Hello everyone. America’s waking up today realizing it’s another year older. WWE had quite the birthday celebration for the good old USA on this week’s Monday Night Raw. Usually, WWE doesn’t do much for the Fourth of July other than a video package or two. But this year, Vince McMahon and company definitely waved their Star-Spangled Banner in the Buckeye state. With the draft just a few weeks away WWE tried its best to get the rating up as there are quite a few featured contests promoted over the weekend. The main event being the USA versus The World (or the International Alliance) in a 16 man elimination match

WWE started off the show with the good old-fashioned holiday food fight. And honestly I love these. This set up a lot of matches later on in the night. There was a great flow to the show and a three hours went by quickly. The United States Title Match between Titus O’Neil and The Bulgarian Brute battle once again as the former Florida Gator does his best Apollo Creed impression. I wish Lana would’ve gone full Brigitte Nielsen and did the Drago comparison for Rocky. The company must be a lot of the feud as it is scheduled to keep going on through the summer. Maybe they should refuel and repaint The Lex Express to get fans really behind O’Neil after two straight losses. Or maybe he should join his friend Darren Young in “Becoming Great Again” with Bob Backlund’s guidance?

I’m not sure how fans can continue to see the former Tag Team Champion as a credible challenger at this point and is going any longer actually damage the champion.

Enzo and Cass were next to face the very patriotic Social Outcasts dressed like Minutemen from the Revolutionary war. Health Slater was doing his best Johnny Tremaine impression as The Certified G’s made Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel authentic to the costumes as if I like the match was over in a minute. Enzo Amore would’ve made Bob Backlund proud naming all the US President in order in his promo. Enzo definitely has the gift to interpret what you given and make it something special.

These two will have roles later on in the episode including product placement for Sonic. If you have any doubt that WWE sees big things for those two you need to know that everything is all right.

Charlotte and Dana came out to rundown Sasha Banks as The Boss continues her journey to the WWE Women’s Title. Great promo from the self-professed Blondentourage . The Champion continues her character of the ultimate egotist. Banks comes out and assert her dominance and her intentions for the title. Banks proves how good she was in the segment. She believes what she says and that connects with the crowd. It is really interesting that on all these encounters Sasha keeps getting the upper hand on Dana and Charlotte. I think WWE may be using the fan enthusiasm to tease a title switch upcoming at the pay-per-view. The encounter have not been officially announced for the July 24 pay-per-view.

Next up we get our Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose segment portion of the night. Dean Ambrose had a rematch with The Miz from this past Thursday’s Smackdown in a solid match. I honestly didn’t think it was as good as the match on Thursday but still a solid encounter between two champions. Ambrose definitely has a swagger all his own. I’m not sure if he’s going to work as a standardbearer for the company but you definitely interesting to watch.

Seth Rollins comes out next in a solid contest with Dolph Ziggler. Two athletic individuals go back and forth for quite a long time but in the end Seth Rollins comes out on top. I like the interaction between Ambrose and Rollins throughout all this. With Roman gone these two have really picked up the ball and ran with it. I like Rollins being the guy saying that Reigns should be disgraced. As I said with other articles I don’t blame WWE for keeping The Shield three-way intact for Battleground. But it will be on seeing Roman back in the three-way that Sunday.

We get the first Wyatt Family vignette inviting The New Day to their Rob Zombie like compound. I like this. You can say what you want about the Wyatt family booking over the last three years but the production when it comes to the vignettes they shoot. I also love The New Day segment later trying to make the backwoods brutes a menacing force. It makes me wonder getting New Day invited to a remote country location for a fight seems awfully familiar to a certain “Broken” battle between Hardy brothers from Impact Wrestling. I don’t blame WWE for piggybacking on the social media presence of The Brother Nero phenomenon. It’ll be interesting to see how the Xavier Woods aspect plays out and whether the Wyatts will finally get a much-needed win perhaps getting the Tag Team Titles.

I feel bad for the Vaudevillians. Just a few months after debuting the pair from the bygone era to the 40-year-old pair The Golden Truth. If I were the men from a bygone era I would not be as excited for my future right now.

Speaking of The Vaudevillians, Aiden English’s mother-in-law Vickie Guerrero returned to Raw after almost a two-year absence to be the latest campaigning to run Smackdown Live on July 19. It’s nice to Vickie once again but I cannot wait. She Dudley knows how to get the crowd to legitimately react to her.

This year on July 4 there was no US Open Challenge from John Cena instead he calls out Styles, Gallows and Anderson. The Club comes out and begins to go after John Cena after he decent promo from the trio saying that they will only continue to beat up John Cena throughout the holidays. AJ claims that no one will come to John Cena’s aid. But that is proven not true as Enzo and Cass make a secondary appearance. Later it’s announced that on July 24 face it will be a six man tag with John Cena, Enzo and Big Cass versus The Club. This can go either way as Enzo and Cass could really get the road to the next level by just teaming with Cena in a solid effort. Although if you’re really going to make The Club a strong force they need to get strong victories. So that is interesting as it breaks up the monotony of singles rematch after singles rematch between Cena and Styles. My guess is we are going to get John Cena versus AJ Styles 2 at Summerslam.

We see another promo for The Shining Stars this gimmick is really done in the water and needs to be retooled again. I think the more vignettes they do the worse it gets.

Becky Lynch continues to show the fire interviewed with Natalya as she defeated Summer Rae in a solid contest. I honestly believe Summer Rae is one of the most underused talents on the WWE Women’s Roster. I wish they can find some of that magic she had back during her days with NXT. But in the end Becky was the focus as the build to Natalya versus the Lass Kicker at Battleground in Washington DC.

WWE really did a great job building to the main event 16 man elimination with great backstage segment with the two squads attempting to get along. The match that ensued was a lot of chaos but fun chaos. In the end, Zack Ryder continues to be the ultimate baby face giving the win for Team USA. I hope this means that the company plans on doing something with Zack Ryder getting a US title shot. Because there needs to be something coming out of the match.

I don’t know what the rating will show later today but I thought it was a very fun episode but could’ve been a throw away.

About The Author

Dan is host of Shooting from the Hip which you can hear every Sunday at 8pm EST, 7pm CST right here on PWpop.com.