Okay guys, Steph here for Raw tonight, and I apologise if I seem a little bit disappointed in the show, but you have to understand that I just watched WCPW Loaded. Which was BLOODY GOOD and had Noam Dar and Jay Lethal in it. So, after that, tonight might be a bit disappointing. Also, it’s American Day, and I’m probably too British to properly appreciate the patriotism we’re to expect tonight.
We open in mock catering, with flags and bunting everywhere, and everyone eating hot dogs and enjoying themselves, despite R-Truth and Goldust singing in the corner. The Vaudevillains show up to break up the party, taking the stage, with English deciding to sing the declaration of independence at us. Miz and Maryse come to call cut on this, and Miz says that they’re not going to have a food fight. So they have a food fight. Kevin Owens gets under the table and stays there, eating a bag of chips, because he’s sensible, while Sami tries to stop everyone eating contaminated beans. Big Show flings something at Demon Kane, who’s officially too old for this shit, and so he breaks up the party with a powerbomb to Heath Slater through a table. KO climbs out from under the table, says it would never happen on Canada Day, and gets a cake to the face from… no one? He tastes the cake, and it’s no good, so he throws a tantrum in the mess that remains of our mock-catering scene.
Columbus, Ohio, welcomes us with Lilian Garcia singing the American national anthem. At this point, I go downstairs to get a drink, because I can’t even cope with people in my country singing our own national anthem. Then again, I live on a rainy fascist island. But USA chants just bother me for some reason.
MATCH: Rusev vs. Titus O’Neil – United States Championship Match
Rusev must feel the same way, because he’s straight out, our United States champion, BRUTE in big letters on his trunks so that we know who he is. Titus is dressed in some frighteningly American get up, but all I can think is that he looks like the shorts he’s wearing were originally for someone who’s supposed to be on stilts.
- We’re straight in as we come back from commercials, the men locking up and Rusev starting off with some big blows to get Titus in the corner, then kicks
- Titus hits Rusev with a slam in the middle of the ring
- Hops from Titus to Rusev in the corner
- USA chants
- Rusev dumps Titus over the ropes and onto the outside, as Lana laughs and applauds her fiancé
- Titus gets thrown into the steel steps, and Rusev rolls back into the ring
- Titus breaks the count at nine, coming back into the ring
- Dropkick from Rusev, cover for two, headlock from Rusev
- Titus has a lot of bracelets and bands on, and that’s how we tell he’s a good guy, because he has causes
- Titus breaks the hold, knees to Rusev’s gut
- The two men trade blows in the centre of the ring
- Shoulder tackle from Titus, taking Rusev down
- Powerslam by Titus
- Clash of the Titus, pin for two!
- More USA chants
- Two kicks from Rusev to the side of Titus’ head, leaving him down in the centre of the ring
- Accolade locked in, camera zooms in uncomfortably
- Titus taps, Rusev retains the title
Well, that’s some damn good heel booking fro Rusev, he’s won memorial day, father’s day, and now independence day! Rusev starts a USA chant, after putting Titus in the Accolade again for funsies, and he wishes America happy birthday. He’s being more gracious about it than an Englishman would be, let’s be honest about that.
There’s a huge tag team match tonight, 16 men, so I’ll have fun recapping that later. It might be an American holiday, but apparently that means this hardworking Brit has to put up with this nonsense.
MATCH: The Social Outcasts vs. Enzo & Cass
Oh god, so The Social Outcasts come out ridiculously, and I literally know zero American history that isn’t in a Hamilton song, so… Minutemen, apparently. Heath’s all banged up with his arm in a sling and a bandage around his head, so he looks like he’s been to war and had a rather bad time of it. Enzo and Cass interrupt the history lesson with their usual spiel, and tell us we’re getting star-spangled banter, because they take meteor showers and are here to rain on the Outcasts’ parade. Enzo lists off the presidents IN ORDER because he’s a certified g and also very into accuracy.
- Bo first with Enzo, waist lock from Enzo, but Bo gets him into the Outcasts’ corner quickly to get walked all over
- Cover for two on Enzo
- Heath blows a wooden flute like a more annoying and less sexy Xavier Woods
- Big Cass tagged in, drops Bo Dallas hard, sends Axel over the ropes into Slater
- Dallas goes down hard again, and it’s a Bada Boom Shaka Laka from the boys, and a pin for the win
My stream went down just as all that was happening, but you know, nice to see some history, or something? I don’t know, man, this is bizarre to me. I wish I was American and therefore had some clever comments for this, but I really don’t.
Charlotte and Dana are here to talk to us, dressed in black because they’re… not patriotic? The title looks so good on Charlotte, though. Charlotte wants to talk to us about Sasha and how jealous she must be. She calls Sasha all hype, and says that chants don’t pay the bills. Sasha comes out, also in all black, like they agreed on this beforehand or something. Sasha says she’s coming for the title, and I’m just furious because everyone keeps saying ‘sweetheart’ – WWE has one writer for the women, as far as I can tell, and his wife says ‘sweetheart’ a lot when she’s feeling catty, because they all say it when they get angry and it makes me fucking livid. Eventually, Dana dives for Sasha, and Charlotte takes her title off, lifts Charlotte for a suplex, but Sasha reverses it into a backstabber, and then the Banks Statement, and Dana has to come to the rescue. Chants for Sasha. This whole segments was five minutes long, and they said ‘sweetheart’ four times. No one says it that many times, guys, Please.
MATCH: Dean Ambrose vs. The Miz – Champion vs. Champion Match
Maryse walks her husband down to the ring, and once more, it seems like the women have agreed to wear black. Miz tries to shut the crowd up, so obviously brings forth a chorus of boos as he does a Jericho and tells us that his suit cost more than we make in a year. Not hard, mate, I do this for free. He and Maryse shove their happy marriage down our throats, and then out comes Dean, and JBL is very unhappy that Dean’s our champion. Deal with it, mate, we’re all bloody pleased about it.
- Quick lock up, waist lock from Dean
- Shoulder tackle from Miz, Ambrose down quickly
- Hip toss from Ambrose
- Kick to Dean’s face from Miz, clothesline from Dean sends Miz to the outside
- Dean follows him over, and throws him into the barricades a couple of times
- LET’S GO AMBROSE chants because we love that man
- Dean gets distracted mocking Maryse by blowing her a kiss, so Miz sits him on the barricades, right between the legs
- Miz goes and kisses his wife, because they’re in love or some shit, even though she’s Canadian and this is America Day
- Back from commercials, my stream goes down again
- Miz stomps on Dean’s left knee over and over, same as last match
- Dean rolls Miz up for two
- Chops from Dean
- Miz gets Figure Four locked in
- JBL calls Dean a ‘human cockroach’ and says ‘he doesn’t have a brain’. Good god sometimes commentary is intolerable
- Dean gets a hand on the rope to break the hold
- Dean sends Miz over the ropes with a clothesline, and struggles to his feet
- Punches from Dean, attempted neckbreaker from Miz
- Clothesline from Dean
- Forearm in the corner from Ambrose, then takes Miz up to the top rope, Miz holds on
- Miz headbutts Dean away, goes for the double axe handle, gets caught
- Dean goes for Dirty Deeds, Miz counters almost to a Figure Four, and Dean counters into a small package for two
- Lariat from Dean takes Miz out of the ring, then Dean comes over the ropes into Miz, both hitting the barricades hard
- Dean comes off the top rope for the flying elbow, Miz catches him with a kick
- Miz goes for a cover, Dean rolls him away
- Dirty Deeds, and Dean takes the win, nice and simple
I love that Dean has a legit finisher that actually finishes people, that makes me really happy. Dean stretches out the knee that Miz worked over, clutching his title and limping a little, but he still holds it aloft as Byron calls him a role model. JBL says ‘we need Seth Rollins’ which… well, here he comes!
Seth stalks out, cocky as ever, Dean coming up the ramp to meet him, Seth coming down towards his former stablemate. Dean pats Seth on the arse as he goes past, a little ‘good hustle out there’ moment, as they pass on the ramp, and then Seth continues on for the match. Dean waits at the top of the ramp for a moment, then runs down, slides into the ring and then back out, and joins the Spanish announce table. He’s staying for commentary.
MATCH: Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler
Dean’s on commentary in Spanish at the Spanish announce table – got to remember, he wrestled in Puerto Rico – , and that’s possibly the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen. Seth’s shirt came off during the commercials, and Ziggler’s wearing colourful leggings, so it’s a bit of a kick in the dick to suddenly have a graphic of Brock Lesnar in my face.
- Dolph goes straight for Seth’s knee, pulling at it
- Dolph keeps going back down for Seth’s knee, rolling him up eventually for two
- Seth scrambles out of the ring as JBL asks Dean what’s up with his hair, it’s like he’s mad at his head
- Both men lock up, Seth goes for a waist lock, chanting ‘I got him’
- Dolph rolls up Seth twice for two, Seth being rolled around the ring and pinned for a third time
- Seth rolls out of the ring and stomps a bit as Dean says Seth has no personality and a terrible attitude, which is fucking killing me
- Seth climbs back in, and they two lock up, before Seth kicks Dolph in the head, sending him down, the stomping him over and over
- Seth gets Dolph onto the ground, comes off the ropes, leapfrog from Ziggler
- Two kicks from Dolph to Seth, Seth rolling out again
- Seth bounces Ziggler’s head off the apron, and then as Ziggler tries to climb up to the top rope from the outside, Seth’s there with an enzuigiri to topple Dolph away again
- Back from commercials, Ziggler powers up to punch at Seth’s head, getting him into he corner
- Seth takes Dolph down, then goes to climb up to the top rope
- Ziggler takes a leap up there, and drags Seth down, pinning him for two, and Dean says Seth needs to stop being so negative
- Seth sent face first into the turnbuckle, two good clotheslines and a swinging neckbreaker from Dolph
- Elbow drop from Dolph to Seth and a pin for two
- “Get your head screwed on straight, Sparky’ from Dean
- Dolph goes for a superkick, Seth dodges, gets pinned for two
- Seth hits a superkick, and Ziggler goes down for two and a half
- THIS IS AWESOME chants
- Seth going for a flying knee off the top rope, Dolph dodges, Seth lands on his feet
- Superkick from Dolph, Seth down for two and a half
- Both men struggle up, Dolph dodges a kick, Dolph goes for a Zig Zag, Seth pushes him off
- Pedigree from Seth, and that’s a pin for three
That was a really exciting match, and Dean on commentary added a little extra tension to it – sure, Seth wasn’t going to lose, but this is the Ziggler we want to see, Ziggler as he deserves to be seen, not getting squashed by Corbin. It’s good to see Dolph back up to where he looks good.
Seth climbs on top of the Spanish announce table, and Dean says that’s how Seth gets, very upset. Seth says he won’t have Roman tarnish his legacy – ow – Seth calls Roman’s career a joke and says he need to be taken out of the triple threat, that it needs to be a one on one match. He adds that he shouldn’t be part of the draft either, and that he’s supposed to be a role model. Then he says the crowd are just like Roman, cutting corners and cheating to get to where they want to be. The crowd have a weird reaction of ‘we hate Roman’ and ‘we love Seth’ because they don’t really know how they’re supposed to react. Dean comes up to stand on a table too, and starts to make hand motions like he’s telling Seth to take it down a notch. Dean raises his own mic and just goes ‘nah’, throwing the title at Seth and then flying at him, the two brawling over the announce table, Dean getting Seth over both announce tables, and then into Dirty Deeds on the Spanish announce table. Dean stands, has his title handed to him, and goes to snarl at Seth’s prone body, before he saunters off with his title, shaking Michael Cole by the hand before he goes.
The Wyatts interrupt us talking about Cena, except they’re a bit more lit than usual. Bray tells us that The New Day come from somewhere unreal, that the Wyatts comes from somewhere real, a sanctuary for the damned. Bray invited The New Day to join them at their weird rocking chair barn, with their mendacity, where they have scary dolls and barbed wire. This is just like the sort of horror film I really love, Bray telling The New Day the water’s lovely, and they should join the Wyatts. God, I’ve missed these guys.
There’s a Baron Corbin video package, where he looks as bored as I am of seeing him destroy someone who’s got a more technical style than him. I mean, he’s not bad, but he’s very green, so I’m a little tired of seeing him run roughshod over my Dolph.
Vickie Guerrero is here! She’s come to scream at us about how she should be coming to SmackDown and be our COO there. She’s very squeaky, she reminds me of a mouse from a Disney movie. In fact, at one point, I think she gets to a pitch that only Jerry Lawler can hear when he thinks about young women. She’s led away by security, and JBL stands to give her an outro. Weird moment.
Big Show is briefing the troops of Team USA about the plot of Hamilton, and he’s upset because no one will let him play Burr. He thinks he’d be perfect for the role, but everyone else wants Swagger to do it. Team USA is Big Show, Apollo Crews, Demon Kane, Zack Ryder, The Dudley Boyz, Mark Henry, and Jack Swagger, for those of us who have stupid website rules about tagging every wrestler at the end of a post. I do it to myself, I really do.
We see Vickie being led away by security, and Dolph appears, making it look like he’s going to break up security and explain things to them, because Vickie and Dolph had.. a thing. He grins at the camera, and tells security that he’s never seen this woman in his life before and then tell his mum he tried really hard, even if he still lost. Aww, cute.
MATCH: The Vaudevillains vs. The Golden Truth
FaBreeze are at ringside in their VIP area, dressed identically in the way that couples do eventually. The Vaudevillains are waiting for the Golden Truth to do their little amble down to the ring with inoffensive hip hop.
- Gotch and Truth start us of, chops from Gotch
- Dropkick from Truth to Gotch’s face
- English tagged in, two clotheslines from Goldust
- Knees to the face from Goldust, then chops
- Powerslam but Goldust, Gotch breaks the pin
- Truth and Gotch sent out, Truth pushing Gotch off the apron
- English takes a Solid Gold from Truth and Goldust, and a pin for three
Goldust and R-Truth leap on each other in the middle of the ring for a cuddle, as Fandango looks bored and Tyler looks gorgeous, but then, what’s new there? Oh. Was that it?
Oh god, Darren Young. Bob says Darren has to be problem-free, and says he wants to know how life can ever be problem-free. Bob says that you have to make your problems submit, and then asks what Darren’s finisher is, though Darren says he can’t use that to make his problems go away. He also says he doesn’t have a submission manoeuvre, so Backlund says that Darren can have his! Aww.
He’s here, our very own Captain WWE America – it’s John Cena. He tries to warm up the crowd, and probably manages it, but honestly Cena, it’s 3am here for me, I need to go to bed but there’s an hour left of Raw, so… if you can keep me awake, I’ll give you a passing grade. Cena says we might be a bit disappointed with him, and we get the mixed chants ‘let’s go Cena’ and ‘Cena sucks’ but it’s a bit lacking.
Cena wants to talk about fighting a sandwich, or something, I don’t know. Cena’s a little grumpy because The Club interfered in his match against Seth for the possibility of being added to the Battleground triple threat. He says he’s tired of looking over his shoulder, and says that The Club should come and fight him right now.
AJ and The Club come out, and AJ calls Cena pathetic, says that he expected something patriotic, but that he’s not surprised. He complains that at the WWE trip to Tokyo, Cena’s face was all over the posters. However, Cena found that The Club runs Tokyo – and soon they’ll run WWE. Shovel, burying, talking about AJ’s career being at risk from Cena, and AJ mentions that no one’s one Cena’s side, because he’s put himself on a pedestal away from everyone else on the roster. AJ says he and The Club are the only ones with big enough balls to get Cena beaten down. And, indeed, say ‘balls’ on live tv.
Cena’s starting to look at the audience as they laugh along with AJ talking about beating up John Cena, all through the holidays. There’s a beatdown with Cena and The Club, but mostly I’m just bothered by Anderson saying he’s spending Christmas with his ‘hot Asian wife’. Really? What the fuck, WWE? What the actual fuck?
Enzo and Cass come out to help out Cena, chasing The Club out of the ring, and Cena takes them each by the hand and raises them as Cena’s music plays. Sorry, but I’m still stuck on Anderson here. What the hell?
The Shining Stars are here to tell us about how to best enjoy 4th July, and no one cares, guys. Their smiles tell us that they wish they weren’t trapped in this either, but that needs must, they suppose. They need Lin Manuel Miranda to write them a song, that’ll get them over in a heartbeat.
MATCH: Summer Rae vs. Becky Lynch
Summer’s in her blue and gold ring gear as we get a recap of Money in the Bank and Nattie going after Becky. Poor Becky, she just can’t keep friends, it seems. Everyone’s out to get her. I don’t know why, she seems lovely.
- Summer catches Becky’s leg as Becky goes for a kick, but Becky still manages to kick Summer away
- Summer gets Becky stretched on the ropes
- Nattie is watching from the weird 45-degree angle again
- Becky runs into a kick from Summer, pin for two
- Headlock from Summer to Becky, holding her still, but Becky fights her way free
- Summer knees Becky in the gut and slams her to the mat, waving at the audience and grinning
- Summer goes for a suplex, and Becky tries to struggle out, seeming to land awkwardly
- Summer goes for a pin, kick out at two
- Summer gets pinned now, for two
- Becky coming through with kicks and clotheslines
- Bexploder from Becky, pins Summer for two
- Summer rolls to the outside, but Becky comes for her, summer kneeing Becky in the face
- Spin kick by Summer misses
- Becky locks in the Dis-Arm-her, and Summer taps
Nattie is glaring at the TV screen as Becky celebrates her win with the crowd. It was a short match, but at least there’s story set up and Summer looked pretty strong. I just want Summer to have a story and a chance to show what she can do, guys. I really do.
Team The World are here to talk to us. Jericho, Del Rio, Sami Zayn, Cesaro, the Lucha Dragons, Sheamus, and Kevin Owens. Del Rio and the Luchas start speaking Spanish, and Jericho joins in, too. Sami chimes in, presumably in Arabic, but we can’t hear, Cesaro’s mouth also moving, and Sheamus adds in with Gaelic. Kevin has Generico flashbacks from all the Spanish, and tells them they all have to stay on the same page and behave themselves, because all he wants to do is kick the shit out of some Americans. I think he’s a bit sensitive that he only speaks English and Canadian French.
The New Day are here to talk the Wyatts and infer that they practice incest. Okay. That’s American, I guess. Kofi and Big E are loving this, but Xavier Woods still looks pretty unsure about this all.
The Wyatts break in, Rowan laughing at our tag team champs and saying laughter is great, but Braun says he prefers a scream. Bray holds a lightbulb that I hope hasn’t been on for too long, and tells them to seek the truth in Bray’s world, not to laugh at their challenge. Once more, Xavier is in the middle of the ring, looking scared and worried about the Wyatt threat as Bray tells them that they started this, and he has to end it.
When we’re back to The New Day in the ring, Kofi says they accept the challenge, and they’ll spray positivity everywhere. Xavier screams to them to listen, and says that he loves them like family, but that the Wyatts are dangerous, and he doesn’t understand what’s going on. He doesn’t want to fight The Wyatts on their turf, he doesn’t know why E and Kofi can’t see how serious this is. He says that if they don’t see the threat, then he doesn’t think The New Day will be able to survive. He drops his mic and slowly walks away. The crowd chant ‘no’ as he goes, and I think I hear my heart breaking.
MATCH: Team USA vs. Team The World – 16 Man Tag Team Elimination Match
Look, I apologise for this, but it’s nearly 4am, I’ve had a long day at work, and so therefore coverage of this match might be a little spotty. I’m going to do my best, but I am basically falling asleep in the office. But hey, Team World is falling apart before Team USA even show up, so let’s face it, we know how this is going to go down.
- Owens and Ryder start out, cannonball from KO
- D-Von tagged in again Sin Cara, springboard cross-body from Sin Cara
- Springboard back-elbow to D-Von, then a moonsault off the second rope
- Bubba Ray tagged in, 3D hit on Sin Cara, he’s eliminated
- Kalisto pins Bubba Ray, Bubba’s eliminated
- Back from commercials, Cesaro is in with D-Von, going for a swing, but D-Von blocks
- Cesaro gets the swing going, goes for the Sharpshooter, gets it locked in
- D-Von taps, out he goes, and Swagger steps in
- Cesaro goes ‘we, the people’ with Swagger, which is cute, and then Swaggers gets Cesaro straight down to the mat
- The two grapple, Swagger going for the Patriot Lock, Cesaro rolls out
- Swagger kicks Cesaro away and Jericho tags himself in
- Jericho tries to roll Swagger over for Walls of Jericho
- Jericho goes to the top rope, Swagger catches him, belly to belly from Swagger
- Jericho slumps onto the floor, Swagger goes for the Swagger Bomb, Jericho gets his feet up and Jericho hits a Codebreaker
- Swagger eliminated
- Kane comes in and grabs Jericho and Kalisto, and then it all breaks down into a brawl in the middle of the rin
- More commercials, Del Rio and Crews in the ring, backstabber from Del Rio
- Del Rio leaps off the top rope into a dropkick from Crews
- Mark Henry tagged in, Del Rio crumpling at his feet
- Kalisto tagged in, leaps, Henry catches him and pins him, Kalisto eliminated
- KO against Henry now, pop-up powerbomb from KO, Mark Henry eliminated
- Zack Ryder and KO now, Owens throwing Ryder around
- Running senton from Ryder, Owens tells Zayn to do his part
- Cover on Ryder for two after Zayn got knocked off the apron
- Sami climbs into the ring and takes out Owens, throwing him out of the ring
- Sami against Kane now, but KO comes back in with a chair and hits Sami with it, because he’s still immersed in those Generico flashbacks
- Owens disqualified, hits Kane with a chair, then Kane grabs the chair and hits him back
- Kane also eliminated via disqualification
- Kane chokeslams Sami, Crews hits a standing moonsault on Sami and he’s eliminated
- Sheamus comes in and eliminates Crews
- Jericho and Ryder in the ring, ‘Y2JACKASS’ chants, as the crowd boo him
- Sheamus tagged in, then Del Rio to take Ryder apart
- Forearm in the corner from Del Rio
- Jericho tagged back in, stomping on Ryder, and Cesaro’s a little upset that he’s not tagged in
- Cesaro tags himself in and argues with Jericho, trading slaps as Ryder lies by the ropes
- Cesaro goes for Jericho with an uppercut, and then to everyone in his team as Ryder still lies there in a crumpled pile
- Zack Ryder rolls up Cesaro and eliminates him
- Jericho goes for Ryder, then tags in Sheamus to work him a little in the corner
- ‘Give it up for the rest of the world’ from Sheamus, answered with ‘you look stupid’ chants
- Neckbreaker from Ryder to Sheamus
- Big Show tagged in, taking down Del Rio and Jericho
- Knockout Punch to Jericho, pin for three, he’s eliminated
- Del Rio goes for a kick, Big Show catches it, and chokeslams him, Del Rio is eliminated
- Sheamus left against Big Show and Ryder
- Sheamus leaps free and says he’s not dealing with this, but Big Show gets him by the hair and drags him into the ring
- Chops from Big Show
- Sheamus with a dropkick to Big Show’s knee, Ryder tagged in
- Ryder caught by Sheamus, pinned, kick out
- Sheamus runs into a chokehold by Big Show in the corner
- Sheamus turns into a Rough Ryder from Zack, and he’s eliminated!
Zack Ryder runs to Big Show and leaps up to him, and the two share a hug and a cheer as the crowd cheers for them and a huge American flag drops down and pyro goes off like a barrage. We close out Raw with this most American of images and sounds.