The final episode of Monday Night RAW before the new brand split ended in controversial fashion after a WWE Championship match between Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. Rollins hit a superplex on Ambrose and an odd pinning combination resulted in a half-dazed referee making the three count. The ref was still woozy from taking an accidental bump just minutes prior to the finish and stayed down in the corner as chaos ensued.
The new Commissioners of RAW and Smackdown Live, Shane and Stephanie McMahon, along with their freshly-appointed General Managers, Daniel Bryan and Mick Foley, added to the confusion by arguing over whether Ambrose or Rollins should be WWE Champion. With the referee clearly unable to make a definitive decision, Stephanie took charge and announced Rollins as the champion. The two celebrated up the ramp as RAW went off the air, with the commentators offering no further help to the viewers.
However, as reported by Ringside News, the WWE sent out a text message alert telling viewers to tune in to the WWE Network where a final decision would be made. It was determined that after the referee “came to his senses,” he watched a replay of the finish and concluded that the match between Ambrose and Rollins ended in a draw. The WWE Championship cannot change hands as a result of a draw, and therefore, Dean Ambrose is still the WWE Champion.
What’s odd about WWE’s decision to send viewers to the Network is that they did not have Michael Cole, JBL, or Byron Saxton inform those watching live on the USA Network about it. Only those who received the alert or who were active on Twitter knew to go to the WWE Network for the extra few minutes when RAW went off the air. Whether that is restricted by USA execs is unclear. And perhaps the WWE figured many of their viewers watch the show On-Demand later Monday evening or the following day. But in any event, it seems like a strange omission in hindsight.
So Ambrose is still the WWE Champion despite the majority of RAW viewers being under the impression that Rollins has the title. The goal was to create controversy, but they may have just created confusion. Regardless, Ambrose and Rollins will have a rematch for the WWE Championship Tuesday night to help bolster a show that will also feature the highly-anticipated brand extension draft.
The Inquisitr has reported in the past that Ambrose is not expected to be WWE Champion for very long, at least as far as this particular title reign is concerned. There had been a lot of backstage criticism aimed at the current champion, stemming from his feuds with Brock Lesnar and Chris Jericho. Last week’s promo with Rollins may have earned him some much-needed brownie points, as it was widely considered one of, if not his best, since The Shield broke up and he went out on his own.
If the WWE Champion is determined by who has the least amount of heat on them between Ambrose, Rollins and Roman Reigns, then Rollins would be the clear front-runner to reclaim the belt at Battleground. Vince has soured on Reigns because of the Wellness Policy violation and Ambrose hasn’t been viewed as the top babyface despite currently holding the top prize in the industry. Regardless what happens Tuesday night on Smackdown Live, the triple threat match the wrestling world has been waiting for will still go on as planned.
The only change might be that there could be a different WWE Champion walking into Battleground. But at least until their rematch ends, Dean Ambrose is still the WWE Champion after a chaotic ending to RAW.
[Image via WWE]