Welcome to another edition of the WWE Raw Deal Review. I did not watch Raw live last night because I was watching my Toronto Raptors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. The Raptors lost by one point to the Golden State Warriors, so the series continues on Thursday. Here’s hoping the Raps can get Game 6 to become NBA Champions, but if not then there will be a decisive Game 7. It’s been very stressful and fun at the same time.
Here’s my review from WWE Super Showdown on Friday. I don’t think it was a very good show. Worst WWE PPV (if you want to call it that) so far this year.
Live from San Jose, California, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1358 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 along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present. This review is sponsored by ICOPRO.
There was a shot of the crowd in San Jose (there were some empty seats) and Michael Cole welcomed us to Raw. Seth Rollins, the Universal Champion, made his entrance for the show opening promo with a steel chair in hand. The announce team is Cole, Corey Graves and Renee Young as usual.
A video package aired showing how Rollins attacked Brock Lesnar to prevent a Money in the Bank cash-in at Super Showdown.
Let’s Hear from Seth Rollins
Rollins told the crowd that he feels alive tonight. Rollins said that it’s a new era for the Universal Title, it’s 2019 and the year of choice. Rollins said that somebody can try to outwrestle him, but there’s not a person on the planet that can lace his boots. Rollins said that people can try things the hard way and they can ask Brock Lesnar how that works out. Rollins said that no one has ever done what he’s done to Brock Lesnar at Super Showdown. Rollins said that it felt pretty good hitting Lesnar over and over and leaving him a heap in this ring.
Baron Corbin made his entrance for the predictable interruption as the fans booed him. Corbin said it’s fine, he’ll wait – well they do have three hours. They stopped, Corbin asked if they are done and there were more boos. Corbin said that he’s the best thing San Jose has going on. Corbin told Rollins to worry about him and then he’ll worry about Lesnar because after Stomping Grounds he’ll be the new Universal Champion. Rollins asked how it worked for him at Super Showdown. Corbin complained about how WWE official John Cone cost him that match and Rollins escaped with that title around his waist.
Corbin claimed that WWE official John Cone will be punished and he gets his rematch at Stomping Grounds. Corbin told Rollins they will have a special guest referee and because of his negotiating skills, he gets to pick the official. Rollins said he’ll stomp Baron’s head into the mat and still be Universal Champion. Rollins told Corbin he has no friends, his own dog doesn’t like him and nobody in San Jose likes him. The music of Sami Zayn started up.
Sami Zayn walked onto the stage with a microphone in hand as the fans booed him as well. Zayn said that he’s on Team Corbin on this one. Zayn said that he’s known Rollins for a long time and he cares about him as a person. Zayn told Rollins that being Universal Champion is not good for him. Zayn said that Rollins is caught up in a repetitive cycle with Lesnar and both of them wanting to protect their fragile egos. Zayn claimed it would be better for Seth and for the fans if Corbin was Universal Champion because then we would a Universal Champion that’s not obsessed with Lesnar.
Rollins questioned Sami’s motives here. Sami said that if he helped Corbin out then maybe Corbin can help him. Rollins wondered who would have Sami’s back if Rollins went up there to kick his ass.
Kevin Owens showed up (from Smackdown) to say he has Sami’s back and agreed that Baron Corbin would be a better Universal Champion. Owens said that he didn’t like what Rollins was saying to Zayn and Rollins invited Owens to the ring. Owens said that since he’s a wildcard, whatever that means, maybe he will take up Rollins on his offer, so that set up Rollins vs. Owens.
Rollins went up the ramp and had a staredown with the three heels on the stage. There was no fight as Rollins simply walked by them.
Analysis: It was a typical opening promo segment with the main event match getting set up for later in the show. I thought Rollins did a great job as the fighting babyface champion that the fans loved, he reacted to everything well and the reactions to him were what you want to see for a face champion. Corbin got a lot of heat, but I don’t know if it’s due to being a good heel or because fans are sick of the guy. It’s a mixture of both. I like Zayn and Owens being in a prominent position, so the more they are featured in the main event is a good thing.
Still to come: Raw Tag Team Titles triple threat match, plus Miz TV with Samoa Joe and Becky Lynch and Lacey Evans will have a sitdown interview.
Lars Sullivan was shown warming up backstage for his first match on Raw. Sullivan made his entrance.
The Lucha House Party entered for this elimination match.
Elimination Match: Lars Sullivan vs. Lucha House Party (Lince Dorado, Kalisto and Gran Metalik)
Sullivan attacked Dorado and Metalik before the bell. Kalisto with two dropkicks, Sullivan caught Kalisto and hit the Freak Accident slam to eliminate Kalisto.
Dorado with a kick to the knees and a kick to the head. Sullivan caught Dorado and gave him a Running Powerbomb leading to the pin.
Lince Dorado eliminated
Metalik went for a cartwheel attack, but Sullivan caught him and slammed him hard into the mat. Sullivan picked up Metalik at the two count. Sullivan slammed Kalisto spine first onto the steel steps just for fun. Sullivan picked up Metalik with a Freak Accident slam, but he pulled Metalik up for two. Sullivan picked up Dorado and sent him face first into the ring post. Sullivan went up top leading to a headbutt to the chest of Metalik for the three count.
Gran Metalik eliminated
Winner by pinfall: Lars Sullivan
Analysis: * It was what was expected with Sullivan beating up the Lucha House Party guys. That’s the booking they should have done in the first match at Super Showdown where he won by DQ. It’s not that complicated to book a monster. Sullivan is probably going to win every match until WWE decides to put him against Braun Strowman. Perhaps it will be SummerSlam, but they might wait until 2020 to do it.
R-Truth and Carmella were shown running backstage with Truth carrying the 24/7 Title leading to midcard wrestlers chasing after Truth. Truth and Carmella went into the elevator with some of the midcard wrestlers, but there was no referee with them. They showed video of them in the elevator with EC3 laughing about it while holding his cup. Heath Slater complained about it while Cedric Alexander, Drake Maverick, R-Truth and Carmella were also in the elevator.
Lacey Evans was shown backstage talking to herself in a mirror. That’s sane. Becky Lynch was also shown backstage getting ready for an interview with boyfriend Seth Rollins (Cole even said it) there to give her advice.
The Raw announce team was shown at their table setting up the interview with Becky Lynch and Lacey Evans, who face eachother for the Raw Women’s Championship at Stomping Grounds.
Lacey Evans and Becky Lynch were shown on a split screen in the backstage area. Evans said where she comes from, ladies go first and then Lynch cut her off. Lynch said that Lacey is bigger than her and stronger than her, but she can’t allow her to win to be the champion. Evans said that Becky didn’t know anything about her and she said she’s done what was needed to be where she is. Lynch said that Evans cost her the Smackdown Women’s Championship made her angry. Lynch said that being the champ is her obsession and she is relentless. Evans said that this man bravado that Lynch has going on is just a mask. Evans told Lynch she had a fear of losing it all and sinking back down into obscurity. Lynch said she could smell the fear on her and it’s nasty. Evans said that at Stomping Grounds, Becky will be Becky No Belts. Evans told Lynch she’ll see her tonight, Lynch said yeah put your granny gear on and they will see eachother later.
Analysis: It was fine. Not much to it. I think they tried to make the point that Evans is only getting the title rematch since she cost Lynch the Smackdown Women’s Title and Lynch wanted revenge for that. That’s why they are doing the rematch.
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Later on Raw: Becky Lynch and Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Lacey Evans.
Alexa Bliss was in the locker room with her friend Nikki Cross. Bliss claimed that Bayley is a master manipulator and that she knows the real Bayley. Bliss said that Bayley was so awful to her when they started in NXT. Bliss said that Bayley made her feel so alienated, then Bliss said that you can only pretend to be something so long before people see you the way you are. Cross said that she understood what it means to be on the outside looking on. Bliss asked if she’ll be in her corner and Nikki said she will.
The Miz made his entrance for his talk show. He was in his wrestling gear, so that means he’ll have a match after the talk show.
The Miz and his daughter Monroe were featured in a “Dance Like a Dad” commercial for Father’s Day.
There was a video showing highlights for WWE Super Showdown from Friday. The video made it look more exciting than it was.
Miz TV with Samoa Joe
The Miz welcomed us to his talk show. He said that his guest is a bulldozer, he is WWE’s version of Godzilla, he is vicious, he is sadistic and he welcomed Samoa Joe. Joe, who was in his ring gear as usual, entered with the US Title on his right shoulder. They sat down in chairs in the ring.
Joe said that he noticed that Miz said Joe was the “new” champion with Joe pointing out that Rey Mysterio stole that title from him and Joe was afforded the opportunity to win it back. Miz said let’s take a look back at what happened and they showed a clip of Joe attacking Rey Mysterio last week on Raw when Rey had to give up the US Title.
Miz said that Mysterio was honest, heartfelt and a gentleman, yet Joe felt he had to slap the Coquina Clutch on him. Miz also mentioned Joe called out Rey’s son Dominick with Miz claiming that Joe crossed a line when he did that. Joe said that those lines belong to Miz and when it comes to getting what he wants, there’s no line to cross. Joe said that he thought they were going to talk about potential US Title challengers, but maybe he should talk about The Miz’s family.
Braun Strowman interrupted the talk show with a slow walk down to the ring. Strowman said that if you are looking for a challenger, why doesn’t he try to “get these hands” of Strowman? He had a staredown with Joe.
Bobby Lashley was the next man to interrupt the proceedings. Lashley said he’s not done with Braun yet. Lashley said he has history with Joe, so he knows if anybody deserves a shot at the US Title, it should be Lashley.
Ricochet also made his entrance and he got a nice ovation from the crowd. Ricochet said that these guys are always out there arguing about who’s bigger and stronger and that’s not him, but after two wins over Cesaro, he wants to step up and win his first championship. Cesaro was next, he didn’t say a word and instead he just punched Ricochet in the face.
Cesaro brought Ricochet into the ring where Strowman punched Cesaro while Miz and Strowman sent Lashley and Joe out of the ring to set up the obvious tag team match.
Analysis: It was a typical WWE talk show segment designed to set up a match. We have seen it many times before. It’s interesting that Strowman was part of this because he hasn’t really set his sights on a secondary title in WWE yet, but I think it was a way to involve him in the show. Joe is a good champion with Ricochet as my favorite choice as his next rival.
The tag team match started after the break with Cole saying the match was made official during the break. Of course it was.
Samoa Joe, Cesaro and Bobby Lashley vs. Braun Strowman, The Miz and Ricochet
Strowman and Lashley displayed some quickness and agility early in the match, Strowman with a clothesline. Miz with a knee to the spine, Cesaro distracted the referee and Joe hit a forearm on Miz to give the heels control. Joe tagged in with strikes, Cesaro into the ring with a chinlock Miz got away leading to Ricochet tagging in. Ricochet kicked Joe down, kick to the face of Cesaro against the turnbuckle and Ricochet hit a clothesline off the top. Ricochet with a cross body block on Lashley. Ricochet with a flying headscissors on Cesaro followed by an incredible dive over the top onto Cesaro outside the ring. Cesaro was grabbing his right shoulder. The teams squared off on the floor leading to a break.
The heels were in control after the break as they worked over Ricochet. Cesaro launched Ricochet in the air, but Ricochet countered it into a hurricanrana for a two count. That was impressive. Cesaro with an uppercut, Ricochet bumped to the floor and Lashley tagged in leading to Lashley sending Ricochet back first into the barricade. Ricochet with a step up enziguri on Lashley followed by a dropkick. Miz got the tag with corner kicks to the ribs of Lashley followed by two double knee attacks and a corner clothesline. Lashley shoved Miz into the turnbuckle, but Miz came back with a DDT. Miz with a DDT to Cesaro as well. Miz with the “It Kicks” to the chest of Cesaro and Lashley, but Lashley came back with a flatliner. Joe tagged in, he punched Strowman off the apron and Joe hit a senton splash on Miz leading to Strowman breaking up the pin. Lashley went after Strowman on the apron, but Strowman was ready for it and Strowman sent Lashley into the barricade. Cesaro was the legal man leading to the Cesaro Swing on The Miz for about 20 revolutions with the fans cheering it. Cesaro slapped on the Sharpshooter submission in the middle of the ring. Ricochet went into the ring to break it up with a Codebreaker on Cesaro. Strowman was back on the apron, so he got the hot tag. Strowman with shoulder tackles to Cesaro, a corner splash when Cesaro left the ring, Strowman hit him with a shoulder tackle on the floor. Strowman with a corner splash on Cesaro followed by a punch to the chest for two. Joe went into the ring, Strowman tried a powerslam, but Joe escaped and Joe left the ring. Joe grabbed the US Title and he went to the back. Miz got the tag, Strowman went running after Joe, but Lashley stopped that with a Spear on Strowman. Miz with a back body drop to Ricochet to send him crashing onto Lashley on the floor with Ricochet barely touching him. Miz jumped off the top, but Cesaro decked him with an uppercut for two. Miz countered a Neutralizer attempt by Cesaro and Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale on Cesaro. Ricochet tagged in with the 630 Splash for the pinfall win after about 13 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Braun Strowman, The Miz and Ricochet
Analysis: *** It was pretty good like most tag team matches on Raw that get over ten minutes. These guys are veteran wrestlers that know how to follow the typical formula with the quick tags at the end leading to multiple finishing moves. I like that Ricochet got a chance to show off some of his high-flying offense because that’s what he needs to keep doing week after week to make him stand out. Joe walking out on his team fit his character because he’s a heel with no allies. I think Ricochet makes sense as Joe’s next US Title challenger although if they did a multi-man match then that’s okay too.
They showed replays of the finish. When Ricochet landed the 630 Splash, most of his body hit the right leg of Cesaro and Cesaro was grabbing his leg. The good news is apparently the injury is not serious, so Cesaro will be okay. I think Ricochet asked him if he was okay while he pinned him too.
Still to come: Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens.
Baron Corbin was shown looking at his phone with Charly Caruso walking up to him. Corbin said he had two weeks to figure out the special guest referee at Stomping Grounds. He said he would find somebody good at their job, so Charly is out. Sami Zayn showed up asking Corbin if they could have a chant. They talked, but the camera faded out.
Becky Lynch entered with the Raw Women’s Title for a tag team match.
They showed highlights from the 50-man battle royal at Super Showdown with NXT wrestler Mansoor winning because he is from Saudi Arabia that was signed last year. The fans popped big for it with Mansoor saying his dream came true.
Bayley entered as the Smackdown Women’s Champion and she was in her hometown of San Jose, so the fans gave her a louder pop than usual.
Alexa Bliss entered with her buddy Nikki Cross. They were joined by Lacey Evans. The Stomping Grounds matches are Bayley vs. Bliss for the Smackdown Women’s Championship and Becky Lynch vs. Lacey Evans for the Raw Women’s Championship.
Becky Lynch and Bayley vs. Lacey Evans and Alexa Bliss (w/Nikki Cross)
There were some “Bayley” chants to start the match. Bliss took over Bayley with an arm wringer takedown. Evans tagged in with an elbow drop from the apron. Bayley drove Evans to the apron to bring Lynch into the match. Evans with a kick to the ribs and Bliss tagged in for a double head whip. Lynch tried a suplex out of the corner, but Evans saved Bliss. Bayley with a sliding kick on Evans and Lynch with a forearm to Bliss leading to a break.
Back from break, Bliss with knees to the ribs and Lynch avoided another attack leading to Lynch hitting an enziguri kick. Evans stopped Lynch from tagging out. Evans slapped on a chinlock. Evans with a move against the ropes using her legs across the upper body of Lynch, which Cole called “look at that, oh my God” and Lynch broke free with a kick to send Evans to the floor. Lynch sent Bliss out of the ring. Evans prevented Lynch from tagging out again. Evans with a neckbreaker for two. Evans up top for a moonsault, but Lynch moved and Evans hit the mat properly right on her forearms. Bayley got the hot tag against Bliss, knee to the face and Bayley hit a sunset flip to send Bliss back of the neck into the turnbuckle. Bliss has had numerous concussions in the last year, so that’s not a good spot to do. Evans broke up the pin, Lynch chased Evans around the ring and Evans shoved Cross into Lynch. Evans hit Lynch with the Woman’s Right punch. Bayley with a rollup, Bliss kicked out and Evans with another Woman’s Right punch, this time to Bayley. Bliss went up top and went for Twisted Bliss, but Bayley got the knees up to block. Evans made a blind tag leading to a Woman’s Right punch for the pinfall win after nine minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Lacey Evans and Alexa Bliss
Post match, the announcers pushed how impressive Evans look because that was the point that WWE wanted to make to viewers.
Analysis: **1/2 It was a solid tag team match to give the heels some momentum. They did a good job of teasing Lynch tagging out a few times only for the heels to keep Bayley from getting in there until it finally happened. The crowd popped big for that since it was teased so much. Evans getting the win was the right call because she hasn’t won that many matches in her WWE career, so a win like that shows that she belongs in the title picture.
Shane McMahon was on the phone in his office. Sami Zayn walked up to him calling Shane the “best in the world.” Sami said that maybe tonight, he can be the guest referee for Rollins vs. Owens. Shane said it could be like an audition. Sami said that he could be a second referee outside the ring. Shane said he had an idea and told Sami he can be an outside referee. Sami said he thinks it’s genius and Sami thanked Shane.
Analysis: They did the classic bit where Sami said he had an idea and then Shane claimed he had an idea, which was the exact same thing. It’s a heel egomaniac thing.
There were press clippings talking about John Cena joining the cash of the “Fast & Furious 9” movie. Congrats to WWE for celebrating a guy not wrestling anymore because he’s too busy for them. It’s a little awkward, but I know that WWE thinks it raises the company’s profile like it did when The Rock got his movie roles.
Let’s Hear from Paul Heyman
Paul Heyman was in the ring for a promo. Heyman said he’s disturbed by the hostility between his client Brock Lesnar and the Universal Champion Seth Rollins. Heyman said that last week on Raw, Lesnar did not cash in the Money in the Bank contract and instead, he took the position that he could take the title against Rollins on any day. Heyman said that Lesnar had lust for Seth’s suffering, he put a beatdown on Rollins and then Rollins used a steel chair to put a beating on Lesnar over and over and over and over and over again. Heyman asked: “That’s the champion you cheer for?” Fans cheered. Heyman said Rollins was not a worthy champion and was a feckless thug.
Heyman said that before, they were willing to tell us when Lesnar was going to cash in Money in the Bank, but not anymore. Heyman: “No more Mr. Nice Jew, No more Mr. Nice Beast.” He said it. Heyman said that they are not going to tell us when they are going to cash in the Money in the Bank, so he’s not insinuating that Lesnar is there or that he is not. Heyman said he’s not saying that Lesnar will show up when Rollins is in Winnipeg, Anaheim or San Diego. Heyman said he’s not insinuating that Lesnar will be the special guest referee when Rollins faces Corbin at Stomping Grounds. Heyman said he won’t insinuate that Lesnar will attack when Rollins is beaten down and Heyman said that Lesnar becoming Universal Champion is not a spoiler, it’s a threat, promise and guarantee. Heyman called Lesnar the future Universal Champion. The promo ended there.
Analysis: A fine promo from Heyman as usual although it wasn’t that newsworthy. The big thing is that they are not going to say when Lesnar will cash in, which is how it should be. I think WWE just liked teasing it for the last month to try to pop a rating and it did helped the ratings a bit. Heyman always has a theme during his promos and in this case, he kept on talking about insinuations. My guess is they wait until SummerSlam to do the cash-in or perhaps even October when Smackdown is on Fox because I think Lesnar will be on Smackdown. Maybe Lesnar uses the MITB briefcase on the WWE Champion Kofi Kingston or whoever holds the title by that point.
It was back to the wrestlers in the trapped elevator. EC3 pulled out a fork from his trunks to tease cannibalism. Truth had his cell phone, but no reception. Carmella said that nobody is going to eat anybody and you can only talk if you hold her hat. Maverick said he’s going to get married in a few weeks, EC3 wondered why he wasn’t invited and Maverick told him he was his best man. Truth talked about being champion, said he was scared of Hornswoggle, but Maverick said he was not Hornswoggle – he’s just short and Slater reminded us he had kids. End scene.
Analysis: At least EC3 has something to do – he’s a dumbass. What a gimmick. Truth thinking Maverick was Hornswoggle did make me laugh.
The IIconics duo made their entrance.
The IIconics duo of Peyton Royce and Billie Kay were in the ring with their Women’s Tag Team Titles. Renee: “Maybe they’ll defend them.” I don’t think the creative team cares enough.
Royce and Kay said that they have scoured the world to find the best competition. They introduced us to San Jose’s finest competition, who are women we don’t know. Royce said that these women will never be the Women’s Tag Team Champions while Kay told the fans that the San Jose Sharks will never be the Stanley Cup Champions, which drew boos. They said they’re the future and the future will be iconic.
Peyton Royce and Billie Kay vs. Lisa Lace and Aleyah Mia
The announcers joked about the challengers with Graves pretending like he knew something, but he did not. Kay with a kick. Royce with a kick, Mia with a punch and Royce with a knee to the ribs. Kay held up Mia and Royce hit a knee to the face for the pinfall win. It went just over one minute. The other woman on the loser team did not tag in.
Winners by pinfall: Peyton Royce and Billie Kay
Analysis: 1/4* That was a boring tag team squash match to put The IIconics over. The women’s tag team division continues to lack depth and is a huge disappointment.
A replay aired of Shane McMahon beating Roman Reigns at Super Showdown thanks to interference from Drew McIntyre. They showed a post match interview with Reigns talking about his loss to Shane and at Stomping Grounds, he’s going to beat McIntyre.
The ring was shown with WWE personnel setting up for Shane McMahon’s celebration.
It was back to the stranded elevator with the announcers talking over the wrestlers, so we couldn’t hear what they were saying.
Shane McMahon Celebration
Drew McIntyre entered wearing street clothes including a leather jacket. Normally he is always in his wrestling gear. There were some bagpipe players on stage playing Drew’s theme. Shane McMahon made his entrance, also in a leather jacket, along with Drew. Reigns faces McIntyre at Stomping Grounds where “it’s time to kick ass and take names” – that’s the selling point catchphrase that they are using for Stomping Grounds.
Shane and Drew were in the ring with a table that also had balloons and Shane’s “Best in the World” trophy. Shane said that Roman Reigns is a future Hall of Famer and he said that Roman hits like a mule, which is a compliment. Shane noted that Reigns has won the Royal Rumble twice (actually Reigns only won the Rumble once in 2015), he’s main evented WrestleMania multiple times (four), he’s a multiple champion in WWE and he’s in rarefied air with victories over The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar, but not a victory over Shane McMahon.
Shane pointed out that he beat Reigns this past Friday at Super Showdown. Shane said this is nothing that Roman should be ashamed about, but his best wasn’t good enough to beat the Best in the World. Shane asked for fans to give it up for Drew, so the fans booed. Shane thanks Drew for helping him prepare because they watched so much video and footage on him. There were “boring” chants. Shane said that Drew gave him emotional support, which is why he was able to defeat Reigns in this very ring.
McIntyre said that he wished the celebration was anywhere but San Jose because they had no respect. McIntyre said that Reigns is the measuring stick in WWE because when he loses, it turns heads. McIntyre said that at Stomping Grounds, he’s not just going to beat him, he’s going to maim him and humiliate him. Drew said that Shane is the best in the world, but Drew McIntyre is the most dangerous. Drew said that he owes Roman and he’ll physically assault him until he’s unrecognizable.
Shane told Drew it’s time to celebrate a bit. They had four champagne bottles in the ring. They poured some champagne into the Best in the World trophy. Shane drank some champagne out of the trophy while Drew had a glass.
Shane said that what they are about to have two individuals that could join their party as new Raw Tag Team Champions – The Revival.
The Revival duo of Dawson and Wilder made their entrance. Cole pointed out that they get a title opportunity even though they lost at Super Showdown. Graves said that Shane is loyal. The Revival shook Shane and Drew’s hands. Shane said they had their match up next, so they can’t have champagne right now. Shane said that if they win, they can come to the party. Shane wished them good luck.
Analysis: That was boring like the crowd chanted at Shane. Reigns was wrestling at the Smackdown live event on Monday, so he was not at Raw. The announcers did a good job of trying to explain how The Revival got a title shot even though they lost at Super Showdown. That’s the problem with WWE booking, though. They book people to lose matches, then give them title shots because wins and losses don’t seem to matter. At least in this
The Usos made their entrance for the Raw Tag Team Title match. A clip aired from WrestleMania when Hawkins and Ryder beat The Revival to win the Raw Tag Team Titles on the Kickoff Show.
Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins were interviewed behind the curtain where Charly Caruso interviewed them. Ryder said that they’ve been through a lot like Curt’s losing streak and Ryder wasn’t in a match on Raw for a year. Hawkins said that this may be a Cinderella story, but it’s not midnight yet meaning it’s not over yet. Hawkins and Ryder entered with the Raw Tag Team Titles. They barely got a reaction.
Analysis: Ryder and Hawkins have had the titles for two months. They haven’t been on the show in the last month, they got their asses kicked by the Viking Raiders, who have disappeared from TV and now it’s a triple threat title match. This division has been booked very poorly this year. I feel bad for Ryder and Hawkins because they had such a meaningless title reign.
Raw Tag Team Championships: Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins vs. The Revival (Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson) vs. The Usos
It was mentioned by Cole that there are no disqualifications or countouts, but tags will be enforced in this match. If you can’t get disqualified, then why do you really need to make tags? It doesn’t make sense.
Ryder with a missile dropkick to Dawson. Jey and Ryder with double clotheslines to knock The Revival out of the ring. Ryder with a flapjack on Jey. Hawkins tagged in for a double team legsweep on Jey. Dawson with a clothesline on Hawkins on the floor. Dawson whipped Jey into the barricade. The Revival whipped Hawkins into the barricade leading to a break.
Back from break, Hawkins with a clothesline on Dawson. Wilder tagged in, Dawson tagged back in, Jimmy tagged himself in, sent The Revival to the floor and Jimmy hit a suicide dive on both Revival guys on the floor. Jimmy with a cross body block on Dawson for two. Jimmy with a Samoan Drop on Dawson for a two count. Hawkins tagged himself in, step up enziguri kick on Jimmy and Ryder tagged in with a neckbreaker off the ropes for a two count on Jimmy. Ryder charged, Jimmy avoided it, Jey tagged in and Ryder hit a Rough Ryder on Jimmy. Jey with a superkick on Ryder. Jey with a superkick on Hawkins, who jumped off the top rope. Jey continued the superkick fest with a superkick for Wilder as well. Jey with another superkick for Ryder. Jey went up top, Scott Dawson tagged Jey’s leg and Jey hit an Uso Splash on Ryder. Jey sold his ribs after the splash, Dawson covered Ryder and Wilder held Jey to prevent the save, so Dawson pinned Ryder to win the gold at around the 10 minute mark.
Winners by pinfall and New Raw Tag Team Champions: The Revival
Analysis: ***1/4 The right team are champions again. Very good match. I think it was a smart move to have The Revival win the gold because it can lead to several more matches with The Usos, this time with the titles on the line. It was the classic triple threat booking finish where a wrestler hits a move and a heel steals the pin, but in this match it was even more creative due to having Wilder out there preventing Jay from making the save. The last few minutes were excellent with The Usos really picking up the pace with their exciting offense and that led to the exciting finishing sequence. That win also ends the Raw Tag Team Title reign of Hawkins and Ryder. I wish it was better for them, but they were not utilized well at all. Blame the creative team, not them.
The Revival celebrated with the Raw Tag Team Titles. They are now two-time Raw Tag Team Champions. Replays were shown of the end of the match. Good job by Cole pointing out the blind tag by Dawson to set up the finish. The Revival continued their celebration.
Seth Rollins was shown warming up backstage when Charly Caruso showed up for an interview. Rollins said that he’s always ready, he’s ready for Brock Lesnar any time and he’s ready for Baron Corbin at Stomping Grounds. Rollins said he’s ready for Sami and Kevin tonight.
Firefly Fun House is next.
It was back to the elevator scene. Maverick talked to them about getting married soon. EC3 said he had been married five times. Heels lie. Cedric Alexander mentioned he was from Charlotte like R-Truth and Truth called Maverick “Hornswoggle” again. There was a shot of other wrestlers in the hallway when the elevator opened. The wrestlers left the elevator leading to a brawl beating the midcard wrestlers. Carmella managed to drag Truth in the elevator and they got away.
Analysis: This was weak comedy. I didn’t mind the title change on the plane with Truth and Jinder because it was funny. This segment was not very good.
Firefly Fun House with Bray Wyatt
Bray Wyatt was in his Firefly Fun House saying he was doing some handy work. Ramblin’ Rabbit and Mercy the Buzzard were arguing. Bray asked if they wanted him to get the fiend, they were not interested, and Bray put his gloves on. Ramblin’ Rabbit said that it’s not cool to eat your friends. Bray grabbed Ramblin’ Rabbit and tossed him to the ground. Bray used a mallet to smash Ramblin’ Rabbit three times, so his guts were on the floor. Bray put some rabbit guts on his fingers and said: “Yowie Wowie, it’s delicious.” Bray said this episode is brought to you by “Ramblin’ Rabbit’s Bohemian Breakfast Spread.” Start every morning with a smash! He’ll always light the way, and all we have to do is let him in. That was it.
Analysis: It’s hard to really “analyze” these segments. It’s silly. There might be some deeper meaning to them, but it wasn’t obvious to me if there was anything this week. What I can agree on is that rabbit is a delicious meat. I recommend it.
Seth Rollins, the Universal Champion, made his entrance for the none-title match.
Kevin Owens made his entrance with Cole talking about Owens taking advantage of the Wild Card Rule as a Smackdown superstar. I think it’s fair to say that WWE has already ignored their “four wrestlers per week” rule. Sami Zayn entered as the special guest referee outside the ring. Zayn even hugged referee John Cone in the ring. Zayn checked the gear of Rollins. When he checked the wrists: “Do you have a knife?” No. He did not. Zayn checked Owens and Owens said he did a fantastic job in checking him.
Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens
This is not for Seth’s Universal Title. Sami Zayn was the referee outside the ring.
Rollins had his ribs taped up selling the ribs injury from last week. Owens with an armbar, Rollins with a rollup and Rollins went for another pin, but Zayn distracted referee John Cone. Owens got a cheap shot forearm to the back of Rollins. Owens with some kicks to the ribs. Rollins with punches to Owens, Zayn stopped them and Rollins kicked Owens to the floor. Zayn prevented Rollins attacking Owens on the floor, so Owens capitalized with a shove into the barricade and a DDT on the floor.
Back from break, Owens with a chinlock, Rollins hit a jawbreaker and Owens hit a backbreaker. Owens: “He’s not burning nothing down.” Owens with a dropkick to the back as referee Cone put the white gloves on since there was some blood. Owens with punches to the ribs of Rollins. There was a comeback from Rollins including punches, a headbutt and a Slingblade neckbreaker. Rollins with a gutbuster knee to the ribs. Owens went up top for a senton bomb, but Rollins got the knees up to block it and Owens rolled to the floor with Zayn nearby. Owens with a punch to block a suicide dive attempt. Rollins avoided a Popup Powerbomb, then each guy hit a superkick and Rollins came back with a jumping kick to the head. Rollins went up top and Zayn went into the ring to check on Owens with Cone arguing with Zayn about it. Rollins argued with Zayn, Owens got a rollup on Rollins and Rollins sent Owens to the floor. Rollins hit a suicide dive onto Owens and Zayn. Back in the ring, Rollins hit The Stomp on Owens. The referee was counting the pin, but Zayn pulled the referee out of the ring. Zayn wanted a disqualification because Rollins hit Zayn with the suicide dive. Zayn went into the ring while Rollins put his hands on Zayn, so Zayn called for the bell for the DQ.
Winner by disqualification: Kevin Owens
Analysis: **1/2 The match was okay, but not as good of a match as you would expect from guys as good as Rollins and Owens. The main reason was because they wanted to push the angle with Zayn as the referee, so that hurt the match a bit. I think in terms of angle development, it was an effective way of showing how Zayn could impact things if he was the referee in the Universal Title match when Rollins faces Corbin.
Owens was announced as the winner with Owens celebrating. Rollins attacked Zayn with punches. Baron Corbin showed up for an attack on Rollins. Owens left up the ramp, so Corbin was in the ring with Rollins with punches and kicks. Corbin went for a steel chair attack, but Rollins kicked Corbin to get the chair from him. Corbin escaped. Rollins hit Zayn in the ribs and the back with a steel chair. Rollins was bleeding above his left eye. Rollins hit Zayn in the back with a steel chair. Rollins hit Zayn in the back with the steel chair six more times. Rollins took the referee shirt off Zayn and tossed him back into the ring. Rollins finished off Zayn with The Stomp in the middle of the ring. Zayn sold it great. Rollins stared at Corbin, who was on the ramp and Rollins held up the Universal Title. That was the end of the show with the staredown.
Analysis: This was all about trying to show the more serious side of Rollins, which is a follow up to what happened at Super Showdown when he unleashed on Brock Lesnar with the steel chair shots. As the babyface Universal Champion, Rollins has a lot of enemies, so it’s important to show he is willing and able to fight off the challengers.
I assume that they will go with Zayn as the referee at Stomping Grounds, which could lead to Zayn getting into the title picture after that. They need to build up heels for Rollins to face, so that’s probably where things are headed. I don’t expect Rollins to drop the title to Corbin at Stomping Grounds.
Three Stars of the Show
- The Revival
- Seth Rollins
5.5 out of 10
Last week: 5.5
2019 Average: 5.46 (Smackdown is 6.87)
Last 5 Weeks: 5.5, 3.5, 6.5, 5, 4
2019 High: 7.5 (January 14)
2019 Low: 3.5 (May 27)
This week’s Raw gets a 5.5 out of 10.
It was an average Raw just like last week. I keep waiting for something really exciting to happen, but it never does. There’s just a lot of basic wrestling storylines on this show. Some of the promos were boring or just filling time because it’s a long show.
I’m happy about The Revival as Raw Tag Team Champions again, so that’s something to be positive about. Good match too.
The build to Stomping Grounds has been okay so far. The problem is that the card is full of rematches, so it doesn’t feel fresh or interesting at all.
The next WWE pay-per-view is Stomping Grounds on June 23. Here’s what we know so far.
Universal Championship: Seth Rollins (c) vs. Baron Corbin
WWE Championship Steel Cage Match: Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre
Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Lacey Evans
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Alexa Bliss
You can contact me using any of the methods below. See ya next time for the Smackdown review. Go Toronto Raptors and Toronto Blue Jays. Thanks for reading.
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