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WWE Raw results, live blog (July 23, 2018): Stephanie McMahon’s historic announcement

WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (July 23, 2018) from the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio, featuring all the latest build to the upcoming SummerSlam pay-per-view (PPV) scheduled for next month in Brooklyn.

Advertised for tonight: Stephanie McMahon makes an historic announcement, Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley in a Universal title number one contender match, The Deleters of Worlds vs. The B-Team for the Raw tag team titles, and more!

Come right back here at 8 p.m. ET when the Raw live blog kicks off once the show starts on USA. It will be below this line here. (REMINDER: NO GIFS OR PICS ARE ALLOWED IN THE COMMENTS SECTION. OFFENDERS WILL BE BANNED.)


Every night I have the same old dream ‘bout you and me and what’s in between. So many changes, so many lies, try to run, try to hide from everything that I feel inside, but I can’t escape you, or your frozen eyes... Searching in the darkness, fading out of sight, love was here and gone like a thief in the night, but me? I’m here to liveblog this here pro wrestling show for you, folks.

The show opens with the entire locker room on the stage for Stephanie McMahon’s big announcement.

Vince McMahon is in the ring with a microphone, he welcomes us to the show and introduces his daughter and her husband Triple H.

Steph gets on the mic and says it’s a rare thing to create history that some of us will remember for the rest of our lives. Hunter wants to take a moment to acknowledge the WWE superstars, not just those on the stage, but all of them across Raw, SmackDown, NXT, NXT UK, and 205 Live, as well as anyone who’s ever stepped through the ropes to entertain the world, and nights like tonight happen because of all of them and their dedication and sacrifice.

But they don’t do it alone and it’s a giant team, and he asks the women to step forward. He tells them he wants them to know how much the men behind them truly support them and he recaps all the history that’s been made by the women’s division recently, saying some of us have been watching with a tear in his eye as they steal the show again and again.

Stephanie takes back over and says these things don’t just happen because of talent or somebody saying it’s important, but because we the fans deem it worthy being a part of what we love and we demanded more opportunities for the women in WWE. Because of us, 30-second matches became main events and divas became the superstars they were born to be and they’ve provided a platform for women to show they can be anything and do anything they want to be.

And tonight, they have another first-ever announcement, and on October 28, over 50 women will take part in an event called Evolution and it will be the first-ever all-women pay-per-view!

Commentary confirms that all the women’s championships will be defended on the show as well as the finals of the Mae Young Classic will take place before hyping up the rest of our proceedings tonight, including a tag title rematch.

We go in the smokey room with Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt telling us they’re here to send us to break.

Back from commercial we’re backstage with the tag champions and Bo Dallas is putting his glove on.

Curtis Axel is super excited about Evolution and can’t decide which of the women he wants to see on it most. Bo says the past few weeks have been like a dream, going from barely winning matches to defending the tag titles, and Axel says there’s no one he’d rather ride with, and B stands for “brothers”. Dallas hugs him and calls him the brother he never had and says he wants to go out and show that B stands for “best.”

They go to leave but realize they nearly forgot the tag titles before heading back for them.

In the ring, Elias is here to sing us a song but he’s interrupted by Matt Hardy’s entrance.

Deleters of Worlds (Bray Wyatt & Matt Hardy) vs. the B-Team (Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel) (c) (WWE Raw Tag Team Championship)

Hardy and Dallas to start, circling, collar and elbow, Matt with a side headlock and Wyatt tags in. He rushes Bo and bowls him over with a freight train crossbody block before drawing him up for a big right hand. Another in the corner, short-arm lariat follows, Axel tries the save when Bray gets in position for Sister Abigail and the match breaks down with all four men in the ring as we go to break.

Back from commercial and Axel is in control on Wyatt, hitting a running blockbuster that’s good for two. Reverse chinlock applied, Bray fights to his feet and eats a knee for his trouble, tag to Dallas. Knee strikes to wipe the Eater of Worlds out but again it’s only good for two. Side headlock applied, but when Bo comes off the ropes to follow up on it Wyatt wipes him out with a lariat!

Crawling, tags made by both men and Hardy comes in hot with forearms! Whip across, back elbow, a lariat, to the corner to smash his face into the turnbuckles over and over. Side Effect connects... NOPE! Up to the second, diving elbow between the shoulders, he calls for the Twist of Fate... BUT BO DALLAS MAKES THE SAVE! Bray tries to run his brother off, Bo hip tosses him into Hardy...

The B-Team win by pinfall with a crucifix pin from Curtis Axel on Matt Hardy to retain the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship.

After the match the Deleters of Worlds are good sports at first, clapping, but they attack! Twist of Fate and Sister Abigail take them out!

Commentary hypes up Finn Balor vs Drew McIntyre as well as our #1 contender’s match for the Universal Championship to send us to break.

Back from commercial, we get a recap of what we just saw, because Raw is three hours long. (Three hours long.)

Backstage, Finn Balor is talking to Chad Gable about Evolution and Chad wants to know if they’re bringing anybody back. Somebody walks by with Finn’s suitcase and the next guy has his jacket. He explains they’ve been given orders from Constable Corbin to move him to a new locker room and Balor asks him to show him. The new locker room is a child’s plastic play house.

Corbin rolls up and says after his victory at Extreme Rules he felt he was too big a superstar to not have his own locker room. Finn says he’s great and always wanted his very own Finn’s Funhouse and thanks him for it. Baron tells him to get ready for his match tonight against Drew McIntyre.

We get a recap of Sasha Banks and Bayley from last week and they’re interviewed.

Bayley says they’ve had a long talk and realized their differences are what makes them strong. Banks says they’re very different but they have the same dream, and that dream just got bigger with Evolution and they’re more ready than ever to be on the same page. Bayley says it was nice to finally hear what Sasha felt last week, and Sasha says she knows she feels the same way, and they leave to send us to break.

Back from commercial, Sasha Banks and Bayley make their entrances.

Bayley & Sasha Banks vs. ??? & ???

Bayley starting off, flapjacking her opponent into the corner and tagging Sasha in for double knees and an arm wringer but Banks gets taken down and our red-haired enhancement talent tags in. The Boss fights her out of the corner, tags Bayley in, assisted lariat and they double team her into the corner. Snapmare into a running knee, Sasha locks it on...

Bayley & Sasha Banks win by submission with the Bank Statement crossface from Banks.

We get a recap of Kevin Owens getting chokeslammed off the top of the cage at Extreme Rules and go to break.

Back from commercial, Elias is on the stage to sing us a song.

He tells us his debut album is available now--


...and is cut off by Braun Strowman making his entrance.

Braun gets in the ring and nods in appreciation with a “Get these hands!” chant and says the WWE Universe is talking about two things tonight, one of which is Evolution in October, for which he wants to congratulate all the women in the back, especially his tag partner Alexa Bliss. Secondly, all this commotion between Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley.

You see, we’ve been talking about them butting heads week after week, but tonight they go one on one for an opportunity against Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam, but the way he sees it, it doesn’t matter if it’s either of them or Brock Lesnar, because sooner or later a monster will come calling since he has the Money in the Bank briefcase.

He asks the crowd how he’d look as Universal Champion and they’re all into it.

Enter Kevin Owens, his arm wrapped up and limping slightly.

He gets on the mic and says he can’t believe Braun, the callous son of a... after what he did at Extreme Rules, throwing him off the top of a cage through the announce table he thinks he can come out here like nothing happened and just talk about the Universal Championship? No! When he tried to be friends that was out of the kindness of his heart but also because his son thought it’d be a good idea, maybe if his dad was friends with Strowman he could be a tag champion like Nicholas, but Braun crushed his dream when he crushed Kev’s spine.

His kids used to think he was indestructable but now they’re scared just to see him going down the steps because they see the pain on his face with every step he takes. He’s got a family to take care of and Strowman tried to take it away from him so now he’s going to take everything away from him! Braun tells him to hobble his ass down and try, but KO isn’t having it.

He points out he won their match at Extreme Rules and has nothing left to prove, but Strowman’s problems have only just begun.

Enter Constable Baron Corbin. He says Stephanie has empowered him personally to handle this situation tonight. At Extreme Rules what Braun did WAS technically legal, but it was morally reprehensible, and since being appointed Constable he’s done everything he could to help superstars grow, which feeds into a short joke at Finn Balor’s expense.

So Baron has found someone to teach Strowman to control his temper...

Enter Jinder Mahal, flanked by Sunil Singh as always. He says he senses a storm of anger brewing in Braun and he wants Strowman to help him find the calm, the Nirvana. Far too many injuries have been caused and WWE management have personally appointed him to assist Strowman in his journey to inner peace. He knows Braun may be skeptical, but he wants him to close his eyes, breathe, and repeat his mantra.

Braun says it’s not working but he appreciates the help, he knows he has a temper, but he has a mantra of his own, and he asks Sunil to come over to demonstrate. Strowman needs everyone to close their eyes and breathe deep and repeat after him, “Get these hands.”

Get these hands intensifies.

Strowman boots Jinder in the face and Singh runs but gets bieled right into the Modern-Day Maharaja! He hoists Sunil up... RUNNING POWERSLAM!

A recap of the opening segment follows, because Raw is three hours long. (And to be fair, it was pretty big news.)

We get a social media roundup of reaction to Evolution from the women of WWE and commentary hypes up Mickie James vs. Natalya before sending us to break.

Back from commercial we get an ad for NXT and commentary shills for the WWE Network for good measure.

This feeds into a recap of Alexa Bliss’ promo from last week and Ronda Rousey’s interference.

Mickie James vs. Natalya

Natalya right into a rear chinlock, shift to a waistlock, clubbing blows, snapmare, off the ropes for a stamp to the head but Alexa Bliss is on the apron and James capitalizes with a kick before putting Nattie’s face into the mat. Front chancery applied, staying well in control, going for a cover before shifting to a sleeper hold to try and choke Neidhart out.

Nattie to her feet, she throws Mickie off, blocks getting put into the corner and kicks her away on a charge. Side Russian legsweep, trading slaps, snap suplex, ramming her into the corner for repeated shoulder thrusts! James with an elbow, Natalya gets an electric chair drop off as a counter and follows it up with another running stamp into a basement dropkick for a nearfall.

Picking the legs, Mickie kicks her off to the apron, shoulder thrust, Bliss yanks her down but Nattie lays her out with the discus lariat! Back inside, James capitalizes...

Mickie James wins by pinfall with a big boot.

A social media hype reel for some ESPN awards follows and a video package about WWE’s community outreach efforts comes after that.

Roman Reigns is interviewed backstage. He says he doesn’t have an advocate to make excuses for him, but if you look at his resume you’ll understand that he’s a workhorse and the most decorated superstar of his generation, and he’s adding to that tonight when he beats Bob and goes to SummerSlam, where he’s going to whoop Brock Lesnar’s ass.

Elias is again on the stage to hype his record, and again he’s cut off, this time by the Authors of Pain as we go to break.

Back from commercial, Akam gets on the mic and says they won’t wait forever and they want someone, anyone.

Rezar specifies they don’t want Titus Worldwide, so...

Titus Worldwide come out. Titus O’Neil puts over as two of the strongest, but also the youngest, and they have a lot to learn, to which they scoff, asking if he’ll teach them to trip all over themselves. Titus says there’s no shame in falling, and Apollo Crews talks about how O’Neil has helped his career and showed the whole world how to be an asset to their community.

Titus deserves their respect for still being here after so many others have come and gone, and to be straight up, Crews says if either of them had half the class O’Neil does, they’d be champions and champion quality people. Akam says maybe they spoke too soon, there is something Titus can do... walk away and retire. O’Neil says sometimes in life to teach people a lesson--


We see Kurt Angle talking to Stephanie McMahon in the garage. He admits he was worried when she announced she was coming, but Evolution made him proud to be GM. Baron Corbin and Kevin Owens roll up to ask how Steph wants to handle Braun Strowman, and she asks Kev how he’s doing. He says it’s been hard with the vendetta Braun’s held against him, and getting thrown off the cage wasn’t just wrong, it’s dangerous and could have ended his career, and he wants to wrestle Strowman again, with one condition...

...the Money in the Bank contract has to be on the line and change hands no matter what the finish is. Angle says that’s absurd but McMahon says she kinda likes it and gives him the nod and a handshake. KO hugs the Constable in joy and Kurt opens a car door for Steph to leave. Owens bids she have a safe trip and the car pulls out to send us to break.

Back from commercial in time for entrances.

Mojo Rawley vs. Tyler Breeze

Breeze with a leapfrog and an enzuigiri, Rawley back with a kick to the midsection, dump to the apron, shoulder thrust, slingshot up and over but Mojo runs him over and turns him inside out with a pounce! Half nelson chinlock applied and Bobby Roode is interviewed picture-in-picture, saying that like Tyler and No Way Jose he’s comfortable in his own skin and Mojo can hide behind his keyboard all he wants.

Breeze fights to his feet, lands on his feet on a back suplex and hits another enzuigiri. Double leg counter on a dropkick, catapult, Tyler sidesteps the facewash and gets a schoolboy for two! Sidestep a charge, Mojo catches him, stampede to the corner...

Mojo Rawley wins by pinfall with the Alabama Slam.

Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre get a handcam promo about their plan to take Monday Night Raw over and how Drew isn’t any closer to the Universal Championship despite not losing last week, and we go to break.

Back from commercial we get some hype for our Cruiserweight Championship #1 contender’s four-way match on 205 Live tomorrow night.

Elias again makes an attempt to play guitar on the stage to hype his record up. He’s sick and tired of being interrupted--

Drew McIntyre vs. Finn Balor

McIntyre takes a knee mockingly to start and Balor immediately starts throwing kicks and goes for a leg pick only to get clubbed to the mat. Drew presses the attack with chops but gets dropkicked to the floor... TOPE CON GIRO SENDS US TO BREAK!

Back from commercial, McIntyre is in control with a kneeling armbar but Balor posts to his feet and breaks with body blows only to get whipped hard into the corner. Straight suplex, into a chickenwing chinlock, Finn breaks out, off the ropes with forearm smashes, into a tilt-a-whirl DDT... NOPE! Chops in the corner, whip reversed, Drew catches him on an up and over but Finn gets to the apron and lands the enzuigiri!

Up top, nobody home, Sling Blade, shotgun dropkick, up top, Dolph Ziggler crotches him and referee Rod Zapata has no choice...

Finn Balor wins by disqualification.

Ziggler and McIntyre put boots to Balor... SETH ROLLINS MAKES THE SAVE! DOUBLE LEG ON DOLPH INTO MOUNTED PUNCHES! Ziggler gets away!

Kurt Angle comes down and restarts the match as a tag match!

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

Rollins and Balor come down the ramp and drag the heels back in the ring! Finn runs Dolph off and they double team Drew, clotheslining him to the floor together!

Ziggler returns to the ring, collar and elbow with Rollins, side headlock, shot off, drop down, leapfrog, hip toss into a cover, only good for two! Circling, kick to the midsection, repeated punches back Seth into the corner, more body blows, Rollins turns it around and lays his chops in before dumping Dolph to the floor. Plancha follows up and we go to break.

Back from commercial, Rollins gets a cover for two and butterflies Ziggler’s arms before making the tag. In with chops, roll-through into the basement dropkick, only two! Forearm to McIntyre, Dolph rams Finn into the corner and tags out. Drew in hot putting boots to Balor, and into the kneeling armbar, scraping his forearm bone across Finn’s face.

Hard whip to the corner, baseball slide sends Balor to the floor and McIntyre follows after with a military press drop into the apron! Back inside, tag made, putting boots to Finn but he fights back with punches, reaching, off the ropes into a back elbow and Balor hits the Pele kick in return! Both men down and out, Drew tags in first but Seth follows soon after and hits a suicide dive!

Springboard lariat to come back in, diving blockbuster, only two, Rollins tunes the band up, kick to the midsection, clear Ziggler from the apron, float over a slam, Avada Kedavra connects... DOLPH MAKES THE SAVE! Balor in with the Sling Blade, he runs into a superkick to follow, Seth takes Ziggler out but gets cut off with the inverted Alabama Slam... NOPE!

Electric chair, Rollins fights out, Frankensteiner, off the ropes...

Finn Balor & Seth Rollins win by pinfall with Blackout from Rollins on Dolph Ziggler.

Backstage, Bobby Lashley is interviewed. He says he’s best when the lights are brightest, like at WrestleMania. Roman’s had two chances against Brock and failed, and he’s gonna fail again tonight, and Bob is gonna tell Brock to his face that they’re fighting next week, and he hopes Lesnar is rested up, because there’s gonna be no sleep til’ Brooklyn.

Another recap of the opening segment follows, because Raw is three hours long, and we get some more social media reaction to the news of Evolution.

Ember Moon makes her entrance, she’ll have a match against Liv Morgan after the break.

Back from commercial we get a picture-in-picture promo from Ember talking about the definition of evolution and how for every one that survives, one must be Eclipsed, and tonight she’s selected Liv Morgan.

Ember Moon vs. Liv Morgan

Moon in with a kick, charging elbow, and a fallaway slam into a kip-up before letting out a primal scream. Handspring into the corner, Liv makes a break for it, comes back in when Ember goes for a dive, duck a lariat, rolling solebutt, a knee strike, Morgan shoves her off and dodges the springboard crossbody before landing a kick for two!

Smashing Moon’s face into the mat, choking her int the ropes, referee Chad Patton counts for the break and Liv follows up with a mat slam for two. Ember gets a cradle, no good, Morgan ducks a lariat but takes a tilt-a-whirl release Stroke of all things. In the corner, jockeying for position, up top, Ember blocks the superplex and gourdbusters Liv to the mat...

Ember Moon wins by pinfall with Eclipse.

Backstage, Seth Rollins is interviewed and he’s all smiles, stoked for Evolution and that he got to pin Dolph Ziggler and Kurt Angle’s given him a match for SummerSlam. He almost leaves without telling us the match, he’s got another shot at Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship!

Commentary hypes up our main event and we go to break on a trailer for the new Mission: Impossible movie.

Back from commercial, commentary hypes up an appearance on Jimmy Fallon from the Bella Twins this week.

A video package for Lashley/Reigns follows.

Elias appears on the stage one last time to try and shill for his album. He hesitates before deciding it’s safe to play and gets interrupted by Kurt Angle.

Kurt tells him it’s not what he’s thinking, he’s been interrupted all night long and he just wanted to tell him the floor is his and he can do his song because the people want to hear one from his debut album.

The Drifter thanks Angle and says he’s okay in his book before continuing. He wants everyone to buy two copies, one for yourself and one for the person you’ll become after listening, and he shouts some friends in the front row out before apologizing for not returning their calls about appearing on his record. He finally starts in on a song before stopping a ways in to talk about how Cincinnati makes him nauseous.

He tried, he’s not a vain man but this has to be the grossest collection of humans he’s ever seen... and he’s interrupted again, this time by Bobby Lashley as we go to break.

Bobby Lashley vs. Roman Reigns (WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender’s Match)

Circling, collar and elbow, pushing each other corner to corner, and referee John Cone calls for a break, which Reigns obliges. Lashley in, caught with a right hand, anothr, whip reversed, leaping lariat, only one! Clothesline to the floor, Roman slides out after him, smashing his face into the barricade before throwing him back inside. Bob gets a kick off, off the ropes with a clubbing blow, again with a lariat, and another lariat sends the Big Dog to the floor!

Headed out after, cut off with the big slicing right, Drive-By countered into a belly-to-belly suplex as we go to break!

Back from commercial, Lashley catches Reigns with a huge thrust spinebuster... NOPE! Into a grounded surfboard with a knee to Roman’s back, shifting to a shoulder armbar and then a double wristlock but he can’t bend it back so he settles for a normal wristlock until the Big Dog clobbers him with a headbutt. Off the ropes, double lariat and both men are down and out.

Frye/Takayama punches, off the ropes, leapfrog into a lariat as Bob takes charge, belly-to-belly suplex connects, Stinger splash, shoulder thrust, Roman back with a fireman’s carry, Lashley holds onto the ropes and lands on the apron this time. Big slicing right, off the ropes but Bob hits a lariat from the apron to counter! Passing Lashley to the floor for some breathing space, guillotine leg drop gets the Big Dog a two-count!

Reigns starting to feel it, he calls for it, but Lashley counters the Superman Punch into a full nelson! Roman bends down and starts to fade but is able to back Bob into the corner and break with back elbows. Reverse STO connects and Lashley rolls through into an inverted arm-trap crossface! Wrenching back, countered with a cover, both men stagger to their feet and Reigns sidesteps the charge!

Bob takes the post hard but the Big Dog can’t capitalize. Walking Armageddon to his feet first but Roman comes over with the corner lariats, off the ropes and he gets caught with a huge high-angle snap scoop powerslam! Lashley’s fired up, lying in wait, beckoning Reigns to rise, pounding the mat... SPEAR COUNTERED WITH A SUPERMAN PUNCH! NOT ENOUGH!

Off the ropes, another Superman Punch... STILL NO! Lashley rolls to the floor for a breather and referee John Cone begins his count. The Big Dog heads around the ring, leaps off the steps and gets caught for a suplex but fights out with a right hand! Bob throws him in the ring, spear... NOT ENOUGH! Still fired up, waiting for Roman to rise... and he runs into the Superman Punch!

The Big Dog howls, spear countered with a kick but he readjusts off the ropes...

Roman Reigns wins by pinfall with a spear, becoming #1 contender to the WWE Universal Championship.

Bob offers a handshake after the match and Roman accepts.

That’s the show, folks.

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