Raw this week came to us from Tampa, Florida, a city rich in its wrestling history. So, what will unfold on a Roman Reigns-less episode of Monday Night Raw?
The show was opened by the Crossfit Jesus himself, Seth Rollins. He spoke about the dream match at battleground, the three former Shield members competing in a Triple Threat for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. He then began to speak about Roman Reigns, and how his suspension made him look bad as he bought Roman into the WWE. He then began to read and tear apart Roman’s so called apology, calling him out for a releasing a hollow statement. He then demanded Roman be taken out of that main event match, and he get his one on one match with Dean. Speaking of Dean, he made his way to the ring. He began to defend Roman, telling the WWE Universe everyone makes mistakes, and the triple threat is still on. AJ Styles then came out, suggesting that the triple threat at Battleground should go ahead, but with himself replacing Roman Reigns. He then spoke about how he beat John Cena in a dream match, so he deserves this chance.
Then Cena came out. Presumably to AA all three at once or something. He suggested that Dean should fight him as well as everyone else. Because reasons. He then dared to mention the EU and Britain leaving. YOU SHUT YOUR DAMN MOUTH, CENA. It got even better, Stephanie came out to sort the chaos. She announced that Seth Rollins would be facing Cena tonight, and AJ Styles would be facing Ambrose. If Cena and Styles win, they get added to the title match at Battleground.
The first match of the night was up next, with Women’s Champion Charlotte, joined by Dana Brooke (yup, she’s still a thing) taking on Paige and the boss, Sasha Banks. Sasha started the match off against Charlotte, but she immediately tagged in her protégé, Dana. Banks took absolutely no prisoners, viscously slapping Dana. Paige was then tagged in, and the two delivered a double hip toss to Dana, before also hitting a double dropkick to the champion.
The match resumed after the break to a very different picture, with Charlotte brutalising Paige. They kept her in the corner and exchanged fast tags to keep her down. Paige began getting some offense, before getting a hot tag to Sasha, who hit a huge Backstabber into the Bank statement, forcing Dana to tap out and giving them the win.
Next it was time for your United States Champion, The Bulgarian Brute, my favourite man in the Universe, Rusev, aka RuRu, to face off against Titus O Neil. Titus jumped Rusev before the bell had rang, giving him an advantage. RuRu didn’t take that lying down, beating Titus to the floor and clubbing him in the head, before delivering brutal knees to the midsection. Titus recovered however, beginning to gain momentum and hitting mid-air in a sickening collision with RuRu outside the ring. Titus recovered to throw big RuRu into the timekeepers, before getting into the ring to avoid the count out. RuRu couldn’t recover, and Titus won the match via count-out.
Kane was backstage, and made a good point to Stephanie that a returning Miz would have to defend his title tonight, against a mystery opponent, or risk forfeiting his title.
Up next it was time for a match far too good for Raw, John Cena Vs Seth Rollins. The match started up with Cena making the first move, landing a big shoulder tackle. Seth didn’t take this lying down, however, hitting back immediately with a shoulder tackle of his own. Rollins took control from there, hitting Cena with crushing rights and a big dropkick. Cena got back into the match, and attempted a 5 knuckle shuffle, but was countered by a big kick to the skull from Rollins. The match returned with big match John hitting the 5 knuckle shuffle he failed to hit before the break, but failed to get the AA.
Rollins then looked to be taking charge, hitting a huge turnbuckle power bomb, before missing a massive frog splash from the top rope. Cena was then able to hit a huge AA, but just before the referee hit the three count Seth got his foot on the rope. Cena looked to be heading to victory, but the Club came to ringside to distract Cena and allowed Rollins to hit the pedigree to win the match.
Enzo and Big Cass came out next, to face off against some unknown jobbers. Enzo hit the rocket launcher, and the two won in 20 seconds. The social outcasts returned however, to make all in the world right again. The social outcasts then said they weren’t s-a-w-f-t, they were hard, and then penis jokes ensued. The farcical segment ended with Cass hitting a big boot to Heath Slater.
Next up was Summer Rae, facing off against Becky Lynch. Becky completely disregarded her opponent and went straight for Natalya, who was on commentary. She unleashed a brutal attack on Natalya, and poor Summer Rae just stood on watching.
It was then time for the best talk show in the world at what it does, do you understand what I’m saying to you right now? Because Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel is back, with bitter rivals Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens for his guests. Sami Zayn spoke first, calling Owens a coward and demanding the truth, before wanting to end the rivalry and Battleground. Owens turned it on Zayn, saying he was always the better friend, and Accepting Zayn’s challenge for a match. Jericho then gave us all what we came to see, the gift of Jericho, before Zayn and Owens kicked him in the face in unison to end the Highlight reel.
It was then time for an Intercontinental Title Match, with The Miz defending his title against a mystery opponent. Miz made his way to the ring, but who would he face? The Demon Kane! Kane started the matchup well, hitting a big boot to the face of the Miz. Kane continued to dominated, hitting Miz with a right hand. Maryse hurt herself at ringside, and The Miz catered to her and carried her to the back, losing the match via count-out but keeping the title due to Champion’s Advantage.
It was then time for Cesaro and Apollo Crews to face off against Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio. The match started with quick tags, on both teams, but this allowed Cesaro to get the advantage and hit Del Rio with several uppercuts. Sheamus kept tagging himself in, hitting Cesaro with an Irish Curse. Cesaro began to recover, hitting Sheamus with a fireman’s lift toss. Del Rio then kicked his own partner in the head before walking off, allowing Crews to hit a spinning sit out powerbomb to win the match.
Next up was the New Day, dressed up in attire mocking the Wyatts. They also began to mock the Wyatts hygiene, and their outfits. The Wyatts, however, didn’t take kindly to this and made their way to the ring. They fired back at the New Day, questioning Xavier’s loyalty, and calling out for him to join him, before reiterating his message from last week, New Day falls.
It was then time for the main event, With AJ Styles battling Dean Ambrose for a place in the WWE World Heavyweight Title match at Battleground. The match started with Dean in control, taking Styles down with numerous headlocks.
The matchup returned after the commercial break to AJ in the driving seat, forcing Dean into the corner and striking him continuously. The champ began to gain momentum, hitting Styles with a huge NeckBreaker. Dean continued on top, hitting a huge Suplex from the top rope. AJ then capitalised on an injured leg of Ambrose, hitting with a calf crusher, but The Champion got to the bottom rope to force a break. Gallows and Anderson then distracted Ambrose and allowed Styles to get a 2- count, before Cena came down to even the odds. This allowed Dean to take advantage and win the match via Dirty Deeds. The club continued to assault Cena after match, and Rollins hit Ambrose with a pedigree, before dragging his lifeless body up and hitting another one, to close to show with Rollins holding the title over Ambrose’s lifeless body.
So, after a maniacal night on Raw, the Battleground Main Event remains the same, with Seth Rollins making a huge, huge statement this week.