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WWE Monday Night Raw recap and grades: The Shield’s WWE return ignites Raw

WWE Monday Night Raw recap and grades: The Shield's WWE return ignites Raw
The Shield WWE return takes out Braun Strowman of Raw — Pic credit: WWE

At SummerSlam 2018, there were some fantastic matches but there was also one very polarizing decision the WWE made. However, The Shield’s WWE return tonight might have fixed everything.

Here is a look at the WWE Monday Night Raw recap and the events that led up to The Shield’s WWE return.

Roman Reigns promo

Last night at SummerSlam 2018, Roman Reigns not only pinned Brock Lesnar to finally win the WWE Universal Championship, but Braun Strowman was taken out of action so he couldn’t cash in the Money in the Bank briefcase.

Reigns came out and the fans booed — as expected. However, Reigns pulled an interesting trick out and offered his first title defense tonight against Finn Balor — a man who used to hold the title and never got a rematch after being forced to surrender the title due to injury.

That is one way to get on the fan’s good sides — giving deserving contenders a chance at the title on something other than a pay-per-view.

Finn Balor comes out and accepted so — for the first time since Brock Lesnar put a stronghold on the WWE Universal Championship — it will get defended on TV.

Baron Corbin comes out and disallows the title match but Kurt Angle comes out and says it will happen and Corbin now has to wrestle Bobby Lashley.

There was also a backstage scene where Paul Heyman showed up to invoke Brock Lesnar’s rematch clause for Hell in a Cell but Kurt Angle said there was no way in hell.

Bobby Lashley vs. Baron Corbin

As mentioned, Kurt Angle forced Baron Corbin into a match with Bobby Lashley. Considering the fact that Corbin was squashed last night by Balor and Lashley is a superstar, this was a strange match. Corbin got a lot of offense, it was too long and boring, and it took a lot for Lashley to finally beat Corbin.

Stephanie McMahon sends Kurt Angle on a “vacation” because she doesn’t like the fact that he is fair in his decisions and puts Corbin in charge as the new general manager.

Winner: Bobby Lashley (2 stars)

Ember Moon, Bayley and Sasha Banks vs. The Riott Squad

No idea what the WWE is doing with Sasha Banks and Bayley. For weeks they were arguing and bickering and then they were forced into friend’s therapy and then they made up and became stronger as a team. And now they are on the mid-card and losing.

The good news is that Ruby Riott got the win and that is good because she should be a great contender for Ronda Rousey down the line, but what is up with Banks and Bayley (and Ember Moon is just drifting along as well).

Winners: Riott Squad (2 stars)

Triple H is back on WWE Monday Night Raw

Triple H is here on WWE Monday Night Raw for the first time in a long time. He comes out and the fans love him since — honestly — he is the man who made NXT and 205 Live the best shows on TV for fans who actually like the wrestling.

Triple H promises everyone that he will work until he dies to make sure the WWE is there for the fans. He then talks about the match where Undertaker beat him while Shawn Michaels was the referee and how special that was.

Despite that being the end of an era, Triple H said that Vince McMahon wanted him to wrestle Undertaker again in Austrailia for the upcoming Super Show and he said that they will do it one more time.

Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler

Last week on Monday Night Raw was the start of the Shield WWE reunion when Dean Ambrose came back to help Seth Rollins even up the odds against Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre. It worked as Rollins regained his IC title at SummerSlam 2018.

Tonight, Dean Ambrose gets a shot at Dolph Ziggler (the two men actually wrestled a few years back at a SummerSlam when Ambrose was the world champion). The match was good, Ambrose looked better than he did before his injury, and Dean won a hard-fought match. Dolph Ziggler is really working his butt off lately.

Winner: Dean Ambrose (3 stars)

Elias vs. Curt Hawkins

Elias came out to perform at SummerSlam 2018 and his guitar broke. He came out tonight and Curt Hawkins interrupted him to challenge him to a match. The fought and Elias won in just over one minute and Hawkins is now 0 wins in his last 219 matches.

Winner: Elias (2 stars)

Authors of Pain vs. Titus Worldwide

Apollo Crews is a great wrestler. The Authors of Pain should be dominating every match they are in. Apollo is stuck in a lame angle with Titus O’Neil and the AoP are a forgotten tag team. This match was not good.

Winners: Authors of Pain (1 star)

Ronda Rousey celebrates

All the WWE women are standing around the ring (including the Bella Twins) and Stephanie McMahon is in the ring. She takes responsibility for making Rousey a star and calls her to the ring.

Rousey shows up and browbeats McMahon for making the women stand outside, making it look like she is above them all. Rousey invites the women to the ring. McMahon insults Rousey, saying she is not acting like a champion.

McMahon points out that Rousey broke Alexa Bliss’ arm and will do it to every woman there until she is the only one left. Rousey said that she won’t break anyone’s arms who don’t deserve it and then broke McMahon’s arm.

The heels helped McMahon out of the ring while the faces (which included the Bella Twins) stayed in the ring with Rousey.

Bo Dallas vs. Scott Dawson and Curtis Axel vs. Dash Wilder

Last night, the B-Team beat The Revival to hold onto the Raw tag team titles. Tonight, there were these two singles matches between the men and both members of The Revival won the matches. That means that the Revival will probably get a rematch — strange since SummerSlam 2018 should have featured big feud concluding matches — not matches to start feuds.

Winners: Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder (2 stars)

WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns vs. Finn Balor

As mentioned, this was the first time the Universal title was defended on Monday Night Raw in well over a year thanks to Brock Lesnar and his part-time schedule. As expected, this was a fantastic match.

Fans like to give Roman Reigns crap but he puts on good matches and tells good stories in the ring. It looked like Finn Balor was going to win at one point too and the fans were very much into the match. It lasted almost 20 minutes and was the best title match in forever.

Braun Strowman came out with his Money in the Bank briefcase and distracted Roman Reigns. That gave Finn Balor a chance to rally and almost win but Reigns won with the spear.

Then, Braun Strowman came into the ring and said he was cashing in on Roman Reigns.

Winner: Roman Reigns (4 stars)

The Shield WWE return

And then, The Shield’s WWE return was complete when the old call signs rang out and the music started. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose came out — dressed in their flack vest Shield attire and they attacked Strowman.

This was an old-fashioned Shield WWE beatdown as the triple teamed Braun Strowman before hitting the Triple Powerbomb through the announcer’s table to end the show standing tall and united.

Did The Shield WWE return mean Roman Reigns is turning heel? Things just got really exciting for Monday Night Raw.

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