In this episode of Wrestling Night in America, PWTorch columnist Greg Parks breaks down both nights of WrestleMania with callers and emailers. Topics include the quality of the Firefly Funhouse match, the decision to put Charlotte over Rhea Ripley, the potential of wrestlers getting more creative freedom in the current environment, and more.
(Search "wade keller" to subscribe in podcast app or CLICK HERE to subscribe in Apple Podcasts.)
WWE continues the march to Battlground with Raw from Detroit featuring Vince McMahon’s return to name the Smackdown authority figure. …
WWE Raw TV Report
July 11, 2016 – Episode #1,207
Live in Detroit, Mich.
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 11 of Shane & Stephanie McMahon running Raw
- Week 4 of Dean Ambrose as WWE World Hvt. champion
- Vince McMahon returns with Shane & Stephanie
- Seth Rollins addresses WWE Title feud at Battleground
- Confrontation between U.S. champion Rusev and Zack Ryder
- Zack Ryder vs. Sheamus
- #1 contender battle royal to IC Title
- Sasha Banks vs. Dana Brooke
- The Club (Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows w/A.J. Styles) vs. Enzo Amore & Big Cass
- Lucha Dragons vs. Tyler Breeze & Fandango
- WWE tag champions New Day visit The Wyatts Compound
Raw opened with a gaggle of WWE stars in the ring for the #1 contender battle royal to the Intercontinental Title. Apollo Crews was given a solo ring introduction to join the mix of mid-carders. Suddenly, The Miz interrupted from the announce desk. Miz, standing next to Maryse, hyped his IC Title reign over Crews’s music. Miz vowed to defeat the winner of this battle royal at Battleground. Crews was the only wrestler to get an entrance, so cue the bell.
1 — IC TITLE #1 contender Battle Royal — Winner faces The Miz at Battleground
Miz and Maryse joined commentary as the mid-carders battled in the ring. This looked like a run-over from the Superstars taping. Aiden English and the formerly suspended Konnor were eliminated. Suddenly, WWE recognized Bob Backlund down at ringside supporting Darren Young, anti-climatically debuting on Raw.
Curtis Axel was out next via Devon Dudley, then Baron Corbin eliminated R-Truth. Miz noted he will ensure that he and Maryse will not be drafted to separate brands via next week’s Draft. Meanwhile, Viktor was eliminated. The Usos teased eliminating themselves, then got on the right page, and superkicked Devon out of the ring. Raw went to an early break seven minutes into the show. A strange start to Raw tonight.
[Commercial Break at 8:07]
Back from break, there were 10-12 guys left in the ring. During the break, Bubba Ray tossed Jey Uso out of the ring. Back live, Goldust was dumped out by Alberto Del Rio. Bo Dallas was out next. Darren Young tried to eliminate Dolph Ziggler, but Ziggler held on. Meanwhile, Jimmy Uso was eliminated. Baron Corbin then absolutely launched Jack Swagger over the top rope to the floor.
Down at ringside, Coach Backlund squatted down trying to encourage D-Young to win this battle royal. Suddenly, Young dumped Bubba Ray over the top rope. But, Young walked right into End of Days from Corbin. Del Rio stood tall to a big pop, then took a Fameasser from Ziggler, who seemed to instinctively go for a pin attempt.
Moments later, Del Rio flew through the second rope, landed on the ring apron, and Ziggler kicked him to the outside, but Cole said Del Rio was not eliminated because he did not go over the top. So, Del Rio rolled back into the ring. So, Apollo dumped Del Rio out anyways.
[Q2] It was a Final Four of Ziggler, Corbin, Crews, and D-Young. Everyone just stood around in the ring as refs shouted instructions from the floor. Corbin then dumped Ziggler out of the ring to the floor, continuing their feud. D-Young hung around in the background, then Crews and Corbin clotheslined themselves over the top rope. So, Young was left alone in the ring as the last man standing, winning by doing nothing.
Post-match, Darren Young sold shock that he won. Bob Backlund celebrated, then Young stood tall in the ring glaring down The Miz, who held up the IC Title belt from the announce table.
WINNER: D-Young at 13:15 to become #1 contender to the IC Title. This was an atrocious battle royal from star power to presentation to introducing D-Young & Backlund after weeks of vignettes to dead time in the middle to the finish establishing Young as a weak challenger. Just so absurd that you can’t help but laugh.
Still to Come: Mr. McMahon is back.
Up Next: Brock Lesnar’s UFC 200 victory.
Still to come: New Day and The Wyatts fight in a cornfield.
[Commercial Break at 8:19]
Hype Video: WWE’s Cruiserweight tournament kicks off this Wednesday.
Authority Office: Shane and Stephanie McMahon were back on TV for a little chat. Steph wanted to know why dad is coming back tonight. Shane sarcastically said his guess is the Draft. Steph said she was just making conversation. They went back and forth about possible reasons for Vince to come back tonight.
In walked Seth Rollins, saying perhaps Vince is coming back to discuss him. Seth called himself the #1 Draft Pick. He really wanted to talk about Roman Reigns, with some exclusive footage. Shane said that sounds like a great idea for the Ambrose Asylum. Steph heeled on WWE champ Dean Ambrose, then Rollins said it should be the Rollins Report on Roman Reigns. Steph said she likes the alliteration. Seth said you will not be disappointed. Shane put the responsibility on Steph if this goes wrong.
Announcers: Cole, JBL, and Byron Saxton hyped Brock Lesnar’s UFC 200 return fight and victory. They showed still photos from the AP of Lesnar defeating Mark Hunt. JBL said he could be the greatest heavyweight in fight history.
Summerslam plug: It’s Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton at Summerslam. Cole went to post-fight press conference footage of Lesnar addressing his Summerslam match against Randy Orton.
Battleground Announcement: Randy Orton returns to WWE TV at Battleground for a special interview on Chris Jericho’s “Highlight Reel.”
Backstage: Zack Ryder confronted U.S. champion Rusev, who was standing in the hallway with Lana. Ryder wanted a U.S. Title shot. Suddenly, Sheamus jumped Ryder from behind to beat him up. Sheamus told Ryder that he has a scheduled match – against him. And it’s next. Sheamus threw Ryder down to the floor, then Rusev and Lana stepped over Ryder and kept walking.
[Commercial Break at 8:28] [Q3…]
[…Q3] Sheamus was shown in the ring seemingly taking a nap standing in the ring with his eyes closed waiting for his music to stop so that he could react to Zack Ryder’s remixed music. Ryder then marched out to the ring.
2 — SHEAMUS vs. ZACK RYDER
They quickly clotheslined each other over the top rope to the floor to intensity the fight. Back in the ring, Sheamus got on his knees screaming about something being wrong with Ryder. Sheamus then blasted Ryder with a clothesline as the announcers discussed Draft strategy. Suddenly, Sheamus smashed Ryder with a Brogue Kick in the middle of the ring. Sheamus covered Ryder for the win.
WINNER: Sheamus at 2:16. Sheamus sure got his comeuppance…..Or not. They made Ryder look just as bad as D-Young before a mid-card title challenge.
Post-match, Rusev marched down to the ring and blasted Ryder. Rusev accepted Ryder’s U.S. Title challenge as he put him in The Accolade and bent Ryder backwards. Rusev continued to shout “I accept your challenge!” then eventually released the hold. He then held up the U.S. Title belt.
Still to come: The Club vs. Certified Gs.
[Commercial Break at 8:38]
In-ring: Tyler Breeze and Fandango’s music played to bring out the duo for tag action against Lucha Dragons.
Earlier Tonight: They had a backstage confrontation and Breeze ended up the butt of the joke. Back in the arena, Lucha Dragons made their ring entrance.
3 — LUCHA DRAGONS (KALISTO y SIN CARA) vs. TYLER BREEZE & FANDANGO
The tired conversation continued of these teams potentially being split up via next week’s Draft. Cole and JBL talked dollars and cents about contract renegotiations if you’re drafted high. Or, if you don’t get drafted at all. JBL said he went the entire 1989 NFL Draft without being drafted, giving him a big chip on his shoulder.
Tags to Kalisto and Breeze, who took a kick to the face. Kalisto then kicked Fandango out of the ring. Kalisto wanted Salida del Sol on Breeze, but Fandango blocked it from the outside. Back in the ring, Breeze almost rolled up Kalisto from behind for the fall. Kalisto tried a second-rope move, but Breeze smashed him from behind with a swift kick. Breeze flung Kalisto down to the mat, then covered him for a three count.
WINNERS: Breeze & Fandango at 4:21. What are you supposed to do with this result? Breeze & Fandango have essentially been enhancers for Golden Truth and now they beat Lucha Dragons, and both teams might be broken up next week.
Up Next: The Rollins Report discussing the “Roman Reigns scandal.”
[Commercial Break at 8:48]
This Wednesday: John Cena hosts The ESPYs.
Rollins Report Ep. 1
Back from break, Seth Rollins’s music played to bring out Rollins dressed to wrestle. No suit and tie? Rollins took the mic and said tonight is the night for a big scoop. Seth told everyone else in the market to take a nap or stay retired (John Stewart).
Seth said he has obtained an exclusive sit-down interview with The Guy, asking him hard-hitting questions that no one else has the guts to ask. Big set-up for the joke. Seth sent it to the video for the first edition of “The Rollins Report.”
Earlier Today: Seth Rollins was in Michael Cole’s chair. They cut to past footage of Roman Reigns sitting down in the chair, complete with the WWE Title belt in the picture. The footage was doctored for Rollins to ask Reigns about his suspension, being a horrible person, and Reigns to admit to ruining his career. So, how do you feel about your brother Dean Ambrose as WWE champion? The footage was doctored for Reigns to say it makes him want to puke. Rollins said they can finally agree on that.
Back live, Rollins said they need to do the right thing by getting Roman Reigns out of the WWE Title match at Battleground (big pop), and he wants to get back his title.
Suddenly, Dean Ambrose’s music played to bring out the WWE champion. Ambrose smiled as he hit the ring to address Rollins pulling the giant stick out of his butt to have some fun around here.
[Q5 — second hour] Rollins said a joke to him is Dean’s title reign. He said Ambrose didn’t win that title from him; no, he stole it from him at Money in the Bank. Why? “Because you’re a coward and you can’t beat me one-on-one for the title,” Rollins told Ambrose. Rollins said no one beat him for that title last year and Dean is afraid of him.
Rollins said Dean’s little plan isn’t going to work on him. He said he can stick to his little triple threat plan, though, because he’ll finally be able to prove that he’s the best member of The Shield. Seth told Dean that he was better than him before, during, and after The Shield. He vowed to end Dean’s fairy-tale title reign at Battleground. “You got that?!” Seth shouted.
Dean sold feeling a little crazy. He said he likes to come out here and have a good time. But, he can also be serious as the top man in this industry. Dean said he proved long ago that he’s more than just a utility player, but the guy around here who didn’t get suspended, didn’t wash out, and didn’t go chasing some other sport. Ambrose, fired up, said he is the king of this sport right now.
Ambrose collected himself, then got back in Seth’s face. He said he’s pilled buckets of blood in this ring and crawled through crap to get here, so let me ask you a question, Seth. If I was willing to go through all of that to become WWE champion, how far do you think I’m willing to go to keep this? “Rest assured, Seth, it’s not a joke when I tell you that you, Roman Reigns, Vince McMahon, or God himself is going to have to pry this from my cold, dead hands!” Ambrose shouted.
Dean said Seth disgusts him and if he wants a one-on-one shot at the title, anytime, anyplace. Seth shouted back that Detroit is as good a place as any. “Buttttt, not tonight,” Seth said. “I’ll see you next week.”
Seth threw down the mic and left the ring to boos, saying they do this on his time. Seth left the ring to the stage as Dean stood firm in the ring standing next to his WWE Title belt. Dean held up the belt as Seth ranted & raved from the stage.
[ Reax: Strong, strong face champion promo from Dean Ambrose and Seth had just the right facial reactions and body language to sell for Dean to enhance his promo. Seth’s facials made the goofy video edit bit work, too. ]
Still to come: Wyatts-New Day at the compound, Mr. McMahon returns, and The Club vs. Enzo & Cass.
NXT hype video: Shinsuke Nakamura. If he wants to be the best, he has to face Finn Balor. It’s this Wednesday on WWE Network.
[Commercial Break at 9:07]
During the Break: WWE confirmed Ambrose vs. Rollins for the WWE Title next week in Providence.
In-ring: Sami Zayn was introduced to the ring for undisclosed in-ring activity. They went to footage from last Thursday on Smackdown when Zayn and Kevin Owens had a confrontation prior to Zayn defeating Chris Jericho. Back live, Zayn was on commentary to promote his match against Owens at Battleground.
Kevin Owens was then introduced to the ring for the next match against Cesaro. No sign of Owens. Zayn wanted to know what this is about. WWE cut backstage to Owens complaining to the referees about not going down there to a safe work environment with Sami Zayn at ringside. Stephanie McMahon walked into the shot and told refs to get Zayn away from ringside.
Back live, Zayn said he has clearance from Shane McMahon to be here on ringside. The refs jogged down to ringside to tell Zayn to leave. Zayn stood up and sold frustration as the crowd booed. Zayn reluctantly walked away from ringside, but Owens’s music played as Zayn was still leaving. Zayn walked up to Owens and slapped at him, then Owens punched back and the scrap was on. Refs separated Zayn and Owens, who complained down to ringside. Zayn eventually walked to the back as Owens talked tough from a distance in the ring.
Backstage: A limo pulled up. Mr. McMahon walked out and slammed the door shut. McMahon strutted down the hallway, then Renee Young bumped into McMahon. Will she be suspended? McMahon said he is here to breathe in that fresh Detroit air…and name the Smackdown Live GM. No, wait the Smackdown Commissioner. Well, actually, he’s going to call everyone to the ring and then maybe change his mind on what he’s going to announce. Renee sold befuddlement as McMahon kept on walking.
So, is Owens going to face Cesaro?
[Q6] [Commercial Break at 9:15]
Back live, Owens was still in the ring. And, yes, the match is going to happen. Cesaro did his James Bond ring entrance after walking past the Raw and Smackdown podiums on the stage.
This Saturday: WWE returns to Madison Square Garden in New York City. Cole called it the final opportunity for the entire roster to impress before the roster split.
4 — KEVIN OWENS vs. CESARO
Owens and Cesaro battled as the announcers continued the Draft theme by framing this match as whether you want to draft someone like Cesaro or Owens. The fight moved to the floor, where Cesaro missed a running uppercut and Owens dumped him over the top rope into the timekeeper’s area. Owens broke up a 10-count, then rolled Cesaro back into the ring.
As Owens and Cesaro battled in the ring, Cole and JBL presented the Caldwell & Parks Draft Night Audio Special discussion of how you handle someone like Cena, The Rock, or Brock Lesnar in a Draft scenario with limited access to the individual and whether Cena’s best years are behind him. Cesaro fired back on Owens with an uppercut knocking him to the floor heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 9:26]
[Q7] Back from break, Owens tried to snap Cesaro’s neck with a neckbreaker. Owens then airballed a cannonball splash in the corner. Both men sold on the mat, then came to their feet for a standing exchange. Cesaro won it with a wind-up uppercut, but only got a two count on a pin.
The fight moved to the floor, where Cesaro picked up JBL’s hat, put it on, ran around ringside, and smashed Owens with a running uppercut. Cesaro then whipped Owens back into the ring and nailed a cowboy hat-aided top-rope splash for a two count.
Cesaro, who lost the hat in mid-air, wanted to follow with The Big Swing, but Owens blocked. Cesaro then dropkicked Owens and took him to the top turnbuckle, but Owens crotched Cesaro. Owens followed with a torture rack neckbreaker, and it was good for the pin and the win. That seemed like the set-up for a nearfall, but Cesaro did not kick out.
WINNER: Owens at 12:21. Solid TV match. The Draft conversation in each match tonight is getting a bit tired, though. Owens-Zayn is shaping up to be something epic at Battleground…
Post-match, Owens ripped the headset off Byron Saxton’s head at the announce table. Owens ranted and raved about being the Best in the World, which he just proved out there. Suddenly, Sami Zayn charged ringside and attacked Owens, beating him into the ring, where Cesaro was waiting. Cesaro dropped Owens and put him in the Big Swing as Zayn enjoyed it down at ringside. Zayn’s music played as Owens sold on the floor.
Last Week: John Cena found new friends in Enzo Amore & Big Cass.
Backstage: Renee Young caught up with The Club. Karl Anderson said if you want my … “unfiltered” opinion, Enzo & Cass made a mistake associating with John Cena. By the way, where is Cena?, Luke Gallows asked. Styles said he’s in L.A. rehearsing for the ESPYs and they haven’t even seen him tonight. Rehearsal as in practice? Practice? Who said anything about practice? Styles said maybe they should hop on a jet-ski to L.A. and crash The ESPYs. You know, because when he wakes up in the morning, he’s thinking about. Oh, how does it go? Beat Up John Cena! They too-sweeted and walked off.
Still to come: The Club faces Enzo & Cass.
[Commercial Break at 9:39]
Back from break, Cole re-hyped Cena hosting the ESPYs Wednesday night on ABC.
In-ring: The Social Outcasts’s music played to bring out Heath Slater for singles action. In an inset promo, Slater, Curtis Axel, and Bo Dallas heeled on Titus O’Neil for failing to win the U.S. Title on Father’s Day and the Fourth of July. Back in the arena, Titus marched down to the ring to face Slater. Slater Gator explodes tonight.
5 — TITUS O’NEIL vs. HEATH SLATER (w/Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel)
Slater landed a chop to the chest, then celebrated with Axel and Dallas. So, Titus slapped him really hard across the chest in retaliation. Slater cut off Titus, then Bo and Curtis did the Bo Train celebration on the floor. Back in the ring, Titus sold an injury. Or something. It was odd. Titus then yanked Slater across the ring with one arm.
Titus ran over Slater with clotheslines to officially make his comeback. He followed with a backbreaker before tossing Slater across the ring. Titus got fired up, then corner-smashed Slater. Clash of the Titus ended Slater.
WINNER: O’Neil at 3:09. That was an odd situation trying to get Titus back on track after his U.S. Title losses.
Backstage: Renee Young brought in Sasha Banks for an interview discussing her match against Dana Brooke tonight. Sasha talked confidently, borderline whiny, about getting ready to shut up Dana tonight. Sasha said she is going to take out Dana to get that Women’s Title off Charlotte. Sasha vowed to get real tonight.
Up Next: New Day and The Wyatts meet at The Compound.
[Commercial Break at 9:50]
This Thursday: D-Young and Bob Backlund are on Miz TV with Miz and Maryse on Smackdown.
Last Monday: New Day accepted The Wyatts’s invitation to meet them at their compound. But, Xavier Woods did not like the lack of concern from Big E. and Kofi Kingston.
New Day-Wyatts Battlefield
WWE cut to a goofy-looking movie-filtered video with rewind effects and fast-motion of a girl leading New Day astray and nearly getting run over by a vehicle. Bray Wyatt popped out of the vehicle and he was joined by Braun Strowman and Erick Rowan. A fight broke out in the dirt. The video cut to Xavier Woods standing alone behind a tree as a man in red pants stalked him. Nakamura, is that you? It was Bray Wyatt in his red pants. Bray and Xavier fought against a tree, then Bray hoisted Xavier over his shoulder and walked away.
Meanwhile, a fight broke out in the mud. Back to Bray, who dropped Xavier on the ground near the car. Back to the henchmen, who took out Big E. and Kofi and stood over them. Suddenly, Xavier cut off the heels. Kofi crotched Strowman on the hood of the car, then Bray cut off the faces and Xavier was thrown inside the vehicle. Bray smashed the car door window with a weapon, breaking the glass, then shouted, “Where’s your power of positivity now?”
Suddenly, New Day made another comeback. Bray went scrambling away, then knelt down in the grass. Bray chuckled to himself, then a loud noise sounded in the distance. Several more cars surrounded the fight and the fireflies emerged filling the darkness. New Day slowly backed away from the scene as Bray looked up and declared, “Follow the buzzards.”
Back at ringside, Cole and Co. sold not sure what to make of that. JBL said he thought he had seen it all until watching that.
[Q9 — third hour] A.J. Styles’s music played, trying to change the mood after that bit. Styles led The Club down to ringside, then Enzo Amore & Big Cass were introduced to the ring. Enzo did the pre-match verbal routine, wanting to know how everyone is doin’, which got a reaction.
Big Cass said everyone on this roster is gunning for John Cena’s spot. He wants his spot; Enzo wants his spot; The Club wants your spot. But, the difference is if they’re going to take Cena’s spot, they are going to earn it. Cass mocked Styles’s “Beat Up John Cena” hashtag, then Cass and Enzo rhymed about Styles and The Club not having a backbone.
Styles confidently shot back on the mic that John Cena isn’t here tonight because he doesn’t care about them. So, this is their final warning to turn around and walk back because his boys are going to drop them where they stand. Enzo said the only place they are walking is into that ring. Cass said they will prove there is only one word to describe them – SAWFT. It’s next.
[Commercial Break at 10:06]
6 — THE CLUB (KARL ANDERSON & DOC GALLOWS w/A.J. Styles) vs. ENZO AMORE & BIG CASS
The match was joined in progress, and the crowd was red-hot with dueling A.J. Styles chants as the match unfolded. The chant kept going and the announcers ignored the sound in the building to stick to their pre-scripted bullet points, eventually, of course, getting to The Draft bullet point. A chant for Enzo Amore broke out next after the dueling Styles chants. This was followed by a “We Want Cena … No We Don’t” chant. Again, the announcers ignored the crowd noise. There is actually real heat in the building for this match and the announcers can’t break from their script to discuss it. The action was rudimentary pointing to a mid-match break, which happened when Enzo got knocked to the floor. Styles taunted Enzo as Raw went to break.
[Q10] [Commercial Break at 10:15]
Back from break, Cole finally acknowledged the crowd, saying they are “fired up” in the building. Cole noted Cena is not supposed to be here tonight since he’s hosting the ESPYs, so Enzo & Cass are going at it alone against The Club.
Enzo broke free of Gallows and tagged Cass, who came in hot opposite Anderson. Empire Elbow to Anderson. Fallaway Slam followed. Stinger Splash. Big running boot. Enzo tagged in and Cass launched him onto Anderson. But, A.J. Styles hopped on the ring apron to cut off the pin attempt. Styles then chucked Cass over the guardrail, causing a DQ.
Post-match, Enzo was alone in the ring with all three Club members. Suddenly, John Cena’s music played for the swerve. Out came John Cena after flying in from L.A. Cass also hit the ring and the fight was on in the ring. Cena, Enzo, and Cass quickly cleared a shellshocked Club from the ring. On the floor, Styles ranted and raved about Cena pulling a stunt. Loud “Cena, Cena” chant before Cena’s music played.
WINNERS: Enzo & Cass via DQ at 10:45. The crowd was hot for this segment throughout, even chanting Cena’s name to close it. Styles is clearly the MVP of 2016 having two good PPV main events with Roman Reigns and getting a vocal male crowd to cheer for Cena. Styles-Cena II is on track to be special, depending on how things sort out in the Draft.
WWE Network plug: Cole and Co. hyped WWE Network having Nakamura vs. Balor and the start of the Cruiserweight tournament hosted by Mauro Ranallo and Daniel Bryan this Wednesday night.
Still to come: Vince McMahon names the Commissioner of Smackdown. A segment ago, Cole said the COO. Who knows what McMahon will announce in the main event.
Up Next: Sasha Banks vs. Dana Brooke.
[Commercial Break at 10:23]
In-ring: Women’s champion Charlotte’s music played to bring out Dana Brooke by herself, then Charlotte being fashionably late. Sasha Banks was out next to face Dana.
7 — SASHA BANKS vs. DANA BROOKE (w/Women’s champion Charlotte)
Dana ducked the fight early on, then once again. Dana’s tactics finally gave her the one-up, then she knocked Sasha to the floor. Charlotte taunted Sasha with the Women’s Title belt as Raw cut to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:34]
Coming back from break, WWE/USA Network ran a hype video for Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE Title next Monday on Raw. Back in the ring, Dana was still controlling Sasha as Charlotte looked on approvingly. Sasha made a comeback, but she couldn’t put Dana away with multiple pin attempts.
Sasha eventually hit the Backstabber into the Bank Statement, taunting Charlotte as she locked on the hold. Dana had to tap out. Post-match, Charlotte mock-applauded Sasha from ringside. Sasha gathered herself and indicated to Charlotte that she wants the title.
WINNER: Sasha via submission in 12:00.
Instead of the segment ending on that note, Sasha’s music faded out, then Charlotte talked. Charlotte spoke from ringside that anyone can have a lucky night winning a match. She said Sasha should face Dana again this Thursday on Smackdown, and maybe, just maybe, Sasha will be deserving of a title shot. Charlotte wasn’t convinced that Sasha is worthy, calling her all-hype. Charlotte said they’ll see on Thursday. Cole started to go to break, but Charlotte kept talking. Awkward pause. Sasha’s music eventually played.
[Q12] Backstage: Mr. McMahon was shown walking down the hallway strutting with a forced smile. Cole hyped McMahon’s announcement next.
WWE 2K17 Video: Brock Lesnar stars in the next WWE video game released October 11.
[Commercial Break at 10:47]
Upcoming: Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE Title next Monday on Raw, then Ambrose vs. Rollins vs. Roman Reigns for the WWE Title at Battleground.
McMahons Close Raw
Shane McMahon’s music played to bring out Shane in the city where he made his dramatic return earlier this year. Shane got fired up on the stage, then bounced down to the ring. Three hours into a Raw taping, the pop isn’t going to be there. Shane’s music played out, then Stephanie McMahon’s music played. Steph made her way down to the ring, then stared down Shane waiting for her music to stop.
Steph and Shane did their sibling rivalry stuff, then Mr. McMahon’s music played to bring back McMahon strutting down to the ring. McMahon entered the ring to assess his children’s job performance. He said he never thought he would see them working together. But, he is personally a little disappointed. It’s as if neither one of them came from his lions.
Steph, who’s this sweet little girl getting along with her brother acting passive-aggressive? “I’m your daughter!” Steph said, then polled the crowd on whether she’s sweet. “No!” they said. Vince then told Shane that he shouldn’t even be here since he lost at WrestleMania, and is only here because he earned the respect of the crowd. Where is that Shane who jumped off the Cell? He expected one of them to slit the other’s throat by now. Vince said he wants that – he wants competition.
Vince told them they have to convince him of being commish of Smackdown Live. Steph claimed business success, then ran down Shane for what he told to Mick Foley on the Network podcast. She called Shane maniacal and manipulative, trying to stab Vince in the back. Steph labeled Shane a sheep in wolf’s clothing.
Okay, Shane, convince me otherwise. Shane started to talk, but Steph talked over him. Shane tried to take the mic away from his sister, then Shane noted he returned to WWE five months ago … right here in this very arena in Detroit Rock City (big pop). Steph rolled her eyes. Shane said he will forever be thankful to Detroit for the reaction.
But, as for why he should run Smackdown Live, he represents change. He said they need change and he will change the look & feel of the show, all of the rules they set up, and break all of the glass ceilings. Shane dog-whistled about choking the life out of the business, then claimed to be the only one in this business and walking this planet who tells Vince exactly what is on his mind in a respectful way and without kissing his ass.
[Q13 — over-run] Shane said he can feel it in Vince’s eyes that he wants change, too. He said change is needed in WWE. So, if he still has the grapefruits, then he asks Vince pick him to run things differently. Don’t take my word for it, though. Take ours. Shane did the polling bit, getting boos for Steph and cheers for himself.
Vince said quite frankly he doesn’t care what the people think. He wanted a drumroll so he can think through this. Steph smiled thinking she won, then Vince looked at both of them. He said the new commissioner of Smackdown Live is Shane McMahon. Shane did a victory lap and Shane Shuffle as Steph sold shock. Byron Saxton declared that Smackdown is going to get a make-over.
Vince told everyone to hang on a second, asking for Shane’s music to be cut. Vince said he is relieving Shane of his duties on Raw. Therefore, the new commissioner of the three-hour flagship is Stephanie McMahon (boos). Steph did a victory celebration, then did D-Bryan’s “Yes!” chant in Shane’s face.
Vince said he’s not finished. Enough of that. McMahon said he’s looking for the two of them to compete for real. He told them to compete for TV Ratings, social media metrics, live event attendance, merchandise sales, everything. He said one of them might inherit the keys to the kingdom. Vince said he wants them to compete so badly that he doesn’t care if they break the law… Shane shot him a look… As long as they don’t get caught.
Vince said he needs both of them to have a person running day-to-day operations, so next week on Raw, they’re going to each name a General Manager. And if they don’t have anyone in mind, he will name one for them. So, with that in mind, he always gets what he wants. So, let the games begin. McMahon’s music played, then Shane shook hands with Vince.
Steph and Shane were left alone in the ring to stare each other down. Vince’s music faded out, then Steph cut one of her “I’ve worked so hard” promos. She vowed to turn the tables on Shane by burying him and Smackdown in the ground. Steph vowed to make Shane wish he were never born a McMahon, actually never even born.
You know, Steph, you said what you said because you’re scared. He knows her more than anyone else in this world and she will be looking up at him just like she has her entire life. Game on. Steph said there is only one Game in this business and she’s married to him. Steph slapped Shane across the face. Shane no-sold and smiled at her sister, who bailed to the ring apron. Steph dared him to punch her on the chin, but Shane gave her a brotherly kiss on the chin instead. Steph sold annoyance and gave him a mock thumbs up.
Steph left the ring and nearly tripped on the ring steps, popping the crowd and drawing a celebratory gasp from Shane. Steph collected herself and played it off cool, then stared back into the ring as Shane played to the crowd. Steph blew Shane a kiss of death, then left to the back. Back in the ring, Shane signed off, then did a victory lap around ringside as Raw closed nine minutes past the top of the hour.
[ Reax: Like many of these authority figure-centered segments leading to the Draft over the past two months, pretty pointless and anti-climatic. It’s the McMahon Family Theater stuff re-arranging things back where they were before. The only major development was a teaser of Triple H returning to WWE TV, implying that Hunter will be COO of Raw paired with Stephanie. And then it’s assumedly back to Heel Hunter on main TV and Papa Hunter on NXT, revisiting the split personality of his character, unless there is a major change to his main TV presentation, like Shane picking Hunter to be his GM, changing things up big-time from what’s expected. ]
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