RAW began with a moment of silence for the victims of the horrific shooting in Orlando, Florida. My thoughts and prayers are with Orlando. I’ve written my local congressman about my thoughts on gun control. I hope that change happens, and soon.
Overall, RAW was above average. Two beyond stellar segments supported by a lack of Golden Truth made this week’s episode entertaining despite a dismal allowance of time for the women.
The New Day & Enzo & Cass vs. The Vaudevillains & Gallows & Anderson
The New Day kicked off the show in earnest, declaring with their usual cheer that they would remain WWE Tag Team Champions after Money in the Bank after poking fun at Kofi Kingston’s shoes. They were interrupted by a very energized Enzo Amore and Big Cass. The two said that they liked what New Day were doing, joining in on the fun of making fun of Kingston.
They poked fun at each other, and were soon interrupted by the unamused Vaudevillains. Even more unamused were Gallows and Anderson, who called everyone idiots. Big Cass and a very enthusiastic New Day called them S-A-W-F-T, and the match began.
Kingston started off strong for his team before tagging Big E in to begin a Unicorn Stampede on Simon Gotch. Enzo Amore tagged in next, letting Cass toss him right into a suffering Gotch, who responded with a suplex. Gallows came into the fray next, throwing Enzo around with practiced ease. Anderson continued the carnage before handing the reigns over to English.
English continued the beating, but Enzo persevered, finally tagging Cass in red hot. Cass cleaned house, throwing Gallows off the apron and beating down English before tagging Kingston in, who launched himself over the ropes and out of the ring to wipe out the heels. The New Day took easy control from there, Big E cheerfully slapping Gotch to a beat.
However, Gallows & Anderson took the reigns back with a distraction to the ref, allowing English to tag back in before handing the match back over to Gotch, who was tagged out by Gallows, who wore down on Big E viciously with Anderson.
Big E managed to tag Kingston in, who went wild on a tagged in Anderson, hitting a boom drop and crossbody. Gotch broke the pin, launching a helping Enzo out of the ring, but was sent out himself by Cass. Big E hit English, but was hit by Gallows, who secretly tagged in. The Club hit the Magic Killer for the win.
This segment showed how truly deep WWE’s tag team roster truly is. Gallows and Anderson looked fantastic even without Styles by their side. The New Day was charismatic as ever. Enzo and Cass proved that they could talk trash with them any day of the week. Even the Vaudevillains looked as if they belonged.
Look for these eight men to sneak up on Money in the Bank and make a loud statement.
Backstage, Shane and Stephanie argued about who would run RAW and SmackDown, and Kane interjected, offering his services. Stephanie left Shane to deal with Kane, who had a letter of recommendation from the Undertaker.
Titus O’Neil emerged for his match, but he wasn’t even off the stage before Rusev blindsided him, throwing him into the ramp with animalistic rage, kicking O’Neil right in the head and locking in the Accolade. It took half a dozen officials to even attempt to remove the Bulgarian Brute.
The Shield “reunite”
Ambrose emerged first, very thrilled to have the Ambrose Asylum back. He introduced first, Seth Rollins, and then Roman Reigns. The three simply stood in the ring together for a while, Dean wearing a bright smile.
Dean first asked Seth Rollins how his knee was, doing his best to get his former brother to lighten up. Seth acquiesced, reminiscing about their battle in WrestleMania. The three then recounted some of their good times together. But the good times didn’t roll for too long, as Seth then brought up his turn on the Shield and his cash-in at WrestleMania.
Dean steered the conversation back to their upcoming title match, and Roman said he would walk in and out of Money in the Bank . Seth brought up Roman defeating Ambrose himself and Triple H, saying he had earned the title, but he still hadn’t beaten him. Seth said that he got where he is on his own, and he would take his title back on his own.
Roman said that if Seth wanted the spotlight, he would have it, and that he would defeat him with ease. Dean asked if it would be the guy, the man, but then brought up the fact that he could very well win the Money in the Bank contract and walk out with the title himself.
Rollins went after Ambrose, shoving him into Reigns, and Reigns and Ambrose both went after Rollins, downing him, before Ambrose downed Reigns with Dirty Deeds.
I had chills this entire segment. Seth Rollins spoke with passion and conviction befitting a man possessed. Roman Reigns delivered his best mic work in months. And Ambrose was the unpredictable glue that held it all together.
These three have grown beyond the Shield in their own ways. Seth Rollins has emerged as the company’s top heel who has now reached crowd favorite status. Dean Ambrose earns huge pops wherever he goes, headlining shows often. Roman Reigns has grown the least, character-wise, but every Shield callback is electric.
I want Ambrose to win that briefcase. I want that Shield Triple Threat. GIVE IT TO ME.
Charlotte vs. Paige
Paige started off strong, nailing Charlotte with a kick to the face and running knee. Charlotte looked to lock in the Figure Eight, , but Paige struck her right out of the ring. Dana brooke threw her back in, right into Paige’s arms for the Ram-Paige.
Backstage, Renee Young looked to interview Cesaro, but Sami Zayn arrived, just in case Renee wanted his opinion on their upcoming match as well. Cesaro called Zayn childish for interrupting, and said that Zayn had a lot to prove still.
Elsewhere, a furious Charlotte told Dana that there was no room for failure at the top, telling her that they had work to do.
So much for the damn Divas Revolution.
Sheamus vs. Zack Ryder
Ryder started off strong, throwing Sheamus into the barricade and then landing the Broski Boot. He connected with an elbow drop from the ropes. But his momentum didn’t last too long, as Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick, ending the match soon after.
The punishment looked to continue, but Apollo Crews arrived to make the save, knocking the Celtic Warrior right out of the ring and sending him running into the crowd.
Backstage, Kevin Owens found Shane backstage looking for Stephanie, saying that Del Rio had just arrived to the show and requested that he be taken out of the Money in the Bank. Del Rio arrived, furiously accusing him of causing his holdup, and Kane set up a match of them against the Lucha Dragons for the right to remain in the ladder match.
Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro
Zayn and Cesaro looked to be fairly evenly matched early on in the match. Zayn hit Cesaro with a series of arm drags and the Swiss Superman hit a backbreaker.
Cesaro looked to gain momentum by taking Zayn on the Uppercut train, and went to take Zayn for a swing, but Zayn escaped, landing a driver on Cesaro for a near-fall. But Cesaro battled back wit a superplex, getting a near-fall of his own. But it was Sami Zayn who would fight back for the win, reversing a huge move from Cesaro and gaining huge momentum going into Money in the Bank.
In the ring, John Cena talked about AJ Styles’ illustrious career before arriving in WWE, name-dropping ROH, PWG and New Japan before proclaiming their upcoming match historic. AJ Styles arrived soon after, reveling in the dueling chants with heelish pride.
Styles said he had turned Cena’s world upside-down over the past few weeks, and said that he would do it once again at Money in the Bank, running circles around him in the ring. He asked where to sign, and Cena gave him the option of signing any of two contracts: one with a singles match and then one with him and the Club. He said the choice was his, but the Club would make him, “Captain of the bitch club.”
Styles, angered, said that if he had been in WWE 15 years ago, he would have been the face that runs the place. Cena cut him off, calling him an entitled whiner, just like all the other “indy boys” that had come to the company.
Styles signed the contract for the singles match.
Kevin Owens & Alberto Del Rio vs. The Lucha Dragons
Del Rio started things off, beating Sin Cara into the turnbuckle until Owens tagged himself in. Del Rio tagged right back in, and Owens threatened to walk off, leading to a near-pinfall. The two bickered in the ring, and the Lucha Dragons took advantage, landing a double dropkick on them.
Del Rio and Owens regained control soon enough, tagging in and out aggressively nearly trading blows. Kalisto took advantage, hitting a Salida Del Sol, but Del Rio rolled out of the ring. Owens rolled him back in the ring, and Sin Cara his a move from the ropes. Owens broke the pin, tagging himself in. Sin Cara hit a series of aerial moves on Owens, and Del Rio launched Kalisto into the barricade.
Owens caught Sin Cara with the Op-up Powerbomb for the win, securing himself and Del Rio spots in Money int he Bank. Immediately after, Del Rio dropped him with a kick.
Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho
Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens both joined the announce team for commentary, and ALberto Del Rio was the guest timekeeper. Cesaro was the guest ring announcer, because Shane and Stephanie don’t know where to stop, apparently.
Ambrose started off strong, landing a series of strikes and a suplex, knocking the veteran right off the apron. Annoyed with Owens, Ambrose ripped off his headset, but the distraction allowed Jericho to fling Ambrose into the barricade and then land an elbow back in the ring.
Jericho hit another dropkick, knocking Ambrose out of the ring, and Zayn and Owens looked to be confronting each other. Cesaro stood up, and Del Rio rose as well.
The action continued in the ring, with Ambrose leaping right into the Walls of Jericho. Ambrose powered to the ropes, forcing the break, and looked to hit Dirty Deeds, but Jericho dodged. Ambrose survived a Lionsault, ascending to the ropes and hitting a wicked flying elbow, but Jericho once again kicked out.
Jericho looked to hit the Codebreaker, but Ambrose reversed into Dirty Deeds for the pinfall. Chaos erupted, with Owens starting things off by attacking Ambrose in the ring. Violence broke out between all six men, but it was Chris Jericho who would end the night sitting primly atop the ladder.