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WWE Raw results, recap, reactions (Aug. 29, 2016): Kevin Owens forever

WWE returned to the USA network for Monday Night Raw last night (Aug. 29, 2016) from Houston, Texas and it was all about crowning a new Universal champion. And wouldn't you know it, Kevin Owens is the new face of the red brand, even if Mick Foley and Stephanie McMahon are none too pleased with it.

Oh and that Triple H guy returned to help make it happen.

Click here to get full results with the live blog. Let's get to reacting to all the night's events.



When WWE announced a Fatal 4-Way would determine the next Universal champion and the four wrestlers involved in that match ended up being Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, and Big Cass, the entire pro wrestling world spent a week entirely certain Reigns or Rollins was winning. Then they announced it was an elimination match and that feeling of dread was amplified tenfold.

We were certain Big Cass would be out first, then Owens, then a prolonged battle between the two titans of Monday Night Raw and whatever, damn it, we've seen this before.

Then, they got to the match -- after a series of amazing vignettes throughout the night built great anticipation for it, despite our cynicism over the finish -- and Big Cass was, indeed, the first man eliminated. But he had a good showing and it took quite a bit to actually get him out.

Still, they were building the rest of the match like Owens was an afterthought. Rollins and Reigns went back and forth, and it looked Roman had total control when he hit Seth with a spear on the outside.

That's when Triple H showed up.

First, we're immediately shocked because there was NOTHING indicating this was coming. No rumors, no speculation, no talk of it, not a hint he might get involved here in any way. He just appeared as if from nowhere, hit Reigns with a Pedigree, and rolled Rollins in to eliminated him.


But it got even better, because they weren't done with the surprises.

It made absolute sense that Triple H would screw Reigns over because that's who sent him out of the damn company for the past four months. It also makes sense he would endorse Rollins, considering the history they share. Sure enough, he went right over to Owens, downed on the outside, and rolled him in the ring to finish the job and make Seth the Universal champion.


With Owens looking on in shock -- that's important to note, by the way, because we're left to assume he wasn't in on this -- Trips put his boot to his former protege's gut, took a prolonged look at KO to get his point across, and delivered the fatal Pedigree.

Owens took a few seconds to register what had just happened in front of him, then pounced. He pinned Rollins. He won. He is now the WWE Universal champion.


There are at least some issues here, if we go looking for them, like the fact that Triple H is the guy who finished off two of the three eliminations in this match and more or less made it all about him before the night was over. But we can focus on that another time.

Actually, even if we do focus on it, he was brilliant. We had folks tweeting us that they thought he was legitimately mad at Reigns and Rollins because he put that extra oomph on those Pedigrees before getting in Mick Foley's face to see if the Raw General Manager would challenge him (he didn't) and blowing right past his wife (who looked shocked herself) on his way out through the crowd.

This was AWESOME, some issues or not. This is the kind of main event we live for in pro wrestling. A fun match with a big return and a finish we never expected. Even better, the guy so many of us wanted to be champion is now the champion.

Let's say it again and remind ourselves it's real: KEVIN OWENS IS THE CHAMPION.


All the best to all the rest

Chris Jericho def. Neville: A fun enough match, though we're to a point where Jericho doing interviews with Tom Phillips is more entertaining than anything he does in the ring.

Bayley grows up: This was Bayley's first show as a main roster member after her big introduction last week and it was almost like they wanted to take her innocence right away. She showed up smiling and hugging random backstage folks while wearing a backpack like it was her first day of school. Then New Day got a hold of her and before the night was out she was wearing the unicorn horn on her head and twerking in the ring. I think this means she's totally ready for a title shot against Charlotte, who should never do commentary again.

Bayley & New Day def. Dana Brooke & The Club: Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows continue to entertain in the most sophomoric way imaginable while New Day did their usual and Bayley showed main roster crowds CAN love her like they did down in NXT. Fun match.

Nia Jax def. Ion: I haven't yet gotten tired of Nia's casual disdain for these puny humans she's destroying but would understand if you have.

Sami Zayn def. Jinder Mahal: This is one of those necessary evils in pro wrestling, where a character reestablishes by consistently winning matches while they don't have a real storyline. It didn't take up too much time, Sami looked good, and the crowd responded favorably. You can't ask for much more than that.

Sheamus-2, Cesaro-0: These two have great chemistry, so the match was good, but I really liked the finish. Too often we see wrestlers suffer an "injury" and then work the rest of the match while selling it. I quite liked that Cesaro hurt his back and Sheamus immediately twisted him up in a Cloverleaf for an easy tapout victory. Injuries like that should absolutely have immediate consequences. It also appears they're setting up for Cesaro to overcome a 3-0 deficit, which sounds exactly like a great way to heat him up.

Braun Strowman def. Americo: I live for the enhancement talent in these matches, an increasingly ridiculous lot who are always in way over their head but just ambitious enough to live the dream of getting killed by a grizzly bear. They had Strowman take his mask off after, and it felt like the perfect punctuation mark.

Stephanie McMahon vs. Paul Heyman: I'm not entirely sure what the point of this was. I think: they argued, Stephanie wanted it clear she had the power, Heyman wanted it clear Brock Lesnar is all powerful, and maybe they can work together? The idea, perhaps, is if Raw and SmackDown Live are going to continue to feud, it would be a good thing to have Lesnar as Raw's ace up the sleeve.

Darren Young def. Titus O'Neil: Insert Jay Cutler "who cares" meme here.

Final thought: The main event angle saved this show.

Random grade from Twitter:

Your turn.

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