BOBBY LASHLEY vs. BRAUN STROWMAN
They started things out with a test of strength, but neither got an advantage. Lashley ran the ropes and hit a shoulder tackle, but Strowman wouldn’t budge. Strowman hit a tackle, and Lashley wouldn’t budge. Lashley charged in the corner and got the first bit of offense in, somehow lifting the Monster Among Men over his head for a massive powerslam, trying for an early pin but only got two. He kept on top of the big(ger) man with kicks in the corner and worked a series of simple headlocks, slowing things down to a grind.
Braun eventually mounted his comeback and squashed his opponent with a splash in the corner. They rolled to the outside and he ran all the way around the ring for a big shoulder tackle, then did a second time; an impressive feet given that it’s literally 102 degrees at ringside. He went to the well too many times and Lashley saw it coming, nearly putting him through the barricade when he moved out of the way. Lashley took him to the ramp and connected with a suplex, actually getting him overhead on the “steel”.
Back in the ring Lashley went to the top rope (for some reason) and Braun caught him with the running powerslam. He didn’t even bother going for the pin, instead picking him back up, delivering a second running powerslam, and this time he makes the cover to score a victory.
Winner: Braun Strowman
WWE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
KOFI KINGSTON (c) vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER
After a good back-and-forth exchange from both stars, Ziggler took the champ to the mat and used his superior mat wrestling and grappling to work at his own pace and control the match. Kingston fought back with rights and lefts, but Ziggler dropped him hard into the ropes before stomping a mudhole in the corner. He went for an early finisher but Kofi fought back with clotheslines and connected with a Boom Drop to get things rolling again.
Kingston set up for Trouble in Paradise, but the challenger rolled to the apron to safety, baiting him in for a surprise rolling DDT for the first nearfall of the match. Ziggler sent him hard shoulder-first into the turnbuckle post before gouging away at his eyes and rubbing them in the ropes. The two fought up to the top rope and Kingston sent Dolph crashing to the mat, nailed a diving crossbody, but Ziggler rolled through into a crazy pinning combination for a nearfall.
The two went back-and-forth with pin attempts, several of which were very convincing, until Kingston hit the SOS for another close call. He threw the challenger to the floor and came off the top rope with a huge splash, as Xavier Woods played a little trombone to get the crowd hyped up. Ziggler with a superkick out of nowhere, then threw the champ into the ring steps. Woods came around and took a superkick for good measure as well.
Kingston saw his friend take the superkick and went crazy with wild rights and lefts. He came off the top rope but landed on his feet. Woods got on the apron and Ziggler went after him with another superkick. This time Woods ducked the move, and the payback was distraction enough for Kofi to hit Trouble in Paradise for the win.
Winner & Still Champion: Kofi Kingston
THE ACTION CONTINUES ON THE NEXT PAGE >>>