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WWE Raw results, recap, reactions (June 13, 2016): Never as sweet as it seems

WWE returned to the USA network for Monday Night Raw last night (June 13, 2016) from New Orleans, Louisiana and this was all about taking us home to the Money in the Bank pay-per-view (PPV) this Sunday night in Las Vegas. They did just that, to varying degrees of success.

Click here to get full results with the live blog. Let's get to reacting to all the night's events.


Wash your back so you won't stab mine

Dean Ambrose is fine. His character work is as entertaining as can be expected for what he's asked to do where he's asked to do it and his matches are just good enough to get by on. Again, he's fine.

But he killed this segment.

WWE, recognizing it could do more with six minute promo packages than in-ring appearances, kept Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns off television last week, airing vignettes in their place. Those vignettes did wonders to get across how much emotion this match is laced with.

It's not just about the WWE world heavyweight title; it's about redemption; it's about retribution; it's about a torn family still struggling to find their way following the traumatic event that tore them apart.

If you removed Ambrose from last night's segment, ALL of that comes across. You can FEEL it in Rollins' words when he screams at Reigns with utter disdain, looking down on him for holding a title he doesn't feel Roman deserves. And you can especially feel it in Reigns' words, as he allows the seething resentment to boil over into anger that will provide him all the fuel he needs to prove himself to a man he absolutely understands he needs to prove himself to.

It's exactly the kind of build you want for a major title program.

Instead, Ambrose was there to make it a joke, always lurking in the background with some silly face undercutting the depth of emotion here. He brought it back around when he made mention of the fact that he could win the Money in the Bank briefcase and cash in on the same night, and that's when he finally dropped the smile, but the segment was over by then.

This wasn't bad, but it could have been so much more.


Get in bed with your own kind

Sometimes it really is best to keep it simple.

WWE only had a couple weeks to build up to the first meeting between John Cena and AJ Styles at a major PPV and they've gone back to a tried-and-true formula: A guy who made his name on the independent scene, working for smaller companies busting hump to get to the big leagues, finally gets his shot at the man who personifies the biggest league of all.

Now, here we are. The story tells itself.

But because these two are such outstanding performers, they went and made it a monster attraction simply by hammering these points home while throwing in a few delicious shots along the way. Cena telling AJ he's not full of bullets, he's full of shit was a great line and Styles telling Cena he would beat up his K-Mart shopping ass was the perfect response.

There wasn't anything fancy here, just two big money wrestlers trading verbal shots before a big money match where they'll trade physical shots.

Can't wait.


All the best to all the rest

Trombone sex: This show opened with Enzo Amore and Xavier Woods going back-and-forth over the idea that Enzo may or may not have had sexual relations with Xavier's trombone. You could argue this is dumb, or you could laugh at how ridiculous it is, made even more ridiculous by the fact that these two played it totally straight and had a staredown like they were going to fight to the death over the fact that Enzo had his lips on Xavier's lady friend. His lady friend, again, is a trombone. This was super pro wrestling even before old timey strongmen and a couple of storm troopers from Japan showed up. The ensuing tag team match was, well, it was fine.

Corporate Kane: No. Don't do it. Please. Just let sleeping demons lie.

Rusev beats up Titus O'Neil: Pretty standard fare here, though Rusev is arguably the best "sneak attack beat down" wrestler on the roster right now. He just makes it look really vicious.

Paige def. Charlotte: That they teased a Charlotte-Dana Brooke break up last week before again teasing it this week more or less seems to confirm that Ric Flair may indeed be back sooner rather than later and that's a terrifying thought indeed. Then again, it could also simply be the start of another stop gap program before Sasha Banks comes back to stake her claim to the women's title. Either way, a Charlotte vs. Brooke title match on PPV sounds like six of the worst minutes of your entire life.

Sheamus def. Zack Ryder: This was just about the former beating up the latter before Apollo Crews showed up to run him off. Really lame build to what could be a fun match. Crews just doesn't have anything interesting going for him right now, and this isn't how to create that interest.

Sami Zayn def. Cesaro: Take note, folks, Zayn actually won a match on Raw against an upper mid-card level opponent. It actually happened. It was a good match too!

Kevin Owens & Al Del Rio def. Lucha Dragons: The match was fine, aided by the fact that they added the stipulation that if Sin Cara and Kalisto won they would get into the Money in the Bank ladder match.

Dean Ambrose def. Chris Jericho: A nice clean win after an average match, but the post-match shenanigans just felt so stock. We've seen this time and time again, and the new characters involved didn't make it feel fresh.

Hit and miss.

Random Twitter grade from @MikeyDowling: B-

Your turn!

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