June 13, 2016
From the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA
Your hosts are Byron Saxton, JBL, and Michael Cole
Before the show, all of the talent gathered on the ramp for a moment of silence to honor the victims of the Pulse night club shooting in Orlando, FL.
Tonight, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns will be guests of the “Ambrose Asylum” and the contract signing between AJ Styles and John Cena for their Money in the Bank match will take place.
The New Day hit the ring. They talk about defending their Tag Team Titles at the Money in the Bank PPV against three other teams as part of a fatal four way match. Big E and Xavier make fun of Kofi’s sneakers for looking like they belong on an old person before they all claim they will retain the titles at Money in the Bank. However, Big Cass & Enzo Amore head out as they tell the New Day that after Money in the Bank, they are walking out with the titles but that they are still cool then Cass also makes fun of Kofi’s shoes with everyone else laughing. Then, Cass makes fun of Francesca as Cass says that last night, Enzo had his lips all over her. Enzo said he had her on Bourbon St.and played her like Louie Armstrong and had her going all night long, prompting Xavier to say “I’m the only one who blows my girl” as Kofi introduces a verbal battle of wits between Xavier and Enzo. The crowd goes nuts then the Vaudevillains interrupt as Aiden English sings about how they will win the Tag Team Titles as the crowd boos. Then, Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows walk out to tell everyone to shut up as Anderson mockingly suggests this is the Camp WWE talent show as Gallows tells them all after Sunday, they will be the team with the Tag Team Titles, stating it will be easier than scoring a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints.
A fun way to start off the show. Plus, its nice to see the Tag Team Division starting off the show instead of the usual suspects. The tease of an Enzo and Xavier duel on the mic made you want to see that actually happen and it could end up being a preview of the future. I thought it did a good job at hyping up the Fatal Four-Way at Money in the Bank.
Enzo & Big Cass & Kofi Kingston & Big E w/ Xavier vs. The Vaudevillains & Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows
This match started during the break. The New Day beat on Gotch then hit him with the Unicorn Stampede. Enzo & Cass hit a double-team move but English runs in to save his partner from a flying body press then Gotch attacks Enzo from behind. Enzo gets beaten on for a while until he comes back with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors on English. Enzo finally escapes from English and tags Cass as he runs wild. Gotch saves his partner by dragging him to safety but Kofi tags in and hits a coast-to-coast tope right before commercial. The match returns with Big E getting stomped in the corner as we saw a clip of Gallows taking him out from the outside during the break. Gallows then misses a splash as both men are down. Kofi tags and he runs wild then the match breaks down with everyone on the outside except for Kofi and Anderson. Gallows then jumps on the apron and makes a blind tag as he breaks up a reverse rollup then Anderson and himself put Kofi away with the Magic Killer (13:30) **1/2.
Thoughts: Solid match. Gallows & Anderson come out of this looking like a major threat to the New Day’s Tag Team Titles as the big storyline heading into that match is whether or not Gallows & Anderson can be stopped.
We get a clip of the Shield’s debut at the 2012 Survivor Series to hype up the Ambrose Asylum segment later on tonight.
Now, we get another installment of “Life Lessons with Coach Backlund.” Backlund asks Darren Young how he will celebrate after winning as Young does the Millions of Dollars dance but Backlund disapproves. Backlund then tells Young to save his money as Young asks Backlund how he saves money, with Backlund screaming about how this was his only pair of clothes. The segment ends with a graphic reading “Make Darren Young Great Again.” More of the same from these two, although the bit about Backlund only owning one pair of clothes was funny.
Stephanie McMahon is on the phone backstage when Shane enters. He proposes that she run Smackdown while he runs RAW then suggests the opposite when she disapproves. Stephanie then tells her brother she wants both shows as he talks about this being “SOS” which is “Same Old Stephanie” and “Same Old Stuff” until Corporate Kane walks in, holding a briefcase. He suggests that he can run Smackdown but Stephanie tells him that he is psychotic. Kane then smiles and opens up his briefcase as he hands out his resume and a letter of recommendation from the Undertaker. Kane talks about making Smackdown “red hot” as Shane starts talking to him. They are teasing a lot of tension between Shane and Stephanie now. Based off of last week’s appearance by Teddy Long and Corporate Kane here, it appears that GM’s from the past will be coming on until the new one of Smackdown is named.
Another clip of the Shield is shown, this time when they saved Daniel Bryan from Evolution on the 4/7/14 edition of RAW.
Backstage, Zack Ryder is talking to a few young guys about Apollo Crews taking out Sheamus on Smackdown. Sheamus then enters and threatens Ryder, saying he will make him the punchline tonight. Ryder then shouted out “Apollo” as that freaked out Sheamus, who got pissed as he told Ryder he would kick his head off tonight.
The Shining Stars talk about the sands on the beaches of Puerto Rico and how they do not pollute it, unlike we all do as they close by inviting us to Puerto Rico.
Titus O’Neill comes out to the ring for his match but Ruse attacks him from behind. He knocks Titus off of the ramp as he follows down to continue the assault. Rusev then screams after kicking Titus in the back of the head then locks on the Accolade right in the middle of the ramp as several officials run out and eventually pull Rusev off. However, Rusev returns to re-apply the hold. Rusev then breaks and grabs his U.S. Title from Lana and holds it over Titus, screaming that he is the champion. I thought this was a great way to re-establish Rusev as a major threat. It did not do a whole lot in wanting me to see them wrestle at the Money in the Bank but the main goal from this feud should be building up Rusev as a player again anyway so I liked the segment overall.
We are shown the clip of Seth Rollins turning on the Shield from the 6/2/14 edition of RAW.
Ambrose Asylum with guests Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. Before his guests come out, Ambrose puts over the Money in the Bank Ladder Match before running down some of the other matches. He then introduces Seth Rollins as the “scum of the earth” as he comes out with Cole plugging his Snapchat account. After that, Roman Reigns heads out to a chorus of boos. Ambrose smiles and talks about this being fun before asking Rollins about his knee. Rollins is shocked to learn that Ambrose did not watch his special on the WWE Network then swears that its fine. Ambrose makes fun of Rollins for a bit then calls him out for being a “party pooper” as the crowd starts a mild chant about that. Rollins then talks about having fun at WrestleMania 30 when they beat the New Age Outlaws & Kane. Rollins then talks about having the greatest times together listing off their accomplishments. However, Rollins said his greatest moment was hitting Reigns with a chair then stealing the title away from him at WrestleMania 31. Ambrose calms things down then asks Reigns about his match as he says “The Big Dog walks in as champ, and the Big Dog walks out as champ.” Reigns then asks Rollins if he thinks he is the rightful champ, then why does he have the belt. Rollins says his knee gave out after carrying the company for a better part of the year. Rollins then said he might have earned that belt but the one thing he has never done his beat him. Rollins says Reigns cannot beat him and if not holding his hand during the Shield, he would be nothing as Rollins says he did everything on his own and will take back the title at Money in the Bank on his own. Reigns then said Rollins is right, he screwed him over at WrestleMania on his own and broke up the Shield on his own too. Reigns then tells Rollins that if he wants the spotlight, he will have it on Sunday and that Reigns will be called “the guy” not because he is the champ, but because he beat him. Ambrose plugs the match but asks what if he wins the Money in the Bank contract and cashes in that same night to walk out as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Rollins then shoves Ambrose into Reigns, who flies outside. Ambrose starts beating on Rollins until Reigns shoves him off and tosses him down. Reigns takes down Rollins but Ambrose waits for Reigns to turn around and hits the Dirty Deeds as he is left standing.
I really liked this segment, especially the added twist at the end with Ambrose noting how he could potentially win the Money in the Bank Ladder Match and cash-in on the winner between Rollins and Reigns. Plus, they set up for a future three-way match with the way it broke down at the end. Rollins was awesome on the mic here and even as a good heel, the fans still want to cheer for the guy. Reigns held his own here too and it really made me want to see the title match at Money in the Bank.
After the break, Dean Ambrose runs into Stephanie McMahon backstage. She is upset over making the Ambrose Asylum about himself and says that he will face Chris Jericho in the main event.
Paige vs. Charlotte w/ Dana Brooke
Becky Lynch and Natalya are on commentary as Cole mentions they will be facing Charlotte & Dana at Money in the Bank. Charlotte mocks Paige’s “This is my house” chant but Paige comes back with a small package. Paige kicks Charlotte down and hits a running knee strike. Charlotte gets tossed outside as Becky & Natalya make fun of her then Dana rolls Charlotte inside where Paige finishes her off with the Ram-Paige as Dana looks shocked (2:30) DUD.
Thoughts: What a poor excuse of a match this was. The ending came off terribly and the other women on commentary added nothing and were being fed some really bad dialogue as well. If anything, this made me not want to see the tag match at Money in the Bank. The Charlotte & Dana pairing is getting off to a poor start.
Renee Young asks Cesaro about the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. Sami Zayn interrupts, figuring that Renee would want to hear from him as well. Cesaro takes offense to Zayn then compares him to an unwanted house guest before calling him a child. Zayn talks about how they are equals, seeing they are both in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match and facing each other tonight, but Cesaro says what they did “before” doesn’t matter as you start over once in the WWE and he has been here for four years. Cesaro then tells Zayn to take his advice and to prove himself, starting tonight. I liked this and it added another layer to Zayn’s underdog in that he has to start all over and build up his name in the WWE.
After the break, Charlotte is backstage yelling at Dana. She tells her she has not only cost her the match but has also failed as the champ’s protege, reminding her that she got to be part of her legacy for being her assistant. Charlotte then tells Dana they have some work to do heading into Money in the Bank. The whole Charlotte/Dana dynamic needs a lot of work before it can start becoming a viable heel act. It doesn’t help that it started after the awful storyline that saw Charlotte dump her father.
Zack Ryder vs. Sheamus
Sheamus starts by beating on Ryder. He hits a few forearm smashes but Ryder fights back then hits a missile dropkick from the apron. Ryder hits the Broski Boot before dropping a top rope elbow for a nearfall. Ryder then misses a Rough Ryder attempt and ends up eating a Brogue Kick as Sheamus picks up the win (1:55). After the match, Sheamus beats on Ryder until Crews runs out for the save and beats on Sheamus until he runs away through the crowd.
Thoughts: Crews looked good in the run-in as they are heating up his feud against Sheamus. I think its a solid storyline (New Era guy against proven veteran) and hopefully Crews can end up in a better position than some of the other recent NXT callups.
We get a flashback to the 2010 Money in the Bank Ladder Match when Kane won then cashed in to beat Rey Mysterio later on in the show to win the World Heavyweight Title.
Backstage, Kevin Owens is talking to Shane McMahon and Corporate Kane. Alberto Del Rio comes barging in irate as he accuses Owens of calling airport security, keeping him there an extra five hours. Del Rio yells in Spanish as Owens counters by yelling in French until Kane intervenes and suggests a “team-building exercise” as they both team up to face the Lucha Dragons and if they lose, the Dragons take their place at the Money in the Bank Ladder match. Shane agrees that’s a good idea as the other two leave, with Shane joking that the match will be a “barn burner.”
Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro
The announcers put over their match in NXT from 2014. Zayn takes control to start until he gets caught with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Cesaro knocks Zayn off of the apron with an uppercut as we head to break. The action returns with Cesaro working a chinlock. Zayn escapes then gets two off of a flying body press. Cesaro knocks Zayn into the corner before hitting the uppercut train then tries for the swing but ends up hitting a stomp for a nearfall. Zayn fights back and catches Cesaro with a Michinoku Driver for two. Zayn heads up top but Cesaro cuts him off with a dropkick then almost puts Zayn away with a superplex. Cesaro sets up for the Neutralizer but Zayn escapes and hits a backslide for two before putting Cesaro away with a sunset bomb (8:10) ***. After the match, Zayn celebrates then looks at the briefcase hanging from the ceiling.
Thoughts: Good match. Zayn took Cesaro’s advice here and won the match in order to make a statement. It also gave Zayn some much needed momentum heading into the PPV after last week’s match against Alberto Del Rio.
We get a video package on the WWE new IP-based production system. They have also gone “green.” Tremendous.
Cole is in the ring, hyping up the contract signing between John Cena and AJ Styles, calling it a WrestleMania-caliber main event. Cena comes out and says that Money in the Bank might as well be WrestleMania with all of the big matches on the card. He then talks about for fifteen years, people have been asking what if AJ Styles faced John Cena. Cena himself then said year after year, the WWE “decision makers” told AJ he did not belong here but he made a name for himself in PWG, Ring of Honor, and New Japan. Cena said AJ is the single greatest superstar to never get a chance in the WWE but thanks to Shane McMahon, AJ is part of the New Era. Cena tells us this is a history-making match and tells Cole to step aside as he calls out AJ to the ring.
AJ heads out by himself. We get a dueling chant as AJ lets that play out before speaking. AJ tells Cena for the past two weeks he has turned his world upside down. AJ then promises to run circles around Cena then mocks his “you can’t see me” chant as he tells Cena “You can’t beat me.” Cena tells AJ about two contracts: One of them guarantees Cena vs. AJ as the other is Cena vs. AJ Styles w/ The Club. Cena says he can fight him with Gallows & Anderson and cement his status as leader of the “bitch club” or have the electricity they had the first time and sign the contract that guarantees they will face each other one-on-one.
AJ tells Cena he gets what he is doing and believes Cena thinks he can beat him. AJ then thinks Cena owns the place before telling Cena he is underestimating him. AJ then said if he came to the WWE 15 years ago, he would not have been a 15-time Champion, 2 time Royal Rumble winner or star in those crappy movies while blaming the WWE for keeping him out of the company. Cena cuts off AJ by telling him to shut up then said his Club is not filled with “Bullets” but rather just bull as he calls AJ a complainer just like “every other indy dude” who came in entitled then tells AJ he left his balls in Japan while asking him to sign a contract. AJ then signs the contract that made it a one-to-one as he tells Cena he will find out real quick he is not like every other independent guy and that Cena’s time is up while his time is now.
Oh, this was awesome. The one criticism AJ has had during his career was that he could not cut strong promos. During the past few weeks against Cena, he has been great. I wonder if some of what is being said about AJ here is hitting a little too close to home for him and he using those emotions but regardless, he’s been fantastic. Cena was great here too. This feud is working because they have a lot of elements that are true, such as AJ being spurned by the WWE in the past for one, and they are doing beautiful job of twisting that into a compelling storyline. They made you want to buy this show to see them wrestle.
Alberto Del Rio & Kevin Owens vs. Lucha Dragons
Del Rio beats on Kalisto to start but ends up arguing with Owens, who teases walking away. Kalisto gets a quick rollup then Del Rio and Owens argue again until the Dragons dropkick them outside before flying out with topes as we head to break. The match returns with Owens & Del Rio beating on Kalisto while arguing with each other. Kalisto takes advantage and ends up finally making the tag after hitting the Salida Del Sol. Owens cuts off Sin Cara then drags Del Rio to the corner and makes the tag. Sin Cara pulls up on a Pop-Up Powerbomb then hits Owens with a few springboard moves. He dodges a charge as Owens sends Del Rio off of the apron. Kalisto flies out with a tope but Del Rio sidesteps that and launches Kalisto into the barricade. Sin Cara almost rolls up Owens for the win then bounces off of the ropes but Owens catches him with the Pop-Up Powerbomb for the win (8:25) **1/4. After the match, Del Rio comes in and kicks Owens in the face as he looks up at the briefcase.
Thoughts: The way this played out seemed like they were hyping an Owens vs. Del Rio feud rather than guys being part of the Money in the Bank match. The match itself was fine but its interesting to see how Kalisto was treated here. He took a beating here and generally looked like a chump. Seems like they are halting his singles career at the moment.
We are then shown a Facebook Video from the Miz, who is on the set of “Marine 5.” He then tells an assistant his coffee is cold and asks who is awesome before having him go off to get another cup. Just a segment to keep the Miz fresh on our minds while he is away.
Kevin Owens is backstage, talking to Stephanie McMahon. They are both unhappy with Shane and even Corporate Kane’s decisions. Kevin then alerts her that Zayn will be on commentary tonight for Jericho vs. Ambrose then asks Stephanie to make it right by having him join as well. She agrees then Alberto Del Rio enters and accuses Owens of being a kiss-ass then speaks Spanish as Owens asks why he always speaks that language here. Del Rio asks Stephanie to be out there but makes him a guest timekeeper instead.
Clips of tonight’s Ambrose Asylum are shown.
Backstage, Stephanie and Shane are arguing as they struggle to get along. Corporate Kane enters as Shane tells him they are looking for someone with more sympathy for the job and both tell him he is not fit to run Smackdown. Shane then tells Stephanie she is not fit to run Smackdown either and that while they will continue to run RAW together, he will be running Smackdown. I do like how they are both wanting to run Smackdown, making it seem like a lucrative position.
Chris Jericho vs. Dean Ambrose
Cesaro is the guest ring announcer for this match as all of the Money in the Bank Ladder Match competitors are here. He announces Jericho as hailing from “Stupid Idiotville.” Ambrose takes control to start. He flies outside with a tope then they go back-and-forth in the ring until Jericho knocks him off of the apron with a springboard dropkick. Zayn and Owens start heading towards each other as tempers are flaring right before commercial. The action returns with Jericho working a chinlock as the camera shows everyone else sitting ringside. Ambrose fights out and hits a clothesline as Owens claims he will win the Money in the Bank Ladder Match this Sunday. They both counter their signature moves until Jericho runs into a clothesline. He heads up top where Jericho cuts him off but Ambrose fights back and hits an elbow smash for two. They then counter more moves until Ambrose hit the Dirty Deeds for the win (11:55) **1/2. After the match, all of the Money in the Bank Ladder Match participants start brawling as the show ends with Jericho climbing the ladder and grabbing the Money in the Bank Briefcase.
Thoughts: The match itself was decent enough. The brawl at the end could be seen from a mile away though and I do not feel like it was all that effective as a result.
Final Thoughts: Overall, I thought this was a good show. They did a great job at hyping up the top matches for Money in the Bank. Plus, they have added new storyline elements into existing feuds too. Sure, there was not a whole lot of in-ring stuff but with a PPV Sunday, its more important to hype that and build storylines.
I think the AJ/Cena stuff is some of the best WWE TV work in quite some time. And they sold that match wonderfully tonight. Plus, the tease of the former Shield members facing off against each other is intriguing as well. My only storyline complaints are reserved for the Women’s Division, which is a mess at the moment.
This show did what it was supposed to do, which was making me want to see Money in the Bank. It should be an excellent show.