Cole welcomes us to the show and then Seth Rollins comes out to a thunderous ovation. There are now SmackDown and Raw podiums on the stage as well. We get a glimpse at the Battleground graphics – and the waving flags with the respective logos for each wrestler in the main event make for an impressive visual. Seth says that the fans get the match they wanted and the fans chant for Roman Reigns. Seth says he isn’t supposed to talk about Roman – and says the Roman Reigns scandal embarrassed him. “The mistake he made that got him suspended soiled my good name!”. Seth reads Roman’s tweet – so thank goodness someone in the graphics department had that ready to go. Seth points out that Roman didn’t care about what people thought until this mistake, which they never specify.
Seth says he owns Roman – he did it at WrestleMania 31 and against at Money in the Bank. He says Roman doesn’t deserve a second chance, forgiveness, or a main event at Battleground. Seth makes several valid points and says he should just get a one on one match with Dean for the WWE Title. Dean comes out and JBL talks about being disappointed that WWE has a lunatic as champion. Dean poses with the belt in front of Seth in every possible manner to annoy him. He also has some great lines. “Eh, Roman made a mistake – I used to be friends with you and that was a HUGE MISTAKE! You own skinny jeans and that’s a big mistake too. Unless he can use New Day’s time machine, I don’t know what you can really do about it!”.
Dean says he wants a triple threat at Battleground and AJ comes out in a new vest to make his claim for a shot. AJ says he beat Cena and he should be in the WWE Title match. AJ says if Roman has to be in it, make it a fatal four way. Seth maintains a one on one match with Dean, and then John Cena comes out to put himself back in the WWE Title picture. It’s amazing how much more Cena being in the mix helps out when he’s not normally in that role. Cena says that 14 years ago, he made his WWE debut and has lived in Tampa for 10 years. Cena wants a fatal five way and Stephanie comes down to chat with Seth for a moment.
Steph hates Dean as champion and she’s mortified by him holding the title. Steph is back to being a heel this week, or for at least this segment. Steph makes Seth vs. Cena tonight, while AJ will face Dean Ambrose. If Cena and AJ win, they’ll be added to the WWE Title match. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens will be guests on the Highlight Reel and we see Charlotte and Dana Brooke walk backstage to face Paige and Becky Lynch. A WWE 2K17 ad plays hyping up Brock Lesnar as WWE 2K17’s cover athlete.
Paige comes out, followed by Sasha. Charlotte and Dana come out together. Sasha and Charlotte start – but Charlotte tags out instantly to bring Dana in. Dana gets thrown into the buckle face-first, and takes it badly. Paige and Sasha double team her for an ad break. Charlotte chokes Paige on the rope before Paige takes a double suplex that gets 2. Charlotte struts and gets 2. Charlotte locks on a chinlock and forearms Sasha on the apron. Dana hits some cheapshots on the apron, but Paige beats them both up and tags in. Sasha runs wild and hits the double knees to Dana for 2. Back stabber into the Bank Statement gets the win for Sasha.
They hype up the China announcement and say that China is now the 91st country to broadcast Raw. We see Rusev insult Titus’s family and Titus kicking his ass on Raw. Titus faces Rusev next. Cole recaps the Rusev vs. Titus feud and Rusev comes down. If Titus hates him so much, why isn’t he rushing down to kick his ass? At least he does this the second he comes into the ring. Titus clubs him in the corner and in the ropes with lariats. Titus hits a corner splash and powerslam for 2. Rusev clubs him and gets 2. Rusev hits a thousand mounted elbows like it’s Fire Pro Returns before hitting a big dropkick. Rusev eats a big boot and goes to the floor. Titus runs after him and they hit one another with lariats. Titus sends him over the timekeeper’s area and wins via countout. This was a super-fun clubbering war and a nice way to make Titus look like a star. With Raw happening on the fourth of July next week, one would expect Titus vs. Rusev for the title.
Stephanie is on her phone before Kane asks for two, no one minute of time. Kane says that gosh, all he wants is a chance to run SmackDown live. Miz and Maryse come back and Miz complains about the lack of a red carpet, while Steph says that’s only for actual movie stars. Kane says he has dabbled in movies and Miz says that he looks like the devil’s favorite insurance agent. Kane points out that a reigning champion must defend his title once in 30 days and Kane says that he would book an IC Title match tonight. Steph likes it, but won’t name Miz’s opponent. Seth vs. Cena is up next.
Cena hosting the ESPYs is mentioned and Seth comes down. They exchange headlocks and staredown. Cena hits his wonky dropkick and is actually down longer than Seth. Seth locks on a chinlock and Cena powers out. Cena hits his shoulderblocks and goes for the fistdrop, but Seth kicks him and sends him to the floor for an ad break. After the break, Seth jumps into a drop toehold, but avoids the STF.
Cena hits the protobomb and lands the fistdrop. Seth recovers and lands the kneeling superkick for 2. Seth puts himself against the ropes and spins up to his feet and kicks him down. They exchange punches and Seth hits a wonky run-up dropkick. Seth goes up and gets crotched, but he gets the sunset corner to corner powerbomb for 2. The High Fly Flow hits and Seth sells it perfectly. Cena goes up for the legdrop, but Seth hits a superplex and then the falcon arrow for 2. Cena rolls through a crossbody and hits the AA, but Seth gets to the rope for 2. Seth goes for the Pedgiree, but Cena counters into the STF – but The Club comes down. AJ hops on the apron and Cena goes to punch him, but Seth kicks him and lands the Pedigree for the win.
Enzo and Cass come down, and sing along with Enzo gets over huge once again. Enzo says the people are the wave and they’ll ride the wave to the top. He wants everyone in the arena to hit the Wave once the bell rings. We get a wave and JBL says he hopes Byron drowns. Enzo and Cass destroy the jobbers and hit the rocket launcher for the win. Before they can call the jobbers SAWFT, the Social Outcasts interrupt. Bo says that they’re aren’t soft – they’re hard and they’re back! Heath says they’re hard and looking for some action. Cass asks which one of them is the hardest and Bo says this isn’t a joke – they’re going to find out how hard they are. Outcasts get sent packing.
We get another Darren Young and Bob Backlund vignette where D-Young says he wants to win a singles title and main event WrestleMania. Bob says that he’s been tag champions before, and his era was called the Bob Backlund Era – and he wants this to be the Darren Young Era. WWE and NXT roster members train with Special Olympians. Big Show joins them on-stage to formally announce the company’s partnership with the Special Olympics. WWE plays cheery music while Cole talks about the very special Olympians.
Summer Rae comes out to face Becky Lynch. Nattie says she’s tired of being used and uses Owen’s “enough is enough and it’s time for a change” line. Becky brawls with Nattie on the floor before the match begins – so there’s no match. Sami and Owens are on the Highlight Reel next. An ad for the Cruiserweight Classic showcases a bit of Kota Ibushi. Jericho comes out in his scarf, leading to him telling the fans to be quiet before bringing out Owens and Zayn. Sami tells Kevin to grow a set and admit that he hates Sami for being called up to WWE before he was. The crowd chants “grow a set” and Jericho reiterates it. Kevin says he has told the true – and just because he doesn’t like it, doesn’t make it not true. He did it for business and to better his career. Owens says he’ll accept the match and Jericho tells Sami that he’s a terrible friend and that it doesn’t matter what the fans think. Jericho says that their match will be big – but not as big as his match, and he’s going to give us the gift of Jericho. Owens superkicks Jericho while Zayn Yakuza kicks him. Cole and Byron recap the start of the show with bright green script pages on the announce table.
They plug a contest winner for a Universal Orlando trip, who surprisingly wasn’t shown at an Impact taping. Miz and Maryse come down for the match and Demon Kane comes down for the match. Miz vs. Kane gets a big match intro – which seems absolutely ridiculous for Kane. Kane uppercuts him, but Miz recovers with shots to the gut in the corner. Kane recovers with an uppercut and corner lariat. Kane lands a delayed vertical suplex and a basement dropkick gets 2. Miz jumps into an uppercut off a double axehandle and Maryse goes for a distraction. She feigns an injury and Miz snaps Kane’s throat and neck across the rope. Miz carries her to the back for a countout loss. Well, that accomplished very little. Cesaro and Apollo Crews team up against Sheamus and Alberto, who are brought up as former allies.
Backstage, Miz carries Maryse and she reveals that she was just acting. Miz loves it. Cesaro walks down and Cole talks about the podiums for the first time in two hours. GMs are now “the COOs of Raw and SmackDown”, so much like replacing the word Diva with Superstar, this will accomplish a lot. Cesaro and Del Rio start with some fast action. A crossbody leads to the uppercut train, but the running enzuiguri gets 2. Sheamus comes in and hits a running knee and an Irish Curse for 2. A long chinlock ends and we get dueling tags. Apollo runs wild on ADR, but gets kicked and tossed over the top. ADR kicks Sheamus off the apron to a huge “si, si, si!” chant and leaves. Apollo dropkicks the steps into Sheamus’s face before the atomic whip powerbomb ends it. JoJo interviews Dean and he says it’s been the best of times – but he wishes he’d gotten a parade with elephants and wrestling bears. Stephanie comes in and Dean says she must want an autograph – she says she wants him out as WWE Champion and hopes AJ wins. Dean will be Miz’s guest on Miz TV this Thursday.
The Wyatt Family intro brings out The New Day with Kofi dressed as Rowan, Woods and Harper and Big E as I guess Bray if he wore blue overalls. Big E goes for a cheap pop about Tampa and Kofi says Cena already did that, so E says he was born here. Kofi and his giant fake ass twerk a bit before the Wyatts come down. Bray says “it’s a new day, YES IT IS” better than Big E. Bray tells Woods to trust him – playing off of his hypnosis last week. Bray says “New Day falls” and The Club chats backstage.
The Wyatts will be on SportsCenter and Renee meets with the New Day backstage. Kofi says this was their best decision since they decided to see Finding Dory. Seth comes out for commentary and Dean comes out before AJ. Seth hates “the Dude” and calling Dean WWE Champion. They exchange headlocks before AJ chops away AJ is blasting away with forearms and the KENTA combo before hitting a full nelson facebuster for 2. Dean recovers and hits a super butterfly suplex. AJ goes for the Phenomenal Forearm, but Dean kicks him in the gut. AJ avoids Dirty Deeds and attacks the knee. The calf crusher is locked on and Seth roots Dean on so he can get his one on one match. AJ charges at Dean and Dean chucks him over the top to the floor before hitting a suicide dive. AJ gets 2 off a cradle before the Pele is avoided and leads to the rebound lariat by Dean. The Club comes down and AJ hits a snap brainbuster for 2.5! Cena runs down to prevent more interference and Dean hits Dirty Deeds for the win. Seth runs in and jumps Dean with a Pedigree while Cena and The Club brawl on the ramp. They hit the Magic Killer on the ramp and Seth holds the title high before throwing it down to hit yet another Pedigree. This was a really fun show that built up the Battleground PPV nicely.
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Tags: Big Show, Bob Backlund, enzo amore, jbl, John Cena, monday night raw, seth rollins, The Miz, WWE RAW