Monday Night RAW was LIVE from the Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL on 6/27/2016!
Great to see RAW from one of the best cities in the world! A city that boasts such tremendous cigar lounges as Cutter’s Cigar in Brandon and Tampa Humidor just off Busch boulevard. A mecca for comic book lovers, where a short trip can find you just off State Road 60 and Parsons at Read More Comics. Obviously my home away from home and I’m glad to see a crucial RAW taking place within a city that I love. A city that the Scrum Sports calls home and tonight, RAW was in our backyard!
Starting with the pre-show, they took on the suspension of Roman Reigns for a wellness policy violation. Glad to see they didn’t hit us with the injury angle or some vacation time. He will be competing at Battleground as it will take place after the violation and after the draft, but fans of Roman will see him involved with the title situation.
Show starts off with Seth Rollins in the ring, his music playing and he’s ready to go. He talks about Battleground and the Shield triple threat. He begins to go and he says the hell with it, let’s talk about Roman Reigns. Wow. Here we go! He talks about the Roman Reigns “scandal” and how his mistake embarrassed Seth. He says as he brought Reigns in, the bust soils Rollins’ good name. They show the twitter where Reigns apologized to fans and loved ones and how he owned it. Seth mocks the apology and he says “why start now”? He mocks the one vs. all line and how Roman never had any friends. He mocks the “good guy, bad guy, the guy” line. Seth mocks him owning it. He says congrats on fessing up after the fact. Seth says he owned Roman with every opportunity they’ve had against each other. Seth says Reigns doesn’t deserve a second chance or forgiveness. He says he doesn’t deserve a main event at Battleground and that it should be singles action against Ambrose. The champ is out to a massive pop. “The Dude”, the Lunatic Fringe heads to the ring with the title slung over his shoulder. He grabs a mic and enters the ring, taunting Seth with the title belt. Ambrose cracks on Seth’s demeanor and taunts him some more. He says Roman made a mistake, another mistake was Dean being friends with Seth. He says Seth wears skinny jeans. Ambrose is set to continue and AJ STYLES is out! Mixed reaction, but AJ demands to get Roman’s spot in the Battleground main event and the crowd is eating it up. He references his victory over Cena and the crowd is still going crazy. LOUD “AJ Styles” chant. Styles wants a fatal fourway as Ambrose says Roman is still in the match.
DOO DOO DOO DOO! Here comes the 15 time world champion to a “John Cena Sucks” chant. They love him in Tampa. He takes his residence up north! Crowd is stoked for this opening. Cena puts over Ambrose as a fighting champion.
“He will fight a friend, a foe, or a fraud. Will he fight a franchise?” -John Cena
What a line. Quote him on that line. He talks about living in Tampa and his WWE debut. Talks about partying on South Howard and getting stuck in traffic on the Vet. Appreciate that. As the kids say, Hyde Park is “lit”. Cena demands a spot in the match for a fatal five way. Seth Rollins is frantic and he’s coming unglued at this point. STEPHANIE MCMAHON comes out and the caps are going crazy in this coverage of the opening segment. Steph says she’s got a solution to their problem. Steph says Reigns’ mistake was an embarrassment. She says that Ambrose being champ isn’t just embarrassing, she is mortified. Shane O’Mac back on vacation again, cashing in that summer leave I suppose? Steph likes the idea of Cena and AJ joining the Battleground main event, so tonight she books Seth Rollins vs. John Cena and AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose! If they win their matches, they’ll be added to the Battleground match. She wishes them all luck except for Dean. What a card for Tampa!
-A graphic is shown for a Highlight Reel hosted by Chris Jericho, which will feature Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn and then we see Charlotte and Dana Brooke headed to the ring before commercial for tag team action against Sasha Banks and Paige!
Tag Team Match:
Charlotte/Dana Brooke vs. Sasha Banks/Paige
The primal scream and Paige heads to the ring first. Sasha Banks out to follow to a loud reaction. They plug an upcoming Muscle and Fitness featuring the Boss and after that the heels head to the ring to get things underway. They shown the Spanish commentators at ringside calling the action for great Tampa fans and JBL takes a shot at Messi’s missed PK. Ouch. Sasha and Dana start things off and Sasha takes charge by ramming Dana into the turnbuckle. Paige gets a tag and Dana is dumped and Charlotte runs in to eat a double dropkick. The faces are in control as they take an early commercial break. Heels in charge after the commercial and Charlotte is in control of Paige. She cheap-shots Sasha off the apron and keeps control. Paige nearly able to make the tag, but is cut off. Paige makes the comeback and the Boss is in! Dana Brooke is in and the Boss explodes with high powered offense. Double knees to the midsection and a cover, but Charlotte breaks up the count. Paige drops Charlotte like a sack of dimes as Dana eats a backstabber and then she taps to the Banks statement and we have a decisive victory for the faces!
Winners: Sasha Banks and Paige
-Commentators welcome Chinese fans to RAW via PPTV and they plug the recent signing of Wang Bin. They show highlights of the fierce Titus O’Neil comeback last week against Rusev. They’ll compete against each other after the commercial in singles action in a non-title match.
Rusev (c) vs. Titus O’Neil
-The action starts after introductions and following the commercial and it’s back and forth early. Huge “Let’s Go Titus” chant as he also makes his residence in Tampa. Rusev takes charge with a series of kicks and a slugfust ensues. Rusev charges the corner but eats an elbow and Titus hits a shoulder tackle and then a clothesline. Titus looks for a big boot, but Ruev escapes to the outside to regroup. A double clothesline on the outside leaves both men down and out as the ref begins a countout. Rusev charges and Titus dumps him over the barricade and he makes it back in, beating the count and winning the match as a result of doing such.
Winner: Titus O’Neil (Via Countout)
-Steph is shown backstage on the phone and she bumps into Corporate Kane. He just wants a chance to be considered as the man to run Smackdown. THE MIZ and MARYSE walk into the segment! The IC Champ is upset that the red carpet wasn’t rolled out. He talks about his acting coaches saying he’s top notch and that he’s being considered for Star Wars and Star Trek. Kane says he was good in his own WWE movie “Countdown”. Kane said if he was in charge, he’d have a huge problem with his IC Champion being gone longer than 30 days. Kane says he’d book a title match tonight! Steph agrees and The Miz will be defending the title and it’ll be a surprise. Steph says his acting coach would call that a “cliffhanger”. Who is it? Will it be Cesaro? Will Balor watch finally be over? Will Mark Henry make a celebrated cameo to draw a reaction for the Sillsby native? We’ll find out later! Commercial.
They plug John Cena hosting the ESPY’s on July 13th and we’re headed back to the ring for action! It’ll be Rollins and Cena! This should be a great contest!
Seth Rollins vs. John Cena (If Cena wins, he’ll in the main event at Battleground)
-Rollins hits the ring and Tampa gives Cena a proper hometown reaction as the two get ready to collide. Great “AND HIS NAME IS…JOHN CENA” signs. They vine videos never got old. Apparently John Cena was once revealed as the White Ranger in an alternate take! Cena charges down the ramp and slides into the ring as the bell sounds. MASSIVE “Let’s Go Rollins/Cena Sucks” chant as the lockup starts things off. Seth with a side headlock and Cena takes his down with a shoulder after sending him into the ropes. A slight “you can’t wrestle” chant directed at Cena. Get over yourself folks, he isn’t wrestling Khali anymore. He’s in there with the Architect as Rollins is in charge with right hands. Float-over dropkick, cover and a kickout. A right hand staggers big match John. Cena buys himself some time with a dropkick. Right hands by Cena and he shoots Seth into the corner. He eats a back elbow and a top rope maneuver by Rollins. Repeated stomps and rights by Seth as he applies a chinlock. Cena fires off the comback with two shoulder tackles, a spinout slam and he doesn’t get the five knuckle shuffle off as he’s countered by Rollins heading into a commercial. There were three of the five “moves of doom” of yesteryear for those challenging the credibility of Cena’s in-ring acumen. Back from the break with Cena LITERALLY going for the five moves of doom again. We get the five knuckle shuffle and he tries for the AA, but Seth escapes before nailing John with a superkick and then a cover. Cena out at two. Cena back with a tornado DDT and a two count of his own. Now we’ve got the “this is awesome” chant. Inzaguri by Rollins and another two count. We get a right hand exchange before Rollins hits a single leg dropkick. Cena blocks a high risk attempt with a meat-hook shot. Rollins counters a Cena attempt with a buckle bomb and another two count. Frogsplash attempt by Rollins and Cena moves. JBL references the late, great Eddie Guerrero. Cena up top, but Rollins leaps up top and nails a superplex and then a Falcon arrow on Cena for another two count. Pedigree attempt by Rollins, but a slingshot by Cena leads to an AA on Rollins. Rollins gets his foot on the bottom rope. Rollins tries to the pedigree after escaping another AA attempt, but Cena slaps on the STF. The Club makes an appearance at ringside as Cena is livid. He says AJ can’t let him have a match without interfering. Rollins takes advantage of the distraction for a pedigree and a three count and we know how the other match will end this evening as a result. Nevertheless, the Club did their job and Cena is left laying by the Architect.
Winner: Seth Rollins
AJ is grinning at ringside and he says “Rollins, you owe me one!”. They post the graphic for the second match for the Battleground opportunity before heading to commercial.
BOOP BOOP BOOP BOOP! You’re SAWFT, you’re sloppy! Enzo Amore and Big Cass are out onto the ramp for tag team action. Enzo works the stick like only he can. Talks about riding a wave of fan support. He says they are gonna ride that wave straight to the top. He said he wants to see the wave all around Amalie
Tag Team Match:
Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. Carlos Toche/Mitch Walde
-Enzo and Cass work over these two jabronies in short order and we get the BADA BOOM SHAKA LAKA before I can finish typing that out. It’s like watching a classic episode of WWE television from the eighties. We get the wave thanks to the Tampa faithful. Good ole’ enhancement talent. Big Cass hits the S-A-W-F-T line as they are interrupted by the Social Outcasts. Bo Dallas says they aren’t S-A-W-F-T. They spell out the word “hard” to describe themselves. Heath Slater says a few words, apparently he was in Marine 5 as well. Curtis Axel calls the Outcasts “hard OG’s”. Enzo makes a sexual innuendo and Cass does the same. Certainly not fit for the PG era. Bo is hip to the joke. The Social Outcasts charge the ring and Slater eats a boot from Big Cass as Bo and Curtis decide to take their leave. The music plays and Enzo and Cass stand tall.
Winners: Enzo Amore and Big Cass
-Back from a commercial with another “Make Darren Young Great Again” promo. They show a clip earlier where both WWE and NXT superstars competed alongside Special Olympians. WWE is supporting a new global partnership. Very cool. They pan to the stage where Renee Young and The Big Show are onstage with several of the athletes and they speak about Play Unified. Again, a great opportunity for WWE to support a fine organization.
Summer Rae vs. Becky Lynch
Natalya is on commentary as they head directly into this match after the commercial break. Summer Rae is in the ring as Nattie offers her reasoning behind the attack on Becky and hopefully this will lead to a sorely needed singles victory for the lass kicker. Becky heads down to the ring to a positive reaction as she tosses her steampunk coat at Summer Rae and then she slides out of the ring and leaps onto Nattie. The match doesn’t even get started as Becky tears into Nattie. Nattie is tossed into the barricade as Summer Rae just waits in the corner. Nattie leaves the ringside area and the match is thrown out.
Winner: No Contest (Never Official Started)
After the commercial, they show Jameis Winston of the Bucs in attendance and he’s hype! Legitimately looks excited to be there and the fans show their appreciation. “Break The Walls Down” and we have the opportunity to “drink it in, man” as Chris Jericho welcomes us to the highlight reel. Michael Cole says Jericho’s scarf is 100% Mongolian yak. Jericho has the mic and repeats the word “Quiet” like a robot. The introduction to the program is made and he says it’ll be a wild one. The guests are hellbent on ruining their own careers at the expense at taking the other man out. He references Ambrose winning the title and the infamous thumbtack bump and he brings out Kevin Owens first. KO gets a grand reaction. Glad to see fans of the villain as he makes his way down to the ring. Jericho then introduces Sami Zayn and he comes out to a great reaction as well. The two men join Jericho in the ring for what might be a volatile segment. Nice “Ole” chant as Jericho says he had the Jeritron-5000 raised so that it won’t be harmed. Jericho talks about their past and he says it must have hurt that KO stabbed Sami in the back with Valyrean steel. Nice GoT reference and a hell of a finale last night. Sami cuts Jericho off and he says he is out here to put an end to things. Sami talks about costing KO many opportunities and KO just leans against the ropes, listening intently. Zayn calls KO a coward as KO just continues to listen. Zayn mocks KO saying everything was just business and that it was for his family and to make money. Sami believes KO resents the fact that he was signed first over KO. He tells KO to “grow a set” and the fans chant it shortly thereafter. Jericho plugs the chant. KO says the truth is the truth and that it was in fact business and the right move for his career. KO said it was Sami that ruined the friendship. KO says he wasn’t upset that Sami got his big break. KO says Sami wasn’t happy that he won the title at Sami’s expense using some reverse psychology. KO says he was a better friend to Sami then Sami was to him. He says none of it matters now. KO says he’s cool with doing it again at Battleground. Jericho plugs it. Jericho then says Sami is a terrible friend and a terrible example of what it takes to make it. Jericho says KO will never be as great at him and that Sami still cares what all the “mutton-heads” in the crowd think. He says it doesn’t matter what the people think and it makes Jericho want to slap his “stupid idiot” face . He won’t do it though, he’ll let KO do it. Jericho is gonna give these “cretins” something to enjoy. The gift of Jericho. “Drink it in man”. Double superkicks plant the first ever undisputed champion and we barely got the chance to sip from the cup of the Ayatollah.
Up next after the commercial, we’ll see the Miz defend the IC Title against a mystery opponent.
IC Title Match:
The Miz (w/ Maryse) (c) vs. Kane
-The IC Champ is out via a red carpet entrance along with his lovely wife, Maryse. He heads into the ring, ready to defend against the mystery opponent. The pyro erupts and it’s the Demon Kane! The grizzled veteran heads to the ring to compete for the IC Title as the Miz is shocked by the reveal. The bell sounds as Kane gets a great reaction. The Miz is soundly booed, but it’s nice to have him back. He’s been great since he won the belt. Miz charges in and he eats a throat punch as Kane works the champ over. Kane charges the corner as Miz moves and works Kane over in the corner. Miz charges into a chokeslam attempt, but he kicks the knee. He hits the ropes and eats a big boot from the veteran. Kane sends Miz into the corner twice and follows both throws up with clotheslines. Side slam by Kane and a pinfall attempt. Kickout by the Miz. Kane nails a vertical suplex on The Miz. Another kickout by the Miz following a low dropkick. Miz eats another throat shot after a failed attempt at coming off the top rope. Maryse climbs up onto the apron and takes a spill as Miz takes charge. Maryse is writhing in pain as Miz tends to his wife on the outside and he takes a countout loss as a result of such. Maryse draws up the crocodile tears as Miz carries his wife up the ramp and out of harms way. That’s that as Kane gets the countout victory in the title situation.
Winner: Kane (Via Countout, No Title Change)
-They head to commercial as we find out the action continues after the break as we’ll have a tag team match pitting Apollo Crews and Cesaro against Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus! Cool! After the commercial, we find out that Maryse was indeed acting, feigning the injury. The Miz calls it an Oscar caliber performance. Maryse corrects him and says it was on TV so he says it was Emmy worthy.
Tag Team Match:
Apollo Crews/Cesaro vs. Alberto Del Rio/Sheamus
Down to the ring and Cesaro makes his way out first to a great reaction. Cesaro makes his way past two podiums, one for RAW and one for Smackdown and they plug the live draft. Apollo Crew is out and he gets a modest reaction. I do love his CFO theme song though. It’s pretty legit. They show the awesome Brogue Kick spot from Smackdown which got Sheamus a countout victory. The Celtic Warrior is out next and he is followed by ADR as they prepare for the tag match. The bell sounds and Sheamus watches his former League Of Nations teammate starts things off against Crews. Crews with a hiptoss and a quick offense and Cesaro is tagged in and he conducts the uppercut train early on. The crowd encourages the big swing, but Sheamus interrupts and ADR is able to turn the tides and he nails a running inzaguri. A DDT plants Cesaro and a pinfall follows. Cesaro kicks out. ADR places Cesaro in the tree of woe and he stomps away on Cesaro as Sheamus force tags himself in. Dissension between the former League teammates as the “You Look Stupid” chant starts. Sheamus hits a high running knee and an irish curse backbreaker as he works Cesaro into a rest hold. Sheamus teases a tag, but he goes right back to work on Cesaro. Cesaro firing off right hands, working the comeback. Cesaro reverses into a power move as he gets the tag and Apollo Crews is in! ADR is in, but Apollo builds the head of steam and he nails several clotheslines. ADR launches Crews over the top rope and then he nails a running inzaguri on Sheamus! “Si, Si, Si” chant as ADR walks out of the match as Sheamus is apparently still the legal man? They counted the inzaguri as the tag. Crews repays the ring stair bump from Thursday, he then hits the spinout powerbomb and gets the three count as the faces come away with a tag team victory.
Winners: Apollo Crews/Cesaro
-JoJo is backstage with Ambrose who talks about being the world champ. He says it’s been good times but he’s sad he didn’t get a parade. He said having live animals and things are tricky without permits. Classic Ambrose. He says he does’t do well with idle time, he likes being in the ring. Stephanie McMahon walks into the segment. She says it’s appalling that an unshaven, unkempt man is the world champion. Steph says if AJ wins tonight and gets into the match, she’s one step closer to ending the nightmare. Dean says deep down she really likes him. Commercial break.
Back and they plug an appearance from the world champion, Dean Ambrose, on MizTV this Thursday on Smackdown. We get a quick cut and it looks like the Wyatts but it’s The New Day dressed up like them! Xavier is geared up like Luke Harper, Big E. like Bray and Kofi like Rowan. They talk about the negativity of the Wyatts. Kofi says they need a big ole’ bowl of Booty O’s! They enter the ring to a HUGE “New Day Rocks” chant. Yes they do Tampa. Yes they do. Kofi says the Wyatts are intimidating, but the most intimidating thing about them is their hygiene. Big E. asks if you’ve walked by and gotten a waft? He then plugs Dale Mabry highway and the 813! Traffic and construction still awful on that premiere Tampa road. Big E. was born in Tampa and Kofi puts things back on track with a ‘WHO” segment. The crowd goes full owl. Kofi says they are gonna roast the Wyatts for the rest of the show. It’s short lived as the Wyatts makes their official entrance. They’ve had enough of the comedy. This really is a unique feud already. Bray says “it’s a new day, yes it is!”. Wyatt says the masses line up like ravenous dogs. Wyatt talks over a “New Day Rocks” chant. Wyatt says go ahead, vilify me! Wyatt says his sole purpose on the earth is to tell them what they need to hear. He says the world isn’t unicorns and rainbows, it’s a cruel world. Wyatt says remind him how the power of positivity can help a man who lost his job. How does it help him feed his children? Kofi says PoP is a way of life. Big E. says it’s a song, it’s a movement and it’s something that flows through the body. Wyatt says what about you Xavier? Do you agree with them? He says Xavier looks shook. He asks that Xavier confide in him. Bray says they are just playing a game. In this game, there is only malice. He says every knee shall bow and all will say “new day falls”. The scene cuts. Up next, we’ll have the main event!
They plug the Wyatts on ESPN with the Coach tomorrow as Renee Young catches up with the New Day backstage as they reference “Cut It” by OT Genesis again. We head to ringside.
Dean Ambrose vs. AJ Styles (If Styles wins, he’ll in the main event at Battleground)
-The champ is out first to a massive reaction and he is followed by AJ Styles who also gets a decent reaction. Seth Rollins is at ringside for commentary. “Let’s Go Ambrose/AJ Styles” chant early as the bell sounds. Ambrose in control early with a rest hold, but AJ not staying grounded long. AJ turns the tides, grounded Ambrose with a side headlock submission of his own. Ambrose up and he whips AJ into the ropes and he ducks the head for a back body drop. AJ too smart for that and Ambrose escapes an early Styles clash attempt. We get a stalemate as we head into the final commercial of the night. Back and during the break AJ took control with an apron knee strike. He’s got Ambrose grounded in the ring. Ambrose is up and we get an exchange of rights and lefts. Seth is putting over AJ on commentary. AJ gets Ambrose down for a two count. Armbar submission applied and an “AJ Styles” chant pops up as the Ambrose contingent counters with a chant of their own. Ambrose gets out of the submission and both men work their way back to their feet. Ambrose with chops and rights. A clothesline by Ambrose is followed up by a fisherman’s suplex and a two count. Shades of the late, great Curt Hennig. AJ comesback with a combo flurry, but Ambrose gets a neckbreaker and a two count. Ambrose heads up to the top rope but AJ charges. Ambrose up and over and he catches AJ with a backslide. AJ hoists Ambrose up for a back suplex, but he turns it into a facebuster. A two count follows. AJ heads up top. Ambrose is up and he fires some right hands and he nails a beautiful underhook suplex off the top rope. AJ down, but he comes back on Ambrose following a power move. Springboard and a phenomenal forearm attempt. Dean looks for Dirty Deeds, but AJ backs him into the corner. AJ catches Ambrose in the knee with a shot and he turns Ambrose over into the calf crusher. Ambrose in a bad way. Ambrose gets to the bottom rope. AJ charges Ambrose, but he is dumped to the outside. Ambrose on one leg launches himself through the ropes and onto Styles on the outside. “This Is Awesome” chant from the crowd as AJ counters a top rope maneuver from Ambrose into a cradle and a nearfall. AJ hits a Pele kick and Ambrose with a clothesline. The Club hits the ring for the distraction as AJ nails a brainbuster for a nearfall. John Cena down the ramp and he handles the club. The distraction allows Ambrose to hit the Dirty Deeds for the obvious finish after a great match. Looks like we’ll get to enjoy another fantastic Styles and Cena match as well and we’ll keep the Shield triple threat. Terrific main event match! The Club destroys Cena on the outside as Rollins pedigrees Ambrose inside the ring. AJ Styles joins the fray and they leave Cena lying again following a Magic Killer atop the ramp! What a spot! Rollins is pleased by the Club and he makes Ambrose pay with another pedigree as all the heels stand strong to end the broadcast!
Winner: Dean Ambrose
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