Monday Night Raw
Date: July 23, 2018
Location: US Bank Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Jonathan Coachman

It’s a big night around here and you know that because the official preview for the show is a big picture of Stephanie McMahon. She has some kind of a major announcement tonight and since she’s Stephanie, that’s put above the #1 contenders match and tonight’s title match. That’s the level of priorities around here so let’s get to it.

The roster (including Nikki Cross) is on the stage and Vince McMahon is in the ring to introduce HHH and Stephanie McMahon for the big announcement. HHH thanks all of the wrestlers across all brands, including NXT. There has never been a stronger bond than the one we have right now and that includes the women’s division. HHH asks them to come forward so the women’s division (including the Smackdown women’s division) steps to the front. HHH talks about everything the women have done in recent years, including all those main events. Stephanie recaps the Give Divas A Chance and announces the first ever all women’s pay per view, called Evolution.

Cole gives us some more details: the Raw, Smackdown and NXT Women’s Titles will be defended, plus the finals of the Mae Young Classic will take place and the event is October 28 in the Nassau Coliseum.

The B Team is thrilled with everything they’ve done in the last few weeks and wouldn’t want this to be with anyone else. They’re ready to defend their titles….which they forget in the locker room.

Elias is in the ring for his song but gets cut off by the first match.

Tag Team Titles: Matt Hardy/Bray Wyatt vs. B Team

The B Team is defending. Bray and Dallas start things off for the family reunion and Wyatt runs him over with little effort. The champs throw Wyatt down but he spiders up to send them outside. Back from a break with Bray fighting out of a chinlock as the Revival watches on. Again. Do something with that already. The hard clothesline sets up the hot tag to Hardy for some clotheslines of his own. The Side Effect gets two and the Twist of Fate gets the same with Axel making the save. Dallas shoves Wyatt into Matt, knocking him into a crucifix to give Axel the retaining pin at 8:17. Axel is rather confused.

Result: B Team b. Matt Hardy/Bray Wyatt – Crucifix to Hardy (8:17)

Post match Matt says that was wonderful and then beats the B Team down with Wyatt joining in.

Finn Balor and Chad Gable are in the back, casually talking about Evolution when a production worker comes up, carrying Balor’s gear. Apparently it’s being put in a new dressing room. That would be a doll house, as ordered by Baron Corbin. Baron pops up to make a bunch of jokes about Balor being short.

We recap the Bayley and Sasha Banks story from last week.

Bayley and Sasha say they’re ready to be on the same team and they’re very excited about the pay per view. Bayley was glad to hear what Sasha said last week and that’s about it.

There will be legends and past superstars on Evolution.

Sasha Banks/Bayley vs. Samantha Simon/Karen Lundy

Banks knees Simon in the corner to start and cranks on the arm before Bayley comes in for a toss into the corner. A kick to the face sets up the Bank Statement to make Lundy tap at 1:22.

Result: Sasha Banks/Bayley b. Samantha Simon/Karen Lundy – Bank Statement to Lundy (1:22)

Post match Sasha hugs Bayley.

Here’s Elias again but this time it’s Braun Strowman interrupting. After congratulating the women on getting her own pay per view, it’s time to talk about Bobby Lashley vs. Roman Reigns in the #1 contendership match later tonight. It doesn’t matter who wins because he’ll be cashing in soon. Cue Kevin Owens to talk about Strowman ruining his kids’ dreams because Strowman has shown that Owens is breakable. Now it’s time for Owens to take everything away from him so Strowman says come try it.

This brings out Baron Corbin to say Stephanie has empowered him to handle this. Strowman needs help controlling his temper so here’s Jinder Mahal. We get some breathing exercises but Strowman says this isn’t working. He has Sunil Singh hold up a microphone because it’s time for Strowman’s breathing exercise. Everyone needs to close their eyes and chant with him: GET THESE HANDS! The beatdown doesn’t take long.

We recap the opening announcement.

A bunch of women have tweeted about Evolution.

We look back at Ronda Rousey coming back last week to attack Mickie James and Alexa Bliss. This earned her a Women’s Title match at Summerslam.

Mickie James vs. Natalya

Natalya elbows her down to start but Alexa Bliss offers a distraction so Mickie can take over. A front facelock and chinlock keep Natalya down but she fights up with an electric chair. Another Bliss distraction draws Natalya to the floor though and Mickie hits a superkick for the pin at 3:46.

Result: Mickie James b. Natalya – Superkick (3:46)

Video on WWE winning the Sports Humanitarian Award.

Reigns is going to win tonight and doesn’t care if he’s crammed down our throats because nothing is changing. He’s taking Lesnar’s title at Summerslam.

Elias tries again but this time it’s the Authors of Pain interrupting. They want competition other than Titus Worldwide. Cue Titus Worldwide to say the Authors have a lot to learn about WWE. Rezar: “To do what? How to trip and fall all over ourselves?” Apollo talks about how great Titus has been to him and wants the Authors to show Titus some respect. If they had Titus’ qualities, they would be champions as well as championship quality people. Akam thinks Titus should retire so the fight is on and the Authors are cleared out.

Angle and Stephanie talk about the pay per view some more when Corbin and Owens come in. Stephanie is proud of Owens and asks how he’s doing. Owens is ok and says he wants to face Strowman for the briefcase at Summerslam. Angle says no but Stephanie makes the match.

Tyler Breeze vs. Mojo Rawley

Mojo wastes no time in running Breeze over as we go to an inset interview with Bobby Roode. He’s not happy with what Mojo has said on social media and wants Rawley to stop hiding behind a keyboard. Breeze’s comeback gets him driven into the corner and the sitout Alabama Slam gives Rawley the pin at 2:18.

Result: Mojo Rawley b. Tyler Breeze – Sitout Alabama Slam (2:18)

Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre say their plan is clearly working because Ziggler is Intercontinental Champion and McIntyre doesn’t lose. Tonight he’ll take out Finn Balor.

Elias. Balor this time.

Finn Balor vs. Drew McIntyre

Balor slugs away at the much bigger McIntyre and a dropkick puts him on the floor. The big flip dive puts McIntyre down again and we take a break. Back with Drew putting on an armbar with a chinlock. Balor fights up and scores with a DDT but it’s too early for the Coup de Grace. Instead he DDTs McIntyre down, drawing in Ziggler for the DQ at 7:11.

Result: Finn Balor b. Drew McIntyre via DQ when Dolph Ziggler interfered (7:11)

The beatdown is on until Seth Rollins makes the save. Angle comes out and the tag match is on.

Finn Balor/Seth Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre/Dolph Ziggler

The good guys clean house and we take an early break. Back with Ziggler still in trouble until a dropkick is enough to bring in McIntyre. It’s Balor’s turn to take a beating with Drew slowly pounding him down without much effort. A missed charge allows the hot tag to Rollins though and the pace picks right back up.

The Blockbuster gets two on McIntyre Balor hits the Sling Blade on Ziggler and McIntyre’s reverse Alabama Slam is good for the same on Balor. Rollins grabs a hurricanrana on McIntyre to send him outside, leaving Ziggler all alone. That means the Stomp for the pin at 8:45.

Result: Finn Balor/Seth Rollins b. Drew McIntyre/Dolph Ziggler – The Stomp (8:45)

Lashley promises to win tonight because Reigns will fail again.

Opening sequence recap.

Liv Morgan vs. Ember Moon

Morgan gets aggressive to start, including kneeing Moon down as the announcers talk about the women’s roster. Moon fights up with a jawbreaker and kicks away, including all of the screaming. A faceplant stuns Morgan again and the Eclipse is good for the pin at 3:48.

Result: Ember Moon b. Liv Morgan – Eclipse (3:48)

Rollins gets the Intercontinental Title shot against Ziggler at Summerslam.

Elias tries it one more time but here’s Angle…to say he wants to hear a song. That’s cool with Elias, who thinks we should all go out and buy two copies of the album. But nah, no song in a town like Cincinnati.

Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley

The winner gets Lesnar for the title at Summerslam. Reigns starts fast with the clothesline for an early two and they fight to the floor. The apron dropkick is countered into an overhead belly to belly suplex to put Reigns down and send us to a break. Back with Lashley nailing a spinebuster and grabbing a surfboard.

Reigns gets up and it’s a double clothesline for the double knockdown. They slug it out with Reigns getting the better of it and lifting Lashley to the apron, only to charge into a hard clothesline. Back in and Lashley counters the Superman Punch into a full nelson, followed by a headlock on the mat. Reigns fights up again and sends him shoulder first into the corner, meaning we get the multiple clotheslines.

Lashley is right back with a spinebuster but the spear is countered with….I’m not sure as it looked like it was supposed to be a leap frog but Reigns kneed/thighed him in the face instead. The Superman Punch gets two and Lashley rolls outside for a breather. Reigns slowly follows but can’t get the belly to belly. Instead Lashley throws him back inside for the spear and a rather near fall in a call back to Extreme Rules. Another Superman Punch rocks Lashley and the spear sends Reigns to Summerslam at 18:04.

Result: Roman Reigns b. Bobby Lashley – Spear (18:04)

Lashley and Reigns shake hands and Lashley can barely stand in the aisle. A lot of posing ends the show.

B Team b. Matt Hardy/Bray Wyatt – Crucifix to Hardy
Sasha Banks/Bayley b. Samantha Simon/Karen Lundy – Bank Statement to Lundy
Mickie James b. Natalya – Superkick
Mojo Rawley b. Tyler Breeze – Sitout Alabama Slam
Finn Balor b. Drew McIntyre via DQ when Dolph Ziggler interfered
Finn Balor/Seth Rollins b. Drew McIntyre/Dolph Ziggler – Stomp to Ziggler
Ember Moon b. Liv Morgan – Eclipse
Roman Reigns b. Bobby Lashley – Spear

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the the Complete 2003 Monday Night Raw Reviews.

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