What would Monday Night RAW be without kicking off with The Authority, in full force. Triple H and Stephanie lead the crew to the ring, and the Power Couple waste no time in belittling Dean Ambrose, going so far to say he was never a worthy contender for the WWE Championship, let alone ever be in the main event. Triple H orders Ambrose to come to the ring and return the WWE Title Belt stolen last night. Instead Roman Reigns shows up to inform us Dean Ambrose is not in the building tonight, and will not return the title until given another shot, at Money in the Bank, in a Ladder Match. Brazenly, Seth Rollins agrees, flips out, bashing every member of the Authority before stomping away like a brat. Triple H orders Reigns to stay in the ring because his match is right now.
King Barrett makes his way to the ring. Taking control early on Barrett seems to continue his trend of brawling in and out of the ring, using the outside more often. He plays a good jerk of a heel, but sadly once again, he is defeated yet again following an “out of nowhere” spear. I swear this must be Michael Cole’s new favorite catchphrase.
Backstage: Triple H tells Roman Reigns he has another match tonight against Mark Henry. If he loses, he is out of Money in the Bank.
Okay, I get what is going on. Rollins is turning sour, even for the Authority. The funny thing is, this is a complete regurgitation of Randy Orton about a decade ago. Ambrose is “holding the belt hostage” because we have never seen that before. I believe Ambrose is main event material, and 100% champion material. I hope this is a precursor to the real thing. As for Barrett, good grief. Why give him titles or crowns? This is beyond insanity. I have no diagnosis for this. Barrett is without a title, he goes on a winning streak. Make him champion (or King) and suddenly he goes on a worse streak than Freddie Joe Floyd.
Backstage: Nikki Bella is happy to find out she is the longest reigning champion of all current titleholders. Yay. Paige arrives to challenge her for the title, and Nikki opts to do it tonight. Face vs. Face?
Ryback vs. The Miz never happens because Big Show enters and KOs the Miz into next month. Big Show throws down a challenge for the Intercontinental Championship. Not sure how I feel about this being the first championship feud for Ryback.
In a battle of promos: Kevin Owens comes out and cuts a great storytelling promo on his win against John Cena. He talks about doing what he said he would do, but was bittersweet because his son is a Cena fan. Owens feels disgusted of how his son is “forced” to like Cena because of how Cena got exposure as a “hero” while he worked his ass off traveling the world… but wasn’t on television… Until now. Cena comes out, claiming he was going to hand the United States Championship over, but changed his mind. Instead he gets tough on Owens, cracks a joke about the marketing department at WWE, mentions the Funkadactyls and even points out a fan holding a “I’m Beating Cancer” sign. Nice touch. While Cena did sound like he regurgitated his whole “let’s fight routine” the build up for it was better than expected. Kevin Owens vs. John Cena at Money in the Bank will be epic.
Dolph Ziggler is accompanied by Lana for his match against Kofi Kingston. Kofi and Ziggler put on a fast paced match, until Ziggler counters a rollup into own of his own for a quick pinfall victory. The victory is short-lived as The New Day then hammer Ziggler until the timely save by The Prime Time Players! Yes! We come back from commercial to see a six-man tag match and Titus O’Neal is cleaning house. Great match featuring a team who deserves the next run at the titles, and O’Neal proves how he can take on all comers by hurling all three members of New Day around like nothing. Hitting a British Bulldog Powerslam followed by a Pump-Handle Powerslam earns the faces a solid win. Lana giggles watching Ziggler dance to the “millions of dollars” dance.
I guess Mark Henry is back to being a heel again. Roman Reigns by countout in a horribly slow match, but Henry gets irate and crushes Reigns with a World’s Strongest Slam followed by a splash.
Backstage: Reigns guesses correctly upon confronting Triple H and Steph, he has one more match tonight, against Bray Wyatt.
Okay… why on Earth are they having Reigns featured in three matches tonight? Is part of the roster on vacation?
Weird segment featuring various superstars making a Sonic commercial. The New Mega Powers have 56 takes due to their inability to complete a handshake, Big Show apparently is a method actor, and The New Day cuts the best promo ever.
Divas Championship Match: Paige vs. Nikki Bella
So, Nikki is presented as face by the announce team, however her in-ring antics say otherwise. Decent match, I guess the pressure of the NXT women is getting to the Divas. Bellas use Twin Magic because NOW they are HEELS again and we must make it OBVIOUS. What is obvious is the failure and ridiculousness of them using the “Twin Magic” switcharoo. First, boobs. Second, hair color. Third, they are wearing COMPLETELY DIFFERENT ring uniforms!!! Paige loses.
Hey! It’s Randy Orton! Almost forgot about him, didn’t ya? He faces Sheamus. His new entrance is pretty cool. I dig it. Orton and Sheamus have a “physical match” because that is all the announce team is able to come up with. Punch, kick, clothesline, shoulderblock, uppercut, spill to the arena floor. Match almost ended in a count out, except Sheamus resorts to using a chair. This one is over by DQ and Sheamus continues to lay out Orton all over the floor. Yawn.
Backstage: Byron Saxton interviews the injured Rusev who states feeling like a broken man with nothing… except he plans on getting EVERYTHING back. Except for his accent, I think he lost that with his luggage.
Bo Dallas vs. Adrian Neville in “We Get It… Neville is over, Dallas is DONE.”
Pretty much. Neville splatters the angry Bo Dallas with the Red Arrow. Game over. I see a Red Arrow off the top of a ladder in two weeks. I mean, why else would they put him in the match?
The Main Event: Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt
It only works when Daniel Bryan or CM Punk wrestled three times on one broadcast. It does not work for Roman Reigns. This worries me. They are pushing Roman Reigns so heavily as an underdog here, it is as though WWE did not learn their lesson from the Royal Rumble, where making it obvious Reigns would win turned out to be a bad idea. In a good match, Roman Reigns goes 3-and-0, and thanks to an assist by Dean Ambrose, fights off the Authority at the show’s end.
Why push Reigns so hard tonight? Why put his spot on the line when we know there are vacant spots yet to be filled? This has me worried.
While I am saddened Dean Ambrose will not be in the actual Money in the Bank match, he will have another title opportunity at the pay-per-view in a Ladder Match. This PPV might be awesome.