Monday Night Raw – June 20, 2016: How To Make Battleground Important
Date: June 20, 2016
Location: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Byron Saxton
A lot changed last night at Money in the Bank, not the least of which is all three members of Shield held the WWE World Title at some point. Dean Ambrose walked out with the title after cashing in Money in the Bank briefcase to end the show on new champion Seth Rollins, who had taken the title from Roman Reigns. We’re heading towards Battleground now but first up is that whole Brand Split and completely changing the company thing. Let’s get to it.
Dean arrived earlier today and threw money at the cab driver, only to have to chase after the cab because he forgot the title.
Here’s Dean to open things up, walking past a Raw and Smackdown podium on the way to the ring. The fans tell him that he deserves it before Dean talks about barely remembering a lot of last night. Apparently he ran into the Cleveland Cavaliers but he isn’t a fan. I’m sure the crowd booing him out of the arena didn’t sway that decision in the slightest. Dean gets right to the point: hard work and dedication pay off and when it pays off, it pays off BIG.
If Roman Reigns is the guy, maybe Ambrose can be the Dude. Call him whatever you want but you have to call him champ because it was all worth it to get here. Cue Roman to some LOUD booing. Roman says last night wasn’t his night because it was Dean’s night. He’s here to congratulate the new champ but the fans cut him off with a YOU CAN’T WRESTLE chant. Roman says all the people chanting that need to take a sip of their beer and calm down. The other reason Reigns is out here is to find out if Dean is a fighting champion.
This brings out a furious Seth to say he never properly lost the title and Reigns needs to go to the back of the line. Here’s Shane McMahon to calm things down a bit. Shane thinks the best idea is to have Seth vs. Roman with the winner facing Dean. Shane talks to an invisible Stephanie about her idea since the real version isn’t here tonight. Stephanie agrees so let’s have the match tonight instead of waiting around.
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
Owens bails to the floor to start so Sami takes him down with a clothesline. You would think Sami could come up with some different offense somewhere in there. Sami moonsaults off the barricade to drop Owens again so Kevin bails into the crowd. That goes nowhere as Sami throws him back to ringside, only to have Owens drive him into the post as we take a break.
Back from a break with Kevin’s backsplash hitting raised knees. Sami low bridges him to the floor for the running flip dive, only to charge into a superkick for two. Sami’s half and half suplex looks to set up the Helluva Kick but only earns him another superkick. A victory roll out of nowhere gives Sami the pin at 8:54.
Rating: C+. These two always work well together and it’s a good idea to have Sami get a clean pin over Owens. You can’t have the whole thing be one sided and I kind of like the idea of not waiting for some big moment for the first win for a change. Good enough match here but these two have that natural chemistry that you just can’t fake.
Kevin goes after him again post match but Sami escapes a powerbomb on the stage and they trade fists until referees break it up.
After a break, Sami and Kevin are still fighting in the back.
The announcers talk about the Draft, basically making the official announcement.
Here’s John Laurinitis to throw his name in the hat as GM but Shane comes out to say no way because that’s not how it’s going to work.
Enzo Amore/Big Cass vs. Vaudevillains
Enzo and Shane compare shoes and dance a bit on the way to the ring. After the usual catchphrases, Enzo says he didn’t like what Johnny laryngitis was saying. Any guesses how many dimes he would have if he got one for every time Johnny said something important? English stomps Enzo down to start before it’s off to Gotch for a neckbreaker. The slow beating continues until Gotch eats a Downward Spiral into the middle buckle. The hot tag brings in Cass to clean house with the Empire Elbow for two on English. Enzo goes up for the Rocket Launcher, now named the Bada Boom Shaka Lacka, for the pin at 2:53.
Here’s AJ Styles to talk about the tainted win last night. The bottom line though is that he beat John Cena, even if it didn’t go down like he expected it to go. Either way, the Club is going to continue but he wants Anderson and Gallows to come out and apologize right now. Anderson and Gallows come out and AJ yells at them a bit, saying that was his only first chance to beat Cena and now John has an excuse. AJ wants an apology right now and gets one from both guys, but now he needs Cena out here as well.
Cena comes out and says AJ broke the contract but Gallows says AJ had no idea what they were going to do. That’s the apology but Cena thinks it’s a coverup to hide the fact that AJ isn’t as good as he says he is. Cena can accept the win because that’s the most important thing in WWE. What AJ doesn’t get is the idea of being a man of his word. Last night Styles proved that he doesn’t have a word or balls. That earns him a CENA chant but AJ doesn’t think the fans know what they’re talking about.
AJ thinks there should be a fight right now and Cena is ready but that’s not what Styles meant. Instead AJ meant against either Anderson or Gallows, not Styles himself. Cena says it doesn’t matter which one he faces because the other will be at ringside. Therefore, he’ll fight all three, which is the contract AJ should have signed in the first place. AJ stops him again and says it’s Anderson vs. Cena right now.
John Cena vs. Karl Anderson
Joined in progress with Cena pounding Anderson down but stopping to look at the entrance for Styles and Gallows. An early ProtoBomb sets up the Shuffle and the AA, drawing in the rest of the Club for the DQ at 2:24 shown.
Post match Cena takes the Magic Killer and Styles Clash.
Stills of last night’s ladder match and World Title situation.
We also look at the opening segment.
Rollins is ready to take the title back from Ambrose and it starts tonight. He wants to prove that he’s the best member of the Shield once and for all. Oh yeah that’s grounds for a triple threat.
Becky Lynch is sick and tired of everyone turning on her with Natalya being the latest one to do so. Natalya jumps her from behind and says it’s time to think about herself.
Baron Corbin vs. Zack Ryder
Ryder pokes him in the eye to start but Corbin might have been goldbricking as he blasts Ryder in the face with a right hand. Zack shrugs off some choking and sends him outside for a dropkick from the apron. The Elbro gets two but Corbin slides under the ropes and runs back in for a right hand, followed by End of Days for the pin at 3:03.
Rating: D+. This was better than I was expecting with Ryder getting in a lot more offense than I was expecting. Of course the second you heard Ryder’s music playing you knew how this was going to go but that’s all you can expect from someone like him. At least they kept this short though and there was almost no mention of Dolph Ziggler, a development that is LONG overdue.
We look at WWE announcing a partnership in China and signing a Chinese wrestler to a developmental deal.
The Wyatts are coming back soon.
We look back at Paige beating Charlotte in a non-title match last week.
Paige (who seems to not be under arrest) talks about having a history with Charlotte from Team PCB but Charlotte and Dana are behind her laughing about getting cell phone service. Charlotte brags about rocketing up the charts after Team PCB broke up while Paige fell down like a tree. Paige says she’ll win the title tonight and Charlotte will have no one to blame but herself.
Women’s Title: Paige vs. Charlotte
Charlotte is defending and we get big match intros. A rollup gets an early two for the champ but she nips up off a shoulder. Paige hits a running knee in the corner followed by a series of knees to the face from the bottom rope. Dana offers a distraction though and Charlotte nails Paige to take over as we take a break.
Back with Charlotte doing her figure four headscissors faceplants but Paige grabs a backslide for two. Some superkicks set up a running knee for two on the champ, followed by a fall away slam. Paige’s superplex is broken up and the moonsault gives Charlotte two. The Figure Eight is countered into a small package for two and the Rampaige gets the same with Dana putting the foot on the ropes. That earns her an ejection but Charlotte hits Natural Selection for the pin at 8:30.
Rating: C+. Good match here as usual and it’s nice to see Paige not have to babysit the lower level women for a bit. That being said, we’re just waiting on Sasha at this point and it’s just a matter of time until Sasha comes back and gives us the big Summerslam feud for the title. Well maybe Battleground but whatever.
Post match Paige gets suplexed but here’s Sasha for the big return to clean house. Charlotte gets caught in the Bank Statement to draw Dana back in, only to have Paige help make the save.
Roman says he’s going to be the guy to beat Seth Rollins.
The Wyatts are here.
Here are the Wyatts for their big return. We get a big welcome back chant so Bray asks if they missed him. The Wyatts have been locked away and punished but they have never forgotten what they stand for. Bray issues a warning to everyone back there…..and here’s New Day to cut them off. Woods says Bray needs to stop talking so much and Kofi goes into the usual spiel, only to have Bray seem to hypnotize Woods. Kofi gets him back but Bray thinks the future is New Day falls. That’s uh…..quite the odd choice for a pairing but Bray controlling people is interesting. Are the Wyatts still faces though?
Life Lesson With Bob Backlund, focusing on Backlund giving orders, not advice.
Rusev vs. Titus O’Neil
Titus says this is about respect and revenge instead of the US Title. He charges in and a fight starts before the bell, meaning no match so this MUST CONTINUE! They fight outside with Rusev getting the worse of it and being sent out into the crowd.
Miz and Maryse are on the set of Marine 5 and Miz gets annoyed because he can’t get good quail. He freaks out and goes on a rant about how bad the crew is, right in front of the crew.
Chris Jericho is in Shane’s office and rants about how he should be #1 contender but Shane doesn’t see it that way. Jericho brings up the 69 tacks and calls Shane a stupid idiot, which doesn’t sit well with the boss. Chris wants to be on whatever show Shane isn’t running but Shane says he’ll be on both.
Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns
Winner goes to Battleground for a title shot and Dean is on commentary. Roman shoulders him down to start and they head outside with Rollins getting knocked around even more. Roman loads up the announcers’ table but gets caught with a Blockbuster back inside. A dropkick gets two for Seth and we hit the chinlock. Rollins takes it to the floor and sends Roman into the barricade, only to get kicked in the face back inside. They head outside again with Reigns sending him into the barricade as we take a break.
Back with Rollins throwing on a sleeper but Reigns quickly escapes and fires off some forearms until the referee breaks it up. The distraction lets Seth get in a jumping enziguri and he sends Roman outside for the suicide dive. Back in and Reigns scores with his powerbomb for two. Neither guy can hit a finisher but Seth tries a springboard and dives into the Superman Punch for two. The spear is blocked by a kick to the face so Reigns punches him out to the apron.
Now the springboard knee to the face sets up the slow superkick for two but Reigns avoids a great looking frog splash. There’s the apron boot and Roman loads up the announcers’ table. Seth escapes to avoid extreme pain and scores with another enziguri. Seth barely breaks the count but Reigns pulls him back outside for a spear over the announcers’ table. That spot loses a lot when there’s no big crash. Neither guy gets back in and it’s a double countout at 17:27.
Rating: B-. Obvious ending aside, this was actually a bit more entertaining than last night as the length really pulled the first match down. Of course this sets up the Shield triple threat which should headline Summerslam but why do that when you can do it at a nothing show like Battleground? In theory this leaves Reigns vs. Lesnar II for Summerslam but that’s assuming Lesnar is healthy after the UFC fight. But hey, why play it smart when you can play it stupid?
Post match Shane comes out to say we need a #1 contender but Dean says he’ll fight both of them in the same night. The triple threat is made and Dean hits Dirty Deeds on both guys to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. This show set up some stuff for Battleground as it seems like we’re heading towards some Money in the Bank rematches. You have to assume we’ll get Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens in a big showdown, plus the Cena vs. Styles rematch and of course the big triple threat. Still though, good enough show here with some watchable wrestling but again we’re still stuck in a weird bit of limbo with the Draft in a month. I’ll take a watchable show that’s off the air at two minutes after the hour instead of thirty two minutes after the hour though so this is a bit less annoying than last night’s show.
Sami Zayn b. Kevin Owens – Victory roll
Enzo Amore/Big Cass b. Vaudevillains – Bada Boom Shaka Lacka
John Cena b. Karl Anderson via DQ when AJ Styles and Luke Gallows interfered
Baron Corbin b. Zack Ryder – End of Days
Charlotte b. Paige – Natural Selection
Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins went to a double countout
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