Hard Times, Daddy – A Raw Recap

After a great Money in the Bank PPV (and a podcast where Michele and I were probably a little overly enthusiastic) there are some lingering questions that needed to be answered.  Mainly one, who has the right to their rematch first?  Is it Seth Freakin’ Rollins or is it Roman Reigns.

Here are some noteworthy happenings:

10. Rusev is still destroying Titus

Breaking news…Vince McMahon holds grudges.  This wasn’t really a match, just a brawl.

9. WWE trolls you by having a Kevin Owens Vs. Zayn match on RAW, claiming to end the feud

You’re funny WWE.  You’re claiming this ten year blood feud is going to be settled, once and for all, on a RAW?  That’s cute.

The match ended in a package piledriver tease from Owens into a rollup.  They continued fighting all the way to the back with the announcers admitting that this isn’t ending anytime soon.

8. John Laurinaitis in a blood red suit

In the weekly tradition of embarrassing former show GMs, it’s John Laurinaitas’ turn to try to campaign for the Smackdown show.  The Patriarch of Team Bella clearly raided a suit from John Cena’s closet and shows up at one of the podiums that will clearly be with us for no reason for the next 4 weeks.  He got promptly booted by Shane, who claimed he was going to run both shows.  John got in a quick “People Power” before being escorted from the building.

With a new “best of” DVD and Blu-Ray, we are clearly building to a humiliation (or a tiny chance of coronation) of Eric Bischoff.

7. Dean F**king Ambrose

Did you miss the fact that Dean won MITB and cashed in on new champ Rollins?  Of course you didn’t.  It was one of the most satisfying ends to a PPV, even if you thought (like I did) that it was probably going to happen.

He cut a promo after MITB 2015 where he referenced Dusty Rhodes’ iconic Hard Times promo.  Tonight on RAW, he makes a call back to his failure to win the title a year ago.  This time, he’s holding the WWE WHC.  It’s satisfying and the crowd is right, you deserve it.

Acknowledging the generic titles of The Man and The Guy, Ambrose is now The Dude.

6. Roman is responding to the crowd

Roman shows up on RAW to boos about as loud as MITB.  Phoenix is not part of the Roman Empire.  Chants of “You Can’t Wrestle” broke out.  I’ve got a problem with this and so does Scott Dawson:

The Guy CAN wrestle.  People argue that Roman was carried by AJ Styles.  That might be true to some degree.  AJ Styles is one of the best in the world right now, if not the best.  Roman showed up for that match though.  Both main events of the last two PPVs were spectacles and Roman kept up.  That says a lot.  “You can’t promo” would be a more accurate chant.

In the middle of him congratulating Dean on his win and asking for his shot at the title, he broke to acknowledge the crowd and basically told them they didn’t know what they were talking.  Was this planned?  Probably but maybe not.  I’d like to think the latter.

5. Enzo and Shane compare kicks, footwork

I was thinking a couple of weeks ago that Enzo’s footwork was not too unlike Shane’s.  Someone else noticed.  Shane and Enzo compare kicks tonight and add a bit of fancy footwork.

Also Enzo and Cass and the Vaudevillians end their feud.

The match ended with a Bada Boom Shacka Lacka, the new name for Air Enzo.  Because more people need NBA Jam references in their moveset.

I’m happy this feud is over so they can move onto other things.  The Vaudevillians will start feuding with Ascension, probably.  I was assuming Enzo and Cass would start to have a feud with New Day but apparently the Eater of Worlds has other plans.

4. Bray is back

After an unfortunate minor injury following Luke Harper’s more catastrophic one, Bray Wyatt is back ready to make life difficult for people.

The New Day is tired of it and interrupts them, trying to counteract them with the power of positivity.  Xavier gets taken in a bit by Bray and misses his cue for his catch phrase.

Will Xavier defect to team Wyatt?  Who knows…

I’ve got to admit, it’s a weird program that they’re setting up.  We will see where this goes.

3. The Boss is Back

Despite inaccurate rumors of Paige being arrested in Vegas, she made it to Phoenix to challenge Charlotte for a Women’s Championship match.  No surprise, Dana Brooke interferes after a RamPaige to break a pin.  The match was kind of garbage but it setup the return (to TV) of The Boss, Sasha Banks.

2. AJ asks for an apology from the Club

This was a weird segment.

AJ asks for an apology from Gallows and Anderson for interfering in his match with Cena, one that he said he had in the bag.  They half-heartedly apologize but that’s not good enough.  They need to apologize to Cena.

Cena pops out to hear it.  They repeat their insincere utterance.  That’s not good enough though.  Cena demands a fight and AJ grants it.  Fight any member of the Club you want…unless that happens to be AJ.  He’s got a podcast to get ready for after all.

Cena choses Gallows to squash.  It still ends with a Magic Killer and Cena lying on the Matt.  This is definitely not the end of this feud.  I can’t wait until it ends with a 3 on 1 handicap with Super Cena going over all 3.

1. Shield Triple Threat.  It’s happening…at Battleground

Remember earlier in the program when Roman came out to ask for his rematch?  Seth also came out and said that he should be first in line.  Shane popped out and set a main event of Rollins Vs. Reigns to decide who would be first in line at Battleground.

Main Event: Rollins Vs. Reigns

Now that we’re at the main event.  A really solid match for a Raw.  It ends with a Double Count Out, probably the only time people were rooting for that outcome.  Shane comes out to restart the match but Ambrose has other plans.  He wants to take on them both…at Battleground.  We are getting the Shield Triple Threat at a B Show PPV.

Or…Maybe Not

I was literally finishing up my recap (or top 10 list) when I saw some breaking news on the WWE Twitter.  It’s not what I was expecting, that’s for sure.

30 days is just 3 days before Battleground.  A lot of questions pop up with this result.  Does this match still happen at Battleground?  How does the WWE handle this on air?  The last few Wellness Policy violations that I recall involved lower to mid card guys or people that could disappear for a month with little consequence.  This sucks for wrestling fans, Joe, and his family.  Hate Roman or love him, this is going to throw a bigger wrench in things than any injury can do.