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Seth Rollins makes his entrance to a really good pop. Rollins gets the crowd pumped up and asks to hear them louder. Rollins says he’s feeling good, too. For the first time in a long time, aside from getting his butt kicked a little bit last night by Samoa Joe, he’s feeling really good. The last six months have been like a rollercoaster, and the crowd has been with him throughout all of it. Sometimes you get to a point where you want to dig a hole and climb in, but you have to embrace the sucky part of life, look in the mirror, and figure out who you are and who you want to be. Rollins did that. He looked in the mirror and realized he’s still Seth Freakin’ Rollins. Everything kind of came full circle. At WrestleMania, he slaid the King of Kings. Last night, he took out Samoa Joe. There’s only one thing left to do. Rollins says, “I want The Beast!” A loud “YES” chant fires up. Rollins says he wants Brock Lesnar and the Universal Championship. Rollins has been to Suplex City and isn’t afraid to go back!

 

Finn Bálor’s music hits, and he comes out to the stage smiling. Bálor says they’ve been on the same page recently. Bálor respects Rollins. Rollins is the one-legged man who won at WrestleMania. As for him, he’s the one-armed man who became the very first Universal Champion. Bálor gets in the ring and says Rollins remembers it. Bálor’s arm was hanging from his body, yet he still beat him. Bálor never actually lost the title, either. Bálor means no offense, but when it comes to facing Brock Lesnar, the line starts with him.

 

Dean Ambrose’s music hits, and he comes out to a very good reception. The WWE Intercontinental Champion makes his way to the ring. Ambrose says they all sound like a couple of chickens saying “Brock” over and over again. Lesnar fights when he wants, which isn’t often. RAW is about fighting champions, which is what he’s all about. The Intercontinental Championship is the #1 title on RAW now, and he’s anxious to get to some action.

 

The Miz’ music hits, and he comes out with his wife, Maryse. Miz tells them to hold up, and the crowd loudly starts booing him. If Ambrose wants to talk about action, Rollins and Bálor haven’t earned anything. As for Ambrose, he’s an embarrassment as a champion. Miz and Maryse get in the ring. If anyone deserves that title, it’s him. Miz is the one who made the Intercontinental Championship relevant and prestigious. Bálor says Miz is also the latest member of the “Finn Bálor just kicked my ass” club. Miz says Bálor cheap shotted him and it’s a coward. No one in the ring deserves to be the Intercontinental Champion. Miz defended it nightly. Ambrose wasn’t important enough to defend it at Payback last night. Then there’s Seth Freakin’ Rollins. Rollins used to be the man, but now he hobbles on one leg like the gimp he is. Rollins says he could still run circles around him. Miz says this isn’t a running competition. This is a WWE ring. In this ring, he beats people up. Miz says people hate him because he’s the biggest threat on Monday Night RAW. All three men tell him to shut up.

 

Ambrose says there’s a lot of mudslinging going on here. Ambrose says he will defend the title against anyone, and people like seeing Miz get beat up. Ambrose asks if the people of Sacramento would like to see Bálor beat up Miz. The crowd loudly cheers. Ambrose then asks if the people want to see Rollins beat up Miz. They loudly cheer again. Ambrose calls Kurt Angle on his cellphone. Ambrose says Angle was not happy he had his phone number. Angle made a match for tonight. It’ll be The Miz vs. Finn Bálor vs. Seth Rollins. The winner will become the #1 Contender for the WWE Intercontinental Championship. Ambrose says, “It’s true… it’s damn true, baby.” Ambrose then walks off.

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After The Miz called Finn Bálor a “failure” during “Miz TV” on the WWE Payback Kickoff, the charismatic Irishman proved he is nothing of the sort when he nailed the arrogant A-Lister with a Sling Blade before dropkicking him into the corner. We’d like to believe this will teach Miz to keep his mouth shut, but we know better.

 

Last night, Bálor made it clear that he’s focused on reclaiming the Universal Championship, which he was forced to relinquish one night after winning it at SummerSlam last year. And yet, before the mysterious Superstar sets out to slay The Beast Incarnate, it seems like he might have some unfinished business with The Miz. Might we see a “sequel” encounter between Bálor and The A-Lister tonight?

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Back from the break and Kurt Angle is out with a mic. He says Enzo is unable to compete but he has a new partner for Cass and Rollins. The music hits and out comes Finn Balor to a big pop.

 

Samoa Joe, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. Seth Rollins, Finn Balor and Big Cass

 

Balor runs to the ring when he sees Cass and Rollins getting triple teamed. We get the bell and it’s Cass starting off with Gallows. Cass takes control and hits a big splash. Cass with a fall-away slam. Rollins tags in and comes off the top with a big right hand as Cass holds Gallows. Balor tag sin and unloads on Gallows. Balor drops Gallows with a dropkick. Gallows turns it around on Balor and tags in Anderson. Fans chant for Balor as he rolls through and dropkicks Anderson in the face. Balor with a shot to Gallows on the apron. Anderson backs Balor into the corner and in comes Joe. Joe unloads and drops Balor in the corner with a kick to the head.

 

Joe with more offense to Balor as he backs him in the corner again. Anderson tags in and unloads on Balor in the corner as the referee warns him. Anderson keeps Balor grounded with an armbar now. Anderson slams Balor for another 2 count. Gallows tags back in and drops big shots on Balor in the corner. Gallows keeps Balor grounded now. Gallows runs into boots in the corner but catches Balor with a side slam. Gallows poses before kicking Cass off the apron. Gallows misses a leg drop as Balor moves out of the way.

 

Anderson and Rollins tag in at the same time. Rollins with a Blockbuster from the top. Rollins keeps control and hits a Slingblade. Anderson slides out of a suplex. Gallows holds Rollins but he takes them both down. Cass comes flying over with a big boot to send Gallows out. Rollins and Joe stare each other down. Anderson gets sent out onto Joe by Rollins. Rollins runs and nails a dive next. Rollins brings Anderson back in but Joe beats on Rollins from the floor. Balor comes out of nowhere with a dropkick on Joe on the floor. Rollins comes in with a flying clothesline on Anderson. Rollins goes for a Pedigree in the middle of the ring but changes his mind. He nails a big knee to the face instead and covers Anderson for the win.

 

Winners: Seth Rollins, Finn Balor and Big Cass

 

After the match, the winners stand tall as Joe stares them down from the floor. We go to replays. We come back to the babyfaces celebrating.


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Back from a break and Curt Hawkins is in the ring. He mentions Big Show stepping into the ring with him last week and being in the main event this week. He says if you want to be a main event WWE Superstar, you step into the ring with Curt Hawkins. Hawkins wonders who it’s going to be this week. He waits until the music hits and out comes Finn Balor.

 

Finn Bálor vs. Curt Hawkins

 

The bell rings and Balor ducks Hawkins and goes to work. Balor with a dropkick and a Slingblade.

 

Balor with another dropkick. Balor goes to the top and nails the Coup de Grace for the easy win.

 

Winner: Finn Bálor

 

After the match, Balor stands tall as we go to replays.

 


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We have a video package for Finn Balor. Back to commercial.

 

Finn Balor vs. Jinder Mahal

 

Back from the break and Jinder Mahal waits in the ring for his opponent. The music hits and out comes Finn Balor to a big pop.

 

They lock up and Mahal pie faces Balor on a break. Balor with punches but Mahal with a knee. Mahal with a sunset flip but Balor rolls through and hits a drop kick. Balor with an arm drag into an arm bar. Mahal kicks Balor in the ropes. Mahal with a series of knee drops and then he chokes Balor. Mahal with a near fall. Mahal with a quarter nelson and chin lock. Mahal has a punch blocked but Mahal with a forearm. Mahal with a chin lock but Balor with a pele kick. Balor kicks Mahal in the corner and hits Slingblade.

 

Balor with a running drop kick that sends Mahal into the turnbuckles. Balor goes up top and hits Coup de Grace for the three count.

 

Winner: Finn Balor

 

After the match, Bray Wyatt appears on the Titantron and he says this is his new home. He says he did not come alone. He brought a gift. He says we will see Bray Wyatt torture Randy Orton in his House of Horrors match. He tells Finn to watch himself because he will be watching him. He tells Raw that he is here.

 


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Finn Bálor is back!

 

Seth Rollins needed a tag team partner to battle United States Champion Kevin Owens & Samoa Joe Monday night, and Raw General Manager Kurt Angle delivered big time by teaming The Architect with the returning Finn Bálor. Bálor had been unseen in a WWE ring since he was forced to relinquish the Universal Championship the night after SummerSlam, due to an injury sustained at the hands of Rollins. There have been more awkward tag team pairings in WWE, but not many.

 

Fortunately, Rollins and Bálor put their differences aside to defeat The Prizefighter and the dominant Destroyer, and the duo even shared a brief victory pose when The Kingslayer raised the returning Superstar’s hand following the match. Now that Bálor has returned to the red brand, what does his future hold? We’ll find out Monday night.

File under: Monday Night Raw Previews