RAW Review - 15th July 2019
BACK WITH THE RAW REVIEWS!
Sorry for the absence of the reviews recently, I just haven’t had any motivation to write about the main roster product when it just hasn’t been great, to put it nicely. A fantastic episode of Smackdown and a pretty good Extreme Rules has just about got me back in the swing of things, lets get into RAW!
We kick off Monday Night RAW with NEW Universal Champion Brock Lesnar and his advocate Paul Heyman, with Heyman saying that people would rather have you say lies than tell the truth, as he has been saying for weeks that Lesnar would cash in his Money in the Bank contract at Extreme Rules, to which he did.
The new Executive Director of RAW then announces that in the main event tonight, we will see a 10 man Battle Royale with the winner of that being Brocks next opponent at Summerslam.
the 10 competitors announced were: Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Big E, Cesaro, Rey Mysterio, Braun Strowman, Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley, Sami Zayn and Roman Reigns and its been dubbed as a ‘Cross Brand All Star Battle Royale’
No complaints about this segment, Paul Heyman once again fantastic on the mic and knows exactly how to work the crowd. We enter a “New” Era with Brock once again Champion and im looking forward to see what happens.
Ricochet & Usos vs Robert Roode & Revival - 2 out of 3 falls
Might aswell get the 2 out of 3 falls match out the way early, its here and its here to stay while they continue doing the commercial break rules. Ricochet picking up a lightening quick fall, pinning Scott Dawson before Dawson leveling the scores with a pin to Jimmy Uso. End of the match saw Ricochet hit his 630 onto Robert Roode (who has decided against the Magnum PI tashe).
After the match, The Club come down to the ring to celebrate AJ Styles US Championship victory against Ricochet the night before and it all turned into a brawl, but The Club and AJ getting another one up on The One and Only by htting a hellacious Phenomenal Foreman, turning Ricochet inside out.
I’m not going to complain about the match stipulation, yes its still a ballache, but its not going anywhere any time soon. The match itself was a decent TV match and carries on the Usos and Revival feud, They can put on a better match than they did at Extreme Rules and im hoping its on the SummerSlam card. Also looks like AJ Styles vs Ricochet is carrying on and I couldn’t be happier, I loved their match on Sunday and they can do even more at a Big 4 Pay Per View.
Viking Raiders vs Local Competitors
Commentary did a fantastic job at putting the Viking Raiders over and showcasing how dangerous they are. I’m hoping soon that they start moving up the Tag Team scene after 2 weeks in a row of facing Local Competitors but at the moment, its doing a job.
In a prerecorded segment from earlier today, Drew McIntyre confronts a group of Wrestlers in the locker room (Cedric Alexander, Finn Balor, Street Profits and No Way Jose) and shoots them down for having a laugh and a joke. He confronts Cedric after he tried to pull a fast one on McIntyre and Shane McMahon last week, reminding Alexander that once he was done at Extreme Rules, he was coming for the former Cruiserweight Champion. Drew claims that he would dissemble and disembowel him, before proclaiming that thats illegal!
He will humble Cedric though and warned him to never get in his way again. Alexander replies, saying that people have called him humble before but he has no doubt that tonight, the joke will be on the Scottish Physcopath.
Cedric came off quite well in this promo I thought, standing up to a monster like Drew McIntyre and put over well that he wants to prove that he is worthy to be going up against the top wrestlers on RAW
Drew McIntyre vs Cedric Alexander
Early goings of this match was Drew McIntyre throwing Cedric Alexander around with utter dominance, Cedric tried to get back into it with some counters, a lovely dropkick to McIntyre will Drew was in mid air but it looked like it was all for nothing, as Drew managed to stop the momentum and go for a inverted Alabama Slam, only for Cedric to counter it into a roll up to pick up the surprise victory.
Yes, McIntyre lost again, thats really naff, BUT, I thought they did this quite well. A lucky victory with a out of nowhere roll up doesn’t mean much, but it puts over the baby face never-give-up attitude of Alexander and it will almost certainly mean that we are going to get another match where it will more than likely see Drew completely destroy Cedric, while still hopefully growing that baby face fire for Alexander to try and get him over with the crowd, especially after not being feature at all (except for 24/7 championship segments) since being moved over from 205 Live.
Samoa Joe vs Finn Balor
A big match for both these wrestlers (obviously depending if the reports of Finn Balor requesting some time off are true) as Finn Balor lost his Intercontinental Championship at Extreme Rules against Shinsuke Nakamura, while Samoa Joe lost yet another Top Championship match against Kofi Kingston.
Maybe the reports are true, as Samoa Joe completely squashes Finn Balor. He then attacks Balor after the match but to no avail as Finn gets the better of him.
As Finns music gets played, all of a sudden the lights go out and they start flickering AND BRAY WYATT (As the Fiend) HAS FINN BALOR IN A SISTER ABIGAIL!!!!! BRAY HAS FINALLY RETURNED!
This is great, if Finn has requested time off to leave, this is the perfect opponent for Bray Wyatt to kayfabe injure Balor or something like that to get him off TV. We might even get the completion of their last feud from a couple of years back when it was supposed to be Demon Finn vs Sister Abigail. Demon Finn vs The Fiend anyone?! We cut to commercial with laughter from Wyatt and it was just perfect.
Only thing I didn’t like was Balor celebrating in the win after losing, but it led into a fantastic return so i can’t complain too much.
Drake Maverick and his wife check into a hotel close to the arena and Maverick has the fantastic idea of checking themselves in as ‘Mr and Mrs 24/7 Champion’ because apparently they means they are more incognito as ‘Mr and Mrs Maverick’ and he obviously doesn’t want people to know that they are staying at the hotel! Unfortunately for Maverick, R-Truth has been hiding around the corner the whole time and tries to bribe the hotel clerc to tell him where….uh….Hornswoggle is.
Zack Ryder vs Mike Kanellis
Why, Squash match central tonight as Hometown boy Zack Ryder picks up a win against Mike Kanellis. Before the match though, Maria Kanellis came down to the ring as she turn her husband that even though shes pregnant, she had a better chance at winnnig tonight. Maybe she was right.
I wasn’t too sure on this Pregnancy angle at first, wanting to see how it played out, but now I just feel a bit uncomfortable watching it, also, whats the finale supposed to be? there just doesn’t seem to be a sensible conclusion to this and it worries me.
The Club vs Lucha House Party
Not going to lie, I had a power cut during the entrances to this match, so I missed a lot of it. We had a attack from Ricochet to AJ Styles (I’m guessing this was to have a commercial break, but at least it made sense) and then AJ Styles submitted Kalisto with a Calf Crusher. If I remember to come back and watch this match, i’ll give a proper review, but on with the show.
Seth Rollins does a backstage interview saying that yeah, hes hurt knowing that Brock Lesnar is running round RAW with a Championship he doesn’t deserve, but Seth is willing to go through any of the wrestlers in the battle royale, including Shield Brother Roman Reigns, to once again get his hands on Lesnar, he then tries to tell us about how tough Becky Lynch is…?
WE KNOW HOW TOUGHT SHE IS SETH, WE WATCH THE PRODUCT, just stop already, please. I don’t care anymore about their relationship (To be honest, I don’t think I ever did)
Alexa Bliss vs Carmella vs Naomi vs Natalya
This Fatal 4 way was a elimination match to see who will face Becky Lynch for the RAW Womens Championship at Summerslam, Despite just minutes ago, Rollins saying that he doesn’t know whether Lynch was turning up tonight, she literally strolls out to watch the match. SETH MATE…ffs…
I must say, the crowd really were not interested in this match, I saw a good quote on Twitter saying that ‘Becky Lynch is Batman, but none of these women are capable of being her Joker at Summerslam’ and I have to agree, There isn’t anyone on the Roster where I see them and think ‘Yeah, you could beat Becky’ at the moment and its a really shame. Thinking back, I don’t think the Womens Division has been the same since Ronda Rousey took her break, atleast with Ronda there and Charlotte doing some fantastic stuff, there were 3 women all capable of beating each other. We don’t currenty have that and its not just harming Becky, its harming the whole division, Heyman needs to build up 2 or 3 females and try to make us believe that they can become Champion, same with Bischoff on Smackdown.
First Elimination was Carmella being rolled up by Alexa Bliss after a flurry of superkicks from the Princess of Statin Island. The match at this point was essentially Alexa Bliss on the outside being a standard heel, leaving Natalya and Naomi to fight it out in the ring, makes sense I guess.
The fans start to make some noise, unfortunately its a ‘This is Awful’ chant and, I hate to be negative, but its kind of justified. Harping back to my comments earlier, this 4 women haven’t exactly been winning recently and a 20+ minute match probably wasn’t the brightest idea, having a fast paced 10 minute match would of awoken the crowd and kept things on track.
Anyway, Natalya eliminates Naomi with a pinfall and then taps Alexa Bliss out with the sharpshooter and will go to Summerslam to face Lynch. They drag this out for some reason by doing a interview with Natalya in the ring and she says that its a dream come true to face her friend in Canada. Becky runs Nattie down by saying that if she doesn’t step up she will wipe the floor with her, THE CROWD DIDN’T REACT TO ANY OF THE TRASH TALK FROM BECKY, Nattie then calls her a bitch. blah de blah de blah.
Next week better be something magnificent because this was a horrible start to the storyline and feud, its going to be hard to get what seemed like the majority of the audience on board. Now, im going to go back to try and be positive about the show, because i can’t stand being negative.
Miz TV with Guest Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler says that Miz has changed and that hes just happy to be here and doesn’t want to prove people wrong. Saying that he is now a Yes Man and it must be pretty tiring to kiss so much arse. Dolph keeps on going saying that Miz has just become a sell out with T-Shirts big up the town they are in instead of trying to be the best.
Thought Ziggler was finished? Nope, he continues to berate Miz, accusing him for just caring about fortune and fame nowadays……just like his wife.
The Miz finally snapped at this point and beat down Ziggler until he rolled out of the ring
We get another 24/7 segment and it seems that Drake and his Wife are going to have a live sex celebration, we are really go back in time ain’t we!
Well, it didn’t quite work out that way. Room Service comes in with some champagne, but as the 24/7 couple get ready to consumate the marriage, the room service bloke is still stood there., Drake rightly proclaims this pretty awkward and goes to show him the door but ITS A REFEREE!
R-Truth comes out from the trolley and pins Drake, who kicks out a 2, but Truth spears him onto the bed and picks up the victory to become A 9 TIME 24/7 CHAMPION!
Right, this was probably my least favourite 24/7 segment. Yes, it was pretty funny at points, but it just felt incredibly forced and it seemed they were trying too hard to be funny. Keep it simple like it has been please!
Cross Brand All Star 10 Man Battle Royale
Like stated earlier, The winner of this match will get a shot at Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at Summerslam. Honestly, during the entrances, I had absolutely no clue who would win and I had thoughts going through my head about all 10 men being realistic.
Like i’ve done before, i won’t do a play by play on the match, I will tell you the order of the eliminations and who eliminated them.
Bobby Lashley eliminates Cesaro
Braun Strowman eliminates Bobby Lashley
Sami Zayn eliminates Big E
Randy Orton eliminates Sami Zayn
Baron Corbin eliminates Rey Mysterio
Seth Rollins eliminates Baron Corbin
Seth Rollins eliminates Roman Reigns & Braun Strowman at the same time
Seth Rollins thinks he wins at this point, but they did the classic thing of someone going to the outside but not being eliminated and that man was Randy Orton. Randy gets on top but Rollins recovers, hits Orton with the stomp before throwing him over the top rope to win. We get a Wrestlemania rematch as Seth Rollins will go head to head with Brock Lesnar for the Universal Champion. After the match is done, Paul Heyman gets on the microphone but it wasn’t long before Rollins tells him to shut the hell up. Seth says that he is a man possessed and at Summerslam, just like Mania, he will stomp Lesnars head into the mat and become, once again, Universal Champion.
I don’t mind Seth being in the picture again, but it just feels like a cheap way to get around the whole ‘No more Automatic rematches’ they did.
Monday Night RAW Rating - ***
Right, the first half was pretty class I thought, especially the Bray Wyatt return, but that second half of the show REALLY let it down in my opinion. It was on course to probably be the best RAW in quite some time, but alas, it was not. Obviously, We shouldn’t expect miracles from Paul Heyman straight away, but he has some work with some of the decisions made tonight, no less with the RAW Womens Championship segments. My other irritation with tonight was that there were far too many squash matches, having 1 on the show can work, but having 3 is a bit ludicrous and needs to be looked at for the upcoming weeks. Not the worst RAW, but had its glaring problems.