In the wake of Roman Reigns’ suspension Raw was going to be an interesting one this week. Were they going to address the suspension? What was going to happen to the Triple-Threat Title match? And more importantly wrestlers and commentators alike are now calling the title ‘The WWE Championship’ does that mean the return of the two belt system?
We got an answer to the first two questions straight away as Seth Rollins laughed at and mocked the former WWE champion’s Twitter apology and AJ Styles and John Cena injected themselves into the title picture by suggesting a Fatal 5-Way match. Steph came out and pitted Cena vs Rollins and Ambrose vs Styles stating that if they won they would be part of the mani event at Battleground. Altogether a nice little swerve by the creative team here addressing the problem quickly before moving on by introducing two fantastic matches for the night.
The Women’s division continues to be lost within itself. Nothing that is happening makes any sense. Why is Dana Brooke with Charlotte? Why is Paige face again? What the hell are they doing with Sasha Banks? Despite this strange and blind programming the tag match of Banks and Paige vs Charlotte and Brooke was highly entertaining with Paige and Banks look especially good. Although it makes little sense Paige and Banks worked well together and it is great to see them back in the WWE ring.
Titus O’Neil defeated Rusev by count-out in an OK match but it was nothing to write home about so I won’t.
Next we got Cena vs Rollins in a solid and entertaining bout. It was great to the two enemies go at it again after they both completed astonishing comeback from injury last month. Rollins and Cena looked strong and confident pulling off moves as if they had never been away. Rollins with his usual highly impressive offence and Cena with his super-mutant style defence made for back and forth action with both opponents coming close to victory. However just as it looked as though we were going to see a new addition to the Battleground title match The Club made their way down to the ring distracting Cena so Rollins could steal the victory. A good match spoiled by the outcome as it instantly gave away the result go Styles vs Ambrose and only took place to forward the Styles/Cena feud.
The Social Outcasts interrupted Enzo and Big Cass for some reason to setup a potential yet unappealing feud.
Becky Lynch was supposed to face Summer Rae but instead attacked Natalya at ringside in retribution for double-crossing her MITB. The segment was poor and very untidy. A secondary feud in the Women’s division? Ha!
Y2J’s guests on The Highlight Reel was Owens and Zayn. Zayn said he was tired and frustrated by being consumed by hatred for Owens and called him for one final match at Battleground. Owens agreed after stating the feud has been so because of Zayn’s jealously at his success. Y2J began taking credit for the announcement and basked in his own glory but ate stereo superkicks for his trouble. A great segment that explained the history and hatred between the two former best friends but I can’t help that this should’ve been done months ago when Zayn was called up to really give their ongoing feud major heat.
For some reason Kane faced The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship that resulted in Kane winning via count-out when The Miz ran to the aid of Maryse who had pretended to faint. This was all very meh.
Sheamus and Apollo Crews continued their feud when facing each other in tag team action that saw the Celtic Warrior team with Del Rio and Crew with Cesaro. Crews and Cesaro won after Del Rio abandoned Sheamus in the ring for no apparent reason. The Draft cannot come to soon for these guys wallowing in the limbo of the lower mid-card.
The destruction of the New Day continues as they are repeatedly portrayed as watered down cartoon characters, this time dressing up as The Wyatt Family and doing silly things. This is WWE creative once again turning the Wyatt’s into a joke and therefore weak in the process. While the New Day are shadows of their former selves and it is only a matter of time before we’re getting poo poo and wee wee jokes.
Ambrose against Styles was our main event with Rollins on commentary. Ambrose was ridiculed and called an embarrassment because you know he’s crazy and all that. The match was very good with both competitors looking strong and will hopefully come around again one day. An appearance by The Club confused matters but then Cena cleared that up allowing Ambrose to hit Dirty Deeds for the win. After the bell Rollins and The Club beat up their Battleground opponents leaving all the heels standing tall to end the show.
The two main event feuds continue at an entertaining pace and as far as we know Reigns is still part of that picture. Now this top tier of the WWE program may be all well and good but part from Owens and Jericho everyone else is just there. This is something that needs to be addressed and hopefully the brand split will provide some of the answers.