Raw came to you LIVEEEE tonight from the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Holiday themed episodes are never my favorite, so lets see if WWE can be serious for once and continue gaining momentum towards Battleground and Summerslam.
Also, Happy 4th of July everyone! Hope it was filled with lots of fireworks and hamburgers :D.
4th of July party/food fight
WWE doesn’t do funny very well a lot of the time, but this was genuinely entertaining. There was a lot happening of course, but you had Enzo jumping around wildly, a distraught Bo Dallas covered in fruit punch, Kevin Owens sitting under a table ignoring all of it, and Chris Jericho saying so much by not saying anything. If only they could pull that off more.
Lilian Garcia sings the National Anthem
You can’t not love Lilian and her rendition of the National Anthem. Great as always.
Rusev vs Titus O’Neil- United States Championship match
How brilliant that the heel international United States champion makes his entrance seconds after that excellent showing of patriotism? The match itself was good …Rusev is looking more and more like the unstoppable monster that he was before WrestleMania 31 again, kicking out of everything and looking stronger each time. The crowd was of course completely behind Titus, and was deflated when he lost after two big kicks and the Accolade.
Social Outcasts vs Enzo and Cass
Though longer then last weeks match against the local kids, another short match for Enzo and Cass. It was entertaining to see the Social Outcasts wrestle in costumes, but if WWE is still set on making them their premier tag team, I as a fan would really love to see them in more competitive matches. Bo Dallas sold the crap out of that big boot from Cass, and Enzo and Cass picked up the win with the Boom-Shaka-Laka.
Winners: Enzo and Cass
Charlotte promo with Dana Brooke and Sasha Banks
The longer this Charlotte/Sasha program goes on, the more appropriate her seemingly inevitable title win at Summerslam feels. The two spent the promo going back and forth essentially over who’s been more relevant over the last year and using the word “sweetie” (Sasha does it better), before Dana awkwardly tried to get involved physically and Sasha locked in the Banks Statement on Charlotte. Not bad.
The Miz vs Dean Ambrose- Champion vs Champion match
I missed their Smackdown match, and even though we’ve seen these two go at it before, this still felt fresh to me. Dean is the new champion looking to prove himself with the belt, and Miz is the crafty champion who’s beaten all-comers since winning the title in April.
For once, I felt like Miz was on equal footing with Dean. The match was competitive and I felt like it could have gone either way really; I especially loved Dean’s counter of the Skull-Crushing Finale into the roll-up. Dean scored the win with a nasty-looking Dirty Deeds.
Winner: Dean Ambrose
Seth Rollins vs Dolph Ziggler with Dean Ambrose on commentary
These two cannot put on a bad match. Dolph has been my favorite for YEARS now, and I love being reminded why. It doesn’t even matter if he loses, I’d rather it’d be in a competitive match with a guy like Seth Rollins then in a 5-minute match to Baron Corbin.
This match, as per usual, started off with some nice chain-wrestling, went to commercial, then quickly became a spot fest. Spots we’ve seen from both of them before, but ones that you can’t help but mark out too. They did try some really innovative pinning combinations so between those, the false finishes, the counters and the crowd being more into this then anything before it, this was really fun to watch. Seth picked up the win after blocking a Zig-Zag and hitting a Pedigree. Would love to see a World Title feud between these two somewhere down the line.
After some banter between Seth and Dean post-match, Dean hit Dirty Deeds on the Spanish announce table. My only concern with this is that is happened so early in the show. Not the best sign for Dean’s future as champion.
Winner: Seth Rollins
Vickie Guerrero promo
I loved a majority of Vickie’s work at the peak of her career, so I was much happier to see her at the podium then I was for John Laurinitis. She screamed about putting her name in the hat of potential Smackdown GM’s before being escorted out by security.
Golden Truth vs The Vaudevillians
WWE just had The Vaudevillians, a team that was almost recently in contention for the WWE Tag-Titles, lose to the Golden Truth. A team that absolutely no one can take seriously. How sad.
Winners: Golden Truth
John Cena promo with The Club
For a 4th of July crowd, Columbus really did not warm up to Mr. USA himself, John Cena very much at all tonight. He tried to get them fired up, but they pretty much sat on their hands.
The Club’s promo on John Cena about beating him up every day, before going into the ring and beating him up was the best they’ve done so far. It doesn’t completely make up for the fact that they apologized to him a few weeks ago, but they’re slowly getting to where they should be. Enzo and Cass came out to make the save, and a six-man tag match would be announced later in the night for Battleground. They’re certainly not my first choice, but I can’t think of a better way to elevate them then by sticking them in a program with John Cena.
Becky Lynch vs Summer Rae
So the most noteworthy part about this match was Summer Rae botching and dropping Becky on the back of her head. Hope Becky got a little more muster on that Exploder Suplex then usual. She picked up the win with the Disarmer, and Nattie just sat backstage and didn’t do shit. Cool.
Winner: Becky Lynch
New Day promo
Asides from Xavier Woods finally saying he think the Wyatt’s are dangerous and that they probably shouldn’t “go to the compound”, this wasn’t anything new. I can’t see Woods joining the Wyatt’s, but if he does I’m sure it’ll be a Daniel Bryan situation and he’ll be back on New Day’s team in no time.
Cesaro, Kalisto, Sin Cara, Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus, Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho and Sami Zayn vs Big Show, Apollo Crews, Zack Ryder, The Dudley Boyz, Mark Henry, Kane and Jack Swagger
Maybe because the middle portion of these multi-man elimination matches is spent eliminating people in the most insignificant ways, I just never really liked them. This one was especially confusing because why are Kevin Owens (I think?) and Kane getting disqualified for attacking their own teammates? People attack their teammates all the time and that’s never happened before…clearly just an excuse to eliminate them quickly and without much explanation.
The longer this match went on the crowd became less and less interested, and the more I kept thinking about Zack Ryder having a Dolph Ziggler circa Survivor Series 2014 moment, which is essentially what happened. With an assist from Big Show, Ryder hit the Rough Ryder on Sheamus to score the win for Team USA and send the fans home happy-ish.
Winners: Team USA
Overall, not the worst holiday show we could have gotten right?? Again, I wasn’t a fan of the World Title portion of the show being stuck in the 9 o’clock timeslot, but we did get an interesting dynamic added to the Cena/AJ feud so I guess that makes up for it. To go along with the storyline progression we had some great wrestling occur in the middle of the show, and that’s really all you can ask for.