Welcome to the WWE Raw Deal review right here on TJRWrestling. This week’s Raw is being billed as “Championship Monday” by WWE because there will be matches for the Raw Tag Team Titles, Raw Women’s Title, Women’s Tag Team Titles and 24/7 Title on this show. It was taped last Wednesday.
Before we get to Raw, if you haven’t done so already, please check out my review of “The Last Ride” documentary about The Undertaker the Chapter Five finale. In the closing moments, The Undertaker sounded like he was content knowing that the Boneyard Match at WrestleMania 36 was the last match of his career. Is it really the last match, though? Right now I would say yes, but we have no idea what the future may bring. I wrote an Undertaker column with thoughts about the documentary, his future and mentioned some other famous wrestlers that had a tough time retiring as well.
From the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1413 of Monday Night Raw. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage, insightful columns from our team along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present. Let’s roll.
The show began with an opening video promoting the four title matches scheduled for this week, plus updates on Edge, Rey Mysterio and more.
The crowd in the WWE PC was ready to go with some of them wearing yellow wrist bands on. The announce team of Tom Phillips, Samoa Joe and Byron Saxton welcomed us to the show.
Drew McIntyre entered as the WWE Champion wearing a dress shirt and pants rather than his usual wrestling gear. McIntyre welcomed us to Raw for this Championship Monday. McIntyre said that last week, R-Truth accepted a match where his WWE Title was on the line. McIntyre said he still stands there as the WWE Champion, but now we have to look to the future.
Dolph Ziggler showed up to join McIntyre in the ring. Ziggler noted that AJ Styles has been traded to Smackdown and in return, Monday Night Raw gets Ziggler and his tag team partner, the “Glorious One” Robert Roode. Ziggler said that Raw got the better end of the deal. Ziggler told McIntyre that he deserved the WWE Title and he would hate to see him lose the title. Ziggler talked about the Drew McIntyre comeback story about how Drew was there and he got fired. Ziggler credited himself for picking up Drew and brought him back to Raw. Ziggler said that he and Drew became dominant Tag Team Champions because of Dolph and now Drew is the dominant WWE Champion…because of Dolph. That’s according to Dolph. Ziggler said he knows McIntyre needs a challenger for Extreme Rules and all he asks for is what he is owed…a WWE Title match.
McIntyre laughed at Ziggler for coming to Raw in a 2 for 1 trade special. McIntyre told Ziggler that he has become what they used to despise – an entitled jackass. McIntyre noted that Ziggler thinks the world owes him something and Drew said that he does need an opponent for Extreme Rules. McIntyre said that Ziggler gave him the “Scottish Psychopath” nickname and Drew wondered if Ziggler wanted this match for the WWE Title. Ziggler nodded his head yes. McIntyre said then it’s official that McIntyre will defend the WWE Championship against Dolph Ziggler at Extreme Rules on July 19. As Ziggler left, Phillips wondered why Ziggler would be owed a title shot.
Analysis: The reports of Ziggler going to Raw were out last week, so it wasn’t a big surprise to see him there. Ziggler hasn’t done much of late other than putting over Otis repeatedly and somehow that means he is in the WWE Title picture. It reminds me of last year when they just put him against Kofi Kingston a few times without building it up at all. There’s a good amount of history with Drew and Dolph as allies, so at least there’s a bit of backstory that they can play into.
Here’s some trade confirmation as well.
— WWE (@WWE) June 23, 2020
Analysis: I would rather have Styles instead of Ziggler and Roode at this point in all of their careers. No offense to Ziggler and Roode, but it’s true.
Nia Jax made her entrance, she got a chair from ringside and put it in the ring. Jax sat on the chair as the show went to break.
This Wednesday on NXT: Keith Lee vs. Finn Balor vs. Johnny Gargano for the NXT North American Championship. I review NXT now on TJRWrestling only, so check out my review of that match and the whole show on Thursday.
Nia Jax had a microphone in hand saying that Charlotte Flair gets a title match because she gets whatever she wants. Jax complained about how she was cheated out of becoming champion at Backlash and then last week on Raw when a biased referee cost her. Jax wondered: “Where’s the fairness?” That led to R-Truth making his entrance.
R-Truth did his “What’s Up” rap on the way to the ring with the 24/7 Title around his waist and Jax was not happy to see him. Truth said he’s supposed to have a match against an evil leader of a ninja clan, Akira Tozawa, for his WWE 24/7 Championship. Truth wondered if Jax is the real Akira Tozawa and said that ninjas are masters of deception. Jax was not happy about him accusing her of being Tozawa and then Tozawa was by the announcers. Truth thought there were two Tozawas. The ninjas showed up and chased Truth to the back.
Jax tried to speak some more, but that led to Charlotte Flair showing up in a robe and her ring gear looking ready for her match.
Flair said that Jax squandered her last two title matches, so now she’s out here throwing a huge hissy fit. Jax said we all know that Flair gets what she wants because her dad is Ric Flair and Charlotte said her dad’s new title is “Charlotte’s dad Ric Flair.” Flair got into the ring with Jax, who said if you think your father hasn’t helped your career then you’re delusional. Flair noted she has beaten Asuka at WrestleMania and twice in the last month. Jax bragged about being Flair three years ago and said that Flair has been avoiding her while adding that the one woman to take Charlotte’s crown is Jax. The women got into a brawl in the ring as multiple referees went into the ring to try to break it up. Flair broke free and hit a boot to the face of Jax. Flair was selling a left arm injury from what happened in the fight with Jax.
Analysis: I think what Jax said made a lot of sense for her from a character point of view because she didn’t get beat by Asuka in her two title matches. What Charlotte said was also true when she noted Jax squandered her opportunities to win the title. The brawl by Flair and Jax was quick, but put over the idea that even though both women are heels, they don’t get along well with eachother.
There was a video package showing how even the Street Profits and Viking Raiders have been in their challenges over the last two months. That set up a title match this week on Raw.
The Street Profits were backstage doing a promo when the Viking Raiders showed up. Montez Ford said they aren’t like the NWO 4-Life and Angelo Dawkins said that they are forever. They all raised their hands together and said “Viking Profits.” Dawkins said that they are friends, but when the bell rings, it’s on and they will do whatever it takes to get the win. Erik said that there’s nothing that can stop them from reclaiming the gold, so they better bring the smoke. Ivar told “fam” that they will see them in the ring. That match is next. As the wrestlers walked away, Zelina Vega walked into the picture.
The Viking Raiders entered as the challengers. The Street Profits were up next as the champions. They did not go into the crowd as they tend to do because it’s probably smarter to avoid going into the crowd for health reasons. It took 34 minutes to get to the first match of the night.
Raw Tag Team Championships: The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) vs. Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar)
Dawkins went for a dropkick, Ivar avoided it and hit a spin kick. Erik tagged in with a double knee attack on Dawkins and slammed Ivar into Dawkins for a two count. Dawkins with a punch, Ford tagged in against Erik and Ford with multiple leapfrogs followed by a dropkick. Ford with a somersault dive over the top onto Erik, who caught Ford and Erik gave Ford a Powerbomb into Dawkins leading to a break. A hot start to this match!
Ivar slapped on an armbar on Ford, then sent Ford to the corner and Erik tagged in. Dawkins tagged in with a splash on Ivar, a clothesline on Erik, a back elbow on Erik and a dropkick on Ivar. Dawkins with a bulldog on Erik as well. They launched Erik into the air leading to a Viking Experience slam for a two count as Ivar broke it up. Cool spot with the Street Profits using the Viking Raiders finisher. Erik decked Ford with a punch. Ivan with a springboard back elbow on Ford and he knocked Dawkins off the apron. Ford with a jumping enziguri kick, Ivar with a boot and Dawkins tagged in against Erik. There were cartwheels by all four guys to show what they can do. Erik slammed down both Profits at the same time. Ivar tagged in, he went up top and jumped off with a splash, but Dawkins moved. Dawkins with a spinebuster and a Spear on Erik. Ford tagged in and hit a Frog Splash off the top onto Ivar for the pinfall after about nine minutes. That was an incredible Frog Splash. What an amazing leap.
Winners by pinfall: The Street Profits
Analysis: ***1/2 This was a really good match for the time given because it was all action. More time would have been nice, but part of the reason it was so good is because it was so quick and every move meant something. They didn’t do the rest holds or the long drawn out face in peril spots that you see in most WWE tag team matches. It featured a lot of tags and some great moves by both teams. Since they only got nine minutes I would have liked to see the whole match instead of splitting up the action with a break. Ford really stood out with his athleticism on a dive to the floor and the height he got on the Frog Splash to win the match. He’s an impressive athlete.
Post match, the Viking Raiders hugged the champions and then they all put their hands together in the ring. When the Viking Raiders left the ring, Andrade and Angel Garza attacked the Street Profits from behind. The Viking Raiders made the save as the heels retreated.
Analysis: The Raw tag team division has needed a heel team for a long time, so it looks like Andrade and Garza will be the next contenders.
Seth Rollins was shown backstage with Austin Theory and Murphy. Rollins said he had a message for Rey Mysterio.
There was a replay shown from last week when Dominick Mysterio got in a shot on Seth Rollins and then got away before Murphy and Theory could get him.
Seth Rollins did a backstage promo saying sometimes in life we are destined for roles beyond our choices. Rollins said he did not choose to be the Monday NIght Messiah just like Mysterio didn’t choose to be sacrificed. Rollins said that he accepted his role for the greater good while Rey has been defiant and defiance breeds suffering. Rollins said the sad thing about this is that Rey allowed his son Dominick to get involved in this situation. Rollins added that whatever becomes of Rey and his son is on Rey because the greater good is coming for them all and there’s nothing Rey can do to stop it. Rollins said he’s heard that “legends never die” but they sure as hell can outlive their welcome. The camera zoomed on Seth’s face to end it.
There was a replay of Charlotte Flair and Nia Jax getting into a confrontation earlier on Raw, which led to a brawl between the two women.
Charlotte Flair was shown leaving the trainer’s room with some black tape put on her left shoulder. Charly Caruso asked if she was okay, Flair said she’s fine because that’s what they do in WWE and she said her arm will be just fine holding up the Raw Women’s Championship.
Angel Garza, Andrade and Zelina Vega were standing nearby, so Caruso went up to them. Garza told Caruso said when you know what you want like gazing in a woman’s eyes and Vega pulled Garza back. Vega said that they are a united front because they turned their differences into strengths and Andrade said the Raw Tag Team Titles to let us know that’s their focus.
Analysis: That means Charlotte Flair just walked by her fiancé Andrade and didn’t acknowledge him. That’s just WWE choosing not to make note of certain relationships while they push others.
Asuka entered with the Raw Women’s Championship.
Analysis: That’s the end of the first hour of Raw with nine minutes of total wrestling and three minutes in a commercial, so six minutes of in-ring action in one hour.
Charlotte Flair made her entrance. As mentioned earlier, she had the Kinesio tape on her left shoulder to sell the arm injury. Flair beat Asuka two weeks ago on Raw thanks to Nia Jax interference, so Flair earned the title shot.
Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair
Flair with a running shoulder tackle followed by a kick and some stomps on Asuka against the turnbuckle. Jax was shown watching on a TV in the backstage area. Asuka got a hold of the left arm and wrenched Flair to the mat. Asuka with kicks to the left arm. Asuka charged, Flair moved and Flair punched Asuka to knock her down by the ropes. Asuka pulled the left arm of Flair across the top rope, Flair to the floor and Asuka with a running kick to the face. Asuka went for a dropkick on the floor, Flair moved and Asuka hit the floor. Flair with a boot and then back into the ring for a two count. Flair wrapped the legs around the throat and then sent Asuka across the ring. Flair with a backbreaker followed by a toss that sent Asuka into the turnbuckle. Asuka went to the floor, which led to a break.
Flair worked over Asuka with punches and forearms. Asuka avoided a corner attack, which led to Asuka hitting a German Suplex across the ring with Nia Jax watching on TV backstage. Asuka worked over Flair with kicks to the left shoulder, then a kick to the head and then Flair hit another boot to the face. Flair charged, Asuka moved and Flair went left shoulder into the turnbuckle. Asuka slapped on an armbar on the left arm, but Flair managed to roll to the bottom rope to break the hold. Flair with a kick to the left knee followed by a chop block to the left knee. Flair with a Spear on Asuka for two as Asuka got her hand on the bottom rope to break the count. Asuka countered the Figure Four into an inside cradle for a two count. Asuka with an armbar on the left arm, but Flair powered out of it with a Powerbomb. Asuka slapped on the Asuka Lock submission and Flair tapped out to give Asuka the clean win after 12 minutes.
Winner by submission: Asuka
Analysis: ***1/2 This was a very good match as usual from two of the best women in WWE. Asuka finally beating Flair was nice to see since Flair has beaten her so many times. It was clean although there was the story of Flair coming into the match with an injured shoulder because of Jax injuring Flair earlier in the night. I liked the story of the match with Flair using her size and power to hit some big moves, but Asuka was relentless in not giving up while always finding a way to come back for more. It was a big, meaningful win for Asuka.
Nia Jax was interviewed backstage by Charly Caruso with Jax saying it would be a shame if somebody kicked The Queen (Charlotte) while she was down. Saxton thought that Flair should watch her back.
Later on Raw is Ric Flair with Randy Orton. Up next is Edge with a medical update.
There was a video package about Randy Orton beating Edge at Backlash with The Punt and then he beat Christian on Raw as well.
Let’s Hear from Edge
Edge was shown sitting inside a WWE ring. Edge has a ring at his home. Edge said that Orton won at Backlash, but he’s not sure he’s the better natural wrestler. Edge said that Orton hit him with an RKO and tore Edge’s triceps off the bone, but Edge kicked out and he kept fighting. Edge said he felt the panic in Orton when he was about to lock in the Anti Venom and then coincidentally Orton hit him with an “accidental” low blow. Edge said he saw Raw last week with Orton calling himself the greatest wrestler ever since he won the “Greatest Match Ever” and told Randy to put it on merchandise because it means so much. Edge said that beating Orton is what he expected, so he was disappointed he didn’t see the low blow coming and disappointed that he didn’t do it first. Edge said that won’t happen again. Edge noted that Orton said that Edge lit a fire in his gut, reminded him of who he is. Edge said he couldn’t pick up his daughters on Father’s Day and he complained about Orton punting Jay (Christian) when Orton knew that Christian wasn’t medically cleared. Edge said that Christian was his best friend for 36 years. Edge said that when Orton did that, he put the “PG Superstar” to bed and for that he’s thankful because now Orton woke up the side of Edge that will sink to any level to get what he wants. Edge said he didn’t care about how many backs he bruises to get to the top. Edge said it didn’t matter about winning a match, he’s going to embarrass him and make Randy wish that Cowboy Bob was firing blanks on the night that Randy was conceived. Edge said when Randy comes home, his kids will ask if he is okay and Edge said that Randy won’t be okay. Edge mentioned that Randy can’t look Kim (Randy’s wife) in the eye because they know what’s coming. Edge said he’ll infect Randy’s life brick by brick from the inside. Edge: “You have no idea what you’ve done. You woke up the evil. You woke up the Rated R Superstar.” Edge told Randy to get some sleep while he can as the camera cut back to show Edge had a big bandage on his surgically repaired right triceps. The scene ended.
Analysis: This was awesome. Edge has been delivering money promos since he came back and this was no different. It sucks that he will probably miss somewhere from six to eight months due to the arm surgery, but I hope that they can have him do some promos like this to keep warning Orton. This feud feels very personal with each man mentioning the wives of the other guy. The line about Cowboy Boy shooting blanks was very evil too. Edge warning Randy that he would get revenge for himself and Christian was great too. I liked the line about how Randy woke up the Rated R Superstar, which means we’ll get an even more aggressive version of Edge when he comes back. Really good.
Randy Orton was interviewed backstage by Charly Caruso, who asked what happens to a snake when it is angered. Orton said that a snake is going to strike wildly and blinded. Orton said that snake is going to defend and do what it has to do to survive. Orton noted that Edge and Christian tried to have their comebacks at his expense, so he did what he had to defend his family and his livelihood. Orton said he did what he had to do to survive against mother nature. Orton wanted Edge and Christian to have full recoveries, he wanted them to have long and happy lives as long as they do it far away from him. Orton said he had something to discuss with the Nature Boy.
Analysis: A solid promo from Orton. It wasn’t as long as what Edge said, but what he said made sense for his character.
Charlotte Flair was backstage getting interviewed by Charly Caruso with some ice on her left shoulder. Flair gave Asuka credit for going after her left arm because Asuka knew that the only way she would win. That’s when Nia Jax showed up to attack Flair from behind. Jax grabbed Flair’s left arm and slammed a container shut onto the arm. Flair was down selling the left arm as a doctor checked on her.
Analysis: They book Flair like a heel most of the time, but with Jax it looks like Flair is more of a face since she was the victim of a cheap attack. We also found out on Tuesday morning that Flair needs surgery for something, so she’ll be out for a few months. Best wishes to her.
R-Truth entered to face Akira Tozawa for the 24/7 Title as ninjas surrounded the ring. Bobby Lashley entered with MVP and Lashley beat up all the ninjas around ringside while Tozawa hit under the ring. The match never started. Lashley went into the ring and slapped on the Full Nelson on Truth. Lashley and MVP left.
Analysis: It was payback for last week when Truth teamed up with McIntyre to beat Lashley and MVP.
With Truth out in the ring, Tozawa emerged from under the ring. Tozawa crawled over to R-Truth and covered for the pinfall win.
Winner by pinfall AND NEW 24/7 Champion: Akira Tozawa
Analysis: Congrats to Tozawa for the win. All of the ninjas around the world are proud of him.
Natalya walked up to Sarah Schreiber by the trainer’s room. Natalya said that Raw needs her as a leader of the women’s locker room. Natalya said that she has some big announcement in a match up next.
Analysis: It looks like heel Natalya is back. That’s fine with me. I like her best as a heel.
Liv Morgan made her entrance to cheers from the crowd. Liv is a very popular woman on the rise. I’m excited about her future. Natalya was joined by her buddy Lana in a black dress to support her.
Natalya (w/Lana) vs. Liv Morgan
Natalya with a shoulder tackle and a clothesline. Natalya told somebody in the crowd to shut up. Morgan broke free from a submission where Natalya held her on her shoulders. With Morgan on the apron, Natalya hit a shoulder tackle to the ribs to knock Morgan to the floor. Morgan with a headscissors off the apron onto Natalya on the floor. Lana distracted Morgan, who had issues with Lana in the past. Natalya clipped the back of the leg of Morgan and Natalya slapped on the Sharpshooter and Morgan tapped out after about five seconds. Natalya held onto the Sharpshooter for a few more seconds.
Winner by submission: Natalya
Analysis: *1/2 It was okay for a short match to put over this new team with Natalya and Lana. I know people will complain about Liv losing, but it was because of the numbers game with Lana distracting Liv and that led to Natalya capitalizing for the win. I think long term this is a story that will see Morgan win the rivalry and by working with Natalya, Morgan will continue to improve in the ring as well.
Post match, Natalya hugged her buddy Lana at ringside. They were very happy about the win.
Big Show was interviewed backstage by Charly Caruso with Show saying he had fun last week getting into a fight with some ninjas. Show noted that his career was focused on his Netflix show Big Show Show. Show talked about how he didn’t like what happened to his friends Edge and Christian, so Show said that headed to the ring right now is a heartless, angry giant.
Analysis: The tease of Big Show going after Orton was teased on Raw Talk last week, so I fully expected that direction. I can’t say I’m clamoring for an Orton feud with Big Show, but here we are. It’s another legend for Orton to beat up.
It’s official for WWE Extreme Rules: Drew McIntyre defends the WWE Championship against Dolph Ziggler.
Let’s Hear from Ric Flair and Randy Orton
Ric Flair did a promo saying that when his daughter Charlotte Flair comes back, Nia Jax will be in a lot of trouble.
Flair said that word arguable does not apply here. Flair said that everyone wants to be the best, but only one can be. Flair said that last week, Orton punted Edge and Christian into retirement. Flair said that he’s the Apex Predator, he’s the greatest and he wanted to tell him to his face.
Randy Orton walked out in his wrestling gear along with the vest that he likes to wear as he joined the Nature Boy in the ring.
Flair said that Orton is the most dominant, vicious performer in WWE. Flair said that it’s a tough slot to sit on, control, manage and dictate from. Flair said that it’s the best performer in WWE and then he said the best performer in the history of WWE. The fans booed.
Orton said that those words from Flair meant a lot. Orton said that it’s nostalgic that they are together as half of Evolution. Orton spoke about nostalgia can be confused with legacy sometimes. Orton said it was nostalgic that Flair showed that he was still the dirtiest player of the game and then Orton talked about how nostalgic it was to take out Christian and Edge. Orton said he has this desire to once again to be called the “Legend Killer” is not nostalgic, it is just cementing his legacy. Orton said that the voices in his head are not always on the same page, but they are now getting pleasure from once again being called the Legend Killer.
Big Show made his entrance as he walked down to the ring to confront Orton. Big Show said he won’t let them glorify what Orton did. Show said that Edge and Christian are his friends while saying Randy will pay for what he did. Show called Orton a narcissistic parasite and he told Flair he used to respect him. Show said that performers like Edge make Orton better because Orton lacks the motivation to make himself better. Show said that Orton didn’t care about Edge or Christian or their families. Show told Orton that Edge isn’t done and he’ll pay him back some day. Show said that he’s a pissed off giant that will break every bone in Randy’s body.
Orton said that they are friends for 20 years. Orton said he thinks the world of Show for his long, impressive resume. Orton said that Show is indeed a future Hall of Famer and some might say that Show is a legend. Orton said he would never guess in a million years that kicking two friends in the face would piss off Show so much, but it would be tragic for Show to suffer the same fate as Edge and Christian. Show wanted to fight, but Orton and Flair left.
Orton said that he gave Show a shot to look at what Orton has done and what he’s capable of. Orton said that he is focused, he is motivated and what happens next is on Show. Orton left with Flair as Show stood in the ring for a staredown. Joe said that the Legend Killer is back and his reign of terror is not finished.
Analysis: This was okay. Nothing special. I liked Flair’s promo and Orton’s cockiness. I’m not really that excited about more Big Show matches, but it looks like he’ll be used to put over Orton at Extreme Rules because Orton is back to doing the Legend Killer gimmick. Since Show is a legend, it fits. It also makes sense since Show is a part timer anyway, so it’s not like he’ll be around much after this feud.
The Women’s Tag Team Title match is coming up.
Sasha Banks and Bayley entered as the Women’s Tag Team Champions. Bayley is also the Smackdown Women’s Champion. The IIconics duo of Peyton Royce and Billie Kay entered as the challengers.
Women’s Tag Team Championships: Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. The IIconics (Peyton Royce and Billie Kay)
Kay got a nearfall on Banks right away, but Banks kicked out. Bayley took care of Royce on the floor. Banks and Bayley sent Royce back first into the turnbuckle. Kay held Bayley by the ropes as Royce hit a knee to Bayley’s face leading to a break.
The match returned with Bayley hitting two shoulder tackles, a running elbow and Kay knocked Bayley down. Royce tagged in with a Fisherman’s Suplex for a two count with Banks breaking up the pin. Banks knocked Kay out of the ring and then Royce got rid of Branks briefly. Banks tagged in with a double team slam with Bayley on Royce for a two count. Banks with two vertical suplexes, then Royce shoved Banks into Bayley and Royce rolled up Banks for two. Kay went in the ring for their double team Fall From Grace finisher, but Banks kicked Kay away and Banks slapped on the Bank Statement on Royce, who tapped out to give Banks the win after about seven minutes.
Winners by submission: Sasha Banks and Bayley
Analysis: ** It was a decent match with Banks looking impressive again for her team as she got rid of Kay and then finished off Royce right after that. Bayley was there too, but this was about putting over Banks in a strong way.
After the match, Banks said that she has seen Bayley walking around as Bayley Dos Straps and Banks wants to see if she can have two titles too. It seemed like Banks was going to challenge Bayley, but then Banks said at Extreme Rules…she challenges Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship.
Asuka made her entrance with the Raw Women’s Championship. Asuka ranted in Japanese and then said Banks is not the boss of her. Asuka said she accepts the challenge.
Bayley attacked Asuka with a forearm to the head when Asuka wasn’t ready. Banks joined in with Bayley and then Banks hit the Backstabber into the Bank Statement submission on Asuka. Banks let go and then Banks posed with two titles while Bayley held up her two titles.
Analysis: I don’t expect Banks to beat Asuka for the Raw Women’s Title, but I think it’s a great match to book because it’s a fresh opponent for Asuka. They’ll put on an awesome match together.
Bobby Lashley and MVP were standing backstage with Sarah Schreiber there to ask about his attack on R-Truth. Lashley said that what he did to Truth is introducing to the Hurt Business. MVP talked about how the referee missed Apollo Crews cheating last week, but MVP liked it. MVP suggested working with Apollo and said if Apollo listens to him, then Apollo can be the most prolific US Champion since MVP over a decade ago. MVP left with Lashley to host his talk show.
This week on Smackdown, Braun Strowman responds to Bray Wyatt and Sheamus presents a toast to Jeff Hardy.
They plugged Raw Talk after Raw on WWE Network with Bobby Lashley/MVP as guests and Natalya as another guest.
Liv Morgan was shown talking to her, Ruby Riott was there and Liv didn’t want to hear it. Liv left.
Analysis: This might be time to put Ruby into a face role after booking her as a heel for a few years.
VIP Lounge Hosted by MVP
MVP was in the ring hosting his VIP Lounge talk show with couches in the ring. MVP said that this man could be his newest client, Apollo Crews. Crews made his entrance in his ring gear and the US Title around his waist because he’s in a match.
MVP said that it feels right. MVP said that when Crews beat him he respected him. MVP spoke about Crews hurt his knee to prevent him from being in the Money in the Bank match, so Crews needs somebody to help him navigate the waters. MVP said that Crews needs him and Crews said that he didn’t need MVP’s help to get where he is. Crews said he appreciated the offer, but the answer is no. MVP said if he wasn’t dropping gems then Crews wouldn’t be out there listening. MVP said that Crews can be all-time great US Champion, not as great as MVP, but he can be one of the best. MVP told Crews he can be US Champion for a long time and claimed that he can’t do that without MVP helping him. Crews wondered if MVP would help Benjamin, send Lashley after him, or would MVP go after him. Crews said he won’t let MVP change who he is. MVP said that Crews has been champion for three weeks while noting that he was US Champion for 343 days – a historic title reign. MVP told Crews whether he likes it or not, that US Championship is coming home where it belongs with MVP.
Shelton Benjamin made his entrance for his match against Crews. MVP was out of the ring at this point. MVP distracted Crews and Benjamin hit Crews in the back to knock him out of the ring. Benjamin whipped Crews shoulder first into the ring post. MVP gave Crews some advice by telling him you shouldn’t make yourself vulnerable in a 2 on 1 situation like that.
Analysis: MVP has always been a great talker and he made his points well. Crews did the noble babyface thing by saying he got to where he was without MVP, so he didn’t need his help. That pissed off MVP, which his why Shelton attacked and now we, as fans, have sympathy for Crews getting attacked like that. It’s a simple story that works.
Apollo Crews vs. Shelton Benjamin
Benjamin was in control as Crews was against the ropes and Benjamin hit a kick to the face. Benjamin worked over the left shoulder by sending it into the top turnbuckle. Crews came back with a dropkick, but when he went for a moonsault, Benjamin caught him and grabbed the arm for an armbar. Crews came back with a clothesline that sent both guys over the top to the floor. Benjamin went for a running attack on the floor, Crews avoided it and Benjamin hit the floor. Back in the ring, Crews with a kick to the head and a Toss Powerbomb for the pinfall win after about three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Apollo Crews
Analysis: *1/2 It was okay for a short match. Good moves by both guys with Shelton going after the arm, but Crews managed to avoid the attack on the floor. I like the Toss Powerbomb finish for Crews because it looks impressive.
Post match, MVP was on the ramp applauding Crews for the victory. When MVP raised his hand, Crews told MVP to get his hands off him. Bobby Lashley ran up behind Crews and slapped on a Full Nelson submission on Crews. Lashley dropped Crews and MVP put the US Title onto Crews.
Analysis: It looks like we have a new feud for the US Title with Lashley targeting Crews. I think it might lead to Lashley winning the US Title as well.
Rey Mysterio was backstage with his son Dominick standing by with him backstage. Mysterio said let’s go show the Monday Night Messiah how the Mysterio family rolls. That’s the main event.
Let’s Hear from Rey Mysterio
There were less than minutes left in the show as Rey Mysterio and his son Dominick entered the ring for the main event segment. They showed clips of Dominick attacking Seth Rollins last week.
Rey said that one of the most terrific things that can happen to somebody as a parent is not being able to get hold of your child. Rey said that last Monday, he tried Dominick several times and got no response. Rey’s mask had the right eye covered but his left eye was open. Rey said not even the most confident father would expect a son to get out of a 3 on 1 situation, but Dominick did it and Rey is proud of his son. Rey said he’s also angry because Dominick put himself at risk and Dominick’s mom was really worried. Rey said that he’s pissed off about what Seth Rollins did to him when he tried to blind him, but he has accepted that. Rey said he knows Dominick is bigger than him, but Rey is his old man and no matter how big and strong Dominick gets, he will always be Rey’s child. Rey said now it’s time for Rey to fight for Dominick. Rey said he’s got this, he needs to get revenge on Rollins, but he needs to do it himself.
Dominick said he understands where Rey is coming from, but he is not going anywhere. Dominick said this is what a family looks like and this family wants a fight.
Seth Rollins made his entrance in his all black Monday Night Messiah gear. Rollins said if you want a fight then you’re putting the Monday Night Messiah in a difficult position. Rollins wondered if he should slaughter a father in front of his son or make Rey watch as Seth sacrifices his boy, Dominick. Rollins said he didn’t know what to do – he said it’s not up to him. Rollins said this is fate, this is prophecy and this is destiny. Rollins noted that they are both in the same place at the same time while noting that two eyes are better than one. Rollins walked down to the ring, he got on his knees and that led to Murphy and Austin Theory to walk out behind Rollins. There was also Humberto Carrillo and Aleister Black taking out Murphy and Black. Black with a rising knee lift on Murphy in the ring. Carrillo with a kick on Theory out of the ring. Carrillo hit an impressive dive over the top on Theory and Murphy on the floor.
The faces surrounded Rollins. Mysterio with the 619 kick on Rollins. They whipped Rollins into the barricade. Ry and Dominick tried to put Seth’s eye into the steel steps, but Murphy and Theory saved Rollins. Black and Carrillo were taken out briefly. Murphy and Theory held Mysterio. Rollins got Dominick and tried to put his eye into the steel steps, but then Carrillo and Black showed up with chairs to save Dominick. That led to Rollins and his buddies to retreat up the ramp while Rey, Dominick, Black and Carrillo were together around the ring. That was the end of the show.
Analysis: This was a solid segment. It wasn’t anything special, nor was it the kind of thing that I would call a major main event segment. I liked how it was booked, though. It seems like they are going to build to a six-man tag team match perhaps at Extreme Rules with Rey still selling the eye injury, so it would be Dominick’s first match. At least that’s what it feels like to me. Rollins did well with the promo and the actions around the ring. Rey and Dominick’s promo was cool because it was a dad in Rey wanting to protect his son, but then Dominick assured his dad that he would be fine, which he was. Overall, it was entertaining. Should it have been the main event? Probably not. There just wasn’t anything else on the show that could have clearly been the main event.
Three Stars of the Show
- Charlotte Flair
6.75 out of 10
Last week: 7
2020 Average: 6.37
The show was promo heavy with only one match in the first hour that went under ten minutes and the two matches in the third hour combined to be about ten minutes. The second hour had the longest match of the night (Asuka over Charlotte Flair) that was just over ten minutes, then another short match and a 24/7 Title change too. This episode of Raw may have had the least amount of wrestling of any Raw in the three-hour era in the last eight years. I’m not going to look it up, but it sure seemed light on in-ring action. I didn’t mind some of the promos and backstage segments. I just think they could have utilized more of the roster or made the matches mean something more. There’s probably some directive from Vince McMahon and/or Bruce Prichard to go for more shorter matches on Raw because they did it that way last week too.
There was some good storyline advancement throughout the show. Edge’s promo may have been my favorite thing although it sucks that he’s going to miss the rest of the year after arm surgery. I liked the main event with the faces of Rey and Dominick standing tall against Rollins thanks to Black and Carrillo. Sasha Banks going after Asuka feels fresh. I don’t have much interest in Big Show feuding with Randy Orton, but they need legends for “Legend Killer” Orton to beat up. They could have been more creative in setting up Drew McIntyre defending the WWE Title against Dolph Ziggler aka the guy that lost to Otis a bunch of times. A little more effort would be nice. I think overall, they are using most of the Raw roster well while some talented people remain on the sidelines for now.
It was not a great show, but there was enough decent content to keep me interested for most of the night.
The next WWE pay-per-view event is Extreme Rules on July 19 on WWE Network.
WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka (c) vs. Sasha Banks
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