Raw this week comes in from Providence, Rhode Island with the WWE title on the line. Who will walk out the champion? And who are the new General Managers? Read on to find out on what was a historic night for the future of the WWE.
The show was opened this week by the Raw Commissioner, Stephanie McMahon. She attempted to welcome us to Raw, before Shane interrupted. The two exchanged petty insults before they got down to brass tax. Stephanie announced that the Cruiser Weight Division will be returning once the classic finishes, and will be exclusive to Raw.
It was then announced the new Raw General Manager will be… MICK FOLEY! Mrs Foley’s Baby Boy is the new manager of Raw! Foley, checkered shirt and big beard combined, proclaimed how excited he was and will take Raw to similar heights that they reached at the peak of the Monday Night Wars.
Shane, however, decided it was time to name his General Manager. And yes, you all know it, DANIEL BRYAN! The leader of the Yes! Movement is the new manager of Smackdown live! Daniel Bryan then refused to shake Stephanie’s hand, much to the appreciation of the crowd. He then spoke of his love for wrestling, and how he needed to come back to manage Smackdown because he was such an underdog in his career, and this show is indeed the underdog. The segment was ended with Daniel and Shane leading an almighty Yes chant amongst the adoring Rhode Island crowd.
Next up, it was time for Sami Zayn and Cesaro against Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho. Because this match hasn’t been done before, has it?
Cesaro and Jericho started the match up, but Cesaro quickly took control, hitting Y2J with a gut-wrench suplex before tagging in Sami Zayn. Zayn took the advantage, but Kevin Owens distracted him and allowed Jericho to recover and tag in his partner, who immediately hit a vicious neckbreaker to Zayn.
The match resumed after the commercials with Zayn attempting to regain control, as he took down both men outside the ring and crawled back to deliver a hot tag to Cesaro. The Swiss superman entered and immediately started an uppercut party, with exclusive invites for Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho. The two teams then exchanged fast tags, before Sami Zayn was able to reverse a roll-up from Chris Jericho and pick up the win himself for his team, which is a huge momentum boost for him heading into his match the Sunday against Kevin Owens.
It was then time for Alberto Del Rio to take on the number one contender for the Intercontinental title, Darren Young. Del Rio started the match firmly in control, working his arm. The match quickly descended into choas, with The Miz, who was at ringside, distracted The referee and allowed Darren Young the time to reverse Del Rio’s pin attempt into a pin of his own and picked up the win.
Next up it was time for a massive 12-man tag team match, with John Cena, Enzo and Cass and the New Day taking on the Club and The Wyatt Family. The match started with the clash of Giants, gallows and Strowman taking it to Big E, before Enzo tagged himself in, and quickly out again. The match didn’t take long to descend in to chaos however, with all 12 men piling into the ring to brawl. The two biggest men were left standing, with Brawn and Big Cass stood chest to chest. Kofi tagged himself in, but it didn’t take long before Brawn power slammed him to the ground and took a huge advantage going into the commercial break.
The match returned after the break with the Wyatt’s taking advantage and working Cena. The club then took full advantage of a prone Cena and engaged in their favourite hobby, #BeatUpJohnCena. The match again turned chaotic, with the Wyatt Family chasing the New Day to the back, before AJ Styles capitalised on a mistake from Enzo to hit the Styles Clash and win the match.
Next up was a match between Baron Corbin and Sin Cara. It was the latter who started the match on top, as he hit a suicide dive to Baron on the outside. It wasn’t long before Baron regained control and quickly hit The Faceless One with the End of Days to pick up the win.
Women’s tag action was next, with the champion Charlotte and her protege Dana Brooke against Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks. Sasha and Dana started the match, but Becky was quickly tagged in and showed her finesse. Becky, however, was then assaulted by Natalya, and the match was ended via disqualification. Charlotte used this distraction to lay a beating to Sasha Banks.
Rusev (RuRu) then made his way to the ring to face off in tag team action, partnering with Sheamus against Dolph Ziggler and Zack Ryder. Ryder started things off against Sheamus, with the Celtic Warrior dishing out the punishment to a fallen Ryder. Both men then made tags, and Rusev came in to avenge his loss from last week, and he did so convincingly. He locked in the Accolade and Dolph tapped immediately.
It was then time for the Main Event and a rare WWE Championship match on Raw, with champion Dean Ambrose taking on Seth Rollins. Dean started the matchup on top, forcing Rollins to roll out of the ring twice to gather his bearings in the early proceedings.
After the commercial break, Seth began to fight his way back into the match. Rollins slammed Dean’s head into the middle turnbuckle, before the pair exchanged quick counter-pins. Rollins then attempted a pedigree, but Dean countered with a back body drop before throwing him out of the ring. Rollins then took advantage again, hitting Dean with a powerbomb to the barricade, before landing a vicious frog splash followed quickly by a pin attempt, which dean kicked out of at Two.
The match returned after the break to Seth attempting yet another Frog Splash, but Ambrose rolled out of the way. Ambrose then bounced off of the turnbuckle to hit Dirty Deeds, but Rollins was *just* able to get his foot to the bottom rope. Rollins finally found a way to hit the Pedigree and surely pick up the win, but Dean was somehow just able to kick out at two and three quarters.
Dean was then able to head up to the top rope, but Seth was able to catch him up there and hit a huge superplex into a double pin. There was a lot of confusion, as Stephanie grabbed the microphone and announced Seth had won and was the NEW WWE Champion! Shortly after Raw went off the air, the referee checked out the replay, and the match was deemed to be ended by a double-pin and declared a draw. With the match ending in a draw, Dean Ambrose is STILL your WWE champion!
Be sure to tune in tomorrow for all the draft reaction as we give a report on the first ever Smackdown Live!
Liam’s Raw Rating: 8.5/10.