When it comes to the Raw after one of the “Big Four” WWE shows, such as SummerSlam which took place on Sunday night, fans are always looking for the memorable moment they can point back to in the future as the company moves on after one of the premier shows of the year. That moment can come in a few forms, and Monday night, the moment we’ll remember the most from the Raw after the 2019 edition of SummerSlam arrived via a return that fans have been anxiously waiting on.
Yes, Sasha Banks has returned home to WWE following a four-month layoff, and it was a reemergence we won’t soon forget as she’s reverted back to what made her special in the first place. Banks’ comeback provided the standout moment on a post-SummerSlam edition of Raw that was an incredible three-hour ride basically from start to finish.
Let’s have a look now at everything that went down on Monday night during the post-SummerSlam edition of Raw.
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‘The Boss’ is back
Early in the night, Becky Lynch cut a backstage promo where she put the women’s locker room on notice, saying she will not rest until everyone who’s wronged her is dealt with. “Your smart play is to get me before I get you. Game on,” Lynch said. Later in the evening, Natalya was out for an in-ring promo. Her arm in a sling selling the damage done in the Raw women’s title match at SummerSlam, Natalya gave credit to Lynch but also said that she wouldn’t change a thing with the way she went about the lead-up to the match. Natalya began to talk about a dream she had involving her late father, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, when she was interrupted by familiar theme music we haven’t heard in four months.
Banks emerged for the first time since she and Bayley dropped the women’s tag team championship at WrestleMania 35, ending her mysterious hiatus. She first hugged Nattie in the ring before the old version of “The Boss” made an emphatic return. Banks blindsided Nattie and began assaulting her while also revealing new blue hair. Banks targeted the injured arm of Natalya as she pummeled her, throwing her into the steel steps on the outside. Lynch was out to make the save, but Banks got the best of the champ as well, brutally inflicting punishment with a chair to the back repeatedly. Officials were able to eventually get Banks away as she walked up the ramp with a smirk on her face, admiring the carnage that she had caused in her long-awaited return.
The wait is finally over, and quite frankly, that could not have been executed any better. The important aspect of Banks’ return is that she’s back to being the Sasha Banks everyone fell in love with in the first place: the badass heel who is, hands down, one of the best in pro wrestling history at pulling off the diabolical character. That was one of the more memorable returns and subsequent beatdowns in recent memory, and dastardly heel Banks should prove to be the perfect foil opposite the top star that Lynch has become. Plus, we’re forced to wait just a little bit before she and Bayley inevitably cross paths down the line at some point, which isn’t a bad call whatsoever. Welcome back, Sasha. Grade: A+
The OC targets Seth Rollins
The now two-time universal champion Rollins kicked off Raw on Monday night. Rollins admitted that he didn’t know if he had what it took to beat Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. He said that he emptied the tank on Sunday, but as the fans in Toronto came alive, they took him to a place which allowed him to slay the beast; he remembered that he’s Seth Freakin’ Rollins, and that’s why he’s standing there as universal champion. Rollins was then interrupted by The OC, of course with United States champion AJ Styles leading the way.
The trio made their way to the ring, and Styles said they wanted to be the first to congratulate him. Styles told Rollins that he doesn’t have to worry about Lesnar anymore, but he does have to worry about the man standing in front of him. The United States champ challenged Rollins to a match tonight. Rollins accepted the challenge, despite how beaten up he is, before telling Styles that he was going to teach him about respect. Styles forced Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson to exit the ring and he shook hands with Rollins in the middle of the ring. Gallows and Anderson jumped back up on the apron to maybe signal a beatdown coming, but it was just a tease.
Later in the night, Paul Heyman granted Charly Caruso an exclusive interview outside the locker room of Brock Lesnar in which he revealed that WWE informed them there will be no universal title rematch for his client. Heyman was so enraged that he was at a loss for words and ran back into the room.
Seth Rollins def. AJ Styles via disqualification after Gallows & Anderson jumped the universal champion from behind. As Rollins was outnumbered, Ricochet ran out for the save but he, too, eventually fell victim to the numbers game. The OC turned its attention back to Rollins, but then Braun Strowman emerged and laid wasted to the heels. Strowman then went outside, grabbed the universal title and handed it to Rollins as the babyfaces closed the show standing tall thanks to “The Monster Among Men.”
It wasn’t made crystal clear throughout the night just who will be challenging Rollins for the top title on the Raw brand, but with Lesnar presumably away for a bit and out of the title picture, it’s OK to leave that open for the time being. If they go the direction of Styles at Clash of Champions, that would work just fine with Styles’ heel persona back. There are obviously plans for Strowman to once again challenge for the universal championship, but some more build might be necessary before he hits that level. We’ll find out the true direction for Rollins in due time, but as for Monday night, this was a fun angle to watch play out from start to finish and it provided a hot close to an exciting show. Grade: B
What else happened on Raw?
- next Monday on Raw.
- Samoa Joe def. Sami Zayn via submission with the Coquina Clutch. This match came about after Joe caught Zayn bad-mouthing him in a backstage segment with The Street Profits. It seemed like Joe was executing a babyface turn, but he told the fans post-match that he’ll never forgive them for placing the blame for the Roman Reigns attacks on him.
- The Miz def. Dolph Ziggler via submission with the Figure Four. In a scene reminiscent of SummerSlam, Ziggler grabbed the mic post-match and provoked Miz by saying that Maryse is the best wrestler in the family. Miz returned to the ring and laid Ziggler out with the Skull-Crushing Finale.
- Ricochet def. Elias via pinfall with a sunset flip rollup. We had controversy, though, as Elias’ right shoulder was off the mat during the count.
- Andrade def. Rey Mysterio (2-0) in a 2-out-of-3 falls match. Andrade took the first fall with some help from Zelina Vega holding his legs on the ropes for leverage on the pinfall, and that was followed up shortly after by the Hammerlock DDT for the clean sweep. Backstage after the match, a dejected Mysterio told Charly Caruso that he doesn’t know where his career is going, but he knows that he has a family to support.
- “Stone Cold” Steve Austin joined Raw via Skype to praise the efforts of Rollins at SummerSlam. The brief appearance was done to help promote his “Straight up Steve Austin” show premiering Monday night on USA.
- Drew McIntyre def. Cedric Alexander via pinfall after the Claymore kick to cap off an excellent match.
- Robert Roode def. No Way Jose via pinfall after the Glorious DDT.
- 24/7 Championship — The Revival def. R-truth (c) via pinfall to win the title with the Hart Attack after their match with Lucha House Party was interrupted. Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson made the pin simultaneously to become co-champ.
- 24/7 Championship — R-Truth def. Scott Dawson (c) via pinfall to win the title back immediately with assistance from Carmella.
- 24/7 Championship — Elias def. R-Truth (c) via pinfall to win the title after an ambush backstage with a guitar shot from behind.
- The Viking Raiders def. Carter Mason & Sebastian Suave (enhancement talent) via pinfall in a squash match with the Viking Experience.
- Women’s Tag Team Championship — Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross (c) def. The Kabuki Warriors via pinfall to retain the titles after Bliss connected with Twisted Bliss onto Kairi Sane.