With WWE’s No Mercy pay-per-view event set to take place this Sunday night, the bulk of tonight’s WWE Raw was focused on building to the various matches on the No Mercy card. The two most high-profile matches going into No Mercy are easily “The Beast” Brock Lesnar defending his Universal Championship against the seemingly almost invincible Braun Strowman, and longtime WWE standard bearer John Cena taking on his purported heir apparent Roman Reigns.

While none of these four men were in action on Raw, the night still played host to major developments in both feuds. For their part, Lesnar and Strowman engaged in a verbal face off that was moderated by lead announcer Michael Cole. As usual, advocate Paul Heyman did most of Lesnar’s talking for him, although that didn’t stop the exchange from getting very heated, very fast. Befitting the utter dominance Strowman has shown in his few physical exchanges with Lesnar, “The Monster Among Men” seemed supremely confident that he will walk out of No Mercy with Lesnar’s title.

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The normally cocky Lesnar looked unusually nervous about his upcoming title defense, but that makes perfect sense when one considers just how easily Strowman shrugged off a German suplex last week. Lesnar still seems quite determined to conquer this latest obstacle though, and promised to take Strowman to suplex city. Of course, that won’t mean much if Strowman can shrug off 10 suplexes as easily as he shrugged off one. Strowman further illustrated his dominance later in the show by destroying Enzo Amore just for the fun of it. At that point, Enzo was presumably not “doin'” very well.

Braun Strowman and Enzo Amore WWE Raw WWE Raw: How Big Will the Cena & Reigns Rivalry Get?

As for Cena and Reigns’ feud, the task of building that up was left solely to Roman this week, with Cena not appearing on the show, presumably due to one of his various outside projects. Reigns took this opportunity to call Cena out on being a hypocrite, playing a 2012 promo that Cena cut on the Rock prior to their match at WrestleMania 28. In the promo, Cena took Rock to task for never being around, and fleeing the WWE for Hollywood the first chance he got. Rightfully, Reigns pointed out how ridiculous that promo sounds in an era where Cena is currently a part-time wrestler, part-time actor.

Of course, despite all the smack talk from both Cena and Reigns over the last few weeks, this Sunday at No Mercy, the time for talking will be over. The two huge stars and multi-time world champions will square off, for the first time in history. While Cena has tended to overshadow Reigns on the mic, Reigns is a very capable in-ring competitor, and the match will likely be electric from a crowd standpoint. There’s a good chance Cena vs Reigns ends up stealing the show, quality-wise.

Other Key WWE Raw Moments

Gran Metalik and Neville WWE Raw WWE Raw: How Big Will the Cena & Reigns Rivalry Get?

As has become usual, the Cruiserweight division didn’t get much spotlight on Raw, outside of Amore getting beat up by Strowman. Champion Neville did at least get to come out and make fun of his No Mercy opponent Amore afterward though, which was amusing enough, and led into a decent match with Gran Metalik.

The Women’s division saw a big return, as former champion Bayley came back from a recent injury, saving friend Sasha Banks from an attack by the dominating Nia Jax. GM Kurt Angle then added Bayley to the title match at No Mercy, which is now a 5-way contest between champion Alexa Bliss, Banks, Bayley, Jax, and Emma.

Over in the tag team ranks, a spirited triple threat occurred between champions Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose, the Club, and No Mercy challengers Cesaro and Sheamus. The powerful Europeans ended up getting the duke after their usual brand of underhanded chicanery.

Finally, a challenger for the Miz’s Intercontinental Championship at No Mercy was determined in Raw‘s main event match, a 6-pack challenge that included Kurt Angle’s storyline son Jason Jordan, the crooning Elias, legendary tag team the Hardy Boyz, and Miz’s sidekicks Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. Jordan emerged victorious.

And so ends another Raw recap here at Screen Rant. Come back this Sunday for a review of what went down at No Mercy.

Next: WWE Smackdown: Was Vince McMahon’s Bleeding Head Real or Planned?

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