Happy Fourth of July holiday to all the people in the United States of America. We had Canada Day here on Friday, so both countries get a long weekend this year. This week’s Raw probably won’t have a huge television audience because a lot of people go see fireworks at night and I’m sure WWE knows that. They’re still likely to put on a regular show although I sense a strong night for the good guys.
Live from Columbus, Ohio this is the Raw Deal for episode #1206. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Thanks Melo Man for the creative banner above. Get it? Hope so.
There was an “earlier today” segment where many people on the roster in a room for a big meal for Independence Day and it turned into a big food fight. Some of the noteworthy things saw Kevin Owens sitting under a table to avoid it, Cesaro and Apollo Crews having an arm wrestling competition and Big Show and Kane did a double Chokeslam on Heath Slater through a table. Everybody left the room with Slater laying on top of a broken table. Owens walked up and said this would never happen on Canada Day. Then somebody tossed a pie in Owens’ face. Who? Doesn’t matter. Idea is that the party pooper got a pie in his face.
The Raw opening video aired.
The fireworks went off as they showed the crowd excited for the show. Lilian Garcia sang the national anthem and did a great job as usual.
The United States Champion Rusev entered for his US Title match. No sign of Lana for some reason. Titus O’Neil was wearing some Apollo Creed like Uncle Sam outfit. Time for a break 11 minutes into the show.
United States Championship: Rusev (w/Lana) vs. Titus O’Neil
The ring ropes were red, white and blue. O’Neil with a body slam early on followed by two big tosses across the ring. Rusev with a waist lock sent O’Neil over the top to the floor. Lana is at ringside now. Why wasn’t she there before? No idea. Rusev whipped O’Neil into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Rusev with a dropkick gets two. They exchanged blows, O’Neil with a shoulder tackle, clothesline and a boot to the face. Splash in the corner by O’Neil. Huge powerslam by O’Neil and he connected with the Clash of the Titus. Rusev kicked out at two. The ref made Titus step back when he was aggressive in the corner. Rusev capitalized with a hard kick to the face. Rusev applied the Accolade submission hold. Fans chanted “USA” to support O’Neil. Rusev yanked back on the Accolade some more and O’Neil tapped out. Rusev wins after five minutes.
Winner by submission: Rusev
Analysis: *1/2 A basic match to put over the US Champion. They did a decent job of building up O’Neil in the last couple of weeks, but he was stopped pretty easily by Rusev. I really liked the Rusev/Cesaro match on Smackdown last week, so I hope that’s the next feud for the US Title.
Post match, Rusev applied the Accolade on O’Neil again. It was only a few seconds. Rusev grabbed the microphone, he chanted “USA USA USA” at the crowd. He told the people to celebrate for Rusev: “Happy birthday America.” He tossed the microphone down.
Later on Raw it’s Ambrose vs. Miz. Same match they did on Smackdown. John Cena will be there later.
There’s also a Team USA vs. Team Multi-National Alliance 16 man elimination match later. The 16 man tag is: Dudley Boyz, Apollo Crews, Big Show, Kane, Mark Henry, Jack Swagger & Zack Ryder vs. Alberto Del Rio, Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Sheamus, Chris Jericho, Cesaro, Kalisto & Sin Cara.
The Social Outcasts trio walked out there dressed as Minutemen. Heath Slater had his arm in a sling to sell the table bump earlier. Bo Dallas said they are dressed as Minutemen from the Revolutionary War because…
Here comes Enzo Amore & Big Cass. They did their usual promo to hype up the crowd. Enzo started naming all the Presidents in the history of the country and said they would all be insulted if they saw these guys. Cass gave Enzo props for naming all the Presidents and Cass did the SAWFT bit to end it.
Analysis: Enzo naming all the Presidents like that was very impressive. Good job by him!
Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel (w/Heath Slater)
Dallas and Axel are wrestling in their Minutemen outfits. They worked over Enzo for about a minute. JBL said this was great entertainment. Cass got the hot tag, hit a huge slam on Dallas and the big elbow drop. He tossed Axel over the top to the floor. Big boot by Cass to Dallas. Enzo up top, Cass launched him for the Bada Boom Shaka Laka (still a dumb name) and that’s it after about three minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Enzo Amore & Big Cass
Analysis: * A quick match to put over the face team. This is a show where there’s going to be some cheesy comedy and that’s what we got here.
It’s Ziggler vs. Rollins later. I like that match.
Women’s Champion Charlotte and Dana Brooke were shown walking backstage.
Charlotte, the Women’s Champion, and Dana Brooke were in the ring. They were dressed up in black outfits and not in ring attire. Charlotte said that people are jealous of her and it’s been like that all her life – the proof is around her waist…she means the Women’s Title. Charlotte ripped on Sasha Banks clamoring to the fans chanting “We Want Sasha.” Charlotte said that chants don’t pay the bills…championships do. She says there’s not one woman that has done more than her this year. She said Banks is all hype plain and simple.
Here comes Banks also not in ring gear. All three women are in black. Banks said that Charlotte may be champion, but she will never be her (Banks). That’s not great trash talk. Banks said that Charlotte has never beaten her. Banks said that if it wasn’t for Ric Flair at WrestleMania, that Women’s Title would have been hers. Banks said she’d dominate her. Charlotte wondered where she’s even been. Charlotte questioned what “The Boss” even means while noting that next week is one years since they debut and that she (Charlotte) has been the champion for nearly one year. Banks said a boss fights for what she believes in and doesn’t have it handed to her. Banks added that a boss is real with her own style. Banks said that a boss will throw it down anytime. Banks told Charlotte that her reign as champion is over.
Brooke tried an attack, but Banks knocked her down. Charlotte capitalized with a hard kick that knocked Banks down. Banks came back with a backstabber into a Bank Statement on Charlotte. Brooke pulled Charlotte out of the ring to safety. Fans chanted “Sasha” as Banks stood alone in the ring.
Analysis: That was really well done by Banks. A better than average women’s promo exchange, that’s for sure. She stood up to the arrogant champion, she talked about what kind of woman she is (“The Boss”) and the crowd cheered for her the entire time. Charlotte did a pretty good job too. Banks got more promo time against Charlotte than most of the other girls have had too, so that’s encouraging. They haven’t announced an official match yet, but I would assume it will be at Battleground and if not then SummerSlam for sure.
The WWE Champion Dean Ambrose is up next against The Miz. I think Cole just said a champion vs. champion match is rare. It just main evented Smackdown last week.
The Miz made his entrance with Maryse. The Spanish announce team is at ringside.
The Miz complained about the food fight earlier destroying his white suit. Miz talked about how his French Canadian wife Maryse cleans up very well and celebrates St. John Baptiste Day. What about Canada Day? It was on Friday.
The WWE Champion Dean Ambrose made his entrance. Cole mentioned they did this match on Smackdown, so I guess it’s not that rare huh Cole?
Dean Ambrose vs. The Miz (w/Maryse)
Neither man’s title is on the line. Ambrose with a clothesline sent Miz over the top to the floor. Slingshot attack over the top by Ambrose. There’s JBL referencing Kevin Durant signing a big deal with Golden State Warriors. Miz crotched Ambrose on the barricade at ringside and then punched him to knock him down. Commercial two minutes into the match.
The Miz was in control of Ambrose with a dropkick to the knee. Ambrose got a nearfall, then he missed a dropkick and Miz applied the Figure Four Leglock. Ambrose got to the ropes to break free about 20 seconds later. Ambrose sent Miz to the floor as JBL ranted about how you can’t send Ambrose to talk shows and you can’t put his face on billboards because Ambrose is a lunatic. Miz with a backbreaker, but Ambrose broke free with a running clothesline. Ambrose limped a bit and then nailed a forearm smash. They each went for moves and Ambrose got a nearfall followed by a clothesline. Ambrose nailed a suicide dive to take out Miz on the floor. Back in the ring, Ambrose got another nearfall, but then Miz came back with a boot to the face. Back to his feet, Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Dean Ambrose
Post match, JBL was ranting about how Ambrose’s face scares children. He kept yelling about how it’s not okay. Cole pointed out that the kids in the crowd seemed to love Ambrose.
Analysis: **1/2 It was solid. The Smackdown match was a couple of minutes longer, but basically the same kind of thing with Ambrose selling the knee, coming back and getting the clean win. Miz is doing a good job as a heel although nobody really bought his nearfalls. I like how Ambrose has been booked to win every match he’s had since winning the title. That’s much better than champions losing non-title matches.
Seth Rollins made his entrance as Ambrose was still at ringside. Ambrose just patted Rollins on the back and Rollins went into the ring. Ambrose looked back at him. Ambrose ran into the ring. Instead of a fight, Ambrose sat beside the announcers. He’s on commentary for the Rollins match.
They showed Ambrose sitting at the Spanish announce table. The English feed carried some of Ambrose’s comments in Spanish.
It was announced that this Thursday on Smackdown we will find out who Brock Lesnar will face at SummerSlam.
Analysis: I vote for Seth Rollins. They didn’t have a proper singles match last year when The Undertaker interfered. Let’s see it this year.
Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler
Ambrose was on English commentary for the match. Rollins escaped to the floor early on. Ambrose talked about being on top of the mountain and the title proves that. Rollins kept leaving the ring while Ambrose noted that Seth has a bad attitude. Ziggler was on offense again, so Rollins bailed to the floor for the third time. Ziggler climbed the turnbuckle, so Rollins hit an enziguri kick to the head to knock him down. Time for a break.
Back from break, Rollins sent Ziggler face first into the turnbuckle. Ziggler came back with a nearfall as Ambrose said that on any night Ziggler can beat anybody. Ziggler avoided a corner charge and nailed two clotheslines in a row followed by a swinging neckbreaker. Elbow drop gets two for Ziggler. Ziggler signaled for the superkick, Rollins caught him, kick to the gut and Ziggler got a rollup for two. Rollins with a standing side kick for two. Ziggler avoided a Pedigree with a rollup for two. Ziggler nailed a superkick. Rollins kicked out at two. Great nearfall there. Ziggler with a Tornado DDT. Rollins back to his feet quickly, Ziggler went for Zig Zag, Rollins held onto the ropes and Rollins nailed a Pedigree for the win after 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Seth Rollins
Analysis: ***1/4 That was a really good TV match. I liked how it was a very competitive match with Ziggler getting in several believable nearfalls including that superkick that was so close to a win. The ending was a bit rushed because Ziggler nailed that huge DDT and Rollins didn’t sell it at all. He was back to his feet right away with a Pedigree. I’m glad that Ziggler looked competitive the whole match too. As for the result, it was no surprise that Rollins won.
Post match, Rollins did a promo on the Spanish announce table. He talked about how he will not have Roman Reigns tarnish his legacy. He said that Reigns’ career is a joke and he needs to be taken out of the triple threat match at Battleground (crowd cheered) with Rollins saying he wants to get a singles match for the WWE Title. Rollins talked about how Roman is supposed to be a role model, but guess what you’re all (the fans) like him and none of you (the fans) have really worked a day in your stinking lives. Ambrose stood on a table as Rollins told him he’s going to take back his title. Ambrose said he could have it right now.
Ambrose tossed the title at Rollins and they brawled around ringside with Ambrose tossing Rollins over the Spanish table. Ambrose gave Rollins the Dirty Deeds on the Spanish table, which didn’t break.
Analysis: Ambrose gets the upper hand this week. That was a good brawl. I liked Rollins ripping on Reigns again because they shouldn’t ignore Reigns just because he is suspended. I’m not sure if the table was supposed to break or not. It looked stronger than normal, so maybe not.
John Cena is up later.
The Wyatt Family did a promo from a set where they live or where they hang out. It was in some sort of shed. Bray talked about how New Day comes from a world that doesn’t really exist. Wyatt invited the New Day to come to their world. Wyatt said that fear is very real. He invited New Day to “join us” repeatedly.
Analysis: That was creepy, but effective.
A video package aired about Baron Corbin showing some of his highlights from matches as well as him talking about how he dominates.
The announce team of Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield and Byron Saxton were about to talk about Baron Corbin, but they were interrupted.
“EXCUSE ME!” Vickie Guerrero showed up on the ramp to talk about how she is a former GM of Smackdown. She kept yelling “EXUSE ME” to annoy the fans. She said that while Shane and Stephanie McMahon run Raw, she feels that she should be the one in charge as the Smackdown Chief Operating Officer. She suggested that people use the hashtag #VickieRunsSmackdownLive. Two security guys walked out there to take her away from the stage. JBL got on the microphone to say “excuse me Vickie Guerrero” and that ended that segment.
Analysis: That was fun. She won’t get the spot because she’s moved on from wrestling with a regular job in the medical field. It’s just a way to have another former boss try to get the Smackdown job.
Big Show was shown backstage doing a pep talk to the guys on Team USA. He said that they may not all be friends, but neither were their forefathers. Show talked about how it’s not going to be easy and some people aren’t going to make it through the match, but are we afraid? All of them said “no” as Show said they will not be afraid and they will not give up. Show said that they are Americans that will do what Americans do best – they will fight and win. They all chanted “USA” as they walked away.
Analysis: Just a hype promo for the 16 man tag later. I’m sure American fans are wondering why they couldn’t get wrestlers that are actually on Raw on a regular basis instead of some of these guys. Sorry America. Blame the creative team.
Vickie Guerrero was screaming backstage with the security guards grabbing her. Dolph Ziggler was there. He said he had never seen her before.
Analysis: Good comedy bit since Ziggler was managed by Vickie when he was a heel. He was used better when he was with her.
Tyler Breeze and Fandango are seated at ringside.
Golden Truth vs. The Vaudevillains
Jumping side kick by Truth on Gotch. Goldust with clotheslines on English, then an uppercut and a bulldog. Goldust with a powerslam on English gets two as Gotch makes the save. Truth and Gotch were on the floor with Truth hitting a shoulder tackle. English got caught by the faces, Goldust put English’s feet on Truth’s shoulder and they did a double team slam to put English down. The match was over in less than two minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Golden Truth
Analysis: 1/4* It was so rushed. They did a hot tag less than a minute into the match. Raw is three hours. You can’t find five minutes to do a tag match? Just skip it. Better than doing such a fast match. I feel bad for the Vaudevillains as a young team that is out there doing jobs too often.
John Cena addresses The Club up next.
There was another split screen segment with Darren Young and his life coach Bob Backlund. Backlund asked for his finishing move, so Young said he uses the Gutcheck. Backlund asked for his submission finisher. Young said he didn’t have one, so Backlund said don’t be a chicken and Young asked if Backlund was giving him the crossface chickenwing submission. Backlund said yes. Young was happy about that.
Analysis: At least there was some progress this week by having Backlund telling him to use the crossface chickenwing. Still no word on when Young will appear in the ring with Backlund by his side.
John Cena made his entrance as we near the top of hour three.
Cena did his hype man routine asking for excitement. He said it sounded like the crowd was a little disappointed. Then he talked about his feud with AJ Styles by mentioning that people chose sides going into their first encounter. Cena ripped on Styles for failing to stand on his own two feet because he leaned on The Club. Cena said that if you fight one member of The Club, you end up fighting the whole Club. Last week not only did The Club show up, but they did this…video aired the Magic Killer double team move on Cena on the stage.
Cena said it’s a day that every American looks forward to, but instead he finds himself looking over his shoulder. Cena said he had a message for The Club: “You want some? Come get some!”
AJ Styles walked out with his buddies in The Club, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Styles said what Cena doing is pathetic. He spoke about how in Tokyo, Japan this past week it was supposed to be a homecoming for The Club, but instead they saw Cena’s face all over the poster. Styles said that Cena found out pretty club that The Club runs Tokyo and soon they will run WWE, but that can’t happen until they get rid of Cena. Styles noted that the Powers that Be can’t get over the fact that at Money in the Bank, Styles won. Styles said that Cena may try to bury him, but The Club are his insurance policy and they enjoy beating up Cena like he does. Styles noted that no WWE superstar is coming out to help Cena and Styles told him it’s because Cena has put himself on an island that nobody else can relate to. Styles said that other superstars can relate to The Club. Styles talked about how they are the only ones with big enough balls to beat Cena up. Styles told Cena that every week he comes there, they’re going to beat him up. Styles asked Anderson what he wanted to do on Labor Day and Anderson said beat up Cena. Gallows said for Halloween he’ll dress like Bushwhacker Luke and beat up Cena. Styles said he’ll dress like Brutus Beefcake. Anderson said for Christmas he’ll get presents for his kids and hot Asian wife and beat up Cena. They said “beat up John Cena” in unison.
All three members of The Club walked down to the ring. They took down Cena easily. All three guys took turns pounding on Cena. Enzo Amore & Big Cass’ music started up as they made the save. They ran down to the ring to brawl with G&A while Cena went after Styles. Amore tossed Anderson out of the ring, Cena tossed Styles out of the ring and Cass nailed a big boot to knock Gallows out of the ring. Cena’s music played as the heels retreated. Cena raised the hands of Enzo & Cass.
Analysis: That was a long promo segment, but I thought Styles did a great job of talking about how much they love beating up Cena. The whole thing was just a way to spend 15 minutes setting up somebody to save Cena. That’s why Styles specifically talked about how nobody was out there to save Cena. It’s a way of telling the audience what is going to happen by saying the opposite. So crafty huh? It worked because Enzo & Cass are the right guys in a spot like that. They can probably do a six man tag soon.
Later on Raw it’s Team USA vs. The Multi-National Alliance in a 16 man tag. Becky Lynch vs. Summer Rae up next.
The Shining Stars did a promo holding American flags. They complained about America and suggested people go to Puerto Rico.
Analysis: This gimmick is still going on? They had one match in the last three months, yet they keep doing these cheesy promos.
Becky Lynch vs. Summer Rae
Summer was aggressive early as Natalya was shown looking at a monitor backstage. Summer put on a chinlock. Hair whip by Summer. They botched a suplex spot as Summer went for a suplex, but she ended up dropping Lynch on her head. That looked bad. Summer still got a two count as the ref checked on Becky. Lynch nailed a couple of clotheslines, a leg lariat and the Bexploder Suplex for two. Crowd is not interested in this match. Summer missed a kick, Lynch with the Disarmer submission and Summer tapped out after three minutes. Natalya was shown looking upset backstage.
Winner by submission: Becky Lynch
Analysis: * A simple match that I’ll only remember because of Summer messing up a simple suplex. I don’t mind Summer usually. That was just sloppy. Glad Lynch is okay.
There was a meeting between the Multi-National Alliance with Chris Jericho talking to his seven teammates. Jericho wished everybody a Happy Canada Day. Alberto Del Rio questioned why Jericho was the captain. They all argued. Kevin Owens spoke up by yelling at everybody saying that after what happened at the food fight he’s ready to beat up some stupid Americans. Jericho said “you better watch it tonight?” Zayn wondered what that is. Jericho: “It!” Zayn said those other guys are giving foreigners a bad name, so Zayn, Cesaro & Lucha Dragons said “amigos” together to end it.
Analysis: Interesting mix there. Thank you Jericho for wishing us a Happy Canada Day – it was on Friday. Drink it in maaaaaan!
The New Day trio walked out in their jumpsuits, so no match tonight. Kofi Kingston mocked the Wyatt Family while Big E said that the Wyatt Family keeps it All in the Family like Archie Bunker. Kingston said they would never spread those rumors and claimed that the Wyatts like them, which is why the Wyatts invited them to their compound. Big E said they would give them some Booty O’s. Woods didn’t say anything.
Erick Rowan showed up on the Titantron from their compound. He talked about how ignorance is bliss. Braun Strowman said a scream is music to his ears. Bray Wyatt said that New Day can make jokes or come to his world. He challenged them to come to his world and wondered if they are men or cowards. Wyatt wondered if they wanted to fight a battle that was going on since the beginning of time and let’s not forget that New Day started it. Wyatt told them they will be waiting for New Day: “Find me.” The video ended.
Kingston said the Wyatts really want them to go to the background. Kingston said that they accept and they will spread positivity all over that place. Xavier Woods finally spoke up: “I love the both of you like family, but what I fail to understand is why you don’t see what’s going on.” Woods said now they have to fight them on their terms where they have the advantage. He said that everything has been fun and games, but if you don’t see the danger that Wyatt is to them then he doesn’t think that the New Day will be able to survive. Woods dropped his microphone and left. Fans were chanting “no” as he left his buddies in the ring.
Analysis: We finally hear from Woods after a couple of weeks of silence from him. He dropped some realness on his buddies by saying that the Wyatt Family is pretty scary. I like it because it puts over the Wyatt Family as being a tough trio even though they haven’t wrestled that much in the last few months. If you have a Tag Team Champion like Woods saying that it’s smart because it gives the Wyatt Family some credibility. I’m not sure how they will do the segment where New Day finds the Wyatt Family, but at least it’s different than the usual. Sometimes different is good.
The 16 man tag is up next.
This week on Smackdown we’ll find out who will face Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. Who makes the decision? No idea.
Announced for Battleground is John Cena, Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. AJ Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson.
Analysis: I thought it might be Cena vs. Styles II at Battleground, but it looks like they’ll save it for SummerSlam assuming they are on the same show.
Members of the Multi-National Alliance made their entrance to the national anthems of their country: Cesaro (Switzerland), Lucha Dragons, Alberto Del Rio (Mexico), Sheamus (Ireland), Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn & Chris Jericho (Canada).
Analysis: I’m Canadian, but I don’t like their chances here. Sorry boys.
The Americans walked out together: Big Show, Apollo Crews, Zack Ryder, Bubba Ray Dudley, D-Von Dudley, Mark Henry, Jack Swagger & Kane.
Analysis: Some of the Americans are barely on Raw. What an interesting group.
18 Man Elimination Tag Team Match: (Multi-National Alliance) Cesaro, Lucha Dragons, Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn & Chris Jericho vs. (Team USA) Big Show, Apollo Crews, Zack Ryder, Bubba Ray Dudley, D-Von Dudley, Mark Henry, Jack Swagger & Kane
Owens started with Zayn. Then Sin Cara was in there with D-Von. Bubba tagged in and Dudleys hit the 3D on Sin Cara.
Eliminated by pinfall: Sin Cara
Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick on Bubba and Kalisto hit a top rope splash to eliminate Bubba. Time for a break.
Eliminated by pinfall: Bubba Ray Dudley
Analysis: Two falls in under a minute and already a break. That felt rushed.
The match is down to 7 on 7. Cesaro was in there with D-Von as Cesaro hit an uppercut and did the Cesaro Swing on him. Cesaro applied the Sharpshooter. D-Von tapped out.
Eliminated by submission: D-Von Dudley
Cesaro and Swagger did a “We the People” salute together. I enjoyed that. Cesaro tagged out, so Swagger nailed Jericho with a hard clothesline. Swagger powered out of a Walls of Jericho attempt. Swagger caught him with a belly to belly suplex. Swagger with a corner clothesline and his Swagger Bomb attempt failed as Jericho got his feet up. Jericho with a Codebreaker eliminated Swagger.
Eliminated by pinfall: Jack Swagger
Kane went in there, so the guys on the other team went after him. Everybody started brawling. Here’s another commercial.
Analysis: “Here’s an exciting moment with everybody brawling, so let’s go to commercial!” Okay then.
Back from break, Del Rio hit a Backstabber on Crews. Del Rio celebrated that, so Crews came back with a dropkick. It’s wig splitting time as Mark Henry nailed Del Rio with clotheslines. Kalisto tagged in against Henry, jumped right into his arms and Henry hit the World’s Strongest Slam to eliminate him.
Eliminated by pinfall: Kalisto
Owens went in, Henry ran the ropes and Owens hit an impressive Popup Powerbomb to eliminate Henry.
Eliminated by pinfall: Mark Henry
Owens was in there with Ryder. It led to Owens bickering with Zayn. Owens sent Ryder into Zayn to knock him off the apron. Zayn was brawling with Owens. Kane got in there. Owens hit Zayn in the back with a chair, so the ref eliminated Owens. Then Owens hit Kane with a chair.
Eliminated by disqualification: Kevin Owens
Analysis: It’s odd to eliminate a guy for hitting his own partner with a chair. The announcers even mentioned it and then Owens hit Kane, Cole pointed out how that would be the disqualification anyway.
Kane grabbed the chair and hit Owens in the back with the chair even though Owens was already eliminated.
Eliminated by disqualification: Kane
Kane hit a Chokeslam on Zayn. Crews hit a standing moonsault on Zayn to eliminate him.
Eliminated by pinfall: Sami Zayn
Sheamus went in and nailed Crews with a Brogue Kick to eliminate him.
Eliminated by pinfall: Apollo Crews
It’s now on 4 on 2 with Jericho, Sheamus, Del Rio & Cesaro against Ryder and Show. The heels worked over Ryder. Jericho sang a bit of “O Canada” because he’s awesome. Cesaro tagged himself into the match while the three heels argued with him for tagging in. Cesaro hit uppercuts on his three partners leading to the uppercut train spot on three guys. Cesaro hit an uppercut on Ryder. When Cesaro went for the Neutralizer, Ryder rolled through with a jackknife cover and that was enough to win.
Eliminated by pinfall: Cesaro
Analysis: That’s no typo. Ryder over Cesaro clean.
Ryder countered a Sheamus suplex with a neckbreaker. Ryder made the hot tag to Big Show. It led to Show cleaning house with clotheslines on the heels, then a running back splash and Show with a KO Punch on Jericho to eliminate him.
Eliminated by pinfall: Chris Jericho
Del Rio went for a standing side kick on Show, who was on his knees. Show blocked the kick and hit a Chokeslam on Del Rio for the elimination.
Eliminated by pinfall: Alberto Del Rio
It’s Show and Ryder against Sheamus. Show nailed Sheamus with some hard chops in the corner. Back splash by Show in the corner and then a knee to the gut. Sheamus with a dropkick to the knee. Ryder tag in, forearm smashes in the corner and Sheamus came back with a powerslam for two. When Sheamus went after Show on the apron, Show shoved him back into the ring and Ryder nailed the Rough Ryder on Sheamus for the pinfall win after 21 minutes.
Eliminated by pinfall: Sheamus
Winners: Big Show & Zack Ryder
Analysis: **1/2 It was a decent tag team match. Some of the eliminations were so rushed that you could barely react to them and they were already sending another guy in the ring. There were some fun moments like when Zayn and Owens were brawling because it fit their storyline. Owens hitting his own teammate for a disqualification was weird, which the announcers mentioned, but then he did hit Kane. Kane getting eliminated for hitting a guy (Owens) with a chair when he’s not in the match was weird too. Some of the other falls were so fast that they meant nothing. Apollo Crews beating Zayn should be considered a big deal. Instead, he was knocked out by Sheamus with one move.
An American flag was lowered above the ring. Fireworks went off in the building as Ryder and Show celebrated the win. That’s the end of Raw at 11:06pmET.
Analysis: I think it’s nice to have Show and Ryder as the survivors of the match, but does this mean they will have momentum when WWE books a regular show instead of a feel good Raw done to put over America? I’m not sure. I like Ryder and hope he is used more, but I don’t have much faith in the creative team to use him well.
Three Stars of the Show
1. Seth Rollins
2. Dolph Ziggler
3. Dean Ambrose
4.5 out of 10
Last week: 6
2016 Average: 5.67
Last 5 Weeks: 6, 5, 6.5, 5, 4.5
2016 High: 9 (April 11)
2016 Low: 4 (Feb. 29/Mar. 21)
I give it a 4.5 out of 10.
Going into the show I didn’t expect much in terms of major stories or matches. I think WWE knew that the TV viewership numbers for this show would be low due to the Fourth of July holiday, so they put on a main event match featuring babyfaces that aren’t on Raw regularly. As a result, it comes off as a weak attempt at meaningful show.
I liked some of the segments like Ambrose attacking Rollins at ringside and Enzo & Cass saving Cena. Those were just normal things, though.
There really wasn’t anything that was “must see” on this show. Some of it was really rushed while other parts made me groan while wishing this show was two hours instead of three.
Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays.
John Canton – email@example.com