SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
It’s the Fourth of July edition of Raw with as many patriotic elements as possible that can be squeezed into a three-hour television block. …
WWE Raw TV Report
July 4, 2016 – Episode #1,206
Live in Columbus, Ohio
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor
APP ALERT: If you are reading the Report on our new App, visit the mobile version of the report by HARD-PRESSING THIS LINK for the most frequent updates. VIP MEMBERS: Access your ad-free version by HARD-PRESSING THIS LINK.
- Week 10 of Shane & Stephanie McMahon running Raw
- Week 3 of Dean Ambrose as WWE World Hvt. champion
- WWE champion Dean Ambrose vs. IC champion The Miz
- U.S. Title match: Rusev vs. Titus O’Neil
- Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler
- Team USA vs. Team International 16-man elimination tag match
- Big Show & Kane & Mark Henry & Apollo Crews & The Dudleys (Bubba Ray & Devon) & Jack Swagger & Zack Ryder vs. Alberto Del Rio & Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens & Sheamus & Chris Jericho & Cesaro & Lucha Dragons (Kalisto & Sin Cara)
- Becky Lynch vs. Summer Rae
- John Cena calls out The Club
- Pre-Raw BBQ Food Fight follow-up
- Former Smackdown GM returns to Raw
Earlier Today: The WWE locker room (well, those in a position to be part of a jokey segment) was in catering enjoying a Fourth of July BBQ. Lots of chatter, heels and faces hanging out together, Canadians and Americans in harmony, and Cesaro and Apollo Crews just kept arm-wrestling in the middle of a karaoke presented by Goldust & R-Truth. Suddenly, The Vaudevillians barged in to interrupt. Aiden English wanted to sing the Declaration of Independence. Suddenly, someone threw food at Aiden. It was Bubba Ray Dudley, the master instigator. The Miz and Maryse barged in yelling “cut, cut, cut.” Maryse said her husband has something to say. Crews and Sheamus just kept battling in the middle of this. Miz continued his speech that today is not about food fights.
Suddenly, Tyler Breeze and Fandango squirted Miz with chocolate sauce. Maryse took exception, then got pied, so the food fight was on. Kevin Owens hid under a table, Cesaro & Apollo continued their stalemate, Chris Jericho tasted something nasty, Alberto Del Rio hung out in the background, Bo Dallas tried to dump punch over Enzo Amore but Big Cass turned the punch on him, Owens ate some Lays under the table, Big Show snacked on giant chicken wings, Kane accidentally got it in the face, Kane gripped Show around the throat, Heath Slater interrupted, and Show & Kane turned their attention to Slater to chokeslam him through a table.
Heels and faces left the catering area in harmony, Cesaro & Crews eventually dropped their arm wrestling contest, people filed out of the building, D-Young and Curtis Axel squirted Slater while he was down, and poor Slater was left alone in catering the victim of a double chokeslam. Actually, there’s Kevin Owens emerging from under the table. He said this would never happen on Canada Day. Suddenly, the cameraman pied Owens in the face. Owens freaked out and flipped over the remaining tables and chairs. Owens screamed and shouted, then spit out the pie. That was six minutes.
In the arena, Michael Cole introduced the show before NXT host Greg Hamilton introduced Lilian Garcia performing the National Anthem in the ring adorned with red, white, and blue ropes.
Suddenly, Rusev’s music played after Lilian finished the anthem. No Lana, who was in the food fight bit earlier. Rusev marched down to the ring with the U.S. Title belt around his waist ready to get through Titus O’Neil and move on with his day. Titus O’Neil was out next dressed in an Uncle Slam red, white, and blue get-up, taking himself out of his normal element before a big U.S. Title shot. Raw cut to break before the match started.
[Commercial Break at 8:12]
1 — U.S. champion RUSEV vs. TITUS O’NEIL — U.S. Title match
For a “big” title match, it was odd to start the match in the middle of the break. They returned from break with Rusev stomping on Titus, who was competing in red & white striped shorts. And there was Lana now down at ringside enjoying watching Rusev beat up Titus. On commentary, JBL compared Rusev to J.J. Watt combining amazing speed and power.
Titus was nearly counted out, then returned to the ring to take more punishment from Rusev. Titus tried to fight back, but Rusev no-sold and slapped him across the chest. Rusev then bounced the ropes, only to take a big shoulder tackle from O’Neil. Powerslam followed. O’Neil hit Clash of the Titus, but Rusev kicked out of his finisher.
Titus tried to recover from not getting the pin as the ref checked on Rusev. Titus then walked into a swift kick to the head. Rusev followed right up with The Accolade in the middle of the ring. Titus tried to summon the power of America to get out of the hold, but Rusev locked the hold in even tighter. Titus had to tap.
WINNER: Rusev via submission at 5:38 of what was shown.
Post-match, Rusev applied The Accolade again before finally letting go. Rusev then took the mic down at ringside to mock America celebrating today with hamburgers and little weenies. “Happy Birthday, America!” Rusev sarcastically declared before throwing down the mic. Rusev proudly held up the U.S. Title belt as WWE showed the American flag hanging over head from the ceiling.
Still to come: WWE champ Dean Ambrose vs. IC champ The Miz. Plus, John Cena calls out A.J. Styles and The Club, and America gets its win back in a 16-man elimination tag match against The World.
[Commercial Break at 8:23]
Back in the arena, The Social Outcasts were introduced to the ring in patriotic costumes. Curtis Axel banged away on a drum and Heath Slater had his arm in a cast to sell the double chokeslam during the food fight. In the ring, Bo Dallas said they are dressed as Minutemen.
Suddenly, Enzo Amore & Big Cass’s music interrupted. Enzo & Cass bounced out on-stage playing to the crowd, which greeted them with a “How you doin’?” chant. Enzo said they came to rain on the Outcasts’s parade. He said they are about to get presidentially dissed. Washington. Adams. (How you doing?) Jefferson. Madison. Monroe. (HYD?) Adams. Jackson. Van Buren. Harrison. On to Lincoln. Johnson. Grant. Garfield. On to Roosevelt. On to Truman. Eisenhower. On to Bush. And Obama. He said they would all be insulted by you, Social Outcasts. Cass closed that there is only one way to describe them. S-A-W-F-T.
2 — ENZO AMORE & BIG CASS vs. SOCIAL OUTCAST PATRIOTS (BO DALLAS & CURTIS AXEL w/Heath Slater)
Dallas and Axel actually wrestled in their wigs, coats, and pants. They controlled Enzo early on, but Axel missed a double axehandle from the second rope to allow Enzo to tag in Cass. Big boot to Dallas, then Enzo flew onto Bo with the rocket launcher for the pin and the win. Post-match, Enzo put on one of the wigs and ran around the ring to celebrate.
WINNERS: Enzo & Big Cass at 2:05.
Tonight: Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler, who wants to face Seth before they are potentially drafted to different shows.
Backstage: Women’s champion Charlotte and Dana Brooke were shown walking down the hallway. They speak next.
[Commercial Break at 8:35]
Women’s Title Segment
Back from break, Charlotte and Dana Brooke were in the ring for a promo. Charlotte said jealousy is the strongest human emotion. Now, her entire life, everyone around her has been jealous. Why? Because she becomes the very best at everything that she does. The proof is around her waist (Women’s Title belt).
Charlotte said no one is more jealous of her than Sasha Banks. She said it must eat her alive that she is leading the women’s division. Charlotte said not one woman has done more than her this year. She heeled on Sasha as all hype.
That brought out Sasha Banks dressed in matching non-wrestling gear. Sasha spoke from the entrance ramp that Charlotte might be champion, but she will never be her. Charlotte said she doesn’t want to be Sasha, and the truth hurts. Sasha recited her lines that she has not beaten her this year. She noted that if not for her daddy at WrestleMania, the title would be hers. Sasha said when they step into the ring one-on-one, she will dominate her.
“Dominate?!” Charlotte exclaimed. She said Sasha isn’t even in the conversation. No, Sasha said, she is the conversation. Charlotte and Sasha went back and forth about being a Boss. Sasha sounded more natural doing her own rap that Charlotte is ripping off her dad’s ’80s style and her reign is over.
A fight broke out with Sasha trying to fight both Charlotte and Dana, who decked Sasha in the melee. Charlotte said her reign has just begin. She tried to take out Sasha, but Sasha countered with a backstabber into the Bank Statement. Dana dragged Charlotte out of the ring to avoid further punishment. Sasha stood tall in the ring as Charlotte and Dana retreated from ringside.
[Q4] Backstage: WWE champion Dean Ambrose was shown walking down the hallway ahead of facing IC champion The Miz. Cole said it’s a rare champion vs. champion match tonight on Raw. Well, if you ignore the match just happening on Smackdown.
[Commercial Break at 8:46]
Smackdown hype video: It’s time to “believe” in WrestleMania. Or, just Smackdown “Be Live” in two weeks on USA Network.
In-ring: The Miz’s music played to bring out the IC champion and Maryse for the featured singles match of the show. In the ring, Miz kept his hand up to indicate the crowd needs to shut their mouths. He said he is not in a good mood after the food fight earlier. But, he does want to dedicate this match to his French-Canadian wife, Maryse, who cleaned up well after the food fight. And, she just so happened to celebrate St. John Baptiste Day (two weeks ago).
Dean Ambrose’s music interrupted before Miz and Maryse got busy in the ring. JBL continued to heel on Dean representing the company. Cole consoled him that it’s only for a few more weeks because Dean defends the WWE Title against Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns at Battleground.
3 — WWE champion DEAN AMBROSE vs. IC champion THE MIZ (w/Maryse) — non-title Champion vs. Champion match
The announcers hyped The Draft in two weeks. Meanwhile, Ambrose clotheslined Miz over the top rope to the floor early on. Ambrose followed with a plancha on the outside. Ambrose continued to punish Miz, including giving him a side Russian Legsweep into the barricade. Maryse yelled at Dean, trying to distract him, giving Miz just the slightest opening to reverse a slam into a back body drop across the barricade. Miz smooched Maryse heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 8:55]
Back from break, Miz was trying to bend Ambrose’s leg in half in the middle of the ring. Ambrose kicked free, then punched Miz atop the head, but Miz came back with a kick to the knee. Chop from Ambrose. Another. But, Miz avoided a dropkick and went to the figure-four leglock trying to capitalize on the knee work. Ambrose reached the bottom rope right as Raw hit the top of the hour.
[Q5 — second hour] Miz charged Ambrose, who side-stepped the Intercontinental champion to dump him over the top rope to the floor. Miz scampered back into the ring, only to take clotheslines from Ambrose. Ambrose took Miz to the top turnbuckle looking for a superplex, but Miz blocked. Ambrose eventually knocked Miz to the floor, then nailed a suicide dive to the outside, shaking off his knee injury.
Back in the ring, Ambrose and Miz went back-and-forth trading control, including Miz blocking Dirty Deeds. Miz then tried a charging kick, but Dean ducked and smashed Miz with Dirty Deeds in the middle of the ring. Dean made a confident cover for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Ambrose at 9:36. Nice, clean win for the WWE champion leading to Battleground. This was a good match.
Post-match, Ambrose checked his knee and shook some life into it as JBL continued to lament Ambrose as WWE champion. Ambrose posed around the ring with possession of the title belt as the referee down at ringside yelled at him.
Suddenly, Seth Rollins’s music played. Rollins sauntered out on-stage to stare down Ambrose, who smirked from down at ringside. Rollins then met Ambrose in the walkway and they walked past each other. Ambrose wished Rollins good luck, then kept on walking. Rollins acted confused, then hit the ring. Ambrose stopped at the top of the stage to glare back toward Rollins, then he suddenly jogged down to the ring.
Ambrose hit the ring, his music played, and he slid right past Rollins to ringside. Apparently Ambrose is joining commentary. Spanish commentary, giving JBL the cold shoulder. Nicely played. Raw cut to break with Rollins throwing a fit in the ring before facing Dolph Ziggler.
[Commercial Break at 9:06]
Raw returned from break with the Spanish announce feed. Dean Ambrose said he is campeon and he will remain that after Battleground via uno, dos, tres. Ambrose predicted (in Spanish) a “grand celebration” after the PPV. As Seth threw a fit in the ring, Dolph Ziggler was introduced as Rollins’s opponent.
Before the bell sounded, WWE randomly plugged an event for Smackdown: Brock Lesnar’s Summerslam opponent will be announced.
4 — SETH ROLLINS vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER
Ambrose was on English commentary once the bell sounded. Ziggler frustrated an already-frustrated Rollins by out-wrestling him in the ring. Rollins rolled to the floor to recover. Back in the ring, Dolph took down Rollins again. Seth again rolled to the floor selling frustration. On commentary, Ambrose said Seth is so easily frustrated and full of negativity. Seth yelled at Dean, then slowly returned to the ring to wrestle Dolph. Meanwhile, Dean put JBL in his place on commentary.
[Q6] Rollins again rolled to the outside frustrated with the match. Dolph chased him down, then got kicked in the head for his trouble. Seth finally got control of the match after using heel tactics to get his way. Raw cut to break.
[Commercial Break at 9:16]
Back from break, Dolph fought back against Rollins with hard strikes in the corner, but Rollins cut him off. Seth teased The Pedigree, but Dolph escaped and hit two clotheslines. Corner splash. Neckbreaker. Dolph fired up, then nailed an elbow drop for a two count. Superkick attempt, but Seth blocked and kicked Ziggler in the gut. Kick to the chin for a two count.
Seth tried to finish off Ziggler with a springboard move, but Dolph moved, charged Seth, and ate the mat. Seth immediately tried to follow with the Pedigree, but Dolph blocked and nailed a superkick for a super-close two count. The crowd gasped as Seth waited until the very last split-second to kick out. That was Dolph’s last chance.
Dolph picked up Seth looking for Zig-Zag, but Seth threw him off. Seth immediately followed with The Pedigree in the middle of the ring. Seth covered Dolph for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Rollins at 11:15. This was another good match. Nice back-to-back segments to keep the Battleground main event theme rolling.
Post-match, Rollins left the ring and stood on the Spanish announce table to scream about his victory while Ambrose patiently listened at the English announce table. Rollins cut a promo on Roman Reigns that he will not let him tarnish his legacy. Rollins said his career is a joke and he needs to be taken out of the WWE Title match at Battleground (cheers). Seth said he deserves a rightful one-on-one re-match.
Rollins said Reigns is supposed to be a role model for everyone here, but the crowd is just like him – cut corners, cheat, and lie to get to the Promised Land. Ambrose had enough of listening to Seth, so he slowly got up behind Seth and climbed on top of the Spanish table. Seth turned around to find Dean staring at him from the other table. Seth shouted at Dean that he’s crazy and a lunatic. Seth vowed to take him out at Battleground and beat him, and beat Reigns, and take back his title. You got that?
Ambrose also had a mic. Naw. Ambrose tossed the belt to Rollins, then charged him to deliver big right hand blows. Ambrose pounded away at Rollins, then threw him over the Spanish table. Ambrose scooped up Rollins looking for Dirty Deeds, and he delivered it on the table. The crowd cheered Dean as he stood tall with the belt. “One more time!” from the crowd.
Instead, Dean held up the title belt and his music played for the celebration to keep rolling. Cole noted Ambrose took the Pedigree last week, and he gave Seth some of his own medicine tonight. Ambrose stopped at the English announcers to shake hands with Cole, then leave with possession of his title belt.
Announcers: Cole and Co. transitioned to Cena-Styles hype, including Cena calling out The Club tonight.
[Q7] Suddenly, the Wyatt theme interrupted. It was old-school Bray Wyatt hiding out in the woods telling New Day to come find them (Bray, Braun Strowman, and Erick Rowan) and see if their power of positivity still works in the house of fear. “Come on in, the water is fine,” Bray soothed. “Join us. Join us. Join us.”
[Commercial Break at 9:32]
Video Package: Who is Baron Corbin? He won the Andre Battle Royal at WrestleMania and is now causing destruction.
Announcers: Cole, Byron Saxton, and JBL hyped Baron Corbin. JBL said he is a future World champion.
Suddenly, Vickie Guerrero’s voice interrupted JBL mid-claim. Vickie walked out on-stage to a light reaction. (Have they already forgotten her?) Vickie approached the Smackdown podium doing her “Excuse me!” routine. Vickie said Smackdown is in need of an experienced COO. Now, while Shane and Stephanie McMahon are handling Raw duties, Smackdown Live cannot be handled by a freak like Kane, push-over like Teddy Long, or corporate sell-out like John Laurinaitis. Rather, Smackdown needs a strong, independent woman to run the show. Vickie told the audience to tell the world that they believe in her to lead Smackdown Live.
Suddenly, indy guys playing security guards charged the podium to get Vickie off the stage. She slapped one of the men, then both men hauled her off. Back at the announce position, JBL yelled “Vickie Guerrero!”
Backstage: Big Show addressed the Team USA troops. Swagger, Henry, Devon, Dudley, Kane, Ryder, and Crews were lined up for a pre-match speech about the Founding Fathers not always getting along and regularly fighting, but they always united against a common enemy. Based on how Show described Kane, he’s not really an American. Is he going to Benedict Arnold his team? Show said this is the Fourth of July and they are Americans. So, they will do what Americans do best – fight. And win. And defend a legacy that started 240 years ago. “U-S-A!” Show shouted. In a voice-over, Cole said they face the “Multinational Alliance” later tonight.
[Commercial Break at 9:41]
[Q8] Exterior Shot: Raw is live from Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
This Wednesday: Cruiserweight Bracketology with Daniel Bryan on WWE Network after NXT.
Backstage: Vickie Guerrero continued to be hauled down the hallway. Suddenly, there was Dolph Ziggler to remember how things were. Dolph calmed down the security guards. “I have never seen this woman before in my life,” Dolph deadpanned. Vickie freaked out and continued to be hauled away. Dolph went back to his phone conversation that he lost again, but tried really hard. His voice trailed off as WWE cut to the ring.
Ringside: Tyler Breeze and Fandango were hanging out to watch the next match. Already in the ring were The Vaudevillians. Golden Truth was out next to continue their karaoke from the pre-show food fight, complete with giant text in the lower-third of the screen.
5 — GOLDEN TRUTH (R-TRUTH & GOLDUST) vs. THE VAUDEVILLIANS (AIDEN ENGLISH & SIMON GOTCH)
Truth and Goldust combined for “Solid Gold” on Aiden English for a quick and easy win. Golden Truth, now winning, taunted Breeze & Fandango down at ringside.
WINNERS: Golden Truth at 1:28.
Up Next: John Cena addresses The Club in the featured promo segment of the show.
[Commercial Break at 9:49]
Life Lessons with Bob Backlund vignette: Backlund told Darren Young to focus on being problem-free. Wait a minute. How do you maintain a problem-free life? D-Young said he has his fair share of problems. Bob told him to submit problems to his will. Bob wanted to know what his finisher is. The Gut Check. No, no, your submission finisher? Young dejectedly said he doesn’t have one. Backlund told Young not to be a chicken, but the master of the … Cross-face Chickenwing. Wait, are you giving me your finisher? Bob said that is right, and he wants Young to be great again!
Cena Addresses His Club Membership
John Cena’s music played to bring out Cena full of energy and fight. Loud cheers and shrieks mixed with some sing-song “John Cena Suuuucks” from the vocal males. Cena stormed the ring and looked around the arena before posing for the crowd.
Cena said the crowd seems to be not as fired up as usual. What are you disappointed about? Is this the type of audience that gets wild and fired up tonight? Or, maybe everyone is a little disappointed. The crowd picked up a “Let’s Go Cena / Cena Sucks” chant. Cena let it build and tried to capture the “excitement and energy” – just like the first time he stood in the ring with A.J. Styles.
Cena said a competitor like Styles brings out the very best in him. And, supporters of Styles have been waiting 15 years for him to get his shot and make his mark in WWE. But then everyone was disappointed when Styles failed to stand on his own two feet in the moment of truth. Instead, he leaned on The Club’s shoulders. Cena said he wanted to see for himself who the better man was, just to know. But, that hasn’t happened.
Cena went to a visual from last Monday when The Club took out Cena with the Magic Killer on the ring stage. Today, he’s still standing even though he’s banged up and bruised. Cena said he’s tired of looking over his shoulder. He told The Club that if they want some, then come get some.
[Q9 — third hour] A.J. Styles’s music played to a loud reaction, bringing out Styles, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows for a fight. Cole hyped their triumphant return to Japan over the weekend as part of a WWE Live Event tour. From the stage, Styles said he’s being pathetic whining, crying, and complaining. Aww, so sad.
Styles wanted to talk about unfair. He said Tokyo, Japan this past week was supposed to be a homecoming for them. But, when they got there, what did they see? John Cena’s face all over the poster. But, Cena found out pretty quickly that they run Tokyo. And, pretty soon, they will run WWE. First, they need to get rid of Cena.
Styles said the Powers That Be that didn’t want him here in WWE to begin with can’t get over him beating Cena at Money in the Bank. Styles said Cena can’t bury him because he’s got an insurance policy, Karl & Luke. And, here’s the great thing about it. Styles said no WWE Superstar is coming out to help Cena, saying he has no help. Because no one likes you. Styles said most WWE stars relate to The Club.
Styles said he imagines most WWE Superstars would want to be in their position beating up Cena. But, they’re the only ones with big-enough balls to get it done. So, John, every week you come out here, we’re going to beat you up. What’s more fun than beating up John Cena? Week after week after week after week. And then sooner or later, it’s Labor Day. Then, Karl, what are you going to do on Labor Day? “I’m going to beat up John Cena.” Gallows said on Halloween he’s going to dress up like Bushwhacker Luke, lick Styles’s face, and beat up John Cena.
What about Christmas? Karl vowed to wrap some presents for his kids with his hot Asian wife … and beat up John Cena. Styles said today is today, though. It’s the Fourth of July. So, let’s beat up John Cena!
The Club stormed the ring as Cena prepared to fight by himself. Styles, Karl, and Gallows circled Cena, then charged the ring. And the beat-up was on. Cena was quickly on the mat taking a beating. Who would provide help? Anyone? Styles pounded away on Cena with right hands, just pounding his face. Styles was loving it. Kicks to the back. Styles told Luke and Karl to get Cena up. But, suddenly, Enzo & Big Cass’s music played.
Enzo and Big Cass stormed the ring looking for a fight. It was on. Cena got back to life to fight Styles as Enzo battled Karl, Gallows battled Cass, and Cena then discarded Styles from the ring. Big Cass nailed Luke with a big boot, sending him out of the ring to the floor. The Club recovered on the floor as Cena stood tall with Enzo and Cass. Cena raised the arms of Enzo and Cass as JBL cynically speculated that Enzo & Cass did this for self-serving reasons. Long stare down between the trios.
Still to come: The Multinational Alliance faces Team American Labor of Love.
Up Next: Becky Lynch vs. Summer Rae.
[Commercial Break at 10:09]
Green Screen: The Shining Stars know how to celebrate the Fourth of July in Puerto Rico, where things are not over-commercialized like in the U.S.
In-ring: Summer Rae was standing by in the ring. Full ring entrance for Becky Lynch to face Summer. No Natalya down at ringside to be a target of Becky’s rising anger. But, WWE announced it will be Becky vs. Natalya at Battleground in three weeks.
6 — BECKY LYNCH vs. SUMMER RAE
So, where was Natalya? WWE cut backstage to show Natalya safely watching the match on a monitor. Summer dominated the first few minutes, then Becky came back with a flurry of offense. Becky locked on the Dis-armer finisher for a tap-out. Backstage, Natalya tried to calm herself down seeing Becky win.
WINNER: Becky via submission at 3:00.
Backstage: Chris Jericho provided a pep talk to the “Multinational Alliance.” Jericho wished everyone a belated Happy Canada Day, then Alberto Del Rio wanted to know who made him team captain. Del Rio, Kalisto, and Sin Cara talked to each other in Spanish, then argued with Jericho. Sheamus spoke his own dialect, then Kevin Owens shouted over everyone to shut up. Owens said after what happened in the food fight earlier, he’s ready to beat up some “stupid idiot Americans.”
Owens shouted at everyone, including Sami Zayn to get on the same page. Sheamus filed out, too, then Del Rio. Jericho told Zayn to watch it. What’s “it?” Jericho replied, “It.” Zayn concluded that foreigners have been given a bad name for a long time. He talked to the babyfaces (Cesaro, Kalisto, and Cara) that they need to be on the same page and demonstrate friendship. “Amigos!” they agreed.
[Commercial Break at 10:22]
Pre-tape Locker Room: Enzo Amore & Big Cass did a spot for Sonic comparing meals from their Sonic Boom Box and lunch box. Weird to be in this spot after the big Cena-Club segment moments ago. Enzo couldn’t spell delicious (but he knows all the presidents).
Back in the arena, New Day’s music played to produce WWE tag champions New Day. And, WWE will try again for the Wyatts to be on ESPNews SportsCenter on Tuesday night after the segment was bumped last week.
New Day danced and sang their way to the ring before taking their position in the ring. Kofi Kingston ran down the Wyatts’s style, Big E. suggested they are about incest, and Xavier Woods sold concern. Kofi said they have been invited to their compound, so Big E. said they will bring Booty-O’s with them. Xavier wasn’t buying into the act.
[Q11] Suddenly, the Wyatt theme interrupted. Erick Rowan spoke from the compound that laughter is precious. However, Braun Strowman said screams are music to his ears. Apparently they have a satellite hook-up in their shed to respond live to New Day. Bray Wyatt said this is the battle between good and evil. He said New Day started this battle, so they will be waiting for them.
Back in the arena, Kofi and Big E. gleefully accepted the challenge while Xavier drifted away from center selling concern. Big E. vowed to spread positivity from the windows to the walls. Interesting. Suddenly, Xavier shouted: “Listen!!!” Xavier said The Wyatts are dangerous and you guys are under-estimating them. Woods said everything has been fun & games up until now, but if you don’t see the danger and threat that Bray Wyatt is to them, then he doesn’t think New Day will be able to survive.
Big E. and Kofi tried to figure out if Xavier was joking or being serious, then Xavier left the ring selling dejection and concern as the crowd shouted not to join the Wyatts. The camera followed Xavier up the entrance ramp to the back.
Up Next: The International Brotherhood for Amigos faces the Domestic Guys in the main event.
[Commercial Break at 10:34]
This Thursday on Smackdown: Brock Lesnar’s Summerslam opponent revealed.
Announcers: Cole, JBL, and Saxton hyped the announcement as a drawing you don’t want to win.
Battleground Announcement: It will not be Cena vs. Styles II, but The Club vs. Cena & Enzo & Big Cass in a six-man tag match.
In the arena, Lilian Garcia introduced each wrestler individually with his theme music. Cesaro was out first for a low-key Swiss entrance. Alberto Del Rio, Kalisto, and Sin Cara were out next to the Mexican anthem. Sheamus was out next representing Ireland. The Canadian theme produced Kevin Owens, then Chris Jericho, then Sami Zayn. Saxton wanted to know how Sami and Owens are going to get along.
Cole plugged Raw returning to Shane McMahon’s new favorite city of Detroit next Monday for Raw. Then, patriotic music brought out the eight-man American unit.
7 — TEAM U.S.A. (Bubba Ray Dudley & Devon & Big Show & Kane & Zack Ryder & Apollo Crews & Jack Swagger & Mark Henry) vs. TEAM MULTINATIONAL ALLIANCE (Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens & Cesaro & Sami Zayn & Alberto Del Rio & Kalisto & Sin Cara & Sheamus) — 16-man elimination tag match
The Dudleys nailed Sin Cara with a 3D in the first minute. Instead of breaking up the pin, Kalisto just stood there with his hands on his head lamenting his tag partner’s imminent fall.
*** Kalisto out via Dudleys at 1:07 ***
Suddenly, Sheamus nailed Bubba Ray with a Brogue Kick, then Kalisto splashed Bubba for another elimination. Devon was left alone as Raw cut to break.
*** Bubba out by Kalisto at 1:18 ***
[Q12] [Commercial Break at 10:44]
No eliminations during the break. Cesaro put Devon in the Big Swing, then flowed into the Sharpshooter. Devon tried to reached the ropes, but he had to tap out.
*** Devon out via Cesaro at 5:35 ***
Cesaro and Swagger came together to revisit their Real Americans run. “We The People!” shout in unison, then they scrapped in the middle of the ring. Swagger teased the Patriotlock, but Cesaro countered with the Sharpshooter. They knew each other too well, so Cesaro tagged out to Jericho. It’s been six years since Swagger cashed in MITB on Jericho. Jericho go this revenge with the Codebreaker on Swagger for a pin.
*** Swagger out via Jericho at 7:46 ***
Kane entered next and a giant brawl broke out between the remaining participants. Cole called it a chaotic moment as bodies flew out of the ring heading to the final break of the show.
[Commercial Break at 10:51]
Back from break, Del Rio was battling Crews. Tag to Henry, who seemed a step slow getting back in the ring for the first time in a while. The crowd was hot for him, though, and he caught Kalisto with the World’s Strongest Slam for a pin.
*** Kalisto out via Henry at 13:20 ***
Henry stood proudly in the ring to celebrate, then Kevin Owens suddenly caught Henry with a pop-up powerbomb, wowing the crowd. Owens covered Henry for a pin.
*** Henry out via Owens at 13:35 ***
Owens and Zayn couldn’t stand being on the same team anymore, so a fight broke out. That caused Zayn to run into a big clothesline from Kane. Suddenly, Owens blasted Zayn in the back with a chair, DQ’ing himself. Owens didn’t care, so he hit Kane with a chair. Kane then turned the chair on Owens to get him out of the ring. And, Kane was also eliminated for hitting Owens with a chair. Cole said Owens was already eliminated, though, so it was a bit silly.
*** Owens self-DQ’ed at 14:50 ***
*** Kane DQ’ed at 15:25 ***
In the chaos of events, Apollo Crews caught Zayn with a standing moonsault to pin him for the next elimination.
*** Zayn out by Crews at 15:47 ***
Sheamus then blasted his current nemesis, Crews, with a Brogue Kick to pin him.
*** Crews out by Sheamus at 15:55 ***
[Q13 — over-run] After the rapid-fire sequence of eliminations, it was down to Jericho, Del Rio, Cesaro, and Sheamus for the multi-nationals against Ryder and Big Show. The international contingent couldn’t get along, specifically Jericho and Cesaro. Then, Cesaro and Del Rio. Then, Cesaro and Sheamus. Cesaro decided to just blast everyone with uppercuts. Including his actual opponent, Zack Ryder. Suddenly, Ryder jackknife pinned Cesaro.
*** Cesaro out by Ryder at 18:33 ***
The internationals were down to three heels, who picked apart Ryder while Show stood on the ring apron. Suddenly, Ryder smashed Sheamus with a neckbreaker. Hot tag to Big Show. Show stacked up the heels in the corner, then nailed a big splash. KO Punch to Jericho right in the face. And it was good for the pin.
*** Jericho out via Show at 20:06 ***
Del Rio tried to take out Show at the knees, but Show shook him off and nailed a chokeslam to Del Rio. It was good for another pin.
*** Del Rio out via Show at 20:28 ***
Sheamus was left alone for the heel internationals against Show and Ryder. Show pulled Sheamus by the mohawk back into the ring, then slammed him down to the mat. Show open-hand slapped Sheamus over and over again. The match came to a standstill when Show tried running across the ring, so he tagged in Ryder. Ryder unloaded on Sheamus, but walked into a powerslam. Kick-out by Ryder.
Sheamus then ran right into Big Show, who shoved Sheamus into Ryder for the Rough Ryder. Ryder covered Sheamus for the win. USA has done it. They have done it. It’s all over. The foreigners have been vanquished.
Post-match, Ryder and Show stood alone as the sole survivors. Ryder jumped into Show’s arms to celebrate as Cole exclaimed USA’s victory tonight. A giant flag fell from the ceiling as Ryder and Show celebrated victory. Fireworks and pyro shot off in the arena as Cole signed off six minutes past the top of the hour.
WINNERS: USA Show & Ryder at 22:16. The rapid-fire eliminations got pretty ridiculous for a while. And the final image of Show & Ryder as the sole survivors was one of the most surreal closings to Raw in a while. Certainly reinforced this as a holiday Raw. Ryder’s 2016 has been something else.
LIVECAST ALERT: We’re talking your calls on the Raw post-game show at 11:30 p.m. EST at PWTorchLivecast.com breaking down tonight’s show.
APP ALERT: If you are reading the Report on our new App, visit the mobile version of the report by HARD-PRESSING THIS LINK for the most frequent updates. VIP MEMBERS: Access your ad-free version by HARD-PRESSING THIS LINK.
Social Media Alert: Follow PWTorch staffer’s live, real-time tweets during Raw at Twitter.com/PWTorch/torch-staff.
Reax: We welcome your 0-10 score & comments on this show for a “Raw Reax” feature. To contribute your thoughts on Raw, email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shop: Do you shop on Amazon? Support PWTorch by using our ID when shopping. Just click THIS LINK and whatever you buy costs the same, but it gives back to PWTorch!
Could this be a foreshadowing of WWE actually DOING SOMETHING with Ryder???