WWE returned to the USA network for Monday Night Raw last night (June 20, 2016) from Phoenix, Arizona and this was all about setting up the next month of television leading into the Battleground pay-per-view (PPV) in July. It was also time to get rolling on promotion for the upcoming draft.
Click here to get full results with the live blog. Let's get to reacting to all the night's events.
Justice is done
We knew one day it would come to this: Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose, collectively known as The Shield when they first arrived in WWE, battling it out over the WWE world heavyweight championship. We waited for this for a long time.
It feels good, doesn't it?
It also feels strange and uncertain, like being pulled in multiple directions at once. It's become difficult not to cheer for Rollins -- especially when he's making legitimate arguments -- but Reigns, despite the response to him in some corners of the fan base, has earned a great deal of respect. He battles in a way that it's also hard not to start pulling for him once you lose yourself within the match. Then, of course, there's Dean Ambrose, who just finally paid off a long journey with a well deserved title win.
Who the hell are we supposed to cheer for? Maybe it doesn't matter.
Think of it: When Reigns hit that spear on Rollins and they were both laying on the outside trying to get back into the ring in time to answer the 10 count, the audience was counting along with the referee. Sure, they booed at the decision but didn't it feel like the first time you've ever rooted for a double count out?
This is cool. It's fun to watch.
Winning is all
I'm not so sure I can handle more MIND GAMES nonsense from WWE, especially as it relates to AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows. Having said that, I did like the insincere apologies delivered in earnest before engaging in the exact behavior they were apologizing for.
That's just good shitheading.
Still, the entirety of the exchange between Styles and John Cena boiled down to:
Cena: "You can't beat me without help."
Styles: "Can to!"
Cena: "You don't have any balls."
Styles: "Do to!"
Cena: "I will beat you up."
Styles: "Stone Cold Podcast."
Then they had Cena beat up on Anderson for a bit before he was beaten down by The Club. It fits, we've just seen it already. Your mileage may vary but WWE would do well to change it up a bit.
All the best to all the rest
Sami Zayn def. Kevin Owens: I'm not sure why they felt the need to tell us THIS match was going to settle their issues once and for all when they haven't been able to settle anything for like a decade now, but that's what they did. Sure enough, Zayn won, Owens attacked after, and commentary immediately changed to "this is just getting started" before settling on "this accomplished nothing." It's incredible. It's a good thing these two are still amazing together, even after all these years.
John Laurinaitis returns: They have brought back General Managers of days gone by for the express purpose of making them look dumb and bad. It's a great commentary on how dumb and bad WWE doing something like that.
Enzo & Cass def. The Vaudevillains: They needed to wrap this up, and they did. It was entertaining for what it was, which wasn't much but didn't need to be. What's more, they must think highly of them considering they had them rubbing shoulders with Shane McMahon before putting them over here.
Sting dumb: I denied it for as long as possible but the reality is Becky Lynch may actually be the dumbest babyface since Sting. She actually did an interview that included her saying she has "no idea" why Natalya attacked her at Money in the Bank. It's actually amazing.
Baron Corbin def. Zack Ryder: Just short of a squash, so it appears they're building Corbin for whatever comes next.
Sasha Banks returns: Paige was given a title shot at Charlotte, where she lost thanks to Dana Brooke interference, but it was really just the set up to bring The Boss back and put her in the title mix. The match wasn't very good and Dana's interference wasn't any better but Banks is back, so this can be a win.
The Wyatt Family return: A feud between The Wyatt Family and The New Day sounds interesting, though I tend to agree with Alex Greenfield's assessment that it's either going to totally bomb or be brilliant. Xavier Woods acting like he was getting sucked into Bray's gaze was an interesting introduction, and has me wanting to see where this goes next.
Rusev vs. Titus O'Neil: FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!
Final thought: Not a bad show at all.
Random Twitter grade from @C_Dowley: A