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WWE RAW live results: John Cena vs. The Club continues; Teddy Long returns

With 13 days until Money in the Bank, Raw originates tonight from Oklahoma City. The WWE is promoting the Club as its new top heel group, which is new considering its a pushed faction that has no connection to the Authority. At least, not yet. A.J. Styles, as the group's mouthpiece, will likely be relied upon to give a promo explaining his attack on John Cena last week.

It could also be another night of returns. Bray Wyatt has been rumored to return imminently. With only two weeks to go before the show, there's only three matches announced for Money in the Bank, and even the Money in the Bank match itself is unclear. Originally, there were seven participants announced, but only six are currently listed. 

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The Big Takeaway:

This was a show that was full of talking and not much action. John Cena and A.J. Styles had a verbal joust full of inside references. Cena said wrestling Styles at Money in the Bank was a dream match (and was promoted that way throughout the show), then called Styles a bust because he lost to Roman Reigns twice. Teddy Long made a surprise return, booked to look like a out of touch goof who had no idea what the current fans want to see. The only match officially made for Money in the Bank is a Fatal Four-Way for the WWE tag team titles with The New Day vs. Anderson & Gallows vs. Enzo & Big Cass vs. the Vaudevillains.

Show Recap:

The show started with the six men involved in the Money in the Bank match already in the ring hovering on top of their own ladders.

Kevin Owens put down Sami Zayn as being less famous than the other five. Chris Jericho said he was more famous than any of them. Owens said he would be more famous than any of them because he will be the one who will take the Money in the Bank briefcase and the other five will be in his shadow. Dean Ambrose wanted to skip the talking and get to fighting. Owens talked him down and said he would get the briefcase some more and said he would take on all comers as champion. Owens said he wouldn't defend the title against any of the men in the ring, but he would face anyone else, including the Nation of Domination, Waylon Mercy or the Four Horsemen.

Alberto Del Rio ignored Ambrose's pleas to start fighting and said Zayn was a dog covered in fleas compared to him. Crowd actually started chanting "Si, si, si." Cesaro spoke up before Jericho shouted him down and reminded everyone he created the Money in the Bank match. Cesaro then asked "How come you've never won a Money in the Bank match?" Jericho said he had. Zayn asked which one? Jericho mumbled something about the first one. Then he said the sixth one in Appleton, Wisconsin. Cesaro acted like had no idea what Jericho was talking about and called him a stupid idiot.

Jericho did his new "Gift of Jericho, Drink it in, man" catchphrase. Ambrose climbed up and punched Jericho. They all started brawling.

Then, out of nowhere, Teddy Long made a surprise return to "Teddy" chants. Long heard that SmackDown was heading to Tuesdays live. Teddy was all over the place on the mic. He said SmackDown was the longest running network wrestling show. Michael Cole had to issue a correction afterwards saying SmackDown was the 2nd longest weekly episodic series in television history. Cole had to explain the entire purpose of the Long cameo afterwards. Ordinarily, Long said he would arrange a disqualification match (that's what he said), a six-way match and various other stipulation matches. Everyone looked confused.

Stephanie McMahon came out acting like she had no idea Long was going to be there. She asked what Long was doing. Long said he wanted to run SmackDown. Stephanie said a decision on who would run SmackDown hasn't been decided yet. Teddy asked to see Shane McMahon. Stephanie said Shane was on vacation and asked him to get to stepping. Long wanted to dance off the stage, but Stephanie ordered that his music not be played.

Stephanie said Zayn would face Del Rio; Ambrose would take on Owens, and Cesaro takes on Jericho immediately. Then Stephanie ordered Long's music to be played and she danced to the back. This was a really weird segment that Stephanie actually had to save.

Cesaro defeated Chris Jericho via submission (12:05)

Cesaro used a 13-rep Giant Swing then used a Boston Crab to get the tapout. Earlier, Jericho blocked an attempt at the Giant Swing and turned it into a small cradle. Some spots were mistimed, including Cesaro going for a springboard uppercut but Jericho catching him with a Codebreaker. Overall, a solid match.

- Anybody else notice the Money in the Bank music is also Donald Trump's WWE music from WrestleMania 23?

- They honored Muhammad Ali by showing tribute tweets from HHH, Bret Hart, Shane McMahon and Steve Austin. 

An amazing but perplexing video package aired focusing on Seth Rollins.

It was basically a five-minute version of the documentary that's airing on the WWE Network. They showed the debut of the Shield at Survivor Series 2012, where they jumped Ryback. Rollins said, in or out of the Shield, he always wanted to be the best, not one of the best. Rollins said people misunderstand his relationship with Roman Reigns. He doesn't dislike Reigns, it's just that Reigns is in the wrong place at the wrong time. Rollins said when he won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania, it was his moment, not Reigns. 

They replayed his injury in Dublin, Ireland. There were even videos of Rollins as an infant playing with a Hulk Hogan stuffed action figure, pinning it to win the championship. When the video of Rollins' surgery aired, he was shown cutting a promo from his bed, slurring his speech, saying he was coming back for his championship on day one. Cameras caught him watching Reigns beat HHH at WrestleMania from a luxury suite. Rollins said Reigns was a placeholder, not a real world champion.

Reigns is just sitting on Rollins' throne, keeping it warm for him. Rollins said Reigns has never beaten him. It was such a good piece...so how are fans supposed to treat Rollins as a heel now? This is something straight out of Florida Championship Wrestling in the 1970s if an injured babyface sidelined for six months was rehabbing for a run against Dory Funk Jr for the NWA strap.

U.S. Champion Rusev defeated Jack Swagger via countout in a nontitle match (3:36)

Rusev and Jack Swagger did a double clothesline spot on the floor that looked still as hell. Titus O'Neal was on commentary. As the referee got closer to a 10 count, Rusev kicked Swagger into O'Neal and got back in the ring for the win. Postmatch, Swagger and O'Neal sent Rusev packing. Odd to see two babyfaces send one heel out of the ring. Swagger was over in his home state.

John Cena came out.

He said you don't know what you got until its gone. Last week, there was energy and excitement when A.J. Styles and Cena was in the ring together. He called it a once in a generation moment. He tried to get it over like it was the 2002 staredown between the Rock and Hulk Hogan, then started doing his own dueling chants to mimmick what the crowd was doing. Cena said he's only had electricity like that with one other Superstar, the Rock. Cena said for 15 years, people had been curious to see Styles vs. Cena. But Cena wanted to know why Styles chose the easy way out.

Cena wanted Styles to come out and explain himself. Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson came out. Crowd had more dueling chants. Styles said he took the easy way out because he had a plan to punch Cena right in the face. And it worked perfectly. Styles said Cena insults him. He said Cena was great on his morning shows and his movies. But Cena insults him when the bell rings. And Cena knows deep inside that "You can't beat me." Styles says his kids ask him all the time why doesn't he wrestle Cena. He answers because if he did, he would run rings around Cena.

Cena said Styles' jokes are as outdating as his jorts. Cena said he looks at Styles as someone who worked two decades to get to the Royal Rumble, and failed. He failed twice against Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Cena said Styles was a bust. Styles said attacking him was desperate. Cena said Styles didn't know who he was dealing with because he failed twice against Reigns, and now he was going after him?

Styles shot back that he could go back to Japan tomorrow and sell it out tomorrow. He said he nothing else to prove because he has nothing left to lose, so that makes him dangerous. Styles said after someone wrestles Cena, they get out the shovels and bury Cena's opponent. Styles said Cena didn't know who he was dealing with.

The Club went to the ring and surrounded Cena. The New Day ran down to join Cena and chase them away and it ended. A trios match between the three was announced for later tonight. A strange promo by Cena. On one hand, he compared Styles to the Rock. Then minutes later, he called him a bust. Styles did a promo straight from the heart of every Internet fan, or anyone else who has paid attention over the last 11 years. It was the time for Styles to give the best promo of his life, and it was very good.

The Vaudevillains defeated Enzo Amore and Big Cass by DQ (2:22)

Aidan English teased throwing out Enzo Amore over the top rope the same way he did at Payback. He threw Amore to the ropes, but Amore slid under the ropes and still sold it like he suffered a concussion. Big Cass went nuts, pounding English in the corner. The referee called for the bell when Cass refused to back off. Fans booed the DQ. Cass gave Simon Gotch the East River Crossing. Enzo got back in the ring. It's clear they want Cass to break out of the singles pack because he's tall, but he doesn't have the charisma that Enzo has. Big Cass quoted Ali. Enzo Amore brought up the Vaudevillains knocking him out and said he could blow a bubble with a Now-A-Later.

Zayn did an interview saying he would have to consider himself an underdog against Del Rio tonight because ADR has captured the World Heavyweight Championship. Del Rio showed up and said if Zayn won the Money in the Bank briefcase, it would prove all those people who Zayn could never win wrong. But Del Rio said Zayn's dream is his reality and Zayn was destined to stay in the same spot he's in now.

- More tribute tweets to Ali from Cena, Stephanie, Jerry Lawler and Mick Foley.

Long walked up to Stephanie dancing to his music, which was the ring tone on his phone. Long said if he was running SmackDown, he would take Enzo & Cass, the Vaudevillains, Anderson and Gallows and the New Day in a four-way for the tag team titles. Stephanie blew off that idea and asked Long how he got back security. Long pulled out a dollar bill and said "it makes you go holla holla." Stephanie just glared at him. Teddy showed himself out. First thing Stephanie did was arrange the Fatal Four-Way tag team match that Long suggested for Money in the Bank.

Alberto Del Rio pinned Sami Zayn (8:18)

Surprisingly one-sided match where Del Rio won with the diving double foot stomp off the top rope. Zayn didn't get much of a comeback after the heat. In fact, he didn't even get a ring entrance. Del Rio's first attempt at the double foot stop led to Zayn throwing him off the top rope. But Del Rio was back up in no time for the finish.

Ambrose walked backstage with Owens laughing at him. Owens said he was concerned for Ambrose, not just because of the Money in the Bank match, but because Ambrose has been more off the deep end than usual. Ambrose asked if Owens thought he was off when he beat him for the Intercontinental Championship. Owens said Ambrose needed help. Ambrose said Owens is the one who needs help.

Reigns got a video package just like Rollins from earlier.

They showed Reigns pinning Daniel Bryan to win the tag team titles. Reigns said Rollins thinks he's the smartest guy on Earth. Reigns said he felt betrayed when Rollins broke up the Shield. He said being in the main event of WrestleMania against Brock Lesnar was a roller coaster by itself. When Rollins cashed in the Money in the Bank contract, Rollins took away his WrestleMania moment. His wife, father and daughter were all there.

He felt anger, but sometimes anger is the best motivator a man can have. Reigns said Rollins has always attacked him from behind because Rollins is scared of him. Reigns said there will be a big fight feel (Cole used those exact words earlier) at Money in the Bank since it will be in Las Vegas. Reigns said he's expecting a better Seth Rollins, and he will beat a better Seth Rollins. 

Dean Ambrose defeated Kevin Owens (6:33)

Ambrose won with Dirty Deeds. Before the finish, Ambrose went for a tope, but Owens caught him and rammed his back into the apron. Owens followed with a Bullfrog splash. Crowd was quiet for much of the match until Ambrose did a superplex. After the match, Ambrose pulled out a ladder and climbed to the top. Why did he do that? To show he could climb a ladder? The answer, of course, was to give Owens a chance to recover and throw Ambrose off the ladder and scream how he would win Money in the Bank.

- Life Lessons with Bob Backlund had Darren Young saying he's been running. Backlund said Young should always be walking and that he hasn't run since 1978. Young said that was long before he was born. Backlund said he had Young's car keys and he wanted him to walk eight hours to Backlund's house. Young just walked off unhappy about walking eight hours.

Charlotte and Dana Brooke came out.

Cole said the world was still reeling about what Charlotte said to Ric Flair two weeks ago. I'm still reeling from Stephanie stealing her heat last week. Charlotte acted like she was going to apologize for saying what she said to her father. Charlotte said when she said Flair was dead to her, she meant professionally. She still wants to spend the holidays with her father, work out with her father, etc. But she didn't want Flair stealing her spotlight.

Natalya and Dana Brooke came out laughing over Charlotte's acting routine. Charlotte said Natalya had a trainwreck of a family and they should have their own reality show on E! Lynch said Brooke would eventually get stabbed in the back by Charlotte. Natalya warned Brooke that Charlotte was a master manipulator, something she and Lynch learned the hard way. Brooke looked at Charlotte like she was concerned and started to walk over towards Charlotte and Natalya. Then Brooke punched Natalya, who fell over Lynch. Brooke gave Lynch a Samoan Driver whie Charlotte held Natalya in a Dragon Sleeper and they posed over the babyfaces bodies. 

Primo and Epico did a promo about how great drinks in Puerto Rico are.

Tyler Breeze and R-Truth went to a no contest (:53)

Goldust and Fandango brawled into the ring for a quick DQ. Long came out and ordered the rematch restarted. Everyone just glared at him like he was crazy. Security ordered Long out with no more action between these four, and not a moment too soon. Breeze and Fandango did an inset promo where Breeze shaved Fandango's back. Fandango said something about how having the right lotion on your body makes your muscles aerogigantic.

- Long walked out before we got our weekly "Stephanie chews someone out" moment. Stephanie scolded Long and said Raw was going to be in the hands of someone young, vivacious and strong, and it was going to be her, not her brother Shane. She said Raw wasn't going to be in the hands of old, incompetent, out of touch geezer. The irony alert was instantly activated from the local Emergency Alert System. Then she ordered Long to get the hell out of her building.

- Ali tribute tweets from Vince McMahon, Booker T and Flair were shown. Cole introduced a tribute package to Ali, showing his knockouts of Sonny Liston and George Foreman. They showed Ali talking about how much Gorgeous George and Freddie Blassie influenced him. There was rare footage of Vince interviewing him with Blassie managing him, I assume for the buildup that aired on ABC's Wide World of Sports that built up his match with Antonio Inoki. Plus, there was the angle with Gorilla Monsoon. Of course, there was also his appearance at WrestleMania I. Crowd gave the video package a standing ovation.

- They announced the Ambrose Asylum next week would return with Reigns and Rollins as the guest. So it's a Shield reunion, even though Stephanie cancelled the Ambrose Asylum a month ago. We didn't even get Shane texting in an order to revive the show, they just advertised it with no warning.

- New Day came out and compared The Club with the Mickey Mouse Club. Kofi Kingston said they were the WWE World Tag Team Champions, and that was the only club that mattered. It all started as a three-on-three fight that ended with Styles giving Xavier Woods the Styles Clash on the floor. Woods was carried to the back and they carried on with the bout now a 2-on-3 handicap match.

The Club defeated The New Day in a handicap match (5:12)

Styles pinned Kingston after the Phenomenal Firearm. Kingston got a near fall earlier after the SOS. Afterwards, Anderson and Gallows threw Big E. into the dasheboards. Cena ran out for the save and he decked Anderson and Gallows. Styles retreated. Anderson and Gallows jumped back on the apron, and Styles wallopped Cena from behind. Kingston gave Styles a missile dropkick. Big E. gave Anderson the Big Ending, and Cena gave Gallows the AA.

During the match, Styles gave Big E the Pele Kick on the floor, and Gallows followed with the Yakuza kick. The crowd actually chanted for Cena after that. Cole mentioned it's been 288 days since the New Day recaptured the WWE World Tag Team Titles.

SUMMARY:

The highlight of the show was the video package for Rollins. It was almost as good as the documentary made about him on the network. The timing of the video is the lingering question. Why didn't they show that in the month preceding his return, then have him come back as a babyface to feud with Reigns? Rest of the show was ordinary in front of the deadest Raw crowd since WrestleMania.