After finding out last week that he will get his rematch for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in a Triple Threat Match against Roman Reigns and reigning champion Dean Ambrose at Battleground, RAW kicks off with Seth Rollins. Rollins says that, at Battleground, the fans will get the match that they’ve been dreaming of when all three members of the former Shield face off in a Triple Threat Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Rollins then pauses in mid-sentence before saying that they’re going to talk about Roman Reigns, saying that he’s not “supposed to” talk about Roman Reigns, but since he’s in the middle of the ring with a microphone on live television and he’s got a little bit on his mind.
Rollins continues, saying that the “Roman Reigns scandal” embarrasses him, saying that as the “architect” of The Shield, he brought Reigns into WWE and Roman’s “mistake” that got him suspended embarrasses him. Rollins then publicly reads Roman’s tweet about his suspension before saying that Roman “owned it” after the fact, saying that Reigns can “own it” all he wants because he “owns” Reigns. Rollins continues, saying that Roman Reigns doesn’t “deserve” a second chance and he does not deserve to be in the main event of Battleground. Rollins then suggests that Roman gets removed from the Triple Threat Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Battleground and he gets the one-on-one rematch for the championship that he “truly deserves”.
This brings out one of the two men that Seth Rollins will face in a Triple Threat Match for the title at Battleground as WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dean Ambrose makes his way to the ring to confront Seth Rollins. The champion asks if Rollins’ issue is really with Roman Reigns or if his issue is with Dean Ambrose being the champion. Ambrose then says that he’s not worried about the Roman Reigns situation, saying that he’s looking forward to Battleground and, as far as he’s concerned, the Triple Threat Match is still on. “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles then comes out, saying that he agrees that the match at Battleground should remain a Triple Threat Match, suggesting that he take Roman Reigns’ spot in the match! Now in the ring, AJ says that he’s the guy that beat John Cena at WWE Money-in-the-Bank, saying they should take Roman out of the match and put him in the match. Ambrose responds by saying that he doesn’t make the decisions around here, so as far as he knows, Reigns is still in the match.
Styles then tells Ambrose to put him in the match too and make it a Fatal 4-Way Match. The champion says that he doesn’t care how many people are in the match because he will beat them all. Seth Rollins then starts to argue his point when John Cena comes out to the ring, saying that Ambrose is a “fighting champion” before saying that he has held the WWE World Heavyweight Championship fifteen times in his career. Cena then says that the last time he and Dean Ambrose faced off with the title on the line, he won before Cena suggests that they make the title match into a Fatal 5-Way at Battleground!
Seth Rollins then begins to argue his point again before one of the two people in charge of RAW comes out to the stage as Stephanie McMahon comes out to make a ruling on the title match at Battleground. Before getting to the title match, Stephanie addresses Seth Rollins, saying that what happened with Roman Reigns was an “absolute embarrassment”, but she is “mortified” seeing Dean Ambrose as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion! Stephanie then reveals that Shane McMahon is not here tonight, so she’s in charge of things. Stephanie then says that she likes the idea of John Cena and AJ Styles being a part of the WWE World Heavyweight Title match at Battleground, but an opportunity like that has to be “earned”. Stephanie then announces that, tonight, Seth Rollins will go one-on-one with John Cena while AJ Styles will go one-on-one against WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dean Ambrose and, if Cena and Styles win their respective matches, then they will be added to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at Battleground!
After Sasha Banks and Paige got the better of Charlotte & Dana Brooke last week, the opening match of the night would see “The Boss” Sasha Banks join forces with Paige to face Women’s Champion Charlotte and her protégé Dana Brooke in tag team action. At the end of a wild match, it was Paige leveling Charlotte with a kick to the face on the outside before Sasha Banks locks in the Bank Statement on Dana Brooke on the inside, making Dana tap out to pick up the win for herself and Paige. This leaves Sasha Banks & Paige standing tall in the ring again as Charlotte & Dana Brooke regroup in the entranceway.
After their scheduled one-on-one match never got underway last week due to a brawl breaking out between the two Superstars, RAW would see Titus O’Neil go one-on-one with United States Champion Rusev, with Lana in his corner, in a non-title match. However, much like last week, Titus O’Neil would enter the ring and blast Rusev with a right hand, pummeling the United States Champion before the referee is able to separate the two and ring the bell for the match to begin. During the match, Rusev would try to take his United States Title and walk out on the match, but Titus O’Neil would not let that happen and both men would end up taking each other with a clothesline to each other on the outside. Both Superstars would then make it to their feet before Titus sends Rusev over the ringside barricade. Titus then quickly gets back into the ring just in time as the referee reaches his ten count as Titus picks up a count-out victory over the United States Champion.
Backstage, Stephanie McMahon is confronted by Corporate Kane as the former Director of Operations pleads with Stephanie to let him be in charge of SmackDown when it goes live on July 19. However, Stephanie tells Kane that she will be running SmackDown before their discussion is interrupted by the arrival of Intercontinental Champion The Miz and his wife Maryse. The Miz & Maryse appear offended by their welcome back, saying that Miz has been on hiatus shooting The Marine 5: Battleground before Maryse asks where The Miz’s “red carpet” is at. Stephanie says that red carpets are for the actual movie premieres before asking if there was something wrong with The Miz’s limousine. The Miz says that the problem with the limousine is that the driver didn’t open the limo door for him. Kane then chimes in, plugging his latest movie, Countdown, before The Miz calls Kane’s movie an “indie” movie before calling Kane “the devil’s favorite insurance agent”.
Corporate Kane takes offense to this, saying that, if he was running SmackDown, he would have a huge problem with the Intercontinental Champion being gone for a month. Kane then points out to Stephanie that the WWE rulebook states that a champion must defend his championship at least once every 30 days or he is at risk for having to relinquish his title, suggesting that Stephanie books a title match tonight. Stephanie agrees with Kane’s suggestion and informs The Miz that he will defend his Intercontinental Championship tonight and, when The Miz asks about his opponent, Stephanie says that his challenger will be a “cliffhanger”!
In a match made by Stephanie McMahon earlier in the night, John Cena would go one-on-one with Seth Rollins on RAW with the stipulation that, if Cena wins, then he will get added to the Triple Threat Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Battleground. During a hotly contested matchup between two established rivals, John Cena would hit the Attitude Adjustment on Seth Rollins, but Rollins would manage to get his foot on the bottom rope to break up the pinfall. Cena then goes for a second Attitude Adjustment, but Rollins counters with the intent of hitting the Pedigree, but Cena counters into the STF. However, this is when The Club would make their way down to ringside, surrounding the ring. The presence of The Club would distract John Cena long enough for Seth Rollins to take advantage as Rollins hits Cena with the Pedigree, pinning Cena to pick up the win and ensure that John Cena will not be a part of the title match at Battleground.
Enzo & Cass were in action on RAW as the bold and brash young team would face two local competitors in tag team action. It was a quick win for Enzo & Cass as they hit the Bada Boom Shakalaka on one of the local competitors with Enzo pinning the local to pick up the win for Enzo & Cass. After the match, Enzo & Cass were confronted by The Social Outcasts as Bo Dallas proclaims that they are “hard” before Heath Slater declares that The Social Outcasts are “back”. Curtis Axel then tells Enzo & Cass to get out of the ring because they’re some “real hard OG’s” coming down right now. Big Cass then asks which one of The Social Outcasts are the “hardest”, sparking an argument amongst The Social Outcasts. Bo Dallas then says that they are going to get in the ring and show Enzo & Cass just how “hard” they really are. Heath Slater gets on the ring apron first as Slater is dropped with a big boot from Big Cass. Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel then start to get into the ring before they change their minds, opting not to step into the ring.
After twice attacking Becky Lynch last week, Natalya would be a guest on commentary as Becky Lynch was scheduled to go one-on-one with Summer Rae. However, upon spotting Natalya, Becky Lynch would rush Natalya at ringside with Becky relentlessly pummeling Natalya. The referee struggles to keep Becky back as Natalya backs away, shocked at the aggression shown by “The Irish Lass Kicker”.
Then it was time for The Highlight Reel as Chris Jericho would make his way to the ring to host his talk show segment as Jericho’s guests would be the former friends turned personal rivals Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. Jericho says that his two guests have “no regard” for each other or their careers in their pursuit to rid themselves of their rival. Jericho then introduces his first of two guests before Kevin Owens makes his way to the ring and “Y2J” introduces Kevin Owens’ bitter rival, Sami Zayn, who makes his way to the ring to confront Kevin Owens. Jericho says that Zayn and Owens used to be best friends, asking Sami how it felt to be stabbed in the back. Sami responds by saying that he knows that Jericho is trying to “stir the pot”, but he’s out there for one reason and that’s to put an end to the rivalry between himself and Kevin Owens. Sami says that their rivalry has turned into an “obsession” that threatens to ruin both of their careers, saying that neither of their careers are going to continue until they settle things. Zayn then points out that he cost Kevin Owens the Royal Rumble Match, he cost Owens the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania, and he cost Owens the Money-in-the-Bank contract at WWE Money-in-the-Bank. Sami continues, proposing that they do everyone a favor by putting an end to their rivalry at Battleground, saying that, one way or another, their rivalry needs to end and it needs to end at Battleground.
When Owens says nothing in response, Sami Zayn says that what they’re seeing now is the “real Kevin Owens”, saying that Owens is a “coward” who hides behind “lies”. Zayn says that, for over two years, Owens has been telling people that he turned his back on Sami Zayn in order to provide for his family, but he knows that’s not the truth, pressuring Kevin Owens to tell him the truth to his face. Sami continues, saying that Owens “resents” him and he always has and it drove Owens crazy that Sami got signed to WWE before Owens did. The agitated Zayn then tells Owens to “grow a set” and tell him the truth to his face. Owens then finally speaks up, telling Sami Zayn that what he told him before was the truth, saying that he attacked Sami because it was the “right move” for his career. Owens then accuses Sami of ruining their friendship, saying that, ever since they started wrestling, they were both aiming to get signed by WWE and, when WWE came calling, Sami signed with WWE a year and a half before Owens did. Owens continues, saying that he was “happy” for Zayn that he signed with WWE and Sami should have been “happy” for him when he made it to WWE and won the NXT Title.
Owens then says that Zayn was “furious” that Owens won the NXT Title because Owens’ success came at Sami’s expense, saying that it proves that he was always a “better friend” to Sami than Sami was to him. Owens then says that none of that matters now, saying that, if Sami wants to face him at Battleground, then he will face him at Battleground! Jericho then weighs in, telling Sami that Kevin Owens was right, saying that Zayn was a “terrible friend” and Sami is a “terrible example” of what it takes to make it in WWE. Jericho then says that, even though Kevin Owens will never be as good as he is, Owens is still trying to follow Jericho’s lead while Zayn still thinks that it matters what the fans think of him.
Jericho says that fact makes him “sick” and it makes him want to slap Sami across the face, but he’s not going to do that, saying that he’s going to let Kevin Owens do that at Battleground. Jericho then says that Sami and Owens being in the same ring as him puts both of them on a “different level” before saying that he is going to give them all what they need, saying that he is giving them the “gift of Jericho”. Having heard enough from Chris Jericho, both Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens blast Jericho in the face with dueling super kicks! Zayn and Owens then glare at each other before Owens leaves the ring with Sami not taking his eyes off of his bitter rival.
Following a hiatus to film his role in The Marine 5: Battleground, the Intercontinental Champion would return to RAW as The Miz, with his wife Maryse in his corner, would defend the Intercontinental Championship against a mystery opponent and that opponent would turn out to be none other than “The Big Red Monster” Demon Kane! During the match, Kane would grab The Miz for the chokeslam before Maryse gets on the ring apron. However, Maryse would appear to hurt her ankle and, after taking Kane down, The Miz would tend to his wife as the Intercontinental Champion would pick up Maryse and carry her to the back as Kane picks up the win by count-out, meaning that The Miz is still the Intercontinental Champion.
Backstage, Maryse is doing her best to walk on her hurt ankle without the assistance of her concerned husband before Maryse reveals to The Miz that the whole thing was a ruse. After fooling even her husband, Maryse tells The Miz that the whole thing was “acting” and the Intercontinental Champion says that her acting was the “most amazing performance” he’s ever seen, saying Maryse is the “best”.
In a mashup of two rivalries, Apollo Crews would team up with “The Swiss Superman” Cesaro to face “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio in tag team action. Throughout the match, problems would arise between estranged, former League of Nations members Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio which leads to Del Rio dropping Sheamus with a kick that knocks “The Celtic Warrior” off of the ring apron. Del Rio then walks off, watching from the entranceway as Apollo Crews hits his spinning sitout powerbomb, pinning Sheamus to pick up the win for himself and Cesaro.
Making their way to the ring while doing their best impersonation of The Wyatt Family, WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day would make an appearance on RAW. Big E makes light of The Wyatt Family, saying that The Wyatt Family smells like an “old piece of cabbage” before Kofi Kingston makes fun of how The Wyatt Family dresses. A visibly nervous Xavier Woods then expresses his desire to leave, but Kofi insists on continuing. This is when The Wyatt Family comes out to the stage as Bray Wyatt says that The New Day tells the fans what they “want to hear”, saying that it’s rare that everything they “want to hear” is everything they “need to hear”. Bray continues, saying that his sole purpose is to tell the people what they need to hear before saying that the world is a cruel place and its full of “dangerous people”.
Bray then asks The New Day how the “power of positivity” can help a man who’s just lost his job. Kofi argues that the power of positivity is a “way of life” before Big E calls the power of positivity a “movement”. Bray then singles out Xavier Woods, saying that Xavier looks “shook” before saying that Woods can “trust” in him. Bray then says that they are just playing one of The New Day’s “little games”, saying that, in this game, there is only “malice and destruction” and, in the end, every knee shall “bow” and every mouth shall proclaim that “New Day falls”.
Bray continues, saying that his sole purpose is to tell the people what they need to hear before saying that the world is a cruel place and its full of “dangerous people”. Bray then tells The New Day how the “power of positivity” can help a man who’s just lost his job. Kofi argues that the power of positivity is a “way of life” before Big E calls the power of positivity a “movement”. Bray then singles out Xavier Woods, saying that Xavier looks “shook” before saying that Woods can “trust” in him. Bray then says that they are just playing one of The New Day’s “little games”, saying that, in this game, there is only “malice and destruction” and, in the end, every knee shall “bow” and every mouth shall proclaim that “New Day falls”.
With Seth Rollins a guest on commentary, it was time for the main event as WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dean Ambrose would go one-on-one with “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles in a non-title match with the stipulation that, if AJ Styles wins, then he will be added to the WWE World Heavyweight Title match at Battleground. During the match, AJ Styles locks in the Calf Crusher on Dean Ambrose, but the champion would manage to make it to the bottom rope to break the hold. Shortly after this, both men would take each other out and Dean Ambrose would be the first one to his feet just as Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson make their way towards the ring, distracting Ambrose long enough for AJ Styles to score with a brainbuster. However, the champion would kick out before John Cena comes down to ringside, taking out both Gallows & Anderson.
This would draw the attention of AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose would take advantage, spiking “The Phenomenal One” with Dirty Deeds and pinning Styles to pick up the win, ensuring that the WWE World Heavyweight Title match at Battleground remains a Triple Threat Match. After the match, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson would pull John Cena off of the ring apron. This would distract Dean Ambrose, allowing Seth Rollins to come from behind and plant the WWE World Heavyweight Champion with the Pedigree. Meanwhile, The Club beats John Cena down on the stage before Gallows & Anderson lift Cena up, drilling Cena with the Magic Killer on the steel stage! Back in the ring, Seth Rollins would pick up Dean Ambrose before drilling the champion with a second Pedigree! Rollins then grabs the WWE World Heavyweight Title belt, holding it high above his head as The Club stands tall over John Cena on the stage.
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