The show starts with the ring chock-full of wrestlers for the Intercontinental Title battle royal. Apollo Crews gets an intro while Miz stands on the announce table and talks about it being the ’98th day of the Miz’s never-ending IC Title World Tour. Maryse dancing to Apollo’s theme amuses me. Miz puts over Dolph and Alberto being former world champions vying for this title and Miz talks about Backlund being a legend as he stands around for D-Young. D-Von takes Axel out with a glorious spin bump off the apron. Baron tosses Truth out.
Swagger has an Uso in the ankle lock, but he escapes before being tossed out. Corbin tosses out Swagger. Bubba chops and punches away at D-Young in the corner. D-Young hits a slick discus elbow and tosses Bubba out. Corner kick misses and Dolph hits a fameasser and goes for a cover before remembering to try to toss him out. ADR is sent to the apron through the second rope and superkicked down. ADR hits the footstomp to Crews as he’s hung up in the ropes, but Crews recovers and chucks him out. Dolph gets tossed out to the floor from the apron via a sick Biel. Baron and Crews eliminate themselves, so D-Young wins. LOL @ the minus five stars sign showing up after D-Young wins the battle royal by doing nothing. A Darren Young chant is heard briefly – so I guess this got him kind of over. They hype up Brock returning to UFC and winning and then we see a brief glimpse of the New Day vs. the Wyatts at the Compound.
Shane and Steph bicker a bit backstage and talk about why Vince is here tonight. They yammer on a bit before Seth comes in and says he should be the top draft pick and he has footage about Roman that everyone should see. Shane says it’s perfect for the Asylum before Steph calls him a moron while Seth pitches the Rollins Report. Still shots air of the Brock vs. Hunt fight with JBL and Cole ratting off WWE Speak about it. Orton will return at Battleground for a Highlight Reel with Jericho. Ryder challenges Rusev before Sheamus kicks his ass and tosses his head against the concrete.
Sheamus’s theme is heard while Cole talks about how exciting it will be to see the COOs of Raw and Smackdown stand at podiums and name their draft picks. Ryder gets a new, slightly more serious remix of his theme. Ryder takes Sheamus down and pounds away before they go to the floor and Ryder beats him up out there too. Broski boot is met with a bit lariat, but Sheamus misses a charge and the boot hits for 2. Sheamus boots him and wins before Rusev comes down. Ryder pops up and brawls with Rusev, so why did he lose to Sheamus’s kick? Doesn’t that just kill the Brogue Kick? Rusev takes him out and locks on the back-leaning Accolade.
Breezango comes out in Joker-esque purple and green attire. We see clips from the Raw pre-show where they bury the Lucha Dragons and spill a drink on Breeze’s vest. It’s astonishing to think that time was spent arranging this to be shot and then people took time out of their lives to do it. They talk about how the Lucha Dragons and Breezango could be split up and how it could make them better – with Cole citing JBL as a prime example. Fandango locks on a chinlock for several minutes. Breeze and Kalisto come in and Kalisto slips off the springboard corkscrew before recovering and hitting a spinkick. Tyler goes for a schoolboy and gets 2, but Kalisto pops up top, eats a superkick and then a schoolboy off the second rope gives Breeze the win. The Rollins Report is hyped up. Hopefully the Roman Reigns scandal involves Roman playing Pokemon Go irresponsibly.
A Roman Reigns hype video airs as does an ad for Cena hosting the Espys. Seth comes out for the Rollins Report. It’s just an interview with Seth throwing questions and them cutting to canned Roman interview footage that maligns Roman – so it’s basically the Homer Simpson interview on Rock Bottom from 20+ years ago. The “Not a good guy, not a bad guy…the suspended guy” graphic is the best part of this. Dean comes out and JBL calls this the dark age of WWE while Seth says that Dean stole the title from him. Dean says he’s the guy – he stayed here, he’s not chasing fantasies in another sport and he’s the king of WWE and has been for a long time, he just has the title to prove it now. Dean says that if Seth wants a one on one shot for the title, he’s got it whenever he wants. Seth says Detroit’s a great place…but he’ll do it next week on his time.
We get brief, over-produced clips of the Wyatt Compound war. Nakamura vs. Balor is hyped up for NXT. Seth vs. Dean is officially announced for Raw, and then Sami comes out to commentate for an Owens vs. Cesaro match. Owens doesn’t come out and we see Owens backstage saying that it’s unsafe to be out there with Sami on commentary – Steph agrees and has Sami removed. Refs toss him out while fans chant “let Sami stay”. Cole stands by this saying it’s for Sami’s own safety. Wow – what a fine example of why no one can take WWE commentary seriously. Sami and Owens brawl briefly before a limo pulls up and Vince comes out with a glorious orange tie. Vince tells Renee he’s here for the Detroit fresh air and to name the COO of SmackDown Live. He then says he’ll name a commissioner and says it will be someone new.
Owens is mid-ring and then Cesaro comes out. Owens grinds him down with a chinlock, but Cesaro counters with the no-assist gutwrench. Cesaro cannonballs Owens off the apron. Uppercut misses on the barricade before Owens superkicks him into the timekeeper’s area. Owens brings him into the ring and mocks his machine-gun pose and eats a delayed suplex. Corner uppercut is avoided, but he grabs a leg off a superkick and lands an uppercut. Owens tosses Cesaro into the announce table for an ad break.
Owens hits the over-the-knee neckbreaker for 2. Owens and Cesaro go back and forth with shots before Cesaro runs wild with uppercuts in the corner. JBL talks about how great Dave Taylor was a throwing it before Cesaro then hits the springboard uppercut. Cesaro grabs JBL’s hat, puts it on and rounds the bend before hitting an uppercut on the floor! A crossbody off the top gets 2 for Cesaro. Owens goes for a tornado DDT, but Cesaro stops him and hoists him back up top for a dropkick. Cesaro gets crotched and eats a torture rack neckbreaker to end this. Owens talks smack before Sami jumps him through the crowd and beats his ass. Sami’s intensity is incredible and results in a huge “Sami!” chant. Owens is tossed into the ring and Cesaro locks on the swing. The Club walks backstage talking about Enzo and Cass and how Cena just cares about himself and not his partners.
The Social Outcasts come out so Heath can come out to face Titus. Heath buries Titus for losing twice to Rusev. Byron talks about how they were once Slater Gator, and Slater eats some nasty chops. Bo Train runs wild on the floor while Heath gets 2 off a DDT. Titus grabs him for the repeating backbreakers and toss before the corner charge hits and leads to a Clash of the TItus win. Renee meets with Sasha about Dana’s challenge from SmackDown. She talks about how everyone at the beauty shop told her to shut Dana up and then says she’ll get real. Wyatts vs. New Day at the Compound is next.
But first, we learn that Darren Young and Bob Backlund will be on MizTV on SmackDown. We get a recap of the Wyatts-New Day issues before a weirdly-produced Wyatts hype video airs. The New Day arrives and one of them gets tossed onto a car before Braun attacks. Bray chases Woods around and beats him up against a tree. Rowan beats up Kofi in water before Big E suplexes him. They have way too much distortion on the video and it’s hard to see, and when all the camera cuts are thrown in, it’s nearly impossible to follow. Kofi and Braun fight on a truck. Bray tosses Woods into a car before shattering its windows with a pickaxe. Woods fights back with a trash can and some kicks. Cars show up and shine lights on everyone – so now it’s an Iron Circle match in the Wyatts compound or something and it just ends with lights. Okay, this was just stupid – and not like the Final Deletion, it was just bad and over-produced. WWE found a way to completely miss the point of the Final Deletion, as well as understand what made any part of it work. It reminds me of King saying that if JR saw Lady Godiva, he’d focus on the horse.
The Club comes out to face Enzo and Cass. Sing along with Enzo is a huge success. Cass says that everyone wants Cena’s spot – and he wants it, but if they want it, they’ll earn it. What a bizarre statement for a babyface to say at all – let alone one teaming with Cena in two weeks. AJ tells them Cena doesn’t care, and they’re called SAWFT. Karl slugs away on Enzo, who comes back with a pair of cradles for 2. Anderson and Gallows dominate in the corner while Cole talks about them being the most dominant force in the history of New Japan. Karl dominates with a headlock on the mat while a “how you doin” chant breaks out. Cass slams Enzo onto Karl and chops him in the corner. Enzo gets tagged in and eats a beating on the floor for a break.
After the break, we get a post-break chinlock by Karl. Luke comes in and dominates. I hadn’t thought of this until now, but Luke’s new getup is really easy to make in No Mercy if you go with the Nash pants and the black and silver Original tanktop with the optional color swapping. Tags to each and Cass slams Karl before hitting the Empire Elbow and hitting a fallaway slam on Karl. Big boot sends him down for the rocket launcher, but AJ low-bridges Cass and tosses him to the crowd for a DQ. The Club circles Enzo, who looks ready for a fight. Cena returns after a night of ESPY practice to make a save. Cena and Enzo ooze charisma – it’s amazing to see them side by side.
They hype up the Network with Nakamura vs. Balor and the Cruiserweight Classic. Dana comes out to Charlotte’s theme, while Sasha comes out and the crowd bounces along to her theme. Dana uses heel tactics to avoid contact for as long as possible before cheapshotting her and dominating in the corner briefly. Sasha slaps her and sends her to the floor before she comes in and eats a sloppy Thesz press for 2. Sasha hits a run-up armdrag, but gets put on the apron and kicked. After a break, Sasha hits a back elbow.
Dana hits a handstand choke in the corner before landing some shoulderblocks and getting 2 off a standing moonsault. Dana locks on a chinlock and Cole talks about how NXT has a lot of superstars that could be drafted. Dana eats a kick and then a lariat before a huge kick to the ribs. Dana is sent into the corner for a forearm and then the double knees for 2. Sasha goes up top, but gets stopped and goes for a superplex – but she’s tossed off and eats a crossbody for 2. Backstabber and the Bank Statement end it. Charlotte says that if she beats Dana again on SD, she MIGHT get a title shot.
Shane comes down, then Steph. Shane holds the ropes open for her and she uses a Shane O Mac chant to say “sucks” and belittle him. Vince comes down and buries Steph for being nice. Vince points out that Shane lost at WM and shouldn’t even be here – but thanks to the fans, he is. Steph says Shane is a manipulator and Shane says he says what is on his mind and will change the look of SmackDown. “Change is so sorely needed in WWE!” I thought Shane just changed things for a “new era” three months ago. Shane is named the Commissioner of SmackDown and fired from his job as whatever it is he does on Raw, while Vince names Stephanie as the Commissioner of the flagship show Raw. Well, that right away puts Raw above SmackDown still.
Vince says he wants them to compete for real and says he wants them to compete so much that they can break the law as long as they don’t get caught. Then Vince says that next week, Shane and Steph will name GMs as well because they can’t run everything themselves. Hooray – more authority figures! Steph cuts a promo on Shane about how she’s worked twice as hard to receive half of Shane’s recognition and says she’ll bury Shane, bury SmackDown and make him wish he wasn’t even born a McMahon. Shane says that like always, she’ll look up to him. Shane says “game on” and she says there’s one Game in wrestling, she’s married to him and slaps him. Well, this whole show was an absolute disaster.
Tags: AJ Styles, monday night raw, WWE, WWE RAW