The “go-home” edition of WWE Raw saw a firm focus placed on the brand’s main conflicts heading into WWE SummerSlam on Sunday. At the heart of the show was the return of Shawn Michaels as the WWE legend wanted to deliver a message to Randy Orton ahead of Orton’s SummerSlam bout again WWE champion Drew McIntyre.
Michaels spoke to McIntyre early in the show, delivering a pep talk and telling McIntyre to handle business at the upcoming pay-per-view. But Michaels also made the mistake of asking McIntyre to give him space when he went to confront Orton at the end of the show. After Michaels delivered an in-ring promo, telling Orton of his anger last week when Orton delivered a punt to the head of Ric Flair, Michaels tried to leave the ring, only to be hit by a blindside RKO and a punt from Orton.
McIntyre successfully ran off Orton twice before the challenger was eventually able to slide into the ring for a third time and end the show by leaving McIntyre down and out with an RKO, sending a final pre-SummerSlam message.
Keep on reading for complete results and grades from the final Raw before SummerSlam and the last WWE show from the WWE Performance Center.
WWE Raw results, grades
Retribution attack on production truck interrupted Drew McIntyre’s show-opening promo: McIntyre said Orton’s “brutalizing” of Ric Flair last week was unacceptable, calling Orton “pure evil.” The WWE champion then reminded Orton he wouldn’t be facing an old man, he’d be facing a fire-breathing dragon who is out to hurt him. During the promo, the camera and graphics continued to shift and random match graphics and highlights began airing. The camera cut to the production truck, where Retribution was shown holding the crew hostage with bats and other weapons, but once they were shown on camera, the began to destroy the equipment before forcing a crew member to shut the camera off and send the show to commercial.
Drew McIntyre and Seth Rollins nearly brawled backstage: After the opening commercial break, McIntyre was shown firing up the troops in the back, telling them they could either sit back and let Retribution continue to attack or they could go on the offensive. Rollins then interrupted and said the locker room didn’t need a leader as they already had a messiah. After the locker room made it clear they had no respect for Rollins, Ricochet and Cedric Alexander said there was a receipt incoming and that they heard Rey Mysterio will be in the building. Things escalated between Rollins and McIntyre until they almost came to blows before being separated.
Apollo Crews def. Shelton Benjamin via pinfall: After some back and forth between Crews and MVP — which included MVP suggesting that Crews was behind Retribution — the United States champion laid down a challenge, saying if he beat Benjamin tonight, then Benjamin and Lashley would be barred from ringside at SummerSlam. The short match came to an end when Benjamin seemed to be in control of the action, but R-Truth ran through the ring, trying to escape from Akira Tozawa and his ninjas. The distraction allowed Crews to score a jackknife pin. Lashley and MVP then attacked Crews, but Mustafa Ali, Ricochet and Cedric Alexander ran in to make the save. This needed more match, but it was mostly set up to get to the six-man elimination tag match later in the night (see next segment). Grade: B-
24/7 Championship — Shelton Benjamin def. R-Truth (c) via pinfall to win the title: After losing to Crews because of R-Truth’s accidental distraction, Truth ran back into the ringside area and ate a Benjamin kick before being pinned. MVP then laid down a challenge to Crews, Ali, Ricochet and Alexander for three of them to face The Hurt Business later in the night in an elimination tag match.
Angel Garza def. Ivar via pinfall: Before the match, Garza and Ivar fought for the affection of Bachelor in Paradise star Demi Burnett. Burnett was shown watching the match backstage but was called away by the charms of The Street Profits’ Angelo Dawkins. Ivar was running away with the match when some distraction by Zelina Vega allowed Garza to catch Ivar as he was entering the ring, setting up a dropkick to the head for the victory. After the match, Dawkins came on the video board with Burnett and threatened to cut to a video, sending Garza running from the ring. Samoa Joe laughed on commentary, claiming to be aware of security footage catching something embarrassing. As Joe explained this to Vega, she also looked worried and ran backstage. After a commercial break, Ford had WWE air the video, which showed Vega poisoning Montez Ford’s drink two weeks ago. Dawkins and Ford then brawled with Andrade and Graza. Burnett is dragging these segments down with her horrible — even by WWE standards — acting and it would be nice to see a tag team title program on Raw that didn’t involve all the extracurricular nonsense with sporting contests, poisonings and secret video footage. Grade: C
Natalya def. Mickie James via countout: During the match, Seth Rollins and Murphy came to the broadcast table and demanded Samoa Joe tell them how he knows Rey Mysterio will be in the building tonight. Joe stated he could tell Rollins was “shook” as the duo continued to demand Joe reveal his sources. In the background of this all, Natalya won the match by count out. Following the match, Rollins said that if Dominik or Rey Mysterio showed up tonight, it would be a horrible mistake.
Shayna Baszler & Asuka def. Bayley & Sasha Banks (c) via submission in a non-title match: Bayley and Banks cut an in-ring promo, saying that they effectively got a “night off” at SummerSlam by both facing Asuka on the same night because she couldn’t possibly beat both women. After some back-and-forth over who would face Asuka first, Bayley decided she would go first against Asuka so that Banks could win later in the night “without breaking a sweat.” Baszler then interrupted, saying whoever had the title after SummerSlam, she had next. Asuka then came to the ring and told Baszler to fight with her tonight, before fighting against her in the future. Shortly after the start of the match, the suspended Nia Jax knocked through a piece of Plexiglas, taking out Baszler before the two brawled off with WWE officials in tow. Asuka was left in a two-on-one position until Baszler made her way back to the ring to break up a locked-in Banks Statement. Baszler then called for the tag, getting in the ring and brutalizing Banks until a blind tag where a Backstabber and Bayley-to-Belly for a two count. After some wild exchanges, Asuka locked Banks in the Asuka Lock on the outside and Baszler locked Bayley in the Karifuda Clutch in the ring for the submission. Even with the Jax interference, this remained a hot match from start to finish, boosted, of course, by having four excellent wrestlers involved. Grade: B+
Shawn Michaels gave Drew McIntyre a pep talk: Michaels told McIntyre to clear his head of all the things going on and realize that he needs to kick Orton’s head off on Sunday. McIntyre said he feels like he has let people down watching Orton punt legend after legend over the past few months, to which Michaels reminded McIntyre of the road he has traveled and that he has earned everything he has. Michaels then asked McIntyre to “give him his space” when he goes out later to confront Randy Orton.
Peyton Royce def. Ruby Riott via pinfall: Earlier in the night, Riott and Liv Morgan were taunted backstage by the IIconics. The quick match saw Riott largely in control before Billie Kay caused a distraction, allowing Royce to shove Riott into Morgan. Taking the action right back to the ring, Royce immediately hit Deja Vu for the victory. A real nothing match without any time to develop anything but a brief bit of tension between Morgan and Riott in the end as well as some more IIconic trickery to pick up another win. Grade: C-
Dolph Ziggler def. Erik on Raw Underground: Erik defeated a random guy before Ziggler graded his performance a four out of 10. Angered, Erik threw down a challenge to Ziggler and the two went at it in an Underground match. After some tight mat wrestling, Ziggler grabbed a rear-naked choke and used a thumb in the eye to get the finish. After the match, an angry Ivar knocked Ziggler from the ring onto the crowd. This was a much better Underground segment than we’ve been treated to in the past and the brief match was fairly compelling, even if the concept is still not great. Grade: C
Rey and Dominik Mysterio gained a bit of revenge on Seth Rollins and Murphy: Rey said that he would make sure Rollins wasn’t able to repeat what he did to Dominik at SummerSlam because he would be in Dominik’s corner for the street fight to watch his son “kick ass.” Dominik thanked his dad, but said he knew what he was getting into when he signed his WWE contract. Rey said that if Rollins comes anywhere near them tonight, he won’t make it to SummerSlam. Rollins then interrupted on the video board, accusing Rey of putting Dominik in harm’s way for his own selfish reasons. Rollins said everything could have been avoided if Rey accepted his place in the greater good, and now it would be the Mysterio name and legacy that would end up as “the ultimate sacrifice.” Rey dared Rollins to come to the ring, with Rollins telling them not to move an inch in response. When Rollins and Murphy hit the ring, Rey and Dominik left the ring and Rey distracted the duo while Dominik grabbed a pair of kendo sticks. The Mysterios then attacked before trying to tie Rollins up in the ropes, but Murphy caused a distraction, allowing Rollins to escape before taking any further punishment. Solid work from all involved, as has become the expectation in this angle. Grade: B
Arturo Ruas and Riddick Moss battled to a draw in Raw Underground: Ruas and Moss battled briefly before a Ruas heel hook attempt saw Moss roll out of the ring in defense. Ruas and Moss then hit a few of the ringside observers before Shane McMahon yelled about how “sick” the match was and it was over. The constant camera cuts with every single blow were a major issue in this “match,” as they’ve been in the past. Not much to grade here, but it’s very clear that these segments have about a 2-minute maximum life.
Bobby Lashley, MVP & Shelton Benjamin def. Apollo Crews, Ricochet & Mustafa Ali in an elimination match: MVP’s plan became clear when Crews had to pick one of his friends to leave out of the match, choosing Cedric Alexander with the reasoning that Alexander was stuck in a lengthy Full Lashley earlier in the night. MVP eventually made his pitch to Alexander again, saying now it was Alexander’s own friends keeping him on the sidelines. Lashley quickly eliminated Ali with a Dominator. Moments later, Benjamin eliminated Ricochet after hitting Paydirt. Facing three-to-one odds, Crews eliminated Benjamin, who was then pinned again on the outside of the ring as Alexander ran in with a referee to capture the 24/7 championship. 24/7 Championship — Cedric Alexander def. Shelton Benjamin (c) to win the title. Crews eliminated MVP with the powerbomb but was immediately attacked by Lashley. Crews made a comeback but Lashley eventually took over, failing to lock in a Full Lashley before hitting a spear for the win. After the match, Crews was attacked by Lashley, MVP and Benjamin. There was odd booking throughout. Ali and Ricochet didn’t factor in at all, Alexander’s run-in to steal the 24/7 title and then Crews getting a clean pin on MVP before the SummerSlam match. But it did serve as a good showcase for the fighting spirit of Crews. Grade: B
24/7 Championship — Cedric Alexander (c) def. Akira Tozawa via pinfall to retain the title: Alexander beat Tozawa in a quick match after taking out Tozawa’s ninjas before hitting the Lumbar Check. After Alexander won …
24/7 Championship — Shelton Benjamin def. Cedric Alexander (c) via pinfall to win the title: Benjamin ran in and immediately took out Alexander to win back the belt. Miming shoveling dirt over Alexander as he lie on the canvas, a symbolic burial of the struggling superstar.
Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler almost threw down on Raw Underground: Baszler had been seen throughout the night hanging out with Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke. The trio were shown talking to Shane McMahon and Shafir fought in the Underground. Jax ran in and took out Shafir and Duke and then appeared ready to fight Baszler. When the bell rang to start the match, Jax rolled out of the ring and left, with McMahon yelling that the only rule in the Underground is that you have to fight. I’m not a big believer that there’s a high ceiling for Shafir and Duke, but they could be assets to Raw Underground if used right. As for Jax and Baszler, if there’s any feud that would work best on Underground, they are the pair. But we’ll have to wait and see where it all goes. Grade: B-
Montez Ford def. Andrade via pinfall: A fired up Ford was absolutely on fire in this match. Hitting huge dives, standing moonsaults, jumping from the apron to the catch Andrade with a top-rope hurricanrana and more. Zelina Vega tried to dive from the ring apron onto Bianca Belair at ringside, but Belair caught her and hit a slam. That distracted Andrade and allowed Ford to score a roll-up for the victory. There just wasn’t enough time left in the show for this match to get what it deserved, but Ford is an absolute force of nature in the ring and in a pure sprint he looked incredible once again. Grade: B
Randy Orton punted Shawn Michaels and took out Drew McIntyre with an RKO: Michaels talked about the emotions he felt watching Flair’s emotional plea to Orton last week, saying that Flair helped make everyone in the business from Triple H to McIntyre and even Orton. Michaels then promised Orton that no matter what happened, at SummerSlam, he would get taken out and he would see it coming. As Michaels tried to leave the ring following his promo, he was caught by an RKO from Orton and a punt. McIntyre ran in and chased Orton off. As McIntyre attempted to help Michaels, Orton slid back into the ring and tried to attack again, but McIntyre caught him and put a beating on Orton, throwing him around ringside and into the Plexiglas. McIntyre returned to help Michaels again, and Orton slid into the ring again, this time hitting an RKO before sliding from the ring. Michaels was good on the mic, as expected, and Orton was vicious as always, delivering the punt, as expected. The repeated attempts, and eventual success, of Orton getting the RKO in on McIntyre was an interesting way to get to the final pre-SummerSlam moment for the pair, and a bit of a nice twist on the standard formula. Grade: B+