Mr Money in the Bank Seth Rollins got the show underway with a message for WWE World Champion John Cena. Rollins said that Cena got lucky on Raw when he tried to cash the contract in on him as Dean Ambrose got in the way. Seth continued to state that Cena should take a long look at him as he will soon be the new face of the company, which caused Ambrose to enter the arena.
Ambrose reminded the former Shield member that over the whole of the year he will be there to stop him from cashing in the briefcase, which in turn caused a fight to break out between the two. The two former partners brawled across the ring before Randy Orton ran down to the ring to gang up on Ambrose. Roman Reigns quickly rushed in the make the save before Triple H calmed things down and made a match between Ambrose and Orton.
The first match of the night saw Sheamus take on Alberto Del Rio for the United States Championship to mark American Independence Day. The two were very aggressive early on with Del Rio countering Sheamus’ forearms with his MMA kicks. The brawl was taken to the outside where Del Rio through the “Celtic Warrior” into the steel steps as the former World Champion looked to regain some gold. Sheamus finally managed to fight back lock the cloverleaf in before hitting the Brogue Kick to retain his championship in front of an ecstatic crowd.
Bo Dallas continued the show by telling the crowd that they all need to “Bolieve” amid Daniel Bryan’s injuries and that he will win the Intercontinental Championship in the Battle Royale at Battleground. Dallas made quick work of his match against Diego of Los Matadores by applying the “Bodog”. Following the victory, Dallas told El Torito that even though he is a Bovine, he will one day grow taller if he believes. Torito didn’t take this lightly as he gored Dallas who in turn slammed the Matadores’ manager to the mat.
Break The Walls Down
Chris Jericho’s music hit to roar from the crowd as the six-time World Champion made his return to Smackdown after a year’s absence. Jericho thanked Bray Wyatt for reminding him that the WWE isn’t all about lighted jackets and surprise returns but it’s actually about survival. Jericho informed Wyatt that he hasn’t come across anyone like him and that he can get more crazy that Bray does as he is the best in the world at what he does.
Wyatt then appeared on the screen and said that rather than saving the people, Chris should worry about saving himself. Jericho responded by saying that the Wyatts should come out to the ring but was cut off by The Miz and his new Hollywood introduction. Miz asked Chris how it felt to be interrupted but the self-proclaimed awesome one was cut off with another Codebreaker to cue up Jericho’s theme song.
Paul Heyman introduced Cesaro, who he tipped to be the next reigning and defending Intercontinental Champion for a match against Big E. The match didn’t officially get underway as the two broke out in a vicious brawl on the outside with Cesaro throwing Big E into the barricade. Cesaro continued the attack with a series of chair shots to the back of the powerhouse.
The “Swiss Superman” went for a whip into the ring post but Big E managed to counter with an impressive ringside overhead belly-to-belly suplex. The two are strong contenders to take the reins of Barret’s vacated title and have set up an interesting run in towards Battleground.
The new WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee skipped to the ring to take on Eva Marie in a non-title match. Paige was at ringside to watch but refused to jump on commentary. The returnee defeated Eva with ease by making her submit to the “Black Widow” before Paige mysteriously entered the ring. The former champion however applauded AJ’s victory and shook her hand before gracefully leaving the ring. This looks like a slow double turn for the two who will likely have a grand showdown at SummerSlam.
We The People
Rusev and Lana made their way to the ring to make a statement to the America on their Independence Day. Lana said that the only impressive thing that Americans do on their nations birthday is show the world how fatter they get. Jack Swagger and Zeb Coulter’s music hit for the “Real Americans” to respond to the Russians’ claims. Coulter asked Lana who invented the automobile and who put the first man on the moon and concluded that the only thing that Russia invented that was worth anything is Vodka, which he felt that the duo had too much of.
Lana told Zeb to shut up as she thinks he’s American swine before Coulter got the crowd to chant “We the people” along with him. A stare down occurred between Rusev and Swagger as the crowd chanted USA but the Russian retreated to leave the battle for another day.
The main event between Ambrose and Orton got off with a strong start with a run of striking punches and kicks traded between the two rivals. Orton hit an uppercut for Ambrose to bounce off the ropes and respond with a clothesline. The former Shield member went for the “Dirty Deeds” finisher but Orton countered with a powerslam. The match transported to the announcers’ area where Ambrose attacked Rollins who was on commentary. Ambrose then went for a suicide dive onto Orton but Ambrose interfered with a strike with the briefcase to end the match in disqualification.
Following the bout the Authority conducted a beat down on Ambrose that was rounded off with an RKO. Rollins looked to continue but Reigns ran down to the ring to make the save by pushing the high flyer off the turnbuckle and striking a Superman punch on Orton. The two former Shield members stood together in the ring to highlight their unity since the breakup of the faction two months ago.
This was strong week of wrestling with both Raw and Smackdown putting on a series of engaging matches and storyline shifts. Smackdown set up a match between Jericho and The Miz to put an end to their minor rivalry so Y2J can divert all his attention to Bray Wyatt. Ambrose and Reigns offered a hint of nostalgia as they had each other’s back throughout the show, a move that was emphasised as they had somewhat drifted since Rollins’ betrayal. It looks like we’ll be seeing them partner up soon against Rollins & Orton to continue their rivalry against the Authority up until SummerSlam.
United States Championship: Sheamus (c) def. Alberto Del Rio by pin following the Brogue Kick to retain.
Bo Dallas def. Diego (with El Torito) by pin following the Bo Dog.
Non-Title: AJ Lee def. Eva Marie by submission to the Black Widow.
Dean Ambrose def. Randy Orton (with Seth Rollins) by DQ after Seth Rollins interferes.