Someone must read what people say, as we actually don't start with an Authority promo. Instead, John Cena comes out and cuts his usual tired promo. Things get good when Kevin Owens interrupts though. His nonchalant attitude whenever Cena says anything is brilliant. It's like nothing Cena says affects him. Both guys want to hold an open challenge, so Owens decides that whoever comes out can choose which title to go after. Neville answers and admits that he was close to beating Cena a few weeks ago, but goes for the NXT Title. They work a good match here, though I've seen them have better. Cena was on commentary and did a good job in putting over the upcoming match at Money in the Bank. Owens retained with the popup powerbomb and I like how they are giving the NXT Title and making it seem important. The show is off to a good start.
The WWE's Instagram account was taken over and filled with photos of Dean Ambrose going around New Orleans with the WWE Title. Seth Rollins was pissed about it but the Authority told him he'll be on his own on Sunday and he can choose his own opponent for tonight. The Divas are next as Nikki Bella beats Summer Rae in a non-title match. This was nothing for two minutes but we do get told that Paige and Nikki are meeting again at Money in the Bank. Next, we got our Money in the Bank promo segment. Roman Reigns talked a bit until Kane interrupted. The rest of the participants, sans Neville, showed up but the highlight was R-Truth. He came out and plugged the match, only to be reminded that he's not in it. It was great comedy as Truth is perfect in this role. He's past his prime as a legit threat to anything, but can still be entertaining. However, the segment itself besides that was still lacking and didn't accomplish much. Randy Orton and Sheamus worked their usual match. This was an original idea five years ago, but they've met so much that it's just there. That includes last week. They worked through a commercial, nothing really happened and it ended via disqualification. This was absolutely just filler. Seth talks to J&J Security backstage, giving us a classic moment. J&J claim that Seth needs them because they are Shield 2.0. Jamie says Joey is an upgraded Roman Reigns and he's a better version of Ambrose. This was hilarious. Seth slaps Jamie, who returns the favor and Seth challenges them for tonight for his warm up match.
We continue the lazy booking of having Money in the Bank participants face each other. Dolph Ziggler takes on Kane, and we all know how this ends. There's a distraction that allows Kane to go over. The distraction is Rusev coming out to talk to Lana, only for her to trip and hurt her ankle. Rusev's split personality of monster heel to emotional teenager angry about his ex is fantastic. MizTV is on next, featuring Ryback and Big Show, who will now meet at Money in the Bank for the Intercontinental Championship. Ryback and Miz had a decent back and forth, as Miz is a great douchebag heel. Show interrupted and they got into it. Ryback hit him with the Shell Shock to end the segment, which got the crowd hype, but I would have saved that for the actual match on Sunday. Seems like a waste to do it here.
More images of Dean Ambrose around New Orleans are shown, telling us that he bought a ticket off a scalper. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan defeated Los Matadores with the 3D. It's not a pretty version of it, but I wonder if they're going to bring back the Dudleys to feud with them for a bit. Big E then defeated Titus O'Neil in a match to build towards their Tag Team Title bout on Sunday. Guess how this one ended? Via a distraction. It's like a Raw staple to have it happen multiple times in a show. We get told that on the Money in the Bank Kickoff show, there will be a completely random match between King Barrett and R-Truth. Why? No clue. Roman Reigns worked Kofi Kingston in the final MITB preview match, and it was better than I expected. However, nothing about it really helped as we've had multiple participants in Money in the Bank lose tonight. Why should they deserve that shot? Dean Ambrose then arrived through the crowd with popcorn to watch the main event. It was strange to see that his theme music hit as if he's supposed to be there and not just a guy who purchased a ticket.
The main event was a handicap match pitting Seth Rollins against J and J Security. Kane is at ringside with J&J. The match was fun as Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury can still go, but Seth looking overmatched against guys that have been established as a joke wasn't good. Then, to make things worse, because of a distraction by Ambrose, J&J actually win. I get that it's supposed to give us doubt that Seth will retain on Sunday, but that was a bad move. In the end, this was a really lazy effort on the part of whoever booked Raw. They just threw the MITB guys together and gave some of them losses. Why not have them win against some of the lower card guys? Why have Seth lose here? Why so many distraction finishes? After the opener and the Truth comedy, everything was pretty bland, dull and didn't build to the Pay-Per-View well. 3.5/10.