It’s the last edition of WWE Monday Night Raw before Tuesday’s live Smackdown episode featuring the WWE Draft that will split the roster into two for the brand split. Check out the fantasy WWE Draft that I did along with Kurt Zamora using the rules that WWE said will take place for their draft on Tuesday. It was a lot of fun to write, so check it out.
Live from Providence, Rhode Island this is the Raw Deal for episode #1208. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.
The Raw intro video aired. The last time they have that intro? I assume so. That theme song has been there for like four years.
Stephanie McMahon was introduced as the new Commissioner of Monday Night Raw. They showed the rules of the draft, which you can read here.
As Stephanie was about to welcome us to Raw, her brother Shane McMahon – the Commissioner of Smackdown – interrupted to upset her. The crowd popped huge for Shane.
Stephanie said she won’t miss Shane pandering to the people. Shane welcomed everybody to Raw. Stephanie said that it is Shane’s last night on Raw and she is the exclusive Commish of Raw. Shane said that every morning Stephanie wishes she was born with testicles and Shane said if she were his brother there would be ramifications. Stephanie said that “lady balls” are bigger than testicles. Her book that's coming out later this year has "Lady Balls" in the title, so that's why she said it.
The siblings continued to bicker. Stephanie plugged the Cruiserweight Classic, so she announced a cruiserweight division will be the exclusive property of Raw.
Shane mentioned he has talked with his General Manager of Smackdown and the crowd chanted “yes” for it to signify Daniel Bryan.
Stephanie introduced us to the new General Manager of Monday Night Raw…Mick Foley. Huge ovation for Foley as he went into the ring.
Analysis: Great choice. I loved Mick in that role 16 years ago and wish it lasted longer. One of the best talkers ever as well as one of the most well liked performers of all time.
Foley thanked Stephanie for naming him the GM of Raw…right here in Providence, Rhode Island. Cheap pop. Foley talked about how the new era reminded him of the Attitude Era. He said the atmosphere today reminds him of the Monday Night Wars. He paused as Stephanie said something to him. Did he forget a line or something? I don’t know.
Foley said that when he heard about the competition between Raw and Smackdown, a little ember ended up becoming a five alarm fire. Foley talked about how he was one of the guys that put the final nail in the coffin in WCW back in the Attitude Era. He said the same ruthlessness that he showed as a competitor; he’s going to use as the GM of Raw.
Shane congratulated Foley on being named the GM of Raw. He showed Foley a lot of respect.
Shane talked about his GM. He spoke about how he wanted somebody that was an underdog that could shatter the glass ceiling. He wondered if he could find somebody more popular than Mick Foley. It’s Daniel Bryan.
Bryan walked out there leading the crowd in “YES” chants and they were going crazy for him. What a thunderous reaction for Bryan. So good to see him back in a WWE ring even though he can’t wrestle anymore.
Bryan shook the hand of Shane and Foley. He turned down the handshake of Stephanie. Bryan: “Did you guys miss me or something?” Loud “YES” chants. Bryan said that we haven’t missed him half as much as he has missed the fans. Stephanie complained about the pandering.
Bryan talked about how he wasn’t sure he could come back, but then Shane talked to him about how he wanted to make Smackdown Live amazing. Bryan said after Shane laid out his plans Bryan thought that he could come back. More “YES” chants from the crowd. Bryan said that Smackdown Live is the underdog in this fight just like he is the underdog and just like “we” are all underdogs. Loud “Thank You Daniel” chants. Bryan talked about how when he beat Triple H at WrestleMania 30 and then won the WWE Title at WrestleMania 30, he said that “we” did that meaning him and the crowd. He said if we work together Smackdown will beat Raw every single week. Bryan said that “we” beat The Authority before and we’ll do it again.
Stephanie ripped on Bryan’s inspirational speech. She’s good at getting heat.
Shane was sweating heavily in the shirt he was in. That was weird. Stephanie mentioned it to mock him. Shane said that Steph will always be his sister and she had to marry a WWE superstar to stay relevant. Loud "oooohhhh" from the crowd. Shane and Bryan led the crowd in more “YES” chants. The segment ended there at around 19 minutes past the top of the hour.
Analysis: Good segment with a lot of energy. I’ve missed Bryan a lot. So good seeing him back in a WWE ring. He looked emotional at the beginning of the speech, but he got through it. I didn’t really think of Foley as the choice because he’s typically a face character and Stephanie is a heel, but it’s smart to get somebody that is popular with the fans to counter her as a heel authority figure. How heavy was Shane’s shirt? Dude was sweating a lot. Turn on the air conditioning in that building.
Later on Raw is Ambrose vs. Rollins for the WWE Title and a 12 man tag match. Up next is Zayn & Cesaro vs. Owens & Jericho.
As Chris Jericho made his entrance, they plugged Randy Orton as a guest on the Highlight Reel this Sunday at Battleground. Also, Kevin Owens faces Sami Zayn. In a pre-match promo, Zayn said that Battleground may be the last time he’s in the ring with Owens, so it’s a chance to move on with his career and life.
Analysis: The way Owens vs. Zayn has been built, they have really pushed the idea that it’s the end of their rivalry. I hope it's not. They're too damn good together.
Kevin Owens & Chris Jericho vs. Cesaro & Sami Zayn
Cesaro with a gutwrench suplex on Jericho. Zayn got in there to slow Jericho down with an armbar. Zayn sent Jericho to the floor. Owens blocked Zayn for hitting a dive outside the ring, so Jericho hit Zayn in the back of the head to knock him down. Owens with a neckbreaker to the knee gets two as they went to break three minutes into it.
Back from break, the heels worked over Zayn. Jericho dumped Zayn to the floor to prevent him from tagging out. Zayn tossed Owens into the barricade. Jericho missed a slide, so Zayn nailed him with a clothesline. Cesaro got the hot tag against Jericho, who was nailed with several Cesaro uppercuts. Cesaro with a dropkick on Owens when he got in the way. Both heels were against turnbuckles, so Cesaro hit seven uppercuts including a final shot on Jericho for a two count. Jericho countered the swing into a cradle for two. Springboard uppercut by Cesaro gets two. Jericho with an enziguri on Cesaro. Zayn and Owens tagged in. They brawled as the crowd went wild. Owens with a running knee, corner clothesline and Zayn came back with a dropkick. Jericho tagged in to knock down Zayn. Tag to Cesaro, who nailed a cross body block off the top on Jericho for a two count. Cesaro fought out of the Walls, then did the Cesaro Swing that was blocked by Owens. Zayn tagged back in with a tornado DDT on Owens. Jericho rollup, Zayn gave him an inside cradle and that was enough for the victory after 13 minutes. It wasn’t the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! in case you were wondering.
Winners by pinfall: Sami Zayn & Cesaro
Analysis: ***1/4 The usual good tag match from four really good in-ring performers. While Jericho in his mid-40s isn’t as good as the other three, he’s still capable in there. I would have liked Zayn to win clean with a Helluva Kick instead of an inside cradle, but that was fine. At least it was not the rollup finish that I hate. It’s smart to have Jericho take the pin rather than having Zayn pin Owens.
Backstage, Daniel Bryan was backstage talking to Goldust and R-Truth. Then Jack Swagger and Titus O’Neil were there to greet Bryan. Stephanie walked up to Bryan as she insulted him. He didn’t want any of it, so he congratulated her on ruining Raw.
Analysis: Not much to it other than to put over Stephanie’s dislike for Bryan.
The Intercontinental Champion The Miz is on commentary with Maryse for this next match because Miz faces Darren Young for the IC Title at Battleground.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Darren Young (w/Bob Backlund)
Del Rio worked on Young’s arm early on. Young came back with clotheslines using his good right arm. Overhead belly to belly suplex by Young. There’s an atomic drop by Young as he used some Backlund offense. The Miz was on the apron. The ref was distracted by it. Del Rio got a nearfall. Young rolled up Del Rio and did a bridging pin for the win after three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Darren Young
Analysis: * A quick match to put over Young. That’s the smart move because Young is getting the IC Title shot on Sunday. Del Rio’s not in a great spot when he’s being used to put over a guy in three minutes. That’s the second match in a row with a rollup pin rather than a guy using a finishing move to win a match.
Backstage, Shane and Daniel were shown talking to Big Show.
Later on Raw it’s Sasha Banks & Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte & Dana Brooke. Plus the 12 man tag up next: Cena, Enzo, Cass, New Day vs. The Wyatt Family & The Club.
The announce team of Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield and Byron Saxton plugged the fantasy draft available on WWE.com.
John Cena made his entrance. Plenty of “John Cena suuuucks” chants for his song. They plugged that Cena will be on ESPN Sportscenter on Tuesday at 10pmET right after Smackdown Live. This Sunday at Battleground, Cena teams up with Enzo & Cass against Styles, Gallows & Anderson.
Cena went into hype mode plugging the WWE Draft on Smackdown Live on Tuesday night. He also mentioned Battleground this Sunday night on WWE Network. He said The Club will try to beat up John Cena, but they will realize “they can’t see me” because he’s got the certified Gs. Here comes Enzo & Cass.
Enzo & Cass did their entrance with the crowd chanting along with them. Enzo said the term “do not take this the wrong way has a zero percent success rate” and then he insulted The Club. He said that he always judges a book by its cover because he’s not stupid enough to read that book.
Enzo: “"Without ugly in the world there'd be no beauty, so Luke Gallows thanks for your sacrifice! Luke Gallows, the only time women open their mouths for you is when they yawn.”
Enzo: “AJ Styles, you got a haircut like a soccer mom, how you doin’?” #Raw Then he said that Anderson is general like the Times New Roman font.
Cena was confused by some of the stuff Enzo was saying. Cass explained that’s what Enzo does. Cass talked about how they like to have fun, but when they’re in the ring they like to get serious. He said that’s what they are going to do this Sunday. As Cass did his “SAWFT” bit they were cut off by AJ Styles’ music.
Analysis: The Enzo part was the best promo he’s done on the main roster. That was hilarious. Go back to check it out if you skipped it. I enjoyed it a lot.
Styles entered with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Styles talked trash. Anderson said The Club has chemistry just like himself and his Hot Asian Wife. Anderson wondered if Cena’s team just met in catering a few weeks ago. Gallows said The Club has had eachother’s backs since day one. Styles talked about how they are a well oiled machine unlike Cena’s team. Anderson said tonight they get to (together) “BEAT UP JOHN CENA” and they get to beat up Enzo and beat up Cass. Anderson said they also get to beat up all three members of The New Day.
The New Day trio of Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods made their entrance. Kingston said The Club talks about beating things, then Big E said “jerk” because that’s what you might call sexual innuendo. Styles laughed at New Day being scared of The Wyatt Family. Woods talked about how they are not normal men as they showed off the Tag Team Titles. Woods said that at Battleground they will show the Wyatt Family why they are the WWE World Tag Team Champions.
The New Day walked into the ring. Kingston asked Cena if he really didn’t understand the “how you doin’” thing. Cena said that he didn’t get it. Woods said since he’s a level 21 Pokemon Go trainer and then Woods said some Pokemon names. I’m so lost on the Pokemon stuff, but congrats to people that enjoy it because the crowd seemed to care. Cena told Woods to wait. Cena said “stop…listen…because” and it’s time to say “New Day Rocks” together.
The Wyatt Family made their entrance. Time for a break. I guess they don’t want to talk too.
Analysis: Congrats to John Cena for transitioning to the awkward, old white guy phase of his career. I’ve been watching WWE for so long that I remember when he was the cool guy on the microphone! That was about 15 minutes of promos leading to a commercial that will lead to a match.
The match began after the break.
John Cena, Enzo Amore, Big Cass, Big E, Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston vs. Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan, Braun Strowman, AJ Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
There were some quick tags early on. Strowman with a clothesline on Big. Enzo tagged in against Strowman as the crowd popped for him. That didn’t really lead to anything. Cass tagged in. He stared off with Strowman. Everybody started brawling. The two big guys cleared the ring. They had a staredown again. Kingston tagged in, went for a cross body block, Strowman caught him in an awkward way and Strowman hit a powerslam. Time for a break.
Analysis: Spoiler – Vince McMahon loved that Strowman/Cass spot. He loves the tall dudes.
Wyatt was in there with Kingston and Kingston was able to kick himself free. Cena with shoulder tackles to Wyatt as well as a spinning suplex. Wyatt did his popup thing to avoid the Five Knuckle Shuffle, which surprised Cena. Strowman and Rowan took turns beating up on Cena. Styles got in there to beat up Cena too. Styles with fireman’s carry slam into the knee for a two count. Anderson with a leaping kick to the head for a two count. Gallows with an uppercut punch on Cena, but then he missed a big splash. Another commercial break.
Back from break, I needed a drink so I may have missed a minute. I saw Big Cass in the ring cleaning house like he usually does. Strowman knocked him down. Big E sent Strowman out of the ring. Rowan with a spin kick on Big E. Kofi with a hurricanrana on Rowan. Wyatt with a uranage slam on Kofi. Woods with a missile dropkick on Wyatt. Woods nailed a flip dive over the top to the floor on top of the others. The others got at it with Cena hitting a AA on Gallows, Anderson with a spinebuster on Cena and Enzo with a DDT off the top on Anderson. New Day guys brawled with the Wyatt Family all the way up the ramp to the back. Styles worked over Enzo, then Enzo avoided a move and accidentally hit Cena in the head to knock Cena down. Styles capitalized with the Styles Clash on Enzo for the win for his team. It went 20 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan, Braun Strowman, AJ Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
Analysis: *** A good match that started off really slow because they wanted to get everybody involved, but the last five minutes were excellent. I liked how the finish told a story with Enzo not working that well with Cena, which cost his team the win. There were a few moments in the match that were foreshadowing potential future rivalries like Strowman and Cass facing off. I’m not clamoring for that feud, but you know Vinny Mac loves the seven footers. The New Day guys brawling with Wyatt Family was an easy way of writing them out of the finishing sequence. Styles pinning Enzo was the right finish.
The announcers plugged WWE Network as a companion for the Smackdown Live draft on Tuesday.
Stephanie and Foley were talking to Apollo Crews backstage although we couldn’t hear them.
Later on Raw is Ambrose vs. Rollins for the WWE Title.
There was an Earlier Today promo from Seth Rollins in the empty arena.
Rollins talked about how night after night he would walk the stairs with The Shield and they thought they would walk together forever, but he said they were pawns in his game. Rollins said that he was two steps ahead of them. He kept Dean Ambrose to take the beatings and he kept Roman Reigns around to dish them out. Rollins said when the time came he cut his losses to become WWE Champion. Rollins mentioned his knee got hurt when he was carrying the company. He wondered how the WWE Universe would accept Roman Reigns when he comes back and he said that Reigns will never be the same. Rollins said that Ambrose is a thief and a coward. Rollins talked about how Ambrose stole his title after Rollins worked so hard to get back into the ring. He said that tonight he’s the one that gets to put an end to Ambrose’s fairy tale dream run as WWE Champion. When Ambrose is down, Seth will pick up his title and walk into WWE Battleground and prove to everybody that as far as The Shield is concerned, “I was always the man.”
Analysis: That was awesome. I like that it was different from the typical wrestling promo. Standing in an empty arena talking about his past with The Shield was fitting because of their history as a group walking to the ring together through the crowd. It just worked really well. Rollins has grown a lot as a promo man in the last two years. Great to see. I think he’s the best overall performer in WWE. That's why he was the number one pick in my fantasy draft earlier on Monday.
They aired replays of Stephanie picking Mick Foley as the GM of Raw and Shane picking Daniel Bryan as the GM of Smackdown.
Analysis: I forgot to add earlier, but the Bryan news was spoiled on the internet within the last week. I was pleasantly surprised by the Foley choice.
Foley walked up to the Breezango pair. Shane showed up and he asked Breezango to leave. Shane wondered why Foley would work for Stephanie. Shane was worried about Stephanie. Foley talked about how he’s seen Stephanie’s rise to power for years, but he sees Stephanie’s power and drive. Foley thinks that he can better himself in this role. Shane ended it by saying “have a nice day” as Mick walked off.
Analysis: Similar to the Stephanie/Daniel segment earlier. Foley will do well in the GM role.
Baron Corbin vs. Sin Cara
This won’t be a long match. Cara with a back elbow and then a suicide dive on Corbin on the floor. Cara went for a springboard attack, Corbin sidestepped it. Corbin hit the End of Days for the win after about two minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Baron Corbin
Analysis: 1/2* Like I said it wasn’t a long match. Same stuff they always do with Corbin. The crowd didn’t care.
Post match, Corbin stepped on Sin Cara’s neck. Kalisto made the save. Corbin went to the floor to avoid him. Then Kalisto checked on Cara, so Corbin pulled Kalisto out of the ring and hit a clothesline to the back of Kalisto. That was enough because Kalisto stayed down.
Analysis: Simple booking for Corbin again. I’m still waiting for some character depth for him other than “make mean faces.” Maybe once the brand split happens things will improve for him.
Charlotte and Dana Brooke were shown walking backstage for a match.
The announcers shilled a DVD/Blu-Ray version of Batman vs. Superman that has 30 minutes of action that you couldn’t see in theaters. A preview clip aired.
Sasha Banks made her entrance at the top of hour three. She’s teaming with Becky Lynch against Charlotte and Dana Brooke. This Sunday at Battleground is Lynch vs. Natalya and Charlotte teaming with Brooke against Sasha and a partner of her choice.
Analysis: The surprise partner could be Bayley especially if Bayley is drafted on Tuesday. Outside shot for Nia Jax in that spot. Paige would be another choice.
Charlotte & Dana Brooke vs. Sasha Banks & Becky Lynch
Double arm drag by Sasha and Becky on Brooke early on. Lynch with a dropkick on Brooke followed by a couple of leg drops for two. Banks with a forearm smash on Brooke and then she knocked Charlotte off the apron. Natalya showed up at ringside, pulled Lynch off the apron and threw Lynch into the ring post. Natalya tossed Lynch into the barricade. The referee saw that, so he called for the bell leading to the disqualification finish. It went about four minutes.
Winners by disqualification: Sasha Banks & Becky Lynch
Analysis: * A quick match that was shorter than I expected considering they were in that spot at the top of the third hour. Good to see Natalya attack Lynch like that because that feud needed some heat.
Brooke and Charlotte double teamed Banks in the ring. Boot to the face by Charlotte on Sasha. Then Charlotte hit the Natural Selection on Banks.
Analysis: Heels looking dominant is the right move because it sets up the mystery partner teaming with Banks. Look for Banks and her partner to win on Sunday.
Shane and Daniel were backstage talking to Demon Kane.
Dean Ambrose did a promo on a cell phone similar to what The Shield did back in their early days about four years ago. Ambrose talked about making history against Rollins as WWE Champion. He said that he expects Roman Reigns to be a raging animal on Sunday and he thinks that Rollins will be the degenerate that he is. Ambrose said he’ll be WWE Champion tonight and after Sunday too.
Analysis: It was a quicker promo than what Rollins did. He spoke for about a minute. I like how confident he is as the champion. They’ve booked him well during this title run although I don’t think his title run will be that long.
The ravishing Russian Lana was in the ring to introduce the US Champion Rusev. It’s Rusev against Zack Ryder at Battleground on Sunday.
Sheamus & Rusev (w/Lana) vs. Dolph Ziggler & Zack Ryder
It’s a League of Nations reunion! Okay so not really. Nobody would care. Rusev sent Ryder into the barricade. Sheamus with a rolling senton on Ryder on the floor. Sheamus with a running knee lift on Ryder in the ring. Sheamus teased a tag to Rusev, but then he didn’t tag him in to show that the former allies don’t get along. Ryder with a neckbreaker as Rusev yelled for tag. Tag to Ziggler and tag to Rusev. Ziggler with a clothesline, corner splash and a Fameasser by Ziggler gets two. Ryder wit ha clothesline on Sheamus sent them both over the top to the floor. Rusev with a stun gun on Ziggler, then a kick to the back of the head and Rusev applied the Accolade submission for the win after four minutes.
Winners by submission: Sheamus & Rusev
Analysis: *1/2 A short match to put over Rusev mainly. He’s against Ryder on Sunday and it was about making him look strong. I think he’ll beat Ryder on Sunday too. I like how Rusev has been booked in the last few months. Please turn Ziggler heel after the draft. He needs to be a heel again.
The announcers plugged SummerSlam on August 21 as Brock Lesnar faces Randy Orton.
Analysis: No mention of Lesnar’s drug test issues from his UFC fight.
A video package aired about Randy Orton, who is making his return at Battleground for a Highlight Reel with Chris Jericho. Orton has been out since late last year with shoulder surgery.
Analysis: I have missed the RKO. Good to know he’ll be back soon.
Ambrose vs. Rollins up next.
Here’s a video package of John Cena hosting the ESPY Awards last Wednesday. He did an awesome job.
The announce team went over the WWE Draft rules. I put up a link to it earlier.
Backstage, The Ascension talked to Mick Foley. They were talking about cool things they had like “pitch & putt.” Bryan wanted to have a competitive relationship with Foley and not argue with eachother like Shane & Stephanie. They kept on talking like they were buddies. Foley said they had something in common as unlikely world champions that scored wives way out of their leagues. Foley said they had the ability to overcome and outlast anybody that stood in their way. Foley said that Bryan was standing in his way. Bryan said they never fought before, but they will now. Foley said he’s Smackdown and Bryan is Raw, so let the games begin. They stared at eachother to end the segment.
Analysis: Good stuff there. Foley brought the intensity in the end. He’s always been great at that. They managed to do a silly promo at the start and then made it serious by the end, which is something both guys have always been skilled at doing. I’m not sure what The Ascension stuff was about.
The WWE Champion Dean Ambrose made his entrance. Really good reaction for him.
The Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and her GM Mick Foley were at ringside in leather chairs. Smackdown Commissioner Shane McMahon and his GM Daniel Bryan were also at ringside in leather chairs. Seth Rollins made his entrance. Stephanie was cheering him. Cole added that Ambrose has never beaten Rollins one on one.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
The match begins at 10:40pmET, so they should get 20+ minutes. JBL noted that Ambrose did beat Rollins one on one for the MITB cash-in, but Cole added that it was not in a regular match. Ambrose was in control with arm drags, so Rollins left the ring to avoid him and stall. Ambrose with a cross body block. Ambrose with a clothesline that sent Rollins over the top to the floor. Ambrose sent Rollins back first into the barricade. Ambrose with a clothesline on the floor and then a clothesline off the apron that knocked Rollins down on the floor. The Raw & SD decision makers looked on as the show went to break.
Back from break, Ambrose countered a Buckle Bomb attempt with a hurricanrana into the corner. They each fought out of finishing moves, Rollins went up top and hit a flying knee to the face. Rollins missed a Frog Splash this time. Back to his feet, Rollins with two forearms, but then Ambrose hit a forearm smash on him. Rollins with a Pele Kick followed by the Buckle Bomb into the turnbuckle. Ambrose bounced off with Dirty Deeds? Rollins got his foot on the bottom rope to cause the two count. Rollins rolled out of the ring. The authority figures cleared out at ringside as Ambrose cleared off the announce table. Ambrose put Rollins on the announce table. Rollins rolled back into the ring. They fought on the apron and Ambrose gave Rollins a clothesline over the top rope back into the ring. Ambrose went up top, he jumped off, Rollins hit a Pedigree and Ambrose kicked out at two. This crowd made some noise, but not that much. Ambrose came back with a bounce off the ropes clothesline. Ambrose shoved Rollins off the turnbuckle leading to Rollins knocking referee Chad Patton down. Rollins back up top and he hit a Superplex on Ambrose. The groggy ref counted the fall, but both guys had their shoulders down for the three seconds. Match went 23 minutes.
Match Result: No Decisive Winner
Analysis: ***1/2 It was pretty much their usual match, but they had better matches in the last year. The match at Money in the Bank 2015 was exceptional. This wasn’t at that level although I still liked it a lot. I was really disappointed in the crowd. Did t hey not care about the WWE Title? Maybe they were just tired from yelling “yes” for much of the night and that Enzo & Cass promo. It just didn’t feel like a WWE Title match should in terms of the crowd support. I’m a bit surprised that Ambrose kicked out of the Pedigree. That should be a protected move. At least with Rollins kicking out of Dirty Deeds that was done where his foot was on the ropes, so it wasn’t a regular kickout. Ambrose kicking out of the Pedigree hurts Seth because that’s his finisher. I just don’t like kicking out of finishers that much. Anyway, it was an even match most of the way, so the finish fits what they were going for.
Stephanie McMahon went into the ring to congratulate Rollins. Stephanie grabbed the WWE Title and a microphone. She announced Rollins as the WWE Champion. Shane argued with her about it. That’s how Raw went off the air.
The WWE Twitter account plugged more coverage on WWE Network, so I flipped it over to that.
Shane McMahon announced that Dean Ambrose is still the WWE Champion. Rollins had the WWE Title with him.
The referee asked for the replay. They showed the replay on the screen. Both guys shoulders' were down as they held the legs of the other guy, so it was an even finish.
The referee told Lilian Garcia the official ruling and she announced it to the crowd: The official ruling is that both of their shoulders were down, which means it’s a draw, so Ambrose is still WWE Champion.
Final Ruling: Dean Ambrose keeps the WWE Title due to a draw finish
Ambrose celebrated with the WWE Title. Rollins attacked him from behind. Rollins took the title and left with it. Then Rollins went back in the ring with it, Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds and Ambrose posed with his WWE Title. That’s it for the Raw post game show on WWE Network.
Analysis: After all of that, Ambrose is still WWE Champion. They did the disputed finish to lead to a second World Title in the near future with the brand split coming.
The whole thing is a bit of a mess with the disputed finish in this match, the draft taking place on Tuesday and then these two are in a WWE Title match with Roman Reigns on Sunday too. All of it will probably lead to that second title somehow starting up in the near future. It’s just a matter of who, what, where and when. I’m not going to try to guess everything, but it’s going to happen soon, so let’s see how it plays out.
Three Stars of the Show
1. Seth Rollins
2. Dean Ambrose
3. (tie) Sami Zayn
3. (tie) Enzo Amore - I loved that promo.
7 out of 10
Last week: 4.5
2016 Average: 5.68
Last 5 Weeks: 4.5, 4.5, 6, 5, 6.5
2016 High: 9 (April 11)
2016 Low: 4 (Feb. 29/Mar. 21)
I give it a 7 out of 10.
A good show this week thanks to three really good matches (main event plus two tags) and the show opening promo was full of energy thanks to Daniel Bryan making his return.
I’m not a huge fan of ending the show on WWE Network. I get wanting to shill the Network, but a lot of people watching Raw likely missed that ending. They can find out about in other ways, but can’t you fit that into a three hour show?
I liked the way they did the 12 man tag match with about 20 minutes of promo work before the 20 minute match. It made it feel like more of a big deal. It’s better to do something like that than a bunch of short matches that don’t mean nothing.
The build for the Battleground matches was solid all night long. Perhaps they should have given more of a spotlight to Owens vs. Zayn, but they probably feel like they don’t need it because of the history of that feud.
Here’s the Battleground lineup:
WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns
Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn
John Cena, Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. AJ Styles, Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows
The New Day vs. The Wyatt Family
United States Championship: Rusev vs. Zack Ryder
Intercontinental Champion: The Miz vs. Darren Young
Charlotte & Dana Brooke vs. Sasha Banks & ???
Natalya vs. Becky Lynch
Randy Orton is a guest on Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel
I’ll have the Battleground preview up on Friday or early Saturday and then a live review on TJRWrestling.net on Sunday night.
Look for the Smackdown Live review on Tuesday night as well.
Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays.
John Canton – firstname.lastname@example.org