RAW kicks off the way it should, with SETH ROLLINS out in front. Despite reverting back to heel mode, we just love seeing the guy back. He really was missed, and his arrogant a-hole attitude. As expected, Rollins remind us he never lost the WWE Championship, and Roman Reigns plays up his whole “I’m the guy” bland shtick. Shane McMahon comes down, and books the main event for Money in the Bank, Roman Reigns defends against Seth Rollins.
Up next, we get the first of the Money in the Bank qualifying matches, where we get a good match between Sami Zayn and Sheamus. Nice back and forth, and for a moment I thought Sheamus was going to MITB, but a Helluva Kick from left-field floors The Celtic Warrior and Zayn advances.
I think MITB this year is going to be epic.
Backstage: Apollo Crews is being interviewed by Renee Young, but then is attacked by an angry Sheamus. Feud imminent?
The New Day comes out to celebrate the 1200th episode of Monday Night RAW. Big E. teases throwing the cake on fans and JBL, however the Social Outcasts, minus the recently released Adam Rose attack. As hoped and expected, New Day defeat the trio. Heath Slater gets smashed with the cake. Fun short segment.
Our next qualifier pits Cesaro and The Miz in a fantastic match. Before the match, we got a long promo from the Miz and Maryse, which started to get a bit intimately uncomfortable. The match was intense, and so good, you just couldn’t tell who was going to win. Cesaro sold an arm injury during the match, but wound up hitting the Neutralizer for the win. Cesaro goes to MITB, and Miz will likely defend the Intercontinental Championship, but against who?
Backstage, Seth Rollins attempts to greet Stephanie with a hug, but gets no love. Steph says she is happy to see him back, but things have changed. Handshake, and a sad Rollins.
Apollo Crews takes on Chris Jericho in a qualifying match. Jericho looks like a wounded animal. Another solid match tonight, and Crews looked really good against the veteran. Apollo Crews has a look, it’s good for TV, but he’s lacking something. Personality maybe? Jericho still going strong after the Asylum match last night, heading to MITB, very nice. I had expected Crews to win, but I was surprised to see the battered Y2J nail a Codebreaker for the win.
I’m not sure this “Let’s Make Darren Young Great Again” gimmick is going to work. I really don’t.
Backstage, Ziggler and Corbin have words. This feud might never end.
Big Cass comes out for a match with Bubba Dudley, but brings back… ENZO AMORE! Crowd exploded. Enzo cuts a fantastic promo, although I noticed Cass seemed a bit confused as to when he was going to have his turn. Cass defeats Bubba Dudley rather quickly, and I wonder why this feud is still going since Enzo and Cass have soundly trounced the Dudleys in both tag team and singles matches.
In probably the worst Women’s Segment ever, Charlotte, in short, kicks Ric Flair to the curb. It came off all sorts of awkward. Dana Brooke was crap. She is trying way too hard to appear relevant, doing some ass-backwards version of the Flair Strut, bowing to Charlotte more times than necessary, and honestly has no reason to be there. Segment went way too long and got very uncomfortable to watch. Charlotte got a bit personal about how she could only see her father on television and was never around for her childhood. It really bugs me when they do angles like this. There is truth to it, I am sure, but Ric deserves better on television.
Next was an insane match between Dolph Ziggler and Dean Ambrose to qualify for Money in the Bank. The real shame is that both won’t be in the MITB match. Match was full of high spots and high impact, with the usual Ziggler flailing and flopping everywhere. Ambrose advances after a failed Zig Ziag attempt turned into the Dirty Deeds. Surprised Bacon Rorbin did not interfere.
Backstage, Ric Flair does something which appears to be a walk of shame, embracing Arn Anderson before he leaves the arena.
A weird promo from The Shining Stars. I just do not understand what the point is. I don’t.
Another qualifying match, featuring AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens. Before the match, AJ cuts a promo blaming both The Usos and The Club for being unable to win the WWE Championship. Gallows and Anderson come out and we get a bit of an argument going, with AJ saying it’s time to break up The Club and go their separate ways. Gallows and Anderson do not seem to take kindly to the suggestion.
The match with Styles and Owens is good. Not great, but a good, satisfying match. Owens is so entertaining. His non-stop banter and arrogance is so unique. Some fantastic spots, Styles lobbing Owens with a German Suplex, then Styles getting compacted with a cradle neck-breaker. Owens also went for a springboard top rope moonsault, missed, and then took a 450 splash from Styles. The action goes to the floor, where Styles winds up getting splattered all over the ring stairs with a powerbomb. In the ring, Styles evades a Pop-Up Powerbomb attempt and cracks Owens with a Pelee Kick, but is caught on the ropes and is powerbombed by Owens who gets the pin and win, advancing to the Money in the Bank Ladder match.
Now that is a main event.