RAW kicks off with a Battle Royal. The announce team almost forget to let the TV audience know what the purpose of it is. The Miz is back and the winner will get to challenge for the Intercontinental Championship at WWE Battleground. Getting right to the conclusion, the ring full of majority low-undercards is won by Darren Young, because it’s time to make him great again! I guess since his buddy Titus got buried by Rusev, the other Prime Time Player gets a shot at gold.
A short promo hyping up the altercation between The Wyatt Family and The New Day when they spent the weekend visiting their “compound.” Interesting.
Backstage, Seth Rollins tells Shane and Stephanie McMahon he has some exclusive footage with Roman Reigns for his new segment, The Rollins Report. Vince McMahon will also be on TV tonight.
Backstage: Zack Ryder confronts Rusev, and is attacked by Sheamus. This gets better, as Sheamus then defeats Ryder, who is then attacked by Rusev. Oh, and he gets a United States Championship match at Battleground.
Okay WWE, we get it, Ryder isn’t just an underdog, but the ULTIMATE Underdog.
The no-craps given match of the night goes to Breezango vs. The Lucha Dragons. Shocker number one, Sin Cara goes botch-free, while Kalisto botches a spring board leap and lands badly. Second, Breezango gets the win. I don’t know what I’m watching anymore.
The first episode of the Rollins Report goes on, and it’s a funny bit with cuts from prior interviews, one of which appears to be from a segment with Michael Cole. After the funny bit, we get the serious bit when WWE Champion, Dean Ambrose, and I still can’t believe I finally get to say that. I love it. We get a fantastic verbal battle between the former Shield members. Ambrose cuts a killer promo about climbing his way up. Rollins retaliates with his accomplishments and the two just have faces of determination and passion. Wow. You almost forget this is all scripted. You can hear the crowd getting into it. We get a subtle build for an upcoming WWE Championship match, and this might be happening before Battleground.
Sami Zayn is out on commentary, and Kevin Owens refuses to come down for his match. After complaining to Stephanie, she orders security to remove Zayn from ringside. They brawl while crossing each other at the ramp. Cesaro comes out to face Owens, but the camera suddenly shifts to Vince McMahon arriving in his limo. He announces he will name the new SmackDown Commissioner tonight. In the ring, Cesaro and Owens tear the ring up with a fantastic back and forth match, I believe this is to be the style going forward from the upper class of the mid-card. Owens crushes Cesaro with a different finishing move tonight and the crowd loves every minute of the match. I do too.
Can you say Fight Forever? Sami Zayn rushes out after the match and fights Owens. Mr. KO winds up in the ring and at the mercy of The Cesaro Swing.
Backstage, AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows tell Renee Young, the team of Enzo and Big Cass are going to be in big trouble. They question whether Cena even cares for the assistance from Enzo and Cass, or maybe Cena is just using them.
The Social Outcasts are out. Sigh. Titus O’Neal defeats Heath Slater. Waste. Poor Titus. Hell, poor Slater.
Backstage, Sasha Banks chats with Renee Young.
The video of the odd encounter between The New Day and The Wyatt Family airs, showing New Day completely out of their element and we get a glimpse of Sister Abigail herself. After a brawl, we see the New Day surrounded by a multitude of Wyatt Family followers.
Up next Enzo and Cass verbally run down the Club prior to the match. Funny stuff as always. Solid match, Enzo and Cass are tough and entertaining, the Club are brutal. After a decent paced back-and-forth, Styles interferes, causing the DQ. Then to the shock of all, John Cena rushes the ring and cleans house. Even more shocking is the loud chants in support of Cena. I guess things can change after all. Then again, everyone hates Reigns right now so perhaps this puts Cena in the clear.
Sasha Banks takes on Dana Brooke tonight. Brooke looks like she, uh, er, her wardrobe might be a bit tight up top tonight. Sasha will be challenging Charlotte for the WWE Women’s Championship in the near future, but first she endures Brooke. Slightly improved, but something is off-putting about her. Announce team does a good job of putting over the improvement of the Women’s Division and how the standard is much higher than it used to be in recent years. Nice finish with a beautifully performed Banks Statement to earn the submission victory.
Post-match, Charlotte says Banks does not get a shot at the championship unless she defeats Dana Brooke again on SmackDown. Huh.
Our main event features Vince McMahon. Before we get to that, we are given the important reminder Dean Ambrose will defend the WWE Championship against Seth Rollins next week on RAW, the last RAW before the return of the Brand Split and the WWE Draft.
Shane and Stephanie come out with their individual entrances. Stephanie awkwardly attempts to insert the word “sucks” after the crowd chants “Shane O’Mac.” Thankfully, Vince’s theme hits before the crowd gets creative with Stephanie. Vince looking good as always, wants to get to the point. Live crowd gives him a nice ovation. Vince praises his spawn for doing a good job of running things for the past few months. Vince cuts a great promo on Steph and Shane for being disappointed about them getting along, and was hoping for them to turn on each other. Vince gives each a chance to make their case to become Commissioner of SmackDown. Steph brings up Shane’s interview on Mick Foley’s podcast. Nothing earth-shattering. Shane talks about bringing in change and being able to be blunt to Vince and not being afraid to do so. Shane gets a pretty big reaction, Steph plays up the brat routine. After a drumroll, Shane is proclaimed as the new SmackDown Commissioner. However, Vince then informs us all that since Shane is now on SmackDown, he will no longer be in charge of RAW. That role, is given to the new Commissioner of Monday Night RAW, Stephanie McMahon.
Vince then goes on a rant about the two becoming so competitive with their shows to become the best ever, and the two should consider who will be their General Managers to assist, and to consider, at the end of it all, who will one day get the “Keys to the Kingdom.”
Well, that was a interesting ending to RAW. You know, the part where Steph trips on the ring stairs.