On Monday, August 13, the air was thick with the smell of Axe body spray, Bud Lite and sweat. It was time for the tradition which has rocked the households of America for generations – Monday night wrestling. WWE’s RAW had slammed its way into the Greensboro Coliseum, and the crowd was packed to watch their favorites fight it out live.
The night kicked off with a somber moment, in which Ronda Rousey offered her condolences to Natalya Neidhart. Her father, Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart, was a wrestling legend who had died the night of the Greensboro match. Standing defiant, she announced to the crowd, “[Our fathers] are our reassurance that everything is going to be okay. But when that reassurance is ripped away, we have to face the fact that our fathers have been raising us to be the pillars of strength our families need when they’re gone.”
Yet, the condolences did not last long, as Alexis Bliss came out to challenge Rousey immediately following her eulogy. Though she was there to fight Ember Moon, she couldn’t help but taunt Rousey before their big match at SummerSlam this Sunday.
The taunts were harmless until Alicia Fox attempted to enter the ring, after which Rousey fought off her and a slew of bodyguards. Not to mention a rogue bat which had found its way into the coliseum. Though Bliss was inevitably ‘eclipsed’ by Moon in her epic finishing move, it was the bat which had really won the hearts of the cheering stadium.
The night continued with Greensboro’s own ‘The Revival’ fighting against ‘The B-Team’ who seemed to be a favorite of the many kids filling the coliseum, as they excitedly chanted “B-team! B-team! Go, go, go!”
Jinder Mahal was defeated during what was meant to be a tag-team match against Kurt Angle, until he introduced Braun Strowman to the ring in what was a nearly ten minute match which included many onlookers – and bodyguards – being pummeled in and out of the ring.
For Roman Reigns, it was a tragic defeat so soon before SummerSlam. After the infamous Paul Heyman attempted to sign Roman Reigns to a contract in an effort to defeat Brock Lesnar, it was then that Lesnar emerged from the shadows, ready to reveal Heyman’s secrets. Heyman revealed something to Reigns in Samoan before asking for a reply to his contract by Summer-Slam. He then maced Reigns, and ran far away from the ring.
Crying out from the pain of Heyman’s mace and unable to fight, the unstoppable Roman Reigns was tossed like a ragdoll around the ring by Brock Lesnar. After a two-wave attack which included a slam that echoed through the entirety of the coliseum, Lesnar walked away giving Reigns just a taste of what was waiting at SummerSlam.
To finish the night, Dean Ambrose made his return to the WWE stage to backup Seth Rollins in his next match against Dolph Ziggler. The crowd lost it at the return of their long forgotten hero as he took his rage to the ring to fight Ziggler and Drew McIntyre, a preview of the epic fight to come at SummerSlam.
As the crowd walked to their cars to the sounds of heavy metal and the wrestlers soaked their tired bodies in epsom salts, the night felt alive with the promises of SummerSlam. The anticipation for the continuation of the storylines of Roman Reigns, Ronda Rousey and Dean Ambrose had turned Gate City into Suplex City. Now all that’s left is to wait for this Sunday’s SummerSlam, and to hope the bat emerged from the coliseum unscathed.