RAW kicks off with “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose already on his way down to the ring, where his fellow Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match participants Cesaro, Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, & Alberto Del Rio are all perched on top of ladders in a unique display ahead of the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match in just under two weeks at WWE Money-in-the-Bank. Kevin Owens says that everybody already knows who they are because they are all “big stars” and they’re all pretty “famous”. Chris Jericho responds by saying that he was saying he was “famous” before he even knew that he was famous. Owens then vows to win the Money-in-the-Bank briefcase and says that his five opponents will become known as the guys who watched him win the Money-in-the-Bank contract.
Fed up with the talking, Dean Ambrose asks if it is time for them to fight yet, but Owens says that he’s not done talking yet. Owens then says that he is going to win the Money-in-the-Bank briefcase, cash it in, and become WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Owens continues, saying he will take on “all comers” with the exception of the five Superstars in the ring with him, saying he will take on The Nation of Domination, Waylon Mercy, The Four Horsemen, or anyone else and he will “beat them all”.
Sami Zayn then says that the Money-in-the-Bank briefcase is an “opportunity” and, when he wins the briefcase and cashes in to become the champion, he will give anyone in the ring or in the locker room a shot at the title. Ambrose them chimes in again, saying that he will fight anyone before again insisting that they fight. Alberto Del Rio then tells Sami Zayn that he will “never” be a champion in WWE and, compared to him, Sami is just a “paper boy”. Cesaro then starts to speak, but Jericho cuts him off, saying that he is the creator of the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match and he is the “expert” of the match. Cesaro then says that, if Jericho is the expert, then why has he never won a Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match? Jericho then claims that he did win one, but Sami Zayn calls him out on it, asking “Y2J” which Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match he won with Jericho claiming he won the first one before changing his mind and saying he won the sixth one.
Sami continues to question Jericho, asking where he won the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match with Jericho murmuring that he won it in “Appleton” before changing his answer to the “Big Apple” before saying that he could have won it in “Stupid Idiotville”, but it doesn’t matter. Cesaro then quips that “Stupid Idiotville” is Jericho’s hometown and Jericho responds by telling Cesaro that he’s from Winnipeg. Jericho then says that being in the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match with them puts all of them on a “different level”. Jericho then says that he wants all of them to “relax” on their ladders as he gives them the “gift of Jericho”. However, as Jericho is saying this, the other five participants climb down off of their ladders to prepare for the inevitable fight with Dean Ambrose climbing Jericho’s ladder and knocking “Y2J” off of the ladder with a right hand. This sparks a wild brawl outside of the ring between the six Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match participants before Cesaro gets in the ring and rips off his suit. However, this is when RAW would get an unexpected return as former General Manager Theodore Long comes out to the stage!
The surprise return of Teddy Long brings a halt to the brawl as all six Superstars stare at Teddy Long in disbelief. Long says that he heard that SmackDown is moving to Tuesday nights starting on July 19 and he is there to take the second longest running weekly episodic show in history to a “brand new era”. Jericho then asks what Teddy Long is talking about, saying that Long doesn’t even work for WWE anymore. As the six Superstars continue to look at Long with a puzzled look on their faces, Long says that, if he was in charge of SmackDown, he would put them in a “Fatal 4-Way Match” or a “Six Pack Iron Man Match” and there “must be a winner”.
This brings out one of the two people who are actually running things as Stephanie McMahon comes out to the stage, saying that it’s great to see Teddy Long, but he’s not making any sense. Long tells Stephanie that SmackDown is going live and he wants to run SmackDown and Stephanie says that she has great respect for Teddy’s long tenure as General Manager, but they haven’t made any concrete decisions yet regarding who will be running SmackDown and they won’t be making that decision tonight.
Not wanting to deal with Stephanie, Teddy then asks for Stephanie’s brother Shane before Stephanie reveals that Shane is “on vacation”. Stephanie then says that Teddy can respect her decision to tell him to “get to stepping”. After Teddy Long makes his exit, Stephanie announces that, tonight, all six of the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match participants will be in singles matches tonight as Sami Zayn will face Alberto Del Rio, Kevin Owens will face Dean Ambrose, and Cesaro will face Chris Jericho. Stephanie then asks for Teddy Long’s music to be played as Stephanie dances her way to the back.
Before they, along with Dean Ambrose, Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, & Alberto Del Rio, compete in the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match in thirteen nights at WWE Money-in-the-Bank, the opening match of the night would see “The Swiss Superman” Cesaro square off with “Y2J” Chris Jericho. In the end, it was Cesaro sending Chris Jericho for the ride with the Cesaro Swing before locking in the Sharpshooter, making “Y2J” tap out to pick up a big win over a former World Champion.
With Titus O’Neil a guest on commentary, the United States Champion would be in action on RAW as Rusev, with Lana in his corner, would take on Oklahoma’s own Jack Swagger in a non-title match. During the match, the action would spill to the outside with both men struggling to make it back into the ring before the referee’s ten-count, but Rusev would shove Jack Swagger into Titus O’Neil at ringside before quickly getting back into the ring as Rusev picks up the win by count-out. After the match, Titus O’Neil would enter the ring and, after Jack Swagger clips the knee of Rusev, Titus would catch the United States Champion with a big boot. Rusev then collects himself on the outside as Titus O’Neil and Jack Swagger stand tall together in the ring, proclaiming “we the people”.
For the first time since he was on the receiving end of a three-on-one beatdown at the hands of The Club on last week’s RAW, John Cena would be on RAW to address his WWE Money-in-the-Bank opponent and leader of The Club, AJ Styles. Cena says that WWE is filled with amazing moments but the moment last week when he and AJ Styles were in a WWE ring for the first time ever is something that only happens “once in a generation”. Cena then says that he needs to know why AJ Styles took the “easy way out” last week before asking for “The Phenomenal One” to come down to the ring. This brings AJ Styles out to the stage, who brings his Club-mates Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson with him. AJ explains that he had a “plan”, saying that his plan was to shake Cena’s hand, look him in the eye, and then punch him in the face. Styles then says that his plan worked to perfection, saying that Cena is good at talking on the microphone, on morning shows, and in his movies, but Cena “insults” him every time the bell rings. AJ continues, saying that, even on Cena’s best day, he cannot beat him before saying that Cena doesn’t want to be in the ring with him because he would “run circles” around John Cena.
Cena responds by saying that AJ disappoints him, saying that Styles had fifteen years to come up with something to insult John Cena with and all he could come up with is the same thing that everyone else has already said. Cena then says that, after almost two decades, AJ Styles finally made it to WWE and was a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble Match and made his way to “The Grandest Stage of Them All” WrestleMania and then did “nothing”. Cena continues, saying that Styles was “gifted an opportunity” at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and failed to win the title twice.
Cena then says that, for the past twenty years, Styles has been heralded as “god’s gift to sports entertainment”, but he makes it to WWE and he’s a “bust”. Cena then calls Styles “desperate”, saying that AJ couldn’t even beat Roman Reigns and now he’s picking a fight with John Cena, saying that Styles doesn’t know who he’s dealing with. “The Phenomenal One” says that he has competed all over the world, saying that someone who is “desperate” has nowhere else to go and it doesn’t matter where he competes because he sells out arenas every time he wrestles. AJ continues, saying that he’s got “nothing else to prove” and he’s also got “nothing to lose” and the guy who’s got nothing to lose is the “most dangerous”.
Cena comments that he’s got “nothing to lose” every time he steps foot in the ring before asking why it’s no longer John Cena versus AJ Styles and why it’s not John Cena versus The Club. Styles then says that everybody who knows WWE knows that, once you wrestle John Cena and lose, it’s time to get out the shovels because guys like John Cena “bury” guys like him. AJ continues, saying that Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson are his “insurance policy”, saying that they are going to make sure that Styles’ head stays “above ground”, saying that John Cena has no idea who he’s dealing with. AJ Styles then drops his microphone before The Club makes their way down to ringside, surrounding the ring as John Cena readies himself for a fight, but before The Club can deal out another beatdown, The New Day makes the save as the WWE Tag Team Champions rush the ring, forcing The Club to retreat as John Cena and The New Day stand tall in the ring.
In a rematch from last month’s Payback pay-per-view where Enzo Amore went down with a concussion early on in the match, RAW would see Enzo & Big Cass face The Vaudevillains in tag team action. During the match, Aiden English would have the sinister intention of trying to concuss Enzo Amore like his partner accidentally did at Payback as Aiden sends Enzo out of the ring as Amore’s head hits the bottom rope in similar fashion to Payback. Having witnessed Aiden’s actions, Big Cass would snap, unleashing a fury of right hands on Aiden English in the corner with the referee repeatedly trying to stop Big Cass, but when it became clear that the seven-footer wasn’t going to stop, the referee calls for the bell, ending the match by disqualification. However, Big Cass would continue to put the boots to Aiden English before Simon Gotch tries to stop Big Cass, but Big Cass would level Gotch with a big boot. As Enzo climbs back into the ring, Big Cass picks up Simon Gotch, planting Gotch with the East River Crossing before Enzo & Big Cass embrace in the ring.
Backstage, Theodore Long is still hanging out with Stephanie McMahon as Teddy suggests that Stephanie make a Fatal 4-Way Tag Match for the WWE Tag Team Titles between The New Day, Enzo & Big Cass, The Vaudevillains, and Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson. Stephanie responds by asking Teddy how he got past security and into the arena with Teddy basically telling Stephanie that he bribed his way into the arena. Stephanie then asks for Teddy to leave and, after Long exits, Stephanie puts in a call to the marketing department, making the Fatal 4-Way Tag Match for the WWE Tag Team Titles that Teddy Long suggested official for WWE Money-in-the-Bank with Stephanie taking full credit for the idea.
Two of the six Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match participants would then square off on RAW as Sami Zayn would go one-on-one with former “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Alberto Del Rio. At the end of a back-and-forth match, it was Alberto Del Rio perching Sami Zayn on the top rope, sending Sami face-first into the steel ring post before delivering the double stomp off of the top rope, pinning Zayn to pick up the win.
After their fellow Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match participants squared off earlier in the night, a rivalry would be renewed as “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose would go one-on-one with Kevin Owens. At the end of a physical encounter between the two former rivals, Kevin Owens would hit a big frog splash to Dean Ambrose on the outside, but when Owens would bring Ambrose back in the ring for the Pop-Up Powerbomb, Ambrose would counter, spiking Owens with Dirty Deeds as “The Lunatic Fringe” pins Owens for the win. After the match, Dean Ambrose would bring a ladder into the ring as Ambrose sets up a ladder under the Money-in-the-Bank briefcase as “The Lunatic Fringe” looks to symbolically retrieve the briefcase. However, Kevin Owens would intervene, knocking Dean Ambrose off of the ladder before Owens points at the Money-in-the-Bank briefcase, shouting that the briefcase will be his.
The Women’s Champion would then be on RAW as Charlotte and Dana Brooke would make an appearance. Charlotte says that every “great champion” knows how to admit when they’re wrong and, since she’s earned the respect of the fans, she is out there to “apologize”. The Women’s Champion then addresses her father, Ric Flair, who she humiliated and sent home two weeks ago, telling the WWE Hall of Famer that she is “sorry” but what she said two weeks ago had to be said. Charlotte continues, saying that the fans don’t know the kind of pressure she’s under and, when she told her father that he was “dead” to her, she meant it “professionally”. Charlotte then says that she still wants to be her father’s “best friend” and she still wants to love and be there for her father, but as the Women’s Champion, she cannot share her spotlight and she can be the champion without Ric Flair.
This brings out Natalya & Becky Lynch to confront Charlotte & Dana Brooke as Charlotte is quick to make things personal, calling the Hart family the “biggest train wreck of a family” in WWE. Natalya says that her family is “not perfect”, but the way Charlotte treated her father was “disgusting” before Becky says that Charlotte “uses” people and she’s been doing it her entire time as champion. Becky then says that, if Dana Brooke were smart, she would disassociate herself with Charlotte before the Women’s Champion disposes of Dana just like she did everyone else Charlotte has been aligned with. Charlotte then says that Dana is her “protégé” because she has so much “wisdom” to share. Natalya then tells Dana to look at Charlotte’s track record, saying that Dana has “options” with Becky adding that Dana saw what Charlotte did to her own family, so Dana can just imagine what Charlotte thinks of her.
This appears to put doubt into the mind of Dana Brooke as Dana is left to decide who she wants to believe, but Dana would show her true colors when she attacks Natalya. This sparks a brawl between the four women with Charlotte & Dana Brooke getting the better of the situation with Dana dropping Becky with the Michinoku Driver as Charlotte holds Natalya down. Charlotte & Dana then leave the ring, having laid waste to Natalya & Becky Lynch.
In the ongoing rivalry between The Golden Truth and Breezango, R-Truth, with Goldust in his corner, would go one-on-one with Tyler Breeze, with Fandango in his corner. During the match, a fight would break out between Goldust and Fandango on the outside with Goldust rolling Fandango into the ring. R-Truth would then accidentally trip over Fandango as the referee rings the bell. With the match now over, both teams would brawl in the ring before Breezango makes a quick escape from the ring. This brings Theodore Long back out to the stage with Teddy announcing that the match will be restarted as a tag team match.
However, Teddy’s announcement would be meaningless since Long doesn’t actually have any say in things. Security then comes out to escort Long out of the arena and, as Teddy is on his way out of the arena, he is stopped by an agitated Stephanie McMahon. Stephanie says that they’re not going to have an “old, pathetic, incompetent fool” running SmackDown, saying that her father wants someone in charge who is “young” and “smart” and someone who is going to bring in the “new era” the right way. Stephanie continues, saying that is not going to be her brother Shane because it’s going to be her before telling Teddy to get the hell out of her arena.
After learning earlier in the night that they will be part of a Fatal 4-Way Tag Match for the WWE Tag Team Titles against Enzo & Big Cass, The Vaudevillains, and champions The New Day at WWE Money-in-the-Bank, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson would be joined by AJ Styles in the main event as The Club would face WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day in a 6-Man Tag match. At the end of a wild match, it was Big E taking Karl Anderson out with a belly-to-belly suplex before Luke Gallows levels Big E with a kick to the head and Kofi Kingston takes out Gallows with a kick to the head. This would give AJ Styles time to prepare for the Phenomenal Forearm as “The Phenomenal One” takes flight, scoring with the Phenomenal Forearm and pinning Kofi to pick up the win for The Club.
After the match, AJ Styles would put the boots to Kofi Kingston in the ring while, on the outside, Gallows & Anderson send Big E into the barricade. Gallows & Anderson then join Styles in the ring as The Club collectively puts the boots to Kingston before John Cena makes the save, taking out Gallows & Anderson on his way to the ring, but as soon as Cena gets in the ring, Styles exits the ring. Gallows & Anderson would then try to blindside Cena, but Cena would knock both men off of the ring apron.
This is when AJ Styles would come back into the ring, catching Cena with a right hand before stomping away at the former World Champion. This brings The New Day back into the fray as Kofi Kingston takes AJ Styles out with a dropkick before Big E enters the ring, grabbing Karl Anderson and delivering the Big Ending before John Cena finishes the job by dropping Luke Gallows with the Attitude Adjustment! This leaves John Cena and The New Day on an allied front in the ring as The Club regroups on the outside with both sides clearly ready for their respective showdowns at WWE Money-in-the-Bank.
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