Tuesday, 08 July 2014 06:09
WWE Monday Night Raw
July 7, 2014
Noteworthy: Bret Hart returned to Montréal, Randy Orton wrestles Dean Ambrose, and a peculiar match is signed for Smackdown.
This recap of the first WWE Raw of July 2014 comes to you from 30,000 feet in the air. That's right. Due to travel delays and whatnot coming from the F4W Convention in Vegas, I am writing up the thrilling details aboard an aircraft set for Indianapolis. At 3am eastern.
As for the show...
The Authority is on vacation for this episode. How convenient! Also tonight: Bret Hart, Miz vs Jericho, Kofi vs Cesaro for the WWE Linear Championship, and apparently, John Cena vs Seth Rollins.
Roman Reigns Gets Promo Time
...and boy, was it something forced. Roman came out telling us that he doesn't care whether the Authority is here or not. He wondered if HHH put him in the Battleground main event to neutralize Cena, which he can. He wondered if Hunter put him in the match because it is best for business, which it is. He said Orton will not win the title. The crowd began chanting "Cena sucks" to which Roman replied, "When Roman Reigns is in the building, you damn right Cena sucks!" That got the biggest reaction of this promo. Reigns was either nervous, or just told to be Mr. Mean Guy because he did not show the personality he shows in his backstage segments on the App or Network. Probably both.
Kane came out next, and Roman mocked him a bit for being Orton's bitch. The two got into a brawl, and Kane was getting the better of it until Fit Finlay and others rushed in to break it up. Reigns, not happy with this ending, speared Finlay for his trouble. The announcers wondered what else may happen here tonight with the Authority on vacay. Bad timing for the Maddox and Vickie firings. WHO IS IN CHARGE!?
The US!... OOOOOOOS vs Wyatts
Luke Harper & Rowan defeated The Usos when Luke won with a clothesline. "Maybe the Wyatts don't have a plan. They just come out and do stuff to people." JBL: Pretty good at the commentary game. There were CM Punk chants during this match, for those who like that sort of thing. I blame the Usos on them. I love the Harper gimmick, when his opponent kicks out close to 3, where he almost has to center himself and calm himself before moving on. Serenity now. After the loss, the Usos complained that the pinned brother wasn't the legal man. There you go: A twin tag team complaining that the ref didn't notice the wrong one was in the ring.
JBL and the two other things that call themselves announcers made a really hard sell for the WWE Network free trial ongoing.
Backstage: Randy Orton, Kane, and Seth Rollins all talked about having each other's backs. Rollins said he'd think twice about cashing in MITB if Roman or Kane win the Battleground main event. Randy doesn't like Seth, Kane doesn't like Orton, Rob doesn't like planes.
Alicia Fox vs Nikki Bella
No match. Per the authority, the match was supposed to feature both participants having one arm tied behind their backs! They legitimately had Jason Ayers tie Nikki's arm up in the ring, which took a bit of time more than I was willing to keep interest in. Before Jason could tie Alicia's arm up, she attacked the defenseless Nikki. Alicia was really putting the boots to Nikki, all while JBL wondered why Nikki wasn't untying herself. As if she could. The crowd was not a big fan of this, nor was I. Alicia poured energy drinks over the fallen Nikki while the ref tried to send her off.
Rusev vs Rob Van Dam
Rusev defeated RVD via submission with the Accolade. Zeb Colter issued a challenge, via pre-tape, to Rusev for a match against Swagger at Battleground. The crowd was into RVD, but not so much the match as it kept going. They did futbol chants briefly, also. The bout was not your normal brief Rusev squash, although Rob didn't get too much offense in anyway.
TURBULENCE! While I take a break in the action, I implore anyone who has considered attending only to find an excuse not to: Attend the F4W convention next year! I had a fun time meeting some of the F4W/WO members this weekend, all of which were new faces to me since it was my first time ever in Vegas. The dinners were great, and while I didn't attend every event, it sounds like there were some great times all over the place in Las Vegas. It's a fun time, so check it out!
Back to the show!
Randy Orton vs Dean Ambrose
Randy Orton defeated Dean Ambrose via pinfall after an RKO. Dean Ambrose is, if you haven’t noticed, the biggest fan favorite outside of John Cena. The Canadian crowd did not change that opinion. They were into Ambrose throughout what ended up being an almost twenty minute match. Now, this was really good, but nothing close to perfect. Ambrose locked in a figure 4 midway through, which got a great reaction. After Orton escaped, Ambrose went up to the top rope, but there was miscommunication. Ambrose jumped from the top, while Orton was still getting up and not paying attention. Ambrose decided to just land, and do nothing, and then Orton turned and dropkicked him. Weird, but things happen. JBL sold it like Ambrose is so crazy that he doesn’t even have a plan when he goes up top. The end saw Ambrose go for his Nigel rebound clothesline, but Orton had that scouted and caught Dean with an RKO for the victory.
Backstage: John Cena, wearing the belts around his neck, said that he handles business. Roman walked up and wished Cena luck in his match, and even more luck in the four way at Battleground.
Everyone around me on this plane is sleeping. I’m tempted to take out my headphones and let them listen to silence Montréal just gave Alberto Del Rio.
Alberto Del Rio vs Dolph Ziggler
Alberto Del Rio pinned Dolph Ziggler via superkick. Fandango helped out on commentary, fully entrenched in his Fandango voice. Now, even though both of these men are in the Intercontinental title battle royal, this match was apparently for #1 contendership to the US title, also. The US Champion, of course, is Sheamus. I think. Not 100% sure. Might be Big E. Or Bret Hart. Late in the match, Del Rio kicked out of a Fameasser. That kickout prompted Fandango to jump up on the commentary table so that he may start to dance to his music, which suddenly began. The dancing was so distracting to Ziggler, that he became vulnerable to the kick of death from Del Rio.
Sheamus vs Del Rio for the US Championship is set for Main Event.
Backstage: Stardust, now with red eyes, and Goldust were being crazy backstage.
Backstage: Layla confronted Fandango, asking him if he is jealous of Dolph for kissing Summer. Fandango sweet talked her down, all while staring off in the distance. In the distance… Summer Rae.
Bret Hart’s Montréal Return
Jerry Lawler introduced Bret Hart into the ring. Needless to say, this crowd loved the former WCW US Champion. Before getting too far, Bret “The Hitman” Sandhart interrupted. Damien Sandow, dressed as mid-1990’s Bret, called the Montréal Screwjob a hoax, because Bret was embarrassed that he lost to “his hero” Shawn Michaels. Sandow, as Hart, said his biggest regret in WWE was not getting to be in the ring with Damien Sandow. Sandow told Bret that “talking has never been your strong suit,” and right then Bret punched Sandow. Bret replied, “No, punching was!” Hart’s music played and the crowd cheered on the living legend. After a moment, Sheamus’ music hit and we’re set up with our next match.
Sheamus defeated Damien Sandow via Brogue Kick.
Backstage: The Miz read a letter from a fan. The fan praised Miz, and called Jericho a rat face. The letter was from Little Johnny Russo. I chuckled.
The Miz vs The Jericho
Chris Jericho defeated Miz via submission. Not much to say about the match. It was quick, something like 5 minutes. Jericho won via Liontamer, putting Miz quickly back into the low card after his big return.
As Jericho celebrated, Bray Wyatt appeared, rocking in his chair, in the aisle. Bray said Jericho’s words will be held against him, and Bray will never, eeeeeeever let him forget. Bray showed Y2J that the crowd had turned from Jerichoholics into Bray believers. Jericho cut him off, and said actions speak louder than words. So Jericho left the ring to confront Bray, but the lights went out again, and with them back we saw Harper & Rowan now at Bray’s side. The segment ended with a stare down between the Wyatts and Jericho.
Paige & AJ Lee vs Cameron & Naomi
Paige pinned Cameron after a Paige Turner. What a dynamic. As for Lee and Paige, the two are best friends. Or, at least, for now. Paige did AJ’s ring introduction, and acted like a child meeting her hero. On the Funkadactyl side, Cameron had no interest in helping Naomi. Naomi would go for tags, and Cameron would be on the apron putting on lipgloss. Eventually, Cameron decided to enter, and it did not go well. Cameron bit it to a Paige Turner to give the new superfriends a victory. Cameron and Naomi fought after the match, with referee Dan Engler trying to break it up. The crowd, in 2014, chanted “Jerry! Jerry!”
Kofi Kingston vs Cesaro
Paul Heyman, with Cesaro, came out to initially speak about Brock Lesnar. Cesaro cut him off, telling him not to speak english to these French Canadiens. He insulted the crowd in French before Kofi Kingston came out for the next match of the night, a battle for the WWE Linear Championship.
Kofi Kingston defeated Cesaro via quick rollup. Cesaro loses the linear title again! Again, after the match, Cesaro went nuts and beat down Kofi until Big E made the save. Heyman ushered Cesaro to the ramp to escape certain doom. I mean, if you can’t beat Kofi, what chance do you have with Big E?
Backstage: Seth Rollins wanted to have an adult conversation with John Cena. He told Cena that his days as champion were numbered. Cena responded by telling Seth that he’s in the fight of his life tonight.
Rusev vs Roman Reigns was announced for Smackdown. Absolutely no way that should go more than 30 seconds before chaos. If it even happens at all.
Bo Dallas vs El Torito
Bo Dallas defeated El Torito. Before the match, Bo said he takes on all comers. Bo sold for the bull early on, but won with the Bodog after nailing Torito with a forearm. He’s unBOlieveaBO.
Before our main event, we got another big sell job for the Network. The Monday Night War’s sneak preview was the feature. That is, personally, a show I am looking forward to.
John Cena vs Seth Rollins
No Contest due to interference from The Demon Kane. This was a pretty basic match for about ten minutes. At the end, Cena had Rollins in the STF when Kane’s pyro and music went off. Kane went after Cena in the ring, followed by Randy Orton who helped out. The two were putting the boots to Cena when Roman Reigns came down the entrance ramp to take out aggression on his Battleground opponents. Reigns punched out Orton and Kane, but Seth Rollins hung around to take him out with the briefcase. Rollins then nailed Cena with the briefcase, knocking him out as the announcers sold that he could cash in. Of course, as promised, Dean Ambrose ran in to stop any cash in. Ambrose brawled with Rollins to the back as Cena sold death in the ring. Randy Orton, always one to take advantage, tried to sneak in and RKO the champ. That backfired, and Orton ate an AA. Kane then tried his hand at Cena, and again, he had no luck as Reigns speared the demon. Reigns lifted John Cena’s arm in victory, but gave a cocky smile as if to say that’ll be the last time his arm is raised. Cena, just being nice, raised Reigns’ arm. The two smiled and nodded at eachother as the crowd cheered Reigns but booed Cena.
Next week: Jack Swagger’s heroic return to the US in Richmond, VA! Hopefully, I'll be writing about it from solid ground.