Goddamn it WWE. Why do you always make me cry with those Memorial Day tributes? https://t.co/dUPNfRHcOy
— M.S.D. (@OmegaX80) May 31, 2016
The entire locker room stood at the stage during the tribute.
The silence in the crowd for the 10-bell salute. Chills. All of it. Chills.
This is where WWE really succeeds. Always. They have the best video packages for tributes. They knock them out of the park. Amazing. I cried. Yes, I did.
RAW kicks off with Shane and Stephanie McMahon talking about the upcoming brand split and SmackDown becoming a live show. They are interrupted by the New Day, who turn this into a hysterical segment, scaring the crowd by asking if this could mean the end of the New Day because of the WWE Draft. No answers are given, but The New Day plead their case to remain together, for the sake of Francesca II needing “all three of her fathers” around. We get a near dance off, until the Vaudevillians come out for their match.
The New Day and Vaudevillians get a decent length match, until Anderson and Gallows come down and beat up New Day, causing the ref to toss the match out. I’m wondering if The Club will end the New Day’s near-year long reign as W… W… E… Tag… Team… CHAMPIONS!! Backstage, Gallows and Anderson tell Renee Young they are doing this because they can do whatever they want without AJ Styles.
Big Show and Apollo Crews have an interesting segment, where Show seems to provide support to Crews, calling Sheamus a “bully.” Interesting, is this Show trying to sucker Crews into getting beat up, or is Show gone back the full face route by putting over the younger guys?
The Usos make very short work of Fabreeze or Breezango. They brawl with R-Truth and Goldust who were at commentary. This was too strange.
Roman Reigns comes out and talks about being “The Guy” until Seth Rollins interrupts, but only to tease a promo and multiple feints of charging the ring. Segment seems to drag as “boring” chants start to echo. I’m not sure what this segment was supposed to accomplish. Reigns still can’t cut a promo, and this whole “I’m the Guy” thing is just rhino-dung terrible. I get Rollins was attempting to generate heel heat, but this wasn’t the way to do it.
Apparently there was some sort of #Hatch trend being posted on social media. To be honest, never saw it at all until tonight. It was to reveal Goldberg as a special addition to the newest WWE2K series, WWE2K17 coming out later this year.
Goldberg, eh? Maybe we will get the Goldberg/Ryback feud before The Hungry Hippo calls it quits?
Rusev defeats Zack Ryder in a short, predictably painful match. I guess Rusev is only allowed to face lightweights to lock in the new version of the Accolade. Lana seemed to forget her accent while introducing her man.
Rusev’s post-match promo is interrupted by the same man who confronted him on SmackDown last week, Titus O’Neal. The big man cuts off Rusev and lets him have it hard to pay respect for Memorial Day. Titus just loses his cool, emotionally charged, very well performed, and just clotheslines the crap out of the current United States Champion.
Now, could this be Titus finally getting his first push towards a singles championship? Titus with the United States Championship would be awesome in my opinion. I hope Vince still is not made with him, because Titus could be a great champion. Or, ultimately, Titus is going to be fodder at either Money in the Bank or, possibly continue the feud to SummerSlam.
Short promo for Primo and Epico. They are inviting us to join them. Paying for our flights? Come on, put them back in the ring already.
The next segment is very interesting. We get a video package of Charlotte embarrassing and kicking Ric Flair to the curb with harsh words. During the video, we cut to various wrestlers who weigh in, some defending her wanting to go it alone, but how she said it was inappropriate, others feeling the whole thing was a show of disgrace and disrespect towards her father. I get WWE really wants us to hate Charlotte and show just how “evil” she can be, but scripted or not, this wasn’t the way to do it. You don’t just disgrace not just a legend, but someone’s father on screen like that, saying “You’re Dead.” I would have been fine with the comparisons to older wrestlers who do not want to leave the spotlight, but it went over the line. Poor taste.
I guess WWE succeeded though, it got people talking. The most interest part is a backstage clip of Stephanie McMahon saying she is embarrassed to have someone like Charlotte as the WWE Women’s Champion.
Another video package hypes a WWE Network program called the The Rise of John Cena.
The live crowd loses their minds as Enzo and Big Cass hit the ring! He goes through his usual opening promo and the crowd, and I imagine, the people watching at home are joining in too. “How you doin’!?” Ezno with some creative nods to the Green Bay Packers. Funny bit where Cass offers to serve up some size 16 boot sandwiches with all the fixins’ and Enzo asks Cass, “what type of cheeses are being served?” This prompts Cass to go through about a dozen different types with the crowd saying “How You Doin’” in “What?” or “Yes!” style between each one. Enzo is promo perfect on the mic. Wisconsin loves them some Enzo and Cass.
Enzo and Cass take on the Dudley Boys in a solid match. I have to say, Enzo and Cass looked damn good here. Dudleys sold everything dished out. Enzo and Cass get the clean win over the Dudley Boys, again. I am surprised Dudleys have jobbed so many times, but perhaps this might be the curtain call for the nine time tag champs.
Backstage, Dean Ambrose, Sami Zayn, and Cesaro exchange some helpful hints about their rivals, while Dean Ambrose makes fun of Canadians. Cesaro believes the Swiss do have a good streak of making reasonable decisions. Zayn reminds him he is Canadian too. This was hysterical.
Next up, John Cena returns, and gives a heartfelt speech dedicated to the military, all who served and currently serve. Very emotional. He then turns his attention to the “new era” and reminds the new crowd they will have to go through him. So, on that note, AJ STYLES comes to the ring and the live crowd absolutely loses it. Really, a year ago we never thought a moment like this would ever take place. Styles however, seems to take a friendly tone, and praises Cena until a handshake is interrupted by Anderson and Gallows. They taunt Styles and Cena, until Styles turns and attacks Cena! The Club is back! The Club beats Cena to the mat, and Styles goes back not once, not twice, not three, but four times to make the exclamation mark. Wow. That went great. Awesome.
In a horrible Women’s match, Dana Brooke defeats Natalya with what appeared to be a Michinoku Driver. Post match, Becky Lynch saves Natalya from Brooke and Charlotte. Ugh.
What the hell happened?
Our next match is weird but the payoff is great. Announce team plays up Dolph Ziggler’s amateur wrestling past from Kent State, as Ziggler and Bacon Rorbin will face off in a “Technical Wrestling Match” at Money in the Bank. In the ring, Ziggler puts on some headgear and mouthguard as the ref calls for the bell. He is about to tie up, but instead punts Rorbin right in the bacon bits. Ziggler, takes the mic and announces he has been disqualified, I really thought Ziggles was about to go off-script, his cynical attitude hitting the perfect mark.
Maryse introduces the Miz via Facebook video who informs us he is filming Marine 5. Taunts us about being Intercontinental Champion. Ugh.
Backstage: Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, and Alberto del Rio talk about how they don’t like each other and probably going to stab each other in the back during their match tonight. Comedy gold.
Our main event pits six out of the seven Money in the Bank participants as Kevin Owens, Alberto del Rio, and Chris Jericho vs. Sami Zayn, Dean Ambrose, and Cesaro. Action starts out fast from the bell, Cesaro has some great spots and a deadlift Suplex which just looked like gold. Everyone got their spots, some great back and forth action. Of course, with these six wrestlers, you knew this match would be satisfying. The finishing sequence saw Cesaro swinging Jericho around, then taking a Backstabber from del Rio, who then eats a Helluva Kick from Zayn, who almost took a Pop-Up Powerbomb, but jumped over Owens who was then planted by Ambrose with Dirty Deeds for the pinfall victory.
Once again, the term “solid show” comes to mind for tonight. The WWE Championship picture got a bit downplayed this week, taking a backseat to new feuds and an overall good performance by the mid-tier roster. SmackDown will get interesting as the new WWE Draft and brand split near.