WWE presented Monday Night RAW from Long Island this week, following an excellent showing at Extreme Rules. Similar to Extreme Rules, the red brand had a good showing this week, with great moments throughout the show which felt a lot more fresh possibly due to Paul Heyman officially beginning his full-time role as Executive Director of RAW.

We look a rundown of the show and major takeaways from this edition of Monday Night RAW.

Event: Monday Night Raw
Date: July 15, 2019
Location: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY

Results & Highlights

  • The show started with Paul Heyman introducing the new Universal Champion Brock Lesnar. Heyman announced a cross branded top ten All Star Battle Royal for the night involving Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Big E, Cesaro, Braun Strowman, Rey Mysterio, Baron Corbin, Sami Zayn, Bobby Lashley and Roman Reigns. The winner would get a shot at the Universal Title at Summerslam.
  • The Usos and Ricochet defeated The Revival and Robert Roode in a six-man 2-out-of-3 falls tag match. Post-match, The Club beatdown the winners.
  • The Viking Raiders defeated local talent in a squash match.
  • In a massive upset of the night, Cedric Alexander defeated Drew McIntyre with a roll-up.
  • Samoa Joe defeated Finn Balor in a really short Men’s Singles Match. Post-match, Joe tried to apply the Coquina Clutch on Balor, but the Extra Ordinary Man fought back to deliver a slingblade and eventually the Coup De Grace.
  • Balor’s music got interrupted and the lights went out. Lights are back on and IT’S WYATT, IT’S BRAY WYATT!!! Wyatt finally makes his in-ring return after a long tease. Wyatt appeared in a scary mask as the “Fiend” and delivered Sister Abigail to Balor.
  • Zack Ryder defeated Mike Kanellis in a quick match that lasted less than a minute. Maria Kanellis told Mike that he is a loser and even her unborn baby could have won the match.
  • The Club defeated Lucha House party in a Six-Man Tag Team Match. Ricochet emerged during the match and attacked Styles, a revenge to the beatdown he received earlier in the night. The officials broke up the fight and escorted Ricochet backstage.
  • Natalya defeated Alexa Bliss, Naomi and Carmella in a Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match to become the No.1 contender for the RAW Women’s Championship. Post-match, Natalya and Becky Lynch had a heated exchange of words in the ring.
  • Dolph Ziggler requested to be the guest on Miz TV. Ziggler said The Miz has become everything that is wrong with this business and also took a shot at his wife. Miz lost his cool and attacked Ziggler.
  • R-Truth defeated Drake Maverick to become the WWE 24/7 Champion for the 10th time. Maverick and his wife were preparing to make their marriage official when someone showed up with some champagne. R-Truth sneaked out and pinned Maverick on a bed in his briefs.
  • Raw Main Event: Seth Rollins eliminated Randy Orton to become the No.1 contender for the Universal Championship. Rollins will face Lesnar at Summerslam.

Takeaways from Monday Night Raw

1. All-Star Mania

Paul Heyman introduced his client Brock Lesnar as the new Universal Champion, and immediately announced a 10-Man All Star Battle Royal to determine the next Universal Championship Challenger. The who’s who of RAW and SmackDown turned up to participate in the battle royal, which was a good way to crown a No.1 contender, instead of the usual cliched methods.

The match, which took place in the main event of the evening, was eventually won by Seth Rollins, who lost his title to Brock Lesnar last night. Seth Rollins, once again became the No.1 contender for the WWE Universal Championship, and we will get a repeat of the WrestleMania build once again. 

Rollins is a fantastic superstar but his championship reign was marred by several boring matches with Baron Corbin. Him returning to the Universal Title scene is justified but not the most interesting move.

2. Start of Several Feuds

As is the case with post PPV episodes, the RAW episode this week saw the beginning of several new rivalries. Cedric Alexander got an upset win over Drew McIntyre, Dolph Ziggler has resumed his rivalry with Miz, Natalya gets to challenge Becky Lynch for the RAW Women’s Championship in her home country. At the same time, Ricochet and AJ Styles continued their feud while Rollins challenges Lesnar once again.

The new feuds are a good sign of things to come. WWE is often lambasted for not having mid-card feuds. Ziggler-Miz and Alexander-Drew could be a good way to keep things fresh in the singles division, instead of having just 2-3 stories going on in the singles division. 

3. The Demon and The Fiend

Speaking of fresh feuds, Bray Wyatt made his much anticipated return to the ring after almost a year away from WWE. Bray Wyatt returned as the “Fiend”, the masked and creepy persona he often teased on Firefly Fun House.

Finn Balor has apparently requested some time off from WWE, and could be absent from WWE programming for the foreseeable future. The Demon vs The Fiend will have to wait for some time now, but it could be one of the most epic rivalries if booked correctly.

4. The Club Still Goes Strong

AJ Styles is the new United States Champion and along with Gallows and Anderson, continued to traumatize Ricochet for the third week in a row. AJ Styles has done the best work of his career in WWE as a heel, and it is amazing to see the WWE Universe actually boo him, which wasn’t seen much during his last run as a heel.

Styles-Gallows-Anderson are currently creating havoc on RAW and they need some solid competition going forward. Roman Reigns has finally finished his business with Shane McMahon and co., could he reunite the BloodLine and take on the Club?

5. RAW is a Paul Heyman Show

As mentioned earlier, there were a slew of changes which could be seen in the way RAW was produced tonight. A lot of superstars such as Cesaro, Zack Ryder, Cedric Alexander got valuable screen time which wasn’t the case earlier. There was also an introduction of live promos from the Gorilla Position which looked good and is an exciting move.

The earlier backstage segments where the superstars were told not to look into the camera, were extremely weird, and this is a much better way to present promos.