The decision to go with a triple threat Raw main event featuring WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns vs. WWE Champion Big E vs. Bobby Lashley was made on noon last Monday according to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio.
Meltzer said that Vince McMahon got word that the previous weekend’s Reigns vs. Lashley vs. Big E matches in North Charleston, South Carolina, and Augusta, Georgia, were very good and he made the call to put it on TV to get the strongest ratings possible. That is also why it wasn’t advertised beforehand.
A six-man tag team match between The New Day vs. Reigns and SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos was originally announced for the show the Friday prior. While that match opened the show, Lashley got involved which later resulted in Big E demanding a match involving Lashley and Reigns.
Before that, Lashley complained about how Big E beat him for the title and said he could beat him or Reigns any day of the week. Paul Heyman also complained about Big E and Lashley at which point Sonya Deville made the match for the main event. Reigns won the non-title match after spearing Lashley while he was hitting Big E with a chair.
Ratings were up to 1.79 million viewers and .49 in the 18-49 demo thanks to Reigns’ first in-ring appearance on Raw in more than two years. Despite the main event, Raw still saw its usual 10% drop for the third hour from the first.