raw Women's Championship. She then mentioned the match against Trish Stratus at WWE Evolution before introducing Stratus' most famous rival, Mickie James.
In a short match, Natalya got the Sharpshooter onto Fox and won comfortably before having her hand raised by Stratus and Rousey. Backstage, after the match, Nikki and Brie Bella congratulated Nattie on her win and announced they would be returning to the ring on next week's Raw.
Stratus got a good pop in Toronto and it was the perfect place for her to appear ahead of Evolution. The match was very simple but it got the victory for the face team to have their hands raised at the end. More excitingly, it was announced backstage that Brie and Nikki Bella would be back in action next week, possibly building towards the rumoured match between Nikki and Ronda at Evolution.
BOBBY LASHLEY VS THE ASCENSION
Baron Corbin put Lashley in a match against both members of The Ascension, Konnor and Viktor.
As expected, The Ascension got in very little offence and was manhandled by The Dominator. Lashley used his new finisher once again to pin Viktor and get the win.
The Ascension got a showing on Raw for the first time this month but was used as meat for Lashley to feed on. There was no chance they were going to defeat the former ECW Champion and he made light work of the former NXT Tag Champions.
DEAN AMBROSE VS JINDER MAHAL
Ambrose looked to continue his win streak against former WWE Champion, Jinder Mahal. With his new move-set and jacked look, Ambrose dominated early but Mahal used resting holds to wear down The Lunatic.
Mahal went for The Khallas but Ambrose countered it straight into Dirty Deeds. An easy win for Ambrose as he continues his return from injury.
As expected, Ambrose picked up another win to continue to build his momentum upon his return from injury. As part of The Shield, he is included in one of the hottest angle's on Raw, therefore, he will continue to win for a while yet. Jinder looked a little sloppy but sadly it showed the decline of the Modern Day Maharaja since his move to Raw.
BRAUN STROWMAN AND ROMAN REIGNS VS DOLPH ZIGGLER AND DREW MCINTYRE
The face team looked to dominate but in fact, it was Ziggler and McIntyre who controlled most of the early match. Ziggler used holds followed by heavy blows to Reigns to isolate him away from his partner for the evening. A Big Boot from Reigns downed The Showoff but he couldn't reach Strowman before McIntyre got into the ring.
The Monster Among Men then finally received the hot tag from Reigns but refused to enter the ring. Instead, he watched on from the apron as Ziggler and McIntyre began a beat down on Reigns, forcing the referee to call the match off.
Strowman then entered the ring and instead of helping Reigns, he continued the assault by headbutting The Big Dog and going to work on dismantling The Universal Champion. Dean Ambrose came down to the ring first to try and make the save but got swamped, as did Seth Rollins soon after.
Strowman then performed the Running Powerslam on all three members of The Shield before lifting Ziggler and McIntyre's hands to end the show, basically confirmed his heel turn.
From an emotional view, this was sad to see. Fans love Strowman and having him turn heel on The Shield was hard to watch as a fan. However, it makes perfect sense as Ambrose, Reigns and Rollins laid him out last week through the announce table. It is logical to turn Strowman heel as he looks to gain an advantage over Reigns ahead of their Hell in a Cell clash in three weeks time but realistically, it's Reigns who the fans want to turn to the dark side. It made Strowman look like a monster, though, by laying out all three guys without too much help from Ziggler and McIntyre.
The Shield is confirmed as a top babyface faction for the foreseeable future whereas Strowman becomes the number one bad guy on Raw.News Now - Sport News