SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
It’s the Raw after Money in the Bank with Dean Ambrose’s first night as WWE World Hvt. champion after cashing in the MITB briefcase on new champion Seth Rollins, who beat Roman Reigns. Plus, more MITB fall-out. …
WWE Raw TV Report
June 20, 2016 – Episode #1,204
Live in Phoenix, Ariz.
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor
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- Week 8 of Shane & Stephanie McMahon running Raw
- MITB Fall-out
- Dean Ambrose’s first night as WWE World champion
- A.J. Styles addresses beating John Cena at MITB
- The Wyatts return to Raw TV
- Women’s Title match: Charlotte vs. Paige
- Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
- Returning GM to audition for Brand Split
Raw opened with a camera shot from “earlier today” outside the building. A bright yellow taxi pulled up to reveal new WWE champion Dean Ambrose arriving in style. He tipped the driver, then suddenly realized he left the WWE Title belt in the backseat. Ambrose got the belt back, re-assumed a cool demeanor and walked into the building.
Live in the building, the crowd eagerly anticipated the arrival of new WWE World Hvt. champion Dean Ambrose, whose music played to a loud reaction. Ambrose strutted down to the ring soaking up the moment of being WWE champion as JBL lamented this development on commentary. WWE went to a video review of what happened last night at MITB leading to Ambrose as new champion.
Back live, Ambrose tried to process the moment of standing in the middle of the ring as WWE champion. “You deserve it” chant and Ambrose leaned back soaking it up. Ambrose then pointed around the arena thanking them for their support.
“Oh boy,” Ambrose opened. “Last night was a long night in Las Vegas.” Ambrose said there was a Cleveland Cavs celebration thing (mixed reaction), something about getting his foot run over, and oh yeah he climbed a ladder to win the MITB briefcase (big reaction). And, oh yeah, he cashed in said briefcase on Seth Rollins to become new WWE World Hvt. champion!
Ambrose said Rollins was the right guy at the right place at the wrong time. Ambrose said what goes around comes around. Here’s another lesson. “Hard work pays off!” he declared. “Busting your ass pays off. And when it pays off, it pays off bigggggg.”
Ambrose said Rollins called himself The Man, Roman Reigns called himself The Guy, so is he The Dude? “Duuuuude” chant from the crowd. He said you can call him whatever you want, but he is most definitely champion. Ambrose said this is why he kept on trucking and kept on swinging to get this WWE Title belt. And that’s why live here on Monday Night Raw, “it was all worth it!” He said they ain’t having no more hard times in a Dusty Rhodes accent.
Suddenly, The Shield’s music played to bring out the former WWE World Hvt. champion Roman Reigns to loud boos. The announcers noted they’re best friends, but how will things pan out now that Ambrose is holding the title. Reigns slowly walked down to the ring, pausing to glare into the crowd before slowly entering the ring to circle around Dean-O.
Reigns stared down Ambrose and looked at the title belt now resting on Dean’s shoulder. “Last night wasn’t my night,” Reigns opened to boos. “Because last night was your night.” Reigns congratulated Dean, saying he’s happy for him. He said this is his boy and he’s happy for Dean. But, tell me, how good did it feel to cash in on Seth? Dean said he would have cashed in on Reigns, too.
“You can’t wrestle” chant from the crowd interrupted the conversation. Reigns then circled around the ring telling the dudes in the crowd telling him he can’t wrestle they need to take a sip of their beer and shut up. Reigns approached Dean, saying he wants to know if Dean is a fighting champion because he wants his title re-match.
Suddenly, Seth Rollins’s music played to bring out Seth ranting and raving about Reigns needing to get to the back of the line after he beat Reigns fair & square last night. Then, Dean ruined his title moment. Reigns asked Seth how it feels. Rollins said this is different than him cashing in on Reigns at WrestleMania two years ago. Rollins got in Reigns’s face telling him that he’s the man after he beat him last night.
[Q2] As things got heated in the ring, Shane McMahon’s music interrupted to bring out someone to perhaps settle this thing. Shane stood on the stage to first congratulate Dean on not only winning MITB, but also becoming WWE World champion. As for Rollins and Reigns goes, he said it’s a simple solution to determine who faces the champion first – a match between the two of them.
“No, no, no, no, no,” Rollins said. He said they had the match last night and he beat Reigns. He told Shane to consult with Stephanie McMahon because he doesn’t think she would approve. Shane said that’s a good point. Shane put his arm around invisible Steph, who said she loves it. He said Steph isn’t here tonight, so he’s running the whole show tonight.
Shane said he thinks the WrestleMania-worthy match can’t wait until after the Draft scatters them all over the place. It’s tonight on Raw. Rollins seethed in the ring as Reigns smiled about getting another shot at Rollins. Meanwhile, Ambrose stood tall with the title belt over his shoulder. Rollins left the ring and complained up the entrance ramp to the back.
THE NEWS: Reigns vs. Rollins #1 contender re-match tonight on Raw.
Announcers: Cole, Saxton, and JBL hyped the live WWE Draft on Tuesday, July 19 when Smackdown goes live on Tuesday nights. JBL predicted Saxton being drafted to ECW.
Still to come: A.J. Styles addresses his tainted victory over John Cena last night at MITB. Also, Charlotte vs. Paige for the Women’s Title.
Up Next: Sami Zayn wants to settle things with Kevin Owens once and for all. It’s next.
[Commercial Break at 8:20]
NBA shout-out: Cole noted Triple H is sending a WWE Title belt to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cole also noted LeBron James wearing an Ultimate Warrior t-shirt coming off the celebratory plane. (Triple H in his friendly corporate executive role, as opposed to main TV heel persona.)
In-ring: Sami Zayn was introduced for the opening match, then Cole and Co. noted the Spanish announce team was also with them for tonight’s Raw. Cole then confirmed Rollins-Reigns will determine who faces Ambrose for the WWE Title at Battleground in five weeks.
Kevin Owens was then introduced to the ring as the announcers noted Zayn’s Raw pre-show interview about needing to end this feud with Owens in order for his career to advance.
1 — SAMI ZAYN vs. KEVIN OWENS
The fight quickly spilled to the floor, where Zayn clotheslined Owens hard to the outside. Zayn, who was sporting a taped left elbow to sell the MITB ladder match last night, used his legs to moonsault Owens. Saxton said Zayn is beat up and feeling hurt, but he wants to end Owens so bad tonight. Owens then nailed Zayn with a boot to the face and he hopped over the guardrail, continuing to run away from the fight.
The fight spilled into the crowd, but Zayn caught up with him and smashed him back over the guardrail down to ringside. Zayn tried a flying attack, but Owens caught him and drove him into the barricade. Owens rolled Zayn back into the ring to continue punish him heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 8:27]
[Q3] The match returned with Owens wearing down Zayn with a reverse chinlock. Zayn then low-bridged Owens over the top rope before firing himself up and flying over the top rope with a dive onto Owens.
Back in the ring, Owens surprised Zayn with a superkick for a super-close nearfall. Owens sold frustration not getting a three count from the pin attempt. Owens then wanted a Package Piledriver, going old-school in this feud, but Zayn countered with a suplex.
Owens surprised Zayn with another superkick, then wanted the pop-up powerbomb, but Zayn rolled through and trapped Owens to the mat for a three count to get the win.
Post-match, Zayn celebrated on the way out of the arena, then Owens suddenly surprised him with a kick to the face. Owens wanted to end Zayn with a powerbomb off the stage, but Zayn blocked and threw Owens down to the stage. Zayn pounded on Owens with right hands until more refs spilled out to break up the fight.
WINNER: Zayn at 8:52. They shall indeed fight for ever. Or, just be separated to Raw and Smackdown, probably after a big stipulation match at Battleground.
Still to come: Reigns vs. Rollins to see who faces Ambrose as Battleground.
[Commercial Break at 8:36]
Raw returned from break with Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens still fighting in the backstage area. Refs and officials couldn’t contain their hatred, as they knocked over people until Fit Finlay and Road Dogg got on the scene to try to get them away from each other. It’s the desert heat!
Back to the announcers, who dryly reacted to the Zayn-Owens events, saying perhaps the best thing is for them to be separated to Raw and Smackdown. Cole and Co. then hyped The Draft on July 19, focusing on mainstream coverage and tweets from Charlotte and A.J. Styles earlier in the day.
Suddenly, John Laurinaitis’s music played and JBL freaked out celebrating JBL returning to WWE TV to stand at a Smackdown podium. Laurinaitis, the future star of Total Bellas, introduced himself to loud boos. JBL dryly hyped the brand split, then Shane McMahon whispered from the stage to quiet down.
Shane approached Laurinaitis in his bright red suit to ask him what he’s doing. Big Johnny said he’s talking to everyone in the arena and at home wanting to run Raw or Smackdown. “Okay, that’s never going to happen,” Shane said. He said they will be choosing people who represent change. He said it’s not going to be Johnny or Stephanie, but him. “I’m going to run Smackdown,” Shane said.
Laurinaitis said that’s a great idea, placing Shane at the Smackdown podium before jogging over to the Raw podium to say he’ll run Raw while Shane runs Smackdown. Shane said this is not happening, then told him to get lost. “People Power!” Laurinaitis called into a mic.
Suddenly, Enzo Amore’s music played to bring out Enzo and Big Cass admiring Shane’s shoes. Shane and Enzo kicked shoes, then did their respective Shane Shuffle and Enzo Energy Runs on the stage. Big pop from the live crowd for the spectacle.
[Q4] Enzo introduced himself and Big Cass on the entrance ramp. He said he just heard Johnny Laryngitis talking and it made him think of manure. Big Cass said Mr. Johnny Ace may have been a “dynamic dude” back in the dude, but this is the new era. And there’s only one way to describe him. S-A-W-F-T! Cole said they are “unique” and in action next against the Vaudevillians.
[Commercial Break at 8:47]
2 — ENZO AMORE & BIG CASS vs. THE VAUDEVILLIANS (AIDEN ENGLISH & SIMON GOTCH)
The Vaudevillians made their ring entrance during the break. Before the bell sounded, WWE replayed events from Payback at the beginning of May when the Vaudes hospitalized Enzo by concussing him. Enzo started the match and took a beating from the Vaudes. “Let’s Go Enzo” rally chant as Cole plugged A.J. Styles at the top of the hour addressing his victory over John Cena at MITB.
Hot tag to Big Cass, who ran over each Vaudevillian before delivering the Empire Elbow to Aiden. Gotch then took a big boot to the face. Cass delivered a Scott Hall fallaway slam to Aiden before tagging in Enzo to nail Air Enzo for the pin and the win. Very methodical dissection after the hot tag for the win.
WINNERS: Enzo & Cass at 2:50 to get back in the Tag Title hunt.
Backstage: A.J. Styles was shown walking down the hallway. Styles discusses Cena next.
[Commercial Break at 8:55]
Back from break, the announcers talked up the Cleveland Cavs celebrating their NBA Title Stone Cold-style, most notably Kevin Love.
A.J. Styles-John Cena Follow-up
A.J. Styles’s music played two minutes before the top of the hour to bring out Styles posing on-stage. Cole hyped Styles on the Stone Cold Podcast tonight on WWE Network after Raw. As Styles entered the ring, Cole recapped the end of Styles-Cena last night at MITB.
[Q5 — second hour] Live in the ring, Styles started to talk, but paused for an “A-J Styles” chant. Styles said everyone seems pretty happy about what happened last night, but he wishes he felt the same. He said he should be happy, after all he’s envisioned this match in his head for years. Styles said this dream match between John Cena and A.J. Styles was tainted by two guys who are supposed to be brothers to him. “I mean, I beat John Cena!” he declared. Let me say that again. “A.J. Styles beat John Cena!”
Styles paused. He said it didn’t go down the way he dreamt it. You see, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows had no business in his business. So, if The Club is going to continue together, then he’s going to have them come out here right now for a public apology. Yeah, that’s it. He said he’s serious. Get out here right now and apologize.
Karl and Doc’s music played as JBL played up taking the bait. Saxton said he’s not buying this. Anderson and Gallows sold being confused by Styles’s demand as they walked down to the ring. With everyone in the ring, Styles asked have they not been through this before. He said there will never, ever be a first-time-ever dream match between them again. “You gave John Cena an excuse! That’s what you’ve done!” Styles told Anderson.
Styles told Anderson and Doc to look him in the eyes and apologize. “A.J.,” Karl said. “Man, I’m sorry.” Okay, Gallows, your turn. “I’m sorry, A.J.,” Gallows said. Styles hugged them. He said he needs Karl and Gallows to apologize to one more man. Who? John Cena! Karl was like, “Ah man, really?” Styles asked pretty please for John Cena to come out.
Cena’s music played to a loud reaction, bringing out John Cena to a mix of loud applause and sing-song “John Cena Suuuucks” from the mixed crowd. Cena stood on the stage with a sour look on his face like he just smelled a poopy diaper. Cena spoke from the stage that they had a contract and he smells a rat.
From the ring, Gallows said A.J. had no idea they were going to get involved. “So, John, I’m sorry,” Luke said. Karl said they took advantage of Styles signing the contract last week when they did not. “John, man, I’m sorry,” Karl said. See, John, they’re sorry.
Cena said he sees what’s going on here. He said Styles so desperately needed a win to survive in WWE, so he got what he wanted. And now Styles is standing there in the ring with his club in his hand trying to cover up for not being as good as you say you are. “Oh really?” Styles replied. He said Cena is using Karl & Gallows as an excuse for not being as good as he says he is.
Cena paced the stage after the retort. He said being a winner in WWE means winning with respect. Because all you got in WWE are your balls and your word. He said Styles proved last night that he doesn’t have either one. Styles took exception and waited out a dueling “Cena, Cena” chant mixed with boos.
Styles told Cena to listen to him good because Karl & Doc did them a favor by giving him an excuse. So, he’s going to give Cena a favor by picking any member of The Club he wants to face right here tonight. Cena shouted that’s easy – he wants to face A.J. Styles right now.
Styles said he didn’t let him finish. Anyone in The Club except for him. Styles said he’s already beaten John… and he’s got the Stone Cold Podcast tonight. So, Karl or Gallows? Cena said it doesn’t matter. He said they’re riding real high on their win last night and feeling good about the apology. Cena said it doesn’t matter who he chooses because all of them are going to attack him anyways.
Styles smugly replied that this is why no one likes Cena because he always thinks he’s right. Styles said Cena is wrong about this. “Cena, Cena” chant as The Club talked. Styles said he is a man of his word. So, it’s going to be Karl Anderson against John Cena one-on-one. Styles said Karl is going to knock Cena’s teeth down his throat all on his own. “Good luck, John,” Styles said. Styles again hyped himself on Stone Cold’s Podcast, then his music played. Cena just stared a hole in Styles as Raw cut to break.
[ Reax: Styles seems really natural as a heel in this setting delivering the lengthy stand-in-the-ring-and-talk promo. And, Styles has become the designated hitter trying to get over the conflicted heroes like Roman Reigns and John Cena. Fine segment setting up Styles-Cena II. ]
[Q6] [Commercial Break at 9:14]
3 — JOHN CENA vs. KARL ANDERSON
The bell sounded as soon as Raw returned form break, and Cole noted this is Cena’s first Raw TV match this year. Cena dominated Karl early on, taking a glance to the entrance ramp to look for Styles and Gallows after every move. Cena thought he had this over with, so he nailed the AA and made the cover, but Styles and Gallows stormed the ring to attack Cena.
Post-match, Styles led an attack on Cena, then called for the Magic Killer. Cena took the tag team finish, then The Club set up Cena to take the Styles Clash from Styles in the middle of the ring. Styles knelt down over Cena, then posed with The Club as Cole echoed Cena’s earlier words that
WINNER: Cena via DQ at 2:23.
Earlier Tonight: Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns argued while Dean Ambrose stood in the background holding the WWE Title.
Backstage: JoJo brought in Seth Rollins to discuss the #1 contender match against Roman Reigns tonight. Rollins wanted to talk about last night first. He said he proved that he is better than Reigns, and Reigns never deserved to be champion. You know who else proved something last night? Dean Ambrose, who snuck up behind him with the MITB contract and stole his title. And, he proved that he is a cockroach and a thief. Rollins said he beat Reigns last night and he’ll beat him again tonight. Seth vowed to prove that he’s the best member of The Shield.
[Commercial Break at 9:26]
[Q7] Ringside: Zack Ryder’s music played in the background as WWE highlighted a Little Caesar’s front row seat upgrade.
Backstage: Renee Young brought in Becky Lynch to discuss why everyone seems to turn on her. Becky said first it was Paige, then Charlotte, and now Natalya. But, if she’s the last wrestler in the women’s division with any honor and integrity, then she will proudly take that position. She said she doesn’t know what’s wrong with these girls, but she’s had enough of it. And, of course, Natalya suddenly attacked Becky from behind and shoved her into a production trunk. Nattie said she’s finally going to start taking care of herself. Back in the arena, Cole said she doesn’t know where this attitude is coming from from Natalya.
In-ring: Baron Corbin was introduced for the next match. The announcers talked up Corbin beating Dolph Ziggler last night at MITB.
4 — BARON CORBIN vs. ZACK RYDER
Corbin slowed the pace with methodical offense to Ryder. Ryder got tired of being punished and drove Corbin to the corner with forearm strikes. Ryder wanted a Broski Boot, but Corbin casually rolled to the outside. So, Ryder delivered a flying dropkick off the ring apron sending Corbin crashing into the guardrail.
Ryder sent Corbin back into the ring to deliver an interesting elbow drop from the top rope with a mid-air leg slap as if he were diving off the high-dive into the pool. Ryder tried to follow up by whipping Corbin into the corner, but Corbin slid to the floor, sprang back into the ring, and nailed a lariat for a two count. Corbin followed with End of Days for the pin and the win. JBL declared Corbin a World champion one day.
WINNER: Corbin at 3:02.
Video Package: WWE is heading to China. WWE showed footage of John Cena and Triple H at the press conference last week. Footage included Cena speaking clean Mandarin and Hunter announcing the signing of Bin Wang to a WWE contract. It’s the second clip of Friendly Corporate Hunter on main TV tonight.
[Commercial Break at 9:39]
Back from break, the Wyatts theme played. A video aired. It was a recap of Scary Bray Wyatt from the past few years vowing destruction. Bray has vowed to burn this world down. WWE cut to the announcers selling concern that the Wyatts are returning to Raw tonight.
Video Recap: Paige beat Charlotte in a non-title match last week on Raw. Tonight, she gets a Women’s Title shot.
Backstage: Renee Young brought in Paige for a pre-title match interview. Renee kept looking over Paige’s shoulder, so Paige got frustrated and turned around to find Charlotte and Dana Brooke crashing her interview time. Paige said the ring is her house and she will win tonight. Charlotte and Dana laughed in her face.
[Q8] [Commercial Break at 9:46]
In-ring: Paige was introduced to the ring first for the Women’s Title match at the bottom of the hour. Women’s champion Charlotte was out next with Dana Brooke as JBL noted Charlotte’s mentoring from her dad, Ric Flair. Lilian Garcia handled formal ring introductions to give this a boost after the Women’s division was cast aside in recent weeks.
5 — Women’s champion CHARLOTTE (w/Dana Brooke) vs. PAIGE — WWE Women’s Title match
Paige got the early upperhand and gloated about it to the crowd, so Charlotte pushed her in the face. Paige responded with a dropkick to put the champion on the defensive. Charlotte rolled to the outside, where she used her “protege,” Dana, to take down Paige. Charlotte took control heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 9:54]
The match returned with Charlotte stretching Paige in the ring with a head scissors. Paige responded with a kick strike for a two count. But, Charlotte caught Paige in the corner and followed with a top-rope moonsault. It was only good for a two count, causing Charlotte to pout.
[Q9 — third hour] The action picked up at the top of the hour leading to Paige suplexing Charlotte too close to the ropes, allowing Dana to put Charlotte’s foot on the ropes to stop the ref’s count. Referee Rod Zapata had enough and sent Dana away from ringside, but as that happened, Charlotte sneak-attacked Paige for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Charlotte at 8:25 to retain the Women’s Title.
Post-match, Charlotte and Dana put a beating on Paige. Suddenly, Sasha Banks’s music played to a big pop. Sasha walked out on-stage to re-establish herself in the division as Charlotte smirked from the ring. Dana then charged the ramp and Sasha just knocked her out with a forearm.
Sasha hit the ring and attacked Charlotte, taking possession of the Women’s Title belt. But, Dana attacked her from behind to get the belt back. Charlotte and Dana recovered on the floor while Sasha and Paige stood tall in the ring. And that answers one big question on the future of the Women’s division.
Backstage: Roman Reigns prepared to face Seth Rollins tonight. JoJo walked up to him for an interview. Reigns vowed to be The Guy … who beats Seth Rollins tonight. Reigns stared straight ahead.
Suddenly, the Wyatt theme played. In a familiar dark room, Bray Wyatt emerged in front of Braun Strowman and Erick Rowan. “We’re here,” Bray declared, sending Raw to an early top-of-the-hour break.
[Commercial Break at 10:04]
Bray Wyatt Returns
Back live on Raw, the arena lights went down and the cell phone lights came out as Bray Wyatt’s music played to bring out Bray, Rowan, and Strowman down to the ring. Cole and Co. reintroduced Bray’s character returning from injury after two months.
In the ring, Wyatt looked around the arena to loud “Welcome Back” chants. In the darkness, Bray asked if they missed him. “Yeah!” the crowd replied. Bray said they have been locked away, but have never forgotten what they stand for. Bray warned the locker room that the Wyatts are as strong as they have ever been.
Suddenly, New Day member Big E.’s voice interrupted. “Brother Bray!” Big E. shouted. Out came WWE tag champions New Day with bright colors and dancing to contrast the Wyatts’s dark & eerie vibe. From the stage, Xavier said Bray has been talking way too long, so he needs to cut it.
Kofi Kingston said they need to take a knee. And confess. That Erick Rowan has a big booty. Because he’s booty. They came back to their feet to promote their brand of positivity to contrast the Wyatts’s negativity. Suddenly, Xavier found himself in a trance. Kofi snapped him out of it. But, Xavier still seemed to feel the effects.
From the ring, Brother Bray warned them that they just interrupted him in his return. He said he can see their future. And he knows that their future is “New Day … Falls.” The crowd wasn’t sure whether to chant or boo. Bray asked them what they’re waiting for. “Run!” he shouted as Raw suddenly cut to break. Interesting Tag Division shift.
[Q10] [Commercial Break at 10:15]
D-Young Vignette: Darren Young spoke to Bob Backlund about doing a lot of reading lately. Backlund told him to never listen to anyone’s advice. Not even you, Bob? Not even me. So, I should stop listening to you? No, I give orders, not advice! 100 high knees, Darren. D-Young obliged, trying to be made great again.
U.S. Title Follow-up
In-ring: Lana was standing by in the ring sporting long hair extensions instead of her hair up in a bun. Lana proudly introduced the all-time great U.S. champion and her fiancee, Rusev. As Rusev came out on-stage, Cole announced Rusev & Lana on ESPNews SportsCenter tomorrow night.
WWE suddenly cut backstage to Renee Young. Renee brought in Titus for an interview. Titus cut off Renee that tonight isn’t about wins or losses, but disrespecting his family last night at MITB. Titus oddly looked off-camera and shouted his declaration.
Back in the arena, Titus O’Neil marched down to the ring, but Rusev cut him off from entering the ring. Titus walked around ringside, then Rusev gave him space and Titus entered the ring to tackle Rusev.
The fight was on with both men trading bombs as the ref tried to get order. Titus knocked Rusev out of the ring to the floor, where his family was on the front row. Titus whipped Rusev into the barricade, then shouted at him that he’s not going to disrespect his family.
Titus smashed Rusev over the guardrail to the floor. Rusev then took off down the production area, stumbling to the back as Titus called after him from the ring. The crowd was a bit stunned from the aggressive non-match fight.
Still to come: Rollins-Reigns #1 contender main event.
Heading to break, WWE ran an NXT video package on the “epic encounter” between Shinsuke Nakamura and Finn Balor last week on NXT TV. “The saga begins this Wednesday on WWE Network.”
[Commercial Break at 10:26]
July 19: Vince McMahon’s voice was heard saying “it’s time to shake things up again.” The Draft takes place on the first live Smackdown on July 19.
Announcers: Cole hyped the podiums on the stage as a representation of how the Draft will work with the Raw and Smackdown GMs picking their roster. What would happen if IC champion Miz and Maryse got drafted to different brands? …
Miz Report: Sponsored by Facebook, IC champion The Miz, Maryse, and their dog were shown on the set of Miz’s “Marine 5” movie shoot. A stagehand walked up to Miz with his meal selection. It was unsatisfactory and Miz cut a promo on the dude about screwing up his quail order. Miz stopped shouting to thank the crew sitting at catering for the awesome job they’re doing. “Go back to work!” he shouted to close the bit.
Authority’s Office: Shane McMahon quietly walked into his office, where a photo of Shane & Vince was resting. Shane spotted Chris Jericho waiting in the office. Jericho said he’s tired of Shane taking out a vendetta on him. Shane noted Jericho lost the Asylum Match to Dean Ambrose and then lost MITB last night. Jericho yelled at Shane that it’s a stupid decision to allow Dean to be WWE champion. Shane threatened Jericho that he’ll make the 69 tacks from Ambrose Asylum seem like nothing. Jericho replied that he would rather deal with 10 Stephanies than one of him, and he hopes whatever show Shane takes over, he’s on the other show. Shane warned him that he’ll be running both shows, so get used to it. Shane told him to get right, then left. The camera stayed on Jericho selling frustration being thwarted by Shane.
In-ring: Dean Ambrose’s music played to bring out the WWE champion. Cole said contrary to what Jericho just said, Ambrose did earn being WWE champion. Cole said Ambrose is coming out here to not only watch the main event, but sit on commentary right next to JBL. “Ahhh helllllllll naw,” JBL said, going into promo mode as Raw cut to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:35]
Smackdown plug: Seth Rollins will be in action this Thursday on Smackdown.
In-ring: Seth Rollins was introduced to the ring as Cole hyped next week’s Raw in Tampa, Florida – will Rollins or Reigns be #1 contender? Rollins walked down to ringside and glared at Ambrose and his WWE Title belt. The Shield’s music then produced Roman Reigns on the stage. Reigns marched down to the ring as Ambrose cut a passionate promo about knowing these guys better than they know him, which means they don’t know how to beat him for the title. Cue the bell for the main event.
6 — SETH ROLLINS vs. ROMAN REIGNS — #1 contender match to the WWE World Title
The bell sounded and Reigns shoulder-tackled Rollins hard to the mat. On commentary, Cole asked Ambrose when he decided to cash in MITB last night. Dean said he did exactly what he said he was going to do – win the briefcase and cash in on whichever guy won the WWE Title match. And that’s what he did. He said he’s not a two-faced liar like Seth Rollins.
Suddenly, the fight moved down to ringside, where Reigns and Rollins cleared the announce table in front of Ambrose, making the champ a bit nervous. Reigns and Rollins then fought back into the ring, where Seth nailed a textbook dropkick for a two count.
[Q12] The fight moved back to the floor, where Rollins sent Reigns hard into the guardrail. Rollins then wanted a flying attack from the ring apron, but Reigns moved and Rollins landed on his feet. Rollins checked to make sure his knee was good, then turned around and ran right into an emphatic boot from Reigns. Rollins sold being knocked out on the floor as Raw cut to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:48]
Back from break, Reigns and Rollins battled in the ring. Cole noted this is Rollins’s first Raw TV match since November after returning from injury at MITB last night. Reigns suddenly nailed Rollins with forearm strikes, showing a lot of aggression. But, Rollins responded with an enzuigiri that rocked Reigns. Roman did not go down, though, setting up a back-and-forth yay/boo battle.
Reigns delivered repeated corner clotheslines, but Rollins blocked a fifth one and sent him crashing to the floor. Rollins followed with a suicide dive to rock Reigns. But, back in the ring, Reigns teased the Samoan Drop. Rollins escaped, but Reigns hit a sit-out powerbomb for a close two count. “High drama on Monday Night Raw, boys!” Ambrose declared on commentary.
Reigns got up first from the sequence and stared down at Ambrose/the WWE Title belt. Reigns stalked Rollins for a Superman Punch, but Rollins ducked, setting off a counter/reversal sequence finishing with Reigns hitting a mid-air Superman Punch for a close two count. Reigns then wanted a spear, but Rollins kicked him in the face. That angered Reigns, who smashed him into the corner, but Rollins kicked him in the face again.
Rollins went to the top turnbuckle looking for a frog splash, but Reigns rolled out of the way. Reigns followed with his double foot dropkick to Rollins’s face. Reigns stumbled away to the Spanish announce table and sensed an opportunity to inflict extra punishment. Reigns wanted to end Rollins, but Rollins scrambled away and kicked Reigns at the knee. Rollins then tried to get back in the ring to win by count-out, but Reigns yanked him out, kind of restarting the count.
Reigns then speared Rollins into the Spanish announce table. Another ten-count situation. And, neither man was able to make it back into the ring in time. A double count-out. Lilian Garcia announced that there is no winner.
WINNER: Double count-out at 17:27. Solid main event with a lot of energy and passion in the ring and on commentary. Reigns is still stuck in neutral as a character, though, and the crowd really wants to get behind Rollins if given permission to. It’s an odd mix at the moment, which may or may not be resolved with all three guys mixing it up together heading to Battleground… (***)
[Q13 — over-run] Post-match, Shane McMahon’s music played. Shane walked out and said that is not how things are going to end here. Dean Ambrose was now in the ring. Dean said this is how things are done around here – he will fight both men on the same night. Done. Shane said that sounds good to him – Dean will fight both members of The Shield in the same match at Battleground – a triple threat for the title.
Dean got fired up and went back and forth between both Rollins and Reigns in the ring, holding up the title belt in their faces. Reigns kind of stumbled out of his corner to put his hand on Dean’s shoulder, then Dean spun around Reigns and dropped him with Dirty Deeds.
Dean’s music played and he left the ring as Seth recoiled in the corner, selling shock. Rollins then slowly approached Reigns looking to pick the bones, but Ambrose ran back into the ring to drop Rollins with Dirty Deeds. It’s his house. Dean celebrated with the belt after a successful first night as champion. Cole plugged the Stone Cold/Styles podcast (with no cut-away to a live shot of Austin and Styles) as Dean continued to stand tall in the ring. Raw signed off three minutes past the top of the hour for a very short over-run.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Raw seemed to start strong, fade in the middle with so little wrestling of consequence, and finish with a good main event. They tried to introduce some new elements, like the Wyatts-New Day feud, which will take some sorting out with two completely different teams now paired up. It was a half-reset and half-continuation show, while battling the overall issue of Raw just being too long at three hours.
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