1. We kick off what promises to be a Roman-free Raw with Seth Rollins, who talks up the match at Battleground, then goes ‘off script’ to talk about Reigns. He says that Roman soiled Seth’s good name, then shows his Twitter apology. Wait, if Seth is going rogue, how did the production team know to show Roman’s tweet? I smell carefully scripted shenanigans…
2. Eventually Ambrose comes out with the belt to a solid crowd reaction and does his usual schtick, with a side of ‘we all make mistakes’ – which is fine if you’re Roman Reigns, less so if you’re Adam Rose. And now AJ Styles joins the party, throwing his hat in the ring for the triple threat match at Battleground, turning it into a fatal four way. Naturally, this brings out John Cena, who suggests a five-way instead. That brings out Stephanie, who seems to like the sound of the way things are going, setting up Rollins vs Cena and AJ vs Ambrose for later tonight.
3. After 20+ minutes of taking, it’s finally time for our first match of Sasha Banks and Paige vs Charlotte and Dana Brooke. Pretty good match from all involved, although it is interesting to note that the woman with the belt is one of the weaker workers in the ring. Great to see Banks finally make her mark on Raw, and hopefully Paige is on her way back up. Last but not least, Dana’s new outfit is not very flattering.
4. Now it’s time for Rusev vs Titus, and I still don’t care. Fast forward. O’Neill wins by count out. After a fairly pointless backstage segment with Steph, Kane, Miz and Maryse, it’s time for Seth Rollins to take on John Cena in a main event worthy spectacle.
5. Deliberately paced match typical of WWE to start with, booked pretty much 50/50. After the ad break Cena starts to take control, hitting all of his big moves for some near falls, then some punches which clearly fail to connect. Rollins rallies with a turnbuckle powerbomb, and it is only a matter of time before that move gets banned. After a wicked superplex combo from Rollins, Cena hits the AA but Seth gets his foot on the rope. Hey, it’s AJ and The Club, who distract Cena and allow Rollins to hit the pedigree for the pin and the three count.
6. Next up we have Enzo and Cass vs a couple of jobbers, and the match takes significantly less time than Enzo’s pre-match proclamations. After this complete waste of time the Social Outcasts come out to increase the suck factor. So I guess this is a feud now. Way to make me care less about Enzo and Cass, WWE.
7. Now it’s time for Becky Lynch to take on Summer Rae, with the newly bitchy Natalya on commentary. Becky attacks Natalya before the match starts, and apparently the ref calls a no contest, even though the match could totally have gone ahead.
8. Chris Jericho is here for the Highlight Reel, and his guests are Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Fun segment continuing the Zayn/KO rivalry and ending with a double superkick to Jericho.
9. Now Kane is facing The Miz for the IC championship, and the commentators spend most of the match talking up the difference between Corporate Kane and Demon Kane. After a meaningless count out victory to Kane we get Apollo Crews and Cesaro vs Shamus and Alberto Del Rio. Decent match considering two of the participants are rubbish, with Crews picking up the pin after ADR turns on Shamus.
10. There is a chance that I will be interested in the New Day / Wyatt Family feud when they finally wrestle, however I am not at all interested in watching New Day play dress up. So on to the main event of Dean Ambrose vs AJ Styles… which was probably the most entertaining match of the night. Styles played the heel to perfection and Ambrose played the plucky underdog despite being noticeably bigger than Styles. Because a clean win would be un-WWE, The Club run in for the distraction, followed by John Cena, which leads to Ambrose hitting the dirty deeds for the win. After the match Rollins takes out Ambrose and The Club beat down Cena.