RAW kicks off in true McMahon fashion, featuring Shane and Stephanie having an intense philosophical debate about the dimensions of genitalia. Yep.
Thankfully, the show picks up a huge amount of steam with the reveals of Mick Foley as General Manager of RAW and Daniel Bryan as the GM of what is now being called SmackDown Live. The crowd eruption for Daniel Bryan was insane. The roar was deafening. Could not hear his theme music at all. Great promos from each GM, with Foley talking about the Attitude Era and Steph revealing the revival of the Cruiserweight Division, possibly a Cruiserweight Championship, and Daniel Bryan discussing how SmackDown has been an underdog show and now it will be a show for those deserving of the spotlight.
Fantastic opening segment. Even with genitals.
Our opening contest is a wrestle-fest with Sami Zayn and Cesaro against Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho. Cesaro gets my vote for MVP, I love this guy. A ton of exchanges and the obligatory Owens/Zayn flying fists. Zayn pins Jericho following a small package.
Backstage, Goldust, R-Truth, Titus O’Neal, and Jack Swagger pitch themselves to Daniel Bryan, who is then confronted by Steph. She antagonizes him a bit, but DB just shrugs off.
“Let’s Try To Make Darren Young Relevant Again” match features Bob Backlund staring off into space at ringside with Alberto del Rio owning the former Prime Time Player as Miz and Maryse ramble on about direct to DVD releases and other macho nonsense. Maryse is not so good on commentary. Thanks to the Miz, the ref misses a pinfall attempt by Del Rio, which is reversed into a rollup and a victory by Darren Young. So… two wins by accident. I don’t like where this is going.
Backstage, the Big Show is chatting up Shane and Bryan. Rumors abound Big Show and Shaquille O’Neal discussed a potential WrestleMania match. PLEASE MAKE IT HAPPEN. YES! I want to see that.
John Cena is out on the mic, but we quickly forget as he introduced Enzo and Big Cass, who get a gigantic ovation. Enzo cuts a promo which has me laughing my ass clear off the couch and my wife staring at me like I am having gastric issues. Enzo has some very awesome words about AJ Styles and The Club, referring to Gallows’ sacrifice for being ugly, Anderson being generic, and Styles resembling a soccer mom. John Cena attempts to play straight-man acting all stumped and bewildered at what is happening. The Club comes out to interrupt, and cut a verbally scathing promo with more promises to #BeatUpJohnCena until… The New Day come out, attempt to calm Cena down and run down The Club as well. Their antics are hysterical as well, and while The Club stands confused, the W… W… E… Tag… Team… Champions explain to Cena how the whole “How You Doin’” works and mess around with everyone, beginning to list at 150 original PokeMon. Finally the final trio in this 12-man tag team match enters, The Wyatt Family.
The match is great, everyone gets a turn, even match, multiple brawls break out, and a great spot between Big Cass and Braun Strowman. Great spot from Xavier Woods, catapulting himself outside the ring onto everyone. Match closer sees Styles ducking Enzo who collides with Cena, resulting in Styles hitting the Clash on Enzo for the pinfall victory.
I have to say, John Cena was pretty good tonight with his “old geezer” routine of not understanding what is going on. Enzo was Flawless Victory tonight.
Interesting promo featuring Seth Rollins in an empty arena talking about how much the WWE Championship means to him.
Backstage Shane and Mic Foley have a chat, Shane seems to try to drive a wedge between Mick and Steph, however Foley defends his new partner and walks off. Interesting.
Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch attempt a match with Charlotte and Dana Brooke, except Brooke is freakin’ terrible and Natalya rushes out to attack Lynch. The end.
Segment with WWE Champion Dean Ambrose doing a Shield-like promo with a camera, sharing his thoughts on tonight’s championship match and Battleground.
Sheamus comes out for his… OH MY PRIMUS HE IS EVOLVING! The bright light makes it look like I’m staring into a 120watt light bulb. Good grief. Our next match features Sheamus and Rusev up against Zack Ryder and Dolph Ziggler. In a real fight, this wouldn’t be a fight. This match is mostly a beat down by the big guys, as Ryder is manhandled and Ziggler is forced to tap out to the Accolade. Don’t forget folks, after losing to Rusev sixteen times, Zack Ryder earns a United States Championship match.
The announce team need to brush up on some history, as this is NOT the first time Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton will have a match. Just go on YouTube.
Intense backstage segment with Daniel Bryan and Mick Foley starting off with some words in jest about their similarities, which gradually turn into an intense declaration of competition. Short, but to the point segment.
I can’t believe Alberto del Rio had to job tonight.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match: Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose
At ringside watching are Shane and Steph, with General Managers Mick Foley and Daniel Bryan. Dean Ambrose comes to the ring first, giving me a bad vibe about the outcome of this match. Great spots, Rollins hitting a frog splash, throwing Ambrose with the Turnbuckle Powerbomb who then turns it right into Dirty Deeds, but Rollins gets a foot on the ropes. Ambrose goes for the top rope elbow, Rollins blocks, counters into the Pedigree, and Ambrose kicks out at two. Crowd chant of Holy Shit. On the top rope, Rollins and Ambrose brawl, but Ambrose knocks Rollins into the ref. Rollins is back up on the turnbuckle, takes Ambrose down for a superplex, hooks up, and the ref counts three, but no winner is announced. In the clusterf***, Stephanie decrees that Seth Rollins is the WWE Champion, and as RAW closes appears to walk off with the championship.
However… On the WWE Network, the referee watches an instant replay, and announces since both men had their shoulders on the mat, the match is a draw. Ambrose drops Rollins with Dirty Deeds and takes the championship belt back.
Tomorrow night is the first live SmackDown show, featuring the WWE Draft Brand Extension, which will feature SIX of the NXT roster members being called up. This, will get interesting.