Top 5 Takeaways From Monday Night Raw (07/04/2016)

The special Independence Day episode of Raw took place tonight with an emphasis on patriotism. WWE built the show around a special Team USA vs. Team World sixteen-man tag team match. Big Show, Kane, Apollo Crews, Zack Ryder, Jack Swagger, Mark Henry and The Dudleyz represented Team USA. The world saw the squad of Chris Jericho, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Cesaro, Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio and the Lucha Dragons. One match featuring such a large percentage of the roster will make for an interesting show. The draft is a few weeks away and WWE is slowly getting there with a couple of noteworthy feuds.

Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose trying to carry a story for their triple threat match with Roman Reigns despite Reigns being on the sidelines due to his thirty-day suspension. A.J. Styles is still picking on John Cena with his friends in The Club. There’s the very confusing yet promising New Day vs. Wyatt Family war of factions. Battleground is the final show before the brand split and that makes it pivotal to start adding more momentum as we inch closer. We’ll take a look at this week’s episode of Raw and find out what worked and what didn’t. These are the top five takeaways from the special Independence Day event.

Devolved into chaos! #WWE #Raw #4thofJuly

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Raw opened with one of the more peculiar choices of the year. The majority of the roster had a big dinner backstage before the show to celebrate the holiday. As always with WWE superstars having a meal together, a mess was made in the form of a food fight. The comedic segment set the tone for tonight’s show not being very important to the overall product but more of a fun holiday theme.

Every episode of Raw should be treated as a big deal this month due to the significance of the brand split taking place in a few weeks. This is going to be one of the biggest moments and culture changes in WWE history trying to create success out of a formerly failed concept. WWE wasted time with comedic segments and a main event that had no true bearing on storylines, aside from Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn showing their hatred for each other.

The most interesting takeaway from the show was one of the smaller moments. An ad revealed Brock Lesnar’s Summerslam opponent will be named on Smackdown this week. Considering the majority of the roster are currently in feuds and an upcoming Brock match would harm those stories, it will be interesting to find out who the mystery man is. The guesses will range from an active roster member to a big name returning.

Randy Orton, Kurt Angle and Bill Goldberg are a few of the popular names already being discussed on social media. Orton has been out of action for months and has never faced Lesnar in a big match. Angle has a strong history with Lesnar but WWE is rumored to have no interest in bringing him back. The recent WWE 2K marketing of Goldberg shows he has a relationship with the company again but the chances of him wrestling are slim to none.

@wweaallday21 and @bigcasswwe come to the rescue of @johncena on #Raw! #WWE

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John Cena called out A.J. Styles and The Club another week and once again was on the wrong side of a beat down. Both sides cut promos and Styles declared The Club would attack Cena every week until he was no longer in WWE. Their goal is to run the company and starts with eliminating the biggest name around. Cena suffered another 3-on-1 beat down until someone finally made the save on his behalf. Big Cass and Enzo Amore evened the odds to get the better of The Club.

The six-man tag team match was made for Battleground and will be the biggest match in the careers of Big Cass and Enzo. Following a call-up from NXT after WrestleMania, the team has lacked an important role on the show. They are finally entering an important storyline as Cena’s partners. A successful performance in a few weeks could lead to bigger things for Big Cass and Enzo Amore.

It is impossible to make an impact on the show if you are home suspended but things look bad for Roman Reigns. The only presence of Reigns on the show was Seth Rollins calling him a disappointment for his recent shortcomings. Fans erupted in support of Rollins running down Reigns and it just made the latter look even worse for the suspension. Dean Ambrose isn’t even bothering defending his friend and is rightfully focused on his own war with Rollins.

The WWE Championship triple threat dream battle between the three members of The Shield was supposed to be a dream match but it is a nightmare for Reigns. Both Ambrose and Rollins are gaining popularity and we are already forgetting about “The Guy.” Reigns will have to put in a lot of work to get any momentum when he returns. The booking indicates WWE is still upset with him and uses Rollins’ heel character to bring attention to it.

Rollins is coming off like a true main event performer these days with his stellar promos and matches bringing him back to form after missing six months due to injury. Ambrose has the ability to make fans sympathize with him and will always deliver success in the face role. Expect fans to treat Reigns worse than ever and for him to fall further down the mountain in the WWE pecking order when he returns.

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