Raw Recap: July 18, 2016
Aired on July 18, 2016

For those of you who had a WWE Hall of Famer and a former WWE Champion in your General Manager pool, it’s time to collect your winnings. Coming off last week’s announcement that Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and SmackDown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon would appoint GMs to run the day-to-day of their respective shows, the McMahon siblings went left-field in both of their selections.

Stephanie not only broke the news that Raw would have sole ownership of WWE’s new Cruiserweight division, but she also picked Mick Foley, no stranger to epic sports-entertainment eras, to run Raw as the GM. Shane-O-Mac, no stranger to showing up his fellow McMahons, summoned Daniel Bryan(!!!) from retirement to lead the charge as the showrunner for a SmackDown Live whose mission statement is to shatter the glass ceiling and send the establishment packing. He sounds like the right man for the job.

In just six days, the bad blood between Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens will — they hope, at least — be settled forever. But that’s then. For now, the animosity rages on, and the latest flare-up between the eternal rivals ended in a win for The Underdog from the Underground, who united with Cesaro to battle The Prizefighter and Chris Jericho. As befits the frantic animosity between Zayn and Owens, the bout was fast and furious to the point that all four Superstars were throwing hands before they noticed who had been tagged in. Zayn initially looked like he was going to get the worst of that confusion when he went after an interfering — but illegal — Owens. Jericho, the legal man, attempted to schoolboy him, but Zayn reversed the pin attempt to deliver the gift of pinfall to The Ayatollah of Rock ’n’ Rolla.

Dolph Ziggler pinned United States Champion Rusev on SmackDown, which was a long time coming for The Showoff. That, alas, was where Zig Man’s honeymoon ended, as his team-up with Rusev’s No. 1 contender Zack Ryder against The Super Athlete and Sheamus ended with Ziggler bowed over in a backbreaking Accolade.

Before that, though, it looked like Rusev & Sheamus would self-destruct of their own accord. The Irishman refused to tag in an eager Rusev, meaning the Irishman’s record of teaming with his former League of Nations “Lads” is as spotty as it was a few weeks ago. Ryder eventually forced Sheamus to tag Rusev in right as he reached Ziggler, and a few hiccups aside, The Bulgarian Brute managed to lock in the Accolade in short order.

The good news first, if you’re a Dean Ambrose fan: The Lunatic Fringe is still WWE Champion. The good news second, if you’re a Seth Rollins fan: The Architect fought like hell to wrest the supreme championship from his former Shield ally. Rollins took Ambrose to both the physical limit and the time limit in a match that spilled into a WWE Network overrun after a disputed pinfall left the match with an unclear victor.

Things ended far more decisively in the extra innings, so to speak, when the referee went to the tape and ruled the match a double-pin draw. Ambrose ultimately got the better of Rollins when The Architect attempted to ambush him with the title, meaning he’ll walk into WWE Battleground as champion. And lastly, the good news if you’re a Roman Reigns fan: He’s back Sunday. And that could be very, very bad news for the other two.

In other actions... Darren Young def. Alberto Del Rio... The Club & The Wyatt Family def. John Cena, Enzo Amore, Big Cass & WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day... Baron Corbin def. Sin Cara... Sasha Banks & Becky Lynch def. WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte & Dana Brooke via Disqualification... 

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