Welcome to Monday Night RAW! The newest edition of the WWE flagship show kicked off with a brand new roster and a huge announcement. Here’s all the action that went down.
With the entire roster assembled on the stage, RAW commissioner Stephanie McMahon and General Manager Mick Foley announced that their show will once again have its own champion. It’s an idea from the days of the first big draft, where RAW and Smackdown had a WWE Champion and a World Heavyweight Champion to lead the locker rooms.
This time, the title and belt will be called the WWE Universal Championship, with Mick Foley announcing that the winners of two Fatal Fourway matches will face each other in the RAW main event to become the number one contender to take on Seth Rollins at Summerslam for the title.
Universal Championship Qualifying Fatal Four Way Match: Finn Balor defeated Cesaro, Rusev and Kevin Owens
Finn Balor took the initiative in his first RAW match to go right after Kevin Owens while Cesaor and Rusev duked it out. The match quickly went outside the ring, with Owens and Rusev giving Balor a taste of their powerbombs, and then hitting the ring to team up on Cesaro. Cesaro managed to fight back long enough for Balor to hop back in, sending the match into a series of pop-up powerbombs, suplexes and Cesaro Swings.
It all came down to Rusev and Finn Balor in the ring, with the demon hitting a Coup de Grace on the Bulgarian Brute to earn a spot in the main event in one hell of a great debut.
Nia Jax defeated Britt Baker
A quick squash match, as Nia Jax wiped the RAW floor with local wrestler Britt Baker to take home an easy victory.
Universal Championship Qualifying Fatal Four Way Match: Roman Reigns defeated Chris Jericho, Sami Zayn and Sheamus
RAW was going two for two with their Fatal Fourways, with another solid match between four of their other big stars. Despite looking like he would walk away as the winner, Sheamus was derailed later on in the match while Reigns threw blows and Sami Zayn was hopping all over the top ropes. Jericho was also his usual sneaky self, landing a codebreaker to Reigns and mocking the big man.
But Y2J may have gone too far, as his attempt at a spear went pear-shaped and set him up for the real deal from the former Shield member. Your winner and the second half of the main event equation for RAW later on in the night: Roman Reigns.
The New Day are in the ring
And they were there to celebrate retaining their tag team championship. With Booty-Os! The New Day wanted to add an honorary fourth member to their group from the audience, selecting a “random” plant from the RAW crowd who happens to be named Sonny Boy. And of course the New Day decided to have some fun with that. Mercifully, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows decided to interrupt with some quick clean-up work in the ring.
Neville defeated Curtis Axel
In a triumphant return to RAW, Neville made quick work of Curtis Axel to show that there was no ring rust on this high-flyer.
Backstage with Darren Young and Bob Backlund
The two are interrupted by Goldust and R-Truth, who are now apparently addicted to Pokémon Go, as the bizarre one explains that a Jigglypuff is hiding on Backlund’s bowtie. Just…just weird stuff man.
WWE Women’s Championship Match: Sasha Banks defeated Charlotte
The opening of this match went to Sasha Banks, as she dominated the WWE Women’s champion. Dana Brooke quickly interfered, setting Banks up for a counter-offense from Charlotte. Needing to get Dana Brooke removed from the equation, Sasha Banks pulled a move out of the Eddie Guerrero playbook and pretended to be down for the count to get Charlotte’s pal removed from the match.
And it worked. With the odds now even, Banks managed to go all out in a splendid match, possibly one of the best of the night. Charlotte was in peak heel form, playing dirty and countering high-flying moves from Banks along the way. Finally grabbing Charlotte in the middle of the ring and locking in the Banks Statement, the boss defeated her nemesis to become the new WWE Women’s Champion on RAW.
Braun Strowman defeated James Elsworth
Another quick match of the squash variety, as Strowman hit the RAW ring with a new look and new entrance music to demolish local talent James Elsworth. A massive Reverse Chokeslam helped solidify that image and then some.
Enzo and Big Cass defeated the Shining Stars
Some early offense from the Shining Stars wasn’t enough to put Enzo and Big Cass down for the three-count, as the pair used a distraction from the Pokémon Go obsessed team of R-Truth and Goldust to walk away with a win.
Universal Championship #1 Contender Match: Finn Balor defeated Roman Reigns
And it was time for the RAW main event! Roman Reigns seemed to be a cinch for the win, as he wrecked Finn Balor all over the ring when the bell was rung, using the advantage of being really bloody big to devastating advantage. The match quickly turned into a showcase of speed vs power, with Balor unleashing his quickness to get some short-lived offense in.
Reigns went back on the warpath, taking Balor to the corner and outside the ring. The momentum shifted constantly between the two, as Balor focused his attacks on the leg of Reigns while the big man took the action back into the RAW ring and conjured a Superman Punch out of thin air. This only got Reigns a two-count however, with Balor following up with a quick pin that earned him the same amount of digits.
Going for the Spear, Reigns ran into a counter instead and a Coup de Grace from Balor as he became the new number one contender for the WWE Universal Championship as RAW wrapped up for the night.
Last Updated: July 26, 2016