The last Raw before SummerSlam—which has a card that looks thrilling on paper with lots of room for additions—figured to be a must-see event.
In fact, pretty much every Raw over the past month or so has been must-see, with the company clicking on most cylinders. But with the company's second-to-last chance to build momentum for the second-biggest pay-per-view of the year, anticipation was high.
Every storyline took another development at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, Calif., with John Cena, Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, Alberto Del Rio, The Shield, Kane and the Wyatt family all in action, as well as a big return.
Let's take a look at what went down.
Wade Barrett defeats Daniel Bryan via extremely quick count by special guest referee Brad Maddox.
Randy Orton defeats Damien Sandow when Cody Rhodes distracts Sandow.
The Shield cuts a promo.
The Great Khali and Natalya defeat Big E Langston and AJ Lee when Natalya gets AJ to tap out.
Vince McMahon almost names Brad Maddox as special guest referee for John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam, but Triple H names himself instead and hits Maddox with a Pedigree.
Kane defeats Titus O'Neil.
The Wyatt family comes down to attack Kane, but he is behind them when the lights come off. He then sets off his ring-post pyro.
Alberto Del Rio defeats Kofi Kingston.
The Usos defeat Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger.
John Cena and Daniel Bryan pump up their match on Miz TV.
Fandango and R-Truth dance contest ends with the two attacking each other.
Rob Van Dam Wins 20-Man Battle Royal to Face Dean Ambrose for U.S. Championship at SummerSlam.
Afterward, The Shield comes down to attack Van Dam and Mark Henry, but The Big Show returns to scare them off.
Paul Heyman cuts a promo. CM Punk comes out from under the ring and attacks Brock Lesnar and Curtis Axel while Heyman runs away.
Moment(s) of the Night: Is the United States Title Relevant Again?
There were several notable moments from tonight's Raw, from Cena and Bryan hyping their title match to an all-new high to CM Punk going on a fan-frenzying rampage to end the show.
But for now, let's concentrate on the United States title.
It has been quite some time since the U.S. title had much relevance, which is why so many were excited when burgeoning superstar Dean Ambrose took over as a champion. Unfortunately, Ambrose has lacked direction and a viable feud ever since beating Kofi Kingston at Extreme Rules back in May.
Perhaps that is finally changing, however, as we got several promising signs for the future of the U.S. title on Monday night.
First and foremost, Ambrose got legitimate time on the mic. Not only did he help put over the U.S. title by essentially calling himself the de facto WWE champion, but he did it with a promo that reminded everyone why he is such a star.
Unsurprisingly, the WWE universe was hanging on his every word:
Second, we were given a 20-man battle royal to determine his opponent at SummerSlam. The mere fact that the company was willing to put on such a unique, monumental match to determine the No. 1 contender is a positive sign moving forward.
Third, Rob Van Dam, who was getting some massive pops once again, came out victorious. He and Ambrose are both very talented inside the ring, and even though it's only a pre-show, their battle should be scintillating:
At the very least, it's not a match that is reserved for a belt no one cares about.
Finally, just to top things off, Big Show finally returned to make the save against The Shield, potentially setting up a tag team title match featuring he and Mark Henry vs. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns.
Did we see the resurrection of two belts on Monday night?
Either way, anticipation for SummerSlam couldn't be much higher after a wild night and another successful Raw.
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