Looking at the Good, the Bad and the Ugly on WWE Monday Night Raw (6.30.14)
Posted by Justin Watry on 06.30.2014
411's Justin Watry looks at the latest edition of WWE Monday Night Raw…
What an epic week of Big Brother on CBS! The cast is great. Television ratings were up the first two nights, and I have my favorites already for the summer. Oops, I am here to discuss wrestling. WWE Money in the Bank is over (pretty solid event), and all eyes now shift to Summerslam! Or Battleground in three weeks, whatever. Okay, no more blabbering about nothing. I think I wasted enough space. When finished with this, go read my new column already posted. For now, bring on WWE RAW using my classic Good/Bad/Ugly format to recap!
The Good Opening Segment - I am not a gamer, so the WWE2K15 stuff does nothing for me. Have not bought a wrestling video game in close to 10 years. Ultimately, this was about The Authority setting up the Raw main event, as well as the Battleground pay-per-view main event three weeks away. Kudos to them for announcing it so soon; there truly is no time to waste trying to sell WWE Battleground 20 days from now. As much as authority figures have been played out in all of wrestling, Stephanie McMahon continues to play her role well. Triple H is always a good, smug heel, and yes - John Cena is still easily the top star in the entire industry. I am not a fan of the fatal four way title match, but it is a means to an end filling time/space to get to Summerslam in August. The ending tease of Seth Rollins and his Money in the Bank briefcase was also very good.
Seth Rollins VS. Rob Van Dam - Repeat of last week. Nothing wrong with the match. Just felt like a "been there, done that" type of thing. This time though, Rollins got the clean pin fall. Assuming RVD only came back for about 90 days (again), that would mean his current run is about to end. I wonder how he gets written off television...
Seth Rollins/Dean Ambrose Promo - Good work. I like the idea of Dean Ambrose ALWAYS ready to attack Seth Rollins if he event thinks of cashing in his MITB briefcase. As for their feud, I will echo my statements from 2-3 weeks ago: WWE needs to give these two guys at least 20 minutes at Battleground. Maybe even 30 minutes. Yes, that much! I saw them tear down the house in FCW a few years ago and can only imagine how amazing it would be in front of a huge arena and with much more story line driven drama added on top of that. The only issue is who wins?
WE THE PEOPLE! - It is segments like this when a live crowd absolutely do matter. Imagine Jack Swagger getting zero reaction when he stood up to Rusev here. Imagine nobody booing Lana here. Imagine Zeb Colter saying "We The People" with no one joining in. Exactly. The segment would have been terrible, dragged out and likely been panned in every single review online. Luckily, fans were behind Jack Swagger 100 percent and wanted to see the Real American take on the undefeated Rusev. Very cool.
The Wyatt Family VS. Sheamus/The Usos - Just a high energy, fun six man tag team match. Not bad for strictly 'filler' on Raw, huh? Luke Harper gets the win for his team. Another tag title match coming? Sign me up!
Bolieve - Fine, whatever. I understand the gimmick and all, but wasting a full minute on silence was a risky way to lose the audience for the rest of the show. Time for an actual feud Mr. Bo Dallas.
Party Time, All The Time! - I sure am craving some iced tea all of a sudden. Excellent to see Rosita on my television screen; that alone makes this blatant product placement worth while.
The Miz Is Back - Let the man be a cocky heel and get booed. Act all Hollywood and such. Seems simple enough. However, there was more to this segment...
Y2J Returns - Ah, the joys of being spoiler free. A legitimate surprise in wrestling! Of course, shame on all of you who read about the return earlier in the day and could not just resist clicking. Tsk, tsk. Some people never learn...anyways, Chris Jericho is officially back on RAW! Who knows for how long? Who cares? Jericho always delivers out there. Whether it is Miz (who Jericho took out) or Bray Wyatt (who attacked Y2J afterwards) at WWE Battleground, I am ready. Great segment. Now we sit back and watch those who whine and complain when part-timers come back (not me) suddenly eat up everything Jericho does for the next few months. Always funny...
AJ Lee VS. Paige? - Another genuine surprise! I loved it. Wow, AJ Lee looks amazing for being pregnant. Good for her. Back to reality: Paige, as she was stumbling through her promo, NEEDED AJ Lee to come back. The Divas division NEEDED AJ Lee back on TV. Not sure about switching the title back so soon, but clearly there is a story here to be told. Heel turn for Paige? Face turn for AJ? Remains to be seen folks. Hopefully, their first REAL match gets some time at WWE Battleground.
RAW Main Event - Roman Reigns and John Cena vs. Kane and Randy Orton was just your typical tag match to close the show. Not terrible. Not amazing. Just enough to hype their fatal four way at Battleground. A DQ finish was expected so no problem. Kane giving John Cena the tombstone was unexpected though. Even protected, I am not dropping my $100 million top star on his head like that. Did enjoy the Rollins cash-in attempt at the end with Cena laying there being ruined by an amped up Ambrose. I hope this happens on a near weekly basis. Could be an intriguing cat and mouse game. Reigns hits the spear on Kane and stares down Triple H to close Raw. The wonderful Hartford audience was into every second of this as was I.
The Bad Nikki Bella Loses Stephanie McMahon threatening Nikki Bella backstage was okay. Builds up the inevitable return of Brie. I liked that. Nikki's handicap match (loss) and aftermath with Cameron/Naomi was not a good follow through. If the Bo Dallas segment did not kill this hot crowd, the Divas match sure did.
Fandango VS. Dolph Ziggler - Yawn. Next!
Goldust & Stardust Win - My feelings are not going to change here. I appreciate the effort and all that jazz, but we want CODY RHODES vs. Goldust!
The Ugly Bad News Barrett Injury Update - Get better...and soon! The IC Championship is now vacant. A battle royal to crown a new title holder at Battleground should be fun. Just disappointing Barrett got hurt as he was becoming relevant again.
Kofi Kingston Defeats Cesaro...During The Commercial Break! - *sigh* Sorry, I am not downloading the WWE App. Never have in the past and likely never will. Ending a match during the commercial break (but on the WWE App!) once in a blue moon sounds okay on paper but does not look good in execution. Hopefully, it was a timing mistake or something and not done on purpose. Other than that obvious blunder, why in the world is Kofi Kingston beating Cesaro? Even though he got destroyed post-match, it should not have happened.
McMahondow - As noted a few weeks ago, the story goes that Vince McMahon loved Damien Sandow as Magneto and wants to see him impersonate others each week. I suppose that was a compliment from the boss, so yay? After Damien Sandow did a decent Vince impersonation, Stephanie McMahon appeared (not needed here at all) and named his opponent - The Great Khali! Well, the big man won quickly. Both are in the IC Title battle royal in three weeks.
Overall: Wow. WWE is not letting up. The Miz is back. Chris Jericho is back. AJ Lee is back as Divas Champion. Even former World Champion Great Khali is back! Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose are ready to go at it. John Cena has three opponents going after his newly won WWE World Title. A new IC Champion will be crowned at Battleground and much more! Exciting times. All with some entertaining wrestling matches thrown in during the three hours! Very good episode of Raw.
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Thanks for reading. What did YOU think of WWE RAW tonight?