June 20, 2016
From the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, AZ
Your hosts are Byron Saxton, JBL, and Michael Cole
We are shown a clip from earlier today where Dean Ambrose gets out of a taxi, only to run and stop it from pulling away so he does not forget his WWE World Heavyweight Title belt.
The live show starts with Ambrose heading out to the ring as we are shown still photos from last night’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match that saw Ambrose win then cash-in his contract against Seth Rollins, who just defeated Roman Reigns for the Title, to become the New WWE World Heavyweight Champion. A “you deserve it” chant breaks out from the crowd before Ambrose tells us last night was a long one as he doesnt remember some of what took place but does remember winning the belt. He then tells us what comes around, goes back around and that hard work pays off. Ambrose then asks since Rollins calls himself “the man” and Reigns calls himself “the guy” what does that make him? The Dude? Soon after this, Reigns interrupts to a chorus of boos. He does not look very happy. Reigns said last night, was not his night, it was Ambrose’s night. Reigns then says congrats and tells the fans he does not care what they say because he is happy for his “boy.” Reigns then wants to know how happy it made him cash in on Rollins but Ambrose says he would have cashed in against him as well. A “you can’t wrestle” chant breaks out at Reigns, who tells the guys in the crowd to sip their beer and shut up as he wants a rematch and it better be against Ambrose. Rollins interrupts as he tells Reigns to get to the back of the line as he won the title fair and square until Ambrose stole his moment from him. Reigns smirks and tells Rollins it does not feel good as Rollins wants a title shot, because he did not lose the title. Reigns asks Rollins how come the belt is on Ambrose’s shoulder before telling him to shut up as he says there is an easy way to settle this, as he drops the mic and gets into his face. Shane McMahon comes out to a big reaction. He tells Rollins and Reigns that there is a solution to who gets to face Ambrose for the title and that is they can face each other. Rollins gets upset and said they had their match last night then asks Shane if he consulted Stephanie on this. Shane then pretends to ask Stephanie before telling us she is not here and that this match will not take place next week or on Smackdown but rather tonight.
I liked the segment. It was a bit long but Reigns not taking any shit from the fans is a much better way to handle his character. You could also use that to start a heel turn if you want but I doubt that will happen. Plus, Rollins got to feel what it is like to fall victim of the cash-in as this all seemed like a way to set up a future triple threat match for the title. I am okay with that.
The announcers plug the draft, which will take place on July 19th, then announce that Charlotte will defend the Women’s Championship against Paige. Plus, Sami Zayn will face off against Kevin Owens.
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
Owens is limping down the aisle during his entrance as Zayn’s left arm is taped up. The match starts off in a slugfest. Owens bails then Zayn runs out and hits a clothesline then hits a moonsault block off of the barricade. Owens gets whipped into the barricade then kicked in the face as he heads into the crowd before Zayn tosses him back ringside. However, Owens ends up catching Zayn and slams him into the barricade then the post. Back inside, Owens gets a nearfall with a senton then we head to commercial. The action returns as Owens misses a senton then gets dumped outside where Zayn takes him out with a tope con hilo. They fight on the top rope and that ends with Zayn rolling through a dive before he ran into a super kick that almost put him away. Zayn blocks a package piledriver attempt and hits a half nelson suplex but runs into a super kick. Owens then tries the Pop Up Powerbomb but Zayn counters with a victory roll for the win (8:52) **1/2. After the match, Owens attacks Zayn in the aisle and tries to powerbomb him off of the stage but Zayn fights back and starts firing away as several officials run out and eventually separate them.
Thoughts: The match was fine but if they were going to end it the way they did, a double countout would have made more sense since Zayn won clean here. They were both selling effects from last night’s ladder match but it did not mean as much because the announcers never put it over.
After the break, Zayn and Owens continue to brawl backstage. Fit Finlay is shown pulling Zayn away. Looks like they are setting up to a match at Battleground.
The announcers plug the draft and how teams will be broken up and new alliances will be formed.
John Laurinaitis comes out in a red suit with a blue tie in front of a Smackdown podium. He runs down his accomplishments before Shane is shown on the side of the stage trying to wave him off. Shane comes out and does not want a “corporate yes man” running Smackdown but rather someone to usher in the New Era and will implement change and that person is himself. Laurinaitis then says that is fine because he can run RAW but Shane orders him off, not before he sneaks up to the podium and yells “people power.” I always liked Big Johnny in the GM role and thought his appearance here was fine for some comedy.
Enzo & Big Cass come out as Shane and Enzo look at each other then start dancing on the stage. After that, Enzo & Cass do their shtick as Enzo sports a “0 Dimes” shirt. The crowd loved them here. The crowd loves them.
Enzo & Big Cass vs Vaudevillains
Enzo and English start things off. English cheap shots Enzo after a break against the ropes. The Vaudevillains cut off the ring for a bit until Enzo sends Gotch into the corner then shoves off English as he attempted to springboard in after a tag. Enzo dives over to Cass for the tag as he runs wild until they put English away with the Rocket Launcher (2:50) 1/2*.
Thoughts: The action was not very good but the goal was to get over Enzo & Cass and they did a fine job at that. The Vaudevillains, Gotch in particular, looked bad on offense.
AJ Styles comes out to the ring to kick off the second hour. He looks quite pleased with himself as Cole plugs his appearance on the Steve Austin podcast after RAW on the WWE Network. We are also shown still photos from last night where AJ Styles defeated John Cena with help from Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson. He comes out to boos then some start chanting for him as AJ talks about how he should be happy because he has been dreaming about wrestling John Cena for years but it was tainted by two guys who were supposed to be like brothers to him got involved. He is displaying some insincerity here. AJ then said if the Club is to continue, Gallows & Anderson will have to come out and apologize. They come out and AJ tells them he did not need their help as he had Cena right where he wanted him. AJ tells them they gave Cena an excuse because they interfered and wants them to look into his eyes and apologize. They do it as AJ then wants Cena to come out and accept the apology. Cena’s music hits as he comes out to the ramp. He tells AJ about not needing an apology but that he did break their contract. However, Gallows tells Cena AJ did not know about their interference as they apologize to him but Cena is not buying it. Cena and AJ tell each other they are not as good as they think they are before Cena talks about winning being the key to success, right along with being a man of your word. He then said when backed up against the wall, all you have is your balls and your word and last night, AJ proved he has neither. AJ then tells us he will give him the opportunity to fight anyone in the club as Cena walks down and says he wants AJ now. However, AJ said he can pick either Gallows or Anderson because they should be punished for their actions. Cena said that it will never be a fair fight and wants AJ to sign a contract for all three of them to face Cena. AJ tells Cena he is wrong and that no one likes him because he always thinks he is right. AJ then tells Cena he will face Anderson tonight one on one and when Anderson knocks his teeth down his throat, he will realize how he was wrong. AJ ends the segment by plugging his appearance on the Stone Cold Podcast.
I thought that AJ fantastic here. This is the heel character for him to play. I also love the face/heel dynamic for this too: AJ is the insincere, cheating heel who outsmarted the babyface who just wanted a 1 vs. 1 to give the fans their dream match. It makes you feel sympathetic towards Cena, thus wanting to root for him.
John Cena vs. Karl Anderson
This match started right after the break. Cena beats on Anderson then looks at the entrance as Gallows & Styles are not at ringside. Cena hits a slam but keeps staring at the entrance after every move. He hits the Five Knuckle Shuffle then the A.A. but Gallows & Anderson run out for the DQ (2:23) NR. Gallows & Anderson then hit Cena with the Magic Killer before AJ hits the Styles Clash.
Thoughts: This was to further establish how Cena is outnumbered as once again, The Club stands tall. Anderson did not get in a single move here.
We are shown still photos of the Money in the Bank main event, leading to Shane McMahon making Reigns vs. Rollins tonight for the #1 Contender to Ambrose’s title.
Jojo is backstage with Seth Rollins. She asks him about his match tonight but Rollins wants to tell us that last night, he proved he was the best and that Roman Reigns proved he never deserved to be the champion. He also said that Ambrose proved he was a cockroach and a thief last night when he hit him from behind with the briefcase. Rollins then vows to win tonight then beat Ambrose for the title as he proves the fact he was the best member of the Shield.
After the break, Renee Young is with Becky Lynch, who lists off all of the women who have turned on her. Becky then says if she is the last woman left to have integrity or sense of sportsmanship then she is doing a lot better than the rest. She does not know why Natalya attacked her and she will not give any second chances to anyone but as she says this, Natalya attacks her from behind and tells Becky for the first time in years, she will take care of herself. I guess this is the reason they are using for why Natalya turned on Becky last night.
Zack Ryder vs. Baron Corbin
Corbin shoves Ryder off of a lockup but gets punched in the face. He then suckers Ryder in by faking an eye injury as he goes to work. Ryder fights back and beats on Corbin, who slides outside to avoid the Broski Boot. Ryder hits Corbin with a missile dropkick off of the apron then drops an elbow from the top for a nearfall after that. Corbin runs outside then returns to hit a clothesline for a nearfall. They go back-and-forth briefly until Corbin decks Ryder as he tried to slingshot back inside then hits the End of Days for the win (3:00) 3/4*.
Thoughts: A short match to put over Corbin. Hopefully, they can do something with him after that awful feud with Ziggler ended. So far, he is not impressing and the crowd did not care about this at all. They need to let him showcase his character if he is going to have a chance to make it on the main roster.
We get a clip of the WWE’s trip to China as we see them sign their first Chinese wrestler, Bin Wang.
A Wyatt Family video airs to hype their return later tonight.
Renee Young is backstage with Paige and asks her about beating Charlotte. She brings up their past in Team PCB before Charlotte and Dana distract her from the side. Dana takes the blame for Charlotte losing last week as Charlotte talks about how she ascended to the top while Paige sunk to the bottom of the Women’s Division.
WWE Women’s Championship Match: Paige vs. Charlotte (c) w/ Dana Brooke
Paige takes control to start the match. Charlotte gets upset and pie-faces her but ends up eating a dropkick.Paige hits multiple knee smashes in the corner until Dana pulls her to safety. Paige follows outside and hits Dana but that allows Charlotte to attack her as she taunts Paige as we head to break. The action returns with Charlotte working a figure-four neck lock. Paige escapes and takes Charlotte down for a nearfall. Backslide gets two. Paige takes Charlotte down with kicks then gets two with a running knee smash. Paige ducks a big boot then catches Charlotte with a fallaway slam. They fight up top but Charlotte ends up taking her down. She then hits a moonsault but Paige is able to kick out. Charlotte looks like she is about to cry then Paige rolls her up for two. Paige almost puts her away with a small package then hits the Ram-Paige but Dana put Charlotte’s foot under the rope to break the count, because she screwed up putting it on the actual rope. Paige gets distracted by that then Charlotte hits the Natural Selection for the win (8:25) **1/4. After the match, Charlotte & Dana attack Paige until Sasha Banks makes her return to RAW. Charlotte sends Dana after her but Sasha decks her and chases after Charlotte. She hits a backstabber and grabs the belt but Dana attacks her from behind. Paige comes over and chases off Dana and Charlotte as they celebrate in the ring.
Thoughts: The match started off rough but ended up okay. The big news here is the return of Sasha Banks as she seems to be the next opponent for Charlotte. Hopefully, this likely feud can get the Women’s Division going again because at the moment, it is struggling.
Backstage, Jojo approaches Reigns. He tells her about going out not to prove anything other than being the guy who beat Seth Rollins.
We get another brief Wyatt Family appearance. Luke Harper was not shown.
After the break, the Wyatt Family comes out. Bray asks the crowd if they missed him and they said yes. Bray said they have been locked away and punished but through it all have not forgotten what they have stood for. Bray then issues a warning for the locker room but get interrupted by the New Day. Xavier tells Bray that he talks way too long and needs to cut it as they now take a need. They then joke around and say the crowd has a good time whenever they come out but Xavier is distracted and misses his cue as he is mesmerized by the Wyatts. Bray tells them he can see their future and that “New Day falls” while he laughs. I do like the prospect of a Wyatt Family and New Day feud. Based off of the stuff with Xavier, they might possibly do something like have Xavier get brainwashed by Kofi and Big E try to get him back through the Power of Positivity. This segment left me intrigued.
Life Lessons With Coach Backlund is back. Young talks about reading poetry as Backlund yells at him never to take advice from anyone. Young then asks Backlund if that means him as Backlund said it was a trick question because he does not give advice, he gives orders before making Young do 100 high knees. These segments are starting to get tiresome. They need to start moving towards a payoff.
Renee Young is with Titus O’Neill, who is irate at Rusev for disrespecting him and his family last night and promises to get revenge tonight. Titus heads into the ring and knocks Rusev down as they brawl on the mat. Titus boots Rusev down then they brawl outside. Titus sends Rusev into the barricade and screams at him about getting disrespected in front of his family as Rusev bails. The match never officially started. I thought Titus was awesome here. He showed a ton of passion in his promo and intensity during the brawl. However, I am still not all that excited about this feud continuing.
The Miz and Maryse are on location on the set of “Marine 5.” Miz slaps a plate of food onto some production assistant while screaming about the importance of getting quail protein. He makes fun of the guy, as does Maryse, then yells about how the crew cannot do anything right as the camera pans to show an unhappy crew. I enjoy the Miz and Maryse in this role. Miz was good here.
Shane McMahon walks into his office to see a pissed off Chris Jericho, who says he deserves to be the #1 contender to Ambrose’s title. Shane points out how Ambrose won the briefcase last night and beat him at Extreme Rules as Jericho notes how he beat Ambrose two weeks ago on Smackdown. Jericho then calls Shane an idiot and says he would rather work with “ten Stephanie’s” than one of him. Shane tells Jericho he will be running both shows and to get used to him. Add Jericho to Owens as guys who have a problem with Shane.
#1 Contender Match For the WWE World Heavyweight Title: Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns
Ambrose is on commentary. Match starts with Reigns overpowering Rollins. The action heads outside where Reigns tosses him around then stops to stare at Ambrose’s belt. Reigns starts to clear off the table but Rollins rolls inside. Reigns follows but runs into a knee in the corner then Rollins hits a blockbuster for a two count. Neckbreaker gets two. Dropkick gets two. Ambrose is on commentary saying he will not let his two brothers take away his title that he worked so hard to get. Rollins now roughs up Reigns outside as Ambrose points out how ridiculous it was for Rollins to complain about getting hit from behind as he has built his career by doing that. Reigns boots Rollins but misses a charge and heads outside. They work a reversal sequence on the floor that ends with Reigns booting Rollins in the face as we head to break. The action returns with Rollins working a sleeper. Reigns escapes then hammers away as he is getting some cheers from a vocal minority. They slug it out as Reigns wins that but Rollins sends Reigns to the outside with a knee to the back before flying out with a tope. Back inside, Reigns hits a deadlift powerbomb after a reversal sequence as that gets a nearfall. Reigns sets up for the Superman Punch but Rollins blocks that. Rollins tries a springboard attack but Reigns ends up connecting with the Superman Punch but that only gets two. Rollins blocks a spear with a kick but Reigns drives him into the corner. Rollins then stuns Reigns and connects with a flying knee smash. He tries a frog splash but misses as both men are down. Reigns is up first and hits the Drive By then attempts to powerbomb Rollins through the table but Seth crawls away and hits an enziguiri. Rollins tries to win by countout but Reigns yanks him back outside then spears him over the Spanish announce table as both men are down. They attempt to head back inside but end up getting counted out as the match ends in a draw (17:27) ***1/2. However, Shane McMahon comes out and says they need a #1 contender as Ambrose says he will take both men on then Shane makes a Triple Threat for the Title at Battleground. Ambrose puts the belt in both men’s face. Reigns takes offense and yanks Ambrose’s arm but gets hit with the Dirty Deeds, or as Michael Cole calls it, the “pedigree.” Ambrose leaves and celebrates then returns to hit Rollins with the Dirty Deeds.
Thoughts: Good match. The finish and the announcement of the Triple Threat were predictable. However, the Triple Threat match should be great and something that the fans will love to see as the Shield will finally face off against each other. There are a lot of ways they can go with that. I thought that Ambrose was great on commentary here. He sold himself as a fighting champ and came off great at the end.
Final Thoughts: Overall, this was a good show. They presented Ambrose as a credible champ and he did great on the mic. I also loved how Reigns showed anger in losing his title by yelling at his hecklers.
Also, the Cena vs. Styles feud continues to be a hit. Styles insincerity tonight was just great and those two are really clicking together. The return of Sasha Banks gives the Women’s Division a much needed jolt in the arm as well.
They really pushed the draft on July 19th so because of that, I do not see them doing a ton of new feuds until after that happens but tonight they did plant the seeds for the New Day vs. Wyatt Family and gave new talent that seems to be in line for pushes in Enzo & Cass and Baron Corbin.
I am liking the direction they are heading into the draft though. Its up to the WWE to put the creative in place to get the guys and keep the fans invested.