RAW Ramblings – June 6th 2016
Chesapeake Energy Centre: Oklahoma City, OK.
RAW was much better than last week. Not exactly high praise since that show was one the worst RAWs of all-time, but at least this week the show was not offensively terrible. The best thing on the show was once again the stuff with John Cena & AJ Styles setting up their match at Money in the Bank. There was also some paint-by-numbers booking for the six guys in the MITB Ladder Match; it was perfectly fine but didn’t exactly set the world on fire. We also got a show-long storyline of an old, bumbling, incompetent Teddy Long showing up at random points to purposely flub lines and to politic for the role of SmackDown GM. He eventually got the Stephanie McMahon Special and Steph kicked him out of the building because Vince didn’t want a senile old fool running the show. – I know some of our American cousins struggle with the concept of irony, but Vince McMahon not wanting an out of touch, senile old man in charge of his television show is about as ironic as it gets.
John Cena was out at the top of the second hour and he compared the moment with AJ Styles last week to the first time he went face-to-face with the Rock. He begged the fans to do the dueling chants gimmick then demanded AJ come out and explain his actions last week. Styles & the Club hit the stage and AJ cut one of the best promos of his entire career, which is funny because I’m sure everybody said he couldn’t talk. Styles told Cena he offended him every time he stepped into the ring and said that Cena couldn’t beat him on his best day. Cena replied that Styles had 15 years to come up with some better material but all he had was the same old deal about him not being a good wrestler. Cena laid into Styles and flat-out called him a failure for not beating Roman Reigns. He also used the term, “Bullet Club” at one point. Styles fired back and declared that he could go anywhere in the world and sell it out then said he had nothing to lose against Cena, which made him extremely dangerous. Styles noted that guys like Cena “buried” guys like him and said that the Club were there to keep his head above the ground. The Club eventually surrounded Cena in the ring, but the New Day ran down to make the save and the Club backed down. This set up a trios main event with the Club against the New Day. The Club jumped New Day before the bell and Xavier Woods ended up being taken to the back after he ate a Styles Clash on the floor. Match turned into a 3-on-2 Handicap and the Club got the win in 5:10 when Styles pinned Kofi with the Phenomenal Forearm. Post-match saw the Club beat up New Day some more until Cena made the save and Styles bailed to the floor. Gallows took an AA and Cena stood tall with Kofi & Big E to close the show. – This was all really solid stuff, with the highlight being the promo exchange between Cena & Styles.
Show opened with a wacky segment involving the six guys in the MITB Ladder Match. All six guys were on top of ladders in the ring and they essentially just went back-and-forth with short promos for a while. Kevin Owens was easily the stand out, although Sami Zayn & Chris Jericho had a cute little bit about Jericho claiming to have won a MITB match and Sami pointing out he was lying. The segment really shouldn’t have worked, but everybody was on-point with their delivery and the crowd were into it so it was much better than it had any right to be. Teddy Long showed up and did his blithering idiot routine and intentionally flubbed a bunch of lines. Stephanie came out and said that Shane was “on vacation” then booked the six guys in matches against each other. Cesaro submitted Chris Jericho with the Sharpshooter at 12:01 of a solid TV match. Alberto Del Rio pinned Sami Zayn clean as a sheet with the Tree of Woe Double Stomp in a nothing 8:20 match. Dean Ambrose then downed Kevin Owens in another skippable affair in 6:35 with the Dirty Deeds DDT. Afterwards, Ambrose set up a ladder and went up to touch the briefcase; Owens recovered and shoved him off then pointed at the case and yelled it was his. – The fact that Owens had been pretty much protected until the last couple of weeks when he suddenly started losing matches surely makes him the favourite to win the briefcase.
There was yet another horrible segment involving the women, more specifically Charlotte, who came out with Dana Brooke and for some reason apologised for what she said to Ric Flair last week. Natalya & Becky Lynch showed up and they tried to convince Dana she would be better off without Charlotte. Dana pretended to think about it for a while then she attacked Nattie from behind. Becky tripped over Nattie while she tried to get to Dana; it looked terrible. Dana gave Becky the Michinoku Driver while Charlotte put Nattie in the Figure-Eight. – SummerSlam cannot come quickly enough, because they need to get the women’s title of Charlotte as soon as possible.
Everything Else: They did some tributes to Muhammad Ali throughout the night; there were some lame Tweet montages, but they did follow up with a really cool video. Enzo Amore & Big Cass paid tribute to Ali before their match with the Vaudevillains and Enzo did Ali’s entire “I’m so mean I make medicine sick” promo. Match was a lame rehash of what happened at Payback. English tossed Enzo into the ropes just like he did before and Enzo sold like death even though he came nowhere near the ropes this time. Big Cass went crazy and got DQ’d for kicking too much ass after seeing the Vaudes trying to injury his buddy. Rusev beat Jack Swagger via count-out in 3:35; Titus O’Neil was on commentary and was horrible. They appeared to be setting up a three-way for the PPV; poor Rusev, in a feud with Titus O’Neil & Jack Swagger. The Bob Backlund/Darren Young gimmick this week was that Backlund wanted Young to walk 8 hours to the next town. The Shining Stars did a promo in front of a green-screen; they still like Puerto Rico. Tyler Breeze vs. R-Truth went to a no-contest in 1:01 when Goldust & Fandango fought into the ring; Teddy Long showed up and tried to book a tag match but security took him away. There was also funny inset promo with Breeze shaving Fandango’s back; they are quickly turning into a great comedy heel team.
And that was the show…not much to it really. Next week is the go-home for Money in the Bank, so maybe they were saving the best stuff for that, however I somehow doubt it.