RAW Ramblings – June 20th 2016
Talking Stick Resort Arena: Phoenix, AZ.
For those of you keeping track this was week eight of Shane & Stephanie running RAW and just like Shane a couple of weeks ago, Stephanie decided to take the night off. Now, why on earth either of them would take time off in storyline when they are desperately trying to one-up each other and both are campaigning to run RAW & SmackDown is beyond me.
Anyway, the fallout from Money in the Bank saw them set up the much talked about Shield Triple Threat for BattleGround for 24/7. Dean Ambrose showed up in a taxi and almost forgot to take the WWE title belt out of the back of it. He opened the show with a triumphant babyface promo and was absolutely beloved, so forget all that nonsense Triple H was talking about people not accepting a top babyface in 2016. He talked about all the crazy stuff he did after winning the title then said that since Seth Rollins was, “the man” and Roman Reigns was, “the guy,” he could be called, “the dude.” Reigns came out to congratulate him and was despised. Fans chanted, “You can’t wrestle” and a gotten to Reigns told all the men chanting that to sit down and shut up. Rollins showed up and ranted about being screwed by Ambrose then told Reigns to get to the back of the line because he beat him clean in the middle last night. Shane McMahon hit the stage and booked Reigns & Rollins in a #1 contenders match for the main event. Ambrose was on commentary and they had a pretty good TV match that went 17:27. The only question was what they would do for a finish; I figured either a double pin or a double DQ, however they did neither and went with a double count-out instead. Shane came out again and said that is not how thing are done – a line dripping with irony – and Ambrose declared he would fight Reigns & Rollins on the same night. Shane booked the Shield three-way for BattleGround and Ambrose laid out both Reigns & Rollins with the Dirty Deeds and stood tall with the WWE title to close the show. – The Shield three-way could really have been saved for SummerSlam, however with the draft taking place on July 19th I guess they wanted to get the match out of the way before the rosters are split. Again, it is still too early to tell if Vince has given up on Roman Reigns, but it is now impossible to ignore the hatred the fans have for him. Ambrose was actually booked like a strong babyface champion, so if they keep it up he could actually have a legitimate shot of being the new guy.
Once again the John Cena/AJ Styles program was the best thing on the show. Styles came out and disingenuously acted like he was upset with the Club for interfering in the match last night. Anderson & Gallows came out and Styles forced them to issue phony apologies to John Cena – they were of course being douchey sarcastic heels and it was great. Cena showed up and said AJ was hiding behind the Club and told him he is not as good as he thinks he is. Styles offered Cena a match against anyone in the Club, except himself, but Cena said it didn’t matter who he faced because it would always be 3-on-1. This led to Karl Anderson vs. John Cena in what could have been a hell of a match, however the Club hit the ring for the DQ at 2:23 so that was that. Cena took the Magic Killer and AJ finished him off with the Styles Clash. – Logically the Cena/Styles rematch should have some kind of stipulation that prevents the Club from interfering, but that was supposedly the case at Money in the Bank and look how that turned out. I can’t see them doing something goofy like a lumberjack or cage match either, so maybe Stephanie will chastise the Club and threaten to fire them if they get involved next time.
The Wyatts returned and Bray cut a promo about the Family being stronger than ever, which was a blatant lie because Luke Harper is still out injured. Bray was over huge and the fans chanted “Welcome back.” Of all people, New Day came out and they made fun of the Wyatts with their usual comedy. Xavier missed the “WWE World Tag Team Champions” catchphrase because he was seemingly placed into a trance by the Wyatts, which he eventually snapped out of. Bray did their “New Day Rocks” chant, but changed it to “New Day Falls” and the spooky Wyatt graphic flashed to end the segment. – It was fine, although a New Day/Wyatts feud seems very wacky indeed. You also have to wonder where Anderson & Gallows will go if the Wyatts/New Day program is for the Tag titles.
Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens had a good little TV match then brawled all over the place to keep their feud alive. Zayn won the match in 8:52 after countering the Pop-up Powerbomb into a roll-up; Owens jumped him afterwards and tried to Powerbomb him off the stage. Sami countered and ended up lading some ground and pound shots until a bunch of referees ran out to break it up. After a commercial break, Owens & Zayn were fighting in the back and were eventually broken up for good when Finlay & Road Dogg got involved.
Charlotte retained the Women’s title over Paige in a very good TV match at 8:25. Paige pinned Charlotte last week, so it was nice to see them actually follow up on something for once. Finish saw Dana distract Paige and Charlotte pinned her with Natural Selection. Charlotte & Dana put the boots to Paige afterwards and Sasha Banks made her return and cleaned house. Sasha held up the Women’s title and stood tall with Paige in the ring. – Sasha was super over, so it is surely only a matter of time until she beats Charlotte for the title. I just hope they don’t try and drag this thing out too long and kill all of Sasha’s momentum in the process.
This week’s returning GM from the past was Big Johnny himself, John Laurinaitis, who wore a bright red suit with a blue tie; JBL called him the “patriarch of Bellaville.” They had Raw & SmackDown podiums set up on the stage and Big Johnny pitched himself for the role of GM. Shane quickly interrupted him, so sadly we didn’t get any famous Laurinaitis line flubbing. Shane apologised to the fans and ushered Big Johnny away, however Laurinaitis snuck back to the RAW podium and got in a “People Power” before he left.
The Rest: Enzo Amore & Big Cass beat the Vaudevillains in a nothing 2:50 match with the Rocket Launcher, which has been renamed the “Bada Boom Shaka Laka.” Renee interviewed Becky Lynch in the back about Natalya turning on her last night; Nattie showed up and laid out Becky from behind again. Baron Corbin squashed Zack Ryder in 3:02 with the End of Days; nobody cared. Bob Backlund told Darren Young he gave advice, not orders; that was the whole segment. Rusev & Titus O’Neil were scheduled for a rematch for some ungodly reason, but they ended up just brawling instead because this feud must continue apparently after Rusev dominated and humiliated Titus last night. Miz & Maryse were on the set of Miz’s movie and Miz yelled at a guy for not bringing him Quail. Chris Jericho met with Shane in his office and told him it was a terrible idea to allow Dean Ambrose to be WWE Champion. Jericho added that he would rather work for “ten Stephanie McMahons” instead of one of Shane. Shane told him he would be running RAW & SmackDown so he would have to get used to it.