After that, the show opens with the co-GM’s talking about the big SmackDown news, among other things.
Best Match of the night:
I have to go with the main event, not because it was amazing wrestling, but because it was entertaining. And that’s a biggie for me, I want to be entertained. Doesn’t always happen, and when it does, it doesn’t always have to be because of some exemplary wrestling. This was more train wreck than scientific wrestling, but it worked fine for me.
Worst match of the night:
I have to give this to the Usos/Breezedango singles match. Most of the attention seemed to end up with R-Truth on guest commentary, and the match was just awful.
Crowd Chants of the Night?:
Let’s go Ryder
How you doin’
New Day rocks
Let’s go Cena
Star of the Night
The Club. On a night where John Cena came back, to both loud cheers and loud boos, he also came back and reunited the briefly broken up Club, who badly need a better name, and they beat him down.
Spot of the Night:
Not a whole lot, but I do like the Magic Killer. So I give that the nod here
Also, worth a comment, not sure what to make of Rusev with the modified Accolade now. First thought it was that way just because of Kalisto, but Ryder is a much bigger guy, and the same version was used. Here’s betting at some point, he gets his shoulders counted to the mat because of that.
Jobber of the Night:
Ryder, unfortunately for him.
Upset of the Night:
Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:
After a couple weeks of us thinking the Club was no more, they are back in sync and in a major way. In John Cena’s return, he came out and acknowledged the huge “new era” movement that has swept through WWE in his absence. So, out comes AJ Styles, seeming to maybe want to challenge him. Would have been awesome. And he basically said, welcome back. At which point, Anderson and Gallows come out, apparently to talk down to AJ about cozying up to Cena. What we ended up with? Cena probably wishes he didn’t return early. While it wasn’t likely as bad as Nexxus beating him down, simply because of the sheer numbers of that group, it was pretty substantial and it marks, of course, the reunion of the Club.
My other thought here was going to be how Anderson and Gallows destroyed New Day during the opening bout, and I figured that maybe, just maybe, they were inserting themselves into the tag title picture. And maybe they are. But as they said in the back after their first beating, they said they were all about sending a message, and that they weren’t done.
Botch of the night:
During the match with Rusev, I can’t tell if Ryder was supposed to land awkardly on his butt, so I will assume that’s a botch.
Commentary of the night:
Line of the night came from Big Show, as he said to Crews that “I’ve been knocking guys out since the Jurassic era”
LOL Moment of the night:
Two, for me. Well actually three.
First, the dance off. Specifically, Shane’s moves,since Stephanie was interrupted.
New Day, talking about the coming draft, noted that Francesca needs her three dads.
And, R-Truth working the guest commentary, repeatedly calling Byron “Coach”. Even after he was corrected.Â I guess he’s the new comedy act.
AJ Styles comes out to challenge Cena upon his return. Except it set up something much bigger, much more dastardly.
Steph and Shane open the show to talk about the announcement last week that, as of July, Smackdown will be live every Tuesday on USA. I did like how they are already talking about the draft and it’s implications, with New Day fretting about their stability. I expect more of that in the weeks to come, but it served a purpose. Totally fine with that.
Also, Enzo made his return to ring action.
Titus came down and got physical with Rusev. Maybe that time in the dog house will work out for Titus
I also noticed, during the nice opening shot for the 10 bell salute et al, that Cena was out front and center. Now, I know his return was announced, but I still kind of expected them to keep him off camera until his actual return.
Also, worth giving a mention to Rollins with his Jericho-esque head games. Didn’t say a word, and kept teasing entering the ring, but never did. It reminded me a lot of one of Jericho’s returns, where he came out and said nothing. It got some boring chants, but it was interesting.
I would say it was about an average RAW, raised up by a few key moments. But outside of the big stuff? Nothing to write home about. I question the placement of the Cena/Club bit, though perhaps WWE was nervous going up against an NBA Playoffs game 7.
Cena gets one of the rudest welcome back receptions ever, and the fans aren’t necessarily upset about it. Memo to WWE–if you want The Club to be hated, don’t have them beat up and destroy your two least liked faces.
After the final bell:
Not a bad RAW, but there is work left to be done. Thankfully, there is also time in which to do it.
Hard not to be excited about what happens with The Club…I have to think another major SummerSlam tag match could be in the offing, with it being a New Era versus Old Era theme-much like we had with Team WWE versus Team Nexxus a few years ago. If that is where this goes, it could be quite interesting to see who Cena gets as backup, considering he’s already outnumbered.