If you mess with a giant, you better be prepared to face the consequences.
Monday Night RAW was live from the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tenn.
The feud between Braun Strowman and Kane reached new levels of brutality. It all started when Jason Jordan wanted to face Kane. His father, Kurt Angle, agreed to the match as long his son was fully healed from his knee injury.
Kane came down to the ring ready to deal out some punishment. Once the match began, Jordan threw everything he had at The Big Red Monster. Kane then threw Jordan to the outside of the ring, seemingly re-injuring his knee.
Jordan could barely get to his feet, and was unable to make the referee’s ten count. Kane proceeded to go after his knee until Finn Balor interrupted the attack.
During a commercial break, Angle officially announced a match between Balor and Kane. The match was short-lived, as a steel chair shot by Kane on Balor caused the bout to end in a disqualification.
Kane continued to brutalize Balor with the chair, and was just about to break his neck before Strowman stormed the ring. The Monster Among Men exacted his revenge on Kane, hammering him with steel steps before finishing the job with a chair to the throat.
The newly-crowned Intercontinental Champion Roman Reigns opened the show by issuing an open challenge. Anyone who wanted to take the title from him had to step up and fight him for it.
The challenge was answered by Elias, who vowed to avenge The Miz and beat Reigns for the championship.
Elias controlled the match early on by grounding Reigns with a physical offensive attack. Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel’s distractions helped him keep momentum on his side. Reigns was eventually able to battle back, but his first attempt at a spear was met with a knee to the face.
This should have been Elias’ chance to take back control, but Reigns was able to recover and hit a spear on the second try to retain his IC title. Shortly after the match, Reigns was blindsided by Samoa Joe and fell victim to his Coquina Clutch. Joe sent a clear message that having the belt also meant The Big Dog had a huge target on his back.
After her much-anticipated return last week, Paige was ready to fight. Her, Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose were set to take on Sasha Banks, Bayley and Mickie James.
Banks made her way down to the ring, but Bayley and James didn’t join her. Paige and her allies, now known as Absolution, came out and revealed that they took out Banks’ partners before the match, leaving The Legit Boss to fend for herself.
Paige then explained her actions from last week; if it wasn’t for her, there wouldn’t have been a women’s evolution in WWE. The trio then attacked Banks and left her motionless in the ring, punishing her for not pledging allegiance to them.
Seth Rollins took on Cesaro in a highly-competitive contest. Neither Dean Ambrose nor Sheamus were at ringside, so there would be no interference this time.
The Swiss Cyborg started to wear down Rollins’ shoulder early on. The Architect tried to fight back, but Cesaro remained in control. One misstep allowed Rollins to hit a suicide dive to the outside of the ring, shifting momentum in his favor.
Cesaro tried to go for a springboard uppercut after the two traded blows, but Rollins was able to hit him with a kick in mid-air. This allowed him to follow it up with his knee strike finisher for the win.
When Charly Caruso asked him if The Shield was going their separate ways, Rollins responded by emphatically saying they were stronger than ever. He also announced that him and Ambrose were going to invoke their rematch clause for the RAW Tag Team titles next week. He promised that they would burn The Bar down and The Shield would collectively be champions.
Before his attack on Reigns, Joe faced off against Titus O’Neil. It was a short but heavy-hitting affair, which ended with Joe locking O’Neil in the Coquina Clutch for the submission victory. Apollo Crews tried to stick up for his friend after the match, but shared the same fate.
Looking to rebound from a string of losses, Matt Hardy took on Bray Wyatt. Unfortunately for Hardy, his efforts would go for not as Wyatt put him away with Sister Abigail. He began screaming “Delete!” as he sat the corner of the ring afterwards, perhaps finally reaching his breaking point
In cruiserweight action, Rich Swann, Noam Dar, Akira Tozawa and Ariya Daivari competed in a fatal-four-way match. This was the first of two matches to determine the men who would face each other for a chance at Enzo Amore’s Cruiserweight Championship.
All four men did everything they could to be the winner, but it was Swann who emerged victorious. After Tozawa took Daivari out, and Dar in return dispatched Tozawa, Swann took the opportunity to hit a Phoenix Splash on Dar for the win.
Asuka once again proved why she is a force to be reckoned with in the women’s division. Dana Brooke thought that she found a weakness in the Empress’ strategy, but ended up tapping out only a few seconds into the match.
There was little time for Asuka to celebrate, as Absolution made their presence felt yet again. Poised to strike at any second, the three surrounded the ring. They allowed Asuka to leave the ring unscathed, however, as a possible sign of respect or simply mind games.