July 18, 2016
City: Providence, RI
Venue: Dunkin Donuts Center
Commentary: Michael Cole, JBL, Byron Saxton
Spanish Commentary: Carlos Cabrera, Marcelo Rodriguez
Ring Announcer: Lilian Garcia
“The Night Remix” by CFO$/KromestatiK
The new Commissioner of RAW, Stephanie McMahon, heads to the ring. As she’s trying to welcome everyone to RAW, Shane’s music starts and he heads to the ring. They go back and forth about their shows. Steph keeps interrupting Shane and announces a new Cruiserweight division which will be exclusive to RAW. She also announces RAW’s new GM: Mick Foley. Foley heads to the ring and compares the current era with the “Attitude Era,” and the brand split to the “Monday Night Wars.”
Shane then introduces SmackDown’s new GM: Daniel Bryan. Bryan heads to the ring. He shakes hands with Shane and Foley, but not Stephanie. He talks about being excited for Shane’s ideas for SmackDown and how they helped him come back to the wrestling ring. He compares SmackDown to his own underdog fight.
** I like it. The GM’s fit what I expect the tones of the different shows will be. And, of course, it’ll be great to see Foley and Bryan on a regular basis. I think the conflict between Foley and Stephanie might be the more interesting tandem though. **
Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn & Cesaro
(referee: Rod Zapata)
Result: Sami Zayn pins Chris Jericho with a small package
Time: 8:23 (1 break)
Good match. Jericho and Owens seemed to work more as a team (though not as well at the end), while Zayn and Cesaro mostly traded extended periods in the ring. The feud between Owens and Zayn took center stage in this match, but Jericho and Cesaro also greatly contributed to how enjoyable this one was. It had a nice finish too.
Daniel Bryan talks with Golden Truth about SmackDown. He also greets Titus O’Neil and Jack Swagger. Stephanie then compares Daniel to Chucky from Child’s Play. Daniel says that’s better than “goat face” and compliments her on her efforts to ruin RAW.
Alberto Del Rio vs Darren Young w/ Bob Backlund
(referee: Jason Ayers; guest commentary: The Miz, Maryse)
Result: Darren Young wins via pinfall with a bridging O’Conner Roll
An okay match. There was nothing wrong with it, but it didn’t do a lot to build up Young. Del Rio was the more aggressive of the two, and the finish was the result of circumstances outside of Young’s direct control. If he’s going to beat Miz it seems like he’ll be relying on luck.
Shane and Daniel talk with Big Show.
John Cena heads to the ring. He talks about Battleground and says The Club can’t see him because he has some certified G’s on his side. Enzo & Cass come out and proceed to insult The Club. John Cena is a little confused by Enzo’s punchlines and Cass’ list. The Club then comes out and says that they have chemistry. They’re a well-oiled machine. New Day comes out and makes a masturbation reference. They then demonstrate “How You Doin'” by listing Pokemon. Then the Wyatt Family heads to the ring…
John Cena & Enzo Amore & Big Cass & New Day (Tag Champs) vs The Club & The Wyatt Family
(referee: John Cone)
Result: AJ Styles pins Enzo Amore after Styles Clash
Time: 12:42 (joined in progress; 2 breaks)
Pretty good match. The first segment was just a series of stare-downs. The middle segment was a nice tag match. And the final segment was a huge breakdown where everyone took turns hitting the previous person in the ring. It was a fun match, but not terribly surprising.
Steph and Foley talk with Apollo Crews.
Seth Rollins walked through an empty arena and spoke about his Shield teammates as pawns on his path to the WWE title. He said Reigns will never be the same after his return at Battleground. He also called Dean Ambrose a thief for stealing his title.
** I like the occasional contemplative promo. This was good. **
Breezango tries to get Foley to dance. Shane then comes up and tells Foley about some rumors as to why Steph hired Foley. Foley sees passion and drive in Steph and sees this as an opportunity to improve himself.
Sin Cara vs Baron Corbin
(referee: Ryan Tran)
Result: Baron Corbin wins via pinfall after End of Days
Not a great match. Too short, too one-sided.
Corbin goes to continue to beat up Sin Cara, Kalisto runs out to make the save, then Corbin attacks Kalisto.
Sasha Banks & Becky Lynch vs Dana Brooke & Charlotte (Women’s Champ)
(referee: Rod Zapata)
Result: Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks win via DQ after Natalya attacks Becky
An okay match, but the match was just an excuse to allow the heels get attacks on Sasha and Becky before Batleground.
Daniel and Shane talk with Kane.
Dean Ambrose speaks into a Shield camera and talks about defending his title.
Rusev (US Champ) w/ Lana & Sheamus vs Dolph Ziggler & Zack Ryder
(referee: Darrick Moore)
Result: Rusev makes Ziggler submit to the Accolade
Good match. Rusev kind of dominated, as usual, and Ryder just avoided most of it.
Randy Orton is returning and this video reminds us of who he is.
John Cena hosted the ESPYS.
The Ascension talks with Foley when Daniel walks up. He wants a healthy relationship with friendly competition. Daniel says they have a lot in common. It’s like a fun-house mirror.
WWE Title Match
Dean Ambrose (WWE Champ) vs Seth Rollins
(referee: Chad Patton; at ringside: Shane McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, Daniel Bryan, Mick Foley)
Result: The match ends in a draw after both men had their shoulders down for a three count, Ambrose retains the title
Time: 17:29 (2 breaks)
Great match. These guys know each other well, and it showed. They were countering each other’s moves in some very unique and entertaining ways. The match built well, only to be hindered by a couple of commercial breaks.
There is mass confusion after the match. The ref never makes a decision, but Stephanie grabs the title belt and hands it Rollins, announcing him as champ. RAW goes off the air with Rollins in possession of the title belt.
On the WWE Network, the segment continues and Shane announces Ambrose as the winner and still champ. The referee asks to see the replay on the tron. After watching multiple angles, Chad Patton announces that the match is a draw. Ambrose gets his title back, but an angry Seth Rollins attacks him and takes it away again. Rollins starts to leave with the belt, but he decides to attack Ambrose again and takes Dirty Deeds. Ambrose stands tall in the end, but he doesn’t seem happy with the result of the match.
I like the show. I never got bored and it had an important feel to it even if not a lot of new stuff really happened. I liked the opening tag match and main event a lot, I enjoyed the talking segment before the 12 man tag, and I liked the reveal of the GMs. This show has me looking forward even more to the draft tomorrow.
Match of the Night
Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins
Regardless of the finish, this was easily the best match of the night. And really, the finish, though not completely original, had me intrigued for a little while. It made me turn on the network to see what happened.