RAW Ramblings – June 13th 2016
Smoothie King Centre: New Orleans, LA.
This was the go-home show for Money in the Bank and what a complete waste of three hours it turned out to be. The new tag line for the PPV is, “The Greatest Money in the Bank of All-time,” because they are trying to shill the idea that we are getting two WrestleMania-caliber main events. Despite their desperate attempts to make Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins come across like a big-time match, it really does feel like any other WWE PPV main event. John Cena vs. AJ Styles on the other hand legitimately could be a WrestleMania main event and once again the two were head and shoulders above everybody else on RAW with their performances.
At the top of the third hour they sent out John Cena to cut another “What if…” promo and he claimed the match with Styles was 15 years in the making. Cena even named dropped PWG, ROH and New Japan, however he stayed well clear of TNA, because he is a smart man. Styles showed up for the contract signing and stated that if he had been in the WWE 15 years ago, Cena would not be the top guy right now and told Cena that he could not beat him. Cena had some lines that I’m sure the 28 writers were extremely proud of, such as telling AJ the Club was not full of “bullets,” but full of “bull.” He also told AJ to get the “bullet train” back to Japan, because he left his balls over there and called him the “captain of the b*tch club.” The gimmick was that Cena had two contracts drafted: one for a handicap match against the entire Club and one for a straight up singles match with no interference. After the “bullet train” line, Styles signed the contract for the singles match, as did Cena, and Styles told him that he would prove he was not like every other indie guy and would beat Cena’s “K-mart shopping ass.” – Once again Styles raised his promo game and seemed perfectly comfortable trading lines and ad-libs with Cena. Hopefully WWE play their cards right with this program, because from the original Horsemen beatdown with the Club, the great promo exchange they had last week, to this contract signing, we legitimately have a contender for feud of the year on our hands. Of course, it will be infuriatingly shortsighted when Cena inevitably wins the series 2-1, but at least Styles is proving that he does indeed have the promo ability to hang with the big boys.
Top of the second hour saw the return of the Ambrose Asylum, with Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns as the guests. The former buddies and now fierce blood rivals proceeded to laugh, joke and reminisce about all the fun they had in the Shield; there was a complete disconnect from logic here. Eventually, Rollins said his favourite part of being in the Shield was when he laid them both out with a chair and broke the group up. Rollins & Reigns bickered about who would leave Money in the Bank with the WWE title then Ambrose said he would win the MITB Ladder Match and cash in the briefcase at the end of the night on whoever the champion was. They got into a fight and Reigns put down Rollins with the Superman Punch, but Ambrose laid out Reigns with his Dirty Deeds DDT and looked up at the MITB briefcase. – The banter between the supposed hated foes was utterly cringe-worthy and it also made Reigns & Ambrose look like chumps for laughing and joking with a guy they both allegedly despise. Ambrose laying out Reigns was a nice touch, but it also made it clear he is coming nowhere near the briefcase at the PPV.
They did some stuff with the six-guys in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match; none of it was particularly great. Cesaro was a jerk to Sami Zayn in the back and told him he still needed to prove himself in the WWE. Sami then beat Cesaro in a decent 8:10 TV match; finish was a huge Yoshi Tonic from Zayn which the crowd went nuts for. Kevin Owens told Shane McMahon that Alberto Del Rio was late and had only got to the building 20 minutes ago. Del Rio showed up and accused Owens of tipping off Airport Security and he was detained for five hours. Corporate Kane, who showed up because he wanted to apply for the role of SmackDown GM, booked Owens & Del Rio against the Lucha Dragons, with the stipulation that the Dragons would take their spot in the MITB match if they won. Owens & Del Rio teased dissension, but beat the Lucha Dragons in a nothing 8:35 match; Del Rio laid out Owens with a Superkick afterwards. Owens complained to Stephanie in the back about what happened and noted that he was unhappy about Sami Zayn being on commentary for the Chris Jericho vs. Dean Ambrose main event. Steph said Owens could be on commentary too then made Del Rio the special guest timekeeper and made Cesaro the special guest ring announcer. So Jericho & Ambrose had their match; it was pretty dull. Cesaro did the intros and Del Rio rang the bell; Owens & Zayn argued on commentary. Ambrose pinned Jericho with his DDT at 12:05 then everybody in the MITB got into a brawl. Sami did a dive off the top rope onto everybody on the floor then Jericho climbed up a ladder and took down the briefcase to close the show. – It is worth pointing out that the show opened with all the wrestlers on the stage for a moments silence for the victims of the Orlando shootings and Alberto Del Rio was clearly visible on the stage with everybody else. Zayn & Cesaro was fine for what it was. Main event was not great, but Owens made it entertaining on commentary and the post-match brawl was perfectly adequate.
Opening segment saw the New Day come out and instead of hyping their Tag title defence at the PPV, they decided to make fun of Kofi’s “old man” sneakers. Enzo & Big Cass showed up and Cass called the unicorn horns, “massagers for her pleasure.” Enzo & Cass then claimed that Enzo had spent the night with Francesca II and had done nasty stuff to Xavier’s beloved trombone. Yep. Vaudevillains were out next and nobody cared about them at all. Finally, the Club came out and said they would win the Tag titles; at least they cared about the belts. This led to an eight-man and The Club & The Vaudevillains beat New Day, Enzo & Cass in 13:20 when the Club pinned Kofi with the Magic Killer. – The Club should win the belts, but pinning Kofi clean here makes me think New Day will retain. Plus, they have been pushing the idea that New Day can break the record held by London & Kendrick for longest reigning champs and I can see that happening.
Miscellaneous: As noted, Corporate Kane showed up and wanted to be the new SmackDown GM. He gave Stephanie his resume and a letter of recommendation from the Undertaker of all people. Later on, Shane & Steph told Kane he didn’t get the job and Kane asked if it was because of the time he tied Shane’s testicles to a car battery. Shane said no, but that didn’t help then he and Stephanie argued about which one of them would get to run SmackDown. Bob Backlund told Darren Young to save money by not buying expensive clothes. I’m so sick of these things and they certainly are not getting Young over. Titus O’Neil came out for a match, but Rusev attacked him on the stage like a hero and left him for dead. I still can’t believe that poor Rusev is feuding with this big useless lump. Paige pinned Charlotte in a non-title match, because why wouldn’t the champion lose on TV 6 days before wrestling at the PPV? Finish saw Dana Brooke roll Charlotte back in the ring and Paige hit her with her DDT; Natalya & Becky Lynch were on commentary and were insufferable. Later on, Charlotte yelled at Dana in the back for messing up and costing her the match. Sheamus squashed Zack Ryder in 1:50 then beat him up some more afterwards. Apollo Crews made the save and chased Sheamus off through the crowd.