Hi, everyone, I’m back from my mini vacation! So is, it seems, RAW.
No. 1 Contender’s Battle Royal for the Intercontinental Title
RAW opened up with the entrance of Apollo Crews to participate in the battle royal to determine the Miz’s opponent at Battleground. Miz welcomed everyone to the show and joined the commentary team
Chaos ensued. The Ascension, Aiden English, R-Truth and D-Von Dudley went early, and Simon Gotch was quick to follow. Jey Uso was eliminated, as was Goldust. Apollo Crews tossed Bo Dallas out next. Jimmy Uso and Jack Swagger were the next to go, both eliminated by Baron Corbin.
Bubba Ray was Corbin’s next victim before Del Rio took control before being eliminated by Apollo Crews. Corbin eliminated Ziggler, but he and Apollo Crews eliminated each other, making Darren Young the accidental winner.
Backstage, Seth Rollins interrupted Stephanie and Shane discussing Vince’s impending arrival, and was given his own talk show: the Rollins Report. Elsewhere, Sheamus ambushed a fired up Zack Ryder, informing him they would be going at it next. Randy Orton’s return was also announced, on The Highlight Reel at Battleground.
Zack Ryder vs. Sheamus
In a SmackDown rematch, a passionate Zack Ryder took early control, but Sheamus would not fall so easily, catching Zack Ryder with a Brogue for the win.
Rusev emerged, but an invigorated Ryder attacked him, only to be put in the Accolade as Rusev yelled, “I ACCEPT YOUR CHALLENGE!”
Breezango vs. The Lucha Dragons
Fandango took control early on, working well and efficiently with Tyler Breeze to wear down Sin Cara. They tagged each other in frequently, isolating Sin Cara from Kalisto. When Kalisto finally tagged in, he took control quickly.
Breeze nearly rolled up Kalisto, but luckily, he got the win more definitively, pinning Kalisto in the center of the ring.
The Rollins Report
Seth Rollins emerged, smug as ever, and proud of himself for his scoop on Roman Reigns. He then aired a clearly doctored “interview”and demanded that Roman Reigns be taken out of the match. Ambrose gave Rollins credit for letting lose, and the two traded insults.
Rollins prclaimed himself the best Shield member, and an impassioned Ambrose responded with the kind of fire we haven’t seen since last year. It wasn’t wacky Ambrose who replied to Rollins, it was serious Dean, who said that Rollins would have to pry the title from his cold, dead hands.
Dean said that he would fight Dean anytime, any place, and Rollins teased a match for that night before putting it off until next week.
Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro
Kevin Owens wormed out of a match against Cesaro as long as Sami Zayn was there, and as Sami Zayn, who was to be on commentary left, Owens came out anyways. The two briefly exchanged blows and traded insults and challenges before Zayn was forced away from the match.
Owens avoided locking up with Cesaro early on, and Cesaro took advantage, catching him with a suplex. The match left the ring, and Owens sent Cesaro barreling into and over the barricade. Owens threw Cesaro back into the ring, hitting a back splash.
Owens mocked Zayn, and Cesaro took advantage, hitting a standing back suplex. Owens went for a Superkick, but Cesaro dodged, only to be thrown clean over the ropes and into the barricade.
Owens kept control until Cesaro managed to dodge a canonball into the turnbuckle. Cesaro fired up, taking Owens on a ride on the Uppercut train. He nearly pinned Owens with a corkscrew, but Owens kicked out, rolling out of the ring. Cesaro stole JBL’s hat and hit a crossbody on Owens back in the ring.
But it was Owens who would emerge victorious. Going back to the commentary table, Owens proclaimed himself the best in the world, only to be caught by a Sami Zayn out of nowhere right into Cesaro, who took him swinging.
Titus O’Neil vs. Heath Slater
O’Neil maintained dominance throughout the match, only looking weakened when Slater brought his knees up during a turnbuckle move. But O’Neil’s raw power proved to be too much for Slater, and he picked up an easy victory.
The New Day vs. The Wyatt Family
At the Wyatt family compound, the two teams brawled in a confusingly edited video that is impossible to properly recap.
Gallows & Anderson vs. Enzo & Cass
Before the match, both teams exchanged insults, with Styles warning Enzo & Cass to leave before Gallows and Anderson dropped them where they stood.
Gallows and Anderson controlled the match early, dominating poor Enzo Amore for a lengthy period as AJ Styles cheerfully talked trash at ringside. The Club dominated all the way up until Big Cass tagged in, taking control right back and nearly pinning Anderson.
Gallows broke the pin, and Styles threw Cass over the barricade, causing the disqualification. They looked to beat down on Enzo until John Cena emerged to everyone’s surprise to make the save.
Sasha Banks vs. Dana Brooke
Sasha immediately caught Brooke off-guard, scaring her right out of the ring repeatedly. Sasha caught Brooke with an impressive deep arm drag, keeping momentum until Brooke caught her with a series of strikes that sent Banks clear out of the ring.
Brooke maintained control until Banks caught her with a kick to the face. Brooke sent her into the mat, but Banks managed to kick out of a cover. Brooke continued to keep Banks in check until Banks caught her with legs to the face from the turnbuckle. Banks hit Brooke with knees to the ribs in the corner, but that wouldn’t keep Brooke down for the count.
Banks hit a lateral crossbody on Brooke, but even that wouldn’t put her away. Brooke countered with a series of clotheslines until Banks locked Brooke into the Banks Statement, forcing her to tap.
Following the match, Charlotte took to the mic and told Sasha she wouldn’t be worthy of a title shot unless she took Brooke on again on SmackDown.
Vince said to his children that he was disappointed in them, making fun of Stephanie’s passive aggressive behavior and saying that he wanted competition, not this cooperation that he had been seeing.
Shane and Stephanie both presented their cases for being the new Commissioner of SmackDown Live, and Vince made his decision:
Steph would be running RAW. Vince told them that RAW and SmackDown would be going to war. He wanted them to compete at all costs for ratings, for ticket sales, for everything. He said they would choose General Managers the next week.