The final RAW before Battleground served as a go-home show. However, the event that it built to was Tuesday night's WWE draft, not the upcoming pay-per-view.
While the main event featured a title match between Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, the biggest news of the night happened at the very beginning.
Stephanie and Shane came out, and, as advertised, announced their respective general managers. The rumors, fueled by an accidental WWE leak, proved to be correct, and Shane announced Daniel Bryan as his GM. Bryan had an unbelievable pop from the crowd. Any question about whether he'd still be over was certainly answered.
Stephanie, on the other hand, made two surprising announcements. The second announcement was the GM, where, surprisingly, she announced Mick Foley. It makes sense on a few levels. First, and callously, it allows Mick to promote his new show, which WWE really seems to want to push. Also, it provides a good balance for Stephanie so it's not simply that Smackdown is the face show, and RAW is the heel show.
However, that dynamic also leads to problems.
Mick Foley should be against everything that Stephanie says. Heck, while he was in the ring, Stephanie ridiculed the underdog. Mick Foley, before Daniel Bryan, was the ultimate underdog. It's a weird dynamic that they'll have to figure out in upcoming weeks.
The bigger announcement though was that RAW is going to be a new home for the cruiserweights. It had been speculated that the CWC could be a restart of the dormant cruiserweight division. Stephanie made it official.
I've written in the past about my mixed feelings about the cruiserweight division, and how it could hamper the growth of stars that could be something bigger than a simple cruiserweight. However, an important element if the brand split is going to be successful is that the shows have to be different. RAW and Smackdown can't simply be the same show with different wrestlers. Adding the cruiserweight division exclusively to RAW is a way to make things different.
So we're in for a big night Tuesday night for the WWE Draft. RAW set the stage, and we'll take a big step Tuesday.
The Rest of RAW:
-Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins put on a show in the main event. The match though, ended with a double pin as the two caught each other in a cradle. Stephanie insisted that Seth Rollins was the new champion, and in fact, the show ended with him going up the ramp with the title. However, on the WWE Network, the show continued and the match was ruled a draw, and Dean Ambrose retained. A rematch will be on Smackdown. This does seem to telegraph the fact that Stephanie will use her first pick on Seth Rollins, while Dean Ambrose will likely be picked by Smackdown.
-In an effort to get everyone on screen, while giving time to hype the draft, two feuds were stuck together in a 12-man tag match, as Cena, Enzo, Cass and The New Day faced The Club and the Wyatt Family. While the match was good, the segment before was great, as Cena played the straight man to the antics of everyone else around him. The match ended with AJ pinning Enzo after a Styles Clash.
-Sami Zayn and Cesaro beat Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho. Cesaro may be the man who gets the most out of the brand split, because he needs something to stick out. It seems like they really want to push him, but can't quite find the spot to do it. A fresh roster will certainly help that.
-Darren Young continued his mini-push by pinning Alberto Del Rio. He was inadvertently assisted by The Miz, who had distracted the referee.
-Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch beat Charlotte and Dana Brooke by DQ when Natalya came out and beat down Becky. Charlotte and Dana took out Sasha after the match. It'll be interesting to see who Sasha picks for her partner at Battleground. Bayley seems like the obvious choice, but I'm not positive that they'll go with the obvious pick.
-Sheamus and Rusev beat Zack Ryder and Dolph Ziggler.
-Baron Corbin squashed Sin Cara. Kalisto tried to make the save after, but he caught a beatdown from Corbin as well.
Questions? Thoughts? Leave them in the comment section here, email me, or find me on Twitter: @TheAOster. You can also hear my podcast, Jobbing Out, at https://soundcloud.com/jobbingout