What you need to know
Let's Go Cena/Cena Sucks is not a phenomena that can be contained by lines on a map, or oceans, or any of that geography stuff. So, the United States champion took his belt, his boos and his open challenge to London. There, a patriot named Bad News Barrett answered the call. Though he brought moves that Mick Foley endorses, he couldn't overcome ones that Stone Cold Steve Austin does not, and John Cena ended Monday still repping the red, white and blue.
He might be black and blue after Extreme Rules, however, since Rusev's social ambassador informed him that their match at the pay-per-view (PPV) will be a Russian Chain match!
Another match for that show was booked when Paige outlasted several other Divas in a battle royal for a shot at Nikki Bella's title. Not so fast, though, happy Englanders. Just as the Alabaster One was cutting her most babyface-ish promo ever, the last woman she eliminated turned heel and sent her to the disabled list (aka WWE Studios). With an evil laugh worthy of Bray Wyatt, Naomi staked her claim to the #1 contender spot.
Speaking of the Eater of Worlds, he's still talking and still no selling his WrestleMania loss to Undertaker. Someone is getting the love ripped out of their chest and replaced by fear courtesy of the new Face of Fear. Whatever that means. I hope he's targeting Taker's first manager, Brother Love.
Almost everybody in O2 Arena must hate their lives, because they hated Roman Reigns. In fairness, they also weren't too pleased about his opponent at the PPV, Big Show. Roman called Show a female dog, Show called Roman another word for your posterior...or maybe he was calling him a layabout. Either way, London didn't care, and then The Big Dog got chokeslammed on a taxi by The Giant.
Good day for the recent call-ups, as Neville continued to make a name (still just the one name, unfortunately) for himself with an array of amazing moves in a hard fought lose to Dolph Ziggler - who was then laid out by Sheamus. Kalisto popped even the jaded British crowd in his team's win over The Ascension. Lucha Dragons look to be getting a fast track toward title contention - especially with The Usos at half strength for a while. And the tag champs might be easy pickings, because even together, Tyson Kidd & Cesaro couldn't take out Randy Orton.
You know who Londoners do like? Fandango. A building full of people sang and danced right through his loss to Stardust and his break-up with Rosa Mendes. A break-up that isn't going so well is Damien Mizdow and The Miz. Summer Rae is now hanging with the former stunt double, who beat his old boss with a handful of tights, and...yeah.
Ryback, who just last week was theoretically in contention for a shot at Seth Rollins' WWE championship, this week was a heater for Luke Harper and Dean Ambrose's feud. Big Hungry was saved from a post-disqualification victory beatdown by the Lunatic Fringe, who broke off celebrating his win over Adam Rose to chase off the guy who dresses a lot like he does.
A whole lot of time was spent teasing Kane breaking away from The Authority - time that probably could have been spent letting Titus O'Neil and Darren Young make fun of the tag team division. It's funny because it's true. Anyway...Kane did smack the champ around pretty good in their match, but in the end, he stayed true to his demonic, bureaucratic roots and did the job for the Future.
Which lead to a scintillating main event...announcement? But not just one. TWO announcements! Rollins kicked back in his Barcolounger to smugly declare that in their Extreme Rules match, The Viper can't use his finisher. Orton fired back that his stipulation will supposedly keep J & J Security and Seth's other pals out of his business - their match will be in a steel cage. And that was Raw.
No seriously. That was it.
What to look out for
The gang didn't have far to go, as a bunch of the roster stuck around in London to film tonight's show. If you want to have your second (or maybe even third, if you're a NXT taping results reader) WWE show of the week spoiled for you, click here.
John Cena is open challenging his way across Europe, and tonight we're supposed to be able to see him face another bold soul for that U.S. title. Who will it be, or this being Smackdown, maybe the better question is, who will he be tagging with by the end of the show?
Our boi, D-Bry was still around for this, but it might be the last time we see him for a while. Rumors of his condition were already out there by Tuesday when cameras rolled on this one, so it'll be worth watching to see if they start to set up alternate plans for Barrett or the Intercontinental title if the decision is made to take him off more than just the remainder of the European tour.
Between Daniel Bryan's real life injury and Paige's kayfabe one, you almost wish WWE could find a time machine stuck in the form of a police box somewhere in the UK to bend space and time by a few weeks, when Brock Lesnar and AJ Lee were still here and the whole Creative landscape seemed new and exciting...
(Note: I know some folks have come looking for a more definitive match listing - that will be posted behind spoiler text in the comments. If WWE.com releases more information on anything that's officially going to take place on tonight's show, that'll be updated here)
What can WWE do to get you excited tonight, or will just be holding on and pretend they have a plan?
No matter what, your story will be better if you enjoy Smackdown with your companions here at Cageside Seats - see you tonight!