Monday Night Raw recap: SummerSlam set for Sunday

After no live appearance from Finn Balor last week, he went face-to-face with his SummerSlam opponent Seth Rollins ahead of Sunday’s match to crown the first ever WWE Universal Championship. Not only was it an intense meeting between the two competitors, but it was an action-packed night on this week’s Monday Night Raw.

It started with United States Champion Rusev claiming he was hijacking Raw until Roman Reigns answered his challenge. This brought out General Manager Mick Foley, Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and, eventually, Reigns.

This led to the two SummerSlam opponents facing off six days early, but Rusev was defending his wife, Lana’s honor in the match instead of his United States Championship.

#RAW GM .@RealMickFoley makes the Main Event for tonight! @RusevBUL defends @LanaWWE's honor vs. @WWERomanReigns! https://t.co/zVGzlEnHZt

— WWE (@WWE) August 16, 2016

Cesaro was out on commentary for his rival Sheamus’s match with Sami Zayn. He ended up costing the Celtic Warrior the match and after the commercial, Foley set up a Best of Seven series, which will start at SummerSlam.

GM @RealMickFoley orders a #BestOf7 Series for @WWECesaro and @WWESheamus, starting at @SummerSlam! #RAW https://t.co/fBfg1xtjZd

— WWE (@WWE) August 16, 2016

The New Day got a big win over the Dudley Boyz ahead of their tag team title match at SummerSlam. Their opponents, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows, came up on the screen and let them know they were going to do to them what they did their partner Big E.

Apparently, Dr. @LukeGallowsWWE & Dr. @KarlAndersonWWE "need more test subjects"… #RAW @TrueKofi @XavierWoodsPhD pic.twitter.com/r4wvJ4Gn2J

— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) August 16, 2016

Brock Lesnar made his way to the ring alongside Paul Heyman and they were strangely confronted by “The Free Agent” Heath Slater, who is still trying to find his way onto a roster. He challenged “The Beast” to a match, but Lesnar just took Slater to Suplex City, giving Randy Orton a small glimpse of what is to come Sunday.

.@BrockLesnar WARNED @HeathSlaterOMRB. And it ended badly for the hottest free agent in @WWE. #RAW #BeastIncarnate https://t.co/Ood6viTpZc

— WWE (@WWE) August 16, 2016

One of the most intense showdowns of the night came when Rollins walked down to the ring and challenged Balor to come out and face him. He continued to call out the “Demon King” until he finally got his wish with Balor coming down to the ring, in full demon makeup.

https://twitter.com/WWE/status/765369288194596865

No good on the #CoupDeGrace, but the #DemonKing knows many ways to FLY! #RAW #SummerSlam pic.twitter.com/ZRYnh2jfmb

— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) August 16, 2016

Ahead of her match with Alicia Fox, Charlotte told her protege Dana Brooke that she was no longer needed, potentially showing dissension between the two. However, Brooke sneak attacked Women’s Champion Sasha Banks after the match and put her in dire straits by attacking her knee ahead of their match Sunday.

.@MsCharlotteWWE laid a devious trap for her @SummerSlam opponent @SashaBanksWWE on #RAW. @DanaBrookeWWE https://t.co/nvMtKuMlPH

— WWE (@WWE) August 16, 2016

Rusev and Roman Reigns ended the show with one of the best matches on Monday Night Raw we have seen in some time. The two went face-to-face in a great match that will be hard to top at SummerSlam, but I am sure they will go to war then.

Reigns ended up coming out on top, which points to him walking out of Brooklyn with the United States Championship.

WWE heads to the Barclays Center this Sunday and it should be a very fun night for the entire company. How will Smackdown Live attempt to top the final Raw before SummerSlam?

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