The stage is set - a title bout at Money in the Bank
WWE Raw Review
Usually in a work scenario when you’re after a promotion spot or a chance to move up the payroll, you’ll be required to knuckle-down, work your ass off, and prove your worth in a handy little PowerPoint show of numbers and charts.
In WWE however, you simply need to beat five or six other lads in a brutal ladder match and pick up a contract for a WWE World Heavyweight Title shot. Simples.
The Money in the Bank ladder match is in four weeks’ time, and on Monday’s episode of Raw 10 men had the opportunity to win their spot in the match.
But first – Seth Rollins is back! The former champ has been out of action for more than 200 days with injury but he made a mark on Roman Reigns with a Pedigree at Extreme Rules, and he took the opportunity to let everyone know he’s out to regain his title. Seth revelled in pissing off the crowd, telling them that there was only room for one man on the ‘Seth Rollins Hype Train’ and as Roman Reigns made his way to the ring, Seth bailed. Shane McMahon popped out and set up Reigns v Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at MITB – Bring it on.
In the opening MITB Qualifying Match, Sami Zayn bounced back from his loss in the Intercontinental Championship fatal four-way to pick up the win over pasty Irishman Sheamus. Sami is quickly becoming one of our most-loved wrestlers due to his fondness of a flat cap, and it took a sweet Helluva Kick to put Sheamus away. After the match, the Irishman threw a hissy fit and banged around the ring – a lot like the reaction most Irish people have when they see Jedward getting more media attention.
In the second qualifying bout, Cesaro defeated the Intercontinental Champion, The Miz, adding a little more fuel to that fire and pissing off the A-List Celebrity. The Swiss Superman was struggling with his damaged shoulder throughout, and The Miz cleverly focussed the majority of his offense on Cesaro’s injury. However a leap from the top was met with a ruthless uppercut, before Cesaro planted Miz with the Neutralizer for the win.
Dean Ambrose also booked his place in the MITB match after picking up a clean win over Dolph Ziggler. The Lunatic Fringe punished Chris Jericho in an Asylum Match at Extreme Rules, and continued his momentum on Raw. Ziggler hit Dean with a Fameasser and a Superkick for two near falls, but Ambrose avoided the ZigZag and planted The Show-off with Dirty Deeds to pick up the 1-2-3.
Jericho himself will also be in the MITB ladder match after the veteran picked up the victory of Apollo Crews. Crews has some excuses – after getting a beat down backstage courtesy of an angry Sheamus – but Y2J was coming off the back of journey to thumb tack city at Extreme Rules. Hence why his back was covered in many ridiculous-looking plasters. Crews looked strong in parts, but a Codebreaker out of nowhere put end to Apollo’s chances.
In the main event of the night, and the final qualifying match for MITB, Kevin Owens took on AJ Styles. Styles lost to Roman Reigns at Extreme Rules in a bout for the WWE World Heavyweight Title, and it became a very bad 48 hours for the Phenomenal One as KO picked up a clean win. Pre-match AJ claimed he would have won the title at Extreme Rules had The Bullet Club and the Usos not got involved. Anderson and Gallows were clearly upset at this accusation and came out to lay down some home truths to AJ about Japan and bar brawls. Essentially Anderson and Gallows claimed that AJ would have got his face slapped all over the place in Japan if the Bullet Club hadn’t been there to save his ass. Goodbye club it appears…
In the match itself Styles hit a picture-perfect Springboard 450 for a near-fall, before Kevin Owens planted AJ with a Pop-up Powerbomb onto the steel steps. Styles fought back with a Pele, before Owens prevented the Phenomenal Forearm and connected with another Pop-up Powerbomb for the win in what was an awesome contest.
Elsewhere on the show, Women’s Champ Charlotte had a bizarre rant at her old man Ric Flair. Charlotte retained her title against Natalya at Extreme Rules courtesy of an interference from Dana Brook, and the champ took Monday night as an opportunity to slate Ric Flair for missing key parts of her childhood. Charlotte essentially told Ric to piss off, and in the process made an old man cry on TV which is uncomfortable for everyone.
Luckily The New Day were out to celebrate Raw’s 1,200th show with a huge cake on the show as well. The Tag Team Champs teased planting the cake into someone’s face in the crowd, before they were rudely interrupted by the Social Outcasts.
This teed up a tag-team match that lasted all of 120 seconds courtesy of the Unicorn Stampede, a huge dive to the outside from Xavier Woods, and the Big Ending on to Heath Slater. The New Day celebrated by going over to eat the giant cake, only to smash it into the face of Slater. New Day rock.
Also worth noting that Enzo Amore returned (hoorah) after his concussion, and he laid the smack on The Dudley Boyz alongside Big Cass. Big Cass then picked up a win over Bubba-Ray and all was right with the WWE Universe.