Roman Reigns earned a setback and a triumph on the June 16 WWE Raw.
It's rare that one wrestler both stains and elevates their resume to such a degree on a single night, but Reigns did that in Cleveland thanks to vomit and a championship opportunity. Brothers Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas each saw their stock rise at Quicken Loans Arena. A pair of dancing Superstars weren't as lucky.
The WWE title Ladder match offered new opportunities, as did the buildup to Money in the Bank.
In the midst of that story, WWE made Wyatt and Dallas look stronger, while Fandango and Cameron were forced to watch the spotlight around them dim. Reigns' experience is a mishmash of celebration and embarrassment, making him both one of Monday's Raw's biggest winners and losers.
Cody Rhodes ended somewhere in the middle of those extremes.
He debuted a new persona (Stardust) that was a hot topic on social media, but his introduction fell flat. An awkward two-minute match is never the best way to get started.
Winner: Bray Wyatt
Lights dotted the darkened arena like fireflies. Wyatt's crew stood behind him, an erect ladder sandwiched between them.
As he paced across the ring, Wyatt held a mic in his hands, a sure sign that a hypnotizing sermon was coming.
The Eater of Worlds spoke of power and his desire to win the WWE title. He made the championship sound like a powerful talisman, calling it his absolution, his glory and the change everyone has been seeking.
It was one of his best, most focused promos and proof that being in the hunt for the belt will shine more light on Wyatt regardless if he wins or not.
He followed that up with a hard-hitting battle against Sheamus. One of the night's better matches ended in enthralling chaos.
The Wyatt Family, Sheamus and The Usos all collided outside the ring. He didn't come out on top of this fracas, thanks to his enemies use of a ladder as a weapon, but he was once again on center stage. While men like Dolph Ziggler hold onto scraps of limelight, Wyatt continues to be a featured performer.
That is set to continue at Money in the Bank when he faces John Cena, Sheamus, Reigns and others in the pay-per-view's main event.
Fandango is dancing further into the background.
The feud between his dance partner, Layla, and Summer Rae has overshadowed him over the past few weeks—and that worsened on Monday's Raw. In a mixed tag match, Layla and Summer went after each other with their teeth bared.
The biggest story of the match was Summer chasing Layla into the backstage area.
Meanwhile, Adam Rose knocked off Fandango with just a handful of moves. Guest commentator Kevin Hart barely had any time to deliver any jokes.
He spent more time crowd surfing with Rose than Fandango spent in the ring. That's a bad sign for a guy who was once a contender for the Intercontinental Championship.
As WWE reminded us last week with Drew McIntyre, Brodus Clay and others getting released, once a guy is at the bottom of the card, asked to lose often and becomes the butt of jokes, his walking papers usually follow.
Winner: Bo Dallas
When the crowd of warriors entered a Battle Royal with a spot in the WWE title Ladder match on the line, few would have pegged Dallas as being one of the final men standing.
Dallas eliminated Santino Marella early on. He made Rob Van Dam his victim as well.
With a smile on his face and his thumbs pointed upward, he inserted his gimmick into the action. He provided a few moments of comedy, including him trying to give Bad News Barrett a congratulatory hug. Dallas looked formidable as well, though.
In the end, it was Rusev, Reigns and Dallas who stood in the ring, victory within reach.
The fact that WWE had Dallas stick around in the Battle Royal for so long, while Xavier Woods and Damien Sandow found themselves headed to the showers just moments after the bell rang, is a sign of the company's confidence in him.
After Payback, Cameron interrupted Paige's press conference. It looked as if the Funkadactyl would be next in line for a shot at the Divas Championship.
Then came the June 5 edition of Superstars. Paige forced her foe to tap after a short match. On Monday's Raw, Cameron fought Paige once more, only to submit following a brief bout again.
Cameron is clearly not a contender in WWE's mind; rather, she's a minor hurdle for the champ to hop over.
The match showed fans why the company feels that way. Paige's aggression was entertaining early on, but the action quickly tapered off. Blame a large part of that on Cameron being indecisive, making a few sequences hard to watch.
Winner/Loser: Roman Reigns
Triple H banned Reigns from the Battle Royal. The Shield's powerhouse then had to find a way into the match. WWE had a plethora of options here and inexplicably went the bathroom-humor route.
Reigns slipped something into the coffee Vickie Guerrero was bringing to Stephanie McMahon. McMahon soon vomited all over her assistant.
Guerrero—sodden, stinking and embarrassed—then gave in and allowed Reigns to enter the Battle Royal.
Tampering with drinks is a long way off from the core of Reigns' character. He is a solider and a gladiator, not a maker of mischief. He's now associated with one of WWE's least effective low-brow segments in recent memory.
He soon got a chance to wash away that moment with a big victory, though.
Reigns, much like he did at the Royal Rumble, looked like a dominant force. He flung out several competitors, speared both Ryback and Curtis Axel at the same time and eliminated Rusev to win the whole thing.
That puts him in the WWE title Ladder mach, his first opportunity at the company's biggest prize.
Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins spent much of the night tagging each other with punches. They seem destined to meet in a grudge match at Money in the Bank. Reigns, meanwhile, has a bigger stage ahead of him, even if he arrived there by way of vomit.
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