Starting in a rightfully somber mood following the disaster in Orlando, FL, RAW as designed not only to entertain the fans, but also pick up their spirits. As far as a “go home” show goes, this was actually a very good one.
What better way to start with the world famous, two-time champions, The New Day. The unicorns tagged with Enzo and Cass against the team of The Vaudevillans and The Club. If anything. the pre-match talking proved that the two babyface teams have excellent chemistry and could easily form a five-man stable. Throughout the match, both sets of teams worked admirably – creating a great opening match. Of course one team had to stand tall at the end, and it was The Club who picked up the pinfall following a Magic Killer on Kofi Kingston. This provides Gallows and Anderson momentum going into the title match on Sunday – something which doesn’t usually end well in WWE.
Titus O’Neal was scheduled to have the next match, but didn’t make it down the ramp before he was blindsided by the US Champion, Rusev. The Bulgarian Brute laid waste to Titus before six referees had to tear them apart. Surely there is only one winner to their match at Money in the Bank…
The return of the Ambrose Asylum involved the two men fighting for the WWE Title in six days time, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins. Dean Ambrose did a good job of laying the foundation – building up the upcoming PPV – before introducing his guests.The approach to this was done well, with Seth remaining intense to begin with before letting his guard down and talking as old pals. Of course this wasn’t to last, and it was Rollins who soured the mood bringing up his betrayal of The Shield. It is painstakingly obvious that the fans love Rollins, whilst simultaneously booing Roman out of the arena. Even cheap pops couldn’t save him. As talk segments go, this was one of the better ones simply because Rollins is brilliant on the mic. Eventually, it all broke down: Roman hit Seth with a Superman Punch; Ambrose hit Reigns with Dirty Deeds; and Dean stood tall.
The next match saw Charlotte take on Paige. For some reason Paige isn’t at the top of the card, but at least she is actually being involved these matches. In fact, she beat the Women’s Champion with the Rampaige after an accidental assist from Dana Brooke. Becky Lynch and Natalya sat on commentary, adding little to the match, but showing that they are jelling as a team. Surely they are set for a fall.
The next bout was a lightning quick encounter between Sheamus and Apollo Crews. Within a couple of minutes, Sheamus picked up a victory following a Brogue Kick. Following the match, he continued to beat down Ryder before Apollo Crews had him running scared. Apollo is showing a bit more of an aggressive side and it is working for him brilliantly.
A potential for match of the night, Sami Zayn took on Cesaro in singles action. Any match containing these two is always an excellent match, and this was no anomaly. Zayn took the win with an excellent Sunset Powerbomb following a fantastic bout. Either of these man would do very well with a title around their waist.
Ahead of their match on Sunday, John Cena and AJ Styles came face-to-face for the contract signing. Rightfully so, this match is being billed as one of the biggest of the year! Cena took to the mic to big up his opponent, mentioning RoH, NJPW and PWG as well as his prestige. We have really missed these types of promo.The introduction of Styles saw the segment take a different tone. AJ came in with a bucket load of intensity. Following some provocation, AJ agreed to a match in which The Club would not be by his side!
The penultimate match of the night saw Kevin Owens and Alberto Del Rio face The Lucha Dragons with a place at Money in the Bank on the line. The mismatched team seemed to have a few issues getting along, which was pretty inevitable. However, Owens carried the team to a victory, maintaining their place in the ladder match. ADR repaid the favour with a swift kick to the face, leaving KO flat on his back. These two men could have a good feud in the future.
For some bizarre reason, the main event was set to be Dean Ambrose versus Chris Jericho. Again! This match has been done to death. Following the confrontation earlier in the night, we should be seeing Ambrose face one of his former Shield brethren. However, the introduction of Zayn and Owens on commentary, Del Rio as timekeeper and Cesaro as ring announcer made for quite an enjoyable affair. KO proved once again that he in wonderful on the mic, and overshadowed everyone else in the match. Dean eventually hit Dirty Deeds to secure a pinfall, leading to a complete breakdown involving all six men. Jericho was left standing and retrieved the briefcase atop a ladder. Sunday night shall be very interesting indeed.