Monday NIght Raw recap: Universal Championship match set for Houston

This week’s Monday Night Raw was the fallout from SummerSlam and it started off with some big and heartbreaking news for the inaugural Universal Champion Finn Balor. Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and General Manager Mick Foley announced that Balor’s injury suffered during last night’s championship bout was bad enough that he would need surgery and would be out of action for up to six months.

Balor made his way down to the ring, arm in sling and championship over his shoulder, and made a vow that he would return healthy and would be going after the championship when he was back.

You can rest assured that @FinnBalor will come back better than EVER for the @WWE #UniversalTitle! #RAW https://t.co/6DB8sDJGp9

— WWE (@WWE) August 23, 2016

This brought out SummerSlam opponent Seth Rollins, who demanded the title be handed over to him as he was the true winner from the match. He wasn’t alone, however, as Sami Zayn, Chris Jericho, Kevin Owens, Enzo Amore, Big Cass and Roman Reigns soon followed as it seemed they all wanted to make their case for the Universal Championship.

McMahon then made the announcement that there would be a series of matches with the winners going on to a fatal four way match next week to crown the new Unviersal Championship.

.@StephMcMahon: A SERIES of matches will decide the new Universal Champ, with Zayn and Rollins to compete NOW! #RAW pic.twitter.com/rkh2lmEM7f

— WWE (@WWE) August 23, 2016

Rollins pulled off a win over Zayn in the first of four matches to build towards the big championship match next week. It was back and forth, but The Man was able to sneak out a victory with a Pedigree.

#TheMan @WWERollins is one step closer to the @WWE #UniversalTitle after defeating @iLikeSamiZayn on #RAW! https://t.co/2tjzFo8ouM

— WWE (@WWE) August 23, 2016

Owens was set to face off against The Man that Gravity Forgot Neville and the Prizefighter found his way into the championship picture with a big win over the British sensation.

It looks like @FightOwensFight is heading to next week's huge match for the @WWE #UniversalTitle! #RAW https://t.co/h9Zvmc8pUd

— WWE (@WWE) August 23, 2016

Big Cass was accompanied to the ring by Amore as he faced off against United States Champion Rusev. Cass was closing in on a victory, but Rusev decided he didn’t want to continue the match as he walked away from the ring, sending the Jersey native to Houston with his eyes locked on the Universal Championship.

The #BulgarianBrute @RusevBUL wants no more of @BigCassWWE…who's ready for a shot at the #UniversalTitle! #RAW https://t.co/maAnXi6O0S

— WWE (@WWE) August 23, 2016

The main event of the night was Reigns facing off against Jericho in a hotly contested match that nearly saw the veteran pull out the underhanded win thanks to Owens. However, The Big Dog showed the yard was his when he hit Y2J with a spear and claimed the final spot in next week’s match.

The final spot in next week's @WWE #UniversalTitle #Fatal4Way goes to @WWERomanReigns! #RAW https://t.co/Qr4yPJyD3o

— WWE (@WWE) August 23, 2016

In other news on the show, new Women’s Champion Charlotte made her way out to the ring and gloated about her victory over Sasha Banks last night. However, Foley had some news for her as former NXT Women’s Champion Bayley made her long-awaited debut on the main roster and was successful in her first match over Dana Brooke.

Think @itsBayleyWWE is FIRED UP to be making her Monday Night #RAW debut against @DanaBrookeWWE?! https://t.co/tNzDVQQ6qM

— WWE (@WWE) August 23, 2016

Before Raw went on air, the Dudley Boyz took to their Twitter and announced that they would “say goodbye” to the WWE Universe on the show. They came out and gave an impassioned speech about their 20-plus year history in professional wrestling and told the fans to give themselves a round of applause before being interrupted by the Shining Stars, Primo and Epico.

They had a gift for them: two coach tickets to Puerto Rico, “The Shining Star of the Carribean” and then went on to mock the future Hall of Famers. The nine-time tag champs had heard enough and took their frustrations out on the two superstars.

The #DudleyBoyz are going out on their own terms, much to @WWE_Primo & @WWEEpico's dismay! #RAW #GetTheTables https://t.co/Kimi6GmU06

— WWE (@WWE) August 23, 2016

For some unknown reason, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows, who were coming off a loss at SummerSlam, attacked Bubba Ray and D-Von before they could put Epico through a table and decided to throw the latter Dudley through one. During the commercial break, the Brooklyn crowd gave the Dudleys a raucous ovation as they made their way out of the arena, possibly for the final time.

See what happened as The #DudleyBoys left the #RAW ring, perhaps for the last time. @BubbaRayDudley @TestifyDVon https://t.co/LCcdtJZvjO

— WWE (@WWE) August 23, 2016

Next week’s Fatal Four Way match is set and a new champion will be crowned. What will happen when the flagship show makes its way to Houston?

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