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Monday Night Raw Episode 1,201: The Return of the Cenation. I would've put roman numerals but 1,201 in roman numerals is probably pretty hefty. Nonetheless tonight is the night that John Cena returns full-time to a WWE ring since his injury and subsequent surgery. We got a glimpse of him at WrestleMania 32 where he came out to help The Rock dispose of The Wyatt Family, but The Champ is here once again! Will we see the last entrant into the Money In The Bank ladder match field tonight as we push towards yet another PPV with massive implications. Will "The Club" continue to fall apart as AJ and his former New Japan buddies seem to separate farther and farther. The Man is back as well as Seth Rollins prepares to meet Roman Reigns in the main event of Money in The Bank! This is also the first Monday Night Raw since the bombshell dropped out SmackDown moving live to Tuesday nights with a brand split and a draft coming back, so expect some major excitement being spread from the WWE big wigs. Its also Memorial Day, so thank you to all of those who have served, will serve, or are currently serving in the armed forces!
To start the show, WWE honors those who have made the ultimate sacrifice with a moment of silence and ringing the bell with all the superstars and divas standing on the stage. They also show a video package.
PROMO: The opening promo of Raw belongs to Shane-O-Mac. Before Shane can say a word, out comes his sister Stephanie. Shane starts off by saying that the landscape of WWE is changing on July 19th as SmackDown goes live on USA Network. Stephanie says that SmackDown can wait, but for tonight we get to see the return of John Cena. Before they can say anymore, out comes the Tag Team Champions! The New Day is in Titletown! They bring up how excited they were about the SmackDown change, but that quickly changed to paranoia. Shane says its true that the two shows will have two different rosters, and Kofi brings up Shane's awesome shoe game. The New Day is all about the new era. They then ask where The New Day is going, and Stephanie says that no definitive decisions have been made and everyone will find out in due time. The New Day jump her saying she is dodging the questions. Shane says that nothing is off the table when it comes to the brand split; insinuating that The New Day could be split. Big E then asks who is going to SmackDown, and Stephanie says that they have yet to figure that out as everything is still a work in progress. Shane says that everything will be well thought out. The New Day then stirs the pot by saying it must be the sibling rivalry. The New Day says if there was ever a time they couldn't agree on something they would solve it one way.. A dance challenge! Stephanie says no way, but Shane is all for it as he dances with New Day. Stephanie then falls prey and gets ready to dance, but is stopped as they are interrupted by The Vaudevillains. Who are scheduled to take on New Day up next.
MATCH: The New Day vs. The Vaudevillians
During the match, Gallows and Anderson attack Xavier Woods on the outside and then attack the others. Laying waste to The New Day.
RESULTS: The New Day wins via DQ.
THOUGHTS: I was a little surprised by this. I figured if anyone was getting involved it would've been Cass & Enzo, but I was wrong. (Shocker)
PROMO: Renee stops Gallows and Anderson and asks why they did what they did. They said it was to prove that they can inflict just as much damage without AJ by their side. The best way to do that is to cause as much damage in the tag team division as they can, and they're just getting started.
PROMO: Apollo Crews is working out before his match backstage, and Big Show stops by to see him. Show asks him if he's ready to kick Sheamus' ass, and Crews says he is. Show says that Sheamus is scared by this "New Era" business, and he's a bully. He's going to scratch, claw, and do whatever he can to stay in his place. The reason he picked on him is because he thinks Apollo is going to back down, but the question is.. Will he?
MATCH: The Usos vs. Breezango
The Golden Truth is on commentary for this one.
Breezango attacks The Golden Truth, but The Golden Truth stand tall after the attack.
RESULTS: The Usos win via pin fall.
THOUGHTS: My only thought through this entire "Breezango vs. The Golden Truth" this is.. "I don't care." The best part of the whole think was JBL saying "I like molten poop better than I like Golden Truth."
PROMO: Roman Reigns is coming down to the ring. Roman starts off by reminding the crowd that two years ago Seth broke up The Shield, and ever since then he has called himself "The Man". Roman doesn't agree because he is always running from "The Guy" which is himself. He then calls Seth out to the ring to prove he's the man, and Seth answers the call. He teases getting into the ring, but then heads to the stage and grabs a mic instead. He then tosses the mic down and heads for the ring again, but does the same thing while laughing this time. He repeats the process a few more times playing the mind games. He grabs the mic, gets ready to say something, looks at the crowd as they boo him, and he throws the mic down and leaves. Then he comes sprinting from the back right up to the ring and backs away again saying "Things are gonna be run my way around here."
MATCH: Rusev(w Lana) vs. Zack Ryder
RESULTS: Rusev wins via submission.
THOUGHTS: Not surprised at all here.
PROMO: Rusev says that Ryder is just like all Americans. He thinks he is entitled to everything even though he has lost everything, but before he can continue out comes Titus O'Neil. Titus takes offense to Rusev calling himself a great American especially on Memorial Day. He says great Americans fight for what they believe in, and isn't buying the hype around Rusev. He lands an incredible punch and Rusev wants nothing to do with Titus.
PROMO: They play a video package of the breakdown between Charlotte and Ric, and showing superstars and divas talking about the "incident". Stephanie then stops Charlotte in back and says that she is embarrassed to have her as the Women's Champion after that outburst and how she is nothing but a waste of talent.
MATCH: Enzo & Cass vs. The Dudley Boyz
RESULT: Enzo & Cass win via pin fall.
THOUGHTS: I am a huge fan of Enzo & Cass(who isn't), and I think their time as Tag Champs is coming.
PROMO: Sami, Dean, and Cesaro are talking about their strategy for their upcoming 6 man tag match between KO, Alberto Del Rio, and Chris Jericho. All of which are Money in the Bank ladder match participants.
PROMO: The Champ is back! That's right. John Cena makes his return right now on Memorial Day. He starts off with a touching tribute to the men and women that risk their lives for our freedom and that he is with their families and friends on a day like today. He goes on to talk more about freedom and how that freedom allows him to say that he is back on Monday Night Raw. He brings up hoe a "new era" has started and people are wondering when his spot will be taken from someone else, but he assures that he will not going quietly into the night. The future goes through him. Then out comes AJ Styles! AJ Styles and John Cena in the same ring.. Wow. After nearly 3 minutes of standing and listening to the crowd go crazy, AJ Styles tells John he has been waiting for this moment for a long time. AJ says he doesn't understand the bad rep that Cena gets with all his hard work, and his work outside of the ring. Two worlds collide. He then extends his hand for a handshake and welcomes Cena back home. But before anything else happens, out comes Anderson & Gallows. Gallows says that they've agreed to go separate ways from AJ, and their way was causing havoc by attacking New Day earlier tonight. But AJ's way seems to sucking up to the big names. Anderson says they are in the business to kick ass and not kiss it, and AJ is included. AJ and Cena get ready to fight off Gallows & Anderson, then AJ turns on Cena! All three men beat down Cena and stand tall over him on his return. AJ goes back 3 more times to lay a beat down on the 16x champ. Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant.
MATCH: Dana Brooke(w Charlotte) vs. Natalya
After the match Dana and Charlotte start attacking Natty, but Becky comes to her rescue.
RESULT: Dana Brooke wins by pin fall.
THOUGHTS: This was all thanks to a distraction from Charlotte. The run-in from Becky was great, but I miss Sasha.
PROMO: Jojo is with Dolph and they talk about the technical wrestling match they will have tonight. He finally gets the chance to show off everything he has learned since he was 5 years old.
MATCH: Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin
Remember, this is a technical wrestling match. Not your average match.
Ziggler gets his wrestling gear on and then kicks Corbin right below the belt to get payback for Corbin doing the same to him at Extreme Rules.
RESULT: Baron Corbin wins via DQ.
THOUGHTS: I wasn't expecting this, but I enjoyed it.
PROMO: Maryse introduces The Miz, and he says he is a true champion and no one can beat him. Your usual champ stuff.
PROMO: Del Rio, KO, and Y2J are backstage talking about their strategy for tonight, but its more like arguing. They are on the same page on one thing, and that's that they want to make sure Zayn, Ambrose, and Cesaro never make it to Money in the Bank. They aren't getting along at all, but will main event as a team up next.
MATCH: Sami Zayn, Dean Ambrose, & Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens, Del Rio, & Jericho
Ambrose hits the Dirty Deeds and pins Owens for the win.
RESULT: Zayn, Ambrose, & Cesaro win via pin fall.
THOUGHTS: I was definitely expecting someone to interfere, but it was a good match!
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