WWE Monday Night Raw
June 30, 2014
Noteworthy: Raw is Awesome! (Pun kind of intended)
John Cena is the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. The Usos are still the WWE Tag Team Champions. Seth Rollins is Mr. Money In The Bank. Money In The Bank was quite the show, and tonight is the night where we find out what is next for each and every WWE Superstar and Diva!
The Authority Recaps Money In The Bank
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, the Authority, opened the show to run down the results of last night's Pay Per View. The pair was smiling and upbeat, much to Jerry Lawler's surprise. The duo called John Cena an A+ player, and unlike last night, they acted congratulatory towards Cena on his win. John Cena then came to the ring, wearing both title belts around his neck. Cena opened by saying that while the Authority won't give Daniel Bryan another shot at the titles when he returns, John will. Steph called that "very special" in a mocking tone. Stephanie announced that John Cena will be the sole feature of the WWE 2K14 video game cover. John looked surprised, and mildly thanked the authority while the cover was unveiled over the ring. Cena thought there was something to all this praise from the Authority. He saw through it. He mentioned how Steph and Hunter were upset last night, and wondered why they're being so nice tonight. Hunter responded by saying, in a wankster tone, that he has no problem with John. Hunter told John that he could do things the easy way or the hard way. John chose the hard way, so Hunter announced John Cena vs Randy Orton vs The Demon Kane vs Roman Reigns in a Fatal Four Way match for the belts at Battleground. Triple H apparently fine with Roman getting title matches now. Hunter wasn't done there, as he also made John Cena & Roman vs Orton & TDK for the main event tonight. After being serious the whole way, John reverted to comedy by referencing Steph's encounter with a pool of crap last week on Raw.
Of course, never one to give up the last word, Triple H reminded John that if he can get through the Four Way, there is always a Plan B. Seth Rollins' music hit on that note, and Mr. Money In The Bank made his way to the ring for the first match of the night.
Rob Van Dam vs Seth Rollins
Before the match began, Rollins was holding his MITB briefcase up in Rob's face. Rob mouthed "I've seen that before" to Rollins, in a nice touch. Due to Dean Ambrose's rude interference last week, we must have this rematch to find out who the better man truly is! That man, tonight, was Seth Rollins. Rollins got the win after hitting his curb stomp in a fun opener.
After the match, Renee Young entered the ring to interview Seth. He didn't let her ask any questions, quickly grabbing the mic to tell the crowd that he was right and they were won. He said the briefcase was his golden ticket. Dean Ambrose popped up on the Tron. From one scumbag to another, Dean said that anytime Seth tries to cash in the contract, he'll be there to ruin it. Dean surmised that the briefcase held TNT, because it's going to blow up in his face.
You better buy Battleground
I'm going to subscribe to the Network five times just to make sure I don't miss Battleground. Why? Rusev vs Jack Swagger. That's why. And yes, you read that right. Jack Swagger, America's fighting hero, has had enough of Rusev running down our country. How did this come about, well... Rusev and Lana came to the ring. Lana ran down the USA as she is prone to do. After a pause, Jack Swagger's music hit and he came to the ring with Zeb Colter. The crowd was receptive, but they'd get even hotter as this segment went on. Zeb spoke, telling Lana, if that is her real name, that he's tired of the two Russians running down America week after week. Lana was laughing it off. Zeb noted that Rusev says no one can stop him, but Zeb thinks Jack Swagger, a REAL AMERICAN, can stop him. Crowd loved it. Loud "Let's Go Swagger" chants erupted in Hartford. The two managers got out of the ring, and the big men went at it. Jack immediately got the advantage, hitting two arm drags before Rusev bailed. Lana kept Rusev from entering the ring again, as Swagger and Zeb stood strong. The crowd was hot for Swagger, and this immediately became a big match possibility for Battleground. Or Smackdown... who knows. This was the best thing Swagger has done since returning as The Real American. Watch this segment.
Maybe Kevin Dunn is just getting lazy, but the WWE TV directing this year has been noticeably going downhill. Missing spots, inexplicable camera cuts, bad audio. What is going on?
The Wyatt Family defeated The Usos & Sheamus when Luke Harper pinned an Uso after a discuss clothesline. It definitely seems like we're not done with the Usos - Wyatt feud.
Backstage, Nikki Bella talked Brie's ejection from the building last night. Stephanie McMahon walked up and announced the Bellas vs Cameron & Naomi. Of course, Brie doesn't work for WWE anymore, so it is a handicap match. Nikki, dressed up not ready to wrestle, was told to gear up because her match is next.
Bo's Minute of Silence
Bo Dallas came out to ask for 60 seconds of silence in memory of two great superstars who are unable to compete: Bad News Barrett and Daniel Bryan. The crowd did not go silent. How rude. Bo kneeled on the stage. After about twenty seconds, Cole said that was enough. JBL shushed Jerry and Cole, telling them to be quiet and show respect for "fallen warriors." The crowd, shockingly, didn't chant anything with any merit during the entire minute. It is as if they were confused while Bo actually went a minute without speaking. Bo, after the silence, said he was the voice of inspiration to Daniel Bryan last night, as well as the bigger man. He's right. Bryan was a dick. Don't stop BO-lieving!
Cameron & Naomi beat Nikki Bella when Naomi pinned Nikki. Easy and quick. The Funkadactyls got in an argument afterwards, with Cameron starting it. By the way, Cameron would also like to be known now as TheBomb.com.
Coming up, a Bad News Barrett medical update! No medical updates have been able to surpass the Randy News Network over the last decade.
Breaking News: Bad News Barrett has been stripped of the Intercontinental Championship due to injury. The championship will be put up for grabs in a battle royal at Battleground. Paul Heyman was out to introduce the first entrant in that battle royal: Cesaro.
Kofi Kingston vs Cesaro
They finally did it. They had a finish to a match during commercial, exclusive to the WWE App. Kofi Kingston defeated Cesaro, countering a powerbomb into a rollup. After the surprise victory by Kofi, Cesaro snapped and beat up Kofi all around the ring, and even in the crowd. If he showed this intensity during his match, he may have won. Refs had to come in and send Cesaro to the back, saving Kofi from certain death. Cole said he's never seen Cesaro like this before. I have to figure he is winning that battle royal and we'll get big bad mean Cesaro.
Backstage, Santino was throwing a party, but no one showed up. Adam Rose came in and said he needed a Twisted Tea to get the party started. The groupies all danced around Santino for this hard iced tea commercial.
Vincent Kennedy McMahondow
Damien Sandow was Vince McMahon this week, with Raw emanating from Connecticut. Cole said Vince was looking smaller than usual. Ouch. Sandow said he was the creative genius behind Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, and Damien Sandow! He said Sandow would win the Battleground IC Title battle royal. Steph appeared on the Tron bashing Sandow for imitating her father. She made a match between Sandow and another Battleground battle royal participant, Great Khali. The Great Khali won in a few seconds after hitting the chop for the pnfall.
Two Returns & a Battleground Teaser
All night, WWE had been hyping the return of a former WWE Champion & Multimedia Superstar. Triple H began the rumor with a tweet earlier in the day. Justin Roberts introduced the returning superstar... The Miz! Miz walked out and heeled on the crowd, saying they don't appreciate him. He was fully playing up the arrogant movie star role. He said he had Hollywood offers, but came back to WWE to prove the WWE Universe wrong and show he isn't a fluke. He wouldn't leave WWE until he main evented WrestleMania again. As Miz paused, pyro on the stage went off and the lights went out. Chris Jericho's music hit and the former WWE Champion and Multimedia cross branded superstar made his own way to the ring. Miz was angry at Jericho stealing his moment. Miz said "I am the Marine, dammit!" in all seriousness, which was great. Miz continued to speak until Jericho delivered a Codebreaker. Jericho was celebrating when again the lights went out, and when they came back, the Wyatt Family was in the ring surrounding Jericho. The Wyatts attacked until Bray eventually hit Sister Abigail. Bray kneeled and posed over the fallen Jericho to end another great moment on this Raw. Battleground is shaping up nicely.
Dolph Ziggler beat Fandango with the ZigZag. Summer Rae walked to the ring with a purpose during the match, got in, and made out with Ziggler right in front of Fandango.
Goldust & Stardust defeated RybAxel when Cody pinned Axel. Axel was back to trunks tonight after wearing a double strapped singlet a la his father last night on the Pay Per View. Nothing match.
Backstage, Paige was walking backstage as Lawler teased that she had something to say tonight.
Great Raw Gets Better
AJ Lee defeated Paige for the Divas Championship. Okay, catch your breath. Paige came to the ring to say that, after three months, she finally has proven that she belongs and she is in WWE to stay. She was getting a bit cocky when AJ Lee's music hit, and the former Divas champ skipped to the ring. AJ told Paige that she was right, and Paige belonged. After all, Paige did what no other woman could do - beat AJ. Paige stood back, saying AJ was just doing what Paige did on the Raw after WrestleMania. Paige intimated that she knew what she was doing on that night, goading AJ into defending her title without notice. So, after a short back and forth, Paige, now fully cocky, granted AJ a title match. Quickly, AJ pinned Paige for the title and hugged the belt tightly. Paige was crying in the ring, stunned by what had taken place. AJ is good, Paige is bad, and we have our women's title feud for the summer!
John Cena & Roman Reigns vs Randy Orton & The Demon Kane
Cena & Reigns won via DQ. Not going to lie, there has been a lot of stuff on this show, and while good, it has been draining. We still don't know why Roman Reigns was given a title match at Battleground, unless Triple H sacrificed his dislike for him in order to give Cena the toughest possible opponents. This match was fine. The crowd wasn't as hot for Roman early, but they've seen so much on this show already that I won't judge it. They did heat up later in the bout, so good for this crowd. Roman Reigns and Randy Orton were definitely paired off together throughout the match, including them leaving the match to brawl to the backstage area together. That seems to be the clear idea for Summerslam. Kane lost the match via DQ for his team when he gave up on wrestling, deciding instead of slam the steel ring steps to John Cena's head. Triple H was ordering Kane to finish the job, so Kane tombstoned John Cena in the ring. The crowd responded with chants of "One more time!" Ref Charles Robinson was calling for a doctor, as Cena wasn't moving.
SETH ROLLINS ran out to cash in the contract for the title. Triple H was ordering the referees to start the match, even though Cena couldn't move. Rollins was anxiously waiting for the bell when Dean Ambrose, as he warned, ran in and brawled with Rollins all the way out to the crowd. Triple H didn't know what to do, so he ordered Kane to get a chair to keep on beating Cena. As Kane was getting in the ring, Roman Reigns ran back out and speared The Demon (Kane, not Dale Torborg). Hope Randy Orton isn't dead backstage. Roman stared off with Triple H to end the show, as the crowd chanted "This is awesome."
The "This is Awesome" chants jumped the shark on this show, if they hadn't already. The show was indeed awesome, but enjoy it. What a ridiculous thing to be discussing, Rob. Anyway, this Raw was great. You had the summer all set up, you had surprises and returns, you had plenty of wrestling to enjoy, you had Paige finally going where she needed to be entertaining, and you had Stephanie McMahon dancing! Yes, this was quite the show. I'd put it right up there with the post-Mania Raw as far as entertainment value goes.
Next week: The fallout of all this! Should be fun. Bonus, the show takes place from Montreal. Always a fun crowd there! Now, the recap may not be up in its normal quick turnaround due to travel. I'll be in Las Vegas for the F4W Convention, and I'm traveling back to the midwest on Monday. Time zone jumping does not really help in that direction. Bare with us on the timing, but I hope to have it up as soon as possible!