Monday Night Raw
Date: July 1, 2019
Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Renee Young
So depending on which version of WWE’s own story you believe, this may or may not be the first show under Paul Heyman’s control. It doesn’t seem to be the case, but at this point they certainly need something fresh. Tonight is likely going to be more about the amazing mixed tag, which is probably going to headline the pay per view to even less interest. Let’s get to it.
As the announcers talk about the show, the Street Profits (reigning NXT Tag Team Champions) are shown in the back for a split second in what seems like a technical glitch. This is not acknowledged by commentary.
Bobby Lashley vs. Braun Strowman
Falls Count Anywhere. Lashley hits an early spear and they’re on the floor in a hurry. Strowman hits the big shoulder and drops a backsplash for two. A big tackle knocks Strowman into the timekeeper’s area for two more and they head into the crowd. It’s the walking around form of brawling until Lashley hits him in the back with a chair for two. They get into a clearing with Strowman hitting a heck of a charge to run Lashley over for two.
It’s up to the stage with Lashley getting in an impressive suplex for two of his own. A big spear sends Lashley through the set and it’s a BUNCH of explosions (Graves: “HOLY S***! Uncensored too.) with the screen’s lights going out. Both guys are sprayed with fire extinguishers and the referees call for EMTs as the match is of course thrown out at about 6:00.
Rating: C-. Oh yeah I’d say we have some new management now. This was All a bunch of killing time until we got to the big angle at the end and there’s nothing wrong with that. What matters most here is that they started with something different and fans are going to want to keep watching. It’s a different style and if that’s what we’re going to get, well done.
The medics look at both of them for a good while with no commentary. We even take a break and come back with the two of them being put into ambulances.
War Raiders vs. New Day
Big E. runs over Erik to start and it’s the apron splash to make it even worse. Ivar comes in and runs Big E. over and then crushing him in the corner with an assist from Erik. The chinlock goes on but Big E. fights out….and here’s Samoa Joe to choke Woods out for the DQ at 2:40. That is the War Raiders’ first loss of any kind in NXT or WWE.
Post match Kofi Kingston runs out for the save and you know where this is going.
New Day vs. Viking Raiders/Samoa Joe
Kofi tries kicking away at Ivar to start before handing it off to Woods, who gets kicked in the face. Woods gets caught in the corner and some chops to Erik don’t work very well. Instead Erik muscles him up for a suplex and it’s back to Ivar. Erik gets slammed onto Woods and it’s off to Joe for the neck crank. A middle rope dropkick gets Woods out of trouble though and it’s Kofi coming in to clean house.
Kofi starts kicking away and hits the Boom Drop on Erik. Joe comes in and is immediately kneed back to the floor but Erik blasts Kofi with a knee. Big E. suplexes Erik and sends Ivar outside for the suicide dive but Ivar knees him instead. Woods hits a dropkick through the ropes and Ivar adds a big suicide dive. There’s Trouble in Paradise to Ivar but Joe grabs the Clutch on Kingston and Kofi is out at 7:13.
Rating: C+. Exciting match, furthers Joe vs. Kingston and keeps the Raiders strong. It’s a well put together match that hit on all cylinders while also being high quality. What more could you possibly ask for out of a match like this? Good stuff and I buy Joe as more of a threat than I did before.
We recap Drake Maverick losing the 24/7 Title at his wedding.
Maverick has brought his wife to Raw, though under the premise of taking her to the beach. She’s not happy when she finds out what’s going on but he chooses her over the title. R-Truth shows up and says he’s a sucker for love. Hey I went to Dallas for my honeymoon over Wrestlemania weekend and went to the same arena so I’m on Maverick’s side here.
The Good Brothers are talking when AJ Styles comes in. AJ doesn’t think much of the two of them losing to the Viking Raiders. They accuse AJ of not looking great last week and Anderson bets his hot Asian wife (his words) that AJ can’t beat Ricochet for the US Title. The best is on, but Anderson doesn’t like Gallows talking about his wife.
No Way Jose vs. Cesaro
Drake and his wife are now sitting in the front row with R-Truth as part of the conga line. Cue Titus O’Neil and Cedric Alexander to chase him off with Drake reluctantly staying in his seat. The chase is on and Cesaro Neutralizes Jose on the floor. No match.
The Street Profits (Montez Ford/Angelo Dawkins) are introduced backstage and after Ford attempts a Rock promo, it’s a sip of the juice and dancing ensues, with Charly Caruso joining in.
We look back at the opening explosion.
Miz is ready to take care of Elias tonight. He blames himself for Shane dubbing himself the Best in the World but after tonight, Shane is going to need a replacement for Elias.
Here are Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre for a chat. After the long intro, Shane talks about having other responsibilities other than gracing us with his presence. We look back at McIntyre and Shane beating up Roman Reigns last week but cut it off before Undertaker appeared. Shane promises to destroy the Undertaker again at Extreme Rules and Drew says he will not be intimidated by Undertaker. Drew is ready to fight right now and wants Undertaker out here right now. The thunder rumbles and the lights go out. Lightning hits some turnbuckles and here’s Undertaker.
Shane and Drew bail into the crowd and Undertaker says Reigns never asked for his help. If you need to know what happened last week, Undertaker will explain. He has been the reaper of wayward souls for a long time and he is here to collect Shane and Drew’s. Shane had a little of Undertaker’s respect for awhile because of their match inside the Cell. Just like most mortals though, Shane fell victim to his greed and ego. Therefore, Undertaker is claiming his soul for all of eternity. The two of them will never rest in peace. Fine enough explanation for a one off match.
Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans are not worried about their mixed tag now being an Extreme Rules match. That plays into their hands and Baron doesn’t understand why Seth is willing to bet everything he has on his latest fling. Is she worth it? Lacey can’t wait to take the title from Evans and prove them wrong.
And now, Undertaker leaves.
Lacey Evans vs. Natalya
Corbin is at ringside. Lacey takes her down to start and some elbows to the back of the head make things even worse. A slingshot elbow gives Lacey two and it’s off to the chinlock. Natalya fights up but Corbin trips her from the floor. The Woman’s Right finishes Natalya at 3:31.
Rating: D. It’s amazing how much the energy goes out of the show when Corbin is on screen. The problem for Lacey is very simple: she’s already lost to Becky twice, so why would I want to see this happen again? She’s good at what she does, but we’ve covered this already and there’s no way to make it much better.
Ricochet thinks he could handle AJ Styles in a rematch. The Good Brothers come in and say AJ has Ricochet’s numbers. Threats are made but the two of them imply Ricochet should be worried about something else.
Post break AJ isn’t happy with the Good Brothers because he’s going to go talk to Ricochet. That’s not good enough for the two of them because the AJ they knew in Japan would slap Ricochet in the face. AJ walks off and finds Ricochet, who he accuses of running his mouth. Styles wants the title match tonight and Ricochet accepts. Ricochet extends his hand but gets slapped in the face. That earns AJ a slap right back.
Miz vs. Elias
2/3 falls. Miz jumps Elias before the bell and the beating is on with Elias saying he’s ready to go. The Skull Crushing Finale gives Miz the first fall at 12 seconds. Elias comes right back with a small package for two and Drift Away ties things up at 1:30. Back from a break with Elias hitting a sitout powerbomb for two and elbowing Miz in the face for one. The chinlock (with Corey offering some praise) goes on for a bit until Miz is back up with chops. Something like a Roll of the Dice gives Elias two but a running knee hits the post. Back in and Elias taps to the Figure Four at 8:57.
Rating: D-. It wasn’t going to be a very good match in the first place but the gimmick made it even worse. If they can trade falls in ninety seconds, why would I be interested in seeing them keep going for another seven minutes? I can appreciate the idea of wanting to keep the action on the air, but this is defeating the purpose in a bad way.
We look back at the main event of Stomping Grounds with Becky Lynch preventing Lacey Evans from costing Seth Rollins the Universal Title.
Lynch and Rollins don’t think agreeing to the match was impulsive and smile at each other quite a bit. Cue Maria Kanellis of all people, who doesn’t like them calling themselves the first couple of WWE. Maria: “I pushed an eight pound baby out of my uterus.” Mike Kanellis comes up and a mixed tag is made for later.
We look at the explosion again. Strowman may have suffered a ruptured spleen.
Seth Rollins/Becky Lynch vs. Mike Kanellis/Maria Kanellis
The men start with Mike bailing after getting kicked in the back. Maria tells him to get back in there so Seth elbows him in the face this time around. A pop up buckle bomb and the low superkick have Mike in more trouble so Seth takes him into the corner for the tag off to Maria, meaning it’s time to be afraid.
Becky comes in so Maria runs to the floor and grabs a mic, saying that Mike lied when he said he could mop the floor with Seth. Maria: “YOU CAN’T EVEN MOP THE FLOOR AT HOME!” Becky goes to hit her but Maria says she’s pregnant. Mike is stunned and asks how that could be true. Maria doesn’t know either because Mike isn’t man enough to do it. Becky pulls Mike back in and the Disarm-Her makes Mike tap at 3:33.
Rating: D. This was just an excuse for an angle and that’s fine. Mike and Maria aren’t interesting together but Maria being the evil witch that she can play very well is more than a good use for her. Sometimes you need someone to yell and rant and rave and she does it as well as anyone around.
Post match Becky and Seth leave as Maria rants about Mike somehow being the father of their child. She’s been waiting for him to be a man for months because the only man here tonight is Becky Lynch. Maybe next time, she’ll ask Becky to impregnate her.
Paul Heyman pops up in the back and threatens a Brock Lesnar cash-in. The Street Profits come in and Heyman looks mortified. They mess with his tie and Heyman leaves because he’s a busy man. The Profits talk about what just happened on live TV and Charly Caruso starts laughing. They then recite Rock A Bye Baby.
It’s time for A Moment Of Bliss with guest Nikki Cross. Bliss congratulates her for beating Bayley on Smackdown and Nikki thanks Alexa for taking her seriously. This brings out Carmella who asks why Nikki won but Bliss is getting the title shot. Bliss calls her out for being R-Truth’s sidekick and a match is set up.
Carmella vs. Alexa Bliss
Carmella wins with a rollup in 8 seconds.
Carmella vs. Nikki Cross
Yeah of course. Cross hits a running crossbody for two but a headscissors puts her on the floor. That earns her a trap in the ring skirt so Cross can hammer away for two more. Carmella is right back up with the Staten Island Shuffle into the Bronco Buster for her own two. Cross elbows her in the face though and adds a kick to the ribs, setting up the Purge for the pin at 2:46. Another way around a problem that causes a bigger problem here.
Cross is asked about fans saying she should get the title shot at Extreme Rules. Bliss says no comment and the two leave.
Maverick and his wife are trying to leave so they can have a proper honeymoon. She goes to freshen up but Maverick finds R-Truth and hits him with a suitcase to win the title. Maverick’s wife comes back in, with Drake saying they can do their honeymoon 24/7 now.
US Title: Ricochet vs. AJ Styles
Ricochet is defending. An early rollup gives Ricochet two and he knocks AJ down in a hurry. The springboard splash hits raised knees though and AJ takes over. The fans are split as Ricochet knocks him to the floor for the big flip dive. Back in and AJ knocks him backwards a few steps, setting up the Phenomenal Forearm for the pin and the title….despite Ricochet having his foot under the ropes at two. Cue a second referee as we find another way to not have action during a break.
Back with the match restarting and the Good Brothers at ringside. Ricochet hits an enziguri and a lifting swinging neckbreaker for two. The Phoenix splash misses so Ricochet sends him over the top and face first onto the apron. The big running flip dive misses but Ricochet lands on his feet. That’s fine with AJ, who hits another Phenomenal Forearm to the floor. Back in and the torture rack powerbomb gives AJ two but he gets caught on top. Ricochet knocks him down and grabs a spinning rollup for the pin to retain at 10:13.
Rating: C+. This didn’t have time to build up because of the spot in the middle. Is it that much to just have Styles vs. Ricochet in a straight ten minute match without the big part in the middle to change things up? It feels so unnecessary and doesn’t add anything more than a detail that doesn’t need to be there.
Post match they shake hands but the Good Brothers get on the apron. Ricochet is ready to fight but AJ decks him for the heel turn. The beatdown is on with a Magic Killer and a middle rope Styles Clash leaving Ricochet laying. AJ and the Good Brothers give the Too Sweet sign and Gallows says they’re back to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. I don’t know how much pull Heyman had with this show, but it felt almost entirely different than previous weeks. There are still issues abounding (the mixed tag being the top story at the pay per view is up there) but the key to the show was it did not feel boring. They were trying some fresh stuff here and while it might not all work, it felt like they were actually trying instead of just coasting through the summer until Summerslam.
They literally opened the show with a bang then got some popular acts out there to keep up the interest. Throw in the Kanellis angle, the Street Profits appearing and some of the established being stories being advanced and they had some good stuff going on. Now just get rid of the awfully executed No Wrestling During The Breaks policy and we could be getting somewhere. What mattered here was the effort, and if they can keep up even half of it, things will be trending up.
Bobby Lashley vs. Braun Strowman went to a no contest when Strowman speared Lashley through the set
New Day b. Viking Raiders via DQ when Samoa Joe interfered
Samoa Joe/Viking Raiders b. New Day – Koquina Clutch to Kingston
Lacey Evans b. Natalya – Woman’s Right
Miz b. Elias – Figure Four
Seth Rollins/Becky Lynch b. Mike Kanellis/Maria Kanellis – Disarm-Her to Mike
Carmella b. Alexa Bliss – Rollup
Nikki Cross b. Carmella – Purge
Ricochet b. AJ Styles – Bridging rollup
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