RAW opened with Dean Ambrose pulling up to the arena in a taxi — only to briefly forget his belt in the backseat as he exited.
And of course, the new champion opened up the show in the ring as well. The crowd chanted “You deserve it” as he basked it in.
Ambrose said “What goes around, comes back around” in reference to Seth Rollins’ “hard night.” He said all the hard work was worth it.
And here comes Roman Reigns.
Reigns congratulates Dean on winning the title, saying last night wasn’t his night. He asks Ambrose how good it felt to cash in on Rollins. Some in the crowd chanted “You can’t wrestle” at Reigns, though some fans chanted back “Yes he can.”
Seth Rollins is having none of this and he comes out. He said Reigns should go to the back of line and he deserves a rematch. Reigns says there’s an easy way to settle this, but Rollins says he already beat him last night.
Shane McMahon’s music hits to a big cheer. He agrees a Rollins-Reigns match is a good idea, but Rollins says no again, that they already fought last night and he won. Rollins asks for Stephanie’s input, but Shane says he’s running the show alone tonight and he makes the match for later.
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens: Zayn wins by pinfall
Owens limped his way to the ring and they came out firing punches at one another. Zayn hits an early moonsault off the barricade. Owens starts to leave through the crowd, only to be chased and tossed back to ringside by Sami. But Owens slams him off the post. Zayn rallies after the break, hitting a tope con giro to the outside. Zayn hits the half and half suplex and goes for the Heluva kick, but eats a superkick. Owens goes for the pop-up powerbomb, but Zayn reverses it into a rollup to get the win. Owens jumps Zayn on the entrance ramp after the loss and tries to powerbomb him off the stage, but Zayn counters and the refs have to break apart a brawl.
The match itself was OK, but it was actually pretty short. Obviously they’ve had a million better. They positioned it going in as a way to settle the feud once and for all, but then of course after the match they were brawling and they said so much for settling the rivalry. That rivalry will never be settled — thankfully.
John Laurinaitis comes out to tell us about the draft which will be held July 19 on the debut of SmackDown. And he says he’s throwing his name in the hat to be the new SmackDown general manager. Shane comes out and tells him that is never happening.
Big Cass and Enzo arrive to their now usual admiration. They trash Johnny Ace for a bit and say this is the new era. They call him SAWFT.
Big Cass and Enzo vs. The Vaudevillains: Enzo and Cass win by pinfall
Aiden English and Enzo open it up, with the Vaudevillains getting the early advantage. He and Simon Gotch make quick tags and beat down Enzo. Cass gets the hot tag and cleans house. He hits the Empire Elbow on English and a big boot to Gotch. Enzo and Cass hit the top-rope assisted splash, which they’re apparently calling the Bada Boomshakalaka.
They just wiped the Vaudevillains out in a match that had very little to it. The Vaudes beat down Enzo for a couple minutes, then Cass got the hot tag and the match was over. It’s not a great sign for the future of the Vaudevillains.
AJ Styles is here to talk about his victory over John Cena last night. He says he’s not happy even though he beat Cena because it didn’t go down the way he thought it would. He asks for Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson to come out and make a formal apology to keep The Club together. Styles says they gave Cena an excuse for losing. They both apologize. But Styles says he needs them to apologize to one more person: John Cena.
Cena comes out. He says he doesn’t need an apology. They had a contract and Styles broke it. Cena says it’s all a coverup, which proves he’s not as good as he says he is. Styles says he’ll give Cena a chance to face anyone in The Club tonight — except for him. Cena says it doesn’t matter because he’ll be facing all three regardless. Styles says in Anderson will face him one-on-one, fair and square, and beat him.
John Cena vs. Karl Anderson: Cena wins by DQ
Cena opens in control with a suplex of Anderson and some clotheslines. He constantly checks to see if Styles and Gallows will return to ringside. He hits the Five-Knuckle Shuffle and the AA, and out come Gallows and Styles to beat down Cena. The match is thrown out. Styles delivers the Styles Clash to Cena.
Well that had a lot of potential to be a fun match. But no. It wasn’t even a match really. I guess they wouldn’t even allow Cena to look like a real competitor against Anderson.
JoJo interviews Seth Rollins backstage. He’s still mad about last night, but says he proved himself healthy again. And he’ll win again tonight.
Renee Young interviews Becky Lynch backstage. Everyone is turning on her. She says she’s the only one with integrity in the division. Natalya jumps her from behind.
Baron Corbin vs. Zack Ryder: Corbin wins by pinfall
Corbin fakes an eye injury early and then sucker punches Ryder. Corbin starts a beatdown. Ryder goes for the Broski boot, but Corbin rolls outside. Ryder hits a dropkick off the apron. He follows with the Elbro Drop for 2. Ryder goes for a springboard, but gets punched in the face. Corbin hits the End of Days for the win.
Not enough of a match to say anything about.
We get a little video package for the Wyatt Family’s return later tonight.
Charlotte vs. Paige: Charlotte wins by pinfall
This is for the women’s championship. Charlotte goes for a couple rollups early. Paige gets control with some clotheslines and high knees. Charlotte rolls out, uses Dana Brooke as a distraction, and clocks Paige to take control. Paige is back in control when we return from break with some kicks and a running knee for 2. Paige hits a fallaway slam. Charlotte knocks Paige off the top rope, face first, and then hits a moonsault for 2. Paige hits the Rampaige and Dana Brooke was supposed to put her foot over the rope to break up the pin, but Dana screwed up and couldn’t grab her foot in time. Nonetheless, the ref stopped the count. The ref went to eject Dana, and Charlotte hit Natural Selection for the win.
Sasha Banks came out after the match. She took out both Dana Brooke and Charlotte and then raised the women’s title over her head.
The Paige-Charlotte match was just OK. They gave them a little bit of time, and the crowd got into some of the trading of near-falls. But it wasn’t anything you need to go out of your way to see. Sasha got a nice pop when she came out. The division missed her badly. Charlotte plays her role well, but she’s nowhere near the wrestler Sasha is. The division was barely treading water over the past month or two, though that’s in part to the writing and limited time as well.
Bray Wyatt has returned. The crowd gives a “Welcome back” chant and he asks “Did y’all miss me?” He says the Wyatts are as strong as they’ve ever been.
And The New Day interrupts. Bray is not happy with their antics. He says New Day will fall, and even gives us a “New Day falls” chant complete with clapping by Braun Strowman and Erick Rowan. And that’s it. That was an oddly quick segment.
Rusev vs. Titus O’Neil: no contest
Titus asked for a rematch after being “disrespected” last night. Titus delivers with a big right hand to start off the match. They brawl like crazy. They spill outside and slam each other into the barricade. Rusev is clotheslined over the barricade and he bails.
Titus looked really good as an out-of-control angry dude. I still don’t think he’s a good wrestler in the ring, but the more aggressive he looks the better.
Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins: double countout
Dean Ambrose is with us on commentary. Reigns controls the action early. Rollins hits a Blockbuster for 2 to steal momentum. He hits a dropkick for 2. Reigns gets the advantage outside the ring as we go to break. Seth hits an enzuigiri. He hits a knee to the back and then a suicide dive. Seth gets caught with a Superman punch off the springboard for 2. Seth responds with a springboard knee and thrust kick for 2. Seth misses on a frog splash. Reigns puts Rollins on the Spanish announce table, but Seth squirms free from a powerbomb. They continue to fight outside and both men can’t quite sneak back in under the 10-count.
Shane McMahon comes out and says this isn’t how the match should end. Ambrose grabs the mic and says he’ll take on both guys, he doesn’t care. Shane makes the triple threat match for Battleground.
Definitely worth checking out Reigns-Rollins, no surprise there. I don’t know how it compares to last night necessarily — the lack of ending hurts comparability — but definitely seek it out.