(ST. LOUIS, MO) Friday night marked the return of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) to the Gateway City and the eight-match event featuring the franchise’s RAW brand was highlighted by the final appearance of a very popular faction.
In the main event held at Enterprise Center, The Shield – consisting of Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose – were victorious in a six-man tag team match against Bobby Lashley, Baron Corbin and Jinder Mahal.
The Shield, who debuted as a stable in November 2012, will dissolve following the brand’s live event in Moline, Illinois Sunday night as Rollins, the current WWE Universal Champion, will remain with RAW while Reigns, a multiple title holder, fully transfers next week to WWE’s Smackdown brand and Ambrose finishes his tenure with the company after six years on the main roster.
Also during the evening, four title matches were held and all were successfully defended.
The evening began with WWE Superstar Elias, who got things rolling early with familiar catchphrases and expert strumming on an acoustic guitar. He proceeded to insult the locals with a well-placed barb about the St. Louis Rams leaving town, which led to current WWE Intercontinental Champion Finn Balor approaching the ring.
Elias attempted to persuade Balor to join in a duet and the Irishman teased the crowd with native rapper Nelly’s lines from both “Country Grammar” and “Hot in Herre.” During an attempt with a trifecta between the two, Elias attacked Balor and an impromptu title match began.
1) Finn Balor defeated Elias in 4:13 to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Elias worked heavily on Balor’s left arm early but the title holder regained momentum three and a half minutes in. Balor connected with a sling blade that set up a running dropkick that landed Elias near the turnbuckles. Balor proceeded to scale the top of the turnbuckle and hit his Coup De Grace finisher en route to the pin and a successful defense of the championship.
2) Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins defeated The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) in 11:45 to retain the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship
The Revival aimed to reclaim the titles that they lost to the upstart tag team at Wrestlemania two Sundays ago. The champions were in control early but then Dawson and Wilder utilized sneaky tactics in order to gain an edge and put plenty of pressure on Hawkins. Action continued back and forth as the match proceeded and the former champs had numerous opportunity to regain the title nar the ten-minute mark.
The conclusion saw the current champs retain as Hawkins connected a high-cross body off the top turnbuckle onto Wilder en route the win.
3) Lucha House Party defeated the Singh Brothers at 5:30 when Lince Dorado pinned Sunil Singh.
Prior to the match, the Singh Brothers, Sunil and Samir, grabbed the microphone and claimed they should be considered the top contenders for the RAW tag-team championship. This resulted in Lucha House Party – the trios of Kalisto, Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik – to approach from the backstage and offer a challenge.
Fast-paced match saw the combo of Kalisto and Dorado control early. Pin occurred after Dorado hit a reverse moonsault on Sunil to the delight of the younger members of the audience.
After the match, and after Lucha House Party left, Samir Singh grabbed the microphone and complained that the match shouldn’t have occurred and that they were treated unfairly. This brought out the Singh’s second set of opponents of the night.
4) Aleistar Black and Ricochet defeated the Singh Brothers at 2:34 when Black pinned Sunil Singh.
Black and Ricochet, a pair of recent WWE NXT brand champions that were added to the RAW main roster full-time Monday night, used little time to dispatch the Singhs. Highlighted by Ricochet’s aerial wizardy and Black’s lethal strikes, the duo dominantly claimed victory after Black connected with his signature Black Mass spinning heel kick onto Sunil for the victory.
Up next came WWE former women’s champion Alexa Bliss and her “Moment of Bliss” interview segment. With two barstool situated inside the ring, Bliss claimed that her upcoming talk would feature a former champion. This proceeded to be Bliss herself and proceeded to spend the next couple of minutes with a self-interview. Soon, current WWE Raw and Smackdown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch came to the ring, proceeded to call out Bliss and challenged her to an impromptu fight.
5) WWE Raw & Smackdown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch defeated Alexa Bliss at 11:30 to retain both championships.
The challenger, who had separate runs with each brand’s championship in 2017, stalled early and avoided the fiery Irish red head billed as “The Man.” Lynch was able to gain an advantage early with a sliding dropkick to Bliss while standing outside the ring. Bliss later turned the tide and connected with a Glitz Flip/Insult to Injury combination to snare a two-count at the seven-minute mark.
Lynch regained the advantage with a Bexploder suplex that resulted in a near fall. Bliss attempted a last-ditch attempt with a move off the top turnbuckle at the eleven minute mark but Lynch countered and latched on the Dis-Arm-Her seated fujiwara submission, forcing Bliss to tap out as The Man successfully retained her titles.
6) Lacey Evans & The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan) defeated Bayley, Ember Moon, Nikki Cross and Dana Brooke at 11:35 in an eight-woman tag-team match after Evans pinned Cross.
The eight-person tag featured unlikely alliances as the Riott Squad was partnered with RAW’s latest addition, and the former “Lady of NXT”, Evans while crowd favorite Bayley was paired with the aggressive Moon, the unstable Cross and the recently-flipped in demeanor Brooke. A healthy portion of the opening minutes displayed Brooke’s natural athleticism that featured move sets that effectively featured flips and cartwheels. However, the rambunctious Riotts quelled momentum and persistently put Brooke at peril.
Late action saw Cross regain the advantage for her squad but then was met by Evans’ “Women’s Right” knockout punch that sent the Scottish banshee crumpling into the corner. Evans then connected with a jumping reverse moonsault from the top rope that claimed victory for her team.
7) Tony Nese defeated Buddy Murphy at 14:00 to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
The evening’s Cruiserweight championship tussle saw a re-match of the pair’s Wrestlemania battle two weekends ago that resulted in Nese’s first WWE title. Murphy stalled excessively early and tried to berate fans at ringside. This resulted in a slow plodding match that was uncharacteristically unusual for the duo.
The pace picked up considerably near the ten minute mark as both were connecting with the precision strikes and aerial attacks that both are synonymous for. At the 13:00 mark, it appeared that Murphy had suffered a knee injury and headed outside the ring to the floor. The official went to check on Murphy and proceed to help the former champion to the ramp. Nese turned his back on the situation, figuring that the match would come to a halt. Murphy then ran back into the ring, clearly signaling a fake injury, and rushed up to Nese in an attempt to blindside. Nese was able to glide into transition and roll-up a shocked Murphy for the pin.
8) The Shield (Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose) defeated Bobby Lashley, Baron Corbin and Jinder Mahal at 17:20 after Ambrose pinned Mahal.
Friday’s finale opened with the Shield’s signature entrance that began in between the Concourse Area between Enterprise Center Sections 102 and 103 and proceed down the crowded steps and into the ring. Mahal, a former WWE Champion, was a late replacement for Drew McIntyre, who had been advertised for the event.
A primary section of the match saw Lashley, Corbin and Mahal perpetually triple-teaming the soon-to-be-departed Ambrose on multiple occasions. Ambrose inevitably got a reverse neck breaker on Corbin that resulted in a hot tag to Rollins. After a quick flurry, Rollins tagged Reigns, who proceeded to connect Superman punches on both Mahal and Lashley. Reigns then tagged Ambrose back in, who connected with a top rope elbow.
Ending sequence saw Ambrose hit Mahal with the Dirty Deeds snap double-arm DDT. Ambrose and Rollins then lifted Mahal’s limp body onto the shoulders of Reigns and the trio delivered the triple power bomb to Mahal and the eventual pin.
Following the match, Rollins addressed the crowd and thanked the locals for their support and Ambrose for his six years of tenure with the company. Enterprise Center responded with, “Thank you, Dean.”
“Let me correct you,” Ambrose said. “It’s not about me and The Shield. It’s not for ourselves, even though we come in and get the crap kick out of us every night for three hundred days a year. It’s about you. It’s never about us, so the Shield thanks you.”
WWE Live continues with a stop in Springfield, Illinois Saturday night and proceeds to Moline on Sunday.