Ronda Rousey comes out to a huge chant that comes off as so genuine given all that happened today. She talks about Jim Neidhart’s passing and how losing a father is a loss of a pillar of strength, reassurance and how their fathers raise them to be pillars when they’re gone. She tells Nattie to stay strong and that everyone loves her. This was outstanding and was as much of the real Ronda as we’ll see on TV. Alexa comes out with Foxy looking like a Poison Ivy cosplayer with Alexa burying the fans and Alexa points out that she’s a three time champ while Ronda’s only had three matches. Alexa buries the mean mug before doing it herself and brings out her personal security team.
This goes as well as can be expected as she throws, high kicks and punches them around. Alicia blocks Alexa off and we get Alexa versus Ember. Ember hits the Eclipse, but Alicia goes after Ember for a DQ. Ronda sends them packing. Dolph is backstage with straight hair with Drew and Kurt talking about how Seth isn’t here yet. Baron has an ungodly long match with Tyler Breeze and wins with Deep Six. We get Jinder and KO against Braun and Balor. Balor eats a ton of offense before Braun comes in and gets mauled by Braun. Finn flip dives on the heels and Braun pins Jinder with a twirling version of his powerslam off an Irish Whip.
Drew and Dolph tell Kurt that Seth is scared and Dolph demands to see the contract for SummerSlam, which is TNA-level in its wackiness. We get a Subway bit with Seth in a pre-taped video. Ricky Roberts (whose name is probably a play on the RNR Express) is mid-ring talking about Elias being his favorite singer. Lashley eats a guitar to the back and destroys him with a Simmons-esque spinebuster. Bo is backstage doing division with a calculator due to them having a 1 in 3 chance of winning. The B Team is far less over with their new theme, but Matt is over huge in NC as are the Revival, who are as Mid-Atlantic a tag team as exists in the modern age.
Bo knocks Dash down with a crossbody, before Matt comes in and runs wild with corner shots that don’t involve much movement before modifying the Side Effect for a full back bump to avoid putting more pressure on his lower spine. Dash goes for a dive on Bray, but eats an apron uranage! Matt superplexes Dawson off the second rope to the floor onto the pile. Shatter Machine to Bray, but Axel is legal and gets the pin! The B Team celebrates backstage before Roman rolls his eyes at them. Great way to bury the tag titles on a night where they’re actually over.
Dolph and Drew are once again backstage with Kurt to re-re-re-re-establish that Seth isn’t there. Roman yammers on for a while and Paul says that against this Brock, Roman doesn’t have a chance unless… Paul Heyman gives Roman every secret of Brock. He can do that for Roman and Roman says he doesn’t need Heyman. Roman says that Heyman is drowning and Heyman says he is drowning because he traveled the roads with Roman’s father and uncle when he was 16. His father taught him something he taught all of his sons and it wasn’t in English – he taught it in Samoan. He recites a saying in Samoan and gives Roman an agreement in principle to work with him and he doesn’t need an answer tonight. Roman reads it over and Heyman maces him!
Roman paws at him, so Heyman maces him even more! This was just outstanding stuff and I love that Heyman came prepared for a bad answer if it happened. Brock comes down and knees him in the ribs before locking on a front choke.and F5s him. Mojo and AOP face Roode and Titus Worldwide in a six man tag that no one on Earth asked for. Roode beats Mojo with the DDT, so he’s losing on Sunday. Roman gets his eyes flushed out backstage. HHH is put over in a video package about his greatness sponsored by anti-grey hair shampoo.
Jim Neidhart gets a celebratory video package that goes through his life, pre-wrestling days and his in-ring days. We get some rare shots of him with Nattie, including of her doing Bret’s part of the Hart Attack with Jim doing his in training. This was an outstanding video package for a very unique personality in wrestling. The B Team versus the Revival is added to the Kickoff, which also has Vega and Almas agaiinst Rusev and Lana and the Gulak vs. Cedric cruiserweight title match. Ruby Riott pins Sasha in a far too contrived match with inteference and wins after a schoolgirl cradle.
Takeover is put over with a video package. Drew and Dolph come out and ramble on forever before Seth comes down and says that while Dolph will have Drew in his corner, he’s going to have Dean Ambrose in his! Dean comes back with a revamped look – he’s shaved his hair down a bit to make the baldness less visible and shows off his upper body more with a tanktop. He looks uncannily similar to Mr. Anderson in his Aces and Eights days and lays out Drew with Dirty Deeds.
Tags: Brock Lesnar, Raw, WWE RAW