Live from Cleveland, OH
Your hosts are Byron Saxton, JBL, and Michael Cole
The show starts with the ten-bell salute and tribute video for Dusty Rhodes from last night. Both were excellent.
Seth Rollins is shown in the ring gloating then we go to commercial break. When we return, we see Johnny Manziel in the crowd then Rollins starts by welcoming the crowd to "Monday Night Rollins" as he proudly boasts the fact that he is the WWE World Champion. He then says that Dean brought his "A" game at Money in the Bank last night but the only problem is that Dean's "A" game is not quite as good as his own. Rollins then said he lived up to his promise of winning the title on his own then said that he wants to acknowledge all the people who helped him get to where he was then pulls out a list, which only contains his own name which he repeats over and over again to hammer home the point that he does not need anyone. He then makes fun of J&J Security and Kane before saying he didnt even need HHH and Steph. Rollins went as far as to say last night he punched his own ticket into the Hall of Fame before trolling Cleveland about their lack of titles, even shitting on Johnny Manziel, which actually brought some cheers. All of a sudden, Dean Ambrose's music hits as the crowd erupts. They meet in the aisle and start brawling. They head into the ring where Dean clotheslines Seth to the floor. Seth then attacks the injured knee but Dean fights back and eventually chases him off while hobbling on one leg. Seth heads out back while Dean grabs a chair and sits in the ring. Dean says the title might have slipped through his fingers but has enjoyed making his life a living hell and will sit in the ring until Seth comes back out. The segment was fine I suppose but this feud has a limited shelf-life at the moment.
Back from break, HHH & Steph question Rollins as to why he says he doesnt need them as Rollins backtracks and thinks they should just get Ambrose out of the building. HHH tells Rollins that they have to decide who will be the next challenger to his title and since he trusted Rollins could beat Ambrose, Rollins could trust him with choosing the next challenger as Seth reluctantly agreed.
Sheamus comes out to the ring with the Money in the Bank briefcase as he tells Ambrose, who is still in the ring, that he is a winner while Ambrose is a loser. Sheamus then says that the briefcase means he is just one Brogue Kick away from becoming the champion and steps in the ring for a match.
Dean Ambrose vs. Sheamus
Sheamus attacks the injured knee of Ambrose to start. Ambrose fights back but Sheamus goes back to targeting the injured knee. Back from break, Ambrose fights back then catches Sheamus with a neckbreaker while selling the knee. He hits a bulldog then slowly climbs up top as Sheamus cuts him off then hits the Rolling Thunder. Sheamus locks on a Cloverleaf but Ambrose is able to reach the ropes. Sheamus tries the clubbing forearms on Ambrose, who reverses and hits some of his own. Ambrose gets two with a top rope elbow smash then hits a rebound clothesline but Sheamus is able to escape the Dirty Deeds. However, as Sheamus heads up the aisle, Randy Orton's music hits and distracts Sheamus, allowing Ambrose to roll Sheamus inside and roll him up for the win after ducking a Brogue Kick (10:50) **1/4. After the match, Orton hits the draping DDT but Sheamus was able to escape before Orton hit the RKO.
Thoughts: An average TV match from these two. The win keeps Ambrose strong and this also prolongs the Sheamus/Orton feud so it made sense in that regard, even if those two do not have the best chemistry against each other.
Backstage, Rollins runs into J&J Security. He refers to them as "Harry and Lloyd" then tells them both he is willing to bring them back, not because he needs them but because they might have the inside track on his next opponent. Noble said his next opponent should be the guy who pinned him in the ring last week, Joey Mercury. Rollins tells Noble he is crazy through poorly, overwritten dialogue as Mercury then tells Rollins its a matter of when, not if, he loses his title as J&J Security walk away smiling. Rollins is alienating just about everyone around him at the moment.
A plug for the Dusty Rhodes Life Celebration that airs on the WWE Network after RAW
An ad featuring Roman Reigns playing with his daughter to promote fatherhood.gov
R-Truth vs. King Barrett
Truth came to the ring dressed as a "king," with a bedsheet as a robe and a toilet plunger as a scepter. Barrett boots Truth in the face then hits some mounted punches but poses and that allows Truth to get the win with a surprise rollup (0:22). After the match, Barrett attacks Truth then flips out as he said that he earned the "King of the Ring" moniker in a tournament while upset over Truth making a mockery of the title.
Thoughts: A waste of time and Barrett is a complete joke at the moment. Whatever potential he had has long passed him by and this king gimmick has done him no favors at all.
Machine Gun Kelly is backstage with Heath Slater, Zack Ryder, Fandango, Alicia Fox, Summer Rae, and Emma. Paige interrupts and wants the divas to meet up with her and the rest of the girls as they leave while Ryder and Fandango seemed bummed out about getting left out.
Kevin Owens hits the ring. He talks about Cena insulted him more than anyone else has in his fifteen year career by saying "you belong here" as he yells at us that he doesnt need his endorsement as he also knows how he belongs here. He then says Cena is a bad winner as he could not walk to the back, like a gracious winner would, but that he had to shake hands as he needs to be the hero. Owens tells us that regardless of what happened, he deserves a rematch and this time when he wins, he wants the U.S. Title. Owens then tells us that this is usually the time Cena runs out and issues the open challenge but that wont happen as Owens decides to hold his own open challenge. Dolph Ziggler answers as he walks out with Lana. Dolph tells Owens that besides kissing Lana, he made his night as he tells Owens he has sacrificed. like the city of Cleveland, has scratched and clawed at a chance for the championship as he will give them one now and accepts. Lillian Garcia then announces the match for the NXT Title as Owens interrupts, calling her "blondie," and says that it is a non-title match. Owens mic work was top notch here as the heel who justifies every evil thing that he does. Ziggler, on the other hand, was given a garbage promo about sacrificing and wanting to win the Developmental Brand title. No one could have made that work but what mattered was Owens and he delivered.
Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler w/ Lana
Owens immediately attacked Ziggler then tossed him outside as they cut to commercial. Back from break, Owens is still on the attack. He hits a senton for a nearfall after brushing off a dropkick attempt then proudly tells the crowd that is why he is the champion. Ziggler finally fights back and takes Owens and himself outside with a clothesline. Owens then hits him with a forearm before tossing Ziggler into the timekeeper's booth. Ziggler just beats the world's slowest ten count inside then goes on offense. He hits a DDT as we go to a second commercial break. When we return, Owens works a side headlock. Ziggler escapes with a jawbreaker then hammers away. Owens knocks him down but runs into a super kick as Ziggler gets two. Ziggler gets nearfalls with a sunset flip and a Fameasser but misses a charge and gets tossed halfway across the ring with a German suplex. Owens follows with a cannonball for two. Ziggler dodges the pop-up powerbomb and hits the Zig-Zag for two as the fans bought that as a finisher. Owens then catches Ziggler with a kick before putting him away with the pop-up powerbomb (15:14) ***1/4. After the match, Owens demanded his NXT title and aggressively yanked it from the timekeeper so he could celebrate.
Thoughts: Good match. The last few minutes were quite action-packed. Owens has been hitting home runs with each appearance on WWE television. Lana was shown during the entrance and that was about all for her as that pairing continues to go nowhere.
Paige holds court with the rest of the diva's as she wants them to join her in a stand against the Bella Twins. Summer then reminds Paige that she lost last night while Alicia questions why they should trust her as she has turned on every partner she has ever had. Paige says they are just as powerful as the Bellas as Naomi thinks Paige is crazy for trying to boss her around. Paige tries to get the others to join her but the Bellas interrupt. Nikki tells us that she has been the Diva's Champion since SummerSlam and since it is a free country the others can side with Paige if they want. The ladies all leave one-by-one as Paige is alone. The Bellas then sit down backstage as Paige also leaves. Whatever, there is zero reason to cheer for any of these ladies. Everyone here turns on each other so the idea to start a feud based off one of them who constantly turns is ridiculous. Some of the worst booking I have ever seen has been part of the 2015 Diva's Division.
Randy Orton vs. Kane
Both guys slug it out to start. Kane takes Orton down with a big boot for a nearfall then works a nerve hold then a sleeper that Orton counters with a back suplex. Orton misses a knee drop as Kane hits a side slam for two. Orton breaks up a chokeslam attempt then boots Kane in the face in a pathetic spot as this match is dragging. Orton hits a powerslam and tries the draping DDT but Sheamus' music interrupts as Kane is now at the table while he proclaims the rest of this match is "No Holds Barred." Orton attacks Sheamus until Kane runs in then Sheamus hits the Brogue Kick as Kane covers for the win (4:22) DUD. After the match, Sheamus poses with the briefcase.
Thoughts: This match was absolutely awful. I like the direction of Kane's character and he does a good job on screen but he is the worst in-ring performer on the roster now and best served hidden in tags and six-man matches. Orton couldnt even drag something passable out of him. They also did more Orton/Sheamus storyline stuff here.
Rollins runs into Kane backstage and congratulates him sarcastically as he points out how Kane lost last night while he won, without his help. Rollins then says his success pains Kane because he is no longer feared or a champion. Kane then tells Rollins if he wants to be the future, he needs to win match after match on a nightly basis but cannot understand that because he is an idiot, not an architect. Rollins reminds Kane that he has always had someone hold his hand, including Paul Bearer and the Undertaker as Kane flips out at Rollins for bringing up his family. Rollins then yells at Kane for touching him and said that he hopes the Authority picks him as his challenger so he can put him out of his misery. Good stuff from both guys here.
Big Show vs. The Miz
Ryback is on commentary. Miz starts the match by running away from Show, who then faked out the Miz by faking a leg injury so he could take advantage. Show rams Miz in the corner and hits a few chops. They head outside where Show chops him down then tosses the Miz at Ryback, who gets in Show's face but as they stare each other down, Miz slides in the ring to beat the ten count and get the win (2:47) 1/4*. After the match, Ryback taunts Miz with his IC Title Belt.
Thoughts: I've enjoyed Ryback as the IC Champ so far but feuding with these two doesnt seem all that promising.
Roman Reigns comes out and is pissed off at Bray Wyatt for costing him the MiTB match last night. Bray is shown cutting a promo about one star speaking truth and the other speaking lies as Reigns tells him to shut up and get into the ring. Bray is now telling Reigns he selfishly denied him his destiny and that he reminds him of someone he knew a long time ago, someone who was a chosen one whose people believed in him. Bray then tells Reigns he is the "yin to his yang" and that he will eliminate him once and for all as he will not do this with Father's Day around the corner then he holds the picture of Reigns and his daughter from the PSA while singing "My Little Teapot" then ends this by saying "run." More of the same from Wyatt and fans are not buying into his act anymore.
Paige vs. Bella Twins
Cole plugs the new season of "Total Divas" as Nikki and Paige start the match. They go back-and-forth for a while until Nikki gains the advantage. Brie tags in and works the neck as the announcers talk about "twin magic." Brie gets two with a running knee then Nikki tags and works a figure four neck lock, even working a few pushups. Brie tags and accidentally clotheslines Nikki as Paige takes control of the match. She rams Brie into Nikki then hits the Rampage but Nikki breaks that up and then tags in to hit the Rack Attack for the win (5:35) 1/2*.
Thoughts: Bad match as I have no idea where they are going with this feud but hopefully it leads to Paige bringing up some NXT girls to the roster because the current WWE Diva roster as a whole sucks.
Machine Gun Kelly performs. I thought the performance sucked. Afterwards, Kevin Owens comes out and sarcastically claps at the end. Kelly then pushes him but Owens knocks him down then powerbombs him off of the stage. Several officials tend to Kelly as Owens walks away. Despite landing on a crash pad, Kelly was a sport for taking that bump and it looked great as Owens came off as an even bigger psychotic dick than he was before the show started.
New Day vs. Prime Time Players & Neville
New Day were shown in an insert promo talking about using the power of positivity to regain the Tag Team titles as the PTP's were shown biting off the New Age Outlaws ring introduction. Young hits Woods with a discus forearm to start. He then hits an inverted atomic drop and a neckbreaker. Kofi tags, with his ribs bandaged, as the PTP's then clean house. Neville then takes out the New Day with the Fosbury Flop as we go to break. When we return, the New Day are working over Young in their corner. Woods works a chinlock as the crowd gets behind Young. Woods boots Titus off of the ring apron but Young is able to tag Neville, who runs wild. The match breaks down and gets a bit sloppy but Young is able to hit Kofi with a gutbuster then they tag Neville back in the match as the crowd goes nuts, with the PTP's act as cheerleaders, then Neville gets the win with the Red Arrow (9:38) *1/2.
Thoughts: The match got really sloppy at the end but the crowds love the Red Arrow, as evidenced here tonight. Neville hits the move perfectly each time too. And his ring work in general has been incredible since getting called up. The PTP's are a fun act and I assume they will drop the titles back to the New Day soon.
Dean is backstage throwing darts at a dartboard that features a picture of Rollins. Kane walks in and laughs and says as Director of Operations, its his job to make sure things run smooth as they laugh while Dean said that he liked the Kane that was "hellfire and brimstone" and the "Big Red Monster" as Kane reminds him he has a job with a global company. Dean said he lives for nights like last night and will not stop until he gets that title. Dean says that is what he lives for then asks Kane what he lives for as he walks away, letting Kane ponder the question. When Kane turns, it should get a decent reaction as it has been built up well.
The Authority walk down to the ring to announce the next opponent for Seth Rollins but first, Steph wants to apologize to the fans for Owens attacking Machine Gun Kelly and that disciplinary action will occur as that is best for business, which is not just a slogan as they run a global business that puts smiles on peoples faces. HHH assures us that Dean Ambrose, among others, will not be the challenger for Rollins' title. Rollins himself then comes out, looking quite confident. Rollins then tells the Authority it doesnt matter who they pick as he is as good as they say he is and he will embarrass anyone on the roster, making the Authority proud. HHH runs down the list of guys Rollins has beat then said in life, you have to step back and look at the investment to see if it will pay off or if it is a sunk cost as HHH tells us you stick a lump of coal under pressure as you either see it turn to dust or into a diamond as he questions what will happen to Rollins as the pressure is on then after twenty seconds, Brock Lesnar's theme music hits as he appears with Paul Heyman. The announcers talk about Lesnar being reinstated and how he was never pinned at WrestleMania. Rollins looks at Lesnar, trying to appear confident. He then sees Heyman shake the hands of the Authority as they leave the ring while Rollins looks petrified as Lesnar stares him down. Rollins backs up slowly as Lesnar follows then ducks outside as the crowd boos. He looks at the Authority then at Lesnar as he heads up the aisle as Lesnar looks on from inside the ring, staring right through Rollins. Cole then tells us that this match will take place at Battleground. With Rollins brashly acting like he needs no one but himself all show long, he now looks helpless after learning that he will be facing Lesnar, which is a good bit of storytelling.
Final Thoughts: Overall, this was a solid show. The main event stuff was good and the building of Owens as a top heel has been superb. They even kept Dean strong tonight too. Some of the midcard stuff was shit (well, most of it was) but we had a good match and they are shaping up the storylines that lead to Battleground. They seem to have a direction where they are going and that is the most important thing out of RAW, not good matches. That is what the PPV's are for.