Kicking off RAW, Paul Heyman does the verbal ballet of keeping us entertained while Brock Lesnar does what he does best… remains silent. I love Heyman. The guy could talk for the whole three hours and I would love it. Kane and Seth Rollins come out, and are easily out-classed by Heyman. Rollins flubbed a line and the crowd caught on and would not let him forget it. Seems tonight Kane might earn a trip to Suplex City, being called out as Undertaker’s baby brother.
Out first match is a tag team match which sees Ryback and Randy Orton earn a win over Big Show and Sheamus, thanks in part to The Miz mucking things up as usual. I like where the Miz is at. He is so over-the-top arrogant, for each feud, he should constantly interrupt on the mic, egg on the wrestlers in the ring, and of course, interfere just to piss everyone off. He is really good at that. Thanks to his interference, Big Show chases him off, leaving Sheamus to eat an RKO followed by a Ryback Frog Splash.
Next up, we were supposed to get Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt, which turned out to be a setup by Ambrose and Roman Reigns, who ambushed Wyatt. The pied piper of the fireflies managed an escape after cracking Reigns with his lantern. Guess no Ambrose tonight. Sad.
Up next, might be the greatest segment featuring women… ever. The Bellas and Alicia Fox are in the ring spewing their same old rhetoric of being dominant, until they are interrupted by Stephanie McMahon. The heiress of the empire then brings Paige to the ring to announce a revolution in the Divas Division. As expected, we get women from the NXT roster!! First out is Becky Lynch, followed by Charlotte Flair who gets a massive pop from the crowd. Naomi and Tamina join in, claiming they want their shot, but Stephanie then brings out Sasha Banks, the NXT Women’s Champion, who sides with Naomi and Tamina. The Bellas then eat the beating of the lifetime, and are trapped in trio submissions. This might be the first time in a decade I have heard the crowd chant “This is Awesome” during a segment with women. Fantastic segment, and the live crowd added to the excitement. Change is here.
Following that segment, is a good back-and-forth between The New Day and the Prime Time Players and their partner, Mark Henry. The New Day seemed to have things in control, until all six started hitting finishers, with Henry squashing Xavier Woods with the World’s Strongest Slam. Fun match.
In another display of patheticness, Wade Barrett loses to R-Truth, again. I have nothing. Nothing to say at all. Just sadness.
John Cena comes out to do his U.S. Open Challenge, and out comes Rusev to challenge for the United States Championship. He gets on the mic, blaming Lana for having lost the belt in the first place. As expected Kevin Owens interrupts, suggesting they not wait for Battleground. Rusev flubs his line, Owens tells him to take his “Lana wannabe and flag, and stick them up his Chernobyl.” Suddenly, Cesaro’s siren is heard and the crowd loses their minds. Cesaro, Owens, and Rusev start brawling as Cena ducks out of the ring. The ring is on fire.
What happens next is a work of art. Cesaro, Rusev, and Owens put on a near-30 minute wrestling classic. Granted, Owens walked out 20 minutes in, but even afterwards Cesaro and Rusev went to war. Prior to the walkout, Owens attempted to German Suplex Rusev, but instead, Cesaro grabbed Owens, and threw them BOTH with a double German! The action was non-stop. Rusev and Owens went at it. Then Cesaro took them both on, and Cesaro certainly gets the MVP award for this one, with multiple suicide dives, Rusev took a lot of bumps, and sold everything like a million bucks. Owens, true to form, was a heelish jerk, and dished out a crapton of punishment, while also taking a crapton as well. Cesaro swung Rusev, held him for a vertical Suplex, locked in the Sharpshooter, but none of this could put the former U.S. Champion away, as Rusev hit a thrust kick for the pinfall win, and the chance to face John Cena, right now.
Cena owns Rusev, until going for the Attitude Adjustment where Rusev counters into the Accolade. Cena appears trapped, however Kevin Owens hits the ring, causing the DQ finish. He hits an impressive pop-up powerbomb on Rusev, then tells us all he will be the one to take the title at SummerSlam.
Backstage: Seth Rollins confirms with Kane, their “plan” is set for Brock. Seth, politely warns Kane should it fail, it’s “on you.”
The cast of Tough Enough is introduced by Lita, and the crowd goes dead. The guys all try to rile up the crowd, while the women do the standard wave and turn so everyone gets a nice 360 view.
We get an extremely creepy promo from Stardust followed by a comic-book style promo for Stardust vs. Neville. This is an obvious initial setup for Stardust vs. Stephen Amell aka The Arrow.
Our final segment of the evening features a tense contract signing between Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar for the championship match at Battleground. Heyman taunts Rollins, and then catches him going for something hidden in the table. A stick. Really? That was the “big plan” with Kane? Inevitably Rollins and Kane strike, but Brock overcomes and demolishes them. Kane winds up getting “hurt” by Lesnar. Rollins returns to the ring after Lesnar leaves and goes on a temper tantrum. Poor Rollins. Scripted very well. Rollins berates Kane, calling him and his career a big disappointment. He attacks Kane as the show closes.