As you may have heard, a New Era is dawning, for Raw and especially SmackDown. And who better to usher in the latest chapter of the blue brand than … Teddy Long?
Teddy Long. The Mac Militant Playa, former SmackDown General Manager and eternal tag team match enthusiast interrupted a ladder-top showdown between the Money in the Bank Ladder Match contestants — Dean Ambrose, Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Cesaro, Alberto Del Rio and Chris Jericho — to throw his name in the running for SmackDown’s new head honcho position. Although Stephanie McMahon (running the show solo with Shane on vacation) wasn’t about to hand him SmackDown on a big blue platter, she took a cue from his matchmaking days and sanction three singles matches between the Money in the Bank men: Zayn vs. Del Rio, Ambrose vs. Owens, and Cesaro vs. Jericho. The latter of which started immediately. Holla!
With five languages and the fashion sense of a superspy under his belt, few would accuse Cesaro of being a stupid idiot, or an idiot of any kind. Yet there was Chris Jericho on Raw, hurling insults The King of Swing’s way and ultimately paying for it in the first one-on-one bout between the two in more than three years. Jericho’s pedigree and experience meant The Swiss Superman didn’t exactly cruise his way to the win, of course. Things looked particularly dicey after Cesaro went for his springboard European uppercut and flew face-first into a Codebreaker (he rolled out of the ring to recover). But Cesaro’s strength carried him through. He muscled his way out of the Walls of Jericho, somehow reversed the submission into the Cesaro Swing, and transitioned seamlessly into the Sharpshooter to make Jericho tap. Drink it in, man.
This Money in the Bank, it’s Christmas in July — or more accurately, WrestleMania in June — as AJ Styles is set to take on John Cena in what pretty much everyone is calling a “Dream Match” worthy of The Showcase of the Immortals itself. Despite all that, Cena came to Raw relatively riled up that The Phenomenal One opted to cheap-shot him and bring The Club into the equation.
Cena demanded an explanation from Styles and he obliged, summing his buddies’ presence as an insurance policy to keep his momentum going should Cena get the better of him. The assembled Club then headed to the ring to make an example of Cena, only to be cut off at the pass by The New Day, who came to Cena’s aid before their main-event clash with The Club. Feel the power, baby.
Well, that’s pretty sour: The New Day’s grudge with The Club over the past week officially built to the first-ever six-man tag between the two groups. Despite the unicorn magic in their bellies, Kofi Kingston, Big E & Xavier Woods found themselves magic-killed and left licking their wounds at the end of the inaugural clash.
To be fair, though, it wasn’t like the Tag Team Champions didn’t want none. In fact, it’d be fair to say they wanted too much. Ya boys clashed with The Club before the bell and got the worst of the ensuing brawl, with a furious Woods taking a Styles Clash to the floor that removed him from the bout. Kingston & Big E went it alone anyway and fell short thanks to a Phenomenal Forearm to Kingston. The Club wasn’t satisfied and continued to stomp The New Day until John Cena came to even the odds. The Club was quickly subjected to a dropkick–Big Ending–Attitude Adjustment combo, at which point they made themselves scarce. It’s almost like they — wait for it — didn’t want none.
In other action... U.S. Champion Rusev def. Jack Swagger via Count-out... The Vaudevillains def. Enzo Amore & Big Cass via Disqualification... Alberto Del Rio def. Sami Zayn... Dean Ambrose def. Kevin Owens... Natalya & Becky Lynch confronted Charlotte & Dana Brooke... and R-Truth vs. Tyler Breeze ended in a No Contest.