Monday Night Raw – June 6, 2016: My Least Favorite Time Of The Year

Monday Night Raw
Date: June 6, 2016
Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Byron Saxton

As we head into June, the big story is AJ Styles vs. John Cena as Styles rejoined his Club buddies to attack the returning Cena last week. A match at Money in the Bank has already been signed and it should be interesting to see the big time promos leading up to the match at the pay per view. Let’s get to it.

We open with Dean Ambrose coming to the ring to join the rest of the Money in the Bank participants, all of whom are sitting on top of a ladder. Owens says he doesn’t need to be introduced because he’s already more famous than everyone else. Some insults are thrown out with Owens cutting off Jericho because Jericho says the same thing every week. He’ll win the Money in the Bank contract and give title shots to anyone who wants one, from Jean-Pierre Lafitte to Waylon Mercy to the Four Horsemen to anyone else you can see on the WWE Network (“There’s your plug.”).

Sami says he’s willing to fight anyone on the roster but Dean just wants to get to the fighting. Jericho brags about winning one of these before but Sami asks where the match was. Jericho: “Apple. Appleton. The Big Apple. It was in Stupid Idiotville!” The fight finally breaks out but TEDDY LONG returns to cut it off. He wants to take the longest weekly wrestling show (he butchers the names, meaning he’s probably fired) and make this a sixty minute iron man no DQ fatal fourway match and there must be a winner.

Cue Stephanie to say that made no sense but Teddy says he wants to run Smackdown. Stephanie says no so Teddy wants to see Shane. Well Shane isn’t here tonight so Stephanie tells Teddy to get to steppin. Ah so she’s a witchy heel tonight instead of the friendly one like she was last week. Just pick one of them already. She makes singles matches for the night, starting with Jericho vs. Cesaro for after the break.

Cesaro vs. Chris Jericho

Jericho grabs a wristlock to start but Cesaro keeps nipping up, befuzzling Jericho so much that he can just stand there watching. Cesaro powerslams Jericho for two before the big uppercut knocks Jericho outside. Jericho dropkicks him out of the air though and we take a break less than three minutes in.

Back with Cesaro firing off the uppercuts to send Jericho into the corner followed by one to knock Chris out of the air for two. The springboard uppercut is countered into a Codebreaker but it sends Cesaro outside to delay the cover and allowing Cesaro to get out again. The apron suplex gets two more for Cesaro before he just blasts Jericho with a clothesline. Jericho backdrops out of the Neutralizer but can’t get the Walls. Instead Cesaro reverses into the Swing and slaps on the Sharpshooter for the clean win at 12:08.

Rating: B-. Just two guys with talent having a TV match and there’s nothing wrong with that. This would be the latest time Cesaro got a win that isn’t likely to mean anything but I’m sure he’ll be just on the verge of breaking through the glass ceiling for the next six months or so because that’s what he does.

We look back at AJ attacking Cena last week.

Quick tribute to Muhammad Ali.

Video on Rollins vs. Reigns from Rollins’ perspective. Yeah the time with the Shield was fun but Reigns was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. There was no moment to steal from Roman at Wrestlemania because the moment belonged to Rolling the whole time. Then he tore up his knee and had to work even harder to get back to the top. Watching Reigns win the title at Wrestlemania killed him because he deserved that spot. Rollins came back early and attacked Reigns at Extreme Rules so he can take back the title he deserves.

Rusev vs. Jack Swagger

Since Smackdown means nothing and we haven’t gotten to destroy Swagger in his home state in a few months. Non-title with Titus O’Neil on commentary. Swagger takes him down until Rusev gets in a kick to the head. Titus talks about wanting to face anyone he has to face because that’s what being a champion means. A powerslam gets two for Swagger and it’s off to the Patriot Lock, only to have Rusev get outside. They COLLIDE off a double clothesline and Rusev throws Swagger into Titus to win by countout at 3:40.

Rating: D+. Yeah we know. This is another match that never needs to happen again so WWE chooses to air it twice in a week to remind us that Swagger still has a job. Nothing to see here of course but I’m pretty sure we’ll be getting Rusev vs. Titus for the title at Money in the Bank. Eh actually throw Swagger in there for the perfect WWE logic.

Here’s John Cena to talk about last week’s incident with AJ Styles. Last week was something special because normally we have a rowdy crowd with the LET’S GO CENA/CENA SUCKS chants but last week it was LET’S GO CENA/AJ STYLES. For over two minutes, Cena felt the same kind of energy he’s only felt when he was in the ring with the Rock. For fifteen years we’ve asked the question of “what if” but last week we saw it happen. Now though Cena needs an answer to Why AJ Why.

This brings out the Club with AJ saying he had a plan: get in the ring, shake Cena’s hand and punch him in the face. Cena has that Hollywood lifestyle and his movies are entertaining. Maybe not the ones he stars in but his cameos are always great. However he insults AJ as soon as that bell rings. Even on Cena’s best day, he can’t beat AJ. When he goes home, AJ’s kids ask why he never wrestles John Cena but AJ can’t tell them that he’d run circles around Cena.

John isn’t pleased that the best AJ can do is say the same thing that everyone else says. Those insults are as outdated as the jorts. When Cena looks at AJ, he sees someone who spent years getting here and then failed at everything he’s done. AJ looked at him and saw the one guy that he thought might get him noticed. That makes AJ sound desperate but Styles says he’s not about to get buried like everyone else who fights Cena and loses. The Club comes to the ring but New Day makes the save. This was EXCELLENT and made me want to see the match even more, which is saying a lot.

Vaudevillains vs. Enzo Amore/Big Cass

Before the match, Enzo and Cass quote a little Muhammad Ali by saying they’ll make medicine sick. Enzo may have been injured at the pay per view but he doesn’t remember it so it doesn’t count. They’re about to prove that the Vaudevillains are S-A-W-F-T. Enzo and Gotch start things off before it’s quickly off to English. Aiden doesn’t do as well as it’s off to Big Cass for the house cleaning. The Empire Elbow gets two and everything breaks down. Aiden gets all evil by trying to throw Enzo’s head into the ropes ala Extreme Rules, only to have Big Cass go NUTS and destroy English in the corner until it’s a DQ at 2:30.

Cass beats up Gotch as well.

Sami Zayn says he’s the underdog in this match because Alberto Del Rio has actually done the things that everyone else is talking about doing. Del Rio comes in to say that he’s going to show that Sami is just a perro.

Teddy Long comes in to see Stephanie and gets on her nerves. His idea is a four way for the Tag Team Titles at Money in the Bank with New Day defending against the Club, the Vaudevillains and Enzo/Cass. Stephanie throws him out and then calls marketing to make the match.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Sami Zayn

They’re quickly on the floor with Sami hitting a moonsault off the barricade and we take a break less than a minute in. Back with Sami fighting out of a chinlock but getting caught by a Backstabber and the low superkick for two each. Del Rio spends too much time slapping his arm though, allowing Sami to hit his hard clothesline. Sami charges into two raised boots in the corner though and Del Rio puts him in the Tree of Woe for the delayed double stomp and the pin at 8:22.

Rating: C-. That finisher is just so stupid. Even the 619 doesn’t require that much cooperation and it gets really tiring watching people have to sit up for it because something like the cross armbreaker or ANY OTHER MOVE is off the books for Del Rio. Nothing to see here of course, other than Sami losing to keep everyone equal.

Owens and Ambrose bump into each other with Kevin saying Dean has been crazier than usual recently. Dean thinks that’s a compliment and offers to beat Kevin up tonight and at the pay per view.

It’s time for a video from Reigns’ perspective. Reigns was the explosive part of the Shield while Seth was the brains. It was Seth’s idea to break up the Shield so he could go on his own, which meant him cashing in the Money in the Bank contract at Wrestlemania to take everything away from Reigns. Every time that Rollins has attacked him, it’s been from behind. At Money in the Bank, there’s nothing to keep them apart and it’s head to head.

Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens

Cole calls this a rivalry despite their last match being nearly two months ago. They quickly head outside with Owens jumping in on commentary to say he’ll win at Money in the Bank. Back in and Owens stomps Dean in the head before saying the briefcase is his. We hit the chinlock for a bit before Owens elbows him in the jaw instead. Kevin takes too much time going up though and gets superplexed down, only to catch Dean in a German suplex.

The Cannonball is blocked with a hard clothesline. The second Cannonball attempt works better but Dean sends him outside. That’s it for this offensive flurry though as Dean’s suicide dive is caught and rammed into the apron. Owens drops a frog splash off the apron but Dean just grabs Dirty Deeds for the pin at 6:36.

Rating: C. I really don’t like that ending as Owens was dominating for at least eighty percent of the match but got caught with one move for the pin. I like that they’re keeping Dean looking strong and can continue to do so without having him win the ladder match but Owens losing always gets on my nerves.

Post match Dean gets a ladder but Owens shoves it over.

Bob Backlund/Darren Young video from Smackdown with Backlund taking his car keys and telling him to walk eight hours to the next town.

Here are Dana Brooke and Charlotte with the latter talking about how she only got rid of her father from her professional life. She’d still love to work out with her father or spend Christmas with him. This brings out Natalya and Becky to talk about how horrible Charlotte was a few weeks back. Charlotte refers to Dana as her protege but that doesn’t sit well with her. Becky and Natalya mention all the backstabbing and manipulation that Charlotte has done over the years and Dana is thinking about something. That lasts all of ten seconds before she helps Charlotte (with the title still on) beat down Becky and Natalya.

The Shining Stars brag about some drink from Puerto Rico.

Tyler Breeze vs. R-Truth

Breezango now has matching fur vests. Earlier today, Breeze was shaving Fandango’s back to make him more arrowgigantic. Fandango: “It’s when your body has no hair and you fly through the air like a giant arrow.” Truth starts with some hip thrusts but the partners get in an argument on the floor, only to have everyone come in for the no contest at 1:00.

Post match Teddy Long comes out to say “let’s make it a tag team match” but that’s not happening because he has no authority. Teddy goes to the back where Stephanie does her best Stephanie impression to get rid of him because SHE wants to run Smackdown. And that is a good example of why I can’t stand Stephanie. That segment could have been fun but no, let’s have Stephanie go all evil again because it lets her get TV time after a month or so of being all smiles and nice. I’m sure she’ll be back to “normal” again next week, or at least until there’s someone else she can emasculate.

We get a long tribute to Muhammad Ali and his connections to wrestling, including emulating Gorgeous George and throwing punches at Gorilla Monsoon, who put him in the airplane spin. Of course the big moment was Ali refereeing the main event of the first Wrestlemania, even though it was just a glorified cameo. The video gets a standing ovation.

The Club vs. New Day

New Day wants to know what kind of club this is. It’s certainly not the Hair Club For Men. Kofi wishes it was the Mickey Mouse Club because they all want autographs. However, the only club that really matters is the club of WWE World Tag Team Champions because NEW DAY ROCKS.

They start slugging it out before the bell with only Woods and AJ being left inside. Big E. is sent into the steps and Gallows punches Kofi out of the air. Woods flip dives over the top to take Gallows out though and we’re still waiting on a bell. Anderson gets in a kick to Woods on the apron, followed by the Styles Clash on the floor to knock Xavier silly as we take a break.

Back with Big E. and Kofi agreeing to fight three on two as we finally get the opening bell. Kofi charges at Gallows to start before it’s off to Big E. The fight is sent outside where AJ gets in a Pele Kick, followed by a big clothesline from Gallows to really take over. We hit the chinlock on Big E. for a bit until E. gets in a belly to belly. The hot tag brings in Kofi to go after AJ, including the Boom Drop. The SOS gets two with Anderson making the save, allowing AJ to get in the Phenomenal Forearm for the pin at 5:16.

Rating: C. This didn’t have the time to go anywhere and it’s fine to have New Day lose when they’re facing a handicap. It would seem that the Club takes the titles at Money in the Bank as New Day has almost outgrown them at this point. Fine main event here, though more time would have helped.

Post match the beating continues but the fans want Cena. That’s exactly what they get as well with Cena charging down for the save, only to be beaten down by AJ from behind. New Day gets back in though and the good guys clean house to end the show.

Overall Rating: C-. This is easily one of my least favorite times on the WWE calendar as I’ve never been a fan of the mostly meaningless matches between the Money in the Bank participants. You could always just do the qualifying matches over the course of a few weeks as the ladder match itself is going to sell things, but why do that when you can do the exact same thing every year?

The wrestling tonight was watchable and the AJ vs. Cena promo was outstanding but the Stephanie stuff where she yelled at Teddy came off as cruel instead of anything else. It’s not a bad show or anything like that but I had a hard time sitting through a lot of the same reason I have every year: the matches between these guys means nothing but it’s all they do all the time. Find something, ANYTHING, different for a change because I really don’t care about this stuff.

Results

Cesaro b. Chris Jericho – Sharpshooter

Rusev b. Jack Swagger via countout

Vaudevillains b. Enzo Amore/Big Cass via DQ when Cass wouldn’t stop attacking in the corner

Alberto Del Rio b. Sami Zayn – Top rope double stomp

Dean Ambrose b. Kevin Owens – Dirty Deeds

The Club b. New Day – Phenomenal Forearm to Kingston

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book on NXT: The Full Sail Years Volume II at Amazon for just $3.99 at:

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9 comments

  1. Bloodbuzz Bunk says:

    The show was fine but I agree with you MiTB participant complaint. It’s a shame that they decided to only use these 6 when a spot in the match could really help Crews and/or Corbin. I have zero idea why WWE started Sheamus in a feud knowing he was going to have to do movie press.

    But the fatal four way could steal the show at the PPV and Cena/Styles and Rollins/Reigns are huge.

  2. Greg says:

    When your roster is so deep that Titus O’Neil can only get a (presumed) PPV US title shot, then you have to do a brand split.

    I love WWE logic. O’Neil keeps going after Rusev. So obviosuly the best course of action is to book Rusev in matches that have nothing to do with O’Neil.

  3. El Killjoy says:

    Steph must have some terrible self esteem issue. She just has to.

    ted Reply:

    It’s truly sad that the company thinks her continually cutting the balls off of people. Will in someway help anyone. It’s been 16 years of this. Her character is not going to be striped of power. She is never going to get her comeuppance. So what you have is a heel just getting away with things for a decade. This is one of the reasons why no one cares about her.

  4. Jay H (the real one) says:

    The John Cena/AJ promo was excellent and I also enjoyed the Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins vignettes hyping their Match. Also liked the Cesaro/Jericho and Ambrose.KO Matches. KB from the sound of it WWE still has big plans for Kevin Owens so him losing tonight is no big deal.

    Greg Reply:

    That’s the problem. Losing doesn’t matter because WWE made it not matter. As a consequence, winning doesn’t mean as much now either.

    This loss was completely unnecessary.

    Jay H (the real one) Reply:

    But is it going to kill his push? No I think not.

    Greg Reply:

    It won’t. That is not my point. Owens should not have taken this loss. Owens should not be losing (like this) right now. Neither should Ambrose. WWE is making their own job harder with this dumb booking.

    Take Owens vs Zayn. Owens beat Zayn at Payback. The next PPV Zayn and Owens got a title shot. Why did Zayn get a shot? He lost. Owens won. Both got the same reward. Why should I care about their match if losing meant nothing?

    Austin lost 3 times via pinfall during 98-99. Of the three pins, only one was clean. Every other time he lost was due to the deck being overly stacked against him. He didn’t take unnecessary losses. Of course the booking for a top going is going to be different but the point is, he rarely lost. He didn’t lose on a random Raw from time to time.

    The Shield rarely lost as well. That is why they worked. Different mega teams kept trying to stop them but no one could. Sure they could have lost a few more times and been fine but a big reason they were so over is because they rarely lost.

    Greg Reply:

    Correction, Austin did not lose clean one on one during 98-99. Forgot Rock interfered in that No Mercy match.